Pencil dice: a D6 in pencil form

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So, just spitballing this here, but you could take a regular pencil and put dots on that, right?


We used to make those ourselves and play DnD in the school library. Although to be honest I never thought of using dots - we wrote the numerals with a pen. The Dots seem like a better solution.


The idea has been around for a while. Several years ago some dude scammed a ton of Kickstarter backers (took the money and ran). The butthurt on that one was so intense that invoking the dreaded pencil-dice idea on some forums brings a torrent of memes and eyerolls.

This looks like a different dude altogether though. :slight_smile:


I don’t get why people make this kind of seemingly useful product and then slap an absurd price tag on it. $3.33 is triple what the totally-not-worth it Palomino Blackwing costs that @frauenfelder went nuts for a few years back, though, tbh I didn’t shell out $150 on eBay for an “original” Blackwing to self validate my pointlessly ostentatious purchase. What should be a good idea at $3.33 per dozen just rings of “fuck you, it’s art” to me.

Oh, hey, look at that. The actual best pencil in the world is $3.29/dozen. What does 21 dots cost these days?


That’s crazy talk!


Well, handcrafted artisanal organic free-range vegan dots from sustainable sources have their price, but they are worth it.


I have read that the ancient Egyptian game of Senet used pieces of wood in this manner. I think they don’t know it for a fact. That would make this concept about 4,000 years old-but hey, I still like it.


Clearly, you don’t understand the complexities of this sort of thing. :neutral_face:

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I always feel semi-bad about this kind of thing, where it’s a neat idea, but let’s face it, once you’ve seen the idea it would be silly to buy one rather than make it yourself.

Although, I guess mostly this sort of thing gets bought as a gift, because people don’t have the wherewithal to do a nice presentation-quality version themselves. So they’re paying $10/3 as a kind of social ritual rather than in exchange for the product per se.

In this specific case, it seems to me like the designer has missed a trick, because rather than making the pencils (triggering people’s “dad-mode” purchasing logic), you could make a simple metal doodad that clamps onto an existing hexagonal pencil, then you hold it over a lighter to burn the pips into the wood. That might even be cheaper to manufacture in short runs, but people would think nothing of paying $10 for a tool that lets them make UNLIMITED DICE PENCILS!!!


I have seen something just like this once, in an anime. I think it’s a school kid thing over there, but it was accomplished by whittling down the end and inking on the numbers. I seem to recall somebody was using it to divine answers on a multiple-choice test.

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Brings back memories of 7th grade classes, playing D&D using pencils for dice (and yes, there are ways to approximate a d20 roll, though they take like 3 rolls on the pencil)


When I was a poor student in art school decades ago, and I would accidentally drop one of my sketching pencils, I just knew the lead inside had been shattered in several places.

Now the kids these days are doing it for random number generation. Sheesh.


Patents will be strictly enforced and with terrifying speed!!



You bunch of ‘Gamblers Anonymous’-bound, library rule-breaking, gambling-blind hooligans just didn’t think things through.



Yes, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

I have prior art!

We were young - we didn’t know better!! And we didn’t have smartphones to simplify things.

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Adventures, ffft. This is for multiple choice tests.

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Senet uses a more complicated scheme - there are four sticks (knucklebones), with one black side and one white side (or whatever colors as long as they’re different). You toss all four in the air and see how many come up white. Then you get to move that many spaces. If all four come up black, you get to to move six spaces, so there’s no zero.

There’s some argument whether 4 black gets you five or six spaces, and whether some of them mean you lose a turn or get to go again.

Of course there’s no reason you can’t play it with a die or a numbered pencil like this.