As I noted Sunday, we finally kicked off our first Swords & Wizardry White Box campaign. Alas, mean old Kilgore only took about twenty minutes to wipe out the bold adventurers played by his wife, son, and daughter in the first all-family game ever.
For the special occasion of kicking off a new campaign in a new game meant to get things back to the old roots of it all, I broke out the only two survivors of my original set of dice:
As you can see, these polyhedrons have been trough many campaigns. Red Six, in particular, is looking a bit rough around the edges. These began play in late 1982 or early 1983 after being purchased at Don’s Hobby in Mankato, Minnesota. We had been borrowing a friend’s set of dice for months, but my brother and I pooled our pennies to pick these babies up. The set served as our primary (usually only) dice until I picked up a set of painted purple dice in 1985 or 1986.
Though it’s probably clear to the grognards out there, some may wonder why the numbers on Red Twenty are two different colors. For many years, virtually all d20s were numbered 0-9 twice, and different colors were used to identify whether you added 10 to the result or not. Red Twenty always (I think) used green and yellow. Green meant +10.
And, for those not familiar with the requirement, you had to color in your own dice. Some sets came with special grease sticks, but we always just used crayons. Green and yellow for Red Twenty, white for the rest.
Part of the reason I made sure to use these dice for our inaugural White Box game is that I’m trying to use only d6 and d20 for the game. There are a few points in the rules that call for something other than a d6 or d20 (usually a d4, it seems) but I’m going to try to work it out so that only these two dice are required to play the game. d100 can either be simulated by rolling two d20 or by using only percentages divisible by 5 and using a straight d20 roll to resolve.
I believe that I first got the idea after seeing someone else mention it online somewhere, but I don’t recall where it was.
I’m going to keep using these red meanies for a couple more sessions. Hey, you never know. They may have another TPK left in them yet.
UPDATE: Recalling the good old days these dice have seen has reminded me of an amazing (and basically unbelievable, though I stand by it) story: My Grandma: One in 16,588,800