By on 20 August 2010

Q-workshop are producers of unusual dice!

Whether you want to create your own custom dice or chose one of 1500 available designs – they are the right place! If you want to crawl through dungeons and slay dragons with style, or fight wars across stars – their dice are just the right thing for you.

Q-workshop recently sent me a selection of their newest releases for review. They’ve previously sent me some samples (when they first started out) and it was interesting to compare the sets.

I know some people aren’t too keen on the Q-workshop dice because they feel the detail gets in the way of reading the number. That was certainly the case with the samples I was sent a few years ago, but I’m happy to say that, at least with the releases I was sent, that isn’t the case any more.

Unfortunately, the only camera I had to hand was the one on my mobile phone so the following images aren’t the best quality but, hopefully, they will show you what I mean.

Promotional Die

The first die was the single d6 with the Q-workshop logo on one of the faces. The numbers on the other faces have a small design around the edge and are, themselves, very easy to read.

Rating: 8

Arkham Horror

The Arkham Horror set consists of 5 black d6 with a bright green design. Again, as can be seen, the detailing around the numbers is nice without hiding the numbers themselves (the 6 face is similar, in design, to the 5 face). I believe these dice have been released as companions to the Call of Cthulhu boardgame but they would easily fit into any horror type of game that needs 6-sided dice – and could even be bought as a gift for players of a Savage Worlds horror game (to be used as Wild Dice ;))

Rating: 9

Official Deadlands Dice

Speaking of Savage Worlds, we come to the official Deadlands dice set. Although containing 7 dice (as per normal sets of dice) this set is different in that it doesn’t have the percentile d10 (the one numbered 10-00) instead having a second d6 (which is designed to be the Wild Die). The amusing aspect of the Wild Die (for me anyway) is that each face shows a, potentially, winning poker hand. Overall a very good set and there is a discussion on the official Pinnacle forums calling for this Wild Die to be released on it’s own.

Rating: 9

Steampunk Dice

The last set I have been sent are designed for a steampunk game. This set is the only one that might be considered to have “busy” faces. From my perspective they are still readable, but they are a little too busy for my tastes – especially the d20.

Rating: 7

Overall, I’m impressed with the dice. It’s obvious that in the last few years Q-workshop have developed their designs and I look forward to seeing more of their dice. I’d especially recommend the Deadlands and Arkham Horror sets.

Those fine people at Q Workshop have sent me some more dice to review. Click on the image below to see a larger version.

I’ll start at the top left and work my way round.

The Red d6 has the Poland flag as the “pips” on all sides except the 6 where it has the graphic shown (I’m presuming this is the national icon of Poland but my general knowledge fails me). It’s a nice size die but, unfortuantely, the one I was sent is slightly misshapen. That is, it’s not a cube. Some of the sides don’t have right angles and I’ve a funny feeling that this affects the way it lands. Looks nice though.

Rating: 4

For all you d20 fans out there, the Green d20 should fit nicely into your dice bag. The decorative patten is nice without obscuring the numbers and it rolls well. Unfortunately, my dice-OCD kicked in when I noticed that the numbers don’t align up as standard (so 1 and 20 aren’t on opposite faces). This might not be a problem for some – it’s still a random number generator after all – but I would never use it because of this.

Rating: 6

The Pirate d6 is my favourite of the bunch. Each face has an “island” carved out of it and the “pips” are of a map compass design. I say “island” because I’m pretty sure the 4 face is Africa (which isn’t an island) – the British Isles are on the 3 face. The 6 face is, as show in the picture, the Jolly Roger and what looks like Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. A really nice die and perfect as the Wild Die in my Pirates of the Spanish Main games 🙂

Rating: 9

I’m going to take each of the d10s as one group. The grey, yellow, and dark green ones are very nice. Decorative but readable. Unfortunately, the light green one is a bit hard to read because it has a flowery-type patten.

Rating: 7 (except for the light green one which gets 5)

The d8 is, again, nicely decorative (this time with a dragon on his hind legs looming over the number) and easy to read.

Rating: 8

Again, I’m going to take the d6s as one group. Smaller than your average d6, the white and yellow ones share the same design while the green has a Germanic theme to it (the 6 face looks like the Iron Cross symbol). The green one is a little harder to read than the other two, but not enough to make me stop using it.

Rating: 7

A bit of a mixed bag this time unfortunately. Q Workshop can obviously make some really nice dice but there are a couple there that let them down a bit.

Some more dice from those nice people at Q-Workshop for me to review 🙂

This d20 is the same as the one I was sent previously (albeit in a different colour) and, as such, can’t have anything more said about.

Rating: 6

A selection of items that can be used as markers in you game. I especially like the white ones with their dragon and runic motif. If I had one suggestion it would be to have different icons on either side of the marker rather than duplicating the same icon.

Rating: 7

At first glance these dice look like they will be difficult to read and, on some of the d10 faces that is, indeed, the case. However, it’s not too bad on the d20 faces.

Rating: 6

This runic, or dwarven, set of dice are my favourites of the lot. A nice, simple design with easily readable numbers. I’ll certainly be using these for my Hellfrost games…

Rating: 9

Q-workshop have sent me some more dice to review (click on the pictures for a larger image):

This appears to be the rest of the set of dice that I was sent in May. Like those, they appear to have a very busy pattern on them and, in some cases (notably the d4, the d8, the d10, and the d12) this makes the faces hard to read. They are nice looking dice, but I’m not so sure that I could read the faces in the heat of “battle”.

Rating: 6

Classic Elven Dice
Clear, pun intended ;), winners in this batch, the Elven dice have a nice level of creativity in the numerals without being hard to read.

Rating: 8

Forest Dice
Another extremely busy set, this time with a forest motif. The design is very nice but, unfortunately, unless you’re looking at a 0 or 8 on the face, it’s a little different to read, although they are slightly better than the Celtic Dice.

Rating: 6

About Dave McAlister

Dave has been roleplaying for over 30 years, having played and/or run most mainstream systems with the espionage genre being an early favourite. So much so that, in 1999, he started Modus Operandi. That same year he joined the Sarbreenar "Living" campaign team as their plotline controller before moving across to the Living Spycraft campaign team (as UK Regional Branch Director) in 2003. 2003 also saw the birth of UK Role Players as well as Dave's first freelance writing appointment (co-writing World Militaries and consulting on both US Militaries and Battlegrounds, all for Spycraft). Since then, Dave has concentrated on supporting the UK gaming scene. He has organised and run several small, one-day, events and was the RPG Area Manager for Gen Con UK in 2004. His current favourite systems are Dungeons & Dragons (specifically 5th Edition), Savage Worlds and Cinematic Unisystem. He has a (currently neglected) blog at dave.mcalister.org.uk and runs a D&D 5e SRD website at DnD5e.info.


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