How to make cheap wooden 6-sided dice

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I’ve been thinking to switching to a different dice system for my role playing system, FudgediceMEGAPOMPS.  I’m not sure yet, but I think I want to try using Fudge dice, which have two plus signs, two minus signs, and two blank sides, as shown in the pic to the right.

The problem is that while these aren’t very expensive for a set of four (about $5 on ebay), I’m not about to ask everyone I play with to buy a set of weird dice just to experiment.  But they’re simple enough, so I thought I’d make some.

All I needed was a bunch of wooden cubes — about 5/8″ to a side (15mm).  I found an ebay sale for 36 of them for $3 shipped.  These cubes won’t have the precision of real plastic dice, but they’re cheap in bulk — much cheaper than even blank plastic dice.  I had to throw 5 of the 36 out for being uneven or chipped, but who cares.

To mark them, I just used my soldering iron.  I put in a medium-sized chisel tip, but most any would work.  I held them in place with a needle-nose, and slid the broad side of the iron over the face of the cube to burn in a + on two opposing sides, and a − on two others.  It was easiest to do this with the grain of the wood.  On some of them, I stabbed a dot into the blank side just for effect.

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When they were done, the burned wood had a sticky texture, so I briefly washed each face with a wet rag, and they were fine.

Also, I had a few extra, so I made some standard numbered d6’s by just stabbing in the right number of pips on each side:

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Boom, $3 and an hour of time and I have some neat homemade Fudge dice, plus a few regular d6’s to throw in the bag.

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MEGAPOMPS: Table-top role playing for lazy people

A few years ago, some friends and I tried D&D at PAX East (a gaming convention).  We wanted to try a tabletop game when we got home, but oh god, D&D has way too many rules.  We just want to dick around and shoot/stab things.

I searched for a game system simple enough to just let us have fun, but even the ones claiming to be simple had 50+ page rule books.

So I developed MEGAPOMPS: The game system with just one table. No classes, no attributes, no hit points; just doing stuff. If you want to do a thing, figure out the skill & difficulty, roll a d20, and check the one table. The GM will figure it out. This one system covers shooting a dude, jumping over a hole, buying a car, fixing a robot, sneaking into a bakery, spotting a rat, stabbing a rat, cooking a rat, and treating diarrhea—MEGAPOMPS does it all. MEGAPOMPS is based loosely on (and also plagiarizes) J.E. Sawyer’s “Simple” system, which was just not simple enough. There isn’t a specific game world tied to the MEGAPOMPS system, though it was designed with an eye toward “Fallout”, a post-apocalyptic nuclear survival series.

To get the full rule book (just 11 pages, 6 of which are just examples of how to do stuff), character sheet, and more, visit MEGAPOMPS.COM!

Here’s a teaser I made for my group in preparation for the next leg of their adventure: