“Reaping the Rewards” is a series of posts taking a look at the finished results from Kickstarter projects. Today’s focus: Q-workshop’s metal Pathfinder dice.
A year ago, I wrote a little bit about a Kickstarter project by Q-workshop (partnered with Paizo) to create a set of metal dice for Pathfinder. The dice have now been shipped to Kickstarter backers and are available on Q-workshop’s website. I’ll give you a closer look at the dice plus some of the Kickstarter goodies, which Q-workshop provided for this review, but first, a little more about Q-workshop.
Q-workshop was started by Patryk Strzelewicz in 2004 because he was bored of the usual RPG dice—they didn’t feel like they fit the setting, so he made a Runic dice set, and then improved the quality of the engraving so he could make the Elven dice set. From there, he went to reverse etching—cutting away most of the surface of the die, rather than carving out the number. The next step came in 2010: GeekDad John Baichtal wrote a bit about Q-workshop’s first foray into engraved dice, which had engravings on the edges of the dice, not just the faces. Baichtal also included a mention that they were planning to get into metal dice later that year—but it ended up taking a little longer than that, and the Steampunk Dice were introduced in 2011.
In October 2015, Q-workshop wanted to combine all of these techniques, making highly detailed metal dice that were fully engraved, and their Kickstarter campaign raised nearly $300k. Over 2,000 backers supported the project, which priced the full set at $69 (and up, if you wanted copper or gold). It did take a little longer than expected for delivery—the original estimated delivery was March 2016, and most backers were receiving them in September 2016—but the dice are as impressive as they looked in the campaign. (Note: from the comments on the Kickstarter, it does seem there are still some outstanding orders that backers are still waiting on, so I know there is still some fulfillment yet to be done.)
Okay, on to the rewards!
The basic pledge level included one set of polyhedral dice: d4, d6, d8, two d10s, d12, and d20. Stretch goals added a few bonuses: a Pathfinder-themed dice tower and dice bag, and Kickstarter-exclusive green goblin dice. The dice bag is probably the least interesting of the rewards—it’s just a cloth dice bag with the Pathfinder logo printed on it. It’s not a particularly large dice bag, so it’s one that I’ll probably end up giving away or to one of my kids.
Q-workshop does have the Pathfinder Goblin dice for sale on its site, but they’re purple with green paint. The Kickstarter version comes in green (of course) with black paint. Both versions are reverse-etched, and all but the d4 have icons for the highest face: a goblin, an axe, crossed swords, a shield, and a skull. There are also fun details like goblin teeth on many of the dice.
The dice tower is nice: it’s laser-cut wood, made to look like a crumbling castle, and the dice tray folds up for storage. The castle door is on the rear of the tower, and the face of the tower has the Pathfinder logo laser-engraved on it. You do have to assemble it yourself, which wasn’t that difficulty, and I did add some superglue to hold some of the pieces together.
One funny thing about the dice tower is that when I pulled the sheets of wood out of the plastic bag, it smells like a campfire. It’s nice if you happen to like that smell (which I do), but I can imagine that if you don’t like the smell of burning wood, you might need to air it out a bit before using it. Mine still smells like smoke even after being opened for over a week. The other thing about the dice tower is that, well, I’m a little bit afraid to use the metal dice with it, because they’re really heavy. I think especially if I toss that d20 or d12 in there a few times, it might just crack the slats that go across. It’s been fun to use with my regular dice, though.
This particular dice tower is also a Kickstarter exclusive, so you can’t purchase it from Q-workshop, but they do have three other styles of dice tower available on their website.
And, finally, that brings us to the real reward: the metal dice.
The metal dice come in a nice box with an embossed silver logo. Inside is a piece of foam with holes cut for the seven dice inside. Of course, you could fit these dice in a smaller package, but this was such a nice presentation that I’m using it for storage for these dice, at least for now.
The dice themselves are substantial and weighty. These are solid metal (a tin alloy), and I strongly advise rolling them into a dice tray or on a padded table, because I’m pretty sure you’d get a lot of dings and scratches if you rolled them on a wooden table. They look great: the engraved pattern is based on the Pathfinder logo, and the highest face of each die (except the d4) sports the “P” logo. I’ll admit, though, that the stylized numbers can be a little harder to read than your usual sans-serif numbers, but they’re still a lovely addition to the table and you and your players will love the feel of rolling these.
The dice are now available for order from Q-workshop’s website at $99 for the set—Kickstarter backers got a bit of a discount. To be sure, that’s a premium price for a set of dice, but if you want to splurge for a special gift for your favorite DM (or yourself), these are fantastic.
Check out the Q-workshop website for many more dice and accessories, including custom dice.