Dice Boot: The Portable Dice Tower
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Tired of dice rolling off the table? Weary of lugging around unwieldy dice towers? Looking to take control of your dice rather than your dice controlling you! Then, this portable dice rolling tower designed to assemble into a convenient, free-standing boot shape is for you!
This is a great product I recently purchased from Tom Vasel whose podcast is sponsored here. It is a neat product that makes rolling dice fun and it's portable.
I was somehow expecting something bigger when I asked the owner of the local gameshop to order me one of these babies. I wish it had been bigger, too, since the wall of the dice corral is barely 3/4" at it's shortest. Dice frequently bounce out: even more frequently if you're rolling more at one time.
Regarding another reviewer's misgivings about the randomization of the d4, I did some testing. I took a fair* d4 and dropped it into the boot, with the 1-corner initially pointing up and the 2-corner initially pointing toward the back of the boot in each of the 84 trials. (So, if the boot were bouncing the die in an insufficiently random way, we could expect to see a bias in the results.) Sum of chi-squared values divided by E was about 2.43, which the math majors amongst you might notice indicates adequate randomization**.
However, the boot loses 1/2 star for not being very visually impressive (I still want a big, ostentatious, 3-foot tall dice tower... maybe I'm just sick.), and a further full star for the frequency with which dice bounce out. In short, the dice boot is really only worth getting if you're concerned that your friends aren't rolling fairly. It won't keep your dice from knocking over your minis, it won't keep your dice from winding up on the floor, and it's not very beautiful to behold.
*(chi-squared method, 80 trials, 20 expected appearances per face, sum
of chi-squared values divided by E = <2)
**(a value over 6 might have been a reason to lift an eyebrow, and a value over 12 would have indicated a certainly biased roll.) So, drop your d4s into the dice boot without fear!
This is a neat little gadget. Although I don't think it works too well with the 4 siders, it is still sufficiently random enough with everything from 4, to 20, including percentile dice (D%) to be acceptable as a completely random roll. By acceptable I mean by all parties present, whether they be DM, GM, Gamer or pit boss, because It's difficult to palm any die and have it roll your number when you use the dice boot. I think it works especially well with the smaller Chessex 12mm 6-sided 36-Count-Dice Cubes. So the next time you're playing A&A and your buddy accuses you of cheating with the dice, use the dice boot, inside the A&A box lid, and make everyone drop their dice through it. I recommend taking the gate out at the bottom if you are throwing more than 3 dice into the boot.
Percentile dice have enough room to bounce around, and off each other without becoming leaners so, any more than that and you risk getting into a leaner situation. If you're a gamer, and play games where lots of dice might come into use (A&A, D&D, and the like) then this would be a good purchase, hell having 2 wouldn't hurt either. Use one for attack, one for defense, or one for the DM/GM and one for the PCs etc. Even with the stopping gate in place it is possible to have a di (or dice) to pop outside the "boot" or "toes". It might be prudent to decide on whether to re-roll the di (dice) that fall out, or re-roll the entire roll again, or ignore the infraction. Rolling a 36 dice box (that's 36, 12mm six-sided dice) through the boot with stop gate out makes a nice cascading and relaxing sound as they bounce across the table. The dice rarely interfere with each other in this manner. With the gate in place this amount of dice simply won't work as the dice will pile up on each other, but the boot is modular, and can be taken apart easily, and stores/travels well. It also requires a lot of room, room to run as it were, if the stop gate is removed, so it's best to contain the dice in a box lid. The longer the better.
If you sit on the boot, either apart or together, forget about it, you'll crush it, it's not that sturdy, however anyone with even a first year knowledge of industrial arts could copy the design and make one to their liking. A very simple device to make dice rolling even more fun. I'm a dice collector (yeah really) and so this thing goes great with my vast collection of dice. I've actually passed every di that I have through it at least once each already.
PS If you're the paranoid type and still think people are cheating you with their dice rolls do this... check if any one di is fixed, here's one way to tell. Real, quality dice always have opposite sides that when added together equal 1 more than the maximum number of the di itself. For instance on standard 6 siders 5 is opposite 2 to equal 7, on an 8 sider 8 is opposite 1 to equal 9, and so on. With the exception of 4 siders, being somewhat ambiguous, everything from 6 siders to 20 siders are set up like this, even Craps Dice in Reno and Vegas are set up like this. So, if anyone in your game circle is using "loaded" dice his dice will not add up correctly. Most people think that loaded dice means that they are weighted, which is not always true. Although some loaded dice ARE weighted with lead or other metals, they are easily detected by their "funny" rolling when spun like a top. Real loaded dice are more like a "stacked deck" in poker, although the deck (or dice in this case) is "stacked" (also read "loaded" or "weighted") in your favor there is a chance they will not always werk in your favor. Loaded dice are simply a set of dice, that on cursory examination appear real, upon further scrutiny, their true nature can be determined. Now although the dice boot will help thwart the loaded dice, they are still however "loaded" and therefore in my opinion considered illegal. As a DM I have a set of them ("loaded" dice that is) and I use them as a thief NPC would in a street game to cheat a PC out of some GP (or Gold Pieces). Therefore I also know what to look for when it comes to loaded dice. Now you know too, if any of your gaming friend's dice do not "add up" as it were to 1 more than the number of sides of the dice, then they're cheating, otherwise you can eliminate the worry with the dice boot... somewhat however, really, extremely, paranoid people will always find something to obsess about, it's their way.