A few years ago, I picked up a couple of boxes of story cubes – dice with fun pictures on them. The plan was to use them for random encounters specifically in my Ginnungagap setting, as I’d picked up both the medieval fantasy set and the science fiction set.
Of course, as with many ideas, I’ve never used them. But I thought I’d throw something together for them here in order to encourage me to do so!
(And because, with medieval fantasy and science fiction, and the fact I’m looking at Spelljammer stuff recently, I might actually get some use out of them yet!)
There’s a little in common with this post and the post here on Red Dice Diaries, though I’ve only skimmed that post, I’m using a different brand of dice, and I only looked that up in preparation for writing this post.
So each of the sets has eight dice with depictions of various creatures and objects in black ink (so forty-eight different images), and a further die using red ink that has six ‘superpowers’ on it – magic effects or special technology or similar.
First let’s look at the fantasy set.
I’ve selected a knight, dragon, troll (though I think it looks like an ogre), ghost, castle, wizard, gnome (dwarf maybe?) and the bars of a jail. The superpower is a cloak of invisibility.
A witch, a mermaid, a cave and a magic potion are also possible.
Potential plots we could pull from the dice above –
1/ Using all of the dice – A knight is being held captive in a castle by a dragon and his ogre minions. A wizard sends the party to save him. Along the way they encounter a ghost that is really the disembodied spirit of a dwarf, cursed into a statue form. In the course of the adventure, the group finds a cloak of invisibility.
2/ Using only some of the dice – The ghost of a wizard tells the party of a dragon on his way to attack the nearby castle. They must rally the local knights but also their sworn enemies the ogres of the forest in order to successfully repel the attacker.
Next up the science fiction set.
We have a moon, an alien, a raygun, some alienese, a mad scientist, a tentacled monster, a dinoasaur and a skeleton. The superpower die is showing light speed, apparently.
Other possible symbols include an asteroid, a robot, a cyborg, and the Statue of Liberty half buried in sand.
Potential plots –
1/ Using all the dice – A scientist deciphers some ancient alien writing, and launches the party from the moon in a new lightspeed ship. Unfortunately, interference from evil aliens has the group catapulted back in time. Now they must deal with dinosaurs and strange tentacle aliens attacking the world before finding a way to return to their own time – but when they do, their presence in the past has created an apocalyptic wasteland, and all that is left of the world is bones surrounded by incredibly advanced weaponry.
2/ Using some of the dice – Aliens invade, having attached lasers to dinosaurs. A secret plan is hatched by an eccentric scientist to resurrect the dead to fight for the living, but it also resurrects the aliens who become horrifying monsters with tentacles and lots of eyes.
Obviously, we’d have more fun playing mix-and-match with these ideas –
1/ An order of raygun-wielding knights in an asteroid-castle wage war against a dragon and his alien and undead minions on the dark side of the moon. The dragon has captured a powerful wizard-scientist, who has mastered the art of travelling to the past. Now he plans to use the monsters of the past to attack the knights’ stronghold!
2/ An ancient alien prophecy tells of a time when magic and technology become one and the same, and the strange hominid people able to wield this new power. They have enlisted the help of the Saur people and the Trolls to combat this menace before it runs amok.
Ghost story and Pirate Adventure dice are also available from the same company, according to Amazon.