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Dice Rings: A New Spin for Games

Sometimes a design is so simple and effective that it makes you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Dice Rings by CritSuccess are just such a product.

Created by Aaron Laniewicz, a student of engineering and computer science, and his game design friend, Sam, Dice Rings take the concept of a normal spinner ring and replace the inner band with numbers or symbols to enable random selections. They not only look good, but are functional as well.

Fundamentally, these stainless-steel spinner rings replace the dice used in games–dice that often disturb pieces on the game board, fall onto the floor or end up lost under furniture, in floor vents or between Fido’s teeth. Instead, these rings are securely attached to your hand and available any time that you need to make a random selection. They even come in four colors: black, blue, gold or rose-gold.

Dice Rings come in many styles for various uses (Credit: CritSuccess)

Of course, different games require different types of dice. Although most board games and designer games use one or more traditional six-sided dice, some games use dice with more or fewer faces. As a result, Dice Rings come in a variety of configurations from four numeric values up to 24. There are also designs that use symbols instead of numbers to represent dice pips, rock/scissors/paper, simple yes/no choices and more.

For those occasions when one ring isn’t enough to cover the desired options for a decision, CritSuccess combines two or even three spinning bands into a single base ring. This design enables each band to spin independently from each other and expands the possibilities to 100 random values, a set of two or three six-sided dice and even a deck of playing cards or Tarot cards.

As of the close of the Dice Rings project on Kickstarter (at nearly 1500% of its fund-raising goal), 28 designs were created including the following:

  • r4: values 1 through 4
  • r6: values 1 through 6
  • r6pips: dice dots instead of numbers
  • r8: values 1 through 8
  • r10: values 0 through 9
  • r12: values 1 through 12
  • r20: values 1 through 20
  • r24: values 1 through 24
  • r100: two rings with values 0 through 9 (for 00 through 99)
  • 2r6: two rings with values 1 through 6
  • 2r6pips: dice dots instead of numbers
  • rCards: draw a random card, including chance of a Joker
  • rFudge: gives the sum result of a 4rFudge roll
  • rYN: “Yes” or “No”
  • rRPS: “Rock”, “Paper”, “Scissors” symbols
  • rRPSLS: “Rock”, “Paper”, “Scissors”, “Lizard”, “Spock” symbols
  • rElements: “Fire”, “Water”, “Air”, “Earth”
  • rDirections: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW
  • rAlignment: “Lawful”, “Neutral”, “Chaotic” (left band); “Good”, “Neutral”, “Evil” (right band)
  • rAttititude: “Hostile”, “Unfriendly”, “N” (for Neutral), “Friendly”, “Helpful”
  • rHitLoc: “Head”, “Chest”, “L Arm”, “R Arm”, “L Hand”, “R Hand”, “L Leg”, “R Leg”, “L Foot”, “R Foot”
  • 3r6: three rings with values 1 through 6
  • rHeadsTails: “Heads” or “Tails”
  • rElderFuthark: the Elder Futhark runic alphabet
  • rTarot: Tarot cards
  • 3r6pips: three rings with dice dots
  • 3r6sums: gives the sum result of a three-dice roll
  • rEnglishAlphabet: the English alphabet

So, what do you do if you want to use Dice Rings, but don’t want to have to buy dozens of them? You get creative, of course! Unless you often play a game that uses words or symbols, the numeric rings can be used to represent any choice. Just make a mapping of values to choices on a piece of paper (laminate the list for durability). Then, you only need numeric rings that match the total number of choices in your lists.

If you don’t mind doing a little math when using these rings, you can consolidate them even further. The rings with larger sets of values can be used in lieu of smaller multiples. For example, the r24 ring can represent a six-sided die by dividing its result by 4 (since 24 divided by 4 is 6) and rounding up any fractional result to the next whole value (e.g., spinning a 5, 6, 7 or 8 = 1.25, 1.5, 1.75 or 2 => 2). Thus, you can cover most randomizer types with just the r24 and r100 rings.

  • r24: r4 (divide by 6), r6 (divide by 4), r8 (divide by 3), r12 (divide by 2), “yes/no” (odd or even value)
  • r100: r10 (use one band), r20 (divide by 2), 2r10 (use each band independently), “yes/no” (odd or even value), weekdays (use one band divided by 2)

Although the Kickstarter project for the Dice Rings closed on December 22, 2012, because of the overwhelming response and obvious breadth of designs that are possible, CritSuccess stated that they will be offering them online in the very near future. As of this writing, the CritSuccess.com domain still points to the project page, but will be updated to point to a new web site this year. As you can imagine, Aaron and Sam are currently swamped with Kickstarter fulfillment.

What designs do you want to see for Dice Rings that haven’t already been thought of by the Kickstarter community?

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