Dungeon Master's Advice Dice

Created by Donald Papp

Does the DM need a little help or inspiration? Roll the dice and take their advice! (or don't) The DM's Advice Dice are a fun way to add variety, spark ideas, or just plain let the DM take a breather in your favorite RPG! Can't quite think? Stuck in a rut? Players getting complacent? Roll the dice, consider the results, and incorporate into your game!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Let's Look at that Fourth Die, and How To Get It!
10 months ago – Wed, Apr 01, 2020 at 10:14:13 PM

Welcome everyone to the last 11 days of the campaign! We're almost 400% funded and I have new stuff to show you! This is my longest update yet, so here's the busy-people short version:

  • The "4th Die" mentioned in the Limited Collector's Editions: what it is and how it works.
  • How to get it? (other than a Collector's Edition, which all have the 4th die as a free bonus): if you want the optional 4th die, choose one of the new reward tiers.

The DM's Advice Dice is specifically designed as a three dice set. But right from square one I had the idea for an optional and experimental fourth die. So let's talk a little about that.

The Mysterious (and Optional) Fourth Die

The fourth die -- which has never before been shown -- is included as a free bonus in each Collector's Edition tier, which sold completely out in no time at all. 

I've since been thinking ever since about a way to get backers the fourth die if they are interested, and there are now new reward tiers to get it. More on that in a moment. First, let me explain the fourth die a bit more. (If you're not interested in the optional fourth die, you can skip this section. The DM's Advice Dice will work perfectly fine without it!)

I wanted the 4th die to be optional -- something that could be added in (or left out) from the normal set. But ADDING a die to a working system is risky. The DM's Advice Dice is a three dice set that exists in a balance, so that the results are never "nonsense" no matter what order they are rolled in. Adding in a fourth die risks upsetting that if the results can contradict or otherwise not match the rest. So how to solve this problem?

The way I did it was to make the optional fourth die a modifier that exists independent of the other three dice. That way, it's truly optional and cannot interfere. It can only add to or modify what the set of DM's Advice Dice already say. Here's an example:  

The optional 4th die is a modifier to the rest of the dice. In this example, it's saying "single out the player nearest the arrow."

 "Single out" (plus an arrow) simply means to single out or otherwise focus on the player (or game element) nearest to where the arrow is pointing. It doesn't change the rest of the dice, except to add an optional detail or direction, if desired.

(Just a reminder, these pictures are prototypes. The final dice all backers receive will have better quality printing. )

Here's another thing the 4th die can do. The word "unless..." happens to be a good modifier, and this shows how "unless" can work to simply modify what's already there:  

The optional 4th die acts as a modifier. In this case, it's "Unless no one has their phone out",

  Yep, that basically means "unless no one is on their phone." Modern problems require modern solutions.

Interested? New Reward Tiers Add 4th Die

The Limited Collector's Editions all receive the fourth die as a bonus, but they sold completely out in the first week. So for anyone who is interested in the optional 4th die, there are new reward tiers.

  •  One set DM's Advice Dice is now also available in a version that includes the 4th Die.
  •  Share With Friends (3 Pack) is now also available in a version that includes a 4th die with each set.

Because this campaign has been so successful (almost 400% funded as I write this) I can offer these added tiers to everyone at a very reasonable cost, because being funded almost 400% means production gets more efficient. So if you want the optional fourth die, you can do so by choosing one of the new pledge tiers. Just click on it to change your pledge, that's all there is to it! 

If you're not interested in the fourth die, you don't need to do or change anything.

One Last Thing

Last thing for this already-long update, and it's just a design note for those of you interested in such things. (If you're not interested in design details, you can ignore the rest of this update and you won't miss anything.)

Eagle-eyed backers will have noticed in the above photos that the NSFW die face has been changed a little. "NSFW" is funny, but to be honest it is a bit limiting. It now reads "NSFW or  Small Reward". To give a small reward is a great, flexible option that can mean almost anything: perhaps a single gold piece or small buff, or a small favor or compliment from an NPC. It provides the DM's Advice Dice with much more flexibility this way, and I like it a lot. I carefully stayed away from putting things like OR on any of the dice because it makes the results more vague, but in this case it works, so I happily made an exception.

Whew! If you're still here, thanks for reading! That's it for this update, and thank you each and every one for your support. I can't wait to make these for all of you.

Production Plan Work, and A Few Words About Designing the DM's Advice Dice
10 months ago – Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 07:48:24 AM

Welcome new and existing backers! I'm delighted that you like the DM's Advice Dice enough to want your own, and since the campaign is almost 300% funded, I've already been working on some of the more boring aspects of the production plan.

It is said that when you have a working prototype, you are 15% done and the fun part is over. As someone who makes things for a living, I can absolutely vouch for the truth of that statement!

Aside from that news, in this update I would also like to talk a just a little about the work that went into designing these in the first place. Today I'll talk about dealing with the sheer unpredictability of dice. Three six-sided dice allows for a lot of combinations, none of them are truly under anyone's control, and I consider it very important that the dice never produce total nonsense. So to help ensure this, after I had drafted up the original prototype three dice I wrote a short computer program that barfed out every possible combination so that I could validate them. That process even needs to be repeated when any changes are made, so it's critical to get things right as early as possible. That is exactly as exhausting as it sounds but it is important to do.  Garbage in, garbage out! The final dice faces are not yet 100% set in stone (I may still make some tweaks) I can promise that any changes I make will be for the better, and I'm sure you'll be delighted with the results.

Thanks for your support. Every single one of you is an important part of making this happen, and I can't wait to get these into your hands.

The DM's Advice Dice Welcomes Our New Backers!
10 months ago – Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 07:48:02 AM

The DM's Advice Dice are juuuuuuust over 300% funded as I write this, and this is great news because it gives the opportunity to produce things more efficiently. A successful project means I can deliver, but higher funding means I can do it more efficiently and get a head start on production, and that's good!

What does this mean for you, the backers? Nothing changes right now, but being funded more means production is more efficient and overall less susceptible to disruptions. I of course will have more envelopes to address and more packages to handle, but that's a "good" problem to have!

The DM's Advice Dice were a huge hit when I made the original prototypes as a gift, and I'm delighted to give people the chance to own a set via this campaign. I just want to say thanks to every one of you. I look forward to producing these and sharing the process via these updates. 

Stay tuned as we approach the last two weeks of the campaign. You'll be glad you did!

Hello Newest Backers!
10 months ago – Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 06:12:34 PM

I'd like to take a moment to say thank you to all the backers who joined last week and over the weekend. Your support means a great deal to me! 

Let me talk briefly about the coming updates for this campaign. In a few more weeks, this campaign will close and the primary place for updates will be these messages from Kickstarter. I won't be asking you to go elsewhere to get your news. 

Also, I design and make things for a living, so if you're interested in what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to getting something like this made and shipped, be sure to stay tuned! As long as you have pledged at least $1, you will get these updates (including all backer-only content) delivered direct to your email.

I'm truly delighted that so many people are looking forward to the Dungeon Master's Advice Dice, and I can't wait to get them into your hands! A big thanks as well to those of you who have pledged for the Limited Collector's Edition. The deluxe storage case's exact form and design is still a secret, but each and every single one will be lovingly crafted and I hope they will delight you as much as I enjoyed designing them.

Hope you all have a good week. I'll update you all again soon.

Funding Success!
11 months ago – Thu, Mar 05, 2020 at 09:18:07 PM

Funding Successful is one of the most welcome messages I can see. This project reached its goal only the day after it launched. It's exciting to see this happen and I can't wait to make these for you!

One more piece of news. After some careful thought, I added a second round of Limited Collector's Edition for those who want them. The original ten disappeared almost before I could blink, so there's one more opportunity for people and the new tier is limited to 25 units. Every single one gets personal attention, and this second round delivers right after the original 10.

Thank you all. I keep saying this, but I can't wait to make these for you all.