Q-Workshop Dice

By Q-Workshop

These Dice Ain’t Craps

Dice had their first golden age back in the 1980s when multi-colored and translucent dice first appeared. (Mullets also appeared, but Gamer Bling will decline to review them here.)

Since then, there has been little innovation save to vary the colors or to come up with clever new designs to take the place of the one or the six. Sadly, these “clever new designs” have become as commonplace as tramp stamps, and there’s only so much that can be done by changing colors around.

Enter Q-Workshop.

Hailing from Poland, the former Iron-Curtain nation and home of Pope John Paul II and the Solidarity Labor Union, Q-Workshop understands that innovation and creativity must, in the end, overcome proletarian drudgery.

Weapons of the oppressed proletariat - organized resistance and visionary dice!

In short, blingy dice will triumph over International Communism and the oppression of the gaming masses! It is an historical imperative. And if God Himself does not smile upon these dice, know that Gamer Bling does.

Q-Workshop experiments with dice made of anti-matter. Oops.Q-Workshop produces fine dice inscribed with a variety of enhancements, from Nordic runes to Celtic knots to serpentine dragons to nuclear destruction (Gamer Bling approves of nuclear destruction; if you’re going to destroy something, it’s best to go all the way). These scribed enhancements are kind of like grills for the knucklebones.

Better yet, the symbols are not merely painted on these dice; they are laser etched to a depth of 1mm. That’ll be a whole lot of rolling before these babies wear out. And each set comes with a d4, d6, d8, d12, d20, and two d10s appropriately marked for rolling percentiles.

The selection of styles available is almost alarmingly broad. There are six different inks and eight different plastic colors paired in 17 different combinations. (Why only 17? Well, Gamer Bling hears that red-on-red isn’t easily read.) Layer this onto the six different designs currently available as complete dice sets, and you have over 1d100 possible permutations. Surely among all that you can find a pair that matches your personality.

This die is the polyhedral version of an elven babe. Hubba hubba!Then there’s the extra dice that are not yet available in a complete polyhedral selection, or even custom dice made to your specifications…

When Gamer Bling tossed these dice out onto the gaming table, the reaction was immediate, as all the other (non-blinged) gamers pawed at the dice with their grubby little mitts. Even after gaming for a few sessions, one envious bling-challenged individual was heard to mumble, “I still can’t believe those dice of his.”

So show off.

Weak Points

Hard though it may be to believe, there are weak points. Three, to be specific.

First, and perhaps this is a niggle, but the d4s had the numbers inscribed along the bottom edge of the die. Gamer Bling thought that the whole industry had migrated to placing the number at the top of the tetrahedron, and this is where his personal tastes run. Perhaps Q-Workshop kept the number at the bottom to keep the graphics in the corners, but creative people like these should have found a better solution.

Although the runic die is a lot easier to read than the dragon die—even for those who don’t know their way around a futharc—it’s still a far cry from the legibility of the die to the right. On the other hand, the die to the right may as well be beige for all the personality it has.

Second, and more important for Gamer Bling, was consistency. The ink with which his black runic dice were painted varied from a nice white to a distinctly pinkish hue in the d4, which made it a rather less manly die, make no mistake.

In this older die, the ink coverage is as spotty as the Cardinals’ secondary, and the dragon makes the number as hard to read as a blind-side blitz.The ink coverage was thinner in the d10 and d20, which made their numbers seem a little more gray. And the Polish polish was uneven among the dice; the d6 had a nice finish, while the d20 seemed to have a bit of a haze to it.

Yes, Gamer Bling said “Polish polish.” Now if he can discuss a “Finnish finish” on a wooden dice box or some such, all will be well with the world.

The final point Gamer Bling must make is not so much a weakness as a missed opportunity. Consider the runic d6: It has six sides, each of which has four edges, each of which has roughly seven runes. That’s 172 runes to play with, more or less, and they don’t say a thing. For example, the runes around the six translate thusly: Eaporchsto Maezicdi Cerunc Cinzco. Not overly inspiring.

At first, Gamer Bling thought this might be Polish, but there are too many vowels. After all, Q-Workshop’s founder is Patryk Strzelewicz, and his name has clearly been disemvoweled. So Gamer Bling confirmed with Q-Workshop that the runes are, essentially, gibberish. They are also carved in the Frisian Futhorc, with some Elder Futhark runes thrown in for good measure.

Despite this early oversight, Q-Workshop has persevered and progressed. It is an historical imperative. Consider the beautifully scribed elven die to the right: it has a cleverly crafted subliminal messages encoded on it. Or else a prophecy that Gamer Bling will eventually rule the world of gaming opinion. GB is still haggling his way through the Tolkein-English dictionary.

The Bottom Line

They’re cooler than just about any other dice out there. But let’s be real about this: They’re dice, and you’re a gamer. You gotta have ’em.

Summary

Bling Factor: 9
Quality: 7 (early designs) to 9 (elven, celtic, other recent designs)
Utility: 8 (early) to 10 (recent)
Cost: $11.00 per set
You Need: More

Etail

GB needz affiliate moneys!Since Q-Workshop is like in Poland and stuff, and that’s like somewhere near the Iraq or Eurasia, shipping charges for getting dice across the Atlantic Ocean to say nothing of all the way across Texas would be astronomical. So from the POV of a geography expert, Gamer Bling says we should just make Poland the 51st state to they’ll be in the US and we can just use domestic shipping rates. Until then, you can order their dice and other stuff through RPGShop.

The Future

With everything they’ve done thus far, Q-Workshop seems like they have no intention of putting a lid on their creativity. And hopefully they’ll rework some of their older designs to bring them up to snuff.


11 Responses to “Q-Workshop Dice”

  1. Have some of their dice sets and I need to admit they are good. Personally I’m big fan of transparent sets. My mates have boring dice sets and after I showed them q-workshop stuff they went crazy. Q-workshop have also very nice leather cups for dice storage.Well done.

  2. I agree – the Q-Workshop dice are absolutely gorgeous, but the inking is inconsistent. If they got the inking down, they’d be great dice.

  3. Awesome dice. Unfortunately, they’re all countdown d20s, so I can’t use them in tournaments. Sad panda.

  4. Gamer Bling cannot speak for all their dice (yet), but neither the Runic nor the Elvish dice he has are countdowns. Although the Runic one looked like it at first glance.

  5. While looking nice, these dice are hard to read.
    Maybe because I’m old, who know but I like to spend as little time translating dice as possible and more time acting upon the rolls. The possible exception beinf the d6. They are still to busy, but at least the numbers are easier to read then the d4 or D12.
    I just don’t see any long time use out of these dice. I have good vision.

    Let’s recap:
    1) I am old.
    B) These dice are hard to read right in front of you, if one gets more then 4 feet away, someone will have to handle the dice to ead them. Few distraction are better when gaming.
    3) Get off my lawn
    Z) This site rules.

    P.S. Don’t forget Japanese Japanning.

  6. Gamer Bling feels your pain, right down to the shattered cartilage of his surgically repaired big toe.

    However, Q-Workshop is continuously improving their legibility. (Coincidentally, they are also continuously getting older, although Gamer Bling doubts they will ever catch up to him.)

    It is also important to choose the right color combo. Gamer Bling’s faves are white on green, black on yellow, and brown on white.

    If all else fails, enter the Q-Workshop dice design contest and create something both legible and beautiful, like Reader’s Digest Large-Print Condensed Books!

  7. I have to second the “hard to read.” I have a player in my group who consistently uses Q-Workshop dice despite repeated requests not to. Everyone in the group is convinced he cheats, but since no one other than him can read his dice when he rolls them in front of his seat at the table, we’ve never actually caught him at it.

    I consider their obvious appeal to cheaters a serious weak point.

  8. I came across your post while searching for reviews on the Q Workshop dice. Thanks to your expertly review, I bought two of the crystally blue elvish sets.

    These are now my most cherished dice EVER! They are strikingly beautiful, and very readable (admittedly not as much as flat colored dice, but they’re so pretty, it’s worth it). I really can’t see myself going back to plain dice again.

  9. I just love these dice – i have some orky battle dice for whfb and 40k and they just rock. Everyone is always asking about them. The company is also great, with quick delivery and fair rates for such must-have bling products.

    One point though – they are not very “lucky” – more ones than sixes for sure. Has anyone else experienced a lack of fortune with Q’s products?

    • From Gamer Bling’s experience, “When they are good, they are very very good; and when they are bad, they are awful.”

      But that is true of all dice.

  10. I’ve been cruising the site for a while, after coming across the Ultimate DM Screen of Dooooom!, and had decided to buy some Q-Workshop dice because I need a new set and most are, frankly, lame. Scarily enough, I came home, and one of the other party members emailed me with a link to some black-and-silver steampunk dice. I proceeded to share this site and all the cool stuff. I’m going to go spend money now.

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