The Penultimate Dice Tower of Doooom!
by Geek Chic
Naturally, whenever Gamer Bling attends Gen Con, he makes his rounds of the show floor and schmoozes as best he can. Gen Con 2009 was no exception.
At one end of the exhibitors’ hall, more or less, he came across the fine folks at Geek Chic, who were pleasant and well dressed as always. And had more new cool designs from which to choose, each handmade and awesome and some of which had—gasp!—modular excessories!
And, as they very clearly remembered that Gamer Bling does not review that which he does not receive for free, they very very graciously—and Gamer Bling means that in the sincerest sense, inasmuch as the giving involved a very polite bow and a sincere smile of gratitude, and not solely on Gamer Bling’s part—gave Gamer Bling the item of this week’s review, which carries a retail price that borders on the triple digits, not unlike Gamer Bling’s waist IQ age nevermind.
Gamer Bling basked in the glow of their generosity for some time, which glowed all the more brightly inasmuch as it followed a dark experience of the opposite sort near the other end of the exhibitors’ hall.
You may notice that the reviews of blingy dice are noticeably thin. There are reviews of dice cups, dice trays, dice towers, and dice bags, but only two reviews of actual dice.
This is because, apparently, dice manufacturers are very stingy people (with the notable exception of the Poles, who continue to be very generous despite the fact that their manufacturing plant had burned to the ground taking all their machines with it).
Apparently dice manufacturers think their product sells itself. Truth be told, in gamer circles, dice do sell themselves, because they are necessities of life like Mountain Dew and Red Vines, but extra marketing and product awareness never hurts. Especially when Gamer Bling gets free dice out of it.
In this particular case, Gamer Bling spoke briefly with the owner of a dice manufacturing company. He spoke with the owner because the employees were not empowered to give away a sample product. Which itself is kind of alarming. Gamer Bling is not a fan of micromanagement.
So Gamer Bling spoke to said owner about one of his new dice offerings, which, frankly, were pretty cool and would have received a great review. But the owner was not going to let said product leave his tightly clenched miserly fist without some payback, and apparently a well written and marginally funny positive review does not count. He offered to provide Yours Truly with a nominal discount, instead of swagging him the dice.
At this point Gamer Bling will point out that the product in question was not a set of solid gold dice with numbers inlaid in sapphire (bling factor 11). They did not have an MSRP approaching triple digits. They were not even that close to double digits. They cost seven dollars. Seven. This means they sell to the retailer at, oh, four bucks. And to the distributor at three. Which means they cost the manufacturer maybe one, tops.
One measly dollar.
So this gentleman—and Gamer Bling uses this term loosely and in a manner completely unlike that manner in which he uses the term to apply the fine folks at Geek Chic—was unwilling to give Gamer Bling a review product that would put him out a buck.
But hey, the opportunity cost would be like five dollars!
Surely exposure on this fine website is worth five bucks.
Well, in the case of Geek Chic and this review, we can well hope that exposure will be worth far more. Like approaching triple digits more. Because we need more people like the fine ladies and gentlemen at Geek Chic in this industry.
Why? Because they make the Penultimate Dice Tower of Doooom!
(Note that “Doooom” in this case only has four Os, because this is penultimate, not ultimate.)
First, let’s lay out the base stats of the Penultimate Dice Tower of Doooom!
Str: 8¼” high
Con: 7” x 4 ¼” footprint
Dex: 25 pegs for maximal randomization
Wis: Handmade of solid wood
Cha: Crenellations and arched doorway
Int: Removable Geek Chic logo banner for easy transportation
Functionally, the dice tower is pretty much the sort of thing one would expect from a dice tower. However, Gamer Bling notes that most dice towers that he has seen, including those from VixenTor and the Ultimate DM Screen of Dooooom! (note: five Os) as well as a few other models that he has chosen not to review, use interior ramps to randomize the dice. “Randomize” is, of course, nothing more than a fancy $64 word for “toss,” but, since this review is of a very fancy dice tower made by very fancy people at a very fancy company, Gamer Bling will herewith and henceforth pursue the utilization of a distinguished $64 vocabulary, the better with which to reflect the distinctive ambience that inculcates the very atmosphere in the vicinity of everything associated with Geek Chic.
The presence of inclined planes within the primary functional cavity of the dice tower randomizer fortification is only truly necessary at the inferior portion of the construction, thereby to eject the randomizer of choice from the cavity per se out into the stockaded pedestal wherein the resultant numeral can be visually verified by the director of the diversionary thespian mythological subterranean activity.
Happily, the artificers of Geek Chic opted not to pursue the avenue of multiple inclined planes for the purpose of adjusting the kinetic and rotational energies of the randomizer. Instead, the interior portion of the randomizer fortification has numerous wooden dowels of rectilinear cross-section protruding into and through the device, much like cilia reduced to immotility by the presence of carcinogens in the respiratory lobes of one who practices the regular consumption of tobacco products. The aforementioned polygonally regular dowels provide five and twenty potential individual intersections of the die with same and therewith roduce nominally random mass-energy interactivity, instead of the mere pair or trio of such interactions in a standard randomizer fortification. In addition, whereas the planar structural elements each provide only one uniform surface with which the randomizer polyhedral solids can interact, the interior protrusions provide at least three, being the superior, anterior/posterior, and, in most cases, the medial surfaces. A modicum of beveling increases these numbers, but not on an arithmetically significant scale.
The Penultimate Dice Tower of Doooom! is crafted by hand from select hardwoods, fastened together with finger joinery for maximal resilience and attractiveness. Upon completion of the assemblage, the carpenters abraded the corners, rendering them unencumbered by sharp protrusions liable to inadvertent fracture down to smoothly arcing and infant-friendly parabolas, after which they layered upon the materials a superb polish that engenders within the wood a gently satisfying luster.
The orifice from which the randomizing polyhedron is expelled from the randomizer fortification is crafted as a standard medieval portal with arching lintel. While the concept of engineering the randomizer fortification in such a manner that the gateway does not extend across the entire width of the interior surface may at first blush to be an unfortunate lapse in judgment (to wit: one must always be able to extract objects at least as voluminous as those one is capable of placing within the receptacle), the architectural geniuses at Geek Chic ensured that the difficulties of extracting the polyhedral solids would be minimized by including protrusions just inside the mouth of the egress to deflect the solids in a manner desired toward the randomizer fortification’s exit.
A banner bearing the iconic imagery generally associated and trademarked with the brand and company of Geek Chic is supported by an extended gable over the randomizer fortification’s courtyard. The flagpole from which this decorative element is suspended is itself removable to facilitate transporting the dice tower in such a manner as to minimize the potential hazard of distressing or fracturing the wood.
When a polyhedral solid bearing numerals or other markings is placed within the superior opening of the randomizer fortification, which is in fact open across the full topside surface, notwithstanding the thickness of the walls, the randomizer therewith falls into the interior portion, ricocheting about in a manner like unto a two-year-old that has ingested an oversized portion of breakfast cereal heavily laden with simple and complex carbohyrates. However, in a manner completely antithetical to the immediately preceding analogy, it makes a most pleasant sound as it impacts with the various solid-wood structures causing them to resonate like a xylophone or, in more modern and aboriginally enabled parlance, a precipitation tubulum (for the benefit of those perusing this missive for whom this vocabulary is distressingly verbose, it sounds like a rain stick).
Characteristics that Demand Unflattering Acknowledgement
Gamer Bling immediately took notice that the periphery of the highest surfaces of the dice tower were unadorned with crenellations. While this has an unfortunate effect upon the beauty of the dice tower, it must be admitted that cutting finger grooves against the wood grain expontentially increases the chance that some damage to the aforementioned crenellations might occur, and an absent incisor in the dentation at the very crown of your dice tower would come across far more pathetically than does a smooth edging.
The rectilinear dowels that have been inserted into the interior cavity of the dice tower are held in position by virtue of extending into and through the structural portions of the tower, thus they are visible upon the exterior surfaces of the dice tower. Were Gamer Bling to have been requested to participate in the design and development of the architectural templates for this product, he would have selected for said protrusions to have been stained with a deep umber pigmentation, therewith creating the illusion that said protrusions were darkened windows in a medieval tower (though one made of wood rather than stone). Instead, since the protrusions are more of an ash or pine tint, one is left with a less satisfying illusion that they window are alight from within… if one squints the fleshy coverlets that protect and lubricate one’s visual organs and forcibly exercises one’s imaginary faculties.
Within the interior, the protruding beams are, as mentioned previously, quadrilateral in cross-section, with the planes of said quadrilateral being either parallel or perpendicular to the curvature of the Earth, assuming the dice tower is emplaced upon a tabletop of regular orthogonal construction. Gamer Bling would not have considered this to be of any consequence, however, when demonstrating the efficacy and wondrous aural resonance of the randomizer fortification at his hotel room at Gen Con, Gamer Bling found that his randomizer cube had landed itself peremptorily at rest upon one of the interior cross-supporting randomizing structures. One must decide for one’s self whether the amusement of such an occurrence outweighs the inconvenience of being required to jostle this work of carpentry excellence to complete the randomizing odyssey of your polyhedral solid.
Bearing the greatest and most dire consequence to one’s life, liberty, and happiness, the owner of the Penultimate Dice Tower of Doooom! may find himself abruptly waylaid by ruffians if observed strolling about with this masterpiece tucked among his gaming parcels.
Finally, and of greatest concern to Gamer Bling himself, writing the majority of a review in such a verbose fashion is a royal pain in the patooshie (to use the expletive preferred by Gamer Bling Expansion #1).
The Bottom Line
Uh… wow. (How’s that for a $64 word?)
This is the (second) best.
Beg for it for Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day… heck, beg for it for a belated Obama inauguration present; if every gamer bought one of these, the economy would be firing on all cylinders in no time! Unlike, say, our elected officials.
Bling Factor: 9 (Mandatory 1-point deduction for lack of shiny objects)
Quality: 11 (1-point bonus for doubling as a precipitation tubulum)
You need: 1
Geek Chic products are not available at most (if any) friendly local game stores. Instead, you buy them direct. Be sure to tell that Gamer Bling sent you so he gets much more fun swag.
They could roboticize the rolling. Or they could make other cool stuff like miniatures cases made out of wood with polished brass corners and a monogrammed faceplate and stuff.
And Since You’re Going to Ask
They also make the Ultimate Dice Tower of Dooooom! It stands three feet tall. And it’s mounted on rollers. And it can handle Really Big Dice™. And it costs more than you want to know.
And Gamer Bling is now bending all his degenerate intellect toward figuring out how he can get it for himself.
Without spending a bunch of money, of course. Duh.