Friday, March 20, 2015

Look what I found...original dice with B/X D&D....

This auction I won for a very nice condition Basic and Expert D&D set (along with the Caves of Chaos and Isle of dread) came in the other day and I'm still shocked I nailed it for $30 with free shipping. The retailer on Ebay was not a regular RPG seller, and the pics were honestly misleading as the books are in better shape than they look from the photos. But what was most shocking...both original dice sets (or damned close) came with the Basic and Experts. We're talking unused original "gumby dice," the kinds that required a grease pencil to see the numbers and with enough rolling would turn into smooth spheres over time....but completely unused. Wow.

My players and I coined the term for these old dice as "gumby dice" back in the mid to late eighties  to identify those dice which had been worn so smooth you couldn't even see the numbers anymore. I have one decades-long gaming cohort who still uses his original set from the late seventies, although mostly for the terrifying novelty of watching him roll a D20 labeled 0-9 twice (with a D6 to settle the "1s" or "10s"). The dice with this book set appear not to be the "original Originals" in that sense as the D20's are number 1-20, but they're still damned close.


  1. Great find!

    I love the "the pics were honestly misleading as the books are in better shape than they look from the photos." I'm assuming you're not going to file a complaint with this one. ;)

    I just wonder how long those dice sat, unused, before they saw the light of day. Did the grease pencils come with the set?

    1. I's usually the other way around with Ebay photos! These books are worth a lot more than I paid. Alas no grease pencil, but I have one lying around so that won't pose a problem.

      I'm torn between saving the dice for my kid when he gets older and forcing him to deal with the old dice, vs. stowing them away n a cool, dark location for another decade or two to dramatically enhance their rarity.

  2. The original Moldvay Basic set came with yellow "gumby" dice (to use your term), while the Cook/Marsh Expert set came with light blue dice (lighter than the blue D12 in the photo).