“That’s 17—sorry, 18—18 damage,” I said.

I was rolling my damage in my weekly D&D game and I misread my dice, again. I have dice with numerals on each face and despite my best efforts, I’m not always correct. It didn’t occur to me that there might be a reason beyond my own brain not being great at reading numbers, until I read the article “Dice Design Deserves Discourse” by Sofiia Yermolaieva and Joseph Alexander Brown of Innopolis University.

Yermolaieva and Brown view dice as both tools for gaming and objects that players are attached to. The researchers set off on a quest to find out how important dice design is in making a “good” set of dice. To do this, they conducted a study with 50 people and five criteria tests of dice: numeral type, colors, symbols, shape, and size, to test the usability of the dice.

The dice used in the experiment are in the photo at the top, clockwise from top left: Large Symbolled Die, Large Numeral Die, Large Contrast Numeral Die, Large Pips Die, Medium Pips Rounded Die, Medium Pips Square Die, and Small Pips Die.

Specifically, the researchers’ goal was to determine which of the design characteristics have an effect on the users’ choice of the most functional die, which they defined as the one which requires the least time from the roll to making a move in the game, and to determine if the most usable die is the die selected by users.

“Dice come in a multitude of shapes, colors, materials, and symbols outlining the values. They are objects of both utility and art used since prehistory to allow us to control and be controlled by randomness. Yet, which of them is more functional from a user perspective, which ones provide the best of a mix of operational use and aesthetic from. Dice are not just objects of play in a game, but objects of emotion for players.”

— “Dice Design Deserves Discourse” by Sofiia Yermolaieva and Joseph Alexander Brown.

The experiment involved a modified game of Knock Out. Each of the seven dice were given to the participants in a random order for ten rolls of each die during the game to prevent both boredom and practice bias. So that the study wouldn’t be biased, the participants weren’t told about the objective of the study, they were only told to play the game.

The researchers timed the participants from the start of their roll to the point of them declaring the value of the roll to the other player. In order to ensure the accuracy of this timing and reduce human errors, the sessions were taped and the values were extracted from the video.

At the end of the session, the players were given a short questionnaire about their experience with the dice and other questions on skill level. Players were asked to decide what die was the best to use during the game and explain what influenced their choice.

Mistaking a 6 for a 5, an error. Photo by Yermolaieva and Brown.

The values for the Large Symbol Die were the hardest to recognize for the users. Nine of the 50 players were mistaken at least once when announcing the result of their roll, with five players seeing the value of six on the die, a roundel of stars, as being the value five. Six of the nine players corrected themselves within a few moments of noticing their mistake, but the other three or their opponents realized their error.

The players’ mistakes can be attributed to optical or visual illusion, or when the players rolled a new type of die, having the conceptual model of the previously used one. Eighteen percent of users had conceptual activation errors in recognizing the correlation of a value to a symbol on the die.

Fifty-eight percent of all users who participated in the test voted for the Symbol parameter, which means that it has a rather high influence on their choice of the best die in the test. Out of all dice represented in this set, the Large Pips Die had the greatest number of votes; 9, in contrast with Large Symbolled Die, which has 2 and Large Numeral Die, which had 6 votes.

Contrast was also a factor in determining users’ perceptions of the “best die,” with 38% of players stating that the colour contrast (e.g black numerals on a white die) influenced their choice of best die. This percentage was the same as the percentage who deemed the shape of a die to be important in making their choice.

The most valuable variable turned out to be the size of the die, with 88% of participants saying that the size of the die factored into their selection of the “best” die.

Ultimately, the medium-size die with its values shown as black pips on the white background with rounded corners has the highest number of votes for its usability.

What do you think? How important are the design of dice to you when you consider your “best” dice? Are these the same as the dice that you find easiest to read accurately? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Greetings, readers! We hope you’ve had a restful holiday season and we wish you a very happy 2021! To celebrate, we have a 30% off sale across the Little Dragon Corp site. Just use the code “sale30” to activate it.

In addition to ringing in the new year, we’ve been hard at work with renovation projects for our store. We’re so close to being done and we can’t wait to share our space with you once again.

Since the last post about our store decoration, we’ve added another tree and we’re almost finished installing it. Like the first tree near the card bar, it will also have lights woven through its sprawling branches.

We’ve finished the windows with stunning designs that are inspired by stained glass. These designs spell out the store’s name and depict our company mascot, Moonie the Dragon. These designs are lovely by daylight and shine by night.

In terms of projects left to complete, we’re repainting the booths black, reupholstering the benches, and vinyl wrapping the back with green flames. It’s going to look so cool when it’s done! We’re also getting to work on “dice windows” within the store. This is exactly as it sounds: we’re putting dice in the windows within the store itself, since some of the doors have windows at the top.

We’ll be painting the arches to add a splash of colour to the interior walls, and be adding a fascination waterfall. This waterfall is a curious contraption through which you’ll be able to pour your dice and it’ll move at the dice pour out.

Check out some of the renovations in this gallery, and stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for more updates.

Hello, Dragon’s Digest readers! We hope your holidays are going well! Since we’re wrapping up our Christmas, we’re celebrating with a site-wide 10% off both sites for a Boxing Day sale. Check us out here and on Dragon World TCG.

For this week’s blog post, we’re sharing our first character profile: Tabula Rasa, who is our artist Amanda’s D&D character! Learn more about her below:

Name: Tabula Rasa, she/her

System: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Age: Unknown (she has lost her memories)

Race/Heritage: Tiefling

Class: Druid, Circle of the Spore

Equipment: Hat of disguise, quarterstaff, crossbow, druidic focus (bark from a tree)

Appearance: Tabula Rasa is 5′ 8″ and her design is based on a bearded dragon. Her outfit is inspired by rag and ‘swamp’ outfits found on Pinterest, and her hair is symmetrical, styled in two braids.

Personality: Tabula Rasa is curious about the world around her. She’s also well-mannered and speaks in a calm, soft voice.

Goals: Her main goal is to reclaim her lost memories, no matter what they may be.

Most memorable moment: As she doesn’t have many memories, her most memorable moment would have been when she ‘woke up’ and had to run for her life without any idea who she was or where she was.

Fun fact: Tabula Rasa means ‘A mind not yet affected by experiences or impressions’, which was given to her by a hag who found her alone and brought her home.

Remember that we’re accepting character profile submissions on a rolling basis! If you’d like to see your character featured on Dragon’s Digest, see this post for details and fill out this form.

Greetings, readers!

We hope your December is off to a great start. For this week’s blog post, we thought we’d highlight some of the friends of the Little Dragon Corp community.

We’re lucky to know some great folks in the dice industry. We send out some of our dice for them to sell, and they send theirs to us in return! These other businesses are located all over the world and we’ve brought them to you, whether through our site or physical store. Check them out below!

Critit

Critiit Spirit of the Blue Dragon set

Critit is based in the UK. This family-run business designs and makes all its RPG goods itself! Their dice are themed around spirits and their sets capture the essence of a variety of animals, locations, gemstones, holidays, and constellations. Here at Little Dragon Corp, you can find sets inspired by mermaids, orcs, minotaurs, dragons, and more.

If you’re based in the UK, you can also find us on their site here!

Gate Keeper Games

Halfsies Glamour set

We stock Halfsies Dice, Gate Keeper Games’ line of two-tone standard gaming dice, in full 7-piece sets.  These sets are available in 25 different colour combinations. Gate Keeper Games hails from California and aims to bring joy to families through playing games.

Green Leaf Geek

Green Leaf Geek Keyfish set

Creator of the popular Keyfish dice, Green Leaf Geek is based in Peterborough. She sells beautiful sharp-edge and soft-edge dice, some of which are handmade. We stock her products in our physical store, and you can visit her here.

Ice Cream Dice

Ice Cream Dice Mint Chocolate Crit set

Ice Cream Dice is a fellow Canadian company based in Edmonton. Their specialty is designing and making dice designed after—yep, you guessed it—ice cream flavours. From the Mint Chocolate Crit to the Merry Critmas seasonal set, Ice Cream Dice sets are always delightful and look good enough to eat!

Lindorm

Lindorm Faux Prism Dice

Located in Sweden, Lindorm is run by two self-professed nerds, Alexander Gesse and Karolina Petrusson. Their products are inspired by runes, monuments, and mythology from their homeland. With names like “Shadow Spawn” and “The Painter’s Dream,” their collections are always colourful and evocative. They even have products named for specific Norse gods.

We stock Lindorm dice in our physical store, and their site is here. We also have a shoutout on their site  here!

Greetings, dear readers! As the weather cools down, we hope you’re keeping warm. As promised, here are some seasonal dice sets that would make great gifts, whether for yourself or for a friend or family member.

All That Glitters, Snow Globe d20

Snow Globe no ink DIY d20 30 mm

Our fantastical snow globe d20s are here! It’s filled with bright confetti and glitter stars, coming in at a whopping 30 mm. These dazzling colours are perfect for the festive season. Choose from white ink, silver ink, or completely uninked for your own customization.

Zircon Layered

december zircon dice

These are from our birthday series. With its deep aqua, bright blue and clear layers and silver ink, these dice evoke a frozen glacier emerging from the sea. The zircon stone is often associated with healing broken bones and the stimulation of sluggish energy—a perfect counter for the winter blues.

Elemental Air Resin

air elemental dice

Let your imagination take flight this season! Inspired by the forces of nature, the three layers of pale blue with silver ink is reminiscent of a cold December sky, and the glitter adds a sprinkle of magic to these dice.

Elemental Air Metal Dice

metal air dice
The metal cousin of the resin air elemental set, the subtle mix of cold tones offers a dreamy palette perfect for a fantasy setting. The sharp edges and raised silver numbers bring icicle touch to this gorgeous set.

London Blue Topaz

london blue topaz dice
These aqua dice gleam with the cleanliness of a frozen lake. If you have characters venturing onto the water in the winter, these will make a splash at your table.

Light Blue and Silver Wedding

Wedding Dice blue and Silver
These are part of our wedding collection celebrating the marriage of our founder Colette and her husband Alex and are made of love, hope, and dreams! If you get a set of these, you’ll see the special dragon graphic that comes with the crystal cases, which shows the dragons making a heart shape when their foreheads touch. The silver leaf gives these chilly dice a rich pattern.

March Bloodstone Layered

march bloodstone dice

This set is also from our birthday series (March), but the bold greens sandwiching the striking red make for a fabulously festive combination. These are now considered out of print having been discontinued in July, so grab some while you can!

The holiday season is upon us and although our physical location is closed, we’re open for business online here and at the Dragon World site. When you buy online, you can get your items shipped to the recipient’s address for a seamless gift delivery that will keep both of you safe.

If you’re shopping for a gamer or dice enthusiast in your life and you’re not sure what to get, check out these ideas:

d20 Bath bomb

Our Orange & Ylang Ylang bath bombs are shaped like giant d20s and each has a mystery d20 die inside! Even better, the bath bomb rolls just like a die when you put it in the bath. It doesn’t stain, doesn’t contain glitter, and is perfect for a gentle, relaxing bathing experience. It makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone who loves to roll dice and who wants bath time to be as much of an adventure as any gaming session.

Click here to get it and check out the video below to see the bath bomb in action!

Heroes’ Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook

When Wizards of the Coast released this cookbook in November, I was ecstatic, not only for the array of recipes, but also for the food lore that comes with it. You’ll find out why halflings so often have empty pantries and you’ll be truly shocked at which creatures form the staple of a dragonborn’s diet.

As for the recipes themselves, the book is organized by culture and contains everything from hearty main courses to sweet treats to drinks. It’s perfect for anyone who has ever been curious about the food that their characters might eat on their quests. Pick it up here.

A new board game

It’s been a tough year with having to hole up inside for lockdown after lockdown. If you know someone who lives with family or roommates and has been bored indoors, board games are a great source of offline entertainment. There has never been a better time to play a new game.

We have everything from the classic chess set (and we even have some novelty themed ones!) to modern strategy games. Browse our collection here.

Colouring books and supplies

If board games aren’t your giftee’s thing, try a colouring book instead! Perfect for children and adults alike, colouring books have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. Put a geeky twist on a creative classic and pick up a fantasy or monster-themed colouring book. For younger artists, we carry Adventures Outlined, which is a D&D colouring book!

Check out what we have here.

Dice, dice, and more dice

You can never have too many dice! Here at Little Dragon Corp, these are our specialty. We have them in a rainbow of colours and there’s so many to choose from. If you want to make your dice a truly special gift, maybe choose a set in their favourite colour, or a set that reflects one of their characters’ preferences or personality. There’s nothing like a personalized gift that strengthens your bond and that demonstrates how well you know each other.  

Check out the dice of our own design here. Also, stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will be showcasing some seasonal dice sets that would make wonderful gifts!

Greetings, readers!

Earlier this week marked the start of a 28-day lockdown for parts of Ontario, including Brampton where we are located. This year has already been a challenging time for us and for many small businesses, and we expect our Christmas and holiday sales to be affected by these measures.

Practically speaking, this means that we can’t have anyone visiting the storefront until at least December 23. Instead, we are offering curbside pick-up and shipping.

Nonetheless, we’re having a site-wide sale on Dragon World TCG where everything is 10% off. Additionally, everything here on the Little Dragon Corp site is 30% off with “blackfriday” as the promo code, until Monday, November 30.

As a thank you for your support, we will be including an extra surprise gift with orders from either site. We’re also hosting a giveaway on Twitter, with the top three items ordered on our site as the prize! To enter, just like and retweet this tweet and we’ll pick a winner on December 1.

Keep an eye on our social channels for details of our holiday sales coming up next month!

Last week, I took a trip to see the new Little Dragon Corp store myself. It was quite the adventure, all things considered. I’m based in Toronto and Brampton is as far as I’ve gone since the pandemic started. We moved locations because the City of Brampton bought the old building and is going to tear it down, which meant that we needed to find a new home.

Stepping into the new shop for the first time, I was struck by how large it is. It’s approximately 4,000 square feet of pure game space, which is about twice as big as the old place.

The new location has a card bar featuring packs and singles for all your favourite trading card games, and places to sit and play (once it is safe to do so, of course).

Our offices are also located here, along with extra storage and a shipping room.

And of course, I couldn’t forget to take pictures of our impressive dice displays, which hold over 1,200 sets of dice! They’re organized by colour so you can find the perfect set.

There’s even space for the fancier dice sets, those made from real stone.

Other cool features include this giant Pikachu, and this giant tree by some of the gaming tables.

I’m also an avid Pokémon GO player and I was delighted to find that the new location is a gym!

While I was at the store, I also did some shopping: I bought three sets of dice and some sealed Yu-Gi-Oh! dice. Check out the gallery below!

Dragon World Card Games and Collectibles is located at 22 Main St. S. on the 2nd floor. Opening hours:

Tue-Fri: 12-7 pm
Sat: 10 am-6 pm
Sun: 12-6 pm

As we mentioned when we launched, we want to feature profiles of your characters here on Dragon’s Digest and we’re accepting submissions now. Fill out this form for your character to be considered. Submissions will remain open on a rolling basis and we aim to publish as many as possible. Depending on how many we receive, it may be some time before we get to yours.

We’re looking for characters who are unique and interesting, and who you want to share with the world. We’ve put together a submission form where you can fill out details about your character. You don’t have to answer every question, but we will prioritize submissions that are more detailed and that adhere to the suggested response length.

When your character profile is published, our artist Amanda Busby will draw a portrait of them to go with it! You can view her work here.

Here’s an example profile so you know what yours might look like.

Example Character Profile

Name: Eyust the Fallen, they/them (pronounced “ay-UST” like must)

System: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Age: 32

Race/Heritage: Green dragonborn

Class: Druid, Circle of the Land

Equipment: A wand made of applewood, a Ring of Safe Passage, a bronze crown

Appearance: Eyust has deep green scales and warm brown eyes. They’re small for a dragonborn, about 5 feet tall and not especially stocky. They wear a black tunic with bronze finishings, black pants, and knee-high black boots with a low heel. Eyust wears a crown adorned with bronze leaves and purple gemstones, and a matching ring with a purple jewel nestled in between bronze leaves. Since they’re the ruler of their kingdom, their clothes are high-quality but notably not flashy.  

Personality: Eyust is a meek and even-tempered druid who loves nothing more than to be outdoors. A staunch pacifist, they believe that all conflicts can and should be resolved through negotiation and open-mindedness. Eyust has a wandering imagination that sometimes causes them to lose focus on immediate tasks and makes them more likely to walk into traps and other hazards. 

Goals: Eyust wants to get rid of the demons that conquered their kingdom, reclaim it, and rebuild it. They would also like to put defences in place in case they are ever invaded again, but still want to remain decidedly nonviolent.

Most memorable moment: Using their Wild Shape to transform into a warhorse for 60 feet of movement and then bolting into a cave where a unicorn was being held captive. Eyust then changed back into their normal form and tamed a baby displacer beast by being kind and approachable.

Fun fact: Eyust is absolutely useless at logic puzzles.

If you’re like most tabletop roleplaying gamers, you have a favourite dice set.

What is it about that set that makes it your favourite? Is it because you’ve had it for a long time, or because you’ve made particularly fond memories with it? Or, is it simply because the dice are your favourite colour?

All of these are great reasons, but a recent study says that your preference in terms of dice doesn’t necessarily correlate to your favourite colours. The study, entitled “Dice Design Respecting Player Preference for Colours and Contrast” was conducted by researchers Hamma Aslam, Joseph Alexander Brown, and Ecaterina Baba in 2019.

The researchers’ theory was that a person’s preferred colours should be linked to the colours that they like their dice to be. Makes sense, right?

To investigate this theory, the researchers asked the study participants to rank colours in order of preference, and then to do the same thing with dice sets. There was a dice set for each colour that the participant was asked to rank.

Interestingly, the researchers found that people’s colour rankings tended to differ from the coloured dice rankings. Only about 54 per cent of people’s first choice of colour in general was the same as their first choice coloured dice set.

Based on these results, the researchers found that there was a poor connection between colour preference and dice colour preference, leading them to believe that usability is also important when identifying a preferred dice set.  

To test usability, the researchers assessed how easy the dice were to read. For this test, they used a selection of dice with unusual colour and ink combinations. Participants noted that it was easier to read high-contrast dice, and the data collected from this experiment showed that using dice with low contrast led to more errors and difficulty in reading the number rolled on the die.

Unusual colour contrast dice for testing reability.

The researchers concluded that colours are significant in the sense that they influence how easy the dice are to use, and how much the player enjoys interacting with the dice. They remarked that the most aesthetically appealing design and colours might not give a smooth usability interaction.

As someone who has re-inked their dice knowing that the new ink will make them harder to read, but prettier to look at, I can totally see where these results come from. 

Would you rather have a dice set that was easy to read but in colours that aren’t necessarily your favourite, or a set in your favourite colour that is perhaps more difficult to read? Or do you have a dice set that can do both? Let us know in the comments.