Pyre Studios Kickstarts Encounter Dice

By Polar_Bear
In Accessories
Sep 10th, 2013

Pyre Studios have created a new tool for DMs/GMs to help create NPCs on the fly during games via their new Encounter Dice. They’re looking for funding over on Kickstarter.


From the campaign:

What are they?

Simply put; dice with full colour RPG tropes on them that allow you to quickly and inventively generate NPCs, characters, adventures, items, treasure, locales, monsters, bosses etc…

In our initial set, the focus of this campaign, we have a set of six dice covering the following concepts/characters and items; Race, Class, Alignment, Weaponry, Armour and Loot. With these dice you can create NPC archetypes for your party to encounter and also add a character’s demeanour, intent and with the “item” dice add some variety to chests, drop treasure etc…

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  • Soulfinger

    So, I guess if I rolled the results pictured, the PCs would encounter a guy with red hair and a red sash, who carries a melee weapon but also a bow. Yeah . . . I already have my alignment dice and the like from twenty years ago, and if you don’t see them stocked on store shelves to this day, the reason is that they kind of suck, especially when you have a 16.6% chance of rolling the same result over and over and over.

  • Disgruntled Goat

    In the old days, we had these things called “charts and tables.” You rolled dice and consulted those charts for encounter info. It was easy, they were in English and you didn’t have to squint to decipher what the dice meant. The charts and tables generally had a wide variety of potential results.

    These encounter dice are a flawed concept.

  • Thanks for the mention TTGN.

    The combination of the dice and CARDS, for those who took the time to check out the campaign or look at the videos, give you a fully customizable encounter set that you can tailor to your campaign. Just because there’s a picture of a elf does not mean that it needs to be a elf in your games.

    The four dice pictured, from a set of six, show a halfling ranger in chainmail armour with a one handed edged weapon… or create your own definitions.

    Many thanks

    • Soulfinger

      I did create my own definition. Alternately, human torso severed from head with assorted bladed weapons means it’s bow time! OR Close-up of bowman’s face as he realizes that he left his armor at home thanks to a bladed reminder. OR the shady bowman turns out to be the red-headed guy you kicked out of the party for carrying too many melee weapons, and he’s still wearing that damn red sash.

      These things never work for me, because it always ends up being, you walk into the room and encounter a roll fighter . . . accompanied by roll three roll fighters and a roll . . . fighter. Uh, they are guarding an open chest filled to the brim with roll fighters? Crap, I rolled the wrong die.

      If I understand right, there is zero chance of encountering a gnome druid with these things, whereas the party may well run into a half-orc wizard of unknown alignment rocking full plate and a two-handed weapon. That means not only the chance of a nonsensical result but also the “unknown” result on the alignment die, which seems pretty counterproductive if you are rolling the dice for an answer rather than shaking them like a magic eight ball to deepen the enigma. I much prefer the one die as Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic and the other die as Good, Neutral, Evil approach.

      Anyways, good luck with the KS.

      • I appreciate both the wishes of luck and the examples you raise in the bulk of your reply as they are important considerations. There is no reason why, again using the cards, that the halfling can’t represent a gnome, or that the “magic user” image represents a druid. It’s totally up to the GMs in their own games. i.e. A GM rolls the magic user and THEY decide that a further D6 roll is required where a result of 1-2 is a druid, 3-4 is a Sorcerer and 5-6 is a Shaman.
        As for the Unknown result on the Alignment die a GM could, as you suggest, add mystery to the encounter or simply pick an alignment that suits their adventure/campaign.

        These are not as proscriptive or as limited an accessory as some gamers have decided to view them, some people just don’t like the idea and I can respect that. With a bit of initiative though they are 100% customizable to your needs for any fantasy game.

      • “These things never work for me, because it always ends up being, you walk into the room and encounter a roll fighter . . . accompanied by roll three roll fighters and a roll . . . fighter. Uh, they are guarding an open chest filled to the brim with roll fighters? Crap, I rolled the wrong die.”

        Also I had to laugh at this as I’d be lying If I had never experienced it when using standard encounter/item table. Such duplication was a real concern for me as, let’s be honest, I didn’t want to limit anyone enjoyment of a game. That’s why I came up with the cards, some examples of which I filmed:

        • Soulfinger

          And don’t get me wrong, I bash most things on this site because I’m a total asshat, but I can see the potential with these things. I just wish that you had gone a slightly different direction with them. For me, the whole idea of the halfling representing a gnome defeats the purpose of the dice, which are really more of an imagination on autopilot utility. If you have to interpret the results then I wish that the imagery was more abstract. Whether or not that’s commercially viable, I don’t know. Considering that you are 1/6th funded, you probably made the right choice. For me though, especially with the cards, I’d want evocative imagery. You roll a die and it comes up Art Deco Dwarf Mountain, Art Nouveau Elf Tree, or Vargas girl Half-Orc Scrimshaw Tusk; any could be interpreted as racial, but at the same time they are symbolic of other qualities, making them a more general purpose storytelling utility. As another example, the armor dice seem fairly useless to me as they stand. Most people have an idea what armor an NPC is going to be wearing, and so forth — many of these considerations being dictated by the scenario and game system (i.e. that wizard in full plate). The images should reflect other qualities as well. Plate, for example, could be an iron clad bull on a fiery backgrond, chain mail barding on an earthy warhorse, etc. That way, you still see the armor, but you have these other considerations. What does the bull or horse represent? There are the elemental connotations, and so forth. Greater abstraction helps eliminate that duplication issue, which is going to be significant with only 6 possibilities per die.