For me it’s accessible dice, which are dice crafted for people who are vision-impaired or blind. They include Braille numbering or raised letters to help identify the numbers on the dice, making it easier for folks with special needs to play the game.
The accessible dice I’ve come across are all 3D printed, which is my runner-up for “favorite new dice technology”. Because of how 3D printing works, it’s possible that these dice won’t be quite as balanced as traditional polyhedrals but I expect that drawback will disappear over time as the printing processes get better and better.
There are a number of printing recipes for 3D dice avaialble for download:
- Thingverse: d20 with additional braille numbers: A standalone recipe for an accessible d20.
- Thingverse: Standard RPG dice set in Braille: Includes the following dice: d4, d8, d6, d10, d12, d20.
- Thingverse: Tacticle d6: A six-sided die with raised pips.
You can also purchase printed dice online:
- Shapeways: Braille Dice: A ton of dice including the standard RPG dice, variant d3s, d4s and d5s, and Fate dice.
- 64 Oz. Games: Braille Dice: The standard RPG dice plus Fate dice.
No one in my group uses these dice and I haven’t printed them myself, so I can’t speak to how readable they are (but given that I have access to a 3D printer at work, I might need to remedy that).
My own interest in accessibility comes from my family’s tradition of raising puppies for the Seeing Eye, a guide dog school in Morristown, NJ. I raised three Seeing Eye puppies as a kid and my own family just started raising our third (hello Bob!). That carried over into my day job, where I’ve been spending a good deal of time researching accessible technology in general and web accessibility in particular.
For the last day of Dicember, it only made sense to bring everything back home again and geek out over accessible dice.
What’s your favorite new dice technology?
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More dice from my collection. Sadly, none of theme are accessible … but one 3D printing project could change that… Credit: Ken Newquist