The Joys of Using Dice Trays
What’s the big deal with dice trays? Why do people want to use them for RPGs and board games?
When it comes down to brass tacks, the dice tray is a fundamental concept: some kind of container in which one rolls dice. Not since using dice cups to play Parcheesi has there been a more brilliant device to use in connection with a game. I’m being facetious, but the point is that down to their very core, dice trays are nothing more than a container to prevent dice from dropping off the table and onto the floor.
If you’re anything like me, rolling dice in a game is one of the best parts of playing, whether it’s Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, World of Darkness, Warhammer 40,000, Clue, or Monopoly. The math rocks go clickity-clack and all that, and you end up with a random result that determines where you go or how well you do. Fate hath spoken! And sometimes–okay, a lot of the time–the dice end up on the floor or end up cocked against some clutter on the table, where most rules lawyers declare the roll invalid. But with a dice tray, this is less likely to happen.
Game Masters like dice trays as well. Most GMs roll in secret, meaning they have their screen up so the players don’t see how the dice land. But even if you’re an open-rolling GM, dice trays help keep the dice together and from rolling halfway across the table. One other advantage GMs have is that the sound of the dice in the tray can sometimes spook players into wondering what they’re rolling for. It’s good to keep PCs on their toes.
Dice trays come in all shapes and sizes, from a simple DIY shallow cardboard box to a custom-made 3D printed plastic container to a finely crafted wooden case. Their job is to keep dice together on the table and prevent them from going everywhere when enthusiastically rolled on your turn. Some have felt or leather liners; others are naked on the bottom, so you can get that wonderful sound of the dice rolling. Many dice trays have storage for your dice and other gaming accouterments like your pencils, minis, cards, and even more dice (because we all know RPGers can’t stop at only one set).
At the end of 2021, Table Top Makers had a successful Kickstarter campaign for the Table Top Traveling Tray. Though these trays are not currently available for retail, many people were interested, which led to a funded project and many happy customers with fine crafted wooden dice trays with incredible CNC engraved designs. In the TTM store, you can find the Personal Dice Tray, an elegant but straightforward product you can use for your games. They may be simple, but they get the job done and look fantastic. Alan is considering more dice tray products, depending on demand.
The truth is that many gamers like dice trays because they make it convenient to carry a lot of dice to their gaming sessions. In addition, they provide a smooth rolling surface that avoids interference from cluttered tables and prevents them from falling on the floor. They boost the gaming experience to the next level.
What is it you like about dice trays? If Table Top Makers started a new dice tray product line, would you be interested? What kind of styles would you want? Comment below and let us know; we would love to hear from you.