Empty out your dice bag. Take out all of the six-sided dice and look at what you have left. Mostly D20’s, right? Those icosagons take up a lot of room, am I right? Okay, put your dice away before someone steps on those caltrop-like D4s. So what the solution to your over abundance of twenty-sided buddies? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Dice Ring by CritSuccess.
Now, my clever little introduction was limited to the twenty-sided version of the ring, but the folks over at CritSuccess have more options than that? There are rings for the D4 all the way up to the D100. Play the Fate System? There is a Fudge Dice ring as well. There is also a ring you can use as a life counter and a ring that has a complete deck of cards on it. There are more rings than that. You can check out the complete line of rings available HERE.
When Danny and I were at GenCon, we started to notice a lot of people walking around with spinning rings. While gaming with the folks from Standard Action – second place winners in the Series category at GenCon Film Fest 2013 – we finally had to satisfy our curiosity. Come to find out the guys from CritSuccess had a booth set up in the massive Exhibitors Hall and we selling all types of spinning dice ring.
We headed to the Standard Action Booth and met up with Aaron and Sam who ran the KickStarter that funded the CritSuccess spinning rings. Sam demonstrated how to wear the ring on our left index finger and spin the ring using our thumbs; he also helped us find the right sized rings. Then, we headed over and geeked out over the rings with Aaron Laniewicz. After chatting and taking some silly pictures, Danny and I each walked away with a D20 ring. Danny chose the blue ring and I took a classic gold ring.
It has been a week and, although I have not had a chance to game with the ring yet, I have been wearing mine most every day to try and evaluate the ring. As a piece of jewelry, the ring is pretty cool for the mere fact that it shows the whole world that you are a gaming nerd if you choose to point out what kind of ring you are wearing. Otherwise, if you are wearing the more classic colors, like gold, you can probably get away with wearing the ring and no one being the wiser to your nerdy ways. The only downside, as just jewelry, is the rattle sound that you get from most any spinner ring; it is no big deal and I stopped noticing it after a few hours.
As a gaming implement, I have noticed just a few potential issues. First, it is pretty difficult to spin the ring hard enough to get a full revolution. That means that you might be more limited in the potential outcome than you would be by rolling a die.
The first thing you want to do when you get your rings is to wash them in warm soapy water. The rings have dust and debris in them from the manufacturing process, which just needs cleaned out.
I find it best to make a big bowl of soapy water, and submerge the rings completely. While they are underwater, grip the spinning bands and push them hard against the inside band while turning. You’ll want to apply a good amount of pressure. The idea is to try to use the outer bands to grind/polish the inner grooves. Then rinse thoroughly. Some rings may need more work than others, and you’ll want to keep at it until it feels completely smooth on all sides. Use dish soap for the best results, since it does not leave a residue.
Once a ring is cleaned out appropriately, it will spin AMAZINGLY!
Another small issue is that the two small arrows on the outside of the ring do not always indicate a clear roll. About 1/3 of the time, I have to do a “re-spin” because the arrows are pointing at the line in between two numbers.
As a rule, if the ring lands on a line, the result is the face above the line. You should never have to reroll. As long as you consistently declare the result the face above the line, the statistics are reliable and accurate.
I have not had the ring long enough to make a clear comment on durability. So far, there does not appear to be any visible wear after a week of use.
There are definitely positive points to the ring. If you were it everyday, then you will never be caught in an impromptu gaming situation with having a D20 (or whatever ring you are wearing) handy. The cool factor you get the first time your friends see you spin a ring instead of roll a die is definitely worth the price of admission in and of itself. One last note, be prepared to get a little callous on the side of your thumb if your spin the ring a lot. I have been spinning this thing like crazy just as a nervous tick and I can feel a callous forming already.
Final Word: The Dice Ring is worth getting just for the cool / nerd factor alone. If you use it for gaming, great; if not, it still makes a nice piece of jewelry to show the world you are a gamer. I suggest all GMs get their players one of these rings for Christmas!