The Half-Life of Dice

While rearranging my desk, for better access to both work things and my gaming books (I work at home), I decided to finally take my bin of dice and put them in the divided container that I bought for them. Yeah, I sort my dice, I am a nerd. Why do I have so many dice? I ask you, why do you not have this many dice? Touché

In 2003, while in the Air Force, I was running games for the other guys I lived with. We had few maps, and no minis, and so I would use dice to outline things or act as minis when we needed tactical. I spent the year buying a new set of dice each of my nearly weekly trips to the game store. I also picked up a couple different sets as loaners.

After sorting them, I decided (out of curiosity), to count them to see how many complete sets I still had left. I sent a text to my game group (attaching a picture) that I was sad I had lost dice over the years. The first reply I received was “have you calculated the half-life of dice yet?”

Did I mention I was a nerd? By my count (and decent memory), I bought 39 sets of dice (5 of which had 3d6 instead of 1d6). I am missing: 3d4, 2d6, 1d8, 7d10, 2d% (10-sided), 1d12, 9d20. I should have a total 136 dice (18 of each plus 10 extra d6), but have 111 instead. 25 dice over 14 years. 1.78 dice a year. Half my dice count is 68, so at 1.78 dice a year it will take 38 years to lose 68 dice.

So, there you have it, the half life of dice is 38 years! Looking at which dice I have lost the most of, it seems that d20s and d10s have shorter half-lives than other dice.

Leave a Reply