Sit down at a table with all your dice. Spread them out so you can see them all. Take some time to really get a good look at your dice. Don’t be afraid to pick them up or give them a nostalgic roll. Call to mind sessions or circumstances where individual dice had something important to say to you.
Now go through your dice, and pull out every die that doesn’t have a story. They might be dice that you’ve never rolled, or dice you haven’t rolled in too long, or dice that you roll all the time that never leave any kind of impression. Take all those dice with no history, no meaning, no story, and put them into one big coffee can.
Then walk into your nearest FLGS on a Saturday, identify the youngest and most impressionable gamer in the store, and hand him a coffee can full of dice. Those dice now have a story – one he will tell to his friends, one he will remember for years. And this is before he ever even rolls one.
We know there’s nothing mysterious about dice. They are injection molded blobs of plastic, mass-produced by machines build specifically for this purpose. The plastic isn’t special – the same plastic is used in toy parts, cheap souvenirs, and knickknacks. The machines were not invented by wizards. They are not run by elves. There is no magic in the process at any stage. Yet in your dice collection there are probably dice you prefer to roll, maybe for reasons you can’t fully explain. Where did your dice get their power?
It’s from the stories. That critical success at the climax of the game. The night of epic, repeated failures. The big showdown where everything went right. The time you threw your dice across the room in frustration. The one you had to replace after the dog got into your dice bag. Most of these things are incidents of pure chance. But when they happen, the die takes on a meaning and shape that it lacked before. It’s no longer a blog of mass produced plastic. It’s the Giant Killer. It’s the Cursed Twenty. It’s Old Reliable. It’s a reminder to temper your frustrations. It’s the lead-in line to a story when someone asks why one of your dice is mismatched.
Look at the dice that you have left. Reminisce about the stories they tell. Then set those dice aside. They have stories that have been told. Go buy some new dice, and give them new stories. You’ll find it’s much like playing a new character. In the beginning, your new dice will feel strange and unfamiliar in your hand. But during one gaming session, when you least expect it, something will happen that will give these dice a story. It might not be a good story – it could be the story of how your favorite character died performing the simplest of tasks. It could also be the story of how your new dice helped you hold off the forces of evil with nothing but a broken bow and a bad attitude.