So, apparently, Dice Towers are a thing.
There are many Dice Tower design / construction videos on Youtube. Here are a couple of pictures from some I found. The problem with these designs is that they are made from foam. The one on the left is made with a foam core / glue gun construction with EPS foam blocks then cut and glued on. While the paint job is very cool, the light foam board construction is going to sound silly when you toss in the dice. The one on the right uses EPS foam blocks glued around a vase and a spiral ramp of foam core inside to bounce the dice around. Again, this one will just sound silly as it’s used.
Here’s another one that appeared on Kickstarter and is now for sale on Etsy.
This one costs $65 and is made from Polyresin. But not a material for a DIY project for such a complex shape. Notice that the landing area is pretty small for 7-8 dice and a late redesign widened the opening. I have not played D&D games, but I note that dice sets contain 7 dice so that seems typical for a number. Clearly a larger landing area is needed.
I think a much nicer Dice tower can be built using a light wood frame covered with baked polymer clay. I envision using 1/8″ door skin for the tower with a 1/4″ plywood base. The wood and baked polymer clay will add weight and a totally different sound experience to the dice rolls. I’ve begun with a prototype of the design using cardboard to establish the design of the tower, baffles and landing area.
I envision a castle tower with a crenelated battlement around the top and landing area. The front of the landing area has a lowered area to allow the dice to be easily scooped up for the next roll. But this is not too low to allow the dice to jump out when rolled. The light wood baffles will sound completely different from foam core and the baked polymer clay outside should deepen and quiet the sound as well as making the tower have the heft required for a better gaming experience.
Now I need to build the wood tower and order the clay and paint. I’ll need to test a simple tower to work out any issues with clay adhesion to wood through the baking process.
Update: I just had another brainstorm. Steampunk. How about a boiler room style tower that looks like it’s made from an old boiler with pipes and gauges and valves all over. I’ll probably try to do a design in blender, which I’ve been thinking using since Version 2.8 has just come out. Here are some items from Etsy for Steam Punk Dice Tower. None looks like what I’m thinking about. This Artistic Alchemy person has lots of dice towers for sale. All foam board construction apparently.
The first one is another variation on the Castle theme. Based on the size of the dice in the tray, it looks pretty small. Not suitable for 7 or 8 dice for D&D. The second one is in a riveted metal theme. Not really a boiler with pipes, and again pretty small. The last one is foam board with e-waste decorations – non functional of course. 😉 I need to get going on my dice boiler – can’t really call it a tower can we?
Update: Well, using Skulpy on a wood frame doesn’t really work because Skulpy doesn’t stick to wood. So if I make a Dice Tower I’ll just glue wood pieces together and paint it.