A pair of good dice is a guilty pleasure for a tabletop RPG gamer. You can never have enough, but I can tell you this: None are going to be as flashy as Pixels. These dice have an ace up their sleeve that the rest of your dice don’t have, because they light up and allow you to play online.
Yes, Pixels are electronic dice. Externally they look like ordinary resin dice, but when you throw them, their numbers light up using programmable LEDs. This alone would be enough for many players to smash the buy button on Kickstarter, where the product has already raised $2 million. But there’s more: The Pixels have a Bluetooth connection.
These days it’s not easy to get together with friends to play. Lockdowns have made things very complicated, but even without a pandemic, RPG players live in different cities, move to other countries, or simply can’t meet for meet several hours at other people’s houses on a regular basis. Online role-playing platforms that allow you to play different games over video calls are popping up, and these dice are compatible with popular services like D&D Beyond, Roll20, and Foundry.
Both the lights and the Bluetooth run on small batteries and one die lasts around five hours on a charge. You can also turn off the LEDs to get in 20,000 rolls before the battery dies. Charging is wireless and uses an inductor hidden under one of its faces. The dice are sold separately or in kits containing D20, D12, D10, D8, D6, and D4 models.
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Of course, they are still dice and must offer completely random rolls. Pixels’ creators have resorted to using internal counterweights so that they are perfectly balanced. The only downside to this is that the internal electronics are completely encapsulated in resin, so they are not repairable. That said, the Pixels will also be waterproof.
Of course, none of this is necessary for your Friday game. There’s no need to argue whether Pixels are frivolous. They absolutely are, but you know you love them as much as I do. Of course, they’re not cheap. A single die costs $39 and the complete set of seven dice with its charging case costs $199. It’s an expensive doodad, but more than 14,000 people have ponied up the cash and the company expects to ship next March.