I admit to being a sucker for new gadgets to bring to the gaming table. So when
I read about
Spray Dice on io9, I knew I had to track down a can. I ordered two; they took
four months to arrive and the postal carrier made me
sign several chemical transportation forms to receive them, but they were well packaged
if minimally labeled (the art seen in the ad to the left is replaced, instead, with a
white label with black text).
As you can guess, Spray Dice are dice in a can.
The can looks and feels just like a regular
spray paint can (although the label cautions against shaking it as you do
with spray paint and adds "the numbering many will become confused and deathly when shaking
the can"). Instead of a push-to-spray nozzle, however, Spray Dice has a pre-loading
mechanism that clicks when you push it, releasing the exact same amount of
chemical each time.
Despite what the advertising artwork implies, however, Spray Dice
does not, disappointingly, spray actual graphics of dice. What
you actually get is a blob of goop that crystallizes into a flat shape with a
random number of sides, 2 through 30. You simply spray a glob, wait 7-10 minutes for it
to dry, then count the sides to find out what number you've rolled. It's clever, and
and a few cans would probably replace my entire dice bag if not for a few serious flaws.
First, the crystals are always evenly numbered (apparently that's just a property of the
crystals although the science is above my head). If you need an odd number, the label
recommends that you "total the reduction from one for the finished odd derive" to get
a number between 1 and 29.
Second, the smell is atrocious. After just a few rounds of combat at a recent game meet
up, the Pokemon players at the table next to us all got up and left and the building
owner asked me not to bring Spray Dice back ever again.
And third, you have to make sure the surface you spray your dice onto contains no
previously dried Spray Dice - if you do the crystals will
grow three-dimensionally into a jagged, dangerously sharp and surprisingly resilient
spiky bushy structure. I ended up going through most of a spiral notebook's worth
of paper spraying out numbers.
Spray Dice is a neat concept, don't get me wrong. But I have to give it one monkey
out of a possible twelve because it's really a noxious, messy product that's not very
good for the purpose it's intended to serve.