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How do I search for d6 dice with a blank 6th face? Question

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I haven't found what I'm looking for online, so I'm wondering if there is a specialist term for this type of dice that would give me better luck.

What I'm seeking

I'm looking for dice that are identical to standard d6 dice (pips representing the numbers) except with only the faces 1 to 5 having pips. The 6th face is blank.

Proof of existence

I know these exist, because they are the input resource for companies that print a customised 6th face. However, I haven't been able to find a source for the raw dice without any customisation (which presumably will be considerably cheaper).

Terminology

Is there a name for this kind of dice, or a search term that will work better? So far I have tried terms such as "d6 blank 6th face", "zero-indexed d6", or "customisable d6". The nearest results have been either completely blank (no pips on any of the faces) or pips on 5 faces but uninked, so the pips are barely visible. Since I'm aiming to prototype with several hundred d6 dice, I'd like to avoid having to ink them myself if possible.

Purpose

I'm working on a board game where each piece is a dice, and the number on the top face indicates which player controls that dice. A dice with 3 pips on top is controlled by player 3. All dice start out neutral, which in a 5 player game can be represented by showing 6 pips on top. The game would start with all dice showing 6, and then they would change to other numbers during the game, as players convert them.

It would be much easier to see where the neutral dice are if they showed blank faces instead of 6 pips. I'm open to other suggestions of how to make the neutral dice stand out, but all I can think of is printing a custom image, which is a more expensive option than simply having a blank face.

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3 comment threads

Alternative solution for my particular game (1 comment)
If it is just for your personal use, bundle all the dice together with the 6 up and spray paint this ... (3 comments)
Why do you need this? (2 comments)

2 answers

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You're not really using these dice as dice, but as markers. It sounds like you won't be "rolling" these dice, and therefore expect an even outcome between landing on each of the 6 sides.

Paint them

The first solution is to get ordinary dice, then mark them yourself. You can easily do this to 100s at a time. Abut them all in a rectangle with the 6 side up, then hold them in place by clamping opposite sides of this rectangle. Now run a paint roller across the top of the dice.

Don't spray

I see another suggestion says to use spray paint, but that's a bad idea. The spray will get into cracks, and will be very hard to apply evenly. Some might run down the edges. The result will look messy and be more visible from the 4 adjacent sides.

You want the paint to be on the face only, not along the rounded edge to adjacent sides. With the right kind of roller and thin layer of paint, it should look reasonably neat.

Use markers

This is actually an X-Y problem. You want to distinguish between a piece being unclaimed or belonging to a particular player. Address that directly.

You don't say how many of these pieces could be in play at any one time, but I'll assume the number is reasonably limited. The game would include a dozen (whatever the max number is, plus a little) pieces of each color, or shape, or whatever you use to distinguish belonging to a particular player. There would also be a dozen plain pieces. When a player claims a piece, he swaps in his own.

Cut colored sheets

If the number could be large, make the player pieces simpler. You are apparently OK with limiting the game to 5 players or less. Get 6 different color plastic sheets and cut them up into squares. They only need to be heavy and therefore thick enough to not blow away easily. Paper squares wouldn't work, but even heavy cardboard might. Think simple.

A few minutes with a paper cutter and 6 sheets of heavy colored cardboard should yield a large supply of playing pieces.

Patterns

For extra credit, you can print patterns on the sheets before you cut them up. If you're making the squares 15 mm per edge, for example, then a repeating pattern 3-4 mm in pitch would work fine. I'd leave the unclaimed markers unpatterned. It shouldn't be hard to come up with 5 easily-distinguishable patterns, where color difference is only a bonus.

Printed overlays

Instead of printing on top of thick sheets, print ordinary paper. With a color printer, you can print different colored patterns directly. Use adhesive-backed sheets, and stick them to plastic or wood sheets. 5-10 mm thick would be good. That's hefty enough to not easily blow away from someone walking by, and provides a little height to the pieces so they can be easily picked up with fingers. Think of something like Scrabble tiles, although a little thicker would be better.

A good material might be a 3/8" sheet of particle board or "hardboard". Those are easily cut in a grid pattern with a table saw.

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1 comment thread

Painting with a roller sounds ideal for me (2 comments)
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I don't know about the terminology, but a lot of Warhammer (Games Workshop) dice have a special design on the 6th face. This is not the same as a blank, but it could serve your goal of emphasizing the 6s (Warhammer also likes to emphasize the 6, which is why the dice are made this way).

For example:

But, GW being the greedy company it is, these are around 1-2 USD per die. Meanwhile, it seems like you can order a large lot of custom dice (and just give them a blank image for the 6 face) for less than 1 USD/die (vs. 5-6 USD/die for small orders): https://baronofdice.com/products/custom-dice So if you are planning to order "hundreds", and it's for your own original game, the custom dice are probably more cost effective than Warhammer dice.


PS1: I don't know anything about the merchants in this post, I just found them on Google as examples.

PS2: This seems like an XY problem to me - what you really want is not terminology but to get a large number of semi-custom dice on the cheap. The obvious missing piece is how much you would be willing to pay, at most. Also, how many you want, but since you say "hundreds" I suppose we can assume 200 would satisfy you.

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2 comment threads

Numbers and costs (4 comments)
XY problem (1 comment)

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