Over on Grognardia, James has another "Ads of Dragon", this one for the Fair Shake dice tower. He ends the post wondering why someone would spend $ on something that they can do by hand. While I don't have an answer for him, I do own a dice tower. Mine is unique, though. I made it.
I've been taking pottery classes for about 2 1/2 years, and a little over a year ago, I was looking for something a little different, a little more complex than the boxes, bowls, mugs, flowerpots, and plates I had made so far. I wanted to make something big. Something that I could point to and say "Yeah, I made that". Something that was a conversation starter and related to my other interests. I decided to make a dice tower.
Why a dice tower? I don't really know. I never owned one, never really wanted one, and truthfully, thought they were a bit silly. I agree with James-why use something like that to roll dice when using my hands or a cup is easier, faster, and just as good? Still, I had the materials, the time, and the motivation, so I started working on it. My class only met once a week, so it was a slow process. For 6 weeks I rolled clay, cut slabs, fit pieces together, explained to the others in the class what it was and talked about gaming, getting the usual questions like "People still play D&D?" Finally it was ready to be fired. I was afraid it would fall apart in the kiln, or it would get broken at some point. But no, it made it through the firing. One more class spent glazing, wondering if I was using the right colors or what it would look like when completed. Another firing and it was done. It now sits on top of one of my bookshelves, waiting to be used in a game. I'm sure someday I will use it in a game, and I do occasionally take it down and drop a die or three down the chute to hear them bounce around and roll out the bottom.
Even if it doesn't get used, I can still point to it, smile, and say "Yeah, it's a stoneware dice tower. I made it."