Here at Evil Hat Productions, we're getting ready to launch our own line of branded Fudge Dice, which we're calling Fate Dice™. We will make four sets (see below), and we're interested in seeing if you fine folks want us to take that even further. This Kickstarter campaign is how we're going to find that out!
Fate Dice™ are a premium line of Fudge Dice. Each package contains three sets of four 16mm fudge dice each (12 dice total). We've gotten right down into the details and rethought everything about Fudge Dice. We've made the symbols larger and wider, so they're easier to read (and can accommodate some thicker and heavier ink options). We've given the symbols more personality than before, with rounded, flared ends and a gentle curve expressed throughout the stroke. We're using materials and color combinations that have never been on the market before for Fudge Dice. For sale in game stores everywhere, we've designed the packaging to stand upright on its own, lay flat, or hang from a hook for an ideal range of display options. For our customers, we've put a "surprise" image behind the dice to give you an extra smile and thank-you from us here at the Hat.
When it comes right down to it, these are dice that you can display proudly alongside all the other fancy non-Fudge dice in your collection—we know you have one—giving your Fate and Fudge games an extra dose of style. Top to bottom, these are Fudge Dice reimagined—Fate Dice™!
The Fate Dice™ Line For This Project
At present we have four sets planned. We are investing $50,000 to produce these first four sets in quantities that hit or exceed the minimums needed for the materials we want to use, creating 8,000 units of each set—so this is a big investment on our part!
For this Kickstarter campaign, we will reveal a new set each week for the first four weeks, starting with the Centurion Dice set for our launch week. (This will let each set get its chance to shine -- and will help us gauge how exciting each one is!)
With that in mind, you can accelerate our timetable for revealing the three mystery sets we have planned. Hit the funding targets listed below before the planned "reveal" dates, and we'll reveal that set ahead of time.
If we hit our Early Batch stretch funding goal of $30,000, we'll work with you, the backers, to determine our next stretch goals through a blend of your ideas and ours.
These next stretch goals at $40,000 and beyond will be a Second Batch of one or more dice sets, shipping late this year or early next year (in the December to February range, give or take).
Pricing (and adding more dice)
If you just want something to do the math for you, download one of our pledge calculation spreadsheets and use it to figure out the amount you should be pledging.
Below is the MSRP pricing for our DICE IN A BOX reward tier. That tier starts with a $5 shipping charge baked in, and one of our $15 dice sets in the box. What ELSE goes into that box is up to you!
DICE IN A BOX starts with $20 for one $15 dice set of your choice (add $3 if you want your first set of dice to be the $18 set) shipped anywhere in the USA. But! If you're anything like us, you will want more than one set.
If you want more than one set:
- Centurion Dice: Add $15 to your pledge for each set
- Core Dice: Add $15 to your pledge for each set (see below)
- Atomic Robo Dice: Add $15 to your pledge for each set (see below)
- Dresden Files: Winter Knight Dice: Add $18 to your pledge for each set (see below)
If you want your Early Batch selections to ship separately from (and earlier than) your Second Batch selections, follow the additional shipment instructions as seen on the description of your reward tier.
- Valentine Dice: Add $15 to your pledge for each set (see below)
- Vampire Dice: Add $15 to your pledge for each set (see below)
- Eldritch Dice: Add $15 to your pledge for each set (see below)
- Leather, Ivory, and Brass: Still LOCKED! At $70,000 these will be available for $15.
INTERNATIONAL POOL PARTY pledges start with $90 in dice (6 $15 sets or 5 $18 sets), but adding more sets uses the same pricing structure as shown above.
To adjust your pledge during the Kickstarter:
- Click on "Manage Your Pledge", the big blue button at the upper right corner of this page.
- Enter in your new dollar amount (this is crucial)
- Make sure the appropriate reward tier (DICE IN A BOX or INTERNATIONAL POOL PARTY) is selected.
- Click the buttons to process your increased payment. This will send you through to the amazon payment authorization process.
The Early Batch (Shipping target: September 2013)
Centurion Dice! (MSRP $15) Our launch-time set comes straight from Spirit of the Century—12 pearlized dice in gorgeous, high-contrast colors: burgundy with white ink; golden with black ink; black with golden ink.
Core Dice! (MSRP $15) Our first revealed set comes straight from the colors of Fate Core—12 iridescent dice in lustrous, rich, jewel-like colors: blue, green, and purple, all with white inking.
Atomic Robo Dice! (MSRP $15) Our next revealed samples its colors from the Atomic Robo comic and roleplaying game—12 dice in all: 4 pearlized "robot body" grey with "blue eye" markings; 4 turquoise/cyan translucent "robot eyes" dice with white markings; and 4 translucent "science!" dice which will have white markings in the final version (instead of the black shown here). See the video below for more!
UPDATE! Here's a look at the Atomic Robo set with the new white ink on the green dice:
Dresden Files: Winter Knight Dice! (MSRP $18) Our final Early Batch set is in a bit of flux. The first round of prototypes we got had two styles we aren't as happy with, and one that we love. So we're rethinking the two other styles as described in the image and video below.
Right now the plan for Winter Knight dice is: four dice in light blue iridescent style with white markings; four dice in pearlized fiery orange with black markings; and four dice in pearlized dark blue with silver inked markings. Once we see the physical prototypes on those several weeks from now, more changes may ensue -- can't know until they're here! We'll inform you and listen to your comments every step of the way.
UPDATE! Here's a picture (in direct sunlight) of the set's new prototypes:
SECOND UPDATE! We've polled folks for a final take on the "fire" die from the set. Learn about the results here. With those survey results in mind we're going to be changing the black ink on the orange dice (seen above) to yellow ink to complete the fiery effect. Here's a digital mock-up of what that should look like:
Second Batch! (Would ship in early 2014)
At $40,000 and beyond, we are extending the Fate Dice™ line to include additional sets. The Second Batch dice will ship several months later than the Early Batch, likely in early 2014. They'll offer more variety and eye-popping color combinations.
If you want both Early Batch (above) and Second Batch (below) dice, you should consider a second shipment to avoid your Early Batch dice getting delayed until the Second Batch is ready. Details are found in the last paragraph of your reward tier.
UNLOCKED: Valentine Dice ($15 MSRP) — For that special character in your life! Three lush Valentine-themed styles — translucent pink and lavender, and a pearlized white with red ink. Perfect for dreamers, lovers, and white court vampires.
Update: Samples have arrived! We're likely to tweak the red ink just a little darker, but these are looking good.
UNLOCKED: Vampire Dice ($15 MSRP) —Vampire Dice will be an all-pearlized set. This set will feature bright red with black marking, royal purple with white marks, and a purple-tinted black die with white marks. Read the update for more info.
Update: Samples have arrived! And they're pretty damned great.
UNLOCKED: Eldritch Dice ($15 MSRP) — This set will feature glow in the dark ink, and a mixture of greens, greys, and purples. We're still exploring what this set might look like, and will check in with the backers to help guide our decisions on this one. Read the latest here (the reveal) and here (first batch of samples).
Unlocking at $70,000: Leather, Ivory, and Brass! (MSRP $15) This set will mix ivory, brown, and metallic copper/brass tones to produce a set that satisfies steampunks, rough riders, and space cowboys.
Update: Our first samples have arrived! There are a number of modifications we have in mind. Read more about those modifications on this recent update.
And here's the packaging:
How We Got Here
Fudge Dice and Fate have enjoyed a whirlwind romance since the Fate system's debut in the early years of this century. The rise in popularity of the Fate system from Evil Hat has massively increased the demand for Fudge Dice around the world. Through Evil Hat's own Spirit of the Century and Dresden Files RPGs and the widespread use of the Fate system in general, we've increased the sales levels of Fudge Dice by a factor of ten over the past decade, according to Ann Dupuis of Grey Ghost Games, the original manufacturer of most of the Fudge Dice on the market. That's been absolutely great for Fudge Dice, but not so great for the worldwide Fudge Dice supply, even as other third party manufacturers make the occasional Fudge Dice of their own.
Evil Hat is looking to change that. We started our journey into diceland at the beginning of 2012, and it's taken this long to find the right supplier, the right design, and the right timing. Now we're on the threshold of a big move into dice manufacturing, and we're excited to get it going!
With the Fate Dice™ line, we aim to create an always-available supply of Fudge Dice in a variety of eye-catching styles, materials, and colors to meet the needs of Fate and Fudge gamers everywhere.
Why call them Fate Dice™? It's pretty simple. Not everyone remembers to call "those dice for Fate" Fudge Dice, and not every retailer out there knows what kind of dice Fate uses. So in tandem with our relaunch of the Fate System (as seen in the Fate Core Kickstarter campaign), we're packaging these as Fate Dice™: Dice for Your Fate and Fudge Games. Turns out that when you put both names on your packaging, you increase the chances that folks will find what they're looking for!
For Our International Fans
International shipping costs have risen rapidly this past year, with the post office and other shippers sharply increasing already-high rates. Worse, we've seen rate increases occur in the time between when a Kickstarter funds and when manufacture and delivery are finalized for many campaigns (both for ours and those of others)—this leads to a budget-busting ballooning effect in the shipping costs.
Due to the peculiar timing of Kickstarter campaigns, where payments are decided and set in stone well in advance, we've determined that a high minimum purchase tied to a $30 shipping fee is our best (and really, only workable) method to offer an international shipping option.
This also supports the math that we used to build our Kickstarter goals for this project: we need shipping costs to represent no more than 25% of the contributions made to the project. The shipping dollars of each tier move us towards our goals just like any other contributed dollars do, but don't really pay for the manufacture of new sets of dice at all—so we must price each tier such that the shipping dollars are only 25% of the cost, at most. Applying our formula to a $30 international fee, we arrive at $120 total as the entry point for international pledges.
This was the logic going into our INTERNATIONAL POOL PARTY reward tier. We know it won't work for everyone (or even more than a few), but we felt it was better than offering no international option at all—which is what we were originally compelled to do.
But all is not lost if that's outside of your price range. We have a strong partnership with multiple international distributors and a few retailers that we should be able to leverage in order to get our product available overseas and across national borders. When it comes down to it, distributors can order in quantities that make the shipping costs a lot more acceptable overall.
Our primary recommendation to our international fans—short of finding a USA-based backer buddy who can reship to you—is to contact your local or online retailers and ask them to back this project (or at least keep an eye on Evil Hat's catalog as carried by their local distributor of choice).
Our international distributor and retailer clients include:
- In Australia: Good Games Canberra (Twitter, Facebook)
- In Canada: Lion Rampant Imports
- In France: Trollune
- In Germany: Ulisses Spiele and Pegasus Spiele
- In Spain: Conbarba
- In the UK: Esdevium Games
If you are an international retailer or distributor backing this project or planning to order Fate Dice™ once they're available, please drop us a note—we are happy to publicize your interest in carrying our line.
If you have no international distributor-using source where you can buy the dice, and the quantities of INTERNATIONAL POOL PARTY are simply not workable for you, you can wait until we have the dice in stock later this year and buy individual sets from our online store. That said, we should warn you: the shipping price could be as high or higher than the cost of a single set of dice.
Product Design: Fred Hicks
Brand Marketing: Chris Hanrahan
We love answering questions! If you have any for us, please ask in the comments, and we'll do our best to give you an answer quickly. You can also follow us on twitter at @EvilHatOfficial and on Facebook.
How many dice per package?
12. There are 3 sets of 4 in each package; each of the 3 sets has a particular material and inking style. We try to do some kind of thematic linking between the three sets within a package.
How big are the dice?
16mm. Essentially the same size as Grey Ghost's fudge dice, with the same great heft.
I noticed you've rearranged the order of the symbols on the faces, compared to other Fudge Dice I've seen. Why?
It's about axial traversal.
On the face layout that Grey Ghost Games uses, if you spin the dice along one axis, the four faces you encounter sum up to +2 (plus-blank-plus-blank); on another axis, they sum to -2 (minus-blank-minus-blank). On a third, they sum to +0 (minus-plus-minus-plus).
On ours, any axis-spin sums to the 4 times the average, +0: either a minus-minus-plus-plus sequence (1 axis) or a minus-blank-plus-blank (2 axises).
Our design matches how dice faces are arranged on a d6: 1 (minus) is opposite 6 (plus), 2 (minus) is opposite 5 (plus), 3 (blank) is opposite 4 (blank). Thus any spin around one of the three axises of a cube gets you the same sum.
Some of the engraving looks deep in those photos. I think that might affect the weight and the results of a roll. Do the dice roll evenly?
We've done a thousand-roll test of these dice and they roll pretty evenly.
In an eerie world where a thousand throws fell perfectly evenly, you'd end up with 333 of each result and one 'floater' as a spare (let's assume a blank); an average of 0; and a standard deviation of ~0.816.
Our thousand-throw test gave us 339 +'s, 355 blanks, and 306 minuses; an average of 0.033; and a standard deviation of ~0.803. That's pretty damned close to the eerie-ideal-world mathematically perfect but in-practice unlikely result; the spread of 49 results between the lowest and highest number is essentially negligible, and if we'd had the stamina to go up to 10,000 rolls, might well vanish. We're satisfied that if there is a bias, it is so slight as not to make a difference worth worrying over.
Is that seriously as low as you can make the international option?
Yep. See our explanation above, but this is the compromise we were able to find. Any lower and an international pledge would actually harm the project more than help it (sad reality of the math).
It's also about addressing the future cost of shipping -- we have to make a guess as to how much shipping costs will rise over the next 6-12 months, here. The past 6-12 months suggest it's going to happen. Right now a small flat rate international box from the post office runs $20, for example, not including handling charges from our shipper, and the much higher per-shipment time commitment necessary to process the customs paperwork for every non-domestic shipment.
This project was originally going to launch without any international shipping option at all. We're glad to have found a way to back off of that launch strategy, even if it's not going to suit everyone.
As noted, you can always buy a single set from our web store once the dice are produced! The shipping cost will be accurate (and by all signs disgustingly large) at that time, and the price per set will not be any different.
Can my dice be shipped with my Fate Core kickstarter books?
No. The timing and data coordination on that idea is a higher logistical load than a small company like Evil Hat can really accommodate, unfortunately. In a number of cases it might well mean you wouldn't get your books until practically (or actually) next year, too, which is potentially too costly to Evil Hat in terms of our taxable carry-over inventory going into 2014.
Will you be offering [style of dice I don't yet see above]?
Could be! Many things are possible if we're able to fund up into our "second batch" stretch goal territory.
Risks and challenges
Evil Hat is an established game company with a proven track record of delivering high quality games and game products. We've got the experience with Kickstarter and with making games to make this a smooth process all the way.
Finances: Our record of success puts us in a strong financial position for taking some risks in manufacturing dice. What this boils down to is simple—we've got the money to absorb any cost overruns we experience with this Kickstarter. Your dice will get made and they will be coming to you, full stop.
Supplier: Furthermore, we've partnered with Grand Prix International, a big name in games manufacturing, to make these dice a reality. We were put in touch with GPI by the big Munchkins themselves over at Steve Jackson Games; this is no fly-by-night manufacturer. They know their dice, and they could answer questions we couldn't get answered by any other supplier we investigated over the past year. Confidence in GPI is very high.
Shipping: Packages get lost. We'll send replacements. Shipping can take longer than expected. We won't put the dice on sale until all backer sets have shipped out. Shipping costs can end up higher than expected. We'll absorb the overage.
Time factor: The real cost of any big physical manufacturing product like dice is felt in time as much as money. Delays can and do happen, due to safety testing, package and prototype reworking, and more. That said, we've been able to invest the money to move us along to the point of having real, physical prototypes in hand for our Early Batch of dice. While we have a few adjustments to make to some of the prototypes we've received (including making a second mold), that should only add about one to one and a half months—which we've already factored into our timetable. We've given our approval and go-sign to GPI to get started on those adjustments. A few months have already been shaved off prior to this project. It will still be several more months before we have the dice made, shipped, and ready to go at our warehouse, of course—that's the reality of a manufacturing job like this. Six month timeframes start to finish are very typical. That said, we are definitely going to be dealing with a "slow boat from China" factor here, which is always a bit of a wild-card.
If there's any risk or challenge YOU can think of that we haven't mentioned here, please ask. We love to answer questions, and we do our best to provideLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)