My Dice Tower: Picts & Sieges


(Picts vs Late Romans)

Some of you might ignore what is a the dice tower: it’s a game tool to roll dices in
an efficient and amusing way, a dice tower is a miniature hollowed tower with a couple or more deflectors inside , the dice falls from the top inside the tower, bounces on the deflectors and comes out of an opening at the bottom.
In the world of board games and rpg these towers have spread in recent years, but the idea comes from far away.
It seems that everything started in 1985 when archaeologists found in a roman villa in germany a metallic object, a dice tower of the 4th century AD, it was apparently a gift for the owner of the villa (probably the commander of a legion stationed on the empire frontier).

(the roman dice tower)

This tower was pierced with a a latin inscription:


The Picts are defeated.
The enemy is destroyed.
Play in safety!
Use it and live luckily/happily.)

This beautiful item also had 3 bells which ring when the dices come out of the lower opening.
An awesome artifact indeed.
In short, I decided to build my dice tower because … it’s fun.


(The inside of a Dice Tower)

I was thinking of making it in plywood and for that reason I first decided to make a cardboard prototype.
I started to use this prototype and I found it good and for now I did not feel the need for anything else.
And here the siege comes into play, in a sense.
I found in the house a perfect element for my tower:

The empty box of a “Zampone” (tipical italian pork sausage enveloped in a hollowed out pig’s trotter) eaten at New Year’s Eve and retained for future modeling projects,
it is made of plasticized cardboard of the right size.


(an example of a Zampone package)

I made three oblique cuts on it and inserted the cartboard deflectors (You have to be careful to leave enough distance to the dices to move from one deflector to the other), I cut also the front opening and then I covered the entire body of the tower with gray colored duct tape to increase its solidity.

And the siege? A legend says that the Zampone was created in 1510 during the long siege of the town Mirandola by the troops of Pope Julius II.
The besieged citizens to better survive the difficulties and to prevent the pigs that had been fattened up with such care from falling into the hands of the papal soldiers, ground the meat and stuffed it into the paw skin.




About lostpangolin

an italian pangolin lost somewhere
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