Merry Little Christmas to Me!

A joyous Epiphany to you all! I didn’t think I would have anything to post this holiday season, but it turns out I got some Shakespeare stuff after all!

Be these the wretches that we play’d at dice for?

My oldest told us all ahead of time that college had been particularly busy this year and that everybody would be getting their presents at some point after the holiday. This added a level of fun because each person got their present separately instead of getting lost in the chaos of the big day.

Both my daughters, at one point or another, fancied themselves writers — my oldest won NaNoWriMo at one point, and her younger sister is in fact, a published novelist. So we have a collection of story cubes scattered around the house. You’ve perhaps seen them, each side of each die has an icon – a man, a woman, an alien, a weapon, an animal … – and you use them however creatively you like to take turns making up stories.

You see where I’m going with this? Behold, from the brains behind Upstart Crow Creations … Shakespeare’s Plot Device Dice (which I’m inevitably going to continue to call Shakespeare Story Cubes)!

Five dice and six sides yield thirty symbols. Luckily there’s a guide to them all because some of the artwork does make you go, “uhhh…??” But how would you iconically show madness? or fate?

My only nitpick is the Death face which is labeled “Only Mostly Dead”. Don’t you be sneaking Princess Bride references into my Shakespeare toys 😉 Just kidding. I get it, and I appreciate it, but it is definitely out of place. There’s also “The Mighty Pen”, which I hope isn’t a reference to “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Because, you know, Shakespeare didn’t write that.

If Hercules and Lichas play at dice, which is the better man?

Like so many of my Shakespeare toys, I have no idea what I will do with this. But I’m happy to add it to my collection! I prefer to think of myself as more Smaug on his horde of gold than Gollum and his precious. My wife thought it was a game to play. I suppose technically it is, just not in the competitive sense. It’s more about storytelling. In theory, people go around the room and build a story collaboratively using what the dice tell them. My daughter chose it for me for inspiration because I, too, have attempted the NaNoWriMo challenge in the past. She thought I could use them when I get stuck on plot ideas.

I’m thinking about a game where you guess the play based purely on the dice (like with emojis). If I get any good results, you’ll be the first to know!

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