Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How To Get D&D Dice In A Pop-O-Matic Bubble--Cheap

Valhalla, I am coming.

Step 1: Get yourself a copy of Trouble. (Thanks Mandy!)
This is the one I got. Poor fucking yellow peg has no idea.

Note resemblance to Edvard Munch's "The Scream". 

Step 2: Get yourself a full set of tiny dice (thanks whoever sent me mine, it was ages ago and I forgot where I got them, I'm a jerk and I'm sorry--oh wait, they're the dice that came with LOTFP!).
I suggest you take out the extra d10--otherwise it gets crowded in the bubble and the d4 doesn't always flip.

Also: probably don't get those little metal ones. The exact reason they're good normally--they're heavy despite their size--is why they don't flip well in the bubble. Likewise, the reason regular tiny dice suck--they fly all over--is why they work in the bubble.

Step 3: Flip the Trouble board over and, using a flathead screwdriver, carefully pry the central hatch open. Go clockwise or counterclockwise, loosening the "north" then the "east" then the "south" side, etc.

Step 4: Marvel at the simplicity of the pop-o-matic bubble's construction: it's just a piece of sheet metal in a frame. It's not even glued in, just sandwiched between the hatch and the bubble.

From the bottom up, it's: hatch, sheet metal, dice, bubble.
Take the sheet metal and original die out and put your dice in.
Then close it up and test it.
Then take all the bits out again because you'll probably wanna trim the board down now and if you leave the bubble and dice intact while you do that they'll probably fly all over the place.

Step 5:  Trim down the board so it's just the bubble.
I used pinking shears to cut through the original rim, then scored the board with a razor in a straight line all the way across a few times, then bent it. It tore fairly clean.
Just do that 4 times.
Tip: don't trim the board too close to the bubble--you want there to be enough plastic left for the hatch to not get warped.

(At this point, you might be asking: Hey, why not trim it first and then pop the hatch? Because having the rest of the board there gives you more leverage and makes the whole operation easier.)

Step 6: Once it's trimmed, reassemble the bits. Flip it bubble-up and hammer the corners so the hatch gets stuck on nice and tight. Then put tape around the edges--this will keep the hatch on (though you can go ahead and glue it, too)--and will keep the sharp hard plastic edges from cutting anybody.
If you did it right, all the dice should roll each time you pop.

Step 7: Go "Yay, now I can roll all the dice at the push of a button! But...what will I play?????" And go buy a pdf of Vornheim for 2.50$ at RPGnow.


  1. Slick, DIY gaming project. I like.

  2. I've never seen these pop bubbles. Need to acquire one next time I'm stateside!

    1. The English version was called 'Frustration', you can still get it on the Argos website ( though I'm sure some cheapo Swiss toyshop will have a version of it too.

  3. I just want to point out that this revolutionizes road trips by allowing one to play (admittedly miniature-less) D&D in the car for those of us who refuse to just use a smartphone app for the same purpose.

  4. A friend and I were discussing just this idea at Gencon, for a friend of our who is a parapalegic, and has trouble rolling dice. While I am sad you stole my idea 8), I am happy to see it works. 8)