In honor of acclaimed role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons reaching its 45th anniversary this year, Wizards of the Coast has announced a limited run of special edition Sapphire Anniversary Dice. The game has reached new heights of cultural popularity in recent years, in part due to the release of its Fifth Edition in 2014.
Dungeons and Dragons was created by Gary Gygax in 1974 and has gone through several iterations since. The most recent version, the Fifth Edition, was released in 2014, and Wizards of the Coast has been releasing additional content for the game throughout the five years since its release. Dungeons and Dragons has had a tremendous influence on gaming culture; it is commonly seen as the beginning of the modern role-playing industry.
This week, Wizards of the Coast announced a new celebration of Dungeons and Dragons legacy. The publisher has manufactured a limited run of special edition "Sapphire Anniversary" dice sets to be released on November 21 for $299.99 These sets contain eleven anodized luxury aluminum dice and feature as their centerpiece a twenty-sided die set with a lab-grown sapphire in place of the twenty face. The other ten dice feature the Fifth Edition's trademark ampersand logo engraved in place of their highest value. The set also comes with a custom dice box and tray, as well as a sticker sheet, a foldout card with art, game statistics for a sapphire dragon (a monster not seen in Dungeons and Dragons since the Third Edition), and a sequentially numbered collector's card. Only 1,974 of these anniversary dice sets will be released, in honor of the year the game was first released.
Dungeons and Dragons has seen a surge of popularity due in part to the large number of actual play podcasts and web series made about the game (not to mention a memorable appearance in the TV Community). The most notable of these series, Critical Role, broke Kickstarter records earlier this year to fund an animated TV show. The game has enjoyed further popularity from the recent hit Netflix series Stranger Things, which has referenced the tabletop game constantly throughout its three seasons. The game is arguably more popular now than it has been in years.
While these special edition dice carry a hefty price tag, there is no question that Dungeons and Dragons has a large enough fan base to warrant them. D&D is a much-beloved game and a major cultural influencer. It has been defining the role-playing genre for 45 years, and it isn't likely to stop any time soon. Regardless of one's personal feelings toward the game, it would be difficult to argue that it has not earned the phrase it boldly presents on most of its Fifth Edition books: Dungeons and Dragons is "the world's greatest roleplaying game."
Source: Wizards of the Coast