Thanks a zillion to Easy Roller Dice for sending this set to be reviewed!
I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons since 1989 so it's safe to say I've seen all manner of dice over the years. Generally I put dice, in my mind, into two categories: Utility dice and novelty dice.
Utility dice are the sort of dice that are ideal for use in game when what matters is how easy it is to read the numbers on the face and how evenly distributed the results are. In other words, I want dice that aren't weighted and are easy to read during a pitched battle with a pack of wraiths. By contrast, novelty dice are dice we get just for fun but may not necessarily be all that useful in game. It's like that big red d20 you can get that lights up and flashes when you roll a natural 20. Cute, but doesn't make it a better die.
So what about the Serpent's Blood set from Easy Roller? Well, they're a very nice set of dice cast from zinc and plated in black nickel, according to their website. They're the standard set of dice for use with roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons; A d20, d12, percentile dice (a d10 and a d10 printed in tens instead of ones), a d8, d6 and d4. They have nice, sharp edges and the bright green paint used to fill the numbers is easy to read, most of the time. I say most of the time because the surface of these dice is highly polished and depending on how the die catches the light you may have to move your head to the side to get the black nickel to contrast better with the ink. Still, they're a great looking set.
They came in a foam tray surrounded by a leather box, which in turn came in a reversible red/black cloth drawstring bag with a dragon patch on both sides. (Red dragon when the bag had the black cloth on the outside and a black dragon showing when the red was on the outside.) The bag is really nice and large enough to hold all of my other dice in addition to these. I worry that the dragon insignia will eventually crack and flake off, but for now it looks really cool. The leather case was spiffy, and the lid made for a decent rolling tray.
Why did I need a rolling tray? Well, these are metal dice and when we play Dungeons & Dragons at my place we have a plywood tabletop we lay over the top of our dining room table to make sure there's plenty of room for everyone. Roll these heavy metal dice on that surface a few times and you'll be reaching for your favorite headache medicine. I had the same problem with the stainless steel set I got a few years ago. Very nice looking dice, very loud on the table surface. Don't even consider rolling these on a polished counter or table top unless you want to destroy the finish. You can roll them on a book or in the leather case lid these dice came in, but the corners and edges will tend to leave dimples in the material you roll on. Use a harder surface and you risk chipping. I don't know how resistant the nickel plating will be on the Serpent's Blood dice over the long term, but I wouldn't even consider storing them without putting them back in their foam tray.
On the upside, the sharp edges tend to help with more even results when rolling. Dice with rounded corners tend to be more sensitive to being weighted if bubbles are inside the plastic during the manufacturing process. (This is why casino dice are clear and sharp.) I didn't notice any tendency to favor a particular number on any of the dice during our combat-heavy D&D session last week, though that isn't much of a scientific test.
The only other concern I have is some of the numbers aren't perfectly centered on the face of the dice, but that's minor. They're not that noticeable unless you're specifically looking, which I was.
Overall, this is really a nice set of dice and I enjoyed using them in game. Are they utility or novelty? Well they could go either way. I probably wouldn't have bought them for myself, though they make a great gift for the RPG gamer who has everything else. If you love collecting different sets of dice then I would certainly encourage you to pick these up, though your wallet will take a moderate hit for this set.
(Amazon Affiliate Link)