My favorite dice come from the first game that I ever played which resembled an RPG:
Sadly, I only have four dice left out of the original six.
They were very light: made of wood, painted white with black symbols (which were “dug into” the sides). Sadly the Black Die Symbol tended to wear off.
Hero Quest was quite simple, really. A little too simple, sometimes. Here’s a breakdown:
On three sides of the dice were skulls (3 in 6 chance). When these came up it meant how much damage was dealt. The more skulls that you rolled on an attack, whether by weapon strike or by spell, the better. However, you dreaded them when Zargon (the proto-Game Master) would roll a bunch of these. It was pretty easy for your hero to die in Hero Quest.
Luckily, one could roll White Shields to defend your little plastic hero or heroine from Death by Skulls. These symbols were on two sides of the die (2 in 6 chance). Each one cancelled out a Skull. You only got to roll “defense” dice if you had protection: armor or benevolent spells. Such a beautiful symbol, eh?
When the Heroes attack Zargon’s minions, then Zargon tries to roll Black Shields. These are only on one side of the die (1 in 6 chance). They seemed to only rarely appear except when it was really of bad timing for the protagonists. Ominous symbol, eh?
I’m pretty sure that I’ll keep these forever. They will eventually end up in my nostalgia box along with old birthday cards, gifts from my deceased grandparents and such. They hold a special place in my heart.