The Data Arcana

The Data Arcana is my own personal talisman, a small piece of myself encased in polyhedral form and bound with the secrets of the universe. It holds the magic power of knowledge, wonder, and exploration, and with it you will discover that understanding the universe makes it a bigger place.

I would really LOVE to have this di custom etched, but surprisingly the demand for this is low enough that not many companies do it. Also, I mean, each di has 20 sides so I guess I’m not too surprised. The one company I got a quote from told me ~$6 per di for a minimum of 50, or more if I wanted gold or silver paint. I understand why it’s so expensive, but it’s too much. So, until I can get a laser and/or a 3D printer (I’ve run out of room for craft robots at our current house…) I decided to try vinyl stickers. I don’t realistically know how long the vinyl will stick, but so far they seem pretty sturdy. The vinyl is thin, so there isn’t much to get caught on anything to peel off. They were definitely tedious to put on, even using contact paper to transfer them, but it looks amazing and I’m really happy with how it came out!

The symbols are all old astronomy symbols for the planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, and comets. They stopped creating symbols for new bodies a long time ago, so I had to reach into modern astrology for one or two symbols to get a good variety. The symbols are arranged by their distance from the Sun (semi-major axis), with the Sun being the number 1. The number 20 is a symbol I made up based on the compass rose to represent exoplanets and distant stars. Ceres and Pallas are two of the largest asteroids and orbit in a near 1:1 orbital resonance with each other, so I arranged it such that they would be numbers 10 and 11 which lie on opposite faces of the di from each other.

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For the record, I can say with certainty (and a PhD in planetary science) that astrology is total bullshit- I encourage everyone to believe in the physical universe (including astronomy) and all the laws of physics that come with it. BUT, such concepts can provide good fodder for D&D scenarios in a world where magic is real. I don’t really know yet how I plan to use this in my D&D campaign yet, but this project was the perfect combination of my love of D&D and general fantasy with my penchant for sciart.