Release Date: August, 1999
Set Size: 6 Buttons
Publisher: Cheapass Games
Designer: James Ernest
Artist: Brian Snoddy
New Rules: Shadow Dice


Vampyres was released for the Gen Con Game fair in August, 1999. During this period in the development of Button Men, Cheapass Games was trying to denote all of its strange dice with typographical oddities like strikethroughs and overlines. This convention was soon abolished, so Vampyres is the only expansion in which Shadow Dice are denoted by an overline. In subsequent expansions, Shadow Dice are marked with a small “S” on the die frame.

Design Notes

Shadow Dice want through many design permutations before finally coming to have the function they do. Originally, they were called “Negative” dice and were treated as negative numbers in all regards. They were incapable of making Power Attacks, summed as negative numbers in Skill Attacks, and were worth negative points. Later they were granted the inverted Power Attack, called a “Shadow Attack,” which was to be their final function. James Ernest eventually separated two of the aspects of Negative Dice into two separate die types, Shadow and Poison Dice (Poison Dice appeared first in the BROM expansion, November 1999). The third aspect, in which the dice sum as negative in Skill Attacks, was discarded because it was essentially useless.

Among the Vampyres, Dunkirk and Starchylde are pretty well accepted as both the best looking and most powerful Button Men.

In the list below, Shadow Dice are represented as “sD.”

Name Die 1 Die 2 Die 3 Die 4 Die 5
Angel s4 6 s12 12 X
Buddy s6 10 s20 20 X
Dunkirk 6 6 10 20 sX
Starchylde s6 8 s10 12 X
McGinty 4 s10 12 12 X
Tiffany 4 s8 8 10 sX