Whether you have known about it since its inception in 1974 or have recently learnt about it, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is becoming more popular than ever with an estimated 13.7 million players. It has recently become “cool” again thanks to its inclusion in the popular Netflix show Stranger Things.
Arguably the most important object used during the game is a 7 piece set of dice. Whenever a player chooses to make actions that do not have an obvious answer, a roll of the dice helps indicate what will happen in the game. A simple roll of the dice can change the course of a D&D story in the matter of seconds.
What Dice Are Used in DND?
As I mentioned above, a 7 piece set of dice is used in D&D, all which have a different number of sides. The dice are distinguished by the letter “D” and the number of sides it has. For example, a traditional 6-side die that most people are familiar with, would be denoted as a “D6”. The other dice used in Dungeons and Dragons are D20 (the most used), D12, D10, D8, D6 & D4. There is also a percentile dice similar to the D10 except the number are 00,10,20 and so on, rather than single digits on a normal D10.
The D20 is the backbone of D&D. It determines how effective your attacks are in combat, as well as the initiative order in which you attack. It will also determine how skilled you are in a particular action. It can be your best friend at times, allowing you to sneak past that guard you are trying to avoid. It can also be your worst enemy, making you trip, stumble and fall flat on your face in front of that guard. The D20 can change the course of your entire campaign with a single roll.
The D12 is nowhere near as used as the D20. It is usually used to determine the amount of damage your attack has done in combat. The 2 handed great axe uses this die to determine its damage. The Barbarians hit dice, used to restore hit points, is also a D12.
The D10 is also most commonly used to determine damage. Some weapons, such as the battleaxe, are versatile, which means they can either be held with one hand or two. When they are held with 2 hands they deal more damage (A D10). The D10 is also used in partnership with the percentile die whenever the Dungeon Master asks you to roll for the percentage chance of something happening. To work this out, you roll both dice and add their values together. For example, if you roll a 40 on your percentil die and 7 on the D10, that would be 47%.
The D8, like the D12 & 10, is also most commonly used to determine damage. It is more common than the D12 & 10 as more weapons and spells have a D8 damage die. Common one handed weapons such as the longsword use this die for damage
The D6 is your typical die that is found in most board games, except this die has numbers instead of dots. Can you guess what the D6 is used for? That’s right… damage dice! It is quite common, just like the D8. The very powerful fireball spell uses this die (8 of them) as well as the rogue’s sneak attack bonus.
The D4 completes the set and also determines damage for small attacks, such as dagger damage and some low level spells. The D4 is also used in healing potions to determine how many hit points you regain from using it.
Different Makes Of Dice
A lot of players in the tabletop gaming community enjoy collecting these math rocks and are often referred to as “dice goblins.” A lot of players will purchase a new set to fit their brand new character in their new campaign.
Dice come in many different styles, including plastic, metal, wood and gemstone to name a few. There are pros and cons to each with plastic being the cheapest, with gemstone and other luxury materials being for those who can afford to spend a little extra.
Metal dice are much heavier than the more common plastic dice. They offer a much more satisfying roll as they crash into the dice tray. The are usually made with Zinc which is more durable than plastic, meaning they should last the length of time. A worthy investment if you play D&D regularly in my opinion,
There are any different dice storage options. Most players use a simple drawstring bag that holds all their dice in one place. However, if you start becoming a dice goblin, you may need something a little bigger such as a bag with pockets, separating each type of die. Sometimes, players want to make an impact when they pull out their dice. There are several handmade wood and custom plastic storage containers available online. Try browsing websites such as Etsy for ideas.
Dice Cleaning & Maintenance
If you want to keep your dice in tip top shape, it is important that you look after them. This applies more to metal dice than plastic. I would also advise rolling metal dice on a soft surface, such as a tablecloth, carpet or fabric. A simple fabric based dice tray solves this issue. It not only protects the game table from the sharp edges of the dice, it also protects the dice from scratches. Both metal and plastic dice should be cleaned once in a while with a soft cloth to keep them free of dust and stains.
Where Should You Buy Your Dice
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