D&D with Eric the DM #6: D&D Dice Explained

D&D with Eric the DM #6: D&D Dice Explained

D&D Dice Explained: So you want to play Dungeons & Dragons? But do you know what D&D dice are used for in the game?

Free will is very important while playing character roles in a game such as Dungeons & Dragons. It's almost all open for your choices and you get to decide what your character does, says, acts, feels - your imagination is not limited to rules and regulations like other games! This is why we play, you can create anything you want and role with it, and your D&D dice are the key to making things happen!  

Your fate, however, is sealed with your roll of the very specialized Dungeons & Dragons dice, when you reach any point in the game and it comes to be your turn, you are under pressure to make a decision on what you want your character to do, and this is when it comes down to rolling those ever so beautiful D&D Dice - especially the ones your bought from TheTabletopGameShop. There are many D&D dice with a lot of strange and fascinating forms for Dungeon & Dragons, usually referred to as polyhedral dice! In Dungeons & Dragons, your D&D dice play is important when fighting happens. The fight usually consists of three sequences. You see whom you attack (or take the initiative) first. If you hit or breakdown the other opponents armour, then you roll to see how much damage you have done to their health or the points. You roll to see who you attack (or take the initiative).

Typically seven different die are there in the set of D&D dice, each with their own special purpose to play Dungeons & Dragons.  They are: D20, D12, D10 (x2), D8, D6 and the 4-sided or D4. Most sets comprise two D10s for percentage rolls.  These die in the D&D polyhedral dice set are explained below:

THE D20 (Icosahedron):

For game-play, the D20 D&D dice is essential! During battles, it determines who first strikes and how exact your strike is on an opponent. For example, you find a malicious living tree blocking your path. You are rolling a fifteen on the D20 D&D dice and for the evil tree, the Dungeon Master is ends up rolling a 13. You have the initiative and strike first in this case. The D20 D&D dice is also used for other in-game specifics such as spell checks, ability checks and more! This is the largest D&D dice in your polyhedral dice set and the most rounded dice as it has the most faces, 20. 

THE D12 (Dodecahedron):

A die within your D&D dice set that determines the battle damages almost exclusively is the D12 D&D dice. You and the monsters that you will encounter on your campaigns only have limited hit-points or "life points" in Dungeons & Dragons. You or the monster will be considered dead when the hit-points go all the way down to zero, makes sense right? You find out how much damage you do when you can strike your enemy as determined by the D20. This die isn’t a super common throwing dice in Dungeons & Dragons, but can also be used for parts of the game such as determining a timeframe within the game, such as hour of the day, month of the year etc...

THE D10 (Pentagonal Trapezohedron)

Like the D12, the D10 D&D dice in your Dungeons & Dragons polyhedral dice set is used primarily for determining damage caused by specified weapons or spells. In order to determine that something in percentage chance of success, your two D10s can also be used. You will notice in your D&D dice set that the D10 dice actually have different numbers on them, the first will be numbered 0-9 and the second will go from 00-90 in increments of 10. When rolling for “percentile” during your campaign, you must add the two dice rolls together, however be aware that when you roll two 0’s it is actually worth 100. 

THE D8 (Octahedron)

Like D12 and D10, the D8 D&D dice is used for damage determination more often. It is quite frequently used because it is the damage factor that can be handled on one hand and, on the other hand, it is free to use a shield. Carrying a sword and a shield is popular for the warrior classes, and they tend to carry weapons which can do the most damage and yet allow an additional shield protection. 

THE D6 (Cube)

The most common looking dice, it is often used in other games like Monopoly, Risk and many others but in reality we just refer to this one as the D6 D&D dice. But the D6, like all other D&D dice, in Dungeons & Dragons, uses traditional numbers rather than conventional spins. As mentioned, D6 is used to assess spell and weapons damage.

THE D4 (Tetrahedron):

For the weapons found in Dungeons & Dragons, the D4 D&D dice detects damage. It's one of the strangest D&D dice and most unloved, because on both sides there are several numbers making it tough to read for beginners and does not roll that well due to odd shape. The result is determined by the number along the bottom of the die when rolling a D4. To determine the number result, you only have to look at one side of the four-sided D&D die, since the other two sides have the same numbers. 

TheTabletopGameShop’s D&D dice look and roll very interestingly and their uses must not be restricted to just Dungeons & Dragons! These polyhedral dice might be fun to spice up in other games as well, and are also commonly found in other RPG games like Pathfinder! So if you are into board games, role playing games or just want some to have on hand to be prepared for game night with your friends, check out our massive collection of D&D dice and accessories at TheTabletopGameShop

Keep on Rollin’ 

Eric the DM


Hey, Adventurer! Eric the DM here, thanks so much for checking out this blog! I try to create a lot of unique content, but also love fan submitted work. Do you have any D&D content you’d like to share with the community? Send me your work on social media or by email and if it passes guild approval, I’ll get it on our social media channels & website! Email me at info@thetabletopgameshop.com or message me on Instagram, @TheTabletopGameShop

Previous article D&D with Eric the DM #7: Back to Basics III
Next article D&D with Eric the DM #5: Back to Basics II