Thursday, April 4, 2024

#AtoZChallenge2024: D is for Dice

Dragon Dice
$3.97 in the 80s. A LOT more now.
One topic spans the years and editions of Dungeons & Dragons and many other Role-Playing Games.


One of the features of D&D has been the use of and inclusion of "polyhedral" dice. Each is used for various things in the games, which can sometimes lead to confusion with new players, but a lot of fun for experienced players.

The dice are used for various random numbers.  A typical set includes the following:

  • d4 Four-sided dice
  • d6 Six-sided dice (the most common)
  • d8 Eight-sided dice
  • d10 Ten-sided dice (for percentile roles)
  • d12 Twelve-sided dice
  • d20 Twenty-sided dice (the most popular)

These dice got their start as various Platonic Solids and were originally from a teacher supply store to teach math. I have in turn used them to teach my own kids math and used them in my stats classes to teach probability.

The old Basic sets all used to come with dice, except for the Holmes set. There was such a demand for dice then that TSR had to ship many set with "chits" instead of dice.

Chits in Holmes Basic

Like many gamers I have a lot of dice. Even though they are all just variations of the same 6 dice, I have different sets I like to use for different games and different themes.

Ravenloft Dice

This is the set I use when playing Ravenloft of any other Horror themed D&D-like game. Made up of black and red dice with some Castles & Crusades dice.

D&D Dice

These are my main D&D dice right now.

Ghosts of Albion

My Ghosts of Albion Dice.

Drow Dice

I got a bunch of Drow Dice at Gen Con and have used at Gen Con when running the GDQ series.

Old Dice

Some of my oldest dice. Used these throughout high school.

Witch Dice

Various witch-themed dice.

Halloween dice

Halloween-themed dice!

Old Dice

More old dice to add to my collections.

Holmes dice

Some "Holmes-themed" dice, including some Gary Con ones.

Here are two of my newest sets.

Replica dice

These are replicas of the old "Basic era" dice that shipped with the Cook/Marsh Expert set, and the Mentzer Basic and Expert sets. Yes, I had to use a crayon for these!

More Witch Dice

I got this set at Gary Con, so they are only about two weeks old. I got them at The Bewitched Parlor at Gary Con. The dice bag is from my wife from this past Christmas.  Since I loved themed dice for my characters, the old-school blue set will be for when I play Sinéad, and the purple set will be for Taryn.

Dice have even become a secondary market catering to Gamers. And there are some really nice ones out there.

Places like Dice Witchery, ZucatiCorp with their Holmage DiceThreshold Diceworks, and so, so many more.

Tomorrow, I take a step back to talk Expert Sets to round out my week of some Classic D&D themes. 

The A to Z of Dungeons & Dragons: Celebrating 50 years of D&D.


PT Dilloway said...

I would expect that besides matching themes there are people who like with gambling or sports feel a certain set of dice are "lucky" for them. The candy corn dice are great though.

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

By golly. Thanks for the memory jolt. Dice you had to use crayons for to see the numbers! I began playing AD&D back in 1981. I was one of only two female players in all Denmark I think. The other played in Aarhus, far away, and we never met. My husband-to-be was DM, and boy did we have fun. We still have those old dice, some of them so worn they are banned - the chi square test did reveal them as false!

Dick McGee said...

Aw, an old Dragon Dice starter set bag. How nostalgic.

Chef Katrina said...

My brother plays a lot of games and he has tons of dice. Thank you for sharing your passion and educating me on the game of D&D. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts. My favorite dice that you showed were the witch set and the one you are currently using.

Mystee said...

I can admit I know little to nothing about D&D, but this was actually really interesting.

Sore is more said...

Hi Tim,
Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog! Very brave of you, given its contents haha. I've been posting my stories every day so far. April A to Z is quite a challenge!

As for D&D, I know nothing about it, except that I have a close friend who plays regularly, and, of course, I sent him to your blog!

Also quite by accident, I stumbled upon a Tumblr account who makes custom D&D dice, very unique and beautiful. If you're interested, let me know, and I will send you her account/store.

Best regards,
Sore is More

Jayden R. Vincente said...

So many dice! LOVE IT!

~Jayden R. Vincente
Stopping by from A to Z
Erotic Fiction Author

Sean Holland said...

Ah, dice, are an almost universal obsession among D&D players. One that I am not immune to.

Jeanine Byers said...

Ooh, look at the mojo bags! You know, you can fill them with crystals and other things and make wishes. Oh, god, statistics! Thank goodness for the guy in the lab who took pity on us and gave us all an A. That is how I got a B in the class. "Two-way anova" is the only thing I remember from that class, but I don't remember what it means, LOL. Of course that was decades ago! Neat that you used the dice to teach your kids math. I homeschooled my son, and we did some gameschooling too. So D&D is a role-playing game? Clearly, I know very little about it.

Srivalli Rekha said...

So many dice! I like the purple ones. :D

Gonz said...

You have some very nifty items in that collections, sir!