- Roll For Initiative!
- The Most Accurate Dice for DnD:
- The Best Metallic Dice Set:
- The Best Bulk Dice Sets:
- The Best Specialty Dice Sets:
- How to Test Your Dice:
- Polyhedral Dice for DnD
- Random Rolls: What makes the best set for DnD Dice
- Different Materials Used For Dice:
- Dice Budget
- Dice Readability and Style
Roll For Initiative!
If you’re looking for the best D&D dice, you want it all. They should roll well and look good while doing it. Rolling well-meaning random, fair and not weighted. Although, if rolling a natural 20 is slightly more common, that would be ok with me.
Generally, though you want a good set of dice that look great and feel good in your hands. Confidently roll your saving throws.
Style is subjective. You might like swirly bright colors or you might be more drawn to a metallic look. Stone material or clear.
Big or small. It’s all good and as long as they are high quality and well made, you can pick what you like, there are options for a lot of different looks that also roll well.
When it comes to fair, well-balanced, truly random dice, you need to be a bit more discerning. How the numbers are carved into the dice, if there are air bubbles in them, how the edges are rounded, if they are made from multiple different materials… this all plays a role in your roll.
After testing a TON of dice, I realized that among all the options there are definitely better quality sets out there. Some very good dice, and some really bad sets.
As far as accuracy goes there is GameScience, and then the rest. GameScience makes theirs differently than every other non-metallic dice maker.
That said, it’s a small difference that you won’t notice if you find a good set of dice. Further, the GameSceince are hard to read unless you get the inked ones, and frankly… dull looking.
For good quality sets that tested really well, I’ll list my favorites below. Generally speaking, my suggestion for you is to get one good set of metallic or specialty dice, and one GOOD set of bulk set of dice.
For specials, I use two: SkullSplitters and the Blacksmith Craft Dice as I found them to be the best blend of fair and cool looking. For your bulk set, get one of the ones I list below. Then you need to test the bulk set to find the best of the bunch. I’ll show you how to test your dice below too.
The Most Accurate Dice for DnD:
As I said, for pure fairness it’s GameScience. They are cut from the sprue, not poured into a mold. They are not put in a rock tumbler like pretty much all other dice out there. They are very evenly cut. The look is nothing fancy…they’re all about rolling as fairly as possible.
Here is the GamesScience’s Louis Zocchi talking all about it:
The Best Metallic Dice Set:
I tried quite a few and these were the best I found. For my testing, they rolled surprisingly well. Just about as fair as GameScience. They looked better doing it though, and I like the heft to them. On the con side, I do suggest getting a dice tray for these as they’ll mark up your table for sure. They’re also loud unless you use a good tray.
The Best Bulk Dice Sets:
Both of these scored well in my tests with very few “bad” dice in the sets. I never saw one air bubble in my sets and one of the few bad dice happened to favor rolling 18… which was kinda ok with me?
The Best Specialty Dice Sets:
These are high quality and fun. Not especially ultra-accurate but they are fair and look good. Many of the other specialty ones I saw scored poorly on tests. I don’t know if it was the patterns, materials or air bubbles, but a lot of them were skewed. These two sets were not.
SkullSplitters: These win for me. Literally. These are the dice I pull out when it’s do or die. The case is awesome, they look great and they passed my fairness tests.
Q Workshop Cthulhu: I personally don’t do the Cthulhu dice thing but they do look pretty cool and passed the tests very well. Many sets like this look ok but roll terribly. So these get a spot on the list.
Titan Dice: Very cool set, had to include these. I love the feel of these dice, looks great, rolls well. Great all arounder if you dig the size:
How to Test Your Dice:
There is a way to test the balance of your dice using saltwater. Take one-third cup of water and add three tablespoons of salt. Mix well until the salt dissolves. Drop a die in the saltwater. It should float. Use your finger to spin the dice multiple times and keep track of the distribution of results. If your dice has a balance problem, you will see it in the statistics.
Here’s a short video on the process:
To further help you pick a great set of dice that not only plays well, but looks awesome on the table, we’ve put together this quick primer on the 6 shapes of dice, how they are used, and how to choose a quality set that will give you truly random rolls.
Polyhedral Dice for DnD
To play Dungeons & Dragons, you can start with once each of the following dice: The D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20. A standard 7-piece set comes with all the dice listed, plus an extra D10 for percentage rolls. While you only need six dice to play D&D, many gamers like to keep multiples of certain die so they can roll pools of dice. For example, instead of 3 individual rolls, you can use 3 D6 at once.
Here are the basic dice used in D&D:
- D4: Tetrahedron — This 4-sided die is made up of triangular faces which form a pyramid-shaped die. While the tetrahedron might look cool, the long flat sides make these dice hard to roll.
- D6: Cube — A D6 is the typical 6-sided die that can be found in most board games and is used in D&D. It is used to roll multiples when you want a low average roll, like 2.5. A common use for 4-sided die is to find the damage done by small weapons.
- D8: Octahedron — This die is good for rolling damage from larger weapons. It is made of 8 triangular faces and looks like two pyramids attached by their bases.
- D10: Pentagonal trapezohedron — This die is one of the most-often used in D&D games. In fact, the standard 7-dice set comes with an extra 10-sided die. Each one is numbered differently. The faces are numbered from zero to nine on one, while the faces on the other are numbered from 00 to 90 by increments of ten.
- D12: Dodecahedron — The faces on the 12-sided dodecahedron are pentagons. This die is not used as often as the D10 or D6, players will use it at times for damage rolls. It’s also good for finding the month of the year, or the hour of night or day.
- D20: Icosahedron — Some would say, the icosahedron is the signature die of D&D. The many triangular faces give it an almost spherical quality. Players use the 20-sided die to find out if an action was successful, like skill checks, ability checks, attacks, and saving throws.
Each value on the die has a 5 percent chance. You roll the D20 to find out whether you hit an opponent. Then, you will roll smaller dice to find out how much damage you have done. For small weapons, you’ll roll the D4, for larger weapons you’ll roll D6 or D8 dice, and for the biggest weapons, you’ll roll either the D10 or D12.
Random Rolls: What makes the best set for DnD Dice
There are so many different choices when it comes to D&D Dice, from the material they are made of to the face design, there is a lot to consider when you want to pick out the best dice set for D&D.
The most important factor, of course, is how it rolls. For your dice to roll fairly, with an equal chance of any number coming up, you want to ensure that your dice are cut accurately and weighted evenly.
Here are the main things you want to look for in a quality dice set:
- Even Cut
- Weight distributed evenly
- Uniform materials
- Numbers carved in them are not too jagged or deep
- Easy to read
You want the faces to be cut accurately. If the faces are even slightly larger or smaller on one side, for example, then the die will not roll evenly. The same is true for weights. You want the weight of the sides to be equally distributed.
Here are some of the things that can cause uneven weight distribution in dice.
- Air Bubbles in the cast
- Uneven cuts make the sides roll improperly
- More than one material might make the weight be off
Small differences in face sizes. Even a small difference in size can cause uneven distribution in your rolls.
Air bubbles in cast dice. Some kinds of dice, like resin, metal, and acrylic are cast or poured into molds. This process can cause the formation of air bubbles inside the dice. If the bubbles are unevenly distributed or of different sizes, they could affect the balance of the dice.
Mixed materials. Some dice are made of more than one type of material. Say, nickel alloy with enamel. It’s more challenging to do precision work when you are working with multiple materials.
Different Materials Used For Dice:
D&D dice come in a wide variety of materials, including metal, plastic, resin, acrylic, and stone.
Metal: Most metal gaming dice are made of zinc alloy. Manufacturers choose it because it is relatively easy to work with and is a budget-friendly material.
Plastic: Standard dice are often made of plastic. Either resin or acrylic. Some manufacturers avoid resin because of the air bubbles we discussed earlier in the article. In the case of translucent dice, air bubbles can affect the look and also the balance.
Resin: This material is easy to work with, like acrylic and can be used to make a wide range of great looking opaque dice.
Acrylic: This is the material of choice for transparent dice. Acrylic is durable and holds up well against rough play. It also has a great shine and takes color well.
Stone: While stone can be used to create dice. It is not really durable or precise. Stone is hard to work with and has a tendency to chip.
With such a wide selection in dice materials and designs, there are dice sets that fit into every budget.
For new players and people on a tight gaming budget, there are affordable options and bulk options. Most dice in this category are made of plastic, either resin or acrylic.
If you are passionate about Dungeons and Dragons and you want a high-end, durable or just really decorative set, there are several options in the higher quality category, including metal and gemstones.
Dice Readability and Style
The last thing to consider when you are selecting the right D&D dice set is the style and readability. These, of course, are very personal choices. But the main questions you want to ask when you look at various options are:
How big are the numbers on the die?
How clearly marked are they?
When you are actively playing, you’ll want dice that are easy to read quickly.
That being said, there is a dizzying array of designs and styles you can choose from, including metallic, multi-color opaque resin, glitter, transparent, gold-embossed numbers, and themed, such as Cthulhu.