D is for Dice #AtoZChallenge

Shiny diceI debated whether this entry would be about Dungeons and Dragons, or dice. You can tell which I chose.

I love dice. They are pretty and sparkly and come in such wonderful shapes. Yes, it’s a whole girly thing.

I suspect most people’s experience with dice is the six-sided variety, but dice for roleplaying come in various shapes (and sizes). They are referred to as polyhedral, because they have multiple sides.

Here’s a handy guide:

The standard Chessex or Crystal Caste acrylic fantasy dice come in these shapes:


20-sided (giving its name to the generic play rules called d20)

Percentile (two dice, one numbered with 10s, the other numbered with one through zero; together they produce a number from 01 to 100)

12-sided (seldom used, but mocked in this Order of the Stick t-shirt)

8-sided (used in d20 systems like Pathfinder for rolling damage for battleaxes, longswords and warhammers)

6-sided (they look different with numbers rather than pips, don’t they?)

4-sided (used for rolling damage for some light melee weapons)

Crystal Caste also makes a line of “crystal” dice in barrel shapes they say make for more accurate randomness. As you can see below, the 20-, 12- and 8-sided dice are the same. The percentiles are shaped differently (I’m missing one of the percentiles), as are the 6- and 4-sided. This set adds a 3-sided die. I don’t use this style as often; they tend to roll off the table.


Various other types of dice are available, depending on what gaming system you use. The Fate RPG, for example, uses 6-sided dice, marked with a plus, a minus, and a blank.

I buy new dice when we’re starting a new campaign, and suit the colors to the type of character I’m playing. I keep them in various dice bags, one of which is a leather bag purchased at the Tandy Leather store back in the early 80s. My dear friend Janica keeps her dice in a lovely Asian-style multi-drawer chest. She and I have been known to “squeeee” in delight at Chessex dealers’ booths at conventions.

Do you love dice? Share below!

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  1. Our Asian-style chest was one of my favorite wedding presents and makes choosing dice sets for each character all the more fun. Opening the tiny drawers to see the little jewel-like delights (yes, I know they are just polymers of some sort) still gives me great satisfaction. I also have some pewter dice, some carved from semiprecious gems and even a couple antique bone dice. But I still cannot wait for the next set of dice colors and finishes each season!

  2. I’ve never thought very much about dice. Maybe because I’ve never owned any as pretty as the ones in your pictures. The dark blue are stunning. I love sparkly things too. My favorite fishing lures are the ones with sparkles. 😉

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jillian! Oh, these aren’t even my prettiest ones, just the ones handy. When I see a lot of dice together, I just want to crawl into the colors. 🙂

  3. I didn’t know there were so many shapes, and didn’t pay particular attention either. Each shape seems to have its use, I guess. Your post is unusual and informative. Have a great weeek. http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com


  1. […] Donna also wrote about one of my favorite subjects, Dice! […]

  2. […] in particular where I spent a lot of time on this was when Scott (husband of Janica, mentioned in D is for Dice) ran a campaign called En Arcadia Est, also known as Saving Arcadia. It was a d20 Modern game we […]

  3. […] already seen a glimpse of my dice collection and the dice bag I use to hold them in D is for Dice, and a few painted miniature figures in M is for Minis. What’s […]

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