“Which dice are best for D&D?” could be one of the largest rabbit holes of all time. Many players, both experienced and new, usually don’t just pick a specific kind of die. There are a lot of brands out there that choosing a preference could very well make you feel like you’re picking out your first car.
The best set of dice for a player often depends on three things:
- How often that player does D&D;
- If they are new or experienced;
- And just how effective they want their dice to be.
Your skill or dedication to the game of Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t matter all that much, because there is always a set of dice that’s a perfect fit for anyone!
What Exactly Are D&D Dice?
If you are brand-spanking-new to the Dungeons and Dragons community, you could not have stumbled upon a more helpful, yet possibly controversial topic as a player’s dice. If you are new, you might not understand the variety and selection when it comes to dice — but we promise, you soon will.
D&D, like a few other tabletop games, use more than just your classic six-sided die. A typical batch of D&D dice includes:
- A d4
- A d6
- A d8
- Two d10
- A d12
- A d20
If those indicators are confusing, just understand that the letter “d” stands for “die,” and each number represents the number of sides on a die. So, if during your first session, the Dungeon Master (aka, the DM), asks you to roll a d20, then you should pick up the twenty-sided die and give it a solid chuck!
Each die is fairly easy to tell apart from the other, save the two d10’s. One of these ten-sided dice has single digits, from 0-9. This die is used to measure numbers from 1 to 10. The 0 on them represents 10.
The other d10, however, has two digits on each side. This is often called the percentile die. This d10 ranges from 00-90, with the 00 representing 100. It is called the percentile dice because, if you roll it with the normal d10, it allows you to make a percentage.
So, for example, if you roll an 8 on the 0-9 d10 and a 50 on the percentile dice, that makes a 58. The rest of the other dice are fairly self-explanatory, and each set will have all you need.
How Do You Choose Your Dice?
So here’s the dicey (get it?) rabbit hole. You already know what dice you will use and how to use them. So how do you pick the right set?
To make things as simple as possible, you can divide all the kinds of dice out there into three separate categories:
- Beginner dice
- Non-acrylic dice
- Precision dice
The thing here is that beginner dice are always budget-friendly. They’re cheap. But that cheapness comes with a drawback. They look plain, land more on some numbers, and most likely won’t last too long. The other two kinds of dice excel on the other two, but they’re too expensive for beginners to afford.
Think about this, though. Perhaps sometime in the future, you might want to make an upgrade. So what do you choose? Non-acrylic dice almost always look great. They’re made for aesthetics. On the other hand, precision dice are made so they’re as random as they can be.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at our recommended dice sets!
A Guide to Beginner Dice Sets
The first thing you are going to need to ask yourself is what is your budget. You may not believe this, but you could drop anywhere from $5 to $500 dollars on a set of dice. Not to mention, there’s a handful of non-acrylic dice makers who could take you into four or five digits for a set of dice. So, deciding off the bat what your budget will be for your dice is crucial.
Beginner dice sets are cheap because they’re made in such a way that manufacturers could just make a ton and call it a day. They make these out of acrylic resin, which is a tough thermoplastic that melts in high heat and hardens at room temperature. But because they’re made in large batches, there are small, microscopically sized defects that make them land on certain numbers more than others.
These things weren’t meant for precision. They were made for people who want to try out a D&D game for the first time.
But First, Our Selection Criteria
With D&D dice being such a passionate topic among gamers, it’s reasonable to expect us to be a little bit particular about which ones we wanted to include on the list. After all, nobody wants to show up to the game with a dud set of dice, right?
With that in mind, there were a few things we considered before including a particular set of dice onto our list. For instance, we wanted to make sure:
- The price was fair. You’re not going to find any exorbitantly expensive dice on our list. Yes, some may be somewhat higher in price, but that’s for entire sets (and are totally worth it!).
- They were attractive. It may seem like a silly criterion, but it matters to us D&D gamers, okay? Nobody wants to be the player with the ugly ol’ dice.
- The reviews were solid. Sure, the dice can look good, but do D&D players actually like them? If they’re not good enough for other gamers, then they’re not good enough for us.
- They were available and in stock. Yes, that artisan dice set from the small boutique shop will get all the oohs and ahhs, but we wanted to make sure everyone could enjoy the dice on our list. That’s fair, right?
With that in mind, and without further ado, let’s go ahead and take a peek at the dice we’ve hand-selected for you!
Jade-like for the Brave-like Player: Jade Dice by HDdais
For new players, a beginner set won’t just be cheap. Nevertheless, you will still have a decent selection of the color you want for your set. Just take a look at this set of Jade Dice by HDdais.
It’s not really jade (hence the affordable price), but it’s a fantastic first set for those looking to save some money. Any novice D&D player would be happy to have this set in their arsenal.
- Looks like real jade
- Very affordable price point
- Good balance and heft
- Doesn’t feel like real jade
- No pouch
Marbled Maker: Marbled Dice by D20 Collective
If that wasn’t quite to your liking. and you want a wider selection of color, these Marbled Dice from D20 Collective offers a host of options. You might as well pick your favorite colors as beginners, especially if you’re planning to become casual gamers. Sure, there are other ways to determine which kind of dice you want, but newer players should try and keep it simple.
- Plenty of marble-designed dice sets to choose from
- Waterproof and won’t oxidize
- Satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer
- Doesn’t come with a pouch
- A little bit lightweight
Anti-Pickpocket and Misplace-Proof: Dice Pouch and Dice by QIELIZI
Finally, one of the most terrifying things that a new player might do would be losing their new dice. For anyone who isn’t super good about keeping track of things and needs a place or something to hold them in, this QIELZI dice sets will be perfect for you!
By paying a bit of extra, you’ll get a matching pouch and dice chassis. The dice pouch keeps all of your dice together for when you need them while the dice chassis makes sure that they won’t fall under the table when you do a lucky throw for a 99!
- Actually comes with a dice pouch!
- Has a dice chassis add-on
- Fancy pouch design
- A gorgeous array of colors
- Costs a bit more
- Has a strong chemical smell at first
- Risk of a “fumble”
What About Non-Acrylic Dice Sets?
In case you didn’t get it yet, not all dice are made out of plastic. Most dice that you will find on the lower end of the price range will usually be made with acrylic. While there’s not much of a problem with that, some dice just look a lot better when made from other materials.
The prices for non-acrylic dice sets vary from almost expensive to super expensive. That’s just what they are. Almost all of these are made by expert artists, handmade into dicey perfection. And they feel just as perfect once they get to be played by your own hands.
Since non-acrylic dice sets are made by specific artists who usually have niche roles in dice-making, we’re going to recommend you a few with noteworthy works that you’ll definitely enjoy!
They’ll Make Dice Out Of Anything: Artisan Dice
To start off, Artisan Dice makes dice from literally anything. At the time of writing this article, they have made dice from bones, candy canes, and horns, among others. Out of all of these, one of our favorites is the Memento Mori D20. It’s a true example of artistic dice that fits into none other but the best necromancer’s repertoire.
Besides D20s, they also make whole sets and Christmas collections. Just remember that these guys don’t just make their own dice for cheap. Each one is handmade and unique to the other ones they make, even if they come from the same collection.
- Handmade dice
- Comes with a satisfaction guarantee
- Lots of D20s whenever you need it
- Some sets come with special containers
- Their sets are made from exotic materials
- Steep price for just one die
- Some sets don’t even come with a pouch
- You might be inclined not to use them because of how nice they are
Made For Games: Misty Mountain Gaming
If you are looking for a more affordable option that is non-plastic, there are still options out there for you! One of the cheapest options, when it comes to non-plastic dice, is wooden dice. Wooden dice maintain a fairly low price range because they don’t need to be heated and molded like metals or gems, and burning or inlaying the numbers on the various dice faces requires less work.
Misty Mountain Gaming is our go-to when it comes to non-plastic dice. They have a pretty nice collection of dice, but what we really love is their Blue-White Rainbow Wood Dice Set. Its coloring is super consistent and awesomely mesmerizing.
One thing you always have to be careful about, when picking your dice, is that you balance color with legibility. Some players just purchase dice that look really cool but spend a good portion of the gaming session glaring down at the dice trying to see what they just rolled.
You’re not gonna love that when you’re playing a game for three hours. But Misty Mountain Gaming pulls that off fancifully, so kudos to them!
- Specializes in wooden dice
- Unique dice feel and sound when making rolls
- Lifetime warranty for chipped dice
- Lovely wooden feel
- Wooden dice tend to bounce more
- Higher risk of a “fumble”
- They may chip or break
Deal The Most Damage: Die Hard Dice
Finally, any good dwarf will tell you that good old metal would do you good as a dice set. While they don’t come in a variety of colors, metal dice have an appeal of their own. The overall weight makes every single roll feel powerful as if each decision and attack is set in stone.
The people over at DieHard Dice specialize in making a lot of metal dice, keeping the price range relatively cheap in the $50-60 range.
Perhaps our favorite of all their dice sets would be the Mythica Dark Iron set. Often, one of the downsides of metal dice is that their sharp corners do damage to your table, so you have to roll in a dice container or padding of sorts.
The Mythica series, however, preserves the rustic and raw feeling of metal dice, without any of the table-damaging sharp edges. They have other colors and collections for those who want a more polished feel, but the Mythica Dark Iron is the best.
- Their metal dice give an authoritative feel while rolling
- Makes gameplay more dramatic
- Dice have a solid heft, keeping them from rolling off the table
- Sharp edges of metal dice could scratch or dent your table
- Metal dice require their own container since they’ll damage plastic
Best Precision Dice
When it comes to dice, some players only care that each roll is well and truly random. This is an important concern and something you should check before using a new set. If your d20 lands on 13 eight times out of ten, you might want to use another dice.
After all, the randomness of seeing if characters succeed or fail in their gambits relies mostly on the dice. If they aren’t fair, it will just ruin the game.
This is where precision dice come in: dice designed so for pure randomness. Most of these are made of plastic or non-valuable gemstone material. They are often dyed into simple colors, but what is truly amazing is how well balanced they are compared to other dice. These dice don’t have their edges smoothed out, meaning that the dice will roll will be well and truly random.
The Beginner’s Precision Dice: Chessex Dice
The problem with most dice makers is that they only make a few stocks of dice sets and never bother to replenish them. It’s understandable, though. There aren’t too many people looking for the really high-end stuff.
And among those who do, they’d rather choose the better-looking ones than expensive dice that most players who could afford it already have. But not Chessex Dice. They sell cheap plastic dice, sure, but these aren’t run-of-the-mill. Quite the contrary: they make precise plastic dice.
Among their plastic dice, we love their translucent dice the most. They’re well-balanced and you’d know that there aren’t bubbles in them. Bubbles mess up the balance in some plastic dice. But not here! And you’ll be sure of it.
- Wider selection
- Well-balanced edges
- Transparent dice lets you know that bubbles won’t mess the throw
- Affordable plastic dice
- The website is somewhat clunky
- They only sell plastic dice
Experience The Pull Of Random: Gravity Dice
If anyone is looking for a metal dice set that fits into the precision category, Gravity Dice Store has you covered with their line of precision metal dice. These dice are somewhat pricey, running at about $100 for a set, but they are some of the best on the market to ensuring fair rolls. There are even a handful or so color options to choose from.
The Black Metal Precision set is our main go-to favorite with precision dice. It’s sleek, has largely noticeable numbers, and gives you that powerful feeling that you only get from metal dice. Be prepared to shell out three times the price of a regular metal dice set, though. They’re more than three times better, that’s why they’re expensive.
- Precision-etched dice that won’t lose their edge
- A higher degree of randomness than standard dice
- Metal still adds that authority with every roll
- Some of their dice lose their outside color a little quicker
- Slightly more expensive than other brands
Gems, Gems, And Gems Everywhere: Norse Foundry
If you aren’t looking for metal dice but still want something better than plastic, then gemstones should be your pick! These dice are made with better, more colorful material, and the price shows, but if you want precision without sacrificing color, these are a good choice.
Norse Foundry has a solid collection of dice, from metal to plastic and to gemstones. And of all their sets, we highly recommending their Amethyst Gemstone Set. This specific set highlights all of the pros of gemstone sets, what with their beautiful color, the way the numbers contrast with the material, and the high-quality amethyst they’re made out of.
But if you don’t like the color, Norse Foundry has a ton of other gemstone dice, each made with the same quality as this specific set.
- Gemstone dice with deep colors
- Neither plastics nor metals can compare to them
- Cheaper than most other dice makers
- Unsanded edges that last longer
- Absolutely stunning dice
- Can get a bit expensive
- Numbers on some tend to wear down over time
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How should I protect or carry my dice?
Answer: If you’re still starting out or have trouble with the budget, a drawstring sack will do wonders. Some of the options in the “best value” section come with one. But if they don’t, then something like this bag should work. If you want to be a bit more creative, consider what your specific Dungeons and Dragons campaign will be about then get something appropriate.
For example, in one of our campaigns, we ran a homebrewed archipelago. In there, pirates and seafarers play a large role. If you play a game like that, then you could keep your dice in a small, wooden treasure chest, much like this jewelry box. It makes the game more fun and immersive that way.
Question: Can I buy my dice locally?
Answer: Of course! And we actually encourage you to try and find a local business to buy your dice from. It not only helps the D&D community as a whole, but it’s also cheaper and good for the folks around you.
That being said, online does offer more options. And with companies like Amazon offering free shipping, it makes it harder for small businesses to compete. Despite all that, your local game store should be able to set you up with… well… a set. Plus, you are likely to find others who like and play Dungeons and Dragons like you at any local game shop!
Question: What if I lose a dice? Do I have to buy a whole new set?
Answer: Losing a dice might be frustrating, but it doesn’t mean you have to replace the whole set. Obviously, six-sided dice are the easiest to replace, even if it is just while you find another replacement. Your local game store might be able to slide you a spare or offer a discount on a new set.
But having more than one set of dice is not a bad thing. It actually saves you time when you have to roll multiples of the same dice.
Question: Can I make my own dice?
Answer: It is actually possible to make your own Dungeons and Dragons dice. It’s just that this is not something that most amateurs wouldn’t want to do, mostly because it’s really difficult.
On the other hand, making your own dice has its own merits. You can buy the material, coloring, and glitter that you might want to home-make your own dice at the nearest craft store. Making the dice would require a mold, a way to melt your plastic, and a way of cooling it all down at the end.
Question: Can dice really be made of anything?
Answer: Yes! This might be surprising, but:
Are all common materials that dice can be made of. Dice makers like Artisan Dice can make sets out of anything. From bones to horns, they’ll make it as long as it’s hard enough to keep its form. Honestly, if you have the time and money, it seems like D&D dice can really be made from anything.
Question: What makes D&D dice different from regular dice?
Answer: D&D dice use a lot more sides than regular dice. Actually, only the D4 has fewer sides than regular dice. Besides that, D&D uses a bipyramidal D8, an iconic D20, and a few others, besides the six-sided die.
Question: Can I still play D&D without dice?
Answer: In a way, dice are not mandatory for playing D&D. Of course, the instructions say “roll D20” or “roll D4,” but it’s not like you have to follow them, right? Diceless D&D games depend more on the Dungeon Master for setting up a way to make critical hits, among other stuff. And if the DM really wants to go full-on random-less, they can also make up new rules. It’s all about how well the DM can set up their system.
There’s also the fact that you can use random number generators through an app or program. You don’t have to play a physical dice set if you don’t have one with you. Although it does take away a lot of the fun in D&D if you don’t have a pair of dice to roll when a mob of monsters shows up.
Question: Who made D&D and its updates?
Answer: Dungeons and Dragons was made by two people: Ernest Gary Gygax and David Arneson. Gygax founded a company, Tactical Studies Rules, just to formally publish D&D and have more people enjoy it. Until 1997, his company owned the rights to D&D. They also made updates and new rules.
You could say that Wizards of the Coast makes the new D&D now, though. They bought Tactical Studies Rules when it was going bankrupt. Until this day, they have been making new changes to make the game more fun and enjoyable.
Final Thoughts: Our Opinions On D&D Dice
To be fair, for the early part of our Dungeons and Dragons careers, we all used the cheapest dice money could buy. But that just made it harder to run campaigns. So we invested in better dice.
If we had to choose which among the dice makers had the best dice, Norse Foundry’s Gemstone dice would have been the clear winner. But we do have to admit it’s one of the more expensive sets of dice out there. If you’re just starting out with D&D, we don’t want to give you the notion that you need a ton of money just to get started on D&D. Any of the basic sets on our list will do the trick just fine!
There’s also the fact that everyone has different tastes. Some might prefer the feel of the throw much more than the look of the dice. We won’t argue with that. But to make this article useful to most people out there, we chose these makers who all have their own various specialties.
In the end, it’s always all about the player’s style than practicality. If it was 100% all about the latter, then we wouldn’t be using dice at all. Die simulators exist, and so do random number generators. But no, the dice is a practice that makes you feel the weight of your in-game decisions. And there’s always a set of dice waiting for their proper owner out there. No matter who you are or where you live, that set will be the perfect one for you. All it takes is time to find it.
By now, you probably know what kind of dice set you would like to pick. Would it be a cheap beginner set? A metal set worth a dragon’s rumbling scales? A gemstone set made by artisans that can put the dwarves to shame? This all depends on you. Just remember that at the end of the day, you are only there at the table with your party to enjoy the time you spend in the game.