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Article by Sara Gann
Ok, let’s get down to business! This week, we are going to talk about dice and when and how to use them. I know I talked a little bit about the dice used to play and where to find them, but I’m going to explain it a little better today.
So what every player needs in when they start Dungeons and Dragons is a set of polyhedral dice. This set should include dice with 4, 6, 8,10, 12, 20, and 100 sides. If you’re looking through the Player’s Handbook, dice are labeled as the letter d and then the number die you need. For example, if I needed to roll one six sided die it would be written like 1d6.
When looking for a set of dice, find some you like! They have tons of choices! Pink glitter, galaxy, black, whatever color makes you happy! You can find D&D dice on Amazon or at your local game or book store. Now let’s roll some dice!
The Four-Sided Die!
The hardest thing about a four-sided dice in Dungeons and Dragons is learning how to read it. Because it looks like a 3-D triangle it doesn’t roll like a normal die. So a four-sided dice obviously only goes up to four. So when you roll it, the point with the number on it is the number you rolled. For example, if you roll the d4 and the point says 3, then you rolled a 3.
When do you use a four sided dice? The d4 is used to determine the damage for smaller weapons like clubs, daggers, and whips.
The Six-Sided Die!
If you have played any board game ever, you have used a d6. The d6 is used for all kinds of things in D&D, when building your character you use them to determine your six ability scores. You also use the d6 to determine the damage for some weapons. The d6 is also a hit die for a Wizard character.
The Eight-Sided Die!
The d8 is usually used for damage done by heavier weapons. It is also used as the hit die for some classes like Cleric, Bard, Monk, Druid, Rogue, and Warlock.
The Ten and Hundred-Sided Die!
Now these two dice look very similar. One is just numbered one to ten, the other is numbered in multiples of ten. So 10, 20, 30, and so on and so forth. These dice are often rolled together for a percentile roll. For example, Cleric’s Divine Intervention, a spell, needs a percentile roll. So you would roll the d10 and d100 together and that would determine your score. For example, if you roll a 40 and 8, your score would be 48. D100 are used with a lot of spellcasting characters like a Sorcerer.
The regular d10 is used as hit die for Fighter, Ranger, and Paladin. The d10 is also used as damage die for weapons like pikes, heavy crossbows, and glaives.
The Twelve-Sided Die!
A d12 isn’t used very often, but it is a hit die for Barbarians. This die can be used to determine time of day and month of the year.
The Twenty-Sided Die!
This is the most important die you will use in D&D. It is used for basically everything. If you want to see if you can destroy an enemy, you roll a d20. If you want to save yourself, you roll a d20. Anything you attempt in D&D, like saving throws, attacks, skill and ability checks is determined with a d20.
There are some pros and cons to a d20.
- Pro: Rolling a 19 or 20. These are critical hits. You win! Mostly. Depending on what you’re fighting. But usually, you win!
- Con: Rolling a one. This is the opposite of a critical hit. You lose and normally you hurt yourself. Boo.
All these dice can be used in different ways throughout the game. For example, d6 and d8 can be used to determine your characters personality and background.
Dungeons and Dragons is so fun and understanding the dice and when and how to use them, is something that everyone should know. So gather your tribe and pray to the Gods that you don’t roll a one.
Featured image credit: dnd.wizards.com