A Beginner's Guide to Identifying and Understanding Tabletop RPG Dice

Tabletop roleplaying games (RPGs) like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) often involve an array of dice, each with a different number of sides, to add an element of chance and excitement to the gameplay. As a newcomer to the world of tabletop gaming, it's crucial to understand how to identify and use the various dice in a standard set. In this guide, we'll break down the basics of recognizing 6-sided (d6), 8-sided (d8), 10-sided (d10), and 12-sided (d12) dice, as well as provide insight into the full set of 7 dice needed for most RPGs.

Identifying 6-sided Dice (d6)

Tabletop dominion moondrop d6 dice on wood background

The d6 is the most familiar die for many people, commonly used in board games and traditional tabletop games. Recognizing a d6 is straightforward, as it features numbered faces from 1 to 6. Whether it's used for damage rolls, skill checks, or other actions in your RPG, the six-sided die is a fundamental part of the gaming experience.

Identifying 8-sided Dice (d8)

Tabletop dominion moondrop d8 on wooden background

The d8, with its eight triangular faces, is a bit more distinctive. To identify it, look for numbers arranged in a sequential pattern, starting from 1 and going up to 8. In RPGs, d8s are frequently used for determining damage, such as when casting spells or wielding certain weapons.

Identifying 10-sided Dice (d10)

Tabletop dominion moondrop d10 dice on wooden background

D10s have two common forms: the percentile d10 and the regular d10. The percentile d10 typically has two-digit numbers ranging from 00 to 90, while the regular d10 has numbers from 0 to 9. When using a percentile d10, a roll of '00' often represents 100. Recognizing the two different d10s is crucial, as they serve distinct purposes in gameplay.

Identifying 12-sided Dice (d12)

Tabletop dominion moondrop d12 on wooden backgroundThe d12 is a slightly less common die, featuring 12 triangular faces with sequential numbers from 1 to 12. In RPGs, d12s are often employed for determining damage, with certain weapons or magical abilities relying on this die to add variability to outcomes.

The Full Set of 7 Dice for Tabletop RPGs

To fully engage in tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, you'll need a complete set of seven dice, commonly referred to as a 7-dice set. This set includes the following:

1. d4 (Four-sided Die)

Tabletop dominion moondrop d4 dice on wooden background

Recognizable by its pyramid shape, the d4 is often used for minor damage rolls or specific game mechanics.

2. d6 (Six-sided Die)

As mentioned earlier, this is the standard die found in many traditional games and RPGs.

3. d8 (Eight-sided Die)

Identifiable by its octagonal shape, the d8 is commonly used for damage rolls in RPGs.

4. d10 (Ten-sided Die)

As explained above, there are two types: the percentile d10 and the regular d10.

5. d12 (Twelve-sided Die)

Recognizable by its dodecahedron shape, the d12 is frequently used for higher damage rolls.

6. d20 (Twenty-sided Die)

Tabletop dominion moondrop d20 on wooden background

The d20 is a crucial die in RPGs, often used for important actions such as attack rolls and saving throws.

7. Percentile d10 (Ten-sided Die with Percentile)

Tabletop dominion moondrop d10 percentile dice on wooden background

As mentioned earlier, this die is used to generate percentages or for specific game mechanics.


Understanding and identifying the various tabletop RPG dice is an essential skill for any player, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned gamer. With this guide, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the world of tabletop RPGs, confidently rolling the right dice for each situation and enhancing your overall gaming experience. Happy gaming!

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