What You Need To Build The Best DM Dice Set
Being a Dungeon Master is hard, hard, work. You need to prepare so much for your players. The dungeons, the NPC’s, the plot. There are so many extra accoutrements needed for the job. And there’s so much complexity to what you have to do. So when it comes to dice sets, which are so essential to the D&D experience, you have to come prepared.
Let me paint a scene for you. It’s the climax of a long and grueling dungeon dive. The party has come through all the fire and steel you set before them, and now are facing the final and most insidious beast of dungeon. And what’s more, the beast has minions! Perhaps a dragon has an army of kobolds to aid him, or the vile prince has called upon a company of elite mercenaries to protect him. You reach down to roll initiative for all of the horrendous foes before your players… and you don’t have enough! Afterwards all that drama and tension you went to such lengths to create is gone; vanished with your lack of preparation.
When being the DM or Dungeon Master, preparation is key. Oftentimes you’ll find that you need more sets of dice than the singular set your players need. In addition, what you bring to the table often becomes the focus of play, so you want to make sure that what you have stands out from the crowd.
What Dice To Get
When I DM, I aim to have three distinct groups of dice:
The Everyday Dice
The first is the most basic, and going to be the greatest help to you as a DM. This is just a massive amount of random dice. You want them cheap and you want them plentiful. These you whip out when you lose an army of goblins on the players. Or when one of your too-clever players unleashes a fireball on said army of goblins. I’ve had sessions where I’ve needed as many as thirty d6’s, each one tallying damage for a different creature. No matter the case, you’re going to want a lot of dice as the DM. I like to get multiple different colored sets so that I can color code which enemy is using which die.
Sampler sets are a great choice as they contain as many as 16 different sets of dice, making sure you’re equipped for every situation. If you want to get prepared for being a DM in one simple purchase, this is it! These sampler sets are perfect for coordinating whole groups of enemies, or marking them with spell effects.
Alternatively, if you want to be prepared for that fireball spell’s damage, then maybe a 192 d6 dice set is more your speed? It will set you up for all of those pesky moments where you just need more d6’s. And trust me, you’ll run into them more often than you think.
The Personal Set
The second set is the one you’re going to use most often while rolling behind the scenes. This is your personal set. Your favorite set. Your go-to in every situation. You only really need one set of the classic 7 dice for this (the d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, and percentile), but you want them to be high quality dice.
For this there are a number of different sets that are both cool looking and high quality, that’ll last you countless gaming sessions. Some of my personal favorites include the colored Chessex Gemini and Borealis sets. There is also the option of the Chessex signature sets which are truly gorgeous. Of especial note are the Blood & Gold and Black & White Nebula sets.
Whatever you decide to go with, you need to remember what’s important. These are the dice that you’re going to be using all the time, so you want to be happy with them!
The Special Set
The last set is the special set. These are the dice that you throw down on the table when the metaphorical fecal matter hits the fan. Perhaps the players have defeated the evil cultists, but the villains were still successful in summoning a Balor! Or a titanic dragon out of myth and legend has entered to set her foot on the world stage. Whatever the case, you want the dice for this event to be heavy with the weight of the moment. In my campaigns, I like to bring out my special metal dice for boss fights such as these. Perhaps you order a giant novelty die to thunder across the table with every booming attack from a giant. Whatever great and terrible foe you are throwing at your players, you want to be equipped for the situation.
Whichever special dice you get for those occasions, remember that they could happen at any time. You never know when the players are going to stumble upon your secret villain, and you need to be ready.
The Perfect Set
Ultimately, being a good Dungeon Master or Game Master for any RPG is all about one thing: preparation. And dice are key element of good preparation. Make sure you have every set of dice you might need. We’ll be happy to help you there!