D&D and other TTRPGs are played mostly in our minds. This is why having physical props that are connected to our adventures can be so powerful! Dice are part of that. As a fellow dice goblin, let me tell you that using a dice set that is connected to the character makes all the difference. From gemstone dice to metal dice, there are a lot of options out there; it’s literally a weighty choice. So let’s look at why you should try to find the perfect fit—and how!
Why pair dice with your character?
Since TTRPGs are “all in our heads”, we can sometimes feel a bit distant from our characters. Unlike in videogames, where we all see in first (or third) person what our character does, in D&D our mind eye is our only perspective. This can make roleplaying more difficult, as getting emotionally attached to someone you can’t see is hard. And this is where physical props like dice come in—humans are sensory creatures, after all!
Dice, just like minis, are a material representation of your character that you can touch and see. But, unlike minis, they have a direct influence on the actions your character is able to take! Pairing your dice with the personality and themes of your character will create a firm foundation in your mind about who your character really is. Plus, you can’t deny how satisfying rolling a handful of hefty gemstone dice is, right?
Using color and material symbolism
To choose a fitting dice set, you need to think about your character, so take this as an opportunity to develop their backstory even more! There are mainly two things that influence how dice look and feel: color and material. Colors have a ton of symbolism: in Western cultures, green tends to be associated with hope or envy, blue with sadness, and white with purity. But blue could also fit a sailor (for the sea), white could be perfect for someone who’s associated with the element of air (or snow!), and green is perfect for a druid or ranger.
But the choice of material is really important too! Martial characters could fit very well with metal dice, you could even roleplay caltrops with those d4s! (just kidding, don’t do this). Metal dice also might make sense for dwarves, or could be a nod to a character whose background was a tinker or blacksmith. But where material really shines is with gemstone dice. They aren’t just super pretty, but gemstones have tons of cultural symbolism, lore, and traditions you can pull from.
Consider trying a subtler approach
Consider this: The way you see your character could be very different from the way the character sees themself. After all, you’re like a puppet master, and your puppets (i.e. characters) don’t know they’re being controlled! So, for example, an edgy brooding pessimistic rogue could see herself as a realist who knows about the world, or a demonic necromancer might not see anything wrong with his experiments using living people. How does this affect your decision?
Well, it basically means that you don’t have to go with the obvious choice! For example, if your character has a hidden fortune that no one knows about, you could pick a gemstone dice set to represent that. You could also have the dice express a wish the character has—if they’re trying to find inner peace, you could pick white dice (foreshadowing with dice? Yes please!). Or you could even theme them based on the color scheme your character mini uses for bonus aesthetic points.
Spruce it up with accessories!
You know what else has a ton of lore? Wood! Now, there are wooden dice out there that you can get, but take a look at dice accessories too—and try to tie them in with your character too! For example a dice case (like the Chests of Holding from Norse Foundry) would be perfect for a character who is very orderly with their belongings, but also for a total hoarder. Just like with gemstone dice, take a look around and pick the wood type that better symbolizes your character, or just base your decision on its color!
Some examples of character dice
So, after all these tips, I thought I’d give you some example characters! Here are some of the characters I’ve played with dice sets that would fit them well:
- Lin was a changeling monk who was ashamed of their nature. This internal turmoil, combined with the fact that changelings can take any form, would fit well with these rainbow turquoise dice, which are full of different and chaotic color combinations.
- Kraf was a a human bard with necromancer tendencies (he had a pet human skull). But rather than being the dark, edgy character he could’ve turned out to be, he was funny and loved dark humor. I think this fits perfectly with these black obsidian dice with colorful numbers!
- Mirela, my current character, is actually two people merged in one. And both people (Mira and Ela) get along really well, so it’s a beautiful relationship! These blue/red barite dice would be perfect for her—especially since Mira’s skin is blue and Ela’s energy is red!
Do you pair your dice with your characters? Share your tips below! And make sure to check out Norse Foundry to find all sorts of amazing metal dice and gemstone dice!
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