How many dice should a DM have?

Dungeon Master rolling dice

At the heart of every Dungeons & Dragons campaign lies a masterful Dungeon Master (DM). As the all-powerful storyteller, they’ll need more than just imagination to guide the story - the DM will need their own D&D dice!

Having the right sets of dice is crucial for a smooth gameplay experience. In this guide, we'll explore the essential dice collection every DM needs to keep their sessions moving.

Do Dungeon Masters need dice?

Yes, DMs need their own dice. In Dungeons & Dragons, dice serve as the arbiters of fate. While players may bring their own dice sets to the table, the Dungeon Master’s role demands they have their own dice at the ready.

How does a DM use dice?

D&D and other tabletop roleplaying games rely on dice to determine the outcome of uncertain actions. DMs may use dice for lots of reasons:

Managing NPCs and monsters: the DM will roll various creature abilities, attacks, and skill checks. Whether it’s rolling the damage inflicted by a chromatic dragon breath weapon, or testing the deception skills of a cunning rogue, a well-stocked dice collection is essential for avoiding unnecessary disruptions.

Rolling in secret: one of the DM’s primary responsibilities is to maintain an air of mystery and unpredictability throughout the adventure. Often, this means making dice rolls behind the DM screen. Having their own dice ensures the DM can preserve the integrity of the narrative while adding an extra layer of excitement to the game.

Storytelling tool: dice are not only tools of chance, but also narrative catalysts. Random dice rolls can add unexpected plot twists and lead the story in unique, unforeseen directions. By having their own dice collection, DMs can improvise and adapt, crafting a dynamic narrative that responds to the players’ choices and actions.

Convenience and preparedness: while players might share their dice, the DM needs to be able to adapt to situations to roll lots of dice if needed. For example, the spell Meteor Swarm inflicts 20d6 fire and 20d6 bludgeoning damage. Having their own collection allows the DM to roll this themselves.

Expression of style: much like players who cherish unique dice for sentimental or aesthetic reasons, DMs often develop an attachment to their dice collection. People who possess an insatiable desire for collecting dice are often called “dice dragons”. Having their own dice becomes a personal expression of the DM’s style and dedication to their craft.

How many sets of dice should a DM have?

We recommend that every DM equip themselves with at least 2 or 3 sets of dice. Each dice set will include a d4, d6, d8, d10, d%, d12, and d20. You could get by with only one dice set, but you’ll often have to roll the same dice multiple times, which can slow down the game.

If you’re worried you don’t have enough dice, and you don’t have the budget for lots of dice sets, you could use an online dice roller. Of course, this doesn’t come with the thrill of rolling dice in your hand, but it can be a more convenient way to roll lots of dice in one go.

Do Dungeon Masters need the same dice as players?

Players and Dungeon Masters have different needs at the table, and while both use dice to enhance the experience, a DM often needs several sets of dice to keep the game flowing.

A Dungeon Master's role demands a broader selection of dice to cater to the diverse challenges they present to their players.

If you're a player and wondering what you need, check out our guide that explains how many dice you should have to play D&D.

Does a DM need a d100?

Yes, a DM needs to be able to roll a d100. While rolling a d100 is rarer than other types of DND dice such as a d20, there may be times where a d100 roll is needed.

Rolling a d100 typically involves using percentile dice, which are two ten-sided dice, one numbered from 00 to 90 and the other from 0 to 9.

There is such a thing as a one-hundred-sided die, which is also called a d100. Using a one-hundred-sided die isn’t necessary for a Dungeon Master, but it can add a touch of novelty and excitement to the game, especially if you hand it off to one of your players to roll.

Just make sure you use a dice tray to prevent dice from rolling off the table and disrupting the flow of the game.

Dice to kickstart your fantasy adventures

Playing the role of Dungeon Master can be deeply rewarding, but it can be easy to get burnt out if you’re not careful. Check out our guide on avoiding and fixing DM burnout to make prevent it from affecting your games.

Having the right assortment of dice helps kindle the flames of imagination. Whether you’re a seasoned DM or a beginner DM, we are here to help you expand your collection. Why not check out our D&D dice sets and treat yourself today?

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