If you’ve purchased one of our awesome dice sets, or are about to, you might want a nice introduction/refresher to how polyhedral dice are used.
Let this guide to d6 dice set your mind at ease! This is the second in our series explaining each type of die in a full polyhedral dice set. 6-sided dice, more commonly known as “normal” dice, play an important role in tabletop gaming, so read on to learn more.
Dungeon of the Dungeonmasters
You sneak into the dark pit, hoping no one will notice your arrival. The air smells heavy and musty. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a tiny animal—maybe a large roach, maybe a small dog. It skitters out of sight.
You step over discarded pizza boxes and empty soda bottles, careful not to make a peep. But your stealth is all for naught, for now you hear a deep, ominous voice. It is the GM!
“You are late for the session,” says the GM. “Your character was about to have an unfortunate accident.”
“I had to get my dice!” you squeak.
“Let us see these so-called ‘dice,’” the GM croaks.
From your handsome Dice Envy dice bag, you pull out the first die that your fingers find: It is a d6! You proudly hold it up for all to see, but the GM is enraged. His eye bulges in his head.
“6-sided dice?! NORMAL people dice?!! HOW DARE YOU???”
“Not so fast!” you quip. “For d6 dice are one of the most important kinds of tabletop gaming dice and make up an indispensable part of any polyhedral dice set! We use them for all kinds of weapons damage, spell effects, and special actions.”
The GM begins to tremble before your deep knowledge of tabletop gaming. His face turns so sweaty that it looks like he’ll melt.
You continue: “For instance, d6 dice are a staple of my Rogue’s sneak attack—like this one!”
You roll the die on the table, and it lands on 6. With lightning speed, you pull out your dagger and slash at the GM’s unprotected dice tower and monster manuals.
“No!!” he cries, “my empire of evil schemes!! I can’t be defeated by a d6!! Impossible!! THIS CAN’T BEEEE!!!!” And then he really does begin to melt, finally evaporating into a noxious cloud that fills the pit with yet another layer of foulness.
The other players begin to congratulate you for setting them free.
“I couldn’t have done it without my trusty d6!” you tell them. “Now let’s get out of here and go find a good GM!”
Not Just “Normal” Dice
In a world of exotic polyhedral dice, the humble d6 can feel strangely out of place. But there’s so much more to d6 dice than meets the eye.
6-sided dice are ancient. People all around the world were using them thousands of years ago—you can even find artifacts of them in museums. Just as in the world today, they were used by the ancients for divination, gambling, and children’s games.
Like the other polyhedral dice, d6 dice have a special mathematical name: Yes yes, “cube” too, but we actually mean “regular hexahedron.” A “hexahedron” is a geometric solid with six sides, and “regular” just means that all six sides are congruent (“identical”) squares.
- Stupendous Amazing Trivia: Together with all of the other common polyhedral dice (except for the d10), the d6 is known as one of the Platonic solids. In our 3D universe, there are only five such objects!
- Stupendous Amazing Sales Pitch: With d6 dice belonging to such a prestigious and exclusive club, surely you crave getting your hands on one of our premium dice sets, which are incredibly pretty and are made of the same materials that the ancients used—for instance check out our Wood Dice Sets and Stone Dice Sets.
Rolling a d6
The odds of rolling any given value on a d6 are 1 in 6, or 16.7%.
To read the value of a d6 roll, use the number from the face of the die that ends up on top when the die stops rolling.
- Tip: The average roll of a single d6 is 3.5. You can use this information to think about your character’s strategy statistically: Whenever you roll a d6, you can expect to get 4 or higher half the time.
Rolling Multiple d6s
Here is some common jargon that you’ll hear when rolling multiple 6-sided dice:
If your GM or a player’s handbook asks you to roll “4d6,” they mean “four d6 dice.” If they ask you to roll “6d6,” you roll six d6s. (Yahtzee, anyone?) The dice notation in tabletop gaming is pretty simple, where the number before the “d” tells you how many dice to roll, and the number after the “d” tells you which kind of dice to roll.
When asked to roll only a single d6, this is usually said as “Roll d6” or sometimes “1d6.”
Common d6 Dice Rolls in D&D and Other Tabletop Games
In D&D (as well as many other tabletop games), 6-sided dice are very commonly used for dealing damage. D6 dice set a good balance for dealing damage because they tend to make battles last a few rounds without dragging on too long. Outside of combat, the idea is similar: A d6 damage roll against your character can be serious enough to make a difference in the course of your adventuring but isn’t likely to actually wipe out your character and disrupt the adventure entirely. For example, in D&D, falling damage uses d6 dice, with more dice added depending on the distance of the fall.
Here are some other common uses of the d6:
- Weapons Damage: The d6 is the most common type of die in D&D for rolling weapons damage. Packing more punch than lighter weapons and damage spells (which roll a d4), weapons that use a d6 for damage include the javelin, mace, quarterstaff, spear, scimitar, trident, and many others.
- Enemy Damage to Your Character: The d6 is also the most common type of die in D&D for enemy damage rolls. All kinds of enemy characters have attacks that roll d6 damage: Small and midsize enemies often deal d6 damage from their main attack, while larger enemies often deal d6 damage from one of their secondary attacks.
- Spell Damage: Many magic spells in D&D deal damage using 6-sided dice.
- Surprise Stabbings: In D&D, Rogue sneak attack damage uses a d6 dice set, with the number of d6s increasing to as many as ten depending on your character’s level!
- Character Traits: When creating a new character in D&D, you can use a d6 to select a character’s ideals, flaws, and motivating vows (like revenge or protecting someone).
In tabletop gaming generally, d6 dice are good low-to-midrange dice. Oftentimes, six different possibilities is all you need, so rolling a die with more sides would be overkill—like choosing what kind of pet your character has; you probably don’t need to roll a d100 for that.
Situations Involving the Numbers 6 or 3
Another important use for 6-sided dice is in situations that care about the number six, like choosing which direction to go on a hex map (which D&D and other game campaigns often use).
Even more importantly, d6s are great for situations involving the number three, because you can divide d6 rolls into three outcomes: 1 – 2, 3 – 4, and 5 – 6. Since there is no actual d3—it would be physically impossible to build a 3D object with only three, flat faces—d6 dice are the next best thing.
Get Your d6 Dice Set at Dice Envy!
If you’re still in the market for polyhedral dice, be sure to check out our latest dice sets at Dice Envy! We stock new sets every month. Most of our sets contain the standard 7 dice, while our 9 & 10-piece sets include extras like our Chonky Boy giant d20 and our smooth-rolling Infinity d4.
If you want to buy ONLY d6 dice, unfortunately, we don’t sell most of our d6s by themselves, and we don’t currently have an “only d6 dice set.” However, you do have a few options:
- You can order d6s by themselves in whatever quantity you like from any of our custom dice sets.
- If you see any 6-sided dice that you really like in one of our regular resin dice sets or premium dice sets, take the plunge and buy the entire set. It never hurts to have extra dice, or you can give some away to other players and be the hero of the table!
- Join our subscription box! It’s a great way to build up your collection over time and get multiples of all the different dice—in many cool styles, some of them limited-edition.
Don’t be fooled by their common appearance: These humble d6 dice set the tone for mind-blowing RPG adventuring and hours of fun in other worlds.