The Metal Dice Difference
DnD dice have come a long way from their humble origins. A game that was once played with plastic d6s that were more functional than fashionable has pivoted to having its own set of polyhedral dice custom made for it! They now come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and materials! Players of the game selectively choose ones that best express themselves, suit their characters, and collect them obsessively. And while the mind boggles at the sheer variety out there, some dice just feel better… more significant, trustworthy, and… well… more METAL!
I’ll admit to a personal bias, since metal dnd dice are my preference. But I’ve rolled them all: glass, resin, stone, wood, bone, acrylic, and more! And after trying all the rest, I still come back to the best: metal! Here’s some reasons why!
When I got my first set of metal DnD dice, they were a gift from my uncle (the “Godfather”, if you listen to our D&D podcast). I immediately loved the weight as soon as I picked up that first metal d20 and gave it a roll. The die had some weight to it, and it made the roll feel more significant to me. When you’re playing D&D, your character’s actions have consequences, and so do the results of your rolls. The literal weight of the metal die mirrors the metaphorical weight of those rolls! I find that parallel between real life and fiction delightful!
But I discovered a terrible truth, and when I next spoke with my uncle I said to him “Thank you very much for the awesome dice, but you do realize you’ve ruined me, right?” After rolling metal dice, I was no longer satisfied with cheap, plastic dice anymore. They felt wrong in my hand… too light, too fragile, and fake. They felt like poor imitations of the real thing.
Be warned! Once you go metal, you will find it hard to go back…
It probably goes without saying, but you’re not going to find more durable DnD dice out there than the metal ones. No other material is half as tough. Whereas luxury materials like glass and stone might chip or break if mishandled, and plastic cannot withstand solid impacts, metal dice can withstand almost anything. No amount of D&D-related accidents is going to hurt these bad boys. You would have to make a genuine effort to damage one of these things
That durability and their added weight does come with a warning, however. While they are unlikely to receive damage, if mishandled, the sheer awesomeness of a metal dice set may DEAL damage to anything they hit with enough force. Wooden tabletops, drywall, your mother-in-law… anything that gets in the way of a metal die is due for a bad time. That’s why we recommend a rolling tray to both protect your tabletop and to prevent them from rolling off the table.
The Feel & Sound
No dice material can stand up to metal in terms of its haptic appeal. They are solid, smooth on the faces, and sharp on their edges. Their hard, cool surface feels like a polyhedral bullet in your hand and you prepare to roll it. And when it leaves your hand and hits the dice tray, it impacts with a solid “thunk” before it rolls its way to a number. No plasticy “clicking” or “clacking.” When you roll a metal die at your table, your friends will turn and take note. The sound will draw their attention and earn the envy of anyone still stuck on acrylic or resin.
Metal dice for games like Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, or Pathfinder run in the middle of the road in terms of expense. While the most inexpensive plastic sets can be around ten dollars, and you could easily spend one hundred on a glass or gemstone set from price gouging competitors, Misty Mountain Gaming’s sets typically cost only $39.99. Considering all the advantages of a metal set, this makes them by far my favorite material for the price (as well as in general).
Bringing a set of metal dice to your DnD game is a statement. Everyone’s dice say something about them. While plastic speaks of practicality and thriftiness, and more expensive materials seem bougie and extra, metal dice flex on all others. They tell everyone that you’re not afraid to invest in the hobby, that you take your fun seriously, and that you aren’t some rookie player. Using metal dice for DnD implies experience, maturity, and authority. Like the material itself, they make you seem trustworthy, dependable, unshakable, and even a little dangerous.