Loot Studios – Choosing Your TTRPG Dice Systems

Choosing Your TTRPG Dice Systems

A Key Feature of Your Game

You probably are already into miniatures, fantasy or sci-fi, or some of that nerdy stuff, and you are getting ready to start playing some pen and paper RPGs. Or maybe you already played some of those but are looking for a change or the right one for you. We don’t always think about the dice when we stare at the beautiful cover of a hardcover book. We are fascinated by the dragons, the knights, the roses, the mood, and atmosphere. But the dice, or the lack of them, really do matter. Let’s talk about some of the most famous TTRPG dice systems.

The Big, Twenty-sided Ones

The D20 is the most famous RPG dice. You probably already know it from your school friends playing D&D, from Stranger Things, Dimension 20, or Critical Role. The D20 is big enough, flashy enough, and gives everyone the great goals of rolling a 20 and never ever rolling a 1.  D&D uses it and is the benchmark for most D20 based systems, and it has generated the SAGA System (famous for Star Wars SAGA) and more.

D20s are usually good if you like a system that bases itself on rolling a main dice for combat, but in the style of D&D, you also need to roll lots of other dice and do tons of math. If you want a Dungeons and Dragons lookalike or a battle-heavy system with hitpoints, go for this. There’s also the Mutants and Masterminds “roll to not get bonked in the face” system, that uses a D20 and basically only it, and it’s leaner and simpler. 

Lots of Ten-sided Ones

Vampire The Masquerade is one of the most popular RPG systems/scenarios. The World of Darkness games uses an approach of “a number of dice that equals the amount of skill+X”. There are also others like the Unisysten, that uses one D10+ skill, and others that even use two D10s to make a percentage roll. Those ones usually fall in the category “narrative-heavy”. If we think about its gold standard, WOD/Storyteller System, the use of lots of skills and powers makes for a system where you do less math, but roll a ton of dice. 

ttrpg dice systems
Miniatures from Loot Studios’ Tenebris Infested.

Your Old Familiar Ones

The D6 are the most common dice we know, from the moment we start playing, we know these cubes with dots painted on their faces. GURPS is one of the traditional ones, where you use 3D6 for most rolls. There are lots of variants, from the ones that use special dice (FATE) to the ones that use tons of D6, focused on generic play, universally accessible content, and adaptability. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on weird dice, don’t like the idea of an online generator, or cannot find lots of those weird polyhedral things around, maybe a D6-based system is the way to go. 

No Dice, No Problem

And here are the weird ones. From Castle Falkenstein and Deadlands using regular playing cards to the anxiety-generating Jenga Towers of dread, you can find lots of RPG systems that do not even use dice. They are usually not the most famous ones, but if you dig for underground RPGs and narrative games, you can find even ones that use candles or paper clips to represent rolls, damage and progression. There’s enough variety to keep everyone entertained and immersed, so take your pick.

Loot Studios can help you tell your story. Choose your favorite bundle from our previous releases or sign up for Fantasy or Sci-Fi to receive a new bundle every month. You can also check out some tips at our YouTube Channel.

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