As of course all gamers know, dice come in a myriad of colors. But many of the younger generations of gamers aren’t aware of how different the varieties of colored dice are today from where the RPG industry started.

Polyhedral dice were really first introduced with the D&D boxed set. It came with a set of Dungeons & Dragons dice: these dice were opaque and the numbers were not inked. The colors of the dice from those days were pretty dull and muddy.

Of course the materials to make higher quality dice were already available and used for casino dice. Polyhedral dice are manufactured via plastic injection molding, and it was just a matter of time and experimentation before the dice makers discovered the right mix of plastic polymers that would work with the process and start yielding better looking dice.

We pretty quickly got better-looking opaque dice with much more luster and polish as well as pre-inked dice numbering. Then our dice just started getting better and better looking. Today dice are available in just about any color you can imagine, and in a lot of different coloring styles. These include:

  • Opaque dice
  • Translucent (colored see-through dice)
  • Speckled — opaque dice with specks of another color (or multiple other colors) in them
  • Swirled/multi-colored — opaque dice that swirl or otherwise combine multiple colors of plastic together in one die.

In addition to these basic die types, there are almost any other kind that you can think of. There are dice made of metal and stone that are machined rather than molded, and even dice made of fossils. There are dice that combine opaque and translucent plastics and dice that deliberately inject air into the die to create bubbles within. We have giant dice made of hard foam and patterns for dice made of paper; we have glow in the dark dice in various designs and dice that light up when you crit.

We’ve come a long, long way from the D&D boxed set, and we’re not done yet. I’m excited to see what might come next.