RPG gaming polyhedral dice really didn’t exist until the launch of Dungeons & Dragons in 1976. While they are far more common today, RPG dice can still be hard to come by — after all, you still can’t walk into the drug store to pick them up.
There are two basic options: get ’em from a game store, or buy your dice online. I’m going to list a few online stores a bit later, but if you have a game store in your area, you should absolutely hit that up instead.
Friendly Local Game Store
If you are at all involved in RPG gaming, you need to find out if you have a friendly local game store at all near you. If you do, you need to buy your dice and games from them!
Local game stores are where gamers come together to meet, where they discover awesome new games and — most importantly — where new gamers are created! But in this age of internet discount sales, friendly local game stores are dying out. Here’s how it goes:
- More and more people buy their games online for cheaper from retailers who don’t have the overhead of retail space and employees.
- Game stores make less money, and can’t stay in business. There are fewer and fewer game stores (this is already happening!)
- Fewer new gamers stumble into game stores and spark their imagination with worlds of gaming. Fewer new gamers are created.
- With fewer gamers, less of all games are sold as older gamers retire.
- Publishers sell fewer games. This hits larger, professional publishers hardest (the ones that actually have paid game designers) and they publish fewer games, fewer new things and instead just make more of the same. Over time there are fewer publishers.
- With fewer publishers taking less chances, there are fewer games for all of us.
- Everyone loses.
So please buy your dice from your local game store if at all possible. And more importantly, buy all your games from the local game store too. Yes, when you buy retails you’re going to pay more than you will through internet discounters, but you are very literally supporting the future of RPG gaming. And by getting your games from a local game store, you’re helping to ensure that there will be more great games in the future.
That said, not everyone has a game store local to them. In fact, if you don’t live near a large city, buying your games from retails is very likely impossible. In that case — go for it and buy your dice or your games online.
Buying Dice Online
There are a solid handful of places to buy your dice online. Some of them are general game stores, and others specialize only in dice. As you might imagine, the dice specialty stores usually have the best selection, make it easiest to find the dice, and have the best dice photos (usually).
The general stores are usually much harder to find stuff, have shitty photos and stuff out of stock; however, they’re also usually cheaper (though in the world of dice you’re talking about saving a buck or less). And of course you can buy games as well as dice.
- Awesome Dice — sells dice only and my favorite dice store, US and Canada
- Board Game Central — general store selling lots of stuff
- Lucky Dice Webshop — UK dice store
- Paizo — general store and makers of Pathfinder
- Troll and Toad — general store that is cheapest and the biggest pain in the ass to use with lots of dice out of stock
If you don’t have a game store in your area, any of the above online stores should give you the ability to get the dice that you need at any time.