Hey folks! Today we have our very first guest article, by none other than Celeste Bloodreign, co-founder of DDDice! Celeste has pulled her dice rolling experience to put together this article to let you know the current best online dice rollers. As the Arkenforge software doesn’t currently support dice rolling, some of the following tools may come in handy at your table!
If you’d like to contact Celeste or learn more about DDDice, you can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, on with the article…
Since the pandemic, more and more tabletop role-playing games have been happening online. This has fueled a huge surge in apps to help mediate the online experience – from Virtual TableTops (i.e. VTTs) to character sheet apps, encounter builders, and world builders. In this article we will be focusing on dice rollers.
Why use a dice roller?
Rolling dice is core to the tabletop role-playing experience, and sharing the suspense and uncertainty they create is second only to the socially interactive nature of the game.
There are a plethora of dice rolling apps that showcase a vast array of features for many different platforms. In order to make this list manageable, we feature dice rollers that meet the three requirements below:
1) Cross Platform: Users should be able to roll on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
2) Online: Dice rolls should be shared with your party in a live multiplayer setting.
3) 3D: Dice rolls should look good and resemble physical dice.
dddice has only been around about a year and is still in alpha, but its growth in features has been continues over the year.
It does the dice, just the dice, and only the dice; and it does it well. Their mission is to do this well and integrate with other platforms to let you roll your dice where you are. As of January 2023 they have integrations with Foundry VTT, D&D Beyond and Roll20.
They also have a suite of tools for streamers who play D&D Live on stream with overlays for the roll results and the rolls themselves and a Stream Deck plug-in.
- 2000+ community created dice themes
- No signup required, start rolling in seconds
- Support for Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, World of Darkness, Fate, Call of Cthulhu, Genesys and Fantasy Flight Star Wars
- Customize 3D dice via an easy-to-use editor or more robust API
- Share custom dice with your friends
- Streamer support
- Support for third-party apps via API and SDK
- Not a VTT, doesn’t do character creation or automation of characters natively so you’ll have to use a plugin to handle this
- No native app support (but mobile works well enough!)
- Lack of custom shapes, no gem d4s or d100 balls
D&D Beyond is great tool you are playing D&D. If you play online then chances are you may already use this, but to those just starting their online RPG experience, this is worth checking out.
The dice offering of D&D Beyond is not as robust. The biggest con here is only the user rolling the dice sees the actual 3D dice roll, the party just gets the final number in a pop up. It’s a shame too, because some of the dice sets are really beautiful and some are only available via pre-orders. Sure, having rare dice is cool, but rolling them in front of your friends is cooler.
- You probably already use D&D Beyond for your character sheets
- Beautifully animated 3D dice
- Party members only see results, not the animated dice
- Limited, but growing die selection (additional themes are $6+)
- No dice outside the standard set used for D&D
- No customization of the dice
Roll20 is a full-fledged, super popular VTT. It does have 3D dice, but unfortunately it’s offering is the slimmest of all on this list. There is one theme, and the color is matched your player color. If all you want is the dice, this probably isn’t for you, but if VTTs are your thing this is a strong choice.
- Super popular VTT
- Just a bit of config to enable the 3D Dice
- Roll20 is a full VTT, users need to create an account and create a game to roll 3D dice
- The color of the die matches your player color, no other customization options
- Not all dice types are rollable in 3D, Fudge dice are the notable exception
- Lacks proper mobile support
Dice So Nice (for Foundry VTT)
This is our second VTT option. Dice So Nice is a plug-in for Foundry VTT, also a very popular VTT. Unless you are already on the Foundry platform this is the highest investment in time and money required roll 3D dice.
If you are already using Foundry or are keen to get started with it, this might be the choice for you.
Users are able to customize there dice, and there are a few modules in the Foundry VTT module listing that add more dice to the options. You can also buy sets from RollSmith.com that come in the form of a paid Foundry VTT module
- Integrated into Foundry which many people use already
- Independent dice creators sell dice sets
- One-time purchase of $50
- Need to self-host or pay for hosting to roll with your party
- Foundry has a steep learning curve
- Lacks proper mobile support
- Players can’t bring their own dice, the GM needs to install the dice into the world
Owlbear Rodeo 2.0 (Beta)
I’m sure you have all heard about Owlbear Rodeo. It’s a super simple VTT that is easy, intuitive and your players can get playing no sign up required. In the 1.0 version (at owlbear.rodeo) there is a dice roller, but only you can see your results.
In the upcoming 2.0 version, still in beta but available at Owlbear.app, the just released a dice roller and this time you can see what other people roll!
- Physics based rolling that rolls and tumbles identically on everyone’s screen
- Fast and easy to use, just like the rest of Owlbear Rodeo
- No dice customization
- Can only roll one color of dice at a time
- Only the standard D&D dice are available
This section is for notable dice rollers that didn’t fit the 3 criteria but I thought we’re worth mentioning because they came close, and are notable.
No 3D rolls but features a multiplayer experience.
A basic 3D dice roller with no customization. The oldest one on this list. The original version seems to be down, but mirrors exists and does not have multiplayer functionality.
There are lots of options to roll digital click-clacks!
If you’re looking to get rolling in seconds, dddice looks to be a solid choice. With no signup required and lots of themes to choose from, your party is sure to have a good time rolling for whatever system your party plays, and wherever they play.
If your party is looking for a more robust tabletop experience complete with character sheets, a VTT might be what you’re looking for.