D20 DIce Roller Online A Brief History Of D20 Roll Dice

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History Of D20 Dice ROller

They come in a variety of sizes. Poured, molded, and carved from every and any material you can think of (and some you probably shouldn’t). visit to d20 dice roller online which is used in popular games

Every color imaginable and some you’ve never conceived. They can make your evening one of triumph or betray you without warning, crushing your hopes and dreams. They can even kill you.

For those of you who haven’t delved into the D&D/RPG realm, a d20 is a twenty-sided die, one of several weapons in a player’s arsenal as they fight the powers of evil. Or for the forces of evil. Or maybe for themselves, depending on the quest set by the DM (dungeon master) or GM (game master) and the character created.

These little pieces of plastic, metal, and wood have decided many an elf’s fate over the years, but where do they come from? Were they always used for games or, like the Spanish playing cards that evolved into tarot suits, did they once have a more portentous presence in the world?


Egyptian dice

The object believed to be the world’s oldest d20 (found to date) is from Ptolemaic Egypt (304-30 BCE). Housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is carved from serpentine, a stone that is usually green, yellow-green, or brown-green, and gets its name from sharing a color palette with snakes.

Serpentine was thought to protect against disease and black magic; it was also a common offering to the gods as well as a protection against venomous creatures.

Sometimes known as false jade, it has been used throughout history for sword and dagger handles.

The Egyptian d20 is about an inch tall and has Greek letters carved into it (not surprising, considering the period in which it was crafted).

No one is certain what it was used for, though some have posited that the die might have been used in senet, one of the world’s oldest known board games.

Unfortunately, with only snippets of rules from various periods available, and despite long-standing efforts at reconstruction from them, no one knows what the rules of senet were and, therefore, has no idea whether dice, 20-sided or otherwise, were required for play.

Another Egyptian die has full Greek words inscribed rather than individual letters, and some of those words are similar to the ones inscribed on knuckle bones (astragals if you want to be fancy), which supports the theory that such a die was used for games.

Another theory posits that the Geek letters and words were a sort of twenty-sided Ouija board that was used for asking questions of higher beings.

A third d20, however, dating to the first century CE, carries Demotic (cursive representations of hieroglyphics) script, each side bearing the name of a different god.

Each Demotic series also represents a number (which would label the sides of the die). Found in the Dakhleh oasis (one of the seven oases of the Western Desert), it is thought to have been used for divination (cleromancy – divination with dice) rather than gaming.


Roman dice

Though younger in provenance, Roman d20s were found by archeologists before those originating in Egypt, at least as far as we know. Because the markings on them were neither Roman nor Arabic numerals, many assumed that the dice were used for gaming–specific games of chance.

If one google “Roman gambling dice,” however, the pictures that come up, including those in frescoes from the period, all depict men gambling with cubic dice (d6s).

The Romans were also fond of casting lots as a form of divination, which could be done utilizing any randomizing mechanism: lots, knucklebones, or dice.

This was someone’s fate potentially decided by the flick of a wrist and the fickle nature of a d20 on a given day; it may not have been gaming, but those of us who have ever been overrun by orcs sure know the feeling of a bad toss.


Though the d8 is said to have been invented in 1888 for poker and the d10 was patented in the United States in 1906, there wasn’t much development in the d20 between the end of the Roman era and the 20th century – at least none that we’ve discovered yet.

The next known development in the d20s didn’t come until 1950 when Tokyo-Shibaura Electric Company patented the first plastic d20.

Today, gaming shops and Etsy stores abound and many people have moved away from plastic dice to more sustainable materials such as wood and metal.

Some RPGs have a game- or series-specific dice, meaning many gamers have not only multiple sets of standard dice but also several sets of specialized ones. And I won’t even go into dice bags.

And so. What began as a way to speak with the gods (the big business of the day) is now… still a big business to which sacrifice to the gaming gods for fame, fortune, and that elusive natural 20.

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