If you are into tabletop role-playing games like DnD, then chances are that you have been at the store and had to make a decision between metal dice and acrylic dice. While acrylic dice are cheaper and generally easier to get, you might not be aware of some of the key advantages and disadvantages between the two.
In this article, we'll seriously compare these two different types of dice and see which one is best based on weight, durability, and ease-of-use.
How do metal and acrylic dice compare in weight?
Well, you might've guessed it, but metal dice weigh a fair amount more than their acrylic counterparts. In fact, metal dice can be about 5 times heavier than the same size acrylic dice. This doesn't have all that much practical effect on gameplay. Still, it can make a huge difference as far as personal preference goes. The fact is, when you're playing a tabletop game, it's good to have some weight to the physical representations of the gameplay.
Holding something substantial in your hands that has an effect on gameplay can make a massive difference in immersion. Rolling metal dice in your hand versus rolling acrylic dice can make all the difference in how invested you become in the game. Imagine... would a wizard have metal dice or acrylic dice? Pretty sure that a wizard would have absolutely no acrylic items... metal is the way to go.
In addition, the hefty nature of metallic dice makes them much harder to lose. You are going to notice when metal dice fall out of your pocket while acrylic dice could fall out, and you might not know the difference. They might not even make a noise when they hit the ground. While some players may prefer the all-around lightness of acrylic dice, the fact of the matter is that the average player is going to prefer metal dice both as a valuable possession and as a great tool to aid them in their gameplay and overall level of immersion.
How do metal and acrylic dice compare in durability?
This one's a bit of a no-brainer, as well. Metallic dice are so heavy and durable that they could practically be used as a weapon (which we very much do NOT endorse). If you are carrying metal dice and acrylic dice in the same bag, your acrylic dice are going to be turned into grated cheese by the end of the day. If you're a longtime player and are looking for a significant investment in your tabletop role-playing, metal dice are certainly a worthwhile investment. They will hold up to the years, and they will not break.
However, do be aware that depending on the finish your metal dice have, that may be prone to scratching. They can also be a little fussier in terms of storage, but it is completely manageable with some very basic knowledge.
You can roll and throw them on pretty much any surface and not see much of a dent even after years of use. They aren't invincible, but they are close. Again, if you were a character in a role-playing game and you had the option between metal and acrylic armor, you would choose metal hands-down every single time. Just another way that metal dice increase your immersion into the game!
What's the difference between metal dice and acrylic dice as far as gameplay is concerned?
Surprisingly, metal dice win here again in a way most people might not initially think of. The fact is that metal dice are made with more care. Plastic dice are usually mass-produced and tumbled in a way that makes their edges slightly inconsistent and uneven.
Meaning that, for all intents and purposes, your plastic dice may have slightly messed up odds as far as landing on certain sides. This will be less of a problem with your metal dice. Metal dice are made with more care and generally have perfectly even, sharp edges that make the odds of the roll fairer. If you are a seasoned player, you would be doing yourself a slight disservice to use acrylic dice each and every time.
So which is better?
While metal dice might be slightly more expensive, there is no question that they are the ultimate dice for all tabletop role-playing games. If you are more than just a casual player, then you will likely find metal dice to be a great investment.