Knowledge of the dice: the meaning of the color of your dice
In ancient times … uh … in the mid-1970s, there was really no choice about what
color were your RPG dice. The dice that came with the original D&D boxes were a done deal.
You have a white D20 (0-9 twice), no D10 at all (use the d20, of course!), A blue D12, a green D8,
a red d6 and a yellow D4. * No choice. But that’s not the way it is now.
I find myself wondering why players choose the colors of the dice they make. People buy a lot of black
dice, for example. Sometimes players just try to get dice that are different enough from
those of the other people at the table. After all, nobody likes to wonder “Is this my
D8 or yours? At the end of a long night of bloodshed intrigue, treasure and fantasy.
Often times, players are looking to collect a matching set of dice for each active character that they are
using: brown dice for Smedley the Dwarf, and white dice for Anastasia the High Elf, for example.
Maybe the little biddy reds for Tubby the Gnome too.
But beyond that, people are drawn to different colors for different reasons. Bright colors
they are cheerful and outgoing, dark colors are subdued, even mysterious. So i thought i would investigate
the associated meanings behind certain colors, to see if I could shed light on this.
This is what I found out:
Red – Red is heat, passion, love (think Valentine’s Day), and war (think blood). Red is a color
that jumps at you. In fact, it makes things appear bigger than other colors! Definitely an extrovert
Orange – Orange is associated with fall and Halloween, but it is also a symbol of courage (think
Yellow – In Western culture, yellow means caution (yield signs, caution tape), but also
cowardice. It is the brightest of the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), and we think of the
sun like yellow. Yellow is kind of a split personality color actually.
Green: Ah, green fields, green trees, grass and lush moss … can you tell I like green? Green
light means “Go” in western culture. Pale green is a calming color and it rests the eyes … why?
Do you think all those hospital rooms are painted pale green?
Blue: blue is great. It can also be very relaxing (think blue skies and blue seas), but it works
the risk of being a little too calm at times. The blue recedes, looking smaller and farther away.
what hot colors. Too much blue can be depressing (feeling sad?) Or it can seem like a symbol of
corporate heaviness (blue suits).
Purple – This is a color associated with royalty, luxury, and wealth. Purple is passion, but more than
the smoky variety. It is not as outward as red, but it is much warmer than blue.
Pink: In western culture, pink is the color of girls. That goes back to the red and pink that symbolizes the earth.
and blue that symbolizes the sky. Pink for the Goddess of Earth and Blue for the God of Heaven. Embodies the
rosy-cheeked youth. It’s sweet like strawberry ice cream and bubble gum … too cute
Brown – Brown is earthy, like the ground we walk on or the bark of a tree. Is stable
predictable, stable, warm and comforting. Did I say boring? Well, not always. Brown can be
beautiful like animal skin, or dirty … like, um … dirt.
White: white is purity. It means potential (think of a blank canvas) and innocence.
Gray – Mysterious fog, a softer version of black, a less pure version of white. Gray is indecisive
and also industrial.
Black: Well that’s night, depth, mystery, blindness, strength, death and darkness …! It is also the most popular option. Basic Black – Goes with anything.
* (See a picture of the original TSR polyhedral dice:
Dice 1st Edition [http://www.advancinghordes.com/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/21/products_id/1016])