1d5 in Tabletop RPGs: Usage Tips

Discover the intriguing world of 1d5 rolls in tabletop RPGs and how this unique dice can enhance your gaming sessions. Whether you're creating characters, generating loot, or resolving actions, a 1d5 offers a fresh twist on traditional gameplay. Here's a quick overview:

Remember, the 'd' in 1d5 stands for 'dice,' and this guide aims to make your RPG sessions more unpredictable and fun with the simple addition of a 1d5.

Definition and Mechanics

When we talk about a 1d5 roll, we mean rolling a die that can land on any number from 1 to 5. But here's the thing: actual 5-sided dice are pretty rare. So, most of the time, players roll a 10-sided die (d10) and just divide the result by 2, rounding up if needed. This way, numbers 1 to 5 on the d10 represent the same numbers on a d5.

This kind of roll works just like any other dice roll in games. It's a way to bring in some chance. Since it only goes up to 5, it's perfect for when you have a few options and don't need a big range of numbers. Each number has an equal chance of coming up, which is 20%.

Historical Context

Dice with different numbers of sides have been around since the 1970s, especially with games like Dungeons & Dragons. The usual set includes dice with 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20 sides. The d5 was used here and there, but it wasn't as popular.

Over time, games have stuck with a standard set of dice to keep things simple for everyone. Most players have d6s (6-sided dice) and d20s (20-sided dice), so those are used the most. Even though the d5 is pretty unique, it's not used much because it's easier when everyone has the same kinds of dice.

But the d5 has its moments. It's good for when you need a range that's not too big. And even if you don't have a d5, you can still get the same effect with other dice. It's a fun way to add something different to your game, even if it's a bit unusual!

Creative Applications of 1d5 Rolls

Character Creation

Using a d5 can make creating characters for games like Dungeons & Dragons more fun and random. Here's how:

Using a d5 here adds just the right amount of chance to make each character unique without making things too complicated.

Loot Generation

When players find treasure, a d5 can make it more exciting:

Using a d5 here makes finding loot less predictable and more fun for everyone.

Resolving Actions

For actions that need a smaller range of outcomes, a d5 is perfect:

The d5 is great for when you need a little bit of randomness without big changes. It adds a nice touch of fun to the game.

Adding a d5 to your game can make things more interesting in lots of different tabletop RPGs. Here's how to do it in some popular games:

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

D&D 5e is super popular and there are many ways to use a d5:

The d5 adds excitement without making things too complicated.

Pathfinder Second Edition

Pathfinder 2e also works well with a d5:

The d5 brings in a good mix of chance and fairness.

World of Darkness 5th Edition

In story-driven games like WoD, a d5 can add to the drama:

With just 5 options, the d5 makes decisions quick and adds surprises to the game.

Step-by-Step Implementation Guide


Before you start using 1d5 in your games, here's what game masters (GMs) should do:

Doing these things will help everyone get used to the idea of using a 1d5 in the game.


When it's game time, here's how to use 1d5 rolls:

Keeping things flexible and listening to your players will make using 1d5 rolls smooth.


To fine-tune using 1d5, GMs should:

By making small changes based on how things go, 1d5 rolls can add just the right amount of excitement.


Gameplay Examples

Here are a few ways a 1d5 roll can change the game in fun and unexpected ways:

A Mysterious Stranger

The group runs into an odd old man on the road who says he has important news. The GM uses a d5 to figure out if the man is being honest:

  1. He's telling the truth and wants to help the group.
  2. He's a thief trying to steal from the group.
  3. He's cursed and can only talk in puzzles.
  4. He's a spy who's watching adventurers in the area.
  5. He's actually a demon in disguise.

The roll leads to very different paths, showing how a simple d5 can make a big difference.

Deadly Traps

While in an old tomb, the group sets off a trap. The GM rolls a d5 to see which player triggers the trap and gets hurt:

  1. The fighter in armor gets hit by a poison dart.
  2. The quick rogue is caught by spikes from the walls.
  3. The wizard steps on a magic rune on the ground.
  4. The cleric is grabbed by a moving mummy from a coffin.
  5. The ranger finds a bunch of poisonous snakes.

The d5 roll picks who gets hit by the trap.

Mysterious Potions

The group finds some potions without labels. The GM gives each a number from 1 to 5. When someone drinks one, a d5 roll decides what happens:

  1. Restore Health - You get some health back.
  2. Boost Strength - You do more damage in fights.
  3. Enhance Senses - You're better at noticing things.
  4. Burst of Speed - You can move twice as fast for a little while.
  5. Vile Poison - You get poisoned.

The excitement of not knowing what the d5 roll will do makes trying these potions thrilling!

These examples show that using a 1d5 can add a lot of surprises and fun to tabletop RPGs. Try it out in your next game!


Throwing a 1d5 in tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons can make your game more exciting by adding a bit of chance. With only 5 outcomes, the 1d5 is a simple way to bring in surprises without making things too complicated.

Here's what you should remember about using 1d5 rolls:

In short, don't overlook the simple 1d5. It's a great tool for adding fun surprises to your tabletop RPG sessions. When used right, it can make your game even more enjoyable and memorable.

What does the D mean in Dungeons and Dragons?

In games like Dungeons & Dragons, when you see something like 1d4 or 2d6, it's telling you how to roll dice. The 'd' stands for dice. The number before the 'd' tells you how many dice to roll, and the number after it tells you how many sides those dice have. For example, 1d4 means roll one four-sided die, and 2d6 means roll two six-sided dice.

What does 3d6 mean?

3d6 means you need to roll three six-sided dice and then add up what you get. So, if you roll a 2, a 4, and a 5, your total would be 11. Rolling several dice like this adds randomness, making the game more unpredictable and fun.

What does 4d6 mean in D&D?

In Dungeons and Dragons, 4d6 means rolling four six-sided dice and adding them up. This method is often used when creating characters to decide their strengths and weaknesses. It's a way to bring in chance and make each character unique.

How to roll d12 with d6?

To pretend you're rolling a 12-sided die using two 6-sided dice, do this:

  1. Roll both dice.
  2. The first die gives you a number between 1 and 6.
  3. For the second die, if you roll 1-3, don't change the first number. If you roll 4-6, add 6 to the first number.
  4. This way, you get numbers from 1 to 12!

It's a bit like a puzzle but it lets you play even if you don't have the exact dice you need.