d4s on the floor

How to Read a D4

Four-sided dice, abbreviated d4, are the lowest number range version of the classic RPG dice set. This seemingly simple tetrahedron (pyramid shape) is one of the most confusing in the lineup, primarily because there are two main styles of d4s. 

So lets take a few moments to see exactly how to read a d4.The two d4 styles

In the picture above you can see the two primary styles of 4 sided dice. On the left the blue d4 is read by having the number at the bottom be the result of the roll. On the right the purple d4 show numbers at the points, and is read by the number at the top most point be the result of the roll.

In either type of d4, you are looking to see which numeral is upright on all the visible faces of the die.

Why two styles?

The reason for two styles today is mostly visual. The internal numbering was much more common in early iterations of dice, but now most styles favor the numbing along the points. 

Our polymer and metal dice sets all utilize the external numbering.

However, our gemstones will typically utilize the internal numbers. This is due to the fragility of the stone - using internal numbering keeps cutting away from the thinner points.

So that covers the basics you'll need to read a d4. Just be sure to not step on them!

d4 meme

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Hey John … Just a heads up .. There are two main versions of d4’s …. I was prompted to do a survey and delineation of the types of tetrahedral shaped d4’s and found 10 different types of ways to read :)

Kevin Cook

I’d liken stepping on a d4 to stepping on a caltrop!


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