Are you wondering whether you should get a dice jail for your dice? What’s the point of a dice jail? If you’re playing a tabletop roleplaying game (RPG), like Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) or Pathfinder, you may be wondering what dice jails are for, and whether you need one.
In this article, we’ll explore the purpose of dice jails, and whether you might want to get one for your own gaming sessions. Then, I’ll show you my favorite dice jails that I found from various vendors online and compare what I like about them! Some of the best dice jails even come with accessories, like a dice tray or rolling mat.
What is a Dice Jail?
When your dice misbehave, that is, when they roll low or produce results that aren’t beneficial to your character in-game, you can send them to “jail.” This involves putting the dice in a small container, usually made of acrylic or another clear material, and setting it aside until your next turn.
Jailing your dice is a way of taking a break from them, and it can be therapeutic to see them contained and out of your way. It’s also a way of telling yourself (and your fellow players) that you’re not going to let the dice control your game play.
Silly? Maybe. But it can be helpful, especially if you get wrapped up in the numbers and start to play too cautiously or take everything too seriously.
Superstitious or Scientific?
Yes, serious question. Did you know that dice have been used for thousands of years for all sorts of purposes. In fact, the first known dice were actually made from the ankle bones of animals!
Dice are often seen as unlucky or bad luck, especially when they roll low or produce results that aren’t beneficial. So, it’s no surprise that some people might want to “jail” their dice when they start to act up.
There’s also a scientific explanation for why our brains might see dice as bad luck. It’s called the gambler’s fallacy, and it’s the belief that if something happens more frequently than expected, it will happen less frequently in the future (and vice versa). If your trade stocks, you’ll know the feeling….
So, if you’ve been rolling low for a while, your brain might think that it’s time for a high number to come up. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but it’s something to be aware of.
Should You Get a Dice Jail?
Whether or not you should get a dice jail is entirely up to you. If you think it would be helpful, go for it! If you’re not sure, you can always try making your own dice jail out of a small container and some tape. DIY dice jails aren’t pretty, but they do the job.
There are also plenty of nice-looking and more durable options available for purchase online (more about this below). If you decide you want a dice jail, there are lots of different styles to choose from.
How Do You Choose the Best Dice Jail for Your Needs, Wants, or Desires?
Here’s what I think about when choosing a dice jail. Keep these in mind when shopping for a dice jail.
- Size of the dice jail
- Construction material
- Included extra accessories or features, e.g., locks, clasps, dice rolling tray
Size of the dice jail
Think about the size of the jail. You’ll want something that’s big enough to fit all of your dice, but not so big that it takes up too much space on your gaming table.
Second, consider the material. Acrylic is a popular choice because it’s clear and durable. But there are also wood, resin, and metal options available.
Extra accessories and features
Third, take into account any extras that come with the dice jail. Some vendors sell dice jails that come with a rolling tray or mat, which can be handy if you want to contain your dice in one spot during game play.
Cost (how much?)
Finally, think about the price. Dice jails range in price from around $10 to $50, depending on the size, material, and extras.
My 10 Favorite Dice Jails for DnD and Other Roleplaying Games (RPGs)
Here are a few dice jails I found that I think are cool, and wouldn’t mind using in my next tabletop game. Or, maybe I’ll just have one sitting on my office desk at work. Just think, every time I look at it, I’ll be reminded not to let the gambler’s fallacy take over my brain. Who knows!
3D printing your own dice jail is one of the easiest (and fastest) ways to get one on your tabletop. You can find plenty of different designs on Thingiverse, and there are even some that come with more elaborate designs. This 3D printed dice jail is my favorite because it’s simple, yet effective. It has a nice weight to it, and the dice jail was easy to print.
Although this design has the DnD logo on it, you could easily modify the STL using your favorite 3D modeling software. For those that don’t know how to modify 3D printable files can probably find other 3D printable dice jails that fit your particular game system or aesthetic preference.
I’ve reviewed this Mimic Chest “box” in another article. Hint: I recommend it for so many reasons! It’s a great storage option for all your gaming goodies, and it is the perfect roleplay punishment for naughty dice. This is a great option if you’re looking for something that can do double duty as both dice or token storage, and as a dice jail. The Mimic Chest is solid resin and hefty.
The lid closes shut with the teeth fitting neatly inside the chest. You won’t know it’s a monstrous Mimic until you open it. If you’re looking for a fun and unique option that will keep your dice safe (and make your gaming group laugh…or cower in fear), then this is the perfect dice jail (box) for you.
This is another 3D printable option for finding the right dice jail for you. I love browsing myminifactory because of all the great (and free) 3D printable files. This particular dice jail is a little more detailed than the one I listed above. It even has a “door” that opens so you can “release” your dice when they’ve served their time. The design uses 3 metal bars or rods as the jail bars, so you may need to augment your 3D print after you’re done. Take a closer look!
The coolest feature of any dice jail is that you can use it to roll your dice through a “popper” window. The dice popping mechanism can roll 5 dice at a time, while a hidden compartment stores up to 21 dice. The dice popper acts as “a jail” because your dice are trapped until you pop them out. They won’t be going anywhere!
The dice popper is lightweight yet sturdy, and would make a great addition to any gaming table. For those wondering why you’d want a dice popper, you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s a nice way to keep your rolling dice from spilling off your table or knocking over your precious minis. Sure, you could use a dice rolling tray, but why not combine a dice jail, roller, and tabletop gadget all-in-one?
Feed this corrosive beast your disobedient dice to purify them. This “dice jail” comes in four colors, blue, red, green, and clear. It may require that you do some painting for those embedded bits in the gelatin. Or, you can order one of these gelatinous cube dice jails pre-painted. If you choose to paint it yourself, I recommend using hobby-grade acrylic paints and varnishing your work with a brush-on sealer.
This is a must-have for any RPG or D&D player that wants to add some flair (and humor) to their gaming table. The translucent effect looks amazing under the right lighting conditions, and your gaming group will be in awe of your dice-consuming horror.
The next best thing to sending bad dice to “the farm” is to banish them to the outhouse. This is a great way to keep your dice “contained” while you’re playing. And, it’s also a fun way to give your dice some much-needed “time out.” Just make sure to keep an eye on them, because you don’t want them getting too comfortable in there! (Note: This comes unpainted and will require a simple paint job to make it look finished).
This is the simplest, smallest dice jail that I’ve found. The most frequently rolled dice are D20’s, so you may expect them to be the most popular type of dice to find its way into trouble. Well, this dice jail is designed specifically for D20’s. If you’re looking for a small, unobtrusive way to keep your D20’s in check, then this is the perfect option for you.
I’ve always regarded any product from C4 Labs with the utmost respect. They make high-quality, well-designed gaming accessories. So, it should come as no surprise that their dice jail is one of the most obvious choices for showing your dice what’s what. This particular model is designed to “shame” your dice for their bad behavior.
There’s no enclosure. Rather it uses an open top with the giant billboard “Dice Jail” written in it. It’s a great way to keep them in check, and it’s also a fun conversation starter for your gaming group.
Forged Gaming sent me this resin Serpent Cell Dice Jail for a review. Without getting too granular, this is a meaty TTRPG accessory in the same vein as the Mimic Chest (shown above). The Serpent Cell is the perfect home for those errant, unruly dice. It comes with a front door that magnetically seals and looks amazing on any gaming table. The level of detail in the sculpted dragon, the textured stonework is impressive. The Forged Gaming logo is also emblazoned on the side.
This is a great option if you’re looking for a dice jail that will last you for many years (it’s made of resin). For the creatives out there, I would also say this is the perfect piece for customizing with a unique paint job. Merely prime over the resin and paint away.
Wyrmwood products never disappoint, and this dice jail is no different. It’s a beautiful, hand-crafted piece of wood that will look amazing on any gaming table. The design is elegant and simple, with just enough flair to let everyone know what it is. Of course, it’s expensive, but you’re paying for the quality and craftsmanship.
If I had a word to describe any Wyrmwood TTRPG accessory, e.g., dice tray, towers, it would be “bespoke”. As someone who appreciates unique, even exclusive, gaming accessories, Wyrmwood is always my first stop. Check out the Wyrmwood Dice Jail if you’re looking for a high-end option.
Summary: Best Dice Jails for Any Tabletop Gamer
|3D Printed Dice Jail||More Details and Price|
|Mimic Chest Dice Storage Box or Jail||More Details and Price|
|D&D Dice Jail 3D Print||More Details and Price|
|Castle Dice Popper for TTRPG and Board Games||More Details and Price|
|Gelatinous Cube Dice Jail||More Details and Price|
|Outhouse Dice Jail||More Details and Price|
|RPG Dice Jail||More Details and Price|
|C4 Labs Dice Jail for Shaming Misbehaving Dice||More Details and Price|
|Serpent Cell Dice Jail||More Details and Price|
|Wyrmwood Dice Jail||More Details and Price|
Indeed, I devoted an entire article about dice jails. A bit crazy? Perhaps. I think dice jails are one of the most largely ignored DnD and RPG accessories out there. People think about them, write about, use them frequently, and yet, the dice jail remains an enigma. Even the best dice jails are mysterious, odd, and frankly confusing to most layman to RPG gameplay.
Do they work? Maybe only in our minds. The dice jail we touch and feel are merely the tangible proxy to the realness we see with our mind’s eye. Think about it… The RPG worlds we explore as sojourners only exist in our imagination; It must be natural that the dice jail also live and do the punishing deeds there, too.
Do you use a dice jail? What style do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below!