Doing a quick internet search for braille dice doesn’t provide many options and most options are basic D6 dice with raised dots in the standard dice formation. There are some options with dual number and proper braille formatting, but they are few and far between, and not always in an affordable price range or the correct size desired.
Limited options in size and color can be solved with one simple solution: make your own dice. Before you start complaining about how that takes time and effort and a modicum of knowledge and skill with computer design software, let me just say one thing: yes it does, but there are people out there willing to take on a lot of that work for you. Thingiverse user Jack Berberette (The DOTS RPG Project) has an ongoing project to provide STL files (the file required to 3D print an object) for braille dice – all you need to do is find a 3D printer. (You can also buy them preprinted from Shapeways at the DOTS RPG Project shop; ordering information is included below!)
DOTS: A Not-for-Profit Project
Now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, DOTS RPG Project began with the work of Jack Berberette, inspired by his friend De Juan “D” Daniels. Meet D in the video below as Berberette gifts him a few special gifts, including the 3D printed dice designed for DOTS:
The dice designed by Berberette include the necessities: D20, D12, D10, D% (a slightly altered D10), D8, D6, D4, and a Fate/Fudge die. The dice are designed to include the braille alphabet from A to I to represent the numbers 1 to 9 and the letters J through T to represent the numbers 10 through 20. DOTS has taught me that the letter J, in braille, is actually commonly used for the number 0, but they are using it in place of 10 for the larger dice. How cool is that?
Each die comes with rounded edges to aid in rolling and all except the D6 and D4 dice have a textured edge to orient the player to properly read each roll. The D% die is a blunted D10. Earlier versions (the FREE files are ever evolving) of the dice included an engraved number for the sighted players, which have disappeared from this latest update, however, most 3D printer software should have the ability to add embossed/engraved text to surfaces before printing.
There is one big disclaimer on these dice, though: There is no balancing or testing done to ensure the dice aren’t off kilter. The dice aren’t intentionally loaded, and adding in engraved text of your own may also affect the way the dice roll. Please be courteous and provide feedback to DOTS if you have any major issues or suggestions on design.
One main benefit to printing your own dice is SIZE! Having the STL file means you can scale the dice up from their originally intended near-standard size (the dice range in intended size from 5/8″ D6 to 1 1/2″ D20). If you have a print bed large enough, the material, and the time to smooth out the surface, why not make yourself a six-inch D20? It would most definitely be a good conversation piece for your desk at work and rolling that thing before every meeting to see if your stamina will sustain you without a coffee top off could be a fun way to inject a little random chance into your day.
Donate Dice to DOTS
If you would like to donate a set of dice to a gamer in need, Berberette is accepting donations! Since the DOTS RPG Project Shapeways store is set up for zero-markup, it may be worth your time to purchase directly from there and have the item of your choosing shipped directly. There is no restriction on printing your own for donation, but the license prohibits commercial use. Donations can be made as monetary donations via PayPal or physical dice donations, which can be sent to the following address:
DOTS Dice Sponsor
297 Larkfield Rd Unit 1474
East Northport, NY 11731
No 3D Printer? No Problem!
If you do not own a 3D printer yourself, search around your area for a local Makerspace or university that offers a service to the public; a lot of the times, if you show some interest, you can walk away with the dice for the cost of the material and, bonus, make new friends. If neither of those are available, online print services are always an option – but so is purchasing direct from DOTS or Shapeways. DOTS RPG Project is adamant about making gaming accessible to everyone and has a zero-markup listed on the DOTS RPG Project Shapeways store!
We hope DOTS’s braille dice accomplishes the goal of expanding the gaming community. Whether you purchase or print, consider donating a set to your local gaming store. Let us know how you are spreading the love of gaming and inclusivity in your own community! What other ways are you bringing gaming to everyone?
This article has been updated and was originally published on April 3, 2018.