The total number of Action dice rolled by a player in a turn is called his dice pool.

The Shadow player starts the game with seven dice in his pool, but may gain additional dice later in the game, up to a maximum of ten. These additional Action dice enter play when the Shadow player brings his Minions into the game (one die for Saruman, one for the Witch-king, one for the Mouth of Sauron).

The Free Peoples player starts with four dice in his pool. Like the Shadow, he can also gain additional dice later in the game. The Free Peoples player adds one die to his dice pool when Aragorn – Heir to Isildur enters play and another one when Gandalf the White appears.

Both the Shadow and the Free Peoples player lose the additional die if the corresponding Character is eliminated

When a player gains or loses an Action die, the gain or loss becomes effective in the next turn: the die is added to, or removed from, the dice pool during the Recover Action Dice and Draw Event Cards phase of the following turn.