Category Archives: Dice

Crit Success Rings – A Review

Back in March, 2016 at GaryCon 8, +Satine Phoenix gave a bunch of us these d20 rings, that you can wear and roll a d20. Very cool.

They are CritSuccess rings.

They take a bit of working the grit out, dish soap & warm water work well. Once you have them spinning freely, they seem to generate random numbers.

It is a cool trinket for those of us who collect dice and other game memorabilia.

I can see using them for a DM roll of a d20, if it needed to be secret.

They also have rings for other single dice and multi-dice combinations like 3d6. If you really like a ring or two on every finger, this might be for you.

Marmalade Dog 21

Marmalade Dog 21 was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 18-20, 2016, at Western University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I had planned to attend today and play in the first slot, but I woke up with a stuffy nose and ear, and a sore throat.

We did not have an official OSR slot this year, like we did last year. I have decided that once we find out when Marmalade Dog is next year that I will step up and coordinate an OSR track. The exception is if it is the same weekend as Gary Con. Last year, the convention was in early February, so I asked if they know yet when it will be next year. The answer is that the university tells them what date they can have, or occasionally what dates they can choose from. So such a variable makes it understandable why it isn’t consistent with the month they have it. I live in southern Kalamazoo County, so am only about 20 minutes away from campus.

Normally the deadline for GM sign up to run games, and get free admission, for each day that they run a session, and a t-shirt, is December 31. I didn’t get signed up to run a game by then. In February, I looked and there were some OSR type games, but three sessions the first, fifth, and seventh, did not have any. So I signed up at the website for the first and fifth session, and was not automatically rejected. I never got an email for confirmation that I wasn’t rejected. So last weekend, I went to the website and checked, and my sign ups were on the list of scheduled games. I then hurried up and got ready.

Session 1: 3:00 pm on Friday. As with last year, no one showed up to my game. If things work out to coordinate an OSR track next year, we’ll have to drum up enough players to commit to a first session game.  I ran the same thing for Session 5 on Saturday.

Session 2: Friday was 7:30 pm – 11:30 pm. +Forest Ray ran a Swords & Wizardry Complete setting, called Muskets & Magic Users. It was S&W with muskets. We were first level adventurers hired by the town to go stop the pirates who raided their town. Non magic users got issued a musket that did 1d12, that fired once per round. Magic users got a wand of magic missile that had 5 first level spells per day and regenerated its charges overnight.

That was a fun little session, and my magic user used Charm Person to make a “friend” of one of the pirates that was on the raiding party that came into the tavern where we were. This made it easier to find the other pirates in the raiding party, secure their boat, and go out to their ship. We managed to take the ship and go clean out the pirate hideout, then go fight the dragon ship of the pirate queen. It was a fun game.

Forest always hands out goodies for his games, and we each got a bag of dice and a button with the name of his game, and the rules system. Forest came down from Lansing and got a hotel to run and play games all three days. In addition to swag, he brought 3 copies of Swords & Wizardry Complete for reference. I didn’t bring mine as I was already lugging three AD&D Player Handbooks, the OSRIC Player Handbook, and a DMG for my earlier session.

Muskets & Magic Users
Muskets & Magic Users

Charles, who played in one of my sessions of Homlett from last year, and was looking forward to my game Saturday night. He said he runs Swords & Wizardry sometimes. He actually lives in my town, but I lost his number. I put it in my cell so I can’t lose it. We also had a couple, Joseph and Priscilla, who played S&W for the first time and had a blast. They were both experienced gamers. He lives in a town about 15 miles south of me, so we are planning to get together IRL for gaming. She lives about a half hour away in the other direction. We had one other player, and I am blanking on the name. I did not think to take a picture of play at the table.

Session 3: 10:00 am on Saturday, I played DCC’s Frozen in Time as a 0-level funnel, by +Mike Carlson.  Mike came down from Lansing for the day. I played this funnel with him last year. Others had played it, but I didn’t remember most of the key details, so it was like a new adventure. I only remembered things as we encountered them. It was a good time. We had a full table with 6 players. Four of us were experienced gamers with DCC experience. The other two were a couple, Seth had RPG experience, and this was Gretchen’s first roleplaying experience. She had a good time. This couple lives about an hour away, in Benton Harbor, so they are having a challenge finding a group. +Clayton Williams from Lansing and +James DeYonke and his friend Dave, from Ann Arbor, one and two hours away, respectively.

DCC at Marmalade Dog 21
DCC at Marmalade Dog 21

Session 4: 3:00 pm, Saturday. +Forest Ray ran Da Orkz Iz Back, a White Star scenario. I meant to bring my White Star books, but didn’t think to set them out, or put in my bag before I went to bed. This was the first time I had played White Star. Mike Carlson joined in, as did Charles, Joseph, and Priscilla from the night before in Muskets and Magic Users.

Forest & Players White Star
Forest & Players White Star
White Star At Marmalade Dog 21
White Star At Marmalade Dog 21

This was a scenario that needed at least one Star Knight and one pilot with the rest mercenaries. I rolled up a very uncharismatic Star Knight, and we had two pilots and two mercenaries. We were hired to investigate the loss of contact with Altair 6, a relatively new colony. There was no contact with the Star Knight Monastery, the city, and the star port. We found that legendary orcs who were thought to be myth were real, and were working with a couple of Void Knights. My Star Knight couldn’t hit the Void Knight with his star sword. The rest of the party gunned down the other Void Knight and one of the pilots picked up his void knight sword and managed to stab the void knight I was fighting. In another combat, I finally managed to hit something with my star sword. I was much better when I was shooting my blaster pistol.

Da Orkz Iz Back
Da Orkz Iz Back

Session 5: 7:00 pm on Saturday. I ran a scenario based on an area of my home campaign that I wanted to flesh out – Ogre Island and the Black Crate. I will write up a separate article on this.

Sunday has two sessions, Session 6 at 11:00 am and  7 at 3:30 pm.

Session 6: Forest ran Mutant University using the Mutant Future system. I had planned to attend that before I woke up with a cold and no energy.

Session 7: did not have any what I thought were obvious OSR games. I was thinking of playing a game of Fate, which I have never played. Maybe next year.

What I learned from this experience.

  • I need to commit to this local con, since it is in my backyard. As long as it does not conflict with Gary Con or other things I want to do, I will go.
    • If it is the same weekend as Gary Con, I can still try to coordinate an OSR track, for any not going to Gary Con.  I can recruit an assistant to handle things of the actual weekend.
  • Last year, after I saw how much time it took me to get ready to run Village of Homlet, I decided it would have been just as easy to come up with my own scenario that I would know like the back of my hand.
    • This idea proved true. I used the opportunity to flesh out an area of my campaign I had been wanting to do for a long time.
  • People will drive from a couple hours away to come for Saturday. A strong OSR presence could attract a lot more people.
    • Advertising on G+ an other outlets could increase the attendance.
    • Keep the line of communication open with other players from the region.
  • If you run a 6 person game, you get one folding table that is just big enough. If you run an 8 person game you get two folding tables.
  • Swag is cool. Perhaps publishers would provide swag, or templates for GM’s to make their own swag.
    • DCC has some cool stuff with bookmarks, buttons, pens, pencils, and more.

Quick Campaign Creation Checklist

I had a post like this in the past – Checklist For Gearing Up For An Online Campaign, but I wrote this without reviewing it. I also had a post on Campaign Design, with lots of links to great online resources. For some reason the variation below really hit home with me.

If you are planning your first campaign or planning a new campaign, what do you need to do to be ready for players?

First, you decide what genre, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Western, etc. The decision of a genre may be determined by the rules you already have, or a new game you bought but haven’t had a chance to play. Or you may be gung ho and want to design a new game to go with your campaign.

Before we get to far into this, what do we mean by campaign. For me, a campaign is on open ended series of adventures in the same setting. Basically, this is sandbox style of play. I played in a campaign that is over 30 years old and still going, ran by my brother, Robert. I can play in it whenever I want (Well, that and when his work schedule and my being back home in Missouri….).

For others, a campaign is a series of connected adventures that has an end, either a set number of adventures, or a goal/culmination, that all the players and the DM are working towards. This does not mean that multiple campaigns can’t be in the same world. Why design a world/setting for adventure and not use it? For some, like back in the old days, their setting is running through a bunch of modules, with custom modifications. The One Page Dungeon Contest provides plenty of these.

Scope – Just how big do you plan this campaign to be? Even if you start out with a handful of six mile hexes, just how big is your setting? Will it be limited to a sub-continental or continental scale, a planet, a solar system, a galaxy, parallel universes, different planes of existence? While it may start small in a village or small town with a dungeon, if it takes off, how big is the limit? If you and your players only want to do dungeons, for example working through all the dungeons from the One Page Dungeon Contests, you have your scope. However, if you all want grand and epic adventures across time, space, and multiple dimensions, you have your scope. You don’t have to plan any of that now, just make a note, and as ideas strike you, put them in your notebook.

Background – How much is needed? Do you write sweeping histories and legends? If so, do you share with your players, or allow them to uncover them through play? Or do you have just the barest of notes to set the tone. Or do you get input from players to help set the tone?

Powers/Dieties – If you have Dieties in a fantasy setting, or perhaps in other genres, do you design them whole cloth, or use existing mythos? For example, in AD&D there is Dieties & Demigods or Grewhawk Advenures with dieties all stated out and ready to go. Some GM’s don’t care and just let each player choose what they want for a diety. Or are there super powerful beings that fill the role of dieties, like Q from TNG, or all the major aliens from the Star Gate series?

Races – In a fantasy setting, for example, do you allow all the races that players can be? Do you limit the choices for your vision of your campaign. Do you not care and allow any type of creature to be a PC?

Classes – Do you allow all the classes in the core rules? Do you limit the availability of some classes? Do you allow players to create their own classes?  Will you allow multiclass combinations different from the rules? Will you have race as class?

 Level Limits? – If you plan a game with level limits, do you plan to enforce it or revise it, or have no limits?

Alignment – If your rules have an alignment system, do you use it as is, or modify it to suit your preferences or the flavor of the campaign?

House Rules – What other changes to the standard rules do you have? Do you ignore certain rules? Do you have your own custom rules or mix and match ideas from multiple other games and blogs?

How much do you need to start? – I am assuming a sandbox style of preparation. For D&D, for example, a town, a dungeon or two, some rumors, shops, an inn, a bunch of names for NPC’s that come up, and some monsters, with a few random encounter tables. Keep it simple and keep it small. If you have a hook for people to run off halfway across a continent, then you will need to vastly expand your sandbox before play starts. Keep the focus on the starting area and minimize your efforts. There are tons of helpful ideas for all of this online, with all kinds of random tables to help you build a sandbox, create tables for various purposes, generate random names, etc. Work your setting, don’t make it work you. (This is a big finger pointed at me. I all too easily can get lost in the minutiae.)

Narrow your focus and only make as much material as you need to run the first few sessions. Be open to the players going in unexpected directions, and if they “go off the map”, roll with it. Take notes after the session, and prepare for next time.

Rely on the abundance available. There are tons of free modules and dungeons and other resources online. As mentioned above, the One Page Dungeon Contest has ready made adventures for multiple genres.

Maps or no maps for players? – There are tons of maps online. Do you only need them for you, or will you make them available to players? For example, maps of dungeons, cities, towns, etc? Of will it be theater of the mind and players can make their own maps.

Battlemats/Miniatures? – Will you use battlemats and miniatures for everything, or at all? I tend to use a simple map to show the lay of the land and relative position. Miniatures mostly for marching order and relative position. Often figures can be different dice or marks on a page, or other trinkets.

Player Handouts? – Will all of your preparation and design require a player handout with house rules, campaign setting information, or other things a player in your campaign needs to know? If so, this alone can take as much time as all your other preparation. Be smart, copy and paste and avoid typing something that already exists electronically. Keep a well backed up copy of this document and edit as needed during the course of the campaign.

Keeping it Organized – Plan for success. Don’t wimp out and assume no one will like your game. The first session may not go so well, especially with a group of people new to each other and perhaps new players. The first session will help set the tone and will help you launch into following sessions.

Keep a campaign calendar. If you have determined random events put it on the calendar and track on it the things players do. Include the actual session number and play date and what amount of time on your game calendar were covered.

Take notes during play. Note things you need to remember, have a section for To Do, research, preparation for next time, major events to remember and work into the game, etc. They only need enough detail so that you understand what they mean later.

Get the players involved. Especially for an online game, invite players to write up each session and given them XP, or other in-game rewards for their efforts.

If you have an existing campaign, and your plans to organize it did not go well, learn from what did not go well when planning and organizing a new campaign. Perhaps you can also take time to better organize your existing campaign.

Online tools – Whether you play online via Roll20 or other VTT, you can still use online tools to keep it organized. As long as all players have access to the internet, they can use a Google community to organize play reports and communicate between games, and the GM can message all players in one spot and simplify changes to the game schedule.

If you do play online, use a tool that all players can use and keep everyone involved. This is a bit more challenging remotely, as more quite players can sink into the background if they don’t get their queue to chime into the matter at hand. Whether in person or online, make sure that each player gets their moment. Some very loud and obnoxious players can crowd out the rest of the players.

Organizing as you go will simplify things down the road. Have a filing system that works for you, so you can find anything you need in seconds. Keep a list of NPC’s at hand so you always have the stats you generated for them and avoid generating new stats. If you do this, as I have done a few times, use the new stats for a new NPC. Make sure that everything you do is something you can use.

If hosting in your home, make sure that you have an understanding on pens/pencils, dice, paper, rule books, snacks,  etc. Unless you are a relatively new GM, you may not have extra dice to share. I fall into the camp of, no one uses the DM’s DM dice! But I have many other sets that I share. If the GM hosts, will the players bring snacks, etc? Is alcohol permitted? If you are a particular person when it comes to your stuff and your home, figure out how to explain your rules of use, so that it doesn’t turn people away.

 

I only mention this from my experience way back with one friend who would always lean back in chairs, and he ruined several of my parents chairs without much of an apology or offer to replace them. This usually is not a problem with adults, but some adults can still be careless with other’s stuff. You also didn’t dare give this guy a pencil, as he would chew it up, and leave slivers all over. Bic ink pens also suffered, the caps most of all.

Also be realistic, if you live in a tiny apartment, can you really host sessions with ten players? Is there a local place you can go to play? this goes back to how portable is your campaign? Can you play it anywhere? If you only have one toilet, how long will breaks have to be so that everyone gets a turn?

Get feedback from the players before, during, and after each session to see if they are into it and enjoying themselves. If a session goes very well, you won’t have to ask, they will either say it outright, or give obvious clues that it hit the spot.

Use the players suppositions and fears. – Players can’t help to speculate about what they will encounter. If you get them into it, you can really use themselves against themselves. Use this to tweak the current session, or collect notes on all their wild speculations and build an adventure built off of them. When you use player’s ramblings in play, they buy into it all the more, because now they are invested and see that you are willing to play along.

Build and revise as needed. – As you go through the process of building your campaign/world/setting, you will think of something not listed here. Add it to the list. As players begin interacting with your creation, it will have to adapt, be willing to let it change as it happens. If you have a “really great idea” in the planning stages, but it doesn’t seem to fit once play begins, that’s ok. Either save it for a different setting, revise it so that it fits, or wait until the campaign develops so that it makes sense to use that idea.

What did I miss? I left out links to all the articles on how to build a sandbox

THE OUTLINE

  • Genre/Rules (Game) – This is not necessarily the same thing.
    • The rules should be one that you know well enough to run without too much delay for “getting things right”.
    • I am more and more of the mind that “getting things right” does not mean stopping the game for an extended period of time to figure out some forgotten, obscure point, or edge case in the rules. Make a decision/ruling, note it, live with it, and move on.
    • Can you pack up the game and take it anywhere, or must the players come to your place because of how much material is involved?
    • How crunchy/detailed/complicated do you want your rules to be? If you like realism, choose a system that goes for realism. If you want rules that allow fast and simple play so you have more time to enjoy the cooperative play and storytelling of RPG’s, find the system that works for you.
  • Type of campaign (open ended ongoing or limited duration)
    • Sandbox vs. something else.
  • Scope
  • Background
  • Powers/Dieties
  • Races
  • Classes
  • Alignment
  • House Rules
  • How much do you need to start?
  • Maps or no maps for players?
  • Battlemats/Miniatures?
  • Player Handouts?
  • Keeping it Organized
    • Campaign Calendar
    • Notes during the session.
    • Player Involvement
    • Online Tools
    • Hosting in your home?
  • Feedback
  • Use the players suppositions and fears.
  • Build and revise as needed. –

DungeonMorphs 2: Cities & Villages: Map Generator Dice/Cards by Inkwell Ideas – They’re Here!

I backed this Kickstarter last year, and it was intended to ship by the end of May, and my dice set of five dice, plus two challenge goal bonus dice arrived today. I haven’t had a follow up post on this since this one in December. In addition to the dice, the five dice set has a small canvas dice bag, labeled Dungeonmorph Dice.

I knew this might be here today, after the update email on Saturday. I was glad to finally get it. My desire for them was to help give me ideas to flesh out a large ruined city. Aspects of my personal project keep dragging on and on due to real life, etc. I’m glad I finally have it,!

Now the outstanding Kickstarters I have backed are down to four:

  • Grimtooth’s Ultimate Traps Collection (The PDF is done and an update with bookmarks and clean up is nearly ready for us to review, before the book is printed. I order the hard cover.)
  • City State of the Invincible Overlord (I went for the book and the maps. I hope I get my stuff soon. The last update at the end of June indicated the first draft is done.
  • The Planet Mercenary RPG (I didn’t get the game, I got the book – “THE SEVENTY MAXIMS OF MAXIMALLY EFFECTIVE MERCENARIES”.)
  • Finally, the one I don’t expect anything to happen: The Great Kingdom, which was supposed to ship this month; before all the legal issues.

While I might back other Kickstarters, I’m not sure how many of them will be RPG related. Most likely, they will be nostalgia related, such as stuff from back in the day that I never had, or no longer have.

 

May Mythoard Review

I received my May Mythoard on Saturday, but have been very busy. My weekend was full of lawn care and gardening, and this week has been crazy busy with work. I got pictures when I opened it, but haven’t written it up until now.

Work greatly slowed down today, so my energy level and general enthusiasm to concentrate on anything is still here. My last post in my scheduled posts ran out yesterday, so the timing is perfect!

Group Shot
Group Shot

A monster token of a Lich, I think. These aren’t my thing, but the art is cool and it’s a magnet. You’re not supposed to be able to see the surface of your refrigerator, right?

Monster Token
Monster Token

The Wombat Notepad is tiny! It is two inches by two and a half inches, with 16 pages. I like the cool skull and crossbones graphic. I am not sure how practical such a small pad would be. It is well made but is just not my thing. If a tiny notebook is what you’re after, then this is it.

Wombat Notepad
Wombat Notepad
Wombat Notepad
Wombat Notepad

Ideas for doors. I don’t know that I would have bought this if I saw it at my FLGS. It has some interesting ideas. It has cards for doors, traps, and special. Of course, it says that it requires the Pathfinder RPG to use the cards. I take it that Pathfinder has very specific rules for doors. One can easily take the ideas in this deck and use it for any game. I’ll go through this in detail later, but I am sure it will add some variety to the doors placed in different location in my games.

How many doors can you describe?
How many doors can you describe?

How did they know I didn’t have enough dice! I like the color. My mom would approve, red was her favorite color. After the recent video about testing the balance of dice, I wonder….

Chessex Red Dice
Chessex Red Dice

The Blessed Alehouse Tavern is a continuation in the series of the Mythoard setting. This half-page stiff card stock has a description, 3 NPC’s and a d12 rumor table on one side and a map of the tavern on the other. Unlike the last two Mythoard’s this one is not hole punched. The tavern map would be marred if it were punched since the art goes all the way to the edges. Without the holes, one has to have a notebook with pockets or other means to carry it securely.

This is a cool tavern that would work in any small village, and is a good example for others to come up with ideas for their own taverns in other locations.

Tavern!
Tavern!

+Jame’s Spahn’s White Box Omnibus softcover. I won a PDF of this on an RPG podcast for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day.

I wrote a favorable review of the PDF and find that the book is well made and easily a handy resource for the table. Real old school is being able to game without electricity. 😉

White Box Omnibus
White Box Omnibus

 

I am really liking these old school magazines! This issue has 408 Elven names and their meanings from The Silmarillion. I like lists like this. My brother, Robert, made a handwritten list of his own from various books by Tolkien so players could make up their Elven and Helf-Elven character’s names. It was also used for him to generate NPC’s. I think I typed up a copy myself. If I can find that copy, I will compare it to this list.

Dungeoneer #18
Dungeoneer #18

 

This month’s Mythoard had more things that I am likely to use in a real game, or to give me ideas to use in a real game, than some of the stuff from last month.

 

Fate/Fudge Dice

I had to run up to the big name hardware store just over a week ago to get some stuff for a home project. On my way, I had to pass my FLGS. I decided to stop in and picked up some new dice.

I really do mean to stop buying new dice, but Fate/Fudge dice are basically the only RPG related dice I did not have. [Just wait, someone will point out some other type of die I haven’t heard of….] They are easy enough to emulate with d6’s, but losing the need to think about what two numbers are what result, +/-/0, is a plus.

I’ve been watching Red Dice Diaries’s  Fate series on YouTube, where he explains various features of Fate, and it intrigues me. It removes the need for leveling and training, and your character already knows some cool stuff. I have a free PDF of the rules, but have yet to make time to read them.

I don’t know if I will ever play Fate. I know that Roll20 supports Fate dice, so it has a certain amount of popularity.

Fate dice can also be used in other RPG’s when you need to quickly generate three choices. For example, if you are chasing a goblin in a dungeon to stop him from alerting the other goblins. If there is an intersection, does the goblin go straight, or pick right or left?

Rather than a random encounter that appears out of nowhere, the DM could have a monster or group of goblins that are in room X in the dungeon when the characters arrive. Use the Fate dice to determine which way they go if and when they leave that room. It might be a bit more work for the DM, but it adds an interesting variation. There will only be an encounter with this monster or group, if the players are close enough to attract the attention of same.

If you are generating a random dungeon, city street map, or paths in a forest, this can help you decide which direction to continue generating first.

Very simple reaction rolls, positive, negative, or meh, no need for a chart. Roll one die if it should be a 33.333% chance of a given result, or roll more dice and determine possible variations on just how positive a positive reaction is. For example, roll the standard four Fate dice and get four pluses, and that’s an overwhelming positive reaction. Roll four blanks and it is the grandfather of all meh.

Using a single Fate die with another die roll can get more out of that roll. 1d6 could now be 0-7, if you use the + as adding one and the – as subtracting one, and the blank as zero. This gives two more options to any die. With the d6 example, there are 8 possibilities, 0-7, so a d6 can emulate a d8. With a d10, one can emulate either a d12 or a d30. With d% you can get 102 options, or use the Fate die as a modifier for 1-100, or add 100, or add 200.

The trinary options of yes, no, and maybe make an interesting option. How many syllables in an NPC’s name? How many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months until an NPC show up?

As with any other single die, you can come up with all kinds of uses, as many have come up with d8, d12, d20, and d30 tables, or all the dice tables, or dice drop generators.

I like the challenge of trying to figure out ways I could use various dice, and seeing the ideas of others. Whether or not I actually use the idea in a game, just having the exercise helps me to think of possibilities I might not have considered otherwise.

 

DCC Dice Arrived – Unpacking & Review

I ordered some DCC dice from the Goodman Games website several weeks ago, and they finally arrived this past Wednesday. Just in time to use in +Roy Snyder’s DCC game this afternoon. (Yes, I mentioned I had a lot of dice and was slowing down buying more. Jut remember, you can’t have too many dice. I know plenty of people that have way more dice than I do. I don’t have a problem! – See no denial here.)

What's In The Box?
What’s In The Box?

 

DCC Dice Arrive
DCC Dice Arrive

 

All The Dice
All The Dice

My dice came and I was not happy about the d7, until I saw this post on the DCC RPG Community which clarifies that this is normal, that the numbers are always on top and not on a face of a die. This is because of the shape of the d7, more than one side of the die is up, so the numbers are on the edges that join the two sides. Now I get it. Don’t judge a die by how the numbers are printed on it. 😉

The d7 is just fine.
The d7 is just fine.

The d10 and the d00 are not the same size. Every other “full set” of dice I have ever purchased, i.e. d4, d6, d8, d10 -with a matching dDecade, d12, and d20, the percentile dice were the same size. From comments on the DCC RPG Community on G+, evidently a lot of people had size mismatched d%. Perhaps they have so many different dice that they just grab what they need and don’t stick to rolling a matched pair of dice. Until the last few months when I added a huge bag of WizDice, and bought a few more standard sets of dice, I only had 5 sets of dice, plus a ton of d6’s from WalMart.

Until I bought the DCC Dice, every d10/dDecade (d%) in the same set were the same size, so even if I mixed up all of them, they would all be the same size, or nearly so. I should have known before I opened the package that DCC would be different in how they made their dice. Impact Miniatures, the manufacturer, indicated that this size difference is intentional to make them as easy as possible to use.

Why are they a different size?
Why are they a different size?

The d5 is weird looking, but it seems to roll correctly.

d5
d5

The d4 is a pyramid with the points shaved off and the numbers are where the points would be, and the large faces are smooth. The thing I like about this d4, is the way the points are “missing” you can easily get a hold of it to pick it up. Some of my other d4’s are tough to pick up because you can’t easily get a grip on them. I usually have to slide them off the edge of the table.

d4
d4

Like the rest of DCC, the dice are meant to challenge your expectations of dice.

The dice in my Blue Box Homes Basic D&D challenged me that dice could have more than six sides, but kept me on the path that the numbers have to be on a face and not an edge.

 

 

Mythoard Arrived

My March Mythoard arrived two days ago. I had time to take pictures, but that was on the same day as my Wednesday night online AD&D game I play in, so I am just now writing about it. There have been other reviews, but I’m putting in my two cents here.

It included Gygax Magazine #5, The Dungeoneers Journal February/March 1981, a one page adventure from +Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor, a mini module, The Miller’s Blunder, by Thom Wilson, two sample dice of the Inkwell Ideas dungeon Morph dice, and a set of four magnetic monster mash tokens.

This issue of Gygax Magazine is the one with the winner of the 2014 One-Page Dungeon Contest. I have one or two other issues that I have picked up at cons, but I haven’t had time to read the other(s) I have. It reminds me of the old Dragon Magazine from back in the day – Cool art, some stuff for ideas, some stuff I might use, a lot of stuff I will never use, and some comics in the back. I like Order of The Stick, and follow the web comic. I did not learn about OOTS until I found it online a few years ago. There have been a lot of complaints about Gygax magazine being slow to publish, but if you didn’t pay for a subscription, like me, it isn’t a problem. I will read them eventually.

There is familiarity to the issue of The Dungeoneer’s Journal. I think I saw it on the shelves of my FLGS back in the day, and/or some of my friends may have had it. It is familiar. Articles on games I never played, some I dabbled in, and more. Judge’s Guild material is something my brother and I tended to avoid, because it was “rough” in appearance. We had “advanced” D&D and were above those rough looking materials. I have learned in the last few years, that those rough looking things I snubbed had some good ideas in them, and I have them now in PDF, and some I have backed Kickstarters to get. I plan to read through this when time allows.

I did not realize that the adventure materials put out in all the Mythoards use a standard campaign setting, so they are set in the same world, or can easily be crafted to your own world. Tim Short’s “Guardian of the Sale Spring”, is printed on a slick, heavy card stock that is three-hole punched. The material is high quality. The printing and art is well done. I have not yet seen one of Tim’s adventures in person. This format of a small map, area description, and a random chart are so simple that I find that I could easily incorporate this into my own campaign. I am the type of DM who has to take way more time to read and understand a module designed by someone else to make it “mine”. It would be quicker and easier just to develop my own adventure. The simplicity of this overcomes my barriers. A series of mini-modules in one larger module would also get past my issues of running stuff written by others.

The Miller’s Blunder is a mini-module by Thom Wilson of throwigames.com. It is a center stapled, card stock covered booklet. It is only 17 pages with the inside of the back cover as the last page. The text is enough to set the scene and make it clear what is going on. The goals are clear and the various outcomes for the players are covered. While a lot more information than a back and front mini adventure, Thom Wilson has presented the pertinant facts in a way, that I could also easily make this fit into my campaign. I have not yet read the whole thing in detail, but reading the set up and skimming the rest, it is well designed and presented. The quality of this booklet is quite high.

I already have a set of dice from Inkwell Ideas from backing the DungeonMorphs 2: Cities & Villages: Map Generator Dice/Cards Kickstarter. They go well with the ones I already have, that I wrote about here. I am still waiting for fulfillment of the new dice in the series, so I’ll have more on that later. I backed the Kickstarter because I wanted some dice to help map/guide exploring the ruined city in my campaign, that my series for the 2015 A to Z Challenge is helping me collect my thoughts. These dice are large and have heft. They are loud on my plastic table, and would be on any table. Perhaps a padded box to roll them in would help if it is too loud for you, or too annoying for others you live with. Quick random dungeons are helpful. I like the ideas of the geomorphs, and Inkwell Ideas has started a series of contests for generating more geomorphs.

Finally, there are four round, magnetic monster tokens from gamemash.com. I’m not sure how I would use these other than on my refrigerator. I suppose they might come in handy to show placement in live play. For those who have to have more than scribbles on paper to do placement of characters, NPC’s, and monsters in play, these might be your thing. They are not my thing. I am not knocking the product. The art is good, and firmly attached to the magnets. The magnets have some heft to them, so they would not be easily moved, even if you don’t have a magnetic playing surface.

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All My Dice

Now that I have all my dice cleaned up and inked, as needed. I thought I should take a picture of all of them. I am sure I will be buying more dice as time goes on. I think I can go a bit longer until my next purchase, perhaps waiting until my next convention….

While getting things on the table to take pictures, I realized that the Game Science Dice I bought last year at Gen Con 2014 had not been inked, so after taking a picture of all the dice and putting them away, I inked them and include before and after pictures at the end.

I don’t jumble all my dice together. I keep some of them separated out so I can have a full set quickly. The only ones I jumble up are the ones in my leather dice bag. I don’t recall where I got that dice bag, if was at the Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs, Kansas, or at a what ever that con was called in Kansas City. I’ve had it for over thirty years, since I got it in high school.

I just realized that this picture does not include all of my original chipping dice. Only the yellow d4, that I still use, since it doesn’t seem to chip like the others.

So I guess these are the dice that I will actually use in play.

It also does not include three other sets of Chessex dice for my two sons and my oldest son’s girlfriend.

Still, that’s a decent collection. It more than suits my needs and there are some specialty dice too. The only kind of dice I don’t have are Fate/Fudge dice. I don’t know that I’d ever use/need them. I did listen to the Drink Spin Run podcast (also on G+)of their play session with Fate, and with the right group of people and someone who understands the rules, it could be a blast.

I am sure there are those that easily have me beat, but this time last year, I did not have a d30 or more than a Game Science set I have had over 30 years, and a couple of Chessex sets, and a bunch of d6’s from WalMart.

Of the dice I can think of that I would get in the future (I will be getting some, the rest of my Inkwell Ideas DungeonMorphs 2Kickstarter.), will be additional DungeonMorph dice, and perhaps Fate/Fudge dice. If I could get a full set of dice from d3 to d30 in a matched set, I would buy that. So there’s my wishlist/future purchase list for dice.

All Dice & Bags
All Dice & Bags
All Dice
All Dice
All Dice Close
All Dice Close
Games Science from Gen Con 2014
Games Science from Gen Con 2014
Game Sciense - Inked
Game Science – Inked
Game Science Inked White Background
Game Science Inked White Background