Posts Tagged ‘Dice’

Kickstarter and Convention Round Up

November 18, 2013 Comments off

lne1While not strictly gaming related, one of our Skyland Games guys has created his very first Kickstarter: the comic book adventures of Lark & Eagle. The story is about two down on their luck heroes given a second chance to earn redemption after a disastrous mission by a new reality television show called “Hero Overhaul”. The comic is written by Steve Johnson and will be illustrated by Toro Diego and lettered by Tom Orzechowski.

Another friend of mine, Lee Bretschneider has his own Kickstarter currently funding: Role Play, a series of dice portrait tee shirts. Lee is an awesome illustrator and was the creator of one of my favorite tee shirts: Go Gnolls! Being a former Seminole and avid D&D player (plus an afficiando of all things gnollish), it speaks to me. I’ve worn the other one down to where it’s beginning to fade, so it may be time to hit Redbubble and pick out a new one.

dieshirtsLast weekend, I attended MACE in Charlotte, North Carolina. MACE has been held for the last couple years just a few hours away from home, but I’d never attended although the other Skylanders had. Steve and I both attended and I had a blast. All the Pathfinder I could care to play and/or run, plus boardgames, Mecha- Warhamm- Warma- Hordes… or whatever it’s called, and even some LARP, MACE has something for everyone. At least in the Pathfinder Society tables, I found it to be a total “couples con”. Every single game I ran or played had either one or two couples at the table. I’m not saying it’s unheard of, as we have a married couple in our local home game, and we have a few that attend our Pathfinder Society Lodge days at The Wyvern’s Tale, but couples playing (at least that many and that consistently) was a new experience for me. It’s always good when your significant others are involved in your hobbies, and a convention is a good place for a weekend getaway too.

In January, several of us are attending SCARAB in South Carolina. I went last year and had a great time, and this year they are moving the convention to a bigger and better space. I’m still wiped out by my weekend game-fest, but looking forward to this one coming up… and with luck I’ll be wearing my new d12 tee shirt and reading the first issue of Lark & Eagle while I’m there.

Dungeonmorph Dice, Cards and Font Review

December 15, 2011 7 comments

Dungeonmorph Dice was the first kickstarter to which I ever pledged, back in May. The dice just arrived yesterday, and to be blunt, I’m underwhelmed. I appreciate Joe’s hard work with the manufacturer in trying to make the best product possible, but in the end perhaps the idea was too ambitious. The concept was to create dice that had sections of dungeons on the sides that could be connected to form a truly random, endless dungeon. The original design looked much like the deck of cards turned out with the retro white-on-blue look. Due to manufacturing concerns, that design was scrapped in favor of black-on-white. The level of detail required to show features like secret doors and stairways is incredibly fine. Unfortunately, it ends up being too fine for the manufacturer to consistently produce. This leads to the dice being blotchy or missing lines in some sections. (Sorry for the crappy phone photos. Maybe Santa will bring me a decent camera!)

To his credit, Joe was very up front with all his backers and sent out surveys showing the issues and asking what amount of defects most people would feel would be acceptable. He always kept us in the loop as he struggled with one manufacturer, then another. He hand-inked some dice with a fine pen that were missing sections. But when all the dust settles, what do you end up with? A product that isn’t premium quality, that is asking a premium price. The kickstarter price was $20 a 5 die set, now going for $23.95, with a set of 5 “seconds” going for $14.95. I can’t imagine that the “seconds” would be usable at all.

The font is cool. It has all the designs, rotated all the different ways (0, 90, 180, 270 degrees), and flipped (mirrored) and rotated again. It’s a bit hard to mix and match all the rotations due to the fact that each is its own sub-font. That being said, just one will give you a lot of variety and inspiration. They’re also easy to print, but watch out for your ink levels as all negative space is solid black. At $7 bucks, it’s the most I’ve ever spent on a font (I don’t recall ever purchasing a font, to be honest), but not a bad value. The PDF key that comes with it is a very useful overview of what the font contains.

The cards are pretty awesome, and excellent quality. They each have a custom design with the old school aesthetic, and on the reverse of the design is on the back, providing nearly endless combinations. They feature all the designs from all 3 sets of dice. $15.95 is a bit steep, but they are completely custom, printed on both sides right to the edge. If you’re a DM that loves the old school crawl, or are looking for a map idea for a climatic encounter, this deck will definitely cure DM writer’s block. I would say out of all the products involved in the dungeonmorph project, this is the one to get.

To summarize, skip the dice, the font is cool, but the cards are the best thing to come out of this project.

Q-Workshop – Deluxe Dice for Added Flavor

December 14, 2011 2 comments

If you’ve played any pencil and paper role-playing game for a fair amount of time, you likely own your own set of dice. The variety available from companies like Chessex, Koplow, and GameScience are staggering. Q-workshop is a Polish dice company that specializes in dice that have a very unique look.

Beyond just looking great, these dice can help you get in to your character. For instance, the dwarven set is covered in axes and hammers. Stereotypically, a dwarf is on the front lines, swinging one of these iconic weapons. When the dice hit the table, and my damage die has my weapon on it, it makes me feel more connected with my character. Q-workshop has sets for just about any type of character. Elven sets, Runic sets, and a set covered in dragons (probably most appropriate for the DM)! There are several sets for specific games, like Deadlands, Munchkin, and Pathfinder.

I love dice. One of my earliest memories of D&D is wondering what the crazy-shaped dice were for. It was part of the attraction to the game for me. I personally own the Dwarven and Steampunk sets. Since showing them to my gamer friends, they picked up the Runic and Earthdawn sets. They are certainly more expensive than your average set of dice, and some of the designs are difficult to actually read the number. Be sure and consider the color combination as well, as some are easier to read than others, depending on the design.

If you are tired of your old dice and are looking for something really special, check out Q-Workshop!

Categories: Dice, DnD, Pathfinder, Reviews, RPGs Tags: , ,

Game Science Dice – 12 piece set – Review

November 9, 2011 1 comment

The 12-piece set, in sapphire blue

I purchased the GameScience Precision 12 piece dice set with one goal in mind. I wanted the funky shaped dice for Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG beta. The DCC RPG beta merits its own review which will come at a later date (spoiler alert: I pre-ordered my copy, release date Feb. 2012). There was plenty of discussion on the forums about the weird d3, d5, d7, d14, d16, d24 and d30 as being unnecessary and raising the buy-in to play in this new system. I’m not going to rehash the debate here, but my first attraction to D&D when I was a kid was the crazy shaped dice that looked nothing like the regular six-siders I was used to in other games. The idea of shapes that were “too weird” even for RPG fans just made me want them more.

Not that I don’t understand the other side of the story. Especially after they arrived.

I did a bit of research on Zocchi dice in general, and watched the videos from GenCon from a few years ago. I was sold. I love dice in general, and figured I might as well own a Cadillac set of dice with edges so precise they could almost hurt your hand if picked up carelessly. One thing you should be aware of, and something that was not made at all clear on their site, while these dice aren’t tumble-sanded and rounded off unevenly, they do have pretty significant plastic nubs or craters where the die is cut off from the mold. According to Mr. Zocchi that doesn’t matter as the uniform edges give you equal access to all surfaces of the dice. Which may be true, but damned if they aren’t ugly.

Big dings or nubbins

A regular 7-piece RPG set will run you $6.25 + $4 shipping, uninked. If, like me, you want the 12-piece set, shipped and inked, you’re looking at $37. Thats a lot of money for dice to not be 100% satisfied. That being said, the dice do have a vivid sapphire-blue color to them, and they certainly have a unique feel. One unadvertised feature was that the d14 also has days of the week on it. They are uninked, and a bit hard to read unless you’re in really good light, but if you needed to randomize which day of the week it is, you’ve got your die. Something that surprised me was the difference in color between the two d10s. The rest of the set is a deep, rich blue, but the tens d10 is a bit more of a sky blue. I could understand the difference in color if they were numbered the same, as we often rolled two regular d10s back in the day and just called which color die was the 10s place before a roll was thrown; but since its specially numbered as the tens place already, why the difference in color? Maybe I’m just getting a bit nit-picky, but at $37, can you blame me? The other thing I didn’t really like is that the d24 is essentially a d6, with 4 sides on each side of the d6. Its strange that they didn’t raise center vertex on each side to give them a more uniform shape, rather than 6 sides with 4 sides on each. Its kind of hard to describe unless you hold one in your hand and give it a roll.

All and all I do enjoy the set. It seems to me that for the money, the manufacturer should take a bit more care about the size of the spurs left on the die before they leave the factory, but if that were to drive up the price any further, no one would be them. Buyer beware.

Sky blue on the left, Sapphire on the right