Review: Easy Roller Dice

A good Wednesday to you RPC faithful! You like reviews don’t you? Of course you do. So here’s one about dice.

Mike over at Easy Roller Dice sent me an email asking if I could review some of their products and being very much like a hoarding dragon when it comes to dice, I gave a fervent yes. I hadn’t used their dice before this (I probably own ten or more sets of dice, and I’m betting they’re all Chessex) so I was pretty interested in seeing how they’d turn out.

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Stuff I Like: World Architect Cards and Dungeon Crate

Hello RPC faithful! Just wanted to pop in and let you know I’m still alive and kicking. I’ve been working on a few different things that aren’t quite ready for the blogosphere. I don’t update much, but I usually have something substantive when I do.

I just wanted to make a quick post to give some love to a couple of RPG related projects that have gained my admiration.

The first is a KickStarter which, as of this writing, has 7 days to go on it called World Architect Cards by Simian Circle Games. Now, this independant developer is actually local to me (I live in Lexington, KY and they are based out of Morehead) so I was surprised to learn of their existence. This isn’t their first rodeo either. They’ve got a few products to their name, including a neat looking RPG, as well as a successful kickstarter for Dungeon Architect cards, which are the precursor to these World Architect Cards.

The cards are a fun way to create a roleplaying world. As you can probably tell from the KS, each card is a location with a number of attributes on them to randomize a location. The art is also whimsical and nice to look at. Such items that create a sense of discovery gameplay (to borrow from a video game phenomenon) I’ve found are a great way to electrify tabletop role play. (Another reason why I love random tables in general).

I pledged at the 60 dollar level so as to get the Dungeon Architect cards as well, and I’m looking forward to playing around with them. With only 7 days left, now is the time to jump in.

Another product I’m excited about is Dungeon Crate! A subscription based service, a la Birchbox, based around tabletop RPGs and miniature games. I received the inaugural crate in February, and greatly enjoyed the contents, which I will show you pictures of below.

At 35 dollars a month, it is a bit steep. However, what came in the box felt worth it, and I’ve already gotten use out of a good portion of the bits. Of note were the Flat Plastic Miniatures by Arcknight. The art on those reminds me a Record of Lodoss War, an ancient anime you youngsters should look into, and they were a hit with the players of my current campaign.

The second crate is shipping out today, so the next crate you can sign up for would be the third one. I’ll post pictures of the second one when I get it. Hopefully it continues to be worth the price.

Well, until next time, happy gaming!

A Review of the 5th Edition D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide

So, as you can probably tell, I failed NaNoWriMo spectacularly, and along with it my plans for a development diary for my Ghartha project. I’m disappointed, but it is an unfortunate reality that we generally need to put our jobs before our hobbies, and holiday season is definitely the busiest time of year for mine.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as the Dungeon Master’s Guide is finally here! This tome of all three of the holy triad is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. I am a tinkerer, enjoying twisting the rules this way and that, and always get more pleasure from running a campaign than I do from playing. With the rumors of a “tinkerer’s manual” on the winds of, well, the internet, my expectations for this book (especially after the first two) were very high.

Well, how did it do?

dmg-5e-cover

A Review of the 5th Edition D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide

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A Review of the 5th Edition D&D Monster Manual

My review of the Player’s Handbook, here, was fairly positive. Okay, perhaps overwhelmingly so. Beyond a few fairly glaring indexing issues in the magic section, I found the book to be delightful and highly useable. Having now received the second in the holy trinity of rulebooks, can the same be said for the Monster Manual?

The book is, of course, quite different than the Player’s Handbook, and this review will reflect that. As more of a reference tool, or as a collection of pieces for the DM to use, there’s simply less to review. But, I am sure I can find quite a bit to say.

 

monster-manual-5e-cover

A Review of the 5th Edition D&D Monster Manual

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A Review of the 5th Edition D&D Player’s Handbook

I’ve had the PHB since the 19th, but I didn’t want to churn out a review as soon as a I got my grubby paws on it. I kind of wanted to play around with it, let it simmer a bit. Flip through it at my leisure, what have you.

What actually happened is that I’ve managed to read it front to back three times now. Let’s just say I’m a bit obsessed with RPGs anyway, so a new edition of my favorite game is hard to resist consuming (multiple times).

Anyway, here are some of my principal impressions. I’m going to try to keep it simple, though this post will end up long. The main question I’ll be leading with is: Is this a book that compels me to play the new edition, and lends itself to table use?

My review will be separated into First Impressions, which will mainly concern the book, art, and layout, and then Digging Into It, in which I will speak about the crunch and fluff and the use of the book in play. Then of course I will wrap up with some closing thoughts.

 

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A Review of the 5th Edition D&D Player’s Handbook

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Reviewing Yellow Dawn: The Age of Hastur

Full disclosure: Back around the beginning of March, I was researching medieval mysticism, woodcuts, and tomes for my Ghartha series when I came across a blog post by David J. Rodger, discussing the Polanski film The Ninth Gate. It was a well written post (and made me go look up the movie and watch it on Netflix) and I liked what David was talking about, so I left a comment and followed the blog.

Soon after, he got a hold of me and asked if I’d write up a piece about his game Yellow Dawn (34.53USD), and I agreed, so he sent me a copy. This was in mid-March, and when I received the book I was surprised by two things: One, how highly detailed and complete the game system and setting were; two: this is the work of one dude. The credits mention playtesters, but the entirety of the system and writing is the work of David Rodger himself.

And that is insane. This book is highly detailed, featuring everything you need system wise, setting wise, with a healthy number of appendices and tables. The editing seems great. I just can’t wrap my head around the amount of work this game must have had put into it. Most definitely it’s a labor of love.

I was a little nervous when the game was on it’s way that it wouldn’t be good, to be honest. I’m a supporter of Indie game development (as it is something I want to get into), but I understand that for every gem there are five pieces of coal, so to speak. Luckily, I soon realized this was one of the gems. Not simply because it’s a good system, but because of the amount of value that you can get out of it even for other games.

As a quick note, I abhor numerical or graded reviews. Opinions are far too subjective for those to be worth a damn, so I’ll present to you what I think and hopefully that helps you make an informed decision about purchasing this game.

Shall we get into it?

Yellow Dawn Cover
Yellow Dawn Cover Art

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