Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dice Musings & Inventory

~ Musings on Dice Snobbery (with lots of links) ~

Despite gaming for a couple decades, my first con was just over 10 years ago.  At Gen Con SoCal, back in 2003, there were two primary dice vendors. One of them [Chessex] looked at me sideways when I tried to get assistance in finding a particular die I needed to fill in a set, and went back to dealing with all the guys crowding around and throwing him money. The other [Crystal Caste] greeted me by asking where I'd found a particular costume piece*, and went on to teach me the names of their product lines. Awesome customer service hooked me in. Name recognition and wholesale/reciprocal pricing throughout the following decade has kept their name first on my go-to list. They're also the first responder to calls for prize support, no matter how small the event, and we all know that FREE dice are even better.  Doesn't hurt that they're pretty, too.

*Performing, not cosplay. If I haven't already gone into that in this medium, I'll do so later. Priorities, y'all.

Everyone's got their own aesthetic preference. I happen to prefer the placement & font of the numbering of Crystal Caste's Fantasy dice. I still think their d3s and d30s are the best I've come across (example of d3 included in this sale) and I have been collecting them for years...long before ever hearing those "dee see see" initials that started this latest downward spiral.

The offerings from GameScience on the d3 end are similar, but if you need a die to help you with Rock-Paper-Scissors... well, I got nothin'.  And while my feelings on GS** have been loud and clear among the G+ crowd, I will say that most of the Zocchi set is pretty cool, but I can't in good conscience give them money for a full complementing set when every other die I put my hands on at the booth has drastic imperfections from the mould.

**When I sent a complaint after inking in a set that became illegible due to all the strands of hair that'd been swirled across entire dice mould, their response was to send me a pre-inked set. Hmm.

Thus continues the woes of buying items online... I really "needed" a d7, and heard that Koplow carries them. Oh. They're ... kinda d7s. They're d14s, numbered twice. If I'd wanted that, I would've used a d14 I already had. And they're stupidly Sputnik huge. Especially for travelling, when space is at a premium. (I've considered tossing them into the cats' toy bin -- certainly no choking hazards here.)  But their d24s aren't bad. They're just a tad larger than the GameScience flavor, and easier to read.  The d30 is on the large side, but is still dwarfed by the d7.

This past year at Gen Con, we were lucky enough to stumble upon the Impact! Miniatures booth, where we scored a few spherical versions of the d5, d7, and d14, as well as a few additional flavors that I bought on the base principle of, "WHY don't I have these yet??" I'll make a use for them in my game! I often don't agree that certain actions are worthy of a full slide on the dice chain from d20 to d16. Now there's a d18! Fixed it! Or, for a slight bonus without going the generic "+2 to your roll" route, roll this d22!

...As an aside, I find it very interesting that, if you're looking for a particular die type but aren't picky about the manufacturer, GameStation will sell you exactly that. Very few of the listings include the manufacturer's name, and I don't recommend trying to search by company or product line -- although you might get lucky if a tag is included in the picture.

~ On to the inventory...

Nearly a week ago, the Kickstarter for Impact! Miniatures' full DCC RPG dice set went live. The community has been all a-buzz about it. I've been procrastinating on backing this one, because I picked up a couple handfuls of the odd ones at Gen Con, and they're all set to match the basic coloring from Chessex -- and as it's no secret that Crystal Caste holds my heart in this field, I'm loathe to give Chessex money to get a complete set.  But wait! One of the Kickstarter offerings is a full set, complete with all the funky numbers in DCC's dice chain, and then some!  Problem solved, right?  Well, before I could figure out how many picks to sign up for***, I had to lay everything out and see which sets/colors/lines I need to fill in, and that would give me a better idea of how much money to pledge to this cause!

***Kickstarter speak

However, I'll admit to being flummoxed at the 6-sided "d3". If I wanted to roll a 6-sider for a d3 roll, I'd roll a d6 and do math. But since real 3-sided dice are available, I don't get why you wouldn't use them. To add more cubes to my dice bag just seems unnecessarily confusing.

Which brings us to our collective. 

I used to borrow dice from the hubby...now mine outnumber his by 100. And since I wanted a full count of each die type, I split up my sets (regrettable afterward, but it was a learning experience).

This also taught me that (a) I need more red funky dice; (b) I just plain need MORE funky dice {gotta keep loaners for the table in mind, after all}; (c) being married to a completeist has severely warped my sense of collecting; and (d) I need to place some orders with both CC and Impact to fill in the blank spots NOW, in addition to this Kickstarter. Who says I have to wait until Gen Con or the October KS delivery date?


Hi, I'm Jen, and I ... well... I might need help.  

But keep your damn paws off my dice.  

{{Caveats an' legal stuff: This post is not a paid advertisement, nor is it meant to suggest purchase of any sort... Well, except in the case of the Kickstarter link. Other links are provided as references for visual comparisons.}}

Monday, January 6, 2014

Playtesting: [to be announced] ~ 01.05.14

Finishing up the big playtest.  Bit of a change in the player line-up, and a couple PCs leveled after last session!

Bjorn Berber: Dwarf/3
Wilber Wifflelinks: Halfling/3
Garrett: Halfling/3
"Captain" James: Warrior/3
Eridan: Wizard/1
Terezi: Thief/1
Steig: Warrior/2
Garrick: Wizard/2
Growlen: Thief/1
Ashir: Elf/1
Toad: Thief/2
Wraif: Dwarf/1

Sorry, details on this one need to remain redacted until such time as the adventure is published.  In the meantime I'll be sharing them privately with the table, the author, and the publisher.

[Spoiler: They all came out of today's session alive.  BARELY.]

{TBD} - Michael Curtis / Goodman Games

Post-adventure math:
Bjorn: +8 XP, +2 Luck
Wilber: +8 XP, +2 Luck
Garrett: +8 XP, +2 Luck
James: +8XP, +3 Luck
Eridan: +8 XP, +2 Luck
Terezi: +8 XP, +2 Luck
Steig: +8 XP, +2 Luck
Garrick: +8 XP, +2 Luck
Growlen: +8 XP, +2 Luck
Ashir: +8 XP, +3 Luck 
Toad: +8 XP, +2 Luck
Wraif: +8 XP, +2 Luck

PARTY LOOT:  [creature] hide / [creature] teeth & claws / magic ring

Toad: 1 vial [creature] poisonous blood
Toad: [creature] claw
Eridan: 3 vials [creature] poisonous blood
Eridan: 3 vials cerebreal fluid from [creature] 
Bjorn: [creature] tooth
Garrick: [creature] tooth
Eridan: [creature] tooth
James: 2-3 [creature] teeth