Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas! DM Roll-up

Merry Christmas everyone! For the past couple of years, the Wife and I have been making each other our "big" Christmas gifts as a way to inject some creativity and add a personal touch to the giving season. This year, I asked my wife for a game kit roll-up similar to the ones made by All Rolled Up. Even though I knew what she was making for me, I was totally blown away when I actually opened her gift on Christmas morning. The amount of care and thought that went into the roll-up she made was incredible, and the end product is both perfectly suited to my gaming needs, and absolutely gorgeous.

Here are some photos of the kit she gave to me.

The kit is made of faux leather, with an exterior slot for holding a game book, and a strap to keep everything nicely bundled.

The kit is lined with a gorgeous blue old world map print. The contrast with the rich brown exterior is really pretty.
The interior pockets all Velcro shut, and hold everything I need to run a game.

One end has a long pouch for dice and/or minis, and a row of smaller pouches that could also hold dice, minis, or initiative cards.

The other end has pockets for pens, pencils and markers, a couple medium sized pockets for note cards, post-its, or Game Mastery decks. The big pocket is perfect for a GM notebook, or even character sheets.
I am ridiculously overjoyed at the love and attention that went into this kit, and look forward to rolling it out at the gaming table soon.

I hope you all had wonderful holidays if and however you choose to celebrate them. If you do not celebrate this time of year, I hope you had a wonderful December and look forward to a happy new year!

Friday, May 22, 2015

An Exceptional Podcast

There is a truism amongst RPGers that listening to another person talk about their game, or their favorite character is an excellent way to clear a room. D&D and other tabletop RPGs are fun if you are doing, NOT if you are watching. It is known.

There are, however, a few shining exceptions to this rule. The Acquisitions Inc. "celebrity" games held at the PAXes are one example, as are some of the RPGs featured on Geek & Sundry. The appeal of these examples, however, relies in large part on the participation of notable members of the geek glitterati.

Well, recently I was directed to another exception to the D&D spectatorship rule. I have started listening to The Adventure Zone podcast, which was created by the McElroy's who also host My Brother, My Brother and Me over on Maximum

In the Adventure Zone, Griffin, Justin, and Travis McElroy are joined by their father as they dive in to 5th Edition D&D. Most of them have zero to limited experience with D&D, and Griffin is a first time dungeon master. They begin with the Lost Mines of Phandelver adventure before spinning off into a homebrewed plot set in the Forgotten Realms.

I regularly find myself laughing out loud in my car as the podcast plays during my commute, and have even sat for a few moments in the parking lot from time to time, just to hear a little more. The guys are definitely beer and pretzels-type gamers with a solid presence on the radio. The combination of table banter, humorous character choices, good radio presence and a willingness to not worry about genre makes this podcast highly listenable.

As a bonus, the Adventure Zone also solicits the names and ideas of listeners for use in their world. This has given rise to such characters as Magic Bryan, the drow, Johan the sad bard, and Davenport the gnome. I'm currently about 8 episodes in to what is currently a 15 episode run with new 'casts released every 2 weeks. So, if you need a nerding fix that you can enjoy while you work or drive, I highly recommend getting into The Zone.

Episode 1: of The Adventure Zone

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mini Painting Day!

We had our regularly scheduled D&D session this Sunday, but because PCs have just dinged to a new level, and because we have a former member of our game group rejoining, I offered my group the option of either leveling on their own, then playing as usual, or leveling as a group, and then doing a mini painting day. They opted for the latter option, so I set up my painting gear in the dining room, and we spent the afternoon painting.

 S painted up her chain-wielding pit fighter. Excellent do for her very first mini.

N painted this Bones figure to be his gnomish wizard. He had never worked with Bones minis before. I also taught him about the glories of washes for smoothing out rough edges and blending highlights.

For my part, I finished this mummy, which I had previously base coated.

I also painted up this excellent land shark that came with the Bones II set. Heavily textured models sometimes seem to just paint themselves, because the sculpt does all the work for you. I was really pleased with how this little guy turned out.

But my favorite of the day, and I think my favorite mini paint job to-date, was this mimic, who will serve as a figurine for Baux, the mimic trader in my campaign. I was especially pleased that I managed to pick out the skull that is stuck under the mimic's tongue.

Today got me jazzed to put some more time in on the other 300+ minis I have waiting for paint. Hopefully I'll be able to make some more progress moving forward.

Friday, February 27, 2015


Or rather... the Bones II Kickstarter pack, which arrived yesterday! I restrained myself this time around and only picked up the core pack without any add-ons. Still, that's a mess (150+) of new minis to add to my painting pile, just in time for a painting party I'm hosting for my D&D group this weekend!

Lots of things in there with nasty, sharp, pointy teeth!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DM Support Group

I got a bit of a surprise last week when the Wizards of the Coast video DM Support Group showed up in my YouTube feed. Turns out my best friend is portraying Rick, the Dungeon Master harried by magic item hungry players... boy can I relate. Rick includes a reference to a particularly frustrating player named Jeff (Geoff?) which I am going to say is a shout out to me, even if it's not.

Note: I have never played in nor run a campaign with my bestie. I have also never shuffled multiple decks of many things together. However, I can definitely relate to DM's suffering from players who are walking magic arsenals. Perhaps I should try attunement.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Out of Context D&D Quotes

Oh man, the Tumblr Out of Context D&D Quotes is pretty brilliant. Now I'm wracking my brain for worthy quotes that my game has generated.

"Bunk bed"

Honestly, I feel like my campaigns have been more sight gag-based.

Also, the Imgur.

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