Posts

Showing posts from July, 2018

Artisanal Craft Dice Part 1: My Torrid and Complicated Relationship With Dice

Image
In 2018, there is no more accessory to table top gaming that is more fetishized and objectified than dice. Not books, not miniatures, not pens and pencils and paper. Dice. Platonic solids. And not just any dice, oh, no, no. What used to be a necessary, somewhat utilitarian contrivance has officially become an obsession for many people. What used to be something we had maybe twelve to fifteen of has mushroomed into a very expensive collecting endeavor that costs upwards of hundreds of dollars. We’ve gone round the bend, us gamers. We don’t just have dice, anymore.

Now we’ve got artisanal craft dice.


Classic Mark Finn: Roll to Hit, D&D turns Forty!

Image
Note: this is a reprint of an old Finn's Wake article. Please don't tell me this happened four years ago. I was there. I remember.

Dungeons & Dragons is celebrating its 40th year of existence. Wow.
To commemorate the occasion, I had hoped to do an influence chart similar to the one I created for Raidersof the Lost Ark, but there is no time. And besides, it’s less interesting than just posting the list from Appendix N in the back of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.


Playing Games Part 1: Dungeons and Dragons

Image
I started playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons with my step-brother at the age of 12. Prior to that, I owned a copy of the Basic Dungeons and Dragons rules (what we now call the “Holmes” rules), including the box with B1, In Search of the Unknown, but no dice. Only chits. And to a new player, trying to puzzle through the rules on my own, there was nothing more perplexing and also deeply unsatisfying as drawing chits from a small paper Dixie cup. There’s no way to make that activity cool. Not in 1980. Not now. Not ever.

Late to the Party

Image
I realize what I am doing here is all the rage, if we were in 2010. Be that as it may, I didn't get pulled back into gaming until 2015 or so, at the end of the fourth edition of D&D, and so I was at ground zero for the launch of 5th edition. I think that managed to kill most of the OSR blogs out there, like a weirdly configured EMP. But there were a few of them that morphed (or mutated, if you prefer a more Gamma World-esque metaphor) into writing about fifth edition content and homebrew rules and converting first edition shenanigans into fifth edition systems.