Monday, February 25, 2019

Dice Notes: Beating a Dead Horse (literally)

 After the last post, I had hoped to start talking about some aspects of my 5th edition campaign that may be useful and/or instructive to other DMs, but then something happened that curtailed all of that: I got my order from Infinite Black's second Kickstarter, Elder Dice: Unspeakable Tomes. This was a huge relief, tantamount to the scratching of an itch in the middle of your back, as their Facebook page has been dominated with posts from people lamenting that they haven't gotten their dice yet, followed by another post from someone who ordered one of everything, proudly displaying their new wares and cackling like the mentally deranged. For variety, as a palate cleanser, someone would jump in and post a picture of a crushed shipping box, with the notation, "But the dice inside were fine!"

A couple of people voiced concerns or complaints, and the devoted rank and file set upon them with pitchforks and Internet Sarcasm, in disproportionate ratios, and while I had always intended to talk about my dice when they came in, I resolved not to post my thoughts on their Facebook page, because I have no desire to get into a slap fight with anyone at the moment. Besides, as of this writing, it's all academic, anyway. I'll explain later. For now, let's talk about my dice and what has generated so many words of concern about good design.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Dice Notes: Some Friendly and also Unasked-For Advice

There is always a dice project on Kickstarter, it seems, and most often, more than one at a time. If you are dice-happy, or worse, dice-drunk, like some people I know, this can be both heady and frustrating. Mostly because we all have bills to pay, and people to feed. I've tried eating dice, and it just doesn't work.

I am no stranger to buying interesting dice. However, I'm seeing some...trends, let's call them, that are not just making me crazy, but also really dampening my interest in funding an otherwise great idea. In some cases, I think these are poor decisions based on a lack of experience and/or graphic arts training, and in other cases, they are just things that I personally don't like. I'll try to let you know which is which.

In any case, I'm not randomly throwing people under the bus. I really want your project to be a success, to be something interesting to add to the hobby, to be something I can partake in. I'm not being mean for the sake of being mean, nor am I trying to be funny at the expense of someone's hard work. I know these are all labors of love. And having been on the other side of the manufacturing process, maybe I can offer some constructive criticism.

Without any further explanation, here we go:

Friday, February 1, 2019

Lankhmar: An Appreciation

I mentioned this before in my litany of stuff I used to play, but I wanted to drill down on this because I'm going to be talking about campaigns and how I run them and why I run them the way I do. It's mostly because of Lankhmar: City of Adventure.

Back in the 1980s I was a good li'l consumer of TSR's stuff. I kept up with new releases, back when you actually HAD - TO -  KEEP - UP with stuff; there was no button to click, no page to "like." You had to remember to call the hobby shop or the bookstore once a month. You had to read magazines and actually look at the ads. You had to look on the backs of modules for lists of other products. You had to talk to human beings in meat-space. You had to beg rides to the mall (or gas money, when you could borrow the car).

There is a reason, terribly misguided, why some older neckbeards feel a predatory sense of ownership and do that Gatekeeper thingie; it's because they are resentful that they had to do everything that I just rattled off and modern day gamers simply watch YouTube and get much better intel on what's new, and what's coming out.

I am not saying I agree with Gatekeeping tactics, because I don't...but looking back over that list, I understand where some of the ire comes from. Still, it was the 1980s. We barely had cable. There was no internet. Our brains could handle the strain of thinking about stuff we liked, I assure you. So their anger isn't really at new fans, or girls. It's at step-father Jeff who used to call them "fairies" for reading J.R.R. Tolkien and for not taking them to the mall when he clearly wasn't doing anything but sitting around eating Fritos and drinking Busch beer all day..."private contractor," my ass...

Zinequest 3 is upon us! Here Are Some Recommendations!

 Hey, Y'all, I know you're already aware of #Zinequest3 because I've been talking about it non-stop for a few weeks now. Well, G...