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Not really an update

Hey everyone who drops by and reads something from time to time…

So no official world building post or review this week. Not even a full on rant. My wife and I are celebrating our one year anniversary today and so I thought it would be much cooler to just tell you all I was not putting any effort into the blog today because I would rather be spending the day with her.

Yup, thats right. Wife wins.

Hope you all have a great time.

Now gimme the dice, I gotta see if I can make my save against getting her an odd anniversary gift.

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Long time no post

Hey there readers.

Between my wife and I working on the room in our house we call the library… building custom home made book shelves and other fun work, I have been distracted on weekends. And over the last two weeks I have not even been able to get online on my main computer, so I may be looking at getting a new one… I mean this awesome little beast still runs on Vista so…

Anyway. World Building, the 200 series is still in the works, I just have a few more important things in life that I need to work on right at the moment. Dont worry, I have not forgotten. Oh and there are reviews pending as well for games and supplements and a couple of rants I want to articulate.

So yeah, Gimme The Dice is still here, still alive, and all that good stuff. Sorry to make you all wait, but, life… yeah 🙂

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No review this week

Hey all readers. So I found there is a spam filter for the contents on the site… not sure how my bud over at DanOnGames got bumped over there but I had to unlock a few of his comments. Hopefully setting him as NOT SPAM, no really you freakin sock monkies he is not spam… sheesh.

Anyway that also got me looking over previous posts and what seemed to grab the most traffic. And low and behold it looks like more than the reviews folks seem to like the world building. So it looks like to help drive viewership I will get back to building worlds for everyone to steal a little faster than I planned.

However I will not go into building another fantasy world right off the bat. No no no. I am going to swing over to sci-fi or supers first. Not sure which yet, but I am building a soundtrack for… something… it will hopefully tell me what it is…

To give you a small idea of things that are going into the soundtrack check the following links… Some of these are a little explicit in language… well at least some will think so.

Ok so thats the teaser of whats to come. Hope everyone has a happy and safe fourth if you are in the states. And yes… cousins in the midwest… I am looking at you and your coolers and previously posted vids and pics… YOU BE CAREFUL too 🙂

All righty gimme the dice, I need a saving throw for Mondays….

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Delayed post

Yeah… binge watching Iron Fist slowed me down… maybe later this week, maybe next sunday.

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World Building 108

So by now everyone who has been reading these articles should have a fair idea of the world. I have only this article and one other planned for the series, because if I put it all together for you it would be a 200 plus page world book. 🙂 Not that the idea is a bad one, but I really don’t have the time to put it together get it edited and sell it to  a publisher right now. So then what does that make this article in world building about… POWER.

Yes thats right, power, well that and the classes that use them. You see in every fantasy game there are things that set characters apart from the every day Joe Blowstone and while high skills and hit points are great, the POWER that comes with those things is even better.

So lets talk about them in the game setting BASE classes shall we?

Clerics / Druids – Channels of the HOLY POWERs. Thats right these folks talk to the GODS, and get power accordingly. Notice this will not include Paladins as I think they are insanely hard to play and kill game balance. Now then in most game settings a holy power user is dedicated to one god or force of nature and that fuels what they do. In this world I plan on taking a different approach. Each one of the gods has its own portfolio of powers and so a holy power user has to know which god to invoke, and must stay on fairly good terms with all of them in order to cast all the spells available. While every cleric type will have their favorite (and that is how they get domain powers and such) they need to worship the whole pantheon. What this also means is that with undead being non-existent at the start of the meta story the Turn Rebuke power is something that no one would have.

Magic Users (Wizards / Sorcerer / Bard) – Yes there are sorcerers and they have bloodline powers, but many of the ones listed in the original rules do not exist as this world does not have fae, demons, angels and so on. Wizards and others who rely on spell books prove that you dont need a blood line and that just about anyone with a little practice can learn magic. Unfortunately learning magic requires just as much grunt work and also writing and reading and understanding weird as hell combinations of words and gestures that most who try it rarely make it to level one, let alone further. This is why you end up with odd smatterings of low effect magic items in places like farms and inns.

Chi / Rage and style powers (Monk / Barbarian / Ranger / Rouge / Bard) – Most of these are from focus and effort. Again there are a lot of folks that dont have the patience or the talent to really pursue them. This also means that there are more than a few folks out there in very basic roles that may have scampered off with books of martial art styles, know a move or two that takes focus and maybe could rage for a few seconds and so on.

Just plain Skill (Fighter / Rouge / Bard) – Raw skill is never a problem. Although a high level rouge can do just about anything they set their mind to. Just once though I would love to see a high level character who has been keeping a skill up in Shepard or Farming for the day they retire. Oh and word of advice, never trust a rouge that keeps up a skill in carpentry or ditch digging… seriously…

Non Base class powers and combinations

Technology vs Alchemy (Alchemist / Gunslinger / Swashbuckler) – So technology in this world is rather low. So there are no guns and even siege weapons are rare. Running water comes from many people using buckets to pour water over something. So this means that there are no ‘Gunslingers’ or Swashbucklers as written. However if someone wants to use those classes but with hand crossbows, that could work. Alchemy is sort of pervasive though. Or at least it looks that way to non-practitioners. Say it with me now, snake oil salesmen. Yup. Alchemy is known as being a great way to fix tons of things. Can you think of a better ongoing con? For every actually skilled Alchemist in this world there are likely ten to fifteen snake oil salesmen.

Psionics – I really debated adding this power set into the game setting or not. For games that start in the begining of the meta storyline, no psi. About a third of the way through the meta plot I have in mind Psi can be added.

Cultural (Samurai / Ninja / Swashbuckler) So while they have a mix of powers and skills, These three are kinda right out.

Others that really dont fit the world – PALADIN (sorry but I have to say it many times, just like that thing with gno… ) Cavalier, Oracle, Summoner, Witch, Kineticist, Medium, Mesmerist, Occultist, Psychic, Spiritualist, Bloodrager, Slayer, Samurai, Ninja, Swashbuckler, and War Priest.

Others that do fit – Arcanist, Brawler, Hunter, Investigator, Magus, Shaman, and Skald

Why do they or dont they fit… well…

Cultural (Samurai / Ninja / Swashbuckler) So while they have a mix of powers and skills, the cultures in this world really do not support the character arch-types completely. These three are mostly out. Cases can be made that with the stereotypes in the dwarven community that both Samurai and Ninja could abound. However the culture of the dwarves would more likely mean that someone studies to be a fighter and something else… two… classes… 🙂

Mixed power sets and classes that really don’t fit the setting…

So with base classes like the Ranger, you get a combination of fighting and spell casting dedicated to nature. And this works. Bards mix a ton of things together and they work. Some of the more unique power sets from advanced classes though, like the Summoner, don’t really work in this world. Mostly because there is very little out there to summon, and that would raise the question about why don’t the Titans just follow that hole and then… yeah… it gets ugly. And why do things like Oracles and Witches not work, but as written the Shaman (which mixes both classes) does work. That stems from the focus of the abilities. Shamans deal with spirits. Oracles work with Gods and monsters. Which is why this article is from the perspective of players… they should also know that Witches will be present, as mortals who serve the Titans. That’s right the Gods get Clerics the Titans get Witches.

With the elements that are not present, you can take a look culturally and see things like the Ninja just not really being there. Since the main seafaring culture is the elves and greatships and piracy are not their thing then swashbucklers are kind of out. No guns so no gunslingers. Oracles and Paladins in essence turn themselves over to A god. And at this time there is no one in the world that has faith of that magnitude in any SINGLE god to make that happen.

With the ones that do work, you can see a lot about the game setting.

Dwarves take their religion as a whole rather seriously. And so they have Inquisitor / Investigator pairs that search for heresy and lack of faith. Clerics that teach. And then Rouges that master oh so many skills, and Bards that teach them how to party when all is good. Humans with their connection to nature and deep reliance on themselves have Barbarians, Monks, Brawlers and Rangers in equal parts. Sorcerers, Wizards, Arcanists, Magus and Alchemists run a lot of the show in Goblin communities. Halflings with their love of life and travel see Bards, Skalds, Hunters, Rouges and Rangers fill many of their jobs. And with the Elves love of nature and life they have many Bards, Druids, Rangers, Hunters and Rouges. Now then you notice I did not mention Fighters in there. Thats because every culture has fighters. Well actually every culture has all of the classes, but look at the highlights and see where the POWER lies.

Thats right I came back to the POWER there at the end. Because POWER is not just the magic or the chi. Its not just the skills and the stats. POWER is having a great character that you have fun playing… HAH!!!

Ok so as random as that all seemed. I am out…

Gimme the dice I need to roll a crit hit on fun with the wife… my wife.. the best wife ever… (she thought I would not leave that in when she typed it while I was AFK)

Peace and fun to all y’all.

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A Brief Pause

Hello all readers…

Ok so you likely noticed if you have been following the blog that I have been doing one a week for a little while now and then suddenly, last week, nothing. Yeah. Christmas. Family. Sorta had other things to do.

This week. New Years. Snow. Sorta had other things to do.

However I am posting this so you know things are still coming. The world is still being built, and fun will still be had.

Personally I am going to start mixing more reviews and rants in with the world building, and some time in February I plan to put a post out about gifts to gamers. Not so much a rant or review but honest advice for both gamers that want stuff and people who have no clue what the hell to get a gamer in their life. Might have been handy before the holiday season I know, but you can look forward to it for 2017.

Happy holidays to everyone, play safe in the season, and lets do what we can to make 2017 a crit.

Gimme the dice, I gotta see just how much I can push this breakfast thing 🙂

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Lost in the Weeds

Greetings to all/both (heh) of my readers. It has been about six months now since my last post, and I just got a nudge today from a reader and so here I am back again. I will post something more substantial soon.

The delay has been caused by promotion at work, getting engaged, buying a house planning a wedding and just not having a lot of time to really dig into anything gaming. Well save for picking up a few new things, a few PDF’s of older games and waiting with total impatience for the results of a KickStarter to show up at my door (again the heh).

After the KickStarter shows up I will need a little time to digest it but I want to do a solid review of No Thank You Evil from Monte Cook Games. This looks like one of the best ideas for bringing smalls into gaming that I have ever seen and even though I have my PDF copy from the KickStarter, I want to have the box in hand before I really dive into any kind of review.

Additionally I am planning to work up something for Teenagers From Outer Space (vintage fun from R. Talsorian Games), Heavy Gear (both a strategy game with mini’s and an RPG with a very creative system from Dream Pod 9), an article about my thoughts on licensed products and one way we could make them better, and maybe some reviews about classic adventure modules that are turning up more and more in PDF form.

So there is more coming, hopefully soon.

 

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Ongoing communications

Hey there readers…

So been a bit of a lag, had a rough week and then my weekend was spent relaxing with a great friend and the lady love of my life (she says I can call her my old lady but seriously, I only do that to her face to get her to smile).

So you may remember that when I posted a review about Numenera and the Strange games a gent named Charles reached out to me from Monte Cook games (Prior Post) and after emailing him back I posted the exchange as well (Prior Post 2). Well I heard back from him again yesterday. I can honestly say it is really refreshing to get an answer in regards to questions, and to see what they have to say about shipping and how they handle the materials. He even forwarded the email to another staff member to get in touch with me about replacing the books. I have not heard from the other staffer yet, and with the reply I sent where I reiterated that I was not interested in replacements but interested in making sure that they had their supply chain in control, I may not. What really got me is that apparently Charles is the C.O.O of Monte Cook games… Yeah the Chief Operating Officer of the company checking out blog posts and reaching out to people who may have issues. Now then for all I know Monte Cook games is only three people and all of them have one of the C.O.O types of titles, but it is still really really cool to see that on an email signature from someone trying to address an issue for you.

So below is Charles message to me and my reply is below that. That should have everyone caught up with what is going on. Later this week I plan on finally getting the Lord of the Rings / Middle Earth Role Playing comparison article up… so stay tuned…

Charles Reply – 

Hi, T, and thanks for getting in touch! Sorry for the slow response—with the No Thank You, Evil! Kickstarter in full swing, it can be hard to keep up with the email in-box.

I’ve forwarded your photos on to Tammie. She’ll get in touch about replacing your books. The wear and tear you show is not typical, but these are 416 page books, which sort of pushes the limits of case-bound spines.
Regarding our logistics, we maintain a warehouse (located in the Atlanta region), from which our products are shipped as ordered by pretty much all serious game distributors (including Alliance). It’s a very typical arrangement. We individually shrink-wrap our 416-page books to protect them in storage and shipment.
My reply to his reply, to the reply to my reply of the reply… Ahhhhh you get it…
Hello Charles
As I said in the email with the pics, I have no need for a replacement. The books still get the job done. My concern is in regards to the supply chain. I know that not everyone is as game crazy as I am and conditions like the ones I saw may cause a loss to your customer base. Personally the last time I saw books in this kind of condition they were books that had been sampled by US Customs, or had been dropped roughly by the case load when being unloaded in the US upon arrival from the printer in China. It sounds like you have a good system in place to check items before sending them to the distributors though so I think it would be unlikely that you would ship books in this condition.
I do want to thank you for taking my feelings about the books seriously, and for your direct approach to resolution. It is very refreshing. I am looking forward to lots of great projects from your team, and hopefully a very long and successful company presence in the games industry.
……………………………………….
And that is it so far. Seriously though folks how often do you think that this sort of thing happens? I mean think about it. I voiced my thoughts in a public place and ended up with direct assistance from one of the company’s chiefs. You don’t hear about many companies that would do that. So even though my two original emails that were sent when I originally bought the books seem to have been lost in the shuffle, I am willing to put Monte Cook Games customer service back on the good side.
Well thats all today folks, now gimme the dice, I gotta see if my sprite can pilot a mech…

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Quality Control at MCG

Ok so for those of you watching my blog you may have seen my post in regards to the Strange and Numenera games I have picked up and tinkered with from Monte Cook Games. You may also remember my comments about the quality issues I faced when getting copies, and the lack of response from MCG when I emailed them on their own site.

So color me surprised when I get a post on the blog from someone at MCG, thanking me for the review and even asking me to send them pics of the damage I am seeing. Now THAT, is quality control. Even from a blog as small as mine with a limited views as I get. I say something, and suddenly I am getting someones direct email at MCG to look into the issue I am seeing. Personally I think it is awesome that they want to see what their customers see, and want to address the issues. I am very interested in seeing where this goes, and I want to share what happens with anyone who cares to read… if you wish to see Charles post to me please check the original post… ( https://gimmethedice.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/numenera-strange-a-k-a-start-of-the-cypher-system/)

My reply to him is below, minus the pics I took, and with store names XXXXXX’d out.

“Hi Charles

I hope you will forgive the quality of the pics I am attaching. I could not find my regular camera and so I was taking them with my iPad 2. Not the best cam on the planet. What did not come out well is the creasing in the spine on the exterior. You can feel it running a finger down the spine, but it just did not turn out with the cam as visible. As I said in the blog post this level of wear on the spine and the binding is something  I would expect to inflict on a well used game book after a few years. Not something that I would see at time of purchase. The fact that the books are made with an extra firm spine board may contribute to the separation from the cover of the binding pages, and that may well be intentional. The pic of the damage to the cover of Strange was there at point of purchase. Also as said in the blog these two books that I purchased I did so only after refusing to buy books that were in worse shape. I checked out copies at three local gaming stores (XXXXXXXXXXXXX, and two XXXXXXXXXXXX stores) and two book stores (both XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX). All of the books that I passed over had more dings in the covers, and or more spinal damage. At the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX in  Washington I took three copies of Numenera to the counter and told them they should send them back as the pages were not really attached to the spine and sections were falling out. They said they had not noticed when stocking them that they were damaged. Considering I was there on release day when they opened, I dont feel the damage could have been caused by people browsing. The tears in the pages look like something from over use or someone trying to open the book and turn it inside out. This kind of page damage is prevalent in both books to some degree. Again, this existed at point of purchase.
I hit the same five stores for both books, and in the end had to get them from the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX both times because all of the other books I saw were more damaged than the ones I took home.
I know I may seem like something of a snob or very picky with the books I pick up, and when I am paying current prices for new books, yeah I am very picky. As I said I would have expected these books to be in this shape after I was playing with them regularly for a few years. But then again I also take care of my books. I have seen people damage books in this way in a few months, that is not my way though. I still plan on using them, and enjoying them, and would not want them replaced. I would only ask that you keep an eye on your supply chain and the quality of work that is passed from your printers to your distributors. I love the games and would hate to see a quality issue hinder your company.”
Now then I am sure that some people will say “Oh but the only reason they reached out to you is because you took things public and they either have to address it or you can say all kinds of mean things about them.” And to all those people I say… Get over it. This is the internet. People post mean, evil, spiteful bull shit all the time. And you know how much of it gets a reply… ever? No, and neither do I. I am willing to bet though that it is only about 1% on any given topic. “Well what about the fact that you are on their Kick Starter for No Thank you Evil!?” Again I say so what. Look, just like I said in my letter to them, I dont want replacements, I dont want anything really, save for them to keep an eye on quality control. Printed materials are a pain in the ass to keep in great shape. Especially when they are printed overseas. I am keeping my copies and I am playing my copies, but unless their reply tells me they are taking quality control seriously, with terms someone who works in transportation and logistics can understand… then I will keep suggesting folks get the PDF version of these awesome games. 🙂 Thats how I roll.
So Gimme the Dice… I gotta see if the d12 will actually stick to surfaces like I saw on that… ohhhh… ohhh thats bad… gotta go…

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Coming soon…

Ok so per a request I received, someone wants to know what I think about Monte Cooks Cypher System. There are two games out with it now (Numenera and Strange) and the Cypher System rule book is on pre-order now, it wont be available until August or so though.

The funny thing is even though I list both of the games on my list of games I play, I have only played these on my own. Exercising the rules and seeing if I like the game engine. I have not been gifted with a group that wants to give them a go. I also have not found a group that wants to play via my local game shops, and no, I will never EVER again try to set up a game group via Craig’s List (Wrong kind of role play dudes, really, really wrong).

So anyway, I don’t feel like I can give a full review of either. I can talk about them, but I wont do a full review unless I have had a full table top game with them. So I need to figure out how to approach that.

Anyway I just wanted to let folks know more is coming, and that there is a new page on the blog so that folks can make requests and they will not get lost.

Gimme the dice I need to set a trap for the unwary that would do a Lego spill proud.

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