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Geek and Sundry

 

Geek and Sundry

7 Shops to Spice Up Your Growing Dice Collection

Jul 9 2020

If you’re a Dungeons & Dragons player, chances are you already own some carefully chosen dice sets, each one handpicked to match your favorite characters. And if you’re like us, you never stop looking for more dice to add to your collection. There’s no such thing as owning too many dice, after all.

Here are our picks for just a few of our favorite places to shop for dice online. Whether we’re creating a new character, starting a new campaign, or just want to hear the lovely clacking sound of all the dice rolling across the table, these are great options. (Apologies in advance to your bank account.)

Cozy Gamer Shop

Dice with dandelion seeds inside

Cozy Gamer Shop (Photo: Kelly Knox)

Cozy Gamer Shop is a Portland, Oregon-based dice seller. They have a wide selection to choose from. Whether you’re looking for an affordable set made by a large-scale manufacturer or a unique handmade set to splurge on, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for here. We’re big fans of the sharp edge dandelion seed set (pictured above), the other striking floral and organic sets, and their sparkly set with shiny skulls. So many skulls.

Die Hard Dice

Die Hard Dice specializes in metal dice sets for players who really love the satisfying thunk of a heavy d20 on the table. Acrylic sets are also available. Die Hard Dice helpfully offers shopping lists based on character class and a wishlist feature that is both genius and dangerous. Shop for a complete set or affordably treat yourself with a single metal d20.

Heartbeat Dice

Add some bright colors to your campaign or show off your pride with Heartbeat Dice. From the rainbow hues of pride dice celebrating the LGBTQ community to vibrant dice trays, we love what Heartbeat Dice brings to the table.

Want good dice for a good cause? Heartbeat Dice teamed up with Lucky Hand Dice for this adorable translucent heart set raising funds for The Trevor Project. You can also preorder their special Black Lives Matter dice set with all proceeds benefitting The Okra Project.

Ice Cream Dice

Ice Cream Dice

Ice Cream Dice (Photo: Kelly Knox)

You’ll be the envy of the table when you roll these sweet sets from Ice Cream Dice across the table. These colorful creations might be the first dice you’re actually tempted to put in your mouth. (Don’t do that, though.) From the candy corn dice above to root beer float inspired dice, these sets stand out. If you’re looking to give yourself a surprise treat every month, you can even sign up for a subscription.

Level Up Dice

It's easy to get lost in the hypnotic contrast between the crisp white stone and deep black veins of Howlite.

Us/Int: https://t.co/3uIRLa0ZmB
Aus: https://t.co/lXL1IM4Ip1#stonedice #dnd #dice #rpg pic.twitter.com/qeYmlshfOm

— Level Up Dice (@Levelupdice) July 1, 2020

The aptly named Level Up Dice is here to take your dice collection, well, to the next level. From semi-precious stone sets to aluminum sets, you’ll find something you’re dying to splurge on. Level Up Dice offers unique sets as well, from bright prismatic neon to gorgeous wooden sets that look like they could tell a tale of their own.

Tabletop Loot

Have you seen some of the amazing photos that @EMGiosia has taken for us?! https://t.co/nC5NOK9Dfx pic.twitter.com/pkd3MZq8pQ

— Tabletop Loot (@TabletopLoot) July 8, 2020

If you’re shopping for striking sets to give to your friends or want to encourage new players to come to the table, Tabletop Loot is the site for you. With an incredibly large selection of acrylic dice sets and frequent sales, this affordable dice shop is one you’ll visit time and time again. Not only is there a dazzling array of glittery, sparkling dice, we’re huge fans of Tabletop Loot’s efforts to support the young TTRPG community. They offer the chance to donate dice to school Dungeons & Dragons clubs.

Yaniir

Scheherezade's Dream
Smokers at the neon bar, and a beat that shakes your bones. Neutral ground or not, you never know who's watching. Look alive.#dnd #dice #handmadedice #diceporn pic.twitter.com/gRMdcBS5Ar

— Yaniir, but even more socially distant (@_Yaniir_) July 2, 2020

Looking to seriously treat yourself with a dice set that can’t be found anywhere else? Yaniir has the handmade, sharp edge dice set of your dreams. If “dice artisan” is a profession, Yaniir absolutely qualifies. Each set of the high demand dice comes with a story (although they’re not always pleasant) that breathes even more personality into the resin treasures. Keep an eye on the website for limited time opportunities to get your hands on these breathtaking dice.

Do you have a favorite dice shop? Tell us about it in the comments!

Featured Image: Cozy Gamer Shop/Kelly Knox

Kelly Knox is a freelance entertainment writer in Seattle, WA who almost bought 34 dice sets writing this. Follow her on Twitter.

Go Back in Time with the BACK TO THE FUTURE Dice Game

Jul 2 2020

Your next game night can double as a movie night when you celebrate the 35th anniversary of Back to the Future! Back to the Future: Dice Through Time is a cooperative adventure through time for two to four players. Doc Brown needs your help collecting items Biff Tannen stole from 1885, 1955, 1985, and 2015 to restore the timeline. It will take teamwork and a little luck to restore temporal balance–and watch out for those Biffs! (That’s really some evergreen advice there).

pic5460690
Ravensburger

Ravensburger’s Dice Through Time is a neon-colored love letter to everyone’s favorite time-traveling movies. Each timeline on the game board features five iconic locations from the venerable Back to the Future films. Of course there’s the clock tower, Twin Pines Mall, Café 80s, and more.

You’ll move your DeLorean from location to location to resolve the event cards on each space with a roll of the dice. Match the icons on the card, and you’ll clear the event and claim an item Biff has stolen. But you might need a little luck on your dice rolls and some smart planning with your friends to tackle each event as the timeline begins to crumble.

Back to the Future: Dice Through TimeRavensburger

Dice Through Time boasts detailed mini DeLoreans, bold illustrations on the item and event cards, and player mats that are as helpful as they are fun to look at. Plus, Doc’s dog Einstein even gets his own tokens. How can you resist that? All of the high-quality, colorful components make playing Dice Through Time an unforgettable game night experience that will make you want to re-watch the movies the moment you open the box.

Back to the Future: Dice Through Time is available now exclusively at Target at a retail price of $29.99. Pick it up, blast some Huey Lewis, and get ready to roll through time with the family.

Featured Images: Ravensburger

Kelly Knox is a freelance entertainment writer in Seattle, WA who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Follow her on Twitter.

WATCH: How to Play Pan Am

Jun 23 2020

Pan American World Airways defined a generation of accessible, stylish air travel. In Pan Am The Game, from Funko Games, you’ll take control of a fledgling airline and turn it into a business empire over the course of four decades. Do you have what it takes to go up against Pan Am? Becca Scott shows you the ropes in this edition of How to Play!

This video is made in paid partnership with Funko Games. Learn more here.

Build an Aeronautical Empire in Funko Games’ PAN AM

Jun 23 2020

The skies are the next empire for you to conquer in Pan Am from Funko Games and Prospero Hall! This worker placement strategy game spans four decades of aviation history, including the airlines’ glamorous heyday to notable events that would change the industry completely. Put your tray in the upright position and get ready for game night to take off with Pan Am.

This family-friendly tabletop game is for 2-4 players ages 12 and up. Each player takes the role of an owner of a competing airline in the glory days of aviation. You’ll be going up against each other and the most famous airline of them all, Pan Am, as you play to build the best business in the clouds.

PanAm

If you love looking at old photos of the days when people dressed up for airplane travel, you’ll love the look of Pan Am and its components. The game’s sleek and retro style is so nostalgic you can practically smell the upholstery. You’ll also find over 50 detailed, plastic plane miniatures in the box that are almost irresistible to play with as toys themselves. More minis, colorful cards, tokens, and a unique game board also make up the high-quality components.

Please direct your attention to the front of the plane where Becca Scott has a pre-flight speech to tell you more about board setup and gameplay. That’s right, it’s time for How to Play!

The fast-paced gameplay takes place over seven rounds. During the course of the game, players will purchase landing rights at desirable locations and more to make their profits soar. Random events might even change someone’s fortune and make the game different every time you play. Eventually, players go up against aviation pioneer Pan Am itself and turn their biggest competitor into their biggest asset by purchasing stock.

At the end of the game, the savvy player with the most stock in Pan Am wins.

Pan Am is available at Target and your friendly local game store at a retail price of $34.99. Pick it up and buckle up for a fun game night!

The Wild West Awaits on Tabletop and Screen in DESPERADOS III

Jun 18 2020

The Wild West gets even wilder in newly released Desperados III! The tactical stealth role-playing game for consoles and PC puts an Old West gang at your command as you make your mark on the untamed wilderness. Not only will you love the video game, the videogame publisher THQ Nordic joined forces with the RPG-experts of Pegasus Spiele to create a free tabletop RPG to accompany Desperados III, so you’ll be effortlessly living and breathing the Wild West—but your characters might not be so lucky.

The real-time, story-driven video game follows gunslinger John Cooper and his cohorts Kate O’Hara, Doc McCoy, Hector Mendoza, and Isabelle Moreau as they take on anything the ruthless Wild West throws at them.

And there is a lot that can be thrown at them, including outlaws, bandits, and guard dogs, just to name a few. It will take brains to survive—if you rush in blindly, you’ll be spotted, and reinforcements quickly rush in. Stealth is the name of the game. Use crowd control, blind spots, traps, the environment, and more to take control of the situation. If you can do all of this, the gang just might make it out alive.

Don’t worry if you aren’t quite as quick on the draw in real life. Showdown mode gives you the opportunity to pause the action to plan every move and coordinate simultaneous action. If that’s the type of gameplay that appeals to you, you might also enjoy the Desperados pen and paper game! It’s free to download, and all you need is the rulebook and six-sided dice to play.

Desperados, the pen and paper game, was designed by the RPG experts of Pegasus Spiele together with THQ Nordic to make it an authentic Desperados experience. It includes character sheets, rules for character creation and play, and even a free adventure to start your first game session with friends right away. Play online or in person, and your imagination will transport you to the dust-filled air of the land-of-opportunity.

Desperados III is available now worldwide on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The Digital Deluxe Edition contains the full game, the official soundtrack, and the Season Pass with 3 DLCs, so the fun just keeps coming.

Do you have what it takes to survive and thrive in the Wild West? Let us know in the comments!

Narrative Puzzle THE EMERALD FLAME Looks Enchanting

Jun 8 2020

This might be the first escape room you want to escape into. The Emerald Flame, currently in the middle of its Kickstarter campaign, is a narrative adventure that blends the mechanics of escape rooms, puzzles, and interactive fiction into one tabletop experience. Tackle the game solo or cooperatively with friends. No matter how you play, the game promises to be an enchanting step into a magical world of alchemy and mystery.

What’s hidden inside The Emerald Flame? Let’s take a peek inside the game box to find out.

emeraldflame-2

As if the gorgeous components alone aren’t enough to pique your curiosity, wait until you hear the premise. “Commissioned by the Koschei Historical Society, you will take on the role of a historical expert and embark on a quest to piece together a recipe for a transformative elixir by deciphering messages, interpreting alchemical diagrams, and manipulating mysterious artifacts,” describes the campaign website.

The narrative game is created by Rita Orlov, who also designed another successful and critically acclaimed tabletop game called The Tale of Ord. Like its predecessor, The Emerald Flame blends story and puzzles to create an engaging experience. The story was inspired by medieval alchemy and ancient manuscripts, giving the game an ethereal, almost otherworldly feel.

How much does Orlov love puzzles? You’ll find hints in the Kickstarter page and the video above that will unlock secret community forums in which new puzzles will be posted. (Not to brag, but we solved it and feel very smart now.)

If you’re a fan of escape rooms that you can play without leaving the house, don’t miss your chance to lend your support. Independent game makers typically create games in small runs, so this could be your only opportunity to grab a copy of The Emerald Flame. Designed for three chapters that run about two to three hours each, this looks like the perfect puzzle game to plan your next game night—or nights!—around.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Follow her on Twitter.

All Images: The Emerald Flame / PostCurious

ENDLESS QUEST Sends Listeners on a Solo D&D Adventure

May 29 2020

Ah, the age old problem: what to do when you’re itching for a good D&D adventure but there are no Dungeon Masters around? While you could find a group to play with online, there’s a faster solution for those times when you just want to walk on the streets of Waterdeep or explore the jungles of Chult. (Which is often.)

Endless Quest, originally written as a series of six page-turning Choose Your Own Adventure style books for kids, is now available as an audiobook series! Narrated expertly and accompanied by sound effects and music, the Endless Quest audiobooks are sure to make you feel like you’re sitting at the table for the D&D adventure you’ve been hoping for. And, best of all! If you have a valid library card, you might be able to listen to them for free right now.

Endless Quest

Wizards of the Coast / Dreamscape Media

Much like the Choose Your Own Adventure stories of your childhood, Endless Quest doesn’t mess around. You might meet your grisly end at the hands of familiar Dungeons & Dragons foes like Strahd von Zarovich in Castle Ravenloft or Halaster Blackcloak in the Undermountain. You could be stepped on by a giant, or fall prey to zombies, or… actually survive.

But it all remains appropriate for young readers ages 8 and up. Although they might want you to go on the journey with them. Together you’ll listen to the prompts to jump to the pertinent chapter to hear the consequences of your decisions. It’s just as easy to skip back and try another option, much like you did when holding the pages in place with a finger. You know, just in case things don’t work out how you wanted.

The Endless Quest audiobooks are available on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Audible, and Google Play now. You’ll also find them on hoopla digital, which offers free audiobook checkout for people with library cards in good standing. Simply create an account and select your library, and you might find new epic quests at your fingertips.

Cleric, rogue, wizard, or warrior–who would you choose first? Tell us in the comments.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Follow her on Twitter.

Featured Image: Wizards of the Coast / Dreamscape Media

This Handmade Dice Set Is Tea-lightful

May 22 2020

As Dungeons & Dragons continues to enjoy soaring popularity and welcomes new players, especially during These Strange Times, dice makers have risen to the challenge. With just resin, paint, and molds, dice makers create unique for players new and veteran to gleefully add to their collections. Dice sets from indie makers are handmade and hand-painted mini works of art, and we’ve found one that might be the most tea-lightful of them all. (Sorry not sorry.)

Live and Let Dice Arizona Tea Set

Live and Let Dice

Live and Let Dice created a complete set of minty green dice as an homage the iconic Arizona Iced Tea can. Bright and full of springtime vibes, the seven-dice set is also painted with cherry blossom branches and gold numbers. Fans of Critical Role will remember that Taliesin Jaffe’s character Caduceus Clay, a tea enthusiast himself, also wears armor with a similar aesthetic. So whether you’re a Clay fan or a fan of Arizona Iced Tea (and who isn’t), this colorful set is probably calling to you.

And, best of all, you can own it yourself! Live and Let Dice recently placed the “Arizona Dice Tea” set up for auction on ebay, where the bidding is already in the hundreds of dollars. If you miss your chance to bid, however, you’ll find the set up for pre-order later this summer on Live and Let Dice’s online shop opening on June 1.

Big things are coming…
Online shop GRAND OPENING on 6/1/2020!
I will be taking pre-orders on the Arizona Dice Tea sets and d20s! Die-nosaurs and stickers will also be available! #resinart #livenletdice #handmadedice #dnd #grandopening pic.twitter.com/Ip9TUhYCtS

— Live and Let Dice (@Live_n_let_dice) May 19, 2020

While the dice maker admits they’re new to the craft, we’re already impressed with their colorful creations. Keep an eye on Live and Let Dice on Twitter for more details about future sales, as well as the hashtag #dnddice for even more masterpieces you’d love to roll across the table.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Follow her on Twitter.

THE QUEST Tells a Thrilling DnD Tale Through Mime!

May 15 2020

At its heart, Dungeons & Dragons is all about telling a story. A group of friends play to shape the story together, and while it won’t always go the way they might expect, it results in an unforgettable experience. Think it’s impossible to tell a tale without uttering a single word, even in Dungeons & Dragons? You would… until you see Broken Box Mime Theater do exactly that.

“The Quest” is a mimed story of adventure, friendship, and young love. There might not be any clatter of dice scattering across a table, but the story is undoubtedly D&D. The talented mime cast has presented D&D-inspired stories on the stage several times since 2013, and now have made it available online for all fans of the world’s greatest role-playing game to watch in awe.

Stirring music and unmistakable body language make the story immediately immersive. From the group of kids gathering to play a game through the course of an epic adventure, the skilled artists tell a story with their expressions and gestures.

As the knight, elf, and orc embark on a quest to confront an evil witch in the woods, every step of their journey feels like a familiar one to anyone who has rolled a D20 before. That doesn’t make any moment of it boring, however; instead you’re instantly transported to the adventures you’ve had in your own imagination while watching to see what fate and the dice have in store for this group of friends.

A collage of mime performers surround a banner for "The Quest!"

Broken Box Mime Theater

Catch Broken Box Mime Theater in silent action on their YouTube channel for even more astounding tales filled with emotion, music, and artistry.

Featured Image: Broken Box Mime Theater

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Follow her on Twitter.

Play Games with Becca Scott Every Thursday on SAVE POINT

May 8 2020

Whether it’s on the tabletop or on a screen, Nerdist and Geek & Sundry’s own Becca Scott is your go-to gaming gal. You’ve seen Becca teach you How to Play some of your favorite tabletop games countless times, and now it’s your turn to play alongside her.

Save Point is a brand-new weekly show streaming live on YouTube and Twitch. Becca plays video games as viewers either help or heckle (sometimes both at the same time) in a livestream unlike any other. Tune in, play, and chat—we want to hear from you!

The first episode of the captivating streaming series premiered in early April and has aired weekly since. You’ll find Becca on Nerdist’s YouTube, Geek & Sundry‘s YouTube, and Geek & Sundry‘s Twitch channels every Thursday from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM Pacific. Want to get an idea about some of the shenanigans you and Becca can get into together? Take a look at Becca playing Gang Beasts in this recent episode of Save Point.

Frantic multiplayer games, character-driven narrative games, relaxing building games, even mobile party games, if it’s a video game, you’ll probably catch Becca playing it on Save Point. Becca, a multitasking master, even keeps an eye on all three streaming chat channels to listen and respond to your thoughts, encouragement, questions, and tips for playing games and getting through the lockdown together.

Frantic multiplayer games, character-driven narrative games, relaxing building games, even mobile party games, if it’s a video game, you’ll probably catch Becca playing it on Save Point. Becca, a multitasking master, even keeps an eye on all three streaming chat channels to listen and respond to your thoughts, encouragement, questions, and tips for playing games and getting through this shelter-in-place period together.

Catch up on past episodes on the Nerdist and Geek & Sundry YouTube channels, and then tune in every Thursday from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM Pacific to find your next Save Point!

What games would you like to play together with Becca Scott on Save Point? Tell us your recommendations in the comments.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Follow her on Twitter.

3 Tabletop Games That Take All Evening

May 4 2020

Did you ever play games of Risk or Axis and Allies with the maximum number of players? How about a seriously loaded game of Arkham Horror complete with all expansion packs? Sometimes playing board games with our families or friends should be an all-night affair. This is one of those times. Short games that only take fifteen to twenty minutes are a blast. They give everyone a chance to try new strategies, or you can cycle through your library. Let’s make the case for all evening games:

You travel through time (at the pace of regular time, sure, but it doesn’t feel that way).

Once your crew hooks into a long game, rivalries develop, witty banter flows, and they lay household grudges bare. They also allow you to take a step away from the table and return later. During the epic Axis and Allies games of the past; it was common for us to break into separate rooms for tactical sessions between rounds. There may have been snacks in those rooms. With these ideas in mind, here is a quick list of three games that your crew can spend an evening playing easily. By no means exhaustive, and there are hundreds of other great games to play, so this might be the first of a few lists.

City of the Big Shoulders

City of the Big ShouldersCity of the Big Shoulders

A euro-style, resource management, and worker placement game—City of the Big Shoulders is best played with top hats. You experience Chicago’s golden age over the course of five decades starting from 1875. The entire aim is to hire workers cheaply, invest in companies, and end the revolution richer than your other business partners. Starting off with a single company (like Quaker Oats), you complete objectives to create your goods and bring them to the market. Which increases your fame. Which in turn, increases your stock.

It has a steep learning curve at first, and the most confusing part is which money goes in your pocket or your companies. When stock shares are on your company card and you pay dividends—give your company money. Our first play, we didn’t do this. We still had an absolute blast. Several games in and it has become an evening staple that we schedule once a month to drink and play in top hats. City of the Big Shoulders has enough strategy, depth, social barter, and long-term development that the game is fun even when you lose. Even if you come in last place, you will enjoy just developing your company and playing the mini-game. That is the secret to the success of this game: everyone has fun at the table.

The Fury of Dracula

3 Tabletop Games That Take All Evening_1Fury of Dracula

Fury of Dracula has been around for a while. In 2019, a Fourth edition of the game was just released, and it is delicious. A ‘One-vs-Many’ style board game; the player of Dracula attempts to elude four other players as hunters. Retelling the classic Bram Stoker’s novel with a few twists (obviously, it the board game Dracula can win). Since this is a deduction game, one team must work together and use their characters’ abilities; while Dracula does his best to bluff and outwit the party.

Dracula has a stacked deck in his favor and is vastly more powerful in combat, but he can only move at night. Given this set-up, the game can be over really quickly if they catch Dracula. That person is clearly not cut out for the life of an immortal. Let someone else be Dracula and try again. The more likely scenario is that you spend the evening plotting and scheming together while trying to hunt down your friend who is two steps ahead. Victory for the hunters always feels well earned and losing as Dracula always feels like you were so close. That perfect balance is a great way to spend the evening.

Dice & Dragons

3 Tabletop Games That Take All Evening_3Dice & Dragons

Dice & Dragons is a unique way to spend your evening. The game itself is hella simple. You pick a hero class: Wizard, Warrior, Ranger, Cleric, or Rogue. Then you pull up a dragon you want to defeat and take turns rolling some dice. Matching the dice to your characters’ abilities determines what effect you achieve and in one round of play—everyone will be an expert. Killing your first dragon will probably take about ten minutes. Which is impressive considering the life span of most dragon hunters.

Where an evening can is spent playing Dice & Dragons is in campaign mode. Have one player take on the role of your game host, and everyone creates their character. There’s a campaign book with dragon after dragon and a bit of story for each one. Between adventures, you get gold and can level up your characters. The dragons get progressively harder and by the end of the campaign, you will have to strategize to win. It is like D&D had a Roguelike child and crossed it with a board game. When you finish with one campaign, there are others you can download off the website for free! The best part about Dice & Dragons is how easy it is to pick up, but how complex and in-depth it gets the further on.

What are your favorite evening long board games? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image: City of the Big Shoulders

Rick Heinz is a storyteller with a focus on D&D For Kids, and an overdose of LARPs, and the author of The Seventh Age: Dawn. You can follow RPG or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or reach out for writing at RickHeinzWrites@gmail.com

FIREBALL Mobile RPG Lets You Adventure Anytime, Anywhere

Apr 29 2020

There are few better ways to attack the darkness than by getting yourself lost in a good story. When you want to bring a little lighthearted adventure and tales of exciting good vs. evil into your day, finding a group to accompany you on your journey can be a bit of a challenge. (Especially if the urge to play strikes you on the spur of the moment or in the middle of a sleepless night.) The developers of Fireball, an interactive role-playing experience for your smartphone, have a magical solution to take you adventuring anytime, anywhere–and it’s not too late to get in the game.

Whether you’re a Game Master or player, Fireball is being developed with your best role-playing experience in mind. From streamlining role-playing game rules to making it easy to plan a session, the platform is thoughtfully designed from top to bottom with the goal of making the game accessible for everyone.

Players grab their phones to begin the story and play via chat any time day or night. Cooperative storytelling comes to life on the screen as players type out their thoughts and actions in an original campaign created by a Game Master. Whether it’s close friends you see all the time or a group of players from around the world put together through matchmaking, an unforgettable story is waiting to be told together in Fireball. It’s like meeting in a tavern without having to get out of your comfy bed.

fireballrpg2

Just a tap of your finger and you’ll be rolling dice, creating characters, joining a group, attacking vile monsters, and going on an adventure unlike any other, all from the palm of your hand. With no cost to download and start playing, going on an adventure has never been easier!

Update: Fireball Studios successfully raised over $65,000 by almost 3,000 backers and became the 5th most backed mobile game in Kickstarter’s history. If you haven’t caught the Kickstarter campaign, go to the Fireball RPG website or join their Discord. You can find the latest info there.

This post is sponsored by Fireball Studios.

All Images: Fireball Studios

DUNGEON MAYHEM’s Hoots McGoots Is the Hero We Deserve

Apr 27 2020

When you’re itching for a free-for-all Dungeons & Dragons monster battle but your regular group isn’t around, all you need is a little Dungeon MayhemDungeon Mayhem: Monster Madness is the latest expansion for the battle card game from Wizards of the Coast. Not only can up to six players now join in the battle, but the colorful characters introduced in the new edition are immediately lovable.

We’d like you to meet one Hoot McGoots.

Hoots McGoots, a new Owlbear character from Wizards of the Coast.Wizards of the Coast

Just look at that guy and his jaunty little hat! Hoots McGoots is a famous circus performer with his own agent and very own fan club, and we are charter members.

If that adorable image alone doesn’t sell you on this competitive card game (and we think it should), let us tell you a little more about why it makes a raucously fun addition to your next game night.

Dungeon Mayhem is a card battle that pits players ages 8 and up against one another as they attempt to knock each other out of the game. Each player chooses the deck of a personality-packed character, who wields unique abilities for both attack and defense, and gets ready to do some damage. The last player standing at the end of the game is the winner. Let Becca Scott teach you how to set up the table and play in this quick tutorial.

On each turn a player draws a card, plays a card, and then places the used cards in a discard pile. The object is reduce your enemies’ hit points from ten to zero by attacking, defending, and using cards that allow you to play again, draw, heal, and more to your advantage.

Monster Madness not only adds Hoots McGoots, circus performer and daredevil owlbear (did we mention his cute hat), you can also choose other boisterous baddies like the mesmerizing beholder Delilah Deathray, a fancy red dragon gentleman named Lord Cinderpuff, a gelatinous cube who just wants hugs called Blorp, and more. The comical characters were illustrated by Cam Kendell and we just can’t get enough of them.

Hoots McGoots, a character created by Wizards of the CoastWizards of the Coast

If you’ve played previous versions of Dungeon Mayhem, the Monster Madness box also comes with dividers to keep all your cards from each expansion in one handy box. (Anyone who loves a nicely organized game might get the biggest kick of all just from sorting the cards into place.) While the cards for original characters and Baldur’s Gate expansion characters aren’t included, there are spaces and dividers provided to add their cards if you pick them up later.

Game box for Dungeon Mayhem: Monster MadnessKelly Knox

Dungeon Mayhem: Monster Madness is priced at $24.99 and comes with everything you need for you and five other players to throw down some cards. (Smaller decks like the original Dungeon Mayhem are just $10-15.) Easy to learn and quick to play, this card game can make any game night an action-packed adventure to remember. Look for it at your friendly local game store on February 28, 2020.

Featured Image: Wizards of the Coast

Magic School RPG WITCHBROOK Looks Charming in New Screenshots

Apr 20 2020

We told you about the magical school themed RPG currently in development by the publisher of Stardew Valley a couple of years ago. You can bet we’ve had our eyes on the project ever since. Witchbrook is a magical school and town life simulator. It takes place in a world that looks both warm and inviting. Chucklefish recently released a few new screenshots of the game in development, and it looks simply enchanting (via IGN).

Witchbrook magical schoolChucklefish

Witchbrook has all the makings of a charming, casual game experience for witches-in-training. “Build relationships with fellow students and townsfolk, develop your magical abilities by attending classes and completing assignments,” says the promising game description. “Participate in extracurricular activities such as fishing, growing magical crops, and foraging strange mushrooms. Master secret spells, make friends for life and unravel the mysteries of the school…”

They had us at “develop your magical abilities by attending classes.” What can we say, we’re Hermione Granger at heart.

Witchbrook game villageChucklefish

While other details about gameplay are scarce—understandable since not even a release year or platform is known at the moment—we can’t help but fall in love with the magical world depicted in the new screenshots. Bright and colorful with the tiniest delightful details, Witchbrook looks like a world that players could happily get lost in. From tiny potion bottles to a cat napping on the warm hood of a car, it seems like every little part of the game world is being thoughtfully added to give players the magical school experience they’ve always dreamed of.

Describing the role-playing game as a mashup of Stardew Valley and Harry Potter is an easy comparison to make based on just the screenshot below.

Witchbrook school nurseryChucklefish

Just look at that teeny squirrel peeking out of the leaves of the tree!

Follow Chucklefish on social media for more previews of Witchbrook in development.

Featured Image: Chucklefish

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who also contributes to StarWars.com, DCComics.com, IGN, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.

5 Nostalgic FINAL FANTASY 7 Minigames

Apr 9 2020

In preparation for Square Enix to tap into the nostalgia economy of my soul, I’ve been replaying the original Final Fantasy 7. Our memories of the game naturally lose many details as time goes on. However, I vividly remember the first Knights of the Round summons or bawling my eyes out at character deaths. I’ll never forget Cloud going on a date with Barret.

Then there is the Golden Saucer. The mecca of minigames. Out of the hundred-plus hours I logged into the PlayStation save file, minigames made up a solid quarter of them. We don’t entirely know which minigames will make it into Remake or what new ones await us. Golden Saucer wasn’t inside of Midgar, so it is unlikely that some of these games will return in this edition but they still invoke those warm and fuzzy feelings.

Chocobo Racing and Breeding

Final Fantasy Chocobo

After leaving Corel Prison, Cloud enters the world of Chocobo racing and breeding. What follows is a quest to get giant chickens to breed different colors until one of them hatches gold. The Chocobo Square section was a fully formed game within the larger game. You could race your Chocobos on various courses for prizes. If you wanted to earn money, you could sip some materia cocktails and bet on the races. Lastly, you could breed your differently colored chickens and ride them around the world. If you were a racing master, you probably remember having to wait at the finish screen for your competitors to finish.

Snowboarding

Final Fantasy Snowboard

This minigame was first discovered in Icicle Inn where you could play it as part of the storyline. Later on in FF7 it opened up in the second disc of Golden Saucer. This game eventually went on to have its own stand-alone mobile phone game Final Fantasy VII: Snowboarding. The concept was simple enough—fly down the hill using X to jump and edge your board to increase speed while collecting balloons. It was strangely cathartic and hypnotic in actual play and encouraged you to beat your own times for killer prizes.

Mog House

Final Fantasy Moghouse

Attention any moogles in need of love. Mog House is a mushroom house where you get to play matchmaker for a creature named Mog. Mog is trying to impress female Mogs while learning to fly. Where you come in as a player is feeding him nuts. Feed him too many and he gets fat and falls down. Feed him just enough and he’s able to fly. Complete this little minigame and he’ll meet a female named Mag. You’ll take on the role of wingman to help the little chap fly once again. If you succeed, Mog and Mag hook up and have kids. That’s your reward for this task.

G-Bike Motor Racing

Final Fantasy G-Bike

We are almost certainly going to see this game in Remake. G-Bike was the name of the game found in Wonder Square; it was based off your earlier race in Midgar. It’s a no holds barred motorcycle race through the streets while attacking people with your buster sword to win. The prizes in the minigame weren’t particularly good for farming, but the game itself was a lot of fun to play. When you unlock the ability to play this minigame, it served as a nostalgia check over just how far you’ve come already—and how huge the world really was.

…Squatting

Final Fantasy 7 Squats

We know squatting is back in Remake. In an effort to cross-dress Cloud, one of the most beloved mini-games and memes of FF7 was the squatting game. If you can beat the hulking bodybuilder, you’ll get his blonde wig. That will be important later in the story. In Crisis Core, Zach Fair continues the squatting tradition as a part of a healthy Soldier routine. No matter what minigames aren’t in the first part of Remake, the fact that squatting is back should put many fans at ease.

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age Series, Dread Adventures, and a storyteller with a focus on D&D For Kids, Wraith: The Oblivion, Ravnica, and an overdose of LARPs. You can follow the game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook.

How Shinra Power Company Shapes the FINAL FANTASY VII World

Apr 9 2020

Towering over Midgar, the Shinra Electric Power Company headquarters loom 70 stories over their subjects. That’s pretty scary for what amounts to a utility company. With the Final Fantasy VII Remake just around the corner, it’s a good time to investigate the expanded lore of Shinra. The Final Fantasy worlds are a giant disconnected (yet connected) series. Thanks to games like Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerebrus we have more information about this villain than the original game. While movies like Advent Children certainly expanded upon the company’s activities post-final fantasy, we are avoiding that because of spoilers. 

At its core, Shinra Power Company extracts Mako Energy (think oil… just green) from the earth and refines it. Using these reactors to refine the Mako, Shinra can produce electricity and thus brought about the Final Fantasy equivalent of the industrial revolution. Unfortunately for the world, Shinra Electric was originally a weapons company—and it never stopped being one. Led by a visionary, President Shinra, who wanted to build a world conglomerate and find the promised land, Shinra worked tirelessly to establish their dominance over the world. War, secret police, media propaganda, and super-soldier programs became the tools of their trade.

With all that said, let’s take a deeper look!

Shinra Hierarchy

Final Fantasy Image 3

Shinra Power is a family-owned business. At the height of its power, Shinra Power operated as the de facto government, but it maintained its close familial connections. President Shinra himself oversaw the entire operation, and his son Rufus Shinra has the run of the company and all the divisions that make it up:

  • Weapons Development Department – Led by Scarlet, she is the only female executive and is featured heavily in Before Crisis – Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII. Scarlet is the kind of person who delights in the pain of others and her status within the company.
  • Science Department – led by Professor Hojo. A major antagonist and responsible for much of the conspiracy in the VII universe; Hojo is the kind of person who will crossbreed species for science.
  • Urban Development – led by Reeve Tuesti. He’s the architect who designed the Mako Reactors and helped build the city of Midgar. Unlike the rest of the ruthless bunch, Reeve actually does his job and seems to care. This is good, because he has the coolest name.
  • Space Program – led by Palmer. Palmer and the Space department are a joke in the games. They’re often portrayed as greedy or comically inept in their attempts to develop a space program. It will be interesting to see how Remake portrays him.
  • Public Safety Maintenance Department – Led by Heidegger (shown in the Remake trailers and Demo), he runs the military and the Turks. We will get more into the Turks vs. Soldiers vs. Security department below. Heidegger, though, loves his Roboguard division. Because having an army of robots is just awesome.

One thing that is important to understand in the VII universe is that these people have a total monopoly. The game is set at the height of their power and there is no real hope for your regular citizen to take on this company. Even the mayor of Midgar is nothing but a puppet pawn for the company.

Final Fantasy Image 5

 

Turks, Soldiers, and Security!

Final Fantasy Image 6

 

The main villains you will find yourself fighting against fall into the branch of Turks, Soldiers, or Security. Technically, all of them are lead by Heidegger under the Public Safety department, but things slip through the cracks. Reno, Rude, and Tseng–Turks–were wickedly cool characters in the Final Fantasy 7 original. Everyone seems to start off as Security and work their way up. Then we have Sephiroth and Cloud as soldiers, but what’s their main difference to the others?

Tseng leads the Turks. That group includes members like Vincent Valentine and Elena. Dressed in stylish suits with awesome black shades, the Turks bring the class to Shinra Electric Company. An intelligence agency, black ops, assassinations, and reconnaissance group all in one, they are true professionals. Since they are privy to so many secrets, the Turks tend to become full characters with complicated backstories and motivations that may differ from Shinra.

Soldiers are very different from the Turks. They are the elite biologically enhanced fighting force of Shinra. Each Soldier is handpicked and recruited, subjected to experiments, and given leeway to conduct their missions. Once you are a Soldier, you are a soldier for life. You’ve become a Shinra industrial secret. No two soldiers are alike, and each of them is iconic for what they do. Sephiroth and Zack Fair are two of the most iconic soldiers and are the people you send in to win a war.

Let us know your favorite Shinra character in the comments below and why!

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age Series, Dread Adventures, and a storyteller with a focus on D&D For Kids, Wraith: The Oblivion, Ravnica, and an overdose of LARPs. You can follow the game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook.

Wonderland’s War | Game the Game

Feb 14 2020

Wonderland is in peril, and only one character can restore order. In this whimsical episode of Game the Game, Becca is joined by Kiki Aimerito, Ivan Van Norman, and James Hudson to play Wonderland’s War from Skybound Games. Rally your forces and face off against other classic characters from Wonderland in this bag-building adventure.

Want a primer on the rules? Check out How to Play:

Please note: The game used in this video is a prototype, so game pieces and rules are subject to change in the final version.

Tabletop games are super fun, but learning the complicated directions and rules can be a challenge. Becca Scott is your game tutor, explaining the game mechanics in an easy-to-follow way so you can get to playing the games faster.

This video is made in paid partnership with Skybound Games. Learn more here.

WATCH: How to Play Wonderland’s War

Feb 12 2020

Go down the rabbit hole and prepare for a fantastical battle for domination in Wonderland’s War from Skybound Games. In this episode of How to Play we’re checking out this new bag-building tabletop adventure where you and your friends face off as characters from Wonderland to see who will reign supreme in this magical realm.

This video is made in paid partnership with Skybound Games. Learn more here: Skybound Games

The Dungeon Masters Guild Supports a Community of Creators

Feb 3 2020

You know it’s the place to go when you need a new adventure, but did you know the Dungeon Masters Guild is also a thriving fan community? Not only will you find the next great story to tell your players, you’ll also meet the future stars of Dungeons & Dragons narrative design supported by the one-of-a-kind creative community.

20160112_DMG_Header

“Dungeon Masters Guild is more than a marketplace,” says DMs Guild Brand Manager Lysa Penrose. “It’s very much a creator community, and these creators represent some of the best of the community – fun, fresh, innovative ideas combined with a collaborative spirit. I know I can’t be the only person in the industry who’s made note of the waves they’re making in D&D design.”

Designers have gone on from the Dungeons Masters Guild to become part of the Guild Adept program and working officially at Wizards of the Coast. James Introcaso, James Haeck, and M.T. Black, names you might recognize from their work on books like Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus, all got their start on the DMs Guild. You might also know Ashley Warren from the incredibly successful Uncaged anthology, Celeste Conowitch from “D&D Communitea” on the official D&D Twitch channel, and TK Johnston, the Dungeon Master for Tales From the Mists. All of these talented designers got their start on the Dungeon Masters Guild—and you can start playing their compelling adventures with just a click of the mouse.

uncaged-book

Uncaged: Ashley Warren

And just as exciting, there are always more names and faces to keep an eye on if you love dynamic content. Not only are some of their phenomenal adventures already on the Dungeon Masters Guild, they all have futures so bright you’ll need to make a constitution saving throw.

Justice Arman, writer of Devil’s Advocate: A Guide to Infernal Contractsstarted designing adventures just for his home game. “My players and I were still getting the hang of the rules, abilities, and honestly the social component of Dungeons & Dragons,” Justice tells Geek & Sundry, “so I decided to slow down the progression by writing a short adventure in a canyon called Murdock’s Pass. I found myself writing more and more over the next couple of years.”

Justice eventually submitted a short Halloween-themed adventure to the DMs Guild, and forgot about it until he logged into the website one day—and found that it had sold a significant number of copies. “I was humbled that there were people out there who had actually paid me for my writing,” he recalls. “That experience lit a fire in me. Suddenly, I had all these ideas, and I just sort of ran with them.”

devils-advocate

Devil’s Advocate: Justice Arman

Like most designers that share their work through the website, Justice is keeping an eye on the future. “DMs Guild is the only place that you can earn money by writing with official Dungeons & Dragons intellectual property,” he says. “I absolutely love D&D, whether it’s Forgotten Realms lore, unique creatures such as beholders and owlbears, or famous characters like Mordenkainen and Volo. On top of that, it’s a dream of mine to write for Wizards of the Coast one day, and there’s no better place to start than the DMs Guild. I’d be crazy to not to take advantage of this opportunity!”

If you’re looking for your next great adventure or game supplement, take a look at more standout titles like:

“The DMs Guild is full of passionate, friendly people who are eager to collaborate with one another and share valuable knowledge in the process,” says Justice. “Every week, I learn something new from a fellow creator on the guild. These days, there are so many talented creators publishing regularly, each one of them bringing new perspectives to incredible products. The community is also supportive on social media; you’ll frequently see DMs Guild regulars sharing each other’s work with a smile. It really is a unique place.”

Which DMs Guild designer do you think deserves the spotlight? Tell us about them in the comments.

All Images: The DMs Guild

Featured Image: The DMs Guild / Lydia Van Hoy, Justice Arman, and Willy Abeel and Leon Barillaro

WATCH: Element Silver Edition | Game the Game

Jan 30 2020

Get ready to summon the power of the elements to outsmart your opponents! Becca is joined by Noura Ibrahim, Mike Richie, and Mark Streed to play Element Silver Edition from Rather Dashing Games. Each player must maximize the mystical elements at their disposal to capture the opposing sages.

 

This video is made in paid partnership with Rather Dashing Games. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2uBNnEj

 

Want a primer on the rules? Check out How to Play: https://youtu.be/0umCIdIJuc8

WATCH: How to Play Element Silver Edition

Jan 28 2020

Do you have what it takes to command the elements? We’re digging into Element Silver Edition from Rather Dashing Games! This strategy board game calls on players to utilize various elemental stones with unique properties to protect their own sage while surrounding the opposing player.

This video is made in paid partnership with Rather Dashing Games. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2uBNnEj

Bring the Battle to the Tabletop in THE RUNELORDS BOARD GAME

Jan 24 2020

Get ready to jump into action in David Farland’s world of The Runelords! The Runelords Board Game, coming to Kickstarter in February, is an engrossing board game that combines deck-building and wargaming to create a new, singular game experience every time you play. Will you answer the call and be the brave hero the kingdom needs?

Kingdom-Runelords

The Runelords Board Game is a modular tabletop experience for one to four players that can be played head-to-head, co-op, or solo. Game play is divided into two separate stages, sovereignty (building your deck with assets) and combat (deploying your army and battling). Sovereignty includes choosing assets with from the available cards in the market, taking a journey, gathering influence, and more to prepare your army for the upcoming battle.

Let Becca Scott show you how to set up the game board and begin building your deck–and your army–in this in-depth episode of How to Play.

From the powerful runelords to the smallest assets, each game card features stunning artwork worthy of an epic fantasy tale. Gather vassals, support, reinforcements, and influence to gain exclusive recruits from other runelords and level your own runelord’s power during twelve rounds of gameplay. New runelords will be available in the future through expansions to add even more fine-tuning to your game experience.

Once you’ve created an army worthy of your command, it’s time to fight. The Combat stage is easy to learn, but hard to master! Battles feature three action types and skirmish combat rules that aren’t overwhelming, so you don’t need to be a grizzled veteran of tabletop wargaming to learn how to play. Watch the combat stage unfold in this action-packed episode of Game the Game with Becca and friends.

The Runelords Board Game is based in the world of the bestselling fantasy series. The author worked closely with the game designers in its development; while there aren’t any characters from the books in the game itself, the tabletop experience explores some of the fantastic aspects of Farland’s world not found in the novels.

Designed to be cost-effective from manufacturing to shipping, the publisher and design team kept players in mind in all stages of the board game’s creation. Fans of the book series and dedicated tabletop gamers alike shouldn’t miss this opportunity to support a one-of-a-kind board game experience by backing the Kickstarter this February!

This post is sponsored by Red Djinn Productions.

All Images: Red Djinn Productions

WATCH: The Runelords Board Game | Game the Game

Jan 23 2020

With your armies assembled, it’s time to enter the Combat Phase! Becca is joined by John D’Angelo and Mark Streed to play The Runelords Board Game from Red Djinn Productions. Watch as our players face off in this action-packed fantasy world based on the book series by David Farland.

 

This video is made in paid partnership with Red Djinn Productions. Learn more here: https://www.therunelordsgame.com/

 

Want a primer on the deck-building Sovereignty Stage? Check out How to Play: https://youtu.be/lC-N-pyo8L8

WATCH: How to Play The Runelords Board Game

Jan 21 2020

Enter an immersive fantasy realm and prepare for battle, because in this episode of How to Play we’re delving into The Runelords Board Game from Red Djinn Productions! Based on the book series by David Farland, The Runelords Board Game allows you to build a mystical army and face off against your fellow players.

 

This episode is made in paid partnership with Red Djinn Productions. Learn more here: https://www.therunelordsgame.com/

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