Archive for the Product Review Category

Initiative Coffee Company

Posted in Product Review with tags , , on May 1, 2019 by boccobsblog

Initiative Coffee Company 2

This year at LexiCon-IL we were lucky enough to have the Initiative Coffee Company join us and caffeinate our gamers. According to their website:

At Initiative Coffee Company, we believe in working from the ground up.  The partnerships we make allow us to hand select our own roast. We hand make our own syrups.  We even do our build outs on our own.

Initiative Coffee Company has a passion for three things, coffee, games, and community. We’d like to be a part of your community. Your next private event, or public festival is the next place we want to be.

How does it taste?

I don’t personally drink coffee, so I bought a bag for my wife who does. Here is her review:

When your husband makes a career (literally) of going to and running game conventions, you become familiar with receiving gifts purchased at these conventions. T shirts, jewelry, small notebooks — my thoughtful husband has brought them all home for me.

But what you really need when you are the mother of two with a demanding job is coffee. So I was super excited when Andy brought me this freshly ground coffee home from Lexicon.

The coffee from Initiative Coffee Company is solid. I enjoyed the medium roast, which is lighter than my usual Folgers classic roast. My first cup, I used 1 tbsp per cup of water. On day two, I doubled it and liked the stronger flavor.

Andy got to see the coffee being ground! When you open the bag, you see right away that this is not the flawless coffee from a factory. This is course, hearty coffee! The smell is amazing and you really can’t beat the freshness of ground-yesterday-flavor.

Two thumbs up! -Jamie

Initiative Coffee Company

Try it for yourself!

 

 

 

 

Fantasy Shopping Table Review

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, Dungeons and Dragons, Product Review with tags , , , on April 17, 2019 by boccobsblog

JBT

The following is my review of the Fantasy Shopping Table (FST): A random encounter generator for D&D, by Jason Bradley Thompson.

A San Francisco native, Jason is a talented author and game designer.  He is from Mockman Press, and well-known to fans of D&D for his comic walk-throughs of classic adventures. Longtime B3 readers may recall our review of Jason’s hit game, Mangaka, or our review of his unique D&D5e divine caster class, The Priestess. FST has great artwork by Konstantin Pogorelov, as well as an easy-to-navigate layout by Jumana Al Hashal.

In the author’s words, “Fantasy Shopping Table gives adventurers who like shopping as many plot hooks as adventurers who like binge-drinking in seedy establishments.” FST makes buying gear and items more exciting than simply looking up the item in the Player’s Handbook. The FST separates markets into Common and Black, a designation which affects both the cost of items, and their availability.

What I especially like about FST is that a player’s background factors into the shopping experience. Backgrounds are often forgotten immediately after character creation.  Additionally, FST is packed with dozens of tables that leads to deals, steals, double-crosses, fights and adventures.

Fantasy Shopping Table is available now on the Dungeon Master’s Guide, where the
16-page PDF retails for $2.99. Personally, I think it is worth every penny as it creates a more dynamic downtime shopping experience.

Details:
Fantasy Shopping Table
Price: $2.99 USD
Format: 16-page PDF
Available on Dungeon Master’s Guide
Jason Bradley Thompson (writer & interior art)
Jumana Al Hashal (graphic designer & editor)
Konstantin Pogorelov (cover artist)

 

More from Mockman Press
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and Other Stories
Manga: The Complete Guide
King of RPGs 1
King of RPGs 2
Mangaka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World’s Greatest Screen

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, GURPS, Pathfinder, Product Review with tags , , , , on January 30, 2019 by boccobsblog

h9eb542b1

DM screens are sometimes a hot button issue. DMs either love them or hate. A lot of players complain that DMs are cheating behind their screens. I personally use a screen to hide minis and terrain pieces. I still make my rolls on the table in front of my players. One issue I do have with using a DM’s screen is that I can’t see the whole table/battle mat. That issue was resolved when I found the  The World’s Greatest Screen at Gen Con a few years back (you can find the original article here).

Hammerdog offer their screens in three formats: vertical, horizontal, and mini. What makes them the world’s greatest? Well according to their website:

  • You can put anything you want in the pockets.
  • You can fold it up and use it any way you like.
  • You can write all over it with wet erase markers.
  • Magnetic Game Aids work through the pockets.
  • You can download inserts for it free from our site.
  • What more do you need?

I use the mini, it hides my minis, but doesn’t obscure the table. The mini uses 4×6 index cards, and has 12 pockets. I’ve created some inserts for the mini screen (free download).

What to use the player-facing pockets for?

  • NPC pictures and names
  • Maps
  • Player images
  • Artwork
  • Track Initiative
  • Dank memes

real-dm-tips-1-dungeons-dragons-dm-screen-ey-31244113

The Weirdest Crap I Could Find on Amazon
The Gift of Nothing
Instant Underwear
Bacon Mints

Sweet sweet click bait:

Roll Player Game Review

Posted in board game, Product Review with tags , , on January 9, 2019 by boccobsblog

At GameHoleCon in November we had the the pleasure of trying Roll Player, by Thunderworks Games.

According to their website:

Mighty heroes don’t just appear out of thin air — you must create them! Race, class, alignment, skills, traits, and equipment are all elements of the perfect hero, who is ready to take on all opposition in the quest for glory and riches.

In Roll Player, you will compete to create the greatest fantasy adventurer who has ever lived, preparing your character to embark on an epic quest. Roll and draft dice to build up your character’s attributes. Purchase weapons and armor to outfit your hero. Train to gain skills and discover your hero’s traits to prepare them for their journey. Earn Reputation Stars by constructing the perfect character.

The player with the greatest Reputation wins the game and will surely triumph over whatever nefarious plot lies ahead!

Roll Player
Players: 1-4
Time: 60-90 minutes
Ages: 10+
Rules: PDF

What’s included:
• 1 Rulebook
• 6 Character Sheets
• 73 Dice
10 Green
10 Blue
10 Red
10 Purple
10 Black
10 White
13 Gold
• 1 Dice Bag
• 101 Cards
4 Player Aid / Reputation Track Cards
6 Class Cards
16 Backstory Cards
17 Alignment Cards
53 Market Cards
5 Initiative Cards
• 55 Gold Tokens
• 12 Tracking Tokens (2 in each Class Color)
• 6 Charisma Tokens

What I enjoyed:

  • There are several win conditions
  • The game allows multiple play styles (cooperative or cooperative)
  • Well thought out alignment system that rewards and punishes your choices
  • Roll Player has some great art
  • There are several character classes and races to choose from

All in all, Roll Player is a fun game and I recommend it. The rules are well thought out, and there was a lot time put into the game’s creation. I enjoyed bringing my sociopath frogkin ranger to life. Learn more about Thunderworks games at their website.


Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Review: Return of Wolverine #1

Posted in Comic Books, Product Review with tags , on September 20, 2018 by boccobsblog

RoW1

Today marks the return of everyone’s favorite cigar-chomping, baddie-impaling superhero, Wolverine. If you just said, “wait, what? Wolverine was dead?!” Then you should check out the Death of Wolverine. Check out the video trailer for more details:

//players.brightcove.net/5359769168001/rkg9u15t7b_default/index.html?videoId=5836560256001

Details: Charles Soule
Penciler: Steve McNiven
Inker: Jay Leisten
Color Artist: Laura Martin
Letter: Joe Sabino

While beautifully drawn, the comic raises more questions than it answers. A few I had while reading:

Why are Wolvie’s claws glowing red hot? Was he in Hell?

What caused the wound on his side? (Muramasa blade?)

Why was the lunch lady wearing a lab coat? And why does she know how to suture a wound closed with a staple gun?

The lunch lady say, “I know why you wear blue and yellow.” Then Wolvie puts on black and red? Is he the real wolverine, or just a clone? Is that why he has no memories? Are they being uploaded into a clone body?

Too early to say much, we’ll have to let a few issues unfold, but I’m excited none the less.

 

Mangaka Review

Posted in Comic Books, Product Review with tags , , , on May 8, 2018 by boccobsblog

cropped-cover-test21

The following is a review of the board game, Mangaka, by Jason Thompson (better known as Mockman). You might remember our review of Jason’s excellent D&D class, the Priestess (available on DM’s Guild). You’ll also recognize Jason’s distinctive art style from his hilarious D&D walk-through maps of classic adventure modules.

Mangaka

Mangaka (Japanese for a comic artist) is the “fast and furious game of drawing comics”. In Mangaka you play as manga artists trying to achieve fame in a comic world of ever-shifting tastes, trends, and fads. The game is very easy to learn and play and only has three rules. No, you read that correctly, Mangaka has just three rules:

  • Express your themes
  • Draw something in each panel
  • No more than three word balloons are allowed each round

Each player gains fame for following the rules, drawing their obsessions, and carrying out the special instructions on their theme cards. Notice that your drawing skill (or lack thereof) does not come into play. You do not need to be an artist to play or enjoy this game (in fact, we find the opposite to be true, the worse the artist, the more fun). After four progressively difficult rounds, each player will have a complete comic masterpiece suitable for framing or shaming.

The game has an obvious manga flavor, but can be enjoyed by anyone. The idea of drawing a comic strip is easy for anyone to pick up. With variant rules both in the rulebook and on the Mangaka website (mangakagame.com) and different difficulty modes, this game has a ton of replay value.

One aspect of this game that players will truly appreciate is that it can be played solo (or Han-Style for those in the know). It is hard to find board games that offer a one-player variant and this rule allows for maximum replay value. Aside from the obvious entertainment of solo-play, an aspiring manga artist could actually benefit from having to work under a timetable and forcing themselves to draw content that is outside of their comfort level.

Well-Supported Web Content

Mangakagame.com is an excellent resource that adds greatly to the value of the game. The site is routinely updated with frequently-asked questions and errata. There are also variant rules, a hilarious gallery of comics and art, and a place to download additional drawing paper to replenish the pad of comic cells included in the game.

Designers

Jason Bradley Thompson – serves as the game’s lead designer. Thompson is a talented artist and author; he wrote Manga: The Complete Guide (available from Random House), and also illustrated an exquisite collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories entitled, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath & Other Stories (available from Mockman Press). Jason is also an avid player and fan of Dungeons & Dragons and has illustrated several humorous walk-through maps of famous D&D adventures like Tomb of Horrors and White Plume Mountain.

Thompson was aided in the production of the game by producer/graphic designer Jumana Al Hashal, interior game artist, Eric Muentes, and cover artist, Ike whose last name must be hidden from the Yakuza to protect his family.

Mangaka at a glance

  • 1-8 players, aged 12 and up (rules for a younger audience can be found on the website)
  • Takes about 30 – 60 minutes (longer for bigger groups, or if alcohol is involved)
  • Targeted at teens and up
  • You don’t need to be an artist to play

Game Components

  • 136 Theme Cards
  • 52 Trend Cards
  • 160 Fame Tokens
  • Comic Pages (blank)*
  • Rule Book

Mangaka is easy to learn, fast to play and will appeal to a diverse audience. Pick up your copy from Amazon, Japanime Games, or Mangakagames.com.

*Download additional comic pages here

FullSizeRender

I cannot suggest this game enough. It is fun for families, gamers, and manga enthusiasts alike. Mangaka is easy to learn and quick to play. Give it a try!

Buy Mangaka

http://www.Mangakagame.com

About the Author – Andrew Hand is a designer/co-founder at Limitless Adventures.

Hirst Arts – Making 3D Terrain

Posted in Hirst Arts, Limitless-Adventures.com, Product Review, The Crafty DM, Uncategorized with tags , , on October 28, 2016 by boccobsblog

For some time now I’ve wanted to write about the Castle Molds from Hirst Arts. HA makes high-quality latex molds in the shape of medieval, Gothic, Roman, Egyptian, fantasy, and sci-fi architecture.

how001

Image from hirstarts.com

You cast the molds using any number of products: plaster of Paris, hydrostone, dental plaster, resin, etc. You then take the pieces and glue them together into buildings, ruins and dungeons which can be used as 3Dterrain for table top minis games or rpgs.

Think of Hirst Arts blocks like fantasy Legos. The only thing limiting you is your imagination.

how003

Image from hirstarts.com

Pros

  • Cheap- The molds cost 25- 30 USD and can be used forever. The quality is on par with more expensive terrain like Dwarven Forge.
  • Limitless Possibilities – With just a few molds you can create infinite dungeons, ruins and buildings for your game.
  • Increased Game Play- Visual players will light up when you reveal your 3D gamescape. Plus having the game in three dimensions makes some aspects easiler, line of sight and area of effect. Mind’s eye theater players may scoff at 3d terrain, but overall player’s in my games seem to really enjoy seeing their fantasy world brought into 3d.
  • Several Genres Available- You can get molds for numerous historical and sci-fi setting. Also the genres can be used together to create interesting overlap.
  • Ease of Use- I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but even I can cast blocks, assemble them, and paint them into something that looks good.
  • Easy to Paint- The blocks paint up very well any even the most novice painter will see results. The blocks are very porous and show dry brushing very nicely.
  • Community of Support- Once you start into the Hirst Arts hobby there are several websites, podcasts, and videos out there to give you the support and inspiration to create amazing terrain.

Cons

  • Time Consuming- While the molds and the materials used are fairly cheap, casting blocks takes time (an hour to cast and a day to dry). And you will need to cast several times to create a building or a dungeon.
  • Fragile- If you use plaster of Paris your models will not be very strong, especially if you try to cast thin items like fences and doors.
  • Difficult to Transport- If you don’t host your game at your home, finding a way to get your models from point A to point B can be an issue. I use a copy box with sheets of bubble wrap from the post office.

If you can’t afford the majesty that is Dwarven Forge, Hirst Arts is an amazing way of creating 3D terrain for your fantasy roleplaying game. Here is an example of a dungeon that I made for FlatCon. It is a replica of The Tomb of the Sorcerer Thane, a Limitless Adventures Side Quest that I ran last weekend.

fullsizerenderimg_3480img_3481img_3479

Now that you have some sweet 3D terrain, do you need some D&D quest ideas?