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It’s always nice to get a surprise gift from your spouse. I have read on the Internet that some women like flowers or chocolate, but I prefer gaming stuff. (Big surprise.) Last week, I got surprised with a Fantasy Flight Supply Dice Bag. I’d had my eye on these on the website, but couldn’t really justify buying one because I don’t have many un-bagged dice lying about. But, hey, a present! You can’t say no to a present.
The bag is quite nice; it’s made of soft nylon with a suede-like exterior. Mine has the sword detail, printed in a sparkly silver metallic color. At 6.25×9″, the roomy bag easily holds far more than a full set of d20 or WFRP dice; you could probably sneak in a small pad and a little pencil, too, for travel gaming.
Mine’s currently holding the graphic Mouse Guard dice from the Boxed Set. Although I feel a bit guilty about putting non-FFG dice in an FFG bag because I’m crazy like that, the sword seems thematically appropriate for the little mice fighting for what they believe. Neither sword-wielding mouse nor FFG employee has come to my door yet to complain. Now that I think about it, though, it would be pretty cool if an armed mouse showed up at my house. If that happens, I’ll be sure to take pictures and post them.
Some of your are on your way to GenCon. I’m not. It’s a bit of a touchy subject, especially since your chipper Facebook statuses are slowly eroding my sanity. Not being at GenCon isn’t going to stop me from gaming, though!
We are traveling this week, too. Although we seldom ditch our dice if we know we’re going to be playing RPGs, we often leave them behind if we’re anticipating more board gaming than tabletopping, or if–heaven forbid!–we are going somewhere there’s likely to be no gaming at all. Still, we always bring our iPads, and since we have the books for most of our favorite RPGs in PDF form, a couple of dice roller apps ensure that we can play at the drop of a hat if a game pops up.
If you play d20, WoD, or other similar systems, you’ll find everything you need in the Dicenomicon At its most basic level, the Dicenomicon lets you assemble a dice pool, roll it, then see the tally at the top of the screen. With customizable aesthetics like dice color, background textures/images, and sounds, you can make your dice set look and act just as you like. You can also have a whiteboard function as your background, allowing you to keep notes and tallies right at your fingertips. If you’re an advanced user, you can program and save formulas for commonly used dice rolls, then put sets of formulas and dice types in separate “rooms” to keep your Pathfinder and your Vampire dice separate from one another. The Dicenomicon thus allows GMs to speed up complex encounters, especially those with nonstandard mechanics, if they’re willing to put in a bit of programming time up front. A few extras like a simple tally board make this a great investment. One caveat: the documentation for this product isn’t great, so you may find yourself struggling to use all of its features as fully as you might.
Of course, some of us madmen and women play WFRP3e, and we need our special dice. The simple WFRP Toolkit serves us well. Its grandiose name might lead you to think it’s going to be more than a dice roller; it isn’t. You can assemble your dice pool, roll it, and the app will tally your boons, banes, successes, and failures. Further, you can see a record of your previous rolls and the statistics of how often you get a particular outcome. Some have complained that the Toolkit doesn’t allow you to save a commonly used dice pool, but since building the dice pool and negotiating with your GM what to put in it is such an integral part of the game, not allowing saved dice pools seems very much a part of the spirit of the game.
It’s so satisfying to roll physical dice that I’m loathe to vote in favor of electronic dice rollers most of the time. Yet if you’re GMing a complex encounter, a programmable dice roller like the Dicenomicon can make the task easier. And if your table is cramped with all of FFG’s Warhammer 3e stuff or you don’t have enough dice for everyone to have his own set, the WFRP Toolkit can come in handy.
Happy gaming during this big gaming week, no matter where you are!