Archive for the Product Review Category

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.

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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.

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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.

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

Storm King’s Thunder Reviewed

Posted in D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Product Review with tags , , , , , , on September 2, 2016 by boccobsblog

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This is a spoiler free review. I have read the book, but not DM’d the adventure yet.

From Wizards:

Giants have emerged from their strongholds to threaten civilization as never before. Hill giants are stealing all the grain and livestock they can while stone giants have been scouring settlements that have been around forever. Fire giants are press-ganging the smallfolk into the desert, while frost giant longships have been pillaging along the Sword Coast. Even the elusive cloud giants have been witnessed, their wondrous floating cities appearing above Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate. Where is the storm giant King Hekaton, who is tasked with keeping order among the giants?

The humans, dwarves, elves, and other small folk of the Sword Coast will be crushed underfoot from the onslaught of these giant foes. The only chance at survival is for the small folk to work together to investigate this invasion and harness the power of rune magic, the giants’ weapon against their ancient enemy the dragons. The only way the people of Faerun can restore order is to use the giants’ own power against them.

Our Thoughts:

The Good

  • The Art is amazing
  • The story is well thought out
  • The plot connects to all 5e published adventures (even MoP)

The Badass

  • A lot of fleshed out NPCs that could be reskinned for other campaigns.
  • The body count is high, really high

The Ugly

  • No player content
  • A lot of plots and NPCs (not George RR Martin level, but close)

All in all this is a solid campaign. There are quests and side quests to keep your party busy, and the art and cartography are beautiful. But, while I understand we’ve moved away from the days of splat books and endless feats, a few new spells, backgrounds, and player options go a long way.

Want to expand your SKT campaign even further?

Check out our SKT Encounters on DM’s Guild. You wont need to look up stats or roll treasure. Download 10 encounters, 30 further adventure hooks, and a new monster.

Visit our D&D 5e store for high quality, low priced products!

Expedition: The Roleplaying Card Game

Posted in Non-Collectable Card Game, Product Review with tags , , on April 28, 2016 by boccobsblog

 

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The gang over at Expedition have launched a new Kickstarter and it is doing great! Jump on now to grab a cool, fast-paced game (and hopefully some more stretch goals). There are only five days remaining in the Kickstarter.

What will you pledge get you? According to their Kickstarter page:

The Expedition Adventurer’s Kit includes:

  • 166 cards, enough for up to 6 adventurers and one (optional) Guide, including 10 adventurers, 80 abilities, 40 encounters, 30 loot and 6 helpers
  • 1x d20 die
  • 12x plastic health tracker clips
  • Box and quick start rules sheet (not pictured)
  • The Expedition app – available right now at app.expeditiongame.com on all phones and tablets, and for Android (iOS-specific app coming soon)
  • Potentially even more (at no extra cost to you) if we work together and reach our stretch goals

Dungeon Attack Kickstarter

Posted in Gaming Culture, Product Review with tags , , , on August 19, 2013 by boccobsblog

The guys from Attack Dice, the makers of When Zombies Attack, are funding their second game through Kickstarter. The newest game, Dungeon Attack, follows the same AD premise of fast paced, easy to learn, and easy on the wallet, but with a fantasy flavor.

Funding a game on Kickstarter is a great way to get the games for a cheaper price, get them weeks before they hit the store, and a chance to get exclusive content.

Curious about Dungeon Attack? The rules can be downloaded for free from AD’s website.

Check out the Dungeon Attack Kickstarter!

Wizards to Reprint 1974 D&D “White Box”

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Product Review with tags , , on February 21, 2013 by boccobsblog

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Holding true to their new motto, “Every Edition Available Again!”, Wizards of the Coast is reprinting the original D&D boxset. From Wizards.com:

 

A premium, deluxe edition of the Original D&D “White Box”!

The original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set was published by TSR, Inc. in 1974 and was the very first roleplaying game, introducing concepts that have persisted throughout later editions. It included three small rules booklets in a white box.

This deluxe, premium reprint of the original “White Box” features new packaging and includes the following seven booklets (plus, reference sheets):

  • Volume 1: Men & Magic
  • Volume 2: Monsters & Treasure
  • Volume 3: Underworld & Wilderness Adventures
  • Supplement I: Greyhawk
  • Supplement II: Blackmoor
  • Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry
  • Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes

Each booklet features new cover art but is otherwise a faithful reproduction of the original, including original interior art.

Item Details
Item Code: 45390000
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Format: D&D Boxed Game
Price: $149.99; C$172.00
ISBN: 978-0-7869-6465-9
 

 I think it would be fun to own an run a campaign with, but a hundred and fifty dollars is expensive…

RPG With Me, Virtual Tabletop

Posted in Product Review with tags , , on September 3, 2012 by boccobsblog

At this year’s Gen Con I had a chance to talk with the guys from RPGwithme.com, their virtual tabletop is, by far the most visually stunning I’ve seen. The examples they had at the con looked like still shots from a high-quality video game like Dragon Age or Skyrim.

But the virtual tabletop isn’t the main function of the site. They offer free digital character sheets usable on your laptop or tablet. The site also offers campaign management software complete with free artwork.

Finally, the site offers a play by post platform that integrates your campaign website and digital sheets.

Overall, it looks pretty solid and is worth a visit: RPGwithme.com

If you like what you see, check out their Kickstarter page.

Want To Game More But Don’t Have The Time?

Posted in Product Review with tags , on September 3, 2012 by boccobsblog

Check out Conclave. The creators claim you can play at any pace without software. What interests me most is the claim that it can be played from a smart phone.

According to their website:

Conclave is a D&D-inspired RPG that you play with your friends, at any pace, from any Web browser.  As long-time roleplayers, we were motivated to build it when we saw how we, and most of our friends, had stopped playing the tabletop RPGs we all love due to lack of time and opportunity.  So we decided to take the tabletop experience online, and build a game where your sessions can be as long or short as you like, and where you can find buddies to play with anytime – while still preserving story and gameplay.

It is worth a look. Check out their Kickstarter for more info.