Happy Holidays & Updates

We at Hexes & Bows want to take a moment to wish everyone the happiest and merriest of Holidays this winter season! No matter what you celebrate, we hope you find some time to play games and share the things you love with people you love as well!

There are lots of things bubbling in the H&B creative cauldrons! First, we’ll be resuming our standard tabletop discussion podcast and releasing these episodes biweekly. Don’t fret! We’ll still be publishing more content every week! The second pot-a-brewin’ is our reviews! There’s loads of items for Mr. and Mrs. Gnome to go over and many more in the works! If there’s something you’d like us to tweet us your suggestion at: @hexesnbows!

Finally, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who filled out an application to join the Hexes & Bows Actual Play Podcast! We’ve been working on building a new creative team, and although we’re still determining the setting, we are so excited to join the actual play podcast world!

Our next D&D live tabletop game will be this Saturday, December 30th at 6PM CST! Cersten, Billy, and Crash now join Tony, Tara, and Chrissy as they learn of their character’s destiny with the Feywild Queen! Join us for the last D&D game of 2017 on twitch.tv/gnomedic.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting the Hexes & Bows Podcast. 2017 was an incredible learning experience and 2018 promises new content, new cast members, and more tabletop love!

Merry Critmas to everyone, May your shelves be full of games and your table surrounded by friends and family!

See you in 2018!

-Gnome & the Hexes & Bows Podcast team

Action Cats Kickstarter with Keith Baker

Action Cats is the latest project created by well known roleplaying game designer and author Keith Baker. Action Cats is currently being funded on Kickstarter until August 1st and it is all about the Internet’s most beloved animal – cats.

You can listen to Keith Baker talk about the project on Tales from the Fandom podcast below.

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It’s a family friendly storytelling game where it is up to you to craft the best story. You’re given the beginning and the end of the story, but you fill in the story. The judge determines who has the best story!

You can find Action Cats by clicking on the links below:

Action Cats! Kickstarter

Video on how to play Action Cats!

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You can find Keith Baker at:
Keith Baker’s website
Twitter

H&B Review: Die Hard Dice

Tara and Joey dive right in to a pile of metal dice from Die Hard Dice for their latest review of tabletop accessories! Metal dice, rolling mats, and glow-in-the-dark die?! YEAH! We are all in!

 

The story behind Die Hard Dice is quite sweet and humble. Todd and Jessie, founders of Die Hard, find the time to sell dice and gaming accessories in the little free time between raising children and other jobs.

After speaking with Todd through a couple of e-mails, it’s very clear that he and Jessie are passionate about gaming and that they desire to share such a passion with other gamers! That’s why Die Hard Dice may be one of our favorite places to purchase dice from.

Die Hard offers a wide variety of metal and polymer dice, but today Tara and Joey review three sets of metal dice, some prototypes, and a rolling mat!

File_001RPG Gothica Set – Battleworn Copper

Straight from the tin box, these copper dice make a statement! Not only are they enjoyably hefty (it’s a word we like to use a LOT this podcast, in a good way!), the overall look is simply eye-catching!

The edges of the d6 and d10/percentile are rounded and offer a wonderful rolling experience that is often lost with jagged-edged metal dice. The same cannot be said for the d4, d8, d12, and d20s which each have very sharp, very crisp edges that really make the antique pop out within their beveled borders.

With the d6 and d10s outshining the other dice, the entire set offers players a steampunk-vibe in both color and design.

Ultimately, we enjoyed these dice, but could not overlook a coloring flaw that left some of the dice a more orange-copper color versus a more muted-copper color.

These dice retail for $28 on their website, which is an excellent and fair price for a rather spectacular set!

DHDCopperReview

File_002RPG Set – Raw Steel with Paragon Blue

If there’s one unique thing about this particular set of dice it’s in their aesthetics! Raw steel sounds pretty darn epic, but holding a set of gun-metal steel in your hand feels empowering!

Both Tara and Joey agree that these sets look more like a dark, ancient stone than they do metal, which increased their appeal! The deep steel color shows any wear and tear on the dice more, but that adds so much character to these dice!

One aspect that divided Joey and Tara in scoring revolved around the number coloring. The website image shows a much lighter steel and a brighter blue which make them easy to read. That wasn’t the case with this particular set. For near-sighted Joey, trying to read the numbers turned into a struggle, but Tara had no qualms.

Like most sets on the Die Hard website, this RPG set retails for $27! Seriously, the prices on this site are just fantastic!

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sinnRPG Set – Sinister Rainbow

After opening these dice, Joey originally believed they’d sent an assortment of colors to observe. That’s not the case! Be sure to listen to the podcast and learn how this glorious set came to be!

These dark, chrome dice are impressive! Their sleekness and shine make for an enjoyable rolling experience and quickly became Tara’s favorite of the bunch!

The Sinister sets offer a variety of coloring to their numbers that include pink, yellow, blue, purple, orange, red, and green! It’s hard to imagine anything sinister about a rainbow, but that’s exactly what you get with this dice set!

They’re molded similarly to the Raw Steel sets and are the most uniform in size and color. No blemishes appear on these dice, so they look fresh and ready for action every time you pull them out for game night!

Retailing at $27 as well, this is a must-have set for any type of dice collector!

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File_006Playmats

Todd’s ability to think outside the box and problem solve is very apparent in the products that he sells and creates. Even though it’s the cheapest item on the site it’s one that is worth so much more than $6.50!

The Die Hard playmats are the PERFECT, cost-effective solution to rolling metal or other heavy, sharply-edged dice on a variety of surfaces. Not only is the playmat well-crafted, the simplicity of its use makes it a must-purchase for players concerned with rolling dice on tables.

A rubber backing helps keep the playmat secured to any surface, so while you roll your nat 20s, it’s not rolling with! Plus, the mat acts as a sound dampener and a spring board for dice. What does that mean? It means every time you roll your straight-edged dice they won’t just land with a thud! Instead, you’ll achieve an actual roll!

Additionally, if you’re like Joey and lack space on the gaming table for a cool dice tower or tray, this is the perfect solution for a cramped table!

One word of advice regarding these dice mats is to let them air out in a garage or outside for about 24 hours. There is a very strong rubber odor.

Joey and Tara both recommend giving this product a try! You can order one here!

Other Products

Die Hard also sent a few prototype dice, but listen to the podcast to hear Joey and Tara’s review of them! (Seriously.. glow-in-the-dark dice… impractical but oh so mystical!)

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Overall, Joey and Tara agree that Die Hard Dice offers a fantastic array of fairly-priced, quality metal dice, innovative solutions to dice problems, and the best customer care and service you’ll every find on the internet! These dice sets will make for spectacular gifts or a wonderful addition to your collection.

Peruse through Die Hard’s website and find the perfect set of dice for you at: www.dieharddice.com. Use the code FREEDICEMAT and receive a free dicemat on orders $25 or more!

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H&B Podcast Review: Darksilver Forge Dice

Join Mr. and Mrs. Gnome as they test out and review two legendary metal dice sets by Darksilver Forge!

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There are a handful of companies producing different colors and styles of metal dice sets, but from our experience, Darksilver Forge hoists the bar high. Originally, Darksilver Forge began as Downcast Systems who produce mobile games such as Puzzlewood Quests and Hangman’s Noose. They decided to break from the digital mode and dive into the world of tabletop accessories.

Currently, Darksilver Forge offers two different sets of dice:

  • DragonSteel Silver Set –
    • This is a 7-dice set that includes a D4, D6, D8, D10, D10 Percentile, D12, and D20
    • Brushed Silver color with large, black-painted numbers
    • Silver tin case with durable foam padding
  • Cthulhu’s Gold Set –
    • Another 7-dice set with the standard fair of various dice
    • Matte Gold finish with large, black-painted numbers
    • Black tin case with a sweet Cthulhu pirate flag

Both dice sets are made from a zinc alloy that is electroplated with nickel. I’m sure that means something, but like their website says, “While we may not know exactly where “zinc” comes from, or how it’s forged, or what “electroplating” means, our best guess is that dwarves and dark magic are heavily involved.”

File_003Some of the best features these dice sets offer include their weight and feel in the hand, the large, bold, and readable numbers, and the overall look. The gold and silver colors are awe-inspiring!

While they’re nearly perfect, there are a few flaws. The weight appears to hinder rolls on the D20 and D12; both have no rounded edges compared to the other dice in the set, so your rolls land on the table without a decent roll. The weight is also concerning while rolling on various surfaces. Do not roll these dice on a glass or wooden table, you will definitely scratch or dent softer surfaces and your wife or mom may straight up feed you to a dragon.

Ultimately, for us here at Hexes & Bows, the Darksilver Forge dice sets are absolutely worth investing in. We’ve dubbed them a “luxury” set of dice as they are far superior in quality than your typical plastic set. These make great gifts for a brand new player or as a thank you to your weathered and exhausted DM.

Each set costs $39.99, but are on sale for $29.99. Use the code hexes to get 10% off of your entire order! Go to www.darksilverforge.com to order your legendary metal dice set!

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H&B Podcast Episode 008: Did Someone Say Kickstarter?

In this week’s episode of Hexes & Bows Podcast we wrangle up almost the full cast and dive headfirst into Kickstarters we’re super excited for! We also touch on our recent C2E2 adventures, chat about Star Wars roleplaying games (hey, it was May 4th, we had to!), and lay out some plans for the future of Hexes & Bows!

The Clickables

Games Discussed

Star Wars Destiny, Star Wars RPG, Rakuen, Dungeons and Dragons, Overwatch

OMG SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL GAMES ARE COMING SUMMER 2017

Look. I know as a writer I’m supposed to be professional and carry a professional voice when doing publications….

But I just can’t!

The Nerdist just reported that TOEI and Dyskami Publishing are releasing several tabletop games between now and 2018!

I am totally freaking out! Sailor Moon, a beloved, cherished part of my 90s upbringing is launching a series of board games?!


The first game to be released is similar to a game called Butten Men by Cheapass Games who will be reinventing the game for the new Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge! This game is set for release at the end of summer in 2017. I’ve admittedly no idea what Butten Men is, but when you’re a tabletop gamer like me and hear the word “dice,” it’s an insta-buy!


Shortly after, fans of Sailor Moon Crystal can snag a copy of Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff! You’ll have to rely on your wits like Ami or manipulation skills like Haruka to win. Look for this title to hit shelves sometime in Fall, 2017!

This is only the first two in a series of games that TOEI and Dyskami Publishing are releasing. I’ll be keeping a super close eye on any additional information being released and share with you all! Maybe we’ll get a D20 Sailor Moon roleplaying game? Or, perhaps a storytelling co-op like Mice and Mystics

Let us know in the comments whether or not your geeking out as hard as we are over here about Sailor Moon games! 

H&B Reviews: Adventure Scents

Ever wonder what a barnacle-laden, booty hauling pirate ship really smells like? Then check out our podcast review of Adventure Scents by Jennifer Howlett!

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If you’d like to buy some Adventure Scents for your next tabletop session, head to their website here!

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Scents Reviewed:

Final Review Score:

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The Wrath of International Tabletop Day

#ITTD 2017 has come and gone! While we didn’t get the chance to play an entire day’s worth of games, we did get to enjoy watching Geek & Sundry’s Twitch marathon in support of our favorite charity,  Extra Life!

We hope to plan something special next year for this ever joyous event, but in the meantime, Mr. and Mrs. Gnome played Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon for the first time! Let’s just say it started off incredibly rocky and infuriating: curse after curse after curse after trap after trap after disaster….

Needless to say, we weren’t really enjoying the experience. It was nearly midnight when we started to play, so maybe that had a factor in our initial understand of the game, but still, we tried to have fun. Our roleplay-style banter as Keyleth the Paladin and Heskan the Wizard quickly diminished as our drive to continue the game was nearly crushed by yet another trap card. We spent at least 5 turns failing constant rolls trying to get out of a cage while a trap of poison darts kept firing at us. 


Eventually, we finally caught a lucky streak (aka my wife rolled 19s and 20s where I couldn’t roll higher than a 9 all game) and managed to explore a few more tiles; just enough to slaughter the 12 monsters needed to fulfill our objective and win the game.

Now, in all fairness, I purchased this game (and the Ravenloft one) solely for the miniatures to paint and use in our D&D Tabletop campaign. They’re quality minis and there’s a bunch of them in each box! For about $50, it ends up being $1-2 per mini, which is awesome since there’s usually a few large or gigantic creatures in each box! 

The game itself… I’m not sure we’d be interested in playing again, at least, that’s what we thought so early on. Now? I think we’ll be more privy to experiencing the game with 1-2 additional players to allocate damage and strategy better. 

Regardless, I’m happy we got to play at least one game on this festive day! 

What games did you end up playing this ITTD? Leave a comment below to share!
*Edited for a typo.

Squarriors C2E2 Adventures!

Attending C2E2 this weekend?! Excellent! Gnome and Joe from our Hexes & Bows Podcast will be adventuring around and meeting for the first time in person! Commence geeky awkwardness!

If you’re looking for something to do, check out the Squarriors booth at H6 in the Artists Alley! Squarriors: The Card Game creator Ash Maczko and illustrator Ashley Witter will be there! 

Back their Kickstarter project while there and receive a FREE signed Squarriors poster! Not bad for a door prize, eh? 

Find the gnome in a flying squirrel onesie and get a FREE HUG! 😛

Let us know in the comments if you’re attending C2E2 in Chicago this weekend and what you’re most excited for!

Hexes & Bows: Return of the Podcast

Hey everyone!

I wanted to take a moment to apologize for not posting new episodes or content these last two weeks. Life is very hectic (in the best of ways) right now, and we were on hiatus for at least one of those weeks due to Extra Life United.

Our very own Hansard deserves a shoutout for playing games hard and earning a seat in the top 10 finalists at the Extra Life United tournament. He brings home $4,500 for his local children’s hospital! Great job, Hansard! We’re proud of you!

Now that schedules and personal obligations are set, we’ve got lots of plans coming to H&B that we want to share with you!

The podcast will be returning to its regular Monday release with the exception of tomorrow. Joe, Tim, and Hansard recorded an awesome episode that will be published shortly!

We’ll also start welcoming guests onto the show! The creators of Shattered Dawn on Kickstarter will be joining us April 6th to discuss their game! On April 20th, we’ll be welcoming miniature painter Iron Tusk Painting to share his work and some tips!

Speaking of Kickstarter, do check out Squarriors: TCG! We spoke of them back during episode one of our podcast. The project is live and funded in the first 12 hours! Creators Ashley Witter and Ash Maczko will be livestreaming April 6th to answer questions, so be sure to tune in!

Our next livestream of Dungeons and Dragons will be on April 16th at 1pm so come hang out, relax, and enjoy a roleplaying adventure with Grohl, Taliel, Makaria, and Teak as the mysterious Fey Queen visits the Material Plane in Neverwinter!

Thanks so much for listening! We can’t wait to make more tabletop related content for you!