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!

H&B Podcast Episode 005: When is a Quest Not a Quest?

Did someone say roleplaying? Yes! Hexes & Bows Podcast finally starts roleplaying with special guest Chris from Car Bomb Podcast!

We’re joined today by variety podcaster Chris from Car Bomb Podcast (check out their show here!).  Us Americans are taught a thing or two about Tim Hortons and the paranoia and curse of playing “roll up the rim.” We also get a little serious and inquire about making roleplaying games more accessible by using American Sign Language.  While we don’t have any real answers, please inform us if you or someone you know plays any sort of TRPG while using ASL, we’d love to learn more!

This week Kickstarter recommendations include Companion’s Tale, Innocents, and Shore of Anaverde Card Set. Be sure to listen to learn more about these interesting games!

Now, we know we’ve been talking about roleplaying on the show, but tonight we finally begin! Sit back and listen to the stories of a group of NPC townsfolk kibitzing and kvelling in the Scroll and Bottle tavern hidden above a bookstore.  What happens when the city of Galter’s Mayor decides to squander away all of their taxes on a giant, singular diamond?


 

If your adventuring party does something silly, crazy, ridiculous, or just obscene to local NPCs, let us know! We’d love to share your experience as if your party traversed through the city of Galter!

Thanks for listening!

Be sure to follow us here on WordPress, Instagramand Twitter: we love hearing your comments and seeing what you’re playing!

Don’t forget to give a listen to Car Bomb Podcast for a variety of topics from geek to gaming to movies to music and so much more!

Atlantis Miniatures – Review

As a tabletop gamer who loves accessories, I find it increasingly difficult to find miniatures that are both highly detailed and affordable. Reaper Miniatures offers the standard go-to for miniature figures for tabletop roleplayers and while the affordability is there, the lack of diversity makes the figures quite tired after years of staring at a catalog of the same minis.

Then there’s things like Hero Forge (I’ll review that next!), where you can get detailed, customizable, 3D-printed miniatures. This is SUPER awesome, until you look at the price.  At $30 a miniature (for the premium plastic), that’s an awfully steep price when you’re a Dungeon Master trying to maximize visualization on your table.

You can also use the official Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder miniatures. They come pre-painted and run $10-$15 per a blind box which usually contains four minis.  The downside? They’re pretty awful looking.

So, what else is out there?

Atlantis Miniatures.

I came across this company randomly on Facebook and was immediately impressed by their digitally rendered models. The detail in every miniature was intricate, giving every single creature a distinct personality.

goblininfantry2_preorder_grandeThe Goblins Infantry set is what drew me in.  For years, I’ve been visually assaulted with little goblins, usually green in color, large, weird smiles, oblong bodies, and hardly imposing; annoying, yes, but imposing? No. The Atlantis Miniatures goblins are JACKED! They bench press 450 and eat iron shields for breakfast! Seriously, look at those abs!

There is so much detail in each miniature goblin that you almost want to take the time to name them, give them personalities, and make an NPC sheet for them! The Orc set is no different! These are vicious looking orcs, menacing even! Plus, there’s a female orc model!

On top the of Orcs and Goblins sets, Atlantis Miniatures also offers creatures such as animals and monster creatures such as the gorgeous looking Ettin (seriously, I want it so bad!) and the Wyvern.  The 3D models are just stunning, full of detail and personality. But, the biggest question I wanted to know: do these miniatures look as good in person as they do online?

The answer?  Yes, so far!orcfemale_render_grande

I immediately ordered the War Bear to replace my druid’s current bear form model (taken from one of the D&D board games). Needless to say, after over three weeks of waiting (they were kind enough to offer a coupon for the delay in shipping, they usually ship much faster than that, even across the pond), I cut open the plastic package and felt the truly awesome power of the mini in my hand.

It wasn’t heavy like pewter figures, but it was much heavier than a rubber or plastic one.  The details were sharp, deep, and very defined.  I could make out all of the individual clusters of hair on the bear, along with deeper details in the teeth, tongue, and claws.  The only place that did not really have a lot of detail were the feet.  The claws were disappointingly flat.  However, that is not a reason to dismiss this mini. I ended up covering the feet with terrain material.

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Priming the mini was easy.  I used a fine, grey primer that stuck to it and dried quickly with no issues.  I then coated the bear in a thin layer of beige, not quite sure of what I wanted to do just yet.  When it came to washing, I did notice that the crevices of all the details were so deep that they soaked up most of the wash.  Deeper areas ended up pooling, so I had to thicken up my wash with paint.

Dry-brushing was a breeze! With all the nooks and crannies, I wish I hadn’t needed to pain the miniature bear black (sloth bear!) because the fur is just so detailed that you could really go nuts with different layers of fur-coloring!

I ended up using hot glue (couldn’t find my plastic glue) to secure the bear to the large round base that came with the mini. It stuck, no problem.  A little wood glue and some terrain materials finished the figure off rather nicely (I’m a novice, especially with basing, but this was big enough and easy to manage).

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Despite the problems with shipping, the customer service and response times were wonderful. Dan was very pleasant over e-mails and resolved the issue promptly.  The miniature itself looked identical to the 3D rendered image presented on the website.  I was so pleased with how well this handled paint, the stability and heftiness of the figure, and the amount of detail overall that I placed an order for the goblin infantry set, forest trolls set, Minotaur, and cave troll.  Overboard? Probably. But they were on sale and this simple little War Bear miniature sold me on their value.

The cost is something that may turn people away (the War Bear was about $15USD with shipping, other minis cost between $8-$75+), but when you’re stuck between the crummy, lackluster quality of mass-produced official miniatures or the old tired-but-true Reaper models, paying a little more for a quality product was completely worth it in my eyes.

Atlantis Miniatures receives 9 out of 10 for quality, customer service, creativity, and delivery.

You can order and pre-order Atlantis Miniatures from their website here.  They are also launching a Kickstarter featuring Dwarven models!


Let me know if you’ve ordered from Atlantis Miniatures before! What do you think about their product? Does the pricing scare you off or would you like to see them produce more creatures ?

H&B Podcast: Episode 001

It’s here! It’s here! Hexes & Bows finally has a podcast!  Grab some lunch, pop in those earbuds and come hang out with Gnome, Hansard, Tim, and Joe in their very first podcast episode!

Today we discuss our first experiences into the tabletop gaming world, which games we love and hate, and how games influenced our lives growing up.

Games Discussed

Gloom, Star Wars FFG, D&D 5e, Pathfinder, World of Darkness, Arkham Horror, Checkers, Chess, Risk, Mastermind, Vampire the Masquerade, VtM: Bloodlines

Cool Stuff Mentioned


What are some games you played growing up? What games do you play now? Let us know in the comments!

Meet the Cast

Podcast Team

17190959_1224222267693352_4483168509959382449_nName: Joey “Gnomedic” Barranco
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
H&B Position: Producer, Writer, Podcaster
Profession: Paramedic, Writer
Favorite Tabletop Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill
Favorite Video Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Favorite Movie: UP!
Favorite Book: Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Biography: Gnome is a paramedic, writer, gamer, and geek extraordinaire. He studies Technical Communication and Media Analysis at Arizona State University (and is looking for employment opportunities! *hinthintwinkwink*). When he’s not being a real-life healer, he plays one in various games like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons, and more! Gnome also writes videogame reviews for Brutal Gamer and Marooners’ Rock, juggling the rest of his time livestreaming on Twitch, making YouTube videos, running a D&D campaign, and volunteering with Extra Life to raise money for sick and injured kids at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Interesting Fact: Too tall to be a gnome, too short to be a human.

Follow Gnome on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Twitch | YouTube | Extra Life |

timName: Tim McLaughlin Jr.
Location
: Greenfield, MA, USA
H&B Position: Podcaster
Profession: Audio Engineer, Writer, Artist
Favorite Tabletop Game: Mutans and Masterminds
Favorite Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Favorite Movie: Big Fish
Favorite Music: The Mountain Goats, Josh Garrells
Biography: Webcartoonist, pastor-in-training and thrice-failed church planter, freelance artist/writer, husband, father, and audio engineer. Let’s do this.
Interesting Fact: I can’t wear watches because anything digital or analog that stays consistently close to me dies within a couple days. If I put them away shortly thereafter, though, they generally recover.

Follow Tim on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Twitch | SoundCloud| Extra Life |
Tim’s Web Comic: Fatebound | Redbubble | Tumblr 

joeName: Joe “DaddyGamer” Siemsen
Location
: Minneapolis, MN, USA
H&B Position: Podcaster
Profession: Freelance Video Editor, Animation & Motion Graphics
Favorite Tabletop Game: Star Wars FFG, LotR CG, MTG, D&D
Favorite Video Game: Uncharted 4, Mass Effect 2, Chrono Trigger, Legend of Dragoon, LoZ Twilight Princess, Final Fantasy IX
Favorite Movie: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Favorite Book: Kingskiller Chronicles
Biography: In a moment of particular brilliance realized that he could combine all of his major passions into one! Locking himself away in the den he went to work. Almost breaking under the pressure of self criticism he was finished… Thus Daddy Gamer was born! Aside from that I make videos while trying to manage a family, I seem to be doing alright so far.
Interesting Fact: I lost 4 baby teeth in the 8th grade

Follow Joe on social media: Twitter YouTube | Facebook |

16864216_10154461472208434_241830407975789077_nName:”The Hansard”
Location
: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
H&B Position: Podcaster
Profession: Aspiring Super Villain
Favorite Tabletop Game: Mansions of Madness
Favorite Video Game: Chrono Trigger
Favorite Movie: Fight Club
Favorite Book: Dune
Biography: Canadian, tea drinker, aspiring super villain.
Interesting Fact: Hansard probably is an NPC.

Follow Hansard on social media: Twitter | Twitch |


D&D Team

IMG_9268Name: Joey “Gnome” Barranco
H&B Position: Dungeon Master, Teak

Info: Gnome guides his fellow roleplayers through epic adventures across the realm of Faerun of the Forgotten Realms.  The party began their story with the D&D 5e Starter Kit campaign, Lost Mines of Phandelver. After successfully completing the official adventure, the story continues in an alternate version of Neverwinter where anything is possible for the adventurers. Gnome also plays the lovable Teak, a mute, gnome druid of unknown origin who befriended Taliel months prior to their adventure in Phandalin. He often serves as the party’s off-tank and main healer, though, his methods may be a little… out there.

18360550_10154654273867843_1674794285_nName: Tony (Trout Knight)
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
H&B Position: Roleplayer, Beard Enthusiast.
Character: Grohl Thundermaw, Half-Goliath Fighter
Profession: Operator
Favorite Tabletop Game: Ticket to Ride. 10′ to Kill
Favorite Video Game: Final Fantasy VII
Favorite Movie: Jaws, The Empire Strikes Back
Favorite Book: The Last Command
Biography: In a wrestling match nobody bites like Tony
For there’s no one as burly and brawny
As you see I’ve got biceps to spare
Not a bit of him’s scraggly or scrawny
No one hits like Tony
Matches wits like Tony

My, what a guy, Tony!

Tony is an old school gamer and second to none nerd. Despite working full time and part time in school, that doesn’t stop him from one of his passions which in tabletop gaming. Like may others, he is a recovering World of Warcraft addict that could relapse at any time :D. Most of his gaming now consists of The Witcher III and Overwatch.
Interesting Fact: The nickname Trout Knight was bestowed upon Tony and he wear this title with pride.

Follow Tony on social media: Instagram

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Name:  Tara
Location:  An enchanted glass sphere
H&B Position: Roleplayer, Podcaster
Character: Taliel Anestacia, Wood Elf Ranger
Profession: Medical Biller
Favorite Tabletop Game: Pandemic
Favorite Video Game: Legends of Dragoon/Overwatch
Favorite Movie: Practical Magic
Favorite Book: Anita Blake series
BiographyTara’s geekdom started with a Harlequin Romance novel about a Fairy Queen, her personal character designs, RP via Rhy’Din on AOL (omg), creative writing, sketching/art and solo video gaming. This expanded into becoming a Marvel fangirl, Dark Horse enthusiast, and DC Comics’ side-chick which eventually lead to the rabbit hole known as World of Warcraft and the idea of MMOs. Still a solo gamer at heart she’s happy to share in the geeky world of nerdisms with others in the community.
Interesting Fact: Can’t play Crash Bandicoot without Janet Jackson’s 1997 The Velvet Rope CD playing.
Name: Chrissy Deluge

Location: Chicago, IL
H&B Position: Roleplayer
Character: Makaria, Tiefling Sorceress
Profession: EMT
Favorite Tabletop Game:
Favorite Video Game:
Favorite Movie:
Favorite Book:
Biography:
Interesting Fact:

Follow on social media:

Past Cast Members: Cody Kohl as Jelal, Devon Kohl as Enzo, Crash Neubauer as Ricochet

D&D Live Stream on Twitch!

Greetings, adventure seekers!

Our next live stream of Dungeons and Dragons will be Saturday, January 28th at 2pm CST! 

Join Grohl, Taliel, Teak, and returning guest, Ricochet as they continue exploring the nooks and crannies of Neverwinter! With two weeks until their employment under Lord Protector Neverember, who knows what adventure they’ll uncover! 

You can catch up with our campaign sessions on YouTube!

Be sure to catch us live for a chance to alter the game! Our dice tremble by the possibility of your fate-altering reroll tokens!

Things a’Brewin’

A big hearty welcome to you, traveler! Of all the domains to stumble on, this is the one you decided to sift through! For now, I’ll be brief.

We here at Hexes & Bows are just beginning our adventure into the world of content creation. While our podcast is still in production, you can watch our live Dungeons and Dragons campaign on Twitch! We typically play one Sunday or Saturday a month for 5-8 hours straight!

If you take a moment to follow this blog (and I insist that you do!), you’ll soon find articles, editorials, instructionals, photography, and storytelling entries written by members of Hexes & Bows.  Stories may be independent or, they could intertwine with our current tabletop campaign and provide additional insight to the characters in our world!

There are plenty of adventures to be shared, traveler, and I do hope you’ll return to share them with us.

Thank you for stopping by and may the glow of your device be ever radiant!