Hexes & Bows Reviews: Dungeon Dressing Dice Kickstarter


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It’s been a while since we had the pleasure of talking about a fantastic Kickstarter, but wait no longer!  Dungeon Dressing Dice is Hexes & Bows’ latest review and boy was it fun to demo!

Gnome plays single player on this episode and shares his thoughts and experience with Incognito Solutions Inc.’s tabletop accessory: Dungeon Dressing Dice.

IMG_4824Now, let’s first just start off with the fact that dice are fun to collect, so if you’re just looking to add a unique set of dice to your already multiplying collection, this one’s a bit of a no-brainer to invest in!

However, if you want something that is not only durable, functional, AND fun, definitely look into picking up a set of Dungeon Dressing Dice.  This product, according to Gnome, is perfect for Dungeon Masters that struggle with filling their dungeon rooms with interesting, story-based items.  Whether you’re trying to create an elaborate manor many sessions in advance or forced to create a new dungeon room on the spot, Dungeon Dressing Dice is there to help.  Take a few minutes and listen to Gnome’s detailed and honest review!

Dungeon Dressing Dice has 12 days left on Kickstarter and already reached it’s funding goal of $6,500 for mass production, sitting at $16,000 as of posting this review!  Check out the Kickstarter here and follow Incognito Solutions on twitter!

Gnome also takes a moment to make an announcement regarding Hexes & Bows new project: Hexes & Bows Actual Play Podcast!  The characters are cast and the stage is set!  H&B will be playing a homebrew D&D 5e game with a great cast of characters and a brand new world!

Thank you so much for listening! Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Podbean, or other podcast apps so you don’t miss out on an episode!

Talk nerdy with us on social media!

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hexesnbows

Instagram: http://instagram.com/hexes_and_bows

Facebook: http://facebook.com/hexesandbowsgaming

And visit http://hexesandbows.com for updates, cast lists, videos, past podcasts, and more!


Disclaimer: Dungeon Dice Dressing sent us this product for free to demo and review.  Our thoughts and views on any product sent to Hexes & Bows for reviews are explicitly our own and are not influenced by the company or any of its affiliates.

New Year, New Campaign! – Hexes & Bows Podcast S2E1


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With new dice, new projects, and new cast members, the Hexes & Bows Podcast is ready to surprise attack 2018!

We’re beyond thrilled to be recording and sharing our geeky content with you and cannot thank you enough for your continued support. We sincerely hope the winter holiday season kept you in good spirits and, perhaps, introduced you to new games! We’ve got lots of updates to share in this episode including some details regarding our actual play podcast, a new podcast release schedule, and a brand new cast member!

After the announcements you’ll find an excellent discussion about the impact of playing board games as a child may have impacted our lives as adults, sharing the love of tabletop gaming by introducing the hobby to family, how gamers can be involved with local communities and promote gaming in a positive light, and of course, Overwatch. Because… Overwatch (GO DYNASTY!).

We end the episode with two questions for you, dearest adventurer:

  1. How do you think gaming (tabletop) has influenced your life, especially if you were introduced to the hobby at an early age?
  2. Do you run/host/create tabletop gaming events for your community (after school programs, nursing homes, charity…)? If so, share with us the details!

Thank you so much for helping us make Hexes & Bows in 2017. Your support, kindness, and love of gaming continue to motivate us in improving the show for you. We can’t wait to share all of our new projects with you and we hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy creating them!


Keep the Conversation Going: Connect with us on social media for more tabletop talk!

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

H&B Podcast: Episode 10 with Tales from the Fandom

Is this a podcast or an interview? Not really sure, but it was an absolute pleasure having Gnome chat tabletop gaming with the host of Tales from the Fandom podcast, David Ginsburg!

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David interviews different guests from every fandom imaginable on his podcast, so Gnome flipped the table and turned the questions on him! Learn about David’s favorite fandoms, his passions and experience in tabletop gaming, upcoming actual-play podcasts, now-successful Kickstarters, old school role-playing, and much more!

tales-from-the-fandom-podcastFollow David and Tales from the Fandom on:

iTunes
Twitter
Facebook
Website

The Clickables

Action Cats!
Schleyscapes
Tales from the Five Nations Podcast

Topics Discussed

Firefly, Brooklyn 9-9, Eberron, Keith Baker, Inspectors, Fiasco, Numenera, Tales from the Loop, Savage Worlds, Action Cats, Schleyscapes, Dungeons and Dragons, Vampire the Masquerade, The Last Airbender, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, My Little Pony, Ikea, AOL Roleplay, InsaneJournal

Audience Question

Our question to you is: do you roleplay? Have you roleplayed? What got you into roleplay? Is it something that you discuss publicly? We’d love to hear your experience regarding this! Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

H&B Reviews: Cantrip Candles

Sweet Fig Farmhouse by Cantrip Candles

Hexes & Bows Podcast is BACK! We are beyond thrilled to be back behind the mic talking tabletop shop! Tara and Gnome team up to review Cantrip Candles, created by Christoff Visscher! These scents aid in immersion gameplay for your tabletop adventures and boy do they trigger some great gaming memories! Give this episode a listen and try out Cantrip Candles for yourself at: http://www.cantripcandles.com.

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cantripcandlessamplepackCantrip Candles, made by Christoff Visscher, are 100% soy wax candles for enhancing your tabletop gaming experiences by immersing players into their various surroundings found within fantastical worlds. Currently, there are ten different scented candles available for purchase and Cantrip Candles sent us their sample pack for review!

Both Tara and Gnome enjoy immersive gaming products, often implementing them into their tabletop games to help create memorable gaming moments. They’re no amateurs when it comes to using scents for gaming, and both hosts agree that Cantrip Candles encourages another of enchantment while roleplaying.

You’ll need to listen to the podcast for the in-depth review, but here’s how things stacked up:

Scents Reviewed:  Black Hound Tavern, Cosgrave Tannery, Goldwheat Bakery, Stonemoss Chapel, and Sweet Fig Farmhouse (all part of the sample pack)

Packaging – 4.75 out of 5

cosgravetannerycantripcandles

How someone sells a product can be just as important as the product itself. In this case, Cantrip Candles does an excellent job with their packaging and marketing. Each candle is poured into a circular tin wrapped in a cardboard sleeve with a special map drawn on top. The labeling is incredibly rustic and the map is an excellent added touch that gives each candle its own personality. The scents are labeled with the name of the candle and includes the average burn time! Not only do the scents offer creative names, they’re also accompanied by a little story that helps stir the spirit of storytelling.

Quality – 4.75 out of 5

Tara is our resident candle expert and understands the pouring process and use of different elements to create a high-quality candle. In the case of Cantrip Candles, aside from a few non-centered pours, these 100% soy wax candles hold up well after several months in storage. Of the samples we received, each scent changed after being heated, some for better or for worse, but they each maintained a pleasant aroma that permeated rather quickly throughout the area.

The scents we received all represented the scents described on the website, some being more obvious than others, but all appropriately advertised.

Cost – 5 out of 5

Each candle costs $14 for a 6oz tin that lasts around 30-35 hours when burned (of course, only burn your candle for about four hours each time!). Many candles we’ve found online, be they mass-produced or from Etsy, vary in price, but for $14, this was an incredibly reasonable price for a small-poured batch, 100% soy wax candle.

Final Review

Overall, Cantrip Candles really stacked up well for us at Hexes & Bows. We are already fans of immersion products and these candles are well worth the purchase with a final score of 4.83 out of 5.

If you enjoyed this review and want us to try out out other gaming products, leave a comment below!

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Cantrip Candles Social Media:

Twitter: @cantripcandles
Instagram: @cantripcandles
Facebook: Cantrip Candles


Important Upcoming Dates:

December 8, 2017: Extra Life 24 hour charity gaming marathon begins at 8PM CST on twitch.tv/gnomedic! Help us raise $1,000 for sick and injured kids at CMNHospitals! We’ll have raffle prizes such as dice, dice mats, painted miniatures, and more for donors and will be playing a D&D 1-shot audience-participation game, along with games like Overwatch and Minecraft. Come play games, cheer us on, and help raise money for amazing kids! 100% of proceeds goes Extra Life. You can donate here!

December 16, 2017: Hexes & Bows Live D&D 5e Campaing on twitch.tv/gnomedic continues! Join Grohl, Talial, Teak, Makaria, Ricochet, and new adventurers Lyllah and Bulwas, as they finally sit down and uncover the mystery of the Feywild Queen, Subu. Show starts at 5PM CST!


Continue the conversation with Hexes & Bows on social media and get connected for additional updates, news, reviews, and more!

Twitter: @hexesnbows
Instagram: @hexes_and_bows
Facebook: Hexes & Bows

Let’s Review: Manicdotes!

Gnome and Tara get their hands on Manicdotes!. This social, storytelling card game is a fun way to kick-start your game night!

Manicdotes!, created by Michael Hanson, “is a fun, fast-paced, challenging, social, storytelling card game. As the Storyteller, you are given an opening line (Story Starter) and a list of keywords (Words Card) that must be entwined into your tall-tale. Players must listen carefully to your fast-paced fable to identify which words were pulled from your Words Card. Manicdotes! is designed to be a fast-action experience that can be played time and time again.”

Gnome and Tara invited a few friends over to play this social, storytelling game! After several rounds, Tara was the victor and both she and Gnome had a solid understanding of the overall purpose of the game!

As with all of the Hexes & Bows reviews, Manicdotes! was scored on five categories: packaging, components, rules, replay value, and cost. Each score is the best out of 5 with 5 being the highest, most desirable score to achieve.

Packaging

File_004Both co-hosts strongly agreed that the packaging for Manicdotes! is the best overall selling point of the game. It’s bright and bold color choices along with a fun and unique font left both Tara and Gnome feeling nostalgic. The game looks like it was transplanted from the 1950s into the modern era!

Components

File_003The components were a bit of a hit and miss. Included in the game are 150 Words cards, 30 Story Starter Cards, 6 pads of paper, 8 pencils, and a 90-second sand timer.

While the colors of the cards match the external look of box and remain bright and colorful, the card stock quality was poor. After unraveling the card decks from their original plastic revealed many edges of the cards already suffered from damage. The corners of the cards were either bent, frayed, ripped, or splitting prior to shuffling. Trying to shuffle the decks was a surgical process requiring gentle hands and alternative methods of shuffling in order to prevent additional bending and folding of the cards.

The 90-second sand timer was timed 10 times and each time came out at 92 seconds, which, isn’t that big of a deal since that is more than enough time to generate a tall tale with the words card!

Tara was not a fan of the pencils and paper, while Gnome saw them as neither an advantage or disadvantage to the game. They’re nice to have in the game, but, according to the components list, their box was shorted 2 pads of paper.

Rules

Perhaps the most important element of game is its rules. Overall, the rules and general jist of the game is relatively easy to comprehend. Players draw one Starter Story and one Words card, create a story in 20 seconds, then convey that story in 90 seconds to the File_006other players at the table who try and guess which words in the story generated from the Words card! First player to 25 points wins! It’s that simple.

Unfortunately, this level of vagueness left some questions being asked, particularly involving wording regarding the Story Cards, “topics,” and “categories,” which are not described fully in the rules, if at all.

It is easy to create your own set of rules for the game and the official rules offer alternative ways to play the game or make it more challenging!

Replay Value

As with most investments, at least between Gnome and Tara, the ability to replay a game over and over and over is exceedingly valuable. Manicdotes! can quickly become a predictable game. After a few play-throughs, a player may associate particular words with a card and simply “guess” the rest of the words in the story without having to listen properly.File_005

One way to combat this, as suggested in the rules, is by drawing multiple Words cards and then selecting the first word on each card! This method deals with the repetitive association of words that would otherwise decrease the replayability far too soon.

Cost

Manicdotes! retails for $19.95 on Amazon, which is the only store to currently purchase the game from that Hexes & Bows could find. While Amazon includes 2-day shipping in the overall cost for “free shipping,” both Tara and Gnome felt the cost was relatively fair for a game “Made in America.”

Ultimately, Gnome and Tara collected their scores and Manicdotes! earned itself an average overall score of 3.34/5.00. Listen to the podcast for the complete breakdown of the score!

You can try out Manicdotes! for yourself at www.manicdotesthegame.com!

mancidotesthegame


Leave a comment below if you’ve played the game! We’d love to know your thoughts on it!

 

Interview: RPG Book Author Tristan Zimmerman

In this special podcast, Gnome sits down with co-author Tristan Zimmerman of Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs on Kickstarter until June 5th!

According to the Kickstarter page:

Archive is a collection of adventure sites, NPCs, and events ripped right out of history and perfect for your campaign. It’s a 265-page book with 80 subjects. All have everything you need to make them come alive at your table: sights, smells, history, local color, and even plot hooks and ideas to help you adapt them to your campaign setting.”

Tristan discusses his inspirations behind creating the book. We also dive into exploring our own, very real, history and incorporating those people, places, and events into a fantasy setting! Tristan explains that using history can help flush out and bring a level of realism to your RP setting, suggesting that, “one of the interesting things about the greats of fiction, whether that’s RPG fiction, or genre fiction… is that they draw directly from the real world.”

With Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs you’ll be able to learn about exotic lands, extraordinary people, and unique events from history that may be your inspiration for new and exciting elements that help bring your RPG campaign to life!

Archive is a seemingly great investment for history buffs and DMs, and, for only $10, there’s really only knowledge to gain and none to lose! The $10 backer reward will receive a pdf copy of the book and $30 will get a backer a physical print! There’s still time to support this incredibly resourceful RPG tool here!

If you end up backing the book, please let us know! We’d love to learn what elements you used in your campaign setting!

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Achievement Unlocked: THANK YOU

From everyone here at Hexes & Bows, thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to hang out with us during our live D&D streams. Thank you keeping our podcast in your ears during your morning commute or lunch break.

When I began shifting my focus from streaming on Twitch to publishing a weekly podcast showcasing awesome geeky things I love and things I love to share with awesome people, I never imagined we’d grow this fast. I never imagined people would reach out to us, let alone continue listening show after show.

Thank you for sharing these new adventures with us at Hexes & Bows. We will continue to strive for excellence in entertainment and provide you with honest, in-depth reviews, heartfelt podcast commentary, and imaginative live streams. We’ve got some great things planned for the near future, so stick around! Our tale isn’t over yet!

From the bottom of all our hearts, thank you for listening.

Sincerely,

Gnome, Tim, Joe, Hansard, Tara, Tony, and Chrissy

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!

AdventureScentsLogo

Scents Reviewed:

Final Review Score:

adventurescents_22108729_3a7dc682ec9d83b9af0fcab7b2e4316f3ab39ed3

H&B Podcast Episode 006: Ambience and NPCs

Jumping back into the swing of things, Joe, Tim, and Hansard spearhead this week’s episode of the podcast!  The cast discusses a rather satirical Kickstarter called, Satanic Panicsetting the mood at the gaming table, and the creative thought processes behind making NPCs.

Kickstarter

Sounds and Scents