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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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 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

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!

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

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!

H&B Podcast Episode 004: 50 Shades of Gaming

Today’s Hexes & Bows Podcast episode is a little special.  Mr. and Mrs. Gnome have a solid heart-to-heart conversation about the influence of gaming in a relationship.

There are plenty of ways to get past hurdles in a relationship, but one of the best ways, at least for Joey and Tara, is discovering new board games and other games to play together.  Cooperative games are incredibly important in this geeky couple’s relationship and aided them in building stronger communication skills while deepening their 10 year relationship.

We also go a little deeper into how Dungeons and Dragons offers a deeper connection than other games have and the importance of storytelling and using your imagination.

Let us know what games you enjoy playing with your significant other! We’re always looking for new games to try out!

Games Discussed

World of Warcraft, Settlers of Catan, Elder Signs, Dungeons & Dragons, World of Darkness, Dead of Winter, Forbidden Island, Once Upon a Time, Descent, Arkham Horror, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, Secret Hitler, Masquerada, 

Additional Reading

  • Gamer Love by Gnomedic, details games to try out with your love and the importance of sharing a common hobby to help strengthen a relationship

 

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 ?