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Showing posts from December, 2020

Be a Grinch! (in a Tabletop RPG)

The Holidays may be almost over (for a while), and we hope you’ve all enjoyed your seasonal music and movies/specials. We here at Never Say Dice have covered the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special and the new LEGO edition a few posts ago. A common thing many of us into tabletop RPGS like to do is incorporate media into our games. After all, many of us have grown up with the blending of media and the holidays as a given. It provides us a framework to build on and a common touchpoint to the people at our tables, virtual or otherwise. One classic character featured in holiday specials and commemorated in his own song is the Grinch, the avocado-green villain with strange cardiac growth problems apparently linked to his personality. The Grinch, villain though he may be, has a slew of characteristics that would make the character an excellent one at the gaming table. Those of you not familiar with Suess-lore may really only know the Grinch from the How the Grinch Stole Christmas animated

Gifting to Gamers

Once again, the holidays are upon us. Well, this is the first holiday season Never Say Dice has been around for, but “for the first time, the holidays are upon us” would just be pretty confusing. Whether your celebrations have already begun or whether you’re in the pre-event panic GMs know all too well, we thought a simpler, briefer post was in order - so here are our Holiday Wish Lists. (Aside from the time to play the games we’d like to play, and for vaccines to magically appear for everyone. And also a billion dollars. And a DeLorean. And a Lego Millennium Falcon. And...) A : I think we’ve slowly been entering an age, both as people and as a culture, where a wish list of gifts has become exceedingly difficult. If I see an RPG book, set of dice, or video game I really want, I’m now old enough to be able to afford the purchase, unless it's something outlandish. Of course, I tend to be a bit more frugal and buy last generation’s gaming system, as we’ve discussed before in Dragons

Shareware Day

This week features a rather obscure holiday honoring something that was a surprisingly large part of our collective youths: National Shareware Day. It can be hard to imagine now, but in the days of dial-up BBSs, disk swapping, and a pre-web internet, there was an entire file sharing ecosystem supporting independent software, which included a wide variety of games. From the “Episode 1 is Free” model to the “Breaks Itself After a Certain Period of Time'' approach to "Too Weird to Release Commercially” examples, shareware was the primary way PC users got to experience new games on the . As Andy and I both grew up at the tail end of this era and were denizens of local BBSs, we got to see a lot of this firsthand, and thought we’d discuss  this strange relic of our collective past, why it’s still intriguing, and how it relates to current publishing models for both electronic and tabletop games. - B B : Andy, what were your earliest shareware experiences? A : To talk about that,

The Phantom Plain: Storytelling through Landscape in MGSV

I’ve recently come to the ending (such as it is) of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain . I’d been putting it off for a while, with a whole range of reasonable excuses. I need to play Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance first! I need to make more progress in Peace Walker - sure, I’ve made it to both endings, but not the Monster Hunter missions! I can’t hog the PS3, it’s our main household media device! And I don’t have the time for a game that size, anyway… Maybe I was scared by the reviews and references I had come across - did I want to delve into the final installment of my all-time favorite game series and be disappointed? One by one, though, they all fizzled. We got a PS4, so I was able to spirit its predecessor off to my desk for solo gaming whenever I have a chance… which meant I was able to play Revengeance ... and plow away at Peace Walker until I got sick of failing to take out that damn Attack Chopper (Custom) over and over. And finally… there was COVID. I should mention an a