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Freddie Prinze Jr. considered joining my new online D&D campaign this week. No, really. I’m serious! Okay, he was probably just being polite. He was really polite about it, though. You see, one of my old friends/new players had an exchange with him on Twitter a few days ago. Freddie Prinze Jr . had retweeted a post about naming a barbarian. Jeremy (my friend) responded to the tweet with appreciation, noting that he was about to play a barbarian, himself. Freddie Prinze Jr. gave the advice to “Taunt and flaunt, bro. Taunt and flaunt.” When I heard about the exchange, I had Jeremy extend an offer to join our game. I figured “why not,” although I was sure he wouldn’t seriously consider it or even respond... or would he? The offer was politely declined with an explanation that the timing would not work out. Apparently, Freddie handles the cooking in the family and not Sarah ? Or maybe they take turns. Someone needs to make sure the kids eat, at any rate. This is a fact that I'm

Foundations: Andy's Mission

Welcome to the blog reader. I hope that you are finding the posts entertaining if not informative. I’m Andy, half of the team known as Disco Stu Never Say Dice. In no particular order I’m: a dad, tabletop gamer, console gamer, amateur musician, community theater tech, aspiring tabletop game designer, and all around nerd. Much like Bugsy, I thought I’d write a bit on why I wanted to start this blog and where I want to go with it. I had a less creative and less interesting answer than Bugsy if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I was a kid, I would have told you an Architect. I was likely told I should say this because of my enjoyment of legos. Certainly sketching out plans for a structure, or anything else really, isn’t one of my strong suits. However, I have always enjoyed building things, I still enjoy building with legos now and again, and I’ve passed the love of building down to my kids. It can be little colorful bricks, or something else entirely, but buil

The Magician-Detective: Bugsy's Mission Statement

Hello, Dear Readers. I’m Bugsy, and I make up half of Never Say Dice. I am a writer, a gamemaster, a musician and songwriter, a scholar, and  most  best of all, a  fool . I’d like to talk about why I’m here, what I’d like to accomplish in this space, some things we might talk about, and we’ll start with the totally not made-up thing I wanted to be when I grew up: a Magician-Detective. Two of my absolute favorite, best-loved books as a kid were The Young Detective’s Handbook by William Vivian Butler and The Magic Handbook by Peter Eldin. Maybe I just liked handbooks, but these two made my most voracious obsessions both practical and real. I wanted to be the knower of secrets: to find them, to learn them, to keep them. The seeker of truth and the teller of lies. The Magician-Detective. Many years later, when faced with the obligatory “when did you first want to be a writer,” this imagined vocation immediately sprung to mind, and I realized that, without knowing, I had fu

Gnomes at Night

Gnomes at Night is a cooperative maze game from the developer Peaceable Kingdom. A detailed description is at the bottom. It is billed as a “quick-thinking communication game,” and I certainly agree. The suggested age range is 6 and up, but one could push it lower by simplifying the game and not using the timer. My 8-year-old received this game as a gift for his birthday, and we play it on a semi-regular basis. Setup and play is fairly simple. A vertical board is held up between two plastic grips that clip to the side of the box. One gnome goes on each side of the board, and connect through it by magnets in their bases. Players flip over treasure cards that they collect while navigating the maze. This is where that “communication” and “cooperation” come in. When one gnome's path is blocked by a wall, the other can take over on its own side and free it by moving within its area. The “quick” comes from the game’s sand timer - you have two and a half minutes to complete your tas

Of Goblins

How do you describe a goblin to an 8 year old? Recently, I began reading The Hobbit at bedtime to my eldest kid. We're a few chapters in, not far past the section on the trolls. The topic of goblins has come up as the troop has just raided the trolls’ cave and found the goblin slaying sword Orchrist (note that orc bit later.) "What are goblins, dad?" We of course aren't quite to the point where a good description is given. We will get there at some point, likely just as we are meant to. His interest was piqued though, and so I had to give some sort of response. I could jump ahead in the book and find a Tolkienian description of them. I could go grab one of my many Monster Manuals and find a picture and a description. The latest D&D description is as follows: Goblins are small, black-hearted humanoids that lair in despoiled dungeons and other dismal settings. Individually weak, they gather in large numbers to torment other creatures. This description is what I wo

Gaming in Isolation

With much of the country in lock-down or self-isolation, tabletop gaming grinds to a halt. Right? Traditional board and card games may be difficult to manage without being isolated with your players. However, while you can't sit across the table with your chums, there are still many ways you can participate in "tabletop" role playing games. Please check out some of the following resources and keep your storytelling active in these trying times. Keeping the "table" in tabletop If you're considering moving your regular game to a virtual setting, you likely already have a communication tool in mind. There are a wide number of ways to communicate out there from voice only Discord channels to full video chats. We won't get into those options here as you likely already have your preference. Options for handling the table potion of the game are fewer, but alternatives do exist. A few popular ones are: Fantasy Grounds , Rolisteam , and Roll 20 . These pl

Happy Pi Day

Welcome to the blog everyone and a Happy Pi Day to all! We here at Never Say Pie Dice enjoy Pi in many forms: savory pies, sweet pies, the raspberry pi computer, tarts, the irrational number, moon pies, whoopie pies...the list is filling up but goes on and on. To celebrate the launch of the blog and the special day, we’ve cobblered together a list of adventure hooks you can use to (s)tart a story or your next gaming session. You may not knead them, but we hope you enjoy the upper crust of our ideas that (s)pan several genres. Post-aPIEcolyptic Out on a hunting trip, the players find a fellow traveler wounded along the side of the road. His mission was to get his grandmother's old pie recipe book to the next town where his sister is living with a band of survivors. The path is fraught with dangers, but if they complete the mission the players will gain the respect and assistance of the small group. VamPIEre: The Crust-erade The local vampire lord has seemingly gone fer