Does the DM need a little help or inspiration? Roll the dice and take their advice! (or don't)
The DM's Advice Dice are a fun way to add variety, spark ideas, or just plain let the DM take a breather in your favorite RPG! Can't quite think? Stuck in a rut? Players getting complacent? Roll the dice, consider the results, and incorporate into your game!
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Here Are Shipping Timelines!
6 days ago
– Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 09:57:47 PM
Timelines and Shipping
I'm well into the process of building the first batch of Collector's Editions, which will begin shipping by the end of the month! That first batch was 10 units, and they will get shipped first. After that, the rest can get rolling!
After the first batch is done, all other orders (including the other limited collector's editions) will begin shipping as quickly as I can package them up and mail them, and that process will continue until completed. This is expected to begin sometime in November. I am not entirely sure how long that process will take to complete (because I have never shipped 700+ packages before) but I want to make sure people know not everything will get shipped all at once -- I am not a fulfilment center or warehouse, I'm just a guy in a workshop doing everything by hand. Thank you up front for your patience and understanding as the shipping process will certainly take many weeks to complete once it begins.
So to summarize:
First batch (10) of Limited Collector's Editions will begin shipping by end of October. (These rewards had an early shipping date.)
After that (sometime in November) all other orders -- including the rest of the Collector's Editions - will begin shipping. I will do them in batches, as quickly as I reasonably can. Just to be clear, they will not ship all at once.
This process will continue until done, but it's over 700 orders so it will definitely take many weeks before shipping is complete. (This means not everyone will receive their orders all at once, because they won't ship all at once.)
Normally I prefer to share news only when I can answer questions about it, but at this point you're all with me on this journey as it happens. I don't forsee any real problems, so let's hope things go smoothly!
Because shipping will begin soon, add-ons purchased through BackerKit (dice backs, extra sets, etc) will be locked and charged within the next week or two. I am really glad I was able to provide dice bags and fourth die add-ons (as well as extra dice sets) to people who wanted to purchase them.
What To Look Forward To
I have been keeping the Collector's Editions secret because they come with a special storage box that I designed and made from scratch, and I want the people who pledged for them to be the first ones to see them. Once those first ten are out and delivered, I'll finally share details about what it was like to make them while shipping progresses!
So there's still a lot of work waiting, but it's all finallycoming together. Thank you for joining me on this and for backing my project. I can't wait for you all to start receiving your dice.
Progress is Good!
27 days ago
– Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 11:57:23 PM
Progress is Good
Now that the dice production (and quality!) is sewn up, I have been working on packaging and shipping organization. This part is pretty boring, without much to look at, but it is very important because it's how you, the backers, ultimately get their rewards.
What Shipping Will Look Like
I am cautiously optimistic about getting shipping started in a few more weeks. First the early backers for the first ten Collector's Editions get their rewards (this tier had an early shipping date), then shipping will begin for other reward levels once that is done and kinks are worked out.
Let's Roll Some Dice!
I want to spend a little time talking about the dice results. Let's take a look at a sample die roll.
Interpreting the dice rolls requires a little imagination, a little like fortune-telling. The dice will provide data points and you need to tie them together with whatever is happening in your game.
Here is a three-die roll (not including the optional 4th die, just because I don't have a lot of three-dice examples, so here is one) and here is how I would interpret or implement it in a game:
NEXT DOOR (or TRAP) -- "ARE YOU SURE?" -- PRAISE OR VALIDATE THEM is the result, but how exactly would that get implemented? Here is what I would do:
The next time the players come across a door (or portal, or gate, or any threshold) or trap:
Whatever course of action the players choose, ask them the magic words: "Are you sure?"
Then, no matter what they choose or why, validate it. Whatever they decided, it was the smart or "right" thing and you let them know it. This could mean that their gamble paid off, their decision was the smart one, or it could just be simply validating them with some praise. It doesn't have to be something big, it could just be you telling them "smart thinking!"
Here's an example:
"You approach the end of the hall, and behold a small, reinforced door. A prominent padlock is on the hasp, but it hangs open and unlocked. The door is slightly ajar."
"I open the door."
"Are you sure?"
"Uh, maybe I use my spear to push it open without getting too close?"
"Good decision! The door pushes open easily, and as it does so, you hear a click and a stone block falls from the ceiling. But since you're not in front of the door, it crashes harmlessly to the floor." (Here is where no matter what they decided to do, it was the "right" thing or a smart decision, and you make sure you let them know it.)
Which One is the 4th Die?
The (optional) 4th die is easy to identify: the die with face that reads "SINGLE OUT ->" with a red arrow is the 4th die. It acts as a modifier and can be added or left out without meaningfully altering the basic results of the other three dice. Here is an example:
In this case, the "SINGLE OUT (arrow)" simply directs you to focus on a particular player (or direction, or map feature, whatever.)
I'm sure you're all very curious as to what the other dice faces are. The good news is that you'll only need to be patient for a little while longer.
All the design work is wrapped up and production is underway for the initial ten Limited Collector's Editions! It is very gratifying to be moving away from design issues and settling down to actually make something! Here is a teaser image of one of the parts that I am making in my shop.
That's it for this update. Stay tuned, because things are happening soon!
Production Update: Good News!
about 2 months ago
– Fri, Sep 04, 2020 at 02:09:35 AM
Production News, and the News is Good
Hello backers! I got production photos from my new supplier, and I like what I see! With the previous supplier, I could tell even from grainy photographs that something was not right, but things look great now. I like these and I know you will, too!
The photo above shows some of the finished units, so that is going well! It is a big load off my mind, knowing that production is just a matter of time instead of quality.
Now I can focus on making sure shipping and fulfillment is organized. That means prototyping not just the product, but also the packaging and the shipping details. Packaging can have a big impact on shipping and costs, so it's important to get it right and make it efficient. After all, processing a few dozen orders is one thing, but processing hundreds is quite another and any issues -- no matter how small -- are guaranteed to snowball. I've always told people that fast is good, but right the first time is better. It's absolutely true, because having to go back to fix a mistake is just about the most wasteful thing that can happen.
Collector's Edition Boxes
I was hoping to be into production of the Limited Collector's DM'sDiceBoxes by now, but I have had some final design issues to sort out. I am producing these all by myself in my workshop, and I'm both excited and a bit impatient to start making them instead of dealing with fixing design mistakes. But it's "finishing touches" stuff, not "OMG how I am going to make this work?" stuff, so that's good!
I'll leave you with a closeup teaser photo of some of the parts in production on one of my 3D printers and ready for cleaning and post-processing. This is what they look like fresh from the printer, still coated with a thin layer of resin (which will be cleaned off.)
Until next time, and thanks for your support on this project!
Let's Catch Up!
about 2 months ago
– Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 06:09:50 PM
Let's Catch Up
In the next couple weeks I should have some production results from the new supplier, so fingers crossed and I'll share the news as soon as I have it. In the meantime, the new image above -- which are from samples with the full set of four dice -- shows what I am hoping to see from production!
The first producer having dropped the ball on quality control (see previous update for details) was a disappointing delay, but things are still looking more or less okay timeline-wise. There's another challenge, though: the USPS is in the middle of... something.
USPS - What Will Happen?
I have no idea what will happen with the United States Postal Service (USPS); the USPS is how the majority of our backers are supposed to get their rewards once shipping starts, but some shipping partners are flat out recommending that USPS be avoided until more is known.
I'm keeping an eye on this but between a global pandemic that affects nearly every part of business and manufacture, a supplier with misleading quality control, now the USPS being in turmoil, it's easy to feel pretty powerless. One thing at a time, though.
BackerKit Orders Locking Soon
In the near future (sometime in the next week or two) I will be locking down orders. There will be plenty of warning before it happens. Locking means order quantities can no longer be changed and orders will prepare to be charged, but just as a reminder you can always change your address prior to shipping if you need to. Just search your email and use the link BackerKit sent you for the survey, or go here.
Psst! 5% of Backers Haven't Done Their Survey
If you're one of them, please check your spam folder for emails from "BackerKit". Fill out the survey from the link they provide because it's how I get your shipping address (and you have the opportunity to buy some optional add-ons.) If you haven't filled out your survey, I won't be able to ship to you until you do.
Production Update, and Another Teaser Image
2 months ago
– Fri, Aug 07, 2020 at 09:57:11 PM
As part of this update of the DM's Advice Dice, I have a couple new photos to show you all. First, some news about production.
When the Kickstarter campaign for the DM's Advice Dice wrapped up at over 700% funded, I knew that I would need to look into getting some outside help in getting the dice made. Back in early June I shared a photo of a production sample from a supplier that I was very happy with.
Right about now is when I should be sharing photos of some beautiful production units, but that's not going to happen yet. The reason is that the dice my supplier produced aren't up to snuff.
Production Can Be Disappointing At Times
Getting a product made and produced can result in some disappointment, and sadly I encountered some when it came to production quality. In short, their production quality did not match the sample quality I inspected.
It was very disappointing, especially since at every step of the way, I was spending a lot of money to get samples and tests done (and shipped to me by courier.) They seemed knowledgeable and competant, but as soon as I paid money and pressed GO to let the work happen, things went badly. Here is what came out the other end:
What's even worse is that when I communicated to the supplier that I really wasn't happy with the bad alignment and wanted to find out how it can be fixed (I was even open to getting another production run of the "bad" dice done, and swapping them out myself if necessary) it quickly became clear that they didn't think anything was wrong.
But what about the fact that the quality of the samples I paid for (which are expensive) and reviewed -- and based my decisions on -- what about the fact that they clearly do not match the quality of production? Well, according to them, sample quality isn't indicative of production quality and that's normal because reasons. (What the heck am I paying all this money for samples and trial runs if they don't represent the actual end product, then?)
I want to tell you all, that was a real blow. I couldn't help but feel I had screwed up and let myself and every one of you down -- that I was myself responsible for getting this outcome. I was also upset that despite verifying every step, as soon as I trusted things to be out of my hands, things went wrong.
So, What Now?
That was an expensive and wasteful mess that still isn't sorted out. Thankfully, this update doesn't end there.
It did take some effort to remind myself that I'm not responsible for what this supplier did with my trust, but I am responsible for what happens afterward.
Happily, they weren't the only supplier I talked to -- far from it. I reached out to another supplier that I liked and had shortlisted earlier. I asked them "is what the first supplier is showing and telling me reasonable and normal?" According to them, it was not. They are more expensive but they assured me that their production would meet or exceed the quality of their samples and explained why. Their explanations made sense.
In short, I had them go ahead with a production run of their own. It's currently in progress. So things hit a bump and I had a bad time, but we're still rolling. I look forward to showing you all beautiful dice pictures when this wraps up. (Knock on wood)
Let's Close With Another Teaser Image
Thanks for reading this far! If you're still here, have another teaser image for part of the Collector's Box for the Limited Edition! (As usual, these are development pictures so colors and details may not be final.)
I've had a lot of fun (and it's been a lot of work) designing the Collector's Box. I can't wait to put them into the hands of backers that pledged for the Limited Editions. Thanks, you rock.