Ben Calica

Ben is the owner of D20 Games.

D20 Games 10th Anniversary Events start Aug 6th…

Ok, somehow, some way, we not only made it to 10 years of me having the store, but we also managed to survive last year!!!  So in August, we are gonna party like it’s… (ok..a little like it was last year, cause we are having to go back to masks indoors).

Big note…we’re gonna keep the events sized nice and small to make sure everyone has plenty of room, so sign up fast, cause these will go quickly once everyone knows they are there. If we have a lot of people who can’t get in, we’ll add more events if we possibly can.

Oh…and one more thing before we move onto the “what are we gonna do for the 10th anniversary month”.  We did finally get the bigger loan (eep).  But that means that we are really in need of some great people to help us do some major improvements for the store.  That includes installing a serious skylight/vent in the place, a great interior design/set design person to help us make the place interesting and gorgeous, and an electrician that can handle a very confusing bit of upgrade on an ancient system.  (If you know of any great electricians that also love magic, I’m willing to do some amazing bits of barter so we can make it happen.)  We also are looking to do some high quality after-school programs, so we are looking for great people who can run D&D adventures for kids, and someone to potentially run a chess program.  These are D20 kids we are talking about, so we are really looking for top notch folks, and we will be doing full livescan/background checks.

So what are we gonna do?
  1. Magic–Every weekend is a prerelease that we missed last year.  (we have more than we can stick into only one month, but this’ll get us started.  We are gonna do 13+ events, Jr. events, and events that are carefully mixed.  Fun, sure…but also keeping safe.  And we are gonna do giveaways for just a ton of promo cards…all winners this month.
    We are gonna bring back one of our all time fav events, Two Headed Giants.  This team version of Magic is perfect for buddies, couples, and parent-kid combos.  It is a great way to get to share something that you (or your potential partner) loves in a very low pressure kinda way. These will be Saturdays, Starting at 3 pm.  These will be with each of the “Prerelease” events till the last of the month when we do the higher cost Modern Horizons 2 events.  For that THG Sat, we are gonna bring back one of our all time most popular events, Fat Pack Wars.  (Each team has a member reach into the mystery box and pull out a pack that matches with a Fatpack from up to 7 years ago.  We make sure the number of packs reaches 10, and they open all of those to make their two decks to play together.  These could be Born of the Gods to Strixhaven…its all up to the fickle fingers of whoever pulls the pack.) (we will be bringing back single sales in the next week or so.  We are also looking to start playing modern, commander, and standard as well, but those will start in a bit.)
    (Oh yes…in terms of FNM…we are gonna hold on drafts until the safety settles down.  In its place will be the sealed events.)
  2. Pokemon…We are just working on getting packs in stock for the kids to buy that aren’t snapped up by the adult collectors.  We will bring back the Pokemon league in a month or two when it is safe.
  3. D&D..we will start doing regular events again after this month, but we will do some special events for the anniversary, including a special all day event on the last Sunday of the month.  This will have 4 tables of adventurers all working to an epic battle together at the end of the event.  We did this once before, but it was back in 2013, so I think we are good to repeat it. 😉  We are also extremely well stocked on dice and D&D goodies that have been sitting there, waiting for people to come back in the store and find them, including full dice made of actual gemstone/semi-precious stone.
  4. Board games... oh my do we have a bunch of games we’ve saved up.  We will have some serious quick sales on games from Cover your Assets to Gloomhaven.  Keep an eye on Facebook and the D20 Twitter feed for our equivalent to Blue light specials.  (if you’re a kid, ask your parents.  If you are a parent and don’t get the reference, don’t tell me so I won’t have to admit my age. 😉  We will also be having a used board game mega sale, as well as a return of the mystery game loot bags.

All kidding aside, we are incredibly grateful for people having helped us make it through all this.  Now we will really need your business on the regular as much as possible so we can truly survive, and pay off the loans etc that let us make it through. And it really is important to try and keep the family/friend game night as much as you can.  For those of us who are fighting the battle of keeping people face to face, not face to screen, it was a tough year.  But there were some cracks in families starting to see each other again, so I’m a big advocate for turning the night you toss the cel phones into a basket and play together into a regular habit.

(If you need to make room at home for more games, consider donating them to the women’s shelter or any number of the hospitals, etc.)

I’ve missed the hell out of seeing you all!
Warmly,
Ben (yer store owner dude)
Here are some of the events coming up this Month…

 

 

 

In person events starting in August with 10th anniversary celebration!

Tenth Anniversary Magic events…We’re gonna do the #$^#ing prereleases that we missed while we where bunkered up last year!  I’m also gonna be cracking out just a ton of promo cards and other giveaways.  The events are gonna be a lot smaller than they used to be, also to keep everyone safe.  Buy Tix here…

Because of the new variant restrictions, we decided to wait till the first week of August  to open up to in person events.     It also means that for the next month we are going to separate the vaccinated (13+), and the can’t be yet (12 and younger).  (And yes..you need to bring the vaccination card for confirmation. I know it is being overly cautious, but D20 will be a safe place, whatever we need to do, and hopefully people will figure out how to do the right thing sooner then later. Also mask mandates are back, so crack ’em out, wash ’em out and take ’em out (to us).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open(ish), and doing MTG Events!-Real Reopening first Weekend in August.

We meant to reopen at the beginning of August to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the store.  But they went and released a new magic set that combined Magic and D&D so we snuck open early to be able to run some events.  We are doing events all through the weekend of July 24th.

So here is the scoop with magic events through the end of August:

  • We have missed 6(!!) in person prereleases during covid lockdown…we’re gonna do them all over the next month (and we will do them again till the next set comes out!
  • Starting on the last week in August when we do Core 2021 prerelease events all weekend.
  • Bringing back Two Headed Giant! This is my fav form of magic….great for buddies, couples and parent kid combos)

Keeping things safe. (really)

  • We’re gonna do Sealed instead of Draft for all events including FNM till the end of August. Both because we got all these fun prereleases we didn’t do, and because I want to be overly cautious and not have people passing cards around to each other.
  • Vaccination cards required for everyone 13+ for events in the store. I’m really not kidding about this. I’ve spent the last year an a half making choices to keep people safe, including waiting to open up.  I’m not gonna be a place where variants get a chance to bounce around.  Anyone who disagrees can feel free to email me and I will politely discuss it with them.
  • 12 and under and 13+ events.  Because there is no current way to get kids under 12 vaccinated, the best solution is to separate the events.  Each weekend there will be at least one event that will be set up for the younger crowd.  Adults (parents, etc) are welcome to attend, but will be advised to wear masks and MUST have their vaccination cards with them. PS, I  know there are a ton of kids that have both the skill and temperament to play with the adults…they will get to do so again when things settle down.
  • Smaller (but more) events.  To keep the airflow good and give people much more space between each other, we are going to do much smaller event sizes.  To help with making sure that no one shows up to not be able to play, we will have event tix available online.  (We’re trying a new POS, so this is gonna change in what it looks like, but not what happens.

Adventure in Forgotten Realms Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sooo Rusty (mini opening this weekend! Yay!?!)

Oh my god are we rusty at this!

So we are trying to do a dress rehearsal reopening for a prerelase of the new Magic set (the first blend of Magic and D&D).  Not only will this be the first time we are open beyond the length of a phone booth on end,  (Ha, figure that one out, ya rascally youngsters.) but it will be the first live/face to face events we’ve done since the shut down, sometime in the early ’50s.  Turns out that we have a new system that doesn’t work as well at the events as we thought, and the guys from Wizards had that new tournament system that came out after we closed that we have NEVER had a chance/need to use before.  We are working on getting the events for the weekend up and ready to go, but the first attempt did not work so well.

Opening Slooooowly (Practice open on the 16th…real open later in the month) :

We’ve been extremely slow to open, because what we do is perfectly designed to be bad for a pandemic. The soul of the store is getting people to play face to face, not face to screen.  But sitting down across from someone else 2-3 feet away, is kind of the very last thing that should reopen.  We closed early and never tried to push the limits because I knew that if someone came and said “you could keep your mom alive if you close your store for a couple of months” that I’d do that in a heartbeat. And if that was true, how could we not do the same for others.  I was very zen about it in the beginning, but became decently cranky when the time got extended because people where being willfully stupid. (I stay fairly neutral in my politics, but if anyone has been anti-mask, anti-vax, I’m more than slightly grumpy about that.*)

Yeah..right…I guess we didn’t say which year…

The other thing that slowed down our reopening was ironically the same loan that pretty much saved us.

We survived..(thanks to life rings tossed)

I won’t lie…it was a very close thing.  You guys kept me alive for the first 4 months or so with some awesome support via the loot bags.  Our landlord helped big time by cutting us a big break in the beginning  and then taking a hit by reducing our rent for most of the rest of the year. (Pain spread out between all of us made it possible for us to survive).

Keeping safe with curbside…

Right after Xmas was the closest moment.  I remember thinking that I didn’t know if we had enough money left to declare bankruptcy.  (That is something they never talk about…saving the money you need to declare you are out of money…sheesh.) We got two grants, one from the county that I didn’t even remember applying for, and another from the state, that meant we were probably going to be able to make it to the beginning of summer.  I’ll be honest…my zen started fading big time.  I started feeling depressingly depressed, to the point where I went for help. (Pretty hard to find a therapist.  For some reason they were in high demand at that time. )  I was diagnosed with “Adjustment Disorder, which basically means things are so spectacularly sucky that it finally really gets to you.  It was particularly good to go to the weekly meeting with the other small business owners in Alameda, if nothing else to know that all of us were feeling this way.  We were seeing something that we really loved and spent years building get chopped up like a Lego tower under the crashing butt of a falling baby brother.

Can I pay you Tuesday, for a remodeled store today?  (adventures in loan land.)

At the beginning of the year, the big lifeline came, in the form of a pretty good loan from the SBA.  It is sort of exactly the opposite of a retirement account, but I knew that right before the pandemic hit, we were starting to have our best year ever, and I might actually be able to turn the business into something that didn’t just need love, but something great that might actually be able to give me some of that love back.   We put together some plans to do upgrades for the store.  And then the worst best (best/worst?) thing happened.  In the new relief bill, there was a provision that would let us take 4x the original amount of the loan.  That changed everything, so we threw away the smaller plans and started working on the big upgrade.  I carefully responded within an hour of getting the letter saying I could apply for the added amount.  I found out a few weeks later that the email they sent had a bad mail to link that added a period and keep the response from getting to the right place.  It made me grumpy because it could be almost a month before they got to it instead of a few weeks.

The “nope…keep waiting” sign every day. ;-(

That was April 6th.  (For those counting at home, that is over 3 months ago.)  Turns out that those folks who got their applications in on those first couple of days, got their loans approved within a couple of weeks, but anyone who’s request came later got in line with what turned out to be 35 million plus overdue refunds, and a massively understaffed IRS who couldn’t actually do so much at home as everyone thought.  I call every week and try to be nice to the SBA folks just in case something actually gets sent.  What it has meant was that the big remodel that I was(am) planning to do is on hold, waiting…waiting…waiting…. (sigh…see, zen returned..sort of).

What’s next?

So this weekend we are going to (try and) run the events for the new Magic set.  And we are gonna have a few changes while we wait for the big upgrade to happen.

  • More events with less people in each.  (No more maxing out how many people we can have sit on the shelves with the elves.)
  •  Specific times for us to buy cards so we make sure we have enough people around to do it.
  • More specific events, including regular after school events. (Looking to add chess tournaments etc, more D&D, etc.)
  • We know we need to charge more appropriate prices (combo of costs going up and making sure this place is making enough $$ to survive and thrive.) I’ve been struggling with this, because I know for some people the last year is hard, and I don’t want to make something that gives them joy too expensive. They thing I think I’m going to try out is this.  If, for example, we raise the price of FNM to $20, if someone just can’t afford it, they can just say so and pay the old price.  If you can afford it, we need the the income, particularly since we are going to be making sure the events are smaller/more comfortable. We will try this for the next 3 months and see what happens
  • Keeping the place/world safe.  There may be (probably will be) folks who disagree with this, but I’m using my prerogative as a store owner to say no shoes, no shirt, no vax or mask, no serviceFor events, for the foreseeable future, anyone over 12 will need to bring vax card to participate in any event. (We will have special events for those under 12) Having unvaccinated people interacting in public, creates a lovely little breeding ground for more dangerous variants. Anyone is welcome to disagree, and we will happily bring things to the front door.  But I just almost lost my business, and a whole lot of people died in pretty horrible ways, or are left functionally disabled with long hauler symptoms, because of what I can only account as willful ignorance.  As I said, if you disagree, we can do so respectfully, but not in my premises.
    We agree with this Bar…

More to come…gonna go back and dig into the event listing hell….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaldheim: the New Magic Set that Thor Would Play

Prerelease: 1/29/21(prerelease kits/boxes)
Release: 2/05/21 (everything else)

Hammer or Ax?  Set in norse mythology, this is clearly the set that would finally get Thor to join in on the weekly Magic draft.  (Ok, Cap clearly leans to white, Tony goes for a combo of red for blast damage and blue for control, Widow goes for the life stealing of black, and Hulk…well, lets just say Giant growth is right up his ally)

Been playing with the set for a couple of weeks using DraftSim and the set looks like the most fun of the last year.

D20 Webstore (to Buy the stuff)

Here is the good stuff:
Mechanics
Cards

The big chase card is this bad boy (6 mana, trample haste and doubling the number of counters put on any permanent.)

Since we are still in covid land, the best way I can recommend to play to get the most fun/pack is to do an at home sealed league. (Basically, take the 6 packs from a prerelease kit, make a sealed, and then add another pack per person every few days.  You end up keeping things varied since you can build a number of decks before too long, and each pack you open is not just interesting for the rares, but for every card that might help build something else fun.)

 

D20 – Ha…no shipping now Amazon!!!

Hey folks…lets see…we want/need you business! And unlike online…were are right here for curbside pickup!

All the stuff is on our online store. https://d20gamestore.com/

We will be open for pick up:

  • 12/23. from 10am-8 pm
  • 12/24 from 10-4, but if you are in Alameda, we can do a drop off if you really need it for the first 20 people requesting it.

And we now have digital gift certificates that get sent to your email for last minute stuff.
Plus we will be throwing in stocking stuffer bonuses based on how big the order is.

I will be adding recommendations to this post throughout the day, but we have some great

We have lots of staff picks and will be updating them all the time.

In terms of particularly hot/Hard to find items items

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything...Great New D&D book for all players

Charms and Potions expansion for the great Hogwarts Battle Deck Building game

Limited amounts of Pokemon Vivid Voltage and Champions Path

And for Magic, we got lots of good stuff, including a new batch of Commander Legends, and the deceptively fun JumpStart (two packs each make playable randomized decks and are a total blast).

And for D&D players…we have two extremely excellent new things.

The Warlock Tiles…think a blend of D&D high quality doll house and legos.

And some beyond amazing Dice, both a great collection of the Die Hard Metal dice at around $50 to a limited number of actual carved gemstone dice at around $80. I’ll try and get these on the site, but they may be a bring them to you at the door to look at kind of thing.

These pictures don’t do the dice justice…it is like looking into a dark night of stars.

Thanksgiving-D20 Needs Help (biz) to make it to next T-Day

Yep…shockingly enough, this has been a tough year.  We’ve been working super hard to keep afloat till things get to something vaguely resembling normal.  In the meantime, this year, we need as much of your holiday business as you can spare.

Part of that is a good thing both ways.  Instead of focusing on gifts to open basically at the end of x-mas, think about gettting some game to play with the family/friends during the time you are together (or needing something good to keep from missing what the holidays normally look like.) To that end, we’ve hand picked a number of games that we know will do the trick.  These can be ordered online and curbside pick up is Tues-Sunday, 4-6 (0r more when we are around…you can always call the store to check.)

The big thing we will be offering/need to survive next year is monthly business.  To that end we’re creating a number of D20 Clubs, for D&D, Magic and Family(friend) Game nights to join on a monthly basis.

Holiday Games (to play)

Diary of a Mad Businessman 9: To be or to Close

 

Diary of a Mad Businessman 9: To be or to Close-eep

By Ben Calica

People thought the big danger point for small shops like mine was that first couple of months closed. But the real cliff is coming now. Many of us have been clawing to keep alive long enough to be able to survive to the other side of this, but after X-mas there will be a lot of signs in windows of beloved favorite shops that none of us wanna see. What we need isn’t the flurry of go fund me kindness or even a burst of business now. What we need is to know that every month for the next year, we will get enough business to make it. So how to do that?

(Note…this was first written over 4 months ago and put into a drawer to hopefully never pull out again. I really hoped I was wrong, that the initial burst of kindness and charity would see us through to the other side. But to many mistakes were made and the other side is probably a year away. So I’m facing a choice in the next month or so to try and keep fighting to get us across the abyss or make the heartbreaking choice to close the shop . )

 

About 3 years ago,my little local game shop, D20 Games, came to big old fork in the road. An painful dispute with a new landlord forced us to scramble for new digs, and for a while, it wasn’t looking too good. I had negotiated a lease buyout to help pay for the increase in rent we were about to take on, and I realized that one option would be to not open and just take that money to help while I went on to do something else. Basically the move would be same as making the decision to start the business again. And that gave me pause. The truth is that a (non-electronic) game store ain’t the way to the big bucks. Its a somewhat insane act of love.

 

In my case, I didn’t end up with the shop because owning a game store was the plan, or even on the list, if I’m honest. I do like games, but the real reason I bought it was to create a safe/supportive place for my own kids. What I didn’t see coming was how much the store became that for a whole community. What I discovered that I truly loved about games was their use as connective tissue to bring people together. It became a safe and welcoming place for people to get face to face, not face to screen. You know that adult you met as a kid who took you seriously, who treated you like a person and not a child. I was able to be that for an entire community of kids. And it turned out that creating a place where the smack talk/shaming wasn’t ok, where the fun came from playing with respect and kindness. And as an added bonus, I discovered that there was an opportunity, among all that trading of Pokemon and Magic cards, to find that moment when kids had to face being taken advantage of and deciding if they wanted to do that to someone else or never make anyone else feel that way. It was this hidden building block of honestly, a moment that most of us as parents missed in the flame of tears and anger. It kept me sane when the political world seemed to fill with bullies, to focus on the kids under my umbrella and do everything I could to make sure that they didn’t end up that way. I started to see the difference it meant in the families that managed to make a game night part of their regular pattern of life, and started doing everything I could to encourage and enable that, in a world where parents felt like they were losing their kids into the screens they carried in their pockets. The shop had transformed into something that became much more important to me then I thought.

 

When I told our community about our crossroads 3 years ago, about making the move or calling it quits, I was completely unprepared for the response. The way I felt about the community turned out to to both ways. I felt how important and valuable the place had become to a big range of people. And it was more then just words. When we did find a place, and had two weeks to do a move and build out that should have taken two months, we were filled with volunteers who hauled boxed, picked up paint brushes and anything else that needed getting done. When I think back on , it brings annoyingly cliche tears to my eyes. I’ve never felt as appreciated as I did in that moment. I understood how much impact we had, and what that meant to the community, and that there were things more important than $$. It took us a couple of years to both pay off the move and get the business back to decent footing. In fact in the beginning of 2020, we started what would become the first truly profitable year we’d had since the move. (I found that out when I applied for grants that made me do the year to year comparisons early. I oscillate between being glad to know we had gotten it dialed in, and not wanting to know just how hard the pandemic whacked us.)

 

When we had to close because of the pandemic, it was a surreal blow, but I was ok with it. I knew that if someone came to me and said “if you close for the next couple of months, it will save your mother or father’s life” that I would have done so in a heartbeat. How could I do any less for someone else, particularly if that someone was the loved one of someone in our community. The day that we heard was a Monday, a day we were usually closed, and I quickly came up with the idea of selling game loot bags, to give people something to do when they were locked down and to try and get some sales before the cash registers stopped ringing. And then something that felt very much like the end scene in It’s a Wonderful Life happened. People showed up and bought those bags in droves, and I figured out pretty quickly that it was their way of trying to keep us alive. It felt wonderful.

 

And I wasn’t the only one. Small business all around me and the country started finding their loyal customers were just that. Willing to do whatever they could to help. There was a huge trend in selling gift certificates to keep them alive, and suddenly, in the midst of all that kindness, a terrible reality came to me. See the gift certificates were a perfect window into what was going to happen. The problem with them is that they gave income now, but meant that later, when they were back and able to function, their most loyal customers would be coming back to do business with slips of paper for money that had been spent in rent to make up for the months without. At the time when the shop would need as much business as they can to just get back to where they were, it would be like they were having to pay back a loan in full. It was like all those rent deferrals, that would come back later to people who might be working again, but sure as hell weren’t earning enough to pay a rent and a half or really any big increase to pay back for time where they didn’t have the income. And this wasn’t gonna be a couple of months we’d have to tread water to make it though, it was going to be at least a year and a half, probably two. Basically, we were one of those business that had been about lots of people close enough to be across the table from each other.

 

The soul of our business is using games as a connector to get people face to face, and to let kids get a chance to learn how to win with grace, lose with style and play for joy (our tagline..it’s on the back of our shirts/sweatshirts). Our way of competing against Amazon was by doing events that got people face to face, and hand picking good stuff and really listening and tuning suggestions of games to each person. And ironically enough, in the three months before the pandemic, we had recovered from the hit that all shops take when they make a move and were on the way to have an actually decently profitable year. But the truth is that it’s gonna be a long time till that is ok. And I’ve been goofy and paid attention to the original reopening guidance that says that you need a drop in cases for two weeks before you can start doing that. (I know that the death rates are dropping, even as more and more folks are being infected, but I’ve gotten to know some “long haulers” and there is whole uncovered set of people, something like 10% of those who get Covid that go through this combo of epstein-barr and migraines that leave them functionally debilitated for months if not permanently in some cases. And I’ll admit directly, that I’m scared. Having over a hundred people a week come into the store kind of paints a pretty big bullseye on my chest.)

 

So now I’m looking down the barrel of a shotgun. The truth is that I’ve been taking half the unemployment and using it as the government support that never really showed up to keep the place open, which I’m probably really regret when if I can’t make it through this and need to pay my own rent. (The landlords for the store have been good at giving us a rent reduction so everyone is suffering but we can all have a chance a making it through this.)

 

I don’t want charity, there are more important things for that then us. And honestly, although I would love as much business as we can get for the holidays, that is just gonna add a few more feet to the plank. What I need now is some way to know that enough business is coming in each month for the next year that we can make it through this. I love my community dearly, but if I have to go through another 12 months of living in anxiety and fear that we are gonna be able to pay rent/bills, I’ll be a torn apart wreck at the end of that time. And I’d like to do it in a way that lets us keep doing what the soul of the store is, having the games be something good in keeping us connected, not only through this, but as a joyful part of our lives.

 

What we are going to do, beyond asking for as much of the holiday business as we can get, is to make a small collection of regular (monthly) D20 Club memberships. These will include regular amounts for monthly purchases for magic/pokemon players that will get extra bonus thrown in when those purchases are made, to D&D memberships that will include Zoom style D&D until it is truly safe to do so in the store again. And my absolute favorite, a monthly family/friends game night kit that consists of carefully curated games that we all get to play together for that month, with nights where we do online sessions to help teach/be there to answer questions, special one page quick reference sheets to make the games easier to get into and other goodies. The most important part would be that in exchange for helping us out, we will help give an excuse to bring forward in to the new shape of live that we create for ourselves, a regular night to connect and have fun with each other, with the phone in the baskets. Maybe we get to create a whole community in Alameda that are all doing something joyful together.

 

I’ve talked a number of times in the past of how this is a time when the very blowing up of our lives has the hidden value. When our assumptions about what can and can’t be done get thrown up in the air, that when it falls, if we are careful, we might get to put it back together in ways we like better. Maybe learning how to work from home gives a chance to pollute less and spend that commute time with our families instead. Maybe we realise that distance isn’t as much of a barrier to staying in real connection to people we love. And maybe the impossible moments when we actually got to sit down with each other and play games instead of everyone surrounded by cones of silence powered by the glowing screens in their hands. Maybe we keep the best of what we had to make of this mess, including all the value of regular family/friend game nights.

 

And I’ve talked both about my deep concern about the hovering shade of digital nicotine (I know other parents nod their head in understanding about looking at the phone’s in our kids hands and seeing the distance and danger that lives in within that ecosystem), and the transformational value of setting up regular game nights at home, where the phones go in a bucket and people are just with each other in real time. For a lot of families, getting to do things like that with the kids and each other has been one of the great silver linings in all this, and trying to have that be one of the changes that we keep from this instead of a brief moment is of irreplaceable value.

 

So here is the deal, from my heart to my customers. I want to try and keep making this work. I’m gonna put these offerings out for the holidays before thanksgiving. They will range from $50-$150 (or more if people are able/want to help more)per month. For us to be able to make our monthly base costs and survive, we need about $10k in sales. So we will need between 50–100 people to sign up to make this work. If I get there, we’ll make it. If I get half that, I’ll take the scary chance and keep doing it anyway. If we can’t, then I think I’m gonna need to close the shop. I know it’s a bit of a buy this magazine or we shoot this dog proposition, but it is unfortunately the truth of it.

 

If you are interested in seeing what we are gonna offer, Email me with your name, email and cell number. If you include a picture of you, and your family if you live with one, in masks, I’ll send you a little thank you gift/bribe back in the form of a one time use code for a free Pokemon or Magic goodie to pick up at the store. (Good till January 2021 or longer if I decide to.)

 

Regardless of what happens here, I deeply love this community and I hope I’ve made it better. I know it has made me better.

More Diary of a Mad Businessmen Stories

At home Halloween Creepventure Recomendations

Ok, we’ve had over a half a year of skeleton holidays and rain-checked birthdays and celebrations.  And now we have to give up Halloween?  Not on my watch, at least not having it be another disappointing memory.   I’ve picked out a number of appropriately creepy, but more importantly interesting and engaging games, so we can give a good shot at transforming this from being another in the disappointment memory collection to being a night (or weekend) full of actual, face to face fun.  

A bunch of these games are coop games to play with each other against the game, and a few are big, epic adventures that will be the game equivalent of page turners.

Oh, and one more thing.  I know trick or treating is canceled, but every bag that is sold this weekend will come with a heaping (and well sanitized,) handful of Halloween candy. 

(Besides…it will be good to have a break from the constant checking of the election polls.)

Email us at info@d20alameda.com to arrange pick up or drop off of your stuff, and I’ll be around from 12-5 Thursday, Friday and Saturday for pick up (probably more, but at least that.)

D20 Prizes for wearing mask on the 4th!!

Ok.. I’m putting my (little) $$ where my heart is.  Today is the 4th and I know the desire to just have a break form all this being trapped in doors and being told to wear masks all the time is enormous. It is the 4th of July and time for celebrating freedom!

The numbers on this are ideal kinds of masks, cloth will be less, but the idea is exactly right.

So I’m gonna celebrate those of you that are smart, wise and kind enough to realize that wearing masks are the coolest thing ever to do. And I’m gonna give away a huge number of free packs to do it.

Here is how it works.  Take a picture of you and your family outside wearing masks and being safe, and I will send you a code that will let you get a free Pokemon or Magic the Gathering pack, or the equivalent discount on your next order for curbside pick up at the store.  Post a picture today (July 4th, 2020) with the hashtag #d20masksonthe4th on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram  or just send the picture to me at info@d20alameda.com and we will post it for you.  Send me and email at info@d20alameda.com with the email/name that you will use to make the order and I will send you the code for the free pack.  (I know it would be easy to cheat this with an old picture, but I’m counting on you using the honor system.)  The offer is one pack per person in the family, but if you have a couple of smaller kids, let me know in the email and I’ll toss in some extras.

Why the heck am I doing this?

I’m selfish.  I want to reopen the store and I want all my customers alive when I do it.  I know that a whole bunch of you guys are young and could likely smack down this thing if you do get sick.

  1. It is a sneaky little beast and most of the people who have it don’t even know it, they just spread it around. So if you feel fine–Wear the mask anyway!
  2. We spent all this time and sacrificed so much to get this under control (Basically if everybody had actually stayed in place and worn the mask and stayed away from each other for that time, the virus couldn’t have spread and we could really have opened up again by now. )  You can’t do this part time…Wear the mask!
  3. We’ve been trying to slow this down so the scientist/doctors can come up with a vaccine or a treatment, so every day we can really slow it down, less people will die…really. Wear the mask!!
  4. Unless your nose is a fake one made out of wood, you will breath with it and sneeze through it.  Wearing a mask under your nose, or around your neck ain’t a thing.  Wear the mask!! On your face.
  5. I try hard to never put politics into the store related stuff, since I want it to be a place where people can talk, regardless of any of that.  But if you happen to be one of those that believes this is a freedom issue, please reconsider.  There are plenty of other areas to disagree on that don’t involve putting yourself and those around you in danger.  Freedom to choose what to do means you are responsible for your actions.  Please, use your freedom to wear a mask.

Offer is only for the 4th of july and limited to the first 300 people who submit.  Orders made with the offer code will be subject to verification before pack is added so no one takes advantage.  Thanks to everyone who is showing strength by continuing to do right for the people around them.  Really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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