D&D

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…

 

 

 

D&D Loot Bags

New Mystery Loot Bags—D&D this time.  

Mini Paint bag ($50) Nolzur’s Mavelous Adventurers Paint set (10 paints), Extra brush kit, Bonus Figures (6-8)
Big Mini Paint Bag ($100) Everything above, but with a 36 paints set and extra bonus mini’s to paint.  Limited Quantity .
D&D Everything You Need ($200) Everything you need to play D&D.  All three of the big box, plus the Essentials Kit with an adventure, DM screen, dice and more.  Plus an extra surprise or two.
D&D themed game loot bags ($75) Any of these games plus more (at lest $100 in retail value) for this D&D themed Mystery game Loot Bag.

As usual, call first to make sure I’m around and we will get ready to bring it for curbside when you get here.

What’s a Responsible Game Store to Do?

I’ve been struggling with the right thing to do at the shop to be good ducks right now and it is very tough. We don’t wanna be over the top, but we also really want to make sure we keep people safe and do our part to help as we can.  And we can also see how we can shift the business so we are still around when the cough’s clear.

Last week we replaced our usual tablecloths with the not as pretty ones we had that we used for parties, since we can clean/disinfect them. And before we did the magic draft where we passed the cards around we had everyone use disinfectant hand wipes.  Seemed a bit overly cautious at the time, but not so much at this point.  We are trying to figure out the best ways to make events at the store as safe as we can, including lots of disinfectant and even limiting the number of people at the events to insure more space.

We also know that we actually have something to offer to help so that people who are stuck at home as an alternative to video games or getting utterly sucked into phones.  We are going to look into trying figure out how to get people games in ways that don’t necessarily require coming into the store. And we are looking at creating game events for (limited) amonts of kids during the days when they are off school.  We don’t want these to be lots of people coming in and out, instead we need it to be less people who are staying with  a small group for the day.

So here is what we are doing as of now:

  1. Friday Night Magic will be 4 pack sealed instead of a draft:
    For the next few weeks everyone will get a “prize” Pack with the normal 3 and then the prizes will be promo packs for the top 4 players.  Since we now have the Mystery Packs ($5)  in, and were gonna do the drafts for $20 anyway, this should still be plenty of fun, sort of a Chaos Sealed. –Limiting to 26 players to insure there is enough space to have between people.
  2. We are gonna be suspending the Pokemon League for the next 3 weeks at least.  Don’t think there is any way to insure the little ones keep their fingers out of eyes, and mouths between playing/trading.
  3. Enforcing the 6 person max for D&D so there can be space between folks at the tables.
  4. Well–don’t be sick.  😉  We are all doing our best through this, but one of the biggest things is if yer coughing etc, don’t take the chance.  The truth is that a pretty good percentage of the folks who come to the store are young enough that they will likely be fine though this, but that don’t mean that they might not inadvertently pass it on to another kid.  No big deal unless they end up inadvertently passing it on to their grandma.  So to protect all our grandmas…don’t take the chance…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D20 Games-Intro to D&D for Parents (and others)

By Ben Calica

This guide is designed as a simple, English translation for parents, significant others, and just those who felt curious as to what the heck D&D is all about.  We run D&D Encounters at D20 Games these days, and I’m old enough to have played the game with the first white books back in the mid 70s.  I’m also a dad of tween twin boys and a daughter who’s three years younger, so I can do the kid to parent translation pretty well. 😉

What is D&D?  Dungeons & Dragons is the game the popularized role playing.  Created in the mid-70’s,D&D was unique in casting one of the players in the role of the Dungeon Master.  A person who both kept the secrets of the world that the other players were trying to discover, and acted as a living interpreter of the rules, allowing players to try all sorts of creative solutions to problems they encounter, and not be limited by only what the original game creators set down on paper.  This was quite literally a game-changer, in that it really allowed people to use their imaginations to inhabit characters that they created and moved through the world.  It works best when the players access the freedom of their 8-12 year old selves and create characters that are ones they would have chosen to play on a playground.  (BTW…those of us who were around for the first round of this remember the media frenzy over kids in the sewers doing horrible things.  That was more made up then the game.  The truth was it was a bunch of us utterly harmless little nerd boys and girls being imaginative in the basement of our parents houses.)

D20

D20s-The rolls at the heart of role playing.  The D20 that is the name of our store refers to 20-sided dice, and are the key to most role playing games.  As much control as the Dungeon Master needs to have over the world that he/she is slowly unveiling, if they end up as the autocrat that just tells a story without any possibility of success or failure outside of what is ordained by them, the game becomes either stale or feels unfair.  Instead, based on a characters developing abilities  the Dungeon Master either consults pre-created tables of possibilities for certain types of actions (attacking with a sword, jumping out of the way of a dragon’s fire breath, getting a good nights sleep without being discovered by some roving band of creepy creatures), or makes their best guess for some creative idea a player has, and assigns a number that they must beat for that to succeed.  “I want to use my special agility to do a back-flip over my friends head to the back of the group.”  “Ok…you need to roll an 18 to make that happen.  Since you have extra agility bonus..you get to add 4 to whatever you roll.  Roll a d20!”  It is the mix of imagination and estimated chance that is the heart of what makes role playing games ongoing fun, and a story that even the Dungeon Master doesn’t know how will play out.

D&D as avengers


18 again, the birth of a character.
  The other key part of what makes role playing games fun, is the birth and evolution of your character.  A few different methods can be used, from the genetic randomness of rolling dice to determine the basic DNA of your character.  Are they quick  smart, wise, strong charming, or tough, or some combo of the above.  The first method involved rolling three six sided dice for each attribute, and then figuring out based on what you got what that character would be.

For example right now I’ll roll out one to show you.ac-muppets

Well…obviously this guy is going to be hiding in the back of the group, not swinging anything bigger then a stick.  But…with those Wisdom and Intelligence scores, looks like we might have a wizard or kind of skinny healer.
Using the more popular method of rolling 4 6-sided dice and throwing out the lowest one, we get a little better result.

This guy (or gal), could end up as a thief, or bard, or ranger, whose dexterity will make a bow sing in their hands.  How the characters start out is only the birth, because as they go out in the world and experience interesting things, they gain, well, experience.  and that experience directly leads to them increasing their levels, and with each of those new levels, their skills, toughness and abilities increase, so that the monsters that almost destroyed them in that first week of play, go running from them a few sessions later.  The greater the risks, the greater the rewards in terms of experience points AND goodies that they find along the way.  But those risks are very real (in the world of the game), in that if the hit points of your character (A number created based on your level, constitution, and what profession your character chooses), gets knocked down in battle to 0, then your character, well, dies.  Most often in the early levels, your playing buddies (your group), will drag you back to town, and find a sufficiently powerful healer to bring you back.  But that gets increasingly expensive both in terms of gold you’ve been able to collect, and eventually costing you some of those experience points you’ve been working so hard to gather.  Plus that fact that during the rest of that particular adventure, when the DM asks each character what they want to do next, the answer from you is “lying in the corner…still dead.”

DnD_Character_SheetThe DM–The guy that gets to have fun by not playing the whole time:  The Dungeon Master, or DM, has a very important and sometimes tricky role.  It is their  job to have either created or familiarized themselves with the world and adventure that the players are going to encounter.  They need to keep things moving at a good pace so people keep having fun in the world, and they have to strike a very careful balance between making the world so easy to defeat that there is no sense of real risk or drama, and making it so tough that the players feel like they are spending half their time trudging back to town to get resurrected   They need to make puzzles that are solvable, but hard enough to be challenging, and they need to be open to the players creativity taking the story in a direction they didn’t anticipate. Common mistakes are to become the great and powerful OZ, manipulating the players into doing things they really don’t want to do, or being seen as vindictive and mean..being the enemy of the players, as opposed to their guide to a world they have never encountered.   The best DM’s enjoy the story being told and it’s telling, and are open to knowing that the player’s creativity is a huge part of what makes that story fun for everybody, including them.

Pathfinder_RPG_Core_Rulebook_coverD&D vs. Pathfinder.  Both of these games were born from the original D&D.  While many people were kind of mad about D&D 4.0 (kind of an attempt to turn D&D into World of Warcraft) they redeemed themselves with 5th edition. It honors the best part of role playing games, the, well, role playing. Pathfinder is a game made by a different company that was founded by a number of people who used to work on D&D an has stayed very much in the spirit of the original D&D.  The reality is that both of these are brothers in spirit, and you can’t really go wrong with either.  There are also a host of other genres of role-playing that have been born from the same basic ideas and that speak to the different 8-12 year-olds in each of us.

Special notes from one parent to another:  First off…most any game that gets people face to face instead of screen to screen is a good thing.  Second, the game is jam packed with creative problem solving and social skills building opportunities.  The books are expensive (in the $30-40 range) and they will read them to the point of seeming obsession, but what is happening is that they are using the possibilities in the books to load themselves up with tools to solve problems when they play as well as doing creative thinking in their heads about what they could become.  The games can go from a couple of hours a time, to 2 in the morning when they get older.  It is the, “let’s just see what is behind that next door” that create that.    Obviously, the timing issues are different based on the age of the kid.

It takes a lot to get a group of kids together on a regular basis to play, and once a game is going and gets healthy it is worth encouraging.  Despite whatever “Revenge of the nerds” preconceptions there are about people who play, the reality is that the people who are drawn to the game do tend to be disproportionately bright, mostly because they don’t like the constraints that standard games place on their creativity.  The groups also tend to provide good social support.  The characters they create have different specific  ethical rules, and it is important for the player to stay true to those rules, making for a great chance to explore and understand those. For the kids who are bright but have social skills challenges, the role playing stuff is wonderful, both because it provides some set of written rules for social interactions, and because usually the DM provides a level of moderation for social issues that come up that makes the sessions mini-social skills groups wrapped in a big spoonful of sugar.

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