Posts Tagged ‘dungeons and dragons’

classic black dungeon 1 dice bag

 

The Dice Bag of Mapping is a potential powerful item when used correctly.  An unassuming drawstring bag at first glance, it has an unusual design – the bag will sit open on its own due to the unique construction.  It is large enough to hold a handful or two of dice, enough chalk to mark a labyrinth, and/or various other small items.  When used correctly, the bag will display a map of the wielder’s surroundings for 500 feet in all directions surrounding him.  Handy for moving through dungeons, and even in wilderness environments!  Some versions of this dice bag also allow the user to make a “pinch and zoom” motion with his thumb and index finger on the fabric to see a larger or smaller mapped area.

Get one of your own at Greyed Out.

 

I’m a nerd, and I freely admit it.  I get excited about dice, and roleplaying games, and moving little pewter miniatures around on a tabletop battlefield, pretending to be a great general.  (I have very little in the way of tactical skills.)  I think that’s part of the reason I really like sewing dice bags.  Everyone who games in some form or fashion needs a good dice bag, or at least that’s how I feel – and not just because I sell dice bags.  All those funny-shaped polyhedrons are an integral part of gamer culture, so why not have a snazzy way to carry yours and keep them safe?  I know that Knights of the Dinner Table can often be a roleplaying stereotype taken to an extreme, but just look at Brian van Hoose, who almost always has his dice bag hanging from his belt.

I’ve seen gamers keep their dice in little plastic compartmented containers, I’ve seen dice in ziploc bags, I’ve seen dice in Crown Royal bags.  Some people have “dice buckets” where the dice live, ready to be pulled out on game night.  Me, I’ve always had a dice bag, at least as long as I can remember.  My mom got me my first one, and that little black dice bag with the faux-leather rim stayed with me for almost twelve years, until I started making my own.  I’ve come a long way since that first dice bag, and there’s probably still room for improvement.

This summer I started trying to screen print designs on my dice bags, starting with a few orc skulls.  One customer put up a great review on his own blog, and you can read the entry here:

http://duelsanddice.blogspot.com/2012/08/artisian-dice-bags.html

I love hearing about customer experience with my stuff, and it’s great to get good feedback.  One thing that I do sometimes worry about is my price point – my bags are listed in my Etsy shop, Greyed Out, for between $16 and $18, with $3.50 in shipping.  I think that feels a bit high to some people, but I also think it’s reasonable for what I offer, and here’s why.

I make all of these dice bags myself.  It takes about an hour, sometimes a little more, to sew each dice bag.  That includes cutting the fabric, putting everything together, stringing the drawstring, and so on.  Each bag has about $2 of fabric in it.  I purchase all my own fabric, and I don’t drive, so each trip to Hobby Lobby with public transport takes a while.  That also has to be factored in.  Add in the time to wash the fabric, then screen print it, let the ink dry, set the ink, and so on, and it all adds up.  I’d like to make at least some profit on each sale, and I feel that my time is worth more than minimun wage.  Sure, you can get a dice bag manufactured in China for $3.99.  But why do that when the alternative is something sewn right here in the United States by someone who loves what he does?  To me, handmade means quality, and I do my best to make each of my dice bags perfect.  I don’t send out anything that I’m not happy with.

That said, I do have some new designs to show off.  Check them out, as always, at greyedout.etsy.com and feel free to email me with any questions.  I do have wholesale deals available if you’re interested in carrying my dice bags in your game store, bookshop, etc.

 

White orc skull on dark green cotton canvas.

 

A second orc skull dice bag.

 

Red suede bag with a hidden Inquisition symbol inside.

 

Black cotton canvas Inquisition bag.

 

Open dice bag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Guys!Welcome to the blog!

 

Welcome to the blog!

A big welcome to any readers that may have arrived here via the Handmade blog!  I did a few sketches to say hi…

I’m feeling better than I was at the beginning of the week, though my nose is still stuffed up.  Thankfully the runny, watery eyes have stopped; that’s always the worst part of my being sick.  I ended up taking a day where I basically slept all day, and that probably helped quite a bit.

Etsy-wise, I’m trying to gear up for the holidays, but it’s difficult to come up with great holiday items when you’re on a shoestring budget of almost $0.  I’m going to be sewing some gift bags out of a great green fabric that I have, and probably will also try for some Christmas themed illustrations.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic the past week or so, thinking back on the days when I used to collect Knights of the Dinner Table magazine.  For those who have never heard of it, it’s a comic strip that was created by Jolly Blackburn way back in about 1990 or so, as filler for his small magazine Shadis.  The strip is about a group of role-players called the Knights of the Dinner Table; B.A, their gamemaster, along with Bob and Dave, Sarah, and Brian.  If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons, then this comic is for you.  The group gets into all sorts of trouble, and usually drives B.A. crazy with their in-party bickering, rules lawyering, and min-maxing of rules.  I think they are currently on issue #180.  I have most of the comic’s run from roughly #27-#107.  I stopped collecting several years ago because I couldn’t find a reliable comic shop to get it at, and because at the time I was moving too much to get a subscription(back and forth between south Texas and Canyon, and so on).

That means I’m only about 70 issues behind… no big deal, right?  Thankfully, the company that makes the magazine, Kenzerco, has a Special Collection offer where you can get issues 101-124 for $40, including shipping.  Incredible deal, and as poor as I am, it will definitely go on my Christmas wish list.  If any kind soul out there wants to be an angel, the link to the collection is here, and you can email me or comment for my address:  http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_23_55&products_id=704     (It never hurts to ask nicely, right?)

To get a taste of the Knights, you can also check out the webstrips here:  http://www.kenzerco.com/Operiodicals/kodt/kodt%20webstrips/phpslideshow.php?directory=.&currentPic=4    ….That’s an awfully long link.  If it doesn’t work, http://www.kenzerco.com is the main website, and the webstrips are findable through it as well.

Thinking back fondly on Knights of the Dinner Table has me thinking about drawing some roleplayer-related comics.  I’ve been gaming since high school, so I have plenty of inspiration to draw from, and I think it might be fun to experiment a bit and see what comes out of my head.

Kenzerco as a company also does a lot of RPG’s, including a western-themed on called Aces and Eights.  I own the main rulebook, and lately I’ve been wanting to read through it again and explore the wild west in an alternate history setting.  In A&E(ights), the United States is broken into several different countries, with a large part of the Northwest still being US Territories.  The RPG, while it does have a section on combat, also goes into incredible detail on day-to-day activities like cattle ranching, surveying and prospecting for gold, and things like cattle drives.  It’s one of the things I like best about the game – it doesn’t force you to stick to standard adventures, and actually encourages you to do things like buy land, start a business, and so on.  It’s really pretty brilliant.

Tonight is scheduled to be cold, so our windows will stay closed tonight and our blankets piled high.  The low last night was 30*, which I very much consider to be winter weather.  Thankfully during the day it still gets reasonable, and we don’t yet have daytime temps in the 30’s or 40’s.  Soon we’ll need to turn the heating on, which I’m hoping to avoid as long as possible to keep the electric bill down.  We’ve been lucky this fall, in that for the past few months we’ve had both heating and air conditioning off completely.

Speaking of winter nights, it’s almost bed time for me, so I’ll wrap this up here.  Again, welcome to all the new readers!  Hopefully you’ll find something you like.  Please do feel free to leave a comment and say hello.

I grabbed a few better shots of Karchev today, and also did some illustration.  Skottie Young recently started blogging again, doing pen and ink sketches, and I was really impressed by the sketches he posted on his website.  Check out skottieyoung.com for his work.

The illustration I did is called “Ambush”.  I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons for a long time, and it’s loosely based on a party of adventurers getting ambushed in the middle of the woods by a few beasties.  It’s available in my Etsy for $60 + $5 shipping.  Alternatively, you can email me at greylikestorms(at)gmail.com if you’re interested.

 

 

Karchev:

 

I’m about to enjoy my second cup of coffee as I type this.  It’s a cool 55 degrees outside, and I wish it would stay that way all day long.  October is here, and the weather isn’t quite cooperating yet; we still have temperatures in the 70’s during the day.  It’s one of my favorite months, because it means Halloween, the coming of winter, and beautiful colors everywhere you look.  The bright oranges and reds of the trees bring out feelings of comfort, the desire to sit in front of a warm fire and sip a hot beverage, and the excitement of the holidays.

I’m rambling a bit, I know, but hopefully you’ll forgive me.  I didn’t set out with a clear plan when writing this post, I wanted to give an update.  Kathryn and I are doing well, though the second bedroom is still empty.  I’m not quite sure if we plan to keep it empty, or if we will be looking for a roommate.  I’ve not been drawing as much lately, because I’ve been painting miniatures again.  For my store I’ve made another crooked house; this time it’s the Fairy House – Gingerbread Edition.  I also still have these little Spooky Ghost Plushies available, and I’m rather fond of how they turned out.

I decided the other day that what I’d like to do is focus a bit more on gaming-related items.  I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons and various other roleplaying games since high school, and it’s part of me as much as my costume skills are.  I sketched an ogre the other day, sitting at a bar drinking coffee and complaining about the adventurers who burst down his door.  I liked it so much that I’m going to do more of the same – I’d like to call it Adventuring Inn, and have a series of illustration that are very D&D themed in nature.  They’d all feature the same location, the bar or tables in the inn.  Why not capitalize on what I’m good at?

While I’m talking about gaming, I might as well put up a quick reminder – I have a section for Drawstring Bags in my Etsy.  Gamers always need a good, sturdy dice bag, and I stand by the construction of mine.

Dragons are magic.  There’s no other way to put it.  I’ve been fascinated by the big scaly things for as long as I could remember.  I can’t recall when I first found out about them, but it was at a really young age, because I’ve been enjoying stories about dragons since I was a tiny child.  Whether your dragons are winged with four legs, or winged with only two, or even with no legs or wings at all… they’re incredible.

One of the first books I remember reading about dragons was called The Book of Dragons, by E. Nesbit.  It’s a tiny, slim little volume.  Collected inside are stories of dragons from myth and legend, with enough fire to spark any boy’s imagination.  Then, in fourth grade, at a school book fair, I picked up Bruce Coville’s Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher.  The book is about a young kid who, running from bullies one day, gets lost in a fog and finds a magic shop.  There he buys a dragon’s egg, and hatches it, and gets to watch the young dragon(whom he names Tiamat) grow up.  It’s completely magical and wonderful.  In high school, I read the Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.  That led me to Dungeons and Dragons, and in my time around the gaming table I’ve killed a dragon or two.

The other day, inspired by my long love of the dragon, I sat down to do some inking.  I sketched a few ideas first, and when I was satisfied, I broke out the steel nibs and black ink.  I didn’t want to do this project in Micron pens.  I wanted the old-fashioned method.  A while later, I had a dragon skull sitting on paper in front of me.  I’m not quite sure it’s done yet, but it was fun to do, and I can’t wait to try further projects with the steel nibs and ink.

Here are a few pictures: