Update: All of the Encounter Dice have a protective Lacquer coating allowing them to stand up to regular, perhaps even frenzied, use.
What is the NPC Pack?
Simply put; it is a set of six 16mm dice with full colour RPG tropes on them that allow you to quickly and inventively generate NPCs, characters, adventures, items, treasure, locales, monsters, bosses etc...
In our initial set, the focus of this campaign, we have a set of six dice covering the following concepts/characters and items; Race, Class, Alignment, Weaponry, Armour and Loot. With these dice you can create NPC archetypes for your party to encounter and also add a character’s demeanour, intent and with the “item” dice add some variety to chests, drop treasure etc…
These can be used for quick character generation too. If someone's late or dropping in for one session then get them to roll up their character quickly so you can all get on with the game. Similarly, if your group won't leave the tavern to get on with your carefully planned adventure and want to spend their evening with NPCs you hadn't planned out, use Encounter Dice to generate someone for them to interact with.
The images and videos of the products we have on this page should give you a good indication of the style and feel we’re going for. These represent “practical” characters existing in a world similar to our own and we shall represent them as such. The quality and finish that the manufacturers have been able to produce on a 16mm square is breathtaking.
In terms of both race and gender our goal with this range is to be as inclusive as possible. With a fairly equal gender split and a broad mix of racial types. This will be skewed somewhat depending on who, if anyone, selects the “Your Face Here” perks. We will endeavour to bring balance across the range as a whole… Also, bikinis (metal or otherwise) are for beaches, not for adventuring. Our female characters will be dressed just as fully as their male counterparts.
Who are they designed for?Primarily these are GM/DM aids allowing for quick creation of NPCs, small to medium adventures or side quests and encounters. Players can use them too for fast character generation or for adding a bit more flavour to an existing character. As the campaign is for the NPC pack let’s have a bit of a closer look at what you will get and what you can use them for;
Class: A standard term for what a character
intrinsically is as opposed to what they do. Potentially you could use this for
a characters profession but TBH we have a couple of other dice planned for that
further down the line.
Faces: Bard, Barbarian, Ranger, Thief, Magic User and Warrior
Race: The six big hitters in RPGs are
still the most popular. At first glance these seem limited to one use but think
of using them as the demeanour of a character; an elf could mean haughty,
half-orc could mean confused or angry and halfling could mean mischievous. Used
in conjunction with the intent as defined by the Alignment die it could
certainly add a deeper social aspect to some sessions.
Faces: Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling/Gnome, Half-Elf and Half-Orc
Alignment: This follows the traditional
alignments and can be used as such. It is also useful for defining NPC intent,
monster/opposition reaction i.e. your party encounters a group of Mercenaries.
Roll the alignment die, good results mean the party is welcomed or tolerated,
evil means they are attacked, neutral means perhaps that the mercenaries are on
a mission of their own and choose not to interact at all.
Faces: Very Good, Good, Neutral, Evil, Very Evil and Unknown
Armour: From none to full plate this die
gives you an idea of the type of armour worn by the NPCs. It can be either a
full suit or the most predominant type of armour they wear. It can also be used
to provide an impromptu armoury, contents of a chest or they type of armour
available to purchase at a settlement.
Faces: None, Shield, Leather, Chainmail, Scale Mail and Full Plate
Weapons: A selection of typical Fantasy
weaponry in 6 groups. This die defines the type of weapon rather than the
actual weapon itself. As with the Armour die it can be used to provide an
armoury, loot or the type of weapons available within a given settlement.
Faces: Single Handed (Blunt), Single Handed (Edged), Dual Wield, Two Handed, Staff/Spear and Ranged
Loot: Representing the items the NPCs have
for trade or for your players to take from their cooling corpses. Handy for
rolling out drop treasure, chest contents etc… without too much preplanning.
Faces: Gold, Gems, Potion A, Potion B, Scrolls and Backpack (equipment)
I had two
main concerns when coming up with the packaging solution;
- Safely ship and store these tiny works of art
- Allow the actual product to be displayed
As such the packaging needed to be strong, soft and transparent, not a small consideration at all... I think we've hit the right tone with the foam tray within a blister pack. It hits all three criteria and addresses both concerns. A retailer can place them onto a rack with the product fully visible. A customer can, should they wish to discard the blister pack, keep the the dice safe in the foam tray. I would suggest keeping them in the zip-loc bag they come in just to be extra safe.
In addition to these dice we thought that having fancy dice is one thing but what about tailoring the specific images to your own games? That's where the cards can come in handy! With the same images as the dice you can jot down a quick note for stats, further divisions or even change what the image means to you. We go into it a bit further on our blog (Article Here). The cards will be available as editable/printable PDFs for most of the rewards.
What is the current state of the project?
Getting down to brass tacks what we're asking for is £1800 to put the NPC Pack into production. The vast majority for the cost is the actual printing of the dice, the remainder being used to cover the art used on the dice and the graphics used in packaging as well as the actual packaging for the range. The dice are very expensive and I believe that this is the first RPG dice product range that attempts to use them.
We’re pretty much ready to rock and roll here. The prototypes have been signed off and barring any art changes due to campaign rewards we can pick up the phone and get the run started as soon as we clear the total. In short though;
- The NPC Pack. Everything required is in place and the order can be placed with a single email/call if the campaign is successful.
- Packaging has been prototyped and costed for the retail product. Images and a video are available to showcase it.
- Art for the stretch goals is around 20% complete and examples of it will be provided as we near any prospective goal.
- Artwork for the other Encounter Dice sets is fully briefed but not yet started as we did not want to pull the trigger on this too soon.
Who is the Manufacturer?
Encounter Dice will be manufactured in the UK by Plastics4Games (P4G). It was this company that supplied the finished prototypes seen in the videos and photographs. They have been very supportive of the project and patient with our first venture into dice production (thanks Ingrid & Lyn!). They have confirmed that we have supplied everything they need to produce the NPC set.
What about delivery?
Given the reduced volume we are envisaging for the initial run we can handle this quite easily.In terms of dates we have based this on an order of 50-100 sets and as such the dates are;
- December 2013: NPC Pack, All Stretch Goals, the Art Cards and T-Shirt Add ons.
- March 2014: Phase #1 Add ons, if unlocked.
Should there be a larger demand for the dice we will review the delivery dates but given the speed of production P4G can manage it would take a massive order for this to be an issue.
Pledge Calculator: http://encounterdice.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/ed_calc_271013.xls
Trade terms: Pledge the money, which includes shipping, and get the product. How you sell it is up to you. This is applies to this single instance and does not represent an ongoing or rolling contract for either parties.
These seem to be oxygen to KS projects and we hope we have pitched these at the right levels. If the campaign total hits the appropriate number any backer who has bought in as NPC Pack Plus or higher will receive the following at no additional cost. Four are shown below but we have over twenty defined.
These are available for you to flesh out your rewards, simply add the price to your total pledge;
Phase #1: NPC Pack
We have great plans for the Encounter Dice range as I hope you can see. Listed below are the first two packs of the five we have planned and these are all fully detailed at the time of writing and need only art from Carlos to be put into production. They will become available to add to your reward if the total hits key numbers. Each consists of 4 dice giving you sub-races, positions, weapons and magic items tailored to each race.
I also have sets planned for Elves, Dwarves and Halflings/Gnomes
Risks and challenges
With the core product pretty much ready to go and the manufacturer confirming delivery the risks to the project are small but let's not pretend that issues don't arise.
Volume Shipping Issues: As we are a very small company if the campaign is popular it may potentially delay sending out perks to contributors.
- Solution: We have a number of people available to us to get over a short term spike in shipping (see the Delivery section above).
Staff Issues: What happens if you or the artist/manufacturer become unavailable due to X?
- Solution: We have access to a pool of resources meaning that we have minimized the impact of one or more person dropping out. Additionally we have identified back up artists and manufacturing companies should any of these key resources become unavailable.
That's it! Thanks for taking the time to read this far down. We love the idea of these being a common GM tool to help make planning sideline adventures, NPC's and treasure hauls easier. Well, we love the idea of them being used for a whole heap of things and we hope you guys like them too!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (41 days)