Category Archives: Crossposted

Die Hard Metal Dice: I Love These Things

The moment I held these in my hand I knew I had to own them.


These are metal dice from Die Hard Dice¹, and if you like the feeling of doing something significant when you’re rolling dice, you will like rolling these.

Battleworn Copper RPG set from Die Hard Dice

The set pictured above is the “ancient” finish. I selected “Brilliant Gold,” “Battleworn Copper,” and Nickel for myself. When  I ran the Planet Mercenary play test at ConFusion I used two nickel six-siders and one gold one, which is pretty much perfect for the permutation factoring built into the Mayhem system.

I got the metal boxes for mine, along with a play mat which protects the surface of the table, and distributes enough of the throw² energy that the dice stay on the table, even when you roll them in a bit of a panic. I can’t properly describe my delight at the kinesthetic experience provided by these dice. I can describe the jealousy of the others seated at the game table, but I shan’t, because I hold those fine individuals blameless. I’d be jealous too.

The RPG sets (d20, d12, 2xd10, d8, d6, and d4) plus a metal box are $26.50. The 5xd6 sets are $18. The play mat is $8. There are “Brilliant Gold” RPG sets available with the box at scratch-and-dent pricing for $18. I don’t know how they scratched or dented the dice themselves, but I assume a diamond press was involved.

When I perused the Die Hard Dice website for links, I found that they have a new series of chrome dice with colored numbers. These will be mine as soon as Sandra gives me permission to spend money again.


¹Disclaimer: I accepted these as a gift³, with the understanding that if I loved them, and could in clean conscience recommend them, I would do so. I do, and I can, so I am, and now I have.
²Do not throw-throw these. They will do real⁴ damage. Roll them, like a gamer.
³If you were to take these away from me and tell me I needed to pay $75 to replace them I would do so the moment Sandra looked away from where my wallet currently sits.
If you are actually being attacked by something, these dice will fit in a conventional slingshot and inflict sufficient injury that you might be able to escape while your adversary admires your choice of projectile.

Death by Cliché at 99 Cents

I’ve talked about Death by Cliché before. I really like the book, and I’m a beta-reader for the sequels.

DeathbyClicheIt’s a game-genre dark comedy in which an RPG designer gets shot in the head and wakes up in the terribly-designed role playing game that is being run by the young man who pulled the trigger. And unlike the players at the table, when he takes damage it actually hurts.

He’s not helpless, however. He is a game designer, after all, and there are artifacts in this world that can only be fully understood by him. But first he must look past the flaming brassieres, and come to grips with the fact that he cannot see his character sheet.

This Thursday and Friday, September 8th and 9th¹ Death by Cliché will be on sale at and for just 99 cents.  Act now! Pounce! Buying this book is one of the 99 funniest things you can do with a dollar².

¹I’m not in charge of these things, but I think the sale begins at midnight Eastern time Thursday morning, and closes at midnight Eastern time Friday night. YMMV.

²If you had a dark, artisanal, bottled beer for every one of those pennies we would flee before you could start singing.


Kubo and the Two Strings

KuboAndTheTwoStringsSee Kubo and the Two Strings before it leaves theaters.


I don’t have any skin in the game here, but I feel like this film deserves more attention than it is getting.

I loved it. The artistry involved is absolutely stunning. Aside from being a really good story, told well, it happens to be unflinchingly beautiful. Like all stop-motion films, it was built frame by frame, and in this case the filmmakers took the opportunity to make every frame gorgeous. I think any still from this movie could be ink-jetted onto canvas and hung on my wall.

From a critical standpoint, I didn’t know what to expect, and I felt like our “inciting incident” came later than it should have. I suspect that’s just the weight of other films, and the indoctrination they’ve left on me.

Kubo and the Two Strings easily clears my Threshold of Awesome.

The Sin du Jour Affairs, and Why You Should Eat Them

Matt Wallace shares my philosophy of humor: it is difficult to write, it is delightful to read, and it says important things that can’t be said any other way.

My first exposure to Matt’s work was this post about humorous SFF, and I was impressed. I liked the cut of his jib. On my flight to WorldCon I began reading his Sin du Jour series from the beginning, picking up Envy of Angels first. Here’s how that turned out:


I have now consumed all three of these serialized novellas. Not only do I have zero regrets, I have strong recommendations for you:

SinDuJourSeriesEnvy of Angels, Lustlocked, and Pride’s Spell. You can pick up all three in ebook format for just $8.97

The Sin du Jour series is urban fantasy. Our heroes work for a catering company that has been licensed and contracted to provide fancy foodstuffs for demons, elves, and other magical creatures. This may sound funny, but the series is not situation comedy. The humor is woven cleanly through the stories, giving them a voice that nicely counters the mind-bending horror implicit in feeding certain things to certain other things.

The novellas move quickly, and link together in some very satisfying ways—satisfying, and funny, and delicious. With the help of his food-scientist fiancée Nikki, Matt was able to write about food in ways that made me hungry for things I couldn’t possibly afford, and in some cases couldn’t hope to digest.

If you want to pick up just Envy of Angels for starters, you can certainly do that. Maybe you’ll make it more than halfway through before you cave in and buy the next two books…