Category Archives: Tabletop

Loot Drop: Ultimate Boardgame Backpack, Part 1

I’ve been meaning to do this one for a couple weeks now… but I was kinda busy with the holidays.  So, here’s my review of the Geek On Ultimate Boardgame Backpack (or as I call it the Backpack of Gaming).  Before I get too deep in, here’s the link for those who just want to find where to get one:

Geek On

I play a weekly D&D game (Adventure League style at my friendly local game store), and I’m always carrying a lot of stuff for the games.  At minimum, I carry: Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, multiple folders (full of characters, handouts, spare sheets of many varieties), dice, pencils, erasers, a case full of 3d printed Flatminis, and my DM’s Toolbox of Holding.  If I’m DMing, I also carry: DM screen, the hardcover I’m running, wet erase markers, paper towels, bottle of water, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monster Manual, game mat, premade maps… the list goes on.

Hopefully before I scare any new players away, you don’t need to carry that much stuff, especially if you are just starting out.  I’ll cover what I recommend in another post, but keep in mind that for this post, I carry an absurd amount of stuff because I want to and can.

Also, my friends and I occasionally have game days, and when they aren’t at my place, I need to be able to carry multiple board games.  This is a massive pain.  They are bulky and unwieldy to carry, especially in anything other than nice weather.

Anyway, as you can see I need a lot of storage capacity.  I’ve been using a Fallout 4 messenger bag for carrying most of the loose items, and carrying the tool box in one hand when playing.  Then I have to add a map tube and another bag for additional materials if I am DMing.  Enter the Ultimate Boardgame Backpack.

This came across my Kickstarter radar a while back, and I immediately wanted one.

I’ve mentioned it before here:

Boardgame Backpack Kickstarter

Well, now it’s arrived, just before the holidays.  Here it is in the box:

Backpack in Box.jpgAccessories in Box.jpg

So far so good.  Everything is individually plastic wrapped and tagged as a professional product.  The backpack comes folded up, and then you have to unfold it into the final shape.  Here it is folded:

Folded Backpack.jpg

And here it is assembled and fully expanded.

AssembledFront.pngAssembled Side.png

 

 

AssembledBack.pngIsometric View.png

This thing is huge, and packed with useful features.  Each side has two pockets, with the bottom ones having built in koozies.  You can also use the bottom pocket and the side straps to mount a map drybag (which I also got).  The back and straps are heavily padded, and there is an optional belt to help with the weight.

The main compartment has an enormous carrying capacity, depending on whether you have it full expanded.  For storage it is collapsible, but expanded, it has fold out reinforcing foam panels and a drawbridge-style support for your heavy games.  This allows you to carry both bulk and weight.  It was deliberately sized to carry a lot of common boxed games.  As you can see here, if you have much weight up top the compartment will sag the large compartment a bit, but if you fill it up with games it becomes a non-issue.

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And now, for my favorite part… the DMing configuration:

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I’m able to fit ALL my 5e rulebooks, plus a couple of books for running games (yes, I know the Mini-Dungeon Tome, from another kickstarter, is not AL-legal), the toolbox, the DM screen, and the case of Flatminis (not shown here) in the main compartment.  The dice case/tray fit in the top compartment, the spellcard boxes fit in the side compartments, the folders fit in the fold-down door of the compartment, the map fits on the side, and there is still some space for some items in the top compartment.  I will note with that many books, it is HEAVY, and a few of these books I won’t normally carry because they aren’t referenced at the table much.  I’ll get some better pictures on my semi-finalized configurations for the next installment, showing where I’ve placed everything.  I’ll also go over the add-on/accessory items that came with it.

R-N-W

I don’t really know much about this vendor yet, but I just stumbled across them and wanted to note where they were at.  They seem to have some excellent printable references, some of it being illustrated item cards, some of it being papercraft stuff that I’d want to do for a home-based game.  Might need to stock up on some cardstock to make it more durable.

R-N-W

Red Dragon Inn Expansions: Tavern Crew and Munchkin

Two of the Kickstarters I funded came in recently.  I’m a huge fan of the Red Dragon Inn series of games.  The most recent kickstarters were for adding the crew of the tavern, and a crossover with the Munchkin universe.  Red Dragon Inn 7 adds the wench, the barkeep, the bouncer, and the stablemaster to join in the fun of the evening.

cd977019e801d334b9badb4a92efa555_original.pngThe Munchkin expansion adds Spyke and Flower, the characters from Munchkin.  They’re here to fight monsters, get treasure, and drink everyone under the table.

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It’s looking like I’ll be able to have one of my game days this weekend, and I’ll get to try them out!

Dungeon Crawl Classics

I played my first game of Dungeon Crawl Classics today.  Fun times… and a lot of dead PCs.  I went through 5 level 0 characters today.

Dungeon Crawl Classics

DCC has a very old-school feel.  You roll all your stats randomly.  In order.  Including your character’s occupation.  Non-human races are the classes.  Dwarves are dwarves, elves are elves, halflings are halflings, and humans are the other classes.

You start with multiple level 0 characters… because most of them are going to die.  The character is a 0 level commoner, coming from all manner of various peasant backgrounds.  My first fatality occurred before the character even got to take a single action!  Once you have a character get to 10 xp, and you finish and adventure and return to town, THEN they get a level and train up in a class they qualify for.

So far I have one character still alive and with enough XP… mostly by virtue of staying in the middle/rear of the party.  I’ll have to finish the adventure with their life intact for them to ever get to first level.  I’m excited to see where this game goes, my schedule permitting.

The Yawning Portal

Given the Tales from the Yawning Portal hardcover, and that the next upcoming hardcovers involve Waterdeep, I’m considering the idea of building a model of the Yawning Portal Tavern itself as a jumping off point for players at the local game store for adventure league.  Here’s the map from 4e:

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If I were to build this, it’d probably be from the wall behind the bar to the right side, as the other rooms are not likely as critical for most adventures.  I already have stockpiled the files for most of the trimmings in a tavern, though it will take a bit of print time.

I also need to consider a couple things:

What do I want to make the base out of?

How will I make and grid the floor?

How much of it do I want to be moveable items vs fixed items?

Can I make a cover for the well to act as a stage if I want it to stand in for another tavern?

Boardgame Backpack Kickstarter

I do a lot of gaming, and carrying around the games is a pain.  Thankfully, there’s a new kickstarter for a backpack that makes carrying all of it around easy.  It’s already going strong, but I’m hoping it keeps picking up, because they’ve recently added some stretch goals to further improve the pack, redesigning portions of it, improving components, and even adding a divider for miniatures and loops for carrying RPG mats.

GeekOn! backpack