A keen young DM has appeared… together with his eager as beavers family members forming his party!

It absolutely stoked me when I was called to DM for a family of four at a Learn-to-Play D&D event last Saturday. I was told that a mum had signed up on behalf of her son who was keen to learn how to play the game. Apparently, they have bought the Starter Set but he was having trouble picking it up. So, I told Criticals & Fumbles to gave them the nod to register as a family and they happily obliged.

I give maximum kudos to an 11 year-old for stepping up and trying to learn this game so that he can run it for his family. Alas, some things are best learnt from those who can, for a start. I mean, you can’s just buy a car and learn how to drive by reading the manual or watch a YouTube video, can you?

Over the span of 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon… we went over the basic rules, the difference between race versus class, the relative importance of role-playing albeit with some attempt at voice-acting, how to identify which dice to be used and what to look for in their character sheets when asked to do a Skill check or a Saving throw. The young lad himself was so focused and knew exactly the parts where he needed to seek clarification. The ‘I-now-get-it’ expressions on his face every now and then are what DMs like me live for.

On the day itself, the Dad admitted that he didn’t know what he was signing up for but was more than glad to learn and be surprised. Needless to say, by the end of the session, he expressed how it was mind-boggling to see the skills needed to run a game and the extra care given to ensure every new player has enough support in terms of equipment like; dice sets, beginner character cards, spells cards, hit point counters, gorgeous maps and intricately painted miniatures.

My inspiration of writing this blog was actually – the young DM wanna-be. His enthusiasm was infectious that it got the rest of the family curious and from this session alone, he managed to get wonderful support from his parents that they actually agreed to buy the pretty massive Immersive Battlemaps book! Step one step closer to being an awesome DM 🙂

Every Learn-to-Play session that I do for families and kids, is to really share how a few hours can turn into a wonderful, highly interactive moment of storytelling where we build memorable moments together – regardless of the dice outcomes that either force you to succeed/fail your intended actions – because it’s all part of what makes the game what it is… sort of a ‘controlled chaos’ where everybody leaves with a sense of satisfaction, achievement and especially having fun.

Well, for the games I run for families and and children at least. For adults, there are DMs who thrive and excel in other varieties of storylines or endings that are morally grey. We do what’s appropriate for the group and/or when the group is ready.

Unboxing is one of our favourite things to do too.

While we have yet to create our own unboxing and reactions videos… we have always enjoyed doing it nonetheless as a family.

Even when the youngest member of the family was barely able to join us for most of the table top games, to get her feel involved – punching out the tokens from the board is almost always her “job” which she takes the utmost pride in doing!

Now that she’s grown and can join all her elder siblings at the table, we love opening a new game together and if necessary, we’ll do our part to do the punch-outs and also to sleeve the cards.

All set and ready to play!

Who says going to the mall cannot be a fun, educational experience?

I like making mundane things fun by coming up with a simple game to pass the time, be it on long car rides or even out and about at the mall.

Recalling that have a booklet of vouchers and was going to be at Tampines Hub, to make walking around less boring, we turned it into a scavenger hunt of sorts. Ok, I confess, I came up with the idea to distract her from wanting to enter the toy shop around the corner.

We chose a few vouchers we could use today and off she went to hunt for the establishments depicted on the selected vouchers. Sure she can easily spot the shop/brand logo but when not within line of sight, we made use of the unit number on the voucher and the unit number of the shops closest to us to estimate how much further we had to walk. That in itself is the intangible skill of ‘estimation’. You may recall questions in our big stakes exam (PSLE) about the mass or height of a stack of coins (long before the Helen & Ivan saga).

Wherever possible, she reads the text on the voucher and choose the correct dollar bill to pay the lady at the counter.

At the end of the day, I got the pizza for her and the brothers at a discount and avoided several shops not on my list. I say, that’s a win for daddy today!

Dice Games

Aaaah… dice! One of the earliest and easily recognized game accessory of all time.

The six-sided (d6) is by far the most common one and would be the first many would picture in their mind at the mention of the word – dice.

However, games have evolved and we now gladly throw what we call ‘math rocks’ or ‘click clicks’ that range from being 2-sided (d2)…

or one with a hundred sides (the d100!) across the table.

You know how there are some women who likes to collect shoes, bags and whatever accessories to their fancy? Or how some men collect watches, wallets etc? Speak to some gamers and you’ll discover that there is such a thing as Dice Goblins. Chances are – they’ll be more than happy to whip out a photo of their rather impressing collection of dice.

In the classroom, dice has been used to teach Maths (obviously!) and even Language Arts. What’s more fun than throwing dice to do basic mathematical equations at primary school than rolling dice with friends, right? I’m willing to put money on guessing that if your English/Language teacher had brought in these storytelling cubes, it would have been one of the best writing activities you’d easily remember having fun the most during class.

The fact that the regular set of role playing dice comes in a variety of polygonal shapes, sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. We use them regularly for our sessions, especially in out “Adventurer’s & Writers” enrichment sessions so we’re created a blog entry with their descriptions. We’ve uploaded a file, together with 3 suggested dice-games in the Products section of this website. It’s FREE for you to download – here!


A guide to the standard set of 7 RPG Dice.

Most of the dice are given names like d6 or d20. The ‘d’ is for dice and the ‘number’ refers to the number of faces / sides the dice has.

This four-sided often referred to as the d4. You typically read the number that is the right side up and oriented the right way.

This is a d4 – a tetrahedron

We all know this one… the six-sided cube – the d6.


The eight-sided one is often referred to as – the d8.


This d 10, is the ten-sided dice is the one with only single digits on each face.


There is another ten-sided dice but it’s the one with the double digits (00-90). We call this the PERCENTILE dice.


This dice is usually thrown together with the d10 to produce a ‘percentage’ result. The digits on the percentile dice represents values in the tens-place while the d10 digit is for the ones-place. It’s kind of tricky for newbies but we’ll try to give you some simple examples to explain;

0 tens + 1 ones = 1%
ten + 0 ones = 10%
ten + 8 ones = 18%

So… how do you get 100%?

This is the only way to get 100% and won’t count it as a 0% because… that would be mean.

Next, we have the twelve-sided dice that we call – the d12.


Finally, the one where we roll the most during most RPGs… the 20-sided dice that determines the fates of many. That roll to see if your character does something heroically amazing, of he fails in epic proportions… both tales befitting to be recalled many times over as your group is bound to reminisce – the icosahedron – d20.

If you’re keen to try out some neat games involving this set of amazing math rocks, click THIS link to download the rules for 3 simple Maths games you can play with anyone.

There is an offer on Fruit Dice in our store too which will make cute gifts for children and probably your friend who’s a Math teacher. How did they put those tiny inserts in the cube?!

Adventurers & Writers: The November Chapter!

We had just concluded our first, end of the year holiday program where a small band of brave young adventurers stepped out of their comfort zones to try something very new for a change!

Three young ladies and two courageous lads heeded the desperate call for help from a village chief.

Sample “poster” in which they will have to recreate later

Hero miniatures for them to choose from.

Their adventure begins after adding details about their characters with some serious shopping and information gathering as they visited various locations within the village.

Dice were rolled, monsters dispatched, puzzles solved and bandits caught – Including… The Crybaby Bandit!  Name given because he cried running to his mum after the first encounter on Day 1.

Stories will be written about their exploits!

Village chief, Mister Teepot (name given by the children, because he was short and stout), thanked them for their services and hopes that they will stick around. Every village needs a hero, or two… or five, no?

#rpg, #d&d, #adventurers, #writers, #adventurersandwriters, #enrichment, #holidayprogram, #gamerdadsg, #childrenswriting, #storytelling, #roleplaying

What are Modern Tabletop Games? What’s with this resurgence too?

It’s not uncommon for most people to immediately think of Monopoly, Risk, Cluedo or Scrabble when you mention boardgames. Those are what we’d call classic boardgames. They’re usually the mainstream ones which are produced in bulk and easily available at established toy or departmental stores.

Modern tabletop boardgames however can be classified as an entirely new set of hobby. The way to ‘play’ has evolved so much and moved away from the luck-based dice rolling into the plethora of different ‘game mechanics’. This is awesome because it brings the potential of adding a huge amount of challenges other than just ‘luck’ being the main factor in a game.

What are some of these ‘new ways to play’ or what we call ‘game mechanics’ these days? Well, there’s actually a lot of them… A LOT. Just to list the few which are common these days would be;

  • Auction
  • Dice Placement
  • Worker Placement
  • Set Collection
  • Draft and Pass
  • Draft and Play
  • Tile-laying
  • Push-your-luck
  • Role-playing
  • Social Deduction
  • Dexterity-based
  • I cut, You choose.

Modern tabletop players will also use terms like ‘Eurogame’, ‘Ameritrash’, ‘Gateway’ games in their conversations with the uninitiated. If you’re confused, it’s okay… we look forward to share with you what these terms mean and some of our favourite game examples.

My top 3 gateway games to introduce modern gaming to beginners.

What’s really motivating for us now is to see how many boardgame cafes are still around after the first one Settler’s Cafe was established in 2003. Plenty more has popped up and survived or growing; like Minds Cafe and PlayNation.

Not only that, there is a growing number of boardgame enthusiasts that the local “Singapore International Boardgaming Meetup” is an over 9000 member strong group! This meet-up page is where you’ll find listings of several board game meet-ups happening around the island. The pandemic has dampened this a little but just over 2 years ago, during one of the busiest weekend at Basecamp Cafe, the space was crammed to nearly 80 people on a Saturday afternoon – that people were even playing on the floor!

The resurgence of modern tabletop games has also reached a point where we actually have a lot of titles made and produced by Singaporeans and the region? It’s no longer an industry played only by Europe and America. We will be sharing more about Singaporean and Malaysian games.

Come to the table!

Ditch the gadgets for a while and play old-school but with modern table top games!

Without hiding behind any screens, players actually can talk and negotiate with each other. Sure there’s a good amount of taunting but within limits because others are in arms reach in case you step over the line, iykwim!

Over the years of being around the table with my children, as competitive as they are, they know when to hold back and make sure everyone’s having fun. It’s all about the joy of being together, making jokes and having fun. Winning is great but not the main objective.

For sure, the elder brothers are in their teens and they play on the computer or mobile phones with their friends – but they do ask, “Are we playing anything later?” every now and then. The young ones have their screen time too but they also look forward to family game afternoons/nights.