Multiverse: Hi Ted! Did you enjoy a nice 2018?
Ted Cory: Thanks Timothy, I did! It’s a busy time for us as we prep for Christmas but it’s great to spend more time at the beach here in Saint Pete!
Multiverse: Gotta love the beach (and the Grapefruit League!) How long have you been in the Sunshine State?
Ted: Many, many winters. I’ve been here almost continuously since I was level 1. I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow to the knee..
Multiverse: Cheers to those bygone halcyon salad days of adventure (before the arrow to the knee.) We’ll treasure the good old days always. How did SkullSplitter Dice first get started?
Ted: I had a bad experience back when I was getting started with my first set of dice; I’m passionate about customer service and when we were starting we didn’t really see anyone providing both excellent service and high quality dice.
Multiverse: More and more kids seem to be enjoying tabletop gaming these days. What are your thoughts on that?
Ted: I love it. We actively encourage (and donate to) high school gaming groups. We think tabletop gaming teaches all the key skills you’ll need to be successful in life.
Multiverse: High school gaming groups are awesome. Tell us more about your role in their encouragement?
Ted: We’ve helped get several groups get their initial dice; many of the groups will use a set of dice as a way to encourage new members to keep coming back. We’ve also published content on the blog that gives tips on how to go about doing it. Some of that content is taken from interviews with teachers and students who recently started their groups. We’d love to write more content as we know more of the challenges that new adventurers face in forming their guilds!
Multiverse: What is one such tip which you can share with us here?
Ted: Scheduling seems to be the biggest stumbling block for most groups. The tip here is to have the players speak with each other, or to have a specific time every week that will work (this tends to work best with High School groups). Otherwise you may end up spend as much time scheduling as you spend playing!
Multiverse: Aside from tabletop RPGs, which have been some of your favorite tabletop games over the years?
Ted: Risk! And lately, we’ve been revisiting Exploding Kittens since it’s so easy to quickly do a few games.
Multiverse: Risk is a delight. Have you occupied all of Europe or Asia lately?
Ted: Not lately =/ We’re busy making Christmas right now…
Multiverse: When you were a kid, which tabletop RPGs did you start out with?
Ted: My older brother played 1st edition AD&D but I wasn’t able to play until 2nd edition AD&D. After 2nd edition we played Rifts and Vampire the Masquerade/Werewolf.
Multiverse: Is there an ideal age for kids, when it comes to discovering the tabletop RPG hobby?
Ted: I’m not sure; I certainly think that the right DM can run games for players of almost all ages, but they may need to reduce complexity of the game or make the stories more “on the rails” (this really depends on the players)
Multiverse: Have you tried your hand at being a DM?
Ted: I have! I’m currently DMing our current groups; I’m running a grimdark campaign using a melange a plot element from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, a pantheon aligned to the MTG colors, and
using maps from Starter kit and Tomb of Annihilation. Frankly, a lot of this campaign is inspired by Myth 2: Soulblighter back in 1998. Even when they’re winning battles they largely feel like they’re losing the war; I was super-concerned that they wouldn’t like that atmosphere but they’re ending the sessions with “Whoa!” and asking when we can play again. Mercer and Colville have been great influences in this area.
Multiverse: Grimdark campaigns are a hoot. What more can you share with us about your pantheon? Is there also a colorless pantheon, a la colorless mana in MTG? An artifact pantheon, perhaps?
Ted: Colville’s video on the best number of gods being 5 really resonated with me; it’s also a lot easier to track. So….based on the Ravnica stuff I thought aligning them to the Magic colors made sense. I’ve reskinned some of the existing gods to more align to the colors. There isn’t colorless, I have added the warforged, so maybe that’s something that could be worked in later…
Multiverse: With so many tabletop RPGs to choose from these days, which are you currently enjoying most?
Ted: D&D 5E because it is accessible to people who have never played
tabletop games and veterans alike. It’s not perfect! But it has a low barrier to getting someone started and having fun; a key element to growing the market.
Multiverse: What’s the ideal number of players at your RPG table?
Ted: 4-6; I’d say that’s the best number to ensure players are getting the most play time. Our current group really likes to “roll dice and kill things” so sessions tend to be either shopping or fighting sessions.
Multiverse: Which other tabletop games (non-RPG) would you like to set more time aside for?
Ted: I really like Small World! It’s fast and doesn’t take a massive time investment!
Multiverse: How might you describe Small World to those who haven’t yet discovered it?
Ted: It is to Risk, what Munchkin is to D&D.
Multiverse: What was the wildest thing that you ever saw happen a gaming convention?
Ted: That’s a tough one! It’s pretty crazy what people can think of to get out of situations.
Multiverse: We’re intrigued! Do tell?
Ted: I once saw a moon druid climb inside an unstoppered potion bottle and
had the person who was about to drown (it wasn’t water they were fleeing) stopper it. There was a plan to resurrect the drowning party member….
Multiverse: And then?
Ted: Moon druid didn’t hold up her end of the bargain. In her defense there was a lot going on…
Multiverse: Ha! What hasn’t happened in the world of tabletop gaming that you’d love to see happen next?
Ted: There are a lot of things on the list…but….I’ve been eagerly awaiting the re-release of Vampire, so that’s no longer on the list. Let’s put using 5e rules into a Starfinder styled campaign up there. Sure, Spelljammer was a thing, and may be a thing again, but I’d love to see more sci fi roleplaying games that are accessible to people who haven’t played tabletop games before.
Multiverse: Spelljammer, Star Frontiers and Traveller certainly had their fanbases back in the day, that’s for sure. What do you think of White Star?
Ted: I haven’t actually seen White Star!
Multiverse: You haven’t seen White Star?
Ted: I haven’t!
Multiverse: Oh my goodness, you must see it! What can we expect to be seeing from SkullSplitter Dice in 2019?
Ted: We’ve spent a lot of this year working on some new things that we think our fans are going to love. Expect big announcements in February/March timeframe!