• Dice Masters and Parenting: The Conundrum

    Editor's Note - despite the fact that this is the first time there is actually mail for the MDCVH Mailbag, I wanted to highlight Randy's blog post. Partly because it strikes a real chord with me and partly because I think it's an excellent piece of writing that he wouldn't ask for the spotlight for in his current role. The mailbag will return in its next regularly scheduled slot. I hope you all enjoy this post as much as I did. Cheers! - JThomasH2

    Sometimes, Iím a great parent. There are days I take the kids outside, jump on the trampoline, run around the yard, and give them totally undivided attention (well, undivided among the 4 of them). I try to teach them the importance of helping others and why we help others. I make them try to accomplish something themselves, but if they still cannot do it, I will help them. They must always try something new, whether thatís a new food at dinner, or sticking their hands in finger paints. I try to involve them in the things I do, instead of just telling them to ďgo away, Iím busyĒ. But before you pat me on the back, let me tell you how Iím a terrible parent. I lose my mind over the dumbest things, like standing too close to the TV. I donít always involve them in the things I do. Sometimes I do tell them to ďgo away, Iím busyĒ. Sometimes I lie to them when itís convenient. ďNope, I donít know where that movie is. Pick a different one.Ē And sometimes I feel guilty, like Iím letting them down, even when Iím not inherently doing anything wrong, like when the kids tell me they want to go play Dice Masters at the shop. Or like when Abigail tells me she wants to talk about super hero cards on the computer again. But, Iím done with Dice Masters, right?

    My frustration with Dice Masters has been documented. I started selling off my collection. I stopped buying anything new, despite my initial excitement when Amazing Spider-Man was announced. One of my best friends, @Jthomash2 , still plays and contributes regularly here on the site. Between church, our families hanging out together, and getting together to play games, we probably see each other 2-4 times per week. He hasnít let me stray too far from Dice Masters, as we still talk about combos and strategies. Iíve played in a few events since I said I was done, placing 3rd at a Rainbow Draft Weekend event, and absolutely bombing at another Rainbow Draft. I still havenít bought any War of Light or Amazing Spider-Man (minus the War of Light I purchased for the Rainbow Drafts). I enjoy the game enough, but I wonít keep sinking money in to a game and company I donít totally agree with the business model of. But again, you could read all of that here.

    So what do I tell my kids? When they ask to go to the shop to play Dice Masters, do I just tell them ďnoĒ? Abigail wants to do her podcast segment, but Iím frustrated with the state of the game. Is it selfish on my part to not let the kids enjoy Dice Masters because Iím frustrated? We had an absolute blast when we opened up the gravity feed of D&D BFF at the dining room table. I enjoy the quality of D&D as a stand-alone set. Should I purchase D&D Faerun Under Siege when it comes out next year? Well, what about TMNT? The kids LOVE Ninja Turtles. We had all four kids dress up as the Turtles for Halloween this year. Where do I draw the line between getting out of something that frustrates me, and doing something together with my kids? I still play the game, and plan on competing in PDC events. I think I have a heck of a team built for that, and it even uses some cards released in War of Light, a set I didnít purchase.

    So, thatís where I am. I enjoy playing the game. My kids enjoy playing the game and opening packs with me. It is super frustrating trying to navigate the minefield that can be understanding rules, but it may be worth it at times because itís something to enjoy with my kids. Abigail may be making her return to the podcast here and there. Luckily, I have a close friend who I can use cards and dice from to compete in events, without having to heavily invest in by myself. I will definitely purchase a gravity feed of Faerun Under Siege when it is released, because the D&D mechanics are so unique, and fun to play stand alone with a gaming group. Itís easier to overlook the faults for sure not having to write about Dice Masters multiple times per week for TRP. Being so close to the game and so involved with behind the scenes info, it made it difficult at times to step back and enjoy it. Donít get me a wrong, WizKids can still be a hot mess with how they manage Dice Masters as far as Rules Forum updates, regional events, and release datesÖ but Dice Masters is still fun. And because my kids think so, Iím still playing.
    This article was originally published in blog: Dice Masters and Parenting: The Conundrum started by Randy
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. Yort's Avatar
      Yort -
      As a parent of three young boys (7,5,2), I can totally relate to your frustrations, especially since I can be known to have strong feelings about things (like games!). Lately the older boy has been asking about Pokemon... personally, I'd rather them get into something like Dice Masters, which I feel is a little more sustainable both from an attention-span standpoint as well as a $1/wk allowance, but I'm trying to be a good dad and go with the flow.

      I did step in, however, when my nephew asked for "Risk" for Christmas. I just couldn't let that go! So I think I've convinced them to go with Risk: Legacy instead.
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      If you can manage to perform the herculean task of keeping your own preferences and prejudices from stepping on their growth or the excitement your kids feel, you will never have to say "sometimes" about being a great parent. For that matter, just knowing that it's something everybody needs to pay attention to probably makes you not just a great dad, but also a great guy to sit across a game table from. I've been in my LGS (notably with the F absent) and had somebody come over to the table where I was playing and say to the players "That's a crappy game, nobody should play that".

      You just stay stay on your current course, it sounds like your kids will be just fine (and that you're not one of the people grumpy old gamers tell stories about).
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      When D&D was hitting in March/august here everyone was hooked up because we have many fantasy players tabletop/ rpg pen and paper and and and... . After that we got a big deeep low curve and Spiderman was the new light for it. I hope D&D 2 does the same.

      But i wished Dice masters was a LCG game, where i cannot wait for the next expansion for more combos and stuff, and at least get all cards i want so i can just play.

      So i will hold Turtles Tin Box as my Treasure of all Sets!!!!

      I think you are doing the right thing , hop on and off when you want. There is no arguments about "should i buy more or sell all my stuff ,what to do?!?" and so on. For me i am hooked an rules and the combinations from franchises i love and dice.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yort View Post
      As a parent of three young boys (7,5,2), I can totally relate to your frustrations, especially since I can be known to have strong feelings about things (like games!). Lately the older boy has been asking about Pokemon... personally, I'd rather them get into something like Dice Masters, which I feel is a little more sustainable both from an attention-span standpoint as well as a $1/wk allowance, but I'm trying to be a good dad and go with the flow.

      I did step in, however, when my nephew asked for "Risk" for Christmas. I just couldn't let that go! So I think I've convinced them to go with Risk: Legacy instead.
      YORT! If they wanted the Star Wars Risk, know that it isn't Risk at all but a re-implementation of the classic and excellent Star Wars: Queen's Gambit!
    1. RainCityJenna's Avatar
      RainCityJenna -
      So you un-quit?
    1. Randy's Avatar
      Randy -
      Quote Originally Posted by RainCityJenna View Post
      So you un-quit?
      Kind of. Casually. I'm not stepping in to a former role here or anything. But yea, I'm talking about team building with the crew and playing here or there.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
      Kind of. Casually. I'm not stepping in to a former role here or anything. But yea, I'm talking about team building with the crew and playing here or there.
      I hear Unquitting is contagious, better watch who you're texting with or some others might catch it.
    1. Yort's Avatar
      Yort -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      YORT! If they wanted the Star Wars Risk, know that it isn't Risk at all but a re-implementation of the classic and excellent Star Wars: Queen's Gambit!
      Hmm... there is some Star Wars excitement going on, so that might be a decent option as well... thanks for the heads up!
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yort View Post
      Hmm... there is some Star Wars excitement going on, so that might be a decent option as well... thanks for the heads up!

      It's fantastic! It's sort of has some inspiration from the command and colors series of games, but basically you are operating in three different theaters. On one side, you're controlling the ground battle in the forest. In the center, it's the battling in space over the death Star. On the other side, it is the saber duel in the throne room. It is technically two or four players, but it probably plays best with two. Four isn't bad, it's just different.
    1. timbowyer's Avatar
      timbowyer -
      Just be careful with risk legacy, has some balance problems if one person gets a few early victories. Especially if they pick certain bonuses. But it's still a step up from risk so good call. Depending how old they are game of thrones is a GREAT game especially if you have 4 or more players.

      Nice to see this article from randy (thanks again for the dc collection you sold me!). And it raises valid points.

      But randy, if you want some war of light stuff or amazing spider man even I have plenty spare commons and uncommons for both sets and a good amount of dice I'd happily give you for free! You did me a great deal after all. Even have a spare set of the basic actions for asm...
    1. RainCityJenna's Avatar
      RainCityJenna -
      Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
      Kind of. Casually. I'm not stepping in to a former role here or anything. But yea, I'm talking about team building with the crew and playing here or there.
      So if that's the case, sorry if this comes off as being as a-hole. But as a pretty visible face of dice masters on the internet, you quit and flamed out, and now you make another post, doing the same thing, but in reverse. It's counter-productive to the community in general, and as a active member in the dice masters community, this really turns me off even coming here. If you want to quit, hey, that's great, quit, but to do it in the way you did, and then to just continue playing, and then to make another post like this is really hypocritical. I hate to see people leave the community, but I hate it even more when people try to take it down with them as they go. Just my 10 cents.
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Being the one who promoted this blog, I appreciate the comment, because I see how this might look to others. There's also something to be said for the transparency it takes to share that struggle. There's a difference between rage quitting something and choosing not to dump cash and time into a flawed (to whatever degree you believe) system. I blame myself, honestly. I never let Randy alone about ideas I had. I've texted him about DM probably every single day since his first post. Then when I was playing at the shop and he wasn't and my kids would ask where his kids were, I texted him that too. Guilt trip - not fair, but effective.

      Personally, I hope you find enough value across the rest of TRP not to let this internal struggle of Randy's to turn you away. Your concerns about the community are valid for sure, and I think we're all sensitive to that from whatever various gaming backgrounds we have. My purpose in sharing this was not to give an entitled person the spotlight, but rather to share a story I found relatable.
    1. Mellingera's Avatar
      Mellingera -
      I read this as a post of confusion more than anything else.

      I joined up after you made your departure in what appears to have been a hot mess. Whatever made up your mind at the time, and being the father of a 9 and 3 year old myself, it's only amplified by what I like to call "parent of young kids emotions."

      I do agree that coming back and unquitting is a harmful thing to a community when you have been a visible and influential figure. Might I recommend an apology? The number of times I have to tell teenagers and magic players "don't knock it till you try it" is amazing. The first thing they say when they do finally sit down and play is "wow I'm sorry I made fun of this game." I think the same might apply in this instance. No need to explain yourself. Just "sorry. I was a butt." It makes a difference.

      Dice Masters is still an amazing young game. Do all the rules make sense? No. But they have time to fix them. I challenge anyone to find a business that can give everyone of their customers everything they want. It's impossible.

      As a young gaming community we have the opportunity to set the standard for how we want to have this game played. The standards for the community and the way we talk about the game and the players. The attitudes we want to see and as a father what we want to have our kids be a part of. I worked hard to make our LGS friendly to all ages. I made sure the college kids with mouths like sailors kept it in check and even had them teach kids in elementary and middle school how to play magic and armed them with basic decks. We now have a place parents are willing to let their kids just hang out and play. We now have a community.

      The same holds true across message boards, Facebook, web sites like TRP or any other community based site.

      Frustrations happen. We are human. Just make sure when they do, you know how to come back from them and if preventable, hold yourself in check at the time.

      Either way, welcome back, I guess? Still not sure if you are back or just playing at arms length. Maybe try and enjoy the game from your kids point of view. After all "ignorance is bliss."
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Certainly doesn't mean that improvement can't be desired, nor does it mean that it's wrong to actively seek that improvement. What one may see as trying to take something down on the way out may also be seen as one last plea for something better.

      You can really like something while still recognizing that it's flawed. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

      Where the Dice Masters community has become polarized is between those who want to talk about flaws as things that are real and exist and those who don't want to focus on them at all. That may not reflect how the participants in the conversation actually feel, but you wouldn't know it by how the conversation plays out.

      Quickly, each side becomes a caricature of itself to the other, and that's fair to no one.
    1. IgwanaRob's Avatar
      IgwanaRob -
      @Randy It's refreshing to see a parent wiling to sacrifice their own beliefs for the happiness and growth of their children, and I can tell you first hand that they would have a difficult time later on if you weren't. I don't know how anyone can criticize someone for being a good parent, but it's a sad statement on today's society that's all too common these days.

      It can be a very fun game, and your kids do not need to know about the incompetence or politics of the company behind it to enjoy playing with their friends and family (which is what they'll most likely remember). Plenty of people are on the fence with this game and how it's being handled, and different perspectives can definitely help those people decide if they should invest their time and money into it, or if they would be simply wasting it. Consider yourself lucky to have people who encourage, and would want to interact with you through the game.

      For me, driving 20+ miles to play is tiresome to say the least, and when I realize that I could have replaced my failing gaming laptop with a high-end machine that I could use more than a couple times a month, I want to kick myself for wasting so much money on it even though I knew about the company's reputation going in. It's not easy to compromise your own feelings and beliefs, but I do envy you for having a reason to do so