Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne talks about three things he found interesting at this weekend's Alliance Open House.

I finally made it back to the Alliance Open House this past weekend for the first time since 2019, and saw several items I look forward to stocking in the store.  It's always good to see other people in the industry without the anonymity of email or within the confines of a square during a Zoom session such as Kevin Siembieda, Lisa Young, Brian Sirios, Michael Webb, Danny O’Neill, Will Niebling, Anthony Lakas and others.  If you are not mentioned here, know that I was glad to see you too.

One of the products showcased that I really look forward to bringing into the shop was the character dice sets Sirius Dice plans to release.  These are dice sets containing all of the dice a player might need for their particular character class. Beadle and Grimm released similar sets last year in illustrated tins which sold really well for us.  Unfortunately, we have not seen them come back into stock since the initial release, leaving us with demand but no product with which to satiate it.

Sirius Dice got the Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons licenses (see "'Dungeons & Dragons: Acererak's Treasure'") so all of the dice packaging will feature the D&D logo, making them more salable to a part of the market that prefers buying D&D products that have the official logo on them.  We sell far more "official" D&D products than we do from third parties.  So, stocking official dice, especially coupled with the display racks Sirius showed off, is an easy choice.

Paizo is trying something different, a limited edition sketch cover of their Pathfinder Remastered Core Rulebook (see "Multiple RPG Book Releases").  Paizo plans to remove the remnants of the OGL from its rules in the Remastered book, meaning, as I understand it, characters will still have ethical beliefs but not alignments nor will they have numerical attributes for characteristics. Instead, player characters will have a +3 strength or a -2 wisdom since players generally refer to the bonus given by the statistic number rather than to the statistic itself.

Paizo plans on shipping out the Pathfinder Remaster core books with a ratio of one sketch cover for every two regular covers ordered.  Much like Wizards of the Coast’s alternative covers for its D&D books, the sketch covers will be limited to the hobby game market and currently, Paizo is leaving it up to the individual distributor as to how to allocate them.  Last time I checked the Alliance website, it was allowing stores to order either sketch covers, standard cover, or even the super-spiffy limited-edition cover.

Evil Genius Games has some big plans and big promotion for their Everyday Heroes RPG (when I say big, I mean big).  To promote their line of cinematic themed adventures, the company is offering participating stores cardboard standees featuring characters from the movies featured, including a 9-foot-tall Kong to promote their Kong: Skull Island adventure. Everyday Heroes updates the d20 Modern rules set making it compatible with the 5E rules.  They even recruited a number of creators that worked on the original rules set to work on their books.  The company also has a number of other ideas to promote the game so I am looking forward to seeing what they have coming.

Comments? Did you see something I missed?  Quite likely.  Email:

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of