Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bring Me The Head of 30-Dollar Dice Guy

Once upon a time there was an adult film actress who played Dungeons & Dragons.

This woman had a sister who lived in a far-off land. She was not wealthy, but she was a beautiful and kindly soul.

So, as the holidays approached, the kindly sister thought to purchase for the actress a set of brank spanking new clear thermoset-plastic dice.

So she travelled then to her local hobby shop and pointed to some dice in a little box.

"30 bucks," said the man.

Now, these were not dice made from cut glass, these were not dice made using resin poured from the head of King David, these were not even some fancy-ass Lou Zocchi Gamescience dice, these were just standard-issue translucent Chessex dice, which all good-hearted folk retail for about 4.99$.

But the sister was innocent, and knew not the ways of gamers or the price of their specialized equipment. "Who am I?" thought she, "to question the price of a stocking stuffer?"

And so 30$ did she plunk down.

Moral of the story:

I want this guy's head.

Now, a lot of times I read stories from girl gamers about how fucked-up they're treated by the Prego-stained basement-spawn that still apparently infest this hobby and, although I believe them (they have no reason to lie), I often find them hard to believe.

Like who are these assholes? I can understand some gamers maybe not being used to having girls around, but what kind of misogynistic masturbator actually doesn't even want them around?

Some dickhead at some shop counter somewhere saw this girl coming and thought--"Here is a pretty girl who is new to the hobby, should I:

A) Make her feel welcome and show her I am a cool and accomodating guy and maybe even, if all the signals are good, see if I can't flirt a little? Or...

B) Try to steal 25 dollars from her becuase I'm guessing I can since she's a girl."

Hey dude, you were right. You were totally right, it was worth the risk--she didn't call your bluff and now you can almost afford that chainmail codpiece you're dying to LARP in. Awesome.

You are also the reason people hate this game and the reason so many people in this hobby can't get laid. People like you make the world worse for gamers and would-be gamers everywhere. And if I don't get a check and a hasty apology in response to the e-mail I sent you very soon, you will be famous on the internet for it. Which, hey, may not sound like much, but I'm pretty sure the internet's where you live.


Anonymous said...

Name and shame, I love it. There should be more of it.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

I'm glad you wrote to the store, there is simply no room in this small industry for people like that. And yes, you should name/shame the store if they don't make amends - you'd be surprised at some of the reactions I get to my gamestore reviews. People *do* care and word of mouth will kill a small biz in a hurry.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I say post his name and the store anyway.

If he did once and got away with it he most certainly did it before and will do it again.

Old4Eyes said...

Thats appalling - you're well within your rights to demand pretty much any body part on a silver platter......(or a refund at the very least!).....

E.G.Palmer said...

This sort of thing is also one of the reasons that game stores have such short life spans.
You just can't screw people over and expect to stay in business very long.
Especially in a form of retail that absolutely depends on having a base of repeat customers.
You have to take every chance you get to expand your population of regulars. Taking advantage of someone's naivete may get you one fat profit, but it will cost you repeat business. And not just that one customer, but everyone else she tells what happened to her.

Stupid and short-sighted.

Adam Dickstein said...

Disgusting. Forget the gaming industry, how about a little human decency. OK, yeah, I know I'm the only one who still cares about that so let's try common sense.

If she sees these dice or similar dice somewhere else where they have a price on them, like the internet or a stores that isn't too lazy to use a freakin' price gun, she'll see they're about five bucks. Will she go back to your store? No. Will she recommend it to any of her gaming friends? No. Excellent business sense there moron. I hope that extra $25 made up for the years of potential repeat sales.

Also, I'm sure if 'A' occured to him at all he immediately realized that he'd embarrass himself flirting and went with 'B' out of spite and self-loathing. Take heart sir, I now loathe you enough for both of us.

Anonymous said...

hell yeah man!

Kent said...

Internet fuming is water off a duck's back even for a nancy boy.

You need to brast open the store doors as if you were entering a saloon, stand there in menacing stillness sucking on a lollypop or cigarette and declare:
I am Zak. I am here to take lots of stuff and I'll be damned if Im paying for any of it. [suck-suck]. A girl's honour is at stake. A PRETTY girl's honour. [suck]

Zak Sabbath said...

I might. but the store's in the middle of fuck-all nowhere. going for the shame-first policy.

crowking said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zak Sabbath said...

This was NOT in LA, this was far far away.

crowking said...

I just realized that...nevermind ;-)

still sucks none the less.

Tim Snider said...

Love the initial post and the replies here. Nice to see chivalry ain't only alive in the games we play. Give 'em Hell, Zak.

Adam Thornton said...

Ah, but once you Name And Shame, then, surely, SOME dear reader will be local, and can go into the store and suck menacingly.


That came out wrong.

Grim said...


("disted"? Oooh you just got disted on the internets!)

Chris said...

GJ Zak. Scammers need to be exposed and extirpated.

SirAllen said...

I love this blog. If it's the FLGS on the south shore of Boston in Abington, I will gladly go in there and harass those nerds.

I cannot think of anything that makes me smile more than porn actresses receiving dice for Christmas from their sisters.

Blair said...

i think it's time for the internet to get a new meme...

clovis said...

name and shame anyways,
the $25 dollars will not change
the life of you or your friend's sister

maybe name and shame
MIGHT cause that FLGs
to reconsider their behavior
or file a lawsuit
(hope you have a receipt)


"I have seen the enemy,
it is us." POGO

Erin Smale said...

Right on, Zak.

51% of me hopes the Offending Dickhead makes it right and gives the refund.

49% of me wants to see the Torrent of Shame you unleash (then get the refund equivalent in the Offending Dickhead's tears).

Hell, *I'll* PayPal you the $25 just to see this guy get his just deserts. It's worth the public flogging - the hobby is misunderstood enough without this brand of nonsense.

Valandil said...

That was just a retarded move. In every posible way, that was just retarded. That pretty girl aint gonna return to your shop, she's not gonna buy anything from your shop, her friends aren't gonna buy anything from you, and it seems like this Zak guy is gonna fuck whats left of your bussines.

I hope he does.

Erin Smale said...

Hey Zak,

Can you give us an update?

Unknown said...


Alright. I'll do it. I hate to be the guy who rains in the parade, but this is serious and I need to address:

Gamestores don't earn much. It's a hell-and-again to do local business for a niche, and unless it is a very well-paid niche, it is going to die. Alone.

I live in a big city (2 million people, nothing to sneeze at) and I'd kill to have a place I can buy some specialized RPG stuff, no matter how overpriced. Why? Because in the entire city there's only 1 specialized store and all it's RPG products can be summarized as RPG rulebooks and dice. There used to be 2, but one of them didn't depend all of its income on RPG related items. Guess which one is still around?

Even then, the one that's left will only sell the rulebooks at a larger sum than the bookstore chains, so... not much reason to buy them there... while they can't afford to sell it lower, because they're not a bookstore chain. The dice are nice, and a bit expensive, and can only be bought there. They don't reach 30 bucks, but sums to say they're not 5 bucks either. If I order the dice from somewhere else... the shipping alone costs more.

And, by the day the store is dying. Every month it has less and less to sell related to RPGs, and focus more and more in stuff like T-Shirts (the kind unrelated to the RPG culture). It used to sell minis. Now I can't browse for cheap minis anywhere. In the US and Europe it is not that bad, but from my knowledge it is not much better either. Unless the Dork Tower has lied to me.

Also, it only sold any RPG related products to start with by the will of the owner. Then it started to cost the guy instead of making any money and he started quitting on this crazy idea.

Why is it dying? Is there no RPG players in my city? Well... there are plenty. But most prefer to deal with shipping prices than buy at the store, and some others don't even know about the store even if it is the only one in the city.

Unknown said...

(Continuation due to word-count limit)

Please understand that I'm not in any way saying it is okay to charge 30 bucks for a dice to anyone, but that it is no big news that local stores of the sort just can't survive in the modern world. The profits are lousy, you can't really compete with world-wide providers and the clientele might start a jihad on your head for very little just because they don't need you. You treat the guy like the sort who bankrupts grandmas through e-mail and don't even provide any service. There's no indication that he was actively rude to the girl, there's no indication that that wasn't the actual price of the dice in the shop (maybe the commercial shipping alone ups the price to about 20 bucks to "Middle-of-nowhere", who knows), and specialized dice can be a rare commodity in certain places.

I say this all because the reactions here, although some jokingly, appalled me. I'd rather focus my hate and anger at the media that today still start spewing all sorts of nonsense when they manage to make the flimsiest connection between our hobby and the sensationalist grab of the week. Not more than 3 years ago the media in my country began a witch-hunt for gamers because the police found a rulebook of Vampire: The Mascarade in the room of a guy who killed his girlfriend. Immediately they began speculating that the guy killed her because of a "ritual" that the book demanded and selling it as truth, labeling the book a "black magic grimoire" that corrupted the young (good Gods, my country never left the dark ages... even though we never passed through it).

Later, it was discovered that: The book didn't belong to the murderer but to his brother, he killed his girlfriend out of jealousy (something frighteningly common in my country)... and he never played RPG in hislife, but was a soccer jock who thought of his brother a loser dork (well... me too. But come-on! Vampire? Really?). There was not one mention of this clear-up from any of the 3 biggest networks in my country, also the ones that milked the most out of the story.

That. THAT is a reason to be angry and wish the people responsible would fall down a drop of stairs. To this day our biggest enemies aren't ourselves, it's miss-information and our unwillingness to actively correct it.

We're maybe only our fifth worst enemies...

Zak Sabbath said...

"there's no indication that that wasn't the actual price of the dice in the shop (maybe the commercial shipping alone ups the price to about 20 bucks to "Middle-of-nowhere", who knows), and specialized dice can be a rare commodity in certain places."

You are entirely wrong. Those dice cost 3.95$

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

My bad then. But that info wasn't provided by you. In some places dice are expensive, depending on how far they are from providers. Not everywhere is the US where you can be sure to have a supplier of anything at a rock's throw range.

Still, I can't truly say I can get as worked up against some gamestore clerk who's a jerk.

The world is full of them, both in the medium and outside. And gamestores needs more than the absence of jerkness to have a chance.

Gort's Friend said...

"In some places dice are expensive, depending on how far they are from providers"

Not unless the shipping involves mountaineering.

I happen to live in middle of fuck nowhere and it costs the same to ship four bucks of dice here as it does anywhere else in America. There are no Costco savings on dice, unless you buy your dice hot off the docks in shipping container lots from Guang Xi province.

The single biggest nut in a game store's budget is the price of rent, not materials. Which is why middle of nowhere has a sand table shop, an rpg shop, and a card playing shop. Middle of nowhere supports a lot of places, because the rent is damn cheap. Including that guy who sells hippy aluminum castings of menorahs and for some reason stocks gaming dice for seven bucks a set.

30 bucks isn't even super mall of America prices.

Unless these things spent some time up one of Dave Arneson's orifices, this is just a straight out rip off.