About the Reviews
Get in mah hed!
The reviews are Gamer Bling’s honest opinion, backed up by as many facts as he can manage (typically limited by his marginal cranial capacity). As with all these reviews, Gamer Bling tried to find both good points and bad points with every item, because he wants people to buy these products with their eyes wide open.
While the reviews are detailed, Gamer Bling tries to keep them enjoyable to read. Feedback is always welcome. Gamer Bling’s wife tells him he’s not funny; comments to the contrary are especially requested.
The summary summary summary
(Also known as the brief recap of the summary section.)
Gamer Bling reviews also include a summary, which contains the following:
This is a subjective rating of how flashy the item is. Gamer Bling would say “pointlessly flashy,” but flash is itself a purpose. After all, it started this website. Here’s the basic formula, although creative application may adjust a score up a point or two. Note that scores of 10 are very difficult to get.
0 = something written in crayon on the back of previously used paper.
2 = a black-and-white photocopied booklet, folded and stapled.
5 = a full-color paperbound role-playing supplement, or pre-painted plastic figures.
8 = full-color hardbound books with a foil stamp or other production enhancement.
10 = full-color leather-bound book, preferably with metal corners.
11 = solid gold dice with numbers inlaid in sapphire. No, Gamer Bling hasn’t seen any of these yet. But he keeps hoping for someone to send him a review sample.
This is a subjective measure of how well the item is designed and manufactured. Is it durable and pleasing to the eye? Is the art nicely rendered? Can Gamer Bling’s preschool kids (henceforth Gamer Bling Expansion #1 and Gamer Bling Expansion #2) destroy it easily and therewith earn the Right Hand of Wrath?
This is a subjective measure of how readily useful the item is. Does it have a learning curve? Is it intuitive or counter-intuitive? How much time does it consume? Was it designed with the gamer in mind, or is someone trying to make a fast buck?
0 = IRS tax code
3 = THAC0
8 = two-button mouse with wheel
11 = Gamer Bling’s wife (henceforth The Gamer Bling Official Companion)
This is the MSRP of the item. It’s as objective as can be.
This is the quantity of the item one needs for use in a standard role-playing game group. This is also supposed to be objective, but of course, different people have different opinions on what exactly “need” means. Your mileage may vary.
Odds and Ends
And usually there’s a few fiddly bits that follow the summary like imprinted goslings.
Since Gamer Bling is trying to monetize this site somewhat, many reviews have links to RPGShop, which gives Gamer Bling at the least a small pittance of every dollar’s worth of merchandise that is sold through their outlet. If there is no link, then those items are not available at RPGShop.com (although they should be).
Some manufacturers provide Gamer Bling’s loyal readers with an extra little bonus for mentioning this great site when ordering online. If so, this is mentioned in the e-tail section. Note that other manufacturers—generally the larger ones—have an official policy that precludes this. Paizo, for example, has flatly stated that they support the three-tier system. Thus they will not ever provide a GB discount for online orders. Gamer Bling fully respects this stance, because he believes in the Friendly Local Game Store.
Especially one that reads this site and stocks these goods.
But of course, even when ordering from folks like Paizo, one should mention Gamer Bling. If nothing else, it’s a gesture that shows you are a discriminating, intelligent, and well-informed gamer.
Based on some combination of educated guesswork, deductive reasoning, inside information, and good ol’ wishful thinking, Gamer Bling occasionally prognosticates. Sometimes he’s even right. No, really.
When the product reviewed is a line of similar items (like Paizo’s stuff), Gamer Bling likes to put in a little capsule review of each release. This serves to guide you in making purchases that best suit your needs, plus puts extra materials on Gamer Bling’s RPG shelf so that the Gamer Bling Official Companion can complain about more clutter. Gamer Bling is not sure why provoking such complaints is a good idea, but it must be, because Gamer Bling continues to do it.