Dragon Bagons; CR10 dragon dicebags

Created by Bridget Hughes

These CR10 dragon dicebags would love to guard your dice hoard. Also available are Dragon dice, Bagthulhus, and Bagthulhu dice.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Insurance, QC, and Customs
4 months ago – Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 12:49:13 AM

Hello folks,

I have a few updates

  • The feedback from the last update is clear so we've moved ahead with the scales as they are, and using the manufacturers reinforcing method for the wings.
  • A dice maker I know was recently hit hard by a case of hacking and online fraud. This has made me realise that we need an insurance policy against cyber crime and fraud. I've been investigating that this week and will hopefully be talking to a broker soon.
  • A handmade shipment I sent to the US some time ago was held up for reasons that are not clear, and then returned. It only arrived back late last week. I am resending it this week. Several phone calls and emails have not actually produced a reason for why it was returned, so I'll keep following that up. The handmade shipment I sent to the EU was delayed by customs (despite us paying the VAT), but as of the last email I had from the fulfillment partner it had been released and was on it's way to them.
  • I've spent the past few weeks working on a quality control guide for the manufacturers. I might be showing my pedantic side... it's currently 22 pages long and contains dozens of photos. It's likely that the manufacturers will negotiate based on what their production limitations are, which is fair enough. My goal is the highest quality possible and the closest match to the spirit of the design, but there will always be wiggle room in terms of minor details, and prioritising some key elements.
  • We had a major shortage of eyes for the handmade dragons we've been working on, nowhere nearby seemed to have them in stock, and when I ordered online the order was accepted and then cancelled and then apparently re-accepted and then cancelled again. I managed to scrounge up enough sets to keep us going until the big order arrived yesterday from overseas.
  • The batch of missing pieces arrived from the cutters, so we're now catching up the handmade pride batches that we couldn't complete previously.

Where we're at:

Manufactured Dragon Bagons: Getting insurance, testing, QC guidelines, and paying deposit. Next step is manufacturer buying materials, assessing the testing results (hopefully no changes will need to be made, but just in case), then the manufacturer starts the cutting and production proper *squee*

Handmade Pride Dragons: Blue Rainbow, Bi, Pan, Bright Trans, Pastel Trans, and Femme Lesbian batches are complete. The Ace batch is also complete but it sold out before the update so we need to make more. In progress is the Black Rainbow, Agender, and Non Binary. Next is the Genderfluid and second Ace batch.

*

I had two glorious weeks of being relatively not sick, and then went downhill again. Unfortunately it's the nature of these rebouts, they last for ages and all you can really do is wait them out. I seem to be improving again, which is positive. I can still make progress work wise, which is good: I can take measurements and send emails while wrapped in blankets.

Testing
6 months ago – Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 01:37:33 AM

Hello Folks,

I've been sickly for weeks. The Dr suggested it might be a rebout of glandular fever, which isn't fun, though I have a history of them. Blergh. Worst part is all I can do is wait it out and try to stay warm. For all that, work is progressing.

Here's where we're at:

We've started testing the Dragon Bagons. Since the recommended age bracket from the safety labs is 12+, we're primarily testing the fabric colours for possible toxins, but there's some other tests that get done by the manufacturer as a matter of course

One of the common ones is the pull test. Effectively it's a test to see how strong the seams are. It's more relevant for soft toys targeted at children (to prevent stuffing being inhaled) but it's also a useful test for general durability.

The manufacturer found that two areas failed the pull test. One is a seam on the wings. There's no stuffing in the area where the weakness was so it's not a safety issue, just one of durability. I've never come across an actual tear like this in Dragon Bagons in the wild (to be fair, the pull test is conducted using pliers and a set of weight scales, which isn't a common occurrence in the wild). That doesn't mean that I can guarantee it won't ever happen of course (and in my experience enough determination or bad luck can break almost anything), but it does give me reasonable confidence in the durability of Dragon Bagons.

In any case, the manufacturers tried a couple of different methods to reinforce the area and I came up with a possible solution. I tested it myself and found the seam is strong (I've never taped dumbells to a Dragon before... but there's a first time for everything). The new method actually seems faster for us to produce here so if it goes well we might switch to it for future handmade dragons. On the other hand, the manufacturers found that my method messed with their processes and affected accuracy (it's amazing how different handmade and manufacturing processes are even on the same design), so they want to stick with their solution, which they've told me is holding up to forces of around 7kg. It's possible that it isn't quite as strong as my method (I can't verify that without having both tested in identical conditions), but it's strong enough that it's likely irrelevant unless you're intentionally trying to break a Dragon Bagon, in which case I hope you have fire proof clothing, because I can't guarentee they won't fight back.

The second problem area was the scales themselves. It's not an actual seam that's ripping, but the fabric itself. If you take a pair of pliers and pull a middle scale back in the opposite direction with 2-3kg of force, it will likely tear. We're dealing with a piece of fabric where the apex between the scale shapes is a weak point under pressure from an unusual direction. I've never actually known any Dragon Bagon in the wild to have this problem and I admit that's not a likely scenario, but I feel I need to be upfront about it. I don't think we can fix this weak point without substantially changing the design.

What do you think? Personally I'm in favour of proceeding for the following reasons:

  • We aren't aiming this product at children anyway and are recommending against giving it to kids already because of the drawstrings and eyes.
  • It's not a structural/functional weakness so much as a cosmetic one.
  • It's unlikely that regular use will cause a tear of this nature.
  • Changing the design so much at this stage feels like pulling the rug out from under backers.

All that being said, if backers are strongly against the idea of proceeding as is, I will look for other solutions.

If all goes well and we do proceed as is, the manufacturers will send samples to the safety labs who'll test the fabrics for any possible toxins. I've never had an issue with this before, but it's still theoretically possible, so fingers crossed.

The next step is paying the deposit, which locks everything in and is super nerve wracking, but it's also progress, so yay! ^_^

*

In other news, we've finished the second batch of handmade rainbows, the first batch of handmade ace dragons, the first batches of bi and pastel trans dragons are almost done, with the first batch of bright trans dragons underway. There was a mixup at the cutters so we didn't get all the pieces we need, but we're working through it with a mixture of handcutting, cursing, appeals to the elder gods, and hopefully another batch from the cutters soon.

I've also finished another custom dragon, and I'm doing work on hand embroidering for another one.

*

Next up: The super cool folks at Nerdarchy (who helped us out with our campaigns and are still doing so) are running a kickstarter campaign of their own.

Out of the Box is a series of ready to play encounters and situations for every campaign. 

Out of the Box Encounters by Nerdarchy
Out of the Box Encounters by Nerdarchy
  • Players decided to go shopping rather than track down the BBG? This book is for you. 
  • Need a few encounters to spice up a long boring journey? They've got you covered.
  • Filler dungeon crawl needing some filler? Check.
  • Need a new monster, a new magic item, or a bit of lore? Check, Check, and Check.

Out of the Box contains

  • A foreword written by Matt Mercer
  • 30 unique encounters — even more with stretch goals by RPG industry professionals and influencers (they're up to 55 now)
  • New monsters — including new legendary creatures, lairs and regional effects
  • New magic items adventurers will really have to earn — especially when the monsters are using them!
  • Map packs for every encounter to put down on your table
  • Flat plastic miniatures for each encounter                          
A sample page
A sample page

While the encounters are written for 5e, they are easily portable to other systems. 

At the time of writing, Out of the Box is around 500% funded, so there's all kinds of awesome loot on offer. Nerdarchy has been good to us, so if it's up your alley, this KS is definitely worth a look.

Check it out here

Super quick manufactured sample update
6 months ago – Mon, Jul 08, 2019 at 08:37:08 PM

Another sample has arrived and it looks very promising. This time they just sent one (in black/red) I've got to check it over properly, but if I find nothing else wrong and if they can tidy up one or two (hopefully) small things before they send the rainbow and purple/teal samples, then I think we're good to move on to safety testing and then (fingers crossed) production. *squee*.

I'll post another update soon after I've checked the sample properly.

Custom colour handmade orders complete, final manufactured samples still in the works, handmade rainbows need confirmation
7 months ago – Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 10:46:52 PM

Hi folks,

It's been a slow month. I was hoping to have the next sample in hand before this update but I didn't want to go too long being quiet. So here's where we're at:

All the handmade custom colour adult dragon bagons are now done. We'll be shipping out any remaining handmade custom colour orders that do not include manufactured dragon bagons over the next few weeks. Some of you should already have received final notices to confirm your shipping addresses.

On the manufactured Dragon Bagon front, we're making slow progress, but it is progress. The manufacturers have confirmed that they can make the changes I've asked for, they've found an alternative purple fabric and sent a sample to me (which I have approved). I'm now waiting for finals of what I'm hoping will be the final sample. After that they should send it to me, I'll go over them with a fine toothcomb, then it's safety testing, and *fingers crossed* production.

The delays are super frustrating, but you folks have been amazing.

Handmade rainbows - There's still a dozen or so folks who backed for a 'just in case' handmade rainbow and haven't gotten back to me about whether they want to switch to a manufactured rainbow. As we are now looking to start on the last half of the handmade rainbows, I need to know ASAP if anyone wants to change over. I've messaged and emailed these backers a couple of times now, so if I don't hear back by the end of this week I'll have to assume folks want to stay with the handmade option and process any outstanding costs on those orders.

Manufactured samples round two
9 months ago – Wed, May 01, 2019 at 02:33:33 AM

I've been going over the samples and I have the following to report:


Fabric

The good:

New fabric has been acquired, and it IS double sided, which is great. 

The Rainbow Dragon Bagon sample with the new fabrics
The Rainbow Dragon Bagon sample with the new fabrics

The bad:

The colours aren't as nice as the last lot they found *sigh*, but really only the purple is bothering me enough to ask them to find an alternative. 

I'm not 100% sure but I think they're using a laser or other high heat method of cutting the fabric, and that would be fine if we didn't have cut edges showing on the scales and spikes. What it's doing is melting the core of the fabric slightly, which is giving it a slightly rough texture. I know it isn't just the fabric itself because I cut a tiny snip with hand scissors and the edge was soft. For me, being able to cuddle the dragons is a big part of their appeal, am I right in thinking that's important to you folks as well?

Scale edge with teeny tiny melted beads at the core of the fabric
Scale edge with teeny tiny melted beads at the core of the fabric

Conclusion:

I'm going to ask them to look for an alternative purple fabric, and to find an alternative cutting method.


Head:

The good:

They've fixed the eye position, fixed part of the jaw line and the nose, and they've got decent detailing around the brows and nostrils.

Black and Red Dragon Bagon sample, head side on view
Black and Red Dragon Bagon sample, head side on view

The bad:

The head is slightly too wide at certain points and a bit short at others, plus they've under stuffed it a bit, both those are much easier issues to fix.

Slightly deflated nose of a Purple and Teal Dragon Bagon sample. See the more obvious wrinkles in the fabric?
Slightly deflated nose of a Purple and Teal Dragon Bagon sample. See the more obvious wrinkles in the fabric?

Conclusion:

I'm going to ask the manufacturer to fix up some minor stuff around the jaw line and narrow some spots on the head. The chances are that the stuffing has compressed in transit and it looked fine when they first sent it, so I'll ask them to add more stuffing to the head, especially around the nose.

Wings

The good:

For this round of samples we experimented with appliqueing the inner wings on (see the stitching around the edge?). It looks tidier I think. They also changed where the loop on the wings attaches, which doesn't really worry me.

Rainbow Dragon Bagon sample from behind, showing the top of the wings.
Rainbow Dragon Bagon sample from behind, showing the top of the wings.

The bad:

They've changed where they attach the wings and moved them down lower, which makes everything else look off proportion wise. 

Conclusion:

I'm going to ask them to move the wings back up, and if that means losing the applique stitch I think that's a disappointing but acceptable trade off.


Bag

The good:

It works ^_^. 

They've moved the scales down slightly, and I can see why they've done it, with the thicker fabric the channel needs a bit more room to close properly. It doesn't detract from the look of the bag so I'm fine with it. 

The bad:

The new fabric is thicker, which is making the bag more rigid and has lowered it's capacity slightly.

Conclusion: 

I'm going to ask them to make it slightly larger so it's a more comfortable fit for the 100 dice.

I'm also going to ask them to make the drawcords a little longer, this gives the option of tying them in a bow for extra security if you want to.


Other

There's a few minor things like needing to move the drawcord knots in a bit, fixing up some minor loose threads etc.

All in all, we're not quite where I want to be yet, and for that I'm genuinely sorry. This is definite progress and there's nothing in this sample lot that seems unfixable or a huge setback. You folks have shown far, far more patience than you should ever have had to, so please know I'm still working on this and while progress is painfully slow, it is happening, and I'm so very grateful for you wonderful people.


In other news

Life has been slowly returning to normal after the terrorist attacks. We're still pretty nervous whenever we hear sirens. I'll admit to watching social media more closely than I used to, and honestly just being so angry when I see more of the rhetoric that fueled the attacks. The attacks in Sri Lanka, and the latest shootings in the US are just... I guess it's a bit closer to home now. The hate that fueled them is so virulent, it's hard not to just want to give up on humanity in it's entirety and declare myself a cat with alopecia. It's still pretty scary when there's large angry groups gathering now and then, but I hope the police are watching them closely. You don't usually see cops armed with assault rifles around here, but it became a pretty familiar sight in recent times. It's easing off now. Just gotta hope all the support for the victims and the kiwi Muslim community in general doesn't just fade away into nothing now that it's gone quiet.

Buddy the neighbour cat had surgery. He showed up one day with a small swelling on his face, by the next day his humans already had him booked at the vet and the lump had tripled in size. Turns out it was an abscess (most likely from fighting another cat) and it had been growing internally before it showed up on the outside, even getting behind his eye. He was very lucky not to lose the eye, as it was he ended up under house arrest for more than two weeks, complete with the cone of shame and a second round of stitches. The moment he was allowed out he came over to tell me his tale of woe (and demand treats). He seems to be mending well which is a relief, it could have gone very differently. He's looking a bit odd with several bald patches and he's very busy re-establishing his territory. Now that it's getting colder he's putting on his winter chunk, which is adorable. I asked him what's involved in joining the cat nation of Ulthar but he told me I'm too much of a pushover.

Buddy reminding the local automobiles who's boss.
Buddy reminding the local automobiles who's boss.