It’s been a hot minute! We know, it’s been a while since we’ve written on our blog. You know that feeling when you keep saying “no, really, I’ll do it next week” but it keeps going on and on? And you end up saying, “it’s been so long, what’s one more week” or “it’s been so long, it’s embarrassing” and many other reasons.
Yep, that’s us.
Still, we’ve got something worth writing home about.
Yes, that’s right, we’ve started sending our loot overseas.
When this year started, we planned to get the international shop open this year. And then the pandemic happened, and things became a lot more challenging.
Not just on the overseas shipping part, but everything. We’re not out of the woods yet–knock on wood–but we decided to push through with the shop launch anyway.
What this means for the Philippine shop
Does this mean that the Philippine shop is going away?
Not at all. Philippine orders should still be coursed through the Philippine shop. There are also some items that we cannot ship overseas, like our perfumes and the Seedcraft Pencils. These will remain in our Philippine shop only, and you won’t find them in the international one.
This involves a bit of juggling on our end, and careful managing of two separate inventories. But we’re optimistic things will work out just fine ;)
Across the borders
We’ve placed our bestsellers on the international shop, like our character notebooks and drinkware lines. We’ll continue to add our items to the international shop over the next few weeks, time permitting.
The best thing is that we’re offering free (almost) worldwide shipping for all purchases over $200! Further places like South America and Africa get free shipping for orders above $300.
We(Angela) are super big fans of free shipping thresholds and (ab)use them a lot, so we(Angela) were pretty stubborn about having something like this available. Group orders are the best.
Someday in the future we’d love to be able to warehouse our loot somewhere close to everyone, but until that time comes, we’ll be here lovingly packing your goodies by hand.
We’ll share a little more about recent developments next week. But for now, let us leave you with a few teasers on what’s been going on:
Our holiday box is here! Pre-orders for the D&D Adventurer’s Chest (click here for international) is open, with fulfillment starting on December 1-2. Orders are still open during December, but only until stocks last!
Angela’s gone and edited another Community Created Content for Adventurer’s League! Paul Gabat has released the final part of his Heroes in Nine Hells series, Maladomini Unleased. This is a sequel to his ENNIE Award-winning adventure, Stygia Untamed.
It’s been one year since we started selling our D&D 5e Character Folios and Tomes! Our very first sale was on May 11, 2019. Can you believe it? Time flies by so fast, we almost forgot about our own birthday!1
Last year, we went up to Baguio with the rest of the Greasy Snitches to run Snitchfest: Valleypoint. We had a couple of terrain coasters, folios, and tomes. (Fun fact: these character notebooks are differently-sized than our current A5 notebooks–they’re 8.5″ x 5.5″! Do you have one of our very first editions?)
Take a look at that early logo!
It was a whirlwind weekend–selling our merch during registration, and helping out with the event. (It was Angela’s first Snitchfest!) We had a lot of fun, and it was the start of more wonderful experiences with everyone at gaming events and online! <3
State of the meeple
We learned many things this year. Neither of us come from a business background, so it was almost a deep end of the ocean situation for us. There were many things that we wanted to do last year. However, we didn’t have the time, the resources, or the know-how to start or get going.
And then COVID-19 happened.
We’d been planning to push our online shop more due to the event cancellations that kept coming in. Angela worked on the Sari-sari TRPG Market patterned after a few online marketplaces that were popping up because of event cancellations across the globe.
And then the Enhanced Community Quarantine came into effect. We put Hey Meepling on a fulfillment hiatus to reduce unnecessary delivery and shipping efforts2. We knew we were doing the right thing, but it was also scary having zero income for our small business. Daniel had full-time work, but Angela needed Hey Meepling income3.
It’s been a challenging six weeks. We’re lucky and blessed that we haven’t been more impacted by the pandemic, and this time is all about small wins.
Time will tell how we’ll all get through this challenging time in our lives. The important thing is to focus on moving forward as we all adjust to this new normal.
One thing we can say with certainty is that we’re going to lean further into expanding our reach. Right now, we’re focusing on returning delivery service coverage to the Philippines. Metro Manila is easy, but provincial deliveries are still a challenge4.
But that’s not all. We’re working on extending our reach beyond our country’s borders, too. Yes, we’ll be opening for international orders soon! We’re looking forward to opening an international shop, but we may have to do it in a more limited fashion. Everything depends on how the next few weeks and months pan out!
We’re also looking into a couple new projects this coming year. We can’t share too much right now but, we’re excited and we hope you like the things we’re working on. We might ask for some beta testers of a couple new things further down the line; if this is interesting to you, do sign up for our newsletter where we’ll do a call for testers!
For now, we’re focusing on the next steps, taking things one day (or week) at a time.
Come celebrate with us
Regardless of what we’re going through right now, we’ve very grateful you’ve helped us this far. We’ve got a couple of things here, so buckle up!
You can once again browse our online shop and check out if you are in Metro Manila! We’ve done a little bit of spring cleaning; check out all the good things you can use to pimp your tabletop adventures. ;) We’ll update as soon as we are able to do provincial addresses.
Of course, not everything can go back to the way it was, not yet. Our new normal is making sure that we minimize unnecessary contact–so we’re doing a once-weekly shipping run. We’ll ship all confirmed orders every Wednesday afternoon, and have Tuesday evenings as cutoff for that week’s shipping run.
We’ve got limited stocks and supplies are low, so we’re working with our suppliers to see what we can do. In-stock items won’t have any delays — but our processing time for custom or made-to-order Character Tomes are affected. Made-to-order tomes are currently taking up to 10-20 business days to craft from our previous 3-5 days. We can still take orders, but it will take a while to get them made for you.
A mug for all those crits
There is something new brewing (heh) in our drinkware line: D&D Combat Mugs! Keep track of your health and death saves while giving your DM (across from you) easy access to check your initiative, AC, and passive perception and insight stats!
You can write directly on the glossy ceramic mugs with a dry-erase marker and wipe it clean after the game. How’s that for some classy sips while you’re gaming without resorting to disposable cups?
You’ll see the sale price right on the product page–no surprises here! Grab one of the few remaining first-version folios at ₱120; the tomes go at ₱300 for the hardcovers and ₱400 for the faux leather ones. That’s a steal!
Hurry up for an extra freebie
If you’re quick, you might also score an extra freebie. Our A6 notebooks are also on clearance, but we’ve set aside some as gifts! Get a free A6-sized notebook if you’re one of the first five confirmed purchases. You’ll get the extra swag automatically if you purchase at least ₱250, so hurry!
Another gift from us to you
Last, but most definitely not the least–what’s a birthday when there’s no giveaway? Get a chance to win one of our new D&D 5e Character Tomes! This brave blue tome is ready to accompany you to adventures in Faerûn and beyond. No need to wait for processing times–it’s ready to go home to you!
Up your chances to win by liking/sharing/tweeting/commenting on our social media posts about our birthday below–more details on each post. (Yes, doing it on all three platforms get you three chances!)
Before the lockdowns started, a friend of ours ran Berlin – The Wicked City from Chaosium. She had been bugging us to play for a while, but schedules have (as usual) been difficult to synch.
That afternoon almost didn’t push through, but we ended up playing all through the afternoon, into the night, into the wee hours of the morning. We finished the first scenario in one sitting.
(Ah, the long-gone times of real-life tabletop RPG games!)
Berlin – The Wicked City is a sourcebook for Call of Cthulhu, containing three scenarios in addition to being an overview of 1920s Berlin to help a Storyteller craft a CoC campaign filled with notable personalities, key locations, and rich culture.
I’m a scaredy cat. I can’t watch horror shows1, I can’t read horror books2. Dan had played the introductory scenario of Masks of Nyarlathotep for me under the Pulp Cthulhu adaptation, but it was decidedly horror-lite.
I was stressed for a good amount of time during the game. There were more than a couple times that I was seriously considering excusing myself from the game because it giving me a serious case of the heebie-jeebies. The only reason I didn’t was the thought of walking the short block home–alone–in the middle of the night3.
The saving grace was the almost-cheesy, almost-melodramatic back story I selected that I used “just for fun”. We’re starting the next scenario soon (since the quarantine isn’t easing up), and while I’m dreading playing Call of Cthulhu in a small condominium unit in the dead of night, I’m actually looking forward to it. All because of my cheesy, melodramatic back story that amazingly enabled me to feel fully integrated into the story than I otherwise would have.
We played the first scenario, The Devil Eats Flies. I had no idea what it was about. We just sat down in my friend’s living room and she told us what sorts of people currently populated the city.
I lit on becoming a woman refugee taking on odd jobs to survive. She was hiding her true identity as a Russian monarchist who was a servant under one of the lesser noble families before everything went to chaos.
Dan urged me to go big or go home–be a servant of the Romanovs directly! Why not? Background flavour was background flavour. So, hell, why not? I became one of the handmaidens of the imperial family who stayed behind as they fled Alexander Palace.
I was trying to scrape enough together, but also day-dreaming of finding my lady, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, amid rumours that she had escaped. Not that I could find anything with my barely-living wage juggling three jobs as a secretary at the University, a waitress at a popular diner, and taking on odd tasks at the police station.
(Of course I’m not going to sell my body. I am a lady’s maid, my good sir! For shame!)
Little did I know. Check out what the scenario is about, from the publisher itself:
In The Devil Eats Flies Germany teeters on the brink of economic ruin and political chaos. The ghost of a madman stalks the city, turning its own citizenry against itself. To stop a demonic spirit and save a Russian princess in exile, the investigators must strike a bargain with other sinister forces and ask themselves: who else are we prepared to see die in order to save the city?
What are the chances? Our Storyteller never made a sound as I planned my poor little Russian immigrant’s sad background.
You know that game where you end up mimicking your character’s actions, kneeling down on the floor as you’re entreating someone to believe you?
Yeah, that finally happened to me after over a year of playing tabletop roleplaying games. I didn’t even realize it until after the game.
That probably says more about the types of games I usually play in, but I generally prefer games where there is minimal emotional bleed. It’s not that I don’t like being challenged emotionally–I’m a girl who cries readily at movies and books. But I’m also conflict-averse and more often than not, emotional conflict in games tend to be between players. I’m a PvE sort of person.
This Berlin game gave me my PvE conflict wishes, heightened by all the emotional connections the storyline had with me.
A super brief review
Sure, the highly charged and horror-peppered story probably added to how visceral the game felt for me, though it comes from a different quarter than what one might expect. If you’ve played this scenario, I’m not even squicked at the inherent level of gore in the story. It was everything else. The creepiness of the people. The paranoia, the confusion, not knowing what to do and not wanting my character to go back to her tiny apartment alone (there’s one thing we have in common!).
I’m not typically a puzzle-solver in the tabletop RPG games we play, and this is no exception. So I can’t speak about how ingenious the plot puzzle was, but it certainly felt really clever. We did not play pulp this time around, so we were rather squishy folk, but we survived. Not unscathed, but alive. Of a sort.
We’re playing again soon, and I’ve petitioned a daytime game when it gets to the squicky parts XD
You know that TRPG character you created and play with every week, so much that you have this vision of what they look like? You’ve thought of exactly how they look, how they sound, how they behave. They have amazing backstories you’ve meticulously penned down (in one of our character folios, we hope — we’ve got something special for you if you do, later below in the article!).
Only your party members haven’t seen how amazing (or troubled!) your character is! If you’ve been thinking of finally getting some art done for them, there are tons of artists opening their commission slots nowadays.
The nifty thing is, you can get all that done, but also help people out during this pandemic by participating in Art for Frontliners!
We heard about Art for Frontliners a few weeks ago and was immediately struck with how clever and beautiful it was as an initiative. They are a group of artists who want to help our local frontliners and fellow Filipinos fight COVID-19 in their own little way.
From as low as ₱350, interested people can choose a particular artist from the Art for Frontliners artist pool to make an amazing piece of art just for them — but instead of paying the artist for the piece, buyers send their “payment” directly to a local cause that either helps our frontliners or countrymen in need. People get their art, and charities get their donations, and frontliners get some much-needed help in these trying times.
I felt like I wanted to participate, but my art is pretty much currently limited to simple shapes and doodles, so I have to leave the art-ing to professionals. But we wanted to do our bit to help spread the word around by sharing the initiative and talking about it here in Hey, Meepling.
(If you’re interested in joining their initiative as an artist, just message the page and get in touch with them! They’re super approachable and friendly.)
The initiative had its seeds in Twitter. The founders started seeing the #ArtForMedPH hashtag used on the social media platform, and with other like-minded artists, decided to boost the signal by creating a proper Facebook group and getting the word out! They raised over ₱10,000 in one day after their launch on April 3, and by April 17 they had raised ₱50,000 donations! How’s that for helping out?
(We also listed some other initiatives at last week’s blog post if you want to help out more during these challenging times! If you know of more–let us know and we’ll add to the list!)
Get your art and help others, too
Art for Frontliners have new artists coming on to pledge their time regularly, so while some artists’ commission slots might be full, there are definitely others whose art style one might be interested in. We’ll have a list of their current artists below so you can browse, but there are more coming in as the days go by, so feel free to check out their full roster!
There are three tiers for artwork available through the initiative: ₱350, ₱500, and ₱1,000 tier levels, and interested people can choose what kind of style and level they would like to receive and donate that amount to one of the charities at HelpFromHome.ph. Send the proof of payment, reference photos, and your artist of choice to them, and sit back and wait for your chosen artist to craft your dream artwork.
Contacting them via the Facebook page is super easy to do, or you can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org if email’s more your thing.
We’ll list down their current artists below so you can do a quick glance and also stalk take a look at the rest of that artist’s work!
We’ve also noted if the artist specializes in concept/fantasy art, or does fan art/portraiture.
Go forth and donate! (And get great art!)
(If you’re curious about the Hey Meepling freebie – just keep going!)
The artists of Art for Frontliners
And finally, for staying all throughout that…you get a cookie! Well, not exactly. But…
Here, get a character art sticker template
While we were talking about how cool getting art done for your characters, we realized that’s all well and good, but we don’t exactly have a way to put it onto our folios.
Well, until now!
We’re putting out a small digital freebie — a template where you can copy+paste your character’s art onto, print it out (on sticker paper, or regular paper and just have some glue ready), and paste it right onto your folio or tome! Instant character art perfect for your beautiful folio and tome!
FINALLY. That portrait portion of the character sheet has always been a little sad-looking :(
Chuck your email down below to get the zipped templates! They are in PSD format, but should work for any graphics program that can open PSDs. We’ve got templates for both the 2019 or 2020 version of our character notebooks!
And remember — stay safe, stay online, and support local. :)
It’s been three weeks since Metro Manila has been put on lockdown, and Philippines is looking at quarantine extensions for everyone’s safety. Hey Meepling has been on hiatus since the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, but we hope that everyone is doing well so far.
We’ll share more about Hey Meepling moving forward in these trying times, and we’ll share our plans at a later date. For now, have you checked out the Sari-sari TRPG Market?
It’s a small initiative together with a couple local TRPG merchants and artists: we put up an “online tiangge” (market/bazaar) at the start of the quarantine, so everyone can easily browse through TRPG goodies as if you were at an event with their booths, without leaving the comfort and safety of your homes.
While some of the participating merchants have since decided to take on a shipping hiatus (including us!), many of the participating crafters, artists, and small business owners are continuing to ply their trades online. If you’ve been on the fence about getting that artwork for a beloved character done, polish up a game for publishing, or even just start to collaborate with someone on a beautiful custom item–now is a great time to while away your hours on this wonderful hobby of ours!
There are also a couple of online initiatives that are worth a look to help our frontliners continue to do the amazing, brave, and selfless work they do. Take a look at the following initiatives and satisfy both your own wants and our frontliners’ and neighbours’ needs.
The artists behind #ArtForMedPH are offering commissioned art in exchange for donations directly to local frontliners, through the causes highlighted at Help From Home, a local initiative that highlights the local causes that can use our help at this time of need. A range of prices and styles for commissioned art is available for all kinds of tastes.
The homebrew bundle contains multiple exciting adventures (DDR, anyone?), tons of subclasses and options, as well as more monsters and NPCs and festivals to delight everyone.
The Adventurers League bundle, on the other hand, includes 18 amazing adventures (including two from our very own Paul Gabat and Mon Macutay), as well as the Tortle Package for all you tortle lovers out there.
Larong Atin games
Larong Atin showcases a wonderful collection of local tabletop games made by local game designers. With the help of Neutral Grounds, they are donating 40% of all proceeds to help fund the production of local COVID-19 testing kits!
Adventurers Anonymous Manila is holding an online event! From April 23 to 29, dungeon masters are opening up slots with the help of the local Roll20 community for a slew of online Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers’ League games! The earliest games start at 1pm.
Interested players can sign up for games for a fee of ₱150, which goes to purchasing protective equipment for our local frontliners!
For September’s feature, we have Andrei’s Protector Aasimar, the war cleric Theovus “Theo” Amberlight!
Andrei shared this with us about Theo:
Growing up as a believer of Torm, Theo always assumed that it is better to ‘hit now, heal later’. He is the kind of guy that would always go for the enemies, so he can help the others later. Always willing to throw himself in the line of fire, he has faith that his bravery earns him Torm’s trust every time.
Want to get your character featured on Hey Meepling?
We came back from last Sunday’s Session Zero renewed and full of admiration for the diversity of game designers, artists, and crafters we have locally. It was so difficult to stick to a budget and we, er, ultimately blew it out of the water (sob) but it was worth it! We met so many lovely people and we’re so excited to show you our haul.
So many awesome stuff! We opted to split our mission: Dan checked out the game designers’ booths and Angela scoured the artists’ and exhibitors booths. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea, as we ended up buying so. much. stuff. XD
We’re so happy to get so many games and so much loot, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s Session Zero! We had a lot of fun–what about you? Share your experience and loot in the comments below.
For our hero feature for August, we have Lanz’s Aasimar Wizard, Astrihd Cruz. Also, impromptu sneak peek of our coming-soon folio and tome sheets!1
Here is what Lanz has to say about Astrihd:
Known to many as the Angel of Tyr, Astrihd Cruz, a knight of the order of holy judgement, spends her days praying over the sick and destroying evil whenever it crosses her path.
Or, at least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. If you ask her brother, he’ll tell you that Astrihd Cruz is a nosy, curious thief wanted under many names and aliases. A con artist who’ll lie, cheat, and steal her way to getting whatever she wants. Don’t let the pretty blue eyes fool you– she’ll rob you blind.
In truth, the young aasimar searches for answers–why was she and her brother found wandering the wastelands after a bloody war? Why was she, an aasimar by blood, abandoned by the gods? What did she do to be cast out of heaven? The answer must be out there somewhere– and she’ll get what she wants no matter what the cost.
Finally, we’ve done and dusted off our writing muscles. We’re psyched to share with you our various gaming pursuits, be it of the roleplaying game or board game variety. (Maybe a computer game or two, too!)
Perhaps a bit of introduction is in order? We’re Dan and Angela, gamers from the Philippines and currently based in Metro Manila. We met over a year ago over boardgames (naturally) and soon bonded over shared interests that included storytelling, history, and food (of course).
Earlier this year, we had the brilliant idea (heh) to explore making notebooks for other people. Angela had been making these hand-bound notebooks for her personal use for a good while now, so it wasn’t a very great leap to settle on having notebooks for an RPG character’s adventures (bujo ftw). We started selling online soon after, and the online shop was born.
The rest is history!
What the blog?
We’re just getting everything settled over the next few days, but you could expect the following topics over the course of a week:
Mondays for our shop updates
Tuesdays for rambling about roleplaying games
Wednesdays we’ll talk about a boardgame or two
And Thursdays come with writeups on our own campaigns
Fridays and the weekends will be quiet on the blog front–go play some games!