JP On Gaming

Monday, April 30, 2018

[Review] All your base are Initiative Tokens

Every so often, I happen to see products on-line that draw my eye. In this particular instance, I was on DM's Guild trying to get one of my latest products out when I noticed a product called 'Initiative Token'. I know many people love these tokens and use them quite a lot. Me? not so much. My eye was drawn in particular to the many version of the file as it was repeated three or four times on the splash page. Frowning, I realized these were in a variety of languages, which made me even more curious. Of course, one of those languages was my beloved and native French, so I clicked on that to see what it was.

I cried.

"All your base are belong to us" Normally, I would just bow my head and cry but not this time... I had to say something, which I commented on the product. A brief exchange later and the creator, Luca Carbone responded back to me with what I already suspected: He was not a native French speaker. Still we exchanged a few messages in the discussion and in private and he is pretty cool guy. He sent me a version of the product (in English) for me to translate. If you speak another language, these types of things are annoying and frequent so you just learn to live with them.

And like a lazy slob, I left it on my stack of things to do... With finishing my adventures for Conglomeration and Lexicon, I just let it sit and almost forgot about them. Okay I did until it bubbled up my stack of tasks to complete... So I opened it, did the translation work and sent it back to Luca.

Another fun fact, I very rarely use them, but this past weekend, Josh who GM'd quite a lot for me

In the process of doing the translation, I got to get a good look at the product and thought it about writing this review.


The total product is five pages long, 1 page recommending how to use the tokens and four pages of tokens. I initially thought these tokens would be circle or square, designed to be used on the grid, but no. They are instead mini-table tents for the GM to place on his screen and moved as combatants take their turns.

The splat page presents one way to use it with a very simple diagram on how to use them on your GM screen. That page is effective but I suspect very few GMs will spend any time reading it.

The last four pages, and where the best of the product is are the tokens themselves. Each page has 10 tokens designed to be cut out and used as tiny tents. One side has PC Name, AC, Passive Perception, and Notes and the other a piece of art with the class below. There is a good mix of genders (at least one of each class) and races. When looking at the race/class combos I did not cringe or go "Why would anyone want to play a [...]???" And by the inverse tokens, there are few really strange and wonky characters: no half-pixie half-fog giant ninja here. Solid, base D&D characters.

The art is funny and humoristic without being silly, it evokes each D&D classes well enough. The many characters reminded me of the art in the Casus Belli magazine which was the gold standard of publications for all French gamers in the 80s and 90s.

If i have one negative point for this product is that the "front" side where the art is has the classes written rather than give space for character names. For example, under the big burly fellow is written "Barbarian". I would have preferred that space to allow me to put "Tolgar the Bloody". That's minor and something of a(nother) peeve of mine that my character is not "Bard" but "Local Boy Mik". Many others don't care about that...

Scoring this product

So, like me I assume you are here to see how I will be rating this product.

First this is a product for those who use mini-tents/tokens for initiave. For you guys, you get some fun characters and simple tents you can print cheaply.

The art is fine, and is something to represent your initiative turn. I can see some will be turned away by it.

Because of this, I will give this product a score of 4 / 5 for those who like using those tents. This score does NOT take away any points for the strange French on the DMs Guild page, which really does nothing but affect the value of the product.

There you have it. Here are a few links if you want to check them out. I must say that when I first posted to the DMs Guild, I thought I expected to sneer at this product. I was left pleased and tempted to use them myself, so the gang did something good.

Luca's Collection of products: In every language

I believe most of you will want to see in English

And what started all this: la version Française (with my comments)

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