A banner with lots of dice and the words 'Button Kin Games'

February Fresh Start
Bard-themed releases for D&D, new website, and some free "card" games!

It’s February, a storm named Eunice is about to batter our wheelie bins, what better time to talk about games?


First and foremost we’d like to thank all you lovely early birds for signing up before we’d even published a word. You really warmed our button-hearts. We’ll be aiming to send something out on the third Friday of each month, even if it’s just a “hey, how you doing?” Sometimes there’s be freebies. Be sure to check the bottom of this post for one!

Behind the Scenes

This month we’ve had a rebrand. We’ve got a new name, a new twitter profile and, even more exciting, a brand new website! In her previous incarnation Yvris was a web coding pro of 13 years experience, yet this simple little static site is one of her proudest accomplishments. She’s happy to chat about the joys of Jekyll and Bootstrap all day long if anyone’s interested. No takers? Alright then…

In addition to all that business stuff we’ve been working hard on a new game which will be designed to play while walking. Thematically it’s all about getting out into nature to combat the forces of despair, a topic very dear to a lot of our hearts in these times. This will be our first near-full-featured RPG with character creation options, skills and abilities, combat mechanics, and its very own monster catalog. Two catalogs, in fact: one for the grown ups, and a family-friendly one for the kids. We’re having great fun with it.

We’ll be publishing a free/ashcan version of the game for play tester feedback at the end of this month, so let us know if you’d like a copy!

New Releases!

We just released three adventures for D&D 5e, all themed around bards. Each contains a one-shot adventure along with detailed notes and character creation tips for a bard-themed setting you can add to your backstory.

In Timbrel Sleet’s Intrepid Players you’ll meet a colourful troupe of circus performers and discover the mystery of Timbrel's lucky coin. The player characters even get to perform!

Or maybe you’d rather delve into the deep archives of poetry and song in The Storied Bastion, before defending its anthologists against the wrath of the black dragon, Shibelurn.

Finally you can discover the hidden mysteries of The Lyric Grove, and earn the favour of Queen Synleoth, beloved of Eldath and Milil.

This month’s gems

We started this month checking out River Horse’s new Dark Crystal RPG Adventure. It’s a gorgeous production and worth having for any fan of the film, comics, or series (RIP) for the quality alone. We leafed through it for hours taking in the locations and NPCs the team have created. We’d love to try running some aspiring gelfling through it some day soon, although more combat-hungry players may balk at the (entirely intentional) fragility of the player characters. One of ours even complained that they wanted to play a Skeksis and couldn’t. HmmMMMmmmm. Have you run it yourself? Let us know how it went!

In dice goblin news we’ve recently been drooling over Dakota Irish’s sharp edge sets. Stunning stuff and all just over the water from us in Ireland!

February Freebie - Dice games to simulate card games

What better way to ingratiate yourself to some rough-and-tumble tavern regulars than to lose a hand of cards or five? As a Dark Tower fan Yvris couldn’t resist throwing a little weird west into her homebrew campaign world, and her players have had a lot of fun learning the rules to three games she created especially for it. Try a round of Monkey’s Whistle, Tease Old Nell, or Bang-a-Roof yourselves!

Monkey’s Whistle (aka Sparrow’s Flight)
  1. Every player rolls 3d10, this is their hand.

  2. Going clockwise from the nominated “dealer” each player can do one of:

    • Raise (add more to the bet)

    • Call (match the current bet)

    • Fold (cut their losses and give up their stake)

  3. Repeat 2. until all “in” (not-folded) players have equal bets

  4. Every “in” player rolls another 1d10 to add to their hand

  5. Repeat 2-4 once more (everyone has 5 “cards” or rolled d10)

  6. The game ends if all but one player folds, or if all the “in” players have 5 cards and have Called (all the bets are equal), and no one wishes to raise further

  7. If there’s more than one player left “in” once final bets are called, hands are shown and the best hand wins the pot

  8. The hands, in order of preference, are:

    • Five of a kind eg. 7,7,7,7,7

    • Straight - all 5 dice in numerical order, eg. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

    • Four of a kind, eg. 1, 4, 4, 4, 4

    • Three of a kind, eg. 3, 1, 6, 6, 6

    • Two pair, eg. 2, 5, 5, 10, 10

    • One pair, eg. 1, 5, 7, 8, 8

    • High card, eg. 2, 3, 5, 7, 10

Tease Old Nell
  1. Each player rolls a d10 and keeps the result to themselves

  2. Going clockwise from the nominated “dealer” each player can do one of:

    • Raise (add more to the bet)

    • Call (match the current bet)

    • Fold (cut their losses and give up their stake)

  3. Each player rolls a d8 and keeps the result to themselves

  4. repeat step 2

  5. Each player rolls a d6 and keeps the result to themselves

  6. Repeat step 2

  7. The remaining, unfolded players show their hands. Highest total wins.

  1. Place your bet with the dealer

  2. Get dealt 2 “cards” (2d10 rolls)

  3. You have two choices: 

    • fold and get half your bet back

    • add 1 more “card” (1d10) and double the pot

  4. If you’re still in, get dealt 1 card (1d10)

  5. If your total exceeds 21, you lose your whole bet

  6. If your total is 21 exactly, you win the pot

  7. If your total is less than 21, go back to step 3

That’s all for our first newsletter. Thanks again for signing up, see you again next month!

Other ways to keep up with Button Kin:

Thanks for reading! If you want to hear from us monthly you can subscribe to the Button Kin newsletter. If you already subscribe and you're enjoying these posts, please tell your friends!