All Rolled Up team of Paul and Fil Baldowski behind the stand at Furnace 2013

The All Rolled Up team at Furnace, Sheffield, 2013

The existence of All Rolled Up was borne out of my desire for a flexible  all-in-one solution to get my gaming gear to the table. My local group will tell you I’m compelled to run games out of some kind of obsession, and it was probably that same obsession that led me to want more than just another dice bag.

My wife and I played around with designs and sketches for weeks. I wanted something that could carry everything I needed – dice, beads, counters, pens, pencils, index cards. If it could hold miniatures and more besides, all the better. I wanted the end result as compact and portable as possible, but accessible and highly usable at the gaming table so it didn’t just get stowed away even once I started gaming.

In the end, I’m not sure who had the brainwave, but I’m bound to claim I had the flash of inspiration when I started playing around with an artist’s roll – a canvas and leatherette carrier for artist’s tools. On the other hand, my wife did show me a tool roll we had in the shed somewhere… so, the specific eureka moment might remain open to discussion for years to come.

From there, my wife took the task in hand to create several prototypes – starting with paper and sticky tape, then lightweight fabric. At this stage, we actually came up with something very close to the final product. However, the current version has a flat base on the dice pouch so you can open it up at the table and everyone can reach in and see what they’re grabbing for. The pockets and pouches also got deeper.

While she worked on the sewing machine and wasn’t dragging me around local haberdashery outlets looking for fabric, I took control of the marketing and publicity – which means I spend most of my time seeing what dice, counters or games I can pair off with which All Rolled Up. We’ve also both had a lot of fun attending conventions and bringing the All Rolled Up to gamers who might not otherwise get that this is a little more than just another dice bag. The demonstration makes all the difference in getting the point across – and while I have tried to do it in various Youtube videos, it often takes a live demo to really make people think, “Actually, I could really do with one of those.”

In the end, we know we have a handmade quality product that we’re happy to use ourselves and recommended to our closest gaming friends. We’re constantly experimenting with new fabrics and colour combinations, as well as tweaking the functionality – like the Chalk Premium, which you can sketch on with a piece of chalk. That one has been incredibly popular, like some anti-tablet reaction to the creeping presence of technology at the tabletop.

It took a real team effort to bring All Rolled Up together, and we’ve loved every minute of the process. We really look forward to spreading the word. And, importantly, I have satisfied my obsessive need for storing my gaming gear.

Originally posted on Pelgrane Press, July 30, 2013