Tag Archives: RPG

Pew! pew! I have a gun thingy and I’m shooting at the vagina face guy

This post is verbatim a facebook post and thread that I saved on my laptop a long time ago titled “possible blog fodder”.  Given today’s announcement regarding Disney purchasing Lucasfilms and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode 7, I thought tonight would be a good time to break it out.  So, without further ado, a facebook thread about the great divide between the casual Star Wars fan and the hardcore geek.

Also, you should go into this knowing that I personally own 2 lightsabers,  own and have created Star Wars based artwork, have Admiral Ackbar on my blog page, and own all 6 movies and 4 seasons of The Clone Wars on BluRay.  I am a casual fan.  No really.  Talk to a hardcore fan for about 2 minutes and you will agree.

With that out of the way, here’s the post.

Me: I’m still in the debating stage on joining the Star Wars RPG. I sat in for a few the other day and:

(1) as a casual fan of the movies, I felt pretty lost. I don’t know the names of all of the alien races and know zilch about weapons; and

(2) They’re playing Sith and keep talking about “taint” which makes me giggle.

I don’t really think giggling at taints and saying “pew pew I have a gun thingy and I’m shooting the vagina face guy” will have a very positive effect on my geek-fu.

Katie:   ….the little gun things are called blaster pistol, BLASTER PISTOLS!!!! amateur…

Christina:  yeah I’ve not got much more than you on that…and appears I may be playing swtor soon

Lamey: I don’t understand why you guys like to play games that require so much work. I’m exhausted just thinking about you pew pewing at vagina face.

Jason:  I think it would. Hell, I’d laugh my ass off and hand you a beer

Me: Katie, I know blasters and light sabers. I even know many of the varieties of droids and the creatures that they said the names of on the movies (bantha, tauntaun, wompa). I even know that Admiral Ackbar is Mon Calamari, but only because I find it funny. I’m sitting down there and they’re talking about vibrochainsaws and stuff. I was like holy crap, I thought I knew at least as much as the average casual fan but apparently the gulf between casual fan and hardcore geek is large enough to fit the entire fracking universe in.

Katie:  haha that is a totally true statement!

Christina:  For what it’s worth I think you should join in…

I didn’t join.  Clearly I am not the geek one might imagine I am based on my blog and / or the company I keep.  It’s okay though.  I still know all of the spells from the Harry Potter series and I’m not afraid to use them.

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Filed under Board gamer lamer

Come with me and you’ll be …

in a world of surprisingly little imagination.
This will (hopefully) come as a surprise to many of you, but I am severely challenged in the suspension of belief / imagination department.  I suppose you could say I’m creative.  I like to do things with my hands.  I used to draw pretty well.  I kind of sculpt a little and am good at thinking of things to sculpt.  I can jury rig just about anything.  I’m good at stuff like that.  I can’t enjoy fiction like most people though.  Most books won’t hold my attention.  Sad movies never make me cry.  I get overly distracted by plot holes and predictability in scripts.  OMG, I do not understand pen and paper RPG’s.  People who refer to playing video games like they’re actually in them baffle me.  I just completely and utterly lack the ability to pretend I am someone else or to get immersed in a story I know didn’t really / isn’t really happening.  All of my witticisms are simply twists on existing things.  Puns, parodies, satirical jabs, and sarcasm.  Even my “art” if you can call it that, is reproduction or combining existing things in new ways.  This doesn’t really bother me or anything.  I’m just baffled by how others seem to do it so easily.

My daughter wears a fairy costume at renaissance festivals.  Her fairy has props and a back story, heck, she has a whole fairy world where different types of fairies live in different places and whatnot.  For example, she lives in a sunflower and drinks an elixir that makes her people sized so she can interact with humans when she wants to.  Flower fairies and tree fairies have bad blood between them.  They’re easy to tell apart though because tree fairies have pointy ears.  There aren’t really any rock fairies but it’s considered very posh to live in a geode.   She thinks they’re really too flashy and quite uncomfortable though, so she doesn’t really see what all the fuss is about.

I’ve worked at Ren faires for 7 years and I can’t even maintain the same accent all day, let alone come up with a back story.

It’s the same with Andy and his gamers.  They’ll play a game and then stand around and reminisce about it like it not only actually happened but like they weren’t all just there.  Or Andy will tell some story about gaming or airsoft or whatever and his friends all play along like he just got back from a tour overseas and is telling legit war stories.
I contemplated playing the Dresden Files RPG until I discovered I couldn’t just say I was Molly would have to create a character and then try to think and act like that character.  What?!?!  I totally can’t do that.

The ability to think in stories like that is just so weird and foreign to me.  Heck, even as a kid when we played Barbies I really just wanted to dress them up and fix their hair.  I never cared about whatever little scenario we were supposed to be playing out.

I’m not really sure what the point of any of this is other than it occurred to me to find it odd that the lifelong weird girl who wanted to grow up to be an artist utterly lacks an imagination.  I guess it’s a good thing I’m smart and a good technical writer or I guess I’d be screwed.  Also, I always did suck at ending things that I write so, um, the end.

 

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Wherein I have an EPIC weekend… (part 1)

The following took place Friday night from roughly10 PM to 3 AM.

One of the nice things about where we live is that we’re just a couple hours drive from several awesomely nerdy annual conventions.  We go to at least 2 and sometimes as many as 4 conventions a year.   Gaming cons, comic cons, anime cons, they’re all fair game because cons are nerd paradise, especially after hours.

Of all of the cons that we go to, Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio is my favorite.  I’ve gone every year for 6 years running and have amassed a large posse of awesome friends from all over the world.  Thanks to social media we all keep in touch.  We continually look forward to next year when we’ll all see one another again and inevitably add a few more folks to our entourage.  Origins is smallish as far as cons go but that’s what makes it so much fun.  You can actually hang out with people and shop and game and it’s all very relaxed and groovy.

Given the awesome time I always have at Origins I was expecting good things, but what I got was a truly epic weekend.

Andy went up on Wednesday and I joined him there Friday night.  I found him sitting in the back of Big Bar playing Shadowrun with some friends.  As soon as I got there, all the guys began not so subtly saying “look behind us” and then started passing me cameras.   Gaming at the table directly behind them were Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day.  There are pics, so it’s true.

Don't look, but Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day are at the next table.

This is Andy. Oh, and that’s Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day behind him. Author Pat Rothfuss was sitting directly behind Andy but wasn’t in his seat when I took this pic.

Epic Photo Bomb
We call this one “EPIC PHOTOBOMB”!

Then I played a game at a con for the second time ever.  I lost.  Badly.

Amusingly, the only other game I had ever played at a con before Friday night was a game of Munchkin that I played with Steve Jackson. Sorry Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, I beat you to that one by about 4 years. 😛

Here’s a link to TableTop featuring Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day playing Munchkin with Steve Jackson.

That went on until well past midnight. When we finally departed the back room, we immediately ran into some friends from Chicago. While talking to them, Grant Wilson, formerly of Ghost Hunters, and Mike Richie, game designer and President of Rather Dashing Games, came over and hung out with us for a while.  Turns out they had gotten to know Andy a bit over the few days before I got there.  Man, what a great couple of guys!  They did a game together called “Four Taverns” that I’ll review in tomorrow night’s post.  Our friend Nigel did a game for Rather Dashing as well but I’m going to get to him later and I haven’t played his game yet.

I’m throwing in a plug for Rather Dashing Games here because and Grant and Mike are both really great guys and tomorrow you can read about how it’s a really great game.   Rather Dashing Games  Go to the site.  Buy things.

I look like a huge (literally) dork here because Mike tried to steal a sip of my drink, I caught him, we both laughed and then Andy snapped the pic while we were still recovering. This is why there are never any pictures of me. Andy fails at pictures.

Andy with Mike and Grant, hanging out in Big Bar.

After that we ran into our friend and wonderful artist Nigel Sade and his adorable girlfriend Sarah and super fun cousin Steve. Well, any time we run into Nigel we can pretty much plan on hanging out all night.  So that’s what happened.  In fact, that happened every night… and that’s why all the rum’s gone.  Nigel’s a really cool artist who does a lot of sci-fi and comic themed stuff in addition to more serious artwork.  He just finished a Darth Maul that I must have and we’re currently bartering for a Daredevil tattoo design.  🙂  Check out his work.  He’s a great guy and a great artist.

Andy and Nigel

This is a pic I took of Andy and Nigel talking at like 3 AM because I was getting tired and bored. Mostly tired. Also hungry.

That ALL happened Friday night.

Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2, wherein I play and review “Four Taverns” while looking rather dashing, finally win a game of Risk thanks to my bad nipple juju, and encounter a Dalek.

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Filed under Board gamer lamer, pictures

If if wears nerdy t-shirts, says nerdy stuff, and collects nerdy things…

Warning: Generalizations ahead.

People often say “I hate to generalize, but…” and I think for the most part we mean it.  No one wants to be generalized or labeled yet generalizing and labeling are how human beings process information and make sense of things.  Humans need to put things into boxes.  We separate, organize, file and store.  It’s how we process paperwork, email, and computer files.  We catalog our surroundings: plant, animal, genus, species.  Unfortunately it’s also how we deal with one another.

The question is, why are some labels more desirable and accepted than others?

I’ll be the first to admit that the labels assigned to me are generally thought of as being negative.

I struggle with my weight so I am labeled as fat and by association, probably lazy and unhealthy.  Neither of which is really true.

I went back to school later in life than most so at school I was old and by association uncool.  In some ways I’ll agree with that statement.  I am at a different point in my life than my classmates so I find different things fun.  On the few occasions I went out and did things with my law school contemporaries, I felt ridiculous.  It just wasn’t me.  I had been there, done that, and moved on.

Another label that could be used to describe me is goth.  I like gothic and industrial music.  On the rare occasion I go out to a club, I prefer that it be a goth club (or a gay bar.  Drag shows are fun).  I love gothic clothing and architecture and identify strongly with the goth community.  In my experience, goths (and here, I really hate to generalize) tend to be intelligent and open-minded people who happen to enjoy a certain aesthetic.  The “scene” is really not as weird and mysterious as people think.  That said, because we are open-minded and extremely accepting, we do tend to collect a wide range of societal misfits, for lack of a better term.  We are also easily identifiable as well as easily misidentifiable.   The goth label is slapped on all sorts of subcultures who coincidentally prefer to wear black and that’s really not our fault.  Because of a few bad seeds though, the entire community has gotten a bad rap.  I assure you, we really aren’t going around sucking people’s blood, holding satanic rituals, or shooting people.  For the most part, we are peace loving people who just want to be left alone.

Nerd, geek, dork.  In my opinion these are different things but that’s a post for a different day.  Whatever you want to call me, I never lost my love of cartoons. I read comic books and graphic novels. I enjoy science fiction. I go to conventions. My favorite past-time is playing lengthy strategic board games.  I pride myself on being intelligent.  I have a graduate degree.  I feel more at home in a game and comic shop than I do in a clothing store.  I like t-shirts with funny sayings on them.  I am of the opinion that pig-tails are cute no matter how old you are.  I like to wear silly socks and underwear. I play with toys. I think it’s perfectly okay for adults to roughhouse and play.  I enjoy building forts inside the house just to get inside them with my dogs and read a book.  I own lightsabers and nerf weapons and I use them on a very regular basis.  I carry a Batman lunch box.  I like to read but prefer fantasy to romance.  I’m an Avatard and a Whovian.  I hate chick flicks and love action movies.  I don’t like dressing up and only occasionally wear make-up.  I see nothing wrong with any of this.  I think this stuff makes me kind of awesome.  I have found though, unless you also like these things, all of the above is very frowned upon.

So I wonder, what is it about geekdom, or whatever you want to call it, that makes it so socially undesirable?

Is it that we take it too far?  Those of the geek persuasion often do have a habit of superliking things to the n-thousanth degree.  My boyfriend Andy is a perfect example.  Every time he starts a new role playing game he becomes obsessed with whatever world it’s set in.  Recently he ran a Deadlands campaign, which is set in the American Old West.  Suddenly he was all about cowboys.  We ate beef jerky like it was going out of style.  We went to the Old West Festival.  He began reading books about the old west, buying old west clothing, old west weapons, and even stared a Deadlands blog and began waxing his mustache.  The cool part for me was that I FINALLY, after years of trying, got him into Steampunk!  (add Steampunk to the above list of stuff I really like)

Before long the guys got tired of Deadlands and decided to move on to Star Wars.  Andy was already a huge Star Wars fan so I wasn’t expecting too much of a change.  Hah!  Silly me.  Andy went Star Wars crazy.  Star Wars RPG every other week plus playing Star Wars: The Old Republic in his free time as well as reading and re-reading all of the RPG books and the Legacy graphic novels.  He also bought a 47″ TV for the basement, which I suspect was strongly motivated by his scroll.

You know that scrolling text at the beginning of every Star Wars movie?  Well, Andy has incorporated that into his bi-weekly gaming session.  Before they play they all sit down and read the story synopsis on a perfectly timed recreation of the opening  scroll, complete with soundtrack.  He also plays the movie soundtracks in the background as they play and remotely changes the selection to match the action.  Seriously, my boy’s a world champion nerd when he puts his mind to it.

A sampling of Andy’s Star Wars related purchases over the past couple of months.

The sad thing is, I’m not really much better.  2 weeks ago I started watching Doctor Who.  8 episodes into the series I discovered I had a mostly full can of blue paint tucked away in my basement.  I had my very own Tardis door before I even finished season 1.

I mean, it wasn’t totally unreasonable.  It’s just the laundry room door and it already had a cat door cut into it anyway.  Besides, I already had the paint and well, our house is the kind of place that needs a Tardis door, in my opinion.

But back to my original point, is it the fact that we take our fandoms too far that make geekdom undesirable?  Is what we do really any different than say, a sports fan who collects team memorabilia and memorizes player stats?  I used to work with a guy who has a Steelers room in his house.  It wasn’t even a useful room, like a Steelers themed guest bedroom or something.  It was literally an entire room full of nothing but miscellaneous Steelers crap.  I mean, we don’t even go that far.  As much as we like Star Wars, we don’t have a Star Wars room.  Even our game room is more of a multi-purpose room, really.

I won’t even get started on religious nerds, because this video does it much better than I could.

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6583358/why-religious-people-are-nerds

Well, I fail at links. Computers aren’t really my thing.  Copy / paste or Google “College Humor religious people are nerds” It’s hilarious and totally worth watching.

Moving on:

My second theory as to why “geek” or other variations thereon has such a negative connotation  is that some superfans seem incapable of shutting up about what they like, no matter how boring it is to the person they are talking to.  I’m sure I probably do it too but oh boy, I say, “you’re boring me so I am walking away now” a lot.  But here again, I don’t understand how rambling on about the Marvel reboot or your latest gaming campaign is any different than when other people talk about the boring things they enjoy.

I mean, in my opinion, sports fans are just about the most boring people in the world.  Unfortunately though, it is so acceptable to be a sports fan that to not be a sports fan is just as likely to make you a pariah as is anything I’ve talked about thus far.

The same holds true for interest shopping, designer clothes, popular TV shows, and anything else that doesn’t interest me.  Yet when people gather around the water cooler, these are the things they talk about.  So where does that leave me?  What I get from all of this is, it’s not okay to like the things I like and it is also not okay to not like the things I don’t like.  Am I really that weird for enjoying the things that I enjoy while not enjoying others?

Is it really so fundamentally wrong to carry a Batman lunchbox and wear combat boots with kitty cat faces on the toes?  It may sound trivial but after 37+ years of not fitting into mainstream society I’m really baffled by these questions.

Could it simply be that as a whole geeks or nerds or whatever people want to call us are simply less concerned with outward appearances?  Are the mainstream masses truly just sheep who spend all their time trying to fit into some socially acceptable mold?  Or is everyone like me, only able to see the world from my one-dimensional perspective while feeling completely baffled by the thoughts and actions of everyone else?  While I’m sure the need to belong and be surrounded by others of like tastes and interests is why we catalog, generalize, and stereotype in the first place, it doesn’t answer the question of why some labels are good and some bad.  How, when, and why does society decide that sports fan is better than sci-fi fan.  It’s very perplexing to me.  Anyone?  Bueller?

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Filed under Board gamer lamer, Just a day in my life.

Conversations in bed: Your guys suck at Star Wars

I have a really hard time falling asleep.  The problem is, I am really easily bored and lets face it, just lying in bed waiting to fall asleep is almost as boring as watching televised sports.  So I lay there and my brain starts trying to entertain itself.  Much to Andy’s chagrin, my mouth is all too willing to follow its lead.  This is just a little taste of the night time gems with which I keep Andy awake.

Bear in mind, I’ve never actually played a tabletop RPG so I am completely talking out of my butt here.  I really have no clue how these things work aside from knowing there’s a lot of reading and dice rolling involved.

Me: Soooo, you’re playing this Star Wars RPG.  If I decided to play, how much reading would be involved?

Andy: None really.  You know the universe and the characters.  We could explain the rules.

Me: I don’t know Star Wars THAT well.  I’m only a casual fan.  I don’t mind some reading though.  I just find reading rules to be mind numbingly dull.  (Here’s where I should mention I went to law school.  Probably a poor career choice for someone so adverse to reading rules that I won’t even play RPG’s)  The only reason I’m even considering Star Wars is because the books I’ve seen lying around aren’t very thick.  I could maybe suffer through them.

Andy:  That’d be cool.  We’re still getting it together right now anyway.  None of the guys want to play the tech.  You sort of need someone with tech skills for ship repairs and hacking and stuff.

Me: So get an R2 unit.  Problem solved.  Your guys suck at Star Wars.

Andy: The problem is, you need money to buy droids.  I don’t think they could afford it.

Me: So make your first mission be on Tattooine, find a Jawa Sandcrawler and buy some piece of crap used R2.  They could chip in or something.

Andy: Even used droids cost money.

Me: Is there a rule for bargain basement, barely functional, you have to wheel it around on a dolly because it’s not even mobile droids?

Andy: No.

Me: Well there should be.  I saw episode IV and those Jawas had some real pieces of crap out there for sale.

Andy: Well there’s not.  Chester wants to play a droid, but not that kind.

Here’s where I decided that Chester, who I vaguely understand to like chaos characters, which I very vaguely understand, should play a Mandalorian, which I have very little knowledge of, because they don’t form strong alliances from what I understand so in my reasoning they could be played very chaotically if the player so chose.  Even though I really didn’t know what I was talking about, I still argued very vehemently for about 15 minutes.  Why not?  It’s not like anybody’s trying to sleep or anything.

Skipping ahead…

Me: If I play, I just want to play a wookie.  On all my turns I’ll just say Rrrrraaaaaaawwwwwwwrrrrrr and occasionally rip someone’s arms off.  It’ll go like this: You: It’s your turn.  What do you want to do?  Me: rrrrrrrraaaaaaaaawwwwwrrrr rooor rawwww ooooorrrrr roar.  You: No, seriously.  Me:  Rawww rrrr rawrr roooooo raaaaahhhh raaaaawwww.  You: Ok, fine.  Roll the dice.  Me: The wookie doesn’t want to roll the dice.  It’s best to just let the wookie win.

Andy: Why do I talk to you again?

Me: rawwwwrrrrr

Andy: I’m going to sleep.

Me: Guess what?

Andy: You’re going to fart?

Me:  Nope.  Just rrrrrraaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwrrrrrrrrr

Andy: I’m done talking to you.  Go to sleep.

By then it was after midnight and Andy has to be up at 7 AM so I decided to shut up and read for a while.

And this is why I am the best best girlfriend ever.

The End.

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