So my daughter has struggled with her interest in reading for some time now, even though she reads at level, she is in 3rd grade. After a plea for help among my personal Facebook friends I was given a long list of potential books. I will try to update the site later with the full list of books as many of them were great suggestions. The problem was that many of these books were above her level and I was at the point of losing her for reading all together so couldn’t risk anything too over her head. Thankfully I had a friend who turned out to have the perfect solution. She brought over The Spiderwick Chronicles. Turns out they were perfect, about 100 pages and just enough pictures to break up the text but not enough to get the story from them alone. She is now on Book 4 and is delighted with herself as she finishes each one!
Prior to this it was impossible to get her to finish any chapter book, and left to her own choices she would choose Disney stories that I had collected before my kids were born. And while I feel that any reading is good reading, I knew she could do more she just didn’t know it herself. My friend also gave her the incentive that when she finished the 6 book series she would lend my daughter the movie to watch. My girl announced to her step-dad last night that she was “going to read them all, watch the movie, and then keep reading lots of books”. I am so delighted that we have finally made a reader out of her!! So while I haven’t read the books myself, I can certainly recommend them to anyone trying to bring out the reader in their kid.
Here is the second installment of our on going It Came From the Late, Late, Late Show our GM provided us with a longer game, I believe it took us 3 sessions to finish the storyline and that included staying up a bit later on the last night.
This adventure was a two part story line, in the beginning section we were humans discovering the monsters and bringing them back to our research lab to study them. The trip back was one of the two most memorable sections as we got attacked by modern day “pirates”. It was an attack by hippies on a Greenpeace ship who simply would not believe that we were not whalers. Of course the fact that we had to use an old whaling ship to bring the creatures back to the lab and that we tried to keep them from going below deck certainly wasn’t helping our cause any. Eventually we drove them off but not without a struggle.
Then we switch to the awakening of the monsters and us taking them over as our new roles for our actors. This is where our GM really got the chance to break out his homemade hex map, terrain and miniatures. He is really into Lego’s and so that is what we use for mini-figs when he runs. Of course we collect them too which makes them super easy to locate and use.
So as the ubur monsters (think Godzilla style) we were bent on destroying the town, as well as our arch enemy. Turns out that, at least for us and our dice, the hard part would be the electric lines they had laid down in our path. We came far too close to dying out over them before we even got into the real battle.
These images are from the end of game and give you an idea of the carnage as well as our GM’s homemade battle map.
Here is the write up of the movie poster, the characters and rule summary, as well as the entire adventure. Hope you enjoy. If you end up playing or running it I would love to hear how your adventure went.
“You asked for wisdom? Hear these words. Nothing limits intelligence more than ignorance; nothing fosters ignorance more than one’s own opinions; nothing strengthens opinions more than refusing to look at reality.” – Sheri S. Tepper in The Vistor
There are so many neat and unnecessary things in this world that you could blow your hard earned cash on. In fact, most of the stuff out there is unneeded even if most of it isn’t neat. But, for the college student that needs that morning pick-me-up after an all-night math proofing session I found the perfect geek gift at Think Geek.
What they need is caffeinated pancake syrup! Now you can have your Eggo waffle and your morning caffeine all at once. Really, who needs this you might ask. Well I know in my (early) college days I used to grab a Jolt cola and a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans and call it breakfast. So I guess I could have used this back in the day.
So, as many of you likely know, Guild Wars 2 will be releasing on Aug 28, 2012. At our house this is exciting news, as I trust it is at many of yours as well. My husband and I pre-bought the game for both of us as our anniversary present this year back in April when the option became available. We intend to each dedicate a character slot to our joint play time, kind of a gamer date time when the kids are at their dad’s house. Any way that works is a good way to keep the spark alive.
I never played the first Guild Wars, and haven’t been very big into the whole multi-mass player online game thing. Mostly I don’t like to team up with others, partly because as a mom my attention can rarely be devoted fully to the game and partly because I am not super good at them and feel self-conscience around others.
Thankfully Guild Wars 2 has proven to be the game I was waiting for, I just didn’t know it. A big thank you to my husband for knowing it for me.
When I play rpg style games it is all about the character and the development of the character. I will choose things based off what the character would choose not always what is the best from a number-crunch perspective. This often makes my characters ineffective but very real; so far I have had enough choices to implement style without sacrificing ability which is great. I love how the items have really out there names sometimes which feeds my character personality need quite well.
I also have enjoyed the immersion of the character background into their personal story line. This allows me to focus on doing things and generally staying away from the tedium of grinding. Any game that makes me grind will quickly be left behind, I don’t find it engaging to endlessly run areas to kill monsters just to get experience to level to do the next real thing. With Guild Wars I can collect hearts or way point or views and just go to a whole new area if I need to level for my story line. It keeps me engaged which means I keep playing.
My family budget loves the idea that I buy the game and then get to play it, no deciding what we are going to give up each month to afford the dues for four of us to play. Or splitting accounts so that we can all take turns playing just to afford to play at all. Thank you AreaNet for going “old school” on this and dumping the monthly fees!
All in all I am excited for go-live to get here so I can play, play, play!
While most of my costuming tends towards the elaborate and rather expensive, I also have made some pretty low-budget costumes as well. Here are a few ideas for cheap Sci-Fi themed costumes. I hope you find something here that you can use.
Mech Pilot: Decorate a helmet with a number or logo of your choice. Find a tight fitting shirt and pants and decorate the shirt with a matching logo.
Mummy: Buy a white sheet at the second hand store and tear it into strips. You can either sew or hot glue the strips to some old clothes you don’t care about anymore. Put them on and wrap a few around your head as a mask.
Mech Mechanic: Find a pair of overhaul and smear them with grease. If you want to make sure it won’t rub off an anything then use a black sharpie to create the look of grease. Use some black face make up or the black stuff that football players use to dirty up your face and hands. Carry a wrench around with you.
Zombie: This is pretty easy to do, it just requires a bit of make-up and staining up an outfit you don’t care about anymore. My favorite zombie I have done was wearing a girls dress from Value Village, had my hair up in pig tails and carried around a teddy bear I had used a red sharpie on and half removed its head. Guess I should mention I am only 4’10” so could really pull off the young girl thing.
Cat Girl: Any cute outfit can go sci-fi/anime with the simple addition of cat ears and a cat tail. No back story or justification required.
Mad Scientist: A white lab coat that has been stained up with a number of different colors. To that blacken up your face and use copious amounts of hair spray to make your hair fly back, in that my experiment just exploded in my face sort of way.
I would love to hear your ideas. Please share them in the comments section.
A few months ago our Call of Cthulhu DM ran a one night game of It Came from the Late, Late, Late Show. I had never played the game before, though I had read through the rules a while ago. For a long time now I have had a love for what I call the one-book-wonder role playing games. My preference is for games that are low in rules as I find they are more fun to play. When you have multiple rule books, like in Shadowrun for example, it is easy to get caught up in the myriad of rules and forget that the joy of the adventure and the interaction of the characters is what makes a really good story and therefore a really good game.
In this case the game was epic in nature and well worth writing about. Our DM got his inspiration from the Grave Robbers from Outerspace card game, which is another great card game I will need to write more about someday. He used the cards to help generate the plot locations and encounters, which I thought was a terribly novel approach to getting ideas; a really great way to get the creative juices flowing. Even the name of the adventure came from the cards, which is a part of the rules of the card game but I will cover that in another post. As per the name of the post, the adventure name was The Ghost Returns for High Adventure on the Coast of Crusade.
If you have never played It Came from the Late, Late, Late Show I would recommend it. In it you are playing an actor that gets cast into various roles to be in a late night movie. Needless to say, these shows are low budget so a bit of cheesiness is in order. For example the major bad-guy in our adventure was this horrible tentacled creature, with several arms that waved about seemingly at random. We found this large creature was only affected by sharp objects and the more that we punctured it the more that it let out a hissing sound until it eventually deflated and laid flat across the ground.
In case you are looking for more details on our adventure, or need a one night run for your group. My DM has blessed me with his notes from our High Crusade, and allowed me to post them on my blog.
Last week, we started our regular Friday gaming night session out by playing a few games of We Didn’t Playtest This at All while we waited for everyone to arrive. It is a neat little card game, rather humorous and a very quick play. I think we played four or five games in about 30 minutes. The rules are super simple; basically take once card, play one card.
I think my favorite thing about the game is how cut-throat the game itself is to the players. Sure there is some player to player smack down that goes on, but mostly the game itself is rather ruthless. The only way to win is to be the last player not to lose, and the cards make losing a very easy thing to do.
One of our games even included a player being saved by a dragon showing up in game, just in time. How often can a person be happy to see a dragon, or have it save your butt rather than eating it?
If you ever get a chance to play We Didn’t Playtest This at All I would really recommend you take 10 minutes out of your life and do it. I promise you won’t regret it!