Spiky gloves

So while searching the web for fidget toys for my son to use in class I discovered these great pair of gloves from The Therapy Shoppe.  Obviously they are designed as therapy gloves for people with sensory issues, but I can help but see them as also being potentially cool costume additions.  I must admit I have no idea what costume I would use these with, but they are simply too neat to keep to myself.

Also if you are looking for a quiet fidget toy for the gaming table this website has a pretty good selection.  That way you can manage your ADHD without driving your gaming group bat crazy clicking a pen in and out, or constantly rolling your dice.  I haven’t ordered anything for my boy from them yet, but hope to manage to sit him down soon and make a couple selections to try out.

If you have any ideas of a costume that would go with the gloves let me know.

SETI scaling back

Space by Zakeros

So sad news really hit the public today.  Seems that the funding is no longer sufficient to keep the Allen Telescope Array up and going.  And while they are working to restore the program as soon as possible we could be missing the crucial moment of first contact (at least official first contact).  Seems to me that at a time where it is becoming ever more obvious that mankind really could use a helping hand, we are forced to back away from trying to find it.  Perhaps this is just part of the steps that have to happen for the big events of 2012, if we can’t see it coming it will only add to the drama, wouldn’t want SETI to foreshadow anything.

But if you are hoping to find a way to help out and bring the array back online, SETI is working towards moving away from ties to the government so as to avoid budgetary pitfalls.  This means they have set up a way for you to donate to the cause.  Click here to donate to SETI.

Gamer Web Comics

So I am sure that many of you are familiar with the variety of web comics that are out there these days.  Really any print comic can be found online as well as a large number of comics that can only be found online.  Sure there are old classics that are still out there, I know Charlie Brown is quite popular with my kids.  But here is a list of the web comics that are followed in my gaming group.  I would love to say I am all caught up on these, but with college still a part of my busy life these haven’t made it to the top of my to-do list.  Hopefully you have more free time then I do.

Order of the Stick

Erfworld

Schlock Mercenary

 

How to lure out a Dragon

So when an adventuring party is faced with the challenge of stealing a dragon’s horde out from under a dragon what is the best approach.  I suppose this particular problem has been covered before and will likely be covered again, though I doubt too many other groups will find the ultra creative approach that my gaming group decided to take.

First off I should clarify for you that 1) this party is evil, made up of demonologist, necromancers and the like and 2) there was never any intent on slaying the dragon, just removing as much treasure as they could with minimal effort and sacrifice of life or limb.  Now that we have those basic facts covered we can proceed with the story of how they achieved this goal.  Oh, I guess I should mention that I was running Legendary Lives 2nd Ed. in our typical Friday night game.

Bacon courtesy Spara

So the plan, that almost went off, was to lure the dragon from its home in the side of the mountain and while it was out and distracted to rush the lair and steal as much treasure as they could and escape.  The escape route was clear for they have a magic circle made of 26 leather sections that can be laid down in a pattern to teleport what ever enters the circle to another place based on the pattern the pieces are arranged in (think Stargate).  But now they had to determine how to lure out the dragon.

Well the groups assassin found in the small town a contact that would sell him a dragon sized dose of double-vision poison.  This, they hoped, would provide them a fighting chance.  But the poison had to be ingested, so they devised a cunning plan.  They bought a cow, and a towns worth of bacon and two cheese wheels [can you see where this is going].  Then headed up the mountain, once they felt they were close enough they used their fire magic to cook all the bacon at once.  With all the freshly cooked bacon they wrapped it around the cow, attached the wineskin of poison around it’s neck and tied the two cheese wheels to its back.  Double, bacon cheese burger on the hoof; sure to attract even the mildest of dragon’s away from their treasure.  Who could resist that much bacon???

And while there is much more to the story, which I will cover in another post someday, I will say that they did successfully part a fair amount of the treasure from the dragon with only minimal party damage.  All through a judicious use of bacon!

My month of change

My Dad 2010

This month has proven to be an opportunity for change, doors have closed and others have opened and from the beginning to the end of this month my life is forever changed.  I won’t say for the better or for the worse, as the reality that the answer is both just like any change is really both.  It is in the end the Yin and the Yang finding a new balance in our lives.

The month started out with my father being in the hospital again, his health over the years has been in a steady decline so this was not a shock.  However, after two days in the hospital the morning of March 7th found him notably worse and the doctor called us to his bedside for a chance at goodbye.  We were incredibly lucky in that he got to say his last words to us and we got to wish him off surrounded by loving family.  Really if someone has to die, what better way to go then surrounded with love.  A thank you to the great doctor and nurses that gave us time to get to Dad and took such good care of him to the end, blessings to them.  Needless to say this has shaken my world quite a bit this month and is the number one reason I have been so quiet with my postings.

But as they say for every door that closes another one opens, and for me this was a new job opportunity that I feel is a step in the right direction and moves me away from the acidic workplace that I am currently in.  Not to say that my current employer is all bad, just that after many, many years we have grown apart and it is clear to me that it is time to split ways.  And who am I to question the wisdom of the Universe that brought this opportunity to me.  Thanks to the invention of social networking I can easily stay in touch with those people I have formed a bond with over the last 13+ years far easier then I have from any previous job.  My how times have changed.

Add to this that it was the end of Cookie Sales for my Girl Scout Troop and the end of the term in college and my month has simply not had time for posting.  But now it is Spring Break, which also means that GameStorm is next weekend.  I am excited that I will be running two sessions of Horror Rules at Gamestorm this year.  The adventure is called Terror in Tarrytown and it should prove to be a frightful good time for all.  I think having Invader Zim playing in the background while I put the finishing details on the write-up is just the right touch.

So here is to change, both the good, the bad, and the inevitable.  May it always make us stronger and our soul stronger then it was before.

Magic Items from Children’s Books

Fan by classina

When reading bedtime stories to my kids I am often struck by the quantity of ideas for either game plot or magic items that I discover. Right now I am reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to my 9 year old, and Alice in Wonderland to my 6 year old. If we simply allow ourselves to see the items and situations in these works outside of the structure of the story we can reap a small army of ideas out of this simple bedtime ritual. Here are a few ideas I have been struck with for Magic Items.

 

Shrinking Fan (Alice in Wonderland) – A magical fan that when used to fan oneself causes the person to shrink at the rate of 1″ per minute.

Boots of Conclusions (The Phantom Tollbooth) – Magic boots that can be used once per day to “jump” to a small island, when on this small island the character may find the conclusion that would happen from a certain action. While on the island the character is not visible where they had been and time passes as usual while they are gone.

Almost Tea Cup (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) – A tea cup that can be filled three times per day. The liquid that fills the cup is “almost, but not quite unlike tea” and will sustain the physical needs of the character in terms of nutrition but still leave the character feeling not quite satisfied.

A Con for us Geek Girls

I just found out today, via Twitter, about a new con that is having its first event this year. It is Geek Girl Con!!!! The con is meant to celebrate all things geek in all of us geek girls, past, present and into the future. I would love to take all my Geek Girl followers, but alas you are not all local and the event will be held in Seattle, WA on the weekend of October 8-9. And the best part is that the cost is only $35 for both days.

Having been, in many cases, the only girl at the gaming table I know it would be awesome to be at a con dominated by geek girls like me. If they host an rpg schedule and I can manage to get to the con (which I am hoping to do) I will run a game for sure. It would be awesome to run for an all girl group, so different!!!

Hope that you can make it and support all of us great geek girls!!!

The power of belief

Gamers are well known for their imagination, at least those gamers that play rpgs or LARPs. How else can we dream up characters, recreate scenes in our heads, or plan out wild adventures to run our player’s characters through. For us our imagination is the butter for our bread, without we could not be who we are; and certainly we would never change that. We know the difference between our imaginary world and that of reality, to us it is not unlike a movie or a book which we are in charge of. Our games are the ultimate Choose Your Own Adventure book.

But we also have strong beliefs. They are not the same collective set of beliefs that we are required to have; no, instead we each have our own set. I would hazard to say that if you took a group of 20 gamers into a room and polled them on their beliefs from politics to religion you would find no two the same, in addition you would likely find some of the wildest set of beliefs out there. This, I suspect, is because of our very creative and imaginative nature we can not help but see possibilities for our world that are virtually impossible for others to see.

I have been reading up some on the power of our beliefs, especially our belief in ourselves, and how we can use that belief to draw positive energy to changes in our lives. So I am experimenting with this concept, to see how much energy I can draw from myself and the universe around me towards my goals. Others have used this idea, to great success, in their lives. But the gamer in me can not help but wonder, if it works, if calling the energy and drawing it to a cause could help us to reshape our world. Could someone use it to gain “real” magic? or to fly? or have heat vision? is it all just a matter of believing enough??? And if it is that simple should we stop telling our kids that they can’t do this or that simply because they are human, maybe their belief is strong enough.

Halfling shirt!

Here I am sitting at the game table playing Call of Cthulhu, we are interrogating our prisoners from the first boat we took over, and I noticed on my laptop that Cafepress was having a sale on hoodies right now. So, being in need of a new hoodie (the rats ate holes in mine) I went cruising.
I haven’t settled on a hoodie yet, but I did find this great shirt that really is appropriate for not only me, but also as a theme shirt for this blog. Having been given the nick-name halfling in high school, knowing that I am not likely to get taller (I am only 4’10”) it seemed best to embrace the moniker and be a proud halfling. The image was only added to by my penchant for being barefooted and love of food.
Guess I will need to add this one to my closet too. If I keep finding all these cool gamer shirts I am going to have to buy some more hangers soon.

Thunderstone – The Boardgame

So last weekend I played a new game with the kids called Thunderstone. The game is a card based game that recreates an adventuring group. While the game is plenty of fun it is also easy enough for younger kids to play. I suspect that we may not have been playing with the full on set of rules, but we were close enough to them to get a good feel for the game.

In the game each person starts out with basic supplies for an adventuring party represented in cards. Using the cards you have collected you can either head to the village to purchase supplies or recruit and level up; or you can delve into the dungeon and battle creatures for experience points. The game play is pretty simple once you get it figured out, though I will admit that the setup is a bit on the complicated side to determine from the book. Just be sure to read through the instruction book and it will all come together pretty easily.