Gamestorm – a quick rundown

So I know I keep mentioning Gamestorm so I thought I would take a moment to explain what it is and why I love it. So to star the explanation, Gamestorm is a convention held annually in the Greater Portland area and is currently on its 13th year. The convention is dubbed “The Pacific Northwest’s Premiere Social and Strategic Game Convention” by their website. I am not sure I agree fully with the tag line, at least not the social part, but it is a great gaming convention.

The convention currently runs for 4 days from Thursday through Sunday and is held in March. This year it will be March 24th through the 27th and is being held at the Hilton in Vancouver, Washington. While the location is not ideal for those without their own wheels it is a nice area and does have a number of restaurants of decent quality and pricing within walking distance.

During the 4 days there are 5 different tracks of gaming that go on.
RPG games for those table-top gaming fans
LARPs for those who are a bit more socially inclined in their gaming
Miniatures for those who like to really watch the combat happen
Board Games for all of the board game geeks out there
Panels for those who want to discuss gaming further
CCG for the Collectible Card Gamers out there, I would take my magic decks if I still had them
There are also Indie games and prototype testing of new board games that goes on at the convention as well.

So if you are in the Pacific Northwest and are looking for a way to stay up much too late gaming only to get up bright and early the next morning to game all day again then Gamestorm is the place for you. I just really suggest you take Monday off from work too as you will need it.

Old school dungeon mapping

Old School RPG Shirt
So to kill some time today I was on Cafepress again cruising for new shirts to wear to this year’s Gamestorm Convention. I have already found my shirt for this year (see earlier post), but now I need a new on for my husband and our friend that comes too. It is one of my little traditions around the gaming con each year is to pick up a new shirt. Being that the ratio of men to women is so high, especially when you don’t count LARP land, I get plenty of attention. But having a new cool shirt each year just helps it along. Generally I don’t like that sort of attention, but when it comes to a gaming convention I enjoy it, after all these are my sort of people.

So while there are always plenty of good finds on Cafepress, today’s shirt goes to the old school dungeon mapping shirt. I haven’t seen this one on there before and found it with a very generic “rpg” search. And I think the wording on this shirt describes it well, for if you are not hard core, old school gamer enough to recognize this for what it is, you will be lost, confused and probably bored with the translation. Especially as any of us that do know the answers to this shirt are quite likely to trail off into no less then three different gaming stories as we attempt to explain the various symbols and what they mean.

On another note my tabletop rpg session has been officially approved for this year’s Gamestorm. I will be running my Horror Rules session at 10am on Saturday. Hopefully I get enough players that early, on the upside the players I do get will be more hard core about their roleplaying and desire to play the game or they won’t be functioning that early. Good thing the game doesn’t require being fully awake either, as the rules are simple and character creation is quick. Now I just need to figure out some neat counters to use for tracking points in the game. Guess you know what I will be cruising the web for tomorrow.

Modern Warfare – Cube Style

Machine Gun
I am always on the look-out for gifts that can be classed as “Geek Gifts” as I never know when I will find a must have for my husband or kids, or even myself for that matter. Recently I shared a great shirt that I found online, and will be buying shortly to wear at my next convention. But tonight I found a rubber band gun I only wish I had when I was a kid. Sure I had a nice homemade, one-shot pistol that my dad made me, but this machine gun takes the battle to a whole new level.

With a gun like this one you can really amp up the cube wars, or take those backyard fights to the next level. I am sure if I had one of these as a kid it would have been grand. Since I don’t work in a cube environment I will have to leave this to my more Dilbert type readers to see if the twelve shots in this baby are worth the investment. According to the write up it even comes with a sighting hole for increased accuracy.

Instant Con Costume Eyeshadow

Instant Eye ShadowSo being perfectly honest, make-up was one of those things I never did really figure out. Sure I know the basic idea of what goes where, in what order, and how to apply it. But I never went through middle school looking like a peacock with all the other girls, and so never really got the hang of it. This doesn’t bother me in my day to day life, especially since I grew up with both a mother and grandmother who never wore any either. The only time it gets to me is at convention time. When I get in costume for Orycon I would love to do up the make-up, especially with my wench costume. So I think before next convention I am going to order some of the instant eye shadow kits that are out there.

The one here is from a company called ColorOn and they have a wide variety of choices from the mild modern to the pretty out there like this one. Though, even the more out there ones have a home, as I am sure there are some convention costume out there, perhaps for Kumoricon that scream the need for this set. But it seemed to me to exemplify what these kits can do for an outfit. After all, the devil is in the details. Now I just need to figure out which of the many purple based kits would go with my costume best.

Gamer Girls are different

New Game
So the season gears up for the great holiday of love, romance, and everything that simply isn’t me that we call Valentine’s Day. Thankfully we have ditched cable and the radio is now my only source of commercials and there I just change the station. I simply hate hearing one more commercial trying to convince the man in my life that I want diamonds, or jewelry or some such something girly for Valentine’s day.

The fact is that I am a gamer girl. Sure a nice card is good, but that is as girly as I get. If you want to get me a new computer or video game that would be great. Or maybe a new gaming book or that supplement I have been eying. Better yet just watch a movie with me like Tank Girl, haven’t watched that one lately.

Here is how gamer girls work. When the Titanic came out, oh so many years ago, my now ex-husband and I went on a Valentine’s Day date to the movies. I remember very clearly the long line of couples that were there, they were all going to see the Titanic. We went to see The Replacement Killers. While standing in line talking about the movie, the look of envy coming from the poor guys who had been escorted off to see the Titanic was nothing short of memorable. But that is how us gamer girls roll.

I went to see Fifth Element in the theater and then went back four more times. Of course you have to watch it 5 times, it is Fifth Element after all.

And these days I would rather get a new game to play either by myself, or with family and friends then some piece of jewelry I have no interest in wearing let alone maintaining. I always say if you are going to buy me a ring make it one from the quarter machine and attach a trip to Disney World to it, now there is a ring worth having.

So while some girls like fancy jewelry and expensive Coach purses, us serious gamer girls tend to like things a bit different. Just remember to woo based on the girl you got, not the one they talk about in the ads!!

The Perfect Gamestorm Shirt!

So as I am sure you are well aware I will be attending Gamestorm again this year in March. So I am looking to find a new shirt to wear at con, to go with my collection of gamer girl shirts. This year we are adding to our collection of friends that are going, one of our additions is a couple that we game with. So since this time there will be a female friend for me to hang with I am most excited about the awesome shirt I just found on Cafepress, I am going to show it to my friend this week and see if she will go in with me and get us a matched set to wear around Gamestorm. It is sure to attract attention, draw comments, and may even help us win a couple games.


Life as an RPG

It was mentioned to me the other day by a friend (I think as a quote from someone, but can’t locate the comment) that going to work is like being in a live action RPG. I couldn’t agree more.

For many of us, too many of us, we get up each day and put on our work clothes and head out the door. Depending on your situation even putting on your work clothes can feel like putting on a costume as it may be so different then what you wear in your free time. Then there is the how you have to act at work part, I don’t know about you but there are plenty of times for me that I have to act much differently then I want to, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

So we spend 40 hours (or so) a week playing a role for someone else, or several roles depending on your circumstance, in exchange for a paycheck. Certainly most of us are not really ourselves at work. I know that very few people at my work want to hear me geek out over my latest rpg session, or the game I got at con last month, or even what costume I am working on for the con a few months away. Instead they expect my job to be filled by a certain type of person, and to keep my job I need to fill that role, hence the live action rpg.

Personally I more enjoyed the fantasy based live action game I used to play, at least that character was a version of me that I dreamed up. But since there are bills to pay, mouths to feed, and cons to attend I will be heading off to the daily “game” later this morning. And when I get there and pull my id card off the rear view mirror and put the safety glasses on my head I will go into character and navigate the imaginary world that has been set out as today’s adventure. May you have as much luck with your adventure in your own live action rpg as I hope to have in mine.

Gaming books on the cheap

Picture by topfer
So you want the latest gaming book but don’t or can’t pay the off the shelf price at your local gaming shop? Perhaps the answer is, this is the site we used to buy our 4th edition D&D books at just less then 1/2 off the shelf price. And the condition of the books you may ask? They were both pretty much brand new books, no markings, no cover damage, not even bent spines. Of course is just a place for people and stores to sell the books they have, and if no one is selling your desired book on there then the only option is to wait for it to come up. But there is no harm in looking.

Tech support made easy

I came to this link from my friend Lori Chance, author of Who Am I?, via her Facebook profile. Though I typically do not share these sort of things I felt obligated to share this one as it is so accurate. Xkcd have a number of other comics too, and I suggest you head on over and take a look, see if you like anything. I must admit my first temptation is to print this out and post at the computers of a few people I know.

xkcd: Tech Support Cheat Sheet

Wi-Fi Shirt

So after a discussion during dinner tonight we determined that the game room needs a clock. This is something that had not occurred to me as I could look through to the microwave in the kitchen and read the time just fine. However my near-sighted husband can not perform this seemingly simple feat, then again I can’t read a character sheet without my glasses on so we both have our issues. So off to the wonders of the internet to find a clock that works well for dinner, homework, and doesn’t stand out among the Robo Rally and Killer Bunny games style games that adorn the shelving units in our game room (which also happens to be where we eat dinner too).

While cruising the web I have yet to find a clock I have fallen in love with (suggestions welcome), but did find a shirt worthy of posting on the blog. I have seen electronic shirts before, mainly those that play music or change with volume of the surroundings, but nothing like this one.

This shirt claims to detect the Wi-Fi signals around you!! Nothing in the long write up explains if it tells you if said Wi-Fi’s are secure or not, but I guess if you wear it to your local coffee shop to check if it is a hot spot you aren’t worried about that. If you pick it up, take care around the washing instructions as the shirt is powered by a couple AAA batteries neatly tucked into a holder in the hem. Also I would have to agree with the comment that countered the write-ups suggestion to wear this tot he airport, unless of course you enjoy the full body pat down.