Man vs Dice – Part 2

As promised here I am again to bring you up to current on the continued, and ever ongoing Man vs Dice saga.20-Sided Dice

While the great game of awesome roles continued to elude him, many an attempt has been made to understand the psychology of the bag of dice that our man keeps.  Each member of the group has worked together to help him out by suggesting different ways in which his dice seem to be acting.  However it all started with Man deciding that his dice desired to be acting on the “Color Coded Theory”, where red dice were for rolling high or “hot” roles and blue dice were for rolling low or “cold” roles.  Of course I am sure you are wondering why one would want dice that rolled both ways, but that is simple as he is playing two games that both use percentiles but have reversed charts.  In Legendary Lives high is good, where in Call of Cthulhu low is good.  And in both systems when you go to improve a skill you must fail your roll.  However by the second session it was clear that this system was not working and indeed his dice were giving out the same fail upon fail rolls he was used to.

So on to the next theory, which was the “Wrong Character Theory”, to understand this you must first know that our Man keeps all of his active character sheets, maps, treasure lists, general information, space ship specs and the like on one clipboard.  At the start of each game he shuffles the current characters’ paperwork to the top of the clipboard stack and clamps it firmly in place.  The theory for his poor roles was that his dice were not rolling for the top sheet on the clipboard, but rather for 3 sheets down on the board.  So the current night’s character was shifted down three sheets and the evening of game play continued.  And while for the first several roles it did seem like at last the dice might be triumphed over, it was quickly determined that the dice were on to the ploys of the Man and were not going to follow this theory either.  Back to the drawing board.

So to take this even further into the murky waters of Man vs Dice, another theory was unveiled.  Perhaps the thought pattern fell under, “Wrong Game Theory”.  Just maybe, he was rolling for the next game and didn’t know it.  So the the theory was put to the test, the first game was my game of Legendary Lives, all rolls for the night were recorded on a sheet of paper, but also used for the current game.  The next week’s GM plays in my games (we alternate Fridays) and agreed to go along with it.  The next Friday night, Man rolled but only recorded his rolls, the actual “rolls” for game that night came off the log sheet from the week before.  Game went pretty good for Man, well until about half way through when those pesky dice decided to revolt and rolled horrible rolls.  That is horrible rolls for the next week, they would have been awesome rolls for the current game.  Truly the dice are evil.  So much for that theory.  There is no new theory yet, but I am sure that next game session the table will come up with yet another plan for Man vs. Dice.

Until then, may your dice rolls be plentiful.

Bringing your kids to Orycon

Pirates at Orycon 31
Pirates at Orycon 31

Kids and Con

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges I have in being a gamer parent is how to incorporate my kids into my gamer life. Specifically without boring them and without them driving me crazy. Orycon is exactly one of those challenges.

I didn’t discover Orycon until my husband and I got together. By then I already had two kids and was fully into mom mode. The first couple of years that we went we did not bring the kids. I was still getting my feet wet and they were pretty young, we weren’t sure if they could handle it, or us handle it either for that matter. Last year we finally took the leap and brought them with us, well for 1/2 of con that is. They came with us on Friday (was a no school day which helped) and stayed over night. We arranged for my mom to pick them up just before dinner on Saturday which worked out great. Splitting the time like that let us enjoy a night of costumed fun with the kids, but also left us with Saturday night to enjoy the costume time and room parties without the little ones in tow.

Orycon Child Policies and Care

Orycon has some good, and clear, policies about kids at the convention which can be found on their website. They also have child care that is offered and they make a good effort to keep it secure which I think is great. Now while looking up the links to paste here for you, I discovered that they have made a change this year to the policy on unattended minors. This year kids 6 and up may be unattended if they have the ability to behave themselves, otherwise I believe they are escorted to child care at your cost (at least the child care part was there last year). Also the kids have special badges that include a spot for parent name and phone number on the back of them, just in case. If you want to take that a step further you could take a lesson from the Oregon Country Fair and use a sharpie to write your name and phone number on your child’s arm. Presumably, short of a cannibalistic kobold attack at the con, they shouldn’t be able to misplace their own arm.

Kids and what to do

I will say that there are only a limited number of sessions that young children, elementary school and younger would find interesting. At least that was the case last year, I am hoping for more this coming year. I suspect next year I will run at least one so I know there is something for my kids to get into. As an exception to this general statement, last year the Greater Portland Costumer’s Guild put on two events that my kids really enjoyed and are hoping to attend again this year. Those were the 99 cent costume workshop, an event where under limited time and supplies you are to construct a costume that fits the rather loose theme provided, awards for everyone at the end. Also they enjoyed the Friday night milk and cookies room party, this year I am going to bring some cookies to it. I sincerely hope both events happen again, and earlier enough that my kids will still be there.

99 Cent Costume Workshop
99 Cent Costume Workshop

Don’t forget the costumes

The kids also enjoy dressing up in costume and seeing all the costumes that people put on for the event. If you decide to bring your child I highly recommend bringing 1-2 costumes for them as well. In fact just let them stay in costume the whole time, how often do they go someplace where that is alright? Since Orycon is only two months away I will be adding another post afterward about how it went this year with the kids.

Always triple check before you sew

I was rather proud of myself yesterday morning, when I was quickly reminded that pride even in its smallest moments is a deadly sin. I no more then said something like, “This shirt proves I can sew well”, when I noticed that I had sewn the main panel on the back of the shirt inside out. Oh those most pesky white on white cotton patterns. I had made it half way through the shirt, front panel with the double layer sections for buttons completed, back panel with its double layer shoulder sections complete and firmly attached to the front. Even the two part, double layered collar was attached and I was adding the first sleeve when the error was noticed.

Ah but will anyone notice? In a dark room, probably not. If he never takes off the vest and coat that I am making to go over it, no they wouldn’t. But I must remember that this is a costume for con, which of course means that it will be looked at closer then the clothes we wear in our everyday lives. And I hang with the costuming people as much as I can at con, so this will not do at all. Can’t just undo and start over as seams have been clipped and trimmed so I am committed and past the point of no return.

That leaves only one options left. Back to the fabric store and start over. Lucky for me I was transporting my boy to and from his dad’s for a Cub Scout meeting yesterday which put me near the fabric store I frequent. So after dropping him off I headed over to Fabric Depot, to pick up some more of the dreaded white on white. Also managed to get some more material for my costume as well as my daughters. And most exciting of all found the crinoline for our costumes, it wasn’t in the section I had looked before, but now I know where they keep it.

Still need some ribbon and my daughter to pick out the material for her fairy wings. I fear once I know how to make wings and more importantly she knows I know how to make wings, I will be making lots of them. I hope they are easy to make, it may be a good home-made birthday present for her friends this year….

Ack!! Here comes the rain

Well it has happened, rain again in the fall just in time for the little ones to head to school today. And with the rain comes the realization that once again I am behind the 8-ball in getting these costumes done. I am half done with the hubby’s gentleman’s shirt, which leaves his vest and jacket left to go. Of course he will need to Steampunk them some after that, well even just buttons are something I am waiting for him to decide upon.

Then it is on to the Fairy Costume for my daughter which will be much simpler (I hope) then what I am working on now. She is going with the Tinkerbell costume from Simplicity, but is doing the water fairy (or so she tells me) but in purple. My son is not sure if he wants to be a stunt man, or his Lego Universe character (we are Beta testing).

And lastly there is mine, always put mine last so I don’t have to feel bad if mine doesn’t get done in time, at least everyone else will be doing good.

If anyone has some good, and reasonably priced places to buy gears, keys, watch parts, and other random accessories of a Steampunk nature that would be great!!

Costuming frenzy begins

So once again I am getting a late start on my costuming efforts despite picking out 3 of 4 costume patterns and doing 60% of the material and notion shopping early. Seems that sewing in the nice weather just isn’t my things. If it would just start raining and we had to turn the heater on I am sure I could get into it.

I did get the first 4 steps done on the hubby’s shirt for his steam punk costume. Other then one small cut that went a tad too deep all seems to be going well so far. I have managed to get the front parts on the shirt where the buttons and button holes will someday (hopefully soon) go. There is a certain trick when sewing with white on white paisley pattern to make sure you get the correct side as the “right” side all the time. I think I am good so far, but will double check in the morning when my eyes are not so tired.

Gentleman’s Shirt – It all starts with shopping

The start of my first Steampunk costume begun yesterday. After long debate and much discussion the husband settled on patterns a couple months ago. We went to Fabric Depot , my favorite sewing central store in the Portland Metro Area, and a couple hours later we came out with yards, and yards of fabric, trims, and notions. We had picked up the patterns during a fortuitous stop at our neighborhood Joann Fabrics, turns out Simplicity patterns were a dollar each that day and we had no idea when we decided to stop by while out shopping for other things. Armed with the patterns I worked up a list of what we would need using Excel so I could have it do the adding for me. The lists proved quite useful at the fabric store.

So back to the Gentlemen’s shirt. This is a basic white shirt, well almost basic, the material has decoration in a white on white paisley pattern. The pattern is Simplicity 2895 and should be quite nice if I can pull it off. We are using the shirt and vest from this pattern and a long coat from another pattern (posts to follow when I get started on it). In the end this will be a costume for a Steampunk mad scientist. Should be quite nice. If I am lucky I will get all my costuming done before Halloween, as that is always the goal, though I am off to a slow start. Hopefully I will make good progress on the shirt the rest of this week and can start on the coat next week.

Pirate Family

Here you can see the costumes that we wore on our Trick or Treat session through the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  I did not make my husband’s pirate captain outfit, but I did make my wench costume as well as the kids’ costumes.  My daughters is based on a pajama pattern, and my son’s was made without the use of patterns.  She wanted to be a standard pirate kid, and my son wanted to be a “washed ashore, shipwrecked pirate”.  His costume is now being used for his Live Action events.

Of course we had to get our family picture with Disney’s primary pirates!!