A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a Geek Version of the Traditional Wedding Anniversary list. The list is from Geek Dad on Wired and here is the link to the Geek Anniversary List so you can enjoy it too. Since then my husband and I have been using this list to determine our gifts for the year. We shake it up some since they don’t always fit. Like last year (5th Anniversary) was smart phones, but we both had good working phones, so we swapped for an earlier year we had missed out on, geeky t-shirts. I will share the shirts we got in another post later.
Board Game Gifts
So with this year being our 6th anniversary and us both really enjoying playing board games we went with the scheduled theme for this year. Last month we went to GameStorm (our local Gaming Convection) it made the shopping that much easier. While my husband is generally good at choosing gifts, he also tells me that he prefers me to be direct and not hint about. So when I found that Guardian Games was selling a game I had really enjoyed playing a few years ago at GameStorm I told him that is what I wanted. I also got his game from the dealer’s room as well.
I asked him to get me Zombie Cinema. It is a true Indie game in both feel and content. The game play is virtually all storytelling with a roaming narrator along with some basic dice-offs and a board to make sure the story progresses in true zombie horror style. When I played it at GameStorm we set the patient zero on an airplane at PDX and the trigger as airline food. It was a crazy story that I still have fond memories of several years later, which is the point in any story-telling game after all. And amazingly I made it out of the scenario alive, though barely. Sadly my current gaming group isn’t big into Indie-style storytelling board games so it may be a while before I get to use it. I do have a couple in Wisconsin that it would be fun to play the game with, perhaps life will let me travel to them soon.
For my husband I got him an expansion for one of our new family favorites, Sentinels of The Multiverse (2nd Edition). This game is a great family game as you are all playing together to defeat the bad guy. There is a lot of replay value as their are multiple villains and settings to choose from as well as super hero characters to play. Really it includes something for everyone. Since we have the base set and a friend picked up some expansions for it, I went with a different expansion and am really looking forward to playing it soon. I got him Sentinels of The Multiverse: Shattered Timelines. Which has several new villains, heroes, and settings. I am really looking forward to trying to beat The Dreamer, but I am not sure we will be able to manage that one. Guess I will update you if we ever manage it.
We love embracing our geek when it comes to gift giving. What is the geekiest gift you have ever exchanged with someone else?
Just like shopping locally helps the economy where you live, the same can be said for supporting your local Game Designer. By finding out the game designers in your community you are helping to drive innovation and creativity in your region. Many, if not most, major metropolitan centers have at least a few game designers. Just last night I found out that we have a new set of game designers in Portland; at least they are new to me. They are called Elbowfish Gaming and are located right here in Portland. Thanks to GameStorm for letting me know about them and their Kickstarter Project for a new game called Anti-Matter Matters. Right now they have a Kickstarter Project that is nearing the end of it’s funding time. It is so close to being funded and I really want to see their game in person and for sale. I went and helped with their kickstarter campaign and urge you to as well, but hurry as it closes this Saturday July 13th!!
So what is the game?
Good question. It is a board game about particle physics. Honestly I don’t know a lot about particle physics myself, but this group does and they have created a board game that promises to be fun while demystifying the rather complex subject of quantum physics. They have been test playing at Guardian Games, a local gaming shop, and they say while being fun it also stays true to the science. The game is rated as age 13+ and plays with 2-6 players. They are hoping to eventually do the extra testing and stuff that will allow them to mark the game 11+. But that means I can play this with my son now and my daughter too in the not too distant future.
I urge you to give what you can and help make science fun, and bring this game to life
Here is a quote from Elbowfish Gaming’s website that I just love: “Play is a universal, social activity. Games can be more than diversions. They are a medium of expression that, like film, books, television and theater, can provide thought-provoking, emotional, transformative and entertaining experiences.”
Last weekend was another exciting gaming convention, sure wish I could go to more of them. As it is nearly bedtime for me this will be short and sweet.
For those that don’t know, Gamestorm is a gaming convention held each year in the Portland/Vancouver area of the PNW. The last few years it has been at the Hilton in Vancouver, WA. For 3-1/2 days we take over the entire convention space and fill it with RPG, RPGA, Miniature, Indie, Board/Card Games, LARPs, LAN, CCG, and console gaming. There is something for everyone and all have a great time.
One of the things about role-playing is that it tends to be something you do for years and years. It also seems to be that most gamers move through a myriad of gaming systems depending on the tastes of their gaming group over the years. Of course this means an ever growing collection of gaming books and character sheets to keep track of. Recently I picked up an old copy of the 1983 TSR Red Box and needed to find a character sheet for my boy to make his first character with.
Thanks to modern advancements we no longer need to do them all by hand or make our way to a copy machine, we can just go online and find them. And in my searches I stumbled across what is to my knowledge the ultimate character sheet site on the internet, RPG Sheets. They have everything from 2300 AD to Wraith: The Oblivion. I suggest you check them out next time you need a character sheet for pretty much any game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
>Another game we added to our ever growing collection this Christmas was the Cheeky Monkey Game
. This is a kids game that my in-laws picked up for my 6 year old daughter. The game is one I discovered at this last Gamestorm and was excited for us to add to our kid game selection, as it is one that adults can enjoy as well.
The game is a tile based game and requires no reading making it ideal to play with younger kids whose reading skills are not ready for heavy game play. Game play goes quick and is based on collecting the various animal tiles that are included with the game. The tiles are placed in a bag (also provided) and each player takes turns drawing animal tiles one at a time as many times as they want to round out collections that they have, but if they draw the cheeky monkey then they have to put their tiles back. A great lesson for the kids and a hard strategy for them to master right away. Very similar to Pass the Pigs in general concept.
For families with younger children I recommend this game. The copy we have was purchased from Rainy Day Games for $30, which is a bit steep but the quality is better then the standard big box store games that you buy, this one will be in our collection for years to come. And Rainy Day Games also has online ordering capabilities in case you live somewhere without a local gaming store.
Do you have kids to shop for that are in elementary school?? Well, then do I have a card game for you!! I highly recommend the card game, Poo Second Edition.
The basic idea is that you are a monkey throwing monkey poo at the other players. There are a number of different poo value cards, dodge cards, clean-up cards and other specialty cards. The game play is simple and the overall length is fairly short at about 15 minutes. I first played this at Gamestorm in 2010 with a mother, her son, and another girl. We all had a good time and the basic plot is rather entertaining to the potty humor age group found in elementary school. This year I made sure it was under the tree for my kids.
Gamestorm is coming up again this coming March. It will be another great chance to gather some more game ideas for my brood as they grow up.
Come back tomorrow for a review of Cheeky Monkey, another Gamestorm find that made its way under our Christmas tree this year.