Cheeky Monkey

A Fun Family Game>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.

Potty Humor Card Game for kids

Great card game for younger kids
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.

Changes coming

Gift Wrap
Gift Wrap for the Gamer Geek
So all, I am working on an update to the site and yet another theme update while I work to find a perfect look for the content of this site. Should have it done by Christmas, I hope.

At that time I can catch up on the posts that have been in the works, there will be another segment to Man vs Dice set to come out with the new theme.

In the mean time I suggest that you go forth and buy cool board and card games and give them our as your Christmas presents!!!

And don’t forget the Dork Tower Gift Wrap, for all your gamer geek presents.

After a long break

So life finally managed to catch up and eat my blogging time for a while. I would claim it to be heartbreaking to my followers but since I don’t have any to speak of based on the hits I was getting, we will instead just consider it a chapter break and move forward.

I am happy to post that Gamestorm is now accepting GM sign-ups. Now I just have to finally tackle my Horror Rules game I plan to run and work out the plot, well at least enough to come up with a catchy name and short summary to draw players. Just not quite sure what plot I want to go with.

Any B Horror Movie plot ideas????

Man vs Dice – Part 3

Clipboard

ClipboardSo what happens when your dice mutiny all together???? When that happens you sit down at the game table, clipboard of characters, maps and miscellaneous information in hand and find that you have everything but your character sheet. You dig through the gaming bag that the gaming clipboard lives in, all of which only ever visits your bedroom, car or gaming table only to discover that you will be accepting the blank character sheet the DM is handing you with a grin. Now the fun part of trying to remember what darn stats your character had anyways. Not so bad on some games, but really bad on others where there are tons of skills.

Fast forward to game the next Friday night, mostly same group of gamers and same darn table, though this time Man sits at the other end of the table hoping for better luck. There is no better luck for Man. Now he finds that the whole gaming clipboard had been abandoned at the last gaming table. Lucky for him the owner of that gaming table is coming over for game tonight, perhaps he will have brought it along. Again no luck for Man, the owner of the gaming table lovingly placed the clipboard in his spot for “abandoned gaming gear” and moved on with his life. Yet another blank sheet for yet another game.

Good thing this particular saga only lasted for two games or Man would have felt truly defeated. Until next time, may your dice roll well for you.

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.

Man vs Dice – Part 1

Dice Shirt - Cafepress
Cafepress - Dice Shirt

In my twenty years of gaming experience, trailing over a good number of gaming groups, I have found one thing to be true. At the gaming table there will always be someone whose dice simply hate them. Now I don’t mean the guy whose dice are just cold that night and can’t pull themselves together enough to take on a squirrel in a staring contest. I mean the sort of person whose dice feel that perhaps a new hobby is in order altogether. Though these gamers are truly dedicated for the forage on despite the odds being stacked against them, even and especially by their own “random” number generators. I should know, I am one of them.

But this post isn’t about me, I solved this problem by running games more often then I play them. Though perhaps in the future I will post on the great saga that is my relationship with my dice. This is about a member of my current gaming circle. But first a bit about this gaming circle; it is the circle of guys that my husband has been gaming with since his college days (and in one case before even that), so one could say they have a history and know each other well.

At their suggestions I am adding this ongoing section to my blog to chronicle the love/hate, but mostly hate, relationship our luckless player has with his dice. In fact it is so bad that in honor of attending his first Gamestorm in 2009, I bought him a shirt that said “Help my dice are trying to kill me!” Which he wore to con for both the warning to other players as well as the general humor of it all. I will call him “Player X” out of thoughtfulness of his need to still have people sign up for the games he does when he attends Gamestorm next year.

Over time he has been working on a number of different theories to further prevent his dice from working on racking up a string of TPKs (Total Party Kills). In my next post on this I will cover his last three attempts to find a cure for the affliction of CPDR (Consistently Poor Dice Rolling).  Seeing as we are unsure if the current method will work, but 99% sure it won’t, I will keep you briefed in the saga as it progresses.  Perhaps one of the hair-brained, Wile E. Coyote schemes will work for you!

Do you have someone like this in your group, lets here about it!!!

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.

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!!