Information on RPG Games, Board Games, Computer Games, and all other Game-ish things

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!!!

Part – The mishaps continue

So when we left off our ragged group of adventurers had not yet figured out that they were destined through PC aura to be together. The best laid plans of mice and DM’s go astride often I have found.

The draconian, being afflicted by the ratling disease ability, had left an easy to follow trail on his way to the abandoned, abandoned, toy factory (suggested by my PC’s who I think may watch Scooby Doo too much). The remaining group of rag tags followed his there with thoughts of a sizable, forged bounty in their minds. Upon arrival at the factory they gained entrance through a partially opened door. While moving in to the large warehouse with its crate lined walls they were ambushed by a dozen or so life-sized puppets that had come to life. Through the use of fire magic and control spells the walking dolls were quickly dispatched of. During the battle our Ratling Necromancer determined the whereabouts of the owner that the puppets were protecting.

While the Nomad took down the remaining mannequins, the Ratling and Goblin dug up the owner and used their Commune magic to speak with him and determine if he might still have valuables in the land of the living they could relieve from his corpse. They discovered that he had a house on the outskirts of town where his most valued possessions had been safely guarded during his life. The party determined to head there to find the treasure, right after they tracked down the Draconian to get their bounty.

Thankfully for them, but not our Draconian friend, the Wolfling had used this time to track him after he made his escape during the heat of battle. Tracking him down to a small shack the party finally manages to take him down, rendering his unconscious and drags him to the nearest lock up to collect on their doctored wanted poster. The Draconian get locked in the brink for the night, not so bad for him as they healed some of his wounds incurred in the previous two scuffles, and the party collects on the ransom. However their attempt at forgery is easy to see through when compared to a standard copy kept at the jail, so much for the big reward they had hoped for.

Now it is off to the factory owners house to collect his treasure, he sure won’t be needing it anymore…

Trade your old gaming stuff for new dice

Another day, another cruise through some of my newly bookmarked websites. And what did I find you might ask? Why I found a barter offer from GM Dice (I wrote about them the other day). They are bringing barter back to gaming, and on the web even! According to the barter section of their website they will gladly take your old rpg books, board games, and even old gaming pieces all in exchange for gift certificates to spend on cool new dice.

But you don’t have anything in your collection you could bear to part with, me either to be honest. Well all is well as they will take anything in exchange for a gift certificate. You will send them information on what you are offering, as well as specifics like condition and quantity and they will let you know what amount you will get on your gift card. If you all are chummy and agree then you ship them the stuff and they will ship you a gift card upon receipt. Perhaps next time I will do this rather then donating my things.

I am not sure what I would ever need a d5, d14, or a d24 for in my games, but they would be great conversation pieces at Gamestorm. Though what I really want is The Amazing Everything Dice, but they are sold out. Perhaps it is time to see if I have any old games to send off.

Rochambeau in the dark with this d3

Cruising the web tonight for another great new die to add to my DM collection I hit upon a site I have never been to before, Game Master Dice. This site carries a wide array of dice, from your standard sets to metal and even semi-precious dice. And if that isn’t enough they also carry an array of fuzzy dice, inflatable dice, and glow in the dark dice. I can’t help but think of my LARPing friends at Gamestorm and Orycon when I saw this d3 that glows in the dark. No longer will low light situations prevent you from playing your LARP and the rock-paper-scissor replacement for dice rolls. Heck this might almost be enough to draw me into a game.

The Sultan of Gaming Tables

It seems that this table has been on the market for a while, but was new to me the other day when I came across it cruising online. The table is a bit steep in price at $8,850 for most gamers but still a very cool product. This table has most everything that the table top roleplaying or miniature gamer could want. There is storage for dice, set-up for maps, flip down stations for players and even a special set-up for the DM. You can find this table for purchase at Geek Chic. If anyone out there has seen this table in person, of even owns one, I would love to know what you think of it. Is it as cool as it seems?

Review – Apples to Apples by Mattel

Game: Apples to Apples
Manufacturer: Mattel
Where can I get it: Target, Fred Meyers, Amazon, Etc,

What is it: This is a card based family game. It comes in two varieties the party pack and the junior version. Apples to Apples is one of the few “big box” games that we play these days. While it has made its way into the mass merchant shops it is still played heavily at Gamestorm (the gaming convention we attend). The pace is quick enough to keep it interesting and personal enough to make it fun.

How is it played: Each player has a set of cards in their hand representing different items or things. The judge picks a card from the top of a stack of special descriptive cards and then all the other players are to put a card from their hand down that best fits the descriptive card. For example, using cards from the junior set (only difference is easier words) here is my hand.
Birthday Cake, Sledding, Snow White, Aladdin, and Dinosaurs. The judge has placed Stinky in the center of the table.
Nothing I have is classically stinky, but if I was playing with my son and he were the judge I might put down Snow White, as he is still in the “girls have cooties” stage of life. The determination of which card is considered Stinky (in this case) is made by the judge, so it pays to look at it from another person’s shoes. Which makes for a good laugh around friends and a good, subtle lesson for kids in perspective.

The kids version is for 7+ and 4-10 players, taking less then 30 minutes to play. From my gamer family to yours I suggest picking this one up!

New Family Board Games

Tired of playing Monopoly and Life for the millionth time with your kids, ready for something new and interesting to play on game night. There are a wide array of games that can meet your needs and now that there is the internet to make ordering easier these games are available to almost anyone. I have been slowly growing my collection of these card and board games for the last decade or so. Here I plan to review these games as a way for you to determine which might work best for your family. With any luck you should be able to find a number of new games to try out.

Lets start with a simple, yet complex card game called Fluxx. The game starts with the simple rule of draw one, play one, simple enough. As the game goes on people play goals for winning, which constantly changes as well as they can play different rules that can change a variety of aspects of the game. While it sounds complicated you will find it is easy to play and with all the expansions, like Family Fluxx, it is a great family game. This is one that I enjoy playing with my son, age 8, and my daughter, age 6. It is a bit over my daughters head she enjoys playing it none the less. You can pick it up at most any game store, in the Greater Portland Area we like going to Rainy Day Games as they have a great selection.

Shadowrun comes to life

As time passes I find that more and more of the Shadowrun universe comes to life in our reality. First there was run-flat tires, and now I am watching a Future Weapons episode that was showing helicopters that fly themselves based on a program. Can you say drone? And then there are the number of implantable electronics for hearing and now sight, the beginnings of implants. Shadowrun here we come!!

Anyone else seen any of the Shadowrun future coming true around us?

RPG – One Book Wonders

I have long been a fan of the one book wonder RPG. True that many of these games are not truly only one book, though many are, they still never quite made the big leagues. Over the years I have amassed a number of these books and now with this blog I have the perfect format in which to share the knowledge of these small time games with the masses. In this series of posts I plan to spend a full post each reviewing a game in my collection.

My fascination and love of the one book wonder game came after an encounter with Shadowrun. While I enjoy the genre and much of the game play of Shadowrun the group I was playing with was far into using every rule they had ever read and owning all the books as well. Game could come to a complete halt for 30+ minutes while everyone dug through book after book to determine just how far you could jump if you were a well built dwarf with a running start and were jumping down from a higher position. The waiting on this actual led me to take up not only games with limited books and therefore limited rule sets, but also cross stitching during games to pass the time during the lulls of rule mongering.

Later this week I will post with the first in this series, Lost Souls.