Little Did She Know

I didn’t really choose to go to CelestiCon, it kind of chose me. Well… my sister and bro-in-law told me to come with, but either way, I ended up in Fremont for Labor Day weekend. Oh, Fremont, how sweet you are for hosting such an awesome, albeit small, con. The general atmosphere was surprisingly relaxed. I swear game designers come to CelestiCon to wind down from GenCon madness. Of course, they play test like crazy, I mean I was super impressed with Celestispiel- a room set up just for prototype testing; but the designers just seemed way more relaxed than I’ve seen them at other cons.

The chill attitudes don’t leave the con lacking, though. There’s a lot of open gaming going, but attendees are legit gamers that show up with equally legit games. The games running officially are sweet, too, but I didn’t really go for those. I followed suit and just rode the wave. My plan did not disappoint as this may have been the best con experience, yet.


 

Friday

9:00 PM
ARRIVE! My super cool bro-in-law picked up my badge.

10:00 PM
Meet and Greet! So, I’m chilling in my room- about to put my PJs on because i was being lame and tired. Then my sister and two of my bros-in-law are like, “Yo, let’s get a drink!” I’m like, “oh, snap!” I refresh in record time and head downstairs. For some reason, I thought we were just getting drinks, but apparently we were going to the Meet and Greet- this fact didn’t process until after we left, though. So, I neither met nor greeted anyone new. I swear I always have some complete oblivious moment at cons. smh

11:00 PM
FLEA MARKET! I bought the dumbest thing at Kubla’s flea market, but this tiny one was like super crazy legit. There weren’t many vendors but this one dude had some awesome things! Hella D&D books, hella comic books and then these sick board games that were still shrink wrapped! I got What The Food for $5!!!!! I saw that sitting there and my eyeballs popped out of my face. I thought I misread the tag- I almost bought it for $25 at Kubla, but I’m kind of cheap. Hello, college?! I love WTF and know my buds will, too. My bro-in-law swiped Volt: Robot Bottle Arena for $9! I’m really, really, really jelly. That game is so friggin’ good. I was so ecstatic with my buy that I just kind of ran out of there.

IMG_0055.JPGWhat The Food?!


Saturday

9:00 AM
Nourishment. Don’t forget this step, people. It’s most likely the only thing you’ll eat until dinner. That’s how it usually is for me, anyway.

10:00 AM
Jumped into Dead of Winter: A Crossroads. This game is sooooo badass! The graphics are great, the characters are funny, the mechanics are smooth. I was super into it. It was totally morbid and hilarious. There are cards that can be triggered by things you do on your turn. One instance, the infamous Ramen Noodles (one of my nephews) was having his janitor character clean up the compound. This then triggered an event where we discovered a baby in the dumpster. A teenager had hid her pregnancy, so, now our options were to A) keep the baby and the mother, attract 5 zombies and have two helpless survivors in our camp or B) keep the baby, throw the mother out, attract 5 zombies and have one helpless survivor. I’m sure our decision is obvi. We threw the trick out.

1:00 PM
Miniature painting! Some cool peeps had stations set up to paint miniatures for free! I had never done it, so of course, I leapt in. My chick looked a little basic, so I covered her in blood. Then the girl volunteering gave me a rock to use as her base- basically setting her badassery in stone. I dubbed her Ragatha then gave her to Ramen Noodles to hold, because he was super prepared with this box of miniatures. Then, of course, I forgot to get Ragatha from him. I will be reunited with you, little one.

3:00 PM
After browsing the Dealer’s Room, Ramen and I meet up with my bro-in-law and his dad for some Volt. That game is soooooo goooooooooood! You’re Just battling each other’s robots. You get points for killing each other and for ending rounds on certain squares. The first to 5 points wins. Gramps kept winning, man! Now I understand how people feel when they play Gravwell with me. I did get one W in, though.

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Winnah!IMG_0057.JPG

 

5:00 PMish
Finally got into the play test room, Celestispiel. That was just such a cool resource to have available. Seriously, if you’re a budding game designer, CelestiCon is the best place to powwow with some happening dudes. It’s small and relaxed, so there’s plenty of time to just chill. I got to test this game called Monster Mansion that was really cool. You’re pretty much going through a dungeon- I can already imagine the drunken rounds of this game. It’s timed and is supposed to be super fast. I don’t want to get too into it, because a post about it will be up soon. Just know that it makes for an awesome addition to drinking game night. Plus, Payton Lee, the dude that designed it, is hella rad. His Kickstarter will be up pretty soon, I hear.

6:00 PM
I straight booked it over to Ultimate Werewolf because THE Mayor Ted was running the game. Ramen and I were fangirling prettying hard, but I mean- how awesome is it to play a game of Ultimate Werewolf with the designer of Ultimate Werewolf?! Just FYI, it’s fuggin’ awesome.

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#fangirl

The rest of Saturday was just chillin’ and some random open gaming, I think. Lots of wandering.


 

Sunday

9:00 AM
Nourishment

10:30 AM
Artemis! Kind of provided a cool e-gaming break. I liked the co-op element. Dudes need to stop underestimating me, though. I asked which position was the coolest and the kid running it answered, “Weapons, but science is easier.” I’ll go for weapons, dude. I don’t know how well we did, but it was super fun.

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Cool > Easy

1:00 PM
DUNE! It took forever for the rules to be explained and the whole time I was like, “Crap, what am I getting myself into?” But I stayed… Mostly because I thought the dude running my table was cute. Once it got going, though, it was aaawwweessoommmeeee! There’s a reason why this game has lasted so long- it’s just so good! The mechanics are smooth and gameplay is pretty simple. I could have formed a power alliance with one dude but I decided to take the harder route. So, I formed an alliance with the cutie… and we totally lost. Not right away- the battle was soooo drawn out. The game lasted like 3 or 4 hours. Ultimately, though, we lost.

6 PM
KICKSTARTER Seminar. This was really cool. It ended up being pretty tiny, but it would have been such a cool resource for anyone that’s interested in game design. The three dudes on the panel are super rad! One was my buddy, Brandon Raasch- designer of Dubious Alliance, another was Jeff Cornelius- President of Cosmic Wombat Games and also runs League of Game Makers, and the last was Teale Fristoe- the designer of Corporate America. They had super valuable insight into game design and launching successful Kickstarters that could actually be translated over to other types of Kickstarters. The energy in that room was really inspiring. I just think these dudes are cool, though. They had ideas and worked their asses off to bring them to fruition. Respect.

9 PM
I finally played an RPG with strangers! Star Wars, to be exact. It was pretty simple- I ended up being the only one to make it to the boss at the end. Hue other dudes got stuck behind a wall of fire, so it was up to me to take down the boss dude. I don’t even know what was happening. All I know it that I was the most skilled shooter and pilot and that the GM kept getting bad rolls at the end. Then I got lots of high fives. So, I won… I think. I’m so ready for other RPGs.

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IMG_0061

Winnah?

1:00 AM
Played another RPG but I was half asleep. Brandon was there and In the end, I think he threw an elixir to me and we all ran out of a dungeon… I don’t even know.


 

Monday
So sad to have left, but I snagged a shirt before I departed and quick game of Smash Up. They have a big raffle at the end. Celestispiel had one, too. I kept missing all of the damned raffles actually.

I really appreciated how chill this con was. At Kubla, I was running from tournament to tournament, but this one was not like that at all. I just hung out with some cool dudes and played games. Honestly, though, cons are gamer dude heaven, so I’m going to be excited regardless, know what I mean? ;) Truth: I’ve got some serious love for CelestiCon now and I can’t wait for 2015’s!

Reviews up soon, babies!

TL;DR
-Go to CelestiCon.

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This is me and my A Game

 

Disappearing Act

Fwoosh! Guess who’s back?

Wowzers, summer school kicked my butt then lethargy kicked my gut. I straight dipped out for a hot minute. Quite literally hot, there’s no A/C in my digs! But I’m coming back with a vengeance! My timing makes total sense… with fall semester starting in a week and all…

Anyway, Celesticon is this weekend and I will most definitely be there! I already know about the markers to signify open game sessions. I am prepared to jump in! I am also going to prep my mindbrain. I’m always burnt out after these things. I need to make a guide on how to decompress after a gaming weekend. Iddeeeaaass…

I was supposed to finally go to con in LA, but I apparently cannot resist the pull of the Bay! So, here I come, San Francisco.

On another note, I funded Poop the Game on Kickstarter! I’ll be reviewing it very soon!

Party Monsters (Dubious Alliance Review)

Dubious Alliance is the perfect game to introduce noobs into RPGs! In my blog about DunDraCon, I mentioned that I immediately jumped into an open game and thus my winging-it-weekend was started. The game that I jumped into happened to be Dubious Alliance! It was an awesome way to really get into my first con and (later that day) my first D&D session ever. It drove my hunger for more RPGs! So, if you want to get your friends into D&D or MonsterHeart or whatever- or even just TEST them to see if they’ll fare well, play some DA with them first. It’s also a good pick-up game if you don’t have enough time to play a full on Role-Playing Game.

This card-based game calls for cooperation but leaves room for deception and brutal sabotage! Not too much, though, because if one person dies, everyone loses- definitely not something to be bumcakes about as it allows for some good push-and-pull throughout game play. You get assigned a player card which gives you survival points and a goal for prestige points. Everyone starts with as many cards as there are players (up to 5). At the beginning of a round, you’re given the opportunity to trade. Everyone puts a card face down and then can either bluff, be honest or outright lie about what they have. That’s where the shade comes in! There’s a trade tracker to keep see whether someone has just traded, hasn’t traded or if they MUST trade- at which point they can be forced to trade. You have to be careful with who you’re trading with because if you kill someone with the object, trap or monster you’re giving, then EVERYONE loses.

photo
You signify that you’re done trading by doing the ‘tusks up’ signal.

 

So, don’t be too much of a jerk. It’s forced cooperation paired with some shiestiness! Designer, Brandon Raasch, compared the energy to Thanksgiving saying, “People kind of pretend to get along, but secretly they’re all mad at Grandpa and two of them are trying to leave anyway. There’s a whole secret dialogue going on in the background.” So true. You try to be good to everyone, but really you’re conniving. The designer went on to say, “It’s a bit of a hybrid because it’s clearly a social bluffing game but has an element of a competitive card game.” The idea of the game was born when Brandon met A Band of Orcs. They shared a love of gaming and thought it would be cool to have a game that echoed old pen-and-paper style RPGs that also featured the band. For the next year, Brandon worked on Dubious Alliance and has gotten to playtest it at hella cons- perfecting the orc mentality.

 You and your orc buds are just rampaging around on adventures- finding treasures and falling in traps and fighting monsters- BUT ALL CONTAINED IN 40 MINUTES OR LESS! Shablah! This is another great party game, too, because it really generates conversation. Every time I’ve played (always with strangers), people joked around easily. So, it’s a good ice breaker! To make it even better, though, Brandon himself gave me some legit drinking rules: TAKE one drink every time you lose survival points or GIVE one drink whenever you gain prestige points.

ADVANCED DRINKING GAME VARIATION:
Take 1 drink for EACH survival point lost
Give 1 drink for EACH prestige point gained

I feel like any dude or testosterone-driven person, gamer or not, would be down to play this monster drinking game. I am SUPER excited to try it out at my next shindig. I’ve recently befriended a bunch of frat boys and I am convinced they’ll eat this up. Dubious Alliance- joining geeks and bros everywhere!

Brandon is totally independent and I respect his DIY attitude. He’s created this awesome idea and there’s just so much I love about Dubious Alliance. It really transcends group lines which you might not assume when you see an Orc theme, but it’s easy to pick up and ridiculously fun with the little flourishes like the tusks up sign. It’s well-crafted and fine tuned- he thought of everything! Like the trade tracker and he’s now including a PDF of a sheet to keep score. The first time we played, I think we used 20 sided die to track scores. I like both ways, though.

The Dubious Alliance Kickstarter funded in its first 12 hours, but they have some awesome stretch goals that add extra cards to the base pack- 9 have been added so far! Backers can expect their DA packs by November. I’m already antsy! This is going to be a rad addition to game nights and I’m sooo excited that I’ll be one of the first to get my paws on it. *maniacal laughter* Just over 2 weeks left until the kickstarter ends! You can get a VANITY card (you know I’m so into that) that allows you to have your photo on a player card with your name and character type. Whhaaattt?! Yes. It’s amazing. Get in on it, bro!

I’ll be posting the whole transcript of the interview with Brandon Raasch soon. Play on, playas, but stay tuned!

TL;DR

  • This game is awesome for anyone.
  • Probably one of the best drinking games bc you add a little bit of roleplay with booze but it’s still manly
  • Drinking Game Rules: TAKE 1 drink when you lose survival points, GIVE 1 drink when you gain prestige points
  • ADVANCED Drinking Game Rules: Take 1 drink for EACH survival point lost, Give 1 drink for EACH prestige point gained
  • Have testosterone, will like
  • Easy to understand
  • Quick! 40 mins or less!
  • There’s a Kickstarter!
  • They’ll be at Polycon, so try it yourself if you’re there!

There Goes My Mind (KublaCon 2014 Video Diary)

Video

Okay, this should work now. The first upload was being a jerk, but it seems all good now!

The [Boy-Crazy] Girl’s Guide to Gaming Conventions

Gamers are fine. Not alright, not okay. They’re hawt. The best part is that they don’t know- okay, some do and some don’t. Anyway, I kind of frustrate myself because I don’t at all want to imply that all lady gamers want the D. I just happen to be a gamer that is a boy-crazy chick. One trait does not require the other, but I wanted to shout out the girls who share my plight. Yo, girl, what up. Here’s how to hunt at a gaming con.

DON’T OVERLOAD YOUR SENSES!

You gotta come in with at least a loose plan. Some guys are gonna get in your peripheral and jack your ish up, but you gotta keep moving. Check in, register, do whatever you gotta do, girl. These dudes are here all weekend, just like you. If they’re not staying the whole time, they suck and they aren’t down to ride anyway. Scope out your surroundings a little. Where the hell is the open gaming room and where is the bazaar from that? Don’t forget that you’re ultimately there for games and not dudes. So, sign up for your ish, bish!

PEACOCK!

Work it. Strut, strut, strut! Lady attendance at cons is getting higher, which is rad, but the gaming world is still overrun with a bunch of dudes. Some women I’ve talked to feel marginalized and often downplay sexuality because they don’t want to be over sexualized by some fool that doesn’t take them seriously. Eff that noise, son. I’m gonna peacock all day long, because that’s just what I like to do. My celebration of my vag doesn’t mean you can discredit my gaming skills. But I don’t have to tell you, I’ll just show you when we do it on the table. So, buck up and flaunt or don’t flaunt whatever the hell you want, girls.

TRY ANYTHING ONCE

I like to try things thrice, but I’m crazy. Jump into hella games, do some tourneys, go larp! Try anything and everything you can. That’s just so obvi at a con but if you’re boy-crazy like me, it’s easy to get side-tracked… which brings me to my next point:

DON’T BE A STALKER

You spot the kyutest dood evah. Come on, it’s that messy bed head, the fitted hoodie, the blank stare… *swoon* BUT STAHP IT!  Don’t jump into games just because Blank Face is there… unless it’s a really good game… and the seat right next to him is open. It’s chill if that’s the intro point, okay? But don’t friggin’ follow that dude everywhere and don’t skip your tourney just to follow him over to foam sword battles.

BUT DO FOLLOW THROUGH

If you’re gonna look at a dude, look at him and smile when he turns to look back at you. Don’t friggin’ look away all crazy and then circle the area to catch eyes again. If you’re gonna send eye signals, you gotta follow through with the decision. Otherwise, you just look like you’re a weirdo. I guess we all are at cons, but still- FOLLOW THROUGH! A lot of these dudes have no clue when you’re interested, so playing those silly looking games is just confusing to both of you. Smile at a dude, hair flip, then get it, girl!

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Keep it PG around the kids. I mean, come on, duh. Don’t be interrupting gameplay, either.

PARTY ALL NIGHT!

Go to the late night sessions. Then there aren’t really any kids. But there are DUDES! Dudes that are super geeks but are down to party. Love it!

STAY FED AND HYDRATED

No one likes you when you’re hangry. YOU don’t like anyone when you’re hangry. Plus you probably won’t be doing well at anything. So, don’t forget to eat/drink, fools. It’s super easy to forget, but don’t forget snack tyme, yo!

Let’s end it with a cliché: HAVE FUN! Seriously, girl, flirt all day and night if you want to, but make sure you’re always having a blast. Keep going back to cons and you can make lasting friendships with a lot of people. Plus, hello? GAMING CON! Gaming all night, all day!

Yaaaaassssss!

Do You Believe in Magic [The Gathering]?

Ramen Noodles shuffles his deck.

Ramen Noodles shuffles his deck.

I thought all the dudes that played Magic: The Gathering at my junior high were lame-os… all whilst I meandered back to my dork squad to discuss pokemon. It took over 10 years for me to finally try it… and it’s pretty chill! I still don’t really get it… I mean, I get it fundamentally. You’re battling and you need energy to do certain moves. You also should know your deck pretty well and just hope to hell that your luck works with your strategy. So, you play a bunch of cards and then you tap shit and other shit happens and then people die, but that sometimes screws you up, too. This is less of a review and more of insight into the clueless mind.

All I know is that I played a bunch of cards, then I tapped stuff and then other stuff happened and then my friend was like, “Okay, use this and then this and tap these 6 things.” I just sat there, like, “…So… Did I win?” Hell, no, I didn’t win. I played with the conqueror, Ramen Noodles. After awhile, I figured out that move A went best with item 7 and move F should only be used if Creature D is dying. Child of the Night had my back… I think.

Child of the Night had my back... I think.

Yeah, I tapped that energy.

Well, maybe not since I LOST. I definitely need to try this out again. I feel like I was groggy after a long weekend of nonstop gaming (excuses, excuses). I seriously need to prepare myself mentally when I have a weekend of playing a crap ton of games I haven’t tried, yet. Con mode = beast mode. On that note, who will be at Kublacon?!