Chewing

Only marginally related to gaming

I haven't posted any gaming material here in far too long, and am resolved to do better. For one thing, gaming continues to be the one thing positive in my life.

I have fallen upon pretty hard times, to the point where I'm not sure how I'm going to keep a roof over my head or gas in my car, to say nothing of being unable to afford the meds for my diabetes. Like everyone else in this terrible economy I'm job hunting; I just haven't had any luck. It is, unfortunately, a pretty common hard-luck story these days.

If you're in the industry and could use an editor, please consider me. And if you're a gaming hobbyist (and if you're not, why the heck would you read MY Livejournal?), watch this space. I'm going to be selling all of my Star Wars collectibles and most of my print gaming materials via Ebay over the next while. This includes cards, games and probably even dice...

Help a fellow gamer out if you can.

(jaegamer AT gmail DOT com)
GOD

March 4th - GM Appreciation Day

March 4th is GM's Day, time to show some appreciation for your GM(s).

Geek's Dream Girl has some useful suggestions.

This isn't a naked plea for prezzies from my players, but instead a reminder that it would be nice to tell your GM how much you appreciate what s/he does to entertain you. GMing is fun (or I, at least, wouldn't do it), but it's always nice to hear that your work is appreciated.

GM's Day is actually several years old, and happens to be the anniversary of Gary Gygax's death.  This is a coincidence, as GM's Day predates the passing of that gaming icon.  Here's a posting from ENWorld from 2005 discussing how it began in 2002 (original thread).

Do something nice for your GM(s) in March - even a sincere thank you is always nice.
Cons

Gencon finally gets it.

I'm stunned.  Both badge purchasing and hotel reservation were quick and painless.  No reload screens, no lag, and I got my room of choice without a hitch.

Wow.  I'm looking forward to event registration.
Cons

Gencon Registration 2010

 There were the usual glitches of the site being overloaded, but I got all but one of my first choices, and my second choice for that slot was good as well.   I'm working some at the Rogue Games booth, sleeping in most mornings, and looking forward to a fairly relaxed 25th Gencon.
 

Thursday 8/5
  • 01:00:00 PM - Ghostfacers in Hell (Supernatural, Cortex System)
Friday 8/6 
  • 08:00:00 AM  - Pathfinder Society #57: Before the Dawn, P1: The Bloodcove Disguise
  • 08:00:00 PM - The Shotgun Diaries: Die Zombie Die! (Ker-blam! Ker-blam!) (John Wick's The Shotgun Diaries)
Saturday 8/7
  • 08:00:00 PM - All the Better... (Supernatural)

Sunday 8/8
  • 10:00:00 AM - Alien Agents (Monsters and Other Childish Things)
 
Rocks Fall

Read an RPG Book in Public - Feb 28-Mar 6 2010

Read An RPG Book In PublicI'm kind of excited about this idea, and plan to haul out some of my prettiest RPG books. Trail of Cthulhu springs to mind...

The full story is here.  I'm posting a brief excerpt, but I encourage you to go to the source and read all about it.

Read An RPG Book in Public Week is an event that happens three times a year, during the weeks surrounding March 4th, July 27th, and October 1st (starting on the Sunday on or before, and ending on the Saturday on or after). During these weeks, roleplaying enthusiasts are encouraged to take their favorite RPG rulebooks out with them and read them in public - on the bus, in the coffee shop, at lunch, at the park, or anywhere (as long as it isn't disruptive to work, school, church, or any other functions).

What's the point?

The point is to make the roleplaying hobby more visible, to get it "out of the basement" and into public areas where more people can see it. This will make others more aware of the hobby - some may ask you what your book is about, giving you the opportunity to explain the hobby to them. A few of those may be interested enough to try it themselves. Former gamers may see what you're reading and think about the great times they used to have with roleplaying, and possibly even try it again.


Me again.  I'm also reminded that March 4th is GM's Day - ENWorld created the holiday in 2002, and, sadly, Gary Gygax died on that date in 2009.  Players, say something nice to your GM on March 4th.
Cons

Let the mockery commence

My resolution to spend my 25th Gencon playing (rather than my usual mix of running/volunteering more than I play) lasted till mid-morning today. mind_of_richard  emailed me about helping out at the Rogue Games booth and the next thing I know, I'm saying "sure".  I like their products (particularly Colonial Gothic), and much of what I want to do at Gencon is talking to people anyways, soooo... there it is.

Whomever has Jan 20th in the betting pool, you win!
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GOD

GMing Tips

I'm participating in a panel on better GMing at Confusion (Troy MI, Jan 22-24, 2010), and I'm compiling a set of useful tips.  It's a one hour panel, and I'm sure I'm not the only one on it.  I'll be storing my own ideas in this post (and will be updating it as things occur to me), and I'd appreciate any tips any of you have.

In no particular order...
  • It's not just YOUR story, it's THEIR story too (collaborate).
  • Don't be wedded to your scenario.  If you plan for 4 possible choices, the players will take the 6th.
  • GM ain't havin' fun, ain't nobody havin' fun.  (The inverse is also true.)
  • Know your players and their characters.  Make sure there's an opportunity for everyone to shine.
  • If you don't want them to screw it up, don't let them roll the dice (contsts/tests should be meaningful - if they need info/success/whatever to continue, *give* it to them
  • Nobody likes a no-win scenario.  Make sure you've thought of at least one way to succeed.  Mind you, the players will probably come up with another.
  • Failure can be even more interesting than success.  (differs from no-win, in that failure at a particular test means an unexpected outcome, as opposed to "too bad, you're dead".
  • Players don't mind losing a character if the death is meaningful.
  • Complicate their lives, complicate their lives, complicate their lives.
  • Dependents, cohorts and NPC friends - snack food for monsters and ways to complicate their lives.
Stuff I've appropriated from other people:
  • Failure is boring.  The credible but unrealized threat of failure is very exciting (Robin Laws)
  • Say "yes" or roll the dice. (Vincent Baker)
  • Try to give your players at least one meaningful choice in an adventure with no pre-determined conclusion. (@slyflourish)
  • "The game must be fun shall be the whole of the Law." Making Light
Cons

Pentacon 2009 Schedule

I should never try to sign up for things when my coffee hasn't metabolized yet... the slot information is beneath the listing, dummy!

Pentacon LogoPentacon is in Fort Wayne, IN, USA, November 6-8, 2009. To register for events, go to their Consupport site.
There are just not enough slots in any con to go around - I long for the days when I was younger and could get by on a lot less sleep. I'm tickled that I might finally get to play the Pathfinder that I missed when it ran at the club (because I was eating the other scheduled scenario). Then Witch Hunter through Saturday evening - becoming a tradition for me. Sunday I have to have time to pack/check out, so nothing till 2pm, but at least I'll get in one new Fellowship of the White Star. I could easily play the whole con in any of the three campaigns, darn it! I need that thingy that Hermione used in Harry Potter!

Jae's Pentacon Schedule
Slot When Event Status
2 Fri 2-6 Pathfinder #3: Murder on the Silken Caravan Player
3 Fri 7:30 -11:30 WH: DP Pt 1 - Trier Player
4 Sat 9-1 WH: DP Pt 2 - Munich Player
5 Sat 2-6 WH: DP Pt 3 - Wiesbaden Player
6 Sat 7:30-11:30 PM WH: DP Interactive GM
8 Sun 2-6 PM FWS B205: Nature of the Beast Player



Clear Dice

Coolest Gaming Room Addition ever - Dry Erase Paint!

dry erase paintI stumbled across this in my blog reading, and I *love* the idea of having a wall (or walls) of dry-erase whiteboard to doodle on while running a game. It's called IdeaPaint.

Our FLGS (Evolution Games) has a couple of rooms set aside for gaming (and is building more) with a modicum of noise abatement, and I thrill to the idea of having the walls painted with this stuff!  I already bring a tabletop whiteboard for things like tracking initiative and putting up things for the players to remember.

It would also make a good surface for a mini-projector and a GMing aid like D20 Pro or Maptool.

docupocket standWhile I'm talking about cool game aids, let me link you to Trainer's Warehouse, where I got these nifty little stands/clear plastic holders for signs, character tents, etc.  For $7 plus shipping you get a sturdy little marble base and your choice of a holder (this is 8 1/2 x 11, but I got 5x7 for my character card.

In fact I got a whole bunch of 5x7 holders and I keep one with each of my characters with the character card in it.  That way it's ready to go any time I play.  They're pretty inexpensive, and work really well.

Cons

Back from Gencon... so much to tell...

I had a great Gencon.  Worked my tail off (16 hrs Thursday and Saturday), ran for wonderful people, bought far too much stuff, even managed to play a game or two.  Not enough time spent with chums or playing games, but next year I'm going to play and only play.

I know... I say that every year.

More later, with pics - must return to work now.