Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lifting the Veil of Time

Err, or something like that. I just read a post over at Flavortext that made me think of my old Guild in World of Warcraft- the one I joined years ago, my first Guild. I hadn’t been playing for long when I got my invitation to join their guild. I was only level 22, and I was back up in the hills of Ashenvale, near the city of Astranaar working on a quest- as usual. I love the quests in WoW! They are always so much fun to do, with interesting plots and exciting areas to get trapped in…but I digress. My old Guild- what a fun bunch of people! When I first joined, a group of people took me under their wing and taught me the ropes of the game, helped me level Cobbwebb, did difficult quests with me, and took me on some crazy Raid and Dungeon runs. Ahh- those were the days! Err, or rather those were the nights- did I mention they were on an East Coast server? Well, I live on the West Coast. Those were some pretty late nights, let me tell you! I wish I still had the screen shots- wait! I found some- wanna see?

oldguildlineup blog

Ah yes- those were the days! Days of dancing on tables at the end of a run, me not knowing what on earth these crazy people were going to do next…

I miss those guys and gals. It’s a weird, strange world we live in when we miss people we’ve never set eyes on, isn’t it?

Thanks, Queen’s Shadow. You guys are the best.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Can there be too many friends??

Game Day this month was full of hard choices, hard decisions, hard feelings… But in a good way, if that’s possible. Three tables to choose from this time, all full of good friends and friendly faces. How to choose? Go with your heart, hubby whispers. Then instantly gets worried for me, all alone at another table. We sit back-to-back, pass notes all evening long, and reassure each other that we are fine. Funny- all our friends look on indulgently, laughing at our insecurity.

How do you choose where to sit, who to play with? Up til now it’s been which character do I play? How fast do I level, how intensely should I play- monthly, weekly? Game Days, Conventions, Home games… But now I’ve learnt the rules (somewhat), can identify a D20, 12 and 10 from one another (finally!) and have come to feel comfortable sitting in a room full of strangers.

But they’re not anymore! Strangers, that is. I know their faces, some of their characters, and even hang out with some of them. And I see hurt faces left behind at the table I didn’t choose, sad faces when I say goodbye, and find myself looking for faces that aren’t there- and have to chuckle a bit at myself. I know that I can’t please everyone- that would be one big table! So I take a deep breathe, look at my choices, and take a leap of faith…

And then, the unthinkable. I split the party, and go charging off to investigate screams in the distance. My character has found her “voice”- and she’s a freedom fighter folks! She doesn’t take kindly to senseless killing, or stealing, or taking any gruff from the bad guys… and she’s a bit of a rabble-rouser, too! She got into a stand-off  against the big-bad with a friends’ character. That was a hard decision to make- whether to stay with the group, or strike off on our own, to stand up for what you believe in. To behave like…heroes?

Needless to say, I got caught up in the storyline this time. And, I suspect, so did a few other people in the room that night, judging by the laughter, bellows of outrage, surprise, and nervous glances shooting around those tables! All those tables, full of friendly faces.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Level up!

Kingdom Con was this last weekend- a gaming only convention that is in its’ third year here in sunny San Diego. Only it wasn’t sunny until Sunday, since we got a rain and hail storm Friday night! The wind was lashing the hotels’ picturesque palm trees about, and hailstones the size of lentils pounded the windows. The cool part was the fact that the rooms we were set up in had large glass double French doors at either end, so everyone got to see the storm outside! And run outside to roll up their car windows…

So! I played at my first three day gaming convention- and it was glorious! I decided to just play my first-level Sorceress all weekend, which was a good decision since she is now a fourth level Sorceress…but it was hard. At several points in the weekend I was at a different table from all my friends, and I didn’t get to see a few people at all, aside from waving at them from the doorway. But the tables I did sit at were filled to the brim with such wonderful people (okay, mostly wonderful guys- more on that in a bit) that it evened up in the end. So on the one hand, it’s hard to see everyone you want to at a con like this. On the other hand, you meet a bunch of new people- and at the same time get to know a select few a lot better!

Now, back to that little quirk- okay, it’s a big quirk. There were-maybe- 8? or 9? girls at this convention- and that’s counting the wives who popped in to visit their champions occasionally while escorting the little's to the board games upstairs. I didn’t get a proper headcount, but there were dozens of men attending this event. Dozens. Yikes! My husband is so proud of me right now! He’s been giggling  a lot since this weekend, thinking of sweet-innocent-little-me sitting in the midst of big burly Dwarven Fighters and Chelixian what-nots. He says most of them didn’t know what hit them! There I was, too nervous to say a word in role-play at most of my tables, until about an hour into the mod’s and then wham! My mouth starts going and I’m talking smack to a Dwarf who is just spluttering  in disbelief that not only did I sass him into oblivion, I’m an Elf Sorceress and I’m dropping more damage than him! Me! Two years ago my husband couldn’t get me to role-play in front of three other people in a home game to save my character’s life, and here I am today throwing Magic Missiles at anything that even twitches in a dark alley in Cassomir!

Okay- more on the Con later, right now I’ve got to go do some research into Fighters. Now that Eglantine is a level four, I need a new level one in my stable. I know I want to be able to run into a fight and just whack  the big bads in melee, so I’m looking at Fighters and Monks today. Hmm…what’s a girl to do? Fighters or Monks, Fighter or Monks…

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Leveling the Devil you know…

That was one crazy-fun-tastic weekend in San Diego! Kingdom-Con 2012 was a rousing success- I completed my goals, met TONS of fellow gamers, made lots of new friends, had loads of fun, survived a weird-spring-winter-hail-and-rainstorm, and even got to see my husband THE WHOLE TIME! Awesome fun, fodder for many follow-up blog posts in the weeks to come. I have to go unpack and do a huge brain dump of all the information, details, hints, tips, new questions, and plain-old-good memories of the past three days, then I’ll be back here this week with lots of juicy details…

Until then, a brief mental image:

An unbroken fighter, a paladin, a cleric, a ranged fighter, a gunslinger and a sorceress walk into a theatre…

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gamedays and Conventions

This past Saturday was Gameday in my town- I am officially a gamer now, I hit my one-year anniversary! It’s been lots of fun, scary, intimidating, frustrating, exhilarating, and exhausting, but I now have three characters to choose from in my stable: a Ranger, a Rogue and a Sorcerer. It’s grows on you, too- I want to make a Fighter and a Cleric (still!) and druids and bards just fascinate me! But when oh when would I ever find the time to play them all, let alone level them up to really see them in action?

Which brings me to Con season. Spring brings several conventions to my area: ConDor, Kingdom Con, and Orc Con up in LA, plus Comic Con is just around the corner in July, so we have plenty to choose from. We picked Kingdom Con this year, as we’ve never gone and it’s in our city. All gaming, all the time I’m told- I’ve never played at a real convention before. My first was a two-day Gameday my group ran last November- it was insane! Six slots over two days, gaming long into the night and early the next morning, I surprised myself by wanting to do them all. I didn’t, alas, so this time I am really looking at the scheduling board to see what’s available. I am also hoping there will be some vendors set up- I really need some new dice…wow, I really am a gamer at this point…

So, a what’s a girl to do when Gameday is a month away? Settle into SWTOR of course! It’s not as pretty as World of Warcraft, and you don’t get to play elves or cow people, but it’s a close second. Jedi’s and Smuggler’s are a good consolation prize for the lack of colour and depth of field that is characterizing the game for me right now. I got over it quickly enough though- I have about 3 or 4  characters running at the moment, with a few more to come. This time around I wanted to try out everything, so I’m taking my toons up to level 10 then starting a new one. It’s been an interesting system so far, and it’s teaching me a lot about the mechanics and overall tone of the game. Plus, I get to create characters, which is my favorite part of gaming!

Hmm…Blasters and Lightsabers, or Daggers and Crossbows ?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Identity crisis

There comes a point in gaming after you’ve played your first character for a while, become comfortable with her, created a few other characters, and become comfortable with them too, when you wake up and realize- you are scared of your baby.

That, my friends, is the curse of the middle tier character levels. Your baby is no longer a baby- she’s a full-fledged Ranger/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, and she’s hard to play. Her weapons do more damage, or even have abilities of their own. Your character’s attacks have increased- more attacks mean more math, more bonuses, more penalties to keep track of. More opportunities to incur the wrath of your table mates with your indecision and bad feats choices.

So, what do you do? Play low-tier, dump the extras, and nerf your beloved? Lock her away in a closet and roll a new level 1? Act dumb and let the boys at the table do your math for you? Nay, I say- nay. You pull out the books and get cracking! Learn how to tabulate those new bonuses, read up on those extra feats you now qualify for, and get out there and kick some goblinoid butt!

But keep that level 3 Rogue in your bag, just in case. . .

Monday, February 27, 2012

Character Creation

I am in the process of learning how to roll up a character from scratch- no husband help (well, not much!) and no computer program trickery. Yet. I always start out great- find a name, roll up some ability scores, do the modifier math and choose my skills. The I hit the speed bump- what class did I choose? Why oh why do I always research the skills and abilities the classes need to make them work after I roll them? A high intelligence always sounds really good- until I realize I chose a fighter, who doesn’t need to be able to read, write and figure arithmetic out there in the wilds- she needs the strength to be able to pick up that broadsword, much less the dexterity to dodge the answering smite of that goblin she’s attacking!

(side note here- when did this font get changed to 8.1?! I am so sorry! I can’t even read this as I’m typing it- how can anybody out in electron-land read it? Much less with their coffee in the morning over eggs and bacon?! I’m fixing it as we speak. . . )

Anywho. . .I’m trying to learn about this gaming addiction err, I mean this new hobby of mine, rather than just relying on the boys (insert batting eyelashes here, ugh) to do all the math for me, or to tell me which feats to take at level such-and-such. Oh, and who is Paizo kidding with this textbook they call the Core Rulebook? I can’t read this thing in bed, propped up with my cup of tea, it’s too heavy! The only place I can read it is at my desk, hunched over like it’s finals week and I’m crunching for a  History term paper! Ugh. This thing is a brick. But it has waay better pictures than my old schoolbooks ever did- so shiny, and pretty! Merisiel kicks butt in this book! (yes, I have an Elf Rogue- doesn’t everyone want to be Merisiel? Ahem.)

Sooo. . . I am slowly building a new Elf Sorceress (girls are sorceresses, boys are sorcerers. just sayin.) The new pamphlets outlining the continent and cultures of Tian Xia are making me crazy with all the ideas I keep getting: rogue-ninjas and samurai-fighters, not to mention the kitsune and tengu, and new branches of Elves, oh and all the new mobs they’ve created for this new continent. All new, all the time! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to finish choosing my weaponry- quarterstaff and dagger, definitely, but how many shuriken does a girl need up her sleeve, anyway?