Who doesn’t love collecting dice? Any table top gamer has at least a couple good sets of dice. There’s the dice you play with and the dice you buy because they’re cool looking. I myself have probably a pound of dice these days. That’s not even including the ones I’ve lost over the years. They have so many cool colors and patterns available online all the time now.
I still prefer to buy them at my local gaming stores though. I like to be able to hand pick all the dice I want to add to my collection. Its just so much fun to go and see all their lovely colors and pick each new one out.
On a related note, I’ve found a way to appreciate all the dice I collect, but can’t play with. We have recently started producing dice jewelry and we currently have a small selection available in our esty store. For those of you out there who love dice as much as I do then you always have more dice than you need. Here is a new way to have more dice and still have a justifiable reason to buy them!
Decided today to hit up the local game shop and buy some stuff. New RPG, dice, whatever, I’d know it when I saw it. I love our regular place, but I figured this time I should check out some other stores in the area. I live in a major metropolitan area after all, there has to be plenty of game stores around Providence right?
All I can say is “wow”. After spending an hour online checking for game stores I found five shops. Spending the day driving around to check them out, I found most of them to be gone. Just gone, without any indication of how long it had been. In one memorable case the entire plaza the game shop was supposed to be in was boarded up and abandoned.
For years I’d been hearing about the decline of tabletop gaming and the local hobby shops, but I don’t think I really realized how bad it had gotten until today. I spend most of my time on the internet you see, and there tabletop games are alive and well. Therein lies the problem apparently – most game sales are online these days.
Personally, when I buy a book, I like to look through it first, read parts of it, see if I like the writing whatnot. It’s impossible to do that buying books online, you have to buy the product sight unseen. Unless, that is, you pirate the book first to see if you’ll like it before you buy it. If you do that though, you’ve already got a copy of the whole book, so you might as soon not spend the money.
Has digital distribution helped this whole degenerative process along? I dunno, it’s just a thought.
Anyway, on the positive side there are two perfectly good game stores I recommend if you’re near the Rhode Island / Mass area.
This one has been the standby for me and most of my gaming friends in the area for a few years now. It’s clean, got a friendly staff, a TON of games, gaming paraphernalia, and gaming merch. It also carries the Order of the Stick and Knights of the Dinner Table comics if the other stuff didn’t sell you.
This is the new one that I found today. They are a nice shop also with a friendly staff, a decent game stock, with a nice varied comic selection as well. I found myself a nice copy of All Flesh Must Be Eaten just in time for The Walking Dead to start back up.
Quality places the both of them, I heartily recommend them. Here’s hoping they stick around for a long time to come.
I love mythology. I love stories in general, but that’s about as unique as saying “I like food”, or “cat posters are cute”. It’s something so universal among people that it hardly even bears mentioning. Why bother writing about it then? Because “screw you!” that’s why. It’s a fun subject and I want to write about it. This should also count as a “heads up” of sorts, cuz I tend to relate things to myths a lot.
So Myths – stories about larger than life characters doing larger than life things, filled with symbolism about life in general and being human. While I’m certainly not the first to point out that ancient myths were the comic books of their day, I am the first person to point it out here, in this blog. So that’s something.
Comic book writer Grant Morrison describes gods as “Big Ideas” personified, which as far as definitions go is pretty much my favorite. For one thing, it applies not just to gods, but to just about any character. In comic book superheroes it’s especially obvious. What is Superman if not justice and restraint personified? What is Frank Castle (The Punisher) if not righteous bloody vengeance given form? It’s so quintessentially human. We explore big ideas about ourselves and the world around us like justice, love, or vengeance by giving them a face and a name and talking to them.
Hell, that’s just the profound stuff. That’s not even accounting for the stuff that’s just plain awesome or delightfully bizarre, such as:
- A one eyed sorcerer older than the world itself. He watches the world through a pair of ravens waiting for the day when all his mistakes of his ancient life with rise up to destroy him and everyone he cares about.
- A folk hero who gets SUPER pissed off and and turns into a hulked out monster with backwards joints, mismatched eyes, a gigantic mouth and spiky flaming hair.
- A pitch black skinned, blood drinking, berserker woman with six arms. Terrifying, though not evil, she knows a dance that will end the world.
That’s some pretty imaginative character design right there. They also sound vaguely familiar don’t they? Mythic characters, themes, whole stories are repeated time and time again, but always a bit different depending on the time and the place they were written or told. They are a common ground connecting all humans in all cultures everywhere, that ever were.
And that’s awesome.
Been away from this for too long. Trying to handle life outside of what is on here. We’ve been preparing for hurricane Irene over here. Being in the New England area means we need to be prepared. Stocked on basic supplies and canned goods just in case the worst does happen.
Preparing got our next LARP event, I make a lot of the props and help write story for the people to interact with. I love being creative and making new and awesome things for people to see. It adds an element to the game and makes it just a little bit easier for everyone to feel themselves in that other world just a little bit more. When you walk out on to a field to “fight the big monster” it just adds more to the image if it looks and moves like what the creature is. Having their face paint give a visual cue to what they are supposed to be is just awesome.
The kittens are doing well and will be getting their first shots and be tested for FHIV and FLukemia before they can be re-homed. We did find homes for both of the kittens pending the results of their tests. Both kittens are able to run and climb as any normal kitten would. We are getting to the age where we can find out what can be done for them, even if they can’t have their limbs fixed they will still ahve loving homes.
I’m going to post some images of some of the other items I have made for the game recently to show people the creativity and variety of things you would see in the game.
They have now been to a vet and have been checked over. The vet said they are happy healthy little kittens. They do not even realize their own handicap. The vet did explain that there are surgeries that can help these two babies to correct the problems with their limbs.
We will need to raise the money for the basic costs for their shots, and the surgeries. The goal will be set at a total of $1000 which will take care of the costs for both kittens! So please spread the word and lets see how many people we can get to help out! There is no minimum donation, so please any amount you can donate will mean these two get help at a better life. We have homes lined up for these little guys already, we just want to help to afford the care they need for these special little kittens.
We have a vet appointment for them next Wednesday. They will be looked over and hopefully we can get an idea of what needs to be done going forward. The bracings are off now, at this point we are just going to wait until after the vet appointment to hopefully learn more. Here are some more photos of the two adorable buggers, for now we’re calling them Runtie and Grey.
I am reaching out to people who can hopefully help more than I can. My sister’s cat recently had 2 kittens. They were both born with twisted limbs. One is worse off than the other. I went to inspect them myself today for the first time and I did my best to try and brace the limbs and get them pointing in the right direction. I can tell by looking at them that they are going to need more help than she or I can give. They do not appear to be in pain and squirm around like little seals on their folded legs. I want to try and raise money so she can take them to the vet and get their limbs professionally corrected. They are absolutely adorable little creatures and are so full of love. I don’t want to see them get put to sleep because of their handicap. So I am asking anyone out there if you can spare it, to make any donation you can.
These are the two kitties. I have done some research and it seems their problem can be corrected with patience, time, and money. I want to help her with all I can, I have very little free time, the patience I have only can go so far, and unfortunately I do not have the funds to help her myself. So I am asking for advise and donations from anyone who can spare it. Please feel free to leave me any info you can, we have done some research but that can only get you so far. I have added a donation button on the left side for you to donate with. All money donated there will go to helping these little guys.
Thank you all.
I am a LARPer, a lot of people don’t actually even know what that is. Most of the gaming community tends to consider us the outcasts of the nerd crew. I just wanted to write a bit about how the life of a LARPer really is. First of all LARP stands for Live Action RolePlaying, the very simplified version is that you get dressed up and run around in the woods for a weekend getting to pretend to be someone else while you slay monsters and rescue people. Sounds like little kid stuff right? Well sure it is, how much fun did you have when you were a child and you ran around the house trying to beat your sibling with a stick or the vacuum pipe? Well this is a bit safer than that!
LARP is becoming a larger and larger community in the USA it’s already huge in the UK. People come together and work as a family to support everyone else. I have never met so many awesome people in my life as I have since I started this life changing hobby 10 years ago. I met my fiancee at it and most of my good friends too. It is the largest family you can ever make, imagine going to any state and knowing there are people you know there?
LARPing gives you a chance to get away from your regular 9 to 5 everyday life. It lets you walk out on a field and be someone else. It gives you the freedom to forget who you are just for a little while. You walk out there no longer as John the guy at the office, but as Drogin the orc! Slayer of all things fuzzy! Or what ever crazy player you make; and you are them for the weekend, you think as them, you talk as them, you fight as them, laugh, cry, and have fun. You get to step outside yourself and release your inner child. That kid inside us all that wants to run around in the grass and play with swords and wear armor.
I have met such a variety of people in this community as well. I have met teachers, physical therapists, big business managers, a reverend, artists, and insurance analysts; just to name a few. I have met people of all ages, from as young as 12 to old enough that they are retired. I call them all friends, even some family. I cannot say enough how much the community of people involved in this are so awesome. I mean imagine going somewhere you have never met anyone before and when you get there you know you are going to have lots of things in common with this group already?
Here is a 10 minute video that was put together at one of our games, the people that came to film this had never played before but found that they want to come back.
I will end it with that. Thank you for reading! Keep being nerdy!
I have listed a few craft related items on etsy, you should pop in and take a look. Leave a comment tell me what you think.
The store link is on the left. I will be posting my red dragon for sale shortly. I also will have a blue one to follow.
Here are the photos I promised. Due to life, there were delays in getting this post put together.
First of all I started with a cute little dragon made of bisque. Bisque is ceramic that has been fire hardened and ready to either be painted or glazed. Since I do not own a kiln of my own I paint everything instead. Here is a photo of it before and after I apply the base cost which is just flat black spray paint.
Make sure when using spray paint you have a well ventilated area. I actually have a box I set up in the window to spray in. I took a double fan that sits in the window and I turn it on so the air is blowing out. I have a cardboard box that has a flat bottom and four “pillars” for the corners. So really it is a cardboard tray. But I stick two of the pillars out the window and use the fan to hold it in place. Turning the fan on I then have a way to use spray paint inside my house without dieing on fumes. It will not eliminate all the smell but it will make a huge difference.
After I have base coated the item in question, this time my dragon hatchling. I then get out my acrylic paints. I like acrylic paints because they dry fast and they are water soluble. I always keep a couple cups of water handy, using the same method I use for face painting, I keep one for dark colors and one for light. This make water changes less frequent. For cleaning brushes as you are painting I prefer to use the cups of water and I keep a few paper towels near by. A neat trick I learned for saving on paper towels was to keep old jeans. Cut the pants into pieces and use that for wiping your brushes. After you have used all the surface area you can toss them in the washer and then use them again!
So now that I have selected my dragon and what color I want it to be I started with a light color first as I intended to use a “wash” technique for the finish would darken it. The first colors I painted were the largest areas, the egg I base coated with a light brown. For the dragon body I used a pastel peach color as my underlying tone.
After I had these colors done and dry I took a burgundy shade to make my dragon look red. The peachy color and the burgundy seemed to contrast each other just right and give this nice shade of red. I put a bit of this burgundy in my mixing tray and added a lot of water to make this more like a stain than a paint. So you want what looks like red juice really, a very thin watery color, you can always add more, it’s much harder to lighten it rather than darken it. I lightly brushed it over all the peach areas. You want the color to settle into all the little cracks to bring out the 3D of the piece.
After this was done I went back with a tiny pointed detail brush using the same burgundy watery paint I redrew all the little scale lines and darkened the lined edges and finger cracks. This part will take some time a patience, probably a break as well. After this I also applied the white color on the egg, having the brown as an underlying color makes the egg look a little less bright. When applying the white, paint in layers don’t try to get the egg white all in on go, it will look very flat if you do this. It’s ok to have some areas where the color is a bit thinner so the brown shows through some.
Next I painted the neck, I used a metallic paint and I wanted this to not have much black showing through so I put a lot of layers on this area. I also found a very dark purple shade and painted the first color on the wings, frills and horns. I like to color coordinate things I paint and I feel areas should match (like an outfit) so I have more than one one place with the same color.
The next area was the face. I wanted a color that said fire because this is a red dragon. I used a very bright vibrant orange shade for the underlying color, I knew I would be toning it down with a top color.
I applied the darker shade over this to mute the intensity of the orange. I used a dry brush technique, but with a bit more paint on the brush than normal. To do this you need to dampen the brush and get some paint on it, then you rub the bristles out a bit on your paper towel or piece of jeans. Leave the paint that in in between the bristles but remove the excess. Rub the brush over the areas you want the color. It will take time but you want this because it will leave the cracks open showing the underlying color.
I then used some of the red metallic to give some shine to the face. I also used a tiny fine point brush and a metallic black to paint the lines on the neck.
After this I used a metallic bronze as the secondary color on the wings, frills, and horns. I used the same dry brush technique for these parts as well, this works best with a flat bristle brush.
Some of the last areas still not painted are the nails and spikes. I decided I wanted these two to match and I applied a nice metallic gold. I did use a few layers to give it that nice shine.
Now to the last parts. I used a clear paint that had gold and platinum sparkles in it. I brushed this over the red dragon body and the egg as well. This gave an overall nice shiny look to the dragon and gave the egg a bit of a supernatural look. After this I painted the eyes which will bring your creature to life. I used a solid red color for the outer area of the eye (sclera). I traced out the iris shape as I applied the red. I then used some of that vibrant orange and lined the inner edge of the iris to make what looks like a flame. For the pupil I used some of that shiny metallic black to make the eyes really pop. So after some touchups as I went, mostly cleaning up edges and sharpening and defining colors here is my end result.
So tell me what you think! Feel free to ask questions!
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