Dice Worship

In honor of Comic Con, I’ve decided to finish this blog about dice.

All tabletoppers have a special relationship with our dice. It starts with the first time we see any shape other than the standard d6. For me, it was the d4: its equilateral triangles glistening in my husband’s palm.
“How the hell am I supposed to read that thing?” He then showed me a second four sided and instructed me in how to read either.  And how it could be used as a d2 (which I still maintain is nonsense…even when I do it).
My favorite is, predictably, the d20. It’s weight and size are satisfying. Landing on a 1 is as gut-wrenching as a 20 is gratifying.
Buying dice is a personal thing. Ever had someone buy you dice as a present? It kind of sucks. Even if the person knows you very well…even if they picked out exactly what you would have chosen…they still robbed you of the experience. There’s always that level of doubt: “What if there was a set I would have liked better?”
Picking out dice is almost spiritual. Of course your favorite colors catch your eye first, but there are other factors to consider. Are the numbers easily readable? Do they feel right? Will these dice decide, in a moment of desperation, to save my life, or throw me to a dragon? Will they cooperate with other dice in my bag? Will they conspire to botch at a crucial moment? Are they destined to be my lucky set, or my I’m feeling lucky set? You have to hold prospective dice in your hand ( if the guy behind the counter is too busy leafing through the latest Walking Dead trade) and weigh the possibilities. You pay the exorbitant amount (ok, they’re not all expensive, but the ones I pick out are always the ones that cost twice what all the normal ones cost).

I knitted this in honor of my dice!

I currently own several sets of dice. Different dice for different games. My silver-blue ten-sided set for Hunter. My purple blue marbled for D&D. My “Griffindor” gold and red dappled are for when I play a superhero. And, of course, that’s all fluid, because there’s something else we gamers do with our dice.

We begin a game, but before we start, we dig out a set and give it a trial roll. Low numbers come up? Pick a different set. Once the game starts, if our luck turns, we change out our dice. Don’t question the logic. Luck isn’t logic. Dice believe in Karma and Fate, even if the player doesn’t.

I have a friend I play with who, when I’m down on my dice-chuckin’ luck, has a ritual for “zeroing out” the dice. God help me, it works.

We’re all superstitious about our dice. I’ve played with other people’s when I’ve forgotten mine at home or a random game breaks out…and it’s never the same. If I’m having a bad game, I’ve CLEARLY angered my dice.

And with the leftover yarn…Ta Dah! My new dice Bag!

So, as the weekend begins, and we get ready to play in or run our favorite games (I’ve coined a phrase today – the “geekend”), take a minute to thank your dice or the dice gods. Hopefully, the odds will be in your favor.

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“Nothing is as real as what’s in your head.”

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Since Saturday, when I was LARPing, I’ve found my mind abuzz with things I must accomplish in downtime (MUGGLE ALERT: the time between games. This is a time to let your storytellers know what your character is doing when she’s not at game events). Unfortunately, life keeps getting in the way. Annoyance #1: Going to work. Not appropriate to use work computers to plan dastardly vampiric deeds. Annoyance #2: Being an adult. Paying bills, buying things for the house, making and going to appointments, exercising, cooking dinner…AD NAUSEUM. Annoyance #3: Personal hygiene. Really, do I have to tale a shower EVERY day? It seems to me that all that scrubbing time could be better spent researching in obscure books that I can annoy my STs with. {For the Sheldons of the world, sarcasm} Annoyance#4: Blogging…oh. Guess I can eliminate this one.

Malkavian Shindig Part II

The eyes of the City are steadfastly fixed: on me. My lips move and make the appropriate noise. This night is about offering my services. Or making my connection to the Oracles known.
The Ventrue is the first to question the Runes, but their answers are not what he had hoped. Characteristic of his Blood, he twists and turns the messages until they assure his ego, but it is not my place to interfere. Everyone must interpret the Oracle’s houses for themselves. Perhaps it is I who read them wrong. The Ventrue came for comfort that is rare, and not mine to give.
The Quiet Brujah was next; her vulnerability worn on her sleeve. She too had Hopes , but Oracles will not serve. She pulls a past of pain, a present of uncertainty, and a future of self determination that frightens. I am confused. She is unlike any Brujah I have met. I will make more of an effort to know this one.
The Night passes and they nearly all make use of my services. They blend together for me. It is not for me to make note of their questions or their Destiny. I Fear only once: the Giovanni is not pleased. I will find a way to ward my Haven from now on. I think she thinks it was I who spoke, and not the Oracles. I do not blame her for her mistake. Or perhaps she scoffed at the whole thing, but I must take no chances.
In the end, I was exhausted, and the Oracles were pounding in my brain. But the City knows now what I can do.

What they choose to do with it is their business.

Malkavian Shindig

I may have gone a bit mad.

Considering I’m playing a Malkavian in my current LARP, I suppose that’s only appropriate.

Last month, my character, Gemma, decided it was time to properly introduce herself to the Kindred of the city with–what else? A rune reading party.

Unfortunately, over the past years I have only bought clothes that were appropriate for two purposes: 1 – Hanging out and 2 – going to work, and often the two overlap. Great, economical plan, but not a great way to costume for a future-reading party.

So, I got to work.

Since I’ve been yarn-crazy lately, the first thing I did was to crochet a dramatic, “fortune-telling” shawl.There’s a picture to the right, but if you like it you can find the pattern on www.voknits.com. Really simple, and it went together in just a day.

Ok, I had my shawl, but as I walked into the local crafts store to find a clasp for it, something caught my eye: a display of “good luck charms.” And wouldn’t you know, Gemma is nothing if not superstitious. So, I made my first foray into jewelry-making since I realized macrame hemp and chokers weren’t necessarily the best look for a teacher.

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And what isn’t posted here is my “crazy” journal where I log all the thoughts going through my Gemma’s head.

What does this mean? Sure, it’s dedication to a character, but I’m pretty sure it also means that, in addition to my theory that gaming is a throwback to pretend time, it’s also a throwback to dress-up time.

The irony, of course, will be if my STs or fellow players are plotting my death. Disappointing at any time, but especially so when so much prep goes into a game!

So excited to LARP tomorrow…

How many have you played?

Following is a list of just some of the “geeky” games I play. Now, this doesn’t include my other regulars, like Scrabble and 500 (Rummy), and I’m absolutely certain I’m leaving things out. It also in no way includes any video games, as the list would have reached from here to the end of the Internet. But it seems like a good list to begin with….How many have you played?

Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle: They Roll Dice

Real Vampires Roll Dice

The Word document above was the inspiration for the creation of this blog. It was an assignment for my final grad school class. I’m (almost) a certified Reading Specialist; the last class I took focused on using writing in the classroom. In a wonderful twist, we had to write a non-informational piece so that we could experience the same writing process we ask our students to do.

Anyway, after the initial feelings of fear of being ostracized by my professional peers, I completely enjoyed writing this piece. My audience (my peer editing group) also loved it. It was they who suggested making my relationship with my husband a central idea around which the “gaming girl” took root.

I’m posting this especially for my gamer friends. Many of you are mentioned in passing.

And don’t you love the title? Huzzah.

Why I started this blog…

Once upon a time, I decided I wanted to talk about my life as a gamer and as a geek in general. This blog was inspired by a project for one of my grad classes: I wrote a personal narrative about being a gamer. My peer audience loved the piece, and I loved writing it so much that I decided to share it with the world, and continue my story as my “geeky life” continues.

I hope you all enjoy reading about my adventures!