Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[RPG] Jeff Rients as GM of [Fill In the Blank]

Last night TheBoy and I were having one of our epic gaming conversations (how cool is that when you can talk about geeky  stuff with your kid and they totally get what you are saying) and mentioning how a certain dude in our crowd is kind of like, the worst GM ever wrought. He's really terrible. Poor guy.

We then contrasted said guy with Jeff, who is, in our opinion, "like, the awesome GOD of GMing". We discussed how pretty much everything Jeff runs at least SOUNDS cool and/or fun. It was mentioned that Jeff could run TIDDLY WINKS and we would play it. TheBoy was very enthusiastic about this idea, complete with coin flipping sound effects and pantomimes to prove his approval of the concept.

It was then asided that Jeff is really good at a certain kind of game, and that for other types, maybe he was not the ideal GM. Jeff's natural habitat as proposed by us was "goofy and/or over the top", but we are willing to admit we might be wrong. However, to prove our point, we got into one of our famous "what if" discussions.

An example was made of Traveller, which; while having a huge following in our area, has some pitfalls. TheBoy was full of demonstrations on how a Jeff-lead Traveller group could go awry ("I don't know what the *&^^% is going on! Crap, I'm dead.) and we declared this MaybeNotAGoodIdea.

Next was a Jeff-run Vampire game. The mere IDEA of this premise was so mirthful as to elicit an 8.2 on the lolololololololograph (IE I could not stop laughing for the life of me) and TheBoy voted the scenario as officially Hilarious.

Paranoia in all its variations seemed the best place evah for Jeff to unleash his personal brand of awesome, but we were perplexed as to who plays the game anymore, so we had to pronounce this possibility as Meh due to potential lack of interest.

From there, the conversation sort of broke into fits of giggles and occasional hiccups of insanely stupid inside jokes, but it was a very fun thought exercise at the time.

Why not suggest "What Should Jeff Run", and cause a little laughter today?

Monday, December 26, 2011

[40K] Merry Christmas to Me!

Just one of my presents this year:

TheDude sure does love me something fierce. I think I'll keep him.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

[Business] Today's Adventure

See this guy? He's all alone. He's doing it wrong. 

Today's brief discourse will be on the need for backup of some sort. 

While what TheDude and I have is pretty unusual, most of the FLGS folks I know have some sort of help. They have learned that they don't know and can't do everything, and have hired out for the things they just can't do themselves. 

It might be taxes, or web design, writing a policy manual or cleaning the floors; sometimes you need someone else to do the work. 

Other times, you need someone who shares your vision and understands what you are all about. There are times when you need someone to listen to the static in your head and help decipher it into reality. 

TheDude and I went on a little adventure today. Honestly, either one of us could have gone alone- there was no need for both of us to be involved. We trust each other and feel good about the decisions we make as a rule. But we voted to go together "just in case" something came up that we wanted the other around to help 'figure out our brain'. 

When something is bothering me or I can't figure it out, I tend to be quiet and let TheDude talk. Funny thing is, given the chance, the man can talk circles around me. So usually, while he is blabbering away, I'm figuring out whatever has me twisted. 

Today, he saw me mulling something over in my head, and asked me about it.  As I was telling him what my concern was, he blerted out the same thing, and we sort of chuckled. 

We left our adventure, and went on our merry way,  feeling somewhat better that we had a line on each other's  thoughts and we could count on each other. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[40K] More of This Game is Just Pretty

So a new guy came into the store the other night (after much prodding from TheDude) and brought some of his beautiful Dark Angels to show us. I thought I'd share... 

I like it, I like it, I like it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

[RPG] Check this out instead

No RPG material today. I'm busy finalizing the last minute details of a benefit for a local gaming couple.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

[40K] Sometimes, the game is just pretty

I showed up to my 40K night the other day, and one of my regulars was showing off his new toys. He had amassed a very large selection of figures for a theme army and wanted everyone to see them.

Pictures don't quite do this justice- there's a lot of shine and reflection taking away from the detail and lovely work he put into this army- but I really want to showcase his work.

Long shot of the whole army.

A narrower look at the oncoming mass.

Hey look! Skimmers and dreads!

I love the feel of the army- the different poses really helps it have a personality.

Who doesn't love a wheelie?

The bank on this is just super cool.

Ever hear of flanking? Yeah, these guys have it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

[RPG] Chemistry

In RPG's, I've found that the single most important element for a game to go well is chemistry.

Yes, maybe a little beverage helps....

Chemistry is inexplicable to those outside the game. In many ways, it's like obscenity- "you know it when you see it". I've had some games that were hilariously fun and I couldn't wait to play- but people watching from the outside had no idea what was good about it. I've also had games that, on paper, were stellar. Well known GMs, great players, interesting plot- but when the group was together, the chemistry was terrible and the game fell apart.

Recently I've seen games with great starting chemistry lose steam because a member of the group had to quit, and I've seen dying games take on new life with the addition of a single player. I've been impressed by the fact that in most cases, the key to good chemistry is a SINGLE person with a dynamic personality. At least in my area, when you add more than one 'big voice', things kind of go off the rails.

There's no crystal ball as to whether a game will work with the people in it or if you need to do some quick chemical adjustment. Because chemistry is fairly important to me, I often sit in on a session or hang out with the group I am considering joining before I agree to play in a new game. I know other people do a sort of interview to figure out if the people they will be playing with 'fit their needs' and others just hope for the best.

What experiences have you had with group chemistry, and what advice do you have for those having problems?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

[40K] Works in Progress

On Saturday, our 40K league is hosting a Model Work Day. The idea is to allow a time to bring in models that need some work and learn from each other.

I'm thinking of bringing some of these guys

and trying to turn them into something like this

Courtesy of Darkfuturegames.blogspot.com

Am I up to it? Probably not. But I have a lot of bare basic Marines and some cool BT upgrade goodies, so we will see what happens.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

[RPG][WOD] Austin by Night: Vinnie's Journal, Pt 1

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge.
Daniel J. Boorstin

I've been here for a couple of years now. I have begun to settle in. I've got a fairly good job that allows a lot of flexibility and has high expectations of leadership and accomplishment. I have a haven that does the job for now, and I've started to get noticed by the leadership. 

I was asked by the Harpy to introduce myself to a certain number of people, offering my services and making myself accessible to them. I wasn't sure what was wanted at first, but I've learned that when you play the soldier, you don't ask questions. You just do things. After a little bit of work, it became apparent that the list in question was almost entirely Kindred, and it seems the Harpy is perhaps putting me in certain people's paths to see what happens. I understand that thought experiment all to well, and for now it serves my purposes. 

I have spent quite a bit of time researching the Death Row Incorporated faction; and being very intrigued at how little I've learned. It makes me wonder if their own situation isn't similar to mine, with a valid reason for a blackout. Finding things out is very different now.  I'm still getting accustomed to this "information age"; as it's called.  The concept is unusual that information can be had with money, or for free. Favors and power used to be the currency, but I don't mind that I'm not obviously beholden to anyone at the moment. 

My conversation with Varus (the Commissioner) was unsettling to me. In my past, direct conversations with authorities caused nothing less than difficult times. Different times and different approaches change the way I interact with those in power; and I'm still learning these ways. Beyond the directness of the conversation was the content, which I found curious. Purpose and direction are ever present in my Requiem, but laid deep under the surface of my interactions. Varus' bluntness was sharp and present; challenging my considerations and forcing me to examine the great experiment I'm undertaking. 

I still have much to accomplish to near my goals; and every day is yet another opportunity to develop my potential. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

[40K] Falling Off the Wagon

This one guy, generously donated to me last year by none other than HOP's Idol contest winner, Von; is the one thing that's keeping me anywhere near the Emperor's Children at the moment.

I'm burning out on Marines at the moment.

I'll admit I was never a big fan of the Marines. The sameness of them made me frustrated. I mean, what's the difference between this

and this?

From a stat viewpoint, very little is different. They all have the same WS,BS and I - it's just a matter of which weapons and so on.

For some, that's a bonus. I've heard Space Marines called "Legos"- a basic building block that you can customize endlessly by adding or taking things away. Maybe it's true.

I just know that they are really cramping my style right now. I prefer some personality, some silliness, some "unknown" factors as a rule... and Marines are not it.

Except Brother Darius, who has been known to speak to me while I'm sleeping of the Glories of The Emperor. That guy takes his job wayyyyyyyyy too seriously, but man-he looks good doing it.

Stay tuned for a possible exploration of Eldar....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

[40K] Grey Knights VS Blood Angels

This was the beginning of our new league. I decided to give it a whirl, and after a lot of debating, decided to play the Grey Knights (or "Cheese" as my buddy FunDave calls them). 

I played against a guy I've known since the day I was introduced to gaming. He's new to the league, but has been stopping in to watch for almost a year. Our guys know him, but might not know his idiosyncrasies as well as I do. 

He's an old grognard/neckbeard, one of those guys that takes perverse pleasure in reading, examining, questioning and just generally ingesting games of all kinds. He also discusses games in a strange hybrid of kvetching/arguing that many people could easily view as misanthropy. I've gotten used to it over the years and don't think twice about his rumblings- I sort of hear them on another wavelength. 

Having effectively taken care of customers, I found a table and broke out my dudes, and my friend broke out his. His list was something like this:

Baal pred

2 las plas razorbacks 
2 five man assault squads melta powerfist

and here's what I brought: 

storm raven
4 terminators (troops) with a psilencer 
1 Justicar Tharn 

I was a little absentminded when we were setting up the table, and I sort of missed something important. Take a look. 

Notice anything? (Besides my hand on the right.) Yeah, there's not a lot to see.

We rolled mission and deployment. He won first but held off and kept his guys in reserve, letting me go first. We had to score an objective, and his was behind a ruin. Mine was on behind a bunker to the way left from what you see here. 

I moved forward towards the objective. He waited. I moved forward again.

I actually scooted around the ruin and sat on the objective.  I thought I was in good shape, and I was trying to follow the "keep the guys in the armored box" rule I keep hearing.

Yeah. Then he rolled all 3 reserves on and the one that was flanking came in on the side my bird was on.

The bird got blown up- totally exploded. The guys inside- 3 lived.

My poor, poor raven!

Then my guys ran away because they lost more than 25% of their squad. And at least one of them got blown up by the barrage of shooting he threw at me.

And you know, I never learn. I charged right at those tanks- with just 2 guys.

The roll to hit. This was probably the only thing that made the night not entirely terrible on a game standpoint.

I got completely surrounded. And the psicannon just refused to die. He was pretty crafty. Thawn died - a lot.

Of course the rolls to pen weren't so good. Can't win 'em all, right?

The game came down to 2 Lasplas Razorbacks and a Ball Predator shooting Thawn every time he got up. And then he didn't, and my friend won.

Overall recap: My friend got lucky with his reserve and shooting rolls. I didn't suck as much as I have in the past. I still lost.

About my opponent: I sort of covered this in the bat rep above, but I like him and get along with him fine. I know other people find his tendencies to discuss things to death somewhat annoying. 

What I learned: Trying new stuff is ok. Even if you lose.

In all seriousness, I was trying to apply some things I've watched or heard. I was debating between BT with a LRC and dudes inside or a StormRaven, and you know... I really wanted to play it. It was a birthday gift and I really like it. So I went with GK. I definitely need to read the Codex more thoroughly.

There's next week to try again at 500... I don't know what I'll bring yet.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

[WOD] Austin by Night: Vinnie's Background

Snapshot Premise: Vincenzo "Vinnie" Gianetti - old school mobster


Carlos Marcella was a big time Mobster in New Orleans in the late 1940's. He was friends with the infamous Meyer Lansky, one of the biggest Mafia men in the states. When Lansky went to Cuba to develop hotels and casino operations, Lansky held a conference or "meeting of the minds" to discuss the best way to make everyone rich. Carlos went to Cuba to collaborate with Meyer Lansky and "Lucky" Luciano in expanding gambling operations and money laundering. Carlos had an expert money man (and Caporegime) named Julian "Scissors"  Sciletti. He brought Sciletti on the trip to the conference. Sciletti had established himself as both eccentric and effective by this time; and was feared by all in Carlos' organization.

Sciletti was key to Carlos' gang, running both money and men. His elusive ways confounded more than a few hitmen from rival gangs and it was rumored he lived underground. Sciletti was of course, Kindred. As a Mekhet, he adapted to modern times and made the best of his skills to keep himself occupied and intellectually challenged. He was drawn to the dark greed of the Mob, and worked his way into favor quickly with his ability to move and launder money.

At the time Luciano was exiled to Italy  (1947) , the gangs were spreading, and operations growing. Carlos returned back to New Orleans, as did Sciletti.  Sciletti decided to expand beyond New Orleans, and started to look through the ranks of his soldiers to find a good possibility as a childer.

After a few years of searching, he eventually decided  to consider Vincenzo "Vinnie" Gianetti, a tried and true Lieutenant. Vinnie had a strong reputation among the ranks as a dedicated and dependable "go to" guy. Vinnie's best trait, it seemed, was a willingness to do whatever was asked of him. Vinnie didn't seem to care if the task was "below" him, or difficult, or just plain weird- Vinnie got it done without concern or complaint.

After intensive interviews and careful observation, Sciletti discovered that Vinnie was far more than a dedicated man- he was careful and interested in moving up in the ranks. Vinnie showed a great deal of street sense, cunning and flexibility. Vinnie's "can-do" attitude was a show to cover his real ambitions so that he wouldn't become a target by the power hungry.

In the interim of being introduced to and interviewed by Sciletti, Vinnie became intrigued by counterfeiting and money laundering. Sciletti arranged for Vinnie to be reassigned from collections and into banking. Sciletti tutored and observed Vinnie for several years, discovering the full measure of the man. Sciletti discovered that Vinnie had a deeply twisted side, taking great pleasure in the greed and avarice of the men around him. Vinnie found many opportunities to further his position in the Mob by using others' selfish nature against them.

Vinnie's cautiousness and observational abilities were his tools to furthering his standing in the Mob. While Vinnie watched and made his move up the ladder, Sciletti was setting up his own operation in Houston. The two quickly carved out a thriving business of gambling, counterfeiting, protection and extortion while still operating (at least in part) out of New Orleans.

Immediately before the move was set to happen, Vinnie caught Sciletti alone- a rarity in and of itself. Vinnie laid out point by point all of the strange habits and tendencies he'd noticed of Sciletti's. Sciletti was never the first or last to enter a room; was never alone with anyone; never went anywhere in daytime. Sciletti never hosted events at his home, instead opting for restaurants and private clubs. Anyone Sciletti "offed" was dismembered and bloody, earning him the "Scissors" nickname. Vinnie went on with more of Sciletti's personal traits, all indicating something was "off" about Sciletti; but he'd drawn the wrong conclusion. Vinnie believed Sciletti was a federal plant or an agent with a life elsewhere and was prepared to both expose him and bring him down- permanently.

Sciletti had been planning to Embrace Vinnie for quite some time, but felt he needed an impetus to do so. This "showdown" was exactly what Sciletti was waiting for, and so he laid it all on the table for Vinnie. He gave Vinnie a choice to accept the Embrace, or die. Whatever Sciletti said or showed Vinnie was convincing enough that Vinnie believed he would die if he didn't say "yes" to the offer Sciletti was making, so he accepted.

From the moment of the Embrace, Vinnie learned to address his Sire as Julian, and many more of the secrets Julian held. Vinnie spent 10 years with Julian in Houston, learning the very basics of Embraced life, politics, societies and abilities. Vinnie was introduced to the trappings of the Elysium, as well as local Mekhet. Julian worked hard to give his childer at least a modicum of knowledge about the Requiem and the hazards, rewards and challenges. Julian directed Vinnie to Ordo Dracul, the same covenant he followed; with the idea that most of the Coils would help Vinnie eventually become a better and more "assimilated" Kindred among mortal society.

After several years of mentorship, Julian felt that while Vinnie could benefit from more tutoring and instruction, Vinnie also needed to be on his own. Julian separated to help grow business and help establish his Childer, as well as reduce the chances someone could use Vinnie to get to him personally.

Vinnie chose San Antonio as his new center of operations. It was inland enough that most other crews didn't want to deal with it, and it had little to no Mob influence. Vinnie quickly recruited a man to be the figurehead leader to his local Mob- but of course Nico "The King" Roi had no idea that he was anything other than the big man. Vinnie put a great deal of effort into playing the "dependable soldier" part well while in San Antonio. His cover kept him in the eye of the Mob ranks as a man of influence, but not as the target of hostilities (in most cases). The "face" leaders of the Mob came to depend on Vinnie for a great number of tasks outside his expertise, and he built quite a bit of leverage for his future through wise observation and research.  Vinnie covertly ran the money (fake or laundered) as well as the gambling for all of the city for almost 20 years.

His efforts were almost entirely directed at Mob affairs in this time period, as he wisely felt that the time for the gangs were limited, while there was "always more time" to build a political empire among the Kindred. He was starting to break down his organization when it was discovered one of his crew was being investigated by the feds. What attention he did pay to Kindred politics and scheming was aimed to get him ahead, and he enacted more than a couple diableries to strengthen his power base. As RICO was coming into full swing in the 80's and more and more of the gang's activities were being monitored or compromised in some way, Vinnie began preparations for his "way out".

In the month that Vinnie took to prepare every aspect of his safehouse and getting the last of his paper trail covered, a very young and inexperienced Unaligned Kindred named "Smitty" got swept up in a Federal sting. Before a week was out, Vinnie had heard from several sources that "something weird happened down at the jail", and that Smitty was dead in a very ugly fashion. Vinnie knew his time was up, or would be shortly, and hid himself away for a long torpor; with the idea that when he came out, the coast would be clear.

Vinnie was in torpor for 20 years or so, and has just in the past few years entered back into society. His first year "back" was spent taming his Beast, and he barely avoided police action several times by sheer luck. Vinnie didn't suffer the mental imbalances many Elders do, but has certainly seen a change in his ability level. He's also discovered a very strange new world, where things don't work the way they used to, and he has to develop some new skills, make new contacts, and find new meaning in his requiem.


1953- Sciletti discovers Vinnie
1955-Sciletti embraces Vinnie
1955-1965 - Houston years, Vinnie learns much about Houston area Embraced politics, Mekhet society and introduction to Ordo Dracul. Learns at least one coil (coil of the blood)
1965-1985- San Antonio years- Mostly Mob focused. Most likely had Kindred connections of some sort as he was influential in Mob, but no title or expectation of anything other than paying tribute.
1986-1988- "unravelling" years, preparing a safehouse, multiple back door names/aliases/safe deposit boxes, hidden bank accounts, etc.
1988-2008 -Torpor
2008-2009 - "Wild year"- coming back to civilization
2010- Move to Austin

Thursday, November 3, 2011

[40K] The 500 Point Dilemna

Our local 40K group is doing an escalation league. I'm pretty excited about getting in on the "ground floor" of this, and I am fairly confident that GW won't be dropping any FAQ bombs on me during the duration of the league; mostly because I will be playing a faction that's already got one. (At least I think I am....)

I'm considering something other than my lovely Black Tide, and man is Big Sword yelling at me. I'm kind of considering something similar, but with a little more GW love....

Yeah, I'm thinking about Grey Knights. My main issue is that I don't have the codex yet, so making a list is an entirely hinky proposition. So at the moment, I am still thinking BT- but I am open to other ideas.

However, making the list for the league is a new kind of thought puzzle entirely- the first two weeks  will require some creative thinking.

For the first two weeks, we have to build our armies using the Kill Teams organization rules- but our missions will come from the Big Red Book.

My initial thought was to use a Ven Dred and some Termies, and bam! I would be done. However, after re-examining the board with the league rules, I realized we're not using KillTeams for anything except force org in weeks 1 and 2.

So I need troops and something kill-y in order to have a shot at winning. So maybe a LRC with some space doodz inside??  I don't quite know- I need something with troop selection, but good defense capability.

Ideas welcome as always, and GK thoughts are still running through my head. Or maybe Orks. I miss the green guys and their craziness... and their red paint, and their trukks....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

[WOD] Austin By Night: Vinnie's Stats

Virtue: Faith (Vinnie believes he can find what he's lost )
Vice: Pride (Vinnie believes he can build his life again)
Clan: Mekhet
Covenant: Ordo Dracul

Int-2;Wits-4; Resolve-3
Str-2; Dex-3; Stam-2
Pre-1;Man-2; Comp-3

Academics- Research (sp) 2
Crafts- Counterfeit money 3

Larceny- Gambling 2
Stealth- 2


1-Coils of Blood

Haven- 2 (Sec/Size even split)
Status: Ordo-1
Contacts: Mob-1 Ordo-1

Health -7
Blood Potency-1

Init mod -6
speed- 10u

1 extra point in Resolve due to Mekhet clan "bonus"

was given starting XP. Spent it on 2nd Coil of Blood,  2nd dot in Obsfucate and several expenditures in skills.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

[WOD] Austin By Night: Long Time Coming -Vinnie

I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I'd give anything

When someone said count your blessings now
'fore they're long gone
I guess I just didn't know how
I was all wrong
They knew better
Still you said forever
And ever
Who knew - Pink, Who Knew 

I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and it's usually apparent to those around me. As a rule, I'm not great at hiding things. In addition, I work pretty hard to be an honest person. All that being said, I'm very skilled at lying when something truly important is on the line. This dichotomy might seem strange, but it makes sense to me that in order to protect myself or someone I love, I'm going to have to lie (and keep the lie straight). If I'm lying, there's a really good reason for it.

I've been lying to myself about something pretty big for a while now, and I'm just now working out how to cope with the situation and how to be honest with myself about it.

I am very upfront about the fact that I often use a character and his or her roleplaying opportunities as therapy for the stuff I am personally going through. This is specifically true in the WOD game, where the people I play with and the environment is very safe, and I feel that I can really "get through" my issues and get closer to whole again.

Vinnie is a way for me to deal with a very specific issue. However, the issue is the same one I've been lying to myself about. In order for me to get where I want to go, I have to tear down the "wall" of a lie, and face certain truths.

So here it is. I've been hurt recently- and very badly. I've lost something very dear to me, and it's killing me.

I'll admit that I had a role in this and my actions didn't always help me. But I was letting the situation control me; instead of taking some kind of ownership and finding a way to deal with it. I was hiding from how truly hurt I was over this loss, and how much I want to get it back.

In making Vinnie, I came to the "wall" and had to deal with some reality. I can't get what I had back- there's a saying; "you can't go home again". It's very appropriate; but it misses a deeper truth. "Home is where the heart is"; so I can't go home- I have it with me no matter where I go.

Vinnie lost something. He wants to get it back. He knows he can't have the "same" thing; but that he can build himself back up to a level similar to where he was before, and maybe make it his new home. In order to get his "home" back, Vinnie is going to have to do a lot of work.

He was recently asked by the Harpy to get in touch with certain people in the city, and offer certain services. He did what he was asked to do, and got looked at like he was a fool. Vinnie absolutely does not understand what EXACTLY he is supposed to offer; and he doesn't care. He'll do what he has to for a shot at building his "home" (easiest way to express it)  back up from the ashes.

I have to be Vinnie for a while. I have to refuse to allow other people's opinions affect me or who I am as a person. I have to do whatever it takes to get some semblance of what I lost back- even if I have to re-examine what I had and determine if it was worth having in the first place. That, my friends, is real and brutal truth.

Vinnie's background and stats will be posted tomorrow- I figure I've gone on long enough.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[40K] Tootin' Lantz' Horn

The Admech Fandex is out- and the guy behind it is one of my nearest and dearest.

Please go over to Lantz's Place to enjoy his Magnum Opus.

Know that besides being brilliant and talented, Lantz is a genuine peach; a totally nice guy.

He works hard- 5 different blogs with incredible amounts of material. He's totally passionate about the hobby and loves promoting the community. He's a genuine asset and I'm really proud to be his friend.

Ladies, he's SINGLE.


Friday, October 21, 2011

[RPG][WOD] Introducing Vinnie

Well, not quite. A girl can dream, though. He's really a bit more like this:

Vinnie is my new character for the WOD game set in Austin. He's a typical Italian guy, a little "old school", sorta retro. He's a good soldier, and follows orders very well. This makes him pretty reliable, and he's got a job working for a transfer company, running a division.

He's a Vampire. He's a Mekhet, and has a Covenant, but it's sort of a secret for now. I've resisted playing a Vampire for so long, I finally decided to give in and go "back to my roots" as far as where I started "modern" roleplaying. I'm excited to see some other people in the game are active as Vampires, so I don't have to "blaze the trail" and/or do all the work. There's already an environment to play in, which is super nice.

I have a pretty in-depth background and story for Vinnie, as well as some ideas on what I want to see happen with him. Once I have another episode in, I'll spill the beans.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mine's Bigger Than Brent's

Dethtron and Brent's little "war" got me motivated to do something I really haven't done here- show pics of my place. So, in the spirit of a good, healthy competition, let's do this!

Quoting Dethtron here: 

Well clap if you believe in Project Mayhem, because I’m throwing down the gauntlet. Brent thinks he’s got the disease, well it’s time to prove he’s still standing on the tip of the iceberg; still one straw short of a camel fracture. So, beloved space monkeys- if you’ve got a ridiculous collection/game room of your own let the world know. Post your own blog entry under the title “Mine’s Bigger than Brent’s” for all the world to see. Then, re-post this challenge to every blog and forum you’re on.

Here it is, folks- a challenge meant for the "big boys", and I am ready to kill 'em. Here's a look at all my stuff. 
The outside, before we got a sign or any fancy stuff.

We did have fancy door graphics, though. Custom made acrylic transfers, baby.

There's places to play- lots of tables. These are set up for 40K.

This photo is of the early days in this location, before we got WAY more merchandise and so forth.

Here are some samples of our stuff. I swear, this was the day after we opened in this shop, because we have SO MUCH more crap now.

We found out that this shelf-on-a-shelf idea was not a good one. We moved it, don't worry!

 All right, this is from the WAAAAAY back machine, as we had AT-43 in stock still.

Other assorted sundries and such-again, probably from the second or third day at this location.

Wow, we were so proud of this clean, shiny case....

 The view from behind the counter- BEFORE it got messy. It's a wreck now.

The whiteboard is totally awesome. We use it for SO many fun things. It came as a donation from a customer.

So next, some pics of actual GAMERS and GAMING.

The giant windows are a pretty big hindrance in the summer months.

The following pics are from my *verysmall* house. The two larger shelves are *literally* packed from top to bottom full of gaming material. There's about a foot of my scrapbooks, but all the rest is games, books, minis,  notes, etc.

This is another shelf, tucked in the corner. It's actually got a shelf ON the shelf just to hold all the stuff we have.

Menoth, Part the One.

More Menoth.

Tons of paint. The top case on the left is the Vallejo line and the stuff on the right is paints picked up from hobby supply stores. Plus, tools! I love tools. Brushes, washers, clippers, many other goodies. The boxes are full of bits.

 Oops... That tray of models is full of Harlies I am supposed to be painting.

 More foam, waiting to be used.

A random game hiding between the couch and a shelf.

 While I don't have drums tucked away in my gaming closet, I do have to rep some music here.

Back to the store, where there's even MORE stuff. Here's a much more recent picture of the outside. I think I took this in August.

Lots of 40K and way more WarMachine than we need.

GW's greedy- it takes two full shelves, the tops, AND two spinner racks to fully display their stuff.

Our used shelf! Bargains, dudes!

 This is the "Big Red Monster", and it's the home of many board games. That we want to sell to you.

Middle shelf=roleplaying, mostly.

Grey Shelf=more board games.

 Of course, paint and all the stuff that goes with it.

The dragon, the case and the Confrontation models are all on "loan". One of our regulars displays them at our place because... well, it involves a wife- I'll be nice.

This is the second "Big red monster", also lovingly known as "The Gamer Nutrition Center" (inside joke). The setup varies, but it is usually sleeves, card boxes and other "Magic crack" related materials. 

This is my personal hell. It is also one of my proudest and best achievements as a store owner. Inside each box, divided by uncommon or common, are playsets of MtG cards. Each box holds several hundred playsets- and there are more than 50 boxes.

I was instrumental in taking huge piles of 5 slot boxes of random crap and turning them into a well organized system for our customers to find what they want instead of rooting through the dreaded "penny bin". Yes, we charge more- but we have made a killing out of these boxes. Well worth the HUNDREDS of hours put into it.

Also on this shelf is our "50 cent box", which is chock full of rares that don't trade at crazy insane costs. It's sometimes known as the "jank box", but there are a lot of cards in it that are great EDH material, fun to trade, or just interesting. The 50 cent box generates some serious cash, so we keep it stocked.

We recently filled that "gap" with boxes of cards, and added enough boxes to go all the way to the bottom shelf.

Here's our display case now. We pride ourselves on having the best pack choices around- and man, we find (and sell!) some oldies but goodies. Ravnica block, Onslaught, Invasion, Visions, Ice Age, Chronicles (we did an afterdraft with it!)- all kinds of things are in our case.

The blue binder above and the binders below are part of our singles. We divide by price- and stick cards in any order as long as it's starting low and going high. Our customers really seem to like it, and even ask for the "make your wallet cry" binder by name. (That's the red one seen below.)

A rare shot of TheBoy, from behind. He was hard at work, helping his buddy with something or other.

We have a fridge with sodas and snacks, too.

Chips & giant Pixy stix! Also visible is our "demo shelf" with copies of popular games to try before you buy.

Don't think this is a lot of stuff? We rented an entire PODS unit for overflow, random crap, and the assloads of terrain we have. Really, we have a shit ton of terrain. 

Four huge rubbermaid type totes, another Glass case, several random boxes, felt mats, and a ton of stuff I don't even know what it is. Here's some pics: 

 Well, this is an entire terrain table that was donated by one of our customers.

Some terrain.  (And models)

 More terrain.

Plus, more terrain!

And more terrain.

 More terrain.

 Even more terrain.

 Yeah, more terrain.

And, more terrain.

The POD and all the random stuff inside it. 

Don't think we have enough terrain? We have more.

And some of the nicest chairs you'll ever see in a game store. Really.

 Card boxes. Lots of them.

I don't know what this is. Maybe some more terrain?

 Older fixtures, files, light bulbs, other stuff.

This is terrain building material. Once upon a time, we made our own. I think we have plenty, now.

Well, the gauntlet is down- let's see YOURS.