Monthly Archives: August 2011

If you’ve been kind enough to keep up with my rantings and ravings about games and gaming, I want to apologize for the lack of posts for the past week and a half.  I finally got Windows 7 onto my computer and have been spending time getting my machine up and running.  That means installing programs, tweeking browsers, and adjusting the things I use to work from home every week.

You can start looking forward to more posts later this week! I also have some super hot gamer girls to profile!

Love,

GamerGrrl

Today is the long awaited for day! The Secret World Beta starts at 6pm GMT+1! I’m excited!

The whole thing will kick off The Secret War which is between the 3 factions in the game.  So from what it sounds like, it’s going to be a pvp event! Woohoo!

Honestly, there hasn’t been an MMO that really excited me since Vanguard, and my hopes for that one was crushed as soon as SOE decided to get their grubby hands on the billing.  I called it, I had told my friends that it was only time before they took over and I choose to wait and see what happened.  Sure enough, they bought it.  After that I tried D&D online, Conan, Eve Online and a few others.  Nothing really excited me quite like this one.

And now The Secret World Beta is finally here.  Yea, I’m going to be saying that for awhile!

Note from Gamer Grrl: The words below are not my own, but from a man named Sean Patrick Fannon from DriveThruRPG.  It’s a thoughtful piece, especially where the young man wrote him to thank him for speaking up at the tournament.  I vow to be more thoughtful about my own words when sitting at the gaming table, because he’s right, and I’m guilty of doing this exact thing on ocassion.  Being gay has become something negative and we never know who’s sitting there with you.  I’m better than that and I challenge you to be too.

Some Gamers are Gay

No, I don’t mean that in the all-too-popular vernacular of “I don’t like that, that’s gay.” I mean there is a significant and highly-involved community of gamers within our culture that are homosexual. Many do not regularly wear signs or symbols to identify themselves as such; for many, it has absolutely nothing to do with their participation in gaming.

Just as I am a straight man who likes to play Savage Worlds, one of my dearest friends is a gay man who greatly prefers the Hero System (and still chides me for abandoning the system I sold him and so many others on all those years ago). That I am straight and he is gay has nothing to do with our gaming interactions. Better still, Chris being gay has never had much of an impact on any of the gaming experiences we shared, or on the gaming community that we both participated in back in Athens, GA, and later in Jacksonville, FL.

Maybe I missed something, but somewhere along the way, the phrase “that’s gay” crept into the pop culture lexicon and took root like a nasty, ugly weed.

This isn’t actually a new thing, I know; I was regularly called a “fag” when I was much younger, all through my middle-and-high school years. I’m relatively certain most of the kids using the word weren’t even entirely sure what the hell it meant, only that it had a hurtful sound to it and it was supposed to be something very negative.

I am very gratified that our overall culture has advanced – slowly, to be sure – in such a way that the fact of being gay isn’t the social sentence it once was. I am by no means saying the struggle for equality and social acceptance by the GBLT community is over, not by a long shot. Things have, however, gotten marginally better.

The one place, however, where I always believed folks of any origin, gender, color, orientation, or belief could find open acceptance has been my culture of choice – geekdom.

Yet recently I’ve encountered younger members of our social circles that now use the term “gay” to indicate something they do not like.

To whit, I was in an Ascension tournament at a convention this summer. It was a full table, six players. One was a woman of about my generation, while the other four were in their teens and twenties. Three of them were obviously buds, and it was made clear that they came from the Yu-Gi-Oh CCG arena, very competitive in nature. One player in particular kept referring to every play he didn’t like or every card he read that he did not care for as “gay.”

“Oh man, that play is totally gay.” “I hate that card, it’s so gay.” “I can’t believe you pulled that off; how gay.” The other two generally laughed or smiled, and the rest of the room more or less ignored it.

I didn’t.

(more…)

“Elf!” I yelled, pointing.

“Elf wat?” he asked.

“Elf!” I yelled again.

“Elf wat!?” he asked again in frustration.

I suddenly realized why the dutch guy was getting frustrated.  He was playing D&D with me as the DM and my NPC shouted, “Elf!” In dutch, elf = 11.

It’s a new week and we have a new Gamer Grrl Music Pick! This week is all about the Diary of Dreams song, Blind in Darkness.

Since I’ve been talking a lot about the music off of the Succubus Club cd, like Deception by the Cruxshadows for the Ravnos, I thought that Blind in Darkness would be a good pick.  This song was written for my favorite Vampire the Masquerade clan, the Tremere.

I have a long history with the Tremere some love, some hate.  My first Tremere was in an actual Tremere campaign set in Darkages Vampire right around the time that the House Tremere was forming into an actual clan.  I won’t go into details about the campaign since that deserves its own post, but the first time playing these Thaumaturges set a lasting impression.  The clan is very tight, blood bound to the Council of 7, and like most Kindred will back-stab each other to get to the top.  My group was no different…within the first 3 minutes of joining this campaign Kali was molested, raped, tortured, and mutilated.  No, this wasn’t a game for the faint of heart…

I’ve had several others between then and now.  I’m currently playing Kali, version 2.0, and she’s a much nicer version of Kali 1.0.  She doesn’t fit the Tremere song, Blind in Darkness, off the Succubus Club CD:

I will plaster all you mortals with my dominating guts
I will torment revelations – I did never ask for much
I will taste the detonation while the Geminis go wild
I’ll absorb the human sigh, eradicate your dormant lie

Does it suck your breasts for milk, golden honey, dressed in silk
Does it feel your patient care in your dreadful glassy stare
or does it feel your true emotions in its scars and bruises burn
Do you really think your lies will tear open cloudy skies?

Feel my fingers in your wound while my eyes ascend the gloom
Questions wasting all my time – I see your eyes detesting mine
Sick of a life you never had, in dead motion, you look so sad
I could care less if I’d like – I let you go into the night

Is my ignorance my fate, or is my love distorted hate
Is deliverance my mate or am I sleeping while awake
Is this place that we call home adorned by devastating foam
Am I mortal, am I god – Am I brighter than you thought?

I will never beg for mercy – I will never kiss your feet
I will never ask forgiveness and all of that I want to keep!
I will guide the blind in darkness though I cannot see myself
I will whisper in a deaf ear while I know you cannot speak

And I hear rumors about angels…

Funny enough, Diary of Dreams will be playing in October, outside of Amsterdam.  Some friends and I are thinking about going…I wonder if I contact them if they’d be willing to put this on their playlist for a Tremere GamerGrrl? Hmmm…

If you’d like to know more about Diary of Dreams, visit their official site.  While Blind in Darkness is a very old song, their current tracks are pretty good if you like a little goth with heavy German accents!

Secret Societ Test

Take the Test

Roughly two years ago, a Belgian friend of mine sent me a link to “What is your secret society test.” WTH I thought? Of course I clicked the link and was taken to a flash screen that eventually asked, “what secret society are you?”.  Intrigued I took the test.

Of course, me being the evil one, I qualified for the Illuminati.  Sex, Drugs, and Rockefeller!

During the press conferences leading up to Gamescom, Funcom announced that The Secret World is finally coming out in April 2012.  When I went to the main page of The Secret World website today, I saw that the official beta registration will start in 6 days, on August 26th.  I of course have this in my calendar because there hasn’t been many MMOs in the past few years that have intrigued me as much as The Secret World has.

In the beginning, it was only the secret society test and very little information, but over the years Funcom has leaked out tidbits to wet the whistle.  What has intrigued me the most is there’s no classes or levels in this game.  If you’re a MMO player, you know that they’re all based on some sort of class and level system no matter how much they let you branch out.  It’s a piece of code, it has limits.  However, The Secret World touts a true free form character customization.  I have to wonder if there’s a limit to the game design that will eventually lock you into a certain path?

The setting is a modern day setting.  To my knowledge, there aren’t any MMOs currently like this.  I know that White Wolf and CCPGames (makers of Eve Online) are working on a Vampire the Masquerade/World of Darkness MMO.  However, I haven’t found out if it’s going to be present day as in, 2012 or beyond, or if it’s going to go back to the 90′s which is the true setting of V:TM since it was written back then.  But back to The Secret World, it is a modern day setting and they claim you’ll get to travel to both real locations and places of myth and legend.  Since one of the secret society questions mentioned Alantis, I can only imagine it’s in the game.

You’ll be able to fight modern terrors as well as those of fantasy with modern day weapons as well as magic.  Players will also be able to customize their characters as far as weapons and clothing.

Well, I guess I’ll try to patiently wait 6 more days and hope I can get into the beta and find out more about The Secret World.  Of course, if I get into the beta I’ll probably have to sign some sort of release stating I’ll keep my gob closed until the game is released, but I think I can handle that! I can only wish that today I was over in Cologne, Germany at Gamescom to check out The Secret World a little more closely! I really do hope this lives up to my MMO expectations.  Not that I have time to actually start another MMO…

You can go check out more about The Secret World at it’s official site.  Make sure you enter your email address to get game updates if this game intrigues you as much as it intrigues me!

 

 

If you’re a Gamer Grrl, or any gamer for that matter, you’ll encounter things daily that just beg to become a character concept.  Take today for example…

I was working away behind my computer this morning doing boring administrative things when the business manager mentions that a web-cam company we work with has released a live psychic cam site.  Then he started laughing because of one of the guys listed on the site with his crystal ball.  I wander over to his computer and peer over his shoulder and before I can stop myself I exclaim, “Oh my god! THAT is my next character for Vampire the Masquerade.”  The business manager, who is the furthest thing from a table-top gamer (not sure if he even plays video games to be honest), looks over his shoulder with that “you really are weird, you know that?” look.  I’m used to it.  At least I’m not the only gamer there anymore and others completely understood my thought process about this being an awesome character concept!

Character Concept: Lubomir GesheMeet Lubomir Geshe, a 4th generation Russian American who’s family has made a fortune swindling the stupid and gullible.  As the sole heir to his family’s fortune, Lubomir takes his money and family’s art to Chicago to set up shop in a posh little penthouse to offer the rich and famous readings to find love in their life, money, and luck.  However, what they don’t know is Lubomir has a dark side.  He’s a 12th generation Toreador who’s sire embraced him as an investment.  It’s always good to have a childe with vast fortunes.

With Auspex, Dominate, Presence and Celerity, who needs real magic and fortune telling skills? Lubomir can tell how his client is feeling, pull thoughts out of their heads, dominate them into believing things are true, awe them, and move quicker than the human eye.  Truly, Lubomir is the king of the hustle.  Or is he? He’s not brave, he won’t volunteer for anything unless he has to, the only reason he’s part of the Camarilla is because his Clan has threatened him, and he’s willing to throw anyone and everyone under the bus in order to get out of something.

I don’t think Mr. Lubomir is going to live very long.  I’ll put bets on maybe 3 sessions? I have a feeling it’s going to be a player induced death to boot, much like Shirley Temple (8 year old that was embraced by a Malkavian, who thought she was Shirley Temple.  She lasted 2 hours before a fellow player torched her with a flame thrower…)

This is just proof that sometimes people that you just run across scream CHARACTER CONCEPT! When I go to actually make up Ludomir, I’ll post the actual character creation process on GamerGrrls so you can see a V:TM character being made.

Ryan Keely representing Saints Row the ThirdYesterday I got a note in my inbox saying that there’s going to be some very hot ladies representing Saints Row the Third at Gamescom this weekend in Germany.  Sadly, I’m not going to be able to make it this year due to prior obligations but it doesn’t mean I can’t write about it!

Saints Row the Third is being published by THQ and is set to be released in the US on November 15th and Europe on November 18th.  It’ll be coming out on several favorite gaming platforms, such as Windows, PlayStation3, Xbox 360, and OnLive.  This will be the 3rd title in the Saints Row series set in the city of Steelport where there’s a gang war between the Saints and Syndicate.  Word on the street has it you can beat people over the head with a dildo! I might have to check this one out!

To represent the upcoming release at the 2011 Gamescom, THQ has brought in some Penthouse Pets to act as the quality assurance team.  You’ll be able to meet the 2011 Penthouse Pet of the Year Nikki Benz, the 2007 Pet of the Year Heather Vandeven, Pet of the Year Runner Up for 2008 Justine Joli and Penthouse Pets Shay Laren and Heidi Baron.  THQ, I’ve got to say that’s one hell of a line-up of hotness to promote your #strapiton promotion for Saints Row the Third!

Of course the question that begs to be answered (and it’s killing me that I can’t just hop in the car and go ask!) is, are any of these girls gamers themselves or are they just representing Penthouse and Saints Row the Third at Gamescom this year? Guess I’ll have to write Nikki and ask.

Click here to find out more about Gamescom 2011 or you can go visit the Saints Row the Third site by clicking here!

Sexy Cosplay Fairy AngelaThis week’s sexy cosplay girl is a WOW (World of Warcraft) fairy named Angela.

If you remember the very first post on this site, I was talking about the moment someone puts wings on a hot girl (or give her a gun, magical abilities, or a sword), she becomes half naked.  This cosplay is a prime example of what I was talking about! And if you happen to be a lucky someone that gets to go to Dragon*Con next month, this is a preview of what you’ll be treated to! A whole slew of hot and sexy babes cosplaying fairies!

Alright, enough rambling.  Here’s today’s sexy cosplay girl’s profile:

Cosplaying since: 2005

Favorite gaming platform: PS3

Favorite games: Killzone 3, Final Fantasy XIII

Favorite MMO: You’ll never guess this one…wait for it…no, wait for it! Yup, you guessed it! WOW!

Of course, if you enjoy looking at Angela’s sexy cosplay, you can always go see all 40 photos in the set at CosplayErotica! Or, you can be a cheap gamer bastard and go look at the free gallery where Angela pulls off her cosplay fairy moves!

Click here for more sexy cosplay at Cosplay Erotica!

Chances are, you’ve heard the term “con” from someone (i.e. convention or in gaming terms, gaming convention), sometime, someplace.  Perhaps you watch Big Bang Theory where Sheldon Cooper talks about the Star Trek Con he had gone to, or you saw something about Comic Con or Gen Con.  Of course I’ve talked about Dragon*Con a few times before.  Some of these have to do with gaming, some of them are fan fairs and a few are niche specific.  Regardless, there’s always some sort of etiquette that goes along with them!

I’d like to touch on gaming conventions specifically because they’re a horse of a different color.  In general, people go to game.  The one I go to in the UK yearly, ConceptionUK, supports tabletop games, board games, card games, and in the past I’ve seen some war gaming going on.  Conception takes place at a holiday part where gamers can rent a holiday cottage for the week and there’s 3 time slots where 4 hour games are ran in each slot.  DMs (or referees as Conception calls them) put up sign-up sheets for their games with all pertinent information and players can sign up.  Then everyone gathers at “muster” where one of the con organizers yells out the game, the players, and everyone trots off happily for a few hours of gaming.

Of course, every gaming convention is run a different way.  Some are huge like Gen Con Indy (or Indy Con), some have some gaming but aren’t really a gaming convention (I remember a little gaming going on the few times I’ve been to Dragon*Con), some have booths with people selling things, some have panels with authors, actors, or musicians, and some only have certain types of games like Indi Con in the UK.  Regardless of the convention, I think there’s a certain etiquette guideline you can follow.

General Etiquette

- Dress appropriately for the con.  Some gaming conventions (like the little one in the city I grew up in hosts) consider themselves “family friendly” and don’t want half naked girls running around or suggestive costumes.  If you don’t know what the dress code is, identify an organizer and ask before they throw you out!

- Personal hygiene is a must.  Seriously folks, gamers have a bad enough reputation as is.  A lot of the mainstream folk think gamers are unwashed fat guys that sit in their mother’s basement all day.  Wash before you head to the con (use soap!), wear clean clothes, and avoid loads of perfume and cologne.  If you’re staying at a week long con, you’re going to get hot and sweaty from all the bodies running around.  Take 10 minutes, go to your room and shower!! Everyone will thank you!

- If people are in costume, ask before you take a picture of them.  In fact, make sure the con even allows pictures! Oh, and if they do, respect those who may have problems with the flashes!

- If people are in costume, keep your criticisms to yourself if you think it’s badly done.  People tend to put a lot of time and effort into their costumes, they don’t need someone completely tearing it apart.

- If you’re curious about a game being played, please ask the people (especially the DM) if you’re bothering anyone if you stand nearby and observe the game.

- Thank the people organizing the gaming convention.  They put in a lot of hours making sure you have fun, rarely get to do any gaming themselves, and are unsung heroes.  In fact, why not buy them a drink to say thanks?

If You’re Playing a Game

- Adhere to the rules of signing up to a game.

- Be on time for your play slot.

- If the game sucks, do your best to stay to the end.  People put a lot of work into their con scenarios and you can at least be a good sport and suck it up.  There’s times where you may not be able to stay to the end, like the one year I came down with the flu.  I felt really bad about having to ditch the game 1 hour in since I really wanted to play Dark Hearsay, but I just couldn’t hack it.  Luckily, I looked as bad as I felt and I was given a green light by the DM to go back to bed.

- Don’t hog the spotlight from the other players.

- It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert at a game system, leave the rules at home.  Every DM runs a game a different way and a lot dumb the game down to make it easy for anyone to play so certain rules may not even be an option.

- Buy the DM a drink.  A few bucks to say thanks for the game goes a long ways and not enough people do it, in my humble opinion.

- Don’t be a game snob and then turn around and complain about there being no games at said gaming convention.  You may not get to play what you had your heart set on, so try something different or new! Or better yet, run something yourself!

If You’re Running a Game

- Be on time for your own game.  I’ve actually signed up to games where the DM was a no-show.  If I knew you weren’t going to show, I’d have done something else like go out to dinner but now all my friends are tied up!

- Make sure your game can be played by the greenest player.  If people need to be versed in the rules, please note it on your sign-up sheet.

- Remember there are X amount of people sitting around the table.  Try to plan the scenario so everyone gets a little lime light.

- If you roll up a rogue as one of the characters, please make sure they have notice, perception, spot, or whatever the skill/talent/ability of the system is so that the character can SEE what’s going on.  Sorry, pet peeve of mine.  I actually got handed a rogue that had zero notice…the DM wondered why certain events weren’t happening in the game. o_O

- And speaking of rolling up characters, please try to make sure they’re balanced and fun.  Unless you’re running a game for complete newbies, we don’t want to spend 4 hours playing level 1 characters fighting gnolls.  Roll up epic level characters, or characters with nifty powers.  I can’t speak for others, but this is why I go to gaming conventions…to see what other systems are like!

- Please plan a break in the middle of the gaming block! If drinking is allowed, people will need to use the little gamer’s room and would probably love to buy another drink.

- Writing up the main rules of the system onto 1 sheet of paper is awesome! This way you don’t have to spend too much session time explaining rules to system newbies.

- Even though you have a scenario planned, try not to railroad your players.  Players will 99.9% of the time figure out how to throw a monkey wrench into your carefully laid plans.  It’s a lot more awesome if you roll with it or get us back on track without realizing you’re railroading us!

I’m sure there’s a lot more that can be covered, but I think these are the basics.  Using common sense goes a long ways and you’ll continue to be a welcomed guest for years to come! Guarantee it!