Extra Life is Almost Here!

4A-7uuL6ek1iJEjSSYLUMGTE5DruF6OZu_TNdGAkW1oOnce again I’m taking part in Extra Life, a fundraiser by gamers to raise money and awareness for children’s hospitals all over the world. Last year I did a mix of tabletop and computer gaming. This year, however, I’m going full tabletop, baby! For the full 24 hours I’m going to GM the Emerald Spire Super Dungeon, a 14-level behemoth put out by Paizo. I’m really excited to give this a whirl, and I can’t wait to see what shenanigans my table gets up to.

Because this is a special event, I’ve made some special rules just for the day. We’re using pre-gens to cut down on non-playing time. Levelling will happen “MMO style”, with characters levelling as soon as they reach the right XP amount (we’ll be using the Fast track). Players will have just 10 minutes to level their character, and then we move on. If a character dies, that player must make an additional donation to Extra Life to bring the character back and keep playing.

And characters are going to die. Oh, yes. But I don’t want to waste in-game time with the party trying to find ways to being a character back to life. So for this event, the Emerald Spire itself will bring characters back to life, interfering with the natural order of things for its own twisted purposes. But just because it brings you back, doesn’t mean it brings you back…right. I’m creating a list of Emerald Spire Resurrection Effects, which should provide hours of entertainment. Well, for me, anyway, and that’s the important thing.

So if you’re in Edmonton and want to play, you can sign-up here. And if you aren’t in Edmonton, or are but can’t make it on Saturday, you can still support our brave adventurers and Extra Life by donating. Every bit helps and is appreciated.

Extra Life 2014

Facebook-cover-AlbertaOnce again I am taking part in Extra Life, raising funds for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Alberta with Team #Knifeshoes. If you’d like to make a donation, please do so through my secure donation page. I’m really excited to be taking part again this year, and with your donations I’m hoping I’ll beat last year’s total.

With the expansion of Extra Life in to the table-top realm, I’ll be heading up Team #Kinifeshoes’ board and role-playing game special teams. I’ll start the day at a local gaming convention, InrigueCon, running a table of Kobolds Ate My Baby! Then a quick run over to Team #Knifeshoes HQ (a friend’s house) to set-up in their game room for the rest of the 24 hours. I’m going to use this as an opportunity to take D&D 5th out for a spin, and run through the basic box material. Assuming that doesn’t last us the entire rest of the time, we’ll intersperse with board games to cleanse the palette.

I look forward to a whole lot of fun being had (tired, tired fun), all in a great cause. Please make a donation if you can (you can donate from anywhere, by the way; it will credit you according to your country’s donation laws) of any amount. Every $5 helps, and adds up to get us closer to our goal. And if you live in Edmonton, contact me if you want to play in the D&D 5th at least part of the day. I’ll let you know what time we’ll start and where Team #Knifeshoes HQ is located. My only stipulation (if you aren’t already on Team #Knifeshoes) is that you make a donation to me. It is a fundraiser, after all.

Quickie Update

Just checking in so no one starts looting my corpse.

Extra Life went very well, and Team Knifeshoes raised $5991 by the end. I really want to thank everyone who donated to the cause, and my team mates for their hard work. Sadly, due to illness and just life getting in the way, none of the Pathfinder tables I organized happened. But that just meant I spent the bulk of the 25 hours playing World of Warcraft, with Card Hunter and internet Backgammon as a palette cleanser. It was a hard slog, but I made it through. And I’m excited for next year; I have some ideas for making the day even better next time.

The work for Prairie Dragon Press is proceeding, although I am slightly behind on my time-line. I’m behind because of other paid editing work, so while I don’t like being behind it’s for a good reason. But I’m no more than a week off my target so you’ll see my first work by the middle of the month for sure. I’m excited, and I hope you’ll be excited as well.

A final bit of news: my buddy Scott Sharplin is running a Kickstarter for a new Pathfinder game setting, The Ages of Allu. I had a chance to read through some preliminary play-test info, and the setting is very exciting. If you are a fan of high stakes and high drama RPG, this is a setting you want to get your hands on. Really good backer levels for this one, and some interesting stretch goals that I hope will come through. Check it out and get on board!

Okay, that’s it for today. Regular posts resume tomorrow as I get myself back on my usual schedule. See you then!

Countdown to Extra Life

Okay, so my dice tower post is slowly becoming the “Sex & D&D” of my site (don’t get that joke? Start here, and you’re welcome). It’s coming, I promise. Just having issues with hot glue, as one does.

1173Since I’m just three scant days away from 25 hours of continuous gaming, I thought I’d make a penultimate post about Extra Life. This is my first year taking part and I am part of Team Knifeshoes, founded by my friend Devin. I’m pals with pretty much the entire team, so I’m in nerdy good company. While the majority of my team is focused on video games of one description or another, I am bringing the tabletop skillz this year, as I mentioned in an earlier post. If you are in Edmonton and want to take part, here are the links to the Facebook and Meetup event pages.

Children’s charities always have a special place for me. Growing up I was a very healthy child. Apart from the usual spate of injuries caused while under the influence of being a kid, and a bout of pneumonia when I was in my early teens, I grew up hale and hearty. I got to play as much as a kid is supposed to, take part in sports, I was active in the Boy Scouts; your standard Canadian boy’s childhood. The worst thing I can imagine for a child is to not have that luxury. For a child to not be able to play when they want, or to know they will never get to play. That’s terrible for the kids and it has to be heartbreaking for the families as well.

I’m not a doctor or an engineer, so I can’t do anything for these kids directly. But I am a nerd and I can play games. And if playing games for 25 hours helps raise money for these kids, helps fund the doctors and engineers that can help them directly, I’d be pretty damn selfish not to take part in this event.

I hope you agree, and will support Extra Life. I’d love it if you sent a donation through my page. Any amount will do; seriously, if every FB friend, website subscriber, and Twitter follower donated a dollar it would blow my team’s goal out of the water. So don’t be shy, and don’t think your donation won’t help. And if you don’t want to donate through my page, that’s cool. Search the teams and participants on the Extra Life page, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a local team or player that would welcome your donation.

Thank-you in advance for helping Extra Life, Team Knifeshoes, and me make sure kids get to play.

Extra Life Update and Game Schedule

1173Taking a break from the 30 Days of Game Mastering Challenge. Don’t worry, I’ll catch up tomorrow. But today I’m talking about my Extra Life fundraising, because the day is fast approaching.

I am not a serious, hard-core video gamer. I have my moments; I play more World of Tanks and World of Warcraft than is probably healthy, and I love getting into games like Card Hunters. But when you compare my “skillz” to just about anyone else on Team Knifeshoes, I’m not a first round draft pick. But while I’m weak in some areas I have very specific strengths, sort of like a Special Teams player. So I’m going with my strengths on this fundraiser, and I’ll be Game Mastering my way through the 25 hours.

Here’s my schedule for the day as it stands right now (all times Mountain Standard):

  • 8am-10am: World of Warcraft. Join me on the Garrosh server if you want to play along or chat.
  • 10am-2pm: GMing my regular Kingmaker campaign for my group. Sorry, can’t join me for this one, I have a full table.
  • 2pm-3pm: More World of Warcraft, cleansing my palette for the long night of GMing ahead.
  • 3pm-8pm: Pathfinder Module We Be Goblins, Too! A fantastic sequel to We Be Goblins!, once again players take on the role of those loveable psychos of Pathfinder universe. Goblin pre-gens are provided, and the table is open to 6 players. You don’t have to be a PFS player for this one, though you can become one pretty easily. Please pre-register on the Facebook or Meetup event page.
  • 8pm-1am: Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-EX: Day of the Demon. This is an exclusive scenario that can only be run by a Venture Officer or Paizo employee, so if you’re an Edmonton PFS player, I hope you’ll join me for this one. I can accept up to six players; please pre-register on the Facebook or Meetup event page.
  • 1am-6am: Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-04: The Stolen Heir. This is a Tier 1-5 scenario, and as part of the Year of the Demon season, makes a great follow-up to #4-EX. Please register on the Facebook or Meetup event page; new players welcome and pre-gens will be provided.
  • 6am-8am: This may end up being buffer time, depending on how long the other sessions go. But assuming they end on time I’ll finish off with World of Warcraft or World of Tanks.

You might be saying, “But Brent, you said 25 hours but that’s only 24. What gives, jerk?” Well my faithful strawman, November 3 at 2am is Daylight Savings, so we’ll roll the clocks back an hour and keep on gaming. Thus, the magic 25 hours.

If you want to play in any of the games listed, the rules are simple. Pre-register on either the Facebook or Meetup event pages so I know how many I have coming for each table. Then make a donation on my Extra Life page to support the Children’s Miracle Network. Any donation amount will do (recommended minimum is $5), and any donations of $25 or more will get a tax receipt. If you prefer to give me the donation on the day rather than use the site, please indicate that in the comments wherever you register. If you have not done one of those two things (donated or pledged to pay on the day), before the evening of October 31 (next Thursday), your seat will be offered up to another player. This is for charity, guys and dolls; you have to donate to play.

In addition to playing some awesomely fun games, I’ll also have prizes available. I have Pathfinder Tales novels, miniatures, dice and a few other surprises I’ll talk about later. Everyone who shows up to play is entered in the draws for these prizes, and you can get extra entries on the day by making extra donations. Game, support an amazing charity, and possible win cool swag; what could be better?

In the event I don’t have enough folks pre-registered for a slot, I’ll either throw the slot open to general board-gaming (donate to play), or I’ll pass the time playing World of Warcraft. I’d rather play games with people, though, so make sure you pre-register.

If you have any questions about Extra Life or my gaming schedule, drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to respond. And hey, if you can’t make it out but still want to support the Children’s Miracle Network, click on the graphic to the right. It will take you to my secure page and you can donate to your heart’s content. Honestly, any amount helps and any amount is appreciated. And thanks in advance for your support!

 

30 Days of GMing, Day Three

Day three of 30 Days of GMing, and I’ll get to the question in a moment. I just want to take a moment to remind folks I am taking part in the Extra Life fundraiser this year. Along with a bunch of friends I am a member of Team Knifeshoes, and we’re raising money for children’s hospitals. You can donate to the cause by clicking on the graphic in the margin; it will take you to my donation page where you can donate securely on-line. Any amount will get me closer to my goal, and amounts $25 and over get a tax receipt. And I’ll post information about how to follow along as I game away 25 hours. Because I’m hardcore!

But now, today’s Challenge question.

How do you find players?

I’ll admit, I haven’t had to go out and look for players for a while now. I have one group I’ve been gaming with once a week (more or less) for about 8 years, and another two I GM (one bi-weekly, the other monthly) that have been together just over a year. Between that and Pathfinder Society Organized Play, my GMing slate is pretty full without having to look for new players.

BUT, if I did need to find players I actually have a few options. If I was starting a new Pathfinder campaign specifically, I’d probably put the word out through the Pathfinder Society players. Your local organized play events are often good places to find players for a game, especially if the campaign you want to run is for that game. Be advised, though, it is NOT COOL to schedule your campaign at the same time the organized play runs. Then you’re just poaching players, and that’s a dick move.

I also belong to a few gaming Meetups, and those are great places to meet and recruit new players. If you haven’t already, run a search on the Meetup main site for gaming groups in or near your area. You’ll likely be surprised by what you find.

Another good option is to join some gaming forums, and make sure to post your location so other forum members can find you. Many such forums have “Looking for Group” sections for both GMs and players. They can be hit and miss, depending on the size of the forum and how active it is; less so if you are good with playing on-line via a virtual tabletop. At the very least you get some good conversations while you wait for someone to show interest in your game.

I still see notices up occasionally at my Friendly Local Game Store, but I’ve never used that method myself and I’ve never responded to it unless it was for in-store organized play. So it can work, but the better looking you can make your notice, the better. I see so many “LFG” notices scrawled out on loose-leaf pages in crappy hand-writing, and I honestly don’t know why anyone thinks they work. Even something typed out in 10 minutes on your computer is going to look way better than that.

How do you find new players? Leave a comment and let us know.

Extra Life (Support Team Knifeshoes!)

You get a bonus post this week because I am doing a thing!

1104I’ve long been a supporter of the Stollery Children’s Hospital here in Edmonton. They do amazing things for sick children, and they do these things regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Basically, they are Batman and Elminster and a doctor rolled into one.

Last year my buddy Devin got together with a group of my friends and put together Team Knifeshoes (hockey reference and inside joke) to take part in the Extra Life fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network. I couldn’t join last year which made me a sad bear. But this year I am a full-fledged member of Team Knifeshoes, ready to do my part to help out the Stollery!

And what is my part? First, I collect pledges from the fine folks around me, which is where you guys come in. The graphic in the top right is a link to my Extra Life donation page, where you can donate any amount to this wonderful cause. Seriously, even if you can spare $5 that bumps us closer to our goal. Plus, you can donate a smaller amount monthly if that is your thing, so your donation will keep giving throughout the year. And if you aren’t able to donate, hey, that’s okay. Please signal boost my efforts by sharing this post with as many people as you can and help spread the word. I want to rock my first year on the Team!

For my part, on November 2, 2013 I’ll be gaming for 25 hours straight! That’s right, 25, because this year the challenge falls on Daylight Savings and we aren’t going to waste that extra hour. I’ll be playing a lot of World of Tanks (if you play on the NA server, I’m Argentbear; stop by and say hello before I frag your armoured ass) as well as a bunch of other games with the rest of Team Knifeshoes. I’ll make sure to Tweet and blog my progress so you can be assured you are getting your donation’s worth out of me.

I’ll pop reminders into posts between now and November 2nd, but I wanted to get the ball rolling because I’m excited to be a part of Extra Life this year. If gaming for 25 hours to raise money for a children’s hospital seems like a good idea to you, hit up Extra Life and sign up. Heck, get some friends together and set up a team. It won’t be as cool as Team Knifeshoes, but hey, it’ll still be cool.

And we’ll see you on the playing field!