The Professional Gamer - February 25, 2019

Ah, hello there readers. I’ve had a low key week here, not doing a whole of geeky stuff. For one thing, I spent Thursday and Friday away from home, and wasn’t in the mood for anime on Monday when Mob Psycho 100 was released. All I really did was watch the last season of Legend of Korra and started reading through the Hoard of the Dragon Queen module for a D&D game that I’m planning. As I writing this article on Friday night, I’m looking forward to two D&D games this weekend. One, a homebrew campaign that is more on the silly and fun end of the spectrum. The second game is running the Curse of Stradh module. In both cases, I feel like I’ve finally learned who my characters are, and I have a much deeper attachment to them compared to earlier characters in other games.

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The Professional Gamer - May 9, 2016

Hello readers! This has been a very intense week on the more personal scene.  Crystal ended up in the ER (she’s fine) and I had a job interview.  Between the two, and trying to make up for the time I missed from work, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to do anything for myself.  During most of the evenings I ended up watching various HGTV shows with Crystal, since those are a bit of a comfort show for both of us.

We had our second session of Traveler this weekend, which involved some interstellar travel, trade negotiations, and problematic passengers.  We had a bit of a time sorting out all of the rules, but I think we are gradually getting a handle on it.  I’m now on the hunt for some simple apps that will simplify some of the dice rolling (looking at you trading rules).  We’ll be taking the weekend off for Mother’s Day, and I have no idea which players will come the weekend after that, so we may end up playing a completely different game.

Also, I am now the proud owner of a Type 7 Heavy in Elite: Dangerous.  It’s a bit of a beast to handle, but it can carry such a huge amount of cargo.  And, although it is not the fastest profit, I’m opting to do multi-hop trading.  Mostly so that I can get to see more of the inhabited galaxy.  In fact, I equipped a discovery scanner in place of my smallest cargo rack, primarily because I’m visiting systems that I’ve never been to before, and it would be hard to find the stations without the navigation data.  As an added bonus, I can sell the scan data to help subsidize the original purchase cost.  At this point, I’m planning to sink some money to upgrade my ship with top of the line frameshift drive (to maximize profit/hour) and thrusters (a valuable quality of life upgrade).

That’s all that I have for this week.  I hope everyone had a great free comic book day.  Have a great week, and game on!

The Professional Gamer - January 11, 2016

Hello readers!  This week has mostly been full of adulting. Went to a chiropractor to try and reduce the tightness in my neck (seems to be helping), scheduled a dental exam and cleaning, and did some more yoga and pilates.  All told, I'm feeling pretty good about things.  

Some cool things happening this week.  Of primary interest, we had another Steven-bomb this week.  I haven't watched the Friday episode yet ("Log Date 7 15 2"), but I have enjoyed all of the new episode so far this week.  I loved learning more about Ruby and Sapphire, and seeing some more development of Peridot's character.

I also spent some time this week watching the last few episodes of Community.  I'm sad that the series is over, although the finale was a lot of fun.  Now I have to find another casual show to binge through during the week.  Any suggestions?

In roleplaying news, I've got about a third of my systems information input into a game wiki and have started inviting my players to make some stories about some of the inhabited planets.  I'm hoping that we can make this game a bit more of a collaborative, storytelling game.  This would be in sharp contrast to our typical dungeon delver / combat heavy type games, but would hopefully be a welcome change.

Finally, I'm still playing through Knights of the Old Republic.  I'm a Jedi now, running around with a blue lightsaber in one hand and a vibroblade in the other.  Future goal: duel wielding lightsabers.

That's all I've got for this week.  See you next time, and game on!

The Professional Gamer - January 4, 2016

Happy New Year readers! I hope you all have enjoyed the end of one year and the beginning of a new.  I enjoyed a short week at work (probably the last until we get closer to summer).  And I've ended up spending most of my free time this week working on plans for my Traveller game.  And I've got quite a lot done.  For example, I've made a map of the sector where the players will start out:

If you can't tell, I'm rather excited about this whole game.  I have Star Wars to blame for a large portion of that enthusiasm.

Speaking of Star Wars, I'm still reading Shadows of the Empire, and it has improved somewhat.  I still feel that reads a bit like a fan-fiction, with a lot of purple prose and too much telling, rather than showing.  I'm a bit surprised that I was so into these sorts of novels when I was in high school and college.  I suppose that imagining the action sequences, like the star fighter battles and the blaster shoot-outs, was more important to young Jim than artful prose and characterizations.  In spite of my concerns about the quality, I'm having a ton of fun reading it.

I also got back into reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.  I haven't quite finished yet, though I think my favorite part is the visit from George Boole.  I just love the setup and build to the punchline.

That's all I've got for this week.  I hope 2016 treats everyone with care and respect, and that you all have a great year.  Have a great week and game on!

The Professional Gamer - October 12, 2015

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Professional Gamer.  This week I've been on the giving and the receiving end of media sharing.  But have also found myself a bit preoccupied during most of the evenings.  I managed to find some time to enjoy myself, so read on to find out what I did.

Watching: This week I only was home for one evening where I could watch some television.  And that time was spent sharing Steven Universe with some friends.  I have to say, I miss getting to watch something new to me at times, but I also really love the feeling of sharing something new with a friend.  

Playing: This was another week where almost all of my video gaming time was spent on Guild Wars 2.  However, I am now also working to get a tabletop RPG ready for my friends.  I ran a long term game using the D&D 4th Edition rules.  My group (and me) got a little tired of how long combat tended to take in that system, and have opted to try continuing the story using the Pathfinder rules.  But, I haven't run a game in that system yet, so I'll be learning the rules a bit as we go along.

Reading: I spent my reading time this week with Volume 11 of Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon, and have now started into the "Stars" arc.  After the fun and uplifting story of the "Dark Moon" arc, this one has been rather tough.  Warning: spoilers on a 10 year old series ahead.  Momoro's death in the first chapter is really rough.  Especially the way that Usagi blocks it out.  If she had confronted this event dead on, I feel like things would seem less tragic.  But, now it just feels like a scab that can't be left alone.  I've got to hurry my way through the rest of the story though.  All of the library books are due back next week and I have run out of renewals!

That's all I've got for this week.  I'm very close to releasing some new podcast episodes featuring our interviews from Nan Desu Kan 2015.  Look for those to start appearing this week.  Have a great week and game on!

The Professional Gamer - June 20, 2015

Hi everyone! This has been a fun week with some great time spent watching new(ish) cartoons as well as a little bit of video games and some reading.  Also, my RPG group is looking at changing this up a bit, so I'll be reporting on that for the next few weeks as we get settled in again.

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Adventurer's Quarter Grand Opening

About a month ago Arvada, CO got a new store in it's Olde Town district. This store, called Adventurer's Quarter, is the first store of it's type in the area. It is a full service board game, table top, RPG, and card game store. The store is located off of Ralston Rd and Olde Wadsworth Blvd. They have a ton of different games with plenty of room for events in the main space of the store. During the Grand Opening they had 7 tables set up; 6 with different games and the 7th had 2 strategy games on it. All were welcome to play and learn games at their leisure, and will continue to be welcomed. This is easily accomplished with a number of store demo copies they keep on hand for visitors. The store also offers a discount on special orders they can get that do not have in store. If I remember right the amount was between 5% and 10%. This can give them an edge over the online market place. Want to know more about the people that started the store? Watch the video.

The Professional Gamer

Hi everyone, Proteus here. In the midst of our rush to publish our coverage of NDK, I wanted to discuss something else with you. I have not posted much to the website (apart from the podcast) for a considerable period of time. Largely this is due to the time commitments that I have outside of playing games and writing about geekiness. For a little background, I’m an engineer working a full-time job (sometimes with well more than the typical 40 hours per week) and a substantial commute. I have numerous activities that I enjoy, but only a limited amount of time per week that I can spend on them. And that is the essence of this new column that I am launching today: how can a professional still find time for his or her various hobbies.
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Christmas Gift Giving Ideas

Well, we only got 20 more days till Christmas and sometimes we all can just sort of hit our head against a wall for some Christmas gift ideas, so here's a couple ideas to get you started.  Hopefully I'll have more to come for you!

First off is World of Dice.  These guys usually do the convention circuit, so some of you out there might have seen their stuff.  Others of you maybe not, but they are really great people and have a lot of fun products.  They make jewelry and other fashion accessories out of dice.  They have close to 100 different colors, plus the different sided dice to make a wide range of choice selection.  I have mentioned before that I bought a scarlet d8 phone charm that's still going strong.  These item's a great if you're looking for a stocking stuffer or small gift to give your pen & paper player. 

If playing dice is more what you're looking to get for someone, then I recommend you head over to the guys at Gamescience Dice.  They might seem a little shocking when it comes to the price of their sets, but I can say with experience that the dice they make are some of the nicest ones I have ever rolled.  These dice are not tumbled so they have really sharp angles, making for more even rolls.  You can also by sets that haven't had their numbers painted in and save a few bucks doing it your self.  All you need is a white crayon and some paper to polish up the edges. They also have a wide variety of colors.  I have a set of crystal blue and red myself.  If you have any doubts about these dice and their claims to more random rolls, then I recommend watching the Youtube videos located a bit lower on the front page.

Hopefully these sites give you a couple of ideas to get up and running and I'll be back with some more ideas!