Tag Archives: board and card games

More Christmas Stuff

This Christmas vacation so far has been just the right balance of lazy relaxing and fun adventures. After Nick left I spent the remaining days with family and friends (mostly being lazy) and had a lovely family Christmas.

I got:
– Donkey Kong Country Returns (played a bit here in Florida with Nick, it’s super super fun!)
– Sonic Colors
– pre-order for Lost in Shadow, which should arrive in January
– a WoW trivia desk calendar
– Amazon gift credits, intended to be used for presents for Mr. Davis. I’m going to get him a cat condo/tree. I also used some of them to pre-order Okamiden
– Some cash monies
– a new pair of pajamas (I get one pretty much every year, which is good, because I wear through pajamas like crazy!)
– Betrayal at House on the Hill

A splendid collection of gifts if ever there was one! My brother and I got my parents Netflix, which they liked a lot. Hopefully they won’t watch through the whole streaming library in a single month 😛

After Christmas I flew down here to Sarasota to spend the rest of our break with Nick. We went to the Ringling Museum, which was pretty varied and interesting. Otherwise there has been a lot of lazing and meeting friends and playing games. I think it will be a relaxing way to see out 2010!

General Update

Things are going well in the Lisa-verse! Life is busy but good and generally on the up-and-up, though Derby season always makes me a little homesick for Louisville.

Last night, Nick and Nathan and Ross and I spent the evening playing Arkham Horror, which was my first time playing the game. I liked it quite a bit! I’m a sucker for cooperative board games anyway, but this one had a nice adventure element going on with it. It is very much like playing a one-shot session of D&D without the planning overhead that the DM has to do. Thinking about it in this way made it much easier to stomach the fact that it’s a 5 hour game.

Granted, we all were devoured in the end, but I’d happily devote another evening to it. Next time I play I’ll have a much better understanding of how things work, and make a more educated choice in my character.

Other updates!

1. Mr. Davis is doing really well – he loves the clicker training, goes out on walks with me, and is generally all about affection and snuggles. However, he has recently taken up the habit of climbing up the screen door when he’s riled up and playing, which is problematic. What I need is a long, narrow strip of carpet that I can mount on the wall for him to climb up. Any idea on where to procure such an item?

2. I’m going to Japan in like 2 weeks! SO EXCITED! I’ll be visiting Scott Coffrin, who I haven’t seen in years, so that will be fun. It’s a short, week-long trip, and I’ll be in Osaka for most of it, with a day trip to Kyoto somewhere in there. Can’t wait!

3. I have a boyfriend! That’s old news to most of you, but I know not everyone keeps up with facebook relationship status changes 🙂 We are going out on a fancy-pants date this very evening, in fact.

4. Work remains busy and fun and exciting and awesome.

That’s about it from me for now, I suppose.

Game Design Toolbox

One of my favorite assignments in Game Design was building the Toolbox. We had to think of games we’d played from every year starting when we were 5 years old, and jot down a useful memory about the game. Useful in terms of something we learned from it game-design-wise. It was a very useful tool, and I’m always adding onto it.

However, I wanted to do two things: 1) Put the toolbox in a format that would be easily categorized, searchable, and easy to add on to, and 2) A format that was easy to share with others.

As such, I’ve started a new blog: Wertle’s Game Design Toolbox

I’ve already copied over the information from the original toolbox, but there is still MUCH to add. For example, as a preliminary exercise, I made a list of every video game I can ever remember having played EVER. Now I have to add each one to the toolbox with a corresponding memory.

I have about 200 entries to add, and that’s just video games. I haven’t even started a list for other types of games!

This is a huge project, but I intend to catch up, so that eventually adding new entries will be gradual. I also intend to make lots of tags, so that I can look up entries by system, by genre, or by insight.

How long do you think it’ll take me to add all my games?

Busy times

I’ve packed more social activities into this week than I have in ages! Granted, they all took some form of nerdery, but it’s still hard to stay “on” for so many consecutive nights. I shall look forward to a day of rest in the morning. Not to say that I’m complaining!

We’ve started up a mostly-weekly board game night at work, and this week I brought my cards to the table in the form of Give Me the Brain and my favorite card game, Once Upon a Time. It is an absolute joy to play Once Upon a Time with a group of creative storytellers who play in to the cooperative part of the game! I really do need to get a whole deck of blank cards to expand the storytelling arsenal. It’s an exhausting game, however, requiring a lot of creative energy, so it is paired well with Give Me the Brain, which is quick and low-key.

Friday night was the first in a twice-monthly D&D campaign, again with friends from work, and it is a fantastic adventure so far! I love pen and paper RPGs, and have nothing but respect for people who are willing to DM. The format is lax enough that people can come and go from the core group, so that we don’t face the often-game-killing dilemma of not being able to get everyone together at the same time. We’re playing 3rd edition, as it was all of our favorites (I have no experience with 4th edition, but the ones who had played it didn’t like it at all compared to 3rd).

Today I visited with Josh and we gave Borderlands a try, and ended up playing all day long! I really enjoy the game, but I can see how it shines best when played cooperatively. I think the music in the game has been under-appreciated – it sets the mood so well! It’s a good combination of genres for my tastes, too. The FPSness is pretty mild, and the RPGness isn’t too deep. A good “casual” blend, though I realize that casual is probably an inappropriate word for what I’m trying to describe. Plus, anything with quests is a hook in my mouth, and I foresee playing more in the future.

Tonight, I went to Will’s to kick off the Venture Brothers Marathon which we have been talking about doing for some time. We skipped season 1, since I’ve seen it in full several times, and got good headway into season 2 tonight. It always surprises me what a well put-together show that is!

As for tomorrow, I intend to do some nesting, a bit of cooking, and then spend the rest of it in bed. Is the last week of January upon us already?!?


I had a wonderful evening of games and stories and food with the ballers!

Beatles Rock Band is a blast, and far superior to normal Rock Band, and even Lego Rock Band, in my opinion. Most of this is due to the classy visual between-gig load screens, and the hilarity of multiple part harmony with Scott and Maria. I would have loved to sing, but alas, my voice is completely lost, so I stuck with the guitar.

I can only use Rock Band style guitars, because I can only use the meedley string buttons at the base of the neck. My hands are too small for the normal buttons, as are Beth’s, which lead to this conversation snippet.

Beth: I can’t use this, my hands are too small.
Maria: Mine are too, that’s why I don’t have to give prostate exams!

After dinner and pie and catching up on stories with the Clarks, we gathered to play Shadows Over Camelot with the Merlin’s Company expansion. I think the expansion is an excellent supplement to the game, but Merlin couldn’t help the knights this time, as I had my first successful game as traitor. Muahahaha! The lack of voice didn’t help, as all my commands and narration turned to diabolical hissing.

Nevertheless, it was a fun game.

I also got to see Brenna, who was very happy to see me again, and George (who is always happy to see anyone). Hooray for puppies!

Hopefully I’ll be able to hang out with people again some tomorrow night. There is a plot of my brother and sister-in-law to go see Return to Oz, which is this week’s midnight cult movie at Baxter. I would totally go see it, but my flight leaves at 6am Sunday morning, and a midnight movie would probably end up with me staying up all night.

We shall see, we shall see…


I adore the Tuesday Night Ballers, and I often think of them fondly at various times in my most recent adventures. The times when we are able to get together have been more and more adventurous as time goes on.

Tonight, everyone was “on,” and it was brilliant. Not 2 minutes would pass without laughter or wit or some clever exchange sparking another clever exchange. I love them all! Scott, Will, Ian, Brendan, Maria, Matt, Kyle, DC, Beth, and I had dinner at the Mayan Gypsy and launched the night with much gaming. Reviews!

Lots of games…

Adventure Time!

I am so excited about our next Game Design assignment!

The assignment is to run a one-shot adventure game session using a very simplified D&D-derived ruleset. Many people in the class have never played a table-top roleplaying game before, so they created groups based on experience. The assignment is in association with studying the challenges of interactive storytelling.

I’m considered the “expert” of my group, and so have to run my one-shot first, so that others may follow my example. Pressure! I haven’t DMed a game in ages, but I think I’ve learned a lot I can use from the most recent games I’ve played in.

This should be a ton of fun, and I’m thinking back to some of the Nobilis one-shots we did in the past for ideas on how to run a good, condensed story. However, it’s been awhile since I’ve used the D&D ruleset; my mind is still fresh with Nobilis and Dogs in the Vineyard.

First thing’s first, time to think up a fun story. For you, internets, if you’ve played a tabletop rpg one-shot that you really enjoyed, share the experience? What was fun about it? What did you like better or worse than a campaign over an extended period of time? Tips? Tricks? Advice? Ideas?


Our next game assignment in Game Design class is to create a dice game. This is tricksy on several fronts…

1) I am inevitably to face my old nemesis, Math, many times during the course of this assignment. Jesse gave us an abridged probability lesson today, and it’s still hard for me to wrap my brain around.

2) The hopscotch assignment gave us a jump-start. Because we had to redesign an existing game, it was easy to come up with a set of problems to solve. Jesse has said many times that we should come up with a problem statement, and that our design should seek to solve said problem(s). With this, it is more of a “start from scratch” attitude, so I’m a little unsure how to seek out the problems I want to solve with my game…

Am I to think of problems with dice games in general? That seems rather vague. Perhaps I should come up with a concept first and establish my problems after the first playtest? Hmmm….

I am half tempted to create Dieslinger, as wielding large handfuls of dice is something that greatly appeals to my tactile sense. Whether I make that game or not, I will at least cite Dispatching the Dungeon Master in my brainstorming process.

Thoughts? How do you guys feel about dice? What are your favorite dice games? Mine’s probably yahtzee, or shut the box. What do you like about these games? What don’t you like?