Sunday, August 12, 2007

What =are= you talking about?

OK - here in the left ring today I'll try to explain some of the things I'm talking about.

Veteran gamers may want to skip this post, as it is likely to repeat stuff you already know, so with that in mind...

What is a Gamer? In this blog, a gamer is defined as a person interested in playing games - specifically games like:

role-playing games (the best known is "Dungeons and Dragons"),

collectible card games (the best known is "Magic the Gathering") ,

miniatures games (the best known is "Warhammer"),

board wargames (the best known is probably "Advanced Squad Leader"),

board games (examples include "Settlers of Catan" and "Carcassonne"),

card games (=not= poker, but games like "Munchkin" and its spin-offs),

LARPS (an abbreviation for Live Action Role Playing Systems and the best known is "Mind's Eye Theater"),

and the newer constructible card game (the best known is "Pirates").

Gamers generally get together in small to large groups to play their games. In most cases, very little is used other than dice (of several unique shapes and sizes), a pencil and paper, and a =very= fertile imagination.

Some abbreviations you may want to keep on hand for later posts:

RPG = Role playing game
FRPG = Fantasy role playing game
CCG = collectible card game
D&D = Dungeons and Dragons
GM = Game Master
GURPS = Generic Universal Role Playing System.


d4 = a four sided dice shaped like a pyramid with which you can roll a number between 1 and 4.

d6 = a six sided dice exactly like the one in many ordinary board games sitting in your closet, and used to roll a number from 1 to 6.

d8 = an eight sided dice that's shaped like two pyramids stuck together at the bases with which you can roll a number between 1 and 8.

d10 = a ten sided dice frequently numbered from 1 to 0 (zero) where the zero equals 10. However, there are examples of digital dice (numbered from 10 to 00 in increments of ten) and twenty sided d10 where they are numbered from 1 to 0 twice. It's used to roll a number from 1 to 10.

d12 = a twelve sided dice numbered from one to 12.

d20 = not the game rules, but a dice you can use to roll a number between 1 and 20. Almost all of these are numbered from 1 to 20, although there are strange examples I won't go into here...

Percentile dice = two dice numbered from 1 to 10, one of which is a noticeably different color than the other, with which you can roll a number from 1 to 100. You read one color as the 'units' and the other color as the 'tens'. You must tell everyone before starting which one is which. I have deep yellow dice, one with white numbers and one with black numbers. Most of the time, I tell people black controls (which means it is the 'tens' digit).

Yes, there are other dice. I personally own a d16, a d24, a d30, and a d100 (the last looks like a extra large golf ball with numbered dimples from 1 to 100). That one isn't very useful. Dice are generally made of high-impact plastic, but I've seen metal dice and other types. They come in a bewildering variety of colors. I prefer larger dice, with easy to read numbers for both me and my players/game masters.

More tomorrow...

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