Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ogre Profiles: Lacey

Our Saturday profiles are back, and we decided to throw a curveball and spotlight someone other than the person we said we we're going to spotlight today. Take that precognition! Today, we highlight Ms. Lacey Wilson-Kubitschek. No, its just Wilson...for now. ;)
We could talk and talk, but since our new spiffier website is up, we can just take you over to our member's page where you can check out her profile all for yourself!
See, easy and simple!

Ogres Out

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Truths: Lifting the Geek Veil

What most think of when they hear Geek:

In previous editions of Tuesday Truths, we talked about serious problems affecting the gaming community. What we discuss today isn't a serious one, but one that sits in the backburner at all times - being misconstrued, misused, and shunned. That is, of course, the "geek factor" that comes with playing role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons or Laser Ponies. Today, we discuss the geek factor: the good, the bad, and the ugly about geekdom.

Before we can discuss it, we must understand what the general population believes about gamers. Firstly, they're all virgins, living in their mother's basement, who are overweight and highly socially akward. But little do most people know - we usually don't even have a basement!

Seriously though, this sad little misconception hurts us most in the avenue of gamer recruitment - especially among the younger school-aged crowd. Individuals who want to and believe they'd have a good time gaming are afraid to because they see the geek factor as too much for them to "risk" so they're not considered "uncool." A sad social situation, but one that does exist. As the modern age advances and society as a whole learns more about gaming, this slowly subsides. However, it is sadly wrong.

<-Our typical geeks.

Using just the example of our little chapter of O.G.R.E.s, we'd actually be hard-pressed to find a virgin. The couple of us who could be considered overweight are still in shape - one even being a black belt. None of us reside with parents (excluding of course our younger, school-aged gamers - which we hope they all are living with their parents [and following all their rules under their roof - You're welcome Mrs. Jackson]). Are we socially awkward? Probably. But have you ever listened to a jock try to hold a conversation at a poetry night? Exactly. We're all socially awkward outside of our demographically-similar network of friends typically. We've got a nearly equal number of female gamers as we do male gamers, including a former and occasional model and we've even counted a midwestern porn starlet as a member (don't ask - we won't tell). So we have our share of, as you young whippersnappers would say, the hotties.

Basically, you're both right and wrong about the geek factor.

You're right in thinking we're geeks. You're wrong in accepting misconceptions such as those above, because the geek community is so much larger than most realize. You're also wrong in believing that we care, or that being a geek is a bad thing. We accept our geekdom and are honored by it and what it truly means. We just wish that younger individuals who aren't as honored by their own stereotype stop scarring off the young geeks - because remember, most likely you'll have to work for them some day. Be nice now and you'll get to leave early on fridays!

Our Tuesday Truths will continue next week with................we'll tell you next week...........until then....

Ogres Out

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Meet the Board

In lieu of Jake's profile yesterday, we've decided to postpone his spotlight until next Saturday so we can devote more writing to all of the wonderful things that happened at yesterdays Incorporation Meeting/first ever Board of Directors meeting! The best way for us to do this, will be to just let you meet the board, so without further ado:

Chairman of the Board (Director of the Organization as a whole): Jake Kubitschek
Vice Chairman of the Board, Director of Communications, and the Chairman of the New Chapter Recruitment Committee: Hooper
Supreme Dungeon Master (Person individual Senior Dungeon Masters report to): Walter

Webmaster (Handles online image campaigning and site maintenance): Cain

Chairman of the Committee on Gaming Advocacy: Lacey

Other Members of the Board Include:

Charles Ringstaff of Derby City Ogres
Steve Johnson, adviser/industry representative
Nick Henley of Saluki City Ogres
Kelsey Phelps of Quilt City Ogres

Ogres Out

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Exciting Day

Today is a wonderful and exciting day to be a member of our chapter of O.G.R.E.s. In a few short hours, members of our chapter and a few other nearby chapters will hold the very first meeting of the Board of Directors. We'll be officially submitted for incorporation Monday morning, and let us just say that some very exciting things are on the way for O.G.R.E.s all across the land.
We'll be back this evening with a slight update, as well as our Saturday Profile spotlight on member Jake! Until then....

Ogres Out

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Videos

Our original e-lair over on youtube has a whole mess of new videos meant to induce laughter or cries of "nerd" from the faithful. You'll note we did not post a Tuesday Truths yesterday, mostly because we posted about The Escapist's recent discovery on monday and we were gaming last night. Gaming always takes top billing, so we'll be back. In the meantime, enjoy some videos!

Ogres Out

Monday, November 16, 2009

Old Habits Die Hard

Over at - a wonderful Gaming Advocacy website, they've found out that a County Sheriff website has up in their online archive a bit of false and incorrectly stated comments about RPGs. As the wonderful Escapist put it, "the Thurston County Sheriff's Office website would like you to be aware of some possible warning signs that your child could be a victim of computer crime - or even worse, the culprit! Some of those signs include a sudden interest in hard rock music, satanic posters, words replacing "f" with "ph," files ending in GIF, JPG, and BMP, and "(a)n obsession with fantasy adventure games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Trade Wars."

Thankfully, it seems that the link to the offending page on the Sheriff's website is no longer working. Additionally, searches of RPG, RPGs, Dungeons & Dragons, and similar do not show any results. Is it just the site being crashed due to The Escapist popular link, or can the gaming community hope for a little common sense to defeat the moral panic? Let us hope it is the latter. Until next time....

Ogres Out

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Review: The Book of Dumb Tables

I had the luxury of getting a copy of Hex Games' "The Book of Dumb Tables" pdf over the weekend from their online store (yes we mention this semi-local small-press rpg publisher a lot, but we do not have shared interest. The ogres just enjoy Hex's games and local status). Anyways, how do we begin to describe this amazing book?

One Word: Phenomenal. Yes, LL Cool J once rapped about the word, and little did you know he was discussing this book. A quick look at the hilarious cover tells you right away that this book is going to be just as fun as other Hex material, and it is. If you don't play utilizing Hex's own QAGs system, don't fret - the tables are actually just basic information available for use with ANY setting. So take this on the road in your World of Darkness, Valgora, Faerun, or (heaven forbid...) new World of Darkness.
At a great price of $2.11 and instant download, you'll be able to have quick reference tables for things ranging from group origin concepts (my three random roles resulted in the PCs being cyborgs who work as reporters and are opposed by gorillas - yes please and a ticket to this movie), contemporary or time period names (Hazel and Phyllis typically don't hang out with Mohammeds), super hero names from bygone ages (my character Daphne moonlights as The Unfathomable Ice Ghost - artist rendition at left) and another role from the Really Lame Superpowers table gave her the awe-inspiring ability to control blankets! Some may argue the every-day useful ness of some of the latter, but the book continues on with random colors, animals, and then some more fun with B list actors and actresses (or arguably some from the C and D list). Follow that up with some random facts about your PC or actions he/she may perform, and you've got yourself a highly affordable fun pdf with both every-day useful material and fun stuff.
Not to leave the Game Master out, however, Hex includes a few tables oriented for use by the runner of your sessions. My personal favorite are the X and Y tables, with X being "It's like..." and Y being "meets...". Therefore, a good idea at random you could receive for a session plot is It's Like Aladdin meets Pulp Fiction!
So, in closing, head over to Hex Games and grab a copy of The Book of Dumb Tables. You'll be glad you did. Till next time....

Ogres Out

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ogre Profiles: Gayle

We return with yet another Ogre Profile this Saturday just for your enjoyment. Continuing what started two weeks ago with Hooper's profile (also, that has been updated for better quality and the second page of his character sheet - check it out!) and last week with our "hey we slacked so here is us buying some time" profile, today we touch on chapter member Gayle Neal's character sheet.

(click any page to enlarge it)
Above we can see that, at least alledgedly, Gayle is a female human. Also, some chapter members are shouting bulls*** at that many ranks in Diplomacy.....;) Gayle has been an active member of our Paducah chapter since last year, though she was an associate member back in 05 and 06. Moving along....
Here we have a pretty informative character sheet page. The attentive feat may just be wishful thinking but the rest seems pretty legit. Finally....
Now we get to a really informative yet vague page. Just what dvd collection is she carrying, and does the Dazzle ability mean that she moonlights as the "hero" Dazzler? We may never know. But the blink deck is definitely a good call on her part.
Tune in next week when we profile Ogre member Cactus Jake the Snake of Kubitschekistan. Until then, however.....

Ogres Out

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Game Recruitment: Old World of Darkness

Ah, World of Darkness. The dual edge sword of game settings. If you think going from revised third edition to fourth in Dungeons & Dragons sucks, you should of been there when White Wolf told their players "We're ending the current setting." It was a sad day across the world [of darkness]. Many would have lit a candle in remembrance but then it would of been called the World of Low Light and that just wasn't acceptable. But fear no more, the chapter is preparing to bring back the glory days!
Thats right, David Waddell of the Soil Ogres will be the storyteller for an upcoming Multi-Domain Old World of Darkness game! A tabletop campaign where interested players can come to the table as a Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Wraith (speaking of Wraith, anyone else watch the Adrian Paul vehicle "Wraiths of Roanoke" aka "The Lost Colony"??? cgifailr), Changeling, Kindred, Hunter, Mummy, or even a demon. If you really want to get crazy you could come as a, wait for it, normal human. Mass insanity will surely follow such a bold move.
Anyways, bad puns and even worse jokes aside, who is interested? Check out the Old WoD board on our forums (remember - you have to register/log in to even see it! Easy and free!) and join in on the discussion. Once we figure out who all is interested, we'll get down to the when and where and plan to all meet up for a character creation party (bonfire and beer as well? You decide!).

Ogres Out

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ogres Wiki

We've got a great new project in the oven called the Ogres Wiki. It is a tool to learn about the O.G.R.E.s, locate a chapter near you and learn about that chapter, find out about RPGs in general, and similar. Anyways, it is still in it's early days and won't really be too effective until more of our recently started chapters get online, but we wanted to make you all aware of it. We're really proud of the Locate a Chapter feature which is highly interactive (its in beta, so note that only a few states are actually up and workings - i.e. Kentucky, Illinois, and Nevada).
Anyways, thats all for now folks. Hit up your library this saturday for national Gaming Day at your Library. Read about here at The Escapist gaming advocacy website blog!

Ogres Out

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Truths: Dual Roles

In last week's rendition of Tuesday Truths, we discussed the false accusations that role-playing games can lead to suicide or that they are a cult. If you didn't get a chance, and you have ever heard these rumors, please take a moment and read that post. Today, we tackle the often and incorrectly thrown accusation that role-playing gamers can not mentally separate their character from their real self, or the game world from the real world.
In order to fully discuss this issue, we must first come to understand the allegation itself. At it's most basic level, this statement is a simple allegation that an individual who plays a character in a role-playing game becomes so interconnected with that game and that character that he or she begins to "blur" the lines of reality mentally, resulting in the player acting as his or her character would in non-game scenarios. More brazen accusations that individuals make include alleging that this "blurring" of reality can lead to criminal acts and violence. Sadly, when making these claims against gamers, individuals actually have two cases they can call upon to support this invalid claim (more on that in a bit).
Usually the individual making this claim is very ill-informed about gaming, and it shows. No average individual is ever going to "blur" the lines of reality, as each gamer knows they're gaming. The types of individuals who are not capable of maintaining this mental barrier do exist, however. These individuals are unique and do not represent the gaming demographic as a whole in any way, and when discovered are (or should be) encouraged to seek help from the appropriate places.
As mentioned previously, two instances are often called upon to "prove" this allegation against gamers. The most recent occurred in December of 2005 in Ireland, when an armed robber held up a lingerie shop by knife point. During this robber's trial, he stated that he was only playing the role-playing game Shadowrun as his character the criminal elf "Buho." The robber personally stated during the trial that at the time of the crime he may have "blurred reality and fantasy." Thankfully, ten of the jurors saw it as an attempt at a lesser conviction, and ignored it. Sadly, the other instance is not nearly as trivial and much more close to home for the Quilt City Ogres, as it was carried out by residents of the nearby town of Murray.
In 1996, Roderick Justin "Rod" Ferrel was a student at nearby Murray State University, and an avid gamer in a Live-Action Roleplaying Game: Vampire: the Masquerade. Ferrel was a deeply troubled young adult, for a myriad of reasons (that would later be discussed in-depth by professional psychologists during his trial). Rod was one of the individuals mentioned above, who had the type of personality and mental issues that can lead to the "blurring" of reality and fiction. Due to this, Rod began to believe that he actually was his in-game character: a 500 year old vampire named Vesago. Additionally, Rod was charismatic enough to the other also-troubled youngsters who games with him, pulling them partially into his delusional world. Through a series of events, Rod began to have a long-distance relationship with a young girl in Florida. After many conversations, Rod and his "Vampire Clan," as the media would later call them, drove from Murray to the girl's hometown of Eustic, Florida, where Rod violently murdered her parents. We won't go into exact details here (but wikipedia will), but it was ghastly. They then left on a multiple day trip towards New Orleans, where they hoped to live at since it was the "Vampire Mecca" as seen in the [over-rated] novels of Anne Rice and others. Thankfully, they were captured, but the ensuing legal trial and media blitz called the role-playing game back into the spotlight in an attempt to place the blame on it's shoulders. Rod's actions where inexcusable, but they were his own. His mental troubles caused this event to take place, not the game.
In fact, gaming is not the only type of situations where "blurring" can occur. Many more instances do exist where a rare fan of a professional sports team begins to believe he is part of the "circle" of team members and workers, talking of them as if he is truly a part of the team. This can happen due to mental anguish built up over time of post-school sports decline and the individual's personal feelings of wishing for more. Much more common is the act of celebrity following, also known as celebrity watching or celebrity worship. Many fans of a celebrity or the celebrity lifestyle begin to mimic the actions and purchases and mannerisms of the celebrity's they read and watch, until they begin to think of themselves as part of the Hollywood entourage. Sadly, these much more common instances are not spread around as much as the gaming version (even though no gamer has ever attempted to kill a president to impress a character.....), for numerous reasons. We do not wish to "dodge the bullet" or "pass the blame" by any means. The truth is that in any demographic, it is unique in the individual when someone can not mentally seperate fact from fiction. It should never be held against the team or group as a whole when this happens, and help should be sought for the person afflicted.
So, in closure, if you truly believe a gamer is having trouble separating his character from himself, please try to get him assistance. However, never blame the game being played, as that just ignores the true problems that the individual is having and prevents him from getting the proper support, acknowledgment, and assistance he desperately needs. And never, ever, assume that someone need be a gamer to have this problem, as its actually very rare.
Tune in next week as we discuss the "Geek Factor" of tabletop roleplaying, and further destroy grammatically-correct blogging.

Ogres Out

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ogre Profiles: The Chapter!

For some of you more attentive individuals, you may have realized that last saturday we promised you another Profile each and every Saturday. Well, unfortunately, the next couple of profiles are not quite yet ready, so today we stall for time while profiling our chapter itself!

Our chapter, the Quilt City Ogres, have quite a history of gaming in the region in the past few years.

The gaming group that would eventually become the quilt city ogres formed in 2006 in Paducah, Kentucky. The acronym Ogre began to be used by the players after coming across the moniker that was then being used by the Sin City Ogres (Sin City chapter logo seen at the right. Note the different colored d20. Being Kentucky boys, we opted to go with blue in our logo, because we can) via the internet. Players began recording their sessions and uploading them to video sharing website Youtube, and when creating this account adopted the name the "Quilt City Ogres" after first asking permission from the Vegas group of gamers. With permission granted and the logo provided, the gang began to use the term to identify themselves as their youtube videos began to spread throughout the regional gamers.

The later parts of 2007 would see the creation of a website and forums for the chapter, and by this point the term had become synomynous with the group. Some members moved off to college and nearby cities, forming the chapters that would become the Soil Ogres and the Derby City Ogres.

With the formation of nearby chapters becoming more prevalent over the course of the next two years, the Quilt City Ogres decided to spearhead the incorporation of the Ogres and began to formulate plans to do so.

After much preparation, the Organization of Gamers & Roleplaying Enthusiasts, Incorporated, was formed in late 2009 within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. With this happening, the Quilt City Ogres became the "mother chapter" of the organization as a whole. New chapters must contact this chapter in order to form, and for assistance with Ogre-related issues.

The Quilt City Ogres average 37 active members and 14 associate members . The current chapter coordinator is Hooper and the Senior Dungeon Master will be voted into office late this month. Hopefully by next saturday one of these active members won't be a slacker!! Til then...

Ogres Out

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Regional Geekery: Save the Date

As we are want to do from time to time, we like to update individuals in the region about upcoming events that may interest them. If you're reading this (and I see our statistics, so I know you are actually not reading this) then you probably share a interest and may find any of the following events of interest (Remember: the OGREs will be present at these events):

Egypt Wars - April 9-11, 2010 - Carbondale, IL
Check it out at the e-home of Castle Perilous

OMGcon 5 - June 11-13, 2010 - Paducah, KY
Check it out online at

OgreCon - December 18, 2010 - Paducah, KY
This event will be discussed in depth as the date gets closer right here on this blog!

More may come, but these are the Holy Trinity.

Ogres Out

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Truths: Gaming Advocacy

One of the goals of the Ogres, like many other tabletop gamers, is to educate and inform the general non-rpg-playing public about the games and to dispel long held myths about tabletop gaming. Some of these most infamous myths include the following: Dungeons & Dragons is a cult that leads to suicide, gamers can not tell the difference between the game and the world, Vampire: The Masquerade leads to murder, and so forth. Additionally, non-gamers are quick to point to the geek status of the game as a bad thing. Today, we'd like to take a moment to dispel or discuss this first myth of D&D as a cult and having a link to suicide.

Dungeons & Dragons: Cult? Leads to Suicide?

The allegations that D&D is a cult come most infamously from a Jack Chick "Christian tract" that has been spread for years. Chick Tracts have long been widely criticized for their outright lies, inaccuracies, ignorance of the subject at hand, and hate mongering. Additionally, a paper written by a Chick confidant- William Schnoebelen, has also spent years in circulation and led to a follow up years later. This paper is a misinformed rant written in a way to put fear into individuals who know nothing about Dungeons & Dragons, instead of informing them correctly. Schnoebelen has been widely criticized for his false claims and extreme lies just to make himself seem more informed to the reader. These writings are made for a specific, easily manipulated and gullible crowd, and for years the gaming community has used facts and proof to denounce them.

(Part of the infamous and fictitious tract)

The really tragic rumor and myth that comes up when people talk about D&D is the allegation that it has and does lead to Suicide. Before we continue, we'll state this first: There has never been a link between Dungeons & Dragons, nor any tabletop roleplaying game, and suicide. This happened originally when a mother named Patricia Pulling blamed the game for the suicide of her son Irving. Mrs. Pulling formed the one-person organization “Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons,” known as BADD, after her son Irving committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest on June 9, 1982. Irving was an active D&D player, and she believed his suicide was directly related to the game. The grieving mother first filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her son's high school principal, Robert A. Bracey III, holding him as responsible for what she claimed was a Dungeons & Dragons curse placed upon her son shortly before his death. She also filed suit against TSR, Inc., D&D's publishers. She appeared on an episode of 60 Minutes which also featured Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons & Dragons, and which aired in 1985.

When her lawsuits were dismissed, she founded BADD and began publishing information circulating her belief that D&D encouraged devil worship and suicide. BADD described D&D as "a fantasy role-playing game which uses demonology, witchcraft, voodoo, murder, rape, blasphemy, suicide, assassination, insanity, sex perversion, homosexuality, prostitution, satanic type rituals, gambling, barbarism, cannibalism, sadism, desecration, demon summoning, necromantics, divination and other teachings."

As the popularity of D&D and other role-playing games increased, Pulling's more extreme views and statements were increasingly called into question. For example, she once told a newspaper reporter that eight percent of the people living in Richmond, Virginia were Satanists. She had arrived at that figure, she explained, by estimating four percent of adults and four percent of teens to be involved with Satanism, and adding them together to get eight percent. When the reporter informed her that mathematically that was four percent, not eight percent, she claimed that it did not matter because even eight percent was a "conservative" figure.

The American Association of Suicidology, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and Health & Welfare (Canada) would all eventually conclude that there is no causal link between fantasy gaming and suicide. In 1990, the writer Michael Stackpole authored The Pulling Report, a review highly critical of BADD's methods of data collection, analysis and reporting. BADD effectively ceased to exist when Pulling died of cancer in 1997. By this time, BADD had been reduced to Pulling as its sole member.

In closing, it is easy to note that these allegations come from misinformed, gullible, zealous individuals - usually looking for something to blame as a scapegoat for much more serious issues. If you are a parent and worried about your child's involvement with tabletop gaming, why not sit down and play the game with them? We'd love to host the entire family at any Ogres session!

Tune in next Tuesday when we discuss the allegations that roleplaying games cause issues with players not being able to keep the game world separate from the real world. In the meantime, you can keep informed on many gaming advocacy news at the website The Escapist and by joining the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Game.

Ogres Out

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Playtesting Notes: Laser Ponies

The Ogres have recently been playtesting Hex Games recent release: Laser Ponies. Hex Games is a small semi-local company that has put out a great deal of fun pen and paper RPGs using their own system known as "QAGS" - The Quick Ass Game System.

Laser Ponies is an all-ages game that is just meant to be fun, family friendly, imaginative, and an all-around easy way to play a tabletop rpg with the kids. However, since the fathers in our Ogres group have kids either too young to play or the same age as most of the ogres and female and in college and way too cute to return our calls or drop that protection order.....well, we played it ourselves.
Anyways, the Ogres enjoy Laser Ponies as an "intermission game." What this means, is that while playing our game - say our Tuesday evening D20 Modern, we'll take a break halfway through and play a quick bit of Laser Ponies. The feel of the game and the breaking up of the two games really reminds one of old morning cartoons that would feature two different casts (read: SpaceGhost and Dino Boy or the Superman/Aquaman hour of adventure).
Really, sadly, it is hard to accurately put to notes that playtesting of Laser Ponies. In short, you'll just have to get a copy of the game for yourself, so that you can understand the fun and carefree feeling that game comes across with. The quick character creation can allow for a short excursion into LaserPonyLand for a good laugh and lots of fun.

Ogres Out