Miskatonic Student Union's Journal|
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|Thursday, April 9th, 2009|
RIP: Dave Arneson
I mentioned tonight at the meeting that Dave Arneson, the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, was in somewhat ill health. I was just informed a short time ago that Mr. Arneson has passed away at the age of 61. I just want to take a moment for everyone to contemplate the passing of another luminary in the role-playing industry. In a very real way, none of us would be here right now if it weren't for the efforts of Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax. My condolences are with Mr. Arneson's family, and I hope that yours will be too.
President, MSU Current Mood: sad
|Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009|
Game Master's Day
Coming up this week is the recently-minted holiday for geeks, Game Master's Day. This day, celebrated every year since 2005 or so, gives players a chance to give back to the GMs that have given them so much enjoyment. So, on March 4 (which happens to be this Wednesday!), take a few minutes to track down your favorite GM and let him or her know how much their game means to you. Say thanks, or give a small gift; lots of online stores (including rpgnow.com) are having huge sales for GM's Day.
Remember, without a game master, there is no game!
|Wednesday, February 25th, 2009|
UKON is this week! Everyone who can come to the convention should! Take a look at our neat flier!
|Wednesday, January 28th, 2009|
Due to the inclement weather, the University of Kentucky has declared all offices closed and all activities canceled for Wednesday, January 28. As we are a university organization, that means us. We could try to have a meeting, I suppose, but it would be a little tough with our meeting building closed as well. ^_^
With that in mind, the MSU meeting for today is canceled, and officer elections are going to be pushed back one week, to February 4. I would very much appreciate it if everyone who is physically capable of being at the meeting would attend. The elections are very important to us as a club, and there will be a number of important pieces of club business brought up as well, including the final disposition of library volunteer positions.
Everyone stay home and out of this awful weather if you can. Take care of yourselves, and be warm.
|Sunday, January 25th, 2009|
As a note for all of the voting members: If, for some reason, you can't make this Wednesday's meeting, please email me directly (email@example.com) with your in absentia
votes. You have voting privileges, and you should exercise them! Hopefully, there will be a list of nominees up on the listserv before the next meeting so that you can direct your in absentia
votes more directly. Remember as well that you can give your vote to another member by proxy if you feel comfortable allowing them to cast your vote for you. I have to hear from you directly before the meeting to allow a proxy vote, however.
Otherwise, if you're not working, sick, or out of town, you should try to make the next meeting. It's an important event, and one that every member should try to be part of. Even if you're an affiliate (non-voting member), you should still attend, since you're allowed to participate in discussion and debate even if you can't vote.
See you on Wednesday!
|Saturday, December 6th, 2008|
As many of you are aware, we're only a couple of months away from MSU's annual gaming convention, UKON
. This year, UKON will be held on Friday, February 27, from 5pm to 10pm; and Saturday, February 28, from 10am to midnight. The convention will be held in its usual place, the Grand Ballroom of the UK Student Center, with events spilling out into adjoining rooms and the first-floor Cat's Den. Admission is five dollars per day, and parking is free.
Every year, UKON attracts several hundred people from all across the Bluegrass region. It's a real blast, and if you haven't come before and have time this year, you should. We've got tabletop roleplaying from some of the best Game Masters in Lexington (and beyond), demos of new and interesting games, an artists alley showcasing some of the finest art local talents, a vendor area with gaming dealers from near and far, and a host of unique gaming events, including the Gamer Spelling Bee, the World Series of Geek Culture Trivia, and the UKON Auction.
If you're interested in participating in this year's UKON as more than just an attendee, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept registration for vendors, artists, and special media guests until January 15, but we only accept registration for gaming events until December 31. Pre-registering your game gets you in free on that day of UKON, as well as giving you a chance to showcase your gaming talents for a wider audience than you might normally get.
UKON 2009 is also a very special event for the Miskatonic Student Union in other ways. This year, we celebrate 20 years on the University of Kentucky campus, and ten years of UKON. After nearly a decade, the stars are right... for a party! We sincerely hope that you'll join us for this occasion--and bring a friend!
|Tuesday, November 25th, 2008|
Super Smash Brothers Tournament, Part Deux
It was so much fun, we're doing it again!
On Friday, December 5, the Miskatonic Student Union will be hosting a Super Smash Brothers tournament in room 206 of the Student Center. Registration for the tournament will open at 4pm, with the tournament set to start at 5:30pm. Admission is 5 dollars, with a cash prize to be given out at the end of the tournament.
The last one of these we ran drew almost 80 people, so it's bound to be a blast! Show up and show off your Smashing skills!
|Monday, November 10th, 2008|
Public LIbrary Volunteering
I've been in touch with the Lexington Public Library staff for a little while now, trying to work out our involvement in a community outreach gaming event. At the moment, the specifics are still being worked out, but things are looking more solid, so I thought I would bring it in front of the public.
What we're trying to do is work with the public library system to offer a monthly gaming night to local teens and older children, consisting of light RPG activity, board games, card games, and so on. The library will plan the location, space, and invitations, and we get to bring the games. ^_^ The first potential activity for us to help out with is this Saturday at the Northside branch, where they're going to try and break the world record for most people playing a specific board game at once. Other things will be going on too, but we're still working that out.
Here's what I need from you: I need three or four people who can come out to Northside this Saturday, from 10am to 4pm or so, and help with setup, playing with the kids, and potentially putting together additional activities. We won't be doing any RPG stuff this week, since we don't know exactly what the itinerary is yet, but we may want people to run simple board games or to bring and teach their own board games and card games. I want people who will dress appropriately (nice, but not necessarily formal), watch their cursing, and generally present a good face for the club to the library people and their patrons.
For this, I will be awarding volunteer hours to anyone able to follow these guidelines. Six hours of volunteer time is nothing to sneeze at, especially for work that is unlikely to heavy or onerous. I realize it's asking you to give up a Saturday morning, but it's going to be very rewarding, not just in volunteer hours but in terms of giving back to the community. These are kids who need some fun in their lives, and we can help provide that. We'll be instilling a life-long love of gaming and (hopefully) reading into the next generation, and I can't think of many things we could do that would be more positive than that.
I realize it's short notice (Saturday is only five days away), but things just got moving on our end of stuff this morning. If this works out, we can look forward to possibly helping out two or even three different library branches with monthly gaming events, which will inevitably lead toward greater freedom in our event planning (and greater availability of volunteer hours).
I really hope to get a lot of response for this one. It's important, and I hope that all of you realize just how important it is. Get in touch with me as soon as you can if you want to help! Thanks, everyone!
|Thursday, November 6th, 2008|
As we have done in previous years, Chisa and I will be hosting a Miskatonic Thanksgiving at our place. Since a lot of people either don't go home for the holidays or don't leave until fairly late, we do this so that folks can have a sense of community (and a good meal) during an important time of the year. We will be providing the turkey and drinks, but we always ask that everyone who comes brings a side dish of some sort. That way, we're all contributing, and it becomes a sort of potluck dinner.
Right now, the dates we're looking at for the dinner are either November 20th (the Thursday before Thanksgiving) or the 25th (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving). I'd like to get input from people who are likely to turn out for this about which day is better for them, and what they'd like to bring.
The great thing about an event like this is that the more people who turn out, the better the meal becomes! ^_^ I've been trying really hard to get more Miskies to come to social events outside of gaming for a while now, and I think this would be a great chance for people to get to know their clubmates a little better over good food.
I hope to hear some replies to this one!
|Saturday, October 25th, 2008|
Super Smash Brothers Melee Tournament
On Friday, November 7, the club will be sponsoring a Super Smash Brothers Melee tournament in room 206 of the UK Student Center. The tournament will open at 5pm and run no later than 10pm. Entry costs 5 dollars, and there will be a cash prize offered at the end of the tourney. Further questions about the tourney should be directed to either Mayling Yap
or Greg Chandler
. They ran a great tournament last year, and I have no doubt that they're going to run a great one this year.
I also want to take a moment in this post to thank May and Greg for volunteering to loan their XBox and Rock Band gear to the club on Wednesday, October 29, for Miskie Funday! Thanks again, guys!
Since there have been some questions about it, I'm posting up the volunteer policy for MSU's GenCon incentive. As most of you should be aware, one of the benefits of membership is the opportunity to volunteer for the club in exchange for a room at GenCon. In past years, that room has been free to everyone who met the minimum volunteer hours; this year, because of the large expense involved, we're trying out a three-tier system to ensure that the most dedicated MSU members are rewarded suitably for their efforts, while also allowing people who have only volunteered casually to see some amount of reward as well. The volunteer program is available to all members and affiliates of MSU; this means that voting rights are not a prerequisite to garner volunteer hours.
The three tiers for volunteer hours are: 10 hours, 20 hours, and 30 hours.
Any member with at least 10 hours of volunteer time is entitled to a free Miskatonic club T-shirt. This benefit is cumulative with the benefits of the higher tiers. Club members with this many volunteer hours are also allowed to buy into the club GenCon room at full share value, if any slots are left open after the higher-tier people get theirs.
At 20 hours, a club member can get a spot in the club GenCon room for half share value, assuming any slots are left open from the top-tier.
At 30 hours, a club member has a free spot in the club GenCon room, assuming that the club has made enough money during the year to go at all. Top-tier volunteers have first pick of the room slots.
Non-volunteers will *only* have slots in the club rooms offered if they don't fill up from volunteers, and will pay the full share value of the room, plus paying for their own parking fees. I consider it very unlikely that the rooms will fail to fill up, however; we've had enough volunteers in the past to easily fill up two rooms and more, and that's after we had volunteers who weren't able to go to GenCon for whatever reason.
As far the the club room itself goes, we usually have two rooms; availability and funding withstanding, that's what we'll have this year, but there's always the chance that we'll only be able to afford one. If we have one room, there will be 6 club slots; if we have two rooms, there will be 12. "Share value" is the price of a room divided six ways; if the room's final value (after tax and fees) is 750 dollars, then the price of a room share is 125 dollars.
Starting next week, I'm going to keep a running tally of volunteer hours in a stickied post in the MSU forums so that people can see how their hours (and those of their clubmates) are progressing. Hopefully, seeing how many people are turning out to help the club will inspire others to lend their support as well. If there are any questions about a person's volunteer hours, or any related question about the volunteer program itself, those should be addressed directly to me or another officer, and not to the listserv or on the forums.
I think this is going to be a great year for MSU, and that's only possible because of the efforts of volunteers. Even if you don't have the time to volunteer yourself, make sure that you let those that do know how much you appreciate their hard work. Thanks, volunteers! We couldn't do it without you!
|Monday, October 20th, 2008|
The week of the fall social is now upon us!
This Friday, October 24, we will be working in conjunction with UK Anime to have a social event in the Cat's Den, from 6pm to 10pm, as a lead-in to the campus premiere of the fabulous documentary "Monster Camp." The movie will be showing at 10pm in the Worsham Theater, and I thoroughly encourage any gamer who's ever been interested in LARPing to attend. It's a very fair and balanced view of the hobby as a whole, and of the people that indulge in it.
Volunteer hours will be given out to any member who attends the event in costume, above and beyond the fact that it'll be really fun. The Friday event will have free food and drink, and free play on the Cat's Den games. I have it on good authority that UK Anime will be giving out prizes for best costume, and we've been given permission to hold boffer weapons demonstrations throughout the night. Enter the nerf arena!
The next day is MSU's fall social event, running from noon to 6pm in the Cat's Den. We'll have more free food and drink, more free play on the Cat's Den games, and several of our members will be demoing various board games or running one-shots. While attending in costume for Saturday won't get you any volunteer hours, it would still be pretty cool if you did, since it would get us more attention from passers-by.
I really hope to see a lot of members turn out for this event. This is the first time we've worked really closely with the Cat's Den administration to run an event, and if we make this one good, then it's likely that we'll have a lot of doors opened for us in the future. Even if you can't attend the social, do your best to come to the movie; and vice-versa.
Hope to see you there! Current Mood: excited
|Thursday, October 9th, 2008|
UKON is only four months away now, so it's time to start getting serious about who's going to be running things at the convention.
For those that don't know, UKON is MSU's annual gaming convention and fundraising event. This year, it's being held in the UK Student Center's grand ballroom (plus adjoining rooms and some events in the Cat's Den) on Friday, February 27 (5pm to 10pm), and Saturday, February 28 (10am to midnight). UKON is run by club members and attracts gamers from all across the Bluegrass region, and from even farther away sometimes.
The primary things we have at UKON are tabletop games, board game demos, card and minis tournaments, and a movie room. We also do various other events, depending on availability of talent and interest, but that's the primary gist. We do our best to get members to run events at UKON, but anyone who wants to do so is more than welcome to sign up to run a game, put together a demo, or anything else that would be fun for a convention.
If you're interested in running an event of some kind, email me about it at email@example.com. The primary thing we need are tabletop role-playing games, so priority should go toward thinking about RPG things you might want to run, but by no means limit yourself to just that. If you are a DCI-sanctioned Magic judge and think you could put together a decent tournament, that's great. If you like Axis and Allies minis and want to run a large-scale demo, wonderful. Anything you want to do for UKON is welcome!
Running a game at UKON isn't just fun, it can be profitable too! Not in real money, of course, but in club reimbursements. If you run an event of at least four hours in duration at UKON, you get in for free on that day. Additionally, any games run by club members at UKON count for volunteer service hours toward the GenCon room.
When you email me your event proposal, be sure to include a name for your event, what system it is (if it's a game), what day and time slot you'd prefer to run in, how many players you can accommodate, and any other relevant information you can think of. For card and minis tournaments, also include if there's a separate fee for entry and what sort of prize support you plan on offering. Generally, for paid events, the club buys the prize support ahead of time and gets reimbursed out of tourney fees, then splits the difference with the event coordinator.
Also, if you're interested in being a vendor or artist at UKON (or know someone who might be), we have a large vendors' area featuring some great local stores and an artists' alley showcasing some of the great local art talents. Registering as a vendor costs $25 per table for the whole convention. Registering as an artist is free and gets you a single table, but MSU collects 10% of any profits on sold art; if you think you might sell more than $250 of art, then you can pre-register as a vendor instead and still be set up in the artists' alley.
Even if you can't run a game or draw well, you can still help with UKON. We always need people to help out by sitting desk, guarding the prize table, aiding with setup and breakdown, running the movie room, and other things. We'll start putting together a full desk schedule in the next month or so, but in the meantime, if you're interested and have a specific time you want to sit, email me privately and I'll see what I can do. Because it's such an onerous task, desk-sitting only requires two hours on Friday or three hours on Saturday for free entry, and you'll never be sitting alone. We always have two people running the desk and minding the lockbox. If you think you would be interested in the labor end of UKON, feel free to email me and give me a heads-up.
UKON gets closer every day, so don't get left in the lurch! The convention is always a lot of fun, and it's a good chance to show off your skills or your favorite game to other people. More than that, it's a chance to support MSU, something that we can always use more people doing. UKON is the club's convention, and it'll only succeed with the help of club members.
Hope to hear from a lot of people soon!
MSU Fall Social
I'm sending out this reminder so that people can start thinking seriously about the MSU fall social event. It's coming up in only a couple more weeks (and I'll remind everyone again as we get closer to the day of), but we need as many people as possible to turn out to make this a great event.
For those not aware, the UK Late Night Film Series will be showing the movie "Monster Camp," a documentary about LARPing, on October 24th at 10pm in Worsham Theater. They and the Cat's Den staff have given us a great opportunity to help promote the film on campus and have our usual fall social event at the same time.
On October 24th, in conjunction with UK Anime (I hope), we'll be putting together a movie lead-up event from 5pm to 10pm in the Cat's Den. Members are encouraged to show up in costume; in fact, showing up in costume (either Ren Faire garb or recognizable character costumes) for this event will count as volunteer service hours! This is a great opportunity to rack up about five hours of service time for basically just standing around in costume. UK Anime is planning a costume contest as well (tentatively), so it's also likely that you might get some sort of spiffy prize on top of the satisfaction of helping out and the volunteer incentive. Following our event, at which lots of flyers will be handed out, "Monster Camp" will be showing across the way at Worsham Theater at 10pm.
The next day is our full-day fall social, an event at which we get to show off our wacky fun to the whole world. We'll have the Cat's Den from noon to 6pm, during which there will be free play on all of the games, including pool, ping-pong, and a Rock Band set-up. There will also be free soda, free food of various sorts, and very likely lots of people running pick-up games or playing board games. It's going to be a lot of fun, and I highly recommend that anyone who can make it out should do so. I would also like anyone who is interested to wear costumes to this event as well, though this one will be just for fun instead of volunteer hours.
If anyone has suggestions for fun things we can do on either day, or ways to make the group activities more appealing to larger audiences, please email the listserv with your ideas. We're always looking for advice on this sort of thing, so don't feel shy!
I hope to see a lot of people there, and look for further reminders as the date approaches!
|Wednesday, October 8th, 2008|
Spycraft: United Surveillance Ministry
Folks, I think we got the foundation of a good team of agents put together tonight. Depending on how quickly the rest of the character generation goes next week, we may start the first mission for the USM. Suggestions and requests?
The game has room for two more players, if anyone else is interested.
I am running a Spycraft game at the combined game night this weekend, as well.
Just as a reminder, the second Meetup/MSU joint day is this weekend! The Meetup group will be up in room 206 of the Student Center from 5pm to 10pm, and I'm hoping a lot more Miskies will be able to turn out for this one. MSU's bringing the drinks again, and there might be food at some point, so that's a bonus. Games and fun will be had by all!
Hope to see a lot of people there!
|Thursday, September 25th, 2008|
What a Shame
So, at GenCon, the GenCon Auction ran a big event for charity in memorial of Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons and Dragons, who died earlier this year. Gygax's preferred charity was the Christian Children's Fund, an organization devoted to buying toys and games for underprivileged children, something that was a lifelong goal of Gygax's. He firmly believed in the concept of affordable fun for all people, and he had a special love of children.
The charity refused the money from the auction, on the grounds that the charity would not "accept any money that may have been tainted by Dungeons and Dragons." That's right: a bunch of charitable Christians wouldn't accept money raised in good faith in the name of a practicing Christian because it was "tainted." I thought we outgrew this nonsense in the 80s.
The money will instead be donated to the Fisher House Foundation, which donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available.
Source: http://www.livegameauctions.com/Genconauction.jsp Current Mood: angry
|Friday, September 12th, 2008|
Some of you might be aware of the existence of the Lexington D&D Meetup Group, headed by Aaron Mabson. In the past, our two groups have largely existed in different orbits, overlapping occasionally and only rarely dealing directly with one another. At present, the Meetup group is looking for some extra space for their meetings, and we're doing our fall recruitment drive. It's like a match made in heaven!
To that end, we're organizing a Collaboration Day on Saturday, September 27, at the Student Center in Room 206. The event will run from 5pm to 10pm and will be an excellent opportunity for our two groups to get to know each other a little better. We're doing our best to encourage the Meetup folks to become MSU members, so we want our best and brightest out there to show them the tangible benefits of membership.
I would like anyone who can make it to the event to RSVP to this post so that I will have extra hands to deal with questions, help with room setup, and generally just mingle and have a good time. This isn't onerous work, and it does count toward club volunteer time. As I understand it, the biggest thing that will be happening is pickup games and game organization. Heck, pizza might even be ordered at some point, and MSU will be providing drinks at the very least.
Again, if you can make it out at all, I would very much appreciate the help. As well, I want to invite any of our regular members or the folks that just watch this community to show up, even if you're not interested in volunteering. It'll be a blast, and not to be missed!
|Monday, August 18th, 2008|
With GenCon over and our club trip an amazing success, I want everyone to take a moment to look toward the new semester that's starting very soon. Our first meeting of the year isn't officially until September 3, but we will be having an unofficial club gathering in our usual meeting place (Room 106 of the Student Center) on Wednesday, August 27, to catch up from the summer break, discuss GenCon gossip, talk about the fall social, and otherwise just hang out.
Also, the campus club festival is on Thursday, August 28, and we still need three or four volunteers to come out and represent the club. I'll bring this up again during the unofficial meeting, but I really hope that at least a few people can spare two or three hours in the late afternoon and early evening to show up and support the club.
That's all for now, but there's sure to be more later! See everyone in a week (or two)!
|Tuesday, August 5th, 2008|