Unstable Unicorns Review

Teeturtle has some of the cutest t-shirts. A couple years ago, I purchased one of my favorite hoodies from them. It featured all of the eveve evolutions jumping through the Pink Floyd Triangle. Unfortunately, I ripped a hole in it and had to get rid of it, but I know if I ever need any more geek hoodies, Teeturtle is the place to go. Recently, Teeturtle has delved into table top gaming by creating their Unstable Unicorns card game. During one of our DnD sessions, a friend brought over the main game with the expansions. Unstable Unicorns is really easy to learn and super adorable.

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I can be basic, but not Pumpkin Spice basic. 

Unstable Unicorns is a game of collecting unicorns for your stable. Every player starts with one baby unicorn. Throughout the game, you can play cards in your hand which could be adult Unicorns, upgrade cards to help you gain Unicorns or downgrade cards to prevent other players from gaining unicorns. There’s also “Neigh” cards which prevent a player from completing their action. The person who has around six to seven unicorns in their stable will win the game.

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The main base game to Unstable Unicorns is perfect for all ages, however, there are expansions which are NSFW. These include cards with swearing, slightly inappropriate art and could be offensive. It’s as if Cards Against Humanity designed these cards. Instead of “Neigh” cards they will be “Neigh, BITCH” or “Neigh Motherfucker.” I find these cards hilarious, but they aren’t for everyone.

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Probably my favorite Unicorn Card in the game. 

This game is great for anyone who’s a casual gamer and likes really cute things. I liked how quick the game was considering most of my board games I own take hours to play. I highly recommend buying the main game for your next game night.

 

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Con of the North

I’m behind in my blog posts considering Con of the North happened close to a month ago. I wanted to write about this gaming convention because I had such a great time. Con of the North is located in the Northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities. It had been on my radar for years, but I couldn’t afford the gas to drive home when I was in college. This year, I invited a friend to come with me, so I didn’t have to attend alone.

Con of the North was extremely well organized. When I registered for the event, I could sign up for games, role-playing sessions and other events I found intriguing. When I signed up for an event, it showed my gaming schedule on the website, so I could see what blocks of time I had left. It also showed if an event was full, you could be put on their waiting list in case someone had to drop out of the event.

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Joker Faction for Batman Miniatures 

I drove to the hotel Friday after I got off of work to pick up my badge. Along with a badge, I got a Con of the North die, all of my tickets to the events I pre-signed up for and a packet for the convention including a map of the hotel. On Friday, I signed up to play the Batman Miniatures game published by Knight Models. Miniatures is a type of table top game that always fascinates me, but I’m terrible at. I find it’s challenging to predict what an opponent will do next and then try and place my miniatures in a compromising position to the opponent’s objective. I ended up losing to my opponent, but the game itself was easier to learn than I thought.

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If I only had one more turn.. 

Saturday, me and a friend had signed up to play several games of Magic the Gathering EDH/Commander style. A while ago, I wrote about my love / hate relationship with Magic due to the community. However, me and my friend met up with two friendly, non-judgmental players. It made the event enjoyable even though if I had one extra turn, I could have won.

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RunePunk

Sunday, me and my friend split up because she wanted to play a massive game of Settlers of Catan while I went to try RunePunk, a steampunk themed adventure using the Savage Worlds rules. Imagine Steampunk mixed with references from children’s stories.. that’s how I would best describe this. Steampunk has become a recent obsession of mine which is why I enjoyed this campaign a lot.

Con of the North is a convention I would for sure attend next year if I’m free. The organization, the convenient location and the welcoming community made this experience a positive one. It was a great way to spend a dull weekend in February.

 

Dark Ages Campaign Session #2 Murder House

You know 2019 has started off right when you realize you have been playing more D&D. Last weekend, our gaming group headed over to our friend’s apartment for our Dark Ages session #2 with our characters. You can read our session #1 recap in this blog post I made last month. I will say Althaea accomplished more in this session than in the prior session which made me super happy.

After sleeping off the fight with the barbarians, our characters awake in an ice prison underground with no memory on how we got there. There’s a tunnel about 50 feet down which goes deeper into this ice prison. Thankfully, one of our character’s has a rope where we climb down and start looting the corpses which are scattered everywhere. Muglupus (the boyfriend’s character) is a dwarf who spends most of his time building a tunnel to find an escape. Suddenly, the floor beneath us breaks and one of our characters drops into a sewer facility where she has to fight three rats.

It takes Althaea a little while to get down there, but she comes to aid to fight these massive rats. As a side note, three giant rats sounds horrifying to come across. After the defeat of the rats, we realize they weren’t actually intending on attacking us, they were running from a massive Aragog size spider. This is where Althaea is the true MVP in this session. I decided to grab my two ruby encrusted daggers attached to my hip. I held the handles in both hands and ran up to the spider intending on cutting off the two spider’s giant limbs. I ended up rolling a critical success. Althaea went for the two limbs, but ended up sliding underneath the spider and cutting off all its limbs. I’m just imagining that scenario in my head and it makes my character look like such a bad ass.

The spider quickly dies and I’m able to steal some of the spider’s fangs and now my daggers have venom on the blade. After traveling underneath the sewer we pop up in the Doctor’s office of the village we were staying in. The Doctor’s office contained several vials believed to be a mix of poison and medicine. Also included in the Doctor’s materials were his journal admitting on experimenting on the citizens living in the town. Our characters decided to poison both the Innkeeper and the Doctor for what they did to the citizens in the town. After revealing the truth at a town meeting, we decide to save the Doctor from the poison and let the town deal with him. We end our session by running towards a monastery and camping with Rose, a friend we met in the village.

Our next session will be this weekend because we may have to skip the month of March due to everyone’s obligations. I was really satisfied in this session and I feel rejuvenated in where the campaign is going.

If anyone has any D&D campaign stories to share, please feel free to leave it in the comments section.

 

Surviving Until Dawn *Game Review*

Did you know Brett Dalton, Hayden Pantierre and Rami Malek were in a video game? I found this out as I slid the disc for Until Dawn in my PS4 a week ago. I hope if I ever became famous, I could appear in a video game too. Until Dawn is one of my favorite horror games I ever played.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

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Josh invites his friend back for an epic, blizzard party. Motion Captured by Rami Malek. Image by Supermassive Games. 

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Brett Dalton as Mike in Until Dawn. Photo by Supermassive Games 

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Hayden Pantierre as Sam. Photo by Supermassive Games. 

Eight teenagers gather at a log cabin mansion owned by Josh’s family (motion captured by Rami Malek). Beth and Hannah, Josh’s twin sisters, run into the storm after a practical joke gone wrong performed by their friends. Beth and Hannah are never seen again. One year later, the same eight teenagers return to the cabin: Josh, Chris, Ashley, Sam (motion captured by Hayden Pantierre) Mike (motion captured by Brett Dalton), Jessica, Emily and Matt. As you play through the episodes, vicious creatures start to stalk the characters. Additionally, it appears one of the characters is a psychopath who’s also hunting the teenagers. Each of the ten chapters allows you as the player to make decisions regarding the fate of the other characters.

Trophies can be unlocked based off decisions made in the game. For example, I chose to cut off one of the character’s fingers with a hatchet after getting stuck in a trap. This allowed my character to still have a working hatchet and I received a trophy for this decision. Some decisions in the game were easy for me to make, but others I had to deliberate on for much longer.

Until Dawn relies on QTE’s (quick time events) meaning pressing buttons in rapid succession to succeed in an event. I accidentally failed this when one character was racing in the woods and I pressed the wrong button on the PlayStation controller. Missing one button led to a character’s death. There’s many ways to replay the game as I need to collect all the collectibles, but also wanting to see how different choices play out differently. I want to unlock the trophy where all the characters survive as my first play through I accidentally killed them all :/

I have no criticism for Until Dawn and I cannot stop raving about how great this game is. There’s a soft spot in my heart for Ashley and Chris since they both remind me of young, high school love. The graphics in this game were breathtaking as the cabin is based on top of this mountain with a brutal snow storm being the back drop for the teens. Until Dawn is a game you must play if you own a PS4.

Hogwarts Deck Building Game

Last Christmas, my brother received the Hogwarts Deck Building game along with the expansion pack bringing Luna Lovegood to the story. I had played the Hogwarts Deck Building game when I was in college, so I wasn’t a stranger to the rules. I hosted a board game night two weeks ago with my family and the boyfriend where we tested out this game. My mom loved the game and it made her more excited to go to Universal Studios in February.

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Teaching my mom how to play. Picture Taken by Me through Snapchat.

The Harry Potter deck building game gives you four characters to choose from: Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville. The goal is to defeat the villains before the locations are taken over by the Death Eaters. Since this is a deck building game, you can purchase cards for your character deck. These cards can heal characters, take off a villain token from the location and send a spell to a villain resulting in their defeat. This is an entirely cooperative game which is something else my mom liked.

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Harry Potter’s deck. 

The game is incredibly easy to grasp as I mentioned, if I taught my mom how to play this game, anyone can learn. Not that my mom can’t grasp board game rules, but the more complicated the game, the more my mom gets lost within the game’s mechanics. One exciting moment from our session was when my mom corrected my brother on the rules. I repeat, my mom corrected my brother on the rules of the game. I think both me and my brother’s jaws hit the floor.

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Athena was playing with us while also eating my food. 

This is probably one of my favorite board games I played. It’s more fun playing with Harry Potter fans, but I think anyone could enjoy this game. It was a fun way to get hyped for Harry Potter world and I imagine my mom is going to want to beat the whole game before we go. I’ll let you all know how that goes.

 

My Love / Hate Relationship with Magic the Gathering

On Sunday, I attended my first Magic the Gathering pre-release for the Ravnica Allegiance expansion. Me, my brother, and my two friends from college met up at the coffee / game store I occasionally work at. I played terribly at this pre-release because I didn’t win a single match. Honestly, I was slightly embarrassed having to turn in my score card saying I lost eight matches. The worker at the game shop even made a comment and was giving me sympathy which made me feel worse. This is what prompted my post describing in detail my love / hate relationship with Magic the Gathering. 

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I started playing Magic the Gathering in 2003 when my uncle taught me and my brother how to play. I became obsessed with the mechanics of the cards, the art on each card and the story behind each set. I even had a Magic the Gathering birthday where I received a hand picked deck and played Magic all day. This teaching didn’t stick as I gave up the game a year later because I became focused on other things. Ten years later, I was in college and an ex-boyfriend of mine had been playing Magic more often with his friends. I decided then I would try again and re-learn how to play.

One thing that was different when learning Magic in 2013 was realizing how toxic the Magic the Gathering community can be. I had played against players who were specifically targeting me because I was the only woman in the group. I had players where if I was winning, they would “scoop” or draw from the match instead of allowing the game to finish. I had players be condescending towards me if I was losing and telling me I had “a lot to learn” if I ever wanted to win against them. The toxicity I experienced became exhausting to deal with.

It led to several times where I would play Magic more often and then go breaks without playing. I became discouraged at times based on who I had played with recently. I don’t want to give up a hobby based on my experiences within the community, but it’s hard not to. I will say, my brother and my two friends never made me feel embarrassed because I hadn’t won a game. They were friendly to me and my brother wants to sit down and play more games with me and offer strategy advice which I would find beneficial.

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My specific goals involving Magic the Gathering is to play more! I can only get better as a player if I play more games. I also downloaded Magic the Gathering arena which is an online format of the game where you play against players in real time. This way even if I can’t get in a physical game at a game shop, I can play at the comfort of my own home. Finally, I discovered an all female Magic group that plays at various game stores in Minneapolis. I’m hoping this will be a judgement free place to learn more about the game without the harassment I had experienced in the past.

I would love to hear your thoughts about the game if you ever played. Specifically if you have experienced harassment in this community, let me know in the comments below.

Playing in the Dark Ages New D&D Campaign

Toward the end of December, a good friend of mine created a group Facebook group regarding a D&D campaign he wanted to start. It was going to be set in the Dark Ages with 5e mechanics. The boyfriend had never role played before, so this would be an exciting opportunity to introduce D&D to him. We had our first session yesterday complete with Moscow mules, pizza and snacks. I briefly wanted to recap the campaign and share what’s to come in future sessions.

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I’m all for looking cute to play D&D. *image taken by me for my instagram story.*

My character is named Althaea and she is a level #1 Elf Sorcerer who happens to be an Occult Investigator. When she was young, she started developing magical abilities much to the chagrin of her father. Her father refused to teach her how to defend herself due to being in fear of the dark source of Althaea’s magic. When Althaea was 10, her father was killed by an evil spirit. Althaea has sworn revenge on this evil spirit and finding more information behind her father’s murder.

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Althaea’s character sheet! *image taken by me*

Our campaign began in January of 453 AD. Side note, as our DM revealed the date, each of our group members wrote the year wrong. I still don’t know how that was possible considering he was sitting right next to us. Our characters were trapped in a burning village being attacked by barbarians. Six of them came after us. I rolled very poorly most of the time during this attack which led to me having only one hit point at the end of the battle. Once the barbarians were slayed, we investigated another town which also was being invaded by barbarians. Althaea did a lot better as she used her “ice knife” spell and it ended up landing on one of the barbarians.

After defeating the barbarians, our group of five is approached by an inn keeper. He offers us rooms since we saved his village from the barbarians. One of our characters rolled an intelligence check to determine if the innkeeper was hiding something from us. The innkeeper is hiding something, but throughout this session, none of our characters figured what it was. Althaea did attempt to flirt with the inn keeper, but I rolled so low that he pushed me away and wouldn’t talk to me. It was at this moment I realize I should have been a Bard. Anyway, not much happened after that, but our DM said the innkeeper is hiding something huge and the name of our next session is titled “Murder House.”

Overall it was a great first session. I will say I don’t have a lot of experience with character building with 5e rules. There was a lot I didn’t create with my character prior to the session beginning. Thankfully, the group I’m playing with is rather forgiving. The DM even admitted he wished he did a bit more research and had a map for the players to look at.

Thanks for reading my recap! Our next session is planned for Saturday February 2nd, so expect a post somewhere near then.