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Found 17 results

  1. When we think gaming, thoughts often go to RPGs, complex sims, real-time strategy, etc. However, those all exist in a virtual world on a screen. These complicated genres grew out of more classic forms as tabletop games, bringing people together and causing table-flipping arguments and memories since the dawn of time. In recognition of the vast world of tabletop gaming, Extra Life hosts Tabletop Appreciation Weekend annually. 2018 marks the fourth year celebrating, but board gaming has been a part of Extra Life since the beginning. On Game Day and during other fundraisers throughout the year, many Extra Lifers raise money by playing games not just on their screens but on the tabletop as well. As a newbie to the world of board gaming, or a long time fan looking to branch out, it might be hard to determine where to start. The list below looks at helping you solve that problem with some of the best games with which you can start. This list just scratches the surface of the vast world of tabletop gaming, so if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear about them in the comments below or on social media. If you post about the festivities, use the hashtag #EXTRALIFETabletop to connect and maybe even find a new passion. Dungeons & Dragons It would be downright irresponsible to create this list and not include Dungeons & Dragons. This game set the foundation for tons of games to follow, tabletop and otherwise. For those unfamiliar with the format, or maybe to clear up some misconceptions, Dungeons & Dragons features role-playing gameplay with many different play styles. Generally, though, players will run through a campaign as laid out by their Dungeon Master (DM). Each player creates their own Player Character (PC) based on either the lore officially created by Wizards of the Coast or the homebrewed variant supplied by the DM. Character creation includes the fantastical race of said character, their skills and combat style, as well as their origin story. Basically, you get to let your imagination go wild making a rad persona and then use the rules to make them a reality within the game. Dungeons & Dragons tends to intimidate first-timers, but if you have any interest in storytelling, and can find a good DM (or become a good DM yourself), Dungeons and Dragons reached classic status for a reason. Magic: The Gathering Another titan in the tabletop world is Magic: the Gathering. Rather than relying solely on your imagination, Magic uses cards that represent many elements within the mystical Planes of that setting (which has recently been announced to be coming to Dungeons & Dragons). The cards include the planeswalkers, beasts, troops, spells, totems and more that fight epic battles against other players. Playstyles can vary greatly due to the different colors of magic represented on each card. These five colors offer players the ability to specialize their tactics or even combine colors to test out their favorite way to play. Magic requires time and dedication, much like any game, but MTG has a great community and you can typically find a player willing to explain more complicated cards. Classic Board Games Yes, this portion of the list includes those classics like Monopoly, Risk and even Candyland if that strikes your fancy. Even the mainstream classics are a great way to game with friends or introduce new people to this style of gaming. These games made it to the wider culture due to one simple fact: People enjoy them. Many Extra Lifers choose to play these games for Game Day to raise funds and have an absolute blast. We salute those of you who stick with the classics. Like the wider format that these board games fall under, this genre spans many playstyles. Some great games to play include card games like Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens. The 2011 release King of Tokyo has seemingly simple gameplay but adds in cards that offer each player different dynamics that keep the game interesting. Settlers of Catan allows for multiple players and has them all struggle to build up their empires from nothing. The classics and more recent popular tabletop games became widely played because people have fun with them, consider adding one to your Game Day line-up to spice things up if you're mostly a digital gamer. The Pokémon Trading Card Game Some people might be taken aback by the Pokémon Trading Card Game appearing in a list of games to get into in 2018, but this serves as a stand-in for all fandoms that have developed collectible card games. In this realm lie games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and the aptly named Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. Basically, if there’s a franchise, it probably has a collectible card game (to name a few that float around out there: American Idol, Dr. Who Buffy the Vampire Slayer and so many more). This makes this genre super inviting for members of many fandoms. The rules all vary, but basically, the goal includes collecting the best cards you can get your hands on so you can battle opponents. The communities for these versus Magic: The Gathering tend to be smaller and harder to find. The fun from collectible card games depends on the player. Some enjoy the hunt for rare cards and collecting rather than playing, while others gather at local games shops to battle. Hey, even Geralt of Rivia plays. Warhammer Warhammer is an incredibly malleable franchise for those who love tabletop gaming. On the one hand, the core Warhammer series function very much like an almost comically dark version of Dungeons & Dragons. On the other, Warhammer 40K takes place roughly 40,000 years after the core fiction in a far-flung future full of lasers, magic, and war. Players of 40K often go all in with miniatures and tactics, as the game combines war strategy with armies of real-life miniatures making it the perfect game for model hobbyists. Different genres exist in the Warhammer universe from the classic fantasy to sci-fi as introduced in Warhammer 40k. Be forewarned, Warhammer and its iterations require a lot of time not only to play, (some games can last longer than a day), but time to create your armies. Miniatures come unpainted, so you’ll literally create your armies, and it’ll take time to strategically compose as well. After creating armies, players set up their miniatures in formations for visual battles on large tabletops. Of all the games on this list, Warhammer 40K might take the longest to get into, but those who find themselves availed of an army of miniature space marines often find the effort to be worth it. How to get started If you’ve got a game picked out, great! You may be wondering “what now?” In addition to stocking the games themselves, local game stores, and occasionally comic shops, have tons of great resources to get started. Maybe you still want to try out a game before fully committing, these shops often times will host community nights where dedicated players come together with complete newbies to run games. Staff at these shops also often have a wealth of information for new players, too. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. When we think gaming, thoughts often go to RPGs, complex sims, real-time strategy, etc. However, those all exist in a virtual world on a screen. These complicated genres grew out of more classic forms as tabletop games, bringing people together and causing table-flipping arguments and memories since the dawn of time. In recognition of the vast world of tabletop gaming, Extra Life hosts Tabletop Appreciation Weekend annually. 2018 marks the fourth year celebrating, but board gaming has been a part of Extra Life since the beginning. On Game Day and during other fundraisers throughout the year, many Extra Lifers raise money by playing games not just on their screens but on the tabletop as well. As a newbie to the world of board gaming, or a long time fan looking to branch out, it might be hard to determine where to start. The list below looks at helping you solve that problem with some of the best games with which you can start. This list just scratches the surface of the vast world of tabletop gaming, so if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear about them in the comments below or on social media. If you post about the festivities, use the hashtag #EXTRALIFETabletop to connect and maybe even find a new passion. Dungeons & Dragons It would be downright irresponsible to create this list and not include Dungeons & Dragons. This game set the foundation for tons of games to follow, tabletop and otherwise. For those unfamiliar with the format, or maybe to clear up some misconceptions, Dungeons & Dragons features role-playing gameplay with many different play styles. Generally, though, players will run through a campaign as laid out by their Dungeon Master (DM). Each player creates their own Player Character (PC) based on either the lore officially created by Wizards of the Coast or the homebrewed variant supplied by the DM. Character creation includes the fantastical race of said character, their skills and combat style, as well as their origin story. Basically, you get to let your imagination go wild making a rad persona and then use the rules to make them a reality within the game. Dungeons & Dragons tends to intimidate first-timers, but if you have any interest in storytelling, and can find a good DM (or become a good DM yourself), Dungeons and Dragons reached classic status for a reason. Magic: The Gathering Another titan in the tabletop world is Magic: the Gathering. Rather than relying solely on your imagination, Magic uses cards that represent many elements within the mystical Planes of that setting (which has recently been announced to be coming to Dungeons & Dragons). The cards include the planeswalkers, beasts, troops, spells, totems and more that fight epic battles against other players. Playstyles can vary greatly due to the different colors of magic represented on each card. These five colors offer players the ability to specialize their tactics or even combine colors to test out their favorite way to play. Magic requires time and dedication, much like any game, but MTG has a great community and you can typically find a player willing to explain more complicated cards. Classic Board Games Yes, this portion of the list includes those classics like Monopoly, Risk and even Candyland if that strikes your fancy. Even the mainstream classics are a great way to game with friends or introduce new people to this style of gaming. These games made it to the wider culture due to one simple fact: People enjoy them. Many Extra Lifers choose to play these games for Game Day to raise funds and have an absolute blast. We salute those of you who stick with the classics. Like the wider format that these board games fall under, this genre spans many playstyles. Some great games to play include card games like Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens. The 2011 release King of Tokyo has seemingly simple gameplay but adds in cards that offer each player different dynamics that keep the game interesting. Settlers of Catan allows for multiple players and has them all struggle to build up their empires from nothing. The classics and more recent popular tabletop games became widely played because people have fun with them, consider adding one to your Game Day line-up to spice things up if you're mostly a digital gamer. The Pokémon Trading Card Game Some people might be taken aback by the Pokémon Trading Card Game appearing in a list of games to get into in 2018, but this serves as a stand-in for all fandoms that have developed collectible card games. In this realm lie games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and the aptly named Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. Basically, if there’s a franchise, it probably has a collectible card game (to name a few that float around out there: American Idol, Dr. Who Buffy the Vampire Slayer and so many more). This makes this genre super inviting for members of many fandoms. The rules all vary, but basically, the goal includes collecting the best cards you can get your hands on so you can battle opponents. The communities for these versus Magic: The Gathering tend to be smaller and harder to find. The fun from collectible card games depends on the player. Some enjoy the hunt for rare cards and collecting rather than playing, while others gather at local games shops to battle. Hey, even Geralt of Rivia plays. Warhammer Warhammer is an incredibly malleable franchise for those who love tabletop gaming. On the one hand, the core Warhammer series function very much like an almost comically dark version of Dungeons & Dragons. On the other, Warhammer 40K takes place roughly 40,000 years after the core fiction in a far-flung future full of lasers, magic, and war. Players of 40K often go all in with miniatures and tactics, as the game combines war strategy with armies of real-life miniatures making it the perfect game for model hobbyists. Different genres exist in the Warhammer universe from the classic fantasy to sci-fi as introduced in Warhammer 40k. Be forewarned, Warhammer and its iterations require a lot of time not only to play, (some games can last longer than a day), but time to create your armies. Miniatures come unpainted, so you’ll literally create your armies, and it’ll take time to strategically compose as well. After creating armies, players set up their miniatures in formations for visual battles on large tabletops. Of all the games on this list, Warhammer 40K might take the longest to get into, but those who find themselves availed of an army of miniature space marines often find the effort to be worth it. How to get started If you’ve got a game picked out, great! You may be wondering “what now?” In addition to stocking the games themselves, local game stores, and occasionally comic shops, have tons of great resources to get started. Maybe you still want to try out a game before fully committing, these shops often times will host community nights where dedicated players come together with complete newbies to run games. Staff at these shops also often have a wealth of information for new players, too. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. until
    We are the stream team MTG Brewers Spark. We specialize in Magic the Gathering content. We try and keep it clean so everyone can enjoy and watch. This is our first year working with Extra Life but have worked with other charities before. We will be doing a 2 part Event. First Saturday will be the online gaming portion. Were we will be on Magic Online playing user submitted decks and other fun things. We will be passing the down time with other fun games with users. Sunday will be our Live event. Like we do every Monday night we will be having a 12 hour+ live event. We will have many different variants of MTG being played. I hope everyone can come out hang out and spread the word! Our Stream is http://www.twitch.tv/mtgbrewersspark. See you there!
  4. Thank you so very much to our wonderful volunteers who helped to staff this event! Our team for the weekend was @Ceraph1216, @NodnarbDude, @Taco_Girl, @LittleSith and myself. Our final results for the two days were 13 unique new Extra-Life sign-ups! Several of these sign ups were for Baltimore, but there was a surprisingly wide travel area among competitors in the event (including someone from Brazil). We had approximately .6 sign-ups per hour for each hour our table/booth was open at the event. Since on average each sign up results in $100 raised, we can approximate that our efforts this weekend raised $1300 for Extra Life, approximately $200 of which was for our local hospital. The top five traffic hours were 9 AM - 12 PM, 1 PM - 3 PM, and 6 PM - 7 PM. There were too many no traffic hours to justify a worst 5 hours list, however it is safe to say that the second day's traffic of the event did not warrant our presence. The low sample size may mean that the traffic information is not externally valid for similar events. If we do other events with SCG, we may seek to only attend on the first day; however, it may be worth doing at least one other event, possibly in the DC market, with both days just to see if this result will be reproduced. Despite relatively unimpressive sign-ups below a goal of 24 sign ups or approximately 2% of the total attendees, this was enormously successful for the "brand" of Extra Life. We put our name out there, built some relationships, and gave out a TON of brochures to people who were afraid to commit. The few people we did sign up were highly engaged and wanted to take Extra Life back to their play groups and game shops to get others to join them. I personally did some networking that could be very beneficial locally and may even result in some good things happening on a regional level. It was absolutely worth attending, and I hope that Star City Games will allow us to attend some of their other upcoming events. Strategies used for this event: short display loop tablet app sign up loose giveaways (no win/participation needed) Positives: plenty of space targeted audience power location was good for visual exposure staff announcer mentioned us during presentation Opportunites: overall foot traffic candy was not effective at all and did not interest this crowd, and most of it went to BCC and security staffer who pocketed handfuls at a time Volunteer Feedback from Post-Event Survey: shift length ok, but perhaps a little long most volunteers found interactions between volunteers or with attendees enjoyable level of engagement from attendees was very good should not staff second day in the future strategies aside from human interaction and tablet use were not especially effective we need a new way to drive traffic to the table at this sort of event, but it can't be disruptive most volunteers felt we were effective as a team most volunteers felt that it is worthwhile to work with SCG or similar events again it was beneficial to speak with people that may not have otherwise heard of us You are all welcome to add any comments you have in response, and thank you again for helping to support this event! I believe it will be slow going with tabletop and trading card events for a while, but our sustained efforts could have a big impact on Extra Life as a whole, not just our local hospital!
  5. until
    COVERAGE This is our first time at a major Magic the Gathering event, and we're very lucky to have the support of an industry giant like Star City Games! Final details for this event will be developing this week. Please RSVP on this page if you intend to help, and comment with which times you are available. Further instructions will be provided throughout the week, and if you intend to volunteer and @Sarah doesn't already have your cell phone number, please PM it to her to coordinate badge/ID transfer. All volunteers will be provided with a laminated Extra Life Baltimore Guild 2017 ID Badge. This alone will not get you into events, but will help identify you as part of our group. You may keep your ID badge and lanyard to reuse at future events. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE BADGES PROVIDED BY THE EVENT HOME UNLESS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED, as these badges may be shared among volunteers.. We are in need of volunteer coverage for the following windows: Saturday 7:30 am - 10:00 am includes setup, this shift is tentative and my begin earlier @Ceraph1216 (partial coverage for setup) 7:30 am - 8 pm includes setup and breakdown, end time is tentative and may leave earlier @Sarah 9:30 am - 1:30 pm @NodnarbDude 1 pm - 8 pm includes breakdown, end time is tentative and may leave earlier @Taco_Girl Sunday 7:30 am - 2:30 pm includes setup @Ceraph1216 10 am - 3 pm @LittleSith 12 pm - 7 pm @NodnarbDude 1 pm - 8 pm includes breakdown, end time is tentative and may leave earlier @Sarah PARKING Please plan on parking 1 hour prior to your volunteering shift. Traffic in the city gets heavy in the late morning. It may be harder to find unoccupied spaces in garages if the weather is nice. Please reference Google Maps to assist you in locating a parking garage close to the convention center. The Sheraton parking garage is most convenient and obvious as you turn in on Conway (not marked on this Maps search), however it fills up very quickly. Google Map of Parking Garages close to the Baltimore Convention Center Volunteers who will be driving to the convention will incur parking expenses. These parking expenses will not be reimbursed, however they can be written off at your end-of-year tax return as volunteer expenses. Please be sure to request a receipt if you use cash-paid event parking. Retain a copy of your receipts for your tax records. PUBLIC TRANSIT The Baltimore Convention Center has it's own light rail stop with service from the Red, Yellow, and Blue lines. MARC Trains run into Baltimore from more distant county departure points, and stop nearest to the Baltimore Convention Center at Camden Yards, which is a comfortable walking distance of several blocks. For further information about using public transit, please visit the Maryland Transit Authority website at https://mta.maryland.gov/. If choosing the Light Rail, it is suggested that you purchase a day pass. You can also message @NodnarbDude with public transit questions. IF YOU INTEND TO USE PUBLIC TRANSIT, PLEASE BE AWARE OF HOURS OF SERVICE BEFORE COMMITTING TO A SHIFT. Volunteers who will be taking buses or trains to the convention will incur transit expenses. These transit expenses will not be reimbursed, however they can be written off at your end-of-year tax return as volunteer expenses. Retain a copy of your receipts for your tax records. EXPLORING THE EVENT OR PARTICIPATION IN OPEN PLAY Before or after your volunteer shift, if your badge does not need to be handed off to another volunteer, you are welcome to explore the event. All provided event badges MUST be turned in to @Sarah, @Ceraph1216, or @NodnarbDude before leaving the Baltimore Convention Center. Badge hand-offs will be coordinated via group text message. If you participate in gameplay, please be sure to remove/conceal your Extra Life name badge. Before, during, and after your shift — especially every minute that you wear your event badge — you are representing Extra Life, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and the Extra Life Baltimore Guild. Star City Games has generously waived their vendor fees for us in order to make it possible for us to attend and volunteer at this event. It is very important that we maintain a great relationship with the staff at Star City Games so that we can attend their future events. Remember, you are representing a children's charity. If you aren't sure whether or not a particular behavior is appropriate, please check with @Sarah. LUNCHES AND POTTY BREAKS If you need to take a quick bathroom break and you do not have backup coverage at the booth, please take any loose valuable items with you (i.e. laptops, tablets, cell phones). There will be a small lock box available in our booth as well. There are bathrooms conveniently located in the exhibition hall. If you have backup coverage at the booth and need to leave to get food or take a bathroom break, please be courteous and let the other volunteer know that you are leaving the table. Any food you may be able to purchase will be overpriced convention center food. It costs a lot, and doesn't taste great. It is strongly suggested to pack a lunch, snacks, and beverages if possible. SIGNING UP TO VOLUNTEER Please let us know when you can volunteer. I will update the event with confirmed volunteer names below the shifts they have agreed to work. We need one volunteer minimum per shift to start off with, however extra coverage during periods would be appreciated as this is a new event and we're not sure what to expect. For additional details, please message @Sarah, @NodnarbDude or @Ceraph1216. Volunteers will receive ongoing updates and instructions throughout the week and during the event. Thanks so very much for donating your time and energy for the kids! RESOURCES MTA Regional Transit Map Parking Panda - Reserve Parking, Baltimore Convention Center Area Hall A Diagram - Star City Games Open Play Weekend at Baltimore Convention Center:
  6. From the album: Magic the Gathering Regional Qualifier at Chesapeake Sports Cards, Aug. 9, 2016

    Players were competing for placement in a regional tournament, whose winner would have an opportunity to go to Ireland to compete in the world finals. In retrospect, while these are very dedicated gamers, I feel this type of event is not the best environment for recruitment. It is more likely that players participating in more casual or social MTG events would be more receptive and attentive to participation in Extra Life. People who did sign up were highly engaged and enthusiastic.
  7. From the album: Magic the Gathering Regional Qualifier at Chesapeake Sports Cards, Aug. 9, 2016

    I had both sign-up tablets available and set up on the store's Wi-Fi, in addition to baskets with candy and Johns Hopkins Children's Center swag to encourage the players to step out of the tournament room to talk to me.
  8. until
    This is a very small event at Chesapeake Sports Cards. We do not need additional volunteers, however if someone is interested in attending, you are welcome to join. @Sarah is probably going to play in the draft after speaking with the players in attendance.
  9. EXACT TIME WE WILL BE PRESENTING & RECRUITING TBD We will be briefly speaking to competitive Magic the Gathering players who will be fighting each other for a Pro-Tour spot, then assisting with sign-ups. Minimal volunteer staffing needed, would like one additional volunteer if possible. Many thanks to the generous support of Keith & Josh of Chesapeake Sports Cards for allowing us to speak at their event. Please RSVP if you are available to assist at this event. I will be working to secure more small, brief opportunities like this to spread the word with the tabletop community and it is expected that many local shops will be hosting release events on this same date. Current staffing (tentative): @Sarah Please contact @Sarah with any questions.
  10. Hello, fellow guildies! I am the new Extra Life Baltimore Guild Vice President. I am currently working on networking with events coordinators at local tabletop gaming shops. My hope is that we can get some (if not all) of these shops to allow us to show up at key gaming events like set pre-releases to talk to their gaming community and recruit Extra Lifers. I am currently working off of shops I know of as a MTG nerd, and supplementing my list with shops named on the Wizards of the Coast website. If this seems to be successful, I'm going to also reach out to some local video game resale shops and see if we can get volunteers posted for major releases. I'd like input and shop recommendations from any of you who are also passionate about tabletop gaming, or who know of some sweet local video game shops that are still trying to contend with Game Stop and the big box stores. I have already made contacts with the following shops and will be working further with their event coordinators: Chesapeake Sports Cards, Crofton, MD Family Game Store, Savage, MD Third Eye Games, Annapolis, MD Games 'n' Stuff, Glen Burnie, MD Squabbles, Glen Burnie, MD I am completely unfamiliar with anything north of Baltimore, so anyone's suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Most of the shops have expressed a great deal of enthusiasm thus far, and I think this could be a really great untapped resource for recruitment going forward. If all goes well, I'll be posting some additional upcoming events and looking for volunteers because I can't be everywhere at once on release nights!
  11. until
    Wonko's Toys and Games has graciously given us permission to setup a table and sign up recruits during the Magic: The Gathering pre-release events on Saturday and Sunday that weekend! There are multiple events over this weekend. We need 1-2 people at each one. You just need to stand there, explain Extra Life, and help people sign up if they're interested. No soliciting - they have to come to you. Times: 9/26 Midnight: https://www.facebook.com/events/151838925155853/ 9/26 11 AM: https://www.facebook.com/events/495799333934752/ 9/26 4 PM: https://www.facebook.com/events/892987340795867/ 9/26 7 PM: https://www.facebook.com/events/164134007254187/ 9/27 Noon: https://www.facebook.com/events/769247046530746/ 9/27 5 PM: https://www.facebook.com/events/1101245019902955/ Their website: http://www.wonkos.com/
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