October 12, 2016 / by Eric

No matter what your scene is this October…

…whether you’re a Magic player (Modern Tournaments every Wednesday night, drafting on Saturday at noon and four, EDH on Sunday afternoons), an artist (Stranger Things art opening on Thursday, Oct 12th, biweekly Cosplay Drink&Draws every other Monday), a roleplayer (D&D Encounters every Wednesday & Sunday, Grrrls D&D every other Thursday), a cosplayer (Rocky Horror Picture Show live screening with special guest, Morgue Anne, Thursday, October 20th), a woman (Grrrls Game Nights Out every other Thursday), gay (Gaym Nights every other Monday, Playing with Bears on Saturday, Oct 15th) or some amazing combination of those things and more (Donatella vs Humanity, Oct 21st), we have got you covered!

All while playing weird stuff like our freaky new Halloween mix on both of our TVs!

Featuring special guest star… Doctor Who!
doctor-who
Yes! That one.

So whatever you’re into, however you’re into it, and whoever you’re into it with, come check out our constantly updated Special Events Page, find the event that’s right for you and come meet your people.

Or, to put it another way, come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab.

You’ll be so glad you did.

See you soon.

-Eric

May 29, 2013 / by A. J. Asplund

A few Sundays ago, I had a gaming opportunity that not everybody gets a chance to experience. It was crazy! It had costumes! It had demons! It had possession! It had well-known game designers! It may have been the craziest four hours of role-playing in all of Seattle that weekend! Well, maybe not the craziest role-playing…

Bacon Roleplay?

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up a little bit. A few months ago, I was commenting to Rob D, one of our D&D Encounters DMs, that I should do a 13th Age introductory session sometime. You see, 13th Age is this new fantasy role-playing game by Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo, two of the mighty lords of modern Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a wild mix of story game, indie RPG, and classic D&D. Thinking nothing of the conversation, I went home thinking about cool ways to promote the game at the store. I was quite surprised to find that DM Rob had emailed Rob Heinsoo personally and suggested my plan to him.

Surprise!

This was my first lesson: You never know who people know.

After getting over the initial shock, I realized this could be an interesting opportunity. I began a dialogue with Rob Heinsoo and the fine folks of Fire Opal Media (the creators of 13th Age). Doing introductory 13th Age events at the Raygun Lounge seemed like a really solid idea. Everything seemed to be going well. During the discussion, Ash Law, the fellow responsible for the 13th Age organized play program, made the following comment: “We have been working on some Gamma Ray Games exclusive stuff for you.”

GAMMA RAY GAMES EXCLUSIVE STUFF?!?! WHOOOOOHOOOOO!

Gamma Ray Beholder?

I know that Gamma Ray Games has been “secretly” featured in role-playing games before, but this was officially designed content! At this point, I felt like we’d hit the victory condition. Not only had we decided that we’d be the only folks in town doing intro sessions of 13th Age BEFORE ITS RELEASE but that there would be some sort of game content exclusive to Gamma Ray Games. It’s like that moment of elation when you realize the only positive outcome in Gary Gygax’s classic adventure Dungeonland was to never play at all.

Fast forward a month or two. After some more discussion, the 13th Age organized play coordinator, Ash Law, sent me the Gamma Ray Games exclusive content: Lair of the Ludomancer. Here I had an adventure chalk-full of thoroughly entertaining references to Gamma Ray Games, fully prepared to be unleashed upon players at the Raygun Lounge. But, shortly after sharing it with me, Ash made this comment: “I’d like to pop by GRG and run it for you.” Wade Rockett, the 13th Age social media guy, responded with, “I’ve just confirmed that I’m also free this Sunday, and would love to play.”

Seriously. Gamma Ray Exclusive.

At this point in the story, I found myself scheduled for a session of an upcoming fantasy RPG that I am super excited about with two of the people that work on it in an adventure specifically designed for my local gameshop. It’s like a nerd fanboy fantasy. I suppose, at this point, it could only be more exciting if the actual guys who make the game showed up. But, of course, that is ridiculous. Either way, I was ready! I was excited! This was going to be a real thing and I was going to be part of it! WHOOOOOOOOO!

Very excited!

Eventually, the big day arrived. We all gathered around the table. We chose pregenerated characters. Ash looked at each of us and asked what our “One Unique Thing” was. It did not take long for it to get serious. There was the dwarf cleric who was haunted by the demon that killed his necromancer parents. I played the half-elf fighter who had been given a magical clockwork heart after losing his in an unfortunate tavern brawl. There was the dark elf sorcerer that gave him the magical heart, also the runner-up in the ever-popular Mr. Known World competition. Rounding out the group was the human paladin, the last living paladin in this part of the world, and the gnome bard who was on a secret mission for the Elf Queen… but couldn’t remember what it was. After laying some more groundwork, Ash handed out props to some of us.

The adventure commenced as the party proceeded into the Bitterwood. It did not take long for me to realize that we were not actually going to Ray’s Tavern, the popular venue run by Ray and his wife Gemma in the town of East Pine. Yet, it did not bother me. We were pursuing a goal relevant to our characters, and it did not take long for us to come across a pack of vicious gnolls in the night. Well, to be honest, two of us were quite convinced that we were hearing ghosts, but that’s a question up for debate at another time. We had found these gnolls and their repugnant master, a filth demon. Well, more appropriately, a poop demon. An Excremental, if you will. The party engaged these horrible monsters and fought bravely to drive off the vile beasts.

The Excremental

At one point, the cleric blasted the Excremental with his Javelin of Faith. The player, Rob D, had missed, but was close. Ash asked if he’d be willing to make a compromise: the attack would hit and do a lot of damage, but it would hurt another character. He agreed, of course, and the blast was so powerful that it ejected the Excremental’s demonic heart, throwing it across the battlefield and into the face of the brave paladin. Quickly, the demonic heart squirmed its way down the paladin’s throat, beginning a demonic corruption that would spell certain doom for our brave friend.

Another important lesson learned: Keep your mouth shut when fighting poop demons.

As the battle neared its end, a new person approached the table. “Hello, Jonathan!” Wade and Ash seemed to know this new fellow and welcomed him to the table. It did not take long for me to realize… This guy was Jonathan Tweet, one of the creators of 13th Age. He spoke to Ash briefly, offering to take the part of whatever silly-voiced NPC was available. It did not take long for that character to be Werdna, the demon that haunted the dwarven cleric.

Jonathan Tweet the Demon

The Paladin’s fate required an exorcism, something only the priest could perform. Quickly, the situation descended into madness as Werdna the Demon (as played by Jonathan Tweet) provided nefarious direction. After poor choices by both the sorcerer and the cleric, things had run afoul. Before anybody could realize what had happened, the party had descended into an infernal hellscape, with the demon Werdna now residing within the body of the dark elf sorcerer. Trapped in a hellish arena and surrounded by the spirits of countless lost paladins, the heroes found themselves engaged by flaming demons content to tear them asunder.

The demon Werdna began offering the characters an opportunity to change fate. At the table, this was represented by Jonathan Tweet allowing us to reroll our attacks. Although it was difficult, it did not take long for the battle to end in victory for our adventurers. However, the deal with the demon had a price! We each had to roll a twenty-sided die, hoping to roll a number greater than the number of times we had invoked the demon’s favor. Unfortunately, our sorcerer, who had called upon the demon nineteen times, did not make it. Neither did the dwarf cleric who had tricked him. With the gnome bard gone (Wade’s character, who escaped into the underworld as Wade had to leave slightly early), only the half-elf fighter and the paladin managed to wrench their soul’s from this maniacal hellscape.

From this, several of us at the table learned another important lesson: Jonathan Tweet is our personal demon.

Isn't that... the other guy?

So, that was my 13th Age experience: over-the-top, collaborative storytelling with exciting battles against vicious monsters where the heroes get to truly feel like heroes. Players contribute to the narrative in ways rarely (if ever) seen in popular role-playing games. This is the game that accomplished from the start what took my own Dungeons & Dragons game years to reach. I cannot recommend it enough.

January 09, 2013 / by Eric

We’ve wrapped up the holidays

and are diving back into organizing our regular gaming events. Here’s a list of everything that we have available for you in the near future.

If you’re interested in Magic: The Gathering, you’re inevitably aware that Gatecrash prereleases in two weeks. We’ll be having 5 separate prerelease events for Gatecrash, Friday the 25th at Midnight, and Saturday and Sunday at noon and 5pm daily. These will all be sealed events using the special prerelease faction packs. Our prerelease tournaments are Swiss Style and our prize support is generous. Preregistration is now open at both the lounge and the shop and all of these events are filling fast.


If you’re interested in Warmachine, our new Press Ganger, Anna, is organizing our first Journeyman League this Thursday.

If you’re into roleplaying, we have a number of options for you, including Dungeons & Dragons Living Forgotten Realms and Fantasy Flight’s new Star Wars: Edge of Empire every Wednesday and Story Games Seattle every Thursday. If you’re even more into roleplaying than that, we have a special monthly Story Games Playtesting event available for you as well.

And if you’re just into board and card games overall (the hottest trend in either right now is Android: Netrunner) we have regular Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon boardgaming events cohosted by the Seattle Alternative Boardgamers and Queer Geek Seattle as well as monthly Ladies Nights with Ashley Cook and Slog Nerdy Happy Hours with your friends over at the Stranger Testing Department.

If you’d like more info about the events we’re hosting on any given week, head over to our recently updated events page and if you have any questions or would like to reserve a table for your own personal gaming event, just send us an email at raygunlounge@gammaraygamestore.com and we’ll get back to you just as soon as we can.

Thanks. And have a great new year.

August 04, 2012 / by Eric

A startling expose by game store owner Eric Logan.

Tabletop gaming encompasses a surprisingly wide range of genres including (but certainly not limited to) European style boardgames, American style boardgames, party games, mystery games, cooperative semi-cooperative and one versus many games, classic games and ancient games, abstract games, train games, war games of numerous complexity levels each with their own devoted fanbase, simulations of various kinds from historical to fantasy, custom dice games, collectible miniature and collectible card games, roleplaying and story games. Each of these genres can be further divided into multiple sub-genres and some of these sub-genres, like Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering, are so large and popular that they’ve become full genres in their own rights with even further sub-genres unto themselves. Dungeons & Dragons alone, for example, has at least 6 different editions and multiple retro knock offs, all of which have their own unique audiences and Magic the Gathering has a number of different formats and rule sets each drawing a different type of player.

Every tabletop gamer, even the most well rounded (like all of our employees), has a bias towards a particular game or type of game; usually something from their past, some initial gateway game or genre that they will inevitably tend to compare other games to and gravitate back to even as they expand their gaming interests.

My personal bias is toward roleplaying games (commonly abbreviated as RPGs). I got started on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with my dad when I was 8 years old

and have enjoyed exploring new roleplaying systems ever since. Though I’m familiar with and enjoy playing every type of game that we carry at Gamma Ray Games, my inclination is always toward the new small press RPGs.

And so it was that 2 weeks ago while I was rapidly putting together our Kickstarter page for a space that I knew was going to freely support all of the myriad types of tabletop gaming as well as some non tabletop activities like trivia nights, Barcraft and possibly a even a recently proposed rockband karaoke event, I reached out to the indie RPG community for pledge reward commitments first because I knew from our history of collaborating together for events like PAX, Emerald City Comic Con & GoPlayNW that they would respond quickly and be great to work with. And indeed they were.

But bias has consequences and while monitoring our kickstarter progress for the past couple of weeks I’ve discovered two. First, I’ve received a couple of emails from people who saw our kickstarter page and we’re worried that we intend to exclude/ignore their aspect of the hobby, to which I always respond with a clear and sincere “woops! my bad! we’re totally into your thing too,” because I know that the store and the lounge have been and will continue to be about the greater tabletop gaming community of which I and my personal biases are only one small part.

Second, and possibly more importantly from a Huttese perspective, it’s occurred to me that not having more non-rpg gaming options may have limited some peoples willingness to pledge and that, of course, is a barrier that we simply cannot have. In response I’ve just added the new completely-non-roleplaying-related “boardgame night with Jake Waltier” pledge level for you and your friends. And a… (cough) uh, couple of, uh, new RPG levels as well (cough).

Look, the new RPG rewards weren’t my fault, alright? The Gamer Viceroy came by demanding to know why he’d been snubbed out of the reward levels and, seriously now, you don’t want me to snub the viceroy do you? No, I didn’t think so. The man’s a legend in this town.

So there you have it. I love me some RPGs but you can love you some of whatever you want, and if that something happens to be some kind of tabletop gaming, it will always have a home at The Raygun Lounge.

I can’t wait to see you all there,

-Eric