Rings of Geek Mastery +8
As has been mentioned a few times, Gamer Bling is a veteran of the gaming trenches. Twenty-two long years, in fact. As you may imagine, this longevity has produced a few stories. One such story took place at Origins in the late 1990s.
This was back in the day when many of us still labored under the delusion that the Origins Awards mattered, and an organized effort was underway to make the industry as a whole take them more seriously. One such inspiration was to suggest a higher level of dress for the ceremonies, because it’s hard to take an award seriously when the person accepting the award wears stained blue jeans and an “Olympic Smurf-Hunting Team” t-shirt. (Yes, Gamer Bling did have one of those, and no, he was not wearing it when he won his award.)
Despite people’s best efforts, this project failed, although one may argue that having style over substance in the Origins Awards was a foreshadowing of this wonderful site.
We industry professionals were standing at the top of an escalator at the far end of the Columbus Convention Center, waiting for the GAMA folks to finish prepping the room in which the award ceremony was to be held. FASA’s Jill Lucas was looking positively resplendent in a sequined white gown, FRPG’s Ryan Dancey looked Bondishly debonair with his silver hair and a tux, and all—well, most—of the industry luminaries were there, and the majority of them at least had the courtesy to wear a collared shirt.
Gamer Bling was talking quietly with his compatriots, when he noticed a thin middle-school kid rising up the escalator in a black t-shirt. His eyes widened as he came nearer the top, and as soon as he stepped off the escalator, he immediately crossed his arms over his chest. Yeah, verily, these were the days when Vampire LARPing was still, shall we say, not yet fully mature. Neither were many of its practitioners.
This kid was signaling to the world that he was invisible. Needless to say, we were all most happy to oblige him by taking no notice of his presence… other than to snicker behind his back.
Why does Gamer Bling torment himself with this painful memory? What does it have to do with this review? Simple: This poor deluded child’s silly little histrionics could have been averted (or at least been rendered far less embarrassing) if he had but had one of these rings.
Gamer Bling hopes whatever psychological trauma that kid suffered by being dismissed by the very best in the industry did not so scar his psyche that he turned out to be an ax-murderer.
Seriously. Ax-murderers are so cliché. Catch a clue: saws are the new axes.
But you’ll need a very sharp saw to cut your way through these rings.
Rings? Yea, verily!
Rings have been the obsession of geeks everywhere ever since a certain someone who fancied himself a lyricist hauled off and wrote an epic modern myth, complete with lots of dance numbers, about some small hairy guys running around looking for a place to throw one away.
Now, gamers have a variety of rings. Water rings on the covers of their books. Collar rings if their shirt hasn’t been laundered recently enough. Bathtub rings, since they don’t really clean their bathrooms. Wedding rings if they know how to role-play well. Suffer rings if their favorite character dies. Orienteer rings when trying to make their way around Gen Con. So now let’s talk about engineer rings.
Intimagik makes these way-cool geek rings. To the casual observer (which is a causal observer with a spell-check), they look like ordinary jewelry, if slightly punk or goth. This is because they are not made of your normal jewelry materials like silver and gold. Oh no. Intimagik rings are far too good for pathetic, easily marred, expensive metals like that.
Intimagik uses the X-Games version of precious metals. And we’re not talking wimpy American Gladiators here, we’re talking street luge without pads or helmet. (Okay, maybe a helmet. Because otherwise that’s just stupid.)
Is Gamer Bling exaggerating? Indeed not.
These rings are made of material that can be used in nuclear reactors. Which means if you go thermal like Peter Petrelli, at least you’ll still have your jewelry on afterwards, and if you know nothing else about your personality, at least you’ll know you’re a geek.
This selfsame material could be used for surgical instruments. Or so they say, but these rings cannot eviscerate anyone. Unless wielded by Jack Bauer. But they do look sharp…
And safe? It could have been used for pharmaceutical uses. So unlike cheap brass(y) jewelry bought at Renaissance Faires, this won’t turn your skin green. Instead, it’ll turn your non-blinged gamer friends green with envy.
So there you have it: a complete suite of nuclear-biological-chemical resilience made to fit on your finger.
And Intimagik also touts that “only multi-axis, computer-controlled, pulsed-laser marking systems were used” to mark your jewelry. Just think: if they’d put that much effort into creating orbital mind-control lasers, they could just sell us junk jewelry instead.
Specifically, these rings are forged of solid X2CrNiMo17-12-2.
What is that?
That’s a marine-grade austenitic chromium-nickel alloy. Also known as kick-ass stainless. With more than your minimum recommended daily allowance of iron, chromium, nickel, molybdenum, and geek bling.
These rings are thick (~2 mm), wide (6-8 mm), heavy, and durable. And the etching on them is exquisitely executed, and, for those etchings that have coloration, the color will not come off (the color is due to an altered structure of the metal itself).
Most of these will be used for out-of-character deployment. For example, you could wear your INT+4 ring to show the world how clever you are to read this website, which is only written for the most discriminating and intelligent of individuals. No one else can see the special web font Gamer Bling uses. You could also take it to the auto dealer to boost your barter skill and get a better deal. You could wear your Regeneration ring to high school to show those football jocks that they can’t hurt you (permanently).
But there are in-game uses, too. The most obvious of which is the Invisibility ring. We’ve all had moments where a player says (or intended to say) that he put his invisibility ring on. Or took it off. Or whatever.
“Did too! Totally!”
“Never told me!”
“You were busy, so I told him!” (Points to neighboring player.)
Well, with this ring, if it’s on your finger, your character is wearing it. If not, your character is wearing two dozen black-fletched orc arrows. Simple. Even a LARPer would understand that.
Of course, Gleek has a ring of invisibility, and Gamer Bling has an invisibility ring, so Gamer Bling is putting this to the test at the next session.
It must be noted for the sake of accuracy that the Invisibility ring does not, in any real or tangible sense, work. Unless you’re in a room full of industry luminaries and you want to LARP. In which case you don’t need the ring.
And they ain’t gold, platinum, titanium, mithril, or adamantium (which, apparently, is an alloy discovered by Adam Ant). That’s kind of a down side. Although gold scratches really easily.
And if you break your finger, the paramedics might need more time to cut the rings off your finger. Unless they, too, have access to multi-axis, computer-controlled, pulsed-laser systems, in which case they’ll just vaporize the ring, And probably parts of your hand.
And, finally, people inadequately educated on the finer nuances of gamer cant will be forced to ask, “What does ‘INT+4′ mean?” At which point you’ll just have to explain that it’s something they desperately need. And they still won’t understand. Because they desperately need it.
The Bottom Line
Hey, these are cool. And very well made. And they’re really not that expensive, costing maybe the equivalent of one date, which you’ll more than make up for when your girlfriend ditches you for buying something like this (obviously she just doesn’t understand). And they’ll last a lot longer than… than… than something that lasts a long time. Did. Does. Whatever.
So, as Intimagik boasted at Gen Con, “Go ahead. Say you want one.” Gamer Bling did. But he masked it as asking for a review sample. Then he put on the invisbility ring and ran away, because Gamer Bling is clever that way.
Bling Factor: 9
You Need: Well, 3e says you can only wear two rings…
Gamer Bling supposes that it’s only a matter of time before they start doing wedding rings. “Vow of Permanence” or “Marital Geas” or something of the sort.
Intimagik also sells chains, but as the chains are non-magical, Gamer Bling will not mention them.
These rings have a curved surface, and are the widest, coming in at 8mm. They boast a variety of magical effects.
Regeneration and Protection are inscribed in block letters that are colored dark brown. Gamer Bling emailed Intimagik to find out how they achieved the dark brown coloration, but they did not deign to answer. Apparently they are not in the business of divulging trade secrets. Other than the fact that they use multi-axis, computer-controlled, pulsed-laser marking systems.
The Invisibility ring is scribed in a subtle uncolored italic font. The vanishing label fits well with the theme.
Finally, you can boast your authority with a DM / GM ring. Of course it’s a magical effect! As the GM, you’re the ultimate authority! Unless your wife calls and tells you it’s time to come home now! The ring is scribed with block letters, but is not colored. Because it’s more fun if the players occasionally forget who’s in charge so you can lay the smack down.
Who needs wimpy magical effects when you can kick butt with buffed-up stats? These 6mm-wide square-cut rings boast boosts like STR+4, INT+4, and HP+20. No nerfing here.
The Intelligence ring is again tastefully understated; the other two have the bold brown lettering mentioned above.
A La Leche League pamphlet Gamer Bling once read very accurately described women’s breasts as “decorative as well as functional.”
Well, these rings aren’t. They’re just decorative. Each has been cross-cut all the way around by the aforementioned multi-axis, computer-controlled, pulsed-laser marking systems. It gives them a nice satiny look when viewed indoors, and outdoors (or with a strong light source), they reflect light all across their surface, making them very bright.