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Showing posts from December, 2013

Hopes for the New Year

Resolve:  a firm determination to do something.

Since the move is nearing and so many things are still up in the air and underway, I really don't have any resolve for actions in the new year.   Instead, I think I just have a lot of hopes, and with all things, I think I will decide what to do as the year progresses.  It is going to be a big year of change.  So here are my hopes for the future.

I hope to get back to a regular gaming schedule.I hope to find a nice balance between working time, commuting time, and time to recharge, with my new job and my new extended commute.I hope to improve my health and become more fit.I hope to become part of a new in-person gaming group in our new hometown.I hope to set up a nice gaming area at the new house.I hope to set up an efficient woodshop at the new house and start using it to make useful things, some of which will be for gaming.I hope to get in a full solid year of beta testing for my new rule extension for Pathfinder.I hope to improve my…

Finding Weaknesses in Pathfinder Characters and Exploiting Them

This article isn't finished yet -- it is more of a living document to accumulate knowledge as I gather it.  In any case, I thought it would be worthwhile to publish and collect comments on.  Thanks for help from Michael Bell on Cavalier weaknesses.


Unlike other systems, Pathfinder doesn't explicitly include weaknesses in character as a choice made by the player on character creation.  Instead, the GM has to ascertain what abilities, skills, saves, background, or class properties represent the weakness of the character and exploit them.  Think of it this way -- when building some characters, everything starts at a base level and a lot of things get better and some get worse.  In Pathfinder, characters start at a lower level and everything gets better, except because of the balance of things, only a subset of everything gets better.  What doesn't get better, is the weakness of the character.

Now normally I am not an evil GM.  I don't see the GM as an adver…

A Matter of Space: The Mythical 5' Square

As of late, having switched mostly these days to virtual tabletop gaming, I have come to notice the great difficulty in running on 5' square maps with 5' square tokens.  It is a simple enough explanation in the rule books -- that the 5 foot square is the fighting space for a single party member.  Still it bugs me.  In the older D&D tomes, you can find reference of a "3 wide shoulder-to-shoulder in a 10 foot hallway" reference and even 3 1/2 foot per inch squares in some OSR allowing 3 to fight side-by-side in a ten foot hallway.  On VTT this really doesn't need to translate to a new grid, but just smaller tokens with a bit more zoom.  Change noted.

As I move through my own home now, investigating the use of space, especially as we look to pick all these items up and move them to a new home in a new layout with a new sense of space, I don't find many mythical 5 foot squares left.  In this house, built in the 60s, there was space enough for things, but more…

The Move: Fighting Coax

It is unfortunate, but even the pre-move things don't seem to be going as well as expected, and it has impacted even my online games.  I had hoped to be hosting games at either the new or old house, but the new house has an evil secret.

Deep in the bowels of the new house, which supposedly has cable internet hooked up now, is a nest of around 40 coax cables running to everywhere.  It turns out the house was wired for dual satellite plus cable, meaning many of the rooms have three coax drops.  There are also phone and DSL drops.  That is a lot of cable.

In the beginning it seemed simple, in that the cable TV drops were unfinished, and I could just hook them up and voila... internet.  But no -- one of the previous occupants decided to "fix" this and now there is a mangled mes of unlabeled cables that may or may not hold the key to getting cable hooked up.  It is nice that they are mostly housed behind the panels of the drop ceiling in the basement, but still, it is impossi…

Cthulu and Howard

Posted by Craig Engler, Cthulu and Howard (in the style of Calvin and Hobbes)

The Port Wayne Campaign

So I wrote an extension to Pathfinder for post-modern because I was tired of fighting Shadowrun and not looking to invest another wad of money in 5th edition.  Mostly, I like Pathfinder because of the OGL aspect so my players can play basically for free, and the greater community makes money off of me buying books and supplements.

The extension is lovingly referred so far to as Dead Channel Sky, an obvious tribute to the cyberpunk genre king William Gibson.  My design goal was to extend, not rewrite, normal Pathfinder.  By simplifying a lot of extension rules and rebalancing using new equipment, new archetypes, new classes, and a couple of new races, I am trying to make Pathfinder come alive in a post modern campaign.  Traditional Pathfinder sorcerers can now fight alongside modern gunslingers with machines guns and hackers.  The best part, however, for DCS, is that it has nothing too closely tied to setting.  As a result, I am taking my own homebrew Port Wayne Shadowrun setting and r…

Ranier Leaves: The Rise of the Runelords

The week the party rescued the beautiful Xeneshu.  She was the most beautiful hal-elf he had ever seen (Ranier was charmed by her.)  She kept her safe while they turned in the judge to the authorities.  Once everything cleared through and they received their reward, Xeneshu was gone.

Ranier followed the party onward to investigate reports at a local fort near Turtleback Ferry.  His heart just wasn't in it though.  While the party slept on the way out of town, Ranier left the party and left behind this note:

My Fellows,

I've reached the end of this road and I am taking my leave of all of you.  Bigger things await me.  My destiny is yet to be found.

To my friend Alex, I return the deed to the townhouse in Magnimar.  Unfortunately, my path still requires access to the Misgivings, and so that deed I am keeping.  Do not follow me there and do not venture there for the next two weeks.  I will recover what I need from that place and then be gone.  The deed will be left behind the pain…