Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I would think I needed to be free of this season , to breath life and work again.  But I laid down seeds for the far off chill and forgot them in the ground.  The burnt ochers and auguring down of the year lost to my all but blind eyes.  Hope the venom that allowed sleep in my regret for change.  Though change was retrograde of truth which more oft than not was immutable. 

Helios burn with your flames and cast us about so we are refined by somewhere near the same. Endimion work away this discontenting desire and speak to me of acceptance.  Idunn look away I might steal and apple to feel alive today. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reworking Anyway

I feel you'd have me taken for a ride,
unless I believe all importance has died.
A foolish soul with over thought dreams
to lay down conform to your schemes.

There's no heaven plugging you and it!
No I'm content if my ideas don't fit.
You're backwards to say anything's wrong!
Sorry not to agree with the throng.
You've stole everything you own!
What do I owe you, even my bones?
It takes us all to raise your child right!
Your worry keeps me up at night!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Aloysius in defeat

The pain radiated with something like light but then ended in fluid, such that he checked for blood.  That was just the senses failing to explain the stimulus.  As for him Aloysius struggled back lashing out impotently.  The fists missed or did nothing when they found body.  The next blow exploded electric across the nerves in his face and the warmth rained down til he tasted it. he spit it out hard and cried.

The tears were those of a child hurt, not a man but the true fear of a child.  Aloysius was not so used to pain in those days to ignore it or chalk it up to less than the needles in his arm.  He was still like a babe and left an easy mark for opportunistic claws.

He was beaten and limped away in his shame crying out lies of vengeance which somehow crowned his defeat.  But he had not shirked away he came when challenged a faced his foe if only to crawl away proven the lesser.  That was Aloysius distilled.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Aloysius the coward

These back alleys always found their way to some treasure of youth for Aloysius.  Most forgotten and falling but not the blood.  The moments of failure and strife they marked down to the germinal matrix.  They oft marred the sunny days of memory with their shadowy worry.  This all left our hero with a reflex response to cringe back, but in the greater mind he fought to disregard fear and charge back to the fray.

Aloysius therefore was one easily startled and wary of hurt at heart, though heroic by desire.  Easily falling back to a defense and hurling headlong when well armed; coward and fury at that cowardliness. 

Though unskilled should the battle finally arise he would remain their for his lumps.  Often standing to a challenge, when he didn't know how to hold his hands up.  All he knew was he was big.  This was not a bully but rather the bullied standing up hoping they would go away and realizing one must have something in his hand to call a bluff.   Aloysius could count many corners his nose was bloodied and wondered with their multitude if he was not to blame.  Though he was weak at times and all predators developed a smell for the wire in the blood.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Puzzletown part 5 close but no cigar

This is one that pops up on ebay from time to time.  It came out in 1977 and was sold through Halmark stores.  Its a revised version of Huckle cat with better coloring.  

If you want this for your collection its great, but it is not officially a Puzzletown product.  You will see the green disk base is missing and actually there is a cavity for your finger as it is a finger puppet.  The scale is the same I believe and even the eyes have the same dash threw them that the Puzzletown figures had. 

I am pretty sure there was at least one more figure form this production as well, not sure what though.  There was another run of finger puppets through mc donald's around the late 80's but those seem more like pencil toppers and less like a figure.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Game Review: Bang!

We tried the Bang! game last night with the group, minus one.  This is a fun game!  But I think I was most happy just to have another 7 player option that I didn't have to buy regardless if the game sucked or not.  But this is a fun one so double bonus.

Everyone is playing a role from the sheriff, deputy, outlaw and finally the renegade.  Each of the roles change what is required for a win and only the sheriff is known.  The rest play with their roll down and are hidden and require you to figure out who is playing each role.

You are then playing various actions that function as attacks.  These can be shooting someone with a "Bang" card or other weird things that force discarding a card or getting rid of an object in play.  The other players usually have defense cards that allow them to be missed or get out of the way.

So it sort of works that you are trying to figure out who is playing each roll then move on with killing folks.  When the Sherif is killed the game ends which is good for the outlaws.  The sheriff wants to kill all those dry outlaws as does the debuty.  The renegade wants to kill all the outlaws then the deputy and finally the sheriff for a win.

It was pretty fun for our group not one complained and I would say everyone had a good time.  I liked it.  It would be pretty fun with a few more cards was my only complaint.  Just to have more variety in the character cards.  This can easily be fixed by buying the Bullet edition instead of the basic edition.  The bullet seems to be pretty cheap on ebay if you get the right deal.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Campaign Seeds: Torg morning in America

Torg was an interesting game that I really never got a chance to check out.  There was just so much to it that you would go broke trying to collect it all.  The idea was to react a multi-genre system, very popular at the time, were all the different areas of earth were transformed by a Reality War.  Each section was under control by a particular Dark Lord and was reworked to fit their vision of a perfect world.  That is a bit of a stretch but there was a fantasy setting in England and a cyber setting in France, in any event. 

Through a series of plot line advancing modules they resolved the game with the characters winning the Reality War and earth being returned to it original state.  Which is all cool and wrapped up but it  doesn't allow for a lot of further role play.

What would excite me and provide for some further role playing, is taking the idea and warping it a bit.  Perhaps the players did win but not for themselves, rather they just put another dark lord in power.  This one with a vision of the present Earth as his domain.  The thing being that our history post 1994 or 95 has all been on hold, as the dark lord maintains his grip.

This give the character a new dark lord to fight with people who have no idea about the Reality Wars.  They assume the heroes are dangerous insane folks that should be locked up.  The Soviet union could be still in place with a lingering cold war.  It would allow for turning the 80's cold war US into a setting of its own.  Which creates for some rather nostalgic gaming.  

I am unsure of whom I would suggest as the Dark Lord, perhaps Bush the elder or some figure behind the scenes wanting the status quo to remain.  I am sure the next question is why the time frame?  Mainly because that is when Torg was all washed up.

The players would have no internet or a most a very difficult to access one.  Bulletin Board Systems would be all the rage along with party lines.   Guns and equipment would be limited to those in the basic boxed setting for the non effected earth.  If you really wanted to get weird let the history advance to modern 2013 tech and then have this 80's revision of the world start intruding that is cool too.  Things that are happening in the news could be modified to be ushering the change.  PRISM and the conflict in Afghanistan could be working their way back to the 80's.  A massive cyber attack could bring down the internet such that though it is up it is constantly being hit by a global denial of service attack.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Characters for campaigns

The jester is a character inspired by A Game of Thrones on tv.  He serves as a sort of an inverse to a character like Tyrion  In fantasy games he would be a large brutish race, half orc, but could be a large brutish human in more historic low fantasy games.  He has been captured and as a survivor moved into the service of a noble as a humiliated court jester, something like Dontas.  He is meant to be a character with a hidden skill set that can function as an operative for hire.

His training is as a ranger and has developed his skills to fit the city.  His fighting style is skirmish fighting using improvised weapons and ambush attacks.   He is often ignored in the city or mocked but he uses this to track his targets.  Ambushing from cover and dealing with them in a secluded spot.

This is a good character to harass a party with even if he does not serve as a combatant.  He could be tracking an spying on the party for some noble, only to alert guards later on.  If discovered he could turn the pursuit into an elaborate game.  Continuing the jest while he batters the party with jugs or wine bottles for comedic effect.

The jester can also serve as a good bridge between the underbelly of crime and the upper echelons of society.  Making him a Mr. Johnson stand in for the fantasy setting.

A Look at the Flint and Steel kickstarter

I really want to invite you folks to take a look at the flint and Steel kickstarter project that can be found at

These small or first time publisher projects are the ones that appeal the most to me.  It seems like you can get really make their dream projects come true through kickstarter.  This one is a heavily modified version of D20 with a campaign setting, all meant to provide a gritty low fantasy version game experience.

It seems they have stripped D20 into a classless and levelless system that allows for characters to grow into most any concept.  I am interested in this growing your character as you choose idea, that sounds weird and overpowered but interesting.  Anything that can make the players feel integrated into the story instead of the character is good.

There is a sweet spot funding level at 20 GBP that gets you the books in digital form and some modules that looks like the best investment, on the cheap.  60 GBP will get you the books in printed form but that is over 70$ US and probably wife enraging for me. 

I have one question about the books and that is based off the image above.  Its great and all but i don't understand it.  If the setting is very low fantasy this ghoul king seems out of place.  All in all they seem like a good set of folks to back.  I am really considering the 20 pounds sterling level.

Monday, July 08, 2013

My response to San Jose Fireworks

I have seen a fair amount of news reports after the 4th saying San Jose as a city has complete disregard for the ban on fireworks.  First off let me say, great work san jose residents I enjoyed your fireworks and your disregard for this law. But I also have a novel solution for the Mayor and board to solve this problem.

My solution is to just flood the streets with fireworks!  Weird I know but please read on.  Our state allows class C "Safe and Sane" fireworks.  These were the sort legally allowed in San Jose pre ban and are legal in many other spots in the state. These are not the bottle rockets that worried people so much in days gone by nor are they the mortar fireworks currently being used by so many of my fellow residents.

What you banned so many years ago were a few ground level fireworks that did not explode.  You banned fountains that shot perhaps 9 feet into the the air.  Along with black snakes smoke bombs and flowers.  These were never of concern.  I am going to confess to past crimes here but as a teenager I loved to get fireworks from Newark and use them on the fourth.  I was breaking the law and didn't care, if one has access to the better fireworks and lights them off, they are breaking the same ordinance.

The fireworks I hear and see from my window are easily available in places like Indian reservations or Washington state.  Seriously In Washington it's wonderful fireworks everywhere, there is no need for a city or county fireworks show.  The point is now I know where to get them and so does most everyone else and my sparklers are the same crime as lighting off a bad ass mortar.

So I suggest just reversing the ban.  Make those same small safe and sane fireworks legal and give people an outlet.  Tax the sale of fireworks and make some cash for our city, maybe even pay for Christmas in the park.  Let charity groups make some profit selling the them.  Most of all let people have a since of community and unity.  Back in the 70's the 4th was a block party on every street, we need that again.

So why do I think this will work?  It allows folks an easy source of fireworks, they can drive to any strip mall and get a box of fireworks.  No 3 hour drive is needed.  They are legal so you have no worry about using them, gives you another reason not to buy larger more dangerous fireworks.   You can support a charity you like, if your kids softball team has a stand you can buy from there and support them.  Most of all the legality of fireworks would allow people to use them in a safer fashion.  The middle of the street or a school's blacktop are actually pretty ideal.  Some place away from houses or vegetation.  People hiding fireworks in their back yard lights up trees and dry grass or houses.  Almost every fireworks related fire I have heard of was someone trying to hide using the fireworks and using them inappropriately.  Also in our political climate folks are feeling the hand of government control they want to disobedient, allow them some small freedom and they may not feel the need to express their displeasure.

To the city, you will gain taxes, need less police on the 4th, have a greater since of community and will have repelled an unjust law.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Dungeons and Dragons online tips

Well I am back doing the low levels again after TRing my ranger live into a barbarian.  While I expect most of this is old news to folks I often see people not taking advantage of these tricks.   So I am just going to throw them out so you can take advantage or disregard.
  1. Don't always kill the Boss first:  You can get conquest in a few quests by ignoring the boss and killing everyone else first.  This is true for The Conspirator, The Missing Party and Kobolds New Ringleader.  Just kill the trash first and then drop the boss and you will see you now have conquest.  If you are not killing everything this is a tip to ignore and is only useful if you are very close to conquest already.
  2. Sometimes you want to break boxes and spawn mobs for conquest.  There are a couple of quests in catacombs or the ruined halls were you this is what you need to do if you want conquest.
  3. In Durk's Got a Secret go to the brother with the shrine first:  This is the one with the fire trap on the way.  The reason is you can get more boxes and kills going to that side.  Also that brother is very aggressive the other one stays put and allows you to control when you are ready to end the quest.  This is the best way to get ransack and conquest.
  4. Let Sentry's ring the bells:  In quests like Garrisons pack the only way to get conquest is to let the sentries ring the bells to spawn mobs.  I usually walk in and stand there until he rings then kill everything.  Also if you are doing Stealthy Repossession letting the last kobold prophet ring the bell opens the door into the final area making it easy for you to grab that gem.
  5. In splinterskull and cant do traps, shoot from below.  If you shoot the guys after the traps in splinter skull they will run to you.  You just need to range them from the loop below 
  6. In the Delera's chain you will encounter ghostly skeletons.  You just need holy, pure good or righteousness weapons to hit them.  They don't need ghost touch and oddly enough they are not actually skeletons as they do not have the DR for piercing and slashing weapons. 
  7. Just Avoid some people:  If you see someone that pisses you off don't group with them.  Don't make exceptions!  The people they group with are probably worse.
  8. In Delera's part 2 there is a trick to make the door open more quickly.  You need to get all the ghost skeletons that spawn into the previous room into the room with the gate along with your entire party.  Then you have go get that room to spawn so you have a big mess of dudes.  Then kill them all. 
  9. Sometimes its best no to break stuff:  In quests like The Snitch, Kobolds New Ring Leader and some of the catacombs quests, breakables are there to provide you with an easy jump.  Breaking everything can prevent someone from avoiding traps.
Probably not new but there it is.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Campaign Seed: The Goblins of Parra part 14

I have done a fair amount of small story point ideas and I think if anyone is using them they have enough for a few weeks of play.  I wanted to talk about this goofy idea of Threat rating mentioned in the story points.  While it is a means of controlling events to occur when the story if ready to support them it is a bit more.  My original vision was to allow for extra things to be granted via a chart based on the threat rating, these would be both good and bad.

Now I am thinking it may be easier to scale back that idea and instead use the threat rating as a one for one measure of the goblin hordes size.  So each point of threat yields more goblins to the horde, be it in the form of attracted allies, conquered tribes or birth.  Of your goblins 1/3 are going to be warriors with the rest representing non combatant goblins, the chief and his guard.

There is going to a need to house these goblins too.  I am going to work on the locations I have mentioned in the story points and come up with a maximum occupancy number for each.  The warren at the tree will only old 75 goblins but the old Dwarven hold may allow 150, for example.   There may be a need to split the tribe at times perhaps deploying goblins to hold locations or having specially trained goblins make a colony at various locations.  There is going to be a mechanism for creating specialized troops of goblins.

My plan is to use the stealth, archery and combat ratings granted in story points to allow the players to unlock different types of goblin units.  So if the Horde has a high magic rating they will have access to casters or shamans.   Stealth could allow for the training of sneaks and assassins.  These units will come into play when larger conflicts come to the horde and a more Battle System like combat is used. 

Still I have not completely disregarded the chart idea.  I am thinking there should be some events that are triggered by the horde size reaching a certain point.  I know at 300 I want to have a group of stone giants offer to build or expand some of the goblins structures.  Later on they will try to kick out the goblins and take the structure for themselves using hidden passages, but that is another story point.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Dear Sony

Hey Sony

How is it going?  Long time Xbox owner here.  As you expect I am pretty scared about this xbox next, it just doesn't seem like my sort of thing.  I like my console as an offline gaming experience and just buy my games to play them on my own.  I just recently tried some Downloadable content for the first time, it felt weird not sure I liked it. 

Oh just some stuff for my Rocksmith game, Blue Oyster Cult stuff like that you know.  I play with the bass!  It was sort of goofy how my xbox life account created its own user on my xbox.  I don't know if that was cool as my wife and I use different log ins on that game because we are at different levels on the guitar.  Also Her Dean has different headstock than my Gibson. I am still not sure the new songs are added to all accounts, which worries me.

I am rambling i know.  So I am thinking of moving on to your PS4 as the stuff described in the xbox next I just don't like.  But there is one thing, I am new to your titles and have heard there are a few games I should try out as PS fan boy, I am supposed to be a PS fan boy now right?  Anyway God of War sounds like something I would like to give a try.  But I hear you are not going  to do the backwards compatibility thing.  That sort of sucks, I want to try out all your old PS only games I have been missing out on.  What is it uncharted?  I think someone said that was good.  Can you please give me some option to play these Sony only games?  Xbox gave you the Ninja Gaiden games eventually, maybe not number 3 which sucked anyway.

Well Thanks

Monday Begs Murder

I feel sugared decay, like
the honey of a hive
dripping down the walls
from a southern heat

Like the house left
all alone except for insects
with the damage
vagrants and kids wrought

Busted out worries
wise ones say to avoid
littered burned inscribed
but I am wonder

Memory of the first made
fighting stagnant decayed
tangled up bones
with fitful throws

tear me down friend
spark the match
Plow me under
re-dream this land

Let me sleep, memory.
Let me wonder. no more.