Category Archives: Metagaming

Mom’s Continuing Health Issues

I’m going to comment briefly on the Numenera FreeRPGDay adventure before venting about Mom’s health, which I expect will be the bulk of this post.

I was planning on running the Numenera FreeRPGDay adventure on that day. My FLGS gave me the adventure early so I could prep for it (which is a very good thing), but Mom was supposed to be home from the hospital that same Saturday with no one else to watch over her. So I cancelled the game, but held on to the adventure.

I found the adventure a pretty weak introduction to the Ninth World, if not the Cypher System.

The adventure desperately needs a GM summary, as I could not follow what was going on until near the end, when the writer, Dennis Detwiller, finally tells the GM what’s going on. Without that summary, it just seems the PCs are thrashing around pointlessly, trying to survive in a world that is not the Ninth World. Yes, Detwiller immediately sends the PCs to a parallel universe, rather than writing an adventure actually set in the Ninth World.

For a game that touts its place as a game of discovery, there is a fair amount of combat in the early phases of the adventure. And as I’m now running the adventure for my Thursday night group, I’m finding the combats pretty tough for what seem to be beginning characters. My players have made it only through the first encounter, as the first combat encounter is a touch too powerful for the pregen characters provided.

The adventure then becomes less a game of discovery and more a series of arcane puzzles. Again, a GM summary would have saved me a fair amount of confusion and frustration while reading, as I was trying to determine what I would have been able to fit into a five hour session. I did eventually figure things out when I got to page 16 of a 17 page adventure, which is where Detwiller finally spills the beans on the point of the adventure.

For the Thursday night game, I’ve already determined what encounters will be cut, but I’ve also seen that some of the combats are going to have to be modified. I feel that, for an introductory adventure, this adventure really is a poor choice. I’m regretting choosing it over the Vortex adventure provided with the starter box.

I’m having trouble remembering the exact sequence of events of the last couple of weeks regarding Mom’s trips to the hospital. She’s been in and out so frequently in the past few weeks that it’s difficult to keep track. Yesterday was the latest, and she’d only been home for 18 hours (or less).

Let’s see… we sent her to the hospital on June 5th. She was there until after her birthday on the 10th, released on the 15th, with a UTI that the hospital missed and assumed was constipation. Last Sunday, the 18th, she complained of “feeling oogie.” Monday the 19th, we sent her to the other Community Hospital. They treated her for the new/continuing UTI. She was completely different from when she was in the hospital between the 5th and 15th, being more alert and coherent.

Why did we send her to the other hospital? Because the dialysis center Mom goes to recommended that or putting Mom in hospice, as Mom wasn’t capable of helping get herself dressed or even sitting up for long. Monday was a bad day, once I got this news. Then we learned of the infection and saw Mom better and got some hope again.

Friday, we had a meeting with the palliative team at that hospital. It seems locally, much fewer services are offered in palliative care than is discussed on the palliative information site. That might be because of Mom’s insurance, but I’m not sure. End result is that palliative care won’t get us better, whole family care, so we won’t be pursuing it. That and that we need to somehow get Mom to stop the passive-aggressive crap and discuss how long she’s going to fight off dying.

She came home on Saturday and we sent her back per her request yesterday with difficulties breathing. They gave her oxygen and she immediately felt better, but the EMTs said she had diminished lung noises. The hospital told my sister that Mom had only had dialysis twice last week instead of the usual three, which might be why she’s got the extra fluids in her system.

The past couple of weeks have been very stressful. Like I mentioned above, we need to focus Mom on discussing the possibility of her demise, but she’s avoiding it. I got so upset yesterday seeing Mom wheeled out again that I nearly broke down. That she seems to bounce back so strong every time doesn’t help. Those bounces have created expectations that are eventually going to prove unrealistic. We all need to be more ready than we are.

It’s frustrating how quickly the hospitals try to send Mom home without all of her issues resolved. It’s frustrating that she avoids the discussion of her future. Like I said, life is stressful right now.

That’s all I’ve got for now.



Usual, Tired Sunday

Not sure what to discuss tonight, but it has been two weeks so it’s time again.

Update: After outlining and doing a bit of typing, the week went to hell and I’ve had trouble getting back to this post. I’ll insert updates like this as appropriate.

For a gaming blog, I write a lot about my personal life, such as it is. Lately, it’s been a consuming part of my reality, so I’m writing about it. I practically have no choice.

Mom is at the center of that. She came home the Thursday after the last post. We got the equipment the day before that. We got a crash course on using it all and have been moving her from bed to recliner and back since. I could link to a video to show you, the gentle reader, how the lift works, but suffice it to say it’s a complicated mess, and while it can be done by a single person, it’s not really a one-person job moving Mom.

We currently clean her on her bed, as well as dealing with her waste. She’s already had another UTI, along with its attendant shakiness. On the upside, she has started helping herself more with standing in the lift, rather than just hanging limp. But she still can’t transfer from recliner to wheelchair without the lift. Because she can’t transfer, we’re not going to try to go to Yosemite, but we are going to throw a party here at the house for her birthday.

It’s been stressful, but life continues.

Update: This is really where things went to hell. Monday night we had to send Mom back to the hospital as the UTI got out of control, again. She didn’t black out like she usually does, we just came to the conclusion that things could get a lot worse if we didn’t nip the issue in the bud. So, we’re making trips to the hospital again, which takes time from everything else.

I’m going to quickly cover some of the media I’ve been partaking of lately. Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have both been viewed In the theatre and enjoyed. Both are visually stunning, and both have solid stories, although I found the final battle in Wonder Woman somewhat… forced? Contrived? I’m not sure. Just… unsatisfying.

John Wick was also viewed. The gun-fu is pretty wild, and you really don’t watch that movie for any other reason. I was quite amused to notice that John doesn’t leave any target alive. There’s always a follow up head shot on every one he kills with a gun. Knives are handled a little differently, but that’s to be expected. An enjoyable film. I suppose I need to see the second movie now.

I’ve been watching the current season of Doctor Who and it’s “spin off ” Class. Both shows are obviously Steven Moffitt joints, as the writing is very similar. I’ve enjoyed Capaldi’s run as the Doctor. His eyes have so much depth as he performs. I’m not sure where I stand on Class. High schoolers taking on interdimensional threats while being angsty would seem to be up a Buffy fans alley, but I’m just not sure.

Update: I’ve also been watching Justice League Action on Cartoon Network, as well as Origins and Year Million on Nat Geo. It’s been good to see the JL back on TV. They’re short episodes with a real sense of humor to go with the little helpings of action. The Nat Geo shows are really interesting examinations of humans and their technology and how each has shaped our past and present and is shaping our future.

On to gaming finally. Kids’ D&D is coming to a close soon, and if we continue, I’ve decided we’re moving to Fantasy Age. After running Titansgrave and now playing Dragon Age, I just feel it’s an easier game to prep and GM. In fact…

I’m going to put the Adventurers! rewrite on hold for Fantasy Age. I really have begun to think that a lot of the tinkering I’m doing is lead in the direction of FA anyway. Plus, with Green Ronin announcing the release of Modern Age for GenCon this year, the game will expand and I can probably mix and match parts of the two games together to get what I want.

I do know there are things I want to tinker with in Fantasy Age. I want a “minions” system (one-hit mooks), which FA doesn’t really support, as even the weakest foes require at least two hits. I’m also thinking about using the DA Background system for races or subclasses, but I admit it’s been a while since I looked at FA character creation, so I may need to refocus my ideas.

I also am thinking about changing FA Magic for other systems, to create a more Mage the Ascension feel to magic. The kids will use the basic system for that game.

I’m also wanting to streamline the character stats back to the DA defaults. FA adds a couple of stats, like Fighting as separate from Strength, etc., that I think are honestly unnecessary.

I’m still cogitating on the Superhero updates. One of my stumbling blocks is the character’s age: how old is Richard Knyte? How long has he been in another dimension? The character was originally created in the 80s as the son of a Vietnam War era super. I imagined him about my age, maybe a little older. I’m not interested in creating (or recreating) an aging hero. I’d already determined that the character will not have aged significantly while in the other dimension…

I might need to supply a little back story. Back when I was playing Champions back in the 80s, the GM encouraged players to create a stable of characters covering different hero types. Richard Knyte was known as Agent Omega, a former member of a Hydra-style group who had fled and become their self-appointed destroyer. My enthusiasm for the character waned some, and he really was a one-note kind of character. Once the Hydra Analog was destroyed, he became a bit directionless, as one might assume. I changed the character’s codename to Vindicator, moved some points around on the character sheet, but I just couldn’t find the character’s place in the post-Hydra world. So, the GM and I agreed to retire the character for a while, punting him into another dimension for a while, until we could work something else out. In time, before I could bring him back, the GM and I had a falling out, and Richard Knyte remained in that dimensional hole.

About 20 years ago, I found an action figure that inspired me to redesign the character, as I’ve mentioned previously. That really didn’t work, and I realize now that the redesign in question didn’t deal with the character’s story. I just have him another new name and costume, but I didn’t deal with the underlying problem: what gives the character a reason to live? Something about that new action figure, tiny as it is, screamed at me, “I’m Richard Knyte and I have a story to tell!” (Adam Savage mentioned that puppets he has collected have done the same thing to him: suggested their character by simply being.)

So that’s why I’m working this project: Richard wants me to. I feel I need to do right by him. Because I’ve misplaced his origin, and (as I’ve mentioned) someone else created some elements of it, I need to rebuild his past and align that to his present.

Originally, Richard’s father was a hero code named Commando. I’ve since looked up the word to find out it means “a soldier trained to raid the enemy.” That doesn’t sound very heroic. So, I’m beginning to think maybe he wasn’t. Maybe Commando was the son of another, older hero from an earlier era, and Commando was his black sheep son. That older hero needs an original name, if I chose to continue with this history.

I’m going to leave it there. I’ve had some other thoughts on the superhero project, but I’m going to leave those for now or I’ll never get this posted. But that’s it for this post.


Going to Try to be Quick, But We All Know How That Goes…

Not much going on. Mom is still out of the house, which means I’m still working a lot and not doing much at home. In addition, Mom had a bit of a scare last weekend, her heart rate suddenly elevating for no real reason. They never did say what the cause was, but as soon as my sister arrived at the hospital, Mom’s heart rate dropped back to a proper level. She was prescribed a new drug to keep her heart rate lower (in addition to her pacemaker to keep her heart from going too slow), and another drug to keep her heart rate up, and I think a drug to improve her appetite (she currently eats like a metaphorical bird).

I’ve read more in the Economix book, and I’m looking forward to getting through it all the way. It’s a pretty interesting description of the way economics have and haven’t worked in the US. I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

I’ve tinkered a bit with the Superhero Reboot, and I may be getting a bit rabbit hole-ish, in that I’m thinking of doing some world-building for the superhero world in which these characters exist. Part of me doesn’t want to bother, but without some ground rules, I have no basis for the characters, especially the legacy of my super-agent, as he’s the descendent of another superhero. I need to be careful, or I’ll end up going down a rabbit hole and starting work on a full universe. I don’t need that deep a project in addition to all the others.

Last Saturday, I went to the game store to while away the day while my usual group of friends were out of town, and it just happened to be an RPG Meetup day. I managed to jump into a game of Dresden Accelerated (Fate-based), which I think is still in playtesting. I enjoyed it, and the peak into some of the new systems. I look forward to picking it up in June.

While listening to a live-play podcast, I got to thinking about how undead might work in a setting. That is, how does the magic that animates the dead actually make a body something other than a bunch of meat lying on the floor.

The undead in most RPGs are taken from mythology, and therefore they have a host of origins: spells enacted on whatever bodies are lying around, rituals that transform the subject, but cast by others and the ritualist, infection vectors, and seeming spontaneous generation. I was thinking that for StarSea, I’d have one origin for most (or all) undead. That requires me to think about how the undead work.

In the podcast I was listening to, the zombies the party encountered were being animated by ghosts who were bound to the bodies by a sigil only one character could see. That set me to thinking about this subject. In Game of Thrones, the first of the White Walkers is created by the forest spirits in an attempt to thin the human herd which backfires on them, hideously. This creature was programmed to create others of its kind, and some of those seem to be sapient while the bulk are mindless hordes. Those two examples popped into my head of undead that aren’t so needlessly diverse.

On the other hand, I get the idea of different undead being linked to vices, a curse of the gods meant as an example of how immoral behavior will not be tolerated. I’ve never liked that idea, as it seems pretty backwards to give a sinner such vast power as a “punishment.”

I really don’t have a solution at this point, but I know in the StarSea that the undead are linked to the Corruption. Whole worlds and populations have been turned to undeath. This sort of undead should be like the undead of the GoT, not the random odds and ends of walking dead that populate most fantasy worlds. But this is just the kernel of an idea.

It’s late and I’m tired. So there you go. That’s it for this time.


(Sniffle! Snort!) Yeah, I’m feeling great.

I was doing fine until Saturday night, when someone in the house decided to sear a shark steak without turning on the smoke fan. The kitchen and adjoining living room got smoky, and I started coughing. I should have seen that as a bad sign. I didn’t get to bed that until 3AM. The two combined to give me a miserable head cold. I just posted on Facebook that I don’t remember a cold in which I’ve had so runny a nose or sneezed so much. I’m really just hoping now to keep it out of my throat and chest, or I’ll be really sick through Christmas.

I brought Mom home from rehabilitation Saturday. She’s doing well so far. Hopefully, my sister and I can remember to get her up and move around on a daily basis.

I have most of my prep done for running Titansgrave. I actually managed to get all my printing done with a minimum of cursing at the HP printer I own. I swear to God, it will be my last. I hate their products and their business plan (sell a cheap device and make money on the sale of ink cartridges). I can’t afford to replace it right now, but when it fails (like i know it will), HP will never again get my business.

Friday night, I tested out the Games Workshop/Citadel gemstone paints. They’re pretty much a glaze that goes over metallic paints. Depending on the color, some of them work well, and others… not so much. For example, the blue color doesn’t look good over gold, but looks great over silver. The red and green work okay over gold, but on large surfaces, all of them can look like Christmas ornaments.

I think that’s it for this post. I’m now back to trying to do weekly posts rather than the dailies of NaBloPoMo. Feels better to be operating this way.


NaBloPoMo 2016-23

Drove up to Hayward today for work. Going in wasn’t bad, but coming out was horrible. All totaled, an exhausting trip.

Special order for the GM Kit for Fantasy Age came in. Yay!

I found an affordable copy of one of Michael Moorcock’s early novels on eBay. It should have been here today, as the tracking number shows it’s been in town since Tuesday morning. But for whatever reason, they didn’t get it out today. 😦

That’s it, really. Later.

NaBloPoMo 2016-18, 19, 20

Friday was work, a brief stop at HTU, and then pizza and Star Trek Beyond at the Framily’s. I also learned one of our neighbors died, this week. Let me quote myself from Facebook:

Years ago, the young man across the street was up in Yosemite with his friends. He fell from a considerable height that day, fracturing his upper spine and becoming a quadriplegic. His life was altered forever.

Danny made the best of it. He loved motorcycles, but being unable to ride anymore, so he created on his parents’ land (that he inherited once they passed) a museum for flat-track racing memorabilia. Small donations and an event every May helped support him over the years. He was a good friend to Dad and was the one who noticed Dad’s hadn’t been coming or going when he fell ill before his death, and let us use the museum for Dad’s memorial service.

Over the past few months, diabetes, bladder cancer, and other issues related to his paralysis wore away at his body. A few weeks ago, I came home late to see an ambulance at Danny’s place. He never came home.

Danny died this week. Danny was the unofficial one-man neighborhood watch. He spent good chunks of the day (when it wasn’t rainy) out in front of the museum, and those rare rainy days in it. It is truly strange to think he won’t be out there, keeping an eye on the neighborhood.

Rest In Peace, Danny Rouitt.

My sister told me while I was at HTU, but when I wrote this, my emotions got to me. Star Trek was a much needed relief. The first trailer had us questioning where they were going with things, as it looked like a Vin Diesel action movie, not a Star Trek movie. But the writers delivered a nice, nuanced story (although I knew the big reveal ahead of time, as I’d seen some interviews back when it was out in the theatres), with the right balance of humor, action and thoughtfulness to make it a nice ride. I think they’ve been taking notes from Marvel.

Yesterday was pretty boring, with a lot of sitting and waiting to go visit Mom so we could tell her about Danny. He’d been an inspiration for her when she first went into renal failure, so we expected her to be very upset. she took the news very well, saying she’d noticed she hadn’t seen him when she was out for a long time. After that, I went over to the Framily’s and hung out. After dinner, we went to Target and picked up some stuff, and then sat and watched talk shows until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I finally woke up and got myself awake enough to drive just about the Boy and his dad got home from a band event in Stockton (about two hours north of Fresno).

On the way home, I was listening to an interview with the creator of Murders & Acquisitions, and he mentioned that, as part of his mechanics, as a way of forcing his players to use his version of Fate Points, he built a point cap into his system. Once you are at full, you can’t gain more. Like Fate Points and Cypher XP, they are meant as an immediately expendable resource. I’m not sure it is a great idea for my game, as you’ll need to accumulate points to actually improve in the long run, as I plan on using a multiplier. For example, to raise your character’s Strength from 2 to 3 might cost (current STR x 8 [not actual number]) 16 XP. If the player has a cap of 8, They won’t be able to raise their Strength (or anything else) and the game stagnates. It’s something to think about. I might just be something more appropriate for Fate and not relevant to my system.

Today has been short, including sleeping in (I got home and in bed around 3AM), another visit to Mom, and procrastinating on going to Costco to find out if I can replace my broken phone. I dropped it Thursday (face down into gravel) and cracked the screen. Not so bad I can’t still use it, but enough to be annoying. I just wanted a day of not running, to be honest.

So, I think I’m done for today. Later.

NaBloPoMo 2016-16

Had the day off, but spent it catching up on email. I’ve developed a bad habit of checking it only about once a week, and a couple of boxes had a couple of weeks.

Did some job browsing, too. Chewed up a lot of time looking at jobs I was under qualified for.

Squeezed in reading a couple of blog posts of someone out there building a variation on the Star Wars setting that seemed similar to the StarSea kinda of track, but had links to a couple of Rob Donahue posts, rich are always enlightening.

That’s it for today. Later.

NaBloPoMo 2016-02

Day 2, and I remembered to post! Yay!

So, Monday as she got up, Mom had a seizure. Only a week after getting home from the hospital, she had to go back. It looked like a Grand Mal, but we were really concerned that it might be a stroke. However, it seems to not be the case, or if it was a stroke, it seems to have left no damage. It looks more like the seizure may have been induced by an electrolyte imbalance. Whatever the source, there was talk of doing a spinal tap (which has now been delayed a third day), and she was given an EEG last night as I was leaving the hospital. I didn’t go visit her today, but I expect to spend a good deal of the day there tomorrow.

I realized today that, after complaining it would take too much effort to fix other games, I’m rewriting a game. Obviously, I’m insane. 🙂

I scanned through the Adventurers! Revised again, making some notes as to general editing (for example, the Gear Chart, which includes the weapon descriptors and Encumbrance chart, are mentioned in the middle of the game, but are basically separate from the Players’ Guide, unlike the older edition; it seems like clumsy editing) as well as ideas for my version of the system.

I need to sit down and write out some of the stuff I’ve worked out at present. I’ve got copious notes, but I need to get these notes finalized and on 3x5s. That’s what I’m using to keep myself and my writing brief. However, I’m expecting the final version to be about 16 pages. However, 8 might be more realistic. I’ll see once I’ve actually worked my way through all the subsystems.

All for today. Later.

Catching Up

I had meant to post last week, but I got distracted, as usual. I’ve got some downtime while I ride around for work, so I’m using the WordPress mobile app on my phone to compose this post.

Mom, Infection, Palliative Care

Part of last week’s distraction was another trip to the hospital for Mom. Another UTI had her blood sugar dropping through the floor. She went in last Tuesday and should be home today. (She did, and the first night was rough, as she’s got some sores on her bottom and her special mechanical lifting chair broke at bedtime. No one got good sleep here last night.)

The biggest bit of news out of this visit was her doctor at the hospital suggesting Palliative Care. Apparently, the doctor flat out told my sister that Mom is dying. Very slowly, but dying all the same. This isn’t really news. Mom is in Stage 4 renal failure, and is not a good candidate for transplant. That’s pretty much a death sentence in 5 to 10 years. Palliative care is for chronic diseases, kind of like pre-hospice. And it’s meant to help the family as well, which would be a good thing for us. We’ll see how things progress from here.

Job Testing

I applied for a couple of different jobs recently that required online tests. These were the sorts that they claim have “no right answers.” I have since learned that’s a lie. The tests are those things that are like college aptitude tests: “Do you agree or disagree that you never lie?” “Do you agree or disagree that you like dealing with angry customers?” And one employer quite plainly told me I’d failed a test “with no wrong answers.”

From what I’ve learned, these are make-or-break tests. Managers have lost skilled workers because someone somewhere decided that these “character tests” are more important than having skilled workers.

I’m not a super enthusiastic, cheerleader sort of person, which these tests seem to screen for. I’m pretty middle-of-the-road when answering these questions. I hate that I can’t be myself in order to even get an interview.

Notepads Instead of Blogging

On to gaming…

I’ve been noticing that I write down a lot of things in my notepads that would make good blog entries. Sadly, they never get transposed to digital format. I need to keep this in mind next month for NaBloPoMo. Not using the notepads and instead using the apps might make daily posts easier.

Adventurers! Revised

The creators of Adventurers! currently have a Kickstarter going for a revised version of the game. I won’t be participating as my bank will not handle international currency. However, they have made the core rules available at the KS website. I’ve downloaded those rules and read them, and I’m going to continue to work with my new system.

While there are some nice improvements to the system, my two most important issues were only partially addressed. Shields still don’t activate often enough (on doubles, which is 1:6), although it’s easier to get Advantage while using the shield, which helps but is still too uncommon (only 4:9). And greatswords are still super weapons. I have my own plans to deal with these in my system.

Critical Hit World Building and My Worlds

In listening to this week’s Critical Hit, I was fascinated by the story of the spread of civilization and the place of Aasimars, Rakshasas and Daevas in the DM’s world. It made me think of where I’m going with both The StarSea and the Reincarnated worlds, and how I feel I’ve lost some of the focus of both. As Reincarnated is fresh in my mind, I feel I need to remember that it should have a certain “fairy tale” aspect to it that is present in the Corum novels. The StarSea should be somewhere between Star Wars, Spelljammer and Exalted’s First Age, with a sprinkling of Thor: The Dark World, as well as other of Marvel Comic’s cosmic stuff. I’m letting my desire for verisimilitude overwhelm my vision in both cases. I need to balance feel, mood and theme with need for grounding.

Digging up old adventures

A couple of weeks ago, I joked with my Thursday night gang that I’d like to see how they would deal with Moldvay Basic D&D. That spurred me to go out to my storage and try to find it. I failed to do that, but I managed to find some old adventures I’ve wanted to have handy for play tests.

One is T1 – The Village of Homlett, which is the lead-in to Temple of Elemental Evil. I don’t have that adventure, but T1 is a nice intro adventure with a base of operations for the PCs. It should be easy to convert the adventure to other systems, whether my own or Moldvay Basic.

The other is L1 – The Secret of Bone Hill. Like T1, L1 is an excellent beginner adventure, with a town and a couple of excellent quests, including the titular Bone Hill. There is a lot of easily adaptable material in both adventures. TSR could fit quite a lot in 32 pages.

AnyDice, probabilities and my system

I’ve been doing some research on dice and probability while tinkering with A! Eventually, I stumbled across again. I know I’ve seen it before, but I’d forgotten about it.

AnyDice has immediately proven invaluable. I was able to get statistics on how Advantage (3d6, keep 2 best) and Disadvantage (3d6, keep 2 worst) would play out in a 2d6 system. And with that knowledge, I think I’m beginning to a handle on how to figure out threats and make everything else in the system work.

Right now, I’m weighing numbers in my mind, and I’m going to be comparing them to the probabilities that AnyDice is providing me, and see what shakes loose. The system will have a certain Cypher like mechanical feeling, but I think it will be just a little easier.

I feel that I’m running out of steam at this point, and that it’s time to wrap this piece up.


Playtest One – Complete

The trip to Morro Bay was fun. The ship was the San Salvador, the ship of the first European, Cabrillo, to set foot on the West Coast of the Americas, only 50 years after Columbus’s successful trip across the Atlantic. It was surprising how small the ships were at that time. She’s only about 100 feet long, and about 20 feet wide. In other words, a gaming style battle (or any of that crap you see in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies) would be horribly cramped. What still blows my mind is that they weren’t using a helm to steer the ship, but rather a tiller. They just muscled the rudder back and forth without any sort of pulley system to amplify the strength of the man steering the ship.

Morro Bay was also full of Pokemon Go! stops along the Embarcadero, as well as out to the Rock. I’ve pretty much stopped playing except on Thursdays, as the folks I play with like to walk around after the game, and Fridays and Saturdays, when the kids, their parents and I play. I’ve found it’s not working as a motivation for me to get out and walk around my neighborhood. My area is pretty dead because of sparse population and low income, which results in low cell activity, which results in low spawn rates. But walking the Embarcadero was fun, and we caught a lot of new Pokemon we don’t see locally.

I’m going to have to find some other entertainment if I’m going to continue to walk, and I have done nothing in that direction at this point.

I did complete my first set of playtests of my Adventurers! modifications. I’ve tried out the simplest modifications, and they work pretty well. Combat ran fewer rounds, and there was less bias toward one weapon over another. Although, I must admit, the sword-and-board fighter took two of the three battles, when before he took only one. It as the last round of testing that was the most telling, as both combatants were down to their last couple of hit points before the killing blow was struck by the shieldbearer. I consider that balanced.

As I wrote previously, I’m completely discarding the Dungeon World combat rules, and I need to rethink my Cypher inspired rules a bit. My initial thought had been that everything would have a simple rating that would set all difficulties related to the opposition, and that would be a straight target number. With a die span of 2-12 with modifiers between -1 and +5, an odd span of numbers (1 to 17) is created. It doesn’t feel natural.

Pulling in more of Cypher could work, with Threat Ratings of 1 to 6 multiplied by 3 to determine the Target Number. Sadly, the lowest levels in each system aren’t especially difficult in either case. But thinking about it, a 6+ isn’t that easy for rolls with a low bonus. However, the big problem mathematically is that 18 is impossible to hit, unless I include other bonuses in the system. The big problem otherwise is the amount of derivation this system includes. It’s a direct rip off of the Cypher System, and that bugs me. Needs more thought.

Why I want to do something like this is to make threat creation easy. I mentioned this before. Both A! and DW are completely opaque in this regard, which I also mentioned before. (Does a little research in DW…) I was wrong about DW: It has a pretty open Monster Creation system. I just don’t care for it, just as I don’t care for a lot of the writing in that game. For a “quick” system, it seems awfully time consuming.


Yeah, more thinking.

I think I’m going to let things go there. I’m out of steam for this entry. I need to do some thinking on how to define threats.