— Leave a comment October 8

Tag Archive: ip agnostic.

How to implement an IP-Agnostic server application with POSIX sockets

Filed under: , — Leave a comment October 8, 2014 In this article I will present to you a POSIX function I wrote that can be used to create a server socket to support both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses (IP-Agnostic).
Recently, I needed to support this feature in a server application .
The implementation uses POSIX system calls and data structures that can be used as generics to support both IPv4 and IPv6.

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Menu Tag: analysis services

Menu Tag: analysis services.
Row level security for a Tabular mode.
August 29, 2012 Leave a comment Here is a great article on how to implement row level security for a tabular Analysis Services model.  Along with security it also makes some interesting points about Parent Child relationship, that are not very friendly for the Tabular mode just quite yet.

How to increase processing speed of Microsoft Analysis Services cubes

April 28, 2012April 28, 2012 Leave a comment great tip on how to process your analysis services cubes faster by running the processing in more threads http://geekswithblogs.net/ManicArchitect/archive/2010/11/02/142558.aspx colummstore compression for analysis services.
March 16, 2012March 17, 2012 Leave a comment Microsoft is claiming that xVelocity technology will be available across SQL Server database engine, .

PowerPivot AND Analysis Services

This technology works great for the first two, however, .

I couldn”t find anything on column store for the Analysis Services

This would be a huge new improvement for SSAS


Clash of the Titans toys are insanely expensive

Tag Archives: movies.
Clash of the Titans Kraken.
Clash of the Titans toys are insanely expensive, and none more so than the appropriately monstrously large Kraken toy.
I think it is arguably one of the best monster toys ever made.
I don’t have a good photo of the toy, but a friend of provides these pictures a sealed box – which he bought for $750..

Moebius Models Gigantic Frankenstein

February 23, 2015 Leave a comment What was it about the 70s and plastic model kits.
I can’t count the number of cars, space ships, .

And Universal Monsters I put together

I can still smell the rubber cement.
I actually had the Moebius Gigantic Frankenstein and it was every bit as awesome as it looks.
Han Solo in Carbonite.
December 7, 2014 Leave a comment Never know what you will run into at a toy show.
I think this would look nice in my office.
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The exciting and inviting world of Sports

04 Sep, 2020.
The exciting and inviting world of Sports.
The exciting and inviting world of Sports.
The history of sport is almost as old as that of mankind.
As soon as a child is born, it starts showing movements that resembles to cycling.
This is a clear indicator of our natural affiliation with sports.
This zest and quest has resulted in the development of hundreds and thousands kind of sports across the globe.
While some sports like soccer are universal, others like ice skating are region specific.
If we try to analyze what makes a sport popular and universal then we could dram some common points that are being shared by the popular sports and that separates them from the not to popular ones.
The first and the foremost point that makes a sport popular is its simplicity.
Soccer just requires a simple football to get started.
Ice skating on the other hand can not be played without a proper ice stage set up.
At the same time, anyone can kick the ball and run after it whereas ice skating would require some tact and proper coaching before one can try their hands, or better say, legs on it.
With the advancement of technology and computer and mobiles in particular, most of the offline or real sports have now gone online as well.
These sports are fun to play on computer or mobile.
They come with great multimedia features that make playing them enjoyable.
Online sports are also a good way to learn the technicalities of the real sport.
For example, it would be a good idea to try out online skating before real one.
In this way, one would be able to develop a proper understanding towards it and that would be helpful in learning real ice skating.

Sports are a great way to past time and have fun

They are also helpful in keeping us healthy and energetic.
Virtual sports are equal fun and past time.
However, they can also make you addictive.
Therefore, one needs to be cautious while playing them and ensure that he does not spends nonstop hours on computer or mobile screen for playing sports as that could have adverse effect on his health.
All and all, both online and real sports games have got their own charm.
One could enjoy either of them in his own way and have fun while playing them.
If you are a good leaner, then you would learn from the real world as well as the virtual one.
The same theory appiles and holds true for sports lovers as well.
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Interview with PO Dr.
Monique Levy.
July 25, 2016 by Leave a Comment.
Monique Levy is being interviewed by the AMANAC Consortium regarding Clustering activities in H2020, in the frame of the 3rd SC meeting of AMANAC-CSA.
Athens, 19 May 2016 First question by Prof.
Maria Founti (NTUA-Greece): “What was your vision of clustering before “AMANAC” and how has it changed through the activities performed in the last two years?”   Second question by Prof.
Monika Willert-Porada (Univ.
Bayreuth-Germany): “In H2020, clustering is an obligation for all projects.
How do you understand “clustering”.
What activities should it cover, especially for “Advanced Material” projects?”   Third question by Agnieszka Łukaszewska (PRE FASADA – Poland): “From the side of the EC, what could you propose as actions and tools that could support clustering of finished projects to improve their impact?”   Fourth question by Christoph Mack (ICT Fraunhofer – Germany): “AMANAC identified a number of bottlenecks in the process of result commercialization.
How can be these obstacles overcome?”   Fifth question by Sonia Saracino (CETMA-Italy): “What kind of collective activities could be undertaken.

What should be the role of industry in these activities?”   Sixth question by Prof

Pete Walker (Univ.
Bath – UK): “How do you see the development of “clustering” in the future (next 5-10 years)?” Filed Under: Speak Your Mind Cancel reply.
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I know that Roll20 supports Fate dice

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Tag Archives: Reviews & Culture.
Just a little reminder that next week starting this Sunday, July 26th through August 1st, is the second of the three annual weeks for.
Fate/Fudge Dice.
June 2, 2015 Leave a comment I had to run up to the big name hardware store just over a week ago to get some stuff for a home project.
On my way, I had to pass my FLGS.
I decided to stop in and picked up some new dice.
I really do mean to stop buying new dice, .

But Fate/Fudge dice are basically the only RPG related dice I did not have

[Just wait, someone will point out some other type of die I haven’t heard of….] They are easy enough to emulate with d6’s, but losing the need to think about what two numbers are what result, +/-/0, is a plus.

I’ve been watching Red Dice Diaries’s  Fate series on YouTube

where he explains various features of Fate, and it intrigues me.
It removes the need for leveling and training, and your character already knows some cool stuff.
I have a free PDF of the rules, but have yet to make time to read them.

I don’t know if I will ever play Fate

I know that Roll20 supports Fate dice, so it has a certain amount of popularity.

Fate dice can also be used in other RPG’s when you need to quickly generate three choices

For example, if you are chasing a goblin in a dungeon to stop him from alerting the other goblins.
If there is an intersection , does the goblin go straight, or pick right or left.
Rather than a random encounter that appears out of nowhere, the DM could have a monster or group of goblins that are in room X in the dungeon when the characters arrive.

Use the Fate dice to determine which way they go if and when they leave that room

It might be a bit more work for the DM, but it adds an interesting variation.
There will only be an encounter with this monster or group, if the players are close enough to attract the attention of same.
If you are generating a random dungeon, city street map, or paths in a forest, this can help you decide which direction to continue generating first.
Very simple reaction rolls , positive, negative, or meh, no need for a chart.
Roll one die if it should be a 33.333% chance of a given result, or roll more dice and determine possible variations on just how positive a positive reaction is.
For example.

Roll the standard four Fate dice and get four pluses

and that’s an overwhelming positive reaction.
Roll four blanks and it is the grandfather of all meh.

Using a single Fate die with another die roll can get more out of that roll

1d6 could now be 0-7, if you use the + as adding one and the – as subtracting one, and the blank as zero.
This gives two more options to any die.
With the d6 example, there are 8 possibilities , 0-7, so a d6 can emulate a d8.
With a d10, one can emulate either a d12 or a d30.
With d% you can get 102 options.

Or use the Fate die as a modifier for 1-100

or add 100, or add 200.
The trinary options of yes, no, and maybe make an interesting option.
How many syllables in an NPC’s name.
How many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months until an NPC show up.
As with any other single die, you can come up with all kinds of uses, as many have come up with d8, d12, d20, and d30 tables, or all the dice tables, or dice drop generators.
I like the challenge of trying to figure out ways I could use various dice, and seeing the ideas of others.
Whether or not I actually use the idea in a game, just having the exercise helps me to think of possibilities I might not have considered otherwise.
Review – April Mythoard.
May 9.

2015 Leave a comment I had a package in the mail on Friday

May 8th.
I had forgotten that I ordered the April Mythoard.
However, I had a feeling that there was something that should be coming in.
April 2015 Mythoard I had not planned to get it, but when I saw that it contained the latest edition of Oubliette #9, I was curious.
I had read other positive comments about it, and knew that I would get some other cool goodies along with it, so I took the plunge.
Squarehex Products Along with Oubliette #9 are several other goodies from Squarehex.
There is a book mark with large squares on one side and the other side contains large squares with dungeon map symbols.
There are two business card sized items.
One is blank on one side, and the other side had hexes with outdoor map symbols.
The other small card has dungeon map symbols that are black and the other side has the same symbols in gray with labels to explain them.
I am not sure if the purpose of these symbols is to give you an example of what such symbols “should” or might look like, or if you are supposed to put them under your hex paper to help you draw a very neat map.
There is a folded piece of graph paper the same size as the Oubliette issue with the grid on the outside.
The inside of the graph paper has the OGL license.
I wonder if it it the innermost page of the zine, and did not get stapled.
Finally, there is a small pad of 7 mm hex paper.
The pad it not as wide as a business card, and it is about as tall as two business cards top to bottom.
It is so small that it is for a very small area and it well suited to a micro map.
I expected the Oubliette zine to be a full page folded over, instead it is about a half page folded over.
The introduction indicates that this is not the usual size.
It is a slick card stock cover with click heavy weight interior pages.
It is 20 pages counting the back cover, which is a table for generating hit points of creatures from 1/2 HD to 2 HD using a roll of one or more d20’s.
Six pages are a mini adventure, two pages with four new spells.
two pages on a variation on familiars, four new magic boots, a new monster, and second mini adventure of three pages.
While not every idea will be used by everyone, there is a lot in these few pages.
Awful Good Games has a booklet that is zine sized, i.e.
half a page folded over.
It is a module of 31 pages.
It has a slick card stock cover and slick heavy paper for the pages.
The text is black over light grey.
It is legible as long as the slick paper does not have any glare.
Older eyes with bifocals can have trouble with this.
If you avoid glare on the page, unless your eyes are worse than mine, you will be able to read it.
Lichfield – by Awful Good Games Next is a mini setting, a half page top to bottom ready for a standard three ring binder on slick card stock.
It is black ink on a lightly colored background.
It looks great, and as long as there is no glare, it too is easy to read.
It continues adding to the Mythoard setting.
I like that they keep adding things to the existing setting.
If you want to use this setting in whole or in part, it is easy to do with this.
I was glad to see that past month’s offerings are available.
I would like to have the complete series of materials, if I can.
Tower of the Everflame Next is a Pathfinder compatible supplement from AAW Games.
It is For Rent, Lease or Conquest.
It is a module about obtaining a home base for the party.
It is a 42 page adventure.
It is in a slick cover and the pages give one the visual impression of newsprint, but are slick and heavier than newsprint.
The print is black ink on a multi-colored background.
Most of each page has a light background, and thankfully the slick pages are not shiny.
However, lighting and the angle the page is held can make words over darker ink harder to read for older eyes with bifocals.
In addition, the layout has the text on some pages running into the border decoration.
I think the intent is to look cool, but since it is hard for me to make out the text in some areas, and not every page is crowded, I think it is a layout issue.
When the young eyes of the layout people read this stuff in 20 or 30 years, they will curse their younger selves.
It is worst in sections of the page where the background color transitions from lighter to darker.
Some letters disappear.
In the corners of some pages is a leaf motif that goes light, dark, light and the odd color transition takes more concentration to read.
I find that prolonged reading of this starts the feelings of a headache.
It reminds me of the original PDF of D&D 5 where it had a colored background and was very hard to read.
It seems like the intent is to go after the younger crowd at the expense of the older crowd.
For Rent, Lease or Conquest The premise of the module is buying/occupying a building for home base and the villain is the realtor.
I do not find that entertaining.
As a homeowner who got screwed in the housing collapse, it is too much like papers and paychecks.
That plus the difficulty in reading it, I don’t know if there are any useful nuggets in here.
Finally, there are two Dragon’s Quest adventures from Judge’s Guild: Starsilver Trek, and Heroes and Villains.
They are in clear sealed plastic.
If this is the original plastic and still sealed, do I want to open them.
While these were from Bad Mike’s Books and Games, are they worth more sealed.
There are definitely from back in the day and the art is of the sort that did not draw me in back then.
Some of the JG stuff is really good and I wish I had delved into it back then.
Starsilver Trek Heroes and Villains So there is a lot of stuff in here.
Some of it is for younger/better eyes than mine.
As with “grab bags” one cannot expect everything to hit the sweet spot.
I found some things to interest me, and some ideas for later.
2015 A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal – Cities/Cities As Ruins/Cities As Megadungeons.
March 23, 2015 5 Comments Initially, I was struggling with the idea of a theme for this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge.
Last year I just picked a topic that fit the letter for that day and went with it.
Then I remembered my half started project to help me deal with cities, ruined cities, and my thoughts that a large city was in many ways equivalent to a megadungeon.
Indeed, a ruined city is but the surface level of a megadungeon.
I will be fleshing out general ideas and ideas for tables, and on-the-fly information for navigating a large city or ruin without advance preparation, or with a set base of preparation, like a map and a general idea of where the different quarters are, etc.
Planning a ruined city relies on planning one that is inhabited, the only difference is that a ruined city needs a reason for why it is now in ruins.
This project is as much a tool to help me as it is to share my insights with others.
I will reference past articles on some of these topics.
Some information I may have previously only collected information and not yet made an article.
I wrote at least a rough outline of each article and have them scheduled to post.
I have been going back to each one and adding, revising, cross linking, and otherwise trying to improve them.
So far, I don’t have as many tables as I initially envisioned, but I do have many lists I will work to develop tables or clean up for a list of ideas on various topics.
Since this topic is so much on my mind of late, I am linking to posts that have come up and continue to be published by others.
One relatively new blog, Lost Kingdom, has coincidentally, published articles that tie very well into mine, and I link to their articles for more details.
Trying to find the time to read all of their past articles is a challenge, but well worth the effort.
Building a city for an RPG, whether a living city, or a fallen, ancient one, requires thinking it through and populating it in a pattern that fits.
Not everyone needs this level of detail to guide them in creating their cities.
I often just determine that there are so many of this or that business and don’t worry about a map.
This project is for improving the level of preparation by creating a sort of checklist to touch on, to help DM’s that aren’t so good at spur of the moment to have some ideas to help with improvising their cities.
I look forward to feedback and ideas to fill in gaps.
There will be new tables for some things, and my detailed slant on how to build cities/ruined cities.
Of course, in the A to Z Challenge format, it won’t be a complete system, but will contain points and questions to ponder for anyone developing a city.
Some of these ideas will translate into building cities for any genre of RPG.
I will quote myself from my Post-Con Write Up of Marmalade Dog 20 and a relevant conversation I had with Adam Muszkiewicz: When Adam and I were talking the topic of random tables and drop tables and all the dice tables came up.
I mentioned that I am slowly crafting an all the dice type table to help me generate area of an ancient “abandoned” city for houses, building, and other features.
Adam pointed me to a display at Roy’s booth for Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad, Winter 2014, Issue #1.
Pages 10 and 11 have a neighborhood generator, and pages 12 and 13 have a gang generator.
The neighborhood generator has a lot of ideas that I am looking for so I bought it.
I am going to enjoy this.
All my posts on megadungeons, and cities.
I also have a list of those RPG bloggers that used the (GA) tag on the A to Z Sign Up Page.
I didn’t have time to look for those that didn’t use a tag, so if you want to be on my list, just let me know your number on the sign up list.
My list, 2015 A TO Z CHALLENGE – RPG BLOGGERS, is on the right side of my blog under the A To Z Challenge logo.
[UPDATE] I went to each of the RPG blogs signed up for this year’s challenge, and only a couple of them appear to be participating in the theme reveal, so I wait, as do all of us until perhaps later today, or April 1st, when the posts begin.
[UPDATE 2] Here is a link to the List of Those Signed up for the April, 2014 A to Z blogging challenge.
Last year , I wrote about the , and thought about an entry, but none of my ideas would gel.
I am thinking about the with just over two months until the deadline.
It is a single page, what’s the big deal, right.
Between now and then are my goals of the and a on this blog between now and April 1st, and other game activities.
Plus the is now ramping up to work on the actual town of Tenkar’s Landing.
I need to do my part with an idea or two.
March 4, 2015 1 Comment How can I not mention the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae.
While 300 blog posts is not as impressive as the feat of those long-dead Spartans, as someone with a BA in history and a big interest in ancient and medieval history, I could not help it, nor did I try.
Someone posting daily for a year can easily accomplish 300 posts with over two months to spare.
In my case, I started in July of 2009, almost six years to get to 300 posts.
That’s only 50 posts a year.
In 2014, I hit 100 and 200 posts.
In 2014, when the weather got nicer, I had a lot fewer posts.
When the weather got cold my output increased until November, when I participated in NaNoWriMo, Tenkar’s Landing, UCon, and in late December decided to GM for the first time at a con with Marmalade Dog 20 the first weekend in February.
It isn’t that I wasn’t writing or wasn’t being creative in some way, it just wasn’t on this blog.
I don’t have enough ideas, or the time and energy to post as often as some do, or to have the consistent quality of others.
This is not my 300th written post for this blog, it is the 300th posted for this blog.
I have an article ready to post for the next nine days, plus what I have started for the April, 2015 A To Z Challenge.
I will post as often as I can and strive for good ideas.
This is merely a navel gazing post, so other than mentioning Spartans that many seem to think are only a movie, or a movie based on a comic book.
Few seem to know it is a real event that occurred long ago.
There was a movie about the 300 in the 60’s.
The acting is not good and the special effects were not outstanding, but the movement of troops give the general idea of how it must have been.
I have mentioned my character Griswald, a 10th level cleric, 10th level fighter, 11th level wizard half elf.
I once estimated, based on the area of effect spells and other offensive spells he has that in a narrow area, he could kill over 500 orcs, perhaps more, by the time they got close enough for him to have to use his sword.
That was assuming optimal results in his favor.
Who would face such a man.
One who can call down the power of his god, or evoke the mysteries of the universe, or beat you by martial skill.
As long as there are hundreds or thousands of orcs more scared of their chiefs and sub-chiefs than they are scared of Griswald, that’s who.
I have yet to have a character drive a stake in the ground for a final stand.
I have thought about it and planned how it might happen, but never actually played that scenario.
I thought I might be playing that scenario when Griswald’s town was under siege, but they left.
They will think long and hard before they try it again.
Have any of you had a character perform a rear guard action and fight to the death so that other characters could escape or defeat the bad guy.
Whither the OSR Superstar Contest?.
March 1.

2015 Leave a comment I had this article scheduled to post on March 6th

but Erik beat me to it and announced the resolution here.
Not what any of us wanted, but a conclusion nonetheless.
Below is what I wrote.
In 2014, Erik Tenkar, over at Tenkar’s Tavern, held a contest for the OSR Superstar.
It got down to the finalists in July and there were some delays on the final judging.
Up until Erik re-organized his page, there was a largish graphic about the contest.
I posted a comment to the OSR Superstar page asking about it a few months back, and I have seen others ask about it in other forums.
It is understandable if judges dropped out, or something else beyond Erik’s control.
Did the finalists not submit.
He is a NYPD officer, so his job comes with stresses most of us will never encounter.
Erik usually keeps all the Tavern’s readers in the loop.
If he has mentioned it, I have not encountered the explanation.
If it’s resolution is dead or will eventually be resolved, I would like to know.
I had a submission, I did not win.
The submissions that did well were very cool, and I am curious to see what the finalists come up with for the final challenge.
I know that Erik is looking forward to retirement soon, sometime in the next year, I believe.
I would ask that he wrap up a soon to be year old contest before then, so he can focus on the good content he regularly provides.
February 28, 2015 Leave a comment Gyrphax is the largest dragon in my brother Robert’s campaign.
He did this piece in high school, a few years before his current campaign started, or rather he started it in high school.
It is pen and ink in the stipple style, that is, it is all dots.
He had the dragon and the slain warriors done quickly enough.
But it took him a couple years to finish the rest.
It is about 18 x 22 inches.
He would be working on it and look up and blink his eyes wide, because after a while all he could see were dots.
This is a bad picture of a print I had on the wall in my home office.
I wanted a picture before I had to move it.
They are closing our small office with three employees and we will be working from home.
I had to re-arrange my home office and move it from the wall where I had it.
I now have it in a corner where it is more visible in my peripheral vision when I am at my desk.
My brother does not Facebook or Google Plus, so you won’t be able to reach him.
He is very talented in many ways.
If he ever finishes any of his stories, he will also do the book cover and any other art.
This image is his copyright, all rights reserved.
I just wanted to share it here to show off his talent.
A few days ago, I shared his maps using pictures of photocopies.
If he wants me to take it down, I will.
Now that I am past my busiest time of year at work*, my energy and enthusiasm for other things leaves brain power available to get creative.
I also was busy wrapping up my hex for , and getting ready for.
I am now thinking about the 2015 , and think I will sign up again this year.
My thoughts are also percolating for a possible 2015 submission.
The cons I plan to attend this year originally included , but things have changed since last year, so I will have to put that off to 2016.
I will definitely be at in November.
I am seriously considering in October, since it is within a four hour drive.
I will also try to attend any online cons, if those work into my schedule.
I have ideas for an adventure based on my hex in , so I look forward to fleshing that out.
Background Music.
February 24, 2015 Leave a comment Way back in the day we made mix tapes of Science Fiction and Fantasy movies and TV shows themes.
Usually the “benign” songs were at the front of the tape, and the more energetic would come on at a tense moment in the game, or when we were in a fight.
Battle of the Mutara Nebula from Wrath of Khan, the “planet eater” theme from Star Trek TOS (That same theme was used in many episodes, I am not sure what its correct name is.), Aliens, Star Wars, classical music such as Mars by Holst.
I am not a fan of metal music, so a lot of other players I have read about online, feel that metal is the right kind of mood music.
That is true for them, for me, my tastes lies in classical style music.
As always, Rule (-1): “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.” Recently I ran across Tabletop Audio, he also has a Google Plus page.
He has free downloadable audio background sounds and music, that can also be played directly on his site.
These would be great for an online game, if you had the bandwidth, or for an in-person game if you had a decent sound system.
He also has a Patreon and a PayPal donate button.
He also has something called Flattr, that I had never heard of, but is another way to make donations to content creators.
The way I keep buying new dice, books, and so forth, I am not able to add a donation at this time, but soon.
I am going to be working from home soon, as they decided to close our office of three employees.
Once I start seeing the savings in gasoline, I can afford a bit here and there for content creators I admire and more importantly, for whom I use their stuff.
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2015 Leave a comment U – Unusual – Sites

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Tag Archives: 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge

I planned to write a follow up on my A to Z experience this year, and a survey that arrive just before midnight alerted me to a , that needed to be done by May 8th.
I am doing catch up on articles and clearing a backlog of things to review, on this rainy, thunderstorm laden weekend.
My goal of a system to randomly generate parts of a city did not materialize.
I think because of the all the dice table in , that showed me.
It touched on most of what I was after.
I don’t really need all the details I think I do, I just WANT them.
This year, there were twelve blogs with the (GA) tag for games.
Of those.

One was geared towards and not directly RPG related

that I could tell.
Perhaps it was just not my thing.

Gave up doing custom NPCs with a drawing after 16 posts

Both the drawings and NPC’s were great.
was doing a town a day and got up to E when it stopped.
He had some interesting ideas, that I enjoyed while it lasted.
had a great series of vignettes of a party of adventurers.
He often included a map.
He hiked the Appalachian trail and was gone for the whole challenge, so he wrote and scheduled all of his postings before he left.
This series would make a neat short story and/or a module/dungeon.
Tim Brannon at did vampires, as he promised he would last year, after doing witches.
Who knew there were so many vampires in different cultures.
He began with A for , which I not too long before learned about from watching.
When came out, he even did an A to Z special with a , modeled on the one from the 80’s Buck Rogers TV Show.
Mark Craddock of reviewed his favorite things about D&D.
Keith Davies of  built several mythologies/pantheons and had a system to help him build them.
had a series of NPC;s.
did a series on the “Boogie Knights Of the Round Table”.
I have not seen the movie, Boogie Nights, but I got the reference.
What if King Arthur and his knights where in the age of disco.
He kept it going until the last few days, but did all 26 posts.
did a series of NPC’s, did NPC’s and magic items.
Z – Z Axis.
Y – You Owe – fines, taxes, tariffs, fees, tolls, etc.
If there is a fine, fee, or tax, where are the tax collectors.
Where might the remnants of ancient taxes be today.
This ties in with  and with.
X – X Marks the spot.
With all of the free maps from so many talented artists and map makers in the OSR, and via many various websites, like , one can easily come up with a map.
There are also lots of maps from the medieval and renaissance periods that are available online to give one ideas.
There is more than one G+ community for maps and world building ideas.
There is a surplus of riches in maps and adventure ideas, thanks to the internet.
W – Waste Disposal/Toilets/Outhouses/Sewers/Drains/Teleporters/Gelatinous Cubes/Otyughs/etc.
UPDATE: May 31, 2015 – I found this about London’s sewer system.
the key point is that it still dumped into the river, just not where there was a large enough concentration of people to complain about the stink.
Also, the capacity of the system when originally built 150 years ago, was such that a large part of the current sewage system of London still uses it.
Types of Currency.
April 26, 2015 Leave a comment The article on Rai Stones over on Sea of Stars for the 2015 A to Z Challenge, got me to thinking about various forms of currency.
The aforementioned article, talks about them as involving magic, which is cool.
There are many different types of money: Commodity money – Something that has a value and is used in trade for other things.
It is a “step up” from the barter system.
Fiat money is money that has value because everyone agrees it has value, like most modern currencies, such as the American dollar.
If money is tied to the value of something else, it is representative money.
Strangely, this can include both commodity and fiat money.

Types of Currency Paper/cloth – Fiat money if it has a specified value

representative money if it is used in lieu of something else, or commodity money if bundles of paper or cloth are used in exchange.
Coins – Originally the coins were a commodity of precious metals, that in the modern world have become mostly base metals and fiat money.
Rai Stones – The linked article is on the actual rai stones used in Yap.
Beaver and other pelts.
Gold bars (or bars of other precious metals.).
Gold Dust.
Iron Bars.
Cows/other herd animals.
Favors – Back in November, 2014, I wrote about how favors can be used as currency.
Nearly anything can be used as a currency, like this article about some ancient forms of currency.
In areas where coin is in short supply, barter or another commodities will become money.
In areas where the wealth of the adventurers inflates prices, other things with a more stable value might rise to the level of money.
What kinds of unique or interesting things have you used or encountered as money/currency/barter in the RPG’s you have played.
Favors Vikings Season 3 Finale.
April 25, .

2015 1 Comment I just watched the Vikings season 3 finale

I like how they pack so much into seasons of just a few episodes.
It is interesting how they take historical and semi-historical figures and weave a story among known historical events.
I won’t post any spoilers here, but I will say there are multiple surprises of how they wrapped up a few loose ends, but left a twisted trail of many more things to come in the next season.
I wonder how many years they will skip when it comes to the next season.
I like how they have portrayed vikings as more than bloodthirsty plunderers.
They show social divisions among the vikings and what we know about them from their own stories, first hand accounts, and archaeological finds.
Of course, with fiction, they take many liberties and insert things the writers made up that are very fantastic.

There seems to have been a revival of interest in vikings in various RPGs or RPG add ons

like adventures and campaign settings, in recent years.
This is a big change to how vikings influenced my original experience of their influence on AD&D.
That is, the berserker, under Men in the Monster Manual.
This single narrow aspect of some viking warriors is all that some knew of them, beyond their raiding coastal towns and villages.
The vikings were great explorers, who sought new lands and new goods for trade.
Their influence via trade was perhaps greater than that of their raids.
However, it is the dreaded viking raid that made the biggest impression on most of Western Europe.
Of course, the survivors of many of these raids were the monks who were able to write about their experiences and preserve their side of these encounters.
I am not aware of any direct connections to the viking side of these raids.
Do the sagas that we have today hold such information.
What I do know is that a population growth lead to seeking new lands and new wealth.
When money is based on gold and silver, of which there is a finite supply, one has to find it through either mining or taking it from someone else.
Thus, a common motivation throughout history.

This same motivation will exist in RPG’s

like D&D, whose economies are based on coins of precious metals.
Land and certain other items that don’t decay will also hold value.
So as the vikings were motivated by an expanding population and so forth, other groups of men and humanoids will have similar motivations for their raids and efforts at expansion.
Other motivations might be doing the bidding of their deity or being manipulated by someone on a quest for power, whether it is political or magical.
A shortage of females might prompt gathering brides, or for a female dominated society, it might prompt gathering grooms.
Concentrations of wealth, such as cities will be attractive.
Only walls that are well defended will provide the most protection.
Even that might not be enough for a determined and motivated force.
Caravans or convoys of merchant ships might also be targets.
Bribes, threats, tricks, and other things might be used to get inside the walls of a city to allow a large force of raiders inside to get what they are after.
Some ruler or other type of power broker or power seeker might seek to manipulate a viking like group into going after his enemy or some other target to facilitate his own plans.
A powerful wizard seeking a specific item, might use a raid to distract all the guards to defend the walls, to make it easier to pop in and take what she is after.
An evil cleric might do something similar to gain an item, desecrate a good temple, of establish a foothold of evil in a city.
Related to my A to Z series on cities, this fits in nicely as a second article on V.
Who wants what is in the city.
Who are the enemies of the city.
Who or what is the reason the city has walls and gates.
As with anything, there are two types of threats to a city, known and unknown.
Obviously, it is much easier to plan for known threats.
Unknown threats can only be guarded against based on how similar they are to known threats.
For example, in a world without known magic, how would one guard against it.
In a fantasy setting with magic, one can only guard against the types of magic one knows about.
Invisibility, illusions, and disguises are all general categories, but some specific magic items, or unique spells would present a threat to undermine all defenses.
For physical threats that are unknown, it can be a new tribe or group of humans or a resurgence of humanoids whose population has recovered after their last beat down.
Vigilance against a threat is hard to maintain all the time without discipline and a very regimented dedication.
It always happens that in time, people tend to forget the bad times, and don’t see the connections in events that lead to some “sudden” occurrence that in hindsight was building towards its outcome.
Day 22 V is for Vaults.
April 25.

2015 1 Comment V – Vaults – wealth of city

guilds, nobles, adventurers, etc.
Where is it kept.
Moneylenders, money changers, bankers, etc.
Thieves and Assassins will do a lot to get it.
Taxes, etc.
Where is the wealth of the city kept.
In a fallen city is any of it still there.
If treasure maps lead to the city, where might it be hidden.
Tombs, cisterns, fountains, basements, etc.
Vaults can also hold tombs, coffins, etc.
Vaults are also a type of architecture with high ceilings.
A vault might have a vaulted ceiling.
For all your cities, living and dead, where is the wealth kept.
A high level thief out for a major haul, might want to know.
A party more interested in robbing the wealthy than plundering a dungeon might want to know.
Nobles, the wealthy, merchants, and anyone with anything that they consider valuable and are concerned others might take it from them, will have some way to protect their stuff.
A crazy old man might have all kinds of junk he considers valuable and due to his paranoia devises elaborate means to protect it.
This could lead to a lot of people going after what they think is valuable, and it is just junk.
Wizards will have protections for their books and scrolls, experiments and items, and more rare spell components.
Temples will have divine magics and other things to protect their wealth.
Even the poor who have squirreled away a few coppers or silvers will have a hole in the wall, floor, ceiling, or hearth to hide their meager wealth.
A city is a living thing unto itself.

The GM will need to have the thieves and others of that ilk doing things

or have a list of things they might be doing, in case players seek it, or something needs to happen in town to keep the game interesting.
There could be some famous or rare item that is rumored to be kept somewhere in the city, like a wealthy merchant or noble is known to have the biggest ruby in the land.
If the player characters are in town, is it a coincidence that an ambitious thief or gang of thieves have a plan to steal it.
For a fallen city, there will be rumors of great treasures for those who dare to seek it.
Where was it kept originally.
Is it still there, or is what could not be hauled off hidden nearby, in hopes that those who found it would return.
How might vaults and other stores of wealth be protected.
Hidden – Behind a tapestry or curtain, behind a concealed or secret door, under the floor, above the ceiling, by magic either made invisible or disguised.
The more unusual and less obvious the hiding place, the better.
Hiding in plain sight can be a good one.
Location, location, location.
It must be difficult for thieves to gain access, but must not be too inconvenient for the owner to get at his or her stuff.
Locked – Bars, locks, gates, and anything that presents a physical barrier that prevents just opening the door or lid.
This can include magic, like wizard lock.
Where is the key?.
Guarded – One or more men, monsters, items, spells or a combination thereof can actively prevent access.
What is the password.
How avoid having to fight the guard(s)?.
Trapped – Active or passive traps.
A pit before a chest is passive.
Spring loaded dart traps are active.
Again, this can include magical traps, like fire trap.
How can one avoid/defeat/circumvent the trap(s)?.
A combination of two or more of Hidden, Locked, Guarded, or Trapped.
A combination of all of the above.
My article for I on Innkeepers touched on hiding places for the proprietor.
Back in February, I wrote a post with some tables on.
Day 21 U is for Unusual.
April 24, 2015 Leave a comment U – Unusual – Sites, sights, sounds, smells, etc.
See DMG tables for dungeons for ideas.
What is unique about this city.
What sets it apart from the others.
Is it a tourist or pilgrimage destination.
Is it the site of a famous battle, a famous magical occurrence, wizard dual, undead invasion, etc.
What is so interesting or special about this place that it would bring the player characters here.
Why should they care about this magnificent work that you have labored over for hours, days, and perhaps weeks.
In short, so what.
In my campaign, I had an NPC advise them not to go to the ancient city because I did not have it ready.
I finally made some rough plans and ideas, and they said they were headed to the city, but kept making detours, then we have not played.
This series has been me fleshing out ideas, and making some charts and tables to help me with this city or any of the other ancient cities around the fallen empire.
I can also use this to help with a new setting of various genres, not just fantasy.
A city can be a place where the town, wilderness, and dungeon meet.
A city has all the “civilized” aspects, plus all the odd things that can happen there.
The wilderness can encroach on the city, when a monster or group of crazed animals enter the city.
The city may have lots of unexplored spaces underground, sewers, cellars, etc.
A city gives the opportunity to have multiple cultures interacting.
Players can find a job, find someone or something they are looking for, or get into more trouble or find some injustice or other happening that they can act on now and be delayed in getting to the dungeon, or act on later when the consequences of failing to act now are played out.
Cities present the image of civilization, is it only a skin-deep veneer, or does it permeate the mindset of its denizens.
Does what this city considers acceptable behavior something strict and uptight, or something more nebulous, or perhaps something frightening to the truly civilized.
Cities of any size will have a dark underbelly.
How easily can this be found.
Does it infiltrate all levels of society, a single general neighborhood, or only those places that you must know where to look.
Every genre of RPG, fantasy, science fiction, etc.
has a place for cities.
Some claim that you can’t have good adventures in cities, other claim you can’t have good adventures or good campaigns without them.
I say, .

It all depends on the desire of the players and the skill of the GM

Cities can be a place of refuge and safety, or they can be a bottomless pit of danger.
Things happen in cities that rarely or never happen anywhere else.
It’s hard to have a riot in a thorp of 20 people.
At least, what we tend to think of as a riot.
Under a certain size, it is hard for anyone to avoid the prying eyes of everyone in town.
If you have ever lived in a small town, you know what it is like to live in the fishbowl of everyone knowing your business, sometime before you know it.
For certain illicit activities, it is difficult to keep it under wraps without a large number of the town knowing about it.
Unless it is the kind of town where everyone is in on it, a science fiction/horror movie like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where strangers are shunned, rushed out of town, or incorporated into the population, small towns won’t have some of the activity found in cities.
Cities of a large enough area and population can have all manner of things occurring.
Smuggling, drugs, prostitution, murder, robbery, and other violence, graft, and intrigue.
Certain things may not be illegal, like drugs and prostitution, merely frowned upon by the “respectable people”.
Of course, some of them are hypocrites in secret.
Is it truly a secret, or a known thing, but never spoken of type secret.
If there is a thieves guild, how organized are they.
A newer guild may only focus on the small scale robbery and break ins.
A more established guild, or one with a more thoughtful guild master might find a way to gain wealth without drawing the ire of the guards, or figure out how to bring the guards into it, etc.
The black market will require someone to bring in the illicit things, whether they be items prohibited from import from an enemy country in war time, or items that require a high tax, or items that are illegal for some reason.
Will there be any cities that are so unusual that there is no thieves guild and the party thief exhausts his knowledge of thieve’s cant, and still can’t make contact.
Would this be a population under mind control, truly free of crime, or pulling a fast one on all newcomers.
Is there a zoo, menagerie, museum, or other site to see in this city.
Would the wild animals from the zoo of a fallen city have descendants roaming about.
Perhaps a pride of lions, a troupe of monkeys or apes, or even something more fantastic.
Would there be some item or artifact of the ancients on display in a living city, or would a fallen city hold the mundane and marvelous items of the forgotten past.
This is something where fantasy, science fiction, horror, and apocalyptic genres all converge.
The ancients had things no longer used or understood.
Things that can change the course of events in the current time.
In AD&D this is represented by the Artifacts and Relics in the DMG, in Metamorphosis Alpha this is represented by the forgotten technology that is found and perhaps put to a helpful use.
+Adam Muszkiewicz’s city of Ur-Hadad is a mixture of all kinds of weird and unusual.
Rugs made there have some strange property that hold information that can only be understood by a few.
Some of this, I am sure he comes up with at the table as it happens, and other stuff he has notes for ideas.
Use whichever works for you.
Make a list of what is unique or special about this city.
Why was this city founded?.
Why is is located here?.
What is the one thing this city is/was known for?.
As with +Jeff Rient’s 20 Quick Quetions for Your Campaign Setting about the greatest people, monsters, and so forth in a campaign, do the same for your cities.
What are the major imports/exports of the city?.
Where is/was the largest/most valuable gem, treasure, magic item located?.
What is the predominate architecture of the city?.
What is the craziest rumor you will hear.
Is it true?.
Anything else you feel is needed to bring this city to life at the table.
Review my prior posts on cities in this A to Z Challenge for other ideas for your cities, like Entrances & Exits.
Ask the players for their ideas, use them then and there, or save them for later.
The unique, unusual, distinctive bits and bobs you attach to your cities help bring them to life, and make them different, so that while cities have some aspect of sameness to them, they are not all cookie cutter duplicates.
The same should be said of dungeons.
While they are all underground, there should be something different about them.
All the tombs in a series of barrows might be nearly identical, except one has more traps, or more undisturbed traps, or more wealth, or better construction, etc.
Likewise, all the cities of an empire spread across hundreds of miles might all have common elements, but relative age and local culture will add their own distinctiveness.

As with everything else in RPG’s it is expected to steal ideas

that is, gain inspiration, by borrowing from reality.
What can you learn about real ancient cities, or current cities.
What twist can you find to put on like cities, or what quality or aspect of cities can you “swap out” to make each one distinctive.
Even if running adventures in living cities is not your thing, such embellishments will help make your dead cities more real.
For example, Kansas City, Missouri, is called Cow Town, for all the stock yards that were the end point of cattle drives, once the rail head moved west from Sedalia.
Large stockyards have a distinctive odor.
If you have ever driven by a modern stockyard, you get the idea.
The direction of the wind, and location of the yards will influence how far the smell travels and how strong it is.
Rome is called the City of Fountains for all of its fountains.
The list could go on.
Day 20 T is for Temples.
April 23, .

2015 Leave a comment T – Temples Temples present a special case

Ancient wards against evil or good, if an evil temple, would still be in place.
Clay golems and other holy/unholy guardians could be about.
What sort of quest might be placed on someone to take up a holy relic.
My BA degree is in history.
Way back in college, two of the professors had a lecture about the Medieval Cathedral as scripture.
They pointed out how the stained glass windows, statues, and other facets of the soaring cathedrals served to help educate the illiterate masses.
The high ceilings showed the awe and power of God, and symbolized the distance between man and heaven.
Various statues and stained glass windows usually portrayed a story.
For example, Jesus is only depicted with a beard before his resurrection.
I won’t go into further details here, just enough to illustrate the idea.
If you want to debate the merits of religion in general or Christianity in particular, this is not the place.
How detailed you wish to get is up to you, but what types of art are in the temples in your campaign.
Art can be in stone as statues, reliefs, functional or only decorative.
Such as many gargoyles’ mouths being the downspouts to direct the flow of rainwater off of roofs.
Cloth is used for tapestries with either scenes, or designs, vestments, liturgical cloths on altars, pulpits, and lecterns.
Banners, flags, pennons and other large, but mobile cloth could be about the temple.
they could be used in processions, or when the faithful go to battle.
There could be holy or unholy battle standards of a magical and perhaps intelligent variety that ward off enemies of the faith, or assist those aligned with the goals of the deity (ies) in question.
Glass can be for windows either clear or stained glass, glass or ceramic ceremonial cups, glass, bottles, plates, etc.
Do the current inhabitants have the technology for large panes of glass.
(Magic fire, i.e.
a fire started by magic, like burning hands, fireball, dragon’s breath, etc.
is known to burn hotter.
Forges, ceramics kilns, and glass works get a bonus for using magical fire.) Frescoes on walls or floors can be in glass, ceramic, precious stones, colored stones, or shells.
These can depict scenes or merely patterns and designs.
Would a temple be recognizable as such to the uninitiated.
Perhaps a temple is not in the temple district, so that hint is missing.
Perhaps is has a totally different architecture.
A temple to an infernal or subterranean deity might be underground, or carved into the stone of a hill.
Perhaps only some symbol alerts others (who know its meaning) about what is inside.
A temple, if such exist, to a deity who is patron to magic users and illusionists, might just look like a big wizard’s tower, with a lab and all the attendant equipment as the sanctuary.
Would this be in the main temple district, or near or in the college of mages.
A temple to a good deity could have an evil creature trapped.
How easy is it for the PC’s to free it by mistake.
Likewise and evil temple could have a good creature trapped.
Would the trap make the good creature appear as a foul demon.
Perhaps by an illusion.
Would a large parkland inside or near the city contain a grove holy to druids and worshipers of nature deities.
Would a large enough human city have enough demi-humans in it to support temples to their deities.
A full on dwarven temple, might have a working forge.
A gnome temple might have a gem cutter shop.
A halfling temple might appear more like an inn with an excellent larder and wine cellar, and the best halfling beers and ales.
An elven temple could be a grove, or a stone circle, or other nature/woodland themed building.
Would these temples be in the temple district, or would they be segregated to the districts of the appropriate races.
Will some temples have the most holy area that requires a saving throw for a non-believer or opposite aligned creature to enter that area.
For example, evil/good, law/chaos, etc.
Did such a protection once exist and the temple was defiled.
Will the players be able to restore the blessings of the temple, if they are good.
Will an evil big bad be able to restore the power and might of an evil/chaotic temple.
Will temples have their own cemeteries.
Will rulers and the famous be interred under a temple.
Will the temple district or any temples be near the main graveyard for the city.
Will it only contain smaller sanctuaries sufficient to conduct the burial rites of that group.
Will an evil temple worshiping undead be allowed to coexist contemporaneously with a temple devoted to the destruction of undead.
Perhaps in a time of upheaval, the people turn to darker ways rather than trusting in the goodness of the deities of light and good.
In an ancient, fallen city, what will the player’s be able to learn about such things.
Will a sage know, will their be a hidden scroll, or will the players have no way to know and just have to deal with whatever is going on.
Will there be altars, statues, and shrines throughout the city to remind the people of the presence of the various deities.
Will a seafaring culture that worships a sea god have its temple near the docks, or partly in the water.
Or will the main temple be in the temple district with a shrine by the water.
Perhaps what is now a large shrine by the water was once the original temple, and with the growth of the city, a larger temple central to the worshipers was needed in the temple district.
Types of Worship Centers: Marker (Stone, collection of stones, ruins, worked stone, monument, obelisk,statue, free standing altar, etc.).
Landmark (Physical place, stone, collection of stones, holy grove, cave, special tree, hill, mountain, ranges of hills or mountains, etc.).
Semi-Permanent (Hut, tent, booth, wagon, etc.).
Shrine (From a small covered road side altar, to a small building.
Contains the bare minimum for the rites of this group, altar, pulpit, or the equivalent.).
Sanctuary (The worship center for a village or small town.).
Temple (The worship center for a town or small city.).
Cathedral (A worship center for a large city or a special location, either significant to the faith, or of some other importance, such as political or economic.).
Types of Worship Items: Incense (Air?).
Water (holy/unholy, ceremonial bathing/purification).
Fire (Candles, braziers, ceremonial fires, sacrificial fires, forges).
Earth (dirt, clay, mud, stone).
Dress (Whether special dress is limited to the clergy, or there is some ceremonial garb for all worshipers.
Like the Sunday best, or yarmulkes & prayer shawls.) Are there any rules for day to day dress of believers?.
Standing or Sitting.
(In the early Christian church, the pastor/teacher sat during the sermon and the congregation stood.
Later pews and kneelers developed.).
Prayer rugs.
Prayer bead or other devices.
Holy/unholy symbols.
Giving (Tithe means 10%.
Some religions on Earth do more or less.).
Sacrifices (time, money, labor, blood (from blood letting of self or others, or animal sacrifice, or human sacrifice.) This can be combined with burning, pouring out or sprinkling of water or other substances, sprinkling or dipping in the blood.
An altar or other place to collect or perform sacrifices is needed.
Reading of entrails or patterns of blood?.
Books/Tomes/Scrolls of teachings or ceremonial instructions like a prayer book.
Directions – Is the rising sun or moon, or alignment of the stars important.
For example, for druids, the change of seasons is important.
Do buildings have to have a special orientation?.
Omens & Portents – Are there certain everyday signs that are treated as good or ill.
For example, what does it mean when a black cat crossed your path, or you see an owl in flight during the day.
Do these signs really mean anything, or are they just tales?.
Can non-believers enter any of the area, or is any of it off limits to non-believers?.
Does this faith have monks, nuns, or hermits?.
Is there a central authority/hierarchy, or is each site independent?.
Heretics & Schisms.
Are there divisions in the faith with more than one branch.
Do the different branches consider the other to be heretics or merely on a different path?.
Sounds (Bells, gongs, cymbals, musical instruments, singing, chanting, etc.).
Movement (Is dancing part of worship, or frowned on.
Processions, entrances, exits, etc.).
Colors (Are there any significant colors.
Are they just the same colors all the time, or do they change with certain times throughout the year?).
Times & Seasons (Are their certain times of day, week, month, year, or season that are important.
For example, a sun cult would see sunrise and sunset and the solstices and equinoxes as important, and lunar and solar eclipses might signify a battle of the light vs.
the night, or good vs.
Does every deity get worshiped on the same day?).
Does celibacy play a factor for clerics.
(Never, for a special term, only until married, life, etc.).
Food (Are there rules about what kind of foods can or can’t be eaten.
Are there any ritual foods?) Ritual fasting?.
Intoxicants/Hallucinogens (Wine, beer, liquor, or other fermented substances, mushrooms, herbs, etc.).
Hair (Shaved, long, unkempt, no rules, etc.).
Body Markings (Permanent – Ritual tattoos or scars.
Temporary – Something like henna markings or body paint.).
Most forms of worship seek to touch all the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, movement, mental, and emotional.
Relics (Objects of significance, such as a weapon, tool, device, or instrument, or a body part of a famed member of the faith.).
Idols/Images/Statuary/Artistic Representations of the deities, famous faithful, or mythological scenes.
Fertility cults (They got quite raucous in the ancient world.
It varied from ritual sex of a few, to everyone letting loose.
Keep in mind that not everyone needs to go into minute detail about this.).
Rites of Passage: (What happens, how are they celebrated/observed.
Not every event will be ritualized or celebrated in a formal way.) Birth.
Puberty/Adulthood (Religious and Traditional Culture may have separate but coextant processes.
Some might be opposed to each other.).
Marriage (Divorce?) (How many spouses and what form of marriage?).
Burial (Includes cremation & are the ashes scattered or gathered and put in an urn, entombment, platform burial like some native American tribes, burial at sea, mummification, ritual cannibalism, etc.).
Status (graduation, appointments, promotions, elevations, enoblement, knighthood, crowning, enfeoffment, etc.).
Shape of Religious Buildings: Round.
Other Polygon.
Must include a natural element.
For example, one end open to trees, or include a significant cave or holy pool.
Building Materials: Rough cut lumber.
Rough cut stones.
Unworked stones.
Fitted stones.
Finished lumber.
Any wood.
Any stone.
Wood or Stone.
Any material.
Special (Dragon bones, whale bones, oliphant tusks, semi-precious or precious stones, precious metals, magical materials like stone from mud to rock or wall of stone or wall of iron, etc.).
Features: Number of floors allowed.
(Is odd or even numbers important.
Is above or below ground permitted/required?).
Number of rooms allowed.
(Only one big room for ceremonies, or are cells, kitchens, hostels, outbuildings, walled compounds, etc.
Towers (Allowed.
Is a certain size, shape, color, or placement required?).
Religious symbols on the building?.
Tithe house or barn (Room, building, or other type of treasury to hold collected donations.).
Parsonage/Rectory (Where do the clerics sleep.
On site in the religious building, or in huts, cells, or houses constructed on the grounds?).
Is there a special room or location where the clerics learn their spells?.
One does not need to detail every tiny detail of a group of worshipers, but keep the above in mind to add a special flavor or distinctiveness so that all temples are not the same identical structures.
Perhaps all the temples in a given mythos are the same general design, except for the god of the underworld and it has to be a natural cave, for example.
Maybe a certain color, symbol, word, or substance is required or forbidden in the worship area.
It can be fun and interesting to develop these things, but if it never comes up in play, don’t let it frustrate you.
If it will frustrate you that no one will ever know of all your detailed preparations, don’t spend the time to do that much.
Use the time to detail the things that will be used in play.
In March, 2014 I published an article on districts or quarters of a city.
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I ran my  [Affiliate Link] funnel

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Tag Archives: Conventions.
Today, February 22, 2020, at Noon Central U.
time, Silver Badge registration opened for.
The server almost immediately had issues and no one could stay logged in.
The company that runs the online even registration service, indicated that their Cache servers had an unanticipated issue, even though they had prepared for the load of all the badge holders signing up simultaneously.
with the link contents below plus a screenshot.
Posted by on  When the registration failed the first time, Table Top Events shared this through the Gary Con Facebook page.
Posted by on.
UCon 2019 ended on Sunday, November 24 and I am finally writing about what happened.
I mentioned what was on my schedule in my.
Brendan LaSalle, Clayton Williams, Laura Pirkola I met up with friends Thursday night and we had a pick up game of my card game.
Laura Pirkola and Clayton Williams invited me to join in a pick up [Affiliate Link] game with Brendan LaSalle.
It had a hard start time so we didn’t get through the full card game as we had many interruptions.
The most important of which was ordering a pizza.
This was critical as I got so busy with packing and so forth before the two hour drive, that I didn’t have lunch.
Brendan describing the situation.
My copy of Village of Hommlet I slept as long as I could before going down for breakfast before my morning game, where I ran [Affiliate Link].
I realized I had forgotten to grab my 1e DM screen when I packed up all my table copies of the Player’s Handbook.
It seems I no longer had the PDF of the [Affiliate Link] on my Dropbox nor my I got on my Google Drive.
So I got on my DriveThruRPG account, since I purchased the PDF, I can just download it again….
I only needed it for the combat charts.
I then looked up the mechanic.
When we were at the table, one of the players had the DMG on their tablet, so I used that to track combat, turning undead, etc.
I planned on 8 players, but one person really wanted in, so we squeezed in nine players plus me around the table.
My PHB I got for Christmas the year it was released.
All of my other preparations were in place.

I had five table copies of the [Affiliate Link] for players

plus my copy.
I had them all sign my copy.
This is the original, well-worn copy I got for Christmas back in the day.
I’ve also gotten it signed by several TSR notables from back in the day.
Sadly, not Gary or Dave.
Players in the Hommlet game.
Boot Hill sequel to last year’s game.
The two in the middle played last year.
Last year, I ran a [Affiliate Link] game, A Posse For The School Marm.
All of the players asked for a sequel for next year.
So I brought a sequel, Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch , that we played Friday night at the same table as Hommlet that morning.
Two of the players from last year made it, and brought their character sheets.
The group played smart and rolled well.

The rules for [Affiliate Link] are very light

I realized I was not using an option that would have made the gunfights last longer.
I made the big bad tough, but not fast enough.
The players grabbed the pregens that had the fastest characters, which I forgot I rolled some really nice scores for the pregens.
(Why can’t I roll that well for my own characters?) I slept in Saturday and got in on a game of [Affiliate Link] ran by Brett Slocum.
I had a play games all weekend pass, which makes it easy to slip into games with openings.

I had never played [Affiliate Link]

but it is described as a cross between [Affiliate Link] and.
I’ve played Black Hack and have both 1st and 2nd edition.
I’ve never seen nor played White Hack.
It was a fun time and a full table.
We all played as a team and ended with a whirlwind wrap up by the GM, as there was more module than time would allow, but we got a feel for the rules.
It is much more reliant on role play but dice do come into play.
Creativity and an open mind are key.

I’m definitely intrigued and will look into picking up both [Affiliate Link] and

Ready and waiting for the players.
Setting up for the battle.
They use Excel to make the ship sheets.
Each ship has sensors, power, shields, weapons, etc.
This very loosely reminds me of the original from the mid 80s.
I played a lot of Star Fleet Battles with my brother, Robert, and our friend Darryl.
Final turn of the battle before one of my ships was destroyed.
You can hear the companion podcast.
I will be at 2019 in Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor, Michigan this weekend (November 22-24).
I leave today and will enjoy the pre-con catch up with friends and pick-up games.
Friday morning.

I will be running the [Affiliate Link] module

[Affiliate Link].
This is an homage as this was the first thing I ever ran as a DM/GM at a convention.
That was at.
I am now much better at running convention games.
Since I put in the time to learn this module all those years ago, I wanted to give it a go and do a better job.
I know I can do a lot better than when I ran it the first few times at Marmalade Dog.
[You can see all my posts that mention Hommlet .] Friday evening.

I will run a follow up scenario to last year’s [Affiliate Link] adventure

“A Posse For The School Marm.” At the conclusion of the game, all the players asked for a sequel.
I just had to oblige them.
I hope I do it justice.
[You can see all my posts about Boot Hill .] Saturday evening, I’m scheduled for 4 hours to have play testing of my.
I will also be available for pick up games for those who are interested.
The art is not moving as fast as I want it to, so I’m trying not to get ahead of myself.
Gary Con XI in 2019 was yet another awesome experience.
Here’s the.
I rode with Steve Fridsma, from Grand Rapids, MI who I met last year.

We were supposed to play in two [Affiliate Link] games

but the first one was unexpectedly cancelled, so I offered to run the [Affiliate Link] scenario I was running the next day, and some of the players elected to do that and we had a blast.
Then we played in Chgowiz’s [Affiliate Link] game the next day.
We kept in touch on social media and tried to coordinate rides that included one of my con roommates, but the travel days didn’t work out.
After the game.

Thaddeus Moore asked me to sign his copy of [Affiliate Link]

as Mark credited me as proofreader.
This is the first time I’ve ever signed a book in my life, other than to indicate it was my book.
Thursday morning I ran a scenario for [Affiliate Link].

A WWII RPG based on 1st edition [Affiliate Link]

by Mark Hunt.
See here for [Affiliate Link].
Mark joined in the game and had a copy of the rules from for everyone.
Mark signed them all, and since Thaddeus got me started, I did the same.
With Mark there, we did a lot of belly laughing and had a great time.
Mark and the other players had a laser focus on the objectives to “win” and we were done early.
The players didn’t care as they had a blast.
I now see a need for a few more modular encounters/events to bulk up this scenario to take up more of the slot.
I plan to start publishing my con adventures on [Affiliate Link] , but it won’t be my scenario for [Affiliate Link].
Friday morning I played in The Brazen Mask of Zenopus by Zach Howard of the blog.
It was the Holmes Blue Box Basic, which is what started me on this whole RPG journey.
I had not played those rules since the final AD&D book, the DMG came out over 35 years ago.
It was a cool scenario that used characters from a book Dr.
Holmes wrote.
I played the hired help, two vikings, Olaf & Haldor.
The dungeon in the back of the Basic rules was used, with some changes due to the passage of time.
Friday night I saw, about the artists of TSR who formed the image most of us have of what D&D is.
I backed the Kickstarter and had seen the film online.
Several of the artists were there and there was a Q&A.
Just before the con they sent out a note that the CDs and other things were in the shipping process, but I didn’t have my CD waiting for me.
and my CD was waiting in an unexpected location when I got home.
Saturday morning my schedule was clear.
I met up with Ray Otus of the podcast and Coddy Mazza of the podcast.
Ray’s first Gary Con was last year, but we never crossed paths.
This was Cody’s first.
We played my card game in the open gaming area and a father and 13 year old son joined us.
The son was the youngest play tester yet, so I was really interested in his reaction.
Ray and Cody loved my game, and had some suggestions.
The boy liked it and thought the placeholder art was cool and thought I could just use that.
He also will have a credit as a play tester so he will have some extra cool factor with his friends when he gets home.
Ray, Cody, and I did a joint podcast on Ray’s and they both were too kind about what they thought of my card game.
You can catch that episode.
Saturday afternoon I ran my [Affiliate Link] scenario, A Posse For The School Marm.
I had a lot of players who had never played it, but they all had fun.
One character was injured and stunned by dynamite.
Another got one bad guy and almost got the last one, but he shot her character in the chest for a mortal wound.
She thought it was epic and fitting to go down fighting.
She later told me that she hadn’t played an RPG in 30 years and I made it easy and walked them through what to do and she felt comfortable and welcome at the table.
Also they said up front that they had another game and would have to leave early.
They ended up not leaving early because they were having so much fun.
Her husband is not much of a gamer, but he had a blast.
I just love hearing that sort of thing.
Saturday night was supposed to be a showing of by Pat Kilbane, but unfortunately he was sick and it was cancelled.
I backed that Kickstarter and have been cheering it on since I met Pat at Gary Con VIII when he premiered an early showing of a few interview snippets.
You can read about that.
Saturday evening I went to a party to see the teaser and a behind the scenes of Peter Adkinson’s Chaldea.
It is a series of videos to highlight a campaign world setting of Chaldea.
Very cool effects.
Met some new people, and a player from my [Affiliate Link] game last year and he was gushing about that memory, which is so cool.
If you are interested in knowing when the Kickstarter is launched, you can.
It is ONLY for announcing the Kickstarter launch, and possible future launches.
I talked about my experience on my.
But I want to share pictures, so here’s a blog article.
I did share pictures to various social media, but I wanted to have them all in one place so they are found more easily.
I also have some pics I didn’t get shared to social media.
While the lobby restaurant/bar was not as packed as years past, the con itself was well attended.
There were three other cons this weekend, the two closest were and , and the.
On the podcast, I incorrectly said it was.
PAX Unplugged is the last week of November.
Thursday night play test of the card game at the bar.
I ran my [Affiliate Link] scenario, Vault of the Ancients at 9 am Friday morning I had a sold out table of 8 players, and one of them didn’t show.
Last year in that time slot, I was going to run Metamorphosis Alpha and had one player, who decided to go to another game rather than attempt a solo game.
I forgot to get a picture of the table during play.
We had a blast and lots of laughs.
1st session of my DCC funnel.
Friday Afternoon, I ran my  [Affiliate Link] funnel, Amongst the Fungus, with 6 players and they all had a blast and liked the weirdness of it.
I had calls to publish it, which I am considering, but need a lot of writing, polishing, and play testing.
2nd session of my DCC funnel.
Saturday Afternoon, I ran my  [Affiliate Link] funnel, Amongst the Fungus with 5 players and they also enjoyed it.
I love how the play test on Roll20 ended one way, and each con game was also a different game.
For both games, I used a table of 200 items from Doug Kovacs, that Doug and Adam Muszkiewicz, and some other DCC game masters use.
It’s up to the players to decide what those items do and can be used for.
For some, it’s just a role playing device, for others, they might help advance the adventure, or solve problems.
It’s all up to the players to be creative and use their imaginations.
My Boot Hill 2e session.
Saturday Evening, I ran my [Affiliate Link] game, A Posse For the School Marm.
The 6 players were ready for the game.
All but one, a young woman, had played before.
The young woman I think her name was Laura was so excited to play that she bought the PDF, printed it off, read the rules, and generated a character.
She had read the rules and understood them, and was so eager she was looking up things as part of our prep before I could get to them.
I had pregens, but gave her the choice to use a pregen or her self made character, and she chose her self made character.
The players accomplished their goals and ended up with a lot of money and decided to pool it and buy a ranch.
They has so much fun that they asked if I could run a game next year to find out what happens to their cattle ranch.
I’ve always had players like the games I run, but this is the first time that any have asked for a sequel.
I am pumped and am definitely starting to think how that might work.
Sunday Morning, I finally played in an RPG session at UCon.
I played my first game in the track.
Donn Stroud author of [Affiliate Link] for the [Affiliate Link]is a friend I knew online.
UCon is his local con as he only lives a few miles away.
I bought  [Affiliate Link] and Dead Planet [Affiliate Link].
Then he signed them.
I have yet to find time to read them.
Donn is working on more adventures for [Affiliate Link].
Donn flattered me by telling me he had and liked them.
Adam & Katie Muszkiewicz and Stanley made it and Adam & Donn talked a bit.
They have several episodes recorded of , and may release them.
Life gets in the way, so they haven’t recorded new episodes.
I had a great time.
I’m tired and thinking about what is next, which is submitting games for before December 31, and getting my submissions in.
talks about and , and shares links to websites that list known conventions.
I include the past two posts on the blog, plus one new to me site.
If you know about a convention listing site not listed below, please let me know.
My most recent prior post on this is and.
I also talk about conventions on.
Origins 2018.
June 20, 2018 Leave a comment Origins is one of the oldest gaming conventions.
This was the first time I had ever attended.
It is very big and a long distance from end to end.
I spent a lot of time in open gaming, which was furthest from anything else.
I had toyed with the idea of going the last few years, and this year, I took the plunge last minute and was able to attend Friday and Saturday.
I met up face to face with several people from online.
It was good to chat with some, and a quick “Hey!” from others.
My last minute plans led to no coordination of meet ups.
I mostly wandered the venue and checked out the vendor hall.
I played in two sessions of a Basic D&D game using the module Horror On The Hill.
Our DM, Kelly Davis, tweaked it a bit to add some backstory and NPCs.
We were too poor back in the day to buy modules, so most of them are new to me.
I’m not sure how long they played before I stepped in to play a dwarf.
In the two sessions that I played, we did about seven hours.
Jason Hobbes kept coming by to harass us.
It was fun playing with a lot of OSR grognards.
The cool thing about the module is that we didn’t finish, and our DM offered to run it on Roll20, so we are working to coordinate a mutual time.
This will be the first time I have played on Roll20 with anyone I have met face to face.
Before the final session I arrived in time to see Jason Hobbes wrap up the DCC game he was playing.
I got sidetracked and didn’t make it there in time to join in.
It was a lot of fun to watch, and lots of laughs.
The size of the con and the location make a strong argument for getting a hotel room on site, or using a driving service/taxi to get there from a more distant hotel.
I learned something to add to my pre-con checklist.
There was a parade on Saturday, and I was forced to enter a parking garage and park other than where I had planned, and had a lot of unexpected walking to do to get to the con.
So next time I go to a con, I will research other events on that city’s calendar to verify what might hinder travel to and from the con.
I also suggested to Origins that they let new people know about the parade that happens the same weekend almost every year.
I think Google Maps should mention such things.
Most cities this size have websites with calendars, and newspapers with events sections.
Origins does have its own app, GAMA, that has partial maps of the venue and the ability to search for the events in the catalog.
I found it took a bit of digging to locate the search function.
The maps did not clearly list the open gaming area.
Overall the app was not as intuitive as I would like.
There is a notes feature, but only works for events you attach the notes to, such as those you are interested in or signed up for.
Of the two books they passed out with registration, one mentioned Open Gaming, but the other didn’t.
All areas should be mentioned in one book that includes all maps of the venue.
Searching for open gaming in the app was no help.
Open gaming seemed to be too far out, and the water jugs were dry.
The distance between open gaming and wider food choice was extreme.
Snacks and a water bottle are a must.
Overall, I liked the con and will probably attend next year.
It’s only a 4 1/2 hour drive from where I live, and is mostly interstate.
It’s the first con that I’ve done open gaming that wasn’t the night before the con started.
Marmalade Dog 23 – Kalamazoo’s Local Con 2018.
April 5, 2018 Leave a comment Marmalade Dog 23 was a lot of fun.
I signed up to run two games, Metamorphosis Alpha and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
Friday afternoon I signed up to play Red Box Basic, our DM didn’t show, so +Adam Muszkiewicz volunteered to run it, since I was scheduled to run Metamorphosis Alpha that evening.
Adam looked up the module on his phone and ran it for us.
That’s one cool thing about OSR rules, they are simple enough you can do stuff like that.
Adam Muszkiewicz fills in as DM No one signed up for my Metamorphosis Alpha game, so I joined in a DCC game ran by Joel Davidson.
It was his first time running DCC and he did a great job.
We had a lot of fun, and only a couple 0 levels died.
Joel Davidson Running DCC Saturday morning, I played in +Del Tiegeler’s AS&SH game and had a blast.
We made a wrong choice and missed a clue and had a TPK, all trapped in the tomb.
I walked away with some art Del drew just for the session.
Del Teigeler’s AS&SH Game I then ran AD&D, with a scenario from my Sunday Roll20 game.
It was fun seeing how a different group of players approached the scenario and made different choices.
I had two first time players and they both did great.
One young couple is local, so perhaps we can do some gaming at the FLGS.
Players from my AD&D Game Friday evening, I played my card game with play testers one and two and they really liked the changes that came from play testing at Gary Con.
I had a couple things happen that had not yet happened.
It was just interesting to see them happen.
I got in another play test with play tester number one on Saturday evening, and had a couple things happen that hadn’t happened.
One required a ruling, the other was just interesting.
I’ve now had 17 play tests, 15 with the current rules.
I’m debating about some modifications to the rules to add in a bit more variety.
I’m wondering if there’s a rule of thumb for the number of play tests a new card game needs.
The two play tests at Marmalade Dog are the only ones I forgot to take pictures.
We won’t know when Marmalade Dog 24 will be until the schedule for next yet is set.
It is dependent on the sports schedule.
If it isn’t the same weekend as Gary Con, I’ll be there running games.
My Gary Con Schedule.
January 27, 2018 2 Comments I have a gold badge for Gary Con 10, and I got signed up right after game sign-up opened today.
I got in some of the games I wanted, but too many were at the same time as other games I signed up for, or conflicted with the games I am running.
There are too many people I want to game with.
I try to mix up what GMs I play with at different cons, sometimes with little success.
When a seminar conflicted with a game, I chose the game.
Hopefully, we can do some pickup games.
I’m looking forward to finally meeting several people from the OSR and other online venues.
I’m running games for the first time at Gary Con.
Prep and polishing of my scenarios is under way.
From top down, the systems are: Gang Busters (Mark Hunt’s effort), Stars Without Number Revised, and Gamma World 1e.
Gary Con X – What I’m Running If you are interested, here are the games I will play.
I snagged a seat to finally play Top Secret with Merle Rasmussen.
I’ll also get to play with +Joseph Bloch, and finally meet him.
Gary Con X – What I’m Playing If you’re going to Gary Con X, please let me know so we can meet up.
My Gary Con X Events Are Now On The Schedule.
January 6, 2018 Leave a comment I got the email confirmation today that the three events I submitted to run at Gary Con 10 are now on the Schedule. Two are on Thursday, and the third is on Saturday.
Here is a listing of my games with links to the details on the Gary Con Tabletop Events page.
GangBusters, Stop The Flow, Thursday, 10 AM-2 PM.

Stars Without Number [Affiliate Link], Raid on the Space Vikings,  Thursday

4 PM – 8 PM.
Gamma World 1e, Vault of the Ancients, Saturday, 10 AM – 2 PM.
I told Mark Hunt at Gary Con IX last year, that I would run a game of Gang Busters so he can play.
Mark is a lot of fun as a GM, it will be fun to see him in action as a player.
Of course, it will be Mark’s version of the rules.
Way back when, I was more into reading science fiction than fantasy, and while we played various science fiction themed RPGs and even kluged together one of our own, AD&D was always our go to.
I love D&D and fantasy RPGs, but I also love science fiction.
I was inspired when I read H.
Beam Piper’s Space Vikings [Affiliate Link], to come up with a scenario for a convention.
Stars Without Number really caught my attention about that time.
So much so, that I backed the Kickstarter for the revised edition.
I even have ideas for a campaign, just not enough time to run another campaign right now.

I was the first to submit a game for Stars Without Number [Affiliate Link]

and may be the only one.
The final schedule of all the games is not yet posted, so time will tell.
I got the email with the shipping tracker number for my SWN Revised Edition [Affiliate Link] book from the Kickstarter.
It is backward compatible, and I have the new PDF, it will just be cool to have the final book in my hands as I do final preparations.
Using the new form fillable character sheet will be fun too.
I’ve run several games of  [Affiliate Link], the first science fiction RPG, both online and at conventions.
I describe it as Gamma World in space, since the rules are so similar.
I managed to get a 1st edition boxed set, and will be using that to run my game.
It’s not in mint condition, and even though Jim Ward signed it, games are meant to be played.
I just love the art by Dave Trampier.
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Salazar – Artifact Alchemy – PLAY FREE

Salazar – Artifact Alchemy – PLAY FREE.

Salazar – Artifact Alchemy – PLAY FREE Posted in

, Salazar – Play Free.
Salazar Instructions: This wise wizard is trying to create a powerful new artifact but needs your help in seeing it through.
Combine 3 or more items by dragging with your mouse to create more powerful artifacts.
Play smart to make sure there are always combinations left to combine.

“Salazar ” was provided by Gamezop

Salazar Game Screenshots.

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