Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Character Tents The Solution You Didn’t Know You Needed

I like to have an organized gaming space, years of being a gamemaster taught me the value of being organized and having an organized space to play. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game challenges those concepts for me.

Don’t get me wrong the game is organized in the box and with the Broken Token insert organized even better: everything for one campaign fits into one box now, cannot beat that. However, as a player things are not as organized as I would like or able to keep. Maybe that is the crux, as I am able to keep.

The giant playmat needs an update. When the playmat was released there was no need for extra spaces on the mat. Then came ships in Skulls and Shackles. Wrath added spots for servitor demons, redemption card, army cards, and so on. Who knows what Mummy’s Mask will add. The gist being, there are many times when play areas are cluttered with cards needed for a scenario that have no spot on the mat…not that we haven’t created spots, but sometimes there are more cards than empty spaces.

20161001_135331My personal space starts out clean; playmat in center, character sheet to one side, deck and character card in their right spots, and then my hand of cards. We play with open hands, makes teaching the game easier, makes reminding people of cards they have easier, and in general makes the game more social. A few hours into playing and my space is a cluttered disaster as dice migrate into my area, cards get shuffled around.

By the end of a session I am using Post-It-Notes to keep track of my character’s stats because the character sheet is buried. If there was only a way to save some space. We tried a few things, as you can see our character sheets are folded in half and in sheet protectors. Still, laying there takes up space and if we fail to get crafty when our character’s get roles we have to flip the page back and forth. Totally, minor annoyance.

20161001_135356Then…[drum roll]…I stumbled upon a forum post where people were raving about character tents a person created. Sure sure I thought, a standee for my character how cool, but not needed. Then I did some further reading and hit the link for ESG Labs Pathfinder Support page and [holy sounding music] found the solution to some of my problems.

It’s not a character standee, it is a tri-fold with all of the relevant character information on one side: Skills, Powers, Card List, Favorite Cards, and Role should you be at that point. There are multiple versions per character-the base version and one for each role. Awesome. The flip side is character illustration, name, and so on.

Even better, Parody (forum screen name-link to forum post), has created versions for each of the boxed sets, character decks, and promotional characters. All for free. Now, as you can see, I take up less space. Leaving more space for card and dice creep and should my side become too fouled with cards and dice, my character tent remains visible.

Play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, highly recommend.

 

500 and 1 Words At A Time: Baseline

I decided to start my blog schedule now instead of starting next week, no time like the present. If I really will be chronicling my attempts to become a successful writer I should start with a base line, a starting point if you will. That way, months from now I can look back up at the baseline and say, “Up there is where I started, down here is where I am. Now, where is the secret door and ladders to success?” Sounds better in Klingon.

woDDI’ pagh nuqDaq jItlhIjchoHtaH, vaj tInwI’ naDev nuqDaq. DaH nuqDaq ghaH pegh lojmIt Qapla’ ladders je?

Thank you Klingon translator, but come on, no ladders?

Baseline

  1. Stay at home dad
  2. Write every day
  3. Multiple writing projects in the works
    1. 500 Words into book
    2. Stroud fiction
    3. and recent arrival, thank you Big Man, game systems
  4. Recently graduated college with degree in Technical Professional Communications-means if you need it written well (not like this sentence) and in a professional presentation, I can do it.
  5. Blog daily

I think that is a good start for my baseline. Oh, I guess there should be areas of writing interest. That way I have a direction other than my personal projects…lets see, I write about the following:

  1. Life
  2. Games-game play, game reviews, and creation of game systems and settings
  3. Food-cooking tips and the occasional recipe
  4. Fiction-particularly multi-genre cyberpunk
  5. Erotica-when the muse strikes
  6. Human Sexuality-when I find or create a new home for my blog
  7. Resumes and CVs-I enjoy assisting others with their resumes and CVs

I’m sure I am missing a few things, but for a quick baseline list not bad. Next up, what kind of work would I like…good question. A long time ago, I would have wanted to write for a game company, but that lost it’s luster when I did write for two small game companies. Easiest explanation, to many cooks in the kitchen and not nearly enough management (lack of decision making, pay issues, organization, etc.). Perhaps a larger game company would be more orderly, something to consider.

Honestly, having given the question a lot of thought over the past five years (teacher, cookbook author, and other see 500 Words post series), I do not have an answer. I write a lot of different subjects and I can write even more. I do not have one job that suits my…mood, skill set, or what have you…at least not one off the top of my head. For the moment, that question will be shelved.

What I have been doing with my time, now that the office is once again organized, is going over old projects, looking at current projects, and attempting to create a…for lack of a better word, flow chart. The goal, to have a plan. Which projects will get work first, deadlines, and a goal other than “personal satisfaction” with each one. I did personal satisfaction before and looking upon those works now is nice, but seeing them in stores-online and/or brick and mortar is more satisfying to me now.

When I have a Project Plan finished I will share that, perhaps readers can assist me in staying on task and even moving projects from one stage to another. That’s my rough baseline.

500 and 1 Words At A Time: Drifiting

Prior to college…

I had a regular schedule for writing and working. I wrote everyday roughly two thousand words. Not saying they were good words, but I wrote them. Around writing was house work and work work. Mostly house work. I liked my schedule, there was time for me to do what I wanted to do and what I needed to do. Prior to college, I was able to find work as a writer.

College…

I also had a regular schedule of classes and the writing was all around the classes. Again, not saying the writing was good, but again I wrote them. Around college writing was more college writing and wedged between all of the college writing was something for me, usually this blog or around 500 words. There was very little time to do what I wanted to do writing wise and what time there was never went the way I wanted it to…way to many project started and abandoned because yet another semester was starting.

Post college…

I do not have a schedule. I am wandering and drifting. Oh sure, I have a schedule of sorts, but despite waiting five years for this time to arrive I have not gotten back into the Prior College schedule of writing. In fact, I do not do nearly as much writing as I would like to or at least think I would like to. However, I am happier with the writing I am doing now versus the writing during Prior College phase. The quality, in my opinion, has gone up noticeably. This makes me happy.

But…there is always a but, even though I am happier with my writing and the quantity is slowing going up there is another casualty of the post college no schedule phase I am in, this blog. During college, this blog along with all of my other blogs had a schedule. The schedule was determined in part by my school schedule and the schedule of a school year. Regular readers knew roughly when my “first of the year” post would be and when “holiday plans” would be and so on.

Of late, there hasn’t been much of a schedule. I hadn’t noticed, but when a good friend pointed it out I took a look…sure enough, I have been writing a lot more “this is how I feel today” posts than posts with a point or about something. The recent fiction posts are helping give the blog a new shape I want, but I have not been regular with them. I’m hoping with today’s post that changes.

I wrote out and then printed out a weekly topic schedule for me to start following until it becomes a natural state or organically changes into something else that has a schedule. I am also going to work harder to post at a regular time, something I was really good at a few months ago and stress to everyone I teach blogging too. I had no idea, how much post college phase would affect my writing, but there it is…I have been drifting. I am to stop that. No way for me to find regular work as a writer if I cannot get myself under control.

Starting next week…

here is what you can expect:

Monday: Fiction

Tuesday: Life

Wednesday: Food or Games

Thursday: Fiction

Friday: 500 and 1 Words At A Time

Saturday: Food or Games

Sunday: Life

500 and 1 Words At A Time is the follow up to 500 Words At A Time and will be about my struggles, experiences, etc. all on being and becoming a writer post college…I hope it is not a horror story.🙂

Puddles and Whiskers, Expansion & Revision 8

This will be the last expansion and revision for this block of story for a short bit. The next step will be to review everything written up to this point for consistency, edits, and changes. One change, more feline-like references and behavior, that started out (tail waving and ears) and then disappeared, Puddles and Whiskers are feline creatures, without those cues they become another buddy pair of detectives. The purpose to ensure that the story has a consistent feel and internal logic something that can disappear overtime. I try to do a review every few “chapters” or sections. Of course, you will get to see what I do along the way.

Previously…here

Seconds Ago…

“What is this!” Puddles ears back, fur raised, shouted while gesturing towards a holo of what appeared to be an elderly human male in a oversized blue and white rubber suit.

“I think you mean who is this,” Whiskers responded while squinting at the man’s face. “Remarkable quality holo,” Whiskers mumbled.

“I don’t care about the quality. Where is…Doctor…Doctor…”

“Marlowe.”

“Yeah, that guy.”

The holo of the man raised his hand, “I am Doctor Cadius Marlowe.”

Pivoting on her heels to face Whiskers and the remaining guard in the room, her arm slashing through the holo without any disruption, “That’s not Doctor Marlowe!”

“But I am Doctor Marlowe,” the holo pleaded.

“Excuse us a second, Doctor Marlowe,” Whiskers said to the holo while directing Puddles over to a corner of the room.

Ears less flat, fur still raised, and tail slashing through the air, Puddles allowed herself to be directed out of the way, “What?” she hissed.

“Let me handle this,” gesturing towards the holo of Doctor Marlowe who was turned away from them, “I might be able to get something out of him of use.”

“Fine,” Puddles fumed, “you go talk to Doctor Pixels. I’ll wait over here.”

Clearing his throat, Whiskers waited for Doctor Marlowe to turn around. A few seconds of waiting, Doctor Marlowe faced Whiskers his hands hidden behind a desk or table, Whiskers assumed.

“Sorry to bother you so late in the evening,” Whiskers began.

“No bother,” Doctor Marlowe interrupted obviously looking at something off holo, “Its only 9 am here.”

Whiskers masked his surprise as best he could, while making a “wait” gesture below holo to Puddles in the corner who looked ready to pounce on the holo. “I’m sorry, did you say 8 am?”

“That is correct.” Doctor Marlowe chuckled, “You thought I was there? No, I’m in [static] working.”

“Where are you working?” Whiskers asked.

“The filter prevents some information from transmitting. Suffice to say, I am off site. Is there a reason why you wanted to see me?”

“Before I answer that, how long have you been off site?”

“Weeks. Why?”

“Then you did not hire us to look into your missing daughters?” Whiskers asked, knowing the answer.

Shaking his head, “No I did not. I do not have any daughters. What is this about?”

“A man claiming to be you, hired our investigative firm to find his missing daughters. Following his information we raided a gang in Tumbledown,” Whiskers kept the details to himself.

“Oh..,” Doctor Marlowe hesitated, again obviously looking at something off-holo. “No, I did not hire you. I must get back to my work. I’m sorry I could not be of more help.”

And the holo-disappeared.

“Um..,” Puddles said.

“Lets go,” Whiskers said with urgency heading for the door. “Escort us back to our car,” Whiskers said to the guard.

 

 

Views Of Stroud, Draft 2

Near the Bottom…

In Stroud, there are many places where a person looks up and only see glass, concrete, and signs of life, if the thousands of vehicles flying above were another form of life. Sunlight a myth, told to children in the same manner as the mythical man who brings gifts to good human children on a day long since forgotten. Some think the sun, if such a thing exists, is owned by the powerful and wealthy of Stroud. Rain falls from the sky, but not from rain clouds, and burns exposed skin. The temperature at the bottom never fluctuates, hot and humid in Stroud; at least in the parts of Stroud where John lives and moves.

John looks up not because he is looking for the sky; years as a police officer taught him looking up was vital to longevity. Overhead, cars and trucks fly by at breakneck speeds following the city mandated flight lanes. Under the flight lanes, walkways, pipes, girders, wires, power lines, and other detritus of life crisscross over the street, connecting one building to another. In many places, the connections from one building are dense enough to appear as if one building is attempting to absorb the other. For a brief moment, John wishes he could live above the street, never having to touch the ground again and from that lofty wish; he would be able to look up and see the sky, look down, and if he was rich enough, never see the ground again.

The moment over, John quickly scans the area around him, garbage everywhere, city services non-existent. The oppressive odors of the factories mask the stench of garbage. Graffiti, mostly gang tags, but a few pieces of “art,” cover every surface, even the parked cars. A few older model non-hover cars, belonging to the factory workers, line both sides of the street. A ground truck rumbles past picking up or dropping off something for the factories all over the block. The ever-present din of the city reverberates through every object. Across the street, three members of a local gang, the Mechanics or something like that standing around the entrance of the all-night stop-n-rob trying to look tough, not bored. Neon and holo-ads illuminate the front of the store advertising products inside; plastered everywhere else, paper ads advertising products and services for those with isstas. Just another day in paradise, John thought straightening his jacket, and wrap-around-glasses, while walking down the street to his meeting.

In the Middle…

Fade loves the city; to him Stroud is a living breathing entity. The City likes to keep secrets. The City loves to swallow up the unaware, the failing, and the unlucky by the score. Success of any kind, something a person fought for, hard. Fade knew many of the ins and outs of the city, but even he would say he did not know them all. Because of that willingness to accept that fact, he was still around. Never seen outside of Crescendo, anyone who wanted to find Fade could find him there. Crescendo, his home and if word on the street was true, more than his home, but his treasure trove as well. What was stored in that trove, anyone’s guess. Whatever treasures Fade kept gave him power and influence or so the word on the street said. Fade was connected.

At the Top…

The view of the top of the city was magnificent; top floors of the city lit up like jewels, nightclubs and party spots particularly bright and colorful, the colorful lanes of vehicles flying throughout the city adding to the view. Hovering over downtown, The Floating City aglow from the lights of the buildings and anti-collision lights. Everywhere giant holographic advertisements stuck to sides, tops of buildings, and hovering near traffic lanes selling their wares to anyone who could see or hear them. Not a cloud in sight and the moon was looking down upon Stroud.

Stepping back from his panoramic window, grabbing a drink off the edge of a table, Mr. Slade cast a quick view at the vid-display on one of the windows. Stocks were up. Stepping back to the widow, drink in hand, Mr. Slade smiled at the latest Saertai Pharmaceutical ad floating past the window; a herg sneezing hard enough that the house he lived in was blown down. Watching the advertisement finish, Slade went back to watching the flow of nighttime traffic while working through the issues of the day.

The view never failed to impress. Not just anyone could have this view every day. Taking a sip from his drink, Mr. Slade thought about the attempt on his life tonight at the Tumbledown Charity Dinner. Aware he had enemies, Mr. Slade liked to think of them not as enemies, but as challenges to overcome and people who kept him at his sharpest. Without these challenges he might become complacent and lazy. That would not do. Another smile, Mr. Slade thought about how he did not want to attend the dinner in the first place. He would have to check on Tic-Kill’s injuries and get him another reward for saving his life. The publicity, if managed correctly, would be invaluable to Mr. Slade.

A single chime announced the silent arrival of Ulla. Slade mentally corrected himself, Ul-il-tal-Ar’tam, although she preferred Ulla. Floating into the room Ulla, was a Nemtsa Brain-box; a nemtsa who had their brain encased inside a technological marvel allowing them to continue to live long after their body had ceased functioning. Her brain-box like most consisted of a two-foot long abdomen with various arms and attachments on the outside. Ulla’s abdomen was golden in color and designed like a seashell, hover generators on the underside were a light pink color. She only had two arms, both slender and designed to look like pieces of gold corral. Mr. Slade never inquired why she was brain-boxed or when, he just assumed that it was because of the disease that all nemtsa contracted at some point in their life. He mentally kicked himself for that oversight and made a note to find out why.

“Sir, sorry to intrude, but I have some updates on today’s news and developments,” Ulla said, she had a light and airy voice, no voice-modulation at all.

“That’s alright, I was just beginning to wonder myself,” responded Mr. Slade.

“As you may have noticed on your vid-window most stocks rose. Stock transactions for the day resulted in a profit, which were following your orders re-invested. Your incident from tonight has made the news, unfortunately…”

 

It All Started With A Spice Rack

Eighteen inches must mean something different to the people at Amazon than it does to me. Like most things in life, the best intentions are paved to hell with a mislabeled spice rack. Today was one of the days this week where I had five hours to myself to write.

spice-rackThen my long absent spice rack arrived and the day went anywhere but writing. I did manage to print out one of the three things I wanted to work on. So here I am looking at the bits and pieces of a spice rack that even I, a dimensionally and spacially challenged person can tell is not eighteen inches long. But the box says eighteen inches all over it. Did I get the lucky box filled with all of the extra parts on the factory floor?

Looking over the box and the well illustrated instructions on the back, I did not get the lucky box. Searching and reading some more, there it is in tiny print…tiny print compared to the eighteen inches, seventy-two inches. Next thought, is my door long or tall enough? Crap! I don’t know. I can’t tell by looking. One of them does look bigger than the other…girth I always heard it was about girth and here is this length problem and I…

A tape measure, several minutes of construction later, I am moving all of the spices for a fourth time since we moved here. Moving the spices created a empty shelf or two, so I should fill them with kitchen equipment. Well, that looks nice, I should see what else I can fix or organize.

Five minutes before I had to leave to get the kids, one knuckle scrape, and two paper cuts later and I have cleaned the floors, the kitchen, and rearranged the office. Most interesting find, two boxes of nothing but things with a cord or cords themselves. Cords to old video game systems, cords that end in multi-plugs, cords to things I have no clue, but two boxes worth. Who in the hell keeps these things, packs these things for a move? Me.

And then I wound them up and packed them up again in one box. What happens if one day years from now I find the thing that needs a cord and I threw it away? That’s right, I would have a device with no cord and I cannot take a chance on that…well I can, but I was so in the zone of cleaning and organizing that I did it without realizing it until I went to put the top on the box and had to organize the box of cords.

I know sad. I know, I could have been writing. I know… However, I have a well organized and clean office and house to work and play in…tomorrow.🙂

Oh yeah, where was the eighteen inches? Turns out width or…girth.🙂

Destiny Threesome

What can I say, I like threesomes. Some are more fun than others and I have yet to have a threesome I regretted…although there are a few who could come up for a mention for best Oscar faking an orgasm and hoping that all involve cared.🙂 This threesome was a happy accident and if you say all threesomes are happy accidents then you either have not had a threesome, really did have a happy accident, or are headed for trouble.

In this case the convergence of three Xboxes, one really annoying interweb system, and a weekend without any real work to do. A good friend of ours got an Xbox, unfortunately for her Ferris wifi will not allow her access until she registers the device (long time reader will remember this problem of ours) and double unfortunately, Xbox requires a day one update which as you may have guessed required access to the internet. Frustrated by the Catch-22 of having internet, but not being able to put the device on the internet to take care of the day one update that in necessary to register the device for use on the internet she has our friend asked if she could bring her Xbox over here to use our internet.

And that is how we found ourselves playing Destiny together. Until today I had one friend who I could play Destiny with and then our boy. Our boy loves to run off and do his own thing while heavy breathing into the microphone. The friend is in college and cannot play all of the time. Destiny, in my opinion, is much more fun with people to play with, not randoms, but people you can chat with while solving all of the universes problems.

destiny-threesomeBy the end of the weekend (today), the good friend who brought the Xbox over and I played several hours together which got Barb interested. Next thing we know we have a fireteam of two titans and a warlock. Yes, a good chunk of our time was teaching skills and exploring locations and another good chunk of our time was spent chit chatting and dancing instead of saving the universe. But once we got onto missions we had a lot of fun. More fun than I have had playing Destiny in a long time.

No longer adventuring alone, I could share my experiences with them and they showed me a thing or two I had never noticed. New eyes see new things. There was also a sense of nostalgia for me in that I used…waaaaaayyyyy back when, spend all night up with some pop and a role-playing game and then video games doing the exact same thing.

So there we were, three adults gathered around some TV’s playing a video game having a shared experience and a shit ton of fun. Exactly what a threesome should be…TV optional for those of you with your mind in the gutter.🙂 The photo is a selfie of our three characters.