• TPK Online: Ways to Kill Your Party

    My group & I made a video for Loading Ready Run‘s “Make a Video & Touch Hands to Our Hands Contest.”

  • TPK Online: You Can Lead a PC to Plot…

    Some Things Never Change

  • The Battle of Wits – A Neverwinter MMO Metafiction

    In response to Neverwinter’s server merger, they asked for lore submissions to explain the change. This was my entry.


    Three powerful entities met in the Styx Oarseman; Joretha, a dragon, Ertharex, a beholder, and Mephorda, an illithid. Each wished to prove that they were the greatest tactical mind in all of Sigil.


    “I am the greatest tactician,” claimed Joretha. “The traps and snares within my lair translate to a clear advantage on a battlefield. My ability to use the terrain will ensure my victory”


    “No, I am the greatest,” challenged Mephorda, “for my ability to directly control the actions of my thralls ensures that every step they take is precisely in line with my masterful battle strategy.”


    “Clearly, I am the greatest,” Ertharex interjected. “While you two focus on troops that can be slain and traps that can be bypassed, it is my ability to see the battle in its entirety that would make me the victor.”


    They argued for what seemed like days. It wasn’t until a lowly goblin by the name of Sprock spoke up. “Why don’t you test your theories, then meet back and compare your results?”


    This stopped the high-minded discussion in its tracks. Such a simple solution. And from a goblin, no less! The three agreed to the plan, each creating a shard of the northern Sword Coast from Abeir-Toril. With the location being equal, Mephorda reasoned, the only variable would be their individual tactical prowess.


    And for four months, each mind tinkered with their shard, applying their individual schemes to the world under their sway.


    At the end of that four months, the entities reconvened at the tavern of their original meeting. “We are agreed, then,” Mephorda began. “We combine our shards, merging them into a single shard of the Jewel of the North. Whomever has bred the last combatant standing will be declared the greatest tactical mind.” With Joretha’s and Ertharex’s approval, the three presented their shards, and the three began the ritual to bring their versions of Neverwinter into a single reality.

  • Magic: The Gathering – Bowlerton

    This is a post that’s going to require some explanation.

    I seem to constantly be struck with inspiration as I’m showering.  I have no idea why — perhaps is the solitude of my thoughts — but it never fails.

    The other day, I found myself thinking about Magic: the Gathering; specifically, how I got a whole bunch of kids in my youth bowling days into the game through their love of the Pokémon card game being played in between frames.

    Years passed, and I see my father playing something in a similar vein; build the best poker hand by drawing based on marks (strikes get 2 cards, spares get 1 card).

    So, for whatever reason, the idea struck me to try and combine the two.  And here’s what I came up with.


    Magic: The Gathering – Bowlerton Format

    • This is played over the course of a standard, 10-frame game of bowling.
    • Each player builds a deck of 30 cards.  This can be of any deckbuilding format (Standard, Vintage, Legacy, etc.), with one exception: no basic land.
    • At the beginning of the game, each player shuffles their deck and draws 7 cards as normal.  Play order is determined by the order of the bowlers.
    • Each player begins with 10 life.
    • After each player completes a frame, they take a turn in the Magic game.
    • Each player begins their turn with 1 mana in their mana pool.  For each spare that player has made during this game, he or she adds 1 additional mana of any color added to their mana pool.  For each strike that player has made, he or she adds 2 additional mana of any one color to their mana pool.  Color is determined at the beginning of each turn.  This mana is retained between phases, and other players’ turns.  Any mana not spent before the beginning of their next turn is lost.
    • If a choice made by an active player requires the current bowler to make a choice (declare blockers, discard from their hand, etc.), play is halted until that player can make that choice.  No other play can be made at that time.
    • After each player has bowled 10 frames, each player gets one final turn.  Once that final turn is completed, the game ends and a winner is determined.
    • The winner is the last player with life remaining.  If all players are still alive, then the player who accrued the most mana over the course of the game is the winner.


    So, there it is.  If you actually decide to play this format, let me know.

    Sometimes a bowler just has to face the mana curve.


  • TPK Online: On Oversights


  • TPK Online: Football Outfit


  • The Dungeon Dozen: While Others Were Watching the Super Bowl…

    As homage to one of my other favorite gaming sites, “The Dungeon Dozen,” (and as an apology for lack of updates while I do my Castles & Chemo hullaballoo), I present to you a Dungeon Dozen-style random table:

    While Others Were Watching the Super Bowl

    1. Trying to decide who gets the +2 sword you found
    2. Doing yet another job for the Hutt Cartel
    3. Wondering why the werewolves spent all game doing an Abbott & Costello routine
    4. Setting up an elaborate Ponzi scheme in Korvosa
    5. Trying to break that damn curse on Tloques’ axe
    6. Getting jumped by phase spider assassins
    7. Raiding the Heart of Fear
    8. Going through level 4 of Legend of Grimrock, and getting jumped… again…
    9. Reading the Drizzt novels
    10. TV Tropes
    11. Bickering over editions with someone who is obviously wrong for liking the other edition
    12. Realizing that, yes, your DM is trying to kill you

  • Castles & Chemo Nonprofit Drive: Update #5

  • Castles & Chemo III Talk & IndieGoGo Stuff

    For those of you who don’t know, I’ve gotten a bit of a headstart on my Castles & Chemo planning this year.  I’ve launched an IndieGoGo campaign (Castles & Chemo Nonprofit Drive) to help turn Castles & Chemo into a standalone organization.  With requests coming in from across the country — as well as international requests coming from places like the United Kingdom & South Africa — for support in running events, I felt it was necessary that I was acting independently of other organizations.


    Those of you who are worrying, no, this does not mean that I will no longer support the American Cancer Society; much of the work I will do will still go to benefit their efforts.  Becoming a separate nonprofit entity, however, has two direct advantages.  First, it keeps the ACS from having to deal with issues arising from organizations & events abroad — the liability will fall solely on Castles & Chemo.  Second, and probably the most exciting (to me, at least), it allows me to expand the scope of Castles & Chemo to include other organizations (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Breast Cancer Fund), as well as other events (like “Castles & Chemo Save Christmas,” where I help local hospitals buy gifts for children stuck there for the holidays; the title still in the works >_>).


    But enough of the nitty gritty.  Let’s get to the meat of the post.  It’s time for…


    That’s right!  Now is the time of development where I request personal stories to turn into characters for this year’s event.  What better way to honor a loved one’s (or your own!) struggle than in the nerdiest way possible?  And this year, I have a handy dandy form to help with that process.  You’ll find that form at the bottom of this post.


    In addition, I’m also creating an art guide to be handed out to the various artists for this year’s adventure.  It’s almost as if I know what I’m doing!


    Talks with AdventureAWeek.com have hit a bit of a roadblock; they’ve been busy, I’ve been busy, it’s a whole big mess.  As soon as progress gets made, I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated.


    Thank you for your support so far!  Here’s to the +4 bonus you’re helping to grant!




    Castles & Chemo Character Form

    If this is the same as above, write "Same As Above"
    If you are uncomfortable giving this information, do not feel obligated to list it. If the honoree is a caregiver, enter "Caregiver" in that field.
    This will help determine certain characteristics of the player character, such as skill selection, and possible class selection.
    This will help determine the appearance of the player character, as represented by one of the artists volunteering to do the artwork for the adventure.
    Please give as much or as little information as you feel comfortable, but do try to put something. Often, the human element is often lost during discussions about cancer.
    So I may contact you during the development process. Your email will be used for this purpose only, and will not be retained after development is complete.

  • Happy Halloween! The Headless Horseman

    In honor of the festivities (and in lieu of something a little more serious >_>), I present to you a 4e conversion of the Headless Horseman, the seasonal boss from World of Warcraft. Happy Halloween!

    Click here for the stats!