JP On Gaming

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflecting back on 2013: Highs, lows, JP admits he was wrong

Home front

Surprisingly, the home front has been quiet. I won't go into detail about the extended family, where there are a few issues.

All three of the monsters are growing up (they are now 9,7 and 4). They transitioned to a new local school without issues. In all, there is little to report here.

Real Work

After working for 8 years with Premiere Global Services (PGI) out of Colorado Springs, CO, I was offered a job offer for Humana here in Louisville, KY. It was not an easy decision to make, moving halfway across the country, but I felt it was time for a change. Side perks included we would be closer to our families and a nice raise.

So I am now based out of Kentucky and I am growing into this place. The folks are quite welcoming and I really like the place. Now if it only would not rain so much... but you gotta take the good with the bad. We sold our home (at the 11th hour) and bought one (at 11:01).

Work is exciting and very challenging. Though in title, my role has not changed much, in reality I became part architect, part tech lead, part developer, part manager. A lot of different priorities to juggle. I'm still working through the kinks. It sounds odd saying that after 6 months, but a lot of these responsibilities were gradually added to my workload. Fun.

To say that the Louisville/ Kentucky gaming scene is different is an understatement! But still... It forces me to expand my own horizons and adapt.



Perhaps the biggest gaming new from the writing desk is the creation of First Ones Entertainment (FOE) and the first release of products for NeoExodus Legacies and GOSTOR (A grumpy old schooler's take on rule). I have a number of products for both ranges to come out in 2014. Now I just need the time to polish them, send them for review. I plan on keeping those products cheap, fun and light. The kind of products I would like to add to my own games!

Oh wait! I DO!

NeoExodus Legacies

Legacies has grown a lot this year. From Genghis Con to Tacticon, our number of players and tables has grown significantly. As people discover the campaign, they learn of its intricacies and want to play more.

New Facebook group join us by clicking here The group is steadily growing. With more adventures coming all the time, check us out!


When I first got Venus' email about working on her unique setting, I was intrigued. Then as we talked, I liked what I heard and decided to get involved. I produced a first piece for her about a sun/fire deity and a nature goddess. The two are solid. And since I got my work in early, She asked me to produce a piece of fiction for the book. The piece was centered around a single line I had in the nature goddess entry.

Something along the lines of "she defeated the Sea Lords and calmed down the oceans." The type of things I wanted to leave rather open for the GM to fill.

I guess she really liked the entry and wanted to know more (to me, when a gamer wants to know more, you are doing your job as a writer). So she asked me for an extended piece of fiction with a simple "How did that happen?"

Pathfinder Society

Retirement Arc I completed the first retirement arc, the Eyes of the Ten series to a rather favorable opinion. The GM (Todd) and the team (Bard, Brian-B, Everett, John-F, and myself) was very balanced and capable in our own right, leading to some epic fights. Eo10 is clearly one the best storyline for Pathfinder Society. Even the later years were flat, but Eo10 delivers. I wasn't as keen on the final part, especially since parts 1-3 were just so good.

Road to 20 During the summer, I was contacted by my buddy Matt-E with a rather unique request. "Do you want to play up to 20th level?" I was contemplating offering my first-born in return to the chance to play. Lucky for me, the seat was mine! Excellent! I made it to level 18 right now (yes, I can level a city if I sneeze too hard). One of the thing the guys have done is really tie in a lot of the loose ends in a way that is SIGNIFICANTLY more interesting and likely than what PFS will do. So I am really enjoying this one.

Playing and GMing I have been playing a lot of PFS online and with my daughters as a way for us to spend time together. They are a few years away from coming to Gencon, but they do enjoy dressing as princesses and going to play PFS. They particularly like our local VC, Chad. Exciting times as a father. I have also been GMing for them to get them to play more.

Season 5 Now that we are in season 5, and that I have played a number of adventures, I can honestly pass the following comments. First, I like the storyline so far. It is concise and delivers mostly what it said it would. I am quite happy about it. The adventures are fun and complex. The downside is that I feel the factions become meaningless, reduced to a series of favors. I don't see them having any value in the sense they had initially. They are now a series of loose thread a given PC may follow - or not - it doesn't matter. Still the basic plot is good.


Warmachine/Hordes: Rhul This year, I added a number of Dwarves to my Rhul force. The addition of a new caster and the arcanists was a welcome addition. I am thinking of adding the Colossal, but do not have the funds... So it waits somewhere at my FLGS... One day... one Day... I have been playing very little so I did not use these new guys... Yet.

Warmachine/Hordes: Mercenaries I added a few characters to my mercenaries, Ashlynn, Alexia, the Gobber... I played these guys a few times...

Warmachine/Hordes: Legion of Everblight Without a doubt the army that grew the most this year. I added a number of new models - painted - but also the two biggiest: a throne of Everblight and an Archangel! A battle engine and a gargantuan... The Archangel in particular I waited a long time for... I kept my GM credit at Enchanted Grounds for almost a year! As I decided and announced my move from Colorado, it became available! So I picked it up, traded my GM credit and left with an awesome haul of stuff! Now I need to paint them...

Warmachine/Hordes: Khador Over the last two years, I posted pictures from the Auction at Gamers' Haven in Colorado Springs. I built up the Khador and sold them off before I moved. Made some okay money on them (which I spent actually moving). Then for her Birthday, my second daughter chose Khador as her faction, so I got her the 2-player battle box, took out the Menoth and gave her the Khador. I painted up the infantry for her, using red and pink as the base colors.

Warmachine/Hordes: Protectorate of Menoth I bought a two-player box this year. With the Menoth models within, I decided to see if I could get some cheap models on Ebay. To my great surprise, I won a massive lot of partially broken/poorly painted models. I had to do a number on them, including 2 weeks in simple green, two rounds of scraping before hitting the build/conversion table. I am currently putting the models on the blog, putting a few at a time.

Warmachine/Hordes: Minions One of my daughters is enamored with pigs. She really likes them, but guess what? As a good dad, I bought her some Thornfall boars! To allow her to field an army, I have been adding a number of minions to my collection. I am quite curious how minions play in-game.

Painting Commissions This year, I did many painting commissions for friends. It was getting to be a neat sideline but my moving to Kentucky ended that. What I liked most was that I got to do what I love: paint models and not have to buy or store them afterwards. I may be adding something to my blog or something to get this started again... I'll see.

Malifaux I painted the first Malifaux models for ME this year, and I never got to play the game! I know it's sad. My daughter uses Rasputina as her PFS character now. The golems found a good home.

Finecast/GW I painted my first - and only - Finecast model this year. I will not be wasting my money on these. They are overpriced and extremely fragile. Too bad, GW used to produce quality stuff. I did not purchase any of their product beyond paints this year and don't see that changing.

I sold many armies before leaving Colorado... My Sisters of Battle were difficult to sell, but I know that they got a good home. I sold a number of armies for Hordes, Warmachine, and historicals. Difficult choices all. But I needed the space... I still have too many minis!


This year marked the first year where I seriously wrote fiction. I normally try to stay away, but I two things in particular warranted my writing. First the NeoExodus Free RPG Day kickstarter just called for an prologue. I originally wrote it as part of the introduction/background but it served no purpose there. I am a big fan of the "what the PCs can't know should not be in the adventure". And there really was no way for the PCs to know about this. However, as a prologue, it added flavor while not detracting from the adventure.

Then I was asked to write a piece of fiction for Kronea, which I will admit was harder than I expected, but the final result was pretty interesting. If you haven't read Kronea, what are you waiting for?

It even boiled out to a number of small other projects: I wrote a campaign epilogue for my NeoExodus home game, a Yr2 epilogue and a Yr3 prologue.

I even pushed my luck in trying to join a Writer's Meetup. Proved to me that I still have to practice on my fiction writing before I become as good as I want to be.

Convention attendance

This year I did not travel much compared to the last few years, but still I managed to attend my share of cons.

Denver, Co: Genghis Con (Feb), GatorCon (May), Denver Comic Con (May), Tacticon (September)

Seattle, Wa: PaizoCon (July): was fun, with so much NeoExodus that I left floating on a cloud.

Louisville, Ky: Fandom Fest (July): My first con here in Kentucky. I have high hopes for this one next year. This year was rather a bust for me, but it will get better.

Indianapolis, In: Gencon (August): I attended the Mecca of gaming, and will do so again next year! I will ask Julie to bring the kids next year too! The quality of GMs has convinced me to "only" do the specials there and to play with local GMs with whom I have more fun. Yup PFS, the quality of your GMs was 1 star out of 3.

Lexington, Ky: Scarefest (though I went, I did not stay as I had family in town and when I got there and saw that I was not expected, I promptly returned home).

Non-Gaming Books

DragonLance Chronicles By Margareth Weis & Tracy Hickman. I must say that after all these years finally getting to read this fantasy classic was quite interesting. I enjoyed myself so much more than I do for usual fantasy. Perhaps because they did not worry themselves about writing more and more books.

The Rise and fall of a Sorcerer-King by Lynn Abbey. This one was a total impulse buy. As I went to Poor Richards, the buy and sell book store, I picked this one up. I found myself really intrigued by this one. Perhaps because it was a single story book (no sequel, no series). I had not been closely in touch with Dark Sun (remember, it went to 4e...)

Blood of the City by Robin Laws. This one I am of two minds about. The original part felt very long, labored and boring. Then the story took a plot twist and became interesting if somewhat predictable. The twist was good.

Mrs Marples' Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie. As a child I read a lot of Agatha Christie. It was about twenty years since I last read one. When I happened on this offer for 1c on Amazon, I decided to buy it. And I found myself really enjoying this book. It was short stories, small mysteries, with the most off the cuff detective of them all: the old spinster called Miss Marple.

The Black Company: Bleak Seasons by Glenn Cook. When I bought the Dark Sun book, I ended up with another Black Company omnibus. This book I did not enjoy as much. It was odd, slow and disjointed. I could not wait for this story to be over. There is another book in the omnibus... and I'm ambivalent about it.

X-Men Essential Ah... the X-Men... the group that got me into comics. Byrne and Claremont-era. Great!

Captain Marvel Essential Vol 2 I asked the kids for Volume 1 and they got me Volume 2. Never mind, it was an interesting book with a character I knew next to nothing about.

Other RPGs

This year, I got to try a number of new game Systems I really liked.

Zombie High I tried this one at Fandom Fest. It is a fun beer and pretzel meet High School drama game.

5e I have been following the 5e playtest. I must make honorable amends and say that I did not actually PLAY this. I think there are number of great ideas in there that we will see in Pathfinder v2, but I fail to be convinced that this is the system of the future. Since there has been no indication that they will try to gather 3PPs to help. They will try and do their thing on their own and we'll see 6e before 2020. Too bad, they had a great opportunity there, but one I feel is slipping.

Serial Pulp I got to play Serial Pulp - and am in the process of completing an adventure for it. Check it out at Genghis Con!

Arcanis I really stepped up my play with Arcanis. It is a definite change from Pathfinder. I expect to play a lot more of it next year.

Witch Hunter I got to play my first slot of Witch Hunter and also am trying to finish an adventure for this.

Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep is now available. Like everyone, I wait for my 7e books... I participated in a number of Kickstarters and now just wait for the goodies.


NeoExodus: Temple of the Forbidden God Funded This adventure was completely written by me and delivered in time for Free RPG Day. If you still have not received contact LPJ directly.

Ultimate Psionics/NeoExodus: The Silvered Skull As the guys from Dreamscarred were seeing their Kickstarter explode, LPJ and I offered to write a Psionic-themed adventure. The resulting adventure, called The Silvered Skull is one I got to run a few times and really like it more and more.

Witch Hunter 2e This is one of those games where I like the setup and the background. I am a big fan of 17th century history . And now they are doing an RPG for it? And it's PCI? TAKE MY MONEY NOW! Which is what they did... I am expecting my new book in the next

Obsidian Apocalypse This 2012 kickstarter was just released. I still wait for my contributor copy (I wrote the OA campaign) piece.

Wrath of Kings I know, I know, I said I would not give any more money to Cool Mini or Not, but they offer the best deals out there... So I had to give them more... I'm still waiting on my Relic Knights model (I don't care about the game, I'll never play, I want my minis).

Call of Cthulhu 7e Chaosium came up with 7e. I now wait impatiently for my books...

Achthung Cthulhu Cthulhu and World War II. Isn't that a great combination? I just wait for my books to come from England.

Gnomish Adventurers StoneHaven miniatures are one of the best example of well-run Kickstarters. They get funded and deliver in time. I did not care for their elves, but their dwarves and gnomes were great deals.


Montreal April I spent most of April in my native Montreal to renew my paperwork. Little did I know I would do it again three months later... It allowed me to see my family, but also some of my old buddies from the Universite.

Seattle July Well... I like their new venue better. I don't think I will be going back in 2014.

Louisville July The big trip of the year, really. Moving the family here... But now Louisville is not a trip.

Blog Milestone

31 Days of Influence series was a big hit
Posts This is #674.
Most Prolific Month October with 38 posts
Most Visits in a Month October with 12,351 visits
Most Popular Post Slavery in NeoExodus
Top 3 Readers Origins USA, UK, Canada (but Russia and Germany are close)
Traffic has increased to the blog

Post Series

Series: Tweaking Pathfinder A lot of traffic and discussions. It seems that a lot of people are reading and evaluating their positions based on these posts. Hopefully, some of those topics will be evaluated and accepted in the next Pathfinder.

Series: Interviews Joana Gaskell, Tim B Brown, Erik Evjen, Venus de Coy

Series: Historical Figures of Renown I started this one as a mental exercise. It is a series I plan on continuing in the new year.


Okay I will admit that my predictions of doom that 5e would be finished and available at Gencon 2013 was wrong. Though the game was available, I was not freely available in a finished product. So I'll say publicly, "I was wrong".

Yes, I realize that I put this at the bottom of a long post.


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