JP On Gaming

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Service is Eternal for 5e released!

You may have been wondering why I have been rather quiet on this blog for a while, and I have to say I missed it. I miss writing for it. However, with this crazy week I had, I did not have a lot of time to spend writing. I did however, take some time to write and complete work on a book I've been working on for quite a while. Of course, I mean the 5e version of "Service is Eternal", the book to the First Ones of Saggakar.

I always thought of this book as a "monster book", but one where you create and build serious enemies. So the balance in design that I value everywhere else here takes a backseat as I want to make the First Ones to be more than just monsters.

This new edition was an opportunity for me to not only review material for the setting, but also to add elements to it that were not in the original, Pathfinder version. So let's go over some of the changes that are in there.

First, a whole new section on First Ones Organizations. These organizations were mentioned in the original book, as feats and as prestige classes. I always felt these were not well defined enough in the original book. When I began thinking about them and how I had not used them much. I went back to my original material for them and expanded them. I did the Orders, but also redid the six schools, expanded and defined them. If you look at many of the main First One NPCs, you can already see where I was going with some of them, those secret background that have yet to appear in adventure and in material. I really like the simplicity of the 5e organization format. Although I initially wanted to expand the format, I opted against it, to let the GM on his own how powerful the school/organization is in his campaign.

The organizations are used for backgrounds, allowing for the creation of characters who attended the schools or trained with the orders and are either no longer members OR currently on leave.

The six races that were in the original book are still here: the half-elven Drovites, the commanding Exodites, the breeding Grexodites, the shadowy Harovites, the demonic Netherlings, and the halfling-driders: the spiderlings. But the coolest and most disgusting addition to the main races are the shapeshifting shogleths. I had these guys in adventures and when they transform from a humanoid into an ooze is always fun to describe and watch the players' reaction.

The new archetypes for the classes are based on what used to be prestige classes, such as the Dark Dancer (bard), the Kares'kor (fighter), the Jet Arrows (ranger), the Lords of the Whip (fighter), the Masters of the Veils (wizard), and the Shadow Blades (rogue).

Add new feats, new spells, new alchemical substances, new magic items, 5e version of the monsters, and sample First Ones.

You can get this book on DriveThru RPG and RPG Now. Check it out, leave a review.

Perhaps the biggest bonus is that it has a HeroLab extension! So get the book, and create First Ones through Herolab right away!

For those of you who enjoy Legacies, you get a special, "unique" LR that allows you to create a First One in the campaign!

Monday, October 16, 2017

No sunset this time

I just got the news that I was being cut for budgetary concerns from the job I occupied for the last 2.8 years. It had it ups and downs, but I enjoyed showing up to work and getting some really cool things done. While I am quite angry about this situation, I must focus on what is coming, on what I need to do next.

Over the last two years, I was able to really solidify the development situation, going from a house on fire to one of calm and peace. I set up a number of processes that made deployments simpler, quicker, and easier. I put in place code that simplified and streamlined the code, especially in the area of data access and unit testing. I am proud to say that under my watch (I'll give myself a 4 month grace period), there has been no major code issues. None that required a rollback or an emergency fix. Actually, I recall there was one... Still with 1.5 deployments a month, I'll take take.

I can't take it personal, because I know my performance was good and that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I did a great job. So good that they decided that I was not needed. A victim of my own success.

Still it sucks.

It provides me little solace to know I did nothing wrong.

I already contacted many of recruiters and have spent the day on the phone. I pray things will fall in place quickly.

I did find solace today in a few things. First, my wife is the most understanding and kind person I know. I mean, she is able to put up with me. Second, Since I posted the new on social media, I received a LOT of help and well-wishes from people all over the place.

Now enough wallowing in self-pity and let's get up and start getting my butt back to work.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Imaginarium After-Action Report

This past weekend was Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, Ky. I attended the cons last year as a guest, and this year, I went as there as support for JD, the man behind Rhym. JD was running panels and workshops.

The trip there took much longer than expected because I spent two hours trying to cross all of Nashville. For those who do not know, I both live and work in the south of Nashville. After a long time on the road, I got there. Since it was around 10pm local, I decided to make a stop at the convention hall to check in and see what was going on.

HQ had just closed for the night, but the gaming hall was still rockin', so I sad down at a 5e game for its finale. My introduction to the game featured all kinds of wrong, and the game delivered, laughs all around.

Then I check in to the hotel, only to discover that I booked the wrong weekend! The issue was quickly addressed and fixed quickly and I was shortly in my room ready for sleep, watching Guy Fieri on TV.

I got up early Saturday morning ready to rock. I did a quick stop at a local Starbucks for my morning joe and I was ready to rock. Everything was set up, with the looming shape of Fahran the tiefling cleric over me, I waited.

The first slot, I had only a single player show up. It was great to see Scott again, with whom I played last year. I could've joined either a game of Dread or a game of Wild Skies, but I did not really feel it. Rather, I was full of ideas. So I sat down and I wrote. I wrote up a storm at a writing convention!

Towards the planned end of the slot, Tom who I met at the very first Imaginarium and JD came around and we began to chat and talk about stuff. Yak Yak Yak. So much so that before I realize it, it was ten to two. I had not eaten yet!

The afternoon slot, I ran the newest Rhym adventure, Lord of the Desert. The ink on the adventure was still drying when I left for the con on Friday. A fun time for sure, though I did take a little too much time to get into the meat of the plot. It is a big adventure, with a lot to do. By the end, they were breathless and asking for more, always a good sign!

After that, Tom, JD and I headed to the Sichuan Gardens for a Korean-prepared Chinese feast. I was famished by then. I must say that I wolfed down anything that came within arm's reach. Over dinner, we talked about a lot of things as I ate and ate.

After that, I got into my car to see my hockey team was getting crushed. Sigh. The drive south was uneventful. Sleep. Sleep was good.

The con had moved from its previous location near the airport for the Ramada Inn in J-Town (next to my Kentucky home). The venue is fine even if there is nothing closeby to eat without taking your car.

I will send to the convention folk, that the gaming-related panels and the gaming programming should be made so that game slots and game panels do not clash with each other. I really think this would allow both GMs and players to have time to participate in as many events as possible. I think that could really help the gaming room. Attendance seemed low, but that is only from my own limited perception.

I am interested in going back next year. Though I will plan to have all my panels in the morning, then GM afternoon and evening. I would also like to plan my time better so I get to meet different writers and publishers.

That's it for this year!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

[ArcadiaQuest] The Jester

In my previous post, I posted about the Marillion jester from the band's early and quite hallowed days. Like many fan, I prefer their early stuff (with Fish).

I'm not fully satisfied with the picture, but not with the model itself, I really like.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Wonderpage is Moving

Way back in 1996, I opened a website on my university's servers to put content from my many World of Darkness. I called it quite simply, Pacman's Wonderpage. The name stuck and I used it to this day...

Before I left college, I moved the Wonderpage to Geocities. That was years before Yahoo got a hold of it. I built up my site so it would contain everything I wanted. It was great fun to built and experiment with html technologies. Before Geocities closed down, I moved to a GoDaddy hosted website, simply

When came time for the big redo and move to PHP in and around 2008-09, I setup everything I wanted.

Tonight, I am moving the Wonderpage once again, to a new hosting solution. I will be reviewing a lot of things on the Wonderpage, maybe updating parts of it to a different type of technologies. It remains to be seen... Should be fun for sure...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

[ArcadiaQuest] Six Fun Ones

Six more from Will's Inferno collection.

The first group includes a witch, Baron Samedi, and a Tiefling. The witch came out really nice, her sculpt is very good and quite dynamic. She comes out as very anime-ish and the paint job really brought out all the character of the model. Baron Samedi has a similarly great sculpt. Finally, the third one is a demon-woman whose red color

The second group is also pretty cool. First is Kate Beckinsale's character in Van Helsing. I really like her hair. The next guy is Perseus as presented by Harry Hamlin in the original (and still best) Clash of the Titans.

The second group is also pretty cool. First is Kate Beckinsale's character in Van Helsing. I really like her hair. The next guy is Perseus as presented by Harry Hamlin in the original (and still best) Clash of the Titans. The third and final one has is the jester. This jester was painted based on the jester imagery from the early Marillion, whom I learned that Will was also a fellow fan. All the best freaks are here, as they say!