Wednesday, January 6, 2010

White Hair? Just Hints of Grey ;)

White Haired Man Games has been kind enough to forward me review copies of their latest products for use in Fantasy Grounds 2 (or without, as the accompanying PDFs are probably worth the value on their own). Its going to take me a few week to get thru their review material and I have a few other products from other publishers I want to touch on. Janauary is going to be a very busy month it seems.

Totally off topic, but I think this Friday will be Beer Bottling Day at Tenkar's Tavern. Then at least two more weeks to carbonate and at least one more week of conditioning in the refrigerator. So at least 3 1/2 weeks before a true sample can be tasted.

In the meantime, thanks to my Brother-in-law Chris for the 1 liter and 1/2 liter bier steins he brought back from Oktoberfest in Germany for me. Dude, you rock!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Reprint or Repost - Its Still a Neat Trick

Over the summer I found a neat little program that allowed you to turn your photographs into "fake" art. Its a decent trick for both VTT gaming and face to face when you need a prop or handout. So I'm re-posting it for the new year. Enjoy :)

Ever want to show your players what they see and not just describe it to them? How about while playing using a VTT? Doesn't that just scream visual aids?

Using real life photographs can be a real shortcut, but I find that using a photograph limits the players' imaginations and distracts one from the escapism. Here's my solution: photosketcher (did i mention it's free?)

It turns my photos into faux paintings that I can tweak for effect.

Here's an example using one of the sample pics supplied with Windows Vista.

I'll post more before and after pics later.

Pencil effects of a pic I took last fall. One with some color, one without.

I think I do prefer the pencil effect myself, especially for use in gaming. Cropping and photoshopping prior to conversion gives one lots of possibilities. Here's my feline daughter and the pencil conversion. Imagine her sitting at a height of 6' and asking the party a riddle...

Supplement VI - The Majestic Wilderlands

It seems like everyone has their own spin on the classic Wilderlands line by Judges Guild. James Mishler has his spin on the Wilderlands and now Robert Conley is giving us his vision with the Majestic Wilderlands.

So, what do you get for your 7 bucks. 140 pages full of gaming goodness for Swords & Wizardry (OD&D). Actually, just short of half (the second half) of this PDF gives you setting material that could be easily used in any version of D&D, its clones, heck, just about any fantasy ruleset - it is system agnostic.

The first 80 pages or so detail new sub-classes, spells, optional rules for your S&W campaign and the obligatory spin on the rogue class. There's a hell of alot of crunch for anyone that is looking to expand their Swords & Wizardry game.

Final verdict? 5 stars - either section of this book is easily worth $7 bucks on their own. DX-ability is a solid 5. Nice, clean and simple layout.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Yesterday's Brain Fart

My son is playing the "Star TREK Online" beta, not Star Wars. Star Wars Galaxies was / is an aberration. Correcting yesterday's post. I don't need to look sillier then I already do.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brewmaster 101 - or Why I Would Never Drink What my PCs Do

My plan was to post about some of the really nice PDFs I picked up last week. It was going to be "The Anti-Rant". Somehow I never got around to transferring them to my Kindle DX, and my son is currently glued to my PC playing the Star Wars Online Beta. Lets just say if it plays half as well as it looks I'll be sold. In any case, no PDFs to review (working off my netbook at the moment)

I still need to bottle my beer as it has been 15 days since it started fermenting. Looks like tomorrow nite will be the nite to do so. I have some 1/2 gallon and quart bottles waiting to be used. It has been a busy but fun four day weekend, and I just don't have the energy to bottle tonight.

So, what am I doing at the moment? I'm flipping thru a X-mass gift my brother-in-law got me - The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible by Leon W. Kania. Holy crap. If you have any desire to brew anything at any point in your life, pick this book up. If you want to know how booze was made back in the days before mass production and pasteurization, this is your bible.

One recipe included is for Corn Whiskey. It call for 10 lbs of corn to be aced in a feed sack and buried in the warm moist center of a manure pile for about a week and a half... you are basically waiting for the kernels to sprout. Now, imagine being told that the Whiskey you were drinking had its start in the center of a pile of cow crap?

There is alot of information on stills, distilling, brewing, and real life characters that that were involved in bootlegging. My favorite so far? The retired Catholic Priest that made milk wine, much to the authorities frustration. I'm finding hooks and props that I can drop into my next campaign no matter the genre.

I'm tempted to try my hand at wine now. I can legally brew 100 gallons of beer and wine yearly for my personal use. Heh. Nice thought.

Oh, if you want to try your hand and brewing beer, run-don't walk, to your nearest Bed, Bath and Beyond. They have the Mr. Beer starter kit for $29.99 less half - so for 15 bucks (less 20% if you have a coupon)and some empty soda bottles you can try your hand at brewing some pale ale. If you get luck they may have a 3 pack of refills for about the same reduced price. Try it if you have the time. Its fun, it's fairly cheap, and tastes better then most of what the big breweries put out these days.
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