Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Cold doesn’t bother me…but…

…I knew it would bother some of my players to have to lug around in sub zero wind chills last Wednesday (18 Feb 15).  Hence I cancelled Encounters last week.  Fortunately I have a couple blockbuster climatic encounters for the next two weeks–the final weeks of Hoard of the Dragon Queen–and have it done in time to start the next season, Princes of the Apocalypse.

Getting it video casted, however, will take some doing, becuase I have some problems getting a decent computer set up right.  I need to get a new one for the Twitch Channel which will show online games as well as showing artwork, which will occur in a couple months, but I think I can get something working in the interim:

phpotywzkMeet the Raspberry Pi.  A fully functional–if not exceptionally powerful–computer the size of a credit card.  The card itself is $35, which goes to about $50-60 when you add the other necessities like the Micro SD card for the hard drive, and a compatable video cable.

This is essentially a hobbiest computer, capable of powering robots and creating your own personalized Game Boy.  But I wager that it could make a decent video camera as well, since I have a web camera, some spare extra components (Like a mouse and keyboard) and a spare monitor to hook this baby up to.

It’ll cost me about $80 for all the parts, but I think I can have a great video recording device out of this machine, which will be perfect for recording videos.  And it’ll be well into my budget to boot.

I’ll let you know how this bit comes up.

Win 10 will be a free Upgrade

I’ve been bullish on Windows since Windows 7, which at the time was, to me, a perfect OS.  I found out that Wndows 10 (There was a line of legacy code in many programs that caused Microsoft to skip a numbers) proved that Microsoft is capable of learning from their mistakes (Win 8, natch) and today I learned that they have learned the same with their pricing strategy.

For a limited time, all upgrades from not just 8.1, but from 7, will be free.  This will be an excellent chance for me to install a much needed new OS over a two year old installation (which does tend to get clunky) .  And I did intend to do that skip over from 7 to 10 anyway.

Microsoft is also planning their own holographic glasses (which looks a bit clunkier than Google Glass, but I’d still try it.) as well as a new Web Browser (Although I’ll wait til the beta’s out before I pass judgement on Spartan.)  For a comany that I formerly derided because I couldn’t stand XP (I was a dedicated Linux user for a time) Microsoft proves time and time again that they’re capable of listening to their customers.  Which, if they want to keep their top dog status in the computing world, is vital.

Encounters Update: Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Jan 21

Trigger Warning: Spoilers

With the next season announced (Princes of the Apocalypse) in April, I knew I had to stop dilly dallying in the Castle Raerythar chapter. I just didn’t expect it to end so soon.

Since this is the start of my public updates, which begin strange enough in the middle of the season—what can I say? It’s a new year’s resolution—I felt that the above ‘Trigger Warning’ is required. Also, keep in mind that what happens in my campaign will NEVER match that of WotC’s official narrative. Not only will it be different, it’ll also take place in a persistent world: Previous campaigns affected “Hoard of the Dragon Queen” which will in turn affect “Princes of the Apocalypse”)

It started with a recap of the earlier fuck-up from one of the players: I have it so that Dralmorrer Borngray has captured one of the PCs because he was screwing around in a conspicuously placed hoard of gold. I’ve taken that PC somewhere in the next chapter so that the players, including a new PC, had to pursue him, which required finding the command word for the portal to the next chapter.

What I didn’t count on is that everything the players need is in one part of the castle: The Chapel, which included the library where the command word—which I’ve revised—is located. Add that to the dungeon zone where they made a surprise beeline to the portal circle and they ended up clearing the chapter.

Of course, that means leaving a perfectly good castle still relatively untouched. Dralmorrer and Pharblex are still alive, and possibly still in the castle. Just as I was planning on repurposing said castle for a different purpose.

That will, of course, give me an opportunity to create a stand-alone module for Castle Raerythar. It’ll be easy for me to remix the whole chapter into a post-Tyranny of Dragons scenario and add it to my world:

Adventure Hook: A loose end has been discovered in the aftermath of Tiamat’s attempt to return: There was a report that Castle Raerythar, a former stronghold of the Cult of the Dragon, contains a vast library of books, records, and other writings compiling an extensive history of the Sword Coast region. Such a collection can prove vital to the historical knowledge for many groups, including the Harpers, Lord’s Alliance, and the Gauntlet. You and your group are given the opportunity to enter this castle and secure the library for the prosperity of the Realms.

It’ll take me some time to create this module, I’ll probably work on it in February, but I do intend to make the revised Castle Raerythar for my own use. A PDF of the module will be made available for download as well once all the bugs are ironed out.

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