January 14th, 2023

A rules supplement for allergies both magical and mundane.

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Ranger Archetype: City Dweller

Announcing the Halloween Zero-to-Thirty Challenge Rating Challenge!

September 30th, 2021

I’ve collaborated with @probablybadrpgideas on a thing!

For the 31 days of October leading into Halloween, let’s all make one Dungeons & Dragons monster per day. Challenge rating starts at 0 on day 1, and each next monster is CR+1, culminating with a CR30 nightmare on the 31st, representing the monsters getting spookier and more dangerous as we approach the most sacred day. Post your monsters each day like an advent calendar, try running encounters against monsters posted by others, build one-shot Halloween-themed adventures, make monstrous player races to oppose the growing threat, make fan art of other people’s monsters, or just enjoy and share the community’s creations!

For your consideration, a prompt list:

  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Undead
  • Kaiju
  • Fairytale
  • Accursed
  • Spoopy
  • Beast
  • Outer Space
  • Doppelgänger
  • Capitalism
  • Insects
  • Trick-or-Treat
  • Misunderstood Monster
  • The Deep
  • Prehistoric
  • Secretive
  • Ooze
  • B-Movie Monster
  • Expanse
  • Parasite
  • This is Not a Place of Honor
  • Chaos
  • Mythology
  • Supernatural
  • Mecha
  • Psychopomp
  • Forest
  • Abomination
  • Caves
  • Boss Monster
  • End of the World

Feel free to follow the prompts in any order you like for inspiration, skip and replace any you aren’t feeling, use another list, or just follow your heart to make the spoopy spooks of your dreams. Dealer’s choice for D&D edition, or Pathfinder, or Monster of the Week, or whatever TTRPG system you like, just make them scarier and tougher each day.

This is the Halloween Zero-to-Thirty Challenge Rating Challenge. Let’s see what amazing things we can come up with to celebrate the best time of year. Hope your party survives to the end!

Gotta Spend Bells to Make Bells

May 6th, 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons! You all should be playing it. Like right now, get right on that please.

Cool, now that we’re all on the same page, check out my spreadsheet for tracking turnip sales. Behold, the Porkfolio!

Just input the date of each transaction, the amount of turnips bought or sold (use negative numbers for sales), and the price per turnip. The sheet will track bells earned or lost per transaction, how many turnips you have left, and the target price for remaining turnips to still turn a profit. Each Sunday, clear out your values and start fresh (or keep tracking longterm, I mean turnips don’t really work that way but it’s your finances so feel free).

Let me know what you think! I’m sure I’ll be making tweaks in the coming days to fix math errors.

We’re wearing masks now.

April 3rd, 2020

We’re wearing masks now.

It’s something we’d been thinking of for awhile now, but a combination of the CDC discouraging their use and a desire to not disrupt the supply chain of medical-grade protection kept us away from it. But it seems as if the federal guidance is about to shift to recommend some sort of face protection, with a basic cloth mask covering the nose and mouth seeming to be prudent.

Some have derided this action as unnecessary and insufficient to protect against the disease completely, but the’re full of shit and I’m ready to tell them so now. Any protection is better than no protection; this is what doctors have been told in the absence of PPE, and in the face of the sick and dying, no less. And since we don’t even know if we’re sick due to the high rate of asymptomatic infections, and since someone with COVID-19 can disperse it just through the saliva that expels from breathing in the presence of others, a mask feels like a perfectly reasonable precaution to limit the spread, even if only marginally.

Other countries have figured this out weeks or months ago. Americans need to get onboard and normalize the wearing of masks by healthy people. The curve will never flatten if we don’t start taking this much more seriously, much more quickly.

I’ll see you at the supermarket. When I desperately need supplies. In my mask.


Data collection in times of sickness both personal and global

March 23rd, 2020

Two weeks ago, I caught a sinus infection on the return flight from Disneyland (before the parks were closed down for health concerns; the trip feels like a lifetime ago). Since hospitals and doctors’ offices are getting slammed right now, I knew that making an appointment would not be prudent, so I called and requested an antibiotic prescription (they seemed grateful to have me not clutter their office and get others sick).

Throughout the entirety of my medication period, I took my temperature, sometimes several times a day. I wanted to keep tabs on how my illness progressed, and of course look out for possible COVID-19 symptoms in case my infection was weakening my immune system enough for another viral invader to take purchase (fortunately, this was not the case, and my typical old season-and-travel-influenced nasal drip ran its course as expected).

In the course of taking my temperature and adding the results to the Health app on my iPhone for tracking, I wrote up an iOS shortcut that I could trigger the temperature input via Siri. Maybe someone else will find some use in this, so here’s a link (requires permission to write health data, obvs).

Since I was recording my temperature like crazy, I now have fun visualized data!

Examples of my body temperature readings in the iOS Health app from a few weeks in March 2020.

Got a lot of high 96°F ratings which felt a bit low as a baseline, but then again, I never have this volume of body temperature data available to me, so perhaps I run cooler than I thought. Only got to 99° once and that was after a much-needed outdoor walk, so I’d chalk that up to a slightly elevated heart rate. Average of 97.44° is within expected ranges and also happens to align with the average temperature in recent studies.

So after all that, no fever (and no COVID-19; I’ve been sheltering in place since I got off that plane, especially as the global pandemic started to ramp up). Only some fun with data collection. Which, as self-quarantine activities go, isn’t the worst way to pass the time.

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Manual Apple Store Gift Card Link Creation for Apple Wallet

January 4th, 2019

Just because this took me way too long to figure out:

If you have an Apple Store gift card you’re unable to scan into Apple Wallet via the iPhone camera (in my case, because I had a digital gift card from a third party that just provided card number and PIN, no QR code to be found), manually create a URL formatted as follows:

Replace ################ with the gift card number, and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA with the PIN, then click the link on your Mac or iOS device to generate the Apple Wallet confirmation prompt. C’est fait!

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MoviePass update

October 28th, 2018

It’s a garbage fire of a service and I cancelled my subscription months ago.

But I bought Helios and Mathewson stock first because it was slime-mud-on-fire-dirt-cheap, so I guess I still support them by being an investor or something?

But now they’re being spun off into a separate company, so the shares won’t even be connected to the concept I found so fresh and intriguing in the first place.

But Cinemark Movie Club looks like a more reasonable setup since the local Cinemark is the only place I see movies nowadays, due to comfy recliners, reserved seating, and very close proximity.

Don’t do MoviePass you guys.

DM Diary – Adelia’s Gift

September 16th, 2018

I’m running my own Dungeons and Dragons campaign! After several years of not being able to figure out scheduling with my existing gaming group, my desire to play D&D again finally won out over my fears of putting on the Dungeon Master hat. It’s a little daunting, especially since I’ve chosen to write a 100% original campaign and story (this may end up being a mistake), but the players are all new (playing 5e) so at least we all get to go through the learning process together.

Though I don’t think the campaign I’ve written is anything exceptional or original, I’m happy enough with how it’s gone so far that I wanted to share our experience at the table, in case other would-be DMs out there need a little extra push to start running their own games.

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Hollywood Unoriginality Ratio: Get Out

January 28th, 2018

MoviePass is pretty great you guys. Found myself with an open afternoon so I figured I’d stop by my local Century Cinema 16 today to see newly-Oscar-nominated-but-really-I’ve-been-wanting-to-see-it-anyway Get Out. It was really good it turns out! I guess sometimes the self-congratulatory circle-jerk movie awards organizations happen to pick productions of actual quality and not movies engineered specifically to sway judges. A broken clock, amirite?

And it turns out, they still do trailers before movies, and many of them are for movies that are derivative works of a prequel/sequel/remake/adaptation nature. Hence, the HUR returneth. It’s not the metric of original storytelling we want, but something about great responsibility. Continue Reading »

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