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Your Focus Needs More Focus

This line from the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid (“Your focus needs more focus”) has been spinning about my head lately, as I went through another round of reducing my active projects. Great things come through focus. Demonic focus, as Tom Peters calls it. But focus doesn’t mean 18 hours of work every day. It means concentrating on one and only one thing at a time. Now, I’d […]

Dungeons and Dragons and Giant Robots, part 3

In the first post in this series, I laid out some basic ideas for a role-playing system for playing in giant robot universes, using a straight port of the D&D 4E system. In the second post, I defined basic stats and attributes for PCs and their mecha. Today, I’m going to lay out the stats needed for a mecha, and the stats needed for a PC: Mecha Character Sheet Name Manufacturer — Corresponds to race Class Size Speed Initiative Defenses AC Fortitude […]

Dungeons and Dragons and Giant Robots, part 2

Dungeons and Dragons and Giant Robots, part 2

In my previous post on this topic, I suggested a few basic rules for a giant robot RPG system using the basic D&D 4E rules. Let’s review the rules so far: Mecha operate on a scale 10x that of the human scale. So, mecha weapons do 10x the damage of a human weapon, mecha are about 10x bigger than humans, etc. Mecha combat occurs on its own grid, which does not represent […]

Into the Jungle

I’ve been trying to nail down one international trip this year.  Was trying to find a good trip to Greece or Italy, but every itinerary was jam-packed with activities. I wanted more freedom.  (Don’t we all?) Then I saw a deal on a trip to Africa. So, if all the paperwork goes through, I’ll be going to South Africa this October, from the 6th through the 15th.  I’ll be spending […]

New Floors

This is a completely personal post. I had new hardwood floors installed this past weekend, covering my entire upstairs and the stairwell.  It was expensive, but my house looks fantastic. Oddly, walking into an office with a cherry hardwood floor (even if it is laminate cherry) just feels right. It also feels exhausting. I didn’t install any of it, but I had to prepare: moving 4 bookcases […]

Dungeons and Dragons and Giant Robots, part 1

Last weekend, Saalon and I discussed a straight conversion of D&D 4th Edition for a universe of anime-style “real robot” giant robot combat. So, more like the serious war stories of Gundam than the goofy fistfights of Gigantor. Scales of War The first problem is one of scale. Giant robots operate weapons that can pulverize many individual soldiers in one hit. So, let’s identify a rule: Mecha operate on a scale 10x that […]

Updating your WordPress Blog from WP 2.x to 3.0

I’ve successfully migrated two WordPress 2.9 blogs to WordPress 3.0.  No issues.  Here are steps to follow to do so safely: Phase 1: Backup Click on Tools > Export.  The “Export” page is displayed. Click the Download Export File button.  A “Save as” dialog is displayed.  Save the file on your desktop. Click on Dashboard.  Note the version of WordPress that you are running.  The version number is […]


I just bit into a green bean, picked fresh from the box out back. I am 10 years old. I’m shucking corn on the tiny deck outside my parents’ kitchen. Errant strands of corn silk float lazily through the air to hang on the azalea bushes below. Inside, we have chicken cordon bleu with big, yellow ears of corn and green beans. Slabs of butter slide, kernel by kernel, down the corn […]

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Visual Novels

As part of a Top Secret Project, I bought and have been playing several Japanese visual novels lately. (For those unfamiliar: a visual novel is something like a graphic adventure. The canonical example is a high school dating simulation, where the player talks with several girls in his class over the course of a few weeks, and whomever he spends the most time on becomes his girlfriend at the end. This is usually accompanied by a few […]

Five Awesome RPG Systems You Should Check Out

Five Awesome RPG Systems You Should Check Out

Role-players tend to find their “favorite system” and stick with it. While they’re more open-minded about other systems than, say, programmers are about languages, they often avoid new systems in favor of the familiar. So, here are 5 role-playing systems that are worth checking out: Fudge Technically, Fudge is a toolkit for making a system. The basics are brilliantly simple: Every character’s attributes, skills, […]

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