Category Archives: Silliness

Dirty Delvers Treasure Division

Two things are on my mind at the moment. “Dirty Santa” style gift –exchange games, and treasure division in dungeon-delving style fantasy RPGs. These two things have nothing to do with each other, and yet…

Let me interrupt my own train of thought to point out that I’m not claiming this is a good idea. I strongly suspect it’s a bad idea. But, it IS an idea, and sometimes those demand our attention.

So, let’s combine Dirty Santa and Treasure Division.

Decide how many items there are to be divided. We’ll call this the number of “picks.” If there’s money or other bulk valuables you can divide the total value by the number of people in the party who get treasure (we’ll call them folks), and treat each amount of that value as one pick. (So if there is 2400 gp of coins and gems, and five folks dividing the treasure, that’s five picks worth 480 gp each.)

Divide the total number of picks by the number of folks, and round up.

Double that number, and each of the folks get that many takes. A take represents selecting an item of loot to keep. They should track their takes.

To decide who gets to spend a take first, players all secretly bid how many takes they will spend for that privilege. Then reveal the bids. Whoever bid the most goes first, and the order after id determined by who bid the 2nd most, and so on. In case of ties, roll off to see who goes earlier.

The person who goes first expends 1 pick to select an item. At least for the moment, it is theirs.

The next person may expend 1 pick to select an item left in the pool, or may expend TWO picks to take the item already selected by the person who went first. If that happens, the person who went first gets one pick back.

Proceed in order. On each turn, a folk can do one of these things:
A: Expend one pick to select an item no one has selected yet.
B: Select an item someone else has. This requires you to spend a number of picks equal to 1 + the number of people who have already picked it. So if two people have already picked it, you have to spend three picks. No matter how many picks you spend, one pick goes back to the person you take it from.
C: Select an item someone else has that you were the very first person to pick. This costs only one pick, no matter how many people have picked it since.

Repeat this process until you run out of items, or everyone runs out of picks. If you run out of items, the process is over. If everyone runs out of picks when there are still items left, everyone gets back all the picks they began with, and keep going.

Speaking of Ideas

Here’s an idea; why not support my Patreon? It’s the main way to encourage me to produce more blog posts so if you enjoyed this, maybe it’s worth a dollar a month?

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Grandma’s Hard Candy Flavors

I decided to get a jar of old-fashioned hard candies, like grandmas everywhere kept in candy dishes in the old days, to enjoy for the holidays. There were a huge variety of shapes and colors among the candies, which were really fun to look at. The packaging didn’t include any information on what flavor any of them were, but I think I’ve worked most of them out.

The Bad Spot on the Apple
Fireball Whisky
Liver
Overripe Banana
The Tears of Children
Light Beer
Toothpaste
Screw Pine
Plaque Control Toothpaste
Castor Oil
Leftover pancakes soaked in too much syrup
Nyquil
Existential Dread
Lemon

Amused and want to encourage me to write more stuff? Feel pity and want to help me afford better candy? either way, you can consider contributing to my Patreon. 🙂

Weird and Street-Level Heroes

These are entirely random ideas, at least in part driven by cold medicine, on quirky heroes at the street level, where gangs and men with brass knuckles are still significant threats.

Look, if the Defenstrator and Wild Dog can be heroes…

For no particular reason other than to have some fun.

Babe. An aging, portly male vigilante with a baseball bat, catcher’s helmet, chest protector and leg guards… and a significant close-combat skills, if not a ton of endurance. Gives kids in his neighborhood oranges if they’re good.

Beulah. Inspired by Edison/Tesla contemporary Beulah Henry, Beulah is a one-woman engineering firm, with the motto “Have Wrench, Will Travel.” Often works to solve local neighborhood problems large companies and municipal groups refuse to get around too, but also sometimes solves murders or stops crimes.

Flying Rat. Low-rent Batman-type, with a Pigeon motif. Not a billionaire, just someone with a trust fund big enough to order custom paint jobs on cars and catalog-shuriken, semi-concealable body armor, kendo and Krav Maga classes, bribe a network of pizza delivery drivers and homeless kids to spy for him, maintain prepaid legal services, and not need a 40-hour-a-week job. Operates from the Pigeon Coupe, his fixed-roof sedan with custom hood ornament and some police gear.

Isiah Mordecai Mortal. Private detective who, if killed, shows up at the edge of the nearest township to his corpse at the next sundown. Has business cards with “I.M.Mortal” on them.

Jean Hatchet. A firewoman who refuses to back down from villains, local thugs, or corrupt officials, and carries her fire axe with her almost always. When not in her fire fighter’s uniform, wears sneakers, slacks, a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a thin tie.

Paintball. A young, athletic woman with a paintball mask and paintball gun. She is an expert paintball sniper and shootist, and mixes custom paintball colors (with UV inks) she delivers to local police in advance so if she is seen shooting a robber to mark them on camera, the police can prove a suspect is the one she shot.

Pellet. Paintball’s young male sidekick (a fact she accepts only grudgingly), who also uses paintballs but delivers them with a slingshot.

Video Week: More WotC Stories

I’ve been putting up a series of videos this week, focusing on my work at Wizards of the Coast, back in 2000-2001.

Today’s video focuses on a moment of realization I had about what my job actually was.

Here’s the video!

If you enjoyed this, check out the other videos I’ve posted on my page of Youtube videos.

Enjoyed this video (or any of my other videos or blog posts?) Consider supporting their production by backing my Patreon!

Video Week: My First Day at WotC (Part 1)

I hope to put up a series of videos this week, beginning some some that recount the many tales of my very first day of work at Wizards of the Coast, back in 2000.

Here’s the video!

If you enjoyed this, check out the other videos I’ve posted on my page of Youtube videos.

Enjoyed this video (or any of my other videos or blog posts?) Consider supporting their production by backing my Patreon!

Blade Jogger

Blade Jogger

In preparation for seeing Blade Runner 2049, Lj and I opted to watch a version of the original.

I’d like to claim it inspired me to write a post about how the only innocent character isn’t the protagonist or antagonist, or thoughts on what we owe our inheritors, an essay on the value of a life lived for a single moment, or my analysis on why the universe itself cries throughout the entire film, or something classy like that.

But that just wouldn’t be me.

Instead you get:

Ten Mash-Ups I’d Watch But Have Never Heard Anyone Suggest

(and their advertising tag lines).

Blade Runner vs. Predator
Who hunts the hunter?

Robocop V – Chucky Cop
When the police are demonic dolls, who do you turn to for help?

Christine: Transformer
Evil is changing.

Dungeons and Dagon
You are not high enough level.

Men in Black Mirror
Whatever’s going on, it’s weird and depressing.

Doctor Clue
Master Mustard, in the 11th century, with the lead pipe.

G.I Joe vs the Volcano
Amercia’s Best can Get the Job, but can they Do the Job?

Gremlinbusters
Who You Gonna Feed After Midnight?

The Last Star Writer
A fanfiction forum is a test from an alien alliance to pick the one geek who can think of ideas awesome enough to save the galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy Quest
They’re going to need Guy’s leg.

Honorable Mentions
The Fhtagn Four
Mr. Fhtagn. His mind can bend into any shape!
Invisible and Insane Woman. Out of Sight, Out of Mind.
Eldritch Thing. It’s Cthulhuing Time!
Human Torch. We set a guy on fire. He… doesn’t do much.

If you liked this:

You can support my weirdness by backing my Patreon!

The Monday Bad Idea

The Monday Bad Idea!
A modern supers game, where most issues are handled by the International Forces.
But if they can’t cope with something, it gets passed up to the World Hero Emergency Network.
“So it’s not I.F., but W.H.E.N.”

BONUS Bad Idea!

“Sir, I’m writing the the Military Action eXtreme Intelligence mandate protocols, and they need a to define default super-agent team for class 1 incidents. Should I indicate the
National Emergency Veteran Executive Reserve?”
“We could, but let’s not go straight to our most experienced agent team in such cases. I think we’re better served with that protocol calling on the Legion of Advanced Tactical Experts first, whenever possible. ”
“Ah, so the M.A.X.I.M. is better L.A.T.E. than N.E.V.E.R.”

“Oh R’lyeh?!”

I had always wondered what the HELL could cause Cthulhu* to give so much side-eye.
Cthulhu Side Eye
I now believe he had read the commends section of the Necronomicon.

“The layout of R’lyeh is so bad it’s hard not to conclude it was intentionally designed to inconvenience visitors.”

“A single read-through and I have already found five runes that would cause you to be ripped apart in the streets by invisible spirits. I am disappointed, as I (very reasonably) expected better editing from my favorite Elder God. No effort went into this.”

“I know Cthulhu may be uncomfortable discussing how chubby his tentacles are getting, but as a fan I feel I have to make sure he understands how dangerous that is for his health.”

(With much love to artist Erol Otus, and the original 1st Edition Deities and Demigods.)

The Gamer

On a warm summer’s eve
On a team bound for nowhere
I met up with the gamer
We were both too tired to sleep

So we took turns a-starin’
At the window with the forums
The boredom overtook us,
And he began to speak

He said, “Son, I’ve made a life
Out of readin’ GM’s faces
Knowin’ which big monsters
Had caught their beady eyes

So if you don’t mind me sayin’
I can see you’re out of d6s
For a sip of some Jolt cola
I’ll give you some advice”

So I handed him my bottle
And he drank down my last swallow
He pulled out a tablet
With a screen with a backlight

And the night got deathly quiet
And his faced lost all expression
He said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

You’ve got to know what’s your THACO
Know who to whack-o
Know when to fireball
Or to pull a gun
You never count your gp
When you’re still in an encounter
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dungeon’s done.

(With apologies to Kenny Rogers)

 

The Old Satire Swing Out Front

So if there’s one thing I learned in RPG publishing*, it’s that your d20-based fantasy rpg publishing company needs a small, fantasy-themed, murderous creature to use as a mascot.

Sadly the obvious choices–goblins, gremlins, kobolds, the demon god Orcus–are taken.

So, that pretty much leaves us with dark creepers, dretch, mites, and orang-pendaks.

I think we can all agree mite is the “big” winner here.

Of course, that means (by law), I have to think about a free RPG day adventure** featuring Mites.

For this sort of thing, the name comes first.

Here are my current choices:

A Mite. B Giants.

Doom (The Spell) Comes to Fog-Town

The Mite-y Horde

Tick Attack

Vermins and Vigilantes

Clearly***, this is the first step to a much greater level of success for me!

*And there might not be. And this is satire. Though there still might not be.

**I only have to think about it. I don’t have to do it. which is good, since I’m not going to.

***It is not clear.

This is weird

Yes it is. I give some explanation of it on my Patreon, in a currently patron-exclusive format.