Category Archives: Politics

Bonus Heroic Threat

Heroic Threats is up to $250.  If you haven’t backed it yet, there’s only five days left.  And here’s a special bonus monster, only for people who check out my blog:

(It’s also the boss monster for today’s Dragons & Disney game).

Corrupted Triple Treant

Huge Natural Animate (Plant)

Level 1 Solo Controller

HP 128, Bloodied 64

AC 16, Fortitude 15, Reflex 11, Will 13

Speed 4, Forest Walk

Vulnerable 5 Fire

Resist 5 Poison


All Saves +5, AP 2

Standard Actions:

Branch Lash: +6 vs AC, Reach 3, 2d6 + 3 damage.

Branch Frenzy: (The Corrupted Triple Treant must have spent an action point this turn). +4 vs Reflex, Close Burst 3, 2d4 + 4 damage, and target is knocked prone.


Minor Actions


*Ward against Evil (once per round)

The Corrupted Triple Treant uses one of the following attacks. If bloodied, it uses two attacks. Close Burst 6

Hear No Evil: +4 vs Will. Hit: 1d6 + 3 psychic damage and the target is dazed and deafened until the end of the Triple Treant’s next turn, or until a saving throw is rolled. (recharges when See No Evil is Used)

Speak No Evil: +4 vs Will. Hit: 1d6 + 3 psychic damage, and the target is silenced and cannot speak, and can only use at-will powers and abilities until the end of the Triple Treant’s next turn, or until a saving throw is rolled. (recharges when See Hear No Evil is used)

See No Evil: +4 vs Fortitude. Hit: 1d6 + 3 psychic damage and the target is blinded until the end of the Triple Treant’s next turn, or until a saving throw is rolled. (recharges when Speak No Evil is Used)

STR 18 (+4), DEX 14 (+2), CON 16 (+3), INT 16 (+3), WIS 18 (+4), CHA 14 (+2)


Future Fantasy: The Summoner

The Summoner is the first of FF’s mystic classes to get the writeup treatment. This was a tough one to write- as the Assassin is totally not a Ranger, the Summoner is totally not a Wizard. I played around with the economy of summons, making all the summoner’s encounter powers summons. Yes, all of them. The daily and at-will powers are where the summoner has access to its other spells, attacks which don’t depend on commanding your summoned stuff.

The Summoner!

Future Fantasy: The Assassin

I’ve been playing a lot of Mass Effect recently, which has put me in the mood to work on Future Fantasy. Here’s the first five levels of a class which I thought would be easy, but wasn’t: the Assassin, a class which totally isn’t a reskinned ranger. It looks like a reskinned ranger, but trust me, it isn’t.

Check out the PDF here!

Shattered Vistas: Overview and The Core Mechanic


Stretching out across the horizon are the Shattered Vistas, a washed out, deserted ruined landscape. Once, these were fertile, magical lands, full of hope and promise. Was that a strange memory of long ago, or was it just a fleeting dream? No matter, for today the world is a collection of broken wonders, dangerous ruins, and small communities of survivors trying to carve out a living in a world that has moved on.

Shattered Vistas is a post-apocalyptic fantasy heartbreaker roleplaying game, inspired by a variety of game systems and fictional settings. The setting is a fantasy steampunk by way of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series: a fantasy world with gunslingers, gizmos, fantasy relics, strange wonders of the past, and monsters to fight. The system comes from a variety of sources, but Deadlands gets special mention for a number of reasons.

What You Need to Play

Friends: You’ll want at least three more players, probably as many as six more. One of you will take the role of the Gamemaster, who does exactly what you expect the Gamemaster to do. The others will take the role of characters exploring, challenging, and emerging victorious over this hostile land.

A Copy of the Rules: You’ll want to have read them before play, and it will be handy to have at least one copy available for reference during play.

Paper and Pencils: Each player will need a sheet of paper for their character sheet, to record their skills and special abilities, as well as any notes they wish to take.

Dice: You’ll need a whole bunch of six sided dice- ten per player should suffice. Each player will also want a twelve sided die.

A Tarot Deck: One copy of a standard Tarot deck is needed; these cards are dealt out and used during play.

Some of the spellcasting traditions may require additional items for use in resolving spellcasting.

Rolling the Dice

Whenever your character tries to do something in game where the outcome is in doubt, you will make a Skill Check. To do so, pick a relevant skill from your character’s list of skills. (The skills themselves are explained in detail on the chapter on Skills.) Your character will have a skill level, which is the number of dice rolled when using that skill. The more dice, the better.

The gamemaster will set a Target Number for your skill roll. The harder the task is, the higher the Target Number.

Once you’ve got your dice and know what you’re rolling against, roll those dice, and add up the numbers showing. This is your Skill Result. If you equaled or exceeded the Target Number, congratulations, your skill roll was a success. If you failed to reach the Target Number, your skill roll was a failure. The gamemaster will elaborate on the result of all successful or failed rolls.

If your result exceeded the Target Number by ten or more, you have achieved a Critical Success. This is an exemplary success with some extra benefit! The exact effects of a Critical Success is up to the discretion of the Gamemaster.

But That’s Not All!

Don’t like your roll? At the start of each session of play, you will be dealt a number of Tarot cards from the deck. You can play these cards to modify your rolls after you see the result of the die roll.

Most cards are Minor Arcana. These come in four suits, Coins, Cups, Swords, and Wands, varying from one (the Ace) to ten, with four face cards (the Page, Knight, Queen, and King) in each suit. In addition, there are twenty-two major arcana, unsuited cards like The Hanged Man or the Wheel of Fortune.

Every skill has a related suit. For example, fighting and martial prowess is tied to the Sword suit. When you make a skill check with such a skill, a Sword card can be played to modify the result.

Numbered Minor Arcana add their value to the roll. So the Three of Swords adds a plus 3, and the Nine of Swords adds a plus 9.

Aces can be used to either add a simple plus 1 for a roll of the related suit, or cause the dice rolled to “explode.” That is, any dice that rolled a six are picked up and re-rolled, and the results added to the six. Roll another six? Add it on and keep going.

Face Cards have a value of ten for augmenting rolls of their Suit.

There are other uses for the Face Cards and especially for the Major Arcana. These are detailed in the chapter on the Tarot.

Coming Soon: The Skills that define the characters of the Vistas.

Retail: Garden of the Surreal

I saw two women and one young girl in the store today, in home made T-Shirts.  On the back was something about God- two said “One Nation Under God,” the other said “In God We Trust.”  The fronts said something about taxes being too high.

Clearly they were Obama voters, joyishly relishing in tax cuts for the working man, and tax increases for those making more than a half million a year.

A Man After My Own Heart

During last night’s Al Smith dinner, a comedy post-debate political dinner thing, Obama said the following words:

“If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility.

Greatest weakness, it’s possible that I’m a little too awesome.”

(You can read the whole transcript here.  It’s pretty funny, though it loses the timing and presentation, which was excellent from both candidates.)


In America, society is dominated by the masses, which as a whole, are ignorant, uneducated, and horribly misled.  This is the fault of the establishment, not of the individual, but the American situation is horribly horribly ruined.  Politicians pander to emotions, not the best interests of the people.  Corporations, with a unified voice and hefty pocket, have the most influence over the land.  Advertisments entice and sway rather than inform.

Maybe we need a new nation.  A nation for the disgusted intelligenstia.  Let’s construct a giant artificial island somewhere in a pleasant climate band (let’s make it floating and mobile, because as the intelligent elite, we know that climate band is going to be moving.)  And let’s require a rigorous citizenship test. testing the individual both for intelligence, but for passion for the essential values of such a community- peace, environmental sustainability, civic pride, democracy, and work ethic.  Let us call it Technotopia, let it be a small but prosperous community where democracy can truly work because the community can truly come out for a meeting of the minds, and reason can prevail.  Let it be a bastion of scientific research and progress, with avenues of research unrestricted by the hand of outside religious beliefs.  Let it be a center of learning, with a great university staffed and attended by great minds from across the world.  Let it be a center of technology, with great programmers writing cutting edge computer code, as the Nation’s greatest export.

Let it be a haven for the best and brightest of us, to lead the rest of the world by shining example.

The Great Iraq Swindle

I have little to say to this, the rage is so strong.

Institutionalised government waste and corruption is hardly limited to communism any more.

Who Are My Representatives?

If, like me, you live in Madison, and are enraged about an issue (like the aforementioned recent Presidential rescinding of the right to property)- here’s who you need to contact:

Senator Russ Feingold

Senator Herb Kohl

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

Write your representative about an issue today.  In a country of 300,000,000 people, it’s the only way to make your voice heard.

The Government Can Freeze Your Assets

If it suspects you might impede progess in Iraq in some way, or it suspects you might assist someone who might do that.  (Or basically if it doesn’t like you.)

Yeah, really.

What can you do about it?  Get mad, write your representatives in Congress.  You know, your senators and your representative.  Democrat, Republican, or otherwise, this is in direct violation of the constitution.  It’ll only take you five minutes, and it makes sure they know you’re listening and aren’t going to take it.

Here, I’ll even right the letter for you:


I would like to call your attention to President Bush’s recent unconstitutional Executive Order:

In this terrifing edict, President Bush has essentially rescinded the freedom of property enjoyed by every American- giving the government the right to freeze assets of people who have done nothing wrong other than be alleged to be potential threats.

We must stop this ravaging of our constitution and the rights of our citizens.  I call upon you, THEIR NAME AND POSITION, to do what is right in this manner and fight for the public.

A concerned citizen,