Kevin C. Wong

February 2023

Bundle of Holding - Advanced Fighting Fantasty

There are two bundles for Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG 2E, which is based on the Fighting Fantasy game books.

Advanced Fighting Fantasy Starter ($8)

CB7-7001 Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG 2E (2011)
CB7-7002 Out of the Pit (2011) - monsters
CB7-7005 Heroes Companion (2012)
CB7-7007 The Sorcery Spell Book (2013) - spells

Advanced Fighting Fantasy Bonus (+$11)

CB7-7003 Titan: The Fighting Fantasy World (2011) - world setting
CB7-7004 Crown of Kings (2012) - campaign for experienced PCs
CB7-7006 Blaksand (2013) - city setting
CB7-7008 Beyond the Pit (2013) - more monsters
CB7-7009 The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (2016) - adventure based on the FF book

More Fighting Fantasy Starter ($10)

CB7-7013 The Titan Herbal (2017) - lots of herbs and plants
CB7-7015 Demons of Doom (2018) - Demon PCs
CB7-7016 Rough Guide to the Pit (2019) - sourcebook

AFA-001 The Floating Dungeon of Varrak Aslur (2018) - short adventure
AFA-002 Inn of Lost Hope (2017) - short adventure
AFA-003 Crooked King's Cup (2018) - short adventure

More Fighting Fantasy Bonus (+$11)

CB7-7018 Travels in Arion (2019) - city guidebook
CB7-7019 Return to the Pit (2019) - yet another book of monsters
CB7-7021 Combat Companion (2021) - rules supplement
CB7-7022 Citadel of Chaos (2022) - 4-act adventure based on the FF book
CB7-7023 Encyclopedia Arcana v1: Treasures (2022) - treasure creation system + treasures (there is no v2)

Other Books Not Included

CB7-7010 Advanced Fighting Fantasy Deluxe (2016) - omnibus of 7001, 7002, 7003.
CB7-7020 Creatures of Mishna (2020) - small supplement of an island

AFA-004 The Vault of the Old Kingdom (2019) - short adventure
AFA-005 The Taskmasters Tower (2019) - short adventure
AFA-009 Temple of the Ice God (2022) - short adventure

Other books in sequence but not Advanced Fighting Fantasy

CB7-7011 Stellar Adventures RPG (2017) - ruleset is derived from Advanced Fighting Fantasy
CB7-7012 Starship Catalogue (2017) - starships supplement
CB7-7014 The Kaladarian Response (2018) - adventure for Stellar Adventures RPG
CB7-7017 Weapons and Armour Catalogue (2019) - equipment

It's a nice pair of bundles that encompasses almost all 2E published materials. But only two campaigns, one adventure, three mini adventures. Kind of sourcebook heavy so probably not worth $40 to me.

Diary - Feb 18 to Feb 24 2023

Sat Feb 18 2023

Sleep 0330 to 1230. (9 hours)

  • Had a 0900 miniatures sea battle game but was so tired so just kept sleeping. Then the afternoon relaxing in my room and watching Twitch.
  • Dinner at Amakai Japanese Cuisine with Dave W and family (CSr and Dave S were sitting at next table; it's a small place). Food ok though Sophia complicates things.
  • Rainbow. Dave S, CSr, Dave P, Eric R (via video call), mjm. I think I had five or six drinks.
  • Dave S, CSr and I retired to my room and talked layoffs. Mostly they talked.

Sun Feb 19 2023

Sleep 0315 to 0915.

  • Session 545 StarFleet Battles : The Mutara Nebula cancelled. Oh well, was probably going to drop by and watch a bit.
  • Actually did wake up early so went to see War College. First seminar was "Update on the Continuing War in Ukraine" presenters James Armstead and Victoria Juharyan. Mostly historical/cultural background on Ukraine and some about the current war.
  • Lunch at HiroNori Craft Ramen. Was actually pretty good I think though Sophia wasn't impressed. There's also one in San Mateo.
  • Second War College seminar: "Strategic U.S. Planning with a War in Ukraine, an Aggressive China, and Control of the Moon" A presentation on India strategic situation. Then a presentation on using Transactional Costs to view history and predict the future.
  • Dinner at the hotel (Bosc + Bartlett restaurant). Bacon cheeseburger was good. Chocolate mousse was good though couldn't tell if it was better or worse than average.
  • Naval Battles late game. Dave S (UK) beat CSr (Germany) and I (Japan)

Mon Feb 20 2023

Sleep 0630 to 0900, 1/2 hour nap. (3 hours)

  • Breakfast at the hotel. Not quite as good as San Ramon Marriott.
  • A bit of Cora Quest though we ran out of time and had to check out.
  • Lunch at Iguanas Burritozilla. Had a carnitas burrito and it was ok but not as good as the one at my work.
  • Lost my new driving glasses. Darn. At least backups work fine.
  • Drive home. Dropped off Dave S at the Millbrae BART.

Tue Feb 21 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1030. (8 hours)

  • Recovering from DDC. Catch up on email and mail.

Wed Feb 22 2023

Sleep 0330 to 1130, 1 hour nap. (9 hours)

  • Twitch 6-month re-subscriptions are coming up and the email indicates they're going to charge me full price. I guess I'll have to let my subscriptions lapse and go month-to-month then wait for subtember sale.

Thu Feb 23 2023

Sleep 0315 to 1130. (8-1/4 hours)

Fri Feb 24 2023

Sleep 0315 to 1100. (7-3/4 hours)

  • Spent an hour leveling up two DDO characters to level 7. I quite like this run with my brother.
  • Csr not playing tonight. Played a bit with my Bladeforged.
  • During DunDraCon finally decided to abandon B&B cause I haven’t been feeling it. Will start prepping a Dungeon Fantasy campaign.

Current Expenses

A look at my major expenses.

Mortgage $1700
Home Owners Association $680
Health Insurance $700
Utilities + Subscriptions $250
Groceries $250

Total $3580

And I probably spend another $1k on stuff I could mostly cut out but haven't like entertainment and Twitch. So let's say $4500 per month.

DunDraCon 46 AAR

My first DunDraCon at the new location (Santa Clara Marriott, next to Great America) and this is the second DDC at Santa Clara. It's a big hotel with two towers plus a bunch of rooms around a pool area (heated pool) so over twice the capacity of San Ramon Marriott. Dave P was able to get a room for Saturday night and he probably reserved it the same week. Also lots and lots of parking. There are several restaurants within walking distance (say 20 min) though they did get crowded.

Events are a bit spread out. Most of the gaming sessions were in the first floor of one tower. Seminars are in the meeting rooms of the other tower. Open gaming, dealer's room, registration are in another area. Maybe a bit confusing but we'll get used to it as time goes on.

The bar/lobby area is fairly open space and you can get food delivered there. There is a restaurant area where we had breakfast and that's a bit more closed. Staff had masks on and many attendees did too -- we were all supposed to be vaccinated and masked though mask enforcement was a bit lax and maybe it was 50% masked outside the registration area where there were less Con staff.

As usual registering for games online was easy and I got into a P session game (Friday day) and a 2xx session game (Saturday morning). The P game ran 7 of 8 hours with breaks and it was the same DDC gaming experience. I skipped the 2xx game because I was really tired.

Rainbow we did at a table in the lobby. Six people and Eric R over video call. Since the area is more spread out it was quieter so good talking instead of having to be loud like in the last San Ramon DDC.

Sunday I watched a couple of War College seminars. First one was delayed 45 minutes due to audio issues (they want to record the sessions and audio wasn't going to recording). Sessions were on Ukraine (history, culture and current war; interesting but not much on the war), India strategic situation (a bit dry and general even though the speaker is a former India military general), and using Transactional Costs theory to predict future conflict (a bit of a rough overview not sure proving his thesis). I feel War College sessions I saw were not as interesting as previous years, maybe because speakers were more college professor types than war gaming enthusiasts.

Overall it was the typical fun DunDraCon. It's interesting how little I do at DDC these years and this year I never went to the dealer's room nor the swap meet or auction. Next year maybe won't rent a room even though it's not really that much closer than San Ramon but traffic is generally better so San Ramon might be an hour drive and Santa Clara is 35 min.

Diary - Feb 11 to Feb 17 2023

Sat Feb 11 2023

Sleep 0600 to 1500. (9 hours)

  • Went to Safeway at 1700. Double the number of cars as at 2100 so decided to skip. Maybe will go tomorrow morning.
  • The wheels of bureaucracy. Received a letter on Friday saying that my COBRA coverage was suspended until I pay the initial premiums (which were refunded). I guess as soon as my eligibility was updated the computer saw I had no payments and sent that letter.

Sun Feb 12 2023

Sleep 0530 to 1230. (7 hours)

  • Watched the Super Bowl on the Fox Sports app. On my iPad it would freeze every few minutes. Ran fine on my iPhone throughout.

Mon Feb 13 2023

Sleep 0330 to 1030. (7 hours)

  • Received my AirPods Max and paired them with my computer, iPhone, iPad. Works fine.
  • They shipped them in their own custom box where the inside is recessed in an AirPods Max shape. A bit classy tbh.
  • There's a small printed pamphlet describing the service but not what was done. My AirPods Max have a new serial number. Replacement parts have a 90-day warranty or the remainder of my 1-year warranty (so for me it's the latter).

Tue Feb 14 2023

Sleep 0330 to 1130. (8 hours)

  • Got a call. Switched AirPods Max to call and then back to computer and it was fast though in both cases did have to tell device you wanted to route it's audio to AirPods Max.

Wed Feb 15 2023

  • Prepping for DunDraCon. Wash clothes. Cook two meals (for Thursday night and Friday lunch.
  • Dinner at C3's. Chinese food. Then CSr and I played a board game.

Thu Feb 16 2023

Sleep 0330 to 0900, 1 hour nap. (6-1/2 hours)

  • Go to Dave S's house and take him to work. Hang our for a couple of hours. Go with CSr and check into Santa Clara Marriot.
  • Dinner with Dave S at Pedro's Restaurant and Cantina.
  • CSr, Dave S and I went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp: QuantuMania.

Fri Feb 17 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1000. (7-1/2 hours)

  • Played Bunkers & Badasses (GM: David Etheridge). A typical Borderlands adventure where we roll into town, talk to people, set a couple buildings on fire and kill a few people for their loot.
  • Played a little DDO with CSr and later CSr and Dave W.

Super Bowl 57

Kansas City won 38-35 and it was fairly exciting. They went down 24-14 at the half then scored a couple of times and were up 35-27. Philadelphia tied it up 35-35 with like 5 minutes left. Then KC went down the field running down the clock and kicked a field goal with 8 seconds left to essentially win it.

NFL 2022 Playoffs

Kansas City
1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) ------------------
| Kansas City
2. Buffalo Bills (13-3) Buffalo |----------------
7. Miami Dolphis (9-8) ------------- | | Kansas City
| | Cincinnati |----------------
3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) Cincinnati |----+---------------- |
6. Baltimore Ravens (10-7) ------------- | |
| |
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8) Jacksonville | |
5. Los Angeles Chargers (10-7) ------------------ |
| Kansas City
NFC |----------------
Philadelphia |
1. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) ------------------ |
| Philadelphia |
2. San Francisco 49ers (13-4) San Francisco |---------------- |
7. Seattle Seahawks (9-8) --------------- | | |
| | | Philadelphia |
3. Minnesota Vikings (13-4) NY Giants | | |----------------
6. New York Giants (9-7-1) --------------+--- San Francisco |
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9) Dallas |
5. Dallas Cowboys (12-5) ---------------

Looking back at the start of the playoffs both KC (#13) and Philadelphia (#12) were very low on who I wanted to win the Super Bowl.

DunDraCon 46 Event Signups

The previous list was done using the DDC Program Guide which gets locked fairly early. Latest Event Info must be database driven and is up to date. and has much more info on each event than in the Program Guide. When looking for events I'm pretty much looking at:

Friday day (and free by dinner time)
Saturday morning/day (and free for Rainbow)
Sunday evening (after War College)
Monday morning (tough as by Monday morning I'm pretty tired)


Looks like the Car Wars game is cancelled. Bunkers & Badasses is an RPG based on the fictional RPG that Tiny Tina runs in Borderlands computer game. Kind of wanted to play that a bit more but not for 8 hours.

P04 The Magus Geas

Friday Noon in 138 for 6 hours
GM: Alex Zisch
Type: RPG
System: Original Dungeons & Dragons
Players: 6
Provided: All characters provided by GM
Power Level: high
Variations: Avalon Hill Outdoor Survival Map
Rules Knowledge: Beginners Welcome
Game Content: Mainstream

Old school sandbox hex-crawl using the framework from Book III The
Underworld & Wilderness Adventures. Burnished brigade of bindlestiffs
battle brutal beasts and barbarous bastions beyond a blasted borderlands
for booty and Baronies.

P05 From Banshee with Dust

Friday Noon in 139 for 8 hours
GM: David Etheridge
Type: RPG
System: Bunkers & Badasses
Players: 6
Provided: All characters provided by GM
Rules Knowledge: Beginners Welcome
Game Content: Mainstream

The vault hunters of Bullet Town race to get aboard the legendary
Banshee train as it races across the wasteland. From Gaslamp your group
tries to beat them to the Banshee's riches before it vanishes for
another 6 years!

P81 To Go Where No Man/Species Has Gone Before

Friday Noon in 140 for 8 hours
GM: Jonah Johnson
Type: Other
System: Battlestations
Edition: 2nd
Players: 6
Provided: Characters created for game
Power Level: 1st-7th
Variations: minor homebrew
Rules Knowledge: Beginners Welcome
Game Content: Mainstream

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Yorktown.
Its fourish year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life
and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.


Since no Car Wars for my wargame-y fix Battle of Trafalgar maybe starts early but finishes before dinner time. I kind of wanted to try out The Fantasy Trip and the Aliens scenario sounds cool but both were maybe too short.

269 Battle of Trafalgar - 1805

Saturday 9 AM on Hall of Cities Table HC14 for 8 hours
GM: Bob Bergman
Type: Historical Miniatures
System: Form on the Admiral's Wake
Players: 8
Provided: All characters provided by GM
Variations: (modified)
Rules Knowledge: Beginners Welcome
Game Content: Family

Refight the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805, with Lord Nelson and the British
fleet taking on French/Spanish fleet. Dozens of ships fighting, with
each player likely commanding up to 10 ships of the line. Fast play with
decisions every turn of a card.

268 Basements of the Clumsy Alchemist

Saturday 10 AM on Hall of Cities Table HC13 for 4 hours
GM: Andrew Walters
Type: Fantasy Miniatures
System: The Fantasy Trip
Edition: Legacy
Players: 6
Provided: All miniatures provided by GM
Power Level: 35 pt character provided
Rules Knowledge: Beginners Welcome
Game Content: Mainstream

The tower of the Clumsy Alchemist sort of exploded, revealing stairs to
the basements, undoubtedly holding unguarded treasure. Grab a character,
head in to this 3D cutaway dungeon and learn all about this great RPG!

222 Games Without Frontiers

Saturday 8 AM in 146 for 4 hours
GM: Dave Sokolowski
Type: RPG
System: Alien by Free League
Players: 5
Provided: All characters provided by GM
Rules Knowledge: Beginners Welcome
Game Content: Mature Themes

Outer Veil - Two weeks ago the classified Weyland-Yutani Research
Facility Crest-Magma 231.a received a transfer of goods from an
authorized WeYu team. Shortly thereafter the base went dark, and all
team communications ceased. Your quickly assembled section of Marines
and Company Representatives have been sent to investigate the
communications outage, reclaim control of the base, and ensure the
safety of any lost scientific data.


A couple of War College seminars to relax and recover after a night of drinking.

Update on the Continuing War in Ukraine
Sunday 10:00 - 11.30 in the Monterey Room

Ukraine, an Aggressive China, and Control of the Moon
Sunday 14:00 - 15:30 in the Monterey Room


I'm ambivalent about the three below. MgT would be nice only inasmuch as it's science fiction but the scenario description does not sound interesting. The OD&D one could be cool since 3rd level is low but not uselessly low. Finally we end with a D&D 5E to try out that system.

801 Fate of the Ad-Astra

Monday 8 AM in 132 for 8 hours
GM: David Guon
Type: RPG
System: Mega-Traveller
Players: 6
Provided: All characters provided by GM
Rules Knowledge: Useful
Game Content: Mainstream

You've booked passage from Gateway Prime to Cresta on Salurian Lines
starship Ad-Astra. It's a short, Jump-1 voyage that should take about a
week. What fun is that? The trip will be quite different

807 The Chapel of Silence

Monday 8 AM in 141 for 8 hours
GM: Robert Simon
Type: RPG
System: Original Dungeons & Dragons
Players: 6
Provided: Characters created for game
Power Level: 3rd
Rules Knowledge: Useful
Game Content: Mainstream

Your party is on a journey through a mountainous region distinguished by
sheer cliffs and dangerous precipices. Thus everyone is quite grateful
when, just at nightfall, they find a small abandoned chapel... An
adventure straight out of Dragon Magazine (circa early the early 80's)

808 Kobold Kaos

Monday 8 AM in 142 for 8 hours
GM: Adam Johnson
Type: RPG
System: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Ed
Players: 6
Provided: All characters provided by GM
Power Level: 3rd
Rules Knowledge: Useful
Game Content: Mainstream

As newcomers to the city you have hired on with an experienced group to
explore Kara'Dun. What could go wrong?

Diary - Feb 04 to Feb 10 2023

Sat Feb 04 2023

Sleep 0430 to 1245. (8-1/4 hours)

  • Visiting mom and dad. Jaime and (forgot wife's name) visiting with his three sons Jaimeignacio, Antoniorodrigo, and Louisfernandes.

Sun Feb 05 2023

Sleep 2330 to 0200, 0530 to 0930. (6-1/2 hours)

  • We went to dim sum at Hong Kong Islander. Been here before but I didn't remember the place. Was good. I assume this is the best affordable dim sum place since my parents are into that.

Mon Feb 06 2023

Sleep 0330 to 1315. (9-3/4 hours)

  • MMP Tactical Combat Series game Goose Green now on preorder for $24 (regular $32) ziplock only as TCS doesn't sell enough for boxes. I can think of two other TCS games set outside of WW2, the TCS modern Force Eagle's War and Semper Fi (Korea). And there are few games set in the Falklands so Goose Green is rather unusual topic.

Tue Feb 07 2023

Sleep 0545 to 1245. (7 hours)

Wed Feb 08 2023

Sleep 0400 to 1200. (8 hours)

  • Genius Bar appointment for my AirPods Max. They did some tests but don't have the gear for deep tests so they will send to repair depot. Limited warranty covers it since I didn't break it myself.

Thu Feb 09 2023

Sleep 0330 to 0430, 0915 to 1445. (6-1/2 hours)

  • While at the Apple Store yesterday I was waiting at a table with the latest iPhones. iPhone 14 is basically the same WxH (a bit more rectangular). The Pro is a bit larger and Pro Max a bit larger still but not really that much when I compare one on top of the other. Now, the 14's have edge to edge displays so the screens are bigger than you'd think but still quite small. I don't think there's a future for me consolidating my iPhone+iPad into just an iPhone Pro Max.

Fri Feb 10 2023

Sleep 0730 to 1400. (6-1/2 hours)

  • COBRA issue seems resolved. Representative said I needed to repay first refund check to reinstate coverage and I did that today. There was a second refund check which I will need to repay when it shows up on the web site.
  • Just realized I forgot to turn in my old iPhone for recycling when I went to the Apple Store.
  • Rancho Cordova repair center fixed my AirPods Max and they're shipping them back. ETA Monday.

$100 Traveller Recommendation

For Traveller 1E you can cheat and go to Far Future Enterprises where Marc Miller will send you all the GDW Traveller and JTAS on two CD-ROMS for $35 each. Years of gaming for $70 plus shipping. (I wouldn't recommend MegaTraveller nor Traveller: The New Era if you haven't played Traveller.)

For current Traveller there is Mongoose's 2nd edition (1st edition didn't click with me for the simple fact that presentation kind of sucked with old-style plain covers and black and white pages). Unfortunately they no longer sell Traveller Starter Set which is most of the rules and a campaign to play with. Paired with The Pirates of Drinax ($50 pdf, I'm assuming TSS would have been $50 or less) that would have been epic.

For Mongoose Traveller 2E there are two options for rules: Traveller Core Rulebook, Update 2022 ($30 pdf) and Traveller Explorer's Edition ($1 pdf, that's one dollar!). At 74 pages the Explorer's Edition is 30% the size of the core so it's quite stripped down (for example Explorer's has two careers and Core has a dozen). You could run a campaign with Explorer's but seems a bit restrictive.

There are two great Mongoose Traveller campaigns. The Pirates of Drinax ($50 pdf) with the optional Drinaxian Companion ($30 pdf) puts the PCs as pirates (hired guns really) going into the Trojan Reach (unclaimed by any big stellar entity) to lay the work for Drinax to reclaim its lost territories.

Deepnight Revelation ($40 pdf) is a campaign where the PCs are part of the crew of a long-range explorer on a multi-year journey far outside known civilized space. By itself it is a nice campaign with gigantic blank spaces for the Referee to fill in (with the help of the world generation rules in Core and Explorer's). You kind of want the six supplements, the first five of which detail five sections of the trip and the last has adventures you can run throughout the campaign. But those six supplements are $165 pdf so kills our budget.

Back to Pirates of Drinax. Question is whether to run it with Core and just Pirates or Explorer's so you can include the Companion. In the end I think I'd rather have the Core so my $100 recommendation is:

Traveller Core Rulebook, Update 2022 ($30 pdf)
The Pirates of Drinax ($50 pdf)
Reach Adventure 1: Marooned on Marduk ($9 pdf) - PCs are taking an intra-planetary shuttle that crash lands in the wilderness
Reach Adventure 5: The Borderland Run ($9 pdf) - PCs are hired for a dangerous delivery job

I added two adventures set in the same area as Pirates and can be adapted for the campaign.

Traveller being an old game there must be a fair number of free adventures. One good source of material is Freelance Traveller, a bi-monthly fanzine started in 2009 and still going strong.

DunDraCon 46 Activities

After two years off (first year of COVID-19 DDC was cancelled then a year later I skipped it) it's time to go back to DunDraCon. The program book is a lot shorter and a big reason is no game descriptions, just the bare facts. Not sure if there are also less games overall.

First run through for interesting content, then I'll narrow it down.

War College

  • Update on the Continuing War in Ukraine Sunday 10:00 AM in the Monterey Room for 1.5 hours
  • Ukraine, an Aggressive China, and Control of the Moon Sunday 2:00 PM in the Monterey Room for 1.5 hours

I like the War College seminars and I like contemporary military stuff.


  • FREE SWAP MEET Grand Ballroom Salons ABC Monday 9:00 AM
  • Games Auction Grand Ballroom Salon A Sunday

I'm tempted to try to sell some of my games but a few hundred dollars won't really matter and I don't have the time to pick stuff out and get it ready.

Board Games - Sedona Room

  • Car Wars Amateur Night GM: Craig Robertson, starts Friday 2 PM, 6 hours, 6 players
  • StarFleet Battles: The Mutara Nebula GM: Andrew Jackson Davis, starts Sunday 10 AM, 6 hours, 6 players
  • Car Wars Downtown Scramble GM: Craig Robertson, starts Sunday Noon, 6 hours, 6 players

Not sure if I've ever played Car Wars at DDC. I think I played SFB once and got myself blown up real early.


  • The Fantasy Trip Basements of the Clumsy Alchemist GM: Andrew Walters, starts Saturday 10 AM, 4 hours, 6 players
  • Form on the Admiral’s Wake Battle of Trafalgar - 1805 GM: Bob Bergman, starts Saturday 9 AM, 8 hours, 8 players
  • Form on the Admiral’s Wake Battle of Trafalgar - 1805 GM: Bob Bergman, starts Saturday 6 PM, 8 hours, 8 players
  • Fleet Action Imminent (GQ3 for WWI) Dogger Bank, 1915 GM: Ix Nichols, starts Sunday 9 AM, 6 hours, 7 players
  • Star Blazers Battle for Earth: 2207 GM: Keith Holmes, starts Sunday 10 AM, 8 hours, 7 players

Miniatures are graphically cool, though maybe less so with naval and starship games due to lack of unit formations and terrain.

Role-Playing Games

Too many choices so just picking one from each session.

  • Battlestations To Go Where No Man/Species Has Gone Before GM: Jonah Johnson, starts Friday Noon, 8 hours, 6 players [RPG with board game elements]
  • Arduin Grimoire Talismonde Heist GM: Matt Morrison, starts Friday 6 PM, 8 hours, 6 players
  • Alien by Free League Games Without Frontiers GM: Dave Sokolowski, starts Saturday 8 AM, 4 hours,
  • 5 players
  • Gamma World Secret of the Golden Host GM: Justin Smith, starts Saturday 4 PM, 6 hours, 6 players
  • Dungeon Crawl Classics Shadow Under Devil’s Reef GM: Jon Wilson, starts Saturday 8 PM, 4 hours, 6 players
  • Starfinder The Great Grav Train Robbery GM: Timothy Cool Neighbors, starts Sunday 10 AM, 4 hours, 5 players
  • GURPS The Night of the Doomsday Cult GM: Tom Vallejos, starts Sunday 2 PM, 4 hours, 6 players
  • Bunnies & Burrows GM: Jonathan Fleming, starts Sunday 6 PM, 6 hours, 6 players
  • Mega-Traveller Fate of the Ad-Astra GM: David Guon, starts Monday 8 AM, 8 hours, 6 players

Diary - Jan 28 to Feb 03 2023

Sat Jan 28 2023

Sleep 0300 to 1100. 1 hour nap. (9 hours)

  • Did say I was through with Anime Week after watching The Demon Girl Next Door but spent three days watching Cinderella Nine (12 episodes). Glad I continued and watched it.

Sun Jan 29 2023

Sleep 0600 to 1445. (8-3/4 hours)

  • Niners lost to Eagles. Purdy got injured in the first quarter then Johnson got a concussion in 4th quarter and Purdy had to go back in with a bad arm.

Mon Jan 30 2023

Sleep (not sure)

  • I realized that Casa Sanchez tortilla chips go quite well with their avocado salsa. The chips are somewhat salty and the salsa is quite lime-flavored so together it's a pleasing taste. I tried the in-store made tortilla chips which are also pretty good but didn't pair well with the salsa.

Tue Jan 31 2023

Sleep 0345 to 0445, 0700 to 1415. (8-1/2 hours)

  • The CalJobs Background Wizard is hilarious because all it does is cycle through all the sections in pages without any additional help.

Wed Feb 01 2023

Sleep 0245 to 1145. (9 hours)

  • MLS season starts Feb 25 and in the first month each Saturday will have several games free on Apple TV. After that you have to subscribe to MLS season pass ($13/$15 per month or $80/$100 for season). I will try to watch one game per week so four games total.

Thu Feb 02 2023

Sleep 0100 to 0200, 0630 to 1330. (8 hours)

  • Published a résumé on CalJobs (the UI is not great), basically a copy of my v1 (v2 and v3 we're specialized for Oracle and

Fri Feb 03 2023

Sleep 0130 to 0500. 1130 to 1430. (6-1/2 hours)

  • Looking at my investments (Roth IRA, 401k, some company stocks). At the height, Dec 31 2021 it was slightly over $2M worth. At the end of last month it was about $1.75M (13.2% drop). It was worse a couple of months ago and might be worse in two months. Compared to end of 2020 I'm still up 8.5% so being very diversified I'm comfortable leaving my investments (and it's mostly stocks of one kind or another) as is.

$100 GURPS Recommendation

With $100 what would I recommend for a beginner GURPS campaign? Not necessarily a totally new GM and players, maybe beginner GM (one who has read GURPS and played a few sessions) and new players. With $100 I kind of have to go with PDFs.

Dungeon Fantasy RPG ($40 pdf) - a complete RPG for fantasy dungeon-delving adventuring in the vein of D&D. It takes GURPS, strips out the non-fantasy stuff and presents the remainder in a simpler way while still being full GURPS behind the scenes (e.g. they might present a new advantage that is an existing one modified via GURPS Powers so the point cost is consistent but you don't see the component details). You can buy GURPS Basic Set: Characters and BS: Campaigns for $55 pdf but that's a bit toolkit-y.

Nordlondr Ovinabokin: Bestiary and Enemies Book ($35 pdf) - Gaming Ballistic Viking-flavored setting for Dungeon Fantasy including a few adventures, supplements and monster books. Nordlondr Ovinabokin is the big monster book with almost 200 monsters many of which are patterned after D&D monsters (the author said you can search for D&D monster names to find the equivalent Nordlondr monster).

With the above two you can take many D&D adventures (and there are many free ones online) and mostly convert them to Dungeon Fantasy (one of the hardest parts is converting monsters which is why Ovinabokin is great to have). Older D&D editions are easier because newer ones give monsters their own classes and levels to customize so not simple to convert. Converting free adventures instead of recommending GURPS adventures to buy (there aren't many, a few from Steve Jackson Games, more from Gaming Ballistic, some in old Pyramid magazine issues but none are free) is a bit of a cheat. (Personally I must have literally hundreds of D&D-type adventures from various bundles and sales.)

Delvers to Grow: Core Book ($22.50 pdf) - Dungeon Fantasy sets starting characters at 250 points and provides 11 profession templates which simulate the D&D classes. Pick a template which gives base plus lists to pick from then finish your character. This gives you fairly capable characters, not sure how high but I guess around D&D name level.

Gaming Ballistic's Delvers to Grow: Core is a book for creating beginner characters of 62, 125, and 187 points.

It uses a more modular approach, for example I pick a 62-point strong delver which gives me some base stats. Then 1 pick 2 disadvantage modules (each -25 points), one basic module (25 points, this would be your profession), and one upgrade module (25 points, this is a specialization). So I can end up with a novice holy warrior (basic) who is a demon slayer (upgrade), an arrogant noble (disadvantage) and fortune's fool (disadvantage).

I like this book for a campaign that starts out with beginner heroes and I'm more of a zero-to-hero sort of player.

The three books is $97.50 and I'm surprised I was under budget.