Kevin C. Wong

July 2023

Diary - Jul 22 to Jul 28 2023

Sat Jul 22 2023

Sleep 0530 to 1445. (9-1/4 hours)

  • Next week WCBS lunch at Harborview Restaurant in San Francisco. There is a SamTrans that goes right there from San Mateo (Delaware and Tilton stop is about 11 min walk), costs $2.25 and takes 1-1/2 hours.
  • Alternatively it's a 35 min drive and $3 per hour parking at Embarcadero Center 1-4 (each building has large underground parking).

Sun Jul 23 2023

Sleep 0845 to 1215. (3-1/2 hours)

  • Gaming at C3's place. We finally did D&D session 3, about 2 hours.

Mon Jul 24 2023

Sleep 0130 to 1030. (9 hours)

  • HOA meeting. We're still working on emergency assessment.

Tue Jul 25 2023

Sleep 0700 to 1330. (6-1/2 hours)

  • 4K Video Downloader+ released. It's a paid upgrade ($15 for me to upgrade to pro version) but I bought the old version 4 years ago for $20 and use it daily so I'd pay for upgrade anyways. This version allows you to download private videos (and has a built-in web browser so I assume it does it like ViDL where it gets the login cookies using the browser then reuses it for the downloader).

Wed Jul 26 2023

Sleep 0500 to 1300. (8 hours)

Thu Jul 27 2023

Sleep 0330 to 1130. (8 hours)

  • Sadly 4k Video Downloader+ only has built-in support for YouTube login (from Settings > Authorization). You can use the browser and login to Twitch though might take me a while to test (waiting for a gift sub to a channel with private videos).

Fri Jul 28 2023

Sleep 0600 to 1100. (5 hours)

  • Unemployment insurance ran out. Really need to get more serious about looking for a job.

Bundle of Holding - Blue Rose

There are two bundles, Blue Rose 2023 and Aldean Adventures. Blue Rose is a romantic fantasy RPG that uses the Adventure Game Engine which I'm not familiar with.

Blue Rose bundle ($20) has

Blue Rose bundle $8 level

Blue Rose 2E (2017, $20, owned)
Shadowtide novel (2018, $8, owned)
Pit of Vipers novella (2019, $5, owned)
Sovereigns of Blue Rose anthology (2019, $10, owned)

This level is just the RPG core book plus fiction

Blue Rose bundle $20 level adds

Aldis: City of the Blue Rose (2018, $22, owned) - sourcebook of the capital city
Six of Swords (2017, $17, owned) - six 20-page adventures
Blue Rose Narrator's Kit (2018, $8, owned) - game master screen and 7 sample PCs for players
"Of Shadow and Light (Those Who Wait, Part 1)" (2018, $2, owned) - short story
"Heartsong" (2018, $2, owned) - short story

Aldean Adventures bundle $10 has

Six of Cups (2022, $18) - six 20-page adventures
Envoys to the Mount (2020, $21) - a campaign with four adventures
Nightmare Rider (2020, $4) - 11-page introductory adventure
Flight of the Snow Pearl (2021, $5) - 10-page low-level adventure

So I have the Blue Rose bundle from a previous offer. Aldean Adventures bundle items I don't have so I'll definitely buy it. It'd be hard for me to recommend the Blue Rose bundle since so much of it is fiction and not gaming material. But you think $30 for everything then it's worth it again.

Humble Bundle - Baldur's Gate & Beyond

Baldur's Gate & Beyond Game Bundle is $12 for these games:

  • Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition (2013) [$20 retail or 56% off as part of ultimate bundle, Mac OS X 10.9] - "The Enhanced Edition contains over 75 hours of gameplay, including the original campaign, the classic Sword Coast expansion, plus brand new challenges in the Black Pits arena!"
    • Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear ($20) DLC - "The first new game in the Baldur’s Gate series in over a decade, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear adds a new chapter to the Bhaalspawn saga. The events occurring between Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II are at last revealed in this 25-hour adventure."
    • Baldur's Gate: Faces of Good and Evil ($2) DLC - with six character portraits (3 male, 3 female)
  • Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition (2013) [$20 retail or 56% off as part of ultimate bundle, Mac OS X 10.9] - "The Enhanced Edition includes the original Shadows of Amn campaign, the Throne of Bhaal expansion, plus brand new challenges in the Black Pits II arena!"
  • Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition (2014) [$20 retail or 56% off as part of ultimate bundle, Mac OS X 10.9]- "The Enhanced Edition includes the classic campaign, two official expansions, plus quests cut from the original 2000 release."
  • Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition (2017) [$20 retail, currently $6 at 70% off, Mac OS X 10.8] - redone of the 1999 game.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Complete Adventures bundle [$40 which is 25% savings over retail] - This includes:
    • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition (2018) [$20 retail, Mac OS X 10.11 64-bit] - The original Neverwinter Nights campaign, Shadows of Undrentide, Hordes of the Underdark.
    • Neverwinter Nights: Infinite Dungeons ($3) DLC - procedurally generated dungeon with 40 levels
    • Neverwinter Nights: Wyvern Crown of Cormyr ($3) DLC - adventure
    • Neverwinter Nights: Pirates of the Sword Coast ($3) DLC - adventure
    • Neverwinter Nights: Darkness Over Daggerford ($10) DLC - "An expansion-size adventure with 25+ hours of gameplay"
    • Neverwinter Nights: Tyrants of the Moonsea ($10) DLC - "An expansion-sized high-level adventure with 20+ hours of gameplay"
    • Neverwinter Nights: Dark Dreams of Furiae ($5) DLC - "10 hours of brand new gameplay"
  • Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous (2021) [$40, Mac OS X 10.11 64-bit] - "Explore the nature of good and evil, learn the true cost of power, and rise as a Mythic Hero capable of deeds beyond mortal expectations." Has lots of DLCs not included in this bundle.
A lot of great D&D Forgotten Realms RPG content. I own:

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition (no DLCs)
Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition
Planescape: Torment - Enhanced Edition
Neverwinter Nights Diamond (non-enhanced, Windows only)

So $12 for Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear DLC, Neverwinter Nights for Mac plus the DLCs, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Which I guess still pretty good value so I'll buy it.

Diary - Jul 15 to Jul 21 2023

Sat Jul 15 2023

Sleep 0045 to 0530. (4-3/4 hours)

  • Visit C3. Sophia and Jonathan came over. We walked to get tea drinks. Warm day.

Sun Jul 16 2023

Sleep 0100 to 1130. 30m nap. (11 hours)

  • Low energy day. Tired and sluggish.

Mon Jul 17 2023

Sleep 0530 to 1245. (7-1/4 hours)

  • - I'll comment on the first part: Lichess celebrated Pride Month which is against their motto of “Free chess, for EVERYONE, forever" since Pride Month offends some people.
    • Lichess chose to show support for a marginalized group.
    • The only people offended are people who hate that group.
    • FU to those people.

Tue Jul 18 2023

Sleep 0200 to 0300. 0930 to 1530. (7 hours)

  • Started watching Netflix's She-Ra. First four episodes good so far.

Wed Jul 19 2023

Sleep 0245 to 1045. (8 hours)

  • Eye exam. Need slightly better computer glasses. In seven months will do another eye exam and get distance glasses.

Thu Jul 20 2023

Sleep 0715 to 1215. (5 hours)

  • Realized that Netflix app neither has an AirPlay menu nor automatically switches audio so when I'm using my AirPods Max on my Mac I have to start Apple TV on my iPad, start a video then switch to AirPods Max then go to Netflix app.

Fri Jul 21 2023

Sleep 0045 to 0615, 1330 to 1500. (7 hours)

DriveThruRPG's Christmas in July Sale

DriveThruRPG has a sale for up to 25% off (30% off would be their best theme sales). Browsing by default sort (popular):

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition ($10 on sale $7.50) - I have this but not on an online store (or the record was lost) so can't update it. Tempting to buy it so I can keep an updated copy (not vital though since errata files are free and errata is fairly minor).

Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome ($20 on sale $15) - This is a D&D B/X retro-clone covering levels 1 to 14. Took me a while to figure out the Advanced rules retro-clone AD&D 1E so not necessary if you only want B/X goodness. OSE is I think the most polished D&D retro-clone but probably also the most expensive.

D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic) ($10 on sale $7.50) - Since I have OSE on the list I will also mention the best authentic D&D ruleset which covers BECMI except the Immortals. Mind you few campaigns get beyond Expert Set but I'd rather have rules going to level 36 and not use them than not having the rules and needing them.

I got tired after the first 750 entries and didn't see anything else interesting.

Bundle of Holding - Hydra Cooperative

Hydra Cooperative Bundle has these products for $15.

Slumbering Ursine Dunes (regular $9, already own) - 64-page module with a 25-site pointcrawl including two dungeons, for D&D retro-clone Labyrinth Lord.

Fever-Dreaming Marlinko (regular $9)- 72-page city setting, companion to Slumbering Ursine Dunes or can be used stand-alone.

Misty Isles of Eld (regular $12) - 100-page pocket plane setting with four dungeons, companion to Slumbering Ursine Dunes or can be used stand-alone.

What Ho, Frog Demons (regular $12) - 112-page hexcrawl adventure in the Slumbering Ursine Dunes series.

Hill Cantons Compendium II (PWYW $2 suggested) - "a Collection of Player Options and House Rules Various and Sundry for Classic", 20 pages for Labyrinth Lord.

Strange Stars (regular $10) - "Strange Stars is a standalone rules set, as well as a setting sourcebook for any SFRPG, where modern transhuman science fiction meets classic '70s TV space opera." 30 pages.

Weird Adventures (regular $10) - "Weird Adventures is a setting where traditional rpg fantasy meets the Pulp era." 160 pages for D&D-like games.

Strange Trails (free) - Eight blog-style articles about Weird Adventures world.

Mortzengersturm, The Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak (regular $8, already own) - D&D 5E 36-page adventure for 5-6 players of 3-4th level.

Lorn Song of the Bachelor (regular $9, already own) - 48-page riverine adventure for D&D-like games.

I already own three of these. The three add-ons to Slumbering Ursine Dunes are interesting. The other items I don't own are not as interesting: I'm not into more character classes and rules; a small stand-alone setting/rpg seems limited; a big setting supplement is not that appealing to me.

So now it's three PDFs worth $33 (or $24.75 currently on sale) for $15. I suppose it's still a worthwhile purchase (the alternative being I don't need those three supplements anyway).

Diary - Jul 08 to Jul 14 2023

Sat Jul 08 2023

Sleep 0230 to 0730, 1430 to 1730. (8 hours)

  • Termite inspections. I was supposed to let them in but left my phone on "silent except for known callers".
  • When I was letting them in after lunch I forgot my keys and locked myself out of my apartment. I think first time since moving here. Christopher drove here and let me in. Was cooking pasta and it was maybe 10 min overcooked. Barely edible but didn't want to waste it.

Sun Jul 09 2023

Sleep 0430 to 0730. 1330 to 1730. (7 hours)

  • Astra Fauna: Expeditions KS. Cool looking coffee table book-like of alien monsters with D&D 5E stats. Unfortunately the print reward doesn't include PDF (and it took careful reading other pledge levels to figure this out) so I'm not inclined to pledge.

Mon Jul 10 2023

Sleep 0130 to 0630. 1215 to 1715. (10 hours)

  • Last day of Nemo's Singapore/Dubai/Paris trip so I can sleep late again for a while.

Tue Jul 11 2023

Sleep 0115 to 0600. 1315 to 1645. (8-1/4 hours)

  • Even though my MBP seems to have gotten a bit slower lately (i.e. having big lag issues running two instances of DDO via CrossOver) that's unlikely to be something that AppleCare can fix (they'd probably recommend reinstalling the OS and restoring from backup or something). So with a couple days left to renew AppleCare+ I'm still going to decline.

Wed Jul 12 2023

Sleep 0130 to 0630. 15m nap. (5-1/4 hours)

  • Dentist for dental cleaning.
  • Scheduled getting a new crown mid September.

Thu Jul 13 2023

Sleep 0145 to 1145. (10 hours)

  • For DDO I tried: Reboot, stick to wired mouse and keyboard (Bluetooth really lags when computer is stressed whereas USB works fine), clamshell MBP and don't use its monitor (internal monitor is 5.9M pixels vs 3.7M for 27" and 2.3M for 24" monitors, this relieves GPU RAM usage since some applications use GPU).

Fri Jul 14 2023

Sleep 1315 to 1730. (4-1/4 hours)

  • Grocery shopping at Safeways. They have $5 Friday for deli/cafeteria stuff. Got some sushi and a huge extra meat subway sandwich. I think you can also get fried chicken and I've bought potato/macaroni salad tubs. $5 is about half price for most of the items.

Root the Roleplaying Game Bundle

Root RPG Bundle is based on the fantasy board/wargame of rival animal clans. The RPG is Apocalypse Engine which is unfortunate. But the world concept is interesting. For a flat $15 you get:

Root: The Roleplaying Game Core Book ($25 PDF)
Travelers & Outsiders ($20 PDF) - material from the board game expansions
Clearing Booklet ($10 PDF) - four clearings (i.e. play sets)

Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game Quickstart (free PDF)
Root: Pellenicky Glade Quickstart (free PDF)
Root: Bertram's Cove Quickstart (free PDF)
Root: Talon Hill Quickstart (free PDF)

This is all currently released products. I think I'll buy it.

Classic Swords and Sorcery TTRPGs Bundle

Classic Swords and Sorcery TTRPGs Bundle is a grab-bag of stuff which frankly doesn't make it appealing. But the $1 level is nice.

Gangbusters (B/X Edition) ($5 PDF) - the old TSR Gangbusters RPG rewritten as a D&D B/X-style ruleset. Contrary to the subtitle I don't think there are other versions. There are also some adventures in DTRPG.

Off the Beaten Path: Forest Excursions (Swords & Wizardry) ($5 PDF) - 23 one- or two-page forest adventures.

Chaos Rising (Swords & Wizardry, $14 PDF) and Chaos Rising 2: Into the Abyss (S&W, $14 PDF) - Two adventures for the OD&D retro-clone Swords & Wizardry. S&W RPG is not in the bundle at all.

War of the Magi ($8 PDF) - a supplement for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets which I guess is a modern-day urban magic RPG. The main RPG is part of the highest tier reward.

Other than the last I guess the rest look interesting. I already own Chaos Rising (D&D 5E version) but for $1 for three items is great.

Diary - Jul 01 to Jul 07 2023

Sat Jul 01 2023

Sleep 0700 to 1230. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Gaming at C3's although we didn't actually end up playing. Talking and catching up. Christopher Jr, Jonathan, and CJr's cousin Issac playing together and separately.

Sun Jul 02 2023

Sleep 0745 to 1545. (8 hours)

  • Lazy Sunday catching up.

Mon Jul 03 2023

Sleep 0530 to 1130. (6 hours)

  • Worldographer Bundle of Holding. The base bundle is interesting. Worldographer and the base two add-on modules so you can do world hex maps, city maps, and grid dungeon maps all for $30 (normally $90). It has a Mac version (though using embedded Java runtime, I think)

Tue Jul 04 2023

Sleep 0430 to 1530. (11 hours)

  • DDO hardcore alt character died. kb/mouse input went wonky while I was next to a Dire Bear. Oh well, she made it to level 20 with 1750 favor and 7 treasure pieces so three hardcore rewards is about what I was getting anyways.

Wed Jul 05 2023

Sleep 0715 to 1015. 2 hour nap. (5 hours)

  • Too many early streams means I wake up earlier than I want.

Thu Jul 06 2023

Sleep 0030 to 0400. 1600 to 1900. (6-1/2 hours)

  • DDO hardcore main character died. Guess that's it for hardcore this season.

Fri Jul 07 2023

Sleep 0700 to 1545. (8-2/3 hours)

  • Household RPG from Two Little Mice is on sale 75% off along with its two supplements. It's award winning and the art is quite good and a bit offbeat setting: you are little peoples where the world is a wizard's house but the wizard disappeared a few years ago.

Red Sonja 50th Anniversary Book Bundle

Humble Bundle has a Red Sonja 50th Anniversary bundle of comic books from Dynamite Comics. I own a bunch from a previous bundle but there's a lot more that I don't own so $18 seems quite worthwhile. It is kind of weird that some of these are individual issues when there are trade paperbacks available. I guess it's so that they can claim "we’re doubling up the 50th anniversary party with over one hundred (100+!) comics & collections".

Don't Own

Red Sonja: One More Day
Red Sonja and Cub
Vampirella/Red Sonja #1-12
The Invincible Red Sonja #1
Red Sonja: Monster Isle
Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #1-6
Red Sonja: Worlds Away v3-5
Red Sonja: The Queen of Plagues v2-3
Queen Sonja #6
Legends of Red Sonja #1-5
Red Sonja: The Superpowers #1-5
Red Sonja: Birth of the She-Devil #2-4
Red Sonja v5 #6-28
Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword v4-13

Already Own

Red Sonja: Wrath of the Gods #1-5
Red Sonja: Vulture's Circle #1-5
Red Sonja: Revenge of the Gods #1-5
Red Sonja: Black Tower #1-4
Red Sonja: The Ballad of the Red Goddess
Red Sonja: Worlds Away v1-2
Red Sonja: The Queen of Plagues v1
Queen Sonja #1-5
The Adventures of Red Sonja v1-3
The Further Adventures of Red Sonja v1
Red Sonja: Birth of the She-Devil #1
Red Sonja v5 #1-5
Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword v1-3

$100 Deadlands Reloaded Recommendation

With the recent Savage Worlds 20th Anniversary Celebration KS what would I recommend for Deadlands? First off these are all DriveThruRPG PDFs even though Pinnacle has a capable PDF store. DTRPG is watermarked for Deadlands but I like the store better and getting archived/updated PDFs is a better experience than the Pinnacle store.

I'm going to the previous edition of Deadlands, the second edition Deadlands Reloaded. The current third edition has some nice campaigns out but the timeline moves forward and I recommend running the epic four campaigns, each versus one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

First you need rules, the core Savage Worlds plus two core books for Deadlands Reloaded. Pinnacle is good about keeping core books low priced so even though it's three books in total it's like one big RPG core rules book.

Savage Worlds Deluxe ($10 PDF)
Deadlands Reloaded: Player's Guide ($10 PDF)
Deadlands Reloaded: Marshal's Handbook ($10 PDF)

Each of the campaigns is in plot point format. At base is a sandbox setting with lots of places and short adventures associated with them. Then there is the plot which is a series of medium-length adventures that can be introduced as appropriate.

Deadlands Reloaded: The Flood ($15 PDF)
Deadlands Reloaded: The Last Sons ($15 PDF)
Deadlands Reloaded: Stone and a Hard Place ($15 PDF)
Deadlands Reloaded: Good Intentions ($15 PDF)

With $10 left I'm not sure what to buy, guess I'll go with

Deadlands Reloaded: Grim Prairie Trails ($10 PDF) - this has 19 threats, each with an included short adventure so you can sprinkle something different while playing the above campaigns.

For $100 that's several years of gaming in the Weird West.

Diary - Jun 24 to Jun 30 2023

Sat Jun 24 2023

Sleep 0615 to 1145. 30 min nap. (6 hours)

  • Finally figured out why Wiki.js is not working with Google.
    • If you have 2-factor turned on then you can create an App Password for login; but in my case Dave S did not enable that for our domain.
    • If you don't have 2-factor turned on you can enable "Less secure app access" in which case Google allows standard user/pass login to their services.
    • (Also when setting this up and clicking the Test Email button you need to Apply changes first otherwise it's using the old settings.)

Sun Jun 25 2023

Sleep 0500 to 1300. (8 hours)

  • I don't think I've mentioned that Wells Fargo transferred my mortgage to Mr Cooper starting Jul 01. I assume since interest rates are so high they'd rather lend out the money I still owe to someone who will pay more (and I never signed up for any of the extra services they were promoting to me, like checking and savings and credit card and home equity line of credit). Never heard of Mr Cooper but they do have a nice looking web site -- rather Internet startup polish but who knows what the backend is like?

Mon Jun 26 2023

Sleep 0615 to 1415. (8 hours)

  • I gotta start working on my revised résumé...

Tue Jun 27 2023

Sleep 1630 to 1900. (2-1/2 hours)

  • No sleep. Kind of binged the last half of Ted Lasso s3.

Wed Jun 28 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1230. (10 hours)

  • Dinner at C3's. Hiro Nori and I like their ramen. We were missing one item and CSr logged it with DoorDash. They redelivered almost the whole order so we had much extra food.

Thu Jun 29 2023

Sleep 0830 to 1330. (5 hours)

  • DDO hardcore - my alt account finally got to 1750 favor and 7 treasure collectibles. About 500 favor behind the rest of the party since I skipped a lot of quests catching up.

Fri Jun 30 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1100. (8-1/2 hours)