Kevin C. Wong

June 2021

Steam Summer Sale

Steam is doing their Summer Sale so let's see if there is anything interesting and cheap.

Sci-Fi & Cyberpunk

Battlevoid: Harbinger ($2, 80% off) - This is on my wish list. Space exploration rogue-like.

Battlevoid: Sector Siege ($2, 80% off) - This is more of a tactical space combat RTS.

Can get both as Battlevoid Bundle, which includes OSTs fo $3.

Particle Fleet: Emergence ($5, 67% off) - Another game on my wish list. By Knuckle Cracker, who did the Creeper World series. Physics-based RTS space combat.

Then I ran out of energy. One problem is that most games fit multiple categories so you keep seeing the same games over and over.

Undertale ($3, 70% off) - Also on my wish list (and I only have the three games here). 8-bit RPG that can be played violently or peaceful.

I really have no desire to buy anything. Oh well. How about one game regardless the price?

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy ($3.20, 60% off) - Don't think this is part of the Summer Sale. I've saw Nemo play this crazy hard mountain climbing game where you are a guy in a black cauldron and the mechanic is mostly shoot a line and then swing. And it has this humorous and frustrating voice commentary running throughout.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI Anthology ($41, 73%) - This is also not part of the sale, only the main game which I have and that's why the bundle has a good discount.

I give up. Nothing I want in this sale.

Diary - Jun 19 to Jun 25 2021

Sat Jun 19 2021

Sleep 0700 to 1200. 1700 to 2000. (8 hours)

  • Turned on my cell phone emergency alerts. I remember I turned it off after they added Presidential Alerts which seemed more of a marketing ploy than anything useful.

Sun Jun 20 2021

Sleep 0500 to 0800. 4 hours of napping on and off. (7 hours)

  • Carpooled to mom and dad's for the day.
  • We got takeout from Joy Place (Chinese food, was quite decent).
  • Got back about 2100.

Mon Jun 21 2021

Sleep 0600 to 1230. (6-1/2 hours)

  • With half of chat being Europeans there's lots of discussion about UEFA Euro 2020 championships going on right now.

Tue Jun 22 2021

Sleep 0330 to 0830. 1030 to 1230. 1930 to 2000. (7-1/2 hours)

  • Apple TV+ and Music subscriptions renew next month. Have to remember to cancel them so I can do an Apple One subscription starting Aug 01.

Wed June 23 2021

Sleep 0730 to 1230. 1900 to 2100. (7 hours)

  • Played Star Trek Fleet Command for a few hours. It's very free-to-play model.

Thu Jun 24 2021

Sleep 0530 to 0900. (3-1/2 hours)

Fri Jun 25 2021

Sleep 2330 to 0130, 0700 to 1100. (6 hours)

  • One HOA board member now wants more priority on replacing the water proof lining under our pool. It's 40 years old and definitely leaking (though actually the leak could be coming from the planters). We had started exploring doing that in a couple of years because of the cost (more than $500k). We could push it forward but I think would require special assessments (and we have a $5k special assessment due this December).

Bundle of Holding - The Yellow King

The Yellow King bundle contains Pelgrane Press' RPG and assorted material. I believe this is an RPG based on Robert W Chambers' stories, without the subsequent Lovecraftian and Call of Cthulhu RPG additions.

PELG-Y01 The Yellow King RPG ($55)
PELG-Y06 Absinthe in Carcosa ($21) - a giant 192-page handout for players
PELG-Y07 The Missing and the Lost ($6) - a novel
PELG-Y10 The Yellow King Suite ($5) - 6 tracks of ambient music
APU-9001 Annotated King in Yellow ($25) - the original stories with RPG annotations
RDL-001 New Tales of the Yellow Sign ($4) - anthology book

From Pelgrane Press The Yellow King RPG Complete PDF Bundle includes Y01, Y06, Y07 for $70.

$29 for the set seems ok.

Savings Account Rates

I pretty much emptied my savings accounts donating to Twitch streamers and this year I'm trying to build it back up a bit before property taxes hit. I'm using Capital One 360 Savings which is currently 0.30% APR. It seems pretty low so let's look around a little bit.

Wells Fargo: 0.01% savings
San Mateo Credit Union: 0.91% premium checking to $50k, 0.50% digital savings to $20k

Web search... bet seems to be about 0.60% stable (i.e. rate doesn't go down as your deposit increases). Mostly for banks I've never heard of.

So it looks like best comfortable choice is a digital savings account at SMCU.

Diary - Jun 12 to Jun 18 2021

Sat Jun 12 2021

Sleep 0400 to 1130. (7-1/2 hours)

  • Not as much sleep as I wanted but actually felt awake today.
  • Grocery shopping at Safeway.

Sun Jun 13 2021

Sleep 0615 to 1315. (7 hours)

Mon Jun 14 2021

Sleep 0430 to 1130.

  • 1:45 hour Zoom call to talk about EV installation program. One thing that came up is that the HOA has been working on this since 2014 researching, talking to vendors, talking to PG&E for rebates and when that ended talking to Peninsula Clean Energy for rebates.

Tue Jun 15 2021

Sleep 0300 to 0830. (5-1/2 hours)

  • California mostly drops COVID-19 restrictions starting today. Exceptions are public transportation, K-12 schools, elderly care facilities, hospitals, homeless shelters.

Wed Jun 16 2021

Sleep 0030 to 0830. (8 hours)

  • Mom went to the hospital with chest pains. Plaque in her arteries. They are going to put a stent soon and meanwhile she's staying at the hospital.

Thu Jun 17 2021

Sleep 0300 to 0630. 1 hour nap. (4-1/2 hours)

  • 0900 Car Service.
  • Fried Chicken dinner at Buttercup
  • Car Service done early. 1030 and nothing to do until 1400 dentist appointment.
  • Black Diamond Games. Bought a book: Improv for Gamers (Evil Hat Productions)
  • Dentist: The crown that he put on my molar is what fell apart (more pressure since my other molar was pulled). Will be replacing the crown next month with a gold one. It was a synthetic crown because my molar is cracked so we're trying to keep it from breaking and me losing another molar.
  • One thing mentioned is that at rest our top and bottom teeth are not supposed to be touching. If you do that then when you're stressed you tend to grind your teeth and eventually break them.
  • Decided to drop Neeko from my Twitch follows. It's coming slowly for a few months. She's rather negative when reflecting on high school and other parts of her past and apparently has many little balls of anger about other people.

Fri Jun 18 2021

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

  • Apparently Mom had a heart attack during the procedure so she'll be staying at the hospital a few more days and then the doctor will check out the damage.
  • Gotta say now I'm a bit worried about mom.
  • I'm getting a 3.85% raise this year. Raises are down across the board though I'm not sure if mine is average or above/below.

Bundle of Holding - Tunnels & Trolls 2

Tunnels & Trolls 2 bundle is almost all in addition to the first T&T bundle, except for Deluxe T&T RPG and GM Screen. For $26 you get a lot of good material and certainly if you bought the last bundle this one should be automatic.

FBI-8006 Alice in Weirdworld ($4)

FBI-8103 Solo 03: Labyrinth ($4)
FBI-8105 Solo 05: Dargon's Dungeon 2E ($3)
FBI-8106 Solo 06: Weirdworld 2E ($4)
FBI-8107 Solo 07: Overkill 2E ($4)
FBI-8108 Solo 08: Beyond the Silvered Pane ($3)
FBI-8111 Solo 11: Sword for Hire ($4)
FBI-8115 Solo 15: Blue Frog Tavern ($4)
FBI-8116 Solo 16: Mistywood ($4)
FBI-8118 Solo 18: Beyond the Wall of Tears ($4)
FBI-8119 Solo 19: Captif d'Yvoire ($4)
FBI-8120 Solo 20: Amulet of the Salkti ($4)
FBI-8121 Solo 21: Red Circle ($4)
FBI-8122 Solo 22: Caravan to Tiern ($4)
FBI-8123 Solo 23: Dark Temple ($4.50)
FBI-8124 Solo 24: When the Cat's Away ($6)

FBI-8304 Catacombs of the Bear Cult ($3)
FBI-8305 Goblin Crag ($2)
FBI-8306 Grimtooth's Tomb of the Warhammer ($4)
FBI-8321 The Isle of Darksmoke ($5)
FBI-8322 Trollstone Caverns: Lair of the Silver Serpent ($4)

FBI-9102 Monsters! Monsters! 2E ($10)
FBI-9103 Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls ($20)
FBI-9105 Gamemasters Screen ($1)
FBI-9106 Deluxe Saving Fang From the Pits of Morgul ($4)

FBI-xxxx Tunnels & Trolls Beginner's Bundle ($6)
FBI-xxxx Grimtina's Guard ($3)

Bundle of Holding - Dark Places & Demogorgons

Dark Places & Demogorgons Bundle are for two OSR RPGs.

Dark Places & Demogorgons ($10) - an OSR RPG about 1980's high school kids investigating the supernatural.
Player Options & GM Guide ($5)
GM Screen Inserts ($2)
Martial Arts Mayhem ($5) - sourcebook
Dark Places Cryptid Manual ($5) - monster book
Santa Muerte Setting Guide (410) - sourcebook
Jeffersontown ($5) - setting
Vampire Sourcebook ($3.50)
Werewolf Sourcebook ($4)
Ghost Hunter's Handbook ($5)
UFO Investigator's Handbook ($5)

Vigilante City ($10) - RPG of animated superhero adventures using the same system as in Dark Places.
Print and Play Minis ($5)
Vigilante City Villain Guide ($10) - villains book
Superhero Team-Up ($5) - sourcebook
Into the Sewers ($5) - sourcebook

Looks nice but there seems to be a distinct lack of adventures, though some sourcebooks have adventure generators. I'll pass.

Diary - Jun 05 to Jun 11 2021

Sat Jun 05 2021

Sleep 0330 to 1230. (9 hours)

  • A few years ago I ripped all my DVDs. Now I'm converting the DVD rips (each is 4 to 8 GB) to MP4 reducing size to a third or a fourth. Pretty much just the main feature, English audio, commentary tracks, subtitle track. I have 2 TB of DVDs and hoping to get it down to 500 GB or so which can then fit comfortably on my MBP 2020.
  • For subtitle tracks if it's a VOBSUB Apple TV app won't recognize it. If it's a Closed Caption subtitle then TV app will recognize it (only if there is just a CC track, having VOBSUB tracks confuses TV app and it doesn't show CC option). Handbrake doesn't convert from one to the other.
  • One thing I noticed is that American DVDs have better foreign audio and subtitle support than British DVDs.

Sun Jun 06 2021

Sleep 0500 to 1000. 1 hour nap (6 hours)

  • Fine Games retirement sale continues. With this update I'm thinking of buying four old Strategy & Tactics magazine with games and one Command magazine with game.

Mon Jun 07 2021

Sleep 0200 to 1000. 1 hour nap. (9 hours)

  • Checked Gator Games Twitter and looks like they've been doing in-store events for vaccinated participants.

Tue Jun 08 2021

Sleep 0430 to 0830. 1030 to 1330. (7 hours)

Wed Jun 09 2021

Sleep 0430 to 1030. (6 hours)

  • Because of this thread about GURPS support in Foundry VTT I think I will be buying Foundry VTT. I saw a couple of YouTube videos and it looks pretty cool and easy to use, partly because it's not trying to be-all-end-all of virtual table top.

Thu Jun 10 2021

Sleep 0500 to 0830. 2 hour nap. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Turned on Brave Rewards (i.e. advertisements). Wow, so many crypto-based ads. Wallets, new coins, things that have crypto somewhere. At least the ads are well done because they're full page ads.

Fri Jun 11 2021

Sleep 0245 to 0830. (5-3/4 hours)

  • I've been so tired today. I'm going to sleep a long time tonight.

Bundle of Holding - World's Largest Bundle

This is a bundle of d20 products published by Alderac Entertainment for D&D 3E (2000) and 3.5E (2003). The main thing in this bundle is World's Largest Bundle (2006) which I've read mixed reviews. World's Largest City (2006) is kind of interesting as a big location with lots of things to do. Adventure I and II are a bunch of separately published adventures gathered together and tied together into grand campaigns. The other books are supplements, which I don't really care about.

Starter Collection ($13)

Ultimate Toolbox ($30)
Empire ($5)
War ($5)
Mercenaries ($10)
Gods ($4)
Magic ($5)
Relics ($5)
Adventure I ($4)
Adventure II ($4)

Bonus Collection ($15)

The World's Largest Dungeon ($40)
World's Largest City ($20)
Dungeons: A Guide to Survival in the Realms Below ($5)
Dragons ($10)

So for $13 there are $8 of stuff I want. For another $15 there is another $60 of stuff I want. $28 for $68 of stuff. From the DriveThruRPG reviews of World's Largest Dungeon/City these are OCR scans and not amazingly great especially regarding the huge maps.

All in all I think I'll skip this bundle.

GOG Summer Sale

GOG Summer Sale is on now. It feels like they had a Spring Sale like last month and I guess I hadn't noticed that they're doing a sale every season.

Galaxy Squad ($1) - turn-based tactical science fiction roguelike. GOG doesn't really tell you if a game is 32-bit but this one was released in 2019 so should work on my Mac.

The next three I won't buy but I didn't see anything else that was cheap.

Return of the Obra Dinn ($15) - "a first-person mystery adventure based on exploration and logical deduction." It has 1-bit graphics and is reminiscent of playing on an old Mac SE.

Nox Archaist ($17.50) - Another modern RPG game modeled after 8-bit games of yore. It looks like Ultima III.

Caves of Qud ($13.50) - Another intriguing retro-game. This one is science fiction roguelike and it looks kind of Nethack-like. It's been in development for years though. I guess it's playable as-is but not complete (early access version was released in 2015) and may never be finished.

Diary - May 29 to Jun 04 2021

Sat May 29 2021

Sleep 0330 to 1130 (8 hours)

  • DDO: We're level 3. Did a bunch of level 2 quests on reaper 4. One reaper is tough but beatable. Two usually TPK our party but with Jack Jibber's blade we have a chance to resurrect and regroup at a shrine.

Sun May 30 2021

Sleep 0600 to 1230. (6-1/2 hours)

  • Was going to get KFC but apparently their $20 Fill Up promo is over and it's now $30 for the same deal. Instead I guess it's grocery shopping night.

Mon May 31 2021

Sleep 0300 to 1130 (8-1/2 hours)

  • Figured out why Apple Music app "deleted" some songs. Actually problem is that if you import a lot of songs at once it doesn't import some of the files even though it imports the data. If you drag about 10 songs over at a time it seems to work mostly fine (occasionally it doesn't get the album cover from the file and substitutes a generic cover).

Tue Jun 01 2021

Sleep 0330 to 0830. 2-1/2 hour nap. (7-1/2 hours)

Wed Jun 02 2021

Sleep 0430 to 1200. (7-1/2 hours)

  • I think everyone in my circle is vaccinated by now. Looking forward to the state opening up June 15th.

Thu Jun 03 2021

Sleep 0200 to 1000. (8 hours)

Fri Jun 04 2021

Sleep 0245 to 0830. 1 hour nap. (6-3/4 hours)

DDO Fighter Plan p5

This is the last part with the standard Fighter Epic Destiny. It's not really as useful since I'm specialized two-weapon fighter, so because of no better alternatives I'm taking an awful lot of Strength.

I'm not planning Reaper enhancements because the trees are actually quite vanilla and you don't get lots of cool special powers.

Legendary Dreadnought

Tier Enhancement Cost Ranks MaxR Total Notes

Core Shrug Off Punishment 0 1 1 0 +50 Max HP, +10 Melee Power/Ranged Power at Legendary Dreadnought 5
Core Action Hero 0 1 1 0 Reduces cooldowns of Action Boosts by 33%
Core Unstoppable 0 1 1 0 Activate: Remove All Crowd Control effects restraining you (Cooldown 3m)
Core Unmovable 0 1 1 0 Activate: +20 Action Boost to Fortitude and Balance for 60s (Cooldown 90s)
Core Thick Skinned 0 1 1 0 Active: 25% less damage from all sources for 30s (Cooldown 2m)
Core Combat Brute 0 1 1 0 Action Boost Active: +1[W] with melee and +20% dmg to helpless
1 Sundering Swing 1 3 0
1 Legendary Tactics 1 3 0
1 Extra Action Boost 1 3 3 3 +1 Action Boost charge per rank
1 Action Boost Attack 1 3 0
1 Strength/Constituion 2 1 1 2 Strength
2 Momentum Swing 1 1 3 1 (Not Used)
2 Improved Combat Expertise 2 1 0
2 Improved Power Attack 2 1 0
2 Action Boost Power 1 3 0
2 Strength/Constituion 2 1 1 2 Strength
3 Lay Waste 2 1 0
3 Critical Damage 1 2 3 2 +2 crit damage per rank
3 Action Boost Haste 1 3 0
3 Strength/Constituion 2 1 1 2 Strength
4 Unusual Tactics 2 1 0
4 Volcano's Edge 2 1 1 2 Active: Hit = 100 Fire =, Crit = Magma Surge, Vorpal = 10d100 Fire (Cool 12s)
4 Lightning Mace 2 1 0
4 Anvil of Thunder 2 1 0
4 Strength/Constituion 2 1 1 2 Strength
5 Advancing Blows 2 1 0
5 Devastating Critical 2 1 1 2 +1 Crit Mult on rolls of 19-20 (stacks with Overwhelming Critical)
5 Strength/Constituion 2 1 1 2 Strength
6 Master's Blitz Epic Moment 2 1 1 2 On hit: +7 Melee/Ranged Power stack (max 10), 10% to reset timer (15s)
6 Pulverizer 2 1 0
6 Headman's Chop 2 1 0
6 Strength/Constituion 2 1 1 2 Strength

Bundle of Holding Mongoose Traveller 2E

This is two bundles

Mongoose Traveller 2E
Pirates of Drinax

So I do have most of this but print only as I was buying them from my local FLGS, Gator Games in San Mateo. I don't mind rebuying to get PDF versions. That's a no-brainer for everything but Pirates of Drinax level up which is +$14 for 2 PDFs which I can get for $16 when on sale. I guess to keep it simple I'll but it all.

Mongoose Traveller 2E - Base

MGP-40008 Mongoose Traveller 2E Starter Set ($40) [Have in print, not pdf]
-- MGP-40000 Traveller Core Rulebook
-- The Fall of Tinath
MGP-40007 Traveller Companion ($30) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40003 Central Supply Catalogue 2E ($30) [Have in print, not pdf]

Mongoose Traveller 2E - Level Up

MGP-40002 High Guard 2E ($36) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40004 Vehicle Handbook 2E ($30) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40005 Referee's Screen ($12) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40999 Referee's Briefing 1: Companies & Corporations ($6)
MGP-40998 Referee's Briefing 2: Anomalies and Wonders ($6)
MGP-40996 Referee's Briefing 3: Going Portside ($6)
MGP-40994 Referee's Briefing 4: Mercenary Forces ($6)
MGP-40990 Referee's Briefing 5: Incidents and Encounters ($6)
MGP-40989 Referee's Briefing 6: Garden Worlds ($6)

Pirates of Drinax - Base

MGP-40009 The Pirates of Drinax ($50) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40006 Reach Adventure 1: Marooned on Marduk ($9) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40010 Reach Adventure 2: Theories of Everything ($9) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40011 Reach Adventure 3: The Calixcuel Incident ($9) [Have in print, not pdf]

Pirates of Drinax - Level Up

MGP-40034 Drinaxian Companion ($30) [Have in pdf]
-- Harrier-class Commerce Raider
-- Ship Encounters
-- Theev
-- The Torpol Cluster
-- Six Expanded Patron Encounters
-- I: Gods of Marduk
-- II: Revolution on Acrid
-- III: Friends in Dry Places
-- IV: The Cordan Conflict
-- V: Lions of Thebus
-- VI: Liberty Port

MGP-40037 Shadows of Sindal ($27) [Have in pdf]
-- In Search of Sindal
-- The Plague of Sindal
-- The Prince of Sindal

MGP-40012 Reach Adventure 4: Last Flight of the Amuar ($12) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40018 Reach Adventure 5: The Borderland Run ($12) [Have in print, not pdf]
MGP-40022 Reach Adventure 6: Exodus ($9) [Have in pdf]