Kevin C. Wong

$100 Dungeon Fantasy RPG Recommendation

My previous $100 GURPS Recommendation was designed for someone who had D&D/AD&D modules and wanted to run them in GURPS.

This time we try an all GURPS solution. Fortunately/Unfortunately Dungeon Fantasy RPG is still the best and cheapest full GURPS core rules product, albeit stripped of non-fantasy gaming material and somewhat simplified in other areas to keep page count down.

Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game ($40 PDF)

For Steve Jackson Games they have adventures (no campaigns) either individual or as part of companions so not very cost effective. I turn to Gaming Ballistic and even though their books are more expensive you get so much more material for the price.

Hall of Judgment (Second Edition) ($24 PDF)

This 132-page adventure includes description of a region and a city and encounters to the Hall and a few small dungeon locations. Plus monsters and sample characters.

The Citadel at Nordvorn ($24 PDF)

This 132-page setting book describes a bigger region of which Hall of Judgement adventure is part of. It is a Nordic-themed area and we get cities, peoples, customs, rivalries and subplot materials where you could kind of make it into a sandbox campaign, although without dungeons or encounter locations.

The Dragons of Rosgarth ($23 PDF)

This is a 112-page adventure. City and inhabitants is about 40 pages. Adventure is about 45 pages -- stop a dragon who is raising an army to conquer the city. 20 page bestiary.

Forest's End ($21 PDF)

A 96-page adventure with the typical Gaming Ballistic mixture of location and peoples, monsters, and one to three smallish dungeons along with a plot to tie everything in. Plot: a frontier town is planning a celebration but the nearby dragonkin plan to attack during the celebration.

The Crypt of Krysuvik ($14 PDF)

A 44-page hex area with two crypts (small dungeons) to explore for 125-point characters (i.e. half the standard 250-point starting DFRPG PC). It does come with six pre-generated 125-point PCs.

Unfortunately that's way over budget and even Gaming Ballistic's Nordlond Adventure Bundle (all five of the above for $70) breaks the budget.


Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game ($40 PDF)
Hall of Judgment (Second Edition) ($24 PDF)
The Citadel at Nordvorn ($24 PDF)
Against the Rat-Men ($7 PDF)

Hall of Judgment is meant to a new group of PCs from a small town. Nordvorn is a bigger town the PCs can visit and get involved in local politics. Against the Rat-Men is the sequel to the DFRPG intro adventure and both can be place din Nordvorn maybe with a few changes in monsters. (Against the Rat-Men is part of Dungeon Fantasy Companion [$16 PDF] but I'm not really into more traps and magic items, the other two mini-supplements that make up DF Companion.)

Sadly this feels like a few months worth of gaming rather than a year or two or more with my other recommendations.

Diary - May 20 to May 26 2023

Sat May 20 2023

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

  • Gaming though we didn't end up doing anything. CJr and Corina got held up and by the time they were free it was dinner.
  • We went to dinner at Joy Sushi.

Sun May 21 2023

Sleep 0330 to 0830. 30 min nap. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Visit parents. Feeling pressure to look for a job.

Mon May 22 2023

Sleep 0330 to 1130. (8 hours)

Tue May 23 2023

Sleep 0230 to 0945. (7-1/4 hours)

Wed May 24 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1130. (9 hours)

  • Christopher is busy tonight so I'm skipping visiting for dinner and will get KFC instead.
  • Been binging on Madam Secretary. Was early in season three and now did like 8 episodes yesterday and another 8 today. It's very watchable.

Thu May 25 2023

Sleep 0345 to 0945. (6 hours)

  • Left foot a bit sore today. Probably will be worse tomorrow.

Fri May 26 2023

Sleep 0300 to 1145, 1 hour nap. (9-3/4 hours)

  • Foot hurts quite a bit now. This time it's more like the big toe and the muscles support it are inflamed and sore instead of the whole foot swelling up a bit like before.
  • Girl by Moonlight RPG, crowdfunded on Backerkit which is trying to break into that market.

$100 Pendragon Recommendation

Finishing up my Chaosium RPG recommendations we have Pendragon. There are not too many current edition products but luckily everything other than the first two are truly optional.

King Arthur Pendragon Core Rulebook v5.2 ($20 PDF)
The Great Pendragon Campaign ($25 PDF)

With the core rules and GPC you have 80+ sessions of gaming, albeit focusing on Christian Knight PCs.

The Great Pendragon Campaign - The Uther Expansion ($5 PDF)

Prepends 5 years to GPC. This is also included in The Book of Uther ($20) but having looked at much of the KAP 5E supplements I'd recommended avoiding them unless you want to add an exquisite amount of detail.

Book of Armies ($20 PDF)

The above being said I found Book of Armies quite useful. It is basically random tables to generate opponents during a battle with separate tables for each region and each battle even. And since Pendragon knights mostly fight other knights and warriors these tables are also useful for random encounters.

That's $70 which leaves enough to buy three or four classic adventure books:

Blood & Lust ($8 PDF) - 4 adventures
Tales of Mystic Tournaments ($10 PDF) - 3 adventures
Tales of Magic & Miracles ($6 PDF) - 5 adventures
Tales of Chivalry & Romance ($6 PDF) - 4 adventures

These four books add adventures you can sprinkle in every two or three years though they are all after Arthur becomes high king.

$100 RuneQuest Recommendation

The latest RuneQuest edition has few scenarios and no campaigns (not like the old campaigns at least). I like the Glorantha Classics line, which are very good re-editions of RQ2 supplements with additional material and still in RQ2 format.

RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha ($28 PDF)

The latest edition of RQ (which makes it the 7th edition) is built on top of RQ2 and has a conversion document so you can use 2E supplements with it.

Gloranthan Classics v1: Pavis & Bug Rubble ($25 PDF)

All material from two boxed sets, Pavis (a city) and Big Rubble (nearby ruins).

Gloranthan Classics v2: Griffin Mountain ($20 PDF)

Griffin Mountain (a big location with lots of detailed encounter areas) with additional material. an above-ground campaign.

Gloranthan Classics v4: Borderlands & Beyond ($20 PDF)

Borderlands, a 7-adventure campaign, plus additional material.

Total $93 and years of adventuring and I like that it's basically all recently done or re-done material.

Diary - May 13 to May 19 2023

Sat May 13 2023

Sleep 0130 to 0600. 1415 to 1615. (6-1/2 hours)

  • One thing I didn't realize is that Friday Night Baseball is usually (mostly? always?) the first game of a weekend series. Kind of a different vibe when two teams meet for the first time in a while rather than sat being the end of the series when one or the other team might be a bit tired and run down.

Sun May 14 2023

Sleep 0245 to 1000. (7-1/4 hours)

  • Gaming at my place. Each player got to talk to a Keep NPC and get a quest. Then they decided to go after the easiest and almost lost two characters to the Mad Hermit and his pet mountain lion. But they used two luck points to save themselves.

Mon May 15 2023

Sleep 2130 to 1230. 0715 to 1045. (6-1/2 hours)

Tue May 16 2023

Sleep 0145 to 1230. (10-3/4 hours)

  • Gmail never truly deletes mail when I'm using Apple Mail. Went to Gmail site and I have mail going back to Sep 2017 and I deleted it all (I think max is maybe 5k messages at a time, 37493 messages) to reclaim 3.7 GB of space.

Wed May 17 2023

Sleep 0430 to 0945. 1430 to 1530. (6-1/4 hours)

  • Apple Store to turn in my AirPods Max for repair. Maybe third time's the charm...

Thu May 18 2023

Sleep 0215 to 1000. (7-3/4 hours)

  • HOA Special Meeting to determine amount of emergency assessment.

Fri May 19 2023

Sleep 0345 to 0915. 1 hour nap. (6-1/2 hours)

  • Hmm, I guess Humble Bundle doesn't do $1 tier anymore. The lowest tier is two or three items at a $4 to $10 price.

$100 Call of Cthulhu Recommendation

One of the great things about Call of Cthulhu is that the rules remained largely unchanged until 7th edition.

Call of Cthulhu Classic 2" Deluxe Boxed Set ($60 PDF)

This is from the 2E boxed set reprint Kickstarter. 2E rules plus a year's gaming of adventures.

Shadows of Yog Sothoth - campaign
The Asylum & Other Tales - seven adventures
Cthulhu Companion - four adventures + splat material
Trail of the Tsathogghua - three adventure mini-campaign
Fragments of Fear - one scenario + splat material

Masks of Nyarlathotep ($17.50 PDF)

This is a one-book version of one of the best campaigns ever published for CoC.

Beyond the Mountains of Madness ($20 PDF)

If you love HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness then this is the campaign for you. I ran it, with the optional sourcebook material (which is mostly lots of extra handouts and details about an Antarctic exploration), and inserted more adventures as the PCs traveled from New York to Australia before the final leg to Antarctica. Definitely can be a slog that way but mostly it worked well I think.

Call of Cthulhu supplements range over multiple eras and locations. I think the above is the default 1930's and either North-Eastern USA or globe-hopping.

If you want to play with 7th edition it's more constrained.

CoC Keeper Rulebook ($28 PDF)
CoC Investigator Handbook ($23 PDF)

There is also a starter set (which uses the quick start rules) though I hesitate to recommend cut down rules that can give you a good but limited experience. With the 7E version of Masks at $60 we fall ball to-- never mind. I was going to recommend Horror on the Orient Express at $40 but actually the split up the campaign into two volumes and I assume v2 will also be $40.

A Time to Harvest ($26) - a six adventure campaign set in 1930's Vermont
Doors to Darkness ($17.50) - five adventures for beginner keepers, set in 1920's New England.
The Shadow Over Providence ($4) - an adventure set in 1928 Providence, Rhode Island.

Humble Bundle - Starfinder Solidarity Book Bundle

Starfinder Solidarity Bundle (ends Jun 01 2023) for $25 (all the PDFs) gets you

Starfinder Core Rulebook √
Core Rulebook Pawn Collection

Starfinder Beginner Box √
Player Character Folio √
GM Screen √

Alien Archive √
Alien Archive 2 √
Alien Archive 3
Alien Archive Pawn Box

Starship Operations Manual
Near Space

Fly Free or Die Adventure Path
- p1. We're No Heroes
- p2. Merchants of the Void
- p3. Professional Courtesy
- p4. The White Glove Affair
- p5. Crash & Burn
- p6. The Gilded Cage
- Fly Free or Die Pawn Collection

- System Take Down

Starfinder Society
- Corporate Interests
- Pact World Warriors √

- Asteroid √
- Basic Starfield √
- Ghost Ship √
- Jungle World √
- Spaceport

- Redshift Rally

Good collection if you're starting out but I already have all the checkmarked items. I guess the adventure path is worth it because on Paizo each adventure is $20 PDF. Still, no longer interested in Starfinder (or Pathfinder for that matter).

Diary - May 06 to May 12 2023

Sat May 06 2023

Sleep 0415 to 1015. 90 min nap. (7-1/2 hours)

  • Ooma malfunctioned again when I rearranged my UPS plug distribution a few days ago. The question is if it'll eventually start working again.

Sun May 07 2023

Sleep 0400 to 1200. (8 hours)

  • Spent about half a day writing up Treasurer's Notes (kind of so that I can hand it off to the next Treasurer) then looking at 15 invoices for approval. Also set up an iBank file so I can keep track of HOA expenses, mostly for historical purposes and reports (I'm not depending on the 3rd party solution our HOA management uses).

Mon May 08 2023

Sleep 0600 to 1400. (8 hours)

  • Foolishly started watching YouTube at 0200 and then four hours later...

Tue May 09 2023

Sleep 0400 to 0745, 1400 to 1600. (5-3/4 hours)

  • Hmm, after waking up from sleep today I think my MBP has not turned on GPU cause my computer is laggy and fan isn't on.
  • Huh. I bought my place at the end of 2017 and moved in right before Christmas. Jan 2018 was my first full month living here. I keep thinking I've only been here three or four years but it's already been 5-1/3 years.
  • Saw Guardians of the Galaxy v3 with CSr.

Wed May 10 2023

Sleep 0300 to 0915. 90 min nap. (7-3/4 hours)

  • Power outage for 10m this morning.
  • Dinner at C3. Charm Thai Restaurant take out was pretty good.
  • Played half a game of Pokemon card game with CJr.

Thu May 11 2023

Sleep 0030 to 0500. 2-1/2 hour nap. (7 hours)

  • Kind of rough waking up early to mod for akaNemsko while she is in Paris for the month.

Fri May 12 2023

Sleep 0015 to 0615. 1645 to 1845. (8 hours)

  • Jury duty. Spent the morning there reading and wasn't called up. Break at 1100 and we need to come back at 1330 because new jurors might be needed then.

Interesting Kickstarters

Gwen Gaming Table - L800 to L1600 depending on table size + shipping from the UK, ends May 18. This is what happens when you go way overboard on a custom table. I have two dining room sets and the two tables are side by side for a big gaming area suitable for eight people and that cost probably $300 or less.

Mini-Dungeon Tome II - $30 PDF, $40 softcover, $50 hardcover, ends May 25. A book of 120 2-page mini adventures for D&D 5E. Each adventure has a small full color grid map, intro and hooks and then a page with adventure text. VTT maps are $30 add-on.

I like the idea of a variety of small side-adventures you can run. The sample shows off four: a hag wants you to play a pit game, defending the docks of a trading company, investigate a magic school fraternity "house", a two room temple. So not necessarily straight out combat scenarios.

Savage Worlds Skirmish Battle - L12 PDF, L17 print, ends June 10. I find it ironic that Classic Deadlands was a fairly complicated RPG. Then we got The Great Rail Wars, a miniatures game with simplified Deadlands rules. Those rules were so successful that they became the basis for Savage Worlds. Now after two more editions of Savage Worlds I guess it's gotten complicated enough that a miniatures game ruleset based on it is viable again (to be fair SWSB also handles larger formations, GRW was man-to-man only).

Electricity Usage

Took a look at my electricity usage since I moved in. Delivery is what PG&E charges to deliver electricity. Generation is from Peninsula Clean Energy (started with 50% renewables and after two months switched to ECO100 which has a $0.01 surcharge).


  • Delivery has always been expensive and it's 62% more expensive than when I moved in.
  • Four Summer months T1 allowance goes way down and sometimes I go over into Tier 2.
  • PCE started out charging about $0.02 less than PG&E all renewable option, not sure about nowadays after that big jump a year ago.

PG&E doesn't really a rate plan that will save money unless I commit to not using power during 1600 to 2100 which maybe if I was a night owl.

The other option is reduce energy usage. When I plot the below data my usage has been slowly going down. Not sure where I would save energy though; maybe when I have to replace my appliances.

Month kWh Delivery: Delivery: Generation:
T1 Cap T1 $/kWh $/kWh

January 2018 394 534 $0.2008 $0.0637
February 2018 410 501 $0.2008 $0.0637
March 2018 418 484 $0.2117 $0.0784
April 2018 391 534 $0.2117 $0.0784
May 2018 345 279 $0.2117 $0.0784
June 2018 334 270 $0.2117 $0.0784
July 2018 356 298 $0.2117 $0.0784
August 2018 294 279 $0.2117 $0.0784
September 2018 216 279 $0.2154 $0.0784
October 2018 235 298 $0.2154 $0.0784
November 2018 210 510 $0.2154 $0.0784
December 2018 205 518 $0.2154 $0.0784
January 2019 219 486 $0.2118 $0.0784
February 2019 211 486 $0.2118 $0.0784
March 2019 248 502 $0.2178 $0.0784
April 2019 263 478 $0.2178 $0.0784
May 2019 243 264 $0.2228 $0.0823
June 2019 224 273 $0.2228 $0.0823
July 2019 248 264 $0.2238 $0.0941
August 2019 258 264 $0.2238 $0.0941
September 2019 245 288 $0.2238 $0.0941
October 2019 220 447 $0.2298 $0.0941
November 2019 267 508 $0.2298 $0.0943
December 2019 234 447 $0.2298 $0.0943
January 2020 276 462 $0.2358 $0.0943
February 2020 271 493 $0.2358 $0.0943
March 2020 290 447 $0.2352 $0.0943
April 2020 293 462 $0.2352 $0.0943
May 2020 291 486 $0.2437 $0.0876
June 2020 263 258 $0.2437 $0.0876
July 2020 307 258 $0.2437 $0.0876
August 2020 274 267 $0.2437 $0.0876
September 2020 282 285 $0.2437 $0.0876
October 2020 262 455 $0.2443 $0.0876
November 2020 310 508 $0.2443 $0.0876
December 2020 274 447 $0.2443 $0.0876
January 2021 254 467 $0.2499 $0.0876
February 2021 285 493 $0.2499 $0.0720
March 2021 263 447 $0.2590 $0.0720
April 2021 269 462 $0.2590 $0.0704
May 2021 290 493 $0.2590 $0.0704
June 2021 249 258 $0.2590 $0.0704
July 2021 258 267 $0.2590 $0.0704
August 2021 265 285 $0.2607 $0.0704
September 2021 233 267 $0.2607 $0.0704
October 2021 233 440 $0.2607 $0.0704
November 2021 256 508 $0.2607 $0.0704
December 2021 263 431 $0.2618 $0.0704
January 2022 314 462 $0.2824 $0.0704
February 2022 287 492 $0.2824 $0.0704
March 2022 276 447 $0.3147 $0.0704
April 2022 271 462 $0.3147 $0.1324
May 2022 304 491 $0.3147 $0.1324
June 2022 248 253 $0.3152 $0.1324
July 2022 255 255 $0.3152 $0.1086
August 2022 264 272 $0.3152 $0.1330
September 2022 252 255 $0.3152 $0.1330
October 2022 232 411 $0.3152 $0.1330
November 2022 264 482 $0.3152 $0.1330
December 2022 221 423 $0.3152 $0.1330
January 2023 253 467 $0.3255 $0.1330
February 2023 206 438 $0.3255 $0.1539
March 2023 216 423 $0.3405 $0.1539
April 2023 264 467 $0.3405 $0.1539

Diary - Apr 29 to May 05 2023

Sat Apr 29 2023

Sleep 0700 to 1600. (9 hours)

  • Up late watching Anna Cramlings WCC watch party, though I couldn't quite make it to the end of the game.
  • Guess the Ooma wasn't dead. A few days unplugged and also unplugging/replugging in the Ethernet cable seems to have fixed it. Probably it was the latter though fairly sure I had checked the Ethernet cable before (and it has a connection light which I didn't check before). I can listen to my voice mail so must be working fine.
  • Also forgot that the Ooma has an RJ-11 jack for a regular phone. Should have my cheap phone connected to that so that I can dial from home when I need to (instead of dialing from the Sonic phone number which no other business knows about).
  • Used the COVID-19 test and it gave a negative result so I'm probably fine.
  • Noticed I can now watch full replays of the free MLS games and that's nice.

Sun Apr 30 2023

Sleep 0730 to 1200. (4-1/2 hours)

  • Ding Liren wins WCC in the last rapid tie-breaker (would have gone to blitz after that). Pretty exciting commentary on that last game from Anna and her mom GM Pia Cramling.
  • Huh, for my old podcast pages (made on iWeb) Safari doesn't display the audio. Firefox does so you can play the audio from the web page.
  • Oh, it's done as a JavaScript and Safari says my web page is not allowed to run insecure content from (guess a dependent script is there). I think it's because my page is https and the script is http. I could probably set an http header to allow it. Do I care enough to fix?
  • Actually I kind of remember fixing the http-content-from-https-page was basically not possible to do without kind of breaking the security model. I guess best fix would be to host the script on my site and change all the links (fairly easy to do with BBEdit).
  • Warriors beat the Kings to win the series 4-3. Kings had a good season and did better than I expected against the Warriors.

Mon May 01 2023

Sleep 0130 to 1245. (11-1/4 hours)

  • Actually the script is which no longer exists. So that can't be the problem.

Tue May 02 2023

Sleep 1230 to 1630. (4 hours)

  • Couldn't get to sleep so stayed up until I could go to KFC for takeout.
  • Connecting my Mac mini to my 27" monitor worked. Finished setting up macOS Monterey. Headless mode with Remote Desktop works. My initial mistake was turning on FileVault because that requires a password before the disk is unlocked so Apple Remote Desktop won't have a chance to run beforehand.
  • Christopher and I went to see John Wick 4. Was pretty good although pretty much more of the same as previous movies.

Wed May 03 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1030. (8 hours)

  • Got a notification from UptimeRobot. Oops, I need to enable "Prevent your Mac from automatically sleeping when the display is off" on the server.
  • Dinner and board game at C3s.
  • Turns out I totally forgot I had a bunch of boxes at Steph's place until she reminded me tonight. Lots of stuff that I had written off as somehow lost during my move. Exciting! Also, not sure where I'll put them. Have to get serious about getting rid/selling the stuff I don't really want to keep.

Thu May 04 2023

Sleep 0200 to 1000. (8 hours)

  • DDO with my brother: we did the first four of Shadow Over Wheloon arc. We're now level 27 and getting close to reincarnation time.

Fri May 05 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1230. (10 hours)

  • Anime Network free week on Xfinity. Watched Akiba Maid War (2022), Fragtime (2019), and Luminous Witches (2022).

Favorite Apple Arcade Games of 2019

I've played all the Apple Arcade games released in 2019, most fairly briefly. I haven't finished writing up quick reviews of the last few but none of them are going to be in my favorites list.

S Tier - These two games I could have bought separately (though admittedly not at full Steam prices) and would have been money well spent. I finished both of them.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens ($30 on Steam) - I guess this is my favorite Apple Arcade game. A platformer that plays amazingly great with a controller. Smooth animation so gameplay is easy and short but good voice acting.

Tangle Tower ($20 on Steam) - A mystery game where you need to talk to everyone and find various objects then figure out who what when why. Two great protagonists and a good bunch of distinctive NPCs and great voice acting. I guess the only quibble is the ending is a bit of a long narration without suspense.

A Tier - These would be good games at the $5 level. I finished Bradwell Conspiracy and still play Mini Motorways a couple times a week.

The Bradwell Conspiracy ($20 on Steam) - A good puzzle game with really good voice acting and not the best graphics.

Mini Motorways ($10 on Steam) - Connects houses to workplaces and watch people drive to work and back. This game I still play a lot since there are daily and weekly challenge levels and they even added a new city about a month back. Starts slow and eventually gets hectic and you don't mind when you eventually lose.

B Tier - These games would also be good at the $5 level and yet I don't play them any more. Good concepts but maybe too involved for me as I don't like banging head against wall on a particular level. I guess these are games I wish I could like more.

Overland ($20 on Steam) - Turn based survival horror rogue-like. I like the concept but it's a brutal game.

Outlanders ($15 on Steam) - Casual village building game that is not actually that casual since early mistakes can mean failure an hour later.

If you spend $50 for a year of Apple Arcade then these games are more than twice that value. Yes at the end of the year you don't have them anymore but three of them are basically play once to completion and those three are more than $50 retail.

Humble Bundle BattleTech Legends

BattleTech Legends bundle is 60 novels for $18 and comprises almost all novels published before they did the jump forward to MechWarrior: Dark Age novels. Three novels are not included:

The Sword and the Dagger (Ardath Mayhar) - One of the first novels and I think reprinted once though it took a long time (I recall because it took me years to find a used copy and then a year later there was news of a reprint). Light on Mech combat and more about politics and machinations. Kind of ignorable though the events are referenced later by Prince Davion as one of the reasons why he started the Fourth Succession War.

Far Country (Peter L Rice) - Almost alt-universe novel. A jumpship misjumps far enough away that they'll never get back to the Inner Sphere and to a world with the only non-human intelligent species (kind of dinosaur raptors IIRC) in the BattleTech universe. (The Sword and the Dagger also has a non-human sentients briefly but I had totally forgotten that). Understandable why this one is omitted from the bundle.

Star Lord (Donald G Phillips) - Not sure why this one is not included.

I bought the bundle since I don't have any of these books in electronic format.