Kevin C. Wong

November 2023

Bluebeard's Bride Bundle

Bluebeard's Bride is an indie RPG with basically one adults only investigative/horror story. I have the core book but not the supplements, which are fairly pricey. This $15 Bundle of Holding has

Bluebeard's Bride Rulebook (retail $14)
Book of Lore (retail $14) - fictional narrative (choose your own adventure style?)
Book of Mirrors (retail $14) - variants for playing the main game in new settings
Book of Rooms (retail $14) - 40 extra rooms in the mansion
Booklet of Keepsakes (retail $3.50) - a few more rooms and one setting
Tarot of Servants Companion (retail $3) - companion to Tarot of Servants deck

Event with a good sale the non-core extras are probably $32 so $15 is a good price. Tarot of Servants is $30 and there's also a Deck of Mysterious Objects for $20 ($15 shipping though, yikes).

Sine Nomine Bundle

Sine Nomine publishes Stars Without Number (OSR sci-fi RPG) and Worlds Without Number (OSR far future science fantasy RPG). Both seem fairly popular and both are designed for sandbox play with heavy reliance on random tables to generate places and adventures. Sine Nomine Corebooks Bundle consists of:

Starter ($10)

Stars Without Number Revised Deluxe (retail $20, owned) - note there is a free edition with most of the rules.

Other Dust (retail $20) - RPG of post-apocalyptic Earth compatible with SWN.

Spears of Dawn (retail $10) - African-inspired RPG compatible with SWN.

Cities Without Number, Free Edition (free) - Cyberpunk RPG compatible with SWN.

Bonus (+$17)

Worlds Without Number Deluxe (retail $20) -

Wolves of God (retail $20) - RPG set in post-Roman Britain, sort of Arthurian without Arthur or the Round Table, compatible with SWN.

Scarlet Heroes (retail $15) - OSR fantasy RPG for 1-on-1 play (1 GM, 1 Player)

Silent Legions (retail $20) - modern-day Lovecraftian RPG compatible with SWN.

Turns out I already have Stars Without Number Revised Deluxe from a previous bundle. Worlds Without Number is somewhat interesting though I can get the free version. The rest have little support so not necessarily too hot on buying them.

I'll have to mull it some more though the bundle is live until Dec 11.

12-10-23: I did buy the bundle. I think of it as comparable to Mythras: a system with corebooks that allows you to mix and match for hybrid campaigns.

Diary - Nov 18 to Nov 24 2023

Sat Nov 18 2023

Sleep 0315 to 1030 (7-1/4 hours)

  • Gaming at Dave and Sophia’s.
  • D&D Session #6. Finally at the Caves of Chaos and they finished Cave A (Kobolds).
  • Dinner at… not sure where. Gourmet House, Fremont. I knew iOS location services has a history of significant locations but hard to remember where it is even using the system search (neither location nor significant showed the answer). Here’s an article showing graphically where to find location history.
  • Installed CrossOver on my Mac mini (running macOS Monterey 12.7.1). Installed Dungeons & Dragons Online. When I start it and login, select a server, then it shows a couple of waiting screens but before it shows 3d character selection screen it kicks me out of Remote Desktop. I can login via ssh but a few minutes later the Mac mini restarts. Happened twice so I guess DDO won’t run.

Sun Nov 19 2023

Sleep 0630 to 1030, 1900 to 2030. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Last couple of COVID shots (6/22 and 11/22) were $65. The shot I had last month was $284. 424% increase. Health insurance covered all of it.

Mon Nov 20 2023

Sleep 0630 to 1330 (7 hours)

  • I’ve been using Twitch with Chrome lately since that’s the best performance. But since Chrome is going to disable ad-blockers (Google being an ad company it’s understandable but points to the fact that Chrome is not really for users but for Google to track users) it’s time to switch.
  • I tried Safari with Twitch but it’s actually very slow (mostly UI actions, if I just let things play video and chat is fine but I’m a mod so need to do UI actions). Twitch is heavy JavaScript and I guess Safari is not that great with it.
  • Back to Brave for now which I was using for a while. Long enough ago that I decided to reset Brave which meant reconfiguring mod view on Twitch. Not as fast as Chrome but doable. I kind of remember FireFox (and Brave as it uses the same engine) eventually would slow to a crawl after a few weeks or months. I guess lots of caching by Twitch web app.

Tue Nov 21 2023

Sleep 0200 to 1400 (12 hours)

  • I upgraded RapidWeaver Classic for $35 last year. Annual renewal is tomorrow and it’ll be $86 which is more than I’m willing to pay so I’ll cancel. In one year it went from v8.10.4 to v9.2.1.

Wed Nov 22 2023

Sleep 0630 to 1230 (6 hours)

  • DriveThruRPG Black Friday Sale. A lot of stuff at 40% though also a lot of stuff at 20% off. 40% would have it as big a sale as DTRPG does.

Thu Nov 23 2023

Sleep 0145 to 0800 (6-1/4 hours)

  • Drove to Mom and Dad’s in the morning. C3 and Steph got there mid-afternoon.
  • Lunch was beef stew-like and rice.
  • Got to watch NFL football on television for the first time in years. Watched the second half of the first game, the first half of the second game (it was kind of over by then), and the 49ers at Seahawks game.
  • Dinner was crab, duck, winter melon soup, something else, rice.
  • Bought U1 Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh for $3 (40% off)

Fri Nov 24 2023

Sleep 0500 to 1245 (7-3/4 hours)

  • C3 and Steph visited Corina’s family in Modesto, came back for dinner.
  • Dinner was shrimp balls, roast pork, beef and string beans, rice.
  • Bought Super Blood Harvest - OMNIBUS edition for $9 (40% off). This is three zines.

Torg Eternity Bundle of Holding

Two bundles for Torg Eternity RPG.

Torg Essentials ($10)

Torg Eternity Core Rules ($25)
Torg Eternity: Delphi Missions: Rising Storm ($10)
Torg Character Journals ($2.50) - eight themed character journals, each 4 pages
Torg Eternity: Day One (free)
Torg Eternity: GM Screen & Archetypes (free)

Torg Cosms 2, starter ($18)

Torg Eternity: The Cyberpapacy ($20)
Torg Eternity: Unhallowed Data ($18)
Torg Eternity: Orrorsh Sourcebook ($20)
Torg Eternity: A Trifling Matter ($17.50)

Torg Cosms 2, bonus (+$13)

Delphi Missions: Cyberpapacy ($12.50)
Cyberpapacy GM Screen & Archetypes ($10)
Cyberpapacy GM Pack ($5)
Cyberpapacy Map Pack 1 and Map Pack 2 ($10)
Cyberpapacy Digital-Only Set ($5)

Delphi Missions: Orrorsh ($12.50)
Orrorsh GM Screen & Archetypes ($10)
Orrorsh GM Pack ($5)
Orrorsh Map Pack 1 and Map Pack 2 ($10)
Orrorsh Digital-Only Set ($5)

Orrorsh: Torg or Treat ($8)

The previous Torg Cosms 1 bundle had The Living and Nile Empire. I guess the same criticism applies as for the last bundle. There is too much Torg stuff so these current bundles are not much material. Also the Cosms 2 bonus seems very lacking.

I'll skip. I might have considered it more if they had also resurrected the Cosms 1 bundle.

New Home And Auto Insurance

With my home insurance ending (the company is leaving California) my broker got me another insurance and I'll also need to move my car insurance to get a better discount. Here's the new info:

CONDOMINIUM National General (old) Safeco (new)

Dwelling $481,348 $485,000
Personal Property $137,528 $140,000
Loss of Use $137,528 Reasonable Expense/24 Months Max.
Personal Liability $500,000 $500,000
Medical Payments $5,000 $5,000
Loss Assessment $1,000 $51,000
Identity Fraud Expense $25,000 $25,000
Dwelling Coverage Actual Cash Value Actual Cash Value
Personal Property Coverage Replacement Cost Replacement Cost
Flood Coverage Available But Not Included Available But Not Quoted
Back up of Sewer Drain $137,528 $5,000*
Ordinance/Law $13,753 $14,000

Deductible $1,000 $1,000

Annual Premium $1,719 $2,926

*Higher coverage limits are available

--> Coverage fairly equivalent. 70% price increase seems a lot but it's only
$100 a month more so seems fine to me.

EARTHQUAKE National General (old) CA Earthquake Authority Palomar (new)

Dwelling $481,348 $100,000 $480,000
Personal Property $5,000 $15,000 $140,000
Loss of Use $1,500 $100,000 $100,000
Loss Assessment Not Included $50,000 $50,000

Deductible 15% ($72,952) 15% ($26,250) 15% ($100,500)

Annual Premium $2,017 $1,406 $1,960

--> Earthquake insurance has high deductible but it's there for catastrophic
damage. I can afford $100k if I need to but not $480k. I'm guessing
Personal Property and Loss of Use is set really high so that the
deductible is greater.

AUTOMOBILE National General (old) Safeco (new)

Bodily Injury & Property Damage $500,000 $500,000
Per Incident Maximum

UNINSURED MOTORIST $500,000 $500,000
Bodily Injury Per Incident Maxiumum

Medical Payments $5,000 $5,000
Comprehensive Deductible $1,000 $1,000
Glass Repair/Replacement Deductible $0 $0
Collision Deductible $1,000 $100,000
Rental Reimbursement $50 per day/$1,500 max. $50 per day/$1,500 max.
Roadside Assistance $100 Included

2007 Toyota Camry 15,000 annual miles 2,756 annual miles

Annual Premium $1300* $1,202

*Actual premium 'doubled' to represent an annual rate.

--> New insurance collision deductible is really high but I'm ok with it
since insurance is there to cover catastrophic damage. And I guess if
I get into a $1M accident I'm still paying $500k no matter what the
deductible is.

PERSONAl EXCESS National General (old) Safeco (new)

Excess Liability $1,000,000 $1,000,000**
Excess Uninsured Motorist $1,000,000 $1,000,000

Annual Premium $267 $357

**Higher Liability limits are available

--> I'm not sure what this is. Seems like extra insurance but then why not
include it in the base insurance, since it's the same company?

POLICY DESCRIPTION National General Safeco & CA Earthquake Safeco & Palomar

Condominium $1,719 $2,926 $2,926
Earthquake $2,017 $1,406 $1,960
Automobile $1,300 $1,202 $1,202
Personal Umbrella $267 $357 $357


--> I guess in the end home/car insurance is going up 21.5%

Diary - Nov 11 to Nov 17 2023

Sat Nov 11 2023

Sleep 0515 to 1045 (5-1/2 hours)

  • Oh, there’s an account setting to use legacy DriveThruRPG UI. I’ve been using the new interface for a few weeks and not thrilled with it. Let me enjoy the classic UI while it’s still available.

Sun Nov 12 3034

Sleep 0400 to 1215 (8-1/4 hours)

  • Cold Stone with C3. Then dinner at C3’s place. We had delivery from Jack’s Prime. I had the Whiskey Town which was unexpectedly a bit sweet.

Mon Nov 13 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1130 (9 hours)

  • Passed smog check. Trader Joe’s for juice.
  • Back to coffee because I realized my milk is going to spoil. So it was no coffee for six days and the first two days had withdrawal headaches.

Tue Nov 14 2023

Sleep 0730 to 1300 (5-1/2 hours)

  • So I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. Drank one cup of coffee yesterday which I finished about 1800. Today one cup of coffee finished by 1400.
  • Saw The Marvels with my brother. Pretty good and 90 minutes to boot, basically cutting out the hour that would have been used for origin stories for Ms Marvel (who had her own 6-episode series) and Monica Rambeau (who got her powers in WandaVision). I liked the gonzo-ness of Aladna where the people only speak and understand songs (their leader can talk normal because he’s bilingual).

Wed Nov 15 2023

Sleep 0200 to 1030 (8-1/2 hours)

  • Whisky, a UI to use WINE + Apple Game Porting Toolkit to run Windows games on Mx Macs.
  • Drove to dentist for cleaning and checkup.

Thu Nov 16 2023

Sleep 0230 to 1130 (9 hours)

  • Drobo shut off by itself. Power button didn’t work. Unplug/replug power adapter then I was able to start it. Might be the beginning of it failing. I bought it Feb 2018 so it’s 7-1/2 years old and for the most part constantly on fan running a lot of the time (it does go to sleep with inactivity though you pop up an Open or Save dialog box and macOS will wake up Drobo).
  • Now DTRPG won’t show me legacy UI. Sadge again.

Fri Nov 17 2023

Sleep 0715 to 1345 (6-1/2 hours)

  • Got DTRPG to use classic UI again by toggling option in account settings. Probably won’t stick when I come back tomorrow because it doesn’t seem to remember login status so will default to what new users see.

COBRA Enrollment 2024

Time to elect benefits for 2024. My COBRA runs out in April. I looked it up and that's a qualifying life event so I can switch to a plan from Covered California.

I'm sticking with what I have now. Here are the 2024 prices (in parenthesis what I'm paying in 2023).


UHC - EPO $1020.29
UHC - Medium PPO $852.87
UHC - Premium PPO $1192.49
Kaiser Northern CA $837.84
UHC - HSA Medical Plan $643.71 ($623.60)


Dental Plan 1 $49.84
Dental Plan 2 $63.10 ($63.10)


Vision Plan I $11.04 ($13.75)
Vision Plan II $22.12

Total: $717.85 ($700.45)

DCC Funnels - Bundle of Holding

A collection of Dungeon Crawl Classics funnel adventures (where each player has multiple 0th or low level characters and many are supposed to die) from both Goodman Games and third parties. For $23:

DCC RPG Module #101 Veiled Vaults of the Onyx Queen (26pp)

Attack of the Frawgs (Thick Skull Adventures, 26pp)
The Curse of Cragbridge (Mystic Bull Games, 24pp)
Fire in the Mountain (Purple Duck Games, 37pp)
The Peasants' Fell Bargain (Gaming Honors, 32pp)
Sword in the Jungle Deep (The Keep Studios, 16pp)

DCC RPG Module #103 Bloom of the Blood Garden (26pp)
The Bane of the Ancients (Gaming Honors, 28pp)
Death Slaves of Eternity (Purple Duck Games, 80pp)
The Exodus of Wolfbane (Gaming Honors, 64pp)
Prison of the Mad Gods (Hectic Electrons, 24pp)

The problem to me is, unless you are running a lot of funnel adventure one-shots (e.g. like at conventions), you are only going to run one or two and then a regular RPG campaign. Guess I'll skip.

Diary - Nov 04 to Nov 10 2023

Sat Nov 04 2023

Sleep 0230 to 0430, 1 hour nap, 2 hour nap, 1 hour nap (6 hours)

* Went with C3 and Steph to visit parents. Sleep little that night so napped in car and napped while there.
* Lunch: Arroz con Pollo (no peas and seemed to have more salt so quite good)
* Dinner: Won Ton Soup (the wraps got a bit sticky so many won tons stuck together during cooking and fell apart)

Sun Nov 05 2023

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

* Looking at the Vampire RPG books I downloaded from Renegade Game Studios. It watermarked most of the books and the watermark is both kind of big and not low enough so it occasionally covers content. And of course the character sheet PDF has the watermark.

Mon Nov 06 2023

Sleep 0245 to 1215 (9-1/2 hours)

  • Music Library Sync: It doesn’t want to sync a large audio file (audio book — I keep them in Music app because it has better sorting and I can edit the meta data neither of which I can really do in Books app). And if you have Library Sync turned on the Music tab in Mac/iPhone sync is disabled.
  • I tried Books app but it also doesn’t want to sync a large audio file.
  • I’ll need to look for a third party app that can play the audio book.
  • The half hour workaround: Since I’m already creating podcast feeds for my RPG sessions I created a podcast feed for the audiobooks I want to listen to. Then I download them into Podcasts app and listen to them that way.
  • I had a minute’s thought that maybe organizing my audiobooks into podcasts would work but Podcasts app doesn’t have a way or organize podcasts. You can create playlists (Stations) but that’s only one level deep.

Tue Nov 07 2023

Sleep 0930 to 1600 (6-1/2 hours)

  • San Mateo wants to pass a flood prevention per parcel fee (based on parcel type and size). Since I’m in an a condominium it’s less than average, $2.71 per month / $32.52 per year. I guess the only problem is that this is a permanent fee (that will increase up to 3% per year with inflation) although it seems like they’ve projected 30 year costs and they will need the funds. I did vote Yes.

Wed Nov 08 2023

Sleep 0130 to 1030, 30m nap. (9-1/2 hours)

  • Dinner at C3s. Ate leftover homemade build-it-yourself tacos.
  • From C3’s place walked to SMCU (20m) to deposit $200 then walked home (36m).
  • Haven’t had coffee yesterday or today. Been having headaches.

Thu Nov 09 2023

Sleep 0200 to 1000, 30m nap (8-1/2 hours)

  • Finally got a hair cut. It’s been 8 months.

Fri Nov 10 2023

Sleep 0530 to 1330 (8 hours)

  • Safeway $5 Friday deals. Chicken tenders and potato salad. Also got a few other things.

Doctor Who Megabundle 2023

The Doctor Who Megabundle 2023 is both RPG and fiction. $18 gets you


Tales from New Earth
UNIT: Shutown
Doctor Who: Damaged Goods
The Diary of River Song: Series Two
Doctor Who: Cold Vengeance
Doctor Who: The Sword of the Chevalier
Doctor Who: Infamy of the Zaross
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Chronicles v1

Comics - these are from Titan Comics

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Archives v1-3 (omnibus) - collects IDW Doctor Who comics
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor v1-7 - collects 10th Doctor Year 1 #1-15 and Year 2 #1-17
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Year 3 v1-3 - collects issues #1-14 except #9 which is part of a crossover event
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor v1 - first of 7 volumes
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor v1 - first of 6 volumes
Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords TPB (2020)

RPG - these are Cubicle 7 1E (2009) not 2E (2021)

CB7-1100b The Tenth Doctor Adventures Book (from 10th Doctor Core Set)
CB7-1102 Aliens and Creatures
CB7-1103 The Time Traveller's Companion
CB7-1104 Defending the Earth: The UNIT Sourcebook
CB7-1105 The First Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1107 The Second Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1109b The Eleventh Doctor Adventures Book (from 11th Doctor Core Set)
CB7-1112 The Third Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1113 The Fourth Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1114 The Fifth Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1115 The Sixth Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1116 The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1117 The Eighth Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1118 The Ninth Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1119 The Tenth Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1120 The Eleventh Doctor Sourcebook
CB7-1125 Doctor Who Roleplaying Game (12th Doctor Edition)
CB7-1131 The Twelfth Doctor Sourcebook

CB6-1101 Cat's Eye (adventure, 2013)
CB6-1102 Medicine Man (adventure, 2013)
CB6-1103 The Ravens of Despair (adventure, 2013)
CB7-1307 The Einstein Engine (free adventure)

I have all the RPG materials and although $18 is still a great price for the audiobooks or comics let alone both I'm not that much of a Doctor Who fan that I'm going to buy this just for a selection of audiobooks and comics.

MBP M3 Pro Configurations

I think M3 Pro chip has the best price/performance and as a practical matter also limits my options to not excessive amounts of RAM and SSD.

The best configuration:

  • MBP 14" Space Black (I'd rather have a big external monitor so 14" is good enough for the rare occasions I use my laptop away from home)
  • Apple M3 Pro chip, 12-core CPU (6 high, 6 performance); 18-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine ($2400)
  • 36GB unified memory (+$400, maximum memory)
  • 4TB SSD storage (+$1000, maximum SSD size) - currently I use 3TB of my SSD, mostly movies and comics)

Total is $3800 + $370 tax and fees = $4170. That's a lot so I'd probably wait a couple of years, to end of 2026.

Lower configuration:

  • MBP 14" Space Black
  • Apple M3 Pro chip, 11-core CPU (5 high, 6 performance); 14-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine ($2000)
  • 36GB unified memory (+$400, maximum memory) - I still want a highish amount of memory
  • 512GB SSD storage - I'll have to offload almost all data to my Drobo

Total is $2400 + $235 taxes and fees = $2635. A little more expensive than I'd like but doable, target end of 2024.

Just realized I have a 16" MBP Intel and it seems kind of small so 14" will be tiny. But again, for rare usage so should be ok.

Diary - Oct 28 to Nov 03 2023

Sat Oct 28 2023

Sleep 0430 to 1000 (5-1/2 hours)

  • D&D session 5. Dave S can finally make gaming again and he created a fighter with STR 18. We did one fight vs the bandits and the bandits were wiped out except for the leader who surrendered and may become a recurring villain.
  • Dinner at Ramen Parlor. I had the Crab Spicy Miso Ramen (medium spicy) which was really good.

Sun Oct 29 2023

Sleep 0330 to 0930, 1315 to 1415 (7 hours)

  • Writing up a cover letter for this year’s operating budget mailing.

Mon Oct 30 2023

Sleep 0300 to 1200 (9 hours)

  • 49ers lost yesterday and are now 5-3 (three consecutive losses). Media and Internet are like “sky is falling!”. So much overreaction after each win and loss.

Tue Oct 31 2023

Sleep 0330 to 1230 (9 hours)

  • Although price increases went up a week ago I just got an email today informing me that Apple One price increase goes into effect Dec 01 (when my subscription renews). Kind of was expecting it to go up tomorrow but I guess they have to give adequate notice.

Wed Nov 01 2023

Sleep 0400 to 1300 (9 hours)

  • Now that’s it getting to Winter when I wake up and it’s not sunny I still want to sleep a bit longer.

Thu Nov 02 2023

Sleep 0800 to 1500 (7 hours)

  • macOS Sonoma Safari allows you to create apps from web sites. I’m going to try that for Discord since the “native”, but really Electron, app is surprisingly resource intensive at times.
  • Email from Mr Cooper that they had a cyber security incident two days ago. Their systems are offline while they investigate. Admirable that they disclosed this quickly as most companies seem to keep silent for months, if they ever mention it at all.

Fri Nov 03 2023

Sleep 0045 to 0315, 1145 to 1445 (5-1/2 hours)

  • After Music Library Syncing the Music app Artist view is a bit of a mess because I have lots and lots of singles so lots and lots of artists with like one to three songs. When I listen to music I usually go to an artist then choose and album and listen to the album so this is not ideal (singles I change the album artist, album, compilation flag so they all sort to one big album).
  • Also it resurrected a bunch of songs and videos I had deleted from my library. Again, not ideal.

iMac M3 Configuration

The new iMac seems nice and less expensive so let's price out a configuration.

  • 23.5" screen (4480-by-2520 resolution at 218 pixels per inch with support for 1 billion colors)
  • Apple M3 Chip: 8-core CPU (4 performance cores), 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine ($1500)
  • 512 GB SSD (+$200)
  • 24 GB unified memory (+$400) [100GB/s memory bandwidth]
  • Two Thunderbolt/USB-4 ports
  • Two USB-3 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Magic Mouse
  • Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (+$30)

Total is $2130 + $210 tax and fees = $2340 (about as expensive as it gets except for +$600 for 2 TB SSD)

  • M3 8/10 is the best you can get for iMac.
  • 512 GB SSD is good enough if I offload data to the Drobo.
  • 24 GB memory I feel you need since 8 GB for GPU, 4 to 8 GB for Fusion, leaving 8-12 GB for applications. I heard Mx chips use less memory than for Intel so hopefully won't feel I skimped on memory. And you can't upgrade memory whereas you can attach an external SSD drive.
  • No AppleCare (I've always skipped it for desktop computers since they don't move much and get banged up like laptops).
  • Supports one external display so that would give me a 2-display setup.
  • Has it's own mouse and kb and with the extra monitor I guess I could also use my MBP as a second computer setup next to me.

Overall kind of a nice setup. One thing is that the iMac is 10 pounds so could carry it when I visit mom and dad (a 24" screen is not that ungainly moving around), but otherwise it's not a laptop that you can use anywhere (though still have my Intel MBP but sharing common data is easier than it used to be with iCloud but still not great).