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House Keeping 3/31/20

Starting out with a heads up. The Dice Envy Save a Life: KN95 Mask Drive to benefit Valley Presbyterian Hospital is still going. They have gotten the shipping turned off for the donated masks, so that is fixed.

As to blog stuff, I have so much part way done it isn’t even funny. But things are coming together nicely. I should have both a book review up tomorrow and the first “Seattle Incident” post up Thursday. Plus I’ll have a guest post for you all coming up Friday.

Even more plus, thanks to the nice folks at Awesome Dice, I’ll have something really cool for you all next week.

And that’s about it for this week.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. Hearing from you guys is always a treat. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here I’m going to break from the usual script. Instead of feeding my caffeine addiction, donate a mask or two. Either way, take care of yourselves and have a great rest of the week!

It’s that time again everyone, I’ve joined another blog tour and it looks like there’s going to be some really nifty stops on this one. Here’s hoping you enjoy them all!

The Loss of Some Detail cover

Forget all you know, for all you know might well be false.

That is how is often seems to asylum worker James Grey as he tends to the patients abandoned to Oculus Mentis, an austere asylum lost to the world. His day to day quite literally forgettable.

Until now.

Slowly the world around him starts to change. Plagued by lucid dreams, a haunting drawing and visions of a pleading female he feels his mind is dissolving.

Aided by the enigmatic Silas and silent Marianne he seeks to solve the mysteries that are tormenting him.

The Loss Of Some Detail Banner1

As ever, you should definitely check out the other stops on the tour and see what’s going on. This is a great chance to find new bloggers you might enjoy reading.

Mandi Martin

Author Information

I’m in my thirties and I live in Ryde on the beautiful Isle of Wight although I was born in Birmingham.

There’s not really a lot to say about me really. I have Aspergers and writing became my outlet, social situations terrified me so I spent a lot of time writing poetry, drawing and losing myself in worlds of my own.

I absolutely adore animals; I prefer them to people, so my two cats clearly get away with almost anything.

I live with my brother and my mother and spending time with them is another highlight of my day. Although, I could do without the trial of socks and others pieces the former leaves in his wake.

Weather and health permitting I enjoy walking and also looking around graveyards, it possibly sounds morbid but the history and the artistry fascinate me.

I also collect lapel pin badges, I think I have over ten thousand now but I couldn’t say, I gave up counting ages ago, it was taking too long!

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Monday again, and that means I get to talk about dice. This set has a kind of funky name and a gloriously glimery aesthetic, it’s Dice Envy’s Happy Birthday, Katie! dice set. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Katie 1

My adoration of sparkly things is, at this point, well beyond well documented. I like dice with colorful glitter in them. I like dice with nifty inclusions in them. I like dice with interesting color combinations. These have all of the above. The Happy Birthday, Katie! dice set are split between one side that has clear blue acrylic and star shaped confetti and the other side that is absolutely packed with purple micro glitter. The pairing really shouldn’t work together, but the effect is really fun.

The inking is, per standard, well done. I didn’t see any thin parts or over filled places and the silver ink is readily visible regardless of which side of the dice comes up.

Happy Birthday Katie 3

Rolling the dice feels nice. There don’t seem to be any places where the confetti sticks out. Despite having what seems like two very different sets of inclusions, none of the dice in my set have major bubbles visible. The d10 did have a few very small ones, but that does not seem to have effected how it rolls just based on my testing. None of the other dice showed favorite sides either.

Happy Birthday Katie 2

Which brings me to this bit.This is a dice set that makes me think about the Jem and the Holograms comics and the fun of sharing terrible 80’s video clips with my friends. It’s bright and happy looking and rolls well. The part of me that says good enough is good enough gives the Happy Birthday, Katie! dice set a five out of five. But, given that there were bubbles on the d10, regardless of how minor, I’m going to bump it down to a four out of five and suggest giving your set a look over and a few test rolls for these.

As to what sort of character I would use these for, I’m split between wanting to just roll up one of the Holograms as a bard and wanting to use the incredibly sparkly dice for just the dourest basic fighter I can work up. The more I think the more I lean towards the bard, never played one before so I might as well give it a try.

Dice Envy Mask Drive

Just a quick thing because I think this is nifty as all get out and deserves to be spread.

Save a Life: N95 Mask Drive

Dice Envy is doing a drive for the N95 Masks that so many hospitals need right now. They have a supplier that they can get them from and they’re going to donate them to the Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California.

As cool as that is, they’re going a step further with it. If your local hospital is accepting donations you can send their contact information to Dice Envy and they will consider them. There’s more information on the drive’s page here.

Edit: The shipping issue has been fixed!

A Quick Up-date

So, the guest post for my stop on the Hypnos Blog Tour is postponed for a little while. It should still be happening, just a little later. Given the current situation I hope you all understand.

I’m going to try to have a post up for tomorrow to make up for it. Probably something either table top game related or something regarding antagonists.

Hope you all have a great night!

So I’ve been sitting on what I want to call the in character notes for this campaign. It’s been a bit difficult to find a good, or at least catchy, name for it but I can’t let myself just keep sitting on it like this. So for now I think I’m going to call it something like Raven’s Notes on the Seattle Incident or something like that. Maybe something about it being about the college’s Occult Club itself. Things to think on for the next week, right?

The concept of this particular campaign is that the characters are all members of the Seattle University Occult Club, there for one reason or another to learn more about the occult or ghosts or just things that go bump in the night in general.

It’s 2010, technology is making huge leaps but isn’t quite where we’re used to today. So the characters can’t just look things up on their phones.

All of the characters are mortal humans, though the GM is letting us use the Second Sight book and the Armory book, for low level psychic powers, mortal magics, and any equipment a college student might be able to get their hands on. So the characters aren’t locked into being just vanilla humans or entirely helpless.

This leaves us with, aside from the GM’s characters:

Louis, the jittery tech wiz who can see ghosts and is terrified of them.

Skip, the photographer and skeptic here for hanging out and maybe getting some nice pictures.

And, of course, Raven, the witch who will one day be a re-occuring side character in the previous World of Darkness campaigns. Also the character I’m playing.

I’m pretty sure that the conceit I’m going with for writing these is that my character, Raven, is writing back to the other two  members of the Birmingham Supernaturalists circa 2010 about what’s going on. While Saul and Ron  BS also re-occuring side characters in previous World of Darkness campaigns they won’t actually be showing up here, though Raven may make reference to prior adventures with them.

It’s actually kind of interesting the more I think about it because this predates the entire rest of the Birmingham Saga, so I find myself wondering how that might be written to retroactively affect things. Probably not something I’ll wind up doing anything with, but still fun to think on.

If anyone has any questions about this or comments, feel free to ask. I’m planning on having these posted regularly starting next Thursday and on through until the campaign ends.

House Keeping 3/24/20

Still job hunting, still unpacking, life continues as always. I’ve set up one of those miniature green houses in my living room, so maybe I’ll have a nice garden this year. It certainly looks like the apartment gets enough sunlight for one.

I am currently behind on pretty well everything for the blog. I don’t know what it is, but I haven’t had the energy to do much lately. Going to see about scheduling time to work so that I can fix that though. No promises of anything this week, but I’m going to be working on it.

There will be a guest post Friday though, for the Hypnos blog tour, so that’s definitely worth looking forward to.

And that’s about it. Short one this week, I guess.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. Let me know if there’s anything you want me to try talking about while things are closed up for Covid-19 or something like that. I’ve got some stuff I’ve been meaning to write about and just haven’t gotten around to for one reason or another. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. Either way, stay safe, wash your hands, and have a great rest of the week!

Not going to lie, I’ve been wanting to find a good time to talk about this set since my Aunt got them for me for Christmas. Chessex’s Lab Dice continue to interest me as a concept, so I’m likely to keep talking about them any time I get my hands on a set. Let’s talk about dice!

Nebula Spring Lab 1

The Nebula Spring White Lab Dice have a clear base with various greens and yellows swirled in, giving each set a fair variety of colors between the dice. There is enough cross over between the colors that none of the dice feel out of place though. I quite like the effect of it, there’s something that feels organic in the differences. The effect also meant that the glow in the dark inclusions didn’t feel like distractions so much as just another part of the overall pattern.

Which reminds me. The Nebula line of Chessex dice glow in the dark, but in little fragmented bits rather than the whole dice or the inking glowing. It’s a really cool effect that leaves the set looking like little star fields when the lights are out. It’s something I’ve found myself keeping an eye out for since finding my first set of Nebula dice.

Nebula Spring Lab 2

There were a few places where the inking was thin or not fully filled in. Which is an easy enough fix, though one that I admit I’ve gotten used to not needing to deal with. That said, the white ink is nicely visible against both the clear parts and the various greens and yellows. It works nicely.

The glow in the dark inclusions do not seem to throw off the dice’s balance in any meaningful way. They all roll nicely and seem reasonably random, I did not notice any of them having favorite numbers anyway. And, of course, they feel nice in hand.

And we come to the ending. I like this set of dice a lot, from the look of them to the glowing to the very concept of the Lab Dice. There are places where the inking isn’t as well done as it could be, but it isn’t anything distracting or difficult to fix. So, the Nebula Spring White Lab Dice get a five out of five from me. They aren’t perfect, but they make me happy and that makes up for it.

As to what kind of character I would want to use these for, it almost has to be a druid. Or maybe a fae bloodline sorcerer. I definitely lean towards druid for these, possibly gnomish due to the glow in the dark effects. It’s just that little bit out of what you’d otherwise expect that it feels right for that.

I’m a little late with this, but still excited to introduce you all to the Hypnos blog tour.

Hypnos Cover

What if the unthinkable became a reality? What if technology could be used against you?

A software program has been stolen from the digital vaults of the CIA. It is capable of bridging the gap between A.I. and human consciousness, making a person do whatever the controller wants, creating a potentially terrifying new world. The organisation responsible has racist, right-wing views and a perverted desire to reduce population growth by culling it using the software. Only the rich and the powerful can be part of Asclepius. The software is uploaded to the brain via eye movement using a smartphone, leaving open the possibility for entire countries to be controlled remotely.

Alex Brown, newly-appointed to the B5 Intelligence cell of British intelligence while hunting for the serial killer Dale Broc who has kidnapped her daughter, has been assigned to the case and now has to choose. Will she save the country or her daughter?

Hypnos is the second novel in the Alex Brown series. Author Jon Biddle brings extensive medical knowledge coupled with military and law enforcement experience that combines to produce an exciting sequel to The Harvester.

Hypnos Banner1

This is, as ever, an excellent chance to check out what other bloggers are hosting for the tour and to see what kind of content they post. Just from the synopsis I’m really interested in seeing what’s going to turn up on the tour.

Jon Biddle

Author Information

Jon spends his days smashing out people’s hip and knee joints, and his nights writing medical thrillers.

A veteran and a medical professional who spends 45 hours a week in the OR, Jon brings considerable medical and military/law enforcement expertise to the crime thriller genre, evident by the attention to detail in his six books.

Jon’s writing is dark and eclectic, provoking and deviant. He surrounds himself in the white glow of pureness, with one foot always in the dark. The dark always surrounds us, but Jon has a knack of making his readers ask “Could this happen to me?”

There is nothing too dark for Jon to write about. He has no level, base, or filter, and will get into your head and “scare the living daylights” out of you.

Jon lives in the south-west of England with his childhood sweetheart, Sam, and two Springer Spaniels. With full-time medical responsibilities in his day job, Jon spends 15-20 hours a week writing for his growing online audience. His new medical thriller, The Harvester, was released in 2019 as the first of six books in the Dale Broc series.

Find out more about Jon Biddle, including his new releases and regular short stories, by going to http://www.jonbiddle.uk and joining the mailing list.

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House Keeping 3/17/2020

Still ticking along on getting things sorted and put away in the new place. It leaves the living room a bit of a mess, but that’s getting worked through. I find that I need more organizational furniture things than anything. It’s a bit difficult to figure where everything is meant to go when it’s all boxed up after all.

Job hunting is happening. I’m hoping I have some good leads and that I’ll hear back from something in the next few days. Going to keep applying here and there though, no sense in not as long as I’m still looking.

As to stuff here, I have a lot that is in varying stages of finished. I’ve sort of stalled out on getting my reviews written, finishing reading something and coming from a fresh book instead of one I read weeks back should help. So I’m hoping I’ll have something reviewed soon. Just have to get some fresh thoughts going to recharge myself.

Dice reviews are going fine. Those are honestly pretty relaxing to do because they’re me talking about something I like. There’s no trying to talk around spoilers or anything like that. My biggest concern with them is usually if I should even bother with the rating at this point and if I want to start re-inking some of the one’s I’ve already reviewed and posting side by sided pictures.

Side bar there, Dice Envy has a 15% off coupon going right now, just enter STAYHOMEPLAYGAMES at checkout. Plus, Galliant Knight Games has made their Tiny Supers source book pay what you want so that folks have something to do while stuck at home. And Astral Table Top is offering use of their virtual table top’s pro version for free to the end of April, it just takes signing up for a free account and you’ll have access to everything. It should all add up to a fun time!

As to my own game night shenanigans, with the Caskfire Expedition campaign finished and no more “Sunshine’s Journals” for the foreseeable future, I’m planning on doing something similar for the World of Darkness game one of the groups I’m in is currently running. I haven’t decided what to call it yet, but I’m planning on having a post with more details for it up on Thursday and then having the posts start going live after that.

And that’s about it for this go round.

As usual, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. Either way, any way, have a great rest of the week!