So one of the things I’ve been doing, as part of my ongoing efforts to ruthlessly exterminate any and all free time I might have, is working on the Anime Heroes delve for the Tekkoshocon RPG room. This is sort of a big deal for me, as I tend to not really focus on combat in my own campaigns, but rather prefer to keep things on a more intellectual and RP-centric level. That doesn’t work so much when your players’ characters are modeled on Ash Ketchum, Toph Bei Fong, and Ichigo Kurosaki, three characters not exactly known for their inclination towards talking things through. So they have to fight it out, and I need to give them a decent shot at doing so.
To this end, I’ve been elbow-deep in the Dungeons and Dragons Compendium, which is a great resource for the average DM. There’s just a few hiccups, and that’s that, for the most part, there aren’t really a whole hell of a lot of variety of monsters available to players at Level 1. More immediately, getting data out of the compendium and into a workable sheet for use at the table is not exactly the easiest thing in the world, particularly if you need to adjust a monster’s level down a notch or two in order to make it a fair fight. (And yeah, there’s gonna be one encounter that just plain won’t be a fair fight, because what’s life without a little risk?) To date, I tried setting up an OpenOffice template for that purpose, arranging the carefully-constructed stat blocks and going from there.
The Cheshire Cat, in American McGee’s Alice, said: “There’s a nasty name for people who insist on doing things the hard way.” To that end, I snagged a couple of utilities that make life much, much easier.
That’s where the Pixlr Grabber add-on comes into play. Pixlr can specify a region of the browser window, and either save it to disk as a PNG or copy it to your clipboard. From there, you can paste it into your favorite word processor or page layout tool and arrange it as needed or desired. Make sure you do a test run to see how big/small the text needs to be.
Those should cut down a TON of the manual labor needed for me to get the encounters ready. At this point the hardest part is figuring out how to avoid sending my players against yet another kobold horde.
I’m still going to take the posting easy for the time being, but for my part, I have to note that there are few things that I find as relaxing as watching a virus scanner doing its thing.
Sometimes, folks, the internet feels like the biggest haystack of all time.
I think there ought to be a prohibition against upgrading a browser early in the morning on a weekend. Or at the very least, some kind of alert box coming up, saying, “You’re about to install software that will break more things than it fixes in order to check to see if it fixes the one little thing you wanted it to fix months back. This will cause you to go on a wiki-walk-like hunt for another piece of software which does fix what you found annoying, maybe, but can’t import your settings from the old piece of crap software because they decided they just didn’t want to. More than that, every single new piece of software you find will have some minor little sticking point that causes you to run it once, dislike it, and then forget it’s there until weeks or months later, when you need to free up three gigs of hard drive space and can’t for the life of you remember if you installed all that garbage for a specific and critical reason. In short, you’re about to ruin the next seven to ten hours on a fruitless search which will leave you unfulfilled, unproductive, and ultimately waste the day so that you go into work tomorrow upset and irritable. Are you sure you want to do this?”
And then the options should be “No”, “Hell No”, and “Screw All This, I’m Going Outside”.
It’s been a little unusual to see so many free episodes of TV series I actually care about being offered on iTunes lately. The two big ones have been Top Gear and Mythbusters; a relatively recent episode of the former and a positively ancient one of the latter. While I can understand on some level wanting to promote shows that are coming up on their new seasons in the next couple months (unless the BBC runs on a different season schedule than North America, and they’ve already started), it just feels kind of weird to think that there’s some huge rush to get these old and dusty ones and zeroes off of virtual store shelves in order to make room for the proverbial new hotness.
Everyone knows that ones and zeroes attract dust no matter where they are. That’s why the insides of computer cases are always so horribly filthy.
Most of what I’m doing here in between fielding calls is either working with my hands or otherwise leaving my main computer idle, so I’m taking advantage of that by ripping some DVDs to watch on the bus rides from here on out. In truth, I should have been doing that weeks ago, but you take what you can get, really. In my case, I’m probably going to be dumping the files to my bigger external drive once I’m done with them and only putting what I need at the moment on the phone. (My iTunes setup has everything on a 400GB drive that I honestly thought, when I bought it, would be “too massive to fill”. I was half-right: I’m still only about 50% full on it, but it doesn’t have too much video on it. The bigger drive is a 1TB bit bucket.)
I did mention I could do that while I slept, right? ‘Cause I can, and will…
I’ve had a few days to go over the iPhone 4′s features and such, and I feel reasonably confident in giving a review of the device.
The short version is that I feel this is the best smartphone on the market right now.
So it’s time for me to start making preparations for a few big events… one later this week, and one closer to the end of next month.
This is going to be one busy summer, boys and girls.
So…. WordPress 3.0. Spiffy so far, though my exposure to it at this point is limited to, uh… typing this post.
Sue me, I read through an entire webcomic this evening to de-stress.