Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Alive, Kicking, and Mending...

Okay... I'm not dead... Though I may have been closer to it than I thought...

Once I "recovered" from the whole sinus nastiness a few weeks back, I never really felt 100%. There was lingering fatigue that I just couldn't shake, and a barely there cough that showed up maybe six times a day, if that.

Then a couple weeks ago, I ended up in the ER with what I thought was just abdominal cramping and food poisoning. I did indeed have that, but what I didn't know was that I also had pneumonia. Whoops!

So, while I have been working, I've also been resting quite a bit more, and trying to take better care of myself. I'm not really wanting to go back to the gym, but I am eating a bit better, and I have kicked my 2-3 energy drinks per day habit I had built up.

Barring any other issues, health or otherwise, I am hoping to get back to finishing the Asylum in the next week or so. Beyond that, I promise nothing, as I have no idea how life is going to treat me...

So, if nothing else, this is an update post... Take it for what it is...

peace... GopherDave

Thursday, October 02, 2014

In Sickness and In Health...

Work has been delayed due to a combination of MtG: Khans of Tarkir pre-release events and my getting heinously ill for a week plus soon afterward...

The KTK pre-release events did go well, though, and were our best events of that type in two years. The set is slow, but good, with a fair chunk of value within, thus insuring that sales will be steady for the coming period.

As for the sickness, in a day I went from having an annoying sore throat for the day to having my sinuses take a surprise dump into my lungs at the end of it. Drippy, draining, coughing misery followed... yay.

I am finally on the upswing. Still sick, but doing well enough to catch up on work. I've been reading through the contract that HERO Games sent me for all of this. It's pretty standard, though I am finding little bits that are apparently outdated according to their head honcho. That basically means once I parse it all out, we begin the contract back-and-forth and get things situated on that end. By the time that happens, I should have the Asylum done, the Gateway Guardians up and started, plus outlines for one of the other (now three) projects that are on the burner at least sketched out. Yeah, contract issues can take that long to work out to both parties' satisfaction.

I figured folks would like an update, and I wish I had more to provide, but extra-curricular work moves slower than pace of real life...

peace... GopherDave

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More Progress... the Asylum

After a delay of a day due to some shenanigans at the store which interrupted a night off, I have finished the game mechanic bits for the Asylum. Next up are a group overview and backgrounds for the individual members, plus all the fiddly bits like quotes, appearance descriptions, etc.

Depending on what happens later on today, I should be able to finish the backgrounds for at least one of the characters, if not two. Given the group, they are a mixed bag of nuts, but they can be scary because they have a purpose and a mission.

I almost forgot that I have some gaps to fill in from an earlier post...
  • the Orderly -- A goon that drugs folks by shoving a veritable cornucopia of pharmaceuticals into the mouths of the unwilling. Barring being able to turn people into vegetables with pills, the Orderly is just as willing to beat a person into a mental lima bean.
  • Rubber Room -- What stretches through cracks? Chokes necks and breaks back? It would be the one they refer to as Rubber Room. That said, the pliant one shows a softer side at times, shielding innocent witnesses to the brutality that the Asylum practices on a routine basis.
  • Lobotomy -- Two drills, no waiting... Lobotomy is the tactician of the group, and is a highly skilled fighter with a mean streak a mile wide. His favorite trick is to grab a victim around the neck from behind and drill. Mess ensues...
  • E.S.T. -- The name is short for Electro-Shock Therapy, but the only folks getting short-circuited are his targets. Be prepared for pain and the smell of ozone when this guy hits the proverbial dance floor.
  • Dr. X -- All minds are pliant under to auspices of the "good doctor". Whether it's conjuring up nightmares or lulling victims off into hypnotic slumber, Dr. X seems to always have the right prescription on hand.
Once I get the background bits done and into the Hero Designer files, I will be more than willing to fire those files off to a few discernable folks for perusal. However, current players in my game need not apply for that job... =P

peace... GopherDave

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Progress Update... the Asylum

Currently working on the Sixth Edition HERO System mechanics for the Asylum, a group of villains I've been throwing against players since third edition. Three of them are done from a game mechanics standpoint. Two more to put together, and then I will need to do various background details that involve actual writing. In that regard, I have been taking notes (both mental and electronic) on both individual histories, as well as a group history. Progress is slow, but it is progress.

From the art standpoint, I have been talking to a couple of folks, but I am not going to put out any sort of art direction until I get some more details worked out with game system licensing (which is in the VERY PRELIMINARY stages).

As it goes, in the group we have...

  • the Orderly -- A goon that drugs folks by shoving a veritable cornucopia of pharmaceuticals into the mouths of the unwilling. Barring being able to turn people into vegetables with pills, the Orderly is just as willing to beat a person into a mental lima bean.
  • Rubber Room -- What stretches through cracks? Chokes necks and breaks back? It would be the one they refer to as Rubber Room. That said, the pliant one shows a softer side at times, shielding innocent witnesses to the brutality that the Asylum practices on a routine basis.
  • Lobotomy -- Two drills, no waiting... Lobotomy is the tactician of the group, and is a highly skilled fighter with a mean streak a mile wide. His favorite trick is to grab a victim around the neck from behind and drill. Mess ensues...
  • E.S.T. -- (mechanics in progress)
  • Dr. X -- (mechanics in progress)

When I hit a wall with character work, I fire up Adobe InDesign and tool around with the look of the packaging. I've done one version of things in that regard thus far, but I am not real happy with it. So I'm going back to the drawing board.

I am also still looking for a project name. I've got a couple of ideas, but I'm not truly enamored with either of them. One references the police agency in the world in charge of keeping super-powered folks in check ("the H.U.R.T. Files" or "the H.U.R.T. Locker"), while the other refers to the main "super-prison" in the world ("the MESA Mandates"). Again, not my favorites, and I am still looking.

peace... GopherDave

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stay On Target...

I hate my phone camera... I had to doctor this shot up to get even close to colors I was actually wearing today... =P
Okay... This is going out to all, I dunno, ten of you who actually read this thing. I am officially putting out the call for artistic types who can work in a superhero style/medium to do simple character portraits for a number of NPCs I'll be putting together over the next few weeks. The pay isn't great (in fact it'll be lousy), but it may get better with time.

See? Not only am I thinking about doing these things for personal satisfaction. I am seriously considering going through the motions of actually publishing (PDF only) these things for a modicum of payment. Some license stuff has to be worked out first, and I actually need to put some of these character stories that are in my head onto "paper", but I am slowly cementing a plan of action on how to get all of this done. They say it never hurts to have goals, and in regard to my being actually published in the game industry, I think this is it. I attempted this once before about twenty years ago, but the timing was absolutely wrong.

Now, while I'm not certain that the timing is right, it's at least better. Plus, I've been kind of inspired as of late...

My first projects...

the Asylum -- The approach to what the Asylum does is horrifying, sickening, and brutal, but what they are actually doing (and to whom) will present a serious moral challenge to the heroes they face. The subject matter around this group is dark, adult, and borderline explicit. Five characters, each with their own motivations, untied by a common thread.

Gateway Guardians -- A team of NPC Superheroes based in St. Louis (Arcflight, Big Muddy, Cardinal Red, Echo, and Jetstreak), meant to give a game world more flavor and help any overworked and/or novice GMs populate their game with good characters outside of their own PCs.

(Solo Villain Collection #X) -- It seems like this project needs some sort of cool "product name", but I really don't have one for it, yet. I'm thinking six to ten villainous characters for each "volume", possibly united by some sort of theme as well. Or maybe just a collection of whatever goobers I happen to bash out on the keyboard that month.

(Heroic NPC Collection) -- A smattering (five to eight) of heroic (and anti-heroic) types meant to add flavor and drama to a GM's game world. The characters presented here won't be tied to a geographical location, and so they can dropped in just about any place the GM puts their campaign.

I'm off, now... to go create "folks" and send off e-mails to potentially get this project up and running from a commercial standpoint...

Laterz... GopherDave

Saturday, September 13, 2014

GotG Viewing Count...


Constructive Revalations...

I'm slowly learning how to use the phone camera... BLEH...

Another day, ummm... another day?

Seriously though... I *BELIEVE* things are beginning to get better internally. I still have not grieved for my friend in my usual ways, but I began to think about things a bit, and I may be grieving without realizing it.

My friend, Josh, was/is a gamer. He did a great deal of his work in the Pathfinder realm, including being the layout guru for for a long time. Josh was a large reason why they put out their first "deluxe" product this past year at GenCon. Rise of the Drow is a gorgeous book, and the AAW guys should be proud of what they accomplished.

Anyway, to get back on track, Josh also did a bit of design work. Again, mostly in Pathfinder, but one of his last projects was a line of supervillain write-ups for Mutants & Masterminds 3E called the Theta Files. Josh only got three of them completed before his health deteriorated to the point where he could no longer work. In an effort to honor Josh, I contacted Rogue Genius Games in order to see if Josh had left any incomplete Theta Files in their possession, with the intent to finish them. When RGG got back to me, it was to indicate that they had nothing left unfinished from Josh. I was more than a little bummed...

Then, I found myself turning toward the plethora of villain write-ups I need to do for my Champions campaign, and actually *WANTING* to do them. Thinking about it more, I realized that, perhaps subconsciously, this is how I'm dealing with my grief... in a constructive way. Hence, my idea for an idea for a series of "Enemies"-style PDF publications for some villains that I have used in *MANY* Champions games, and a few that have never been more than a concept in my head and a "name" on a page.

Now, and here's my largest obstacle with this, I am *NOT* an artist. In fact, it is a crime in at least eleven states and three other countries for me to even attempt art. Thus, if you know of any artistic folks who can do comic-style art poses for *MEGA-CHEAP*, drop me a line and let me know...

peace... GopherDave

Friday, September 12, 2014


Found a new way to take pictures with my phone that is easier than before... Shame they look like crap... The sweater is dark green, the tie is gold, and the shirt is blue in reality.

Yeah, the hits just keep on coming this year. Had a good friend pass a couple of weeks ago. The funeral and memorial services have all passed, and everyone is getting on with their lives. Me? I haven't grieved yet. I expect it to come at the most inopportune time. That's the way the year has gone.

Game-wise, things are decent. Most of my recent issues stem from the morass of depression that I cannot seem to get myself out of...

Side note... I've seen Guardians of the Galaxy seven times now... I have a problem... Also, if you haven't seen it, do so... NOW!

Back to games... Tai'eres is in a good place story-wise, though I am about ready to "publish" another revision. I need to figure out where that will fall, as I don't like to change rules on players too much in mid-campaign, and this is looking like a significant update/change.

The Champions game has gone through yet another reboot. This time around, I've given it more structure from my end. There is still one more character to introduce (his player has been out of town on business for a bit), but things are looking better than they were. I am also looking at taking my villain write-ups and collecting them up in a "Enemies"-style sourcebook. That would take me a lot of work on my end, as many of the backgrounds are lost to old file formats and the physical copies were most likely tossed in one of our many moves over the years. I started on this a bit, and created a nice "government file" format that looks good on the screen. Unfortunately, it looks like crap printed out, so I may just chuck the whole government aesthetic of what I am doing and put it together in something that is basic, readable, and appealing. The basic idea is to do booklets that cover a villain team of four to seven bad guys, and perhaps compilations of solo villains with five to ten in each. This is still in the working stages...

Tootles for now...

-- GopherDave

Monday, August 25, 2014

Testing HTML With Bunnymaster...

Val Char Points Total Roll Notes
15 STR 5 15 12- HTH Damage 3d6 END [1]
21 DEX 22 21 13-
15 CON 5 15 12-
10 BODY 0 10
13 INT 3 13 12- PER Roll 12-/16-
12 EGO 2 12 11-
15 PRE 5 15 12- PRE Attack: 3d6
6 OCV 15 6
6 DCV 15 6
3 OMCV 0 3
4 DMCV 3 4
6 PD 4 6/18 6/18 PD (0/6 rPD)
3 ED 1 3/15 3/15 ED (0/6 rED)
5 SPD 30 5 Phases: 3, 5, 8, 10, 12
8 REC 4 8
35 END 3 35
30 STUN 5 30
12" Running 0 12m
4" Swimming 0 4m
4" Leaping 0 24m Total Characteristics Cost: 122
Cost Powers END
10 Aluminum Bunny Feet: Hand-To-Hand Attack +3d6, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (22 Active Points); OIF (-1/2), Restrainable (-1/2), Hand-To-Hand Attack (-1/4)0
6 Aluminum Bunny Feet: Leaping +20m (24m forward, 12m upward), Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4) (12 Active Points); OIF (-1/2), Restrainable (-1/2)1
14 Armored Vest: (Total: 30 Active Cost, 14 Real Cost) +6 PD (6 Active Points); Requires A Roll (12- roll; Must be made each Phase/use; -3/4), OIF (-1/2) (Real Cost: 3) plus +6 ED (6 Active Points); Requires A Roll (12- roll; Must be made each Phase/use; -3/4), OIF (-1/2) (Real Cost: 3) plus Resistant Protection (6 PD/6 ED) (18 Active Points); Requires A Roll (12- roll; Must be made each Phase/use; -3/4), OIF (-1/2) (Real Cost: 8)0
8 Rabbit Ears: +4 PER with Hearing Group0
3 Rabbit Ears: Ultrasonic Perception (Hearing Group)0
5 Mental Defense (5 points total)0
4 Savate Block: 1/2 Phase, +2 OCV, +2 DCV, Block, Abort
4 Low Kick: 1/2 Phase, +0 OCV, +2 DCV, 7d6 Strike
5 Side Kick: 1/2 Phase, -2 OCV, +1 DCV, 9d6 Strike
4 Hook: 1/2 Phase, +2 OCV, +0 DCV, 7d6 Strike
4 Savate Disarm: 1/2 Phase, -1 OCV, +1 DCV, Disarm; 35 STR to Disarm
5 Jab/Cross: 1/2 Phase, +1 OCV, +3 DCV, 5d6 Strike
3 Footsweep: 1/2 Phase, +2 OCV, -1 DCV, 6d6 Strike, Target Falls
8 +2 HTH Damage Class(es)
3 Acrobatics 13-
3 Breakfall 13-
3 Climbing 13-
3 Persuasion 12-
3 Stealth 13-
3 Streetwise 12-
1 Tactics 8-
1 Teamwork 8-
50 +5 with All Attacks
Total Powers & Skills Cost: 153
Total Cost: 275
275+ Disadvantages
10 Distinctive Features: Huge Rabbit Ears (Concealable; Noticed and Recognizable; Detectable By Commonly-Used Senses)
20 Enraged: When Taunted About Ears (Common), go 8-, recover 8-
Total Disadvantages Points: 30

This is a test of exporting characters from HERO Designer into a HTML file and posting it in Blogger. I had to make a few modifications, but it seemed to go smoothly. Expect more of this in the future, complete with actual background and stuff...

peace... GopherDave

Not Dead Yet... ...But It Came Close...

This last Saturday was another attempt to reboot my long-suffering Champions game. It didn't go badly, but smooth it was not...

Out of six players, five made it. One couldn't do it due to work reasons that took him WAY out of town, and that was expected, so that was no big deal. Out of the five folks that showed, one player kept the character he's been playing for a bit, another two players reverted back to other characters they had played previously that were not their current characters, and the last two players gave me brand-new never seen-before-by-me characters right about game time.

So much for hitting the ground running...

After much character consternation, and a LOT of side tangents (which is something of a sticking point with this group), things get rolling with four characters. The fifth one never showed up as the player changed his mind about wanting to play him and decided to come up with a different concept. So it goes...

After a great cosmic event (called "the Collapse") in which several alternate timelines get shoved into one, returning hero, Ace, is transplanted to Chicago. Being connected to the U.S. Government in a fashion that no one truly understands, Ace is directed/persuaded/has-the-idea-planted-in-his-head to form a new team for the city as the old one is lost to the eons via the Collapse.

Meanwhile, in Lake Michigan, alien transplant Prince Dormin (fish-man extraordinaire) encounters a being creating sheets of ice along the surface of the lake. Prince Dormin goes to say "hello", and ends up freaking the poor guy out, so much so that he runs off to call his friend so they can turn in this alien to the government or the Tabloids, whoever will pay more. Ace, in an effort to gather like-minded supers to his cause, has heard reports a mysterious fish-man in the city.

Long expository story made shorter... Ace meets Prince Dormin on the shore of Lake Michigan. While there, they get spotted by Torque, who just happened to be cruising by on his motorcycle at the time. Torque calls his friend Jury-Rig. While waiting for Jury-Rig to show up, the fearful ice-making guy has returned with his friends to capture Prince Dormin. Hence, the newly-forming team is confronted by the (not-so) super-villain team known as Core Dump.


Iceberg -- A pretty bog-standard Iceman-like energy projector.
Sunstreak -- A speedster who can generate moderate beams of heat from his hand.
Grenade -- A limited energy projector who can explode at the end of his leaps.
Thug -- A flying strongman who's pretty much about two letters short of an IQ.

- and -

Bunnymaster -- Core Dump's dastardly leader who has enhanced hearing (big rabbit ears) and wears larger, spun-cast aluminum bunny feet. Plus, he's pretty good at Savate.

The teams clash, and in the end, Thug and Iceberg are captured while Sunstreak, Bunnymaster, and Grenade all high-tail out of Dodge once they quickly realize just how far in over their heads they were against the PCs.

Overall, not bad, but the game was sidetracked for the first couple of hours with the character issues and the *MANY* conversation tangents this group tends to take. While I myself am guilty of some of them, there was enough non-game related conversation that after being interrupted by such in my first sentence of trying to actually start the game on THREE SEPARATE INSTANCES, I almost just packed up my notes and killed the game right then and there.

I am glad that I didn't, and that I found the patience to continue, but a conversation needs to be had with a number of folks, because it is affecting at least one player's enjoyment of the game...

...and one game master's...

peace... GopherDave

Thursday, August 21, 2014

72 Days Gone...

It's been 72 days since my last post... So much for "rebirth". I still have not replaced the camera, and while my phone can take pictures, I hate taking "mirror selfies" and I can't see the touch screen while trying to actually snap the photos, so I frequently send my phone back to the home page... sigh...

Life-wise, the store is still the store... Could be better... could be a lot worse. I'm doing okay. I am (badly) following a diet to try and shed some of my 325 pounds, which is the largest I've ever been. It's the most I've ever weighed, and it means I've outgrown the bulk of "the uniform". Not sure what to do there except try to lose weight and exercise in my "copious spare time".

Back in early July, "Bullet", my car of ten years was totaled. It was twelve years old, but it still ran well enough to get me from point A to point B. No, it was parked on the street minding its own business one Saturday morning when someone hit it and drove off. The police found the guy, but the damage was done. With the help of some friends, the car situation was rectified in short order, but it was hard to say goodbye to an old friend. Bullet deserved a better ending than that.

Game-wise, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that my homebrew fantasy campaign, has not only stabilized, but has gained direction and steam. The bad news is that my current Champions game is about to go through its second reboot in a year. It lacked direction, and has suffered through spotty attendance (both players *AND* GM) and questionable plot choices on my part. I'm hoping this attempt at the kickstart will take hold, because if it doesn't, I'm going to stick a fork in it and call it done.

And that is a written snapshot into what has been happening as of late... Hopefully the next one comes sooner than 72 days, hmmmm?

(next deadline for post...  November 2nd, 2014)  =P

-- GopherDave

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Back To The PIts...

One of the last pictures that will be taken by my trusty Nikon CoolPix S3300. Shortly after I took this, I dropped the camera on the floor and now it does not function...
Tonight was back to almost non-existent money at the store... Yes, we made some cash, but far below the average amount needed to survive at the current space. Am I worried? You bet. Am I going to let it get to me to the extent that it has been lately? Nope... I can't afford to be in that emotional spiral again.

Overall, I'm still holding out. I had a fit of mania last night that left me moderately productive, but only in the sense of laundry. No real writing/gaming ideas came to mind, but to be honest, I wasn't trying to coax them out, either. As it goes, I'm going to try to get *something* creatively productive done tonight, and try to share with y'all.

So, that's pretty much what's on my mind, currently. A lotta nuttin'... =P

-- GD

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Let It Come To Me...

It's Sunday night after close here at the store, and we've had one of our better weeks in a while. *MUCH* better than last week, which was absolutely gawd-awful. That is good, as that is what we need to stabilize things and turn things back around. This keeps up, and it will be easier for me to continue my own positive progress.

I don't really have a lot to say, currently. I mean, a lot of things are floating around in my head, but nothing really tangible from a writing perspective. As I type this I am listening to "Robot Hive/Exodus" by Clutch. If you have not heard this album (or any album) by Clutch, you do yourself a disservice as a music fan. Put succinctly, this is a band that is four, old beardy guys who just flat out *ROCK*. In many ways, Clutch is too good of a band. They constantly sell out small venues, but they are too good to open for anyone in an arena, for they will blow 99.9% of the bands they would open for off of the stage. I do not say this lightly. I've seen a number of bands in my time, more honestly than I can remember. Outside of perhaps Metallica and Faith No More, Clutch blows away anyone else that I have seen...

Rush... Judas Priest... Anthrax... Midnight Oil... Queensryche in their prime... Suicidal Tendencies... Ghost... Gwar... Sevendust... Mushroomhead... Hunters & Collectors... Avenged Sevenfold...

Clutch smokes them all...

I've seen Clutch three times, and would see them a hundred more. They're that good...

This is, however, pure opinion... yours might vary... but you'd be wrong. =P

-- GopherDave

Friday, June 06, 2014

Dude Interrupted...

Woke up WAYYYYYY later than I wanted to today. We had shipments due at the store dirt early, so I had no time for the uniform I'm trying to reinstitute for myself. Yeah, it's a bit of an excuse, but given how suddenly I reintroduced this to my life, and the fact I had slid into a "slacker" sleeping schedule of up-until-4AM-wake-up-at-Noon-Thirty, it explains things a bit. I'm exhausted and my body is fighting back. Whatevs...

I'm scheduled today until way late (think 2AM+) and I'm not scheduled at all for tomorrow, so it might be a day or two off from it.

Ran Tai'eres last night, and while not much happened to advance the story, we had a good time. The group has been faced with a couple of dilemmas in regard to their current situation that honestly, they had been it overthinking it all a bit. Near the end of the evening, they all kind of realized it and figured out a way through at least one of their issues, so things advanced.

I'm off to go do stuff, as there is much stuff to do and I've lost more productive hours that I would have liked this morning...

Toodles... GD

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Seeing Stars Among The Steps...

Day three and the fun continues...

Woke up this morning around 8:15AM, and wen and sat on the couch to watch TV as I truly woke up and gathered my wits. Around 9AM or so, I went to stand up to grab a shower and truly start my day. As I stood, sharp pain shot up and down my left leg and I apparently blacked out, because that was the last thing I remember before waking up on the couch sometime after 11AM.

My left knee has been giving me issues recently. It has mostly been an aching I can attribute to getting older, heavier, and arthritic. Today was a level of pain I have not felt in a long while, and oddly, my knee currently feels okay. It's not pain-free, but it is at or below the level I have been dealing with lately. I'll probably have it checked out soon (sometime in the next week or so), as it is now passed the point of concern.

Tonight is my pulp-fantasy home-brew RPG, Tai'eres. We have lost a couple of players, but I am not certain I want to replace them yet. I have enough notes that a rules revision is probably a thing that should be done sooner rather than later. Mostly have to carve out time for that, which should be easier to do now that I am not swimming in a pool of depression.

Things are looking better, though... just have to keep juggling for a little bit longer... which means I have to keep on focus...

peace... GD

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Waking Up With The House On Fire...

Day 2... Step 2...

Lately, things have been rough from a business standpoint. I won't lie. A new competitor hit the scene and has really given us what for. In an effort to retain the business they were taking away from us, we altered and evolved our approach to be more like them. Then, out of blue morass of one of the longest depression fits I've dealt with in recent memory, a thought occurred to me...

I had lost sight of who I was as a person, and by extension, lost sight of what our store is as a business.

We had become a poor imitation of another store, and we've never been that. Armored Gopher Games has always been uniquely... Gopher.

So it shall be again... It is going to take a long time to recover from the mess I've led it to, but I, as a person, and we, as a store, are no longer going to concern ourselves with what "they do over there". We're going to concentrate on what we can do to make our store better...

Which is as it should be...

peace... GopherDave

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


Remember this..? I wasn't certain I did...

It's been three months since my last post, and the hits have kept on coming. I'm not going to lie. To call what I have been going through "depression" really only covers a small percentage of the surface. Thing is, I'm done letting it keep beating me down. I'm done letting it win. I have reached the apex of apathy and I am now saying enough is enough.

It is time to get back to being who I truly am.

One of the first steps to doing that is to get back to a healthy routine, which includes this. Writing, even when I was writing effectively nothing, kept me clear and let me untangle what was in my head. Doing it daily helped keep me focused on things. I have so lost sight of that focus, it's not even in my time zone.

June 3rd, 2014... Day one of rebirth... Day two will be tomorrow... it has to be... I have to make positive progress or I fear I shall not return and all will truly be lost.

Don't wish me luck. In fact, don't wish me anything. I don't need the crutch or the distractions.

To all the haters, obstacles, and problems... GET. IN. THE. RING.

-- GD

Monday, March 31, 2014


Okay, This is sort of a check in...

The month of March sort of went like this for me...

Life: "Dave... Do me a favor and plant your feet about two... two and a half feet apart, okay..."

Me: "Why?"

Life: "Just humor me..."

(Like an idiot, I spread my feet to the requested distance)

Me: "Okay, now what?"

Turns out, "what" consists of life proceeding to spend the better part of a month kicking me straight in the proverbial nut-sack. I hate when that happens, and it has pretty much driven my bi-polar ass right into a swamp of emotional morass. I could reach a greater level of depression than I am already in, but that would probably involve a bullet to the head. Luckily, I have a few things in my life that will prevent that from happening.
  • One, I have a kick-ass wife who is my rock. If it were not for her, I very well would have just said "screw it" and left the area with everything that has been happening.
  • Two, I have three kick-ass kids (yes, I am counting the dog) who are more than worth sticking around for. 
  • Three, I have a group of friends that keep my ass in check, and check in when I get the way I am now. Thanks, guys...
  • Four, my access to guns isn't what it used to be. I can still get them, but it's more difficult than it used to be, and by the time I got ahold of one, my mood would change enough that I wouldn't need it anymore. Plus, I would remember a promise I made to myself just over 26 years ago and get some damn help.
As it stands, there are some aspects in my life that demand that I be a leader in order to right the various ships. I just don't know if I have the capacity within me to do that currently.

Completely changing the subject, on the musical front, a couple of  things happened to add to my depression, and one thing happened that has helped. First, two gentlemen from bands I have enjoyed for a long time passed away. Bob Casale (a.k.a. Bob 2) from Devo and Dave Brockie (a.k.a. Oderus Urungus) from GWAR have both shuffled off this mortal coil. I look to write pieces on both of them here soon. I just need to carve out the time and mood to do so. The good thing is that I finally acquired the new album from the reggae-metal band, Skindred, and it kicks ass! Kill the Power is one of the best discs to hit my player in some time, and I'll take all the small victories I can get at this point...

peace... GopherDave

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Head-On With Life, Business, and Everything Else...

Well... that month hit us like a runaway truck... In the last few weekends, I've been a touch busy...

Jan 16th-23rd: Finalized our employee back-up for the local gaming convention (Winter War 41). discovered that the Loquacious one not only has most of the things covered, she actually wants me to run games at the convention this year. Something about keeping me out of her hair and what not. However, at the time we figured out this could happen, there is literally one week before the convention. No sweat. I submit three events and bang them out in roughly four days time. There's no pressure like self-applied high pressure.

Jan 24th-26th: Winter War happens. I help load up the store, run the booth as much as Lo allows me, run three events (all went well), and help pack up and move things back to the store.

Feb 1st-2nd: Pre-release weekend for the new Magic: the Gathering set, Born of the Gods. All goes well, and, as usual, I get far less sleep than I should. Good weekend, but tiring.

Feb 7th-8th: Release weekend for MtG: Born of the Gods. Also run much much neglected Champions game after the events on Saturday.

Feb 14th & 16th:  The evening of the 14th is spent playing prototype board games for a local design competition (CUDO Plays) for which we are one of many sponsors. The day of the 16th is spent at the culminating event for said competition. Played more games. Presented an award. Then came to close the store.

In between all of these days, business, like rust, has never slept, and has kept rolling along, requiring me to keep up.

Since it had been more than a month, I figured I'd update folks with how things are going. Overall, it's been good. Sales have begun to bounce back from the 30% kick-in-the-nuts they took back during October and November of 2013. We've managed to rehire some folks, though at reduced hours from before. While we are recovering, we are not where we once were, and may not be for some time. That's okay, though. It taught me a nice business lesson and made me realize I shouldn't have been taking certain things for granted.

Now, if I can carve some time out, I need to work on my Tai'eres campaign that hasn't run in more than a month *AND* get back to a question one of the players in my Champions game posited to me about a week ago or so...

Life only gets old when you do... =P

-- GopherDave

Friday, January 10, 2014


Been re-inspired lately...

Hadn't worn a French cuff shirt in a bit. I've always dug the hexagonal cufflinks...
Okay... I had this figured out... had a game plan to get back to this thing regularly. Then, Pumpkin (our daughter) threw a big fat monkey wrench in the works. I never thought I would actually have to babysit a 17-year old, but she's made some poor decisions recently and it looks like she will be hanging around Mom, Dad, and other approved adults for the near future. (probably a month, plus.)

The weather here in the Midwest has been its usual weird self. Drop eight inches of snow, followed by Arctic blasts for a couple of days. That was in turn followed by moderately cold temps, and today it's doing this odd rain-sleet thing where it is at the right temperature to melt the snow only to slowly refreeze. When the temperature drops further later on, it'll all just be a sheet of ice. Wheeeeee!!!

The Champions game is set to run tomorrow, and I am not certain if it will happen. One player is out of town for work issues and the other may get called in to work (he works on the local road crews) if the weather gets any nastier. Another player reminded me of what was going on when we last played (a month ago) and things cannot proceed with what I have in mind until that is resolved. Small problem is... one of the key players in that scene is the one who is currently out of town. At this point, I'm ready to play it by it by ear and see what happens...

-- GopherDave

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Groundpounder [CHAMPIONS 6E NPC]


Val   Char    Cost
50    STR     40
18    DEX    16
25    CON   15
20    BODY 10
5      INT      -5
10    EGO     0
20    PRE     10

8      OCV    25
8      DCV    25
3      OMCV  0
3      DMCV  0
30    PD        -2
20    ED        -2
4      SPD     20
15    REC     11
60    END      8
60    STUN  20

15m   RUN      3
0m     SWIM   -2
39m   LEAP     3
Characteristics Cost: 195

Cost Power
14 Contagious Stupidity: Drain INT 1 1/2d6, Area Of Effect (4m Radius; +1/4), Personal Immunity (+1/4), Persistent (+1/4), Constant (+1/2), Uncontrolled (+1/2), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (49 Active Points); No Conscious Control (-2), No Range (-1/2)
30 Steel-Hard Skin: Resistant Protection (20 ED)
45 Steel-Hard Skin: Resistant Protection (30 PD)
50 Strength Tricks: Multipower, 50-point reserve
4f 1)  Knockback Resistance -50m (50 Active Points); Costs Half Endurance (-1/4)
5f 2)  Leaping +29m (39m forward, 19 1/2m upward) (x64 Noncombat), Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4) (50 Active Points)
5f 3)  Tunneling 11m through 12 PD material, x4 Noncombat, Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4) (50 Active Points)
Powers Cost: 153

Cost Martial Arts Maneuver
4 Charge:  1/2 Phase, +0 OCV, -2 DCV, 12d6 +v/10 Strike, FMove
4 Crush:  1/2 Phase, +0 OCV, +0 DCV, 14d6 Crush, Must Follow Grab
4 Martial Block:  1/2 Phase, +2 OCV, +2 DCV, Block, Abort
3 Martial Grab:  1/2 Phase, -1 OCV, -1 DCV, Grab Two Limbs, 60 STR for holding on
4 Martial Strike:  1/2 Phase, +0 OCV, +2 DCV, 12d6 Strike
5 Offensive Strike:  1/2 Phase, -2 OCV, +1 DCV, 14d6 Strike
Martial Arts Cost: 24

Cost Skill
16 +2 with HTH Combat
3 Breakfall 13-
3 Climbing 13-
3 KS: Janitorial Arts 10-
3 Streetwise 13-
Skills Cost: 28

Total Character Cost: 400

Pts. Disadvantage
15 Hunted:  Police Frequently (Less Pow; PC has a Public ID or is otherwise very easy to find; Harshly Punish)
5 Negative Reputation:  Not Very Bright, Frequently (Known Only To A Small Group)
15 Psychological Complication:  Coward (Common; Strong)
15 Psychological Complication:  Bully (Common; Strong)
15 Social Complication:  Public Identity Frequently, Major
10 Unluck: 2d6

Disadvantage Points: 75
Base Points: 400
Experience Required: 0
Total Experience Available: 0
Experience Unspent: 0

Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 286 pounds/130 kg
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Background/History: Ashmoore Whitlock was once a simple thug who had problems spelling his own name, let alone successfully committing crimes without the help of others. During a routine heist, Ashmoore was instructed to break into a chemical warehouse and open the valves on two specific tanks. Amazingly, Ashmoore did this successfully. What he didn't do was don any sort of protective gear before the dumped the contents of the two tanks onto the warehouse floor. The resultant mixture of the two substances created fumes that interacted with Ashmoore's physiology and brain chemistry, granting him his abilities of immense strength and his "stupidity field".

Not surprisingly, it turns out that Ashmoore's break in was set to be a distraction while his "friends" robbed a jewelry exchange and made off with a small fortune in uncut gems.

Since then Ashmoore/Groundpounder has been in and out of prison numerous times. How he escapes prison typically falls into one of three categories... Someone is breaking him out because their plan needs a strong, dumb guy... There is a breakout by someone else, and Groundpounder just sort of finds himself in the outward flow of things... or eventually, the guards and other prison personnel forget about his secondary ability and he just strolls out because they forgot to lock the doors behind them.

Personality/Motivation: Groundpounder is your stereotypical "dumb thug". He just happens to come with the added bonus of being able to bring those around him (friend or foe) down to his intellectual level without much effort. His general personality is that of a bully and a coward. If Groundpounder has the upper hand on someone, he'll gladly keep pounding on them until something or someone else draws his attention elsewhere. When faced with a straight-up fight he cannot easily win, Groundpounder will simply claim that he's bored and leap away.

Quote: "I'mma make you stupid!"

Powers/Tactics: Hit it until it stops moving. If it made you mad while it was moving, hit it a couple more times, just because. (GM Note: Keep in mind that his stupidity field just simply exists. Groundpounder has *ZERO* control over it and it is always on... ...even when he is unconscious.)

Campaign Use: Groundpounder is the guy who gets used by and thrown under the bus by everyone who hires him out or claims to be his friend. If a team needs a "big dumb guy" slot filled, or (more usually) needs someone to be a distraction for the heroes while the real crime is being committed, GP fits the bill nicely.

Appearance: Large. Moderately tall. Moderately wide. Pretty non-descript. Groundpounder doesn't typically wear a mask as he has been caught so many times, his identity is more than public. Plus, even if he *HAD* a secret identity, it wouldn't be a secret for long as Ashton would just probably leave his mask at home or forget to put it on, even if he had it with him in the first place.

Wow... I Did More Than Blink...

I really hate my camera phone... that plus I apparently suck at taking selfies...

Here I'd thought I'd get into regular posting only to go missing for three weeks. It's been an odd period in the household and the store.

There's not much to say, really. The games have been getting postponed due to weather/work issues. The holidays were good, in both a sales and Santa-esque way. Things are beginning to bounce back slowly, but enough that we have been able to pick AngryG and BigBank back up in very limited capacity. We'll see how it goes.

On another front, I apparently was the inspiration for another person to "tie-up" (a lighter version of "suit up") recently. Seeing Tim @bugeatergames (see Twitter) do his thing has rekindled me to do mine. I can't really fall down on the job anymore seeing as I have become a role-model of sorts. =P

I'd love to talk more, but the day's looking kind of hectic. I do hope to be back later, though...

-- GopherDave