fate dice

Before Christmas I am planning on running the first session of the Remnant. I decide that I wanted to run a campaign using a different Role-playing engine so to speak. I have been a D&D fan since the 80’s and I’ve started looking at other role-playing platforms. There are so many to choose from. I had no idea how many where out there until I started looking for a new system to at least try. Yeah, I’ve played GURPs before it was okay, but sifting through what rules you want and don’t want gets to me. Don’t get me wrong it has wonderful mechanics and all. It’s just daunting at times to sift through them all to decide which ones you want in what world. Then you must teach your player base a new set of rules every time you switch genres. Okay it is great that they have rules for everything for the most part. It is going over all these rules you are using and not using. It takes up a whole game session, so it seems.

I started looking at Dungeon World, Savage World, and Fate Core. I think I decided I want to try Fate Core out for a while. Yes, I still must teach a new set of rules this time, but if we like this system the rules stay consistent between genres. Coming up, we have the Remnant. Which is a cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic theme, and maybe next time we can play a Star Wars or Superhero theme.

The first half of the session will be character creation and world overview. As well as, an overview into Fate Core rules and such. Planning on hosting three players who have a lot of experience playing D&D, as well as other Role-playing games, and tabletop games. This is before I have my much larger group of players over. So I can have a bit more control over the table before we get into a larger game with more people. I’ve read over Fate Core books as well as asked questions on Fate Core Groups on Facebook to get a better understand of the rules. The first thing I will do will be explaining the rules as well as I can while giving them a comparison between D&D and Fate. This is so they can relate how each part kind of works. At this point I feel that I have good grasp of the rules, but do I fully understand them? No. Will mistakes be made? Of course, but that’s okay it is all a part of learning.

Do any of you have any advice for me as the GM or for my players when making the switch from D&D to Fate?

My Struggle

letter writingHere I sit staring at the computer once again not sure what to write. Well sort of… I know what I want to write about. I have a clear idea in my head, but I am not sure how to put it into words. I have this scene in mind for the campaign I am preparing for, the Remnant. However, describing what the players see, hear, or smell so it matches what I envision in my head is difficult. This is my weakness; being unable to properly describe in detail what I see. I look at peoples faces and if I were too close my eyes, I couldn’t make out their facial features, much less describe it to someone else. That’s not my only struggle I deal with when writing. Even basic writing skills elude me such as grammar, and spelling. I’ve been wrestling with this my whole life so its nothing new. That is why I have a live-in editor whom I feed bacon for editing.

What stops you from working on your games? What obstacles do you have to work at to overcome?

Why tabletop board games and Role-Playing Games (RPG) should be an important part of your home.

This is a guest post that I made on my wife’s blog

via Why tabletop board games and Role-Playing Games (RPG) should be an important part of your home.

the Remnant

Here is the opening setting for my next campaign. More will be added as the players unfold the world. Some of which will happen during session 0 and short opening game just to start adjusting to new setting and rules.

War Destruction Misery Helplessness Apocalypse

A world ravaged by war: It started with Geopolitical economic warfare. Countries debts skyrocketed due to over spending and over printing of currency. Larger countries bought smaller countries debt and over time took over little by little by buying up all their debt until the point where that country was unable to too maintain itself. As governments clasped, other governments took over, inflation was running rampant worldwide. Governments where not the only ones buying debts and collecting territories. Corporations where taking over other corporations as well as small countries. While governments were struggling to maintain their budgets, a few corporations took advantage of laws, and tax loopholes, as well as pushing government to subsidize them to create more profit. Corporations increased their influence tenfold. In the midst of Governments fighting, corporations became the super power. Individuals who ran the government were too concerned with their personal gain. Corporations that survived controlled almost everything. They controlled how food was grown, and the services people counted on. The mega corporation ran the car companies, aerospace companies, and even the fast food places down the street; all ran by just one of the mega corps. Little by little corporations continue to grow not only in size but also influence. Eventually all the government clasped, and Corporations ran everything. Things seemed to get better for some time, before the corporation’s greed exceeded the resources. People’s lives became no more than slaves to the corporations. Either you lived by their laws, their rules, or you were silenced. War broke out between corporations; technological advancements began happening at an alarming rate. Regulations where a thing of the past, the corporations didn’t answer to anyone but themselves. Corporations begin experimenting with gene mutation and other cybernetic enhancements to give their armies the edge over one another. Some Corps built robotic combat drones, while others built massive mechanized suits. Millions of people died during the Corp Wars. But nothing compared to what was to come. War raged on for decades. That’s when the sickness started spreading. It started years before the Corp War when the corporations were mutating livestock and crops to make more food faster. After generations of animals mutated, the livestock being falling ill. Then people began dying by the thousands. Most people starved because the food sources were all contaminated with the mutations from the corporations. Many other people got sick from some unknown virus, the worst was when people started killing one another to survive. At least that’s how the story goes, that was a hundred years ago. Nothing but a remnant of humanity remains in us.

To keep updated with this visit the; Story so Far..


Fallout Type Map

Oakland Campaign map.png

There are so many things you can do in a few minutes on gimp. I know I am not a professional or anything but if you are like me and DMing / GMing on a budget here is a quick map you can use to spice up futuristic or post apocalyptic type game. For my group they like visuals. Just follow these simple steps… poof its done.

For those of you who do understand Gimp or Photo shop what some advice you can give?

  1. Open Gimp with a 1500 x 1200 px and 300 ppi RGB color
    • ppi color is under advance opens when you open a New page.


  1. Bing Maps or Google maps, on Road view.
    1. Using the Print Screen function or button the Ctrl-V to paste it in Gimpstep2
  2. Crop the image to the area you want. Using the Rectangle Select Tool:, select area you want and click Ctrl-C
  • Ctrl-z until back to a blank page
  • Ctrl-c to put area selected back
  • Using the Scale tool: resize the image to 1500 x 1200
  • From there use the Move Tool: to get back center



  1. In Gimp using the Colorize tool: under Color which is at the top. Lower the Hue, Saturation, Lightness down until you get the color you want.
    • I used 118 Hue, 24 Saturation and -50 Lightness but play around with it and get the color you want.


  1. If you want to add a grid you can
    • If you decide to add a grid find close to the size pixels you are using and that it has a transparent background
    • Once you find the image usually a png file, save it as an image on your computer.
    • Before doing so go to Layer; Anchor Layer
    • Go to File; Open as Layer; then select the png Grid image.
      • Side note while its opened in it own layer you can erase or recolor anything with out worry about the layer underneath it.


  1. Once the grid layer is on your map us the Scale tool and Move tool to get it to the location and size you want it.
  2. The grid is a bit dark for me so I want to lighten it up so I use the Eraser tool
    • Set the Opacity to 50 and size as high as it goes
    • Select a brush with 100 hardness.
    • While use the Eraser tool hold the left clicker down do not let up or it will not Erases evenly.
      • Why did I leave the grid so far up because I am going to another layer over it which will cover that space up.
  1. Go to Layer; Merge Down


  1. At this point you have so options
    • Leave it as is
    • Add Distort filter(s) to your map
    • Filter;
      • Distorts:
        • Video (Basically it adds lines like an odder tv or monitor would)
          • Striped (additive box check for lighter, Not checked for darker)


  1. Now go to Filter
    • Distort
      • Lens Distortion (give it a convex look like an older tv)
        • Moving only the Edge: 40
  1. If have trouble with Lens Distortions
    • Using the Rectangle Select Tool; Ctrl-C the whole image
      • Open New file with 1500 x 1200 ppi 300 same as you open this page with.
      • Ctrl-v copied image to new page and re-center.
      • Re do step 10.


  1. The tablet look of the over lay is a tablet where I erased a tablet screen and add an Alpha channel (transparency) to it. Which is a whole other tutorial.

I made a few of these trying to see which one I like better…

tablet mapOakland Campaign map

Getting the most out of a Character


whip indiana jones

If it is your first time playing a character start with a step by step tutorial on creating your character. For example D&D players Hand Book or Pathfinder Core Rulebook, both have section dedicated to character creation. Once you have your character made stick to the rules for your character, like skill rolls and what they are used for; how combat or other forms of conflict are resolved. There is no right or wrong way to play a character’s personality. Just make sure your character sheet matches as best as it can to your character. Just like every person in the world, every character will have a different personality and in such so should your character. At first having the perfect character seems like the way to go, but as you dive deeper into the realm or Role playing, it doesn’t always make for the best stories, a character should have flaws and secrets.

For example, you are playing an….

Adventuring Archaeologist 

  • Ruggedly Handsome
  • Ladies’ man
    • Unable to commit to a relationship
  • Intellectual
    • Professor of Archaeology
  • Above average fighter
    • Strong right hook
    • Expert whip handler
  • Treasure hunter
    • At all cost will go after an Artifact
    • Creed / catch phrase “That belongs in a museum”

indiana jones

Now that was a brief overview of  ” Non-specific Adventuring Archaeologist”  as a character. A character can be as simple or as complex as you wish. It’s the flaws that make him relatable and likable, that is what makes him feel real. If looking for inspirations on this type of character just watch Indiana Jones just the first three movies, the 4th one can be skipped.


First Time



There are so many different RPGs out there, and all of them have Pro’s and Con’s. Find which one works for you best. You can find tons of blogs, web pages, and YouTube videos debating this. It comes down to what works for you.

For me the biggest thing to remember is don’t get caught up on the rules, just have fun. The rules are there as a guideline to help set constancy in the game world.

If playing with veteran players, they will help guide you. For someone new here are the basics you will need to do.

  • Find other individuals to play with
  • Pick a rule set
  • Decide who will run the game and who will be the players
  • Pick a time and location to play
  • Create a story or find a pre-made module
  • Create Characters that fit the theme of the game
  • Play through scenario(s) using narrative and/or dice to resolve conflicts

I know to most this is a big DUH, captain obvious…

What it boils down to is sitting down with a group of people and having fun playing through an adventure. If you are unsure of where to find others to play with you can usually go to your local comic book store it is a great place to start. Learn what rules you can before playing by reading manuals, watching videos, and talking with others. Don’t expect to learn all 300 plus pages of rules before you sit down and play. So get out there and play.

For those of you who are veteran players or have some experience in Tabletop games what is some advice you can give to new players? Or if you are a new player what are some questions you might have about playing for the first time?