I was at a dead end...no idea what I was going to blog about. So I put a masking tape “X” in my window and waited. Overnight a mysterious envelope appeared on my doorstep. Would it contain some inspiration for an article? Worse. It held the terrible truth about a long-dead conspiracy: notes for an unreleased X-Files Roleplaying Game....


Some days I wonder why I don’t get stuff done. Maybe it’s because someone’s using my arm as a pillow. Can’t complain. What do I expect putting a cat bed on my desk?

Our resident baby bunny ventured onto our back deck at 6 a.m. to nibble at leafy debris from Wednesday night’s storms. He explored the plant pots and water garden, even ventured within a foot of the back door where I was standing taking photos. A bit skittish (hence some blur) and hosting a huge tick in his year. Later he and the other yard bunnies were out munching the lush grass...sorry I’ll have to mow this weekend.

Everyone loves positive feedback. Social media is built on a delicate web of likes, comments, shares, and views that can make us feel connected and valued...or can tear us down. Maybe we could spend more time reaching out and sharing some compliments with those who’ve made a positive difference in our lives, no matter how great or small.


Rumor tables have been around almost as long as fantasy roleplaying games. They serve gamemasters as tools to enhance the setting and tone, encourage engagement with denizens, and can guide (or confuse) characters’ course of action...whether they’re true or false.


We love the rabbits that live in and around our property, nibbling at the tall grass, hopping into the thicket verge, and often tolerating us as we move about the yard. Today we spotted a new addition: a baby bunny munching away at the weeds growing in our front walk. Got some long-range shots through our front picture window. Something cute and cuddly that might brighten up your social media timeline.

For some West End’s Star Wars RPG maintained and helped rekindle interest in Star Wars at a time when it was all but forgotten. But as it returned in the public consciousness supplements like Heroes & Rogues also helped push the bounds farther from the core heroes, beyond the Rebels vs. Imperials conflict, to explore other kinds of characters and their engaging stories...very much like we’re seeing today in a revitalized flood of Star Wars media.

Back blogging after nearly a month’s creative/spiritual slump. My impressions of fantasy roleplaying combat get a reality check when I spend a day at a medieval combat sport event at the local winery. With mead.


Was going to drive 2 hours to a regional game convention today, but bailed. Son still achy from covid booster, I’m suffering from allergies, and CDC now rating con site as high covid levels. yay us. Putting on my mask and heading to a FLGS in a nearby low covid zone to assuage my disappointment.

I’ve recently reorganized my online presence. The result consists of some new personal pages focusing on my past game design and publishing activities, my current focus on games for learning, and information on some of my other activities. A work in progress. Share and enjoy.


Trying to clear my mind of waves of anxiety that swelled up right before bed: gut-churning national news, in-law BS fueling my insecurities, plus other constant worries. Really need sleep before I get up at 4:50 a.m. to have breakfast and get everyone out the door for work and school. Trying to distract myself posting photos of the mated pair of backyard bunnies who were out grazing earlier this evening....

After weeks of rain and some colder weather (in the 30s at night) our Virginia back-country has entered high summer, with temperatures hitting 100 and the red Virginia clay baking into concrete. Perfect time to spend the day in the overwhelming heat and humidity trying to get on top of yard/garden work. Set up our green man in the garden with hanging Muppet flowers. Cleaned up the water garden on the back deck; all set for the tree toads. Bonus photo of the red Japanese maple in the sunlight.

Trying to lift my spirits after a week of father-son colds and an inability to get much done thanks to foggy brain. Looking at “old” photos. These from my son’s birthday what seems like half a lifetime ago (oh, wait, it *is* half a lifetime for him...). Star Wars-themed birthday. Made an Ewok cake, crafted a Death Star piñata. (Okay, back to some semblance of work for me....)

Day four of son home sick from school. I’m sick too, head all congested, brain foggy, getting nothing done. Worst colds we’ve had in two years (after no colds all of 2020...). He’s missing reading SOLs today. My anxiety about that and school admin’s sick policy second guessing parental judgment gave me dreams about me having to take the bus to navigate middle school in his place.... At least it’s not covid.

After a punishing day doing heavy work in the yard I took a moment to snap some photos of the flowers in front of our house: on the porch and along the walkway. Suddenly very colorful after a week of dreary rain. Just getting a taste of the Virginia heat and humidity that wilts us for our five months of swampy summer every year. Yay us.

Ordered this early edition of Columbia Games’ Rommel in the Desert from Noble Knight Games during the “Super Spring Sale.” Released in 1984, the cover art has that wonderfully colorful style of so many game products from the early 1980s, a pastiche of theme and game elements. Reminds me of Atari game artwork of the time. If I were a teenager I’d want a poster of this for my wall.

Armies in Plastic order arrived today. Nothing quite like kneeling on the living room floor with your son sorting out the random 100 figures (plus two mounted soldiers) and dividing them up between us. What’s pictured is what I got (both a few sets I ordered and my share of random figures). Can’t beat Armies in Plastic’s prices and variety for the periods they cover. Sale right now is $10.95 per pack of 16 54mm figures, the random 100 figure pack is $17.95....


Testing a wargaming scenario for a possible museum “Strategy Gaming” event. Opening moves in the Battle of Brandy Station (June 9, 1863). Union cavalry surprises Stuart’s horse artillery at dawn. A few batteries remain to buy time while waiting to limber up and withdraw (half-corks represent limber teams for now). Eventually Confederate cavalry arrives. Not thrilled with how this is coming together after a few games of adjustments. The dice in One-hour Wargames can be capricious at best.

Who’s living beneath my wife’s backyard studio?

Is it Jumpy Squirrel?

Or Mr. Yard Bunny?

Nope, looks like (momma?) Woodchuck’s claiming this burrow.

(Blurry critter photos thanks to my trail cam.)

Every week or so I link to my latest Hobby Games Recce blog post. Share and enjoy!

TTRPGs rely on stats to define story elements in game terms. Many use long formats in rulebooks and short formats for easy reference in adventures. They often demonstrate a game’s orientation in the story/rules balance. After rambling on about them I look at my preferences for stats in my own designs.


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