Zombicide Prison Outbreak campaign

Last year at GenCon we bought Zombicide (which we'd later learn is referred to as Season 1). It was well regarded online, and we'd played a reasonable amount of Zpocalypse and Run, Fight, or Die! but were looking for something different in a zombie game. So, Zombicide. We played enough missions between us that we decided we wanted to try making a campaign of it. Also, after a few missions in Season 1, we wanted more variety. So we picked up Season 2 - Prison Outbreak  + Ultimate Survivors #1  to go with the base game. Since then we've been playing through the Season 2 missions as a campaign. That's working really well - tons of fun. The ultimate survivors make things easier, especially with accumulating experience, but the missions are still hard. Also, the mission difficulties are really arbitrary. Easy / Medium / Hard? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I think it's easier to estimate difficulty based on number of spawn points. Campaign Setup We've been using the set up for e

Planetfall by Emma Newman

I read this book based largely on the Emma Newman's entry on The Big Idea . I'm conflicted on how I feel about it. I either hate or love it depending on how I interpret the ending.  What she set out to do, write a character based science fiction story centered around the main character's (Ren's) mental illness, she did beautifully. For that, this book gets top marks. I felt empathy for Ren when I realized what illness she had, rage at the reactions of those around her, and awe at the details of the big reveal and how I had misinterpreted the hints leading up to it. If the book had ended in the middle of the crisis on a cliffhanger or had resolved differently (everything is terrible, done), I'd be championing this book to everyone who would listen to me. - Spoilers below - ... - You were warned - Unfortunately, the ending completely ruined the book for me on my first pass. If it wasn't my kindle, I'd have thrown the book after finishing it. The shift

GenCon 2015 - the events and games!

GenCon time again! As always it was a blast. This year we tried more than usual to play games or do events that we don't get to do at home. Bo staff fighting, True Dungeon, an author talk, crafty things like book binding, larps, and tons of new board games! Highlight: 21 days to a novel by Michael Stackpole was awesome! Solid, practical advice that I can imagine following. I may try it for nanowrimo this year. Lowlight: Remain Indoors! This was terrible. Directionless and confusing, this larp wouldn't have been my thing if it had limited it's badness to just that but then add in sexual harassment throughout the room and it worked out to be the opposite of enjoyable. Worst experience of four years of GenCon. Thursday : First day there, mostly walking around the vendor hall and demoing games. So much fun! +++   True Dungeon  (Underdark Puzzle): As always, a big difference between Thursday runs and Sunday runs. Should have enough tokens now to make 2 more rings of hero

Getting go set up locally - mac

So I've been messing around with go and installing some libraries. The go documentation is a good start but if you want to be productive with libraries, there's a few additional steps. Everything here assumes you're on a mac. Step 1:   Install Go  and set up your workspace. However you do need to create a GOROOT directory. mkdir -p goroot/bin mkdir -p goroot/pkg mkdir -p goroot/src Step 2: Set GOROOT both for the command line and for launched applications. export GOPATH=/Users/alek/projects/goprojects launchctl setenv GOPATH $GOPATH Step 3: Install source control (and python) -- this will be required for go get <library> python: git: hg: bzr: and fix bazaar Step 4: Install an IDE (optional!) I've found and really like Atom. See and install go-plus  afterwards.


Last weekend at the Queens Half Marathon hosted by NYC Runs, I achieved one of my goals for 2015. I ran a half marathon in under two hours. My garmin had me finishing in 1:58:33 and the official time was 1:58:31. My previous best was around two hours, seven minutes so I took nearly 10 minutes off my time! Overall my pace was 8:55 / mile. I have to say I'm pretty happy with that! I think it's the last time I'll set a half-marathon PR for a while. The timing for this race was perfect. The course was mostly flat, the weather was perfect, and it was the first race of the year that I really pushed as hard as I could for. I'll push for the next race too (the Brooklyn Half Marathon) but after that I expect the weather to be too hot to push for a PR. That's fine. I have many more half marathons to run this year. Maybe in December I can try for a 1:45:00 half marathon! Anyway, 1:58:33, my best half time ever. It feels good.

Playing with geomorphs, part 1

So as I mentioned in my previous post, I've been messing around a bit with drawing maps lately. While the last post focused on something I made for my campaign, I also decided to play around with the idea of geomorphs. At some point I'd like to play a serious session which makes use of them so I might as well start tinkering. Here's sample #1. Some notes on it: the scale is 2 squares = 5' and I wasn't aiming for any specific size as much as wanting it to be square. Things I'd do differently / don't like about this: On a scale of 2 sq = 5', it's surprisingly easy to set yourself up for exterior walls which are N + 2.5' long. Like what happened here. I made this 20x20 squares large... which means each wall from the corner to the opening is (20-2) / 2 squares long... or 9 squares... or 22.5 feet long. That's just awkward. Next time I'll plan how wide I want the sides to be between the openings and plan accordingly. I tried for a t

Recent Mapping

My D&D campaign has restarted after a several month hiatus which of course means new maps! I haven't posted my previous maps, I'll try to get around to that. For now, check out the new ones! In drawing them I wanted to support the story hook given to the players, that a researcher who has gone missing had been investigating what happened on this island (there were a couple thousand years between map renderings). I started with the coastal outline of the shattered island and lightly traced a few of the notable points to get the unified island started. Next I filled in the notable features of the unified island, then translated them to the shattered island. I'm really happy with the results -- much of style from both maps are drawn from  +Michael Wenman 's excellent map tutorials . So I present the ruined island of Belthor, or, the Isle of Balance & Isle of Ruin as some players at my table have dubbed them. I rather like Balance/Ruin more than Belthor. =) B