Monthly Archives: June 2013

Pokémon Pocket-sized Game Aids

My regular readers know that I have been working on several Pokémon game aids since late last year and finally got them ready for general distribution. My wife and several of our Pokémon Leaguers have been using them for several months and seem very happy with them, so I hope you’ll find them useful too.

The first is a list of every Pokémon as of generation 5, including their types and what Effort Points they yield. It is in the form of two booklets, each using one sheet of paper, that are small enough to fit in your pocket or DS case, yet have large enough text to even be readable by my eyes. To learn how to fold each sheet into an eight-page booklet, simply visit the website of PocketMod, the home of the handy bit of freeware I used to convert the original 16-page document down to a more manageable two pages.

My printer has a strict .51″ bottom margin, so in order to get those to print properly I have to set it to 96% and turn off auto-center. That results in a lot of trimming after folding, but it’s better than missing nearly half of two pages.

The second is a type chart designed to fit on an index card and therefore be slightly smaller than a DSi. If you can’t remember how the types match up in Pokémon or are tired of carrying around a huge chart, then this is for you.

If your printer can’t print on index cards or want to run off several to share with your friends or hand out at Pokémon League, you’re in luck because I also fit six on a single sheet of paper. You’ll find the best results if you print them on card stock.

Naturally, once X and Y release this fall I’ll update both documents with the new Pokémon and type(s). (You have heard about the new Fairy type, haven’t you?)

As usual, here are the download links for your convenience:


Free RPG Day 2013

This year we will be running GURPS 4e and HackMaster 5e demos at Hillside Games. We have pre-gens ready for both and even dice to lend, so all you’ll need is yourself and your imagination.

As you may have read in my previous post, we have backed a Kickstarter for a new roleplaying game called Kingdom. Our donation tier entitles us to a copy of its predecessor and companion, Microscope, a game in which players work together to build an epic history. The author kindly gave us early access to Microscope so we’d like to run it today too if we have time.

Hope to see you there.

Update: We found out too late that Hillside wasn’t actually doing Free RPG Day this year, but if you ever see us there on a Saturday (except when we’re running Pokémon League from 4-8, of course), don’t be afraid to ask us to demo HackMaster, GURPS, Microscope, D&D, or any other game we know (my waist-length red-brown ponytail makes me pretty easy to spot).

I was finally able to upload all of my Pokémon game aids, but prepping for today and making D&D Encounters pre-gens for Wednesday night has kept me too busy to get the links posted here. As soon as I get the pre-gens finished I’ll get those links posted. For now, if you follow any of the scribd links on my download page you’ll be able to find the Pokémon stuff easily.

I still can’t figure out why WordPress won’t display my sidebar menu except on the front page. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Thanks.

Kickstarter Roleplaying Gems – Ending Soon!

We’re really excited about – and backing! – two soon-to-end roleplaying-related Kickstarter projects.

OVA (Open Versatile Anime) is our favorite rules-lite system, and has what may be my favorite dice mechanic. This is the KS is for the long-awaited Revised edition.

The game is definitely anime-flavored, but since the word anime covers such a huge variety of genres, the game is designed to handle them all. It doesn’t have stats, just abilities and weaknesses. Abilities for starting characters are generally ranked from 1-3; weaknesses at -1 to -2.

Those numbers tell you how many d6s to add to or subtract from the base two when making a roll (not surprisingly, negative dice are bad). To make a roll you toss the appropriate number of d6s, then add up any that match; the result is the single highest result among them. For instance, if you have “Attack! 2”, you’d roll 4d6 to attack someone, whether it’s with your fist, laser eyes, or BFG 2000. If the result was 2,2,3,6, the possible results are 3, 4, or 6, so you rolled a 6. That number is opposed by the defender in combat, and compared to a Target Difficulty otherwise.

One of my favorite things about the game is its physical size. The first edition’s book is so small and thin that I carry it around everywhere in one of the flaps of our backpack so I’ve always got it for a pick up game. OVA Revised is supposed to be about the same size.

As I write this, OVA has 6 days to go and has long since reached its goal, but now is the prefect time to get in on the ground floor of the new edition, and get some exclusive d6s in the bargain.

The other project we’re excited about is a story game called Kingdom. That’s right, the confirmed GURPS geeks are enthralled by a story game – that should tell you something!

I can best describe the game using a gameplay example from the Kickstarter itself:

We’re playing with a colony ship as our Kingdom. We’re still years from the target system when we pick up the signal. Could this be first contact with an alien intelligence? Unfortunately, it’s light years out of our way. This is our Crossroad: do we change course to investigate?

The colonists are excited even if it means abandoning our carefully calculated settlement plans. But by now all the players suspect that Captain Browning (ahem, *Acting* Captain Browning) cares more about looking like a good leader than being one. He’s in charge and he wants to keep it that way. My character tells the Captain that the data’s conclusive: the signal is definitely not natural. But she also mutters that if we’re abandoning the plan and just making things up as we go along, pretty soon everyone is going to want a vote.

I’m Perspective so what I predict is true. A Touchstone character showed us what the people wanted. But the Captain has Power. He decides what we do. And I just told him that if he does what the people want his precious authority is going to be a thing of the past.

Captain Browning carefully straightens his uniform, then flips the switch to make a ship-wide address…

To get a really good handle on the game I suggest taking a few minutes to read over the rest of the Kickstarter. Being as unfamiliar with story games as I am, I simply can’t describe better than he does.

We’re excited about using the game in two ways. First is to combine it with Microscope (Kingdom‘s predecessor and companion) to really flesh out the backgrounds of our game worlds (especially since my primary game world is the world of what I hope will be my first book).

Our second use is one suggested by Ben Robbins on the KS: Take an occasional break to investigate other parts of the world in detail. For instance, if the party just captured a lieutenant in an evil organization, once they’ve broken him we can switch to Kingdom to roleplay out the events he’s describing instead of the players just sitting there listening to the GM.

Kingdom has nearly two weeks to go but has likewise reached its goal (by more than 600% already!), but some of his bundles, like getting both the PDF and deadtree of both Kingdom and Microscope for $45, are unbelievably good values.


It took three tries, but it seems like they finally found an anti-depressant that mostly works for me, so I’ve actually been getting quite a bit done in the past few weeks. So why haven’t I posted any of it? Because my precious laptop is going to die any second so I’ve spent the last several weeks getting it backed up onto our desktop and getting all of my apps installed and configured on it; though the desktop has a more powerful processor and graphics card, it has half the memory of my laptop and thus can’t due the graphics and image editing I need it to. Now that all of that is done, I’ll be posting blogs and uploaded game aids as often as the two computers will let me.

My Pokémon DSi-sized type chart and pocket-sized EV booklets are ready for upload, but neither computer can get the job done. Look for those download links as soon as I can manage it. For the short term I am creating a PNG of the type chart and will make that available.

Since the next season of D&D Encounters starts at level 4, I am making some new pre-gens for the sake of walk-in players. I have finished the halfling thief (slinger), but haven’t yet finalized how I want things arranged on the page. In order to ensure that I can get them all done by the 19th, I am mostly pulling from my collection of dozens of Encounters characters from back before I started running it. In addition to the halfling thief, I am making a half orc scout, a human spell-chucker of some sort (got plenty to choose from in my notebook), a dwarf fighter (probably great weapon), and was going to make an elf seeker or other archer but the current party already has two hunters.

So I’d like some suggestions of newbie-friendly characters I could make in a hurry. I’d like to get in an elf-blood and another human, as well as a leader. The problem with the leader is that we can’t think of one that won’t overwhelm new players (this season we’ve had two players show up who had never roleplayed before). The simplest we’ve come up with is the warpriest. (One of our regulars is sticking with the sentinel druid she’s been playing for two seasons now so we eliminated that from consideration.)

We likewise had problems thinking of a non-overwhelming defender, but ultimately settled on the standard fighter (the knight is one of my favorite classes, but we’ve seen multiple people new to the game struggle with it). If you can think of a better option please let me know since I haven’t started that character yet.

While waiting for the Internet to come back just now (we live out in the country so our lights and Internet blink a lot during rain and wind storms), I was flipping through my notebook of Encounters of pre-gens. I had forgotten that of my first characters after the release of Heroes of the Fallen Lands was an elf sun warpriest, so that’s another point in the warpriest’s favor.

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