Monthly Archives: June 2014

Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere

I helped Reading Rainbow on Kickstarter, you can too!

Some of you may not be old enough to have the fond memories of Reading Rainbow my wife and I share, but it fostered my love the written word more than anything else. We now have the opportunity to give Reading Rainbow to children everywhere – for free! Not only will every episode be available from their app and elsewhere, it will be made available at no cost to thousands of classrooms.

Naturally, those worthy goals all cost money, and that money has to come from somewhere. Some of it is coming from us. Won’t you join us?

If you need more incentive, among the rewards are sit-downs with the cast of Next Generation. And some lucky Trekker with really deep pockets can have dinner with LeVar Burton and even try on the actual visor he wore in the show!

Hurry. The deadline is July 2nd.


Multi-level D&D 4e Character Sheet for Encounters

For the past several seasons of D&D Encounters, my wife and I have had all three levels for that season on the character sheet at the beginning, saving us having to write, erase, rewrite, re-erase all the time due to constantly going up and down levels. Up until now we were squeezing them onto my character sheets, but that was less than optimal – for one thing, it was impossible to get more than one level’s worth of HP onto the provided space.

We haven’t been able to play this season due to both being laid up by the same cold, but I took the time to finally adapt my sheet to multi-level characters. In addition to widening the HP space, the Init, Defenses, Skills, and a couple of others are also wider, allowing you to fit in at least three levels’ worth of each (HP, for instance, might be 30/35/40). To accommodate the wider HP and Surge boxes without using up the highly useful space beside them (where I keep resistances, situational bonuses, etc.), I moved the Wounds box beside the Surge checkboxes. The box is now much smaller, but in our Encounters games we have very rarely found it necessary to track HP between sessions as we are nearly always fully healed at the end of the session, so the existing box was way too big anyway. (During the session we track our HP using dry erase boards.)

As it is no longer necessary to track experience gains, since we now level up at story-appropriate times instead, I widened the top section and weapons table to fill in the space formerly left for EXP. I also removed some no longer needed bits of the top section (current EXP and amount needed to reach the next level) and re-spaced the remainders.