Category Archives: Card

Happiness Jar #8 for 2017-04-09

Steve Jackson just released a newly-updated ”Munchkin Thingies”. As a result I was finally able to fill in some gaps in my Munchkin Compatibility Chart, and add in the recently Kickstarted Munchkin Shakespeare (we’re excited about getting our copy).

I’m also finally getting around to moving my files over to the desktop computer I built last summer, and it’s going pretty smoothly, in large part thanks to Box and Mega because they automated the transfer of nearly all of my documents. Going from 4 to 16 gigs of memory for Windows 10 is a dream – even more so since Windows itself is on a solid state drive (SSD), which I bought thanks to the advice of one of my best friends since high school.

Free Win7/10 tip I just learned: You can move your My Documents folder quite effortlessly by simply right-clicking on it in the folder tree in Explorer, clicking Properties, then the Location tab. That’s great because SSDs have limited read/write cycles, while mechanical drives can generally be re-used until something actually breaks. Thus if you can keep your software on an SSD and data files on a mechanical drive, your programs will run much faster, but without frequent saves wearing the drive out prematurely (my motto is “save early, save often” to avoid losing my work).

And we had several TCG-related happinesses over the past week: We got this Saturday’s Pokémon League Cup scheduled (with a Magic prerelease next week and Pokémon one the next), and I got to play in a sealed/demo for the Final Fantasy TCG. I can best describe FFTCG as Duel Masters or Kaijudo if they had been designed for adults rather than children. It moves the complexity scale a bit towards the Magic end, and even borrows some of its keywords (Haste, First Strike) and renames some others to make them better fit (Vigilance is “Brave”, Tap is “Dull”, Untap is “Activate”, etc.).

I can only make two relatively minor complaints about the game so far: the colors are too similar (Water and Ice are both blue, and Lightning is a very blue purple), making it hard to tell them apart, especially when foils get involved; and all of the power ratings end with “000” for no apparent mechanical reason – what I call the “Yu-Gi-Oh effect” or “Pokémon Effect”. In Pokémon every damaging move and every Pokémon HP is a multiple of 10, so you could erase that 0 from every card in the game and it would have no effect whatsoever. D&D 4e’s half-level bonus and 5e’s quarter-level bonus likewise serve only to make the numbers seem bigger even though they don’t actually make any difference mechanically since DCs and ACs go up right along with them.

But this is a Happiness jar, and that goes against the spirit of the idea, so I’ll get off my tangent now, and simply say that if you liked Duel Masters/Kaijudo but thought it was a bit too simplistic, or simply love Final Fantasy, give the game a look (they’ve got some great how-to-play videos. Even if you don’t play it, the cards are the highest quality CCG cards I have ever seen – and I owned an FLGS for three years! They are the same size as Magic cards, but significantly stiffer. If you were to look at the back of one without touching it, you would swear it was plastic, not paper. The art, of course, is amazing. So if you are an FF fan but don’t play card games, it still might be worth a look.

Munchkin and Pokémon Updates

I’ve spent most of the past month test driving Windows 10, and the month before that trying to repair my badly-broken Win7 that it has replaced, so I haven’t had much time for blogging, but I have updated several of my game aids.

This year for Small Business Saturday we decided to #ShopSmall by finally picking up Munchkin Steampunk at our FLGS, Hillside Games in Asheville, NC. As a result I was at last able to finalize its entry on my Munchkin Compatibility Chart.

I also updated the deck list sheet for Pokemon tournaments just in time for our Nature Season League Challenge this Saturday, and the Tech Season one on Boxing Day.

Thanks to my wife finally having a job after spending two years without one, we finally got normal-sized 3DSes as well as Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on eBay, prompting me to finish updating my Pokémon Pocket-sized Type and EV List.

Post-2015 Rotation Pokémon Tournament Deck List Sheet

I finally got my Pokémon Tournament Deck List Sheet ready for the 2016 season. It took me ages because I ended up having to completely rebuild it. If you are coming to the Asheville Mossdeep League Challenge on September 12th, we are holding a raffle and giving a second entry to anyone who arrives with an already filled out deck list – but you don’t have to use mine, of course.

OpenOffice Writer sucks at making tables. (Someone once asked me how I managed to make my character sheets in Writer because of that fact, and I pointed him to the wonders of frames, which allow Writer to function like a low-end desktop publishing program.) That’s why I always make tables in Calc and then paste them into frames in Writer. For whatever reason, the set symbol images kept not being copied even though they are anchored to and entirely contained by their respective cells.

After that I decided to try and make the whole document in Calc since the deck list is essentially a bunch of tables anyway, but the varying numbers of columns made it overly complicated, so I went back to Writer and manually copied in the errant images.

That did the trick at the time, and adding new sets was a breeze, but then came rotation. That required moving a bunch of sets from one table to the other, manually moving their set symbols again. I briefly tried to make the thing entirely in Writer, but ran into the Writer sucks at tables problem again.

That left going back and trying to make the whole thing in Calc again. I’m not totally happy with the result, but it’s complete, and that’s good enough for Saturday’s League Challenge. Getting the underlines the right length took a lot of fiddling, but not nearly as much as making the set symbols actually stay in their boxes after PDF exportation. I still don’t know why that kept happening – they looked perfect in Calc, but kept being misaligned enough to partially or fully obscure the lines between them as a PDF. I use Sumatra, Foxit, and PDF-XChange Editor for different purposes*, but the problem showed up in all three, so I knew the error didn’t lie with the rendering engine. By adjusting the positions and sometimes sizes of the images by hundredths of an inch and then re-exporting it, I finally got it, but it took me a couple of hours for just that process.

I don’t like how long the top frame is to the player name field, but fixing it will require another rebuild. If it proves to not be a problem on Saturday then I’ll probably leave it alone. Otherwise I’ll finish a project I started some months back and start with a blank sheet where every row and column is .1″ and then combine them as needed to make the tables and fields, just like I did for my GURPS character creator and library spreadsheets.

So, despite how much harder it can be to position things precisely in Calc (which is the reason I built it in Writer in the first place), I managed to get it done in plenty of time for our next tournament, and set things up so that adapting to next year’s rotation will be a breeze.

Sumatra PDF is my everyday PDF and CB7 reader, but does odd things with margins when printing, and is very limited in features by design.
Foxit Reader was my old go-to reader, but tends to eat a lot of memory, but also allows me to edit bookmarks, unlike Sumatra, and access other advanced features of PDFs.
PDF-XChange Editor is now the last stage of all of my PDFs before I upload them. It allows me to change metadata and all kinds of other advanced editing that I otherwise can’t do with free software, but is overkill most of the time.

Updated Pokémon Deck List Sheet

I have updated my tournament deck list sheet for the 2016 Play! Pokémon season. I am only about halfway done making a form-fillable version since I’m learning how as I go along. Since no sets will be rotating out of Expanded, I’ll have to do a major rebuild of that section of the sheet since I’m still having trouble getting OpenOffice to properly attach set symbols to cells so they aren’t left behind when I copy the table into Writer. That said, I hope to have the post-rotation form-fillable version available for our Mossdeep League Challenge.

Speaking of the Mossdeep LC, we are giving out door prizes at this event. Each registered player will get one entry, and anyone who arrives at the store with a pre-filled out deck sheet gets a bonus entry. Details can be found on the tournament’s facebook event. The overhaul to the Professor program is leaving us with fewer prizes than we had hoped, so we’re happy to accept donations if you have anything suitable lying around.

Updated Pokémon Tools

Even while working on various roleplaying tools, I’ve been focused on Pokémon quite a bit lately, probably because our League Challenge is tomorrow afternoon.

For several months now I’ve been gathering all of the legends from the older video games so I can transfer them up to Black 2 and then sell them (the cartridges, of course, not the legends). RIght now I’m grinding to go after Heatran and Giratina, the only ones I’m missing in Pearl. In the course of doing that I discovered that my Pocket-sized Type and EV List needed updating. While I was at I applied what I have learned about PDF creation with OpenOffice and reformatted it accordingly. There are two major changes: it finally includes the effort point yields of the Pokémon introduced in X/Y, I switched the font from FreeSans to Verdana, which is a bit sharper and therefore easier to read at this scale.

The other thing I did is related to tomorrow’s tournament: I added the two newest sets to the Deck List Sheet for the 2014-15 Tournament Season and rebuilt it somewhat using new my skills. It still has some visual issues that bug me, but will take a major rebuild to fix them and a lot of people won’t even notice them, so that can wait until after tomorrow’s LC.

Some of the floors in our house have rotted away. Since my Disability payments aren’t very much and my wife has been out of work for two years we can’t afford the thousands of dollars we need to repair the busted plumbing that is causing our floors to rot.  Will you help?

Munchkin Compatibility Chart

After spending a couple of hours searching I was surprised to find that there wasn’t any sort of reference to tell you which Munchkin games are compatible, other than Munchkin Thingies, a free download from Steve Jackson Games. The problem is that it’s a thorough 15-page slog, which makes it fantastic for researching your next purchase but useless when staring indecisively at the FLGS shelf. To that end I used the headings in Thingies to make this handy reference table. Now you can tell at a glance which new Munchkin games are compatible with the ones you already have.

Game Classes Races Unique
Munchkin X X
Munchkin Apocalypse X
Munchkin Axe Cop X
Munchkin Bites! X
Munchkin Booty X Accents
Munchkin Conan X X Birthrights
Munchkin Cthulhu X
Munchkin Fu X
The Good, the Bad and the Munchkin X
Munchkin Grimm Tidings X
Munchkin Impossible X Loyalties
Munchkin Legends X X
Moop’s Monster Mashup X X
Munchkin Oz X
Munchkin Pathfinder X Factions
Munchkin Shakespeare X X
Star Munchkin X X
Munchkin Steampunk X
Super Munchkin X
Munchkin Zombies Mojos

Last updated 2017-04-09.

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with Munchkin from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

Tokens for Magic the Gathering

While I originally downloaded Magic Set Editor to make power cards for D&D 4e, I now use it primarily to make tokens for Magic the Gathering. Several examples are available in the new Magic Tokens folder in my DeviantArt gallery.

Of the ones available as I type this, two use one of my favorite shots of our highly-photogenic Australian shepherd, Patch (3/3 and 4/4 Beast), two feature one of our favorite cosplayers, K‑A‑N‑A (1/1 Elf Warrior), and one a sort of chibi angel version of Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII, drawn by pyromaniac (4/4 Angel).

I’ll be slowly adding more to the gallery as I sort through my collection. While I have made dozens of tokens so far, most just sit in MSE since I really only need two or three of each – unless I’m playing something like Genesis Chamber so each opponent will need some, too. I also have a small stack of 1/1 Saproling tokens because Rith, the Awakener was my original General in EDH (now called Commander), and he makes lots of Saps. And, of course, I won’t post them if I can’t give the art owner credit.