I finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, which is the second book in The Hunger Games Trilogy, and I really enjoyed it.  I read the first book earlier this year and was just now able to get to the second book.

Catching Fire was very hard to put down once I really got into the book.  However, it did seem to start a little slower than I remember the first book starting.  I believe I was around 10% to 12% of Catching Fire on my Kindle before I really had trouble setting it down to do something else, but once I got past that point, the pages started turning faster and faster.

This book starts off right where the last book ended.  The main character, Katniss Everdeen, has not been home very long when this book opens.  You get to see how her life has changed before it really gets into the main plot of this book.  The action picks back up like you expect and keeps going to the end.

I like the way Suzanne Collins is able to make me visualize the the world, including the setting, the people, and the technology.  To me, they seem to be very believable characters, not just in the way they are described, but also in the way the character views them.  I enjoy the the way the author allows you to understand things going on that the character doesn’t, but then also surprises you with things that both you and the character didn’t know were happening.  For me, it is nice when I am not able to always guess what is going to happen.  Also, I felt like this book had some significant character development, and you could actually see the main character changing and becoming aware of more things going on around her than just herself, which is always fun to read.

There are a couple of things that I did not like about the book, but they were not big enough to detract from my enjoyment.  First, the story is told from the point of view of a girl that cannot seem to make up her mind about two boys.  This seems to be pretty popular in young adult fiction these days, and it can be very annoying.  However, it was not something detracted much from the book.  Other than that one thing, I did not have any problem getting into the story, even though it was from a female’s perspective.  Second, the main problem I have with the book is the fact that it does not end properly.  With the first book, I felt like it had a very nice wrap-up ending.  Yes you knew that there could be more story, but it was a strong ending and I would have been satisfied if no more books had come from it.  With this ending though, I know there has to be a third book, and it feels more like this is just a part one of a two part book.  The one good thing that can be said about it though, is that its a lot like LOST the TV show, where it did answer a lot of questions, but it added even more than it answered.  Please keep in mind that these two negatives were very minor to me.

Overall, I have to give this book five out of five bear paws!  I highly recommend it to anyone and think that everyone should give it a try.

The 2011 Nominees have been posted over at the ENnie Awards.  I always enjoy seeing the new games and gaming materials that are nominated for these awards.  A lot of times, they are games that I have not had the chance to play before and are usually a pleasant surprise.

This year, I am going to attempt to play or run each of the games nominated under the Best Adventure, Best Free Product, Best Game, and Best New Game categories.  I would like to see why they were nominated and post my thoughts on them.  After all, they were nominated for a reason, and I would like to give them a try.

Good luck to all the nominees, and congratulations for be nominated!

I had the desire to make another geomorph tonight, only this time, I wanted to use a different background.  So, instead of the standard scribble that I was using, I made a little symbol of just some rocks and a single bone, then put them in the geomorph as the background.  I like the results, but may play around a bit more and make a slightly different one.

This geomorph is very simple it has a couple of rooms, some doorways, a few secret passages, and some stairs.  Other than that, it is wide open for any GM to fill what what ever evil or harmless items and monsters that they want.  I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think!


So Snikle was finally able to run a game last week with Alex, Keith, and me.  We all had a great time getting into the beginnings of the adventure.  We ran it using Maptools and Skype, since we are all in three different countries at the moment.

This is my second actually gaming experience with OSH so far, and I must say, I am enjoying it.  I’m looking forward to some more action in our next game to really test out some of the rules, but so far, I feel like I am definitely going to be a fan.

I needed to create a new character for this game, so once again I chose a fighter.  I made the character very similar to my other fighter, but this time, I let some art from another game I playing influence me, so I played a female character.  I have been playing the mmorph game Dofus a little bit now, and am enjoying it, so I wanted to play a character around this image:

(The artwork for this game is really great, I hear it is a whole French anime series as well that I will have to see sometime.)

So I went with a fighter that used a very large sword.  My rolls for attributes however were quite poor, so that only Brawn had a positive bonus.  I went with the name Zev, which is after a wonderful space opera show that I watched called Lexx.  On Lexx, Zev was a pretty girl that could hold her own in a fight, thanks largely to being part cluster lizard.  If you have never seen it, you should check it out, its only Netflix instant queue right now.  Remember, its a bit campy, but just a fun show to watch, try to make it to at least season two before passing judgement on it.

Anyway, back to my character Zev, you can see here stats here:

It was quick and easy making this character up, and I look forward to playing in many more sessions with Zev.  We had a lot of fun in the first short episode after we made our characters.  We all arrived in a town and were greeted by a crazy holy man.  He claimed that we were the answers to his prayers and that he was waiting on us.  There were also dead cows in the street, and they appeared to have rotted there for a couple of days.

He took us to Stag’s Glenn and told us that animals had started attacking the town recently, coming out of the Forbidden Forest.  It turns out that it wasn’t so forbidden though, since there were several other town’s people that go in and out of the forest.  He told us that it had started with squirrels attacking the town swarming in, and that different animals just kept coming on different days.  The last animal to attack were cows, and some of the animals had managed to kidnap some of the town’s folk.  (Don’t ask me how they did that without opposable thumbs.)  He want’s us to investigate, but doesn’t really want us going into the forest. (Yes, it is a little confusing.)

Things look up a little bit though because one of the townies, a lizard man, lets slip that there are ruins in the forest, and that the animals all seem to come from that direction.  That could mean treasure for us I hope.

Next week we will set out to see if we can find out “Why animals attack!”


Cya then!

I drew my fifth geomorph last night, but then was too tired to post it.

There is a lot going on in this geomorph, lots of actually passageways and doorways.  There is a little room at the top with water in it, connected to most of the other passages.  A small room at the bottom has a carving of the sun on the floor, while the big room at the top has a pentagram.  Once again, there is a room not connected to any of the others, but it does have a stairway leading down.  I had the thought that someone could come up into this lone room from a lower level to find a worthwhile reward there.

Whatever you decide to do with it, I hope you have as much fun using it as I did making it!

Let me know what you think!


This post is also associated with the RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Dyson Logos.


Well, I got the geomorph fever again tonight and couldn’t go to bed without finishing this one.  My motivation for this one was circles!  I wanted to have a bunch of overlapping circles at first, that had little trapdoors or something leading down through them.  That didn’t work out however, so I just went with the basic circle theme. You don’t see circular rooms very often in a dungeon crawl, so I thought it would make this geomorph feel a little more unique.

The only features in this geomorph are the giant pit, the pool of liquid, the secret door, and the mushrooms.  Yes those are mushrooms, at least in my mind.  In your game they might be rocks, or circular crystals, or baby jellies huddling together.  If you use it, let me know what you decide to make them!  As for the pool, my thought was either it is poisoned water, or it is some other type of opaque liquid, like mercury.  Whatever you choose, I hope you can use this geomorph and have fun with it!

Let me know what you think!


This post is also associated with the RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Dyson Logos.


Saturday night I had a little bit of free time before bed, so I wanted to start in on my Mythic GME solo game using Risus.  I was inspired by Risus Monkey, so I will try to use his template when keeping track of my solo sessions.  I really only had time on Saturday to do a brief character creation, which lead to some interesting story elements that I will have to include in the game.  Hopefully I will have some time tonight to play some more.  So, for your entertainment, here are the notes from my brief play Saturday.

When creating my character,  I thought of two things that I would like to really define that character.  I chose Alchemist and Wild Mage, because I was in the mood for this type of character. (The guys who play with me will laugh because they say I am always in the mood play a magic user.) So I listed these two as my first two clichés.  There was nothing else I was set on playing, so I decided to roll up random clichés for my last too.  Using my Mythic GME program, I rolled a d100 and got 97. Searching the list of random clichés that I had, I found it to be: Visitor from the future…hmm, okay, that’s odd, not sure where to go here.

At this point I was going to ignore this roll and just roll again, but decided to let the dice lay where they were rolled…or something like that.  I think it will add an interesting twist on the whole adventure.  So I decided that my character comes from a time where the world is more advanced, an Eberron-like setting, with technological advances, through magic, and traveled back to where the world is far less advanced and developed.

I decided it was important to find out right away if I was sent back on purpose or not, since it would affect the way I began the whole adventure.  So I got the chance to ask my first question of the Mythic GME program. So I set the odds to “Unlikely” and Chaos to 5 and rolled:

Question: Did I come back in time on purpose?

Answer: You rolled a 96: Exceptional No!


Okay, so not only did I not come back on purpose, but it was also completely against my will.  Maybe I triggered some ancient trap, or perhaps someone maliciously sent me back in time.  Now I decided to ask a clarifying question, which had to be more complex, so I used Risus Monkey’s method of viewing a random page on a wiki to find the answer.  I picked the World of Warcraft wiki, because I thought it would be fun.

Complex Question: How did I get sent back through time?

Answer: (Using Wowwiki.com random page) I was sent to the page “Master Summoner“.


Very interesting, so then I was summoned back through time… Okay, I see the beginnings of a story here. Let’s get my last cliché and finish my character, then com back to this for the intro storyline.

Rolling on the random cliché list to get my last one, and I rolled a 35. Ex-Mercenary, I like it and can work with this cliché really well.  What happened to the rest of the Mercenaries I wonder?  Guess it probably doesn’t matter since they would be far into the future.

I then found a random name generator at Seventh Sanctum and got the name Annette Mia Knox .  I wasn’t expecting to play a female character, but I’ll roll with what I get.  I will probably be using Seventh Sanctum a lot for this game since it has a lot of really neat random generators.


My results:

Character: Annette Mia Knox

Everyone calls her Mia.  She is a short girl at 5’8″ and weighs 140 pounds.  She is ex-Mercenary that was summoned through time for some, as of yet, unknown reason.   She is a mage that relies on her magic and alchemy to see her out of tough situations.  She does however, carry two black powder guns that she crafted herself and, through her experience as an ex-mercenary, she has become a decent marksman.  Her current mission is to find her way back home…

  • Wild Mage (4)
  • Alchemist (3)
  • Ex-Mercenary (2)
  • Visitor from the future (1)

    This adventure looks like it is going to be a lot of fun to play… Let me know what you think!

    (Edit: I realized my geomorph was tragically flawed. So I edited it.)

    I had some free time this morning and decided to make another geomorph. Snikle thought my geomorphs looked a little Sci-Fi, so I decided to run with that theme and add a slightly Sci-Fi element to the geomorph, mysterious obelisk. What could have broken the obelisk and knocked it to the floor? I also added two other man made items, a flimsy walkway across a pit, and a doorway from one cavern to another. In one of the caverns I added what looks like water, but I imagine it to be a massive blue ooze, waiting for unsuspecting victims.  Or perhaps many smaller blue oozes.  All up to the GM of course.

    BearMeadows Geomorph 3


    Let me know what you think!


    This post is also associated with the RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Dyson Logos.

    It was so much fun making the first geomorph last night that I came right home from work today and started working on a second one.  (While the kids were sleeping of course.)  This one didn’t turn out as well as I wanted it to, but who knows, someone might find a use for it.  It also took me a lot longer than I wanted it to. Right now I am using Adobe Illustrator to create my geomorphs, but I might try Photoshop or Fireworks to see if they are any easier.

    I continued with my cave theme, making more of a vast cave complex complete with water, pits, and stalactites/stalagmites. This should work with any of the other geomorphs and you are free to use it however you see fit.  Please let me know what you think!


    BearMeadows Geomorph 2


    This post is also associated with the RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Dyson Logos.


    So, the few RPG Blogs that I read and respect (Risus Monkey, A Character For Every Game, . .lapsus calumni. . among others) have really shaped what I post on this blog. I find myself always posting my character write-ups because I always find theirs so interesting. The same holds true for game write-ups and mapping.  They have several projects that they all participate in together, and one of them is their dedication to the geomorph project that was started by the Dyson at A Character For Every Game. I have always enjoyed the geomorphs they create and use them when I can. Dave’s Mapper is a great tool that brings them all together for a dungeon generator. On top of all this, there is now a new project to make DungeonMorph Dice, that just recently met its funding goal.


    My respect for these bloggers have made me want to make a geomorph as well, and who knows, I might even make a whole set of these.  With that intro, I give you my first geomorph:


    The idea behind this geomorph was either an amphitheater, arena, or perhaps just a central gathering place in a cave complex.  It has seating all around the circle as it descends to a flat area at the bottom that has a giant bear paw carved into the rock.  What does the paw represent and who were the people that used this?  Were they druids that all shared the same animal form of a bear?  Perhaps a clan of were-bears meet here to challenge each other to games of strength.  Maybe it was a gathering place for a dark cult that used it to make sacrifices to the dark god Bearthulhu.  Man, all of these give me good ideas for side adventures!

    I hope you enjoy this geomorph and find some way to use it.  Please feel free to use this geomorph in whatever way you see fit, it is free for public use. Let me know what you think!


    This post is also associated with the RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Dyson Logos.