Clan RPG

In one of my last posts in 2016 I mentioned that I was enjoying playing Dungeons and Dragons and that I was possibly looking into running a game for some of my clan members. Well that is now fully underway with a pre generated campaign to kick things off, this was to allow everyone to get to know 5th edition (players and GM alike), but also to test the waters with regards to if players are ready to commit the time, before having the GM spend time and effort on building a unique campaign.

The player characters have been rolled up now and i’m quite looking forward to throwing mobs at them over the next month or so.

We have looked into using fantasy grounds to run role playing games in the past but found that understanding the software was sometimes trickier than working out THAC0. So this time around we are using Roll20, which given the feedback I have got so far seems to be going down a storm. We have run some test fights to help players understand how their attacks, saves and skills work, which I have to admit is such a pleasure to using with the 5th edition ruleset.

As we are running an off the shelf campaign I haven’t any plans to share it, publicly, however once we move into custom work I’m tempted to host the campaign information on Obsidian Portal, to help keep track of characters, events and documents.

Library Legacy

A clan mate and myself were discussing the use of a Steam account by relatives, that had belonged to someone that has sadly passed away.
Slightly macabre I know but as more things become released digitally, the material worth of worldly good diminishes more each year. Mine dropped greatly when I binned all fifty of my Babylon 5 VHS cassette tapes (but I recovered a portion of my house back, so you know swings and roundabouts).

Digital rights in death is not really talked with any view to a long term resolution, outside of Facebook’s memorial pages, but it’s something likely to become something more frequently discussed. If I collected Vinyl or Stamps it would be easy to pass those onto loved ones in a will, however all those films I bought on online services or music that was purchased digitally isn’t something that can be given easily, if at all, as many companies don’t allow account sharing.

So when it comes to Steam looking at something like SteamDB will tell you the current value of my Steam account, but of course all those games bought at release are now likely to have their cost considerably reduced in comparison. Family sharing maybe an option so some, but not a long term answer to who gets to inherit my Team Fortress hat’s.

Perhaps it’s just a transfer of the keys to a new owner, so no statistics or items move just the basic purchases, what do you think?

The road to Gameblast 17

Last year Munki, myself, friends and co-workers took part in a Charity event for Special Effect called GameBlast. Apart from some bad planning about start times, we had an amazing time and collectively raised £643.58 for a truly amazing cause.

Incase you aren’t aware of the charity Special Effect is an awesome organisation who strive to give those who aren’t able to enjoy gaming due to disability the freedom of playing games again, allowing them to interact with friends and family.
Although I can type of the good things they do, I would ask you to watch the following video which can do a much better job at explaining things than me.

This year we are taking part in GameBlast17 on 24 to 26 Feb 2017, with a more carefully planned schedule that doesn’t start straight after work. I think we are aiming for two 12 hour sessions so that we don’t need to work out child care. We are hoping to play some multiplayer titles, and if we can get the camera setup working correctly we shall even stream  some table top board games.

We are still working out the schedule of what we are playing and when, but most of the PC gaming events we shall be hopefully streaming the gameplay.
This post was to give me a bit of a kick up the arse to complete my fundraising page as much it was to start putting the word out about the event.

Shipping Forecast

In early December I decided to run the pending updates on my HTC M9, I usually let them build up for several days before installing them. However the following day the phone was acting a little odd so I decided to restart it. That’s when some of the core android files appeared to stop working altogether. So after following the clear cache reinstall applications, complete wipe and then a factory reset I gave up.

The ultimate result was that my phone was screwed. I contacted HTC using their online chat system (spoke to someone named Christine) and after walking through the same steps I had already taken (but you know in an official capacity this time). They ultimately came to the same conclusion as I had, it appeared that one of the updates had gone wrong and had updated into the recovery store.

So they raised a report to start the process for me to return it, only after waiting the allotted 2 days without any confirmation emails, I contacted them again to find out what the issues was, again Christine was on the chat client, (small world) after attempting to send the email, I eventually get it sent to another email address due to reasons. YAY

Only the email states, you will get two additional emails after this one, so I wait another day, then have to contact them again, this time I get another operator, I explain the issue again and we attempt to get the emails resent. Result! the first additional email arrives to my original email address, the next will be along shortly I’m promised.
No such luck, this goes on for another 2 sessions ( only one of which was with Christine) and eventually they have to send the packing label in the chat client as their system refuses to email it to me.

Wiley Fox

With Christmas fast approaching and me likely to be without a phone I decided that I would pick up a phone as a temporary measure. Now I didn’t need something that was going to run high end games, it pretty much needed to do the basics:

  • Phonecall & texts
  • Email & twitter
  • Music Playback
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarms

I have wanted to try the UK brand Wiley Fox out for some time so I bought the Spark+ which was actually on offer at the time, it’s the mid-range offering that seemed to offer a good product and a decent price, especially for a “temp” phone ( possible longer if HTC find issues).

The phone does everything that I need, can handle videos or streaming without too much effort, the screen is a 5 with an average resolution but doesn’t feel too cramped. The phones build quality is good and not overly plastic the camera is ok buy don’t expect any of the bells and whistles you get with high-end devices.

My HTC is apparently heading back to me soon so we’ll see if it’s fixed. Fingers crossed.

Habit This

For the last half of 2016 I attempting to motivate myself in an effort to become healthier and be more proactive in some areas of day to day life.
I started to search for applications to aid in this quest and found that there are a number of applications that have health as a primary goal, but in many cases it’s wrapped in a game or a mechanics that aims to teach you the best ways to reduce salt or training for running.
Not only were these too focused but there was alot of things that I didn’t want or need, this task of finding an app wasn’t as simple as I’d hoped.

What I needed was simple, an app that allowed me to track habits, not only those linked to improving my health, but some that we’re more as a reminder to complete them regularly. At this time I didn’t want to have workout routines, meditation plans or linking to friends to encourage me, I wanted to control the tasks and choose how I wanted to approached them.

I’ll most likely post on the exercise topic at another time, but since breaking my ankle and having multiple veins collapse in my leg due to DVT’s, extended periods of time spend on my feet can leave me feeling exhausted and unable to move easily. Low impact activities are my main approach to exercise at the moment until I can stand more strenuous leg exercises. So all these couch to 5k type things look great but I’m not in any position to be able to engage with them right now.

After trying out a number of different applications including SuperBetter, Fabulous – Motivate Me! and Habit RPG, I finally settled on HabitBull, I entered in the habits I wanted to address and tried it out for a few days before purchasing the app.
The setup is simple and once I had habits being tracked it was pretty easy to keep updated using widgets on my phone homepage. Over the next few months I tweaked the habits, dropped some that weren’t really needed and added some new ones.

The image here is an example, one of my key habits was to drink more water everyday, I obtained a large drinking bottle so I had a standardised amount that I wanted to ensure I consumed each day to receive a green circle and not the dreaded red ones. Yes I welshtroll am a complete sucker for gamification of any kind, but maybe not as far as engaging fully with as HabitRPG, who’s approach seem to be more about microtransactions or making logging of activities a little more complicated that tapping an icon, I just want to get on with things and not spend too much time.

There are most likely other apps out there that achieve the same thing (please comment if you know of any), but for me HabitBull was the perfect app at the right time for my requirements.

I could have continued my habits into 2017 as they had been, but I want to challenge myself a little more and hopefully prove to myself that I muster the willpower to achieve more concrete goals. I am attempting to be more active on a daily basis after agreeing to a challenge laid down by one of my fellow streamers, I’m hoping that I can link this into my habits.

I want to continue with my drinking water, I have a fruit bowl on my desk at work to try and encourage me to only snack on healthier options.

Do you have new year’s resolutions/approaches ?