Sunday, December 31, 2017

Index Card Character Sheets

I made some 3"x5" index card Character Sheets. They print up 4 to a page. Perfect for those times when you need a mini character sheet for NPCs, backup character sheet for your GM, etc.





Grab the PDF file here - https://goo.gl/6lEqCN

And if you want to tinker with the cards, the original Powerpoint file is here - https://goo.gl/APSNMm

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My New Planner

 I’m pretty happy with my new planner and how it’s working out. Since I always seem to be striving to “work smarter, not harder” I end up frequently experimenting with better ways to stay organized.

 Right now I’m using a Rite in the Rain ½” ring binder and it seems to be dog-gone perfect for me and my needs.
1/2" Rite in the Rain binder with my custom made calendar paper.
The binder has replaced large Moleskine Squared Classic Notebooks that I’ve been using for about a year. Those large Moleskines replaced small Moleskines which I’d been using for over 6 years.

 Back in 2009 I was looking for a system to help better organize information, thoughts, and tasks for home and work. I wanted something small and pocket sized that had a calendar and room to take notes.  In an article from Mike Rohde I found where he detailed hacking a small Moleskine as a planner.  This was exactly what I was looking for.  I tried out a version of Mike’s planner and his information management system.  My planner had a calendar up front, a section for To Do items, and an area for general notes.
This is a picture of Mike Rohde's planner.  Mine looked the same - minus the iPod.
 Last year I decided to move up from a small Moleskine to a large one because I realized I could afford the size increase (I usually carry my planner in my uniform cargo pocket) and it would give me larger sized pages for my calendar and notes.  The large Moleskine was working fine but I was getting frustrated with bound notebooks.  These notebooks have a limitation that binders don’t.  You're stuck with the pages that are in there.  This limitation had me carrying two Moleskines for a month twice a year as I was starting to finish one out and start the other.  I also had to transpose notes over from notebook to notebook on transition.

 Obviously a binder was what I was looking for - a system that would let me swap pages in and out.  I’d looked at several different binders trying to find one that was about the same size as a large Moleskine.  The Staples Arc notebook system is pretty neat and super customizable but the rings are too thick and hard.  They were uncomfortable in my pocket.  I looked at Day Runner type planners.  These were THE planners for many years.  I remember my dad used one.  There are different sizes and I found one that was close to what I wanted - the Personal.  Alas, I couldn’t find a minimalist binder in this size.  They all seem to be padded with many assorted pockets in the covers as I don’t think anyone puts them in cargo pockets.

 Looking around for other binder options in this size I stumbled upon those from Rite in the Rain.  I’ve used their bound notebooks before.  Their products are big in the Army for obvious reasons.  The thinner ½” binder is almost the exact same dimensions as a large Moleskine (binder is 3/4" x 5 5/8" x 7 7/8" - large Moleskine 1/2" x 5" x 8 1/4").  This binder is completely no-frills.  It’s a folded piece of thick plastic.  I’d found what I was looking for.  This was exactly what I wanted.  Rite in the Rain even makes a weekly planner in the same format at the hack I had been doing with my Moleskines - one week spread across two facing pages starting on Monday.

 What I don’t love about the Rite in the Rain paper is that it’s coated.  Of course this is how the company differentiates themselves - paper that you can use in the rain - so I’m not going to see any non-coated paper from them.  I can write on the coated paper but it doesn't feel great for me so I did what I do - I hacked it!  I created a Powerpoint template that was the same size as the binder paper and ran graph paper thru my printer.  A couple of chops with a paper cutter, punches with a $18 Day Runner hole-punch off of Amazon, and BAM!  I had a perfect planner for MR OCD!
Paper for my planner in various stages.
 I’ve experimented with a couple of different weights of paper and grid sizes on the graph paper.  I like what I’ve got now, ending up with the same paper weight and grid size as the squared Moleskines.

 At about the same time I was looking for a binder I discovered the Strikethru productivity system from Chris Kyle. (Don't get scared by the .ru URL. I'm not linking to a scam website. Chris did that 'cause it would let him use the last 2 letters as part of the URL.) This system is basically what I’ve been doing but it adds the Vault which is a powerful tool I was missing.  Chris' system uses a Calendar, To Do, Dump, and Vault.  I was using a Calendar successfully.  I tried to run a To Do list but it wasn’t working because I was slamming too many things in there.  His To Do is focused on just that day.  You do a review of all 4 areas at the end of each day to build your next day’s To Do.  The Dump is just what is sounds like.  Free text notes go here.  Sort them into Calendar appointments, To Do’s, or move across to the Vault.  The Vault is where you store lists and similar things.  I put items like Vacation Plans here along with Project Task Lists as I’m building them.  I’ve taken Chris' system in a slightly different direction because of my type of work and my lifestyle.  I’ve split the Dump and Vault into Work and Home so my planner has 6 tabs - Calendar, To Do, Work Dump, Work Vault, Home Dump, and Home Vault.

 Overall I’m quite content with this new binder and system.  It is exactly what I want. I feel more productive and effective.

  In the off chance someone wants to give my particular solution a try, here are the templates I made for my calendar (this is a Powerpoint file) : https://goo.gl/hmDVLj

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Savage Star Wars Gear Cards - UPDATED!

UPDATED - Now added the Powerpoint file as well as the PDF.

I love using gear cards for RPG games.  Holding a card for a particular piece of equipment speeds up game play by having the stats in your hand but also makes the game that much more fun to have visual representations of what your character’s using.  I made gear cards for our Star Wars games.


 Grab them here as PDF -
 https://www.dropbox.com/s/q24gajlbtjamiqc/Savage_Star_Wars_Gear_151208.pdf?dl=0

And here's the Powerpoint file I used to make them -
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4463870/Savage_Star_Wars_Gear_151208.pptx 

Let me know how these cards work out for you - and if you make news ones please let me know!

Savage Star Wars Conversion Notes

I've run 4 adventures so far using my Savage Star Wars conversion and we’ve had a great time.  I wanted to make sure our games felt cinematic and that these notes had enough crunch to give it a Star Wars flavor while still remaining Fast, Furious, and Fun.  I think I’ve got that with this short (7 pages - with pictures) conversion.



You can grab my "Another Savage Worlds Star Wars Conversion" here -  https://www.dropbox.com/s/5bjeo1zmvr0djq2/Another_Savage_Star_Wars_160122.pdf?dl=0

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Savage Worlds Star Wars Bennies

I made some Star Wars bennies for our current campaign and wanted to share how easy they were to make.  I think the process would be great to make bennies or status markers for other genres.


I created a sheet of Star Wars themed images in Powerpoint and sized each to about 1" wide. I used a 1" hole punch on the sheet and stuck the images to 1" epoxy stickers. I glued 2 epoxy stickers with the images together using Elmer's PVA glue and they turned out just like I wanted! My first batch wasn't as great. I used UHU glue which is really sticky with a low water content. This was too much and made the images darken. Good lesson learned - don't always use the stickiest glue you can find.

Here's a pic of a sheet of epoxy stickers. You will sometimes find them listed as bottle cap stickers as crafters use them to make pendants with soda bottle caps.



We're famous!

My Savage Worlds Star Wars adventure - Aboard the Grinning Gundark - was featured on Pinnacle Entertainment's main web page last week as a news article!  That felt so awesome to see my adventure featured.  I was already proud of my work but this was icing on the cake.


Here's a link to the feature on their website: https://www.peginc.com/savage-fan-star-wars-adventure-available/


Friday, January 15, 2016

Aboard the Grinning Gundark! Adventure

I thought it might be fun to share our first Savage Worlds Star Wars adventure, “Aboard the Grinning Gundark” so I wrote it up as a One-Sheet - which ended up being 3 pages.  Let me know what you think. Aboard the Grinning Gundark! adventure

Another shot of the chase to capture Bura Melan.

Here’s a PDF of the Wanted Poster I used for the game minus the digital tablet frame.  The frame image is from Dave Graffam Models if you want to get it.  He doesn't have it listed on his website but you can find it over at RPGNOW.com.