Wednesday, May 31, 2023


I was involved in a podcast for a couple of years, it was a fun experience and I would definitely do it again. Unfortunately we fell into the many of the same traps other hobbyist podcasts fall into that made it unsustainable. Now don't get me wrong, I think we did a pretty good job and I had a fun time doing it and again, I would do it again in a heartbeat. However, if I were going to do it again, there are several things I would do differently.

The things we did wrong:
  • Technology: We almost always had technical issues, and all of this was due to bad planning on our part. We were using Skype when we definitely should not have been using Skype. For the first few episodes, I used my webcam microphone instead of investing in a decent headset, this led to poor quality sound. There were other issues as well.
  • Planning: We had no structure to the podcast, we basically got on and started talking about random stuff. Sure we had a general focus of the podcast, but episode to episode, there was no planning involved. More often than not, I had no idea what we were going to talk about until we started recording. We also fell into talking about the same things from week to week
  • Unscripted: Okay, I am not saying we should have scripted every episode, but we should have had outlines of what we were going to talk about along with bullet points of subtopics. The problem with what we were doing is often we would end up rambling aimlessly from topic to topic with no focus.
  • Unedited: We posted our stream of consciousness unedited and raw, this was a bad idea. We should have had a third party editing the podcast, taking out the awkward pauses, unintelligible rants and the dumb in jokes that no one else was going to get. I am certain a good editor could have cut 30% of every episode and we would have been better for it.
The things we did right:
  • Personality: I think the podcast had a great personality, Leigh and I bounced off of each other really well and we had a really good working relationship. I think we both contributed to the podcast in a positive way. In spite of what I said earlier, unscripted and unedited does have its advantages, we were our real selves as rough and unpolished as that was. We are good friends and that came through on the podcast.
  • Informational: I think the podcast put out a lot of good information and a variety of topics, we answered a lot of questions, when we did not know the answer, we said so and when we were wrong about something, we admitted it and corrected ourselves.
  • Dedication: Leigh and I were dedicated to what we were doing. We recorded pretty much every week for over 2 years. Sure, we missed a few here and there, but usually that was because of planned vacations and things of that nature. We recorded even when neither of us really wanted to. We both thought what we were doing was important and we did not falter from that.
  • Community involvement: We had a couple of interesting guests, who spoke intelligently about important topics. We also had a couple of episodes we did in Discord where our regular listeners, as few as there were, got in on the action, so it was not always just Leigh and I talking.
Overall, I think this was a positive experience and I think all or most of our issues were that we did not really know what we were doing. I learned a lot from the experience and I think if we restarted doing it or if I decided to do my own, I would require some moderate amount of production time for each episode. There is no reason not to have 2 or 3 episodes in pre-production at any given time and once a topic has been covered, it should not be covered again for at least 4 episodes, unless something radical comes up. I would also like to see a standard format for each episode, even if it is as simple as; Intro (5 minutes), Primary Topic (30 minutes), Secondary Topic (15 minutes), Finishing Up (5 Minutes), Post Production additions (5 minutes). This would obviously make for more work, I think doing these things would make for a more professional production.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Summer is before us

 It is Memorial Day weekend, as always I am pretty optimistic about the summer, but I know in my heart it is probably going to be a total bust and another summer will pass. Okay, so now I am not optimistic, I am feeling a bit depressed about it. I think instead of dwelling on summer, I am going post my newest D&D Character.

This is a character concept I have been thinking about for a while. The basic idea is Inrid Grimm is not actually Indrid Grimm, he is actually the thing that killed Indrid Grimm. At some point, Indrid was attacked and killed and replaced by an Intellect Devourer. Indrid was chosen because he had been selected to go to Candlekeep and study on a scholarship, this allows Indrid to infiltrate Candlekeep for his Mind Flayer masters.

Indrid Grimm
Male, Intellect Devourer, Wizard 1
Medium Aberration, lawful evil

Armor Class 10
Hit Point 6 (1d6)
Speed 30 ft.

Str 10 (+0), Dex 10 (+0), Con 10 (+0), Int 18 (+4), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 14 (+2)

Saving Throws: Intelligence +6, Wisdom +4
Skills: Arcana +6, Deception +4, Perception +4, Stealth +2
Tools: Dragonchess Set, Thieves' Tools
Languages: Common, Deep Speech, Telepathy

Firebolt, Ranged +6 to hit, damage 1d10 Fire damage.
Dagger, Melee +2 to hit, damage 1d4 Piercing
Staff, Melee +2 to hit, damage 1d6 Bludgeoning


Telepathic (TCoE 81), Intelligence, Increase your Intelligence score by 1, to a maximum of 20. The spell’s spellcasting ability is Intelligence. 

Actor (PHB 165 ),  You gain +1 CHA, you have advantage on Deception and Performance checks when trying to pass yourself off as a different person, and you can mimic the speech of another person or the sounds made by other creatures that you have heard (for at least 1 minute).

Wizard features:

Spellcasting (PHB 114 ), You can cast prepared wizard spells using INT as your spellcasting modifier (Spell DC 14, Spell Attack +6) and wizard spells in your spellbook as rituals if they have the ritual tag. You can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus. 

Arcane Recovery (PHB 115 ), Once per day when you finish a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover - up to a combined level of 1, and none of the slots can be 6th level or higher. 

Cantrips: Firebolt, Light, Minor Illusion
1st Level: Comprehend Languages, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, Find Familiar, Silent Image, Silvery Barbs
2nd Level: Detect Thoughts (1 per Long Rest)

Racial Features:
Tasha's Custom Lineage
Creature Type, (TCoE 9)
You are a humanoid. You determine your appearance and whether you resemble any of your kin. 
Size (TCoE 8), Medium 
Ability Score Increase (TCoE 9), +2 to Intellegence
Feat (TCoE 8), Telepathic
Variable Trait (TCoE 8), Proficiency Perception 
Languages (TCoE 8), Deep Speech

Side note: Campaign allows each character a free feat at 1st level.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Review: Deathbringer RPG

 The Deathbringer RPG was written by Professor Dungeon Master, a Youtube content creator, as a stripped down version of D&D. The rules take up a single double sided page, however it does require some edition of D&D to provide monsters, spells and magic items. At face value Deathbringer appears to be just what it says it is, a stripped down grimdark version of D&D that plays fast and easy. It replaces many of the D&D class features, feats and special abilities with Deathbringer dice, a d6 that you can roll and add to any other die roll you please. This is a cool mechanic that does work well. Deathbringer also removes the 3-18 attribute levels in favor of just using the 0-4 modifier scores.

The problem Deathbringer has is it plays a bit flat. In D&D, even a 1st level character has some options for things to do on any given turn. Deathbring has the same issue early editions of D&D had. The only real option a fighter has is to attack, once the Wizard blows his wad in spells, all they can do is throw daggers and this does not improve much as the game progresses. Characters do not really improve much between 1st and 10th level. I really think most game groups would be better served by another game, like Shadowdark or perhaps just playing D&D 5E, but limiting players to using the Basic Rules.

I love the idea of Deathbringer, I do not love actually playing it, although I do not especially hate it either. I think Professor Dungeon Master had the right idea, but I think execution was not nearly as good as it could have been. I have to give this one a 2 out of 5.