Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Artisan Toolkits: Calligrapher

Weight: 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms)
Cost: 58 gold

2 Bottles of Ink
2 Wood Pens
1 Glass Pen
8 Nibs of Varying Sizes
Wooden Case

A Calligraphy toolkit seems like an odd fit into the game since such a thing is intrinsically a superfluous thing. It isn't just used for a scribe as a quill and ink would be far easier to gather since the quill could be gathered freely during the molt (most commonly from a goose but crows, eagles, hawks, owls, and turkeys are also used) and then only the ink would have a cost. 

It stands to reason then that the Calligrapher's toolkit is going to be as much a decorative as functional item. This kit is a representative of both the Calligrapher's skill and their accomplishments. So the box itself will be something special, lined with decorative fabrics, and hinged with wrought metal (perhaps silver?). The pens themselves will be beautifully carved and blown to present the Calligrapher with a utensil for their craft that speaks of the elegance of their craftsmanship.

To be a Calligrapher is to be in a luxury profession where the richest nobles call on your services and even the lowliest scribe rolls their eyes in your wake. For that reason I can only imagine such professionals to use a box as beautiful as the Windsor Prose Writing Set (pictured above). It's a good benchmark for what the sets your Calligraphers use should look like and feel like.

Artisan Toolkit Series

Was it a Money Grab? Or Was There a Substantive Reason for the Relaunch?

A couple of days ago I ordered the Third Edition books - not the 3.5 books that I've always played with kids, but the actual, honest to God 3.0 books. When I first started playing Dungeons and Dragons the game had already switched over to 3.5 and the 3.0 books were long since gone from the store shelves. As a result I've never actually seen the edition as it was originally released.

Oh, I've heard lots of complaints both online and off about how the relaunch was nothing more than a power grab; that the original books were deeply flawed; that Wizards of the Coast had actually been staging orgies on top of the 3.0 books in order to bring a dark, elder being into this world who brought forth the relaunch. Yet I've never seen them. I've never read a good analysis of what went into the relaunch or why it was done. I've never seen anyone devote themselves to the game like you see to Holmes Basic or Original D&D.

Like so many things that I do on this blog the idea of actually researching the whole thing has a certain appeal to it that I have a hard time shaking. And they're so cheap right now that it was hard for me to not pick them up. Today I received the first of the core books: the Monster Manual. I'm kind of excited to see what changed between the two versions. And since no one but me actually has any interest in this edition here's some links so you can buy the books! (Sorry but the $1.47 Player's handbook doesn't have a cool link so you'll have to look it up on your own!)


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Artisan Toolkits: Brewer

Weight: 22 pounds (9.98 Kilograms)
Cost: 77 gold

11 Bottles
Bottle Capper
22 Bottle Caps
Boiling Pot
Measuring Cups
Racking Cane
Wooden Spoon
Brewmaster's Guide
Various Ingredients (Malt, Barley, et al)

Where the Alchemist's toolkit required a distinction between a fragile, professional setup and the traveling kit that your average adventurer might use the Brewer's toolkit requires only a distinction in size. For our adventurous brewers their toolkits will be easily mobile until the two weeks required for fermentation, during which time the Fermenter will have to be stored in a cool, dark environment to allow the beer to mature.

For our adventurers the brewing toolkit is much as it has been for millennia with the only real variation being the ingredients and durability of the materials being used. For my purposes the Fermenter will be a large, thick, glass jug, the boiling pot will be a ceramic lined copper pot, and the racking cane will be made out of bamboo. I'm glossing over a lot of this kit since the materials are so common throughout the ages that finding them isn't really a problem.

That said there are two parts of this kit that deserve a bit of attention: the Brewmaster's Guide and the Various Ingredients. The Brewmaster's Guide will contain two recipes at the beginning of the character's career. These will represent the two most common varieties of beer in the region they're from. Other than that, the book is filled with blank pages so that new recipes can be added from their travels. As for the Various Ingredients the character will start with enough ingredients to make two batches of beer and after that they will be forced to either find new ingredients or purchase them.

My suggestion is to have them visit local brewers for new and replacement ingredients as that's the most logical way to find such things (and practically every town will have a local brewer - especially during the quasi-Medieval period that dominates Dungeons & Dragons games). This will give a bit of variation in the price of such ingredients. For my games I have established a baseline of 35 gold + 1d6 gold to account for local variations. This tends to put me right in line with the prices that I've encountered in shops and on Amazon so I feel pretty comfortable at that level.

While we're on the subject of home brewing let me just tell you guys that as I was researching the equipment for brewing that I have just fallen in love with the concept all over again. Back when I was in college one of the guys down the hall used to brew his own beer in the closet (which is a terrible idea since the shit can blow up) and we would go down to his room every so often and test out his latest creation. Sometimes they were just ridiculously good and then other times . . . Well, on other occasions I would switch over to rum and Dr. Pepper and go read Sartre since I now hated myself sufficiently enough to enjoy the bastard.

Anyway I've just ordered myself the Mr. Beer Premium Edition Home Brewing Craft Beer Making Kit from Amazon because it's on a stupid great sale (regular price $208.99 and I got it for $38.29!) and the True Brew India Pale Ale Home Brew Beer Ingredient Kit. They ingredient kit is a bit more than I would normally spend on something like this but the wife and I decided that it will pay off in the long run as I'll spend more on that on beer this spring in May alone - especially since my Dad and Brother can go fishing with me again! So I'm going to be brewing the beer we'll be drinking. Which is a bit full circle since I've started digging for my own worms again. Okay, that enough of that.

Artisan Toolkit Series

Broken Images Everywheres like Ghosts in the Cellar

Alright, so apparently the problem with the blog came from me deleting my google+ picture albums that had my son's photos in them. Apparently the two were connected which means that when you delete one that they're completely removed from your fucking blog - because that makes perfect god damned sense. Serves me right for not assuming that Google would fuck that up and treat the deletion of a private album as the deletion of a public thing. Anyway, I'm in the process of correcting everything but it's going to be an incredibly long slog that will probably take the better part of the year before I'm able to actually get everything back the way that it was.


Fucking Google.

Monday, February 23, 2015

So Damned Much to Learn Before the First Step is Taken

I don't know if I've mentioned it on here before or not but I'm working on building a YouTube channel that will be mostly me playing and reviewing video games. Both aspects of the project are daunting as there's so much that I have to get ready before I begin actually putting content out on the net. 

I mean it isn't like blogging. That makes sense, right? 

I tried downloading the US Copyright primer that's been put out by the Feds but that thing is a massive beast that makes my head spin as I slowly work my way through page after page of self referencing legal jargon. I'm also going through YouTube's class things. Will it tell me everything I need to worry about? Of course not. But if it can keep me out of really hot water then I want to learn about it first. 

There's just so damned much to learn. 

In Case You're Wondering Why the Blog Looks Like Crap Right Now

Apparently something in Google+ has gone all kinds of wonky and I'm having to go through and repair it all. Fucking bullshit mass integration of the whole god damned network screwing up every god damned thing.

Fucking, fuck.


So I now have to fix all 800 god damned mother fucking post just to get it all fixed. Fuck me. 

Links for me, and maybe for you. Who knows?

This is a list I’m using to update a bunch of links for GBRC 2015 from last years list since my bookmark tab got nuked when I had to get a new computer. Probably boring for people who’ve already seen the GBRC 2014. 

Numerical Blogs



























Closing Comments.

Due to the influx of spam comments on Dyvers I am closing the comments. I'm not currently doing anything with this blog, but I don'...