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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Steven Creech has passed. https://www.hshfuneralhome.com/notices/Steven-Creech https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-steve-creech-author-and-game-designer#/
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 09:13 PM
    I finished up The Magnificent Nine - now that was more like it! The author's previous Firefly novel (Big Damn Hero) wasn't as well done as this one; it seemed clunky in places and the characters were doing some stuff that didn't seem like what they would do. (Plus, he had this irritating habit of trying to reference just about every episode of the series in the first novel, as if trying to...
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:55 PM
    Congratulations on successfully completing an entire campaign! It's not always so easily done. Johnathan
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 01:45 PM
    ADVENTURE 45: THE VAULT OF SIX THIRDS PC Roster: Daleth Stormsea, elf wizard 13 Galen Thorne, human paladin 14 Kaspar Hardstrike, elf monk 14 Orion Nightsky, halfling rogue 14 Syngaard, human fighter 14 Game Session Date: 15 May 2019
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 01:41 PM
    ADVENTURE 61: VERMINUS PC Roster: Binkadink Dundernoggin, gnome fighter 17 Castillan Ivenheart, elf bounder 17 Darrien, half-elf ranger 17 Finoula Cloudshadow, elf ranger 17 Gilbert Fung, human wizard 17 Hagan, half-orc sorcerer 17 NPC Roster: Malrin Ivenheart, elf druid 10
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 01:21 PM
    I finished up The Pharaoh Key and it was by far the weakest entry in the Gideon Crew series. Next up is The Magnificent Nine, the latest "Firefly" novel by James Lovegrove. Based on the title alone I'm expecting a version of "The Magnificent Seven" (or, before that, "Seven Samurai") set in the "Firefly" universe. It should be interesting (and possibly even shiny!) Johnathan
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 02:28 AM
    ADVENTURE 44: AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE PC Roster: Daleth Stormsea, elf wizard 13 Galen Thorne, human paladin 14 Kaspar Hardstrike, elf monk 14 Orion Nightsky, halfling rogue 14 Syngaard, human fighter 14 Game Session Date: 1 May 2019
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 02:22 AM
    I finished Stephen King's Insomnia. Boy, that was a bit of a slog! The story was okay once it got going...but it took close to 300 pages before the real meat of the story started to kick in. I can't really recommend it. Now I'm starting up The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, the fifth in the Gideon Crew series. I've enjoyed the other four books in this series and so far...
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:22 AM
    That was easy: Marvel by default. I've never seen Game of Thrones and the Star Wars movies are getting more and more *meh* to me (I didn't even bother watching "Solo"), whereas I've enjoyed the Marvel movies. I'll probably give GoT a chance once the whole set's on DVD (I've been told my multiple sources that I'd love it), but in the spirit of the "Sophie's Choice" in the original post I'd...
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 01:16 PM
    ADVENTURE 43: SHELL SHOCKED PC Roster: Daleth Stormsea, elf wizard 12 Galen Thorne, human paladin 13 Kaspar Hardstrike, elf monk 13 Orion Nightsky, halfling rogue 13 Syngaard, human fighter 13 Game Session Date: 24 April 2019
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Agreed, except for the whole "let's hide our starship just inside the event horizon of a black hole" stratagem. I'm willing to accept quantum drives and such in a science fiction show, but to mess up how black holes like that work? Ugh. And to make it worse, when they left the black hole, their chronometers showed that days had passed... ugh again. Time would have passed for the chronometers...
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  • Orius's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 03:13 AM
    Well it went like this: Without the second date, Ed and Kelly never married, and never got divorced. Without the chain of events that eventually made Ed the captain of the Orville, Isaac never bonded with Claire and her kids, and thus never developed sympathy for humans, and he stayed deactivated on Kaylon. So the Kaylons were able to take everyone by surprise. And it got nasty. We got...
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 11:53 PM
    But that's how Marvel's "No-Prizes" work. Johnathan
    357 replies | 13934 view(s)
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 02:38 AM
    My son runs a gnome fighter in the campaign I DM, and he's definitely the party tank. Johnathan
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  • Richards's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 02:31 AM
    Ooh, here's another one I thought of: Trigger Happy TV, featuring absurdities performed in public specifically to get a reaction from unsuspecting passersby. Stuff like two people in dog costumes fighting it out in the park, or fixing up an elevator interior like a bathroom and having some unsuspecting soul looking to head downstairs see an aggravated-looking guy sitting on the toilet when the...
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About Richards

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Saturday, 27th April, 2019


Thursday, 25th April, 2019


Wednesday, 24th April, 2019


Saturday, 23rd February, 2019

  • 09:25 PM - Blue mentioned Richards in post What are you Reading? Froody February 2019 edition
    Richards, The Lies of Locke Lamora catapulted Scott Lynch to my "must read everything by him list". As a point of interest, he was originally going to write what would be the fourth story first, but realized he couldn't jump right in there. He's got seven books planned - or at least titles for them on his saddly-out-of-date blog. Books 2 and 3 have been out for a while, Book 4 (the one he was going to write first) is one of those "any day now" where there keep being rumors about it. But he's gone through marriage and moving and lots of RL which seems to keep delaying it. Still, Lies is sooo good, IMNSHO.

Monday, 18th February, 2019

  • 08:55 AM - MNblockhead mentioned Richards in post Pathfinder Pawns: How do you store them?
    As Richards and S'mon, I store my Pathfinder and Kobold Press cardboard pawns in the original lattices, but then I put these in clear sheet protectors in three-ring binders. For other flat minis, such as paper minis that I print and cut for Arcknight flat plastic minis, I organize them into envelopes with the category or creature name written on them, which are then stored alphabetically in boxes. I'm considering moving the cardboard pawns into the envelops so I have just one system.

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018


Friday, 7th September, 2018

  • 11:57 PM - Schmoe mentioned Richards in post Adventures in Fire
    Wow, there are a ton of great ideas here. Thanks to everyone for the inspiration. Richards I had completely forgotten about that spell. I want make it relatively easy to acquire some sort of permanent resistance, and affinity would work nicely. Of course, I still expect the PCs to double up on fire protection, so I think I'm going to approach it as follows. Establish that guards and patrols in the City of Brass are chosen from creatures that are both inherently immune to fire and also don't lose too much when faced with fire-immune opponents. So creatures like fire giants and golems will feature heavily wherever I think there will be guardians tasked with protecting against elemental natives. Patrols in areas of the city that cater heavily to foreigners will be prepared to combat non-natives' defenses. That means that they may have things like anti-magic grenades and wands of dispel magic. Magic items that deal cold damage will be at a premium and will be applied judiciously. General inhabitants won't necessarily be prepared with any of the above and will j...

Friday, 19th January, 2018

  • 02:12 PM - Scrivener of Doom mentioned Richards in post The Kordovian Adventurers Guild
    I don't know how I've managed to miss these. I knew about them. I thought I had read them. But on my third read-through of Wing Three I realised I never actually sat down and read this thread. I fixed that this week and I've really enjoyed the further tales of your players. Nice work, Johnathan Richards!

Monday, 11th December, 2017

  • 05:01 PM - Scrivener of Doom mentioned Richards in post Wing Three
    Hey Johnathan Richards, I went back and read these all again for a bit of inspiration for a new campaign (and I'm determined to finally use Grottlepox). It's a great read even second or third time around. Thanks again for posting.

Wednesday, 4th October, 2017

  • 02:50 PM - Blue mentioned Richards in post What are you reading? - October 2017
    Next was Robert J. Sawyer's "Red Planet Blues", at an author suggestion from here. To give credit, it was "Read" Richards who suggested RJS and I'm looking forward to reading more of his work.

Sunday, 17th September, 2017

  • 04:59 PM - Echohawk mentioned Richards in post Monster ENCyclopedia: Tomb of Annihilation
    ...p to twenty years. Flail snails are able to detect motion up to 20 feet away using their short sensor tentacles. They will aggressively defend themselves if attacked, until their opponent withdraws from sensor range. If left alone, flail snails are peaceful, herbivorous dungeon dwellers. The leading cause of death for flail snails appears to be “hunted by adventurers for their shells” which is rather sad. Once past any guilt adventurers might feel after removing the resident, a flail snail shell can be turned into one or two +2 shields, which reflect magic for 1d6 months. Alternatively, ground shell is a required component for the creation of a robe of scintillating colors. Despite appearing in the Greyhawk Appendix, flail snails seem rare in the setting. There is one in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk, according to WGR1: Greyhawk Ruins. 88633 Dragon #258 (1999) The Ecology of the Flail Snail in Dragon #258 adds a lot of additional flavour to the beast, but more importantly (thanks @Richards) it declares the previous lore of flail snails being silicon life-forms with multiple genders to be erroneous, and confirms that they are, in fact, hermaphroditic gastropods that lay eggs and not live young. The article goes on to describe in considerable detail the love darting ritual flail snails engage in when mating. A newly hatched flail snail grows from ten inches to adult sized within four years. Snails estivate (the equivalent of hibernation for slimy and scaly creatures) during winter months. A flail snail’s shell expands constantly as it grows, with new material added around the head. Fire damage is negated both by the shell and protective mucus layer. This is secreted from the snail’s foot, and also aids in locomotion, making a snail easy to track. Flail snails shun bright light because it dries out this mucus. Salt can be used as a weapon and enough of it does 2d4 damage when thrown and a further 1d4 damage the next round. Poisons are negated by natural antitoxins in the...

Friday, 24th February, 2017


Thursday, 31st March, 2016


Thursday, 13th August, 2015

  • 02:48 AM - Talmek mentioned Richards in post I Did Something I've Never Done Before in 38 Years of Gaming...
    ...hem backstories so they would fit in the area. We ended up with a human fighter (for the 8 year old) and a gnome wizard (for the 11 year old). My significant other ran a halfling rogue and I decided I would supplement healing via potions found along the way, which turned out to be unnecessary. These two young players took two different routes to conflict resolution, one with the traditional "Stabby McStab Stab" approach, and the other with completely non-violent methods, looking for and utilizing spells like sleep to give themselves a way out. The most interesting piece to the whole thing was that they behaved better at the table than some of my adult players, in that they let one another play their character without "help", not interrupting or judging one another's decisions and actively playing off of one another's actions. Again, this dumbfounded me as they had never played a TTRPG before, or really been exposed to it other than seeing all my friends and I play it in passing. Richards - I wouldn't have attempted this with either of them so young (I believed that it would have been a waste of time and effort until they were both at least 11-12 minimum) prior to reading your post. Seeing your successful campaign closure story was the driver behind this decision, so thank you!

Sunday, 2nd November, 2014


Tuesday, 1st October, 2013


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Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 04:16 PM - Umbran quoted Richards in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    But the fact that they can "see" what is going on inside the black hole is super dumb: if their sensors can accomplish that inside the black hole they should be able to accomplish it outside. Nope. That part is pretty much okay. Light falling in to a black hole does not *stop* at the event horizon. It falls in, and could be detected on the inside. Okay, technically it gets blue-shifted to gamma rays on the way in, but that's the *least* of the problems with the black hole bit. The fact that they made such a point about the intense pressure under seven miles of ocean made ignoring the pressure from inside a black hole even that much more painful to stomach. There isn't any particular pressure inside a black hole. It is still a vacuum, for one thing. And the space inside the event horizon is just like the space outside it. The curvature increases as you head toward the singularity, but there's no discontinuity at the event horizon that suddenly increases pressure.

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 01:49 PM - Ryujin quoted Richards in post Classic British television shows
    To throw in a couple more favorite British comedies I haven't seen mentioned yet: "The Goodies" and "The Two Ronnies." I was a big fan of both, thanks to my local PBS station. Johnathan I really need to learn that ancient Lancastrian art of self defence, Ecky Thump.

Saturday, 30th March, 2019

  • 01:30 AM - Ryujin quoted Richards in post Classic British television shows
    To throw in a couple more favorite British comedies I haven't seen mentioned yet: "The Goodies" and "The Two Ronnies." I was a big fan of both, thanks to my local PBS station. Johnathan Grand Island, NY PBS ran those back-to-back.

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 03:59 PM - Blue quoted Richards in post What are you Reading? Magnanimous March 2019 edition
    Today was a good day: I flew all over the country as a passenger, so I not only finished up Red Seas Under Red Skies but got about 200 pages into the third book in the Lock Lamora series, The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch. There are seven books planned in the series, but this is the last one currently published. I'm going to be one sad individual when I finish this book and there are no more to be had at the moment. The Thorn of Emberlain has been promised as "soon" several times, though Scott Lynch had some messy RL stuff hold him up. From an interview, the next book is the one that he was planning to write as the first book, but he realized he couldn't start there and instead jumped back. I am glad he did - TLoLL is one of my favorite books of all time.
  • 03:18 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Richards in post What are you Reading? Magnanimous March 2019 edition
    Welcome to the club. It meets every other Friday, right next to where the Doors of Stone and Winds of Winter support groups convene. There are seven books planned in the series, but this is the last one currently published. I'm going to be one sad individual when I finish this book and there are no more to be had at the moment.

Thursday, 21st March, 2019

  • 12:25 AM - Ryujin quoted Richards in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    Wasn't he brought back in the final episode - just to share the same fate as the rest of the crew? Johnathan You're absolutely right. I had forgotten that. It's been rather a while ;)

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 04:21 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Richards in post What are you Reading? Magnanimous March 2019 edition
    Nice, it looks like that's in book 3. So far, I'm digging the series, so I'm sure I'll get there eventually. But yeah, the authors list is just insane: Gene Wolfe, Megan Lindholm/Robin Hobb, Charles, De Lint, Charles Saunders, Patricia Wrede, Jane Yolen, and more! Ooh, I don't remember which collection it's in, but Alan Moore's "A Hypothetical Lizard" is in one of those Liavek books. That was a great story, one I remember in detail today despite having read it literally decades ago. Johnathan

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019


Friday, 22nd February, 2019


Monday, 18th February, 2019

  • 08:42 AM - S'mon quoted Richards in post Pathfinder Pawns: How do you store them?
    I store them the same way they were stored when originally purchased. Yeah, I store them in the original lattices. Works well except for Skull & Shackles - those ones are loose and fall out. :\

Friday, 8th February, 2019

  • 10:36 PM - Blue quoted Richards in post What are you Reading? Froody February 2019 edition
    I'm now reading (just starting, actually) James Alan Gardner's second superhero novel, They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded. This one stars Jools, the female hockey fan college student who gained pinnacle human strength, dexterity, and intelligence - she can learn any facts as needed, at will. It should be interesting. If you can, I'd be interested in how it came out. There were parts of the first book I enjoyed but I never picked up the second. I think I might have a bias against mixing vampires and superheroes.

Monday, 21st January, 2019

  • 09:31 AM - Jhaelen quoted Richards in post What are you Reading? Jaunty January 2019 edition
    I just started Hominids, the first book in the "Neanderthal Parallax" trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer. I'm only three chapters in but I'm already hooked: a Neanderthal physicist from a parallel world where Neanderthals survived and became the dominant race on Earth has accidentally crossed between universes and ended up on our Earth, much to the consternation of our scientists. Meanwhile, back on his home world, a friend is on trial for his apparent murder. I'm only just now reading this despite having it and its sequel, Humans, for several years now, because I finally got a copy of the third book, Hybrids, and I didn't want to start a trilogy before having all three books on hand. But I've enjoyed most of Sawyer's work before, so I've been looking forward to giving this a go. JohnathanI read the first book and thought it was pretty good, but I actually didn't enjoy it enough to feel any desire to continue reading the second and third part. I generally prefer to wait until all parts of ...

Monday, 14th January, 2019

  • 02:42 PM - Samloyal23 quoted Richards in post Bigger On The Inside
    I always thought it would be cool to buy a plot of land, build an underground house, and have the main entrance be an elevator to the surface whose exterior looked like the TARDIS. Johnathan Have the inside be a slow, extremely quiet elevator, so guests will not realise they are descending to a lower level, then when you hit the basement level just suddenly open a door to a huge room.

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 10:09 PM - Ryujin quoted Richards in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    That was actually a very well-done episode, although I was dreading it more and more the more I saw of it. With rumors that Alara was going to leave this season, when I saw it was an Alara-themed episode I started to worry that this might be it; when I saw it was called "Home" I was convinced it was; and when she walked into Capt Mercer's office there at the end after they had found a way for her to stay with the ship I was all "Aw crap - she's going to resign her commission!" Dang it - she was my favorite character on the show. So now I'm left hoping the actress had an opportunity to go star in a movie or something and will be back later after that's over with - they did leave the door open for Alara to return, after all. I guess we'll see. But at least she got to go out on a high note, because this was a really good episode. So I wonder if Patrick Warburton's going to be a permanent replacement as the new security officer? (I also wonder how he puts that shirt-with-a-hole-in-it on ...

Thursday, 10th January, 2019

  • 06:38 PM - Blue quoted Richards in post What are you Reading? Jaunty January 2019 edition
    I'm reading All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, a superhero novel by James Alan Gardner. ... (I still like his Expendable novel and subsequent series a little better, but this is a good read and it'd be hard for him to top Expendable in my eyes anyway - I still think it's his greatest work.) I enjoyed All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, but was not enamored with it. Some of the parts of the deconstruction of where super powers came from was quite novel and some of the strongest bit. On the other hand, I didn't like the "Dark" side as the general antagonists and felt that social changes would be even stronger then presented. But the writing was decent, so maybe I'll give Expendable a try.

Saturday, 5th January, 2019

  • 10:36 PM - MarkB quoted Richards in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    Yeah, I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out how the vastly technological inferior humans from the first millennium AD on Earth managed to overcome not just a Dalek, but a "recon Dalek" - who are apparently so much more powerful than the standard model. Compare that to the 9th Doctor's episode, "Dalek," where a single Dalek completely overwhelms everything the modern military forces can throw at it. The Dalek from "Dalek" was an advanced model, from when the Daleks were at the peak of their technological prowess and directly taking on the Time Lords in the Time War. The one from this episode was suggested to be one of the first ever sent out from Skaro, old enough that it didn't even know about Skaro's destruction. The Dalek creature itself may have been particularly capable, but its outer shell was from a far older generation of technology. And while I appreciate the "slapped together" look of the "trash Dalek" at the end, I still find it difficult to believe the squiddy alien...
  • 07:00 PM - Mustrum_Ridcully quoted Richards in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    I liked it, though I agree that I don't really see a way how some 9th century humans could beat a Dalek. Unless perhaps the error is really that everyone tries to fight them at range, when they are ridicilous weak at short range? (At least a lone Dalek.) I didn't like the plot point of UNIT being disbanded over budget cuts. It seems to me that an organization that has been instrumental in saving the Earth from alien threats numerous times in the past wouldn't need to justify its existence. That just seemed overly silly. Now that you say it like that, than it really must be a Brexit joke.

Thursday, 3rd January, 2019

  • 04:07 PM - Blue quoted Richards in post What are you Reading? Jaunty January 2019 edition
    I'm reading Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove, the first in apparently a new series of novels set in the Firefly/Serenity universe. The crew starts off on Persephone with a dodgy job from Badger, and then Mal apparently gets kidnapped. The jacket shows two more books forthcoming in the series in the near future. Shiny! This is several year old news, but there's a free Firefly story from Steven Brust released under Creative Commons. http://dreamcafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/My-Own-Kind-of-Freedom-Steven-Brust.pdf I enjoy Brust's published works, which is what separates this from other fan fiction for me.

Tuesday, 1st January, 2019

  • 12:56 AM - Ryujin quoted Richards in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    Did anybody else notice Jason Alexander has joined the cast? He's the rhino-headed bartender. I recognized his voice at once, but it took me a moment to recall just whose voice it was. And then I realized it was George Costanza's (his character from Seinfeld) voice coming out of the rhino-alien's mouth. And sure enough, there was Jason Alexander's name in the opening credits. Johnathan I completely missed that. Good catch :)

Sunday, 30th December, 2018

  • 11:13 PM - jmucchiello quoted Richards in post Worlds of Design: When There's Too Many Magic Items
    The "no 'I' in team" is also a common misconception. It's a lower-case "i" hiding in the negative space of the "A," as detailed in red below: ***+***+***+***** +*++*+++***+*+*+* +*++***+***+*+*+* +*++*+++***+*+*+* +*++***+***+*+*+* :) Johnathan You weren't the first to try this. Read the backposts. :)


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