S1S12 So Many Books, So Much Trek, So Many Game Master Hacks

The Lair of Secrets returns as Ken and David delve into their respective stacks of books, contemplate new video game including Gloomhaven, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and then talk about their favorite game master hacks.

Library 64 (or “Ken has more books than time”)

  • Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
    • More video game nostalgia. But not as good as the original (where “good” is a highly subjective term).
  • Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy (Book I: Chaos Rising) by Timothy Zahn
    • Who cares what it’s about. More Thrawn!
  • Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson
    • Fourth book in the epic Stormlight Archives. Prime winter break reading material.
  • The Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
    • “epic story of humanity’s battle for survival on a terraformed planet.”
  • The Saints of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton
    • Transhumans battle against aliens intent on “saving us” so we can meet their god at the end of time.

The Game Room

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses
    • More JRPG squad-level tactical combat, this time for the Switch
    • Ken told himself he wouldn’t get it until he completed Fire Emblem: Fates: Birthright.. And then he misplaced his3DS…
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
    • Ken’s a huge Marvel fanboy, and right now he could use a video game that includes all his favorite heroes (including the X-men)

Meanwhile … in yet another Library

The Transporter Room

  • David picked up the trial for CBS All Access for a week
  • Watched the two seasons of Lower Decks, felt like Futurama meets Next Generation
  • Inspired David to watch Discovery and have watched all the way up to the part 1 of the two part-er in season 3.
  • Finished Picard after skipping a few episodes. David definitely enjoyed Discovery and Lower Decks more. Picard just didn’t feel quite like Star Trek to him. .

A Haven for Gloom

  • David’s been playing the Gloomhaven video game
    • Been playing for a few weeks now with some friends and I am quite enjoying it
    • It doesn’t replace sitting around a table with friends to play the board game, but it does have the advantage of doing all of the fiddly things for you
    • In early access, still a bit buggy and the interface could use some polish

Game Master Hacks

  • Check out the Game Master Box of Holding companion post for photos of the boxes in action.
  • Plano Cases for real-world gaming supplies – replaces crumbling IKEA box held together by (badly matched) nuts and bolts.
    • For D&D:
      • Plastic minis repurposed from Heroquest
      • Yellow and white crystals for “inspiration”, plot points, etc.
      • Red and blue gems to represent things. Like “paralyized” or “damaged”.
      • White and yellow gems to represent other things.
      • Pool of d6s and my “Ragnorak” travel dice. Plus a few more sets of dice, because who doesn’t need more dice?
      • Index cards for initiative
      • Wet erase markers
      • Extra pencils, tape measures, and other misc. tools
      • Random dungeon dice by Inkwell ideas
      • Room for two or three hardcovers, depending how much I’m bringing with me to a game.
    • For Savage Worlds
      • A smaller case, which holds smaller rulebooks
      • Most of the same things as above (pencils, wet erase markers, etc.
      • Modern themed minis from Star Wars, Reaper, etc.
      • Poker chips for bennies
      • Oversized playing cards for initiatives
      • Power cards, status cards, and adventure deck (thanks Kickstarter!)
  • At the table
    • Index cards for initiative, global status indicators (“remember, everyone is blessed!”) and note passing.
    • Dice Cup of Shame (for those who forgot their dice)
    • GM screen for D&D (but strangely, not Savage Worlds)
    • Laptop for adventure notes and hit point tracking

Outro

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