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Grant Glewwe » 2007 » August

Grant Glewwe

August 24, 2007

4th Edition

Filed under: Role-playing, Hobbies — Grant @ 1:05 pm

Every roleplayer around the world should now be aware of Wizards of the Coast’s announcement of 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. The core rulebooks will come out starting in May 2008 with the PHB followed by the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide in the following two months.

My gaming group is heavily invested in AD&D v3.5, and a brief discussion with a couple of others leads me to believe it is unlikely we will upgrade to the new version. I have no doubt that there will be interesting things in the new version, but I’ve personally got about $200 invested, and one of the other dungeon masters has at least twice that in books (he tends to buy the monster manuals as they come out).

One thing that I did like about 4th Edition was the announcement that electronic copies of the books would be available through the Wizards site with an unlock code in the book and a nominal fee. Gamer Zero (Randy Buehler - Vice President, Digital Gaming at Wizards), said in his blog announcement on August 20th, 2007:

 Another digital offering that we’re making in conjunction with 4th Edition is that we’re putting codes into all of our books. If you come to the website and put in the code you get two things: 1) You get an e-version of the book that can be read and searched on your computer. This will cost a nominal fee (probably a dollar) and will not require an Insider subscription. 2) If you are a subscriber, then putting in the code will unlock all of the content from that book in all of the databases that are available through Insider. For example, without the code for the relevant book you would see only a one-line description of a feat during character creation. With the code you see the full rules. Similarly, without the code you would see only a one-line description of a monster on the game table but with the code you can see the full stat block, etc.

I think it is a huge step forward to offer the content electronically. Of course, I suspect that means books will now be blister-wrapped in the bookstores since you could copy an unlock code otherwise. That means no more browsing content before purchasing the book (other than say at Amazon with their “Look Inside This Book” feature).

There are a number of articles being posted on Wizards site right now about the new edition, but very little is definitive. Mostly it seems like a ploy to get their dedicated audience of roleplayers to purchase another set of books. They are one step away from “collectible roleplaying rulebooks” in the vein of Magic The Gathering.

 I love the miniatures they are producing. I hate the rarity system. I would glady pay reasonable prices to purchase the miniatures I wanted. I love the paint and sculpts of many of the minatures, but just like with the Magic The Gathering game, if you purchase boosters, you end up with skads of things you don’t want in search of an Ettin. In most cases, I don’t even care about the rares, although some are great sculpts. It sends me right into the secondary market with places like GameRocket and Battleworks to purchase singles.

August 23, 2007

Scott Sigler

Filed under: Hobbies, General — Grant @ 1:19 pm

Scott Sigler has created some podiobooks that I have enjoyed listening to recently. I first listened to the podcast of his book Earthcore. I enjoyed it enough that I have moved on to Ancestor. I have one more to listen to after this, and then I’ll explore further to see if he has anything else I am interested in.

I discovered Scott’s art through a podcast called Stranger Things. Stranger Things featured a short story of Scott’s in their first content video podcast (a bunch of video before that, but it was all “here we come”). You can find Scott Sigler at


You can find an incensed clown by the same name at


The books are violent. He strikes me as a Stephan King relying on blood, gore, and futuristic tech for the meat of his books. All his press photos make him look like a psycho.

August 13, 2007

New Phone - RAZR V3m

Filed under: Tech — Grant @ 10:11 am

After several years using my Samsung VI660, I finally upgraded my phone to a new RAZR. So far, so good. This is my first camera phone, which I supposed puts me well behind the times. A co-worker provided the impetus to upgrade that all started with a glance of his phone case that threads on his belt. He had an LG phone with a side slot for inserting microSD. Once I saw that, I went straight for the Sprint site looking for phones with microSD. It has often annoyed me that Sprint charges huge monthly fees if you want to get your pictures back off your phone. microSD to the rescue! I ordered Thursday and received Friday; Sprint has that going for them. My biggest complaint was the set of instructions that said dial “*2″ from the phone to activate it through customer support. After a 20 minute wait, the support tech said “You aren’t calling me from the new phone are you?” His instructions involved several settings that could only be done while not on an active call. Luckily, he suggested giving me the instructions to complete when the call ended. I scribbled them in orange crayong on the packing list, and my phone was set up 2 minutes later. Goodbye Samsung, Hello Picture/Camcorder Phone! I’m still adapting to it, especially the use of a bluetooth headset just like Sandra’s headset. She was at Costco Friday morning, so I rang her phone; she picked one up for me seconds later. The phone uses mini USB for charging and data communications with a number of software packages commercially available. A trip to Target with my father and kids let me acquire a few required accessories including a phone case just like Robert’s case (the co-worker from the beginning of the post). I enjoyed exploring the call features of the phone over the weekend. The microSD card on the RAZR V3m is a little annoying. You must remove the back panel and battery to remove the memory. It isn’t a big deal, but a side slot would have been nice. The microSD card came packed with a housing to turn it into an SD card size for quick transfer to my computer. The 1.3 MB camera should provide acceptable “on the go” pictures.

August 2, 2007

Tomb of Horrors

Filed under: Role-playing, Hobbies — Grant @ 3:20 pm

For the past 4 years (nearly), I’ve been lucky enough to game with a group of co-workers on a weekly basis. We started playing in October 2003, and although we have lost two guys and gained another, we are still going strong with a weekly session of 3 1/2 hours every Tuesday or Thursday as our schedules depend. You can follow our progress through our current adventure in the AD&D classic Tomb of Horrors at This adventure is well known for being a meat-grinder for the PCs.

Arch and Head - End of the Main Hall

True to form, one of the six players died a horrible, rending death at the hands of a gargoyle in the first evening of play.

“Poor Ixat, I knew him well. <reverent sigh> Oh well. I wonder what stuff he has?” When Ixat, our rogue, attempted to tumble by the gargoyle to flank him, he failed and stopped just in front of the gargoyle next to Torvin the Ranger. Lucky for Torvin, the gargoyle focused on Ixat instead of him, or the epitaph would be for the Ranger instead of the Rogue (perhaps). In six seconds, blood and gore flew across the walls and Torvin as Ixat was ripped apart. Two of our number were lost, so the remaining three of us had to take on the beast or die. Torvin stood his ground while Eruadan, Wizard Priest of Boccob the Uncaring hurtled sonic and acid magic at the gargoyle. Anselm joined in with an acid arrow spell after hasting everyone. When things looked bad, he stepped up and teleported us all a short distance away in the main hall. The gargoyle followed, but Torvin finished him off with a mightly blow (critical) after Anselm blinded the beast with Glitterdust and Eruadan hit him with more sonic spells. As Anselm and Eruadan checked on their dead comrade, Bishop Tom came running down the hall naked. He started to exclaim to Torvin, before catching himself, sprinting down the hallway, and disappearing back through the arch that had first teleported him and Nails away.

It was an interesting first evening. Follow our exploits at the blog for Tomb of Horrors, or better yet, download the module from Wizards of the Coast and play through it with your group. Happy gaming!

August 1, 2007

Fire Engine

Filed under: Franklin, Local — Grant @ 9:02 am

See the blogroll for more pictures of my kids. Here we are in Pinkerton Park in Franklin on the fire engine.

Daddy and Kids

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