Category Archives: Series

I Blame GreyKnight

Today GreyKnight tagged me in a G+ post regarding some machine-assisted mapping software by Martin O’Leary (Uncharted Atlas on Twitter). Well, I say ‘machine-assisted’, but it looks like the software does most of the work. It’s also frighteningly close to some ideas I explored about fifteen years ago, but Martin made it work much better than I did… and this gives […]

Taxonomy and the Echelon Reference Series

In the last couple of posts it’s pretty clear I was wearing my geek hat. Time to lower the flaps and tie the strings under my chin, because this is going to get busy. Taxonomy Straight from taxonomy [tak-son–uh-mee] noun, plural taxonomies the science or technique of classification a classification into ordered categories: a proposed […]

Next Generation of the Echelon Reference Series

In my previous post I wrote about the evolution of the Echelon Reference Series. So far there have been four stages: Raw copy and paste aggregation. Ultimately not useful to me because it threw away so much information without gaining me much. Aggregating by source document, marking up in Word using styles specific to the […]

Evolution of the Echelon Reference Series

After I finish releasing the RAF versions of the Echelon Reference Series, I’ll be rebuilding my workflow for data capture. It will be simpler and more abstract, and more powerful. I thought it might be interesting to show how this has evolved. Origin of the ERS The ERS started as a set of research documents for […]

Ornamentation: Polishing Gems… and Cutting Them

My last post refined the generation of random gems, introducing variance to the size and quality of the stones. One of the first comments I got regarding the post suggested ‘uncut’ as one of the low-quality entries. I hadn’t previously considered gem cutting because I was focusing on the end result, but I do have some […]

Ornamentation: Polishing Gems

Creighton Broadhurst of Raging Swan Press (I like Raging Swan products) wrote a post last week about Gygax On… Treasure, speaking mostly of how most treasures are likely to consist of a collection of varied but valuable items, rather than a simple chest full of coin or pouch of gems. Coins and gems will probably be involved, as […]

Just Decking Around

I had an epiphany of sorts last night. Also, insomnia; the epiphany might be nothing of the sort. In my previous post about the card crawl I described PCs as starting at ‘second level’, and that each level made them better in one area of endeavor (martial, arcane, divine, skill), with a specialized skill within […]

Keeping My Hands Off My Deck

… or not. I’m working around the edges of a card-based crawl game. I don’t know all the resolution mechanics yet, but I’m starting to see the shape of it. Probably co-op (adventuring party) Possibly competitive co-op: party has a shared goal, but each PC might have individual goals that score as well. Card-based play. […]

Unchained Skill Unlocks for Echelon

I don’t often post much Echelon-related material here any more (mostly it’s at, but this particular post fits the skill model I had in mind before I moved over there. Also, it gives me a ‘U Day’ post for this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge. I am not proud. I’ve only recently gotten around to reading Pathfinder® […]

Several Mountain Ranges Together

I’ve written a couple times recently about simple techniques for drawing mountain ranges. Yesterday I showed how I draw the basic landforms, and on Sunday I showed how I manipulate them to relieve monotonous elements and make them look better to me. Under normal circumstances I would have presented the material in a different order (and […]