First Level “Noob” Stamp

I had this DM once (Okay, more than one over the years) who had every NPC treat our characters like total noobs. My character wasn’t a dufus and yet…

I had this DM back in the day who treated our characters like our levels were stamped on their foreheads.

On one of those rare occasions when I got to play instead of DM, my best friend ran D&D for us and it was fun. It was a good game, but one thing that used to seriously bug me was when we encountered practically any NPC of any importance. It was like we had our character levels stamped on our foreheads because we were treated like total nitwits at low levels and maybe a little respect at mid levels and a reasonable amount of respect at high levels.

Was it an outcropping of BECMI and old school AD&D that had our character classes attached to these sometimes silly titles? Seriously, I’d be a level 8 Fighter for life… It’s not like my character walked around introducing himself as Benedon the Acolyte. My friend who we’ll refer to as Todd was already name-impaired enough and “Butt-Stomping Butt Stomper” really needed no further introductions. But all of our characters, regardless, were treated like noobs and it didn’t matter what we did, either.

Make me a Level 8 Fighter.
Borrowed from AD&D First Edition.

Save the whole kingdom from a Drow invasion? Noobs. Peasants. Losers.

Save the whole kingdom from a rampaging Black Dragon? Yup, we were still insignificant. I mean, that one was kinda our fault for looting her dungeon and killing all her minions, but…

Walked around town bristling with magic items and shiny armor getting our castle built? Well, at least our gold was good. But the NPCs always seemed to know our levels regardless.

It didn’t change when we got to college.

Different group with a different DM in college asked me to sit in on his game. I played a cleric again. They always need a healer… We were still playing BECMI, modified heavily with house rules. Like to guess how our characters were treated by every NPC we met? Yup. “Chumps.” “Noobs.” “Idiots.”

The major difference was it didn’t even matter what level we were. I started doing things just to get noticed by the royals. I turned entire waves of an undead army. I healed rooms full of the sick and injured. I rezzed an entire unit of dead soldiers. (Heh heh. Spell points. No mats.) I got some negative attention from a couple of gods on that one, though. Still, we were the Rodney Dangerfields of that D&D world.

The crazy part of this story is: these weren’t even new DMs! Both DMs in question had multiple years of experience as a DM and as a player. I might have made that mistake with my first campaign, but since then? No way. Every NPC has a different personality from the stable boy all the way to the queen and treat PCs accordingly. It’s all about respect.

The lesson here is:

DMs wear many hats and study many subjects.

Please don’t do this to your players! I would like to think roleplaying has evolved well beyond over simplified interactions with stereotyped characters. I strongly urge DMs to treat the characters in a way respective to their station and behavior. People should be reacting reasonably in character.

Yes, royals will treat peasants like… well, peasants. Mileage may vary depending on the kingdom. The innkeeper and the barmaids will generally treat paying customers with respect so long as they don’t torch the place and kill everyone. I think we get the idea.

You can’t get it “wrong.” Certainly you don’t have to be perfect. No player should have to take acting lessons. No DM should ever have to study, uh- Sociology, Anthropology, Archaeology, World History, Ethics, Economics, Creative Writing, Acting, Art, Philosophy, and Engineering in order to build a world and run a game. Just play the game and be decent to each other.

If your DM seems to be dumping all over your characters in game, maybe it’s time to chat with them outside of the session. It’s a simple conversation to have. Please listen with curiosity. Maybe the Duke is a really snooty dude, the innkeeper is reminded of someone they truly despise, and the local sage looks down on everyone. If it keeps happening, try talking to the DM again, or just find another game. Trust me, DMs learn what not to do next time when their players start bailing out.

Out in the real world: please treat everyone, especially your DM, the way you would want them to treat you. Be kind. Be gentle. Take care. See you soon.

Personal Update

COVID is running through the house. Yours truly is still healthy.

The Icky Cough-Coughs are rampaging through the house.

That’s the name my oldest son gave to COVID-19. We’re big on Doc McStuffins around here. If only Doc McStuffins could cure real diseases.

My oldest son, my second son, and my wife have all tested positive and are quarantined. My youngest and I have the sniffles, but we’ve tested negative so far. My son Aiden is just kinda there as usual. He has a very strong immune system.

I’m here playing solo Dad, household Internet admin, and nurse. It’s complicated. More updates when I have better news.

1d12 Weird Rumor Table

Just a fun d12 rumor table to use/re-use. No system attached.

Roll 1d12 when your group enters any small fantasy town and consult the chart below:

1. The town was built on top of a necropolis of ancient crypts, but the entrance has never been found by anyone who lived to tell about it.
2. The old, drunken derelict on the street is actually the richest man in town before he learned a dark secret and turned to drinking.
3. It’s not safe to wander out of town at night. There are frightening wild beasts roaming around after dark.
4. The mayor hasn’t aged in thirty years since she took power.
5. Every residence in town has one or more spirits living in/around it.
6. The old abandoned well outside of town is said to have magical wishing powers.
7. The hired help at the inn steal from guests while they’re sleeping. Plus the innkeeper waters down all the drinks to save on expenses.
8. On a clear night mysterious lights can be seen moving around in the sky above the town.
9. The town’s undertaker is actually a ghoul.
10. The local apothecary dabbles in this weird magic he calls, “science.” He has all sorts of “experiments.” Some of them are extremely dangerous.
11. A local cleric has been known to give gold to anyone who visits him. No one knows where all of his gold comes from.
12. The area is infected with wild magic from an accident. There used to be a wizard’s tower in the center of town before it vanished under frightening circumstances.

For added fun: Roll another 1d12.
1.- Not only is the rumor true, but powerful evil beings/dark magic is behind it.
2-5. Rumor is true. The group may wish to investigate for further details.
6-9 The rumor is convincing, but false. The group may believe it if they wish.
10-11. It’s false. No doubt about it.
12.The rumor is true with a twist. The person or phenomenon in question actually has beneficent (good) cause.

Freedom Day! Sixth Month Edition.

Getting fired from a job I was really starting to despise was practically a relief. Every month I celebrate my personal freedom. I am so happy and grateful for all of life’s experiences.

I’ve been at this since July 19, 2021.

Since then, I’ve had many wonderful, warm, happy, spiritual experiences. It’s been mostly peaceful, downright pleasant. About the only downside has been the change in stable income. I went from a level I was very comfortable with to, uh… yeah. Still working on that one. But it’s all good.

I will say I don’t miss the grind. We’re getting by okay on one income. The bills are covered. Personally, I’m working on some writing projects and looking for writing jobs so I can pass the goodness onto my friends in the TTRPG community and elsewhere.

There are literally no regrets otherwise. All the crapola that came with that job otherwise? They can keep it. I wish I could say more, but I don’t feel like getting sued. I am a big believer in karma, though.

It was never exactly the plan I intended.

I really mean it. Please take care of your needs and those of your loved ones.

My intentions looked a lot different originally. I intended to be wealthy with a steady enough stream of income to retire somewhere in the Pacific Northwest US and never effectively be heard from again aside from social media and my written work and YouTube. (I still intend to retire to a quiet cabin next to a lake some day.) That was mid-2019, before everything totally went to pieces worldwide.

Needless to say the lockdowns/quarantines from COVID brought us closer as a family. I’m pretty happy being around my family these days. My wife has been extremely loving and understanding about the whole unemployment thing so far. Lord knows I’ve dated women before her that would have kicked me to the curb a lot sooner. Yes, the kids still tend to drive me a little batty, much like any parent, but I love them to pieces.

I originally intended to fulfill a more spiritual mission as it related to Ufology. I wanted to bridge the gap between the nuts-and-bolts ufologists and the more spiritual side of Ufology. While it may happen some day, it probably won’t be me that gets it done. Too many people have too much to lose to give up their stream of income and jaded opinions to cross over to the other side of the fence in both communities. I have more love than ever for the Experiencer community, though.

Mental Health Matters!

Therapy. Needed. Badly…

I remember that night six months ago. They met me at the door and pulled me into a side office. I knew instantly what was going down, reaffirmed by the contents of my desk sitting in a box on the table. I think we’ve all seen this before. All the specifics are kind of a blur because our mind seeks to protect us from pain/trauma. I wasn’t especially hurt or angry. More like slightly annoyed and disappointed.

Really the biggest question in my mind was what to tell the kids. My wife had often said the writing was on the Jumbotron and that it was no real surprise. Yet, my number one biggest concern was for her and the kids.

You know what? It turns out that my loving wife sees me as more than a paycheck. She totally shattered that misconception when she touched my arm and told me it was going to be okay. Not gonna lie, I cried a little over that.

Yes, I’ve had bouts of depression and anxiety since. It happens. It’s normal for many of us, despite the social stigma attached to it. “Cheer up,” and “Don’t worry,” don’t magically make depression and anxiety go away. Honest. Unemployment has done wonders for my anxiety, though. There’s less to worry about when I’m home all day with the cats and no shitz to give otherwise.

My inner critic calls me everything from “deadbeat” to “freeloading loser.”

To him, I say, “Go fly a kite. Soaked in gasoline. In Hell. Don’t care.”

You might have guessed by now that I still need therapy. I’m still in therapy. I was going back to my therapist before they canned me because things had gotten pretty grim mental health wise, anyway. Truthfully, I was pretty relieved not having to go back to that place.

Who knows? Another six months of therapy might even see me wanting to be around people again. I might even go see if I can get hired as a door greeter at the local Wally World. Between my physical and mental health, we know for sure there are certain jobs I won’t touch ever again.

At least I can proudly say my mental health is improving. I know there are a lot of people quitting their jobs right now because they’re tired of the crap. Love them. They’re doing the right thing for it. Employers need to learn what they can’t get away with if they want to retain people. You know what’s truly crazy? Working somewhere that pays less than what one is worth, for long hours, crappy benefits, and harsh criticism.

That’s probably the thing that drove me into therapy the most. It’s one thing to criticize someone’s job performance in the name of improving the company. I get that. But when they literally tell you to internalize that they think you’re less than mediocre? Another reason for me to NEVER set foot in an office environment again. Sorry, I just don’t have the personal resources to handle that. Again, I believe in karma.

I got the boot a couple of weeks after that total downer of a review. No surprise, really. Just annoying. Treat people the way you would want them to treat you. And middle finger on each hand up to corporate America for some of their contrary values.

I am a spiritual being having a physical experience. When I’m not afraid to die, I’m not afraid of anything that can be said to me. However, I still have feelings and free will. Luckily, I choose in every now moment to stay calm, forgive, and remember we’re all here on the Earth plane to have these types of (crappy) experiences. Some day I’ll tell you what all I’ve learned. LOL!

Not a millionaire yet. Just going for joy.

Time to get creative!

I’m not going to do the whole sappy happiness-over-money bit. Money serves a very important function in society. It buys me a lot of things that brings joy, plus it helps people. I love wealth and prosperity. I admire people who have more than I do. Sure. Why begrudge anyone their happiness and prosperity? We should all be so fortunate.

That all said, I can write for enjoyment. I’m not fighting through the chronic pain every day to crawl into work just to be miserable some more. (God/Source/Universe bless you if you do.) I don’t have an overzealous middle management supervisor breathing down my neck and I’m not just a meaningless cog in the corporate machine any more. Years of stress and not taking care of myself in the name of the almighty dollar left me with a wrecked body and tons of pain. Please, do yourself a favor and take care of you, too.

Now, I’m waiting for the good graces of government and/or a remote job to come through. Otherwise, I’m writing for fun and ttrpg money. I’m going to stamp my own personal NaNoWriMo on a month coming up assuming everyone is healthy (and nothing else is going on) to knock out my first actual novel.

What’s all this TTRPG business about?

DMSGuild.com Just one of the places I want to get published.

For those unfamiliar with the term, TTRPG stands for Table Top Role Playing Game. Some would recognize Dungeons & Dragons as probably the most popular ttrpg on the market today. Of course there are literally hundreds of ttrpgs out there in the world in every genre imaginable with as many systems as one would care to learn.

I discovered a very warm, very welcoming #ttrpg community on Twitter a few months ago after the Añjali fracas left a very bad taste in my mouth. My new online friends have helped me realize that running, writing, and discussing roleplaying games truly does make me happy. Remember that whole joy thing? Yeah. That’s my joy.

Plus, having all this time off because employers want to hire me about as bad as I want to work for some of them has given me a lot of time to learn interesting new skills and embrace old ones. I’m getting back into blogging, web design, and social media a bit. Maybe I’ll even do some freelance work along those lines eventually.

I’m looking at dropping some of my own written ttrpg work onto DriveThruRPG, the DMSGuild and possibly starting something on Itch.IO going forward along with some freelance writing jobs in the industry. I’m aspiring for that electrum best seller spot on OneBookShelf.com on at least one of their affiliate sites. Years of being turned down by game companies have taught me the best way into the industry is to just do the darn thing and publish it myself.

This year is looking up so far. Yes, steady income is cool and all, but doing something I love to the point where it is almost indistinguishable from daily living is priceless. Plus I have more family time than ever, which has been nice.

That’s why my blog has mostly changed. I’m still dropping some spiritual stuff here and there along with my personal shares. Mostly, my goal is to post about that which really lights me up now or things I’m passionate about one way or the other. This might be the last Freedom Day update for a while. I’ll keep everyone posted if things change.

If you want to help out and keep this blog going, please consider a donation on Ko-Fi.

This Just Got a Little Worse.

My wife and oldest son tested positive for COVID 19 today. Wish me luck.

Honestly, I’d rather blog about anything but this.

My wife popped a fever of 103.9 yesterday and was up half the night with body racking chills. She finally went to the doctor and took my oldest son with her hoping it was a simple cold or maybe Influenza A.

Would anyone like to guess what happened at the doctor’s office? Yup. They ran a Covid test. Annnd now a third of my family officially has the Icky Cough-Coughs. I’m hoping that’s as far as it goes in this house.

I’m literally sanitizing things as I pass by them at this point. My immune system is really not equipped to handle major illnesses as well as I’d like. Plus I’m now single dad and nurse to a family of six while my wife recovers. For added fun, one of the cats honked up a furball on the bed for me to stick my hand in. (Euww…)

Remember how I said I’d pretty much had my share of dealing with this thing? Yeah… I’m so over it. Article can be found here.

My writing projects may fall behind. My blog is one of the only things keeping me sane at this point, so please anticipate regular updates unless I get sick. Please remember to eat all your veggies, drink lots of water and get regular sleep. I’m grateful for all of you. Take care.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Personal Share: The Great Juggling Act

I’m venting in rant mode. If anyone needs me, I’ll be wrestling monkeys in bubblegum while trying desperately to stay positive..

It almost never fails.

The Universe loves us enough to challenge us. It responds to our emotions and we attract what we feel. Feel the flow and high vibrations, watch more joy and love to you. Get stuck in a lower vibration, and things go a bit more sideways. Such is the Law of Vibration, and consequently the Law of Attraction.

The thing I’ve always had to ponder is why people get physically ill. I don’t think it’s entirely a low vibrational thing. Maybe the Universe does it to teach us something? Or to mind the physical as well as the mental and spiritual aspects of our lives?

People all over the world wonder why terrible things happen to good people. The truth is, we still don’t remember. IFF what we call “reality” is actually a simulation, then why simulate the bad stuff? I get video game reality, but we’re not out casting fireballs and fighting dragons with glowing magical swords. We create our reality, but shit happens in a way we didn’t intend. That part still confuses me. I think the messed up world of Covid proves it.

The Personal Share Part.

I’m gonna vent rage.

My oldest has Strep Throat and a nasty cold or something. Yesterday my wife spiked a 103.9 degree fever. She’s doing a little better today, but we’re not sure if it’s Strep, a cold, or that other thing. Our ten year old got one of his trademark migraines last night. I’m going bonkers trying to take care of everyone, including myself. Our internet connection is haywire, unemployment is a mess this week, and the rest of my kids are acting like little maniacs.

It’s not helping that ALL the kids are home from school today. I mean, yay Martin Luther King Jr Day. That’s great. But this garbage where the Des Moines Public School District has to have two more days after this for “Professional Development?” On top of Friday being a snow day? This is getting out of hand. Get these kids back in the classroom.

I would also like to touch on the fact that our Governor of Iowa, the illustrious Kim “Reaper” Reynolds decided to monkey around in the unemployment benefits this week, making it like pulling teeth just to get a claim filed. I’m guessing if she and her flunkies had to do it, unemployment would get a lot simpler. Obviously she’ll never have to worry about money but I seriously hope she loses her position as governor this next election. Between Gov Kimmie’s meddling with the schools (long saga) and this latest unemployment debacle, the woman just needs to get out of office so we can have some sanity back in Iowa. We won’t even get into the fact that she’s a Republican and has to continue toting the Trump line in front of the Biden administration.

Not the scale of consciousness this time. I’m unemployed and annoyed.

Oh, and why do I need unemployment benefits? Well, a certain employer decided to rid themselves of me back in July for unknown reasons. New employers aren’t exactly beating down my door trying to hire me because I went to college and have the loans to prove it. That degree is doing me so much good these days, let me tell ya. The State of Iowa and their rabid stupidity at IWD are trying desperately trying to fill jobs that require little to no training, pay like dirt, and have employers known for treating people like crap.

No, Covid didn’t help the employment situation here in Iowa. But employers aren’t helping, either. Look at the number of people quitting their jobs right now. Overworked and underpaid for some big, nameless, faceless, emotionless corporation is not the road to prosperity. Why get a college degree if all employers in Iowa want are kids fresh out of high school trained to do one job? But IWD will “help” me get trained to be a welder or a nurse if that’s what I wanted to do. Again, why did I go to college? Oh yeah, because for almost 50 years there was a massive push to “make something of yourself” by going to college and getting that “high paying” job. Which, in my life has turned out to be a big, smelly pile of bullshit.

So, in conclusion, I have other things to do and the Universe has taken a dump on me and my family today. We need to get everyone healthy and back on course. Yes, this particular post was kind of negative. I’m trying to keep my stuff together. Needless to say, times are challenging.

Between Biden’s dinking around with loan forgiveness and IWD’s unemployment nonsense, I’d about like to get the crayons out and explain some shit to these people. (At least that’s the nice way of saying it.) I don’t like to talk about politics, but things are just bonkers from the top on down to the bottom today. If anyone needs me, I’ll be wrestling monkeys in bubblegum while trying desperately to stay positive..

Pretty much sums up my weekend.

Power Rangers RPG Campaign

I looked at the character sheet for the new Power Rangers RPG and I can’t help but to want to build a campaign.

I just saw the character sheet for this game…

And like so many other character sheets, it got me thinking. There is so much potential for this particular RPG to be outstanding in my collection as a GM. I have four kids who are all huge fans of the series, plus my wife is a huge fan of the original Green Ranger played by Jason David Frank.

I’m going to walk through some of my design process without a system attached on here just for fun. The first thing I want to consider is the version of Earth’s timeline or alternate Earth. This happens in several Power Ranger series and is referenced throughout some seasons. Personally, I love cameo appearances by rangers from older series. Megaforce was probably my favorite for this reason.

The opportunities presented by this new RPG are just too juicy to pass up.

Looks very familiar. Similar to D&D.

Needless to say, we’re going to probably start with an alternate timeline to Mighty Morphing. I mean, the original characters were cool and all, but why not kick it up a notch? Think about it. The Time Force Rangers knew alternate Earths exist. What’s to keep our old original arch enemy, Rita Repulsa from doing the same? What if she cast a spell that broke the time/space/dimensional barrier?

I’m going to start out with Lord Zed as the main bad guy in Season One of Power Rangers, uh… ooh. We need a name. Power Rangers Lightning Force. Okay, I can work with that. My 12 year old already has his character designed, like the minute I mentioned it. He wants to play Blue Phoenix. Can you tell he’s excited?

The idea here is not to just replay the old scripts.

Hence an alternate timeline. We’ll keep a few things here and there, but let’s mix and match. Gonna try to go slightly more serious than the Bulk and Skull type characters, but not as dark as the 15 minute remake with Katee Sackhoff that got banned. (Loved it for what it was, but yeesh. Dark…)

The characters are still going to start out as high school students in detention together. We’ll have a Breakfast Club type opening with them all in weekend detention together. My wife will probably want to play Tommy Oliver as a girl, if I had to guess. Tommi Oliver it is. I want to minimize the use of NPC rangers, but so far I’m betting I’ll have three or four solid players at the most with my wife and oldest popping in and out. My youngest is still learning how to play games and sit still, so he might get relegated to GMs helper to begin with.

I’m going to plan on the team only having four colors starting out.

We can always add more later, right? The original team for Lightning Force will be Red (Dragon) Blue (Phoenix) Black (Chimera?) and Green (Pegasus?) I may have to recruit a player or two online and adjust. Again, we’re in the development phase, so nothing is locked down. I’m feeling a very magical flying monster vibe so far.

We’re going to leave the gang in Angel Grove but I’m thinking the population might change. Ever notice how monsters regularly rampage through the town, smashing buildings and crushing cars? Why don’t we ever hear about innocent bystanders during these battles? I want there to be some kind of consequences to not leading the giant monsters out of town whenever possible. Who’d want to live in that town? Can you imagine the real estate nightmares? But I digress…

In the next installment of this campaign building series, let’s talk about the bad guys a bit. I want something more than a gold monkey with wings. I’m kinda considering borrowing extensively from a gaming company that is no stranger to trademark lawsuits. Think of it as a tribute to 40K. But if I’m flirting with danger, why not go all in?

Til then, take care. Please stay healthy. Eat your vitamins, drink plenty of water, get some exercise, get some sleep, and avoid giant monsters rampaging through your town if you can. Game on.

Obscure RPGs

There are tons of RPG systems out there besides the standard D&D and fantasy. Go out and explore. Find something new!

“Obscure” being a relative term, I guess.

Today I realized I collect and love a lot of offbeat RPGs. You know, things that aren’t mainstream D&D. I’m not knocking the grandfather of all RPGs or anything. I still love D&D from BECMI on up. But there are so many other RPGs outside of D&D. Heck, there are plenty of genres outside of fantasy to explore.

I see a lot of posts/articles to the effect of “Alternatives to D&D.” I always chuckle at the notion because some of us have embraced this idea for years now. I don’t just mean Pathfinder or Middle Earth, either. I mean alternatives to fantasy rpgs.

Life can be scary away from spell slinging elves with swords.

Personally, I love the mecha genre of anime style games. Good luck ever finding players for that, btw. (I guess they exist somewhere but not around where I live.) WWII gaming has some appeal, but again players seem to be few and far between. (Check out Operation White Box!) Most people go toward Star Wars in its many incarnations because Space Opera is kind of like fantasy’s futuristic cousin.

I think a lot of sci-fi and modern games get a bad rep because “guns are icky.” Truthfully, many of us have had negative experiences with firearms to the point of not wanting to roleplay characters that use them. And there’s also the percentage of the population that knows little to nothing about guns. Swords and spells are easier to figure out, I suppose. The same can be said for modern horror as well, although Call of Cthulhu is still thriving.

I recommend looking into one’s own favorite genre of books, movies, or tv shows for inspiration. Chances are, there’s probably an RPG out there on the market for it or a way to adapt a current system. Generic, universal RPGs are fairly common these days from the d20 System (OGL, D&D rules,) to FATE, D6, Open Legends, Genre Diversion, and dozens more. There are too many to list here and most are adaptable to anything from gritty historical realism to far flung psychedelic future utopian fantasy.

DrivethruRPG is chock full of alternative games.

Full disclosure: I am NOT a spokesman for OneBookShelf or any subsidiaries, but I’ve been a customer for years. It’s a good RPG shopping site for indie games. There’s also a lot of good reviews there if you’re on the fence about buying a new game or game system.

I could go on all day naming good systems and specific RPGs for people to try out, but it might be easier just to go on Itch.io or DrivethruRPG and look around for yourself. Your local used bookstore might also be a good resource for RPGs off the beaten path.

Please consult your group before launching a new campaign or system.

I want to emphasize that some groups may not be ready to do something other than good old D&D. I have friends who absolutely refused to do anything besides D&D. It was the only game they knew. It was the only genre they were comfortable it and you could not get them out of that comfort zone for love or money. To those friends, I said, “Cool. See you next week for D&D.”

Challenging though it may be at times, one can always find a group online somewhere for almost any game imaginable. It might take some time, persistence, and effort to find said players or GM. If lockdowns taught us anything, it’s that there’s a niche out there for just about everyone on the internet. Failing that, I would recommend trying some solo roleplaying. More on that here.

Whatever your game or system of choice is, please do enjoy. I hope your weekend is full of good friends and superb die rolls. Game on.

Mighty Powerful “Morphering” RPG

Personally, I have campaigns for a sentai built outside of the Zordon era and a couple of campaigns for Rangers that wouldn’t be part of the Morphing grid, but would easily be Power Rangers games.

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers RPG from Renegade Games has dropped.

I have to say, I’m excited someone finally dropped an official version of this game. Some of us have been playing various versions of the world’s most famous superhero sentai for a long time or at least have campaigns waiting in the wings. I know the overwhelming concern with many game designers was the fear of being sued by mega giants Hasbro and Saban Entertainment for making an unofficial, unlicensed version of the game.

I was hyped when Renegade announced Power Rangers, GI Joe and Transformers are coming as RPGs. They’re all a d20 based system, probably as to make it friendly to the D&D players. I kind of wonder why Hasbro didn’t simply enlist the folks at WotC to do these games, but maybe they wanted to separate the licensing out.

Power Rangers RPG from Renegade Games.

Personally, I have campaigns for a sentai built outside of the Zordon era and a couple of campaigns for Rangers that wouldn’t be part of the Morphing grid, but would easily be Power Rangers games. I will say FATE Mecha v Kaiju did an awesome job of setting up a similar campaign. I’ve also come up with my own FATE sentai series, played around with Henshin Sentai RPG and have a Cartoon Action Hour campaign that is a fusion of Power Rangers and another popular kid’s cartoon that has its own trademark police. Needless to say, I’ve loved the concept of Power Rangers for years now.

My kids convinced me to watch Mini Force, so I could create a campaign for that any time as well. It’s a cute show. Lil fuzzy Power Rangers from SAMG Entertainment. It might be kind of a short campaign, though. Heh heh.

I grew up watching GI Joe, Transformers and Power Rangers after school. I’ve thought for years that a fusion of all three would be amazing. Take the zords to an all new level and have them be akin to Autobots and combine into a Megazord. Watch out Devastator! Likewise, making the Rangers into a military organization and have them fight terrorists from space would be epic, but a little outside of the scope of a Rangers TV series.

As a side note, I hung onto a lot of my old GI Joe and Transformers figures from back in the day. Still waiting for the crossover movie. Might have to do it as an RPG some day.

Dear Renegade,

Please email me a pdf copy of this game for review jeffcraigmile@gmail.com or drop me a note and I’ll send you my home address for a physical copy. I promise I’ll say good things on every website I can reach. I’ll even put up a YouTube channel just to review your games. Yes, seriously. I’m good for reviews of GI Joe and Transformers RPGs, too.

I’m also available if you’re hiring, especially writers. Thank you!

Your pal,
Jeff

Okay, before I drop any more puns intentionally or otherwise, I’m out. Have a great day. Game on.

Anxiety and How I Beat It Back

What’s the BEST that can happen?

Kind of a personal share today.

My chest is getting a bit tight just thinking about all this. Breathe…

I’m working on a couple of projects that I’m very excited about or at least I should be. I’m sworn to secrecy, so I can’t say what they are, but they’re very important to me. It’s also very exciting.

That’s all fine and well, but the old sinking feelings set in. I start asking all the wrong questions in my head. What if I fail? What if I miss my deadline? What if no one likes it? What if my wife gets on me for spending more time on this than housework or finding a “real” job. What if I’m successful? Ooh pressure… What if there’s criticism? See also all of my personal PTSD triggers…

If anyone needs me, I’ll be curled up under my desk.

Procrastination sets in. I start spending way more time on social media. I play Diablo 3 like it’s going out of style. I do housework until my body says “no more.” The cats are avoiding me because of too many snuggles. Time to be my own therapist for a change. None of this pattern is new to me. Time to break the cycle.

What’s the BEST that can happen?

The worst case scenario has had enough time in the limelight to last me a lifetime. I took Public Relations in college. I know how it works. But I’m done with thinking about what could go wrong. Let’s project what it looks like when things go right.

  • Use positive affirmations to build confidence back up. If nothing else, I am okay.
  • Speak it into existence with gratitude for what will happen. “I am so happy and grateful now that I am a successfully published RPG writer.”
  • Take inspired action. Don’t let those good ideas sit on the shelf.
  • “Lean into the suck.” (Thanks Laura DiBenedetto!) More on that below.
  • False Evidence Appearing Real. Let the demons go on a diet. No more fear.
  • Stay calm. Relax. Breathe. Stay present in the moment. Every now moment.
  • Get knocked down 99 times. Stand up 100 times. Failure is part of the process.
  • Do not compare oneself to the images on social media. The grass is always greener in someone else’s front yard.
  • Finally, criticism is also part of the process. Trust that it isn’t personal. Learn. Grow from it. Keep going with the knowledge that change and growth go hand in hand.

A good friend of mine once said, “Lean into the suck.”

Yes, there’s stress. But…

Yes, there’s going to be stress. It’s part of the process. Yes, there are challenges to overcome. If it were totally easy, someone else would have done it by now. Sometimes, you just have to push through all the fear, stress, concerns and challenges to come out on top in that place of gratitude. Even Elon Musk and Jeff Besos have off days and problems to solve.

Inspired action is still action and sometimes that comes with more challenges (or consequences.) I know I have to step out of my comfort zone. I have to reach for those goals. They’re not just going to happen magically while I sit on my couch and meditate. (Yay meditation, but still…)

Yeah, sometimes things are going to suck. There are setbacks. They’re not permanent. Hold my Dr Pepper. I got this.

I have to constantly remind myself I am NOT my feelings.

Sure, I have feelings. (My man card is burning. LOL!) The thing we tend to forget is that we choose our feelings. I’m not in any imminent danger of being eaten by a bear, so I can choose something besides stress.

Yeah, criticism is likely. But my editor is human. I’m still going to put my best foot forward and do my utmost to meet deadline. If it’s not perfect, we’ll figure it out together.

I am not my diagnosis of PTSD, ADHD, depression, anxiety disorder or anything else psychology labels me as having. I am capable of staying positive and present. I can do this. I’ve got this.

Thanks for bearing with me on a personal share. Sometimes I just need to put it down in words to feel my way through things. The interweb is my vision board.

I am so grateful for all of you. Be back soon.

If you’re interested in more life changing suggestions for personal growth, you can check out The Six Habits by Laura DiBenedetto. This book and its author have helped me so much these last three years.

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