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Choosing Targets

Sly Flourish - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 06:00

Today we're going to talk about how we choose targets for our monsters when running our Dungeons & Dragons games. We'll focus on two ways in particular:

  • Choosing targets that make sense for the monster and the situation.
  • Choosing randomly.

What Would the Monster Attack?

Our first decision puts us in the mind of the monster. What would it likely attack? Is it smart? Does it know how to defend itself? Will it accept opportunity attacks to break away from a melee? Is it cowardly? Lots of questions go into the motivation of a monster and what target it chooses. Smart monsters will know to try to hit spellcasters to break concentration. Brash monsters will break away from an adjacent enemy to attack someone it hates more; thus provoking an opportunity attack.

Smart monsters, like lichs, will know which spells to use against which characters based on their likely defenses. Dumb monsters will just attack randomly.

Choose Targets Randomly

Whenever it isn't clear which character a monster will attack, and this might be most of the time, we can choose targets randomly. Choosing random targets has a major advantage: rolling randomly to determine targets breaks us out of unconscious biases. We might not think we're picking on one particular character but what if we're doing it subconsciously? How could we tell? Sure, we might pick up some body language, but what if we're even blind to that?

One way to ensure we're not favoring or picking on anyone in particular is to randomly choose targets when the monsters don't have a clear reason for attacking one particular character. It also makes the whole battle more dynamic.

If a warlock puts a hold person on four scorpion cultists, however, that warlock just became a big glowing target for intelligent monsters so they can break concentration and get their friends back. That's where we go back to rule 1: do what makes sense from the point of view of the monsters.

Avoiding a Tactical Wargame

These methods of choosing targets break us away from thinking too tactically during combat. Instead of treating combat as a competition between the intellect of the player and the dungeon master, we continue to focus on the story by thinking through the eyes of our monsters instead of thinking like a competing player in a board game. This is what separates D&D from other tabletop games. We're always immersed in the fiction of the game whether we're roleplaying a lord's chamberlain or deciding who the bugbear assassins are going to attack.

Attacking Unconscious Targets

There's one point when choosing targets can really matter and that's whether a monster attacks an unconscious target or not. If a monster within five feet of an unconscious character attacks that character, it has advantage on its attacks and, if it hits, it automatically critically hits and inflicts two failed death saving throws on that character. If it has multiple attacks, it can kill that character in a single attack action.

Most of the time, we can assume a monster will drop a character to zero and then move on to another enemy instead of attacking the unconscious character. If the characters, however, are continually being healed up and brought back into the battle, a monster with any brains at all will start hitting them until they stop getting back up.

This is an area where we DMs have to consider the fun of the group and the pacing of the rest of the game when we make a choice like this. There are choices that makes sense from the tactics of the monster and choices that will put our whole game on hold if a character dies. If our game is particularly rough, like the meatgrinder mode of Tomb of Annihilation, we might let the players know that death can come quickly and thus they should have spare characters ready to fill in when their main character dies. If this is established clearly, the gloves are off and monsters may very well attack unconscious characters.

Our philosophy on attacking unconscious characters is worth considering before it suddenly happens at the table.

Thinking About the Small Parts of Our Games

This might seem like a small topic but sometimes it helps us to spend some conscious energy looking at the small choices we make when running our game. This helps us focus on bringing the most fun to our game. If we can use a two-step rule for targeting that helps us avoid playing favorites, we can reduce the feeling of competition between DMs and players and focus the game on the story we all share around the table.

Categories: Blogs, D&D

Interesting Research on Services – Things You Probably Never Knew

Temporary Hit Points - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 14:50

The Best Cloud Computing Company.

It is a fact that we are living in a computilized society and this is the reason why the cloud computing service provider are important in every business.

Individuals have to be highly skilled so that t be able to offer the technical knowledge and skills in the cloud computing services.

One is able to asked for the services of the cloud computing service provider be it for personal use or organizational.

For the cloud computing service provider t be able to offer the best services to their clients they have to be up to date with the many development that happens in the IT field.

There are a number of important factors that are necessary to put in to consideration while one is looking for a good cloud computing service provider, these factors are aimed at helping individuals get the best service provider and some of them are as follows.

The first factor that one is advised to look in to while in need of hiring the cloud computing service provider is the qualification of the staffs to offer the services this is due to the fact that the cloud computing services can only be offered by a trained individual.

One of the considerations to make while looking for the right cloud computing service provider is the capacity of the company to offer services to you, the reason why this consideration is important is due to the fact that different individuals need different capacities depending on their need and thus get a cloud computing service provider who is able to offer enough services on time.

One of the other factors that is important for individuals to consider is the exact services one is looking for from the cloud computing service provider, this is due to the fact that one needs to compare the advantages of all the service offered by a different company to the other so that to choose the one that is offering more of what they need, this is the reason why individuals are advised to have a number of recommendations on the best companies that have a good reputation in the services.

Due to the fact that one have to consider the budget that they have for the hiring of the cloud computing service provider one is advised to look for a service provider who is able to fit to the individuals budget.

One of the other important consideration to make is to get the services of the cloud computing from a cloud computing service provider who is allowed to offer the services this is the reason why one has to hire only the authorized companies.

Partner post: important source

The post Interesting Research on Services – Things You Probably Never Knew appeared first on Temporary Hitpoints.

Categories: Blogs, D&D

Learn More About Solar From Clean Energy Jobs Act

Temporary Hit Points - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 03:00

There is a strange misconception that today’s energy crisis is a matter of opinion, where consumers will forever have the option of choosing to switch to solar and other renewable energy sources and deciding to stick with fossil fuels. In reality, it’s not an all-or-nothing decision; as it stands right now, solar and fossil fuels can co-exist. As the availability of fossil fuels becomes more limited and solar power continues to grow in popularity, ongoing developments in solar energy production have contributed to the rising popularity of sustainable energy.

Developing an Edge-Powered Grid

Participating in an edge-powered grid by generating solar power without going completely off-grid allows property owners to enjoy the best of both worlds. They can take advantage of the lower cost of solar energy and its smaller environmental footprint without having to worry about going off-grid completely and providing 100% of their own power. Plus, those living in areas that have already adopted an edge-powered grid scenario and generate more power using solar than they need can sell it back to the grid.

Grid Instabilities

There are fears in California and across the country more generally that switching to solar will cause power grid instability. While it’s true that power companies are not currently operating on an edge-powered grid model, careful planning should prevent any kind of problems due to unexpected surges. The reality is that power companies will simply need to make technological changes and upgrades to ensure that the grid remains stable in order to handle the increasing demand for cleaner energy.

Lessons From Abroad

The United States certainly isn’t the only country to begin tackling this complex issue. In fact, other countries, such as Germany and Japan, have already embraced solar power on a much larger scale and have made changes to their nations’ power grids in order to accommodate cleaner energy. While some US supporters of fossil fuels would claim that an edge-powered grid would leave consumers susceptible to power interruptions, the reality is that consumers using German power grids experienced only 15 minutes of interruption last year, while US consumers experienced several hundred.

The Future of Green Energy

It’s clear that major changes must occur in how power suppliers and consumers think about energy production. Find more information at Clean Energy Jobs Act to begin this process today.

The post Learn More About Solar From Clean Energy Jobs Act appeared first on Temporary Hitpoints.

Categories: Blogs, D&D

The Emotional Investment of Dungeon Mastering

Sly Flourish - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 06:00

A band of powerful adventurers explores the mausoleum of a powerful dracolich. The adventurers enter a large chamber and with sparks of unnatural energy, five slaads appear, three red and two blue. "Stand back", says the wizard and begins chanting a spell. The two blue slaads look at him and then begin to chuckle. Then they laugh. Then they roar, falling to the ground and rolling around uncontrollably. The wizard smiles, continuing his chant. "The other three are your problem", he says to his companions.

Written out as fiction, the casting Tasha's Hideous Laughter on a pair of blue slaads sounds pretty cool. If we Dungeon Masters are invested in these slaads, however, this result might frustrate us. That wizard just inflicted the equivalent of 240 damage with a single spell. The slaad's terrible wisdom saving throw, even with advantage from magic resistance, and the wizard's ability to stay out of reach of the red slaads ensures the hideous laughter will continue as long as the characters need.

If we had hopes for a big five-on-five battle, this single spell dashed those hopes. This battle didn't go the way we expected and that can leave us feeling like things went wrong or the system is broken.

The Differing Emotional Investment of Players and DMs

Players are invested in their characters. They want to see their characters do interesting things. They want to discover the world. They want to disarm devious traps. They want to uncover deep secrets. They want to swing from ropes and push over carts. They want to do awesome things. In particular, they want to kick monster ass in battles. Can they completely paralyze a monster that might have looked threatening? That's pretty cool! Like Indiana Jones shooting the swordsman cool.

Think how pissed a player would be if his character got banished or stuck behind a wall of force for a whole battle. Sometimes, that's how we DMs feel when our monsters face the same fate. If we have a villain we really liked destroyed or incapacitated in a single round, that can suck. It's the reason we need to be careful when putting villains like Strahd or Iymrith in front of the characters. We don't want to see them put down too easily.

DMs can't be invested in the game the same way players are invested. For most games, players only have characters die every so often. For DMs, monsters and villains die all the time. The job of our monsters is to threaten the PCs and then fall. How can we invest emotional energy into such doomed creatures?

The Divine Art of Not Giving A Shit

There are a lot of ways to deal with these feelings. First of all, as Dungeon World teaches us, we should, first and foremost, be fans of the characters, not the monsters. We play to find out what happens not to make sure a battle goes the way we want it to go and not to enjoy how awesome the monsters are at killing the heroes.

One way we can ensure we don't care is to not spend a lot of time on them. The less time we spend building and preparing our monsters or planning a battle, the less we will worry about what happens if the monsters get screwed by a save-or-suck spell. We can get just as excited about it as the players were. Just like the swordsman scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, a surprise like that can be pretty bad-ass.

Running narrative "theater of the mind" combat makes this even easier. We don't have to worry about drawing a map or putting down a gridded battle space that might only get used for a few minutes before the characters steamroll an encounter or sneak past with a great stealth check. One of the big problems with the tyranny of the grid is that we DMs put emotional investment into the battle spaces we build out. If we take the time to build something nice, we want the battle to be a solid challenge that doesn't get short circuited by a single good casting of hypnotic pattern.

But if we don't spend time planning some of our encounters, they can get boring either in the environment or in the tactics of the monsters. How many times have you played out a battle only to discover too late that the monster had some effect you forgot to use? How many times did you roll up a treasure hoard and wonder why the monster wasn't using that Flametongue sword she was sitting on? A little time prepping a combat encounter isn't a bad thing.

Know Your Enemy

It really helps to know the capabilities of the characters. What are they particularly good at? What save or suck spells do they enjoy using? We don't learn these capabilities just to counteract them with monsters that resist or exploit them. We learn what the characters can do to ensure we're giving them a good chance to use those cool abilities.

If you have a character you know can remove monsters easily, you might consider this when choosing the number of monsters. Does the enchanter always have a good way to "mass suggest" groups of foes? Add in a couple of more to increase the likelihood of a save. Do the characters dish out huge amounts of damage? Maybe max out the hit points of a few highly challenging creatures. The key isn't to hose the PCs who have this stuff but to ensure they don't get bored as they circumvent battles too regularly.

Where Should We Invest Our Emotional Capital?

So if we DMs shouldn't invest our emotional capital (a fancy marketing word for giving a shit) in our poor monsters, where should we invest it? What's fun for us DMs? What do we enjoy in a good game?

As mentioned, we can become fans of the characters. We can enjoy their growth, their depth, and their desires. We can enjoy watching them kick ass, struggle, and figure things out. We can review the characters any time we feel like we're spending too much time thinking about combat encounters.

When we are thinking about the bad guys, instead of focusing on their combat powers, we might think about the long game of the villain. If the villain is a hag, how might the hag harass and torture the characters without putting herself in harms way? How can Strahd tug his strings and squeeze his hand around the characters without leaving Castle Ravenloft? What long-term plans do the villains have?

We can invest our time in the fronts of our villains. What are they doing right now? What do they want? What plans are they moving forward? This gets into Mike Mearls's statement about getting away from thinking tactically and thinking more about the overarching story being told. This is a huge shift for many DMs and one I think encapsulates the changing nature of D&D games these days.

We can also invest our time in the secrets and clues the characters can discover or the fantastic locations they can explore.

Shifting the direction of our emotional investment in our D&D games isn't easy. It requires careful thought and self analysis to put our heads around the right parts of our game, the parts we and our players enjoy together. When we aim our emotional investment the right way, we can build even more fantastic stories with our groups and all share in the joy these stories bring us as they unfold.

Categories: Blogs, D&D

Exploring Chult

Sly Flourish - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 06:00

The fantastic hardback adventure, Tomb of Annihilation, includes a large throwback to the hex-crawl. In this mode of play, the characters make their way through the wilderness of Chult as they seek out ancient vaults and lost cities. Players roll for various checks to determine whether they can find their way through the forest, see threats as they come up, or avoid getting throat leeches (my new favorite disease next to super-tetanus). We also roll for a handful of random encounters as the days go by.

In today's article we're going to look at how DMs can make the most out of the exploration of Chult. This will focus primarily on chapter 2 of the adventure in which the characters dive deep into the sinister undead-infested jungles as they seek out the threat to the souls of the world.

Give the Exploration System a Fair Shot

Tomb of Annihilation includes a rich system for handling the exploration of Chult and it's worth at least trying it out for a few sessions to see if it work for you and your group. You don't have to be a slave to it, however. Instead, you can tune the exploration system to suit the pacing you and your players enjoy. Early on though, before you look at this exploration system and judge whether it will work or not, give it an actual try and see what you think. You can always tune as you go.

Add Weather

Tomb of Annihilation itself doesn't have a system for determining weather each day but we can use the rules in the Dungeon Master's Guide to include rolling for weather while the characters travel through Chult. The adventure does mention that there is a 25% chance of a tropical storm on days of heavy rain. That's worth checking for as well. Weather adds some fun atmosphere to the events of the day.

Throw In Some Fantastic Monuments

The lands of Chult are littered with the remnants of the past. As the characters explore the lands, we can throw in some fantastic monuments and maybe some fantastic monuments customized for Chult. We don't have to drop these monuments in all the time but they can be a fun way to focus a scene around an interesting feature of a location.

Tie Random Encounters to the Story through Secrets

Many complain that the random encounters in Tomb of Annihilation (and other adventures) break away from the central story of the adventure and thus choose not to use them. Though these encounters are random, they need not steer away from the theme of the adventure. We can use our list of abstracted secrets and clues to help the characters learn about the history of Chult or the threat of the Soulmonger from these random encounters.

As we DMs learn to better improvise during our game we can look at what the random encounter chart has come up with and figure out how to tie that encounter to the story. Maybe it pushes the characters towards a discovery of the city of Omu. Maybe they see a vision of Acererak hanging over that horde of zombies. Part of our jobs as DMs is to make random encounters relevant and it's a fun part of the job.

Mixing Up Random Encounters

There are other ways we can use random encounters to make things interesting during the exploration of Chult. First off, as the book says, we never need to go with what the dice show us if it's not that interesting. Feel free to re-roll or pick something nearby instead.

Second, we can always have the characters discover the results of a random encounter after it has happened. Instead of having the characters face a cyclops, they might come to an area where it is clear some giant humanoid recently walked by dragging something. The characters are free to investigate or keep on with their journey. Maybe the characters discover the remains of a Flaming Fist mercenary company clearly killed by the undead. This gives the players some agency in chasing down mysterious clues or getting on with their journey.

Third, we can mix up the results of two rolls instead of running just one encounter. We might do this if we roll multiple random encounters in a single day, say rolling a 4, 16, and 18 on our three daily random encounter checks. Instead of running them sequentially, we can mash the two together for something interesting. This might start off with an attack of Batari goblins who then call a zombie tyrannosaurus using a strange bone horn. It might be that same cyclops fighting a band of Emerald Enclave scouts. Maybe a pack of pterafolk use a nest of pteranodons as bait to lure the characters into a trap.

We need not be slaves to the random encounter chart. Instead we can use it as a way to inspire us to build interesting scenes in the jungles of Chult.

Group Days Together

Chult is a big place and we're likely to get bored of running it one hex at a time. Instead, we can group days together and summarize them to our party. We might describe a ten-day journey in a tropical storm, soaked through and no cover, scraping by on what food and water they come across and watching in awe at the huge brontosauruses that munch on the tall trees. We might roll one random encounter per ten-day, again, perhaps, joining together a couple of encounters and a fantastic location to highlight an interesting event along the ten-day journey.

Use Montages

Finally, we can break away from the traveling system completely and use a 13th Age style montage system instead. In this system, we ask a player to describe an interesting challenge they face without offering a solution. Then, ask another player to describe how their character helped them get through the situation. We can do this two or three times to get all of the players involved, fill out the story of the journey, and learn what sorts of things interest the players. We can always use this montage system to skip over about ten hexes worth of travel and then return to the hex system when we want to.

Options, not Limitations

Many DMs might look at the exploration and random encounter system in Tomb of Annihilation and feel bound by it. Without even trying it, a DM might feel like it is too mechanics-heavy and will end up being too much of a slog to bother with. Giving it a try, at least for a session or two, can let us know what it is really like and whether our players will actually enjoy it. We always know we can throw it out of it isn't working for us. Instead of throwing it out completely, however, we can use it as a toolkit to experiment with the descriptions and gameplay of travel in our RPGs. The above ideas are a few ways we might do so.

Above all, randomness aids in creativity and inspiration. It might not be immediately comfortable to trust that we will be able to tie random encounters to the main storyline of Tomb of Annihilation but we can do so if we abstract secrets and clues from the story and tie them to the random events that take place. Doing so creates a game that is just as much fun for us DMs as it is for the players.

Categories: Blogs, D&D

DM's Deep Dive: D&D for the Visually Impaired

Sly Flourish - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 06:00

This month on the DM's Deep Dive, a proud member of the Don't Split the Podcast Network, I was privileged to talk to my friend and lifelong gamer, Sharon Dudley, about her experiences as a visually impaired RPG player and recent Game Master.

You can listen to the podcast or watch the video on Youtube. It's also embedded in the page below.

The rest of this article outlines notes and highlights from the show.

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Sharon's Three Tips for Running Games for the Visually Impaired
  1. You don't need the grid. Instead use descriptive vocabulary of the situation. Sharon has played D&D and Pathfinder for years and does very well without necessarily seeing the exact position of everything.

  2. Pictures aren't helpful. This seems obvious but many DMs rely on visuals and that simply will not work for someone who cannot see them. If you can't describe some part of your game, any part of your game, the parts you can't describe will not work for those who can't see it.

  3. Don't use the words "this" and "that" and "there" which aren't helpful when visually impaired people can't see what you're referring to. Describe what or who you are pointing at or looking at.

Here's a tip from another visually impaired gamer: ask them how you can make the game better for them. Sharon said she would never be offended and would be really happy to be asked how a game can be more accessible to her.

What GMs Do Well?

What's fun for Sharon is fun for everyone. Good plot, great GM that brings the characters and settings to life; these are all great. Music sets the tone for the game. Music lightly playing in the background adds to the atmosphere.

Sharon suggest focusing on giving life to characters. This goes for other players as well as DMs. Sharon loves to work with other characters and that works best when people are into the stories of their characters and not just the mechanics. Don't railroad or just focus on dice. Sharon can also sense when people are on their phones. Players should stay attentive and keep the pace of the game going forward. Sharon likes it when everyone is is present and focused on the game (don't we all!).

On phones, Mike leans towards the idea that people are spending their own time and can play clicker games if they want but their lack of attention can hurt the game for everyone else. Maybe its best to put the phones away from the table.

Mike reminisces about web design and web accessibility guidelines and how focusing on accessibility made the website better for everyone. The things that make a game good for people who are visually impaired can make it good for everyone.

On Initiative

Blind and visually impaired players can't see an initiative tent or board. GMs should make sure that visually impaired players know where their place is in initiative. Many GMs have made progress over the years by making initiative visually available to those who can see but this doesn't help those who are visually impaired. Take the time to describe the initiative order to any visually impared players so they know when their turn is about to come up.

On Ideal Systems

For D&D, 4th edition was really hard for visually impaired. The difficulties of not being able to see meant that push, pull, shift, and slide effects were hard. This made Sharon not want to play. 5e has made it definitely better, as did Pathfinder.

Cortex is challenging for visually impaired because choosing an ability from a particular dice pool is hard to remember between turns.

At Origins, Sharon had to leave a game that had a heavy focus on visual cyphers and word-problems. Players had to see it to figure it out. The game required visual puzzle solving which just plain makes it inaccessible.

If a component of the game requires looking at something, it doesn't work or those who can't see it. Again, this seems obvious but takes particular attention for those of us who take it for granted.

When a GM is making a puzzle, ask how would someone solve this puzzle without seeing anything. If they want to figure out a cypher, how can they solve a cypher without having any sort of visual aid or hand-out?

The board game Baker Street focuses on gathering clues and figuring out which clues are true and which are false. By deducting which pieces of evidence can't be true players can figure out which results can't be true and which can.

Mike likes secrets and clues as a game prep technique that can work this way.

Different voices for NPCs help visually impaired players. Voices are both entertaining and help identify difference NPCs. Describe scents. Invoke the five senses. Again, this is a benefit for everyone, not just those who are visually impaired.

Sound effects using a sound board can add a lot to a game for both those with visual impairments and those without.

Sharon's top traits for great games: music, sound effects, character voices, clear identification of characters, and making the story come alive.

Though she prefers roleplaying, combat in D&D and RPGs can be great fun and a great stress reliever.

Sharon can't stand it when people are drawing battle maps. Not only is it a general waste of time for everyone, it is particularly agonizing for those who are visually impaired and know they will get no benefit at all even when it's done. Arguing about the size of a closet is mind-numbing.

Questions From the Audience

What is the best way to handle dense text builds like wizards or clerics?

Sharon loves rogues but it isn't because of issues with complexity, it's the character type she likes. She also likes paladins. Sharon can play pretty much any class. She just memorizes the spells. Brailing the cards could help for something like wizards. Screen-readers also help. Another visually impaired player said that D&D Beyond made D&D much more accessible because it can be read by a screen-reader.

How can digital tools help?

Sharon doesn't use a screen-reader, she uses her husband, Chris. Chris helps her with the details of Pathfinder.

What is the simplest thing that DMs can do to make their table more inclusive.

Sharon says "say the character's name". Don't say "so what do you think?" say "Gronon, what do you think?" even if it isn't the visually impaired player's character. Address all the players by the names of their characters each time you address them. Visually impaired players can't see eye-contact. Using the character's name instead of the player's name also draws people into the story.

What is your first D&D memory?

Sharon's first character got shot to death by hobgoblins when she turned her back on them.

What game systems work well?

Dragon Age and Quick-Ass Gaming. Fate is lovely.

Sharon can play pretty much any game. A game without tons of numbers are better. Champions has a lot of numbers.

Sharon has no problem with Pathfinder.

Listen to more of Sharon's work and experiences on the Dragonreel podcast with her husband, Chris.

Categories: Blogs, D&D

The Best Advice on Services I’ve found

Temporary Hit Points - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 23:23

Reasons Why Your Home Needs a Security Monitoring System

Each and every individual wants to ensure that their home is well taken care of. One tends to have a happy feeling about living in a safe house.However, people tend to forget about securing their homes. However, some of them are not enlightened on the advantages of having security monitoring systems in their houses. The following are reasons as to why you should consider having a security monitoring system in your home.

It helps to protect valuables. There are various things that people view as special to them.Valuables vary with people. Most people have electronics and jewelry that could cost a fortune. Various criminals target such valuable things so that they can go resell at cheaper prices.With a security system in your house, the thief gets afraid and leaves your house in peace.

Helps to prevent crime. Studies have shown that a house containing a security system have a lesser chance of being invaded by criminals as compared to one that doesn’t have. People without the security system are prone to invasion. With a security monitoring system in your house, your neighbors tend to benefit since there is enhanced safety in your neighborhood.

You have the advantage of maintaining a close watch on your premises.The automated security systems will enable you to have access to your home at the comfort of your work or in any place that you are. With the help of the cameras installed in your house, it is easy for you to see whatever is going on when you are not around. When there is an automated system, chances of thieves breaking in your house are slimmer as compared to when you do not have a security monitoring system.

You are able to watch your kids closely. The security system makes it easy for you to monitor your kids closely through the cameras installed in your home. You are able to know the kind of allies they bring to your home since some of them may be up to no good.

You do not have to experience different kind of stresses that come along with anxiety due to feeling unsafe.A security system provides you with a sense of security for you and your family. You tend not to be stressful about your safety when you live in a house with a monitoring system.When everyone feels safe, they can focus with their lives in a healthy and productive way.

You receive quick response if any emergency occurs.When you have a professional security system, you are alerted of any emergency and by the time you are alerted, they have already sent help to your home..

The post The Best Advice on Services I’ve found appeared first on Temporary Hitpoints.

Categories: Blogs, D&D

Running Port Nyanzaru in Tomb of Annihilation

Sly Flourish - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 06:00

Note, this article contains spoilers for the Tomb of Annihilation campaign adventure.

Tomb of Annihilation is a campaign adventure filled with jungle explorations, buried mysteries, strange creatures, ancient ruins, and deathtrap dungeons. The adventure begins in the beautiful and bustling city of Port Nyanzaru. Unlike previous campaign adventures, Tomb of Annihilation doesn't include a small and focused low-level scenario to kick off the adventure. Instead, as written, the adventure begins with the characters teleported into Port Nyanzaru and set off exploring the city.

Running city-based adventures can be daunting. There are many choices and options that can end up paralyzing both players and Dungeon Masters. Where to go next? What should we do? What will we miss? Decision paralysis and the fear of missing out both run high in such situations.

This article attempts to unravel Port Nyanzaru so DMs can build and run focused sessions that give the players a fun and moderately guided adventure in this beautiful city. We'll shave off some of the rough edges, highlight some of the highest sources of fun, and give you some inspiration to build and focus your own adventure in Port Nyanzaru.

Here's a quick checklist of the highlights of this adventures. Your own checklist might vary based on your own desires and the desires of your group, of course, but maybe this list gives you a few ideas.

  • Read the chapter on Port Nyanzaru in Tomb of Annihiliation.
  • Downplay the urgency of the Death Curse.
  • Bring the characters in by sea and let them meet Aremag.
  • Run a dinosaur race.
  • Outline the key locations in Port Nyanzaru of interest to the characters.
  • Narrow down the selection of guides and perhaps choose guides that are less troublesome.
  • Consider adding a starting dungeon under a ziggurat in the Old City.
  • Foreshadow the major factions you plan to highlight in Chult potentially including the naga of Orolunga, Nanny Pupu in Mbala, the pirates of Jalaka Bay, the Yuan-Ti of Omu, the Flaming Fist of Fort Belurarian, and the Order of the Gauntlet at Camp Vengeance.
  • Reinforce the primary goal of the adventure: to travel into the jungles of Chult to find the cause of the Death Curse and end it.
Read Up on Port Nyanzaru

We all know how much I stress the way of the lazy dungeon master but there is one form of preparation that takes effort but offers a high value for the time spent: actually reading these books we buy. One of my biggest recommendations recently is to fully-read the Monster Manual and Volo's Guide to Monsters to steep ourselves in the lore of D&D.

The same is true for running Tomb of Annihilation. We will get the most out of this book and bring the most fun to our table if we read it all the way through. If we don't have the time, we can focus our attention on the area we're going to run next and the area right after that.

Before running Port Nyanzaru, read and review the chapter in the book itself. This will help fill your mind with the right details to reveal when running it. It will also help you identify the parts of the city you like the best and the parts you might want to skip.

Downplay the Urgency of the Death Curse

As written the Death Curse is eating away at the health of those who have been resurrected. It moves quickly enough that any delay could result in the loss of many lives. This urgency might push the characters to avoid fun distractions in Port Nyanzaru and the rest of Chult. Instead, we can downplay the urgency of the Death Curse by making it clear that some sort of disease eats at the health of those resurrected but it will be some time before they die of the disease. The soul-stealing aspect of the Death Curse might be something hinted at but not necessarily well known to the characters until they're close to doing something about it. The Death Curse is the main hook of this adventure but it need not be so urgent that the characters rush past all of the other fun parts of the adventure to end it. No one wants to miss a dinosaur race.

Come In By Sea and Meet Aremag

As written, Tomb of Annihilation has the characters teleported into Port Nyanzaru by their patron but this removes the fun of coming in by ship, potentially seeing some pirates, and meeting Aremag the dragon turtle who requires payment or passage. Perhaps it is up to the characters to deliver a ruby tiara the dragon turtle demands as they make their way in to shore.

Aremag is such a fun part of the adventure that it behooves us to introduce him to the characters who might otherwise miss him if they simply teleport in.

Run a Dinosaur Race

Of all of the events in Port Nyanzaru, none is as memorable as the dinosaur race. You can run this race in the Theater of the Mind or you might pick up some fun dinosaur toys to represent the contestants.

You might even jump right into the action by starting off the campaign with this character-focused question.

"As you roar through the streets of Port Nyanzaru on the back of four tons of allsaurus, what series of life choices brought you to this questionable situation?"

Starting the whole campaign on the back of a dinosaur will surely grab peoples' attention and get the game right into the action.

Some players might choose to race, some might be betting from the sidelines. The book contains rules for both. To keep things a bit faster, you can reduce the goal from 300 feet to 200 feet.

When you run the event, don't shy away from colorful narrative. Describe it when a triceratops smashes into six carts of colorful silks and juicy fruits.

However you choose to insert it, few events will build such strong memories as a dinosaur race through the streets of Port Nyanzaru.

Beware Troublesome Guides

One big activity in Port Nyanzaru revolves around potentially hiring a guide. Some guides work out just fine. Azaka, Eku, Shago, River Mist, and Flask of Wine all have something to offer both from a roleplay perspective and from a useful aid to the party.

Troublesome guides include Hew Hakenstone who will mislead the party, Musharib who has his own dwarven agenda he wants to pursue, and Salida who is actually a double-agent for the yuan-ti. Such double-crosses might be fine for your group but they can also potentially mislead the group for many sessions if handled the wrong way. Depending on how complicated you want to make the game, you might skip over the more troublesome guides and just offer those who won't lead the party astray.

Your group might forgo hiring a guide completely. Perhaps one of the characters already knows enough about Chult to lead the party into the jungles on their own. This can further simplify the campaign and removes any weird oddities like the fact that Eku actually already knows where everything is if asked the right questions.

Consider a Starting Dungeon

Unlike other hardback D&D adventures, Tomb of Annihilation doesn't have any sort of introductory adventure to start the campaign off with a bang. There's no Nightstone or Death House here. The characters are dropped right into this big city with a potentially unlimited number of options.

Our friend James Introcaso wrote an epic starting adventure for Tomb of Annihilation called The Cellar of Death that ties right into the existing story of the campaign.

If we're looking for something a little smaller, we might add our own dungeon adventure to the beginning of the campaign in Port Nyanzaru itself. This dungeon can help foreshadow the death trap dungeon the characters will face at the end.

The ziggurats of the Old City are a perfect spot for a small dungeon. A collapsed floor might lead to a catacomb beneath the ziggurat filled with horrid undead, ancient shrines to dead gods, and dangerous traps yet unsprung. Perhaps a yuan-ti agent has desecrated such an altar and turned it into a beacon that calls the undead of the jungle right into the city of Port Nyanzaru. A back entrance of these catacombs might lead into the otyugh-filled refuse pit. We can re-purpose the maps for the Oozing Temple or the Lost Tomb from Out of the Abyss if we're looking or a map of these uncovered catacombs.

A small staring dungeon like this can focus the party, get them working together, and bring some action to the city of Port Nyanzaru.

Foreshadow the Factions of Chult

There are a lot of factions throughout Tomb of Annihilation, whether they be groups like the yuan-ti or individual powers like Nanny Pupu or Saja N'baza of Orolunga. We don't have to cover them all in our own running of the adventure, of course. While the characters wander Port Nyanzaru, we can use the opportunity to introduce a number of factions, both good and evil, and see which ones resonate with the interests of the characters.

These factions might include:

  • The yuan-ti
  • Saja N'baza, the oracle of Orolunga
  • Nanny Pupu
  • The pirates of Jalaka bay
  • The Flaming Fist
  • The Order of the Gauntlet

We can drop various hints in throughout the characters' time in Port Nyanzaru. They might get harassed by members of the Flaming Fist or recruited by the Order of the Gauntlet. They might get visions or dreams from Nanny Pupu or Saja N'baza. They might be shadowed by a spy for the yuan-ti or attacked by thugs in the yuan-ti spy's service. They might hear about the assault of the pirates of Jalaka Bay from Zindar the harbormaster or actually witness such an attack from afar.

We can see which of these sorts of situations grabs the attention of the players and then tug on those interests throughout their exploration in Chult itself.

Reinforce the Primary Story Hook

Above all, it behooves us to reinforce the primary goal of this adventure. The characters will join together to explore Chult, find the source of the Death Curse, and end it. Everyone from their primary patrons such as Wakanga O'tamu to the dreams they have might reinforce the desire of the characters to get into Chult, find the source of the Death Curse, and end it.

Some Focus to Open-Ended Exploration

City-based sessions can be tough to run. There are so many options that both players and DMs can get quickly overwhelmed. Keeping a handful of high-priority options on hand can help you offer interesting things to do for players who might otherwise find themselves lost.

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Getting Creative With Businesses Advice

Temporary Hit Points - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 06:47

Tips to Sell Your Smartphone Faster

Where to sell broken MacBook or where to find wholesale smartphones is a question many people ask themselves. When you want to sell broken MacBook Air, consider the factors below.

In the event that you have anything on your old smartphone that requirements settling like a broken screen, supplanting any missing buttons et cetera, get it settled! Not having the capacity to do this incredibly decreases the estimation of your gadget and it would be to a great degree hard to get something advantageous for your endeavors. Getting your smartphone settled to look in the same class as new can extraordinarily enable you to get the best an incentive for your deal. There is no one who would want to buy a pathetic thing. Make certain to give your smartphone a careful cleaning. Even if it’s a few engravings or to clean particles stuck in your speaker. Try to use a soft damp material to clear any stains.Moreover, ensure there aren’t any articles on the texture that could possibly hurt the look.

How well you sell your smartphone quite simply depends on how you present it overall. By this, we mean taking great photographs showing every aspect of your smartphone. Be honest here. If there’s a dent that you couldn’t remove, make sure you mention this as part of the device. Taking great pictures will expel any inquiries asked from the buyer.Buyers are very choosy when it comes to packaging and shipping. An Iphone isn’t your general cell phone and purchasers might want to ensure that the gadget is conveyed to them in a similar shape that it was before the deal. Chances are, they would be spending a considerable amount on your smartphone and would therefore, like to get their money’s worth. Make a point to bubble wrap the smartphone inside the packaging to avoid any inside mischief. Make sure that the packaging is wrapped up well too. Have a go at using the primary packaging as it includes regard.

It’s one thing to keep your smartphone looking in the same class as new however the product angle is similarly as critical. Be sure to erase all your data. We’d recommend finishing a full reset with the objective that it ousts each one of your data including photos, accounts, passwords and so forth to restore your smartphone to the way it was the time when you at first got it. This leaves no takes after from your end either. Simply make sure to go down every one of your information with the goal that nothing gets left behind.

Before you seek who buys broken iPhone, you need to take a look at the above factors.

Citation: go to my site

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The Story Focus of D&D

Sly Flourish - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 06:00

There's a change happening in Dungeons & Dragons games. It's something that's been evolving since the release of the fifth edition of D&D and continuing its momentum over the past three years. It lies at the core of many discussions on the differences we're seeing between streaming games, home games, and organized play games. It makes a lot of people uncomfortable and excites a lot of others.

This change is best described as fifth edition's focus on the story of our D&D games over tactical combat and heavy mechanics. This is a hard topic to get our heads around but today we're going to dig in and try.

In an episode of the DM's Deep Dive, the senior manager for development of Dungeons & Dragons, Mike Mearls, described this in his number one tip we might not have already heard, that we might think more strategically and less tactically about the direction of our D&D games.

Removing the Focus on Combat

Mike describes that many of us (and I am certainly guilty of this) have focused on combat as the core of the D&D experience. In the fourth edition of D&D, adventures were built around combat encounters. We'd have a set number of combats per session and the story connected these battles together. The length of time and refined system of combat in 4e made this nearly required. Books like the Dungeon Delve focused almost exclusively on combat.

Mike Mearls suggests that we consider the story of our adventures and campaigns without thinking about combat. What would our story look like without combat? What is the arc of the characters and villains regardless of the fights?

We can also think of this as a shift away from the focus of mechanics of D&D to the story behind the characters and monsters in our games. Mike describes how newer players come to D&D without the mechanical background of those of us who have played the third and fourth edition of D&D. Those of us with this experience might look at a particular character build from its mechanical capabilities while newer players look at the story behind, say an infernal pact warlock, and get excited about the class's theme regardless of the mechanics. This excitement for the lore of a class is something us veterans may have lost but can hopefully regain.

Us veterans might consider re-aligning how we approach our D&D games. For roughly fifteen to twenty years we've seen D&D move its focus to combat. Now that focus has steered away from it. We have some habits to unwire and adjust along with these changes.

An Uncomfortable Spot for Veteran DMs

Some DMs will look at these ideas and see that it is not for them or their group. Many groups have played for many years with a focus on refined adventures, clear combat encounters, and tactical play. As our friends on the RPG Academy say, if you're having fun, you're doing it right.

Nothing says you and your group have to shift your focus around this new story-based approach to D&D. How we choose to play our D&D games is completely up to each of us.

It's probably a conversation worth having with a group, however. We can experiment with these ideas. We can, for example, build a larger situation instead of a series of tactical battles to see how our players navigate a less refined setup. We can take Mike Mearls's advice and build out one session without considering combat encounters. What does the story of the session look like?

Our own individual games live in tiny bubbles among all D&D games taking place around the planet. However others choose to run their games has no impact on how we choose to run ours. Yet, thanks to the internet, we can peer into those other bubbles and see the new ideas other DMs bring to their games.

We don't have to jump into an entirely new style of play we're not comfortable with. We don't need to throw away twenty years of experiences. Likewise, we'd be remiss not to capitalize on the vast amount of shared knowledge we now have access to and learn some new tricks from our fellow DMs.

Tips for Focusing On the Story

For those of us interested in exploring this shifting focus on D&D, there are a few practical things we can do as we prepare and run our D&D games. Here are a few thoughts.

Prepare to Improvise

Improvisation is much more than roleplaying NPCs or coming up with funny voices. Improvisation lets us build a world that reacts to the unexpected actions of the characters. Improvisation is likely the most important skill us DMs can cultivate and every bit of improvement will pay off as we run our games.

Preparing to improvise sounds like an oxymoron. It's not. We prepare to improvise by giving ourselves the right tools to let the world expand in unexpected ways during the game. The easiest and possibly most powerful tool is a good set of names. Random treasure, traps, relics, and monuments likewise help us add unexpected elements into our games. Even random encounter tables can help us add some interesting new situations to our characters' adventures.

Most of all, great improvisation comes from a limber mind. The more we do it, the better we get at it. Filling our brain with lore (see reading the Monster Manual below) and getting used to spouting out descriptions helps us get better at it every session. The more we do it, the more comfortable we get doing it. This is a huge focus of the Lazy Dungeon Master.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything includes a wonderful set of thousands of names and a whole pile of random encounters for every environment. The Dungeon Master's Guide contains excellent random tables as well. Use them and be prepared to build the world at the table, not beforehand.

Further reading: On Improvisation, DM Deep Dive with Tom Lommell, DM Deep Dive with Matt Mercer, and Top Traits for Dungeon Masters.

Focus on the Characters

Story-focused games focus on the characters, the actions they take, and the reactions of the world. We think about the characters from their place in the world; who they are, where they came from, and what they want. We don't have to worry about their mechanics. We think about their class based on how that class fits in the world.

We can, of course hope that our players think of their characters the same way. If we ask players why they chose a paladin warlock multi-class character and they say "because they both use Charisma", we can dig deeper. Yes, but why did it make sense for that character? "Because they were saved by Gilgleam and their faith was shaken but not lost." Better.

We can begin our D&D preparation each time by asking "who are the characters?". This is the first step in the new checklist in Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master. Beginning our prep by focusing on the characters puts hooks in our head upon which we can hang the rest of the story.

Further reading: Focus on the Characters.

Read the Monster Manual and Volo's Guide to Monsters

We can get so absorbed with the mechanics of our games that we skip the delicious flavor. The fifth edition D&D Monster Manual and Volo's Guide to Monsters are packed with wonderful bits of lore and story hooks we can use to build out and improvise scenes and situations during our game. These books shows us what the story D&D really looks like. What would a village be like if an Oni has been secretly charming a quarter of the town and eating babies for a century? What might happen if two lost temples containing much-needed artifacts are guarded by opposing naga?

Reading the Monster Manual and Volo's Guide fills our brain with the deep lore of D&D. It helps us build and improvise fantastic situations. Reading the D&D monster books gets our head into D&D like nothing else can.

Dive Deep Into the Setting

Along with reading the Monster Manual, we can likewise dive into any material we have for the setting of the game we're going to run. If we're running in the Forgotten Realms, it's worth reading the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide and chapter 3 of Storm King's Thunder to understand everything going on in the Sword Coast. If we know our characters are heading to Baldur's Gate, we might dig into old Baldur's Gate material so we really understand the city.

If our campaign setting is a home brew setting, we might spend our time understanding enough of our own setting to bring up the right points at the right time. We should know what sorts of things our characters might run into. What factions are in play? What history might they uncover? Where do the borders of the civilized world and the wilds exist? Some DMs spend tremendous amounts of time building out their campaign worlds for this purpose, which is a fine use of time as long as they don't expect to use it all or force it down the players' throats.

There is a lot to be said by sticking to published settings. These publishers have done more work on these setting than we can ever do on our own. If it's a shared world, like the Forgotten Realms, our players might already have an established investment in the lore of the world; not something they're likely to have in our own world. The production value on published campaign worlds also bring a tremendous value. Books that cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce can be ours for forty or fifty bucks. Think about the total dollar investment in the Forgotten Realms and how cheaply the results of that investment can be yours.

Build Situations, Not Pre-Defined Scenes

The world and all of the people and places within it are not built expecting a group of four to six characters of a particular level to wander into it. The hobgoblin armies don't spread themselves out into perfect groups of four to eight; just the right challenge rating to challenge the characters.

When we build a story-focused game, we set up the situation as it makes sense for the story. How many mind flayers are in an undead mind flayer colony taken over by Orcus? How many make sense to us? Probably not a thousand. Probably not four. When we build out our scenes, we build them in a way that makes sense for the situation irrespective of the characters and then let the characters deal with it as they would in real life (you know, with fireballs).

Further reading: Build situations.

Be Flexible with Combat Styles

In decades past, we spent considerable time building out carefully planned tactical combat encounters. Many times we tremble in anger when the characters circumvent the encounter with something like invisibility, flight, or one hell of a charisma check. We need not get bent out of shape when things don't go our way with one simple technique: not knowing how it's going to go anyway.

We also don't necessarily know where a battle will take place. If we're building situations, those situations are dynamic. A bad situation could result in an entire hobgoblin army aiming bows at the characters in the courtyard of their castle.

As you can tell, this makes it difficult to set up typical battle maps with just the right miniatures. Instead, we can get used to running combat in the theater of the mind with loose sketches instead of fixed five-foot gridded battles.

We don't have to do this all the time, of course. Sometimes we might map out the entire area. Other times we'll want to have a nice climactic battle against a boss. But that's not the norm for a story-focused D&D game. In that game, the final battle might be a sniping conversation over wine.

We DMs who choose a story-focused game know to keep our options open for battles. We don't require a map and miniatures for every fight; or any fight for that matter. We're prepared to run very small or very large fights. We don't define combat encounters ahead of time. We just see how things go as the game unfolds.

Further reading: The Tyranny of the Grid, Running Narrative "Theater of the Mind" Combat, the Abstract Battle Map.

Worry Less About Balanced Combat Encounters

Along with our flexibility in running combat encounters, we need to let go of the idea of "balanced" encounters when running story-focused D&D games. Instead of futzing around with the three tables in the Dungeon Master's Guide or Kobold Fight Club, we need only ask ourselves a few questions. What types of monsters make sense? How many of those monsters make sense? If it turns into a battle, will it likely kill the characters? If so, can I telegraph this so the players know to tread carefully?

We can figure out if something is too hard by comparing the challenge rating of the monster to the levels of the characters. Too many monsters or monsters of a challenge rating significanlty higher than the level of the charaters could be deadly. A monster is roughly equvalant to four characters if that monster's challenge rating is close to the character's level. A single monster is roughly equivalant to a single character if that monster's challenge rating is roughly one quarter of the character's level (or one half if above level five).

Keeping some rough gauges in our head means we can look at a battle and immediately tell if it might be deadly or not.

Further Reading: Encouter Building Guidelines, a New Approach to Encounter Building.

Embrace Childlike Wonder

Above all we must become kids again. We might put the mechanics aside and remember what this fantasy world and the characters in it look like, sound like, smell like, and feel like. We can get outlandish with the descriptions. We can laugh at one another. We can break character. We can break the fourth wall. We can go big with descriptions, describe brutal killing blows, and mark our enemies not with a number on the base of a miniature but by the strange glyphed ring it wears in its overly large nostril. We must mix our years of experiences with the childlike wonder we pushed aside for cynicism and adulthood. Be a kid again, just be a smarter kid.

Categories: Blogs, D&D

A Simple Plan For Investigating Services

Temporary Hit Points - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 06:47

A Look at the White Hat SEO Services and The Best Place to Get Them

In this century, internet marketing is one of the best ways of conducting a business. According to experts, it is estimated that nearly 70 percent of the entire population will be shopping online. This translates to billions of dollars that will be transacted annually. For people who are serious about making money online, they are encouraged to make sure that they get into online businesses.

You should be familiar with several things if you are interested in online business. SEO is among them. The need for SEO is to leverage the power of search engines to drive free traffic to your website. You can then use your marketing techniques to convert these people into buyers.

People are encouraged to ensure that they learn the basics of the SEO for it to work. Among the most important things that you must learn is link building. The only way for you to get better ranking is when you get links from sites that have a reputation.

You also need to handle the content part. Everyone is familiar with the phrase; content is king. People are encouraged to make sure that they get the best content if they want to get the best results.

Crafting content may not be an easy task. You need to research and be familiar with the subject that you are writing about. Other than posting on your website, you should make sure that you also guest post.

People who have time are able to run all these by themselves. If time is the issue, it would be better if you hired someone else to help you. We have a huge number of people who are known for handling this work. Finding the right one is the hardest part.

LinktoSEO is one of the best companies that are known for this type of work. The company has been in this line of work during which many people have benefited from it. They offer blog writing service where they craft some of the best contents for your business.

Other than the blog writing service, they are also known for handling the guest posting service. The guest posting services come in handy when you are searching for backlinks.

It is through their hard work that LinktoSEO has managed to help many people. When you order their SEO white hat services, you will be able to see instant changes with your business.

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Go On And Make The Small Company You’ve Been Yearning For

Temporary Hit Points - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 14:43

These days, it may be easier than ever before for a person to be able to start their own small business. In the event they’ll appreciate making items they are able to sell, they might wish to explore obtaining a co2 laser cutter to enable them to generate unique goods quicker plus sell them as quickly as is possible to enable them to be profitable in their very own company. They are going to need to be sure they have an understanding of what to purchase and how to get going so they will have a great chance of achieving success.

The individual may wish to make certain they’ll review their own options carefully so they’ll acquire a laser cutter which is going to do just what they want. This will enable them to ensure they could take a little time in order to generate any kind of product they might prefer and then sell the goods to other people. They will additionally want to make certain they discover more about how they’re able to setup their small business, meet brand new customers, and also ensure their products sell as quickly as is possible. Acquiring the laser cutter and also understanding exactly how to utilize it is the initial step.

If perhaps you might be all set to start your own personal organization, you could want to understand much more with regards to precisely how a laser cutter could help. Check out a web page now in order to discover a lot more with regards to exactly how a laser cutting machine might assist you to start your own organization rapidly plus easily.

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Get Your Enterprise On The Internet As Well As Start Attracting More Shoppers Now

Temporary Hit Points - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 10:50

A business owner today will at the least have a fundamental web-site in order to let probable buyers know what they’ll have in order to feature plus exactly where their retail store could be found or even exactly where possible buyers might acquire their products or services. Nevertheless, businesses that wish to branch out will desire to do more than this. They may additionally desire to find an online payment solution to enable them to start marketing their goods or services online.

There are a number of things for a small business owner to take into account whenever they’ll want to broaden their own organization to market products over the internet. They are going to need to make sure they have the inventory to have the capacity to offer merchandise as well as be sure they will have a method to effortlessly deliver all of the products they will offer. They’re additionally likely to need to ensure their site will allow them to sell goods by setting up an ecommerce solution for their own webpage. This could be tough to achieve so they might desire to receive help figuring out which e-commerce solution is likely to be good for their enterprise web site.

Following that, the small business owner will want to discover far more concerning what an online payment solution may do for their enterprise. This ought to work with the e-commerce solution they have selected as well as can enable them to easily process more forms of payments. The best online payment solution is going to furthermore help reduce the potential for an individual’s payment to be declined, meaning they are going to be able to be sure more clients may pay for the goods or services they are going to need. This is actually a vital part of being able to sell nearly as much as is feasible over the internet so the business might expand nearly as much as is feasible.

In case you might be ready to start selling your items or even services online, be sure you’ll have every thing arranged in a way that is easy to handle. In order to receive a lot more details regarding just how you may effortlessly deal with online payments, find out much more concerning an online payment solution that may make every little thing simpler. Go to the web-site for BlueSnap now to be able to acquire much more information concerning the services they will offer and also just what they can do in order to assist you to begin offering your goods or even services online as effortlessly as possible. They will make it much easier for your enterprise to grow.

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The Abstract Battlemap

Sly Flourish - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 06:00

One of the wonderful things about D&D is how flexible the game is for the different styles of play we bring to our tables. We can see this most clearly in our options for running combat. Some DMs run combat encounters with nothing more than a piece of paper with sketch of a room on it. Others have elaborate 3D models or a virtual tabletop like Roll20 or run combat completely in the theater of our minds. Whatever style we prefer, the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons supports it.

Many online discussions have grouped styles of combat into two: gridded combat, in which combat takes place on a gridded battle map of some sort with each square on the grid representing 5 feet; or "theater of the mind" in which combat takes place completely verbally with the DM describing the situation and the players describing their actions. These are gross abstractions, though, with a huge range of options in between them.

Today we're going to show a third option, one that, according to the 2016 Dungeon Master survey, roughly 20% of DMs already use. We call this the "abstract map" and the concept is relatively simple.

First, for this style of combat, we use some sort of physical map to represent the battle area. This might be a typical dry-erase battle map or a loose sketch on a piece of paper. It might even be an elaborate Dwarven Forge arrangement. It can use our well-loved collection of beautiful miniatures or represent monsters and characters with Starbursts. Our battle maps might use materials that cost as low as a few cents or materials that cost more than a new car. That's up to you, your players, your game, and your budget. Whatever you use, the abstract map style of combat works the same way.

The main difference between an abstract map and a traditional gridded battle map is that distance is not measured in five foot squares. The distances and ranges between things aren't fixed. They're loose. Abstract maps show the relative distances between things and the general physical positioning of characters and monsters. Instead of thinking about five foot squares, we focus on the big picture.

To understand why we might want to abstract distances, please see the Tyranny of the Grid. Much of this article will talk, instead, about how.

"But D&D Uses Five Foot Increments!"

Many D&D DMs and players point out that the fifth edition of D&D uses five-foot incremental distances all throughout it; from the distance characters move to the areas of effect for spells and abilities. Unlike 13th Age, Fate Accelerated, or Dungeon World, the distances in D&D are not abstract in the rules.

This is true. However many DMs for decades have played D&D without worrying about those distances when running combat, including many of the current Wizards of the Coast designers who made the fifth edition of D&D. Range and distances can be abstracted in D&D without losing the meaning and purpose of the game. I argue that, when we abstract distances, we focus more on the fantastic heroic action of D&D and less on the minutia.

Clarifying the Rules Up Front

It's critical that we DMs describe how abstracted combat works with our players before the game begins and get our players' agreement. Our guidelines for theater of the mind combat can aid with this, even though we're not truly using "theater of the mind". Many of these guidelines work well with an abstract battle map. Some of the key points include the following:

  • Our goal is for fast and fun combat that focuses on big actions and big effects, not the minutia of 5 foot increments.
  • On their turn, players should describe their intent. What do they want to do?
  • The ranges and distances between characters, monsters, and objects isn't fixed; it's abstract.
  • We DMs will tend to err on the side of the player.
  • Area effects tend to hit a set number of monsters, defined up front, rather than those that look like they are within or outside of a blast. The DM determines how many can be hit but the minimum expectation should be based on a set amount (usually 2 for small areas, 3 for lines or medium areas, 4 for larger areas, everyone for huge areas).
  • Generally speaking, unless the combat area is very large, creatures can move wherever they want with a move action.
  • We DMs ask for the players' trust to adjudicate the battle and we DMs promise to focus on running a fun heroic fight above competitive tactical battles.
The Trouble Spots

Because 5e D&D is a detailed game, there are specific situations that often come up when we're running abstract combat. We'll outline some of the bigger issues here but DMs will have to adjudicate as the game goes on. In general, we should favor the character with our judgment to build trust with the player. When in doubt, ask the other players what seems reasonable. This is a great way to break past the potential competitive nature of DMs and players and bring the group together to tell a fantastic story.

Characters With Extra Movement: A few characters have extra movement speeds such as wood elves, monks, and rogues. When we let anyone move wherever they want, it takes away from the advantages of playing with these characters. What good is it if a monk gains an extra five feet of movement if we're not bothering to play in five foot squares?

First, we have to ask, how important is that extra movement really? Is it the defining characteristic of the character? Does it really make that big a difference even when we do play on a grid? For some, like the monk and rogue, it sure does. They get whole piles of extra movement, not just five feet.

For those characters who get entire extra move actions, we can use a nice simple guideline:

Most characters can move a reasonable distance during their turn. Rogues and monks can move an unreasonable distance.

We can think of distance abstraction as turning five foot squares into fifty foot squares. The game Fate does this with Zones, large areas that make up the physical setting of a scene. In our abstract map, if an area is bigger than a fifty foot square, typical creatures can only move from within one square to another but monks and rogues can move into one big block and back out again. Rogues and monks, with their extra movement, can pretty much decide to go wherever they want.

For an example, we might have a battle on a three-decked ship. Normal characters can move from one deck to another. Monks and rogues can move to any of the three decks from any other deck.

As far as the extra five or ten feet of movement that some characters have over another, we have to ask our players to accept that we're rounding that off in order to focus on the bigger and more heroic elements of the battle. You can also go with one of my favorites: "you would have been ten feet short of your goal but since you're an elf, you made it!" That aways gets a narrowed-eyed harumph.

Areas of Effect: When we put a map down, fill it up with miniatures, and begin to run combat; we're bound to come to the discussion of how many targets—friends or foes—can fit in the area. Our best approach to this is to let the players know up front what they should expect from a spell's area to begin with.

The Dungeon Master's Guide outlines rules for this on page 247. We abstracted this further in our Guidelines for Theater of the Mind Combat into four categories: small bursts (2), large bursts (4), huge bursts (16), and lines (3). That is the minimum number of targets a player should expect they can hit with a spell. Circumstances may let them hit more such as fireballing a huge horde of skeletons in a large cavern or adding four additional targets to a fireball if only they're willing to accept also hitting the front-line fighter and cleric.

Like the rest of this style of combat, how areas of effect work on an abstract map is best handled by discussing it with players before the game begins and then adjudicating it in the player's favor when we can.

Opportunity Attacks and Sentinels: Opportunity attacks actually have a long history with Dungeons & Dragons; both when people played using the "theater of the mind" and when the game focused on a 5 foot per square grid. Arbitrating opportunity attacks actually becomes easier on an abstract map than it does when using purely descriptive "theater of the mind" style because people can see when their character is next to a monster or not.

Movement past enemies might be troublesome but even in an abstract map players and DMs can see when reaching the back row of their enemies might put them near enough to the front row to risk an opportunity attack.

The only main rule we need when considering opportunity attacks while running abstract combat is this one: assume creatures move smartly to avoid opportunity attacks when they can. We, as the DM, should ensure that people don't take surprise opportunity attacks which hurt the credibility of our abstract map. We should tell players when they risk an opportunity attack before they act. The same goes for monsters although many monsters aren't smart enough to know they shouldn't risk an opportunity attack. Players love making them so let's give them a good amount of opportunity attacks.

Likewise, because miniatures will be right next to each other, we know when a feat like sentinel will take place. The specific distance isn't as important as whether or not the minis are up close. In those cases where reach matters, like a sentinel fighter wielding a glaive, we can fall back to the player describing the intent and pose the mini to remind us of that intent.

"Honestly, when I use minis in D&D it's not about tactical combat or clarity of action. It's an excuse to play with toy soldiers."

- Mike Mearls, D&D 5e Lead Designer

Focusing on High Adventure

Our overall goal when using abstract battle maps is to break away from the minutia of miniature wargaming and bring the focus back to the fast action and high adventure of our roleplaying game. Beyond being useful aids to ensure players share a common view of the battle, detailed battle maps and miniatures can be a wonderful rich part of this game we love. By abstracting distances while using physical maps, we can get the best of both worlds: detailed physical battle areas with beautiful miniatures and the high adventure we love best in D&D.

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Artificial Intelligence and Alternative Energy: Here Today

Temporary Hit Points - Sun, 03/25/2018 - 09:50

While there has been an increasing interest in alternative energy, and rightfully so, there is another innovation that’s changing the very concept of appliances today – artificial intelligence, or AI. Together, they will undoubtedly alter the way homeowners (and businesses) look at energy consumption and efficiency.

Is Using Alternative Forms of Energy Viable?

Of course. solar and wind energy are proving their value every day. Solar and wind farms dot the countryside, replacing a large percentage of the nation’s need for energy from fossil fuel. The key to successfully utilizing even more alternatively produced energy is moving that power to consumers when it’s needed most. That’s also where AI, as it’s being used for the next generation of home appliances, fits into the picture.

Smart Appliances Use Energy Efficiently

Intelligent software, capable of operating home appliances, already exists and is now being incorporated into everything from outdoor grills to washers and dryers. Although it’s still inconvenient to put off dinner because the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining, smart appliances frequently have the ability to put off cycling until power generated by alternative means is readily available. That type of scheduling means even less emphasis will have to be placed on fossil fuel generated power in the future.

Is the Use of Smart Appliances Really That Easy?

The short answer is yes. Smart vacuum cleaners, for example, can be programmed to vacuum floors during off-peak hours when there is little competition for power. Pool cleaners are another example of a smart appliance that saves time and money by operating at the most convenient times. On a more practical level, AI-controlled washers and dryers can also be programmed to cycle at virtually any time of the day or night. No human intervention is required, so middle-of-the-night operation won’t inconvenience anyone.

Business Owners Aren’t Being Left Behind

At the same time, similar workplace innovations are also on the horizon, meaning business owners may well be able to schedule devices to operate when their operation will best benefit the company, and that includes timing functions for times when business employees won’t be inconvenienced. That means productivity can rise at the same time operating costs are reduced.

Tomorrow’s appliances are already here, and savvy homeowners and businesses are already reaping the benefits of machines able to function autonomously. If you’re ready for the future, explore your options now.

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Lessons Learned from Years with Resources

Temporary Hit Points - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 07:40

The Elements to Consider When You Are Selecting the Best Insurance Company in Danville to Insure Your Car

Usually, if there is something can make your mind to relax is knowing that your asset is protected by an insurer. This is because you are aware that even when unforeseen occurrence occurs you will be paid back. It can be challenging in searching for the best home insurance company in Danville. Normally, the many numbers of insurance companies make it difficult for the customers to make their choices. Anytime you are sourcing for the top Danville homeowners insurance dealers, you can inquire your friends to direct you to the best insurance company that they know. Below are the elements to consider when you are selecting the best insurance company in Danville to insure your car.

Dependability marks the first trait that you have to think of when you are sourcing for the best home insurance in Danville. The insurance cover provider that you need to select for your home is the one that is reliable. Reliability is a critical issue when you are dealing with an insurance company. You do not want to keep paying the insurance premiums and then when your business is involved in a risk the insurance company ends up in deceiving you. Before you hire any insurance company of your choice, make sure that you look for the reliable insurance. Again, you need to look for the insurance provider for your business whom if you contact him, he will take time to respond.

The next feature that you must consider when you are shopping for the best Danville homeowners insurance is reputation. The best insurance that you need to hire to insure your home is the one that is reputable in Danville. Good reputation result when the insurance company ends up in meeting the demands of his clients who in turn market the insurance company. Anytime you meet a good supplier of goods and services who meets your demands you will spread the good news your pals. You even end up in convincing your colleagues to buy from him.

Another element to consider when you are selecting the best insurance company in Danville to insure your car is the cost the premiums to be paid. There are different insurance companies in Danville will each offering same services at a different cost. Anytime you are taking insurance cover, ensure that the premiums are fair. The services you get should be worth the money you pay. Remember that this is an investment and therefore you have to be careful with your money.

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Why not learn more about Products?

Temporary Hit Points - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 07:40

Tips for Supporting and Furnishing Your Man’s Man Space

When you want a man to enjoy when they are in a workshop or any other place or an organization, then the main thing that you need to do is to give them space to enjoy their manly issues. As a woman, you need to respect the fact that men always need some space when they are from daily duties just as you always enjoy yourself after finishing your daily duties.

You need to support your man in what he is doing just to make him smile and know that there are many things that you can consider to ensure that you do this.

One thing that you need to know is that there are thing that is always affecting men daily that will make them come back home in a bad mood, but as his woman, you are supposed to ensure that you do your best to bring him back to his mood. Do not worry if you have any problem at this point because in this article you are going to learn about some important things that will help you in doing the task.

The following are some tips that will help you in knowing some ways that you can use in supporting your man’s man space. The first thing that you need to keep in your mind or you need to consider is the man cave. Any space for your husband and his friends is the space that is called the man cave, and this places can be basements, a den, and many others, and this is something that you need to know.

In such places that are separated for your man and his friends, there are things that you need to include the experience to be increased. One thing that you need to know is that men like to sit back and put their feet up, and also they like watching, so the best thing to add in your man’s man space are some pretty comfy couches and also some recliners.

After taking care of the man cave, the next place that you need to have in your mind is the garage, and in this place, the only thing that you need to ensure Is that your man enjoys hanging in this place. At this point, you need to consider the workshop because it is an important thing. There are some men who love building stuff and also woodworking is their hobby, so the only thing that you need to ensure is you give him a good deal by arranging the workshop for him.

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5 Uses For Reviews

Temporary Hit Points - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 07:40

Ways of Buying the Best Saws

It may not be easy for you to find the best saw you may need. If you are in need of the best saws, you need to contemplate on a number of factors. It is vital that you consider some features that will help you get the best saw. You need to look at the available saws in order to choose the best one for you. One can also look at the shape of the saw which he or she needs to buy. You will buy the best saw if you consider the pricing. In order to have the best saws, the ways below will guide you.

You will get the best saw if you take time to survey the shops around. You will get the best saw if you do the survey. It is good that you do the survey to have some idea about the saw. You will have the best saw if you are commitment. You get to know a lot about saws if you do the survey.

Ensure that you do research in order to have the best saw. If you carry out research, it will be easy for you to know the best saw. You will get to know a lot about different saws by doing research. When you buy the saw you will have total confidence about it. You can also try your best to find out which one is the quality saw you can buy.

When you need a good saw, you can consult from the experts. You will get some tips on how you can buy your good saw. You need to be careful as a way of meeting your demands. You will find that the expert will be aware of how you can have the best saw. There is need to be sure of the type of saw you need, this can be made possible by inquiring from experts. They are useful people whom you can approach anytime you have an issue. You will find these people aware of the best saws that are available.

Focus to know the characteristics of the saw which you want to buy. You can look at the tooth shape, before you plan to buy any saw. You will be guided by the work that you want to use the saw in when buying.

You need to understand how you will use the saw for you to choose the best one. If you do not know what you will use the saw in doing, then there is no need of buying it. It is good if you can look at the features of the saw you need to buy.

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If You Read One Article About Experts, Read This One

Temporary Hit Points - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 07:40

What To Consider When You Are In Need Of The Best Electrician For Your Home.

An electrician is a person who deals with fixing electric wires in buildings or the electric machines. There is a benefit that people get hen the electricians are around especially when an accident occurs. This is because electricity is a very sensitive thing that only needs someone who is well trained in it. Electricians work in residential, commercial or private jobs. Electricians may decide on whether he or he wants to specialize in specific areas or handle different jobs. We need to always have electricians with us since they everything we use, uses electricity. It is an enormous challenge to find the best electrician if you have never work with any electrician. You are supposed to factor in some things when you want to find the best electrician.

you are supposed to look for a professional electrician. You are supposed to know of the many electricians that are around today. Not all of them have the best training that is needed. There are the electricians who work without the electric training. You need to ensure that your electrician is a professional and is qualified to handle that kind of job. The electrician you pick should have the skills on how to upgrade wiring. They need to be able to do this since they do it every day.

The electrician you have chosen needs to know how to repair. You need to know that even the residential or the commercial electrician also can be involved in troubleshooting. It is important that an electrician knows this since there are a lot of things that are involved. The electrician should always be able to react to their client’s problems hence saving a lot of time. It is important that the electricians are available to take care of the emergencies that may come up.

You must see to it that your electrician is licensed. You mu tenure that you are dealing with a professional person. The electrician you have chosen should be able to give you his or her license. You need to check on the registration of the license. You need to check if the license the electrician is using is up to date or not. You need to check on this because of the unspecialized electrician who handle the electric job without the formal qualifications. See to it that you are only dealing with someone who is licensed.

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News For This Month: Food

Temporary Hit Points - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 07:40

Advantages of Locally Produced Foods

Modern and traditional food processing methods can be used in the processing of food products from the farms. Traditional food processing method is still common in most areas where skilled craftsmen are used in the processing of food products through a method known as artisanal food processing. Artisanal food processing usually makes food using the hands and can make foods such as cheese, bread, cured meat, preserved fruits, oils, beverages and vinegar. Locally produced raw materials which include food produced locally are used in the processing of artisan foods. Artisan foods also helps in enhancing the market for the producers of food products and also benefiting the local economy. Using simple techniques of food preservation and fermentation helps in increasing the shelf life of the perishable food produce such as fruits. Food processing through fermentation helps use the beneficial bacterial into producing consumer products with long shelf life such as wine and vinegar.

Processes followed in making artisan foods takes quite a lot of time which makes the food to mature and have their flavors in them other than artificially added flavors. This makes the artisan foods to have a high nutrition value hence healthy for human consumption. The artisan foods are also consumed mainly in the locality of where the food is produced since the methods produce just enough food products hence cannot be supplied to other areas. Farmers markets are the main distribution sites for the artisan foods in a given area. There are other places that have supermarkets and fast food joints that are able to sell artisan food to consumers.

Legislations as well as food processing safety precautions should be looked into when processing artisan foods to ensure safe consumption of foods. Food safety for consumption is first enhanced by ensuring that all craftsmen maintain proper personal hygiene. Some of the personal hygiene practices that help in reducing food contamination include washing hands, reducing food contact with bare hands, having protective clothing and ensuring general personal cleanliness. Working environment cleanliness is very important during food processing since it helps keep away disease-causing vectors that are likely to compromise the health quality of the artisan food. Proper waste management helps in ensuring that the food processing is safe from any disease-causing organisms.

Most artisan food retain their flavors since they are not genetically modified hence good for consumers. Artisan foods produced locally are produced using organic techniques without the use of pesticides hence there is no worry of pesticide residue to consumers. Artisan foods are very good in promoting the economic growth of local communities by ensuring that producers make income from their produces.

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