Spreadsheets Glitches and Tweaks, Oh My!

I’ve got the spreadsheets for making equipment for the Player’s Handbook functional, so I’m churning out stats for example equipment. I’m aiming for stats that are at least close to the original system but the way this system works, it’s highly variable. That’s cool if you’re a player making one piece of equipment, but when you need a dozen different pieces that match real life examples or in game equipment, it gets a little harder.

I’m slowly working out the bugs, like batteries add a CP for every kilogram, which increased their already high mass to impossibly high. I also have a problem where the laser calculations can be used to make a 10 point laser that weighs only a few grams and has a beam intensity of only 300 watts. The heavy batteries are easy to fix, I’m not sure how to fix the light lasers as the interaction that causes it is pretty strongly built into the power curve. I’m thinking of putting in a minimum power usage, but that seems odd. There are a few other things that I could alter, like the base range classes.

I should probably check the other equipment and see if a similar problem exists.

But other than that, progress at last!

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Player’s Handbook Progress And Other News

I’ve made some progress in cleaning up the Player’s Handbook. I still need to add in some standard equipment designs for the engineer’s resource. I also want to put section titles in the margins like the core rulebook has.

As for making the example equipment, I started working on a spreadsheet that would handle the builds for me but each equipment type needs it’s own sheet so it takes some time. I also haven’t got it tweaked just right. There’s a few situations where the rules loop back on themselves. It’s easy to do in your head but spreadsheets don’t like the cyclical references.

This also lets me test the rules and see if they need adjusting. Sometimes a single digit needs to be dropped or bumped to make things turn out right.

I also started to move The Fringe setting sourcebook over to 3e. I’m sure I’ll be reworking the rules for orbital combat and there are specific tweaks that need to be made to move modifiers over to advantages or impairments. Beyond that I’ll have to make a cover, but I’ll have to see if the existing art for the interior will be updated. In any event this book has been long overdue for a clean up.

We’ve been building up errata on the core rule book. There are two big mistooks and a number of formating errors to take care of. For example, ASO I-CA and Scimrahn tables last entry should say 96-100 instead of 86-100. The other big one is the book has the Chezbah Warrior’s HP at 15!  That’s not acceptable, it should be 35. There are a few grammar and formatting errors that need attention also. An updated PDF should be forthcoming to correct those and other problems. When? I can’t say.

I also would like to have a black and white interior book. I’m surprised that neither Lulu or Createspace offer both a color and a black and white book as an option. You have to publish both versions separately. With Lulu it’s easier to create a new version, Createspace is more of a hassle.

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Whew! 1st Place Die Finished

If in the future someone asks me to make a d20 with symbols, I’m gonna have to say no. That was hard! I’d like to get it perfect, but this was an order of magnitude more difficult than the other d20s I made.

My fuzzy photography actually makes it look better. There are quite a few stray marks but this was the best one of the bunch.

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Quick Character Generation Cards

One of the problems we’ve run into for character generation for The Artifact is that it takes time to sit down and record all the stuff that a character starts out with. We’ve also had times where all the game books are being used and someone needs one for finishing a character.

To fix that problem, I made a small format PDF that can be printed on 3×5 cards or easily viewed on a smartphone. Each type of character occupation take up a single card so if you wanted, you could just keep the card with your character sheet if you didn’t feel like writing.

Quick Character Cards

Whatever it takes to make it easier to get playing and into the action!

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The 2D6 Simulator

Here’s the 2nd place winner’s die.

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There’s one problem. As submitted, the die shouldn’t have won. That’s my oversight. As proposed, the die has 21 sides which obviously doesn’t fit on a d20.

That’s embarrassing. My apologies to everyone, I should have checked that.

Edit: Nope, nope, I'm a dope. Uriah's idea works fine, there was just something wrong with my brain when I made this. I checked several times and I still didn't get it right. I remade the die as per his specs now and he should get it by Saturday.

But I was able to make the whole thing work regardless. When looking at the probabilities the 4’s and the 10’s don’t quite fill the probabilities of two whole sides. The 2 and the 12 (almost) fit with those probabilities to be a little over the 10% chance that the 4’s and a 2 would fill out and the 10’s and the 12 would fill out.

So this is what I did, I put a red pip next to one 4 and one 10 (the ones that aren’t doubles).

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If a number with a red pip is rolled, re-roll and if the result is a 5 or under the roll is the 2 (if a 4 was originally rolled) or a 12 (if the 10 was originally rolled). If the second roll is higher than 5, it remains the original number (the 4 or the 10).

It’s functional, and usually not obtrusive.

One down, one to go. My hand is getting steadier but I need more practice, which is why I did the second place first.

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And The Winner of The Dice Contest Is. . .

I like the card spindown die but it’s utility is limited compared to a lot of the other entries.

I think the +9 to -9 swing die could be useful but I’m not sure for what. In addition, you could do the same thing by buying one of those d20s uninked with 0-9 twice. Ink one side red and one black. The red side could be negative and the positive is the black side. Only, they’re pretty hard to find.

The fudge dice are cool, but other than using them for fudge, they suffer the same problem as the 0-9 die. I could see them being used by a GM to randomly assign what the bonus for an item is, depending on the game.

I really like the dungeon generator die and it very nearly would have won. It’s just there are two more that I see slightly more universality from. After all not all games are dungeon crawls.

That leaves the 2d6 simulating die 20 (2D6SD20) and the symbol die for GMing inspiration (SDFGMI? SDF-I? Where have I seen that before?). And that means that one is the first place and one is the second place winner. But which is which?

Well, The SDF-I is great for any game but usually could only be used by the GM.

The 2D6SD20 simulating die could be used by any player, when they need to roll 2d6, which might be never for some games but there are also a lot of board games that it could be used for.

It comes down to the criteria that the die be revolutionary. In this case to offer a function that isn’t available otherwise. And even though its going to be a lot harder to carve all those symbols, I have to go with Steffan’s SDF-I. I’m always splitting hairs, trying to decide for these contests. That’s actually a good thing. I’ve tossed these two back and fourth in my head all day.

Steffan O’Sullivan is the 1st place winner!

Uriah is the 2nd place winner!

I’m off to my basement to carve up some dice! Gentlemen, I’ll be in contact with the two of you for your prizes. This will take me a little time to get them in order, I’ll keep you updated.

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Dice Contest Finalists

d20x5 5It’s Friday! And that means I have to pick a winner for the dice contest. I’ve been thinking about this all week with my thoughts gravitating toward certain entries. Then, when I sat down and lined up the entries according to the judging criteria I was surprised that ones that I wasn’t thinking about, came to the top of the ranking.

A bunch of these entries are things I’d want in my dice bag.

We still have two entries for fudge dice. I figure they’re reasonably universal because you could use them in other games to see if something swings one way or the other.

For an even larger swing, we have a die that goes between +9 and -9

A die that mimics the roll of 2d6

A GM, or solo play die for helping make up what happens next.

A playing card spin down counter.

What do you think? Which one would you want in your dice bag?


Jake P – Fudge Dice

1 | -4
2 | -3
3 | -3
4 | -2
5 | -2
6 | -1
7 | -1
8 | -1
9 | 0
10 | 0
11 | 0
12 | 0
13 | +1
14 | +1
15 | +1
16 | +2
17 | +2
18 | +3
19 | +3
20 | +4


Steffan O’Sullivan – A Fudge die!

1 face = +3

2 faces = +2

4 faces = +1

6 faces = 0

4 faces = -1

2 faces = -2

1 face = -3

(Steffan’s probabilities are a bit different than Jake’s)


Maurice Tousignant – A die with negatives could be cool -10 to +10 except you would need 21 faces for the 0. Maybe -9 to +9 and two 0s 


Uriah – You could make a d20 that roughly mimics a roll of 2d6 (for settlers, monopoly, etc) 

Sides would be: 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 2/12

The 2/12 is the only trick part as you would then need to determine which it was (by coin flip, re-rolling etc.). You could also color one each of 4, 6, 8, 10 and the 2/12 differently to show that it was a doubles roll for games in which doubles matter.


Steffan O’Sullivan – Sent in this entry, again, you can only win once but can enter as many as you like. His entry was more detailed than this but this gives an idea of what he’s suggesting. 

Thumb is either up or down depend on how it lands – a good yes/no or positive/negative – sideways is maybe or unclear!

Pointing finger can either point to an individual at the table or simply mean someone points something out.

Open hand can be giving, receiving, stop, or High Five!

Bomb and death’s head are obvious symbols, though there’s still a little time with the bomb – the fuse is still burning!

Flag: authority. Or Eddie Izzard.

Sun, Rain, Snow: weather impacts things.

Yin Yang: the turning of the wheel. Fortune becomes misfortune and vice versa.

Bell: an announcement.

Book: knowledge is acquired or required.

Letter: a message.

Super question mark: very mysterious!

Eye, ear: they see or hear something

Double arrows: a trade, or exchange of knowledge, or back to the beginning.

Spider: either a monster, or a gift (Grandmother Spider from Native American cultures) or a trickster (Anansi from African/Caribbean cultures)

Bag of money: it comes or it goes

Lightning bolt: something unexpected and powerful happens!


Lurking Meeple – A playing card “spindown” counter to denote things like trump, trump-rank, etc.

14 ranks: A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, C (Cavalier), Q, K
1 Joker/Excuse* star symbol: ★
4 French suits: ♣, ♠, 
1 Circle-backslash denoting no suit: ⃠


Update: I forgot to mention Shawn McCarthy’s dungeon generator die. Sorry Shawn!
Old school random dungeon generator:

2x == (Hall continues)
3x =+ (Side passage)
3x [ ] (Door)
2x ={ (Opens into chamber)
4x ➥/➦ (2 each of Passage Turns right/left)
1x X (Dead end)
1x ⌥ (Stairs)
1x N (NPC)
1x ? (Trick/Trap)
1x M (Wandering monster)
1x =:: (Building type changes)

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Dice Contest Is Closed

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Aaaaaaand it’s over. There are a bunch of great entries, this’ll be fun figuring out which one wins. See you on October 4th!

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Only 2 Days Left For Dice Contest

d20x5 95There’s only two days left to get in on the dice contest. If you have an entry, make it now!

On September 30th the contest closes and on October 4th the winners will be announced.

First prize is a hand made die of your description and a softcover of The Artifact third edition.

Second prize is your die hand made.

Get those little grey cells firing!

Full contest rules here.

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Store32

For the longest time, if you went to the store32.net url, it would just redirect here to The Artifact. That’s been split off now because there’s more and more that doesn’t fit under that model anymore. It’s just getting on it’s feet but there’ll be a lot more in short order at Store32.net

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