State of the Blog 2018

Well, here we are cutting a swath into the first month of the new year. As the blog moves into its 6th YEAR I for one find myself shocked that I am still doing this, Wow!

A Look Back at 2017

I could say the 2017 overall was rollercoaster ride Although to be completely honest it was more like a ski lift ever upwards to skydive off a cliff at the end for me. It honestly took me a few weeks to process & come to the conclusion on whether or not I felt I had a good 2017 or a bad 2017. And overwhelmingly the answer is yes I had an amazing 2017 with one hiccup that for a little while nearly ruined it for me.

You see the beginning of 2017 I decided that I would take on the opportunity to earn extra cash as a freelance blogger. I thought this would give me time to improve my writing skills and earn some money on the side & in the end it would help this blog. By the end of the year, I saw I had learned a lot working as a freelance blogger. I came to better appreciate deadlines, writing in other styles, valuing my own writing for myself and most of all I like to getting paid for blogging.

So it never occurred to me at first until begin working on other peoples pages and being paid for working as a Ghostwriter. You have to understand before 2017 ended I have never been paid to write Runkle Plays Games. Granted I have received compensation in samples of products & PDFs as well as a few physical books for my blog. But never had I been paid to write my own content on my own blog.

Freelance blogging was going wonderfully and I had set up a testimonial page to get feedback from the writers of projects I had reviewed over the years. I began to think about how nice would it be if I could just work on my page full time instead of spending my time writing for other blogs.

So I turned to Patreon?

Now, this is where my misstep of the year in my opinion occurred. I had mistaken high blog view numbers combined with tremendous praise from Creator’s Testimonials along with making an income as a ghostwriter. Into a false assumption that this would naturally convert into Patrons.

When it didn’t I was crushed, and honestly, on reflection it was silly. My blog did not grow overnight. Nor did creator base of reviews so why should taking a huge step forward and asking followers of my blog to subscribe have been any different? The icing on that Patreon cake for me happened within a week of me starting my Patreon, The dreaded price changes and the chaos that followed.

Yet while all this crazy was going on A project that I had been planning for most of the year finally came about. I had seen Kickstarter projects for scented candles themed towards gamers but they never satisfied me. What I wanted to see what was 20-sided die candle but more than that I wanted them to be treasure candles. I sorted my molds and got a pile of metal D20s and started making candles. I honestly had no real Idea if anyone would want them. But I thought they would, it turned out I was right. When I went to Mace 2017 it was my first test. We packed about a dozen Crit Candles (The name we gave them) for the convention and hoped to maybe sell a few. In the end, we came home with no candles I was absolutely floored!

With Christmas right around the corner like we got to make as many candles as I could, so at my sold at my FLGS, others on Etsy and a few by word of mouth and Facebook. It was nothing short of amazing. Honestly thought that once Christmas was over candle sales would drop off or slow down, Admittedly they have slowed down a little bit but to my surprise, they continue to sell at a steady clip.

So Here We Are 2018

So here we are looking forward to a new year, so much has changed in the only the last few weeks. Only a few weeks ago I was frustrated that the Patron was not going to be able to provide extra income so I could slow down my ghostwriting and devote more time to my blog. The birth of Crit Candles comes and allows me to do just that!

Over the next few weeks, things will still be slow this year as I am focused on my sons SSI case as we are about to go before a judge to determine if he will finally be granted disability. It has been a long road and we can finally see the end of the road.

After that, I have EVERYTHING Fragged to bring to review for all of you! That’s right Wade Dryer has sent us all of his new Fragged books for review and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you about them!

Additionally, with the revisit of one of my old cipher system games in my RPG group, I am happy to say that I will be updating all my old Cypher Shadowrun blogs. Looking back on them and discussing the old continent with my friend Nick Chapman we have seen errors as well as simplifications to the some of our ideas that will be a great update to a set of blogs that see regular viewing on my page.

Look forward to more blogs along the lines of Homebrew content and crafting including 3D printing projects as I am taking a hardcore look at investing in a resin 3d Printer. More on that to come soon!

I will keep the Patreon going but I have chosen not to rely on it. If you chose to support me through it you have my deepest thanks. As always thank you for your support, it’s been an amazing experience and we are not going to stop anytime soon.

2018 is going to be a good year!
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Note: There are so many ways to help my blog other than becoming a Patron. Follow my affiliate links to Amazon, DTRPG and this helps.

Or

Check out what I have on our Etsy or eBay store and support us directly and get something like a Crit Candle for you to show of at your table!

New Craft: d20 Candles

We decided to start making candles, after my husband found a d20 mold on eBay. They burn for over 10 hours, probably closer to 20. Once I work out the kinks, I will be selling them on my Etsy store.

Below are pics of the 1st-3rd castings, eventually we will buy more mold types, wax colors and scents. On my Etsy store there will also be optional treasure dice (a treasure inside) of various types: metal or plastic dice, metal figures and coins.

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Total Solar Eclipse 2017

In the past many cultures have had various superstitions about eclipses, including “the End of the World”. Here is a good link to further information.

Excerpt:

Myths and Superstitions Around Solar Eclipses

Solar eclipses have caused fear, inspired curiosity, and have been associated with myths, legends, and superstitions throughout history. Even today, an eclipse of the Sun is considered a bad omen in many cultures.

The Hindu deity Rahu.

Hindu deity Rahu is known for causing eclipses.

©bigstockphoto.com/wuttichok

Ancient Explanation for Solar Eclipse

Ancient cultures tried to understand why the Sun temporarily vanished from the sky, so they came up with various reasons for what caused a solar eclipse.

In many cultures, the legends surrounding solar eclipses involve mythical figures eating or stealing the Sun. Others interpreted the event as a sign of angry or quarreling gods.

 

This will be the first total solar eclipse in many peoples memories.

“This is the First Total Solar Eclipse in USA Since 1979. This is the first total eclipse of the Sun visible from the contiguous United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) since February 26, 1979. The last time a total eclipse was visible from coast to coast was on June 8, 1918.

I live in South Carolina, but there are many other links at the following link.

Here is an excerpt from Eclipse2017.org

SOUTH CAROLINA

All good things must come to an end, and at 2:36:02pm, the shadow of the great 2017 total eclipse first touches the final state in its path. South Carolina also brings us the fifth state capital to be immersed in shadow, and several large cities will be able to play host to eclipse-chasers from all over.

Greenville is a very large city, and it is fully in shadow by 2:38pm. Its sister city of Spartanburg, however, is split by the path – you’ll want to head west, and enjoy Greenville’s 2m14s of totality.

Here is a map of the Greenville-Spartanburg area, to show you what’s going on.

Greenwood (2m28s at 2:39) is next on the list of bigger cities to see totality, and then Columbia is treated about two minutes later. The Capitol Building gets just a hair under 2m30s, and would be a great place for workers to take an afternoon shadow-break!

Sumter lies in the path, as do big, beautiful lakes Marion and Moutrie – right on the centerline!! Get out on the boat and soak it in!

The last large city to see the 2017 eclipse will be Charleston. (Here is our detailed eclipse page for Charleston!) It lies on the southern edge of the path, but because folks in Mt. Pleasant will get almost two minutes of totality, Charlestonians should head northeast!

The centerline then cuts across US17, just south of the last city to see the shadow – McClellanville, SC. From there, the shadow will take its leave of the last piece of American soil at 2:49:07.4pm. Quite appropriately, the spot is a long, isolated beach on a barrier island at the tip of a Wildlife Preserve – Cape Romain, just east of McClellanville.

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Nagan

Nagan  (11 RP)

Medium Aberration (aberration, reptilian) 

Racial Qualities

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Naga are much more flexible than other races, but due to their appearance and their serpent nature they don’t seem to make a lot of friends amongst the humanoids. (0 RP)
  • Medium: Naga are considered medium creatures. (0 RP)
  • Aberration: Naga are considered to be aberrations. Thus have the Darkvision 60 ft trait. (3 RP)
  • Speed: Naga can slither at 30 ft. per round.  (0 RP)
  • Legless/Limbless: Naga have no legs, and therefore cannot be tripped. (-2 RP)
  • Natural Climbers: Naga have a climb speed of 30 feet, and may take 10 on climb checks even when distracted or threatened and have a +8 bonus to climb checks. (2 RP)
  • Hardy: Naga are hardy against their own poisonous bites, which can happen during mating rituals. They gain a +2 bonus to saving throws vs. all natural poisons. (3 RP)
  • Poisonous Bite: All naga can bite for 1d3 damage. Their fangs can inject poison, usually a neurotoxin, that causes paralysis. Paralytic Venom: Injury; save Fort DC 10 + the 1/2 user’s Hit Dice + the user’s Constitution modifier; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Dex; cure 1 save. The poison can be modified with certain feats. (3 RP)
  • Prehensile Tail: Members of this race have a long, flexible tail that can be used to carry objects. They cannot wield weapons with their tails, but they can retrieve small, stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action. (2 RP)
  • Languages: Naga can speak Draconic and Common Bonus: Nagas with higher intelligence or the proper training can learn to speak, Terran, Dwarven, Elvish, and Sylvan. (0 RP)

Alternate Racial Traits

  • Hypnotic Gaze: Some naga gain the following supernatural ability: Once per day, a member of this race can attempt to hypnotize a single target as per the spell hypnotism (caster level equal to its character level). The effects of the hypnotic gaze last only 1 round. This replaces poisonous bite and hardy.
  • Frightful Gaze: Naga gain the following supernatural ability: Creatures within 30 feet of a member of this race that meet its gaze must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC 10 + the 1/2 user’s character level + the user’s Charisma modifier) or stand paralyzed in fear for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. A target that successfully saves cannot be affected by the user’s frightful gaze for 24 hours. This replaces prehensile tail and poisonous bite.
  • Slapping Tail: The naga have a tail they can use to make attacks of opportunity with a reach of 5 feet. The tail is a natural attack that deals 1d8 points of damage plus the naga’s Strength modifier. This replaces prehensile tail.
  • Tripping Tail: Naga can hit with their slapping tails, so they can choose make a trip attack as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. This replaces poisonous bite or hardy.
  • Poison Use: Some naga are skilled with poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying it to weapons. This replaces the Poisonous bite (which becomes a standard bite) trait.

The Nagans appearance varies widely. Any species of snake may be used, as well as a snake or humanoid head.

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