Run – 2018 June 16 & 17

I enjoyed two runs through great weather this weekend, heading in opposite directions from my home. Saturday’s run took me past a beautiful piece of art on the side of an apartment building I hadn’t noticed before. Today my focus was again on building forefoot habits, and I was able to lock in the pace below 5 minutes.

Also on:

5th Evolution

5th Evolution Super Hero
Dungeons & Dragons 5E is my favourite tabletop RPG, and I’m lucky enough to play it a few times a month. It’s an accessible system that has been great for introducing new players to role playing. I sometimes want to break from using the fantasy settings that the game is built for but learning and teaching a new system is a big obstacle.

5th Evolution: New Genres for Your 5E Game! is kickstarting right now and promises to deliver horror, super hero and alternative WWII settings for D&D 5E. Each of the three books will introduce the setting, provide adventures and give the new rules needed to use the core D&D rules with the new content. I’m looking forward to trying these and mashing up some genres.

This project is made up of three separate graphic novel-sized softcover books in three different genres: WW2, Super Heroes, and 80’s Horror. Each book contains three parts:

Part 1: the comic. Each 5Evo book opens with a comic that GMs will share digitally with their players prior to the gaming session. These comics serve to introduce the genre and setting, as well as to get players invested in the coming adventure.
Part 2: the adventure. The second section of each 5Evo book is a one-shot adventure, complete with pregenerated characters, that picks up where the comic left off.
Part 3: the source guide. Finally, the third section of each 5Evo book is a source guide that gives the GM the monsters, equipment, and characters to create their own adventures in that particular genre.

World War II – Set in North Africa in 1942, you’ll crew an M5A1 Stuart tank on a special mission during Operation Torch. This book contains the adversaries, equipment, characters, and vehicles to run a WW2 North Africa campaign with or without supernatural elements.

Super Heroes – Set in Cobalt City in the present day, you are part of a team of the super heroes trying to stop a gang of super villains wreaking havoc downtown. This book contains the super villains, equipment, and player archetypes to run a supers campaign.

80s Horror Films – Set in the small town of Woodhaven in 1985, you and your friends get in over your heads and uncover a dark plot while seeking a party. This book contains the monsters, equipment, and teen hero archetypes needed to run a horror campaign set in the 1980s.

Also on:

Run – 2018 May 27

I enjoyed a run from my home to the waterfront this morning. I have been trying to build the habit of forefoot running this week and I’m very happy with the results. I was able to run 5 km with a pace reliably at 5:00 or lower, my best results this year. I know that when I have run the best in the past I have been using the technique, but I haven’t made it my default before now. It feels good to make some progress with my pace for the first time in a while.

During my run I passed the volunteer statues at the Halifax waterfront. I went back to snap a photo of them after getting some vegetables at the market.

Halifax Waterfront

Also on:

Karl Marx in Teen Vogue

On May 10th, Teen Vogue published “Who Is Karl Marx: Meet the Anti-Capitalist Scholar“, a fairly light look at Marx and his ideas. After the dissonance of the fact that this publication is presenting Marx in a positive light fades, there’s actually some good to be found here.

You may have come across communist memes on social media. The man, the meme, the legend behind this trend is Karl Marx, who developed the theory of communism, which advocates for workers’ control over their labor (instead of their bosses). The political philosopher turned 200-years-old on May 5, but his ideas can still teach us about the past and present.
The famed German co-authored The Communist Manifesto with fellow scholar Friedrich Engels in 1848, a piece of writing that makes the case for the political theory of socialism — where the community (rather than rich people) have ownership and control over their labor — which later inspired millions of people to resist oppressive political leaders and spark political revolutions all over the world. Although Marx was raised in a middle-class family, he later became a scholar who struggled to make ends meet — a working-class man, he thought, who could take part in a political revolution.

“When I teach Marx, it’s got a lot to do with questions of how to think critically about history. Marx says we live under capitalism [but] capitalism has not always existed,” Ciccariello-Maher tells Teen Vogue. “It’s something that came into being and something that, as a result, just on a logical level, could disappear, could be overthrown, could be abolished, could be irrelevant. There’s this myth of the free market, but Marx shows very clearly that capitalism emerged through a state of violence.”

Also on:

Zombies, Run! Season 7, Missions 1-6

Zombies, Run! season 7 started with a surprising disappointment for me. In season 6 the villains were fascists and there were moments with great lines and heartening stances; the game had never been better. The latest season begins with the setup of a cannibal anarchist biker gang as an antagonistic faction. It’s a frustrating, misguided choice that confuses the political stance opposing coercion and advocating for stateless societies with an ethos of coercive violence.

SAM YAO: Oh, yeah. Well, Just to share intel between settlements, rumors, that kind of thing. A lot of it turns out to be nothing, but this… well, they’re saying Sigrid had a deal. She just didn’t bother them, and they kept their murder/cannibal stuff north of Thwaite. Since she fell, well, they’ve got ambitious. If you can call anarchists ambitious.

This peace conference is supposed to bring people together, to work out how we’re going to organize the country now Sigrid’s gone. So obviously, they want to sabotage it.

Season 7, Mission 1: Sorry For Party Rocking

On into the sixth mission, the confusion continues:

SAM YAO: Well, yeah. Well, more like out of the sadistic anarchist cult, into the jaws of the undead, but yeah. She didn’t want to infect anyone, so she’s waiting in the woods. You should have time to get the cure to her.

Season 7, Mission 6: Sleep When I’m Dead

I’m hopeful the story will correct this big initial misstep as it continues, but for me this initial batch of missions have been disappointing pieces of writing from Naomi Alderman, an author who has often impressed me (The Power is excellent).

Also on: