What's got me so busy I can't even blog?

No knitting for the past three days. Actually, not since I went to my Stitch-In last Tuesday. I've been so focused on these sheets I'm designing for our roleplaying characters. Actually, it's been a long time since I've been this focused on anything. I'm like that when I get into something; I work on it to the (sometimes unfortunate) exclusion of other things.

I've got one more sheet to complete and then the set is done. We can begin testing it soon. I'm fairly excited about this concept. It can be used with any binding, but we're planning on using the Rollabind System. I first saw this at Levenger and we both were really excited about it. Then I started figuring out how much it would cost if we used as many discs as I suspect we will. Yikes! Randy was the smart one who realized that "Circa" is Levenger's branding of Rollabind's system. I found a retailer in Florida with much better prices and our order is on its way!

For any gaming geeks that might be reading, the sheets I'm desigining will enable a player to assemble a character and grow that character through all kinds of changes---without having to change a whole character sheet with each change. Since the sheets were created around a half sheet of US Letter paper, they'll take up less table space while providing more details than most sheets out there. I've designed them around the Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 edition rules. So far, the sheets we've come up with are these:

Animal Companion -- contains the information for a character's animal companion. Includes character's name, class and level.

Armor & Shields -- details the armor and shield information for a character. A character can have multiple sets of armor and simply flag the "active" set. (Don't forget weight limits!)

DM Summary -- Whenever we start a campaign, there's the inevitable question: Can I bring this person/group? This sheet has the main points a DM might need to consider a player for an adventure or campaign. It includes a block that details whether the character is "Available for play" or "Mid-campaign" with room for notes on that particular campaign. There is a line for the player's name so the DM can remember who plays which characters while considering a pile of sheets!

Familiar -- Very similar to the Animal Companion sheet.

Feats -- No more scribbling lines of feats into tiny lines and wondering where you'll add more. One whole sheet dedicated to Feats! Need more room? Add another Feats sheet!

Finances -- In our game play, we've had several instances of financial manuevering pop up and a more detailed accounting sheet was required. Now a player can track a character's loans, investments, bank accounts and holdings as well as their monetary assests.

History -- No player is complete without a background. And some adventures go a long way to forming a character's personality. But it's not always easy to remember the details. With this sheet, it'll be easy to add to the history of a character.

Inventory and Additional Inventory -- These two sheets are where all the belongings of a character get tracked. The first sheet has room for the character's load limits and boxes for totalling the character's carried weight. The second sheet has a couple more lines instead of repeating this information. Different sets of belongings could be placed on different sheets. A well-established character might own quite a bit of belongings---more than could be brought along on an adventure. Start a sheet for those valuables they collect in their own secret dungeon. For NPCs that keep popping up in adventures (Margarithe!), it's a great way for a DM to keep track of their estates and holdings.

Main -- This is the part of the character we usually start with: Strength, Dexterity, HP, AC and Saves. There's quite a bit of info packed into this half-sheet of paper!

Personal Details -- Is your character Male or Female? What alignment? How tall? Eyes? Hair color? All these questions can be answered on this sheet, with room for a drawing.

Protective Items -- Boots of speed, ring of invisibility, or cloak of concealment. Whatever it is, list it here.

Skills -- Whether disabling devices or moving silently, characters have talents that must be tracked. These skills have a lot of bonuses to be tacked on. The skills actually cross three half pages and have a little room for adding more.

Special Abilities -- Each class has them and they need to be recorded, but where? Here!

Spell Set -- In v3.5e rules, a Wizard or Cleric must prepare their spells each day. As a player, it's tedious to always be selecting which spells to use before you know what you'll need. A "spell set" is a sheet to collect spells for a certain type of expectation. "I'm at home in a safe town, I'll prepare light-weight spells." versus "I'm in a dark, zombie-filled dungeon; I'd better whip out the good stuff!" becomes much easier for a player to manage with "spell sets". Less "work" and more roleplaying!

Spellbook -- A spellbook holds 100 pages. A spell takes a page for each level (4th level takes 4 pages). Five sheets of "Spellbook" will create one full spellbook. Need another spellbook? Buy another book (5 more pages)!

Spellcasting -- This sheet covers the needs of spellcasters. How many per day of each level, what levels of mastery, domains and metamagic.

Spells Known --- Sorcerers know spells without needing spellbooks. But a player has to be able to keep track of what that character knows. This sheet takes care of that.

Weapons -- What weapons is your character carrying? What damage can they do? What bonuses do they impart? This sheet handles them all.

The genius (can I say that since it's my idea?) behind this system is that any page can be added to the character any number of times at any time. Your character bought a mule to carry things? Add an inventory sheet. Add a spellcasting class, add the sheets you need. And even better: no wasting space for characters who don't need some elements---like spellcasting data for a fighter!

Yeah, I'm pretty excited about this system. If it play tests well, I'd like to see about getting a "store" on RPGNow.

I usually end with "That's all for now" but I've got another post to write on another topic. *grin* So, tonight:

That's all the D&D for now.

I'm not lost...

...just got the D&D bug again. *grin*

I've been re-designing our v3.5 Edition sheets for an easier-to use system. I can't wait until they're done! The new sheets will half of a sheet of US Letter paper (8.5 x 11 inches, for any non-US readers). One character will cross a number of pages - each page will have a general purpose but not all characters will use every page. As a player needs more of any kind of page, this system will enable/allow their addition with no problem. This includes Familiars and Animal Companions as well as any magical weapons/items that are powerful or epic enough to have their own sheet.

I wonder if the design will be good enough to sell?

That's all for now.

KIPer Bag set from KnitPicks

Oh! I forgot to share my review of a couple knitting toys. *grin*

First, I promised an update about the KIPer Bags from KnitPicks. I'm already using all three of the bags. In case you don't remember, I need totes that are relatively ferret-proof. These have no external pockets and one main zipper.

The tool bag is perfect for the KnitPicks View Sizer that goes with the Options set. I can fit a pack of needle tips and a pack of needle cables (both in their packaging) in the little tool bag.

The purse organizer (which I received Friday!) appears to be exactly what I need: not too big, but still handle my things. And the quick separation means no more having to lug a full knitting tote for just a quick run to the grocery store. Or moving to my knitting tote for a longer trip to my Mom's.

The only down side I've seen is that the built-in handles are a shade too short for my taste. All three project bags have additional straps. The purse organizer only has the additional strap. I'd prefer that the totes had their "additional (adjustable) strap" combined with their permanent strap: give the strap the ability to be as small as the built-in, as long as the full strap and still be removable and get rid of the built-in strap.

Other than that one downside, I love it. Way more than I ever liked my Jordana Paige messenger-style knitting bag (which is already torn!). And considering the price difference, I think the KIPer bags are a win again!

One more item needs to be mentioned from my last KnitPicks order: my single set of Options needles I bought to test them out. If I could have done the same with Denise, I would never have bought the Denise set. The KP needles are "pointier" and the join is so smooth I could probably use a ladder yarn on them! The cable has virtually no memory. The little key comes in handy when trying to unscrew the tip from the cable. Dishcloth cotton feels wonderful sliding along these needles. Other yarns are to be tested soon as I've got a new pattern selected for my Mom!

Do yourself a favor and check out these two offerings at KnitPicks. Ask your fellow Knitters at your local SnB about them and inspect theirs. You'll see. *grin*

That's all for now.

Hair cut and knitting stuff

A couple of days ago---Wednesday, I think---I was getting out of the shower and toweling my hair dry. It's almost time for "Miss Clairol" to work her magic again on my self-esteem and I dread that more each time. I've been blessed (according to most people) with thick hair and it has been growing since I had it cut to just above my shoulders. It was long enough to put into a ponytail but there were those inevitable strands near the front that would come loose every time.

Fed up, I grabbed the hair shears and starting cutting. Now, this is never a good idea. In my case, I cut drastically. I haven't had bangs since around 1999. I cut all the hair on the top of my head and cut the length to just below my ears. I had to enlist the assistance of Nick who did his "level" best... Then I butchered the sides again.

When I was done, it was.... Let's just say I kept feeling like I'd created a mullet. *shudder* The guys were kind and supportive. Mom had her hair cutting kit ready for her impending visit before I'd finished telling her what I'd done.

I guess it couldn't have been too bad because I went out in public and no one gave me odd looks. *grin* Thankfully, Mom worked her magic and I now have a "do" that still requires no product in my hair and I can towel dry and brush through and be happy. Yay!

On Friday, I surrendered Lilith to the Humane Association where I hope she finds a wonderful person who can make her queen of the household. While sweet in her own right, she was terrorizing the other cats. It has been a peaceful weekend in our household without her here.

After taking care of that I dropped in to Wild Fibre where I got to catch up with Jennifer after missing two consecutive weeks at the Stitch-In. It's amazing how much I consider myself to be a "homebody" and then I go out once and a while and realize how much I needed that! I'm definitely looking forward to going this week!

That's all for now.

Secret Package arrived!!!!

It's here! It's here! I am so excited!

Oh wow! I'm so lucky! Can you see it all? Here, look closer:

Stitch markers, a gaming mini-fig, and 3 bars of Cadbury chocolate! Who told? One even has "creme egg" in it!!!! And look:

Yarn! There's Artesano Alpaca Inca Cloud in a beautiful purple that I can't wait to play with. There's a delicate ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in a greyish purple that makes me long for Arizona's mountains! And there's something very special: Silkwood hand-dyed yarn that takes my breath away.

Wait. Don't go yet. There's more! Look:

Postcards for my postcard wall! And Gill remembered I like Giraffes! Yay! Can you see the reinbear (or reindeer)? His antlers are very soft. He's going right up on the shelf in my bedroom so Ukiah can't steal him!

In the back in the first picture showing everything is a pattern for a scarf by the same company that made the Artesano Alpaca yarn. Yum. And a knitting magazine called "Knit Today". It was in a plastic bag with a free "Beginner's Guide to Knitting" that my son and I both will probably find useful. But here's the neat part. Look at two of the patterns inside:

It's purple! How cool is that?

And this pattern? Well, I've been looking for something with the flared sleeves---this one is perfect! I know exactly how I want to knit this one up already. *grin*

My secret pal was Gill and she's my newest super-hero. She did all this for me with other things going on in her life. I am so blessed to have had her as my Secret Gifter. Thanks oodles Gill. I really can't express how perfect this package was!

Hey. You know what? I think I am gonna join SP9. I'm ready to spoil someone else again and let someone spoil me. *grin* Ha!

That's all for now.

Mid-week blahs...

I made the mistake of getting frustrated/tired of my hair being plain-jane boring and taking the scissors to it myself. Oh what have I done???? My DH says it's not too bad looking---it needs some evening in the back. I think it needs professional help now. *sigh*

Knitting isn't hitting the spot tonight. TV didn't hit the spot either. I missed my Tuesday night SnB because of a rush visit back to the vet with Octavia which turned out to be not as dire as I feared.

I just bought four different books/pamphlets on crocheting snowflakes and I can't wrap my mind around anything beyond a single chain stitch. I had envisioned keeping my snowflake projects upstairs for a little "just before bed" working---and this year decorating with snowflakes all over. *sigh*

Still no sign from my Secret Pal that she's received her package. I'm beginning to worry a bit. I keep telling my (neurotic) self that she's probably received it and just hasn't had the time to post about it.

I'm trying really hard to stay away from sign-ups for SP9. I loved doing this exchange for Favorite Colors and would love to do more, but I should probably wait until I've actually paid my bills down. *grin*

It's just now striking midnight and I'm tired and ready for bed. That's so unusual these days; I'm usually up 'til 3am and surprised when DH has to go to bed. I think I'm going to browse the web a few more minutes and call it an early night---maybe read my book in bed for a bit.

That's all for now.

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