Rondak's Oracle

News and fun things about the games we play

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Wudinar’s Adventuring Tips

Do not take shared background information for granted. Not every character may have learned a specific set of hand signals in the past, or be familiar with how a certain school of swordsmanship does things, or any number of things that might be taken for granted because individually, they are as natural as breathing to one character. That said, such information might be valuable to share with the rest of the party…

Site News

Pathfinder playtest started; Thorne has assorted channels and forum posts to organize, if anyone is interested. My impression so far is mixed – the changes look interesting, but they are going to take a LOT of getting used to.

In site news, I have been making good progress on the code and am almost ready to put a test page for the authentication and account management system up. Might not make “Summer” as intended, but I am making progress.

GM’s Tip of the Week

How have I not talked about running combat yet?!
PSA for those of you interested; the Pathfinder 2 Playtest is officially available, and can be downloaded from Paizo.com for those interested. Interested parties looking either for a group or for a GM should either check in at Rondak’s Portal forums, or at Rondak’s Satellite; our Discord server.
Okay. Combat. Read on past the cut, folks!

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Wudinar’s Adventuring Tips

Do not be taken in. If things appear too easy, or too convenient, they probably are and there is a catch. Try to think about not only what information you have – but also, who gave it to you, and what they might be trying to accomplish.

Site News

Sanity week. Noodled around a bit. No serious coding work, not even bugfixes. Thorne posted a few photos from our daytrip to Staircase Rapids on Discord. I highly recommend both GMs and players to occasionally take the time to go out there, to whatever natural wonders are nearby. Lots and lots of inspiration.

Question of Sevens

A strange evil comes with the fog, so it’s said. Doors are closed, windows are shuttered and no one goes outside when even the faintest haze is visible…

Kickstarters of Note

Hello, fellow Portalites!
Sadly, I haven’t found as much good stuff this go ’round; there’s definitely some shiny, and some dice – some awesome dice! – but the cycle is rolling back down to famine. Don’t worry, I’m sure your pocketbooks will breath a sigh of relief… and then you’ll trip over the Dungeons and Doggies Kickstarter, and there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth… I know how this works.

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GM’s Tip of the Week

Character creation is one of the fun things about being a player; you get to imagine being somebody else for a while; think up a whole personality, history and extended family. Some players don’t go quite that far, but I know a number of them that do, and really enjoy the process.
For a GM, who is running a whole menagerie of characters, many of whom are as far from human as one can easily get, it can be a serious project just to create a small town. And then you have encounters, and … whoo. Notebooks, just full of NPCS!

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Wudinar’s Adventuring Tips

I am sure I mentioned this before, but – be prepared to withdraw. In the balance of things, it is better to return healed and prepared, with the understanding that the opponents will be alerted, than it is to be dead and unable to retry. Whether it is acceptable to leave people behind to cover the retreat depends on the situation and the ethics of you and your companions.

Site News

Still working on the new codebase. About halfway through getting the auth system to behave and integrate with OpenID providers; starting to give thought to how to organize actual site functionality.

As a PSA, I would continue to recommend against shared-server (cloud hosting) arrangements, due to the prevalence of side channel attacks on modern CPUs. There’s, of course, the well-known Spectre class of attacks; a similar principle can be used to leak encryption keys when using a modern Intel or AMD CPU’s ability to perform AES crypto in hardware; below that layer, modern CPUs have what is called a “management engine” to perform system initialization and maintenance functions. As it turns out, the firmware powering these MEs is also vulnerable to attacks, including remote-exploitable arbitrary code execution attacks. All this leads me to believe that the course of wisdom in hosting arrangements is, at minimum, dedicated servers. Ideally, dedicated servers on a dedicated network, but I am unfortunately not aware of any providers offering that, shy of renting a rack, deploying one’s own hardware, and one’s own firewall.

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