Learning Pathfinder 2e as a D&D Player

In the past couple of months, starting with the Beginner Box, I have been learning how to play Pathfinder, second edition, which came out in 2019. It is a successor to the original Pathfinder edition, which in turn was based on Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 through the Open Gaming License (the same one under attackContinue reading “Learning Pathfinder 2e as a D&D Player”

A Nerd Dad’s Review of Pathfinder 2e Beginner Box

The recent fiasco by Wizards of the Coast (who owns Dungeons and Dragons) has left me pretty bitter toward 5th edition1 and the company that owns it. If Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes wasn’t frustrating enough (“buy your $50 book again!”), this was the final straw. I decided it was time to try Pathfinder again. Again,Continue reading “A Nerd Dad’s Review of Pathfinder 2e Beginner Box”

Consulting Yi Jing the Dungeons and Dragons Way!

In my high school years, I was exploring many different facets of spirituality before I finally settled on Buddhism in my early twenties, and that included divination and other things. I dabbled in Tarot with a friend, but later took up the Yi Jing after finding a book at my local Waldenbooks bookstore. Even nowContinue reading “Consulting Yi Jing the Dungeons and Dragons Way!”

Designing Big Boss Encounters in D&D

Recently, my kids and I finished our long-term campaign in Eberron. The big climax to the campaign was a battle with the mad scientist who had transferred his consciousness to a great glass orb, and whose stat block was similar to a Beholder. But then, I started having misgivings, and was worried about the kidsContinue reading “Designing Big Boss Encounters in D&D”

Ravenloft Novels

I like to visit my local Half Price Books store from time to time, and lately, I picked up some old fantasy novels, including a few from the Ravenloft series: The Ravenloft setting is a very famous gothic setting in Dungeons and Dragons that has been around all the way back to 2nd edition AD&DContinue reading “Ravenloft Novels”

Don’t Play To Win

For those of you who are competing somewhere, consider the following the advice from Kenko in the 13th century Japanese text, the Essays in Idleness: I once asked someone skilled at the board game of sugoroku for hints on how to play. “Don’t play to win,” he said. “Play not to lose. Consider what movesContinue reading “Don’t Play To Win”

A Nerd Dad’s Review of Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse

Fans of Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition have been joking for some time about the so-called “5.5 edition” in light of major updates to character generation rules. The latest book, Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, represents WoTC’s next phase of this update and it is a bit of a doozy …. at first. FullContinue reading “A Nerd Dad’s Review of Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse”

Obon Ghost Stories in Japan

Late July through August is the Obon season in Japan, which mirrors Halloween in the West, or Day of the Dead in Mexico. It is both a time to return to one’s hometown, reconnect to family, pay respects to one’s ancestors, but also to delve into matters of death, afterlife, ghosts, etc. The yokai (monstersContinue reading “Obon Ghost Stories in Japan”

Cats Gone Wrong: Bakeneko

Monsters from another culture are a fascinating window into premodern culture, and how they viewed the world. This includes, of all things, cats. In Japanese mythology, there were variations on monsters, or yōkai, collectively known as bakeneko (化け猫) which means “ghost cats”. Such cats can range from cats who simply died and return as ghosts,Continue reading “Cats Gone Wrong: Bakeneko”