Tabletop RPG Podcast and Roleplaying Resources

Handy Tools for the Eclipse

Hello! Here is some info. on the Eclipse in case you will find it helpful.

Nasa has a calculator here — https://eclipse-explorer.smce.nasa.gov/ — where you can enter your ZIP code to find out the exact time range of totality in your city. For me, this is the timeline:


  • 12:24pm — Eclipse starts. Only look at sun with Eclipse glasses.
  • 1:40:01pm — Look towards the southwest about 90 seconds before totality — darkness in the distance is approaching. I will have my alarm on for this moment.
  • 1:41:31 to 1:45:19pm — About a 4 minute totality. You can now take off your glasses. You can ONLY remove your eclipse glasses during totality. The horizon on all sides will be amber, a so-called ‘360 degree sunrise’.
  • 3:03pm — Eclipse ends.

Other Notes

  • As totality approaches, temps could drop by 10-12 degrees
  • Put the phones away, they won’t be able to capture the event. Suns corona will be faint and can only be capture with overexposure and special equipment.
  • You cell phone will have the best accurate time, and this is a time-sensitive event. I’m going to set up my cell phone to alarm at the beginning of totality so I can know when I can take off my glasses, and another alarm when totality ends so I can make sure to know I should go back to wearing Eclipse glasses.
  • Shadow Bands are noticeable about 90 second before to 90 seconds after totality. If you put a white piece of cardboard or paper on the ground it will help you see it.

1/7000 Scale Star Trek Miniatures

I’ve previously posted on using 1/3788 miniatures for roleplaying games where you have only 2-3 ships on the board at any given time.

For some sort of mass warfare scenario with lots of ships, I would move over to 1/7000 scale. Some example vendors:

The ships are kind of small, but on the other hand they have built-in bases, are quick to paint, and don’t require the fine details such as the decals you’d be using with 1/3788 miniatures.

Running Dune with Fate

With the new Dune movie my interest in the setting is piqued. Here’s how I would tweak Fate to model the world of Dune’s Imperium.

TL;DR summary — these are a simple set of Fate Condensed modifications which emulate the Dune setting. It uses 2 column skills and has simple rules for Dueling and Houses.

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Stan’s 2-Column Dice Pool Fate Hack

I really like the ‘2-column skills’ approach, where you have two short list of skills (or attributes or approaches), and you select a skill from each list and add them together. You see this a lot in games from Modiphius. For example, the Star Trek Adventures RPG has 6 Attributes and 6 Disciplines, and the Dune RPG has 5 Drives and 5 Skills.

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Stan’s Top 10 Tabletop RPG Games (Early 2024 Edition)

Below is the updated list of my favorite games. Since my 2023 post, PbtA (Dungeon World, Masks) and D6 (WEG Star Wars, OpenD6, Mini6) fell off the list, replaced by 24XX and Pathfinder 2e.

In ranking a game, I look at more than just the core rules, I look a combination of the game mechanics and playability of the game, the robustness of 3rd party products or related games, and the game community for that system.

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