Wil Alambre

Advice to make PCs and NPCs feel more competent

As a DM, do you hate it your monster whiffs its attacks, and now it feels less of a "big threat" and more just "amusingly inept"? Here's some advice to make all characters (dungeon master NPCs and player PCs) feel more competent with only a minor change to how you describe combat roll outcomes. Continue reading…

How I Went About Making The Map For An Upcoming Dungeons And Dragons Campaign

I like props. And I love a good map. So, as I've done in previous campaigns, I downloaded scanned copies of their hand-drawn maps. I read their setting write-ups. And I opened up Photoshop. Continue reading…

The Super Wizard From Space #69

Taming Power Of The Small, part 2

Playing tour guide's certainly been more agreeable than playing babysitter. As far as pointless distractions go. If nothing else, its been interesting visiting old haunts, if only to see what's left of them. Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #68

Taming Power Of The Small, part 1

In the calm eye of it, I can just make out Melisende's massive shape, pacing and stomping and _screaming_ at them, her voice amplified overtop the cacophony. "Are you happy now? That'z it! It'z over!" Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #67

Demolio, part 7 of 6

"Born of cozmic power, with a mind the sZzize of the universZze... and you thought death would stop her? What szort of sZzimple idea did you take her for, that she'd die szo quietly?" Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

Using Inspiration Tokens In 5e DnD

My friends and I resumed our "Curse Of Strahd" Dungeons And Dragons campaign this past month. In our hiatus, I've been watching a number of roleplaying-related and game-master-related YouTube videos, all in an attempt to run a better, more engaging game. One of the videos I really liked was a short one from Seth Skorkowsky. Continue reading…

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My New Gaming PC

I'd been thinking of building a Windows-based computer for home to use primarily for videogaming. Something that would allow me to play some non-macOS games in my Steam library, and something with enough oomph to run some of the bigger upcoming games. Continue reading…

Rictavio's Map 

As DM, I didn't want to give them a copy of the map straight from the book, with all the location markers on it. And though I did find versions of official map with the markers removed, there were still details on it that Rictavio would either not know or would not want the players to know about. So I created an alternate version... Continue reading…

The Super Wizard From Space #66

Demolio, part 6 

Reality stretches like canvas pulled taut. Time stutters and scratches and skips, between moments and months. The Wizard takes refuge within the umbra of the system's innermost planet, little more than a corner to be backed into. Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #65

Demolio, part 5 

“Iz thiZs what you’re reduced to? A cockroach, sZcurrying and hiding underneath the firmament? If make Uz chasZze after you, We will bring the heavenZz down upon you.” Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

2017 Summer Movies I'd Love To See On The Big Screen

My last post on movie releases helped me to coordinate some movie theatre goings with friends. So it makes sense that I do another for the 2017 summer season. Continue reading…

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 was... okay, I guess?

It took me a couple days to nail down what was bothering me about the film, specifically what the original "Guardians Of The Galaxy" had that this one was missing. And when I finally put my finger on it, I realized my least favourite Marvel movie sequels are absent that same ingredient, while the ones I think are great have it in spades. Continue reading…

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The Super Wizard From Space #64

Demolio, part 4 

"We've _sztudied_ you for thiz entire Tournament! Without your cosZzmic weapon, you're no threat! You're little more than a ztubborn _nail_ for me to hammer down." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Most Important Donkey In All Of Ravenloft

So, a couple months ago, six friends and I decided to play through "Curse Of Strahd". During the standard character creation process, one of the players spent some of his gold coins on a donkey and a cart. He named the donkey Steve. He did not name the cart. Continue reading…

The Super Wizard From Space #63

Demolio, part 3 

"Here I am, having a heck of a time trying to put my own head together, I never figured on finding szomeone else'sz in here, too." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

Movies I Want To See In Theatres

Here is a list of upcoming movies I would like to see in theatres. This doesn't mean I'm jumping to see them opening weekend. It just means I think they would be amazing fun to watch for me and some like-minded friends to enjoy on the big screen. Continue reading…

Don't Call Them Resolutions

A resolution is a firm decision. Its a little rubbish to be expecting a life-altering change of habits based on an arbitrary calendar event. On the other hand, a challenge is an invitation, and though you may fail it, it also invites you to try again. Continue reading…

The Super Wizard From Space #62

Demolio, part 2 

"And after everything, after all our concern, it was so easy. We crushed him. Like an insect." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #61

Demolio, part 1 

"The Schrivener has the Crown. The cosmic tournament is between him and Queen Buzz. Walk away from all this devestation. Put an _end_ to this madness." "That's exactly what I intend to do." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #60

A Moment, Before We Get To The Last Story Of My Only Daughter...

He'll head toward Genovefa. Maybe not immediately, but inevitably. She can't hide from him any more than he can avoid her. The Cosmic Crowns draw them together. Its a drive. Its a feverish heat. Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #59

Kilo Yuga, part 5

Andy Dharma bent over the Stringer's prone body, wrapped both arms around his head, and with a single fast wrench, broke the super-wizard's neck. KRACK! Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #57

Kilo Yuga, part 3

"They observe our encounter. All we do and everything we speak. They're allowing me this opportunity to resolve this peacefully." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

Some Rambling Thoughts About "Captain America: Civil War"

Just a quick warning beforehand. The rest of the blog contain spoilers for the movie. I wouldn't recommend reading past the embedded trailer until after you've seen the film. Continue reading…

The Super Wizard From Space #56

Kilo Yuga, part 2

"With all the power you can draw upon, it would never be a fair fight. So we had to even the odds. We cheated. We poisoned the sun." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #55

Kilo Yuga, part 1

"The philosophies of your unconventional brother go against your own... he would do _anything_ to ensure your safety. With his assistance, we will prevail." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #54

The House Of Manifest Destiny

Hardly believed it when told how imperious they'd gotten. Maybe it _is_ past due for Hoag to face its failures. Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #53

The Surrogate Sovereignty, part 3

"You finiszh up however much wallowing you think the universze owes you... 'causze your time isz nearly run out." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #52

The Surrogate Sovereignty, part 2

"This is a nightmare." A single expression of disappointed disgust, from hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of faces. "Please, I want to go home." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #51

The Surrogate Sovereignty, part 1

Somewhere on Planet M, a forlorn survivor is losing her grip on her unusual authority. "I'm... what? A surrogate? A stopgate? Why keep me and then lie to me? Why save me and then despise me so much?" Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

Let's Try This Again

The goal wasn't to write something good, it was to just be writing. As I went through, I realized my lack of plotting was catching up to me. Continue reading…

The Super Wizard From Space #50

Memento Mori 

His ancient race long ago unravelled the laws of physics, and they then learned how to redefine them. They harvest fusion fire to sustain themselves, and they hollow out suns to build their private strongholds. They are guardians of the spaces they know and explorers of the spaces they don't. Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

Of Heaven And Sketchbook

While on my vacation in British Columbia, me and my sketchbook took in the "Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums" exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Continue reading…

My 2015 Visit To Vancouver

In August of 2015, I flew to BC to spend a weekend with some friends. Between their busy schedule and my sedentary habits, it had been a long time since I visited them. But thanks to some airline sales and a general need for me to just get away for a bit, we were able to make arrangements :) Continue reading…

Feedback To Myself On Game-Mastering A Dungeons And Dragons Game

Ever since I got the new Dungeons And Dragons Players Handbook, I've wanted to run a fifth edition game. I came up with an idea for a short campaign and I rounded up some friends to play. Last night, we wrapped up our third session, and though everyone at the table had fun, I noted a couple things that I, as the game-master, could have done better. Continue reading…

Avengers: Age Of Ultron, trailer

On March 4th, Marvel Studios released the third trailer for their upcoming "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" feature film. You can watch it in all its glory in the embedded video player. Continue reading…

A Little Visual Personality

I updated my blog editors and gave myself some extra fields. I can now inject custom CSS on an article-per-article basis. This takes the website's stand-alone blog article idea even farther, giving me the opportunity to give each individual article a little visual personality. Continue reading…

Left Shark Turns To Buddhism

Left shark strikes me as a pretty chilly dude, the sort that might turn to buddhism to cope with his sudden-but-inevitable popularity... Continue reading…

Hourly Comic Day 2015, with Paper By FiftyThree

For this year, I thought I'd use Paper By FiftyThree on my iPad. Its a brilliant app that I don't use as often as I'd like... and to be honest, I didn't use it as much as I wanted this time either. The trouble is I'm either am doing something interesting that's worth drawing, or I'm not but I actually have the spare time to draw. Continue reading…

Nobody Tells This To Beginners

Identical to a video I posted before and is based on the same Ira Glass interview, but its still fantastic advice and worth reaffirming at the beginning of a new year. Continue reading…

Mad Max: Fury Road, Trailer

It only recently came to my attention that some of you have not yet seen the latest Mad Max: Fury Road trailer. Continue reading…

Four Quick And Easy Tabletop Games That I Like

With the holidays right around the corner, you might be looking form a game to play with the family. Something easy to teach, quick to play, supports half-a-dozen people or so. Something casual, that allows you to socialize while participating. Continue reading…

"Mighty Medley" Short Stories

This year, I was asked to contribute to "Mighty Medley", an online anthology series headed by Tom Russell. A requirement of the series was all stories contributed could not be longer than a single page, approximately six hundred words. Continue reading…

Star Wars VII Teaser Trailer

Its only a teaser trailer, but its a teaser trailer that hits all the right spots! Episode one through three was like fan-fiction in the Star Wars universe. So far, this looks much more like 2015 sequel to the original 1977 Star Wars. Continue reading…

The Honesty Of The Sketchbook

Salvador Dali called drawing the "honesty of the art", saying that there was "no possibility of cheating, it is either good or bad." It was a hell of a sentiment to keep in mind when I took my sketchbook to the Winnipeg Art Gallery this fall. Continue reading…

From Le Chat Noir To My Sketchbook

While in Edmonton this past fall, I had the opportunity to visit the Art Gallery Of Alberta. I was really looking forward to this chance because, at the time, they had an exhibition on titled "Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910". This exhibit featured some pieces by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Théophile Steinlen, and Alphonse Mucha, amoungst others. Continue reading…

An Awesome Adventure With Terrible Lizards

Last week, I visited a friend in Alberta. Though we spent the majority of the trip in Edmonton, we were able to rent a car and make a day trip to the Canadian Badlands. As you might expect, I took plenty of pictures. Continue reading…

My First Impressions Of Dungeon And Dragons Fifth Edition

I recently bought and read through the new Dungeons And Dragons Players Handbook. It's the first book published by Wizards Of The Coast in the classic roleplaying game's fifth edition (sometimes called the "next" edition). Though I haven't had a chance to play it, I wanted to write down some initial impressions. Continue reading…

The Super Wizard From Space #49

The Red Hand Of General Dragutin, part 6

Do you have any idea how this looks? We aren't at war anymore. The tournament is supposed to *prevent* this exact sort of conflict from flaring up again. You can't just go around dropping armies on the *home planets* of the universe's seven super-races." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #48

The Red Hand Of General Dragutin, part 5

"What I'm doing, it has to be done. Because someone has to do it. Because no one else is doing it. They're scared of what might happen. Scared of what they could lose. Scared of things they can't change. We can't live like that." Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

The Super Wizard From Space #47

The Red Hand Of General Dragutin, part 4

Long spear-length stingers, glints of wet toxin at the tips. Wide crystal wings banging against torsos, making thrumming thunder. It's a *blanket* of angry buzzing. Getting thicker as they crawl over each other. At me. Looking to smother me. Kill me. If I'm lucky. Continue reading at Raccowrimo…

Sympathetic Doesn't Have To Mean Likable

Jennine Lanouette puts together a great video refuting the idea that a character has to be likable to be sympathetic. This is a concept I've tried to do in my own writing with only scattershot success. Its amazingly helpful to have someone explain why it was and was not working in such detail. Continue reading…