First Impressions: Fantasy AGE

Our first game in December and we had to change things up. The season of Winter illness took a couple players out of commission. Rather than cancel the game, I decided to take the opportunity to try out one of the systems that I’ve had and wanted to try, but haven’t been able to - largely because of the unreliable nature of convention GMs (that topic is a whole different blog, though). For future games, when we’re forced to drop to three players, rather than re-tool my planned Savage Rifts session, we will be trying out a one-shot and seeing how we like it. This first session fell to Green Ronin’s Fantasy AGE.


Episode 12: Hunger Strike

"I don't mind stealin' bread from the mouths of decadence
But I can't feed on the powerless when my cup's already overfilled."

- Temple of the Dog, Hunger Strike

I had come to Chi-Town on the trail of the Palmer Gang. They were wanted in connection with grave robbing back in Perseverance. The no good bushwhackers led me into an ambush and I found myself fighting a squad of ISS agents and their dog pack. I took no joy in killing the men or the dog boys, they were just doing their jobs. Sure, I got away, but it wasn't without taking some lumps myself.


Episode 11: The Beast Within

Warning: This episode ends dealing with a really tough topic. If you have a hard time with anything involving mental illness and/or death, you should be prepared or perhaps skip this episode.

Please remember: You matter. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide, call 911.

If you are not in immediate danger, but are struggling with thoughts of suicide and need someone to talk with about your suicidal feelings, please do not hesitate to call one of the following national suicide prevention lines:


Peace and game on, everyone.


Episode 10: Escape from Firetown

Let's just say our actions in the Warehouse District did not go unnoticed, though you could probably have told that from the drones buzzing around the truck. We needed to find somewhere to stash the truck, and then get the hell out of Firetown.

Vic analyzed the data he'd downloaded and discovered that we may have been played for patsies by the Deadheads. He turned up some information that seemed to suggest that our employer and that vicious bastard Colonel Lyboc were one and the same. Magpie buzzed in our comlinks wondering what the hell we did, because the Deadheads were talking about a purge. Now we really needed to get the hell out of dodge. Ol' Jack passed Magpie off to Vic as he scouted for a place to stash the truck. Vic told her what he'd found, and then the two of them worked on finding a way out of Firetown.


Episode 09: What a Gas!

Like I said in my last entry, we barely made it back to the hotel before curfew. Charlotte was in a bad way. Doc told us in no uncertain terms that if we didn't find out what was causing people to get sick, she would die, and this time no scavenged cybernetic parts would bring her back. Being it was after curfew, there wasn't a lot we could do at the moment.

Vic busied himself with hacking into the drones that were spraying that nasty crap down on people. He sends most of them to various locations, but lands one on top of the parking structure next door. Ol' Jack should have his head examined for volunteering to go with him to check it out. Meanwhile, Doc did his best to stabilize Charlotte. All Fer could do was watch.


Episode 08: Resistance Rap-Battle

It's been a "ruff" three weeks. Just a little dog boy humor from ol' Jack. Lemme tell ya, there ain't much to laugh at these days, except maybe Vic's antics, but ol' Jack is gettin' ahead of himself.

As I said, it's been three weeks since the walls came down around Firetown. Firetown... meh, might as well call it Firetown Prison. Things are starting to get bad. People are getting sick, and there isn't a damn thing Doc or any other sawbones can do.


Episode 07: A Lit Fuse

Once the initial shock of what happened wore off, we set to work gathering resources we'd need and fortifying our position in the hotel. Doc and I scrounged for food, water, plastic sheeting, and duct tape. We didn't know what that crap the drones were spraying was, but we didn't want to find out the hard way either. Fer busied herself with sealing off the windows, while Vic locked down the floor we were on using his hacking mumbo jumbo. Once all that was done, ol' Jack went for a drive.


Episode 06: Something Big

Wanted Level: 10

Lemme tell ya, Vic’s buddies have a knack for getting the Prophets into more trouble than we can get into on our own. Naturally when one of them wanted to meet with Vic about “something big” the rest of us tagged along. Like usual it was a goddamn set-up.


Episode 05: A Simple Delivery Job

Fer's sister was not happy about having a crate of Naruni weapons in the basement, and probably even less so about having a crate full of Pre-Rifts contraband. Ol' Jack knows from personal experience the latter would get the Coalition's dander up more than a crate of weapons. Needless to say she wanted it out of the Top Hat ASAP.


Episode 04: Deepening Shadows

Last night the Coalition was obviously in a snit. Rumors were flyin' all over the place this "morning" of a huge CS strike in the East Side of the market. Just goes to show you that even when we try to fly under the radar there's other whackjobs out there workin' to make life just a bit more difficult for the rest of us. Thanks a lot jackasses.


Episode 03: All About That Bass

Ol' Jack really needs to beef up the security on his electronic logbook. I opened it to make a journal entry and the damn thing was infested with squirrel porn. I tell ya, Vic is screwed in the head. He laughed his ass off when ol' Jack confronted him about it. The other prophets thought it was funny too. Hilarious. Here's a tip from ol' Jack when you got a buddy with a screw loose who's a bit too handy with a computer, you just do what ol' Jack did and threaten to bite the offender in some very uncomfortable places unless he fixes the shit.


Episode 02: Wrong Side of the Street

Still working to acquire the shipment from the Brain Eaters, the Mad Hatters that comprise the Prophets of Payne crew split up and worked their own angles.

Ol' Jack hung around the park hopin' to catch the Brain Eaters in the act of grabbin' people. It turns out that Ol' Jack's nose for trouble was spot on because a few of those wastes of space from the Brain Eaters showed up a short while later. Ol' Jack being the good boy that he is, shadowed those maggots all the way to Jake's Farm. I wasn't about to go in there so I set up shop on the roof of an empty warehouse within viewing distance of the farm and watched.


Episode 01: A Squirrely Situation

Lemme tell ya somethin' ol' Jack Russell works some late nights runnin' pizzas and other stuff for the Top Hat, so when it comes time for some shut eye, once ol' Jack has turned around three times and laid down on his bed, ol' Jack doesn't want to be woken up until the damn alarm clock goes off.

Web Dev

Nesting try-catch Blocks in PHP

I was recently presented with an interesting problem on a client's project. We have a Web application which, via an API endpoint, triggers work for a background process, and the background worker then updates the status record when the work is complete with the final URL where the Web application…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 14)

Just like that, it was back to the desert heat of the Valley of the Sun. I spent the ride, which was anything but technical, pondering the trip and what I’d seen. There were so many great experiences this trip that it was hard to pinpoint a favorite. The bear on Day 5 and the bison on Day 6, as…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 13)

Checking the weather, it looked like I might get hit with some more rain today, but it looks like most of the ride along the Million Dollar Highway from Grand Junction to Durango will be clear. Score! I started out in the high desert south of Grand Junction with views of the mesas and the…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 12)

In Rock Springs, I had planned to stay in a hotel and, given the weather of the previous day, I was glad I did. After meeting some other fellow bikers, I decided to stop a little early today in Grand Junction. The days started out with another section of Highway 191 known as the Flaming Gorge…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 11)

After waking up to the sound of the river and preparing a quick breakfast and some tea, I broke camp and continued down Highway 93 and out of the Salmon River Valley. It breaks into a wide valley after the town of Challis, which was my first fuel stop for the day. Here, I began riding the section…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 10)

Today, I depart Columbia Falls and start my journey back to the desert. My wife’s flight back to the Valley of the Sun wasn’t until afternoon, so I rode with her driving in tow as far as Missoula. We enjoyed the scenery of Flathead Lake, stopping at one of the many cherry stands for some…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 9)

Today was my full day in Glacier National Park and, with my wife who flew in for the weekend with me, we drove the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Yes, drove, since my wife had joined me and we took the car rather than the bike. For the day, at least, I was a fellow explorer. We met a number of bikers along…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 8)

I set out from Choteau, but misinterpreted some detour instructions I had received around the construction on Highway 89. I didn’t want to ride for miles on loose gravel and dirt, so I stuck to the paved sections of highway. This mistake educated me on just how sparsely populated the state of…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 7)

Leaving Yellowstone and the state of Wyoming behind (the state line was just a couple miles north of my campground), I dropped quickly from the 6,000 foot elevation to the valley I overlooked the previous evening into Gardiner. There, the road weaved around the base of grass- and tree-covered…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 6)

Another early morning and I fended off the cold mountain air by keeping moving. I packed up the camp, but was a little too zealous and packed the food I would have had for breakfast. I had planned to pack up and then sit still and eat when it was a bit warmer. That plan now changed and I hit the…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 5)

Today started early, so I could walk down to the lake and catch the sunrise. It turns out, first light, and sunrise aren’t nearly so close together in the Tetons. I forgot how long the sun can be blocked from shining on a mountain valley in the Rockies. Nevertheless, I sat on the shore of Jackson…


Epic Road Trip 2017 (Day 4)

Today, I made it to the first of two places that were a big reason behind this trip. I hadn't been to the Grand Teton National Park in years and I've been looking forward to spending a couple nights here so I could enjoy a full day of hiking. Who knew I'd actually need to have my bear spray in hand…