Monday, July 30, 2012


While I know I normally write about gaming, my better half and I have been focusing on our home remodel. Since I often use it as an excuse for not updating, I figured it was time to share a few pics. Our home is located in a wonderful area of South Philadelphia within walking distance of the stadiums. It was built around 1925 - a row home - it was originally intended as affordable housing for dock and factory workers. It isn't a large house, not including the basement it clears just over 1000 square feet. We wanted to modernize the home but retain a lot of the charm and history. I think we've done ok so far.

Some "before" images.

The guts of the kitchen

This small pantry was torn out and the wall was stripped to exposed brick.

Looking into our kitchen from the living room.

Ripping up the floor.

Look at that bandana. That guy has got to be totally awesome.

You can see fire damage from a fire some time in the 80's

Exposing brick. I am standing where the pantry used to be.

Stuff disappearing bit by bit.

Ok this needs a bit of an explanation. At this point we hired contractors to come in and take over. The pile of wood you see there is the original lathe from our ceiling and walls. (While new houses have drywall construction, older houses had plaster walls. Thin strips of lathe were nailed to the studs and plaster was applied on top of them. When the plaster dried, it became hard and paintable.) The lathe was carefully removed and cleaned so we could reuse it on our ceiling.

The joists in the ceiling were left exposed and black paper rolled between to prevent any light from poking through. Then the lathe was cut...

...and placed between the joists. We were originally going to drywall between the joists, but this seemed much cooler.

 The separating wall was torn down revealing our duct-work. Rather than reroute the duct, we decided to build a column/shelving around it.

Alright, I have a bunch more before shots, but they are not nearly as fun as the "afters," so here we go!

new hardwood floor and a vintage vent recovered from a demolished building. It's small, but heavy!

The new view from the living room.

The new guts. The dark wood trim around the shelves is more wood recycled from inside our walls.

A fuzzy picture of the brick wall and lights.

As you can see, there is still a lot to do. Paint, fill holes, finish the trim etc. But We're really happy with what we've done so far. Now we just need to get furniture!

I was going to add some gaming stuff here too, but I've taken up a lot of space as-is!

Until next time, happy gaming!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Am I Dead Yet?

Lack of time, lack of updates! Our kitchen remodel is coming along nicely and will hopefully be (mostly) done by the end of the week. I also have a promising job opportunity so lets hope for the best there too!

Now that the pesky 'real life' stuff is out of the way, lets get on to more important things!

While my internet presence has been lacking, my gaming has been all sorts of productive. We played a very successful game two weekends ago. It was a module that Paizo produced back before Pathfinder - when they were making content for D&D 3.5. We ran GameMastery Module E1: Carnival of Tears. It was great. I had to do some modding to fit in my campaign world and it's pace was a little slow for my group, but overall it was a fun adventure. It was an event-based, time-sensitive game and that's where it bogs down for us. My group plays it fast and loose. Sometimes they rush through things that a built in timeline just won't accommodate, but fast forwarding the in-game time is no big deal so it really isn't much of a complaint.

Don't worry, that cover-guy isn't actually in the game.

The monsters were very memorable however. I was particularly happy when our resident monk was turned to animated ice by a type of fey called a "frosty chiseler." He maintained all of his abilities but took extra bludgeoning damage and would hurt himself if he tried to do more than simply move around. Prior to that he was stricken with a nasty curse that made his head appear to be that off a novelty doll (in this case, a carnival stong-man doll). All in all, his bad luck made for quite a laugh to the rest of the group. We have a 'group 2' game coming up this weekend that takes place in the southern desert kingdoms of our campaign world. If I could find the time I would love to map out the world and get their full tales down on paper if just for the internet to enjoy.

In other 'other' news, I have been working on a new project. While my original project to turn a campaign into a self published series didn't pan out too well (actually, it near-complete, but my attention went elsewhere). I have started, and made serious progress on a new self-publishing attempt. I won't spoil it complete, but maybe the layout will give you a hint. I've got 16 entries ready to go. Art and stats are all that's left!

 Until next time, happy gaming!