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Category: News

Moving Site

Hi, all!

I’m moving my blog over to Ghost running on a new domain:

I’ve moved my relevant content over there and will not be publishing any new content here.

So long, WordPress, and thanks for all the fish.

Notes on DMing on Roll20

Making Tokens

I use RPTools’ TokenTool (specifically version b27) to create (N)PC tokens from the character’s portrait. The tool is fairly simple:

  1. Extract the zip file and double-click on ‘tokentool-1.0.b27.jar’
    • After a moment, the tool’s window will launch.
  2. Drag-and-drop the character’s portrait onto the black portion of the window.
  3. Size and position the image.
    • Click-and-drag the image to reposition.
    • Use the arrow buttons on the right to size the image. Double-arrows are for large size changes; single-arrows are for smaller changes.
  4. Using the dropdown box, select the ring for the token
    • Personally, I use circles for PCs and hexagons for NPCs, but this is entirely up to you.
  5. Under the file menu, select Save Token and save the new token where you want it.
  6. Upload to Roll20
  7. ???
  8. Profit

Using Tokens in Game

Now that your tokens have been created, you need to use them. Drop them onto the Object/Token layer, click on it, then on the gear to edit it.

  • Ensure that the “Represents Character” box has the right character selected. This is based on character sheets in the journal.
  • The “Name” field will show up in the Turn Tracker and on their nameplate, if you show it. I like to use first names or the name the character is known by here, especially if the character is using an assumed name.
  • Ensure that the dropdown box for “Bar 1” is set to hp. This will automatically populate with current HP / max HP from the character’s sheet.
  • You can add other bars, if desired, but I find them to not be terribly useful.

  • To ensure all players can see the health bar (a good, non-meta way of sharing how messed up a fellow character is at-a-glance), click on the “See” checkbox for Bar 1.
  • Ensure the “Has Sight” checkbox is checked, especially if you plan on using Dynamic Lighting.
  • This is also where you’d set what light the player emits.
    • For a torch, enter 40 in the first box (entirety of light) and 20 in the second box (where the bright light transitions to dim). You should check the “All Players See Light” box, as it’s a torch and that’s how light works.
    • For darkvision, enter the range of their darkvision in the first box (60, usually) and -5 in the second box, so that all of the light is dim. Ensure that “All Players See Light” is unchecked, as no one else has access to that player’s darkvision.
    • For blindness, you cannot just uncheck the Has Sight box, as the player would be able to move through your light obstructions. What you should do, is set the token’s angle of vision to 0 degrees. This way, the player is blind, but is still stopped when they bump into doors or walls.

  • Save the changes to the token.
  • Now, on the edit the character in the journal, select the token, then click on the “Use Selected Token” button. This will make it so that all of the settings you’ve applied to the token will be used whenever the player drops their token onto the map.

Building NPC Character Sheets

Coming Soon

Basic Dynamic Lighting

Coming Soon

HTTPS Enforced

I’ve finally gotten around to requesting an SSL certificate for this site and configured it this morning. I need to add a few more rewrite rules so that old image tags and such are redirected to the secured version, but it’s not high on my priority list.


Finally updated the About page, as I hadn’t cleaned it up in over three years.

Also, I’m tweeting again, so that little Twitter icon over on the right side might be worth something.

Rebuilding the Icon Cache

I keep running across users with a problem where an icon–usually, the one for Microsoft Outlook–changes to a blank, default icon and cannot be restored via Change Icon. This problem is caused by a broken icon cache. While this may sound bad, rebuilding it is pretty easy.

First, save all your work and close all open programs: what we’re going to do will restart your computer. Next, open up a command prompt and enter the following commands:

ie4uint.exe -ClearIconCache
taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
DEL "%localappdata%\IconCache.db" /A
shutdown /r /f /t 00

After executing the last command, your computer will restart and the icon will be restored.

What This Does

The first command actually clears the cache. Then, with “taskkill” we close Windows Explorer, so that we can delete the Icon Cache and Windows won’t complain about it being in use. The third command actually deletes the icon cache. Finally, we restart the computer immediately, which will recreate a new cache as it starts.


Special thanks to for helping diagnose this issue.

Chef Turned Soldier

My buddy, Jereme, is a trained chef that now works with me on WIN-T networks. He’s created a blog, Chef Turned Soldier, that introduces kitchen neophytes (like many of those young soldiers who live in the barracks) to new cooking methods and recipes that can apply to them. As such, this blog would also be great for college kids in dorm rooms and bachelors. Hell, even I find some cool stuff on it.

BBQ Sides and Appetizers

I seem to have my technique down for cooking ribs, chicken, and pork shoulder on my smoker, but that only gives me the entree. A meal, especially one planned for more than a few people, is much more than an entree. Lately, I’ve decided to start working on my sides and appetizers, so that I can do my first big cook right.



ABTs, or Atomic Buffalo Turds, are the BBQ version of jalapeno poppers. While there are many variations, I got my recipe here. They are very simple to make and take only 90 minutes to cook, so your guests will have something to munch on while they wait for the meat to finish.

Of course, standard party fair, such as chips with salsa and guacamole, are completely acceptable here, as well.

Side Dishes

Your classic BBQ side dishes are cole slaw, mac ‘n’ cheese, beans, and potatoes. Depending on your particular BBQ inclinations or geography, their style may vary, but they’re all accepted.

As I am already doing a good bit of cooking, I don’t tend to feel like shredding cabbage myself (it’s also surprisingly expensive here in Hawaii), so I but the bagged mix and make the dressing myself. For full disclosure, Lizz usually makes the dressing, so I’m not 100% that this is the recipe she used, but I know it was a Bobby Flay one. When she made it from scratch, it was great, but we didn’t like the onion.

I plan on playing with Meathead’s recipe for “Crack ‘n’ Cheese” and finding the perfect cheese and add-ins. I’ll post again when I do.

The wife and I disagree about the perfect baked bean, so we might compromise on a classic Boston recipe, but I’d also really like to try the Bourbon Baked Beans. Results ot my tasty testing to be posted soon.

As far as potato dishes go, there are fries and salads for BBQ. Any kind of fries you like (including sweet potato) will work just fine and your salad preference will be just fine, as well. My wife particularly enjoys the Salt Lick’s version (a take on German) and I’m always trying to find a good copy cat.

The Wondiferousness That is Linux Mint 13


Anyone who has followed or read through the archives of this site may think that I am a little schizophrenic when it comes to my Linux distribution choice. I’ve been all over the place: Linux Mint 11, Xubuntu 11.10, openSUSE 12.1, Fedora 16/17, Ubuntu 12.04… everywhere. In fairness, there were always problems that made it difficult for me to just do the things I needed to do.

Linux Mint 11 was okay (and still may have been) except the ATI drivers my laptop needed didn’t exist at the time. Xubuntu 11.10 was great, but I had issues with heat and the system crashing from time to time. openSUSE 12.1 had by far the best installation for the ATI drivers ever, but I had to type in the root password to connect to a new wireless network. Fedora ran really, really hot. Ubuntu 12.04 crashed when installing the proprietary graphics driver, but worked fine if I disabled the ATI card and just ran off the Intel card and FOSS drivers.

Enter Mint 13

About two weeks ago, I installed Linux Mint 13 MATE. It works amazingly well on my HP dv6t Quad laptop. I’ve only had to do a few things to make it work well.

  1. Install Proprietary Drivers. Install the closed-source ATI drivers. After running your initial updates, Linux Mint will have the latest drivers available and you’ll want to select the choice that contains the phrase “post-release updates”. Once those are installed, you can run sudo aticonfig --initial, then sudo amdcccle to select the Intel graphics card.
  2. Enable Backlight Adjustment. Add “acpi_backlight=vendor” to your GRUB command lines in /etc/default/grub, then run sudo update-grub.

So far, things are running wonderfully. I have noticed a bug where the wireless will not reconnect once the laptop suspends (like when the lid is closed). Not too big of a deal, as I just need to shut down before I close up.