d20 Library

A couple of days ago was our (almost) weekly Dungeons & Dragons gaming session. Our party at that time consisted of 8 heroes, although we’re only 4 players and one Dungeon Master (DM). Therefore every one of us plays two characters. This ensures a good mixture of different character types for almost every possible situation were different skills and abilities are required. My two characters were:

Peloron Nethard
  • Cleric 1
  • Healer 5
  • Radiant Servant of Pelor 2
  • Fighter 5
  • Barbarian 1
  • Mater of Exotic Weapons 1
  • Disciple of Thrym 1

The other characters of our party are a few levels higher than mine. The average level was probably between 11 and 13. The main problem on the last Saturday was the fact that our DM is a little bit unconscious about taking into account the challenge rating of our enemies. So we had to fight about 15 enemies lead by a cleric with a challenge rating (CR) of about 16. For people who are not familiar with an appropriate challenge rating: an enemy group with a CR of 16 is a suitable challenge for 4 to 6 characters of the same level (16 in this case). As you can probably reason, this was a pretty tough task. At the end of the encounter 2 of our characters had passed away. Unfortunately one of them was my fighter Nethard.


Tag it!

Some of you guys out there have probably seen it coming. I did not invest that much time on finishing (or even starting) my diploma thesis in the last couple of days. Surprisingly, updating my music collection seemed to be much more … ehm … fun! Fortunately I currently only possess round about 3600 audio files (MP3) which consume about 15GB of my hard drive space. I only say this, because I know someone who „owns“ over 100GB of MP3s. Sick!

So what does updating of MP3s mean? Well it meant quite a bit of work, because I decided to attach to each file the corresponding CD cover. Therefore I searched the internet, primarily with Google picture search for covers with an acceptable quality and the dimensions of at least 400×400. I think this size is on one hand accurate enough to see some details, but on the other hand small enough to actually find covers. After having searched with Google and websites like ALLCDCovers or Encyclopaedia Metallum I am satisfied with my results, although it took me almost about two days. Of course some of the covers were smaller than 400×400, especially the ones of the German Fun Metal band J.B.O. and I only scaled them up to about 300×300.


Color management and LCDs

Philips 190x7bAbout two or three weeks ago I bought a new monitor. I was tired of staring at my good old 19″ CRT, which had some color and brightness problems in the left part of the screen. Colors were to bright there and I have to admit that the projected image seemed to be a little blurry. Therefore I decided to get a brand new 19″ LCD monitor and I ended up buying the Philips 190x7b. I think it looks really nice and it has an integrated USB hub which is quite useful if you’re an old man like me.

Unfortunately the dye distribution is not perfect. If you look at a complete black image, you can see a „brighter black“ at the left and right side of the display. For now I only noticed this while starting up my machine, seeing the neat Windows XP starting screen. While watching videos, playing games or such things I haven’t noticed it yet. Moreover all things considered the displayed image seems to have a little less brightness at the top. This I do recognize during my „normal“ Windows usage, but it’s not that bad. By now I am used to it. The most important for me is, that my eyes don’t have to strain that much any more and I really like looking at a clear and sharp image.


WordPress and its changes

Today I thought about representing data and rules from Dungeons & Dragons source books as simple and plain XML files. Why that, you probably ask. Well, I’m not quite sure myself. At first I noticed some problems during our Friday DnD sessions. For almost every silly thing, we had to consider the source books and browse through the pages. This is probably due to the large amount of books we take into account while playing.

So wouldn’t it be nice to have a database or something similar, where for example all feats would be listed with their descriptions, requirements and where they are to be found in the source books and so forth. Of course these informations should be kept in a database for things like sorting and grouping. Nevertheless there has to be the possibility to have things exchangeable. Therefore I decided to collect all (hopefully) this data and write it down in XML. Later on you (or I) just have to write an importing/exporting tool to have read or write access to the database.


Phishing Filter

Phishing in ThunderbirdThis morning (well it was 1 p.m.) I made an interesting discovery. Finally, after having waited for years, I got my first phishing e-mail. My penny bank wants to have all my banking information, including TANs and PIN, of course. The e-mail itself wasn’t made that bad. The e-mail address from the sender seemed to be correct, but if you took a look at the advanced header, you could have seen that the origin of the mail was lline-202-65-134-34.pol.net.in (HELO system) [] Moreover the link did not point to sparkasse.de. but to sparkasse.de.redirector9.rwler.info