Gaming Convention Budget Tips


This past year I have gone to more gaming conventions year then ever before. Mainly as designer attending the various local Protospiels  to run playtests of my designs.  I’m still unpublished , so at best this is a hobby for the time being.  While I enjoy doing it, I have other financial goals i’m trying to accomplish so I’m trying to be as budget minded as possible.  The here some tips in no particular order .


Bring your own food/meds


While it’s fun to eat out with friends, food and drinks can really rack up your expenses.  The method I use is to bring bread and peanut butter. Yeah the bread will get smashed up but you can eat and peanut butter sandwich  for just about any meal of the day.  7 bucks could feed you for several days.  I also carry a water bottle with me  most cons will have water ether in water coolers or from vending machines.  Try to avoid foods that need to be cooked  like  Ramen since you might not have consistent access to a microwave or hot water. Bring a small ration daily medications just in case you get a migraine or have stomach issues while attending the con. These medications are gouged pretty heavily at hotels.


Flea Market


If you are like me you may have some games in you collection that you are no longer playing.  While you could spend some time to list the games on Ebay and deal with shipping and other hassles.  Many gaming conventions have Flea markets for gamers to sell unwanted products.   Now to sell games at the at flea market the convention may charge a fee for the table. Work together with your friends and share a table at the flea market. Now your not going make the most you could on what your selling  else but for the amount of effort used to move the product it could be the best bang for your buck.  If I plan on buying anything I try to limit to less then what I take in at the flea Market.  If there is a game that you have your eye see if there a used copy at the flea market that can be a huge savings over a new copy.


Volunteer at the Con


This can take several forms. Many conventions will give gamers who run X hours in registered slots free admission to the con . So if there is an RPG one shot that you can run in you sleep or with little prep (dread, fate, Fiasco) if you sign up to run the required slots and enjoy your admission for free.  Another form may be in agreeing to help assist the con, watch the door to the dealer room ect. Most cons will have these details on their website.


Driving Home vs Staying in a Hotel


Depending how far away you are from the convention  you may consider not staying in the hotel.  I was an hour and 15 minutes away from my last con and even if I split a room at a nearby motel.  It was sill about $30 cheaper for me to drive.  While staying at nearby hotel my save you from #FOMO (fear of missing out)  you need to examine all of your options if you carpool and drive different days that could be a huge savings.


These are some the strategies I employ to limit my expenses at gaming conventions. Let me know how you stay on budget while attending game conventions?


Pacificon Protospiel 2017 Wrap Up

This is what a came into the weekend with Plutomancy


This event marked the one-year point on my game design journey. I stated on my previous post I had hit a rut in my design work. With the Protospiel at Pacificon I was hoping to get the wind back in my sails. I was Planning to try and be as frugal as possible at the con, I only ate out 1 once over the three days. Breakfast being provided Saturday by Pacific Rim Publishing and Sunday by Breaking Games. Thank you so much, some of us are starving artists and it was very much appreciated. The Protospiel was also sponsored by The Game Crafter, Game Kastle, The League of Game Makers, Jonny Pac Games, Bezier Games, Mayday Games and Impressions Distribution Services.  I had Planned to attend Friday Saturday and part of Sunday.

The game I was testing was Plutomancy. A magic item set collecting magic game with a rondel mechanism. After some feedback from Kublacon I have added some other elements that wanted to test out. Friday, I ran the game 4 times each time removing some troublesome spells and seeing from the feedback that some of the actions had gotten more complicated or troublesome.

Saturday, I made a different board out of Hex cards altering the space to remove the some of the unneeded aspects.

This is an exaggeration of what changes I made during the protospiel

I turned around and decided to hold off on doing some more tests and play some other games and collect myself because I was starting to get anxious and wanted to change more than I should at once. I felt like I needed to step away for a bit, so I went to the “paint and take area” and painted a Rob Zombie miniature shown here.


I did do several play-tests with the new board and a different end game condition and that fixed some of my issues. I still need really sit down and ask myself what am I trying accomplish with Plutomancy.  It’s hard to take feedback if I don’t really know if this feedback is steering me in the direction I want to go with the game.  That analysis I will save for a different post.

The cards that I removed from Plutomancy over the course of the weekend. 

Now for some specific shout outs.  A huge thank you to John and Ka for letting me crash in their room Saturday night. I was planning to sleep in my car somewhere but with the current heatwave that wouldn’t have ended well. They even set aside a Towel and provided me with plenty of water to fill my water bottle.  Jordan thank you for that extra Al Pastor Burrito! I was determined to only eat the food I had brought but that burrito hit the Spot! Thank you anyone that played Plutomancy that weekend. I realized that the newer features may have been clogging up the game-play.  I left the weekend  streamlining some of the cumbersome aspects.

I played some Fantastic prototypes over the weekend. To name a few  Dice Age, Scott Caputo’s Japanese garden Tile Game ( next time I will take better notes), Swing the Deal, Little Red Riding Hood, Dragons Duel?(Bard Games, David Huntley) and Arcane Knowledge,Royal Favor, Meeple Minions and Singularity are the ones off the top of my head. Looking forward to see the next iterations of all these games!

Looks like for me the next big playtest event for me is Dundracon in February.  I’m hoping to begin active development of Forged from Ruin 2.0 and have the Plutomancy completed before the end of 2017.  Stay Tuned!


What did I Do on my Board Game Designer Summer Vacation

facebook image.pngHello Everyone! Sorry I have been so quiet for the last few months.  Having a wedding ceremony will eat a ton of your time. Since Kublacon I feel I hit a rut in design pipeline.  After reviewing the finances after our ceremony and my upcoming honeymoon, I realized I was not going to afford to go Gencon 50. This saddened me especially since this year after becoming a designer I knew so many folks that were attending the show. Gencon was going to be an event I was hoping to pitch at least one of my designs. Since that was on the back-burner, I lost some design mojo for a time.

Over the summer I did start developing a new game called Realm Weaver. Which is a card based world Building Activity. Something to use before starting a home brewed RPG or writing a novel. Which allows you to create a fantasy or Sci Fi world by building most powerful being in the world and shaping the world from their prospective.  A Side effect of playtesting this is now I have a bunch of new RPG settings that would be a blast to play in.   This also spawned the idea of another pet project my on a Fantasy Post-apocalyptic setting Wyld Blight.  Not sure if this is the best use of my time but at least these endeavors are rekindling my work flow.

I am happy to report that I will be attending Pacificon September 1-3rd!  This is also marks the one-year point on my Game Design Journey. The day after Attending Pacificon 2016 I made the first prototype of what eventually became “Forged for Ruin”.  Since then I have designed 7 other Prototypes, not continuing to work on these but at least I am getting plenty of design practice. This year I have participated in 3 protospiels and  (Dundracon, Prospiel SJ and Pacificon) No porotospiel at Kublacon  but

there was a designer meet up and got some great play-test done! My goal for the rest of this year is to complete the overhaul of Forged from Ruin and finish Plutomancy.

keith and dalila



True Mutant 5e Race

This a repost from My previous Blog that was deleted. Originally post late 2014. This is a race for 5th edition D&d. 


Version 1.0 Update Made the Redundant Organs feature based on spending hit dice on reflex after being critically hit.


Mutants are the product of creating life through Experimentation. Typically done by wizards, sorcerers and clerics of foul aberrant gods. Just as their origins may highly vary, so do their appearance. Mutants run the Gambit from strange amalgamations derived from multiple creatures fused together, to pale dull featured bipeds seemingly made from clay. Ether released by their creators to gather data or liberated by their cruel masters and given mercy by Adventurers.


Forged from Foul Magics_______


A Mutant’s appearance varies wildly based on the type of processes used to create it for Example; an aberrant cult in an attempt to summon an elder god they accidentally created a humanoid with green scaly skin low functioning tentacles on its shoulders.  While a wizard in attempt to create a living clone of himself actually humanoid completely devoid of features and Pigment. Work with your DM to create the appearance of your mutant.


Outsiders Seeking to Belong____


Due to their strange appearance it is difficult for Mutants to interact with society.  People tend to view them as Abominations.  Despite this Mutants desire to feel a sense of belonging.  They are willing to do things that normal people are reluctant to do.  This tends to draw them to the adventuring lifestyle since it welcomes outcast and misfits.

In large Communities it is possible for mutants to live together typically away from general public typically in sewers, catacombs and Caverns.


Mutant Names______________


Mutants currently do not possess language unique to themselves. They tend to learn the languages spoken around them.  Also they do not share any naming conventions. They can take a name given by their creator or a name given by someone else.


Mutant Traits________________

Ability Score increase +2 Constitution which reflects their un-natural endurance and resilience.

Age Mutants have Variable Ages

  1. Age like Humans
  2. Age like Dwarves
  3. Age like Elves
  4. Age like Half-orcs
  5. Age like Halfling
  6. Age 2X as fast as humans

  Size Mutants size varies wildly running between 4 to 6.5 feet tall. Your size is Medium.

Speed base walking speed is 30 feet

Darkvison having spent the much of your life in a dark laboratories. Your eyes adjusted and you can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light. And in darkness as if it were dim. You can’t discern color in darkness only shades of gray.

Tough skin you have resistance to acid damage.

Sub races

Two major sub-races currently have been documented among Mutant kind.  The monstrous Mutant Abomination and the strange Spell fused Mutant.


Mutant Abomination__________

Mutant Abominations a hulking brutes that inspire fear on the battlefield.  They possess unnatural strength along with their improved endurance. Abominations were designed to be strong servants accomplishing manual labor and helping to defend their Creators lair. They tend to be reserved prefer letting their hands do the talking rather than words. They are extremely focused being created to conduct specific tasks.

Ability Score increase. Your Strength increases by 1.

Disturbing Appearance gain proficiency in intimidation.  

Redundant organs. When you are critically hit, as a reaction you may spend hit dice.

Unnatural vitality Advantage on saves that involve becoming fatigued


Spell Fused Mutant__________

Spell fused mutants are conduits of arcane energy.  While they are not Physically Strong like abominations they make up in raw arcane power.  Often created to assist their creators in the laboratory.  Spell Fused mutants are better equipped for social interactions then their Abomination brethren.  They are deceptive and difficult to read their true intentions.

Ability Increase +1 to your Charisma score.

Hard to Read gain proficiency in deception.

Strange Brain Chemistry Advantage on saves becoming compelled or charmed.  

Energy Backlash You overload your body with strange energies.  Functions like Shocking Grasp used once per short rest. Casting stat for this ability is Charisma.

















You have to start somewhere

Well it’s finally happened. I got off of my ass and made a damn board game prototype, actually 4 game prototypes at different stages since September 2016. So I have been playing tabletop games of various flavors for the last 10 years. I have had inklings to make a project for quite some time. Each time I would find some excuse to not pursue it further.  

“Who is going to buy it?”

“I’m not an artist, shoot I’m even not a strong writer”… 

The list goes on, years would pass and no progress was made. For the last couple of years I have been assisting my friend Brian demo his game “Cutthroat Kingdoms”, due out later this year (2017) from AEG! I attended various local cons to help Brian promote his game. Kublacon ,Pacificon , Haticon and Unpub to name a few. I was surprised to find so many designers in the Bay Area, just assumed that it was more centered on the large cons like Gencon or Pax. After attending the protospiel event at Pacificon 2016, I made a vow that I was going just make a game.  

The next morning I simplified my concept to get to the minimum viable product. I made my cards in excel and formatted them in Nandeck later that week I got the game to the table the very first time. See bellow it’s not pretty but it does t have to be it just needs to be find

I’m going to be detailing my experience and my progress on this blog. There are so many things to learn about game design and I want to share the lessons I learned to give back to this community.  

Let’s Try this Again.


Welp my blog was recently deleted (thanks Go Daddy) so I have defaulted to my old WordPress blog. Going to be reposting some of the 5e things I’ve made from last year.  I since my previous blogging foray I have gotten a new job and Got Married! Now that things are beginning to slow down I am prepping to run a Star Wars Edge of the Empire game for my Game group going to do some blog about prepping maybe make a small podcast from it.

Really liking Edge of the Empire Rules so Far.  Looking to adapt some concepts from FATE Core into ie Fractal Fate. Personifying environments or hazards just like other NPC’s. Also using this for Factions like The Empire or A Hutt Cartel. We’ll see what the coming months bring us.