Castlevania: The Adventure

First gameboy Castlevania, where you jump, move forward, and use whip. The soundtrack is good, it definitely kept me going even when I felt like the game was trying to get me killed with pixel-perfect feeling platforming. I don’t have a manual, or any idea what the plot was but I had fun killing Dracula (even more fun after watching a half-hour ‘Timeline of Castlevania’ YouTube video).

The pros: best gameboy music I have heard yet, it doesn’t take long to play using save states (which helps avoid one of my cons gripes), and it felt not intimidating to boot it up as a starting place for playing as many Castlevania games as I can this Fall. Oh, and Madman aka Mud Man is my favorite creature in the game as it will drip from the ceiling then form a lumbering gooey wanderer.

The cons: platforming was very difficult & save states saved my butt for the stage with rising spikes, this game is hard to look at unless you set an emulator to ‘GameBoy Green’ so do that and lower screen brightness for your eyes sake, finally, their are a few things which kill the player in one hit (I am not a fan of this but save states help with dealing with this frustration).

I recommend this game to people who like Castlevania games or want a short game to play (using a handheld emulator of some kind felt great for this). And for everyone else, you can just look up the soundtrack and its GameBoy beeps and chirps online. If I come back for this game, I will be trying it with only save states for the beginning of a stage to up the difficulty for myself.

Madman

Score: would recommend to some if asked about it

The Other Spellbook

This is a spellbook rewrite, where I am taking the spells from the D&D original booklets but rewriting them in order to make a different but similar spellbook of my own.

Here is all 88 spells rewritten and unedited. I will be doing an editing pass, adding some spellcasting rules, notes, and layout for a print and digital zine in the future. But this blog post will remain the first draft I wrote, and I’ll post an update when the polished version is available.

1. Detect Magic

With focus, your eyes glaze over and you can see the auras of magic and their residue trails. The longer you focus, the older the trails you can see (for every 10 minutes, 1 day older residues become visible). Spell ends when focus is broken (through taking actions of your own or others against you).

2. Hold Portal

Target within eye sight is unable to be closed, effects doors (all sizes), windows, portals, and gates. Locks with keyholes are stuck. Pocket watches with doors are jammed open. Bags can’t be closed or cinched shut.

3. Read Magic

On examining the movements and spellcasting of another magic-user, the general effects of the spell cast are known. If not in duress, upon your next rest you can prepare the spell witnessed, the first time casting it will have a 50% chance of success. If the cast is successful, then the magic-user can cast it successfully as other spells. If the first cast is a failure, then the spell is forgotten and cannot be prepared again in this same manner.

4. Read Languages

Running your hand across a text, a commanding voice reads the text loudly in the most widely understood language of anyone within the room who could hear the voice.

5. Protection from Evil

Creatures and people who the caster consider “pure Evil” are unable to touch the target, with weapon, body, or magic. Lasts 1 day or until another spell is cast on the same target.

6. Light

Creates a physical orb of light that illuminates a 10 ft. radius. An unlimited number may be created, each exists for 3 days or until dispelled. Each orb acts as if in zero-g.

7. Charm Person

Targets who are unaware of the caster are at a higher chance of treating the caster upon meeting in a friendly manner. Only lasts until the caster proves to not be worth the friendly demeanor.

8. Sleep

All creatures capable of natural sleep within 25’ of the target area fall asleep within 2 minutes of the rituals completion.

9. Detect Invisible (Objects)

Non-living objects that are not visible to the naked eye become beacons of rotating light beams to the casters eye. These lighthouse beacons can go as far as 5 miles. Each light is a different color, color of light is based on the caster who made the object invisible.

10. Levitate

Target starts to rise off the ground at a rate of 2 inches per minute even when standing still. Spell ends after 2 hours, or if target can be weighed down by a number of pounds additional equal to their own.

11. Phantasmal Forces

The caster summons 1d20 illusions of ghosts, specters, undead, or ghouls. These illusions act on the commands of the caster and appear real upon all scrutiny (except touch).

12. Locate Object

The caster imagines an object in as much detail as they wish. They know the direction from their position that the object is. If the object cannot be visualized from first hand looking at the object, then the spell will point the caster in the direction of the closest object that is similar. If no similar object can be found, then the spell points in a random direction.

13. Invisibility

The target of the spell, living, dead, or inanimate is made invisible. This spell lasts until the spell is broken by the caster, or the target of the spell touches a magical artifact, spell, or enchanted area. A caster cannot make more than 1 target invisible at once.

14. Wizard Lock

The caster conjures a magical padlock (size and weight determined by the caster), it glows and hums at a high pitch at a low volume. It can only be opened with the wand that the caster used to create it. Spell ends when the caster says so.

15. Detect Evil

Spell detects any individuals or objects that are enchanted with dark or chaos magic, or think of themselves as someone who has done “evil” actions. Range of the spell is 20 feet.

16. ESP

A spell that allows the caster to listen to all thoughts not shielded by magic within 200 feet at once. The closer the thinker is, the louder the thought sounds (screaming), and the farther the thinker away the quieter (soft whisper). Spell lasts 1 hour, and leaves the caster incapable of verbal communication for its duration.

17. Continual Light

This spell permanently alters the a 10 ft by 10 ft cube of space to be well lit by natural sunlight which comes from a flat circular hole on the cube’s “ceiling”. Spell lasts eternally unless dispelled.

18. Knock

The caster can create knocking noises in as many places on as many surfaces as desired within sight. The surfaces vibrate and quake with each knock, causing unsecured objects and persons to fall over. The spell ends when the caster takes damage or stops the spell.

19. Fly

The caster chooses a target and the target grows functioning wings. The caster chooses whether the wings are under control of either the caster or the target. The character with wings moves at 3x their normal speed, and the spell ends after 20 minutes times the number of turns spent casting the spell.

20. Hold Person

The caster chooses a target to hold/restrain that is within 60 feet, and an arcane hand is summoned. The hand reaches out of the caster and is made of arcane energy. The hand exists as long as it grapples/restrains a target, until it is dispelled one of the caster’s hands is clutching a small arcane energy figurine.

21. Dispell Magic

Using this spell, and a non-enchanted vessel, allows the caster ties the magical effects of a spell or incantation to another object. The object if destroyed destroys the spell, if not destroyed or broken then the spell continues as normal.

Using this spell against another magician’s magical works requires the caster to be of equal strength, or to know how to cast the spell that they are dispelling.

22. Clairvoyance

Images projected outwards by one target, hateful thoughts, intentions, etc are made able to be viewed/watched by the caster. While viewing these thoughts, the caster is unresponsive, and their body goes cold until they end the spell.

23. Clairaudience

Allows the caster to project their thoughts as audio to any and all targets within 100 ft. To targets, the voice of the casters thoughts will sound as if the caster is close by.

24. Fire Ball

Any orb or sphere like object can be turned into magical fire that explodes on contact with any surface other than the casters hands. The sphere in the hands of the caster weighs as much as a heavier skipping stone. The fire can be “put out” by the caster by casting the same spell on the object again.

On explosion, the fire spreads and covers a 25 ft radius, the fire cannot be put out except by magical means and deals 2d6 damage.

25. Lightning Bolt

At a word the caster shoots a bolt of lightning from the center of their forehead. The bolt of lightning hits the closest target within 15 ft. If the spell is blocked somehow by the target (enchanted arms or armor specifically for lightning protection), the bolt comes back to the caster, and if they cannot reach another target in 2 turns the caster takes the spells damage.

Whoever is hit by the lightning bolt takes 4d4 damage, with one less d4 for every 3 ft. the target is from the caster.

26. Protection from Evil, 10’ Radius

A Protection from Evil spell, except that all allies within 10 ft are protected as well.

27. Invisibility, 10’ Radius

Acts as the Invisibility spell, except that it allows the caster’s spell to affect as many objects or persons within 10 ft of the caster. If the declared target leaves this range, then the spell no longer effects that target.

28. Infravision

The caster’s target can switch between their normal vision and seeing in infrared (allowing them to see in darkness). The Infravision’s sight range is 40 ft. A single caster can maintain up to 10 targets on their own at once, with an assistant a caster can maintain up to 100 infravision targets (as long as the caster remains still and focused during the spells duration). The spell ends after 24 hours.

29. Slow Spell

The caster creates a visible sphere with a diameter of 30 feet. All physical movement within the sphere moves at one third speed, causing all actions to take 3x their normal speed. A 2nd caster who casts the Slow Spell on the same area doubles the spheres effects on its inhabitants. The sphere only disappears after 1 hour.

30. Haste Spell

Behaves similar to the Slow Spell except that all targets within its sphere move at three times their normal speed, making all actions to take 33% as much time to take. This sphere also only disappears after 1 hour. A Haste Spell sphere cast on the same space as a Slow Spell causes both spells to be broken and ended.

31. Protection from Normal Missiles

Physical projectiles and missiles (of a non-magic type) go through the target of this spell, as if the target is temporarily made into a ghost on contact with the projectile. This stops the target from taking any damage from these attacks.

The aura of protection requires the caster to be within 5 feet of their target to cast the spell. The spell ends after 10 minutes, and a caster can only place this protection on one target at once.

32. Water Breathing

The caster of the spell is made able to breathe underwater without any strain. If a cord is enchanted and tied onto the caster, anyone who holds the cord gains the ability to breathe underwater as well (as long as they hold the cord)

33. Polymorph Self

The caster of this spell is able to perfectly transform into an inanimate object and retains all of their abilities of their non-polymorph form. The caster may also choose to take on the shape of any living creature, but this form is a bad copy always that doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny, but passes for the caster’s intent at a short distance.

Additionally, there is a 50% chance that a polymorph will give the caster the abilities of the intended form (turning into a dragon, giving the caster the abilities of said dragon).

34. Polymorph Others

Same as Polymorph Self but for targets other than the caster. After 3 simultaneous Polymorph spells ongoing each additional polymorph spell maintained at the same time is increasingly worse and less believable.

35. Remove Curse

The caster with this ability can transfer a curse from the target touching one hand, into the object or target that is held in the other hand.

36. Wall of Fire

The caster summons a wall of magical fire which is partially able to be seen through. Any who pass through it take 2d6 damage and 1d6 damage ongoing if unable to remove the magical fire from their body.

For each object or person that passes through the wall, it becomes smaller, after 10 human body volume of matter passes through, the wall is no more.

37. Wall of Ice

This spell creates a wall of ice 2 feet thick that is covered in jagged spears, which causes as much damage as a spear would if pushed into. The wall will slowly melt if not in freezing cold weather conditions. If in cold weather conditions, it will stay there in perpetuity or until destroyed.

The water that this wall is made from is taken from the air or any nearby water source. If none is available, then the spell will not work.

38. Confusion

This spell conjures visions of figures, duplicates of people, but only visible to the caster’s target. Each of these illusions feels real until engaged with, but even then they look and act real, making noise and movements that lead to the target being confused.

The target of this spell requires focus in order to take any action against a target, and will be confused for 4 turns (within combat), or 10 minutes outside of combat. Casting range is 15 feet.

39. Charm Monster

The caster conjures a physical gift for a creature based on the desires of the creature. The physical gift is tangible and real and may satisfy/pacify said creature.

The spell only works as long as the creature desires something tangible. If there is nothing physical it desires then the caster remains clueless to its wants.

40. Growth of Plants

Targets a 5 foot radius of plant matter up 20 feet away from the caster, it grows at a rate of 10 feet tall per turn spent casting the spell. It retains the features of the plant, but becomes much more durable. Anyone close to the plant is at risk of being pushed, entangled, shredded or caught by thorns, or their line of sight obscured (depending on the type of plant matter being grown).

Plant growth will slowly shrink back to its natural size over the course of 1 hour per turn spent casting the spell. If the spell is reinforced by casting the spell again over the course of 8 hours, then the growth is permanent.

41. Dimension Door

A door is created within 5 feet of the caster that is connected temporally with another door of a similar shape and color at a location picked by the caster (that is within the casters current line of sight). The door collapses/disappears once the caster has walked through it.

42. Wizard Eye

One of the casters eyes closes and cannot be opened, a spectral eye looking identical to the eye closed but 1 foot wide is summoned. As long as the casters eye is closed, they can see out of the summoned eye, moving and rotating it at will. If the eye takes any damage, then the spell is broken.

43. Massmorph

The caster picks up to 100 targets, each targets appearance changes into that of a inanimate object or plant of the caster’s choice. Targets do not gain the abilities of the objects they take on the appearance of and are unable to move more than a rate of 10 feet per turn or the spell is broken, but may take any of their actions as normal otherwise.

The spell ends when the caster loses line of sight on their targets.

44. Hallucinatory Terrain

This spell affects a large area of the casters choice, it creates the illusion that the terrain and landscape is not what it is, but is changed to reflect what the caster imagines. As long as the caster is casually looking at the terrain the spell is active.

Anyone who walks through the area will be confused and prone to injury due to the terrain looking different than it physically is.

45. Teleport

The caster can instantaneously teleport themselves from where they are currently standing to a location that they can visualize that exists. The caster can also touch a target to teleport them to the place that the caster is visualizing. If the target is unwilling to teleport, then there is a 50% chance that the target will be sent to a location of their choice instead.

46. Hold Monster

The caster picks a monster as a target, the spell summons a different monster next to it that grapples and restrains the target. The monster summoned by the caster is a muscular humanoid with the head of a bear, and has the same health and strength as the target monster. It cannot deal any damage, it can only wrestle.

47. Conjure Elemental

With elemental raw materials (air, earth, fire, or water) the caster can create an elemental of that material type at a size based on the caster’s want and amount of material available. This elemental will act under the casters command as long as the caster gives simple orders. If those orders stop, then the elemental will work under its own elemental desires.

48. Telekinesis

The caster grants the ability to move and fly to a target object within 20 ft. The caster can give up to 1d8 commands, this gives the illusion to all spectators that the caster has the power of true telekinesis. Any number of the commands the caster is limited to can be given at once, but when the object is outside of the spells range it can no longer receive commands.

Once an object completes its last command it stops moving.

49. Transmute Rock to Mud

The caster can turn any rock that they touch into mud at will. Likewise, they can turn the mud into rock, and even have control over the form and shape of the transmuted materials.

The limit to the amount of material transmuted is a 10 ft x 10 ft x 10 ft volume per turn spent casting the spell.

50. Wall of Stone

A wall of stone appears on top of a line drawn by the caster on the ground 15 ft tall and 1 ft thick. The stone wall disappears after 1 hour unless the spell is renewed by the caster, or vanishes when the caster damages the tool used to draw the line on the ground.

51. Wall of Iron

A wall of iron spikes 4 ft wide by 6 ft tall protrudes from the ground instantly at any angle desired by the caster from a location up to 25 ft away. The wall is able to be seen through, just as a metal spiked fence would be. The wall of iron goes back into the ground after 1d6 hours, or when the caster says so (whichever occurs sooner).

52. Animate Dead

This spell does not bring the deceased back to life, instead it just animates the corpses and dead parts of lifeforms within 15 ft of the caster. The various dead parts fuse together to create a dead beast.

The size and power of the beast is dependent on the amount of dead parts available for the spell to use. The caster may divide up these parts into as many creatures as they want (the more divided, the smaller the individual creature). These animated dead will exist and follow the commands of the caster for 2 hours.

For the abilities of the animated dead, use a similarly sized creature or monster that you have stats available for, but treat the animated dead as if it has no special abilities, and has half as many hit points.

53. Magic Jar

The caster chooses a container or jar and touches it, the container becomes a magic jar. A magic jar is bottomless and can contain as much of anything, limited only by the size of the jars opening.

If however the jar or container is destroyed, then the contents explode into existence where the jar was, crushing everything weak and within reach.

Contents within the jar do not feel the effects of time in the normal world, instead they have ten times as many hours inside the jar as to 1 hour outside the jar.

54. Contact Higher Plane

This spell allows the magical type to create an astral mirror in front of them, and an identical mirror on a different plane of existence (a different planet, a different dimensions, a god realm, etc). Whosoever stands in front of one mirror can be seen and heard by those standing in front of the other, this allows the magic user a means with which to communicate with other planes of existence. Including… the afterlife! Whatever that is.

Both mirrors break and shatter into pieces so small that it appears to have never existed when someone breaks one of them.

55. Pass-Wall

This spell creates a hole in a wall that is a perfect circle of 4 ft in diameter and is 50 ft long. This cuts through any non-magically protected walls. Whenever this spell is cast again, the last hole created through this spell ceases to exist and collapses in on itself.

56. Cloudkill

The caster points at a single cloud in the sky, and the cloud in its entirety is turned into solid glass with the physical properties of a solid piece of glass. This spell cannot be undone once cast, as such it is rarely used by wizards and seen as an evil cowards spell.

57. Feeblemind

With this spell, a caster chooses a target that is living within their line of sight. The target transforms into a gooey brain, if attacked once it will return to its regular form, but that attack if physical in nature will deal twice as much damage.

Additionally, those transformed into a feeblebrain can only move at half speed. And can only speak in high pitched whinnies. If they do not take any physical damage then the transformed will return to their normal form at midnight.

58. Growth of Animals

The caster chooses a non-magical animal nearby (non-humanoid) and the animal grows to be as tall as a human, or if the animal is already larger than a human they becomes 5 times as tall. The abilities and strengths of the target animal increase to be proportional to their new size.

This same spell can be used to shrink animals and reduce their physical powers.

The change incurred by this spell ends after 2 hours.

59. Stone to Flesh

This spell turns stone into the flesh or muscle or bone or meat of any kind of animal that the caster has previously encountered in their lifetime. The maximum amount that can turned in 1 hour is a 20 feet x 20 feet x 20 feet cube of material. This flesh will at first be living but will die moments after being turned. All stone turned to flesh turns back into stone after 1 hour.

60. Reincarnation

The caster chooses a recently deceased target, after 1 hour of ritual the target will come back to life with 1 hit point. The caster cannot use any more spells after using the reincarnation spell until they have a good meal and a long rest.

The dead character brought back to life in their previously deceased body must find a living body of a creature or person for their life essence to transfer over to. The only requirement for this transfer is that the previously deceased must mentally excise the body’s current owner out of the mind so that there is enough space for their own in the vessel.

If this is not done within 48 hours, then the previously deceased targets body will fall apart into mush (which is incapable of being brought back to life again).

61. Invisible Stalker

This spell allows the caster to summon a 3 ft tall invisible human who only the caster can understand what they say. The invisible stalker will follow one target of the caster’s choice and then when the caster finds themselves in a completely dark room, the stalker will return to the caster magically and slowly relay everything it saw and heard the target do. The stalker will then disappear, but until it does disappear it has 5 hit points.

62. Lower Water

The caster can choose a pool or amount of water and the water will lower, going beneath anything below it causing materials and items resting at the bottom of a pool of water to rise to the top shortly before sinking again.

This spell affects a surface roughly 100 ft square. Objects brought to the top of the water by the water forcing itself to go lower will rest on the surface for 3 turns.

63. Part Water

This spell allows a caster to remove any amount of water from a target as they desire. Can only affect targets within 12 ft.

64. Projected Image

The caster creates a copy of themselves, within 24 ft., made of light that copies the exact movements of the caster. The projected image can walk through walls, objects, & creatures. It is only made of light though, so it cannot have physical interactions with objects.

This spell ends at the casters whim.

65. Anti-Magic Shell

A blue dome with a radius of 15 ft. forms around the caster pushing all magical and enchanted beings out and away. No magical or enchanted items and beings can enter the dome. The dome exists for 10 minutes for each turn dedicated to casting the spell.

66. Death Spell

The caster targets a 6 ft x 6 ft area and all creatures that fit wholly within the area die and are turned into ghostly grim reapers (as before, but a skeleton in a robe with a scythe). These magical reapers are no longer ghosts if they can get back into their body before 12 hours have passed.

67. Geas

The caster chooses a target, an order, and an effect. The caster declares whether the target will receive the effect if they do not follow the order, or if they do follow the order. The effects are: take 1d6+2 damage or heal 1d6+2.

The target has (determined by the caster) up to 12 hours to accomplish the caster’s order.

68. Disintegrate

The caster touches a target of non-living material, it disintegrates into a fine dry powder. If the powder is keep in a tube and not mixed with any other particulates, this spell can be cast on the powder again, which will allow it to be de-disintegrated (returned to its not disintegrated form).

69. Move Earth

When casting this spell, the caster floats 2 ft above the ground and can move large pieces of rock and earth. Allowing the caster to throw and manipulate at most a 30 ft in diameter disc or earth that is 4 ft tall. The caster maintains control of the earth for 1 turn.

70. Control Weather

With this spell, the caster can change the weather directly above them and going out in 2 miles from their place in all directions. They can change the wind speed, rain, cloud cover, etc. This weather change will last for 1 hour after the caster finishes casting the spell.

71. Cure Light Wounds

Whatever wounds that the caster touches is made invisible as if it wasn’t there. The blood and injured flesh is still there and leaking, but is no longer visible.

Additionally, the target heals 1d6.

72. Purify Food & Water

This spell when used on a body of water causes the water to immediately boil, bubbling out all toxins, poisons, and contaminants.

When this spell is used on food, it does the same, but instead of boiling it burns down into a thin bland nutritional paste.

73. Find Traps

The caster enchants the tip of their wand (or stick that can be waved around), it will glow red when it points at or is in close proximity with a constructed trap. It glows green when not near or pointing at a trap. This spell lasts 1 hour.

74. Bless

The caster spends their turn crafting sigils with the light glowing from their hands across a target. The target for the next hour is blessed with good luck, allowing them to reroll all dice rolls taking the better of the two.

For this same hour, the caster chooses another target within line of sight. They have the worst luck, rolling twice for all rolls and taking the worse of the two as their result.

75. Speak with Animals

The casters mouth and ears turn into the animal’s ear and mouth that they want to speak with. The can communicate and understand the animal that they are communing with. The spell lasts until the caster declares it over.

76. Cure Disease

With this spell, the caster can create a cure for all of the diseases of one target. This cure will only work on the specified target, and is a thin bitter ingestible gel. The target will fall asleep for 6 hours upon ingestion and wake up cured!

If someone other than the intended target takes the gel, they will gain all of the diseases and poisons that the gel was to cure.

Also the gel is flammable and highly explosive.

77. Neutralize Poison

The caster targets a poison, the poison is rendered ineffective. No other traits (taste, color, etc.) of the poison are changed.

If the spell is cast on poison that has been neutralized already, then the poison becomes twice as effective as it was before.

This spell affects not just poison, but all medicines and potions with effects.

78. Cure Serious Wounds

This spell works the same as 71. Cure Light Wounds, except that the wounds are not turned invisible, they are instead healed. The amount of damage healed is double as well to 2d6.

79. Turn Sticks to Snakes

The stick or branch that the caster holds turns into a snake breed of approximate equal size. If there are multiple breeds of snakes that could be that size, then the caster can choose a snake that they are aware of.

The spell can only turn one stick into a snake at a time, but the spell can affect as many sticks simultaneously as desired.

This spell also turns snakes into sticks.

80. Speak with Plants

The caster’s mouth when it speaks does not make sound, instead it produces plant smells and dusts which communicate the messages of the caster to any plants nearby.

While the caster cannot understand the plants fully as they do the caster, the plants will find unorthodox ways to respond.

81. Create Water

The caster summons a magical pitcher of bronze and can pour as much water as they wish out of the pitcher at whichever flow rate they wish. The pitcher disappears once it is out of the hands of the caster.

82. Dispell Evil

The area 20 ft around the caster, all evil or bad moods are made into positive magic and moods. Actions with evil intent for the next hour that occur near the caster have a 10% chance of having a positive effect on the caster, otherwise the evil actions do nothing.

83. Raise Dead

The caster points their finger, utters the spell, and the dead target rises into the air 20 ft pulled by golden strings from the heavens, and then are brought back to life with half their maximum hit points.

The living target will then fall to the ground. If they die from the fall they cannot be brought back to life again.

84. Commune

The caster thinks of a target who they wish to communicate with. The target will hear a voice speak to them from the sky saying “Do you wish to hear those who beckon you?” If the target says yes, then the target and the caster can speak telepathically at any distance for 10 minutes.

85. Quest

The caster chooses a target within line of sight and gives them an accomplishable order. If the target does not complete the task, then the caster is notified within their mind. If the task is completed, then the caster is notified of this as well.

86. Insect Plague

The caster chooses a target within line of sight and suddenly the air around the target is filled with normal sized insects of the caster’s choice.

These insects do not follow any orders, as they are just regular insects teleported from elsewhere in the world to in front of a person.

87. Create Food

The caster draws a closed shape with a piece of chalk, and a dense dry nutrient packed hot cornbread rises 4 inches from the shape. There is no limit for the size of the shape, but the larger the shape the longer that it takes to rise to its full height.

Eating not fully risen cornbread results in intense food poisoning. There is no material or aesthetic difference between fully formed magic bread and not fully formed magic bread. Only wizards can tell at a glance if it is finished rising.

88. The Finger of Death

One of the caster’s fingers turns green and glows with a magical green light. The finger falls off, and a new healthy one grows in its place. Anyone who makes direct skin contact with the glowing cursed finger of death takes damage equal to the amount of hit points the caster had when they cast the spell.

The finger will remain and exist forever unless destroyed or the magic dispelled.

Double Patty Softburger (Stovetop)

My recipe for making very soft double patty burgers on the stovetop in a cast iron pan. Each pound of ground beef creates 3 servings (3 burgers). The goal of this recipe was to make a very soft burger that is warm and very easy to chew, which is some of my favorite qualities in a good fast food burger.

Servings: 3

Ingredients

Burger

  • 1 lb ground burger meat (85% lean / 15% fat)
  • Sesame Seed White Hamburger Buns
  • 6 slices of Kraft American Cheese Singles
  • 2 tablespoons of Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Notes:

  • Any bun that is substantial and not flimsy should work, I have found success with Pepperidge Farm Heart White Hamburger Buns
  • What I use for beef: Thomas Farms Beef Ground Organic Grass Fed. It comes in a 1 lb. pack and is pretty good!

Toppings

  • White Onion (medium)
  • Dill pickle slices (Vlasic)
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Lettuce
  • Anything you want honestly.

Step 1

Turn cast iron on the stovetop to high, add a bit of olive oil into the pan, and spread it using a small scrap of paper towel to coat the surface. Then add the butter to the pan.

Step 2

Mix together ground meat, adding a light/medium dusting of Paprika, Salt, and Black Pepper. Mix the spices into the meat with your hands. Separate the burger meat into 6 balls of equal size, and gently coat each ball with a small amount of olive oil.

Wearing gloves (or not), flatten each ball into about a 4-4.5 inch diameter circle. About as spread as you can get without tearing the meat or risking it falling apart, but not any larger than the size of your burger buns.

As a note, the patties will shrink as they cook so don’t worry about that occurring when they start to cook and you are getting ready to flip them.

Step 3

With the pan nice and hot, butter melted, add your patties to the pan. It is okay if they gently touch but don’t let them overlap. After about 2 minutes of cooking, flip each patty. Then squish each of them.

They will have shrunk a bit from cooking, so it is important to smush them here using a spatula or bacon press, or the flat side of a circular Meat Pounder. Squish them.

Let patties each cook for another 2 minutes of until even in color. Add a slice of cheese to each patty at this point, let the cheese melt until gooey.

Step 4

While cooking the patties, grab a microwave-safe plate and heat up the buns in the microwave for 15 seconds. Or until the buns are soft and warm.

Step 5

On a plate, lay down paper towels. Take the patties off the pan and arrange them on the paper towel to soak up any excess grease off the burgers. Doing this will help reduce the chances that the burgers will have soggy buns or buns that fall apart when held in your hands.

Step 6

Plate up the burgers! Stack two patties while hot onto a warm bun. Assemble your toppings of choice and you’re all done. Ready to eat!

Topping Notes:

  • Arrange toppings in such a way so that the bun is less likely to fall apart from being damp. For me, this means using onion or lettuce as a buffer between wet toppings and the top or bottom bun. Wet toppings being sauces, pickles, etc.
  • I only recommend this because I have long held the belief that the best burgers don’t have a soggy bottom. Especially if the difference between a soggy bottom or not is just a dab with a paper towel.

A Gratuitous Amount of Ghosts and A Less Than Ideal Number of Chairs to Possess

This is a variant of Musical Chairs, to setup have a number of chairs one less than the number of players and arrange them in a circle. To no music the entire group rotates around the chairs one by one.

When any player says “BOO!” outloud, then each of the Ghosts (the players) must sit down into a piece of furniture in the ring, Ghosts that don’t sit down will evaporate and will no longer be playing the game. There are two situations that will occur at this point, that two people will fight over a chair, or that one person won’t have a chair to sit in at all.

If two ghosts are competing to sit in a chair, rather than push and fight to sit down they must make stone cold faces at each other and start a Contest.

A Contest has two players making ghostly faces at each other, they take turns making ghost noises at each other. Whichever player’s face or expression breaks into a smile or breaks character loses the contest. The winning player gets to sit in the chair.

If a player can’t find a chair to sit in then they can start a Contest with one sitting player. They cannot start a second contest if they lose this one, and the losing player of this Contest cannot start one to gain a new seat.

Once any Contests are complete, the losing player leaves the game and is now a spectator. The winning players remove one chair so that there is only a number of chairs one less than the number of players still in the game.

Players who are ejected from the game while players are rotating around the chairs make spooky ghost moaning noises until one of the circling players says Boo!

That is all there is to this very long-named variant of Musical Chairs.

Costumes

As a fun note here are some ways to spice up this game of musical chairs.

  • Play during halloween.
  • All players wear ghost costumes.
  • When making contests players make ghost noises and serious faces but can also wiggle their arms, legs, in order to add to their spooky vibe.
  • Cover the chairs in fake cobwebs.
  • Add mood and spooky lighting.

Long Hair

This is how I look now. A marked difference to what I looked like a year ago, six months ago, and a massive change compared to the last picture of myself that I posted on my blog.

Jumpdown Sketch

A quick sketch for the screen of an NES-inspired platformer game idea. You collect the hammer to smash rocks, a machete for vines, and gems for points. The goal is to get to the bottom of each level. Other hazards are snakes, waterfalls, and tigers.

— 8/3/2021

Oldham Rules v.1

On the Brain Trust discord (a discord community based around the Brain Trust podcast and its creators), there was a conversation that occurred about FKR games (Free Kriegsspiel Revolution), and the amount of freedom to create surrounding games where the rules are not wholly defined at the games outset.

This lead me to be inspired and write my own incredibly basic base set of rules to be used for FKR games but that was also inspired by other games that I like (Barons of Braunstein) and games that I play (Red Markets & Dungeon World).

Anyways, here is the PDF of the two short digest pages of rules. Feel free to use them and modify them for your own games and products.

(PDF: http://thomas-novosel.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/SomeShortRulesV1.pdf)