Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fanfiction Recommendations

— Matt Harris @ 12:21 pm

Just clearing the browser tabs of fanfiction that I am reading, so posting the links here:

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

06-17-2011 Pathfinder Game Recap

— Matt Harris @ 7:03 pm

Posted a recap of the June 17, 2011 session of the Northridge Pathfinder Game.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jeff Greason On Private Space Flight

— Matt Harris @ 6:03 pm

Found via the Instapundit, XCOR CEO Jeff Greason gives an inspiring talk on the status of private space flight.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Almost 40 Years Of Number #1 Songs In Five Second Clips

— Matt Harris @ 8:43 pm

Found via American Digest, mjs538 has posted Chartsweep which showcases 5 second clips of all of the #1 pop hits from 1955 – 1992. A wonderful compilation.

Five Seconds Of Every #1 Pop Single Part 1 by mjs538

Five Seconds Of Every #1 Pop Single Part 2 by mjs538

More details on the origins of Chartsweep at Some Assembly Required.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

An Analysis Of The Persistent Spell Feat

— Matt Harris @ 9:06 pm

In one of the Pathfinder Society Games I played recently, one of the other players commented that he thought the new Persistent Spell feat found in the Advanced Players Guide was overpowered. As I feel that most metamagic feats are worthless, I decided to do a little analysis of the feat to see if it was really worth a +2 to the spell level.

A summary of the feat: by increased the level of a spell by two levels, any targets that need to make saving throws need to roll two separate d20s, taking the lower of the two results. To see how this played out, I set up a spreadsheet to roll 5000 sets of 2d20, taking the lower and seeing what the percentage of each final result was. I also calculated the percentage if each was taken singly and compared that to the statistical 5% chance for each value. I ran it multiple times and got fairly similar results each time. I have shown one set of the results below, as well as a graph comparing the values.

Result Straight 1d20 Lower Of 2d20     Result Straight 1d20 Lower Of 2d20
1 5.23% 10.32%   11 4.53% 3.90%
2 5.16% 9.46%   12 4.76% 4.04%
3 5.26% 8.96%   13 5.18% 4.06%
4 4.76% 7.76%   14 4.98% 3.32%
5 4.93% 7.44%   15 5.27% 2.56%
6 4.96% 7.66%   16 4.89% 2.06%
7 4.99% 6.80%   17 5.03% 1.96%
8 5.49% 7.00%   18 4.93% 1.06%
9 4.81% 5.36%   19 4.68% 0.54%
10 5.19% 5.46%   20 4.97% 0.28%

Normally, using 1d20 you would expect a 25% chance of a roll of 5 over lower, 50% of 10 or lower and 75% chance of 15 or lower. The average roll would be 10.5.

For 2d20, take the lowest, the average was a little over 7 (7.07 in the numbers above). The odds of getting a roll of 5 or lower were about 44%, 10 or lower was about 76%, and 15 or lower was about 94%.

Range 1d20 Lower of 2d20
1 – 5 25% 43.94%
1-10 50% 76.22%
1-15 75% 94.10%

What this actually means is dependent upon the Difficulty Class of the effect and any bonuses to the saving throw. Still, I think this fairly equivalent to raising the DC by 3 to 4. As I think that +2 to a DC is worth a +1 increase in spell level, I actually think that Persistent Spell might actually be one of the few worthwhile metamagic feats.

The spreadsheet I used for the analysis can be found here

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Hydra’s Fang Incident

— Matt Harris @ 6:41 pm

I played my fourth Pathfinder Society Game on Saturday, PFS #2 – The Hydra’s Fang Incident. This was with a different GM and different gaming software.

The software used was OpenRPG. This is a cross-platform maptable and chat system.  It was an ok program, but I must admit that I prefer TTopRPG. Part of my preference is due to the fact that TTopRPG has more complete documentation. It looks like OpenRPG has gone through some cycles of development, then near-abandonment and the documentation is fragmented or non-existent.

The game itself was fun.  It was interesting using the same character, but with a different DM.  One interesting thing is that the DM didn’t bother to specify the faction missions. He just said (paraphrasing) that if he finished the adventure, we would finish all of the missions. After I bought the module, I looked at them and he was essentially correct.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

What Killed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

— Matt Harris @ 12:12 pm

One show I am going to miss next season is Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

I don’t know why it lost so much of its initial audience, but this post makes a whole lot of sense to me. I certainly know that the characters I was most interested in were John Connor and Cameron. Watching their growth and development was what I watched for.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Star Trek – To Boldy Reimagine A Franchise

— Matt Harris @ 2:06 pm

I went to see the new Star Trek film yesterday. I think it was a good, but not great film. For a long, detailed review, see Jonah Goldberg’s on National Review Online.

Spoiler Warning.

A few spoiler-filled comments of my own below:

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Joined Facebook

— Matt Harris @ 10:05 am

I finally got off my duff and joined Facebook in mid-April.
It just occured to me that I might want to mention that here. 😉

My facebook profile is

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Original Star Trek Online

— Matt Harris @ 3:37 pm

Wonderful! CBS has posted the original Star Trek series online. Complete with commercials in the appropriate spots ;-).

The video quality is pretty good, but not great.

Link original from Jonah Goldberg at The Corner.

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