Welcome and enjoy as we Create, Play and Share!

Welcome and enjoy as we Create, Play and Share!

A Person, Place or Thing

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Here’s where we just talk about an old Person, Place or Thing that catches our fancy

 

GM FOR HIRE, or the Merc with a D20!

Hi guys!

So seems it’s been one of those wired Moon kind of months where I’ve seen and joined in May conversation-flame Wars on a touchy subject in the RPG world and that’s Game Mastering for pay, of Professional GMing!

Ok let’s call them a Game Coach, or Game Tour Guide would you pay a sports coach or tour guide?

Now I know at this very point theirs nerd rage bubbling up and possibly tempers flaring, but wait I want to know real world reasons why paying some one to put 10-12 per-game hours, who know how much in photo copies, paper and paper and game books (more to that below to come), then the actual 4+ hours around the game table leading the story that you all will weave. Why is asking for less then the ticket price of a two hour movie a crime? I don’t think so and yes I even have a level of support on our Patreon page for a GM for a day.

Ok so now let’s talk game books:
D&D 3 core book $50 a pop, $150 for the GM maybe 2-5 player buy their own copy and if you’d like one of the published adventures that’s $50 more, ok so that’s a $200 investment (Don’t ask how much all the Edge of Empire or Force and Destiny costs!!!) so is you had 5 players chipping in $5 a game in eight sessions you would have paid your GM back for investing in your good time, but wait theirs more…8 sessions times 4 hours at minimum wage of we’ll say your home state is $6 that’s $192 more you owe your GM not counting mileage and food/drinks or time put in planning the game (remember that 10-12 hours GM’s put into writing). So please think of that before you flame a GM for looking for $5, a meal, ride home or book from from the group from time to time. GMing is a skill like writing, film directing, flipping burgers and programming a PC game. It’s amazing how it’s not ok to pay a story teller who pours themselves into a game, just like I know Photographers and artist who have their works stolen with not even a thank you.

Now I’ve heard a ton of complaints of what if the game sucks or it devalues the story or the GM will have to pander to the players well tough! So your telling me a GM has never pandered to his players that’s the whole point of the game to focus and be a fan of the players, and just like the social contract of gaming applies to the story, dice and natural game progression you discuss in advance of any play to pay game of what kind of game do the players/customers want to play (genre, pg rating, etc) as well as rules that can get a player kicked out (being too aggressive, abusive behavior etc) and deal breakers for the GM.

Now of course like I tell all my friends all the time in gaming and buying vote with reviews and your dollars you like a store, support it whenever you can with reviews and buy and preorder from them! The same comes from GMs! I’ve played with great GMs, some Bad GMs, some Inexperienced GMs, some Killer GMs, and heck I’ve played with Great GMs on an off day of running a game. Heck I know I’ve been everyone of those one time or another. So my best advise is just like going to a bar or steak joint if you order and eat, pay tip appropriately (and yes sometimes 0 is appropriate) and tell your friends and don’t patronize them again!

So I’m glad your still reading look at Wizards of the Coast their Adventure League has GMs and game stores running the same one hour session with the same pre written material provided by the stores to GMs with usually 3/4 provided and the last 1/4 for purchase. For all of this thrill for $3-$10 each person depending on city/store. Now this is great and the stores take care of the GMs in materials and normally some store credit which is awesome! Heck that’s a perfect symbiotic relationship between GMs and Stores generating supply for players needing a fix. Now this reminds me of an argument for paying GMs in that they are willing to pay for books and supplies but not ‘cash’ to a merc GM! Ok so how about next time you play how about you secretly pass the hat and pick your GM up a gift card as a group and invest in your GM to have him invest in your gaming and investing it you fun and hobby after all GMing is entertaining players is job full of pressure!

The more you invest in your game with stories, backgrounds, helping give story ideas, bring snack and please please please get your GM some drinks, hell take time and pay attention to your gaming table, your GM is doing the lions share of talking and asking questions that’s a fast way to get yourself dehydrated!

All in all support your GM in some way, even a bad GM puts a lot of time, money and energy into a past time we all love and enjoy as much as we can and if they ask to get paid maybe it’s worth the price of a fru fru drink or meal to spend time at the table and seeing their style, heck you may have to get on a wait list for a really good GM or Adventure League table!

Please comment and share! But before you say Chris Perkins or Matt Mercer know they get paid for what they do and it’s not just in exposure for their other projects.

And if your a GM remember to always guide all your players along a heroic journey to glory and victory!

-Jim

The Dark Vision Dames: The Heroes of Brisenbane!

Meet the Dark Vision Dames: The Heroes of Brisenbane!
Join our newest group of Dungeons and Dragons players, as we collectively build our world and teach some new players the joy and fun of Role Playing Games.
Join Kellie (The Dwarf Tempest Cleric Anvilsprark), Anaia (The mysterious Gnome Druid), Talia (The Roguish Bard o Bardish Rogue…), and Judi (The loved Noble elven Wizard). 
Displaying IMG_7162.JPG
“If only I was in my prime!”
“I don feel pain…”
“She knows the gender of the…”
“Your not looking at me I’m hiding!”
“There’s a HIIIIIISSsssssss….”

The Walking dead finale! (No spoilers!)

Wow! Just Wow! I am already Sooooo looking forward to season 8 this Fall!

I wanted to wait to post this so that all my friends who wait till the next weekend to catch up on Tivo/DVR could catch up J

Ok so one of the first thing I have to say is if I wrote my RPG Adventures like the writers have been writing the Walking Dead story since the Saviors joined the series every one of my  players would leave my game table and I would not blame them! 

One bad thing that is really bugging me is that the Saviors are infallible and always in the loop of all the plans against them and the going on’s of all the small groups. For a few seasons now the writers are so over playing the trope of the bad guys having the “perfect luck” in every situation and I’m definitely sick of it!

All in all though it was a great season finale and a powerhouse of emotional wrap up of the season making you want more walking dead and some Talking dead to help get the feels out and see the guests cast on Chris Hardwicks couch!

Plus keep an eye out for Chris Hardwicks new show its going to be a great addition to the Walking Dead off season!

As usual, there are still many questions to ponder as fans embrace next season. Gregory’s intentions for leaving The Hilltop is still unknown. Now that he has been shaken up a bit, curiosity peaks as to what Negan’s next play will be seeing as he had upper hand for quite some time.

 Interesting note over 200 weapons were used by the prop team for the finale! 

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Cooper Andrews as Jerry – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

 Keep on Keeping on Walking dead!

 -Jim

Guest Blog by John Paul Ried on the the Medford Family Chronicles

Welcome my friend, fellow Game Master and published Writer John Paul Ried!
– Jim
Synopsis of the Medford Family Chronicles
By John Paul Ried
Welcome to the Palamaran Dimension! This is a world filled with medieval kingdoms,
monsters, demihumans, humanoids and bizarre deities. It is truly astonishing that the two most important things in life anywhere are family and love. Here several generations of the Medford family (Oakley was the original peasant name) find themselves dealing with deadly politics, vicious lovers, capricious deities, perverted power lusting wizards, and other maniacal enemies both human and otherwise. Magic and even psionics abound with these stories!

Book 1 – Reckless Ambitions: The Medford Family Chronicles
The beloved, highly respected, and automatically obeyed Palamaran Emperor John
Cardillion IV has died suddenly without naming a successor. He has four very powerful sons, An Arch Cleric, a Fighter, a Wizard and a Merchant Prince (aka thief), who are eager to slay each other and claim their father’s Ruby Throne. Earl Thomas Medford, the former Emperor’s best friend and Commander of the Imperial Guard, has to choose which royal brother to support for the throne and marry his deliciously gorgeous only daughter too.
Meanwhile Earl Medford’s daughter Christina has fallen hopelessly in love with one of
the many imperial guard officers, Nick Armand. Christina and her best friend, Abigail Theosoar, do everything they can to hide this passionate romance. The not-so- simple Palace Gardener, Dr. Andrew Numil, who has his own agendas, discovers Christina’s secret and uses it to his advantage. Abigail Theosoar’s father, former gladiator and tavern owner Robert Theosoar, falls under a terrible curse with politics as the new Lord Mayor of the Palamaran Capitol.
Finally, Professor Oliver Wendell Enalan, a middle-aged Illusionist spellcaster from the
Gamemasters University, finds new psionic abilities within himself as he falls in love with a beautiful Elven refugee Princess. The Gamemasters University, of which Professor Enalan is employed, is dedicated to searching the limitless multiverse for new and exciting games to play augmenting their magical powers. Will Enalan be able to defend the GMU mission and fulfill his destiny? Is the price of ultimate power bitter loveless loss? You shall judge in the e

Book 2 – Capricious Deities: The Medford Family Chronicles Volume II
The Flaming Civil War erupts all over the Palamaran Empire. Now Emperor Thomas
Medford IV discovers his daughters forbidden romance and determines to slay the handsome and popular Nicholas Armand with an honorable, military death. Abigail Theosoar finds herself continually pulled into power plays, spying, and plots while Dr. Andrew Numil continues to manipulate almost everyone. Dr. Numil’s granddaughter, Susan Raintree, tries her best to assist both Arch Duchess Christina and Abigail Theosoar while simultaneously obeying her grandfather’s wishes. The feud between the royal brothers continues with unlikely alliances and general chaotic treachery.
The young boy hero of the Palamaran Empire Neshal Quicksilver faces his undoubtedly
greatest fears as he selects an aristocratic bride. Neshal and Lisa discover young love while almost getting themselves killed. The civil war climaxes in the titanic battle of Grabinth Hills where divine intervention from several deities threaten to destroy thousands of mortals leaving Oliver Wendell Enalan, of all people, to deal with the situation. Nick Armand and his friends, Field Marshal Paul Tenisal and Captain Matthew Theosoar, have to decide between treason and execution while attempting to defend their beloved homes and lovers. With an evil Humanoid invasion fleet expected to arrive within another year thanks to those Elven refugees,
EVERYONE attempts to end the Civil War as quickly as possible with one crisis and disaster after another. How can love and patriotism get so complicated?

Book 3 – A Local Dragon’s Tail: The Medford Family Chronicles Volume III
The sleepy town of Bayton is located on the Eastern Forsaken Island. This is a very good thing as the Western Forsaken Island is supposedly inhabited by the vile and destructive Ancient Purple Dragon Kildarious Sharpclaw. Every 80-120 years or so the evil and vindictive Purple Dragon slays and devours most of the Humans in Bayton leaving the survivors to rebuild and hope for the best. No one but the Dragon knows exactly how many times this has repeatedly happened over the centuries (eleven but who is counting?). Meanwhile the Cunning and Terrifying Ancient Purple Dragon has to face and conquer the two most irresistible and indestructible forces throughout the multiverse: wickedly seductive lust and passionate helpless love. How could this happen? How could her invincible and inexorable personage become enslaved to such petty and ordinary feelings, especially for a simple, uneducated, and boneheaded Human farmer?
These Forsaken Islands, only three to four days sail north from Paladon City, the capitol
of the Palamaran Empire, have to be prepared for an enemy invasion fleet full of evil, disgusting and violent Humanoids such as Goblins, Gargoyles, Ogres, and Trolls. The new Palamaran Emperor Thomas Medford IV sends out Baron Ketra Kelvin with his family with specific instructions. The new Baron must rally the citizenry of Bayton for war, prepare for the expected invasion fleet, and somehow slay or drive away the terrible and titanic Purple Dragon. And you thought your employers were demanding. And will the Palamaran Empire manage to construct its own ocean fleet in time to meet the invaders?
By John Paul Ried
I’m a huge fan on Johns, plus this week you’ll get to hear our interview!
– Jim

PODCASTS AT A GLANCE

Creative play and podcast network: Number of current plays- 11,578 plays.

Our new weekly podcast of Edge of Empire: Sunday night Scoundrels at Tucson Games and Gadgets; set in post a new hope era.

 Ragnarok and Roll: Number of current plays- 20,805

The Groups not been able to make it to game mostly my job killing our gaming schedule, but we’re defiantly thinking talking about how Vikings is something we enjoy!

 DnD Journey of the fifth edition: Number of current plays-  127,001!

Our Adventures have infiltrated the water cult while the Lady Knights of Adventure get deeper in the Castle of the Master! Our newest group the Dark vision Dames will be on our Patreon at the moment but will soon been added to the podcast too with some new voices you will be hearing more of!

Also if you haven’t had a chance please help others find us on iTunes and RPGPodcasts.com by liking and reviewing us on the below links:

iTunes:

D&D Journey of the Fifth Edition

Ragnarok & Roll, a Scion Hero to Ragnarok story

Creative Play and Podcast Network

RPG Podcasts.com:

D&D Journey of the Fifth Edition

Ragnarok & Roll, a Scion Hero to Ragnarok story

Creative Play and Podcast Network

Thank you to our Patreon Patrons!!!!!

 

We’re going to be adding some additional patreon things this weekend so check back soon!

Let us know what you think of our podcasts and please shoot us any suggestions of games you’d like to hear us play.

 

Keep an Eye on our Patreon site we’ll be doing more Polls!

Hi Guys,

Were looking for listener feed back for our adventures and well be using our Patreon site since it seems Facebook is hiding our polls and want us to pay to show them 🙁

So we love your feed back plus I personally enjoy letting you all have impact in the stories were collectively creating!

I’m going to try and roll out at least two or three polls for at least 1-2 of our player groups:

The Season two DND Journey of the Fifth edition (D&D)

The Lady Knights of Adventure (D&D)

The Dark vision Dames (D&D;currently only on Patreon but coming soon to the podcast)

Sunday Night Scoundrels (Edge of Empire)

Orphans of Order 66 (Force and Destiny)

Dresden by Gaslight (Fate/Dresden Files rpg)

 

 

Keep an eye out on our Patreon site at https://www.patreon.com/cppn once a week or so…

 

Thanks!

Jim

 

 

 

Cosplay Melee rolls a Natural 20! [spoiler free]

Image result for cosplay melee

Yvette Nicole Brown is my new queen of Awesome!
“It’s not just Melee it’s Cosplay Melee!”

Now to be honest we’ve always loved her as well as whenever she was a guest on the couch on Talking dead!

I love the diversity were seeing in the cosplayers they picked for the pilot episode!
I love contestants first words about Cosplay:
“Cosplay is Empowering!”
“cosplay let’s me come out of my Shell!”

Theme for the Cosplay: Space Opera!

Part one: Design a head dress for your Cosplay! 8 hours and Go!
Honestly I’m loving seeing how other Cosplayers are making a Character from the ground up on the fly. Each round more and more costume and character details solidify.

Inspirations mentioned: Chronicles of Riddick, xwing pilot meet Tie fighter helmet, to Guardians of the Galaxy! All great choices for inspiration.

My first thought was “OMG yards and yards of Worbla!!!!!

The Judges

Leeanna Vamp beings the Cosplay experience, Christian Beckman the fabricator eye and Yvette Nicole Brown brings all the Fan love and passion to what looks to be an fantastic addition to the SyFy lineup!

Part Two: Take a real world item to add a specific addition to the Cosplay and finish the build over two days!

Some of my favorite quotes:
“Ample boosums of awesomeness!”
“Hey, I’m a police officer, I can also handle a huge weapon!”
“DUDE!”
“…True to the Star War Universe and True to the Character!”

All the L-200 foam!!! Yep I’m going to be keeping these episodes to rewatch when working on our cosplay builds like next months Harry Potter Wands I need to make for a party theme.

I’m loving how cool and helpful the judges are when they come by and check out the Cosplayer projects in round two.

Now for the reveal & judging

I loved these comments from the judges:

“You are Insane!”
“I want to talk about the gun!”
“That to me Blows my mind!”
“I am chilled to the bone!”
“Head to toe, Amazing look!”

The intergalactic cosplay battle was fierce and seeing everyone support each other was exemplary!

[Easter eggs]

Steampunk Futurama!

Watch the Star Wars fan movie “Redemption”

…and next week Game of Thrones!

-Jim

http://www.syfy.com/cosplaymelee

Please help us keep the fun rolling at our Patreon Page!

Our favorite Star Wars RPG tools!

Favorite Star Wars (Edge of Empire, Age of Rebellion, and Force and Destiny by Fantasy Flight games) RPG.
Bagging for XP, I love these guys from the first release of Edge of Empire. One of my favorite fan sites that have a ton of up to date tools
OggDude’s Amazing character generator!
A fantastic FFG forum member named OggDude has created an amazing character generator and GM tool for Fantasy Flight Games’ Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion.  It is without a doubt a labor of love, one that he has been working tirelessly on for quite a while and it shows.  Updates are regular and often , he loves getting feedback, and I have found that it has an exceptional set of tools for the Game Master.
Fantasy Flight has a bunch of free to download adventures that happen after there cool Beginner box sets:
Force Awakens
Force and Destiny
Age of Rebellion
Edge of Empire
And these are pretty good adventures too!
Also on the Fantasy Flight games site for the Beginner games they each have two extra Pre-Gen characters you can use in a pinch! Thought they are just in a regular character sheet and not the awesome folio you get in the Beginner box.
As a bonus here’s a link to my absolute favorite reference sheet!
Hope this helps you guys in our favorite galaxy Far, Far, Away…
Thank you for supporting us at http://pateron.com/cppn
Jim

Steampunk and Clocks

By M. Holly-Rosing

What is it about steampunk and clocks? Where ever you look you see time pieces and their requisite gears churning away reminding us of the inevitable march of time.  It is a curious thing to be able to see seconds slip away on a mechanical device.

The astrolabium is a wonderful example of literally watching seconds, days, and months pass by. Pre-dating this gorgeous mechanism, ancient Greek astronomers had developed a device to determine the position of the sun and stars. However, the astrolabium does more than count off hours, minutes, months, and dates.  It gives time beauty and substance in an existential kind of way. Designed by the famous clockmaker Philipp Matthaus Hahn (1739-1790), its origins and/or inspiration can be attributed to the tellurium clock, the Antikythera Mechanism of the 2nd century B.C. and possibly many others.  (Creativity and inspiration often seep across national boundaries and flourish in unexpected ways.)  Whatever its origins, the astrolabium reminds us of the passage of time with a miniature globe of the earth that rotates and revolves around a solid brass sun in this particular model.

Displaying IMG_5372.JPG

I have always liked clocks. Pocket watches, necklace watches, the old mantelpiece clocks that once were so fashionable in days gone by.  I love to study the inner workings of clocks and watches for the simple reason I find the craftsmanship to be extraordinary.  And it’s just so damned pretty. If I had enough room in our house, there would be clocks everywhere, but practicality won out and in their place are stacks of books.

So, what is it about steampunk which finds clocks so enticing and engaging?  And not just any type of clock, but ones where their inner workings are exposed for the world to observe and dissect.  It is my belief that in steampunk clockworks are a representation of the human heart.

Its ticking is the equivalent of a heartbeat and its exposure a symbol of human frailty. Gears can falter, skip and even grind to a halt. The human condition all wrapped up in a mechanical device.

Steampunk has imbued clockworks with soul and a sense of purpose beyond the intention of their original makers.  You know the old saying, “you wear your heart on your sleeve?” In this case, it’s on the wall, in your pocket or in the palm of your hand.  And it can be crushed at a whim.

Clocks and time play a very large role in steampunk.  Originally based on Victorian England sensibilities and technology, steampunk looks to the past for a new vision of the future in a variety of cultures.  For the uninitiated, you will see steam-based technology augmented with modern devices in fiction as well as fashion and home-built gadgets. Some make sense, others not so much. But that’s part of the fun.  Fashion is often ripped straight from Victorian styles though more often than not the person wearing it has given it their own individual flair.

As the writer/creator of the comic and companion novellas for BOSTON METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY, I worked within the framework of a specific time and place, but since I was working in fiction, I had the opportunity to take a more modern point-of-view towards science and social mores.  It was challenging and rewarding. The challenge was making sure my time line made sense and the reward was when it all worked out.

The theme of clockworks in steampunk not only suggests the inner workings of the human heart as I mentioned before, but also evokes another time and place.  And in some cases, those times and places cross over in the most unusual way. In this panel from the first chapter of the comic, Duncan, who is a ghost, had hidden a camera from Caitlin’s vengeful mother. He has crossed over from another time and place to help someone he cares for.

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Since clockworks and time are inexorably linked, steampunk does what it does best in demonstrating another vision of the past with influences from the future.

BOSTON METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY has been my first venture into steampunk as a writer, but I have funny feeling I may have found my home.  It allows me to explore the issues and themes which are important to me in a way that appeals to my own personal aesthetic.  For when you strip away the gadgets and the fancy clothes you discover that in steampunk, time is always at the heart.

Holly-Rosing is the writer/creator of the comic BOSTON METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY which is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to print the trade paperback of the six issue mini-series. The trade also contains a brand new Boston Metaphysical ten page short story, Hunter-Killer. The campaign runs from February 1- March 3.

Kickstarter Link: http://kck.st/2kT8SqU

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BostonMetaphysicalSocietyComic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mhollyrosing

 

 

Through the Rift: Rifts Source book 1 (updated, Revised & extended)

Through the Rift: Rifts Source book 1 (updated, Revised & extended)

Listen to our Podcast Review episode HERE

The original version of this book was one of the first Rifts books I picked up after getting the original Rifts base book for Christmas one year back in the 90’s.

This book had everything I was hoping for to add to my gaming group and gave some great reading material. Now mind you you’ll be hearing these words repeated in these Rifts book reviews, mainly since the format that the books are written is both reference material and a multi book story adding layer upon layer of new materials.

One of the first teasers I got to see in the book was the add in marvel comics depicting two dynobots going at it beating each other up and wow did it look good!

The original cover depicted Hagan Lonovich (a partner of the new big bad A.R.C.H.I.E. Three) and robotic minions. The book  was the first real glimpse of A.R.C.H.I.E. Three and how he was a big bad of Rifts and a savior at the same time, A.R.C.H.I.E. Three supplied and protected humanity against the likes of hes dreaded enemy the Splugorth of Atlantis!

I would say this book did a great job of being updated and cleaned up, so that a lot of redundant information that appears in other books but great for those new to the game and coming in from Savage Rifts! For the older Gamers who’ve been around a while and still play Rifts, it’s worth considering picking up this book. A lot of information has really been cleaned up and there’s new, worthwhile information to get in this book.

In the Rifts core rulebook a brief overview was given to the movers and shakers of the Rifts setting. One of the biggest players was the Coalition military group, and the sourcebook gives us a really good picture of the upper echelon of their leadership. We are introduced the Proseks, their generals and even more information is given in regards to soldier armaments, Coalition ideals and practices as well as ample discussion regarding various errata or player questions raised by the original release of the RPG. Where this sourcebook really shined for me was in the inclusion of A.R.C.H.I.E. Three, the maniacal computer system from our past that survived the apocalypse. A series of adventure hooks are given, and a decent little adventure unfolds as we learn about this unknown menace, mind you over 20+ years every group I’ve had play the adventure have all enjoyed it and everyone ended differently too boot!

The expanded info introduces a new faction I’ve loved since their introduction in Chaos earth, NEMA the North American Military Alliance, better yet they become a faction that for good or evil has even infiltrated the coalition), the Republicans!  A secret branch of the old American Government and Military that’s still operating in secret around Archie’s Facilities. Keeping it interesting are the ties to NEMA for those who’ve picked up the Rifts Chaos Earth series and a several new Power Armors and equipment. Your player group could even be NEMA solders in cryo from the ‘golden age’ that even though A.R.C.H.I.E. Three thinks it’s too soon for you to wake up in this dangerous world ‘he’ll’ still equip you as best he can. Just thinking of the possibilities of what a Savage Rifts group can do with this little 160 page sourcebook are huge!
Palladium has always been kind of hit or miss with rules, playing sort of fast and loose and leaving it up to the GM to sort out any discrepancies which has always been a plus for me, and this book is no exception but frankly I can’t say enough, it was just plain fun to read, and that is saying something too. Ultimately, Siembieda does what he is known for and writes a fast-paced narrative that gets you entrenched in the setting quickly. In the revised edition, as a whole this will always be one of my favorite purchases from Palladium.

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(Here’s that Dynabot picture from Sourcebook one)

The last section of the book is a monster manual of sorts. All of the information is updated and some, like the Simvan Monster Riders have been dropped as they appear in Rifts Lone Star and quick stats for the Xiticix are included here as they’re something else that was also dropped with the RUE book.
All in All this book is a Natural 20 and should be picked up!

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