Submission. A haiku.

I’m in remission:
Contemplating my fission
And my submission.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Screens. A poem.

My reflection on the screen
Is a reflection of my soul
Empty and two-dimensional

At times our eyes are one
Mixing and mingling
Like ghosts in the electrical ether

There is only need and want
As our fingers touch
Across fine lines of neon tracery

Blending in the shadows
And phosphor brightness
Of dual suns in heat

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Lockdown. A poem.

Another day in paradise:
Locked down in my place
Of subtle introspection
And outrageous fortune.

Savouring the sweet scents
Of ‘Le perspiration’ and ‘Le boredom’;
The gentle, beseeching touch
Of stubble and sweatpants;
Bewitching sights and sounds
Of out of tune guitars
And phosphorus screens;
The incessant clacking
Of typewriter keys and backspacing.

The shadowed sky outside
Reflects the enmity of it all,
Until I realise I’m not the only one.
Because we are all alone here—
Together.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Forgotten. A poem.

Blinkered, leading the way from behind
This train of thought left the station long ago
Left you standing vacant on the platform
Waiting for another to come along
But you’ve forgotten who you are
And they’ve forgotten you and your scars
Consideration and commiseration
Time to come in from the cold

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Isolated. A poem.

I’m here, you’re there.
The screen flickers and lags
As broadband strains under the weight
Of so many hellos and goodbyes

Here in the cultured iniquity
Of my room, my world

My sense of reason defied
By a virus so small and nondescript
But spreading so quickly and killing so easily
That flattening the curve becomes a tragic misnomer

Books, games, Netflix and writing
All these things to keep me amused and involved and circumspect
Trolling old hobbies like they’re the new solution
A quick fix to a sobering malediction

Online has become the new face-to-face
As human touch is replaced by social distancing
And the blue light of the screen
Is a signal flare in the sky
A light that leads the way out of this tunnel of night

And I wait, like a good, socially responsible being
As others flaunt and spread their disease
And I judge and feel and hurt and hate
And wish it was all over so I can return to my life

Of living here in the cultured iniquity
Of my room, my world

Just as isolated as I was before

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Darkness Won. A poem.

When darkness kneads my shoulder
Like an old and long, lost friend,
Tar dripping from his fingers
Bringing pain and bitter ends.


I kneel and bear that heavy weight
And thank him for his visit.
And sink below, a drowning man
With a lead weight for his business.


And darkness smiles, cackles with glee,
His foot upon my face.
And crushes the last vestiges,
My soul gone, without a trace.


And before he leaves, he glances back,
To make sure his work is done.
And there I lie, a craven corpse –
Thus, has the darkness won.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Bestiary Battle Cards

The Pathfinder 2e Bestiary Battle Cards are a heavy box of 450 large-sized monster cards for GMs who run live games. Every monster in the P2e Bestiary book is included, the more powerful ones sometimes spanning two cards. Each card is 4 x 6 inches and has great artwork from the Bestiary.

As a DM who makes my own monster cards for games, I was relieved to see Paizo providing a great alternative for P2e. The convenience of having cards on hand means it’s easy to use stats for multiple monsters without taking up too much table space and without having to refer to cumbersome books all the time – just lean them against the inside of your screen. That’s the theory, anyway.

For most cards in this package it’s fine – they contain all of the necessary information you need to run a combat encounter with that monster. Some monsters, however, feature ‘standardized’ abilities/actions listed in the Bestiary in the back, no doubt to save space in the book’s main monster listings. The cards do NOT list these effects, just the name of the ability e.g. “Throw Rock (1 action)” with either minimal explanation or nothing at all detailing the effects. And there is often room on the card(s) to detail more. It’s the same with monsters that have abilities listed under an earlier type – Dragons, for instance. Instead of a complete listing for “Draconic Frenzy (2 actions)”, it adds “see Pathfinder Bestiary page xx”. The whole idea of having monster cards is to NOT have to reference the books, otherwise what’s the point. My home-made D&D 5e monster cards include all the abilities because I know I need to have them all on hand for combat; with some of these P2e cards I STILL have to refer to the Bestiary book. Not happy, Paizo, especially considering I paid $75 AU for this box, almost what I paid for the Bestiary book itself. I feel a bit ripped off.

P2e Bestiary Battle Cards is a decent product that could have had some elements implemented better.

Rating: 7.5/10

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM
Laidback DM - Shotglass Adventures 3 - AD1

 

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – The Show Must Go On

Right on the heels of the Age of Ashes Adventure Path comes Extinction Curse. I’m very impressed at the way Paizo churns out adventures for their products every month, especially when they are all of such excellent quality. Each one is packed full of new monsters, spells, feats, magic items and lore, and the packaging is bright, colourful and consistently good. The Show Must Go On is no exception.

The Show Must Go On is the first in the Extinction Curse path, a story that once again ties closely into the history of Golarion, the Pathfinder 2e world. Looks like the Aeon orbs the dead god Aroden brought onto the islands of Kortos and Erran to make them fertile weren’t ‘liberated’ from the Darklands, and now the islands may just pay the price.

Extinction Curse1

This adventure features an unusual backdrop – the PCs are circus performers and by the end of the story they will be the de facto owners of a travelling circus. Some interesting rules are included that allow the party to develop their circus and put on regular shows to earn money and accolades. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this in a fantasy RPG, so thumbs up to whoever at Paizo came up with the idea. The idea of being circus performers may not appeal to all players, however, and throughout the adventure there is an underlying assumption they are going to do the right thing. If this doesn’t sound like your group, you should talk with them first prior to running it.

The four adventures contained in this book take players from 1st-4th level and involve a murder, town investigation and two dungeon crawls. They are well designed and serve as a strong beginning to the adventure path, which will eventually take PCs to 20th level. Along the way the party will learn more about the Aeon Orbs, the real villains and a ritual that threatens all life on the islands. They’ll also meet NPCs who contribute interesting new acts that can benefit their circus if recruited.

The Show Must Go On is a great adventure. Buy it and have some show-stopping fun.

Rating: 8.5/10

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.
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You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at​ https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM

Laidback DM - Shotglass Adventures 3 - AD4

 

#2ManyBooks. A Poem.

I have far too many books. Far

#2ManyBooks

Too many to read in one month, or one day,
one afternoon a plenty, one year or decade.
I read a few at a time: one here and one there;
how many more, who’s to say, who’s to care?

#2ManyBooks

I’m an organizational champ, a pedantic time loon,
But with so much to do, so very much to do.
My bookcase keeps growing and I’m sure you’ll agree
it’s remains never ending, no matter how much I read.

#2ManyBooks

I have far too many books and this much is true:
I would not lose them for anyone

#NotEvenYou

 

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: P2e Review – Bestiary Pawn Box

I love combat on a grid, but minis are too costly and take up too much space. I prefer to use pawns for this reason and Paizo makes some of the best.

I recently bought the new Pathfinder 2e Bestiary Pawn Box, which is absolutely huge. It contains 378 pawns featuring every single monster from the bestiary, with a few duplicates of the more common monsters. The artwork for each pawn is from the P2e Bestiary book and is excellent. There’s also an assortment of plastic bases included, in medium, large and huge size (convenient for both D&D 5e and Pathfinder 2e games).

The pawns are printed on thick card so they’re pretty durable. I’m already using them in my games and find they’re fairly convenient to stow and carry. I DM games away from home so I travel a lot (although the current Covid-19 crisis has me looking into online gaming). I don’t take the whole box with me – it’s fairly bulky – I tend to take a selection of pawns based on the adventure we’re playing and some extras just in case I need to improvise an encounter or two.

Even though many of the monsters are different from D&D, you’ll find something in here that will match what you’re looking for (although most of the giants are a size-class smaller in P2e).

I’m very happy with these and would recommend them to any GM/DM looking for a reasonably cheap and easy to transport replacement for minis.

Rating: 9/10

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM
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