I know that's what it must appear like. I haven't posted much lately and two of those, although pretty cool, were just an aside.

Actually though, I've been quite busy. The site facelift took a lot of time by itself. It was actually the little things that few people notice that took the longest. The search box and button are the coolest in my opinion. I also spent a great deal of time cleaning up the css code and made a lot of things more semantically correct. Read all that as "I did a bunch of nerdy web design stuff". I still have a few things to do (like change the blue color on the links page) but the site re-design is mostly done for now.

I've finished most of my to-do list from my status report of a week or so ago. I've got a few more security features in place, a daily backup of the database, and a watchdog program that detects and unauthorized changes to the site.

In addition, I created another entire site dedicated to my house-rules-intensive version of the DMG, PHB, MM, etc. Since most of that involves edited copyrighted material and utilities that output copyrighted material, the entire site is behind a server password which unfortunately means I can't share it with you. However, it gives me a development playground and some of what I create there will make its way over here if I determine that it doesn't pose any copyright violations.

One project I'm working on right now is creating various databases: races, classes, skills, feats, powers, monsters, treasure parcels, gems, works of art, magic items, monsters, etc. For my own game I intend to have everything delivered to me digitally through custom utilities that handle some of the DM'ing for me.

An immediate benefit I see coming from this will be a magic-item generator. Currently, there are no treasure tables or other mechanisms to selecting magic items. Even if you like to hand pick each item, it would be helpful to have a utility to offer up suggestions. What I envision is a number of filters to enable/disable each type of magic item and to set a level range. The utility will then randomly select an item, and display the name, level, source (book it's from), and page number. By leaving out item descriptions and instead referencing the book and page number the item is from I can't imagine that Wizards would have a problem with it.

I'm trying to figure out how to do similar things with the other databases. With limitations on what I can display, it's hard to come up with utilities that are still useful.

I was going to play test all my new house rules, along with 4e which is still new to me, with a friend last weekend. At the last minute I realized that I didn't have any of the support materials ready. For one, I need a custom character sheet (more on that in a separate post), a character creation worksheet (to help step players through the process), documentation on the rules changes (most of its still in my head. what's on paper wasn't very clear), and various other little things that tend to become big things when you are trying to run a battle.

We put off play testing until this coming weekend. In the meantime, I've been creating the materials that I lacked and trying to think if there is anything else that I need.

It does seem that the "rules evaluation" phase is coming to a close. Once I've formalized the changes I plan to make, and test them to see that they are worthwhile, I can move on to maps.

I'm really looking forward to creating some battle grid maps with Dungeon Designer. The tutorials I've watched show tons of new features since the version I last used.

Look for lots of maps soon in the download section!