Archive for the ‘Game Design’ Category

OgreCave video: Crafty Games at KublaCon 2014

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

We’re getting back into videos, and to make things go smoothly, we’re launching the OgreCaveDOTcom YouTube channel! We already have a few things there, starting with some coverage from KublaCon 2014. First up, an interview with Patrick Kapera of Crafty Games. He talks of the Mistborn RPG supplements Terris: Wrought of Copper and Alloy of Law, of the Little Wizards RPG, of Z-Corps, and more!

Be sure to like, subscribe, tell friends, and generally spread the OgreCave goodness.

2014 Origins Award winners announced

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Origins logoThe 40th annual Origins Awards were given out Saturday night. The details of said nominees and winners are a bit hard to find, so we thought we’d compile them for you here. Or all the ones we could find, at least.

2014 Origins Awards nominees and winners:

Best Roleplaying Game
13th Age – Pelgrane Press
FATE Core System – Evil Hat Productions, LLC
Mummy: the Curse – White Wolf Game Studio
Numenera – Monte Cook Games
Shadowrun: Core Rulebook – Catalyst Game Labs

WINNER: Numenera (Monte Cook Games)
FAN FAVORITE: Shadowrun: Core Rulebook (Catalyst Game Labs)

Best Roleplaying Supplement
DC Adventures Universe – Green Ronin Publishing
Heart of the Wild – Cubicle 7 Entertainment
Transhuman – Posthuman Studios
Night’s Watch – Green Ronin Publishing
Eternal Lies – Pelgrane Press

WINNER: Night’s Watch (Green Ronin Publishing)
FAN FAVORITE: DC Adventures Universe (Green Ronin Publishing)

Best Board Game
Trains – Alderac Entertainment Group
Time n Space – Stronghold Games
Space Cadet: Dice Duel – Stronghold Games
Krosmaster Arena – Japanime Games
City of Iron – Red Raven Games

WINNER: Trains (Alderac Entertainment Group)
FAN FAVORITE: Trains (Alderac Entertainment Group)

Best Collectible Card Game
Pokemon Black & White: Legendary Treasures – The Pokemon Company, Intl.
Pokemon Red Genesect Collection – The Pokemon Company, Intl.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Battle Pack 2 – Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! Super Starter V for Victory – Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legendary Collection 4: Joey’s World – Konami Digital Entertainment

WINNER: Pokemon Black & White: Legendary Treasures (The Pokemon Company, Intl.)
FAN FAVORITE: Pokemon Black & White: Legendary Treasures (The Pokemon Company, Intl.)

Best Traditional Card Game
Love Letter – Alderac Entertainment Group
DC Comics Deck-Building Game – Cryptozoic Entertainment
Boss Monster – Brotherwise Games
Clubs – North Star Games
Marvel Legendary: Dark City – Upper Deck

WINNER: Love Letter (Alderac Entertainment Group)
FAN FAVORITE: DC Comics Deck-Building Game (Cryptozoic Entertainment)

Best Children’s, Family, Party Game
Walk the Plank – Mayday Games
Three Little Pigs – Iello
My Happy Farm – 5th St. Games
ROFL – Cryptozoic Entertainment
Choose One! – Looney Labs

WINNER: Three Little Pigs (Iello)
FAN FAVORITE: Walk the Plank (Mayday Games)

Best Game Accessory
Krosmaster: Fire & Ice – Japanime Games
Shadowrun GM Screen – Catalyst Game Labs
Fate Dice – Evil Hat Productions, LLC
Space Gaming Mat – HC+D Supplies
Pathfinder Battles: Skull and Shackles – WizKids Games

WINNER: Space Gaming Mat (HC+D Supplies)
FAN FAVORITE: Pathfinder Battles: Skull and Shackles (WizKids Games)

Best Miniature Figure Rules
Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Vs X-men Starters – WizKids Games
Battletech Alpha Strike – Catalyst Game Labs
Judge Dredd – Warlord Games

WINNER: Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Vs X-men Starters (WizKids Games)
FAN FAVORITE: Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Vs X-men Starters (WizKids Games)

Best Historical Miniature Figure/Line
Fife & Drum: Revolutionary War – Fife & Drum
Highlander Force – North Star Military Figures
Fate of a Nation: Arab Israeli Wars – Battlefront Miniatures
Red Army: 28mm Russian Infantry – Wargames Factory
Devil Dogs and Dragons – Empress Miniatures

WINNER: Fate of a Nation: Arab Israeli Wars (Battlefront Miniatures)
FAN FAVORITE: ? – still looking for this info

Best Historical Board Game
SOS Titanic – Ludonaute
Navajo Wars – GMT, designed by: Joel Toppen
Freedom: The Underground Railroad – Academy Games
1775: Rebellion – Academy Games
Francis Drake – Eagle Games

WINNER: 1775: Rebellion (Academy Games)
FAN FAVORITE: 1775: Rebellion (Academy Games)

Best Historical Miniature Rules Supplements
SAGA: Varjazi & Basileus – Gripping Beast
Flames of War: Fate of a Nation – Battlefront Miniatures
Force on Force: Classified – Osprey Publishing

WINNER: ? – still looking for this info
FAN FAVORITE: ? – still looking for this info

Best Historical Miniature Rules
Fields of Fire 2nd Edition – Proving Ground Games
Fire and Sword – Wargamer
Chain of Command – Too Fat Lardies

WINNER: Fields of Fire 2nd Edition (Proving Ground Games)
FAN FAVORITE: Fire and Sword (Wargamer)

Best Miniature Figure Line
Malifaux: The Guild’s Judgement – Wyrd Miniatures
HeroClix: Wolverine and the X-men – WizKids Games
MERCs Mini’s (Shock Trooper, Spy, Eagle, Beacher) – MegaCon Games

WINNER: Malifaux: The Guild’s Judgement (Wyrd Miniatures)
FAN FAVORITE: HeroClix: Wolverine and the X-men (WizKids Games)

Best Game Related Publication
Khan of Mars – Evil Hat Books
Fire for Effect – Catalyst Game Labs
ICv2 – Editor: Milton Griepp
Dork Tower – Editor: John Kovalic
TableTop – Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day/Geek & Sundry

WINNER: TableTop (Geek & Sundry)
FAN FAVORITE: TableTop (Geek & Sundry)

As usual, it’s a great list of game products, and OgreCave extends hearty congratulations to all the nominees and winners.

As you can see, a few details are missing (and if you’ve got them, please, let us know in the comments). Why? Mainly because this is cobbled together from a variety of sources, but not from GAMA’s Origins Award page. As of this post, the GAMA site had neither the nominees nor winners listed. Now, GAMA has been quoted before as not wanting to become the Oscars of tabletop gaming (funny, since it’s an academy that puts forth the nominees), but not advertising your awards on your own site? That’s just shooting yourself in the foot.

I say, if fans and publishers want to build up your brand for you, give them the tools to do so – or at the very least, don’t sabotage the process. But maybe that’s just me.

2014 Diana Jones Award shortlist announced

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

This year’s nominees for the Diana Jones Award have just been announced, and as always, the selections are thoughtful and varied. Two publishers and three games made the list. The nominees are:

  • Evil Hat Productions, the folks behind FATE, Dresden Files, Don’t Rest Your Head, and more.
  • Hillfolk by Robin Laws (Pelgrane Press), which had a tremendous Kickstarter drive.
  • Paizo Publishing, the Pathfinder folks, long confirmed to be outselling D&D.
  • ROFL! a party word game with illustrations by John Kovalic (Cryptozoic Entertainment).
  • Terra Mystica, a strategy board game of terraforming (Feuerland Spiele/Z-Man Games).

Check out the full press release below for details of why each deserves the nomination, and let us know what you think. Who would you give the lucite pyramid to?
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Gaming News Update podcasts: James Ernest, and Free RPG Day

Friday, June 14th, 2013

OgreCave newscasterWe’re still having flashbacks to the great time we had at KublaCon 2013, and we’d like to share those experiences. To that end, we have two new podcasts for you to eavesdrop upon. In the first of two Gaming News Update episodes, we talk with . The esteemed Mr Ernest is the designer of over 150 game titles, and he led the “cheapass” wave of publishing that swept the industry in the late ’90s. We talk with James about Cheapass Games’ return to the publishing arena, how a game’s theme and design are linked, KickStarting deluxe editions, and the design that’s kicking around his brain trying to get out.

Naturally, you have Free RPG Day 2013 marked on your calendar for tomorrow, Saturday, June 15. In our second new podcast interview, we sit down once again with Aldo Ghiozzi of Impressions Advertising & Marketing (and Free RPG Day) to talk about the evolution of the event, how big companies sometimes get confused, flaming cargo ships, and more. From Paizo Publishing and Fantasy Flight to Lamentations of the Flame Princess, several fan favorites are participating in the annual celebration of roleplaying games, on once again at a game store near you.

WildFire to release The Void RPG under Creative Commons license

Friday, May 31st, 2013

WildFire, the company behind the stylish and award-winning CthulhuTech RPG, has been plagued with publisher problems from the beginning. Now WildFire has posted an update on its plans which don’t rely on a publisher to carry out. According to a press release from WildFire VP Matthew Grau (also repeated below), the long-awaited The Void RPG will be released for free download and under the Creative Commons license, allowing fans to generate their own materials for the game. Supplemental materials will be available for sale from WildFire as well at reasonable prices, but the core rules will be free online “within the next couple weeks”. A print-on-demand version will also be made available through DriveThruRPG. We’ll be interested to see how things develop in The Void community in the months ahead.

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Diana Jones Award 2013 shortlist announced

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Arguably the most interesting and best informed award in the game industry, the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming has just announced its nominees for the 2013 winner. Now, remember: Ms. Jones doesn’t limit herself to just published game items – everything from designers to companies to concepts are fair game. Here’s the rundown:

As you can see, that’s an RPG, a card game, a game convention, an RPG history book, and a YouTube channel show. Diana, you never disappoint us. As always, the winner will be decided by the Diana Jones Award committee, and announced the first day of Gen Con Indy at the end of this summer.

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Tabletop game design contest at GenCon 2013

Monday, May 6th, 2013

The guys behind Apples to Apples’ foul-mouthed cousin, Cards Against Humanity, have joined forces with Gen Con to present a game design contest. Dubbed the Tabletop Design Deathmatch, the competition will award $7,500 toward a first print run of the winning design, along with an exhibit hall table at Gen Con 2014. The contest/throwdown will take place at Gen Con 2013, where sixteen finalists will demo their games for judges, who will include gaming luminaries such as Mike Selinker (Lone Shark Games), Luke Crane (Burning Wheel), and the Cards Against Humanity team. The submission deadline is July 1st, so if you’ve been working on an awesome new game, you may want to jump in on this.

OgreCave Interview: James Wallis on Alas Vegas

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Today OgreCave has a new interview with James Wallis for you, formerly of Hogshead Publishing. You know him and his games, like Once Upon a Time and The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and you’ve heard about the Diana Jones Awards he started. Wait, you say – didn’t he leave the game publishing business? Well, yes, but he’s back to Kickstart Alas Vegas, a new roleplaying game he’s designed. Just read the interview and all will become clear. Wait, you say – isn’t it Valentine’s Day? Yes. Don’t be weird about it.

Lynn Willis, Chaosium designer and editor, dies

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Earlier today Chaosium announced that Lynn Willis, the man who influenced countless gamers and guided a veritable sea of gaming products into their grateful hands, has passed away. His work on the Call of Cthulhu line alone reads like a greatest hits list of roleplaying. Here’s the press release:

We are sad to announce the death of Lynn Willis, a pillar of Chaosium, Call of Cthulhu, and of the roleplaying community. Lynn had been combating aging and illness for several years, and passed while in a hospital for treatment. He is survived by his wife Marcia, and a community of friends and admirers.

Lynn began in gaming as a board game designer, and entered Chaosium with Lords of the Middle Sea. He was the third employee of Chaosium, first as an editor and then as the mastermind behind the entire Call of Cthulhu line, as well as other projects, for the decades that he was among us. He loved his work and brought all his abilities to the job. He was incredibly smart, astonishingly widely read, detail oriented, and capable. He is largely responsible for the high quality, playability, and popularity of the leading horror RPG in our field. A complete list of his gaming accomplishments can be found at http://catalog.chaosium.com/pages.php?pID=10&CDpath=1&keywords=lynn

He will be missed. We trust that he is at peace. We give his wife Marcia our thanks and blessings for her devoted love and support for Lynn, and wish her joy and success in her future endeavors and memories of the past.

Charlie Krank, President Chaosium Inc.
Greg Stafford, Founder Chaosium Inc.

I only spoke to Lynn once or twice in my time working next door to Chaosium, but it was easy to get a sense of his passion for gaming – he was always tucked away in his office, cooking up more Chaosium goodness. He will certainly be missed. The staff of OgreCave wishes the best to the Willis family, and all the folks at Chaosium.

2012 Origins Award winners announced

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Gamers lucky enough to attend the 2012 Origins Game Fair this past Saturday got to see the winners in person (and apparently some chair balancing and other mischief from James Ernest). From all accounts, there was much celebrating and revelry in Columbus, OH, and the Calliope statue went home with many deserving companies. Our congrats to all of this year’s winners! (listed below)

The 38th Annual Origins Awards Nominees and Winners

Best Roleplaying Game
Abney Park’s Airship Pirates – Cubicle 7 Entertainment – “Captain” Robert Brown, Peter Cakebread, Andrew Peregrine, Ian Sturrock, Ken Walton
Arcanis – Paradigm Concepts – Eric Wiener, Pedro Barrenechea, and Henry Lopez
Ashen Stars – Pelgrane Press – Robin D. Laws
Leverage: The RPG – Margaret Weis Productions – Cam Banks, Rob Donoghue, and Clark Valentine
The One Ring – Cubicle 7 Entertainment – Amado Angulo, Marco Maggi, Dominic McDowall-Thomas, Francesco Nepitello
WINNER: Arcanis – Paradigm Concepts

Best Roleplaying Supplement or Adventure
Bookhounds of London (Trail of Cthulhu) – Pelgrane Press – Kenneth H. Hite
Dragon Age, Set 2 (Dragon Age) – Green Ronin Publishing – Steve Kenson, T.S. Luikart, Chris Pramas, and Jeff Tidball
The Great Clans (L5R 4th Edition) – AEG – Shawn Carman, Rob Hobart, Brian Yoon
Monster Vault (D&D 4E) – Wizards of the Coast – Rodney Thompson, Logan Bonner, & Matthew Sernett
Shadows over Scotland (Call of Cthulhu) – Cubicle 7 Entertainment – Stuart Boon
WINNER: Shadows over Scotland (Call of Cthulhu) – Cubicle 7 Entertainment

Best Board Game
Conquest of Nerath – Wizards of the Coast – Richard Baker, Mons Johnson, & Peter Lee
Automobile – Mayfair Games – Martin Wallace
Hibernia – Closet Nerd – Eric Vogel
High Noon Saloon – Slugfest Games – Cliff Bohm & Geoff Bottone
Pastiche – Gryphon Games – Sean D. MacDonald
WINNER: Conquest of Nerath – Wizards of the Coast

Best Traditional Card Game
Cthulhu Gloom – Atlas Games – Keith Baker
NUTS! – Wildfire LLC – Matthew Grau
Red Dragon Inn 3 – Slugfest Games – Geoff Bottone, Jeff Morrow, and Cliff Bohm
Star Trek Deck Building Game – BANDAI – Alex Bykov
Struggle for Catan – Mayfair Games – Klaus Teuber
WINNER: NUTS! – Wildfire LLC

Best Family, Party or Children’s Game
BEARS! – Fireside Games – Anne-Marie De Witt
Faux-Cabulary – Out of the Box Publishing – Matthew Nuccio
Get Bit! – Mayday Games – Dave Chalker
Scavengers – Zombie State Games – John Werner
Space Mission – Schmidt Spiele – Matthew Worden
WINNER: Get Bit! – Mayday Games

Best Miniatures Figure or Line
Forge Father Huscarl – Mantic
Giant Sized X-Men Heroclix – Wizkids/NECA
St. Luke – Dark Age
Storm Strider – Privateer Press
Zombie Wedding Party – Studio Miniatures
WINNER: Storm Strider – Privateer Press

Best Miniatures Rules or Expansion
Battletech: The Wars of Reaving – Catalyst Game Labs – Ben H. Rome, Herbert A. Beas, Paul Sjardijn
Carnevale: The Miniatures Game – Vesper-on Games – David Esbri
Light Bikes – Glory Games – J. P. Trostle
Street Fighter Starter Set – Wizkids/NECA – Wizkids/NECA
Tomorrow’s War – Osprey Publishing/Ambush Alley Games – Shawn Carpenter, Robby Carpenter
Warmachine: Wrath – Privateer Press – David Carl, Bryan Cutler, Doug Seacat, Jason Soles, Matt Wilson
WINNER: Battletech: The Wars of Reaving – Catalyst Game Labs

Best Collectible Card Game or Expansion
Legend of the Five Rings: Second City – AEG
Magic the Gathering : Innistrad – Wizards of the Coast
Pokemon Black & White: Emerging Powers – Nintendo
World of Warcraft: Dungeon Decks – Cryptozoic Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Throne of Tides – Cryptozoic Entertainment
WINNER: Magic the Gathering : Innistrad – Wizards of the Coast

Best Game Accessory
Dungeon Tiles: The Witchlight Fens – Wizards of the Coast – Peter Lee & Jason Engle
Dice Earrings – GameScience – GameScience
Dungeon Masters Keep – Gale Force Nine – Gale Force Nine
Munchkin Zombies 2: Armed & Dangerous – Steve Jackson Games – Steve Jackson
Shadowrun Runner’s Toolkit – Catalyst Game Labs – Elissa Carey, Rusty Childers, Cole Davidson, Mark Dynna, Adam Jury, Robyn King-Nitschke, Adam Large, Drew Littell, Elizabeth Nold, Brandie Tarvin, Peter Taylor, Malik Toms, Michael Wich, Russell Zimmerman
WINNER: Shadowrun Runner’s Toolkit – Catalyst Game Labs

Best Game-Related Publication
Cliffourd the Big Red God – Atlas Games – Kenneth H. Hite & Andy Hopp
The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design – Open Design LLC – Mike Selinker with Rob Daviau, James Ernest, Matt Forbeck, Richard Garfield, Dave Howell, Steve Jackson, John Kovalic, Richard C. Levy, Andrew Looney, Michelle Nephew, Paul Peterson, Lisa Steenson, Jeff Tidball, Teeuwynn Woodruff, and Dale Yu
Designers & Dragons – Mongoose Publishing – Shannon Appelcline
Untold Adventures – Wizards of the Coast – Alan Dean Foster, Mike Resnick, Kevin J. Anderson, John Shirley, Jay Lake, Sarah Zettel, and many more.
Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Dungeons & Dragons – Wizards of the Coast – Shelley Mazzanoble
WINNER: The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design – Open Design LLC

Best Historical Board Game
Strike of the Eagle – Academy Games -Brian Bennett, Uwe Eickert, Robert Zak
Test of Fire: Bull Run 1861 – Mayfair Games – Martin Wallace
Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles – Worthington Games – Jim Krohn
Lost Battles – Fifth Column Games – Philip Sabin
No Retreat! The Russian Front – GMT – Carl Paradis
World War II Barbarossa 1941 – Zvesda – Konstantin Krivenko
WINNER: Strike of the Eagle – Academy Games

Best Historical Miniatures Rules or Expansion
SAGA – Gripping Beast – Studio Tomahawk
Waterloo – Warhammer Historical – Mark Latham
Flames of War: Cassino – Battlefront Miniatures Ltd. – Battlefront Miniatures Ltd.
Command Combat: Civil War 1861 – Bandwagon Books – Jeff McArthur
Force on Force, 2nd Edition – Osprey Publishing/Ambush Alley Games – Shawn Carpenter, Robby Carpenter
Hail Caesar! – Warlord Games – Rick Priestley
WINNER: Flames of War: Cassino – Battlefront Miniatures Ltd.

Best Historical Miniatures Figure or Line
Bolt Action WW2 – Warlord Games
Italian Wars – Wargames Foundry
Sudan 1881-1885 – Perry Miniatures
Napoleon at War – Man at War
Tropic Lightning Vietnam War – Battlefront Miniatures Ltd.
Anglo Zulu War – Empress Miniatures
WINNER: Bolt Action WW2 – Warlord Games

Best Play by Mail or Correspondance Game
Continental Rails – Production R Danard – John Van De Graaf
Hyborian War – Reality Simulations Inc -Edward Schoonover
Phoenix: Beyond the Stellar Empire – KJC Games
Cruenti Dei – Sardarthion Press – Thom Ryng
Heroic Fantasy – Flying Buffalo Inc – Rick Loomis and Steve MacGregor
WINNER: Heroic Fantasy – Flying Buffalo Inc

2011 ENnie Award winners announced

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Marking the midpoint of Gen Con Indy for the past several years, the ENnie Awards were held again last night at the convention. For the second time in a row, Paizo Publishing swept the awards, coming away with nine gold awards, including Best Production Values, Best Setting, Best Supplement, Best Adventure, Fan’s Choice for Best Publisher (Wizards of the Coast took the silver), and Product of the Year (for the Pathfinder: Advanced Player’s Guide). This year’s winners also included multiple nods to The Dresden Files RPG, which won for Best Writing, Best Rules, Best New Game, and Best Game, and took second for Product of the Year. Wizards of the Coast grabbed a gold award as well, for its Castle Ravenloft Boardgame, and a few silvers. As always, OgreCave congratulates all the winners and nominees – merely appearing on a list of such formidable products is quite an achievement.

History repeats and expands itself at RPG.net

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

There’s an item of interest over at RPGnet, and it brings attention to a massive research project many gamers will be interested in. Shannon Applecline’s Designers & Dragons: The Column launched today, bringing back his detailed histories of various game companies – from Atlas Games to Wizards of the Coast – that first appeared in his A Brief History of Game columns. Obviously the new column is primarily timed to give some love to Designers & Dragons, Shannon’s book coming soon from Mongoose Publishing, which compiles and greatly expands his old columns. However, in the months ahead the new column will expand its historical coverage to encompass a wider range of companies. Keep an eye out for these – it’s often surprising to hear how your favorite publishers got their starts, or how they faded away.

2011 Diana Jones Award shortlist announced

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The nominees for this year’s Diana Jones Award have been announced, and there’s some heavy hitters in competition this time. In no particular order (other than that given on the press release), the nominated games are:

The winner will be announced the night before Gen Con, as always, and will join the exclusive club of past winners, which includes the roleplaying games Nobilis and My Life With Master, the Ticket to Ride board game, the card game Dominion, and industry figures such as Peter Adkison, among others. (See below for the full press release)

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2011 Origins Award nominees announced

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

It’s that time again: this year’s Origins Award nominees have been announced. The shortlists in categories that range from Best RPG and Best Board Game to Best Miniatures Rules are posted, and feature many of the past year’s most popular game releases. The winners will be decided by attendees at this year’s Origins Game Fair (June 22-26), but until then we can look over the lists (below) and make our own selections.
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Paizo’s Jason Bulmahn offers bribe to Facebook fans

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

After sweeping the ENnies, you’d think Paizo’s Jason Bulmahn would be ready to relax and celebrate. Not entirely: he’s currently running a contest challenging Pathfinder fans to push his Facebook page up to having 1,000 people “like” it before the end of Gen Con on Sunday. If the goal is reached, all of his Facebook fans will 12,000 words of free Pathfinder material. Even if his page doesn’t reach the 1k mark, Bulmahn plans to offer up some material to those who helped the effort. As of this post, 853 people “like” his page – head on over, click the “like” button, and help the Pathfinder community.