Archive for September, 2008

As promised I’m back with another installment of the Faire and Con Report.  This time I am hear with a preview of our next faire, the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  For our readers that have not visited this one, here is the rundown of this larger faire’s stats.  This faire is set during the reign of King Henry the Eighth and every year features a story about his reign.  However, that’s not the only theme; each weekend has its own subtheme and performing acts and shows related to that subtheme.  The faire itself is located in a comfortably shady glen in Anne Arundel County in Crownsville, Maryland.

This year I am proud to announce that our resident pirate and newest roving reporter MUM the pirate cook will be attending the fair the weekend of September 26 to join in the Adventure Weekend and celebrate all things piratical.  This fair is always one of our favorite fairs and this year is sure to be no different so if you’re in the neighborhood come out and see it.   
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~

    ~September 26, 2008~

As I mentioned in the last Faire and Con Report, we were off to the Village Renaissance Faire in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania last Saturday. We had another fine sunny day for the trip and were glad to see that this fair just keeps growing. This year the children’s area was even larger, with castle blocks, a bubble table, a music area and balance platforms for foam sword fighting on. Round Table Jousting with our friends from Period Productions put on another fine jousting show which ended in a little intrigue and was quickly followed by a bar brawl at the tavern. But the real gem of the show was Shakespearean chess where Shakespeare’s tragedies took on his comedies. This was done brilliantly, using the lines from the individual plays as the dialog on the field and the starting rundown of the plays was very funny. Then there was the food. This is another fair where they let in almost any food vender and your taste buds will thank you for it. While I stuck with the simple cheese sticks and a hamburger, Carol on the other hand had a cross between a quesadilla and an empanada [That would be an “empanadilla.” – ed.]. All in all it was a fun day.

Jousting Chess Singers

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~September 23, 2008~

With Talk like a Pirate Day fast approaching I figured now would be a good time to introduce our new employee, Pete Dunham, who will be writing a line of nautical-themed books for us.  So with out further ado, I will turn this column over to Pete. 

Why, thank you, lad, but everyone calls me Old Pete or just “The Voice of the Sea,” a title I am quite fond of as I do strive to give voice to all the sea’s myriad tails.  Allow me to explain – I am both a scholar and a sailor and over the years I have collected the descriptions of strange phenomena, the tales of old salts and have even viewed some battles firsthand.  Now that my gunny sack is stuffed with notes, I chose to take Healing Fireball’s generous offer and have begun to publish me store in a set of volumes.  This first set will be concerned with the weapons of the pirates, their powers and the tales behind them.  The first volume of this set I have entitled Blades of the Buccaneers shall deal with the myriad of weapons used by the legendary Captain Red Jack Roberts and his partner in crime, Ezekiel Drake.  So, lad, just click the link below and see a sample of this new ledger. 

Blades of the Buccaneers DEMO  

Thanks, Pete, for that great introduction to your work.  If you enjoy the sample items you can get the full book at our store as of Friday 19, 2008 or Talk like a Pirate Day.  The full book contains 16 new weapons of an exotic, technical and nautical theme, as well as complete rules for weapon entrapping and beraking and 6 feats that alter these rules.
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
  ~September 17, 2008~

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these.  I apologize for the delay but unfortunately due to work and gas prices we chose not to attend all the faires we usually do.  However I do have another faire preview for you.  This time it’s for the Village Renaissance Faire in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania.  This is a one-weekend fair that is a charity fair that raises money for the Wrightstown Village Library.  My wife and I are friends with many of the actors at this faire.  The faire itself is designed to both entertain adults with a different story every year and children with a play area and arts and crafts table.  This year the plot of the main story revolves around a plot hatched by King Phillip II and Mary Queen of Scots to remove the protestant Elizabeth and replace her with a Catholic monarch.  It promises to be fun day so if you’re in the Pennsylvania area, come out and support the library. Both I and my wife will be there taking pictures for a follow up Faire and Con Report.
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
  ~September 17, 2008~

To start this update on our web page and the blog I would like to give my wife Carol the many thanks she deserves for the redesign of the main web page and the product page as well as her continuing work on designing the store front at RPGNow. So again thanks goes to my wife for all the work that has been done and probably all the work that will be done.

Now on to the updates. The main Healing Fireball page has had a new blog icon added to it, making a more permanent link to the blog and removing the small link that was easily missed. The product catalog page has finally been completely redesigned to be more user-friendly. The main page has been better designed with a nicer visual appearance, while the subcategories have been better organized into grouped tables under the different broad categories. As for the store front at RPGNow, we have finally added the subcategories to the main page allowing you to view all the products in a single line at the same time. Also my wife completed the massive task of linking all the related products together through links on their description page. We hope this makes the web pages more useful and easier to navigate.

As for the continuing work on the web page we our hoping to get the long-awaited form up and running and to place a link similar to the blog link on the front page. Work is also continuing to utilize all the tools that RPGNow offers to make the store front more useful to our customers. As for the often-ignored child of Healing Fireball’s web page, the blog, I am still unfortunately unable to post on a more regular basis because of my other job’s workload. I will, however, try to put more effort into this part of the web page. To start I have plans to update the links section with more Faire and Con links as well as add a Friends of Healing Fireball section for some miscellaneous links. I also do hope to get the long awaited At Our Table category up and running to give you a glimpse at our own games. Second, I will be hopefully making more entries in the Faire and Con Reports section in September and October. Finally, I will be announcing a new blog category known as Wandering Fireball. This category will be a travelogue like the Faire and Con Reports, but this new category will be for more general travels. This new category will also have an associated links section where any links to the visited places will go. So until next time –
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
  ~September 16, 2008~

Once again I realize that it has been a long time since I have done one of these so I figured it was about time I gave you all an update. So to start this update I will apologize for the lack of blog posts. Unfortunately, life has gotten hectic lately and I haven’t had time to make many posts. For those of you wondering about our faire and con reports I have been unable to attend many of the usual faires and cons but I promise there will be updates as we attend faires in September and October. I will as last time also say that I have reached all of the goals that I set in my last update. Both the Combat Cards line and the Two Bit Tables line have been very successful and I have expanded them with many new titles. Also I am proud to say that it is finally here – I have completed the long-awaited Just Add Dice: Tavern Alcohol, Wine and Drink List Generator.

As for my current projects there is both good news here and bad news. The good news is that I have gotten a lot of work on the Two Bit Tables line and a new Just Add Dice product mostly finished so as these products come out of editing and get finalized they will be released. As for the bad news I will not be able to do much more for a while as I am in the process of beginning to write a paper for my other job as a research biologist. So unfortunately my productivity may be down for a while as I work on that project. So until next time –
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~September 10, 2008~

My wife and I live within spitting distance of Philadelphia. And as any of you who have read my About Us section probably know I am a molecular biologist by trade. More specifically, I am a geneticist that specializes in reproduction and evolution. So its not particularly hard to guess that I was excited when I heard the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences would be hosting a display of the artifacts of Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics. So last weekend my wife and I took the train in to Philly and went to see this exhibition. Unfortunately, they did not allow use of cameras in the show so all the pictures below are from the rest of the museum. But other than not being able to take pictures I thought the exhibition was a lot of fun and very interesting. A large array of personal artifacts are on display from his personal gardening tools to his copy of On the Origin of Species. For the children, or the immature like yours truly, there is a number of interactive stations where you learn about Mendel’s experiments and genetics in general. The exhibition is also interspersed with a collection of art inspired by genetics and genes. All and all it was an enjoyable trip that I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in the history of genetics or who has a child that loves science.

Mendel Exhibit 1 Mendel Exhibit 2 Shot From The Butterfly House Dinosauar Bones Of Course

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~September 1, 2008~