Profile

Cover photo
Emily Dresner-Thornber
Works at Luminal, Inc
Attended University of Michigan
Lives in Laurel, MD
634 followers|82,053 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
A story about Elven mythology, scant resources, tall buildings, and sunlight.  Those who have, have the sun.  Those who don't, dwell in shadow and eternal twilight.

#gaming   #dungeonanddragons
"My tribe’s Goddess is a Goddess of building. She has shown me the way and the way is up. We have plenty of room for us all to live together in harmony! We will build our city up the canyon wall...
6
2
Brian Wille's profile photoEmily Dresner-Thornber's profile photoJaydot Sloane's profile photoIvan Vaghi's profile photo
2 comments
 
Sadly yes, true.  The Sunless not only are deprived of sunlight, they are slaves to gravity.
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
What happens when a down on his luck God of the Dead needs - and finds - a business model?

#gaming #dungeonsandragons

http://www.critical-hits.com/blog/2015/05/26/caravans-of-the-dead/
7
4
Carlos Martín Luján's profile photoDouglas Leffert's profile photo
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
What happens in a Kingdom with agnatic primogeniture succession laws with easy and convenient royal crown access to Raise Dead and Resurrection spells?  How much fun is it for everyone?

#gaming   #dungeonsanddragons  
The King’s most fundamental concern during his reign is his Throne. But what happens to succession planning when the regime has resurrection spells standing by, assuming access to diamonds is not a...
9
2
Ezekiel Lake's profile photoEmily Dresner-Thornber's profile photoJudd Karlman's profile photoKirt Dankmyer's profile photo
8 comments
 
I have some additional, future thoughts about weaponized healing but I really like the political dimension you spun on things +Ezekiel Lake.  It sets up a nice and very nasty succession war/civil war situation with clean lines of factions.  
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
Coworkers Open Source Security project.  Allows you to easily store your keys and passwords on AWS without needing a full HSM implementation.
Managing secrets and credentials in the cloud is tricky. Where do you keep the keys? Using AWS’ Key Management System (KMS) provides a lot of features you can use to build a credential management system.
2
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
War! Aerial dog fighting! Bombing! Invasions! Empire!  GOD JOKES. 

This week we finish off Castles in the Sky with some good old fashioned ultra-violence and end with a list of possible game and campaign hooks for your use.  Lots of stuff in here on how to conduct wars with giant flying castles.

#gaming   #dungeonsanddragons   #dungeonomics
Flying Castles allows civilizations and their Gods new tentacles of religious outreach. Off they went, doing what Gods do – grow from medium-sized Gods into big Gods.
4
Ezekiel Lake's profile photo
 
The economic aspect really emphasizes the 'setting as complex system' school of thought, and I prefer that to the vast world of NPC waiting for the stars of the show to arrive so the DM/director can shout 'action' this week, and they can do their NPC bit before they head back to the green room to wait for the next script.

Thoughts on theme:

1. I had a D&D supplement way back when called Top Ballista that was a Top Gun satire, mixed with some WW1 flying ace shenanigans and a flying city. I remember there were harpys. Interesting for those who want to dig it up.

2. The cover of the Dragonlance module Dragons of Desolation with the Tomb of Kharas (or whatever it was called) might provide some visual inspiration
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
What started as a thought experiment about building an Adventuring Guild from nothing to something in the context of Medieval feudal economics, named after the English tradition the Merchant's Adventuring Company, went a little Gonzo. But this is what happens when Nobles and Kings try to use an Adventurer's Guild as their War funding profit center.
The secret no bard uttered and no poet told, was this: these warlords and heroes also wanted to settle down, find peace, and scratch their own subsistence existence from the soil with pointy sticks...
13
1
Gretchen S.'s profile photoEmily Dresner-Thornber's profile photoKristian Köhntopp's profile photo
4 comments
 
Kings are total jerks.  I have read just enough 13th and 14th century history to come to the conclusion that autocratic despots appointed by primogeniture is not a great system of government. 
Add a comment...
Have her in circles
634 people
Arturo Vega's profile photo
Colby Robbins's profile photo
mahmud lusi's profile photo
Michal Engel's profile photo
Steve Dustin's profile photo
Sion Rodriguez y Gibson's profile photo
Alexei McDonald's profile photo
TITLE Boxing Club Brighton's profile photo
Sharon Thornber's profile photo

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
This comes straight from a combination of the Portuguese Age of Discovery and Frederick Pohl's "Gateway."   Portugal was dead broke when they wanted to con people to crew boats and send people off into the horrible unknown (full of natives and dragons and who knows what.)  They couldn't afford to pay people up front.  Instead they said, hey, you know, to pay everyone equally, here's this box.  Put as much stuff into the box as you can and you keep that.  Now off you go.  And it worked for nearly a century.   How else did Magellan's trip around the world get funded?  Not by paying people.  This scheme pops up as late as the Opium Wars.  It's quite brilliant.

The actual article here lays out the rules and should be easily transplanted in a game.   Have a broke Kingdom full of Murder Hobos?  Want to incentivize them to go Murder Hobo somewhere else and make a profit?  Here you go...

#gaming  #dungeonsanddragons  
“You can raid any dungeon. You can massacre any people. You can steal anything. But you keep what you put in that box and I get the overflow.”
14
2
Emily Dresner-Thornber's profile photoGretchen S.'s profile photoRob Donoghue's profile photoSarah Perry-Shipp's profile photo
5 comments
 
(I played a murderhobo in Pirates, sob.)
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
Sigil!  City of Doors!  City of the Planes!  City of people making crazy bets on everything not nailed to the floor!  I gave Sigil a very early modern trading house, a bank, and let traders sit in bars, get drunk, and bet on everything not nailed down.  You, too, can ship across the Planes one step ahead of the next fad!

Peeps can easily file off the Sigil from this to make it their own thing.

#dungeonsanddragon   #planescape   #economics  #gaming
Don’t, they point out, ship goods across downtown Sigil. Don’t be the tiny bison guy. Use the gate towns. That’s what they’re for – so to speak. Build up big warehouse networks, find goods on P...
6
1
Rob Donoghue's profile photo
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
Starting equipment!  Modrons!  Price ceilings!  Piracy!  Adventures out on the planes!  What happens when Primus of the Modrons decides the starting equipment list in the #dungeonsanddragons  5th edition players handbook is the guide for a fully planned economy on the Prime Material Plane?

Plus a bonus CHART.  Because charts.

#economics   #gaming   #modrons  
The Primus requests they make one simple change: have their governments impose a Modron-calculated and -approved planned economy with set price ceilings on starting equipment items.
10
5
Fred Hicks's profile photoJohn Kramer's profile photoJaydot Sloane's profile photoPaolo Greco's profile photo
3 comments
 
Best writing method EVER.
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
Castles in the Sky was the first time I tried to play in someone else's playground.  The first half of the piece is a historic, mechanical and trade-based approach to dealing with what is, essentially, flying steamer container ships in a fantasy world.  I ended up basing it more on early Portuguese Age of Sail.  

A couple of outtake comments on this:

1. I hope I didn't step on too many toes.

2. On reflection, I don't like the take of manufacturing in flight.  It's too big of a space to profit trade off.  People take space and resources to maintain, and workspace is enormous.  No one historically does this for an excellent reason.  Every square foot given up to making things is some multiplier loss.  But in a fantasy world, YMMV.

3. Huge flying container ships radically change the nature of a fantasy worlds.  Instead of being ruthlessly local, it becomes multi-cultural and global.  This is good and bad but opens some interesting doors.

4. The expense of the flying castles combined with the potential huge profits would pressure inventions of advanced capital markets (insurance, investments) but I didn't want to go there because it starts to strip the world of its fantasy flavor.

Anyway, please enjoy!  And it's open question season today!

#dungeonsanddragons   #economics   #gaming  
Flying Castles wreaked slow motion havoc upon the flying castle-less neighbors. A period of open warfare and conquest followed where those without Flying Castles fell to those who did. It was an ...
5
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
Bards! Scams! Magic items! Murder hobos! Actual murder! Debt and War! This week we run all the details of a long con on the eve of war - and as expected, it's a Fiasco.

#dungeonsandragons #gaming #fiasco #scams

http://www.critical-hits.com/blog/2015/03/30/bards-lies-and-magic-items-the-mass-producing-artificer-con/
10
3
Dave Chalker's profile photoRich Glover's profile photo
Add a comment...

Emily Dresner-Thornber

Shared publicly  - 
 
Fame!  Wizards!  Magic items!  Dungeons!  This week I spend time expanding on the Artificers, their highly corrupt gallery system, and their need to make magic items collectible investments.  Involves dungeons, murder hobos, and Wizards being so hot this year.

The joke is a bit of a slow burn with a bunch of set-up and it comes at the end.  
9
1
Keith S's profile photoStephen John Smoogen's profile photoRob Donoghue's profile photo
2 comments
 
I have to say I am really enjoying this series I found about 10 minutes ago. The insurance thing is something I wanted to do in a game long ago and I expect it would have played out about the same. Off to read the rest.
Add a comment...
People
Have her in circles
634 people
Arturo Vega's profile photo
Colby Robbins's profile photo
mahmud lusi's profile photo
Michal Engel's profile photo
Steve Dustin's profile photo
Sion Rodriguez y Gibson's profile photo
Alexei McDonald's profile photo
TITLE Boxing Club Brighton's profile photo
Sharon Thornber's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Software Architect
Skills
Python, C++, Ruby, Cloud Computing, Cloud Architecture, MySQL, Agile, SCRUM, Java, Web Application Security, Network Security, Massively Distributed Systems, Big EVERYTHING!, Big Data, System Architecture, Writing, Editing
Employment
  • Luminal, Inc
    Director of Engineering Services, 2014 - present
  • ZeniMax Online Studio
    Principal Online Architect, 2011 - 2014
  • MerchantLink, LLC
    Software Architect, 2005 - 2011
  • SoftMed LLC
    Software Engineer, 2003 - 2005
  • NFR Security
    Software Engineer, 2001 - 2003
  • Media Station
    Software Engineer, 1998 - 2001
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Laurel, MD
Previously
Detroit, MI - Germantown, MD - Ann Arbor, MI - Brighton MI
Links
Story
Introduction
System architect, computer security nerd, gamer, and knitter from Laurel, MD.  I write code!  I think about things!  I do stuff!
Education
  • University of Michigan
    Computer Engineering, 1991 - 1997
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • WordPress