Sunday, December 31, 2023

Kit Airplane: Airframe Ordered & Work Bench

The full CH-650 airframe kit has been ordered! It should be delivered around April 2024, so I'm working hard to finish as many other projects as possible before it arrives.

I need a large work table to assembly the parts, and Zenith recommends a size of 12'x4' for it. A few 2x8s, 4x4s, 3/4" plywood, and a helper puppy...

My original plan was 6 legs and additional cross bracing lower down, but I think 4 without bracing will work out. It's pretty darn sturdy with three 2x8s spanning the full length.


Monday, November 27, 2023

Campaign Manager: Encounter (Battle) Maps

New for this month are encounter (battle) maps! They're intended for use with the player view on a second screen where they can have optional grid lines, rotations, and scaled in a variety of ways, but they can be utilized in any way to improve the campaign. The number of maps bundled with Campaign Manager will also grow over time.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Campaign Manager: UI Improvements

 This new update has UI improvements in many parts of the software.

- Encounter notes now support HTML tags and can be put in a "View Mode" where they are rendered using those tags.

While editing...

While viewing...

- Improvements to combat evaluations user interface.

- Added buttons on combat form and encounter engagements to open details of the character.

- Added ability to cut/copy/paste asset characters, items, and abilities between assets. This makes it much easier to copy assets from SRD 5.1 and makes your own versions / tweaks in your own asset.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Campaign Manager: Printing

Latest update for Campaign Manager is printing!

Encounters and assets (characters/abilities/items) can now be easily printed as hard copies for play without needing a computer.

Select your print device...

Verify looks good in print preview...

If a PDF printing device is available (defaults with Windows), then you can also print to PDF format to easily share your creations electronically.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Monday, August 28, 2023

Kit Airplane: Rudder Workshop

One of the worst purchases you can make is an airplane... and a kit airplane doubles-down on that stupidity. But alas, it seems as though I'm likely doing that.

I love the looks, characteristics, performance, and price of the Zenith CH-650 aircraft. And constructing it myself seems like the ultimate build challenge. (Not having to keep a medical to fly one and being able to conduct my own maintenance are also great bonuses.)

This past month I went to one of the Rudder Workshops that Zenith Aircraft hosts where potential builders/buyers come out and construct a rudder (under the guidance of Zenith employees). In addition to the great education of how to build the plane, you get a demo flight in your desired aircraft. The visibility in it is amazing, and it is the fastest to build from all kits I considered. I figured even if I decided not to go with the aircraft, the Rudder Workshop would still be a ton of fun (and I'd have a piece of an aircraft to hang on my wall!).

In some of Zenith's other aircraft kits, they have predrilled matched holes for incredibly quick construction. They're working towards but not yet have that for the CH-650. I mostly had pilot holes in one piece as a guide for where to drill, but I was still way slower than the other participants that had the CH-701/CH-750 matched holes. After fitting, drilling, and clecoing (temporary holders to keep pieces together) components, I had to completely disassemble them to deburr metal shavings (caused from drilling) and apply anticorrosion (as I live near salt water). Then reassembly but this time rivet.

About to begin...

The clecos temporary hold the components together as I continue drilling further down.

Lining up ribs, clamping in place, about to drill...

Getting all the ribs on the spar...

Wrapping the skin around the trailing edge...

Drilling and clecoing the trailing edge skin to the spars.

And now the same for the leading edge...

And now that everything is essentially assembled in its final form, I have to take it completely apart to deburr and add corrosion protection.

Waiting to dry...

Reassembly has begun...

Not many progress pictures during the riveting (was in a rush to finish up by the end of the second day). But the final product!

Still not for sure I'm buying the whole kit, but this will be the first post of I'm sure a very long build blog if I do.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Campaign Manager: More Names

Straightforward update this past month has been primarily additional content: Thousands of real world names of lakes, mountains, and rivers have been added for the random name generator.

Also some improvements to the user interface in selecting names via the random name generator.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Monday, June 12, 2023

Campaign Manager: Monster Formatting / Links

The latest update for Campaign Manager expands on the earlier update - last month I added support for HTML style tags in the description of assets. For this release, every SRD 5.1 monster type has its description updated to take advantage of the new feature. 

In addition to looking much better and easier to read, it is also very helpful in the middle of combat determining how to use abilities in a timely manner. The items in blue are links that can be selected to open up details of the ability/spell.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Campaign Manager: Asset Formatting / Links

The update in Campaign Manager for this past month is support for HTML style tags in the descriptions of assets. This enables much nicer formatting of the text in assets so they're easier to read and linking one asset to another.

The text within the description supports heading tags, bolds, underlines, and links (colored in blue) so the characters are far more legible.

The mouse cursor changes to a hand when placed over a link, and if clicked the relevant ability is opened. Getting the details of a spell that may be cast is now trivial to do; which is especially useful when you're busy in combat.

All 240 ready-to-go Level 1 through 20 NPCs have been updated with the new style and links. A future update will bring it to the monster assets. 

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Campaign Manager: Mod Support

The big update this time is Mod support!

At startup, Campaign Manager with look in a \Mods folder for dll files it can consume to extend its functionality.

Mods can currently:
- Add buttons to the main menu bar.
- Play / stop music.
- Change the background canvas color.
- Get a collection of the campaign encounters.

Mods are written in C# .NET 4.8. Documentation is included with Campaign Manager for how to setup Visual Studio to create a mod, and a sample mod is included with the Campaign Manager installer.

Example code snippets:

            // Add a button to the Tools menu.
            _sampleButtonPressedEvent = new EventHandler(SampleButtonPressed);
            _campaignManagerHost.AddButton("Sample Mod",
                                           "Tooltip to demonstrate opening a form for the sample mod.",

            this._campaignManagerHost.PlayMusic("Battle Theme");

            _campaignManagerHost.ActiveCampaign().ActiveCanvas().BackgroundColor = Color.Blue;

                String newOutput = "";
                foreach (IEncounter loopEncounter in this._campaignManagerHost.ActiveCampaign().ActiveCanvas().Encounters)
                    newOutput += loopEncounter.Name + Environment.NewLine;
                textBoxOutput.Text = newOutput;

The API functionality will extend over time, but this is the first step for any developer to extend the Campaign Manager user interface and capabilities.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Campaign Manager: UI Improvements

No big updates this month for Campaign Manager (some are coming soon). However, small UI improvements were made throughout the application, especially for engagements.

- Adding monsters for encounters / combat evaluations now requires fewer windows / clicks, additional "duplicate" buttons for user convenience, and quick ways to send combat evaluations into encounters.

- Sorting now gracefully handles fractions (for example sorting by challenge rating puts a "1/4 CR" ahead of "1/2 CR").

- Fixed some UI glitches as well when editing assets or using the name generator.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Campaign Manager: More Ambience Music

Campaign Manager improvement for this month is pretty simple - additional ambience music. The number of atmospheric songs is increase from 13 to 42. There are more songs for standard fantasy role playing but also some for futuristic / sci fi related gaming. Songs include:

​Babbling Brook
Battle Theme
Destruction Earthquake
Destruction Fire Ball
Destruction Ice
Destruction Rock
Destruction Water
Destruction Wind
Dungeon Cave
Evil Forces
Facility Beeping
Facility Chirping
Facility Computer
Facility Damaged
Facility Noise
Facility Phasing
Facility Pulsing
Facility Screeching
Facility Signals
Facility Whooshing
Factory Clockwork
Factory Engine
Factory Ratcheting
Festive Crowd
Forest Night
Forest River
Mountain Breeze
Mountain Day
Mountain Night
Mysterious Cave
Space Ship

​All the songs are looping and intended to be used as background ambience while playing together with friends.

You can download Campaign Manager from:

Friday, January 27, 2023

Campaign Manager: A Better Combat Evaluator

Last month I mentioned populating standard damage attacks, special damage attacks, and healing for all 240 player/NPC character types (level 1 through 20 of fighter, druid, paladin, wizard, etc.). This past month, the same data (and more) has been populated to every monster type in the SRD 5.1 document.

All of which was necessary for the new Combat Evaluator. The Combat Evaluator tool aids game masters in balancing combat their players may encounter. Players and character assets are added to each Team and the results of the engagement calculated.

The victorious team is color coded - green for the winning team and red for the losing team. The colors will show gradients depending on how overpowered one team is versus the other. The advantage shows how much more additional attack and healing one team would require to win. In the above screenshot, Team B wins with a 12% advantage - meaning Team A must roll 12% higher than average on all of its healing and attack rolls to succeed.

The lower section shows an evaluated combat with no advantage given to either player. It includes how much power is left for the winning team at the very bottom.

The evaluation doesn’t take into account players that execute surprise attacks using meticulous plans, expert tactical decisions during a turn, or unbelievably lucky rolls. Instead, it computes using average rolls and typical attack patterns. If a combat is reported near-even, and the players perform very well - they should win. If the combat is reported near-even, and the players perform very poorly - they should lose.

Also of note - no random numbers are used in the combat evaluation. The evaluator will return the exact same results given the same input every time. For example, if an attacker’s chance to hit is +10 and the defender’s chance to defend is 20, half damage is always applied to the average attack roll - as that is the damage that would be dealt averaged across hundreds of turns with random valued attacks.

The combat evaluator takes into account a character's "Initiative" (or "DEX Mod" if no "Initiative" available), "Hit Points", "Armor Class", "Eval Standard Damage", "Eval Standard To Hit", "Eval Special Damage", "Eval Special Count", "Eval Healing Amount", "Eval Healing Count", "Eval Regeneration Amount", and “Eval Reactive Damage”.

"Eval Special Damage" can include "*#" to denote damage may be applied to multiple characters.

"Eval Special Damage" can include "/#" to denote damage may be divided to multiple characters.

"Eval Healing Amount" can include "*#" to denote damage may be applied to multiple characters.

"Eval Healing Amount" can include "/#" to denote damage may be divided to multiple characters.

"Eval Special Count" can include "*" to denote bonus action.

"Eval Special Count" can include "!" to denote the number represents turns between special damage becomes available again.

"Eval Healing Count" can include "*" to denote bonus action.

"Eval Reactive Damage" can include "*" to denote damage dealt when killed.

If something is denoted as a bonus action, then it is used simultaneously with the standard attack or healing. Healings are performed when a fellow teammate is down or if multiple healings are available and a teammate is low. In the above Adult Red Dragon asset, the Fire Breath damage from a special attack is applied to 3 characters each time it is used, and it is available every 3 rounds of combat.

The Combat Evaluator is also accessible from Encounters that have engagements defined. The configured players are automatically added as Team A and the Engagement creatures as Team B.

In the above example, there are players “Luther” and “Aleena” which are set to use Fighter Level 2 and Druid Level 2 in their player configurations respectively. There is an encounter with an Engagement against 2 hobgoblins and 2 goblins. When “Evaluate” is selected on the engagement, a Combat Evaluator is opened putting the players against the engagement participants.

You can download Campaign Manager from: