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Player can’t make it – Cancel or Frantic Reschedule?

What day do we play?This happens to me over and over: At the last minute, a player (or the GM, myself even) announces they can’t make the scheduled time for the game. However, they’re free on X or Y night that week, so can we reschedule? Frantic emailing and forum posting occurs, lots of negotiating, and we usually end up getting nowhere, just messing up everyone’s plans for the rest of the week. Maybe 1/5 of these frantic exchanges results in a successful reschedule. We’re all just too busy to juggle everything like that.

To combat the craziness, I’ve tried instituting a No Rescheduling policy, but then I love playing so much that I break my own rule, hoping against hope that everyone will change to accomodate me. This usually has the exact same scramble-to-no-avail outcome.

Is ours the only group where this happens? How do you handle it? Is there any solution? Is there anything we could add to Obsidian Portal that would help facilitate (and make less crazy) these discussions? As always, I’m not promising anything, but I have a little extra time to think tonight, as our game has been canceled at the last minute. ūüôĀ

The Question!

Many people seem to be missing the question I’m asking here. Maybe I’m not clear. I’m not asking how many you need to play the game, or what your policy is on attendance. Here’s what I’m driving at:

If a player can’t make it, but suggests a reschedule to another night of the week, what do you do?

In my case, it always becomes a mess and usually results in nothing getting accomplished. Do you have a better way? I’d love to hear it!

Update: Cool Tool

A Twitterer recommended that I check out WhenIsGood, and it looks very close to what I need. Maybe we can steal this idea for Obsidian Portal at some point.


More pies of the world

Ok so I might have missed one or two or six(!!!) of the entries in my last post. These are all good, and I’m going to give each one of them 1st place in their own competitions.

Rank: 1st place

Category: Swim Suit Competition

Submitted by: Owen “Dan keeps screwin’ me over”¬†Stephens

Original Entry:

Bake Pecan Pie

Difficulty: 2

Time: 50-60 minutes until center is set

Duration: Until eaten, or 2-6 days

Strain 1 (2 if you have to wait to eat it)

Description: This ritual create a pecan pie, and requires basic cooking equipment and an oven preheated to 415 F.¬† You must bake pie shell 5-6 minutes, or until crust begins to brown around the edges. Reduce oven heat to 270 F. In top of a double boiler, melt 7T butter.¬† Remove from heat and whisk in ¬ĺ cu brown sugar and ¬ľ cu sugar, and 1/4t salt. Stir until mixture is smooth. One at a time, add in 3 beaten eggs. Stir in ¬Ĺ cu light corn syrup. Stir in ¬ľ cu dark corn syrup.¬† Stir in 1 ¬ľ t vanilla. To make sure its perfectly smooth, strain the pecan pie mixture. Return mixture to heat. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture is hot and shiny. Remove from heat. Stir in2 ¬ľ cu chopped pecans (already toasted and cooled). Pour pecan mixture into warm piecrust.

After the ritual is complete, you must transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 4 hours. 

 Pecan Pie for Witch Hunter: The Invisible World

 Rank: 1st place

Category: World Peace

Submitted by: Owen ‚ÄúSeriously, this one time Dan spelled my name Owne‚ÄĚ Stephens

Original Entry:

Edge: Have Pecan Pie: 1 pt. 

Pecan Pie for Savage Worlds

Rank: 1st place

Category: Biggest Pumpkin at the Fair

Submitted by: Owen ‚ÄúDan missed four of my entries‚ÄĚ Stephens

Original Entry:

Pie, Pecan

A sweet, almost nutty smell wafts from this dark ochre disk.

Pecan Pie  CR 1/64

XP 3.14159265

N Tiny bakery good

Init -5; Senses toothsense


AC 7, touch 7, flat-footed 7 (-5 Dex, +2 size)

hp 1 (1d2 -5, minimum 1)

Fort +2, Ref -5, Will -5

Immune cold (ice cream only)

Vulnerabilities holidays, teeth


Speed 0 ft.

Melee 1 burn (1d2-4 heat damage, +3 within 15 minutes of being removed from oven)

Space 0 ft.; Reach 0 ft.

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th)

At will‚ÄĒcharm person (orcs only)


Str 0, Dex 0, Con 10, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha 18

Base Atk +0; CMB -5; CMD 0

Feats Flaky, Greater Fattening, Tasty

Skills Smell Good +5, Use magic Device +4

Languages Foodie


Environment loving hearths and kitchens, restaurants

Organization solitary or by the slice

Treasure x2 confection

Though short on tactics, pecan pies have defeated hordes of New Years’ eve resolutions and diet plans. They are often kept as treasure by orcs.

Pecan Pie for Pathfinder RPG

Rank: 1st place

Category: 4th Grade Science Fair

Submitted by: Owen ‚ÄúWhy would Dan do that?‚ÄĚ Stephens

Original Entry:

Pecan Pie: 1 pt.

Life Support vs. Hunger (5 pts). (Obvious Accessible Focus -1)(1 charge -2)(Gestures: eat the pie -1/2)(Activation Roll 14 or less: might still be hungry -1/2) 

Pecan Pie for Champions

Rank: 1st place

Category: Best in Show

Submitted by: David ‚ÄúDan forgot me too‚ÄĚ Kammerzelt

Original Entry:

Pecantolor  Level 34 Solo Controller

Gargantuan natural animate (Southern) XP 195,000

Initiative +18  Senses Perception +28, blindsight 50

Irresistable Aroma aura 15; an enemy that starts its turn in the aura is pulled 6 squares

HP 1,350*; Bloodied 675

AC 54; Fortitude 48, Reflex 37, Will 46

Saving Throws +4

Speed 6

Action Points 2 

(Basic Attack) Molten Sugar-Butter Pseudopod Lash + Fire (standard, at-will)

Reach 7: +41 vs AC; 3d8+10 damage +10 fire

Sugar Rush (minor, at-will)

Close blast 5; +37 vs. Fortitude; 2d8 +10 damage and ongoing 15 damage (save ends).  Until the target saves, all its movement speeds are increased by 1 and it may take one extra minor action per round.

Sugar Crash (minor, at-will)

Close blast 5; +37 vs. Reflex; 2d12 damage.  The target is slowed (save ends).  If the target is under the effect of the Sugar Rush, all other Sugar Rush effects end and the target is stunned as well as slowed (save ends both).  Aftereffect: the target is dazed for one round.

Diabolical Diabeetus (standard, recharge 6)

Close blast 10; +37 vs. Fortitude; 4d10+6 damage, and the target gains vulnerability 10 to all of Pecantolor’s attacks (save ends).

Invoke Nut Allergy (free, 1/round when an enemy outside of 10 squares attacks Pecantolor)

Ranged 50; +37 vs. Fortitude; targets the triggering creature; the target is marked (save ends)

Anaphylactic Shock (free, 1/round when a marked creature attacks Pecantolor)

Ranged 50; +37 vs. Fortitude; targets the triggering creature; the target is paralyzed and takes ongoing 20 damage (save ends both).

Overflow the Crust + Fire (standard; recharge 5-6)

Close burst 10; 3d8+10 damage + 10 fire

Overwhelming Guilt At Failing One’s Diet (free, when an enemy within 10 squares attacks Pecantolor, at-will)

Ranged 10; targets the triggering creature; +39 vs Will; the target is slowed and takes a -2 penalty on all attacks (save ends both). 

Alignment Evil  Languages Southern

Skills Diplomacy +36, Religion +24, Insight +28, History +27, Endurance +36

Str 41 (+32)  Dex 2 (+18)  Wis 22 (+23)

Con 39 (+31)  Int 24 (+24)  Cha 36 (+30)

Rank: 1st place

Category: Best Technical Direction

Submitted by: Robbie ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs hope Dan doesn‚Äôt forget me again‚ÄĚ Ann Cunningham

Original Entry:

 Low Life Pecan Pie Stats

Name:Priester’s Pecan Power-Pusher

Race: Cremefillian

Rank: Seasoned

Description: A cremefillian punk, this HUGE round pecan pie has a lightly toasted crust and is filled with large meaty pecans. Priester’s Pecan Power-Pusher also has the special ability to use the natural nutty syrupy goodness of its filling as ammunition.


Agility: d8 Fighting: d10

Smarts: d4 Guts: d6

Spirit: d6 Intimidation: d8

Strength: d10 Notice: d6

Vigor: d8 Shooting: d8

Survival: d4

Taunt: d6

Pace: 6‚ÄĚ Throwing: d4

Parry: 6 +1 (armor)

Toughness: 6

Charisma: 0


Foul Taste: The toxins and pollutants absorbed by the spongy flesh of cremefillians makes them particularly unpalatable. A creature that bites a cremefillian must make a Vigor roll to avoid being Shaken. A penalty equal to the number of wounds inflicted by the bite is applied to this roll.

Tweenking: For some reason, perhaps due to their strange body structure, cremefillians are able to carry a great deal more gear and supplies than their strength would suggest. They can carry an additional three times their strength in yorts without penalty. Additionally tweenks ignore minimum strength requirements for all hand weapons.

Spongy Flesh: Cremefillians have 1 point of natural armor due to their spongy or dense, crusty flesh. This feature also makes them immune to all natural poisons, toxins, and radioactive emissions.

Really Big Guy: Due to your large size, you begin play with a d6 Strength instead of a d4. On the downside, creatures smaller than you gain +2 to attack rolls against you. You are considered to be Large.

Pimp Slap: You are a bully who likes to pick on people smaller than you. You gain a +2 bonus to fighting Medium creatures (this effectively negates the -2 penalty for attacking them). You also get +1 attack bonus when fighting females, even if you are a female. I’m telling your mother.


Illiterate: You cannot read or write.

Innumerate: You have absolutely no concept of numbers. You can’t count or do math of any kind. Your brain just isn’t wired that way. Sorry…

Randy: Your character is randy. That is to say, his belt is buckled a little looser than the rest. Whatever the case, you have a hard time keeping yourself from making inapropriate or even vulgar comments about women whenever the opportunity presents itself (e.g. a woman with the (Very) Attractive Edge is sitting across the bar, or a scantily dressed prostitute is asking him if you want a good time). It is almost impossible for you not to make annoying comments and vulgar gestures.


Caterpillar poo rope: Can be used for climbing, tying things together, lassoing your enemies, hanging bad guys, tripping people, and a whole host of other fun and exciting activities.

Poo Flinger: (Strength +1), 1d8 (non-lethal), multiple uses (melee & missile), Range 6/12/24. Basically just a big ass wooden spoon, this thing can hurl poo and other foulness (the stench and ickyness incapacitates targets) (or in your case nutty syrupy filling (1d8+1) for the same incapacitating effect) and can double as a weak club.


Pies of the world

Alright folks! As promised, here are all entries in our Mini Contest: Stat a Pecan Pie, Win a Pecan Pie. Being the arbitrary and judgmental S.O.B that I am, I’ve ranked these from tenth place all the way to first.

RANK: 10th place

Submitted by: Grim

Original Entry:


F: Shift 0 (0)

A: Shift 0 (0)

S: Shift 0 (0)

E: Feeble (2)

R: Shift 0 (0)

I: Shift 0 (0)

P: Shift 0 (0)

He: 2

Karma: 0

Popularity: 90


Yummy: +1 Column Shift on Popularity FEATS.


Deliciousness (Incredible 40): Pecan Pies may make a power FEAT roll in order to entice nearby PCs and NPCs into eating it. Green results in them moving one area towards the pie, yellow means two areas, red means three areas. If a PC or NPC already occupies the same area as the pie, then they eat it.

Nutty Armour (Feeble 2): Pecan pies can be nutty, offering some protection against being eaten.

Dan’s Thoughts: I ranked this one tenth place for two reasons.

  1. It was a ‚Äėnon-entry‚Äô entry put on the blog instead of in an email to me. Grim wasn‚Äôt interested in winning the delicious pie, but he was interested in sharing his stat block.
  2. I have no idea what system this stat block is for. That’s right, my ignorance is a reason why this is in tenth place.

 RANK: 9th place

 Submitted by: John Callingo

 Original Entry:

A pie with a warm golden-yellow crust and stuffed with a dark brown filling consisting mostly of pecans, this pie is a rare delicasy in most places.

A pecan pie consists of 6 slices, each slice rendering the consumer dazed for 1d4+1 rounds as a result of it’s deliciousness. Creatures which lack a taste sense (lack a tongue, or do not eat) are not effected by this as they can not consume the pie.

A pecan pie can be created with a profession: cooking check of DC 21.

Price: 5GP

Dan’s Thoughts: This was a pretty good entry, but spelling and grammar count. Also, there’s no mention of what system this is for. It’s clearly a D&D system, but which D&D system?

RANK: 8th place

Submitted by: Mark Lewis

Original Entry:

 Poison                   Type                  Initial Damage          Secondary Damage      Price

Pecan Pie Filling        Ingested DC 13      Haste for 10 minutes      Fatigue for 1d4 hours         50 gp

Pecan Pie Filling: This poison is a careful combination of specially prepared nuts from the Carya illinoenensis and large amounts of sugars and syrups.¬† While a full dose can be hidden in someone’s meal with a DC 12 Sleight of Hand check, the preferred delivery method involves disguising the filling with a delicious, flaky pie crust, which provides a +4 bonus to this Sleight of Hand check.

Characters from the southeastern region of Yu’ess take a -2 penalty on fortitude saves to resist the primary and secondary damage of Pecan Pie Filling.

Dan’s Thoughts: Having spent close to a decade in the southern Yu’ess, I can attest that yes, there is a -2 penalty on fort saves to resist Pecan Pies.

RANK: 7th place

Submitted by: Chuck Benscoter

Original Entry:

D&D 0 Edition

Monster Type: Pastry

Monster Name: Pecan Pie

Number Appearing: 1-2

Armor Class: 10

Move in Inches: —-

Hit Dice:special Р6 hit points per piece or 48 per pie. There are never more that 8 slices in a pie.  Some rare species come is 6 or even 4 slice sub-types.  Adjust the hit dice and attacks accordingly.

% in Lair: 50% Holy Alter of the Fridge / 50% Serving Tray of Temptation.

Treasure Type:  P (1% chance of random magic ring)

Note:The Pecan Pie is a crafty and skilled opponent.  A pie has two possible attacks.

The first is the Temptation of the Sweet which can cause a character to move at maximum speed toward a pie and then defend it with his or her very life, even to the point of sacrificing all treasure and magic items to keep the pie safe.  Once the pie is safe the character then eats 1 or more pieces which then triggers a second attack.

The second attack is more insidious.  It is a slow acting curse that causes the character to out-grow all of their amour and wearable magic items and loose up to 5 points of dexterity. This will happen in 6 months, minus one month for each extra piece eaten. 

If the pie is shared, which almost never happens, the second attack causes each additional eater to blame the character for sharing.  The character will then be required to pay for all alterations to magic garments and equipment so that they can continue to be worn.

A unique sub-type exists that has a halo of Whipped Cream.   This terrible beast has caused whole parties to go on quests from which they have never returned. 

Dan’s Thoughts: I love the part about the unique sub-type with the halo of Whipped Cream. What delicious fate befell those who dared to quest for such a confection? Only the winds know. Only the winds.

RANK: 6th place

Submitted by: Arlene Medder

Original Entry:

Pecan Pie (D&D 3.5): Consumable, 8 doses (or 4, if those 4 are greedy

pigs), acts as Haste Spell for 3 rounds, or until the sugar buzz wears

off. If eaten hot, with vanilla ice cream it lasts for 3 minutes.

Dan’s Thoughts: I really like vanilla ice cream.

RANK: 5th place

Submitted by: Matt James

Original Entry:

Dan’s Thoughts: Matt’s submission is good. Very good. But is it slap yo’ momma good? Let us ponder this as we look at 4th place.

RANK: 4th place

Submitted by: Joel Hoffman

Original Entry:

The pie golem is the delicious and deadly creation of the Mad Baker, an anonymous pastry chef who went insane and began toying with dark magic in order to improve the flavour of his traditional pecan pie. The magic had an unfortunate side effect; it animated the pies, which formed what is now known as the pie golem.

It is said that the Mad Baker created other dessert-based monstrosities, once he realized his success with pecans. There are rumours of the existence of the Mousse Swarm, and the highly explosive Boston Cream Giant.

Dan’s Thoughts: Look at that stat block, that Pie Golem is not joking around, that is a seriously warped confectionary. And look! Backstory! I LOVE BACKSTORY! There’s a Mad Baker, mousse-y swarms, and cream filed IEDs. This is the kind of delicious atrocity that a party of PCs can really sink their teeth into.

RANK: 3rd place

Submitted by:  Anthony Rauseo

Original Entry:

Professor Paddington’s Perfectly Preserved Pecan Pie! (Patent Pending).

Prof. Paddington’s pies appear and taste like any other pie save for a small smokey after taste. The secret of the preservation process that keeps the pies fresh no mater were they are transported is the Ghostrock used during the baking process.

Anyone who eats even a portion of the pie must make a Spirit roll to avoid addiction to the confection. Each time the check is failed the victim feels compelled to seek out another pie. The difficulty increases with each check by a factor of two. (-2 for the second pie, -4 for the third, etc).

The pies themselves can be found throughout the weird west in general stores and at trading posts and retail for around five dollars.

Dan’s Thoughts: A little alliteration alleviates life’s ails. Also: Deadlands. I love Deadlands. If you haven’t played it, you don’t know what you’re missing. This was our randomly chosen winner, by the way.

RANK: 2nd place

Submitted by:  Paul

Original Entry: Click here to see Paul’s entry.

Dan’s Thoughts: The only entry to link to an Obsidian Portal campaign, it was nice to see that his work made it into his game world.

RANK: 1st place

Submitted by:  Daniel Oquendo

Original Entry: Download the pdf

Dan’s Thoughts: Pages of stats, notes, and a system still under playtest. What more could you possibly ask for?

So there you have it people, let’s¬†hear it¬†one more time for¬†the 10 fantastic entries to our last pie contest! Yay them!

Award Winning!

Gold ENnie for Best Website 09'-11'

Silver ENnie for Best Website, Best Podcast 2012-2013
Petrified Articles
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