Calzone / Pigs-in-blanket / Apple Dumpling Dough

Here is another variant for baked goods.


  • 175 grams Almond Flour
  • 2 TBS Golden Flax
  • 2 TBS Powdered Psyllium Husk
  • 1 TBS Baking Powder
  • 2 TBS Powdered Cream Cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Add the boiling (and I do mean boiling) water, and blend well. This gives you the dough.

Take a blob about the size of a golfball, and press it flat in a tortilla press. If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can roll the dough out, but that will take longer. This is a forgiving dough, if it tears, you can press it together or patch over it.

Wrap the items to be baked, and place on a baking sheet. For these, I prefer the USA Pans cookie sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, turning as necessary to get all sides a solid deep brown.

Low Carb / Gluten Free Eggroll Wrappers

So, you want an egg roll, or some crab rangoon, and you don’t want the 11 grams of carbohydrates per wrapper?


  • 175 grams Almond Flour
  • 2 TBS Golden Flax
  • 2 TBS Powdered Psyllium Husk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Scant cup Boiling Water


Prepare whatever filling you are going to use. Make sure it isn’t watery, and let it chill completely.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Add the boiling (and I do mean boiling) water, and blend well. This gives you the dough.

Take a blob about the size of a golfball, and press it flat in a tortilla press. If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can roll the dough out, but that will take longer. This is a forgiving dough, if it tears, you can press it together or patch over it.

Lay a small column of filling along the center of the wrapper, stopping a bit short of each end. Fold the top and bottom over the filling, then fold the dough from left to right over the filling, and then roll it closed. Seal the whole thing up with your fingers, you should be able to pinch the dough closed. If you have any tears, use a small piece of dough and patch over it. Repeat until all the dough or all the filling is gone, putting each roll aside on a nonstick surface (I usually use a Silpat).

If the filling is going to be messy, you can also pre-prepare the filling by creating the columns on another Silpat, and then freezing them before constructing the rolls.

Bring 1/2″ or so of oil up to 325 degrees in a small pan (smaller pans allow us to use less oil). Cook the rolls two at a time, until a dark golden brown on all sides, and then drain.

Fate Wars

Or perhaps Star Fate

I’ve realized that Fate is about as crunchy a system as I want to play right now; I’m not really interested in more complex game systems. And as seen previously, I really like the slant that the Jadepunk rules have taken.

One of the ideas I’ve toyed with off and on is running a game in the Star Wars Universe. The thing is, a lot of what a licensed Star Wars RPG brings to the table I don’t actually want. If I’m going to run a Star Wars game, then the setting is Star Wars. No Expanded Universe, no sequels of any kind, just Star Wars. Anything in Star Wars is cannon, anything afterwards might get included, but most of it wouldn’t be.

No Midichlorians. No Ewoks. Darth Vader killed Anakin Skywalker. Leia is the daughter of Bail Organa of Alderan.

What follows is a rough set of guidelines for how I’d treat the Force in play (rough in that I’m deliberately leaving it vague to handle any Fate variant you wanted to use).

So, the Force. It is generated by all living beings, and flows through and around them. Some people can manipulate it. It has a Dark Side and a Light Side, but these are neither personifications nor ethical stances, just descriptions of side effects. Actions have reactions, and with the Force and its ties to life, that is even more so.

Those people who control the force calmly and dispassionately reinforce those parts of their brain. This is the harder path, because it is precisely that calm and dispassion that is disrupted by the rest of the autonomic nervous system during times of stress. It is fight or flight, overriding that to fight, flight, or the Force is hard. Those who instinctively reach out with adrenaline (or the equivalent for their biochemistry), with fear, with anger, with emotion, can also control the Force. This is easier because those are easier (especially in times of great stress or danger) to attain. But as with calm, reaching out for the Force out of anger, or fear, or hate, strengthens those parts of the brain. Tempers become shorter, compassion is quelled. It is not inherently an issue of right and wrong, it just is. But greater control is a harder path.

Mechanically, we’re going to add a new special case Aspect (really more of a three stage toggle) called Serenity. Any character can be outside of Serenity, in Serenity, or in Serenity x2 (this really just means it is harder to lose). Note, any character being portrayed as angry, frightened, or exhibiting panic or any of the “Dark side” emotions is automatically dropped out of Serenity.

Gaining Serenity is a Create Aspect test (using whatever Skill/Approach/Technique is appropriate for the Fate variant being used), with the difficulty set by the degree of danger/fear/stress that the character is facing. Success puts the character into Serenity, Success with Style gives Serenity x2. Normally, this would take an action.

A character can also gain Serenity by spending a Fate point to invoke a Force power (more on that below). If that test succeeds, the character also gains Serenity (or Serenity x2) if it succeeds with Style.

By default, any failure of a Force power (that is to say, the roll failed) will drop the character by a level of Serenity, as will taking physical or mental stress, or being confronted by damage to someone or something the character cares about quite deeply. This fairly obviously lends itself to stunts or techniques as the character grows in the Force.

And again, giving in to the “Dark side” emotions (for example, deliberately causing more pain than necessary) will drop the character out of Serenity entirely.

A character may use a Force power when any of three conditions are met. One, the character is in a state of Serenity. Two, the character spends a Fate Point. Three, the character gains or has gained a Dark Side point in this scene. Note that the last is a choice as well, simply reaching for the Force through the easier path makes the Force available for the rest of the scene.

When a character’s Dark Side points equal or exceed their Refresh, they can no longer enter Serenity through a skill check. When a character’s Dark Side points equal or exceed twice their Refresh, they can no longer spend Fate Points to invoke Force powers.

Removing Dark Side points can only be done during a Major milestone. It takes the place of all benefits of the Major milestone (as apart from other milestones) except the changing of the High Concept. The character’s Dark Side points are reduced by their Refresh.


Moving Jadepunk to the Desert

Jadepunk:Tales from Kauso City is an absolutely fantastic adaptation of the Fate system from Evil Hat.  I could go on for a bit about how much I like the way they’ve tuned the Fate rules, but suffice to to say, you should go look at it, and if you have the shekels to spare, you should get a copy.

I’ve been toying about with the notion of what kind of a game I’d like to run. Most of what I play these days is storygaming, simply because that is what I’ve had the time commitment for, and because there is an excellent group in east side of the Seattle metroplex to play with. But if I want to run something with more of a classic RPG feel, it needs to be something that doesn’t take a lot of prep time. Because honestly, I don’t have a lot to spare, and that means the game would sputter out after a session or two. So, I need player driven plots, and I need good old fashioned dungeon crawls.

This also means I don’t want the game to move around (movement means more prep work), so I need an excuse for lots of accessible bits of dungeon near a common area. And I want the “many Kingdoms have risen and fallen before us, many things were lost, and some of them should have stayed lost” feel of a lot of the pulp fantasy of the early 20th century.

So, the setting. An oasis city (based on the real world example of Palmyra). An important trade route city that managed to stay independent because it was just far enough out from the major empires to be an important trade link, but not so close as to be absorbed (well, up until it decided to try doing the absorbing, but we don’t have to duplicate Zenobia’s territorial ambitions).

The era. The major civilizations have in fact fallen to barbarians. There is still trade (although diminished), and the deserts have grown since the great empires were at their peak. Our city (quite possibly named Palmar or Palmyr, since I don’t feel particularly inventive as to names at the moment) is, relatively speaking, a center of what is left of the knowledge of those days.

The structure of the city. The old city (behind the original walls) is the home to the aristocracy, the families that mattered back when the city was worried about keeping its independence from the great powers. This is the region that has the great houses, the gardens and pools, flowers, and small fruit orchards. The outer city (between the towering original walls and the new, less protective outer walls) is a winding maze of slums and middle class neighborhoods. And beyond that, the desert.

With that, we have a limited number of changes to make to the Jadepunk rules to make things work (see also, minimal prep is a good thing).

Changes to Professions:

Aristocrat becomes Leader, but mechanically stays the same.

Engineer becomes Artisan, and covers any craft involving making something (including potions, magical artifacts, swords, armor, and so on). Mechanically, again, it stays the same.

Scholar is also the profession that magic or psychic powers would be linked to, and as such mechanically it has Attack and Defend as appropriate when those powers (which are mechanically just techniques) are used by a skilled practitioner. Note that some of these techniques could be defended against with other professions.

Additional Mechanics:

There are three main population groups. The inner city, the outer city, and the desert nomads. Each player (regardless of character concept) assigns social penalties values of -2, -1, and +0 (one to each population group). These penalties apply to social interactions in that social milieu. These don’t have to match the character origin, you could have a high born Scholar who has spent most of her life searching the sands who has a +0 with the nomads, -1 with the outer city, and -2 with the inner city (who consider her mad, and not really fit for polite company).

Excluded Mechanics:

We can remove the actual types of Jade since we’re not using that setting, and simply let artifacts be made out of whatever seems thematically appropriate.

And, that’s pretty much it. Everything else, from inventing schools of magic to schools of combat, to ancient relics can be done with the game rules as they stand.