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Tavern Chat - Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Hopefully I'll be Awake and Join You...

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 22:03

Today is Wednesday, meaning tonight is a Tavern Chat Night.

Now, I've been fighting off a cold from hell since Monday morning and I have every intention of making tonight's chat, but there is the distinct possibility I won't be making it to the end. You've been warned ;)

What is Tavern Chat? A bunch of folks from the OSR Community hanging out via the chat box on the right side of this post, Wednesday nights from 9 PM to 11ish.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic's Sweet Giveaway

Cryptozoic - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 21:58

Welcome to Cryptozoic's Sweet Giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a DC Bombshells Prize!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 21:21

Burbank, Calif. – Feb. 8, 2017 – TT Games, part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and the makers of best-selling LEGO® titles including “LEGO® Star Wars™” and “LEGO® Dimensions™,” has acquired the UK-based  Playdemic, one of Europe’s highest-regarded mobile games companies. Playdemic will stand alongside TT Games studios, Traveller’s Tales and TT Fusion, creating new kinds of LEGO games designed and built for the latest generation of players on mobile.

“We couldn’t be happier to bring on board such a talented and capable team,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “Playdemic brings a unique set of skills to complement our existing studios, and a tremendous track record on mobile. They’re a perfect fit – and will enable us to take advantage of exciting new opportunities to build new kinds of socially-connected LEGO games.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our company,” said Paul Gouge, Playdemic CEO. “We built Playdemic to create innovative, meaningful mobile games with high production values, which deliver a uniquely social, incredibly fun and shared experience for our players – and cannot imagine a better context in which to continue that work. We’re all huge fans of the LEGO Group and the LEGO games made over the years by TT Games, and we’re tremendously proud to be able to make a new contribution to that legacy.”

Based in Wilmslow, Playdemic employs 33 staff. Their existing portfolio of successful mobile titles, including “Golf Clash” and “Village Life,” have been downloaded more than 50M times, generating in excess of $50M of revenue and will remain live and supported by TT Games and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Playdemic’s latest release, “Golf Clash,” has achieved huge acclaim from players, making it a top grossing title in the US and Internationally.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:31

New York Times bestselling author Mariko Tamaki to pen
four-book series launching in Fall 2017, with illustrations
Lumberjanes co-creator Brooke Allen

New York, NY (February 8, 2017) — Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, will launch an original middle-grade fiction series based on Lumberjanes, the bestselling graphic novel series published by BOOM! Studios, it was announced today by Andrew Smith, senior vice president and publisher of ABRAMS Children’s Books. In addition to the middle-grade novels, other formats that dive deeper into the world of Lumberjanes are also planned. The publishing program, which is for world rights, was acquired by Smith and Susan Van Metre, vice president and editor-in-chief, and was negotiated with Filip Sablik, president of publishing and marketing at BOOM! Studios. Charlotte Sheedy at Charlotte Sheedy Literary represented Tamaki, and Charlie Olsen at Inkwell Management Literary Agency represented Allen in the deal. Van Metre will edit the books.

Bringing the beloved Lumberjanes characters into a novel format for the first time, the series features original adventures that reveal back stories of scouts Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley, and introduces a host of new supernatural mischief-makers around the camp for Hardcore Lady Types.  The series will be written by New York Times bestselling author and Printz Honor winner Mariko Tamaki, and illustrated with black-and-white art throughout by Brooke Allen, one of the original creators and illustrators of the Lumberjanes comics. Book One in the Lumberjanes series will publish in October 2017 with a first printing of 150,000 copies.

“We are huge fans of the Lumberjanes and are so excited to extend the beloved, action-packed, and inclusive world of the comics into the world of middle-grade fiction and beyond. We can’t wait for existing fans and new readers alike to dive into the epic new adventure that Mariko and Brooke have created,” says Smith. “We also look forward to announcing further collaborations with BOOM! Studios in the coming months.”

The New York Times bestselling Lumberjanes is a comic and graphic novel series created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen that was launched under BOOM!’s BOOM! Box imprint in 2014. Since its initial release, the series has won multiple Eisner and Harvey Awards along with a GLAAD Media Award, and routinely lands on “Best Of” and “Top Ten” lists across the industry. Lumberjanes has sold over 800,000 copies and is available in more than six languages worldwide. In 2015, 20th Century Fox optioned Lumberjanes for development as a feature film with screenwriter Will Widger. In 2016, the studio announced the attachment of Emily Carmichael to direct the film. Also in 2016, BOOM! published Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy, a crossover series with DC Comics.

“Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Brooke Allen created something incredibly rare with Lumberjanes, a series that has not only been critically acclaimed and a sales phenomenon, but a property that has ushered in widespread changes throughout the comic publishing industry,” says Sablik. “They and everyone at BOOM! love the books ABRAMS publishes and couldn’t be more excited to see Mariko and Brooke extend the world of Lumberjanes for middle-grade readers and beyond.”

In this new middle-grade series, readers are welcomed to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. In the series opener, when the challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the tallest mountain they’ve ever seen, things don’t go quite as planned. For one thing, the mountain might not be a mountain. Also, unicorns.

An aggressive marketing campaign for the Lumberjanes novel series is planned, including joint promotion with BOOM! studios, Comic-Con promotion, national publicity, author appearances, retail promotion and a large social media presence.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

VAMPBLADE VOL. 3 preview

First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:28

Writer(s): Jason Martin
Artist Name(s): Winston Young, Marco Maccagni
Cover Artist(s): Winston Young

As Katie learns more about the Vampblade suit, and the blades purpose, her confrontation with the other-dimensional Glarkian threat escalates. Is it too late to save her city from ultimate destruction at the hands of these demonic hidden invaders!?!

Collects the explosive third story arc of the on-going hit Danger Zone series.

128 pgs./ M / FC $14.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

TOMBOY #10 preview

First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:28

Writer(s): M. Goodwin
Artist Name(s): Michelle Wong
Cover Artist(s): M.Goodwin, Michelle Wong

While the D.A. takes matters into his own hands, Mark tries to reconnect with Addison, but with Trent on the move, it may be too late, as Fate pulls all the major players towards a final violent showdown.

32 pgs./ T+ / FC $3.99 (reg.), $4.99 (var.)

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

MIRACULOUS #10 preview

First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:26

Writer(s): Zag Entertainment
Artist Name(s): Zag Entertainment
Cover Artist(s): Zag Entertainment
Arranged and Adapted by: Cheryl Black and Nicole D’Andria

It’s Valentine’s Day! Marinette is determined to declare her love for Adrien while Kim confesses his love for Chloé. Great mistake for the latter: rejected by the pesky Chloé, Kim gets turned into Dark Cupid by Hawk Moth. Now a red and black angel, he flies over Paris to shoot the inhabitants with evil roses. With their wounded hearts, the Parisians see the love they have for their friends turn into hate. Ladybug and Cat Noir intervene, but they don’t know that their feelings will be put to the test…

64 pgs./ E / FC $4.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:25

Writer(s): Dave Dwonch
Artist Name(s): Arturo Mesa (Pencils), Geraldo Filho (Colors)
Cover Artist(s): Arturo Mesa (Covers A, B, D-F), Kirbi Fagan (Cover C)

For centuries, a secret world government has employed the INFINITE SEVEN, the world’s greatest assassins, to do their dirty work. The only way to become one of their members is to prove your worth by killing one of them. But what happens when Anthony Zane, a teenage boy from the suburbs, does just that? Action hero archetypes are re-imagined in what is sure to be the blockbuster series of the year!

NOTE: Covers D and E interlock with 5 covers to be released throughout the first arc to form a MASSIVE Infinite Seven Poster!

32 pgs./ T+ / FC $3.99 (CVRS A-B), $4.99 (CVRS C-E), $5.99 (CVR F)

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:23

Writer(s): Kyle Puttkammer
Artist Name(s): Peter Cutler, Kyle Puttkammer, Andrea Puttkammer
Cover Artist(s): Kyle Puttkammer
Inks: Ryan Sellers, Sarah Elkins
Colors: Sigi Ironmonger, George Gant

Rocket’s origin is revealed! Debuting the art of Hero Cats writer and creator Kyle Puttkammer.

32 pgs./ E / FC $3.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

DOLLFACE #2 preview

First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:21

Writer(s): Dan Mendoza & Bryan Seaton
Artist Name(s): Dan Mendoza
Cover Artist(s): Dan Mendoza (regular, Pin-up, and Tattered & Torn variants), Ray-Anthony Height, Victoria Harris
Cover A – Dan Mendoza (unlimited)
Cover B – Tattered & Torn variant cover (limited to 2000): Dan Mendoza
Cover C – Pin-up variant cover (limited to 1500): Dan Mendoza
Cover D – Pin-up Tattered & Torn variant cover (limited to 2000): Dan Mendoza
Cover E – Ray-Anthony Height variant cover (limited to 1500)
Cover F – Victoria Harris Pin-up variant cover (limited to 1500)

Still getting used to her new body and life in our modern time period, Lila comes to find that she is not the only soul from the past that exists in the 21st century. After hundreds of years will Lila at long last exact revenge and put her soul to rest? Get ready for this action-packed second issue, “FIRST KILL!”

Retailer exclusive coves are available, please contact bseaton@actionlabcomics.com.

32 pgs./ M / FC $3.99 (reg.), $4.99 (var.)

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

BRIGANDS #4 preview

First Comics News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:20

Writer(s): Ram V
Artist Name(s): Alex Diotto, ROSH, Kel Nuttall
Cover Artist(s): Mukesh Singh

Our heroes make their last stop at the port city of Cartaduan to take a ship across the Niere into Krantal where they must steal the Myros Pendulum. But Stilian Desault’s past is catching up with him. There’s a price on his head and an assassin known only as The Count is aiming to collect. Meanwhile a familiar foe is out for revenge and on the prowl in the streets of the port city. Cartaduan’s a great place to visit but the stay will kill you. Danger lurks around every corner and sharp ends and devil’s deals must both be negotiated.

32 pgs./ T+ / FC $3.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The view from the almost-finished line

Knitting to Stay Sane - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:07
So, whenever there is an unseasonably warm spell during the middle of winter, you know how there are some people who complain that it doesn’t really feel like winter when it’s so warm and there’s no snow? Friends, I am one of those jerks. I am the asshole who hates to see +7C and mud […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Troll Lord Sales - Bluffside in Print 10 Bucks - PDFs 50% Off or More at RPGNow

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 18:51
The Trolls have two sales going on...

Bluffside in Print is just 10 bucks from the Troll Lord Store (Normally $29.99) - Six copies left as I type this.

PDF copies of Troll Lord releases are discounted by 50% or more through Friday morning.

Look at the discount on A1 ;)

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's OBS affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Spigot browser hijackers

Malwarebytes - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 18:00

There is a large family of Spigot browser hijackers that all have a lot in common. So by giving you a description of them we hope this will help you to avoid any similar and new ones that might come along.

Targeted browsers

For some, but not all browser hijackers in this family there are extensions for Firefox and Google Chrome. In Internet Explorer they change the default Search Provider and the startpage. Trying to install the PUP on Edge will get you nothing but an “Unsupported Browser” notice.

Recognizing the sites
The websites where these hijackers can be downloaded will show you the EULA —

–explaining to you, “the User”, what the downside of installing “the Software” might be.

The Software is a free desktop application that offers you direct links to websites from your new preferred homepage and saves your new preferred home page and/or new tab page. When we set your Browser’s settings using the Software, they will be saved automatically on Chrome™, Firefox®, and Internet Explorer®. As part of the installation process of the Software, we may change your Internet Browser settings and/or provide you with the ability to opt to make changes to your Internet Browser settings.

Download locations

Downloads typically come from proinstall-download[dot]com or report-download[dot]com (both blocked by our Web Protection module). Both of these domains are registered with GoDaddy (no surprise there!).  The download location changed not too long ago.

It used to be secure[dot]fileldr08[dot]com and from the screenshot above you can see why we categorized these browser hijackers as PUP.Optional.Spigot. Worth noting is that after they switched away from the above download location, I was unable to install the extensions on Google Chrome. It failed to download and offer the extension. But this got fixed after a few weeks.

The startpage

The new startpage for the affected browser is a typical search page with a toolbar and some shortcuts, pointing to sites where you can find the information or functionality that the hijacker promised to provide, supplemented by local weather and social media links.

Installation guidance

Another typical behavior, that these hijackers copied from the likes of Mindspark, is the right in your face installation guidance with huge green arrows pointing out what your next step should be.


Removal guides

You can find some examples among the removal guides on our forums:


Spigot browser hijackers of this family are easy to recognize and in our opinion hardly worth installing because they add no more functionality than a few bookmarks. We hope this post helps you to avoid them in the future.

As always: Save yourself the hassle and get protected.


Pieter Arntz

Categories: Techie Feeds

Cross-Stitch on Crochet Tutorial

Moogly - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:06

There are several ways to add embellishments to your crochet projects – surface crochet and appliques come to mind right away. But you can also cross-stitch on your crochet! If you can crochet, I bet you can do this – here’s how to cross-stitch on crochet! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. How to Cross-Stitch [...]

The post Cross-Stitch on Crochet Tutorial appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

Categories: Crochet Life

On Reader Mail: Set Design and Phandelver

Hack & Slash - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:40
Nadav writes in and asks:
I've read your set design series of posts and am currently reading the D&D 5e Starter Set's Lost Mine of Phandalin. The book is filled with boxed text and I want to rekey it, but I've run into 2 connected issues: 1) boxed text as exposition (as opposed to describing a room) and 2) how to handle it as a set design dialogue (questions on bold nodes lead down arrows).
Ah, the starter set! What a good introduction to Dungeons and Dragons. It is, however, filled with an abundance of boxed text. Boxed text is an introductory tool for new Dungeon Masters, so this is no surprise.
During my conversation with Nadav, he also mentioned monster statistic blocks. This was fortunate because it triggered an insight about something that in hindsight is blindingly obvious.
Monster statistic blocks are designed to streamline play. Anyone who's played some iteration of the 3.x version of Dungeons & Dragons knows that you can use the statistic block to avoid referencing books and focus representing the monster in combat versus the players. Combat is one of those pillars of play that keep coming up in discussions about 5e.
Well, that's what set design is. It's a statistic block for the exploration pillar of play. Like statistic blocks for monsters, it allows you to make eye contact with your players–to engage your players–during the exploration part of gameplay. It's all about flow.
Here's a contrast between the two styles:
-The Dungeon Master opens the book and reads the passage. He's looking at the book. The players are trying to focus on what he's saying. The players then ask questions. The Dungeon master then must reference blocks of text to find the answers to the questions.  -The Dungeon Master looks at the rooms keywords, then looks up at the players and describes the room in his own words and fashion. When the players investigate, the Dungeon Master then scans the form for keywords (instead of a block of text) to discover what the players find.
Now, of course with liberal use of a hi-lighter and preparation, the first method can go smoothly. But much like a monster block allows you to handle a combat encounter without as much preparation, set design exploration blocks allow you to handle the exploration pillar without much preparation. It's more useful to the Dungeon Master at the table, whereas blocks of text are more useful for preparation and giving the Dungeon Master ideas (Though excessive, non-gameable, non-useful text is a perennial problem for gaming products).
Nadav continues:
For [boxed text as exposition], I've got the following written out for the very first boxed text in the book, and would like your opinion and critique on it:​
Do we need set design for exposition? Put another way, is there any advantage to having exposition be formatted in a different way?
It depends. You should know your exposition. You shouldn't need to reference anything to explain to the players what is happening, what the setup is, what the world is like.
Module play can often be uncreative and require 'touching up'. Attempting to do so extemporaneously means that we are relying on our own moment to moment creativity and without limits or random inputs, this frequently becomes repetitive. Surely we've all noticed repeated themes and ideas in our own play.
There is a more effective way to present exposition for use during play and I often go through such a process when re-keying a module. However, it's less focused on the traditional format of "Set Design"; the Dungeon Master is less likely to need to reference the exposition in response to player query.
As an aside: Deciding you're going to play a module, and using no more than two paragraphs of exposition to describe the hook  is one of the few occurrences that I personally think are ok for reading boxed text. 
It's important to note that this exposition usually is followed immediately by player (inter)action. Module exposition usually sets up a scene. As a counterpart to monster statistic blocks for combat and set design for exploration, this is effectively a discussion on how to handle a statistic block for interaction and role play.
Let's look at the block of text from the module:"In the city of Neverwinter, a dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker asked you to bring a wagonload of provisions to the rough-and-tumble settlement of Phandalin, a couple of days' travel southeast of the city. Gundren was clearly excited and more then a little secretive about his reasons for the trip, saying only that he and his brothers had found "something big," and that he'd pay you ten gold pieces each for escorting his supplies safely to Barthen's Provisions, a trading post in Phandalin. He then set out ahead of you on h rose, along with a warrior escort named Sildar Hallwinter, claiming he needed to arrive early to "take care of business."
You've spent the last few days following the High Road south from Neverwinter, and you've just recently veered east along the Triboar Trail. You've encountered no trouble so far, but this territory can be dangerous. Bandits and outlaws have been known to lurk along the trail. "
Here's Nadav's example, using set design.
Neverwinter |   Pub → spring evening, rowdy                         Gundren Rockseeker → excited, secretive, friendly                                   →Job → haul provisions, immediate                                               →Brothers → his two brothers, Tharden and Nundro                                               →“something big” → won’t tell                                               →10gp a day → persuade +20gp                                               →Leaving early → on horseback                                                           →Sildar Hallwinter → warrior escort                                                           →“take care of business” → won’t expand                         Travel → uneventful                                     →Few Days on High Road →south from Neverwinter                                     →Half day on Triboar Trail →eastward from High Road, relatively dangerous, bandits and outlaws
It's clear from how Nadav keyed the above that the intent is for it to be an interaction. There's information about a persuasion roll, more information given about his brothers, and the scene is set in a pub.
However, this is a conversation, not a room. There's no physicality to it, no physical action for the players to take, just interaction with a non-player character. Laying out all seven items is the upper limit of what you'll be able to keep straight in an interaction. What we'd like to do is provide more interesting detailand reduce the overhead from the Dungeon Master.
For my own game I simply read the somewhat concise boxed text (as noted in the aside) and then moved towards the first encounter. Nadav clearly intends for the first scene to be set in Neverwinter. This is great, because at the time the starter set takes place, Neverwinter is a real shitshow. Lots of things going on in Neverwinter are tangentially connected to the Lost Mine of Phandelver. The downside is, of course, that the players may want to follow up on some of the excitement in Neverwinter instead of chasing ten gold and a crazy dwarf.
Here's how I'd go about setting this scene:First, I go ahead and google "Neverwinter Inns" to discover the actual name of an inn in Neverwinter. Several options are available, the Driftwood Tavern seems useful for our purpose. Reading the wiki and checking out the 4th edition Neverwinter Campaign setting give me even more information to set the scene.
In laying out the following, I keep in mind if I'm going to need to reference the information after it's shared.
Madam Roscene
HerselfYou arrive at the Driftwood Tavern in the city of Neverwinter to meet Gundren Rockseeker, a dwarf who says he has a job for you.
Dusky colored lights→ Stained glass hangs from above, lit by hundreds of candles
Bric-a-brac, curios, and relics→ Statue from fountain in corner, planter boxes with flowers line the walls
Fine Tables→ Made from ornate doors
Female Innkeeper→ older, serious-looking woman
Three Rough Looking Men→ irregular clothing, various weapons→ Mintarn Mercenaries

Madame Roscene (Serious/Reticent)
-2/Disadvantage/Disadvantage Mintarn Mercenaries (Rowdy/Invasive)
-2/+2/Disadvantage Gundren Rockseeker (Excited/Secretive/Friendly)
· Offers job of hauling provisions south to Barthen's Provisions in Phandalin.
      10gp/day each→Persuade DC 15 to raise it to 30gp/day      What: General provisions needed for "something big" me and my brothers found      Where: South along the Highroad for 50 miles, then east on the Triboar Trail for about 18 miles, till you can see the western edge of the Sword Mountains to the south.       When: Immediately.→He's heading out now with Sildar Hallwinter on horseback, pick up the supplies and follow as soon as you are ready.      Why: I've got to take care of things before the supplies arrive. 
The modifiers are for the reaction check depending on how the party approaches the NPC. Friendly approaches first, then being obsequious, then hostile.

There's a lot not noted above, because I already know the female innkeeper is Madame Roscene. If you're writing for an audience besides yourself, you should have a general idea of the flow of the scene without player interaction. You have to give enough to the Dungeon Master to explain the motivations of the characters and grant an idea of how the scene proceeds. The best way to do that is with a short paragraph.

"Madame Roscene wants the Mintarn Mercenaries to leave. The Mercenaries are off duty, but stay alert for any possible seditious activity on behalf of Lord Neverember. Gundren will arrive at an opportune moment."The above isn't perfect. I'm still refining and testing the best ways of presenting depth of non-player characters. But as for providing a shorthand for what you need for the character interaction/roleplay part, the above creates a dynamic scene where the DM can respond to the ebb and flow of play directly without a pre-planned outcome, versus reading two introductory expository paragraphs. I'd consider thinking about other questions the players might ask, as well as providing other hooks and rumors from Madame or the Mintarn Mercenaries. 
Thanks for the question Nadav.
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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Top 5 Missy Moments of Mischief

Blogtor Who - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:00

Prepare for mayhem: Michelle Gomez’s Missy is back for Doctor Who Series 10! It’s the announcement we’ve all been waiting for. This madcap regeneration of The Master (sorry, Mistress) will return to face The Twelfth Doctor again in Peter Capaldi’s final series. While she’s only been in four full episodes so far (excluding her Series […]

The post Top 5 Missy Moments of Mischief appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Ombres & Gradients: What's the Difference?

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 13:00
What's the difference between ombres and gradients?

Great question. It seems most people use the terms interchangeably, and I've not seen a good definition that distinguishes the two. For those of us who like to wallow in the details, however, there are subtle distinctions (at least in my mind).

An ombre scheme, whether it features commercially dyed yarn or a build-your-own approach, focuses on one color family and incorporates varied shades that progress from saturated to pale or dark to light. This Kintra mitt illustrates a very basic DIY ombre with neutrals that move from dark (black) to medium (grey) to light (cream).

A gradient, on the other hand, can incorporate shades from any color family, related or radically different. Both simple and complex gradients typically feature a transitional section that flows one color into the next. This slip-stitch scarf illustrates the basic principle, blending red and purple to create plum.

Gradients have long been one of my favorite strategies for optimizing yarn from stash. Twegen Harvest is a good example. With warm shades ranging from lemon squash to heritage pumpkin, it effectively transformed eight related but different singletons into something useful and attractive.

Ombres and gradients are a hot color story in knitting world for obvious reasons. It's certainly difficult to beat their visual appeal and versatility, whether you choose to build your own or opt for a commercially dyed version.

So, tell me, how do you define ombres and gradients?

To read more about color strategies, including gradients and ombres, click here.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

The Watchtower in the Wood

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 12:16

By Travis Legge
Aegis Studios
Level 1-3

In this adventure, the characters venture forth from the safety of the Isle of Hope, seeking to bring order to the Plains of Marrow. The adventure offers options for the characters to begin in various areas on the Isle of Hope, but regardless of the path taken, the party eventually makes their way to the haunted lands of the Plains of Marrow. After crossing the harrowing and chaotic lands (and fighting off some of the dark denizens) of the Plains of Marrow, the characters come across a small wooded area. A small stone fort with a lone watchtower stands in a clearing among the trees. Within this camp, the characters will find adventure, drama, and their first dharmachackra!

Another 24 page adventure that should be a page. Whatever vision was trying to be communicated didn’t make it. Sixteen pages of introduction and wandering monster tables, supplemented by six pages of appendix filler leaves us with two pages for the adventure proper. Which is one encounter. I like the cover, but for some reason it reminds me of FATAL.

This is an adventure for some new setting, Choe Pho, so I’m going to assume that the base setting book has the details that are missing from the adventure. You’re in this city and you’re travelling to the Plains of Marrow … “to bring order to it.” You can go North to get there, through the mountains, or south through the forests, east through the grasslands or west through the desert. And there you find a dharmachackra. None of that is described in this adventure and, frankly, I’m a little curious how you can go any direction and get the same place. At least I assume it’s a world feature and not a crutch. We’ll assume it’s all in the setting book.

The adventure consist of a wandering monster table for each of the cardinal directions. The direction descriptions are essentially all the same, with desert adjectives replaced with mountain or forest adjectives. Settlements, tribespeople. All generic. There’s a paragraph or two for each entry on the four wandering tables, which all reduce to “it’s a creature.” There’s not really anything interesting in any of them. The Plains of Marrow are covered in fog and all of the monsters on the table are undead. If you roll a certain encounter then you find the watchtower. Or, if two days pass you also find it. So … no maps in this one. Just an abstracted “encounter wandering monsters until you find the tower after a set time period.”

The watchtower is populated by a couple of furry goblinoid creatures. They are getting attacked by undead every two minutes. The chief wears a necklace that’s attracting the undead. There are little to no details on the titular watchtower.

There’s nothing in this adventure. Some wandering monster tables and an abstracted watchtower. Nothing remotely evocative or interesting to be found.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: Storm: Pirates of Pandarve

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 12:00
My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues with his adventures in the world of Pandarve. Earlier installments can be found here.

Storm: The Pirates of Pandarve (1983) 
(Dutch: De Piraten van Pandarve) (part 3)
Art by Don Lawrence; script by Martin Lodewijk

Storm and Rann travel back to find Ember. She  is gone, though they do find her bow. Rann is certain she is dead--there are many dangers in space, after all--but Storm can't convince himself.

They travel on to Vertiga Bas the Pirate Planet to see if they can find Rann's daughter. Around the planet there is a swarm of ships. Rann explains:

The two locate the ferryman. He operates a hot air balloon that transports people from "orbit" to the only landing zone allowed to visitors--for a price. Rann grumbles about the cost, but he pays it.

A Vertiga Bas official greets them when they arrive. He tells them the laws of the Theocrat hold no sway here; there is only one law. For a price, he explains: Do nothing wrong. This actually means: "don't get caught by the police doing anything that might be considered an offense." These who break the law of Vertiga Bas are branded with a yellow circle, and anyone who gets two yellow circles is ejected into "orbit" by a catapult, there to die of thirst and hunger.

Storm and Rann don't plan to stay long. They make their way to a bar to try to find information. Storm asks the barkeep if he knows of any ships that have arrived recently with slaves to sell. The barkeeper informs him that asking questions is "considered anti-social in Vertiga Bas." After Rann pays him, the man becomes more helpful: in the Market of a Thousand Jars there is a slave market and a new ship has just unloaded its wares.

Arriving at the market, Rann immediately sees his daughter:

The slave trader tries to get in Rann's way and gets punched for his trouble. That action earns Rann a yellow circle brand:

Rann's daugher goes up for auction. Rann bids 300 credits and wins, but he doesn't have the money on  him, but he assures the auctioneer he can get it. In view of his status as a newcomer, they give him one hour to come up with it, otherwise the girl will go on the block again.

Rann doesn't know how he can get the money in that short amount of time, but Storm has an idea.



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