Feed aggregator

High School Ministry Weekly November 24th!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 16:51


This week…


Coffee House / Talent Show
November 24th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm

Show us how talented you are by signing up and performing onstage at HSM. Any act is welcomed—use your imagination! Invite your friends as well!
Performers must come at  6:00pm to setup!

The following week…

Dr. Seuss Rap Battle

December 1st @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Pick a Dr. Seuss book to rap to and face off against your friend!  Then we will all see who is truly livin’ the thug life! We are starting a new series called ’Supernatural’.   It’s about exploring the idea that our reality is more than what we see in the natural world.


The week after that…

Ask Anything
December 8th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm

We live in a world full of information. But do they really answer our deepest questions?  Ask anything you’d like about life and faith as we sit down and allow our conversation to go anywhere!  Text or write in questions and send them in!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Kickstarter - Dungeon Alphabet 4th Printing (Goodman Games)

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 16:09


I love the Dungeon Alphabet. Each printing adds more stuff and seems to come closer to perfection than the one before. There hasn't been a new printing in over 4 years.
Now its back with the Dungeon Alphabet 4th Printing Kickstsarter.

What's new? Well, the pricing is insane in a good way. Print plus PDF is only 12 bucks plus shipping. Seriously. Black Friday special and all that.

The book now stands at 80 pages. Third print was 64 pages. First was 48 pages.

It funded in less than 12 hours.

I'm quoted in the Kickstarter ;)

I stand by those words...
What Is The Dungeon Alphabet? The Dungeon Alphabet is a book of fantasy inspiration. It is filled with random tables that are themed to letters of the alphabet. For example, A is for Altar, B is for Books, and C is for Crypts. The target audience is dungeon masters and anyone who wants ideas for dungeon design. We have heard over the years that many players also enjoy looking through the book as well. Each page of The Dungeon Alphabet uses a letter of the alphabet to provide inspiration. In the first printing, so many years ago, there were 26 entries for the 26 letters. With each new printing, we have doubled-up on select letters to add even more material. This 4th printing is now up to 41 entries, including 2 completely new ones and others collected from our annual Gen Con Program Guides, to add a total of 7 letters that are new since the 3rd printing: C is also for Crypt
G is also for Guardians
H is also for Hazards
L is also for Levels
O is also for Omen
Q is also for Quests
U is also for Underwater
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

#MooglyCAL2017: Afghan Block #24

Moogly - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 16:00

We’ve made it to the end of another yearly Moogly CAL! In the coming weeks, I’ll be joining and edging my squares, and I’ll share the finished blanket along with details for the 2018 CAL – that’s right, we’re keeping it going for next year! But first, let’s get to the last block for 2017, [...]

The post #MooglyCAL2017: Afghan Block #24 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.

0
Categories: Crochet Life

Wednesday Comics: Kamandi

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:00
According to the DC Comics 1976 Calendar, November 21st was the birthday of Kamandi. In the unlikely event anyone reading this blog doesn't know who Kamandi is the last human born in a underground bunker called Command D (from whence he takes his name) after a nebulous cataclysm known as the Great Disaster has cast human civilization in ruin and anthropomorphic animals have risen in their place. Kamandi was created by Jack Kirby in 1972 and his original series went on for 59 post-apocalyptic issues.

In honor of Kamandi's birthday, here are the places to catch up on the highlights of his story if you are unfamiliar:


Kamandi by Jack Kirby Omnibus: Kirby's original run on the title has been collected in DC Archives (out of print) and previous two volume omnibuses (also out of print). The new omnibus is schedules to be released in March of 2018. He carries a hefty price tage, but also a hefty 896 page page-count. This is the most essential reading on the list.


Wednesday Comics: was a 2009 anthology published in a broadsheet format resembling a Sunday newspaper comics section. There was a serialized Kamandi story written by Dave Gibbons with art by Ryan Sook with a real comic strip feel, sort of like Prince Valiant. Sook's artwork is gorgeous. There are several other good stories in this hardcover, so you don't have to get it for Kamandi alone. A warning though: It is awkardly sized at nearly 18 inches tall, so it's tough to find a shelf for it.


Kamandi Challenge: Back in the '80s DC did a sort of round robin limited series called DC Challenge. A number of DC characters appeared, but notable Kamandi did not. This year, they're doing similar sort of series, but focused on Kamandi, aptly named Kamandi Challenge. Like the original DC Challenge, Kamandi Challenge is uneven and a bit loose in its narrative as every creator tries to do something with the threads they are given. Still, it's all Kamandi and very inventive. The individual issues can be purchased digitally at Comixology or physical at your local comic book store. The collected hardcover will be out in April of 2018.

197

Looking For Group - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 05:00

The post 197 appeared first on Tiny Dick Adventures.

Categories: Web Comics

Goodman Games - Black Friday Sale - 40% off Print & PDF at the Goodman Online Store - Starts Now

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 04:50


Literally just got the email and its too good not to share right away!

Black Friday Tuesday!

Black Friday starts early! This year we’re really getting into the holiday spirit with an amazing offer!

We are giving you 40% off…on everything. Yes, EVERYTHING! Every item in our online store is 40% off if you use the coupon code blackfriday2017. This applies to both print and PDF items. The sale only lasts until Cyber Monday (that would be Monday, November 27th) so act fast!

The sale includes EVERYTHING in the online store – including great gift items like the ones shown below. Buy these for your favorite dungeon master, dungeon mistress, buddy, stranger, or even yourself! With this kind of bargain, it’s okay to be generous!

If you are looking for a few stocking stuffers, may we recommend things like:

  • The DCC Dice Sets!
  • The DCC Quick Start Rules!
  • The latest DCC Adventure Modules!
  • A Fifth Edition Fantasy Adventure!
  • Or some fabulous Goodman Games Apparel!

You get 40% off EVERYTHING IN OUR ONLINE STORE with the coupon code blackfriday2017!

Goodman Games Online Store link
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Hookin On Hump Day #155: A Yarny Link Party!

Moogly - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 02:00

Happy Thanksgiving week! With holiday crafting season upon us, designers are sharing their best gift patterns right now – and with your clicks, it’s created an amazing roundup of FREE crochet patterns you’ll need to add to your to-do list right away. Thank you all so much for being part of Hookin On Hump Day, [...]

The post Hookin On Hump Day #155: A Yarny Link Party! 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.

1
Categories: Crochet Life

November Campaign Design XI - Merchants and Mercenaries

Greyhawk Grognard - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 22:00
Now that the local area where the PCs are starting has been filled in a little more, I'd like to pull back out and take a look at some of the more macro bits of detail. Specifically, I'd like to look at the merchant houses and mercenary companies that were either brought here or established themselves here during the time of the settlement.


Merchants

Several large mercantile concerns dominate Artania, importing finished goods from Hanar-across-the-sea, transporting raw materials from the interior to the ports, or moving goods within or between the colonies themselves. These are starting to enjoy great political power thanks to their economic position, and some are even rivaling the feudal lords in authority and prestige.

House Bourdaine. Based in Hanar, with a local headquarters in New Montrose, House Bourdaine is run by the Bourdaine family, which controls almost all of the sea traffic between New Valais and Hanar. Operating with a royal charter, and kicking back enormous sums to the crown to maintain its privileged status, House Bourdaine controls half of New Montrose, but its influence outside the city is small. Its symbol is a ship with a crown on the mainmast.

The Onjoi Company. Chartered by the Duke of New Valois, this company is an amalgam of several different families, and is chaired by the Comte d'Firstwater, who owns the rights to most of the river traffic on the Firstwater. They have expanded their operations to include trade across Lake Onjoi and up the Shining River, making them very powerful in New Valais. They are constantly pushing the weak Marquis d'Onjoi to expand into the interior. It operates by a ducal charter, and its symbol is a red hand and a silver scale.

House Greystark. Chartered by both the Duke of New Valois and the Earl of South Aedgaria, this house has found its niche in the expanding trade between Aedgaria and New Valois. It is headquartered in Dubton, and has an arrangement with House Bourdaine to only pass its trade through the port of New Montrose. This vexes the Earl, who wants very badly to see Port Westview expand its trade, but he is willing to accept lesser revenues for now. Their symbol is a fleece (a sheep being weighed).

House Ellenhame. Chartered by the Duke of Aedgaria, Ellenhame is contracted to expand trade into and out of Aedgaria's ports. It has been somewhat less than successful, due to a number of factors (some of which are not their fault, some of which are due to their own mis-management). They do very well collecting agricultural goods along the Long Road to ship through Port Westview, but find themselves at odds with House Greystark. Their symbol is a beehive.

House Grendine. Chartered by the Earl of North Aedgaria, this house is closely allied with the rulers of Norton, who form their chief supplier of precious metals and other products. Their leader holds the feudal rank of Viscount. It is unclear which party has the upper hand in the relationship, but the baroness Ursula is rarely taken advantage of by anyone. Their symbol is a scale atop a cloud.

The Lippegen Company. Chartered by the kings of Grott-Heimburg, this company has a stranglehold on most trade throughout Lippegen, and its managing director is said to be more powerful than the Herzog himself, and holds the royally bestowed title of Graf. The company is not ruled by any single family, but by a board of directors (located in Grot-Heimburg) which is made up of prominent families, including those of the kings, who have a 49% stake in the company by law. Their symbol is a heron wearing two crowns.

House Glott. Chartered by the Markgraf von Osttur, is incredibly poised to take a huge chunk of business away from the Lippegen Company, since they are based in Osttur and often manage to sneak prime opportunities out from under the nose of the local agents of the Company. Thusfar their activities have been little more than a nuisance, but a few more nuisances and the Company might decide to scratch the itch. Their symbol is a black tower.

In addition, there are other, smaller companies, with two or three based in each town. These I'm leaving for further expansion as needed to facilitate plots and adventures.

Mercenaries

Few of the feudal lords in any of the three colonies have anything close to an army suitable for their full defense and the security of their people and borders. Because of this, they have brought mercenary companies from Hanar-across-the-sea to do the bulk of their fighting. The chief enemies of the colonies at the moment are native orc tribes, various monsters, and renegade deserter goblin/ hobgoblin/ bugbear troops. Only occasionally have the colonies gone to war against one another, and even then such encounters were swift and mercifully over quickly. The feudal lords are much more likely to engage in petty cross-border skirmishes and banditry, but this is normal and to be expected, even within the boundaries of a particular colony.

Most of the mercenaries brought over to New Valais and Lippegen are goblinoid troops, consisting of goblin foot-soldiers, hobgoblin and norker sergeants and officers, bugbear officers, and human captains. These were used extensively in the full-scale wars in Hanar-across-the-sea, but are somewhat overkill in Artanis, where there is no large-scale war and no set-piece battles to fight. Hence, there is a much higher level of desertion, with entire companies simply dissolving into the wilderness. Troop strengths given below do not include sergeants and officers.

It should be remembered that the goblin troops worship various demons and devils, despite the official distaste for such. It is tolerated because the troops fulfill their function; fodder in war. They do so privately, and never ostentatiously. It is something more of a concern in Lippegen than it is in New Valais, due to the difference in official faiths. 

The Bitter Embers are a force that has been in the employ of Valais for generations. Consisting of 600 heavy footmen armed with glaive and axe, they are a powerful battering ram. They are currently led by General Renauld Jil (F 11), grandson of the original commander of the force. They are currently stationed in Duchais, Chamlin, and Anleans, broken into several companies that patrol endlessly. Their unit insignia is a red torch, and morale is low.

The Risen Fist is a relatively new unit that was raised specifically to be used in New Valais. It consists of 300 archers and 200 skirmishers armed with sling and short sword. They are led by General Prince August Wegman (R 10), a disgraced former scion of a cadet member of the royal Heimburg family. They are well-suited to the guerrilla warfare practiced by the orcs in the wilderness, and are currently on loan to the Marquis d'Onjoi, who has them ranging up and down the Shining River region rooting out the several orc tribes ensconced there. Their unit insignia is a mailed fist, and morale is high.

The Steel Owls are a long-standing unit imported from Valais. They number some 400 wolf-riding cavalry, and are spread throughout the colony as scouts and reinforcements for the other troops there. They are led by General Prospero Vouchand (MU 10), who has protested about the scattering of his forces, but pay-and-a-half has kept his protests muted. Their unit insignia is a grey owl, and morale is high in areas where they are engaged against orc raiders, and medium where they are guarding sheep but paid well for doing little.

The Black Skulls are an ancient unit, one of the most decorated in the history of Grott-Heimburg. A well-balanced force consisting of 800 medium spear, 300 archers, and 200 wolf-riding cavalry, they are very well disciplined and have a much higher ratio of hobgoblin non-commissioned officers than most. They are led by General Gräfin Maria Bettendorf (A 12), and form the core of the mercenary strength of Lippegen. They are based in Zweistadt, and are constantly engaged in action in the Rojanois Mountains and the thick forests to the north. The Gräfin is fully enmeshed in the politics of Lippegen, and has her sights set on a permanent role in the feudal structure, although her own lands are back in Hanar. Their unit insignia is a black skull, and morale is high.

The Holy Orphans are a new unit, raised specifically for service in Lippegen. They consist of 400 spearmen, all of fairly low quality. They are led by Oberst Herr Hans Reichman (P 8), who is attempting to sway his goblin troops to the Church, with next to no success. He is certain that if he can demonstrate the righteousness of his religion through personal victory in combat in front of his men, that will be the breakthrough he needs, and in that quest he constantly throws himself into the thick of battle, taking risks that in all honesty are reckless. His troops are based in Osttur, and morale is medium.

The Laughing Hounds are so named because of their barking-laugh battle cry. They consist of 200 wolf-riding cavalry. Their leader is Oberst Josef Winter (F 14). He is a dedicated warrior and hardened fighter, unhappy that he and his troops are in the rear, assigned to policing duties in the western portion of the colony. Unit insignia is a red dog, and morale is low.

As noted earlier, there are no goblinoid mercenary troops in Aedgaria. All their military force consists of local militia and troops maintained by the feudal lords. To date, this has been sufficient, but if either Lippegen or New Valais decided to mount a full-scale invasion, Aedgaria's future would be quite uncertain. What is certain, is that reinforcements from Hanar could never arrive in time to prevent a rout.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

B/X Dungeons & Dragaons & OSR D&D Rules Encypclopedia Campaign Commentary

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 20:54
So I'm looking through my Dungeons & Dragons rules cyclopedia again doing a cross comparison between monsters, PC classes, etc. for research purposes for my  Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition/Adventurer,Conqueror, King hybrid campaign. There's an old thread on Dragon's foot about B/X Vs Rules Cyclopedia D&D  but the truth is that the Rules Cyclopedia isn't Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

How the EU intends to battle fake news

Malwarebytes - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 20:20

Last week the European Union issued a press release to announce their next steps against fake news.

These steps will be the launch of a public consultation and the setup of a high-level expert group representing academics, online platforms, news media, and civil society organizations.

The first results of the information gathered by the consultation are expected in April 2018. Despite other initiatives against fake news and online disinformation like the First Draft Coalition (that has the cooperation of Twitter and Youtube among others), or International Fact Checking Day (April 2), the amount of fake news being generated and disseminated is still on the rise, especially on social media.

One of the questions in the public consultation

The reason for action

A Eurobarometer survey published on November 17, 2016 showed that European citizens are worried about the independence of the media, and levels of trust in media are low. For example, 55 percent of Europeans stated that they lost their trust in the news presented on social media. Personally, I feel that number should even be higher—and it probably is after what has happened in the year that passed since the survey was published.

European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said:

The freedom to receive and impart information and the pluralism of the media are enshrined in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. We live in an era where the flow of information and misinformation has become almost overwhelming. That is why we need to give our citizens the tools to identify fake news, improve trust online, and manage the information they receive.

It has become clear that fake news and online disinformation have become a deliberate method to taint the reputations of public persons and institutions, to influence the outcome of democratic processes, and to change the public opinion on important matters like health care, environmental changes, immigration, and terrorism.

The latest technologies and the number of people that are active on social media has increased not only the impact of fake news, but also the speed with which it’s being spread.

The countermeasures of the EU

The first step outlined by the EU is a public consultation. Citizens, social media platforms, news organizations (broadcasters, print media, news agencies, online media and fact-checkers), researchers, and public authorities are all invited to share their views in the public consultation until mid-February 2018.

The consultation is set up as a number of multiple choice questions and only addresses fake news and disinformation online when the content is not illegal, per se,  and thus not covered by existing legislative and self-regulatory actions.

The commission is inviting experts to apply for the high-level group on fake news to advise on scoping the phenomenon, defining the roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders, grasping the international dimension, taking stock of the positions at stake, and formulating recommendations. The commission aims at a balanced selection of the experts from each field, be it academia or civil society.

The results are expected to:

  • Determine the scope of the problem, i.e. how fake news is perceived by citizens and stakeholders, how they are aware of online disinformation, or how they trust different media.
  • Give a first assessment of measures already taken by platforms, news media companies, and civil society organizations to counter the spread of fake news online, as well as positions on the roles and responsibilities of the relevant stakeholders.
  • Advise on possible future actions to strengthen citizens’ access to reliable and verified information and prevent the spread of disinformation online.
What can we expect

As mentioned before, private initiatives have been undertaken in the battle against fake news and online disinformation, but with the authority to implement legislation, the EU can have a bigger impact, and create measures that other institutions can’t enforce. For example, it could:

  • Force social media to close fake accounts.
  • Claim back revenues of websites that utilize online disinformation (and maybe even clickbait) to attract visitors.
  • Set up organizations that look for and flag fake news.
  • Collaborate with existing fact checking organizations to establish a code of conduct for fact-checking.

So far, measures in use by online platforms and news media organizations to counter the spread of fake news only seem to capture a small fraction of the disinformation, plus it involves time-consuming human verification of content. Legislation in the field that makes verification mandatory may speed up the development of such methods. One may hope that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do a more adequate job in the future.

To counter the speed involved in the propagation of fake news, we should act quickly and with accuracy in order to protect against it. On the other hand, we need to be aware of the danger that comes with employing any such methods and not let them fall into the realm of censorship.

Recent examples

If you have any doubts about how serious the problem of fake news has become, and how it leads to unrest and distrust, we invite you to read some of these articles.

Kenya’s election proves fake news is a serious threat to international security

Czech elections show how difficult it is to fix the fake news problem

Russia has launched a Fake News war on Europe. Now Germany is fighting back

Ukraine says it warned Facebook of Russia fake news in 2015

Spain Catalonia: did Russian ‘fake news’ stir things up?

If you are a EU citizen and want to make your voice heard, participate in the public consultation by clicking here to learn more and complete the questionnaire as either a citizen, legal entity, or journalist.

The post How the EU intends to battle fake news appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Text messages and the Bitcoin Code: follow the money trail

Malwarebytes - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 16:00

I was a bit surprised to receive lots of messages similar to the one below this past week:

I mean, we’ve all done it—managed a bulk text spam campaign offering free Bitcoins in your spare time, while completely forgetting said business exists. Maybe I did it in my sleep? It’s all gone a bit Fight Club. And as we all know, the first Rule of Fight Club is “Don’t run a free Bitcoin bulk text spam campaign in your spare time, while completely forgetting said business exists.”

Or maybe not.

Either way, I decided to find out what was going on. Had someone taken a cheeky jab at a security researcher by placing my contact details into the pipeline somewhere, did I actually set up a bulk spam campaign with free Bitcoins at the end of it, or was there a more mundane explanation that didn’t require people to yell at me via capslock?

There’s only so much “dashing expectations on the shore” a guy can take. Or, to put it another way…

Expectations:

Shore:

No wonder everyone was so grumpy.

First up, the text. The only examples I had sent to me were written in Dutch:

“You have 1 Bitcoin in your account. Confirm here: [URL] Current market value: €6064.”

Bitcoin value is through the roof at the moment, so it’s no wonder someone might want to jump on the opportunity. I’d love to see how many people clicked from the text to the URL with the promise of riches already in the bank.

The short link in the text is a text(dot)id URL. The site is registered to an address in Jakarta, Indonesia, but it’s the email address that’s of interest (well, to me, anyway):

Unfortunately, lots of people thought this was me, instead of any of the other numerous Chris Boyds floating around the Internet, hence the confused and occasionally angry, “Where are my coins? Also drones deployed” messages. As it turns out, that email address—mrmessaging—is tied to a bulk mail service, and the Chris Boyd in question appears to own the default address listed for the registered URL. He’s an actual person and everything, and easily found with about 10 seconds of Googling. But he’s not me.

So that’s that short mystery put to bed. Also please stop asking me for Bitcoins.

No, really. I insist.

Choice insults aside, the URL redirects to another site located at

mama-system.com/Bitcoin-NL-CPA/[snip].

What do we have here? Something called The Bitcoin Code, which bears zero relation to paintings, Tom Hanks, or ancient prophecy.

Time to fire up Google Translate:

Join The Bitcoin Code The Bitcoin Code is exclusively intended for people who have responded to the outrageous returns Bitcoin offers and who have earned a fortune with it. The Bitcoin Code Members enjoy month-in-month outs of the most beautiful stays around the world, while they earn their money on their laptop every day with just a few minutes ‘work.’

Actually, this sounds way better than Tom Hanks.

 

Hi, I am a former software developer at a large company that I do not want to mention. I designed the Bitcoin Trading software that generated more than € 18,484,931.77, just in the last 6 months. This software makes more millionaires faster than the first investors in Uber, Facebook or AirB&B. If you want to earn a million with Bitcoin, watch the video above and learn how it works.

The short version is, you sign up via email then add in a mobile number and some other pieces of information. After that, you deposit “250 Euro” to get things moving and then it’s automated stock exchange programs and Bitcoin all the way down.

We can’t vouch for how effective said software may be, but we can definitely confirm it’s nothing to do with my good self, and generally speaking I’d be wary of signing up to random text messages with 250 euros of my hard earned money—and you should be, too.

As the disclaimer at the bottom of the splash page says:

Significant Risk Reporting: Trading in binary options can lead to major gains, but also entails the risk that part or all of the capital will be lost and this has to be recognized by budding investors. We advise you to read the terms and conditions and the indemnity before making any investment. Customers must inform themselves about the tax rules in the country of establishment. US residents should not be approached to trade commodity options, even when it comes to ‘predictive’ contracts, except when it concerns contracts registered with a CFTC-registered stock exchange or in case of a legal exception.

I’m no Wall Street banker, but that sounds a bit dodgy. My coins—metal, digital, and chocolate—will be staying in my pocket for the time being (apart from the chocolate ones, which are at significant risk of melting, and also the digital ones which only exist in your computer. Not mine. I don’t own any, sorry). Should you receive one of these texts claiming you’re somehow in possession of a Bitcoin, do the block / report / delete dance as fast as your fingers will allow.

The post Text messages and the Bitcoin Code: follow the money trail appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Squarriors, Lord of Gore Return with New Solicitations Diamond Re-Solicits Coming Spring 2018

First Comics News - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:43

Originally solicited for 2017, the long awaited Squarriors: Summer #3 will return to comic shops this March, preceded by the murder mystery-thriller Lord of Gore #4 this February.

Squarriors is the tale of warring rodents in a post apocalyptic, post-human world, with a twist being that humanity’s demise occurred in the 1980s. It appears that the same event that wiped out humans has caused nearly all animals in the world to become sentient by 1996.

Lord of Gore is the story of a soon-to-be-fired screenwriter of America’s favorite slasher horror franchise ‘Lord of Gore’, Danny Graves. Decades ago scandal propelled the ‘Lord of Gore’ B-movie franchise to mainstream success. In 1989 the film’s costumed slasher actor murdered a young actress in ways worse than his on-screen character, creating a media frenzy. Now on the cusp of a modern reboot, a struggling screenwriter learns that the deranged star wasn’t the only guilty party that night, but before he can share the information, the film’s slasher seems to have stepped from the screen into real life to stop him. Horror fans and readers thirsting for blood – this is for you!

Both titles were originally solicited for 2017 releases, and postponed due to creative delays. Art has been completed for both issues and approved for release by Devil’s Due Entertainment.

From Squarriors: Summer #3.

From Squarriors: Summer #3.

From Lord of Gore #4.

From Lord of Gore #4.

Squarriors: Summer #3
March 2018 (Diamond code TBA)

(W) Ash Maczko (A/CA) Ashley Witter

Lord of Gore #4 Cover A
January 2018 NOV171497

(W) D.B. Stanley (A/CA) Daniel Leister

Lord of Gore #4 Cover B
January 2018 NOV171498

(W) D.B. Stanley (A) Daniel Leister (CA) Stuart Sayger

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: X-O Manowar # 7

First Comics News - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:32

Title: X-O Manowar # 7
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Clayton Crain
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Cover by: Lewis Larosa with Diego Rodriguez
Variant Covers by: Adam Pollina with Brian Reber, Clayton Crain, Juan Jose Ryp with Brian Reber, Ben Templesmith
Price: $ 3.99 US
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Website: www.valiantuniverse.com
Comments: Aric leads the three tribes against an overwhelming foe. It is all out war on these aliens invaders lead by Aric himself an alien on this planet.
The scenes of warfare of the alien ships battling Aric’s forces is something you will want to see in all its beauty. Aric using the power of Shanhara does battle a small fleet of invading ships. The outcome in his mind was never in doubt. He is a barbarian.
This barbarian could slaughter everyone on the planet if he wanted to. Instead, he does fight but to bring peace to this war-torn planet.
Yes, Aric is a warrior one skilled in battle and with his X-O armor almost unbeatable and he could take what he wants. Instead, he earns what he has.
Aric is just a man after all.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: Sink # 4

First Comics News - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:31

Title: Sink # 4
Publisher: Comix Tribe
Story by: John Lees
Art & Colours by: Alex Cormack
Letters by: Shawn Lee
Logo by: Tim Daniel
Price: free (digital)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Website: www.comixtribe.com
Comments: Martin Shaw has gone missing he was a student. Did the clowns in the blue van get him? So what can his student friends do about it?
The four students go clown hunting. Hardeep the leader, Jake, Craig, and Sarah make up the team of revenge seekers.
Mr. Dig is a vigilante wearing a fox mask and he is scary. He is one hard butt-kicking man.
The four students find themselves in way over their heads. Well, the Young Sinkhill Team grows up quick and they prove they have what it takes to survive in Sinkhill.
Sinkhill is not a place you would ever want to visit. For those who live there, it can be Hell or worse.
Always watch out for the blue van in Sinkhill. The clowns are always on the prowl and watching for you.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

“I Assist” Isn’t an Improved Guidance Cantrip that Anyone Can Cast

DM David - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:16

In episode 124 of the Down with D&D podcast, hosts Shawn Merwin and Chris Sniezak discussed a scene that reoccurs at my tables too. “In a lot of games that I’ve run, everyone is always assisting every check they possibly can,” Shawn explains. “Someone tries to do something, and someone will just pipe up, ‘I assist.’”

This pattern brings advantage to every check, trivializing the game’s challenges. Because no one needs to engage with the game world to gain an edge, routine assistance discourages ingenuity.

Chris Sniezak offers a potential remedy: “When someone says that they want to help, the first question that the dungeon master should ask is, ‘How do you help?’”

Ask players to describe how they assist, and then grant—or deny—advantage based on whether the assistance could help. The Dungeon Master’s Guide explains, “You decide whether a circumstance influences a roll in one direction or another, and you grant advantage or impose disadvantage as a result.” Rather than making “I assist” a real-world incantation that grants advantage, judge assistance as a circumstance that might merit advantage.

Photo by Mykola Swarnyk

If a character tries to climb from a frozen river onto the ice, a hand up will probably help. Encouragement shouted from the shore probably won’t.

Describing the assistance immerses players in the game world and helps the story come alive.

Specific actions to assist might expose a helper to danger. Offering a hand out of that river would mean crawling onto the cracking ice. Often, assistance means coming in range of a potential trap.

Unlike past Dungeons & Dragons rules, fifth edition lets characters assist without a required check. Nonetheless, the actions made to assist might require a check. Suppose a helper chooses not to risk the thin ice and opts to throw a rope instead. Casting a rope to a sinking character’s flailing hands might require a dexterity check.

In an ideal game, players describe their actions and DMs respond by calling for ability checks. This protocol extends to assisting. The player describes how they help, and then the DM grants advantage. Typically, I don’t insist on this order, so I happily ask players how they help. But during role-playing interaction, I stick to the protocol.

After a player acts in character to persuade a non-player character, I don’t let bystanders volunteer to assist the check. Only characters with speaking parts—the characters who contributed to a scene—get to assist. When two or more characters contribute to an interaction, I typically grant advantage without a player request. Sometimes I accept a reminder.

The D&D rules offer two alternatives to assistance.

Group checks come when everyone might need to make at a check. The rule assumes skilled characters assist the rest, so only half the group needs to succeed.

The second alternative is letting everyone make an attempt. After all, helping someone search a room amounts to two separate searches. Rolling two separate lockpicking attempts makes more sense than letting one character assist by encircling the rogue from behind to guide her hand like a creepy golf instructor.

Unless time, skill, or other circumstances limit an attempt to a couple of party members, separate roles usually offer better odds. But consider this: If everyone in the party enjoys time to make a check in safety, why even bother making the check? Do you just want to give everyone a chance to roll?

Sometimes I do that. Everyone likes to roll. I wonder how many players liked the old assistance rules better just because the helper gets to roll?

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

New Creator-Driven Series The Spider King Debuts This February

First Comics News - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:56
Earth’s Last Line of Defense: Vikings!

San Diego, CA (November 20, 2016) – In the year 956 AD an unlikely group of Viking warriors in northern Europe face an even more unlikely adversary in the form of… Aliens! The debut graphic novel from Australian author Josh Vann and Italian illustrator Simone D’Armini, The Spider King, introduces a vicious and violent world of survival to an extra terrestrial threat unlike any mankind has faced before.

Originally self-published in 2016 and funded with Kickstarter, The Spider King will make its serialized debut this February as IDW will release the international hit to a whole new audience. Garnering early praise upon its release, The Spider King was nominated for Best Graphic Novel at the 2016 Aurealis Awards and went on to win Bronze at the 2016 Ledgers, which acknowledges excellence in Australian comic art and publishing.

“More than just a clash of genres, the Spider King is a classic Viking saga about loyalty, family, honour, and revenge,” said Vann. “At the root of this story is Hrolf, the reluctant king of the Laxdales, who is on a quest to avenge his father and kill his Uncle Aarek. But Hrolf’s plans are complicated when Aarek is possessed by a bloodthirsty alien parasite, hell-bent on destruction.”

Joining Vann and D’Armini are colorist Adrian Bloch and letterer Nic J. Shaw.

“If you’re a fan of titles like HEAD LOPPER, HELLBOY, and the work of Becky Cloonan, THE SPIDER KING absolutely needs to be in your pull list,” says editor Sarah Gaydos. Way too much fun and awesome art in one book!”

Launching in February the four issue series will feature an impressive array of variant covers including Skottie Young, Afu Chan, and Jakub Rebelka. The Spider King is available for pre-order now through your local comic shop.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

WonderCon Anaheim 2018 Attendee Badges On Sale Now!

First Comics News - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:53

WonderCon Anaheim, one of the country’s fastest-growing comics and popular arts conventions, will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center March 23 – March 25, 2018. Brought to you by the same team that puts on Comic-Con in San Diego, WonderCon Anaheim features 900+ exhibitors in a 412,000 square foot Exhibit Hall filled with comics, original art, toys, and merchandise from many popular artists, publishers, and retailers. Attendees can expect exclusive movie and television programming, panels featuring the top comics publishers in the country, anime, autographs, games, the Masquerade, and portfolio review. WonderCon Anaheim offers the complete convention experience!

Badges are available for purchase online only starting today, November 20, 2018

To purchase your badge, log in to your Comic-Con Member ID account, click the “Registration Info” tab, and choose the “Purchase Badges” option in the WonderCon Anaheim section.  Badge prices and purchase information can be found at www.comic-con.org/wca/2018/badge-sale

Save time, don’t wait in line! All badges purchased prior to February 20, 2018 will be shipped to you in advance. Badges purchased after this date will be available for onsite pick-up only.

We are unable to ship to international addresses. If you are an international attendee, will be able to pick up your badge onsite at the Registration Area when you arrive.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Ron Marz talks about BEAST OF THE BLACK HAND

First Comics News - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:41

Grigori Rasputin was a Strannik who befriended Tsar Nicholas II and help care for his ill son. He has been called Mad. He has been described as a Monk. Although a Christian Strannik, he has been accused of dabbling in the occult.

First Comics News: Your story is based on the assassination of Grigori Rasputin. How is Grigori Rasputin portrayed in your story?

Ron Marz: The story opens with the assassination of Rasputin, and we stuck to the historical details as much as possible — poisoned, shot, and stabbed at Moika Palace, then dumped in the river. Of course, we give Rasputin a little sorcerous power, but we’ll chalk that up to artistic license.

1st: Who is Oswald Rayner?

Ron: He’s the hero of our story, an actual British secret agent from the era. He’s rumored to be the man who actually killed Rasputin. So we based our character on the historical figure and then took off from there. We have supernatural and dieselpunk elements to our story, so certainly we’re straying from Rayner’s biography, but all the basics match up to history.

1st: How much of his portrayal is historic, and how much is “based on a true story”?

Ron: Everything’s based around actual incidents — Rasputin’s assassination, the Versailles Peace Conference, even the Paris Air Expo. So everything has a basis in fact. But obviously we have monsters and black magic, so we’re making up a good bit of it. I think the bones of the story are historic, but the flesh we’re hanging on those bones is fiction.

1st: What is the goal of the Black Hand?

Ron: The Black Hand is a cabal of sorcerers and black magic users that wants to dominate Europe by throwing the continent into chaos via unleashing monsters into the world. They crave power, and intend to unite Europe into a kind of supernatural oligarchy under their rule.

1st: What is the Vucari?

Ron: Vucari is a specific type of monster in the story … but telling you more than that would be a spoiler, so that’s all you get from me.

1st: Is this a Werewolf story?

Ron: Nope, no werewolves … at least not yet.

1st: Who is Matryona Rasputina?

Ron: More commonly known as Maria Rasputin, she was the daughter of Rasputin. She went on to have a pretty odd life, including working as an animal trainer in the circus. Sometimes truth really proves stranger than fiction.

1st: How much of her portrayal is historic, and how much is “based on a true story”?

Ron: Again, we used the historical Maria as the springboard, and embroidered from there. We made sure there was a veneer of historical fact everywhere we could place it, and then proceeded to tell our story.

1st: How is Maria Rasputin connected to the Black Hand?

Ron: Maria is an agent working for the Black Hand, a rather junior agent at first. She has to prove herself to her masters in order to fill her father’s shoes.

1st: What is the relationship between Maria Rasputin and Oswald Rayner?

Ron: The short version is Maria wants Oswald dead, because he killed her father. But obviously the other layer is Maria is working for the Black Hand, while Oswald is trying the thwart them.

1st: Is this story on-going or done in one?

Ron: We’d love to make this a multi-volume series of graphic novels, assuming the support is there from backers. The first volume has a feeling completion, if not conclusive, but there’s definitely more to tell.

1st: What is the minimum pledge for a digital copy?

Ron: We have a $14 reward level for the digital graphic novel.

1st: What is the minimum pledge for a physical copy?

Ron: The oversize hardcover graphic novel is $25.

1st: What rewards are you offering?

Ron: There’s a complete range of rewards, including variant covers by Mike McKone, Marc Laming, Eric Powell, Meghan Hetrick, Mark A. Nelson, and Paul Harding; a print set; a Beasts Box that even includes Death Wish Coffee; and maybe most interesting, a number of sculptural rewards by Paul Harding. We just added the original art from Mike McKone’s cover as a reward.

1st: When will the comic ship?

Ron: Matthew Dow Smith is just a few pages from finishing up all the art, and Neeraj Menon is more than halfway done with the coloring. So the entire thing should be finished up in a month or so, when you take production and proofing into account. We expect to be printing in January, since most printers don’t work around the holidays, and shipping to backers in late January/early February.

1st: For anyone still on the fence about Beasts of the Black Hand, what makes it so cool no true comic fan should miss it?

Ron: I think the coolest thing is that thanks to Ominous Press and our Kickstarter backers,  Paul, Matt, Neeraj and I are getting to tell the story we want to tell in exactly the way we want to tell it. We’re not making compromises, we’re making the book we want to make. That’s a pretty rare opportunity for creators, so we’d love for readers to come along with us.

Kickstarter.com

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

ZOMBIE TRAMP #41 preview

First Comics News - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:53

ZOMBIE TRAMP #41
Writer(s): Dan Mendoza
Artist Name(s): Celor
Cover A – Dan Mendoza Main Cover (unlimited)
Cover B – Dan Mendoza Risqué Cover (limited to 2500)
Cover C – Magenta King Variant (limited to 2000)
Cover D – Magenta King Risqué Variant (limited to 2500)
Cover E – Zoe Stanley Artist Variant (limited to 2000)
Cover F – Zoe Stanley Artist Risqué Variant (limited to 2500)

Having to live with the death of mentor turned nemesis, Xula, Janey hits the road once again to meet up with the ghost child, Morning. Until a ride from a stranger puts her on the road to “The Death of Zombie Tramp”!

Features 3 regular and risqué variants, including two covers from series creator Dan Mendoza (DollFace)!!

32 pgs./ M / FC $4.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

VAMPBLADE VOLUME 5 preview

First Comics News - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:52

VAMPBLADE VOLUME 5
Writer(s): Jason Martin
Artist Name(s): Marco Maccagni
Cover Artist(s): Winston Young

With the Glarkian space vampires that Vampblade fights newly powered by the Necronomicon, Katie must seek help from her sworn enemy and dark magic expert… Zombie Tramp! But they also need the help of another unlikely ally… DollFace!! The three Danger Zone characters come together here, and the events of this story lead directly into the new Danger Doll Squad series!!!

Collects issues 5-8 from season two of the hit Danger Zone series.

128 pgs./ M / FC $14.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Pages

Subscribe to Furiously Eclectic People aggregator