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First Comics News - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 04:00

Aspen Comics returns to the Long Beach Comic Expo this weekend and will be releasing the third volume of their popular magic series, Charismagic, with the release of an exclusive convention variant by superstar artist, Tyler Kirkham, limited to 200 copies, only available at the Aspen Comics Booth #300.


The publisher will also have several creators appearing throughout the weekend, including superstar writer, Scott Lobdell (Happy Death Day, No World), J.T. Krul (Michael Turner’s Soulfire, Jirni), Vince Hernandez (Charismagic, Michael Turner’s Fathom: Kiani), Mark Roslan (Portal Bound, BubbleGun) and Gabe Carrasco (Portal Bound).


Aspen will also be debuting several new trade paperbacks this weekend, including popular titles such as Michael Turner’s Fathom Kiani Volume 2: Blades of Fury, Charismagic Volume 2: The Golden Realm, Aspen Universe: Revelations, The Scourge, plus Aspen Comics prints and more. The publisher will also be offering free copies of their Aspen Legacy: Past, Present and Future issue while supplies last.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

A More Basic Adventure Campaign Arch With The Villainy of B1-9 In Search of Adventure: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos Anthology For Your OId School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 03:49
On the edge of civilization violence & horror has been visited upon the villages of Bohemia.Strange raiders from Hell itself or so it seems have been looting, burning, and rampaging across the countryside! Weird humanoids have been taking out many of the larger villages & bastions of civilization! B1-9 In Search of Adventure: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos Anthology is one of my Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Box Breaking 231: Maze of Death for Pathfinder Battles

Gamer Goggles - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 03:34

In this Box Breaking Matt opens up  8 boosters of Maze of Death for Pathfinder Battles from Paizo and Wizkids.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

I am impressed with how little the figs repeat.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Return of the Baltimore Comic-Con Spring Fling

First Comics News - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 03:30

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – February 15, 2018 – The Baltimore Comic-Con returns to the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center this September 28-30, but so does our special “thank you” event to our fans — Baltimore Comic-Con Spring Fling returns for its 2nd annual event in 2018!

Baltimore Comic-Con Spring Fling is a good old-fashioned comic book show with rows and rows of comic book dealers from 6-8 states around the country, with comics and collectibles from the ancient to the very modern…and we’re bringing in a few guests as well!

Ringo Award winner and Harvey and Eisner award nominee Frank Cho launched his career as a comic strip artist at the University of Maryland-College Park student newspaper, penning University2, which was the predecessor of his creator-owned syndicated strip and comic series, Liberty Meadows. His body of work also includes Marvel Comics’ New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Shanna the She-Devil, New Ultimates, and X-Men: Schism, as well as Jungle Girl for Dynamite Entertainment. His recent work can be seen in BOOM! Studios’ Skybourne, and on covers from DC Comics’ Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman.

Long-time friend of the show, Ringo, Harvey, and Eisner Award nominee, and guest since our inception in 2000 (!), artist and writer Steve Conley has contributed to numerous comic titles, both printed and on-line. His Astounding Space Thrills was self-published, published by Image Comics, and collected as a trade paperback by IDW. He has been featured in titles such as JLA-Z from DC Comics, Star Trek: Year Four from IDW, and Michael Chabon’s Amazing Adventures of the Escapist from Dark Horse Comics. His creator-owned Bloop, is available through his online store in print or soft copy editions, and you can read his webcomic, The Middle Age, on his website

John Gallagher is the award-winning artist and writer of graphic novels Buzzboy and Roboy Red (with Rich Faber). John teamed with sons Jack and Will to create a kids book, E.P.I.C. Bros., about two kids whose superhero dad is always out saving the world, and they pass the time using his gizmos for lovable mayhem. Jack and Will follow in the footsteps of big sister Katie, who teamed with her dad to create Zoey and Ketchup. John’s Buzzboy is back from American Mythology Productions in Buzzboy Go Digital Monster Mayhem, where he has also contributed to the recently relaunched Casper the Friendly Ghost and The Inspector. When not creating comics, John is executive director of Kids Love Comics (kidslovecomics.net) and works as art director for Ranger Rick magazine.

Mark Morales has established himself as one of the industry’s go-to inkers for major titles and events for the big publishers. He has inked a vast number of titles at Marvel Comics including, among many others, A+X, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers vs. X-Men, New Avengers, Secret Invasion, Sentry, Siege, Thor, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Force, and X-Men. He has also done work for DC Comics on titles like Action Comics, Batman/Superman, JLA, New Suicide Squad, Prez, and Superman: The Man of Steel. He was also awarded the Harvey Award for Best Inker in 2009 and 2011.

Brandon Peterson has been a professional illustrator for over 20 years, working primarily as a penciller and inker, but often as a colorist, writer, editor, and art director. He has done a great deal of work at Marvel Comics, as the artist on books like AvX, Avengers, The Ultimates, Ultimate Vision, Ultimate Extinction, Ultimate X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, X-Men, and Uncanny X-Men. Brandon was also VP of Special Projects and Art Director of the now-defunct CrossGen Comics, where he created titles like Mystic and Chimera. He is also a veteran of Top Cow Productions, having worked on Codename: Strykeforce, Cyberforce, Ripclaw, Medieval Spawn/Witchblade, and his own book, Arcanum. His work is recently featured on IDW’s Revolution Heroes and DC Comics’ Trinity.

Additionally, the Hero Initiative will be in the room with us this year — stay tuned!

So here are the details:When: Sunday April 29. 10-5Where: BWI Airport Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD 20190How much: FREE!The Baltimore Comic-Con Spring Fling is a thank-you to our fans for helping us grow and making our show into the institution it has become. This one’s just for the fun of it, and we hope we’ll see you there!Want to join us in September for the main event? Visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com for more information on the Baltimore Comic-Con and www.baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/ to purchase your advanced tickets!
In the coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found on our website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 01:05

David Wohl – Story / Francisco ; Odagawa ; Qualano – Art

Celebrate Aspen’s 15 Year Anniversary with 25-cent Primer issues!

New readers and fans alike can find everything they need to know about EA: Iris in this debut Executive Assistant: Iris Primer issue! Revisit the deadly missions within volumes one through four, check out never-before-seen commentary, art and creator secrets…All for only a quarter! These Aspen Anniversary edition primer issues are the perfect compliment to discover more about Aspen’s upcoming slate of new and returning titles!

The EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS PRIMER is in stores May 23rd, 2018!
FC 24 pages .25c


Blake Northcott – Story / Donny Tran – Art / Luis Guerrero – Colors

Aspen Comics’ hit action-adventure assassin series marks its 10-Year Anniversary with a brand new pulse-pounding volume!

When a routine security job takes a turn for the worse, Executive Assistant Iris realizes she might be at the crossroads of her career! The world’s deadliest assassin is faced with a choice: remain a freelance Executive Assistant, or join Magni Global—a mysterious corporation that has acquired nearly every private security firm on the planet. But, what fateful decisions may come from joining a giant conglomerate whose interests may spell doom for her?!

Brought to you by acclaimed author Blake Northcott (Michael Turner’s Fathom) with art by newcomer Donny Tran and colorist Luis Guerrero, this newest pulse-pounding 10 year anniversary chapter of Executive Assistant: Iris is sure to be the greatest volume yet!

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS vol 5 #1 is in stores May 23rd, 2018!
FC 32 pages $3.99


Mark Roslan; Gabe Carrasco – Story / Alex Arizmendi – Art / Wes Hartman – Colors

Their Future Depends on Each Other in Aspen’s newest series!

Giant six-eyed mechanical beasts? Gray-skinned warriors from another world? Dubstep music?!? Teenagers Elias and Brett have just survived the craziest night of their lives, but that was nothing compared to the road ahead! Sybil, the arrogant warrior princess from Havos, is stranded on Earth and it’s up to our heroes to get her home! However, the evil Emperor Atilus has a deadly surprise awaiting his daughter’s potential homecoming!

Aspen’s brand new action-adventure saga continues from writers Mark Roslan (BubbleGun, Broken Pieces) and newcomer Gabe Carrasco, with artist Alex Arizmendi (Edge of Venomverse: War Stories, Secret Empire: Brave New World) as they bring us a tale of two earths in need of two heroes!

PORTAL BOUND #2 is in stores May 2nd, 2018!
FC 32 pages $3.99


J.T. Krul – Story / Michael Santamaria – Art / John Starr – Colors

Aspen’s popular fantasy adventure series, JIRNI, continues its epic third volume!

Ara takes to the skies once again in her airship, soaring higher than ever in the hopes of reaching the realm of the D’jinn, but danger lurks all around her. Meanwhile, Torinthal reveals his true purpose in capturing Luna and the other D’jinn, and it could spell doom for them and all the D’jinn – in this world and beyond.

Created by New York Times Best-Selling author J.T. Krul (Michael Turner’s Soulfire, Green Arrow) with art by newcomer Michael Santamaria, this next exciting chapter of Jirni will once again return readers to a land of untapped wonder!

JIRNI VOL 3 #3 is in stores May 16th, 2018!
FC 32 pages $3.99


Vince Hernandez – Story / Joey Vazquez – Art / Federico Blee – Colors

The forces of magic have returned—and this time no magical being is safe!

Hank and Sparkles find themselves trapped inside the Magic House and Contessa’s basement cells with no chance for escape! Meanwhile, Sudana begins to uncover the reasons for the Magic Harvester’s destructive plan to absorb all beings of magic—and the extent to which he plans to go to wipe out its existence altogether!

CHARISMAGIC VOL 3 #4 is in stores May 9th, 2018!
FC 32 pages $3.99

RETAILER NOTE: CHARISMAGIC VOL 3 #4 will ship with two different covers by series artist Joey Vazquez and artist Khary Randolph. Each cover is available to order separately, with no quantity limitation or restrictions.


Frank Mastromauro – Story / Andre Risso – Art / Valentina Taddeo – Colors

Volume three of Aspen’s hit series’ Shrugged keeps on truckin!

It’s a clash of astronomical proportions as the Elysians and Nefarians battle it out for control of Perspecta! Meanwhile, Theo and Thom struggle to save Kiori, but does she really need to be saved…or are they the ones in deep trouble?!?

SHRUGGED VOL 3 #4 is in stores May 30th, 2018!
FC 32 pages $3.99


Vince Hernandez – Story / Jordan Gunderson – Art / Teodoro Gonzalez – Colors

The Extinction begins!

This all-new story arc features Lily, one of the most popular characters in the EA Universe, as she attempts to piece together some semblance of a normal life while fighting to protect it from those who seek to end it! Enter Mazutsu, the arms dealer mastermind who has sworn to eliminate all Executive Assistants at any cost. This crossover Executive Assistant event forever changed the landscape for nearly every Executive Assistant—and some may not survive!

Writer Vince Hernandez (Charismagic, Damsels in Excess, Fathom: Kiani), is joined by penciler Jordan Gunderson (No World, Aspen Universe: Revelations) and colorist Teodoro Gonzalez, to bring you one of comics’ most dangerous, action adventure series! Collecting together the entire ‘Executive Extinction’ storyline from EA Assassins issues 6 -10 and including a complete cover gallery, this volume 2 Executive Assistant Assassins TPB is not to be missed!

FC 128 pages $12.99 TPB


Brian Buccellato – Story / Pasquale Qualano – Art / John Starr – Colors

The best-selling Aspen series, Executive Assistant: Iris returns for its fourth volume!

Executive Assistant Iris is free from the murky past that has haunted her fate and threatened her existence up until this point. Now, with her former master Ching, the mastermind Mazutsu and the CIA a distant memory, Iris will painstakingly discover that the start of a new life for an Executive Assistant can be anything…but free from danger!

Written by Brian Buccellato (Flash, Cannibal) with art by Pasquale Qualano and John Starr, this brand new trade paperback collects together EA Iris volume 4 in its entirety, and includes a comprehensive cover gallery and a whole lot more!

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: IRIS VOL 4 TPB is in stores May 23rd, 2018!
FC 128 pages $12.99 TPB

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

My Dream FLGS

Greyhawk Grognard - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 00:43
Now that I've pre-ordered Gary Ray's fascinating-looking book Friendly Local Game Store: A Five-Year Path to Middle-Class Income, it's naturally got me thinking about what sort of a game store I'd make if I won the lottery. Naturally, this is just a thought experiment (but we can hope!).

One of the things that Gary's Quest for Fun blog stresses is that a FLGS* must be more than a place to buy games. That's a losing proposition, since it's incredibly easy to buy games online at deep discounts most of the time. Thus, the FLGS has to offer more - it has to provide added community value.

In the case of the FLGS, that usually means functioning as a "community center" for gamers of sorts, offering both a place to get together and play, as well as providing a place to bring gamers together with new groups and opponents. To that I might also add being a place where new and lesser-known games can have a little time in the sun, to let customers discover new games they might not otherwise have heard of.

I've seen a bunch of game stores in my day, but the one that still feels like my "main" game store is The Compleat Strategist in New York City (I used to work for the one in Boston, right out of college). This is what's known as a "shock and awe" store. It has everything, crammed in incredibly densely, and in the case of the Strategist, still marked with the original prices when the item was originally placed on the shelves (I found stuff from back in the 80's the last time I was there). That would be a component of my dream store. Shock and awe. Because remember, this is my post-Powerball fantasy we're talking about here.

As part of that, I would want to appeal to, and serve, the five big tabletop gamer subgroups; card games, board games, roleplaying games, miniatures, and wargames**. That would go both for the sales floor as well as the playing areas.

I envision a two-story building, with the first floor dedicated to sales, and the second dedicated to play, with a large open space in the middle to connect the two, so the players look down on the sales area.

For the sales area, I want things bright. High ceilings and lots of light. Aisles wide enough to let two people browse comfortably (not like the newly-shrunken aisles at Barnes & Noble, ugh!) but densely packed with product.

All this empty wall space to me screams
"we're operating on a shoestring"Which reminds me, I'd be on the lookout for game stores going out of business. I'd pick up miniatures, wargames, and (select) RPGs. Nobody needs twenty copies of Everquest the RPG. There wouldn't be a bargain bin, but anything that would qualify would be sold online.

I'd need staff and managers knowledgeable about specific areas, but willing to be cross-trained. For instance, I know nothing about CCGs, so I'd need a couple someones who did. But I'd insist that each was also able to be a back-up for one or more of the other areas. The same would apply everywhere.

And if I could swing it, healthcare for the employees. Hey, I've got Powerball money, I'm going to be the best boss I can.

In the gaming area, there would be several different things to think about. Different sorts of games need different sorts of tables. Miniatures usually need large spaces, while board games and CCGs need much smaller spaces. For RPGs, being able to hear what everyone says is a premium quality. In the interest of attracting and serving the several clubs that are active in my area, I'd definitely want to have rentable locker space to hold miniatures and wargames, to spare them having to cart the stuff around all the time. A few private gaming rooms, probably primarily for RPGs.

And I'd love a snack bar. I don't think a bar bar would be needed since I'm aiming at a game store and not a game cafe (although I wouldn't rule it out), but a place to get snacks and water and soda and such. Nothing too adventuresome; hot dogs, pizza, hot pretzels, ice cream, chips, etc.

So anyway, that's my dream wish-list for a store. What about you? What would you like to see in a FLGS?


* FLGS is a term that's been around since at least the 70's. It usually means Friendly Local Game Store, but the F can sometimes be interchanged with other, less salutary, words.

** By wargames, here I mean hex-and-counter (and similar) wargames, such as those still published by GMT Games, Decision Games, Amarillo Design Bureau, and many others.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

95th - Adventuring in the Napoleonic Wars

Two Hour Wargames - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 00:39

Coming soon - 95th - Adventuring in the Napoleonic Wars.

We've updated the old 95th Chain Reaction Supplement and made it into a stand alone game using the latest game mechanics found in our new rules. We'll be including some simple card stock counters for your use, to get you into the game ASAP. Here are some samples.
Watch for detailed AARs in the days to follow.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Martin Wallace’s The Arrival: Arriving Everywhere with New Art and Advanced Play!

Cryptozoic - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 23:32

We are so excited to release Martin Wallace's The Arrival! In this challenging game of resource allotment and territory expansion, players act as Tribe Leaders vying against the Fomori as well as other players for control of the mythical island of Erin, which would generations later become known as Ireland. Our edition includes new art and a new Advanced Game option.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Ch. 5, Page 12

Castle Greyhawk - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 16:53
Lucien hated dealing with adventurers. Oh, the more easygoing ones were a steady source of income, always needing pack animals and riding steeds for trips out to the Castle Greyhawk ruins, but the worst of them barged in and ordered him about like they could just take what they wanted. The city had strict laws protecting the merchant class from all manner of threats, including spells, but that still hardly put stable masters like Lucien on equal footing with men who could shoot fireballs from their fingers, or wielded magic swords.

But the worst of them had to be the lunatic who was destroying his stables right now. He had chopped through the support pillar of his hayloft with a single swing of his sword! And now the man was babbling about needing to fight something that was not even there. "Adventurers," they called themselves. Surely this Castle Greyhawk just turned them into madmen!

Moogly CAL 2018 – Afghan Block #3

Moogly - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 16:00

It’s time for Block #3 for the 2018 Moogly Crochet Along – and it’s amazing! This week’s stunning square is courtesy of Polly Plum and Every Trick on the Hook! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; yarn provided by Red Heart. Just getting started with the Crochet Along? CLICK HERE for the intro info! Want to [...]

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Categories: Crochet Life

Physician, protect thyself: healthcare cybersecurity circling the drain

Malwarebytes - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 16:00

No one knows you better than you do. But thanks to technology advances and the continued digitization of healthcare data accumulation and sharing processes, we can also honestly say the same about your healthcare provider.

Indeed, every time we get in touch with a health professional, data is recorded (either on paper or electronically), entered into a computer, and then stored in a massive database for record-keeping, analysis, and retrieval.

This digital warehouse of electronic health records (EHR), which contain medical history, diagnoses, and medications (including billing data, insurance, and other personally identifiable information), is what cybercriminals are after. For healthcare facilities in the business of research, intellectual property is their primary asset at risk. Such a trove in the wrong hands could mean nothing good.

A horripilation of dread

Dismally, where healthcare excels in medical breakthroughs and advances in therapy, it lacks in cybersecurity preparedness and adoption of privacy practices. Studies from independent organizations consistently reveal that the continuous use of legacy systems—those outdated programs and computers running Windows XP—scarce resources allocated for cybersecurity, and an apparent shortage of IT professionals top the list of problems the healthcare industry faces. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Technological advancements that make reviewing, sharing, and storing digital information possible present other significant challenges that need addressing. They include:

  • The easy accessibility of patient records
  • The automation of clinical systems (e.g. the ordering of prescription medicine for patients)
  • The introduction of external media or third-party devices to the hospital network
  • The emergence of mobile health apps
  • The increasing adoption of BYOD
  • The overall lack of awareness of risks to patient health data among hospital and clinic staff

Below, we take a look at the cybersecurity risks that each of these challenges present.

Easy accessibility of patient records

Public-facing healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics have embraced the move from paper records to digital records. In so doing, they gather and store patient data into databases open to anyone with access to them, whether it be a doctor 20 miles from the building or a nurse at the reception desk.

The digitization of patient health records also made the process of sharing information across multiple healthcare facilities easier. Patients, too, are given access to their health records. Because of this, the likelihood of exposure to threats increases.

All that storing, retrieving, and sharing leaves the door open to malicious actors who can just as easily infiltrate the database to steal information and sell it on the black market. How valuable is patient data? Very valuable. Medicare ID numbers belonging to 10 patients, for example, are being sold for 22 Bitcoins, which amounts to more than $200,00 as of this writing. EHRs carries a hefty price tag because this is the kind of data that criminals can use and reuse for decades. And unlike credit card data, medical records cannot be altered or canceled once used in fraud.

Read: Think tank summarizes what happens to healthcare records after breach

Automation of hospital and clinic systems

Removing redundant and tedious tasks from healthcare professionals’ workday is a sound business move. It increases productivity, saves money, and improves the patient experience. However, as much good as automation has brought the industry, the implementation of its systems may have been carried out without cybersecurity or privacy in mind.

Those who quickly went about deploying automation for services like refilling prescriptions or making appointments might have medical devices and web-facing computers in the same network when they should be separate, for example. When medical devices are networked on the Internet and not secured, that leaves the door open for threat actors to exploit.

External media or third-party devices

Although the use of unencrypted external media and portable devices is against HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) standards, staff and third-party contractors continue to introduce such devices to computer systems connected to the hospital network. There have also been instances where patients have brought their medical records in via external media for doctors to review.

Two possible ends could come from this: portable media and devices might get stolen or misplaced, resulting in a security breach, and/0r malware might be introduced to the network. Ideally, both ends should be avoided at all cost.

Mobile health apps

We’re talking about mobile health, or mHealth, apps used by patients and medical professionals alike. These apps collect data from whoever uses them, and if doctors have access to this data, they can readily provide feedback or advise. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “one app that rules them all.” There are thousands of them out there in the market, believe it or not. And each one of them needs to be secured, else risk all those data getting leaked.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

In 2012, Aruba Networks published the results of their survey, revealing that 85 percent of healthcare staff and professionals support the use of personal mobile devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, at work. Some say this trend is a natural fit for the industry as doctors and nurses are frequently on the move.

Being able to access records on the fly and sharing them with colleagues increases collaboration and productivity among healthcare staff. However, mobile devices owned by hospital staff and professionals are liable to theft. If they are not encrypted, it’s easy enough for the thief to retrieve, make use of, or sell the EHR stored in them.

Some hospitals and clinics also allow patients and visitors to connect to the facility’s Internet. This results in both patient and staff member BYOD devices overwhelming the bandwidth. On top of this, no one is really sure if such devices are secure enough, if at all. If a potentially infected device is introduced to the network, malware could take residence in the server or spread to other devices connected to the network.

Read: BYOD, why don’t you?


Lack of cybersecurity awareness

Lastly, healthcare staff is generally unaware of threats to patient data and are poorly prepared to identify attack types. This is probably why they may appear negligent in handling email, mobile devices, and hospital records. As we have already established before, cybersecurity issues are not just something that IT staff should scramble to address. Everyone, including nurses and doctors, has a responsibility to uphold when it comes to protecting patient data and securing hospital resources from external threats.

Sadly, there’s no panacea in sight

Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet to address the myriad of challenges born from an environment this complex. In fact, addressing problems and risks surrounding something this important shouldn’t be rushed. People’s lives, after all, are at stake here, too. Although an overhaul may be needed to completely turn things around for the healthcare industry, this still takes a considerable amount of time to implement. And even if it has been completed, continuous improvement must naturally follow.

The good news is that healthcare facilities, regardless of size, don’t have to wait for a major revamp to happen before they can address the current dilemmas plaguing their industry. In part 2 of this post, we’ll discuss steps healthcare organizations can take to stay secure—beginning with awareness and education campaigns.

Until then, be well and stay safe!

The post Physician, protect thyself: healthcare cybersecurity circling the drain appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

A Darn Good Yarn: Cowl In Progress

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 15:43


About this time every year, I generally get bored of all my existing cowls (I know, hard to believe!) and feel the urge to knit a new cowl. It is still deep winter here in Canada, so mixing up the winter accessories helps make it seem like spring is not so far away. Plus, a

The post A Darn Good Yarn: Cowl In Progress appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds


Looking For Group - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 15:11

The post 210 appeared first on Tiny Dick Adventures.

Categories: Web Comics

On the Wizards Panoply: Cabal & Rainment

Hack & Slash - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 14:00
A few years ago +Benjamin Baugh created a post about the accoutrements of wizards on Google+. It's a great idea and I wanted to examine the suggestions in greater depth.

The objects presented are talismansfocifamiliarscabalsraiments, servantspacts, and sanctums, in order of difficulty of acquirement.

Humans themselves are relatively poor conduits of magical or elemental energy.

The basic conceit of this system is that humans are incapable of safely wielding any magic beyond the first level of power. 
  • Attempts to cast magic of a level higher than 1st require a roll on a retribution table. 
  • This limit can be increased by the acquisition of accoutrements. They may be acquired in any order.
  • Each accoutrement acquired increases the level of spells the caster can cast by one. 
  • No type of accoutrement can be applied more than once, even if you own more than one. Each one only counts towards spell levels you can cast once. 
  • These are generally acquired and lost during play. 
  • If lost or destroyed, that type of thing can't be used again until you have gained a level or a year and a day have passed. 
CabalJoin an occult society, mystery religion, circle of conspirators, or cult and sign magical bonding oaths and compacts.  The force of the cabal's collective power backs your actions, but you will sometimes be called upon to act in the interests of the cabal.  Investing in the Cabal improves your status and position in the fraternity, allowing you to call upon it for aid (the loan of magic items, borrowed retainers, support in battle).  Such requests are honored with a 1 in 6 chance, plus 1 for each spell level invested in the cabal.  

Though wizards bristle at the need for anyone else, the cabals serve multiple purposes. The ritual frequently attracts 'cultists', those who follow the wizard in the hopes of accessing true or real power. They are normal humans, and beyond what power the wizards allow them to access from the cabal, they have no magical ability or potential.

Minimal membership in a cabal is fairly painless, costing nothing more than yearly dues. Investing more in the cabal attracts followers and power.Though cabals are joined in general principle, there are many schisms and fractures within them. They may provide both allies and foes.


Order of the Falling Star: The order of the falling star serves the visitors, who visit the world from the astral plane, to collect followers to join them on their journey throughout the planar spectrum. The travelers hope to save as many people as possible before something they call the 'scourge'. Initiates live an ascetic life and are rather humorless.

Guild of Naturalists: This society of wizards is devoted to the discovery and cataloging of natural specimens. Members join for various reasons, crossbreeding research, prestige, a love of the outdoors, access to monster information or resources. Prestige within the society is gained and lost based on new research and facts, and there are longstanding rivalries between members. This guild is open to any classes.

Pax Draconis: This society attempts to reach a true source of magic, draconic power. They are usually in service to the nearest old (or older) usually chomatic dragon nearby, granting their devoted service in exchange for whatever power they can manage to siphon. The dragons often find these arrangements palatable until they are not. Once initiated the mage is brought before the dragon who both asks a service and grants a gift.

Students of the Pearl Tower: This is an academic group of researchers who seek out and collect magical power. In exchange for new magics, students may access the vast library available in the enchanted pearl tower.
RaimentYour garments and costume, the working clothing or finery which declares your profession and power not just to mortal observers, but to the Unseen Realms as well.  This is quite expensive, but protects from all natural extremes of heat and cold, and keeps you comfortable even in thunderstorms.  Each spell level invested in Raiment improves your AC by 1.   

This garment must cost at least 100 gold, though some of the most powerful and famous garment can be priceless.
ExamplesRobe of Eyes: This option costs little to create, but requires the collection of 100 eyes from beholders, basilisks, and gibbering mouthers. Mouthers are relatively easily controlled and harvested, but they won't grow new eyeballs without being fed people. Anyone who wears the robe of eyes can no longer be surprised, and can see in the dark, as well as into the ethereal and astral planes.

Robe of the Archmagi: This is a robe costing at least 100,000 gold pieces. Once the base material has been enchanted, the wizard may invest spell slots for various effects. Common ones include a +4 bonus to armor class from the investment of a single spell level. Granting the user 5% magic resistance per spell level investment. A bonus of +1 to saves per 2 spell levels sacrificed (capped at +4 for a 8th or 9th level spell, being the highest level investment), Or granting an opponent a -1 to saves per 2 spell levels sacrificed. They are specifically tailored to the creating wizard. Anyone trying on the robe who is not the wizard takes 11d4+7 damage and loses a similar amount of experience times 1,000.

Part I is here
Part II is here

If you like this, let me know. Or check out the other stuff I write.
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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Azurth Digest is back--for A Limited Time

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:00

The first issue of the Azurth Adventures Digest  print edition is back on sale! Twenty-eight full color pages at 5.5 in. x 7.75 in. with art by Jeff Call and Jason Sholtis. There are random tables for the generation of quirky Motley pirates, a survey of interesting and enigmatic islands, and a mini-adventure on the Candy Isle. Plus, there are NPCs and a couple of monsters, all straight from my Land of Azurth 5e campaign.

 Go here for the print(+pdf) edition, while supplies last. If you only want the pdf, well, that's always available here.


Looking For Group - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 05:00

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Categories: Web Comics

The Truth about Nolan Bushnell and Atari

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 04:26

This is a must watch video about the latest travesty perpetuated by (wait for it…) games journalists.

Remarkable how short a time it took to go from the repudiation of the Antebellum South to basically the unpersoning of practically everyone that was an adult during the seventies. It’s impressive, and a natural corollary to the “don’t read anything before 1980” mentality that dates back to… oh… at least to 1974.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

[ZINE] Patient Zero

Beyond Fomalhaut - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 19:44
Welcome to Truglag's Tavern
Here is a proof of concept copy of Echoes From Fomalhaut I produced in my office today, featuring cover art by the inimitable Denis McCarthy. The final version will feature slightly different paper (the paper store was out of this specific hue, but they could sell me a lighter, kinda-champagne alternative), and I will need to mess around with the image until it is in the centre... but so far, so good!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On the Wizards Panoply: Focus & Familiar

Hack & Slash - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 18:25
A few years ago +Benjamin Baugh created a post about the accoutrements of wizards on Google+. It's a great idea and I wanted to examine the suggestions in greater depth.

The objects presented are talismansfocifamiliarscabalsraiments, servantspacts, and sanctums, in order of difficulty of acquirement.

Humans themselves are relatively poor conduits of magical or elemental energy.

The basic conceit of this system is that humans are incapable of safely wielding any magic beyond the first level of power. 
  • Attempts to cast magic of a level higher than 1st require a roll on a retribution table. 
  • This limit can be increased by the acquisition of accoutrements. They may be acquired in any order.
  • Each accoutrement acquired increases the level of spells the caster can cast by one. 
  • No type of accoutrement can be applied more than once, even if you own more than one. Each one only counts towards spell levels you can cast once. 
  • These are generally acquired and lost during play. 
  • If lost or destroyed, that type of thing can't be used again until you have gained a level or a year and a day have passed. 
FocusA large obvious magical tool used to focus and direct spells, such as a staff, rod, or occult weapon.  Each spell level invested in a Focus penalized a target's saving throws made against your magic by 1.

All wizards must carry a focus, even if it is devoid of enchantment or power. Those without a focus grant their opponents a +4 bonus on all saves or they have a -4 penalty to hit the target. Without the focus they cannot effectively direct their magical energies.

In addition, foci can act as spell batteries. For every 1,000 gold spent (in the form of precious gem dust), a focus can be enchanted with temporary power, or charge. Each charge is equivalent to a single spell level. A wizard can cast a third-level spell without it being lost for three charges. Most foci limit the types of spells these charges can be spent on, depending on the individual foci.

You can also discharge your magical energy through the focus. For every spell level of the spell you discharge, you can do 1d6 points of damage to a single target within 30. This damage is considered force damage, like a magic missile, and is blocked by the same magics that block magic missile (broach of shielding, etc.).

In addition, attempting to wield magic without a focus creates an astral disturbance, detectable for dozens of miles. Considering the possible danger of people wielding magic beyond their ability, there are certainly people who look for such things.

Oakenhart Wand: This is a gnarled branch, nearly 18 inches in length. It feels of livewood and is encircled by vines. A small quartz crystal is nestled in the tip. This focus connects wizards of weather and nature to the earth. Spells can be discharged through the wand to heal 1d6 points to a target per level of the spell discharged. The spell also allows the caster to transmute any of her spells of a greater level into one of the following: Pass Without Trace, Massmorph, and Plant Growth.

Crystal Ball: This is a translucent crystal sphere. It exudes energy that makes hair stand on end. Usually within a setting, this allows the user to bypass the line of sight requirements for targets—any target that the crystal ball scrys on can be the target of the spell. The wizard may expand a first level spell slot and the focus will levitate and orbit the user until the next exposure to dawn's light.

Rod of Dragon Control: This is a cold iron cylinder, with the head of a dragon on one end. The user may expend five charges or spell levels to summon a small red dragon hatchling, as Summon Monster III. The wearer can utter Commands, as the Cleric spell that affect only dragons. Dragons have a -4 to their saving throw versus this effect. Reaction adjustments for all dragons is at +2, and any dragons must save versus rods, staves, and wands before they can attack the holder of the rod.
FamiliarForm a magical bond with a small intelligent magical creature.  Familiars can't fight, but can scout, distract, and provide other useful aid.  Each spell level invested in a familiar allows the creature to aid you in performing some task, adding a 1 point bonus to your roll.  

The familiar is your constant companion. By the very nature of the magical bond between the caster and the animal, the animal is protected. When on your person it has access to a small, nest like, interdimensional space, rendering the familiar immune to damaging fireballs, exposure to the vacuum of space, drowning while the party spent 8 turns under the influence of a water breathing spell, and other fridge logic moments.

Familiars are usually small, normal animals. A robin, a small snake, a black cat, a toad, owls if you're creepy etc. Sometimes wizards desire more powerful aids. For every spell level sacrificed to the familiar, the wizard may have a more powerful familiar, with hit dice equal to half the level of the spell level sacrificed. Classic more powerful familiars include pseudodragons, imps, quasits, hell hounds, and shadows. For the cost of an additional spell slot, the wizard can see through the eyes of the creature.

In any case, because of your bond with the familiar you are effectively one creature. During combat, you and your familiar share actions. If your familiar dies, you lose 1d4 hit points permanently.

Part I is here

If you like this, let me know. Or check out the other stuff I write.
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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The State of the Ads

Looking For Group - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 18:11

Ads on the internet are without a doubt an annoying necessity. It’s the best passive way to make money and allow websites to do what they do. Without ads, we wouldn’t be able to make our comic as well or […]

The post The State of the Ads appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics


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