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On an Exciting Opportunity

Hack & Slash - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 07:55
Summer is upon us, and with that a trinity of tax bills, medical bills, and summer camp bills for my wonderful little girl. (Here she is drawing a Pizza Monster)

So we are having a very big sale.
Everything on the DriveThroughRPG storefront is 10% off all week, Lots of print products on Lulu are 25% off all week and everything in the Etsy Store is 10% off!
We are also going to be running daily specials every day! You can save money, get great gaming products, and help out an artist! Oh baby a triple
Today! For the first time since its publication in 2013:The bestselling "On the Non-Player Character" is on sale
Not just 'any' sale. It's 5.99 for the .pdf! and 9.99 for the Paperback!
The normal paperback price is 29.99, and .pdf price of 19.99. Five years after release, the print price was dropped to 19.99, and the .pdf price was dropped to 9.99$. After today at the stroke of somewhere near midnight, it'll return to its standard price. This is the first time I've ever cut the price on this book in a sale. I use it for every game I ever run. It is always by my side. 
What is it?
I've uncovered a hidden social combat system within Dungeons & Dragons since the beginning.
I've navigated a method of resolving social situations via player skill, rather than by personal social skill or by character skill. This is a mechanical solution to provide objectivity for social interactions and relies on your ability to gather information and make intelligent choices (i.e. player skill) for success.
That's not even the majority of the book. There's also useful tables and systems for generating memorable and immediately gameable long term non-player characters. I worked very hard to insure that you would never get a result and think "How am I going to get that to come up during a game?!"
It works seamlessly with whatever version of the classic game you are playing (including 5th edition!) . It doesn't require anything from your players other than what they do now. They continue to interact with the game world as they always have, but you simply have an objective, impartial method of resolving their actions. This means it eliminates Dungeon Master mind reading, "Mother may I?" play, and pixel bitching.
Players don't need to master any new skills - the player skills they have will work just fine. There's no chance for anyone to have a game-breaking diplomancer, but now an 18 Charisma can actually be useful in concrete specific ways, as much as an 18 Strength can be.
This sale will end tonight at 12pm, and a new exciting special will be announced tomorrow! We'll have a different special every day this week!
Yeah, guys, that's my pitch. Things are going well, we are going to be stable. But we need a little help to get there. I'm not the 'gofundme' kind of guy, but here's an opportunity to help and get something in return. If you'd like to help directly, you are welcome to send money to me directly via Paypal. Also, you know everything I self-publish is available for free via Patreon, (usually with special bonus content—I literally create and layout two files so that Patreons can get value out of their priceless support. For example the digital copy of S1: Henchmen has an entire extra unreleased illustration of a henchman) so you can keep up with me there if you like. 
Oh, and in case anyone feels like "I'm just selling my stuff", well, that's my job, AND, I have a bunch of stuff coming later this week. I don't usually talk about "what I'm gonna do" but I've already done it. We've got more henchmen coming (with a demi-human focus) a city map from Perdition, we will be playing Perdition on-line Tuesday night at 5pm CST, on Twitch, AND we've got some articles on dungeon stocking, dead bodies, and more coming later this week. Oh, and Megadungeon #4 is in layout, so we should be seeing that very very soon.
Thanks everyone for the support.Hack & Slash FollowGoogle +NewsletterSupportDonate to end Cancer (5 Star Rating)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


Looking For Group - Mon, 06/24/2019 - 04:00

The post 1307 appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics

Blood & Warfare - The Hollow World & The D&D Companion Rules Box Set By Frank Mentzer

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 06/23/2019 - 21:57
"This is the third boxed set of the Dungeons & Dragons game series. The first, the D&D Basic Set, introduced the game and explained the rules for 1st-3rd level characters. In the D&D Expert Set, character levels 4-14 were detailed, along with notes on the fantasy world in which the characters live.If you started with a 1st character, and have enjoyed the wilderness expansion of Expert level Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Knitterly chat...I'm back!

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 06/23/2019 - 08:04
Hello loves! First off, let me apologize for the very long delay in blogging. I am finally in my new home and settled. I felt that would be the best time to start back with the blog. Thank you for all your kind messages and notes during my hiatus. I... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

An Ancient Light In The Dark - The Deadly Legacy of The Valley of the Lighthouse of Ka In The Hollow World, Greyhawk, & Beyond

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 06/22/2019 - 19:04
"Thousands of years ago, the Immortal Ka inspired learned people from the many cultures of the Hollow World to make a dangerous journey to the mountainous area where the Valley of the Lighthouse is found. There they could shed their cultural bias and dedicate their lives to the accumulation of knowledge.The existence of the Lighthouse is a secret to players, but they may eventually Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

(5e) Cave of the Bone Dwellers

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 06/22/2019 - 11:16
By Joel Logan A Hole in the Ground Terrain & Games 5e Level 1

The players are asked to investigate the cause of merchant caravans in the region disappearing. The adventure begins at the Blue Crab Inn in the small village of Holly Springs. The players adventure next into the wilderness where they soon discover the source at a cave. Inside the cave the players face many tough challenges, have the opportunity to find treasure, and are forever linked to the Tarmalon Galactic Museum.

This 43 page adventure details a cave system with eighteen rooms over about 28 pages. And some museum thing.? It looks like it’s licensed IP from legacy of the Ancients, some kind of computer game? The DM text is some of the most irrelevant I’ve ever seen.

How doth thought sin? Let me count the ways …

The level doesn’t appear in the adventure description, only on the cover. Meaning I have to click the cover picture on DriveThru and hope it’s there. Fail.

NPC’s get about a column each in 5e format. Appearance, Voice, Wants, Morality, Intelligence, Status, paragraph. Better, I think, to put together a sentence or two and then move on with life? Then they would all fit on the same page. Mindlessly following a script (or format) is never a good thing.

There are a fuck ton of town and regional maps. None of which really matter to the adventure. Yeah, you’re in a town and yeah, you travel to a caravan ambush site but the number and degree of maps seems out of proportion. There’s like ten, between the extra supplement and the ones in the adventure.

Sure daring town locations as … “9. Warehouse – Holly Springs contains several warehouses. The ware- houses are large wooden structures used seasonally throughout the year to store livestock, food, and oth- er goods coming and going from and to Holly Springs. “ Why was this included?

Or perhaps the same blacksmith seen in every adventure ever … “4. Blacksmith – Jasper is a very skilled blacksmith and until lately made a very good living. In addition to agricultural tools and services Jasper is a master weaponsmith and also makes an occasional piece of armor or re- pairs for Frederick’s Armor Shop.” These are the sorts of town locations provided, the same generic ones found in every town. The words are meaningless, they add nothing. Generic fantasy blacksmith” would have done.

The following are the items that Lillyanna sells that the players may be interested in:” Seriously? No? Then how about …

If the players choose to speak with him at the Blue Crab Inn they will learn the following:” This happens over and over again. THE NEXT PARAGRAPH WILL HAVE INFORMATION FOR THE DM TO READ TO THE PARTY.

“ The fishing and bait shop is exactly what it sounds like. Players can buy fishing supplies, bait, and also fresh fish and seafood.”

Civilized lands, lush farm country. Monsters are very dangerous and appear in 6 out of 7 wandering monster rolls.

I assume the Galactic Museum is something from the computer game? There’s a map, but not details on any of the exhibits noted on the map?

“The players may be very crafty and attempt to setup a scene to ambush whoever is attacking the caravans. The bone dwellers are watching the area and will attack the players late in the night.” Though shalt not avoid the plot.

Gonna track the ambushing monsters? All that detail, provided, is irrelevant since you just find their lair anyway.

“GM Notes: These stairs were built long ago when the caves were inhabited by humans taking refuge here during turbulent times.”

“This should prove to be a hard encounter since …”

“Over the years the tendro snapper has accumulated a small treasure hoard which is scattered amongst the bones and debris on the land inside of 3B2.”

“3B5 Bone Dweller Village – This room of the cave serves as a village for the bone dwellers.”

“The females of the tribe are also forced to do the cooking of meat for the tribe and many of the menial tasks such as gathering water and the mending of tents and clothes.”

“This passage isn’t used near as much as the passage at 3B7 due to the tendro snapper at 3B2 and 3B3. This passage is likely the one players will use to es- cape if they were captured or to delve further into the dungeon to find Elliot’s brother Bartholomew.”

Have I made my point? 1. EMPTY ROOM – THIS ROOM IS EMPTY. 2. ORC VILLAGE – THIS IS THE ORC VILLAGE. It’s like a greatest hits of padding the adventure without really saying ANYTHING at all.

But … it does provide some monsters reference sheets. Ne per page, but whatever, they are included. It also tries to use a bullet point format to convey conversational information an NPC can relate to the party. Most of it is stupid, dumb, and padding, and detracts from the more important information, but, hey, the designer tried.

There’s also a nice little bit where the party can overhear that boys ran away from a ghost ona beached ship, near the village. There really IS a spectre on the boat! It’s not exactly handled well, at all, but the rando idea/rumor is cool

Thus ends my review/non-review of Cave of the Bone Dwellers. The adventure with the most useless DM’s text I’ve ever seen.

This is $5 at DriveThru. The preview is eight pages. It shows you the NPC’s in the taven and their bullet point layout, and some of the town location descriptions. Judge it for yourself and know that the town is one of the highlights of the adventure.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Under The Skull & Cross Bones Connection - The Hollow World Box Set & The Isle of Dread

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 06/22/2019 - 05:35
'Hundreds of miles from the mainland, surrounded by dangerous waters, lies an island known only as the Isle of Dread. Dark jungles and treacherous swamps await those who are brave enough to travel inland in search of the lost plateau, where the ruins of a once mighty civilization hold many treasures - and many secrets! " For many people the X1 The Isle of Dread By David Cook, &  Tom Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Obscure Art Friday: Weighing the Heart of the Dead by Erol Otus

Zenopus Archives - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 21:06
Erol Otus, Weighing the Heart of the Dead. Image source
The above picture is a fantastic full-page illustration by Erol Otus from Deities & Demigods (later retitled Legends & Lore), the fourth AD&D hardcover released in 1980. A tour-de-force of TSR's bullpen of artists at the time, it includes the work of Darlene, Dee, Diesel, Jaquays, Otus, Rosolf, Sutherland and Trampier, and lesser known artists (Eymoth, Jeff Lanners), all together in a single tome. 

But this picture is not in the highly sought after first or second printings that include the Cthulhu & Melnibonean Mythos, and which get the most attention these days. It was only added to the third printing when the Cthulhu & Melnibonean Mythos were removed. Some clues to the change are that Otus' signature includes an "81", which is the year after the book was originally published, and that Jeff Dee illustrated the rest of the Egyptian Mythos.

I'm not sure why TSR added this picture; I thought maybe they needed to fill in a page but by my count those two Mythos total 16 pages, which was exactly the amount removed (reducing the page count from 144 to 128 pages). Perhaps TSR let Otus add it because they were removing his stunning work on the Cthulhu Mythos (which he drew all of), which was his major contribution to the book besides the cover, title page illustration, and a few Non-Human Deities.

I had the version with this picture when I was kid and always liked it; these days I only have the earlier version but at some point realized this picture was not in it. I posted about it a few years ago in the Holmes Basic Community on G+. Per our discussions there, the image is a bit confusingly placed, as it comes on page 43 at the end of the Chinese Mythos, whose last entry is "Yen-Wang-Yeh (judge of the dead)", but the image is clearly illustrating a scene from the Egyptian Mythos, which after removal of the Cthulhu Mythos is placed right after the Chinese Mythos. 

Thoth is pictured in the background, and Anubis  in the foreground, fulfilling his role as "collector of the souls for transportation to the house of the dead", per his entry in the Egyptian Mythos. Curiously, there does not seem to be any further description of the Judgement scene anywhere else in the Egyptian Mythos, including any description of the creature standing behind the scales.

I found the above scan at the Sharktanks tumblr, where they wrote: 
"The Egyptian rite of Judgement from TSR’s “Deities and Demigods” by Erol Otus, 1980.  Still the only artistic depiction of the rite I’ve seen outside of the original hieroglyphs. The Devourer of the Dead is a lot bigger in this version than in the ancient copies I’ve seen."The Wikipedia entry for the Book of the Dead gives more information, including a picture showing the same entities:

"This detail scene, from the Papyrus of Hunefer (c. 1275 BCE), shows the scribe Hunefer's heart being weighed on the scale of Maat against the feather of truth, by the jackal-headed Anubis. The ibis-headed Thoth, scribe of the gods, records the result. If his heart equals exactly the weight of the feather, Hunefer is allowed to pass into the afterlife. If not, he is eaten by the waiting chimeric devouring creature Ammit composed of the deadly crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus. Vignettes such as these were a common illustration in Egyptian books of the dead."
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On New Vistas

Hack & Slash - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 17:28
I drew the wicker goat from Saltmarsh!!
High quality versions are on Patreon! If you like this stuff, you should check out the opportunity to grab some of the originals from the Etsy store, before some other gaming collector grabs them up.

I had someone complain about me posting links to where people can buy additional versions of my work, and I guess they didn't realize that the 150 dpi. jpg above is like the value I'm providing? I mean, are you gonna run Saltmarsh? There you go. You like the idea of what I do? Grab a collection on DTRPG for a few bucks in return for me laying it out in .pdf. You want to drop a HD image into Roll20? 600 .dpi PNG's are on the Patreon.

It's literally my job. If like, you aren't into free content, I guess you can avoid it, but don't complain because I'mma trying to feed a six year old over here. So much ice cream.

More is coming!!
Hack & Slash FollowGoogle +NewsletterSupportDonate to end Cancer (5 Star Rating)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Fresh “video games” site welcomes new users with Steam phish

Malwarebytes - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 16:51

Over the weekend, I received this unsolicited message from an acquaintance on Steam:

1 free game for new users!
Take the game you want https://t.co/{redacted}

Fortunately, other friends on Steam were quick to publicly warn others about potentially hacked accounts spamming dubious messages to anyone (if not all) in their network. I was reading these warnings hours before receiving a sample of the spam message to my own account.

A shallow online search reveals that this campaign has been going on since mid-March of this year. Because it’s quite low-profile, not a lot were able to dig deeper into it. We’ll attempt to do that here.

Latest Steam phishing campaign: a walk-through

Steam users were right to point out that this shortened URL indeed redirects to a phishing domain—but not at once.

Clicking the t.co link, which is a Twitter shortened URL, in the chat takes users to the site behind it: steamredirect[dot]fun. This is the re-director domain that takes users to the “proper” phishing page, which pretends to be a site where one can win free games.

Screenshot of the site called Gift4Keys, just one of the many identical websites out there that the shortened URL points users to.

In the middle of the site is the “Try your luck” section, a roulette game where users can get their (supposed) free game. All they have to do is press the blue Play button.

Whoo! I won PUBG!

The page then shows to the user that they have less than 30 minutes to claim the complete key by logging into their Steam account via the website. At the same time, the page also shows that the user would need to wait for 24 hours before they can roll the roulette again and get another free game.

Clicking the Login via Steam button here—or at the upper right-hand corner of the site—opens a page that looks like the bog-standard unaffiliated third-party Steam login page. This is either as a pop-up window or a new tab. The site did both during several tests.

The fake Steam login

Here are a few reasons why, at this point, Steam users should start considering bailing from this site all together and not hand over their credentials:

  • The links on the page, such as “Profile Privacy Setting” and “create an account” don’t work.
  • The URL address bar is blank. Legitimate unaffiliated third-party sites display an EV certificate for Valve Corp, and the URL in the address bar says that the signing in takes place in steamcommunity.com.
  • The Language drop-down box at the upper right-hand corner doesn’t work. It also appears to be in Russian even when visitors are outside of Russia.

Supplying credentials to this phish page, as we know, will result in accounts getting hijacked to further proliferate the phishing links.

Links in identical campaigns in the past were not hidden behind a URL shortener. It’s also no surprise that these links kept changing. In this case, the shortened URLs have redirected to the following domains, which are less than four months old, at some point:

  • easyk3y[dot]com
  • ezzkeys[dot]com
  • g4meroll[dot]com
  • g4me5[dot]com
  • gift4keys[dot]com
  • gifts-key[dot]com
  • ong4me[dot]com
  • tf2details[dot]com
  • yes-key[dot]com

Be forewarned that a number of these sites are still online, and if you visit them, they all look like this:

As of this writing, the only way to access the actual “free games roulette” page we have been showing above is by appending certain strings at the end of the URLs. That’s probably a good thing.

Keep calm and be vigilant

Steam has always been the platform of choice of fraudsters for a long time because of its millions of active users. This isn’t the first time that users have met and reacted to such a phishing campaign. In fact, this latest one has all the telltale signs of previous campaigns: Steam friend sends a message with link out of nowhere, link leads to a fake Steam login page, collected Steam credentials are used to hijack accounts and spam their friends.

Yes, there are still Steam users falling for old tricks. Yet, it’s also good to see Steam users realizing the danger early on, giving their friends a heads-up about it, and, should they suspect that they are affected, try to contain their zombified accounts to prevent other users from getting compromised.

So be calm, keep on the lookout, stay informed, and continue to look after each other.

Stay safe!

Other related blog(s):

The post Fresh “video games” site welcomes new users with Steam phish appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Melee for Real

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 15:47

Such a small box, but there’s so much game inside!

You can play it as a “design-a-thing” game where you spend five or ten minutes figuring out how to destroy your friend’s continuing character in a campaign of endless arena duels.

But you can also cut out the min/maxing element entirely by dealing several of of the fighter cards to each player and seeing what happens. How do you make these unoptimized figures work together as a team in order to crush the spirit of your opponent? It’s not immediately obvious! The range of options each turn are tremendous!

Pole weapon users really do get a great deal of attention in these rules– and do note that a few nuggets from Advanced Melee are folded into the third edition rule set here. The new tactics won’t necessarily be familiar to fans of the original microgame!

Charging a dude with a pole arm is suicidal. Letting yourself get charged by a dude with a pole weapon is also suicidal. That first contact is liable to hurt, but once engaged… you have options. He can’t hit people in adjacent hexes at all! If you have a line a men engaged with his crew… look for ways to shift your figures out of that pole weapon’s reach. Or even better… have two figures engage one of his on two sides… and then have your pole weapons dude hang back jab.

(This is something that is a huge part of classic old school D&D combat. Dungeon Masters the world over hand-wave the effects of pole weapons EVERY DAY. Having rules both coherent and playable for it is really weird. And having rules from 1980 get the job done is even weirder!)

This is just one small piece of the game, too. Coordinating the pole weapon guys with grapplers, missile weapons dudes, straight ahead skull bashers, and wizards is a whole ‘nother thing. It’s an insanely rich tactical environment with a tremendous number of permutations. The figures have scads of personality. And burning a turn to convert from pole arm to sword or sword to knife is well worth the sacrifice if the tactical context dictates it. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen in the old school rules that precede The Fantasy Trip.

But is it playable at the scale in which fantasy games tend to focus on…? New school games where there are a small number of special snowflake super hero types on each side? Yeah, probably. Old school games where the players are liable to have multiple hirelings and henchmen backing them up…? Ah, you might start to have problems there!

There are a couple of things you can do to keep it from bogging down, though:

  • In larger two player battles, make sure all the counters you use for each side are of the same color.
  • Use the erasable fighter cards (and/or the small paper record sheets) and arrange all of the characters in adjDex order next to the game board.
  • Steal colored cubes from a euro game to mark characters that have the -2 DX penalty for the next attack only and/or the -3 XD penalty for being at ST 3 or less.
  • Have one side be made up of identical units and possibly mark them with cubes based on what type of weapon they have ready.

Nothing in Melee happens simultaneously! The sequence of play for the combat round is unambiguous and detailed. It can slow things down if you have a brain burning life choice to make for each of eight or more figures every single combat round. But that’s the price you pay for being able to do something besides just rolling a d20 and dying!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Chernobyl’s lessons for critical-infrastructure cybersecurity

Malwarebytes - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 15:30

This story originally ran on The Parallax on April 26, 2019.

CHERNOBYL EXCLUSION ZONE, Ukraine—The stray dog looking directly at me was hard to resist. Her ears perked up, her fur appeared clean—free of mange, at any rate—and she held a large stick firmly between her jaws.

She looked like a good dog. She wanted to be petted or, at least, have someone wrestle the stick from her—perhaps throw it so she could retrieve it. But because we met near Cafe Desyatka, in the woods of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a 1,004-square-mile region slightly smaller than Yosemite National Park that surrounds the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, looking but not touching was probably the safer choice. I was less worried about how irradiated she might be than about whether she had rabies.

According to a 2017 estimate by the United States–based nonprofit Clean Futures Fund, this dog was one of hundreds of strays living in the Exclusion Zone, near the power plant, and in the abandoned cities of Chernobyl and Pripyat, which once housed the nuclear facility’s employees. The organization offers aid to communities decimated by industrial accidents, and that includes caring for the Chernobyl dogs, many of whom die young due to malnourishment, disease, predators, harsh weather, a lack of shelter, and Chernobyl’s notorious environmental contamination.

Soviet soldiers forced the owners of the dogs’ ancestors to abandon them in the evacuation that followed the Chernobyl disaster, which began 33 years ago today. Chernobyl, the first nuclear-power plant in the Soviet Union, had been operational for nine years. At 1:23 a.m. on April 26, 1986, a series of facility tests initiated the prior day culminated in the fuel chamber getting overpressurized.

During the tests, which were designed to determine how long the turbines would spin after a loss of electricity, an operator decided to carry on with testing procedures amid signs that the reactor was malfunctioning. Two explosions, driven by super-heated steam, followed. And smoke from fires spread radioactive material—400 times the amount released at Hiroshima—far beyond Chernobyl.

Two Chernobyl workers were immediately killed by explosions. Three more died the following week, and by the end of July, radiation exposure had killed 28 people, including six firefighters, according to the World Nuclear Association’s assessment of the Chernobyl disaster, last updated in April 2018. At least 106 others received doses of radiation high enough to contract acute radiation sickness.

This was not the first disaster at Chernobyl: A partial meltdown of Chernobyl Reactor 1’s core occurred in 1982, but the event and its impact were concealed from the public.

The official Soviet response was to blame the disaster on facility workers who bungled the tests. This conclusion was supported by the International Atomic Energy Association in 1992. But Chernobyl’s deputy chief engineer, Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov, alleged in a 1992 interview that flaws in the reactor design were the root cause.

One of the hundreds of stray dogs living in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, descendants of the original pets which Soviet soldiers forced Chernobyl residents to abandon in the aftermath of the disaster. Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/The Parallax

Dyatlov’s judgment is supported by a 2002 report for the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, which investigated the reactor design and how it led to the disaster. It is also supported by a 2009 analysis by the World Nuclear Association:

“The accident at Chernobyl was the product of a lack of safety culture. The reactor design was poor, from the point of view of safety, and unforgiving for the operators, both of which provoked a dangerous operating state. The operators were not informed of this and were not aware that the test performed could have brought the reactor into an explosive condition. In addition, they did not comply with operational procedures. The combination of these factors provoked a nuclear accident of maximum severity in which the reactor was totally destroyed within a few seconds.”

Multiple human factors led to the disaster at Chernobyl, from the Soviet decision to use the flawed reactor system when building the facility in the 1970s to the operators’ actions that fateful hour in 1986. And experts believe that human errors, including a reliance on overly connected or outdated systems to monitor and run critical infrastructure, could be exploited to pose similar threats to today’s nuclear-power facilities.

It remains an open question whether the industry’s collective responses are enough to stave off even the most clever of nation-state cyberattacks. What’s clear is that cyberattacks against all critical-infrastructure operations are on the rise, and nuclear-power facilities are not exempt, according to a 2016 report by the nuclear-security nonprofit Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Heavy regulations in the nuclear-power industry extending to cybersecurity protocol make nuclear-power facilities more secure than other types of power facilities, cybersecurity experts say. The regulations, in part, stem from education about Chernobyl. But cyberattacks against US nuclear-power facilities in the 2000s helped push regulators to take a more active role.

Early lessons from the school of cyber-knocks

In 2003, the computer worm SQL Slammer tackled more than 75,000 computers around the globe in 10 minutes, including those at the Davis-Besse nuclear-power plant in Ohio. Slammer prevented employees from accessing the software needed to monitor system safety for about five hours.

Thanks to a computer backup system, combined with the reactor being offline for unrelated reasons, the Slammer attack didn’t result in any damage. Instead, says Michael Toecker, the founder of cybersecurity consultancy Context Industrial Security, “the industry took it as a wake-up call…Everybody in nuclear turned their heads and said, ‘What just happened?’”

There were at least two other cybersecurity incidents at US nuclear-power plants that decade—in 2006, at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama, and in 2008, at the Hatch Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia—before the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission mandated that all nuclear-power facilities have a cybersecurity plan in 2009.

A year later, the NRC introduced the Regulatory Guide 5.71, a series of “best practices” it developed with input from the Department of Homeland Security, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Society of Automation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Nuclear Energy Institute. Each plant’s plan must hit eight milestones, which include creating a cybersecurity assessment team; identifying different cybersecurity levels and figuring out which devices need to be on each level; and protecting devices from portable media like thumb drives.

Threats such as Slammer “are probably equivalent” in scope to those at non-nuclear facilities, says F. Mitch McCrory, an internationally recognized cybersecurity expert who currently manages the Risk and Reliability Analysis Department in Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy, Earth, and Complex Systems Center. All power plants must be concerned with cyberattacks such as insider threats, software and hardware supply chain attacks, and hackers remotely accessing the network. But considering a disaster like Chernobyl, he says, nuclear-facility operators must “do cybersecurity better than other places.”

Layered security to stop hackers

In his 1990 book on nuclear energy, Bernard Leonard Cohen, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Pittsburgh, wrote that “post-accident analyses indicate that if there had been a US-style containment in the Chernobyl plant, none of the radioactivity would have escaped, and there would have been no injuries or deaths.”

That was before critical-infrastructure hacks became common. Stricter regulations on US nuclear-power facilities implemented since then include a requirement that the networks connecting nuclear-power machinery be separate from the business side of the facility. Nuclear facilities are also required to use one-way data diodes to control the flow of information from monitoring devices to central computers controlling the plant.

Bumper cars that were part of the amusement park in the now-abandoned town of Pripyat, Ukraine, home to more than 49,000 people when it was fully evacuated following the disaster. Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/The Parallax

“Digital instrumentation diodes prevent communication from the business network into the control system network. It mostly removes the threat vector of trying to hack into the system through the business network,” McCrory says, because there’s no way to send data back to its source—which is possible over traditionally used copper wiring. “And control system networks have digital-asset monitoring, to scan all devices for malware.”

There are procedural protections in place as well, Toecker says. Hardware and software updates must be tested on remote systems. Any software code written by a nuclear engineer for a nuclear facility must be reviewed by other engineers who have no relationship to the author. Software from an outside vendor must go through a source verification process, which can involve a hash check or software signature check, depending on the kind of software. Update installations must be documented. And depending on the type of update or the status of the facility, other precautionary procedures might come into play.

“We started doing in 2012,” Toecker says. “The rest of the power industry is only getting to that now.”

Cybersecurity holes still remain

Even after taking every imaginable precaution, no computerized system is ever hack-proof, and there is still plenty for the nuclear-power industry to improve on, says Bryan Owen, cybersecurity manager at enterprise data management software maker OSIsoft, whose software is used by nuclear facilities across the world to manage streams of monitoring data.

Top on his list is exporting US standards to other countries, not all of which have such strict regulations in place. In the United States, “regulators, standards organizations, government departments, customers, partners—they all rolled up their sleeves for years to develop the nuclear-cybersecurity regulations,” he says. “OSIsoft has almost 50 percent market share globally, and I’ve visited facilities all over the world. But I haven’t seen this replicated.”

Owen would also like available data on “near-misses,” when something goes wrong but doesn’t result in a significantly notable event. “This has proven to be a constructive approach in aviation safety,” he says, but remains “elusive” for critical infrastructure.

A hidden Soviet Duga array, an over-the-horizon radar system for detecting missile attacks, was revealed to the public in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/The Parallax

Nuclear-power facilities across the world also must contend with issues related to aging: Equipment can easily last “12 to 15 years,” Toecker says, but older equipment connected to networks can be harder to protect, as vendors discontinue product lines or go out of business.

In his 2016 report on cybersecurity and nuclear-power facilities, engineering and automation specialist Béla Lipták lays out the challenges in getting facility operators to protect customers.

“We also know that for financial reasons, and because of management convenience, the whole nuclear industry is drifting toward installing completely digital controls to allow the remote operation of some plant functions,” he writes. To protect consumers from hackers disrupting plant operations, he says the NRC must mandate “totally separating the corporate business networks from the plant networks, and to realize that digital firewalls do not guarantee this separation.”

That last bit of guidance is not clearly stated in US regulations of nuclear-power plants. And although data diodes may isolate the sensors that measure the plant’s functions from the plant’s operations network, industrial control system cybersecurity expert Joe Weiss says regulations should specify that sensors have on-board cybersecurity protections to stop data manipulation at the source. In most cases, he says, they don’t.

“If you can’t trust what you measure, you’re in pretty sad shape,” Weiss says. “If the sensor has remote communication capability, whether wired or wireless, it can be vulnerable. We made our systems accessible without truly understanding what that meant.”

Sensor vulnerability strikes at the core of Weiss’ concerns about nuclear power plant safety, especially as overwhelmed sensors made the Three Mile Island incident in 1979 much harder to stop.

“If what you’re measuring is not correct, your actions based on that are not going to be correct. If you’re a doctor, and you can’t trust your temperature or blood pressure reading, how can you make a good diagnosis?” he asks. “When you talk about sensors, that’s the heart of safety.”

High cost of failure

The Chernobyl plant, today covered in a 350-foot-high, 840-foot-wide metal-and-concrete sarcophagus, stands as a sober monument to the importance of prioritizing community security and safety.

For all of the damage the Chernobyl disaster wrought, it is rife with warning signs that anybody can go see for themselves of what can happen when politics or profits trumps safety protocol: the abandoned buildings of the former Chernobyl employee village of Pripyat; the exposure of a once-hidden missile-detecting radar array (view our photos of the Duga array above); and hundreds of sadly untouchable stray dogs.

In the years that followed the Chernobyl disaster, the NRC decided over a series of at least three reports that there were few safety improvements, if any, for the United States to make at its reactors. After participating in a select scientific panel analyzing what happened, the Nobel laureate and American physicist Hans Bethe told Richard Rhodes for his book on Chernobyl, “the Chernobyl disaster tells us about the deficiencies of the Soviet political and administrative system rather than about problems with nuclear power.”

Weiss remains concerned about the security of nuclear plants in the United States and abroad because the stakes are so high.

“This isn’t a data breach,” he argues. “This is blowing things up.”

The post Chernobyl’s lessons for critical-infrastructure cybersecurity appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Perfect Summer Crochet Clutch

Moogly - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 13:21

The Perfect Summer Crochet Clutch features standout texture and that classic straw look for a handmade summer wardrobe staple! And it’s a free crochet purse pattern on Moogly! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; materials provided by Red Heart and Clover USA. Get the look with Red Heart Nylon Straw purses are right on trend,...

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The post Perfect Summer Crochet Clutch 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

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:00


My Favourite Articles and Links This Week How to slow down time- experience more firsts. The Japanese secret to a longer and happier life. I loved this comparison of UK and US book covers – I usually prefer the UK cover! Hats off to UK Cover design. This was hilarious- I’m an adorable romper, and

The post Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Weird Revisited: Over There

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 06/21/2019 - 11:00
The original version of the post appeared in 2015. I still like this idea, just haven't got around to using it in any way.

Take the fairyland across the border of Lud-in-the-Mist or A Fall of Stardust. In between it and the "real world" there is a wall or barrier-- let's say an "Anti-Alien Protection Rampart" in official terminology. Instead of England on the real world side there's East Berlin and the GDR or some subtle Eastern Bloc stand-in. Drüben, indeed.

While "Workers of the World, Unite Against the Faerie!" would be interesting enough, recasting the fairy presence with some Zone phenomena-like details out of Roadside Picnic and a bit of the seductiveness of the Festival from Singularity Sky: "Entertain us and we will give you want you want." Faerie should be weird and horrifying but also weird and wondrous--in a horrific way, naturally. Miracles, wonders, and abominations.

Of course, the authorities don't want anybody having interaction with the faerie, much less smuggling in their reality-warping, magical tech--and maybe they have a point. But if PCs did the smart thing they wouldn't be adventurers, would they?

Steven Universe Trading Cards - Sketch Card Previews Part 6

Cryptozoic - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 23:39

Please enjoy the sixth preview of Sketch Cards from our artists. Steven Universe Trading Cards are available now! Links to contact the artists can be found below the images of their work.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Doubling Down On T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil By Gary Gygax In Mystara & Greyhawk

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 22:09
Last night's blog entry got a lot of flack because I had  T1 The Village of Hommlet takes place in Mystara & not Greyhawk. There seems to be some confusion on the exact power scale  of the T1 Temple of Elemental Evil. This isn't some light weight adventure but one of the most infamous megadungeons that came from the pen of Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer. This module will quite literally take your Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


First Comics News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 22:08

The saga of how #couplegoals Archie and Sabrina came to be—and like the start of any good love story, it’s filled nervous first date jitters, butterflies and a good amount of supernatural terror! *
Script: Nick Spencer and Mariko Tamaki
Art: Jenn St. Onge, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
ARCHIE #707 CVR A Reg: Jenn St. Onge
ARCHIE #707 CVR B Var: Francesco Francavilla
ARCHIE #707 CVR C Var: Sandy Jarrell, Jack Morelli
Ship Date: 8/21
On Sale Date: 9/4
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.


ARCHIE: 1955 #1 (of 5)
BRAND NEW SERIES from the writing team that brought you ARCHIE: 1941! Can a rocking teenager from a small, sleepy town find fame and fortune through this new phenomenon called “rock and roll”? When Archie Andrews proves to a local DJ that he’s got the makings of a hip-shaking stardom, he begins an ascent to fame that will carry with it both triumph and tragedy.
Script: Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
Art: Tom Grummett, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
ARCHIE: 1955 #1 CVR A Reg: Audrey Mok
ARCHIE: 1955 #1 CVR B Var: Jinky Coronado
ARCHIE: 1955 #1 CVR C Var: Francesco Francavilla
ARCHIE: 1955 #1 CVR D Var: Aaron Lopresti
ARCHIE: 1955 #1 CVR E Var: Pete Woods
Ship Date: 9/4
On Sale Date: 9/18
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.


Class is in session! This new issue of Archie and Friends features Archie being a guide for incoming freshmen at Riverdale High, a lab experiment gone awry, an aptitude test with abnormal results and a new student that raises some eyebrows!
Script: Various
Art: Various
Cover: Jeff Shultz, Rosario “Tito” Peña
Ship Date: 8/21
On Sale Date: 9/4
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.


ONE BRAND NEW STORY: “Head Games!” Archie and Jughead take a trip to a unique secondhand store where they find Big Moose—no, not their friend, a decorative moose head that causes a whole load of trouble for Archie!
Script: Bill Golliher
Art: Pat and Tim Kennedy, Bob Smith, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Bill Galvan, Ben Galvan, Rosario “Tito” Peña
Ship Date: 9/4
On Sale Date: 9/18
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.


Archie and Sabrina team-up for a spook-tacularly fun coloring book! It’s the ultimate treat for those looking to get colorful! Everyone’s favorite teenage witch joins the fun as the whole Riverdale gang is back for a Halloween-themed coloring book. There are plenty of costumes, candies, and creatures to customize in this latest entry! Plus, each image has an intricate background pattern to add to your color experience. The possibilities are endless and the fun never stops!
Script: Various
Art: Various
Cover: Bill Galvan, Dan DeCarlo, Rosario “Tito” Peña
$9.99 US/$11.99 CAN
7 1/4 x 10 7/8”
128 pp, B&W
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 9/11


ONE BRAND NEW STORY: “Fake ‘N Bake” The Riverdale Fall Festival Bake-Off Contest is here and a competition quickly heats up between Betty and Veronica over who can bake the perfect pie to not only win the contest but Archie’s heart as well!
Script: Francis Bonnet
Art: Jeff Shultz, Bob Smith, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Jeff Shultz, Rosario “Tito” Peña
Ship Date: 8/21
On Sale Date: 9/4
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.


The story that follows Archie’s two possible futures—one where he’s married to Veronica and another where he’s married to Betty—continues! It’s nearly Archie and Veronica’s tenth anniversary—and they’re celebrating it by attending a Moose Mason for Congress rally! And while the action heats up on the political field, things turn dire in the Lodge household. Meanwhile, nearing Archie and Betty’s tenth anniversary, a mysterious call from Dilton Doiley alerts the couple to leave New York immediately and return to Riverdale! Matching or exceeding 80% of final orders of #1 get an extra 5% discount.
Script: Michael Uslan
Art: Dan Parent, J. Bone, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
ARCHIE: TML – 10th #2 CVR A Reg: Dan Parent
ARCHIE: TML – 10th #2 CVR B Var: Jim Balent
ARCHIE: TML – 10th #2 CVR C Var: Andrew Pepoy, Jason Millet
Ship Date: 8/28
On Sale Date: 9/11
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.


ONE BRAND NEW STORY: “What if… Archie Had an Identical Twin?” The “What if” scenarios continue with a look at what would happen if Archie had an identical twin—will the love triangle problems be solved once and for all?
Script: Bill Golliher
Art: Dan Parent, Rich Koslowski, Jack Morelli, Glenn Whitmore
Cover: Bill Golliher, Jim Amash, Rosario “Tito” Peña
Ship Date: 9/11
On Sale Date: 9/25
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.


The fourth volume of Archie’s most popular graphic novel series gets the deluxe treatment in this full-size, remastered hardcover edition collecting over 50 iconic favorite stories from across Archie’s 75+ year history, along with decade-by-decade content and behind-the-scenes anecdotes. The bestselling retrospective of this essential piece of Archie history finally gets the treatment its due in this keepsake bookshelf edition.
Script: Various
Art: Various
Cover: Bob Montana
$19.99 US/$21.99 CAN
6 5/8 x 10 3/16”
416 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 9/4


Rising stars Jamie Lee Rotante (Betty & Veronica: Vixens) and artist Sandra Lanz (Star Trek: Waypoint) take Betty and Veronica where they’ve never gone before–their senior year of high school! Only one school year stands between them and freedom, but when the two BFFs think they’ll be attending the same college in the fall find out that their plans have changed, their senior year—and their friendship—is put to the test!
Script: Jamie L. Rotante
Art: Sandra Lanz, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Sandra Lanz
$14.99 US/$16.99 CAN
6 5/8 x 10 3/16”
144 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 9/18


From the author of the New York Times best-selling graphic novel Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale comes the horror sensation Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This title contains Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s story so far, in addition to never-before-seen comic items and imagery from the Netflix series in a premium, over-sized hardcover format.
Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art: Robert Hack, Jack Morelli
Cover: Provided by Netflix
$29.99 US/$31.99 CAN
7 ½ x 11”
288 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 9/25


Jughead is stranded on a desolate timeline, one without burgers, or hot dogs, or any meat couched in bread. He’s got to find some way to get back to the future to prevent an all-out war between the time streams—but can he do it alone?
Script: Sina Grace
Art: Derek Charm, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
JUGHEAD’S TIME POLICE #4 CVR B Reg: Rebekah Isaacs, Matt Herms
JUGHEAD’S TIME POLICE #4 CVR C Reg: Dan Schkade, Matt Herms
Ship Date: 9/11
On Sale Date: 9/25
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.


Join us as we celebrate all things SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH in this special super-sized magazine. As we gear up for part three of the hit Netflix series, we’re celebrating some of the best comic book and TV moments!
Script: Various
Art: Provided by Netflix
Cover: Provided by Netflix
Ship Date: 9/4
On Sale Date: 9/18
128-page, full color comic
$9.99 U.S.


Events have passed a point of no return in Greendale and Sabrina has to take dramatic steps in order to save her family, friends, and the city itself from an out of control threat that isn’t exactly what it seemed to be. But all magic has a price and magic this big has a big price. Just how far will Sabrina go to protect the ones she loves?
Script: Kelly Thompson
Art: Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, Jack Morelli
Ship Date: 8/28
On Sale Date: 9/11
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.


ONE BRAND NEW STORY: “It’s A-‘Maze’-Ing!” The annual Riverdale Corn Maze provides many twists and tricks for Archie and his pals ‘n’ gals. It’s all fun and games until two of the teens go in… and don’t come out!
Script: Bill Golliher
Art: Bill Golliher, Jim Amash, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Jeff Shultz, Rosario “Tito” Peña
Ship Date: 8/28
On Sale Date: 9/11
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 22:07

Brian Wood!


Aliens Colonial Marines: Rising Threat #1


Brian Wood (W), Werther Dell’Edera (A), Michael Atiyeh (A), Tristan Jones and Simon Gough (Cover), and TBD (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 18

FC, 32 pages




Tying into the events from the upcoming Cold Iron Studios video game, this series delves into the formative years of the Colonial Marines. Introducing Olivia Shipp, leader of a squad of battle-weary Marines who have defied orders to rescue the survivors of a refinery under siege.


  • Variant cover to be revealed.


  • Based on characters from the upcoming Aliens video game!


  • Written by Brian Wood of Aliens: Resistance!






From the studio behind the hit franchises Dragon Age and Mass Effect comes the thrilling world of Anthem. Several items are on the roster, and this is just the beginning!


On sale Sept 4


Anthem Magnet 4-Pack

Four 1.25” magnets in a handy hinged case, which measures 2.75” x 3.5”.



Anthem Coaster Set

Four cork-backed coasters featuring the Javelins. Packaged in a full-color box.



Anthem Mug

11 oz. mug with the iconic logo.





The Art of Bravely Second: End Layer HC


Square Enix (W) and Yoshida Akihiko (A)


On sale Nov 20

FC, 256 pages


HC, 8 1/2″ x 12”


Return to the enchanted world of Luxendarc with a collection of art that celebrates another critically revered entry in the Bravely series! Enjoy in-depth commentary from the creative team, and explore detailed concept art from the ethereal sequel to BRAVELY DEFAULT.


Dark Horse Books is proud to collaborate with Square Enix to present The Art of Bravely Second: End Layer, published in English for the first time! This localization of the original Japanese text features gorgeous concept art and extensive commentary from the team behind BRAVELY SECOND. The second of two volumes, this collection intimately explores the concepts and creativity from the next chapter in the fan-favorite Bravely series!


  • Presented in English for the very first time!


  • Features hundreds of pieces of development art and exclusive commentary from the game’s creators!





The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order HC


Respawn Entertainment (W)


On sale Nov 19

FC, 184 pages


HC, 9” x 12”


A galaxy-spanning adventure awaits in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the new action-adventure videogame from Respawn Entertainment. Explore the artistic creation of Cal Kestis’s quest to rebuild the Jedi Order as he learns the ways of the Force, travels to exotic worlds, and battles tyrannical foes.

With detailed concept art of all-new characters, exciting weapons and equipment, and locales both familiar and new, this tome offers a behind-the-scenes look at the production of a hit game—all accompanied by intimate artists’ commentary that reveals how this incredible universe is brought together.


  • A unique reading experience that chronicles the art and development of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.


  • The newest interactive addition to the Star Wars universe, exploring the dawn of the Empire.

From the creator of Black Hammer!


Berserker Unbound #2 (of 4)


Jeff Lemire (W), Mike Deodato Jr. (A/Cover), Frank Martin (C), and Andrea Sorrentino (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 4

FC, 32 pages




Ripped from a savage world ruled by magic and dropped at the outskirts of a modern city, feared warrior the Mongrel King is found and rescued by a homeless man who guides him through a new land with new vices and hardships.


From the Eisner Award-winning team of Jeff Lemire, Mike Deodato Jr., and Frank Martin comes this urban warrior fantasy series!




Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #3 (of 5)


Jeff Lemire (W, Michael Walsh (A/C/Cover), Nate Powell (Variant Cover), Ray Fawkes (Variant Cover), Tradd Moore (Variant Cover), and Evan Shaner (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 11

FC, 32 pages




DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics present the ultimate superhero crossover event of 2019!

Dropped into the DC universe, the Black Hammer heroes find themselves captured by members of the Justice League who blame them for the cosmic switch—and on the Black Hammer Farm, the displaced DC heroes search for answers and a way out of their bucolic prison. But Colonel Weird and the Green Lantern discover that the solution to this riddle may not be so simple.


“I didn’t think something could be thrilling and sad at the same time but now there’s Black Hammer proving me wrong. Amazing, just flat-out amazing.”—Patton Oswalt


“Black Hammer is the maddest, most brilliant comic I’ve read in years.”—Mark Millar


Blade of the Immortal Omnibus Volume 10 TP


Hiroaki Samura (W/A/Cover)


On sale Nov 13

b&w, 704 pages


TP, 5 3/4″ x 8 1/4”


The harrowing, bone-crunching finale! Disgraced Edo officer Habaki faces the devious Anotsu in a decisive showdown, while Manga, Rin, and only a few others witness the end of an era. Rin’s quest concludes with a violent bang—then things get weirder! Hiroaki Samura’s Blade of the Immortal finale overflows with heartbreak and bloodshed! Collects volumes 29, 30, and 31.




Bravest Warriors


On sale Sept 20


Bravest Warriors Magnet 4-Pack

Four colorful 1.25” magnets, featuring the sticker pets in a hinged plastic case that measures 2.75” x 3.5”.



Bravest Warriors Enamel Pin Set

Four brightly colored pins, ranging from 1” to 1.75”. Represent your favorite sticker pet or wear them all!



Bravest Warriors Coaster Set

Four 4” x 4” coasters in bold colors depicting your favorite adorable creatures.



Bravest Warriors Magnet Set

Admire and accessorize your favorite critters with these adorable magnets!

8.25” x 12.5”





The Courageous Princess Volume 1: Beyond the Hundred Kingdoms TP


Rod Espinosa (W/A/Cover)


On sale Nov 27

FC, 248 pages


TP, 5 3/4″ x 9″


Once upon a time, a greedy dragon kidnapped a beloved princess . . . But if you think she just waited around for some charming prince to rescue her, then you’re in for a surprise! Princess Mabelrose has enough brains and bravery to fend for herself!




Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins Series II #3 (of 6)


Jody Houser (W), Olivia Samson (A), Msassyk (C), and Benjamin Dewey (Cover)


On sale Sept 11

FC, 32 pages




Not even Pike’s holy healing could remove the scar Grog received during the ritual his friends interrupted under Gatshadow, but reaching people who could provide answers is difficult. As often happens in these situations, a stranger approaches the party with an offer: he’ll get them access to a wizard’s tower in exchange for stealing a magical item while they’re there. Simple enough. What could go wrong?


More hijinks are on the way from award-nominated writer Jody Houser (Orphan Black, Stranger Things) and first series artist Olivia Samson.

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Volume 1TP


Kuroki Q (W/A/Cover)


On sale Nov 13

b&w, 208 pages


TP, 5 1/8” x 7 1/4″


Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is an alternate version of the events told in the manga Danganronpa 2: Ultimate Luck and Hope and Despair. That series told the story through the eyes of “Ultimate Lucky Student” Nagito Komaeda; now Goodbye Despair gives you the perspective of his archrival in the desperate classroom murder game, Hajime Hinata!


  • Based on the PlayStation and Windows game Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair from NIS America and Spike Chunsoft.




Disney Frozen: The Hero Within TP


Joe Caramagna (W) and Kawaii Creative Studio (A/C/Cover)


On sale Nov 6

FC, 72 pages


TP, 6” x 9”


Olaf’s friend Hedda is a spunky girl with a big imagination and dreams of adventure. But an encounter with some bullies forces Hedda to make a life-changing decision: she runs away to face the world alone in the treacherous Forbidden Land. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf must solve the problem of the bullies and find Hedda before it is too late! Collects the three-issue miniseries.




Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs TP


Cecil Castellucci (W) and Gabriele Bagnoli (A/Cover)


On sale Nov 20

FC, 72 pages


TP, 6” x 9”


The classic Disney tale reawakens and expands through the first-person perspective of Snow herself in this comic retelling. Glimpse into the mind and heart of the princess as she experiences love, betrayal, terror, hope, friendship, longing, and sadness before her happily ever after. Collects the three-issue miniseries.

Emanon Volume 3 TP


Shinji Kajio (W) and Kenji Tsuruta (A/Cover)


On sale Nov 6

b&w, 240 pages


TP, 5 13/16″ x 8 1/4″


What happens when the woman who remembers everything . . . forgets who she herself is? In 1973, Ryozo, a young hiker on a mountain trail in far southern Japan, comes across a disoriented girl who doesn’t know her own name, carrying on her the small change of a dozen different nations . . . and a bag with the initials “E.N.” Haunted by nightmares of primordial seas and forests, she tries to find a new life with Ryozo—and reconnect somehow with her endless past.

Matt Kindt! David Rubín!


Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #1 (of 5)


Matt Kindt (W), David Rubín (A/Cover), and Paul Azaceta (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 18

FC, 32 pages




From New York Times–bestselling Mind MGMT creator Matt Kindt and Black Hammer’s David Rubín comes the third installment of this fantasy adventure that’s Sherlock Holmes meets Dr. Seuss.


The Faerie King’s daughter is missing, and only portal jumper Boone Dias can track her down. Jumping from one magical crime scene to another, he uncovers a bizarre plot featuring assassin eggs, weird pirates, ice deserts, and more noir absurdities.


  • Pinups by Gabriel Walta, Kevin Nowlan, Paul Azaceta, and more!







Christopher Cantwell (W) and I.N.J. Culbard (W/A/C/Cover)


On sale Sept 4

FC, 32 pages




EVERYTHING is a gleaming new mega-department store which arrives to extraordinary thrill—and rapidly escalates to inexplicable mania in the small town of Holland, Michigan.


When random hellish fires and unshakable psychic disturbances start to overtake the community, a few—like depressive out-of-towner Lori and a suspicious local named Rick—begin to suspect EVERYTHING and its catalog-perfect manger, Shirley.


Who—or what—exactly is in charge here . . . and what insidious plans are in store?


From Christopher Cantwell, acclaimed writer of She Could Fly and co-creator of AMC;s Halt and Catch Fire, and celebrated artist I.N.J. Culbard (The New Deadwardians, Brink) comes a new monthly ongoing series. Everything: a truly bizarre story about the most horrifying pursuit of happiness you’ve ever read.





Fight Club 3 #9


Chuck Palahniuk (W), Cameron Stewart (A), Dave McCaig (C), David Mack (Cover), and Steve Morris (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 25

FC, 32 pages




While Marla Singer enjoys a “girl’s night out,” her son learns about biological warfare, and Tyler joins a whole different kind of club at The Last Round-Up.




Fight Club 2020 Calendar


On sale Sept 11

9.5” x 12”



This is your calendar and it’s ending one day at a time.


From the mind of Chuck Palahniuk, with art from Cameron Stewart and cover artist David Mack, comes a twisted way to track all the mayhem of 2020. This 12-month calendar measures 9.5” x 12.”


Get a jump on the last year of the world as we know it!




Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: Saturn Returns #2 (of 3)


Mike Mignola (W), Scott Allie (W), Christopher Mitten (A/Cover), and Brennan Wagner (C)


On sale Sept 18

FC, 32 pages




Hellboy and Agent Kinsley delve deeper into the mystery behind a cache of bodies found in the New Hampshire woods. Possible explanations include werewolves, vampires, and demons . . . but the truth may be even stranger! Meanwhile, a runaway Liz Sherman finds that life on the street comes at a steep cost!





Isabellae Volume 2 HC


Raule (W) and Gabor (A/Cover)


On sale Nov 6

FC, 152 pages


HC, 8 3/8″ x 10 3/16″


Curious about her origins and in search of long-lost Celtic relatives, Isabellae travels to Ireland. But when the ancient druids of the Emerald Isle make a deal with the monstrous Formorian gods, Isabellae finds herself battling in a war for control with her English and Irish allies! In this epic conclusion to the series, Isabellae battles against ancient Celtic beasts and deities that threaten the destruction of humanity.




Joe Golem: Occult Detective—The Conjurors #5 (of 5)


Mike Mignola (W), Christopher Golden (W), Peter Bergting (A), Michelle Madsen (C), and David Palumbo (Cover)


On sale Sept 18

FC, 32 pages




Felix Orlov, all traces of his humanity gone, reaches toward the heavens as the Outer Dark descends! Dr. Cocteau is convinced he can use Lector’s Pentajulum to make contact with the “gods” who answer Felix’s cries—and is willing to put the entire Drowning City in jeopardy to do it.




Last Stop on the Red Line TP


Paul Maybury (W), Sam Lotfi (A/Cover), John Rauch (C)


On sale Nov 6

FC, 88 pages


TP, 7” x 10”


Detective Migdalia Torres investigates a vicious strangling on a Boston subway car with no feasible leads. As potential evidence produces dead ends, Migdalia inadvertently takes in a vagrant named Yusef who may have a supernatural connection to the crime at hand. While Yusef’s plagued by visions and seemingly false memories, both suspect and detective struggle to discover the identity of the phantom killer that stalks the Boston Metro. Collects issues #1-#4 of the miniseries.



Manor Black #3 (of 4)


Cullen Bunn (W), Brian Hurtt (W), Tyler Crook (A/C/Cover), and Greg Smallwood (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 25

FC, 32 pages




From the creators of Harrow County and The Sixth Gun comes this gothic horror fantasy about a family of sorcerers in crisis.


After Roman Black takes Ari under his wing, his family of powerful sorcerers begin to see the young mage as a threat, and the dangerous magicians on her trail continue to cause chaos in the surrounding town.




The Massive Omnibus Volume 2 TP


Brian Wood (W), Garry Brown (A), Danijel Zezelj (P), Jordie Bellaire (C), and J. P. Leon (Cover)


On sale Nov 13

FC, 392 pages


TP, 7” x 10”


The Crash was only the beginning. What remains of civilization is being obliterated by a series of cataclysmic events. The truth about the identity of Captain Callum’s companion Mary, which began as a faint signal, grows louder—and she’s seemingly connected to it all. This second volume of The Massive Omnibus collects The Massive Issues #16–#30.




No One Left to Fight #3 (of 5)


Aubrey Sitterson (W) and Fico Ossio (A/C)


On sale Sept 4

FC, 32 pages




The comic you ALWAYS wanted proudly presents “the Coming of the Hierophant!” This year’s hottest new creative team, Aubrey Sitterson (The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling, G.I. Joe) and Fico Ossio (Spider-Man, Revolution), invite you to immerse yourself in their fantastical world, meeting its iconic heroes and the old nemesis who refuses to remain in the past: the dreaded, enigmatic Hierophant.




The Orville #3: The Word of Avis Part 1 of 2


David A. Goodman (W), David Cabeza (A/Cover), and Michael Atiyeh (C)


On sale Sept 11

FC, 32 pages




When the Orville detects a Union transport headed straight for Krill territory, they hail them and receive no response. Forced to intercept, the Orville is soon playing host to a group of seemingly hapless xenoanthropologists—including an old acquaintance of John’s. But not everything is as it seems.



The Perry Bible Fellowship HC (10th Anniversary Edition)


Nicholas Gurewitch (W/A/Cover)


On sale Nov 6

FC, 256 pages


HC, 7” x 10”


Celebrate ten years of Perry Bible Fellowship with this comprehensive collection of PBF comics, sketches, and more!


This newly formatted 7” x 10” almanac features every PBF comic strip that ran in alternative newspapers between 2004 and 2007—and simultaneously exploded online during the internet’s golden age! In commemoration of ten years since its initial printing, this almanac also contains content that is unavailable anywhere else, including previously undiscovered PBF comics from the era and numerous sketches for comics that never came to be.


This Ignatz, Harvey, and Eisner-winning comic strip is “the best thing to happen to cartooning since “Calvin and Hobbes”.” —Matt Inman (The Oatmeal)





A New York Times best-selling series!


Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Volume 3 HC


Paul Tobin (W), Jacob Chabot (A/Cover), and Heather Breckel (C)


On sale Nov 13

FC, 88 pages


HC, 6” x 9”


Following up Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare volumes 1 and 2, our plant and human allies strive to survive in a Neighborville ruthlessly occupied by the zombies. Dr. Zomboss creates robots to mimic Nate and Patrice and lead the plants astray, Crazy Dave unleashes new inventions, and some surprising additions to the Neighborville team are introduced!




Starcraft: Survivors #3 (of 4)


Jody Houser (W), Gabriel Guzmán (A/Cover), and Michael Atiyeh (C)


On sale Sept 18

FC, 32 pages




Another Spearpoint worker has disappeared, plunging the base into chaos. As Caleb gets closer to finding the secret lab, he discovers another way to end the dark templar’s reign of terror: the Shadowguard, elite psionic agents sent to guard the Umojan Protectorate against the most dangerous threats.


Based on an original story by Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft game team and Jody Houser!




Steeple #1 (of 5)


John Allison (W/A/Cover), Sarah Stern (C), and Max Sarin (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 18

FC, 32 pages




A supernatural tale of friendship, the devil, and moral gray areas.

Two women with wildly different worldviews become unlikely friends as they navigate the supernatural happenings in a sleepy coastal parish—and soon find themselves forced to choose sides in the war between good and evil, facing demons, curses, and a miniature Rapture!


  • New series from John Allison, author of Giant Days.



Stranger Things Volume 2: Six TP


Jody Houser (W), Edgar Salazar (P), Keith Champagne (I), Marissa Louise (C), and Kyle Lambert (Cover)


On sale Nov 27

FC, 96 pages


TP, 7” x 10”


Francine, a teenage girl with precognition, has struggled through a lifetime of exploitation: first by her parents, then by Dr. Brenner of Hawkins Laboratory. Dr. Brenner wants to harness her powers as well as those of the other gifted children that they hold captive at the lab. Wracked by increasingly disturbing visions, she sees an opportunity for her and all the children to escape. But at what cost? Collects the four-issue miniseries.


  • A new installment of the popular Stranger Things franchise!




Strayed #2 (of 5)

Carlos Giffoni (W), Juan Doe (A/C/Cover), and Jim Mahfood (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 11

FC, 32 pages




Lou the astral-projecting cat’s cosmic findings reveal new truths, new worlds, and new creatures. Unfortunately, his discoveries continue to be exploited for nefarious governmental purposes. Despite ailing health, his hunt presses on as he searches for the beings responsible for creating an energy source of astonishing power.


Sword Daughter Volume 3: Cold Rain HC


Brian Wood (W), Mack Chater (A), José Villarrubia (C), and Ben Oliver (Cover)


On sale Nov 6

FC, 96 pages


HC, 7” x 10”


Elsbeth Dagsdottir has not forgotten the oath her father made to her on that remote Icelandic beach: to deliver revenge upon the Forty Swords clan that burned their village and murdered her mother. It might take them a lifetime of struggle and suffering and loss, but a promise is a promise. Collects issue #7-#9 of the series.

Christian Ward!


Tommy Gun Wizards #2 (of 4)


Christian Ward (W/A/Cover), Sami Kivelä (A), Dee Cunnife (C), and Tula Lotay (Variant Cover)


On sale Sept 25

FC, 32 pages




In their struggle to take down Al Capone and his bootleg-magic operation, Eliot Ness and his Untouchables must navigate corrupt church officials, mystically enhanced bruisers, and ruthless wizards with obscure intentions who pull the strings behind the scenes. But can Ness keep up without succumbing to his own dark side?


A new genre-bending comic series from Christian Ward, artist of the acclaimed sci-fi epic Invisible Kingdom. Drawn by Sami Kivelä (Abbott).

Define your existence!


Triage #1 (of 5)


Phillip Sevy (W/A/C/Cover)


On sale Sept 4

FC, 32 pages




A dedicated nurse named Evie Pierce awakens to an unfamiliar world alongside two doppelgängers—one, a young and snarky superhero; the other, a hardened rebel military commander of a post-apocalyptic world. When a mysterious figure begins to hunt them down, the three women must work together to survive and discover why they were assembled.


  • Phillip Sevy’s authorial sci-fi epic!



Trout: The Hollowest Knock #4 (of 4)


Troy Nixey (W/A/Cover) and Dave Stewart (C)


On sale Sept 18

FC, 32 pages




Trout’s harrowing adventure comes to an earth-drenching conclusion. A huge tsunami has wiped out Giuseppe’s village and along with it any hope he has of rescuing Trout. But a menagerie of fantastical sea creatures comes to the rescue and help our two heroes battle their past and embrace their future.




The Umbrella Academy Library Edition Volume 2: Dallas HC


Gerard Way (W), Gabriel Bá (A), and Dave Stewart (C)


On sale Nov 13

FC, 232 pages


HC, 8” x 12”

The Umbrella Academy is despondent following the near apocalypse created by one of their own and the death of their beloved mentor Pogo. Trouble is—each of them is distracted by their own problems. The White Violin is bedridden. Rumor has lost her voice—the source of her power. Spaceboy has eaten himself into a near-catatonic state, while Number Five dives into some shady dealings at the dog track, and the Kraken starts looking at his littlest brother as the key to unraveling a mysterious series of massacres . . . all leading to a blood-drenched face-off with maniacal assassins and a plot to kill JFK!


This deluxe oversized hardcover reprints the 2009 limited edition collection of the complete second series, Dallas, with the short story “Anywhere but Here” and an expanded 36-page sketchbook featuring work by Way, Bá, designer Tony Ong, and Superman’s pal Jim Lee.



Usagi Yojimbo: 35 Years of Covers HC


Stan Sakai (W/A/Cover)


On sale Nov 13

FC, 320 pages


HC, 9” x 12”


Honoring the 35th anniversary of Stan Sakai’s award-winning series Usagi Yojimbo, this deluxe art collection includes hundreds of full-page cover pieces illustrated by Stan Sakai! After 35 years of adventures, Usagi’s lively history is fully represented in this compendium of Stan’s greatest covers.


  • A deluxe art collection featuring beautiful full-page cover art!


Celebrating 35 years of Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai!




The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt: Regis Vampire Deluxe Figure


On sale Nov 13

10.5” tall



Emiel Regis Rohellec Terzieff-Godefroy, better known simply as Regis, was a very powerful higher vampire, and was more than four hundred years old when he first met Geralt of Rivia. He was the barber-surgeon of Dillingen but surprisingly intellectual for one in such a profession. Regis is featured as an integral part in Geralt and company’s quest to find Ciri.


In the continuing series of our wildly popular Witcher figures, Dark Horse is excited to bring Regis the Vampire to life! This deluxe, hand-painted plastic figure is the very first of our Witcher figures that features interchangeable parts! His head, left arm, and right hand are removable and allow you to change Regis from his human form to his vampire form. Add this to your Witcher figure collection now!




Witchfinder Omnibus Volume 1 TP


Mike Mignola (W/Cover), John Arcudi (W), Kim Newman (W), Maura McHugh (W), Ben Stenbeck (A), John Severin (A), Tyler Crook (A), Dave Stewart (A), and Others


On sale Nov 27

FC, 440 pages


TP, 7” x 10”


The collected adventures of England’s greatest occult investigator!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

FCN Podcast #42: Superman: Year One, Usagi Yojimbo, Warlord of Mars Attacks, Critical Role

First Comics News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 21:31
First Comics News Podcast #42

This episode we will talk about:

Superman: Year One, Frank Millers new controversal origin story

Usagi Yojimbo #1 from IDW and the worst review you will find on the internet

Warlord of Mars Attacks #1 which is the craziest crossover of the week

Critical Role: Vox Machina: Origins #1 based on the hit D&D live streamers adventures


Download link (right-click to save)

Visit the site for previous episodes of the podcast

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


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