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First Comics News - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 05:57

San Antonio, TX – November 26, 2018. If Sin City and Tintin hooked up it’s hard to imagine the resulting offspring being anything other than OFFBEATS, a kinetic crime noir set in the jazz-drenched atmosphere of 1950’s New York City. Guardian Knight Studios today announced OFFBEATS #1 kicking off this four-issue limited series.

Created by Tom Sacchi and John Ward, OFFBEATS is the tale of Jim, a lowly mechanic who flees to the Big Apple in search of a new life as a writer but instead finds himself caught between a hard-nosed police force and the mob. Jim must team up with small-time hustler Booker to save Booker’s sister from the mob, and stay one step ahead of the police.

With beautiful artwork from Giles Crawford (FUBAR, Igor: Occult Detective), eye-popping colors from Dan Thompson (Rip Haywire) and Lee Milewski (Hunter’s Lore, The Winter Year) and exquisite lettering from Henry Bajaras (La Voz De M.A.Y.O. Tata Rambo), OFFBEATS skillfully blends noir storytelling with a distinctly Franco-Belgian art style to create a uniquely entertaining comic experience.

This unusual juxtaposition of tone was very much a deliberate choice as co-creator Tom Sacchi explains, “I’ve had a love affair with the Belgian comic scene since I was a teenager. I just love how the Belgian creators can use cartoony characters in very real settings, coupled with real-life situations. I really dig this contrast.”

“I love dark, moody tales set in this era, but I felt this was a well-trodden landscape, “said co-creator and writer John Ward. “The challenge was to create something that hit all the familiar story beats but somehow felt fresh, and I think the cartoon style really works in this instance.”

Without a doubt, one of the most distinctive aspects of the book is the gorgeous European style artwork, courtesy of talented Australian artist Giles Crawford. “I try to only work on projects I enjoy in some way,” Giles explains. “… and jazz, gangsters and 1950’s cities are all things I like to draw. It’s a fast-paced, fun story.”

Tom Sacchi describes the book as a “love letter to mid-century Americana and NYC,” adding “I’m a born and raised “New Yorker” and wish I had a time machine so I could go back in time to this fabulous era.”

You can pre-order OFFBEATS #1 using Diamond Code: DEC185164 and print copies will be on sale February 27th, 2019 exclusively at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one) or at the Antarctic Press web store Antarctic-Press.MyShopify.com

(W) John Ward (A) Giles Crawford
It’s Tintin meets Tarantino in this 1950’s crime noir!  A young man tries to save a woman from a vicious street gang, but ends up needing to be rescued by a petty crook who introduces him to a whole new world!
In Shops: Feb 27, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


Looking For Group - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 05:00

The post 1247 appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics

Ch. 5, Page 26

Castle Greyhawk - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 03:38
"Wait," Endelar said to her driver. She glanced back at the figures in the smoky haze that filled the street. No man had ever allowed her to get this far without running after her. If he did not come after her...the indignity of it...

CCL #484 – Remembering Stan Lee

First Comics News - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 02:35

Chris is back after a short 3 month hiatus and is joined by Andy Tom. Chris and Andy discuss the new Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Volume 1 HC, Daredevil Epic Collection Vol. 18: Fall From Grace TP, Batman: White Knight HC, Doctor Strange: What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen? TP by P. Craig Russell and they reminisce on the passing of Stan Lee and their favorite Stan Lee storyline.

CCL Slack Channel – free and open to anyone
CCL Podcast on Spotify
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CCL on eBay
This podcast direct .mp3 link

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Dead Horses, Nerdly Discomfort, Swoleplaying, and Sadhu Sunder Singh

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 01:48

Over on Twitter, Yakov Merkin laments the state of cultural criticism:

You know, if all these YouTube personalities seen as much time promotion quality indie works instead of repeatedly hitting the dead horse that is SJW “creators,” we’d probably be able to make more positive cultural change. But negative videos gets more views I guess.

Grames Barnaby responds with a very generous shout-out to my work:

You need to think more like an anon. It’s not that it gets views, it’s that many of the folks in tg/vidya/or other johnny come lately “lifestyling market” bullshitters that are liberal facing are scared of what they really need to abandon to re-make the spaces to work again. Or to put it in a way that someone like @Aurini has pointed out the frame of most folks in various cultural wars, is mostly about trying to roll shit back to the 90’s because of how comfy it all feels, instead of standing on a set of principles. You want great art? You need to know how great art is made, and what it stands for, not what you liked about it because muh nostalgia.

Oddly enough, even something as innocuous as looking back to old books and games for inspiration is now something that requires a great deal of brainwashing in order to be executed “correctly” today. The once-vital online vintage rpg discussion that made my book possible is currently falling all over itself to virtue signal about how they can do that while still remaining unwaveringly committed to whatever the narrative will demand of us the day after tomorrow.

Here’s Brad J. Murray with the latest dementia in that vein:

There is a lot of resistance to addressing this because cultural problems are messy and even today not everyone is going to agree what was “worse” and what was “better”. Even “genocide is bad” seems to be up for debate in some circles. Nor even which mechanical elements in that game ore are reflective of what’s worse. But also because some of the nostalgia for that earlier time, the reason for mining that old material, might just be a desire for a whiter, maler, more heterosexual context. And the idea that that might be true is rightly uncomfortable as hell. And one thing we nerds know about discomfort: we do not want to talk about it.

But when we make a game that incorporates or emulates material from that past we risk racist, sexist, homophobic regressions. And we don’t have a good way to test for it, especially if we want to ignore it even as a possibility: if you want to ignore an error your first step is certainly to avoid testing for it. Or rather, we do have good ways to test but we do not deploy them. So let’s look up from the dungeon map and take a step and acknowledge that this is a risk. That material with a forty year old context may have side effects (and possibly direct effects) that reflect that context. And that in some if not many cases that would be a bad thing. That would be regressive.

Seek enlightenment through the strenthening of mind, body, and soul. But mostly body. #swoleplaying #brosr

That is precisely the attraction to the old books and old games. They are not just fun, they are largely free of the sort of cowardly, self-hating abasement that happens whenever people attempt to make a virtue out of cultural suicide. That stuff is craven. Disgusting. Ugly. It’s also intrinsically unmanly:

I am old and white and mail [sic]. I wish I could get glasses for my brain that correct for this.

It’s got to be tough living with that amount of self-hatred. I’d almost pity such a person if, you know, they didn’t actually hate people like me more.

It irritates me. Really, it does. And a good old fashioned fisking would be danged fun if NPC’s like that weren’t in charge of schools, universities, newspapers, and HR departments.

But Grames Barnaby is absolutely right. You’re wasting your time contending with these losers. Cheah Kit Sun has– on the fiction side– the right attitude:

The best stories I’ve read have the following characteristics: 1. Tight plot 2. Believable worldbuilding and setting 3. Well-developed characters 4. Authentic tradecraft, mindset, equipment 5. Polished language 6. Inherent sense of ethics 7. Illumination of higher truths

Point six and seven are where the battle is fought most hotly. In fact, the existence of real virtues is why the fake ones have to be pushed so vigorously– and why older works have to be either suppressed or expurgated. It’s like a religion to these people. Or an anti-religion perhaps.

Probably the most insightful statement on this impulse is by Sadhu Sunder Singh:

You will hardly find men who will not worship God or some other power. If atheistic thinkers or scientists, filled with the materialistic outlook, do not worship God, they often tend to worship great men or heroes or some ideal which they have exalted into a power. Buddha did not teach anything about God. The result was, his followers began to worship him. In China people began to worship ancestors, as they were not taught to worship God. In short, man cannot but worship, this desire has been created in him by his creator, so that led by this desire he may have communion with his creator.

See, when Christianity was removed from American culture… we didn’t end up with our old culture minus the old time religion. No, we got an army of breast-beating totalitarians, fire and brimstone zealots intent on tearing down even the remnants of anything that would remind them of who or what we were.

What can you do against that? Well you can start by not bowing the knee. But most importantly, you can be– unapologetically– the thing that they hate. And create as if they have no power over you.

If you’re having second thoughts about doing that, do yourself a favor and find a biography of Singh. It’s legitimately inspiring.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Hey Kids Comics Radio Show – Episode 110

First Comics News - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:29
The Hey Kids Comics Radio Show – Episode 110

Mego action figures were once top of the heap with some awesome comic book characters. Well, Mego is back! The lads also chat about DC Comics’ television shows this season. And the lads even talk a bit about comic books!

If you are interested in older episodes please head to http://heykidscomics.ca !

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Six Gun Sound - Shootout in Santa Fe Bat Rep

Two Hour Wargames - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 22:08
With Six Gun Sound - Devil's Elbow coming out soon, been doing lots of play testing and fine tuning. The new Draw mechanics add a level of tension to the game that isn't  in any other THW games.  
1877 - Santa Fe New MexicoThe Sheriff has collected his Deputies to confront Charlie Ward and his Outlaw gang. First a little Story telling.

 Enough talk. Before you actually Draw, each Character must take the Will They Draw Test. There's six Professions and some may talk the talk, but won't walk the walk. Citizens, Townsfolk and the like tend to leave before the shooting starts. Easy to do, just roll 2d6 versus Rep and modify it by any applicable Profession or Attribute. In this case, the Lawman and Outlaw pass 2d6. Let's do this!

 Now here's where it gets intense. Each Character rolls 3d6 versus Rep. TOTAL the d6 scores from all the passing d6, in this case the Sheriff has 5 and the Outlaw 4 as he's Rep 4. If he was Rep 5 he would go first as his total would be 9 versus the Sheriff total of 5, even though the Sheriff passed more d6!

 After the 3d6 are rolled, set the highest passing d6 aside. This is important. Now roll for damage.
"6" = Obviously Dead.
Rep or higher but not a "6" = Out of the Fight
Lower than Rep = Reduce Character's Rep by highest passing d6 scored by the shooter and take the Carry On Test if new Rep is 1 or higher.

 The Sheriff won the draw and fires. By passing 3d6 on the Draw he scores two hits. Pass 1d6 and he scores 1 hit. Pass 0d6, he misses and the other guy fires - based on his Draw roll.
Charlie goes Out of the Fight, both sides now go to the Action Table, the Lawmen fire first.

 After all the shooting and returning fire, four guys are Dead or Out of the Fight and the last Outlaw runs away. How long did it take? About 5 minutes. The two wounded Outlaws would go to a Jail Break Encounter, the Lawmen would roll for their next one.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

WTF? Cyber Monday?! Are you kidding me? Okay, extend the 25% off sale through Monday

Two Hour Wargames - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 19:09

Use the coupon code


and get 25% off your whole order. Through Cyber Monday.

Order here!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Professor Fright [ICONS]

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 15:00
Prowess: 3
Coordination: 4
Strength: 3
Intellect: 5
Awareness: 5
Willpower: 5

Stamina: 8

Specialties: Science

"My genius will be recognized!"
Hammy TV Horror Host
Sadistic Streak

Fear Broadcast (Emotion Control Device, victims must be able to hear and/or see the broadcast): 7
Mind Control Device (Broadcast, hypnosis--can only make victims do actions that would arise from fear, must be seen and/or heard): 6

Alter Ego: Zachary Graves
Occupation: Former television personality and psychology professor
Marital Status: Divorced
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Masters of Menace
Base of Operations: Arkham
First Appearance: FRIGHTFUL TALES #1
Height: 6'0"  Weight: 174 lbs.
Eyes: Gray  Hair: Black

Zachary Graves was fascinated with fear from a young age. He pursued a career in psychology  was a specialty in research into fright. Though concern about the direction his studies were taking drove him from academia, he found work as a horror movie host on a local television station, creating the character "Professor Fright." There he perfected his broadcast device for causing frightening hallucinations in the viewer, but was he fired when an intern was injured tampering with the device. Graves attempted to sell this invention to a defense contractor, but reputation as a television personality led them to dismiss him as an eccentric. Angered at the world he perceived as failing to reward his genius, Graves used his device to get revenge on those who wronged him as Professor Fright!


First Comics News - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 14:51

It’s Thanksgiving at the Justice League of America household and things are just as awkward for them as they might be for your family. Join Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and more as they give thanks.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 14:49

This week’s Cosplay Girl of the Week Ola Jordan



If you would like to be the Cosplay Girl of the Week!
Please send your photo to Giovanni.Aria@firstcomicsnews.com and you will be considered for inclusion in a future edition of Superhero Girls!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 14:44

This week’s Cosplay Guy of the Week 

Holidays and celebrations, New year, Christmas, sports, bodybuilding, healthy lifestyle – Muscular handsome sexy Santa Claus enjoys fresh baked piping hot donuts left for him as a thank you gift for all the nice presents he brings to good little boys and girls around the world. Santa loves donuts and stuff

If you would like to be the Cosplay Guy of the Week!
Please send your photo to Giovanni.Aria@firstcomicsnews.com and you will be considered for inclusion in a future edition of Superhero Guys!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

[BLOG] A Year of Anniversaries

Beyond Fomalhaut - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 14:27

By coincidence or unknown heavenly purpose, 2018 has been a year of gaming anniversaries: multiple games which have had an impact on me are celebrating something. The oldest of them is M.A.G.U.S., Hungary’s most popular role-playing game, now 25. M.A.G.U.S. is both an AD&D imitator and its own thing, and its effects on the local gaming scene has been tremendous, even though the original publisher is long defunct, and no popular edition has been released in a long while. I have had a conflicted relationship with it, and my tastes are often in opposition to the surrounding play culture, but I recognise its basic appeal. But more on that in a later post. The second game is Thief: The Dark Project. Thief is not an RPG, but it has captured my imagination like no other computer game (except maybe Wizardry VII). Thief is going to be 20 at the end of November, and I will, again, write about it a bit later (right now, I am working overtime to have my anniversary fan mission playtested). The third game is closer to this blog: it is none else but Swords & Wizardry. Matt Finch’s take on OD&D is 10; there have been several edition, a boatload of modules, and it has an enduring popularity as one of the simpler, easily moddable old-school rulesets. But this article is about a different game: mine. Accordingly, most of this is inevitably personal, and none of it is an objective, outsider’s view.
Cover designs for Sword and Magic modulesSword and Magic (“Kard és Mágia”) shares its name with S&W, and by some unseemly miracle of timing, they share a release date: both were published on October 15, 2008. There is an abbreviated English-language version of the basic mechanics, but this is not really the full game, which is a complete RPG in three booklets with some 190 very densely typeset pages (and no illustrations whatsoever). The real game is in those details. Sword and Magic, which I would be ill advised to abbreviate, was published as an effort to introduce the idea of old-school gaming to the Hungarian gaming scene, in the form of a free ruleset, and a range of fan-made adventures and supplements. This is a plan I had had since at least 2003: at that time, I published a homemade d20 module (The Garden of al-Astorion), but never followed up on the initial effort. But the idea, inspired by Judges Guild, Necromancer Games, and their ilk, was always there: I envisioned people sharing and sometimes selling their own home-made content online and at conventions, and creating a creative community from which all could benefit.
The effort was in part borne of the enthusiasm to share an exciting discovery (the old-school playstyle, then newly rediscovered, and still in the process of taking shape in discussion and flame wars around the net). But it was also an effort to get away from the top-down content creation model dominating the Hungarian RPG scene, where amateur efforts had died off to yield to a supplement treadmill mainly consisting off – no offence – unplaytested, unplayable, and often actively play-hostile rubbish. I felt like an outsider in that world, but recognised there were a lot of other gamers who would appreciate something different. After all, I could sell my group on the idea – why not the others?
Sword and Magic was created around the same time as the first Castles&Crusades playtests. It arose from the same discussions, but ended up going in an entirely different direction. Ironically, so did OSRIC, the legal precedent for retroclones: our disagreements were wide, and often very acrimonious. Sword and Magic is mechanically closer to the idea of a “d20 light” system than a faithful retroclone like OSRIC, and makes much fewer compromises towards recreating a specific “AD&D feel” than C&C. It also has a simplified skill system, which neither of the other two games ended up adopting, and which dyed-in-the-wool old-schoolers tend to scoff at. However, it guts the 3.0 rules without mercy, and cuts out much of the game’s subsystems (Feats, most classes) and mechanical complexity (almost all special cases, the byzantine rules to stat monsters and NPCs), and creates a game that is medium-powered, dirt simple, and sword&sorcery-flavoured (much more than any of the big old-school systems, but not in a purist way – people have used it to play on Titan, the Fighting Fantasy world, and there is a very elegant Middle Earth-focused variant). It is also a game you can hand to a new player, and have them playing in your game in about 15-20 minutes (real-life statistics).
Sword and Magic was mostly system complete by 2006, along with its Monsters & Treasures booklet, but took two more years to publish due to the third. I spent two years writing and polishing Gamemasters’ Guidelines, a comprehensive, bottom-up guidebook on gamemastering, from running a game to designing adventures, campaigns, and fantastic worlds (as well as a treatment on different playstyles, pulp fantasy genres, a brief domain management system, and a set of random tables). Nobody had really done this before in Hungary (actually, very few have done it in the US either – most games traditionally gloss over teaching you GMing in a structured, bottom-to-top way), and it took a while to get right. I think you could probably hand the resulting guidelines to any starting GM, and it would be useful – my hope was that it’d spread beyond the specific system, and prove itself as a general play aid (this did not work in the short run, but apparently, it has had some success over the years).
Tesco Value layout
The game was released on 15 October, 2008, with a range of four modules, and the odd techno-Hellenic world of Fomalhaut as its example setting. I consciously chose a minimal design style for the product line, sometimes expressed as a “Tesco Value” (i.e. “store brand”) RPG. There were no illustrations beyond the simple and op-art-inspired cover logos (I live in Victor Vasarely’shometown, and quite like his geometric style); layout was two-column 9-point Arial; and it was, and to this day remains absolutely free in PDF. (There were no print edition at the time, although I broke the rule with my second RPG, the lavish Helvéczia boxed set, and the new 2018-2019 releases). It received no store distribution, and was entirely dependent on word-of-mouth – local game magazines had died out by the time. For all that, Sword and Magic found its place in the Hungarian gaming scene. Not without the usual acrimony and rejection – quite a lot of gamers had been deeply convinced by the makers of M.A.G.U.S. that “AD&D” was a primitive, worthless game, and it was only suitable (perhaps) for small children… despite having the oldest fanbase of any locally available RPGs. But in the end, you can’t win them all, and acrimony is publicity.
Most of the game’s fans came from the wider D&D community, an even mixture of veterans (who had fondly remembered the amateur roots of the local gaming scene) and newcomers (who had discovered it as a new thing). Its most successful years were between 2008 and 2013, when the surrounding forum community was the most active; since then, things have settled down a bit, but it is still surrounded by a fairly good community of active players. It did not take the hobby by storm, but it has established a foothold and legitimised a previously neglected playstyle.
It is also fairly well supported by the standards of a small non-English-speaking country. Someone looking at the back cover of the latest Echoes From Fomalhaut issue could note 33 supplements (the rest are either for Helvéczia, or in English), about a third of which are by guest authors. These are mostly short to medium-length; however, all are game-friendly and playtested, having withstood the test of actual play. (Having been burned by quite a lot of bad game materials, which ended up driving me away from the hobby in the 1990s, it has been my firm policy to publish playtested materials only, and insisting on giving playtester credit.)
Over the years, much of the community around the game have embraced new systems (5e has been a strong rival, although I am arrogant enough to claim my game does the same things better, and with less work), while keeping around some of the game’s ideas and house rules. It has inspired the creation of new rulesets – Kazamaták és Kompániák (Dungeons and Companies, a more OD&Dish game with robust follower rules, now gearing up for a second edition), and more recently, Kardok és Másodteremtés (Swords and the Second Creation, which is Middle-Earth-based). The community has also created its own series of mini-conventions, entirely focused on getting together and gaming for a day: Random Encounters had had 6 events (mostly focused on old-school systems and indie games), followed by The Society of Adventurers, which had its 8thevent yesterday (this one also has a robust 5e presence, but this particular instalment was in celebration of our 10th anniversary). As much as anything else, this is what makes me the most happy: inspiring people to go forward and develop their own ideas (the “Fight On!” principle). And of course, keeping it play-oriented, bottom-up, and close to the actual fans. This is our game; perhaps not the largest in town, but it is ours.
Cloister of the Frog God: 10th anniversary moduleWhat has the anniversary meant for English-speaking gamers?
Well, Echoes #04 is going to be slightly late, an early 2019 release. Beyond my day job, a lot of my time has been taken up by my Thief mission for the 20thanniversary contest (now in late playtesting stages, to be released in early December), and four adventure modules. One of these, Cloister of the Frog God, a 40-page wilderness-and-dungeon module, has already been published. This module has a complicated history. It comes from my old, never released Tegel Manor manuscript, which I largely cannibalised for this module, and later for my upcoming megadungeon, Castle Xyntillan. (Note, bits and pieces may turn up in Frog God Games’ recently kickstarted take on it – but that one is mostly going to be Bill Webb’s work, and I am interested in what that fiendish mind will come up with!) The Cloister dungeons were published in the Frog God edition of Rappan Athuk (it is one of the wilderness locales), and will also be part of the new, revised 5e volume. Accordingly, I am not going to publish it as a separate module. However, the wilderness section will become a standalone adventure, and the main feature for Echoes From Fomalhaut #04, with an excellent Matt Ray cover, and illustrations by Andrew Walter and Denis McCarthy. If you speak German, the whole module is going to be published in a special issue of the Abenteuerfanzine (Settembrini will be able to tell you when).
But there is more. As part of the anniversary, my friends in the community organised a Sword and Magic module writing contest, with me as the judge. The three submitted entries were all worthy of publication, with very different takes on the game and its concepts. They include Murderous Devices by Mátyás Nagy, a sinister murder mystery set in a French Caribbean town (not unlike the Freeport series, the module doubles as a city supplement); The Enchantment of Vashundara by Zsolt Varga, a surreal adventure taking place on the home plane of a god in trouble (with an original and well-realised perspective); and The Lost Valley of Kishar by Gábor Csomós, the best damn lost world adventure I have seen. These adventures will all see publication, in both print and PDF (and this time, with worthy illustrations), and the latter two will also receive an English translation, one in Echoes, and one as a standalone (Murderous Devices, while very cool, lies a bit outside the scope of EMDT’s thematic focus). I am confident people will love them when they see them.
Until then… Fight On!
Contest winners: Coming 2019 to your gaming table!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 11:30
In America, Thanksgiving is the ultimate weekend for leftovers. If your extended family is like mine, it's difficult to have too much turkey and too many delectable side dishes and desserts, because any remainders will be systematically gobbled up over the course of the long weekend.

In the spirit of this holiday, I've spent this weekend counting my blessings and wallowing in the basics: family, turkey, friends, turkey, dishes, turkey, errands ... and more turkey. I also seized the opportunity to indulge in some quality knitting time and to deal with leftovers of another sort.

The three pairs of warm, woolly mitts-in-progress, which have been patiently waiting for me to summon the time and attention to seam them, have finally become wearable FOs. I'll do my best to capture some modeled shots, but for now, these simple pics will have to suffice.

Meanwhile, I'm going to (try to) stay focused on the two outstanding afghans that require some finishing before they can be declared complete, along with the new projects (yes, plural) I accidentally cast on in a turkey-induced haze. If those things happen, I'll soon be able to share more FO details with you.

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

[thepuck 2018-11-24] Bruins 3 @ Habs 2

Furiously Eclectic People - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 03:17

Healthy Scratches: Peca, Rielly
IRL: Weber, Juulsen, Armia, Byron, Scherbak

Despite losing, the game was a solid example of hockey's greatest rivalry and both teams played well.

Habs's First Star: Andrew Shaw
Hab's Second Star: Victor Mete
Hab's Third Star: Karl Alzner
Han's Fourth Star: Charles Hudon

Shaw far and away was the star of the game.

Gallagher had some rough battles and there were a lot of good hits for an NHL losing its identity.

While Kotkaniemi was. Bounced around a lot, it was one of his better games this season.

Domi and Drouin both took poor penalties.

Kulak continues to impress.

Schlemko had a hard game and made some good plays while quarterbacking a Powerplay with some skill we haven't seen on a powerplay in some time.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Kupuna Aikido Hawaii: "Practicing a Fall to Prevent Injury"

Aikido News - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 13:27
Kupuna Aikido Hawaii: "Practicing a Fall to Prevent Injury"
From: Jun Akiyama posted on 24. Nov 2018, 01:27pm
URL: http://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/kupuna-life/practicing-a-fall-to-prevent-injury/1580030785?fbclid=IwAR359MTME8b466-jhp4Md2g

Here is a news segment titled "Practicing a Fall to Prevent Injury" about Kupuna Aikido in Hawaii which offers classes to teach people how to fall safely. From the article: "Every year, millions of people 65 and older fall, according to the CDC, and three-million of them go to the emergency room. You probably wouldn't think that martial arts could be the answer, because while you can't plan for a fall, you can practice for it. Kupuna are falling left and right in this class by the non-profit Kupuna Aikido Hawai'i."

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  • Categories: Aikido

    Cognard Shihan 8th Dan in Venice, Italy (December 1-2 2018)

    Aikido News - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 13:27
    Cognard Shihan 8th Dan in Venice, Italy (December 1-2 2018)
    From: Andrea Debiasi posted on 24. Nov 2018, 01:27pm
    URL: http://www.aactg.it/component/content/article/11-aactg/annunci/534-stage-a-venezia-di-cognard-hanshi

    "Kokusai Aikido Kenshukai Kobayashi Hirokazu Ryu" (KAKKHR) and "Accademia di Aikido e Cultura Tradizionale Giapponese" (AACTG) cordially invite you to the Aikido Seminar that André Cognard Shihan 8th Dan (Hanshi, Dai Nippon Butoku Kai) will conduct in Venice, Italy, on December 1-2 2018. All levels and affiliations are welcome. Check out the details and download the flyer (available in Italian, English, and French) in the dedicated webpage

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  • Categories: Aikido

    (5e) The Worthless Shrines – Part 2

    Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 12:14

    By Daniel Casey
    Levels 3-6

    A promise from a mysterious mage, to grant any Wish if they discover the mysteries of long forgotten civilization, sends a party of adventurers into the far north…

    What goes for ten dollars?
    Well, whaddya want for ten dollars?
    I want something different, I want something special.
    Oh no, honey, not for ten bucks.

    This 36 page adventure depresses me. It’s a linear plot-based thing, full of forced combats and do-nothing skill checks. Yeah, I bought it because of the cover, but I’m a stupid sucker for marketing and can’t ever learn my lesson.

    First the goo, and it comes in two parts. The hook here is that you’re hired by a wizard professor to research/explore some mounds, with a Wish spell for each as a reward. Woah! That’ll make me sit up and take notice. post-oD&D doesn’t give out enough wishes. Neutral D&D means killing players, far more often than happens these days. But it also means resurrects, geas, and wish spells should be more common. Professor Dipshit is a moron, wanting to gain knowledge to rise on the colleges ranks … which appeals to me as an academic and as a guy who plays a lot of wizards makes me think “if you can cast five wish spells in a row, why not just wish yourself some knowledge/tenure?” Premise aside, the rewards are great. It’s the kind of hook that motivates the players rather than the characters, and those are the best kinds.

    The magical treasure is also above average. Shambling Mound tap roots, a coutl feather, a faerie dragon wing cloak … they are mechanical, with advantages on saves and so on, but they also don’t drone on with multiple paragraphs of text describing them; one or two sentences and they are done. There’s an emphasis on monster parts, which both appeals to me and makes me wonder how many players still mine them? I suspect they will need some prompting.

    Nothing else positive to say.

    There are no maps. The directions and descriptions are all embedded in the text. This is shitty. A map is a wonderful thing, even a diagram/drawing would have oriented the DM better. As is, you have the text to find information. Here’s two examples of how the text attempts to provide a map: “Entering the mound, the party will immediately see several chambers branching off the central hall that meanders the length of the barrow.” and “The left chamber has two stone platforms upon each is a well- wrapped, ancient looking corpse.” Dude, just a picture with a pencil and include it. That would have much much clearer.

    Which leads me to the next point: it’s ALL stream of consciousness plot based. You go from point a to point b to point c, being led by your nose, with the text not even provisioning much separation. It’s all just this happens then this happens then this happens then this happens then this happens. This is the hallmark of the DM TELLING A STORY style. AKA: one of the worst sins possible in adventure design. More so than most plot-based adventures, the text is a mess of stream of consciousness, making it hard to follow. It’s not organized AT ALL.

    Finally, what would a shitty adventure be without meaningless skill checks? Not as shitty, self-evidently! Make a DC12 check to notice the path is getting overgrown, even though it becomes impossible to move through. Make a DC12 to follow a bears path .. or don’t find the pool of water you’re looking for. Make a DC15 to notice that …” they will realize the bear hadn’t just fought them making its way to the pond and that the plants around them are corrupted.” Actually, I have no idea what that text is trying to say/do. A satyr (who runs the bar in town; magical ren-faire much? I thought the world was supposed to be full of wonder. Next thing you know Drow will sleep on pallets and wool blankets) digs up an egg and you need a DC15 for him to explain what it is. What happens elsewise? Who knows! The adventure doesn’t continue!

    It’s all confusing and not through out AT ALL. The satyr digs up the egg, but then it somehow becomes party treasure. What? SO he placed a shambling mound to guard it and then just gives it to the party, I guess. Oh, and there’s a magical couatl grove somewhere next to town, where the next part of the adventure takes place. But the Kenku village the town lawman is worried about gets no more mention. WTF man? PROVE RESOURCES TO THE DM. It’s the first rule of adventure design: help the DM run it.

    I could bitch about a thousand small things, like including full stat blocks for NPC’s the party will probably not stab while choosing to bury their personalities in the text. Orient the adventure to the DM. If they are unlike to stab it then put it in an appendix, or summarize it, and put the fucking personality in the stat block so it stands out to the DM.

    “4 will o’the wisps attack.” Really? That’s what it come to? A will o’the wisp is just a monster to hack down? There’s no soul. No leading them to the quicksand, or the dwarf smelling gold (one of my personal favorite will o’ moments I’ve seen.) or ANYTHING romantic or adventurous, just something else to stab.

    Let me suggest that “kill the monsters and take their stuff” is a much more fitting tagline for modern D&D than it is for older styles of play. Older D&D embodies a spirit of romanticism that Blue Rose can only dream of in tortured opium visions.

    This is Pay What You Want at DriveThru, with a current suggested price of $1. There’s no preview, otherwise you’d never but it. Worthless indeed.

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    RICH REVIEWS: Miraculous: Season Two Bye Bye, Little Butterfly!

    First Comics News - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 08:54

    Title: Miraculous: Season Two Bye Bye, Little Butterfly!
    Publisher: Action Lab Comics
    Written by: Thomas Astruc, Matthieu Choquet, Frédéric Lenoir, Nolwenn Pierre, Sébastien Thibaudeau, Jeremy Zag
    Adaptation by: Cheryl Black & Nicole D’Andria
    Art by: Zag Entertainment & Cheryl Black
    Cover by: Zag Entertainment
    Lettered by: Justin Birch
    Price: $ 6.99 US
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Website: http://www.actionlabcomics.com
    Comments: “Chapter 1: Despair Bear” Marinette’s dad is giving baking lessons to her class. All but Chloe love having him there.
    The art is gorgeously presented. Marinette and all her friends look amazing in this 3-D style animation type art.
    Chloe decides she wants to be nice to others or at least appears to be.  At her party, Marinette and her crush Adrien get to dance. She even gets a compliment or two. Marinette is on cloud nine. It is wonderful to see something occur between these two.
    Ladybug, when she jumps into action, is pure excitement and cuteness. Cat Noir is not used very much yet Adrien is. Marinette and Ladybug are used about the same amount which works out so well.
    “Chapter 2: Reposte” Marinette while trying out for fencing has a young opponent in red step up. Adrien and this challenger put on a great match going back and forth. Than the Akuma takes over making an amazing evil opponent Ladybug is in for a battle.  Riposte is illustrated nice and sleek. Ladybug does use her yoyo well and it does help win the day. Her yoyo is a unique weapon.
    Ladybug is a fun super-hero full of excitement. You will never be bored reading a Miraculous comic book.

    Categories: Comic Book Blogs

    SPILLING INK: The First Odventure Novel: Given to Fly by JD Estrada

    First Comics News - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 07:54

    Have you ever wanted to read a book that dreams about becoming a Studio Ghibli film? Well now you can. Given to Fly is the 13th book by Puerto Rican indie author JD Estrada and his first full length middle grade fantasy novel. But more importantly, it’s a book with a lot of heart and no violence.

    If you see movies, TV, video games, or the news at any given moment, it’s almost as if violence is a required ingredient in whatever medium we enjoy. Given to Fly is a book that avoids the use of violence even when it talks about real issues like death, financial and professional struggles, and life in general in favor of finding joy and life lessons through the fantastical.

    At 11 years old, John Rivers is a kind hearted kid who dreams about flying. He’s just moved to the Pacific Northwest with his family to a house that although it’s very lovely and very cozy, it’s not exactly magical. What he doesn’t know is that magic is actually closer than he thinks.

    After strolling up a hill near his house, he finds a cliff with a cove at the bottom and a huge tree growing over the water. What’s special about this particular tree is that it currently serves as the resting spot for a house that defies logic while embracing the amazing. As curious as he is kind, one look at Od Manor is all it takes for John to jump at the chance to explore a new world of wonder.

    Apart from John Rivers, the other main protagonist in the novel is Fäet Odstein, the literary persona of JD Estrada. Although mainly based on Estrada himself, Fäet probably also has a little bit of Willy Wonka, Cheshire Cat, and many other characters that resonate with JD.  Given to Fly is also the first of what will be a series of stand-alone middle-grade novels with Fäet Odstein as one of its protagonists. The purpose of these books shall be to offer stories without violence that hopefully get more children to read and dream.

    This is not the first time JD Estrada has written middle grade fantasy stories. His Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore have been described as whimsical bedtime stories with a lot of heart. That same heart was the main driver for this story. Like most of his works, Given to Fly was written longhand in one of the best gifts Estrada has ever received in his life. A long time ago, his wife gifted him a hard cover notebook. The image on it was particularly special to him. She had asked him what image meant the most to him. Without batting an eye, he looked up the image to the Pearl Jam single by the same name. A couple of months later and with misty eyes, he had a hard cover notebook with that same image and the name could only be Given to Fly. But what to write about…

    The question lingered in the air and rumbled in his brain until a trip to Orlando had him and his wife going to Epcot Center and getting on the Soarin’ ride for the first time. As sights, sounds, and smells washed over him in the beautiful flight simulator, an idea was born and by the end, he had soared right into an epiphany. “It’s going to be about a boy who dreams about flying,” he told his wife through tears of joy after getting off the ride.

    Several years have passed after that ride and finally Given to Fly is ready for you to read. It is a tribute to things that bring him joy and a song that makes his soul smile. In honor of the band that has inspired his life so much, all proceeds for Given to Fly and all other Estrada books for the remainder of 2018 shall be donated to Actionforjackson.org in support of #EBAwareness. Epidermolysis Bullosa is a family of rare genetic disorders that affect the body’s largest organ: the skin and Eddie Vedder (lead singer for Pearl Jam) has worked hard to support this cause. It is a small token of gratitude for everything the band means to Estrada and aligns with his #Humans4Humans efforts to support different causes and try to make a positive impact through his writing and any other efforts to support good causes that help our fellow humans.

    To purchase your very own copy of Given to Fly, visit Libros 787 or Amazon.com.


    Book Blurb:

    John Rivers is a kind and imaginative 11-year-old who is about to learn that magic not only exists, but is closer than he thinks. As much a dreamer as he is curious, John comes across a house that defies logic while embracing the amazing. Influenced by Hayao Miyazaki, Peter Pan, and dreams of flight, Given to Fly is a book full of heart that skips the violence in favor of the fantastical.

    Back Cover:

    John Rivers is a kind and imaginative 11-year-old whose new home may be cozy, but there’s nothing magical about it. What he doesn’t know is that magic is actually closer than he thinks. After strolling up a hill near his house, he finds a cliff with a cove at the bottom with a huge tree growing over the water. What’s special about this particular tree is that it currently serves as the resting spot for a house that defies logic while embracing the amazing. As curious as he is kind, one look at Od Manor is all it takes for John to jump at the chance to explore a new world of wonder.

    Given to Fly is the 13th book by Puerto Rican indie author JD Estrada. It is a work that shies away from violence in favor of exploring the inner child we all have that is always ready and willing to dream. 

    Title:  Given to Fly

    Key Words:

    #GivenToFly #JDEstradaNovel #OdventureNovel #ODventure #JDEstrada #Flying #FaetOdstein #MiddlegradeNovel #IndieAuthor #IndieNovel #Humans4Humans

    Author:  JD Estrada

    Cover Artwork: Raphael Tangal

    Publication Date:  December 1

    Paperback Price: 15.99

    Digital Price:  2.99

    Pages: 160


    Ebook ISBN: 13: 978-1545562758

    ISBN-10: 154556275X


    Categories: Comic Book Blogs


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