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Weird Revisited: Anti-Elves

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 11:00
This post first appeared in 2017...

Drow as "elves but evil" has been done. Let's take a cue from Otus's ink-blot, living shadow rendition, and say that they are the arcane Evil Twins of elves. Maybe not quite Bizarro World duplicates, but close. They look like photographic negatives of some elf, somewhere, sometime. (It is quite possible that if a specific elf and anti-elf come into contact there will be an explosion, Or, they will untie into a single, transcendent being and leave this plane. In an explosion.)

Anti-elves live underground in ultra-controlled, industrial, technolgical environments because they hate nature. They want replace it all with a machinery hellscape like Apokolips. The only reason they haven't yet is because they hate the sun, too, and are forced to live underground. They're working on that one.


Anti-elves are profoundly unmagical. All those magical abilities listed in a drow stat block have a technological basis. No surface creature can steal a anti-elf device and make it work because their bio-energy polarity will just disrupt it and make it nonfunctional after a use or two.


Ant-elves don't believe in gods, meaning they accept the existence of tiresome things other races call gods, but they think them ridiculous impediments to their own purposes and would never worship them. All sacrifices you might see them make are strictly translactional. Any temples are really just fanclubs--an anti-elves are the sort of crazy, obsessive fans that are very likely to progress to stalking and murder.

The Drow Option - OSR Campaign Commentary On Castles & Crusades

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:43
Yesterday I wrote about the events in Manchuria as the world of 2100 explodes as Japanese forces defend themselves against the rise of the  Thulean megapolis war machine.  One of the options that I've been looking to employ are Drow mercenary forces in the world of 2100. The undead kings of Russia have been employing these assassins & commando forces for centuries. Castles & Crusades The Codex Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Flip Through Review 86: Heroes of Humanity for Rifts

Gamer Goggles - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 04:32

In this Flip Through Matt takes a look Heroes of Humanity for Rifts from Palladium. Books. Heroes for Humanity is a source book for the Coalition Wars Campaign that crosses over with the Minion War and Megaverse in Flames. Since it is a Coalition War campaign book it has a lot of information building up the Coalition army, but it does have a different pitch than “destroy” Tolkeen

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

This is probably the best source book in the Coalition Wars.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh Stroll

Hack & Slash - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 03:30
I've played a lot of adventures. I've never been able to easily find out what happens in an adventure without playing it. I've always wished someone talked about the adventures that they've been through, not so much a review, but a commentary. This. . . is that.

The secret really is sinister.

It's the first Dungeons & Dragons adventure I ever played. My father ran it for me, my mother, and my brother. I've run it a dozen times myself, and found myself again among the halls of the alchemists house in my adult life more than a time or two.

It's one of the great reasons for its ubiquity. It's easy to put a 'haunted' house on a map. Let's take a stroll through the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.

Sinister!This module is notable for being from "TSRUK", and contains a personal message from Don Turnbull.
So, American readers—if you find the text too flowery and florid or too plain and stilted, the structure of the language slightly unusual, the use of certain words apparently slightly offbeat, these are the reasons. Perhaps you will take solace in knowing that UK readers of all the other TSRª modules have the same reaction in reverse!Is it an essential British trait that they would take a game about dungeons, and write an adventure about an old house up on a hill? The United States has no ancient buildings looming for a thousand years.

The Dungeon Master is instructed on personalizing the town, making it a base of operations for the players. Name the council, develop them as individuals, draw a map, design an inn, create local gods.

Then, there's the legend. The decrepit house sits up on the hill, once owned by an old alchemist around which nefarious rumors swirled. Now it's haunted—dilapidated and unwholesome. Ghastly shrieks and eerie lights emanate from within the dismal lesion marring the purview.

Spoilers for a thirty year old module, but hey, right? The house is a base of smugglers, led by an illusionist. It has a remarkable clear description of how to present the module and the core mysteries, without giving away too much.
It is paramount that the players are given no obvious clues, which would lead them to believe the house is not haunted; they must deduce the truth for themselves or simply stumble upon it. They might even wander around the house, finding a little treasure but never discovering what actually takes place there.
This module and the other two in the series are designed for thinking players. Those who tackle the adventures imaginatively and thoughtfully will not only obtain good rewards for their characters but will derive the satisfaction of seeing the various layers of the plot peel away as the real meaning of each clue is discovered. On the other hand, those who regard the House as nothing but monsterslaying territory will not only fail to unravel the secrets but will find their adventure dull and unsatisfactory; they may even lose their characters, for the smugglers, in the hands of a competent DM, should be more than a match for an unwary, careless party.
No munchkin hack & slash here! Only real role-playing.

In all seriousness, This is a well designed module. There are multiple layers to this mystery and it relies on player choice and initiative to assess what is actually going on, instead of just killing stuff because it's there. It's the kind of adventure where combat (should) happen(s) because there's an actual conflict, not just because you see something to kill. It clearly supports all the choices, with outcomes noted in the finale.

But that's not what you're here for.

What you are here for
You show up in town, ready for adventure. After taking lodging and shopping for a bit, you hear a legend about a haunted house up on the hill. If you decide to investigate, then you get introduced to a member of the town council, who has an interest in your decision to 'stamp out a local menace'. The council member makes no specific promises, but mentioned rewards—perhaps, say, something for doing a public service.

When the party sets out, they are accompanied by a slew of townsfolk, urchins, and hangers on. Amusingly, they retire shortly after the house pulls into view.

It sits atop a cliff, behind a 6' high stone wall, with a heavy ornate great. To the east is a well.with a softball pitch of a snake that has sleeping venom.

The house is obviously two stories, although there is a secret third underground "level", leading down to the coast at the bottom of the cliff. The house is laid out in a chunky upside down T. The front door opens into a big central room, with a staircase going up to a balcony you can see, with hallways leading to the west, east, and north wings.  It's a great vertical and non-linear space!

While exploring, you'll find rats, goblins, and other vermin as you would expect in any kind of standing structure. Tracks for observant players show some frequent foot traffic. Let's explore!

The stairs to the second floor hang over a passage to the east. These leads to empty and dilapidated rooms.  To the west lies the library of the alchemist, a study, and a trapdoor leading to the basement trapped with a magic mouth that says:
"Welcome, fools -- welcome to your deaths!" followed by a prolonged burst of insane and fiendish laughter.The passageway to the north contains two events of note, there's a beat up "withdrawing room" which I assume is british for lounge. In addition to detritus there is a chimney. If examined, you find a loose brick, concealing a small chest, along with a spider that sets down beside you. The default poison causing 'enfeebling' for 1-4 days, rather than any authentic risk.

The other event of note is that when you take the first step to descend into the basement, there's a wicked howl of shrieking pain, triggered by a magic mouth.

The upper floor is unstable, and more than one player character has died by falling to his death through unstable flooring. Another deadly chamber lies to the west, with an unassuming closet, filled with a cloak covered in deadly yellow mold.

Upstairs to the east, lies unstable flooring and a very subtle clue, that I think frequently goes missed until later in the module. This is the room where the smugglers can see the approach of the ship and signal it. More interesting is Ned Shakeshaft, a prisoner who is actually an assassin. He's supposed to mislead them, in the interest of a merchant who profits from the smuggling operation.

You can reach the attic, and get attacked by stirges as your reward.

The Main Event


Eventually the characters man up and brave the depths beyond the magic mouth spells, and head down into the basement.

This leads to a very memorable encounter. There's a corpse on the floor in a suit of FULL PLATE MAIL! This is a great moment for your fighters, immediately before they die from the rot grubs infesting the body.

There's a secret door in the wine cellar, and sooner or later the party will encounter the smugglers, which include their illusionist leader, along with several gnolls. There's a great illustration of the illusionist, hitting a party with the color spray spell.

Having discovered the smuggling operation, the town council conceives of a plan, where you assault the Sea Ghost and end the smuggling operation once and for all.

The party has a number of options for assault, giving them the opportunity to strike in the dark, or engage in open combat aboard the floating vessel. A terse, exciting, and possibly deadly battle occurs on the deck of the sea ghost. Looting the vessel lets them discover a slew of prizes, not the least of which is a pseudo-dragon looking for a Wizard to bond with, and the fighter thief aquatic elf "Oceanus".

Once complete, a few days pass, until the council becomes curious why such primitive creatures as lizard men would seek the arms and armor from the forges of men? Is the town of Saltmarsh at risk of attack?

I guess if you want to find out, you'd have to play Danger at Dunwater, but that is a different tale.

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Thulean - Japanese War & The Riccian Crossfire - Actual Play Session Report

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 20:18
The P.C. have free some slaves from Ricca  there's some massive events going on in Manchuria as the world of 2100 explodes as Japanese forces defend themselves against the rise of the  Thulean megapolis forces! Air ships & other military forces are moving in!  One of the death lords of  the Euro- Russian Empire have military designs &  ambitions in Manchuria and Korea! The PC's have been Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PREORDER: Vinyl Terrorz: Freddy Krueger Shadow Edition Vinyl Figure

Cryptozoic - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 17:00

From the shadows of your worst nightmares, Freddy’s coming for you! Freddy Krueger Shadow Edition is a variant of the figure from Cryptozoic’s new horror-inspired Vinyl TerrorzTM line. This limited edition collectible is a Cryptozoic Exclusive, only available on the Cryptozoic eStore while supplies last!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Marvel’s Mother’s Day Spectacular at Your Local Comics Shop!

First Comics News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 15:43

New York, NY—May 2, 2019— This Mother’s Day, May 12th, Marvel fans can share their love of reading and comics with the whole family! To help usher in the next generation of Super Heroes and celebrate mothers everywhere, we are providing participating comic book shops with free giveaways with some of the Marvel Super Heroes you know and love – including coloring posters of our hit series Marvel Rising and our Marvel Super Hero Adventures series, featuring Captain Marvel!

Fans will also receive an exclusive free Marvel bookmark as they explore the Marvel Universe with Ms. Marvel, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and Spider-Man – each in their own thrilling graphic novel, perfect for ages 9 and up!

Fans of Ms. Marvel will also find her starring with Squirrel Girl, Miles Morales, and more in an all-new, action packed adventure in Marvel Rising #1!

Marvel Super Hero Adventures early chapter books are perfect entry point for preschoolers and young readers to jump into the Marvel Universe with their favorite characters through stories that touch upon aspirational themes of friendship, helping others, and heroism.

To learn more, please visit your local comic book shop for details. Retailers can look to Marvel Mailers for ordering info and updates.

Want to dive in before Mother’s Day? Check out Marvel Rising #1, on sale now, and experience the world of Marvel Rising in animation with the exciting feature Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors and the animated specials Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts and Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron

  • Marvel Rising #1, on sale now
  • Marvel Rising #2, on sale now
  • Marvel Rising #3, on sale 5/29
  • Marvel Rising TPB, on sale now

 

And if that’s not enough, pick up the perfect comic trades, early chapter books for the entire family, and all-new formats perfect for middle grade readers!

  • Marvel Super Hero Adventures: To Wakanda And Beyond TPB, on sale now
  • Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Captain Marvel TPB, on sale now
  • Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Spider-Man, on sale 6/19
  • Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Spider-Man: Web Designers, on sale now
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: The Beginning TPB, on sale now
  • Marvel: Kamala Khan TPB, on sale now
  • Spidey: Freshman Year TPB, on sale now
  • The Unstoppable Wasp: G.I.R.L. Power TPB, on sale now

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, No It’s Superman! Superheroes Descend on Van Eaton Galleries this Saturday for Massive Pop Culture Auction May 4 beginning at 10am

First Comics News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 15:03

“IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE… NO, IT’S SUPERMAN!”

SUPERHEROES DESCEND ON VAN EATON GALLERIES THIS WEEKEND

THE ART OF ENTERTAINMENT, A POP CULTURE & DISNEYLAND AUCTION IS SATURDAY, MAY 4TH

 FEATURES 700 ITEMS THAT DEFINED OUR YOUTH AND IMPORTANT MOMENTS IN OUR LIVES

May 4th, 2019 10:00 a.m. PT

Los Angeles, California – (April 29, 2019) – The world’s greatest superheroes will be celebrated at this weekend’s highly anticipated pop culture and Disneyland auction – The Art of Entertainment – to take place at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California beginning at 10:00 a.m. PT. On the auction block will be 700 lots from the 1930s to today, including rare art, Disneyland memorabilia, artifacts from the moments that defined our youth, and memorabilia from our favorite television shows and films. Many of the extraordinary items are being auctioned for the first time.

Superheroes play an important role in pop culture, giving children and fans an opportunity to identify with their heroic acts and superhuman powers. Iconic comic book characters continue to come to life on the big and small screen, in comic books, and in other forms, holding as much sway today as they did when our favorite heroes first debuted.

The Art of Entertainment auction will offer some of the rarest art featuring many of our most iconic superheroes. Highlights include an original “Superman” poster painting ($7,000-$9,000); a “Batman” original poster painting (Estimate:$7,000-$9,000); a “Spider-Man” original poster painting ($6,000-$8,000);  a “Wonder Woman” original poster painting (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); “Shazam” original poster painting (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a “Hulk” original poster painting (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); an “Aquaman” original painting (Estimate: $1,000-$3,000); a “Thor” original poster painting (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000) and others.

Famous pop culture moments from film and television will also be highlighted at this weekend’s auction, including “Back to the Future Part III” (Universal, 1990) original artwork by legendary poster artist Drew Struzan (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a “Men in Black” (Columbia, 1991) Neuralizer prop (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a “Mary Poppins” original chimney sweep concept painting (Estimate $8,000-$10,000); a Madonna uniform from “A League of Their Own” (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); original “Willy Wonka” (Paramount, 1967) candy room concept art (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); and so much more. The collection is too vast and covers too many eras of television and film to provide a complete list of items offered at this auction, but it also includes art from “Star Trek,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” ‘Planet of the Apes,” “Jaws,” and additional titles.

Van Eaton Galleries will conduct the one-day auction on-site, online, and by phone. Media interested in covering is requested to email or call the press contact listed below. For more information or to order a collectible catalog visit www.vegalleries.com/popculture  To register to bid in the auction go to www.vegalleries.com/bidnow

Link to hi-res images included this news announcement go to
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1uacnsdb-c-oMsxbHN9RlD0oqo5ilV4xA?usp=sharing
All photo credits must read: Van Eaton Galleries

 

THE ART OF ENTERTAINMENT AUCTION LOCATION

Van Eaton Galleries

13613 Ventura Blvd

Sherman Oaks, California 91423

 

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION

May 4, 2019
10:00 A.M. Pacific Time

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

MooglyCAL2019 – Afghan Block #9

Moogly - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 15:00

Fall in love with the rhythm of block #9 in the MooglyCAL2019 – courtesy of Heart Hook Home! This block is a quick and relaxing pattern, perfect for the end of a busy day! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; materials provided by Red Heart Yarns, Furls Crochet, and Chetnanigans. Just getting started with the [...]

The post MooglyCAL2019 – Afghan Block #9 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.

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Categories: Crochet Life

Cryptojacking in the post-Coinhive era

Malwarebytes - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 15:00

September 2017 is widely recognized as the month in which the phenomenon that became cryptojacking began. The idea that website owners could monetize their traffic by having visitors mine for cryptocurrencies in their browser was not new, but this time around it became mainstream, thanks to an entity known as Coinhive.

The mining service became a household name overnight, and quickly drew ire for its original API, whose implementation failed to take into account user approval and CPU consumption. As a result, threat actors were quick to abuse it by turning compromised sites and routers into a large illegal mining business.

The ride was wild but, as we came to see, short-lived, as Coinhive shut its doors in March 2019 following months of steady decline and loss of interest in browser-based mining.

As such, this blog will strictly focus on web-based miners, which were impacted the most by Coinhive’s closure. It will not cover malware (binary-based) coin miners that are still infecting PCs, Macs, and servers.

Coinhive relics left behind

Interestingly, we still detect thousands of blocks for Coinhive-related domain requests, even though the service announced it was shutting down on March 8. Over the past week, our telemetry recorded an average of 50,000 blocks per day.

A spike in traffic just days after the service shut down, followed by decline and plateau

Digging deeper, we see that a large number of websites and routers have never been cleaned, and the bits of JavaScript requesting the Coinhive library are still there. Evidently, with the service down, the necessary WebSocket that sends and receives data between client and server will fail to connect to the server, resulting in zero mining activity or gain.

Hacked site makes web request for Coinhive but fails to connect to the backend Is cryptojacking still a thing?

To answer that question, we go back to the early adopters of browser-based mining: torrent sites. In the screenshot below, we can see something familiar enough—CPU usage maxed out at 100 percent while visiting a proxy for The Pirate Bay.

Torrent portals are still running cryptojacking code

This is exactly what started the cryptojacking trend back in 2017, when users weren’t told about this code running on their machine, let alone that it was hijacking their processor for maximum usage.

In this instance, the mining API was provided by CryptoLoot, which was one of Coinhive’s competitors at the time. While we are nowhere near the same levels of activity as we saw during fall 2017 and early 2018, according to our telemetry, we detect and block over 1 million requests to CryptoLoot each day.

There are a few other services out there, and it’s worth mentioning CoinIMP, which we’ve seen used more sensibly on file-sharing sites.

Router-based mining still going

While the number of compromised sites loading web miners was going down in 2018, a fresh opportunity presented itself, thanks to serious vulnerabilities affecting MikroTik routers worldwide.

By injecting mining code from a router and serving it to any connected devices behind it, criminals could finally scale the process so it was not limited to visiting a particular website, therefore generating decent revenues.

The number of hacked routers running a miner has greatly decreased. However, today we can still find several hundred that are harboring the old (inactive) Coinhive code, and have also been injected with a newer miner (WebMinePool).

Campaigns gone missing

Perhaps the biggest change in cryptojacking-related activity is the lack of new attacks and campaigns in the wild targeting vulnerable websites. For example, in spring 2018, we saw waves of attacks against Drupal sites where web miners were one of the primary payloads.

These days, hacked sites are leveraged in various traffic monetization schemes that include browlocks, fake updates, and malvertising. If the Content Management System (CMS) is Magento or another e-commerce platform, the primary payload is going to be a web skimmer.

We might compare cryptojacking to a gold rush that didn’t last too long, as criminals sought more rewarding opportunities. However, we wouldn’t rush to call it fully extinct.

We can certainly expect web miners to stick around, especially for sites that generate a lot of traffic. Indeed, miners can provide an additional revenue stream that is, as concluded in this Virus Bulletin paper,”depend[ent] on various factors, including, of course, the value of cryptocurrencies, which historically has been volatile.”

The next time cryptocurrencies see an upturn in the market, expect threat actors to do what they do best: exploit the situation for their own profit.

The post Cryptojacking in the post-Coinhive era appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Suda51, Supergiant Games, Aksys Games, More at MomoCon 2019

First Comics News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 14:47

Grasshopper Manufacture Strikes Back with New Announcement

ATLANTA – May 2, 2019 – Suda51, Supergiant Games, Aksys Games, Inti Creates, Team Salvato, and voice actors from some of gaming’s most popular titles are among the guests appearing at MomoCon 2019 in Atlanta. From Thursday, May 23 to Sunday, May 26, more than 38,000 attendees will take Georgia World Congress Center by storm, filling the largest gaming floor of any convention in the Southeastern U.S.

Grasshopper Manufacture founder Goichi “Suda51“ Suda will attend for the second year in a row. Following the success of last year’s Killer7 Steam reveal, he will make another announcement at MomoCon 2019. His “Travis Talks Again with SUDA51” panel will stream live on the MomoCon TV 2 Twitch channel Sunday, May 26 at 7:00 pm CST. Supergiant Games, renowned creators of action-RPGs Bastion, Transistor, and Hades, will celebrate Transistor’s five-year anniversary with a panel featuring composer Darren Korb and voice actor Logan Cunningham. From BlazBlue: Central Fiction to The Nonary Games, Aksys Games will be on hand to answer fan questions about their favorite Aksys titles. Speakers will discuss otome, a genre of drama, romance, and hot guys Aksys is well known for. Inti Creates, the studio behind the Mega Man Zero series, Mega Man 9, Mega Man 10, Mighty No. 9, and Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, will look at 2D action game techniques and differences between the indie game scenes in Japan and the U.S. in its panel. Doki Doki Literature Club developer Team Salvato will grace the stage at MomoCon 2019 for a panel about the making of the popular horror visual novel. The acting talents behind Arthur Morgan and Dutch van der Linde of Red Dead Redemption II will reignite their fiery chemistry at MomoCon. Roger Clark, who won Best Performance at The Game Awards 2018, and Benjamin Byron Davis will discuss the interplay and emotion at the heart of Arthur and Dutch’s relationship. Additional creative talents appearing at MomoCon 2019 include voice actors from franchises such as Mario, Devil May Cry, Disney cartoons and Kingdom Hearts, Overwatch, and My Hero Academia, as well as Sungwon Cho, a.k.a. “ProZD”, of Twitter and YouTube fame. An esports roundtable discussion featuring representatives of ELEAGUE, Overwatch, and Waveform will take place at 1:00 pm CST on Saturday, May 25 and stream on MomoCon TV 4. Atlanta Reign player Kodak and coach Casores will speak about the challenge of preparing for games with high pressure to perform, streamed on the same channel at 2:30 pm on Sunday, May 26. Fans unable to attend in person can find and watch livestreamed panels via the MomoCon Twitch stream team. Other streamed panels include “Indie Games in Japan & the World” on Friday, May 24 at 11:30 am CST on MomoCon TV 4, also featuring Suda51. “I’m really excited to be back for another visit to Atlanta,” said Suda51. “I have great memories from last year’s event, where I got to announce Killer7’s Steam port and shared a moment of excitement and joy with the audience. And guess what? I’ve got another announcement for this year, too! I’m looking forward to seeing you all there!” For more information, please visit the official website or follow MomoCon on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Town Is Where the Alchemy Is

Torchbearer RPG - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 13:00
Morgan le Fay by Frederick Sandys (between 1863 and 1864)

Hello friends!

We all know you go to the tavern for drinks and rumors, the shrine for omens and the temple for prayers. But where do you go for your more esoteric needs? Why, the hedge witch of course! Check out this new town location for your game.

Hedge Witch

Some settlements boast a local magician who has retired from adventuring and set up shop out near the hedges. They sell balms, concoctions and admixtures to the needy and the desperate. Hedge wizards and witches will never cast a spell for money. Never. It is prohibited by their guild, from the highest lich to the lowliest apprentice. If they should be caught, they will be run out of town (and forced back into the wretched life of an adventurer) and, worse, shunned by their friends and mentors. Selling alchemical concoctions to needy adventurers is another matter entirely. Consult the Alchemical Agents table. Roll 1d3 to determine how many items are available. The GM may choose specific items.

Alchemical Agents Table (not available in the Market) CostNameEffectInventoryOb 3Elixir of Reluctant but
Instant BraveryRemoves afraid conditionVial: Pack 1Ob 2Calming Scalp BalmRemoves angry conditionVial: Pack 1Ob 3Enhancing Broth Against
EnervationRemoves exhausted
conditionVial: Pack 1Ob 3Incense of the Hair of
the Dogs of the Wild HuntVapor: Impose afraid
condition if inhaled, 1 chargeIncense sticks:
Pack 1Ob 3Hermetically Sealed
Bottle of Hellish VaporVapor: Impose exhausted
condition if inhaled, 1 chargeBottle: Pack 2Ob 4Waxed Jar of Noxious
FumesVapor: Impose sick
condition if inhaled, 1 chargeJar: Pack 2Ob 2Vial of Purifying Heavy
WaterIncendiary: Supplies for
fire building, fire starting,
burning, 3 chargesVial: Pack 1Ob 2Bilous Smoke PotSmoke: Supplies for hiding,
fleeing and battle, 2 chargesJar: Pack 2Ob 3PetardExplosive: +1s Attack
weapon in kill, capture and
drive off conflictsBox: Pack 3Ob 1Fire FlowersFireworks (skill supplies)Bundle: Pack 1Ob 5Fire BelcherIncendiary Device: +1 Might in
kill and drive off conflicts,
-1s Maneuver Pack 8 Alchemical Art!

Alchemy is more of a science than an art. Therefore there is a slight chance that each concoction differs slightly from the desired effect. After purchase, the GM should roll a d6. On a roll of a 1, the alchemical mixture is not as it seems. The GM chooses one of the following effects:

  • Recover tax and increase cap of one ability by one
  • Ignites on contact (burns, Ob 6 Health test)
  • Acts as poison
  • Turns skin blue until cured
  • Unintended euphoria: remove angry, but cannot fight or argue for remainder of phase
  • Turns to acid, pitting, dissolving and ruining gear
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

AfterShock Comics’ Announces Next New Title – DARK ARK: AFTER THE FLOOD #1

First Comics News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 13:00

DARK ARK: AFTER THE FLOOD #1 / $3.99 / 32 pages / Full Color / ON SALE 10.02.2019
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Juan Doe
Cover: Juan Doe

Incentive Cover: Andrei Bressan

Lenticular Cover: Mike Rooth

THE EPIC SERIES RETURNS

 

Two arks were built to survive the Flood. One was filled with the creatures of the natural world. The other was populated by…everything else.

 

Now, the monsters of the DARK ARK have beaten Noah’s ark to land, and a new societal order must be created—one based on the rule of monsters. Khalee, a new sorceress, must maintain order amidst the chaos., but her otherworldly masters have a new task for her. She must devise a way to bring Noah’s Ark to the monsters…because the beasts must feed.

 

From writer Cullen Bunn (UNHOLY GRAIL, BROTHERS DRACUL, X-Men Blue, Deadpool, Venom) and artist Juan Doe (ANIMOSITY: THE RISE, AMERICAN MONSTER, WORLD READER) comes a sinister tale of biblical proportions!

 

CULLEN BUNN ON WHAT THE NEW DARK ARK SERIES IS ABOUT AND WHY HE’S EXCITED FOR IT TO COME OUT:

 

“This new series picks up right where the last one left off, but a crazy new direction quickly comes to the forefront. The “Dark Ark” has found land. Now, a society must form–a society of monsters, many of which hate each other. To complicate matters, the man who held a tentative control on the monsters, Shrae, is dead, and his daughter has taken his powers as her own. Khalee is not ready for the magic at her beck and call, and she’s not ready for the demonic orders coming to her from the Great Beyond. The first of those orders: make sure Noah’s Ark reaches the same landing point as Shrae’s Ark. After all, now that the monsters have survived their journey, they need something to snack on.”

ON SOME OF THE REASONS HE WANTED TO CONTINUE THIS POPULAR AFTERSHOCK SERIES:

 

“I love this series. I love the characters in the book. I love working with artist Juan Doe. The reaction from readers about this book has been incredible, and I think we’ve created a world in which we could tell stories for a long while to come.”

ON SOME OF THE INFLUENCES FOR THE NEW MONSTERS WE WILL MEET IN THIS STORY ARC:

 

“As before, monsters in this book are pulled from a variety of sources. I noticed straight away, though, that many of the featured monsters this time around are from Greek myth. It wasn’t intentional. The monsters just worked in the story. This time around, it will not be monsters serving as the primary villains. Instead, we’ll see the dangers that a human can pose… particularly to themselves.

 

And I wanted to give readers a monster they could care about. Readers really connected with the unicorns in the first few issues. I’m going to give them a creature they’ll like just as much. Of course, we all know how it worked out for the unicorns.”

ON THE SWITCHING UP OF THE PROTAGONISTS:

“Since this is a new book and a new jumping on point for readers, I thought giving them a new “lead” was perfect. Of course, Khalee has been a star of the series from the beginning. Only now we’re seeing her in a new light. And, hey, this is a world full of magic and monsters. You might not have seen the last of Shrae. You’ll definitely be seeing more about his backstory–how he became the dreaded sorcerer that he was.”

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Azurth Mailbag: Are the PCs the Straight Men?

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:00
When I said this might be a recurring feature, I didn't think it would be so soon, but Jack Shear of New York asked an interesting question as follow-up to a comment I made on social media: "What does it look like when Azurth PCs are playing the straight man to the setting's fancifulness?"


My comment about "the PCs as straight men" was a reference to an idea that gets bandied about from time to time that originated with this blog post, I believe. Now, I sort of like this idea for a lot of settings. But the Land of Azurth is different.

Different does not mean my Azurth campaign is comedy game, though like any D&D game, it has its share of comedic moments. Rather, it is a world that is very serious in its unseriousness, even its ridiculousness.  Pun names for characters (like the perpetually throat-clearing mayor of one small hamlet, Effluvia Flimm) are common, and "joke" monsters or treasures are not unheard (though they aren't particularly common).

I'm not looking to get a laugh of the players with all this, though it's fine if I do on occasion. Rather, I'm trying to present a certain of world like Oz or Ooo, and these are just the sort of things these kind of worlds have. In this context, I hope that this sort of playfulness aids immersion instead of harming it.

So, anyway, the world as presented sort of puts the player in the roll of straight man in a couple of ways. One, they must stay goal-oriented and aware of potential danger (even death), despite the occurrence of odd, perhaps even ridiculous things: A dwarf polymorphed into a horse has disguised itself among hippogriffs in a sub-grade-school costume. You make landfall on an island populated by living candy. A court of talking animals puts you on trial for the slaughter of their kind. None of these things are the stuff of "serious" fantasy, at least of the action-oriented sort, yet here they are. The DM presents them seriously, with ne'er a nudge or wink, and the characters had better deal with them as such, even as the players may note their ridiculousness. And it keeps coming.


The second way is perhaps more common to certain sorts of adventure fantasy, specifically the works of Jack Vance. The PCs are adventurers of competence, even heroism, in a world where those traits may be uncommon. Like Vance's Adam Reith in the Planet of Adventure series, the PCs must contend with venal, self-absorbed, conniving, hidebound, and eccentric NPCs quite frequently. Some of these NPCs are also dangerous in the usual D&D sense, but most of them are just somewhat unhelpful. The PCs can only shake their head in frustration and press on.

This latter bit could probably get annoying to players if overdone, but I seem to have kept it in bounds, because the players actually seem to have some affection for a few of the recurring NPCs, even if they roll their eyes at them. It tends to be clear who is a villain and who is just an everyday rogue, and they reserve their hatred for that second bunch. Also, having distinctive characteristics for the NPCs seems to to keep them entertained.

So that's how Azurth is often the Costello to the PCs Abbot.

Got a question on the Land of Azurth or the campaign? Leave it in the comments or email me.

Cecil Castellucci Tells All in Graphic Memoir GIRL ON FILM From BOOM! Studios

First Comics News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 07:10

The True Story of a Young Aspiring Filmmaker’s Journey to Bestselling Comics Creator in November 2019


LOS ANGELES, CA (May 1, 2019) – BOOM! Studios today announced GIRL ON FILM, a new original graphic novel memoir from award-winning young adult novelist and Eisner-nominated comic book writer, Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by artists Vicky Leta, Jon Berg, V. Gagnon, and Melissa Duffy, available in November 2019. Based on the true story of her own free-spirited coming-of-age as a young, independent creative who fell in love with the art of storytelling, Cecil’s memoir also depicts the nuanced connection between experience and memory.

In 1977, Star Wars released in theaters nationwide and changed young Cecil Castellucci’s life forever. From that moment on, she knew that she would one day become an artist and storyteller who brought her own imagination to life. Thus began the evolution of the young starstruck fan into an aspiring theater kid (who was childhood friends with Jennifer Aniston and Chaz Bono), a teenage artiste running wild in ‘80s New York, an indie musician in the Montreal punk scene, and finally the acclaimed author and bestselling comic book writer she is today. Along the way, she found that even though nothing ever went according to plan, everything happened the way it should have.

Chronicling the life of award-winning young adult novelist and Eisner-nominated comics scribe Cecil Castellucci, GIRL ON FILM follows a passionate aspiring artist from the youngest age through adulthood to examine the arduous pursuit of making art, while exploring the act of memory and how it reshapes what we think we truly know about ourselves.

Cecil Castellucci is the New York Times bestselling author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Shade the Changing Girl, The Plain Janes, and The Year of the Beasts. In 2015, she co-authored Star Wars Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure. Her short stories and short comics have been published in various anthologies and literary journals. In a former life, she was known as Cecil Seaskull in the ‘90s indie band Nerdy Girl. She has written two opera librettos Les Aventures de Madame Merveille (World Premiere in 2010) and Hockey Noir: The Opera (World Premiere 2018). Castellucci is currently writing The Female Furies for DC Comics. She is the former Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus, a two-time MacDowell Fellow, and the founding YA Editor at the LA Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles.

“When I think about it, I have always been most fascinated with telling stories. At first, I thought I would become the next Steven Spielberg. But turns out that early dream of aspiring filmmaker was just the first in a series of surprising creative aspirations that led me to where I am today,” said writer Cecil Castellucci. “I wanted to trace the path that brought me to this moment in my life but recalling the past is always a tricky thing. You could be remembering something exactly as it happened or looking at it through the lens of hindsight and other lived experiences. So this is me putting together the story of my life, mining my memories and very excited to work with four such talented artists to craft something between memory and fiction about dedicating my life to making art in every form I could in order to fulfil that childhood dream of one day becoming the girl on film, on vinyl, on paper, and preserved in the memories of others forever.”

Vicky Leta is an illustrator and cartoonist from Brooklyn, NY. Leta’s work has been recognized as a finalist in the 2018 Ghost City Comics 5×5 Fest and as a winner of the 2018 Creative Quarterly #53. She is also the creator of the webcomic Generic Lottery, which debuted in 2016.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to work on GIRL ON FILM, where Cecil takes us into New York in the ‘80s through the lens of an aspiring young artist.” said artist Vicky Leta. “Her story is one that certainly relates close to home, so I’m excited and honored to be a part of it!”

Jon Berg is a Canadian illustrator & cartoonist whose children’s book Rosie and Rolland in the Legendary Show-and-Tell was published by Owl Kids in spring 2015. Berg has self-published a number of comics including Blackout, Look After You, and Deveaux. He has also contributed to the Toronto Comics Anthology: Osgoode as Gold, Strange Romance Vol. 3, and Called Into Being: A Celebration of Frankenstein.

GIRL ON FILM is a unique perspective on the fascinating process of pursuing an artistic life. I’m grateful and excited to be a part of bringing Cecil’s journey to the comic page.” said artist Jon Berg.

V. Gagnon is an illustrator, concept artist, and comic creator whose work often explores urban legends, folklore, history, and horror. They graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in Illustration and currently reside in Portland, OR.

“We all partake in these unique life-long journeys that shift and change when we look back on them, and there’s so much to learn there.” said artist V. Gagnon. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with this great team and bring Cecil’s journey to life!”

Melissa Duffy is an illustrator and comic artist based on the East Coast. She has done work for IDW and featured in many independently published anthologies, as well as self-publishing her own comic, Outward.

“Let’s talk about GIRL ON FILM” said artist Melissa Duffy. “Is the backdrop of a legendary arts high school in 1980’s New York an incredibly cool time and place to be? Yes. Is it an honor to be bringing YA heavyweight Cecil Castellucci’s own memories to new life on the page? Yes. Is this the artistic coming of age memoir that I’m excited for the world to read? YES!”

GIRL ON FILM is the latest release from BOOM! Studios’ ambitious Archaia imprint, home to graphic novels such as Mouse Guard by David Petersen; New World by David Jesus Vignolli; Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramón Pérez; About Betty’s Boob by Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau; Bolivar by Sean Rubin; and licensed series including Lev Grossman’s The Magicians: Alice’s Story by Lilah Sturges and Pius Bak; Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation.

GIRL ON FILM is Cecil’s love letter to her young artistic self and to all the other creatives who want to leave their mark on the world. With her as a guide, we get to explore a slice of New York City preserved in her memory and follow her wondrous journey as it twists and turns, culminating into the vision of an artist who’s done it all.” said Sierra Hahn, Executive Editor, BOOM! Studios. “And as if the details about growing up in the heart of Times Square, avoiding Cher, and skipping over Keith Haring chalk drawings aren’t compelling enough, you’ll find photographic evidence of her childhood right next to the amazing illustrations of artists Vicky Leta, Jon Berg, V. Gagnon, and Melissa Duffy.”

Print copies of GIRL ON FILM will be available for sale November 13, 2019 at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one), on November 19, 2019 at bookstores, or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and the BOOM! Studios app.

For continuing news on GIRL ON FILM and more from BOOM!, stay tuned to www.boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudios on Twitter.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

1292

Looking For Group - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 04:00

The post 1292 appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics

Dungeoneers Syndicate: Sutherland Dragon Mini

Zenopus Archives - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 02:43
Where's my humongous pile of gold?
The latest post at the Dungeoneers Syndicate blog showcases a number of photos of the author's newly painted Sutherland Dragon, posing with the Holmes Basic rulebook and a bunch of '70s rulebooks and dice:


My David C. Sutherland III inspired Dragon miniatureI happened upon this Reaper Bones "Great Dragon" a while back...cool looking mini! Then the wheels started turning...I could paint this dragon to look like the one on the Holmes Blue Basic Box set cover! I had to hone my painting skills first...bought a bunch of smaller minis & studied the interwebs for tips & "how to" videos on Youtube.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Rebel Minis’ 15th Anniversary Extravaganza!

Rebel Minis - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 00:33

To celebrate our 15th Anniversary we are pulling out all the stops! All products on the site will be 20% off! Even the PDF Rulebooks! And orders over $30 will get a 28mm Goblin Jester for Free! All you need to do at checkout is use code PARTY. We want to thank everyone for their support these last 15 years and let you know, We Appreciate You!





The sale will last until May 15th and remember, some things will sell out of stock quickly… so this year, we will be taking orders and making the packs as quickly as possible, to keep them in stock during sale. Some items may be back-ordered during the sale, but if you order them during the sale, you will still get the sale price, no matter when they ship (which should not be that long of a delay). You can see everything here www.Rebelminis.com

Thank you for 15 great years!

The Rebel Crew
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Where Credit is Due

3d6 Traps & Thieves - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 00:32

Foreword



I would like to officially thank David C. Sutherland III for the yalkhoi.
That was long overdue. By almost forty years. Though I first encountered the hobgoblin in the Moldvay edit of the Basic Rules, there were no illustrations to be found. Seriously? You provide illustrations of the White Ape, Sabre-Tooth Tiger, Killer Bee, Giant Lizard, Skeleton and Giant Spider? As if no one has an idea of what those look like! But you can’t be bothered to depict any of the goblinoids. I think the thoul would’ve been a good choice for a picture as well. Imagine my excitement when I found the Monster Manual.
So, hobgoblins were Asian. Huh. Neat! Hey – according to the Sutherland illustrations (two of them!), hobgoblins wore distinctly samurai-inspired armor into battle. You know who else had the same kind of look? The ogre mage (oni). And another Sutherland illustration, no-less. My wheels immediately started to spin. I liked the hobgoblin. The hobgoblin was (stat-wise) better than the orc (also illustrated by DCS). Orcs seemed like nothing more than hobgoblins with pig heads to me. It was at that point that I decided never to use orcs in my games – I was Team Hobgoblin right from the start. Once that was decided, my mind connected the hobgoblin and the ogre mage as the representatives of Asian culture in my fantasy setting.
Hobgoblins went through a few iterations during the development of the Avremier setting. There were essentially two castes, the samurai (noble) and the steppe-riders (commoners modeled after Mongols). Over the years, I merged the two castes, but split the hobgoblin into two distinct evolutionary paths. Replacing the half-orc PC race with the hobgoblin (yalkhoi), I developed the “monster” version of the hobgoblin (yarcha) as another branch. The ogre mage started as the overlords (shogun) of the hobgoblins, and slowly evolved into a higher evolutionary form to which an honorable yalkhoi might aspire.
All from a few David C. Sutherland III black-and-white line drawings. That’s what I call Old-School.

David A. Hill
Mothshade Concepts Editor
1 May 2019



Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Shoot This One

First Comics News - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 20:48

Shoot This One:

How do you become a television writer? What does it take to create your own show? Did the writers of Lost really have a plan, or were they making it all up as they went? In a career spanning far longer than he cares to admit, Javier Grillo-Marxuach has not only written for some of your favorite (and not-so-favorite) shows – from the Emmy Award-winning Lost, to CharmedMediumLaw & Order: SVU, and seaQuest – but also worked as a network executive, created a comic book that became a cult television series, co-hosted a popular podcast, and contributed essays on the entertainment industry to such publications as The Los Angeles Review of Books, io9.com and Apex Magazine. Collected for the first time, Grillo-Marxuach’s occasionally far-too-revealing essays offer a true insider’s look into the good, the bad, and the frequently bat-guano insane inner workings of the entertainment industry. If you have ever wondered how shows actually get on the air, how it feels to win an Emmy Award, and why a grown man would have to swear off watching Star Wars for an entire year, then this irreverent collection is not only the book you want, it’s also the book you need!

Link: Amazon.com

$20.99.

Available on Audible and iTunes. I’ve additionally got a link to the Amazon site at lastwordaudio.com under the “Our Books” heading.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

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