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Caron Simply Soft: Yarn Love Video Review

Moogly - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 15:19

Caron Simply Soft is a classic yarn, long loved for its easy care, soft feel, and amazing range of colors. But did you know that there are nearly a dozen different types of Simply Soft? Get a closer look at this much-loved yarn in the Yarn Love Video Review on Moogly – including hundreds of...

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The post Caron Simply Soft: Yarn Love Video Review appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

Categories: Crochet Life

11 Great Dungeon Master Tips Revealed at Winter Fantasy 2020

DM David - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 11:47

The Winter Fantasy convention fits into one hall at the convention center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Despite the event’s compact size, it delivers as much Dungeons & Dragons as far larger conventions such as Origins or Gen Con. Plus, the con offers plenty of inexpensive hotel rooms. Sure, Fort Wayne suffers an icy February, but you come to game.

For dungeon masters who aim to improve their game, nothing beats running games for strangers. In close second comes playing at other DMs’ tables and learning their best techniques. (See If You Want to Write Games for Everyone, Game with Everyone).

At the 2020 convention, I came to play, and I found myself noting tips gleaned from every session.

1. When you have to deliver background, have players roll for it so it feels like a reward.

We all see adventures that start with bullet lists of background information for some patron to recite. Often, letting everyone roll, say, a history check makes a better way to reveal such backstory. Once everyone rolls, reward the lower results with the common knowledge, and the higher rolls with the lesser-known details. See In D&D, Letting Everyone Roll Certain Checks Guarantees Success, So Why Bother Rolling?.

2. Try to award every attempt to gather information with something.

I used to reveal every descriptive detail of a door, altar, or dungeon room right away. This made for long descriptions and held nothing for when players explored. You want to reward players’ investigations with some information, even just bits of color and flavor. I used to fear that holding back would deprive players of some necessary description. Now I trust that players will gather whatever details I hold back.

3. Show the written names of key non-player characters. Pictures are even better.

DMs love when players show enough interest to take notes, writing names and other details. This year I resolved to take such notes as I played. But fantasy character names became a problem. I would write what I thought I heard and always get it wrong. Even for non-note takers, seeing a name written helps scribe it in memory. Teachers write on a board for a reason. As a DM, you probably have an erasable grid surface in your kit. Use it to show names as well as maps.

For the most important characters, try to find a picture that suits them. Showing a picture makes the impression even stronger.

4. In interaction scenes, make sure players know their goal and see at least one potential route to success.

The best thing about combat scenes is that players rarely enter one without some idea of what they aim to accomplish. They have a goal and understand what to do. (Typically, kill the monsters.) Too often, adventurers start interaction scenes without seeing a potential route to success. Players flounder as they try to figure out what to do. That never makes for the most fun. See Avoiding the Awkward D&D Moment When a Priest, a Wizard, and a Dwarf Enter a Bar and Nothing Happens.

5. You can say, “You have learned all you can here,” or “You’ve done all you can here.”

Sometimes players continue searching a place or questioning someone well after accomplishing everything they can. DMs feel hesitant to say, “You have learned all you can here,” because it reveals something the characters would not know. Just say it. If you like, you can imagine that hours more of unproductive conversation happened off screen.

6. When players attempt something, make sure they understand the odds and the stakes.

We all love when players stake their characters’ lives on some reckless, nearly impossible stunt. Whether they succeed or fail, such moments make unforgettable gaming. But before any foolhardy undertaking, make sure the players know the odds and the result of failure. I typically share difficulty classes before players roll. These DC numbers help span the gulf between a character’s vivid sense of the game world and what a player learns from a DM’s description. DCs prevent misunderstandings. As for risks, make sure players know that, say, falling from the Earth mote means plunging into a sea of lava. That works better than rewinding the action for a player who heard “sea” and not “lava.” See Would You Play With a Dungeon Master Who Kept Your Character Sheet and Hid Your PC’s Hit Points?.

7. For a convention game, encourage players to put their character’s name on a table tent.

Based on anecdotal evidence collected from a few hundred convention games, I’m convinced that players need about 2 hours to learn the names of their partners in adventure. Table tents bring a simple remedy. Veteran convention players know this and bring their own. I suggest bringing note cards and a Sharpie so every player can make a tent.

8. Add, don’t subtract.

When you track damage to a monster, add the damage until it reaches the monster’s hit points. Some DMs subtract until they reach 0, which seems more cumbersome to us non-savants.

9. In roleplaying interactions, go ahead and split the party.

Never split the party applies to combat and exploration, but in roleplaying challenges, splitting up often proves more fun. Rather than the player with the most forceful personality taking most of the time in the spotlight, more players participate. As a bonus, ability checks work better when just a couple of players participate.

To make the most of a split party, cut between the smaller groups’ scenes. Every role-playing game reaches moments when the players make plans while the DM sits idle. Those moments bring my favorite times to switch scenes. This sort of switch keeps half the players busy planning while the rest act. Instead of waiting for decisions, I can give more players time in the spotlight. The tempo of the game feels faster. See Never Split the Party—Except When It Adds Fun.

10. Every time you ask for a check, you write a check.

Remember paper checks? Once, long ago, folks used to pay money by writing a promise to pay on a special slip of paper. With checks, you needed to back that promise with actual money in the bank. Ability checks sometimes work like paper checks. If you ask for a check, you promise to allow for failure. This year I saw bad rolls test a few DMs who realized a failure had to succeed for the adventure to continue. I watched their damage control as they hunted for a way to drag me to success. If the adventure leaves no room for failure, skip the check.

11. Speak like a storyteller.

When I DM, I tend to rush through my speaking parts. The habit comes from a good motive: I want to spend less time talking so the players do more playing. Seeing more measured DMs proves that sometimes going slower works better. The best DMs adjust their tempo, often slowing to give their words weight. They pause to emphasize, their tone expresses emotion, and it works. Fireside storytellers and preachers show it, and we DMs can learn it. Through practice, I hope to capture some of that knack.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Malwarebytes Labs releases 2020 State of Malware Report

Malwarebytes - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 08:01

Today is Safer Internet Day—and what better way to celebrate/pay homage than to immerse yourself in research on the latest in malware, exploits, PUPs, web threats, and data privacy? It so happens we’ve got just the right content to kick-start the party because today we released the results of our annual study on the state of malware—the 2020 State of Malware Report—and as usual, it’s a doozy.

From an increase in enterprise-focused threats to the diversification of sophisticated hacking and stealth techniques, the 2019 threat landscape was shaped by a cybercrime industry that aimed to show it’s all grown up and coming after organizations with increasing vengeance.

The 2020 State of Malware Report features data sets collected from product telemetry, honey pots, intelligence, and other research conducted by Malwarebytes threat analysts and reporters to investigate the top threats delivered by cybercriminals to both consumers and businesses in 2019.

Our analysis includes a look at threats to Mac and Windows PCs, Android and iOS, as well as browser-based attacks. In addition, we examined consumer and business detections on threats to specific regions and industries across the globe. Finally, we took a look at the state of data privacy in 2019, including state and federal legislation, as well as the privacy failures of some big tech companies in juxtaposition against the forward-thinking policies of others.

Here’s a sample of what we found:

  • Mac threats increased exponentially in comparison to those against Windows PCs. While overall volume of Mac threats increased year-over-year by more than 400 percent, that number is somewhat impacted by a larger Malwarebytes for Mac userbase in 2019. However, when calculated in threats per endpoint, Macs still outpaced Windows by nearly 2:1.
  • The volume of global threats against business endpoints has increased by 13 percent year-over-year, with aggressive adware, Trojans, and HackTools leading the pack.
  • Organizations were once again hammered with Emotet and TrickBot, two Trojan-turned-botnets that surfaced in the top five threats for nearly every region of the globe, and in the top detections for the services, retail, and education industries. TrickBot detections in particular increased more than 50 percent over the previous year.
  • Net new ransomware activity is at an all-time high against businesses, with families such as Ryuk and Sodinokibi increasing by as much as 543 and 820 percent, respectively.

To learn more about the top threats of the year for Mac, Windows, Android, and the web, as well as the state of data privacy in commerce and legislation, check out the full 2020 State of Malware Report here.

The post Malwarebytes Labs releases 2020 State of Malware Report appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Concerning Judges Guild

Bat in the Attic - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 00:23
I use facebook to keep in contact with various individuals including Robert Bledsaw II, the owner of the Judges Guild IP and the son of one of the company's founders.

Saturday evening, I noticed the following post:

Read the caption above the picture to see the issue.
This is unacceptable.

Sunday evening, I called Robert Bledsaw II and discussed the issue. I notified him that I will no longer be doing future Judges' Guild projects and will only continue to sell what I have currently listed.  I stated that I will be calling the other Judges Guild licensee and inform them of the situation and of my decision.

I was not planning making any public announcements. Given the mob mentality I have seen emerge, I was not comfortable in making a public statement.

However, because I was calling several people who are immediately affected by this situation, the odds of a public post were high. With issues like these, one has to follow the dictates of their conscience. It has gone public hence this post explaining what happened and why.

In addition to the above post, I noticed shortly before the call the following post.

The video is of Christian Bale dropping the card and looking disappointed
This cemented my decision that I can no longer be in a future business relationship with Judges Guild. Then later this post was pointed out to me.

This too, I consider unacceptable.

For now, I will keep up my Judges Guild related products up for sale. I currently have a unique situation in regards to the royalties I pay. Given the state of the Kickstarter finances, Robert Bledsaw II suspended the royalty payments in lieu of paying me for finishing the last nine maps. This has been going on since November of 2017 when I released the CSIO map. Since then, all revenue after taxes and expenses have gone to me. This will not last indefinitely, at which point I will have to revisit having these products listed based on how things have progressed. I will make an announcement accordingly.

Expect a post outlining my future plans for Bat in the Attic Games. In a nutshell, I wasn't expecting to have a license to Judges Guild IP ten years ago and was proceeding on that basis for what became the Majestic Wilderlands supplement. Then an opportunity came up after I finished working on the map for City State of the Sea Kings, and as a result I secured a license.

Last Word
To those of you familiar with my published writing: I try to follow a philosophy of less is more. So is it the same in the case of my response. I don't need to explain the ills caused by generations of bigotry and prejudice. It is just wrong, and it is unacceptable.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Viewing Figures Update – Orphan 55, Praxeus and Can You Hear Me?

Blogtor Who - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 21:58

Overnights for Can You Hear Me? +7 numbers for Praxeus and the final viewing figures for Orphan 55 paint a picture of a show levelling to a consistent performance As we continue further into Doctor Who Series 12, a clearer picture is emerging of the viewing figures settling down. While Series 11 saw an, actually […]

The post Viewing Figures Update – Orphan 55, Praxeus and Can You Hear Me? appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Gangs, Tramps, & Thieves - Rogue To Rogue - The Use of The Rogues Gallery By Brian Blume, Dave Cook, & Jean Wells In Old School & OSR Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 18:38
"No longer will you the Dungeon Master need to spend precious time laboring over the task of generating non-player characters. This valuable booklet contains hundreds of pre-rolled non-player characters of all classes and types, complete with alignments, sex, personalities and much more. The Rogues Gallery is specially designed to be compatible with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Battling online coronavirus scams with facts

Malwarebytes - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 16:56

Panic and confusion about the recent coronavirus outbreak spurred threat actors to launch several malware campaigns across the world, relying on a tried-and-true method to infect people’s machines: fear.

Cybercriminals targeted users in Japan with an Emotet campaign that included malicious Word documents that allegedly contained information about coronavirus prevention. Malware embedded into PDFs, MP4s, and Docx files circulated online, bearing titles that alluded to protection tips. Phishing emails that allegedly came from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were spotted, too. Malwarebytes also found a novel scam purporting to direct users to a donation page to help support government and medical research.

All of these threats rely on the same dangerous intersection of misinformation and panic—a classic and grotesque cybercrime tactic. A great defense to these is, quite simply, the truth.

At Malwarebytes, we understand that safeguarding you from cyberthreats goes beyond technological protection. It also means giving you the information you need to make smart, safe decisions. Because of this, we’re presenting verified resources and data about coronavirus that will hopefully steer users away from online threats. If you see a sketchy-looking email mentioning the virus (like the one we found below), don’t open it. Instead, come here. If you want to immediately see what these online scams look like, scroll below.

What is coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, the current coronavirus that has infected thousands of people across the world is a single variant of a broader family of viruses, also called “coronavirus.” This particular strain of coronavirus was first identified in the city of Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. It has the title “2019-nCoV.” Though 2019-nCoV is from the same family of coronaviruses as SARS—which spread to 26 countries between 2002 and 2003—it is not the same virus.

As of February 7, coronavirus has spread to at least 25 countries, including Australia, Vietnam, the United States, the Philippines, Nepal, Sweden, the United Kingdom, India, and more. Mexico has no reported cases—the only country in North America to avoid the virus, it appears. Countries in South America, including Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Chile, have not reported any confirmed cases of the virus, either. While the majority of infections are reported in China, with 31,211 confirmed cases, the highest count of any other country is Singapore, with 30 cases.

Full, daily reports on the virus’ spread can be found at the World Health Organization’s resource page here: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation reports. The situation reports also provide information about every country with confirmed coronavirus cases, and this Al Jazeera article compiles that information up to February 6.

According to a February 6 report in The Wall Street Journal that cites scientists and medical academics in China, the recent coronavirus likely started in bats.

According to the US Center for Disease Control, coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How can I protect myself from coronavirus?

Because coronavirus spreads from human-to-human contact, the best protection methods involve good hygiene. According to the WHO, individuals should:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.     
  • Maintain social distancing—maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Tell your health care provider if you have travelled in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone with who has travelled from China and has respiratory symptoms.
  • If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible. 

The WHO also actively dispelled some current myths about coronavirus. For instance, individuals cannot catch the virus from dogs and cats that are their pets, and vaccines against pneumonia do not protect against coronavirus.

For more information on coronavirus myths, please visit the WHO Myth Busters page here, along with the WHO Q&A page.

What else should I know about coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a serious threat, but it is not the world-ending plague that many fear. As of February 7, the virus has resulted in 637 total deaths. A February 6 notice by the Chinese media service CGTN reported more recoveries, at 1,542.

Individuals should not fear receiving packages from China, the WHO said, as the virus cannot survive long durations on physical objects like packages and letters. Similarly, individuals should not dip into unmeasured fear of all things Chinese. These fears have turned New York’s Chinatown district into a “ghost town,” said one local business owner, and have fueled multiple xenophobic and racist assumptions across the world.

The WHO says it is okay to receive packages delivered from China.

Coronavirus has also received a strong global response. Air travel has been severely limited, Olympic qualifying games were relocated, workers built a hospital in about 10 days, fast food restaurants temporarily closed their locations, and China closed off entire populations—which has come with its own tragic tales of quarantine camps, isolation, and fear.

The spread of the virus is scary, yes, but people are working day and night to prevent greater exposure.

What should I know about coronavirus scams?

Coronavirus online scams are largely similar to one another. By preying on misinformation and fear, cybercriminals hope to trick unwitting individuals into opening files and documents that promise information about the virus.

However, Malwarebytes recently found an email scam that preys on people’s desire to help during a moment like this.

The scam email—titled “URGENT: Coronavirus, Can we count on your support today?”—purportedly comes from the nondescript “Department of Health.” Inside, the email asks users to donate to coronavirus prevention causes.

“We need your support , Would you consider donating 100 HKD to help us achieve our mission?” the email says near its end, before offering a disguised link that opens an application, not a website. The link itself begins with neither HTTPS or HTTP, but “HXXP.”

A screenshot of an emailed coronavirus scam that preys on users’ good will.

Routine scams that allegedly include information about prevention and protection also come through emails, like this phishing scam spotted by Sophos.

A screenshot of the emailed coronavirus scam that Sophos discovered.

The malicious email informs its recipient to open an attached document that includes information about “safety measures regarding the spreading of coronavirus,” which then directs users to a page that asks for their email address and password.

These scams are becoming a dime a dozen, and we don’t expect them to dwindle any time soon. In fact, threat actors in China were spotted sending malware around through email and through the Chinese social media platform WeChat. Though the exact types of malware were not reported, the Computer Virus Emergency Response Center said the malware itself could be used to steal data or remotely control victims’ devices.

Coronavirus information and data resources

If you’re afraid about the spread of coronavirus, we understand. But please, do not click any links in any sketchy emails, and do not donate to any causes you have not already vetted outside of your email client.

If you want to know up-to-the-date information about the virus, again, please visit the following resources:

Stay safe, everyone.

The post Battling online coronavirus scams with facts appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

A week in security (February 3 – 9)

Malwarebytes - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 16:46

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we looked at Washington state’s latest efforts in providing better data privacy rights for their residents, and we dove into some of the many questions regarding fintech: What is it? How secure is it? And what are some of the problems in the space?

We also detailed a new adware family that our researchers had been tracking since late last year and pushed out a piece on performance art’s impact on Google Maps and other crowdsourced apps.

Other cybersecurity news

Stay safe, everyone!

The post A week in security (February 3 – 9) appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

On The Go Arm Project Bag Giveaway

Moogly - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 16:00

Stitch and Hustle On The Go Arm Project Bags are so great for both knit and crochet! Thoughtful design and even more thoughtful creation make them a great addition to your yarny life. And I get to give one away to one lucky winner on Moogly! Disclaimer: Materials for this giveaway provided by Stitch and...

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The post On The Go Arm Project Bag Giveaway appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

Categories: Crochet Life

Threshold Jr – Feb 12th – Gross Out Night Pt 2!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 14:44

This week!

Gross Out Night Pt 2.
February 12th – Wednesday 7-9 pm

We had so much fun getting grossed out, we’re going to do it all again! We’ll continue our series on Jesus!

The week after that…

U-Puttz Amusement Park
February 19th – Wednesday **6:45-9 pm**
COST: $19

Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Mini-Golf – Oh my! Yes, we’re going to U-Puttz to have an amazing time together! Drop-off and pick-up at church!

The week after that…

Gargon Pt 2
February 26th – Wednesday 7-9 pm
We turn out the lights and try to find the flashlight pieces to destroy the Gargon! We start a new faith based series on Jesus!



  Click here for this month’s calendar


The post Threshold Jr – Feb 12th – Gross Out Night Pt 2! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – Feb 14th – Game Show!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 14:44

This week!

Game Show
February 14th – Friday 7:11-10 PM

Valentine’s Gameshow and finishing our series called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.

The week after that…

Gargon Pt 2
February 21st – Friday 7:11-10 PM

We turn out the lights and try to find the flashlight pieces to destroy the Gargon! We start a new faith-based series on Jesus!

The week after that…

Game Show Night
February 28th- Friday 7:11-10:pm
We love to play game shows for prizes! This is your chance to win big! Join us!


Click here for this month’s calendar


The post High School Ministry – Feb 14th – Game Show! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Deepfakes, Fraud, and Digital Personal Copyright

Dungeoncomics - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 13:00
This story opens in media res, in the middle of heart-pounding action as the US Congress passes a modification to the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

Where There’s a Will, OSR Adventure Review

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 12:25
By Jacob W. Michaels Raging Swan Press OSR Level ... ?

Standing on a dingy side street in Low City the Scythe has a reputation as a place for hard drinking and its entertainers. Nights at the Scythe are rarely boring—particularly when the legendary halfling bard, Dricolen Nimblefinger, is playing

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

Why yes, El Senor Lydon, Johnny Feelgood, Liz and I do THE THE FUCKING TIME. (Hmmm, looking this up, the lyric is “Johnny Light on.” I think it’s better as “Johnny Lydon.” Kind of a Peaches “My Chrissy behind is fine all of the tie” Chrissy Hynde kind of thing. That fucking earworm has been out of my head for a week now and I just put it back in. Great.)

This thirteen page adventure details … I don’t know … some vignettes in a town? It’s supposed to be a roleplaying adventure, uh, I mean “eventure”, but in reality it’s just some one of those hooks from a “101  hooks for your party!” products that’s been expanded in to thirteen pages. Just the hook. JUST. THE. HOOK.

Town adventures are one of my favorite things and this product line seems to be trying to do two things. First, no combat, andsecpnd  shit that happens in town during downtime, returning,etc. Not bad, especially the second. Shit going on in town helps cement the characters and who they are, with the players flexing themselves a bit and all them zany human relations. Plus, players seems to have more restraint that usual, not ALWAYS picking the “stabby stabby” solution. SO, good ideas! Town! Yeah!

And very VERY poorly executed.

This isn’t an adventure. It’s not even an adventure outline. It is, I don’t know, a hook? Imagine one of those “100 hooks” products and one line in it is “In town, get part of a map to a pirates treasure during a dead pirate captains wake.” That’s this adventure.

You’re in town, somewhere. You hear bells ringing. A notorious pirate captain is dead. You go see his body strung up at a town gate and met some other pirate captains. You go to a bar and the reading of the will, along with other pirates, and a bunch of map pieces get tossed out. That’s your adventure!

And it’s not even properly supported. There are a bunch of tables at the beginning to add local color to the town: rumors, street scenes, gossip and the like. They tend to be well done, although the street scene tables could be more oriented toward the pirate captain being dead instead of the usual “beggar with his bowl” shit. But, that’s the good part. It’s full of things like “the pirate tell tall tales” … without anything to get the DM started. It’s critically important in these situations to give the DM something to work with. Not a novel, a few words, maybe one sentence. Just enough to get going. But this don’t do that. And this happens repeatedly. There are these little two or three sentence paragraph that describe these HUGE scenes, like the stringing up and viewing of the body at the the gates. I finally figured out that these little things ARE the “adventure.” These two or three little sentences in their little scenes scattered around the test are what is supposed to occupy the players and their characters. But it’s unsupported. 

It THINKS it’s supporting them though. We get full write ups on six pirates including their history, and other details that mean little to the adventure. MAYBE, in an ongoing campaign, this kind of extra detail is worthwhile, and this IS meant to be a town thing, so, recurring. And there IS a decadent dive bar full of twisty passages, etc, that is more a “city bar location fluff” than “adventure location.”

So what you’ve got here is a fluff product that says it’s an adventure and is TRYING to be an adventure but succeeds in only being fluff. Don’t get me wrong, I like fluff. Inspiration is good. But it’s not an adventure. 

This is just an outline. And an outline of a hook, at that, that lasts thirteen pages. 


This is $3.50 at DriveThru. To its credit, the preview shows you the entire product. CHeck out page seven of the preview/five of the book. This is the “Traitors Gate” hanging scene. That column of text is all you get (!) to run it. A column should be more than enough … but this column tells you nothing pertinent to running this as a scene/encounter.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Shadows on the Hill

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 12:00
Our 5e Land of Azurth game continued last night with the party leaving Rivertown on their way to the Sapphire City and from there Virid Country. In the forests north of Rivertown, they encountered a an injured, cervine centaur-like creature named Tualla. Seeing the Sylvan Elf Shade among them, she asks for the party's help. It seems that something strange occurred in their ritual circle, and eruption of shadow, and the arrival of two umbral drakes.

The party agrees to at least investigate to see if they can help her people. After defeating a shadow-touched living tree, they around at the mound with its circle of standing stones. A fear grips a few of them, and all of them feel the touch of the unnatural, but they proceed.

Within the standing stones, they find a portal of roiling shadow, encircled by skulls--and the two wicked monsters. The mated pair of drakes taunt them, them knock over half the party unconscious with a breath weapon of cold shadow, then toy with them further, allowing the surviving members of the party to escape with their friends.

They rest with Tualla's people and strategize. The Sorcerer Bell recalls that Umbral Drakes are creatures of the Shadow Moon and are susceptible to celestial radiance. The party recalls that the shadow creature that might before was exquisitely susceptible to the energy weapons they carry. They begin to formulate a plan.

Fortified by the bards make (improving their constitutions), Waylon and Shade stealth into the cirlce of stones in an attempt to destroy the skulls around the shadow portal. The other party members spread out around the base of the mound, at the edge of the clearing to make distance attacks--or escape, if necessary.

Waylon and Shade walk right in the midst of the conversing drakes without being spotted, but Waylon's attempt to destroy a skull (a failure) brings their attention. The female attacks them viciously, but the group returns the favor with energy rifles and she only lasts two rounds. She does unleash her breath weapon on the two PCs in the circle, but their boost Constitution pulls them through.

As she dies, she warns her "toothless worm" of a mate that if he doesn't slay these "vermin" her ghost will haunt him forever.

Enraged, the male attacks. Dagmar uses daylight to disperse the shadows so he can no longer hide or travel between them. Kairon slows him to limit his attacks. The others focus their fire. Bell delivers the coup de grace with a chromatic orb.

How the Apostle John Guided the Church in Truth

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 11:00

By the time the New Testament church had grown partly from a likely influx of second-generation believers, the integrity of the gospel had begun to fade in some quarters, and heretical elements were seeping into the ranks

The early Apostles were deeply concerned. They had governing authority over the church as given by Jesus.

When the beloved Apostle John wrote his first of three letters he exercised that authority. He was keenly aware of deviations from the truth of the gospel and he adroitly addressed them and called for repentance.

His first epistle reflects these facts. He opens his letter with a beautiful tribute to the wonder of the incarnated Lord.

I regard this manner of his address as a key element in his style of governance. The first paragraph is often called a prologue but I refer to it here as an anchor point. It was a call to first look beyond the present troubling issues that clouded the church’s faith and begin with a time of reflection to worship the incarnate Lord.

Thus, John’s anchor point: The Lord is from the beginning. He is forever. He enters fully into humanity. It was a miraculous manner of entering. Though he is eternal, the Apostles actually saw him. They even touched him. Both his deity and his humanity were celebrated.

As you will see, the Apostle proclaimed the Incarnation at the outset of his address. This proclamation was for one purpose, he says: to identify the sin in their midst leading to repentance and in so doing to renew the joys that come with genuine faith — this was his first leadership step (1 John 1:1-4).

As a second aspect of his leadership John addresses his readers with warm terms of endearment: My dear children (2:1), dear friends (2:7), dear brothers (3:13), and so forth. He was not coming to them as the sheriff. He addressed them with deep affection. Fifteen times in his first letter he identifies believers affirmatively in this fashion.

One might think that such gentleness of address to a group of faltering believers would show the Apostle as soft, shallow, easy to resist.

Not so. In fact, the third aspect of his leadership was his clarity with the truth and his directness in stating issues of life and death. In fact, in this third aspect, John continues his communication with a candor that is solemn:

Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. (John 2:4-6)

He reveals his commitment to eternal truth as of issue above all else. In spite of his good will toward those who heard or read him, he was not there to bargain on truth itself.

What could he state more clearly than the following:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth (1 John 1:5-6).

This must be called loving candor.

This gem of a letter is filled with such measured but penetrating words. But there is one more element in the Apostle’s directness that must be factored into his address in large measure. This measure was likely effective in facing the perilous disorder in the church.

The Apostle repeatedly reminds them of their status in faith: they are “born again.” That is, they are regenerated; they have received the gift of the Spirit; they have inner experience enabled by new life. All of this is implicit in the term born again. By this reality they are bound to the Lord and to one another. This puts them under obligation. Seven times he refers to their new birth (2:29; 3:10; 3:19; 4:8: 5:1; 5:14; 5:18). That emphasis cannot be without purpose.

He writes, for example: … for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4). Because of their “regeneration,” their flirting with the manners and inducements of the fallen world had to be repented of and had to cease. He identifies those inducements one after another in his letter and reminds them they are born again. 

The church in every age is tempted to drift from purity of heart and life. Heresy so readily reveals its deviant ways. This epistle is given to Christ’s church in all generations to identify and to correct its wanderings.

Photo credit: Paul VanDerWerf (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Modification Monday: Sweet Pea Simplement

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 11:00


Original Pattern: Sweet Pea Knitter Extraordinaire: Carine (Ravelry Profile) Mods: Carine changed out the center panel stitch motif, added it on the shoulders, and kept the rest of the design simple for a long sleeved tee. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: The original sweater has a lovely

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Categories: Knitting Feeds


Looking For Group - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 05:00

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Categories: Web Comics

Rock Talks: Key Relationships in Your 20’s

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 02:17

Whether it’s friendships or family, we can all agree that relationships take work!

Key Relationships in Your 20’s
Thursday, February 20
Youth Room
7:30 PM

Join us for a panel discussion with Mathew Povey and Tammy Junghans as they share their experiences in building and maintaining healthy relationships in your 20’s.

Consider these topics:

–  creating your inner circle,
–  types of relationships, and
–  becoming the friend you need

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Categories: Churchie Feeds


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