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Dating Modules - Slavers, Elemental Evil, Giants

Greyhawk Grognard - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 23:19
A fun, and sometimes necessary when delving into the deep lore of the published adventures, pastime is to try to figure out when, exactly, a given adventure module takes place. Originally, of course, the early modules such as Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, had no definitive date beyond their year of publication. Too, some are completely location-based, like Tomb of Horrors, and thus could take place in any number of time-periods, as needed.

But some do take place in specific years in the World of Greyhawk setting, based either on the characters or events mentioned therein, or in later publications. Using the good but sometimes flawed Greychrondex as a jumping off point, I thought I'd take a pass at determining when some of the classic modules that have been my focus here, might take place.

A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity
A2 Secret of the Slavers Stockade
A3 Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords
A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords

This is probably the most straightforward series of adventures to date. In the much-later follow-up, Slavers, we are given specific dates for the earlier events:
After a year of preparation, recruitment, and organization, the Slavelords began their operations in 576 CY. Yellow-sailed pirate ships, under the command of the Slavelord Eanwulf, began raiding the coasts of the Sea of Gearnat, from Onnwal to the Wild Coast. In addition to netting slaves, these raids sowed terror throughout the region. The fact that the local militias proved unable to stop the Slavers only heightened the fear spreading across the land.The Slavelords' operations ran for four years. (Slavers, p. 121)So that sticks a pin in module A4 for CY 580, four years after the start of their piratical raids in 576. Nice and neat. Oh, and Slavers itself takes place ten years later, in 590, but that's kinda out of my current period of interest.

T1 The Village of Hommlet
T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil

The timing of Hommlet and the Temple of Elemental Evil begins with the Battle of Emridy Meadows, which the timeline in the Gazetteer and Guide to the World of Greyhawk place at CY 569. In the Introduction to Temple of Elemental Evil, we read:
For five years afterward [after the Battle of Emridy Meadows], the village and the surrounding countryside have become richer and more prosperous than ever before. ... The villagers heaved a collective sigh -- some pained at the loss of income, but others relieved by the return to the quiet, normal life -- and Hommlet continued its quiet existence for four years more. But them, a year ago, the bandits began to ride the roads again -- not frequently, but to some effect. ... This information has been spread throughout the countryside, and the news has attracted outsiders to the village once again. (Temple of Elemental Evil, p. 5)So, 569 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 579. The PCs are supposed to arrive at Hommlet, and take on the Temple, in 579. Crap, I need to revise my latest Greyhawk's World article. Because I put it in 578. Dammit.

G1 The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
G2 The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
G3 The Hall of the Fire Giant King
D1 Descent into the Depths of the Earth
D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa
D3 Vault of the Drow
Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits
GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders

Oy. Here we go.

Here we have something of a confused muddle, when it comes to the giants, and the drow, and all that. On the one hand, Temple of Elemental Evil implies that the events of G1-D3 happen before that module:
Lareth was one who sought to serve both the Temple and Lolth. And although Lolth hated Zuggtmoy's Elemental Evil, she so lusted for power that she accepted such service. Had she not been routed, her dark followers so crippled, much might have come of this.But as it transpired, Lolth could -- and can yet -- give only encouragement, without physical or magical aid, to those who call on her. (Temple of Elemental Evil, p. 29)That certainly sounds like a description of the aftermath of a bunch of PCs going through the Vault of the Drow and slaying Lolth's mortal form. So, based on that tidbit, we might be strongly tempted to put the GDQ modules in the 577-578 time-frame. That mostly squares with the later module Against the Giants - The Liberation of Geoff, which explicitly says they take place "in the years 576-580 CY" (p. 2).

However, if we accept that Temple of Elemental Evil took place in 579, and D3 took place before that (with Lolth's mortal form being slain), that 580 reference cannot be right. It has to be earlier, because T1-4 takes place in 579, and Lolth has already been slain.

It gets worse, though, because in the combined version of the modules, GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders, which has a different introduction, explicitly claims that the Eilservs were backing the Slave Lords!
Two noble families, House Eilserv and the lesser House Tomtor, have sought to extend their power over the surface world through actively encouraging evil agents in the lands above. It is house Eilserv that provided the support for the slave lords of the Pomarj, and have been rallying the giants of the Crystalmist mountains to raid the human lands. (GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders, p. 4)So we have:
  • The Giants modules take place between 576 and 580 
  • The Giants modules take place before 579 
  • The Giants modules take place after 576 and before 580 
So here's my brilliant theory as to how the drow could have been supporting the slavers after the events of Vault of the Drow.

The support for the Slave Lords given by House Eilserv was early on, while the slavers were still getting organized. It had certainly ended before the Slave Lords themselves were destroyed, since by that time the events of D3 happened, and Lolth had already been destroyed. One point that would support this even further is the background of one of the Slavers, the drow fighter-cleric Edralve:
Edralve is an exile from Erelhei Cinlu, from which she barely escaped after an abortive coup. (In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, p. 20)And I think that fits perfectly. The whole motivating force behind the actions of Eclavdra and House Eilserv in the whole Giant/Drow series of adventures is to seize control of the Vault of the Drow away from the priestesses of Lolth. If Edralve was indeed the representative of House Eilserv among the Slavers, it makes perfect sense that once the Eilserv plot was undone by the PCs, she would be stuck in the Pomarj, unable to return home. And that would also fit in neatly with the original plan for Q1, which would have seen both Lolth and the Elder Elemental God dealt with once and for all, because the full imprisonment of the EEG would render the Eilservs and Tormtors largely powerless.

Okay, so that works out pretty well.

The other fly in this ointment is the fact that later on in the timeline, we see that the giants actually won. They overrun Sterich and Geoff in CY 583, according to the Greyhawk Wars Adventurers Book:
Atop these other setbacks came a new threat from the Crystalmists: giants, ogres, and other hideous creatures, long held at bay, surged into the mountain vales of Geoff and Sterich. The rulers of these lands sent frantic appeals to King Skotti of Keoland, but, with the bulk of his army gone, the king had little help to offer. Even his reserves were largely committed to the Ulek frontier. Nonetheless, King Skotti scraped together what forces he could and offered them to Earl Querchard of Sterich, provided the earl recognize Keoland's authority over him. Negotiations wasted precious time: before the two could come to terms, Sterich and Geoff were overrun. (Greyhawk Wars Adventurers Book, p. 20)The CY 583 date is explicitly corroborated in Against the Giants - The Liberation of Geoff: 
In Fireseek of 583 CY, the cluster of cloud islands reached the southernmost tip of the Crystalmists. ... Coordinating the alliance had taken several months, and devising the plan of attack would take several more (especially considering the dull minds of some of the lesser giants). Gorroda was finally ready to strike in the middle of High Summer, sending messages to all of her subject tribes to attack when the large moon was new. (Against the Giants - The Liberation of Geoff, p. 4) Now, that still doesn't get us too twisted yet, because it's entirely possible that the reference to the giants being "long held at bay" could refer to the original G1-3 series, with PCs coming in and blunting their attacks. Fine. The attack in 584 is a follow-up to the original raids in 577-8.

But...

Here we come back to Against the Giants - The Liberation of Geoff. And here's where things go all cattywampus. From the Using the Classics with the New Material section:
If you wish to use these classic adventures [G1-3] as part of the "Liberation of Geoff" plotline, there are two main ways to do this. The first is to have these events take place ten to fifteen years in the past and set them somewhere in Geoff or Sterich; the new material can represent a new crisis which the heroes who defeated the last giant incursion have been asked to deal with. In this case the three original adventures can be run "as is." The second is to move them to the present day (591 CY) and shift their settings for easier use withthe new information in this product.Ugh. Honestly, things would be easier if they just left well enough alone, but here they have to go around talking about moving things in the timeline. Fortunately, the whole thing starts with a great big "if", so I'm going to go with a canonical assessment that moving the classic modules around was simply presented as an option, and their inclusion in the module does not necessitate such movement, even if it is seemingly encouraged by filling up more than a third of the book with a reprint of those three modules.

So basically, ignore the "you can move those old modules to the new era" stuff, and keep the background as written, for Liberation of Geoff. We're still left with the original giants in 577-578, and have some more supporting evidence.

To recap, here's what we come up with looking through the source material:
  • CY 576: Slavers appear and have drow support
  • CY 577: Giant raids start
  • CY 578: Giants/Drow modules events occur, Temple bandits start to re-appear, drow support for Slave Lords ends
  • CY 579: Temple of Elemental Evil events occur
  • CY 580: Slave Lords modules events occur
That is certainly different than the "accepted" mega-campaign sequence that's been described over the years, which is Temple of Elemental Evil, then Slave Lords, then Giants/Drow, with the expectation that it's all one PC party doing all the work, and the modules increase in difficulty as they rise in level.

That leaves us with a few implications as to how to make the sequence work "as is" from a canon timeline perspective. More on that anon, perhaps. For now, we've seen where the evidence leads us in terms of where these modules belong. Sweet Myhriss's Lips, I hope they're not all this hard to work out!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Snow, snow go away!

Looking For Group - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 21:42

As I sit at my desk watching the snowfall gently waft horizontally past my studio at speeds only slightly less than a rollercoaster drop, I revel quietly at the arrival of Spring. Fuuuuuuuuu…… Anyhow….May 5th is the MS Walk for […]

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Categories: Web Comics

Physician, protect thyself: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Malwarebytes - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 18:33

In part one of our Physician, protect thyself series, we recognized significant security problems within the healthcare industry that need addressing. Health organizations moving from the paper to the ‘puter—a shift meant to improve care and overall patient experience—inadvertently introduced substantial privacy risks to healthcare records. They are suddenly accessible whenever and wherever the patient or medical staff is. Not only that, patient records are now as portable, transferable, alterable, and destructible as they can be—by both good and bad actors. The interconnectedness of devices and systems further compound the risk.

BYOD, the boom of mHealth apps, the cloud, and the lack of awareness among staff have made healthcare cybersecurity more challenging than ever.

These are challenges that, thankfully, two particular staff members of small- to medium-sized hospitals or clinics can tackle, with a little help from others: the Manager and the IT Specialist. They are the prime movers in turning things around for healthcare SMBs (with proper security guidance, of course).

So in part two of this series, we’ll provide them with tips to prepare for new responsibilities that directly affect the state of cybersecurity and privacy readiness.

Did someone say “CISO”?

Security consultants in the healthcare industry advise all organizations to hire their own Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), as health records being moved online calls for information security to be at the forefront of any strategy. Some larger hospitals can likely accommodate this position in their ranks; however, this may not be possible for smaller ones.

For one, healthcare organizations, like other industries, are seeing a shortage of IT security talent. This is because technologies are adopted at a quicker pace than people are getting trained to manage, maintain, and secure them. For another, a majority of healthcare facilities only devote a small budget for security. In this case, it’s not surprising to find that computer systems in SMB hospitals and clinics are ill-equipped to handle cyberattacks, much less have a dedicated IT person overseeing them.

With challenges like these, they could resort to looking into several low-cost alternatives:

  • Avail the service of a virtual CISO (vCISO), which some companies offer
  • Hire internally
  • Expand the job descriptions of particular individuals in the right positions

With point three in mind, the manager position is the likely role to be awarded additional tasks—and for a good reason. Managers have oversight on people, policies, organizational strategy, resources, and communication. And when it comes to introducing change, managers are responsible for planning the direction, communicating it, and overseeing the changes taking place.

The Health Information Manager (HIM), also known as the Health Information Administrator, is viewed as the information specialist in healthcare, as they are responsible for obtaining, examining, ensuring the accuracy of, and protecting patient medical information.

While it is great news that healthcare is now setting an exponentially higher budget for cybersecurity, this is mostly for buying technologies and solutions and not hiring. As such, there is still that need of having the right people to do the job that needs to be done.

And so, without further ado…

The Manager

To up their game, managers must begin thinking about cybersecurity and privacy, and find ways to incorporate them into the daily duties of staff within the facility.

Review current practices

A good place for managers to start is to review current physical security measures they practice within and without hospital or clinical premises. Now you might think, “Hang on, why should managers look into how they lock their doors first when we’re talking about cybersecurity?” What most of us may not realize is that computer security starts with physical security. Is it any wonder that some cybersecurity experts are also fond of lock picking?

Physical security is often overlooked and underestimated. Worse, it is seldom talked about within cybersecurity. With healthcare organizations and facilities that heavily rely on medical devices, systems, and health information all linked together in a network, the need for physical security becomes very real the moment when, say, a DDoS attack renders systems inoperable and causes a power outage that prevents doctors from performing serious care or emergency surgeries in the ICU.

It is imperative that managers think back and assess where the facility stands for compliance with industry standards and security frameworks they’ve adapted.

More importantly, managers must review the facility’s information lifecycle—the stages through which records go—from its creation to its archiving or destruction. Consider the following questions:

  • Have staff consistently followed proper protocol when it comes to the disposal of printed-out patient records and other medical documents? (e.g., Do they just dispose of them in public dumpsters or other containers that are accessible to the public or unauthorized persons?)
  • Have staff consistently followed proper protocol when it comes to the reuse of office furniture where physical or electronic records are kept and/or electronic media (such as CDs and USB sticks)?
  • Are confidential and non-confidential data stored in separate spaces?
  • Are stored records and other sensitive documents encrypted?
  • What’s the policy on data retention?
Identify feasible threats and vulnerabilities

The Manager must then identify what measures need improvement, what additional security procedures they should introduce, and what practices they can scrap (if any) and replace with something more efficient, sound, manageable, and repeatable. This process is called risk assessment. And the Manager may need to talk to staff and third-party vendors for their input.

Consider the following questions:

  • What could possibly happen if a member of staff lost his/her access cards and went unreported for a few days?
  • What could possibly happen if USB ports on computers and devices are left open?
  • How many external vendors have access to their records and/or facility?
  • Can staff access the open web on any computer terminal?
  • Should they consider getting an insurance policy in case of potential damages incurred in the event of a cyberattack?

Note that a regular review (e.g., once a year) of potential vulnerabilities is needed to be on top of critical weaknesses that need to be prioritized.

Introduce a culture of cybersecurity

Educating employees is the first step, but it doesn’t end there. Education is merely part of the security culture the Manager would want to incorporate into the bigger cultural setup in healthcare. His/her ultimate aim is to imbibe security practices to staff to the point that doing them comes naturally, whether they’re within the facility or outside it.

This is the foreseen outcome of an intentional culture of security: people think, act, and behave the same way no matter where they are or where they work. For example, if healthcare personnel are ingrained to treat links and attachments in emails as suspect, they would likely act the same way when they check emails at home.

I mentioned before that people generally have a negative perception about security, and the Manager must realize this. Doing so can help him/her change the tone and language to use when introducing this new culture in an already complicated setup.

As champion, the Manager must create a narrative focusing on the benefits of practicing basic security hygiene and playing their part in securing patient health records. In addition, he/she should be sure that training and awareness campaigns are in place not to hinder or delay them from caring for their patients but actually to increase patient satisfaction, as they have increased the likelihood that their PHI is safe.

Create a cybersecurity training plan

If the Manager doesn’t know where to start in drafting a training plan, the SANS Institute, a company specializing in cybersecurity training and information security, has a robust toolkit they can use to start this off. They may wish to cover the following topics in the plan:

  • Definition of terms, such as phishing
  • Social engineering tactics
  • Scams and fraud tactics
  • Extra: Good computing habits in the workplace
  • Extra: Workplace social media security
Update the hospital or clinic policy to include a section on cybersecurity

To further drive home the need for change and to foster accountability on everyone within the facility, the Manager must also update the current policies to include cybersecurity. At this point, he/she may already have an idea of what to add, given that they already did a review of current practices and assessed potential threats and vulnerabilities in the existing hospital or clinic setup.

Other items the Manager should include in the new section of the policy are:

  • What security software programs are/should be running on endpoints
  • For endpoints facing the open web, what browser and plugins should be installed
  • How and how often sensitive information or PHI are backed up
  • How and when software updates will be applied
  • Which users have admin rights on endpoints
  • Who is responsible for maintaining, enforcing, and reviewing the cybersecurity policy

The Manager must also address security concerns surrounding BYOD, the cloud, internal WiFi, and even working remotely, as many healthcare practitioners have already welcomed these.

Include acceptable usage guidelines, stressing the importance of locking machines, devices, and accounts using multi-factor authentication, and how to report security incidences should a staff encounter one. Furthermore, the policy must clearly state what would happen if a staff is found to be non-compliant, especially in the event of a breach.

After updating the policy, the Manager must then set a review period for the cybersecurity policy to maintain currency and relevancy.

Read: How to create a successful cybersecurity policy

The IT Specialist

For some SMBs, having a dedicated IT department or person is quite uncommon. Many believe that one wouldn’t really need one as long as there is someone responsible for overseeing IT support tasks and ensuring that sensitive information is stored and appropriately protected at all times. However, this may not be applicable to SMB hospitals and clinics due to the nature of their round-the-clock availability and care.

As the lack of a dedicated specialist could mean that such IT tasks may likely fall into the hands of the Manager, at this point, we highly suggest hiring for a specialized IT role. Not only would this ease the burden on managers, who apart from having a ton on their plate are also involved in the care of patients, this would also allow the IT person to focus on providing support for staff and patient needs that only an IT specialist can offer.

These tasks include (but are not limited to) installing and maintaining software on endpoints, configuring hardware to ensure they follow industry standards and internal policies, and monitoring the network for any form of intrusion.

Note that the IT role can be a temporary one, as nowadays, current technology has made it possible for SMBs to survive without an in-house specialist. Healthcare SMBs can also take this route if budget constraints continue to prevent them from keeping an IT person in the long run.

Should the healthcare facility require IT support, they can always avail services of third-parties who can do this for them. Outsourcing IT needs can also avoid a potentially high turnover of professionals, which is experienced by many healthcare SMBs, and address the constant monitoring and managing of BYOD devices. Of course, hiring IT under contract must be bound by the security policies of the facility for its safety and the safety of their patients’ sensitive information.

Regardless of who is wearing the IT tinfoil hat, we suggest the following to beef up the security of the healthcare facility and the scores of valuable data they house.

Introduce an identity and access management (IAM) system

An IAM is a framework that businesses of all sizes use to facilitate digital identities. It allows active employees to access various accounts without the need for multiple logins. With the guidance of the Manager, IT can limit the number of accounts a particular group of employees can access via an IAM.

Examples of such systems are Okta, OneLogin, Centrify, and SailPoint. It’s important for healthcare facilities to control who accesses what accounts or systems to foster accountability and minimize unauthorized access or disclosure of information, either done maliciously or as a result of negligence on the part of the staff.

Schedule regular backup and encryption of information

Now more than even, backing up files has become a necessity—thanks to the proliferation of ransomware. In a previous post, we provided you the 3-2-1 method of backing up that goes like this:

  • Make 3 different copies of your data
  • Store 2 copies in different forms of media
  • Store 1 copy offsite

Furthermore, do not just back up the data, but encrypt them as well.

Read: Backup and lockdown: when device theft strikes

Schedule regular software patching

Perhaps doing this alone would stop a large chunk of attacks, banking on the fact that most healthcare facilities, regardless of size, run on outdated OS and other software.

Disable USB ports on endpoints that do not need them

There are many ways things can go wrong if an endpoint has an open USB that anyone can just plug into. Sure, charging your smartphone device may be the most benign thing you can do with it, but open USB ports also encourage staff to plug in potentially risky external drives. It is safer to disable ports physically or via the Windows registry to mitigate the spread of malware and even the theft of highly-sensitive data.

Tackle issues surrounding free, in-house WiFi

It’s not uncommon for SMB hospitals and clinics to offer free WiFi to patients, visitors, and staff within the facility. The IT specialist must set up the network to meet the needs of both staff and non-staff, starting with making sure that:

  • The main network is separate from the guest network
  • The main network will be able to handle heavy traffic from multiple endpoints, including healthcare IoT devices, and support bandwidth-intensive transfers, such as voiceover wireless LAN
  • The main network is encrypted (WPA)
  • The main network must not be used by personal devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops (but this can be on a case-to-case basis)
  • The guest network must have a limited bandwidth
  • The guest network must have certain websites blocked to discourage bandwidth hogging
  • The guest network must not be able to retrieve sensitive records belonging to patients or the facility
  • The guest network must be secured with a password
  • Users are informed about the facility’s Acceptable Use Policy
Draft a business continuity/disaster recovery plan

The IT Specialist must work with the Manager in creating a plan on what the hospital or clinic will do during and after a breach. After all, as we keep saying, “It’s no longer a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ a breach will happen,” so everyone must expect that it will at some point. If they need further help on this, there are guides and templates available online they can customize to their needs. Here’s one from SANS.

Consider using virtualization

Sensitive files leaving the facility’s servers has always been a great concern for healthcare. And for many, virtualization has helped mitigate this pain point. As healthcare is different from other industries, pros and cons to virtualization must be weighed carefully as welcoming virtualization may introduce other complexities the facility may not be equipped to handle. An example of a possible problem the facility might encounter is server or application downtime, which can potentially stop care operations for a period.

Conclusion

Benjamin Franklin once said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And this has never been truer today.

It is encouraging to find that current healthcare leaders are making mature and quick strides in cybersecurity. Studies have shown that majority of threats aimed at the healthcare industry are preventable, and can be mitigated with proper staff education, training, consistent follow-throughs, enforcement of security policies, and continuous compliance with industry standards.

If the Manager and the IT Specialist continue to work with staff and their own resources, they have already made that first difficult step towards a more secure healthcare facility.

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Categories: Techie Feeds

Bunches of Bobbles Blanket

Moogly - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:05

The free Bunches of Bobbles Blanket pattern makes a gorgeous crochet baby blanket – or throw, afghan, or bedspread! It’s modern, unisex, and features a unique border you’ll want to apply to future projects too! Disclaimer: Support for this post provided by Red Heart Yarn and Furls Crochet. This post includes affiliate links. The Bunches [...]

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Categories: Crochet Life

Asmodee Digital Bringing Terraforming Mars to Steam, iOS, and Android

Gamer Goggles - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 12:46

Asmodee Digital Bringing Terraforming Mars to Steam, iOS, and Android

 

Invade Space on PC and Mobile with Updated Graphics and Beyond

 

PARIS — April 4, 2018 — Asmodee Digital, the industry leader in digital board game entertainment, announced today they are bringing Fryxgames’ award-winning strategy board game, Terraforming Mars, to Steam (PC), Google Play, and the Apple App Store. Developed by LUCKYHAMMERS, the digital edition of Terraforming Mars will launch into Early Access in May and full launch happening later in Q2 of this year.

 

Faithfully developed alongside the game’s original creator, Jacob Fryxelius, the digital edition of Terraforming Mars is a true adaptation of the cult classic board game. Each player competes as a powerful corporation tasked with terraforming the Red Planet. Players create oceans, plant forests, import resources from Earth, and more in an effort to make Mars habitable for human life. Mars may be an unforgiving planet, but the real enemies are the competing organizations who will stop at nothing to claim Mars for themselves by sabotaging resources, crashing asteroids into fields, and wreaking havoc on mission-critical systems.

 

Players can compete across several game modes including two unique single-player modes where the player can play solo (just like the board game) or against AI controlled opponents, pass-and-play local multiplayer, and +online multiplayer in intense turn-based strategic gameplay.

 

“Terraforming Mars captured our imagination the moment we laid our eyes on it. Not only is it the most demanded and highest rated board game since its launch in 2016, it’s a far out trip to Mars!” says Philippe Dao, Chief Marketing Officer of Asmodee Digital. “We’re thrilled to work alongside Fryxgames in bringing their masterpiece to life for digital audiences.”

 

The physical edition of Terraforming Mars launched in 2016 and became an instant cult classic among board game enthusiasts. The game was named one of the best 50 games of 2016 by Popular Mechanics, ars technica listed the game as one of its 20 best games of 2016, and Vulture called it “the best high strategy game of 2016.”

 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Details on Faeries for the Majestic Wilderlands

Bat in the Attic - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 12:29
Two years ago I made a post how I got a handle on how faeries work in my setting. The basic issue is that there are multiple interpretations of why faeries are what they are in myth and legend. This means in order to roleplay faeries there is no definitive source for the referee to use. Many of the major ones didn't click with me until I came with the approach I outlined below. I like it because it preserve the mercurial and seemly random nature of faeries but provides a consistent starting point for an encounter.

I collected the Faeries entries from the legendarium I am working on for my Majestic Fantasy RPG and posted it as a PDF here.

FAERIES
Magic in the Majestic Wilderlands is the force of creation made manifest. Before the creation of the Abyss and the Chromatic Crystals, the inherent level of magic was low. In order to be harnessed as a spell, it was laboriously gathered in a ritual and infused into a scroll, charm, or magical device. After the creation of the Chromatic Crystal, someone with a disciplined will could cast a spell without the use of a device.

Over the centuries magic did not turn into a science or craft because it was influenced by an individual’s emotional and mental state. What worked for one individual, often didn’t work for another. This susceptibility of magic to emotion had another consequence, the creation and evolution of faeries.

Faeries are creatures, and monsters born out of the ambient level of magic that flow throughout the Wilderlands. The emotional life of elves, men, and even plants and animals give birth to these creatures including the faeries that developed sentience. The nature of their birth has left all faeries with a singular drive to recreate the emotions that give them life. This typically manifests with the faeries using their abilities to recreate the circumstances of their birth. Using magic, to manipulate the environment and those around them into playing out certain stories and emotions, over and over again. This can led to dangerous situations when emotions like anger, hate, and fear are part of the faerie’s nature.

The key to dealing with the Faeries is to understand the emotions and stories that gave them birth.

The Elves and the Faerie
When the Wilderlands was created there were two sentient races; Elves and Men. The Elves were born as the glory of the Wilderlands, as a shining example of the potential of life. They were given great gifts however the price was that their fate was tied to the Wilderlands. One reason is the innate magic of the Wilderlands sustains their immortality and other gifts. Because of this, the elves feel kinship with the faeries, and in general will help them fulfill their nature. For the faeries that have the negative emotions as their nature the elves will still help them but try to do it in isolated locations far from the other races of the Wilderlands. Many elves realms have a large population of faeries.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Soo…. China is building a rain making system that is bigger than Spain. I’m not sure if this is an awesome thing that will help prevent catastrophic droughts in impoverished countries, or a terrifying step towards environmental destruction. If all that Marie Kondo minimalism makes you want to

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

DC at Marvel Collected Edition

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 11:00


In case you missed the previous installments, here's a collated list of the posts I've done so far based on the idea that the staff at Marvel in the late 50s early 60s got to revamp DC's Golden Age characters (except for those that never stopped being published. The idea was introduced here.

All the characters presented so far are statted for the TSR Marvel Superheroes rpg:

The Atom The Nuclear Man!
Green Lantern Most Cosmic Hero of Them All!
Hawkman Master of Flight!
And a couple of villains Silver Scarab, the nemesis of Hawkman, and Star Sapphire--is she Green Lantern's lover or his enemy--or both?


Review & OSR Commentary On RPGPundit Presents #26: Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun For Your Old School Wasteland Campaigns

Dark Corners of RPGing - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 01:35


So today it wad great anticipation that I grabbed a copy of Rpg Pundit Presents 26 Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun. I asked for this copy of what looks like Rpg Pundit's dip into the OSR  post apocalyptic rpg scene with the Last Sun setting. Sort of a Dying Earth meets gonzo OSR rpg style game setting, Dungeon Crawl Classic or Mutant Crawl Classic players are going to feel right at home here as will Mutant Future rpg fans. There's also a good shot of Tolkein's Middle Earth playing to the strains of some weird Eighties sound track here. None of this is a bad thing for the OSR zine presentation of this setting;

" In the gonzo world of the Last Sun, human beings are an endangered species. After the Great Disaster, human numbers have steadily declined throughout the world. Although a few areas still contain a human majority (like the city of Arkhome, detailed in RPGPunditPresents #16 and #20), true humans are a very rare breed throughoutmost of the world.
While humans have been hunted to near-extinction in some areas (like the Middle-Northern Wildlands, detailed in RPGPundit Presents #15), it was mostly mutation rather than depredation that
has apparently doomed humanity. The time of the Great Disaster, when the Dark Ones entered the world of the Last Sun and waged war against all life, caused an enormous amount of ecological damage to
the world. The disappearance of the Ancients, crash of G.O.D. into Emergency Mode, and rebellion of the AI Daemons meant that there was no central control. The loss of the Dwarven Machineholds to the
servants of the Dark One also meant that all the machinery that kept strict control over the climate of the world was no longer accessible.
The war of the Pythian Elves and their allies against the Dark Ones on the surface of the world created devastation, both technological (radiation and other toxic effects) and magical. As a result of all this,
not only did many humans die, but many more were mutated into horrific monsters and monster-races, like the humanoids usually described as goblin-kin. A majority were changed into what are now
simply referred to as mutants—they are human-like, but no longer human creatures"
So basically Rpg Pundit is steadily working on an OSR post apocalyptic rpg and testing the waters of the marketplace with a slick mutant race generator with a strong eye towards the gonzo end of the spectrum. This product clocks in at eighteen pages & is full of random generators for everything from your mutant's tribal factional background, powers, type, color, & potential additional physical qualities. In addition there's a psychic powers system built into the product that can work in a wide variety of OSR products. Finally there's a random mutant quirky qualities & weirdness table. And there's actually a couple of pieces of pretty decent artwork along with the usual quality layout to the product line. 




Mutant generators walk a very fine line when it comes to execution they have to have enough useful information & lots of great random tables without taking away from the tool box nature of the product. Rpg Pundit Presents 26 Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun succeeds in that regard. The three dollar price tag means that the dungeon master can roll up a wide variety of NPC mutants without breaking the bank. It also means that the players have addition customization tools right at their finger tips. There's enough meet on the Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun eighteen pages to give a good idea of the direction of the product without boxing the players completely and utterly into the setting.
There's just enough guidance to randomly determine if your PC is a mutant, and what kind of classes he can play without strong arming the player into a corner of dead ends & penalties that many other OSR & old school post apocalyptic products have done in the past. Yes I'm looking at you Ares section of Dragon magazines of ages past.
There's a lot here that can be done with Rpg Pundit Presents 26 Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun from factional NPC mutant characters to full fledged psychic mutant PC's whose presence won't destroy your wastelands.
The inclusion of a working psychic powers system is a nice addition for only three dollars & I can see using this generator for creating humanoid mutant alien species as well. This generator would work well for creating mutant tribes & NPC's on failed colony worlds for science fiction or science fantasy worlds. There's enough here to add mutant PC's to a wide variety of OSR games. The three dollar price tag makes this a nice & solid product for use with OSR games. I don't know if the Last Sun setting is for me but the Rpg Pundit Presents 26 Mutant Hordes of the Last Sun is a welcome addition to the post apocalyptic Dungeon master's arsenal. So this one is a five out of five in my book!

GRAB RPGPundit Presents #26: Mutant
Hordes of the Last Sun RIGHT HERE
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Character Sheet Update

The Splintered Realm - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 18:44
Here is the revised character sheet for the Deluxe Edition... I got it back to a half-sheet, which I prefer. I expanded it for Absolute Power, but kind of missed the old half-sheeter. It is a little bit tight, but I like it. You can see how I trimmed a little bit of the fat from the game, but didn't lose anything in the bargain.
The draft is finished. The book is going to be 192 pages. I still have to put together the index, do all the page references throughout, and do one more good edit. However, I don't see any reason the book shouldn't be available by the end of next week. It's a nifty looking package. It has over 40 pieces of art (including maps), which are almost all new pieces. It has everything from the core rules, absolute power, Echo City Team Up #1, some GM notes from Splintered Realms Magazine #1, and a pretty solid update to Echo City (which was from a guide to Echo City that I had half written but never finished). The mechanics are streamlined and updated, and I have added a few tweaks here and there, including a 3-page section on battlesuits and a 3-page section on magic.
Here is the new character sheet to tinker with...

A Knight Before The Darkness - H.P. Lovecraft, Appendix N, & The Mutating Underworld In Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 18:29
"Then down the wide lane betwixt the two columns a lone figure strode; a tall, slim figure with the young face of an antique Pharaoh, gay with prismatic robes and crowned with a golden pshent that glowed with inherent light. Close up to Carter strode that regal figure; whose proud carriage and swart features had in them the fascination of a dark god or fallen archangel, and around Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Fine it was tofu

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 16:23

Yesterday I left the snow and general crap scene of weather in Toronto, and made my way here to Texas, where I’m at the DFW Fiber Fest, an event that I really adore.  It’s got a great vibe, and they’re such nice people, and I thought that even before last year when they were so sweet when I bailed on them to go home for Elliot’s birth. I like them so much, and am actually so grateful for that gift that I am here again, even though it means missing his birthday. They let me be there for the most important one, I can miss this for them, and I got to see him for Easter before I came, and it’s only a day, and you get it.

Truthfully, I was feeling sort of bummed about Easter. It’s usually such a nice holiday for us, low pressure, and all the Spring birthdays get rolled into it, and we have a great dinner at my mum’s and this year I felt like it wouldn’t come together, no matter what I did.  In the end (and I know you’re probably tired of hearing this, but it’s still a problem over here) I realized that I was trying to make it just like the Easters at my Mum’s, which obviously can’t happen because she’s not here and we can’t go there, and I gave up. You’d have thought that I would have figured this out at Christmas, but I didn’t. I accepted that it wasn’t going to be the same, that I couldn’t force it (though I tried for a bit) and I made some new traditions, as many as I could think of – though tried to keep them rooted in the way we do things.  My mother wasn’t there to make a ham, and we don’t eat ham anyway, so I made a vegan ham.

(Fine. It’s tofu. Whatever. My brother eats ham and he said there was “nothing wrong with it” which isn’t a completely ringing endorsement, but is a pretty ecstatic reaction for a carnivore to have to a vegan ham, if you ask me.)

Every year my mum asks me to make this braided bread, but this year I somehow couldn’t so I did bunny buns that I thought Elliot would think were funny. (He did not, but Samantha loved them) and every year I decorate one egg really beautifully as a gift for my mum (she had a whole bowl of them) and so this year I did a bunch.

I figured the girls are all adults, old enough to appreciate them.  I did make the same cake my mother always made, and though not everyone with a spring birthday could be there to celebrate (another stumbling block stumbled upon) Sam and Alex blew out their candles, and Elliot had a practice run. (So far, not his jam.)

We saw Joe’s  family, and we had an egg hunt with the littles, and I knit Elliot some lamb shoes so that he matched the other wee ones.

Pattern: Lamb Shoes, Yarn: Random handspun I found in the closet.

They are charming, and fun and fast to knit, and they come in adult sizes which is something I am really, really resisting out of some sense of decorum that only I feel.  (Everyone else in the family wants me to let go of that sense, and make them all lamb shoes. I think I might have established some unreasonable expectations over Christmas.)

Overall, it was okay – good even, if you try really, really hard not to compare it to other Easters, and just let it be it’s own thing, which is what I am doing, mostly.  Everyone assures me that this odd sense that nothing is right and I’m screwing it all up will pass with time, and I hope so.  There can only be one first of everything without my mum, and we are getting through it.

I mean really, what can be wrong as long as you can look at those little feet?

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Wizard World, Inc. CEO John D. Maatta Invited To Boao Forum In Hainan, China, April 9-11

First Comics News - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 16:21

Invited By The Chinese Government, Maatta Is Delegate To The ‘Davos Of Asia’; To Attend Session With China President Xi During Forum; Wizard World Preparing ‘WizPop’ SVOD Channel Via CNLive

Los Angeles, April 5, 2018—John D. Maatta, CEO of Wizard World, Inc., the nation’s largest producer of pop-culture events, has been invited as a delegate to the Boao Forum, in Hainan Province, China, on April 9-11.

The Boao Forum (http://english.boaoforum.org), popularly known as the “Davos of Asia,” is the most prestigious gathering of leaders from business, government and academia in Asia. It is conducted by Boao Forum for Asia, whose purpose is to promote and deepen the economic exchange, coordination, and cooperation within Asia and between Asia and other parts of the world.

China’s President Xi Jinping will attend the Forum and deliver the keynote address. Maatta will participate in a select Boao session in which Xi will also be present.

Maatta stated, “I am honored to attend Boao as the guest of the Chinese government. I look forward participating in the Boao Program and to advance Wizard’s initiatives in China.”

Wizard World, Inc. has previously announced an agreement with CNLive, one of only seven entities licensed to distribute content over the internet in China, to program an SVOD channel and an advertising-supported channel under the “WizPop” brand, covering the entirety of China, including Hong Kong and Macau. The agreement with CNLive is Wizard World’s first initiative in Asia.

In addition to President Xi, Delegates to Boao 2018 include government and business leaders, as well as other prominent media and opinion figures. Some of those include former prime ministers from across several continents, United Nations representatives, foreign ministers, economists, CEOs and board chairs of international corporations and global university presidents.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

STREET ANGEL PULLS A HAT TRICK: THREE RELEASES IN 10 DAYS

First Comics News - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 16:20
PORTLAND, OR, 04/05/2018 — Writer Brian Maruca ( Afrodisiac) and co-writer/artist Jim Rugg ( The Plain JanesAfrodisiac) have an action-packed April/May this year: an Image Firsts edition of AFTER SCHOOL KUNG FU SPECIAL, all-new tale STREET ANGEL GOES TO JUVIE, and a Free Comic Book Day offering called STREET ANGEL’S DOG will be released within a 10-day span.

Image Firsts: STREET ANGEL #1 brings the action-packed punk-rock story of AFTER SCHOOL KUNG FU SPECIAL to comic shops everywhere in a standard comic format for just $1. A perfect and low-cost introduction to the world of Jesse “Street Angel” Sanchez (the deadliest girl alive), Image Firsts: STREET ANGEL #1 hits comic shops Wednesday, April 25th.

In STREET ANGEL GOES TO JUVIE, Jesse “Street Angel” Sanchez (a.k.a. Shiraz Thunderbird) gets pinched and has to do a stretch in Alcatraz, Jr., Angel City’s infamous juvenile corrections center. But for our homeless heroine, the prospect of three square meals a day and a warm, dry bed is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, she meets a girl gang, besties a superhero sidekick, pushes the lunch lady to the limit, and watches Harriet the Spy! Will juvie break Shiraz Thunderbird, or will she break out of Alcatraz, Jr.?

STREET ANGEL GOES TO JUVIE (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0800-8, Diamond code: MAR180625) is presented in a full-color hardcover and will be available in comic book stores Wednesday, May 2nd and bookstores Tuesday, May 8th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, April 9th, and the book can be preordered via AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundIndigo, and Books-A-Million.

What happens when the deadliest girl alive meets man’s best friend? A rampage, of course—of fun! They play dress-up, skateboard, fight ninjas, skateboard, fight monsters, race robot cars to the death, fight bullies, and teach each other the value of family. On Free Comic Book Day, which falls on May 5th this year, fans can pick up a free copy of STREET ANGEL’S DOG at participating comic shops while supplies last.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

MARVEL RETURNS TO C2E2 WITH SIGNINGS, PANELS AND MORE!

First Comics News - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 16:12

                                                                                                              

 

New York, NY—April 5th, 2018—This weekend, Marvel is taking Chicago by storm! And you won’t want to miss what we’ve got in-store for fans as we’re packing this year’s convention with wall-to-wall fan service including signings, panels, stage events and more! Heading to the show? Make sure to stop by the Marvel Booth (Booth #327) to get in on the action and excitement all weekend long.

Want to get the inside scoop on all of the can’t-miss Marvel news? What about the lowdown on some of the summer’s most anticipated upcoming books like Infinity Wars and Extermination? Then you won’t want to miss this year’s panel lineup, chock full of breaking news and unforgettable moments! Bring a camera, you never know who might show up! Plus, don’t miss all the exciting events happening at the Marvel Booth all weekend long including signings, giveaways (while supplies last), costume contests and more!

That’s not all! This year’s show features appearances from the celebrated artists of Marvel’s 2018 Young Guns program, including Aaron Kuder, Javier Garron, Marco Checchetto, Mike Del Mundo and Pepe Larraz. Learn more about what it takes to be a Young Gun at the Marvel: Young Guns panel, and don’t miss their Marvel booth signing where attendees will be able to snag an exclusive litho!

Plus, don’t miss an all-star line-up of some your favorite Marvel creators! Swing by the Marvel booth for scheduled appearances by Jay Anacleto, Rachelle Rosenberg, Christina Strain, Tana Ford, Stacey Lee, Joe Quinones, Robbie Thompson, Marc Laming, Alitha E. Martinez, Humberto Ramos, Brian Level, Mark Waid, Ashley Witter, Khary Randolph, Ryan Stegman, Jason Aaron, Jorge Molina, Marcus To, Mark Brooks, Annie Wu, Christopher Priest and Jim Zub! Check Marvel’s signing schedule for details on their signing times.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

#StitchAwayStress with the Craft Yarn Council!

Moogly - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 15:00

The Craft Yarn Council helps us Stitch Away Stress every April! And this year they’re back to help you make lemonade out of lemons – really really big lemons! April is stress awareness month… What stress? Are you stressed? No? Then this isn’t for you. But for the rest of us – hoooo boy. It [...]

The post #StitchAwayStress with the Craft Yarn Council! 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

Action Comics Fans Celebrate Mason’s 15th Anniversary

First Comics News - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:42

Fans of extreme action and violence comics are in for a treat this week; the 15th Anniversary Edition of the Mason: Sweet Sacrilege graphic novel, reprinted for the first time in full color and available from retailers on April 4th, 2018.

Mason first appeared in the winter of 2002 in the original first printing of Mason: Sweet Sacrilege, a black and white 22-page one-shot comic book self-published by creator Mike Gagnon.

One of Gagnon’s earliest works, in the years since its release the character and creator have both evolved and changed.

Gagnon’s character has become a symbol of violent action comics and a regular fixture in indie comics with short stories, cameos and a member of the independent superhero comics team, The Almighties (Co-Created by Sam Johnson of Geek Girl). Just as his character has endured, so has Gagnon.

Aside from working in film as both an actor and writer, Gagnon has also worked for industry giants such as Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Entertainment. Gagnon has amassed a number of credits with smaller publishers such as TwoMorrows, ComixTribe, Jack Lake Productions and his own self-published comics. He also became a bestselling author, with 7 Amazon bestsellers in fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels in 2017 alone.

“I can’t believe that this character has connected with fans and endured as long as it has. It’s a pleasant surprise,” said Gagnon in a recent interview. “I had always wanted to do this character as a bigger story and in color, but as a new comic creator, I just didn’t have the funding to do that at the time. It’s great to see it finally come out in full color for fans to enjoy.”

The story of Mason: Sweet Sacrilege revolves around the titular character and his belief in the code of honor between military veterans. When a fellow veteran is murdered by a branch of the Russian mob that uses a Las Vegas cathedral as a front for their criminal empire, Mason vows to protect the man’s surviving daughter with his life. The only way to stop a vendetta from the Bratva is to kill them first, even if it means a firefight that Mason himself may not walk away from alive.

The Mason: Sweet Sacrilege 15th Anniversary Special edition is a 58-page full-color graphic novel, featuring Mason’s original 22-page story, printed in color for the first time, as well as tons of additional stories and bonus materials from the last 15 years of Mason comics. The book features art from a variety of artists who have drawn the character over the years and features a new cover illustration by Gagnon himself.

Mason: Sweet Sacrilege The 15th Anniversary Special Edition is available from most fine book retailers and ebook vendors worldwide. Fans can ask for it at their local book retailer. Retailers can order copies of the book from Ingram Content Group Book Distributors using the ISBN 978-1-988369-22-8.

For more details and to get your own copy, visit www.gagnonwrites.com or Amazon.com.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The Annual Glyph Comics Awards (GCA) Celebrates Excellence in the Industry

First Comics News - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:34

FREE

Reception & Awards Programs at Tech-Freire

 

Philadelphia, PA – May 18, 2018 – “The City of Firsts” – has long been recognized as a place that has provided fertile ground for a number of artistic efforts, including music, dance, mural-making, storytelling and comic book creation. In fact, the first Black comic book was created here in Philadelphia in 1947 by brothers Orrin and George Evans: All-Negro Comics #1. ECBACC, the first full-service Comic Book Convention and the model for community-based comic book conventions, diversi-cons and ethno-cons, has successfully cultivated balanced images of Black superheroes, and has served as a nexus, conduit and catalyst for Black comic book creators, their colleagues and fans since 2002. For the past 17 years, ECBACC has paid tribute to this important legacy, promoted the work of veteran as well as up-and-coming artists, and served as a wellspring of collaborative efforts among comic book creators. “The place to meet and network with Black comic book publishers, artists, writers, their colleagues and their fans is at ECBACC,” says ECBACC, Inc. Vice-President and Event Coordinator Akinşeye Brown. “…ECBACC is the place to be.”

 

The 13th Annual Glyph Comics Awards (GCA), the nation’s first international award of its kind, will be hosted on Friday evening, May 18, 2018, from 6:30p.m. – 9p.m., at Tech-Freire Charter School / 2221 N. Broad St. The Glyphs has been hosted annually by The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (ECBACC, Inc.) since 2006. The Glyphs recognizes the best in Black-themed comic books, comic strips, web-comics and graphic novels. Categories include: Best Artist, Best Writer, Best Cover, Best Comic Strip or Web-Comic, Best Female Character, Best Male Character, Rising Star, Best Reprint Publication, Story of the Year, and Fan Award for Best Comic. While it is not exclusive to Black creators, it does strive to honor those who have made the greatest contributions to the comic book medium in terms of both critical and commercial impact.

 

Who will take home a GCA this year? Join us at Tech-Freire Charter H.S. / 2221 N. Broad St. on Friday evening, May 18, 2018, at 6:30p.m. to find out.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The 17th Annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention

First Comics News - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:33

Philadelphia, PA – May 18 & 19, 2018 – The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (ECBACC), which sponsors Philadelphia’s premiere Black comic book convention, will celebrate the myriad worlds of quantum sci-fi & superheroes in May, 2018. ECBACC kicks off the celebration on Friday, May 18th / 6:30p.m. – 9p.m., with The Glyphs, a FREE reception and awards ceremony, at Tech-Freire Charter School / 2221 N. Broad St. The Convention culminates on Saturday, May 19th / 11a.m. – 7p.m., at Tech-Freire Charter School with a spectacular day of networking, panel discussions, film screenings, a comic book marketplace and youth / adult workshops. Admission is FREE. Youth age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. ECBACC, founded by Philly Ambassador Mr. Yumy Odom, is a pioneering initiative, giving Black heroes, super-powered characters, their creators, and fans a voice in the comic book industry.

 

ECBACC returns to North Philly and turns its spotlights on an array of the best and brightest, pioneers, veterans and emerging creators, writers, illustrators, filmmakers, publishers, and visionaries, among them: Eric Battle (Marvel, DC, Milestone Media, Dark Horse Comics), Regine Sawyer (Founder of the Women in Comics Convention – NYC), Tony Isabella (DC – Creator of Black Lightning and Marvel – Creator of Misty Knight & Black Goliath), Mshindo Kuumba (Artist Extraordinaire / BlackOps), Richard G. Tyler II aka Bro. Uraeus (BlackOps / BHM), Sheeba Maya (Digital Artistry), N. Steven Harris (Watson & Holmes / Ajala / The Fringe), Robert Garrett (Xmoor Studios / Galto), Naseed Gifted (Founder of Khem Comic Festival – Newark, NJ), William H. Foster III (Celebrated Comic Book Historian), and an amazing array of vendors… On tap for Saturday, May 20th: The Kids’ Library Zone and the Superhero Learning Zone, which will feature comic book-themed activities open to all young people who attend the Convention and offer children a chance to learn arts & crafts, music, storytelling and how to take their own ideas and create superheroes and comic books; ECBACC Professional Workshops and Panels, including screenings of new and award-winning film-shorts, and another surprise innovation of the ECBACC Board to be unveiled; ECBACC Marketplace, one of the largest gatherings of rare and collectible comics and memorabilia on the East Coast; and AfriCoz: The very first costume and cosplay contest celebrating Black Age and Africana characters in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and film.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Yes - magic.

3d6 Traps & Thieves - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 14:18
I've listened to people insist that "Because - magic" is a copout in fantasy fiction or gaming.



Okay. Agreed. Tentatively.

These are many of the same folks that seem fine with dodging laser blasts, fiery explosions in space, and lightsabers - but, that's cool.

Right now, I only care to address this in regard to the Avremier setting. Avremier has magic. In fact, to some extent, the setting IS magic. If you see things like islands floating on the surface of the sea, a group of mountains sitting by themselves in an area that looks unlikely for mountains, a great big rubble-choked gap between two broken halves of the planet, or a diseased-looking moon hanging suspiciously close to the world - assume there are valid reasons - probably to do with elemental, divine, or magical forces. But, trust that there will be a purpose behind it all. Not to serve as a plot device. Not because it looks kewl. Not for the sake of being weird. But, because the setting warranted it.

Because - verisimilitude.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

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