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On Medieval Law

Hack & Slash - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 12:00
I'm no medieval historian.

The idea of a town guard is a rather terrible case of presentism. The idea of a full time guard in towns, villages, and hamlets, much less jails is an anachronism. Yet medieval law can clearly be traced back to the Norman Conquest of 1066 CE. It would be the 1800's before the idea of a paid full-time security professional would have existed in the public's mind.

How did they keep order?

In the spring, with the chill of winter still in the area, the shire reeve had a duty to gather a group of men coming of age and bind them to a Tithing. All those such were bound to their brothers. If one committed a crime, the others would pay for it. This is not the entirety of it. Each is bound to give a hue and cry. If a crime is committed and the criminal escapes, where members of the tithing could have stopped them or given chase, they can be punished as if they had committed the crime themselves.

So what were punishments? How were the guilty tried?

Humanity during this time frequently engaged in debates as to the value or worth of a person and how laws should be enforced. This discussion is the body of work that produced the common law principals. Even though there were no guards or jails, it is this system of judges that is involved in a crime.

"Modern" investigative techniques such as bullet forensics and lie detectors are nearly pseudo-science, so you can imagine what detective techniques were like for the investigators in 400 CE. Many cases ended up with a local "judge" deciding on the trustworthiness of two individuals. This position is likely both more and less formal then you imagine, considering the records. These were often just men of good character acting in interest of their own peace. This is a good motivation for suspicion of strangers, as they have no bonds to keep them from committing a crime.

Most crimes were fights and thefts, not complex heists. Often there were assaults and murders. In the community, these "crimes" were conflicts that the judges attempted to balance. These crimes can include gossiping or malingering, but Their goal was to "make the crime right" by having the criminal balance the loss from the crime or damage. This was the method via which disagreements were settled. Gossiping wasn't a crime to do, but that d**k Rafold has been telling lies about you. Take him to court! It was a tool used to balance disagreements.

But real crimes? Anti-community crimes? Bandrity, treason, sedition, mass murder, repeated theft, the records include a variety of punishments, trials by fire, bread, combat and water. But these were extremely rare. After being found guilty by a judge, the guilty for these crimes were often burned, hanged, or tortured, depending on the crime. These categories are quite broad and often include punishments custom made to fit the crime.

Here are more of my population procedures.

Town Guards

Most town guards consist of locals who have a vested interest in keeping the peace. If they see a crime being committed, They will raise a hue and cry. This will cause all the innocent lawful locals to give chase and attempt to restrain the players. These are 0-level unarmored and unencumbered men and women. They are either unarmed, or carrying a small hand weapon (1d4). The hue and cry will draw 2d6 local militia within a turn. Local militia are 1st-level fighters equipped with chain saps, swords, and crossbows.

In a city or metropolis, there will be a watch. These volunteers are often subsidised by the local lord. They frequently consist of both local military and veteran soldiers. The hue and cry will draw 1d4 1st-level fighters within a single round, in addition to the 0-level people responding to the crime. At the end of a turn 2d6 local militia show up as above, except they are accompanied by a 3rd level sergeant.

Mages and clerics are much too important to be a part of the watch or guard.

Crime

If someone is caught for a crime, consider the judgment! The judge could be swayed to reduce your punishment by spending money on an attorney or a bribe. These usually run 100-400 gold pieces each. Your charisma also influences the crime roll. However, strong evidence, previous criminal behavior and character witnesses will provide penalties for the opposing sides. The DM will set the total bonus considering all applicable factors.

There are three categories of crime:
Minor. Disturbing the peace, public drunkenness, or trespassing
Major. Assault, battery, kidnapping, theft, and vandalism.
Severe. Arson, heresy, murder, rape, robbery, sedition, treason.

Roll for the result
2 Severe Punishment (includes mild and normal punishment)
3-5 Punishment (includes mild punishments)
6-8 Mild Punishment
9-12 Freed.

Each type of crime has different punishment types.
Minor crimes have a mild punishment of a fine, a punishment of being placed in the stocks and a fine, and a severe punishment of being placed in the stocks and whipped. Major crimes have a mild punishment of being branded, a punishment of being tortured, and a severe punishment of being maimed, losing a hand, ear or tongue. Severe crimes have a mild punishment of torture and exile, a punishment of murder, and a severe punishment of a excruciating extended drawn-out execution.

YMMV.

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

How to Get D&D Players to Make Unforgettable Character Introductions That Take a Minute or Less

DM David - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 11:45

Whenever I serve as a dungeon master for strangers at conventions, I learn things that improve my game. But the games where I play Dungeons & Dragons teach me too.

I try to start convention games by giving players a chance to introduce their characters, but sometimes I forget. Not long ago, my lapse hardly seemed to matter. Most character introductions seem forgettable anyway. If you’ve seen one 6th-level barbarian, you’ve seen them all, right? Would anyone notice if I skipped the routine and let the characters reveal themselves in play?

Yes. Playing taught me that I notice.

This year at the Origins Game Fair, I played in several D&D games where the DM skipped character introductions.

In these sessions, learning about the party members could take hours. In my mind’s eye, I would fight alongside faceless placeholders, learning nothing more than that they rolled a hit and scored damage. Three hours in, someone would volunteer to heal and their placeholder would reveal a class. Only by the end of the slot would my comrades in arms come into focus.

I missed the character introductions.

Still, introductions where everyone just recites name, race, and class hardly seem worth the time. I won’t remember those labels, and I suspect names disappear from other players’ memory as quickly as they slip mine.

Instead of stating names, give each player a note card to fold into a tent. Have the players write their character’s name, race, and class on each side. Now everyone can see each character’s essentials.

These race-class descriptions give nothing to inspire interaction between characters, so consider asking players to write one more detail—something visual that invites interaction. I suggest asking players to write one aspect of your character that people can see and that someone might find curious. “During the idle moments at the table, your character may want to ask their companions about these unusual features.”

Before your game, make a sample tent that shows the format you want.

A good spoken introduction presents a character so vividly that it proves unforgettable. It reveals a hook that invites interaction with the character. And it shows a character quickly enough to leave time for 5 or 6 other introductions, plus time to actually play the game.

I’ve wondered how ask players to make such a strong, brief introduction in the moments available. By Origins, I knew the answer. When I played at Teos Abadia’s table at Winter Fantasy, he demonstrated an elegant technique. He asks players to think of the opening credits of 80s TV shows like the A-Team or T.J. Hooker. These sequences show each character in action, and then end with a name flashed across the screen. Teos asks each player to describe their D&D character in such a montage. “Players get concept because they’ve seen those kind of TV shows, and usually they’ll do something that’s really cool.” The format encourages players to describe brief, vivid scenes that demonstrate what makes their character special. To prompt ideas, ask a question like, “Describe a moment from another adventure when your character used their talents to save the day.” The scene doesn’t have to come from game play. Montages can pull clips from later in the season or unaired pilots.

As players first reach your table, and before they even unpack dice, start them thinking about their character’s introduction. Most players appreciate a few minutes to dream up their scene.

Begin the instructions with a player who shows signs a being an enthusiastic role player. Choose the person who brought their own table tent complete with a character portrait, or who already told a story about their character, or just seems outgoing.

If you can spare extra time for introductions and want to encourage interaction, make a second turn around the table where players tell how their character knows another party member. In a post on encouraging role playing, I recommended having players invent a reason their character feels loyalty, friendship, or trust toward another character at the table. Among strangers gathering for a 4-hour game, this seems like a daunting exercise. Instead, ask each player to explain why they trust that another character can help the party. Reluctant players can just restate something revealed during the cinematic montage, but the word “trust” leaves room for enthusiastic role players to invent deeper bonds.

For more from Teos on character introductions, see his post Using Cinematic Montages in RPGs, and this appearance on NewbieDM’s Minicast.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1d6 Random Low Level Occult Adventure Locations Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 06:16
"There are places where adventure has settled in like the cloak of a crow's wings on a Winter's day. Corruption & degeneration have come home to roust with the greed & misfortune of any who cross these places path in the offering.  These places  have become lairs of evil where misdeeds have lain treasure on the very doorstep of places where once the sun shined. Can your adventurers help to Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Love and Ambition

The Rational Man - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 04:14

I’m a psychotherapist working with couples, especially men who get left by their wives. I’ve studied your material for over a year now and the hypergamy stuff is dead on. I just wanted to share and maybe talk with you about the red pill rage that results — women love opportunistically yes, but many men who comment on your material are missing a component I believe. And it’s not one I’ve heard you allude to much either.. When a man isn’t pursuing his dreams and highest self, the woman oftentimes interprets that as a lack of love for her, as though continuing to stay competitive and strong in the world shows her that he is invested in the relationship. When men get lazy women actually feel discarded. The pain and the love is real – it isn’t so simple as jaded men think.. that women are blood thirsty gold digging monsters. The female design feels unloved and devalued when her man is not on fire for his own life..

I had this sent to me recently. It’s actually a pretty standard trope for Trad-Con women who want to justify their leaving a husband or having left an old lover/baby-daddy. They like to pretend they’re ‘red pill’ and so the only men who might qualify for their expired sexual market value will be Red Pill men who meet their new qualifications. One thing I’m seeing more and more of in this sub-section of the manosphere (really femosphere) is aged-out divorcé women who want to rebrand the ‘red pill’ to justify their unmarried, unpaired, state in the new sexual marketplace. As you might imagine, their solipsism gets combined with what they convert into a convenient rationale about what Red Pill men ought to be like. The lack of ‘real men’, real ‘red pill’ men is ostensibly why they’re still single – no man is actually ‘red pill’ enough to satisfy their hamstering and thus, it’s not they who have the problem, but rather the men who lack the balls to live up to those expectations.

If this sounds familiar – like maybe a feminist spouted off a version of it – you’re right. I wrote about this rationalization back in The Bitter Taste of the Red Pill:

Game-aware women – the ones who have been forcibly exhausted of all pretense of maintaing the illusion that Game is a lie – feel as though it’s owed to them, in their concession of Game’s reality, that Men should use Game to women’s benefit. Even to the last effort women still cling to the tools of a feminized acculturation;

“Yeah, OK, you got us, Game is really what women want, Hypergamy is the law of womankind, but now it’s your responsibility that you use it for the better benefit of society by molding a new breed of improved Betas to accommodate fem-centric monogamy. You owe us our security for having admitted to the grand illusion that’s kept you in thrall for so long.”

It’s an indictment of Game-aware women, and sympathizing men, that they should feel a need to delineate some aspects of Game into good camps (pro woman, pro feminized monogamy) and bad camps (manipulative, polygynous, male-centered). Even in the admission of the truth that Game has enlightened Men of, the feminine imperative still seeks to categorize the application of Game to its own end. That Men might have some means of access to their own sexual strategy is too terrible a Threat; Game must be colored good or bad as it concerns the imperatives of women and a fem-centric societal norm.

As the default, socially correct and virtuous concern, women have an easier time of this. As Game becomes increasingly more difficult to deny or misdirect for the feminine, the natural next step in accepting it becomes qualifying its acceptable uses. While hypergamy is an ugly truth, the characterization of it becomes “just how women are” – an unfortunate legacy of their evolution. However for Men, the characterizations of the harsher aspects of Game in its rawest form (contingencies for hypergamy) are dubbed “the dark arts”.

Red Pill Women – A Convenient Rationale

I wrote this back in 2012. Some of my earliest posts were about predicting exactly this phenomenon in the future. The more Red Pill aware a woman is – or I should say, the more she consciously acknowledges it – the greater the need will be to find fault in men for not living up to what they redefine as ‘red pill’ canon. The more widespread Red Pill awareness of intersexual dynamics becomes, and the more accepted it is, the more it will serve as an alibi for women trying to rebuild a life they destroyed themselves. It becomes a Red Pill man’s ‘duty’ to forgive their indiscretions and help them recover too.

Over the years Dalrock has gone into how women detonate their marriages as a result of divorce porn fantasies. I’m not sure he really dissects the aftermath of their divorces. And this is only one way in which women may find themselves single around middle age. In Preventive Medicine I detail how women go through at least to periods of crisis level Hypergamous doubt during a marriage. Women’s prerequisites for attraction (not arousal) shifts radically once she reaches the Epiphany Phase (29-31). She becomes far more compromising in terms of physicality in exchange for aspects of a man she finds desirable for long-term prospects of security. Whereas she may have only dated banged guys 1-2 inches taller than herself in her Party Years, now she’s willing to entertain the idea of banging dating a guy slightly shorter than herself so long as he has a capacity for success and provisioning for her.

This is an interesting phase to pick apart because it’s likely the first time in a woman’s life that she’s considering a relationship with a guy based on transactional sex as opposed to the prime directive of validational sex she’s been pursuing for most of her Party Years (18-26). For the first time her long-term attraction is based on different aspects of a man’s Burden of Performance.

During the Epiphany Phase a woman plays a complex game of internalized mental gymnastics. Her hindbrain understands that her sexual market value has been decaying for at least a couple of years prior to this conscious recognition of it. The enjoyment of the Party Years has to be weighed against the fact that she’s progressively losing the attention of the men she would like to have ‘enthusiastic’ validational sex with, and the necessity of a long-term security with a long-term partner. Thus, the rationalization engine kicks into overdrive. She must convince herself that the less exciting (arousing) but better provisioning guy who’s happy to have her at 30 represents the type of guy she ‘should‘ have been with all along.

This is a self-bullshitting contrivance of course, but in her mind the guy who she’s marrying or pairing long term with must be an example of a ‘good prospect’. This is when she does the self-conditioning of turning her necessity into a virtue. She was “so crazy in college, but now she’s matured and not like that anymore.” Or she’s “Getting right with God” or she’s “Learned her lesson in dating banging those Bad Boys” who’ve characterized her intimate life up until this point.

Those are the easy self-contrivances; what’s more difficult is convincing her hindbrain (that desperately wants the exciting validational sex with the Bad Boy) that the unexciting ‘Good Guy’ is really what’s best for her. This is where women like to rearrange what’s really important to them in a man.

This is the internal conflict that takes place in the Epiphany Phase, but what happens to the woman who never gets to consolidate on the ‘Good Guy’? For a variety of reasons (mostly overvalued evaluation of their SMV) more and more women find themselves ‘never marrieds’ and/or they follow the timeline in Preventive Medicine and find themselves divorced of their own doing. In either case, women still work through a similar series of self-rationalizations with respect to what they’re looking for, and what they feel they are entitled to, in a man around 38 to 45, sometimes as late as 50.

And this is where the Red Pill feeds that female entitlement schema. The logic goes like this:

If I’m a Red Pill woman and I agree with all of these Red Pill men who, despite all my misgivings, align with my (self-defined and sanitized) definition of what it means to be “red pill”, then these men owe it to me to unplug from their Blue Pill delusions and see me for the jewel in the rough that I really am.

I think the time a woman is most likely to discover she’s a “Red Pill Woman” is conveniently at the point in her life when she’s at her most necessitous. You will almost never find a girl of 22 who’d want to identify as a Trad-Con “Red Pill” woman – the incentives to do so simply don’t exist at this age. The fact that it is predominantly Traditional Conservative women who are either just pre-Wall or post-Wall, single-mothers, never married spinsters, divorcés or married-to-lesser-Betas who wish to redefine ‘Red Pill’ to use as a litmus test for the type of men they believe they’re entitled to is no coincidence.

Message to the ladies: Men don’t owe you shit. If you happen upon a man who shares your entitlement belief-set, a man willing to forgive your past indiscretions and marry you despite a ruthless marriage/divorce industrial complex arrayed against him, then thank whatever God you pray to and fuck that guy’s brains out to keep him happy, but don’t pretend it’s because either you or he is “Red Pill”. The fact that he would entertain the idea of a relationship with you disqualifies him from being “Red Pill”.

If you find yourself single, never-married at 38 and it “just never worked out for you” it’s time you look past your solipsism and find some real introspect. The problem begins and ends with you.

Love and Opportunism

Now, all that said, the ‘psychotherapist‘ who sent me this does have some legitimate points.

When a man isn’t pursuing his dreams and highest self, the woman oftentimes interprets that as a lack of love for her, as though continuing to stay competitive and strong in the world shows her that he is invested in the relationship.

First of all this is flat out false; I’ve written several posts that illustrate exactly this perspective. From Setting the Rules:

Once a woman understands the gravity and legitimacy of your purpose / passion, only then can she come to appreciate the significance of you foregoing or postponing the dictates of that purpose for her. She will never feel more important to you than when you (occasionally) lift her above that legitimate, verified purpose.

Women will never appreciate a relationship that is a Man’s greatest ambition.

That’s an old (obscure?) post I wrote some time ago, but the basic principle is that a man must be fearless in his pursuit of his passions both before and after he’s entered into some kind of committed exclusivity. In Acing the Test I point out that women tend to shit test for different things while single and when in an LTR. In a long term relationship these test are characterized by the need to quell the Hypergamous doubt that she paired with a guy who is, or has the potential for competency. In other words her Hypergamous hindbrain wants to know it made its best ‘bet’ on you.

And while that’s all fine and well, her hindbrain’s insecurity wars with the need for you to retain your ambition and your being emotionally available for her. When these two aspects come into conflict it is up to a man to retain the world, the Frame, he’s established in which she feels comfortable and yet uncomfortable enough to know he’s competent to be powerful in directing his own course in life.

When men get lazy women actually feel discarded. The pain and the love is real – it isn’t so simple as jaded men think.. that women are blood thirsty gold digging monsters. The female design feels unloved and devalued when her man is not on fire for his own life..

Again, this is a perfect illustration of the differences in the concepts men and women each independently hold when it comes to love. Men love Idealistically, women love Opportunistically and this quote spells this out in no uncertain terms – in fact it’s so ironic I’m not sure the woman relating this to me even realizes what she’s doing. Women intimately associate a man’s ambitiousness, his drive for mastery and power, his want for dominance, with her Opportunistic concept of love. She’s correct here, when men get lazy women feel discarded. However, this is because a man contenting himself with how things are and dropping all ambition confirms what her Hypergamous nature fears most – he’s really incompetent.

This is especially salient when a man trades his ambitions (assuming he had them) for a relationship with her. This reverses the Burden of Performance to her and as a result she feels unloved because her concept of love is founded on his capacity for competence. She feels unloved because opportunism defines her concept of love; and he only confirms his worthlessness by abdicating his Burden of Performance.

From Love Story:

Men are expected to perform. To be successful, to get the girl, to live a good life, men must do. Whether it’s riding wheelies down the street on your bicycle to get that cute girl’s attention or to get a doctorate degree to ensure your personal success and your future family’s, Men must perform. Women’s arousal, attraction, desire and love are rooted in that conditional performance. The degree to which that performance meets or exceeds expectations is certainly subjective, and the ease with which you can perform is also an issue, but perform you must.

A lot of this relates to the standard Mental Point of Origin conversation.

Blue Pill men are conditioned to think two things:

1 When they get married their troubles are over with respect to the sexual marketplace. Because they believe women share their own idealistic concept of love for love’s sake that it shouldn’t matter how they perform now. The Burden of Performance, if they ever accepted it, gets replaced by the idea that she’ll love him “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer” and therefore he doesn’t consider it as a prerequisite for her love and intimacy.

What he fails to ever grasp or accept is that men and women have different concepts and approaches of love. His Pollyanna Blue Pill Disney preconditioning leads him to believe in happily ever after and his failings and vulnerability and fears will not only be accepted by his wife, but will be a source of their marriages strength and intimacy. This is exactly why the transvaluation of vulnerability-is-strength is so dangerously wrong in modern LTRs.

2 This is the husband who lives in a Blue Pill fantasy land, so rattling his cage about the visceral realities of Hypergamy and telling him his wife never shared what he believes is a mutual, universal concept of love is like telling him God is dead. When Beta/Blue Pill husbands enter into marriage their singular goal is ensuring his wife’s satisfaction and happiness. He still suffers from never making himself his Mental Point of Origin and making womankind his reflexive mental priority.

He makes her his world. If he had a sense of his Burden of Performance he diminishes or replaces his own ambitions with the ambition of making his wife ‘his world’ – and God forbid anyone tell him anything counter to the “you gotta work to keep things fresh” mantra he learned about marriage throughout his single years. Telling him he needs to be more self-important is the antithesis to this conditioning, but it’s exactly the catalyst that will cause his divorce. Women don’t want to marry their Beta orbiters, so how would you expect them to feel when the man they’re supposed to live the rest of their lives with turns into an orbiter. But he’s been taught to sacrifice EVERYTHING to keep the relationship “healthy”.

From Roissy’s 16 Commandments of Poon:

III. You shall make your mission, not your woman, your priority

Forget all those romantic cliches of the leading man proclaiming his undying love for the woman who completes him. Despite whatever protestations to the contrary, women do not want to be “The One” or the center of a man’s existence. They in fact want to subordinate themselves to a worthy man’s life purpose, to help him achieve that purpose with their feminine support, and to follow the path he lays out. You must respect a woman’s integrity and not lie to her that she is “your everything”. She is not your everything, and if she is, she will soon not be anymore.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Box Breaking 251: Folklore the Affliction Dark Tales Expansion

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 03:06

In this Box Breaking Matt takes a look at the Dark Tales expansion for Folklore the Affliction.Where players try to stop evil from advancing into the heart of the land.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

I think I will get to play this October.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Gen Con 2018: Ares Games to preview Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles

Gamer Goggles - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 22:24

Gen Con 2018: Ares Games to preview Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles

 

First copies of the retail edition of Master of the Galaxy will also be available at the show, together with new expansions for Sword & Sorcery

 

Ares Games will present for the first time at Gen Con 2018 (Booth #335, August 2-5, Indianapolis) a preview of the upcoming Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles, miniature game. Based on the Battlestar Galactica™ TV series, the game is scheduled to be available at the end of 2018. At the show, visitors will also be able to play with the upcoming Wings of Glory – Tripods & Triplanes.

In addition to these previews, new games also release at the show: the board game of galactic conquest Master of the Galaxy and new expansions for the Sword & Sorcery line – the Hero Packs Krogham and Samyria and the third campaign set, Darkness Falls.

Players will also have a chance to take a look at the new expansion for This War of Mine: the Board GameTales from the Ruined City (scheduled to release in November 2018), and to play recent releases with the assistance of the Ares demo team: the epic strategy game Hannibal & Hamilcar: Rome vs Carthage; the thrilling card game Monsters vs. Heroes – Victorian Nightmares; two new games published by Pendragon and exclusively distributed in North America by Ares – Hexemonia and Waterloo: Enemy Mistakes.

At Ares’ booth, visitors will find several exclusive promo items offered together with purchases at the booth, including the alternate “Frodo” promo card for Hunt for the Ring, the mini-expansion “TV Set” for This War of Mine: the Board Game, the promo pack “Chaos in Hadria” for Age of Thieves, the promo cards “Necronomicon” and “H.P. Lovecraft” for Stay Away, and “Bubi” for Last Friday.

In addition to the activity at the booth, Ares will also be present in the Events Hall A, from Thursday to Saturday, with lots of Wings of Glory WW1 and WW2, Sails of Glory, Sword & Sorcery events, and open gaming with all the great titles by Ares and our partners Galakta and PHALANX.

 

FIRST LOOK AT BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – STARSHIP BATTLES

 

Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles is a combat miniature game based on the Battlestar   Galactica™ TV series, including both the “Classical” and “Reimagined” settings. Players will take control of Colonial and Cylon spaceships and face each other in furious dogfights and daring missions, piloting beautiful pre-assembled and pre-painted miniatures, faithfully representing the spaceships from both the Re-imagined and Classic versions of the shows.

Designed by Andrea Angiolino (Wings of Glory, Sails of Glory) and Andrea Mainini (Sails of Glory), the game uses a unique game system, inspired by its “glorious” predecessors, but at the same time featuring many new features, to represent the cinematic, yet realistic space battles of the show.

Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles will be first presented to the public at Gen Con 2018, in a demo table with pre-production samples. The game will release at the end of the year, with a Starter Set and the first two Spaceship Packs – Viper Mk. II and Cylon Raider. More info about the game is available at Ares Games website.

 

NEW GAMES AT GEN CON

Master of the Galaxy – A fast playing 4? board game for 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, Master of the Galaxy presents a unique and innovative blend of bag-building, card-drafting, and tech-tree development mechanics, inspired by classic science-fiction, movies and computer games. Nine Elder Races are expanding through space, ready to assimilate or exterminate anybody who stands in their way. Players are challenged to conquer the Galaxy, starting with one-star system, one Species card, and a modest supply of resources. Players can choose different ways to dominate the Galaxy – trying to quickly spread their people across the stars, developing science to a level unreachable by the opponents, or embarking on a methodical extermination of the rivals. A complete game requires 1 to 2 hours, depending on the number of players.

The game was funded with a Kickstarter campaign and will be in distribution just after the KS fulfillment is completed. At Gen Con, Ares will have the first copies of the retails edition for sale.

Sword & Sorcery Darkness Falls – In this second campaign expansion for Sword & Sorcery Immortal Souls, the heroes’ path brings them toward their final destiny. Players are challenged to complete the heroes’ epic campaign across the quests of this expansion, recreating the final act of their legendary saga. High soulrank powers, treasures, and challenging enemies await you! Be prepared for the most intense and glorious experience in the Sword & Sorcery lands!

Darkness Falls includes 20 new lethal enemies: Succubi, Skeletons, Death Knights, and Werewolves, two new, powerful master enemies, 14 new modular boards, new Act II cards for items, traps, treasures, events and enemies. The campaign is played through seven new high-level quests, using the innovative combination of Storybook, Book of Secrets and cards to create a challenging, story-driven climax to the Immortal Souls campaign.

This expansion will pre-release at Gen Con with a limited number of copies arriving at the show. It will be in distribution by September 2018.

Sword & Sorcery Kroghan and Samyria Hero Packs The world of Sword & Sorcery always needs new heroes, and the Hero Packs introduce new, powerful characters into the game. Following the four Hero Packs already released – Onamor, Victoria, Morrigan and Ryld, two new characters debut at Gen Con – Kroghan and Samyria.

Kroghan is the fiercest warrior of his Clan of the Northern Lands and can be played as either a Barbarian or a Dreadlord. As a Barbarian, Kroghan is an example of extreme courage, a champion who gathers heroes under his guidance and leads them into battle. As a Dreadlord, he is a cold-blooded and remorseless warrior, a dreadful champion.

Samyria is daughter of the Earth, bear–friend and skin–changer. She can be played as either a Druid or Shaman. As a Druid, Samyria is able to control the forces of nature, summoning grasping roots from the ground and ultimately changing her body into a gigantic Grizzly. As a Shaman, she calls and interacts with all the spirits of Otherworld. She can control the battlefield by creating soul totems and commanding Bjorn, her valuable Grizzly companion.

 

PREVIEW AT GEN CON 2018

Wings of Glory – Tripods & Triplanes – A new setting for Wings of Glory, the best-selling airplane miniature. Tripods & Triplanes introduces a new twist to the game, as the WW1 historical setting is turned upside down by the crossover with H.G. Wells’ imaginative novel “The War of the Worlds.” In Tripods & Triplanes, what should be the year the war ends, 1918, becomes the “Year of the Invasion.” Two different generations of Martian Tripods, one more advanced than the other, land on Earth, in two invasion waves. The knights of the air battle against these colossal fighting machines. Players will take control of an awesome Martian Tripod, set upon bringing death and destruction on our planet, or fly the most advanced flying machines created by Mankind during World War One, and try to use them to win the War of the Worlds.

Tripods & Triplanes is a stand-alone game, fully compatible with the WW1 Wings of Glory game line. It’s due to release in September, and an advanced prototype will be presented at Gen Con.

For more information about these games, visit Ares Games website – www.aresgames.eu. At Gen Con 2018, visit Ares Games at booth #335 and in Events Hall A.

 

 

About Ares Games

Ares Games is an Italian board game publisher established in 2011 to create quality hobby products for the international audience. Ares Games is the publisher of the award-winning “War of the Ring” board game, of “Wings of Glory” range of airplane combat games and miniatures, recreating aerial warfare in WW1 and WW2, and more recently, of the award-winning tactical ship-to-ship miniature game “Sails of Glory,” and the cooperative tactical miniatures game “Galaxy Defenders” and “Sword and Sorcery.” Ares Games’ catalog also includes Family Games and Euro Games. For further information, visit the website www.aresgames.eu and the Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/AresGames.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A week in security (July 16 – July 22)

Malwarebytes - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 17:30

Last week on Labs, we looked at a Magniber expansion, explored open source vulnerabilities, and checked out the boons and drawbacks of smart assistants. We also continued our ad blocking article extravaganza, gave a whistlestop tour of third-party problems, and published our Q2 Cybercrime tactics & techniques report.

Other news:

Stay safe, everyone!

The post A week in security (July 16 – July 22) appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

The Fantasy Trip Kickstarter is live

Bat in the Attic - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 17:28
The Fantasy Trip, Melee, and Wizard are among the first games designed by Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games. They fairly rule lite using 3d6 (roll low) to resolve combat and magic. It is also one of the first line of games to straddle the line between RPGs and Wargames. Melee and Wizard are two standalone wargames. Melee focuses on a quick system to resolving melee fights between combatants. While Wizards focuses on magical duels with spells.

Into the Labyrinth combines and extends these wargames into a complete RPG known as the Fantasy Trip using Advanced Melee and Advanced Wizard to handle combat and magic along with additional rules like talents.

It was originally published by Metagaming but went out of print when the company went under in the early 1980s. US copyright laws allows authors after several decades (30+ years in this case) to recover copyright to their work. Steve Jackson took advantage of this provision to acquire the rights to the original rules of the Fantasy Trip along with the right to other parts of the line he wrote like Tollenkar's Lair, and the two Death Test solo adventures.

Now Steve Jackson Games has launched a kickstarter to get all three games including Tollenkar's Lair back in print.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Jack Vance is the Soul of AD&D

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 16:06

From Gary Gygax’s introduction to The Dying Earth rpg:

Aside from ideas and specific things, the very manner in which Jack Vance portrays a fantasy environment, the interaction of characters with that environment, and with each other, is so captivating that wherever I could manage it, I attempted to include the “feel” he brings to his fantasy tales in the AD&D game. My feeble ability likely managed to convey but little of this, but in all I do believe that a not a little of what fans consider to be the “soul” of the game stems from that attempt. Of course there were, as noted, a number of other authors who had considerable influence on what I wrote, so let it suffice to conclude that in all a considerable debt of gratitude is owned to Mr. Vance, one that I am always delighted to repay whenever the opportunity arises. It should go without saying that whenever I see a new title of his, I buy it and read it with avid pleasure.

And ah, note there the reference to other Appendix N authors as having “considerable influence” on the game as well. Also, Gygax appeared as a character in one of Vance’s books. Interesting!

And check this out:

Of the other portions of the A/D&D game stemming from the writing of Jack Vance, the next most important one is the thief-class character. Using a blend of “Cugel the Clever” and Roger Zelazny’s “Shadowjack” for a benchmark, this archetype character class became what it was in original AD&D.

If you have been frustrated by the thief class and how it plays in early editions of D&D, you may want to take a look at these two characters yourself!

Finally… Neal Durando notes here that Vance’s Dying Earth setting is antithetical to the sort of setting splat books that became synonymous with rpgs in the eighties:

There is a truly great advantage offered to the Game Master when devising a campaign set on the Dying Earth. It is not highly detailed. There is no strict timeline laid down. All that has happened before is not “recorded”, nor is there an accurate gazetteer of for the world. What magic operates? Nobody can say or guess, because in the long eons of the Dying Earth’s history, likely every form possible was discovered, used, and then forgotten…almost. That means that all that’s necessary is to have the game in hand, the books that Jack Vance wrote about the world, to create a really compelling campaign environment. Using the creative base of the author, the GM’s own imagination cannot fail but to rise to the occasion.

You know, that’s strange.

It’s almost as if a familiarity with the books of Appendix N can have a drastic impact on how you even conceive of the game– and how you go about setting up your campaign or how you design supplements for it as well.

Somebody ought to look into this!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Mobile Menace Monday: Adware MobiDash gets stealthy

Malwarebytes - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 15:00

The Adware known as MobiDash, detected by Malwarebytes for Android as Android/Adware.MobiDash, is far from a new. However, this ad-displaying nuisance now comes with some additional stealth features.

First appearing last spring, these new features are not limited to a single variant of MobiDash. Instead, the correlation among these stealth versions lays within the package name com.veniosg.dir.android. As a result, these stealth features hide the existence of Adware MobiDash—even when it’s in plain sight!

Look closer

When I first came upon this stealthy MobiDash, a customer was having a terrible time removing the adware from their mobile device. Malwarebytes for Android was unable to remove it, due to it being an active device administrator.

As by design by the Android Operating System, any app given device administrator privileges cannot be uninstalled until first being removed from the device administrator’s list. Attempting to uninstall an app with device administrator rights will display the screen shown above. The screen displays a warning about not being able to uninstall, and provides a link to the device administrator’s list.

Okay, simple enough, just remove the offending piece of adware from the list and uninstall, right?  Well, what if it doesn’t exist in the device administrator’s list!? Have a look for yourself below.

There’s “Find My Device” and “Malwarebytes,” both with legitimate reasons to be in the device administrator’s list. But there’s no adware app in sight.

But wait. Look a little closer.

That blank line right at the bottom of list—bingo! If you didn’t see it at first, you’re not alone.

Even more stealth

After removing Adware MobiDash from the device administrator’s list, now that you see it, the next step is uninstalling. By far, the easiest method to uninstall this tricky adware is to rescan with Malwarebytes for Android. This method assists with easily uninstalling. Removing manually can also be done, albeit it’s a bit trickier.

Manual removal

Depending on your mobile device’s Android OS version, there may be a shortcut icon disguising itself as Settings.

If this exists alongside with the real Settings icon, simply drag the fake Settings icon to Uninstall.

However, there are many cases where this icon doesn’t exist. Thus, it must be removed via the mobile device’s App List: Settings > AppsScroll all the way to the bottom of list, and you’ll discover a blank entry at the very end.

Click on it, and you can uninstall from the app info screen.

The how and why

So how, exactly, can this stealth Adware MobiDash version get device administrator rights? Well, it must be given the rights manually by the user. It’s surprisingly easy for a user to mistakenly do so, and even easier with this piece of adware. Why? Because usually giving an app device administrator rights comes with a list of scary operations to allow. This MobiDash version doesn’t ask for any, as shown below.

So why did it even bother tricking users into activating device administrator if there are no operations to allow? As highlighted above, it makes uninstalling way more tedious—especially with the extra stealth features.

It happens

I could preach about not activating device administrator to unknown apps, but instead I’ll just say, “It happens.” On Android, there are an abundance of features you must allow to get legitimate apps to work properly. This sometimes exhausts users to the point of just blindly allowing everything. It’s no wonder that the bad apps can slip under the radar.

Luckily in this case, the outcome is simply annoying ads and nothing worse. But if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of an adware infection, slowing down and being a little more vigilant can save you time in the long run. Stay safe out there!

The post Mobile Menace Monday: Adware MobiDash gets stealthy appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Crochet Book Bundle Giveaway!

Moogly - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 15:00

I love collecting crochet pattern books – but my bookshelves are starting to groan a bit… So it’s time to give some away! I have 3 fantastic pattern books, all published by Stackpole Books, that I’m giving away as a Crochet Book Bundle to one lucky winner! Disclaimer: Materials for this giveaway were provided by [...]

The post Crochet Book Bundle 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.

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Categories: Crochet Life

Gamma Greyhawk - GW1 The Legion of Gold Adventure Plus The World of Greyhawk Fantasy Setting

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 14:54
"There is much to worry about in the mutated world of the future, but Baron Jemmas, Warder of Horn, has more on his mind than most. In recent weeks several of the outlying towns of his Barony have been wiped out by a band of mysterious golden marauders.These creatures struck from nowhere and vanished without a trace when their deeds were done. The Warder has decided that Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On the Hexplore

Hack & Slash - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00
Discover the hidden wilderness game in Dungeons and Dragons!

It will bring the actual experience of discovery to your players faces. They will be excited to explore a strange fantasy world!

I'm announcing an 18 page tool to assist you with wilderness exploration, making it a breeze. It provides plenty of space for personalization, no matter what campaign you are running, from original dungeons and dragons all the way to fifth edition.

This contains a drawn 6-mile hex with a nefarious river fort, an inactive volcano with a secret jungle, a bards tower, a demon-haunted ruin, and a cavernous bandit hideout. It also contains three lairs and four landmarks, all illustrated. The document contains maps and encounters with space for your settings name and statistics. This helps you make your game exciting in a new way!

What are you waiting for! It's only 3.99$ in .pdf at rpg.now! Hurry and get it before I do something silly like raise the price! Buy here!
Does this sound exciting? Check out the rest of my also very exciting things! Or, you can aid the task of keeping me and my daughter meet our vices of 'sleeping indoors' and 'eating food' by supporting me on Patreon and get everything I do for free anyway.

Hack & Slash FollowGoogle +NewsletterSupportDonate to end Cancer (5 Star Rating
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Re-post: When the Church is Grounded in Truth

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 11:00

Kathleen and I read and discuss a chapter from the Scriptures together every morning. I wish you could have been with us for that exercise today.

The passage was Acts 6, telling how the young church resolved a social problem. The church at that time was made up of Jews, but some of them spoke Hebrew and others spoke Greek. Among both groups there were widows who were being supported by the benevolence of the church. But the Greek-speakers complained that their widows were being overlooked when the food was distributed.

The early church was a vigorous movement, not shackled with the complexities of today’s more institutionalized church. Nevertheless, they showed focus in the church’s primary duty — to proclaim — and administrative savvy — to respond — when an internal problem arose that needed addressing.

Here’s how the Apostles engaged the whole body of new Christians:

They themselves clearly held primary authority, but they did not rule autocratically. Instead they called the believers together to seek their assistance. This displayed a wonderful example of openness and shared responsibility.

First, the Apostles cast the problem in terms of right and wrong: “It would not be right for us,” they said, “to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.”

They asked the large body of believers to choose seven men who would be assigned to deal with this disturbing problem. They were to be men full of the Holy Spirit (foremost) and wisdom (God-anointed common sense).

The seven were consecrated by the laying on of hands and put to the task of caring for the apparent inequity among the widows. At the same time, the Apostles underlined that their own first priority was to “give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Proclamation and teaching must dominate.

How the young church went about this choosing is not known since the number of converts had swelled into the thousands. Interestingly, the seven who were chosen all have Greek names and they are likely Greek-speakers. Stephen, the first-named, stands out as “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.”

Although set apart to serve in administrative ways, Stephen is singled out as a miracle worker and a strong proclaimer of the word. This got him into trouble. First, some members of a Greek-speaking synagogue began to argue with him, but they were no match for his wisdom and the energy of the Spirit he possessed.

So they went a step further and rounded up some false witnesses, plying them with lies. This stirred up the masses and irritated the city elders and teachers of the law. Stephen was dragged before the Sanhedrin – the most influential court of the Jews.

Fearlessly he spoke to this body, and his speech cost him his life. But as they stoned him a man named Saul of Tarsus was looking on.

Here’s what appears to stand out for us today. To be effective in our world, the church must be committed to the truth of the Gospel in all aspects of its life — in preaching, administration, facing of opposition, and seizing its opportunities.

The Apostles had a keen sense of their primary duty to preach the word of God, so they could speak about that duty in terms of right and wrong. Not better or worse. Not preferred or unsuitable. What they were to do was right and to neglect it would have been wrong.

There is the same sense of “oughtness” with regard to the needs of the Greek-speaking widows. The Apostles acknowledged the need, set the number at seven, and called the community to assist in the choices. It was done cleanly, openly. In reading the account one gets a sense of clarity and truth.

The issue of truth is critical today because truth — as the Scriptures see truth — is under attack. The Psalmist prays: “Surely you desire truth in the inward parts.” Jesus said, “I am the truth.” He also said repeatedly, “I tell you the truth.” John writes that “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The Apostle Paul encouraged the Galatian Christians to “speak the truth in love.” When we read the story of Stephen we feel like we’re reading about the embodiment of truth.

The relativism regarding truth is so wide-spread in our times that it makes it harder, sometimes even for Christians, to face many issues of life as either right or wrong. This episode from the functioning of the early church challenges us to give ourselves to God’s truth in the proclamation of his word and in the administration of his church.

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Photo credit: Jon Hurd (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Modification Monday: Freja

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Freja Knitter Extraordinaire: LuAnn (Ravelry ID) Mods: Lengthened the sleeves and body of the sweater, as well as added additional waist shaping. Great details and more photos can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome:  I loved Freja when it first came out, but hte sleeve length seemed weird

The post Modification Monday: Freja appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Quake Alley Mayhem!

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 11:00

David Lewis Johnson has released the first adventure for his Gathox The Vertical Slum setting (read about it here): Quake Alley Mayhem. It's design for use with Swords & Wizardry, which means it will fit most retroclones well enough, and interestingly its a tournament module, so it's good for running at your local con, so people can see the sort of wild creative the OSR is about.

The setup is simple: The leader of the Purple Rockets has had a magical artifact (the Holy Driver--a big drill-thing like something a Dreadnok might use) by these cyclopean alien ne'er-do wells and he wants it back. They've hidden it in their trap-laden and dangerous "inverted tower" safehouse. Get it back, and you'll reap a reward, but you have to make it out alive.

Dave tells us the fatality rate in the playtests was well over 80%, so "mayhem" is well put. Further reason it would be perfect for a con or oneshot, though it obviously can be dropped into an ongoing campaign. The gonzo setting and weird gangs gives the whole enterprise a Heavy Metal magazine feel, or at least a Heavy Metal gloss on a grindhouse film. It's a very fitting approach and a strong answer to the question "what do you do with Gathox?"

Dave's artwork is rough, but never sloppy. It at once invokes an old school feel, but also a bit of a punk aesthetic that complete fits the material. The aesthetic continues to the pregen record sheets, but not to the map which is sensibly business-like and readily. The single column layout reads well in pdf.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, you should check out Quake Alley Mayhem. It's available at fine digital rpg sites everywhere (well, two of them).

Jessica Price and James Gunn on Free Speech

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 04:58

Below are Jessica Price’s comment on the firing of James Damore from Google and James Gunn’s remarks on Brendan Eich’s firing from Mozilla.

 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1211

Looking For Group - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 04:00

The post 1211 appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics

The D&D fight of the century?

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 01:34

Daddy Warpig has just announced it on the most recent episode of Geek Gab: “We are trying to get together a show with RpgPundit and Jeffro to come on the show and debate issues of D&D and from what I understand looking at Google+, the RpgPundit just launched another broadside against Appendix N, so I am absolutely sure that if we bring this off, that will come off in the discussion…. Jeffro vs. RpgPundit in the D&D fight of the century!”

Unfortunately, not everyone out there wants to see a couple of role-playing game junkies come to blows over this. As Adam Simpson comments on the video, “RPG Pundit and Jeffro? I will listen to that! I’m not looking forward to fighting but I would like to see both of them make clear their positions on Appendix N. I get the feeling sometimes those are 2 guys who have more in common than in conflict. I like RPG Pundit but I think Jeffro’s insights on Appendix N are worthy of everyone’s attention.”

What does the RPG Pundit have to say on this? Maybe he’s mellowed on the subject of Appendix N over the past year or so…? Let’s check in with him.

Show me how many major references there were to Appendix N in print BEFORE the OSR. If it was so pivotal, that should be easy.

But you can’t. You’ll probably find some dusty Dragon article that mentioned it, once, or some single conversation on some newsgroup from the 1990s.

That’s some pretty tough talk there. You might be thinking he’s ready to throw down in a no holds barred fight to the finish on the subject. And if you are… you’re wrong:

I have no problem debating you about Appendix N, with regards to how important it is, because it just isn’t, and the historical evidence is on my side.

And if that’s a segment of the show, I have no problem with that. But I’d rather be more topical and spend time discussing a much more important subject, which is the SJWs’ attempts to take over the entire hobby.

While reposting the classic rant on my blog, which I only did because it was just it’s turn to be reposted on my list, I literally looked at it and thought to myself “well, we won’t be likely to have time to argue about minor crap like this anymore, not with what’s going down hobby-wide now”.

There you have it.

He’s coming out swinging in the comment boxes here, but as far as any kind of in depth debate on the subject of Appendix N is concerned… he’d really prefer to discuss almost anything else!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Lost In The Eighties! OSR Carcosa & OSR Actual Play Workshop Session II Giant Monster Boogaloo

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 07/22/2018 - 18:35
So with the latest Godzilla: King of The Monsters trailer drop the other day from Comic Con I've had to content with players talking non stop about Kaiju or 'titans' last night. Sure what a problem?! But is it really one?Well no not really at all. I've already got my  Lost In The Eighties! OSR  Carcosa game already in play. The fact is that I can use a combination of Mutant Future /Gamma Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

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