The Balance of Fail States in Game Design - by Josh Bycer Blogs - 22 September 2017 - 9:08am
A Fail State in a video game is something that no one wants to experience, but it still requires an eye towards balance to keep people invested in your game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Cities of Splendor Expansion Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 September 2017 - 9:00am
The Cities of Splendor expansion for… well… Splendor is now available. Actually, it should be The Cities of Splendor expansionS. Reason being is that it’s not just one new set of rules inside the box, but actually several. You can mix and match them as you see fit to add several whole-new playing experiences to […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Steamforged Games Share-To-Win Resident Evil 2 Contest Going On Now

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 September 2017 - 8:00am
Steamforged Games is going to be launching their Kickstarter campaign for the Resident Evil 2 board game on September 25th. That’s just a couple days away. In order to build up the hype and excitement, they’re giving away a pledge to one person who shares their post over on Facebook. Head over now, share, and […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Autopost facebook

New Drupal Modules - 22 September 2017 - 7:33am

This module allows to automatically post entities on Facebook using a site's global account.

Categories: Drupal

New Bolt Action Releases And Pre-orders Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 September 2017 - 7:00am
One of the perhaps less-known parts of WWII was the exploits of the Chindits. These jungle-fighting specialists went into Southeast Asia and deep into enemy territory to harass the enemy’s back flanks. They would disrupt support and rail lines with their guerilla-style tactics. You can now add these tough fighters to your Bolt Action armies. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


New Drupal Modules - 22 September 2017 - 6:59am

This module will integrate the functionality provided by Grammarly

Categories: Drupal

Valuebound: How to secure your user’s private data from unauthorised access by enabling SSL on your web server

Planet Drupal - 22 September 2017 - 6:54am

As a member of development team, I used to develop web applications using Drupal CMS without worrying about HTTP or HTTPS as it has to be added by dev operational team in my organization. On the serious note “How the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) prepended to the existing URL” and How does it make a huge difference? Why it is important to make your web URL prepend https instead of HTTP.

Today SSL has become an eye-glazing topic and people want to know more about it so that they can protect their data from unauthorized access. In this blog post, we will take a brief look at basics of SSL and discuss how to secure the website running on Apache with HTTPS. Don’t worry! It's not a rocket science and very simple to secure your site as well as private data. In between, we will also…

Categories: Drupal


New Drupal Modules - 22 September 2017 - 6:21am

Provides a normalized way to exports, merge & create .po files from versatile sources such as Twig, PHP or YML files.

Categories: Drupal

September Releases Available For Infinity

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 September 2017 - 6:00am
The next batch of releases for Infinity are ready to hit your tabletops. You can head out to your LGS and pick up the new figures, expanding your forces with hot new options like the Nagas, Hellcats, and Caledonian Volunteers. Or, if you’re just getting into the game, check out the Hassassin Bahram Haqqislam Sectorial […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

ADCI Solutions: Meet ADCI Solutions at DrupalCon Vienna

Planet Drupal - 22 September 2017 - 4:08am

Hello, Drupal friends!

Our team want to make it big at DrupalCon. We prepared the session and two BoFs for you.


Our Head of Organizational development wil tell you how to define a leadership stand of yours. Knowing what you stand for in this life helps to get on your own feet and achieve outstanding results both in professional area and in self-realization.



Our senior developer initiates the discussion on Drupal solutions for a higher education and science. The aim of this BoF is to gather Drupal experts and higher education representatives: that would allow us all to hear about the problems and the possible solutions from the first-person point of view. 



Another BoF is aimed at disclosing challenges we face while promoting and selling Drupal services, building the company image and communicating with a target audience. If we know the problems - we can find the solutions. 



Drop a visit!

Categories: Drupal

Why Do I Review?

Gnome Stew - 22 September 2017 - 4:00am

The following originally appeared on my blog, back in August, during the “RPG a Day” event. One of the prompts for that event was to mention where you go for your RPG reviews. I noticed a lot of chatter on that day about the validity of reviewing RPGs, and the way it should be approached. That prompted me to post this to my blog.

Today’s RPG A Day question, which asked where you go for your RPG reviews, sparked a lot of discussion that I wasn’t expecting. Primarily, it pointed out to me that some people that I respect a great deal either don’t think the RPG industry is large enough to support traditional critical reviews, or that reviews that do not include play experience with the game are of great value.

I’m not taking to the internet to tell anyone that they are wrong, or to defend why I do what I do. In fact, the existence of my blog or my reviews is ancillary to my personal beliefs on this topic. My only point is to explain why I do think there is value to reviews, even reviews that are written before the play experience can be factored into that review.

Let me summarize some of the (entirely valid) points that I have seen made across the internet today:

  • People would not review movies or video games based only on scripts or instructions
  • The play experience that you might envision from reading the rules may not match the play experience of running the game
  • The RPG industry is too small to be served by more academic reviews, and is better served by discussions about games

The first thing I would like to do is to say that I agree with all those statements, if they were amended to say that all those things are important, but not to the exclusion of thoughtful reviews.

People would not review movies or video games based only on scripts or instructions

Comparing a review of an RPG rulebook to a script or set of instructions misses some of the nuance of what the game book actually does, and what players of an RPG are expected to do. The rules in the book are the code that the players use to run the game. They aren’t exterior instructions, but the actual language that should be understood and engaged to make the game work. It is not the whole experience, but it is a greater part of the experience than the elemental components of other styles of entertainment.

I used this analogy in a recent review, but if you saw an impressive Lego set, and you wanted to build the model shown on the front of the box, you would likely be disappointed if the instructions were deficient in telling you how to do this. You have all the components. The Legos are no less awesome, and the final product will still be impressive, but it is important to explain to a prospective buyer that they are going to invest a significant amount of time in just analyzing the components and using their own knowledge to fill in the gaps in the instructions.

The play experience that you might envision from reading the rules may not match the play experience of running the game

The play experience will almost certain not match exactly what you envision in your mind when you read through a book. When you engaged the rules as you read, you were facing the rules one on one, directly. At the table, you will have multiple people thinking of interactions that did not occur to you when you were reading. But while I will certainly agree that the play experience will be different than you envision, I also think that it is possible to find where you, personally, will have problems engaging with the rules before it comes to the table.

The RPG industry is too small to be served by more academic reviews, and is better served by discussions about games

The RPG industry is relatively small compared to other entertainment industries. I think it is very important that there be open and communicative places for gamers to go to ask questions and posit new ideas. It is also true that some people are new to any given RPG community at any given time, and may not be comfortable engaging in conversations about an RPG. Some people, even when they have been part of a community for a long time, remain more comfortable as spectators and consumers than active participants in conversations. In fact, it is a trap that various RPG communities fall into, when they assume that only the people that are actively communicating are receiving any benefit from the existence of the community.

Because there are people that are not active conversationalists, I think it is even more imperative that reviews exist that might spell out, clearly, what the reviewer expects from a product, what the product delivers, and where the product may not be as it seems. To those people that either do not wish to engage, or just don’t wish to engage consistently, I think there is a definite value to presenting a thorough, well-reasoned review.

  • Actual play experience is always going to be a valuable piece in evaluating a game
  • Dynamic conversation is always going to create a more textured understanding of a topic than the static opinions of one reviewer

Neither of these facts invalidates the usefulness of reviews, and specifically, reviews that are based only on the product, and not the full play experience.

Why I Love Reviews

When I was younger, I loved watching Siskel and Ebert. My mother hated the show. Her opinion was that these were two people that sat in judgement of things other people might like, and told them what they should think. For some reason, despite being in my formative years, I never adopted her opinion. I would go out of my way to watch the show, especially if something I wanted to see was featured.

Yes, there were times I would get angry when something I was sure was the greatest movie ever made got panned. But I kept watching. I even watched those “boring” reviews of things like dramas and romances that I knew I was never going to like. Why couldn’t they just keep talking about action movies and sci-fi and horror? But things started to seep into my brain. They weren’t just watching these movies deciding what they liked and what they didn’t without any guidance. They compared them to other movies that had attempted the same techniques. They pointed out where some aspects of the movie were good, even when the movie, as a whole, didn’t work.

Eventually, I realized that what I liked was the analysis, not the final opinions.

By the time I started to realize how much I liked the analysis of pop culture, I started reading RPG reviews in Dragon Magazine. I started reading reviews before I ever played anything other than Dungeons and Dragons. I read reviews from people like Jim Bambra, Rick Swan, and Allen Varney, and I started to see that not all RPGs had similar rules to D&D, and that the way an RPG held together internally was more important than if it seemed like a cool way to use laser guns in a d20 level based system.

To this day, I haven’t played half the games I read reviews for, and yet, the analysis of presentation and rules in those articles helped create in me an appreciation for multiple rules that can be used to accomplish similar things in different context.

But It’s Not That Simple, Right?  While I don’t think a reviewer needs to have played the game in question to write a valid review, I do think that a reviewer needs to have played a wide range of RPGs to give the best review. 

For a review to have value, I think there are some important elements that must properly align. While I don’t think a reviewer needs to have played the game in question to write a valid review, I do think that a reviewer needs to have played a wide range of RPGs to give the best review.

A person that has only played level based d20 games may give a decent accounting of a supplement for a game with that same base assumption, but when faced with a more narrative game, they aren’t going to be able to provide as many useful insights. I can attest to this myself. When I first read Dungeon World, I didn’t get it, and while I stated that fact on the blog, I didn’t frame it as a review. I needed to play a wider range of more open ended, narrative games before I really understood it.

It’s also very important for a reviewer to state their biases, and what they find important. No one is without bias, and knowing that a reviewer has a weakness for a certain style of adventure or genre is going to provide context for the reader. Evaluating how much the reviewer’s tendencies match the reader’s is going to be extremely valuable.

The reviewer should also call out enough important details that they provide an accurate picture of the product. No review is going to be able to explain exactly what is on every page of a book, but understanding the structure and level of detail that the product utilizes is going to help the reader weigh what level of effort has gone into different aspects of the production.

Knowing is Half the Battle

The worst mistake anyone, reviewer or consumer of reviews, can make, is to assume that the purpose of a review is to find a source to tell them if they should or shouldn’t buy a product. This may sound counter-intuitive, but this is an important bit of nuance. The purpose of a review should be to help the reader determine if the product is for them, but that determination does not need to match the reviewer’s conclusion for the review to be successful. The review should provide enough texture that the consumer can form their opinions based on facts that they have gathered, not based on the specific conclusion of the reviewer.

Why would a reviewer even come to a conclusion then, if they believe this to be the case? I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that if I don’t hold myself to some kind of metric, my reviews meander. Without that metric, it is hard for me to see if my positives have more weight than my negatives. It is a way for me to clarify my own thoughts.

Ideally, a consumer can find more than one reviewer that they find entertaining and informative, and they can contrast where one reviewer’s biases may have led them to omit details important to the consumer of the review. Even without that, the consumer can’t be passive in reading a review if they hope to gather the best results. I can’t speak for other reviewers, but my actual score is a tool to bring out the points I want to make in the review, rather than the actual point of process.

And on that note, I’m going to wrap this up before I go on a rant about how Rotten Tomatoes is killing useful movie reviews.

Thanks for joining me on this flashback WAY back to last month. If you have any thoughts on RPG reviews, or pop culture reviews in general, as well as suggestions for what you would like to see in the future, please chime in!


Categories: Game Theory & Design

Book of Magic: Dragon Spells and Archetypes (PFRPG)

New RPG Product Reviews - 22 September 2017 - 2:25am
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
Rating: 3
An review

This installment of the Book of Magic-series clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.

All right, after a neat introduction, we move straight on to the new spells contained herein – and before you ask: They take the ACG-classes into account regarding their spell-levels, but alas, not the occult classes – particularly weird since we get new class options there later…but anyway, let#s take a look at the spells, shall we?

Death incarnate requires that you’re a dragon and is level 8 and makes you undead for the duration – sans HP recalculation, but with a DR, immunity to cold and electricity, doubled frightful presence range and extra negative energy damage with claws. ODD: “which can used to heal yourself in your undead state as a full-round action” – so, does only the bonus damage heal the dragon? One total or that of two claws? That whole construct is wobbly. Deflect breath weapon is an interesting spell: It sports evocative visuals for both cones and lines and nets massive bonuses to Reflex saves as an immediate action spell – I am a bit torn here: While I like the visuals, the spell does take away from the deserved paranoia and fear that breathing dragons should cause. Cool: Elemental fear causes energy damage to those struck by your frightful presence, slashing if you have no breath weapon. I am pretty sure this spell was intended to be a dragons-only-option, which it RAW is not. Fear focus makes this problem more apparent: It focuses frightful presence into a cone and forces the targets to save – on a success, they become frightened, on a failure panicked. At 3rd level, that is highly exploitable for characters that managed to get their hands on some sort of frightful presence – at this level, there usually is a negate option for successful saves. Also weird: The spell notes as level only sorcerer 3 – does that mean that wizards can’t cast it? Or is that just a glitch?

Heartseeker is a level 1 spell (level 2 for cleric/oracle/shaman) that adds 5 + CL, maximum 15 negative energy damage to a weapon’s next attack. Lure of greed enchants a coin. All dragons within long range, sans requiring line of sight/effect, must attempt to get to the coin and once they reach it, the stand captivated in front of it. The spell contradicts itself: It notes that Will negates, but the text mentions that it requires saves on subsequent rounds. It also doesn’t cover what happens when multiple dragons seek to claim the same coin and at 3rd level, it is pretty low for the powerful compulsion it RAW presents.

Manifest greed manifests a targeted dragon’s greed as an ectoplasmic creature with DR 10/-, one size category larger than the dragon and it has all natural attacks and the target’s armor class and is one size category larger than the dragon targeted. Yeah, that’s not how that works in PFRPG. Okay, what type has the manifestation? If it has a larger size, what if the dragon’s Colossal? Size-increases change stats, AC and attacks. Beyond that, an allied dragon could potentially double its destructive effectiveness, provided the spell worked as it should. Scale lock targets dragons or reptiles: The target becomes automatically grappled and then, you use the target’s CMB to deal damage to it. The target creature can attempt to grapple versus its CMD to be able to move. Two successes are require to break free of the grappled condition. Oh boy. The math here is a mess. Can the scales pin the target? Do two successful checks end the spell?

Shredding scales is a 2nd-level burst that causes slashing damage via your scales. Spell envelope is a cool idea: You create a spell cocoon, into which you place another spell before the end of your next round: SR versus the spell placed is reduced by 5. This is a VERY cool option. However, nearby casters may also place spells in the cocoon, which makes it less clear when the spell in the cocoon is hurled towards the target. As soon as it’s placed inside? On your next turn? More importantly, the effects stack with feats etc. that reduce SR – but which character may use these? Is the caster of spell envelope the guy to check for these feats or the one that placed the spell in the cocoon? Or both? This is a really cool spell, but that aspect needs some explanation. Same goes, obvious, for the greater version.

We also get a total of 5 summon extraplanar dragon spells, which are thankfully relegated to the higher levels. Tainted treasure poisons a hoard and is ridiculous: It deals 1d4 Constitution damage (erroneously referred to as Con once in the text) for 7 rounds to a dragon that touches it. Fort save each round for half damage. Oh, and guess what? It’s not a poison, RAW – no immunity. This has an excellent chance of killing or severely crippling dragons. It’s also a level 4 spell and highly situational. Still, this needs a serious whack with the nerf-bat. Wheeze on the other hand is cool and interesting – it increases the breath weapon reset time by 1d6 rounds on a failed Fort-save. Big kudos! Wounding wheeze adds your choice of either fire or acid damage when the target uses its breath weapon - interesting. Wings of the wyrmling gets rid of age-related Dexterity penalties and improved maneuverability to average. Solid.

We also get some draconic class options herein, the first of which would be draconic implements for the occultist. As a resonant power, we have natural armor increases and the base focus power lets you, as a standard action, expend 1 point of mental focus, conjuring draconic shape that causes fear – the number of targets affected is limited by range, mental focus invested and by the HD of the targets – high HD-creatures in relation to your own HD suffer less. Impressive! The focus power include breath weapon, form of the dragon, better senses, temporary hit points or wings – all of which sport some sort of nice scaling. As a minor complaint, the ranged touch-based conjuring of a spectral dragon maw should probably at least cause force damage – RAW, it is untyped. The option does come with its own spell-list – and as a whole, I’m pretty surprised. I liked this! There is a variant of the enchantment school for the wizard, one that replaces enchanting smile, dazing touch and aura of despair. Sly master nets you a scaling bonus to the social skill checks and as a capstone, it lets you recast enchantment spells of an equal or lower spell-level after saving versus an enchantment spell. Interesting.

The option also nets an aura (that does not specify when it’s gained) that penalizes saves versus fear and mind-affecting effects, with higher levels increasing the range. Dragons targeted with fear or mind-influencing effects gain a bonus to bypass SR. At 8th level, enchantments cast versus dragons get a much higher save – interesting. There are also two arcane discoveries: Dragon wizard lets you target dragons with spells that target specific creature types – I think this should specify one type; RAW, it can yield some weird interactions. The second one nets you further bonuses for bypassing SR. We also gain the dragon spirit for the shaman: Increased movement rate and Nimble Moves, swift action-base sense enhancement, a fear-inducing gaze, a natural armor-bestowing ward and blur. The spirit animal gains natural armor bonus and a minor (or increased) fly speed – that does not specify maneuverability, alas. The spirit abilities net a limited use untyped damage causing melee touch attack (why not type it?) and at 11th level, the shaman treats all weapons as keen. The greater spirit ability yields fire resistance 5 and 3/day a 15-ft. fire breath (1d6 per class level!) with a 1d4 cooldown. In case you’re wondering: Yes, this is a linear improvement over fiery soul. 5 resistance less for an upgrade of 1d4 top 1d6 per level? Yeah, ouch. The true spirit ability yields form of the dragon II and the manifestation capstone nets fire resistance 20, immunity to paralysis and sleep and 60 ft. blindsense.


Editing and formatting are good on a formal, but leave something to be desired on a rules-language level. While there are plenty of examples where the pdf manages to get this right, there are quite a few inconsistencies in the finder details. Layout adheres to a solid 2-column full-color standard with a while background and interior artwork is solid, full-color stock. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Maurice de Mare’s dragon spells and archetypes are an odd bunch: On one hand, they attempt complex and interesting things, offering some evocative and really amazing tricks – on the other hand, they stumble, more than once, in the details…and weirdly, not always in the difficult aspects. Still, this almost feels like the work of two designers or at least, like content created at different stages of one designer’s development. There are some rather problematic aspects herein, but similarly, one can find some gems. Still, this is not enough for a unanimous recommendation. If you’re willing to work a bit with the material, you may find some gems, but this is a mixed bag. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

ADCI Solutions: How to build a single-page application (SPA) with Vue.js

Planet Drupal - 22 September 2017 - 2:10am

Everybody seems to build SPAs now. Single-page applications are a big deal: they provide good UX, speed; provide the full control over the markup in Drupal.

We played with Vue.js a bit, and created a simple SPA application. You can use Drupal on the back-end: you’ll find the necessary instructions inside of the article.


Read the full article.



Categories: Drupal

Lullabot: The State of Media in Drupal Core

Planet Drupal - 21 September 2017 - 5:00pm
Matt and Mike talk with Drupal Media Initiative folks, Janez Urevc, Sean Blommaert, and Lullabot's own Marcos Cano about getting modern media management in Drupal core.
Categories: Drupal

Pinterest API

New Drupal Modules - 21 September 2017 - 4:18pm
Categories: Drupal

Corvus Belli Posts Aristeia Game Preview

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2017 - 3:00pm
Corvus Belli is hitting the fantasy sports scene with Aristeia! But how do you actually win the game? What are you supposed to do out there on the pitch? Well, there’s actually a couple different ways to go about it, depending on what scenario you’re playing. All of them involve getting victory points, but how […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Winter Eternal Campaign Setting Available From Just Insert Imagination

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2017 - 2:00pm
Well, civilization has collapsed again, this time because the sun exploded. Damnit, Todd. I told you to stop throwing rocks at it. Thankfully, things like a host start for your planet aren’t as necessary as you might think if you’ve got some powerful magic on your side. And the Nature Wardens were able to keep […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Who Farted? Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2017 - 1:00pm
Look… it’s something we all do at some point. And we’ve all been “crop dusted” at some point. Maybe it was in class, or at a party, or in the office, or in an elevator, but it’s happened. So why not make a humorous game out of it? That’s what you’ve got in Who Farted? […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tech Dust Sci-Fi Skirmish Game Coming Soon

Tabletop Gaming News - 21 September 2017 - 12:00pm
Well, it seems that civilization has once more come to an end. Damnit, Todd! I told you that working with those mutagenic compounds wasn’t a good idea! And pick up your stuff around here! There’s a rampaging horde of deformed mutations coming and I want this place to look nice when they arrive for the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mediacurrent: Infographic: Drupal vs Adobe vs Sitecore

Planet Drupal - 21 September 2017 - 11:50am

There’s a lot of information to sift through when comparing enterprise-level Content Management Systems (CMS) — features, functionality, cost, and more. In our recent whitepaper, we give you the pros and cons of Adobe, Drupal, and Sitecore through the lens of five different stakeholder perspectives.

To help give you an overview, we put together an at-a-glance view of how these three CMS's compare. 

Categories: Drupal


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