When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
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An Endzeitgeist.com review
This installment of the chronicle of the gatekeepers campaign serial clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, 1/2 page advertisement, leaving us with 5.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.
Okay, only GMs around? There is something odd, about similarities between worlds when you think about it: From dominant races to linguistic similarities, there are parallels in spite of vastly diverging cultures. I mean, oddly, PCs had not much acclimation issues on NeoExodus, right? Well, Large-Biter needs the PCs to verify something - namely whether the activation of the Nexus Gateway that brought them here was a fluke - and hey, if they're stranded on the other side, at least they're home, right? Pretty neat: If the PCs have played In His Bad Books, they'll have an easier time activating the portal - which, btw., turns out to be a Stargate-esque task of activating different dials to properly calibrate the portal.
Calibration is a tricky business and actually a fun, old-school-ish puzzle that rewards PCs for thinking about how the device works...and yes, they may, for a brief second, open a gate to a sun and be slightly toasted by the experience (they should thank the creators of these gates for the failsafes...). Other failures like the void or other worlds may pit the PCs versus proteans or vespans, but at home, they will meet a local monk...and prymidian bards: These beings from NeoExodus are exceedingly gifted polyglots and have determined on the PC's home planet, that the similarities in languages and cultures are highly unlikely - so much so, that a common influence has to be assumed. Just as they're about to discuss this further, something emerges from the gateway - a creature that *WILL* require the assistance of the NPCs...or a quick escape, for a Hound of Tindalos has tracked the PCs here - and even with their allies, the PCs will be hard-pressed defeating this creature. That being said, escape back to NeoExodus is an option - though it might waste the portal, requiring another way home at some point...
Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to LPJ Design's elegant 2-column full-color standard for the series and the module comes fully bookmarked and in a second, slightly more printer and mobile phone-friendly version.
Michael McCarthy and Louis Porter Jr.'s Speaking the Same Language is an inspiring sidetrek: Much like the previous installment, it has a unique, creative central premise, here the activation of the gateway. This premise of gate activation alone is imho worth the asking price and can easily be scavenged for similar planar portals and gateways. The emphasis on intelligence-gathering and some truly intriguing repercussions from the knowledge gained also render this brief module more fun that one would expect from its brevity. Finally, the extremely challenging final encounter is a nice reminder of the things that lurk out there and the fact that sometimes, escape may be the smartest move. All in all, a damn cool sidetrek and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the US, a time of plentiful food and good cheer for many. Unfortunately, fevers have broken out among my relatives, so we’re staying apart for at least a few days in hopes that we can prevent spreading disease to each other. We’ll have a day of turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberries, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and all the desserts a little later. Maybe Saturday will be our day of gluttony this year.A Day of Reflection, A Day away from Devices
When we head down to visit family, it’s rare for us to take along electronic devices. If you’re going to travel, you might as well pay attention to the people at the end of the trip. A big contributor, though, is the lack of wireless internet when visiting our relatives. Their house is one of the few places that I go today where I don’t expect the internet and its many distractions. Writing that underlines what an amazing change it’s been and how fast paced–ten years ago, I didn’t really expect to find the internet available outside of my home. When I did go somewhere with convenient internet, it’d still be useless to me unless I happened to have a laptop. Now, all the distractions are in my pocket all the time. A day or two when the world’s knowledge is less accessible feels strange, but it’s also an encouragement to ponder.
A day away from instant answers can make for a good day to mull ideas. While the commercials are running, or when the one TV is on a channel that you could care less about, drag out your gaming ideas. If you can take notes, do… but really, the day is good for pondering in odd chunks of time. Sure, you’ll have times when you’re talking with your cousin that you never see–but you’ll probably have a lot of down time. Borrow a few moments to brainstorm the next major plotline, or to daydream about a cool scene. Aunt Martha’s hip surgery story can probably hold for another few minutes.Exercise Unusual Skills
For me, the holiday is also a day of practicing skills that rarely get a workout–like cooking dinner for large groups. Cooking alongside others is something I don’t do a lot of–it can be amazing to work together making something beautiful. My wife seeks the same sense of collaboration in band and the world of making music. I’d rather have a spatula in my hand… at least when it’s time for dessert.
Be alert when doing unusual things–they might spark thoughts that your daily routine doesn’t. For example, we pay particular attention to the china and centerpieces of our big feast–attention that we rarely if ever pay to place settings away from the holidays. Imagine an NPC who does think about whatever it is all the time–how is their life different? Are they jaded about the impact of a few well placed leaves on the buffet table after doing it dozens of times? Are they running a Martha Stewart like empire, or impressing aliens who believe that the precise angle of the place setting conveys deep respect, or are they sweating and trying to keep the museum’s donors happy?Research NPCs
Your favorite uncle, who knows all the stats for his favorite players and teams? Your cousin who traveled the world fixing pipelines? A knowledgeable family member who works in a field entirely removed from anything you have experienced?
Ask them about the thing they’re great at, that they know so well. You might learn something interesting–a detail that makes the pipeline worker in your next game crackle with authenticity. You might come up with a convincing portrayal of the stats obsessed fan… that you twist into your VR coder who knows all the zero-G splatball players for the last thirty seasons… without ever glancing at his screen.Happy Holidays… and Enjoy Your Feast!
If you’re lucky enough to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I hope that you have a wonderful time. Who knows, you might come away with a few plotlines, some interesting NPCs, and a few skills to work into upcoming games.
Boom, headshot: help your gaming site avoid the devastating blow of a DDoS attack - by Amanda Walters
A simple and easy jQuery plugin for CSS animated page transitions
If you use WordPress you may familiar with Page Transition:
Page Transition is a simple and easy wordpress plugin used to add page transition using CSS3 animations. Show your page with modern animations.
Last week, we released Drupal 8.0.0! This amazing milestone signals a new era in Drupal core development, with changes to the changes allowed in patches and a new release cycle with minor versions scheduled every six months.
Now that Drupal 8 is ready for building real sites, with contributed projects already available or being built, the immediate focus for Drupal 8 core will be fixing bugs to help those real sites, as well as fixing any issues in Drupal core that prevent contributed modules from being ported to Drupal 8. Another top priority is stabilizing and completing the core Migrate feature and its user interface, so that existing Drupal 7 and especially Drupal 6 sites can move to Drupal 8 reliably. Finally, a third priority is adding frontend and performance testing to help us make changes more safely. For the next six weeks, we will mainly be committing patches that move us toward these three goals.
Then, after January 6, 2016, we will begin a broader feature development phase for innovations in 8.1.x, 8.2.x, and beyond, so long as we are able to resolve critical issues consistently and keep 8.1.x stable for a reliable scheduled minor release. Read more about the proposed development, beta, and release candidate phases for minor versions.Drupal 8 core branches and the core issue workflow
Starting today, all patches that are accepted to core according to the priorities above will be committed first to the 8.1.x git branch (even when they are filed against 8.0.x-dev in the core issue queue). Patches that are eligible for patch releases will typically be immediately committed to 8.0.x as well. If we are close to a bugfix release window, the issue may be marked "Patch (to be ported)" and committed just after the bugfix release, to give ample time to catch any regressions or followups before each change is deployed to production sites.
Some patches will only be committed to 8.1.x (for example, if they are too disruptive for a patch release or if they make additions that are only allowed in minor releases). Keep in mind that the open feature development phase for 8.1.x has not started yet, so plan to work on general feature additions and BC-compatible API improvements after it does.
Note that for the time being, patch-release-eligible issues are still filed against 8.0.x-dev in the core issue queue and most 8.1.x issues are still postponed pending the open feature development phase. Later, we will update the core issue metadata and processes as we move into more extensive minor version development.
One of the most exciting aspects of preparing for a DrupalCon is selecting the sessions that will be presented. It’s always incredibly cool and humbling to see all the great ideas that our community comes up with— and they’re all so great that making the official selections is definitely not an easy process! This time, the Track Chairs had almost 350 sessions to read through to determine which 50 would be presented in Mumbai.
Drupal has a pretty secure structure: a small, simple and stable core that can be extended with tons of modules and themes. From Drupal 7’s initial release on January 5, 2011 until now, there were only 17 core security updates, which is quite a small number for a period lasting longer than four years.
But when it comes to third-party modules and themes, the picture is quite different. Although only modules with official releases are reviewed by the security team, or have security announcements issued, the majority of the 11,000+ third-party modules and themes for Drupal 7 get weekly reports for security issues.
And using custom modules is even more dangerous if they are not tested properly. Let’s face it: no one uses Drupal without modules. That’s why I will share with you some of the best open source tools to improve the security of your website.
Knowing your opponent’s moves helps you better prepare your defenses. That’s why we will try to attack with every known-at-the-moment method of testing vulnerability. All the tools I will show are easy to use without any knowledge of the source code. And the best part is, you can use this strategy indefinitely, if you keep these tools up-to-date. Remember: update first, then test.Being Up-to-Date
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep all your stuff up-to-date, so let’s start with that idea: If one tiny part of your website has a security breach, the whole system is corrupted. That’s why you should check for updates for the core and the modules you are using. There are reports you can find on Drupal’s official page; if you find that there is a security update available, immediately apply it.Metasploit + Armitage = Hail Mary!
Start with Kali Linux: it's small, and has Metasploit and Armitage pre-installed. Armitage gives you a GUI, exploit recommendations, and use of the advanced features of Metasploit Framework's Meterpreter. (But remember to get updates every time you're about to run tests.)
Then, get an exact clone of the server; same machine, database, structure, OS version, etc.
NOTE: It is not recommended you use this technique on live websites because there is a chance the server will go down.