Migrate default content

New Drupal Modules - 26 August 2016 - 2:02am

Provide default test content for a Drupal site using migrate.

This module use csv as a data source.
This csv are located in a folder specified by a setting called source_dir.
The name of the csv follows a standard: ENTITY_TYPE.BUNDLE.csv
like user.user.csv or node.article.csv

Main development happens in github

Categories: Drupal

The GM’s New Clothes – Gaming without a GM Screen

Gnome Stew - 26 August 2016 - 1:36am

Kyle MacKay has been GMing for years with a GMs screen, and in today’s guest article he talks about his process of getting rid of it. While GMs screens are a staple of more conventional types of role-playing, and I love mine for certain games, Kyle makes some good points about ditching it for the traditional games — This Machine Kills Min-Maxers John

The Gamemaster’s Screen is as an iconic symbol of our hobby as the strange little dice we use. Behind that barrier of cardboard, covered with a collage of brightly colored heroes, wizards, and dragons, a GM riffles through their secret notes, conceals the figurines that the characters will encounter later, and smirks with glee when they roll a particularly devastating attack. But a little over a year ago I began to wonder: is my GM Screen actually doing me any favors? Would my player’s gaming experience be improved if I removed the screen entirely? I decided to conduct this experiment and after a year’s trial I can unequivocally say that it was a resounding success. I completely understand that what works for me and my gaming group may not work for everyone, but let me try to convince you that getting rid of your screen may be the best thing for you and your players:

Helpful tables

 I completely understand that what works for me and my gaming group may not work for everyone, but let me try to convince you that getting rid of your screen may be the best thing for you and your players:  Most GM Screens are filled with a wide variety of tables so that a GM doesn’t need to go scrambling through his books to find the relevant information. Honestly, I’ve never used these tables much to begin with, although I’ve known GMs who rely on them. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to solve this problem. First is to utilize your tablet or smart phone. There are plenty of websites for Pathfinder, 5th Edition, FATE, and others that allows you to cue up the exact rules you need and can be easily searched. If you are old school it is easy enough to just photocopy whatever charts, tables, or graphs you need. Keep them in a convenient folder nearby in case you need to reference them.

Hiding your notes and maps from the players

When you first start off in this hobby some people have the temptation to look behind the GM Screen. A few players even succumb to it. But ask yourself: do the players you play with really want to cheat their way through the game? As the GM, do leave all of your notes behind if you have to leave to go to the bathroom? Do you actually trust your gaming group? If the answers to the above questions are yes than a GM should not be concerned with having pages left in the open. If the answers are no you’ve got some bigger problems, like seeing how expensive it would be to set up CCTV cameras around your table.

Concealing figurines

This one took me a while to figure out. I didn’t want to set out six Ogres and a Medusa fig before the game began for all my players to see. It ruins the suspense! But I soon figured out that it wasn’t as big a problem as I thought and could even be used for my benefit. Let’s face it, more often than not, your players sort of know what to expect anyway. Did they end last game about to go into Orc infested territory? I doubt any of them would be surprised if you placed Orcs on the table. Also, I don’t know about everyone, but I do not have multiples of many of my monsters. If the group is fighting four Owlbears, I am likely using my one Owlbear fig and three other vaguely Owlbear-like figs. The players don’t know which of the four on the table is the monster they might be fighting.

The trick I like the best though is to put monsters on the table that the characters aren’t going to fight. Set a Huge Treant fig out when they are travelling in the forest and they will super careful about approaching any tree. Another fun trick is to put out either may more or less figurines than will be making an appearance. Is the group going to be fighting twenty Goblins? Put forty out on the table? You can play mind games with the players before the game even begins!

Being able to cheat (fudge) your die rolls

This is the big one. Letting your players see every roll you make. Every. Single. One. No more concealing those 20s when the party is on the brink of death. No more pretending to make a crucial saving throw that would have defeated the campaign’s major villain for good. Complete transparency. This can be a scary proposition. I was very nervous the first few times I tried it, but you would not believe the difference open rolls make at the gaming table!

To begin with, the tension that you can build throughout the game is amazing! I will often announce the target number that the monster or NPC needs to hit (“The wizard needs a 8 on the die to succeed on your Charm Person spell”). As I begin to roll the die, my players will all lean forward in anticipation, some even rising to their feet, to see the outcome of the roll. The die hits the table (“I rolled an 8. He seems almost taken in but shakes it off at the last minute”) – and a chorus of groans is heard. Players slump back in defeat, a golden opportunity wasted. But let’s say the die landed differently (“I only roll a 5. The wizard looks at you with trusting eyes”). The table erupts in cheers, everybody celebrating defeating a powerful opponent with a single spell. Now, I don’t necessarily do this for every die roll (usually just the ones that have high stakes), but I do roll everything in the open. If the fighter is being attacked 5 times I’ll roll all the dice, right into front of the player who controls the fighter if I can. They can see exactly what I rolled. I can see the same level of joy or chagrin in their eyes after each roll.

The main benefit of rolling all of your dice in the open is to build trust between you and your players. How many times have you been playing in a game when the GM inexplicably rolls several 20s in a row? How often has a player been on the brink of death when the monsters seem to missing with every attack? Even if these outcomes ended in the character’s favor it feels like you’ve been cheated. The character’s decisions should always matter. If they decided to get into a fight and lost (fair and square) that is on them. Building trust between yourself and your players can go a long way in mediating disputes, weighing in on rule interpretations, and a host of other issues. The players know you are not hiding anything. That you have no agenda other than allowing the players to tell a great story and everyone having a good time. That you are completely impartial.

There you have it, my breakdown on the benefits of doing away with your GM Screen. Have any of you attempted this before? Was it positive experience or did it turn into a total train wreck? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about it!

Kyle MacKay had been gaming for 25 years and a GM for 20 of those.  He compulsively buys old gaming books and never plays them.  He just enters them into a spreadsheet.  He lives in Canada.

    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Doom - Flow through Level Design - by Joey Simas Blogs - 26 August 2016 - 1:24am
    A quick look at how the Doom level, The Necropolis, uses lighting and composition to create flow.
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Eloqua Dynamic Content

    New Drupal Modules - 25 August 2016 - 1:17pm

    Provides an input filter to embed Eloqua Dynamic Content into landing pages on your Drupal site without adding or editing any JavaScript.

    Categories: Drupal

    Mage Company Launches Carrotia Kickstarter

    Tabletop Gaming News - 25 August 2016 - 1:00pm
    You gotta eat. And if you’re a rabbit in Carrotia, you eat carrots (of course!). Unfortunately, carrot stocks are low. So you’ve gotta head out into the woods to gather more. But there are birds swirling over head, looking to pounce on an unsuspecting bunny. You must head out and collect the carrots, then get […]
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Lullabot: Drupal 8 Deep Dive with Andrew, Juampy, Mateu, and Dave

    Planet Drupal - 25 August 2016 - 1:00pm
    Matt and Mike are joined by Andrew Berry, Juampy NR, Mateu Bosch, and Dave Reid to deep dive into Drupal 8 development. We talk best practices, IDE Plugins, tips, tricks and lots more.
    Categories: Drupal

    User Enhancements

    New Drupal Modules - 25 August 2016 - 12:12pm

    Module description TBD

    Currently being worked on as part of #1673278: Move Dreditor into d.o and add a user setting to load it.

    Categories: Drupal

    Eloqua Asynchronous Visitor Tracking

    New Drupal Modules - 25 August 2016 - 12:12pm

    Integration module for Eloqua Asynchronous Visitor Tracking. The module add the Eloqua tracking scripts to all pages on the site. It also provide an helper function in PHP to push items in the _elqQ JavaScript object (eloqua_tracking_push()).

    Configuration and usage Basic Page View Tracking

    $conf['eloqua_tracking_sites'] = array('site ID');

    Categories: Drupal

    Eloqua HTTP APIs

    New Drupal Modules - 25 August 2016 - 12:02pm

    Integration module for Eloqua's HTTP based APIs.


    The module provide a high-level API for Eloqua's REST API, the EloquaRestApi class. Instances of the class are created and retrieved with the static EloquaRestApi::instances() method. An instance can then be used using a simple pattern where path is matched chaining properties and methods of the API object (eg. $api->assets->form('21') to get the resource at /assets/form/21).

    Categories: Drupal

    Lotus Dimension RPG Up On Kickstarter

    Tabletop Gaming News - 25 August 2016 - 12:00pm
    What’s with all the fighting? – Dr. Zoidberg Lotus Dimension is a little bit different in terms of an RPG. Sure, other games have been set in a near-future world. Sure, other games can let you play characters like hackers, mystics, parkour specialists (well, not too many let you play the last one, really). Sure, […]
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Thursday Terrain Corner

    Tabletop Gaming News - 25 August 2016 - 11:00am
    I have to admit, I was really kinda hoping today was going to be Friday when I woke up. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with Thursday. It’s just that… well… it’s not Friday, is it? It’ll be ok, though. We’ll get to Friday soon enough (that’s not soon enough!). Before we get there, we’ve […]
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Virtual peer pressure works just as well as the real thing

    Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 25 August 2016 - 10:09am
    Peer pressure is a proven social motivator. Researchers probed this decidedly human attribute and found that not only is virtual pressure from a computer-simulated peer just as motivating as the real thing, but that 'fake' competition is effective as well. Researchers formulated a mathematical model of human behavior that successfully predicted group responses across conditions -- one they hope researchers will use to overcome the difficult task of encouraging participation in scientific projects.
    Categories: Virtual Reality

    Pythos Tabletop RPG Up On Kickstarter

    Tabletop Gaming News - 25 August 2016 - 10:00am
    In the world of Pythos, the gods are wild and fickle. It is said that mortals can’t really ever grasp the intentions of a god, and these gods certainly seem to try and live up to that. This can lead to odd religions with self-conflicting beliefs. But even as the gods often confound the humans, […]
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Alien Languages: How We Talk About Procedural Generation - by Michael Cook Blogs - 25 August 2016 - 9:32am
    The right words can motivate anyone about your game - but are we all speaking the same language? The response to No Man's Sky is the latest warning that a lot of what we mean when we talk about procedural generation is getting lost in translation.
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Fearlight Games Releases New Books For Baker Street RPG

    Tabletop Gaming News - 25 August 2016 - 9:00am
    Seems that Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper are hot items in gaming right now. We’ve had a couple stories on them lately. This time around it’s Fearlight Games that’s releasing a pair of new books for their Baker Street RPG. One involves old Jack, while the other brings in Sherlock’s older, smarter brother. In […]
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    ActiveLAMP: Incrementally Upgrading to Drupal 8

    Planet Drupal - 25 August 2016 - 8:01am

    In our last video we answered the question should I build on Drupal 7 or Drupal 8? We mentioned that we have a site currently in production on both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. To the end-user browsing the site, it is completely transparent, they have no idea they are hitting two different Drupal instances. Today, we are going to show you how to pull this off.

    Categories: Drupal

    Gale Force Nine Previews Jackson Tank for Tanks

    Tabletop Gaming News - 25 August 2016 - 8:00am
    Tanks. You’re welcome. Yeah, I probably used that joke before. Whatever. Tanks, from Gale Force Nine, lets you jump straight to where most of us want to go and puts your tanks versus your opponent’s. Well, they’ve got some new figures coming out in October. One of them is the Jackson, of which we get […]
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Chatbots: Are they good for Player Engagement and App growth? - by Hugo Damasio Blogs - 25 August 2016 - 7:36am
    The need to access information instantly, and have quick response time from businesses, has led to the growth of chat bots in the digital sphere. Marketers and community managers are deeming it to be the future of interaction. Is it?
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Asmodee Previews Final Touch

    Tabletop Gaming News - 25 August 2016 - 7:00am
    I’m not an artist. All I can do is maybe draw flies (old joke). I’ve not even painted any minis in quite some time (really need to fix that soon). So you’d probably not want to try and hire me to put any sort of final touches on art forgeries. Well, unless we’re playing Final […]
    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Acquia Developer Center Blog: Debugging TWIG templates in Drupal 8 with PhpStorm and XDebug

    Planet Drupal - 25 August 2016 - 6:57am

    Lots of people think that template engines like Twig cannot be interactively debugged. I heard this several times as an argument against template engine, and for using legacy php processing like phptemplate (standard in Drupal 7).

    Well, it’s not entirely true.

    Tags: acquia drupal planet
    Categories: Drupal


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