Pokémon GO! – Fad or the Future? - by Anil Das Gupta Blogs - 27 July 2016 - 7:15am
It's the mobile game taking the world by storm! But is Pokémon GO a fad, or the start of a trend in the industry? This is a teardown and deconstruct of the core mechanics and where Niantic go from here.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Asmodee Announces Legendary Inventors Board Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 July 2016 - 7:00am
Since humans first realized that rolling logs can help move things and you can attach a sharp rock to a stick to make it more easy to hunt, there have been great inventors making our lives simpler and more enjoyable. Now Asmodee puts you in charge of a group of these great inventors, all of […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Games Posts New Preview Of Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 July 2016 - 6:00am
Well, the big news from yesterday was Fantasy Flight Games adding a bit to the Year of New Editions by telling us that they’re coming out with a new edition of Mansions of Madness. And while there was a 3-question FAQ at the bottom of the preview, a lot of you had a lot more […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

GVSO Blog: [GSoC 2016: Social API] Week 9: Social Post implementer - Part II

Planet Drupal - 27 July 2016 - 5:13am
[GSoC 2016: Social API] Week 9: Social Post implementer - Part II

With this week over, we are getting closer to GSoC final evaluations. Therefore, we keep working hard to develop the Social API project even further. This week, I focused on Social Post Twitter as I mentioned in my last weekly summary. This module works as an implementer of Social Post.

gvso Wed, 07/27/2016 - 08:13 Tags Drupal Drupal Planet GSoC 2016
Categories: Drupal

Deeson: 7 facts that reveal the state of Drupal

Planet Drupal - 27 July 2016 - 4:34am

Drupal 8 was released on the 19th of November, 2015. Just a touch under five years from the 5th of January, 2011 release of Drupal 7. In web terms, an epoch. To put things in context, in 2011 AngularJS had not reached 1.0, React was two years out from being released and the term “Devops” was only whispered in dark corridors. Now that Drupal 8 is finally here the front-end revolution is led by AngularJS and React and articles are proclaiming that “DevOps is dead”. In short, much has changed.

Understandably, this has created some concern within the Drupal community. Has the huge Drupal 8 release cycle hurt Drupal in some irrevocable way? Is Drupal still a relevant technology? Is it too little too late or, as some argue, too much too late?

At the New Orleans DrupalCon, roughly six months after the release of Drupal 8, many were trying to glean some answers from available data. One fact cited is that after the first three months of the Drupal 8 release there were roughly 60,000 sites compared to 30,000 in the equivalent time period for Drupal 7. However, others argued that that is not necessarily a positive number because (as is pointed out here) the Drupal community is also three times bigger now.

In addition, the reasons that are holding people back from moving to D8 were discussed. Dries Buytaert’s keynote at the New Orleans DrupalCon covers that very well, with the leading factor being the migration of existing modules from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.

However, as Dries goes on to explain, the number of sites and the number of upgraded modules are not the only relevant metrics. He argues that this increase in the richness and reach of Drupal will ultimately mean that Drupal 8 will see much bigger numbers than any other Drupal release.

What I will attempt to do in this blog post is add to the discussion by offering some simple facts that are very revealing about the actual state of Drupal and are relevant to any organisation trying to decide whether Drupal should form a component of their web strategy for the next five years.

Millions in ongoing investment by the Drupal community

2016 marks the year where it is no longer a novelty for leading Drupal agencies to employ people with a very specific mandate of working directly on Drupal core issues, or large Drupal 8 contrib modules (here at Deeson this is exactly what we do with the Group module, Rainmaker, Warden and our monthly Coder Lounge). The amount of ongoing direct investment from Drupal agencies and other organisations easily runs into multiple millions.

$500,000 invested to accelerate Drupal 8 module development

Acquia alone is investing $500,000 to speed-up the migration of popular Drupal 7 modules to Drupal 8. This means that popular modules will be ready faster and, more importantly, the quality of those modules will be higher as the maintainers will be able to dedicate focused time to get upgrades right. Using Drupal 8 means you are using an open-source CMS that is built to very high standards from some of the best developers around.

Big site wins are no longer big news

There was a time when a big site launching on Drupal would represent headline news in the community. It would receive applause at conferences and would be tweeted widely. This is no longer the case. Everyone is still happy to hear about big names joining Drupal but it is not news, it is the normal state of affairs.

These big launches span from media brands like ITV to multinationals like Johnson & Johnson; from pop singers to large cultural institutions. While the absolute number of sites running a CMS is important, the number of large complex sites using Drupal is arguably more significant to an organisation looking to set out its strategy for the next 5 years.

DrupalCon isn’t just about Drupal anymore

If you haven’t attended a DrupalCon yet, you should. One of the most interesting ways DrupalCons have evolved in the past few years is that they are no longer just about Drupal. There are dedicated tracks on project management, business development, user experience, PHP, front end technologies and much more. This is proof of a maturing community.

As the community has matured, interests have become more diverse and the breadth of shared practices has grown. Drupal has community sharing in its DNA which means that, by using Drupal, you are tapping into a very rich world that is willing to share knowledge about every aspect of a web strategy.

Drupal 8 is actually already at 8.1.7

The Drupal release cycle has changed drastically from 7 to 8. This is an often overlooked “feature” of Drupal 8. While with Drupal 7 we essentially had the sum of features at the start and new functionality could only really develop through contributed modules, Drupal 8 brings minor releases that can add completely new functionality.

To prove the point we are already at Drupal 8.1.7 with Drupal 8.1.0 seeing exciting new features such as the addition of the BigPipe technique to Drupal. This finally allows Drupal to adapt and adjust its course, and the days of worrying about Drupal becoming irrelevant as the rest of the web marches on are behind us.

There are 17 external JS Libraries and 27 external PHP Libraries in Drupal 8

Drupal 8 core contains at least 17 significant JavaScript libraries and 27 PHP libraries that are completely separate open-source projects. Drupal has well and truly built bridges to other technology islands and this also makes Drupal stronger, more relevant and more resilient to changes.

You can build a Drupal site with 0% Drupal on the frontend.

0 is a strange number to be touting as a success. But Drupal 8 now realistically allows you to build a front end that is 100% Drupal free. At Deeson we are currently building amazing front end experiences using React and taking advantage of Drupal’s powerful content model to store information and allow editors to quickly add and update information. The wider community is developing modules and best practices around this (for example, the great work happening around the Decoupled Blocks module).

Now, given the above is Drupal a relevant technology for a modern, forward-looking web strategy? All indications point to an unequivocal yes. Drupal 8 is more relevant than ever. It is the most advanced open-source CMS and it is built in a way that allows it to embrace and enhance a range of other technologies. The best news is that we are just at the start of what Drupal 8 will be able to do and, as best practices and experience accrues, the possibilities and the efficiency with which projects can be delivered will improve.

Want to know more about this topic? We're holding a webinar on the current state of Drupal and where it's headed. During the webinar you'll have the chance to ask Ronald Ashri, author of this post, any questions you like on this topic.

Interested? Sign up using the form at the top of this page.


Categories: Drupal

Into my Galaxy: GSoC’ 16: Port Search Configuration module; coding week #9

Planet Drupal - 27 July 2016 - 3:12am

I am part of the Search Configuration module porting process to Drupal 8 as part of the Google Summer of Code’ 16. I have been mentored by Karthik Kumar, Naveen Valecha and Neetu Morwani. If you would like to have a quick look at my works so far, please go through these posts.

The past week I worked on fixing some of the issues in the port process. Moreover, I could learn some important concepts in the process. I ported the helper functions of the search configuration settings to the form API.

Basically, settings were stored as helper functions in the Drupal 7 module. I ported the helper functions of the search configuration settings to the form API. Generally, forms are created and worked on using four important functions, namely, getFormId, buildForm, validateForm and submitForm. These definitions are stored in classes.

The basic format will be of the form:

use Drupal\Core\Form\FormBase; use Drupal\Core\Form\FormStateInterface; class searchForm extends FormBase { public function getFormId() { return 'search_form'; } public function buildForm(array $form, FormStateInterface $form_state) { //create the form here. return $form; } public function validateForm(array &$form, FormStateInterface $form_state) { // Validate submitted form data. } public function submitForm(array &$form, FormStateInterface $form_state) { // Handle submitted form data. } }

The getFormId() returns the unique id of the form. We need to write the features of the form in the buildForm(). It includes the structure of the form, various fields included and its corresponding types accepted. The validate form is for validating the contents entered into the form which is definitely an important part of any form. Finally, the submitForm() handles the works to be carried out once the user enters the data in the form fields.  This mode of arrangement of the form functionality makes it more standard and properly arranged.

Also, the deprecated functions were removed from the of the module. There were some underscore functions in the Drupal 7 module which supported the configuration and the form settings. These are to be added to the helper file of the module.

These were some of the basic functionalities I could work on and explore. Stay tuned for the future updates on this port process.

Categories: Drupal

When The Cats Away – Using NPC back stories for filler

Gnome Stew - 27 July 2016 - 3:04am

Today’s guest article is by Nick M., who talks about what to do when you can’t run a full game — turn to the NPCs and play out another angle of the story. Check it out and start brainstorming what background characters are about to get an upgrade. — A Face In The Crowd John

Life being what it is, it is inevitable that you will have some weeks where one or more players cannot make the game session. In some cases it’s not that big a deal, you can run their PC as an NPC, you can ‘forget they are there’ (this is a great time to move the spot lot to another character) or you may be able to say that particular PC is away that week (Gimblood the Mighty is in the drunk-tank yet again!)

But there are times when you need all the party together for the story. Where the exact PC you need has a crucial scene, and you don’t want the player to miss the opportunity to scream “NOOOOOooooooo!” when you reveal the big bad is actually her father. Whatever the reason, you need that combination of players/PCs to be at the next session.

So what to do when they cancel? I have two major plans of attack

  • Use the backgrounds, secrets and disadvantages of the PCs of the players that have turned up that week
  • Breath more life into your main campaigns NPCs
Background Is Key

When making characters, every PC should have a back ground of some sort. Even the hapless misanthrope whose background consists of ‘The orphanage burnt down when I was 7, after that I was raised by a pod of Killer whales’: There are several hooks there to play with. What happened to their parents? Why was the orphanage burnt down? Why did THEY survive? Does the whale pod need help? In many games a secret or a disadvantage is required during character generation. These can always seed a plot hook with a little imagination.

Your reduced size gaming group is the ideal opportunity to explore these questions. Play out the PC back story. Flash backs to information the PC knows nothing about are always fun. Starting today go through your PCs backgrounds and jot down a few ideas for scenes and the NPCs to play them out. Then when you get that last minute cancelation from one player; you will be ready to go with a few flash back scenes about the first time a young Gimblood the Mighty entered a battle rage with his Orca pod brothers.

But suppose you have done all this, and your starting to run out of ideas for the stalwarts who do turn every week. What then?

Flesh Out Your NPCs

Whilst the main PCs are away, let the NPCs play! Most of the NPCs can be a little flat, and one of the best ways to give them some depth is to assign them to a player. This works especially well for recurring NPCs. Assign one or two NPCs to each player, and hand over the GMing reigns to that player when their NPC is in the scene. If the NPC has crucial information to impart, write a note to the player with the key points. In one recent game we had NPC characters for IT, the post room, the intern and the tea lady. Every session I asked each player to give single sentence of what their NPC was up to. When a key moment arrived for a given NPC: I and the player played it out in detail. The post room had to deliver a parcel that they strongly suspected was a bomb. The tea lady turned out to be the font off all illicit knowledge and gossip about everyone in the department! You get the idea.

And when you have a session where a key player is missing, you can delve a little deeper into those NPCs. You will be amazed how attached your players become to characters that, previously, would not be remembered from one session to the next. Those little mundane tales of Gimblood the Mighty’s valet and his latest attempt to get Ichor out of fur once again (‘Mother of vinegar’ is the best thing to use, but it’s so hard to get hold of!) become as remembered as any other in your game.

Don’t be afraid to include these much loved NPCs in bigger plots as well. I recently had all the players playing their NPC ‘specials’. They drew lots out of a hat to see which one(s) had been Ninja sleeper agents all along! Even I as GM did not know which one(s) it would be (NOTE – Ninjas are always a good idea in any setting).

Introduce The New Big Bad

Another alternate use of NPCs is to have the players who do turn up that session play the bad guys. You will be amazed how much effort your own players will go to make it as hard as possible for themselves to ‘win’ the upcoming encounter with their own evil NPCs. Your players know their own weaknesses at least as well as you do, and will be far less merciful when it comes to exploiting them. You can end up with some truly memorable villains by letting the players take over the creation of their NPC opponents. And if a PC is absent for a confrontation with the new bad guy that evening but the player is available (perhaps due to another stay in the drunk tank?), then the player can step in and run his evil NPC as a co-GM for that game session.

Sneaky GM’s school: So there you have it.

Sift those PC backgrounds for set piece scenes and be ready to play a few out at a moment’s notice. If these scenes somehow connect to your main campaign plot, then that’s great, but don’t worry if they do not. This is the PCs story, not your campaign story. The two don’t always have to have complex interactions.

Build up those campaign-NPC attachments with tiny ‘slice of life’ moments each week (1 minute per player is enough in each session). Then stand back and watch your game world evolve into an even deeper and richer setting.

Have your players play out the NPC bad guys. You can have them play the bandits one week, and then have their primary PC hunt down those same bandits the next. Just don’t be surprised if you end up with a TPK (total party kill) as the bandits in your game suddenly become a lot smarter and a LOT more ruthless…

GM: “… you are doing what?!”

Players as NPC bandits: “you said this is the only crossing for 200 miles right? So we set up camp this side of the gorge, rig the bridge to collapse and then wait for the good guys to chase us”

GM: “… err…”

Oh, and a side bonus, you increase the odds of someone else wanting to step up to the plate and GM a game. In case you hadn’t noticed already; this NPC character and plot development is like the training wheels for new GMs…. but don’t tell the players!

How do you handle it when not all the players are there? Have you handed over NPCs to the players to play? Did it result in a TPK from smart bandits?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Writing romances in (non-romance) games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 27 July 2016 - 1:35am

Ex-BioWare video game writer Alex Free (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Shadow Realms) explores the unique challenges writers face in creating meaningful romances for video games. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Vardot: CKEditor Anchor Link

Planet Drupal - 27 July 2016 - 1:20am
Resources Read time: 3 minutes

We all are excited about Drupal 8 - there are many articles explaining why we shouldn’t be afraid to migrate to it. Briefly speaking, D8 is more mobile-friendly, multilingual, robust, and makes it easier to edit content by including several must-have modules to the core. However, since the new Drupal version was released not a long time ago, there are still many things left in the CMS that require from developers more effort when using Drupal 8. Some of the CKEditor plugins like CKEditor's AutoGrow will be integrated into D8 in the nearest future, but some plugins still have no integration or at least a plan of integration.

Working on the last project with our Drupal team at Vardot I’ve realized that there is a basic feature in D7’s CKEditor that is missing in D8, that is: Anchor Link. Basically this is the background of how the new module was created.


CKEditor Anchor Link

CKEditor Anchor Link allows content editors to insert links and anchors using multiple protocols. The possibility to link content was integrated to the core of Drupal 8, however as we can see from the screenshot it didn’t provide users the option to create flags within the document they are editing.



The ability to jump from one part of the page to another was critical for our client, and in Drupal 8 we had to go an extra mile and code it instead of just installing a module like in D7. CKEditor Anchor Link solves this problem and adds the new icon just in a few minutes. Moreover, it adds to the standard link icons their alternatives that provide site editors with more options of setting up the URL.



Installing CKEditor Anchor Link on Drupal 8

Below you can find a quick guide of how to install this module:

  1. Download CKEditor Anchor Link from

  2. Enable the CKEditor Anchor module.

  3. Go to Configuration -> Text formats and editors.

  4. Select which text format you want to add the anchor button to. For example “Basic HTML”.

  5. Add the Link, Unlink, and Anchor, which came from CKEditor Anchor Link module.


  1. Manually remove default link and unlink command buttons and add the new link and unlink, which came with CKEditor Anchor Link.

  2. Save the settings for the for the  “Basic HTML” text format.

  3. Try to add new content, for example Basic page or Blog post, then in the body select the “Basic HTML” text format, then you should see the flag icon in the CKEditor tool.


Usage statistics for CKEditor Anchor Link 

The module is pretty new, and the number of users is not very big yet. The good thing however is that it's constantly growing and promises to reach a good level in the future (this blog post is to increase the visibility of CKEditor Anchor Link Module).



Bottom line

For many editors the ability to quickly jump within the page they are editing (link, unlink, and flag it) is one of the top editing priorities. Since the goal of Vardot distributions Varbase and Uber Publisher is to make Drupal as more editor-friendly as possible, CKEditor Anchor Link seems to be an important addition to our products. If you find this module valuable, please feel free to install it, share this article with others and of course provide me your feedback about the module.

Tags:  drupal 8 Drupal Planet Modules Title:  CKEditor Anchor Link
Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: Highlights of issues you can still help with for Drupal 8.2.0-beta1

Planet Drupal - 26 July 2016 - 2:19pm

There is about a week left before Drupal 8.2 goes into beta! That means we will switch to figuring out any issues with changes in the new version instead of making new changes. For core development that means new features and API additions will move up to 8.3. I asked initiative leaders of both proposed and active initiatives for key things that could use help in the remaining time.

API-first initiative

Allowing user registrations via the REST API only needs some more tests for which examples can be found elsewhere in core. Also, although it may sound a bit scary, REST requests without X-CSRF-Token header: unhelpful response significantly hinders DX, should receive a 401 response is actually a nice approachable novice issue to get involved with.

Ongoing, check out the proposed initiative roadmap and attend the API-first meetings every third Monday of every month 5pm GMT at in Google Hangouts.

Media initiative

An amazing feature is in the works to Improve the UX of Quick Editing images and could use some frontend reviews. Help is also welcome to get HTML 5 video and audio playback functionality directly from file field formatters as well as to get camera capture functionality on image fields.

Larger media management goals in core are still to be defined. The team is meeting on that on July 27th. Follow @DrupalMedia on Twitter. Public meeting times are 2pm UTC every Wednesday on #drupal-media on IRC.

Migrate initiative

Help on any of the issues tagged Migrate critical are welcome, especially Refactoring EntityFile to use process plugins instead which blocks several other issues.

Ongoing, check out the list of issues categorized in migrate's master spreadsheet, and follow @MigrateDrupal on Twitter. Public meeting times are alternating 1pm GMT Thursday and 1am GMT Friday every other week on Google Hangouts.

Workflow initiative

Content moderation module is proposed for core based on the existing improvements achieved by the initiative to expand revision handling for content. Helping with unblocking that issue is very welcome.

Other top issues are Allow removing a module's content entities prior to module uninstallation, Add archived base field to revisionable entities, and Upgrade path between revisionable / non-revisionable entities.

Ongoing, check out the high-level roadmap at, and follow @drupaldeploy on Twitter. Public meeting times to be defined.

For a complete list of meeting times and places (links to Google Hangouts where needed), see the Drupal 8 core calendar.

Categories: Drupal

Black Blood Children Band For Punkapocalyptic Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2016 - 1:00pm
Bad Roll Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring a fourth faction to you for Punkapocalyptic, their post-apocalyptic miniatures skirmish game. Seems people are pretty stoked about it, too, since they funded pretty quickly and are already on their way through some stretch goals. The game is played using about 5-10 30mm scale models. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Rad adds newer, faster game data compressors to its Oodle offerings

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 26 July 2016 - 12:20pm

Fun names alert: RAD Game Tools has updated its Oodle library of data compression tools for game developers with two new compressors, Selkie and Mermaid, that are faster than Oodle's extant Kraken. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Releases Available For Eden

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2016 - 12:00pm
The idea of Eden conjures up a nice, tranquil, peaceful garden. The Eden game, though, is anything but tranquil and peaceful, and that’s just how they want it. There’s a new set of releases available for you if you like things like pneumatic hammers and scythes and rollerskates. Kubalai is here for the Khan. He’s […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Podcast Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2016 - 11:00am
Monday has come and gone. It wasn’t the greatest one for many of my friends. Hopefully yours wasn’t so bad. But I know just about everyone’s happy that it’s over with. The week’s good and underway now. Let’s help it continue along smoothly by listening to some gaming podcasts. That should help. This week we […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Pledge Level Added To DreadBall Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2016 - 10:00am
The original Kickstarter for DreadBall was one of the first crowdfunding campaigns I’ve been a part of (and I’ve only been a part of 4, total). It was a pretty exciting thing, with lots of stretch goals getting me lots of extra parts and pieces. I also did add-ons for a few of the extras […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mutant Chronicles Venusian Apocalypse Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2016 - 9:00am
The Year of New Editions just just hold for games, but also the material that goes with them. Modiphius has released the Venusian Apocalypse campaign for Mutant Chronicles, with an updated and expanded version of the original adventure. Howso expanded? Well, you get the original three chapters (updated for 3rd edition), as well as a […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Card Master Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 July 2016 - 8:00am
A lot of people are out there looking for good card games that they can play with their kids. You don’t want something too complex, or with possibly questionable imagery. But you also might want a game that you and your other gamer friends can play. There’s a growing list of games like that out […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kemonomimi - Moe Races (PFRPG)

New RPG Product Reviews - 26 July 2016 - 7:29am
Publisher: Amora Game
Rating: 4
An review

This pdf clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 9 pages, so let's take a look!

"When the kami placed their thumbprint unto the forehead of man, bretahing life into the husks of flesh, they wept tears of sorrow. Looking upon their children playing upon the ground, rolling in the fields of grass and running alone through lush tracks of wilderness, the Kami felt the hollowness of the human heartbeat, thumping alone." This is the beginning of the legend that talks of the creation of the kemonomimi, and it is but the beginning of a rather flavorful origin-myth, which is subsequently enhanced via age, height and weight tables before diving into the respective races.

Each of the racial write-ups comes with information on physical descriptions of the races, their society, relations, alignment and religion and adventurers as well as with, obviously, racial traits. However, beyond these, neither favored class options nor racial feats or traits are provided, making the depiction in each case rather minimalistic. On an aesthetically positive note, each of the races does come with one or two original piece of full-color artwork (exceptions: Fox and Tanuki-based races...but then again, for the former, Everyman Gaming's numerous Kitsune-artworks should do the trick). All of the races share the kemonomimi subtype and are humanoids, in case you were wondering.

The red panda-based Akaimimi get +2 Con and Wis, low-light vision, +2 racial bonus to Knowledge checks, +4 to Handle Animal and Wild Empathy-checks made to influence red pandas and similar creatures and 1/day augury as a SP (on a nitpicky aside: Not properly italicized). Interesting: The SP can be cast by akaimimi with ki pool (also not italicized, but then, italicizing ki never made sense to me) additional times by expending ki. At 10th level, they also unlock 1/week divination.

The raccoon-based Araiguma get +2 Con and Int, low-light vision, +2 to Disable Device and Sleight of Hand, the same Handle Animal/wild empathy-bonus to influence raccoon-ish creatures and they can use dowsing to lead them to fresh water; By washing food (but not water), they can purify it...which is pretty clever and cool as an idea!

Inumimi, based on dogs, gain +2 Str and Wis, low-light vision, Handle Animal/wild empathy affinity with canine creatures, +2 to Handle Animals and Survival and they are resilient against curses, gaining a +2 bonus to saves against them. This bonus extends to adjacent allies, though multiple such bonuses do not stack. Nice one!

Kitsunemimi, obviously based on foxes, get +2 Dex and Int, low-light vision, +2 to Perception and Sense Motive, fox affinity and a +1 bonus whenever they take 10, +2 when they take 20. Again, a unique racial ability. Basically, think of these guys as more down-to-earth fox folk that work well in campaigns where kitsune are a bit too much.

Nekomimi, based on cats, gain +2 Dex and Cha, low-light vision, +2 to Climb and Perception, cat affinity and may reroll a single die roll 1/day, thanks to their luck. Nice variant of the catfolk trope!

The tanukimimi, based on the tanuki, gain +2 Con and Cha, low-light vision, +2 to Survival and Stealth, tanuki affinity and can gain, 1/day as a swift action, temporary hit points equal to their character level + Constitution bonus (EDIT: The author has contacted me and told me that the pdf's "bonus" is indeed intended here instead of the more common "modifier" - which is pretty rare, but not unknown. So, negative Con-mod is not applied here. Just fyi!) - these last for 1 hour. Neat one!

Finally, the Usagimimi, the harefolk, gain +2 Dex and Wis, low-light vision, +2 to Craft and Profession checks, hare affinity and they gain +1 to atk and skill checks (not rolls) with weapons, tools and vehicles they crafted as well as +1 CL when using scrolls and potions they made. They also reduce the armor check penalty of armors they crafted by 1 and increase the earnings of Perform and Profession by 10%.


Editing and formatting are very good. On a formal level, there is nothing grievous to complain, and while on the rules-level there are very minor deviations from the standard rules-language, these do, in no way compromise the integrity of the rules. Layout adheres to a full-color two-column standard with colored petal-like elements at the corners and, as mentioned before, a surprising amount of nice, full-color artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but does not need them at this length.

Wojciech Gruchala and Greg LaRose's kemonomimi races were a surprise for me. You know, I'm not the biggest fan of anthro races and I've seen quite a lot of them. Most of the time, or at least often enough, they either are lopsided, studded with "OMG, look how KEWL my athro is11!!"-arrays of abilities or the like.

This book is not like that. There is the old design adage of KISS - and this pdf very much is the application of it. The fluff is neat; the races, however, manage an interesting feat: They aren't boring. They are not jam-packed with skill-bonuses to x or z, instead, much like the fluff around them, exhibiting a Zen-like design-aesthetic. It simply does not take much to many abilities to make a unique race, just one good and unique one - and (almost) each of these has just that. Where many races I see are cobbled together from the pieces of the ARG, these guys all have their own, distinct trick that sets them apart and makes sense within the context of their respective fluff.

Suffice to say, I'd allow each of these races in any of my games; even in CORE-only games, these guys will not unhinge the game's balance...and they still feel distinct as races. I really like this racial design philosophy. To make this abundantly clear - in spite of not being too into the subject matter, I found myself intrigued and wanted to know more about these folks. Which brings me to the one detriment of this book - its brevity. The lack of favored class options, race traits, alternate racial traits and the like is the one downside of this very economically-priced supplement. It should also be considered to be the only reason this does not score higher than it does. The races per se are neat indeed and warrant a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Testing for Game Development - by Ash Davis Blogs - 26 July 2016 - 7:18am
Covers theory, principles and practical techniques to help your testing efforts.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Doing Difficulty Right: Fractal Curves - by Attila Branyiczky Blogs - 26 July 2016 - 7:17am
Create the most satisfying challenge level in your game by creating well tuned curves and nesting them withing one-another.
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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