The Great Big Random d100 Table of Interesting NPC's (5e)

New RPG Product Reviews - 28 September 2018 - 11:07pm
Publisher: Aurican's Lair
Rating: 5
Aurican's Lair's "The Great Big Random d100 Table of Interesting NPC's (5e)" isn't exactly random, and can be used for more than D and D. The free supplement is a table of 100 NPCs. Each NPC has the expected description and stats, but also a relevant *plot hook* and carried equipment, as well as a link to a picture of the NPC. (I haven't checked if all the pictures work.) Entries were made by individual redditors. Most of the NPCs are better in villages and urban environments, rather than as adventurers on the road.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ashday's Digital Ecosystem and Development Tips: 5 More Tips to Get the Most out of Drupal

Planet Drupal - 28 September 2018 - 1:00pm

Previously, we covered some simple tips that allow you to get more out of Drupal and I think we covered some basics. This time we are going to go a bit deeper to see what Drupal can really do. In the right hands, Drupal can be a very powerful tool for more than just content management. The following tips will take you through a few different topics to get more out of Drupal than ever before. Some of these tips are a bit more on the advanced side, but they are very useful.

Categories: Drupal

Evolving Web: What's New in Drupal 8.6

Planet Drupal - 28 September 2018 - 12:57pm

Drupal 8.6 was released a couple weeks ago and it’s probably the most exciting release since Drupal 8.0. As you might know, new features are added with each minor release of Drupal 8 (e.g. between 8.5 and 8.6). At first, I thought that this would just change how we test and update our sites. But it’s amazing to see how many new, valuable features are being added in minor versions. These are the features that allow Drupal to constantly evolve and innovate, and keep everyone excited about using Drupal.

Also, minor releases that add features are a great reason to keep your Drupal site up-to-date with the latest minor version!

I tried out Drupal 8.6 the other day and here are some of the highlights. Note that some of these features (Media management, Workspaces) are provided by experimental modules. They are not ready to use in production yet, but are ready to be tested out in development and sandbox environments:


As a Drupal site builder, the media features are a huge step forward. I watch a lot of content editors use Drupal and it’s clear that having media editing work smoothly greatly improves the content editing experience. From the Admin UX research I’ve worked on, better media management is one of the number one things that content editors want.

So, what does media in core provide? You can now add media (images, video, audio, etc) through the WYSIWYG editor and via a new media field. You can re-use media that’s already been added to the site, or upload new items. You can also manage the media via an overview page and add new media items directly without creating content.


Drupal 8.6 comes with a Quickstart command that lets you install Drupal on your machine with a limited number of requirements. This makes it really easy to test out Drupal without installing other software, configuring a VM, or finding a vendor that provides cloud hosting.

I think it’s great to have a feature like this out-of-the-box so that we can have a better experience for newcomers to Drupal. In fact, there’s already updated documentation on about how to install a quick version of Drupal.

Thanks to Matt Grasmick for putting this together!

Out-of-the-box Demo

At DrupalCon Nashville, I tested out the new Umami install profile, which provides a demo of Drupal out-of-the-box. When you install Drupal, you’ll now see the Umami as an option on the install profile step. Umami comes with content, content types, views, and a theme for a recipe website. I think this profile, along with the Quickstart feature will allow developers and site builders new to Drupal to easily test out and demo its features.


Migrate has been around since the first minor release of Drupal 8, it’s the module that allows you to pull content into Drupal 8 from previous versions of Drupal or external sources. Migrate is now a stable module, which means that it will be easier for developers to create custom migrations without worrying about changes to the underlying code. This will also make it easier to write documentation and blog posts about how to do things with Migrate.

There are some features around migrating multilingual content which have been set aside in a separate module (Migrate Drupal Multilingual). This module is an experimental module, as there is still some outstanding work to be done in this area.


You are probably wondering: what is « workspaces »? This is a new, experimental module that allows a site administrator to create a new, parallel version of the site content - e.g. a Staging workspace - that can be deployed to the live site in one go. In Drupal 8.5, content moderation was introduced to Drupal, providing a workflow for content to be drafted, reviewed, and approved by different types of users. Workspaces takes this to the next level, allowing entire sections of content to be staged before publishing.

More Under the Hood

Besides new modules, there have been other improvements made to Drupal under the hood. There have been updates to the experimental Layout Builder module. It is now possible to create blocks via the layout builder interface, which will not show up in the global list of blocks. The process of porting tests from Simpletest to PHPUnit is almost done. Nightwatch.js was added to allow for automated javascript testing.

What’s next?

There are lots of new features planned for Drupal 8.7 including support for JSON API in core, potentially a refresh of the default Drupal admin theme (Seven) and work on features like automatic upgrades. Looking forward to seeing what’s next with Drupal in that release, which will come out early next year. Watch the latest DriesNote here, from Drupal Europe for an overview of the Drupal roadmap and new development in the works.

You can get more information from the blog post on and the Drupal 8.6 press release.

Let us know in the comments what’s your favourite part of Drupal 8.6!

+ more awesome articles by Evolving Web
Categories: Drupal

50 million Facebook accounts hit by account hijacking security exploit

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 28 September 2018 - 11:33am

Facebook has learned of a security vulnerability that has opened up millions of its users to account theft over the past year, though the company notes it is still investigating any impact the exploit has had to date. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design


New Drupal Modules - 28 September 2018 - 10:45am

This module provides a block with a stopwatch

Categories: Drupal

TUS file upload protocol

New Drupal Modules - 28 September 2018 - 10:30am

Adds a file upload endpoint that supports the chunking, resumable, TUS file transfer protocol (

For decoupled / CORS purposes, you will need to add these allowed headers to your services.yml (included are a few other common headers):

Categories: Drupal

Xero Contact Sync

New Drupal Modules - 28 September 2018 - 10:20am

Xero Contact Sync pushes users created in your Drupal site to the Xero platform (see

Categories: Drupal

The cart before the horse: A new model of cause and effect

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 28 September 2018 - 10:13am
Natural little scientists, human babies love letting go of things and watching them fall. Baby's first experiment teaches them about more than the force of gravity. It establishes the concept of causality - the relationship between cause and effect that all human knowledge depends on. Let it go, it falls. The cause must precede its effect in time, as scientist from Galileo in the 16th Century to Clive Granger in 1969 defined causality.
Categories: Virtual Reality

OPTASY: Automatic Updates in Drupal Core? Top Benefits and Main Concerns With Drupal Updating Itself

Planet Drupal - 28 September 2018 - 8:21am
Automatic Updates in Drupal Core? Top Benefits and Main Concerns With Drupal Updating Itself radu.simileanu Fri, 09/28/2018 - 15:21

Just imagine... automatic updates in Drupal core.

Such a feature would put an end to all those never-ending debates and ongoing discussions taking place in the Drupal community about the expectations and concerns with implementing such an auto-update system.

Moreover, it would be a much-awaited upgrade for all those users who've been looking for (not to say “longing for) ways to automate Drupal core and modules for... years now. Who've been legitimately asking themselves:

“Why doesn't Drupal offer an auto-update feature like WordPress?”

And how did we get this far? From idea to a steady-growing initiative?

Categories: Drupal

VisualN Excel

New Drupal Modules - 28 September 2018 - 7:24am

The module adds Excel xls files support to the VisualN project.

It allows to create charts, maps or any other drawing type based on data stored in xls files.
To the UI the module just adds an additional "XLS" raw resource format, which becomes available for selection when uploading a file into a VisualN file field.
The drawings themselves can be embedded into content via CKEditor (main project VisualN Embed submodule) or used in any way supported by VisualN module.

Categories: Drupal

Part 3, Narrative bridging on testing an experience - by Katarina Gyllenback Blogs - 28 September 2018 - 7:22am
In the third and last part of the series, on how to assure the quality of an experience from a narrative and cognitive perspective. The final pieces for a framework that concerns engagement, emotions, learning, pacing and control, will be presented.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #5 - by Kenneth Liu Blogs - 28 September 2018 - 7:21am
Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Why do publishers leave Steam? A make-your-own-platform trend? - by Nikolay Bondarenko Blogs - 28 September 2018 - 7:07am
Why publishers leave Steam? A make-your-own-platform trend? Global PC publishing, contemporary pricing, looking for the new audience.Let`s discuss the current problems and trends in the PC game market and try to find answers together?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Why the AAA Market Doesn't Need Paid Cheat Codes - by Josh Bycer Blogs - 28 September 2018 - 7:04am
In light of Devil May Cry 5's microtransaction announcement, I discussed my thoughts on games that allow you to pay to skip content, and why that backfires for most consumers.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Commerce Smart Importer

New Drupal Modules - 28 September 2018 - 6:01am

Commerce Smart Importer will help you import Commerce Product and Variations in CSV format.

The biggest advantage of this importer is that everything is done automatically.

It will recognize fields and format them by their types.

Almost every field type is supported.

Commerce Smart Importer can even import images and files just by drag-and-dropping them to the provided dropzonejs element, entering their URLs or uploading them to a folder defined in public files.

Categories: Drupal

Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries – Review

Gnome Stew - 28 September 2018 - 5:30am

Mix tapes, horror movies on VHS, magnetrine ships, and robots;  it must be time to talk more about Tales From the Loop. You are totally right. So, get some fresh batteries for your Walkman, grab your Members Only jacket and let’s talk about the Tales from the Loop adventure supplement: Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries.

Previously On Phil Reviews Things…

Back in May, I did a review for Tales from the Loop, where I spent some time gushing about how much I enjoyed the game, and how I liked using their published material. So when I had the chance to play some of the material from Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries, I could not resist.


I was provided a copy of Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries from the publisher.

Claimer (it totally is a word now)

I ran some of the content from this book in my Tales From the Loop campaign. My review will lean more heavily on the things I ran because I have more experience with those.

So let’s get on with the review…

The Big Mysteries

The book starts with three full-sized adventures that are on par in size with the adventures that were included in the Tales From The Loop book. This means that they have a fully developed mystery, a scene map that outlines the flow of the adventure, and a showdown which brings the adventure to a conclusion. These adventures will easily fill a session or more, depending on the pace at which you run your games.

I ran one of these, the adventure that shares the name from the book…

Our Friends the Machines

Spoiler: They are Transformers!

Thinly veiled Transformers. But trust me you won’t care.

This is the mystery you have wanted since you were a kid — an adventure about toy robots that are self-aware and being controlled by a pair of AI’s. There are two warring factions: the Convoy and the Deceivers. The kids get wrapped up in the middle of this war, as they try to solve the mystery and figure out how to save the day.

 This mystery plays upon every kid’s fantasy of their Transformers coming to life, mixed with the weirdness you love about Tales From the Loop. Share1Tweet1+11Reddit1Email

This mystery plays upon every kid’s fantasy of their Transformers coming to life, mixed with the weirdness you love about Tales From the Loop. The plot drives towards an abandoned factory full of danger that eventually leads to the final showdown. The adventure is open-ended, in that there is not a single way for the adventure to end. The GM will need to do a bit of work in-game to convey some options for the players of how the adventure can end, otherwise there can be some analysis paralysis. The nice part is that the ending is designed for a solution that can be violent or not. I appreciated this option in the game, since my own campaign was one with a low level of violence, and more about problem solving.

My players loved this adventure and the nostalgia it invoked. In terms of running this mystery, I found this one had a lot going on with the plot and subplots. I actually cut this adventure down a bit, and customized it to my gaming group. My story was more focused on the kids helping the Convoy work to defeat the Deceivers. That was easily done with the material provided.

Mixtape of Mysteries

The next section of the book is a series of small mystery plots (8 in total) that are all based on 80’s songs. Again, the authors totally get where this game fits, and there is a cool blend of nostalgia mixed with the weirdness of the Loop. These plots run the range from fitting closely to the other Tales mysteries to being much darker. In fact, I found a few of these to be too dark for use in my campaign, which tended to be a bit more innocent.

These plots are not fully formed adventures. They have a plot, some hooks to get the game going, and a countdown of bad stuff that is going to happen. You will have to do a little prep on these, especially if you are working them into an existing campaign. Based on the size of the plots, these are good for single-session adventures.

I prepped the Nightrain mystery; a mystery about a Pied Piper kind of character who has a weird amplifier for his guitar that lures children who come from troubled families. Prepping the plot was pretty easy. I used the mystery templates and techniques that were in the Tales From the Loop core book.

Machine Blueprints

The next section contains some blueprints for some of the iconic machines in the Loop. These are also complemented with additional illustrations from Stalenhag’s work. Each one of these comes with a description about the machine and a few suggested mysteries. That last part is what makes this section great; more plot material.

What I really liked about the blueprints is the nostalgic call back to two things I loved from the 80’s: the Knight Rider blueprints, detailing KITT, and the blueprints included with all the GI Joe vehicles. I was a collector of all of those, and having just a few of these included in the book was a nice touch.

Hometown Hack

The last section is one that I think a lot of people were hoping to see. It is a set of guidelines for how to create the Loop in your hometown. Remember that in Tales From The Loop there is the default Swedish setting and an alternative Nevada setting. This chapter allows you to take all the tropes that are key to the Loop setting and overlay them onto the town of your choosing, like your hometown.

The chapter takes you through, step by step, how to make this happen, and uses an example to illustrate each section, including a map for a British setting. The sections do a good job of ensuring that all the tropes you will need for making a new Loop town that will work with the other published material will be included.

I did not make my own town. We are using the Swedish setting for our game. But I have thought of doing one for a 1980’s Buffalo, NY (where I live now).

Be Kind Rewind

Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries is a solid adventure book for Tales From The Loop. It provides you a large number of mysteries in various levels of detail from the fully written adventures in the front of the book, the summarized mysteries in the Mixtape section, to the mystery seeds in the Blueprints section. You won’t be lacking for something to do in your game.

In addition, the book continues to build upon the setting material of the game. The machine blueprints, more Stalenhag artwork, and deconstruction of how the setting works all build toward making the Loop a richer location.

If you are running Tales from the Loop either in one-shots or campaigns, this book is a good resource and worth having in your library.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Years in the Making: The Long Game of Boyfriend Dungeon - by Tanya X. Short Blogs - 28 September 2018 - 3:02am
From the outside, Boyfriend Dungeon appeared to blow up "out of nowhere". The indie team lead talks openly about the labour and years of patience that went into building its success.
Categories: Game Theory & Design


New Drupal Modules - 28 September 2018 - 1:19am

The geOrchestra_authentication module provides integration with geOrchestra security-proxy for authentication, user provisioning and authorization.
This module will get information from HTTP Header to fill user information.
To avoid any security issue, be sure to install Drupal behind the security-proxy. You can see how to do it here :

Categories: Drupal

Batman: Arkham Design Analysis (Part 1) - by Stanislav Costiuc Blogs - 28 September 2018 - 1:01am
Excerpts focused on design analysis from my video analysis/review series of the Arkham series.
Categories: Game Theory & Design How to get the current node in a block plugin in Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 28 September 2018 - 12:27am

I was trying to build a block plugin in Drupal 8 recently. The requirement was straight-forward. I would show these blocks on node pages of a certain type. Depending on the values in that node, the block content changes.

The requirements are straight-forward but there are a lot of things to consider in this scenario. [...]

Categories: Drupal


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