Custom attributes link

New Drupal Modules - 20 August 2019 - 5:36am

Currently in d7 the link module does not allow you to have a custom attrribute like aria-label
This module extends the features of the link module
so that you can now add this attribute too.

Categories: Drupal

Adventures in Middle-earth - Erebor Adventures

New RPG Product Reviews - 20 August 2019 - 5:00am
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
Rating: 5
Erebor Adventures is the new adventure book from Cubicle7, adapting the One Ring's Laughter of Dragons to their D and D 5e adaptation, Adventures in Middle Earth.

I previously reviewed Laughter of Dragons, a collection of adventures that cover the region around Erebor, the Lonely Mountain. Since you can read the previous review that covers the adventures themselves, I'm going to dive more closely into the meat and PO-TAY-TOES of the book. I do highly encourage you to read that review, as the adventures are the same, and they're really fantastic. I'm not going to individually go through the small minute differences in Erebor Adventures and Laughter of Dragons, but there are some, due to the system differences.

The One Ring and D and D have different advancement systems, and Erebor Adventures has a nice system, where throughout the book, you'll see small green and red highlights. These represent group (green) and individual (red) rewards. This is really useful, as it helps Loremasters quickly identify where they should give out experience.

I really love seeing the Nazgûl in D20 form. Now, I'm sure if I went through more of the Middle-Earth Adventures I would have seen them before, but I hadn't. Here, they are presented in two forms, as they are in Laughter of Dragons. They appear as Dark Undead, and as Unclad and Invisible. If you think about it in terms of the films, Dark Undead is them as the Black Riders, while the Unclad and Invisible is more as they are in Dol Guldur in The Hobbit. The Unclad are CR 8 and completely invisible, making them difficult to see, and their abilities aren't physical, just inflicting terror. The Dark Undead have a wider variety of abilities, including the Dwimmerlaik, a reaction that allows the Nazgûl to shatter a hero's weapon and turn the damage back on them. Honestly, by renaming these guys, you could easily use the statblocks to strike fear into your non-Middle Earth D and D adventures as well.

The appendices are useful to anyone playing Middle Earth Adventures, regardless of if they run these adventures. The Loremaster Characters appendix covers every NPC you'll encounter, telling you what pages they appear. This means you can more easily weave in the characters into other adventures by finding them quicker. The Places and Things appendix is useful in that you can easily drop in small encounters if you find yourself in the region, or if you need a description of a location.

The book overall looks absolutely beautiful. It matches the style of The One Ring, which I absolutely love. Though I own many of the books for the other system, and a lot of the information is the same, I'm VERY tempted to pick all the books up Middle Earth Adventures form too. This book is highly recommended. I'll be reviewing the core rulebook for Middle Earth Adventures soon, so that I can get into the mechanics of the game to see how it plays differently than vanilla 5e.
Cubicle7 provided a copy of Erebor Adventures to Dice Monkey for review.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Band of Blades Review

Gnome Stew - 20 August 2019 - 4:30am

Fantasy is a huge, almost too wide term when applying the word to genres. Many times the word invokes the idea of heroic fantasy like The Lord of the Rings, or Sword and Sorcery stories, like Howard’s Conan. Over the years, fantasy has picked up a lot of sub-genres with their own specific tropes. One of those specific sub-genres is the gritty mercenary genre. In this case, characters aren’t the chosen one, and they may not have even chosen the life they live. They have a job to do, and don’t expect to survive the execution of their tasks.

Glen Cook’s The Black Company series, some of Joe Abercrombie’s World of the First Law books, and various installments of the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erickson help to define gritty mercenary fantasy. Characters aren’t a band of adventurers, but members of a military company, usually with ranks and responsibilities that go beyond their battlefield roles. Magic is rare and powerful, is usually devastating to the field troops, and the magic on the side of the protagonists’ forces is often dangerous and unpredictable.

There have been a lot of games built on the Forged in the Dark chassis first seen in Blades in the Dark. Off Guard Games and Evil Hat, the team that produced Scum and Villainy, have now teamed together to present a Forged in the Dark game of gritty fantasy mercenaries called Band of Blades.

Defining the Chronicle

This review is based both on the PDF version of the game, and the physical copy. The game is 450 pages, with full-color endpapers depicting the map of the setting. There is a seven-page index at the back of the book. As with most Powered by the Apocalypse or Forged in the Dark Games, while the playbooks and reference sheet material exists in the book, it will be useful to download and print out the PDF versions of these items for reference during the game.

The interior art is black and white line art. Headers are bold, and there are numerous bullet-pointed lists throughout the book. The artwork depicts daily occurrences in the lives of the mercenary company, including days at camp and days in battle. There are illustrations of the various locations in the setting, as well as pictures of named characters in the setting, such as the various antagonists that the player characters may eventually encounter in the course of their missions.

The book has the same general form factor as Blades in the Dark and Scum and Villainy, but it is thicker and feels very substantial.

The Basics

The opening section of the book describes the setting, the tone of the game, and what elements are present. It also introduces the Legion Roles that the players will be assuming, as well as the Specialists and Squad Members that they will be playing between missions. In this case, the players have multiple roles—they play their Legion roles when planning the missions, and they play their Specialist or Squad Member characters when executing those plans.

This section also introduces the special characters of the setting. The Cinder King is a master of a huge undead army that threatens the world. The Legion is trying to survive and dig into a better position to resist his forces. On the Legion’s side are Chosen, people picked by the gods to manifest special powers. On the Cinder King’s side are the Broken, former Chosen corrupted by the Cinder King.

The game has similar phases to other Forged in the Dark games. In this case we have the Campaign Phase, where the players in their Legion roles choose what missions to undertake, and they spend resources and advance on the map. Then we have the Mission Phase, where the players play out their actual mission, modified by the decisions of the players in their Legion roles. There may also be free play, seeing how characters interact in camp or deal with fallout that isn’t directly related to the success or failure of missions.

Unlike many introductory sections, this one is very extensive. Not only is it discussing things like the dark military tone of the game, horror elements, and getting player buy-in, it also introduces the core Forged in the Dark mechanic, explaining the resolution of actions, resistance rolls, stress, trauma, corruption, blight, and progress clocks. It is a lot to absorb upfront, and while there are explanations of the broad shape of missions, I felt like there was just enough still undefined that this section does have the potential to get overwhelming.

Like Blades in the Dark, individual rules packets are very simple and intuitive, but even more so than Blades in the Dark, there are a lot of moving parts. Some of the campaign level tracking has been offloaded from the GM to the players in their Legion rolls, but in some cases, there are similar systems in place that increase what gets tracked. For example, trauma is still a measure of how many physical or mentally taxing moments you can take before your character isn’t an active protagonist any longer, but corruption now tracks the influence of the downside of supernatural elements, and blight is a physical, supernatural manifestation of what is effectively magical “trauma.”


This section begins to give more specific examples of the broader terms introduced in the previous section. In this case, we’re looking at the playbooks to play individual troops in the Legion that will be carrying out missions. The playbooks include:


  • Heavy
  • Medic
  • Officer
  • Scout
  • Sniper

Squad Members

  • Rookie
  • Soldier

Later on in the book, we’ll learn more about this when discussing missions, but because you only play out the primary mission your company is undertaking, you may need to send one of your specialists on the “offscreen” mission, meaning that a player may end up playing a rookie or a soldier instead of a specialist. Additionally, if a specialist gets taken out of the fight, the player can slide into playing one of the other characters in the unit with these playbooks.

While a player can play the same character repeatedly, the book also mentions that it is possible to leave all of the characters as options for troop play as well, meaning one person may make up the heavy and play them on the first mission and then let another player take that character on the next mission. Not everyone will want to do this, but it is mentioned as an option.

The playbooks have the traditional Forged in the Dark structure, where different playbooks have different gear available, and have different starting points for the ranks of different actions. Characters can take a heavy, medium, or light load, which have different implications for military missions versus the criminal activities seen in Blades in the Dark or Scum and Villainy. For example, characters with a heavy load may have issues if they need to quickly retreat from a battlefield after an objective has been met.

In addition to their gear and starting abilities, the specialist playbooks also have specialist actions. While these are measured in dots as well, these are not actions that are rolled. The dots represent the number of times a character can use their ability during a mission.

The Heavy’s anchor ability increases their scale in combat, meaning they act like a small unit instead of an individual. The Medic can cause a character to function without any penalties they have suffered from wounds. The Officer can produce resources for the mission that weren’t allocated by the Legion positions during the mission planning phase. The Scout can also provide additional resources, but in the form of discovered loads of equipment, safe resting places, or rations. The Sniper gets the ability to aim, which doesn’t change the dice they roll, but increases the effect their shot has, meaning they can take out higher threat opponents than they could normally harm. The Rookie can advance in multiple directions, but doesn’t start with a specialist action, while the soldier has a specialist action that gives them bonus dice to resistance rolls, reflecting their ability to keep themselves alive in a fight.

The Legion

This section details the Legion Roles that the players will take on, which they will play in the campaign phase. These roles represent the highest level of the Legion, and the decisions they make in this role can make their own missions more or less difficult, but how resources are spent also affects the long term ability of the Legion to progress to their objective at the end of the game.

The roles include the following:

Required Roles

  • Commander
  • Marshal
  • Quartermaster

Optional Roles

  • Lorekeeper
  • Spymaster

This means that you need at least three players to fill all of the required roles for a campaign. The text does mention that you can assign “deputy” roles so that when a player isn’t present, another player makes the decisions for that role.

The Commander determines if the Legion advances on the map, where they advance, and what missions they undertake. The Commander can also spend the Intel resource to put the teams in a better position at the beginning of a mission or find out advantageous information about a location.

The Marshal determines who goes on what mission, and what character assigned to the mission is in charge in the field. Some missions will have a requirement that certain specialists be present, so assigning the wrong characters to a mission can doom it from the start. The Marshal is also tracking the number of troops in the individual squads. Some missions will cause a squad to lose rookies, and some areas may allow you to recruit new troops.

The Quartermaster can spend resources that the Legion has gained, such as horses, to make travel less dangerous, or to better supply the group for their starting efforts. The Quartermaster can also determine if the group has special personnel at camp, such as a Mercy or an Alchemist.

The Lorekeeper role comes into play when characters get back to camp, as the Lorekeeper reciting specific previous mission details can provide benefits for the characters.

The Spymaster gets to pick from a stable of spies that gives them different ways to manipulate the objectives in different types of missions, and may allow the Commander to spend Intel to unlock special missions available in some locations.

There is a limited amount of time that the Legion has to make it to Skydagger Keep for the finale of the campaign, so each phase costs time, meaning that the Legion may want to spend an extra unit of time in an area recovering, but they may feel compelled to push forward to avoid a time crunch.

Pressure is the amount of undead and corruption collecting in the nearby area, which can make missions more difficult. Spending resources like horses when advancing can lower Pressure.

One mission will be the primary mission. This is the mission that gets played out, with players portraying the members of the squad doing their jobs and meeting their objectives. The secondary mission is determined “off-screen,” using only the initial engagement roll to see how well or how badly things went.

The Divine

This section details the Chosen and the Broken in the setting. The Legion will have a Chosen traveling with them, and depending on what Chosen is selected, this will modify how the Legion starts the game, and what benefits they have by having this Chosen travel with them.

  • Shreya—Chosen of the healer goddess, focused on military strategy
  • Horned One—Chosen of the forest god, focused on mysterious powers and trickery
  • Zora—Ancient Chosen focusing on big and direct actions

Each of the Chosen has a subset of special abilities that trigger under special circumstances. For example, Shreya may cause the Legion to receive 1 less corruption when they take corruption, or regain one additional tick on a healing clock when they recuperate.

After choosing the Chosen that travels with the Legion, the group then chooses two Broken that are working for the Cinder King. The Broken include:

  • Blighter—Toxic scientist
  • Breaker—The storm witch
  • Render—The armorer

Each of the Broken has a list of abilities they have that make the lives of the Legion more difficult, and they gain new abilities whenever time ticks forward too far in the campaign. For example, Blighter might have an ability that causes supply missions to remove one die on their initial engagement rolls.

The Broken chosen also affect what kind of special undead might show up in a mission as well. Blighter’s special troops might be stitched together masses of body parts, while Breaker might have mutated animals, and Render might have giant undead encased in armor.

The Mission Phase

This section goes into more details about how to execute the mission phases of the game, as well as listing the common mission types, and what the rewards and penalties are for these missions. Depending on the mission, they will need a specific type of specialist, or their engagement rolls will suffer a penalty (meaning the mission is more likely to start badly for the primary mission, and more likely to outright fail for the secondary mission).

Mission types include:

  • Assault—Requires Heavy, Medic, or Sniper
  • Recon—Requires Scout or Sniper
  • Religious—Requires Medic or Officer
  • Supply—Requires Heavy, Officer, or Scout

Different missions will have rewards for completion, and penalties for failure. Mission rewards might include time, morale, supplies, assets, or troops. Penalties may include pressure, time, supply, and morale.

This section also goes into more detail about rules like teamwork, scale, and flashbacks. For anyone that hasn’t played or read previous Forged in the Dark games, players pick the skill they want to use, and based on that skill, the GM determines the position and effect. Position is how bad things can backfire, and effect is how much you get done with the roll you are making.

When a character has scale on you, it’s even harder to affect them. A character that might take a controlled action for limited effect on someone with scale is now taking a controlled action with no effect (meaning at best, they may be able to spend stress to affect them at all).

Teamwork has always been one of my favorite aspects of Forged in the Dark games, and it’s even more relevant in military campaigns. There are multiple ways to work as a team, but my favorite involves one player leading the action, and everyone rolling. If you get any successes, you do the thing, but for every failure, the leader takes stress.

Flashbacks are essentially retroactive planning that you may be able to declare. When you see opposition you weren’t planning for at the gate you wanted to enter, you might be able to declare a flashback that your scout looked for alternate entry points when you first arrived, and depending on how significant the flashback is, it might cost more stress to introduce.

What this also means is that there are a lot of tools available to the PCs in an active mission that can’t be used to affect the single roll that will be made for the secondary mission. While it may seem like the right thing to do is to spend resources to make the primary mission easier, it may be smarter to spend intel and supplies on the secondary mission so it succeeds, because the PCs playing the primary mission have more opportunities to batter and bruise themselves to success.

The Campaign Phase

This section is shorter than the mission phase chapter, but it details the specific steps that are taken in the campaign phase of play, presents options for the campaign phase, introduces questions to consider in this phase of the game, and includes a summary of what happens in this phase.

How to Play

Almost all of the rules in this section have been touched on elsewhere in the book, but this section revisits the briefer summaries and gives more detailed examples, including descriptions for the actions and what they are best suited to accomplish, examples of what controlled, risky, and desperate actions look like and examples of what reduced or full effect might look like.

This section also goes into more detail on the Specialist actions that those playbooks receive, setting up a series of questions to get players thinking about what they do in the fiction of the games to make those actions true.

There is also an action that does not appear on the playbooks that is introduced in this section. Weave, the ability to spend an action to perform an act of magic, is detailed. This is a special action that the GM doesn’t need to allow, but one that may be learned as an alternate advancement.

Behind the Scenes

This is the GM section of the book, and includes a general list of GM duties, GM principals, GM actions, and GM best practices. One of my favorite pieces of GM advice given here is to avoid making the PCs look incompetent. If they fail, its because they are doing difficult things under difficult circumstances, not because they aren’t trained professionals doing what they are good at doing.

There is a section on setting expectations, especially given the game’s horror adjacent themes. Not only does this section touch on making sure everyone is on the same page over the level of horror and comfort levels, this section also talks about tone and theme and how everyone should be aware and agree on them before starting the game.

The final part of this chapter explores how to set up the starting mission, including the first scene, and how to handle the first time the group cuts back to camp, to properly set the feeling for the rest of the campaign going forward.

The Larger World

This section summarizes some of the setting elements that have been touched on in other sections of the book. It’s a fantasy setting, but with no dwarves, elves, or dragons. Alchemy is the world’s science, and magic is filled with peril. The gods only really care about humanity in the abstract.

There is a two-page timeline that summarizes the progression of the setting relevant to the modern events that frame the game. The different cultures that the PCs are likely to hail from or encounter are detailed on their own individual pages.

There is a section explaining what alchemy can and can’t commonly accomplish, and how Mercies, special healers in the setting, work.

None of the cultures detailed are direct real-world analogs. The Panyar are the most “magical” of any of the cultures, being humans that have some animal-like trait about them, due to the influence of the forest they call home. While they give some traits commonly associated with each culture, it is specifically noted that no individuals have all of those traits, the traits aren’t universal, and many people don’t conform to the broad elements outlined for them in this section.


The map that appears in the endpapers of the book is presented in this section of the book as well. Various locations are presented on the map, with lines between them. At one end is the starting point of the campaign. On the other end of the map is Skydagger Keep, the location the PCs need to reach to weather the winter and have any chance of standing against the Cinder King.

There isn’t one path that goes directly to Skydagger Keep. Each time the Commander decides to advance, they may have to make choices between which locations to move the company to as they advance on the keep.

There are descriptions of each of these locations, as well as example scenes and challenges native to each place on the map. There may be special rules for different locations, so, for example, some locations may always add a die to pressure rolls because they are under siege. Each location also has special missions available, which can be learned by spending Intel.

The special missions generally provide bigger rewards than the standard mission types provide, so they may be worth spending Intel to uncover. The standard rewards may be bigger (+2 instead of +1, for example), but there may also be items like special relics, or even extra XP awards for completing these.

The special missions play into the “flavor” of the location presented. The lore surrounding the special missions is more specific than the broader missions, and helps to tell the story of the region’s past and/or what is going on currently in the war.

Skydagger Keep has a special section on all of the missions that need to be undertaken to dig in for the winter and fortify the place for assault. Depending on how the campaign has turned out, there is a scorecard to see how the Legion has done in the war, which determines whether the Legion is on its last legs after the winter, or ready to take the fight to the Cinder King.

I love how the locations are detailed in this section. There are essentially two pages of information, including special rules that reinforce the theme of a region. There is another page of special missions that help to tell the story of the region. The first page is a full page of general information, but the second page focuses on what kind of scenes characters will see and experience in the location. It’s a living means of presenting setting information that I love and wish might be adopted by more people presenting RPG settings.

Changing the Game

This is a section about optional rules and how you might drift the game for other stories and genres. There is advice for introducing new heritages, creating new special missions, new relics, and dealing with more players than the core rules assume.

There are optional rules for medals and how they mechanically could affect the game, rules for how the different existing squads in the game might have traits that affect members that belong to that squad, and rules on weapon master forms that can be learned by PCs.

The final section of this chapter briefly discusses wider hacks, such as changing the game to a grim sci-fi military campaign, with the PCs choosing what systems to jump to next, and how to drift concepts like the Broken and the Chosen, such as making the Chosen and the bonuses they provide actually belong to a starship in the Legion’s fleet.

The drifting rules provide some fun brainstorming, but the most fleshed-out ideas in this section are those that assume the baseline of the setting presented, and add more details to that baseline.

Successful Campaign I love how the game details locations and ties the relevant aspects of the locations to game rules to give the lore mechanical weight. Share1Tweet1Reddit1Email

The setting is very evocative. You can very easily feel like your characters are the underdogs in a fight against an intimidating foe, but yet you still have a lot of tools to accomplish missions moving you closer to your goal. Part of what helps reinforce this feeling of the underdog fighting to survive is that you have to navigate the map to be successful, so there isn’t a “quick win” option. In addition to the evocative feeling of an underdog mercenary company scrabbling to survive, the setting itself is well-drawn. I love how the game details locations and ties the relevant aspects of the locations to game rules to give the lore mechanical weight.

The Long Winter

It’s always tricky to determine how much information to put upfront in a book. Too little, and a reader is going to get frustrated by not understanding all of the terms you are introducing. Too much, and they have a lot to process as soon as they engage with the book. Band of Blades feels a little front-loaded to me, in that a lot gets introduced, and some of it is harder to parse before you see the framework in which that information is used. There is an “end” to the campaign, but there isn’t a specific resolution for the game’s main conflict. I actually would have less of a problem with this, if it weren’t implied that the ”ending” of the game determines starting position for a new campaign, since there isn’t much in the way of guidelines for what that new campaign would look like. The current rules are more about scrabbling to survive until you can reach cover, so several elements would need to change to reflect being on the offensive.

Recommended—If the product fits in your broad area of gaming interests, you are likely to be happy with this purchase.

The book may feel a little intimidating at the outset, but I feel like it pays off the further into the book you get, and if you are a fan of Forged in the Dark games, you will likely be very interested to see how the mission structure works and the extra gaming tech added into this iteration of the game.

Even for non-Forged in the Dark fans, I think there is some value to seeing the way that individual locations are quickly summarized, given iconic scenes, and a mechanical modification. It’s a great model for other games to use for detailing a setting and keeping details relevant to the action of the story. The overall plot of the game, and the decision points getting from one section to another, advancing on Skydagger Keep, could be drifted to other game systems or used for a model of other campaigns.

What are your favorite grim and dangerous fantasy mercenary stories? Did they ever get an official game treatment? If they did, what did or didn’t work to evoke the feeling of the setting? We want to hear from you below, so please, drop us a response!

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Athena PDF export

New Drupal Modules - 20 August 2019 - 1:23am


Categories: Drupal

Game stores: you need more real-time charts! - by Simon Carless Blogs - 19 August 2019 - 11:18pm
Why don't all video game stores have prominent, detailed real-time charts showcasing new & trending games using actual sales, versus obfuscating them under 'featured' titles or complex menu navigation?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Specbee: Drupal Community: It takes a village to build a world-class CMS. See what they have to say.

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2019 - 10:49pm
Drupal Community: It takes a village to build a world-class CMS. See what they have to say. Shefali Shetty 20 Aug, 2019 Top 10 best practices for designing a perfect UX for your mobile app Behind great software lies good code. And behind good code lies a group of passionate individuals with a common drive of making a difference.

It is no mystery why Drupal has been the chosen one for over a million diverse organizations all across the globe. Unsurprisingly, the reason behind the success of this open-source software is the devoted Drupal community. A diverse group of individuals who relentlessly work towards making Drupal stronger and more powerful every single day! To them, Drupal isn’t just a web CMS platform - Drupal is a Religion. A religion that unites everyone who believe that giving back is the only way to move forward. Where contributing to the Drupal project gives them meaning and purpose.

Recently, I had the privilege of interacting with a few of the most decorated and remarkable members of the Drupal community - who also happen to be Drupal’s top contributors. I questioned them about the reason(s) behind them contributing to Drupal and what do they do to make a difference. Their responses were incredible, honest and unfeigned.

Adrian Cid Almaguer Senior Drupal Developer. Acquia Certified Grand Master - Drupal 8

I use Drupal every day and my career in the last years are focused to it, so I want to work with something that I feel comfortable and that meets my needs. If I find errors or something that can be done in a better way in projects I´m using or in the Drupal Core, I open an issue in the project queue and if I have the knowledge and the time, I create a patch for it. This is a way I can says THANKS to the Drupal community.

The strength of Drupal is the community and the contributes modules you can use to create your project, one person can’t create and maintain all the modules you will need, but if several of us give ourselves the task of doing it, all will be more easy, and is not just code, we need documentation, we need examples, translations and many other things in the community, the only way to do this is if each of the Drupal user give at least a small contribution to the community. So, when I contribute to Drupal, I’m helping you to have time to contribute to something that I may need in the future.

I maintain many Drupal modules, so basically the main contributions are create, update and migrate Drupal modules, but I contribute too in other areas. I contribute translating Drupal to the Spanish language and moderating the user translations, I create patches for some projects I do not maintain, sometimes I review some patches in the issue queue, I write and update modules documentation, I make some contributions creating tests for Drupal modules, I give support to the community in the Slack channels and in the Drupal Stack-exchange site and help new contributors to learn how to contribute projects to Drupal in the correct way. And as I’m a former teacher, I participate in regional Drupal events promoting how and why is important to contribute to Drupal projects and how to do it.

I will love to maintain a Drupal core module but I don’t know if I will have the time to do it, so for the moment I will continue migrating to Drupal 8, evolving and having up to date the modules I maintain.

Alex Moreno Technical Architect at Acquia

Contributing to open source is not just a good and healthy habit for the communities. It is also a healthy habit for your own projects and your self-improvement. Contributing validates your knowledge opening your knowledge to everyone else. So you can get feedback that helps yourself to improve, and also ensures that your project is taking the right direction. For example when patching other contributed modules with fixes or improvements.

I enjoy writing code. My main contributions have been always on that direction. Although more recently I have been also helping on other tasks, like Spanish translations in Drupal 8 Umami.

Baddy Sonja Breidert Co-Founder of 1xINTERNET

One of the reasons why I contribute to Drupal is to make Drupal more known in my area, get more people involved, attract new users, etc. I do my bit in contributing to the Drupal project by organising events like Drupal Europe and Drupal Camps in Germany and Iceland.

It is extremely gratifying to see new people from all over the world join the Drupal community - be it as developers, designers, volunteers, event organisers, testers or for example writing documentation. There are so many different ways to contribute!

And what happens over and over again is that people originally come for a very specific purpose, say a project they want to launch, and then stay in the community just because it is such a friendly, diverse and welcoming place! My work in the board of the Drupal Association confirms the old slogan over and over again: Come for the code, stay for the community!

Daniel Wehner Senior Drupal Engineer at Times Higher Education

Unlike many other projects the Drupal community tries to create a sustainable environment. Both from the technical site, but probably on the long run more important from the community side. Initiatives like Drupal Diversity & Inclusion lead the foundation for a project which won't just go away like many others

> Jacob Rockowitz Drupal developer. Built and maintains the Webform module for Drupal 8

Contributing to open source software provides me with an endless collaborative challenge. My professional livelihood is tied to the success of Drupal which inspires me to give something back to the Drupal community. Contributing to Drupal also provides me with an intellectual and social hobby where I get to interact with new people every day.

Everyone has a personal groove/style for building software. After 20 years of writing software, I have come to accept that I like working towards a single goal/project, which is the Webform module for Drupal 8. At the same time, I also have learned that building open source software is more than just contributing code; it is about supporting and creating a community around the code. Supporting the Drupal community has led to also write documentation, blog about Drupal, Webform, and sustainability, present at conferences, and address the bigger picture around building and maintaining software

Joel Pittet Web Coder. Drupal 8 Theme System Co-maintainer

I feel that I should give back to ensure the tools I use keep working. Monetarily or with my time. And with Drupal it’s a bit of both:

I started submitting patches for the Twig initiative for Drupal core, then mentoring and talks at DrupalCons and camps, followed by some contrib patches, then offered to co-maintain some commerce modules, which snowballed into more and more contrib module co-maintaining, mostly for ones I use at work.

I pay the Drupal Association individual membership to help the teams for all the Drupal.orgwork and event work they do.

Joachim Noreiko Freelance Drupal developer. Built and Maintains Drupal Code Builder

I guess, I like fixing stuff, I like to code a bit in my spare time, I like to contribute to Drupal, and as a freelancer, it’s good to be visible in the community.

Lately I’ve actually been feeling a bit demotivated. I’ve been contributing to core a bit, but it’s always an uphill struggle getting beyond an initial patch. I maintain a few contrib modules, and my Drupal Code Builder tool as well.

Joris Vercammen (borisson) Drupal developer, Search API + Facets

Being able to pull so many awesome modules for free really makes the work we all do in building good solutions for our customers a lot easier. This system doesn’t work without some of us putting things (code/time/blogposts/…) back into it. The Drupal community has given me a lot of things unrelated to just the software as well (really awesome friends, a better job, the ability to travel all over Europe, etc.). To enable others that come after me to have a similar experience, I think that it is important to give back, as long as it fits in the schedule.

Most of my contributions are under the form of code. I try to do some mentoring but while that is a lot more effective, it is really hard and I’m not that great at it, yet. I’m mostly interested in the Search API ecosystem because that’s what I got roped in to when I started contributing. A lot of my core contributions are for blockers (of blockers of blockers) for things that we need. I try to focus a little bit on the Facets module, since that is what I’m responsible for, but it’s not always easy or the most fun to do. Especially since I’ve still not built a Drupal 8 site with facets on it.

Malabya Open-source evangelist. Drupal Practice Head at Specbee

Community. That’s what motivates me to contribute. The feeling I get when someone uses your code or module or theme is great. Which is a good drive to motivate for more contributions. Drupal being an open-source software, it is where it is just of the contributions by thousands of contributors. So, when we use Drupal it is our responsibility to contribute back to the software to make it even better for a wider reach

Apart from contributing modules, theme & distributions I help in organising local meetups in Bangalore and mentoring new developers to contribute and begin their contribution journey from the root level. This gives me immense pleasure when I can help someone to introduce to the world of Drupal and make them understand about the importance of contributions and community. Going forward, I would definitely strive towards introducing Drupal to students giving them a career choice and bring in more members to the Drupal community.

Nick Wilde Drupal developer at Taoti Creative

My main motivation has always been improving what I use - first OS contribution before my Drupal days was a bug-fix for an abandoned at the time project that was impairing my Modding of TES-III Morrowind ;). I like the challenges and benefits of working in a community. Code reviews both that I've done and those done on my code have been incredibly important to my growth as a developer. I also have used it as a portfolio/career advancement method, although that is important it is only of tertiary importance to me. Seeing a test go green or a getting confirmation that a bug is fixed is incredibly satisfying to me personally. Also, I believe if you use an open source project especially professionally, contributing back is the right thing.

My level of contributions vary a fair bit depending on my personal and professional level of busy, but mostly through contrib module maintenance/patch submissions. Also in the last year or so, I've been getting into a lot more mentorship roles - both in my new company and within the broader community. Restarted my local Drupal meetup and am doing presentations there regularly.

Rachel Norfolk Community Liaison at Drupal Association

Contribution for me is, at least partly, a selfish act. I have learned so much from some of the best people in the industry, simply by following along and helping where I can. I have also built up an amazing network of people who, because they know I help others, are more prepared to help me when I need it. Both code and other ways of contributing. I’m occasionally in the Drupal core issue queues, I help mentor others and I get involved in community issues.

Renato Goncalves Software Engineer at CI&T's Drupal Competence Office ()

My first motivation to contribute to the Drupal community is helping others that have the same requirement as mine. To be honest, I get very happy when someone uses my community code in their projects. I'm glad to know that I'm helping people. When I'm developing a new feature I check if my solution can be useful to other projects and that way I create my code using a generic way. - Usually, I'm the first to reuse the code several times. I think this is important to make Drupal a powerful and collaborative framework. I liked my first experience using the framework because for each requirement of my project, Drupal has a solution. I think contributing to the community is important for that. More and more new people are going to use the framework, and consequently new contributors, and in that way, it becomes increasingly powerful and efficient. An example of this is the Drupal Security Team, where they work hard to ensure that Drupal is a secure framework. I'm making contributions at the same time I delivery projects. Today I write my code in a generic way, that is, the code can be reused in other times. A good example of this model is the Janrain Connect project. This project is official in the community (contrib project) and my team and I w hard using 100% of the generic code, so we can reuse this code on other cases.

When we need to make some improvement in the code, the first point is checking a way to make this improvement using a generic solution. Using this approach we can help our project and help the community. In this way, we are contributing to making an organized and agile framework. The goal is that other people don't need to re-write code. It is a way of transforming the framework into a collaborative model.

Thomas Seidl Drupal developer, “The Search API Guy”

My motivation comes from several sources: First off, I just like programming, and while fixing bugs, writing tests or giving support isn’t always fun, a lot of the time working on my modules is. It’s just one of my hobbies in that regard. Then, with my modules running on more than 100,000 sites (based on the report), there’s both a sense of accomplishment and responsibility – I feel proud in providing functionality for so many sites, and while, as a volunteer, I don’t feel directly responsible for them, I still want to help improve them where I can, take away pain points and ensure they keep running. And lastly, having a popular, well-maintained module is also the base of my business as a freelancer: it not only provides marketing for my abilities, but also the very market of users who want customizations. So, maintaining and improving my modules is also, indirectly, important for my income, even though the vast majority of my contributed work is unpaid.

Apart from participating in coding standards discussions, I almost exclusively contribute by maintaining my modules (and, increasingly rarely, adding new ones) – fixing bugs, adding features, answering support requests, etc. I sometimes also provide patches for other modules, but generally only when I’m paid to do so. (“My modules” being Search API and its add-on modules Database Search, Autocomplete, Saved Searches and, for D7 only, Solr, Pages, Location and Multi-Index Searches.)

And Lastly....

It’s not just brands that have adopted Drupal as their CMS – they are the cream of brands. From NASA to the Emmy Awards. From Harvard University to eBay. From Twitter to the New York State. These brands have various reasons to choose Drupal as their Content Management System. Drupal’s adaptability to any business process, advanced UX and UI capabilities for an interactive and personalized experience, load-time optimization functionalities, easy content authoring and management, high-security standards, the API-first architecture and so much more!

The major reason why Drupal is being accepted and endorsed by more than a million websites today is because Drupal is always ahead of the curve. Especially since Drupal adopted a continuous innovation model wherein updated versions are released every 6-months with seamless upgrade paths. All of this is possible because of the proactive and ever-evolving Drupal community. The goals for their contributions may vary - from optimizing projects for personal/professional success to creating an impact on others or simply to gain more experience. Either way, they are making a difference and taking Drupal to the next level every time they contribute. Thanks to all the contributors who are making Drupal a better place.

I’d like to end with an excerpt from Dries - “It’s really the Drupal community and not so much the software that makes the Drupal project what it is. So fostering the Drupal community is actually more important than just managing the code base.”

Warmly thanking all the mentioned contributors for helping me put this article together.


  • Shefali Shetty
  •   |   May 02, 2019
Get Inspired Adrian Cid Almaguer Senior Drupal Developer. Acquia Certified Grand Master - Drupal 8 Alex Moreno Technical Architect at Acquia Baddy Sonja Breidert Co-Founder of 1xINTERNET Daniel Wehner Senior Drupal Engineer at Times Higher Education Jacob Rockowitz Drupal developer. Built & maintains the Webform module. Joel Pittet Web Coder. Drupal 8 Theme System Co-maintainer. Joachim Noreiko Freelance Drupal developer. Built and Maintains Drupal Code Builder. Joris Vercammen (borisson) Drupal developer, Search API + Facets Malabya Open-source evangelist. Drupal Practice Head at Specbee Nick Wilde Drupal developer at Taoti Creative Rachel Norfolk Community Liaison at Drupal Association Renato Goncalves Software Engineer at CI&T's Drupal Competence Office (DCO) Thomas Seidl

Drupal developer, “The Search API Guy”



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Categories: Drupal

Drupal blog: Low-code and no-code tools continue to drive the web forward

Planet Drupal - 19 August 2019 - 2:34pm

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog.

Low-code and no-code tools for the web are on a decade-long rise; they enable self-service for marketers, and allow developers to focus on innovation.

A version of this article was originally published on

Twelve years ago, I wrote a post called Drupal and Eliminating Middlemen. For years, it was one of the most-read pieces on my blog. Later, I followed that up with a blog post called The Assembled Web, which remains one of the most read posts to date.

The point of both blog posts was the same: I believed that the web would move toward a model where non-technical users could assemble their own sites with little to no coding experience of their own.

This idea isn't new; no-code and low-code tools on the web have been on a 25-year long rise, starting with the first web content management systems in the early 1990s. Since then no-code and low-code solutions have had an increasing impact on the web. Examples include:

While this has been a long-run trend, I believe we're only at the beginning.

Trends driving the low-code and no-code movements

According to Forrester Wave: Low-Code Development Platforms for AD&D Professionals, Q1 2019, In our survey of global developers, 23% reported using low-code platforms in 2018, and another 22% planned to do so within a year..

Major market forces driving this trend include a talent shortage among developers, with an estimated one million computer programming jobs expected to remain unfilled by 2020 in the United States alone.

What is more, the developers who are employed are often overloaded with work and struggle with how to prioritize it all. Some of this burden could be removed by low-code and no-code tools.

In addition, the fact that technology has permeated every aspect of our lives — from our smartphones to our smart homes — has driven a desire for more people to become creators. As the founder of Product HuntRyan Hoover, said in a blog post: "As creating things on the internet becomes more accessible, more people will become makers."

But this does not only apply to individuals. Consider this: the typical large organization has to build and maintain hundreds of websites. They need to build, launch and customize these sites in days or weeks, not months. Today and in the future, marketers can embrace no-code and low-code tools to rapidly develop websites.

Abstraction drives innovation

As discussed in my middleman blog post, developers won't go away. Just as the role of the original webmaster (FTP hand-written HTML files, anyone?) has evolved with the advent of web content management systems, the role of web developers is changing with the rise of low-code and no-code tools.

Successful no-code approaches abstract away complexity for web development. This enables less technical people to do things that previously could only be done by developers. And when those abstractions happen, developers often move on to the next area of innovation.

When everyone is a builder, more good things will happen on the web. I was excited about this trend more than 12 years ago, and remain excited today. I'm eager to see the progress no-code and low-code solutions will bring to the web in the next decade.

Categories: Drupal

Entity Embed Permissions

New Drupal Modules - 19 August 2019 - 12:06pm

This is an extension module for Entity Embed to provide separate permissions to view embedded entities.

Once installed, you will get new "View embedded {entity type}" permissions for each embeddabble entities.

Categories: Drupal

Cyberpunk 2077, exclusive Orcs Must Die 3, and many more now headed to Stadia

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 19 August 2019 - 10:49am

Google has added several new games to the lineup for Google Staida, in turn addressing some of the concerns about the cloud-based platform's library being a little light despite its coming launch. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

PUBG is rolling out console crossplay to Xbox One and PS4 this year

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 19 August 2019 - 9:06am

The team behind PlayerUnknown†™s Battlegrounds is bringing cross-platform play to its Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Using mystery as the core of marketing. - by Alejandro Maldonado Blogs - 19 August 2019 - 7:41am
Yume Nikki is a very good game, but the mystery surrounding the developer, Kikiyama, was definitely of great importance for all the commercial movements around it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kliuless #45: Esports Expands - by Kenneth Liu Blogs - 19 August 2019 - 7:36am
Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I publish broadly. Opinions are mine.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The first four days of a Kickstarter - by Nic Rutherford Blogs - 19 August 2019 - 7:36am
More information about the Fringe Planet Kickstarter - along with two huge mistakes I made with campaign. Blogging about this to help others avoid these mistakes
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Beginner balance versus pro balance - by Joost van Dongen Blogs - 19 August 2019 - 7:33am
What to do if something is overpowered for beginners, but fine for experienced players? Simple stat changes won't do in such cases. This blogpost discusses 3 approaches to fixing beginner balance that we've used in Awesomenauts and Swords & Soldiers 2.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

NBG Currency

New Drupal Modules - 19 August 2019 - 6:57am
Categories: Drupal

New tool makes web browsing easier for the visually impaired

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 19 August 2019 - 6:30am
Researchers have developed a new voice assistant that allows people with visual impairments to get web content as quickly and as effortlessly as possible from smart speakers and similar devices.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Downtime Training

Gnome Stew - 19 August 2019 - 5:00am

As many of my close circle of friends know, I was late to play the fifth edition of the world’s greatest role playing game. It’s a long story, but the fourth edition of the game burned me badly enough, I didn’t want to risk my time, energy, and money on the next version. I have to admit that I regret this delay because I’ve been running a game of fifth edition for the past few months, and it’s been incredibly fun. However, this isn’t a review or commentary on fifth edition, but I did want to set the stage.

I have for expanding the “Training to Gain Levels” concepts in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and I thought I’d drop them here for your consideration, consumption, and possible commentary. So here goes with the brainstorming….

 I’ve never been a huge fan of “trapping” someone at their current level. Share1Tweet1Reddit1Email

The “Training to Gain Levels” section of the DMG has a very brief segment on page 131 regarding an optional approach at training to level up. I’m glad they made it optional because I’ve never been a huge fan of “trapping” someone at their current level until they leave the adventure behind, find a nearby city, track down someone better than them, and train for a certain period of time before they can leverage what they’ve already learned “on the job” or “in the field.” It just doesn’t seem fair or right. It also interrupts the flow of the storytelling because players want (or even need) their characters to be as cool and powerful as possible while running through the storyline.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything expands on the idea of training to allow a character to learn a language or pick up a proficiency with a tool. That’s an excellent expansion of the training concept, and I like it quite a bit. I’ll even go on record to state that I love this style of training because it improves the character by “spending” some downtime moments on it.

I am a fan of is training to gain experience points. Share1Tweet1Reddit1Email

In the level-based training, what I am a fan of is training to gain experience points. These XP can, obviously, trigger a “level up” moment if enough XP is gain. That’s where my concepts and ideas come into play. If a player simply doesn’t have anything to do with their character during a downtime segment, then I don’t mind if they run off to a trainer, expert, mentor, or some such to spend a downtime segment (and some gold) to earn a few XP.

Basing my chart on the one found in the DMG, here’s my proposal:

Current Level

Downtime Segments

Training Cost

XP Gain



20 gp

100 XP



40 gp

1250 XP



60 gp

2,500 XP



80 gp

6,500 XP

This also assumes the PC can track down someone better than them to do the teaching. As the character reaches higher tiers of play, this will become more difficult. I’m going to leverage the rarity system from the DMG for magic items, and state that trainers are going to be common, uncommon, rare, or very rare. The more difficult the trainer is to find might lead to side quests to find the trainer, or even downtime and gold spent to find the trainer. I’m going to throw out an optional table here for my optional ruleset of training. This one pertains to finding the trainer.

Current Level


Downtime Segments

Finding Cost



0 (Automatic)

0 gp




20 gp




40 gp


Very Rare


60 gp

The above table shows long it would take to find a trainer and how much in expense it would take in bribes and other expenses to track down the trainer. I’d also recommend someone who is flush with liquid funds to spend more than the base “finding cost” to reduce the downtime segments, so they can find their trainer faster. How this plays out in your game is entire up to you.

 I’m completely aware that this may create a party imbalance. Share1Tweet1Reddit1Email

I’m completely aware that this may create a party imbalance to some extent because this may allow one character to obtain one level more than the rest of the party, but they’ll also be behind the other characters in gold, renown, social contacts, and so on. I think it will even out in the long run because the XP gains from training that I’m proposing aren’t that extreme and won’t allow the higher level PC to remain at that higher plateau for too long.

Those are my ideas and approaches on training to gain experience points in fifth edition. See any gaps in the proposal? How about some ideas to use or improve on the concept? Let me know!

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Group SAML

New Drupal Modules - 19 August 2019 - 3:14am

The Group SAML (gsaml) module allows you to manage group permissions based on a selected user attribute. The module make uses of the following configurations: an array of the user attributes, an array of group roles and an array of terms. It then creates a group for each term. The combination of group's with roles creates a matrix which is filled with the strings from the user entity.

Therefore it is possible to manage user access to content and media by taxonomy term.

The configuration page can be faund in /en/admin/group/saml.


Categories: Drupal

Slack Logger

New Drupal Modules - 19 August 2019 - 2:50am

This module is submodule for Slack module which allows sending error logs to your configured Slack channel.

You can configure the module, to select a minimum severity level, for example:
Configured level value is "Error", so when all logs that are at least errors (Error, Critical, Alert, Emergency), will be sent to your slack.

Categories: Drupal


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