Thursday, August 20, 2015

Regional Alignments in Greyhawk

Since I've already done the regional trade resources map in Greyhawk, a regional alignment map only seems like a logical extension to that. Here it is;

Greyhawk Regional Alignment

Yvonne Craig (RIP)

Original Batgirl TV Star Yvonne Craig Passes Away At 78 

Comic book fans around the world mourn the loss of the 1960s Batman television series’ Batgirl, Yvonne Craig. Her sassy and independent portrayal of Batgirl would shape the character for decades to come (in both animated TV shows and comic books alike). Yvonne Craig had the distinct honor of being the first actress to ever portray a live action version of the Batgirl. However, this week on Monday her battle with cancer took her life quietly; she was 78 years old, at the time of her death. The 1966 Batman television series is the thing of campy cult legend. When Yvonne Craig joined the show it was beginning its third and final season on ABC. The production values and budget were being slashed drastically and the producers felt that they needed to inject something new into the series to make it more interesting. Craig’s portrayal of mild mannered librarian and daughter of the police commissioner Barbara Gordon by day and the strong and independent Batgirl by night would go on to make a huge impact on the fans and help to solidify the character of Batgirl, who had only debuted in the comic books six years prior. Her experience as a ballet dancer helped Yvonne Craig to do her own stunts both in fight scenes and on her motorcycle on the Batman TV show. Batgirl emerged on television at a time when the women’s lib movement was strong. Her character reflected the national mindset and her secret identity was never revealed to Batman and Robin. Batgirl always stood on her own two feet with her own costumes, gadgets and gear. Her final appearance as Batgirl came in 1973 when she was commissioned to do a public service announcement for the Federal Equal Pay Law.

Craig is also known by fans of the classic Star Trek series as the Orion Marta from the episode “Whom Gods Destroy”. Her Marta character is a green, and slightly unstable, Orion slave girl that accompanies Garth of Izar, a shapeshifting baddie that eventually kills her character. Yvonne also found her way into several other iconic series, such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., McHale’s Navy, My Three Sons and The Wild Wild West. It was her role in Batman, however, that made her a feminist icon and would prolong her fame until the time of her passing.

A statement from Yvonne’s family has been posted on her official website:
Yvonne was a very private person, so from the onset of her battle with cancer, she decided to share with immediate family and very close friends. She wanted to spend all of her energy concentrating on winning her battle. She was adamant about this and wanted to tell her story when she was cured and feeling better. We all respected that wish. 
The statement goes on to say:
Fight as she did; however, over the past two plus years, she still lost her battle with metastasized breast cancer that had gone to her liver. Her operation right before Christmas, removed portions of her liver and some tumors as well as her gallbladder (not infected but in the way) and honestly she never totally recovered from that and more malignancies showed up again much to our dismay. She had been in chemo almost continuously for the past two plus years since being diagnosed and that had weakened her immune system as well as her body. This didn’t dampen her sense of humor or her spirit, she intended to fight and win this battle. In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up. Please celebrate Yvonne in your own way and the work she has left behind for you to continue to remember her by and enjoy. 
The world has lost a legendary star of the small screen. The fan community has lost one of the kindest and most passionate actors to ever portray a comic book character. A great number of fans have had the pleasure of meeting Yvonne Craig on the convention circuit over the past few decades. (Yvonne felt so connected to her character that she even complained to DC Comics when the Joker paralyzed Barbara Gordon in “The Killing Joke”. ) Thank you Yvonne for your contribution to the fandom. Our deepest condolences to Yvonne’s family and friends. You can read her official obituary on her website.

R.I.P. Yvonne Joyce Craig: May 16th, 1937 – August 17th, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

AD&D 1ed DMG Updated PDF

Just like I did the other week, I just got an email about the new updated Dungeon Master's Guide PDF.
So if they keep up with what they've been doing so far, it should be going on sale tomorrow over at;

DriveThruRPG.com



While you're at it here's the errata for all AD&D 1st edition re-prints over on Dragonsfoot as well as a comparison of the reprints versus the originals.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

World Map - Linux

Since I'm a Linux geek who loves maps this one struck my fancy. These are from the Dedoimedo site.

The Great Linux World Map

Here it is, the Great Linux World Map, the Atlas of the Theater of the World, Dedoimedo style. The smaller image below links to a full-sized 2752x1536px 1.19MB PNG map. The map is in 16:9 aspect ratio, so you can use it as a wallpaper, if you fancy so. Enjoy!

Linux World Map


For different formats,  here are a: PDF version (1.1MB) Grayscale version (892KB) Black & White version (124KB).

The Great Linux World Map Version 2.0

Below is the map, 2752x1548px in size, in 16:9 ratio, good for desktop wallpapers. You get the full colored version (2.27MB), linked in the illustration below, a clean black & white version (693KB) in case you want to use your own coloring scheme and make modifications, and I warmly welcome those, and a special black & white version (693KB) with some extra Latin text, see if you can spot it there. All PNG format. Click to enlarge.

Great Linux World 2.0

More info here.



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pluto Flyby

In case you haven't already seen this... take an HD look at Pluto!
Pluto flyby photos thrill New Horizons scientists after nine-year Nasa mission
NASA spacecraft makes history as the first spacecraft to reach distant dwarf planet, the last unexplored world in the solar system.
NASA’s New Horizons probe flew past Pluto early Tuesday, providing the clearest images yet of the dwarf planet.

New Horizons launched in 2006 and has traveled 3 billion miles in the past nine years. It’s not stopping at Pluto, but it flew past the dwarf planet at 7:49 a.m. ET Tuesday. 

At its closest approach, the spacecraft will have been just 12,500 kilometers (about 7,750 miles) from the surface, traveling at 14 kilometers per second (31,000 miles per hour). The pass was the closest scientists have ever been able to get to Pluto.

The stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured in the above photo from New Horizons at about 4 p.m. EDT on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach. The spacecraft was 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometers) from the surface.

NASA released the first close-up photo of Pluto on Instagram Tuesday morning, taken before the spacecraft reached its closest approach.

It was later released on their website, too.

The probe has given scientists a better view of the dwarf planet than they’ve ever had before.

The probe has given scientists a better view of the dwarf planet than they've ever had before.
NASA / Via nasa.gov


This photo of Pluto (right) and Charon was taken just a few days ago, on July 11.

Until Tuesday, the best photograph of Pluto was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

 

Until Tuesday, the best photograph of Pluto was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA / ESA / Hubble / Via hubblesite.org


But Hubble was in Earth’s orbit, so the photo wasn’t very clear. But earlier this year, in May and June, New Horizons began sending back pictures of Pluto that were better than any Hubble had taken.

You can follow the flyby on NASA TV.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hommlet Cartoon Walk Through

For those who haven't seen it over on the wizards site is another hilarious installment of Jason Thompson's walk-through cartoon maps of classic modules. This time we get his rendition of the adventure T1: The Village of Hommlet. Jason has done quite a few of these and always packs tons of detail into his maps, check it out if you haven't already!
 From part of the write up;

Your party is now approaching the Village of Hommlet, having ridden up from lands of the Wild Coast. You are poorly mounted, badly equipped, and have no large sums of cash. In fact, all you have is what you wear and what you ride, plus the few coins that are hidden in purses and pockets. What you do possess in quantity, though, is daring and a desire to become wealthy and famous.
Thus your group comes to Hommlet to learn if this is indeed a place for adventurers to seek their fortunes. You all hope, of course, to gain riches and make names for yourselves. What the outcome of this will be is uncertain, but your skill and daring, along with a good measure of luck, will be the main ingredients of what follows, be it for weal or woe.
To either hand forest and meadow have given way to field and orchard. A small herd of kine graze nearby, and a distant hill is dotted with the white of a flock of sheep. Ahead are thatched roofs and stone chimneys with thin plumes of blue smoke rising from them. A road angles west into the hill country there, and to either side of the road ahead are barns and buildings—Hommlet at last! The adventure begins….
And with that, Jason Thompson walks us through the trials of a typical party seeking to gain said riches in the ruins of the nearby moathouse.

Click on the image below for a larger view:


The original Village of Hommlet Moathouse maps, to compare:


About the Author
Jason Thompson (@mockman) is a comic artist, illustrator and D&D player. He is currently designing his first tabletop game, Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics at www.mangakagame.com.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

1ed Player's Handbook PDF

Just got this in my inbox from Dungeons & Dragons Classics.


Players HandbookThe 1st Edition Player's Handbook is back!

No more searching through stacks of books and magazines to find out what you need to know. The Player's Handbook puts it all at your fingertips, including: All recommended character classes: Fighters, Paladins, Rangers, Magic-Users, and more.
  • Character Races: Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Half-Orcs, Humans, and more.
  • Character Level Statistics.
  • Equipment lists with costs.
  • Spell listings by level and descriptions of effects (including many new spells!).
As a dungeon adventurer or Dungeon Master, you will find the contents of this book to be what you have been waiting for. All useful material is now compiled under one cover, especially for players!

Players Handbook (1e) is now available in PDF format at DriveThruRPG.com and DnDClassics.com!