Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast LLC is an American publisher of games based on fantasy and science fiction themes, an operator of retail stores for games. A basement-run role-playing game publisher, the company popularized the collectible card game genre with Magic: The Gathering in the mid-1990s, acquired the popular Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game by purchasing the failing company TSR, experienced tremendous success by publishing the licensed Pokémon Trading Card Game; the company's corporate headquarters are located in Washington in the United States. Wizards of the Coast publishes role-playing games, board games, collectible card games, they have received numerous awards, including several Origins Awards. The company has been a subsidiary of Hasbro since 1999. All Wizards of the Coast stores were closed in 2004. Wizards of the Coast was founded by Peter Adkison in 1990 just outside Seattle and its current headquarters are located in nearby Renton; the company only published role-playing games such as the third edition of Talislanta and its own The Primal Order.
The 1992 release of The Primal Order, a supplement designed for use with any game system, brought legal trouble with Palladium Books suing for references to Palladium's game and system. The suit was settled in 1993. In 1991, Richard Garfield approached Wizards of the Coast with the idea for a new board game called RoboRally, but was turned down because the game would have been too expensive for Wizards of the Coast to produce. Instead, Adkison asked Garfield if he could invent a game, both portable and quick-playing, to which Garfield agreed. Adkison set up a new corporation, Garfield Games, to develop Richard Garfield's collectible card game concept called Manaclash, into Magic: The Gathering; this kept the game sheltered from the legal battle with Palladium, Garfield Games licensed the production and sale rights to Wizards until the court case was settled, at which point the shell company was shut down. Wizards debuted Magic in July 1993 at the Origins Game Fair in Dallas; the game proved popular at Gen Con in August 1993, selling out of its supply of 2.5 million cards, scheduled to last until the end of the year.
The success of Magic generated revenue that carried the company out from the handful of employees in 1993 working out of Peter's original basement headquarters into 250 employees in its own offices in 1995. In 1994, Magic won both the Mensa Top Five mind games award and the Origins Awards for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Board Game of 1993 and Best Graphic Presentation of a Board Game of 1993. In 1994, Wizards began an association with The Beanstalk Group, a brand licensing agency and consultancy, to license the Magic brand. After the success of Magic, Wizards published RoboRally in 1994, it soon won the 1994 Origins Awards for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Board Game and Best Graphic Presentation of a Board Game. Wizards expanded its role-playing game line by buying SLA Industries from Nightfall Games and Ars Magica from White Wolf, Inc. in 1994. In 1995, Wizards published another card game by Richard Garfield, The Great Dalmuti, which won the 1995 Best New Mind Game award from Mensa.
In August 1995, Wizards released Everway and four months closed its roleplaying game product line. Peter Adkison explained that the company was doing a disservice to the games with lack of support and had lost money on all of Wizards' roleplaying game products. In 1995, Wizards' annual sales passed US $65 million. Wizards announced the purchase of TSR, the cash-strapped makers of Dungeons & Dragons on April 10, 1997. Wizards acquired Five Rings Publishing Group for $25 million. Many of the creative and professional staff of TSR relocated from Wisconsin to the Renton area. Wizards used TSR as a brand name for a while retired it, allowing the TSR trademarks to expire. Between 1997 and 1999, the company spun off several well-loved but poorly selling campaign settings to fan groups, focusing business on the more profitable Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms lines. In Summer 1997, Wizards revisited the concept of a 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, having first discussed it soon after the purchase of TSR.
Looking back on the decision in 2004, Adkison stated: "Obviously, had a strong economic incentive for publishing a new edition. And given the change in ownership we thought this would be an excellent opportunity for WotC to'put its stamp on D&D'." He "Set overall design direction" for the new edition of D&D. Wizards released the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons in 2000, as well as the d20 System. With these releases came the Open Game License, which allowed other companies to make use of those systems; the new edition of the D&D game won the 2000 Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Game. In 2002, Wizards sponsored a design contest which allowed designers to submit their campaign worlds to Wizards, to produce an original campaign world. In 2003 Wizards released version 3.5 of the d20 system. Wizards helped to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the D&D game at Gen Con Indy 2004. On August 2, 1997, Wizards of the Coast was granted U. S. Patent 5,662,332 on collectible card games. In January 1999, Wizards of the Coast began publishing the successful Pokémon Trading Card Game.
The game proved to be popular, selling nearly 400,000 copies in less than six weeks, selling 10 times be
Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, risk-taking. Set or in outer space, it involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, other sophisticated technology; the term has no relation to music, but is instead a play on the terms "soap opera" and "horse opera", the latter of, coined during the 1930s to indicate clichéd and formulaic Western movies. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, comics and video games. An early film, based on space opera comic strips was Flash Gordon created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the subgenre. After the convention-breaking "New Wave", followed by the enormous success of the Star Wars films, space opera became once again a critically acceptable subgenre. Throughout 1982–2002, the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel was given to a space opera nominee.
Space opera is defined as an adventure science-fiction story. The term "space opera" was coined in 1941 by fan writer and author Wilson Tucker as a pejorative term in an article in issue 36 of Le Zombie, a science fiction fanzine. At the time, serial radio dramas in the United States had become popularly known as soap operas because many were sponsored by soap manufacturers; the term "horse opera" had come into use to describe formulaic Western films. Tucker defined space opera as the science fiction equivalent: a "hacky, stinking, spaceship yarn". Fans and critics have noted that the plots of space operas have sometimes been taken from horse operas and translated into an outer space environment, as famously parodied on the back cover of the first issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, when the stories were printed in science-fiction magazines, the stories were referred to as "super-science epics". Beginning in the 1960s, accepted by the 1970s, the space opera was redefined, following Brian Aldiss' definition in Space Opera as – as paraphrased by Hartwell and Cramer – "the good old stuff".
Yet soon after his redefinition, it began to be challenged, for example, by the editorial practice and marketing of Judy-Lynn del Rey and in the reviews of her husband and colleague Lester del Rey. In particular, they disputed the claims that space operas were obsolete, Del Rey Books labeled reissues of earlier work of Leigh Brackett as space opera. By the early 1980s, space operas were again redefined, the label was attached to major popular culture works such as Star Wars. Only in the early 1990s did the term space opera began to be recognized as a legitimate genre of science fiction. Hartwell and Cramer define space opera as:... colorful, large-scale science fiction adventure and sometimes beautifully written focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, set in the distant future, in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone. It deals with war, military virtues, large-scale action, large stakes. Early works which preceded the subgenre contained many elements of.
They are today referred to as proto-space opera. Early proto-space opera was written by several 19th century French authors, for example, Les Posthumes by Nicolas-Edme Rétif, Star ou Psi de Cassiopée: Histoire Merveilleuse de l’un des Mondes de l’Espace by C. I. Defontenay and Lumen by Camille Flammarion. Not popular, proto-space operas were occasionally written during the late Victorian and Edwardian science-fiction era. Examples may be found in the works of Percy Greg, Garrett P. Serviss, George Griffith, Robert Cromie. One critic cites Robert William Cole's The Struggle for Empire: A Story of the Year 2236 as the first space opera; the novel depicts an interstellar conflict between solar men of Earth and a fierce humanoid race headquartered on Sirius. However, the idea for the novel arises out of a nationalistic genre of fiction popular from 1880 to 1914 called future-war fiction. Despite this early beginning, it was not until the late 1920s that the space opera proper began to appear in pulp magazines such as Amazing Stories.
In film, the genre began with the 1918 Danish film, Himmelskibet. Unlike earlier stories of space adventure, which either related the invasion of Earth by extraterrestrials, or concentrated on the invention of a space vehicle by a genius inventor, pure space opera took space travel for granted, skipped the preliminaries, launched straight into tales of derring-do among the stars. Early stories of this type include J. Schlossel's "Invaders from Outside", The Second Swarm and The Star Stealers, Ray Cummings' Tarrano the Conqueror, Edmond Hamilton's Across Space and Crashing Suns. Similar stories by other writers followed through 1929 and 1930. By 1931, the space opera was well established as a major subgenre of science fiction. However, the author cited most as the true father of the genre is E. E. "Doc" Smith. His first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, is called the first great space opera, it merges the traditional tale of a scientist inventing a space-drive with planetary romance in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Smith's Lensman serie
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System. The name describes the galaxy's appearance from Earth: a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye; the term Milky Way is a translation of the Latin via lactea, from the Greek γαλαξίας κύκλος. From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band. Galileo Galilei first resolved the band of light into individual stars with his telescope in 1610; until the early 1920s, most astronomers thought that the Milky Way contained all the stars in the Universe. Following the 1920 Great Debate between the astronomers Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, observations by Edwin Hubble showed that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies; the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy with a diameter between 200,000 light-years. It is estimated to contain 100 -- more than 100 billion planets; the Solar System is located at a radius of 26,490 light-years from the Galactic Center, on the inner edge of the Orion Arm, one of the spiral-shaped concentrations of gas and dust.
The stars in the innermost 10,000 light-years form a bulge and one or more bars that radiate from the bulge. The galactic center is an intense radio source known as Sagittarius A*, assumed to be a supermassive black hole of 4.100 million solar masses. Stars and gases at a wide range of distances from the Galactic Center orbit at 220 kilometers per second; the constant rotation speed contradicts the laws of Keplerian dynamics and suggests that much of the mass of the Milky Way is invisible to telescopes, neither emitting nor absorbing electromagnetic radiation. This conjectural mass has been termed "dark matter"; the rotational period is about 240 million years at the radius of the Sun. The Milky Way as a whole is moving at a velocity of 600 km per second with respect to extragalactic frames of reference; the oldest stars in the Milky Way are nearly as old as the Universe itself and thus formed shortly after the Dark Ages of the Big Bang. The Milky Way has several satellite galaxies and is part of the Local Group of galaxies, which form part of the Virgo Supercluster, itself a component of the Laniakea Supercluster.
The Milky Way is visible from Earth as a hazy band of white light, some 30° wide, arching across the night sky. In night sky observing, although all the individual naked-eye stars in the entire sky are part of the Milky Way, the term “Milky Way” is limited to this band of light; the light originates from the accumulation of unresolved stars and other material located in the direction of the galactic plane. Dark regions within the band, such as the Great Rift and the Coalsack, are areas where interstellar dust blocks light from distant stars; the area of sky that the Milky Way obscures is called the Zone of Avoidance. The Milky Way has a low surface brightness, its visibility can be reduced by background light, such as light pollution or moonlight. The sky needs to be darker than about 20.2 magnitude per square arcsecond in order for the Milky Way to be visible. It should be visible if the limiting magnitude is +5.1 or better and shows a great deal of detail at +6.1. This makes the Milky Way difficult to see from brightly lit urban or suburban areas, but prominent when viewed from rural areas when the Moon is below the horizon.
Maps of artificial night sky brightness show that more than one-third of Earth's population cannot see the Milky Way from their homes due to light pollution. As viewed from Earth, the visible region of the Milky Way's galactic plane occupies an area of the sky that includes 30 constellations; the Galactic Center lies in the direction of Sagittarius. From Sagittarius, the hazy band of white light appears to pass around to the galactic anticenter in Auriga; the band continues the rest of the way around the sky, back to Sagittarius, dividing the sky into two equal hemispheres. The galactic plane is inclined by about 60° to the ecliptic. Relative to the celestial equator, it passes as far north as the constellation of Cassiopeia and as far south as the constellation of Crux, indicating the high inclination of Earth's equatorial plane and the plane of the ecliptic, relative to the galactic plane; the north galactic pole is situated at right ascension 12h 49m, declination +27.4° near β Comae Berenices, the south galactic pole is near α Sculptoris.
Because of this high inclination, depending on the time of night and year, the arch of the Milky Way may appear low or high in the sky. For observers from latitudes 65° north to 65° south, the Milky Way passes directly overhead twice a day; the Milky Way is the second-largest galaxy in the Local Group, with its stellar disk 100,000 ly in diameter and, on average 1,000 ly thick. The Milky Way is 1.5 trillion times the mass of the Sun. To compare the relative physical scale of the Milky Way, if the Solar System out to Neptune were the size of a US quarter, the Milky Way would be the size of the contiguous United States. There is a ring-like filament of stars rippling above and below the flat galactic plane, wrapping around the Milky Way at a diameter of 150,000–180,000 light-years, which may be part of the Milky Way itself. Estimates of the mass of the Milky Way vary, depending upon the method and data used; the low end of the estimate range is 5.8×1011 solar masses, somewhat less than that of the Andromeda Galaxy.
Measurements using the Very Long Baseline Array in 2009 found
A pseudopod or pseudopodium is a temporary arm-like projection of a eukaryotic cell membrane. Filled with cytoplasm, pseudopodia consist of actin filaments and may contain microtubules and intermediate filaments. Pseudopods are used for ingestion. Different types of pseudopodia can be classified by their distinct appearances. Lamellipodia are thin. Filopodia are slender, thread-like, are supported by microfilaments. Lobopodia are amoebic. Reticulopodia are complex structures bearing individual pseudopodia. Axopodia are the phagocytosis type with long, thin pseudopods supported by complex microtubule arrays enveloped with cytoplasm; however some pseudopodial cells are able to use multiple types of pseudopodia depending on the situation: Most of them use a combination of lamellipodia and filopodia to migrate. The human foreskin fibroblasts can either use lamellipodia- or lobopodia-based migration in a 3D matrix depending on the matrix elasticity. Several pseudopodia arise from the surface of the body, or, a single pseudopod may form on the surface of the body.
Cells which make pseudopods are referred to as amoeboids. To move towards a target, the cell uses chemotaxis, it senses extracellular signalling molecules, chemoattractants, to extend pseudopodia at the membrane area facing the source of these molecules. The chemoattractants bind to G protein-coupled receptors, which activate GTPases of the Rho family via G-proteins. Rho GTPases are able to activate WASp which in turn activate Arp2/3 complex which serve as nucleation sites for actin polymerization; the actin polymers push the membrane as they grow, forming the pseudopod. The pseudopodium can adhere to a surface via its adhesion proteins, pull the cell's body forward via contraction of an actin-myosin complex in the pseudopod; this type of locomotion is called Amoeboid movement. Rho GTPases can activate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase which recruit PIP3 to the membrane at the leading edge and detach the PIP3-degrading enzyme PTEN from the same area of the membrane. PIP3 activate GTPases back via GEF stimulation.
This serves as a feedback loop to amplify and maintain the presence of local GTPase at the leading edge. Otherwise, pseudopodia can't grow on other sides of the membrane than the leading edge because myosin filaments prevent them to extend; these myosin filaments are induced by cyclic GMP in D. discoideum or Rho kinase in neutrophils for example. In the case there is no extracellular cue, all moving cells navigate in random directions, but they can keep the same direction for some time before turning; this feature allows cells to explore large areas for colonization or searching for a new extracellular cue. In Dictyostelium cells, a pseudopodium can form either de novo as normal, or from an existing pseudopod, forming a Y-shaped pseudopodium; the Y-shaped pseudopods are used by Dictyostelium to advance straight forward by alternating between retraction of the left or right branch of the pseudopod. The de novo pseudopodia form at different sides than pre-existing ones, they are used by the cells to turn.
Y-shaped pseudopods are more frequent than de novo ones, which explain the preference of the cell to keep moving to the same direction. This persistence is modulated by PLA2 and cGMP signalling pathways; the functions of pseudopodia include locomotion and ingestion: Pseudopodia are critical in sensing targets which can be engulfed. A common example of this type of amoeboid cell is the macrophage, they are essential to amoeboid-like locomotion. Human mesenchymal stem cells are a good example of this function: these migratory cells are responsible for in-utero remodeling. Pseudopods can be classified into several varieties according to the number of projections, according to their appearance: Lamellipodia are broad and flat pseudopodia used in locomotion, they are supported by microfilaments which form at the leading edge, creating a mesh-like internal network. Filopodia are slender and filiform with pointed ends, consisting of ectoplasm; these formations are supported by microfilaments which, unlike the filaments of lamellipodia with their net-like actin, form loose bundles by cross-linking.
This formation is due to bundling proteins such as fimbrins and fascins. Filopodia are observed in some animal cells: in part of Filosa, in "Testaceafilosia", in Vampyrellidae and Pseudosporida and in Nucleariida. Lobopodia are bulbous and blunt in form; these finger-like, tubular pseudopodia contain both endoplasm. They can be found in different kind of cells, notably in Lobosa and other Amoebozoa and in some Heterolobosea. High-pressure lobopodia can be found in human fibroblasts travelling through a complex network of 3D matrix. Contrarily to other pseudopodia using the pressure exerted by actin polymerization on the membrane to extend, fibroblast lobopods use the nuclear piston mechanism consisting in pulling the nucleus via actomyosin contractility to push the cytoplasm that in turn push the membrane, leading to pseudopod formation. To occur, this lobopodia-based fibroblast migration needs nesprin 3, RhoA
Quadrupedalism or pronograde posture is a form of terrestrial locomotion in animals using four limbs or legs. An animal or machine that moves in a quadrupedal manner is known as a quadruped, meaning "four feet"; the majority of quadrupeds are vertebrate animals, including mammals such as cattle and cats, reptiles such as lizards. Few other animals are quadrupedal, though a few birds like the shoebill sometimes use their wings to right themselves after lunging at prey. Although the words quadruped and tetrapod are both derived from terms meaning "four-footed", they have distinct meanings. A tetrapod is any member of the taxonomic unit Tetrapoda whereas a quadruped uses four limbs for locomotion. Not all tetrapods are quadrupeds and not all quadrupeds are tetrapods; the distinction between quadrupeds and tetrapods is important in evolutionary biology in the context of tetrapods whose limbs have adapted to other roles. All of these animals are tetrapods. Snakes, whose limbs have become vestigial or lost are tetrapods.
Most quadrupedal animals are tetrapods but there are a few exceptions. For instance, among the insects, the praying mantis is a quadruped. In July 2005, in rural Turkey, scientists discovered five Kurdish siblings who had learned to walk on their hands and feet. Unlike chimpanzees, which ambulate on their knuckles, the Kurdish siblings walked on their palms, allowing them to preserve the dexterity of their fingers. Many people practitioners of parkour and freerunning and Georges Hébert's Natural Method, find benefit in quadrupedal movements to build full body strength. Kenichi Ito is a Japanese man famous for speed running on four limbs. Quadrupedalism is sometimes referred to as being on all fours, is observed in crawling by infants. BigDog is a dynamically stable quadruped robot created in 2005 by Boston Dynamics with Foster-Miller, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Harvard University Concord Field Station. By NASA JPL, in collaboration with University of California, Santa Barbara Robotics Lab, is RoboSimian, with emphasis on stability and deliberation.
It has been demonstrated at the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Bipedalism Orthograde posture Family may provide evolution clue - BBC News
D20 Modern is a modern fantasy role-playing game designed by Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan. It was published by Wizards of the Coast and released in November 1, 2002; the game uses Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition rules. It provided players the tools to build a campaign in a modern setting. Wizards released d20 Modern in 2002 at the same time the company was revamping its Star Wars role-playing game. Wizards expanded from their work with the game, developing one of d20 Modern's setting into a full sourcebook the Urban Arcana Campaign Setting, afterward they extended d20 further with the science-fiction d20 Future and the historical d20 Past. In d20 Modern each character is referred to as a hero. All heroes start with a first level basic class; each basic class corresponds to one of the six ability scores in the d20 System. They have their own set of skills, talents, hit dice, wealth bonus, so on. A hero will become a specific hero; the six basic classes are: The Strong Hero, based on Strength.
These heroes are brawny, they favor melee combat. The Fast Hero, based on Dexterity. They’re nimble and quick, able to evade most incoming attacks; the Tough Hero, based on Constitution. Difficult to take down and can resist most sicknesses; the Smart Hero, based on Intelligence. The typical know-it-all hero points; the Dedicated Hero, based on Wisdom. A strong intuitive hero and always vigilant; the Charismatic Hero, based on Charisma. A hero who has a way with words and personal magnetism. In addition to basic classes, there are advanced classes. Similar to basic classes but with requirements to fulfill. There's 14 advanced classes to qualify: Acolyte, Daredevil, Field Medic, Field Scientist, Infiltrator, Mage, Martial Artist, Personality and Techie. Advanced classes can be achieved depending on the hero's basic class. For instance, a Tough Hero can be an excellent candidate for Daredevil. In levels, the player may choose to multiclass their hero. A Strong and Dedicated hero, or Smart and Field Scientist hero, are examples.
There’s no limitations how many classes the hero may have, but heroes tend to have two or three classes. However, some Gamemasters may have restrictions on certain advanced classes in her campaign. Thus, the advanced classes won't be available; the most frowned upon advanced classes are the Mage. Gamemasters tend to shun these classes. Reasons may vary on the Gamemaster. One of the interesting additions to the system was the action points. Actions points are used by characters to affect game play greatly. Whenever a character spends one action point, the character receives a small boost in his or her skill checks, ability checks, level checks, or saving throws. There's a bit of restriction where to use them; as the character spends these points, they're limited. However, through level advancement, he or she replenishes spent action points. In order to fit the d20 Modern setting, some skills and items are reworded and rebalanced, both the feats and skills mechanics receive expansions. Included are game statistics for both modern weapons and "archaic" weapons, such as swords and crossbows.
Occupations act as a job or career that a character holds. He or she may over time. There are over each with its own restrictions, such as age; as well, they open more options when choosing higher Wealth bonus. The 19 occupations are: Academic, Athlete, Blue Collar, Creative, Dilettante, Emergency Services, Investigative, Law Enforcement, Religious, Student and White Collar. Instead of using real world currency, such as United States dollar or Euro, it’s been replaced with the Wealth bonus, it functions just like any real world currency: income, debit, to deposit or withdraw and selling, so on. It defines the characters' financial conditions, from being opulent to impoverishment. All characters have their own wealth. Determining wealth at first level, the player rolls a four-sided die two times, adds the results together; the result can be increased by occupation, the Windfall feat, the Profession skill. Whenever the character advances in level, the player rolls a Profession check. D20 Modern presents three sample campaign settings.
These settings, unlike the rest of the book, feature the supernatural. In this setting, evil monsters from one or more parallel dimensions, roam free around the world. However, most people do not see these creatures for what they are, seeing instead a vague approximation, still plausible in that person's beliefs about reality. For example, an ogre would appear to the average person as a burly man; the player characters are somehow capable of seeing through this veil, take on responsibility for defending humanity from the monsters. It appeared as a d20 mini-game in Polyhedron Magazine issue #150. In this campaign setting, magic does not exist. Player characters work for a government agency investigating and/or using this quasi-supernatural force, but this is only a suggestion