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Yazeba's Bed & Breakfast is a very special game. It uses pre-set characters, quick-play chapters, and an adaptable ruleset unlike anything else out there. It takes less than a half hour to learn how to play and get started, but with new chapters and secrets to unlock folks can stick with the game for years and years.
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I don't know if this is a silly question, but I am a little confused about Journeys. Some characters have specific tasks to complete in order to check off one of the tracks, but some don't. At the end of a Chapter do they count up their individual leftover tokens and trade each one for a track segment?
Sorta! The short answer is that there's no solo play support in the book, but there is advice on journaling-as-play and writing fanfiction about the game. Because this is a TTRPG that's also designed to be engaged with as a book, "reading the game" and "imagining what the characters are doing" and "writing stories about the characters" is fundamentally solo play! So if you like to engage with TTRPGs on your own, there will be a lot here for you.
Jay Dragon's next game, presented here in demo version, has an already very enticing pitch (we play slices of the lives of travelers and employees of a more or less magical Bed & Breakfast) but also combines two excellent concepts, one of which I think is unheard of in the role-playing game world: a division into chapters that are each governed by more or less different rules depending on the atmosphere and the characters (because you only play this game with pre-starters), and a rather pronounced legacy aspect, with stickers to unlock via the evolution of the characters and scenarios, to unlock new characters and new chapters... It's a huge potentiality that opens up with such a concept and I can't wait to discover it in its published form to dream about it even more!
Glass production started in the eastern Mediterranean region approximately 2700 years earlier than the glass studied in this paper. The glass industry migrated throughout the Mediterranean towards Europe. Therefore, by the fifteenth century, much was known about the glass-producing technique, which traditionally includes the activities of glassmaking, glass melting and glass forming. Glassmaking is the preparation of molten glass (fritting) from its basic raw materials which are silica (sand) as a network former and alkalis as network modifiers (flux). Between the eighth and tenth centuries, the centralized model of glass production collapsed, and European glassmakers started using locally available sands and plant ashes to produce glass6. In contrast to Near and Middle East sands, the sands of many European areas were too impure to be used for glassmaking without prior purification treatments. Oxides of potassium were employed as a principal network modifier to lower the temperature. This is used as a replacement of the oxides of sodium. The raw ingredients had to be chemically balanced because the addition of too much alkali increased the water solubility of the resulting glass. Other oxides such as calcium oxide (lime) acted as counterbalancing stabilizers. Knowledge on these working practices in the early days of glassmaking was obtained in an empirical way, most likely based on trial and error and then documented in glassmaking recipes. The twelfth-century manuscript Treatise on Diverse Arts by Theophilus Presbyter7,8 is the earliest historic source for medieval and post-medieval glassmaking. Precise instructions on the selection and preparation of the raw materials are given together with a work plan for making crucibles out of clay. Furthermore, it brings in the recommendation to use moderate temperatures and to stir the frit to avoid the forming of lumps.
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The alkali source came from the burning of mature trees, including beech and oak, or forest plants such as ferns or bracken9. The various melting properties of each alkali-rich material had implications for the temperature and time required to melt the batch. As reported by Jackson and co-workers, glassmakers were skilled and competent artisans who understood their materials. One proof is their knowledge on the preferred use of either beech or bracken ash and sand instead of oak and sand mixtures, allowing glassmakers to work at lower temperatures and requiring them to use less fuel for their production10. The applied furnace technology was another factor that strongly impacted the melting conditions9. As illustrated in the literature2,11, various types of furnaces were employed in the Northern European glass tradition characterized by differences in size, shape and building materials, taking into consideration the essential element of heat sharing between the main and subsidiary furnaces.
The variation in applied fluxes together with regional differences in soil compositions, resulted in a high variability in major elemental composition. Moreover, it has been proven that glasses produced with ashes, which were harvested at various times throughout the growing season, differed in composition12. Wood/plant ash glasses are typically subdivided into potash and high-lime-low-alkali (HLLA) glasses based upon their K2O/CaO ratio13. Researching the relation between glass type and chronology has shown that fifteenth-century material tends to be potash glass, whereas glass from sixteenth and seventeenth contexts often has an HLLA glass signature. However, an overlap exists between the uses of both glass groups for the early periods. According to the literature, the time transition point from potash towards HLLA glass strongly depends on the region. HLLA glass was identified by Wedepohl in German sites from fourteenth to seventeenth-century contexts13,14. From the second half of the fifteenth century to the end of the seventeenth century, both potash glass and HLLA are present in Northern France15. Initially, potash glass was mainly appearing in the northwestern region, and HLLA glasses were appearing in the northeastern region close to the German borders. Afterwards, the diffusion of HLLA glasses from east to west was observed15. For England, the research of Dungworth and co-workers demonstrated the occurrence of HLLA glasses from the second half of the sixteenth century onwards16. References are scarce for the Low Countries. The existing literature suggests that most of the non-figurative fifteenth- to seventeenth-century material is HLLA3 and that the composition of the roundel glass of the Low Countries does not show significant difference from ordinary window glass, with HLLA glass being the dominant glass type17.
The paler appearance and purer character of the lozenge glass (filled diamond) compared to the quadrangular glass (filled square) is proven by its CIELab colour values, which are closer positioned to the origin of the axes.
Plotting the Na2O concentration against the K2O/CaO ratio shows that all groups have comparable K2O/CaO ratios but deviating soda levels. Considering all groups with a fifteenth century assignment shows that the lozenge group (filled diamond) best matches Group B of Schalm. The same exercise used for the quadrangular group (filled square), unveils some overlapping behaviour with the German wood ash lime that Wedepohl researched, as well as the British HLLA 2a material that Dungworth described.
Because we were not permitted to sample the material, the purity was studied based on the earlier described optical parameters. Roundels are typically characterized by several areas with painted silver stain or grisaille layers. Therefore, it was important to first identify those locations where no (or a minimum amount of) paint layer was present. Only for roundel IA4039 did it appear that the entire surface was coated with a thin grisaille layer. An analysis of the optical parameters demonstrated that a parallel could be drawn between the purity of the non-figurative windows and the roundels. For example, the earlier material (IA552, IA1172 and IA4019) is purer compared with the later material (IA4039 and AV8097) (Supplementary Table S4). In comparison with the older dated roundels, the colour coordinates of roundels IA4039 and AV8097 are further away from the origin of the Lab colour diagram (Fig. 7), and their UVAE values are also higher (Fig. 8). The deviant purities of roundels IA4019 and IA4039, which both originate from the same region (Leuven), prove that the difference in glass purity is not caused by the geographical location of the workshop but rather to a chronological difference in applied production technique. At first sight, roundel IA1171 appears to be an outlier. Based on its stylistic properties, this roundel was classified in the second half of the sixteenth century, while its glass purity matches with that of the later non-figurative window material. It is an open question if this roundel was painted on a bare glass sheet that was still in stock from an earlier date or if the glass purity transition point for roundel material must be situated at the end of the sixteenth century. Another observation is that every optical parameter, measured at different locations within one roundel, leads to a specific cluster and that the different clusters do not overlap. Another remarkable notice is that for each of the earlier defined non-figurative window groups, a roundel was found for which the colour values, the absorption at 1100 nm and the UVAE values, overlap. These are roundel IA552 for the lozenge group and roundel IA4039 for the quadrangular group.
This paper is the result of a close collaboration between art historians and optical engineers in the field of heritage research, and it offers new insights into the interplay between used raw materials and fabrication technology in the economic flourishing period from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century in the (Southern) Low Countries. Starting from two well-diagnosed groups of excavated non-figurative glass window pieces, we researched the combined influence of the purity of the raw materials and the glass thickness obtained with either the crown or the cylinder method on the amount of transmitted light transmission. Earlier-performed macroscopic research unveiled a difference in the obtained glass thickness between both glass fabrication methods. First of all, the analysis of the recorded optical transmittance spectra demonstrated that the earlier-dated lozenge shaped glass is purer compared with the more recent quadrangular material, mainly due to the lower iron-impurity levels. Nonetheless, the study of the light transmission properties has shown that despite its better glass purity, the lozenge glass is less transparent compared with the more greenish quadrangular glass. Linking the observations of the spectroscopic research with earlier reported chemical data on a subset of samples allows us to conclude that the glass was produced in (a) local workshop(s) employing different fabrication technologies regarding the use of raw materials. The fact that the more recent material is made from less pure materials but finally leads to increased window transparency demonstrates that changing socio-economic realities prompted the ancient glassmakers to innovate. In a second case study, we assessed these research findings and studied six roundels originating from glass ateliers located in the (Southern) Low Countries. For this glass material, we also observed an evolution towards less pure materials in later periods. Despite this, more light was transmitted through the roundels compared with the non-figurative windows due to their lesser thickness. This can be seen as proof for their status as a luxury commodity.