So, with tabletop RPGs, I like to pick out a few character concepts to use for creating characters to help learn the system – often based on anime, movies, TV shows, or novels – trying to emulate those characters to help learn the system. For example, for Fantasy games I tend to go with the Heroes of Lodoss. Recently I’ve picked up a couple of supers RPGs – the Marvel Multiverse RPG and the Sentinels Comics, and I’m creating some test characters in the process of trying to learn the system. My first trial run: A-Ko.Continue reading
It’s August, when I normally do TTRPG videos, so now is a good time for another one of those – in this case talking about a few of the things have that caused me (and my GM) to bounce off of Forged in the Dark & Powered by the Apocalypse games in the past, which you should consider if you want to move from your Dungeons & Dragons game to one of those systems (especially if your group has primarily played D&D).Continue reading
Well, once again, Wizards of the Coast has stuck their head in it. This time, they sicced the Pinkertons on a YouTuber who had been mistakenly shipped the wrong Magic: The Gathering material – specifically a box of an epilogue expansion to March of the Machine that was due to come out later in May. Rather than just doing the more… practical thing, like leaving a voicemail or sending a certified letter, instead the Pinkertons came out, and threatened the YouTuber with felony criminal charges, in addition to having all their magic cards seized by the police.Continue reading
In the wake of Wizards of the Coast announcing that they are revoking OGL V1.0a, there have been a bunch of hot takes that the OGL does not matter and it and other licenses never mattered – so I get into a few of the legal cases that made the OGL important, and which makes current open gaming licenses important.Continue reading
For the first Anime Appendix N Sidebar episode, I take a look at what use a “Recommended Works” section provides to an RPG, to GMs, and to Players, and how you can use one to help prepare players for your own game.Continue reading
This time I’m starting off talking about some Fantasy anime that are worthy of consideration, and introduce a concept I’ll be revisiting over the course of this series – the Axis of Emotional/Comedic Intensity.Continue reading
This week I’m starting a new limited series, spun off from my RPG recommendations. This time I’m giving recommendations for anime by genre, based on how they spur inspiration at the gaming table, inspired by AD&D’s Appendix N. This time, I’m getting into why I’m doing this spinoff in the first place.Continue reading
I like Shadowrun a lot – it was the second tabletop RPG I ever played and my first cyberpunk RPG. I also know it’s clunky in a lot of respects. So, when I learned about Sprawlrunners about a more fast-moving way to run a Shadowrun-like game, using the new edition of the Savage Worlds I decided to pick it up.Continue reading
I recently picked up the corebook for Cyberpunk Red, and have read through the whole book. I haven’t done anything with the rules yet, so I can’t speak to those. However, I do have some thoughts about the setting, particularly the changes in the Time of the Red.Continue reading
Dragons of Autumn Twilight ended with the refugees from Pax Tharkas having found a refuge in a mountain pass in the hope of (possibly) making it through the winter. The second book in the Dragonlance Chronicles series begins with the Heroes of the Lance having already gone on another adventure, and having brought the refugees to the Dwarven city of Pax Tharkas. In the roleplaying game modules, your player characters would have gone through this story. However, while much of the Dragonlance modules were adapted to the original Chronicles series, not all of them were. In the late 2000s, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman returned to Dragonlance to adapt this missing chapter into novel form.Continue reading
When I beat Shadowrun Returns: Dead Man’s Switch, I enjoyed the game but found it lacking in a lot of respects. While Dead Man’s Switch was an RPG that captured a bunch of the feel of the world of Shadowrun and invoked one of the classic adventures from the game, it was missing some of the dynamism of the RPG that other PC RPGs brought to the table. Shadowrun Dragonfall addresses these concerns and creates an RPG that is a more marked improvement over its predecessors.Continue reading
This time I’m getting into something slightly different. I ordered a copy of the tabletop RPG adaptation of Pool of Radiance, titled Ruins of Adventure, and while I’m getting through the next chunk of the game, I figure this is a good time to talk about that.Continue reading
This week I have a review of an art book covering the history of Dungeons & Dragons from the start of the game to now.Watch the video…
In this episode (with its light novel adaptation length title), I give some recommendations for tabletop RPGs based on various video games and anime from the last year.
Oriental Adventures was a sourcebook for AD&D 1st edition that sort of re-imagined and re-interpreted the game to fit a setting inspired by various stripes of Asian cinema, with varying degrees of success. However, two things that book did moderately well was to present a setting in microcosm that used the mechanics and the book’s non-weapon proficiency system. What it didn’t do well was to create classes and races that were conducive for adventuring, and it didn’t create a setting that a standard adventuring party could be inserted into.
AD&D 1st Edition received a smattering of different settings. The longest lasting of those were the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, and Dragonlance settings. However, a little less memorable one is Kara-Tur, which was born out of the Oriental Adventures sourcebook. While it would later be folded into the Forgotten Realms, on the outset it was very much its own thing. Continue reading
Tomb of Horrors is quite possibly the most infamous D&D module of all time. It’s an adventure that has been credited with annihilating campaigns, and is claimed to be the most broken and unfair adventure ever put out by TSR. However… I think this reputation might be because people are approaching the scenario the wrong way. Continue reading
I off and on have been reviewing the parts of the first AD&D adventure path – Against the Giants (in two parts – Part 1 & Part 2), and Descent into the Depths of the Earth. Well, now the time has come to the conclusion of the Adventure Path, and while for an inventive ending, it’s kind of a rough one. Continue reading
The Against the Giants series (the first adventure reviewed here, and the other two here) wraps with a hook for further adventures within the Underdark, based on the premise that the Giants were backed by the Drow. This leads to the party heading into the Underdark to do battle against the Drow. Continue reading
A while back, I reviewed G1: The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, an adventure that launched AD&D’s first real adventure path, and had some really interesting adventure design concepts. The other two adventures in the series – G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl and G3: The Hall of the Fire Giant King, are much more conventional dungeon crawls, so they’re worth discussing together. Continue reading
Back when I was getting actively into gaming again, I started reading Knights of the Dinner Magazine, and some issues of Dragon Magazine when I could. In those issues of the magazine, I encountered ads for Dwarven Forge, a company making miniature dungeon terrain out of really durable material, what I presume is plastic resin, called Dwarvenite. It was incredibly well sculpted, beautiful to look at, and as a high school and later college student, I couldn’t even begin to hope to afford it, never mind to have space for it. But I really wanted to be able to be in a game that used it.
Fast forward to a few years ago when I finally got in a long-running game again, and much to my delight, my GM owned pretty much all of the Dwarven Forge terrain that had come out to date – so I was able to play with it and experience using it first hand – and it was great. And then I learned about a documentary on Netflix about the guy who started Dwarven Forge, and I decided I had to check that out. I didn’t know exactly what it’s tone would be. However, thus far Netflix had not steered me wrong on the documentary front, so what the hell?
The Dwarvenaut is a interesting documentary – as both an character study of Stefan Pokorny, the founder of the company and one of the sculptors of the terrain the company puts out, and a brief snapshot of what draws people to Roleplaying games. That said, the film is tends strongly more towards the former than the latter. Stefan talks about what drew him to RPGs and we get some interviews with people, often industry luminaries, about what drew them to RPGs – but while the documentary goes to GenCon and other locations we don’t get much of an opportunity to talk to newer roleplayers about why they play, and what draws them to the products that Dwarven Forge makes.
The framing “narrative” as much as there is one, is based around the launching of Dwarven Forge’s third kickstarter, for their City Terrain set, after their earlier “Dungeon” and “Cave” sets. In particular, there are some concerns that due to overpromising on the kickstarter, if they don’t raise $2 million, they will end up going bankrupt. The “will they or won’t they make the goal” part of the
The profile of Stefan is far more engrossing – getting into not only what motivates him as a person who is into roleplaying (specifically designing a product that would motivate people to play in person instead of online), but also as an artist. There’s an scene in the film where Stefan goes back to Venice, where he spent some time after he graduated from art school, and he talks about the wear on the stones and about the stories those buildings must have scene – and that speaks volumes of the artistic motivations behind the Dwarven Forge terrain.
The film also does an amazing job of presenting Dwarven Forge’s terrain, visually. We get some really well shot closeups of the terrain, with lighting and dry-ice fog that makes it look like a miniature from a fantasy movie (and that’s not a bad thing – this is a product that you can buy after all). It kinda makes for a really strong advertisement for Dwarven Forge’s products, which is not what I expected from this documentary.
It’s an engrossing film. I don’t know if it’s one that I’d necessarily add to my collection, but it was definitely worth watching. The film is currently available for streaming on Netflix, and also on Amazon on DVD and Digital.
It’s time for another RPG Roundup video. This time I’m making my recommendations based on Anime series!
13th Age: Amazon, DriveThruRPG
Maid: Amazon, DriveThruRPG
Champions: Amazon, DriveThruRPG
Icons: Amazon, DriveThruRPG
Mutants & Masterminds: Amazon, DriveThruRPG
Wild World Wrestling: DriveThruRPG
- Sailor Moon – Toei
- Serial Experiments Lain – Pioneer
- Neon Genesis Evangelion – Gainax/Studio Khara
- Armored Trooper VOTOMS – Sunrise
- Bubblegum Crisis – Pioneer
- Log Horizon (Season 1) – Satelite
- Hayate the Combat Butler – Manglobe
- Tiger & Bunny – Sunrise
- Goseiger – Bandai
- Tiger Mask W – Toei