Decolonizing the Dungeon: Gatekeeping

There are, of course, black people, indigenous people and people of color of all genders and sexual orientation in roleplaying and fantasy/sci-fi writing, and there always have been. We write (and read) comic books, graphic novels, fantasy and sci-fi novels. We create and play wargames and role-playing games, video games and movies and poetry and songs about these fantastic worlds that we've grown up in and love. We been here. 

The Board Room Episode #2: Good Dog, Bad Zombie by Make Big Things

This game is based around dogs trying to rescue their trapped “hoomans” from being eaten by zombies.  Bravely running through the city, they Lick, Bark, Herd, Chew, and Sniff through the hordes of zombies in order to save the hoomans and lead them back to their home base, Central Bark.  Hoomans, on the other hand, are little more than zombie food.  If they are found, they’re lunch.  Too many hoomans get eaten, or too many zombies enter Central Bark, and the pack goes feral, losing the love and endless scratches forever. 

Behind the Screen #3: Craig Campbell

This week on “Behind the Screen” we have ourselves a fireside* chat with the high lord of NerdBurger Games, Craig Campbell.  Craig has been a game designer from before the change in millennium, cutting his teeth in the late 90’s working on modules for Dungeons & Dragons and other mainstream games before moving forward to create his own design company.  Fast forward and Craig is now the creative force behind Nerdburger’s promising library of games, including Murders & Acquisitions, Die Laughing, and the BAMfies Award winning Capers.

The Board Room Episode #1: Ultimate Werewolf Legacy Review

Werewolf Legacy expands upon the original Werewolf by offering a story about resettling a colony in the New England wilderness.  It’s presented in the form of a diary to be filled out as the game progresses.  The decisions of the group impact the game in the ongoing war between the village and werewolves, played out over generations.  Each player will be part of a different family that lives through the war, and as the game progresses, each of these families gain abilities that impact the game. 

Behind the Screen Episode #1: Misha Bushyager

This episode, we had the honor of sitting down with Misha Bushyager, co-founder and designer for New Agenda Publishing. Misha’s exquisite work has put her on the forefront of the contemporary Indie-developer scene. Her litany work includes  Lovecraftesque, #Feminism, Dead Scare, Misspent Youth, Orun, and Masks Unbound.  Today we chat about projects old and new, as well as dive a bit into inclusiveness in the gaming community.

Trouble Boys and Trigger Men: A Capers Review

The Capers core system is simple, clean, and inventive. Centering around rules-light structure and a clever playing cards mechanic, Capers allows fast-paced action that mirrors its themes and tropes. The “gamble system” is truly exciting, adding an element of fruitful tension to nearly every action, while simultaneously capturing that “mobsters” motif that drives the game.  Capturing a system that plays alongside your genre themes is no easy task, but Campbell and company do a fine job here with Capers’ gameplay. Not only are the rules unobtrusive, they are honestly fun and immersive, allowing for Storytellers to run a story, and not just a game.

Into the Depths of Madness: A Review of Dungeon of the Mad Mage

Despite my passionate dislike of the mega-dungeon, I was surprised to find myself really enjoying Dungeon of the Mad Mage. As something of a Faerûn aficionado, I have run more than a few campaigns within the City of Splendor, and the Realms have become the canonical setting of choice for my High Fantasy over the years. The legends of Halaster Blackcloak were the stuff of many a bar tale or camp-fire Bard musing. The Undermountain was a place of great infamy, and my players had spent their share of time hunting the tunnels and passageways of Waterdeep’s underbelly.

Roll to Save: The Growing Field of Therapeutic Gaming

I hesitated to start this article out of fear. I was held by a miasma of nameless anxiety and vague reluctance too many people are familiar with. And while I have never been silent that I am one of 43.8 million Americans who suffer from mental health issues, it does not make being open and vulnerable any easier. There is always a call to arms, a mustering of courage and a deep breath before the plunge that puts the skittish butterflies in my stomach into a flurry.

[Dragonlance] Considering Kender

The opinion I want to address today is regarding Kender. That mischievous and childlike race embodied for many in the character of Tasselhoff Burrfoot. I’m not sure now what it was that made me have such a dislike of the character. Guessing, it could have been the impetuousness, the irresponsibility or the insatiable and often misunderstood kleptomania. Or it could have been how my fellow gamers approached Kender and abused the idea of them in gaming. And abuse them they did.

[Origins 2018 Series] A return to the convention

Local friends recently asked what going to Origins this year meant to me. I’ve been to conventions and I’ve even been to Origins, though the last trip out was in 2005 when I still lived in Columbus, Ohio. I think it's fair to say that Origins still remains for me what it is for many - an escape. Four days to leave behind work, responsibilities, drama and all the weight that we carry day to day.

Reflections on Dragonlance

When times are tough, or I am feeling under the weather, I drift back to things that make me feel better or are happy memories. Dragonlance is on my mind today. I have so many happy memories associated with this world setting. From the first time I read the omnibus of the Dragonlance Chronicles (a Christmas gift from my parents) I was hooked.