Archive for the ‘Roleplaying’ Category

Oddities From My Game Library: Darksword Adventures

“Darksword Adventures,” by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman of “Dragonlance” fame, is a genuinely odd roleplaying game book that was ahead of its time, even if it isn’t a classic for the ages.

ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt

I recently acquired a copy of Night Below, a 1995 AD&D boxed set outlining a sprawling fantasy campaign set in the Underdark setting. I remember drooling over it at a toy store—I think it was the late, lamented PlayCo in Escondido, CA, if my memory has the year right. The copy I acquired has been […]

Anyone who can be trusted in little matters can also be trusted in important matters. But anyone who is dishonest in little matters will be dishonest in important matters.

This cautionary video clip, brought to you in 1993 by The 700 Club, has been making the rounds: (More info here.) Mocking Pat Robertson, and more specifically the anti-D&D hysteria of the 80s and early 90s, is a bit too easy at this point, so I won’t bother. But I do want to point out […]

In D&D, the crew always goes down with the ship

On a whim, I dug out my old AD&D Spelljammer books this afternoon. Spelljammer is the woefully under-appreciated space fantasy setting for 2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons; instead of crawling through dungeons looking for goblins to murder, you captain a magic-powered sailing ship through Ptolemaic outer space looking for space goblins to murder. My high […]

More human than human

Hey, ‘net punk! Look what some clever console cowboy has revealed on the inter-tron today: OK, so it’s just a video game. But this is a kind of a big deal if you’re into tabletop roleplaying games, because this is a video game based on Mike Pondsmith’s venerable Cyberpunk 2013 (later Cyberpunk 2020, later Cyberpunk […]

Master of Roles, Revised

Hey, look! A new version of the vintage Rolemaster RPG is out, and they’ve released public playtest documents for the teeming masses to try out. I’d say Rolemaster has certainly earned a new edition—the last serious rules upgrade was in the mid-90s (the Rolemaster Standard System); there was technically a further revised edition around the […]

An Illustrated Compendium of Monsters (for Four-Year-Olds)

Like every father of a four-year-old daughter, I’m called upon nightly (as part of the bedtime routine) to tell her stories. The stories got a lot more interesting—and weird—when I started incorporating the D&D Monster Manual…

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone…

As fortune would have it, I’ve read a number of (non-Dungeons & Dragons) novels lately that have contained clever references to D&D. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is chock full of them. Lev Grossman’s The Magicians has a good number as well. Nerd references are the cool thing these days. But The Magician King, […]

Why Are Gary Gygax’s D&D Modules Still Unavailable?

Next month, Wizards of the Coast is reprinting the 1st edition AD&D core rulebooks, with some of the proceeds to benefit the Gygax Memorial Fund. (And if you missed it, yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Gygax’s death.) I’m really glad they’re bringing back, even if just for a limited print run, some vintage D&D […]

One man’s trash is another man’s campaign notes: the archaeology of used games

I never visit a used bookstore without checking its science fiction/fantasy section for used board or roleplaying games. If you’ve ever come across an amazing find in a neglected, dust-covered stack of old games at a used bookstore, you’ll agree that previously-owned games are much more fun to buy than brand-new shiny ones. There’s something […]