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Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games
Updated: 2 days 21 hours ago

Life After 1980: RPG Consent Forms, Broken Elfs, and No Concept of Economy

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 11:44

D&D (John Blacktree) The Nature of Consent Forms in Role Playing Games — “There are great DM’s and awful ones. It’s a roll of the dice. (pun intended) but when something like a consent form is brought forth you are exerting an unearned level of control over others fun. They didn’t sign up to be whipped and burned with candle wax. They just want to play a game.”

Fantasy (Dutrope) Editor Interview: Cirsova Magazine — “For some reason, we get a lot of elf stories. Unless you’re doing something Dunsanian, no elves! Look, we can fix formatting, we can add page numbers to the footer of your manuscript, but we can’t fix a story that has generic D&D elves in it.”

Writing (Dean Bradley) Fighting Style and Character — “Before the renaissance in traditional European martial arts, a katana conveyed a much more seasoned and developed fighting style than a bastard sword. We now know that the fighting style of European knights was every bit as systematic and developed as that of the samurai, but the truth mattered less than the viewer’s impression of skill and study.”

Books (Castalia House) Swords & Dark Magic — “The better sword and sorcery writers who came out of the 1970s got their start in the small press. They started out writing short stories, then novelettes. A few then made the jump to mass market paperbacks that were generally 80,000 words long. Now it is backwards, the writers of the past ten to twenty years start out writing 700 page novels for seemingly never ending series. They have no concept of economy.”

Appendix N (Grey Dog Tales) Tarzan Reborn! — “I have no way of knowing exactly how the late Fritz Leiber approached the job, but I can easily imaging him watching the movie over and over, along with reading the original script treatment, making copious notes on what did and didn’t work. Frankly, he did an astonishing job of it. I was recently reliably informed that Philip José Farmer considered this to be one of the best Tarzan novels he ever read. I can’t disagree with that appraisal.”

D&D (The Alt-right DM) How Consent Works — “When you sit down to my D&D game, you consent to play my games. Both the RAW B/X game, and the head games that are part and parcel of dealing with a maniac like me. Like my second ex-wife’s ass cheeks, there a lot of overlap between the two.”

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The SF Reconquista: Muscular Christian Science Fiction, the Deus Vult in Space… Cruci-fiction!

Sat, 09/14/2019 - 14:54

Deus Vult in Space (Jon Del Arroz) The Craziest Day Of My Career — “Justified is officially a break out hit. It’s doing the numbers the big boys sell. I’m not completely surprised at how well it’s doing, as an action-packed military science fiction with a strong male lead, promoting Christianity, is something that is a universal truth in what people desire. Heroism. Bravery. Honor. Loyalty. Love. Chastity.”

Deus Vult in Space (Brian Niemeir) A Sea Change in Science Fiction — “There is a vast underserved market of predominantly male, Christian readers who’ve been ignored by the witches in oldpub, the nihilist nudniks in newpub, and the milquetoast Boomers in Christian fiction for decades.”

Deus Vult in Space (Bradford Walker) “Justified” & The Pulp Reformation — “This is not just the return of the Pulps, but their full restoration. Read the old stuff and you’ll see the very Christianity on display, but not explicit as having a Templar as the hero. All of the morality, the conflict, the temptations, and so on are built off of a robust and thriving Christianity assumed as the norm for Civilization.”

Deus Vult in Space (Liberty Island) An Author Interview with Jon Del Arroz — “The way we transform culture is talking about the culture we want the culture to transform to.”

Deus Vult in Space (Alexander Hellene) Cruci-FictionSo what is ‘Cruci-Fiction’? Nothing short of unabashedly Christian fiction that still has explosions and fights and guns and blood and guts and action all of that good stuff. What it doesn’t have is a groveling, mewling, weak depiction of faith, or an embarrassment on the part of its writer for being a Christians and featuring Christian themes and characters.”

Deus Vult in Space (Rawle Nyanzy) I Am Proven Wrong (by the Almighty) — “There are more Christians and Christian-adjacent folks than weebs. Weebs and mech fans don’t read novels, so it was a mistake to try and market to them. There is a vast difference between an untapped market and an uninterested market.”

Westerns (JD Cowan) The Prince Returns — “The most fascinating part of the book to me is that it is more or less completely unknown despite its obvious quality. I have found no reviews online for this. There has never been an adaption that I’ve been able to track down.”

Appendix N (New Pup Tales) John Carter: A Cornerstone of Pulp — “While I could see how Burroughs would come up with some of the Red Martians technology, their airships seem like a logical leap from the airplanes and blimps of 1912, I was blown away by the fact that Mars had a factory to produce its oxygen.”

Reconquista (Brian Niemeier) A Confident Masculine Christianity — “Even if you’re not a Christian–even if you’re an atheist, only God-fearing artists who hope in Christ have a chance against the NY and LA death cultists who spread the Left’s anti-faith.”

Commies (LA Review of Books) Mutate or Die: Eighty Years of the Futurians’ Vision — “A single writer cannot make change alone, but must be supported, along with other writers, by the institutions of publishing: magazines, editors, readers, and people putting their money behind publishing houses, book reviewers, cultural taste-makers, bookstockers, awards…”

Clown World (The American Catholic) John W. Campbell Was Not a Fascist — “Beyond the usual SJW insanity this silliness demonstrates a complete forgetting of why we honor people. We honor them not because they share in the common virtues and vices, opinions and prejudices of their times, but because of something notable they accomplished.”

Appendix N (Castalia House) Sensuous Science Fiction — “There is a narrative that sex in science fiction did not exist before Philip Jose Farmer came along. Sensuous Science Fiction blows holes in that narrative. Seven stories contained therein including stories under pseudonyms by Edmond Hamilton and Jack Williamson.”

Weird Tales (RMWC Reviews) Pre-Tolkien Fantasy: The Abominations of Yondo and The Voice in the Night –“What’s been most interesting to me about this exercise has been in how the lines of what is ‘Fantasy’ get blurred the further back in time you go. Weird fiction, horror, ghost stories; those are all integral parts of what Fantasy is…. The problem arises from those who wanted to be the next Tolkien. Ponderous doorstoppers with twenty book series that lie unfinished at their creators’ deaths, Dry and dusty histories of the world and long names with gratuitous hyphens and apostrophes chained within them.”

Short Fiction (Cirsova) Realities of Short Fiction Economics — “The scarcity of short fiction comes in name recognition, not the fiction itself. There are a gorillion amazing stories, but for instance, there is only one Sky Hernstrom–with only one Sky Hernstrom creating a limited supply of Sky Hernstrom stories, the value on those stories becomes a premium. If I can pay Sky more for a story than another guy because I want to be the pub carrying Sky Hernstrom stories, then that’s where the value comes into fiction, not through the slush pile of great undiscovered and unpublished fiction we see every year.”

Weird Tales ( Thoughts on Jirel of Joiry — “In Jirel’s stories we see reflections of the classic feminine virtues: adaptability, stoicism, emotional intelligence, reckless daring in facing overwhelming odds for a higher end, devotion to faith and duty.  Jirel of Joiry embodies the greatness in women. Her femininity is front and center, the core of her being. It is an approach utterly alien to the fiction of Current Year….”

Old School Gaming (Daniel J. Davis) The Implied Apocalypse of Dungeons & Dragons — “It’s interesting reading through the AD&D rulebooks now. Like I mentioned last week, I don’t have any personal nostalgia for this edition. So it’s not like I’m viewing it though rose-colored glasses. Even so, it’s hard not to come away with a feeling that something incredibly cool was lost in the transition to the slicker, more polished game I grew up on.”

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Talking AD&D, Tolkien, and Edgar Rice Burroughs on Twitter

Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:50

Okay, this might be danged hard to follow but it’s also a lot of fun.

A lot of good points are made in here, so click on through for the rest of the discussion!

I really wish @Wizards_DnD would release a minimalist throw back edition of D&D 5E. Keep the same rules but go back to a two column layout with black and white art and have some the old artists do some work for it. The 5E books are overly produced imho. #OSR #DnD5E

— Ulairi (@letthedicefall) July 11, 2019

They aren't meant to fire imagination, they are meant so you and your friends get on the same cookie cutter fantasy carnival ride as the actors in your favourite Wizards of the Coast sponsored podcast!

— Brandon (@PixelCanuck) July 12, 2019

TSR: "Why have us do any more of your imagining for you?"
Wizards of the Coast: "Don't imagination, just consume product and then get excited for next products."

— Jeffro Johnson (@JohnsonJeffro) July 12, 2019

I’m all for pushing the hobby forward, but 5e is all about reaching out and making the hobby accessible. Generally speaking, WotC is really great about inclusion, so I don’t see the problem. If people want something more, there is PLENTY of TTRPG content out there to be found.

— Just A Barovian Bladesinger (@TravisVawter) July 12, 2019

"Pushing the hobby forward" "Making the hobby accessible" "Great about inclusion"

— Meffridus (@meffridus) July 12, 2019

Accessible to who? I was playing AD&D at 8 years old, me and friends were self taught. Did TTRPGs really need to be made more accessible than that?

What they needed to become more popular was to become more socially accepted, not accessible. That's the angle Wizards is pursuing

— Brandon (@PixelCanuck) July 12, 2019

AD&D is the definitive expression of all things Gygaxian. It's a landmark work, epochal even. There was nothing like it before in history and there can never be another work that even approaches its influence and significance. It is staggeringly awesome. But it is not accessible.

— Jeffro Johnson (@JohnsonJeffro) July 12, 2019

This is beautifully and wonderfully wrong. #AppendixN

— Jeffro Johnson (@JohnsonJeffro) July 12, 2019

Siri, show me very bad takes that contradict facts in Tolkien's autobiography

— Dogs Don't Have Thumbs (@MorlockP) July 12, 2019

he didn't mention ERB as an inspiration, and talked at length about the Germanic and Celtic myths as inspiration

— Dogs Don't Have Thumbs (@MorlockP) July 12, 2019

On the other hand, we know by his own words that JRRT did read a lot of ERB. He denied direct copypastas, but it is no great lep to infer that JRRT was influenced by ERB. For better or worse.

— Jon Mollison (@NotJonMollison) July 12, 2019

Right. You know his publisher had no interest in what would ultimately become The Silmarillion. If (as OP claimed) D&D would not have happen without Tolkien creating a demand for it, then you can also say that LotR would not have happened without ERB making a demand for it.

— Jeffro Johnson (@JohnsonJeffro) July 12, 2019

The Lord of the Rings was developed over the course a many years through several complete rewrites. It builds on and alludes to a legendarium that he began developing during the world war, but there would be no demand for that type of material until after his death.

— Jeffro Johnson (@JohnsonJeffro) July 12, 2019

Could anyone writing fantasy or science fiction in the thirties and forties escape the influence of Edgar Rice Burroughs? I don't think that' s possible!

— Jeffro Johnson (@JohnsonJeffro) July 12, 2019

Tolkien wrote tLotR because (a) his publisher rejected The Silmarillion and (b) his readers wanted to hear more about hobbits. Tolkien had nothing else to say about hobbits after that 1st book. He was done! But the marketplace influenced him to undertake what would become tLotR.

— Jeffro Johnson (@JohnsonJeffro) July 13, 2019

Excuse my pedantry: I believe it was the Book of Lost Tales (Silmarillion precursor) that was intended to be a great myth for England (not Europe.)

— Corn Woman (@WomanCorn) July 13, 2019

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Best RPG Account on Twitter!

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 17:53

After many, many months of putting in sweat equity in the gym, playing classic vintage games, and dropping hot takes on social media sites… all my efforts have finally paid off.

That’s right, y’all. #TeamWinningSecrets scientific polling indicates that my Twitter feed is in fact the best RPG account on Twitter.

Very stoked about this!

If you are an elite level player that would like to win at RPGs, please join me there for my wholesome D&D content!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs