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How Dungeons & Dragons Influenced a Generation of Writers (SLNYT)

For certain writers, especially those raised in the 1970s and ’80s, all that time spent in basements has paid off. D&D helped jump-start their creative lives. When he was an immigrant boy growing up in New Jersey, the writer Junot Díaz said he felt marginalized. But that feeling was dispelled somewhat in 1981 when he was in sixth grade. He and his buddies, adventuring pals with roots in distant realms — Egypt, Ireland, Cuba and the Dominican Republic — became “totally sucked in,” he said, by a “completely radical concept: role-playing,” in the form of Dungeons & Dragons. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Jul 20, 2014 - 35 comments

An Observer's Guide To Pony Fanwork

How much My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan content is there out there? LET'S FIND OUT. A few highlights:
What I Learned Today, morals to episodes
Twilight adjusts to a Season 3 plot development
Apogee, random, catchy
Celestia and Luna play Resident Evil 4 (repurposed from Two Best Friends)
The best of Sweetie Bot, from Friendship is Witchcraft
Slice of Life, a very well done fan Tumblr
How much more could there be? Well.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 23, 2014 - 126 comments

You Are The Hero!

"I think the answer is 100 per cent of people cheated! That's what everyone tells us. Do we mind? No." A history of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy game books.
posted by dng on Aug 16, 2013 - 49 comments

A Theme Park Adventure with Mud Baths, Saunas, and a Kayak Ride

Jason Thompson (previously on Metafilter), an Eisner nominee who writes about manga and draws comics based on H.P. Lovecraft stories, has created wonderful cartoon maps of some classic Dungeons and Dragons modules. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Jun 5, 2013 - 11 comments

I Hate Magic

"Magic loses its mystique if you're just popping 'round to the chemist to pick up some enchanted swords and spiritual Gatorade." Robert Rath explains what's wrong with magic in games and how it can be fixed.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on May 1, 2013 - 93 comments

Finnish Fan Foments Flash Friday Fun

Hapuriainen makes dress ups / character creators: Disney Girls dress up; Pokémon Trainer creator; Naruto character creator; W.I.T.C.H. Guardians maker; and 64 others. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Apr 26, 2013 - 6 comments

The Core of FATE

The Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) system has produced notable games ranging from the pulp themed Spirit of the Century, to the hard science fiction Diaspora, to the adaptation of the urban fantasy series Dresdin Files, and the high fantasy Legends of Anglierre. However, there's never been a basic, official version of the 3rd. edition core system. Until now. [more inside]
posted by happyroach on Jan 29, 2013 - 18 comments

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, a podcast in which writer and game designer Robin D. Laws (Hamlet's Hitpoints, The GUMSHOE system) and game designer and writer Kenneth Hite (Tour De Lovecraft, GURPS Horror) (previously) talk about stuff. Stuffs include: Why vampires are assholes and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, stopping WWI and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Margaret Atwood and the difference between a mystic and an occultist, why no invented setting is as interesting as the real world and Woodrow Wilson, Gencon and sundry RPGs, Neil Armstrong, HP Blavatsky and theosophy, the ebook prcing settlement, what big publishing could learn from RPG publishers, and the many crazy fictional possibilities of Charles Lindbergh and his UFO investigating chums, and Dungeons and Dragons edition wars and Aliester Crowley.
posted by Artw on Sep 30, 2012 - 30 comments

Excelsior!

There's a new Marvel superhero RPG, but the original Marvel Superheroes from 1984 still has a loyal following. Classic Marvel Forever has everything about the original game; its designer reveals its secret origins. [more inside]
posted by Zed on Mar 7, 2012 - 19 comments

The Tome of Awesome

If you enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons or similar fantasy RPGs, or if you just like reading in-depth analysis of fictional worlds, then the Tome of Awesome [pdf] is for you. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jan 12, 2012 - 50 comments

How to find an RPG

You've finally gotten over your geek self-loathing, and you've decided to jump back into playing tabletop, pen-and-paper RPGs. But where to begin? [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Jan 10, 2012 - 51 comments

Breastplates and Boobplates

Fantasy armor and lady bits, from the perspective of an armorer
posted by Artw on Dec 18, 2011 - 88 comments

The Digital Antiquarian

The Digital Antiquarian discusses ludic narrative and has been filling in by bits and pieces an amazing history of recreational computing and adventure gaming. The Rise of Experiential Games traces the development of Wargames from H.G. Wells' (!) wargame for toy soldiers, Little Wars, to Avalon Hill's Squad Leader; he discusses the development of Dungeons and Dragons (part 2, 3) led to the first CRPGs on PLATO. He'll tell you things you didn't know about Oregon Trail (part 2, 3, 4, 5, postscript, the 1975 source code!), Hunt the Wumpus (part 2), Colossal Cave Adventure (part 2, 3, 4, 5), Eliza (part 2, 3), Scott Adams' games (part 2, 3, 4, 5), the TRS-80 (part 2, 3), the 2 adventuring cultures of university minicomputers and home PCs, and their unlikely bridging. [more inside]
posted by Zed on Sep 11, 2011 - 18 comments

Just another counterfactual Monday

Hite's Law: "All alternate histories produce zeppelins." Kenneth Hite has been featuring alternate Mondays on his livejournal.What if Tewodros II hadn't unified Ethiopia? What if Bonnie Prince Charlie had been worth the powder it would take to blow him out of a cannon barrel? How could Carthage have won the Punic Wars? What if King Kalakaua of Hawai'i had succeeded in forging a Union and Federation of Asiatic Nations and Sovereigns with Japan? How could 20th century North America have ended up ruled by rival warlords? How could things have gone not quite so badly for the Huguenots? What if the Suez Crisis and the invasion of Hungary hadn't been contemporaneous? [more inside]
posted by Zed on Dec 1, 2010 - 30 comments

The industry isn't dying, it's just going 2.0

Tabletop roleplaying has always had a long history of self publishing. The internet has certainly made it easy for people to share their games for free, though admittedly presentation is improving. Beyond the free models, a number of publishers have started coming up with alternative for-profit business models - The Shadow of Yesterday followed the Cory Doctorow model, releasing the whole game for free online, while charging for hardcopies. John Wick's Houses of the Blooded sells very cheap PDFs and full price books. Greg Stolze has led the charge in Ransom Model rpg sales. Following the "Whatever Price You Like" model of World of Goo and other videogames, Bliss Stage & Polaris are doing the same with PDFs. Shock: Human Contact has already pulled in over $7,000 on Kickstarter, before the game has even been published.
posted by yeloson on Nov 23, 2010 - 22 comments

Violence, the RPG

Violence, the RPG. In 1999, Greg Costikyan, designer of Toon, Paranoia, and the Star Wars RPG, released this satirical and profane take on violence in games anonymously. It's now available as a free download. [more inside]
posted by empath on Nov 28, 2008 - 10 comments

"I know--that's redundant."

Colbertfilter: Stephen waxes nostalgic with the release of Stormreach: DnD Online. Need a glossary? Len Lakofka. Lawful Good. Displacer Beasts. Beholders. GenCon. Mindflayer. Need some new dice? What DnD character are you? Grognards rejoice! You are not alone!
posted by bardic on Mar 5, 2006 - 165 comments

Quest for Glory

What would happen if you tried to play out RPG cliches in real life? You certainly couldn't do all of them, but there are a few you can try. Not quite as funny as Summoner Geeks, but quite entertaining. "And if one thing should be taken from this experience, above anything else, should the fate of the universe ever be in your hands, only bother to seek the aid of girls under the age of 30."
posted by smith186 on Feb 3, 2006 - 21 comments

Realistic rpg guides

RPG's as an art form (via Something Awful) " I've also been encountering different variations of the same monsters; for example, I was walking in these hills and was attacked by a slime with Ray Bans and a fedora. Another time it was a slime with a fake beard and glasses. I think whoever is producing these things, either the Dragonlord or some bored wizard, just ran out of ideas and are dressing them up to fool adventurers such as myself. I'm harder to trick than that, you sly devils. "
posted by sourbrew on Jul 31, 2004 - 7 comments

'A Tale in the Desert'

'A Tale in the Desert' seems to be shaping up into a rather interesting game. Not just another MMORPG, it's based upon the ancient Egyptian 'Seven Disciplines of Man'. From the FAQ:
It contains no combat: no monsters, no player-killers, no swords or armor. Your character advances by completing, participating in, or leading large projects. Negotiation and politics play a very large role. The game has a plot that unfolds in response to player actions, and when the story is over, the game ends.

posted by GriffX on Jul 16, 2002 - 1 comment

Have you heard of the Feminine Empire of Aristasia? It seems to be "an alternative reality that is really lived by girls today." Whether this is fact or elaborate fiction, there is a crowd of websites out there devoted to this subject. There is a glossary, a pinup area of ideal Aristasians, even types of people. Is this Lesbian role playing? Is it real? You be the judge: Google it.
posted by ashbury on May 8, 2002 - 29 comments

Considering marriage? Now, with the RPG You Stupid Bitch! you can experience the bliss of marriage (or, as the author of the game puts it, "the struggles between two manipulative vipers") with only your imagination and some old D&D dice. In a more literary mood? Try the Wuthering Heights RPG. [Original link via Portal of Evil.]
posted by arco on Sep 29, 2001 - 1 comment

Steve Jackson Games

Steve Jackson Games, the makers of such fine pen-and-paper RPGs as Gurps, has been running a blog since 1994. I've been reading it since 1996, and I just now realized: it was the first blog I've ever read. In addition to release information, they also post game industry news, personal stories, and even the Illuminated Site of the Week, all with intimacy and personality we've come to expect from blogs.
posted by tweebiscuit on May 22, 2001 - 11 comments

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