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Gender-inclusive language in D&D 5e raises roleplaying questions

How Dungeons and Dragons is endorsing the darkest parts of the RPG community "Three weeks ago the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons came out. D&D is the iconic tabletop role playing game, so a new edition is a big deal. It’s one of the few times that the small, insular pen and paper community gets noticed by the rest of the world. Many game websites have talked about it, notably Polygon’s piece on gender inclusive language. Yet at the same time as D&D tries to appeal to those outside the gender binary, it has been driving them away by employing two of the most toxic personalities in tabletop gaming." [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave on Aug 9, 2014 - 184 comments

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

You don’t understand fun. Not really.

You don’t sit down to write a game and “add fun” or “make fun.” You make things. You design encounters. You plan plot points. You build NPCs. And you also put together and run campaigns. You hope that somehow, out of the campaigns and the decisions and encounters and plot points and NPCs, fun is a thing that will happen. But you don’t actually try to quantify fun. You don’t think about why fun things are fun. Until today.
In The Eight Kinds of Fun The Angry DM explores the nature of fun in tabletop roleplaying games, guided by scholarly research on the subject.
posted by Skorgu on Jan 28, 2014 - 43 comments

The original golden age of fantasy role playing games.

Old School FRP is a tumblr blog with a ton of illustrations and art from the golden age of Dungeons and Dragons and games that were totally not Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by Pope Guilty on Aug 31, 2013 - 33 comments

What Kind of D&D Character Would You Be?

"This [129 question] survey will determine your ability scores, fantasy race, class, alignment, and character level describing what you would be if you were transformed into a Dungeons and Dragons character."
posted by jedicus on Aug 13, 2013 - 303 comments

I'm a Dungeon Master! I deserve this promotion!

Can playing Dungeons & Dragons make you a more confident and successful person? The PBS Idea Channel posits that playing pen-and-paper role-playing games helps to develop valuable life skills such as problem solving, people management, and abstract thinking.
posted by asnider on Oct 16, 2012 - 77 comments

Save vs nostalgia.

Mountain Dew, Gamma World - and cake! GeekDad's Ethan Gilsdorf uncovers a long-lost pile of loot - silent Super 8 footage of a 1981 Friday night D&D session. JJ Abrams couldn't have faked it this good. (SLYT-sorta)
posted by obiwanwasabi on Feb 3, 2012 - 35 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

Live action promo video for Shadowrun from 1990

The cyberpunk/magic roleplaying game Shadowrun was launched in 1990 with the help of this live-action promo video. Previously.
posted by bq on Jul 1, 2011 - 92 comments

" Orcs are mammals and therefore do not spawn."

Got a question about old-school Dungeons and Dragons? Perhaps you should consult this database of questions and answers from Dragon Magazine's "Sage Advice" column.
posted by Pope Guilty on Oct 12, 2010 - 144 comments

Play like it's 1974!

In 1974, a pair of wargame enthusiasts from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin transformed the nascent hobby gaming world by publishing three little brown booklets. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson's Dungeons & Dragons has become an important part of the lives of generations of young gamers. Along the way, D&D went through numerous editions, each with increasingly complex rules. [more inside]
posted by paulg on Jul 13, 2010 - 157 comments

"just numbers on a piece of paper"

I do not want to spend too much time beating a dead war-horse, but your average D&D game consists of a group of white players acting out how their white characters encounter and destroy orcs and goblins, who are, as a race evil, uncivilized, and dark-skinned. To quote Steve Sumner’s essay again, “Unless played very carefully, Dungeons & Dragons could easily become a proxy race war, with your group filling the shoes of the noble white power crusaders seeking to extinguish any orc war bands or goblin villages they happened across.” I would argue with Sumner’s use of the phrase “could become,” and say that unless played very carefully, D&D usually becomes a proxy race war. Any adventurer knows that if you see an orc, you kill it. You don’t talk to it, you don’t ask what it’s doing there - you kill it, since it’s life is worth less than the treasure it carries and the experience points you’ll get from the kill. If filmed, your average D&D campaign would look something like Birth of a Nation set in Greyhawk.
- Race in Dungeons & Dragons by Chris van Dyke, a powerpoint talk given at Nerd Nite. Via Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog where there's a smart discussion going on about the essay.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 19, 2008 - 195 comments

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