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]
Debbie and Marcie arrive at college unaware of the dangers of RPGing. They are soon indoctrinated into this dangerous lifestyle where they face the threat of learning real life magical powers, being invited to join a witches’ coven, and resisting the lure of Ms. Frost, a vile temptress of a GM. But what peril must the two friends face when they stumble across the Necronomicon and their fantasy game becomes a reality game? Find out in Dark Dungeons! [more inside]
"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.
Realm of Chaos 80s - an 80s Games Workshop blog.
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]
The Museum of Computer Adventure Game History in Toronto, Canada is one of the largest collections of adventure and role-playing games and supplements in existence. [more inside]
Role Playing Game pioneer Mohammed Al Rahman Barker died last week (PDF). Inspired through playing dungeons and Dragons, M. A. R. Barker created what is possibly the world's second RPG, Empire of the Petal Throne, set in the world of Tekumel, a world he would continue to keep building for the rest of his life. [more inside]
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]
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]
An Illustrated History of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy - Jackson and Livingstone - audio, sans illustrations. The story of how Steve Jackson (not that Steve Jackson) and Ian Livingstone kickstarted tabletop roleplaying in the UK and founded a gaming behemoth that is very different today.
Although it's commonplace nowadays to assume that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was the primary source of inspiration for Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax when they created the world's first tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, a careful examination of the game suggests otherwise... James Maliszewski on The Books That Founded D&D. Some disagreement.
Lovecraft 101: Get To Know The Master of Scifi-Horror. For more detailed insights into each of Lovecraft's tales in publication order you might want to follow the H.P.Lovecraft Literary Podcast. For another story-by-story guide to Lovecraft you might want to check out Kenneth Hite's Tour De Lovecraft (also available in expanded form as a book). China Mieville on Lovecraft and racism and a lecture at Treadwells by Archaeologist James Holloway which delves deep into Lovecraft and identity. The making of the Call of Cthulhu RPG. The making of Cthulhu (Hipsters! Ego! Madness!). Happy Halloween with H.P. Lovecraft!
The Play-Generated Map and Document Archive: finally providing a place to put all those odd doodles, detailed maps, and character sketches that come out of your weekly gaming sessions. [more inside]
“I can't make anyone Jewish with a called shot.” “I cannot start the game pregnant.” “My medical supply bag will contain more than just a bone-saw and a bottle of whiskey.” “My halfling cannot take the flaw, 'Obsession: Ring of Invisibility.'” “Even if he was a paragon of humanity in his alternate dimension, Good Hitler is not an appropriate superhero concept.” “No more Crazy Ivans while I'm driving the AT-AT.” “I do not have to check before each adventure that my fellow adventurers are not doppelgangers, Cylons or pod people.” “'Everybody Wang Chung tonight' is not an acceptable use of the Mass Suggestion spell.” 1250 things Mr. Welch can no longer do during an RPG. (SLLJ)
How to survive any RPG - a 'one size fits all' guide to Role Playing Games. As anyone who has played the Final Fantasy series knows, RPGs are full of cliches. In my opinion, the best RPG I ever played was Chrono Trigger, (its referred two quite a bit in those two lists) and modern game such as Neverwinter Nights don't seem to hold my attention. Perhaps the way forward is to cross genres, mixing RPG with other games, such as First Person Shooters and Real Time Strategies.
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.