Author Archives: Graeme Barber

Tasha’s Cauldron of No Change

It’s been a year for D&D. The year started strong, but rapidly devolved into scandal as their claims of diversity and inclusion came into question and began to collapse under serious scrutiny following the revelations of former marginalized employees. I even formally announced that my D&D related material was all on hold until there was concrete movement on the deep issues around race that the game had suffered from for decades. But there was a lifeline. Prior to the scandals breaking, Jeremy Crawford (D&D’s current principle rules designer) announced that they’d “heard” us, and that changes were coming later this year (2020) to address this long standing set of problems. [1] So how did that go down? Time to break the pause on D&D posts.

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Intro to Ninjas & Superspies

Circular_POCGamerIn the late 1980s, Palladium Books was a plucky up-and-coming RPG publisher. They’d netted the highly successful Robotech cartoon’s licence, and had also landed the then underground comics sensation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles licence. It was time to push forward with an idea they’d established in 1984. It was time… for Ninjas & Superspies. The game’s first release was in 1987, with a revised edition in 1990. Its final official expansion was in 1995 with Mystic China, and since then has only been intermittently supported in the Rifter magazine. So let’s dive in on the overarching aspects of this game.

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Hollistic World Building Part 4: Deviations From Normal

So far in this series, I’ve looked at incremental world development, and how you might approach peopling and monstering your world. This post is building on the last post, where I discussed how genre, and the implied amounts of magic and monsters in them can affect how your fantasy world is going to deviate from “Normal Earth” if you’re doing a nuanced and thought out build. So let’s look at that.

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Four Fantasy Games That Aren’t D&D

So, in the last month or so, Wizards and its adjacent organizations have been involved in some serious issues around race, sexuality, and some stuff I will not reprint here because wow did their vetting process fail to pick up on some red flags. Their responses have been weak, milquetoast affairs that do nothing to actually address anything, and several well-known podcasts and live plays have publicly announced that they are moving away from 5e D&D as the basis for their games and shows. So, what are the options out there? What non-D&D, and non-D&D-esque/based games are there out there for you? Let’s talk fantasy games!

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