Author Archives: Graeme Barber

Top 3 Indie Rules-Lite RPGs

There’s some definite misunderstandings around rules-lite RPGs, the main one being that they’re only good for one-shots or short campaigns. This is untrue and has been since 1974. Yes, there’s absolutely games that are built around being one-shots; and many of those are definitely rules-lite. But OD&D was very rules-lite and there are still people playing long-term campaigns based on it, so what are some modern options? This is my in no particular order top three rules-lite indie RPG list!

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Filling the Expanse

When working with an African coded setting, there’s a lot of biases and temptations that come into play. And from Rifts World Book 4: Africa in 1993 to Tomb of Annihilation in 2017, we see them at work in different ways but with similar results. So how did the creative team behind Lost Omens: The Mwangi Expanse approach the task?

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The Overview Review of Lost Omens: The Mwangi Expanse

In 2009, after being abandoned by Wizards with the end of 3.5e D&D, Paizo Publishing released Pathfinder. In 2019, they launched Pathfinder 2nd Edition; and unlike its D&D origin, Pathfinder focused on a single world, Golarion. Golarion was everything that Wizards now says doesn’t work for a campaign setting. It has a detailed history. It drips lore. There are canonical results for things. And the fans love it. The new edition carries this forward, with the Lost Omens series of books that add more detail to the setting and bring it howling into the 2nd Edition. Last fall, Paizo was kind enough to provide me with an electronic copy of Lost Omens: The Mwangi Expanse. I’m done reading it now, so let’s dig into this book!

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D&D’s Lore Struggle

Why does D&D struggle with lore? This is a question that has seen me type 5000+/- words in drafts over the back half of 2021 after Jeremy Crawford’s bombshell at D&D Live 2021. After I was provided a copy of Lost Omens: The Mwangi Expanse by Paizo for review purposes, the quandary deepened. How was Paizo rocking and rolling with lore while its senior in the genre of D&D Fantasy was struggling? Why was the Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft so threadbare? So this is it. Let’s dive into D&D’s Lore Problem.

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