Author Archives: Graeme Barber

Wizards, Business, and Diversity

Wizards of the Coast has just announced the release of a Ravenloft campaign book, much to the excitement of the internet. This came with a lavish release article by Polygon, citing the reimagining and the diversity of writers that expanded the Domains of Dread. And it’s no mild expansion, it claims to have 30 settings and 30 villains. Combined with the recent Unearthed Arcana release, it seems like they’re finally making good on their promises of diversity, right? Well, sort of. On the front of it, it all looks good. But looking back over the history of D&D, and how Wizards have evolved in their curation of worlds, the picture takes on a different meaning.

Read more

Shaky Steps in Unearthed Arcana

For those not tracking, Unearthed Arcana is one of D&D’s oldest and oddest traditions. Originally released as a life line by Gygax for 1e AD&D after TSR’s early financial practices almost sank the operation, it has become a repository for experimental rules and concepts in 5e. Effectively an ongoing playtest effort, classes, subclasses, and more that are close to being publishable often see their first public appearances there. This month saw the release of “Gothic Lineages”, which may mark an actual step towards dealing with some of the issues around race in D&D.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

« Older Entries Recent Entries »