Category Archives: Better Gaming

Four Alternatives for Fantasy Tabletop Gaming

It’s not inaccurate to say that Dungeons & Dragons is both the largest and most famous fantasy roleplaying game on the planet. But those well deserved accolades don’t mean that it’s the best, or only, fantasy roleplaying experience. Speaking from experience, I know I’m not the only player or DM who’s sat down at one point or another and determined that D&D, while good at what it does, isn’t always the best fit for what you want to do or the playstyle of the group. 
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Pokemon Gets On Side

Pokemon_logoMy first encounter with the apparently unstoppable juggernaut that is Pokémon came when I was working graveyard shifts at the local Tim Horton’s, and was coming home to less than stellar television programme selection. It was 1998, and it was a decent-ish cartoon that was on at the right time, so I watched as I ate dinner at eight in the morning. I vaguely knew there was a game for it, but it wasn’t until deploying to Bosnia in 1999 that I picked a Game Boy Color that was packaged with “Pokémon Yellow”. I was hooked.
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What Makes a Good Campaign Setting?

clipart-tabletop-rpg-dice-set-ii-256x256-9f70After the diatribe of the last post, I think it’s time to talk about what makes a good campaign setting for a fantasy RPG. I’ll put this out now: this is my opinion, and I do not speak for the entire POC community on the topic. As a POC gamer, I look for the same things than non-POC gamers do in game. I look for fun, immersion, and emotional investment in what is going on. Some campaign settings make this difficult, others make it nearly impossible. I mentioned before that POC are demanding more recognition, and equal recognition in the worlds of SF&F. The same problems and issues acting as barriers to POC occur in both SF&F gaming and literature, where publishers gleefully whitewash (replace minorities with lighter or white characters) cover art for some books under the belief that people (read: Whites) won’t buy books with non-White human protagonists. [1] This trend carries on into interior art in the case of game books, and with the assumption that White is the “default” setting of humanity, and everything else deviates from that, and that gamers won’t or don’t want to buy or play games featuring non-Whites prominently. The subject of inclusiveness shouldn’t be an issue, but, unsurprisingly, it is.

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