Category Archives: Review and Revise

Backgrounder 002: Durpar (Pt.1)

Welcome to the second installment of the Backgrounder series! I’ve expanded the scope of these posts to include regions and peoples in addition to monsters, and the first post up is also the first one ever polled from the POCGamer fanbase. So let’s talk about Durpar. This was a bit more challenging than anticipated, so I’ve broken it into two parts, the first being an overview of what’s known about Durpar, the second being a theoretical framework to introduce Durpar into your campaign or as a subsetting in your campaign.  Read more

Lolth’s Lore Problem

Lore is at much of the core of Dungeons & Dragons; it’s involved in shaping perceptions of the game, guides interactions with certain aspects of it, and is a big part of how the game is learned. The mechanics of the game may shift and change, but lore remains relatively consistent. Major events still occur in roughly the same ways and times from edition to edition, and monster lore persists even more strongly. So what happens when lore starts to be altered on a large scale, as in the case of the Elven Pantheon and the backstory of Lolth, as happened in the recent release of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes?
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Rifts Africa: A Review

Cover image is property of Palladium Books.

The year is 1992, and Rifts is a breakout success. It’s the gonzo RPG experience that no one knew they wanted, and people are screaming for more. The books out are selling like crazy, but the world is still insanely under developed. World Books One and Two, The Vampire Kingdoms (Northern Mexico) and Atlantis respectively, were well received. 1993 is supposed to build on the successes of the last few years, with Dimension Book One: Wormwood, and the third and fourth World Books, England and Africa, planned for release. Things didn’t go as planned.

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Backgrounder 001: Gnolls

Someone asked, so here we go, the first in what will probably be a number of lore and speculation fueled screeds about monsters, specifically underappreciated/potential player-race monsters that don’t get the love that they deserve. This all started as a commentary on how in-game characters like Mordenkainen and Volo are, at best, unreliable and biased narrators and witnesses to the events, monsters, and races they describe. Basically, they can’t be trusted, only the stat-blocks can. Then it turned into a rant on how awesome Gnolls are.[1] So, this is the supporting, hopefully more readable post to support my Twitter craziness.

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Unpacking After the Bomb

In the 1980’s, underground comics had a bit of a revolution, and one of the lead, definitely not Comics Code Authority friendly, titles was Eastman and Laird’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. A rough, gritty comic packed with death, violence, and lacking in pizza obsession, it had little resemblance to what it would become as an animated adaptation aimed at kids. This property was picked up by Palladium Books, then an up and comer in the RPG industry, and turned into the now cult TMNT and Other Strangeness RPG (TMNTOS). However, Kevin Siembieda, the head of Palladium Books, had a moment of clarity then. Realizing that licences don’t always last forever, he tasked Erick Wujcik with coming up with an in-house property to use the systems they’d developed for TMNTOS. The result was After the Bomb, a post apocalypse RPG.
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