Category Archives: Review

Plane Shift: Ixalan Review

For some time now, on my radar but not fully explored, have been the Plane Shift products by Wizards of the Coast. The reason being that they were adaptations of the various worlds created for the Magic the Gathering CCG; and to be honest, I haven’t played that since Ice Age, so I wasn’t tracking much except that the game was still “a thing”. However, a combination of writing about Chult, Maztica, and looking into the Tales from the Yawning Portal has changed my online suggestions algorithm and kicked Plane Shift: Ixalan my way. Time for a new review!
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Tomb of Annihilation Additions: Adventurers League

Last year I embarked on the most in-depth, detailed series of posts for this blog to date, as I dug into the Tomb of Annihilation campaign and sourcebook for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Thousands of words in, and with dozens of research hours burned, the end result was a three-part series which can be found here. At the end of it, a reader pointed out that in their experience with Adventurers League (AL) material, that some of the issues I had taken up were expanded on. While I stand fast on my DM Guild works position (they are not canon), AL is canon, and deserved a full examination with the same critical eye.
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Celebrating Subjugation: The Maztican Tragedy

Over the years, whenever a new “ethnic” campaign setting was in the offing at TSR, it almost inevitably ended up being bolted onto the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting to give more “options” to players (read: to have their characters not come from said “ethnic” setting). Kara-Tur, the setting of 1985’s Oriental Adventures was later added to the setting as the eastern half of the Eurasian style main continent, opposite to the European themed Faerûn. Zakhara, the setting of the 1001 Arabian Nights themed setting of Al Qadim was added in 1992, as a large peninsula dangling south, midway between Faerûn and Kara-tur. But prior to that, in 1991, the Maztica boxed set was released, and gave the Forgotten Realms a pre-contact “Americas” region. Things went sideways fast.
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Editions War Part Five: 4e D&D

The OGL for the d20 System had opened a veritable Pandora’s Box in the gaming industry, as everyone with an idea, a friend who could draw, and a word processing program set out to make their own game/modules/supplements to make a buck. The situation reached a critical mass quickly, and an RPG bubble formed. Then, like all bubbles, it popped, sending dozens of companies into the dustbin of history. The pop had a secondary effect of spooking WotC, who had been rolling with 3/3.5e D&D for around six years at that point. Concerned that the market had “spoken” (it had not, except against a glut of third party products of varying levels of quality), they began work on 4e D&D, and were determined to break the mould again. It would be the shortest, most confusing run of any edition.
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