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. So, this is the supporting, hopefully more readable post to support my Twitter craziness.
Tag Archives: roleplaying
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!
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.
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.
Most of the time when someone brings up old or out of print RPGs, it’s time to cue the eye-roll, and then put on your helmet because it’s time for war stories about how awesome things used to be before the d20 system or rules made for people who didn’t want to spend a lot of time doing math or memorizing obscure tables. This is a bit of a disservice though, since there are legitimately a lot of older games that have retained their playability and still have a lot to offer. This is especially true of the often neglected science fiction and related genre games. So here’s three old science fiction games that are worth checking out.