Tag Archives: WotC

Tomb of Annihilation Review Part 1: Chult in 5e

This entire blog was initiated because of the gross injustice done to Chult in the 4e D&D Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. [1] With 5e D&D, a lot of “fixit” work was done to the setting, a bid to reverse almost universally disliked changes. To date, Chult has been a relatively ignored or abused since 2e AD&D; when James Lowder cracked the area open with his Ring of Winter novel and as a co-writer on the Jungles Of Chult Module. So its selection as the location for the redone Tomb of Annihilation module came as a surprise. Given past experience, I approached it with caution. Time to review The Tomb of Annihilation.
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Lands of Mystery Lost

Recently, with the release of both The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Volo’s Guide to Monsters, the D&D fanbase has become agitated once again. “What do you allow in your games?” and “I ban this because that.” Discussions have become rampant as the world of Toril, home of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting begins to open up once again after the disastrous 4e effort. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about the accidental world that was created in the waning days of 3.5e D&D, a world without a name, but with immense potential, that quietly disappeared in the thunder and crash that was 4e’s release.
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The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide Review

Around this time last year, I did reviews of the Player’s Handbook (PHB) and Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) for 5e Dungeons and Dragons. Examining these books through the lens of racism and fantasy is important, because Dungeons and Dragons is the biggest fantasy game out there, with reach and influence out of proportion for a simple collection of game books they are by any standard. At the time, there was a rumour floating about that implied that there would be no campaign setting book for Faerȗn, the new default game setting better recognized as Forgotten Realms. This turned out to be a half truth. As opposed to a single book, it appears that Wizards of the Coast (WotC) will instead be releasing a series of books instead, and the first was released in early November. So it’s time to take an in depth look at the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide!

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5th Edition DMG and Overview

DD-LogoIn the military, there’s a great colloquialism we use to describe what happens when someone or a group of people are doing amazingly well, then suddenly thunder in and utterly fail to achieve even the minimum standard. The phrase is “shit the bed”, and that’s what happened with the 5e Dungeon Master’s Guide. It wasn’t all bad, but the part that was bad was really quite disappointing. So lets carry on from the last look at 5e D&D and see what the DMG has brought to the table. [1]

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The Chult Event

DD-Logo“The Chult Event” is my term for the events that occurred during the retcon and revamp of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for 4e D&D. The Chult Event was the last straw for me, it was one of the catalysts that brought this blog into being. As with most things, it’s best to start with some background on racism in fantasy. It’s not unfair or hostile to say that the genre of fantasy is riddled with racism. Sometimes intentional, sometimes not, it is mostly achieved through the aggressive use of stereotypes and writing tropes, racism by omission, and through substitution (of monsters for human ethnicities). [1][2][3] For all intents and purposes, it happens to further the immersion in and to carefully maintain the comfort zone and status quo enjoyed by the main audience and producers of the product, namely, a white audience. Given the increased and increasing plurality and integration in modern society, where more and more minorities and POC are asking for recognition and fair depiction, this has lead to a clash in the roleplaying and gaming subculture. It has also lead to game companies like Wizards of the Coast (WotC), to (hopefully unintentionally) commit some fairly racist actions that make it hard for POC to invest themselves in their product.

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