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    There's been plenty of talk about the future of movies inspired by tabletop games, but the end of 2017 brought a surprise: a movie about a game that doesn't exist. Although it uses video game tropes, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has a lot to say about role-playing games. If you haven't seen the movie, this discussion contains SPOILERS.



    Before the rise of TSR and its premiere game, Dungeons & Dragons, Avalon Hill was the dominant force in the tabletop gaming industry. Avalon Hill has since been absorbed by its competitor and is now a wargame brand of Wizards of the Coast. How did it comes to this?



    As gamers' thoughts turn to a New Year, it's worth remembering how the Forgotten Realms has reinvented itself with each iteration of Dungeons & Dragons.



    Gamers who went gift shopping this past week likely came across a curious result when searching for "role-play" -- an entire category of kids' toys. Analyzing how we role-play as children is illustrative of how we role-play as adults.



    Multimedia titans have noticed that success of Marvel's shared superhero universe, which replicates the comic model of characters crossing over into other arcs to create a web of stories that spiral into infinity. Hasbro has also taken note, and it looks like the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movies are planned to take a similar approach. The concept of a shared universe is a key part of D&D today, but it wasn't always that way.



    Dungeons & Dragons is back in the news again thanks to Xanathar's Guide to Everything ranked on several best-seller lists. This isn't a first for D&D -- several D&D books were best-sellers when they launched -- but it is remarkable for an edition that's now several years old.



    Social games are all the buzz thanks to a raft of interviews and marketing pushes by Hasbro and Mattel touting the benefits of "social gaming." Long before these game juggernauts discovered the term, tabletop role-players were gathering around a table and playing games. But the new kids on the block may still be able to teach tabletop gamers a few things.


    The mecha-robot craze reached its peak in the 80s, but the controversy over who owns the Japanese-imported robot designs continues to rage on as nostalgia-fueled games hash out the rights. A recent lawsuit filed by Harmony Gold against FASA's founder is proof the battle isn't over.



    I’ve known Rone Barton of Iron GM Games for years, so when he shared some big news about their forthcoming Kickstarter for Grimmerspace – a Starfinder compatible sci-fi horror setting -- I jumped at the opportunity to interview him. He had quite a few surprises to share, not the least of which is the involvement of two well-known media personalities pictured here!

    eSports -- game competitions facilitated by electronic systems -- are largely known for their multiplayer video game competitions. But with the rise of Dungeons & Dragons' presence on Twitch and the D&D Adventurer's League, an eSport for D&D isn't that far-fetched.



    Stranger Things uses the parallels between a Dungeons & Dragons adventuring party and its core characters to create a narrative about young heroes battling the forces of darkness in both the real and Upside-Down worlds. But when it comes to a particular iconic D&D monster, the Duffer brothers seem to have drawn upon monster lore that came out well after the second season takes place. THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!



    If you noticed that the kids' costumes who knocked on your door last week looked better than ever this year, you're not alone. Thanks to the spread of geek culture, pretending to be someone else has become so commonplace that it's raised the costume game -- to everyone's benefit.



    H.P. Lovecraft's particular brand of weird horror has gone on to influence a wide variety of modern media that is distinct from the vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein's monsters of yore. The tabletop gaming world -- led by Chaosium -- has more than its share of Lovecraftian games. But if past Kickstarters are any indication, Lovecraft's name alone is not a guarantee of success.



    It's common knowledge that Dungeons & Dragons proposed "anything can be attempted," a revolutionary idea that launched the role-playing game industry. And yet, attempting anything didn't necessarily mean the same style of play throughout. There is evidence that D&D had a very specific end goal in mind for its characters, and it has a lot to do with its wargaming roots.



    Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu role-playing game has been influential in sharing H.P. Lovecraft's work across a variety of media, including other role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, board games, and video games. License Call of Cthulhu games have debuted on PCs, gaming consoles, and mobile platforms, but each adapted the tabletop game rules to suit the medium. Will the new Call of Cthulhu video game be faithful to the tabletop RPG?



    The limitless boundaries of interactive fiction and role-playing have always held the promise that anyone could imagine playing anybody else. Despite the fact that there were several important female contributors to the creation of the hobby, it took some time for the hobby to reflect their diverse contributions.



    One of the challenges posed in introducing role-playing to newcomers is in relating the near-limitless possibilities of the player's persona -- the player character -- and what that might look like. Enter iconics, which existed long before the Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons branded them.



    This is my unboxing of the August 2017 Mythoard RPG crate. This crate is definitely something different for Mythoard, and is probably the best value for a crate to date. With a hardcover valued at over $100 along with a variety of props, this is a good deal -- so long as you're interested in a pirate-themed campaign.




    We didn’t know what to expect from HASCON, which took place in Providence, RI last weekend. My entire family are veteran congoers, so we were skeptical if HASCON would meet up to my ten-year-old son’s and seven-year-old daughter’s expectations. We were pleasantly surprised.



    Role-playing games as inspiration for modern media is nothing new -- White Wolf was far ahead of the curve with its World of Darkness setting featuring a nightmarish blend of vampires and werewolves, and now Dungeons & Dragons is having a moment with a rich variety of fantasy-themed media. So perhaps it's not surprising that a combination of the two has arrived from Netflix titled Bright, and it looks an awful lot like another popular role-playing game.


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