View Profile: talien - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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    Today, 12:30 PM
    It’s your favorite time of the month, Paizo fans – more news from the Golem! The first edition of Pathfinder still has plenty of life in it yet, which means today we’re taking a new look at another hot release coming in January. Bust out your bear skins and sharpen your fangs, it’s time to dive into the latest Pathfinder Player Companion! Pathfinder 1E is still getting new character...
    0 replies | 145 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Today, 07:00 AM
    We asked and you answered: Here's the top gifts you recommended for the tabletop role-playing game players in your life. Dice (44%)It's not surprising that dice is at the top of the list, since that's one of the primary tools for tabletop RPG play. We covered what to get your game master, but sometimes the tables are turned too -- especially for DMs who might be tired of players losing...
    2 replies | 454 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:30 PM
    Welcome back to the Paizo beat, friendos! We’re going strong with the new format for news from the Golem. Let’s take a look at what’s coming down the road for us – there’s still plenty of releases and reveals for January products! This time we’re putting back on our radio announcer voice for the latest Pathfinder Adventure Path! VARISIA IN RUINS! Stalwart heroes are unsuccessful in...
    8 replies | 1238 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Hello again, fellow Paizo fans, and welcome back to your favorite source for Paizo news! We’re trying out a new, breezier format here with your Paizo news, so hold on tight and enjoy the ride. It’s the start of a new month which means there’s a whole new slate of releases and reveals. Up first: the latest Starfinder Adventure Path! The fun never stops in the Pact Worlds, and for your...
    0 replies | 1001 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 12:30 PM
    December means gift guides. Whether you're shopping for the gamer in your life or want to show some appreciation for your GM, I've got suggestions for you, focusing on the world's greatest role-playing game. If your GM or that certain someone in your life is reading Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica to introduce some Magic the Gathering lore into their Dungeons & Dragons game, a great gift...
    5 replies | 1839 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 12:30 PM
    An evil wizard summons two foul beasts to ambush a cautious warrior. Surrounded with magical energy, the warrior shields his eyes and raised his bloody blade! In this issue, we get a review of the Green Planet Trilogy, how to score competitive D & D and another installment of the Monstermark series from issue one! Within the Pages of the Old Tome The first page contains vintage,...
    8 replies | 921 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Do you want to experience the danger a teenager trapped in a monster haunted town in the 1980s faces? Do you want to fight back against the monsters by break dancing and head banging using old school D&D derived rules? Then Dark Places & Demogorgons might be the RPG you are looking for. Kickstarted in 2017 by Bloat Games, Dark Places & Demogorgons’ 200 pages build on the same rules from...
    2 replies | 1640 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 11:30 AM
    You are a Handler, a GM, for agents, PCs, fighting to keep otherwordly terrors from destroying the world. But the world is doomed. It isn’t about victory, which is impossible, but about the fight, which is all that mankind has left in the Delta Green Handler’s Guide. The Delta Green Handler’s Guide is a full color 370 page hardcover published by Arc Dream Publishing via kickstarter in...
    0 replies | 769 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 12:30 PM
    When I first saw D&D, I was in my Diplomacy playing phase. That’s a game with no dice, no chance mechanisms at all, but with lots of uncertainty owing to 7 players and simultaneous movement (which can involve guessing enemy intentions). I said, “I hate dice games” and that was it. But not long after (mid-1975), I played D&D at a game convention and loved the possibilities despite the dice. ...
    24 replies | 1124 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 07:30 AM
    My wife recently surprised me with an escape room outing for my birthday. It gave me an appreciation for the basics of how escape rooms work and how they can be applied to tabletop role-play. Still Escaping After All These Years Escape rooms are a recent gaming craze that's been steadily evolving. Inspired by video games and (depending on who you ask) live action role-play, escape rooms...
    3 replies | 1816 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    I met Travis Legge, one of the most prolific individuals in tabletop gaming today, when I interviewed CJ Hurtt about Glimpse the Beyond 2e (written by CJ, developed by Travis and published through his Aegis Studios). Since then I’ve been friends with Travis and seen the number of games he creates (over 300 entries on DriveThruRPG). Recently, Travis announced that, after crafting community content...
    4 replies | 1130 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    For my second “RPG Crowdfunding News” article on EN World, I look at games based on webcomics, movie quotes, expansions to gaming lines, and more. RPGs that run on Savage Worlds, Mutant: Year Zero, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Powered by the Apocalypse/Dungeon World, and original engines. That said, it’s difficult to cover all of the games on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and some of them were omitted...
    3 replies | 2314 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Black Atlantic is an adventure. Black Atlantic is a regional sourcebook. Black Atlantic is the third adventure in a trilogy, ending a long connected story arc in a glossy, full-color pursuit of a powerful weapon. It is not necessary to have played the previous two hardcover adventures. In Thy Blood or The Killing Game. However, Black Atlantic will spoil the overall story if you have not the...
    2 replies | 1455 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Last week Mike Tresca took an American perspective on the best holidays for dropping fireballs on your friends and family, but how do things fare for those of us living beyond the reach of star-spangled banners and thanksgiving turkeys? Well, here’s the resident Brit to fill you in on how we do it in the land of cinematic fog, hot tea and indecipherable regional accents. Photo by Libby...
    3 replies | 952 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    What should you buy your game master this holiday? We asked and you answered. Here's the top gift ideas you recommended and links to buy them. Miniatures (44%)The number one most-voted gift in our poll was miniatures, and it's easy to see why. For games that use miniatures, including Dungeons & Dragons (and OSR/Pathfinder), miniatures are always valuable, as per Terry Herc: I put minis...
    2 replies | 2875 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th November, 2018, 03:20 PM
    We heard about what you would buy a game master for the holidays, so now it's the player's turn!
    15 replies | 1965 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th November, 2018, 03:14 PM
    We heard about what you would buy a game master for the holidays, so now it's the player's turn!
    15 replies | 469 view(s)
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  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 23rd November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Welcome to another edition of Burning Questions. Today’s query What are some great ambience actions I can take that will add excitement and value to my Dungeons and Dragons role-playing get-togethers? Photo by Jonas Zürcher on Unsplash This is an interesting question with multitude of answers. Creating a pleasant and fun ambiance for a D&D game is highly subjective. In the past, I've...
    23 replies | 2043 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    The Dragon Issue 17 was published in August 1978. It is 40 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue, we have dungeon dressing, tesseracts, and clockwork monsters! The cover is notable not for the improbable bikini but for the armored figure on the left. The batwing style helmet suggests this is a precursor to Warduke, a TSR action figure released a few years later. Warduke...
    8 replies | 2024 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Strap on your tinfoil hats and keep your heavy-duty floodlights handy, Starfinder fans, because the SIGNAL OF SCREAMS is here! We’re taking this opportunity to dive into the latest Starfinder Adventure Path - #10: THE DIASPORA STRAIN! THE DIASPORA STRAIN is an excellent horror adventure flecked with only a few minor and largely inconsequential style or design issues. As with all...
    1 replies | 1961 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, 12:00 PM
    After 121 articles, Angus Abranson moved on from this column to focus on other projects, including Boardgame Guru. Taking up the reins, I have a tall order to fill, but Angus offered guidance (we co-admin the RPG Kickstarter News Facebook group) and I’m hopeful I will do his legacy honor. To kick off my first article for this Thanksgiving week (US), I’m reviewing a number of RPGs from Kickstarter...
    11 replies | 2993 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    I often compare fiction writing and publishing with game designing and publishing. They’re similar creative efforts in many ways, especially in tabletop and in the lower ends of video games where you can have one person creating the game. Photo sourced from Pixabay To compare with my own book Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish (2012 McFarland), I...
    16 replies | 3066 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Monday, 19th November, 2018, 07:30 AM
    With the Thanksgiving season upon us in the U.S. and many families getting together around a table, it's not too much of a leap that some of them might play a tabletop game after dinner. Which holidays lend themselves to playing RPGs with your family? Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash Tabletop role-playing games were always meant to be played around a table. In the earliest games, that...
    19 replies | 1604 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 17th November, 2018, 05:00 PM
    The holidays are coming up so it's time to start thinking about what to buy your fellow gamers, especially the critically underappreciated game master in your life. But what to buy? Take this poll and let us know!
    29 replies | 2389 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 17th November, 2018, 02:46 PM
    The holidays are coming up so it's time to start thinking about what to buy your fellow gamers, especially the critically underappreciated game master in your life. But what to buy? Take this poll and let us know!
    29 replies | 769 view(s)
    1 XP
  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    How much you like Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica will depend upon what you want. If you're a Magic the Gathering player who wants an RPG version of Ravnica, GGtR may or may not satisfy you, depending upon how much setting depth you want from MtG. If you're looking for a full setting like the old Dungeons & Dragons' box sets, then you'll probably be disappointed because this is more of a slice of...
    8 replies | 4499 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Invisible Sun, the surrealist RPG by Monte Cook Games is definitely unique in many ways. While premium or high production value board games and LARPs have become increasingly common, the RPG industry version has been tame by comparison. Invisible Sun blows the concept out of the water. I've never seen an RPG that had shelving before. Originally Kickstarted in 2016, Invisible Sun has a...
    28 replies | 4090 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 12:48 PM
    Wizards of the Coast has worked hard to provide a variety of adventure types for 5th Edition and with Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage they're tackling megadungeons. Mad Mage can be played on its own, if the players begin with 5th characters or better, or it can follow up the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure, which is for 1st through 6th level characters. Please note: This review contains...
    35 replies | 5639 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Is your gaming table ready for Victorian horror using Dungeons & Dragons 5e rules crafted by one of Kobold Press’ designers? Matt Corley takes the time to discuss his first Kickstarter (but not his first game), Lamp’s Light Sanitarium. As well, he shares an exciting exclusive preview to his dark setting and adventure. EGG EMBRY (EGG): Your Kickstarter is not for the normal Dungeons &...
    2 replies | 1532 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 11:30 AM
    I hope I showed in my last piece that "science vs magic" is not a sufficient way to differentiate fantasy from science fiction. What about other ways? Sourced from Pixabay What about the size (and speed) of typical vehicles as a separator? Science fiction often has vast spaceships that you "never" see in fantasy, yet even fantasy can have small space-traveling ships as in the Spelljammer...
    44 replies | 1634 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 07:54 PM
    A segment of the Dungeons & Dragons' fan base have been clamoring for setting releases and while Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica won't appease those who want a 5th Edition update of an older setting like Greyhawk, Planescape or Spelljammer, it is a fresh setting that Wizards of the Coast clearly hopes will bring the Magic the Gathering crowd to D&D. So what's my first impression of...
    147 replies | 9730 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 02:42 PM
    Calling Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage the “dungeon to end all dungeons” would be a mistake but clearly Wizards of the Coast is aiming for fans of such things. While it's big, it's not the biggest dungeon ever produced. It is, however, the biggest ever produced for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons and Undermountain is considered the largest, deepest Forgotten Realms dungeon. My full...
    44 replies | 12244 view(s)
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About talien

Basic Information

Date of Birth
November 1, 1972 (46)
About talien
About Me:
Michael "Talien" Tresca is a game designer, author, communicator, and artist. He was the National RPG and Sci-Fi Movie Examiner for six years and published three books, the non-fiction history of gaming, The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games from McFarland Publishing, his fantasy fiction debut, The Well of Stars, from Three Ravens Books, and the young adult fantasy Awfully Familiar from Dark Quest Books. Michael has authored numerous supplements and adventures for publishers of Open Game License and D20-compatible games, including AEG, MonkeyGod Enterprises, Goodman Games, Otherworld Creations, Privateer Press, RPGObjects and Ronin Arts. A top reviewer for Amazon, his articles and reviews have appeared in Allgame.com, D20 Filtered, Dragon Magazine, Gamers.com, Pyramid, RPG.net, and Sharktopus. He has participated in panels about electronic and tabletop role-playing games at ConnectiCon, Dragon*Con, and I-Con.

When he's not writing, Michael can be found as his alter ego, Talien, on RetroMUD as an administrator. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.
Location:
Fairfield, CT
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Sex:
Male
Age Group:
Over 40
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If you can be contacted on social networks, feel free to mention it here.

Google+:
miketresca
Twitter:
dreadspace
Facebook:
talien
YouTube:
Trescami
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

State:
New York
Country:
USA
Game Details:
This story hour is an ongoing account of our D20 Modern conspiracy game. It follows the missions of Majestic-12 agents battling Lovecraftian horrors in a world rife with conspiracy and the occult. I also write a column about action horror gaming in general at RPG.net titled The Horror! and I'm the National RPG writer for the Examiner.
More information:
http://www.enworld.org/forum/story-hour/214026-modern-delta-green-beginning-end-updated-daily-april-6-a.html
My Character:
* Game Master: Michael Tresca
* Joseph “Archive” Fontaine (Dedicated Hero) played by Joe Lalumia: A licensed private detective and master of the mystical arts, Archive wanted to be a priest once. He freelances for X-investigations, a glamorous private detective agency that specializes in the occult. When he crossed paths with the Traveler and mistakenly identified it as a body-hopping demon, Majestic-12 recruited him for some much needed mystical backup.
* Jim “Jim-Bean” Baxter (Charismatic Hero) played by Jeremy Ortiz: A former British SAS and PISCES agent, Jim-Bean lost his partners to what can only be called "brain spiders." Although he's also psychic, Jim-Bean loathes his abilities and considers the majority of supernatural events to be bunk. He's also a wiseass.
* Hank “Guppy” Gupta (Smart Hero) played by Joseph Tresca: An American-born Indian, Guppy was abducted by aliens once, or so he believes, on an expedition to South America. He has never recovered, losing his girlfriend and his promising degree. Majestic-12 sprung him from the Van Dyson Institute for reasons known only to them. Guppy's the first one to panic, but fancies himself a kind of McGyver.
* Kurtis “Hammer” Grange (Fast Hero) played by George Webster: One of the agents who had a former government affiliation, Hammer was on a mission for the CIA when he encountered the "brain spiders." He lost both his partners. Hammer's the most level-headed of the group, and the only trained investigator among them.
* Jake “Blade” Iron Shirt (Strong Hero) played by Matt Hammer: A Native American bruiser and former Ultimate Fighting Champion, Blade is the only famous agent on the team. Unfortunately, he's famous for all the wrong reasons: his romance with the woman he was assigned to protect, Christine Dee; the birth of their child, Alex; his subsequent divorce and spiral into alcoholism. Blade is desperate to get visiting rights to see his son. Stephen Alzis has an unhealthy interest in Blade's family dynamics as well.
* Sebastian “Caprice” Creed (Fast/Smart Hero) played by Bill Countiss: An American engineer, Caprice is the closest agent who was "normal" before he joined Majestic-12. His fast thinking on his feet has proved useful on more than one occassion, especially when hunting down body-hopping aliens.

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My Game Details
State:
New York
Country:
USA
Game Details:
This story hour is an ongoing account of our D20 Modern conspiracy game. It follows the missions of Majestic-12 agents battling Lovecraftian horrors in a world rife with conspiracy and the occult. I also write a column about action horror gaming in general at RPG.net titled The Horror! and I'm the National RPG writer for the Examiner.
More information:
http://www.enworld.org/forum/story-hour/214026-modern-delta-green-beginning-end-updated-daily-april-6-a.html
My Character:
* Game Master: Michael Tresca
* Joseph “Archive” Fontaine (Dedicated Hero) played by Joe Lalumia: A licensed private detective and master of the mystical arts, Archive wanted to be a priest once. He freelances for X-investigations, a glamorous private detective agency that specializes in the occult. When he crossed paths with the Traveler and mistakenly identified it as a body-hopping demon, Majestic-12 recruited him for some much needed mystical backup.
* Jim “Jim-Bean” Baxter (Charismatic Hero) played by Jeremy Ortiz: A former British SAS and PISCES agent, Jim-Bean lost his partners to what can only be called "brain spiders." Although he's also psychic, Jim-Bean loathes his abilities and considers the majority of supernatural events to be bunk. He's also a wiseass.
* Hank “Guppy” Gupta (Smart Hero) played by Joseph Tresca: An American-born Indian, Guppy was abducted by aliens once, or so he believes, on an expedition to South America. He has never recovered, losing his girlfriend and his promising degree. Majestic-12 sprung him from the Van Dyson Institute for reasons known only to them. Guppy's the first one to panic, but fancies himself a kind of McGyver.
* Kurtis “Hammer” Grange (Fast Hero) played by George Webster: One of the agents who had a former government affiliation, Hammer was on a mission for the CIA when he encountered the "brain spiders." He lost both his partners. Hammer's the most level-headed of the group, and the only trained investigator among them.
* Jake “Blade” Iron Shirt (Strong Hero) played by Matt Hammer: A Native American bruiser and former Ultimate Fighting Champion, Blade is the only famous agent on the team. Unfortunately, he's famous for all the wrong reasons: his romance with the woman he was assigned to protect, Christine Dee; the birth of their child, Alex; his subsequent divorce and spiral into alcoholism. Blade is desperate to get visiting rights to see his son. Stephen Alzis has an unhealthy interest in Blade's family dynamics as well.
* Sebastian “Caprice” Creed (Fast/Smart Hero) played by Bill Countiss: An American engineer, Caprice is the closest agent who was "normal" before he joined Majestic-12. His fast thinking on his feet has proved useful on more than one occassion, especially when hunting down body-hopping aliens.

Tuesday, 20th November, 2018


Sunday, 18th November, 2018


Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 05:50 PM - Gradine mentioned talien in post General Roleplaying Board spammed by blank Starfinder threads
    I don’t know if anyone else is dealing with this, but the General Roleplaying Games Discussion board is full of threads started by talien that have the same title as LongGoneWriter’s post reviewing Starfinder’s Alien Archives 2. They all say the same thing: This post was generated by a news article which your device or browser is not displaying directly. You can view the article directly here. I am on the desktop site on my iPhone, if that somehow makes a difference.

Monday, 3rd September, 2018

  • 02:31 PM - Aldarc mentioned talien in post D&D = American + European Fantasy
    talien, thank you for this article. You hit the nail on the head. This discussion reminds me of a similar discussion of genre in regards to Star Wars. Many people classify Star Wars not so much as Sci-Fi, but as Science Fantasy. But a number of film critics note how much of Star Wars, particularly the first film, is rooted in the American Western, arguably making Star Wars a Sci-Fantasy Space Western. With even another strong influence on Star Wars, Akira Kurosawa, having pulled heavily from American Westerns. Not to mention other early pulp sci-fi stories and serials (e.g., Flash Gordon, John Carter of Mars) that also drew from American Westerns. You can watch Star Wars (A New Hope) as an American Western. The first part of the film focuses on a frontier desert region with dangerous natives. There is a retired gunslinger who takes on a farm kid wearing a poncho. A saloon scene. An outlaw smuggler and his exotic "Indian" sidekick armed with a bow evading bounty hunters with a stage coach ...

Monday, 25th June, 2018

  • 09:44 PM - Mistwell mentioned talien in post Gatekeeping, Edition Wars, and Fandom
    I know I can block people in forums, but will that also block them from the front page? Because I can do without the armchair psychology assessment that attacks the entire membership of this website. It's a shame too, because at least the first 2/3rds was a cool collection of block quotes from better writers. Agreed. I don't recall talien asking fans why they do the things they do, and engaging in a conversation with them so he can get a better grasp on their differing perspectives, so he can gather the data necessary to even begin to draw a psychological conclusion about their motives. That line just struck me as outright rude. As for why he decided to be rude...I'd have to ask him. See how that works Talien?

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 10:55 AM - Cergorach mentioned talien in post Is It Worth Printing Your Own Miniatures?
    talien: Do me a favor, print the best model Beholder from Thingiverse in a similar size as the Wizkids unpainted model, ink both and make a photograph. Use the default settings for this, do another print with the best settings for this kind of model on your printer. Then explain how much time you've spent printing with your printer to get these 'better' results. Thingiverse is hit or miss in their model quality, 99,99% is just crap. The question is whether that 0,01% contains what you want. And if not, does someone else sell those models and what do they cost? Someone else said it better then me: "Getting into 3D printing isn't like buying a normal printer, it's like getting into another expensive hobby (in both time and money)." Also, if you need 5 Wargs and you don't care about legalities, why not buy the model, create a silicon mold and cast them in resin, then sell the original model. Chances are that you can get it cheaper then even 3D printing... I'm not advocating this, bu...

Tuesday, 8th May, 2018

  • 12:33 PM - Cergorach mentioned talien in post How Long Before the Digital Dam Breaks?
    talien: Do you have any experience printing HIPS? Marvel Unlimited is awesome! Services like Humble Bundle and Bundle of Holding are great, for a small fee you get introduced to a small selection of 'new' material. The intention of course is to get you interested and buying the rest of the material. Computer games are far more advanced in this market then comics, rpg pdfs, ebooks, etc. Things like Steam have been around for ages, GOG is also wel established, Blizzard of course with Battlenet 2.0, even EA Origins is a good service these days (they also have a game subscription service). Consoles also have such services, but I'm not a console player, so my knowledge of those is only anecdotal.

Thursday, 5th April, 2018

  • 05:27 PM - pemerton mentioned talien in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    you are confusing the evil use of race as a concept in our world with the accurate use of a word as a rule in D&D. The word race is not bad at all, it is the theory that humans have races and that some or one is better than the others is the evil. To say that elves and humans are different races is not the same and to claim they are is confused logic. I don't think you read my reasons closely at all. I didn't say anything about elves. And I offered no complaint about the word "race" - in fact I said that it is a crucial but challenging concept in social explanation. But when you refer to the accurate use of the word "race", what do you mean? Clearly not that. I'm pretty sure I know what you mean: and that's why I would like some sort of change along the lines described by talien in the OP. Because I would like my family and friends to be able to engage with my hobby without having to wade their way through all this . . . residue . . . that I have to explain away, or apologise for, as legacy baggage of the fantasy tradition.

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

  • 12:56 PM - Ancalagon mentioned talien in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    I thought that the OP was commisioned by the website owner to write articles. Well, there's only one way to settle this... .... Yo talien, were you commissioned by Morrus to write this?

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018

  • 07:54 AM - pemerton mentioned talien in post From Dogs to Dragons: Kobold Evolution
    ...here and they are rightfully scared. They are cautious and worried and whatnot. Tell them that there is a cave of goblins over there and it's "Wahoo, xp piñatas." Because, frankly, that's pretty much how humanoids are presented in the game.Well, if you look at it in wargame terms, there has to be some piece that's at the bottom of the power gradient. Kobolds and goblins are it! And looked at in genre terms, there's also a certain logic to it. In LotR the orcs of Cirith Ungol are worried that a single great Elven or Numenorean warrior might be asaulting their tower. And the heroes of the Silmarillion are pretty good at orc-hewing. If the system supports character growth to those sorts of legendary degrees, then it follows that ordinary troops (including orcs, goblins, kobolds, etc) will eventually be fairly easily overcome. There's a tradition in classic D&D design of coming up with threats to PCs that do an end-run around the level mechanics, but - as I posted in reply to talien upthread - I'm not a big fan, because these seem like rules exploits rather than genuinely fair play (your save vs poison gets better with level, and your ability to survive pit traps gets better with level because of hp, but because Gygax never bothered to write in any quicksand rules then your 12th level fighter is as vulnerable to submerging and drowning as your 1st level one? - that seems like a cheat to me). If you want to have "squad leader" style play in a humanoid lair like Caves of Chaos, then use 2nd or maybe 3rd level PCs. That should do the job.

Thursday, 10th August, 2017

  • 04:54 PM - LordEntrails mentioned talien in post When the Sharks Finally Catch You: The Death of Geek Chic
    Have to say that when I saw this title I was expecting to hear some information on what has happened since the announcement. Sorry talien, but this news is almost 2 months old. Your article is good, but not very timely. I appreciate the background info, but if there are current lawsuits, who is suing who and why? What about customers that have paid and have yet (if ever) to recieve their tables? Has CGT said anything else since the first week?

Thursday, 26th November, 2015


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Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

  • 04:41 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted talien in post Art & Arcana Review: Leveling Up with a Special Edition
    Looking forward to cracking this open when I get home, hopefully! Totally agree on that SKT artwork. I’m not squeamish, but I kinda hate that piece. I had a character portfolio with that art on it, because that was the only option at the time, but I replaced it as soon as something better came along. Rather than focusing on the heroic parts, you can’t help but focus on the headless body and severed head with its ugly expression. Most puzzling of all is the decision to make the largest foldout poster an interior painting from Storm King’s Thunder (2016) by Chris Rahn. It shows a graphic depiction of a decapitated giant. It’s gross – my son and daughter don’t even want to look at it – and while Rahn does an excellent job, this is not something I would want to frame.

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 05:50 PM - Gradine quoted talien in post General Roleplaying Board spammed by blank Starfinder threads
    I don’t know if anyone else is dealing with this, but the General Roleplaying Games Discussion board is full of threads started by talien that have the same title as LongGoneWriter’s post reviewing Starfinder’s Alien Archives 2. They all say the same thing: This post was generated by a news article which your device or browser is not displaying directly. You can view the article directly here. I am on the desktop site on my iPhone, if that somehow makes a difference.

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 04:22 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted talien in post Art & Arcana Review: A Sumptuous Feast for the Eyes
    Hahahah, clever and appropriate! I will say that I thought 4e’s art to be an up-tick in quality from 3e. I never liked 3e preponderance of screaming faces and people without any context or background. This is a great review, and has me so excited for my copy to arrive. Art is a huge part of the game’s appeal. Again, going back to the Red Box, the dragon, the golden hoard of treasure, the glowing bade, all was this wonderful call to adventure. And in case you’re wondering, 4th Edition is referenced as Maze.

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 01:55 PM - schneeland quoted talien in post Art & Arcana Review: A Sumptuous Feast for the Eyes
    That was a really nice review! I often think that ENWorld articles end up somewhat on the short side of what I prefer, but this one really hit the mark! Like dave2008, I didn't expect there to be so much D&D history in the book; makes me even happier with my pre-order of the limited edition. Minor thing: During the 1970s, Gary Gygax spent years refining and tinkering with the rules, always in an effort to bring balance to the game, sometimes overcompensating where he thought there was potential for unfair advantage, as with supernatural races…In this way, the original game steered player characters away from the seductive, shot-term bonuses of non-human characters, always in favor of…bland humanity. The removal of class and race restrictions in 3rd edition set a tone for exciting new combinations, but also sent a strong social message: this game is for everyone, and you can be whatever you want to be. Typo on your side or in the book? (I assume that's supposed to be "sho...

Monday, 1st October, 2018

  • 03:28 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted talien in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    I remember when Rob Zombie was attached, for better or worse, to the Conan the Barbarian movie, he outright said that he was going to approach it as a bloody, violent, western. I remember those old tables, alongside the Gamma World conversion tables. Never did get to use either, as I was more of a genre purist (with surety of youth) back then, alas. The second of Gygax’s sources, Howard’s Conan, is similar. Howard was a Texan who wrote Westerns along with his fantasy stories, cowboys-in-the-Middle East stories, and boxing stories. It’s frequently argued that Conan is a Western hero. His martial skills allow him to triumph over the lawless savages and over the decadent “civilized” folk of his wild land. That’s what cowboys do.

Monday, 27th August, 2018

  • 04:02 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted talien in post When Conan Punched Cthulhu
    FYI, it’s “Appendix N,” and also that link isn’t working for me. In the course of his adventures, Conan faced off against numerous sanity-straining eldritch monsters. Yet, as stated, he always triumphed. Debatably, the Howardian Cosmic Horror mode works better for extended play than the Lovecraftian (since for all the horror of Howard’s stories, he never gave up the belief that a person brave enough couldn’t find a way to somehow fight back). Back in the day, I wanted to do a Call of Cthulhu-Stormbringer mash-up, since they both used the same system, more or less. My brother, who was running CoC at the time, didn’t see the possibilities, shall we say. Gary Gygax, cited R.E. Howard's Conan series as inspiration in his "Appendix Z."

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 05:08 PM - dragoner quoted talien in post D&D = American + European Fantasy
    Dungeons & Dragons draws on a rich mythology ... As does this article, drawing upon myths such as American Exceptionalism, and the Protestant Work Ethic. At this point, however, D&D is creating it's own mythology, and drawing from that.

Monday, 20th August, 2018

  • 05:40 PM - GrahamWills quoted talien in post D&D = American + European Fantasy
    D&D has come full circle to influence the fantasy that created it. You can see its motley pedigree's fingerprints on sweeping fantasies like Game of Thrones. Ummm. Actually no I can't. Honestly I don't see a lot of the extras D&D throws on top of classic fantasy appear in modern media. Spell memorization is probably the most D&D-ish trope, and I don't see much of that. What else is D&D that isn't classic fantasy? I guess "dwarves with Scottish accents" might have been a D&D-derived meme? Are clerics not allowed used edged weapons in GoT? Do we have character who cannot be injuries, just go from fully-effective to dead? Evidence of strong classes? I know it's pleasant to think that your hobby is changing the world, but I'm not convinced.

Friday, 17th August, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - Shasarak quoted talien in post Tink-Tink-Boom vs. the Death Spiral: The Damage Mechanic in RPGs
    What do you say, gentle reader? Is the simplicity of the TTN system not worth the loss of realism? Is the Death Spiral too brutal, or is it grimly satisfying? And is that grim satisfaction worth the extra variables required of the players and GM to track? The irony is that TTB systems are actually more realistic then Death Spiral systems.

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 06:40 PM - Tony Vargas quoted talien in post D&D: The Board Game?
    Dungeons & Dragons' classification has sometimes befuddled stores in how to place it on shelves. Is it a book? A game? A toy? Of the three: a game. It was originally a miniatures wargame, an outgrowth of Chainmail. It quickly became recognized as the first Table Top Roleplaying Game. It was also immediately, as you note, knocked off by actual boardgames like Dungeon! or Talisman, and early text-based adventure games like Zork. Then there were actual D&D-IP CRPGs. And it's been knocked off by MMOs, as well (and by their MUD precursors, obviously). Hasbro has put out multiple boardgams using D&D's IP, including the ones you mentioned, which retain a few D&D-ish rules, and others, like Lords of Waterdeep, that do not. (With boardgames so hot the last few years, it's odd they're not pushing those harder. Or, maybe they are and I just haven't noticed, as I'm not so into bardgames in the first place.) But, D&D, itself, is a TTRPG. Period. Heck, it's /the/ TTRPG.

Monday, 9th July, 2018

  • 11:19 PM - Les Moore quoted talien in post An Army in the Dungeon
    The very fact that Grenadier produced an entire boxed set filled with torch bearers, guys toting treasure chests, and even a "potion tester" (he's figure E in the image above) tells you far more about the way D&D was played back in the day than I ever could. What it tells me is Grenadier was interested in selling large groups of miniatures, which could be handy, to represent different party members, NPCs, and also townsfolk. I remember many a party of half a dozen PCs, back during AD&D, and usually we played NPCs to compensate for parties smaller than 5 or six. NPCs had the additional issue of tripping traps set for the PCs by the DM. Granted it is absolutely true that D&D's roots can be traced directly back to wargaming.

Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018

  • 01:00 AM - Tony Vargas quoted talien in post Games Are (Still) Not the Problem
    If the latest craze is any indication, games will be dogged by accusations that they corrupt young minds as long as kids are playing them. We can only hope. Nothing sells to that demographic like fears it might 'corrupt' them.

Monday, 2nd July, 2018

  • 07:57 PM - TheCosmicKid quoted talien in post Games Are (Still) Not the Problem
    Jane McGonigal, game designer and advocate, argued on Twitter: Videogame "addiction" is compensatory, escapist behavior stemming from untreated depression or anxiety. You can't treat this by focusing on games. You treat this by targeting the real underlying problem, which by the way -- for many gamers is tied to large, systemic issues of economic insecurity, social alienation, fear of violence, trauma from serving in wars, the daily grind of suffering racism and sexism and lack of compassion in our elected leaders... I mean JUST STOP BLAMING GAMES. Whether or not a nine-year-old English girl's mental health troubles can be ultimately laid at the feet of economic insecurity or battlefield trauma or [insert disfavored politician here], getting her off Fortnite is probably going to be an important step in her recovery process. The game is not to blame in the sense that Fortnite's designers are bad people who have maliciously released a dangerous product*. But neither is it just a symptom. O...
  • 02:28 PM - Eltab quoted talien in post Games Are (Still) Not the Problem
    The problem is sometimes they're more boogeyman than threat My family and I soured on MMOs when my grade-school-aged son started playing one, went through a lot of in-game work to get the raw materials for a piece of equipment, had it built … and an IRL classmate so-called friend hacked his account to steal the completed work. This is not the game's fault, the "friend" had low character and the game gave him the opportunity to express it.

Monday, 25th June, 2018

  • 07:23 PM - Tony Vargas quoted talien in post Gatekeeping, Edition Wars, and Fandom
    Fandom, and its ability to influence the material that created it, all began with Sherlock Holmes. I always thought it started with religion, or tribal affiliation, back in pre-history somehwere. It's just, that, with rise of sciene and nation-states, those old ties were weakened or lost, and sometimes in that lack, projected on trivial comonalities, like team sports or fiction franchises or designer labels, (other times on political parties, race, gang membership, etc). It was in fan communities (specifically fantasy and science fiction fans) that Dungeons and Dragons (Deb) first became popular, and it has retained its popularity in these communities (Mackay, 2001, p. 16). In fact, Crawford and Rutter (2007) suggest that gaming in general should be considered as a part of studying fandom (p. 271). Can TRPG players be considered just another group within the larger fandom subculture or does it represent its own culture? Perhaps gaming is a part of fandom as a whole. We don't even get to ...
  • 06:36 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted talien in post Gatekeeping, Edition Wars, and Fandom
    The Complete Oracle as a fun read and return to a prior age of the game. But this quote struck me when I first read it, and it still resonates. It really captures part of what makes this game so magical. As for gatekeeping, it avails little, and comes off as pretty silly (if not downright jerkish). As a Goth of old, over the years, I’ve seen so many arguments on what IS or ISN’T Goth, not to mention slinging around of that most dire of labels, POSEUR. Eventually one realizes that it doesn’t really make you any cooler or more Goth whether you prefer Valor or Rozz. Dr. Richard Forest explained how D&D propagates itself in The Complete Oracle: [HQ][INDENT]The genius of Dungeons & Dragons is that it is a machine that makes more Dungeons & Dragons, and it does this right at your table. D&D is not in the books. It is at the game table. It is in our scribbled notes. It is in our maps, in our jokes, in our daydreams during dull classes or meetings, in our forum posts from work, in our blo...

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 06:25 PM - Dire Bare quoted talien in post Everybody Cheats?
    Well I WAS going to write an article titled "Nobody Cheats" but unfortunately we have data points (both research and surveys) to the contrary. I'm not sure why some are giving you hassle. A few posters almost seem to be taking this as a personal attack, or an attack on their beloved hobby. "Are you calling me a cheater Tresca?" Your article is on point, cheating is rampant in our hobby . . . so much so that some folks criticizing your points literally describe themselves cheating. It's somewhat normalized in our hobby culture, as you point out in the article. I think cheating was more common back in the day and that as game design has advanced to take some of the randomness out, and some of the strict prereqs out (high scores to play a paladin), cheating has become less common. However, I can't remember playing a session when someone didn't appear to be cheating in some way. Of course, how you define "cheating" and how serious of a problem it is varies with individuals and groups....

Tuesday, 12th June, 2018

  • 11:56 PM - evileeyore quoted talien in post D&D: The New Poker?
    Is D&D now being used to network and blow off steam the way adults play poker? In this aspect? Maybe? Will D&D replace poker as the weekly adult get-together for busy professionals? Personally I think boardgames have replaced poker. At least in my circles it was poker† as the pick-up game, then it was M:tG, now it's boardgames. † As in 'card games', like poker variants, spade, hearts, etc. Professional DMs fundamentally change the game for everyone involved and not for the better. The DMs role becomes that of a paid entertainer rather then a collaborative storyteller. I could never take a penny for running a game and never will. That's all you. I for one have been paid to run games† (LARPs specifically). Nothing wrong with it. † Not sure I'd take money for running a non-LARP as ... well... I'm not as good a sit-down GM as I am a LARP GM. It's a whole different style of running game. I'd describe LARP GMing as "herding cats by alternatively tossing cat-nip and...
  • 01:21 AM - dragoner quoted talien in post Everybody Loves Lovecraft?
    Lovecraft's racism is troubling, more so when one reads his letters which were published later on, so like many, I liked the books until I read his published collection of letters, where even his friends such as Howard criticized him for it. He’s an author who encouraged others to expand on his ideas, to set their own stories in what would become known as the Cthulhu Mythos. He created an open source, creative commons universe decades before those ideas were to become in vogue. If he did none of this, his work would have certainly died when he did. He originally took inspiration from Poe, "the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym", is definitely the precursor to "At the Mountains of Madness". Also Chambers "The King in Yellow", and not merely influences, things directly lifted. Things really got rolling when Greg Stafford attended NecronomiCon (1992?) — a Lovecraftian convention held in Massachusetts — and realized that the Lovecraft community of the early ’90s was made up of two classe...

Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 11:43 PM - Bagpuss quoted talien in post Why Did "Solo" and "Rogue One" Feel Like RPG Sessions?
    I'm specifically referencing "A Star Wars Story" which is a different kind of movie from the main trilogies. So Last Jedi happened, but totally distinct from these new "side quests." EDIT: Two other people pointed this out before I read all the way down, didn't mean to pile on! You don't deny it though. ;)


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Who You Gonna Call?
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d20 Hellraiser supplement for Call of Cthulhu d20.
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d20 Terminator: Future Fate.
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d20 Aliens: Game Over.
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d20 Matrix.
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D20 Evil Dead
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