View Profile: talien - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 11:30 PM
    Hello and good fortune, my lovelies, it’s time for another edition of your favorite EN World article and mine: the PAIZO NEWS UPDATE! The official release announcement of Pathfinder Second Edition crowded up our last update some, but even before that there’s enough to talk about for this upcoming month that we have another update just for you! Less news, I guess, and more update, but now in one...
    0 replies | 1868 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 11:30 AM
    RPGs are commonly played to blow off steam and as a bit of wish fulfillment, but they can also be used to immerse yourself in a new experience as well as be a teaching tool. The game anthology War Birds by Unruly Designs definitely falls into the latter category. Set during WWII, it focuses on forgotten stories about the “Greatest Generation.” Moyra Turkington, founder of Unruly Designs...
    2 replies | 953 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 11:30 AM
    In the Lord of the Rings the quaint little town of Bree marked the place where a dangerous journey grew into a true adventure. Now, with the Bree-Land Region Guide it can easily play the same role for the Adventures in Middle-Earth, framing the party’s first few steps from humdrum civilisation into dangerous wilds. While the setting book is probably most useful for low-level heroes,...
    32 replies | 1589 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 11:30 AM
    In this article, I cover RPG Kickstarters ending between March 22nd and 28th including projects from Flying Buffalo and Steve Jackson Games along with translations of games from France, some enlightenment punk from England, and 15 zines. This is not an exhaustive list as there are at least 5 more RPG Kickstarters beyond these, and that’s just for this timeframe. As it has been since the start of...
    12 replies | 1944 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th March, 2019, 11:30 AM
    Who is hunting the mystics of Coriolis and why? Investigate to find out in Emissary Lost, an adventure for the Coriolis the Third Horizon RPG. Combine Emissary Lost with other Coriolis adventures for a long-term space opera campaign. Coriolis the Third Horizon RPG (review) features Arabian Nights style adventures in space. Enough adventures have been published, including the latest...
    13 replies | 923 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 11:30 AM
    Hasbro recently announced a licensing agreement with Imagine Resorts and Hotels, LLC to develop the first-ever Hasbro themed indoor water park and family resort. This announcement followed a licensing agreement with Kilburn Live to create, build and operate Hasbro-themed family entertainment centers across the U.S. and Canada. Despite references to Hasbro's brands ranging from My Little Pony to...
    15 replies | 1441 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 12:00 PM
    You may benefit, as a GM, from understanding where your players stand in the spectrum from Romantic to Classical game player. The terms derive from music and philosophy. I discussed one point of view about game playing styles in an earlier column ("Different look at playing styles"). This one is much older in origin. Photo by Corentin Marzin on Unsplash When I originally discussed...
    10 replies | 1408 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 12:30 AM
    Hello and good fortune, my lovelies, and welcome back to one of my favorite corners of the internet – it’s the PAIZO NEWS UPDATE! A new month means a whole new batch of announcements, reveals, updates, and more, so much so that it’s going to be difficult to get it all in one Update. Look forward to part two coming soon! And now without further ado, ONTO THE PAIZO NEWS! We're starting...
    25 replies | 4543 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 12:30 PM
    As has been the case for several weeks, there are more RPG crowdfunding campaigns than I can count without kicking off my shoes, so I’ve trimmed it down to 6 RPGs and linking 13 zines. All of these end between March 15th to the 21st. Lots of Powered by the Apocalypse, 5e, and Pathfinder to select from so let’s dig in. Comrades: A Revolutionary RPG by W.M. Akers END DATE: Fri,...
    2 replies | 1855 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th March, 2019, 12:30 PM
    Warhammer 40K Wrath & Glory has been out for a few months and some of you may be wondering where to begin. We've got you covered! The Core Rulebook is already loaded with plenty of content to help players get their fill of role-playing in the 40K universe, but Ulisses North America also provides two “getting started” products over at Drive Thru RPG.Warhammer Wrath & Glory: Revelations,...
    6 replies | 1526 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 01:00 PM
    D&D is no stranger to moral panics, and there's a new boogeyman taking the place of demons in the 80s: Momo, a fake picture of a fake sculpture about a fake trend. Moral panics can arise from a popular trend that is unique to children and is foreign to some adults. Sociologist Stanley Cohen outlined the social theory of moral panic in his 1972 book titled Folk Devils and Moral Panics. It...
    77 replies | 3762 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd March, 2019, 02:28 PM
    Our latest newsletter is live! This one includes a discussion of con policies, a SPIEL '18 in Essen update, contributions from four of our contributors, and a comprehensive convention list for the next three months. http://www.car-pga.org/2019/03/02/car-pga-newsletter-vol-28-no-3-march-2019/
    3 replies | 121 view(s)
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    Saturday, 2nd March, 2019, 02:27 PM
    http://www.car-pga.org/2019/02/02/car-pga-newsletter-vol-28-no-2-february-2019/
    3 replies | 121 view(s)
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  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd March, 2019, 02:26 PM
    http://www.car-pga.org/2019/01/20/car-pga-newsletter-vol-28-no-1-january-2019/
    3 replies | 121 view(s)
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  • talien's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd March, 2019, 02:23 PM
    CAR-PGa is the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games, an international network of researchers into all aspects of role-playing games (RPGs). In the 1980s, there was a major campaign attacking RPGs. Because of the inaction of the game publishers’ organization at that time, CAR-PGa was formed to find out what the problem was. CAR-PGa members’ research showed that the...
    3 replies | 121 view(s)
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  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 1st March, 2019, 12:30 PM
    Role-playing games clearly use a lot of writers and artists, but these people are only one part of the team that gets a book published. The rest of this team are often underappreciated even though their work is just as essential. But writing and art remain the jobs people think of when they want to ‘get into the gaming industry’. They are the ‘actors’ rather than the ‘backstage staff’ in gaming....
    11 replies | 2192 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 12:30 PM
    2018 was a year of growth and big games for Modiphius Entertainment and, with 2019 still shiny and new and their hiring spree happening, it’s a good time to discuss what’s next for the game publisher. This article came about because I write a jobs column on EN World. In the comments of the January posting, Chris Birch, publisher and founder of Modiphius, shared some of the jobs Modiphius has...
    6 replies | 1929 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 12:30 PM
    The end of February/first week of March was an RPG Kickstarter population explosion. This week’s RPG Kickstarters (those ending between March 8th to the 14th) are a thinner herd by comparison. In this article, I look at 8 of the available RPG Kickstarters and 11 RPG Zine Quests including games for Exalted 3e, D&D 5e, OSR, Powered by the Apocalypse, and more. Lunars: Fangs at the Gate for...
    17 replies | 3115 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th February, 2019, 12:30 PM
    The Dragon Issue 20 was published in December 1978. It is 36 pages long, with a cover price of $2.00. In this issue, we talk about board games, witchcraft, demonology, and the Lord of the Rings movie! Editor Tim Kask starts with an apology for the price increase to $2.00, which came into effect last issue. It was unavoidable due to increases in the cost of paper, ink, and postage. He...
    11 replies | 1714 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 12:00 PM
    We've previously discussed a time when Dungeons & Dragons was considered as much of a toy as it was a book. The loss of D&D in toy stores was a blow to a hobby that found its footing among a younger generation. Now things have come full circle as the bottom of the toy market fell out from under Wizards of the Coast's parent company, Hasbro. Photo courtesy of Pixabay. Toys vs. BooksWe...
    74 replies | 3233 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd February, 2019, 12:30 PM
    It is virtually impossible to protect game ideas, but virtually no idea is new. On rare occasions someone deliberately copies someone else’s game, but game designers cannot worry about this: they have to talk to publishers, funding sources, and other people about their games. Photo courtesy of Pixabay. “I've always believed that the best way you combat intellectual property theft is...
    18 replies | 2226 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 12:30 PM
    While titans battled for the blitzbowl championship, I spoke to Daniel D. Fox, emperor of Grim and Perilous Studios’ Zweihänder RPG dynasty. He talked playtesting, balanced math, and upcoming projects like the Tetsubō RPG. Zweihander manages by the grim machinations of its creator, Daniel D. Fox, to forge itself into something both eerily familiar and utterly belonging to the current...
    16 replies | 2358 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 12:30 PM
    Between March 1st and 7th, 25 RPGs and 20 RPG Zine Quests end on Kickstarter. 45 projects ending in 7 days. Because that pool is an ocean, I fished out 4 RPGs to review while sharing the zines as quick links. Let’s get into these projects. Ultimate Player Race Creator - Endless 5E D&D Races by Andrew Michael Engelbrite END DATE: Sun, March 3 2019 8:56 AM EST. SYSTEM(S): Dungeons &...
    12 replies | 2319 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 12:30 PM
    Winter crouches outside howling at doors trying to get in. Some frozen ancient thing snatches the unwary from warm homes. Consider tying together several Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG winter adventures into an adventure path for brand new characters. Dungeon Crawl RPG has a series of winter modules that can be combined for either DCC RPG or D&D. Frozen in Time), The Old Gods Return),...
    8 replies | 3031 view(s)
  • talien's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 12:30 PM
    The first playtests of Dungeons & Dragons were by Gary Gygax, his kids, and his friends. The industry has evolved considerably since then and playtesting along with it. A new playtesting methodology was borrowed from software development, and it's likely to influence how game companies produce products in the future. Photo by Ian Gonzalez on Unsplash The Early PlaytestsGary Gygax,...
    15 replies | 20744 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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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.

Monday, 11th March, 2019


Friday, 8th March, 2019


Monday, 4th March, 2019


Tuesday, 26th February, 2019


Monday, 25th February, 2019


Monday, 18th February, 2019


Friday, 18th January, 2019

  • 01:48 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned talien in post Worlds of Design: How "Precise" Should RPG Rules Be?
    I started reading this and was wondering why talien had written an article like lewpuls -- was he trying to rehabilitate the last set of articles (poorly)? Then I got to the byline at the end and the strange terminology, lack of understanding of games like FATE, and random video gane bashing made sense. As did the article never going anywhere. While less overtly insulting than the last set, this article continues to show that lewpuls doesn't grasp the subject matter he keeps trying to articulate. And that he's a disorganized writer, by that's forgivable.

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 06:05 PM - Blue mentioned talien in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    ...ersonal mode of play. However the 3 parts to this article come by as very dismissive of other methods of play, injecting personal preference in the guise of factual information and putting down foreign types of play as BADWRONGFUN. I wish these articles approached the differences in a positive style that highlighted where each can make good games to fit the differing needs of various tables instead of coming across as screeds putting down certain ways of enjoying our shared hobby. To compound it issue, judging from the responses on parts 1 plus 2&3 they seem to have been poorly researched, with a superficial understanding of new school games. Even if articles are about something that may not appeal to the whole audience, approaching it in a positive way to talk out a particular stance would be better then tearing apart a different stance. It would be very possible to write articles espousing old school gaming (or new school gaming) which would have an audience. Please ENworld, talien, hold the articles to a high standard.

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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Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 07:22 PM - billd91 quoted talien in post Momo is Still Not Real (But Memes Are)
    As someone who was targeted by religious groups in school, for a long time I reflexively felt that there was nothing wrong with how D&D presented itself. But after re-reading Art & Arcana and looking at the art through the eyes of a parent...yep, I would have had a problem with it. I think D&D's split focus was largely to blame for this. D&D co-opted a variety of religions in Deities & Demigods and the Monster Manual -- and none of that was an issue. I think that came from wargaming, where there was a certain deatchment from the whole thing -- replaying historical events didn't mean you agreed with the nation's policies that you played -- and so D&D treated religions like more data, independent of cultural concerns. And that's all fine and good in the scholarly world of wargaming played by adults. It falls apart when you have Basic D&D, which was marketed to kids, that was meant to be a stepping stone to Advanced gaming. The disconnect was sharp -- Basic D&D was almost independent of Ga...

Thursday, 21st February, 2019


Friday, 15th February, 2019


Thursday, 14th February, 2019


Tuesday, 29th January, 2019

  • 12:38 AM - Rygar quoted talien in post Blockchain and RPGs: When Fantasy Meets (Digital) Reality
    Right! To that point, it's really what the motivation to have a "secure" virtual object is. As the examples I think illustrate, money is usually that factor -- which is where competitive play/esports potentially becomes that motivation. What gets interesting is if that extra layer of security makes it feasible to say, play at home, and bring the character to an official session with the implication that it's "more official" than just jotting something on your character sheet. This is overkill. A QR code with a log can do the same thing and is an order of magnitude more simple in RPGs, or signed certificates, etc. " Cryptokitty demonstrated that permanency has long-reaching effects for the value of a virtual object, and even a virtual being. Which is where RPGs come into the picture." I can replace "Cryptokitty" with "Everquest", "Asheron's Call", "Magic the Gathering Online", and many many others and pull up the same statement someone made years ago. Virtual objects have no value, beca...

Saturday, 12th January, 2019


Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 08:04 PM - Umbran quoted talien in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Hi All, In the interest of helping Lew make his entire point, I've added in his third installment to this article just so that it's presented together as a whole. Much of his point was made with the "grey goo" quote. It sets a tone that is... unwelcoming to anyone who happens to enjoy other styles of gaming. The rest of it seems poorly researched, as there are other folks around here and elsewhere who seem to have thought more deeply (and I'd say more evenhandedly) about this subject, and the author seems ignorant of that. The author probably should have gotten himself up to speed on the state of scholarship and theory (such as it may be, it is better than his) before starting to write. His use of loaded terms and factually incorrect absolute statements do not strengthen his arguments. Maybe some discussion with *current* designers of games would have been helpful, too. And, to answer his final question - No particular gamer has to like all kinds of games. But, around ...
  • 04:29 PM - Immortal Sun quoted talien in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Hi All, In the interest of helping Lew make his entire point, I've added in his third installment to this article just so that it's presented together as a whole. I realize not every article is for everyone and appreciate the constructive criticism. We'll keep that in mind for future articles. Thanks for your feedback! Here's my feedback: Lew writes terrible articles. He is insulting, demeaning and outright rude. His threads (i went back and read a few) would by most other posters be considered violations of the rules (edition warring). Why you staff him is beyond me except to cater to a few grogs who hate everything that isn't their favorite edition. And are those really the kinds of people you want to toss a bone to?
  • 03:40 PM - 5ekyu quoted talien in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Hi All, In the interest of helping Lew make his entire point, I've added in his third installment to this article just so that it's presented together as a whole. I realize not every article is for everyone and appreciate the constructive criticism. We'll keep that in mind for future articles. Thanks for your feedback!In the interest of fairness, gotta say, I dont think that helped but rather hurt as the third section is even more hostile in its tenor - but it foes st least help wrap context on the other. But I gotta say, I get the sense that if I took half thing statements made in that article about what the author claims a game of x type does and I took those claims and put a forum poster name on them "5ekyu games do..." I would be at least dancing on the border if not over the line for forum regs regarding attacks or misrepresenting others. Maybe it's ore ok on this forum to essentially insult or malign an entire class of gamers or style of gaming as long as you avoid pointing at...
  • 03:30 PM - darkbard quoted talien in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Hi All, In the interest of helping Lew make his entire point, I've added in his third installment to this article just so that it's presented together as a whole. I realize not every article is for everyone and appreciate the constructive criticism. We'll keep that in mind for future articles. Thanks for your feedback! IMO, one of the great advantages in a serial publication (like a planned 3-part essay) is the opportunity to revise each piece in response to feedback on the preceding installment. The decision to publish Lew's third piece immediately upon the negative reception of part two implies nothing of the sort happened here, or even had the possibility of happening. I.e., the pieces were all writtten and would be published as is, regardless of responses that make clarification seem like a good idea, introduce an unconsidered (or ill considered) viewpoint, etc.

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.


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