Rob Wieland

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland

Candlekeep Mysteries comes out on March 18th, featuring 17 different short adventures based out of the library fortress of Candlekeep. I received an advance copy for review and my main takeaway from reading the adventures are how many of them have a focus on exploration that doesn’t necessarily have to end in a big boss battle. The mysteries contained within are broadly defined, often meaning...
A monster manual for Call of Cthulhu always struck me as an odd proposition. It is not a game of heroic combat. It’s a game where players flee the monster until they can attack on their own terms, if at all. The game operates on a sense of mystery and the unknown. Players who can quote Deep One game statistics chapter and verse run the risk of deflating the atmosphere. The most recent release...
I tend towards dark fantasy when I run games. I’m not entirely sure why. I may be that I didn’t start playing RPGs with Dungeons & Dragons. It may be that I spent a lot of time with the World of Darkness growing up. It may be that dark fantasy feels more heroic when players succeed and more tragic when they fail. Free League Publishing recently released a starter set for its dark fantasy world...
Writing a good boss battle is one of the hardest things a Dungeon Master can do. Boss battles are a staple of fiction and video games, but Dungeons & Dragons offers a freedom of action that can make a solid solo bad guy versus a group of heroes hard to pull off. If it swings towards the players, they can grind down hit points and end the battle before it gets interesting. If it swings towards...
Sentinels of the Multiverse spent the last decade building one of the best comic book universes out there without using comic books. Instead, they built it through a strong cooperative card game, great thematic expansions and even a podcast detailing the fictional comic company behind the setting. This month marks the release of the full Sentinel Comics RPG which puts the future of the setting...
As February looms large, the desire to get away from it all presses down. That feeling is more oppressive this year thanks to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s easy to imagine being in a tropical paradise like Al-Amarja, sitting on a beach, waiting for orders from your Secret Masters from the future. Wait, what? Over The Edge is an RPG that originally debuted in 1992 but seems even...
Even though Mothership is still technically in beta, it already has a polish and strength that surpass many completely released games. Much of this comes from an open-armed policy of third-party zine support combined with a OSR-inspired focus on maximum support on minimal word count. The adventures that I’ve seen for the game remind me of the monster from Alien: sleek, dangerous looking in...
It was only a matter of time before actual plays spun off games based on their worlds. Critical Role, the 800-pound gorilla in the room has two books for fans looking to game in their world; the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting from Green Ronin Publishing and last year’s Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount from Wizards of the Coast. It seemed like the comedy podcast The Adventure Zone would have gone a...
Most fantasy RPGs fall somewhere on the spectrum between high fantasy and low fantasy. Different editions of Dungeons & Dragons have been in various spots on this line. There’s a third category that’s seen a comeback in the past few years; weird fantasy. Games like Dungeon Crawl Classics and Numenera have injected a sense of wonder and terror into their worlds that connect to some of the...
Curse of Strahd has become one of the most popular campaign books of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. The love of the spooky realms within the mists is still very strong as evidenced by the recent deluxe versions and add-ons recently released by Wizards of the Coast and other companies. Whether travelling to the domain of Strahd for the first time or returning to Barovia to visit old friends...
When the time for combat comes in an RPG the Game Master must decide whether they want to run it using the theater of the mind or on the table with a map or battle grid. While I usually use the former option, there’s something to be said for the latter. I’ve come to enjoy a good set piece battle every now and again with the wide variety of flip-mats, battlemats, tiles and other accessories...
Traps are an iconic part of the Dungeons & Dragons experience. Nearly every table has a story about a time when a trap took someone by surprise or how it was used to the group's benefit when dealing with a monster. Despite sections on traps in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and riddles in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, this element of the dungeon seems to be underserved in the current...
Cyberpunk is on a lot of minds right now. The two largest franchises in the genre, Shadowrun and Cyberpunk, recently released new editions to great fanfare. For fans of the genre who aren’t enamored with the backstory connections or the old school flavor of those editions, Peril Press released a small cyberpunk game called Neon City Overdrive that offers the same slick style of its...
Two classic fantasy campaign staples are the local shop and the local inn. Players love to haggle, burgle and peruse the wares of the shopkeeper looking for that great magical item that will make them more effective in a fight or offer a great sideways solution to a problem in a fight. Inns are where players seek out rumors, tell tales of previous adventures or even roll into a classic bar...
Home is where the heart is, but for many fantasy games, it’s where the loot is stored. Coming back to town is an important part of many games’ play cycles but Dungeon Masters often struggle to make settlements as interesting as the dungeons located nearby. Nord Games aims to correct all that with Spectacular Settlements, a meaty 450+ page tome devoted to help create quirky neighbors, flavorful...
Ever since Indiana Jones outran a boulder in the opening minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, gamers have been chasing a pulp adventure high. Pulp adventure offers a heightened take on a lot of things players love about Dungeons & Dragons: exotic locations, mystical treasure and a chance to punch some obvious bad guys in the pursuit of both. Two Little Mice, a game design firm out of Italy...

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Reviews

A moody game in a dark city full of spies, revolutionaries and strange magic.
Ever since Toy Story debuted, I've wanted rules to play with army men. Now we can!
Knave 2e offers great resources for any OSR style game.
A great small sandbox for old school gaming.

Dungeons & Dragons

From libraries to trading stalls this secretive order uses what they know to influence entire kingdoms.
Here are the D&D events WotC is holding at Gen Con this year.
3,000 copies available ahead of September release.
Hight previously oversaw the World of Warcraft franchise.
The sets include Ravenloft, Tomb of Horrors, Vecna Lives!, White Plume Mountain, Temple of Elemental Evil, and Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.
There might even be a rescue involved—if the adventurers are fast enough.

Industry News

Tabletop Mirror with integrate the chat features of Role Gate into its platform
Hight previously oversaw the World of Warcraft franchise.
Your backing helps Owen's fight against cancer and gets you a book of cartoons by Stan!
DEI grants for publishers and retailers open for applications

Voidrunner's Codex

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