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Michael Tresca



Michael Tresca
Meet the Daughter of Hideous Laughter
  • 47
The upcoming Tasha's Cauldron of Everything supplement for Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons promises to reveal many secrets, but perhaps the most tantalizing is a picture of her sitting in front...
Mark Twain: American Geek
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Although he isn't often associated with geekdom, Mark Twain's love of technology, his clear-eyed cynicism, and his role-playing persona would fit right in with modern gamers.
The Building Blocks of Oz-Inspired American Fantasy RPGs
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Although Oz-inspired American Fantasy isn't nearly as popular with tabletop role-playing games as traditional fantasy, there are elements that we can identify that can provide the foundation for a...
Where's the American Fantasy RPG?
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L. Frank Baum's Oz series established American Fantasy as a genre, and yet it hasn't had much influence on popular tabletop role-playing games despite several fantasy authors providing the...
Robots & Cyborgs & Oz, Oh My!
  • 28
The Wizard of Oz has become iconic thanks to the titular movie that established L. Frank Baum's world. And yet, there are over a dozen of books set in Oz in the public domain that go well beyond...
The Triumph and Tragedy of "Free"
  • 45
It's never been a better time to be a tabletop role-player. The freedom of choice seems limitless, with over a hundred thousand RPG products on DriveThruRPG and DMs Guild combined. A significant...
Why the New D&D Board Game is a Big Deal
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Hasbro’s recent announcement of new D&D board game is welcome but not necessarily new—Wizards of the Coast has published several D&D-themed board games in the past. What is new is that the product...
Secrets of RPG Success: Interview with Phil Reed
  • 7
I recently wrote about the Thousand Fan Theory (TFT) and what it takes to build enough an audience to make a living as a game designer. Years ago on DriveThruRPG, Philip J. Reed demonstrated that...
Retiring as a Game Designer
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We previously discussed the Thousand Fan Theory (TFT) and what it takes to achieve 1,000 fans contributing $100 a year on different platforms to support a full-time game designer’s salary. It’s a...
Making It in the RPG Industry
  • 126
Can you make a living in the tabletop role-playing industry as your sole source of income? Unless you work for one of the major game publishers, the odds are against you. But there’s another way...
D&D, Conan, and He-Man: Toys That Never Were
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With She-Ra and He-Man returning to Netflix as series that invoke the nostalgia of the 80s with a modern sensibility, several retrospectives have explored the origins of the toy line that that...
The Plastic Ancestry of the Owlbear
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Like so many of the plastic monsters pulled from obscurity as patchisaurs, the owlbear has become iconic. But unlike the other monsters who we can easily trace to kaiju from the Ultraman series...
The Plastic Ancestry of the Rust Monster
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Ah the rust monster! The bane of just about every fighter's existence, created from a plastic toy for the express purpose of ruining a party's equipment -- which, given the uniqueness of some...
The Plastic Ancestry of the Umber Hulk
  • 11
Gary Gygax is frequently cited as creating several iconic monsters in Dungeons & Dragons from a bag of plastic toys. But research has shown that toys came from a very specific source, Japanese...
The Plastic Ancestry of the Bulette
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The bulette is a curious beast. Described as a cross between an armadillo and snapping turtle, it's capable of sailing through earth like a shark, leaping into the air to attack opponents with all...
The Ultra-Mysterious History of D&D's Iconic Monsters
  • 22
It's common lore that some of the more iconic monsters of Dungeons & Dragons drew their inspiration from a set of plastic monsters mixed in with a bag of dinosaurs from Japan. Those monsters were...
When Gaming Saved the World
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Herodotus once wrote that during a time of great hardship, an entire nation survived by turning to gaming. Can tabletop role-playing games perform a similar role during a pandemic?
The Last Edition of D&D?
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Changes in Dungeons & Dragons' various editions have ranged from the incremental to the epic, shaking up the game's sales along with its playerbase. There is evidence that Wizards of the Coast is...
Onward: A D&D Movie for Kids
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We've known for some time now that Dungeons & Dragons has become a much larger part of the pop-culture fabric, thanks in no small part to streaming, parents introducing the game to their kids, and...
Tabletop Game Companies Step Up
  • 5
As the pandemic continues to roil the globe, tabletop game companies have seen an uptick in play even as supply chains and distribution channels have been disrupted. But companies are finding...

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game



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