Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca
Was Firefly Inspired by a RPG?
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Joss Whedon is an American producer, director, screenwriter, comic book writer, and composer. He's had a hand in bringing to life a wide variety of geek-friendly franchises, from Buffy the Vampire...
The RPG Origins of Star Control
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Star Control: Famous Battles of the Ur-Quan Conflict, Volume IV or just simply Star Control was a science fiction video game developed by Toys for Bob and published by Accolade in 1990. Star...
Whatever Happened to D&D's Sea Serpent?
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Sea serpents are a staple of fantasy monsters so it's curious that they are not more prominent in Dungeons & Dragons. Research reveals the sea monster has always been in D&D, but it's taken a...
Jack Vance's Forgotten Contributions to D&D
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Renowned and influential fantasy author Jack Vance passed away at the age of 96 on May 26, 2013, but his books were highly influential on several aspects of Dungeons & Dragons in more ways than...
2010: A Turning Point for D&D
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Dungeons & Dragons is now so dominant in popular culture that actual play streams have become full-fledged cartoons, gamers have become the target of fast food chains with serious marketing...
Pay What You Want (But Please Pay Something!)
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DriveThruRPG has the option to offer products for no set fee, but rather Pay What You Want (PWYW), in which customers pay whatever they think is appropriate for the product. The concept isn't new...
The Most Expensive Gifts on Our RPG Wishlists
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With the rise of D&D and tabletop role-playing games in popular culture, a broader more diverse audience, and gamers that grew up with the game now adult professionals with extra cash to spare...
Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Players
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We already covered gift ideas for game masters, but this list is a bit different because it includes gifts for larger groups. A game master or another player would presumably buy them for the...
Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Gamemaster
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As a game master who has a 3D printer, I can produce a lot of interesting RPG products myself. So when it comes to gifts, they need to be unique enough that I can't make them myself. These...
Three Charities We're Thankful For
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As Thanksgiving approaches in the U.S. it's a great time to consider how our purchases can help fellow creators. These three charities are a great place to start.
When You Can't Tell Who's an NPC
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Fortnite launched two new features for its battle royale game in its eleventh season, matchmaking and bots. The two features are important lessons on how players perceive status of other...
When Brands Play Games
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Wendy's recent foray into tabletop gaming has been controversial, but it's not the first time a brand has ventured into our tabletop gaming space. What's changed?
Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?
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As I've mentioned previously, I frequently incorporate game elements into teaching the Scouts various skills. When it came to developing evacuation plans in case of an emergency, I had the rare...
Dread Isn't for Everyone
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I mentioned in the previous column how I sprung a horror game on players who didn't buy into it. But along with that change I introduced several mechanics to reinforce the horror, notably Dread's...
That Time I Surprised My Players With Cthulhu
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Years ago I ran a game of D20 Modern using D20 Call of Cthulhu/D20 Delta Green over three years that culminated in the characters facing down the apocalypse. I thought the campaign was...
Yes, You Can Turn Your Campaign Into a Novel
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Anyone who has ever attended a panel on writing novels has likely heard a frequently asked question: Can I turn my role-playing game into a novel? In the past, Dragonlance was frequently cited as...
RPGs Have a Health Problem
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Increasingly, the families of older gamers in the U.S. are turning to crowdfunding campaigns to fund their medical costs. Although gaming hasn't always been a lucrative field for designers, it's...
When Gaming Bleeds
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Monte Cook Games recently released Consent in Gaming, a sensitive topic that addresses subjects that make some players uncomfortable. Central to the understanding of why there's a debate at all...
The Secret "Historie" of the Gorgon, Lamia, and Su-Monster
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In the previous article we looked at a book that was highly influential on the creation of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. But that book wasn't the only source where D&D's...
The Imaginary Book that Spawned "Necessary" Monsters
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Dungeons & Dragons has adopted many different beasts into from folklore and legend into its bestiaries, but some diverge considerably from common lore. For a hint at what likely inspired...

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