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  1. talien

    Tips for Reviewers

    This here is one of the tips I plan to address in a future article: how long do you wait until you write a review? Role-playing games are vulnerable to this, in that reading an adventure is quite different from playing it, and playing it once with one group can be very different from playing...
  2. talien

    Tips for Reviewers

    I deserved that, sorry. I have so many tips I'm breaking them up into two articles, and I took the fifth one off but didn't update the title. Thanks for pointing that out, I updated it accordingly!
  3. talien

    Tips for Reviewers

    I've been a reviewer on several platforms for over a decade. This is what I learned. Picture courtesy of Pixabay. Amazon recently reminded me (apropos of nothing) that my reviews on that platform have over 637,000 views and nearly 10,000 likes. That's not a surprise given I've written over...
  4. talien

    RPG Inspiration: In-Person Events

    I find inspiration for my adventures everywhere and sometimes it's not online or in a book, but right in front of me. Picture courtesy of Emanuel Gollob. Museums We recently took the kids on Spring Break to Washington, D.C. There's so many museums to see that by the end of the week everyone...
  5. talien

    RPG Crowdfunding News – Misspent Youth, Ultimate Treasury, Emerald Templars, and more

    If I recall correctly, it was over the appearance of a specific star that looked too much like the Nintentdo star. Go figure!
  6. talien

    RPG Inspiration: Non-Fiction

    Need inspiration? Whether you're making monsters or ending your world, these non-fiction ideas will help you get started. Picture courtesy of Pixabay. Creating monsters is one of the many rewarding aspects of game mastering. Paleobiology and speculative evolution provide a framework of what...
  7. talien

    D&D 5E What Are Your Favorite D&D Monsters (MM Edition)?

    As a DM I'm always reskinning monsters so I tend towards the mechanically interesting critters. This poll has made me realize that those monsters overlap quite a bit with unique monsters that aren't from mythology: ankheg bulette chuul gibbering mouther grell grick nothic otyugh roper rust...
  8. talien

    RPG Inspiration: Animated Streaming

    Need inspiration? Great ideas for your next adventure may be lurking in cartoons. Picture courtesy of Pixabay. Cartoons are unfettered from many of the constraints of live action series, which makes them an endless source of material for role-playing campaigns. Even better, designers now...
  9. talien

    RPG Print News – Free League, Pacesetter, and More

    This is one of those situations where paint jobs make a big difference. Turns out the difference between snow and poop isn't in the texture of the model, but the paint (it's a problem for all amorphous 3D figures, not just these golems). My bigger concern: Someone had to add human-like teeth...
  10. talien

    RPG Inspiration: Live-Action Streaming

    Need inspiration? Great ideas for your next adventure are just a click away. Picture courtesy of Pixabay. As any DM will tell you, game mastering can be creatively rewarding and also exhausting, with inspiration the fuel to keep you going. I find inspiration everywhere. Here's some live...
  11. talien

    D&D's Missing Archetypes

    All of this 100%. The first one is basically the Witcher class (although more arcane than druid-y focus), the second is a survivalist class (good for post-apocalyptic games, for example), and the third addresses a major gap in all of the classes around dealing with summoned creatures/pets, which...
  12. talien

    D&D's Missing Archetypes

    Ahaha oops, sorry. I fixed it!
  13. talien

    D&D's Missing Archetypes

    You hit on what I think the problem is, which is that in theory the ranger covers all these archetypes, but in practice doesn't cover any of them well enough. Which is why the Witcher feels like a new idea but really isn't, just an arcane-focused monster hunter. Ranger COULD be that, but isn't...
  14. talien

    D&D's Missing Archetypes

    Dungeons & Dragons' classes have expanded to include popular tropes from fantasy fiction. Now D&D itself is influencing what archetypes appear in fiction. There's still a few missing. Picture courtesy of Pixabay This thought experiment is rooted in the idea that classes need to be in the...
  15. talien

    Playing Your PC Poorly

    Dungeons & Dragons is often about the increasing power of heroes who start out capable and get stronger from there. But it wasn't always that way. Picture courtesy of Pixabay. Welcome to the Meat Grinder Characters in earlier versions of Dungeons & Dragons had ability scores that were rolled...
  16. talien

    What Makes a Show "D&D"?

    Blackmoor was one of the original campaign settings for OD&D and as mentioned above, had lots of technology in it. It was later incorporated into Basic D&D's Mystary setting: Blackmoor (campaign setting) - Wikipedia
  17. talien

    What Makes a Show "D&D"?

    Temple of the Frog in the original booklet is ... not quite up to traditional adventure standards. It expects you to field an army against over 100 froggies (using Chainmail, natch). Basic D&D reissued it later with much more detail and also pushed the tech even more: DA2 The Temple of the Frog...
  18. talien

    What Makes a Show "D&D"?

    Supplment II: Blackmoor (1975) involved crashed spaceships and technology from them. See Why the Temple of the Frog, Dungeons & Dragons’ first printed dungeon, seemed unplayable In fact, "Stephen the Rock" from that ship offers high-tech equipment in exchange for leadership of the temple, and...
  19. talien

    What Makes a Show "D&D"?

    Interesting. D&D didn't start out as baseline medieval fantasy though: Who Killed the Megaverse?
  20. talien

    What Makes a Show "D&D"?

    Dungeons & Dragons is everywhere these days, and now thanks to D&D-adjacent cartoons, comics, and podcasts, we've got a good idea of what elements constitute D&D-themed media. When looking at some of the media inspired by D&D, there's been plenty of speculation as to the connection, like The...