Sword and sorcery monsters in gaming

Sword and sorcery monsters represent an encounter with the uncanny. Conan doesn’t typically fight through hordes of monsters the way he does hordes of men, nor do Clark Ashton Smith’s various heroes. Even where Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser confront monsters with steel, they only once or twice battle them in a horde. Elric is Read More …

What does a wizard look like?

When Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition came out, there was a great deal of argument over its “dungeonpunk” aesthetic and, particularly, the way wizards didn’t look like they were “supposed” to. The pointy-hatted old men familiar from Dragon magazine covers or Will McLean cartoons had been replaced by a confusingly-dressed elf lady and a bare-chested Read More …

Class Construction in early Tunnels & Trolls

The early editions of Tunnels & Trolls are a good example of two¬†class design¬†schema: Classes to fill holes Classes on a spectrum The two base classes are warrior and wizard. The warrior is a straightforward arms and armor type, noted in the game’s fifth-and-a-half edition as being based on Conan. Wizards have a mix of Read More …

The First Estate

“Vatican II led to many changes in the Catholic Church, notable ones being the use of mother-tongues – instead of Latin – for parts of the mass, the empowerment of the laity, and allowing priests to use bladed weapons in combat.” – Critical Miss #8 I suppose I’d know who the cleric was, if I’d Read More …

Little Hearts Like the One in Me

“Hello, my name is Jimmy Pop and I’m a dumb white guy, I’m not old or new but middle school, fifth grade like junior high.” – The Bloodhound Gang, “Fire Water Burn” 1984. My uncle leaves a party. I ask my Mom where he went. “To play Dungeons & Dragons,” she says. I ask her Read More …