Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Sixth Year of Blogging

I'm now completing six years of writing this blog. This year is on track to equal or very slightly surpass last year's post total, even with the weekly column I've been writing for Tribality. This has been a momentous year for me in gaming and writing: I've gotten fairly steady freelance work through EN5IDER (six articles in 2016), I've sold a few PDFs through Tribality Publishing, and now I'm working on a piece for Seventh Sphere Publishing. My freelancing has brought in enough money to complicate our taxes. Most of all, this was the last full season of the Dust to Dust LARP campaign.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

D&D 5e: The Thri-Kreen Personality

The 4e thri-kreen

Not too long ago, I wrote that I thought I was coming to the end of this series of posts. Then a reader reminded me of all the races I hadn't touched on yet - slightly further from the beaten path, but still popular enough to merit a full post of personality features. It looks like I'll be doing a few more of these! Today: the thri-kreen, most known for their appearance in Dark Sun, but soon becoming a standard part of the Monster Manual (if not the Player's Handbook).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Emotional Play in Games

This post is a reaction to Bluestockings's Be Vulnerable: Emotional Play and Toxic Masculinity. I've been chewing on it for a few days, and I find that there are important things it doesn't say, solely relative to my own gaming space. Nothing you read here is going to reject anyone else's experience or tell Bluestockings how she should have written this better - if you think you're seeing that, well, I did something wrong.

Monday, October 31, 2016

LARP Design: Ritualism

Model is Louis Puster III, photo by Caitlin Holden

The final three-day event of the Dust to Dust LARP campaign ran last weekend. Dust to Dust has been a part of my life since 2006, and even though it has to end, I still have a hard time believing that it is done. I'll probably be writing a lot of retrospective posts about it, and I'm starting with one of the most different things that we did - and the one that has already seen the most borrowing by other games.

Friday, October 28, 2016

D&D 5e: The Drow Personality

You know, when I wrote the first post in this whole series, I said straight out that I wasn't going to do separate posts for subraces, which was absolutely about my stomach-turning reluctance to try to write drow personalities that are remotely playable in group environments (but aren't all clones of R.A. Salvatore's dude). As I've gone along in the series, I've had readers request a drow writeup, and I've also gotten more comfortable with writing personality features that make you a bit... thorny to deal with in play.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

D&D 5e: A Ghoulish Repast

The ghoul has long been one of my favorite types of D&D undead. It doesn't even matter that the original ghul of Arabian folklore is a demon instead. Cannibalism - especially a compulsion to commit same - is a kind of horror that seriously unsettles me, so I love stories about monsters along those lines. As a result, one of Dust to Dust's common monster types is the ghul - not undead, but still voraciously hungry, and able to copy powers and knowledge from creatures that it eats.

Friday, September 30, 2016

D&D 5e: The Kobold Personality

I've been writing a series on personality features for each individual non-human race for awhile now, and today - thanks to a request from a reader - I'm covering kobolds, one of the only remotely PC-playable races that even goblins can look down on. The lore around kobolds has changed a lot over the years, but for this post I'm embracing the draconic connection, rather than digging too much into kobolds of Germanic legend. (The Germanic concept is cool too, but far from the default shown in the Monster Manual or most D&D settings.)