Showing posts from January, 2022

Steps to Demonetize the TTRPG Hobby

You can quit playing your pretend games wholesale and go back to living an undisturbed life not worrying about what a lyric game is or whether indie creators are more or less oppressed than Minecraft youtubers. However, I myself began following TTRPG hobbyists on Twitter because I liked being part of the discussion and learning how to have more fun with my friends. I had even been lurking for years earlier, reading blogs and threads and archived G+ posts. By the time I decided to join the conversation, the predominant mode of interacting with everyone else was selling PDFs on the internet. It took me a while to realize that none of that was necessary or desirable for myself. It took me until more recently to realize I didn’t have to put up with others doing it either. I want an exit from what has been sold to me and others as normal. Something we can do, on an individual and a collective basis, is to reject the predominant culture of the hobby and to strive for a community with non-com

Wanderhome & Rulebooks

Edit: I removed the photos from this post because they are too large and slowing down the blog for everyone. Apologies on all accounts! I had the pleasure of playing Wanderhome under the guidance of Jay Dragon, the author of the book. Wanderhome was influenced by Dragon's experiences as a camp counselor, especially in running LARPs for campers and helping them feel comfortable playing with others. Play itself is an essentially human thing. Huizinga argues in Homo Ludens that play is in fact constitutive of being human, in that play is the rehearsal of cultural or symbolic expectations. Play then is the basis of socialization, since when we adorn ourselves with titles like “mother” or “father” or “cop” or “robber”, we are indeed playing a role that has been taught to us. Yet Dragon has found that as we get older, we become shameful towards play. We refuse to put on new masks. Maybe, and this is just my hunch, the passage into adulthood consists of internalizing particular roles t

About Fantastic Medieval Campaigns

After months of writing and rewriting and analyzing and formatting, the body text of Fantastic Medieval Campaigns , my retroclone of the original 1974 edition of Dungeons & Dragons (a.k.a. OD&D or 0E ) is basically complete! I wanted to take this time to talk about my motivation in working on this, how far it's come along, and what steps are left for me to feel satisfied in putting at least an initial version online.

A Simple Calendar for Timekeeping

In most campaigns I've played, the passage of time on a larger scale is handled liberally. We tend to see the value in handling smaller scale time via procedure, thinking of exploration in terms of 10 minute chunks for no reason other than to structure the game around those chunks like clockwork (torch duration, monster checks, etc.). The course of the year is not given the same attention, for the obvious reason that it's difficult to keep track of. At first glance, you'd think you'd have to figure out what day of the month it is, how many days are in each specific month, when one month stops and another ends. However, using a simplified calendar like the one I will outline below, you can begin to see months pass and the seasons turn without much additional effort. The point of this calendar is not to simulate any actual calendar we use in the real world. Real world calendars have the dual function of organizing human life and matching that with what are basically measu