Showing posts from September, 2022

Nymphs in your Area!

I really like the idea of Nymphs as, like, natural spirits who take the form of young women and just hang out in their environment. I think the way they are treated in pop culture sucks because they are taken as sex-crazed female divinities (which is where we get the word “nymphomania” from). In OD&D , dryads have a 90% chance of charming visitors into never leaving their forest. What gives with that? I’ve been thinking a bit about how to handle magic for a DIY-fuck-your-book nonsense project, and it occurred to me that there might be room for nymphs in a sort of animistic setting. I’d say “This is a take on druids!”, but I’d be lying because I don’t know anything about druids. This is more like Roman folk religion where divinities called numina live just about anywhere. Out of respect, let’s not call our figure a druid. Why not whisperer, to be vague? The whisperer can seek out and talk to nymphs to investigate or learn more about certain natural areas. The Gist Nymphs live a

D&D's Obsession With Phallic Desire

Before you get mad at me, I didn't come up with the title; Zedeck did! I have him to thank for that and also for inspiring me to revisit this topic by revising and expanding upon the article I had written before. Please read his article [1]. I am going to talk about Dungeons & Dragons from a psychoanalytic angle again ( original version ), but this time I will be integrating a more direct feminist critique of the original D&D base settings: the Underworld and the Wilderness. We will see how these settings interact with the phallic drive of D&D adventurers, and how they reflect real life intersections of sexism with colonial imagery. This involves an in-depth examination of the aesthetics of D&D , to understand what literary or social influences were being evoked in the text. This will contribute to a fuller reading and critique of D&D as a sexist text and game setting. Shout-out to the Twitter discourse of which I got secondhand whiffs, but didn't read

Bread & Circuses: Roman Game Games

This was a kinda-wargame, kinda-RPG that I wrote almost two years ago for some game jam on Itch. It's kind of an exploration of different Roman arena games: the munus , the venatio , and the naumachia . I had taken a seminar on the Roman area that semester, and thought that it was kind of weird that there was no gladiator ruleset (or at least one of which I was aware). I myself am not really interested in super fighty games, but it seemed like a nice way to summarize some of what I had learned in my course, and to also explore certain implications of early pre- D&D games such as Braunstein. Introduction This game requires a couple six-sided dice and some sheets of paper. You will probably choose someone to be the munerarius , the master of ceremonies who funds and runs the gladiatorial games. This participant will narrate combat and other situations, and they will also act on behalf of characters not played by the players. Finally, they are entrusted with making sp