Monday, May 27, 2024

Deconstructed Ravenloft for Dinner - Mindstorm Guest Blog

This year, my friend Ty is taking his blog on tour, and I'm lucky enough to be honored with one of his highly-prized articles. I've said some pretty harsh things about Ravenloft in the past, so of course I was delighted to see Ty take that as a challenge. I think you'll agree, the results are top notch. Please enjoy this excellent guest post, and be sure to go check out Mindstorm afterwards if you aren't already following his work.


Deconstructed Ravenloft for Dinner

Since its inception, Ravenloft and the fearsome Strahd have captured the hearts and minds of tabletop gamers everywhere. From the first published edition—made for AD&D—all the way to the mass-marketed, bloated, and hyper-commercialized iteration for fifth edition, people have been delving into the lands beyond the mist and trying to fight the big daddy vampire.

What makes the adventure and setting so dang captivating? And, more importantly, can we break it down into its base components, inspect those components, replace them, and then force everything back together? Sometimes, the best way to play with legos is to smash your big sibling’s castle and then try to put it back together before they get home. Our version of Ravenloft is going to slap because it’s going to be personal, homemade, and filled with our own unique interests and idiosyncrasies.

Strap in. We’re hot-dropping into Barovia for the biggest heist imaginable. We’re taking the ideas.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Best RPG Cover of all Time

This is the cover to the original 1977 Traveller boxed set, now commonly referred to as "Classic Traveller." Because of this iconic cover, May 1st is celebrated as "Traveller Day."

There's been a lot of talk lately about RPG covers in the last week (thanks WotC). So I thought, what better time to reflect on the finest one of all?

I insist that this is not merely old school rose-colored nostalgia. It's not merely "good for its time." I really think this is perfect in a way that no other RPG cover has achieved before or since. Change a single word, a single punctuation, a single nanometer to the kerning, and you have something lesser. And if you're not convinced, then I'm going to explain everything that I like about this image and why. Everything. Yeah, this post is ridiculous overkill. About as bad an idea as explaining a joke. But I want it all to be said.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

G Monsters at the Opera (Part 3)

A B C D Demon Dragon E F G1 G2 G3 H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Fret not, my dear Mr. Wasteland. Today's show is brought to you by the letter G. We still have a while before we reach the Puking and Pulling monsters.