Tag Archives: featured

Here be Dragons — July RPG Blog Carnival

At the furthest edge of the map, far from civilization, the words “Here be Dragons” is scribed across the most inhospitable, unexplored lands. Journey with us, as the RPG Blog Carnival ventures into these lands of legend and danger.

Here be Dragons

Here be Dragons — July RPG Blog Carnival

Every month, the RPG Blog Carnival takes a turn at a different RPG blogger’s site, and this month it’s here, at Rising Phoenix Games. If you’re a blogger, you can join in by writing an article inspired by the topic and dropping a link to it, in the comments below. I’ll write a wrap-up article at the end of July that covers all of the posts submitted. I hope you’ll join us!

If you’re not an RPG blogger, hang out with us and see what everyone brings to the topic. In March we had a great time exploring magical space adventures. What adventures will we have this month?

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Here are a few ideas, but you can interpret the topic as loosely as you like, we’re not the thought police:

  1. Dragonlance is coming for Dungeons & Dragons (here’s the Dragonlance trailer). Take us back to your gaming table, or try and predict what we’ll see from Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Give us a new dragon for Spelljammer, your own setting, or a different game. Science-fantasy dragons, cyberpunk dragons, superhero dragons, steampunk dragons… there are more themes to explore than I could ever hope to mention.
  3. Maps! The history of the phrase “Here be Dragons” is very interesting and would mean nothing if not for map makers and their art. Give us a map, a map maker NPC, or some ideas about how to use the phrase “Here be Dragons” on our own maps.
  4. The symbolism of dragons can bring up some interesting ideas. How can GMs apply the concepts often associated with dragons to their human NPCs?
  5. Wikipedia states that dragons are known in virtually all cultures around the world, so looking at different dragons from around the world should bring up plenty of interesting ideas.

Void Dragonborn

So them’s the rules. Let’s dive back into the world of Space Punks for another new race, dragonborn descended from void dragons.

Void Dragonborn

With deep black eyes that shimmer with the light of a thousand stars, void dragonborn display their faint bloodline back to void dragons. This rare variant of dragonborn are known for their insatiable wonderlust and weak grip on reality.

Void dragonborn are dragonborn (Player’s Handbook) with the following draconic ancestry:

Dragon Type. Void
Breath Weapon Damage Type. Fire and Radiant*
Damage Resistance Damage Type. Cold
Breath Weapon. 15-foot cone (Dex save)

*You deal 1d6 fire and 1d6 radiant damage from first level. This increases to 2d6 fire and 1d6 radiant damage at 6th level, 2d6 fire and 2d6 radiant damage at 11th level, and 3d6 fire and 2d6 radiant damage at 16th level.

Hot Sales All July Long

We have massive sales on, all July long. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the deals first, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get notifications of new offers.

That’s all for now, but be sure to check back at the end of the month for the roundup.


How to Play D&D, The Game in Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a great show, with tight storytelling, stunning visual effects, and a cast of characters we’re totally invested in. It also features Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), a game we love and where the Duffer brothers got the Mindflayer, Demogorgon, and Vecna from. I’m here to help you get into this amazing hobby and teach you how to play D&D.

Remember the scene? Warning, here be swears.

What You Need to Play Dungeons & Dragons

The first thing you’ll need is a copy of the rules. You can get a free, basic version of the rules on Wizards of the Coast’s website. A better option for new players is the D&D Starter Set, which includes dice. There’s also a Stranger Things-themed D&D starter for die-hard Stranger Things fans. If you’ve played roleplaying games before, or you’re serious about diving in, then get the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook instead. This is the most important book of the three core books — which include the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual — but you do a lot with just the one.

Next, you’ll need a set of RPG dice. These include all those funny-shaped dice, like a D4 (four-sided die), D6 (the regular six-sided die), D8, D10, D12, and D20. Good sets include a percentile D10, which is marked 00, 10, 20, and so on, up to 90. The twenty-sided D20 is the most important die in Dungeons & Dragons, which is why these types of games are usually referred to as D20 games.

RPG Dice - How to Play D&D
From left to right: Percentile D10 (front left), D8 (at the back), D4, D6, regular D10, D20, and D12.

One set of dice is enough to play, but multiple sets make it easier to keep things going. You can also find free and premium dice apps online.

Lastly, you’ll need paper and pencils for notes, printed character sheets, and a place to play, like a dining room table.

Stranger Things Play Dungeons & Dragons

All the Stuff, Plus the Kitchen Sink

Like any hobby, there are a lot of bits and pieces, tools, and fancy gear you can drop money on to enhance your D&D experience. Fortunately, none of it is necessary, and often what you find useful will depend on your preferences. I enjoy miniatures, but I use them in different ways in different games, and sometimes I find things more interesting without them.

As you get into the game, you’ll probably start to accumulate more stuff anyway, so keep things simple for now.

Read to Succeed

There’s a lot of reading involved in roleplaying games, but don’t let that intimidate you. Looking at the Player’s Handbook, you only need to read the Introduction, Chapter 7 (Using Ability Scores), Chapter 8 (Adventuring), and Chapter 9 (Combat) to have a good idea of how to play D&D. Building a character will take you through the earlier chapters, and Chapter 10 (Spellcasting) will only apply to some characters.

There are also plenty of videos online that will teach you how to play D&D or any other popular roleplaying games. Another great way to learn is to find other people who are already playing and join their games. D&D is very easy to pick up and other players are usually very happy to explain the rules.

How to Play D&D - The Game in Stranger Things

Play it Solo

If you’ve got the rules down, try playing the game with one or two friends. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right the first time (or even the second or third time). D&D is complex enough that it takes time to get the hang of. Just have fun.

If you can’t find anyone to play your first few games with, you can find plenty of adventures for one player alone, where the book takes on the role of the Dungeon Master (DM). We published Death Queen and the Life Stone, Forest of Secrets, and Companionable Darkness, three adventures that use the D&D system. They’re a great way to try out a character and get dice rolling.

Where to Next?

D&D is the big dog, but there are a ton of other roleplaying games out there. D&D is sword and sorcery, but there are games based on anime, wild west action, sci-fi, Lovecraftian horror, and even suicidal gnomes; there really is something for everyone. I recommend Pathfinder Second Edition as a strong alternative to D&D, especially if you’re looking for a richer game with more options. The Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook includes far more than the Player’s Handbook does, is full of great art, and the Pathfinder community is great.


The Skriblin — A Weird D&D Spelljammer Race

Creatures of pure imagination, the skriblin appear as moving illustrations that speak, breathe, and think like normal humanoids. Let’s find out more about this weird D&D Spelljammer race.

Skriblin D&D Race

Pure Imagination

Skriblin appear magically in densely populated cities. Scholars believe that the skriblin are the incarnation of humanoid creativity; an overflowing of artistic energy made manifest. Although they contain similar levels of arcane and cosmic energy to other humanoids, scholars agree that these energies don’t support the skriblin’s existence. Rather, they are elementals of creativity. Although many have tried to harness this creative energy for other purposes, the skriblin and the force that animates them remains as mysterious as ever.

The skriblin themselves have little interest in their source of life, and instead concern themselves with living lives that conform to their core being or essence. Scholars have noted that this odd behavior often correlates to tropes from drama, bardic sagas, and story telling.

Skriblin D&D Race Traits

Your skriblin is a walking, talking drawing. Although no two skriblin look the same, they share the following common features.

Ability Score Increase. One ability score of your choice increases by 2. Another ability score increases by 1.
Ageless. Skriblin enter life fully formed. You do not age, are immune to aging effects, and take no penalty for being old.
Alignment. Most skriblin tend to be chaotic, but there is no hard and fast rule for this diverse race. All skriblin follow their alignment without deviation, only ever changing alignment through magical means afflicted on them.
Size. Most skriblin are Small, while a few are Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet if you’re Small, or 30 feet if you’re Medium.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice. Skriblin usually adopt the language of the societies they live within.
Animata. You contain creative energy that sustains you. While you have no levels of exhaustion, you have advantage on saving throws you make to avoid gaining a level of exhaustion.
Animated Creator.
You know the prestidigitation cantrip. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it.
Trope*. Choose a trope that you most closely align with. You have advantage on skill checks and saving throws where your trope is applicable. For example, if you choose to be “the only sane man“, you might have advantage on Wisdom saving throws to avoid being compelled, and on Wisdom (Insight) checks to avoid being fooled. TvTropes.org has a long list of character tropes worth checking out. The Dungeon Master is the final arbiter of how your trope is used in the game.

* Trope might be the weirdest racial trait I have ever written, and the skriblin is certainly the weirdest race. Have fun, and don’t take it too seriously.

RPG Blog Carnival — Adventures in Space

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival, themed around ‘Adventures in Space’, is fast coming to a close. Be sure to check out the first post, and especially the comments, for loads of other articles related to our theme. I’ll also have a roundup article posted, soon, so check back here in a few days.

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Want More Weird Races Like the Skriblin?

The Skriblin and their friends will appear in the forthcoming Space Punks book, published by us here at Rising Phoenix Games. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date about the project.

Psst, we’ll even give you free books for signing up!

Free Books from Rising Phoenix Games

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

Space… the final planar frontier. In space, no one can hear you cast fireball. To boldly go where no gnome has gone before. Yes, Spelljammer: Adventures in Space is coming, and we thought we’d cast off, into the big black, and explore some of the possibilities of adventures in space. Three, two, one… teleport!

What is Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

To answer that question, we have a neat little promo video from Dungeons & Dragons’ own Trystan Falcone and Chris Perkins. But first, here’s the announcement trailer:

Got that? It’s basically Guardians of the Galaxy, with magic and ships instead of lasers and starships. Spelljammer is the name of one such ship, not some kind of arcane hacker (which would be an awesome character class, by the way).

Speaking of ships, Wizkids announced a slew of miniatures for Spelljammer, including some great dragons. I’d grab a few of these for my Undersea campaign, though I’m not so sure I’d want to get a bunch of asteroid minis. Maybe X-Wing players will love them?

Your Adventures in Space

Space is fascinating, and, when you add a touch of magic, anything is possible. Let’s get you ready for your own magical adventures in space — in the world of Spelljammer, Starfinder, or any other system or campaign setting.

All through May we’ll be hosting the RPG Blog Carnival with the theme “Magic Adventures in Space”. RPG bloggers from across the realms will bring ideas, stories, experiences, and mechanics, then post them in the comments below. At the end of the month, I’ll do a roundup of the articles, so you’ll have a meteor storm of ideas for when Spelljammer finally… ahem… launches.

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Here are some ideas of things we might see, or you can use them to inspire your own homebrew campaign:

  1. Magic Mechs. The world can never have enough clockwork creatures, especially ridable ones.
  2. Space Pirates. Guardians of the Galaxy but with magic. They’re outlaws who do good, or maybe they’re mercenaries just out to make a few space credits to repair their ship. These NPCs (or pregenerated characters) could be valuable allies or irritating foes.
  3. Space Faring Ships. We’ve already got rules for ship movement and combat, but we could always use more unique vessels. How about The Flying Duchman in space, a space snail with a helm built into its shell, 6-man boarding torpedoes for breaching ships,  an ooze space vessel made of more gooey ooze, or a sentient clockwork ship?
  4. Sci-Fantasy Weapons. Stun guns, laser swords, cannons that fire miniature black holes, EMP magic that stuns clockwork creatures… Sci-Fi is full of unique equipment that could get a fresh take if magic replaced science.
  5. New Races and Monsters. I’m hoping we’ll see some unique creations, or some re-imaginings of creatures we know and love from other Sci-Fi properties. A playable Genestealer, anyone?

Be sure to check back here, throughout May, to see what new content has been posted, in the comments.

Star Foxes – New Spelljammer Race

Star Foxes are lithe creatures with incredible cunning. They are an opportunistic race that has crossed the stars in search of wealth and personal glory. They are expert manipulators and slippery adversaries.

Star Fox Spelljammer Race

Star Fox Traits

Your star fox character is nimble and cunning, yet frail.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Wisdom and Charisma score increases by 1.

Ability Score Penalty. Your Constitution score decreases by 2.

Age. Star Foxes mature a few years before humans. They live to about 80 years of age.

Alignment. Most star foxes are neutral, though their motivation to survive and thrive at all costs often drives them towards evil and chaos.

Size. Star foxes are smaller than gnomes, seldom topping 4 feet. They average around 40 pounds. Your size is Small.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Your race has voyaged across the stars and through the darkness of space, and as such you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Cowering Survivalist. You can take the Dodge action as a reaction to a melee attack from a creature you can see, but you have disadvantage on your own melee attacks until the end of your next turn when you do so.

Deep Cunning. You can add your Wisdom bonus to Charisma checks you make to influence other humanoids. You don’t gain this bonus if the creature is hostile towards you.

Safe in Shadow. You have advantage on Stealth checks. You lose this ability in areas of bright light unless you have advantage from some other trait, feature, or effect.

More Starjammer Inspiration

Need even more Starjammer in your life? DriveThru RPG has a wealth of digital and print-on-demand Starjammer books, mostly from Dungeons & Dragons 2e.

Spelljammer 2e Cover

Till next time, see you planetside!


Dakka-Mart, our Gretchin Gun Shop — MM 49

It’s Mini Monday, with customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. This week we’re building Dakka-Mart, our Gretchin Gun Shop.

Mini Monday Logo

The trash speaks to me. It tells me to make things. Inconceivable things of waste and scrap.

It’s all very Orky.

The Gretchin Gun Shop uses a bit of hardboard for the base, some corrugated cardboard for the walls, bits of old pens and medicinal sprays for the turret, and spaghetti for the bullets.

That’s right, I chopped up dry spaghetti for the piles of bullet casings. Don’t worry if they’re not of equal length or if they break skew. This is terrain, so it’s not worth stressing over if it’s just going to sit on the tabletop. It’ll look fine when you paint it.

Gretchin Gun Shop - Dakka-Mart

In fact, you don’t want your terrain to outshine your models, so you have loads of leeway when crafting and painting something like this.

The guns and potato-mashers were made from bits of sprue and toy guns I had lying around. The knife was a bit of plastic card cut to shape, with cord glued to the handle. I twisted bits of thin wire around the weapons and then glued them to the walls.

Gretchin Gun Shop Side 2

Hold on though, I want to talk about effort more.

I knocked the main shape of this out in my lunch break, then spent another two hours or so on the details. Painting was quick too. I started this on Friday and was done by Sunday evening. It was a slap-dash paint job done in bad light, but I’m happy enough to have more Orky terrain. Which is the point: you don’t need to spend hours and hours on terrain pieces.

Heck, you don’t even need to spend loads of time on your miniatures.

A little effort is better than no effort. A little colour is better than grey plastic. The terrain you have is better than the terrain you don’t have.

So just go for it. Make stuff. Don’t let expectations of quality hold you back.

Gretchin Gun Shop Painted

Why RPG Settings are Built Like Theme Parks

Take a look at your favourite RPG setting and you’ll find odd similarities with theme parks. These settings can easily kill your group’s story if you’re not careful. Here’s why theme park settings are so popular,  their inherent pitfalls, and some ideas on how to fix them.

Raven on tombstone

Why RPG Settings Feel Like Theme Parks

RPG designers, by necessity, need to give players plenty to play with. That’s why Golarion, Faerûn, the Mortal Realms, and even the mega-city of Ravnica are so cleanly divided into areas. It’s as if they were designed by a theme park designer. There’s usually a hot place, a dry place, a wet place, a funny magic place. There’s also often some form of Steampunk City, Pirate Island, Monkey Kingdom, Dragon Mountain, Asia Land, Snake Jungle… and the list goes on, covering all the tropes.

This is a good thing. GMs need options, players want to explore their favourite tropes, and RPG writers don’t want either of them to go looking elsewhere for their fun.

Unfortunately, all these choices can destroy a coherent story.

How Theme Park Settings Destroy Stories

Image your party heads to Tian Xia, the East Asian themed lands of Pathfinder’s Golarion. On the way there they stop off in the Mwangi Expanse (lush jungles) and take a session to explore the deep oceans around the Isle of Kortos.

Have magical portals, can travel.

Finally, the party gets to Tian Xia and they’re off to see an important diplomat. The encounter, an important setup for the rest of the campaign, has little buildup. The party have been in their bikinis or deep in the jungle for a few sessions now, with no time to dip their feet into the deep culture Tian Xia represents. As a result, your carefully prepared roleplaying encounter falls flat with the players missing vital cultural and historic clues dropped by the diplomat.

Bummer.

How to Fix Theme Park RPG Settings

One thing I love about the Game of Thrones setting is that the fantasy elements are relatively limited. I’d argue the same about the Lord of the Rings: there are no drow, flumphs, owlbears, or beholders. You could fit the LotR bestiary into one book. Both settings still have their worlds, but they’re doing more with less.

Similarly, you can get more out of the many options modern RPG settings present by picking and choosing. It’s that simple. Give it a try.

Check out the Battle Zoo Bestiary

The Battle Zoo Bestiary, for Pathfinder 2e and 5e, is now on Kick Starter. The book features many new monsters, so you’re sure to find some great additions to your campaign world. Remember, you can always reskin a monster to turn it into a variant of something prevalent in your world, which is one neat trick for keeping things simple.

Don’t miss out on this one.

Battle Zoo Bestiary


Why You Absolutely Must Play Pathfinder 2nd Ed.

Pathfinder Second Edition has been around for a while now, and if you’re still finding excuses not to try out the system then let me tell you why you absolutely must play Pathfinder Second Edition.

Pathfinder Second Edition
Image credit: Yuri_b

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 was a great system. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (good old 1st ed) was also a great system, which built on 3.5, streamlining some of the clunkier rules. Something then happened in the D&D world that might be better left forgotten, but then came Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, another amazing system. Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition marked a renaissance for the hobby and became immensely popular.

Then came Pathfinder Second Edition, which might not have become the smash hit D&D 5e is, but does have the benefit of all these systems that came before it.

Which is why you need to give it an honest go.

If you’re serious about your TTRPG hobby (you probably shouldn’t be too serious though, it’s just a hobby), then you owe it to yourself to see what Pathfinder Second Edition has to offer with its new take on fantasy roleplaying and D20 systems in particular.

Steal Like a GM

Great gamemasters steal ideas all the time, and because Pathfinder Second Edition evolved out of so many other, solid D20 systems it has a lot to offer in terms of new mechanics, reworked rules, and fresh perspectives. You might find something you want to adapt for your own game, even if you’re sticking with 5e. There are plenty of resources on the Internet for converting PF2 to 5e, which will give you pointers on how to tackle your thefts. (Don’t actually steal something folks. I’m talking about grabbing inspiration and making it your own.)

Ultimately, PF2 has a lot to offer players who like fiddly-bits in their games. While 5e is great in general, the level of abstraction in the system can get frustrating, while Pathfinder Second Edition offers many more dials and switches to tweak. If you’ve never tried Pathfinder, then go see what all those dials and switches can do for you.

You can find Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Fifth Edition books in our store.


Truly Modular Doors for the Tabletop! — MM 48

It’s Mini Monday, and this week we’re making truly modular doors for tabletop gaming!

Mini Monday Logo

Really Modular vs Almost Modular

There are plenty of great dungeon tile terrain sets out there that have “modular” written somewhere on the box, but which usually only fits with sets from the same manufacturer. Special clips and connectors become a problem if you enjoy making your own terrain or want to buy sets from another company and have it all sit seamlessly together on the tabletop. Turns out though that making modular terrain that’ll fit with any other terrain isn’t all that hard at all.

It just needs some planning.

My ideas about modular terrain changed when I saw Johnny Fraser-Allen’s tabletop terrain, which is modular because it stacks. Gravity, not pins, do all the work.

Take a look, Johnny’s work is very inspiring:

Truly Modular Doors

Here’s a hobbit door, a trapdoor, and a sewer grate:

Three Truly Modular Doors

I used plastic card, clay, and matchsticks to build these, with a small eye crew for the door handle of the hobbit door. There’s not really that much to them, and they only took a couple of hours to bang out and paint.

But check how useful they are:

Truly Modular Doors for Wells
“Well, this looks unsafe. What if little Timmy were around?”

Modular Doors Well Coverr
“… Much better!”
From inside the well: “Mwfff mff mmfff.”

Modular Doors Trapdoor
Any of these pieces of terrain could work here. The castle floor doesn’t have any features of its own.

Castle Greyhobbit
“Oi, hobbit, let me in! I know you’re in there.”

As you can see in this last picture, a bit of Prestik (Blu Tack) will get you a vertical door and some burglar bars. No special connectors needed.

The Perfect Fit, Anywhere

I really appreciate this sort of modularity when I’m building dungeons on the fly, such as when I’m playing with a dungeon to get inspired for a session or some module writing.

And if you think about it, you can apply this principle to so many other types of terrain too.

The Gear Heart of the Mechamancer

We recently released the Mechamancer, a cybernetic reimagining of the barbarian for fifth edition fantasy. You can check it out on Drive Thru RPG. If you already own the Grimdark Pamphlet then you’ll be getting the mechamancer, for free, in a future update of the pamphlet.

Mechamancer

Is This the Best Way to Build RPG Dungeons?

There are tons of ways to build dungeons for your sessions of Pathfinder or Dungeons & Dragons, from randomly generated maps to complicated computer software, but this method might just be the best way to build RPG dungeons you’ll ever find.

I’m a visual, hands-on kind of guy. I love playing with LEGO, painting miniatures, and kitbashing. It’s my meditative place, where I’m not deeply inside my head or thinking about anything particular, just enjoying the flow of the moment.

There’s a practical side to this too, one which overcomes the limitations of a computer.

I do my best writing on paper. Even though it takes time to type up my scrawl afterwards, I don’t see it as wasted time, because my writing is that much better when the first draft is analogue.

There’s something about the real feeling of things, about being able to scratch, tweak, modify, and scribble, without keys interfering.

That’s why I like building out my dungeons with bits of homemade scenery.

Prisoners
“Just what kind of dungeon is this?”

The Process

I’ve made lots of terrain for my wargaming, much of which I’ve shown in the Mini Monday archives. This took me a fairly long time to collect, but now that I have it I find that it inspires all sorts of ideas, just from playing with the pieces.

The dungeon, in effect, has become a toy, and building the dungeon is the game.

You can do the same thing with dungeon tiles, or with a pencil and post-it notes. You could even use LEGO, or use books to represent rooms, anything you can easily move around and change.

The physical, impermanent nature of your tool is important.

Things to Think About

What will make this dungeon, or this room, this trap, this encounter, more interesting? How do these rooms relate to each other? How else can the players achieve what they need to achieve here? What reasons do they have to go into this room, interact with this object, talk to this NPC?

Think about these things as you shift walls and doors, add furniture and traps, or put down monster minis for each encounter.

And then, when you’re finally happy with things, draw out your map, or go to the mapping software. I promise, you’ll have better ideas to work with than if you jumped straight into making the map.

RPG Blog Carnival

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is hosted by Plastic Polyhedra, who picked the theme “Let’s Build a Dungeon!” Be sure to check out their site and the linked post for more dungeon design ideas.

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The Death of Tabletop RPGs: Did D&D Doom Us?

I… really should write more posts. I’ve been meaning to, but blah blah sorry sob story… whatever. You’re not here about that, you’re here because of my clickbaity title, which means you probably care either about proving me wrong, the title hit a nerve, or you’re genuinely curious about my ominous predictions about the death of tabletop RPGs.

Raven on tombstone

Actually, there might be some other reason why you’re here, so scratch that. I’m not omnipotent. I’m not even semi-potent. Most of the time, I’m just trying to be more than normal. What I’ve learned though, is that normalcy is seldom escapable, and that’s a good thing.

Most roleplayers like to live on the fringes. Most of us were goths when goths were a thing, or punks, or the emo kids, or drama students. We’re the kind of people who wilt in the sunlight, who can’t throw balls, who use words like ‘dimwitted’ and ‘Ludite’ to mock others and feel intellectually superior. I’m exaggerating and generalizing here, but in my experience, few of us ever thought ourselves normal.

For some of us, normal is a swearword. We’d never want to gain that label.

But then D&D 5e came along, and suddenly TTRPGs were immensely popular. And “normal” kids were playing them. For some of us, it felt like a betrayal. Like we’d lost our last refuge to the football jocks.

Of course, there’s a bright side to all this. TTRPGs are doing well, and more of us are getting to make a living producing content for our favorite collaborative games. Roleplaying is more accessible than ever before, and that’s worth celebrating.

But that doesn’t mean the grognards need to like it.

So, kids, if you ever hear an old-school gamer ranting about the death of RPGs, or about how Warhammer FRP 1e or Vampire the Masquerade is better than Dungeons & Dragons could ever be, just let it slide.

The hobby isn’t dying, but evolution can be painful.