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Reviews in Project: Roleplaying Games (14)

Wonder In Most Every Thing I See

Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons

By Ben Riggs  

4 Aug, 2022

Roleplaying Games

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Ben Riggs’ 2022 Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons is an account of the rise and fall of TSR, publisher of Dungeons & Dragons, as well as many related works. 

Although there were precursors to table-top roleplaying games (including the Bronte siblings’ 19th century foreshadowingof the pastime), Dungeons and Dragons is generally acknowledged as the first modern roleplaying game. Having founded the field, publisher TSR dominated sales. Roleplaying fans and game merchants, therefore, were taken aback when in the mid-1990s TSR suddenly imploded. Only timely intervention by cash-rich Wizards of the Coast gave the game a new owner and new lease on life.

Perhaps the chief question addressed is What went wrong?” 

Having read the book, perhaps a better question is how did nemesis take so long to catch up with TSR?”

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True and Destined Prince

Lyonesse: Fantasy Roleplaying Based on the Novels by Jack Vance

By Dominic Mooney, Dave Morris, Pete Nash, Mark Shirley & Lawrence Whitaker  

6 Jan, 2022

Roleplaying Games

2 comments

Design Mechanism’s 2020 Lyonesse roleplaying game is a fantasy roleplaying game based on the Lyonesse novels—Lyonesse (AKA Suldrun’s Garden), The Green Pearl, and Madouc—of Jack Vance. It was written by Dominic Mooney, Dave Morris, Pete Nash, Mark Shirley, and Lawrence Whitaker1.

Despite the best efforts of Andrew Wheeler, I am not myself a Jack Vance fan. Why, then, acquire a copy of a licensed roleplaying game set in a Vancian world I’ve not read?

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Just Lots of Little Frames

The Runequest Starter Set

By Greg Stafford, Jeff Richard & Jason Durall  

21 Dec, 2021

Roleplaying Games

9 comments

Greg Stafford, Jeff Richard, and Jason Durall’s 2021 The Runequest Starter Set is a starter set for Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. It’s the latest edition of the venerable table-top fantasy roleplaying game Runequest. It thus simultaneously embraces both the very new and the very old, so I thought it was particularly suitable for this, the two thousandth review on James Nicoll Reviews.

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Humanity’s Scythe

Trudvang Chronicles

By Theodore Bergqvist, Magnus Malmberg, Anders Jacobsson & Max Herngren  (Translated by Andovar)

1 Sep, 2021

Roleplaying Games

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Trudvang Chronicles Gamemaster’s Guide, published in 2021, was written by Theodore Bergqvist, Magnus Malmberg, Anders Jacobsson, Max Herngren, and others. It is one of two core Trudvang Chronicles books: the other book is 2021’s Trudvang Chronicles Players Handbook, written by Theodore Bergqvist, Magnus Malmberg and Anders Jacobsson and others. The English translator for both books was Andovar.

Back in the dawn of time, Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying begat Äventyrsspel’s 1982 Drakar och Demoner (in its first edition, a combination of Basic Roleplaying and Worlds of Wonder’s Magic World). After a convoluted process too lengthy to be detailed here, this led to Riotmind’s 2016 Nordic-and-Celtic-themed fantasy roleplaying game Drakar och Demoner Trudvang1, the Anglophone edition of which is Trudvang Chronicles.

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I’ll Be Your Animal

Monsterhearts 2

By Avery Alder  

15 Feb, 2021

Roleplaying Games

0 comments

Just in time Only slightly late for 💖 Valentine’s Day! 💖

Monsterhearts 2 is the second edition of Avery Alder’s1 Monsterheartsroleplaying game. As you might guess from the title, this RPG lives in the intersection of teen romance and horror. Not limited to the usual issues presented by puberty, this game has extra issues galore! The player characters in this storytelling game are (almost all) literal monsters, transformed by circumstance and magic into strange new forms.

Despite which, they are still expected to attend high school. 

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Echoes From the Past I Hear

RuneQuest – Roleplaying in Glorantha

By Greg Stafford, Steve Perrin, Jeff Richard & Jason Durall  

12 Jan, 2021

Roleplaying Games

7 comments

Greg Stafford, Steven Perrin, Jeff Richard, Jason Durall, and friends12018 RuneQuest – Roleplaying in Glorantha (RQG) is the latest2edition of the venerable roleplaying game, RuneQuest (RQ). My review of the 2nd edition can be found here.

And how does this version of the pioneering game stand up, forty years after the first edition saw print?

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Streetwise Hercules

Kamigakari: God Hunters

By Rikizou  

25 Nov, 2020

Roleplaying Games

0 comments

Rikizou’s Kamigakari: God Hunters is a Japanese urban-fantasy table-top roleplaying game. The 2020 English-language edition was published by Serpent Sea Games.

Ever since the Japanese Synchronous Inferno1, malevolent beings known as Aramitama are invading our world in ever increasing numbers, corrupting mortals in a bid to bring about the apocalypse. Providentially, a handful of mortals, player characters included, are imbued with the attributes needed to hold back these supernatural menaces! These mortals can change the very laws of nature to fight evil! 

(Sometimes they end up incinerated after altering reality once too often. Aw shucks.)


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