Sign in

I shoehorn politics into tabletop gaming. News junkie. Obsessed with game mechanics. Godless heathen. Sci-fi devotee. Anti-conservative. Societal disaster.
Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

Last month a gamer with the screen name ‘Ocule’ posted a ‘TTRPG Guide to Woke Companies’ on The RPG Site. The post categorized RPG publishers by how socially aware their products or marketing appeared to be. This list was later turned into a Google doc and expanded upon.

The following…


The Hunt and Overtime in softcover. The Hunt’s cover reads “The Hunt, The Ultimate Arena Sport”. The cover art features a profile images of a man wearing read body armor and helmet, holding a sci-fi rifle. In the background is a maze with grey walls. In the maze are multiple gunmen. Behind that are bleachers packed with fans. A scoreboard is above the bleachers. The cover of Overtime is obscured by the The Hunt book.
Image from Solarian Games.

The Hunt: The Ultimate Arena Sport

Tactical tabletop RPGs are having a moment. I want that moment to stop right the fuck now. Lancer’s tactical mechanics ruined an otherwise brilliant sci-fi game. Then Lancer’s publisher made a fantasy counterpart, ICON. …


Winning the Uncertainty Game. Turning Strategic Intent into Results with Wargaming by Daniel F. Oriesek and Jan Oliver Schwarz. The cover features a close-up image of what looks like a blue-on-black radar screen.
Cover of Winning the Uncertainty Game.

Winning the Uncertainty Game: Turning Strategic Intent into Results with Wargaming

“Tabletop games are exposed engineering: they don’t just let us see their nuts and bolts, they let us touch them; rearrange them. Change them.” — Brett J. Gilbert

Absolute certainty is unknowable. People can be 70% or 90% certain of a thing, but anyone that’s 100% certain of anything other…


Monopoly: Cheaters Edition

FRAUD, n. The life of commerce, the soul of religion, the bait of courtship and the basis of political power.

— from The Devil’s Dictionary

A few years back, researchers ran a series of social experiments involving Monopoly. Some players started with twice as much cash, while their unlucky opponents…


Unknown person in a space suit holding a rifle. Behind him is a person with a ruptured helmet sneaking up on them (I think).

10 reasons to dump high fantasy for sci-fi horror

“Final report, the commercial star-ship Nostromo. Third officer reporting. The other members of the crew — Kane, Lambert, Parker, Brett, Ash, and Captain Dallas — are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier within six weeks. With a little luck the network will pick me up. …


A drow in ad hoc grey and brown armor holds up a large purple flag. He wears a purple bandana over his mouth and nose. His pointed ears stick out. He holds a large pistol with a large magazine forward of the trigger, and wears a bandolier of bullets over his shoulder. in the background is a WANTED poster of a drow with an eye patch.
The Firebrand. Image from rowanrookanddecard.com.

Drow Are (Not) Terrorists

“You have joined the Ministry of Our Hidden Mistress, a paramilitary cult that worships a forbidden goddess, and sworn in blood to avenge the wrongs placed upon you and your people. …


An abstract red/white/blue images of a man swinging a mining pick. The words Beat the Boss are scrawled to the left and beneight the man. Above the man is the text A Roleplaying Game for Organizing on the Job and in the Community by Doug Geisler.
The cover to Beat the Boss (image from DriveThruRPG.com)

Beat the Boss: A Roleplaying Game for Organizing on the Job
and in the Community

O’BRIEN: They fished his body out of the Allegheny river a week before the strike ended. Thirty two bullets he had in him. Or was it thirty four?

BASHIR: Well, he died a hero.

O’BRIEN: He was more than a hero. He was a union man.

Star Trek: Deep…


A headshot of a female storm giant. The woman is black with white cloud-like hair that wrap around her head and below her chin. She has blue luminescent eyes. She wears a black dress with a crystal-like shoulder piece. She has gold wire bracelets on both arms, from wrist to shoulder. She holds a white masquerade mask beside her face. Both faces are frowning.
Image from dnd.wizards.com.

The Real Money in Tabletop Games is in Movies and TV

When Wizards of the Coast announced their plans to “evolve” Dungeons & Dragons, fans speculated wildly about the changes in store for the game. But the game itself is quickly becoming irrelevant. WotC, like the rest of Hasbro, is now in the movie business.

Jeremy Crawford, D&D’s Lead Rules Designer…


In the foreground a man and woman embrace in the rain. Behind them is a sci-fi transport aircraft unloading evacuees.
Image from Cortexrpg.com.

Cortex Prime + Hammerheads

RPGs about disaster relief or emergency response are rare. CRASH//CART is basically Bringing Out the Dead meets Bladerunner. Rescue City is a setting for a kid’s RPG about emergency responders. Aside from Hammerheads, those are the only examples I know of.

Cortex Prime is a modular roleplaying game system that…


Front cover of Wargaming Experiences: Soldiers, Scientists and Civilians

Wargaming Experiences: Soldiers, Scientists and Civilians by Natalia Wojtowicz

Wargaming Experiences has a lot going on. It’s a book on designing serious games. And it’s a design diary for the author’s scenarios. And it’s the personal story of the author’s journey to enact useful wargaming within NATO. The early chapters detail the author’s framework for developing useful wargames. The…

Oscar

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store