So, it’s been a while. In fact, it’s been a long time. But an important topic has drawn me from my blogging hiatus. It’s the topic of perceived misogyny in gaming in particular, but consumerism in general.

First, I’d like to introduce the reader to a concept that I think is very valuable to understand before we continue. It is this: Not every product, service, idea, or marketing caters to us personally, or to whatever demographic groups we may inhabit.

Pretty basic right?

Let’s have an example just to clarify.

I’m not in the market for a pickup truck. I have no real need for a pickup truck in my life. I’m not the target demographic for pickup trucks. Is it reasonable for me to expect pickup trucks to be designed to appeal to me? Wouldn’t they sell more pickup trucks if they DID design them to appeal to me? After all, if they design a product that appeals to me I might buy it, right? Designing pickup trucks to appeal to me would naturally increase their sales, right? So if we’ve established that they could sell more pickups if they market to me, then we can infer that by not marketing to me, it is evidence they do not like me or think little of me. Wait, what?

That doesn’t follow at all. Continue Reading »


So I recently reread my post from 2013 about maintaining momentum.

Maintaining Momentum……for an entire year

It seems I was partially right and partially wrong. First, I’d like to say whatever happened, I made some good decisions. We have been able to not only maintain momentum for a year, but for 4! Actually four and a half, but who’s counting? When I wrote the article, the group was level 11 and immersed in the first part of a 3 part Tomb of Horrors remake. Since then I’ve had 2 (more) children, ran a full 1-20 level campaign in another ruleset, experimented with other DMs and multiple rulesets, brought in boyfriends of players, kicked players out, and had multiple great players come and go from the group. All while maintaining a pretty consistently fun game and 3 core players from the very beginning. The foundation. A good foundation is vital. We’re now level 18, back in that original campaign and have just completed part 2 of the Tomb of Horrors, once again exploring the core setting and advancing the storyline. Our game is as strong as ever. Continue Reading »

Koplow-D20smallOk, so the D&D 30 day challenge took a bit of a hiatus. But today it’s back! And today we talk about our favorite gaming dice. This brings up a few things I’d like to talk about, things that are probably personal quirks but that perhaps some people share.  I’ll just stream of consciousness this and see what happens. Continue Reading »

Trying Something New.

On_the_AirA close friend (and player in the group I run for) and I often sit around and discuss gaming, RPGs, game theory, dos and don’ts and whatnot. Sometimes it’s over lunch. Sometimes it’s after a game session. Sometimes it’s over instant messenger.  In having these discussions, we frequently found ourselves referencing ideas from previous installments in these talks. We talked about taking notes, or starting up a google document, in order to archive some of the revelations we had in hashing out what went right and what went wrong in the game that week, or in prep, or in how the game or group was managed. We also had discussed recording these discussions in a video format and posting it on youtube. Over time, and after some soul searching, we decided it would make more sense as a standard podcast format, audio only.

Continue Reading »

baby bathOk, well, perhaps that isn’t literally true, but give me a chance to explain….

So, I was giving my 22 month old son a bath last night and I got to thinking about a D&D campaign I’m currently running in the context of a ruleset I recently read. I do much of my best thinking in the shower and that holds true of baths as well, including those where I’m bathing my children.  I recently read a rules-light retro clone called Ambition and Avarice. I very much liked it and will probably post about it specifically at some point. But, it got me to thinking about things I need to make sure to do, to not do and to highlight in my current campaign. Most were things that I already knew and have done, but that you often forget about in the “fog of war”; those times when you’re too busy managing the table and group to make sure you get them in each session. As I checked off the list and lathered up my sons adorable little head of hair, I realized they all held true for how I raise him, or WANT to raise him as he gets older. I’ll write them here as a simple numbered list. They are in no particular order. Continue Reading »

Honestly, I don’t have an obviouskarameikos-8 favorite gameworld. I guess I’d have to say either The Known World (eventually known as Mystara) or the The Nentir Vale.  I’ve enjoyed both immensely. Perhaps it has something to do with the rulesets they used, which happen to be two of my favorites. Mystara being born of Basic D&D and The Nentir Vale being the core setting for D&D 4E. Kind of boring I suppose, but it is what it is. I’m sure there are lots of cooler D&D gamers out there who choose Planescape, or Spelljammer, Krynn or Birthright, or perhaps less imaginatively choose Dark Sun or Eberron (both of which are great btw). Then I’m guessing pretty much everyone else in existence (within D&D that is) would pick either Greyhawk (Old School) or The Forgotten Realms because it’s simply ubiquitous. Once you get out of D&D, I’m assuming we’ll say a lot of Glorantha, Baraive, Thedas, Hyborian Age, etc,

Ranger ArtSo if you read my previous post about favorite race, it’s probably no surprise my favorite class is Ranger. As I mentioned, I’ve always gravitated towards a connection to nature and the outdoors. As a person who enjoys time in the wilderness, I’ve always fancied myself as the type that might ultimately exist as that class in a fantasy world. Even more than that, I took a career test in 8th grade (without knowing what type of test it was at the time) and based on the answers I gave to the questions, it recommended Forest Ranger as a potential profession I should look into. I had never really given that much thought at the time, but seeing those words in an official way, outside of D&D, really made me realize that I was not just imagining things. But while I enjoy Rangers and feel most “at home” in that class, I’m perfectly happy playing pretty much any class. I tend to play martial classes more than casters but otherwise, I don’t have a lot of bias one way or the other. If I play a caster, I lean more toward healer than damage dealer or arcanist.  I’ve never really been into playing characters with animal companions or with the ability to shape shift. No matter what class I play, I tend to gravitate towards ranged combat. I do love a good composite bow.

Elf on ShelfThis is a toss up for me, between Elf and Halfling. I will probably go Elf because I play them more, but Halflings and the concept of a small, quiet race is very enticing. I think the draw to Elves is based largely on my personal perception of them as a class that is closer to the natural world. As a person who loves camping, the outdoors and animals, I’ve always felt a kinship with Elves, particularly what would later be considered Wood Elves, or Sylvan Elves. I think this is partially what draws me to Halflings as well. They feel like a race that is closer to nature.  In the same way, I’ve been less drawn to High Elves, which seemed to have almost transcended this natural relationship. This natural bent I have will probably be relevant for day 3 as well. Check back to find out and feel free to give your own answers in the comments if you feel the need. I’m always curious why people play/enjoy the races they do.

In my cruising of the internet D&D-o-sphere I’ve started to see something popping up. That is the mention of “The D&D 30 Day Challenge.” As far as I can tell, it originated on the Polar Bear Dreams & Stranger Things blog. I read a few of the responses and thought it looked like fun. I’m not nearly as cool as the people starting this because I’m more than 2 weeks late but rather than waiting for Oct. 1, I’ll just call today Day 1. Here is the list of topics, as given by our friend at Polar Bear Dreams.30-day-challenge Continue Reading »

Know Thyself

Know thyselfOn blogs like this one and internet comment sections everywhere, people  discuss the “proper” form of D&D or other myriad games and pursuits. I’m always fascinated by the subcultures that pop up within a hobby based on editions, versions, eras, designers, etc. Some people think D&D stopped being “true” D&D when Gygax was no longer involved for example. Some people think Spiderman changed once Stan Lee no longer wrote the majority of the stories and dialog. The list is endless. In this train of thought, I recently ran across a series of questions to help gauge what kind of D&D gamer you are, where you fall on a series of esoteric issues that have become dividing lines within the hobbies subcultures and subgenres.  The questions were collected and organized by Random Wizard, a blog I find myself reading every few months, usually linked from one of my more frequent internet watering holes.  Here is the list of questions, in bold, followed by the correct answers. Continue Reading »