Plundering the Past: Historical Tech in the Science Fantasy RPG Numenera

Oct 23, 13 Plundering the Past: Historical Tech in the Science Fantasy RPG Numenera

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The cat’s meow in tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) for the last several months has been Monte Cook’s Numerera. Set one billion years in Earth’s future during a time known as the Ninth World, Numenera is a Kickstarter-funded science fantasy RPG that embraces as its core concern one of the fundamental dynamics of most tabletop...

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Historical Hit Points 3: A Gen Con Interlude

Sep 06, 12 Historical Hit Points 3: A Gen Con Interlude

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Three week ago, I set off with some gaming buddies on a five hour road trip to Indianapolis, Indiana, to attend Gen Con, the largest RPG gaming convention in the United States. Billing itself as “The Best Four Days in Gaming,” the con is a gigantic gaming whirlwind of crowds, cosplay, and commerce that takes over central...

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Troubleshooting a History Through Gaming Course

Jul 18, 12 Troubleshooting a History Through Gaming Course

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It’s summertime, and while that doesn’t automatically mean I have nothing to do but lounge around all the time in workout gear watching Food Network cooking shows and tweeting about it, it usually means I have a bit more time and headspace to mull over new ideas than I do during the hectic academic year. This summer is no...

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Historical Hit Points 2: Simulating Medieval Economics in Tabletop RPGs

May 23, 12 Historical Hit Points 2: Simulating Medieval Economics in Tabletop RPGs

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I have spent much of my free time lately poking through the core rulebook for Adventurer Conqueror King (ACKS for short), a new fantasy RPG published by a company called Autarch LLC. ACKS is what I like to think of as a classic Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) retro-clone on steroids. Mechanically it tries to emulate the rules set,...

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Historical Hit Points 1: Uses of History in Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Mar 06, 12 Historical Hit Points 1: Uses of History in Tabletop Role-Playing Games

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In my introductory post for this series on tabletop role-playing games (which dropped last December), I sketched out a brief portrait of my background with RPGs and laid down a marker for my main goal. To quote from the previous post, I want “to turn a more thorough and critical historical eye on the varied ways tabletop RPGs like...

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