Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Heroes Have Always Been Paladins

While I had been working on a big deconstruction post of this article, he went ahead and put up this response. Which was something of a step in the right direction. But his list is overly detailed and misses the point.
What I think we need in the art direction for the next edition of D&D is heroes. And not just white, male heroes. I want to see heroes of all colors, genders, and orientations. Sure, characters of all descriptions have made it into D&D rulebooks, but not all of their depictions have necessarily been heroic. When a prospective D&D player looks at the pictures in the books, they're looking for inspiration for what their character can be and do. Unfortunately, what tends to happen is that male players are given lots of fodder for what they can be (lots of heroic male figures) and what they can do (lots of sexy female characters). What about female players? Where are their "role" models?

For example, compare Tisha (the character he mentions and shows in the first article) to the guy in the center of this image. Ask yourself one simple question: Which of these characters looks more heroic? More active? More capable of handing someone their own ass?

Now, my Flying Monkeys of the Interwebs, I have a mission for you: In the comments below, I want you to post links to images of women looking heroic. Genre or style is not important, and the image must not need context to represent heroism or other badassitude (If you want to post a pic of a female superhero, post an image of her doing something awesome, not simply a depiction of the character).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Couple of Belated Birthdays

As I mentioned last week, May 15 (Tuesday) was L. Frank Baum's birthday. Jared over at the Royal Blog of Oz has put together a few treats for the occasion. Check 'em out!

Tuesday also marked the second anniversary of the release of Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road. This Saturday will mark the first anniversary of the release of the Adventures in Oz Characters Pack. But where's my product for this year?

Well, don't forget that Adventures in Oz took me 3 years of dedicated work to produce and didn't pay all of its own bills until earlier this year. Though part of the issue is that I demanded that it pay its own bills. In August of 2010, I found myself moving and changing jobs, which put me in a very different, and not as bounteous, financial position.

And then there's the challenge of finding that next big idea. Do I continue with Oz (either small adventures or my Beyond the Deadly Desert project) or do I branch out and put some serious effort into another project I've got on the back burner?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baum Proliferation Sale!

In honor of L. Frank Baum's birthday (May 15), I'm putting on my Second Annual Baum Proliferation Sale! From now until Thursday, May 17, you can purchase the print edition of Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road for 15% off the normal price. That's right, rather than paying the already low price of $14.99, this charming game can be yours for just $12.74.

This sale is active at, DriveThruRPG and RPGnow.. Don't forget, Lulu has recently implemented an account-less shopping cart, so you can buy without the hassle of one more account with one more password. And although this price only applies to the print edition, you can add the digital download (PDF and EPUB formats) to your DriveThruRPG or RPGnow purchase for no additional charge.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Power of No

I know I promised to take a week off, but this just called out to me.

Seeing all the stuff that Wizards of the Coast is putting out as they sort out the new edition of D&D is always entertaining. Take this bit, for instance:

In this one, the writer talks about races and, specifically, what races are "core" to D&D. He considered tieflings and dragonborn to be "non-core" even though they showed up in the "core" Player's Handbook for 4th Edition D&D. The solution he proposes is to "flag" races as being common, uncommon, or rare, so a Dungeon Master can readily identify the "core" from the "non-core" even if they show up in a "core rulebook."

The idea has merit, but I'm not sure it goes far enough. Not in terms of labeling and structure, but in terms of DM empowerment. The d20 playerbase is nearly infamous for its adherence to inclusion. Specifically, if a DM doesn't allow a player to build their character using abilities from any and every supplement ever printed, even if said character is cheesier than Mayor McCheese himself, the player throws a mighty fit. The glut of d20 material out there for players to use has led to player empowerment to the point of player entitlement.

What the next edition of D&D needs, more than a labeling system, is a couple of pages (not just sentences, but full pages) in the Dungeon Master's Guide that tell the DM that it's his campaign and he has the power to say no to anything. Even if it's "core." If your D&D world has no elves in it, no matter how "core" anyone else thinks they should be, than players cannot build elf characters. If your campaign setting has a mighty dragonborn empire, then dragonborn become 100% core.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Time for a breather

Well, I did it. I blogged every day except Sunday for a full month. And boy, are my fingers tired! I'm looking forward to getting back into my regular weekly update routine, but for now, I need a small break from blogging.

For all of you just joining me because of the Challenge, thank you and welcome. If I have your interest in Oz and gaming piqued, I'll be announcing a sale next week so you can get a great deal on my book, Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road.
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