Welcome to the Cannibal Halfling Weekend Update! Start your weekend with a chunk of RPG news from the past week. We have the week’s top sellers, industry news stories, and discussions from elsewhere online.
DriveThruRPG Top Sellers for 4/24/2021
- Dune: Adventures in the Imperium Core Rulebook
- Worlds Without Number
- Hard Wired Island
- Cyberpunk Red
- WFRP: Sullasara’s Spells of Unrivaled Utility
Top News Stories
The 50th Anniversary of the Tabletop Role-Playing Game: At the beginning of this week was the 50th anniversary of Dave Arneson’s first foray into fantasy scenarios for his ‘Braunstein’ wargames. It’s widely observed as the invention of the role-playing game as we know it.
Discussions of the Week
An Illustrated account of a Thousand Year Old Vampire Game: Tim, @dog_blink on Twitter, has been posting illustrations following his Thousand Year Old Vampire game. Check it out.
How to Narrate Sex Scenes Properly: Romance and sex are much better represented in RPGs than they were in the past, and this is a good thing. Over at r/rpg the Redditors have an extensive and thoughtful discussions about how to handle sex at the gaming table.
Have any RPG news leads or scoops? Get in touch! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Twitter via @HungryHalfling.
As soon as a role-playing game had been run in at least two places, the attempts to categorize and catalogue gaming styles began. Even in the 1970s, when most of the market only knew D&D, foundational work in understanding how and why role-players play had already started. One of the most influential early theorists was Glenn Blacow. Originally exposed to D&D at MIT, Blacow published an early typology of gamers in the small gaming zine The Wild Hunt. This typology, after being expanded for publication in another, larger zine, Different Worlds, became one of the first and most influential classifications of RPG playstyles. Among other things, Blacow is credited, through the Different Worlds version of his essay, coining the term ‘power-gamer’.
Although one might guess that Blacow’s model has declined in relevance somewhat since its original publication in 1980, in reality it still serves as a foundation for many player and play style classifications in wide use. GNS Theory owes its start point to Blacow’s Power Gamer and Storytelling archetypes, and D&D’s seven player types start from Blacow’s four play styles as well. As much as we still see story and optimization as driving forces among gamers, the dichotomy of fantasy and wargaming is a concept that has slid from relevance as the days of the wargamer/fantasy reader schism grow further behind us. Still, behind this dated framing is an idea that’s still worth investigating.
Continue reading Revisiting Blacow’s Model
A long, long time ago, a man named Gary Gygax created D&D 1st edition. And while there were MANY problematic aspects of it that continue to proliferate and cling onto D&D and Wizards of the Coast at large, I am here today to talk about a particular part of the 1st Edition that always stuck with me since I became aware of its existence.
The Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity is a curse item. As what was seen by many trans players back in this time as the closest thing to acknowledgement of them in the “World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game” , the sheer fact alone that it is classified as a curse item should show you what the game back in those days thought of people like me.
Continue reading Rolling for Gender: Why I’m Angry At A D&D 1st Edition Magic Item