Late Review – The Complete Paladin’s Handbook

So… we had a good time last time when looking at The Complete Priest’s Handbook. I had heard it was a difficult text, and through a grueling review process I had verified that fact.

Today, we’ll be looking at The Complete Paladin’s Handbook. It has some similarities, but isn’t nearly as bad. As far as game mechanics go, it’s solidly average with a minor tilt towards “why are all these character archetypes jerks” as is usual for the paladin class.

But it also has a lot to say about real world history. And that… that is where the pain begins.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Continue reading “Late Review – The Complete Paladin’s Handbook”

Fantasy Timespans III – Yes, the Fight to the Death Is a Symbol for High School

Welcome back! My last post on fantasy lifespans ended up running a bit long, ironically enough. So here’s the second half of my breakdown of what I, personally, use to explain away the various different “coming of age” ages for different fantasy races. Last time we explored a bit of the problem and then looked at the elves, one of the most troublesome species given the sheer length of their “childhood” century.

This time around, however, we’re going to look at some of the shorter long-lived species: the dwarves, the halflings, and the gnomes. We’re also going to take a short look at shorter lifespan species like the orcs and dragonborn, to help make their maturity progressions a bit better.

With that said, let’s begin with…

Continue reading “Fantasy Timespans III – Yes, the Fight to the Death Is a Symbol for High School”

Fantasy Timespans II – Coming of Age at 50 Years Old

After what certainly feels like ten thousand years, let’s look at the other side of the “timespans” problem in fantasy – namely the increased lifespans of many fantasy races when compared with humans.

This is a continuation on our discussion on the absurdity of “ten thousand years” as a timespan, but it can easily be understood on its own.

So without even more ado, let’s begin!

(This post is appropriate for all ages unless you’re a dragonborn – in which case if you’re under age 10 you might not be able to read. I guess?)

Continue reading “Fantasy Timespans II – Coming of Age at 50 Years Old”

Fantasy Timespans I – The Fury of Ten Thousand Years

“One of these days we’re going to have to talk about how ridiculous time scales are in fantasy. Ten thousand years is more than you or I could ever hope to comprehend and that is a threat.”

And now, that day has come. Thankfully before ten thousand years had the chance to pass and turn all that I know and love into dust.

Essentially, today we’re going to discuss time in fantasy fiction. Our first point is on the sheer absurdity of most fantasy time scales. Next time, we’ll look at how to rationalize different mortal lifespan lengths into a narrative.

So without wasting further time… let’s begin!

Continue reading “Fantasy Timespans I – The Fury of Ten Thousand Years”

Homebrew Introspective – Cursed Sorcerer

Today we’ll be looking at the Cursed Sorcerer. The intent here was to have a sorcerer whose magic came from an old curse put on their family, which they then took advantage of in order to gain power.

I like the theming, and I like the narrative. The mechanics? Not so much.

And as much as I’d love to crack a joke about this creation being cursed, I can’t really justify that. It just has some issues, that’s all.


Continue reading “Homebrew Introspective – Cursed Sorcerer”

Late Review – The Complete Priest’s Handbook

I was quite excited to get The Complete Priest’s Handbook when I first found it. From what I had gathered, it was a bit of a… controversial book. Not in topic (though in hindsight maybe it should have been), but rather in something very near and dear to almost every tabletop RPG player:

Balance (or lack thereof).

Let’s take a look at The Complete Priest’s Handbook, then, and see what’s going on. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn why it is generally speaking not a good idea for a single book to include over sixty new character options.

Reading this was a slog.


Continue reading “Late Review – The Complete Priest’s Handbook”

DM Me – (More) Tears of the Kingdom

In all likelihood, the fact that I’m talking about this game twice in a row should probably disqualify me from criticizing it. And so here we are, with another post… moderating my criticism.

Since my initial thoughts, I’ve had a few changes of heart. None of which really change the basic core of my dissatisfaction, but changes nonetheless. Because as my wife has played through the game, I’ve come to a realization.

The story is fine, they just really needed to remember what “open world” means.

Continue reading “DM Me – (More) Tears of the Kingdom”

DM Me – Tears of the Kingdom

Me and my wife both loved Breath of the Wild. For me, it represented everything I wanted to feel after the soul-crushing experience which was attempting to beat Skyward Sword. And so when they announced a sequel, there was a lot of excitement at my house. The cat was concerned.

And ultimately, I really like Tears of the Kingdom. The gameplay is super fun, the exploration has been massively improved thanks to the addition of caverns to discover, and the fact that the game lets me build a fully-functional tank in a Zelda game is simply delightful.

So why am I writing an article about it? Because 1) it’s my website and I decide what gets written, 2) there are some tangentially related to tabletop RPG things to talk about, and 3) the game’s narrative struck me as profoundly disappointing.

Continue reading “DM Me – Tears of the Kingdom”

Late Review – The Complete Book of Necromancers

Welcome back to the Late Review, which is both much sooner after the last one than normal and somehow simultaneously a little bit late!

In any case, I decided to look at The Complete Book of Necromancers after finishing up the review of Al’Qadim: Arabian Adventures primarily because I didn’t want to spend too much time being negative. So I chose a book I knew I liked, because that would fix it, right?

And then I proceeded to rag on Lords of Darkness for seventeen years and now here we are.

But still, The Complete Book of Necromancers is an excellent supplement. And, for the most part, this post will focus on that. Because this book deserves praise – it is, simply put, excellent.


Continue reading “Late Review – The Complete Book of Necromancers”

DM Me – Discussing CRPGs and Storytelling

I’ve been playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker recently. It was on sale for $5 and I’ve been trying out a new exposure therapy in an effort to actually start liking Pathfinder as a system. Results thus far…? Inconclusive.

I do, however, quite like the CRPG. I think I spent entirely too much time on character creation, but that’s 1) not a new problem for me, and 2) partially due to me installing a mod that adds like forty classes. A hell of my own making, as it were.

However the key takeaway here is the degree to which I’ve taken to the game, and the drastic difference between this and the many other times I’ve attempted to play a CRPG. And yet I still haven’t finished it, right back to my old tricks – I’m the reigning esports champion at not finishing CRPGs.

But why?

Continue reading “DM Me – Discussing CRPGs and Storytelling”