Out Now: The Abode of Unending Comfort

The heroes enter a well-appointed home and find themselves so cozy that they don’t want to leave. Little do they know that the house wants them to stay, too…

“The Abode of Unending Comfort” is the latest Dangerous Scenario in EN5ider, presenting a compelling encounter for your D&D 5th edition game. By subscribing to the EN5ider Patreon, you can get this and over 450 other articles to enhance your D&D game.

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Out Now: Second Position

Forget about your bleeding toenail. Forget about muscles that want to betray you. Forget about the you entirely. Right now, you’re nothing but the dance.

Now part of the Winter 2022 edition of The Avalon Literary Review, “Second Position” is a piece of flash fiction that tells the story of a woman’s transformation as she gives herself to a career in ballet. Delving into matters of introspection and gender identity, it is an exploration of a person’s psyche as she handles her own past under the harsh lights of the stage.

“Second Position” and many other great short stories are available now in The Avalon Literary Review, which is available in both print and PDF!

Click here to order a copy of The Avalon Literary Review!

Meddling Heroes: Another World, Another Time

Einstein told the President to make a bomb. Instead, they made a man.

Meddling Heroes is a superhero murder mystery told from two perspectives: the world’s greatest supervillain and the woman who frees him from prison. Before we explore the characters in this drama, though, let’s break down the world in which it unfolds.

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Out Now: Massacre in the Lost Warren

The PCs don’t always get to a dungeon first. In the mini-adventure “Massacre in the Lost Warren,” they arrive after another group of adventurers has cleaned the place out. However, those treasure-hunting fools don’t know the dangerous magic they possess…

“Massacre in the Lost Warren” is a new mini-adventure for EN5ider. Subscribe now and you can get this adventure plus more than 400 other articles!

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Paizo’s Controversy, Bad Behavior, and the Dilemma of Ethical Consumption

Folks who read this blog or who know me in person probably realize that I’m a pretty big shill for the Pathfinder RPG. While I love a lot of different role-playing games, Pathfinder has won my heart due to a combination of rules, art, and creative worldbuilding. On the other hand, while I have always appreciated the work Paizo Publishing has done in creating both Pathfinder and its sister game Starfinder, I’ve never particularly idolized the company. This week is a good example of why.

Paizo is currently embroiled in a major controversy of its own making, due largely to poor decisions by management and atrocious actions taken by some of its most influential members. The company has had some serious issues for a number of years, and many of those problems are now on display for the world to see. This has all raised questions in my mind about ethical consumption, especially when it comes to luxury products like RPGs. By continuing to buy Pathfinder products, am I condoning Paizo’s bad behavior?

The answer is…well, complicated.

Read more at the Screamsheet!

The Simple but Significant Plot Shift of In the Heights

The excellent Broadway musical In the Heights received a film adaptation this summer and, like most such adaptations, it went through some changes from stage to screen. Character arcs shifted slightly, some numbers got cut, and a few items got added to make the show more topical. But one particular change left me really thinking, and I feel that it subtly alters the tone of the entire story.

Read more at the Screamsheet!

The Sociopolitical Implications of the Mushroom Kingdom

Consider the Mushroom Kingdom, the most common setting of the Super Mario Brothers franchise. Set aside the fact that its main populace consists of anthropomorphic mushrooms and focus instead on the downright bizarre social and political implications presented by Nintendo’s flagship franchise. Now consider how much weirder things get when you expand outward to games like Mario Party and Mario Kart.

This is a kingdom in a state of constant political upheaval, and yet there is no succession plan should the ruler be deposed. It lacks any sort of organized military despite being under constant assault by a literal fire-breathing dragon. The inhabitants show very little prejudice, and yet the social system is filled with incredible amounts of systemic bias.

Clearly, this strange kingdom bears a more thorough investigation.

Read more at The Screamsheet!

The Weird and Wild World of Pokémon

Over the past 25 years, Pokémon has gone from a fad to a multimedia juggernaut. Dozens of video games, movies, TV seasons, comics, and more have sprang into existence around the cute little monsters.

These different properties have varied in some respects, but all have helped to apply at least a veneer of continuity on the imaginary world where pocket monsters roam the wild. And, in many ways…what these things show is pretty weird.

I’m not talking about weird as in the obvious, with bizarre creatures that live in tiny Pokéballs. I mean that the world we see in the different franchises, particularly the videogames, has some fascinatingly odd worldbuilding implications. Here are just a few of the things you’d have to contend with if you lived in the world of Pokémon.

Read more at The Screamsheet!