An international network of researchers into all aspects of role-playing games
David Millians, Editor
Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
Our virtual panel guest this month was Michael Low. Michael Low is a writing teacher and curriculum developer with over two decades of experience. He’s also a tabletop game designer who designs and runs story-telling games for kids from 7-13 that use the inspirational, collaborative nature of role-playing to get kids writing page after page for the sheer joy of it. You can find his writing classes (homeschool accredited) at LuckOfLegends.com and his print to play at home monthly games and podcast at StoriesRPG.com. You canwatch our interview on our YouTube channel. Michael just joined the CAR-PGA, so please give him a warm welcome. He’s also looking for playtesters and teachers to network with, so if you’re interested feel free to contact him.
Our question for this month is mental health resources for freelancers. This topic came up at Wizards of the Coast’s Creative Summit, in which a member of the audience explained how supporting the company publicly was negatively affecting their mental health. This simple request for online resources to help freelancers who don’t have insurance providers supplied by their employer is where we can help. The CAR-PGA, with its deep expertise in mental health, is uniquely positioned to create a list of resources that are publicly available.
What online mental health resources would you recommend for RPG freelancers? I’ll collect your answers and we can add them to the CAR-PGA web site.
Thank you for reading!
ARTICLES & COMMENTARY
Rating Systems for Role Playing Games
By David Millians
The recent publication of a content rating system, complete with ready-made digital stickers, by Fat Goblin Games raises some interesting questions. How much help and harm do rating systems bring to role playing games? In what ways are they helpful for individuals or parents of young gamers to filter what’s best for them? To what extent are they gate-keeping elements?
This is a compilation of articles and other resources that have come to the editor’s attention over the last month. Everyone is welcome to send bibliographic information about anything you discover that fits the mission of CAR-PGa and this newsletter.
Askonas, Jonathan & Renée DiResta (2023 Apr 15) How Gamers Eclipsed Spies as an Intelligence Threat. https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/04/15/ukraine-leak-intelligence-discord-espionage-gamers-internet-online. Espionage meets nerd culture in Russian-Ukrainian war leaks.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 4) List of Conservation Focused TTRPGs Great for Earth Day. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/04/list-of-conservation-focused-ttrpgs-great-for-earth-day. A little late for this year but a great resource any time.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 6) Tips ad tricks: Recovering from moody situations at the TTRPG table… especially with kids. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/06/tips-and-tricks-recovering-from-moody-situations-at-the-ttrpg-table-especially-with-kids. Pausing to thoughtfully address conflict and emotions and good for any age group.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 10) Review for FableDoom, a TTRPG system with epic dice and gaming handbook. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/10/review-for-fabledoom-a-ttrpg-system-with-epic-dice-leveling-and-gaming-handbook. Flexibility, clarity, and lots of dice to boost games with all ages.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 12) How to propose classroom tabletop RPGs to your school. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/12/how-to-propose-classroom-tabletop-rpgs-to-your-school. Goals, specifics, language, and adjustments.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 13) Review of Happy Little Treants, a Bob Ross inspired D&D adventure kids. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/13/review-of-happy-little-treants-a-bob-ross-inspired-dd-adventure-for-kids. Nature exploration and socializing and good for young GMs.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 17) 13 Stellar space themed tabletop RPGs for kids. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/17/13-stellar-space-themed-tabletop-rpgs-for-kids. Growing game list for a variety of ages and interests.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 18) The Spring and Sprocket Express: a steampunk TTRPG train adventure. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/18/the-spring-and-sprocket-express-a-steampunk-tabletop-rpg-adventure. Modular, system-less adventure for any age.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 19) Review of The Librarian’s Apprentice, an all-ages solo-journaling TTRPG. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/19/review-of-the-librarians-apprentice-an-all-ages-solo-journaling-ttrpg. Evocative journey through a magical library with interesting randomization and lots of fun prompts.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 20) Interview with Katie Lear, counselor, therapist, and founder of Young Dragonslayers. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/20/interview-with-katie-lear-counselor-therapist-and-founder-of-young-dragonslayers. Creating online games to facilitate social engagement anf growth.
Campbell, Stephanie (2023 Apr 26) Review of the Hero’s Journal, turning everyday tasks into awesome quests. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/04/26/review-of-the-heros-journal-turning-everyday-tasks-into-awesome-quests. Journaling planner that encourages reflection and play, akin to a solo RPG..
Carter, Chase (2023 Apr 25) D&D’s revised Dungeon Master’s Guide aims at new facilitators and Critical Role fans. https://www.dicebreaker.com/categories/roleplaying-game/news/dungeons-and-dragons-revised-dmg-details. Adjusting game guide to guide more beginner DMs to running games.
Carter, Chase (2023 Apr 25) Mall full of D&D players teamed up to defeat Vecna and set a Guinness World Record. https://www.dicebreaker.com/categories/roleplaying-game/news/dungeons-and-dragons-guinness-world-record-most-players. 200 DMS, 1200+ players, and lots of runners to claim a new high bar of play.
Codega, Linda (2023 Apr 1) ‘Everything is a Story’ Inside Wyrmwood Gaming’s Narcissistic Funhouse. https://gizmodo.com/wyrmwood-gaming-doug-costello-bobby-downey-1850237181. Company culture and the results.
Dimuccio, Douglisio, Rob Miller, and Aaron Pagniano for TIME Video (2023 Apr 13) Adventure Never Ends: A Tabletop Sage – Watch a Short Doc about Dungeons & Dragons. https://time.com/6271789/dungeons-and-dragons-history-impact-video. Kids, actors, creators, and celebrities describe their hobby and life, history and hysteria, Games to Grow ad Gary Con.
Dix, Ellie (2023 Apr 3) Designing games that impact lives. https://www.thedarkimp.com/blog/2023/04/03/designing-games-that-impact-lives. Reviews of Katherine Isbister’s How Games Move Us and Jane McGonigal’s Imaginable and their other work.
Gault, Matthew (2023 Apr 10) Leaked Classified Documents Also Include Roleplaying Game Character Stats. https://www.vice.com/en/article/ak3d5z/leaked-classified-documents-also-include-roleplaying-game-character-stats. Which game and why is it there?
Girdwood, Andrew (2023 Mar 29) Superhero RPG awards: BAMFSIES 2022 announced. https://www.geeknative.com/155827/superhero-rpg-awards-bamfsies-2022-announced. Best superhero RPGs released during the Covid outbreak.
Jarvis, Matt (2023 Apr 4) Without Catan, board gaming as we know it wouldn’t exist. https://www.dicebreaker.com/games/catan-1/opinion/catan-board-gaming-lasting-legacy. The legacy of Klaus Teuber (1952-2023) and his game.
Jarvis, Matt (2023 Apr 11) Tabletop RPG accessories maker’s crowdfunding campaign goes beyond selling fancy dice to give backers a stake in the company (Sponsored). https://www.dicebreaker.com/companies/1985-games/news/1985-games-crowdfunding-campaign. 1985 Games takes a new path.
Law, Ric (2023 Apr 13) Dungeons & Dragons Comments on Drama Surrounding Half-Elves and Half-Orcs. https://gamerant.com/dungeons-and-dragons-half-elf-orc-species-race-drama-comments. Game text, mechanics, race, and identity.
Lim, Aaron (2023 Apr 14) Playing Play. https://cohost.org/aaronlim/post/1333682-playing-play. Thoughts on how we adjust the play of a game.
Maliszewski, James (2023 Apr 20) The Ultimate Campaign. http://grognardia.blogspot.com/2023/04/the-ultimate-campaign.html. When play for a given game is completed, perfected.
Morrissey, Russ (2023 Apr 4) D&D Movie Cast Plays A Game Of D&D. https://www.enworld.org/threads/d-d-movie-cast-plays-a-game-of-d-d.696999. About 30 seconds of clips, outtakes, and commentary.
Morrissey, Russ (2023 Apr 7) Open RPG Creative (ORC) License Draft Published. https://www.enworld.org/threads/open-rpg-creative-orc-license-draft-published.697066. Paizo’s licensing for any creator to use to open up their published material for other’s use.
Morrissey, Russ (2023 Apr 14) Yes, You Can Get D&D Boxer Shorts Now. https://www.enworld.org/threads/yes-you-can-get-d-d-boxer-shorts-now.697162. Wow.
Myler, Mike (2023 Apr 24) The Plight of Owen KC Stephens and the Quest to Help Him. https://www.enworld.org/threads/the-plight-of-owen-kc-stephens-and-the-quest-to-help-him.697334. Health and financial challenges inspire two bundles through May 15, 2023, and more.
Park, Ed (2023 Mar 31) The Magic and Melancholy of Dungeons & Dragons. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-magic-and-melancholy-of-dungeons-and-dragons. Internal journey of nostalgia.
Punzalan, Pam (2023 Apr 15) The Elements of TTRPGs: A Starting Point. https://thedovetailor.substack.com/p/the-elements-of-ttrpgs-a-starting. Aspects and considerations of design.
Tartaglione, Nancy (2023 Apr 2) ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ Wields $72M Global Debut. https://deadline.com/2023/04/dungeons-and-dragons-honor-among-thieves-john-wick-china-global-international-box-office-1235315760. Better than expected.
Tresca, Mike (2023 Apr 7) The AI GM: Worldbuilding with Dwarf Fortress. https://www.enworld.org/threads/the-ai-gm-worldbuilding-with-dwarf-fortress.696867. Generating a detailed, interconnected history for a game setting.
Tresca, Mike (2023 Apr 10) The AI DM: The Trouble with Art. https://www.enworld.org/threads/the-ai-dm-the-trouble-with-art.697081. Ethics and options.
Tresca, Mike (2023 Apr 21) The AI DM: Monster Maker Mischief. https://www.enworld.org/threads/the-ai-dm-monster-maker-mischief.697164. Accuracy of generated monster ideas and stats.
Tresca, Mike (2023 Apr 28) The AI DM: The Downside of Free. https://www.enworld.org/threads/the-ai-dm-the-downside-of-free.697322. Giving away your work for free, then and now.
Ward, Alexander, Matt Berg, Lawrence Ukenye, and Ari Hawkins (2023 Apr 18) House China Committee goes to war (game). https://www.politico.com/newsletters/national-security-daily/2023/04/18/house-china-committee-goes-to-wargame-00092498. US Congressional Representatives games to explore potential future conflicts.
Welley31 (2023 Apr 14) Meet the Japanese Iconic D&D Party. https://www.enworld.org/threads/meet-the-japanese-iconic-d-d-party.697167. An anime look from artist Chomoran.
Whizbang Dustybots (2023 Apr 17) American fast food chain Arby’s releases polyhedral dice set (for the third time). https://www.enworld.org/threads/american-fast-food-chain-arbys-releases-polyhedral-dice-set-for-the-third-time.697218. Someone at Arby’s likes RPGs.
© Copyright 2023 by the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGa), ISSN 1071 7129. The CAR-PGa Newsletter is a monthly publication. For more information contact David Millians, Editor, Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA, phone (404) 808-1070, fax (404) 377-3491, e-mail email@example.com. Back issues are available. Contributions of material from the membership are urged, and the byline is responsible for content. Deadline is the last weekday of the month, email preferred. Permission is granted to copy anything in the Newsletter, provided we get a credit line in the publication copying it, and it doesn’t have someone else’s copyright on it. Information, including details on joining CAR-PGa, can be obtained on the Internet at car-pga.org.