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 guest this month was Dr. Sarah Stang. Dr. Stang is an Assistant Professor of Game Studies in Brock University’s Game Design program, housed in the Centre for Digital Humanities. She is a feminist media scholar who specializes in analyzing representation and identity in popular media, especially video games, and she received her PhD from the Communication & Culture program at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is also the Secretary for the International Communication Association’s Game Studies Division and the former Editor-in-Chief of the graduate student journal Press Start. You can watch our video discussion here.
Of all the holidays most aligned with role-playing, Halloween is probably the most aligned with playing a role. If you can, I hope you get a chance to have some fun (or even spooky) tabletop gaming over this week. Speaking of October, the end of the year is coming up fast, which means it will soon be time to review our progress against goals and vote for the board. Look for more news soon about our annual report.
CAR-PGA Committee Chair
Third Edition of the Role-Playing Game Professional Program
By Hawke Robinson
We’ve been incredibly busy and heads-down working on the Role-Playing Game Community Center facilities, and the new Third Edition of the Role-Playing Game Professional (RPGP) training programs, workshops, workbooks, study guides, instructor manuals, online Learning Management System (LMS), mobile and web apps, and much more.
One of the biggest changes with the RPGP program is a switch from the more college-academic style to a more “Trades Professionals” approach. With advancement now more along the lines of the Trainee, Apprentice, Journeyman, Mastery model.
The websites still have a lot of work to finish updates to the new Third Edition, so please pardon the contradictions as we scramble to overhaul the pages to fit the new paradigm.
We’ve always had significant research and theory in our programs, but we also prided ourselves on the most extensive hands-on, peer-reviewed, and supervised real-world experience not just classroom training, with the most intensive and in-depth training offered anywhere for aspiring and established role-playing game professionals.
This is a MASSIVE amount of work to get all of the moving pieces fully into place, but the core is coming along, and I wanted to come up from the intensive daily writing to give everyone a heads up about what we’re up to.
As always, the training is free to volunteers who help out at the 100% volunteer-run 501(c)3 non-profit research and human services charitable organization, RPG Research, https://www.rpgresearch.com. We’ll be resuming training, with the new Third Edition program, in November, we have a number of people on the waitlist, so we’re probably going to have to offer multiple training sessions per week to get everyone rolling with the new program.
RPG Therapeutics LLC at https://rpg.llc will be starting back up the training workshops based on the new Third Edition program around the same time for individuals and organizations that can afford the rates. This is extensive, intensive, and premium training. We have had a number of people attend some of our early pilot programs, who have also been through other organization’s training, and stated things like, “I learned more in just a couple of sessions participating in your basic programs than in months, and thousands of dollars, at the other ‘advanced’ programs.” We strive to be the highest standard in role-playing game professional training available anywhere globally, shooting for being second-to-none in depth, breadth, quality, experience, applicability, safety, efficacy, and more.
Volumes I (Part I training sessions 1-4 and Part II training sessions 5-12), II (sessions 13-24), III (sessions 25-36), IV (sessions 37-48), V (sessions 49-72) should be published in the next few weeks, with the subsequent Volumes VI – XI coming out periodically thereafter for the coming months, and Volumes XII – XXI throughout 2024+.
A high-level overview of this extensive Third Edition of the RPG Professional training and advancement program can be glimpsed on the RPG Therapeutics LLC website here:
To be frank, it has been an overwhelmingly huge task, and we have decided to let deadlines slip in favor of really getting this Third Edition dialed in based on the tens of thousands of hours of feedback from prior participants. See the extensive list of supporting resources for the Third Edition RPGP that are in the works. Some of these are near completion, and others will take some months to finish implementing (for example the mobile and web app additions in development). It is entirely possible these deadlines will slip again, but I am working around the clock to get the content cleaned up, based on the continuing stream of peer-review feedback I am getting with every draft through our Git Repository, Wiki, RPGSN.net Chatroom, and other contributing draft reviewers.
The RPGP programs are heavily research and evidence-in-practice (for over 45 years now), highly peer-reviewed, and iteratively improving constantly.
We look forward to your thoughts, insights, suggestions, and other contributions as we near the launch of this massive program based on the direct experience of more than 100,000 direct participants in our programs over the decades, and the many more indirect contributions.
We are still in the final weeks of the final drafts of Request For Comments iteration, after years of iterations, still open for any last-minute fixes or changes before publication.
So, this is your last chance to help directly contribute to the Third Edition RPGP programs before it is 100% locked in.
Here are links to some of the other related parallel projects potentially also of interest.
- Brain-computer Interface Role-Playing Game (BCI RPG) https://www.bcirpg.com is getting closer to being ready for public alpha testers after years in development. https://git.dev2dev.net/RPGResearch/bcirpggithubmirror
- Game Consent App in progress https://www.gameconsent.com/
- Role-Playing Game Artificial intelligence (RPG AI) in progress https://www.rpgai.org/ and https://ai-rpg.com https://git.dev2dev.net/RPGResearch/rpgai
- Z-Day City RPG + AR in progress: https://zdaycity.com/ https://github.com/RPG-Research/zday-city-rpg
- Role-Playing Game Professional App Suite https://git.dev2dev.net/RPGResearch/rpgp-app
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.
Barber, Graeme (2023 October 30) Day One Review: Pathfinder’s GM Core & Player Core. https://pocgamer.com/archives/2777. Quite positive but a few missing elements and lingering legacies of character races/ancestries.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 2) Saturday Morning Mystery Tabletop RPGs. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/02/saturday-morning-mystery-tabletop-rpgs. Curated list of games for the whole gang.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 3) TTRPGkids on Ludology Podcast, Episode 5: Starting TTRPGs with YOUNG kids (age 2+). https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/03/ttrpgkids-on-ludology-podcast-episode-5-starting-ttrpgs-with-young-kids-age-2. Gaming with wee ones.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 4) Review: Monster of the Week, a supernatural TTRPG to try with teens. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/05/review-monster-of-the-week-a-supernatural-ttrpg-to-try-with-teens. Could be playable down to about 8 years old.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 9) Using TTRPGs to get kids reading. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/09/tips-and-tricks-using-ttrpgs-to-get-kids-reading. reading levels, reading as a tool, support, and extensions.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 11) Book Review: A Kid’s Guide to Tabletop RPGs by Gabe Hicks. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/11/book-review-a-kids-guide-to-tabletop-rpgs-by-gabe-hicks. Excellent interactive and multifaceted introduction to many aspects of games and how to explore them further.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 12) Interview with Nykki and Matt from Motley Kids. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/12/interview-with-nykki-and-matt-from-motley-kids. Helping kids and families have fun at conventions.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 19) Review of DanD Made Easy. D&D 5E Tracks and Tools. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/19/review-of-dand-made-easy-dd-5e-trackers-and-tools. Helpful for kids, adult novices, and anyone trying to get a handle on the game.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 26) This month in children’s RPGs with Family Fantasy RPG – October 2023. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/26/this-month-in-childrens-rpgs-with-family-fantasy-rpg-october-2023. Debut episode explores family gaming and spooky RPGs.
Campbell, Steph (2023 Oct 30) TTRPG and D&D themed storybooks for your young adventurer. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/10/30/ttrpg-and-dd-themed-storybooks-for-your-young-adventurer. Curated and growing annotated bibliography of titles.
Carter, Chase (2023 Oct 2) Zenobia Award returns to highlight more underrepresented creators in historical tabletop design. https://www.dicebreaker.com/companies/the-zenobia-award/news/zenobia-award-historical-board-game-2023-application. Recognizing more voices in history.
Carter, Chase (2023 Oct 3) Kickstarter rival Backerkit bans crowdfunding projects solely using AI-generated art. https://www.dicebreaker.com/companies/backerkit/news/backerkit-announces-ai-artwork-policy-bans-nonhuman-content. Photoshop is still okay, but aim is to support creators.
Carter, Chase (2023 Oct 18) Teatime Adventures studios introduces awards for nonbinary representation in RPGS and board games. https://www.dicebreaker.com/games/teatime-adventures/news/nonbinary-tabletop-award-queer-representation-in-tabletop-announcement. Advocacy, art, content creation, game design, and writing.
Carter, Chase (2023 Oct 26) Buster Bluth and Veep’s Richard Splett will play D&D with Critical Role for charity. https://www.dicebreaker.com/games/dungeons-and-dragons-5e/news/critical-role-tony-hale-sam-richardson-red-nose-day-2023. Red Nose Day event on November 28, 2023.
Carter, Chase (2023 Oct 30) MTG and Baldur’s Gate 3 pull Hasbro’s bacon out of the fryer as toy giant doubles down on tabletop brands. https://www.dicebreaker.com/games/magic-the-gathering-game/news/magic-the-gathering-baldurs-gate-3-lead-hasbro-quarterly-earnings. More to come.
Exeunt Press (2023 Oct 17) Bartle Taxonomy of Player Types. https://www.skeletoncodemachine.com/p/bartle-taxonomy-of-player-types. Engagement aspects of play.
GB573 (2023 Feb 10) Diversity in Paizo’s Pathfinder. https://pocgamer.com/archives/2233. Further faster than D&D.
Jarvis, Matt (2023 Oct 2) Tabletop Awards 2023 return to celebrate the year’s best board games and RPGs: nominations and People’s Choice voting open now. https://www.dicebreaker.com/events/tabletop-awards-2023/news/tabletop-awards-2023-announced-nominations-voting-open. Too late to vote now, but the results will be interesting.
Jarvis, Matt (2023 Oct 9) Baldur’s Gate 3, Final Fantasy 16 and The Witcher actors party up for D&D actual play series Natural Six. https://www.dicebreaker.com/games/dungeons-and-dragons-5e/news/natural-six-dnd-actual-play-baldurs-gate-final-fantasy-witcher-actors. Familiar voices in new roles.
Meehan, Alex (2023 Nov 1) Announcing our judges for the Tabletop Awards 2023. https://www.dicebreaker.com/events/tabletop-awards-2023/news/judges-tabletop-awards-2023. Dicebreaker personalities and more.
Morrissey, Russ (2023 Oct 4) Penguin Random House To Stop Distributing D&D [UPDATED]. https://www.enworld.org/threads/penguin-random-house-to-stop-distributing-d-d-updated.700259. As of January 1, 2024. More analysis from Dicebreaker.
Morrissey, Russ (2023 Oct 6) On This Day in 1983 The BBC Explains D&D. https://www.enworld.org/threads/on-this-day-in-1983-the-bbc-explains-d-d.700284. With Steve Jackson (UK) and Ian Livingstone.
Morrissey, Russ (2023 Oct 26) Critical Role’s Sold Out Wembley Arena Show. https://www.enworld.org/threads/critical-roles-sold-out-wembley-arena-show.700667. Now, that’s an audience.
Mott, Darryl (2023 Oct 6) Multiple “AI Art” Updates and Controversies in Tabletop Gaming. https://www.enworld.org/threads/multiple-ai-art-updates-and-controversies-in-tabletop-gaming.700279. Official statements, publications, and conventions.
Mott, Darryl (2023 Oct 20) Kobold Press Releases Black Flag Reference Document. https://www.enworld.org/threads/kobold-press-releases-black-flag-reference-document.700523. More fallout from the OGL controversy early this year.
Mott, Darryl (2023 Oct 20) Paizo Prices Increases and Sustainability Efforts. https://www.enworld.org/threads/paizo-price-increases-and-sustainability-efforts.700522. Soy-based inks and ecologically-sourced paper.
Mott, Darryl (2023 Oct 26) Dungeons & Dragons Educator Giveaway. https://www.enworld.org/threads/dungeons-dragons-educator-giveaway.700670. Books and $100 for 200 selected teachers.
Puc, Samantha (2023 Oct 21) While D&D reckons with its racist past, this actual play is way ahead of the curve. https://www.polygon.com/23916207/dnd-connie-chang-transplanar-rpg-queer-trans-noncolonial-actual-play. Transplaner streaming RPG created as a space for trans representation.
Yee, Nick & Nicolas Ducheneaut (2021) Quantic Foundry. https://quanticfoundry.com. Researching gamer motivations in video games in particular but broadly applicable and interesting.
Tresca, Mike (2023 Oct 16) The Magic Bubble. https://www.enworld.org/threads/rpg-evolution-the-magic-bubble.700162. Making and maintaining friends around the gaming table.
Tresca, Mike (2023 Oct 27) Wait, Are we Still Role-Playing?. https://www.enworld.org/threads/rpg-evolution-wait-are-we-still-role-playing.700427. Characters within characters and imaginary imaginations.
Tresca, Mike (2023 Oct 31) The Immortals. https://www.enworld.org/threads/rpg-evolution-the-immortals.700163. The legacy of our creativities.
Wilde, Thomas (2023 Oct 19) DnD’s Next Sourcebook Ties a Dreaded Item to the Game’s First Explicitly Autistic Character. https://www.escapistmagazine.com/dnd-book-of-many-things-deck-autistic-charact. Narrative voice in the latest edition of the Deck of Many Things.
© 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.