CAR-PGa NEWSLETTER, Vol. 33, No. 1, January 2024

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

millians.david@paideiaschool.org

LETTER FROM THE CHAIR

Hello All,

Attached is our latest annual report for 2023. Click through to read it, but the top-level summary is this: we didn’t achieve all our goals. Our two main metrics, growing our membership and increasing our YouTube subscribership, fell short. This is a transitional year, and as the board is fond of reminding me, we’re still growing at a faster rate than we have in years past. I’m hoping as our membership stabilizes, we’ll start to gain some momentum and growth will happen organically. But by all accounts, we’re not there yet. I’m hopeful we can do better in 2024.

As we do every year, our Board Vote is nigh. If you would like to be considered for the Board, please let David Millians know before the end of January. We will hold a vote in February and report the results at the end of the month.

It’s not all bad news though. We’ve already planned out our guests for all of the first quarter and into the second! Our upcoming guests include Eloy Lasanta (owner of Third Eye Games that has produced several game settings including “Apocalypse Prevention, Inc.”, “Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade”, “Part-Time Gods”, and “Mermaid Adventures”), Brandon O’Brien (tabletop roleplaying game designer of “The Refraction”, “Dream Ablare”, and “The Moon Wants Me to Leave You”), Steven Dashiell (interdisciplinary sociologist who specializes in the study of the language of male-dominated subcultures, including tabletop role-playing games), and Virginia Garcia McShannock (experienced graphic designer, writer, and editor who has worked for Modiphius Entertainment on RPGs such as Fallout, Star Trek Adventures, and John Carter of Mars). We’re on the lookout for more speakers to round out the year, so if you’ve someone you’d like to recommend – or you’d like to be a guest yourself – let us know!

I hope you have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to more virtual panels in 2024. Onward and upward!

Sincerely,

Mike Tresca

Committee Chair

NEW MATERIAL

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.

First, the Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast Layoffs have consumed much ink and many electrons over the last few weeks.

Appelcline, Shannon (2023 Dec 14) Is the OGL Era Over? (Part Four). https://www.designers-and-dragons.com/2023/12/14/is-the-ogl-era-over-part-four. Destructive management practices over decades brings us to where we are now and bodes ill for the future.

Appelcline, Shannon (2024 Jan 1) 2023: The Year in Roleplaying. https://www.designers-and-dragons.com/2024/01/01/2023-the-year-in-roleplaying. In memoria, major topics, and trends to watch.

Carter, Chase (2023 Dec 12) Dungeons & Dragons owner lays off 1,100 staff two weeks before Christmas “to keep Hasbro healthy”. https://www.dicebreaker.com/topics/layoffs/news/wizards-of-the-coast-owner-hasbro-lays-off-1100-staff-before-christmas. Unclear which employees to be affected by 20% cut, though there are already indications Wizards of the Coast is included in the cuts.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Dec 11) Hasbro Laying Off 1,100 Employees. https://www.enworld.org/threads/updated-hasbro-laying-off-1-100-employees.701567. Affects Wizards of the Coast in addition to poor-performing toy division.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Dec 15) WotC Founder Peter Adkinson On Hasbro’s Layoffs. https://www.enworld.org/threads/wotc-founder-peter-adkison-on-hasbros-layoffs.701609. Reflections and shame over past deeds.

Onward to the main topics of the last month:

Barber, Graeme (2023 Dec 11) Streamlining & World Building. https://pocgamer.com/archives/2822. Clarity, brevity, and balancing the unintended costs.

Barber, Graeme (2023 Dec 18) Building on the OGL: 3 Companies, 3 Directions. https://pocgamer.com/archives/2826. Analysis of decisions by Paizo, Kobold Press, and MCDM.

Brown, Kiersten (2023 Dec 27) Use the Power of Nerdery for Your New Year Resolutions. https://blackgirlnerds.com/use-the-power-of-nerdery-for-your-new-year-resolution. Character advancement as a model and tool for personal growth.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 4) TTRPGkids PaxU 2023 XP share. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/04/ttrpgkids-paxu-2023-xp-share. Workshop notes, events, and new publications.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 6) Using TTRPGs to teach kids social-emotional skills. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/06/using-ttrpgs-to-teach-kids-social-emotional-skills. Helpful, structure and safety.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 7) Review of Raccoon Sky Pirates. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/07/review-of-raccoon-sky-pirates. Fun frolic for all ages.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 11) Launching in mid-January for ZiMo2024: Making a Tabletop RPG for YOUR Particular Kid by Steph from TTRPGkids. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/11/launching-in-jan-for-zimo2024-making-a-tabletop-rpg-for-your-particular-kid-by-steph-from-ttrpgkids. Choices and structures to aid in your creation.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 12) Review of Teatime Adventures. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/12/review-of-teatime-adventures. Cozy and inclusive fun for all ages.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 14) Interview with Eric O’Keefe of What if World – Stories for Kids, improv podcast. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/14/interview-with-eric-okeefe-from-what-if-world-stories-for-kids-an-improv-podcast. Making up stories with children and the benefits thereof.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 20) TTRPGkids Guest of Honor at ConFusion (Michigan) Jan 19-21. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/20/ttrpgkids-guest-of-honor-at-confusion-michigan-jan-19-21-2024. Young Adult Guest of Honor with a weekend of activities and talks.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 22) TTRPGkids on Ludology Podcast, Episode 8: The Benefits of Playing TTRPGs With Kids. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/22/ttrpgkids-on-ludology-podcast-episode-8-the-benefits-of-playing-ttrpgs-with-kids. Education, SEL, and personal growth.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Dec 28) Review of Rolling With the Youth. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/28/review-of-rolling-with-the-youth. Richly insightful guide for anyone wishing to run games for young people or start doing so.

Carter, Chase (2023 Dec 15) The Brooklyn Strategist becomes third New York board game and RPG cafe to establish a union. https://www.dicebreaker.com/companies/the-brooklyn-strategist/news/brooklyn-strategist-workers-united-election-win. A continuing trend.

Carter, Chase (2023 Dec 18) Amazon inks deal to produce Warhammer 40,000 films and television starring Henry Cavill. https://www.dicebreaker.com/games/warhammer-40000-10th-edition/news/warhammer-40k-amazon-deal-streaming-series-films-henry-cavill. Seeking to build a franchise.

Carter, Chase (2023 Dec 28) From D&D’s Planescape return to Zelda roleplaying in all but name, these are 2023/s tabletop highlights. https://www.dicebreaker.com/categories/roleplaying-game/best-games/2023-tabletop-rpg-highlights. Eight standouts from a year of abundant creativity.

Dashiell, Steven (2022) DM Habitus the social dispositions of game mastering in Dungeons & Dragons (presentation for Game in Lab 2022). https://www.academia.edu/video/ln4o6j?email_video_card=watch-video&pls=RVP&t=30. Exploration of the roles and aspects of leading and directing a roleplaying game.

Exeunt Press (2023 Dec 12) Outdated game mechanics. https://www.skeletoncodemachine.com/p/outdated-game-mechanisms. Descriptive, not prescriptive, dive into how we play.

Hisham, Khairul (2023 Dec 1) Quest RPG at UniMAP. https://hishgraphics.com/quest-rpg-at-unimap. Report on game training workshop in Malaysia.

Jarvis, Matt (2023 Dec 3) Tabletop Awards 2023 winners: this year’s best board games, RPG, designers and publishers. https://www.dicebreaker.com/events/tabletop-awards-2023/news/tabletop-awards-2023-winners. Recognition of several interesting, new RPG writers and games.

Kung, Jess, Gene Demby, Datia Mortada, Leah Donnella (2022 Sep 28) Rolling the dice on race in Dungeons & Dragons. https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2022/09/26/1125115438/what-dungeons-and-dragons-tells-us-about-race. Racial stereotypes and colonialist supremacy.

Marquis, Moira (2023 Dec 7) Censoring Imagination: Why Prisons Ban Fantasy and Science Fiction. https://lithub.com/censoring-imagination-why-prisons-ban-fantasy-and-science-fiction. Freedom through magic.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Dec 1) D&D Making Of Book Coming June 2024. https://www.enworld.org/threads/d-d-making-of-book-coming-june-2024.701364. Artifacts and stories with more details from Dicebreaker.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Dec 19) WotC Updates D&D’s AI Policy After YouTuber’s False Accusations. https://www.enworld.org/threads/wotc-updates-d-ds-ai-policy-after-youtubers-false-accusations.701714. Investigation finds empty claims.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Dec 20) AI Art Removed from Upcoming Terminator RPG Book. https://www.enworld.org/threads/ai-art-removed-from-upcoming-terminator-rpg-book.701719. Sharp-eyed publisher. More from Dicebreaker.

Shearer, Stewart (2023 Dec 29) Little D&D: Crashing a Monster Party. https://side-quest.ghost.io/little-d-d-crashing-a-monster-party. Play at the library.

Varney, Allen (2023 Dec 31) 2023: The Bundle year in review. https://beyondthebundle.com/2023-12-31/2023-review. Business, charities, and honoring Laura Dean.

Whitehead, Adam (2023 Dec 31) RIP Bryan Ansell, WARHAMMER legend. https://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2023/12/rip-bryan-ansell-warhammer-legend.html. Another creator and founder for the hobby passes on.

Wilson, Thomas (2023 Dec 6) Welcoming Neurodiverse Youth to the Game Table: From the Perspective of a Neuro Diversity Specialist, by Thomas R Wilson. https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/06/welcoming-neurodiverse-youth-to-the-game-table-by-thomas-wilson. Not therapy but dignity and respect.

© Copyright 2024 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 millians.david@paideiaschool.org. 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.