Doctor Who RPG, FGU’s Chivalry & Sorcery and Space Opera
It was really hard to narrow this one down, so I didn’t. Each of these is a game where I feel like you do a lot of math for no discernable benefit. Doctor Who is the worst culprit; as far as I can tell, in chargen you do a huge amount of derived number-crunching that’s basically: spend points to spend points so you can spend points on whether you are a) GOOD or b) BAD at a couple skills. C&S likewise would require massive sliding-scale-as-you-went math just to determine whether, e.g., your magic-user started the game with a wand. And, of course, the trigonometry (literally) you needed to do spaceships in SO.


Here’s the thing. We — users, especially those of us in the U.S. and Europe — are what Facebook values. They make money from each of us. A lot of money. In 2017, each U.S. user was worth $20.21 (and Canadian users, $26.76). At some point, we have to accept the reality — continuing to use Facebook means we’re complicit in the drug killings in the Philippines, the rise of hate content, the harassment of women and minorities, and the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya. As long as we stay on the platform, Facebook will continue to make money selling ads from unsavory characters. It’s time to quit and make a statement.

With the impending doom of G+, this is on my mind a lot.

View this collection on

My #10RPGs post today made me think about how, for me, it felt like there was so much happneing in the hobby during the ’00s: the whole d20 thing, the Forge/Indie scene, the rise of Fate, the PDF publishing phenomenon, and (for me) the rebirth and then kinda-sudden death of Hero Games.

Nowadays it feels to me less like things are happening and more like things are just Kickstarting.

Sure, the ’10s have seen two big movements (IMO) — PbtA and the OSR — but those have honestly not had a whole lot of meaningful impact on me.

#10RPGs — 5/10 Community — d20

There’s no one game I can point to here. 3e was the game that brought me back to the hobby, but it was the early d20 explosion that got me to join in the larger RPG community. Sure, I had been pretty active on Usenet, but it was ENWorld that actually put me in contact with other people in meatspace, got me into regular gaming groups that met for years and made me an organizer for the local Gameday. It also helped “train” me as a forum participant, paving the way for my later connection to the Forge.

Honestly, say what you want about d20 as a design, but there were some cool games getting made back then, and I’ve never seen a trad group more open to trying new games than I did when everything had a d20 logo.


#10RPGs — 3/10 Character — Champions

Champions was foundational for me, but it was also probably the first RPG where I felt like players started with a truly blank slate during chargen. Sure, it was supers, but that’s practically a meta-genre — you can do anything if you can figure out how to spend your points. Plus, chargen was so involved that I think I couldn’t help but feel heavily invested in my PCs.


1) There is a whole generation of young women who picked up guitars because of Taylor Swift — she’s almost single-handedly responsible for the recent resurgence in acoustic guitar sales.

2) As a guitarist who frequents guitar fora, I can tell you that the online and offline communities are very much a boys club. You can probably count the number of signature guitar models given to women over the last 100 years on one hand (St. Vincent, Mary Kaye, Susanna Hoffs, Bonnie Raitt, and, uh…). One forum recently had a thread about Fender targeting women with upcoming campaigns, and literally, the first comment was, “So, does that mean smaller necks and neon pink finishes?”

(Fender actually has done a great job marketing beyond just dudes. It’s one reason they are in much better shape than Gibson.)

3) An iconic exhibit of rock instruments that overlooks things like Chrissie Hynde’s Telecaster, Bonnie Raitt’s Strat, Carol Kaye’s P-Bass, Joan Jett’s Melody Maker, or any acoustic played by Joni Mitchell is just nuts.

All that said… this does not surprise me at all. All of the iconic instruments in popular rock mythology are associated with men.

(Liberated from a private share.)

Do Women Rock? The Met Overlooks Women’s Contributions to Rock and Roll