Showing posts from 2022

I asked an AI to create a D&D setting for me

I went to and asked the following: invent a new fantasy world and describe it to me, detailing a brief outline of its history, mythology, distinct characteristics and flavour. It should be a classical fantasy setting with a touch of sword and sorcery, D&D and a little bit of allusion to the middle ages. Here is what it came back with: In the land of Eldrida, magic and swordplay reign supreme. This world was once ruled by powerful wizards who wielded ancient, mystical powers. However, a great war between the wizards and the dragons nearly tore the world apart, leaving it scarred and desolate. The survivors of the war banded together to form powerful factions, each with their own unique culture and traditions. The noble knights of the White Keep, sworn to protect the realm at all costs, roam the land on their majestic steeds. The cunning elven archers of the Wildwood, skilled in the ways of magic and stealth, lurk in the forests and defend their ancestral lands. And t

Are orcs inherently evil? Should they be?

I originally wrote most of this as a reply on Martin Kallies' entry on "Old School Orcs and Horrible Hordes" over on Spriggan's Den . But I have never been able to actually enter a comment there as all browsers on all devices give a "ERROR: JavaScript and Cookies are required in order to post a comment" and he has no contact details to report it. So I hope he sees this, both for the comment and the error report. So I would suggest to go read that first for context and then come back.

The Nebulous Heft of Levels in TSR vs WotC D&D

One thing that weighs favourably towards TSR D&D rulesets for me is the different experience of character levels. Character levels in TSR D&D just strike me as having far more heft  to them, than levels in 3e onwards.  I remember being much more proud of my AD&D fighter reaching 5th level than I ever was of reaching much higher levels in 3e or 5e. And it's not just due to nostalgia. The achievement felt more significant, as if 5th level in AD&D meant more than 9th level does in 5e. Not only in terms of my investment as a player, but also in terms of what that meant for the character in the world. A 7th lvl fighter in B/X or AD&D setting is a big deal to my mind. A force in the world. A 7th lvl fighter in 5e strikes me as a somewhat more run-of-the-mill character. The AD&D 7th lvl fighter seems somehow further removed from 1st lvl than the equivalent 3e/5e character, It's a nebulous impression that is hard to explain or justify. And I am partly writing th

Dragonlance: Age of Mortals re-appraised

 I've blogged about Dragonlance and the 5th Age before. The post-War of the Lance world was meant to be an open-ended one, but struggled to escape the confines of what was once Dragonlance's biggest asset: The saga of the Heroes on the Lance, which by then had become its most confining burden.  It seemed impossible to tell new stories of new heroes in a meaningful way - Even the fastforward of 25 years didn't really do much and left the world sort of aimless and floundering in what it wanted to be.  Dragons of Summer Flame changed all that. It definitively closed the book on the Heroes of the Lance and left a new world, upheavaled by change - Dark knights, a world scarred by warfare and chaos, and of course the departure of the gods heralding the last, longest and eventually brightest age of the world: The long foretold Age of Mortals. This I felt was actually the kind of open-ended world Dragonlance deserved to be. I thought the introduction of Mysticism was an eminent a