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Playing (and Creating) the World: Designers & Dragons – The 70′s

It seems appropriate that, having finally completed the second half of my review of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, I’ve got another RPG-related book to take a gander at. The history of tabletop roleplaying is roughly forty years long now, and the changes that the industry has undergone since the first edition of D&D was printed are many. What began as an offshoot of wargaming quickly blossomed into its own industry, catching the attention of gamers from all over the world.

While Jon Peterson’s celebrated Playing at the World provides an excellent history of wargaming and its evolution into roleplaying, and David M. Ewalt gave a wonderful and personal account of D&D’s early years, we’ve never really had anyone examine the entirety of tabletop roleplaying, from the famous games like D&D and its competitors to the small press companies who left a big impact on the industry. Continue reading

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Here’s What’s Next: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Part 2

Hey, guess who’s finally getting round to finishing his Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition review? Wait, did we clarify if it’s called D&D 5th Edition, or are they just calling it Dungeons & Dragons? I actually think that makes one hell of a statement. “This is the new status quo, this is the new D&D,” know what I mean?

Anyway, with the Starter Set and Player’s Handbook already out and the Monster Manual coming to game stores at the end of the month, it was definitely time for me to wrap up my thoughts on the revised system. As has been stated before, 5th Edition did seem like an attempt to bridge the gap between old-school fans of D&D and those who got into the more combat-oriented 4th Edition. Naturally, that was never going to be an easy task. Some of the decisions Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford and their team probably weren’t going to sit well. Continue reading

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50 Shades of Grey trailer: Oh God, oh God, it’s even worse than I thought

I’m sure there are dozens of people all over the world waiting for the second half of my review of D&D 5th Edition’s Basic Rules. That will be coming in a few days, but I wanted to write about something else just now.

Those of you that have any interest in it will probably have seen the first trailer for 50 Shades of Grey, the film adaptation of the… “novel” of the same name by EL James aka Snowqueen’s Icedragon. For those of you fortunate enough to avoid it, I’m going to ruin your day. Continue reading

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Here’s What’s Next: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Part 1

The gamers among you will almost certainly know that Wizards of the Coast released the first official Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition item last week. Wait, are we still calling it D&D Next? Let me check…

OK, I’m not sure; Wizards are just calling it Dungeons & Dragons. But for the sake of clarity, I’m going to call it 5th Edition. I should state early on here that, aside from a few sessions of 4th Edition D&D, I’ve never really played the world’s most famous roleplaying game. I got into gaming through the Warhammer RPGs, which are a very different beast. But I have played plenty of Pathfinder, and Pathfinder is just D&D 3.5 with the serial numbers filed off, so I don’t think I’m lacking in a whole lot of knowledge here. Continue reading

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Our Robots Vs Monsters Hunger Shall Be Sated

My love for Kaiju Vs Mecha fight fest Pacific Rim is no secret and I was disheartened when the movie didn’t set the box office on fire in 2013. It wasn’t a perfect film, by any means, but it was a damn sight more satisfying than the Transformers franchise, which squeezes out another epic turd this coming weekend. Robot on monster action was what we asked for, and when you also include the cheesy acting and paper thin plot, it was a fun Summer blockbuster.

The film’s success in international markets, however, gave hope to fans that we might see a seuqel. Last night, word came to us from Guillermo Del Toro himself about the fate of the Pacific Rim universe. Continue reading

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He’s Stannis, but he’s not quite The Mannis

WARNING: This article features possible spoilers to the season for finale of Game of Thrones, as well as the books upon which the series is based. If you’ve somehow managed to go all week without being spoiled and want to stay that way, turn back now! Continue reading

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First trailer for “Gotham” revealed

Even as Warner Bros. and DC flail around trying to catch up with Marvel’s movie output, they can at least take solace in knowing their television shows are largely better. FOX announced that “Gotham,” a prequel show of sorts that follows a young detective Jim Gordon as he establishes himself in the famous fictional city, will receive a thirteen episodes stint on the network later in the year. They also released the first trailer for the show. Continue reading

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Red = Green in “Doc of the Dead”

The zombie genre has seen a huge swell in popularity in recent years. The success of “The Walking Dead” television series is only one sign that the public can’t get enough of the undead. We’ve got zombie books, zombie mugs, zombie flip-flops – pretty much anything you can print zombies on, it’s there. Alexandre O. Philippe, director of The People Vs George Lucas, explores the phenomenon in his new film Doc of the Dead, which I caught at the Canadian International Documentary Festival. Continue reading

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Real Life Writes The Plot: Canadian International Documentary Festival

You know what I love most about living in Toronto? Tim Hortons.

But if you asked me if there was anything else I loved about Toronto, it would probably be that there’s always something going on. This is the first real city I’ve ever really lived in, so I’m often amazed by how spoiled for choice I am. Music, movies, art in all its myriad forms – it sometimes feels like every few weeks another big event rolls into town.

And so it is that the 2014 Canadian International Documentary festival kicks off next Thursday, the 24th of April. I’m going to catch a few docs and, if you happen to be passing through Toronto in the next couple of weeks, here are some you might want to keep your eyes on. Continue reading