Tag Archives: Dungeons & Dragons

Weekend Reading List: Seduction, surrealism, and so much love

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Weekend Reading List: Occultists and only one black man at a time

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Weekend Reading List: Spiderman, Star Wars, and Simone de Beauvoir

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  • Ever wondered about the science behind Animorphs? The Toast has got you covered.
  • In fact there’s a lot of good stuff from the Toast, including an investigation into the moral alignment of Jeeves and Wooster characters (obviously Jeeves is lawful good), and a piece that outlines exactly how Belle, with a little more strategy and fewer morals, could have made the ending of Beauty and the Beast much more profitable for herself.
  • We’ve been getting a lot of casting information about the new Disney Star Wars movie, and so far it looks like only one of the lead actors (aside from Carrie Fisher) will be a woman. io9 is, quite rightly, asking where all the women be at?
  • Seriously, though, there could be so many amazing lady Jedis and Siths, just look at all these suggestions. [Pajiba]
  • Since this is clearly a problem affecting more than just the Star Wars movie, SharcTank lists the five dumbest arguments against gender diversity.
  • As a palate cleanser, here are Disney character-inspired cocktails. [Cocktails by Cody]
  • When misandry lurks in the shadows, only one man can protect us: the defender of the defended, the voice of the voiceful, Not-All-Man! [Medium]
  • From May 1-3, people have been using #WeNeedDiverseBook in order to promote a greater diversity in children’s and YA literature. The Facebook page has additional information, and the Tumblr and Twitter feed are worth checking out too.
  • Vulture has a great interview with Brian Michael Bendis (who has spent the last decade and a half writing the Ultimate Spider-Man comics). He discusses Miles Morales, the ability for Spider-Man to represent a wide variety of people, and the lack of representation most comics fans have to deal with: “Sure, there are people who look like Captain America who read comics, but there are very few people in the world who look like Captain America.” True words. 
  • What happens when famous philosophers try to play Dungeons & Dragons? Spoiler: Immanuel Kant ends up really, really frustrated. [Existential Comics]

Top image by Craig Drake

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Weekend Reading List: Cheeky monkeys and crying for moon rovers

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+1 to Diplomacy: Pronouns in RPG Manuals

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I unfortunately will have to keep this week’s post short, because these last few days I’ve been pretty busy working. (In this case “working” is code for “starting a D&D campaign, creating my new character, and boning up on the backstory.”) (Oh, and my character is a Dragonborn fighter, nbd.) Despite my preoccupation, I did want to write a quick word about the game manuals I’ve had my nose stuck in for the past few days.

It may be because I spend the overwhelming majority of my time with words, but I always notice how the manuals themselves are written. Are they clear and easy to understand? Does the prose really need to be that purple? And, often, what pronouns are they using?

Most might not find that last question particularly compelling, but it’s something I always seem to focus on. Though my (admittedly recent) experiences with table top role playing games have been overwhelmingly positive, it’s not lost on me that that was never a guarantee. So when I’m scouring page after page, trying to figure out exactly how I’m going to deal with an oncoming horde of yetis, I notice when examples use “she” or even “he or she” to identify the player. (Fun fact: “Yeti” is derived from the Tibetan word for “rock bear.” The more you know.)

It’s a small gesture, but in an area of geekdom that still skews so heavily male, it means the world to feel included in such an official way, to feel like you really belong at the table, so to speak. And I’m definitely not the only one who values the inclusion of women in game literature. Over at Bitch, Lillian Cohen-Moore writes about how White Wolf Publishing made her feel like a legitimate part of their world in her great series Save vs. Sexism:

“I started to actually read the games put out by White Wolf a few years later, when I was 12, [and] being given a game book to read was a big deal for me. I was playing in an environment that trusted me to be mature, to ask questions, and to study up on my own. I quickly grew to feel that it was okay to be a girl and play White Wolf games. As an adult, I have a vocabulary for why I had that feeling… White Wolf books have women in their examples.”

The manuals I’ve come across haven’t been perfect, and I do wish they wouldn’t depend so heavily on such a strict gender binary, but I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. For normalizing my presence, for not making me out to be the exception rather than the rule, I’d like to offer D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast some heartfelt congratulations.

Top image from Image Comics’ Rat Queens.

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