Which tabletop roleplaying games do 5e better than 5e?

19 Dec

“Quit 5e now” feels, uh, harsh? I generally think people should play the games they enjoy. However! I see a lot of people saying they want to play “D&D” but the experience they say they want to have isn’t one that 5e is designed to provide. This is a solid roundup of good tabletop RPGs and 13th Age—which is basically “D&D but only the cool parts” and my personal favorite d20-rolling fantasy TTRPG—gets a nice shout out at the 3:41 mark.

“[T]here are games that are actually like what people who have never played 5e think 5e is like. Fantasy, fast and fun is what they’re hoping for; and it’s actually 13th Age with its much more streamlined combat and non-combat mechanics.

Quiz Show

13 Dec

Today I learned that the two most famous figures in the 1950s television quiz show scandals passed away recently: Charles Van Doren in 2019 and his rival Herb Stempel in 2020. The producers fed both contestants answers ahead of time and arranged for Stempel to lose so Van Doren could become the new champion.

The excellent 1994 movie Quiz Show stars Ralph Fiennes as Charles Van Doren, John Turturro as Herb Stempel, and Rob Morrow as Congressional lawyer Richard Goodwin.

Snake Plissken: Foe Stats for Lords of Creation RPG

18 Sep

I just listened to the Blank Check movie podcast’s episode on John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. It inspired me to stat up another NPC you might fight alongside—or face as an enemy—in Lords of Creation, the 1984 Avalon Hill tabletop roleplaying game of adventure across time, space, and alternate realities. As always, the Internet Movie Firearms Database was incredibly helpful.

Snake Plissken

ATTACK: 16×2
DAMAGE: 2-20 (+2)
ARMOR: none
LIFE POINTS: 52 (14)

S.D. Bob “Snake” Plissken is a war hero turned criminal on an alternate Earth where the United States is at war with China and the Soviet Union, and in 1988 turned the island of Manhattan into a maximum security prison. As a U.S. Army Lieutenant and member of the “Black Light” special forces unit, Plissken fought in the Siberia campaign and flew a Gullfire stealth glider on a mission into Leningrad. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, and became the youngest man to be decorated by the President of the United States for bravery. After leaving the military, Plissken turned to crime. Police apprehended him in 1997 after he robbed the Denver Federal Reserve Depository. He is widely, though inaccurately, believed to be dead.


Revolver – 3

Shuriken – 3

Submachine gun – 2

Commando – 3

Pilot – 3

Street Criminal – 3


MAC-10 submachine gun with rifle scope and sound suppressor
Range: 100’
Damage: 2-20
Defense: Ballistic
Ammo: 5

Smith & Wesson Model 67 .38 Special revolver
Range: 100’
Damage: 2-12
Defense: Ballistic
Ammo: 2

Range: 20’
Damage: 1-6
Defense: Regular
Ammo: 1

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