Tag Archive for D&D

D&D Next: Writing Character Backgrounds

Many new players are joining the ranks of D&D with the release of D&D Next. The latest iteration of D&D emphasizes roleplaying and character development more heavily than previous editions. The questionnaire below is helpful for writing character backgrounds. It’s been around for maybe twenty years. The original link seems to have disappeared, but here are the questions: ———————————————————————————————————- Character…

D&D and Mental Illness

What do the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM) and the typical roleplaying game player’s handbook (PHB) have in common? The character typographies that both articulate are what Kenneth Burke would call “recipes for wise living, sometimes moral, sometimes technical” for fantasy worlds. Burke got this idea of recipes for living by analyzing proverbs…

D&D Adventuring: Which other hand?

I had too many things in my hand today while sharing the elevator with a campus police officer. As I juggled my items in frustration, I had this conversation (or an artist’s rendition thereof): Me: I need another hand. Him: I know exactly what you mean. Especially the other day when I was trying to arrest this crazy lady.  Me:…

Generation Splat

Generation Splat. Generation*. Millennials. Generation X. Generation Jones. Generation Splat. What’s that, you say? Well, a splat is an asterisk or a wildcard used in a computer search string to represent “whatever.” If I want to search for all the Laura(s) in a database, I would search for Laura*. Now let’s make a link to something seemingly tangential: Gaming. The…

Pouring Old Text Into New Skins

My college journalism professor decried the birth of USA Today and its “circus spread” style of layout or design. This format, he explained in disgust, spelled the doom of modern civilization, because it showed the strength of television’s influence over newspaper. Television turned the news into a circus. I lasted only a semester as a journalism student. My professor’s point…

BRCC Commencement 2012

Today, I had the joy of witnessing BRCC’s commencement ceremony. I had more fun at today’s ceremony than at most any other I’ve attended. There have been some momentous ones, where I’ve hooded advisees, watched favorite cohorts graduate, or even graduated myself, but this one was particularly joyous. Today, I got to sit on the stage and watch the students…

D&D Fortune Cookies

At the beginning of the semester I had to give a speech at convocation. I chose to speak about why the start of a new semester is like a fortune cookie. Throughout the speech I periodically opened up a fortune cookie, read the fortune, and made a comment. It was a fun speech and people seemed to like it. People…

The End of an Era – Deaths This Year

With the recent deaths of many of my childhood icons — Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite, Ed McMahon, John Hughes, Bea Arthur – I got to thinking about the famous people who died this year. Growing up, we watched the Oscars segment honoring those who the industry lost during the year. It seems like there’s more celebrity deaths this…