Tuesday, February 22, 2022

COVID-Coping Roundup


Mercy (Overwatch) Fanart
Courtesy of PNGEgg

So, COVID-19 has kicked my ass hard, and prevented me from getting much done. I am too muzzy-headed to DM an RPG, let alone write anything useful about it in a timely fashion.

On the nights when I've been supposed to be running games I've been playing Overwatch* and Conan Exiles instead, just to be able to spend time with my friends.

That said, I never stray far from my two favorite hobbies, and I have kept up on media that helps me scratch my D&D itch. I thought I might share my favorites: 

Tale of the Manticore

Tale of the Manticore is a beautifully produced podcast that tells a story in the style of a dark fantasy novel based on a solo B/X D&D campaign played by its narrator. I recently also reviewed a solo gaming system, One Shot in the Dark, written by the same creator. It is a real pleasure to listen to, and a highlight of my week.

The Vintage RPG Podcast

I listen to the vintage RPG podcast mostly for the cross play. The hosts are highly entertaining, and they cover a lot of obscure material that captures my imagination.


I started listening to back episodes of Spellburn when I first got into Dungeon Crawl Classics. RPG. It is a great podcast to hear interviews with game developers and designers, get some history both of DCC and of Dungeons & Dragons and hear about some pretty zany convention antics. In fact, I consider it one of the best sources of convention nees.

I do not find the recent episodes quite as enjoyable as the early ones. This show's focus and host dynamics have changed somewhat, but it is still well worth the listen to

Inappropriate Characters

Inappropriate Characters actually clashes with my game times, but I always tune in a day or two after this live stream has been performed. It focuses on RPG news and current events talk from a panel of controversial OSR creators.

The current regular hosts are Venger Satanis, the RPG Pundit, and Jobe Bittman. It previously featured "Grim" Jim Desborough of Postmortem Game Studios. 

Often featuring guests, and having had the good taste to invite me last year, the guys at Inappropriate Characters are not afraid to express unpopular and nuanced opinions on a range of topics. Always good for a spicy take or to have my assumptions challenged.

"Hawkeye fights Skeletons" from
Keep on the Borderlands
©2021 Justin Pfeil
Keep on the Borderlands (Comic)

This is a webcomic based on a Basic D&D campaign set in the Grand Dutchy of Karameikos using the original B2: Keep on the Borderlands module. However it also includes references to Wrath of the Immortals, material from the Gazetteer of The Grand Dutchy of Karameikos (GAZ1), and the Gazetteer of The Kingdom of Irendi (GAZ2). The author, Justin Pfeil, is clearly shares my passion for the Mystara campaign setting. The art is excellent, the storytelling entertaining, and frequently very dark.

Gonzo Up Your Ass

Hosted by Aaron the Pedantic and Venger Satanis, this series covers what it means to make an adventure Gonzo, that is to say strange, unusual, expectation breaking, and possessed of a certain dark and sleazy humor. Venger makes some of the best of Gonzo material outside of Dungeon Crawl Classics, and Aaron is a very insightful interviewer.

I appeared on a recent episode where we discussed Rick and Morty, dimensional travel, sex and romance in D&D, and a pretty wide, meandering range of other topics. Doing my homework for this episode made a lifetime Rick and Morty fan of me.

Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic

Another Dungeons & Dragons inspired comic, YAFGC has been running a long time. I only recently discovered it and read through the entire back catalog over the course of 2 months. It covers the story of a D&D World through multiple cataclysms and campaigns, told from the standpoint of a group of monsters living in an underdark cavern complex initially, and occasionally from the viewpoint of the human adventurers who get entangled with them.

 ©2006 Thunt
Some Honorable Mentions

Goblins is a comic I read religiously for several years before it's author, Thunt, mysteriously stopped the comic. Apparently, he started it up again after two years of radio silence without saying a thing or letting anyone know he had returned to creating it. It is soon to become an animated series, and deserves it. Telling the story of the D&D3e campaign where most the characters are evil goblins was brilliant. I never got back into it myself. But mean to do so now that the animated series is on the way.

The Order of the Stick was another favorite of mine for many years. They stick figure comic covering the story of a D&D 3.5 campaign by Rich Burlew. It rarely failed to make me laugh for the years that I was a regular reader.

*I don't actually play Mercy: Lucio, Moira, D.Va, and Orisa are my game, in that order of competence 

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