The Goalkeeper Doesn’t Decide Who Scores

Previously, I set out my theory for why people might have started to see the DMs of roleplaying games as separate from the players. Someone who wishes to remain a nameless spectre of looming contention asked me if it actually matters whether the DM is called a player or not. And, in fairness, a lot … Continue reading The Goalkeeper Doesn’t Decide Who Scores

Draugr by Arthur Slade

Slade balances a portrayal of modern—if rural—Canada with ancient Scandinavian folklore, creating a tale that will engage both young adults seeking an accessible chill and fans of sagas. Fourteen-year-old Sarah Asmundson, her twin Michael, and her cousin Angie have been sent north from Missouri, USA, to a small village in Manitoba, Canada, to stay with … Continue reading Draugr by Arthur Slade

Grim Harvest by Patrick C. Greene

Greene mixes strongly connected characters with tropes from multiple flavours of horror to create a tale of a town plagued by evil. This is the second volume in Greene’s The Haunted Hollow Chronicles. Spoilers ahead, in particular who might survive the first book. A year ago, supernatural evil turned Ember Hollow’s Pumpkin Parade into an … Continue reading Grim Harvest by Patrick C. Greene

A Cauldron of Hot Coffee by Samantha Silver

Silver lightly flavours cosy mysteries with magic, creating crimes that aren’t always solved by investigative skill alone but can still be solved by readers who aren’t themselves witches. When Eliza Emory’s father dies just after she finishes college, she assumes she’s on her own; however, a series of impossible incidents during her first day at … Continue reading A Cauldron of Hot Coffee by Samantha Silver

They Mostly Come Out at Night by Benedict Patrick

Showing the world part through direct character experience and part through dreams and tales within tales, Patrick powerfully evokes the fearful uncertainty that presses against the edges of pre-industrial civilisation. For generations, villagers have hidden from the monsters that come in the night. Each believes the Magpie King roams the night protecting them, but noone … Continue reading They Mostly Come Out at Night by Benedict Patrick

Prop Forward for the Cricket Team

Over the last few days, disagreement over a Dungeon Master's position has sprawled across several of my social media feeds, sparked by the assertion that the DM is another player rather than an different type of participant. One key point of contention was whether or not new rules systems had changed the role from player … Continue reading Prop Forward for the Cricket Team

The Broken Heart of Arelium by Alex Robins

Robins combines a fleshed-out fantasy society with engaging characters to create a “slumbering evil awakens” novel that embraces the tropes without seeming derivative. Twelve godlike beings drove the forces of darkness back into the depths of the earth, set walls to guard against their return, and founded twelve orders of knights to protect and advise … Continue reading The Broken Heart of Arelium by Alex Robins

As the Prophecy Didn’t Foretell

Whether it's people being shot in Plymouth, the situation in Afghanistan, the latest IPCC statement, or another global, national, or personal matter, there are plenty of reasons to feel humans aren't a great species. As that bleakness can grind one down, I thought I'd share a little Taoist-inspired pondering that reminds us the people we … Continue reading As the Prophecy Didn’t Foretell