Nerd Culture

5 D&D Settings To Shake Up Your Game

So you’ve played D&D, Dungeons and Dragons, a couple of times. You’re fairly familiar with the rules, but the setting doesn’t really appeal to you. The knights in armor, medieval-thing just ain’t your bag, man. And learning a whole new system seems daunting, and what if you don’t like that either? Learn a third system for a third kind of game you may or may not like either? We say thee, nay! There are numerous third party settings for the Fifth Edition D&D system. Sci-Fi, fantasy, future, noir, hack and slash, political thriller, you only need to know where to look to find something that suits your interests. Then branching out to other systems within the settings you enjoy is less stressful of an idea. So here are 5 D&D Fifth Edition settings for your TTRPG group to try out!

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For centuries, writers have been transfixed by monster stories. The most common monsters are from the 20th Century films: Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, the Wolfman, King Kong. But the ancient greeks had Medusa and the Minotaur. The Nords marvelled at Fenrir and Jormungand. The Chinese spun tales of Zhulong and Juiwei Hu. Humans have always been fascinated by the terrible creatures lying around each corner and, perhaps more fascinatingly, the aspects of their humanity.

Even more of a marvel is the evolution of monsters and love stories. Often, monsters would steal young women and were seen as cruel antagonists. They even were commonly metaphors for female impurity. However, over time, the idea of monsters being romantic leads grew and has become a new trope in literature and cinema. One of the earliest, most popular examples of this is the iconic, classic tale of Beauty and The Beast.

While Beauty and The Beast is a leader in this romantic subgenre, other films such as Twilight, Warm Bodies, and The Shape of Water have also been modern staples of the “finding beauty in ugliness” love stories. Though only these few are mentioned, there are countless more tales expounding upon the topic. However, one might wonder, how does such an odd sub-genre come about?

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PAX West 2018 showcased hordes of new games and pixelated adventures. However, one that was quietly unique was a graphic novel game focused on queer teens and mental health: Burn Ban. While hardly a perfect game or story, the game highlighted aspects of youth culture and mental illness that are often glossed over until it’s too late. Talking to one of the devs, it was a passion project for the team, however they also wanted to combat the toxic versions of mental health from stories like 13 Reasons Why.

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One of the most unique genres currently in the American gaming world is one the average gamer may never expect: the dating sim. With huge RPG titles dominating video game culture, dating sims are a dark horse exploding with creativity. From serious dramas, to horror, to comedy, every dating sim seems to have an individual flavor permeating their game. But some might think, really? Dating sims?

Those who have played them would respond with: of course dating sims.

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Publishers and editors of different comic book companies take different official stances on different topics. Some stand firmly with their creators to prevent harassment and uphold artistic integrity. Some take a ‘middle ground’ approach to maximize the dollars brought in. Which is the better business model? Is the ‘middle ground’ of American politics shifting?

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ComicsGate is a tangled web of people with different agendas and perspectives all being further convoluted by their echo chamber. Ask two ComicsGaters where the ComicsGate story begins and you’ll get two different stories, then they’ll tell each other something entirely different. Trying to unravel this web and apply logic and sense to it all is difficult for many reasons. Yes, there is a large lack of logic and sense when dealing with ComicsGaters, but when so many voices are going in so many directions, it’s hard to keep straight. Who’s in ComicsGate? What is ComicsGate?

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Dungeons & Dragons has been around for a very long time.  The popularity of the game seems to continue to grow as more people try the Fifth edition and love it.  The future of D&D seems to be in good hands since Wizards of the Coast has a good number of items that could end up on your favorite gamer’s Christmas list.

There is an adult coloring book, game adventures/supplements, several choose your own adventure style books, and books to help children learn while interacting with a D&D style story.

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This October will see something that should have been released years ago.  A William Shatner Christmas Album.

Titled Shatner Claus and arriving on October 26th, it is filled with well known and beloved songs for the season.  Featuring a cast of incredible supporting players like Henry Rollins, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Brad Paisley, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren, and many more, it looks to be an eclectic mix of old music in varied styles.

This is not Shatner’s first foray into music, in fact, his first album came out while Star Trek was still on the air, in 1968.  Here is a look back at his oeuvre in the musical arts.

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After the firing of James Gunn for, admittedly offensive, old tweets that Gunn already apologized for 6 years ago, many have been outspoken against Disney’s knee-jerk decision. But none have been quite as outspoken as Dave Bautista, Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy. Bautista has, on frequent occasion, called Disney out for its rash and hasty decision to fire Gunn, calling for Gunn’s reinstatement and tweeting at Disney with tweets directing them to the man behind the movement to get Gunn fired, conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich.

 

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Disney is known for their squeaky clean, family-friendliness. There are parents throughout American who trust Disney with protecting their children from anything obscene or inappropriate, to the point of allowing their children to watch only Disney films exclusively. It’s this image that Disney wants to preserve, and in doing so fired James Gunn for a series of jokes that were, admittedly, off-color, black humor that wasn’t appropriate for public consumption. But when we look closer at Disney’s not-so-distant past, the company and the man it’s named for aren’t so squeaky-clean either. As fans, family, and friends clamor for Gunn to be given a second chance we look back on Disney’s own sordid past. How many chances has The House of Mouse been given?

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