Walking the Planes 3: Pluralities

The third art­icle in my series Wal­king the Planes has just been pub­lished over at The Onto­logical Geek. It’s about the Plane­scape set­ting and how its em­pha­sis on diver­sity and plu­ra­lity has affec­ted me, both in dis­cover­ing the set­ting as a teen, and now­adays. I’m not really sure yet what the next epi­sode is going to be about, as I have mul­tiple half-finished ideas boun­cing around in my head. You’ll have to wait and see! […Read more…]

Walking the Planes 2: A History of the Planes in Dungeons & Dragons

This one took a bit longer to write, but finally the second art­icle in my planar series is out, in which I give an over­view of the planes in the his­tory of Dun­geons & Dragons. Next time, I’ll be diving into Plan­es­cape prop­erly for the first time. […Read more…]

Walking the Planes 1: Introduction

As prom­ised, my series about Plan­es­cape and the Planes in Dun­geons & Dragons kicked off this month. The first in­stalment is only an intro­ductory piece, in which I set out my ideas for the future of the series. Hope­fully it will whet your interest; check back here or on The Onto­logical Geek soon for the second piece! […Read more…]

Ontological Geekery

Since early last year, The Onto­lo­gical Geek has been my main out­let for writ­ing about games. The site is the brainchild of Bill Coberly, who stepped down as Editor in Chief this week because he’s going to law school. Con­grat­u­la­tions, Bill! You can read his good­bye post here. Our new helms­wo­man is Han­nah Duvoix, who has been a con­trib­utor to the site for a long time as well. She wrote some words of intro­duc­tion as well. […Read more…]

What It’s Like to Play Planescape: Torment

Video­games can some­times be a very arcane medium, and it can often be dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend what they’re all about for people who never or sel­dom play them. Of course enter­tain­ment is often the main ‘use’ of a video game, but many of them have elab­or­ate themes and stor­ies, and the way in which video games deliver those nar­rat­ives and themes is often unique to the medium. Today my own piece on Plan­es­cape: Tor­ment was pub­lished, and I try to explain how the game uses explor­a­tion and con­ver­sa­tion to allow you to recon­struct the protagonist’s tor­tured past. […Read more…]

Mythic Fantasy: Pages of Pain

What a chi­mera of a book this is. It has one foot in plain old fan­tasy, with quite a few battles, some spell-slinging, and a hero on a quest. The other foot is deep in myth. When I first read this book, around seven years ago, I didn’t quite get it. I was already quite famil­iar with Plan­es­cape, the Dun­geons & Dragons set­ting that forms the back­drop for this novel. How­ever, in the novel, I found little of the vast vis­tas and wide-eyed won­der that typ­i­fied the set­ting for me. Instead, the book’s nar­rat­ive is almost com­pletely con­fined to a labyrinth, which offers only a few passing glimpses of all the ima­gin­at­ive places that make up the Plan­es­cape mul­ti­verse. How­ever, upon a second read­ing and some brief reflec­tion, I think I now see what Den­ning tried to do here. […Read more…]