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…]