Sunday 2 January 2022

Interview by Weird & Wonderful Worlds

I was simultaneously honoured and humbled by Maxcan7 (of Weird and Wonderful Worlds) offering to interview me last month. That interview is available NOW via the following link:

Be warned: it was conducted via instant message, so my tendency to ramble was indulged. 

Hope you enjoy it.

Check out the whole series, there's some great interviews including ScrewHead McDuff, Spwack, Semiurge and some other people whose names don't begin with "S" — including Patrick Stuart.

Saturday 1 January 2022

Demi-Humans & Alignment: Dwarfs

Continuing my extrapolation and twisting of original material to create a new chassis to run old school modules I'm jotting down some notes about so-called "demi"-humans. 

This was originally meant to be part of the "alignment" post. Likewise my post about elves (forthcoming) was supposed to go on the end of this one, but I started to ramble...

Previous posts in this series:

Image courtesy The Internet


What is a Demi-Human? 

Dungeons & Dragons has always taken a Tolkien-esque approach to "demi-humans" and "humanoids":  dwarves [sic] and elves are treated as "races" rather than the magical spirits that appear in our myths and folklore. This treatment is extended to orcs, goblins, gnomes etc. The clue is in the terminology used: they are human-like or human derived, or variations (or corruptions) of humans.

Folding that back on itself, what if they became "in world" what they are outside the fiction: projections of human ideals? These are spirits rendered flesh: they exist because of our stories and folklore, and our belief in tales of ancient kingdoms in forgotten mountains or slender gender-fluid aliens materialising in dark forests.

They do not have economies and cultures and taxonomies, they are archetypes.

Demi-Humans and Alignment

When I first started to think about alignment again, may brain did this:

  • Law vs Chaos
  • Clerics vs Magic-Users  
  • Dwarfs vs Elves

As with other binary pairs, there are (multiple and interesting) exceptions, but I like this set up as a foundation.