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Reclaiming Norse Mythology from the Nazis by Ian Stuart Sharpe

It is one of the most iconic scenes in modern cinematic history:  Indiana Jones is in a desperate race against the Nazis, a lone hero battling against the entire German war machine to prevent an ancient artefact of immense power from falling into the wrong hands. Of...

Interview with Ian Stuart Sharpe, Author of The All Father Paradox!

Q: What made you write The All Father Paradox? Ian Stuart Sharpe: I think it was preordained. Not in a crazy way, you understand. You just learn to spot the signs, to realize that something is off-kilter. For example, in the year 793AD, according to the Anglo-Saxon...

Join the Outlanders!

ANNOUNCEMENTS Join Outland's Street Team, The Outlanders! Get sneak peeks at new releases, including fiction, games, and comics! Receive exclusive content, and be eligible to receive advance review copies of upcoming releases! If you like to help spread the word about...

THE ALL FATHER PARADOX Releases in October!

THE ALL FATHER PARADOX by Ian Stuart Sharpe Coming in October! What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves? Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard, hellbent on studying the...

HATH NO FURY Has Hit the Shelves and E-Readers!

Mother. Warrior. Caregiver. Wife. Lover. Survivor. Trickster. Heroine. Leader.   This anthology features 21 stories and six essays about women who defy genre stereotypes. Here, it’s not the hero who acts while the heroine waits to be rescued; Hath No Fury’s women are...

Announcement: VIKINGVERSE COVER ILLUSTRATION RELEASED!

ANNOUNCEMENT Official summary of ALL FATHER PARADOX along with color cover illustration! What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves? Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard,...

Announcement: New Comic Coming from Outland Entertainment!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Announcing Riddle of the Loremaster, an all new original comic series written by Melanie R. Meadors, with art by Nicolás Giacondino! Here is a sneak peek at some of the promo art: Riddle of the Loremaster is a comic for mature readers set in a fantasy...

Women in Dark Fantasy Have Changed by Linda Robertson

In doing a bit of research looking for a dark-fantasy-related topic for this article, I sought something that I knew at least a bit about, something I felt strongly about, and something where I could add meaningfully to the conversation. Many things were considered,...

Alethea Kontis on Imposter Syndrome

Earlier this year, I met the only student Katy Kellgren ever had. He told me he just about had to bully her into being his teacher. This amazing, multiple award-winning voice actress with hundreds of audiobooks under her belt truly didn’t believe she knew anything...

Announcements: HATH NO FURY Has Arrived in the US!

Backers of the paperback and hardcover editions of Hath No Fury will be happy to learn that the books have arrived at the printer's headquarters in Chicago! Now, they just need to be sent to our head honcho Jeremy Mohler, and then they will be sent out to backers...

Tabletop roleplaying games face a multitude of barriers in any attempt to be taken seriously as an art form. The first of these barriers is reaching an audience wide enough that critics outside of the tabletop RPG community will argue their status. What We Can Learn from Video Games: Tabletop Roleplaying Games as Art discussed several approaches to expanding the medium to reach a larger audience. Here are four tabletop RPGs that have expanded the medium

Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game

Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game is set in the fictional worlds of Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber. Mechanics for the Amber DRPGs conflict resolution involves comparing four attributesSafety, Strength, Endurance, Warfare–the highest attribute wins. Removing the randomness of dice rolls increased the level or roleplaying in the system, shifting focus away from conflict and towards what leads to those conflicts.

Prince Valiant: the Storytelling Game

Prince Valiant: the Storytelling Game was written by Greg Stafford as a game for novice players. Based upon the Prince Valiant comics and published in 1989 by Chaosium, its simple rules and art design also made it a game that was accessible to younger players. Significantly focused on the narrative aspects of roleplaying, Prince Valiant used only two attributes and a selection of skills that ranged from agilty to alchemy.. Differentiating itself from other narrative games Prince Valiant utilized these attributes and skills for both simple and complex resolution rules.

Dogs in the Vineyard

Dogs in the Vineyard is a narrative RPG that utilizes game mechanics to explore characters beliefs and desires when faced with questions of morality. Written by D Vincent Baker, the award-winning RPG places characters in an imagined frontier setting based (loosely) on the early years the LDS Church in the west. Mechanics for town creation helped create moral frameworks for characters to interact with, inserting a morality into the game that set the system apart.

Dread

Dread is a horror RPG that uses a simple mechanic that, when one considers the game’s theme, is exceedingly elegant. Winner of the 2006 Ennie Award for Innovation it is sometimes referred to as “the Jenga RPG.” Dread requires players to pull blocks from a Jenga tower as a form of action resolution. Mirroring the progression of horror films, the fear of players increases as the game progresses, eventially leading to the characters deaths.

These series of posts will discuss tabletop roleplaying games as a medium for artistic expression. The first article in the series can be found here: Why Roleplaying Games “Don’t Get No Respect” The second article in this series can be found here: What We Can Learn from Video Games: Tabletop Roleplaying Games as Art.