Current Opportunities

It’s time for another round up of opportunities in RPGs!

New Agenda Publishing announced a talent search for their upcoming RPG, Orun. Submissions are open until July 3rd!

Publisher Chaosium is open to submissions for their current role playing games. Don’t forget they also will host modules written within their guidelines for Call of Cthulhu on DriveThru RPG.

There are also a variety of jobs available on UpWork for RPG writing of various sorts. When applying for jobs on that or other freelancing platform, get together a solid cover letter. Also pay attention to the ratings, number of previous jobs offered, and length of time the offerer has spent on the platform. These are all good indicators of solid employers.

Our contests are still going until June 30th! Check out all the ways to enter!

Essential #Pride Fantasy Designs

Happy Pride! Celebrate with some beautifully queer fantasy designs and merch from some wonderful artists!

Mel Eisvogel released their “bibarian” tshirt design the other day, and currently have a variety of class/orientation Dungeons & Dragons themed merch (including Ace identities!) in their Threadless shop. See some of the designs below:

The beautifully ornate designs by Foxlight Studios featured below are also available to purchase on Redbubble.

Perhaps one of our favorite team ups, artist-designer Paola’s Pixels and candle artisan Cantrip Candles have released a “roll with pride” d20 pin, just in time for Pride month!

What LGBTQIA+ artists are you keeping an eye on this month?

Data! Dice! Dough!

PanopLit will be changing its data collection format… but before we do that, we want to collect as much data as possible! So we’re giving everyone the chance to win one of two $25 gift certificate to DriveThru RPG (sent via email). That’s not all! We’ll also be giving away two sets of dice. What kind of giveaway would it be without free dice thrown in the mix?

Take 5 minutes and tell us how and why you play RPGs. Here’s all the ways to win:

  • Follow PanopLit on Twitter and retweet this post. Current followers are eligible! One of our followers who retweets the linked tweet will receive a $25 gift certificate! Another will receive a free set of dice!
  • Take the May Survey (a collection of previous survey questions). Already took the previous 5 surveys posted on PanopLit? Email info@panoplit.org to be entered.
  • Share this tweet on Twitter about our survey to be entered to win a dice set! (A different one than the other dice set. There will be two dice sets.)

All entries must by made my June 30th, 2018. Winners will be announced and contacted after this. Any questions? Email info@panoplit.org.

How Gay Can We Make It?

We are in a golden era for radically queer RPG content. Quivering on the edge of a straight, cis, male dominated dark age we’ve seemingly shot toward orgiastic rainbow dice rolling. There are cute, pastel d20 stickers being sold at major cons. There are Kickstarters for D20 Pride pins 17 times funded with 20 days to go. Artists are creating pins and stickers that both announce our sexuality and are clever plays on classic Dungeons & Dragons terminology. These keep selling out!

How did the only D20 rule system your mom’s heard of get so… gay? I suspect the truth is that it’s always been gay. It just depended on which basement you played in.

D&D created personal, life changing experiences. The culture it encourages is more about the people playing it than whatever edition we’re currently in. In fact, it’s helped many discover more about their identities and key aspects of themselves for a long time, now. We just haven’t gotten the chance to hear all of those stories.

Jeremy Crawford brought the LGBTQIA gaming community to the forefront for the 5th edition release when he mentioned that there would be more queer content. As a gay man, he was uniquely positioned to both change the published D&D content to more inclusive canon narrative, and announced that ‘people like him’ (people a lot more like us than the past images of D&D players portrayed) had made it in the gaming world.

I don’t know what the outcry of that announcement was. In the past I would have been arguing in forums and fighting on Facebook and whatever else. But there’s a large enough community that I’ve been able to encase myself inside of Queer TTRPG and never have a reason to leave. That wasn’t true for me just a few years prior.

The new canon content has not been perfect. As part of the this edition, Wizards of the Coast brought back some vintage adventures for updates. One of these was Tomb of Horrors.” The rebooted module, for reasons that remain unclear, kept a component of the original adventure where characters ‘switch’ genders upon entering a specific room. The language in the adventure as its written specifically refers to flipping the player characters’ gender on a binary. So, male to female, female to male. The problems with this were already covered by Christine Prevas in the above linked essay.

If that wasn’t confusing enough, the reasons for keeping that gameplay element are even more mysterious. In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, which the original adventure was written for, female characters were capped on their strength score. They could never get as strong as a male character could. From a mechanics standpoint, a room that “switches” your PC’s gender had the possibility for very real stat consequences. This has not been the case with Dungeons & Dragons since 3rd edition. Your chosen gender has no bearing on the game beyond roleplaying, so putting it in with seemingly little narrative thought was a bizarre and possibly lazy choice.

Dungeons & Dragons remains the most popular tabletop roleplaying system of all time. Its popularity has fueled interest in the medium like never before. There have almost always been other Table Top RolePlaying games, but with the advent of crowdfunding and media of all sorts in the mainstream introducing unquestionably queer characters, the market has exploded. Each new funded project is proof that there’s room for all of our systems. People want to play more, and they want ways to play differently.

Creators have imagined systems that explore new frontiers of fandom, created settings that stretch our imaginations beyond the high fantasy/hard sci fi binary, and crafted systems that groups can mold to their own narratives.

That being said, Dungeons & Dragons may not be the queer TTRPG we’re looking for. We can queer it up, and we should continue to do so, but progress has been achingly slow. While seemingly shooting forward, getting two genders of players acknowledged in the core rulebooks took over 26 years. How much longer will we have to wait for more than two genders? When will we see explicitly queer content in modules from queer creators released with the distribution of the D&D mainstream?

Podcast Feature: PanopLit on Game Closet

LGBTQIA+ podcast “Game Closet” interviewed founder Josephine about her work with PanopLit. The interview covered a wide range of topics, from queer imagery to collaborative storytelling theory, to plans for PanopLit in the future. Take a listen below:

https://riverhousegamespodcast.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/game-closet-27-josephine-the-archivist-of-panoplit/

A big thanks to Taylor at River House Games for featuring us!

5 New Ways to Introduce Player Characters

Here are 5 questions to ask your players that aren’t “Are you a male or a female?” These 5 introductory questions will provide a clearer image of the visions of your players without limiting them to the binary of “strong female characters” or “flawed men.”

How is your character dressed?

What someone wears says more about them to strangers than perhaps anything else ever will. Are their trappings more expensive than what they can afford? Are they excessively simple? Have they dressed themselves to hide something, or reveal?

What markings can we see?

Is your character tattooed? Ritually scarred? Striped, spotted, or painted? Body markings can speak to a rich connection to their past, a traumatic history, or evidence of a fresh fight.

How does your character introduce themselves?

A strong relationship to a higher power is often felt in the first meeting with a religious PC through their blessings, or curses as the case may be. Alternatively, a greeting might open the doors to quirks a character’s picked up along the ways. Do they timidly offer their name? Does their voice boom in jolly greeting?

What does your character notice first?

Inevitably, your story starts somewhere. Once establishing the setting of the opening scene, find out what’s important to your PCs by seeing where their eyes land. Lay plenty of objects and NPCs around to trap them into revealing something deeper about their character. Who notices the coin purses at the hip and who notices blasters? Does anyone notice just how alien the architecture is, or how cold the unnatural chill in the room?

What does your character smell like?

Maybe more character development than introduction, what a character smells like can also define them. The adventurer’s will be on the road (or in the ship, no board the balloon) for what may turn into a long time. Might as well find out now who will be attracting the fleas.

How a character smells can also let you know more about their job, their upbringing, and social class. Do they smell of expensive oils? Stink like mechanic’s grease? Have the scent of a long journey without bathing still on them?

Smell is also one of the first things we react to as humans, whether passively or actively. Maybe a character doesn’t like strong perfume, or only feels at home with more earthy travelers. Using this sense also gives other PCs a threat for constant interaction beyond planning who will hit the orc, and who might delay their action.

However you choose to have your players introduce their in-game personas, make sure to get the action moving immediately to encourage the players to begin interacting.

How do you introduce your PCs?

Kickstarter to Watch: Star Crossed

Star Crossed is a two-player roleplaying game of characters destined to love each other, but kept apart in-game by a world against the match, and in real life, by a tower of blocks and your imagination. The world is truly of your making: designed to support small fictions in a variety of settings, the goal is to build a world together to keep your characters apart, while also yearning for them to be together.

Pulling from the tower in Star Crossed signifies the risk of acting on their feelings. This game adds a level of complexity to your draws by making the number of bricks you’ve successfully taken build toward a “triumphant” love.

The creative use of the tower mechanic and beautifully queer art set this game apart, and while the Kickstarter has already been funded, you still have a chance to grab everything needed to play! Reserve your copy now!