The world of tabletop role-playing games is much broader than Dungeons & Dragons, and there’s been a boom of DIY tabletop RPGs in the last decade. But as new players are coming on to the scene, they’re asking new questions about what defines a game, and what might be problematic about classic tabletop RPGs. Game master Timm Woods explains how new game systems are embracing genre and storytelling down to the moves your characters can make. I talk with independent game designers Emily Care Boss and Avery Alder about how game mechanics can reflect not just the lore of the game, but also social issues and inter-personal social dynamics. Plus, James Mendez Hodes explains how he works at a cultural consultant for game designers, and why orcs might need a makeover.

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