Dungeons & Dragons had its share of superfluous source books prior to Second Edition, but it was in the 2E era that the practice dragged TSR down. 1991's Tome of Magic is considered by many one of the best source books of the era, introducing Wild Magic, new spheres, and tons of spells and magic items. Was it essential D&D or a grab for more money? Does a bugbear shit in the woods?
Steve: Wicked cover!
Zack: Nothing sexual going on there, just a wizard preparing to assault a woman in lingerie with his purple serpent.
Steve: Hey, you know what, it's a fantasy game, and my fantasy is a hot ghost babe flying around a cave shooting magic at a wizard.
Zack: Maybe more women would play Dungeons & Dragons if half the pictures didn't feature prancing women in lingerie.
Steve: Ugh. More women? Table girlfriends are the worst dude. Jamie used to bring his girlfriend Cheryl to my Waterdeep campaign and she always forgot her character, always made a cleric, always got bored after like an hour and would just roll a pencil around and draw little flower designs on her character sheets. Usually we had to end early because she would get in these whispery conversations with Jamie and he would remember he had to do something the next day.
Zack: You're not listening to me, Steve. Maybe she would have taken a greater interest if the adventures offered up something that would interest a young woman.
Steve: Alright dude I get it. Spend the first half of the session in the tavern trying to eat yourself past your problems, then ride a horse around and craft a magic item. Then spend the second half talking about that.
Zack: You're just digging your hole deeper.
Mass Effect: Andromeda turns its nose up at the original trilogy's rigid morality. It boasts a more nuanced and intellectually compelling shades-of-grey approach in which a heart icon pops up when it's time to tell an alien to take their clothes off.
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Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.