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The future of the Western role-playing game

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. Here in November, we're nearing the end of the current console generation, as the Wii U kicks off the next gen by...

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Kickstarting (and not Greenlighting) traditional RPGs

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. The rise of indie gaming has been fantastic for platformers, good for adventures and strategy games, great for...

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How RPGs colonized some of 2012's best games

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. 2012 may not be remembered as a fantastic year for pure western role-playing games (especially without a Skyrim to...

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How Torchlight 2 gets character progression so right

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. Here's the moment I realized I loved Torchlight 2: It's the screenshot right above this. This is an Engineer. He's...

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What gives role-playing games their longevity?

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. Ask an RPG fan for a recommendation, and you are perhaps as likely to hear about a game that's a decade old as you...

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What makes a classic RPG? Everything!

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. In the past few weeks, I've noticed a few different sources that have used isometric perspective as an indicator of...

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Time, space and Guild Wars 2

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. I suppose that people wouldn't complain about massively multiplayer RPGs all seeming the same if they didn't all...

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RPG combat: Tanks, threat and aggro, oh my

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. On the surface, the last 10 years of role-playing games have not been momentous. Skyrim looks much more like...

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The controversial, unbalanced narrative of Dragon Age 2

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. Dragon Age 2 is one of the most controversial role-playing games of recent years. Highly anticipated after the...

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Gold Boxes for a Golden Age of RPGs

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. Strategic Simulations Inc.'s "Gold Box" series of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games were one of the biggest...

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