The Six Best RPG Blogs
Delving into the blogs that inspired this one…
If you’re one of the six people who reads this blog, odds are you might be willing to read more. Here are the voices I frequently turn to. The list is far more expansive, but these six are special. They’re the ones that made me envious.
They’re smart. They’re original. They’re not mine. Grab a torch, I’ll show you the way.
Bryce Lynch. His blog is filled with typos. His tastes are narrower than a razor blade. His critiques subtle like a handaxe. His blog is to prose what doctors are to horses. In summation, Bryce Lynch is the greatest adventure reviewer in the world.
Of all the voices, his is the most original and critical. It’s consistent, holistic, pragmatic, and devoid of platitudes. He reviews OSR and D&D adventures. Check him out, but keep your distance.
I met Sean McCoy years ago at Origins Game Fair in Columbus. I didn’t realize shaking his hand that we’d have a lot to agree on about death and layout, but here we are.
Sean McCoy writes the most compelling posts on failure and lethality in roleplaying games. He’s also the designer of Mothership, a sci-fi horror game. Buy the game, print it out, and sit with his blog. You’ll graduate with a degree on being torn to shreds in no time.
Game designer, reviewer, and talented cartographer, Ben Milton ascended to the OSR throne by critiquing games while making his own. The only way a person can do that without being burned at the stake is if their work is really, really good.
He’s a designers’ designer. His games are minimalist bundles of ideas. The foundation of those ideas are outlined in his “recommended reading” list on his blog. It’s like this list you’re reading right now, only more specific, and better? Better.
About half of the posts on The Alexandrian come without context, preamble, or value to you – unless of course you like reading session notes on other people’s campaigns (judgement free zone).
However, Justin Alexander has a great mind for telling narratives. His articles on investigations, city exploration, and scene-framing are masterclass. If you’re an avid player of D&D, Numenera, or Narrative games, click through his posts until you find the campaign you just ran. He ran it better.
Mentioning Jeff’s Gameblog is a right of passage for most RPG bloggers in the same way Catcher in the Rye is right of passage for teenagers – it tells people you went to school.
When I need an opinion on new trends or conversations in the hobby, I read what Jeff has to say. It helps that his opinion always outlives whatever the trend is.
“Finally,” you shout at your screen. A blog focused on Dungeons & Dragons. I could have named any number of blogs, but I chose Mike O’Shea’s because his does what the others don’t. He distills concepts down for playability and doesn’t trot the usual platitudes.
He’s also one of the few people who frequents D&D conversations but doesn’t talk like it’s the only game that exists. Excellent.
What’s next? Is there a shortlist?
Yes. This is the shortlist. On a different day they’d be able to edge out the other six (except for tenfootpole). If you like anything above, you’ll love these.
Dungeon Possum - the best fan curator of OSR and its roll-tables
Dyson’s Dodecahedron - the best cartographer on the market
False Machine - the best rpg writer letting his brain pour out
DM David - historian and essay writer for Dungeons & Dragons
WizardThiefFighter - creator of Ultraviolet Grasslands and Witchburner
Goblin Punch - a great blog about monsters and OSR challenges
As for what’s next, I think there needs to be a curated list of the best RPG youtubers. There are countless vlogs, but only a few meet the criteria for original and valuable material. If you know of any blogs that I missed or should know about, shoot me a tweet or comment below. Until then, thanks for reading.