First published: March, 2003. Posted Online: May 11, 2006.
There goes the neighborhood. The latest D&D rules broke the barriers for nearly every sentient monster to become a player character, so why wouldn’t they? Given a choice, most people would gravitate toward higher civilization. Except George Bush, who was Deciding to invade Iraq when this came out. And so, the adventure proved to be an empty hypocritical sham, and no evil magical weapons were ever found.
This is technically the penultimate Classic Episode, for one more was published by Valkyrie, but in every other way, this is where the original strip comes to an end. The characters have said all they’re likely to say about early-edition roleplaying games, and with d20 OGL, there’s no unassailable authority to make a beating grond. The reign of the Gygaxian Overlords has passed into the mists of time, and it’s accepted that we all are capable of devising our own set of rules. Insofar as this measure of egalitarianism is concerned, we won. Good game.
Of course, like d20 itself, any path of empire or globalization– even one with (an unlikely) benign intent– disrupts ways of life and the sensibilities of individuals. Simply, people lose touch with how to understand the world. Do people really feel they are defined by a “core class”, and what does that implicate? Why is so much magic military in intent and practice? How can a society not be rent asunder by unequal access to healing? And what happens to your economy when you can no longer rely in getting easy money out of a hole in the ground?
These deeper questions are what the new Yamara series, The Working Title War, hopes to address. It will run Thursdays, beginning next week with the “Yamara’s Dreme” episode that’s been up since August. While there’s a lot of serious business to cover, never fear, we’ll still find room for the gamer jokes. But gamer jokes alone can no longer constitute a reason to exist. A deeper question still.
It’s unlikely warfare can be abolished, but neither has it always existed. Just as the era of dungeon crawling must come to an end for a fantasy world, so too there must have been a time before the labyrinths were ever dug. Those that were exiled to them long ago now return. Whether this creates a field of battle or a picnic of prodigal siblings will be the measure of us all.