Author: HjaltiN

The Hard Life of Privilege

I’m a straight, white male between the ages of 18-49. In the West, there simply hasn’t been invented a prejudice for us and what’s more, we’re considered the most valuable and sought after demographic in a high proportion of marketing etc. – because the averages make it clear that we are in position of privilege, have disposable income and are quite willing to spend frivolously. If you belong to almost any other group, I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced how great we have it. If you haven’t, then I’m happy for you and hope you never will. If you’re a...

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Kickstarter Watch – Strongholds, Princesses and Sensibility. Oh My…

Kickstarter has been a big boon for both players and developers alike – but it is a double-edged sword. This is the first of our monthly Kickstarter watches, where we will look at some RPG and board game products that interest us. Update: Idiot that I am, I foolishly forgot to credit fellow writer and board game editor Magnús for contributing to this article. Sorry about that. It still surprises us how much misunderstanding there is about how Kickstarter actually works and why it is a risk. The fact is that in today’s environment, whether you are developing an...

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For all you newer readers

Since the start of 2018, there has been a massive increase in traffic at Yawning Portal. With all the new eyeballs on our work, we decided to gather together in one place some of our best, some of our most popular and even some of our most controversial articles out of the first 100. If this all seems familiar then we love you. If it isn’t, then you might be one of our new readers and who knows, this might be just what you’ve been looking for. So her’s a sampling of some our best, most popular and most...

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Our 100th article – looking back on the last six months

This is our 100th article and our first editorial. Our first saw the light of day on August 3rd, so we’re slightly over the six month mark. In that half year we’ve seen quite a lot of developments.  On our tenth day, we published what is so far our most read article – on the truly incredible RPG scene in Sweden. It exploded almost immediately and perhaps gave us unrealistic hopes for our growth at the start. But it also started something of a theme with us. We are based in Iceland and understandably are very impressed by our...

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Forbidden Lands First Impressions: Character Creation

It is a late summer evening in 1988 and I’m seven. I’m lying on a sofa at my grandparents’ house in a small town in northern Iceland and I’ve been reading non-stop for hours in a book I just received. I can’t stop. Every page is more and more exciting and fills my mind with ideas, even though it’s not in my native language and I have trouble with a lot of the new and complicated terms in the book. What exciting thriller is this? It’s a battered and heavily used copy of the AD&D 1e player’s handbook and...

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Why Dragon Age II matters

This one will be a little different. What we here at Yawning Portal do is look at roleplaying games – past, present and future. We have also recently started following board games. What we have so far left alone and don’t intend to pursue are computer and video games. Sure, there has been the occasional dip of the toe into that pool but from an RPG perspective. I am an avid and lifelong video gamer, but that’s for others to write on. However… There is something about a noted and very popular video game series that has really stuck...

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Sometimes, D&D just isn’t it

We Yawners haven’t been around all that long but one thing has become very, very clear. It is a hell of lot harder to get eyeballs on articles that are not D&D related. Our D&D pieces get a lot of attention, a lot of views and considerable response. When we write on other games, we simply can’t attract the same attention. The difference is almost exponential. And, sure, that isn’t shocking or surprising. Dungeons and Dragons has been around since the 70’s and has in that time pretty much always been the most popular thing going, often by a...

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You must have faith – or do you?

I have never believed in a higher power. The same applies to most of my family. In fact, here in my native Iceland we have one of the highest proportions of atheists in the world, despite not having separation of church and state. But I respect whatever faith anyone has and am not out to convert anyone. I expect the same from others. At the gaming table, things are different. The gods are very real and their influence is felt. In many fantasy RPG’s and especially in D&D and its offspring, the gods are omnipresent and their agents are...

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Starfinder: First Glance – Alien Archive

All right, I’ll just say it. This post was meant to published three months ago. That’s a quarter of a year. A long time. There’s a lot of reasons, most of them personal, but in that time when I’ve paged through the Alien Archive I have repeatedly changed my mind on what to make of it. So, yeah, I apologise for that. Anyhoo, on to the meat of the matter. To make a long story short, Starfinder’s Alien Archive is effectively its Monster Manual or Bestiary but with a pretty big twist. There are extensive rules on how to...

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Nobody ever forgot the Realms

It’s been more than 30 years now since the Forgotten Realms setting was released (the beloved Grey Box) and more than 50 since Ed Greenwood originally started working on his vast fantasy world. It was an instant hit, is almost certainly the most popular fantasy world in existence (absolutely the most played one) and is now the default world of D&D. There can be no simple discussion of this giant and so we elected to make this a round table. But first some context and history. Ed Greenwood started creating the fantasy world of Faerûn, set on the planet...

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