John Darnielle, the singer/guitarist of the acclaimed indie band the Mountain Goats, has never hidden his nerdy inclinations. Even his 2014 novel debut, Wolf in White Van, was a mesmerizing downward-spiral descent into the maddening mind of a disfigured man who runs mail-order tabletop RPG games from his bedroom. As a musician, his band had previously released "concept albums" (of a sort) loosely themed around such things Biblical verses, Goth bands, and professional wrestling—so it was only a matter of time before the Mountain Goats put out a self-proclaimed "dragon noir" record, in the form of 2019's "In League With Dragons."
(Or, as the ever-delightful Hard Times put it, "Mountain Goats Make Second Album In a Row About People Who Don’t Get Enough Sun.")
To celebrate the new album (which is excellent, by the way), Darnielle sat down with Vice to play a Dungeons & Dragons campaign loosely inspired by his own album, including a a red dragon and a wizard king who craves clemency. (The album also features songs about Ozzy Osbourne and cadaver-sniffing dogs, but alas, these are absent from the game). Along the way, Darnielle shares his thoughts on storytelling and D&D in general, and the catharsis we can find through communal fantasy gaming.
During the video, Darnielle is also gifted a custom figurine which is so eerily accurate that I'm pretty sure it's actually a voodoo doll. I fully plan to steal this artifact to force him to cover more Fall Out Boy songs for me.
Redditor Inuyasharuls is a Dungeon Master who runs campaigns for several players with dyslexia. With help from another Redditor and gamer, Axelle123, they created this colorful character sheet alternative, using Comic Sans instead of the standard font found on D&D materials, to make life easier for everyone. Or, well, maybe not everyone, but still for […]
First Quest was an all-exclusive campaign for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Released in 1985, the campaign map and other documentation came packaged as the insert to an epic ambient synth soundtrack meant to score the mission through the hobgoblin kingdom (interspersed with bits of narration, of course). Blogonomicon has more info if you’re interested in actually […]
Wizards of the Coast have already launched their “Stay at Home, Play at Home” free gaming resource for the Dungeons & Dragons system. But while you’re getting your campaign in order — and if you already have access to a 3D-printer — you can take your remote gaming to the next level with these free printable […]
Unless you’re a regular cannabis user, you might be surprised to learn that the plant itself is basically just that — a plant. It’s not until you put cannabis under high heat that the process of decarboxylation breaks down that raw form into the psychoactive compounds that can actually benefit the body. This unlocking process […]
With our smartphones serving as the vital tether that links us to the rest of our lives, it’s no wonder how low batteries and power emergencies can occasionally feel like a life-and-death situation. I mean, it’s usually not, of course…but darned if it doesn’t feel that way when your indicator is showing only 5 percent […]
For all their amazing growth over the past 25 years, the most impressive thing about the monumental rise of Amazon might be the speed and sophistication of their lightning-fast delivery network. Sometimes it doesn’t even take 24 hours for the idea you ordered to be perched right on your front porch, ready for use. The […]