Loader image
Loader image
Back to Top


Playing D&D in the World of Avatar: The Last Airbender

I just blew though the Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix in about four days and really enjoyed this television series. If you are looking for a great TV show to binge I cannot recommend this strongly enough. To me it is clear the creator of this is a fan of Dungeons & Dragons with all the hybrid animals, which has always been a classic D&D staple originating with the owlbear. The challenge in running a D&D game in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender is a heavy on unarmed martial combat. This is easily fixed with characters either taking a level in monk or taking the feat Tavern Brawler. (The name of the feat does not mean you are limited to bar fights.) We should not get attached to how things are named unless it take us down a hole we cannot escape from. So let’s get into it further.

Gaming Has Changed My Media Expectations

Gaming media characters

Jon Heder, as the titular Napoleon Dynamite, and Aaron Ruell as Kip engage in a nerd battle in the independent film “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Arguing about media is a staple of the nerd subculture. We spend an inordinate amount of time going over our favorite shows, movies and books with a fine-toothed comb picking out small details and jabbing at each other with them, because as nerds it’s just what we do. It shouldn’t be a huge surprise, then, that my friend group is no exception to this.

I’m not going to lie, much of the time it’s my fault. I am a total killjoy to watch a movie or anime with, because I absolutely hate it when the main character does everything.

Nerdarchy at Otakon 2016 – Panel Synopsis – Victorian Japan by Sarah G. Rothman

Presenter – Sarah G. Rothman (Author of “Suicidal Samurai”)otakon anime


Attendance – Approximately 200 Anime Fans


The Otakon 2016 Panel “Victorian Japan” presented a wide range of information on the Meiji Period of Japan (1868-1912), the time in which Japanese Emperor Meiji ruled and how that distinct period has influenced Anime.


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenter Covered)

Anime based on Meiji Period – Rurouni Kenshin (taking place in the Boshin War) Laughing Under the Clouds Gin-tama (technically Edo Period, but featuring strong Meiji ascetics) Otome Yokai Zakuro Sakura Wars (steampunk alternative history, a story about a musical group who pilot steam armor to fight demons)

Video Games based on Meiji Period – Way of the Samurai 1 and 4 Total War Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai An Empire Under the Sun Victoria Dai Gyakuten Saiban (Japan Only)

Nerdarchy at Otakon 2016 – Panel Synopsis – Japanese Car Culture and Anime by LostGamers Studios

Presenter – LostGamers Studiosotakon anime

Attendance – Approximately 100 Anime Fans

The Otakon 2016 Panel “Japanese Car Culture and Anime” presented an eclectic mix of data on car culture in Japan as well as how cars are depicted various Anime series.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenter Covered)

Anime that Features Car Prominently – Speed Racer Redline Capeta EX Driver F GeGeGe no Kitarou Circuit Angel Machine Hayabasu Barbari Densetsu Gunsmith Cats

Pivotal Car Anime (Initial D) – Without a doubt the finest car anime ever produced Focused on downhill racing

Pivotal Car Anime (Wangan Midnight) – By the creators of Initial D Focused on racing the Wangan Loop (a huge circular highway surrounding Osaka)

Pivotal Car Anime (Next A Class) – A beautifully drawn anime that was fully funded by Mercedes Benz Features a group of friends chasing a magic noodle truck in a Mercedes Coupe

Nerdarchy at Otakon 2016 – Panel Synopsis – Mechapocalypse

otakon animePresenters – Members of Anime Rest Stop

Attendance – Approximately 600 Anime Fans

The Otakon 2016 Panel “Mechapocalypse” focused on a succinct history of the Mecha (Big Robot) Anime Subgenre, as well as a discussion of the current state of the genre.

Garibay Note – I attended this Panel due to my long history of Mecha Fandom, which began with playing the Miniature Combat game Battletech and the Tabletop Roleplaying Game MechWarriors. I currently enjoy Gundam Modeling (which was discussed in the Panel) and also watching modern Mecha Anime Series.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenters Covered)

Super Robots, distinct from Real Robots – Super Robots are functionally superheroes. Super Robots do whatever the story needs the robot to do. Super Robots are often powered by their Pilot’s Love or Willpower or Friendship or Angst. An example of a Super Robot Anime is Escaflowne. Real Robots are military equipment. The functionality of the robot is limited to what has been demonstrated within the story, to what has been established. (Exceptions to this are mysterious prototypes, which are foreshadowed, and then will expose a new significant power.) Real Robots are powered by energy or gravity or a rare fuel source. An example of a Real Robot Anime is Gundam.

Nerdarchy at Otakon 2016 – Panel Synopsis – Anime and Dice by Jon Barron

Presenter – Jon Barron (An Author on Tabletop Roleplaying Game “MajiMonsters”)

Attendance – Approximately 300 Anime Fans

The Otakon 2016 Panel “Anime and Dice” presented wide coverage of the Tabletop Roleplaying Games that focus on Anime.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PANEL (Synopsis of the Content the Presenter Covered)otakon anime

Early History of Dungeons & Dragons – Chainmail in 1971 Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 1980s, other companies join the fray, Gary Gygax is run out of TSR (as Jobs was run out of Apple) Today, hundreds of Tabletop Roleplaying Games Systems vie for a niche market

TSR Travails – 1996, TSR creates collectible dice game “Dragon Dice” and then later bankrupts itself on printing the expansions Bankrupted, TSR is sold to Wizards of the Coast (which is fat with cash from the unprecedented success of the genre pioneering trading card game Magic: The Gathering)

History of Modern Dungeons & Dragons Editions – 2000, 3.0 Edition 2003,  3.5 Edition 2008, 4.0 Edition (prompting a schism in the D&D Community) 2014, 5.0 Edition (a healing event in the D&D community)

Anime Based Tabletop Roleplaying Games – Mekton by Michael Pondsmith (R Talisorian), a Roll Over Target Number d10 and add bonuses system that dealt with Gundam Type Mecha (www.mektonzeta.com) Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM) by Mark C Mackinnon (Guardians of Order), a Roll Over 2dX (all polyhedrals) system with stats Body, Mind and Soul – Licenses included Sailor Moon, Dominion: Tank Police, Demon City Shinjuku and Tenchi Muyo! Ova by Clay Gardner (Wise Turtle), a Roll Over pool of d6s (add dice that are same) system Legend of the Five Rings by John Wick (of Seventh Sea fame (Alderac), a Roll Over pools of d10 (keep and total some) system – The world of which, Rokugan was brought into D&D canon Valor by Austin Mackenzie (Valorous Games), a single d10 system (combined point buy/level) MajiMonsters by Late Knight Games, a Roll Over 2d6 and 2d8 system (www.majimonsters.com)

Top 10 Anime Series When Writing Fiction for a Game | Game Master Tips -part 1

There comes a time in every anime watching, RPG playing, nerd’s life when they are inspired by their top 10 anime series.

Below are my top 10 anime series for source material and some Game Master tips when writing fiction for your worlds.

Some of the worlds lend themselves to certain styles of play and certain types of players. Keep this in mind when you are writing fiction for your world.

This list is in no particular order, just my top 10 anime series for campaign inspiration. When writing fiction I like to stay within the theme of the game that I decide to run so when I list the anime I will start off with the flavor of fantasy that fits it the best. Then go into some non-spoiler descriptions of elements within that world.

Nedarchy the NewsletterJoin and Get $9.99 in Free Digital Products from Nerdarchy the Store!