A Fun Fall Awaits Fans of Fantasy

A golden age of high fantasy is upon us, so grab your gear as we delve into the latest media


Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous ©2021 Developed by Owlcat Games

John Moore, Managing Editor

If you’re a fan of fantasy, life is good, and it’s about to get even better. Whether your thing is tabletop games, digital games, literature, movies or television, there’s a dragon’s hoard of fantasy goodness out now, and more headed our way in the coming months and years.

           Tabletop roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder and Warhammer 40,000 are enjoying a renaissance with fans both young and old, as their rulesets continue to be refined and updated for a new generation of fantasy role players. The popularity of live-streamed roleplaying campaigns like Critical Role has cemented the rise of swords and sorcery in the mainstream. And the level of detail available with today’s miniatures makes visualizing tabletop campaigns easier than ever.

           Speaking of campaigns, if you’re a fan of classic D&D tabletop adventure modules, you should know about Goodman Games, a West Coast hobby shop that’s putting out phenomenal hardcover reissues of some of the best ever, such as The Temple of Elemental Evil. Updated with current 5e rules and replete with historical background information, you even get high-quality scans of the original module versions. Not for those light on coin of the realm, these premium quality tomes are a fantastic find for any collector of early D&D content.

           While the tabletop is where many of these franchises and their incredibly detailed worlds began, they’re thankfully no longer confined to dimly lit basements and dining room tables. Triple-A video game titles such as Dungeons & Dragons’ Baldur’s Gate 3 and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous are ushering in a new era of isometric computer games with modern graphics and jaw-dropping amounts of content; hundreds of hours of main storylines and side quests await intrepid digital adventurers.

           Nowhere is the popularity of high fantasy more on display than television. The gargantuan success of HBO’s Game of Thrones has led to a bumper crop of incoming new series, including House of the Dragon (HBO), The Lord of the Rings (Amazon), The Wheel of Time (also Amazon), and the second season of The Witcher (Netflix), with numerous other series and mini-series in the works.

           Hollywood has never been one to miss out on the latest trends in consumer viewing habits, so look for more fantasy-themed fare as we head into 2022 and beyond. While there aren’t many movies officially announced, Paramount Pictures is gambling big on the resurgence of fantasy and D&D in particular with the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons movie.

           Last but certainly not least, books have long been the easiest way to teleport into a new fantasy realm, and this holds true today. The gender and ethnic balance found in modern fantasy is noteworthy and encouraging, with some of the best new fantasy coming from women — Jenn Lyons’ A Chorus of Dragons series and Susan Dennard’s The Witchlands series — as well as international authors such as Tomi Adeyemi, who skillfully weaves modern undercurrents of racism and oppression with magical fantasy in her page-turning Legacy of Orisha series.

           There are so many more incredible worlds for fantasy fans to explore these days, it’s a shame I could only focus on a few of the more popular and recognizable ones. If you have a favorite fantasy world you think our readers (and I) should know about, please let us know in the comment section. Be well and go happily!

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