Rascal domain expansion: alternative. independent. roguelike.

Introducing the newest tabletop roleplaying game outlet from three writers who don’t know how to do anything else.

Rascal domain expansion: alternative. independent. roguelike.

First, thank you for being here. We’re thrilled you decided to stop by. 

Next, introductions. Rascal is helmed by three disaffected, bardpunk journos; Lin Codega, Rowan Zeoli, and Chase Carter. If you’re here because you love tabletop roleplaying games, actual plays, or labor rights, you might have read our work before. The three of us have been covering tabletop games for years across sites like io9, Polygon, and Dicebreaker and we have loved doing it. 

Which is why we’re here. We want to continue to cover tabletop roleplaying games, and the industry, fandom, and finances that make up the TTRPG ecosystem. But we need your help. 

If you haven’t heard, journalism is in a hard way right now. Since the start of 2024, there have been layoffs across the industry at some of the biggest, most well-known, and well-established names in the news game. And it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. 

There is one mode of journalism that seems to be gaining popularity and sustainability; the independent, remote, worker-owned newsroom. When Defector made headlines they proved it could be done. Hell Gate followed, and they showed there was a desire for hyper-specific reporting. 404 Media, with its four-person team and a firehose of breaking reports demonstrated that people will pay for deeply investigated work. And finally, Aftermath is helping pave the way for reader-supported enthusiast media. 

So the three of us–laid off, unemployed, underemployed–banded together like the most ragtag bards-only adventuring party you’ve ever seen and decided… Fuck it. We have no money, no investors, and no other choice. We have to build a new kind of outlet that serves its writers, its readers, and the industry it reports on. Rascal is being developed from the ground up with nothing but a can-do attitude, queer audacity, and the support of you, our readers. And if we don’t do it, nothing like this will exist. 

Rascal’s Mission

Rascal is a tabletop roleplaying game and culture outlet striving to sustainably publish voicey journalism that is compelling, deeply-reported, and fearlessly honest. We’re also a little cheeky.

Our tagline, “Alternative, Independent, Roguelike” embodies the kind of work we’ll be doing and our ethos. We’re not the only option, we’re an alternative. We’re fully worker-owned, and entirely independent not controlled by anyone but ourselves, with zero strings attached to VCs, advertisers, or investors. Roguelike pays homage to Rogue, the first text-based game that utilized a computer to randomly generate dungeons. We aim to put up new work every day, to be slightly unpredictable, and do things a little differently. Check out our about page and our FAQ for more info. 

The rascals will be writing reviews, commenting on cultural moments, interviewing designers, writers, performers, and even politicians. We will have deeply reported investigations alongside data journalism and opinions. Rascal will also stay on top of breaking news, and, if appropriate and verifiable, we will write about it. You can view our ethics, standards, and disclosures here.

Right now, most of our work is not behind a paywall, but behind a “members-only” wall. This means you don’t have to become a subscriber to read a lot of our work that’s already up, but you will need to give us your email. We want to have more articles available to the general public, but we need to get our numbers/proven readership up in order to get our foot in the door and be given access to various opportunities, such as press passes at conventions. We hope that if you can’t support us financially you can show your support by being a part of our email list.

One of Rascal’s guiding principles is sustainability. We want to be able to found an outlet that will allow us to survive and continue in our chosen careers. Part of that will come from our own commitment to helping foster new, emerging, and marginalized writers. We have plans to open up both a contributor program and a fellowship program. The former is a traditional freelancer agreement, the latter is a community-supported grant that will allow one writer to work with the Rascal team for an extended period of time to deliver a piece of writing that wouldn’t be able to exist anywhere else. We will announce when our contributor access and fellowship programs open. If you’re curious about writing for us, check out this page.

We want to break news with a critical and analytical lens rather than rush to be the first to write about a story that dozens of others might have already covered. So more than just writing the news stories of the day, we want to do good work, to a high level of editorial standards, and with a clear focus on writing stories that serve the community. Our goal is to publish two to three pieces every day of the week, which will include breaking news, lists, and other reaction essays that allow us to show our personality and our interests while also serving our readership. 

On top of all that, we don’t want to lose our voice. We’re a little biting, a little sarcastic, slightly cheeky, and more often than not, deeply earnest. We care about games so much. Genuinely, Rascal, above all else, cares about tabletop games and this industry. We’re not jaded, we wouldn’t be here if we were. Instead, we’re hopeful. We’re optimistic. We see what’s happening in the scene–the new designers, games, actual plays, the fandoms, and we see a hobby that is thriving and refusing to let corporate interests control the narrative. We’re here with you, and we can’t wait to see what you do. 

This is just the beginning

Right now, Rascal is in its soft launch stage. We’ve spent three months talking and planning this out, and we’ve decided the best way to learn is to jump in. During our soft launch period we will guarantee three stories a week, with breaking news sprinkled on top. We’re aiming for this to last about a month, give or take. We’re doing this to get a handle on our pacing, our work days, and how we as a team mesh together. It’s our ultimate goal to publish 10 stories a week, including breaking news. All things considered, this is a slower pace than your average news outlet, but still pushing us as writers to deliver compelling stories that are both analytical and additive. 

We are also restricting the number of newsletters we’re offering during our soft launch. Right now, we’re only allowing people to sign up for two newsletters: the Fanfare—a weekly breaking news and announcement newsletter—and the Discourse—a weekly roundup of our best stories, introduced by a different rascal who will explain why they love the stories featured. We hope to incorporate two additional newsletters: a daily version of the Fanfare and Lay it on the Table, a single-article newsletter which will feature a Party and Paragon subscription benefit.

Eventually, we will also be opening up a free-to-the public announcement section, where we will solicit press releases from members of the TTRPG industry. Upcoming crowdfunding campaigns, new AP seasons, call for award entries, and even job postings will be published in this segment of the site. We are still working out how this is going to work, so bear with us. In the meantime, send your press releases to press@rascal.news. We’ll take care of it from there.

Want to support us? 

Thank you. Genuinely. We understand that every subscription is a show of faith from every individual. The easiest way to support us is to subscribe.

You can also make a one-time donation via Stripe.

If you’re a member of a business, collective, or publishing press that wants to purchase multiple accounts on one credit card, get in touch with Lin and they’ll help you out. 

The rascals promise to write stories that will ensure our teeth and pens stay sharp. 

We will focus on the stories worth telling and the stories worth spending time on. We even have a few pieces ready for you to read right now; read Rowan’s review of Faster Purple Worm, Kill! Kill!; check out Lin’s interview with author and journalist Stu Horvath; don't worry about Chase, he's pulling double duty. Expect his first banger to drop next week.

Thank you for sticking around. We sincerely hope that you join us. 

And if you’ve got a story you think we’d be interested in, email us at tips@rascal.news. We’re ready to go to work.