Jul 312014
 

Topic - In this episode, we talk about reward mechanics, loot, and ways to make them interesting in game.

Hosts - Dan, Mack, Steve, and Lucas

 

 

 

 

 

Media -  Be sure to check out and support the Tsunamicon Kickstarter, a National level gaming convention based in Wichita, Kansas and being organized by our sister podcast, Metagamers Anonymous.   Only good things can come of this……..

Tsunamicon Kickstarter
Tsunamicon.org
Tsunamicon Facebook

 

 

 

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Aug 012013
 

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Hosts - Dan, Bryan, Steve, Tyler, Mack

Topic - In this episode, our intrepid hosts tackle some questions and comments from our listeners, for better or worse.  Also, we announce our “Gamestore Weirdos” contest.

Notes - The Pathfinder book that was mentioned in this episode is actually  Ultimate Campaign my apologies for the oversight!

Be sure to enter our “Game Store Weirdos” contest….. find out more at http://carpegm.net/contest/

 

 

Hear more of The Cold Stares and purchase their music at CD Baby!

Like The Cold Stares?  Find out more:

on their website http://www.thecoldstares.com/

on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thecoldstaresmusic

on Twitter https://twitter.com/thecoldstares

Purchase their latest album “A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind” on CD Baby ~ http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thecoldstares2

 

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Jun 042013
 

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Hosts - Dan, Steve, Bryan, Mack, Tyler

Topic- In this episode, we discuss the usefulness (or lack thereof) of alignments in RPGs, their applications, and explore what our own alignments would be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help Support These Animals and Their New Album - Pages!

Notes - The music for this episode is “Souvenir” by ‘These Animals”

Many thanks to them for allowing us to share their music!

 

Find out more about this band:

On Reverb Nation –  http://www.reverbnation.com/theseanimals
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/theseanimals?sk=app_2405167945
Twitter - https://twitter.com/TheseAnimals
or on their website - http://theseanimals.com/index.html

 

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Apr 122013
 

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Hosts - Dan, Bryan, Steve, Mack

 

 

Topic - In our first ever Listener Episode, we settle in for a fantastic, and sometimes heated, conversation about ways that character creation can change the canon of your game world.  The topic was provided by our listener, Matthew Parody, from the Probably Questionable Podcast.  Matthew wasthe winner of  his own episode during our rating and review raffle, and has the distinction of being the fist person that I let my co hosts talk to!  The conversation was lively, and there’s no doubt, we will do it again.  Enjoy!

 

 

Media - 

Men At Arms Hobbies Inc (Facebook)
Midtown Comics
Iron Kingdoms | Privateer Press
D&D Next Playtest – Wizards of the Coast
Robot Chicken Star Wars
Probably Questionable
IPA Comedy (YouTube)
The Burningmoore Incident (2010) – IMDb
Nerdist
Harmontown

 

 

Buy Maple Ridge by Swear and Shake

The music for this episode was provided by:

Swear and Shake

You can find more of their work at:
http://www.facebook.com/swearandshake
http://www.youtube.com/swearandshake
http://www.reverbnation.com/swearandshake

 

 

 

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Mar 292013
 

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Hosts - Dan, Mack, Steve, Bryan, Tyler

Topic - In this episode, the hosts explore the idea of character death, whether or not if it matters, and how it factors into our games, our game design, and what we do when it occurs.

 

 

 

 

 

Media - 

RPG Circus | The Greatest Show In Gaming(Podcast)
NPC CAST | Your place for face to face games(Podcast)
Blizzard Entertainment:StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
New 52 Batman – Batman News
RPPR Actual Play | Role Playing Public Radio
The Death and Return of Superman – YouTube (NSFW)

Notes - I’ve checked them out, and NPC Cast not only exists, they’ve got a really good podcast!  Make sure to check them out!

The music for this episode is provided by:
Captain Carl’s Tuesday Nite Blues Band
Find more from these wonderful musicians….
On Facebook
On ReverbNation

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Mar 012013
 
otyugh

Wow, it even has an otyugh. Wait, what the hell is an otyugh?

After an extended break, rules and tables that were once etched in your mind are perhaps not so easily recalled. Cracking open the old books can be like rediscovering some lost knowledge from an ancient tome. After the dust settles what lingers is a nostalgia and invigoration from thumbing through page after page of the beloved core books. The Monster Manual has that sense of grandness once more.  A new creature and idea to test and torment your players lurks on every page.

Indeed, as with any DM worth their weight in copper pieces, it is important to spend time familiarizing yourself with the rules and creatures at your disposal. However, I think it to be of equal importance to spend time crafting a story and preparing a narrative. In my humble opinion, the biggest challenge of the DM is to be entertaining. If your players are not engaged, then everything you’re trying to build will crash down around you.

As mentioned in my first entry, I prefer to make an effort to create an extensive backstory for each character. I think that this is paramount in the successful immersion of the player into the character. If your players have a sense of depth, it becomes easier to imagine the character and perceive it as being the hero or villain they desire.  That is truly what players want to play. Players want to have a taste of grandeur. After all, this is fantasy.  No one wants to be average in a game. We all have plenty of time to do that in real life.

So as stated previously, when it came time to making characters for the impending adventure, the first thing I set about doing was shaping each character one on one with their respective players.  My friend Joe established early that he had wanted to play a rogue because that was something different than he had played before. In fact, most of the party was of limited playing experience and so the idea of them all trying something new was appealing. The point of a Role Playing Game is to act as your character, not as yourself. D and D shouldn’t just be about the hack and slash element of rolling dice. The creation of an interesting personality can be an equally if not more satisfying experience.

I don’t expect Shakespearean subtlety or the Oscar worthy intensity of Daniel Day Lewis, but my players actually have to play their role.

When each character was being rolled, I would store pieces of information about each character for ideas for the overall story. You never know what can spark a great wrinkle for the campaign. A magical item that the characters had, or a certain attribute being considerably low. For example, Ulderic, the ranger of the group has a very low charisma, and a long forgotten stat called comeliness (only used in forms of 1st and 2ndedition, yeah I’m old school) which we determined was because of a physical deformation. His face is horribly scarred from a harrowing encounter with a giant black bear. This same story became the idea behind the nickname of the character and his current garb. He is adorned in the beast’s pelts and is known as Ulderic the Blackbear.

This is the most ridiculous example of an extremely high comeliness.

This is the most unfortunate example of an extremely low comeliness. However, Tiny Tim is an 8th level bard and that’s not too shabby.

 

That is really only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to these stories. And that, my friends, is the point I’ve been working towards. The smallest aspect can spark a multitude of story ideas and that is the essence of creating an entertaining campaign that your players can’t wait to play. The more depth, the grander the narrative, the more your players want to see where the adventure takes them. And that’s the terrifyingly fun part of being the DM, it’s up to you to get them there.

Nov 112012
 

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Hosts - Dan, Steve, Mack, Tyler, Bryan

Topic - In this episode we discuss some concepts of character generation, reasons for creating new characters, and how we decide what types of characters to play.  Included in this episode is also the first installment of our newest segment, Gamecast Games.

(:45) What’s on our horizon

(19:00) Character Generation

(22:58) How do you start character creation

(35:26)  Why do you create new characters

(40:30) How much of a part does emulation play in your character creation

(56:37) Gamecast Game - 2 True

Media - 

Batman Heroclix set
Clix For a Cure
HC Realms
Assasin’s Creed III
Taken (2008) – IMDb
GURPS (RPG)
Dungeons and Dragons (RPG)
Pathfinder (RPG)
Marvel Heroic Roleplay (RPG)
Mutants and Masterminds (RPG)

Bryan Supported – Punch Quest (App)

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Oct 222012
 

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Hosts -Dan, Tyler, Bryan, Mack

Topic - In this episode, we answer(?) another listener email.  We also discuss the sci-fi genre  (What is sci-fi and what isn’t?).

We then spend a little time talking about the sub-genres of sci-fi, and close the episode out with a campaign idea from Mack.

(2:40) Another listener email!!! Keep ‘em coming!!

(20:48) The sci-fi breakdown

(42:07) Sub-genres

(47:23) An homage to the Steve moment

(56:47) Mack’s game concept

Media - 

MTG: Return to Ravnica
iTunes review
Please feel free to leave one while you’re there!
Critical Hit (podcast)
RPPR Actual Play (podcast)
Sammy and the Punk
Legend (RPG) (Rule of Cool.com)
Pathfinder (RPG)
GURPS (RPG)
QAGS (RPG)
PDQ (RPG)
Don’t Rest Your Head (RPG)
Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: the Roleplaying Game
Toon (RPG)
Savage Worlds (RPG)
Mutants and Masterminds (RPG)
Hero Games
Margaret Weis Productions
Cloverfield (2008) – IMDb
Super 8 (2011) – IMDb
Fringe (TV Series 2008– ) – IMDb
Mac and Me (1988) – IMDb
Paul (2011) – IMDb
Isaac Asimov (Wikipedia)
Shadowrun (RPG)
Toilet paper dispenser Ipod dock
The Fifth Element (1997) – IMDb
Surrogates (2009) – IMDb
Johnny Mnemonic (1995) – IMDb
Borderlands 2
Firefly (TV Series 2002–2003) – IMDb
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (TV Series 1993–1999) – IMDb
Cowboy Bebop (TV Series 1998– ) – IMDb
Red Dwarf (TV Series 1988– ) – IMDb
^This is really still on?!?^

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Sep 272012
 

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Hosts - Dan, Bryan, Mack, Tyler, Steve

Topic - In this episode, we discuss ways to keep your game group engaged when there has been a significant change in scheduling,and we answer(?) a listener email.

(:44) On our horizon

(11:19) Game savers

(21:03) EMAIL!!

 

 

Media-

 

 D&D Next playtest
Metagamers Anonymous
Heroes of Newerth
League of Legends
TMNT 2 (IMDb)
IDW Publishing
Lasagna Quattro Formaggi
Obsidian Portal
Happy Jack’s RPG Podcast
Savage Worlds
Martha Stewart tv movie (IMDb)
Star Wars Saga Edition
Traveller (Mongoose)
GURPS
Prime Directive RPG
Rogue Trader
Battle Fleet Gothic
Spelljammer (apparently, people still play this)
Hackmaster
Scumbag Shang Tsung

Mack Supported Shai-Hulud (Wikipedia)

Notes - Because of a pressing schedule, a late start, and tangential (yet substantive) discussions, we did not quite make it to to our topic in this episode.  Stay tuned…the Sci Fi episode is coming!

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Jul 302012
 
vanitas

 

Metagamers Anonymous

Metagamers Anonymous is a young podcast that I discovered while sifting for gold on iTunes.  Lo and behold! I found it.  These guys, and girl, are knowledgeable, well spoken, and creative.  Their bi-weekly podcast has become one that I find myself waiting for.

A little while ago, I wrote them an e-mail, I’m posting it here for all to see…

In previous episodes, you’ve brought up the concept of “organic 
roleplaying,”and, indeed, this seems to be a key principle in your own game
play.  While this is a valuable tool around the game table to be sure, I feel
that “organic roleplaying” tends to reward those on the player’s side of the
screen more often than the GM.

Now, before you send me a “Dear listener, Please go [smurf] yourself” letter,
please allow me to explain.

Most of the time, players are experiencing the game world and all of it’s events
through the eyes one character.  This means that every bit of role-playing
energy that the player puts into the game is being used to define the emotions,
attitudes, actions, and reactions of one individual, as opposed to the GM, who
is responsible for what goes on in the heads, hearts, and hands of everyone else
in the game world.  Because of this, it’s more difficult for a GM to become as
deeply rooted in one character’s persona than it is for the players.

So what then, does a GM get out of a game with “organic roleplayers?…”

…The opportunity to take advantage of another gaming concept…”dynamic
storytelling.”

While a GM may be hard pressed to get down to the nuts and bolts
of every NPC’s emotion and motivation, he can use every descriptive tool at his
disposal to create a vibrant and immersive world around the PCs.  The GM’s reward
for having good roleplayers is that he can tell a story and be confident that
his players will pull every but of excitement and fun out of any tale he tells.
It’s my point of view that, the more believable and dynamic the world and it’s
inhabitants, the more fulfilling the game.

That’s the concept that’s been bouncing around on the ping pong table of my mind
lately… player immersion.  If immersion is the ball, then “dynamic
storytelling” and “organic roleplaying” are the paddles.  It’s been my
experience that, while player immersion is a simple thing to define, it is not always
an easy thing to execute.

So here is my purely hypothetical question:

Which is more important to achieving player immersion, organic roleplay, or dynamic storytelling?

Once again, great show!  Looking forward to the discussion.

The on-air responses and discussion can be found on Metagamers Anonymous Episode #7.

With the exception of their divulging of a weird furniture fetish, admitting to using Facebook in a manner in which, I’m sure, Mark Zuckerburg never intended, and something about a gazebo,  the discussion went pretty much as I expected.  Some tug o’ war occurred between the two sides, both with valid points.  However, ultimately, I think they came to the same conclusion that I did….

RPGs take place, almost exclusively, through the cinematography of the minds eye. Therefore, a GM can “dynamically” tell a story until his lungs collapse, but, if he does not have receptive players, he may as well be reading them a grocery list.  Conversely, a good organic player can allow his or her character take the wheel, steer, and  role-play Tic-Tac-Toe if they set their mind to it.

But we’re talking about immersive role-playing.  Throw out the dice and rules, and you get down to the quick of what our hobby is about…

playing make believe.

In the imagination of a child, it’s easy for a pencil to be a dragon-smiting holy sword, or a small patch of dirt in the backyard to transform into an arid wasteland that travelling heroes must cross to save the world.  While a good GM can keep his players well stocked with pencils and dirt, he can’t give his players the sight to see them for what they really are.  Only the child inside can make full use of such valuable tools.  Children are, hands down,  the most immersive gamers, even if they aren’t as refined and rules saavy.  We were all there at one time.  As role-players, most of us strive to reach, in our games, that point of full immersion we used to achieve so effortlessly as children.  With that goal in mind, we’ve quantified every aspect of “make believe,” and in turn, those rules and the fiddly bits of whatever system we may be playing, can keep some of us rooted in the world in which we exist, while the immersive gamer soars in the world that they imagine.

It seems to me that player immersion exists with or without dynamic storytelling and organic role-playing, these concepts just help us achieve it by giving our inner 9 year old more things to play with.

With that bit of conjecture, I must go.  But, you can all rest easy tonight, as I have recently purchased a new pencil sword and, as soon as I don my beach towel cloak, I’m off to save the world…..again.

- The Nondenominational GM

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