Saving the Game A Christian podcast about tabletop roleplaying games, collaborative storytelling in RPGs, and other interesting topics

July 10, 2018  

We're back with another con report! Jenny, Peter, and friend of the show Tyler "Churcher" Denningjoin us to recap Fear the Con 2018, held June 22-23 in Brentwood, MO.

Game rundown:

  • Slot 1 (Jenny as GM; Peter; Tyler) - "SIGN: A GAME ABOUT BEING UNDERSTOOD"
  • Slot 2 (Peter; Tyler) - "DUSK CITY OUTLAWS"
  • Slot 3 (Tyler as GM; Jenny) - "CHURCHERS KICKSTARTER TRAVELLER GAME!" (The Twitch VOD can be found here. Note that it is very NSFW!)
  • Slot 4 (Tyler) - "[FATE] CAMELOT TRIGGER"
  • Slot 5 (Tyler; Jenny) - "THE SMALL TOWN OF CATTLE SKULL"
  • Slot 5 (Peter) - "LEVERAGE"
  • Slot 6 (Jenny as GM; Peter; Tyler) - "THE DECK OF MANY THINGS"
June 26, 2018  

It's a perfectly normal episode, without guests or con recaps or anything - what even is this? It's an episode about getting your feet wet as a GM, that's what! After our usual banter, including Jenny's sudden appearance in Grant's D&D game, we answer a question from Patreon supporter Shawn, who asks us about our perfect gaming room. Then we get into our main topic with a variety of suggestions for people considering running their own game for the first time.

Some resources for new GMs: Peter's "I Want To GM" blog post; Gnome Stew; Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast; Robin D. Laws's Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering; Odyssey: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management by Phil Vecchione and Walt Ciechanowski; and Matthew Colville's Running the Game series on YouTube.

Scripture: Psalm 37:30Matthew 23:11James 1:12

June 12, 2018  

It's time for another bonus episode, `cause we've got a convention to recap and gaming news to catch up on! Jenny went to Ottowa Comic Con 2018 this May, and she's got a lot of stories to tell! Aside from various panels and general geekery, she particularly liked Meeples To Go, Cardamajig's The Deck of Many (with art by Jordan Richer), Roe's Art, and Richard Dufault's collected cosplay photos at the con this year. And of course, everyone should check out Jenny's own cosplay pictures on her Twitter!

After the con recap, Grant plugs his wife Krissi and her appearances on the Gameable Saturday Morning Podcast to talk about Jem and the Holograms (Episode 45 for introduction and plot recaps, and Episode 46 for plot, setting, and character breakdowns.) He also discusses his 200 Word RPG Challenge entry (which can be read here.) Then we break down into catching up on important plot events and gaming lessons from our own games, as we try to tackle a bunch of little talking points we couldn't get to while we had guests on over the past few episodes. Enjoy!

May 29, 2018  

As foretold, once every thirty-three episodes Mike Perna of Innroads Ministries, Game Store Prophets, and Bard and Bible joins us—this time, to talk about board games! Mike takes a moment to plug TavernCon 2018 (June 9th in Warren, NJ.) We also give a bit of a shout-out (belated by the time this episode drops) to the Min/Max Podcast for hitting the one-year mark. Then we take on a question from Patreon backer "Retro Rewind Podcast" (another good podcast you should check out) about our favorite foods and the trouble we'd go to in order to eat them.

Once all that's done, we read our Scripture and start talking about board games. We focus specifically on board games close to our roleplaying focus—games with heavy story elements, or games in which there's a procedurally-generated story to enjoy—but we do roam around a bit and talk about a lot of games, so make sure to check the links below if you're interested in any of those!

Board games mentioned in this episode: OverlightGloomhavenOnce Upon A Time (3rd Edition)T.I.M.E. StoriesAlien ArtifactTwilight ImperiumThrough The AgesBarker's RowMeeple CircusFog of Love...and then we held handsStar CrossedThe GrizzledFreedom: The Underground RailroadArranged!This War of MineTales of the Arabian NightsAbove and BelowNear and FarThe Quiet YearLegend of the Five Rings: The Card GameAndroid: NetrunnerAshes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. (Phew!)

Scripture: Proverbs 11:1-3Philippians 2:3-41 Corinthians 9:24-27

May 15, 2018  

This week, we've got not one, but two special guests on the mics with us! Daniel Silver and Father David Subu join us to introduce us to Doxacon Prime 2018! Doxacon is a convention about Christian genre fiction and fandom, and it's happening November 2-3, 2018, in Washington, DC. (For more information, check out the Doxacon Prime Facebook group, and follow @DoxaconPrime and @Doxacast on Twitter.) You can also hear some recordings from Doxacon and other interviews over at Ancient Faith Radio.

Daniel and Father David have a lot more to talk about than just their awesome convention, though. First, we all chime in to respond to Patreon backer Nathanael Farley, who asks "What is your favorite (possibly indie) RPG that you think needs more love in the wider world?" (Our picks: Swords Without MasterThe Trouble With RoseAnima PrimeDialect, and ... 1st Ed. D&D. Seriously.) Then, after our Scripture readings (including our first Deuterocanonical reading from Wisdom of Sirach) our guests talk about the need for Doxacon, and how in many ways modern Christian genre fiction and fandoms are still affected by the "Satanic Panic" of the late 20th century.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:19-22; Proverbs 17:17; Wisdom of Sirach 4:20-25; Psalm 18; Hebrews 10:24-25

May 1, 2018  

Author, actor, programmer, and preacher Stephen Weese joins us for a fascinating discussion on subculture ministry! Stephen's book God Loves the Freaks: A Guide to Subculture Ministry was one of the books we read as background material for Saving the Game when we were just starting the podcast, and it was great to finally have him on our show. We covered a lot of ground in this episode, so buckle up!

Our Patreon question this week is from Nathanael Farley, who asks "Which game system do you dislike the most, and what do you LIKE about it?"

Other things mentioned in this episode: The Grave Robbers; The Exodus Adventure Game; Fear the Con 11; City on a Hill Gaming; Sister Agony's Academy.

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:4-7Mark 16:15John 13:35Galatians 3:28

April 17, 2018  

Gamer and pastor Tim Decker of Christ Community Etc in Owosso, MI joins us to talk about playing support characters in our roleplaying games, in response to the eternal complaints of players who don't want to play the cleric! We also discuss how to end a game that's stopped being fun without any hard feelings, as Grant's Fellowship group did, and the conclusion of Jenny's "moidah mystery" prequel to Keep on the Borderlands. We also spend quite a lot of time answering Patreon backer "ComposerDad", who asks whether gaming groups share the same unifying, cross-subcultural nature of churches. Once that's done, we dive deep into ways to make those "boring" support characters into something more interesting than a healbot. Enjoy!

Also mentioned in this episode: STG 95, "Hospitality".

Scripture: Exodus 17:8-13Hebrews 13:15-16Luke 10:36-37

April 3, 2018  

We're back with a surprisingly focused episode on sainthood thanks to Jenny's hard work and research! We've only a little bit of off-topic material to discuss: A quick word about the list of questions our Patrons send in, and a brief diversion to discuss Nintendo's Koi Koi game played with hanafuda cards. We also answer Patreon supporter Tom Stephens's question about the one place in the world we'd go, if we could go anywhere at all.

After that's done, it's time for a deep dive into sainthood. After all, we'd eventually like to do a full series on individual saints and important Church figures; but we figured we'd need a primer on sainthood first, and Jenny definitely provided! Her research covers what a 'saint' is, how one becomes a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic church, and much more. We also discuss the use of saints as a concept for games and worldbuilding.

Resources: The Anglican Communion's Lambeth Conference documents; other Anglican liturgical texts; and STG 107, "Relics and Holy Items". Plus, the Friends at the Table podcast Jenny mentioned!

Scripture: Psalm 16:1-3Romans 8:26-30Revelation 5:6-8 (all NASB this time)

March 20, 2018  

Due to illness, it's another short bonus episode this week; but Jenny and Peter are talking about Gideon, so it can't be all bad! Gideon's a fascinating figure from Judges 6-8, who (like so many others in Scripture) serves the Lord faithfully while remaining familiarly human. His story and character contain some very gameable elements, and we cover those here. Enjoy!

Scripture: Judges 6:11-16Judges 8:22-25

March 6, 2018  

We're back with a discussion of Christian allegory and allusion! This episode, we're mostly focusing on how this applies to settings, and especially Peter's ongoing series of setting design blog posts, since the setting he's creating is designed with allegory in mind.

First, though, we catch up a bit and talk about the games we've played! Jenny's a fan of The Grimm Forest, and talks it up quite nicely. Grant, meanwhile, has a lengthy story to tell about his five-year-old daughter, the card game she designed, and the No Thank You, Evil! "game" she ran for him.

We also answer a question from Patreon supporter "Mister X", who asks: "What do you think about bennies? A great way to help balance those days with bad luck? A new outlet for powergamers to screw with the game? Another mechanic to clutter games with mechanic-creep?" (As promised, we suggest anyone interested in checking dice math try, which is a bit opaque but very powerful.)

Scripture: Isaiah 53:6-7, Matthew 26:26-29, John 1:29-34

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