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

July 9, 2019  

This week's topic is a sort of follow-up to our latest episode in our Ten Commandments series, except it's also entirely City On A Hill Gaming's fault, we promise! We're talking about how to make treasure and wealth in your games exciting and unique without surrendering the player characters' moral high ground as they acquire it. We also talk briefly about Krissi's Innocents game (and the excellent job she's doing as she takes the GM seat for the first time.)

Our Patreon question this week comes from Paige Lowe, who asks: "What media has been your biggest gaming inspiration?" We actually struggled with this question a bit, so—good question!

After our Scripture reading, we dive headlong into this massive topic. After a couple quick rules, we talk about actually having people pay the player characters a good wage for their work (and how to make that work into good adventures); finders fees and Peter's moment of moral panic upon finding a treasure; natural or naturally-created sources of wealth; locations and lost items; "finders-keepers"; fines and the privileges of power (and some morally-grey issues that naturally arise); mythic gifts and artifacts; customizing your treasure and changing its appearance; favors; and collaborating with your players. Oh, and Jenny's secret elliptonic library that's a perfect example of everything we talk about in this episode.

Mentioned in this episode: Fungi that draw gold from their surroundings; Bad King John's lost treasure; a cache of wallets from the 1940s; and the very silly 5/5/2000: Ice - The Ultimate Disaster.

Scripture: 2 Kings 13:20-21, Proverbs 22:16, Matthew 6:19-21, Matthew 20:1-16

June 25, 2019  

Bryan and Mike from the Geek at Arms podcast join us this week to talk about the unwritten rules at our gaming tables (and elsewhere in our lives!) Geek at Arms is an excellent, thoughtful podcast in the geeky faith space and we're delighted to have two of its three hosts on this episode. Both shows' members have also been appearing on other podcasts as well: Peter was on a delightfully fun bonus episode of City on a Hill, featuring Feng Shui 2 and drink tables TO THE FACE. Meanwhile, Bryan was on an episode of the Retro Rewind Podcast talking about Cowboy Bebop! Make sure to subscribe to their show (and follow them on Twitter.) And if you're looking for a good cause to donate to, check out Hope Fostered as well, per their request!

Our Patreon question this week comes to us from Shawn Stauffer, who asks a simple question: "What did you have for lunch?" This turns out to be a more delicious answer than anticipated.

After our Scripture readings we break down the unwritten rules everyone has at the table—assumptions, inherited rules, group mores, and all the rest. If you've always assumed rules like "no PvP," "don't split the party," or "put your tax money on Free Parking," then this is the episode for you! Plus, we get a good rundown of Bryan's and Mike's GMing rules, and a quick aside from Grant about bad rules at the table.

Mentioned in this episode: Peter's "Going on Tilt" blog post; Mike's "The Rules" blog post.

Scripture: Jeremiah 31:33, Psalm 119:15-16, Matthew 23:1-12

June 11, 2019  

Oh, hey, guess who's back! That's right—Grant rejoins Peter and Jenny back on the mics. (And thank you, seriously, for everyone who reached out or who prayed for me. It's really appreciated. – G.) We pick up our Ten Commandments series with the Eight Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," and since our hobby kicked off with a thief class, you might guess we have a lot to talk about! First, though, we've got a bit of podcast business, and then a surprisingly in-depth conversation about hot dogs and hamburgers thanks to Patreon supporter Richard Lorenz. Oh, and also Peter got to try Minecraft for the first time on our stream, so look forward to more of that on Friday nights!

After our Scripture reading, we start in on the surprising complexity of what is in English a simple four-word commandment. We discuss theft as a sin of commission and as a sin on omission; theft as a primary component of the classic gaming experience going all the way back to its sword-and-sorcery roots; and the curious lack of stigma thieves sometimes carry in our tabletop games. Finally, we wrap up with the positive side of the Eighth Commandment: Chrestotes and "becoming a larger person."

Mentioned in this episode: Dusk City Outlaws, and the relevant XKCD, because there's always a relevant XKCD comic for any topic.

Scripture: Exodus 20:15, Malachi 3:8-10, Leviticus 6:1-7, Romans 2:4, Romans 13:7-10

May 28, 2019  

Jenny and Peter welcome Kyle Rudge of Geekdom House and Mythos & Ink back onto the mics, this time to talk about publishing! We've a bit of news first—Grant's out for a bit due to some health issues, and that's also shaken up our gaming schedule, which means there might be an Innocents game in the works. Also, Feng Shui 2!

Our Patreon question comes from Kenning, who asks "If you got superpowers (say, basic superstrength and flight), what would you do with them?"

After our Scripture reading, we dive into the publishing business with Kyle. What's the writing process look like from the publisher's perspective? What do fair contracts look like, and what's predatory? What are some common pitfalls? What's self-publishing and crowd-funding done to the publishing industry? And what's it like trying to be a publisher appealing to geeky Christians?

For more information about Mythos & Ink, visit their website and follow them on Twitter!

Scripture: Genesis 1:1, Job 19:23-25, Proverbs 27:9, Nehemiah 8:1-3, James 3:17

May 14, 2019  

Peter and Jenny have the mics to themselves this episode, and they're talking about one of the funniest and most imaginative books of the Bible: Jonah! First, though, we take a moment to mention the unfortunate and early passing of Rachel Held Evans, a Christian writer and thinker we're all quite fond of taken from us too soon. We also have to put a call out for more questions from our Patreon supporters! And speaking of Patreon, our Patreon question this week comes from Shawn Stauffer, who asks "If you had to spend a year as any one of the characters you've made for an RPG, in their world, which would you choose and why?"

That answered and our Scripture read (including the entirety of Jonah 4, which might be the first time we've ever read an entire chapter of Scripture on this podcast) we dive into Jonah—pun intended. It's a work unlike any other in the Bible: A parodic work featuring a prophet doing his best to disobey God and being frustrated when God succeeds! It's also a work enjoining mercy and compassion over reveling in the punishment of others. Plus it's got a prophet people actually listen to; and ... did you know there's a big fish in this one?

Scripture: Jonah 1:1-3; Jonah 4:1-11; Titus 3:3-8

April 30, 2019  

Ryan Felton, GM and producer of City On A Hill Gaming, joins Grant, Jenny, and Peter to discuss creating actual play content! We've mentioned City On A Hill plenty lately, since Ryan was kind enough to invite the three of us on his show as players (and performers, as we'll discuss in this episode.) You can find Ryan and City on a Hill Gaming on Twitter at @CityOnAHillGame! Ryan also helps us answer a question from Patreon supporter John Swann, who asks about performance anxiety when sitting down to a convention game.

After our Scripture readings, we start to break down making actual play podcasts, and why Ryan decided to create City On A Hill Gaming in the first place. We also discuss why APs are important and interesting; the unique challenges of creating actual play content over analytical podcasts like Saving the Game; and the challenges of making family-friendly and near-Christian gaming content. We also go into some detail on things we as players, and Ryan as the GM, would like to do to improve City on a Hill specifically, as common traps that listeners should be aware of when creating actual play content!

Also mentioned in this episode: Hamlet's Hit Points and Beating the Story by Robin D. Laws; A Christian Gaming Podcast; Reunification by Press Pot Games; and City on a Hill "Side Quest #3" with Justin "Chivalrybean" Lowmaster (our editor!) and DMDad.

Scripture: 2 Samuel 2:6, Isaiah 6:8, Matthew 5:14-16

April 16, 2019  

It's our one hundred fiftieth episode, and we are excited! We've got a lot of people to thank, of course, and spend a couple minutes at the top of the show doing that. We've also got a touch of podcast business, and a mention of a recent episode of the Marengo Holy Happy Hour radio show that Peter appeared on to talk about gaming and Saving the Game. Finally, Grant has a specific shoutout to give to his friends Patrick and Tyler for helping with his Vampire game questions. (If you want a chance to play in their incredible games, by the way, check out The Gauntlet!) Oh, and there's an airhorn.

Our incredibly timely Patreon question comes from Kenning, who asks "What is your favorite episode of this podcast so far?"

After our Scripture readings, we start in on our topic proper: Why we love games! Our answers are mostly about stories and experiences, but also systems, community, self-exploration, and more. Naturally, we want to hear yours as well!

Also mentioned in this episode: The Miskatonic University board game; Epidiah Ravachol, A Scoundrel in the Deep, and Worlds Without Master; One Shot's actual play of A Scoundrel in the Deep; LoadingReadyRun; and Adam Koebel.

Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11, John 13:35, Acts 2:46-47, Hebrews 10:23-25

April 2, 2019  

Rev. Derek "The GeekPreacher" White joins us once again, and this time it's even more special than usual. This episode is a sort of test case for a new thing we might be doing with Derek more regularly—having Derek on to talk about specific theological topics from a geek perspective! First, though we've got a Patreon question to answer from Doug Hagler, who asks us what our individual D&D alignments are, and some Scripture we've picked out for the topic.

Then we let Derek take the lead as we discuss the unlikely sorts of heroes we see in both Scripture and in pop culture, from Moses and David to Frodo and Hawkeye. Accidental heroes, broken heroes, screwed-up heroes—we've got them all, and we're happy to talk about them!

Also mentioned in this episode: Unsong; the Critical Core Kickstarter from Game to Grow; and STG 115, "RPGs in Social Skills Therapy (with Adam Davis and Adam Johns)".

Scripture: Exodus 4:10-17, Isaiah 6:5-8, 1 Corinthians 15:2-11

March 19, 2019  

We're back with the second half of our unofficial two-parter on angels! (And yes, you can catch up with our first half here.) This time around, we're discussing how to make angels interesting in your games. First, though, we've got some business to catch up on, including GaryCon 2019 (which Peter had a great time at) and ConCarolinas 2019 (which Grant will be attending this year.) We've also got a topical Patreon question from Paige, who asks "What advice do you have for running a game at a con?"

After answering that, we read our Scripture and dive in (with a brief initial segue about Angels in the Outfield for ... reasons.) Angels as messengers, allies, and guardians! Angels as instruments of divine wrath or cosmic maintenance staff! How to portray angels in your game to make them interesting! And also, a little break to talk about the theology of guardian angels.

Mentioned in this episode: Exodus by Erika Shepherd and Party of One Podcast #168, "Exodus with Erika Shepherd"; Divinity by Erika Shepherd.

Scripture: Genesis 6:4, Numbers 13:33, Psalm 91:9-13, Matthew 2:13-15, Matthew 28:1-7, Colossians 2:18

March 5, 2019  

It's time for our Patreon-selected topic for the quarter, and this one's so big it'll take up two episodes! Our topic this week is angels, and with so much material to work with we just had to break this topic up. This episode has relatively little pure gaming content, because we had to push all of that off until next week! First, though, we talk about recording another session with City on a Hill Gaming, and Peter's side quest episode, as well as a brief note about Grant's upcoming Vampire game.

Our Patreon question this week comes from Kenning, who asks, "What is your favorite movie to talk about? Not necessarily a good movie, but an interesting one to talk about?"

After quite a lot of Scripture to read—turns out there's plenty of verses about angels!—we tackle our main topic: Angels and angelology! What even are angels? What's their purpose? What do we know about them, and from what sources? How do they appear in popular culture? And why do we care about the opinions of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite on the matter?

Mentioned in this episode: Gustav Davidson’s A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels, Gill's Exposition of the Bible, STG 110, "Spiritual Warfare (with Rev. Derek White)", Min/Max Podcast #83, "Devastation: By Kobold"

Scripture: Genesis 3:23-24, 2 Kings 6:17, Isaiah 6:1-4, Ezekiel 1:4-21, Daniel 10:5-14, Luke 2:8-14, Colossians 1:16

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