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

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 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

February 19, 2019  

Well, it was inevitable, folks: When we committed to doing a series on The Ten Commandments, we knew we'd eventually have to talk about adultery. Fair warning: This episode does talk about sex. We're not explicit or anything, but keep that in mind! First, though, we've got a few other things to talk about—specifically, Grant's D&D game in Sharn (or the lack of it) and a new Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition game he's running.

Our Patreon question this week comes from John & Ginny Swann, who ask about TORG, running a horror story within a larger campaign, and getting otherwise light-hearted players to switch emotional gears for a more serious arc.

After a lot of Scripture, we start talking about adultery and marriage. Why is "You shall not commit adultery" a commandment at all? What did adultery and marriage look like in Old Testament Israel? And how do we tell stories involving adultery without being crass (or worse?)

Also mentioned in this episode: Our Virtues & Vices series episodes on Lust and Chastity, respectively; Fear the Boot 178, "Running a horror game"; and Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters.

Scripture: Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 20:10, 2 Samuel 12:1-10, Matthew 5:27-30, Mark 2:23-27, John 8:3-11, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

 

February 5, 2019  

We're tackling a difficult and complex topic in this episode: How to roleplay characters with mental illnesses with sensitivity and grace. First, though, we've got a bit of other business to talk about, starting with our forthcoming appearances on City on a Hill Gaming (including Jenny's very cool special episode, Side Quest #4 - The Crimson In Your Veins.) Grant's also very happy to talk about his officially-started Eberron game, which went great! We also take a minute to remind everyone about our YouTube channel, which is finally updating with new episodes like this one and old episodes as we can.

Our Patreon question is from Raymond Dickson, who asks: How do you like to deal with a planned hiatus in a game (summer, scheduled surgery, travel, etc.)—not just going ahead with someone missing from the game, but putting the whole thing on hold for a bit? Unfortunately, our advice to Raymond is ... not optimistic. But we do our best!

After an enthusiastic Scripture reading, we get right into this one, starting off with a lot of caveats and notes. We then break this down into three general (and largely artificial) categories, talking about persistent and ongoing mental illnesses; temporary, acute insanities; and artificial "madnesses" brought on by the sort of external causes we encounter in genre fiction. We talk a lot about the use of these at the table, but also do our best—within our limited abilities as non-experts—to give what advice we can about helping others deal with these issues at the table and in life, too.

Mentioned in this episode: Our previous episodes on mental health with mental health experts; "spoon theory"; and Sea Lions.

Scripture: Isaiah 1:17; Matthew 25:41-43; James 5:14; 1 John 3:17-18

January 8, 2019  

With Jenny traveling for the holidays, we're back to Grant and Peter on the mics for an episode! We cover our Christmas stories and Grant's Christmas stream of the Link to the Past Holiday Randomizer, and remind our listeners about the very exciting upcoming Actual Play series we're doing courtesy of City on a Hill Gaming.

Our Patreon question this week comes from Kevin VonFeldt, who asks us about the Kickstarters we wish we'd backed, but didn't. This is also a good excuse to prompt our ever-generous Patreon supporters to send in questions like these!

Our main topic this episode is how to hack published adventure material into your game. For what was supposed to be a quick-and-easy Christmas topic, we had a ton to say about this! We briefly cover the pros and cons of adventures themselves, then start tearing down pieces of modules to explain why you might want to borrow those pieces, and how to adjust them for your own game. From maps to encounters to entire plot lines, we tackle everything you can think of—and wrap up with an idea about running entire modules in your own campaign in ways that don't detract from your own homebrew settings.

Scripture: Proverbs 22:29, Colossians 3:23-24

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