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

August 22, 2017  
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Adam Davis and Adam Johns from Wheelhouse Workshop join us to discuss how and why they use Dungeons & Dragons in social skills therapy! Their Seattle-based organization has been doing this for a couple of years now, and they've got a lot to say. (We've also worked with Adam and Adam previously on some Game to Grow content.) We also tackle a question from Patreon supporter Francisco (of the Retro Rewind Podcast) about replacing our favorite RPGs with board games in a pinch, and Grant briefly describes his trip to Electric City Comic-Con 2017 and his terrible-but-awesome decision to help his daughter get into the Pokémon TCG.

Adam and Adam then discuss Wheelhouse Workshop's work: Why RPGs in general, and D&D in particular, are useful therapeutic tools; how a game session in their offices differs from your usual tabletop session; their house rules for their games; some success stories and interesting moments; and much more. Also, we mention in passing Monte Cook Games' The Strange and Microscope, both of which are excellent games.

For more information about Wheelhouse Workshop, visit their website or find them on Twitter and Facebook.

Scripture: Numbers 23:8, Mark 2:15-17, 1 Peter 5:6-10

August 8, 2017  
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We're joined this week by Matthew Surber, who's both the Program Director at the West River Center in Maryland and a game designer affiliated with Defy Danger Adventures. We actually found Matthew through the most unlikely of sources (Reddit comments, of all things) but he turned out to be a fantastic guest! After addressing Patreon backer Tom's question about broad and narrow skills in roleplaying games, and a quick diversion from Jenny about the dangers of Canada's nuclear wildlife, we buckled down with Matthew to discuss applying counseling principles to games. Matthew's got a Master's degree in counseling and a Dungeon World game he runs for his other camp counselors; naturally, he had a lot of excellent advice to give about trust, bonds, empathy, and saying 'yes' as a GM and player.

Games mentioned this episode: Dungeon World; Beyond The Wall; Pugmire; Honey Heist; The Skeletons; Ten Candles.

Other things mentioned this episode: MegaDumbCast (MDC); Defy Danger Adventures; STG 25 with Jack Berkenstock; The Bodhana Group; Wheelhouse Workshop; and that rad Honey Heist t-shirt.

Matthew can be found on Twitter at @TheRealSurberus.

Scripture: Jonah 2:2, Psalm 119:76, Mark 2:15-17

July 25, 2017  
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Our Ten Commandments series returns with the Fourth Commandment: "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." Before we get to that, however, we have a bit of business to go over and a bit of catching up to do. We spend a little time discussing our Patreon support, since we haven't updated listeners on that in a while. Grant's learning Korean, and blogged about that a bit; and Jenny needs to issue a correction regarding the Battletech game she described in the previous episode. After all that's out of the way, though, we tackle a big question from Patreon supporter Richard, who asks us about our favorite RPG characters.

All that taken care of, we dive headfirst into the Fourth Commandment. Why is this in the list of God's commandments? What does "keep the Sabbath" actually mean, and for whom? And how does this idea of holy, restorative rest apply to our games and our lives?

Scripture: Exodus 20:8-11, Nehemiah 13:15-22, Mark 2:23-27, Acts 1:10-12

July 11, 2017  
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It's a special bonus episode this week, as Jenny and Peter recap their Fear the Con experiences! Peter also recently wrote about his very emotional slot 6 game, and if you haven't read that yet, you really should. Special thanks to everyone involved in planning and producing Fear the Con; everyone we gamed with; and everyone who helped with the charity drive for Pat this year!

Also, our apologies for any audio issues in this episode; this was recorded on a single microphone designed for one person, so there was a lot of handing the mic back and forth. (On the other hand, this was recorded on Jenny's new audio equipment, so look forward to a better sound from her on future episodes!)

June 27, 2017  
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Grant, Peter, and Jenny discuss playing characters who are much better—or much worse—at things than you yourself are! This topic was selected by our Patreon backers, whom we're very grateful for and who bring you this show every other week. First, though, we spend some time discussing Fear the Con X (which was last weekend, and which Peter and Jenny will run down next episode.) We also briefly discuss Overwatch and Dead Cells. We answer a question about wargaming from Patreon backer Kevin, and then get down to business—which includes a lengthy rant from Grant, and a surprising amount of bickering!

Mentioned in this episode: Dexter Manley; the Campaign podcast.

Scripture:Exodus 4:10, Isaiah 53:1-3, 1 Corinthians 9:22

June 13, 2017  
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Psychology researcher, professor, and LARPer Dr. Sarah Lynne Bowman joins us for a fascinating discussion of LARP and the psychology of play and roleplaying! Sarah had an enormous amount of information to pass along to us about different styles of live-action roleplay, terminology and concepts in LARP and in the psychology of play, the seeming dichotomy between tabletop and live-action play, and so much more. It's a bit less organized than many of our episodes, simply because we let Sarah take charge of much of the conversation, but we definitely think it turned out better for that! (And check below for a long list of links Sarah provided for us.)

We also answer a question from Patreon supporter Paige, who wanted to know how much time we spend each week on tabletop gaming; briefly discuss Overwatch; and mention Bottlequest, a Golden Cobra two-page LARP game we used in our recent Fellowship game as a one-shot bottle episode mechanic. Plus, a bit more information about fake beards and Fear the Con X!

For more information about Sarah, check out her website and her book, The Function of Role-Playing Games: How Participants Create Community, Solve Problems, and Explore Identity. You can also check out the Game to Grow episode we hosted, where Sarah was a guest; she's been on and hosted a few other episodes as well.

Things mentioned in this episode, or passed on after recording by Sarah:

Special thanks to Peter for editing this one while Grant was on vacation—especially given how long the episode went!

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:7, Proverbs 16:3, Luke 12:2

May 30, 2017  
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The Rev. Derek White, longtime friend of the show and known to the Internet as "The Geekpreacher", joins us once again to discuss spiritual warfare! After introducing Derek (and letting him plug GaryCon), we turn our attention to some important information about fake beards and Fear the Con. Peter and Jenny will be wearing fake beards (ridiculous, nonsensical fake beards, to be clear) to Fear the Con in support of Pat Roper (one of Fear the Boot's hosts) and his ongoing treatment for Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. We also pass on the news of a listener's new game, the KARMA RPG System, funding on IndieGoGo.

With that taken care of, we address a question from Patreon supporter Francisco (of the Retro Rewind Podcast) about our favorite psalms, and any we might have memorized. (Turns out at least half of us really like Psalm 40, either live in concert or from the original album.) Then we settle in on our main topic: Spiritual warfare, in its various forms and interpretations among Christian traditions as well as in our roleplaying games. Derek and Peter both draw heavily from the book Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and Devils for the Disenchanted by Richard Beck for this discussion; likewise, Grant pulls from the PCUSA's "What We Believe" series, specifically this article on the problem of evil.

Also mentioned in this episode: Gustav Davidson's A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels; Mayfair's Role Aids line of RPG supplements; and Daniel Solis's Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple.

Scripture:Genesis 3:13-152 Kings 6:15-17, Luke 8:26-31, Ephesians 6:10-13.

May 16, 2017  
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We continue our discussion with Krissi Woodward about clothing and visual character descriptions! We pick back up with discussions of cultural and vocational costume, and move on to the effects of technology on what people wear and look like. We then spend a fair bit of time on modesty (and fair warning: While we don't get obscene, this section does get fairly frank about the human body, so if you're particularly sensitive keep that in mind.) Then after a few more notes (and mention of the Aghori, who are absolutely fascinating; Poche Posh and Soviet denim smugglers; and underground Korean tattoos), we quickly mention other aspects of appearance. We then spend some time on what clothing can and should mean for Christians, and how God sees past what we wear into our very hearts. Finally, we wrap up with some useful and recommended tools and means for getting artwork or minis done for your character!

Tools and sites mentioned: Heromachine; Hero Forge; DeviantArt; ArtStation; Emergency Commissions on Tumblr; and the /r/ArmoredWomen, /r/ReasonableFantasy, and /r/ImaginaryCharacters subreddits.

Scripture: Genesis 3:6-7, Exodus 28:15-21, Isaiah 53:2, James 2:1-4

May 2, 2017  
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Krissi Woodward—Grant's wife and costume designer—joins us once again to discuss visual character descriptions in our game, and especially clothing! We have a couple of announcements related to our Weekend Reading series and our Patreon question rewards. Then we tackle a question from Patreon backer gfactor, who asks about electronic apps or devices which might enhance the tabletop play experience.

With that handled, we begin breaking down the importance of describing character appearances in our games. Grant leads off with a potentially controversial statement about character portraits and minis, which leads us into why players are often hesitant to delve into this at all. Then we go deep into the rabbit hole with Krissi, talking about clothing (and other elements of our appearance) in a conversation that went so long, we had to split it into two parts!

Mentioned in this half of the episode: Inkarnate and Worldpainter.

Scripture: Genesis 3:6-7, Exodus 28:15-21, Isaiah 53:2, James 2:1-4

April 18, 2017  
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Grant, Peter, and Jenny return to discuss the Third Commandment! There's quite a lot of banter and catching up to do first, of course, and we banter about illness, the forthcoming Amonkhet set in Magic: The Gathering, Snafu Brewing and TRAPPIST-1, and more. We also have a doozy of a question from Patreon backer Richard, who asks us for our favorite stories from the table. Thankfully, we get to respond in kind! (This also gives us an excuse to mention Tooning Japanese in passing, by the way.)

Once we actually get on topic, we start our conversation about the Third Commandment with Scripture and the Roman Catholic catechism on this verse. We also discuss Jewish traditions involving the name of God (and the etymology of certain names.) After that analysis, we move on to using these and related concepts in our games: The power of names, taking oaths, and vulgarity. Finally, we wrap up with a very brief discussion of how to handle unnecessary and uncomfortable vulgarity at the table.

Also mentioned in this episode: Roger Zelazny's Jack of Shadows; and Thomas' comments on Episode 107 via Facebook.

Scripture: Exodus 20:7, Exodus 20:24, Matthew 5:33-37, James 5:12

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