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

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

April 4, 2017  
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This episode, we tackle a surprisingly complicated topic: Relics and holy items! Grant's out sick, what with his entire house having been struck by plagues of all sorts, so Jenny and Peter have the mics to themselves. For our Patreon question, they get handed a very tough question from Jared—"What was the most rewarding campaign you ever ran or played in?"—which takes a bit to answer. Then after our Scripture, it's on to our main topic. We discuss Catholic and Orthodox traditions around relics to lay some groundwork before moving on to talking about the use of relics in our own games: How they might work in certain sorts of settings; what to do with them; and what to do about fakes. Also, a helpful warning: Never go full Blackleaf.

Mentioned in this episode: Two Atlas Obscura articles, "Only the Vatican Has More Christian Relics Than Pittsburgh" and "The Practicalities of Transporting a 400-Year-Old Heart"; and The Fellowship of the Talisman by Clifford D. Simak.

Scripture: Exodus 25:10-11, 2 Kings 13:20-21, Matthew 27:35

March 21, 2017  
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After over two years as a two-person show, Saving the Game is proud to announce our new permanent host Jenny Dickson! This is her first episode, and she'll be joining us going forward.

The episode starts off with an introduction of Jenny and then moves into our Patreon question about hacks and drifts, and then the three of us dig into our main topic: limiting the evil of villains in games. We cover why to do it, how to do it, and what effects it has on the story you're telling.

Scripture: Exodus 5:6-8, Judges 3:13-14, Revelation 3:14-19

Links: High-Heel-Face Turn on tvtropes.org Star Wars in Traveller The Fugitive Episode 17: Lines and Veils

March 7, 2017  
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Grant and Peter are back to talk about exploration as a major feature in RPGs! First, a bit of sad news from Peter; then, we spend a bit of time talking about Grant's Fellowship game, and how strange the system feels to him. We also answer a fun question from Patreon backer Jim, who asks what little, almost insignificant feature factors into our decision-making when we buy cars.

After our Scripture readings, we delve deep into our main topic, discussing why exploration is fun and why it matters; what sorts of characters might be motivated to explore unknown territory; how to set up random or incidental encounters so that they don't feel artificial; a brief discussion of hex crawls; and sources of inspiration for wilderness and exploration encounters.

This episode topic was selected by our Patreon supporters, who bring you this show every two weeks and help us make the show better. If you'd like to help support us on Patreon, you can do so here. Thanks, folks—we really appreciate your support!

Mentioned in this episode: The /r/ImaginaryLandscapes subreddit; Ball's Pyramid; the SCP Foundation wiki; and Cordyceps fungi.

Scripture: Genesis 13:14-15Mark 16:15

February 21, 2017  
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In this episode, Grant and Peter discuss naming characters and renaming characters! We kick things off with a conversation about the games Grant's playing right now—Pugmire, Fellowship, and No Thank You, Evil!—and attempt to answer a question from Patreon backer Rich about play-by-post gaming. Then after quite a lot of Scripture (and really, it's a small sampling of what could have been used for this particular topic) we start in on the difficult art of naming your character: Why it's so difficult, what goes into a character's name, and different ways to come up with the right name. Then, we discuss renaming characters—an underutilized dramatic tool for both players and game-masters. That segues into additional names for characters, and when these new names might be added. Finally, we wrap up with a brief discussion on the weight of a name.

The sermon Grant mentioned as inspiring this topic—and a much weightier topic to come—can be found here. Again, we strongly recommend listening to it! Special thanks to Rev. Justin Cazel.

Scripture: Genesis 17:3-6, Genesis 41:50-52, Isaiah 62:1-2, Matthew 1:20-21, Matthew 16:17-18, Acts 13:6-11, Revelation 2:17

February 7, 2017  
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We’ve got THREE guests crowding around the mics this week to continue with part two of a special episode on personal fitness! Kimi (cosplayer, tabletop gaming podcaster, weightlifter, gym owner, and former personal trainer), Chris (media professional, tabletop gaming podcaster, filmmaker, and former personal trainer) and Krissi (gamer, stay-at-home mom, and licensed Zumba instructor) all join us to put personal fitness into a gamer-friendly context. They (along with Grant and Peter) discuss nutrition, sleep, stress reduction, willpower, and more!

Be sure to catch the first half of this episode if you missed it, where we talked about our own fitness journeys, why exercise and physical health matter, unfocused and focused exercise, and setting goals.

Special thanks to all our guests for joining us for a long recording session and providing so much helpful information. For more information about our guests and their projects, as well as where to find them online:

Scripture: Proverbs 16:3, Isaiah 40:31, Colossians 3:23, Philippians 2:1-4

January 24, 2017  
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We've got THREE guests crowding around the mics this week for part one of a special episode on personal fitness! Kimi (cosplayer, tabletop gaming podcaster, weightlifter, gym owner, and former personal trainer), Chris (media professional, tabletop gaming podcaster, filmmaker, and former personal trainer) and Krissi (gamer, stay-at-home mom, and licensed Zumba instructor) all join us to put personal fitness into a gamer-friendly context. They (along with Grant and Peter) discuss their own fitness journeys, why exercise and physical health matter, unfocused and focused exercise, and setting goals. Plus, Grant and Peter slip through time and answer a question from Patreon backer Doug Hagler, who asks what system we'd use to run a post-apocalyptic campaign.

Be sure to catch the second half of this episode as well, when we'll talk about nutrition, sleep, stress reduction, willpower, and more!

Special thanks to all our guests for joining us for a long recording session and providing so much helpful information. For more information about our guests and their projects, as well as where to find them online:

Scripture: Proverbs 16:3, Isaiah 40:31, Colossians 3:23, Philippians 2:1-4

January 10, 2017  
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Happy New Year! Grant and Peter are back to talk about ... dice?! After a couple of minor announcements and housekeeping notes, we list off some of the games we'd really like to try to play in 2017. We also tackle a Patreon question from Jim, who asks us about handling combat in theatre-of-the-mind games (or for visually-impaired gamers, like the Going In Blind podcast.) Our main topic isn't so much about dice as reacting to the dice, and handling the unexpected results they can give us while keeping a consistent narration—even if it leads campaigns in strange and unexpected directions.

Games we mentioned wanting to play in 2017: Unknown Armies, 3rd Edition; Pillar of Fire; A Scoundrel in the Deep; Feng Shui, 2nd Edition; Dogs in the Vineyard; DramaSystem; GUMSHOE. Also mentioned: The One Shot Podcast and the Party of One Podcast.

Scripture: Proverbs 16:9, Leviticus 16:6-10, Romans 8:28

December 27, 2016  
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Grant and Peter sit down to tackle a topic selected by our voting Patreon supporters: Playing supernatural creatures! First, though, we spend quite a lot of time on a serious problem that cropped up in Grant's Pugmire game—a case where a player had a very bad reaction to the previous session's events. Then we tackle a question from Patreon supporter (and host of the Retro Rewind Podcast) Francisco Ruiz, who asks about games centered around specific holidays. Finally, it's our main topic: How to play supernatural creatures, We talk briefly about whether Christians should do so at all; then we discuss ways to make that more interesting, especially regarding the traditional weaknesses such creatures typically have.

Mentioned in this episode: GullahPugmire.

Scripture: Isaiah 9:13, Romans 14:1-4

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