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

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

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

November 29, 2016  
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Mike Perna of Innroads Ministries joins us at the appointed hour, to give our listeners some real, practical advice on running small gaming events for your church or community! First, though, we talk about a few other things, in no particular order: Our upcoming fundraiser for The Bodhana Group (keep an eye on our social media feeds for links to that!); the Game to Grow panel we hosted on spirituality in roleplaying games; players taking notes during games; the InSpectres game Grant just wrapped up; and Big Fandom Greenville (more on this next episode.)

We also tackle a great question from Patreon backer Doug, who asks "What, if anything, do you think is simply off-limits for a game? Is the answer different if we're talking you personally, or for gaming in general?" (This turned out to be surprisingly relevant to our main topic!)

Also mentioned in this episode: A Game for Good Christians, STG 17, "Lines and Veils".

Scripture: Proverbs 16:3Ecclesiastes 3:1Luke 14:28

August 9, 2016  
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(Part Two.) Kris and Katrina Ehrnman-Newton, hosts of the inimitable Gameable Saturday Morning Podcast (and its previous Gameable Pixar and Disney iterations), join us for an episode so monstrously huge we had to make it a two-parter! This time, we're talking about design considerations for a "moral universe"—the assumptions built into a fictional setting about the consequences and decisions that affect characters' moral efforts. We start with our Patreon backer question, this time about potential real dangers of gaming. Then across two episodes, we cover the design aspects of a moral universe in great detail, and wrap up talking about the challenges and opportunities these present at the gaming table. Thanks again, Kris and Katrina—we're looking forward to joining you to talk about Saturday morning cartoons soon!

If you missed the first half of Episode 91, click here to listen to part one.

Katrina previously joined us for Episode 58, "Prophecy", and Kris joined the three of us for Episode 67, "Breaking Canon". Grant and Peter have also appeared on the Gameable Saturday Morning Podcast for a bonus episode on The Prince of Egypt.

We hit on a wide and strange variety of other things this episode, including but not limited to: Depression Quest; Genesis 18; Batman; Longmire; The Crow; Mouse Guard; Jessica Jones; fighting hummingbirds; The Care Bears Movie; Sailor Moon; L.A. Confidential; Dogs in the Vineyard; Pillar of Fire; and a May 2016 blog post from Peter, "You Must Be This Treacherous To Ride The Story". Phew!

Scripture: Genesis 3:22-24, Amos 2:6-7, Matthew 5:44-45

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