This is it, folks: the last episode of Saving the Game.
In this one, we explain why we're shutting down the podcast, answer our remaining Patreon questions, thank people who helped us along the way, and reminisce a bit. We wanted closure for all of our listeners - and ourselves - and hopefully this episode provides it.
An Important Note: This is the second-to-last episode of Saving the Game. Our last episode will release in two weeks and will be a "goodbye" episode. More details in the episode itself and a full-breakdown in the next one.
This is the second part of the Prep/Improv two-parter we brainstormed during a Patreon question. We start out with the news above and a breakdown of how Christmas went, and then get to our Patreon question for this week, which comes to us from Richard Lorenz who asks: "Which Bible verse/passage/teaching have you seen misused or mangled the most?"
As you might expect, we have a bit of a field day with that one, but also move on relatively quickly because we have an interesting topic: GM improv! We stress a lot that improv is a learned skill rather than an inborn talent and discuss some various ways to develop that skill. We also devote some time (as you'd expect) to specific techniques and maintaining the proper mindset.
Mentioned in this episode: International Dialects of English Archive, Solo Improv Practice, From Rewatch With Love, Melina Pendulum, HBomberGuy, The Artisan Geek
Scripture: Exodus 4:10-12, Proverbs 3:6, James 1:5
This week we have another installment in Grant's reading of the sermons of the Reverend Bob Lawrence. If you haven't heard the previous entries, this one, like the others, is an imagined slice of life from someone adjacent to the Christmas story. Rev. Lawrence was quite the storyteller, and there is a reason these sermons have become a tradition for us.
Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-9, Luke 2:21-35
This episode marks the first of the two episodes we came up with based on a Patreon Question back in episode 189 - we're talking about GM Prep.
We check in as usual and then - perhaps ironically, perhaps appropriately for an episode that we came up with while answering another Patreon question - we are completely blindsided by the question from Aaron Arnold who asks "Have you seen Silence by Martin Scorcese or Mother! and how did you feel about how they explore the faith?" SPOILER: This quickly becomes a game of "how do we answer a question about media that none of us have seen?" We do get some interesting discussion out of that, if maybe not quite what Aaron was hoping for, and then move on to our scripture and main topic.
That main topic is kind of a general analysis and breakdown of our respective GMing styles, plus a collection of advice we've built up over the course of our gaming careers. We have different approaches to GM prep, although we all agree that it probably shouldn't be anywhere near as daunting as some folks think. We also spend a fair bit of time throughout the discussion ruminating on how running games via virtual tabletops and in-person groups differ.
Resources: /r/battlemaps, Token Stamp, Episode 144: Hacking Published Adventures
Scripture: Proverbs 16:9, Luke 14:28-30, James 4:13-15
It's a thing that often happens in games but seldom gets much detailed thought put into it: the PCs decide to go off and find something mundane to do like shopping or fishing.
We start the episode off with the usual check-in and then move on to our Patreon question where Alex Huggett asks: "How many games do you have on the go? How often do you play?" As you might expect, we're fairly active roleplayers, so there's a fair bit to say there. After reading our scripture, we dive into the main topic, and as it turns out, all three of us approached it from a completely different perspective. Grant and Jenny focused more on the reasons why players would want to do such a thing in the first place and its utility from a narrative perspective, while Peter was more about practical advice for making it interesting. All in all, it added up to a fun and in-depth discussion.
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 5:18, Matthew 25:34-40, Hebrews 2:10-17
We're back with our 4th-quarter episode selected by our Patreon backers and it's definitely kind of an "old-school" episode by our standards where we take a specifically-biblical theme and unpack and discuss it. This time, we're ruminating on the topic of Eden and all of the themes of paradise, fall, and "first-ness" that come with it.
The episode starts with a quick acknowledgement that 2020 remains stressful at this current juncture, but move pretty quickly into a great Patreon question from Tom Stephens who asks "What is the strangest/weirdest/most difficult game mechanic you've ever had to deal with in game?" Given all of our varied game histories, that generates some fun and interesting discussion to warm us up for our scripture and then our main topic of Eden which went to some very interesting places. We discuss the Biblical Eden and some tropes and themes that tie back to it, but also "Eden Worlds" as seen in sci-fi and some other fun digressions.
Mentioned in this episode: Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends, by Gertrude Landa, Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books (and a podcast to go with them), the SCP Foundation Wiki,
Scripture: Genesis 2: 8-9, Isaiah 51:3, Ezekiel 28:13-15, Revelation 22:1-5
This week's episode is something a little bit different: we did an online panel on spooky elements at the tail end of SAFe 2020, sort of a sum-up of our "spooky fall" series with some general advice. It turned out well enough that we have decided to pull the audio and provide that as our episode this week. This will be a bit less-produced than you're used to with us, but should still be plenty listenable.
If you'd rather watch the video instead, that can be found here: https://youtu.be/R54vwpRo39A
As October continues, so does our "Spooky Fall" lineup of horror and horror-adjacent topics. This time, we're talking about "creepy crawlies" - the vermin and pests from snakes to spiders to locusts that can cause problems far bigger than their apparent size.
We start off as usual with a host check-in, but we really haven't had much going on lately. Well, except for Jenny, who had a very topic-appropriate nuisance to contend with. Our Patreon topic this week comes from Mike F who puts us on the horns (or perhaps in the fangs?) of a dilemma by asking "Would you rather spend two weeks in quarantine with a goblin raised by wolves, a wolf raised by goblins, or two children under three?"
Once we've sorted that out, it's time to talk about rodents, and bugs, and snakes, and arachnids, and all the other various and sundry small things that can cause big problems and be used to signify various spooky things in our games and story telling. But sometimes these things we think of as gross aren't quite so unequivocally bad. Rats can sniff out landmines, and peacock spiders can be straight-up adorable. There's also a lot of interesting science and culture around insects out there. Massive ant wars and the unnerving world of parasitic wasps, just to name two examples. And of course, there's plenty of potential story uses as well.
Scripture: Exodus 10:13-15, Psalm 78:45-46, Revelation 9:7-11
Other links: Animal trials, Japanese entomology culture
Spooky fall continues with creative collaboration episode!
We start with a check-in and some news - we can now be found on the Pray.com app and Faithcasts.com, should either of those strike your fancy. We all had fairly decent weeks leading up to recording, and kick off with a discussion that rapidly leads into "what have you been reading?"
Our Patreon Question this week comes from Aaron Arnold, who asks "What's your view on how today's culture affects the way you game with strangers? If at all." That question, as you might imagine, sparks a nice, meaty discussion.
From there, we read our scripture and launch into a rare creative collaboration with all three hosts - this time putting our heads together to build a haunted house. But not just any haunted house. A haunted mcmansion smart house. Yeah, we went for it. Buckle up folks, our imaginations were firing on all cylinders this time!
Scripture: Leviticus 26:27-35, Isaiah 13: 19-22, John 1:5, John 8:12
Mentioned in this episode: Fortnight Frights, McMansion Hell
We've decided that a fun way to carve some enjoyment out of this uncooperative year is to do a general spooky topics roundup and so we've got another one for you this week.
We start off with some exciting news: Jenny has done a fashion walk and Peter is on the general design team for En Publishing's Level Up project. We start off with our impressions of the idea of WotC's new D&D-themed Magic: the Gathering set (coming early next year) and then get into our individual news. We also basically decide on the mics to do a "spoopy fall," so look forward to more monster and horror themed episodes in the near-term.
From there we read our rather minimal scripture (werewolves are not at ALL Biblical) and then launch into our topic. Werewolves may not have any scriptural basis, but boy howdy is there a boatload of mythology, folklore, and popular fiction about them. This one ran almost as long as our alignment wrap-up and probably could have gone longer.
Scripture: Genesis 49:27, John 10:11-16
Supplemental media: While it wasn't mentioned in the episode, if you're looking for a good piece of werewolf media both Jenny and Peter can vouch for, take a look at Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves. It's currently free(!) on Steam, but wasn't always, and was worth paying for back when it was for sale for actual money. The game hits a lot of the same themes we talk about in this episode.