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

May 15, 2018  

This week, we've got not one, but two special guests on the mics with us! Daniel Silver and Father David Subu join us to introduce us to Doxacon Prime 2018! Doxacon is a convention about Christian genre fiction and fandom, and it's happening November 2-3, 2018, in Washington, DC. (For more information, check out the Doxacon Prime Facebook group, and follow @DoxaconPrime and @Doxacast on Twitter.) You can also hear some recordings from Doxacon and other interviews over at Ancient Faith Radio.

Daniel and Father David have a lot more to talk about than just their awesome convention, though. First, we all chime in to respond to Patreon backer Nathanael Farley, who asks "What is your favorite (possibly indie) RPG that you think needs more love in the wider world?" (Our picks: Swords Without MasterThe Trouble With RoseAnima PrimeDialect, and ... 1st Ed. D&D. Seriously.) Then, after our Scripture readings (including our first Deuterocanonical reading from Wisdom of Sirach) our guests talk about the need for Doxacon, and how in many ways modern Christian genre fiction and fandoms are still affected by the "Satanic Panic" of the late 20th century.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:19-22; Proverbs 17:17; Wisdom of Sirach 4:20-25; Psalm 18; Hebrews 10:24-25

May 1, 2018  

Author, actor, programmer, and preacher Stephen Weese joins us for a fascinating discussion on subculture ministry! Stephen's book God Loves the Freaks: A Guide to Subculture Ministry was one of the books we read as background material for Saving the Game when we were just starting the podcast, and it was great to finally have him on our show. We covered a lot of ground in this episode, so buckle up!

Our Patreon question this week is from Nathanael Farley, who asks "Which game system do you dislike the most, and what do you LIKE about it?"

Other things mentioned in this episode: The Grave Robbers; The Exodus Adventure Game; Fear the Con 11; City on a Hill Gaming; Sister Agony's Academy.

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:4-7Mark 16:15John 13:35Galatians 3:28

April 17, 2018  

Gamer and pastor Tim Decker of Christ Community Etc in Owosso, MI joins us to talk about playing support characters in our roleplaying games, in response to the eternal complaints of players who don't want to play the cleric! We also discuss how to end a game that's stopped being fun without any hard feelings, as Grant's Fellowship group did, and the conclusion of Jenny's "moidah mystery" prequel to Keep on the Borderlands. We also spend quite a lot of time answering Patreon backer "ComposerDad", who asks whether gaming groups share the same unifying, cross-subcultural nature of churches. Once that's done, we dive deep into ways to make those "boring" support characters into something more interesting than a healbot. Enjoy!

Also mentioned in this episode: STG 95, "Hospitality".

Scripture: Exodus 17:8-13Hebrews 13:15-16Luke 10:36-37

April 3, 2018  

We're back with a surprisingly focused episode on sainthood thanks to Jenny's hard work and research! We've only a little bit of off-topic material to discuss: A quick word about the list of questions our Patrons send in, and a brief diversion to discuss Nintendo's Koi Koi game played with hanafuda cards. We also answer Patreon supporter Tom Stephens's question about the one place in the world we'd go, if we could go anywhere at all.

After that's done, it's time for a deep dive into sainthood. After all, we'd eventually like to do a full series on individual saints and important Church figures; but we figured we'd need a primer on sainthood first, and Jenny definitely provided! Her research covers what a 'saint' is, how one becomes a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic church, and much more. We also discuss the use of saints as a concept for games and worldbuilding.

Resources: The Anglican Communion's Lambeth Conference documents; other Anglican liturgical texts; and STG 107, "Relics and Holy Items". Plus, the Friends at the Table podcast Jenny mentioned!

Scripture: Psalm 16:1-3Romans 8:26-30Revelation 5:6-8 (all NASB this time)

March 20, 2018  

Due to illness, it's another short bonus episode this week; but Jenny and Peter are talking about Gideon, so it can't be all bad! Gideon's a fascinating figure from Judges 6-8, who (like so many others in Scripture) serves the Lord faithfully while remaining familiarly human. His story and character contain some very gameable elements, and we cover those here. Enjoy!

Scripture: Judges 6:11-16Judges 8:22-25

March 6, 2018  

We're back with a discussion of Christian allegory and allusion! This episode, we're mostly focusing on how this applies to settings, and especially Peter's ongoing series of setting design blog posts, since the setting he's creating is designed with allegory in mind.

First, though, we catch up a bit and talk about the games we've played! Jenny's a fan of The Grimm Forest, and talks it up quite nicely. Grant, meanwhile, has a lengthy story to tell about his five-year-old daughter, the card game she designed, and the No Thank You, Evil! "game" she ran for him.

We also answer a question from Patreon supporter "Mister X", who asks: "What do you think about bennies? A great way to help balance those days with bad luck? A new outlet for powergamers to screw with the game? Another mechanic to clutter games with mechanic-creep?" (As promised, we suggest anyone interested in checking dice math try, which is a bit opaque but very powerful.)

Scripture: Isaiah 53:6-7, Matthew 26:26-29, John 1:29-34

February 20, 2018  

This episode, we manage the unthinkable and actually get our quarterly Patreon-selected topic in before the last possible episode! It's a whole new world, folks. We open up the show by talking a little bit about our assorted podcats, the 200 Word RPG Challenge, Pilates, and a couple of other minor things. Then we move on to a pretty heavy question from Patreon backer Paige: How to memorialize a player in your gaming group after they pass. (We also recommend Fear the Boot's recent bonus episode on this same question.)

After our Scripture readings, we delve into an equally dense topic: Resurrection in our games. Naturally, we start by contrasting the forms of resurrection 'magic' (or technology or what have you) we see in our games with the resurrection of Christ and the promise of resurrection offered through Him. (This leads to an interesting digression about confessions and creeds, and we're not at all sorry about it.) Then we throw out all sorts of possible complications with resurrection magic, and find hooks in them to hang stories and games on. Enjoy!

Scripture: Isaiah 26:19, John 11:38-44, 1 Corinthians 15:35-44

February 6, 2018  

This week, we're talking about positive metagaming! First, we catch up a bit and recap what games we've played recently (including Peter's terrifying encounter with a flock of seagulls and Jenny's Beyond the Wall game.) Then, Grant goes on for a while about the Link to the Past Randomizer race at AGDQ 2018 (seriously, it's fascinating.) We also answer a simple question from Patreon supporter Francisco, who asks if we prefer roller coasters or 4D immersive movie rides.

Then, after our Scripture reading, we delve into various ways players should be metagaming at their table. (No, seriously, ignore or correct Wikipedia's outdated opinion on this.) We cover everything from facilitating productive play, to buy-in, to content management, and much more. Enjoy, share, and as always, comment below!

Scripture: 2 Kings 6:15-17, Proverbs 25:25-27, Acts 23:6-10

January 23, 2018  

We're back with a follow-up to our previous episode on mass combat! This time around, we're talking about actually roleplaying in a mass combat scenario, and treating war and conflict as a setting for more traditional roleplaying. First, though, we plug Peter's blog posts, and especially his heavy metal D&D setting design series and his most recent post on Horvu. (Happy Horvu, everyone!) We then tackle a question from Patreon supporter Richard, who asks us about Bible stories as one-shot games.

After our Scripture reading, and making fun of Grant's inability to upload the correct file for STG 123, we dive right into mass combat as a roleplaying setting and opportunity. We make sure to include plenty of examples, and touch on a few common pitfalls as well. Enjoy!

Scripture: Judges 12:4-6, Jeremiah 51:27-29, 2 Timothy 2:3-7

January 10, 2018  

(Fixed audio.) This episode's conversation about mass combat—a topic selected by our Patreon supporters—turned out to be so big, we're following this one up with another episode on a related topic next time! Before that, though, we've got a lot of other things to discuss: The holidays, and especially all the games we played and picked up over the Christmas break. We talk a bit more about our Patreon and the need to change things somewhat as we move forward into 2018 (leave your comments on that below.) We also send our congratulations and prayers to Mike Perna and his family as they welcome their son into the world; and we send our condolences to the family and friends of Pat Roper, longtime Fear the Boot host, who passed away just after Christmas.

Our Patreon question this week comes from Paige, who asks "Is there a game/campaign/thing you wish you could run, but you don't feel skilled enough to do it?" The answer: Oh my yes. All that having finally been taken care of, we do eventually get to our main topic: Making interesting mass combat scenarios as part of your ongoing roleplaying game campaign.

Scripture: Exodus 17:8-13, Joshua 6:1-5, Ephesians 6:10-17

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