Episode 177 - Keeping Players in the Loop

This week we have more unstructured, conversational episode for you. Grant and Peter realized back in episode 173 that we'd like to talk about when players know what the GM is planning, but as we talked about the upcoming episode, we all realized that what we had was more of a discussion and a collection of observations than a collection of structured advice.

We start with the usual check-in, which has Peter and Grant both craving classic genre fiction and Jenny the Goblin Queen a bit under the weather. We then move into our Patreon question this week , which comes from Tom Stephens, who asks " (as someone who just got a MLS degree recently myself - finished in 2016, this one's for Jenny with a generalized version for the others): What was your most and least favorite class from your library degree program. For the others, what was the most and least favorite class from any training you've had recently or even going back to college? "

From there, we launch into a loose collection of advice and observations that comprise the central topic. More than usual, we can see multiple sides of this and talk about when it's useful for the players to know more, when it's not, why you might or might not want to hand out more information in your games, the considerations of various genres, and so on.

Mentioned in this episode: Star Power

Scripture: Psalm 33:10-11, Proverbs 16:3, Matthew 6:25-34

Episode 176 - Freelancing (with Jason Brick)

Grant, Peter and Jenny are joined by Jason Brick, veteran freelance writer in the TTRPG industry (and several others besides!). We kick off with a little chatter and swiftly move into our Patreon question from Joseph Linardon who asks " What would be your dream job?"

Answering that takes significantly less time than you'd expect, and after some quick scripture we're on to our main topic, which is basically taking advantage of Jason generous spirit and wide expertise about freelancing by getting him to do a brain dump. Among his many writing hats, Jason is one of the authors of Random Encounters, which is a resource that Peter has really enjoyed having on his shelf, as well as numerous other projects. Lots of good, practical advice in this one.

Mentioned in this episode: For Exposure on Twitter, Socks for Supper on Goodreads, Saving The Game's Page on Podchaser

Scripture: Proverbs 14:23, Matthew 5:9, Matthew 20:1-7, James 4:13-16

Episode 174 - True Neutral (Alignments 5)

We're back to our usual release schedule and episode progression this week for True Neutral.

The discussion kicks off with the obligatory nod to COVID-19 (wash your hands!) and a nod back to our "emergency bonus" episode and blog post about remote gaming. There's a bit of discussion about how that's proceeding and then we get to our Patreon question where Brian Ray asks " What improvised weapon would you most likely use to thrash a slaver?"

That's a question with a story that goes with it, but once that's told, we move into our scripture and into our main topic: True Neutral. As it turns out, there not a ton to say about an alignment that's defined by what it is not, but we do get some good discussion in around balance keepers, film noir protagonists, and the problematic way that horseshoe theory sometimes gets applied to good and evil in fantasy.

Scripture: Proverbs 15:19, 1 John 3: 17-18, Revelation 3: 15-18

Episode 173 - Grant and Peter Brainstorm

With Jenny out due to travel, Grant and Peter return temporarily to the days when it was just the two of them on the podcast and do something they haven't done on air before, or at least for quite a while: brainstorm about one specific game, namely the campaign Peter is running on Sundays.

We kick off with a surprising amount of news. Kittens are getting fixed, an important friend of Peter's who got him involved with the local food pantry has recently passed, and both Grant and Peter have been reading a lot of Robert E. Howard lately (link goes to public domain works of Howard at Project Gutenberg). That conversation lasts longer than usual and leads into the Patreon question where Joseph Linardon asks "With a Pathfinder/D&D setting in mind, what kind of hero would you want to be? Alignment, class, goals, however y'all would want to answer, I'm sure it would be interesting however you each decide to come up with an answer ."

The main topic discussion is a fruitful and lengthy one and illustrates beautifully why GMs should bounce ideas off of one another probably significantly more than they do. Grant and Peter have both enjoyed playing in the other's games, but they have different styles, priorities, and perspectives as GMs, and that takes the conversation to some fascinating places. Note to Peter's players: feel free to listen. This is more "setting book" stuff.

Scripture: Genesis 11:1-9, Titus 2:11

Episode 172 - Neutral Good (Alignments 4)

With Grant and Jenny back from their respective ordeals, it's time to continue our alignment series!

 

We start off with a quick catch-up session (thanks again Ashley and Derek for filling in!) but there's not a lot of note in our lives since the last episode we were on together (or at least, not that's relevant to the podcast).

 

The Patreon question this episode comes to us from Paige Lowe who asks " In an alternate reality where you found something else *instead* of RPGs, what is your creative outlet?"

 

That leads to some heavy thinking - and the general conclusion that we're glad to be in this timeline, hobby-wise.

 

From there we move into our scripture and our main topic of the Neutral Good alignment. This is the point where, in our opinion, the 2e alignment summaries really start to jump the tracks a bit. It is, however, generally pleasant to talk about good people doing good things for good reasons, which is at the core of the NG alignment. Along the way we rope in Spider-Man, the Hippocratic Oath, and the Belmont Report.

 

Scripture: Leviticus 9:17-18, Isaiah 1: 16-18, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, Galatians 5: 22-26

 

 

STG 170 - Pre-Game Tools (With Kimi Hughes)

 

In this episode, we welcome back Kimi from Golden Lasso Games to talk about pre-game tools. We last spoke to Kimi in our mammoth two-parter on fitness back in episode 103 part 1 and part 2, and this time she's here alone rather than part of what was (at the time) the single largest number of people on one of our episodes.

 

We start off with the usual check-in and move from there to our Patreon question where David Hastings asks " What is your favorite thing to cook?" We narrowly escape a second trip down the rabbit hole that is talking about chili and move from there to our scripture and into our main discussion about pre-game tools. One of the first things that comes up is that such tools are rare, and are usually repurposed full games in their own right. The concept of using games such as Microscope to build a world collaboratively before playing in it has been out there for a while, but Kimi's new project Decuma is designed to be used in that role from the ground up.

Also Referenced in this episode: Decuma Actual Play Recording, A History of the Tarot Deck, and a really extensive use of pre-game tools.

Scripture: Genesis 1:1-2, Proverbs 15:22, Philippians 2:1-4

 

STG 168 - Lawful Evil (Alignments 3)

With the holidays over, we're back to our normal episode format, and in this one we wrap up the first batch of 3 from our alignment series with Lawful Evil.

We start off with a brief holiday check-in and run down some interesting gifts we received and gave. (Guess which one of us unironically gave someone a rock for Christmas!)

The Patreon question this episode comes from Chris Bissel who asks a three-part food-related question: "What do you like to put on hot dogs? What is the weirdest thing you've had on a hot dog? Where is the best hot dog you've ever tasted?"

After answering that and also digressing mightily as is our custom, we settle into our main topic: lawful evil. Lawful Evil is one of the most useful and versatile alignments for villains, and we talk about a lot of them, including Deathsronke, Bane and Lex Luthor from DC, and Thanos, Dr. Doom, and Magneto from Marvel. We didn't have a lot of disagreement this time, but it's a veritable flood of information.

Scripture: Judges 6:1-6, Matthew 27:1-8, 1 John 4:13-18

STG Bonus 19 - “A Room with a View” (by Rev. Bob Lawrence)

In keeping with tradition—sort of—Grant presents a very special Christmas bonus episode: A reading of a unique sermon given on Christmas Day, 1986, by Rev. Bob Lawrence of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. You can find previous sermons in this series here!

Merry Christmas, from all of us to all of you.

Music: "Er Is Een Kindeke Geboren Op Aard", by Ben DeVries.

Scripture: Isaiah 40:9-11, Luke 2:1-13

STG 167 - Lawful Neutral (Alignments 2)

 

This is the corrected version of 167. The first version ran the main episode audio into the outro due to an editing mistake on my part. My apologies. -Peter

We're back with episode 2 of our alignments series, this time talking about Lawful Neutral.

 

We start off with the story of some adorable kittens in Grant's home, check in about Thanksgiving, and then get into some gaming chat. Peter's game is going well and starting to get active on a big picture level, Grant's vampire game has made the move to Powered by the Dark, and the "hosts and friends" gaming group will be doing a published adventure for the first time ever! Grant has picked up Princes of the Apocalypse and will be running it for us.

 

Our Patreon question comes from Aaron Arnold (who is one of Peter's players, despite his uncertainty about last names in the episode!) who asks " Have you roleplayed in a game that wasn't D&D? I ask because I played a cyberpunk noir game and I enjoyed the RP I got to create in it." We had a lot to say by way of answering that question; all of us have been regular game convention attendees at various points in our lives and it prompted some reminiscence and few recommendations.

 

With that discussion concluded, we move into scripture and then onto our main topic: Lawful Neutral, or, as Grant so aptly put it: the obstacle alignment. We're a bit less ranty than last time, but it's still a productive discussion.

 

Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:5-8, Mark 2: 23-28, John 8: 1-11

 

Episode 166 - Lawful Good (Alignments 1)

We've been promising it for a while and here it is, the first episode in our series on alignment. We last talked about alignments as a topic waaaaaayyyy back in episode 2 of the podcast (if you listen, we're so sorry about the audio quality), and we figured it was high time we updated things and also let Jenny weigh in!

We start of with a shoutout to a couple of podcasts we've been enjoying; Grant has been listening to Pontifacts and Peter has been listening to Stats Will Roll. Our friends over at MegaDumbCast have also recently released an episode on autism representation in games (and how not to do it) that is worth a listen. In gaming news, Grant is porting his Vampire game over to a PbtA variant called Powered by Dark and his Sharn game has started up again. Peter's new D&D game continues to go strong, and he mentions a great thing one of his players is doing that he loves. We also briefly mention some behind-the-scenes change we're making. Our Patreon question this episode comes from Joseph Linardon who asks us " If you could make a 1 page RPG, what would it be? What would be the main dice you use (if not a D20)?"

From there, we get into our main topic and argue about alignment like proper nerds for the rest of the episode, complete with fictional examples (some of which may actually be Neutral Good) and a lengthy amount of discussions about what Lawful Good is not. It gets a little heated in points, but we had fun and it was a good (and somewhat cathartic) discussion.

Also mentioned in this episode: https://www.amykathleenryan.com/books.php

Scripture: Psalm 119:12-16, Proverbs 24:30-32, Matthew 22:34-40