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

June 11, 2019  

Oh, hey, guess who's back! That's right—Grant rejoins Peter and Jenny back on the mics. (And thank you, seriously, for everyone who reached out or who prayed for me. It's really appreciated. – G.) We pick up our Ten Commandments series with the Eight Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," and since our hobby kicked off with a thief class, you might guess we have a lot to talk about! First, though, we've got a bit of podcast business, and then a surprisingly in-depth conversation about hot dogs and hamburgers thanks to Patreon supporter Richard Lorenz. Oh, and also Peter got to try Minecraft for the first time on our stream, so look forward to more of that on Friday nights!

After our Scripture reading, we start in on the surprising complexity of what is in English a simple four-word commandment. We discuss theft as a sin of commission and as a sin on omission; theft as a primary component of the classic gaming experience going all the way back to its sword-and-sorcery roots; and the curious lack of stigma thieves sometimes carry in our tabletop games. Finally, we wrap up with the positive side of the Eighth Commandment: Chrestotes and "becoming a larger person."

Mentioned in this episode: Dusk City Outlaws, and the relevant XKCD, because there's always a relevant XKCD comic for any topic.

Scripture: Exodus 20:15, Malachi 3:8-10, Leviticus 6:1-7, Romans 2:4, Romans 13:7-10

May 14, 2019  

Peter and Jenny have the mics to themselves this episode, and they're talking about one of the funniest and most imaginative books of the Bible: Jonah! First, though, we take a moment to mention the unfortunate and early passing of Rachel Held Evans, a Christian writer and thinker we're all quite fond of taken from us too soon. We also have to put a call out for more questions from our Patreon supporters! And speaking of Patreon, our Patreon question this week comes from Shawn Stauffer, who asks "If you had to spend a year as any one of the characters you've made for an RPG, in their world, which would you choose and why?"

That answered and our Scripture read (including the entirety of Jonah 4, which might be the first time we've ever read an entire chapter of Scripture on this podcast) we dive into Jonah—pun intended. It's a work unlike any other in the Bible: A parodic work featuring a prophet doing his best to disobey God and being frustrated when God succeeds! It's also a work enjoining mercy and compassion over reveling in the punishment of others. Plus it's got a prophet people actually listen to; and ... did you know there's a big fish in this one?

Scripture: Jonah 1:1-3; Jonah 4:1-11; Titus 3:3-8

February 19, 2019  

Well, it was inevitable, folks: When we committed to doing a series on The Ten Commandments, we knew we'd eventually have to talk about adultery. Fair warning: This episode does talk about sex. We're not explicit or anything, but keep that in mind! First, though, we've got a few other things to talk about—specifically, Grant's D&D game in Sharn (or the lack of it) and a new Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition game he's running.

Our Patreon question this week comes from John & Ginny Swann, who ask about TORG, running a horror story within a larger campaign, and getting otherwise light-hearted players to switch emotional gears for a more serious arc.

After a lot of Scripture, we start talking about adultery and marriage. Why is "You shall not commit adultery" a commandment at all? What did adultery and marriage look like in Old Testament Israel? And how do we tell stories involving adultery without being crass (or worse?)

Also mentioned in this episode: Our Virtues & Vices series episodes on Lust and Chastity, respectively; Fear the Boot 178, "Running a horror game"; and Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters.

Scripture: Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 20:10, 2 Samuel 12:1-10, Matthew 5:27-30, Mark 2:23-27, John 8:3-11, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

 

December 11, 2018  

Jenny and Peter oversee the promotion of our ongoing series on gamifying Biblical figures with one of the most difficult yet: Samson! Though his story is found in the Book of Judges, Samson is a notorious and often actively awful outlier among Biblical figures. He's a drunken, womanizing barbarian who only occasionally interacts with God, and often seems more like Heracles or other mythic figures. What, then, can we learn from Samson and his story? And what can we take back to the gaming table?

Scripture: Judges 13:2-5, Judges 16:28-30

September 18, 2018  

After more than a year, we're finally back to our series on the Ten Commandments! We're picking up where we left off with the Fifth Commandment, which tells us to "honor thy father and mother"—and a good bit more. We've also got a question from Patreon backer Kevin VonFeldt, who asks us about our favorite Kickstarters we've backed. We've also got some news about a growing gaming group and Jenny's new cat!

After our Scripture readings, we talk in-depth about the Fifth Commandment: Its text, its meanings (both in Scripture and in cultural usage), and its implications. We also spend some time on the questions which naturally arise when it's very hard to honor one or both parents. Then we talk about some common story and gaming uses of this topic, and how to put this commandment into practice in the world. Finally, we wrap up with a few special shout-outs to our podcasting and geeky-faith elders whom we've learned from: Folks like Derek White, M.J. Young of the Christian Gamers Guild, Dan Repperger, Chad Wattler, and more.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:16, Proverbs 6:20-22, 1 Timothy 5:1-4

July 25, 2017  

Our Ten Commandments series returns with the Fourth Commandment: "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." Before we get to that, however, we have a bit of business to go over and a bit of catching up to do. We spend a little time discussing our Patreon support, since we haven't updated listeners on that in a while. Grant's learning Korean, and blogged about that a bit; and Jenny needs to issue a correction regarding the Battletech game she described in the previous episode. After all that's out of the way, though, we tackle a big question from Patreon supporter Richard, who asks us about our favorite RPG characters.

All that taken care of, we dive headfirst into the Fourth Commandment. Why is this in the list of God's commandments? What does "keep the Sabbath" actually mean, and for whom? And how does this idea of holy, restorative rest apply to our games and our lives?

Scripture: Exodus 20:8-11, Nehemiah 13:15-22, Mark 2:23-27, Acts 1:10-12

April 18, 2017  

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

November 15, 2016  

Grant and Peter continue our ongoing Ten Commandments series with a look at the Second Commandment! First, though, Grant has a fair bit to say about InSpectres and Pugmire, and some lessons he's learned from those games lately. Then we tackle a question from an anonymous Patreon backer, about transitioning into the game master role, and briefly discuss potential Patreon changes and our upcoming holiday charity drive. We also reiterate our call for your stories of harassment and 'othering' in the gaming hobby and industry. After all that, we finally get down to the Second Commandment (as well as a bit about how different Christian and Jewish traditions actually arrange and enumerate these ten commandments.)

Scripture: Exodus 20:4-6, Isaiah 55:8, Hosea 3:1, Revelation 9:20-21

October 18, 2016  

Grant and Peter kick off a new, more theologically-oriented series this week! We'll be looking at each of the Ten Commandments, and so of course we're starting with the First Commandment. First, though, we answer a question from Patreon backer Richard Lorenz about other podcasts in the "geeky faith" genre (and specifically faith and roleplaying games—see the show notes for a full list of everything we mentioned!) We also spend a little time talking about Game to Grow. For our main topic, we talk about the importance and theological implications of the First Commandment, as well as some of its gaming implications.

Mentioned in this episode:

Scripture: Exodus 3:15, Exodus 20:1-3, Matthew 22:37-38, Matthew 6:24

After answering a short, fun, and humorous Patreon backer question, Grant and Peter dig into one of the most fascinating, important, and gameable events in all of church history: the First Council of Nicaea. In addition to establishing a lot of church orthodoxy that has lasted to the present day, it also gave us the Nicene Creed, and it was a unique and fascinating event in the history of the world.

Note: Listeners wanting full context for this episode should listen to Episode 89, "Arianism" first, as it provides a lot of the background for the events we cover in this episode.

Links: The Nicene Creed The Elenium, by David Eddings Our Patreon

Scripture: Isaiah 40:12, John 1:1-5

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