It’s our annual New Years bonus episode! Grant, Peter, and Branden review their 2013 New Years resolutions and how well they lived up to them (or not). Then we dive headlong into our resolutions for 2014, talking about the improvements we want to make in our faith, our personal lives, and our gaming careers.
We kick off our pseudo-Christmas episode with a shoutout to all our new listeners and a reminder about our fundraiser for The Bodhana Group, and a bit more brief news (as well as a Cooking Comically reference.) Then we turn to our discussion topic: Religious holidays in your game! We talk about their importance, possible trappings, and their history (or lack thereof). Finally, we wrap up with a discussion of our own favorite Christmas traditions.
We welcome back guest host Ben Rome, co-author of Games’ Most Wanted and Assistant Line Developer for Catalyst’s Battletech line! We discuss the 2013 RPG Podcasters’ Charity Drive and our own fundraiser for The Bodhana Group – including a rundown of all the latest prize news. Then we dive into a discussion of long campaigns, using a four-year campaign from Ben’s gaming past as a prime example. We go over the advantages and disadvantages of long campaigns compared to one-shots and mini-campaigns; how to make long campaigns work; pitfalls they might present; and problems to overcome.
Peter and Grant welcome Steve Jarjoura from Postcards from the Dungeon as a guest host! We talk about our fundraiser for The Bodhana Group and the 2013 RPG Podcasters Charity Drive, as well as Josh Jordan’s Actual Play Festival. Then we get down to business and talk about organized charities and their storytelling value in tabletop roleplaying games.
In this episode, Grant, Peter, and Branden plug a couple of things, including Atomacon, before getting down to the main topic: Playing evil characters in roleplaying games. We look at the topic from both the players’ and the GM’s perspectives, examining why you want to or need to be able to play evil characters and how to do so effectively without ruining play or giving in to that character’s evil yourself.
Branden, Mike, Peter, and Grant pick up our “Science of Storytelling” series with a discussion of episodic storytelling structure and pacing! Branden walks us through the structure and guides the discussion; and as usual, we come up with examples along the way. See the full show notes for Branden’s suggested outline.
We’re back with more virtues! This time, we’re talking about the virtue of Patience, and its glosses of Peace and Mercy. As usual, we discuss and define Patience from a theological perspective, and then talk about its in-character and at-the-table uses.
It’s our distinct pleasure to welcome Jack Berkenstock of The Bodhana Group as a guest host for this episode! We give Jack plenty of time to talk about his group and their mission to help young victims and perpetrators of sexual trauma—a mission they’re carrying out with tabletop roleplaying games as a crucial therapeutic tool. We also discuss the science and goals of therapeutic roleplaying and trauma therapy in general. Plus, we do our best to plug Save Against Fear, a three-day convention in Lancaster, PA from Oct. 11th-13th hosted by and fundraising for The Bodhana Group. A big list of everything Jack mentioned is below the fold, too.
We don’t usually ask this, but please share this episode around. We want to get the word out about Save Against Fear in time for people to decide to go, and we want people to know about and support The Bodhana Group as well! Bodhana has a Facebook page and Twitter feed too, if that’s your thing.
Scripture: Psalm 103:2-5, Luke 7:20-23, John 8:3-11, and Philippians 4:8
Two major announcements: This is the first episode in our new “Science of Storytelling” series; and Save Against Fear, a remarkable gaming convention and fundraiser for sexually traumatized kids, is the weekend of October 11th-13th. You’re going to be hearing much more about Save Against Fear in the future!
In this episode, Grant, Peter, and Branden (but mostly Branden) explain the continuous plot structure used in almost all movie scripts. (See our full show notes for a copy of that outline!) Then, Branden walks us through creating an actual plot for a game using the outline he laid out in the first half of the episode.
The full outline we used in this episode:
- Opening Image
- The Set-up/Theme Stated
- The Catalyst
- Changes the world irrevocably; no going back
- The Debate
- Sometimes the refusal of the call; provide choices and alternative actions
- Break into 2
- B Story
- In movies, usually romantic; in a game, perhaps one per PC
- Fun and Games
- The promise of the premise
- Mid point
- Either a “false defeat” or a “false victory”
- Bad guys close in
- All is lost
- Either “false victory” or “false defeat” (The opposite of what ever the midpoint was, but it should be related to the midpoint twist)
- The ‘whiff of death’
- Dark Night of the Soul
- Break into 3
- B-story should pay off here to provide hope
- Final Image