It’s a shorter episode this week, due to recording right after Thanksgiving and Grant (and the rest of his household) being very sick. Still, that doesn’t stop us from plugging our Bodhana Group fundraiser before getting into our main topic: Group management! We talk about the holidays—because it’s that time of year—and what they do to games. Then, we discuss a number of issues which might arise and communication and management tools to alleviate group management problems. Enjoy!
Rev. Derek White, a.k.a. “The Geekpreacher“, joins Grant and Peter once again! Derek joined us previously on Episode 38, “Christians on the Convention Scene”, and he’s back with us to discuss another weighty topic: Walter Wink’s “myth of redemptive violence” and René Girard’s concept of the “scapegoat” and collective violence. We also take a moment to remind everyone about our ongoing fundraiser for The Bodhana Group, and hear about Derek’s growing role as a convention pastor. Lastly, David LaMotte was kind enough to give us permission to use his song “Peter” in this episode; it was particularly appropriate, especially since David’s a Walter Wink fan too. If you enjoyed it, find more music at his website, and on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.
Also referenced in this episode: The GenCon 2015 Worship Service (and specifically, Derek’s “Here There Be Dragons” sermon); The GenCon 2015 “Faith and Gaming” panel; Walter Wink’s “Facing the myth of redemptive violence“; René Girard’s The Scapegoat; Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History” podcast; and Ursula K. le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas“.
Grant and Peter reprise Episode 60’s “Gaming Curriculum” topic, with another set of suggested media! These are things we think you should read, watch, play, or experience away from the gaming table which will make you a better player and gamemaster. Check the full show notes below for links to everything we mentioned during the show! Plus, we spend a lot of time talking about Clockwork Empires—reflecting how much time Grant’s been putting into the game.
Don’t forget that we’re raising funds for The Bodhana Group, which uses tabletop RPGs in cognitive therapy applications for hurting children. For more details, visit our fundraiser page or listen to Episode 25, where we interviewed Bodhana’s Executive Director and learned all about the great work they do. If you want to help them, please consider giving to them this holiday season!
Our holiday fundraiser for The Bodhana Group has officially begun! Grant and a recuperating Peter kick off this episode with a plug for that, before diving into the complex structure and philosophy of Gnosticism in order to lay a foundation for further episodes on specific Gnostic Christian sects. Grant provides an overview of core Gnostic beliefs, and how they connect to Christianity and Judaism (as well as other beliefs from around the Hellenistic world.) We touch on Kabbalah and modern Gnostic influences, and then spend some time discussing a major and newly-discovered Gnostic text: The Gospel of Judas. Grab a notepad, and enjoy!
Grant and Peter take a large tangent in our discussion about heresies in the early Church, and turn it into its own episode on creeds! We discuss the uses of creeds in the early Church (and in other organizations), with plenty of historical examples, and then break down some uses of player-made and GM-made creeds at the gaming table. Don’t forget to check the full show notes for a complete list of all the creeds, confessions, and fictional examples we mentioned in this episode!
Grant and Peter kick off a new Historical Heresies series, analyzing heresies from the early Church! Without much additional news, we dive right into our Scripture and topic, starting with Adoptionism and Ebionism. Along the way, we explain what we hope our listeners can learn from this new series and what we hope they can use in their games. As always, feedback is appreciated—especially for a new series—so let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear in future episodes in the comments!
Also mentioned in this episode: Richard Beck’s book Unclean.
It’s a short episode this week—Grant was fighting a very unpleasant cold—but that didn’t stop Grant and Peter from discussing holy ground! First, reminders about The MacGuffin Factory and our upcoming casual listener Hearthstone tournament (post in the comments if you’re interested, and we’ll send you an invite—it starts September 28th), and some awesome news from Grant. Then we’re on to our Scripture and main topic, about what makes holy sites special and how to use them in your games. Also mentioned: Our third episode ever, on crusaders and Templars; and our show on iTunes, for those of you wanting to write reviews.
Kyle Rudge of Geekdom House joins Grant and Peter to talk about a host of small, interesting, and interrelated topics! Geekdom House has a Kickstarter wrapping up for their lovely “Area of Effect” print magazine, which we completely neglected to plug until the very end of the show. Kyle’s not just here for that, though—he brought lots of fascinating things to talk about, like: Creating a geeky, mission-forward small group in his church; introducing that group to Dungeons & Dragons; his appearance on the “Faith and Gaming” panel at GenCon 2015 (which Mike Perna recorded and released over at Game Store Prophets); a Firefly-themed Bible study; taking a full amateur choir to Winnipeg’s Central Canada Comic Con; the tight-knit communities of fandom; Done the Impossible and The Guild; and characters who reflect ourselves. Plus, a quick plug for our Hearthstone listener tournament—let us know if you’re interested!
Kris and Katrina, hosts of the Gameable Pixar Podcast (formerly the Gameable Disney Podcast) join Grant and Peter in a special crossover episode on breaking established setting canon! Gameable Pixar just released a pair of episodes discussing The Prince of Egypt, and they invited Peter and Grant to join them in the second episode. They return the favor in this episode, where we discuss how to break canon in settings with high player investment—from Tolkien’s Middle-Earth to Biblical Egypt, Israel and Caanan.
If you want to give the Gameable Podcast a try, we suggest picking your favorite Disney or Pixar film and listening to Kris and Katrina discuss it in the relevant episode! They also particularly recommend their episodes on The Black Cauldron and The Nightmare Before Christmas as introductory episodes for interested gamers. To pick up with The Prince of Egypt, start with GPP’s Bonus Episode 9: The Prince of Egypt and follow up with Bonus Episode 10: The Prince of Egypt Discussion. They’re also on Twitter and iTunes.
Grant and Peter take a break to talk about collectible card games! We talk about our experiences with games both paper and pixelated: War of Omens, Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering, Doomtown, and the Legend of the Five Rings CCG. Plus, work disaster stories!