Professor Branden schools Peter and Grant on some traditional lists of archetypal stories! We start things off with a reminder that Peter will be at Fear the Con 7 from June 12th to June 14th (find him there and say ‘hello’!), and a mention of our appearance on Game Store Prophets #74, “Tearing The Veil Of Familiarity”. Then we dive right in with Booker’s seven story archetypes, Polti’s Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations, and Snyder’s ten basic movie plots. Oh, and somewhere along the way Grant plugs Happy Jacks RPG Podcast’s “Tales from the Floating Vagabond” Actual Play (NSFW). Phew!
Grant, Peter, and Branden are back around the mics for a discussion about holy orders and, er, sheep. We kick things off with a bit of an explanation of our missed episode, a plug for Save Against Fear, and a few personal notes. Then we dive headlong into religious orders and how to use them (or create them) in your game! We throw lots of historical examples into the mix (along with a length segue on sheep), and we wrap up with a long list of thoughts and questions you should ask yourself about the religious organizations you’re creating.
Sorry — no regular episode today. Peter’s father-in-law passed away on the day we were slated to record today’s episode (with a guest host), and that threw our schedule off rather a bit more than we could handle. A few more details are in the news update we attached here. However, there’s an extra “Retro Tuesday” upload this week as we attempt to catch up with our backlog, and we recorded a guest appearance on Game Store Prophets for later this month, so content is indeed forthcoming!
After an aside on the books which have impacted us most strongly, Grant, Peter and Branden settle in on a difficult and unpopular topic: Chastity. We take a few minutes to define it, then discuss the prospect of using chastity as an in-game plot driver or character trait. We wrap up with a discussion of chastity — and respect — at the gaming table.
Derek W. White, a.k.a. the “Geek Preacher“, joins Grant, Peter, and Branden as a guest host, bringing with him his knowledge of the geek convention scene and Christian organizations and activities within it. The Christian Gamers’ Guild, Fans For Christ, GameChurch, and Innroads Ministries all get specific shoutouts, as do the worship services at a few major conventions. We also spend some time talking about being a Christian at geeky conventions, and a geek at Christian get-togethers. Finally, we wrap up with Derek’s own personal journey to faith, a pastoral position, and a lifetime of geekery.
Our Virtues & Vices series picks up again with a particularly difficult topic: Lust. We briefly plug Sojourn again, and then dive headlong into a discussion about this capital sin. We explain what lust is (and isn’t), why it’s a capital sin, and why it’s so pervasive and accepted. Then we talk about the problems (and storytelling opportunities) that the sin of lust can create in your game, discuss the problems lust can cause at the gaming table, and wrap up with some thoughts on how lust in particular bleeds across that in-game/out-of-game boundary.
We’re back with a lot of news and a great topic: Romance! We’re proud to announce that Peter was published in Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction, a collection recently released by Fear the Boot. We’re also proud of composer Ryan Humphrey, an old friend of Grant’s who kindly gave us our intro and outtro music and who had a small part in the production of the music for Disney’s Frozen. Our sincere and delighted congratulations to both of them!
We also talked about a rather complex topic: Romance and romantic relationships in games and stories. We touched on its value as a plot or subplot, the reasons it’s often an uncomfortable and avoided element in games, good fictional examples, and how to make it work in your game. Enjoy!
In a thematic continuation from our previous episode on death, Grant, Peter and Branden talk about resurrection! We first address the question of whether a game that features any resurrection other than the resurrection of the body through Christ can be played by Christians; then, we discuss how the details of resurrection can have a significant impact on your game and its story. We cover numerous fictional resurrection stories, from Highlander to To Your Scattered Bodies Go, and wrap up with a recommendation from Peter: Rev. Adam Hamilton’s Jan. 26th sermon, “The Meaning of Christ’s Death”.
After only a little bit of banter and news (including an official announcement relating to our backlog of missing episodes), Grant, Peter and Branden jump right into a particularly heavy topic: Death. We discuss the problems and opportunities that character deaths can create in your games, and suggest some tips for dealing with some of those common problems (both in- and out-of-game). Then we talk a great deal about storytelling hooks relating to death—and survival—in a multitude of forms. (Fair warning: There’s also a small technical hiccup towards the end. Our apologies!)
We welcome guest host Mike Perna from Innroads Ministries and Game Store Prophets! Mike introduces our listeners to Innroads, and we talk a bit about “geek ministries” before settling in with our scripture and our topic: Our own origin stories. This episode ended up being a sequence of fairly personal discussions of our roads to both gaming and faith — about as close to testimony as we can probably get. A lot of things we haven’t mentioned before came out in this episode, and we hope you enjoy it!