Grant and Peter break down the various advantages and challenges of using mechanical morality systems in your game and also dig into the reasons why such systems exist in the first place. In addition, we plug Tavern Con, Innroads Ministries in general and The MacGuffin Factory in particular, and Electric City Comic Con.
Grant and Peter get together to discuss a topic that we often take for granted in our gaming experience: how our characters advance in gaming and what that says about our games. There’s some comparison to XCOM 2 (which Peter has been playing quite a bit of lately) but the conversation branches out from there pretty rapidly. This episode is also Peter’s first crack at production, so be kind if the audio is a bit rough.
Grant and Peter read and respond to listener emails this week! We got some very interesting emails: One from Brady, asking about Habitica, a series on bible stories, and our unfulfilled promises; and one from Gameable Pixar Podcast’s Kris commenting on Manichaeism, alignments and dualism, and housework. Plus, Grant teases some upcoming site changes (forums!) and we remind everyone that Peter writes blog posts for weeks without new STG episodes.
Grant and Peter tackle a pervasive problem afflicting gamers everywhere: A collective inability to handle surrendering PCs and NPCs properly. It’s a topic we’ve had on our to-do list since we started the podcast back in 2012 (Grant credits Fear the Boot #268 for inspiration), and it turns out to have important ramifications for how we play our games. Plus, Grant and Peter briefly discuss the Microscope RPG and issue a call to action: Listeners, fill our mailbag!
Grant and Peter are back with a STG New Year’s tradition: A review of their resolutions for the upcoming year, broken down into “personal”, “gaming”, and “faith”. Plus, Grant drops some information about a Patreon campaign we’re working on, and we discuss the most interesting (and STG-relevant) Christmas gifts we received this year.
Mentioned in this episode: The Blue Devils in Italy: A History of the 88th Infantry Division; A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels; Habitica; Electric City Comic Con; Clearing the Backlog
Grant and Peter are back at it with part three of our Historical Heresies series. This time, we introduce a major competitor to Christianity in the Western Roman Empire, and a particularly interesting (read: complex and imaginative) Gnostic tradition: Manichaeism! We also provide one last plug for this year’s fundraiser for The Bodhana Group, and remind everyone to rate and review us on iTunes, Stitcher, and anywhere else you listen to our podcast on.
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!