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.
Mike Perna of Innroads Ministries and Game Store Prophets joins us to talk about a complex problem in both faith communities and geek communities: Gatekeeping. Mike’s joined us before for Episode 33 (“Our Origin Stories”), and he was a perfect fit for this topic in many ways. He previously wrote an excellent article on gatekeeping, and has a lot of wisdom and experience to share with us. We hit on a lot of small details—’controllers’ vs. ‘facilitators’; gatekeeping in church and in geek culture; comments on “pastoral customs” by Pope Francis; and others—but our focus is on solving the problem when you encounter it, not just documenting it. It’s a rather thoughtful episode, so enjoy, and tell us what you think in the comments!
Grant and Peter are back to talk about non-human player characters—the weirder, the better! After a quick reminder to rate and review us on iTunes or Stitcher, we get on with our main topic. We run through the spectrum of inhumanity: Near-humans, former humans, intelligent animals, and more! Then, we go through questions players (and GMs) need to ask themselves about these sorts of characters to make them effective, believable, and interesting.
Grant and Peter are back, with Fear the Con 8 behind us and new gaming horizons ahead! Grant’s had some major changes in his local gaming group, which prompt some discussion, but soon enough it’s on to our main topic: Picking a system that works best for the kinds of stories you want to tell while gaming. From universal to simulationist to light-weight indie games, we weigh all the considerations we can to help you pick the right game. Plus, some (well-deserved) plugs for System Mastery [sometimes NSFW], and this clever trick for making your own Fate dice!
Reverend Jason D. Wood, a full-time pastor and gamer, joins Grant and Peter to help introduce roleplaying games to the curious! Jason writes for The Mad Adventurers Society as The Mad Cleric, giving out gaming advice and life advice for gamers in equal measure, and contributes to the Mad Adventurers’ Potelbat and Potelbat Yalp podcasts. (He’s most accessible on Twitter as @Wood_JasonD.)
Jason joins us for a very special episode: An introduction to roleplaying games for the curious and the uninitiated. As a sort of companion piece to our very first episode (“Are RPGs Evil?“), this episode is designed to be a resource for those who’ve never played before, and want to (or feel the need to) know more about them. We outline the general conceits of RPGs, explain system and setting, discuss why they’re so much fun, and elaborate on some of the positive benefits of roleplaying games. (In particular, we spend some time talking about The Bodhana Group; new listeners should listen to Episode 25, “Therapeutic Roleplaying (with Jack Berkenstock Jr.)” for more on that. They’re awesome.) Finally, we wrap up with some advice on getting started in roleplaying games, whether individually, as a family, or as a church activity.
Grant and Peter are back, and talking about creatures great and small! Inspired by M. J. Young’s 2004 Faith and Gaming article “Animals” (written for the Christian Gamers’ Guild), Grant and Peter discuss the wide variety of animals seen in roleplaying games and the real world. Then, we talk about how to use them effectively in your story and setting, and some pitfalls to keep in mind when the focus shifts to pets and other creatures at the table. Plus, we’re going to Fear the Con 8 and you should too!
Derek Knutsen, co-host of THE ESTABLiSHED FACTS and the mind behind Palegain Press, joins us to talk about charitable activity happening at Fear the Con 8 and some tips on running convention games! Derek has run Fear the Charity events at Fear the Con for several years now, and this year he’s also running Fear the Fruit. He’s also running a canned food drive, an alternate reality game (ARG) for Fear the Charity donations, a charity dungeon crawl at Fear the Con, and more! In short, he’s very busy helping everyone at Fear the Con give back to the broader community, and he’s awesome. While we have him on, we also pick his brain for some advice on running good convention games—basic advice on handling people, play and preparation. Enjoy!
Well, it’s official: We’re going to Fear the Con 8, and Fear the Con 8 is officially happening, so meet us there! That news aside, though, we’ve got a full episode for you: Grant and Peter reviewing their “gaming curriculum”. These are our suggestions for media of all sorts which you as a gamer should have for reference, read, play, or watch to be a better gamer (and especially a better gamemaster.) The full list of media (with links!) is below the fold for reference, so enjoy!
Scripture: Proverbs 18:15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17