Series


Bonus Episode 4 – Brandon Tells A Story


Download this episode (right click and save)

BIG NEWS: Branden will be a Save Against Fear 2014! If you’re not familiar with SAFe and The Bodhana Group, take a listen to Episode 25, “Therapeutic Roleplaying (with Jack Berkenstock)”.

This should be our last bonus episode for a bit—Grant will be back next episode—but Peter and Branden wanted to take some of the work we’ve done in our Science of Storytelling series and apply it to a real campaign pitch, with multiple demands from virtual players (all played by Peter) and Branden as the GM. Enjoy!

Scripture: Proverbs 4:13, Luke 6:40


Episode 45 – Envy (Virtues & Vices, Part 11)


Download this episode (right click and save)

Branden and Peter continue our Virtues & Vices series with a discussion of Envy! BIG news first, though: Episode 50 will be recorded LIVE, with an ongoing listener Q&A during the episode! Also, Grant’s working on t-shirts and other STG products. Then we talk about Envy: The Christian definition of it, why it’s a capital vice, using it in games and stories, and dealing with it at the table.

Scripture: Genesis 4:2-10Exodus 20:17Proverbs 14:30Luke 15:25-30James 3:13-18


Episode 41 – The Types of Stories


Download this episode (right click and save)

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!

Scripture: >Genesis 25:24-34, Ecclesiastes 1:9, Matthew 13:13


Episode 39 – Chastity (Virtues & Vices, Part 10)


Download this episode (right click and save)

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.

Scripture: Exodus 20:14Job 31:1-4Ephesians 5:1-13


Episode 37 – Lust (Virtues & Vices, Part 9)


Download this episode (right click and save)

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.

Scripture: 2 Samuel 11-12, Proverbs 6:27-29Matthew 5:27-301 Corinthians 6:12-20


Episode 27 – Episodic Structure and Pacing (Science of Storytelling, Part 2)


Download this episode (right click and save)

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.

Scripture: Genesis 1:14-18, Matthew 28:19-20

(more…)


Episode 26 – Patience (Virtues & Vices, Part 8)


Download this episode (right click and save)

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.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 7:8-9Hebrews 10:32-38Galatians 5:22-25James 1:19-20


Episode 24 – Wrath (Virtues & Vices, Part 7)


Download this episode (right click and save)

We welcome Mike, occasionally known as Mindtakerr on the Internet, as a new host! Then we talk about wrath – when anger is (and isn’t) a mortal sin, and how it can manifest in people. Then we talk about how incredibly common wrath is in all forms of entertainment, including roleplaying games; and we wrap up with a discussion about handling anger and wrath in your group of players.

Episode 23 – Narrative Structure (Science of Storytelling, Part 1)


Download this episode (right click and save)

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.

Scripture for this episode: Psalms 19:14Philippians 4:8

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
  • Finale
  • Final Image

Episode 20 – Diligence (Virtues & Vices, Part 6)


Download this episode (right click and save)

Grant, Peter and Branden continue our Virtues & Vices series with an episode on Diligence, the virtue contrary to the vice of Sloth. As usual, we explain the virtue—both culturally and theologically—before talking about its application in games and in our lives.

Scripture: Proverbs 13:4Matthew 25:14-30Ephesians 4:28