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.
Game designer, podcaster, and sometime pastor Josh T. Jordan joins Grant and Peter to talk about those less-than-epic games, and why they still matter! Josh is the main host of Tell Me Another and the creative force behind Ginger Goat Games. He brought us this topic, and it turns into a wide-ranging discussion about stories outside the traditional epic heroic journey, where personal concerns trump world-threatening story arcs. (We also mention Amagi Games’ “The Soap Opera” one-page game tweak.)
This episode, Grant and Peter talk about making real-world locations you’re not familiar with into interesting, gameable locations! First, though, we have a lot of well-deserved plugs to get through. The Gameable Disney Podcast is absolutely amazing, and both of us recommend listening to its entire backlog of episodes. Christian Geek Central is awesome (and not only because Mikel did a fun interview with us.) And Grant in particular is a big fan of System Mastery, and he just sent them Deliria to review (warning: probably NSFW.) After all that, we get into the meat of the episode, and break down a bunch of useful resources to use when setting a game or scenario in a real-life location you don’t know well.
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.
Grant, Peter, and Branden are back at it! In news: Branden’s read a book, Peter preemptively thanks everyone for an amazing time at Fear the Con, and Grant tries really hard not to make jokes about the episode number (and encourages everyone to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy instead.) Then we hit our main topic: Blessings and curses. We talk about what they are (and aren’t); how they appear in Scripture and the history of Christianity; how they’re often used in RPGs; and how to use them in interesting ways. Enjoy!
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!
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.
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!
We welcome back guest host Ben Rome, co-author of Games’ Most Wanted and Assistant Line Developer for Catalyst’s Battletech line! We discuss the 2013 RPG Podcasters’ Charity Drive and our own fundraiser for The Bodhana Group – including a rundown of all the latest prize news. Then we dive into a discussion of long campaigns, using a four-year campaign from Ben’s gaming past as a prime example. We go over the advantages and disadvantages of long campaigns compared to one-shots and mini-campaigns; how to make long campaigns work; pitfalls they might present; and problems to overcome.
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.