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.)
Peter and Branden are back to talk about trustworthiness! First, a reminder about our upcoming LIVE recording of Episode 50, and an account of Save Against Fear 2014 from Branden. Then, we get down to the business of trust. We talk about why players don’t trust NPCs; how to convince players that their characters should trust a given NPC; how to indicate that a character isn’t trustworthy; and what to do when a player character can’t be trusted. Enjoy!
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!
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.
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”.
In this episode, Grant and Peter introduce our syndication partnership with Innroads Ministries, and thank everyone who donated to The Bodhana Group through our fundraiser (and everyone else who participated in the 2013 RPG Podcasters Fundraiser Drive.) Then we start off a discussion of forgiveness with a long C. S. Lewis reading, explaining just how difficult—and how important—forgiveness is. We go over its central place in Christian theology; discuss forgiveness as a gaming plot device; and wrap up with commentary on forgiveness at the gaming table.
We kick off our pseudo-Christmas episode with a shoutout to all our new listeners and a reminder about our fundraiser for The Bodhana Group, and a bit more brief news (as well as a Cooking Comically reference.) Then we turn to our discussion topic: Religious holidays in your game! We talk about their importance, possible trappings, and their history (or lack thereof). Finally, we wrap up with a discussion of our own favorite Christmas traditions.
It’s our distinct pleasure to welcome Jack Berkenstock of The Bodhana Group as a guest host for this episode! We give Jack plenty of time to talk about his group and their mission to help young victims and perpetrators of sexual trauma—a mission they’re carrying out with tabletop roleplaying games as a crucial therapeutic tool. We also discuss the science and goals of therapeutic roleplaying and trauma therapy in general. Plus, we do our best to plug Save Against Fear, a three-day convention in Lancaster, PA from Oct. 11th-13th hosted by and fundraising for The Bodhana Group. A big list of everything Jack mentioned is below the fold, too.
We don’t usually ask this, but please share this episode around. We want to get the word out about Save Against Fear in time for people to decide to go, and we want people to know about and support The Bodhana Group as well! Bodhana has a Facebook page and Twitter feed too, if that’s your thing.
Scripture: Psalm 103:2-5, Luke 7:20-23, John 8:3-11, and Philippians 4:8
Grant, Peter, and Branden are back with the next part of our Virtues & Vices series! We start with the final tally for the first RPG Podcasters’ Charity Drive, and a bit of other news. Then we dive into Gluttony—what it is, common misconceptions, why it’s a sin, using it for characterization and plot in your game, and dealing with gluttony at the gaming table.
Peter and Branden cover a variety of minor topics in this episode: Our STG group on Steam; Christian video game sites like GameChurch and Christ Centered Gamer; books we recommend for Christian geeks; Methodist circuit riders; games that Peter and Branden would love to play, but don’t think they’ll ever get to; naming NPCs; and a variety of useful GMing resources.