Magic: the Gathering


Episode 94 – Epic Monsters 1


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Grant and Peter are back with a whole host of things to talk about! We start with a bit about the Pugmire campaign Grant just started playing in. Then we answer a surprisingly tricky question from Patreon backer Jim Nanban, who asks us for our “elevator pitch” for RPGs as a hobby. We remind everyone that Save Against Fear 2016 is coming up very quickly (and that you should go if at all possible!) And finally, we reach our main topic: Epic monsters. What do we mean by an “epic monster”? What role can and should they play in your campaign? Why do they sometimes fall flat? And what little tricks and additional details can you add in to really make them stand out to your players? And most importantly, what’s the best story about an epic monster from your own gaming career?

Mentioned in this episode:

Scripture: Job 3:8, Revelation 13:1


Episode 85 – Designing Fantasy Pantheons (with James Wyatt) 1


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Former Methodist minister and current Wizards of the Coast writer James Wyatt joins us to talk about designing pantheons for fantasy settings! James is a long-time D&D writer with a multitude of major credits, and he’s currently writing for the Magic: the Gathering creative team. That experience shows in this conversation, which covers the qualities of well-designed pantheons, their essential natures, and a multitude of design details relevant to your campaign world. We also talk about Shadows Over Innistrad and “The Lunarch Inquisition“, James’s recent story set there; Plane Shift: Zendikar, which turns that Magic: the Gathering setting into a home for D&D 5th Edition adventures; the paradox of the Cross; our first “gaming curriculum” episode; and Thursten. We talk a lot about Thursten. Enjoy!

Scripture: Deuteronomy 10:17, Job 4:15-17, Acts 17:22-26


Blog: A Pair of Unrelated Things

I have a couple of disparate topics for this week’s blog.

Crossover:

First and foremost, we just recently wrapped up an exciting project with Kris and Katrina over at the Gameable Disney/Gameable Pixar podcast. We’ve crossed over with other podcasts before, but those have typically taken the form of a pair of one-episode “host loans” where one of us (usually Grant) does an episode of another podcast and one of them does an episode with us. Our most recent collaboration with the gameable podcast folks went a bit more in-depth than that. For starters, all four of us appeared on both of the crossover episodes, and the discussion centers around The Prince of Egypt by Dreamworks. The episodes of both podcasts are intended as companion pieces to each other and reference each other a bit. Be sure to catch both! As an additional aside, Kris and Katrina are both a pleasure to work with and just to associate with. We had Katrina on to talk about prophecy back in Episode 58, and we hit it off with her well. The interaction with both her and Kris was, if anything, even better. They’re both really great folks – friendly, smart, and full of both insights and humor. I’ve recommended their work so much by this point that some of you are probably tired of hearing it from me, but – tough. They do a really fantastic podcast, and especially if you like our tight, topical focus, you are doing yourself a legitimate disservice if you’re not listening to them, too.

CCGs and a Possible Event:

After our episode last week on collectible card games, we were contacted by a listener named Justin Lowmaster who expressed interest in setting up a StG community Hearthstone tournament. If you’re unfamiliar with Hearthstone, it’s Blizzard’s free-to-play digital CCG, available on most non-console platforms (including mobile devices.) More information on it is available here. Since Justin has done the work of coming up with the idea in the first place (something that neither Grant nor I did) I thought it was only fair to use the blog to gauge interest. So, how about it folks? Anybody interested in claiming a bracket slot in a Hearthstone tournament? I can promise that anyone who plays me will probably have a very easy go of it. I’m neither very good, nor very experienced, nor do I have much of a card collection in Hearthstone. Grant, on the other hand, is a very different story. Watch out for him, no matter how much he downplays his skill and resources. He’s humble, but he is also wily.

In other CCG-related topics – is anyone else out there excited for any of the upcoming Magic: the Gathering releases? I know I’m pretty stoked about both the Battle for Zendikar set coming out in October and the new Commander decks being launched in November. I talk about Magic fairly regularly on Facebook and have even entertained the idea of doing a series of posts about it over on my personal blog, so keep an eye out for news of that if I ever manage to get it started.

And that’s all I’ve got this week. As usual, please comment on this if anything strikes your interest, especialy that Hearthstone tournament. If we can get a decent-sized group of folks together to do that, it would be a fun community bonding exercise.