Episode 41

by Brian on February 12, 2009

We return in a post Minicon / pre DundraCon frenzy with press-ganged guests Ryan Macklin (of the Master Plan podcast, and The Internet) and Bruce Harlick.  No game designers were hurt (much) in the recording.  We chat recent play experiences, D&D / gaming with kids, Dresden Files playtest, and more.

Liner Notes (written by, uh, guest writer Adam Jury. Feel the love, friends …) :

0-30 seconds-ish: Man, they play this song every time, don’t they?

30 seconds to 1:30: Holy crap, it’s Ryan Macklin and Bruce Harlick! Brian and Chris are around, too.

1:30-10:00: They jump right into the most recent EndGame MiniCon, and the next one is on 3/28! Chris played Solipsist, enjoyed it, but wasn’t really sure he grokked it. Is Chris ever going to let the special guests talk?

10:00-17:00: Spirit of the Century talk, with a crazy-fun mad science game. Brian ran another SotC at the MiniCon, too, the second one a more straight-up pulp game. Straight up? Nevermind, there were raptors and a dragon/pterodactyl-thing, too. At about 14:00, Brian talks some good stuff about GMing SotC and similar games that are more player-driven than other RPGs

17:00-24:00: D&D. Bruce talks about why he’s playing D&D4, Dragon, Dungeon, and the new D&D Character Generator. Chris jumps in with his experiences from his current undead campaign.

24:00-32:00: About this point we hit a discussion of “Epic” level play in D&D3, and that transitions over to a discussion about MMOs, WoW and Everquest, and then back to Epic level gaming and bringing MMO tropes into roleplaying. Also, some thoughts about roleplaying in D&D4 and how much it’s encouraged in the books.

32:00–35:00: Chris’ five-year-old is playing D&D. His character is a Dwarf fighter named “Hitterman.” He’s learning some [bad] tactics and will soon replace Brian on the show. But not as sound-editor. Still Brian’s job.

35:00–44:30: More games for kids, games to teach math, recommended games for young players [Monster Island comes up], how to manage running games for smaller kids.

44:30–48:00: Moving on from kids, to new gamers and demo games in general. “Let the Wookie win!”

48:00-50:00: What’s Ryan excited about? 4e, until he got too busy, but now he’s too busy working to get excited about playing. “Sucker,” sez Chris.

50:00-52:00: What’s Bruce excited about? Some sort of campaign he’s playing with some work-friends in a homebrew setting, and he’s about to join a 4e game, too. The 3.5 game he’s DMing is just about coming to and end, too. He’s also playing and enjoying the BSG board game, after a couple plays.

52:00-63:30: Dresden Files RPG! Ryan sez that they’re cranking it out, but they don’t want to “turn vaporware into crapware.” That’s a freakin’ great line. Lenny Balsera used to drunk-dial Ryan for game design advice.

63:30-68:30: Brian reviews Classic BattleTech Record Sheets: 3039 and Feral Cities for Shadowrun.

68:30: Bruce pimps City of Heroes! They’re adding some features that allows players to create and publisher their own missions, which sounds really cool.

70:00: Ryan pimps GameCryer.com, a new review site. He’s going to start doing video reviews on it. And of course, he has his own podcast, Master Plan.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

irate squirrel February 15, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Adam Jury does the BEST LINER NOTEZ EVAR! I don’t think I even need to listen to it now. Not one swear word in the whole thing either!

Pookie February 17, 2009 at 7:06 am

On the “Is Dungeons & Dragons 4e an RPG or not?” debate, you keep missing the point. Yes, the 4e DMG is really good — that advice is excellent and it is great to see that kind of content in a Dungeons & Dragons book. Yet, what about the PHB? Where is the corresponding discussion of the subject in the PHB? Given that the book is for the players, surely there should be something there?

Anyway, great show so far (not listened to all of it so far, but I will when I get back from lunch), and have you considered any of Deep7’s 1PG series for use with younger players? Try the publisher’s “Buggin’ RPG,” which is excellent if the children in question have seen “A Bug’s Life.”

Chris February 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I don;t really think we have missed anything. The DMG is what allows the person to run the game. It also teaches that facilitator how to run a RPG. Now, on the players side, the PHB has one of the best concise descriptions of RPing I have seen. I have put that in parents hands, asked them to read it, and seen the light come on. Now, I do get where you are coming from…there is still no blow by blow teaching aid in any RPG on how to play aimed at the pure novice…but this is the best I have seen as a retailer. Please point me to something else if you have it….

Pookie February 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm

I only wish that I could off the top of my head. If only West End Games’ Star Wars Introductory Box Set was still in print and I would wave that at you.

Steve Mortimer February 18, 2009 at 2:40 am

Another great episode guys.

If you are going to mention Fantasy Flight though you really should give them some credit for the awesome stuff they’ve been putting out for Dark Heresy, I am very glad they ended up with this license as the books they have put out for it so far have been of very high quality in both content and production.

Carl Rigney February 19, 2009 at 11:55 am

Best liner notes EVER. Oh, and good show, too.

Greg Haslam (mentioned in the segment about teaching his daughters math through roleplaying princesses) also runs the extremely fine “X-Files High” Champions games at local conventions. Highly recommended.

Credit where it’s due: the excellent Don’t Rest Your Head 15-minute Demo is the fine work of Fred Hicks, downloadable from http://www.evilhat.com/download/dryh-demo-kit.pdf . Dogs in the Vineyard also has an excellent 15-minute demo where you confront your brother on his way to murder the whore that turned your nephew into a thief. Both are a joy to run, and very effective in letting players know if this is a game they must have. I wish every indie game had a demo as good.

Asylos February 20, 2009 at 4:22 am

Carl – do you have a link for that Dogs demo?

Great episode. Love the liner notes.

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