Episode 46

by Chris on August 17, 2009

And…..we are back! It’s been a buncha time since the last show, and we even talk a bit about that as part of the Episode. We have liner notes coming, but wanted to get the show up and out there ASAP. Thanks to “Mr. Bennett” for being a guest one more time. Hope you enjoy!

Hosts Chris Hanrahan (CH), Brian Isikoff, with Mister Chris Bennet (CB) as guest star.


Go Play Northwest

01:45 — Go Play Northwest, Seattle: Chris Bennet talks about this game event with a lot of designers and people interested in trying something new and playtesting. He mentions some attendees: Jason Morningstar (Fiasco), Matt Wilson (PTA 3.0, Galactic), John Harper (Danger Patrol, Lady Blackbird), Ben Robbins (Microscope).

04:19 — CB says the indie community has started creating 8-page or so self-contained free PDFs of a game with pre-gens and an adventure that’s perfect for a con.

05:09 — CB ran a version of Twilight 2000 with Lady Blackbird rules.

05:41 — Norwegian Style: CB talks about a book called “Norwegian Style” which is not what it sounds like to Brian, but rather an anothology of around 18 Norwegian roleplaying games.

08:30 — CH is horrified by the phrase “Roleplaying Poem” and asks for a definition (a 1-page RPGish short-form experience in 15 minutes).

10:11 — CB continues about Go Play Northwest and a home-made feel. Discusses an “Mystery Puzzle” game by Jackson Tegu.

12:14 — CB explains the “Mystery Puzzle” concept.

13:08 — Discussion of Mathew Kline, Chris Bennett’s biotch, at Go Play Northwest.

15:11 — Swords and Wizardy and Fight On: CB talks about it being run at GPNW by Willhelm.

16:14 — Talk about small events that focus purely on the gaming experience, versus large events like GenCon with non-gaming “distractions”.


Experimental Sales Methods

22:10 — Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design: Brian discusses their “patron model”. Brian’s signed up for the Halls of the Mountain King project. Mentions Steam & Brass as well.

25:44 — Discussion of the “Ransom model”, used successfully by Reign and attempted by Chill 3rd ed.

26:53 — Brian returns the discussion to Open Design’s top-tier quality. Mentions Tales of Zobek and Wrath of the River God.


8th Anniversary Party / Aaron’s Farewell

27:39 — CH thanks everyone for coming. Discussion of how the event was very hard emotionally for long-time customers and staff.

29:02 — Mention of how Mordheim players have been playing at Endgame for two years with killer terrain.

29:30 — One of the best attended parties but it was essentially to say goodbye to Aaron, the father of Endgame.

29:48 — CH and Brian discuss how rough it was, and reminiscing Endgame history.

31:23 — CH throws thanks to industry folks who sent swag for the party.

32:26 — CH talks about the difficult business void Aaron leaves behind because of his extensive knowledge.

34:55 — CH talks about how awesome it is to have Chris Ruggerio step up and be a part of Endgame full-time.

36:16 — Brian says eight years is an impressive age for a game store, especially in the Bay Area.

36:53 — Brian shares with everyone how he became a Endgame fixture.

38:42 — CB shares how he found Endgame.

39:33 — CB explains how Endgame’s open attitude of promoting gaming despite games sales elsewhere helps made Endgame the premiere store it is.

40:41 — CH is flabbergasted by game stores that exclude paying customers who simply make a purchase at other stores.

42:02 — Brian shares one of his favorite Endgame moments.


GM Preparation

43:54 — CB burns CH’s GM prep.

44:28 — CH points out no human can match Brian’s RPG reading volume.

45:06 — Discussion of Brian’s GM preparation.

46:13 — He prefers games without too much crunch/detail.

46:49 — He likes a good elevator pitch.

46:53 — He prefers the GM/players format, despite good GMless experiences.

47:15 — Brian listens to players as they build characters for their desires.

48:14 — Brian draws inspiration from everyday life, Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies example.

48:59 — More on Brian’s GM preparation.

50:25 — CB discusses how he learned to do less GM preparation despite being a control freak. Three ways to get information from his players:

51:41 — 1) Take 5 minutes to talk to the players about their characters, look for conflict.

52:21 — 2) Ask players and/or prep hooks beforehand so there an immediate conflict at the start of the game.

53:58 — 3) Ask the players beforehand and afterward what they’re interested in. Ask for color or an idea for a scene. Keep the ideas not used.

56:01 — CH asks everyone at the table what their character is feeling and how he is demonstrating it.

57:10 — Brian loves how the games he plays has the players’ interests explicit on the character sheet.


Social Contract

59:29 — CH had a talk with his players about the social contract of the game, despite being seven months in.

59:36 — He also has his players write a recap from their character’s point of view, too remember events and get insight for ideas.

01:00:05 — His social contract talk was about magic items, which resulted in the players giving him lists of items they want to see that have stories behind them.


Why No Go Play Bay Area?

01:03:12 — CH says the Bay Area has one of the densest populations of gamers in the country, so he and CB discuss why there’s no Go Play Bay Area.

01:07:06 — CB says the main reason for a lack of a Go Play Bay Area is that the Endgame Minicons fill the niche. The guys discuss this.

01:09:40 — Brian agrees the Minicons have a high percentage of storytelling games and smaller games, and don’t tend to see the games played at bigger cons, like D&D.

01:11:00 — CB mentions Camp Nerdly and how they get together for a different reason.


Go Play Northwest http://goplaynw.wetpaint.com/

Prime Time Adventures (PTA) http://www.dog-eared-designs.com/games.html

Danger Patrol Alpha http://mightyatom.blogspot.com/2009/07/danger-patrol-alpha-playtest.html

Microscope http://www.lamemage.com/blog/index.php/87/what-is-microscope/

Fiasco http://www.bullypulpitgames.com/games/index.php?game=fiasco

Lady Blackbird http://www.onesevendesign.com/ladyblackbird/

Twilight 2000 (GDW) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_2000

Norwegian Style [book] http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/norwegian-style/5140294

Norwegian Style [blog] http://norwegianstyle.wordpress.com/

Swords and Wizardry (Mythmere Games) http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/

Fight On Magazine http://www.fightonmagazine.com/

Dungeons and Dragons (WotC) http://www.wizards.com/DnD/

Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design [site] http://www.wolfgangbaur.com/

Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design [blog] http://open-design.livejournal.com/

Halls of the Mountain King (Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design) http://www.wolfgangbaur.com/projects/Halls_of_the_Mountain_King.php

Steam & Brass (Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design) http://www.wolfgangbaur.com/projects/Steam_Brass.php

Reign http://www.gregstolze.com/reign/

Chill 3rd Ed. http://www.chillrpg.com/

Tales of Zobek (Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design) http://wolfgangbaur.com/projects/Tales_of_Zobeck.php

Wrath of the River King (Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design) http://wolfgangbaur.com/projects/Wrath_of_the_River_King.php

EndGame Mini-Con http://www.endgameoakland.com/minicon/index.html

Mordheim http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?community=&catId=cat200208&categoryId=1100010&aId=5300009&_requestid=185795

Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies (Evil Hat Productions) http://www.7skies.net/

Call of Cthulhu (Chaosium) http://catalog.chaosium.com/index.php?cPath=41&osCsid=d9a92a4a357eb66d70612d48136b4cbf

Spirit of the Century (Evil Hat) http://www.evilhat.com/home/sotc/

Camp Nerdly http://www.campnerdly.org/

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

jdac August 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Hey, thanks for putting out a new episode. Great to see some action on your feed again!

Personally, I don’t begrudge you taking time out of the podcast to do cool and/or difficult things. If you blogged a bit about it I’d have been less concerned that you’d podfaded, but whatever; welcome back!

I’m going to have to give That’s How We Roll a second chance. I was a tad underwhelmed by the first episode I listened to.

Brian August 18, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Good point about blogging it – I tend to forget we can do that, odd as that sounds.

Bruce Harlick August 19, 2009 at 9:22 am

Great show, but where’s the gamer-foodie love? You guys talk about food for maybe 1 minute at the start of the show and then nothing. I’m very sad.

Nice stuff on GM prep; always good to listen to that and realize what a slacker I am in that department.

And this is for Hanrahan, composed by my friend and co-worker, Matt Miller, as he drove into work this morning listening to this podcast:

Roll a d20
It tumbles on the table
I pray for a crit

Chris Bennett August 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

And to think I didn’t even mention the “toothpick” hot sauce I had at the catered BBQ dinner the first night of GPNW. So named because one toothpick worth and your mouth is en fuego!!

Pôl Jackson September 3, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Hi! Listening to the podcast now. Anyone have a link to the $10 book of “Skandawhovian” games that was mentioned on the show? (RPG “poems”, etc.) Thanks!

Chris Bennett September 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm
Steve Mortimer September 10, 2009 at 1:32 am

Hi guys, it was great to hear a new 2D6 Feet Pod Cast.

In the unlikely event that you’re unaware of it I’d strongly recommend checking out Eclipse Phase (http://www.eclipsephase.com/). Not only is it an awesome RPG with a great setting and potential but it is, as far as I’m aware, the first RPG to be released under the Creative Commons license.

TomasHVM September 12, 2009 at 5:49 am

Hi Chris!

The game-smiths in “Norwegian Style” are all Norwegians.

I invented “role-playing-poems” to accommodate role-playing with focus on special moods, and to mirror the function of the poem or short-story in literature. Nice of you to mention it in this podcast.

Thanks for sharing!

Mike Furlanetto September 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Hi guys,

Great episode! Your GM prep ideas were spot-on.

And thanks for the Open Design review, Brian. As a long-time patron, I know I like it, but it was interesting to hear what a (relative) newcomer thought about things. It didn’t hurt that you liked it.

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