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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

LINKS IN ORDER OF REFERENCE

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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