In this episode we discuss the question of racial ability bonuses in D&D and other TTRPG systems. Is race the best way to give the flavor of the setting or does it just bring with it uncomfortable stereotypes drawn from the real world? Which will win in our discussion nature or nurture? If you roll a muscle wizard does that save you from the Tolkien hole?
“Now, look what we have here before us. We got the Dukes of Hazards sitting next to Foxy Brown. We’ve got Shaft right by the Six Million Dollar Man. Nobody is hard moving nobody. This … is an RPG. And this RPG is the way things ought to be.”
-Idlus, The Warriors
Dave from MonkeyFun Studios joins us to discuss their Powered-by-the-Apocalypse game, Spirit of 77, which is currently on Kickstarter. We don’t interview him so much as strap ourselves into his Dodge Charger as he takes us on a fuel-injected ride. Let’s get down to it, boppers.
In this episode, we interview Hamish Cameron, the author of The Sprawl, a Powered-by-the-Apocalypse cyberpunk game currently on Kickstarter. Since Hamish is from New Zealand, we’ve provided a Kiwi-English dictionary below.
Kiwi – English
sitting – setting
dick – deck
bin – been
pin – pen
pin – pin (We know.)
Didya git eyes for Chrissmas, bro? – Is there a reason why you’re looking at me, sir?
During this episode, listeners may encounter the following (roll d100):
- 01-10 Boredom
- 11-20 Lame jokes
- 21-30 Extremely late movie reviews
- 30-80 Chris & Wayne fighting
- 81-90 Tangents
- 91-98 The ghost of Lyal, sighing
- 99-00 Interesting, lively conversation
In another Lyal-less episode, Chris and Wayne discuss encounters (both random and planned). Should encounters in RPGs be balanced, or should they follow the fiction of the setting? How to plan encounters, and how to make them interesting, balanced or not. This episode was inspired, in part, by an awesome (and angry) article by the Angry DM.
“Fighting a dragon is always a challenge. They are the kind of problem that calls for an A-10 Thunderbolt II and lots of rockets. Unfortunately, these things won’t be invented for another thousand years or so. In a pinch, you can get by with some household cleansers, rope, and magic, the duct tape of the fantasy world.”
-Michael West(en), Burned Rogue/Illusionist
In Part 1 of our latest Campaign Confessions, we give our thoughts on the Pathfinder system.
With Wayne back from Strategicon‘s Gateway 2013 and Lyal fresh off of reading books on the history of role-playing games, we decide to combine these for this episode’s topic. We look at the innovations that role-playing games brought to gaming and how these can be found in today’s convention games. Since we’re talk about conventions, we cover an eighties cartoon, zombies, neck beards, teenage girls (Wait. What?) and One Direction (Which convention did Wayne go to?).
Rejected lines from The Empire Strikes Back and proof that GMs really need to think about what they want to accomplish with their scenes:
“Luke, when a man and woman love each other, they hug very tightly…”
“If you thought the trash compactor was a tight squeeze, you should’ve seen your mother…”
“Luke! Meeza Jar Jar Binks. Yourza faza, Darza Vada, asksa me to tella you…”
In our first episode of 2013, we debut a new series: GM Tools. In this episode, we look at set pieces, vignettes and boxed text. In order to provide concrete examples that everyone can follow, we use the original Star Wars trilogy as our example “campaign”.
Having successfully recovered from The Towel Incident last week, we return to discuss two “Powered by the Apocalypse” games: Monsterhearts and Dungeon World. What does a high school monster love story game have in common with a throwback to old school D&D? Studded leather.
After listening to the episode, Lyal felt that Chris and Wayne didn’t really explain how the Dungeon World game works. There is now a write-up of the session we played both here in the Idle Red Hands forum and here in the Dungeon World subforum of the Barf Forth Apocalyptica forums.