Episode 140: Review: Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle Part 1

Before True Blood, Twilight, Underworld and Vampire Diaries (but a little after Dracula), there was Vampire: The Masquerade. It was a time when email was exotic and we didn’t really have a name yet for those kids that wished for more mall-friendly goth music. Years later, we got Vampire: The Requiem, a game that was lighter on mythology and tighter on rules.  Now, in the post-Twilight era, Onyx Path Publishing, who Lyal insists on calling “Onyx Publishing”, gives us Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle.

In Part 1, we focus on the setting. What clans are in it? Who are the Strix? Can you play Edward? All these questions and more will be answered.

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Episode 134: Resolutions

With 2013 coming to an end, we decide to make gaming resolutions, the geekiest kind of all. Listen to find out what games we will strive to play and make in 2014. Chris’s first resolution opens with an apology of sorts. Unfortunately, as usual, no one can remember what he said before to warrant the apology.  Wayne’s resolution kind of comes out of nowhere, as if he made it up just for this episode. It will be interesting to see if he’ll ever bring it up again. Lyal’s resolution is a repeat from an earlier episode. However, if 2013 has taught us anything, it’s that Lyal can and will repeat himself.

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Episode 125: Creature Feature: The Inquisition

In our first episode of our third annual Month of Horror, we look at the Inquisition. Sodomy, bigamy, heresy, and witch, uh, sorcery; this episode has it all. We discuss how to play an inquisitor as an antagonist (easy) and how to play them as a protagonist (not so easy).

Special guest appearances by one of Lyal’s cats and some of his dishes. He has since been brought in for questioning on suspicion of witchcraft.

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Episode 84: Pacing

Whether you want to run a fast-paced game that leaves your players struggling to catch their breaths or a slow-paced game that squeezes every drop of feeling out of each line, this episode is for you. If you want to run a game at a medium pace, this episode isn’t for you so much.

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Episode 83: Locales: Prisons

In our second Locales episode, we look at prisons with their bars, confinement, monotony, brutality and rape. Your players will love them.
We also review, with no spoilers, Prometheus and The Avengers, and discuss how to improve your Werewolf: The Forsaken game.

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Episode 81: 99 Problems with D&D Next…

…but the picture of the gnoll ain’t one of them.

In this episode, we discuss the latest playtest material. We talk about what we like and don’t like, and Wayne makes a case for elves of colour. We also come up with a winning business strategy for Wizards of the Coast to follow for D&D Next.*

*We recorded this episode before WotC announced their plan to emphasize campaign settings and adventures, which bears a striking similarity to our strategy.

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Episode 79: Creature Feature: Femme Fatales

We’re not bad; we’re just recorded that way.

In this installment of Creature Features, we continue to redefine what a “creature” is. We look at the mysterious, sexy and dangerous femme fatale and the lesser known homme letal (probably because we coined it).

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Episode 78: Non-D&D Fantasy

Should D&D be everyone’s gateway into RPGs?

After about ten minutes of listening to us talk about D&D, you may start to question the “Non-D&D” part of the title, but we do move on to other games. We look at Exalted, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Runequest, and Dragon Age. We evaluate each game’s system, setting, and presentation. We also discuss which ones would be good gateway games. At the end, we talk about an out-of-print game that presented fantasy races in new and badass ways.

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Episode 77: Literature Lessons: Science Romance

Let’s look 100 years into the future to see what 2012 will bring!

A pneumatic tube messaging craze will sweep the country!
Science will find the cure for racism: all babies born in 2012 will be white!
Automatons will do all domestic chores! Women will stay in the kitchen for the fun of it!
Man will teach dogs and cats to talk! Will learn that they never really had much to say!
The Idle Red Hands, a radio program about Marxism, will win best show of the year!

In this Literature Lesson, we look at the science fiction of Verne, Wells, and Burroughs. Despite having an outline that includes colonialism, eugenics and xenophobia, we’re actually surprised when the show gets dark.

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Episode 76: Rogues: Black Marketeers

“In the criminal Idle Red Hands system, Rogues will be separated into two separate yet equally important groups: the crimes and the people who commit them. These are their stories.”

The month of debuts gets another debut! This time, it’s Rogues, a look at criminals and the crimes they commit. We look at the proud noble tradition of deal dealers, gunrunners and pimps (and those guys that sold jeans and Beatles records in the Soviet Union). Believe it or not, we actually suggest how to play black marketeers. Chris tries to cheat by recommending a “black” marketeer who provides food to the starving, but Wayne and Lyal put a stop to that nonsense.

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