Feb 04 2016

DwD&D#35 – Community Topics & OotA 8: Audience in Gauntlgrym

itunesDownwithDDAre you ready to get down with D&D. I know I am as is the mad wizard. It’s community topics this week as we touch on the Polymorph spell as a starting point and then move over to if you should let new players bend or break the rules because they’re trying to be awesome or keeping them reigned in. After that we go back to the Underdark to chat with Breunor Battlehammer and wrangle another two dozen plus NPCs. I’m totally feeling it as we get down.


The Down with D&D G+ Community

Out of the Abyss

Feb 04 2016

The MMP 2016 Listener Survey

Feb 02 2016

MMP#193 – Getting Motivated

ItunesMMpodcastHey Folks. We’re getting motivated tonight to talk about how to motivate your characters. Thanks to Danny Silva for sending us this topic. Enough talking and more gaming talk.

Time Stamps

1:39 – What’s Going On

The 2016 MMP Podcast Survey

8:23 – The Study: Getting Motivated

57:39 – The Extra Dimensional Social Media Depository

1:08:11 – Podcast Round Up

Feb 01 2016

MMP#192 – Encoded at Running GAGG

ItunesMMpodcastHey Folks. We were at Running GAGG and thought we’d record some stuff a our panel of play better games damn it so we did with Shawn Merwin from Down with D&D and John Arcadian, Webmaster to the stars. Both are members of the Encoded Designs consortium and we talk about Encoded a bit before taking questions from the audience. This is sort of a bonus episode but since in numerical order the Star Wars special threw things off I decided to number it so we can have Episode 200 fall on March 22nd.

Time Stamps

1:40 – What’s Going On

8:10 – The Lab & Questions from the audience

Jan 28 2016

Star Wars Threat Detected My Exploding Pit Droid

On Star Wars Threat Detected: My Exploding Pit Droid, GM Tony leads Barriss, Platt and Carson as they steal a ship from Docking Bay 94 to find Platt’s aunt. Meanwhile, the Almas group uncovers a foe they never thought the Galaxy would see the likes of again.

      1. TD073 My Exploding Pit Droid - Threat Detected

Jan 28 2016

DwD&D#34 – Ravenloft and Other New Things

itunesDownwithDDAre you ready to get down with some D&D? I know I am and it’s all fangs and brooding and other new things in D&D this week as we cover as many new and interesting things as we can so strap in, throw on some shades, get your SPF one thousand, and lets get down.


Ravenloft D&D announcement

Curse of Strahd Preorder on Amazon

I Strahd

Knight of the Black Rose

D&D Podcast with Hickman & Perkins

Six Ravenloft adventures for AL

Merric Blackman Five Temples Review

Merric Blackman Adventurer League Post

Baphomet Article

Rules Answers for January 2016

Jan 27 2016

MMP#191 – How to GM Fate

ItunesMMpodcastHey Folks. It’s all about running Fate this week as we chat about the game. We run a little long so we only had the Podcast Round up after the workshop. Enjoy.

Time Stamps

0:51 – What’s Going On

10:53 – Workshop: How to GM Fate

    • Why are we doing this?
      • We have heard from a number of people about not having run Fate or being nervous about running Fate.
      • We both have been running Fate since Core released.
      • Our job is make you comfortable with GMing this game.
    • Rules you need to master
      • Aspects
        • See episode 119 for the Garage all about Aspects.
        • Key info
          • Narratively true and mechanically true
          • Invokes and the difference between an invoke and fate point
            • Invoke – Can use as many as you want at one time but is stuck to an aspect.
            • Fate Point – Can only use one on an aspect at a time but you can use them on any aspect.
          • Compells (GM, Self, Group)
            • You can use these to drive story. In fact whenever you give them a task/mystery/quest and it applies one of their aspects that’s a compel since you just made their live more complicated.
      • The Four Actions
        • Emphasis on Create Advantage
      • Challenges, Contests, and Conflicts
      • Stress and Consequences
    • Prepping Your Game
      • Character Aspect List
        • When possible, make a list of all the aspects and put it on one sheet.
        • This will help you when players are looking for ways to invoke aspects
        • This will be invaluable for you to figure out Compels.
      • What goes into a scene
        • Scene Aspects
          • A shorthand way to describe the area.
          • Things that can be used in the scene.
          • Will help when running the scene later.
        • Zone Maps
          • Only if you think a conflict is going to occur
          • If you do use a zone map, put down a few interesting areas as aspects (Pile of Boxes)
      • Building Opposition
        • The Fate Core book does a great job of this.
        • You can simplify this further
          • Give most important skill a +4 or +5
          • Give some other skills a +2 or +3
        • Give your opposition some stats above +4
        • Use Mobs for lesser NPC’s
          • easier to handle in combat
          • mob rule for skills
        • The more Consequences you give an NPC the harder they are to Take Out
        • Asynchronous NPC builds
          • You don’t need to use skills you can use descriptors for the NPCs.
            • Knockout Artist +4, Mortal weapons are nothing to me +6
    • Running Your Session
      • Fate Point Economy
        • Players are going to start with 1-3 Fate Points, maybe more depending on the game.
        • GM’s get a number of Fate Points equal to number of players per scene
          • Remember to reset these between scenes
        • Fate points will be spent by players during the game
        • Compel is the only way to get them back into the hands of the players
          • Find ways to compel them
          • Encourage self compels
          • Compels are not used to screw players; used to make things more interesting
        • The game slows a bit when points run out
          • Not like savage worlds, but it does slow
        • Points always drain during combats
        • Knowing the players aspects helps to compel them
      • Setting Difficulties
        • Review Fate Dice
          • Dice average towards 0
          • Range -4 to +4
        • Fate Core p. 133
        • 2 over skill number is going to use an invoke
        • 2 under is likely be with style
        • This applies to creating your NPC’s as well
      • Aspect/Boost Bloat
        • Mostly occurs during Conflicts
        • Lots of Aspects get put on the table


  • Aspects go away when they are no longer true.


          • Example: Grappled
        • Boosts appear on ties.
          • Mark them in a way that you can tell when something is a boost vs an Aspect
          • Purge them quickly
        • Conditions are also aspects
          • Put them out on the table
          • Mark them differently and note who they are for
        • I like different fate points for the players and GM.
          • This way you can see who has invokes on an aspect
      • Clearing Aspects
        • Once players get savvy they will start putting aspects via create advantage onto opponents.
        • It can get bulky
        • If you leave too many advantages on an opponent the players will cash them in, in one attack and take out the opponent.
          • This is the first step to Fate scene / encounter design. Once the players understand this you can innovate on what’s going on in a scene.
        • Take turns where the NPC’s take actions to try to clear them.
          • A grappled opponent makes a Physique check to become ungrappled
      • Combat Tips
        • Clear aspects
        • Use Mobs over single, weaker opponents
        • Use and create scene aspects
        • Compel your NPC’s to get more fate points


  • Use the Concession rules if you want to end a fight early or want your NPC to live another day


        • This gets into the writers table game because you step outside the character level play to decide how the story should proceed within a set of constraints
  • Between Sessions
    • Setting Milestones
      • There are no XP or levels.
      • Character change and advancement occurs through milestones.
      • At the end of your sessions let the players know what milestone has been reached.

1:23:36 – Podcast Round Up

Gaming & BS

She’s a Super Geek

Adamantine Heart

Talking Tabletop

Jan 22 2016

The Lounge with Ross Watson

ItunesMMpodcastWe have a storied game designer with us today to talk about curses, super heroes, and a variety of other things related to his life and his work. Ross Waston is our guest in this installment of the lounge.


Jan 21 2016

DwD&D#33 – OotA Chapter 7 and Kits of Old

itunesDownwithDDGetting down means getting out this time as the PCs need to escape from the Underdark in chapter 7 of Out of the Abyss. Segment two has us looking at Kits of Old and how the most recent Unearthed Arcana article is updating a few of them. Remember, you gotta get down to get up. Peace.


Out of the Abyss

Unearthed Arcana: Kits of Old

The Five Temples of the Earth Mother Part I

Jan 20 2016

MMP#190 – Grappling with Grappling

ItunesMMpodcastWrestling, grabbing, pinning, and other grapples are on the mat in this episode of the Misdirected Mark Podcast. We break down the mechanic in a variety of games and then talk about its relevance and hack-ability in games.

Time Stamps

1:06 – What’s Going On

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

10:05 – The Garage: Grappling

Pathfinder Flow Charts

5e En World Grappling article

1:01:12 – The EDSMD

Sidney Roundwoods Blog

1:21:58 – Podcast Round Up

Adamantine Heart

Jan 18 2016

DwDnD#32a – Cindy Moore on the Adventurer’s League

itunesDownwithDDAre you ready to get down with a special not in continuity episode of Down with D&D. We’re throwing back to the OG with Cindy Moore in the house to talk how the DMs Guild and OGL are messing or not messing with the Adventurer’s League and everything going on there. We also hear about what Cindy is working on and has worked on in the past. Check it out.

The Occupation of Szith Morcane

Jan 18 2016

GO – Supergirl Round table

itunesGeekin Out logoSupergirl is all the rage on this episode as we round table up with a number of Misdirected Mark personalities and talk about the show up to this point. Hope you enjoy and keep on geekin on.

Jan 15 2016

Threats From Gallifrey Doctor Who Dice

doctor dice dm guild

Time Lord Tayna guides us through the timey-wimey dice interpretation rules for Doctor Who RPG.


      1. TFG#13 Doctor Dice and DMs Guild Pt 2 - Threats From Gallifrey

Jan 15 2016

Threats From Gallifrey Doctor Dice and DMs Guild

      1. TFG#13 Doctor Dice and DMs Guild Pt 1 - Threats From Gallifrey

Barefoottourguide’s Threats From Gallifrey has Time Lord Tanya explain the Doctor Who dice interpretation mechanic, Savage Tim helps prep for East Texas University, plus the DM’s Guild.


doctor dice dm guild

Jan 15 2016

MM Update January 15th 2016

Well. It’s been kinda busy around the house misdirected these past 10 days. The DMs Guild went live so Chris and Phil and Shawn and John and Bob and even the newly risen from the dead Tim Jones made a thing and put it up there for people to buy. Podcasts have been coming out a little less rapidly that usual but to make up for that Chris and Phil have been doing other things in the podio world. It’s been kinda crazy so let me tell you about this stuff in a little more detail.

The DMs GuildDMsGuild-Logo

The DMs Guild is the new D&D market place brought to us by One Book Shelf, they’re the folks who run Drive Thru. This market place lets creators put there work up there and utilize a number of art assets, a template, and the Forgotten Realms IP to make things. You don’t need to make Forgotten Realms stuff, the material can also be system agnostic.That leads to a couple things.

Down with D&D #32 – Mark KnapikitunesDownwithDD

I can’t believe they let him back on the show. That guy is…wait, never mind, editorial said I couldn’t say bad things about Mark. Where was I, oh yeah. On the last episode of Down with D&D Mark Knapik came on and let us know a little about the DMs Guild since he helped create the website for it and was involved in business meetings with the folks from the D&D brand, you know, Mike Merals, Chris Lindsay, people like that. It was a good conversation even if I hate that guy.

The Five Temples of the Earthmother Part I: Life & MoonEncodedLogoweb75h

This is the adventure the guys from Encoded put together in one week for the DMs Guild launch. I can’t wait to see what they do next when they actually take a little bit of time to get the project organized. Chris was giving the adventure to all the people in the Down with D&D community but has since taken down the adventure from that space but is now looking to do a Down with D&D community project for the DMs Guild for charity. Interesting thought. In any case, if you want to check out some preview pages on the adventure and the fly Tim Jones cover here’s the link to the adventures storefront page.

The Five Temples of the Earthmother Part I: Life & Moon

The Misdirected Mark PodcastItunesMMpodcast

So there were some podcasts released aside from the Down with D&D episode. Episodes 189 and 188 of the Misdirected Mark Podcast were released. 188 was about Narrative Positioning and 189 covered Intraparty Conflict. I hear from 190 they’re talking about grappling as a mechanic. I have no idea how they’re going to make that interesting but they did encumbrance really well so what do I know. Here are the links to those two episodes

189 – Intraparty Conflict

188 – Narrative Positioning

Threats of Mirkwood: Cold Halls of the Kingcold halls ep6

Garrett wasn’t to be outdone and released the next part of his Threats of Mirkwood Youtube AP game using the One Ring RPG. The adventurers do a favor for Thranduil, one he wishes no one would have to do.

iTunes Feeds

Chris did another interesting thing and that was get every show their own iTunes feed so if you’re tired of the mega feed you can itunes up and not get the clutter or grab an individual show on whatever podkicker you want.

She’s a Super Geek: Heroine Part 3sasgeek2withtext

You’d think I’m done but I’m not. Chris and Phil played their third and final session of Heroine by Josh Jordan with the lovely ladies of She’s a Super Geek, Senda and Emily. They were even nice enough to let Chris be the narrator for part of the game. Then Phil got to narrate the epilogue. It was like and episode of the Oprah show. You get to GM and you get to GM and YOU GET TO GM!!! Felt a little hippyish to me but at least it was funny. You can catch that here

talking_tabletop_post-header_slimTalking Tabletop with Jim McClure and Chris Sniezak

To finally finish this ridiculously long update, which should take a couple more years off my sentence, Jim McClure was gracious enough to let Chris come on his show and talk about himself for like an hour. Lucky for Chris Jim knows how to conduct an interview. I guess I should give Chris a break, he did bare his soul on the internet radio and it was actually pretty compelling. Anyways, if you’d like to go listen to the show that Jim McClure edits – not Jim Meritt Chris, McClure does the audio editing – then I would highly suggest Talking Tabletop.



Jan 14 2016

DwD&D#32 – DMs Guild & What’s New in D&D

itunesDownwithDDBreak it down. Mark Knapik from OBS (Drive Thru & DMs Guild) joins us to talk about the DMs Guild and gives us a little behind the scene look at its creation. We also hit up what’s new in D&D.

Time Stamps

0:46 – What’s New in D&D

4:51 – What is the DMs Guild?

The Five Temples of the Earthmother Part I: Life & Moon


Jan 13 2016

MMP#189 – Intraparty Conflict

ItunesMMpodcastHey Folks. Are you ready to rumble as we dive into the deep end of the ring and see what kinds of stories conflict among the party can bring out. Then this is the right episode for you. We also get into the social media depository, talk about some announcements from Encoded Designs, round up some podcasts, and update the weight loss challenge. Enjoy and we’ll talk to you next week about Grappling. We did Encumbrance and made it interesting, we can do Grappling.

Time Stamps

1:20 – What’s Going On

The Five Temples of the Earthmother Part I: Life and Moon

Character Cache

11:50 – The Workshop: Intraparty Conflict

52:24 – The EDSMD

Mechawest Kickstarter

Accursed: World of Morden Kickstarter

1:09:28 – Podcast Round Up

Gaming & BS

She’s a Super Geek

Talking Tabletop

Jan 10 2016

One Ring Threats From Mirkwood Cold Halls of the King

cold halls ep6cold halls ep6


Gloin gets rescued from the lair of the Marsh Dwellers. A magical item’s found, and sad tidings greet the company in Thranduil’s Halls. The adventurers do a favor for Thranduil, one he wishes no one would have to do. Watch the latest session of Barefoottourguide Presents Threats From Mirkwood: Cold Halls of the King at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPC71qcYWVk

Jan 06 2016

MMP#188 – Narrative Positioning

MM Mini LogoHey Folks. We’re talking about the narrative and how it is, surround, and binds mechanics together today. We also hit the EDMS depository, and talk podcasts as we always do. There’s also the 2016 weight loss challenge. Take a listen to see what it’s all about.

Time Stamps

1:35 – What’s Going On

13:16 – The Study: Narrative Positioning

  • Definition – How what the players have their characters do in the play affects the mechanics of the game.
      • Play – The game as it’s occurring
      • Mechanics – dice rolls, modifiers, etc
  • What does this do in a game?
    • It makes what the players describe important.
    • It allows players who are creative in their descriptions to engage the mechanics of the game.
    • It reinforces more colorful descriptions of actions.
  • Challenges of Narrative Positioning
    • Takes some players a bit of getting use to.
    • Not everyone enjoys that level of narrative in their game.
  • Games That Do This
    • 5e D&D
    • Dungeon World
    • Fate Accelerated
  • Key Points / Summary
  • Hacking This Into Another Game
    • Easy, just make sure there needs to be a narrative component in order to engage any mechanic.

56:01 – The EDSM Depository

Companions: The Doctor Who AW Hack

Little Black Book 2 Bundle of Holding

Dungeon World +2 Bundle of Holding


1:03:45 – Podcast Chat

Shrieker Podcast

Jan 05 2016

Misdirected Mark Update for January 5th

I know it was the holidays and all but the folks have been busy over at Misdirected Mark Productions and Encoded Designs. Our fearless project manager Phil Vecchione has organized all our project boards on Trello, many words have been wrought, wrote, written by Chris, and the beat keeps going which is why I’m writing this update at 2am. I bet you’re wondering who I am. The post might say it’s Chris but it’s not. I guess you’ll just have to wait to find out. In anycase there were also podcasts loosed in the last several days and some announcements that need to be made.

DownwithD&DOn the 31st episode of Down with D&D the Mad Wizard Merwin and his trusty apprentice Chris broke down another chapter of the Out of the Abyss Campaign setting. On top of that they covered the newest issue of Dragon +, which they’re calling an Ezine, and reviewed Heroes of Midgard which Shawn liked. That’s saying something by the way.


Misdirected Mark mailed it in for a second week in a row and went way to long with their year in review episode for 2015. Chris told me he promises to get the show back down to around an hour fifteen give or take five minutes. I’d bet take every time. Phil also said he has no desire to try and shorten the show because he’s Phil.

MMP#187Threat detected

Last in the podcast goodness is Threat Detected with another installment of their actual play of Star Wars Saga, but what’s this? Garrett isn’t running the game? Tony’s at the helm?!? What in Sith and Lightsabers is going on? Strap in and find out. Also check out the part where Tony gives his take on Episode 7: The Force Awakens.

Threat Detected #72 Part 1

Threat Detected #72 Part 2

Moving on to announcements. With the coming new year Down with D&D has decided to go with a weekly format where Shawn and his padawan Chris will release on Thursdays from now on. You’ll probably see these updates on Mondays but I make no promises. Chris can yell all he wants about being consistent with this but he’s not the boss of me. I also hear he’s working on rebuilding the website but I wouldn’t hold my breath. That last thing isn’t an announcement, it’s just me complaining about how Chris isn’t capable of redesigning the thing with any kind of proficiency. Heck. Every time he tries to mess with the RSS feed he breaks something. That guy. Well, anyways. I hope you’re all up to date and feel free to go back the Character Cache. Those Encoded folks know how to make some cool stuff.

Go play some games ya’ll

The Wizard of Mark

Dec 31 2015

DwD&D 31 – Dragon+, Heroes of Midgard, & OotA: Blingdenstone

DownwithD&DAre you ready to get down with some D&D!?! Lets get to! Digital ezine goodness plus moar races and backgrounds, and finishing it up with a massive battle with the pudding king. It’s all inside this episode. WOOHOO!!! Also happy new year.


Out of the Abyss (D&D Accessory)

Heroes of Midgard

Dec 30 2015

MMP#187 – Year in Review 2015

iIPNV9aqUYrGsHey Folks. This week we talk about the triumphs, the tribulations, and the games, oh the games. So strap in for this overly long episode, sorry about that, about 2015.

Time Stamps

2:42 – What’s Going On

11:54 – The Bar: Year in Review 2015

1:34:04 – Podcast Chat

Gaming & BS

She’s a Super Geek


Dec 24 2015

TD072 Star Wars Threat Detected Pt2

gm darkside point


GM Tony discusses the affect of The Force Awakens on Star Wars gaming.


      1. TD072 GM Darkside Point Pt2 - Threat Detected

Dec 24 2015

TD072 Star Wars Threat Detected GM Dark Side Point

GM Tony leads Platt, Bariss and Doc to the seedy streets of Mos Eisley for a video game-inspired investigation into the disappearance of Platt O’Keefe. Also Tony’s take on Episode 7.


gm darkside point

      1. TD072 GM Darkside Point Pt1 - Threat Detected

Dec 23 2015

MM Productions Update Dec 23rd 2015

Hey Folks. It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write an update. Chris gave me this terrible cold and I was dead for seven days. Then I awoke and found there was Star Wars in the world and to complete the holiday miracle, it didn’t suck. So with that wondrous news on our door step lets take a look at what’s been going on with Misdirected Mark Productions.

star-wars-7-trailerIt looks like Chris and Phil are mailing it in at the end of the month, it is the holiday season after all, with a Star Wars The Force Awakens view like episode. They geeked in an outward direction with Bob and the Gril Friday herself Jessie. Chris told me the episode is full of spoilers. He also told me to go see the movie if you haven’t. I did. It was pretty darn good.

The MMP Geekin Out Obligatory Star Wars the Force Awakens Episode

DownwithD&DOn Down with D&D Chris and Shawn get positively fungal and groove on the grove. That’s Neverlight Grove which is chapter five of Out of the Abyss. There’s a Zuggtmoy sighting that has all the Lovecraft feels you could hope for and Myconid culture abounds. The pair also talk about that old black magic, which is the topic of the most recent Unearthed Arcana, and cover the new stuff in D&D.

Down with D&D #30 – Neverlight Groove

The pair also wanted me to let you know there’s now a G+ community just for Down with D&D and if they get to  100 members by January 1st they’ll give away a free adventure to everyone in the community. That’s some awfully nice holiday cheer they’re spreading. You can get there and join up by clicking on the following link.

Down with D&D G+ Community

iIPNV9aqUYrGsOn episode 186 of the Misdirected Mark Podcast the boys brought in one of the four horseman of the gaming apocalypse. I’m pretty sure he’s what killed me and made this late. Regardless pestilence is Steve Helt and he joins the boys to talk about going from gamer to game maker and his path while Phil and Chris tell their tale. After that they chatted about Star Wars Memories in the EDSMD and finished up talking about some podcasts.

MMP#186 – Gamer to Game Maker and Star Wars Memories


TKVTeam_Logo2015On the TKVTeam podcast Karol was at Disney World and Tim dropped a lovely filler show. It was part book reading and experimental audio from one of the current cannon Star Wars novels. Tim’s elocution is quite good. He then chats a little about the November NPDs, they were shockingly positive, and how there are too many games hitting the market to reasonably keep up with.

TKVTeam #60 – Book Learnin’


sasgeek2withtextChris also dropped a post about She’s a Super Geek since he and Phil are the current group of players on the show right now for the sorta holiday special. They played Heroine by Josh Jordan with Senda and Emily but instead of just giving the link Chris complied a list of fourty fact facts that Emily Tweeted about Senda. It was pretty funny. You can check those out and find a link to the show with the following link.

She’s a Super Geek – Emily on Senda Fake Facts

Geekin OutOn Geekin Out Chris and Jessie got together to talk mid season finales. The pair chatted about Agents of SHIELD, Flash, and Arrow. There were some pretty epic moments but I’m more of a Dr. Who guy. Hey Jessie, Chris, when are you gonna talk some Dr. Who. The Season already ended and the Christmas special is about to happen. Call your self Geekin out and you’re not even talking Who, what kinda geeks are you?

Geekin Out Fall Mid season finales



Garret and The Company of the Whiskey Drinking Bear continues their quest. This is the video AP of the One Ring that Garrett and some of his Patrons are recording. This is episode six of that story and they pick up the action attempting to heal Ankle Biter Legelaven of the dreaded petty dwarf curse. Then the Company has their first Fellowship phase. Throrr woos King Dain’s daughter, and Otbert falls in love with a Dale engineer. Then, the group petitions the King Under the Mountain for help retrieving the Marsh Dwellers’ treasure. If you’d like to watch this episode or find some of the other episodes click the link below.

Watch The Adventure Here

Well that was a lot to catch up on. On a personal note I’d like to say Happy Holidays to everyone out there from everyone at Misdirected Mark Productions and I’ll talk to you next week if I’m not dead again. I hear pestilence might stop by for Christmas. I told him it was ok to just send a card but you never know with horsemen of the apocalypse. They can be unpredictable at time.

Keyboard Drop. I’m Out.

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