Hello Friends. This week we’re at the Geekery for Pateron episode #3, Star Wars and Shakespeare night. Tangent Twin Dave, Tim, Jesse, and I read select passages from the book Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope. I hope you enjoy and let us know what you thought of this one.
Dopplechris and Eloy Lasanta’s AMP Year One Hey Folks. This episode has Eloy Lasanta on to chat about his kickstarter for AMP: Year One. A game I’m very excited about. We also hit the normal spots and things happen in the story parts which are winding down to episode 104. Because of a computer crash …View full post
Chris Birch and the Mutant Chronicles Hey Folks. Here’s part two of the interlude episode while we get things set up for the finale of year 2 of the podcast. This time I have Chris Birch from Modiphius on to talk about the Mutant Chronicles Kickstarter, which is doing exceptionally well, and other games and …View full post
Interlude Hey Folks. This week is a little different as I have two great interviews for you. In the first part I chat with Will Hindmarch about his very successful kickstarter Project: Dark and get some insights on where where story and gaming intersect. Shared Worlds 2nd Person from MIT Press Persuasive Games Protagonist Labs …View full post
Traps and Flour or Flowers Hey Folks. This week Mark and I chat about traps as we plot capture and deal with Marks Doppelganger. The action is heating up as year 2 is winding to a close. Sponsors for the Show: Level 99 Games 0:56 – Intro 2:40 – The Watercooler Sean Patrick Fannon of …View full post
The Beginning and Miles Kantir from Savage Mojo Hello Folks. Well here it is. Episode 100 which begins a four part story about the ending of our battle with the master of dungeons. I’ve been looking forward to these episodes which will mark the end of the second year of the show and the beginning …View full post
Oct 03 2013
082 - Breaking Out
Hello Friends. This week we have a new segment called From the Stew. I also sit down and chat with David Pulver about his new adventure Laboratory of the Forsaken from Crafty Games and his career as a writer and game designer. Hope you enjoy.
- Living Forgotten Realms at Seeley and Kane’s Comics this weekend from noon to 5pm. BALD1-2 THE NIGHT I CALLED THE DEAD OUT
- War of the Ashes RPG by Evil Hat Productions
- The Age of Rebellion Beta book is now available for purchase.
- The Dragon Kings Kickstarter is now Live.
- Beliefs and Instincts from Burning Wheel, the why they make RPGs.
- The Pandemic IOs App comes out as of the release of this episode.
- Shaintar Legends Unleashed Update
Lords of Waterdeep w/ both expansions
Settlers of Catan on Majorica Map
Boss Monster – 8 Bit Awesomeness
Mighty Number 9
Guilds of Cadwallon – Area control game – Fate Elhal Character Game Creation
Justice and Life
Dresden Files with a baby
From the Stew - 11 Thing to Help Your Players be Better Roleplayers
Lounge – David Pulver and Laboratory of the Forsaken.
Mark Smash and Baby Mae
Sep 26 2013
Hello Friends. This week we hit the four game check point and discuss killing you limping campaigns. We also have a ton of news and chat about the things we’ve…what’s with all the pictures and the list of adventures on the website this week. Weird. Looks like we’re getting that glitch again. I’ll have to call tech support. Sorry folks but if you know what’s up with them feel free to let us know.
Let’s play the match game. In the comments section or on the Facebook page match the number to the letter to help us out of the dungeon.
The Dungeon – Ten adventures
1) Castle Amber
2) Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
3) The Ghost Tower of Inverness
4) City of Skulls
5) White Plume Mountain
6) Tomb of Horrors
7) The Village of Hommlet
8) The Keep on the Borderlands
9) Against the Cult of the Reptile God
10) The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
Fate System Toolkit: Print/PDF bundle or Pay-what-you-like PDF
Fate Worlds: Worlds in Shadow: Print/PDF bundle or PDF
Fate Worlds: Worlds on Fire: Print/PDF bundle or PDF
Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate: Print/ebook bundle or ebook
Strange Tales of the Century: Print/PDF bundle or PDF
Workshop - The four game check point and killing your limping campaigns
Life of Pi
Sep 23 2013
Welcome to Patreon Episode #2 brought to you by Tangent Twin Katie. In this episode we do a break down on gaming parties, covering from food to games to get new gamers involved. Hope you enjoy. I know the dinner we had before the episode was delicious.
The Food of the Dinner Party
Bacon at the Gaming Table
Food for those who have dietary issues (Crones Disease)
Pop, Soda, or Coke?
The Gaming Part of the Gaming Dinner Part
How to handle the gaming part
Gaming parties for introductory gamers
Lords of Waterdeep
Ticket to Ride
Settlers of Catan
Take some Grahm Crackers and crush them up. Take a half cup of butter and pour it onto a baking pan or cookie sheet. Throw the Graham Crackers on the bottom. Make a box of brownie mix and pour that on top of the graham crackers. Bake it until there’s only about ten minutes left, pull out the pan and throw a layer of mini marshmallows on top. Bake all of it for the remainder of the time.
Sep 19 2013
Hello Folks. This week we hang at the Watercooler, sit in the Gameroom, and go to our usual booth at the Geekery but we have a very special guest. In the lounge this week we have Eloy “The Sage” Lasanta of Third Eye Games to talk about his Kickstarter Divine Interventions and Beyond, a Kickstarter for source books for Part Time Gods. Hope you enjoy.
2:12 – Watercooler - Justice and Life
8:05 – Gameroom - Pixel Tactics 2
Dresden Files Character Creation
Fate – Steam Punk Investigations
Prime Time Adventures
Ticket to Ride
27:40 – Lounge – Eloy Lasanta, Third Eye Games, and Divine Instruments
Part Time Gods
Ennie Nominated Mermaid Adventures
Apocalypse Prevention Inc.
Top Billing – The Movie Making Card Game
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade
Eloy’s Layout Samples
Rolling 20’s Excellence in the Gaming Industry
That’s How We Roll
1:18:55 – Geekery
Sep 12 2013
Hello Friends. This week we sit and discuss if a game is the GM Story or if the Players should have input and agency while we also hear a discussion I had with Matt James at the QCC this year. We also have the Watercooler, Gameroom, and Geekery. I hope you enjoy. This Show is sponsored by Seeley and Kanes comics and Level 99 Games
2:49 – Intro
Patreon Shout Outs
3:48 – Watercooler
Five Savage Worlds setting PDFs for only $4.99 each!
Weird War II from Pinnacle Entertainment
Shaintar: Legends Arise from Evil Beagle Games
Savage Suzerain from Savage Mojo
Interface Zero from Gun Metal Games
Thrilling Tales 2nd Edition from Adamant Entertainment
Plus, even more awesome Savage Worlds PDFs from Atomic Overmind, Savage Mojo, FunSizedGames, and Reality Blurs are on sale all week over at the Drunken Goblin!
Plate Mail Games: Custom tracks of background music for your games.
11:06 – Gameroom by sponsored by Level 99 Games
Lords of Waterdeep
Ascension: Rise of Vigil and Darkness Unleashed
19:03 – Workshop sponsored by Seeley and Kane’s comics,
Who’s game is it anyway? A discussion of GM Story, Player Input/Agency.
The Transition from Storyteller to Storyfacilitator.
33:56 – Lounge – Matt James at the QCC
1:05:43 – Geekery
Sep 11 2013
Hey Folks, This is Patreon Episode Number One. As part of the Patreon project this is the first in a series of patron sponsored episodes which might have some material that’s quite different from the normal show. This week we have Dave “Tangent Twin” Mondello on to talk about a variety of things including his before and after experience from his first GenCon. I hope you enjoy and the best part about these episodes…limited show notes.
Sep 05 2013
Hello Friends. This Episode is dedicated to the memory of our friend Bill Keane. Listen in to hear us chat a little about him, the Queen City Conquest, and Epic Storytelling while hitting our usual haunts…
Thanks Rob. You got us a message and we’ll do our…
Pay no attention to those messages that I can’t seem to get rid of after they’re posted. I really need to get that fixed. Anyways I hope you enjoy the show.
This episode is sponsored by Seeley and Kane’s comics.
3:29 – Intro
4:13 – Watercooler/Gameroom
1:00:58 – Workshop – Sponsored by Seely and Kanes
The EPIC DISCUSSION
1:18:18 – Lounge
SPF Convention Chat
1:59:57 – Geekery
Zen Audio Smith
Aug 29 2013
Hello Friends. We got a new Watercooler this week. We also have Dr. Nik Palmer from the Ennie nominated Panik Productions to tell us about how they are using technology to make better game products and the philosophy of Panik Production. We then delve into exploration in the workshop. We also cover all the normal stuff we normally hit in the Gameroom and the Geekery. Hey, what’s this message on my phone? Looks like astrological symbols and a message…never mind folks. Just ignore that last sentence and remember this episode is sponsored by Seeley and Kanes Comics.
3:32 – Intro
Seeley and Kane’s Ad
4:39 – The Watercooler
Lords of Waterdeep on Tabletop
Operation Fallen Reich. An RPG set in WWII.
New Sponsor: Evil Beagle Games , Colossal Clash
Gamers to Fight Tree Ailment
Got my copy of Numenera and peoples pictures of it are now floating around G+
11:00 – Gameroom
The Market of Alturien
Actually am doing some game design for Fate.
22:42 – Lounge - Dr. Nik Palmer and Panik Productions
(This is not my best audio quality, towards the end of the interview somthing happened and things got a little wierd on the audio end. Sorry about that folks)
Iron GM Recap
The Ennie Nominated The Deadly Seven. Nominated for Best Electronic Product
Interesting question about Gaming Technology in the next 5 years and where it’s going
Happy Fun Rules
Two Rooms and a Bomb
The Depths of Insanity
1:00:28 – Workshop - Exploration in games. What’s it all about and how can we make it work in our games.
1:14:20 – Geekery
Aug 21 2013
Hello Friends, This week it’s GenCon recap day where I did five minutes with as many people as I could, wherever I could, to bring to you. Enjoy the insanity I went through to get that audio. We also get into the new Workshop to talk about how improvisational theater techniques can help your game. We finish in the Geekery chatting up the Queen City Conquest. Buffalo’s premier gaming convention. Hope you enjoy and please feel free to send us feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. This episode is sponsored by Seeley and Kanes Books and Comics
0:00 – The Dungeon – The slip of paper
The heat from the torchlight causes a message to appear on the once-blank note: “Mix the highest of 28, one of 48, and the lowest of 206 into the last cup, filled with water.”
4:08 – Intro
4:44 – News
12:42 – Eloy Lasanta: Third Eye Games
17:39 – James Ernest: Deadwood Hollywood Studios, Fish Cook, Veritas
20:31 - Fez-o-rama: Twitter:@Fezmonger
23:01 - Drunk Quest
26:27 – Ashley Zeb: Eschaton media, Dystopia Rising
Monte Cook Games
Ninja Girls Reform School
Dino-Pirates Ninja Island
39:37 – Sean Patrick Fannon
1:11:36 – Gameroom
Murder at Balder’s Gate – D&D Gameday
Eureka 501 Plots
GoG – Baulder’s Gate
1:39:23 – Geekery
Queen City Conquest
Got my picture taken with a Dalek
Aug 14 2013
Hello Friends. This week we have Will Dureya from Misery Tourism Games on to talk about games which deal with Taboo topics. We get into the why behind the games and the purpose of them. I also chat with Garrett Crowe of Threat Detected and find out everything going on with…
People, we’re trapped somewhere dark. Please email me and help…
Sorry. Don’t know what keeps happening with the feed here so just ignore the above text. I can’t seem to remove it but we have people on it. In any case we find out everything going on with Garrett and spend some time in our normal haunts. Hope you enjoy.
We’ve got a piece of paper from the glass orb but nothings on it. What do we do with this?
Chat with Garrett Crowe
Buffalo Infringement Festival
Hutt Inc. Adventure series released on The GSA
Garrett at GenCon
Padme’s Lover Beer – Official Beer of the Threat Detected Podcast
Lord of the Hives – JW Marriot Rm 202 on Friday 11pm
Misery Tourism Interview
Star Trek Rumors
QCC shout out
What do you folks think about the show these days
Social Media: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook, twitter, RPG Crosstalk Message Board
This show was sponsored by Seely and Kane’s Comics. Check out their facebook page here.
Aug 08 2013
Hello friends. This week we have Amanda Valentine to talk about Little Wizards, an RPG to get younger folks into gaming, and we also have Timothy Brown who gives us the inside scoop on Dragon Kings, a trans-media project focusing on gaming, art, and music. I hope you enjoy…
Hey if someone is reading this please help us we’re trapped somewhere…
Sorry folks, don’t know where that come from. Where was I. Oh. I hope you enjoy the show.
2:25 – Intro
3:48 – News
Wicked Fantasy – The Enemy known as Uz
The Cortext + Hackers Guide
Peter Capaldi announced as the New Doctor
Shark Week Snafu
Cryptozoic Saves the Doom that Came to Atlantic City
Monsters by Email
The Sundering Event
Penny Arcade Podcast Games
GM’s Jam 11am Sat ICC Rm 242
The Ennies and Live Tweeting
A Night with Dungeons and Dragons
17:04 – The Gameroom
Mark built the new Shaintar Website
We are now part of the Gamerati Network
23:04 – Amanda Valentine and Little Wizards
1:04:39 – Timothy Brown and Dragon Kings
1:35:37 – Geekery
A Table of Geeks
The Force of Gypsy Dangers Rocket Punch via Science
Aug 01 2013
Hello friends. This week we chat with Matt James from Vorpal Games and get the skinny on the Red Aegis Kickstarter and I have a conversation with Ed Healy about the Gamerati and marketing in the gaming industry.
1:51 – Intro
2:45 – News
6:20 – The Gameroom
Baby Shower Games
Shout out to Myke
13:09 – Matt James Interview and everything Red Aegis
1:05:14 – Ed Healy on the Gamerati and Marketing in the gaming industry.
2:04:49 – The Dungeon of the MoD
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Jul 25 2013
So this post is my friend A.G. Smith’s post from over on the pinnacle forums. You can see the original post here. It’s a prefect example of how to use presentation to create the ambiance you want in your game. It’s also a great lesson on how the GM is the eyes into the world surrounding the players, ala Vincent Baker saying Vomit forth Apocalyptica. Thanks for giving me permission to re-post this.
My group is just recently returning to our Deadlands campaign (which is not entirely unlike The Flood). Up until this point, I had not fully utilized Fear Levels. Our campaign was mostly gunfights and weird science, not many Fear modified Guts checks being made.
After getting some cool creepy background tracks from the Plate Mail Games kickstarter, I was inspired to do a heavy horror session and really ham it up with a soundtrack. So last nights session the players tracked down an escaped “freak” from a carnival sideshow. The freak was sort of like an ever-consuming Faminite or Hunger Spirit, which had been caged displayed to horrified customers. It got out in ShanFan, and the players followed it’s trail deep into Stinktown where it broke into a slaughterhouse and started devouring the slabs of meat.
I hadn’t really used Fear Levels in my Deadlands games because I couldn’t really conceptualize how they worked in play. I understood mechanically, but never really though on how to narrate them.
So as the PCs closed in on the abattoir, I started making comments to the Priest PC, and the Huckster PC, about how things felt “different”. Started just using the book examples (longer shadows, queezy feeling), and as they went inside closer to the monster, I upped it locally to Lv4. More Guts checks followed. Fear started changing Reality in a very obvious way then (seeing things in shadows, air grew cold, etc). As they went deeper, lanterns began to dim to near darkness, and the hallway stretched (like a vertigo camera zoom). In the final encounter, which of course took place on the slaughterhouse killing floor, I upped the immediate Fear Level to 5, with Guts checks to reveal the Monster. By this point, it was full on horror show. In the near darkness, The hanging slabs of meat where bleeding, others saw hallucinations of them breathing, or covered in maggots, or even mistaking them for a more sapien-like species. It wasn’t a very tough combat, but there were new things to roll Fear checks for almost every round while avoiding meat-hooks that swung wildly around. The Faminite was crawling on the ceiling like in a Japanese horror film. It was an excellent time. Eventually the PCs got it together and whomped it dead in a single round (like they do). Immediately, the local Fear Level washed back like the tide, and they were left in a damp and naturally smelly meat-packing plant.
So that was my attempt to dig into Fear Levels in my campaign. Creepy music and lots of nightmarish details that escalated until it was hideously clear how important it is to push back Fear and servitors. My enjoyment of Deadlands just doubled tonight, I can’t wait to ramp up the horror again soon.
So how do you folks at home use presentation to ramp up your games? Do you make the game you’re trying to go for obvious to your players and if so how do you do it? What makes your game Epic Fantasy? Steampunk? Noir?
Jul 25 2013
Hello friends. This week we’re hiding out in Fredonia at the Mad Wizard Merwin’s home as we continue ducking the Master of Dungeons and his terrible minions. While we’re here we cover a bunch of news, chat about GenCon, a bit about the Ennies, talk about Living campaign history, try and help Mark with his Savage problem, and I speak with Brad Talton from Level 99 games about publishing, Kickstarter, gaming philosophy, and Power Play, the companies newest offering. Hope you enjoy and for the first time every there’s no mic drop. Listen to the end to find out why.
0:47 – Intro
1:47 – News
Mark isn’t Going
D&D Next is going to be everywhere
Chris is covering the Con
14:45 – Discussion about Living Campaigns
Organized Play and Living Campaigns – The differences
30:44 – The Extra Dimentional Enterainment Emporiumn
Wii U – Super Mario Bros
Ticket to Ride
Elder Sign Omens App
D&D Encounters – Father and Son Card Shop
24 Hour Death March
League of Legends
Ostia: Harbor of Rome
Ticket to Ride
Steam Punk Investigations
58:55 – The Art and the Math of Game Design
1:18:06 - Level 99 Games and Power Play with Brad Talton - A conversation about publishing, philosophy, and Level 99 games.
Power Play Kickstarter
Booth 475 at GenCon
1:54:24 – The Geekery
Just listen to it.
Jul 17 2013
Hello Friends. This week we have David Schwartz with us from Universal Gaming to talk about all the things he has planned for his company in the coming year and beyond and I chat with Brian Cooper about Quest Kick, a very nifty sounding web based app to use at the game table. I hope you enjoy.
0:54 – Intro
David Schwartz of Universal Gaming and the Dragon’s Den
3:53 – News
QCC: All the Pathfinder
14:55 – Extradimentional Entertainment Emporium
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Savage Worlds: Shaintar
League of Legends
Steam Powered Fate
29:48 – Quest Kick With Brian Cooper
1:00:18 – The Geekery
All of the Shaintar Goodness
Jul 10 2013
Hello Friends. This week we hang at our secret volcano lair for the show which features an interview with Evil Hats Lenny Balsera and a conversation about eleven ways to be a better player. Enjoy.
0:40 – Intro – The Volcano Base
2:58 – News
Gaming in the Verse – Firefly RPG
Drive Thru RPG Pay What You Want
Oddysey is on Sale at Drive Thru RPG
How Phil got his Groove Back article at Gnome Stew
Bulk Pricing for Fate Accelerated
Shaintar Kickstarter Update – Bonus Goal #8
Justice and Life shared campaign world
13:18 – Extradimentional Entertainment Emporium
Apples to Apples
Lords of Waterdeep
Cards against Humanity
Original Yard Board Game – Cindy’s Marshgammon
League of Legends
Telltales The Walking Dead
23:14 – Interview with Lenny Balsera
1:04:21 – Around the Burning Volcanic Island – Eleven Ways to be a Better Player
1:33:52 – The Geekery
Jul 04 2013
Hello friends. This week I speak with Mark Scott of Conflict Games about Conflict PvP and the Big Irish Sean Patrick Fannon about his journey in the game industry and all the exciting things surrounding the Shaintar kickstarter.
0:46 – Intro
1:55 – News
6:39 – Extra dimensional entertainment Emporium
Murder in Baulder’s Gate
King of Tokyo
Lords of Waterdeep
Race to Adventure
The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 – Beaten and Done
14:43 – Mark Scott talks about Conflict PvP
52:59 – Sean Patrick Fannon and Shiantar
Scott Harrings The Gamer Magazine
Ray Greer – Hero System 3
Justice and Life
Shaintar All Stars
Beautiful Brains Books and Games
2:07:55 – The Geekery
The Drive Inn
Jun 27 2013
Hello Friends. This week we chat a little about Fate with the Greenshirts, talk about the Shaintar Kickstarter, and hit the Geekery for some super hero chat. Unfortunantly we still can’t find that master of dungeons guy.
The Slurpy Dog
Shiantar Kickstarter Update
Garrett Crowe is running an EotE game at the Buffalo Infringement Festival in a Movie Theater. That is awesome.
Extra Dimensional Entertainment Emporium
Ticket to Ride
Dutch Golden Age
Dungeons and Dragons
A Little Fate Chat with the Greenshirts
Who are the Greenshirts
The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 & 2
Injustice Gods Among us tournamnet
Jun 19 2013
This week Mark and I are looking for the Master of Dungeons but aren’t having much luck so we talk about the normal stuff then chat about stealth in games and understanding your players while finally chatting about Man of Steel.
0:38 – Intro
1:38 – News
Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle
D&D Encounters – New stuff
Shaintar Kickstarter Update
Low Life Kickstarter Update
Never Unprepared lost – The fix is in.
Fate Open Licences
Correction from last week
Savage State of the Blur
12:12 – Extradimensional Entertainment Emporium
Star Wars: EotE
Vault of the Dracolich
16:39 – Around the Fire
Stealth and Scouting
Know your players
43:05 – The Geekery
Man of Steel
Jun 12 2013
Hello Friends. This week we’ve journeyed to one of the ten US gnome stew bunkers to have a conversation with Phil Vecchione and Walt Ciechanowski about their new book Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management. Good thing I’m not a gnome.
0:47 – Intro
Phil’s here and a little about the Stew
Master of Dungeons update
3:45 – News
Car Wars reference
Call of Cthulhu 7th edition
D&D Next Playtest Packet
Tangent: Gnomes as Monsters
David the Gnome reference
D&D Next Book released at GenCon?
No booth at GenCon for WotC?
Fate Tool Kit drops to Kickstarter backers
Fate Pay what you want for the PDFs
13:24 – Extradimentional Entertainment Emporium
D&D Gameday June 15th
Elder Sign Omens
Ticket to Ride
King of Tokyo
24:19 – Embarking on an Odyssey
A little about Walt
All about Odyssey
1:15:12 – The Geekery
Vera and Phil?
Dr. Who talk
Table Top season 2.5 and Table Top is nominated for a Diana Jones Award
Local Buffalo Events
Jun 06 2013
Hello Friends. This week we have Matt James from Vorpal games on the show to chat a little about his company, the philosophy behind Vorpal Games, and give us the run down on the star studded game design crew he’s assembling for Vorpal’s first game which is only known as The Red Aegis Project. We also do all the other stuff we normally do as we try and find the Master of Dungeons. Enjoy and feel free to let us know what you think of the show.
1:27 – Intro
1:45 – News
7:29 – Extradimentional Entertainment Emporium
Elder Sign Omens
Ascension: Rise of Vigil
Start Wars: EotE
24:16 – Story Time – The Story of a Bad Ass Cutlass
28:33 – An Interview with Matt James of Vorpal Games
Monument of the Ancients Dungeon #170
Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale
The Dungeon Survival Handbook
Soldiers of Fortune
Vorpal Games Chat
Ed Greenwood, Erik Scott de Bie, Erik Nowak, Claudio Pozas
Miranda Horner, Eytan Bernstein, Mike Schley
The Red Aegis Project?
The Loremaster Roleplaying System
Talking about game design
Master of Dungeons Sighting
1:01:59 – Gaming Chat – Do Over’s in Games
1:10:29 – Geekery
Baby Shower Games
Star Trek: Into Darkness
May 29 2013
Hello friends. This week we take a trip to Mutha Oith into and the disarming and twisted mind of Andy Hopp. I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope you do too.
1:06 – Intro
1:50 – News
4:10 – The Extradimentional Entertainment Emporium
Lords of Waterdeep
League of Legends
Race to Adventure
Underground with Fate Core
8:29 – Andy Hopp, Mutha Oith Creations, and Low Life
10:58 The Wanderers Guild
Monsters of the Endless Dark
Monsters of the Boundless Blue
17:08 Con on the COB
SP Fannon and Andy Hopp are the Sexiest men in gaming…?
Hello all three listeners
Have a Strong Identity
Use a catchy name.
A Gathering of Savages and a Party Con
Mark won a Corny Award
Con on the Cob the First
Regiprosity – Fostering cooperation between con goers and con organizers.
34:21 Low Life
Where did it come from?
Human Occupied Landfill
Back to Low Life
Why a new Low Life?
The Kickstarter rewards
Talking about Holy Crap
Talking bout tizn’ts
The Oithlings – The Mutha Oith community outreach program
Andy Hopp’s family
Gut Busting Games running some Hillbilly Leg Wrestling at Con on the Cob.
1:19:32 – The Geekery
Young Sherlock Holmes
Dr. Who and Adipose
Mark got a new car
Caravan: A Tale of Gods and Men
May 28 2013
I just want to hit a few thing before I get into my review because there’s some jargon in Fate that non Fate players might not be familiar with. If you are familiar with the game feel free to skip down to the review.
Basic Procedure of Play - Fate is played using fudge dice. They’re 6 sided dice with +, -, and blanks on two sides. You roll four of these dice, total the modifiers, and then add the total to your skill which will be usually be somewhere between 0 and 4, compare that to the target difficulty or the opposed roll. The oppositions roll follows the same procedure as described above. At this point aspects can be invoked using fate points. When you do this you can add a +2 to your total, re-roll, pass a +2 to another character if narratively reasonable, or add a +2 to a source of passive opposition. Now do a final comparison once both sides are finished spending fate points and compare. One of four things will happen: You fail at your attempt or choose to succeed with a consequence, you tie, you succeed, or you succeed with style if you have three or more difference.
Fate Point – The currency of Fate. You can spend these points to do a variety of things in the game from creating elements in a scene to invoking or compelling aspects.
Refresh – The number of Fate Points you start a session with if you ended your last session with fewer Fate Points.
Aspects - Phrases that lend importance to something in the game which can be Invoked or Compelled.
Invoking – You spend a Fate point to activate an aspect which allows you to add to a roll or re-roll your dice.
Compel - When one of your aspects causes you trouble you receive a fate point. The trouble is either an event occurs where your character is being prompted to do something and you now must try and accomplish whatever your character is being compelled to do or a decision where your character acts in a detrimental way because it makes sense for them to do so based on the Aspect. You can always spend a fate point to buy off the compel at the time of the compel.
Stunts - They modify how you can use your skills, make you better at using your skills in specific situations, or give you a new aspects.
The Skill Column – Skill ratings are like bricks you stack. You must always have at least one skill below the rating you want a skill at. In other words you can’t have two +4 skills if you only have one +3 skill. The +4 skill doesn’t have anything to sit on top of.
Stress - temporary harm you accumulate over the course of a scene. It goes away when the scene is over.
Stress track - the amount of temporary harm you can take before you are more permanently damaged in the form of consequences.
Consequences - A negative aspect from taking stress which exceeds the stress track.
Boost - A temporary aspect which only lasts for one turn regardless if it is invoked or not.
Extras - Rules you can add onto the core game covering superpowers, cyber ware, magic, or whatever else you might want in you game that the core game doesn’t cover mechanically.
Milestone - A break in the story of the game where advancement occurs. They come in minor, significant, and major.
Fate Core will help you build the game you want to play as long as the game revolves around characters who are proactive, competent, and dramatic. Every bit of this book is a guide to doing that, from teaching what FATE is in chapter one right down to how to add in all the extra bits like magic, superpowers, or cyberware in chapter eleven. Other games which try to do this don’t always excel at giving or explaining the tools to players and GMs. Fate Core is superb in that regard. The layout is easy to read, important information jumps off the page in bold text or in bullet lists, there are tons of examples throughout the course of the book, and the side bars are punchy and poignant. Oh, did I mention the hyperlinks for you digital readers. The table of contents is hyper-linked and there are hyperlinks in the margins to jump you to places in the book which might help you grok what’s written on the current page. Those margin notes also have page numbers for those with physical copies. This book is just another of the fine products produced by Evil Hat Productions and is the tightest Fate rules set produced to date. I recommend buying it but if you want to know what’s inside here’s a chapter break down of what you get.
Chapter one talks about the basics of Fate. It starts with the obligatory “What is role playing” section before moving on to describe fudge dice, the ladder, Fate Points, Aspects, taking action in the game, invoking, and compels. By covering all these ideas in basic terms the chapter prepares you for the rest of the book.
Chapter two covers game creation. This is a pared down version of the Dresden Files RPG city creation system but it also expands the ideas in that game to assist GMs in getting their groups to collaborate on any type of game they might want to play. It breaks down how to create a setting, set the scale of the game, get the games big issues going, and populating the game with, organizations, locations and NPCs.
Chapter three is all about character creation and how it’s also a game. Fate games use a system which tells part of a characters story and how the character connects with two other characters. From this little storytelling game you get your Aspects, which define half of a Fate character. The other half are skills and stunts. The skills use something called the skill pyramid. Each character gets four skills at +1, three at +2, two at +3, and one at +4. Characters are also capped at +4 or great according to the core rules. There is an optional rule where players start with twenty points to spend but are limited by the cap and the idea of the skill column, which is always in effect. In this version of Fate three stunts are free and refresh can be spent to get up to two more. Next Stress and Consequences are covered which is the way damage is handled. Finishing up some smooth and quick character creation rules are laid out. In short a character starts with a couple of Aspects, some skills, and a bunch of blanks filled in during the first session, adding in what is needed when it is needed. This works really well for people who have some ideas but aren’t sure how the game is going to play out and which skills will be really important.
Chapter four talks about what I believe to be the lynch pin mechanic which makes this game so much fun to play. Aspects and Fate Points. Fate points are the currency of the game and Aspects bring what would normally be background fluff to the forefront of play allowing it to be invoked or compelled. In previous books like The Dresden Files RPG and Spirit of the Century there have been chapters on the Aspect but none as comprehensive and easy to understand as in this book. It starts by defining Aspects and Fate Points, then discusses the type of Aspects: Game, Character, Situation, Consequences, and Boosts. After that we learn what Aspects do, covering how making something an Aspect makes it important to the game and get some advice on determining when the mechanics should be engaged. Next it covers how to make quality Aspects. Here’s my favorite advice:
Always ask what matters and why?
If that question is answered an Aspect is easy to make. Following that is invoking Aspects which is the mechanical application of Aspects and hits on something I believe is new to this version of Fate in how free invocations are used. As many free invocations on an Aspect can be made at one time as there are fate points on the Aspect, even spending a fate point from the acting players own pool on top of it. Compelling aspects comes after along with the types of compels. The best part here is the idea of suggesting compels is everyone at the tables responsibility. After this are sections about using Aspects as role playing prompts, how to remove or change Aspects through play, and creating or discovering new Aspects. Finally the chapter talks about the Fate point economy, how refresh works, other ways to spend Fate points other than invoking, and how to earn them. Something new for the GM here is whenever a scene starts you get a Fate point for every PC in that scene. You can spend these Fate points on anything you want in the scene to help get your ideas going and to challenge the players.
Chapter Five explains Skills and Stunts. It starts by defining skills, what they do in the game, and touches on the four basic actions of Overcome, Create an Advantage, Attack, and Defend. When a player takes action that requires a dice roll in this game they are always doing one of these four things with some skill. The best rule change from previous versions of the game is the Create an Advantage action. It replaced a bunch of old actions that created Aspects. I was always confused since they were so similar. Stunts are covered next and this section has a fantastic “how to” on building new stunts. In fact anytime this book is giving you the “how to” on anything it is done in superb fashion with the mechanical tools explained clearly, followed up with common examples so you have a blueprint to start with when building anything. Finishing the chapter is the skill list. I think it’s worth noting there is a quality side bar on dealing with the resource skill on pg 123.
Chapter six is all about Actions and Outcomes. This chapter and chapter 7 cover the procedures of play, starting by getting in depth with the four outcomes and the four actions. Everything in this chapter exemplifies the Fantastic layout of the book. It’s easy to read and understand and if a term was forgotten the margin notes point to where to find it.
Chapter seven covers challenges, contests, and conflicts. When a single roll of the dice isn’t enough to determine the outcome these are the procedures given to decide what happens. There are some great questions GMs can ask to decide which of these three frameworks should be used. Challenges cover overcoming some series of obstacles where a single roll doesn’t seem to fit, contests involve two or more characters striving for a goal but aren’t trying to harm each other directly, and conflicts are for those situations where people are trying to hurt each other physically or mentally. The conflict section is the largest of the chapter and covers setting the scene, determining turn order, what exchanges and zones are, creating situation Aspects, resolving attacks, taking consequences, recovering from consequences, ending a conflict and all the other little gritty details of fighting, be it with words or swords. I really like the teamwork rule in this game. It’s simple. If a character has at least an Average rating (or +1) in the skill that the die roller is using a +1 can be added assuming the characters assistance makes sense in the narrative. The only caveat is if a character helps they are now subject to any costs associated with the roll.
Chapter eight is all about running the game from the GMs perspective. It covers what the GMs responsibilities are which is starting and ending scenes, playing the world, judging the use of the rules, and creating scenarios along with just about everything else. So while that’s the over view of what the GMs job is this chapter goes deep, giving GMs some options for how to guide game creation and deciding if extras are needed. Then it hits on how to make the game go during play and it starts with the Golden Rule of Fate:
Decide what you’re trying to accomplish first, then consult the rules to help you do it.
It seems so simple but it’s such good advice for any game. Next it talks about when to roll the dice:
Roll the dice only when succeeding or failing at the action could each contribute something interesting to the game.
Then there’s advice on how to make failure interesting, some excellent tips about how to not marginalize characters because they failed, and what constitutes a minor cost vs. a serious cost. After that the chapter goes into how to push some of the work onto your players, setting difficulties, dealing with game time and story time, and how to use story time in success and failure to create deadline pressures. There’s advice on zooming in and out on the story, judging the use of skills and stunts, why you should leave specific measurements out of the game, dealing with the weird things that happen in conflicts, and how multiple targets of effects could be handled. It covers environmental hazards, gives advice on dealing with Aspects and how not to be weaksause (their words not mine) when making compels. Finally there is an excellent set of guidelines for creating and playing the PCs opposition. This version of Fate, like others adopts a create only what you need philosophy, which I approve of, and covers how to right-size your opposition if you want rougher or easier conflicts based on numbers, skills, advantages, and venues. I think this chapter is a gold mine of advice for any GM running most traditional RPGs and even some which aren’t so traditional.
Chapter nine covers the creation of scenes, sessions, and scenarios. It starts with defining the scenario and how to start building them by finding the problems, asking story questions, establish the opposition, and set the first scene. After that the game should just go. It’s fantastic stuff and helps GMs out by posing a bunch of Madlibs to figure out what problems there are and following it up with questions you can answer to figure out everything else. Next is support for scenes through determining the purpose of the scene and figuring out what interesting thing is going to happen. Then the book takes a few pages to help GMs get their players interested in the scene by advising GMs to hit character Aspects and calling back to the three pillars of the game: Competence, Proactivity, and Drama. Then some superb advice is given.
Whatever you have planned will always be different from what actually occurs.
The chapter finishes with some information on resolving the scenario.
Chapter ten is called the long game which defines and then gives advice for building story arcs and campaigns. They’re basically giving frameworks for spontaneous storytelling. The mechanic that helps signify the ending and beginnings of these arcs are milestones. The book takes some time to define minor, significant, and major milestones and what mechanical benefits each of them give to players. Then advancing the world is covered and the things the GM should think about during each of the milestones. The chapter finishes up with advice about how to handle NPCs over the long haul.
Chapter eleven is all about the Extras. What’s an extra? It’s anything that’s part of a character or controlled by a character that gets special treatment in the rules. These are the setting rules you’ll get in a super hero game or the magic system in a fantasy setting. To help GMs out the book has a bunch of different add-ons you can use or use as a blueprint to build your own extras. To help GMs create those extra’s they even have a great list of questions GMs can ask to help them figure out what they may or may not need. In here is also one of the coolest things about Fate. The Fate fractal. Anything in the game world can be treated like it’s a character. A car, an organization, a location, whatever. Just throw some Aspects, skills, stunts, a stress track or two, and consequence slots on it if you want. You want a Birthright campaign, you can do it, just make all the kingdoms Fate characters with skills, stunts, or Aspects, and that’s just one of the things you could do.
My personal thoughts are this rules set is the tightest Fate has produced yet. Aspects are easier to understand than ever before, there is an interesting failure mechanic where the player gets to choose if they fail or succeed with a consequence, and the game creation sections along with the extra’s chapter gives you the tools to build the game you want. For GMs Chapters eight through ten are some of the best GM advice collected in one place I’ve seen in a RPG book that isn’t Robin’s Laws of Game Mastering. As far as presentation and use of language for explaining a game is concerned I’ve always felt the best book out there was the Mouse Guard RPG. While that book is still more beautiful I feel Fate Core is at least its equal and maybe just a little bit better at teaching the rules through the text and layout. I don’t give ratings but I will say this. I love Dungeon World and I’m very fond of Mouse Guard as a book to teach a rules set. Fate Core accomplishes the goal of teaching the game better than either of those games. I can’t say it’s a better rules set than Dungeon World or Mouse Guard because it’s focus is different but as a set of tools to help GMs and players build a game I’ve never seen a book or game do it better.
May 23 2013
Hello Friends. This week there’s a throw down at Pablo’s, story time with Mark, a bunch of news, some gaming advice, and the always wonderful Vera in the Geekery. God I hate her. Hope you enjoy.
0:00 – Throw Down At Pablo’s
4:35 – News
Numenera is up for preorder.
Game Chef 2013
The Battle for Oz Kickstarter
Low Life: The Rise of the Lowly (Core Rulebook) by Andy Hopp
A Study in Emerald deck building card game by Martain Wallace.
Among the Sleep
Torchbearer news – The Paladin
Injustice Gods Among us Video Game tournement.
Shaintar Books released dates.
Baldman Games looking for GMs for Origins and GenCon
11:19 – The Extradimentional Entertainment Emporium
League of Legends
Star Wars: EotE
Star Wars: EotE
20:45 – Story Time With Mark
26:55 – The Main Topic
Don’t Hold Back
It’s a lot more fun to win despite adversity than through the sheer lack of it.
35:19 – The Geekery
Dr. Who Finale and Space Spiders from Space
Agents of SHIELD