Category Archives: Podcasts

Acquiring IP licenses and designing genre in rpgs

UK Games Expo seminar: Acquiring IP licenses and designing genre in rpgs (48 mins) Download
A panel seminar from UK Games Expo led by Michael Duxbury and including Darren Pearce on writing the Judge Dredd rpg, Ed Jowett and John from Shades of Vengeance and Ric talking nanogame design of specific shows and books

0000 Introductions
0510 Ed Jowett on Acquiring a licence: estates, companies, individuals
0720 Darren Pearce on How to work for a publisher with a licence
1535 John on Being a professional writer and expectations of writing for a licensed work
1840 Michael Duxbury on Creating a genre game by hacking another
2625 Epistolary Richard on Four approaches to creating a genre game as a nanogame
3605 Darren Pearce on writing licensed games and fan expectations for The First Doctor sourcebook
4000 Epistolary Richard on Fan enthusiasm and criticism with Scythes of the Emperor
4250 John and Darren on dealing with a blank page

Games mentioned
Judge Dredd rpg (2017)
Doctor Who (2009)
Savage Worlds (2003)
Hunter: The Vigil (2008)
Memory Ball (2015)
A Town with Pep! (2017)
Girls from Gilmore, Boys from the Dwarf (2017)
Star Wars (West End Games) (1987)

Media mentioned
Riddick
My Little Pony
Supernatural
Men in Black
The A-Team
Inside Out
Riverdale
Veronica Mars
Gilmore Girls
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Scythes of the Emperor
Star Wars Rebels

Epidiah Ravachol and Swords Without Master

Epidiah Ravachol and Swords Without Master (28 mins) Download
A detailed discussion with Epidiah Ravachol about the design of Swords Without Master

0000 Why has Swords taken so long?
0125 What has pro-wrestling to do with the Perilous Phase?
0209 How each phase shares responsibility for the narrative
0333 The Rogues Phase and Playing your character in the face of demands that go against your vision of the character and framing demands
0650 The Discovery Phase as driver of the game
0820 The Phase for ending the game
0933 The design origins of the Phases
1335 The Overplayer’s sense of wonder in the Discovery phase
1437 Stymies and “Just call it failure!”
1636 Morals and amoral tales
1810 Mysteries and the world is weirder than you think
1840 Motifs, echoes and chapter breaks
2242 Motif reincorporation and ending the game
2439 Epilogues and hopes for multi-session play
2643 Changes to the finished version

Games mentioned
Sorceress Bloody Sorceress (2014)
Apocalypse World (2010)
The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1998)
The Black Hack (2016)
Annalise (2010)
Invisible Empire (2015)

The development of the rpg design of Epidiah Ravachol

The development of the rpg design of Epidiah Ravachol (38 mins) Download
A profile of the rpg development history of Epidiah Ravachol with contributions from the Tableplay, Tell Me Another and Independent Insurgency podcasts

0053 The origins of Dread
0444 The Dread tower
0550 The Dread questionnaires
0616 Publishing Dread
0728 Time and Temp
0928 Epimas and the success of the pdf
1023 Playstorming
1130 The Games in a Jiffy: Trial & Terror and MonkeyDome
1350 MonkeyDome, tonal resolution and Sword & Sorcery
1510 Dread House: refining and developing Dread
1828 The direct lineage from Dread to Vast & Starlit via a horror convention
2222 What is a roleplaying game? the game
2410 Vast & Starlit and the essential core of roleplaying games
2700 The development of Swords Without Master and Worlds Without Master
3015 Wolfspell – powered by the apocalypse
3140 Swords Without Master: tones, phases and its mini-games

Games mentioned
Dread (2005)
Time & Temp (2009)
Trial and Terror: SVU (2009)
MonkeyDome (2009)
Dread House (2010)
The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku (2015)
Spaceknights (2012)
The Final Girl (2012)
What is a roleplaying game? (2013)
Vast & Starlit (2013)
Doll (2013)
The Sundered Land (2013)
Nanoworld (2013)
Cheat Your Own Adventure (2012)
Swords Without Master (2014)
Wolfspell (2013)
Apocalypse World (2011)
Invisible Empire (2015)

Media mentioned
Worlds Without Master
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
The 200 word rpg contest
The works of Clark Ashton Smith

Epimas 2016 – Epidiah Ravachol

Epimas 2016 – A conversation with Epidiah Ravachol (16 mins) Download
Ric & Rob talk with Epidiah Ravachol about Epimas 2016.

See the Epimas bundles on the Worlds without Master website. Bundles can be bought and gifted until 23 December 2016.

0046 Read Epidiah’s interview with Brie Sheldon about the history of Epimas.
0053 Why he does Epimas
0245 How Epimas has changed
0633 Playing favourites in The Romance trilogy
0822 Playing favourites in this year’s Epimas
1255 Epimas games he wishes he’d designed
1320 Hidden gems in the Epimas bundles
1515 The bundle to get for the friend with whom you have a difficult relationship

Games mentioned
The Holly & The Ivy (Playing Nature’s Year)
The Romance trilogy (in the Love bundle)
Beast Hunters
By Crom (in the Mirth bundle)
The Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze (in the Comfort bundle)
Our Radios Are Dying (in the Love bundle)
Wizards of Three Moons (in the Mirth bundle)
Apocalypse World 2e (in the Good Will bundle)
Flavortown (in the Warmth bundle)
#Feminism (in the Love bundle)
The Good Will bundle
The Joie bundle

Episode Eight – Lady Blackbird

Episode Eight – Lady Blackbird (47 mins) Download
Lady Blackbird is a tabletop roleplaying game designed by John Harper.
Don’t like background music? Find the music-free recording at the bottom of the page.

0034 Why are we talking about this game?
0127 A scenario with its own rule system
0317 The premise of the scenario
0654 Where did it come from?
0939 What are the mechanics? The obstacle, the dice pool, xp and refreshment scenes
1250 Are they effective? General pool management and spotlighting
1416 Success and failure
1751 What’s best for team vs character and “speedrunning”
1901 Character specialisation and reiterating challenges and controlling the spotlight
2349 “Antisocial” keys and character status
2528 The role of gm
2751 The structure of the story beyond escaping the Hand of Sorrow
2939 The importance of the relationships
3448 Beyond the initial character keys
3614 What should designers take from this game?
4225 Is it part of our canon?
4602 Other games to look at Magister Lor (2015) and Inspectres (2002)

Games mentioned
Magister Lor (2015)
Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne (2012)
Psi*Run (2007)
Blades in the Dark (2017?)
The Shadow of Yesterday (2004)
The Pool (2000)
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (Cortex) (2012)
Vast & Starlit (2013)

Other things mentioned
The best one shots in the world (Fastaval history)
Star Wars
Harry Potter

Music is Paste the Sky by Paul Ressel and used under licence from Audio Network.

Music-free version Download

What’s Hot in Story Games 2016

What’s Hot in Story Games 2016? – Dragonmeet 2016 seminar (48 mins) Download
An annual lookback at 2016 and some of the games and trends in story games and narrative rpgs.

Ric moderated this seminar at Dragonmeet on 3rd December 2016. The panel was Rob, Grant Howitt, Joanna Piancastelli and Lloyd Gyan. (Read the hand-outs, including popular con games, biggest kickstarters and top patreons and a list of games released in 2016)

0007 Rob Carnel on Soap Bubble by Joshua Fox and Annex by John Keyworth

0408 Grant Howitt on Cryptomancer by Chad Walker and Ten Candles by Stephen Dewey

0656 Joanna Piancastelli on Bluebeard’s Bride by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson and the Warbirds anthology

1140 Lloyd Gyan on Masks: A New Generation by Brendan Conway and Monkey: A Second Incarnation by Newt Newport

1627 Rob Carnel on smaller games and game competitions
200 word rpg challenge
Golden Cobra Challenge
Game Chef
7th Sea 2e kickstarter
John Harper’s Patreon (Breakers)
Grant Howitt’s Patreon (The Witch is Dead, Golden Sea)
Blades in the Dark
Lady Blackbird

2518 Grant Howitt on the absence of technology
Spaceteam
Ticket to Atlantis (the Russian larp mentioned)
Viewscream 2e
XCOM: the Board Game

3148 Joanna Piancastelli on the impact of blockbuster larps
Convention of Thorns
College of Wizardry
Fairweather Manor
Ghost Court
The Line
Inheritance
Fall of Magic
Invisible Sun

3740 Lloyd Gyan on online gaming and meeting new people
Tabletop RPG One Shot facebook group

Q&A:
4124 Do high production values reduce accessibility?
4307 Views on second editions of indie games?
Apocalypse World 2e
Monsterhearts 2e

4449 Upcoming games we’re excited about?
Monkey: A Second Incarnation
Atlas Reckoning
The Spire
Follow

4608 Playing rpgs in public?

Rob Carnel is a game critic, zine editor and one of the most prolific game-runners at London Indiemeet.

Grant Howitt is a freelance writer and the game designer behind Goblin Quest, Drunken Bear Fighter and Doctor Magnethands. This year he ran the very successful kickstarter for his new game Unbound.

Joanna Piancastelli is a globe-trotting game designer, just returned from the Metatopia game design convention in America and Convention of Thorns, the newest Polish castle larp. Her game Before the Storm is published in the Seven Wonders anthology from Pelgrane Press, and she’s currently working on a play-by-video larp design.

Lloyd Gyan is a lover of indie and story games and also a GMing phenomenon.

Episode Seven – Dog Eat Dog

Episode Seven – Dog Eat Dog (47 mins) Download
Dog Eat Dog is a tabletop roleplaying game designed by Liam Liwanag Burke.
Don’t like background music? Find the music-free recording at the bottom of the page.

Ric & Rob talk about Dog Eat Dog (2012), a game of occupation, resistance and assimilation.

0038 Why are we talking about this game?
0115 What was the designer’s goal?
0301 What are the mechanics?
1233 Are they effective?
1818 The token economy
2151 An uncomfortable game
2417 Why not have the natives write the rules?
2643 You can’t predict how you’ll play
2930 Where did it come from?
3412 What should designers take from this game?
4243 Is it part of our canon?
4500 Other games to look at Mars Colony (2010) and My Life With Master (2003)

Games mentioned
Dungeons & Dragons (1974-2014)
Blue moon city (2006)
Chronicles of Skin (2011-12)
#Feminism (2016)

Music is Long White Cloud by Marshall Smith and used under licence from Audio Network.

Music-free version Download

Episode Six – Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne

Episode Six – Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne (48 mins) Download
Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne is a tabletop roleplaying game designed by Kevin Barthaud & Richard Lacy.
Don’t like background music? Find the music-free recording at the bottom of the page.

Ric & Rob talk about Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne (2012), a game of a single journey, of guilt, faith and absolution.

0044 Why are we talking about this game?
0139 Where did it come from?
0355 What’s the premise of the game?
0448 The mechanic
0557 Short time to table
0638 Elouise’s guilt, scene structure, tight constraints
0826 Characters, faith, justice, duty
1118 Absolution
1258 Where did it come from?
1421 What was the designer’s goal?
1640 Play, foreshadowing, confessions, the purpose of scenes
2205 Relationships
2311 Bringing your own basket
2333 Narrative freedom and a character sandbox
2540 Elouise
2917 Set characters but a variety of portrayals
3152 Complicity and the reveal, a game about the experience
3413 What should designers take from this game?
4153 Is it part of our canon?
4632 Read more about playing Witch in Ric’s The Witch & The Rosary (pdf on drivethrurpg) (kindle on amazon)
4639 Other games to look at Montsegur 1244 (2009) and Kagematsu (2009)

Games mentioned
Montsegur 1244 (2009)
Archipelago (2007-12)
Love in the Time of Seið (2010)
Lady Blackbird (2009)
Dogs in the Vineyard (2004)
Forsooth! (2012)
Microscope (2011)
The Final Voyage of the Selene (2011)

Media mentioned
Season of the Witch
Live action Witch at Camp Nerdly

Music is Ruins by Patrick Hawes and used under licence from Audio Network.

Music-free version Download

Episode Five – Archipelago

Episode Five – Archipelago (39 mins) Download
Archipelago is a tabletop roleplaying game designed by Matthijs Holter.
Don’t like background music? Find the music-free recording at the bottom of the page.

Ric & Rob talk about Archipelago (2007-12), a game of interweaving tales, of journeys and destiny, of rituals and the sea.

0032 Why are we talking about this game?
0204 Where did it come from?
0400 What was the designer’s goal?
0717 Mechanics – destiny points, scene framing, ritual phrases, fate cards, resolution cards, aspects
1436 Is it effective? Player empowerment
1708 A slow game
1925 Lack of preparedness for a scene
2257 Fate cards
2425 The type of story
2545 What should designers take from this game?
3250 Is it part of our canon?
3826 Other games to look at Questlandia (2014) and Love in the Time of Seið (2010)

Games mentioned
Love in the Time of Seið (2010)
Itras By (2008/12)
Intrepid (2013)
Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne (2012)
Questlandia (2014)
Fiasco (2009)
Prime Time Adventures (2004-15)
Whimsy cards (2012)
Forsooth! (2012)
A Penny For My Thoughts (2009)
The Mountain Witch (2005)
Monsterhearts (2012)

Media mentioned
A Wizard of Earthsea
Norwegian style blog
American freeform

Disclosures
The designer allowed Ric usage of the Love in the Time of Seið mechanics in Anarktica.

Music is Magnetar by Terry Devine-King and used under licence from Audio Network.

Music-free version Download

Episode Four – Psi*Run

Episode Four – Psi*Run (36 mins) Download
Psi*Run is a tabletop roleplaying game designed by Meguey Baker.
Don’t like background music? Find the music-free recording at the bottom of the page.

Ric & Rob talk about Psi*Run (2007), a game of chase, capture, escape and memory.

0047 Why are we talking about this game?
0133 The designer
0215 Role of the GM
0348 The premise, basic structure and mechanics
0658 Where did it come from?
0837 What was the designer’s goal?
0904 Is it effective?
0916 How the game encourages players to engage with it
1126 How the game empowers its players
1656 The two core mechanics
1716 Does it hold together?
1844 Common play structure and the role of chasers
1942 Prepping the cold start and character dynamic
2135 Ending the game and the crossroads
2303 Why play this game?
2805 What should designers take from this game?
3321 Is it part of our canon?
3434 Other games to look at Carolina Death Crawl (2013) and Hell 4 Leather (2010)

Games mentioned
1001 Nights (2006)
Playing Nature’s Year (2015)
Valiant Girls (2013)
Vast & Starlit (2013)
Otherkind dice (2005)
A Penny For My Thoughts (2009)
Dungeon World (2012)
Microscope (2011)
The Adventures of Indiana Jones RPG (1984)
Always/Never/Now (2013)

Media mentioned
The Fugitive
X-Men

Music is A Better Place 2 by Alexis Smith, Joe Henson and Dot Allison and used under licence from Audio Network.

Music-free version Download