Episode 147 - Blood on the Table: Horror in RPGs

March 31, 2018

Recorded at BreakoutCon 2018

Presented by Sarah Richardson, Michelle Lyons-McFarland, Jaym Gates

Moderator: Brand Robbins

Jaym Gates (BLUE ROSE 2nd Ed., TIANXIA: Blood, Silk, and Jade,), Michelle Lyons-McFarland (Chill, A Tragedy in Five Acts), and Sarah Richardson (Bluebeard’s Bride, Velvet Glove) as they discuss how diverse viewpoints bring new life to tired horror tropes. Topics may include feminine horror, setting the right tone, disrupting player assumptions, plus tips and tricks for running horror in trad, OSR, and story games. Make sure to bring questions of your own!

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Episode 145 - Narrative Arcs in Boardgames

March 17, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Roberta Taylor, Curt Covert.

Everyone loves a good story, whether it's in a book or on a screen, but what about memorable story in boardgames. What does story look like in a boardgame? How is story different from theme? How does the designer partner with players to tell a story? What are the limitations and where is the creative space wide open?

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Episode 130 - It Won’t Fit

December 2, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Kenneth Hite, Jason Pitre, Marissa Kelly, Fred Hicks.

When designing a game, the temptation is to use another tested rules set: Fate, PbtA, HERO, BRP, OSR, or what have you. When shouldn't you do that? What demands special treatment, and when should you make it yourself? 

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Episode 120 – Game Master Mechanics

September 3, 2017

Game Master Mechanics

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Vincent Baker and and Jason Pitre.

Role playing games have a long history of providing detailed rules on how players may act in the fiction. Very few games provide explicit direction and purposefully designed tools to constrain GMs. Let’s talk about the various approaches, from Fronts, to Countdown Clocks, Doom Pools, and more. Where can GM mechanics change design?

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Episode 119 – Powered by the Apocalypse

July 15, 2017

Powered by the Apocalypse: Using Apocalypse World to Outline and Draft Your Own RPG 

Special episode, recorded online.

Presented by Meguey Baker, Vincent Baker, and Jason Pitre.

Apocalypse World offers a powerful, flexible framework you can use to outline, draft, and potentially finish your own role playing games. Dozens of creators, both experienced designers and first-timers, have used it with great success, and you can too. It’s not a game system, it’s an easy approach to game system design, a reliable way to get your creative vision quickly into a playable form. In this episode, we discuss apocalypse World’s philosophy and foundation, describe the fit and purpose of each of its systems, and point out fruitful ways to build on them, contradict them, repurpose them, subvert them, and go far beyond them.

A copy of the presentation that goes along with the episode is Available Here.

This panel was originally presented at Metatopia 2016, but technical problems at the audio meant that we had to re-record the discussion. It’s an excellent one though, where we discuss issues of the structure behind apocalypse, where the heavy design work needs to happen, the decision points on move construction, and how consent/power fit into the context of the framework.

Enjoy and share this episode freely!

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Episode 115 – Sex in Games

June 17, 2017

Sex in Games

Recorded at Breakout Con 2017

Presented by Moyra Turkington, Jacqueline Bryk, Alex Roberts, and moderator Emily Griggs.

From the Ramayana to Romeo and Juliet, love and passion are at the heart of some of the most timeless stories ever told. So, how do we explore these themes in roleplaying games? How do we as players and GMs help each other have fun and stay safe? What systems bring sex and romance to the forefront? What’s that thing larpers are doing with their hands? Your panelists will answer all these questions, and many more.

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Episode 110 – Converting Between Systems

April 22, 2017

Game to Game: Converting Between Systems

Recorded at Metatopia 2015RPG-Design-Panelcast-sml

Presented by John Adamus and Paul Stefko

If you play more than one RPG, you will eventually want to use material from one system in another. Or maybe your favorite game has been updated to a new awesome edition, but you want to keep using your old books too. What should you keep in mind when converting RPG rules and adventures from one game to another? How much (or how little) work do you need to do?

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Episode 105 – Cultural Mechanics

January 14, 2017

Cultural Mechanics

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jason Pitre, Julia Ellingboe, and Mark Diaz Truman.

Games are part of our cultures, and the rules we create reflect our own backgrounds. In this roundtable, we explore how mechanics can reflect and/or interrogate culture. How can mechanics explore other people’s experiences? What assumptions do we bring to the game-design table?

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Episode 95 – Gearheads

September 18, 2016

Gearheads: Clever RPG Mechanics

Recorded at Gencon 2016

Presented by Jason Pitre, and Emily Care Boss

Roleplaying game design is a hotbed of innovation, and this panel is a place to talk about some of the latest and greatest mechanics for games. We will talk about fronts, countdown clocks, gm-less play, advantage, and other mechanics to sink your teeth into.

Links and Games!

  1. Romance Trilogy, including Breaking the Ice, Shooting the Moon, and Under my Skin, by Emily Care Boss (http://www.blackgreengames.com/lcn/2016/7/24/romance-trilogy)
  2. Indie Groundbreaker Awards (http://www.igdnonline.com/indie-groundbreaker-awards-winners/ )
  3. 14 Days, by Hannah Shaffer (http://makebigthings.com/14-days-a-game-about-life-with-migraines/ )
  4. 183 Days, by James Stuart and Sara Williamson (http://www.drivethrucards.com/product/144510/183-Days)
  5. Fall of Magic, by Ross Cowman (http://heartofthedeernicorn.com/product/fall-of-magic-scroll-edition/ )
  6. 10 Candles, by Stephen Dewey (http://cavalrygames.com/)
  7. Dread, by Epidiah Ravachol (https://dreadthegame.wordpress.com/about-dread-the-game/)
  8. The The Dread Geas Of Duke Vulku by Epidiah Ravachol (http://www.worldswithoutmaster.com/the-dread-geas-of-duke-vulku/ )
  9. Microscope and Kingdom by Ben Robbins (http://www.lamemage.com/)
  10. Downfall, by Caroline Hobbs (https://lessthanthreegames.com/downfall/)
  11. Usagi Yojimbo, by Sanguine Productions (http://drivethrurpg.com/product/50310/USAGI-YOJIMBO-ROLEPLAYING-GAME-Legacy)
  12. Blood Red Sands, by Ralph Mazza (http://www.galileogames.com/blood-red-sands/)
  13. Burning Wheel, by Luke Crane (https://www.burningwheel.com/)
  14. Apocalypse World, by Meguey and Vincent Baker (http://apocalypse-world.com/)
  15. Dungeon World, by Sage Latorra and Adam Koebel (http://www.dungeon-world.com/)
  16. Montseigeur 1244, by Frederik J. Jensen (http://thoughtfulgames.com/montsegur1244/ )
  17. Epyllion, by Marissa Kelly (http://www.magpiegames.com/epyllion/
  18. Posthuman Pathways, by Jason Pitre (http://www.genesisoflegend.com/product/posthuman-pathways/)
  19. Play with Intent, by Emily Care Boss and Matthijs Holter (https://playwithintent.wordpress.com/)
  20. Nightwitches by Jason Morningstar (http://bullypulpitgames.com/)
  21. The Warren by Marshall Miller (http://bullypulpitgames.com/)
  22. Monsterhearts, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/monsterhearts/)
  23. Sagas of the Icelanders, by Gregor Vulga (http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/product.php?productid=19311&page=1)
  24. Headspace, by Mark Richardson (http://www.greenhatdesigns.com/?project=head-space)
  25. Dream Askew, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/dream-askew/ )
  26. The Quiet Year, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/the-quiet-year/ )
  27. Steal Away Jordan, by Julia Ellingboe (http://www.lulu.com/shop/julia-bond-ellingboe/steal-away-jordan/ebook/product-17470217.html )
  28. Blades in the Dark, by John Harper (http://www.onesevendesign.com/ and http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/170689/Blades-in-the-Dark-Digital-Edition-Early-Access )
  29. Swords without Master, by Epidiah Ravachol (http://www.worldswithoutmaster.com )
  30. Mars Colony, by Tim Koppang http://www.tckroleplaying.com/marscolony/
  31. Misericorde, by Emily Care Boss (http://www.blackgreengames.com/shop/misericorde-pdf)
  32. Fools Journey, by Stentor Danielson (http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/154421/The-Fools-Journey)
  33. Spark Roleplaying Game, Jason Pitre (http://www.genesisoflegend.com/product/spark/)
  34. Bubblegumshoe, Evil Hat Productions (http://www.evilhat.com/home/)
  35. Seven Wonders, by Pelgrane Press (http://site.pelgranepress.com/index.php/seven-wonders-a-story-games-anthology-2/)

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Episode 89 – Game Mechanics as Social Engineering

July 30, 2016

Game Mechanics as Social Engineering & Social Engineering as Game Design

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jason Morningstar & John Stavropoulos.

Can a game’s mechanics influence player behavior? Evidence – from XP-grubbing to sophisticated and subtle systems for using player agency to adjust real-world habits – suggests it can. Join Jason Morningstar and John Stavropoulos for a stimulating and perhaps surprising discussion on this topic. Bring your own examples to share!

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