Episodes
For the season final I'm joined by Ramji, DM of The 4th Culture, an Asia-based TTRPG show which focuses on global voices and set in an Asian-influence homebrew world. We discuss global mythology and it's impact on TTRPGs, such as it's inherent euro-centricity and how this has affected published settings and games around the world. At it's core, D&D is collaborative storytelling, so it's more similar to folklore and myths than you might originally think! We go on to discuss tips for...
Published 04/15/22
This episode features Hope of the eponymous HopeForTTRPGs who shares with me how to build and maintain an active and safe community. She goes through some personal pitfalls and anecdotes of that growth, and the unique challenges it possesses. One thing to remember during it all is to look after, care for, and improve yourself, as nothing is worth getting burned out for. This episode also features me personifying the "grumpy old man shakes fist at [thing]" meme... several times! C O N T E N...
Published 04/08/22
Once again I'm joined by Ian a.k.a TheFoolishSwarmi, this time to talk about the different kind of dynamics in D&D. Most of the episode is focused on the discussion of how D&D is inherently a human experience, and how realising this and efforts to make the game more humane can drastically improve the experience for all at the table, in a safe way. TTRPGs operate in a shared space, and just as every table is unique, every group of players is it's own organism. Thank you to everyone...
Published 04/01/22
This episode stars Michael Kesavan, a.k.a. Dead Aussie Gamer, to talk about assembling the best game. Turns out, diversity and versatility are key, both in-universe and out of game. The types of players you have, and the characters they share, creates a unique social biome where we seek acceptance. DAG also takes us through some tips on starting a campaign, and why the negative perception of "starting in a tavern" is misguided. 3:02 - What if I Told You we were Putting a Team Together? ...
Published 03/25/22
This episode I host Jarrod Jahoda and Matt Morris of Mid-Level Adventurers to talk all about maintaining continuity in your TTRPGs. We share many tips DMs can use to maintain internal consistency within their campaigns, as to ensure that verisimilitude and to support your players in suspending their disbelief. However, "no plan survives contact with the enemy" and as such, DMs must find ways to encourage and develop the impact and influence of the party on the world. From a players...
Published 03/18/22
Minor Spider-Man: No Way Home spoilers in this episode! I'm joined by Sam Bradley from Starter Set Studios to talk all how to tell, or be told, a good story. We dissect a couple of common storytelling tools such as 'show, don't tell', and how these translate to running a TTRPG. The implementation of these tools varies system to system, table to table, and requires additional overhead on the GM. I put Sam on spot by asking him exactly who's responsible, and how much so, for creating a good...
Published 03/11/22
This episode I'm joined by Rev from The CritShow, the Powered by the Apocalypse podcast, to talk about the consequences of our actions. We agree that any consequence, positive or negative, must fit the the scale and scope of the inciting activity. This can be achieved by a sliding scale; it doesn't always have to be The Worst Possible Outcome for any given misstep. An element of PbtA games is how the GM can work with the players to build that shared narrative, something explicitly missing...
Published 03/04/22
Once again I'm joined by professional marketer and crowdfund-whisperer Zack Applewhite, of Applewhite Games, who shares his expertise in producing successful Kickstarters. 01:34 - Reframing Crowdfunding 12:29 - How To Get Started 20:22 - Pricing & Collaboration 32:55 - Promoting an Idea 39:26 - Spend Money to Make Money, and Other Contrived Platitudes 51:37 - Goals and how to Stretch Them 59:32 - Quickfire Tips! Find Zack on: Twitter:...
Published 02/25/22
This full house episode I'm joined by the cast of The Fourth Leg podcast: Joe, Hunter, & Kelci. And we talk all about motion, momentum, and movement in your TTRPGs. One way you can keep the game moving as both a GM and player, is to engage with those "B" and "C" plots, which often come in the form of backstories. That being said, don't be afraid from abstaining from action, as this can still result in character growth. Often it's considered a GMs worst nightmare, when the characters do...
Published 02/18/22
Once more I'm joined by Scott, a.k.a. Optional Rule! This time we discuss the hot topic of alignment in Dungeons & Dragons. Scott takes us through the history of alignment, and how it impacted and shaped the earliest editions of the game - I'm willing to bet you never knew how the cold war affects your player character! Despite all the (arguably justified) negativity around alignment, it still provides value in the utility of a consistent experience, the same reason USB is so ubiquitous!...
Published 02/11/22
This melodic episode I'm joined by Stuart, a.k.a. Thisisbardcore, to talk about music and ambience in your TTRPG games. We break down the three primary ways games can be played and how they change what options are available to you as a GM, such as forced diegetic sounds courtesy of your local FLGS! I discuss my failed attempted at merging K-Pop and D&D, along with my several wasted hour curating now-redundant playlists. Stuart explains the trials and tribulations of being a modern day...
Published 02/04/22
This episode I'm joined by Hunter Royall from the "A Sundered World" podcast to talk about all the different relationship vectors in TTRPGs. The first being that between player and character, and how it's not always affection that's garnered - often resentment or animosity can take hold when the PC isn't effective or ends up different than what the player originally imagined. Hunter takes us through how having all the PCs related in-game affects the dynamic of a traditional adventuring party....
Published 01/28/22
This episode I'm joined by Mike from Games Played Badly, to chat about story hooks in your TTRPGs! Ultimately, hooks are the main way to keep players engaged, with the GM acting as a kind of circus master; organised chaos. Hooks can take many forms, from critical pieces of information reigniting interest, to fun and goofy NPCs that the players get attached to - there are many methods of putting the proverbial food on the plate. As much an art as it is a science, the fungineering of hooks is a...
Published 01/21/22
This episode I'm joined by the GM of the Negative Modifier podcast, Charley, to discuss horror in our TTRGPs. Horror is variable and subjective, and so has unique challenges when attempting to introduce it into your setting. The first being the age old problem of having to play with other people! As everyone is different, it's impossible to know what another player might find uncomfortable, and even with a Session Zero it's challenging to appreciate the sensitivities of others. Juggling these...
Published 01/14/22
This episode features David Weinberger from the Shonen Flop podcast to talk all about introducing magical items into your Dungeons & Dragons campaign. It becomes apparent quickly that David and I run very different games when it comes to dishing out loot, which leads to some interesting discussions! Some DMs, myself included, can display a preciousness towards their campaign; a concern magic items will topple the delicately balanced spinning plates. Turns out, magic items are actually one...
Published 01/07/22
This episode I had the pleasure of hosting the founder of Paladin Roleplaying, Neil, to discuss running a TTRPG business. We talk about how the grassroots explosion has impacted the hobby, and what the future might now hold; will it go the same way as F2P, microtransaction-laden video games? Neil shares with several pearls of wisdom gained from running a business and four separate Kickstarters - we even have some world exclusive news about their next project! D&D fans, you had better...
Published 12/31/21
For this episode I'm joined by Sam Cheung, known online as the Educational DM, who takes us through his years of experience in the educational and pastoral applications of Dungeons & Dragons. We discuss the various ways players can learn through D&D, for students and new players alike. Although the obvious challenges are arithmetic and creativity, Sam and I investigate the deeper ways players can improve themselves while playing. Questioning why the Queen wants you to despatch those...
Published 12/24/21
For this mixed up episode I'm joined by Jeff Greiner, the DM of potentially the longest running actual play podcast, The Tome Show. Jeff & I talk about mashups not only within our favourite TTRPG, but within the hobby at large, covering several methods for effectively smushing together your favourite features! Jeff takes us through the ways and means he's brought together often disparate published modules such as Descent into Avernus and Curse of Strahd. One simple but effective method is...
Published 12/17/21
I am once again joined by Manny a.k.a. Growed Up Geek to talk about adaptation. One great way to kill two birds with one stone is by integrating player character backstories into published adventure modules; not only do you get to customise the module and make it unique, but the players feel embedded in the world and get to make it their own. As for DMing, there are two kinds of adaptation: Micro - that moment-to-moment, immediate response to player actions, and macro - adapting the world in...
Published 12/10/21
For this extremely meta episode, I'm joined by producer and host of the Chafing Armor actual play podcast, Michael Corley. This one is light on actual D&D content, so please bare that in mind! Anyway, Michael and I discuss the finer points of the post-production process for Dungeons & Dragons podcasts, be they APs or chat shows. "Editing", for all it's connotations and bells & whistles, is often synonymous with "clarity", that is of both the quality and content. Despite all the...
Published 12/03/21
This episode features the "Bard Killer" Seven from the 7th Roll podcast, and we talk all about the concept of death in our Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. We coin the phrase "murderhobo DM"; a DM who is more than comfortable with putting the PCs through some rough and tumble situations where death is a possibility. This can sometimes be at odds with a preciousness found in players who are attached to their characters, but if everyone is on board, this push and pull can make for great role...
Published 11/26/21
For this inspirational episode I'm joined by Russel E Welch III, owner of Lingering Shadows Productions and Dungeon Master for their Spawn of Chaos actual-play series. Inspiration is about bringing something exemplary, be that from yourself or your character, and being able to promote harness that inspiration is of critical importance. But before we get to the philosophical, we first talk mechanical. We've found players often hoard their re-rolls, for various reasons. This is perhaps a...
Published 11/19/21
This episode I'm joined by Mike "The Birdman" Dodd from This Week in Geek to discuss all about how TTRPGs make us feel. Part of the Game Master's job is to elicit emotions from their players, so we discuss a few ways this can be achieved in your system of choice. Often this will take the form of some classic tropes such as "victory, but at a cost", however it really depends on what you want them to feel at that specific time. Sometimes it's excitement, others is shock or even horror. The...
Published 11/12/21
This week I am joined by Lucas Zellers, host of the 'Making a Monster' podcast to talk, unsurprisingly, about monsters! This episode is broadly split into two halves, the first focusing on mechanical minutia of running stat blocks, including various tips and tricks, such as "do your homework"! We also discuss the elegance of Matt Coville's Action Oriented Monster design approach and how it highlights shortcomings in the design of Dungeons & Dragons. Running higher level monsters RAW is...
Published 11/05/21