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Episode 436 – reluctant gamers
by Dan Repperger

* (0:27) Just Dan and Karla! Well, and the pets.

* (1:04) Big Bang Theory. The clip Dan mentioned (WARNING: Yelling and NSFW language.)

* (4:57) Celebrity gossip. The names Dan was looking for are Paul Blackthorne (Quentin Lance), Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen / Green Arrow), and John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn).

* (8:50) The increased representation of women in the gaming demographic, but the enduring presence of the reluctant gamers we’d like to bring into the hobby.

* (14:20) Karla’s first impression of gaming, and what got her to try it. Roleplaying as a spectator sport. Finite choices to avoid overwhelming someone with choice.

* (21:08) The difference between knowing what to do and how to do it. The value of familiarity with the source material. Assistance with character creation.

* (31:32) Recognizing personality traits that may make the potential gamer reluctant.

Hosts: Dan, Karla

Interview 40 – James McClure
by Dan Repperger

* (0:35) Introducing James McClure of the Talking Tabletop podcast. You can find his two-part interview with Dan here and here, and his episodes with Chris here and here.

* (5:16) The Satanic Panic Kickstarter. The Dark Dungeons tract. A quick look at the game’s mechanic and the intended danger of being too successful.

* (11:10) The “four spoke” mechanic.

* (16:03) Why Jim chose to make a game about this particular topic. Steve Jackson Games got raided by the Secret Service and then got taken to court.

* (24:27) What’s in this book?

* (28:15) What Jim would like to contribute to the roleplaying hobby.

* (35:31) The Satanic Panic actual play recordings.

* (37:47) Why the book doesn’t include any real history of these events.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Chris, Wayne

Guests: James McClure

Emerald City Comic Con, Part 3
by Aisha Black

Last time I touched on the total coverage that gaming had of an entire floor (the second floor) at ECCC, so today I’m going to touch on what I did, both there and elsewhere, and some interesting people I met and want to thank:

Ben Robbins, who talked a lot about worldgen via story game (his own game, Microscope, as well as others like Downfall seem like a way to gamify making a game). He also introduced me to…

– Caroline Hobbs of Less Than Three Games, who, along with Marc Hobbs, made Downfall, Eden, as well as a few other short games.

–  Tom Parkinson-Morgan, of Kill Six Billion Demons, a very strange and wonderful webcomic, who was only too happy to be a sounding board for a couple of ideas relating to campaign structure and the definition of “normal” in terms of physiology (Why do we play games where having 2 hands is normal?)

Matt McElroy, who I sat down and had a nice interview and then an even nicer chat, who probably thought my face looked a little funny with my makeup all messed up (I’ll post his interview next time)

– Wednesday Sophia, who was my guide to the con and helped me out the whole time I was there

– Ryan Juckett, who put out Inversus, which consumed at least a full hour of my life before I knew what happened

Without these people my ECCC experience would have been woefully incomplete, and I want to stress the importance of the lesson it taught me: The con itself, all of the booths and flashing lights and everything don’t hold a candle to the people you meet, you interview, have lunch with. Take pictures and don’t forget them, because they won’t forget you!

Next time I’ll be talking about my brief interview with Matt McElroy and his upcoming book from Onyx Path Publishing, Ghost Hunters.

Emerald City Comic Con, Part 2
by Aisha Black

One of the things that is pretty mandatory at a con is cosplay. And boy, did we have it.

I saw some really great costumes up close, and I could tell some of them had a lot of work going into them: Others had less.

But there were two that really stuck with me: One, a mom dressed as Toriel from Undertale, and the second: A man in a magikarp helmet, red underwear and shoes.

That’s all. Just a hat and his skivvies, wandering the con. What a champ.

Anyway, the real thing I want to talk about is tabletop gaming, and boy, did we have that, too. I was expecting a few dedicated rooms, a containment area… Nah. Nah, son. I got there and I noticed that gaming wasn’t isolated to a room, it was an entire floor of the convention center. Pinball had a room, with easily a dozen and a half machines, possibly more. There was lending library so you could play anything you wanted while you were there. Old games, new games, you name it. Sign-up tables for extended sessions, story gaming had its own designated space, there were four or five Pathfinder games a night, dozens of games of Follow and Fiasco and other story games every day, just one after another, with professional facilitators to move games along and help them flourish.
We own an entire floor. No one else owns an entire floor quite this well. Even the show floor was about 35% gaming, Artist’s Alley was seeded with gaming drawings. Catalyst had a booth, even, where I got to try a nice dice-based game called Shadowrun Encounters. The whole place was pretty loaded, but I managed to restrain myself from buying a dice ring.

I signed up for a game of Fiasco on my second day and learned what all the fuss was about. I threw down against Team Skull Grunts in the indie gaming room and showed them who was boss. I ran into a little six year old in a Guzma outfit with adult-sized Guzma goggles.
It was great. All of my hesitation about Comic Con being too much comic and not enough gaming vanished on the first day and only went into negatives from there.

More to follow, everyone. Stay tuned.

Episode 435 – the area between PC and player
by Dan Repperger

* (1:45) Reviewing the situation with Sara’s self-actualized character.

* (6:29) How Wayne handled the situation by finding what Sara cares about instead of just looking at what the character cares about. Comparing it to what bothers an actor versus the character they’re playing.

* (22:13) Finding the point between the character and player, and using that to add emotion to the game.

* (24:26) Keeping the momentum.

* (28:20) The importance of giving rough bits of story an upbeat.

* (39:24) Observing the player for clues about how to handle a character.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Emerald City Comic Con, Part 1
by Aisha Black

Seattle’s my home, guys, so when I got the opportunity to not only attend Comic con, but represent Fear The Boot as press in it? I was floored. This was real. I wasn’t just an audio scissorgirl anymore, I was gonna be feet on the ground. I walked into the con floor on about 11 AM on Thursday, and wow, did I underestimate this thing. Thursday’s supposed to be a thin day, right? It’s the first day, not everyone’s there yet, and for ECCC it’s a recent addition, and this place is already full.

Deep breath. I’m press! I gotta be a professional! So I did just that. I walked all the way around the place, up six stories and down into the neighboring building. I later found out that I’d walked about five and a half miles in my first day, which brings me to the “lesson” of this post: Sit at panels. It was 5:30 PM before I sat down for my first panel with Ben Robbins, with him giving a great talk about GMless story games, and I realized a hidden benefit: My bum leg and my good leg, both previously somewhere between a “6” and “AAAAAA”, were feeling a lot better. So the lesson is, take a break and sit at panels, even if you want to spend the whole day walking around otherwise. Your legs will thank you, and so will your sense of entertainment. (Thanks, Ben!)

This is just the first entry, so check back for more later! I’ll be talking about some of the people I saw there, both pro and casual, as well as Tabletop gaming’s enormous presence and some interviews I conducted!

Episode 434 – the future of gaming
by Dan Repperger

* (0:27) Chad sits up. John is the youngest old man.

* (3:45) Fear the Boot’s early episode on RPG predictions. Mad milk and other inanities.

* (10:35) What will roleplaying look like in a generation? Harold Camping and taking a knee.

* (18:02) First prediction: Gatekeepers of quality, whether brand or editorial.

* (27:17) Second prediction: The changing role of technology in storytelling.

* (35:40) Third prediction: D&D will have a changing place in the hobby. Dan also hates Shakespeare.

* (54:49) In closing: What do you think?

* (55:23) Fear the Con X!

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan

Episode 433 – the value of needs
by Dan Repperger

* (0:30) Brodeur’s perspective on Valentine’s Day. The value of unexpected gifts.

* (12:39) Some perspective on failure, but also why it’s not today’s topic.

* (16:16) The value of playing a character that has social needs. An example from a Dresden game.

* (29:17) How imperfections contribute to the social bonds of most higher animals, including humans. How the lack of such connections affects a game.

* (44:38) Game Masters not taking advantages of these needs or not even touching them at all.

* (51:39) A call for GMs at Fear the Con X!

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan

Episode 432 – minding your role
by Dan Repperger

* (0:31) Welcoming back Chris, Julia, and Pat.

* (1:32) Thanking John Ely for Pugmire and Chris Ings for an outstanding coloring book. The coming war between Corgi and Pug owners.

* (8:19) Movie scenes that disturbed us as children. Sharing a Coke with the princess from Neverending Story.

* (17:48) People stepping on each other’s toes in Julia’s game. Keeping to your role.

* (24:15) Whether Pathfinder may be the wrong game for this particular group.

* (26:30) Picking a good first game for new roleplayers.

* (31:53) Back to whether this group is even playing the right game.

* (34:31) Throwing tons of dice as a way of breaking the spirit of a system.

* (42:38) Sending a message through sabotage.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Julie, Pat

Episode 431 – gamification of an RPG, redux
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) Gnarl’s commentary on a sourcebook for gnolls in 5th edition D&D gets taken a bit too seriously.

* (8:41) Dan’s house, Chad’s faux passport, a Twitter poll about homebrewing, roleplaying about roleplaying, and the creativity of gamers.

* (18:23) The revenge of the gamification of gaming. The original episode on the topic. Duolingo and Habitica.

* (25:53) Explaining what it means to gamify a game. Rare Elements Foundry (which was mistakenly called Rare Earth in the show) and Oriental Trading.

* (32:59) When positive incentive is preferable to negative confrontation.

* (46:13) Boiling down the advice and annoyance.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

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