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Episode 429 – stealing systems for stories
by Dan Repperger

* (0:35) False alarm on Dan’s interview on Talking Tabletop, but it’s out now (part 1 and part 2).

* (2:06) Chad’s unexpected take on Alien: Covenant. The increasing social ubiquity of science fiction. The Fault in Our Mars. Laurell K. Hamilton plugs Fear the Con X.

* (17:19) A Thai-rade and the importance of ordering spiciness correctly. White people mild.

* (25:29) Adapting existing roleplaying games to things they were never meant to accommodate. Blades in the Dark to Rogue One or Star Wars Rebels. Dresden Files RPG to a far-future homebrew.

* (32:34) Not getting lost in the weeds. Recognizing the broad-strokes that fit your needs.

* (39:24) Recognizing what a game wasn’t meant to illustrate.

Hosts: Chad, Dan

Episode 428 – weapon X card
by Dan Repperger

* (0:27) The German-language podcast, Eskapodcast.

* (2:17) Dan’s idea about “cabinet GMing” that Brodeur, Scott, and the Germans are trying to steal. Having other GMs handle the actions of major NPCs to keep their actions independent and unpredictable.

* (12:27) Today’s topic: VaMinion steals Dan’s idea, which was stolen from Wayne, which was stolen from Scott. Shielding a character from certain risks by virtue of who or what they are. The prior discussion on the X card can be found on this episode and across several pages of the accompanying forum discussion.

* (18:47) Why the group template may not help you dodge this issue.

* (24:10) Laundering real social issues through fictional elements.

* (27:17) Does the dog die?

* (31:14) Some approaches for dealing with this. Pregame conversation. Dry-run scenes. Simply not allowing it.

* (42:37) The zero session, and surviving the cemetery gates. Life changes during the game.

Hosts: Broduer, Dan, Wayne

Bonus Episode 71 – songs we hate, pets we love
by Dan Repperger

* (0:22) Warning: Content is out of order, like Witcher novels or Firefly.

* (1:12) Magic button of Annihilation: What Christmas song would you obliterate?

* (7:18) Brodeur hates Trans Siberian Orchestra. Dan’s ghetto heart isn’t satisfied.

* (10:20) Dan’s exotic pets: An otter!

* (13:40) Dan’s defense of broadening the definition of “pet animals”, but first some important caveats.

* (19:43) The difference between tame and domesticated animals. A lion showing affection to its rescuer. Dogs seeking help from humans when wolves don’t (experiment 1, experiment 2).

* (27:47) The value of interaction with exotic animals. Dan’s pet spider, Hermine (nee Herman). Click beetles.

* (41:32) Brodeur goes too far.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Wayne

Bonus Episode 70 – hip-hop
by Dan Repperger

* (0:18) Dan and Chad were quoting Still Talkin (NSFW language warning).

* (2:19) Music you listen to at the most formative moments of your life. Jidenna’s Long Live the Chief and Method Man’s Bulletproof Love.

* (9:29) Del the Funky Homosapien. Alex Trebek’s comments on nerdcore and the response song, Who is Alex Trebek?

* (17:48) Dan and Chad pick their top three. Afrika Bambaataa. DJ Kool’s Let Me Clear My Throat. Alphabet Aerobics and Chemical Calisthenics.

* (26:08) Brodeur makes his picks. Pop Goes the Weasel by 3rd Bass.

* (30:34) The use of personae and backstory in hip-hop.

Hosts: Broduer, Chad, Dan

Episode 427 – difficulty
by Dan Repperger

* (0:47) I lied about part 2, but part 1 of my interview with Jim McClure is out!

* (2:50) XCOM 2 gets us thinking about setting the level of challenge in a tabletop roleplaying game.

* (9:59) Games that get easier versus games that get harder.

* (13:18) The kinds of challenge. Combat encounters, roleplaying, puzzles, mystery, etc.

* (20:07) Identifying the type of narrative experience the players and GM are trying to get out of the game.

* (23: 06) Why start the challenge low for veteran players? Ebbs and flows. Difficulty as a path instead of a moment.

* (33:16) Always having a way forward. Richard Pryor scared for no reason.

* (39:34) The importance of downbeats in the story. The right type of failure. The Heisman Trophy and the Ghetto Heisman.

* (52:33) Knowing the reason for the specific challenge. Avoiding banal struggles. Bambi vs Godzilla.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan

Episode 426 – the unacceptable
by Dan Repperger

* (0:28) Much ado about butts. Thanks, Patreon supporters!

* (3:35) Was this section even legal to air?

* (5:58) Fish Donuts and the foxy Ms. Candida.

* (9:15) What happened with the cell phones? Dan’s +Jews! charger.

* (20:19) Attention as a precious commodity.

* (31:30) The things you just don’t allow in your games. First example: Math heavy abilities and powers that take away the uniqueness of other characters.

* (37:32) Softening the limits but restricting the books. Conceding aspects of powers to make them less annoying to the GM.

* (43:55) Child prodigies, half-orcs, and monks.

* (52:34) Not disrupting the fun for the players or the GM.

* (55:12) Brodeur is a dictator. Player handouts, and knowing why you don’t want something.

* (57:31) What don’t you allow, and why? What did you not used to allow, but now will, with what caveats? What changed your mind?

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Episode 425 – changing preferences
by Dan Repperger

* (1:07) Fear the Boot’s Secret Santa, run by Noob13. You can find details on the forums.

* (2:15) Dan’s interview on Talking Tabletop with Jim McClure. Fear the Boot’s Twitter and Facebook links.

* (3:59) A cross-town move forces Dan to look through his possessions and contemplate life. The Battletech warchest system.

* (9:06) Changing taste in games perhaps tied to a diminishing ability to focus on crunch. Our episode on getting started with Battletech.

* (16:09) A question to the listeners: How has time changed your taste in games?

Hosts: Dan

Episode 424 – Transformers RPG
by Dan Repperger

* (0:35) Dan moves, and the studio moves with him.

* (1:47) Fear the Con X’s Kickstarter is in its last week.

* (2:32) A big thanks to our Patreon backers for the new chairs.

* (3:21) Our homebrew Transformers RPG. Along with a recent episode on Wayne’s game, I discuss the nuts and bolts of creating an RPG from an existing IP.

* (7:34) Numerically modeling a Transformer, using their stat cards as a starting point. The example of Onslaught.

* (23:43) Testing the results through mass character creation and playing the game.

Hosts: Dan

Episode 423 – the keys to power
by Dan Repperger

* (0:46) Fear the Con X’s Kickstarter is live and needs your support.

* (1:55) Support the Strays on No Shave November. Also, much love to Matt who joined the team after this show was recorded, which is why he doesn’t get mentioned in the audio.

* (9:45) The finite resources of governance, The Rules for Rulers, The Dictator’s Handbook, and how it all relates to RPGs.

* (20:29) Dan’s Story: Contractor Competition. People want each other’s resources for the same objectives.

* (25:32) Techniques for designing the power structure. Political Order and Political Decay.

* (49:44) So we were playing Riven…

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Wayne

Episode 422 – satanic panic, part 2
by Dan Repperger

* (0:28) Picking up where we left off from the prior episode.

* (3:10) Research and essays, particularly The Pulling Report, countering the satanic panic.

* (4:53) The CBN pamphlet on D&D as an example of what was being said about RPGs during the panic.

* (11:34) The disappearance of James Egbert.

* (20:43) Comparing Egbert’s story to Mazes and Monsters. William Dear’s The Dungeon Master.

* (22:04) It’s human nature to need someone to blame. Back to the pamphlet.

* (26:29) Some quotes about, “What is D&D?”

* (33:56) Don’t talk to my XP or my son’s XP ever again.

* (37:00) The authorized Dark Dungeons movie.

* (37:44) Patricia Pulling and the suicide of Irving Lee Pulling.

* (45:18) The importance of not minimizing the tragedy, even if you deal with the absurdity with dark humor. The anonymous text service for people needing crisis intervention.

* (49:37) The police leaflet on RPGs. The many criteria for knowing when your teenager is in a cult, including, “They’re a teenager”. Fighting the Zombie. “All I wanted was a Pepsi,” from Institutionalized and sampled in How I Could Just Kill a Man.

* (59:50) Leaflet’s section on what we can do. Dan reads off the list and narrowly avoids having a stroke.

* (1:08:35) Conclusions, and the legacy of RPGs.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

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