Episode Topic Suggestions

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Noble Bear
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Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Noble Bear » Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:20 am

Anyone who has a show idea, feel free to post it here.
(...so that you can be mocked by the hosts while they throw back colt 45s. ;) )





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I would be interested in a discussion of structured role play verses unstructured role play. (By structured meaning the role play is tied to mechanics; rules, rolling dice.) The disscusion would foucus mainly on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each. I've noticed that the difference tends to fall sharply along gender lines and am curious why many women prefer unstructured roleplay whereas guys like mechanics.

Here's an example. My wife and I participate in a regular gaming group (right now mostly GURPS) half of which is girls: my wife, the wife of the GM and our token red-head. My wife also participates in unstructured roleplay over AIM and MSN messenger in either one-on-one or in a group; these (and others I am aware of) are populated almost exclusively by girls. I'll sometimes observe her, feeling like a nature show research scientist, as she engages in these strange social interactions within her natural environment, but I digress. In these role plays they just start interacting with each other as whatever characters they want to be (usually it's as an extension of a fandom, so they will pretend to be the characters from whatever show they're all fans of) and... that's it. No rules, no dice, no quests, no backstories, no character sheets, not anything. I'm baffled by the appeal of this and only understand it as far as it's something girls like to do.

Whatever the dynamic is, I suspect that it has something in common with why she likes the open ended, objectivless system in SIMS.

This isn't intended in any way as a gender bash; its just that there is this whole other aspect/world of roleplay out there and I would like to understand it more.
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Citizen Joe
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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Citizen Joe » Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:02 am

I'd like to hear about level/class systems vs. classless systems.

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Doom Squirrel
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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Doom Squirrel » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:05 am

I'm not as familiar with it as my usual gm, but I don't hear the hosts talk about anything made by dream pod 9 alot. Heavy Gear Silhouette is one of my groups preferred systems.

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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Malefic » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:35 am

Changing and adding character traits mid-campaign

Really enjoy these podcasts; the ideas I've cherry-picked and shamelessly stolen have been an immense benefit to me as a player. Now my turn is coming back up to GM and I would like to include some of the GM suggestions as well. The one that is of most interest to me is the idea of perks and flaws.

I have run World of Darkness in the past so I'm pretty familiar with how it works and really enjoyed it. Now I am running Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay which sadly does not include anything like it. The adaptation isn't as much of a concern as the fact that my group all have characters who are either near the end of their second careers or the beginning of their third and are thus pretty established. For those unfamiliar with WFRP it would be somewhere in the 4-6 level.

So what is the best way to get these ideas introduced in the middle of a campaign like this? Or is this a case where I have to wait until new characters are generated either through a new campaign or attrition in the current one? :twisted:

Thanks and keep up the great work.
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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Noble Bear » Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:59 pm

In ep 112 Dan mentioned it would be tough to have a balanced Super Hero campaign. On a deep structure level I'm inclined to disagree, but I would like to hear his thoughts on this.

To my mind, it would depend on the system and how much the GM allows the players to get away with.
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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Chad » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:13 pm

Noble Bear wrote:In ep 112 Dan mentioned it would be tough to have a balanced Super Hero campaign. On a deep structure level I'm inclined to disagree, but I would like to hear his thoughts on this.

To my mind, it would depend on the system and how much the GM allows the players to get away with.



I also disagree with him on this. I would love to run in or play a supers game but every group I have been in has nixed the idea.

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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Thistledown John » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:07 am

We've done lots of superhero gaming in our group. To me, I think the key is to remember that the character's (PC and NPC) drives, motivations, and personalities should be the focal point of the story, with all of the superpower stuff as a secondary consideration. Don't get me wrong, I love a good dump truck-throwin', energy-blastin' slugfest! I'm just saying, what would Batman be without his obsession with justice, or Spider-man without all of his unresolved personal issues? That's what makes them interesting.
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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Xer0 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:15 am

Chad wrote:
Noble Bear wrote:In ep 112 Dan mentioned it would be tough to have a balanced Super Hero campaign. On a deep structure level I'm inclined to disagree, but I would like to hear his thoughts on this.

To my mind, it would depend on the system and how much the GM allows the players to get away with.



I also disagree with him on this. I would love to run in or play a supers game but every group I have been in has nixed the idea.

See, I'm in agreement with Dan on this, I don't think it would be possible to do a long term supers campaign that had a consistent and persistent story arc. To do something like this, it would almost have to be episodic.

I think this would be a really good topic of discussion since Chad and Dan have two differing points of view.

Also, I want more broadsides. A Danverse episode perhaps?
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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby Citizen Joe » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:21 am

John Stephens wrote: I'm just saying, what would Batman be without his obsession with justice, or Spider-man without all of his unresolved personal issues? That's what makes them interesting.

Or Aquaman without his... ummm... fish power? Supers games are almost invariably point buy systems (I can't think of a non-point buy) which means you have a REALLY large pool of points to create your character. The problem is that when you specialize, people can be worlds apart as far as what they can handle. So, in the aquaman case, he specialized in water stuff and is great there, but he is literally a fish out of water in a streetfight.


Xer0 wrote:
Chad wrote:
Noble Bear wrote:In ep 112 Dan mentioned it would be tough to have a balanced Super Hero campaign. On a deep structure level I'm inclined to disagree, but I would like to hear his thoughts on this.

To my mind, it would depend on the system and how much the GM allows the players to get away with.



I also disagree with him on this. I would love to run in or play a supers game but every group I have been in has nixed the idea.

See, I'm in agreement with Dan on this, I don't think it would be possible to do a long term supers campaign that had a consistent and persistent story arc. To do something like this, it would almost have to be episodic.

Problems in the world are problems because they aren't easy to fix. When you introduce Supers, what would be a campaign spanning problem would be solved by the end of the episode. Nazis invade Poland? Superman flies in and destroys all the tanks with his heat vision... So Super capabilities pretty much make things an episodic game set up.

I've seen a suggestion someplace where a good balance is to use a large pool of supers in a Justice League sort of set up. The GM would stipulate some sort of problem, then announce which members are currently available to handle the situation. The players then pick the supers they want to play for the session.

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Re: Episode Topic Suggestions

Postby David Blue » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:53 am

Citizen Joe wrote:I've seen a suggestion someplace where a good balance is to use a large pool of supers in a Justice League sort of set up. The GM would stipulate some sort of problem, then announce which members are currently available to handle the situation. The players then pick the supers they want to play for the session.


Wouldn't this tend to completely break immersion in the world though? I've always had the impression that the main reason players can identify with their characters is that they deal with them consistently and over time; as such I would expect that a game in which you pick up and drop different characters depending on session would be difficult to get into the mind of the characters for. (At least, it would be difficult to avoid just playing the stereotypes: Ah, I am brooding ninja man; I am uber-strong man, etc.)


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