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Episode 584 – developing past in the present
by Dan Repperger

* (0:44) When only the shell of a character gets made, for lack of knowledge about the world. The episode where we previously discussed this can be found here.

* (13:19) Using an opportunity in the present to expand the character’s past. The influence of other players on the process.

* (17:01) The person with no past. Creating memories.

* (26:07) Fixing on the fly instead of flushing.

* (33:11) Players helping players.

* (40:28) Your willingness to adjust, without allowing others to take unfair license. Never Going Home and the Christmas truce of World War I.

* (45:31) Potential problems and pitfalls.

* (51:17) The plot opportunity created by new or conflicting information.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan

Episode 583 – does it bring you joy
by Dan Repperger

* (0:33) Brodeur went to Gamehole Con, and Dan can’t take other people’s money.

* (8:08) How age changes what you care about.

* (10:02) The end-of-year blackhole that consumes our schedules (and, by extension, our games).

* (11:23) Brodeur loses his motivation to GM.

* (15:28) Player satisfaction does not necessarily equate to GM satisfaction.

* (21:49) Fighting the burnout that strips away your enjoyment of the hobby.

* (31:28) The buy-in of the whole group to relieve one person’s pain.

* (40:38) Letting go of the unneeded prep in order to get to the part that’s actually fun.

* (48:49) Time and the other finite currencies of life.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Episode 582 – degrees of separation
by Dan Repperger

* (0:32) Fear the Con’s room block number is 2413940. You can place your room reservations at this link, which should prepopulate the con dates.

* (1:08) Brodeur’s second product pick from the con circuit: Never Going Home.

* (6:13) The “World of Darkness” problem, when games sit too close to real-world ideas people hold near-and-dear.

* (13:46) Why this occurs in some modern-day games but not others.

* (30:36) Prepping for a game that will hit close to home. Argument from Anecdote.

* (35:43) GM-enforced conformity. When it’s more lifestyle than game.

* (43:03) Brodeur goes furry in defense of World of Darkness.

* (44:29) Going back to solving it in session zero.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Episode 581 – Gen Con, et al
by Dan Repperger

* (0:28) Dan is the new Brodeur.

* (4:51) Fear the Con coming up June 16th – 18th, 2022.

* (5:52) Brodeur hits a few conventions. We start by talking attendance numbers.

* (15:33) The companies that were conspicuously absent, and those that filled the void.

* (18:45) Was the change for the better?

* (22:46) The problem of talking about problems.

* (28:09) Companies may no longer feel they need conventions.

* (37:12) Accidental engagement and unexpected discovery.

* (42:25) Brodeur’s post-Gen-Con product pick: Stat Trackers.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan

Episode 580 – compelling depth
by Dan Repperger

* (0:28) Fear the Con coming up June 16th – 18th, 2022.

* (2:54) Making a plot that’s personal to the characters, without falling back to cheap shots.

* (9:42) If you don’t want purely violent responses, don’t rely on purely violent hooks.

* (15:43) An example about a Firbolg. Our two episodes on West Marches games can be found here and here.

* (23:52) Finding out you were the villain’s stooge.

* (32:33) Why overdoing any motivation can end in meta-game problems.

* (41:19) Looking at the facts you know about a player-character to create something interesting to explore.

* (44:51) Tying in all of the characters, not just one. How involvement creates interest.

* (54:13) When the characters don’t yet care about each other.

* (59:27) Fear the Boot’s actual plays can be found here.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Wayne

Episode 579 – playtesting a game
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) Introducing Vece. You can find the Skies of Glass playtest on our Patreon.

* (1:35) Brodeur continues hurting himself. You can find his podcast here.

* (11:35) What got us thinking about playtesting a roleplaying game. Gage’s playtest survey.

* (14:43) Why you may not know what you need to ask.

* (18:35) Taking feedback seriously, while remembering no one’s opinion is “right”.

* (25:58) Testing obscure facets of a game.

* (31:58) Playtesting the fluff (i.e. setting, introductory text, explaining the RPG hobby).

* (44:16) Deciding the order in which you’ll complete tasks.

* (56:19) Making incremental changes instead of over-correcting.

* (59:42) Testing the minimum viable product and building up from there.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Vece, Wayne

Episode 578 – action economy
by Dan Repperger

* (0:30) Let the bodies hit the floor!

* (5:24) Defining the “action economy”. The video of three master fencers versus 50 random people can be found here.

* (14:57) Consider not using a lone enemy.

* (17:48) Using objectives instead of enemies.

* (27:37) The erosion of the Game Master’s enjoyment. The idea of “action equity”.

* (37:58) The value of a cooperative table, where the GM and players aren’t trying to one-up each other.

* (46:22) Setting the tone for your table.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Episode 577 – evolve instead of excise
by Dan Repperger

* (0:28) Dan’s situation with his Blades in the Dark character.

* (2:21) The “play cycle” of an RPG.

* (6:06) Designing a character that works in the play cycle, but not very well outside of it.

* (24:54) Why not just play another character or revise the existing character traits?

* (32:55) “That’s not what my character would do!”

* (37:28) Adding onto what exists.

* (48:27) An issue of sympathy.

* (50:51) Chris Hussey’s AP for Pinnacle can be found here: part 1 and part 2.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Wayne

Episode 576 – cliffhangers and missing players
by Dan Repperger

* (0:33) Brodeur’s ongoing work to blind himself.

* (2:40) Gaming when down a person. Putting some parameters on the discussion.

* (7:53) Avoiding cliffhangers that hinge on a single character.

* (11:58) Subtly reframing the scene to obscure the unknowns.

* (16:31) Get a few what-if tips from the missing player to help you guide the scene.

* (20:33) Being flexible, not just in executing the situation, but also in adjusting the outcome.

* (22:44) Using pacing to avoid the issue completely.

* (40:54) When the player’s absence is felt by the party, even though there was no cliffhanger.

* (47:18) Gatekeeping interactions with the absent character. Owning your choice to create a cliffhanger.

* (53:56) Keeping your perspective straight. You can hear our Actual Plays here.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan

Episode 575 – tension and violence, part 2
by Dan Repperger

* (0:24) Maybe combat shouldn’t be played to the point of annihilation. Violence as part of the human experience.

* (5:50) The social contract of a fight. Jason Brick’s Safest Family on the Block show.

* (9:43) Playing the enemies sub-optimally, or managing combat according to your strengths as a GM.

* (21:18) The “soft” rules that different RPGs offer for resolving combat.

* (33:47) The freedom that comes from what’s never seen behind the GM screen.

* (38:54) GMing under the sword of Damocles.

* (44:21) The joy of an un-antagonistic table culture.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

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