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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

Episode 574 – tension and violence, part 1
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) Wayne gives a shoutout to Old Man Hussey. (Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a link to the AP he ran.)

* (3:15) Brodeur gets us started on the joys of combat in roleplaying games. How initiative balances the spotlight.

* (7:05) Why fight at all?

* (11:31) Intermixing roleplaying and combat.

* (16:09) Rolling back to spotlight management.

* (23:10) Creating tension in combat through narrative or numbers.

* (32:15) When the game doesn’t allowing for fudging.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Episode 573 – meeting people halfway
by Dan Repperger

* (0:52) A love that makes Brodeur and Wayne uncomfortable.

* (4:37) Actor has a seat at Brodeur’s table but doesn’t seem to enjoy it.

* (10:14) The importance of looking for context and motive to understand a behavior.

* (18:50) Someone else’s struggles don’t invalidate your boundaries.

* (26:33) Getting perspective, possibly with the help of a third party. Fault vs responsibility.

* (35:49) Sometimes something has to be broken to create a new opportunity.

* (41:05) The power in just talking to someone.

* (45:08) The healthy and unhealthy act of venting.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Phoenix, Wayne

Episode 572 – reentry to in-person games
by Dan Repperger

* (0:27) Where’s Brodeur?

* (2:00) Fear the Con Online, June 25th – 27th. You can create and sign up for games on the website.

* (4:04) Having patience for people, whether in discomfort or just struggling with old habits dying hard.

* (6:42) Neglected gaming spaces and snack stashes.

* (13:01) Change up your gaming traditions.

* (14:54) Have minimal expectations for your first gathering.

* (19:20) People may have fundamentally changed.

* (25:43) Put together all of the gaming supplies that weren’t needed online, but are needed in-person.

* (36:39) Consider adjusting the plot or chasing a side story.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia

Episode 571 – remote gaming post-mortem
by Dan Repperger

* (0:28) And the cat came back…!

* (1:13) Fear the Con Online, June 25th – 27th. You can create and sign up for games on the website.

* (4:00) As we get close to gaming face-to-face again, we look back at over a year of online gaming.

* (5:43) It’s better than not gaming at all, and there’s no commute.

* (8:38) The self-consciousness that comes from being on camera.

* (16:19) No one has to host the game.

* (22:41) You’re not away from your nest.

* (26:26) Electronic resources are accessible from the same device you use for online gaming.

* (30:06) Better isolated side-talk.

* (33:04) You can game with people drawn from a deeper pool.

* (34:16) The frustration of technical difficulties and missed social cues.

* (39:25) Being home can make you a bit too accessible. The social flow of the game.

* (44:11) You don’t get out of the house.

* (52:48) The loss of tactile objects and environmental ambience, particularly when technology won’t come close to replacing them.

* (58:10) Being stuck to The Chair™.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia, Wayne

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