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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

Episode 570 – validating questionable ideas
by Dan Repperger

* (0:39) Silver milk.

* (7:54) Spotlight vs. validation.

* (12:40) Being a fan of the players.

* (18:27) Evaluating whether the idea is genuinely bad, or you’re just being judgmental.

* (23:39) Asking players why they think their ideas would work.

* (27:25) Picking the hills that are worth dying on.

* (36:36) Not punishing someone’s moment of bravery.

* (41:39) Why is this on the Game Master?

* (46:08) The inherent risk of shooting someone down. Separating success from validation.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Episode 569 – managing a dark tone
by Dan Repperger

* (0:40) Delusions of Reference (or not) in a Mexican restaurant.

* (21:16) Wayne’s weird skill of making eating interesting.

* (23:45) A Dresden game gets a bit depressing, but not all entertainment needs the same tone to succeed.

* (30:47) An engaging story, that’s true to your creative vision, is worth more than cheap thrills.

* (35:09) Stories don’t have to have a single tone.

* (41:12) Not wanting to be pigeon-holed as someone that has no range.

* (47:28) The value of narrow questions and immediate feedback.

* (53:46) Your story doesn’t have to be what you expected.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Wayne

Bonus Episode 92 – the stories behind the fiction
by Dan Repperger

* (0:22) Hating on Zoom, and welcoming Tex and Old Man Hussey.

* (1:48) Welcoming author and former Assistant BattleTech Line Developer Ben Rome, and other/new Tex from Tex Talks BattleTech (his recommended episodes for BattleTech veterans and the one for non-players).

* (6:21) BattleTech in the 80s, including the greatest piece of art it inspired.

* (11:05) Virtual World and early VR gaming.

* (21:45) If Virtual World drove the nature of Clan ‘Mechs, then what real-world events drove BattleTech’s story’s other inflection points?

* (29:45) Maintaining consistency and continuity in such a detailed setting.

* (34:53) Is there a freedom of story-writing that accompanies a fundamental shift in the physical products?

* (39:41) Attack of the tripods.

* (43:16) Handling inconsistencies in the previously-written canon.

* (48:45) Popularity and product runs.

* (53:09) The bashfulness of new Tex.

* (56:06) Real-world romances inspiring fictional ones.

Hosts: Ben, Chris, Dan, Tex (new), Tex (old)

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