episode 90 – the hero’s journey

WARNING: The content of this episode is a little more coarse than usual.

* Contrary to what Luke thinks, Furreals are not sexual.

* Fear the Boot PSA #2.  Here is the relevant link.

* Join us for Fear the Con on March 8th!  Don’t forget to donate to Tony Mast’s Fear the Froot.  And we hope you’ll join us for World Wide Wing Night the Friday night before the con and the eye exams at Meyer Eye Care the Sunday after the con.

* The Warhammer 40,000 RPG.

* Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey” and its relevance to running a roleplaying game.  Since Tex did so much research, we’ll provide a short bibliography of his sources…


Hosts: Dan, Luke, Matt, Tex

Comments (3)

AJ DembroskiMay 30th, 2013 at 8:43 pm

This was an extremely difficult show to listen to. Tex brought some great stuff, and 90% of the episode was interrupting him with completely off-base criticisms from people who didn’t take the time to understand what he was saying.

Even Dan, who’s normally not guilty of this sort of thing, was jumping to conclusions about it quite a bit.

Also, to Dan, I say… if employing the Monomyth to a game would make it formulaic, do you think the stories of The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, Star Wars (original trilogy), and Batman Begins are formulaic? Those are all classic Heroes Journey’s.

I think what Tex failed to get across was that each of the steps are symbolic. The Mentor, for instance, might not even be a character. It might be a Rosetta Stone, so to speak. Some object that symbolizes something important, or points the way forward… the revaluation of the answer to some mystery. The crossing of the threshold might be a literal passing through a portal, it might be the characters making a decision.

Furthermore, the steps are rarely in precise order. In some stories, the mentor comes before the crossing, in others, after. The idea is that this particular grouping of ideas come into play.

I think to understand the monomyth, or Heroes Journey as it’s also called, one needs to realize that Joseph Campbell was analyzing stories that had come before, not outlining how stories should be written.

Understanding the Monomyth can only help a GM, unless he insists on railroading his characters into something VERY specific. How I employ it is to keep it on hand, looking for opportunities to employ the steps as the PCs progress. For instance, if the campaign presents an opportunity to use an NPC as a mentor, I’ll take that opportunity.

It’s best used as a checklist, knowing that hitting these points will trigger subconscious recognition in the players that will help them to feel they are part of something important. The players don’t *know* they’re on a Heroes Journey, but they do recognize the elements in an indistinct way.

I know it’s old, I just felt so angry for Tex. I feel like he was thoroughly disrespected here despite bringing forth an exceedingly interesting topic.

Patrick KluneJune 15th, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Geez you guys…If you’re going to discuss a buddy film with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, you’ve got to start with Buddy Buddy. If you’re going down the path of clean freak and slob, it’s The Odd Couple. Grumpier Old Men is way down the chronological list for that pair! Lol!

JonNovember 8th, 2022 at 2:36 pm

Yeah, Luke was absolutely awful on this one. Very rude, constantly interrupting. What an ass.

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