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Episode 548 – launching a West Marches game
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) Bad Brodeur gets bashful. Lura and finding God’s love in F7.

* (8:13) Dan prepares to run a West Marches game. You can find our prior episodes on West Marches here and here.

* (11:02) The fresh perspective children and new gamers bring to the table.

* (21:31) Working player-to-GM collaboration into a setting-driven game. Worldographer by Inkwell Ideas.

* (29:05) Growing your GMing skills by limiting your rating.

* (46:26) Collaborating with parents to build the boundaries of the game.

* (51:54) West Marches: After Dark. Maintaining continuity after a more adult session.

* (55:47) Increasing the disconnect between the game and real-life horrors.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Laura

Episode 547 – preserving a game
by Dan Repperger

* (0:37) Wayne has to rather abruptly put his Dresden Files game on hold.

* (10:46) The added difficulty of an ending you couldn’t plan for.

* (11:47) Remembering where you left off. Taking a record of what both the GM and players remember and care about.

* (24:13) Using audio instead of written notes.

* (27:03) Finding game-oriented activities you can do in the interim.

* (31:05) Using game-related prose.

* (38:20) Time jump? Or pick up where the last game left off?

* (44:30) Pacing yourself and picking the best ideeas.

* (49:55) Fear the Con Online, coming up on June 19th – 20th. The promo video can be found here and the signup site can be found here.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Laura, Wayne

Episode 546 – numinous fear
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) Unplugged cables and the ever-moving studio.

* (4:20) The cost of a press pass.

* (6:10) The hardest thing to do in a horror game.

* (10:35) The lack of numinous fear. When Pat was prepared to kill us all.

* (23:01) Cutting away reality to nurture a new kind of fear.

* (26:17) Displacing tension into the place of fear. Keith Curtis’ alien puppet.

* (33:32) Starting with control of the gaming environment.

* (37:10) Not taking this as license to terrorize or traumatize the non-consenting.

* (38:31) Misdirecting so the familiar feels unfamiliar.

* (43:49) Keeping the pacing up and downtime down.

* (49:59) Fear the Con Online, coming up on June 19th – 20th. The promo video can be found here and the signup site can be found here.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Laura, Wayne

Bonus Episode 88 – the opera of Gen Con
by Dan Repperger

* (0:18) Gen Con was cancelled after this episode was recorded but before it was released.

* (1:14) Fear the Con Online, coming up on June 19th – 20th. The promo video can be found here and the signup site can be found here.

* (2:35) Brodeur got some inside info regarding Gen Con. The article he wrote prior to getting this info can be found here.

* (4:46) The letter from Gen Con to key vendors.

* (8:02) Fear the Boot makes the call!

* (16:40) Critiquing the questions that were asked.

* (22:10) Defending the questions that were asked.

The artist we were partnered with for Wizard World can be found on Facebook here. WARNING: The art displayed on his Facebook page is technically SFW, but it’s very risque.

* (37:39) The general vacuum of information in the RPG industry.

* (39:48) Juxtaposing how the Opera Theatre St. Louis handled a similar situation.

* (52:41) Cats, weed, and the moral dimension of COVID.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Laura

Episode 545 – henchmen
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) Fear the Con Online, coming up on June 19th – 20th. The promo video can be found here and the signup site can be found here.

* (7:41) Fear the Con 2021 has been locked in for June 25th – 26th, 2021.

* (9:39) A question about henchmen, courtesy of Jesse Sierke. Setting some boundaries on the discussion.

* (12:56) How many is too many, particularly if you’re not trying to run an empire-building or administrative game?

* (15:35) Making it the burden of the player that brought in all of the NPCs.

* (18:58) When players treat the NPCs as a valueless resource. Abstracting a group of NPCs into a single, collective unit.

* (28:42) Tracking social transactions.

* (37:17) Making the players explain why they need hirelings to begin with.

* (41:03) The role of the party should always eclipse the role of the henchmen.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Laura, Wayne

Episode 544 – GM insecurity
by Dan Repperger

* (1:05) A message from Matt about some issues with a GM.

* (2:21) Player creativity can spook the GM into responding in frustrating ways.

* (13:35) Reasons why GMs find themselves in this situation.

* (21:47) The role of player empathy in fixing the problem.

* (30:10) Buying time to rethink instead of immediately reacting.

* (34:28) Outsourcing the solution by asking players for more input.

* (39:46) The value of being honest.

* (44:56) Throwing a different curve-ball than the one you’d initially planned.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Bonus Episode 87 – three bits of context
by Dan Repperger

* (0:36) Adapting the show to current realities.

* (1:52) The history of West Marches and the context of the advice we gave. Ben’s blog on his game. Another contribution of his to the hobby: Microscope.

* (11:17) More information on the Skies of Glass play-test document, slated for release on Patreon on April 21st.

* (14:28) The mental and social impact of COVID, including what you can do for yourself and others. The relevant Reuters article.

Hosts: Dan

Episode 543 – West Marches
by Dan Repperger

* (0:46) Repeating the announcement regarding Fear the Con 2020.

* (2:14) New content and general improvements for our Patreon.

* (7:10) Explaining what a West Marches style game is. The West Marches game through GamersTable can be found on their Discord in the Star Trek Adventures area.

* (17:08) The nature of character relationships in an ever-shifting party.

* (19:06) Sharing information between the participants.

* (22:18) A different style for different people. Cameo appearances.

* (29:46) Some random thoughts on maps and technology to aid a campaign.

* (34:36) Keeping everyone on the same page regarding game events, creative boundaries, and such.

* (49:08) The origin of the name, West Marches, and the idea’s history can be found here.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Fear the Con 2020
by Dan Repperger

TLDR: We have had to cancel Fear the Con 2020. The funds collected on Kickstarter will be used to pre-fund Fear the Con 2021. We’ll be contacting people with backer rewards to see how they’d like those handled. We’re also looking into an online con we can conduct on the same weekend.

I don’t think I need to explain that Coronavirus is a thing, nor the changes it’s making to our society. And unfortunately, those changes are unfolding quickly and unpredictably. Heck, just between the time I wrote this and you’re reading it, it’s possible they’ve changed things again.

Speaking just for our own area, both county and city officials just dropped a new round of restrictions on us, effective today. We’re not allowed to have gatherings of more than 10 people, they’ve closed all stores that don’t sell food or medicine, they’ve shutdown restaurants and tourist destinations, and they’ve made it a misdemeanor crime for us to even leave our houses apart from a list of essential activities.

To complicate things further, we have cancellation deadlines for the con space that hit very soon, and once those pass, we lose deposit money. So we have to make our gamble based on what we know before those cutoffs, not simply before the con occurs. We’re also aware that you guys have to make hard choices about time off, the risks of being around groups of people, and what you’re able to spend while this hardship persists.

As mentioned in the TLDR, we are trying to preserve as much as we can. We’re moving every penny of the Kickstarter funding from 2020 to 2021, so at least in theory, the next FtC is already paid for. We’re also looking into an online version of the convention we can conduct that weekend so at least some form of con occurs.

If you had a Kickstarter reward related to the con, we’ll be in touch with you over there to discuss options for fulfilling those.

I beg your patience, because we have no script for handling this. But we’re going to try very hard to make the best of this, accepting in advance that nothing we can do will be perfect for the people involved (hosts, vendors, or attendees).

If you already have travel reservations that aren’t refundable, please check with the airline again. Over the past couple of weeks, many previously non-refundable tickets have been made fully refundable. Brodeur and I benefited from this when returning from GAMA Expo.

If you cannot cancel, transfer, or credit a particular expenditure at all, please let one of us know. I’m not sure what the law will even allow us to do, but we’ll at least see what’s possible come June.

Episode 542 – off the script
by Dan Repperger

* (0:41) Some unfortunate news about Fear the Con 2020. A blog post with some more information is coming soon.

* (4:14) Brodeur’s new endeavor can be found here (as of this episode, the site is still very heavily under construction).

* (7:55) Dan and Brodeur go to GAMA Expo! The usual relationship between tabletop games and conventions.

* (14:57) Why the con-to-game relationship seems to be breaking down this year, and what that may mean for our hobby.

* (27:04) The potential impact on retail.

* (31:11) Answering some of the questions the listeners asked us to look into.

* (41:18) How all of this affects the end consumer.

* (47:36) The misuse and abuse of Kickstarter.

* (57:03) The resilience of the tabletop gaming hobby.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan

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