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Bonus Episode 98 – tired tropes
by Dan Repperger

* (0:22) The villain as the dark inverse of the hero.

* (9:20) A big CGI fight at the end that seems visually out of continuity.

* (16:06) Zombies and Lovecraft.

* (20:37) The freedom to like or dislike, and how little that says about you as a person.

* (23:33) Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, and Disney.

* (26:59) Let’s not be too reductive.

* (34:26) Maybe we’ve just been around too long and seen too many stories.

* (37:15) Elves with short hair.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Wayne

Bonus Episode 97 – manis, pedis, and fandoms
by Dan Repperger

* (0:24) Brodeur recommends a manicure and pedicure to Dan.

* (5:58) Dan, Wayne, and their muscle tension.

* (11:24) A straight-razor shave and the thrill of death.

* (15:56) Fandoms that (at least temporarily) put people off from the product they love.

* (28:08) On anime.

* (31:37) The need to be inviting within gaming, since it’s a social hobby.

* (37:56) Gratuitous violence and opinion as identity.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Julia, Wayne

Episode 604 – crapping on an ending
by Dan Repperger

* (0:28) Brodeur flees to Oregon.

* (4:08) Failure comes to East Texas University.

* (7:26) Dividing the blame between the players and Game Master.

* (11:40) Player silence and passivity.

* (17:30) Things lost for lack of time.

* (19:34) Substance use, depression, and the option of just narrating the ending.

* (26:32) Was there a post-mortem with the players? Not judging a whole campaign by its ending.

* (30:09) If the players don’t know how to answer, ask a more specific question.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Wayne

Episode 603 – ending without a boss fight
by Dan Repperger

* (0:33) Wayne gives a shoutout to Gaming with Gage + Friends (but not Brodeur).

* (1:53) Wayne ends a D&D campaign without a boss fight.

* (3:11) The mutual theft of ideas between video games and tabletop roleplaying games.

* (8:00) Considering all the ways a story can end.

* (13:18) Another example from a D&D game.

* (21:06) Post-campaign, no-boss epilogues. Player freedom in shaping the ending.

* (28:02) Redefining the game in a character-centric way.

* (32:33) Allowing other solutions to small problems and other endings to the game.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Julia, Wayne

Episode 602 – personalizing a module
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) Brodeur’s post-Gen-Con review. (I know, we’re right on top of the latest news.) A shoutout to Imagining Games, Acheron Books, and RogueOperative.

* (8:02) Customizing modules for your players and characters.

* (11:48) Modules as a framework, not a full script.

* (18:26) Know the module well enough that you can deconstruct it into its components.

* (24:37) An imaginary scenario using a well-known story as a module, adjusted to an obviously unique character.

* (36:44) How the whole context of a pre-written scenario can be changed by just swapping proper nouns.

* (42:32) Separating story-writing from story-telling.

* (43:31) Some great example modules include Chris Hussey’s The Wolverines Take the Highway to the Danger Zone for Savage Worlds and Gooey Cube’s Red Star Rising campaign for D&D 5th edition.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Mary, Wayne

Episode 601 – leveraging PC backgrounds
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) A listener, James, gets us talking about integrating player-character backstories into your game. It starts with the players giving you something to work with.

* (3:01) Sitting for too long on too much information, or mining the backstory abusively.

* (7:43) Finding the possible connections between backstories.

* (11:08) Let’s do it live! Dan sets up a D&D game with Wayne as his player. Building story by eliminating coincidences and undefined areas.

* (19:22) Wayne sets up a Skies of Glass game with Brodeur as his player. Remembering that NPCs have their own lives that still go on, even when the PC isn’t around.

* (30:02) What’s the “therefore” there for? Continuing thoughts that seemed otherwise complete.

* (31:42) Integrating character backgrounds into a story that’s already written. Even the most fleshed-out plot still has gaps that can be filled with player-made content.

* (37:59) Too little, too much, or no background at all.

* (42:35) Punting Mary’s insight, because it deserves its own episode.

* (44:32) Paying attention to backgrounds for what should be important in your game, because it’s important to that player.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Mary, Wayne

Episode 600 – passivity and dysfunction
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) How awful can a few years be? (Spoilers: Multiple things got worse since this recording!)

* (3:49) An experiment in unequal levels of preparation and participation.

* (8:34) Not all players will bring the same level of contribution, nor do all games encourage it.

* (14:32) Pattern versus incidence.

* (18:52) Reasons to not just sit it out.

* (20:43) Why using past experiences of what was to infer what ought to be may not be the best approach.

* (25:11) Setting expectations for the division of labor.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Julia, Wayne

Bonus Episode 96 – Fear the Con 2022 report
by Dan Repperger

* (0:24) Releasing episodes out of order.

* (1:24) The little convention that could, despite how hard life tried to stop it.

* (6:59) All of the hurdles that weren’t COVID.

* (14:00) The obstacles that came up during the convention.

* (24:24) In spite of everything arrayed against it, the con went really well.

* (31:42) Thanking Eric Van Note for the picture of Gnarl, which you can see here. You can contact him for your own commission at: vannoteillustration@gmail.com

* (33:50) Wishing we’d had more time to talk to people and paced ourselves better.

* (39:11) A request, an idea, and a placeholder. June 15th, 16th, and 17th are the tentative dates for Fear the Con 2023.

* (43:46) A big “thank you” to our community!

Hosts: Brodeur, Caleb, Dan, Wayne

Episode 599 – splitting the difference
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) Interrogating Mary on her gaming history.

* (1:33) The last few days before Fear the Con!

* (4:54) The distinct moral perspective of a child.

* (7:39) Leif responds to our show on vertical creativity.

* (13:58) A thought exercise on who should win the 51/49 preference: players or GMs.

* (15:41) Wayne and Dan’s answers.

* (18:09) Mary’s answer.

* (21:12) Brodeur’s answer.

* (26:15) Dan’s retort about the assumed-risk of the Game Master.

* (30:51) The courtesy inherent in having a group with multiple GMs.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Mary, Wayne

Episode 598 – the Uno metaphor
by Dan Repperger

* (0:29) A difficult GM learns a lesson from an Uno game.

* (4:10) Navigating the internal conflict between “roleplaying” and “game”.

* (11:20) The need for control that ultimately comes from fear.

* (16:45) Giving the players their wins.

* (23:34) The ugly math about how many people aren’t that good at a given task.

* (29:32) The importance of having rapport before doing this.

* (32:29) Saying, “yes,” while camouflaging the railroad.

Hosts: Brodeur, Caleb, Dan, Julia

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