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Dieku Podcast

Dieku Podcast

By Dieku Games
Join me in the exploration of why we love table top games through long form interviews with game designers and industry influencers.

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Logar the Barbarian from Wobblies & Wizards Podcast
I had the pleasure of having Logar the Barbarian as my guest, who is the host of Wobblies and Wizards, the daily (yes, DAILY!) podcast that features Indie Game Designers who have that scrappy DYI attitude.   We discuss Logar's history and process of making his podcast, from one podcaster to another!   You can learn more about Logar and Wobblies and Wizards at: Learn more about Dieku Games:
August 01, 2022
Marc Miller, Creator of Traveller RPG
I was honored to be joined by Marc Miller, the creator of Traveller - the best selling sci-fi RPG of all time! I discuss the many innovations that Traveller brought to the TTRPG design world including, life paths during character creation, skills, patrons, UPP code, and the game-within-a-game ship and world building.   Far Future Enterprises: Agent of the Imperium  Traveller 5 Learn more about Dieku Games:
July 19, 2022
Daniel Sell, Creator of Troika! RPG
I was joined by Daniel Sell the Ennie award winning creator and Publisher of Melsonian Arts Council, who make Troika!, the OSR style game that combines unique characters into an unusual setting that has grown a strong community around it. Daniel shares his journey into publishing, and provides some great insight on what it takes to be a successful indie TTRPG publisher.   To learn more about Daniel and Troika, visit:
July 12, 2022
PocketQuest on DriveThruRPG
We had the pleasure of having Lysa Penrose - RPG Marketing and Charity Manager, and Kage - Community Relations Representative from DriveThruRPG join us.  We discussed the upcoming PocketQuest game jam taking place in August, as well as tips and tricks for new creators taking their first steps into publishing.    We also learned about the recent announcement of the partnership between DriveThruRPG and Roll20 for supporting the VTT through the Dungeon Masters Guild. For more information, please visit:  DriveThru Discord Channel: PocketQuest: Roll20 Partnership:
June 28, 2022
Nate Treme of Highland Paranormal Society
It was a pleasure to have Nate Treme of Highland Paranormal Society on the show to discuss his design process and the many unique games that he has made over the years, such as Tunnel Goons, Kozmik Objects, and adventures like What Child is This, Barrow of the Elf King and Dogtooth Valley.  Learn more about Highland Paranormal Society:  Learn more about Dieku Games: 
June 23, 2022
Adam Vass from World Champ Game Co.
We were joined by Adam Vass of World Cha,mp Games Co. who has been making some very unique and creative games within the Indie game design scene. Games such as Necronautilus, Babes in the Wood, Cobwebs, Hell Cabin, and more!  You can learn more at:
June 14, 2022
The Solo Game Master's Guide from Geek Gamers
We were joined by Deborah from Geek Gamers, who shared their history and evolution of the Solo Game Master's Guide and YouTube channel.   For more information:
June 07, 2022
Jim Parkin of Weird North Discusses FKR Game Theory
We were joined by Jim Parkin, the designer of Weird North and Any Planet is Earth, who shared his views on Free Kriegsspiel Revolution (FKR) style gaming to create an immersive role playing experience.  To learn more:  FKR Discord Server:
May 31, 2022
Lex Mandrake from Dank Dungeons and Azag
We were joined by Lex Mandrake of Dank Dungeons, who shared his game design journey with us, starting with 5e supplements on the Joy of Cooking Monsters, to the very popular OSR Azag game and setting. Lex also provides some of his realizations on and learnings with each new product, including the Narfell supplement which is entirely digital focussed. To Learn More:    Contributors and Mentions:
May 26, 2022
Eric Nieudan from Knock Magazine and Merry Mushmen
We were joined by Eric Nieudan, who along with Olivier Revenu, makes up The Merry Mushmen, who have created the go-to OSR magazine - Knock. We learn of the history behind how this magazine came into existence, and what the future looks like for this publication. For more information:  Learn more about Dieku Games:
May 26, 2022
Adventure Design with Bryce Lynch from Ten Foot Pole
We were joined by Bryce Lynch, who run's the Ten Foot Pole blog which is the de facto Dungeons and Dragons adventure review site. Bryce shares his list of tips and tricks that every aspiring adventure designer should know before setting out to write! Bryce also shares the background to the 4-year Review of Dungeon Magazine adventures, and the Wavestone Keep adventure design contest that has been resulting in some incredible items!  Learn more about Bryce at:  ttps://   Learn more about Dieku Games:
April 19, 2022
Chris McDowall, Designer of Electric Bastionland and Into the Odd
We were joined by Chris McDowall, the designer of the Ennie nominated Electric Bastionland, which was built upon the rule-set and concepts first used in Into the Odd. Chris shares his process in developing these two foundational games, and what he looks for in both game systems and settings.  You can learn more about Chris' work at:
April 12, 2022
Manuel Sambs of Sprawlrunners
We were joined by Manuel Sambs who created the Savage Worlds supplement Sprawlrunners which combines cyberpunk with sci-fi fantasy elements.   To learn more about Sprawlrunners and Savage Worlds:   DriveThru RPG: Facebook: The Veiled Fury Entertainment Discord Server: Unofficial Savage Worlds Discord Server: Pinnacle Entertainment Group:   Learn more about Dieku Games: 
April 06, 2022
Greg Costikyan of Paranoia and Star Wars D6
It was an honour to be joined by Greg Costikyan who has created many ground-breaking table top role playing games such as Paranoia, Toon and Star Wars D6. Greg has gone on to be a change maker in the game design industry, speaking up for indie game developers, and sharing design theories that are now considered foundational.   To learn more about Greg and his work, please visit: Shout-out to Noble Knight Games, who rushed me a copy of Stainless Steel Rat at my request! They are my go-to source of after market games: Learn more about Dieku Games:  #ttrpg #gamedesign #costikyan
March 08, 2022
Andrew Cawood from World of Myrr
We were joined by Andrew Cawood, the creator of the World of Myrr, which includes the wildly popular Monsters of Feyland, Monsters of the Underground, Monsters of the City, and Monsters of the Wilderness.   To learn more about Cawood Games:  Learn more about Dieku Games:
February 24, 2022
Luka Rejec from Ultraviolet Grasslands
We were joined by Luka Rejec, designer of TTRPG products such as Ultraviolet Grasslands, SEACAT, Witchburner, and Let Us In. Luka shared his journey of starting out in TTRPG forums on the Forge and G+, before he found his voice. Luka also shared his philosophy on learning through mistakes, and that trying to make things perfect is the enemy of learning.   To see more of Luka's work visit:   Learn more about Dieku Games:
February 15, 2022
Andrew Kolb of Neverland RPG
We were joined by Andrew Kolb, the designer of the Ennie Award nominated Neverland TTRPG. Andrew shared his career path from graphic designer, illustrator, and game designer, and the lessons that he's learned along the way.  Using inspiration from the JM Barrie's original concept,  Andrew combined his mid-century styled illustrations with solid layout and typography to create a cohesive setting book that is compatible with almost all flavors of Dungeons and Dragons. To purchase Neverland:  To learn more about Andrew:   Learn more about Dieku Games:
February 08, 2022
The OSR Style of Play Has the Magic of Live Sports!
After watching an incredible football game on Sunday between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs, it made me realize the similarities between Sports and the OSR Style of play.   OSR Style of Play = Sports (Random Tables & Complete Player Agency)  Other Styles = Scripted Drama (Railroad & Adventure Path) This is NOT to be confused with Ben Milton's great comparison of Combat as Sport vs War video:   My take is about the dramatic formula, between a scripted TV Detective Show and a Live Sporting Event, where the sport has so many variables that play out in real time, that the OSR is more akin to sports which provides that special magic of the unknown. Dieku Discord Channel  Thanks for listening
January 26, 2022
Channel Update for 2022
After taking a bit of a break over the holidays, the channel is ramping back up with more long-form interviews with some incredible of designers.  In the meantime, I just wanted to take the opportunity to look at what some of our previous guests have been up to!
January 23, 2022
2021 Game Design Year in Review with Shannon Appelcline
2021 was another interesting year in the TTRPG Industry, and we asked Shannon Appelcline, author of the "Designers & Dragons" series, to provide historical context to what we are seeing in a Year in Review.  Shannon also shared his insights on a variety of current topics including the return of conventions, DnD5E, OSR, Indie Games, Kickstarter, Swedish Game Design, Free League, Mothership, Pathfinder, TSR3 & Ernie Gygax, VTT, Critical Role, DnD Live, Diversity & Inclusion, and many other trends and topics!  We also got a sneak peek of Shannon's upcoming projects, including a new edition of Designers & Dragons for the 2010s which he shares with his patrons at:  Facebook: Audible: DriveThruRPG:   Learn more about Dieku Games at: #gamedesign #ttrpg #dnd
December 21, 2021
Gavriel Quiroga of Warpland and Hell Night!
We were joined by Gavriel Quiroga, designer of Hell Night which is currently on Kickstarter until January 22.  Gavriel discusses discusses his inspiration for design Hell Night, as well as his older games Warpland and Neurocity.  Learn more at:
December 17, 2021
Philip Reed, CEO of Steve Jackson Games
We were joined by prolific game designer, Philip Reed, who has produced volumes of supplements over his career. Although he has a full time job as CEO of Steve Jackson Games, he continues to pursue making small indie style game supplements out of his sheer love of design. Most recently he has created several supplements for OSR style games such as o Mork Borg and Troika. He shared some of his design process and lessons that he has learned over a career that has spanned over 25+ years!  To learn more:
December 16, 2021
WanderSquares Creator - Matthew Carlson
We were joined by Matthew Carlson, the creator of WanderSquares,  The Underwood Tunnels - a fantasy tabletop role playing game with an ever-changing map and choose-your-path adventure guide, designed for adventurers, 9 & up!   WanderSquares successfully completed their first Kickstarter in 2020, and now is looking to launch their second adventure - The Golden Hive - in 2022!  For more information on WanderSquares:
December 08, 2021
Finding the Audience for your Role Playing Game
Making role-playing games can feel futile at times, and sometimes you feel like just giving up. Maybe your game is too weird, too old, too..... whatever! I came across this inspiring interview with Wes Anderson from the New York Public Library, and it made me realize that sometimes you just have to find your audience, even if it is just a single voice.
December 03, 2021
Yochai Gal, Creator of Cairn RPG
We were joined by Yochai Gal, the creator of Cairn, an adventure game about exploring a dark and mysterious Wood filled with strange folk, hidden treasure, and unspeakable monstrosities. Character generation is quick and random, classless, and relies on fictional advancement rather than through XP or level mechanics. It is based on Knave by Ben Milton and Into The Odd by Chris McDowall.    The interview covers Yochai’s journey ranging from the random discovery of Palladium Fantasy, to PBtA, and finally landing the Old School Revolution (OSR). Yochai went on with others to define new variations of OSR's approach as the New School Revolution (NSR) which has grown into an active and thriving game design community. For more information on items within the interview:
December 01, 2021
Tim Earley of Holler TTRPG
We were joined by Tim Earley, who recently completed a successful Kickstarter for his new game - Holler, an Appalachian Apocalypse folk horror game. Tim's shares the inspiration for the game as a love letter to his own heritage and experiences growing in the Appalachia. Tim also shares how he got into RPGs and designing games, as well as the string of events that caused Pinnacle Entertainment Group to embrace Holler as one of their own products under the Savage Worlds brand. For more information:
November 23, 2021
Leo from LF OSR
Leo from LF OSR  joins us to discuss his journey into the world of OSR, starting with AD&D stylized illustrations which grew into a thriving printing and design business including the amazing Packet of Particular Peaks!  Leo also shared his advice for new designers thinking about taking their first steps into printing their games and zines.   For more information on LF OSR  Learn more about Dieku Games: Watch on YouTube:
November 16, 2021
Brandon Hearty Interview from the Friendly Game Store Documentary
As part of filming the Friendly Local Game Store documentary, we interviewed a number of amazing individuals that brought great insight into all the things we love. We ended up with over 20 hours of footage, that we had to edit down to approximately 90 minutes.  As part of the bonus features in the Kickstarter we are including some of the extra footage that allowed our guests to be more in-depth.  One such guest is Brandon Hearty, who completed his Masters Thesis on the topic of "Chaotic/Neutral: Comparing the Social Worlds and Psychological Utility of Fantasy Role-playing and Religion."  It is a fascinating discussion that covers many topics of what utility games are in our society, and we discuss hypothesis on the future of table-top role playing games.   Brandon's Master's Thesis:  Upstairs Alchemy Podcast: Local Friendly Game Store Kickstarter:
November 03, 2021
Long Overdue Update and Kickstarter for a Documentary on the FLGS - 009
After a lengthy gap in podcasts, I provide a bit of an update on what I'v been up to - including the discovery that I'm a needle in a needle stack! But it also provided me some perspective on what I really appreciated about the TTRPG hobby, which is talking about games, game designers, and the industry in general. From that realization, I used my energies to create a documentary on the World's Largest Game Store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where I live!  Today I launched a Kickstarter to support the post-production of the documentary! Learn more at
October 27, 2021
Kevin Madison from the Dungeon Musings YouTube Channel - 008
I was joined by Kevin Madison from the Dungeon Musings YouTube Channel, which has now live-streamed over 500 gaming sessions since launching in 2015. As amazing as that feat is, even more impressive is the Channel’s Heroes Saving Villages charitable efforts. The Dungeon Musings Community has now donated over $10,000 for SOS Children’s Villages, an incredible organization that supports orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children across the globe. Dungeon Musings:  YouTube: Heroes Save Villages: Twitter: Anchor: Discord Server: Redbubble store: Patreon:   Learn more about Dieku Games:
May 21, 2021
M.A. Guax talks about OSR and Art Punk Game Design
In this episode of the Dieku Podcast, we were joined by M.A. Guax, a Brazilian TTRPG designer who has been developing some very interesting minimalist games since coming onto the scene. This last March, Guax hosted the first ever #LatAmJam on Itch with some of his fellow Latinx designers. Warch to learn more about how Guax entered the TTRPG industry and his philosophy on game design and influences from the #osr and #artpunk style. Learn more about Dieku Games at:
April 28, 2021
The History of the TTRPG Industry - 006
In this episode of the Dieku Podcast, Shannon Appelcline, author of the "Designers & Dragons" series provides an incredible overview of the many companies that have contributed to the table top role playing game industry over 40+ years. Shannon also shared his insights on a variety of current topics including DnD5E, the OSR, Indie Games, Kickstarter, Swedish Game Design, Diversity & Inclusion, and the cycles of boom and busts that he has seen. We also got a sneak peek of Shannon's upcoming projects, including a new edition of Designers & Dragons for the 2010s which he shares with his patrons at: Audible: DriveThruRPG: Learn more at:
April 23, 2021
How to Solve Damage and Armor in Game Design - 005
In this episode of the Dieku Podcast we discuss the burning question that keeps every game designer up at night. That of course is damage and armor! We pose some questions about damage and armor, and do brain dump and deep dive on the subject. We also share our own solution to damage and armor by identifying the problems we hoped to solve with the Dieku System, highlighting some samples and scenarios. Learn more at: 
April 16, 2021
Design Trends in the OSR - 004
In this episode of the Dieku Podcast we discuss design trends in the RPG industry, and in particular the OSR, where much of the innovation is taking place. Reviewing a recent episode of the Questing Beast, we dive into the idea of having unique voices within the industry that is a breath of fresh air compared to the corporate produced games of WOTC's Dungeons and Dragons. We then cover where this time sits within the evolution of the RPG world, and question whether we are just in a repeat of the cycle where hand-waving OD&D gave way to more rules, and inevitably story games. Will history repeat itself, or are we on a new tangent? Questing Beast Channel:  Luka Rejek and Ultraviolet Grassland:  Chris McDowall and Electric Bastionland Grant Howitt:   Learn more at:
March 19, 2021
Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze - 003
In this episode we have special guest, Chuck Welch, who has spent the last 25 years bringing together fans of the pulp fiction character Doc Savage through The Hidalgo Trading Company website and the Flearun Facebook group. When he isn't discussing Doc Savage online he edits the Bronze Gazette, a magazine devoted to Doc Savage. Pre-COVID, Chuck hosted an annual convention for Doc Savage fans called the Bronze CONversation.  In 2020, like many other activities, the CONversation was held virtually. He'll tell you he's not the world's foremost expert on Doc, but he is thrilled to host opportunities for those experts and fans to get together to discuss the fiction they fell in love with.  LINKS TO DOC SAVAGE  Hidalgo Trading Company:  The Flea Run Facebook Group:  The Bronze Gazette: 86th Floor - Chris Kalb:  Bronze Icon - Tom Barnett:  Doc Fantasy Covers - Kez Wilson:  LINKS TO DIEKU GAMES
March 06, 2021
Making Design Choices for a Game Setting - 002
Discussing the philosophy and design choices in making the Cities Grimm game setting, trying to balance the super hero genre with occult darkness, gangbusters, Cthulhu and temple run style games. LINKS TO DIEKU GAMES
February 27, 2021
Introducing Dieku Games - 001
Garry Snow introduces himself and his background on RPGs and shares his plans for The Cities Grimm RPG, as well as a minimalist RPG system that retains an OSR feel. Topics include a call out to Basic Red Box D&D, Palladium Games, and the goal of striking the balance between minimalism and comprehensive systems. LINKS TO DIEKU GAMES
December 17, 2020