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Dungeon Musings

Dungeon Musings

By Dungeon Musings
Idle thoughts on roleplaying games, and the folks what play them.

See more of me on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel, available at fine internets everywhere.
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The State of Play at the End of the Year
In this episode, I talk about the games we have been playing over on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel, including a terrific experience we had with Modiphius' new Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20, and some of the games that I plan to get to the table in the new year.
December 09, 2021
Lessons from Horror Video Games for Tabletop RPGs
In this episode, I share my frustration with the Resident Evil 7 video game and discuss lessons that might be drawn from such video games that are applicable to TTRPGs.
August 31, 2021
The End of Summer Update
In this episode, I discuss the games that we have been playing on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel and some games in the pipeline.
August 27, 2021
In this episode, I discuss a history of nerd canon, from comics to Star Wars to Dungeons and Dragons, and share thoughts on Wizards of the Coast's new statement on D&D canon.
July 30, 2021
Falling In and Out of Love (with Games)
In this episode, I discuss some of the changes I have made to the line up of games on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel, and my reasons for those changes.
July 07, 2021
The Musers' Marathon 2021
In this episode, I provide an analysis of the planning, execution, and aftermath of this year's gaming marathon on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel.
June 09, 2021
In Defense of the Unplanned Ongoing Campaign
In this episode, I discuss the lessons that can be drawn from the early decades of the Marvel Comics Universe amd how they relate to ongoing RPG campaigns that have no planned ending.
April 12, 2021
Mailbag Questions!
In this episode, I dig into the mailbag and offer my answers to questions about player absences, metagaming, and other "table rules" issues.
January 13, 2021
One More For The Road
In this episode, I discuss the stats I drew from my overview of the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel's games played, and lessons that I may draw from the past year.
December 23, 2020
Goodbye 2020
In this episode, I discuss the games I have run this year, the games currently demanding my attention, and the games coming up in 2021.
December 16, 2020
The State of Play: October 2020
In this episode, I discuss some of the ongoing campaigns we have on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel and some of the one-shot adventures and sessions we have played. I also discuss some issues with adapting material from one RPG to another.
October 22, 2020
A Long Delayed Update
In this episode, I discuss many of the awesome games that we have played over the past two months, my thoughts on same, and discuss plans for upcoming shenanigans.
September 29, 2020
The State of Play: Summer 2020
In this episode, I discuss the games I have been reading and running in the months of July and August 2020.
September 02, 2020
Beginnings, Change, Vision, and Threads
In this episode, I use the themes from the first four days of RPGaDay 2020 to consider my ongoing games, my recent one-shots, and games to consider for the near future.
August 05, 2020
The State of Quarantine Play
In this episode, I give an update on the State of Play on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel, and talk about the hybrid play that comes from combining modern sensibilities with an old school game, successfully.
July 17, 2020
Also Rans for the Gaming Marathon
In this episode, I discuss some of the games that came close to making the cut for this year's gaming marathon.
June 05, 2020
The Play is the Thing: Emergent Story, Narrative Structures, and Setting Lore/Trivia in TTRPGs
In this episode, I offer a state of play on all of my ongoing campaigns, as well as my recent gaming marathon running Sixmorevodka's post-apocalyptic RPG, Degenesis. In the course of this, I touch on the relationships between emergent story, narrative structures, and setting information (making a distinction between trivia and lore).
June 02, 2020
Back to the Barrowmaze
In this episode, I discuss my reason for leaving behind the Scarlet Heroes rules for the Barrowmaze, and provide an update on the State of Play of our AD&D 2e games (including a discussion of how I adapted some Pathfinder RPG content to my AD&D 2e campaign).
May 05, 2020
The Reverse Honeymoon
In this episode, I forgo talking about gaming to discuss my recent experience with moving, and the reverse honeymoon that I experienced as a result, and propose a strategy for recognizing and managing that phenomenon.
April 30, 2020
Lessons from the Night Below
In this episode, I answer a viewer's question from the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel, about the lessons I have learned from running the Night Below campaign with AD&D 2nd edition.
April 27, 2020
Bookkeeping and Emergent Play in RPGs
In this episode, I discuss the topic of bookkeeping in emergent play or sandbox games and provide a state of play with respect to my AD&D 2e and Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaigns.
April 26, 2020
Breaking the Ludonarrative Dissonance Impass by Sacrificing Babies
In this episode, I discuss strategies to circumvent ludonarrative dissonance by making compromises in each of the dissonant parts. I also talk about some future games I would like to run, once the current crisis is over.
April 22, 2020
Dungeons and Dragons and Degenesis
In this episode, I give an update on the state of play on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel, including the two AD&D 2nd edition games we have on the go, and discuss my recent obsession with Six More Vodka's mind-blowing Degenesis RPG.
April 20, 2020
History as a Consequence of Mechanics in Modern and Old School Games
In this episode, I discuss how the mechanics of different games, particularly the pace with which a character recovers resources, has a consequence on the time that passes in the game, and how that impacts the story developing therein.
March 31, 2020
Play in the Time of Pandemic
In this episode, I discuss some recent games I have run, including AD&D 2nd edition, Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, Masks: A New Generation, Kult: Divinity Lost, and City of Mist. I also discuss gaming strategies for the housebound.
March 19, 2020
Teen Heroes and Tactical Crunch
In this episode of the podcast, I focus on the games I have been running and those soon to come.
March 11, 2020
Storytelling in a Sandbox with Setting
In this episode, I discuss strategies for using setting elements in a sandbox RPG campaign to reinforce a wider story. I also get caught up with this week's games in my State of Play segment.
March 03, 2020
A Little Bitta Love
The last few episodes of this podcast have been a bit more negative than normal, so here is my discussion of some of the RPGs that I am or will be running that have me VERY excited. :)
February 26, 2020
The Function of Level in Non-Combat Scenes
In this episode, I discuss the consequences of linking all aspects of game play in tabletop RPGs to character level.
February 25, 2020
Mechanical Support: Adapting Rules to Suit the Fiction
In this episode, I discuss my recent experiences with using homebrew rules to support a specific type of play experience, and how that approach might be applied in other games. I also provide a debrief of our recent Zweihander experience.
February 19, 2020
The October Faction RPG
In this episode, I discuss my approach to designing an RPG one-shot based on Netflix's October Faction tv series, and how I came up with a custom set of rules for the session tailored to the sensibilities of the show.
February 11, 2020
Strategies for Campaign Management
In this episode, I discuss the strategies I use to manage my ongoing campaigns and provide an update on the state of play on the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel.
February 10, 2020
Considering Adventure Design
In this episode, I discuss the topic of adventure design and how it relates to choice of game. I also give an example of adventure design, using the upcoming October Faction one-shot I will be running as an example. Warning: SPOILERS for October Faction (the series) and my one shot are in segments 3 and 4, so skip those if you want to avoid spoilers.
January 30, 2020
War Stories
In this episode, I discuss a flashback technique I use in my RPG campaigns and provide an assessment of the state of play of my ongoing campaigns.
January 20, 2020
Hello 2020
In this episode, I discuss the games run, and lessons learned, in 2019.
January 13, 2020
The Holistic Game
In this episode, I discuss how the game mechanics of tabletop RPGs determine the overall experience of ongoing campaigns.
December 06, 2019
Overview and Review of the One Ring RPG
In this episode, I share some recent experiences I had with Cubicle7's terrific The One Ring RPG and provide my thoughts on same.
November 18, 2019
The Value of Muscle Confusion in the DM Brain
In this episode, I discuss some lessons I feel I drew from my first successful effort at running a Story-focused or Narrative-focused game, in this case Son of Oak Game Studios' awesome City of Mist RPG.
October 20, 2019
What have you been up to Kev? What do you have planned?
In this episode, I discuss the games I have run in the past month and what I have planned for the final quarter of 2019.
October 07, 2019
Campaign Corner: Starfinder - Against the Aeon Throne
In this episode, I chat about my ongoing campaign running Paizo Publishing's awesome science fantasy RPG, Starfinder
September 11, 2019
Story Choices and Framing Your Heroes
In this episode, I discuss how choices in setting/story can have a structural effect on character ethics, and how that relates to RPG campaigns.
August 27, 2019
Campaign Corner 2: Pathfinder 2nd Edition - Back in the Barrowmaze
In this episode, I discuss the approach I am taking on my second effort at running a Pathfinder 2nd Edition campaign set in Greg Gillespie's awesome megadungeon adventure, Barrowmaze Complete.
August 09, 2019
Managing the Guests in Your Garden
In this episode, I take some call-ins and then share some thoughts on negative online interactions and strategies for dealing with same.
July 30, 2019
Death in RPGs: Explicit and Implicit Rules and Assumptions
In this episode, I tackle the issue of Player Character mortality in RPGs, how campaign design affects the impact of PC death, and how systems can influence how death is presented in the games.
July 18, 2019
Games in Play, Games on Deck, and Games on the Bedside Table
In this episode, I talk about the slate of games I am currently running, some of the games coming soon to the Dungeon Musings YouTube channel, and my love for the ugly stepchild that is the Mechwarrior 3rd edition RPG (aka the Classic Battletech RPG).
July 13, 2019
Campaign Corner 1: Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea - Beneath the Boneyard
In this episode, I discuss one of my current ongoing campaigns, Beneath the Boneyard, which is played using a heavily houseruled version of Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea to play a Gothic Mystery Pathfinder adventure.
June 16, 2019
The Roadrunner Rules
In this episode, I discuss the lessons that can be learned from Chuck Jones' Roadrunner Rules and how they can be applied to RPG campaign design, using one example from my own list of "to do" games.
June 15, 2019
The Promise of Old School Play and the Virtue of Simplicity
In this episode, I talk about some of the lessons learned from the past year's exploration of the OSR movement and how they have impacted on my plans for the next six months of gaming.
May 26, 2019
Finding Your Voice as a Dungeon Master
In this episode, I talk about the importance of running games in a manner that is authentic to your personality and preferences.
May 10, 2019
Write for the Session, Not the Campaign: Lessons from DC's Doom Patrol
In this short episode, I share some lessons I feel can be drawn from the new Doom Patrol TV series, currently on DC's streaming service.
May 05, 2019
Sudden Starts and Fiery Finishes: Advice on Starting and Ending Campaigns
Pretty much says it all in the title. :)
May 02, 2019
Returning to Arkham After 20 Years
In this episode, I talk about the positive experience I recently had returning to Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu after more than two decades away and I give an update on my upcoming Gaming Marathon, and what I have decided to do with my Platinum Edition Waterdeep: Dragon Heist boxed set.
April 29, 2019
The Consequences of Milestone Advancement and Fiction-Emulating RPGs
In this episode I chat about the One Ring RPG, published by Cubicle 7, the new Runequest Glorantha edition, the narrative constraints of milestone leveling, and my plans for a month dedicated to fiction-emulating games, like the One Ring, the 2d20 Conan RPG, and the Song of Ice and Fire RPG, which I am calling Appendix August. I also tall about my upcoming annual gaming marathon.
April 23, 2019
Ten Rules for Designing One-Shot RPG Sessions
In this episode, I steal a page from Kurt Vonnegut and offer ten rules for making strong one-shot RPG sessions.
March 22, 2019
Rewards and Incentives in RPGs
Note: There is a brief period of silence, from the 59 minute mark to the 1 hour 2 minute mark, because I cannot push buttons. In this episode, I look at ways to reward your players and incentivize certain types of play, and how those ideas apply to a new campaign I am planning.
March 09, 2019
I'm Back, Baby!!!
And I am here to talk about the marathon of gaming that has been my first six weeks of 2019!
February 21, 2019
Funky Factions and Kickass Cantrips
I roll a nat "1" trying to remember a caller's name, and then share some thoughts about using factions and cantrips in old school roleplaying games.
January 25, 2019
Hey, Kev, what have you been up to?
In this episode, I talk about the gaming prep that has been chewing up my time, explain where the viewer mail episode went, and talk about plans for actual play podcasts.
January 18, 2019
Gaming Plans for 2019 and How They Came Together
In this episode, I share how the sausage is made by walking you through my gaming plans for 2019, and how I came to them.
January 06, 2019
Taking the Easy Road: Complexity in RPG Combat and Character Generation
In this episode, I consider the interplay of involved character generation and tactical combat systems in RPG.
December 22, 2018
Wrestling with Rolemaster
In this episode, I examine the relationship between Iron Crown Enterprise's classic Rolemaster RPG and Terry Amthor's Jaiman: Land of Twilight (both of which were staples of my childhood).
December 08, 2018
Barrowmaze Bosses and Megadungeon Random Tables
In today's episode, I tackle some serious questions about my canine companion, megadungeon random tables, and the first "Boss" fight we have had in our Barrowmaze campaign since making the switch to Scarlet Heroes.
December 06, 2018
OSR Heroes in the Barrowmaze and at the Table
In today's episode, I answer two questions about my Scarlet Heroes Barrowmaze campaign and about strategies to attract 5e and Pathfinder players to an OSR game.
December 06, 2018
Saving Pearls and Chasing Whales
On this episode, I dive into the mailbag and then examine my troubling history of saving great gaming content for the "perfect" time. I also give an update on the Barrowmaze campaign, but be involved skygnomes and giant space hamsters.
November 30, 2018
Scripts vs. Sandboxes
A few quick thoughts on scripted sessions in RPGs and how they compare to sandbox sessions.
November 22, 2018
Introducing Reluctant New Players to RPGs
This episode, I answer a question posed on my YouTube channel about introducing reluctant new players to RPGs
November 21, 2018
Complexity in RPG Combat: A Historical and Dramatic Analysis
I answer a listener question about whether complexity in combat is a characteristic of modern D&D, and then dive into the topic of using mechanics to manage dramatic pacing in tactical combat encounters in tabletop RPGs.
November 21, 2018
Braving the Barrowmaze: Unhappy Marriages of System and Setting
In the inaugural episode of the Dungeon Musings Anchor podcast, I chat about system, setting, and ludonarrative dissonance in my Barrowmaze Complete campaign.
November 20, 2018