What does it mean to participate in a roleplaying game? Is it 'to play a character?' or 'to tell a story?' or is it 'to play a character in a story?' Something else? This episode looks at that word 'story' and poses some questions on play, our intentions, and how our actions - intentional or not - shape the outcomes and limit what outcomes are even possible~
Based loosely on a blog post from November of 2010 called Corruption - the other white meat, this episode explores notions of character change, largely through the example of moral corruption. The concept is connected to games like Pendragon, the old World of Darkness series (particularly Vampire and Wraith), and to Leagues of Gothic Horror and its meaner cousin Leagues of Cthulhu. This episode builds on notions expressed in the preceding two episodes (Episode 7: On Facilitating Fear and Episode 8: Can I Play SANs Madness...?)
Not all games choose to reinforce frightening or horrific elements with mechanisms of play. In some games, to do so would interfere with the smooth operation of both system and player imagination of the characters appropriate to the fiction such games produce. Some games, however, can be enhanced with the inclusion, from a roleplaying perspective, of such fears and how the characters face them. With a brief look at Leagues of Gothic Horror and Leagues of Cthulhu for contrast, this 8th episode of the Casting Shadows podcast takes a deep look at the characters of Triple Ace Games' All for One: Regime Diabolique and the role fear and horror can have on play~
Broaching the subject of roleplaying games focused on emotional reactions of self-protection, we take some broad examples such as Call of Cthulhu and FFG's Star Wars Roleplaying to get things going. We look at two shades of this disquieting emotion: Horror and Fear. We look at how our two example games invoke it mechanically, and what we as players can do to facilitate more than a hat tip to the reaction the character is experiencing. This episode covers a lot of ground, digs up a few graves, kicks in a few doors, and perhaps opens some old books that should stay closed, but all of that is being done in the spirit of sharing how we actually play~
Have you ever been suddenly contacted in the middle of your night to play a game? My friends have grown to expect such things. What follows in this episode is an Actual Play recording from June of 2019 where I thrust two trusting and clever players into the toxic mists of an alien world in the role of Venusian Lancers - bearers of the Lancers' Lightning Blades and famed Riders in the Sky! Come with me now to an age of danger, betrayal, and high-flying adventure, in a Venus that never was, but should have been~
Like the previous episodes so far, this was drawn from thoughts from the distant past, but which have not been shared widely and publicly until now. That's right, the release date of both the article and podcast are the same - October 7th 2020 - but reaching back in time to the mid-eighties and a small town where playing an RPG was pretty much the only good thing.
This practical post of three specific tips for villains in an RPG was originally posted in response to a blog Carnival prompt on 'How to think like a villain.' Using examples from Actual Play which are accessible on the written blog, this post lays out simple means of getting into the heads of characters in your setting and seeing where that takes you in terms of villainy~
This post relates an idea which appeared in written and video form in 2013, as an expression of earlier and less specific ideas. Genre is Rule 0 is a set of posts which have proven to be of more use and be more relevant to my RPG conversations than almost anything else. As such, I think it is a good idea to include in the introductory posts of this podcast. Also, taking a cue from Ron Edwards, I reclaim some preferred jargon from the discard pile and reconnect this functional piece of theory with an ambiguous but possibly helpful term: idiom. I still feel that it will confuse some, but it will help others, and that is ultimately what matters to me.
This is the second of five introductory episodes. On a notion put forward in 2011 on the written blog, this episode examines both the post and the idea of character poisoning. This is a look at a potential source of dissatisfaction in play, rooted in unintentional conflict between system, setting, fellow players, and/or the character concept~
In this first of five introductory episodes to this podcast, 2010 meets 2020 as an early but somewhat important post from the written blog is shared with commentary. The post deals generally with culture of play and the difference between rules and procedure, while going into specifics on an effect of going against a necessary order of operations in play, and an influence on our imagination~