Monday, April 5, 2021

More Roguish Musings

 Still thinking about thieves a lot - mostly because I play one in my weekly B/X game.  

A few months back, there was a healthy conversation going on in the podosphere about how gameplay should be, when done 'right'.  The idea was that players should spend more time describing characters' actions and less time rolling dice.

So, "I enter the room and look around for anything special.  Do I see anything? Want me to roll perception?" is bad, and "I carefully check behind the bookcase and under the table.  Then I look for discoloured stones on the floor and in the wall" is good.    

Listening to these thoughts, I wholeheartedly agreed.  But then.... I played an actual game and, you know, that kind of description - especially for a thief who is likely to listen at doors, check for traps at least sometimes, and generally do their job - gets very repetitive.  Worse, it gets to be tiresome for the other players.  When you sense that the other players are patiently waiting for you, naturally, you figure out what is causing the frustration and stop.  I found that my character started to act less like himself, and not more, when I zoomed the camera in too much.  Interesting, huh?  

These days, gameplay wins over detail.  I occasionally add details for flavor, but I often don't.  If you're in a dungeon crawl, there's really no other good way.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, April 2, 2021

Character Inventory at the End of Ep 33


Court clothing (dress), Gyrios’ old painted-over metal shield, kitchen knife.


Leather boots, layered tunic and leggings, goblin belt pouch (empty) waterskin, silver dagger, shoulderbag (quill, inkpot, hooded lantern, tinderbox, 3 flasks oil, ‘angel’ recipe notes, snakeskin book, goblin language book, Dermund’s spellbook, her spellbook), 6xFirebeetle Glands, Silver necklace with sapphire worth 500gp. A spool of strong thread with both a needle and a fish hook. Owl of Thressendia. Mithridaticum Elixir (1 vial/1dose).


Chainmail, flail, backpack (Aradine’s remaining Molotov cocktail), Kagan’s old half-helm, waterskin, good quality beltpouch(2 flasks of oil), good traveling boots, 1 gold holy-symbol-coin, silver shield with engraving, backpack (16 candles, leather sack, silver chain worth 50gp, silver candelabra worth 40gp, flask of cheap whiskey, a flint & steel, whetstone),  boots, belt pouch


Prison frock, waterskin, short sword, dagger, short bow and quiver (6 arrows), thieves tools, goblin belt pouch (empty), 50’ rope, Bracers of Defense AC 6. (9 gp, 363sp and 195 cp). 6 expertly made, white-fletched arrows.


Plate mail, battleaxe, belt pouch (54gp, 36sp, 88cp), elven waterskin. A whetstone. A leather sack.

Shownotes for Episode 33 (including April Fool's False Episode)

Theme                                      Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

“Day 28”                                  'It's In The Fog' by Darren Curtis

Part 2                                        Tense Cinematic Instrumental Ambient Music by Argsound


Combat                                    RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here”

Post Combat                            Hiraeth - Scott Buckley

April Fool’s Episode               The Lounge - Bensound ”

Some  FX:                     

Friday, March 26, 2021

Trying Something New: Casting Call Club

 A couple of weeks ago, I heard about this site called from a friend and eventually I got around to checking it out.  It's a place where creators can link up with talent.  There's a few paid gigs and lots of unpaid gigs.

I figured it was worth trying, so I decided to start by auditioning for a few roles.  I think I sent in about 6 auditions last weekend.  So far I haven't heard back from any of them, but I'm really OK with that.  Most of the parts had at least 20 (and often way more) applicants.

Well, I thought that if the site wasn't going to awaken some new voice acting hobby of my own, it might well prove to be a good way to find talent for TOTM.  So, about an hour ago, I posted a couple of small roles.  My hope is that roles which are too small to offer to friends, colleagues and listeners (maybe they are just 2 or 3 lines long) could be filled by other willing volunteers.

If I get any kind of result, I'll blog about it here in the next couple of months.  If nobody auditions... well, no harm done. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

On religion in D&D

 Not too long ago, I completed the remastered versions of my first 4 episodes.  The work involved rerecording all the spoken word with a better mic.  I think it was in episode 3 that I tried to lay out a working theory for religion in TOTM.  I said something to the effect of: nobody knows if the gods are real or if faith magic is just a different kind of magic, presumed to come from divinities.

That idea is now about a year and dozens of episodes old, and I realize I have contradicted it.  When Barroc Ironskin committed his act of hubris in ep 25 (or was it  26 ...?) he brought a real curse down on himself and all of Duervar (inspired by Clash of the Titans, btw!).  It's hard to describe what happened as anything other than proof of Gruenmawg's actual existence.  It's not the last time we'll see divine intervention that cannot be ascribed to non-divine, non-sentient 'other' magic, either.

So it seems that I was wrong in ep 3.  The gods are real. Really real.

I had always thought that the 'nobody really knows where it comes from' approach was better.  It solved the problem of overlapping pantheons.  In creating TOTM, I realize that there are so many juicy stories to be found in having actual gods who notice and participate in the world

I think the best solution - and the one I am currently embracing for TOTM, is that the gods are real (no going back on that now) but that they are multiple aspects of greater divinities.  For example, Gruenmawg, god of the dwarves, could be an aspect of any or multiple 'creator' deities.  Hanavee, the Blind Maiden of Hope, could be one of many aspects of a healing deity, or a purity deity, or both.  This approach accounts for multiple pantheons and solves the problem of: "Well, they can't ALL be real!" quite neatly.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 32

 Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                      

Friday, March 19, 2021

Guess Who!

 Saw this on Insta today and it made my jaw drop:

My “Character of the Month” for March isn’t MY character at all. Raphinfel, “The Adored”, is the creation of Jon, producer and creator of the brilliant Tale of the Manticore podcast, which you should all be listening to. As such, Raphinfel’s story isn’t mine to tell, so apologies in advance for those expecting my customary prose. You can hear it for yourself by checking out Tale of the Manticore: 31 short episodes and counting, all really good.

How cool is that??!!

Please check out the rest and all the other great stuff Angry Piper has to offer right here: