Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The photo that inspired my 'View from Duervar'

 The good news is that I am moved back into my place after 2 months of living out of a suitcase.  This means I can finally stop patching portions of audio on the show with my cellphone mic (ugh) and I can finally post the *real* picture I took from the top of Mt Fuji.  It is an unreal experience to see the sunrise from a vantage above the clouds.  Not many people get to see this.  You have to climb a mountain and get lucky with the weather.  On a related note, one of my good friends from the middle 2000s, when I lived in Japan, just got in touch after 10 years.  Ohisashiburi!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Classics, clichés and hypocrisy

 I've done a couple of interviews - one recently with Iain of Roll to Save (highly recommend this show!) - in which I confess my regret over having dunked on characters named 'Grog' back in episode 0.  At the time, I didn't know there was a character on Critical Role named 'Grog' and so I wasn't trying to insult that player personally, so much as just crap on the worst fantasy name I could think of.  I might have said 'Ugg' (probably find out about some other beloved character named Ugg now... FML...).  Maybe it all amounts to the same thing.

Anyway, it got me thinking about my own lack of originality and my own hypocrisy.  To explain: I'm against boring prefab character archetypes like the 'stupid barbarian' or the 'bard who seduces everything that moves' but at the same time I am completely in love with the tropes of basic fantasy, like green slime, sadistic goblins, magic fountains, mystical elves, stoic dwarves ... you get the idea.  So where does my 'classic' and and someone else's 'cliché' begin?  There's no clear boundary, right?

Not really sure I am going to come to any meaningful conclusion here, I just thought it was interesting to discover how specific my tastes run.  To me, all things Tolkien and B/X DnD are wonderful, and intrusions into those (very similar) worlds are to be repelled with force.  Oddly, even recognizing my biases, I have no intention of changing anything (well, every now and then I think about editing episode 0...).  I actually treasure my biases.  How strange...

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Shownotes from Ep 22-24

 Very happy to be able to finally post these belated shownotes.  Sorry for the delay, but 'better late than never'!

Ep 22

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Part 1                                       'It's In The Fog' by Darren Curtis

Part 2                                       ‘Labyrinth of Lost Dreams’ by Darren Curtis


Part 3                                       Tense Cinematic Instrumental Ambient Music by Argsound  


Ep 23

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Part 1                                       Odin

Post combat                             Sad and Depressing Music for Videos (No Copyright)




Ep 24

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Part 1                                       ‘Chaosity’ by Darren Curtis

                                                & ‘Labyrinth of Lost Dreams’ by Darren Curtis

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Gifts of Duervar


Roll reaction check and apply the following bonuses and penalties:

Adjust for charisma score

+1 to Gyrios for returning Soli’s ring to Molgi

+1 to Aradine for directly saving Molgi



Low score 2-4

Medium score 5-8

High score 9-12


Necklace with 100gp gem

Necklace with 500gp gem

Necklace with magic gem that glows on a command word (light source)


Bracers AC8

Bracers AC7

Bracers AC6


A light steel shield with family emblem

A silver shield with family emblem

A +1 shield with family emblem


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Milestone reached: 10K Downloads

Podbean occasionally sends out these milestone awards and I have to admit, I do crave the adrenaline hit.  Like any other high, as soon as it's over, you're really just thinking about the next, bigger one.  I have really been thinking lately about whether or not to share these 'celebrations' on social media.  I think here, on this blog, it's appropriate, but I am not too sure about Twitter and Insta (I did post this on Insta, but I felt kinda funny about doing it). 

There's psych experiment about unequal pay that explains my hesitation.  Here's the summary: 2 monkeys are paid the same pay for a little task.  Cucumber slices for passing stones through cage bars to experimenters.  Monkeys like cucumbers and both are observably happy with this arrangement.

Next, one monkey is paid cucumber slices and the other is paid grapes for the same task.  Monkeys like cucumber slices but they LOVE grapes.  Here's what happens.  The grape monkey is over the moon happy.  The cucumber monkey observes this and suddenly, where he was happy before, he is furious and miserable.  He throws his cucumber at the researcher.

This experiment gives a lot of insight into happiness in general - forget unequal pay.  It's a huge eye opener.  It also explains why I am not so sure about publishing numbers too often.  If other people see it, will they suddenly feel bad about their show if it is not doing as well as mine?  I recently saw a podcaster post that they got 55K downloads in a year.  55K!!!  Holy cucumbers, that's a lot.  I'm thrilled with 10K.  If I got 20K in my first year I would be in heaven.  Knowing that this other show got 55K though... well it does make me feel kind of shit.  I think I'd rather not know.  Maybe going forward I should NOT post my results.  Podcasting is a narcissistic endeavor - that's pretty hard to argue with - so I think we all want to have a big listenership.  I dunno.  I should just say 'Thanks for listening" and stop overthinking. Comment below with your thoughts: I'd love to hear from ya.

Shownotes for Episodes 19, 20 & 21

Ep 19

Theme Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome 148 Barovian Castle

Previously On Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Part 1 Odin

Combat RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here”

Some  FX:

Horse charge

Ep 20

Theme Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome 148 Barovian Castle

Previously On Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Dramatis 148 Barovian Castle

Last segment Hiraeth - Scott Buckley

Ep 21

Theme Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome 148 Barovian Castle

Previously On Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Part 1 Scott Buckley – Snowfall Snowfall – Scott Buckley (No Copyright Music) - YouTube

Combat RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here” 

Monday, December 7, 2020

If you are looking for something new, give these guys a try.  They have a huge range of content... everything from interviews, to trailers, and their own actual play.


UK based Tabletop Roleplaying Game Podcast featuring D&D 5e Actual Play (where a misfit band of ‘Heroes’ take on adventures across the D&D Multiverse), Interviews and DM/Player Guides.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Well, this was unexpected... nominated for an ENWorld Award!

 Super honoured (and not a little surprised) to find out I got nominated for an ENWorld Award.  Holy shit!  That's pretty exciting.  If anyone reading this feels like supporting the show, you can vote over at  It's easy to see where the voting happens from the main page... just look for this image:

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Where there's Smoke ... Update.

 If you have noticed some inconsistencies in the audio lately,the reason is that I still have no studio space. No mics, no cables... not much at all.  I have had to patch some segments of the show with audio captured on my phone.  It results in a different tone, unwanted reverb, etc. 

As a result of the fire here (currently I have new drywall, but no floors and all my belongings are in a warehouse) I will be forced to reduce my output, for the next little while, to my original 2/month schedule.  I am a little worried that even in doing that I still might not be able to meet my own deadlines, but I will try.  

Hopefully I will have a place to live within a week.  After that, things should get a bit easier.  

Gruenmawg's Shrine Map

 I love the Dungeon Scrawl online map maker.  Between it and Inkarnate, I am one happy guy.

(huh, I wonder where that North door goes...?)

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The inspiration for the sunrise scene in Episode 21

 Most of what I write in TOTM just gets plucked from the recesses of my hotpot of a brain, but occasionally I do have a concrete image in mind.  That was the case in the last episode during the scene where the party departs Duervar before dawn and watches the sunrise from above the cloud line.

I had this experience exactly one time in my life - it was when I climbed Mt Fuji in Japan.  I have a photo of this spectacle on my wall (actually I did... my condo is still gutted post fire).  I couldn't find a digital copy of my photo to share with you... I hope to hell the photo wasn't taken with a film camera... but I did find something kind of similar online, so please forgive my having to post someone else's photo.  If I find my own in future, I'll post it here.

Friday, November 6, 2020

On Slow Gaming

 I'm not gonna let a little fire (or total life upheaval) keep me from TOTM. The show must go on! (You might notice that the audio in the upcoming ep21 get's weird at the end - I had to record using my phone for the thank you's... well it just goes to show that a good mic is money well spent.

But that's not what I wanted to write about today.  I have been thinking about one of the many happy accidents that has occured in my gaming life as a result of making TOTM.  One of the biggest is what results from gaming very, very slowly.  How slowly?  Maybe ten or twenty times slower than a live game.  A live game takes, what 3-6 hours and takes a story from A-B.  I take days to cover that same fictional distance, but... I prefer it this way.  I make better, smarter moves.

To illustrate.  Have you ever toyed with a mechanic that awarded characters with high INT extra time to think, or allow map-making on paper but say it's all in the character's memory?  Something to account for PC skills that are higher than ... er ... PC skills?  We've probably all considered something like that.

This same effect is happening to me in my game, both as player and as DM.  An example: let's say that as DM I roll a 6 on a d6 for Wandering Encounters, indicating there is one.  In a live game, I would consult my charts, roll and discover that 4 hobgoblins are encountered.  How does this encounter go in a game? "You round the corner and come face to face with 4 armed hobgoblins.  Roll for surprise!"

But in TOTM, I might roll the Encounter, consult my list, see the 4 hobgoblins and then go for a walk, or have dinner, or go to bed, or go to work.  Something in my brain plays with the upcoming scenario and by the time I return to the 'table' I will have something much more interesting - maybe the party finds some strange totems that they then follow and are led to a ritual sacrifice.  Maybe there are 6 hobgoblins but they are fighting an ogre.  By the time the party arrives, the ogre and 2 hobgoblins are dead.

More interesting, more colourful and more dramatic moments can be had this way.  I have heard that PBP enjoys the same advantage. Perhaps I should be giving that a try too, sometime.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Where There's Fire, There's Smoke

 Normally that expression goes the other way around, if I'm not mistaken.

You might have noticed that I am a little quieter than usual lately.  I haven't lost interest in TOTM or anything like that - nope, that's stronger than ever.  But I have had a setback.  Christine (who voices Aradine) and I have had a kitchen fire in our apartment.  We confined the flames to the kitchen by unloading no fewer than 6 fire extinguishers on it, but the smoke damage has been extensive.  We've had to move out and all our stuff - like, all of it - is currently at a warehouse being sorted into salvageable and non-salvageable piles.  This includes my desktop computer, all my mics, preamps and other gear with which I make TOTM.  I did have the forethought to remove all my backup drives to a safe space, so my work to date isn't lost - thank Mazigar.  I might not be able to keep up my publishing schedule however.  There's a chance I'll miss a deadline.  I really hope it's just the one (or none).  Thanks for your patience and understanding.

I'm pleased to say that no humans or cats were hurt in the accident.  We will be back up and running as soon as we can.  Shownotes will be delayed for episode 20 and possibly beyond.  Sorry about that.

Perhaps this will be an opportunity to streamline my process, set up a far less cluttered studio and, if nothing else, that Spring Cleaning we never got around to, had gotten around to us.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How D&D Helped Shape who I Became as an Adult

 One of the shows I've listened to quite a bit over the past 6 months or so is the wonderful Roleplay Rescue, hosted by Che Webster.  There are other shows that discuss 'theory' that I also listen to regularly and love - if you'd like other recommendations, let me know and I'll post some in the comments.  Anyway, listening to shows like this just got me thinking more about the game and its place in my life.

It occurred to me at some point that D&D is partly responsible for where I am today, professionally.  I'm a teacher right now (high school English, History, Media Arts & Philosophy) but I wasn't always... and I certainly never planned to be.  Here's the journey - in brief - that got me here.

I discovered D&D at around age 12.  I was a glutton for the cartoon and everything the basic set had to offer.  D&D broadened my vocabulary and, by turning me on to fantasy novels, made me a reader.  As a high school student, I struggled with math but excelled in music and English.  Being good at English made me want to study it at University even though I had no desire to teach it (I was nothing if not naïve).  Upon graduating, I found some pretty dead end, low paying jobs in copyright administration, publishing and advertising and they pretty much beat me down with their total lack of a future or challenge.  

All through my 20s I slogged through these cubicle jobs, hating them, but seeing no other choices.  On the side I was playing in a band and, through a lot of hard work and luck, we managed to get some success.  I was able to quit my crappy job and pursue life on the road.  It was glorious.  But a few years later the music industry began to tank and I lost my golden ticket.  

Deciding not to go back to life in a cubicle, I signed up to teach ESL in Japan for a year.  It was such a good experience, I resigned for another year. Then another.  Then a few more.  Pretty soon I realized I was not 'playing teacher'... I was 'teacher'.  I came back to Canada (reluctantly) and got my license.  Then, by a miracle, I got hired in a terrible hiring drought and then ... well, I have been here ever since. 

D&D has not been with me the whole.  There were spans of years when I didn't really think about it.  But it was instrumental in setting me on the path. 

Have you ever stopped to think how you got to where you are?  I bet for some people, it's something just as simple: playing school sports, being in the school play, meeting that one person that changed your life...

It's amazing how the things as a kid can shape how you turn out as an adult.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Outlaw (Full Poem)

    The Outlaw

    Priest, is any song-bird stricken?

    Is one leaf less on the tree?

    Is this wine less red and royal

    That the hangman waits for me?

    He upon your cross that hangeth,

    It is writ of priestly pen,

    On the night they built his gibbet,

    Drank red wine among his men.

    Quaff, like a brave man, as he did,

    Wine and death as heaven pours-

    This is my fate: O ye rulers,

    O ye pontiffs, what is yours?

    To wait trembling, lest yon loathly

    Gallows-shape whereon I die,

    In strange temples yet unbuilded,

    Blaze upon an altar high.

    G. K. Chesterton

Shownotes for Episode 18


Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Part 1                                       Bensound Ofelia’s Dream

Dramatis                                  148 Barovian Castle

Some  FX:                      


Horse charge                  


The Hangman Song is a variation on the public domain poem The Outlaw, by G. K. Chesterton, with original music and melody

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

How is a Podcaster like a Punk Rocker: Follow Up

 I still can't stop comparing the podcast scene to the old rock scene of the late 70s and early 80s.  It occurred to me that some people who read this blog might run a blog or zine, own a comic book store, or a hobby or game shop, or run a D&D club, or be in a position, one way or another, to help me spread the word of Tale of the Manticore.

If you are in such a position, and if you are willing to help me promote the show, please use either of the images below to post at your shop, blog, or whatever.  It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: every little bit helps, and I truly appreciate it!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Wow... it's hard to believe it.

 5000 downloads!  When I think about how many people have actually spent time with my show, it's ... well, it's a pretty good feeling.  Thanks everyone.  I'll definitely keep on making more.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Character sheet for Harl Stonecarver

 Name: Harl Stonecarver

Class: Dwarf

Level: 1

Next Level: Ep 19

Str: 15

Int: 11

Wis: 13

Dex: 7

Con: 10

Cha: 14

Luck: 8

Hp: 8

AC: 4

Age: 38

Height: 4'4"

Weight: 165 lbs

Hair: Black hair in a topknot and bushy beard

Eyes: Grey

Languages: Common, Dwarvish, Goblin

Plate Mail, Crescent-bladed battle axe, Backpack (waterskin, rations), belt pouch (54gp, 36sp, 88cp)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

How is a Podcaster like a Punk Rocker?

Sounds like the first line of the world's dullest riddle.

Today I thought I'd muse about how much I feel the podcasting community is so much like the early days of hardcore and new wave, and the not-exactly-early days of punk.  I'm thinking late 70s and early 80s.

Anyone who has see Henry Rollins do spoken word is probably a fan - he's that good.  Turns out the guy can write, too.  If you get the chance, pick up 'Get In The Van' and prepare to have your mind blown.

His band, Black Flag, basically DIY'd their way into relevance.  Tour, tour, tour.  Show, show, show.  Poster campaigns, articles, interviews ... it was nonstop.  Relentless.  Bands would sleep at other bands' homes - or at their fans' homes.  There was a community.  There was a scene.

I feel that the RPG podcasting scene has a lot in common with this ethic.  There is definitely a 'Scene' going on with RPG podcasts.  There's also a community that helps each other out, cross promotes, does guest appearances, etc.  Interviewers and interviewees become friends, not entertainment symbiotes.  Most of all: there is some amazing creative work being done and new ground is being constantly broken.  It's exciting to be a part of.  The RPG Podcasting community probably lives in a world of comfort that Black Flag would have literally killed for... and we probably get into fewer fights and have fewer cups of piss thrown at us.  Otherwise, it's basically the same, right?

Monday, September 21, 2020

Shownotes for Episode 16


Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Combat                                    RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here”

Some  FX:                      

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Map of the Goblin Caves

 Would have liked to put this up sooner, but it might have been a spoiler.  I think it's safe to put this up now.

Shownotes for Episode 15


Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Part 2                                       Scott Buckley – Filaments and 'It's In The Fog' by Darren Curtis

Some  FX:                      

Monday, September 7, 2020

Adventures in Grey Hack

 Lately I have been skimming through both of these game systems.  I think both have something to offer, though neither one - to me - appeals enough that I'd want to fully invest in a switch over.

I think that if you treat each of these systems as 'an a la cart' you can tweak OSR DnD (Old School Essentials, even better) to a homebrew that runs well without having to relearn an entire system.  Much of B/X is not broken, and doesn't really need fixing, in my opinion, but there are a few things I would potentially use.

Black Hack: 

I like the ideas of damage reduction for armor, but probably would not use it.  It might be worth experimenting with, though.

Eliminating Saving Throws and replacing them with appropriate ability checks is, I think, a great idea. It makes sense and it eliminates a table that has always felt arbitrary anyway.

Falling below 0 hp does not always mean death but can mean anything from unconsciousness, to disfigurement, to death, depending on a die roll.  This might be worth adding is B/X is too hard for your players.  It's better than the 5e death save mechanic, I think.

White Hack:

Having three classes does make sense to me and might be worth doing for some games.  Clerics and Magic users are all just rolled up into 'The Wise'.  OK, I get that.

Renaming classes as 'vocations' and races as 'species' just adds baggage to the learning curve.  I don't care for this at all.

Saving throws in the White Hack are a single number for all saves.  I have used this in play, and it is better than the B/X rules which are wonky (apparently to balance out the pros and cons of other classes).

The Auction Mechanic is a neat idea.  I could see this being used in a chase scene.  Two contestants basically bet the other that they can roll within a smaller and smaller window on a d20.  It sounds like it would be fun at the table and it even makes sense.  In a chase, you might well take a big risk to get away.  Would this work in podcast form...? Probably not for a solo gamer like me.  I'd be betting against myself and all the fun might drain out the bottom.  Cool rule though.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Another two links to loopable background music

A couple more links. I hope you enjoy them.

Composition 4

Composition 5

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Shownotes for Episode 14


Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley Legionnaire

Part 1                                       Odin

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Part 2                                       Odin and RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here”

Some  FX:                      

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Seeking Some Insight into Insight & Perception Checks

 Every week I listen to 3 or 4 new podcasts.  I'm still hunting for those shows that put game first and comedy second.  They are extremely tough to find - and the ones I do find are often plagued with other problems (bad sound, bad or no editing, etc) and so the hunt continues.  But I enjoy the search... and in doing it, I find I am finally 'getting' 5e D&D (nope - still haven't played it, though I would like to).

A couple of things have stuck out to me about 5e that I continually fail to understand, though: Insight & Perception Checks

Perception checks are often used in post combat loot collection in a way I don't 'get'.

"I search the brigands' bodies"

"OK. Make a perception check."

"Um. Sure.  Um... I got a 13."

"OK. With a 13, you find 30 gp in his belt pouch)

This kind of exchange makes no sense to me unless the brigand has a hidden cavity in his boot heel.  Otherwise, why roll to go through someone's pockets.  I hear this kind of thing all the time and it drives me nuts that I can't figure out what's going on.

Insight (or Sense Motive) is equally, though differently problematic. Consider this:

"I question all the half orc guards to see if they know who stole the jewel."

"They all deny any knowledge of it."

"Can I do an insight check?"

"OK.  Roll Insight."

"Bam! Natty 20, my dude!"

"You are pretty sure they are telling the truth."

In the above exchange, the PC now has the same info normally only attainable through high level spells. That's a lot of power for anyone to have and to use at will.  A nat 20 isn't usually necessary for success, either - typically the PC would have about a 20% chance of success with this action.

A better solution is for the DM to roll the insight check and not share the number.  But an even better solution is to eliminate this skill check altogether, unless it's a trained and special ability.

Am I missing something?  Somebody please explain these aspects of 5e to me ... I just don't get it.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Shownotes for Episode 13


Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley Legionnaire

Part 2                                       Odin

Some  FX:                      

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Fantasy and Horror

In my last post I mentioned a connection between fantasy and horror that I'd like to explore a little.  If you are reading this and have some thoughts on the matter, feel free to share in the comments below.

Any fantasy (or SCI-FI for that matter) game that involves combat at all usually measures blood-spilled-per-session in pints, if not buckets.  In my last game, in which I played a fairly timid, combat avoiding halfling, there was one character death and at least a dozen other deaths (bandits in this case and their cultist leaders).

RPGs often have combat situations that are described in vivid detail by the DM/GM, and yet they usually do not feel like horror at all.  They should though, right? So why don't they and what's the difference?

There was a bit of this discussed on an early episode of the Glass Canon.  I forget which player it was that said that the big difference between horror and fantasy is that in horror stories, the protagonists fear what is to come and in fantasy, they have the superhuman courage to face it.

That's a pretty astute observation, I think.

In TOTM, my PCs do start off as terrified and fairly helpless.  They would have avoided the first couple of combats if they could have.  After a half dozen episodes, they are confronting opponents more or less willingly though.  I think a bit of realism has to be sacrificed in order to move the story out of survival horror and into fantasy; it would be a very different story if the PCs tried to run from or avoid every combat situation.  This is where the concept of 'heroism' comes in, I guess.

In my mind, there's a slider bar or spectrum of fantasy with horror at one end and gonzo comedy at the other.  The silly comedy stories (like Dungeons and Daddies for an example among thousands) still have plenty of gruesome bloodshed, but it somehow coexists with wacky comedy (arguably this arrangement is far, far darker than plain old horror in that it is totally bizarre and grotesque the moment you stop to think about it).  In TOTM I have set the slider somewhere about halfway between horror and the center point, you might say.  I like to dip into horror, but not stay there too long. 

This brings me full circle back to the ideas in the last post: why do I (or does anyone) enjoy horror at all? How is this stuff 'fun'?  I don't know.  What do you think?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Are RPGs "fun"?

 Every now and then I listen back to my old episodes and, despite their cringe-inducing qualities, they do make me feel more connected to the fabric of my own story and help me to fully absorb my own lore.

I think it was in episode three I threw out a comment that DnD was supposed to be "fun".  My own dumb voice haunted me for a while after re-listening to that to the point where I feel I need to retract it.  

The more I think about it, the less I feel that DnD is "fun" per se, at least for me.  This isn't just semantics either; I think it might underlie a schism in the gaming community at large.

What do I get out of DnD if not fun?  It's enjoyment, yes, but not necessarily joy.  A 'thrill' is closer.  A 'sense of adventure' is closer.  A 'connection to my own imagination that I normally do not indulge in' is also closer.  I'm not sure what it is, but it's not 'fun'.  I guess 'fun' implies lightness, which obviously my games aren't.  I'm the kind of person who enjoys horror movies, and not for the Aristotlean concept of catharsis, either.  RPGs are kind of like that.  There's a relationship between RPGs and horror that I want to examine at a later date, but for now, back to the fun/not fun schism.

I perceive a divide in the gaming community that appears to be between old school and new school, but I don't honestly think the systems are the cause of the divide, nor are they even central to it.  I think they are incidental to it.  The divide might be best described as the space between those who play RPGs for fun (like the vast, vast ocean of comedy improv podcasters I can't relate to for the most part) and those who play for ... man I need a word... fulfillment feels like a cop out.  Satisfaction is a cop out.  It has to do with danger, immersion, excitement, wonder... I think I have to settle on the word 'experience'.  A light comedy where characters go shopping or riff in a tavern is not an 'experience'.  A harrowing hour in a dungeon is an experience.  An escape through the forest pursued by wolves is an experience.  Characters solving a puzzle to get the prize is an experience.  Help me out - can you find a better word to describe what you get out of RPGs?

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Shownotes for Episode 12


Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley Legionnaire

Part 1b                                     Odin

Part 2a                                     Odin

Part 2b                                     RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here” and Bensound Evolution

Some  FX: