Thursday, June 25, 2020

If a Podcast Falls in the Forest

I've only been doing TOTM for 2 months, but it has already been quite a journey. I've been exposed to all kinds of notions and questions - even philosophies - regarding rpgs that I never considered before. One of these is the whole concept of solo gaming, which I've talked about here before. Although TOTM is a kind of solo game, it is also not a game. I'm actually not sure what it is exactly. The medium, tone and genre are obvious enough but the mode is a bit wonky. If TOTM were a solo game played on a tabletop at home, and not a podcast made for an audience, would I be playing it? To be honest, probably not. I don't play other games solo, so I probably wouldn't play this one. But that's weird, because I don't know the audience and I was never guaranteed to have one. So TOTM was made for an imaginary potential audience and probably would not exist without that flimsy concept to motivate it. That's super weird to me.

Do authors think about this kind of thing? Would anyone write a book if there were no readers? Probably not. Does that mean that TOTM is more of a novel than a game? Maybe. I'm not sure I like that. Given that I do care that people are listening, the bigger the audience, the better, right?

TOTM recently hit some benchmarks. Here they are:

Passed the 500 followers on Twitter mark
Passed the 400 followers on Instagram mark
Passed the 1000 downloads mark


The other day I did my first ever TOTM related interview. (Hopefully there will be more.) It was with Matt Davids of Matt wrote the very successful "Random Tables" supplements for D&D, along with other stuff. Trevor of Me Myself & Die uses them often. The interview went pretty well. I was wondering if an hour was a long time to fill, but in the end I could have talked for three. Actually, I barely talked about TOTM (oops!) and just went off on a number of hot takes about this and that. I told myself not to Yuck anyone's Yum by negging the popularity of comedy D&D podcasts.... but I guess I kind of did. Dammit. Matt was a good interviewer and fun to talk to - I hope I gave him some good stuff.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Shownotes for Episode 7

Theme Enchiridion
Welcome 148 Barovian Castle
BTL Scott Buckley Legionnaire
Part 1 Horror Music – No Copyright
Combat RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here”
& Sad and Depressing Music for Videos (No Copyright)
Dramatis RPG SOUNDS “Realization”
& Bensound Evolution
Part 2 Bensound Ofelia’s Dream
Some FX:

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A few Quick Recommendations to Get Your OSR Fix

I just got a comment on my last post, suggesting that I check out ME, MYSELF & DIE on Youtube. The comment made me realize that I really should be recommending other content-makers on this blog, so, below, here are my favorite OSR flavored media offerings:

Books: The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss
Music: The Sword - Age Of Winters
On Youtube: Me, Myself & Die! Episode 1
Comics: Goblin Slayer
Podcasts: The Iron Realm

(Note that the latter 2 recommendations are definitely 18+)

OK, now it's your turn... what are some amazing discoveries you've made recently? I am all ears.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Why Am I Not Using 5e Like A Normal Human?

Yeah... why aren't I?

5e seems to be truly beloved. It's by far the most popular set of rules in use right now. Am I being deliberately obtuse, or trying to harness some kind of 'Old School' mojo?

The truth is, I have never played 5e. That's the reason I'm using B/X for TOTM. When I started my little experiment in storytelling, I had never even seen the rules.

(A little aside here... imagine my horror upon reading the 5e rules and finding a demonstration character in it named 'Umara' ... oh come on!! I swear it's a coincidence. Now, if I ever name a character Margan Ironwolf, you can throw things at me).

I have since read the basic rules and listened to a lot of hours of 5e games in podcasts. I think I pretty much get it, and I like the system. It seems a bit overpowered for my tastes (0 level cantrips do HOW much damage???) but overall it seems ... well some people use the word 'elegant' and I think it's deserved. In particular, I like that:

1) they start off level 1 characters with max hp (a rule I thought was a little off the wall when I used it for my B/X characters).
2) ascending AC just makes more sense. I wish I had used that, but it's too late now.
3) the concepts of advantage/disadvantage are wonderful; if I haven't used them yet, I'm sure I will.

I don't regret using B/X for TOTM though - not at all. I know it well, and it's rules light. For an audio medium, I think rules light is a big bonus. Savage Worlds seems extremely rules light and I'd love to try it out, but the rules might be too hard for anyone to follow if they don't use the system already. Ditto for Mythic - I think that could make for a very interesting podcast. Somebody, please go make a podcast for Savage Worlds or Mythic... or both! I will listen! Like with 5e, I didn't consider either of these systems for TOTM because I didn't know they existed.

TOTM was my way to get back into D&D after a long, long time away. Really long. My last campaign used 2nd Ed. (I didn't use 2nd Ed for the show because it is a bit too 'crunchy' for a podcast and I didn't want rules errata to clutter up my story any more than necessary.)

If this whole COVID thing does go away in the next little while, I'm going to join a meetup or something and get some hours invested in 5e. Who knows, maybe it'll be a good choice for a Season 2 if I get that far. Then again, B/X is serving me well - and it turns out there's a niche OSR community. I hope being part of one camp doesn't exclude the other, because the system doesn't really matter that much in the end - it's all just swords and sorcery.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Map of the Ruins under the Tower, Level 1

Shownotes for Episode 6

Theme Enchiridion
Welcome 148 Barovian Castle
BTL Scott Buckley Legionnaire
Part 1 Horror Music – No Copyright
Dramatis RPG SOUNDS “Realization” & Bensound Evolution
Some FX: