Thursday, October 28, 2021

On writing for audio

 I’m a History, English and Media Studies teacher so thinking about literature, fiction, mass communication, and all that kinda stuff is home turf for me, but making TOTM has made all those thoughts resonate in a new way because it’s all no longer just theory – I practice it, too.

When I play/scriptwrite for the show (I still don’t know the right verb to use for that), I often find myself writing in a way that I wouldn’t do if I were writing, say, a novel or short story.  If I came across the stuff I write in those types of media, I would cringe.  It’s not the content I’m talking about – it’s the mode of delivery, or style.

An example would be something like a description of on unseen threat… coming closer… and closer… until the hairs on the back of her neck started to stand up straight.  That kind of overly dramatic writing is super cringey in print.  I think it works on a podcast.  It’s all a matter of taste of course, but I would absolutely lean into that.  A countdown is another kind of thing I’d definitely do.  You know: the creature was fifty feet away… now 20 feet… now close enough that they could smell its breath blah blah blah.

I feel that using the verbal equivalent of big, bold colours works in the audio format in a way that would be crass and amateurish in print.  This is yet another way that TOTM has liberated me to just write without thinking too self consciously about the literary quality of my writing.  I like that.  It comes out more fluidly and if it also comes out a little bit pulpy… well, that’s OK. The show is a little bit pulpy (odd to use a print media metaphor but just go with it) and it has to be.  There’s just no time to be editing and re-editing, and searching for an hour for just the right word.  There’s a show to make and a deadline to keep.  I wish I’d discovered all this years ago. Maybe I wouldn’t have a shitty ‘finished but not good enough for anyone to ever read’ novel sitting on my hard drive.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

OSitD update

 Hello friends.  Today I was recording the playthrough for levels 2 & 3 of OSitD (to be released in a few weeks most likely)  and I came across a typo.  I fixed it and updated the file and it appears all customers have been sent a new copy.  There's no major changes - just a little goof that escaped all the editors' notice.  Cheers and thanks so much for your support!

(You know, I played this game so much last summer that, when work came charging back in September, I put it down and didn't touch it for a couple of months.  I'm delighted to find that it's still fun to play!)

Friday, October 22, 2021

The embarrassment of riches continues

 Didn't I say I keep getting incredible artwork?  This just blows me away!  Today's is from @thisisbardcore of the Dice & Desire podcast.  Kagan throwback!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 53

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                         Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Part 1                                      Kyellan – Carved in Stone

Dramatis                                 RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                    

Monday, October 18, 2021

An embarrassment of riches

 The hits keep coming! Check out this stunning portrait of Aradine by Justin Pfeil. If you aren't familiar with Justin's work, his comic uses the same kind of hybrid storytelling engine as TOTM.  Here's a link to pg 1:

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Neffia the Small pt 4


A month and a half since I last picked up this story.... ack... it's my job that's to blame.  Why can't I just play games full time?  Looking over the last part of the story I realize... I need to edit for spelling. Yeesh!

Anyway, we are continuing from:

This is a servant’s bedroom, which means, the master bedroom is probably not even on this floor.  Neffia has to make a choice. There’s a room right next to the one she’s in that has something in it worth protecting, but it’s almost certainly not the room containing the silver medallion she’s after.  Chances are that the master bedroom is on a different floor than the servants’ room.  She’ll have to go downstairs to reach her objective.  Perhaps the master of the house dislikes stairs or something… the lazy bastard…

Let’s see… Neffia is not just here to find the medallion.  She’s here to pick up some loot along the way, so I think she’s going to try this door, even though she knows it’s unlikely to bring her closer her ultimate goal.


First things first: is there anything of use of note in this room?


Applicable clichés?: None


1d6=5 (Yes) … OK.  Is it .. I dunno, a key or key ring?


Applicable clichés?: None


1d6=5 (Yes) A single iron key on a cheaply made nightstand.  Cool.


This might be nothing more than the key to the room she’s in, unless the far door is locked.  Is it locked?


Applicable clichés?: None


1d6=3 (No, but)


No, it isn’t locked, but this key also does not fit its lock.  She pockets the key and hopes to find a use for it later.


The door might open up into a parallel hallway.  Does it?


Applicable clichés?: None


1d6=6 (Yes, and)


It opens up into a hallway that is dark and quiet.  It also looks, to Neffia’ approval, to be seldom used. There are hooks from which to hang lanterns that are all empty.


Neffia wants to see if there’s a second door to the room she could not gain access to before.  If there is one, it would be right down the hall from here.  Is there?


Applicable clichés?: None


1d6=4 (Yes, but)

OK, there is, but it’s locked.  She’ll try her new key. Does it fit?


Applicable clichés?: None


1d6=6 (Yes, and)


It fits and not only does the door swing open, it swings open silently and reveals an unoccupied room of much nicer décor than the previous.  Neffia believes that this is the room of the head valet.  She wonders why the key to this room would be in a servant’s quarters and then realizes that it is probably evidence of a little staff romance taking place in this household.  Neffia taps the side of her nose and winks at the empty bed.  She won’t tell a soul.  However, if there’s anything of value here, she will be taking that.  Is there anything?


Applicable clichés?: None


1d6=2 (No)


Neffia curses softly when she realizes this head valet is just as penniless as the rest of the staff.  Either that or he has hidden his wealth too well for her to find it.


Is there anything else useful in this room other than valuables?


Applicable clichés?: None


1d6=4 (Yes, but)


There’s a trapdoor under the rug.  That makes sense. Valets often have access to secret passages and back hallways that lead directly to their masters’ quarters.  Actually, this could be just what she needs – a way to travel directly to the parts of the estate most likely to contain her prize – and avoiding the guards at the same time.  Sounds good.  Sadly, the door is locked.  Maybe she can pick this one, too.  Out come the tools.


Applicable clichés?: No lock she can’t pick


2d6=4 is the best result. (Yes, but)


She gets the lock open but bends her best tool in the process.  Damn it!  She won’t have ‘advantage’ on this type of roll anymore until she can get a new set of thieves’ tools.  On the other hand, she has found a shortcut!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Episode 52 Character Inventory Update

 Haven't done one of these in a while.  Here's what each character is carrying as of the end of episode 52:


Blacknail’s Mentzium Plate mail +2, battleaxe, belt pouch (14gp, 36sp, 88cp), elven waterskin. A whetstone. A leather sack. Iron rations +2, bedroll, 800gp in various rubies.


Leather boots, layered tunic and leggings, goblin belt pouch (empty) waterskin, silver dagger, shoulderbag (quill, inkpot, hooded lantern, tinderbox, 2 flasks oil, 2 doses of Raphinfel’s serum, ‘angel’ recipe notes, “A Treatise on Theoretical Extra Planar Realities.”, Dermund’s spellbook, her spellbook), Silver necklace with sapphire worth 500gp. A spool of strong thread with both a needle and a fish hook. Owl of Thressendia. Ring of prot +1 (now AC=8) Iron rations+2, bedroll


Chainmail, Sov’s +1 mace, backpack, 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, A leather sack, a flint & steel,),  boots, belt pouch Iron rations+2, bedroll, Mithridaticum Elixir (1 vial/1dose). 91gp in mixed coins.


Waterskin, short sword, dagger, short bow and quiver, thieves tools, goblin belt pouch (empty), 50’ rope, Bracers of Defense AC 6. (22 gp, 163sp and 195 cp). 6 expertly made, white-fletched arrows. 17 arrows and a leather quiver. Iron rations+2, whetstone, bedroll


- Simple equipment suitable for a journey and for their respective class plus MINE RATIONS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Map: Blacknail's Vault

 I often make stuff with, which is both very easy to use, and free.  I have no affiliation with them - I just think the site is awesome.  Anyway, this is a map of Blacknail's Vault as well as Grythwip's Hidden Workshop below.  I can't quite remember, but I might have deviated from this a little bit, adding right angled turns to break line of sight in the hallways, but more or less, it's pretty accurate.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 52

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                      

Sunday, October 10, 2021


 Here in Canada, it's Thanksgiving weekend.  This year, I'd like to give thanks to the many artists who have interpreted my story through their talents. Guys, you can't believe how much this means to me.  Thank you very much, Simon J Williams, Roland Diaz, Angry Piper, Justin Pfeil and Jemarc Axinto!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 51

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX: