Archive for the 'Games_Podcasts' Category

Social-Advocacy.jpgA few days ago Jim and I talked for a while about culture in games. How they are not well used or even created in most games and we touched on some of the social aspects of cultures and how to translate them into gaming. Also how to convert real cultures into gaming cultures.

After that, it was pointed out by someone who heard our episode and, in particular, the bit about understanding someone else’s culture and getting to know it, even if from a distance, that it was very obvious that it was two white guys talking about topic.

Regardless of the fact that the assertion is wrong (I am not white. I just have white skin privilege), that sparked a conversation between Jim and myself: How is social advocacy affecting RPGs.

In this episode we discuss that, as well as a bit of cultural appropriation (very little) and a few other interesting things.

A fair bit of swearing in this episode!


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compare-communication-across-cultures.jpMany people try to portray cultures in their games. Whenever a game has a setting, the description of their cities, countries, societies… they are meant to have cultures.

But that is not something most games do well.

When you scratch the surface of any setting, there are massive gaps that are not easy to fill and subtract from the understanding of how the world works. How can one create new material that is congruent and of good quality if we don’t understand where the cultures that shape our worlds come from?

Thank goodness, Jim is an anthropologist and he can answer a few questions on that front!


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OG-Final-1-01JPEG_copy.jpgBrendan Davis from Bedrock Games has been creating a few interesting games in the last few years. Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate is their latest and most ambitious proposal yet.

A game based on the Wuxia genre from China, this is not the first time the company attempt at recreating cultural aspects of a real life society to a game. With Arrows of Indra, Bedrock Games tried with only moderate success to create a game that would integrate Indian culture into an OSR, though it sadly fell short of the mark.

In this case, though, I am much more hopeful as the author is indeed very keen and passionate about the topic.

With over 400 pages of game, this one has a great deal of potential to offer detailed and accurate information, so I thought it would be a good idea to check with one of the authors what the game is all about and what sort of measures they have taken to get the best game possible.

Hope you enjoy the show!


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aha-moment.jpgSometimes we have ideas, lots of ideas, and we want them to grow wings and fly to the skies until they reach heights never suspected by humanity.

And then they get nowhere.

Ideas are very hard things to deal with because we love them, we get attached to them and we look after them like they are our children, regardless of how ugly or useless they can be.

So what can you do with them? How can you identify if an idea is any good and worthy of your attention? And what happens if you want your idea to get super high up there but can only get to about eye-level?

Well.. here are some pieces of advice from Jim and I.

Hope you enjoy the show!


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herolab.pngLone Wolf Development has been going for a number of years and Hero Lab has become the go-to application for a lot of people when is about character creation and campaign management.

A hugely comprehensive set of stats and data, it makes the task of managing your character, campaign or adventure easier and with less things to remember.

It has been a while since they released the Pathfinder Adventure Path to help you run your campaigns and now they are releasing modules, smaller adventures with everything you need to keep track of encounters, locations, treasure, NPCs…

I thought a few questions were in order and Colen McAlister was the perfect person for that. Because he knows pretty much everything about Hero Lab and the company.

You can download a free trial for Windows and Mac here.

So here it goes… hope you enjoy the show!


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The last podcast Jim and I discussed a lot about bad graphic design in RPGs and some of the very many reasons for it.

But we didn’t really get to discuss everything (maybe because we can’t really discuss everything without spending the rest of our lives talking about it) so we decided to have another go at it and this time we got help.

Help from someone who is one of the best in the industry, Jonny Hodgson.

As creative director for Cubicle 7, he is the person who has the responsibility to get the company products and games to be the best they can be. And, let’s face it, they are pretty excellent, so I guess he knows a thing or two about his craft.

This podcast is a bit (as in even more) chaotic than usual, but then it is also a lot funnier and rather informative, so I hope you will enjoy it.

Let us know!



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Should Authors pander to what the gaming crowd want and produce what sells, or should they produce what they want and get stuck with poor sales?

This is a very real question and a very real situation that many RPG authors out there have to face every day. And it is not an easy decision to make.

Sometimes making creative and truly new games and games mechanics means people will look at the product and choose to spend their money on something a lot safer, a lot better known. Oftentimes people miss out on amazing games just because of that.

But the truth of the matter is that authors miss out on earnings that could keep them ticking and helping them make more money to help them make more games.

This is a conversation I have had with Jim many times in private. Now we have it in public.

Tell us what you think!


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For the last few years the discussion on equality in games, both in and out of the fantasies, have been raging with arguments being made on both camps that make you wonder sometimes if we have learned anything in the last two hundred years.

Some of us do want to see more diversity in games, both in the creative environment – that is, the people who create the games – and in the created environment, inside the games themselves.

Some other people consider that inclusion of diversity and the added richness it provides a burden on their creative juices. Which is bullshit.

However there is an aspect of all this inclusion that makes people nervous because on the one hand they fee they *must* include minorities and, on the other hand, if they make a mistake in the representation, they will be scorned mercilessly by members of those minorities.

Is there a balance to be striken here? Do we truly need equality in games?

Jim Pinto and I discuss this at length.

Lots of cursing!


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Tons and tons of games use some sort of religion in their setting. Many of them have more than one religion and all of those will have player characters, and those characters are meant to follow the tennets of religions that do not exist in our world.

But our world does have religions people follow and they shape our views of many things from very early age.

How does that affect us? How does that affect the characters we make, the games we play, the games we write…

In this episode, Jim Pinto and I discuss that for a while.

Hope you enjoy the show!


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Can you imagine being a Sleeper soldier from the Cold War?

By Paco G. Jaen

Sleepers: Orphans of the Cold War is an RPG from company Death Spiral Games in which players take on the roles of agents of the Cold War that have been in stasis for a long time and have been awakened now by whatever means needed to make the adventure.

The game was successfully funded in Kickstarter a while back and the result is actually very good. I just wish they had got a lot more money to make it full colour and more illustrations, because this game is really sweet!

Hope you enjoy the show.


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