Archive for the 'The RPG Room' Category

In last episode Jim and I discussed if casual gamers are actually bad for the hobby or not. With polarised opinions, Jim believes that casual gamers are a lot less needed than hardcore gamers in order to sustain the hobby, whereas I believe the more casual gamers we have, the better.

Regardless of who is right or wrong on this one, he fact is that the presence of casual gamers and their numbers do help shape the state and direction of the industry for keeping a casual gamer interested is a much different task than keeping a hardcore gamer hooked.

So, based on that, what games are no longer made because of the proliferation of casual gamers?

Are indeed casual gamers responsible for the disappearance of any game at all?

Once again, Jim and I have different opinions on this one!



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Casual gamers are, in my opinion, the bread and butter of any hobby. The vast majority of any hobby’s follower is a casual person who enjoys whatever it is on an ad-hoc basis.

And of course the presence of casual gamers has an impact on the gaming experience. If anything because the level of commitment of a casual gamer is never going to be the same and thus they might not engage or otherwise participate in the same way as a more hard-core gamer.

And it would seem that can be a frustrating thing for some. Like Jim.

In this episode we actually get to disagree a fair bit about it, for I think casual gamers are a good thing and it is the responsibility of the person around the table to control how they behave.

In this episode it becomes even clearer that Jim is the nicest of us two!



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cliches.jpgHow many times have we seen the same clichés in RPGs? How many more times will we have to endure them?

Truth is that clichés have a reason to exist because they make life easy for the writer or player, so it is not surprising that we see them so often. However, overuse and simplification have made those clichés to become really tired and boring.

Even though they do have a place and a time, usually it is not the correct place or time when they are used and we find too many of them in our games.

In this episode, Jim and I discuss what clichés should never be seen again in our games and why.



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orphan_character.jpgRPGs are home to too many orphan characters. Characters with no past, no grounding or no substance.

Often we see people who create characters and have no background whatsoever, or want to have the “mysterious” character with no past. A character that will take as close to zero as possible effort to play because they don’t have to justify their actions or add some sort of congruence to their personality.

Even if there is nothing wrong with playing a character like that, the chances are that the player is missing out on some intense gaming experience.

What can be done and why is not a good idea to play an orphan character?

Jim and I talk about it for a bit.


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x-card.pngI recently discovered the X-Card thanks to Jim. I had no idea it existed and it was a truly fantastic revelation that will grace my table from now on.

For those of you who don’t know, the X-Card is an invention by John Stavropoulos that aims to stop discomfort at the table.

As part of the social contract around the game, the X-Card is introduced at the very beginning as a means to seek help from everyone in order to take away from the game anything that make people uncomfortable and stop a bad situation from escalating into something worse.

The trick of the card is that it also says that explanations are not needed. If you don’t want to say why something makes you uncomfortable, you don’t have to say it. Simple as that. Privacy comes first.

This card is specially useful around a table where people are strangers, where unexpected situations and unknown circumstances can make life hell for some people.

And yet, it has a huge number of detractors who prefer to put the game ahead and above people’s safety.

Jim and I discuss the use of the X-Card and make an effort to have the worst possible to a podcast ever.

I think we succeed!


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Jennel.jpgHaving Jennel Jaquays on the show was long overdue. With so much talking about OSR and what games were like all time ago, Jim and I thought it was about time we had someone who knows *a lot* about the old days and the starts of many things.

Jennel has been writing games since the mid 70s and has written some books that continue to influence creators to this day.

And she has some truly amazing stories and, by the sounds of it, a really well packed library at her home!

Hope you enjoy the show!



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general_organa.jpgCarrie Fisher, for me, epitomised the concept of a strong character when she became Leia Organa. Not because the character was well written, but because she was an incredible character herself.

The death of the beloved Carrie Fisher was a massive shock for most of us. Not just because she was so young – 60 years old today is young, in my books – but because she was the fiercest and most respected princess and general of the galaxy. And she had a very tragic life story that we all wished she hadn’t gone through.

So what made Carrie Fisher turn Leia into such a strong character?

For that matter, what is a strong character? And what is a strong female character?

Is even there such a thing?

Jim and I talk about it.

Hope you enjoy the show!



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mental-health.jpgIt is safe to say the RPG crowd is unlike any other out there. We tend to be more open, more creative and a lot more accepting than many other hobbies or sub-cultures. And we are more accepting of mental health issues.

And please that I say mental health issues, not illnesses. There is a massive difference that we have to keep very much present.

However, does our hobby, do RPGs attract more people with mental health issues than other hobbies?

Or is it just that we are more likely to feel safe to disclose or just more aware because of the extended  social interaction?

The fact is that we don’t know, but Jim and I spend a while chatting about it.

Please be mindful when listening to this episode. We talk about mental health issues and give our opinions freely. As much as we have tried to be sensitive, we could have said something that might affect you.

Listener’s discretion is advised.

We also talk about Star Wars: Rogue One

Hope you enjoy the show!



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be_kind.jpgBecause the time of the year when people celebrate some sort of festivity approaches, Jim and I have decided to record a rambling episode on how to be good to each other.


Well… how to be good to your GM, that sacrificed, dedicated, studious, sensible, caring and wonderful human beings who spend so long looking for ways to kill the party in the most fun possible way.

Because, let’s face it, we have all been assholes to our GMs sometimes.

But now that the season of goodness and kindness approaches, it is time to change all that and we tell you exactly how to do it.


And you are welcome.



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glut.jpgAt G*M*S Central we believe that there are too many products being sold as PDFs at the moment and that is contributing to a languishing industry with too many companies that can’t stand on their own two money feet because there aren’t enough people buying all games and supplements.

We know it is not an opinion shared by all, and we do believe everyone should have the right to publish whatever they want, but it is our opinion.

If to the amount of published material we add a website that is the central point of purchase for said games is a site with the potential to shape the way we buy and what we buy, and that there doesn’t seem to be a quality control point to start listing products on that site, we might see why we have a lot of problems in the RPG industry.

But of course, those opinions have to be substantiated and the best way to do it is to talk to the person responsible for that site… we are talking about and the man in question is Steve Wieck, who is, according to Jim, one of the nicest guys in the industry.

Well… let’s find out if he is right and if the amount of material on their site is actually hurting the RPG business.

Hope you enjoy the show!



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