Dec 30th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
Carrie 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!
Dec 26th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
It 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!
Dec 19th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
Because 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.
Dec 14th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
At 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 Drivethrurpg.com 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!
Dec 9th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
I will not say it is a fact, but it is a fact that a lot of games are very repetitive. Either the theme is repetitive, the tropes are a repetition of another game.
Basically, there are too many elves out there now. And too many Cthulhus and mutants.
In this episode, Jim and I discuss the whys and why nots of that situation.
This should be interesting!
Nov 27th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
What RPGs are bad for the industry? Are there any games you wish hadn’t come out?
Both in Europe and in the USA, we have had some games that have hurt the industry, and some others that are hurting the industry and the hobby as a whole.
Some games have helped contribute to the stigma of weirdness or danger that some people attached to RPGs in the 80s and 90s. For different reasons and in different countries, some RPGs have acquired a very bad reputation, let it be as enablers of Satan or as weapons of murder or simply as something losers and nerds do.
Of course some have helped create an amazing and creative hobby and subculture and those we celebrate every day.
Have we missed any games?
Let us know!
Nov 8th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
Why play RPGs? Why spend hours reading books and preparing for games? Why
belong to a community that is both so hostile and welcoming at the same
Believe it or not it is a question I ask myself very often.
Why bother with a hobby in which a dissenting voice is shut down instead of
welcome with healthy debate? Why am I in a hobby that still has strides to walk
in terms of inclusivity and diversity? A hobby in which some attempts at said
inclusivity and diversity are met with brutal opposition by people who refuse to
widen their perspectives?
And, you know… sometimes I wish to quit.
But I don’t.
And i am sure I am not the only human being in this position. We keep
Jim and I explore the reasons why we are still here. And why we are likely to
continue for a long, long time.
Nov 1st, 2016 by gmsmagazine
The topic of cultural appropriation is a hot one in Social Justice circles.
But is it a justified outcry when someone uses someone else’s culture to create
games, costumes or anything else?
It is a matter of fact that cultures evolve both by themselves – traditions
that become canon in time or ones that die, fashion that evolves… – and by
assimilation when we see something from another culture and we adopt it. In a
world that is a lot more globalised today than it was 30 or 40 years ago mostly
thanks to the Internet, the rate at which cultures are being shared, adopted,
evolved and bastardized has also increased exponentially.
Are we ready for this?
Is there a justified concern for the phenomenon we are witnessing in which
people use other people’s cultures?
And is it justified to do it in RPGs?
Since there is not a single RPG that hasn’t borrowed from one culture or
another, to say we are free from culture appropriation would be pretty naive
thing, so it is safe to say it’s unavoidable.
Jim and I explore all those questions and give our take on this controversial
Warning… we don’t hold back and we are likely to offend some people.
Oct 19th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
A 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!
Oct 5th, 2016 by gmsmagazine
Many 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