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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denis.jpgFor very many valid reasons, a lot of people like OSR games. To play in a style of games that resemble and replicate the original games from so many years ago.

However, that movement has also received a lot of criticism for some people seem to be stuck in the old ways beyond those of gaming. Some posts that could be considered insensitive or out of place have given place to a reputation that would suggest the OSR movement is a very toxic one.

Iit is pretty clear, though, that not all things are bad and there are a lot of people doing what they can to eradicate bad tropes and bring a more modern social environment reflection into an old style of gaming.

As I am very interested in art, I had to interview someone who does artwork in a diverse and inclusive manner for that movement and find out where things are now and where they could be going in the not-too-distant future.

Denis McCarthy has been creating enough artwork for enough time to understand the market and he is indeed good at it. And has a passion for inclusivity and diversity. So… how does he manage in an environment that is so seemingly toxic?

Let’s find out!

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Mindjammer_books_featured_image.jpg

Mindjammer has been a favourite of mine since before it came out in its current edition. I read the novel before I knew the game and loved it and now it is my go-to Science Fiction game.

And that is because Sarah Newton, as well as being a good friend, is for me the most talented writer and designer out there.

Yes… in the world.

When Sarah carried out her rather successful Kickstarter campaign, one of the stretch goals was a conversion of the Mindjammer game into the Traveller system.

Since I am not an expert on Traveller, I was very curious to know how a game with a system as open as FATE could be converted to a system that is a lot more rules-heavy and relatively restrictive as Traveller.

And now you can find out too.

Hope you enjoy the show!

 

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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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Dungeonology_Th.pngDungeonology is one of those books that are not aimed at you but you still love them because it is gorgeous and, deep inside (or not so deep as the case might be) we all have a child in us.

This book, published in November 2016, is a collaboration between Wizards of the Coast, Candlewick Press and Templar Press. The lore of WOTC has come together with the know-how of two very experienced publishers who put out quality books for children.

And it shows. Dungeonology is lavish, extremely well written and truly gorgeous to look at, as you can see in the video.

Hope you enjoy it!

Wizards of the Coast site: http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/rpg-products/dungeonology

Candlewick Press link: http://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Season&season=current&page=1&mode=list&pix=y&catheader=y

Templar Publishing: http://www.templarco.co.uk/

 

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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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