fenris_games.jpgFenris Games has been at the forefront of miniatures creation for a very long time. They know the business and what it takes to survive.

Having a modelling company and producing minatures is a lot more glamorous from the consumer side than the side of the business and staying abreast of the market is a very tough nut to crack.

In this episode I speak to Ian Brumby about the hardships and rewards of owning a miniatures creation company.

Enjoy the show!

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geeky_food.jpgIn this episode we are not going to do anything with games. This is all about geeky food and cooking, because, contrary to what might appear, we geeks like to eat. A lot!

I met Ilana Greenberg-Sud in Facebook and I was interested right away. She has a pretty neat store in Etsy that sells all sorts of geeky morsels for the empty stomach. Or the full one, because I think I would eat her food even if I weren’t hungry.

If you wanted to try Elvish Lembas Bread, this would be your place. Or if you are a Dr. Who fan, these would be his Jammie Dodgers of choice… and like that many, many more.

But have a listen… you might find more inspiration than you think!

Enjoy the show!

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Justin.jpgJustin Mason is one of those prolific RPG creators who isn’t known enough. With a great talent for map making and graphic design, he has worked on a cool ton of projects, but it seems he hasn’t worked on enough yet!

For years he has honed his skills to become a skilled cartographer with a pretty immense portfolio for companies like Adventureaweek.com, Paizo, Dark Naga Adventure, AAW Games and many, many more.

But I was curious to know how someone like him can actually survive using the world of RPGs as a means of income, considering how hard to is to make a living these days.

And we also talked maps… lots of map!

Hope you enjoy the show!

 

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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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