034 Handling Time in Roleplaying Games

Listener email leads us to the topic of handling time in roleplaying games. Do you track time? How? Do you have it effect the aging of player characters? Lets talk about it.

Episode 34 Outline

Intro

Sponsored by DarkTheatre.net

Announcements

Sean’s Forge Midwest experience.

Random Encounter – emails, voice mails, social media from listeners

Thank you serenity10101 for itunes review. If you have left a review for us and you’re not in the US, let us know!

Comment from guestbook

Hey guys! I just stumbled upon an episode of your show on YouTube when searching for videos about homebrew settings, and absolutely loved your episode on it! Now I just need to start from the bottom and work my way up.

Lookin’ forward to hearing more; keep up the good work.

-Taylor

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G+ Post – Moe T. RE: Ep 032

Finally catching up on some podcasts. Just finished ep. 32.

Good as always.

As for why I haven’t played that one (or should that be one hundred) RPGs in my collection, it comes down to only one thing:

Time.

Either mine or other peoples. I currently have one RPG group, we meet every Monday. If everyone is there we play Warhammer 3rd Edition If someone can’t make it we play board games.

It’s been I think 6 months since we’ve played. Maybe longer. We never have a full group. It’s gotten so bad that we started a campaign of Imperial Assault with the four players who do usually make it.  We are having a great time playing that, so it’s not like we aren’t gaming or aren’t having fun but it would be nice to play some RPGs again.

Time is the thing that has me playing way more board games than any RPGs. I can get a group together to play a board game pretty much any night of the week. There’s no prep time and there’s no commitment. I just put a shout out “looking for X players for Y” game and I’ll get them. Pretty much anyone can commit to a couple hours here and there. The problem is finding someone who can show up week after week (or even month after month) for a regular game.

Comment from G+ RE: ep 32

aaron sugg

Listening to your espionage episode, Brett mentioned not being sure if he’d intentionally played espionage. It reminded me of a campaign I ran for my group during the final playtest pack of D&D Next.

We were playing in a custom setting that on the surface, appeared to be a very typical fantasy setting. I was also trying to be very sandboxy, so I used the character’s individual motivations to craft the beginning of the story, combining them with a few absolutes that I knew about my setting. It started with a young wizard stumbling across a mysterious addition to a book he was researching. It spoke cryptically of a golden relic of forbidden knowledge. The book was unable to be lent to him from his temple/school’s library, due to clerical error, and when he returned to find the book he found it was no longer in the library.

I’ll spare you the fine details, but the players found themselves unknowingly thrown into an espionage tale. They were on the tail of a rival group of elite guards from the central kingdom (powerful government syndicate), engaged with dangerous free-agents that stood in their way (rival super spies) including a vampire informant (who was forced to kill and turn the group’s paladin), stole powerful information from kingdom guards (con/heist), were caught and forced to pull a jail break and sneak out of town by making underground contacts, and finally one of their rivals came to their aid (double agent).

In the end, the location of the golden relic was close at hand… in the underground lair of a powerful, benevolent Flumph and his worshiping cult. They stood guard over the relic for centuries and the Flumph revealed the strange, gold disc and projected it’s information into the PC’s minds.

I walked over to my computer and hit play on itunes. “Greetings from the people of earth…” And the Voyager record played on. Campaign over.

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Sponsor

Greyedout Productions. Buy a dicebag and use promo code GAMINGANDBS to receive 10% off your order.

Topic of Discussion Time in RPGs

Brad Hazzard sent us the following email:

Hey Fellas,

How do you handle time in your games?  Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, etc. How does your PCs age?

Most D&D games assume PCs are young, early to mid 20s but by the end of an adventure campaign at 20th lvl, they are ready to retire from life on the edge. How about when they have only so long to accomplish a task or prevent something from corrupting their world? How about effects like spells, and rest, etc?

This can get monotonous and tedious when determining spell timing, just like encumbrance. Players get offended real fast when you get so close to control of their character.

Travel is really an enormous time evolved process back in the day. Traveling more than 20 miles a day on a weeks journey is huge. Not to mention life changing. A 500+ mile journey would not even be considered by most let alone unchartered, untraveled, unguided romps through, swamps and back country.

How do you decide when time really matters without being inconsistent to the rules or true to life?

Time is so important but rarely used to enhance the feel of the game  outside of anticipation, hesitation and revelation.

Die Roll – 2-4 miscellaneous points of gaming or geekery we want to share with you.

Brett

  1. The Last Witch Hunter (Vin Diesel) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQaYwtJTIhk
  2. Dragon+ from WotC http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/dragonplus
  3. My youngest son almost kicked my ass at The Duke

Sean

  1. Man looks to 3d print all monsters in 5e monster manual and has his plans available for download http://toybox.io9.com/one-man-is-3d-printing-models-of-every-creature-in-d-ds-1697740405
  2. 13th Age has its own organized play. http://pelgranepress.com/site/?p=12301 ,

Closing/outro

033 Espionage Roleplaying Games

Be it fantasy, modern or far future scifi, you can make espionage a big part of your roleplaying game But what about running a game that is catered to the genre? We talk about it in this episode and we’ll throw in some random encounters as well.

Episode 33 Show Outline

Intro

Sponsored by DarkTheatre.net

Announcements

Bonus BS! What is it? How are we going to use it?

Sean interviews Hans Cummings, author, gamer and awards submission coordinator of the ENnies!

Apologies to Mike Rigsby, ep 28 I said “he’s not even a gamer” which did not come out right.

Random Encounter – emails, voice mails, social media from listener

Dave Winn writes…
Hey Sean and Brett,

First off, sorry I missed you at GaryCon, Sean. I saw you, but either you were in a game or I was and I didn’t want to interrupt. Second, although I’m a week late I just wanted to say that when I ran a military-based campaign, the characters were all part of a Fascist-Nazi style government, but they didn’t know just how bad their government was. I progressively made their government worse and worse just to see how awful I could make the government before they rebelled and joined the other (Soviet Russian) government instead and fought against their own government. The reason I bring this up, is I used the bards in that campaign as the sergeants in the army who not only dispensed information, but more importantly sowed propaganda. They sang songs of glory and spun the atrocities in a way that made them seem not as bad, or at the very least, patriotic. The bards were the heart and soul of this evil campaign :). Just wanted to add that to your discussion.

Game on,
Dave Winn
PS: The RPG I never get to the table is the Star Wars one. I never play it because I’m afraid I won’t know that much of the lore/cannon as my players.

Roger Brasslet on G+, Episode 32 Feedback, writes…

I’ve thought about this question before, and I always come back to the same answer: I haven’t moved on to different games because I don’t feel like I’ve finished everything I want to accomplish in the ones I’m playing. For me it has nothing to do with fear or player buy-in. Obviously, it takes time to learn new games, and time seems to be something we lack as adults. However, I really do have enough downtime to prep a new game instead of an old one. I just need to finish whatever I want to accomplish in the old games first.

Austin L from G+ writes…
Did someone say Eclipse Phase?

Attention deficit and dragons would be kinda difficult to get a campaign running for.

Money is sort of the biggest problem I find, but I’m mostly running for people even younger than I am. I pretty much have to put out a PDF for my players or else they’ll not really end up knowing the rules too well, since I’ve only ever seen it happen once where one of my players bought their own copy of whatever game we’re playing.

Frankly, I haven’t run the same genre or even system twice in a row in maybe more than five years. I’m more worried about becoming stagnant and predictable than I am about stumbling the first time I run something. I’m lucky I have players who’re willing to give stuff a try, like if I just say, “hey, I’m getting a little burnt out on this campaign we’ve had going for half a year, how about we try this homebrew system I’ve got percolating for urban fantasy for a few weeks before we carry on?” The answer has pretty much always been a yes. In fact, at the moment I’m alternating between running 5e one week and Song of Ice and Fire RP next week back and forth.

Phil Vecchione via G+ re: Ep 32 what rpg do you want to run but have not?
Burning Empires. The game looks complex, that I am not sure I have the time to dedicate to learning the rules, nor the group stamina to last the large number of sessions it would take to master the system and really great everything out of it.

@walla151 from Twitter writes…
I agree with @gamingandbs – Elon Musk would make an awesome supervillain in an alternate reality RPG

Sponsor

Greyedout Productions. Buy a dicebag and use promo code GAMINGANDBS to receive 10% off your order.

Topic of Discussion

ESPIONAGE!!

  1. Types of espionage games
    1. high action – mission impossible movies
    2. low action – cold war no guns
  2. Settings
    1. Modern day
    2. Alternate history
    3. Era specific
    4. Fantasy
    5. Sci-fi
    6. Wild west
  3. Sources of inspiration
    1. books
      1. Flemming
      2. LeCarre
      3. Ludlum
      4. Clancey
      5. Forsyth
    2. movies
      1. Bond
      2. Mission Impossible
      3. Spy Who Came In From the Cold
      4. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy
      5. Bourne
      6. Kingsman
      7. Ronin
    3. TV
      1. The Saint
      2. Man from UNCLE
      3. Mission Impossible
      4. I Spy
      5. Alias
      6. MI-5
      7. The Avengers
      8. Burn Notice
      9. Wild Wild West
  4. Games
    1. Top Secret
    2. Spycraft
    3. James Bond RPG
    4. Night’s Black Agents
    5. Covert Ops
    6. Classified
    7. Agents of Oblivion
    8. Spione
    9. Delta Green

Die Roll – 2-4 miscellaneous points of gaming or geekery we want to share with you.

Brett

  1. The Laundry (based on the best-selling novels by Charles Stross) – http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/the-laundry/
  2. This Just in from GenCon – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1745448595/this-just-in-from-gen-con?ref=nav_search

Sean

  1. Modus Operandi – Espionage RPG site http://www.modus-operandi.co.uk/ Dave McAlister
  2. Origin Awards, nominations http://www.originsawards.net/2015-nominees/ ,
  3. Audible book: Espionage and Covert Operations, A Global History http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DTNWOHW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=as2

Closing/outro

032 What RPG Do You Want To Run, But Have Not

Some of us have a few roleplaying games. Many of them we have not played or GM’d. What are those games and why haven’t you run or played them?

Episode 32 Show Outline

Intro

Sponsored by DarkTheatre.net

Update from the Gamehole!!

Gamehole Con adds more special guests!

  • Merle Rasmussen, the original author and creator of Top Secret
  • Robert Schwalb who just completed his much anticipated Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG Kickstarter
  • Dave Megarry, the designer of the iconic Dungeon Board Game
  • Rumor – Artemis, Star Trek bridge simulator

Sponsor

Greyedout Productions. Buy a dicebag and use promo code GAMINGANDBS to receive 10% off your order.

Topic of Discussion

What game system, setting, or plot idea(s) haven’t you done but always wanted to?

  • What do we think sounds cool?
  • Why aren’t we doing it?

Die Roll – 2-4 miscellaneous points of gaming or geekery we want to share with you.

Brett

  1. New Fantastic 4 trailer – http://laughingsquid.com/20th-century-fox-releases-the-first-official-trailer-in-its-entirety-for-the-rebooted-fantastic-four-film/
  2. Three new Lankhmar offerings by Pinacle – City of Thieves, Nehwon Poster Map, and Lankhmar Poster map –  http://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?keywords=lankhmar&x=0&y=0&author=&artist=&pfrom=&pto=
    Lankhmar: City of Thieves

Sean

  1. Nexus Game Fair, Milwaukee. June 25-28. Event reg begins May 17th.  http://www.nexusgamefair.com ,
  2. Forge Midwest April 24-26, Madison reminder https://forgemidwest.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/forge-midwest-2015-april-24-26th/ .
  3. One Shot podcast http://www.oneshotpodcast.com/  Edge of the Empire 3 part series: http://www.oneshotpodcast.com/tag/edge-of-the-empire/
  4. Thanks to those leaving us reviews on iTunes:
    1. Zave70
    2. Kevthulhu
    3. Walla151
    4. klkeesler
    5. The Hussman
    6. mumble beats
    7. NursingStudentRoger
    8. joecwick
    9. MoeTousignant

Closing/outro