026 Player Character Backgrounds in RPGs

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Player character backgrounds in roleplaying games, how do you handle them? Do you incorporate them into your story? Brett and Sean share their thoughts.

Episode 26 Show Agenda

Intro including music – DarkTheatre.net Home of the Character Folio


Volunteer for ACD’s Games Day. Go here for more details.

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Random Encounter

Thanks to Chris Hussey for shout out on his site TableTalesSeries.com: http://www.tabletalesseries.com/index.php/stuff-chris-loves

Topic of Discussion

As a GM

  • How much effort do you expect character creation?
  • What do you like to see?
  • How much control (e.g. limitations on class, race, etc) do you impose on your players?
  • What do you forget to use in game?

As a Player

  • How much effort do you put into your character creation?
    • personality and history
    • long and short term goals
  • Are there any bits of your character that you “always seem to forget?”
  • How much work do you expect the GM to put into helping you develop your character?
    • Something each session?
    • certain goals you assume should be brought to some sort of close?

Die Roll


  1. GenCon – I’m going, shall we meet up?
  2. Free to view HPL movies (http://lovecraftzine.com/2015/03/06/some-really-great-lovecraftian-movies-that-are-free-to-watch/)
  3. Lost Ralph Bakshi LotR footage found – http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/22/5536430/ralph-bakshi-son-discovers-lost-footage-1978-lord-of-the-rings


  1. Fantasy Flight Games is hiring https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2015/3/5/fantasy-flight-games-is-now-hiring-2015-03-05/
  2. OSR Today features Map Monday by Monkey Blood Design – free maps: http://osrtoday.com/author/monkeyblooddesign/
  3. Matt Jackson Maps: http://www.msjx.org/
  4. Savage Worlds combat flow chart: Link to thread: https://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33050&sid=e9300987ecffa6102e563c8d090fdafcLink to PDF http://www.andrewgronosky.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/SavageWorldsCombatFlowChart.pdf
  5. Rocketbook: Cloud-Integrated Microwavable Notebook https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rocketbook-cloud-integrated-microwavable-notebook


Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko

Boryan Radakovich on Twitter, producer of Tabletop


025 Break Time and RPG Group Size

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Sometimes we need to take a break from gaming and the reasons may vary. It could be GM burn-out or a player that just isn’t into the game. We also talk about Brett’s 10 person gaming group and how a smaller, more intimate, group can be more beneficial. There’s also different ways to handle rpg group size.

Episode 25 Show Agenda

Intro including music – DarkTheatre.net Home of the Character Folio


Now on Youtubes! https://www.youtube.com/gamingbs

Thank you to Phil and Chris for the shout out in episode 144 of Misdirected Mark podcast. They mention the cold and how people in Wisconsin are probably running around in t-shirts. We don’t know what they’re talking about, scroll down to see how Sean & Brett show their appreciation.

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Topics of Discussion

Taking a Break

  • As a GM do you ever take breaks between running games?
  • As a player to you ever take breaks between gaming?

Size of Your Group – What’s the “sweet spot” for # of players?

  • GM perspective
  • Player perspective
  • Regular campaigns vs one-shots or Con games
  • Ever Co-GM a game?

Die Roll – 2-4 misc points of gaming and geekery.


  1. OOP Goodies – Found Lure of the Liche Lord for Warhammer RPG (2nd ed)
  2. Spock passed – I feel for those who are connected in the Nerd-sphere
  3. Looking forward to some RPG time on the other side of the screen


  1. Congrats to all Golden Geek award winners and nominations http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1326066/2014-golden-geek-awards-winners
  2. Kingsman: The Secret Service http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802144/
  3. The Man from UNCLE http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1638355/


Caught reading AD&D's Fiend Folio
Sean caught reading AD&D’s Fiend Folio


Brett enjoying a frosty one on a balmy Wisconsin day.
Brett enjoying a frosty one on a balmy Wisconsin day.

024 Railroading and Sandboxes in Role-playing Games

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Railroading and Sandboxes in role-playing games, Brett and Sean broach the often-discussed topic. Many commentary rpg podcasts typically talk about this, here is our take.

Episode 24 Show Agenda

Random Encounter

A couple of recent emails and posts.

Shane writes in response to episode 22 RPG Wikis and Dissemination of Info:

Thanks again for the talk on Wikis and Digital campaign design.  Ultimately I decided to go with something I know and like and that would let me create the pages as I wanted the to look.  

I have for sometime tried to keep ahead of my players by creating twisted campaign settings that are expandable enough to accommodate anything my players want to do and are system neutral enough that we can hybridize anything we like from game or edition to fuse into our OSRIC like gaming madness.  

This time I am creating something that will surprise me as much as the players.  I created a world in which creation itself is constantly in flux.  In which noble acts literally give rise to the land while dark corruption shocks create chasms into the landscape.  I created a short series of random tables that describes the basics of life: plant, animal, insectoid, aberrant.  Then I created separate tables for society politics and physical hierarchy. (is the location deep in a corruptive chasm or high in a lofty spire)

Once the basics of location and beings were established I went to pinterest and search through images for the players to relate to.  The realm is set up as an every changing and every expanding domain in which we can trade DM’s or entire systems.

Chris Hussey writes in response to episode 023 – What Have RPGs Done For You?:

I actually do make mention of RPGs on my resume/LinkedIn profile (I think it’s still there). I do this because it is an excellent conversation piece in an interview (though granted, I haven’t had many – hmmmm), and it is a chance to talk about the strengths RPGs give you in the real world

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Topics of Discussion (30-40 min) – Girth of the show, links, blurb, references, etc.

  1. Railroads – Are they ok if the view is good?
    1. What’s a railroad adventure?
    2. Can they be fun?
    3. Faster play time, getting “into it” quicker?
    4. Favorite railroad adventure?
  2. Sandbox – Where’s the plastic dinosaur?
    1. What’s a sandbox really? (Kobold Guide to Game Design has some interesting info on sandbox design – http://www.koboldpress.com/kqstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=157)
    2. Slower play time, taking longer to “get somewhere?”
    3. A favorite Sandbox adventure?
  3. Which option is best or does it depend on what the group is into?
    1. regular group vs every-so-often group
    2. con games

Die Roll – 2-5 misc points we want to bring up at end of cast. Should be short and sweet, could be a plug, something to check out, etc. Limited time to spout off.


  1. Red Hand of Doom Ale! – http://buy.rogue.com/rogue-hellboy-right-hand-of-doom-red-ale/
  2. D&D stuff still on sale at DriveThruRPG – http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/featured.php?promotion_id=DnDC2YearAnni
  3. Open Call for Adventure Designers in the D&D Adventurers League has 8 days left – http://dndadventurersleague.org/2015/02/open-call-for-adventure-designers-2/


  1. Whacky style 5e sheet found on reddit http://www.reddit.com/user/hphammacher / https://imgur.com/NDbYLlA
  2. Roll, a mobile rpg app http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/139836-Role-App-Delivers-Simplified-RPG-to-iOSs-App-Store
  3. Props for Esoterrorist RPG http://gothridgemanor.blogspot.com/2015/02/esoterrorist-game-props.html