RPG’s That Changed Our Play

You play D&D, but then you come across that one rpg, or two, or three, that really changes how you play or run a role-playing game.

Thanks to Blake Ryan for the inspiration.

Random Encounter

Tom comments on RPG PURGE

I’ve done this twice. Once when I realized my RPG collection had consumed two entire bookshelves, I cut it down by half. Then last year when we moved, I trimmed my collection down to three shelves. (One is various boxed sets.)

I looked at each item.

  • If I use or reference it semi-regularly, I put it in the ‘keep’ stack.
  • If I haven’t really looked at it in 10 years or more, and can’t imagine something coming up where I would use it…I put it on the ‘sell’ stack.
  • I go through the ‘keep’ stack again, culling out those items I lied to myself about the first time.
  • Then I go through it again, and even if I reference it from time to time, I ask myself if I don’t have another resource that serves the same function, if so, it goes on the ‘sell’ stack.
  • Find anything that I keep out of hopes I’ll use it, but haven’t in years. Can I find a PDF copy? If so, it goes on the ‘sell’ stack.

(None of the above applies to my 1st edition Deities and Demigods with Cthulhu, Melnibone, etc. Nor does it apply to my boxed Jorune or Runequest RPGs. Those stay. Period.)

Jeremy comments on the X card from episode 331


In Random Encounter for this episode, Matt wrote in about an alternative way to use the X Card. I’ve also seen it used that way–I think it’s even in the details of introducing the X Card to the table to use it for something silly, like to take back a joke description, or something. I’ve seen the facilitator/gm ask “do I need to use the X Card here?” in a game that everyone had agreed to push the line ahead of time. That’s fine, but does also lead to some of the problems which you two brought up. Especially because the X feels like a big “NO” for what happened; like you answered wrong on Family Feud.

That’s why I like to use Script Change, by Brie Beau Sheldon. It is a “content, consent, and safety tool for all games”. It uses the terms “pause, resume, frame by frame, rewind, fast forward, and instant replay”. I find that everyone is familiar with these terms, and therefore it’s very user friendly. There are explanations for each of the terms that elaborate and give some nuance to work with too. What is especially great about this tool, is that it encourages checking in with the pause button.

For example, “Pause. Hey y’all, we just heard a child’s scream from upstairs and we’re talking to a witch that may be way out of our league to battle and we might get TPK’d, but my cleric isn’t going to take time to verify if the witch is just baby sitting the neighbor’s kid; he’s going to assume the worst and smash her in the face. You cool with that, or should we let the scene play out a little more before I smash her?”

The table then knows the potentially party killing move I’m going to make.

I mean, I think these tools could used less if we also shared the thoughts of our characters more as we narrate action, but that’s a different subject.

In the episode, Sean said “I don’t ever want to use the X Card”. And I’m sure that was more about not being an Edgelord player or GM, but I think any introduction of potential hesitancy at the table isn’t great. And that’s why the X Card isn’t for every group. If we are worried about making mistakes with the tool, or worried about mistakes in general, our fun make ’em ups aren’t going to be very fun. And a tool which the group is afraid to use isn’t much of a tool for the group. Maybe Script Change would work better for this group.

Here’s a link to the Script Change Itch

Thanks for the BSing about games!

Jeremy Mahr

Mike from Idaho comments on being an RPG tourist

Thoughts and comments from a Tourist. I thought I needed to be well versed in the rule system and mechanics before I rolled any dice. I read and studied everything I thought I would need to play 5E, and then I get asked to play in a DCC game. When we sat at the virtual table, I had almost no idea what I was doing. Luckily good people like Laramie and others helped me and made it fun to learn in the process. Then Edwin ran a COC game with some of the BS’ers, and the same thing, they nudged me in the right direction and helped teach what I needed to know during the play itself. That group has continued with Hobbs running OSE and NOLAbert running his five torches deep zine.

I guess what I am trying to say (and sorry it took so long) is I agree with a lot of what was brought up in the Podcast. People like to help other people, and when you are passionate about something, you want to teach it, and you want people to love what you love. I think our group is close to calling each other yahoos, and I feel that I am no longer a tourist but a resident. I like the idea of the google sheet and signing up for games, it looks like many of us will enter into unfamiliar territory, and I have no doubt that we will need to pull our map out of our fanny pack and ask for help.

I know this was a different topic but I enjoyed it! Thanks again to all the BS’ers! Now Donde es el Bano!

Mike from Idaho!

Die Roll

  • Divination, a supernatural horror RPG/ritual game that uses a magic 8-ball! by Adrian Lumm
  • Thank you Stephen Dragonspawn for the portrait
  • Pandora: Total Destruction Kickstarter by Broken Ruler Games
  • The Streets of Avalon here

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About the Author
The 'S' of Gaming and BS podcast. Besides producing and hosting the show, Sean enjoys long walks on the beach, running rpg's, and killing player...characters.