Fear the Boot, RPG Podcast show

Fear the Boot, RPG Podcast

Summary: Fear the Boot is an irreverent, round table discussion of tabletop role playing games. In this weekly show we debate game-related issues, offer advice for improving your game, and poke fun at the hobby. Our cast changes a little from show to show, but we always assemble a group of dynamic individuals with divergent views, guaranteeing you will hear several perspectives on everything we discuss.

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 Episode 427 – difficulty | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:01:23

* (0:47) I lied about part 2, but part 1 of my interview with Jim McClure is out! * (2:50) XCOM 2 gets us thinking about setting the level of challenge in a tabletop roleplaying game. * (9:59) Games that get easier versus games that get harder. * (13:18) The kinds of challenge. Combat encounters, roleplaying, puzzles, mystery, etc. * (20:07) Identifying the type of narrative experience the players and GM are trying to get out of the game. * (23: 06) Why start the challenge low for veteran players? Ebbs and flows. Difficulty as a path instead of a moment. * (33:16) Always having a way forward. Richard Pryor scared for no reason. * (39:34) The importance of downbeats in the story. The right type of failure. The Heisman Trophy and the Ghetto Heisman. * (52:33) Knowing the reason for the specific challenge. Avoiding banal struggles. Bambi vs Godzilla. Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan

 Episode 426 – the unacceptable | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:19

* (0:28) Much ado about butts. Thanks, Patreon supporters! * (3:35) Was this section even legal to air? * (5:58) Fish Donuts and the foxy Ms. Candida. * (9:15) What happened with the cell phones? Dan’s +Jews! charger. * (20:19) Attention as a precious commodity. * (31:30) The things you just don’t allow in your games. First example: Math heavy abilities and powers that take away the uniqueness of other characters. * (37:32) Softening the limits but restricting the books. Conceding aspects of powers to make them less annoying to the GM. * (43:55) Child prodigies, half-orcs, and monks. * (52:34) Not disrupting the fun for the players or the GM. * (55:12) Brodeur is a dictator. Player handouts, and knowing why you don’t want something. * (57:31) What don’t you allow, and why? What did you not used to allow, but now will, with what caveats? What changed your mind? Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

 Episode 425 – changing preferences | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:00

* (1:07) Fear the Boot’s Secret Santa, run by Noob13. You can find details on the forums. * (2:15) Dan’s interview on Talking Tabletop with Jim McClure. Fear the Boot’s Twitter and Facebook links. * (3:59) A cross-town move forces Dan to look through his possessions and contemplate life. The Battletech warchest system. * (9:06) Changing taste in games perhaps tied to a diminishing ability to focus on crunch. Our episode on getting started with Battletech. * (16:09) A question to the listeners: How has time changed your taste in games? Hosts: Dan

 Episode 424 – Transformers RPG | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:59

* (0:35) Dan moves, and the studio moves with him. * (1:47) Fear the Con X’s Kickstarter is in its last week. * (2:32) A big thanks to our Patreon backers for the new chairs. * (3:21) Our homebrew Transformers RPG. Along with a recent episode on Wayne’s game, I discuss the nuts and bolts of creating an RPG from an existing IP. * (7:34) Numerically modeling a Transformer, using their stat cards as a starting point. The example of Onslaught. * (23:43) Testing the results through mass character creation and playing the game. Hosts: Dan

 Episode 423 – the keys to power | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:03:05

* (0:46) Fear the Con X’s Kickstarter is live and needs your support. * (1:55) Support the Strays on No Shave November. Also, much love to Matt who joined the team after this show was recorded, which is why he doesn’t get mentioned in the audio. * (9:45) The finite resources of governance, The Rules for Rulers, The Dictator’s Handbook, and how it all relates to RPGs. * (20:29) Dan’s Story: Contractor Competition. People want each other’s resources for the same objectives. * (25:32) Techniques for designing the power structure. Political Order and Political Decay. * (49:44) So we were playing Riven… Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Wayne

 Episode 422 – satanic panic, part 2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:11:30

* (0:28) Picking up where we left off from the prior episode. * (3:10) Research and essays, particularly The Pulling Report, countering the satanic panic. * (4:53) The CBN pamphlet on D&D as an example of what was being said about RPGs during the panic. * (11:34) The disappearance of James Egbert. * (20:43) Comparing Egbert’s story to Mazes and Monsters. William Dear’s The Dungeon Master. * (22:04) It’s human nature to need someone to blame. Back to the pamphlet. * (26:29) Some quotes about, “What is D&D?” * (33:56) Don’t talk to my XP or my son’s XP ever again. * (37:00) The authorized Dark Dungeons movie. * (37:44) Patricia Pulling and the suicide of Irving Lee Pulling. * (45:18) The importance of not minimizing the tragedy, even if you deal with the absurdity with dark humor. The anonymous text service for people needing crisis intervention. * (49:37) The police leaflet on RPGs. The many criteria for knowing when your teenager is in a cult, including, “They’re a teenager”. Fighting the Zombie. “All I wanted was a Pepsi,” from Institutionalized and sampled in How I Could Just Kill a Man. * (59:50) Leaflet’s section on what we can do. Dan reads off the list and narrowly avoids having a stroke. * (1:08:35) Conclusions, and the legacy of RPGs. Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

 Episode 421 – satanic panic, part 1 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:48

* (0:29) Happy Jack’s fishy music-crafting. * (3:24) Today’s topic requires a disclaimer of sorts: Satanic Panic. Jack Chick and, “What’s a tract?” * (8:11) Why Chick is relevant: Dark Dungeons. What this episode is and is not about. * (11:12) Why Wayne wasn’t affected by the panic. * (12:35) Discussing Jack Chick, himself, and satanic ritual abuse. * (15:20) A tour through the era of panic. How modern people can relate to what occurred. Other moral panics. Though exaggerated, malicious tampering with Halloween candy has happened. * (24:20) The fact that you know it’s a d30, Dan, is damning evidence in its own right. * (31:14) Before we get to the documents: A slice of life. Experiences are shared. * (42:43) The FBI, and more experience sharing. * (46:01) Conclusions, and going out on a positive note. * (47:50) Definitely for the quote database: “SUCK A D4, PIG!” Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

 never easy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 6:32

An important update on one of our hosts. You can stay posted on the Caring Bridge site. Please send any well wishes to nevertellmetheodds99@gmail.com.

 Episode 420 – engineering character moments | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 58:44

* (0:40) Arch-nemeses of today and times gone by. The crazy stuff people do in their sleep. * (15:20) Chad’s gaming topic: Character defining moments. Dan presents a large example. * (25:35) Brodeur does not top that. What can a GM do? Dan presents a counter-example. * (34:40) Tale of woe and reform aside, Dan answers the question. * (36:25) Another example of a GM intervention, so to speak. Even if you can’t create the change, you can create the opportunity for it. * (41:31) Responses, and gambling. Finesse in situational engineering. * (50:38) When a player requests the moment. Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

 Episode 419 – NPC AI | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:42

* (0:31) A big thanks to our Patreon backers. * (1:32) NPC AI. Having non-player characters make decisions according to predetermined parameters. Our episode on quitting the field. * (5:43) Why this isn’t just “deciding”. * (6:41) The mechanical or rules-based approach. * (7:38) The parameterized or character-based approach. * (21:06) The psychology of fear, and the call of the void. * (23:59) Moving away from combat and into pure roleplaying. * (33:09) Star Trek, and the importance of NPC AI in such a deadly game. Deadly accidents. * (40:38) Dan restates his belief that dice are the Nth player. Treating groups as a single character. Hosts: Aisha, Chad, Dan, John

 Episode 418 – designing the destination | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:29

* (0:39) Fear the Con 10, June 22-24, 2017. Fear the Con 9 is lost, probably will be found-footage later. * (4:30) Brodeur goes to Archon for the aftermath of the cosplay. * (6:38) Pete introduces Brodeur to a new game, Dreamchaser. Dan comes up with “Four Hours at IKEA”. * (19:24) Setting hard and soft goals for a game. * (26:07) The thinking behind the group template. * (30:04) The distinction between what a player wants from the game and what the GM wants from it. Expectations for the game. * (39:29) Thinking back to a game where the endpoints had been discussed and achieved. Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

 Episode 417 – the power of expectation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:41

* (0:30) Pat is going to kill us all. * (17:03) The horror of the unknown. * (19:25) How Pat surpassed R. Lee Ermey. * (21:43) Creating expectation and setting a mood. * (23:47) Comedy = Expectation + Subversion. The human ability to cope with the known. * (26:56) The escape room: An objective-based, time-limited, puzzle game. * (28:11) The benefit to having extra people in puzzle situations. Expectations and patterns. * (31:37) Red herrings and the presupposition of significance. The Three Clue Rule. * (38:55) Brodeur compares this to the group template. Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Pat, Wayne

 Bonus Episode 69 – situational GMing | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:34

* (0:18) It’s just Dan and Chad today. Whatever happened to Julia? * (3:38) Behaviors tolerated and untolerated. Organization psychology. The book, Zapp! * (5:20) The four styles of leadership, as applied to roleplaying. Situational Leadership (with pictures or on Wikipedia or on the official site). * (9:48) Let it be written that here, on this date, Chad said in episode 69, “It’s always better with men.” I’m sure no one will take this out of context. * (12:12) Applying those four styles to roleplaying. * (22:26) The importance of recognizing the phase someone is in and knowing how to respond accordingly. Revisiting the gamification of games. * (27:52) Chad’s hatred of cell phones and his very strong feelings on Pokemon Go. Dan speaks on reading the situation and self-awareness in general. * (35:04) Chad made an agreement, and it’s been broken. He discusses his problems with authority. * (38:43) Consequences of the agreement. Hosts: Chad, Dan

 Episode 416 – the inconsequential | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:41

* (0:24) The Mic-er Conspiracy, and editing what people say. * (2:26) Dan has a story! * (10:12) How Dan’s story ties into gaming. The Facebook thread on the topic. Chekhov’s Gun. * (15:24) The difference in how we search for meaning in life versus how we do so in an RPG. * (19:21) A tangent about Tarantino and the Rules of Eating in cinema. Everyday events that don’t matter to the plot. * (22:15) Brodeur’s counterpoint: Events need to further the game. * (26:04) Chekhov’s Candy Sticks. * (33:13) Why do people drop things? Nowhere Man. The distinction between Chad and Dan putting detail in their games. * (44:51) Dan visits a casino in D&D 5E. * (46:13) There are five: The rivers Styx, Lethe, Acheron, Cocyteus, and Phlegethon – Hate, Oblivion, Sadness, Lamentation, and Fire. Dan yells at an undead boat driver. * (52:38) Conclusions on the incidental. What interviewing an NPC is all about for new listeners. Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

 Episode 415 – Spiders of my Mind | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:30

NOTE: This episode is the second half of a recording that began with the prior episode. * (0:24) Spiders of my Mind, a game about psychotic murderers and an insane asylum. The day and night cycle. * (18:01) Brodeur asks: What attracted you to this setting? Pat is creepy and was super into a cat. * (25:14) Chad is diligent in crediting the source of the flashbacks mechanic: Mikel Matthews. * (30:11) On finding editors. * (32:15) Brodeur brings up the trouble with playing bad people. * (40:34) Chad talks about his love of dark games and a particular session about a haunted house. * (48:05) Brodeur notes that Chad’s not playing these games for “evil is fun”. Hosts: Brodeur, Chad


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