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Summary: Dungeon Talk is the podcast content of the D&D Academy website. Evan and I discuss D&D in general using our current game sessions as a springboard. We also take questions and topics from our friends, other players, and our twitter followers or comments from our site. The Campaigns are our Actual Play Podcasts.

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 The Campaigns: Made Men – Episode 7: “I think Yomi is Dead” | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:50

Hello all, Here is Episode 7 of our Made Men DnDNext Play test game. In the last Episode the original group of PC's (Zaine, Grexil and Yomi) met up with Jared's new PC (Wang).  In this session the group manages to stay apart just as long as possible. Wang learns he's not the craziest member of the group, the gang learns about the Bounty on Zaine's head and one of Yomi's secrets comes out in an almost tragic way.     Enjoy!   Michael - AKA Mumbles     **********************Technical Stuff************************* I had originally planned on recording myself doing an intro and doing a brief recap of the last podcast (since there is often days or weeks in-between them being posted but only seconds in-game terms), but right now I have a cold and sound terrible. Look for that change up next time.   Recently we started using a Mic stand to keep our microphone off the table as we play. I think this will reduced the odd (and annoying) wub, wub, wub sounds that I keep hearing. As always I try to edit out as many as I can, but in some cases the dialogue behind them is too important.   I've been very happy with the set up we have using a single Blue Yeti microphone but in this Episode more than the others so far I got frustrated with the limitations. There were often side-converstations going on. If each Player had their own Mic I would have greater flexibility in turning those side conversations down, allowing for the main ones to be heard more clearly. In some cases those side conversations were in character role-play and there's some good stuff there, but it's hard to hear.  I may experiment a little further in getting multiple mic's but i'm just not sure how practical that would be, or relevant until we get a studio room.  There's still so much ambient noise from my basement i'm note sure it matters yet.   Anyway, please enjoy. if you have any questions or comments about the game or how we set up to record and/or edit, please let me know.      

 Dungeon Talk: Episode 11- We’re Back! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:02

Hey all, so here is our first dungeon talk for 2013.  We took a break for a couple months for Michael to have a surgery, which he discusses.  We really talk a lot about what happened in our game this week which was the first game Michael has run in a couple months.  We are a little rusty and just needed to record something to knock off the cob webs, enjoy!  Oh, and Happy New Year!

 The Campaigns: Made Men – Episode 6; Where Things Get Crazy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:14

Hello all, Here is Episode 6 of our Made Men DnDNext Play test game. This is our first session after our initial all-day Saturday game. To recap, the PC's were told by Gradon that if they hunted down and killed the 4 NPC's (the Players previous PC's) who were thought to be responsible for the Princess and Sir Acues deaths that all would be forgiven.  Since Jared (the Player) had missed out on the Saturday Game he did not yet have a PC in this game. Now, I could have simply added him in and waved the Magic DM hand and said, "His PC was there the whole time," and that would be that. I don't like to do that, though. Never had. In this case, I wish I had gone against my usual predilections and just did the hand wave. Jared the Player and his PC Wang, had a hard time fitting into this game. We discussed this somewhat in some of the Dungeon Talk Podcast that happened after this game (I think 9 and 9.1). There was also some confusion about Wang. Jared thought he was a Bounty Hunter, but we (over e-mail) had decided to make him a Hit Man. This was to keep from stepping on Rob's (as Yomi) toes, since he was already a Bounty Hunter.  Also, Jared decided to make his PC crazy, actually bat-shit insane. I really didn't get that, which meant my vision of his PC and his vision of his PC were not the same. As a general rule, I don't think playing a truly insane PC is a good idea. Unless you are a very skilled player and the DM is very skilled it can cause problems the same way playing a loner, or a secretly evil PC can ruin a game.   Stay tuned for how things turn out.   *******Technical stuff************* This was the first game in our regular venue of my basement. I don't have all the audio equipment Evan has, so instead of each of us having our own microphone, we used a single Blue Yeti microphone in the center of the table. In some cases this turned out better, in some cases not.  You also get some additional background noise from my wife and kids upstairs. As always I tried to cut out as much of it as possible, but in some cases I would have lost important dialogue so I left it in. I added in the intro we use for our Dungeon Talk podcasts. Evan, uses Studio Pro for editing where I use the free version of Audcacity. I am not nearly as experienced as he is, so while it may be a matter of tools available, it's more likely that I just don't know what I'm doing yet, so the intro doesn't fade out the same way, and I can't figure out why. Also, I included the outtro Evan did as well, that too isn't mixed the same way. I'll keep working on it and maybe by Episode 7 i'll have it worked out.   Thanks!! Michael - AKA Mumbles

 The Campaigns. Made Men: Episode 5 – Full Circle | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 57:02

Hello All, Here is Episode 5 of Made Men. Full Circle. This is the last 50 minutes or so of our initial Saturday, All-day, gaming session which was originally supposed to be a one-shot DnDNext Play test. As we've already discussed, the game was a hit, so much so, that we decided to scrap the original story line and continue on using these characters.  As was also covered in the last episode, despite the fact we were having so much fun, as the game drew on, we got tired and the game got sloppy.  This last bit really, really shows that. I had to cut out a lot of side conversations, as well as more of that odd "who's moving the Micro-phone" sound.   ********************SPOILERS******************* I suggest you listen before you read below!!************************ My original intent with this game was to give the PC's (Marcus, Rook, Sampson and Jared) a glimpse of the City they were headed too. Eventually I wanted to the two groups to meet up. I thought that would be a fantastic Role-Play situation (or *COULD* be), so my goal was to wrap up the night with the Players (not the PC's) knowing that their original characters would be targeted by the Play test characters. So, at the end of the session when Gradon tells Zaine that he can come back into the good Graces of the Crimson Claw Crime Syndicate and all transgressions will be forgotten, and all he has to do is track down the killers of the Princess and Sir Acues, that was designed to tell the Players that their characters had been framed for murders (i'm sure they assumed I didn't actually have their PC's kill those NPC's) and that Zaine, Yomi and Grexxil would be after them. In-game I don't think it had the affect I wanted, looking back at it, that is likely because none of the Players had any where near the attachment to their old characters that they had to their new ones. They weren't afraid that their old PC's would have to face their new ones and might not survive (The new play test PC's were a level higher and overall tougher). I'll most likely go back and do a regular post about why I think that is, going into some detail, but the short version is that I was trying so hard to keep the original story's big mystery a mystery (that the PC's had traveled ahead in time about 1,000 years) that I had to keep them from knowing too much about *WHERE* they were as well as *WHEN* they were and that kept them from becoming attached to the story or their characters. In a story, I think the reader would be able to think back and go "Ahhhh, that's what that was?" but as Players, it put up a barrier between them and their characters.  I tell myself all the time, "A good story and a good game are not the same thing," but it's still hard to separate the two. I'm going to start work on editing episode 6 and hope to have posted next week.   As always, thanks for listening. We always appreciate feedback and opinions.   Thanks!! Michael - AKA Mumbles.

 The Campaigns: Made Men – Episode 4 – Where things go wrong | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:16

Hello All, Here is Episode 4 of our D&D Next Playtest campaign. This was an interesting episode to go back and listen too and edit.  By this point we had been playing for several hours and despite the fact that we were having a lot of fun with the game, I can tell people were getting tired. Side conversations kept popping up and we were getting easily distracted. I edited out as much of that as I could, which may cause for some strange, choppy cuts. There are a few things I wanted to comment on, about the game, though. *************SPOILERS*************** I suggest listening to the podcast before you read this!!*********************** 1. This was originaly designed to be a one-shot. As such, I gave each of the Pc's some secrets that related to other PC's or NPCs that might cause conflict. As the game progressed I tried to get these to start to come out and kept pushing the action as new thing after new thing kept happening. 2. There were *A LOT* of notes being passed from the Players to me. Mostly because of those secrets. I tried to cut out a lot of the dead air that these notes created, but from an in-game persepective they were very effective and helping keep the game moving, just not good for listening. 3. One of Yomi's secrets is that he had hired Stannis to get the drugs that he never paid for. Yomi is a Rexan Addict and wanted to keep it from the other PC's (you may recall that Yomi was trying to be insistent that he could handle the Stannis situation - now you know why!) 4. Yomi's other secret is that he is also sleeping with Grexi's girlfriend Alishia.  Niko as a player knew this, but supposedly Grexil does not (Actually though, Grexil does know. One of his secrets is that he is actually working for a rival gang: The Silent Sisters and Alishia is his contact. To keep up his 'too dumb to worry about status' Alisha and he worked out an arrangement where she slept with Yomi to make him look clueless). 5. As I've mentioned before: no matter how much planning you do, the Players will always do something you don't expect. I never would have guessed that the Players would have decided to open the box of Rexan they had picked up. I guess as a DM I was trying to push the action as the game drew long - the Players were doing the same. 6. A lot of notes were being passed during that scene, because both Grexil and Yomi were taking baggies of drugs without letting anyone one else notice - this casued some confusion in and out of game later - but was awesome! 7. The Shaugin encounter was supposed to be the second fight of the session, but because the Players decided to avoid it, I allowed them too. I wanted another fight just to try out the mechanic's but the character's actions were so much more fitting I thought it worked out best (Yomi especially!) 8. My biggest mistake in this session was glossing over the Shaugin attack. Again, trying to push the action I wanted to get to the Princesses murder - which was one of the key-stone events. I wanted to make that such a big-deal  by making the Shaugin attack so minor in comparison, but listening back the Players didn't see it that way and I should have handled it better (if I knew we were going to keep playing I would have waited a few 'days' before that murder happened. 9. At several points during this episode there was some weird ambient noise. Sounded like we were moving the microphones a lot. I did my best to cut it out, but there are times when the conversation couldn't be skipped. Sorry about that!!   I hope you continue to listen. We have one episode left from the original one-shot sessions and then we continue the game in our regular bi-weekly sessions. The group is still having a blast with the game and many of the secrets are being revealed and keeping the players on their toes. I have a couple big-reveals coming up with Gradon, Zaine's handler that will hopefully propel the game into new territory.   As always,

 The Campaigns. Made Men: Episode 3 – Finding Stannis | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:43

Hello All, So, apparently Evan and I messed up. The podcast posted as episode 2 was actually episode 3. I've changed the posting title, but the recording is the same. If you are interested in episode 2 you can find posted as Dungeon Talk: Episode 8.1 The Battle.  It was originally posted as part of our DndNext Playtest discussion. In this episode, the Pc's finish up their first mission of getting protection money from the shops along West Market Street. They go back to meet Gradon who doesn't seem to happy with how things played out. He then gives them a couple more jobs to do; One of which is to meet up with Sir Acues head of the Royal Guard for his quarterly bribe. As has quickly become the norm, things do not go as planned.     Comments and feedback are always welcome.   Thanks!! Michael - AKA Mumbles.

 Dungeon Talk: Episode 10 – Is this thing on? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:05:00

Hello All, Here is Dungeon Talk: Episode 10.  The title comes from the fact that we started twice before we were actually recording (once for about 45 minutes . . .) and then on take 3 we started laughing at ourselves and had to start over again. We had a couple suggestions for topics from Twitterer @Berliad; Running a game in an official setting (Eberron, Dragonlance, Greyhaw, Forgotten Realms, etc . . .,) vs Homebrew and then running a module vs. a homebrew adventure.  We had covered it twice before we recorded so I'm not sure we had it in us to give the topic justice that third time. We also covered group size and when should a player or DM cancel a game.   Please stick around till the end. Evan recorded a new outtro piece that is awesome!   As always, thanks for listening and feedback/comments are welcomed.   Also, here are the game notes that Niko was talking about for when he writes up adventures for him to run.

 Dungeon Talk Episode 9.1 – Nights at the Round Table | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:04:52

Here is the second half of Dungeon Talk Episode 9. Enjoy!

 Dungeon Talk Episode 9.0- Nights at the Round Table | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:07:51

Tonights podcast is just a little different.  We played our usual weekly game, and when it was over at around 10 pm, we decided to stay at Michael's house and record an episode of Dungeon Talk.  Niko and Jared were able to stick around and join us which was fun because I always think the conversation is better when there's more than just me and Michael.  The quality is a not as good since it was in Michael's basement and the sound really echoes down there.  Also sometimes you will be able to here the furnace running in the background, hahaha.   If i didn't think the conversation was that great I probably would have opted to scrap it and just record another one, but I thought there was some really good back and forth going on and good questions too. Some topics we talked about were: What made us want to switch from playing characters and be a DM. Of course we talk about DnD Next and how great we think it is, although Jared offers us some reasons why he enjoys 3.5 more. The differences between building and developing characters in DnD Next compared to past games. Michael asked what advice I might give to someone who was thinking of DMing for the first time. Hope you enjoy, and as always please leave us some comments and suggestions for topics.  

 The Campaigns: Made Men – Episode 1 – The Beginning | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:59

Hello All, Here is the inaugural episode of our new The Campaigns series of podcasts. These are actual play sessions of our current D&D Next Games.   In this episode we meet the main characters (all except Wang, who is Jared's character and did not come in until the following session. You should meet him around episode 4) Zaine, played by Evan, is a Human Rogue with the Scavenger background (home-brewed) and Survivor Specialty.  Yomi, played by Rob is a Halfing Rogue with the Bounty Hunter Background and Archer specialty.  Grexil, played by Niko, is a Mutant (home-brewed) Fighter with the Spy background and 2-handed weapon specialty (home-brewed).   Please take a listen as our Hero's, um . . . PC's come to life at the table and experience their adventures with them.   Comments and feedback are always welcome.   Thanks!! Michael - AKA Mumbles.

 Dungeon Talk: Episode 8.2 – DnD Next Playtest discussion pt 2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:50

Hello all, Here is the back half of the recap/discussion we had after our DnD Next Playtest.     Thanks!! Michael - AKA Mumbles

 Dungeon Talk: Episode 8.1 – DnD Next Playtest Encounter | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 40:35

Hello all, Here is a slightly edited version of the battle I ran during the DnD Next Playtest.  This battle was all Theater of the Mind; no mini's, no grid. Please look over Evan's sniffles . . .   Thanks!! Michael - AKA Mumbles

 Dungeon Talk: Episode 8.0 – DnD Next Playtest discussion pt 1 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:46

Hello all, Last Saturday, I ran a DnD Next Playtest for my regular gaming group. We had been running a 3.5 game and because we had 3 out of 4 PC's that were non-core classes it would be difficult to switch over. So I decided to run a alternate game that ran side by side of the  regular game. The Players were given pre-gen characters. Each were essentially low-level gangsters; Part of the Crimson Claw Crime Syndicate. This session occurred in the city that the PC's were currently heading toward.   Zaine, played by Evan, was the crew leader. A human Rogue with a Scavanger Background (House Ruled, as he worked to find lost artifacts in the wasteland north of the city) and the Survivor Speciality.   Grexil, played by Niko, was the muscle. A muttant (long story, but my game includes an alien race that took over the world and then left ) fighter with Slayer background and 2-handed weapon specialist (House Rule).   Yomi, played by Rob, was a Halfing Rogue with the Bounty Hunter Background and Archer Specialty.   The play test went over great. All the players did a fantastic job and wanted to drop the original game and switch over (which makes me happy and sad at the same time).   Here is the discussion Evan and I had about this play test the following day.     Thanks!! Michael - AKA Mumbles  

 Dungeon Talk: Episode 7 – Figments of our Conversation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:06:48

Hello all, Evan and I decided beforehand that we would devote this entire episode to building a Sand-Box game, which is something I am struggling with right now in my game. Somehow, after talking for nearly 2 hours (only about 1 hour made the podcast), we NEVER got to that topic. Despite that, I think this may be my favorite episode yet.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and please leave us some comments/feedback.   Thanks!! Michael - AKA Mumbles

 Dungeon Talk: Episode 6 – The College Years | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:37

Dungeon Talk: Episode 6 - The College Years Hello all, In this week's Dungeon Talk Podcast, Evan, after remember to turn on the recorder (after we had been talking for half an hour!) discuss some of my all time favorite Dungeons and Dragons memories.  We tried to separate what made those games so special and memorable from being in College at the same time.  We then got into a really good discussion about the amount of verbal description I use in my games. As a bit of DM therapy we covered the fact that although I jokingly call myself Mumbles on this site it is tied to the fact I know that I have an accent (I'm from South Eastern Kentucky originally) I tend to talk fast and I do on occasion get tongue tied and mumble.  To overcome this when I give presentations at work and when I DM I tend to practice in my head what I'm going to say.  I think I'm really good at improvising on the fly but there is a substantial difference in how I describe scenes i've practice vs. the one's I'm making up as I go. I've been listening to a couple live-play D&D podcasts and it's been a tremendous help to me as a DM. I pick out things I like (and steal, story wise) and then the things I think the DM could do better. I'm hoping to be able to record and post our Live Play D&D Podcast soon and then after each session post a dissection of it; what's good and what's not. Please listen and we've appreciate any feedback you have.   Table Topic # 1 -  Discussion of my game experiences while in College  00:00 - 30:26 Table Topic # 2 - Underselling a moment  / taking time to describe in detail    31:25 - 53:39     Thanks!! Michael – AKA Mumbles. E-mail us at Podcast@dndacademy Follow us on twitter @dnd_academy visit our forums at RPG Crosstalk 


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