RPPR Episode 25: Save vs. Warm Fuzzies

Synopsis: Because of the holidays, we’ve decided to take a look at the most neglected of subjects in gaming: happiness and joy. Given that the average RPG is a angst ridden world of grim and gritty darkness populated by hideous monsters and slightly less monstrous player characters where the typical encounter is a savage bloodsoaked battle to the death, what place does happiness or optimism have? Using examples from our own games, we talk about how adding even a lone bright spot in a game can add great value and provide awesome emotional payoffs for the players.

Shout Outs:

The Adventure of Lucky Pip and the Incomparable Ithamar Conchie: a $1 game of storytelling and fortune cookies.
Left 4 Dead: I like zombies. They are kawaii :3
The Majesty of Colors: A brilliant little flash game about a giant sea monster.
Night of the Cephalopods! An awesome and free PC game about evil octopi and procedural Lovecraftian narration.

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10 Comments

  1. Actually, on the subject of PC’s defending things they consider important. . . . Wraith: the Oblivion has that quite a lot. In fact one facet of you’re survival as a wraith is to protect and positively resolve your fetters (people and things that hold incredible emotional value for a character and tie the wraith to the world of the living). Have you ever heard of a game called HOL (Human Occupied Landfill)? Wha did you think of it? That is . . . if . . . you’ve ever . . . played it.

  2. The bright spots in my role playing experience have been slaughtering orcs alongside an obscenely powerful NPC…

  3. This episode reminded me of that other one, where Tom mentioned a kinda Sword & Sorcery RPG, in which you play a furry, like a rabbit wizard or a frog knight (chrono trigger, anyone?). Good stuff, good stuff.

  4. I love the pirate captain!

    The other thing about the frogmen is that they are just so dumb that you can’t help but care for them. Their innocence is what makes us care for them. The Frogmen aren’t out to murder anyone, they are scientists and philosophers.

  5. very interesting show, i don’t know of any other podcast that has discussed the place of positivity in gaming. another great show. the sound quality did sound strange

  6. Your players sound familiar, what with their desire to kill authority figures. This episode gave me some stuff to actually think about and put into my campaigns. I’ve actually taken the time to adjust my notes for my World of Darkness game to add a section of the player’s run down subdivision that seems clean and pleasant. I want to see how they deal with something happy.
    Thanks for the ideas.

  7. Can we get some more content up on this site? I check it daily and I gots to have me some more podcasts!

  8. The rulebook for HoL is one of the funniest gaming-related things I have ever read.

  9. Author

    I’ve read parts of HoL. I should pick up a copy and finish it off.

  10. I picked up Left 4 Dead over the holidays. I love ZOMBIES too! I suck really bad at it too Tom. Great show.

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