RPPR Episode 63: Stylish Substance

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Synopsis: Adventure design is a complex topic so we’d thought we would delve into it once again. In this episode, Tom and I discuss the difference between good design choices and style choices. While good design is applicable to any genre of RPG scenario, it is possible to make choices in creating an adventure that only work under certain circumstances. The choice to emphasize one aspect of a game over another isn’t necessarily right or wrong. It’s a style choice. Hack and slash versus political intrigue? Style. Dungeon crawling versus mass battles? Style. Tom also has a new letter entailing the virtues of various cinematic firearms.

Shout outs:

Song: PonPonPon De Floor mashup (special request from Caleb)

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  9 comments for “RPPR Episode 63: Stylish Substance

  1. Jacob
    September 20, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I was listening to the Fiasco game and… yes, this game is full of it. I mean, I get the “Cohen brothers movie in less than two hours” thingy, but the gameplay is so messed up it doesn’t seem enjoyable to listen to. Hoorah for those seemingly disconnected instances of roleplaying/acting around the table.

    Sadly, the allmighty Adam Scott Glancy’s game of dogfight rolls and scattering UFOs sucked as well. No offence, but I was hoping for something more during those 143+ minutes of bullshit rolls. Oh well, I guess Mr Glancy isn’t that allmighty.

  2. Caleb
    September 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I requested nothing! NOTHING!

  3. Flawless P
    September 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Gotta say I enjoyed this episode, and I am looking forword to the next of toms lists. That being said I enjoyed The Night Mission as well, it is a good starting point for a game.

    Here’s to hoping you guys put out another two weeks from now.

  4. Journ-O-LST-3
    September 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I like the distinction between background and backstory for a character. Generally I prefer minimum backstory but for modern style games (CoC, etc.) I find the background winds up filling out many sentences.

  5. SageNytell
    September 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Well, in terms of weapons left off of the list, here are a few…
    The German Luger pistol – what WWII movie or game is complete without some Nazi officer and his ridiculously-long-barrelled gun?
    The Uzi machine pistol – I don’t know about you, but I know a lot more people who would understand the concept of ‘he’s got an Uzi!’ faster than ‘he’s got a machine pistol!’
    Finally, and I’m not sure if these really qualify as ‘firearms’, per se, they’re definitely related – the RPG7 grenade launcher and M2 series flamethrower. Certainly from separate periods of history, but both are certainly iconic images of death and destruction.
    Style chat was a lot of fun to listen to. I’ll enjoy you guys riffing on this theme over the next few episodes.

  6. September 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Good episode.

    I bought a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle in college (the gun store didn’t have a .50, and I guess I just had to buy something…), and the coolness wore off fairly quickly. I’m large-framed, but it was still uncomfortable to hold, and obviously heavy. The worst part was that the spring was so heavy you needed to have fairly hot loads to cycle, and standard .44 ammo wasn’t hot enough, leading to stovepiping too frequently. Hydra-Shoks worked flawlessly, but that’s not practice ammo!

  7. September 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I was hoping for the Colt Single Action Army to make the list. And I agree with SageNytell about some sort of bazooka should have been on the list. Otherwise great top ten list.

    I’m looking forward to more episodes in this vein.

  8. crawlkill
    September 23, 2011 at 7:02 pm


    I never noticed how nightmarish the women’s faces are in Pon de Floor before

    also ooh Cargo’s German downloading nowww

  9. Carl
    September 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Hi guys just wanted to chime in on your recent episode involving the cinematic fire arms

    1st – Dirty harry used a .44 smith and wesson magnum, not a .357 (such as the .357 used by hutch in starskey and hutch tv show of the 70’s)

    2nd the machine gun mentioned was not the m2 .50 cal like you believed in the charles bronson death wish 3 movie. It was a german 30 calibre mg-42 machine gun (see here http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Death_Wish_3#MG-42_Machine_Gun)

    You disregarded the thompson as a pistol calibre (which it is .45 acp) , but you failed to mention your beloved mp5 is also a pistol calibre (9mm) which is indeed less powerful than the .45.

    here are a few common pistol calibres by power level:
    .38 special and 9mm (virtually same)
    .40 cal (about 25% more powerful than 9mm)
    .45 cal (about 50% more powerful than 9mm)
    .357 magnum (about twice as powerful as a 9mm and 50% more than .45)
    .44 magnum (about 50% more than a .357)
    .480 ruger and .50 Action express (both equally about 50% more than .44)
    .454 casull (about twice as powerful as a .44 magnum)
    .500 smith and wesson magnum (about 40% more pwerful than .454)

    btw I love love love your podcasts both the show and actual play!
    I love your game group too. You all are a really funny eclectic bunch especially Caleb, but all of you including Tom are the cat’s whiskers for sure.

    oh yeah, and I bought your zombie book, and think it’s worth the price as well.


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