RPPR Episode 76: GM with a Thousand Plot Hooks!

Sadly, the campaign ended over an argument about the newest edition of Basements and BeerSponsor: For the latest news covering the entire tabletop role-playing industry, turn to Roleplayers Chronicle at roleplayerschronicle.com!

Synopsis: We’ve talked a lot about campaign structure in the past but in this episode we discuss a new way to think about your campaigns. Namely, how to make a character-focused campaign as opposed to a sandbox or central plot focused game. We use long standing TV series to illustrate the differences and use our own personal experiences to provide helpful advice about it. We also have special guest, Thad from the AP podcast, show up. No letter from Tom, but we do have three letters from listeners and shout outs!

Shout outs:

  • Soundless Mountain: Well-made demake of Silent Hill 2
  • Adventure Time: We’re spirits of inquiry and BLOODLUST!
  • Juan of the Dead: This is the best zombie movie of 2012, at least so far. Cuban zombie comedy masterpiece!
  • Artemis Spaceship Simulator: We’re going to play it for real and record it for you!
  • Rimward: The newest Eclipse Phase sourcebook, focusing on the outer solar system.
  • Apocalypse Codex: The newest Laundry novel from Charles Stross. Cthulhu plus computers!
  • The League: Hilarious comedy series about fantasy football.
  • Twilight Imperium: Insanely long and complex sci-fi conquest board game that is generally awesome.
  • Roll20: New virtual tabletop system that looks pretty cool.

Music: Hyrule’s Angel The Sleeping Beauty – Zelda cover by Game Over

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  1. I think the best game to make it more character focus would be shadowrun over your other Pen and paper games. In shadow run there are things that you just Don’t or CANT fuck with. Corps, Dragons, Bug spirits. the game goes along way to make your character feel small. Your just a Contractor/small time criminal preying you don’t come out the loser in the next firefight you get into.

    I’m sure you will be able to toss together a campain were you take over all the mega corps and keep a pet dragon but pulling that off and maintaining it would be herculean.

    Give it a go if you want to go with your character focus direction.

  2. The mention of Thad going to Qingdao at the beginning made me think of this: I’ve noticed relatively few role-players I’ve met drink compared to most other people. The funny thing is, miniature wargamers I’ve met are usually pretty hard-drinking.

    Recently I attended KublaCon in San Francisco. My con roommate and I brought a cooler full of beer, and only a handful of people took a beer when offered. Most gamers we encountered said they didn’t drink. I wonder why?

  3. Thad, you will be missed. By the time we actually start missing you, you’ll already be back and reading our posts bitching about it, but you will be missed.

    That just sounds like something out of Eclipse Phase, doesn’t it?

  4. Back in the states, my whole group drank. To excess. Which led to the best possible explination to a baron of how our fighter came to be wearing the armor his son had been burried in: “IT CAME FROM THE GROUND.” Then we got to fight the guards.

    Also Thad, funny voices are much loved by students in China.

  5. Charles Stross. Seriously.

    Ross, I owe you an enormous debt of gratitude for mentioning The Laundry last year. The Apocalypse Codex does not disappoint.
    Also, his Accelerando novel is a series of pretty awesome singularity stories. How can you go wrong with uploaded sentient spiny lobsters?

  6. A big congratulations to you guys for the Gold Ennie! Woohoo!

    I suppose there will be lots of insufferable gloating next episode.

    Don’t hold back — you deserve it!

  7. By the title, I thought this was going to be all aboot Pinhead and its goons…

  8. great show and great ideas.

    a) Eclipse Phase sounds awesome. post-humanist anarchist RPG sounds refreshing. about time theres different narratives in RPGs than typical tropes.

    b) italian horror movies are awesome. super natural zombies shred organicist-bio-zombies. get weird.

    c) Twilight Imperium is a must to get into full blast with all the expansions. played an 8 player game at Gencon with a custom map that creates 8 small systems that are adjacent to each other (can be found on board game geek) with tons of variants. took 10 hours and was amazing. felt like 4 hours. definitely the only game that rivals RPG’s. the “lighter” versions like Eclipse and Empires of the Void are bullshit compared to TI.

  9. Great show & maybe it’s just a sign of the lack of raising stakes for the players to just get out of town & travel some.

    Also recently found one rather humorous game-related bit of fiction anyone might like called Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw. It’s a story of a necromancer bringing back one mage to life (inside a pc rpg game) where the mage just wants to die but he’s up against a horde of odd characters, angry adventurers & a team of programmers.

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