RPPR Episode 93: Better Homes and Bodies

News: Base Raiders is out! You can buy the print edition here and the PDF here. If you buy a print copy forward your order confirmation email to rpprpodcast@gmail.com to receive the PDF for free. All copies to backers have been shipped. In other news, Aaron has a new series on Raillery called Let’s Play in the Dark. Check out the first episode in the above Youtube link. Finally, because of a dispute between Amazon and the Missouri state government, the RPPR Amazon affiliate program no longer works.

Synopsis: Because October is horror month, Tom and I thought we would talk about some of our pet horror topics – architectural and body horror. I recently finished the J. G. Ballard novel, High Rise, which gave me some insight into the intersection of horror and place. Tom’s experience in playing Invasive Procedures gave us some insight into running body horror. So, kind of a refresher episode on running and appreciating horror games. Tom also has a very special letter and of course an anecdote. Huzzah!

Shout Outs

  • Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play: Amazing post-apocalyptic play about meta-narratives and storytelling.
  • Game Dev Tycoon: A video game about making video games, for profit!
  • High Rise: A novel about the alienation of modern society and rich people going all Lord of the Flies.
  • John Dies at the End: A horror novel and movie with a twist of the surreal. Quite entertaining.
  • Springfield Barcade: Alcohol and free video games, a winning combination.
  • FTB Minecraft Server: Hooray Minecraft mods!
  • It’s a Disaster: Apocalyptic Comedy about a bad lunch gathering
  • Occult America: Book about the history of occult movements that began in America, like Spiritualism. Great fodder for historical games.
  • Iteetoo: Cool t-shirts and prints with sufficiently geeky designs
  • Wool: Incredible post-apocalyptic novel and well worth reading!

Song: Zombie – club mix – horror halloween music by Sam Haynes

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  1. Good discussion of Brutalism! Comment: the archetect, Le Corbusier, is pronounced, “Le Core-bus-ee-yay”. It’s French.

  2. Ross was at a taping of the Daily Show? Does that mean it’s not going to be aired for a year? (I kid, I kid!)

  3. Hey Ross, love ya, but I think you’re really misunderstanding High-Rise. The focus isn’t architecture, but about the terror thzt below a paper-thin veneer of civilization is a beast that will kill, rape and eat everything that the civilized world made, and that everyone will go along with it without question. If you read more of Ballard’s work, you’ll see the theme of degenration is his hobby-horse, and the settings are usually excuses to isolate the characters, and to provide a visual clue as to how far the characters are sliding. Read High-Rise again, and try to imagine it in a mall, on an island, in a reclusive rural town. It’ll work regardless of the setting, because Ballard though humans were terrible wherever.

    Okay, off with the fake-lit-professor hat now. I still love listening every time, keep it up and we’ll keep listening.

  4. So, have you guys heard of this?


    It’ll be at the tiff lightbox until mid-january. I don’t know if it’ll be travelling elswhere afterwords, but if you’re a Cronenberg fan you aught to see it. While I was viewing the exhibition, I finally realized what “Lover in the Ice” had reminded me of: “Shivers” & “Rabid” two of Cronenberg’s films from the mid-70’s. And regarding brutalism and horror, have you seen Cronenberg’s “Stereo” & “Crimes of the Near Future”? both were shot in very brutalist buildings on the UofT campus.

  5. I was pretty interested to hear the thoughts on Invasive Procedures, as another GM and I are trying to adapt it into a live-action event. We have a good group of players, so I am hoping that the horror of powerlessness will overcome the irritation at railroading.

    In this episode it seemed like Ross was grappling with one of the same things I sometimes struggle with in horror games: how do you make characters feel desperate and that events are out of their control without having the players simply disconnect?

    I think it can be a bit of a fine line to walk, since controlling your character is a big part of the vicarious thrill of horror games. But inevitability and inescapable fates are a huge thing in Lovecraft and other horror, so how do you reconcile that with player choice? (The Final Revelation playthrough you guys did definitely ran up against this same tension.)

    Anyways, I am really interested in seeing how you develop these ideas in Ruin, with character development/generation being tied to play and character decisions.

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