RPPR Episode 138: Murphy’s Campaign Concept

News: RPPR is going to PAX South. Tweet @rosspayton if you want to meet up.

Synopsis: Murphy’s Rules are a long standing tradition in RPGs. The rules of the game have unintended consequences and can be interpreted in ways that create…unique situations. I created a list of some Murphy’s Rules from this thread on the SA forums so I could share them with you and Caleb.We talk about how these ideas could be mined for use in a RPG campaign. We also have shout outs and an anecdote from Caleb!

Shout Outs

Song: Pink Mist by GUNSHIP

Liked it? Take a second to support RPPR on Patreon!


  1. On the subject of skeleton computers:

    Before it crashed and burned, I wrote one of the nations for the Quantum RPG.

    I designed the nation as a societal computer. All citizens acted as sub proccessors, doing small parts of larger computation.

  2. Nay nay

  3. BLAME! is great. I just finished vol 1. Very much transhuman Conan type of thing.

    If people start playing Titanfall 2 multiplayer we should put together an RPPR Network.

    I have an old SAS survival guide I have from the 90s that I use. Those bug out series seems interesting. Hopefully the future won’t take a turn for Greg Rucka’s Lazarus.

  4. I vaguely recall some idiocy in the Champions game where the shrinking power and increased density made buying the flying power cheaper, whiched a feedback loop where you could turn into a black hole flying around at sub-light speed and ramming things for like 1000d6. Good times.

  5. Caleb discussing glitch-finding in video games: It’s a means to create a divergent form of play that becomes and exciting new style of performance art!

    Caleb discussing glitch-finding in RPGs: It’s horrible and anyone who engages in it is just an inveterate asshole and a jerk.

    Never change 😀

  6. when I was a kid and to some extent echoing even to this day I used to get kind of tense about continuity errors or vague inconsistencies in literature. even then I think part of me recognized they were just authorial mistakes, but something wanted to find the significance of them. I think Caleb’s exactly right in his Talmudic diagnosis; there’s this thread in nerds that wants to make sense of a complicated universe. in a way, clinging to bugs in games is a reaffirmation of the value of fixating on rules systems–it can’t just be a mistake! these writers don’t just make mistakes! these hours I’ve spent on this game haven’t been wasted! they haven’t!

    as I was writing that I realized I was also basically describing religion and nationalism and devotee faith to economic ideologies and basically all human endeavor, we’re always obsessed with justifying the failures of the things we fill the void with, aren’t we

    also I’m just blazing through usernames aren’t I

  7. Here’s a twist on a Murphy’s Rule that I’m sure someone else already thought of, but eh, it occurred to me while listening to this.

    Take the Peasant Railgun, which doesn’t actually work because D&D rules don’t do physics. Replace the peasants with a structure lined with large golems that reaches space. Boom, space elevator. Extend it to across the globe? Instant telecommunication. The people of the setting are ridiculously good at making golems cheap? Interstellar FTL travel and comms along set Golem Highways.

  8. First of all, this was a particularly entertaining and hilarious episode. Caleb’s rants are always great listening, and Ross was being the perfect wacky foil this time.

    But I have to disagree with Caleb – you can tell an interesting story while also powergaming like crazy. And for evidence, here’s a campaign write-up by a group that did just that. They broke the system and the world, and what a story it was. It is an admittedly long read, but hey, Rome wasn’t burned in a day:


  9. Will the AP Podcast ever play Curse of the Crimson Throne? I am curious about what reaction Ross or Caleb might have to the railroading of Ileosa.

  10. On the one hand, I want to hear Caleb’s angry reactions to World of Darkness. On the other, that’s a lot of schadenfreude to indulge in…

  11. Who’s rejecting the premise of the podcast NOW, Caleb?

  12. You’re wrong about Saucer ramming in EP Caleb!
    Maximum velocity ramming is only applicable in Chase scenes. If you’re using it as a weapon, you use Combat Rules – so the moment it enters combat it INSTANTLY decelerates to walking/running speed, and can deal at most 2d10+5 damage.

    Much more realistic!
    … Don’t Judge Me!

Leave a Reply