If you are a fan of our Actual Play episodes, head over to the brand new RPPR Actual Play Podcast. It will feature a new AP episode every single week! We’ve already got over 11 hours of Call of Cthulhu ready for download. Don’t forget to comment on the episodes or post about them in our forums if you enjoy them.

As you might have realized, it’s been a while since we’ve done an episode. I’ve had to move, get the Goblin Hulk PDF out and set up the new podcast feed. Fortunately, the Goblin Hulk has already gotten some good reviews, so if you haven’t, be sure to check it out.  But all is now well so we can go back to the basics: gaming advice, shout outs and Tom bitching about the announcer voice. In this episode, we focus on improving a game by talking about NPCs who aren’t enemies or quest-givers. Many GMs forget to include this type of NPC, thinking of only the bare essentials in their game, but a great game needs NPCs who just do their own thing.  I also go over some game design advice as described by Jordan Mechner which relates to the discussion. We also have several anecdotes, a rant about the POS movie 2012 and more!

Shout outs:

Music: The Quest by David Cyr
Promo: Swing and A Miss Podcast.

Music: Can’t Judge a Book by Robin Sylar
Promos: Bearswarm Podcast, Nuketown Radio and the Game Traveler

Hosted by Ross Payton and Tom Church

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Gamers should broaden their horizons on occasion. To that end, we each picked five books or types of printed media that can do just that and we discuss how to implement each title’s content. These apply to both player and GM, as a clever player can get great character concept ideas or tactics for the game while GMs get a treasure trove of game material. ‘

Tom has updated the classic poem “Casey at Bat” with the Palladium RPG, Rifts, in mind. Plus, shout outs and an anecdote. Find out the conclusion of an 8 month WW2 GURPS campaign where I was a player for once!

My Top Five

  1. Storyteller by Kate Wilhelm
  2. Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker
  3. Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales
  4. Mythologies by Roland Barthes
  5. How to Make War by James Dunnigan / Howdunit by Lee Lofland / Bulfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch

Tom’s Top Five

  1. Newspapers
  2. Punisher Comics – current MAX run by Garth Ennis
  3. City Tour Guides
  4. Zoology Books
  5. Janes Military Guides

Shout Outs
Mount & Blade: An excellent indie PC game of medieval combat and adventure. Players create an adventurer, raise an army of soldiers and rampage across the country side, battling whatever foes stand in your way. Virtually no plot, minimal RPG character development, but great action and it’s tremendously fun to run down dozens of peasants with a heavily armed knight on horseback.

Wrongside: A comic of politics, intrigue, genocide, and fashion right out of the Final Fantasy school of design. Also, furries.

Dwarf Fortress: An ASCII graphic strategy/simulation game that puts you in control of seven dwarves and a wagon in a randomly generated world. The object being of course, to build a fortress. Of course, dwarves are strange little creatures and subject to strange whims and bad luck. That and Dwarf Fortress is a staggeringly complex game that keeps track of every dwarf’s emotional state, fluid mechanics and erosion, among other things. It is in fact, INSANE. Play it…if you dare.

BOATMURDERED: The saga of a Dwarf Fortress run by a succession of emperors. Marvel at the cleverness of Project DOOM (it involves channeling magma), tremble at the exploits of murderous legendary elephants and weep at the sad fate that befalls the inhabitants of BOATMURDERED. BOATMURDERED is, was and ever shall be the most brutal of all fortresses in all of fantasy.

F-117 Flight Simulator: A DOS era flight simulator. Tom really really really hates Saddam era Iraq and likes to blow it up. So, uh, there you go.

Oh and Iron Man. The movie. I’m not going to link it. Fuck that noise. It’s a fun movie but come on. It’s got like a 50 million dollar advertising budget.

Read below the fold for Tom’s entire Casey at Bat
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