Improvised Radio Theatre - With Dice

Improvised Radio Theatre - With Dice! is a podcast by Roger Bell_West and Michael Cule, in which we pontificate on role-playing games.

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Plus One Per Adjective 01 December 2017


This month, for our sixtieth episode, Roger and Mike are inspired by music, get decadent, and consider their equipment lists. The inspirational tracks for the first segment are Rocketman by the Red Elvises, and Lucifer by The Alan Parsons Project.

We also mentioned the Night Witches, Rocketship Empires, Sergei Korolev, the Nedelin disaster, Leverage, Mission: Impossible, the NERVA nuclear rocket engines the Worldwar series, The Time Plot Again, Virgin Sacrifice poem, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dominic Flandry, the Dying Earth RPG, Houses of the Blooded, En Garde, Roger's Atlantis game and the relationships map, Night's Black Agents, The One Ring, and GURPS on DriveThruRPG.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at and other free sources; effects from various free sources.

  1. Posted by David Cantrell at 04:07pm on 01 December 2017

    Inspired by Rocketman ... rednecks on Mars improvising everything because Phobos and Deimos have turned out to be aptly named.

  2. Posted by Tim Soholt at 09:02am on 02 December 2017

    For some reason "Lucifer" evokes in me images of people in command centers talking to field agents.

  3. Posted by Brian Parker at 11:43am on 03 December 2017

    I do actually imagine you both dressed in velveteen smoking jackets, sipping Absinthe while puffing on a hookah. You'll be telling me that your secret base in a hollowed-out volcano is made up next. Really!

  4. Posted by Lee Carnell at 02:17pm on 04 December 2017

    Congratulations on reaching 60 episodes, I do hope there's many more to come! I can't get the Red Elvises 'Rocketman' out of my head now - it's such a catchy tune. I'd much prefer 'Lucifer' to be the theme tune to my campaign and I agree with Roger that it's pretty much already a tv theme tune. I could easily see 'Lucifer' being used for a 'Night's Black Agent's' game. Oh, and I agree with Roger, it (Lucifer) does sound more 70's than 80's.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 06:56pm on 04 December 2017

    Released as a single in 1979, so just barely. :)

  6. Posted by Rob at 07:39am on 12 December 2017

    An individual in orbit dreaming of girlfriend and six-pack of beer calls to mind Sir Vorick of Mansel stuck in the no-time of a jump.

    The Red Elvis soundtrack to Six String Samurai hit a year of my gaming pretty thoroughly. Thinking back on it, their track “Siberia” could provide a good free fall counterpoint to the blast off of “rocket man”. Their track “Boogie on the Beach” was part of my listening while designing a champions fight for the party speedster.

    “Lucifer” calls to mind heavier industry to me possibly from some educational video from youth. It makes me think of the Glomar Explorer in particular for some reason. Maybe ports or something of the deep in the beat or the reverb.

    I have been reading through Fall of Delta Green recently and listening to “One Tin Soldier” from Billy Jack as an inspirational piece. Perhaps too on the nose there.

  7. Posted by RogerBW at 11:10am on 12 December 2017

    Sir Vorick would be dreaming of floozies and gin. Well, space gin obviously. And indeed space floozies.

    I did end up basing, or at least naming, several loosely-related Dark Conspiracy campaigns from the lyrics of The Future (Leonard Cohen).

  8. Posted by Phil Masters at 07:56pm on 17 December 2017

    I’ve occasionally thought of structuring a “Broken Dreams” Transhuman Space campaign around John Cale’s album Artificial Intellifence — starting with the PCs stuck out in some Third Wave hellhole where they twitch Every Time the Dogs Bark, dragged into action by a Sleeper agent and a Vigilante Lover, passing through Hong Kong when they discover that there’s a mystery going back to 1997, and eventually facin* off with a boss antagonist who’s going to take a Tomahawk for a Satellite Walk...

    As for PC shopping — I don’t really have that gamer gene fully active, it seems. I try at least to have a plausible set of alternate load-outs worked out for my GURPS characters, so I can say what they’re likely to be carrying in various circumstances (and whether I ought to confess to being encumbered sometimes).

  9. Posted by Brian Parker at 08:58pm on 18 December 2017

    Just rolling up some of the back catalogue and I bumped into, "I feel myself Fading away and/or turning into a Lizard".

    Entertaining, informative, comforting and disquieting at the same time - well done!

    This is probably around the third time I've listened to it.

  10. Posted by Dirk the Dice at 01:45am on 22 December 2017

    We often hear Roger refrain "I'd need to have a good reason not to use GURPS".

    I'd really like to hear a segment that provided a 'where to start with GURPS' in one place. Which books are essential? What are the core mechanics? How do they adapt to different settings?

    I've heard you talk about building characters from point allocation, but it would be good to get more detail on how this works.

    I know it's a bit more 'nuts and bolts' compared to your usual discussions, but I really want to give GURPS a go, but I'm overwhelmed by the number of products around it. An introductory tour would be very useful.

    Chris (Dirk)

  11. Posted by RogerBW at 10:45pm on 24 December 2017

    That's a reasonable request, and something I think we can probably do without too much trouble - both Mike and I have run quite a few games for people who didn't already know GURPS. There are a lot of books, and it's not quite the same setup as most other games where running "X World" usually means buying just the X World book and maybe a rules compendium. (Though there are some GURPS settings where you can do just that.)

  12. Posted by Michael Cule at 12:46pm on 25 December 2017

    Yes, I'm sure that we can do the intro to GURPS thing.

    It may require actual preparation rather than our normal pull-profundity-out-of-our-fundaments style...

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