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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Cthulhu Doesn't Want to be Stroked 01 October 2014


There's something off with the sound quality this time round, possibly interference on the recording. Sorry about that.

This month, Roger and Mike consider disease, recorded game sessions, running the same scenario with different systems, and how to worry experienced role-players.

We mentioned Hârnmaster, House), episode 20 when we talked about languages, NCIS), Lost Girl (the series Roger couldn't remember), Ashen Stars, the Deep Space 9 episode Babel),, Roger's notes on recording equipment for the podcast which can also apply to game recording, David Larkins' session recordings,, LonCon 3, Dungeon World, Shadowrun, The Quiet Year, The Laundry Files RPG, Pyramid with Roger's article on retroactive preparation, Time Busters, and SO19.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at

  1. Posted by David Larkins at 03:47am on 03 October 2014

    Excellent episode as always, good sirs! Thanks for the mention, and for discussing your thoughts on actual-plays. If I may offer some thoughts in response...

    I had to laugh when the topic of character creation episodes came up because I feel much the same way, and usually skip them if they appear in an A-P feed. Of the five "campaign" (that is, non-one-shot) recordings I've posted on my blog, only two have character creation episodes available, and those were conscious decisions to post them.

    For the Deadlands game, I decided to post the character creation session because it included a lot of conceptualizing on the part of the players in terms of their characters' place in the setting, so I felt like there was some useful information there.

    For the Pendragon A-P, it was part of my plan to help "sell" the game to listeners. Sadly, Pendragon seems to be a game that lots of people have maybe heard of but few play. So one of my goals for this A-P is to serve as a sort of ambassador for the game, and have the recordings stand as a bit of a tutorial of the various elements of the system, and that starts with character creation. I've been gratified that a good number (around a half-dozen) of our listeners have let me know through comments or emails that the A-P has allowed them to get a grasp of the mechanics and inspired them to "finally" start up their own campaigns.

    As for the sorts of people who listen to them, I've heard from folks who have long commutes, folks who like to have something to listen to at their boring jobs, or folks who are going through a dry spell in their gaming and want to get a fix somehow. And, as I mentioned in my comment on last month's episode, they're a great way to take a system or a published scenario for a spin and see how it sounds in play, which is one of the main reasons I listen. I wish there were more GURPS A-Ps out there, as I always love to hear how other people run that system in particular (hint, hint).

    Lastly, you asked for recommendations of good A-Ps. Apart from the YSDC crowd, I can't really think of any that I can consistently listen to and enjoy. I find A-Ps to be pretty hit and miss, for the most part. Usually it's an issue with accents or group dynamics or the GM's style that put me off. I've had Peaches and Hot Sauce recommended to me, but have yet to check it out so I can't personally vouch for it, but I thought I should give it a mention:

    At the end of the day, recorded actual-plays are such a weird little niche of a niche. But I do get something out of them, even though I'm often frustrated by them. And hey, perhaps over time they'll grow in popularity and standards of professionalism will emerge that will make them more listenable for a general gaming-nerd audience. After all, "replays" are huge in Japan...

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 08:52am on 03 October 2014

    Indeed, I suspect Pendragon character generation is more interesting to people who don't know the system (as I'm guessing your players didn't at the start) than to people who've been through it themselves.

    Since I started working from home rather than commuting I find I read much less, because there isn't a section of the day when I automatically reach for a book. Most of my listening to long material like podcasts and APs is done on evening drives to gaming and other sessions.

    There may be a GURPS AP from YSDC if my recording from the Games Day turns out to be usable. I'll see how the players in the new cyberpunk game feel about being recorded, too.

  3. Posted by Owen Smith at 09:08pm on 05 October 2014

    Roger said in tbe podcast that he doesn't tend to run published adventures, and yet that's exactly what he's doing in our TORG campaign. I think it's worth discussing why you're doing on this occasion.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 09:17pm on 05 October 2014

    Fair point, and we might well get a segment out of that some time.

  5. Posted by Slartibartfast_42 at 11:04am on 11 October 2014

    I would be very interested in hearing the GURPS AP from YSDC Games Day if you do decide to post it. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous Games Day but could not attend this time so a taste of what went down would be welcome!

  6. Posted by RogerBW at 11:16am on 11 October 2014

    That's up to Paul; if it's usable enough to be released, it'll be through YSDC.

  7. Posted by RogerBW at 04:55pm on 14 October 2014

    For anyone keeping track: And Ye Gave Me Meet is now available to patrons of

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