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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Find Our Werewolf, Please, and Try Not to Get Eaten By Him 01 October 2015
  1. Posted by Phil Masters at 12:12pm on 02 October 2015
    Re. Me: Uh, Gosh. Thanks. And there I was thinking that my stuff tends to be too dry...

    Re. Celebrities: One Hollywood person with the acknowledged background in RPGs who I find interesting is Jon Favreau. All due respect to Joss Whedon, but the RPG influences on his stuff seem rather obvious - see all those wisecracking ragtag bands of oddly competent misfits with skimpy motivations for saving the world. Favreau seems to have learned something slightly more subtle about storytelling from his D&D days.

    Re. Media Properties: I would generally agree that we don't need to be desperately looking for stuff that "should" be licensed for games these days, though I'd honestly make a huge exception for the Discworld, and not just because I wrote that one and the second edition is currently literally in the print queue. (First, it's a really good game setting when you look, and second, it's an excuse to import non-farcical comedy into RPG'ing, which needs more of that.) But anyway, I tried to think of others, and initially came up with some very minor variants on existing themes. (Is the TV Agents of SHIELD covered by an extant Marvel license? Because, well, it may not be great, but you know, wisecracking ragtag bands of oddly competent misfits with skimpy motivations...) But then I stepped backwards and had a different thought.

    The fact is, I waste far too many minutes of my days dipping into various Webcomics, and it strikes me that there's a whole fairly popular genre there that has never been addressed. An RPG license for Questionable Content or Scary-Go-Round would not only encompass high weirdness, dry irony, soap opera, and (sometimes) non-farcical comedy, it'd come with reams of above-average ready-made full colour illustrations...

  2. Posted by Phil Masters at 12:18pm on 02 October 2015
    Uh, sorry - there were meant to be paragraph breaks there...
  3. Posted by RogerBW at 12:32pm on 02 October 2015
    Yeah, sorry about that. I need to shift this over to the software that I use for my own blog.

    The only webcomic tie-in I know about is GURPS Casey and Andy, and I think there was briefly talk of something for Schlock Mercenary. I agree, others might do well.

    The latest Marvel RPG is Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, but the licence has lapsed - even Margaret Weis Productions, who've done a lot of TV and film licence work, apparently didn't think it was worth what Marvel were charging.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 01:54pm on 02 October 2015

    That sounds as if it might go in the direction of FATE, or the Cortex or Cortex Plus systems from Margaret Weis Productions - which have been used for things like Serenity, Leverage and Smallville where there's meant to be a balance between action and soapy stuff. I haven't played it myself, though I'd like to try it some time.

  5. Posted by Michael Cule at 06:20pm on 02 October 2015

    I'm a fan of QC too. I'm not sure there's enough plot for a game either 'drama' based or otherwise. The world is wonderful and so are the characters but there it's all about friends hanging around and interacting with each other. Not even in a 'dramatic' mode very often.

    Phil, if you're really interested in this as an idea let me ask: What do the players get to do?

  6. Posted by Phil Masters at 11:54pm on 02 October 2015

    A QC game would indeed be tricky - I fear that one would have to resort to Dramasystem rules, and work out what some of these characters want from each other. But trying to work out how to turn it into a viable RPG would be a really radical challenge. I guess that thinking of it as "Chez Geek the RPG (with added robots)" might be a start; the idea is not to win conflicts, but to achieve personal satisfaction without blowing too much of your slacker cool.

    Scary-Go-Round and its derivatives would probably be a better license. That does have conflict and mysteries. The only problem is that the lack of closure on a lot of the plots is actually part of its charm, in a weird way.

  7. Posted by Owen Smith at 06:37pm on 10 October 2015

    There was some discussion of GURPS Girl Genius a few years ago, but then it all went quiet when Kaja and Phil didn't have time to do it (how hard can it be, they said, apparently). There was then an announcement that SJ Games were having someone write it with Phil and Kaja reviewing, and then there was nothing after that.

  8. Posted by RogerBW at 07:32pm on 10 October 2015

    I have not heard anything I can talk about which suggests progress on this front. The last public news was in November of 2013.

    For those who don't know, I track all the public news about upcoming GURPS products here, though upcoming products are not uniquely identified so it's possible that some entries actually refer to multiple items.

  9. Posted by Owen Smith at 08:57pm on 11 October 2015

    With regards to Everway going for a visual approach to character creation. I find it often helps me enormously to find some artwork to represent my character, it matters to me sufficiently that I will change some details of the character to better fit the artwork I've found. I don't always do it this way, at the moment precisely 2 out of 4 characters I have in play were inspired by artwork. But it's a tool I use a lot.

  10. Posted by RogerBW at 01:13pm on 14 October 2015

    I can't now remember whether I mentioned it in the episode, but a Thing I Always Say is that when I'm generating characters for one-shot games I always find it much easier to fill in their personality (thus many of their advantages, disadvantages and optional skills) once I've got a suitable photo for them.

    And how could I resist using this bloke when I wanted a retired RN officer? (From the Grauniad.)

  11. Posted by Mike C. at 11:54pm on 26 October 2015

    You guys seem to have disappeared from iTunes and I can't subscribe thru any other catcher. Is there a problem?

  12. Posted by Michael Cule at 11:40am on 27 October 2015

    Umm, no. We're there as far as I can see. Roger seems to have added the advertising line: "A Bit Like Ken And Robin Meets History Today" (I know I didn't do it!) and we seem to have no review ratings (get your fingers out you lazy lot!) but it's there.

  13. Posted by RogerBW at 09:16am on 29 October 2015

    Looks like my error in fact; iTunes runs off the RSS feed, and the RSS feed had lost its "enclosure" elements when I switched to the new blogging engine. The RSS feed is now working again and iTunes should follow when it next checks.

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