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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Plain Tales from Olympus Mons 01 January 2015


This month, Mike and Roger consider three games of pulp space, and look at surrealism in RPGs.

We mentioned Rocket Age (which has done better than its presence in the Bundle of Holding would indicate with a variety of supplements and adventures), various theories of planetary formation (another, from Laplace, is that planets form as the sun gradually contracts and the outer debris belts cool, so Mars must have formed before Earth which formed before Venus), GURPS Mars, Flash Gordon and the Warriors of Mongo, Space: 1889, GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol, the very depressing game Dog Eat Dog, GURPS Lensman, Dreamhounds of Paris, The Dracula Dossier, JAGS Wonderland, ITRAS BY, Everyone is John, Nobilis, Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, HeroQuest, Exalted, Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth, and The Laundry Files RPG.

Introductory music from Buck Rogers (1939), composer unknown, now released under Creative Commons. Other music by Kevin MacLeod at

  1. Posted by Patrick Riley at 08:52pm on 01 January 2015

    Space 1889 lives on as a Savage Worlds game:

    I also share Roger's difficulty in translating game write-ups to actual player actions.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 08:56pm on 01 January 2015

    Thanks for the link. I suppose that makes sense; I dislike the Savage Worlds system because of the bugs in its probability mechanics, but it's relatively easy to write for it if you ignore those, or indeed to convert stuff written for it into some other system.

  3. Posted by Owen Smith at 12:02pm on 02 January 2015

    I'm currently playing Space 1889 on alternate fridays, using the generic Chaosium game system.

  4. Posted by Colin Fredericks at 01:30pm on 02 January 2015

    Another great game in this sub-genre is Full Light Full Steam, by Josh Roby. It has some really good GM advice in terms of creating "moving pieces" for the plot and interlocking them.

  5. Posted by Tim Soholt at 01:39pm on 02 January 2015

    There's a version recently translated/adapted from German that uses the Ubiquity System (first seen, I believe, in Hollow World Expedition):

    I don't know when or if it's going to be out in hardcopy.

  6. Posted by Lauence Cornford at 12:22pm on 05 January 2015

    Peter F. Jeffery did do a "damsels in distress" RPG game called "B-Movie Girl", back in the 1980s. I did a bit of artwork for it. I'm not sure to what extent it got published, however. I'm sure Pet would be happy if there was any wider interest in the idea.

  7. Posted by RogerBW at 01:26pm on 05 January 2015

    Thanks for the links.

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