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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A Cycle of Death, Depression and Gloom 01 September 2016


This month, Mike and Roger talk with Marcus Rowland, take a wildly accelerated pass through #RPGADay2016, and find that they're both starting to run The Great Pendragon Campaign.

We mentioned

Diana: Warrior Princess, Elvis: The Legendary Tours, Forgotten Futures, The Struggle for Empire: A Story of the Year 2236, RPG a Day 2016, Continuum, Torg, The Dracula Dossier, GURPS Adaptations, Peter Abelard, Michel de Montaigne, The Sorceress of the Strand (Roger's review with links to sources), The Curse of Chalion, a shared whiteboard system, Ars Magica, Reign, Savage Worlds, GURPS Lite, Unknown Armies, Everway, Pendragon), David Larkins' run of the Great Pendragon Campaign, and the new home of Whartson Hall Gamers on-line.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at, by Chanticleer via, and from other royalty-free sources.

  1. Posted by Lee Williams at 06:32pm on 04 September 2016

    Just listening to this month's fine episode and realised that I totally failed to try and find Mike at Continuum to say hello. I did get to play in a game with Marcus though which was quite fun.

  2. Posted by David Larkins at 03:43am on 05 September 2016

    Best of luck to both of you with the GPC! (And thanks for the shout-out.) Roger, I hope you do eventually release your recordings--I'd love to experience the campaign vicariously.

    A couple thoughts as I listened to the segment:

    • The GPC does indeed address Sir Balin's mother and his beef with Nineve. Check out the adventure "Escorting Nineve" on pp. 109-110...

    • Pretty sure I read somewhere that Greg Stafford has said the only "plot immune" characters are Arthur, Guenever, and Lancelot. I remember when I first started running KAP and freaked when a PC almost killed Gawaine. I took the problem to the Pendragon Yahoo group and got some good advice: if Gawaine had gotten killed, just start giving all of Gawaine's problems to the PCs. I suppose the same could end up happening if Mordred was prevented from becoming Mordred.

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 09:15am on 05 September 2016

    The Whartson Hall run of the GPC will be going up at our forum on ukroleplayers, probably starting in October.

    My feeling is definitely that if the PCs want to interfere with things, they're welcome to do so (much as they, and some of the NPCs, have pushed my WWII-with-magic campaign somewhat off the historical rails). But fighting, say, a mad impassioned Lancelot is not a trivial endeavour.

  4. Posted by Chris Green at 02:26pm on 12 September 2016

    I played in the GPC until career changes broke apart the gaming group; We got up to 523 before we stopped. The Battle of Badon Hill was a memorable event. There is a local group who are running the Saxons 100 yr campaign where Badon is the end, the final act. They've been going for many years and may even finish it one day.

    THe GPC ran on a one night=one year formula with only a few digressions to the Forest Sauvage and other side missions. For me it was a wonderful experiment in playing 101 variants of Lawful Good characters, even if subsequent characters had Loyalty to wholly opposing lieges and groups. Our record in characters dying was 3 in one evening for the same player.

    The GM felt he had problems with the large list of npcs and their background stories. He read the Morte D'Arthur and tried to sync some of that into the campaign. He couldn't help feel at key moments the pcs were side characters to the main npcs.

    For Glory, For Honour, For Arthur.

  5. Posted by Owen Smith at 12:11am on 29 September 2016

    I don't know why you (Roger) expected our 1960s newly psionic characters to go on the run. For my character's part, how was she going to smoke pot and listen to albums if she was on the run? Oh and get a degree, because that was her original plan to escape the dinginess of life in North Wales. But then MI5 came along and offered her an alternative, and she got to smoke dope in the ladies loos at work because a) there weren't many other women in the place to notice and b) they needed her too badly to say or do anything about it.

  6. Posted by Owen Smith at 12:20am on 29 September 2016

    The event I remember most as not going the way the adventure planned was in Reign of Steel. When you have a cloud of Hydroflouric Acid outside slowly etching the windows and you are in a cafe with the windows and doors sealed with duct tape the very last thing you are going to do is allow a fight to start among the customers, with or without guns. "A fight is inevitable." you later told us it said. What? Are the scenario authors completely stupid, or the cafe customers stark staring mad and/or suicidal?

  7. Posted by RogerBW at 08:58am on 29 September 2016

    Owen (#5): well, that's the point, isn't it? I had an idea for how the campaign might go, and then the characters hit it. Please don't think that I was objecting to this; all games are necessarily collaborations between GM and players.

    Owen (#6): that segment began its life as an adventure for Cyberpunk 2020 (Cabin Fever by Eric Heisserer, published in 1994 by Atlas Games), so I think it's pretty much assumed that any group of PCs will be homicidal maniacs whose behaviour is restrained mostly by the cost of ammunition. But I have to say that I didn't expect you guys to start a firefight.

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