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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Groupies Wearing Corsets and Top Hats 01 January 2016


This month, Mike and Roger examine some real-life weirdness, interview Phil Masters, discuss the passage of game time, and consider the future of the future of role-playing games.

We mentioned North Korean ghost boats, another news story and Bruce Schneier's comments; the idea of Aleister Crowley being Barbara Bush's father (it's come up quite a bit since the millennium, though we hadn't heard of it before December); The Small Folk, the unofficial rules for small characters (and much more) in GURPS 3e, Bio-Tech 2100, the xkcd cartoon "DNA", Sinbad the Sailor, The Wars of Atlantis, Alchemical Baroque, Tales of Gargentihr; Phil Masters's Gloriana campaign log, Pyramid 53 with a couple of advance-planning systems, Anathem; Bundle of Holding, the Mindjammer kickstarter, Eclectic Games, recent statements by Phil Reed of Steve Jackson Games (and more here), Pelgrane Press, Modiphius, the RuneQuest II kickstarter, and the High Wycombe "Wednesday Night" group.

That Call of Cthulhu campaign with the very strict timeline is of course Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at

  1. Posted by Phil Masters at 08:28am on 02 January 2016

    Thanks for the interview. By the way, a curious but probably atypical data point: I hadn't been around Heffers/Blackwells in Cambridge for a while, and then I discovered the other day that it not only has a fairly respectable board games section (Dixit, Catan, etc., but with expansions as well as core sets), but that even included a small shelf of RPGs, and not just D&D!

    (Okay, the non-sword and sorcery material was mostly Cthulhu, but still.)

  2. Posted by Owen Smith at 09:55pm on 02 January 2016

    Dad's Army and Allo Allo also lasted longer as TV series than WWII, it's quite common.

    The problem with SJ Games and Discworld/Mars Attacks appears to be that they are not yet prepared to admit that games shops are the past for RPG supplements, despite the fact it's the shops and distributors that won't pre-order enough copies. Munchkin is absolutely driven by shops, and for physical product the company seems unwilling to have two approaches.

    Personally I use PDFs under duress, I have to really want the supplement to buy it. I find printed copy much easier to use and reference. I've been saddened to see how many people on the SJ Games forums state they'd be entirely happy for GURPS to go PDF only, because as far as I'm concerned that's the beginning of The End.

  3. Posted by Chris at 12:22pm on 06 January 2016

    I would like to see Transhuman Space 2nd edition and would pay in a kickstarter to see it happen.

    I guess in 5 years time we may see print shops where you can print on demand books, 3d objects, etc. That may give life to the gaming pdf market. Imagine the print machine will scan the pdf and send money to the publisher as a licence fee as part of the printing cost.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 01:21pm on 06 January 2016

    Lulu already offers something close to that for books, though I believe there's still a "setup cost" separate from the per-print rate, and I've heard very good things about though I haven't used them myself.

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