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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You Are X That Do Y In a World In Which... 01 October 2016
  1. Posted by Tim Soholt at 10:22pm on 01 October 2016

    The roll to learn a spell thing is Rolemaster, not D&D. I think the Designer's Notes were taking shots at more than just the big game.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 11:42pm on 01 October 2016

    Fair enough - though from what I hear these days Rolemaster is pretty fragmentary and moribund (a great shame, I liked it a lot in its day) and I wouldn't have thought it would be worth taking a swipe at.

  3. Posted by Owen Smith at 08:18pm on 02 October 2016

    I started with original AD&D in 1984. We had to roll to learn a new spell. I returned to original AD&D many years later under John Dallman, where the Mages' Guild had multiple versions of many common spells available so that if you failed your roll to learn one version you could have a go at a different version. So I'm pretty certain the roll to learn a spell was in original AD&D. Which other versions it was in I have no idea, I think it was still in 2nd Edition but can't swear to it.

  4. Posted by Owen Smith at 09:31pm on 03 October 2016

    You say that Discworld is the most commercial part of GURPS. But according to SJ Games staff that is not true, they could not get enough demand from distributors pre-ordering the hardback to be able to justify printing it on it's own which is why it is so delayed. In the UK we hear this and stare back madly as if these people are insane, but apparently Discworld just isn't that popular in the US. Either that or associating it with GURPS is poison.

    The other problem with GURPS and Kickstarters and orders in general is that the SJ Games staff were until at least very recently convinced that sales to Friendly Local Games Stores through distributors are all that matter. This ignores the fact that stores in much of the world no longer exist, and in the US aren't ordering GURPS. But because it works for them for Munchkin (sorry for swearing) they kept thinking it works for GURPS when it clearly doesn't. This kickstarter may finally be a realisation from SJ Games where they've been going wrong on that. Games stores are irrelevant these days for most role playing games, and especially for GURPS.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 11:06pm on 03 October 2016

    One possible reason to keep the distributors/games shops sweet: if they feel they're being bypassed in the matter of GURPS, they may order less Munchkin. But if they aren't ordering GURPS in viable quantities, well, they've bypassed themselves already.

  6. Posted by Dirk the Dice at 11:28pm on 05 October 2016

    I really felt Mike's pain as he described his campaign collapse under the weight of its own genius. When he described it to me at Dragonmeet last year, it seemed such an intriguing and inventive concept that I came away believing it would make an excellent mini-series.

    We've all been there ... Isaac Newton's loss is King Arthur's gain. Good luck with the new campaign!

  7. Posted by RogerBW at 09:06am on 07 October 2016

    I'm lucky: mostly I manage to get my players to shoot down the glorious, wonderful ideas of mine that they don't like before I've put in all the work of setting up a game. It may not be much fun at the time, but oh boy it means less wasted work for me.

  8. Posted by Michael Cule at 11:29pm on 10 October 2016

    I can't regard the year and five months it ran as wasted... But I do regret not seeing it through to some sort of climax.

  9. Posted by Phil Masters at 11:35pm on 11 October 2016

    Definitions of "Slipstream": on Wikipedia, TV Tropes, and the online SF Encyclopedia.

    Precise formulations vary, but essentially it seems to be nominally mainstream fiction that uses devices borrowed from SF or fantasy while somehow not quite being SF or fantasy, thereby inducing a sense of the weirdness of the world. Which might translate as "the sort of thing that Philip K. Dick and James Ballard made livings from", "the sort of post-New Wave tosh that's been fairly common at the pretentious end of SF for fifty years now", "magic realism for gringos", or "literary post-modernism".

    Being specifically a literary form rather than a genre, I don't think that we see many slipstream games, though I guess that Over the Edge and Unknown Armies have ambitions in that direction.

  10. Posted by Allan at 10:37am on 19 October 2016

    Talking about empowering your players with story direction, you may be interested in the game; Blade of the Iron Throne. A bit rough around the edges, but then not produced by professionals. It's a follow on from The Riddle of Steel, with a solid Sword and Sorcery bent. Anyway it has a great rule thing called Passion Attribute. This tells the GM what sort of stories they (the player) want to be involved in and Exp only comes from engaging those PA's

  11. Posted by RogerBW at 11:57am on 19 October 2016

    Phil - I wonder whether the source material is considered too arty, or more importantly too inconsistent, for simulationist gamers. If you don't have consistent results from actions, you're over in narrativist country, and at that point the rules are "how do you tell a story" rather than "how do you work out whether your character succeeds or not". It might not even be recognisable as a game.

    Allan - if someone sends us a review copy we'll review it…

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