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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Chunky Policeman Kibble 01 September 2017


This month, Mike and Roger contemplate types of government, and look at #RPGADay for 2017.

We mentioned

Pendragon, Tékumel, Traveller, Rex Sacrorum, the War Powers Resolution, Deryni Rising, Wikipedia's list of forms of government, The Traveller Adventure, Paranoia, Warhammer 40,000, RPG-A-Day 2017, Noggin the Nog, Dead of Winter, Harkwood, Erol Otus Basic D&D cover, Unknown Armies 1st edition cover, HeroQuest Glorantha cover, RuneQuest II cover, RuneQuest Glorantha cover, The Deryni Adventure Game, Lords of Creation, It Came From The Late Late Late Show, Superhero 2044, Noble Knight Games, The Shop on the Borderlands; various Bundles of Holding: Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition, Ars Magica, More Ars Magica; WaRP, Dream Park (and here is a relatively restrained page from it), The Dracula Dossier, and Roger's favourite propelling pencil.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at and other royalty-free sources.

(We do get free access to the Bundle of Holding contents, but this happens whether or not we plug them.)

  1. Posted by Jon Hancock at 09:30am on 01 September 2017

    Michael's remarks about why he resigned struck a familiar chord. They also inevitably had me imagining him in a recasting of The Prisoner...

  2. Posted by Jon Hancock at 09:52am on 01 September 2017

    And a second thought: Does Michael know about the upcoming Noggin the Nog miniatures?

  3. Posted by Michael Cule at 06:08pm on 01 September 2017

    When I worked in the Civil Service I had the theme from THE PRISONER as the ring-tone on my phone. Nowadays, it plays THE FLIGHT OF THE SORCERER, aka the theme from HHGTTG.

    And yes, I had heard about those miniatures. It's one of the things that turned my mind in that direction.

  4. Posted by Lee Williams at 06:59pm on 03 September 2017

    Knowing Roger's lingering fondness for Dark Conspiracy, I am glad to say it still refuses to die! There is an officially endorsed independent sourcebook due out soon as a PDF, covering one of the Metroplexes. Further to that, the English language arm of Uhrwerk Verlag are producing a fourth edition due out next year! Holding page for the new website can be found here:

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 09:09pm on 03 September 2017

    I'm much more interested in the Metroplex sourcebook than I am in the new rules. I run (well, I haven't been recently, but I did run) DC under GURPS: it has lots of current and near-future tech already statted out for me, it lets the players build complex characters, and I already know it if not inside-out at least under conditions of partial eversion. My main interest in a new edition of the game is that it may mean more people interested in playing in that world.

  6. Posted by Lee Williams at 02:24pm on 04 September 2017

    The metroplex in question is Tampete, a Florida sprawl combining St Petersburg and Tampa and environs. The people behind it are from the area, and given the rise of "Florida Man" tales in the media and online it seems a good place for DC styled weirdness.

  7. Posted by RogerBW at 02:27pm on 04 September 2017

    While I ran DC back in the day either in the Chiwaukee Metroplex or in the UK, I've now read Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey, and if I do it again I think it'll get a big dose of Florida Weird.

  8. Posted by Jason Thompson at 10:09pm on 06 September 2017

    Regarding the ideal government... The ideal government in your RPG, at least fantasy RPG, doesn't have to make any sense unless you want it to.

    I've been reading a bunch of old utopian/dystopian literature from the pre-1900s (well, at least summaries in "The Dictionary of Imaginary Places") and it is rife with comments that "such-and-such place has the ideal government". So much Orientalist proto-fantasy literature was written in a Utopian (and later dystopian) mold.

    If we're meant to take these descriptions at face value, clearly each of these places truly DOES have the ideal government, and we then should work backward from that statement and describe how the citizens' feelings fit that fact: how, for them, Government X truly IS the "ideal government", no matter how illogical or strange. ;D

    Of course, the feelings of visitors to such a place, i.e. player characters, may not match those of the locals, but how could they ever convince the locals that they are in error, when their government is so obviously ideal? ;D

  9. Posted by RogerBW at 12:34pm on 07 September 2017

    Welcome to the podcast comments, Jason!

    A lot of my GMing style rests on things making sense to me – the PCs and players may not know what's going on, but I need to, so that when something unexpected happens (as it always does) I can work out what the results are.

    My feeling about "everyone here thinks they have the ideal government" thus devolves into people looking over their shoulders nervously while saying how marvellous the Great Leader is, or some sort of subconscious persuasion, which clearly isn't what you're talking about. If it were a genuine belief… perhaps you'd have a lot of polities in a small area, so that anyone who doesn't like a particular government can move to one that's more to their taste? (And perhaps a non-sapient servitor class so that the governments can avoid the hard problems like "who actually has to work".)

    Thanks. That deserves more thought.

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