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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Much More Likely To Survive the First Civil War 01 July 2017


This month, Mike and Roger contemplate long-term campaigns with gaps, travel in gaming time, and consider tech levels: threat or menace?

We mentioned

the Cyberpunk 2020 bundle of holding (until 4 July), the old Pendragon bundle of holding and the new Pendragon bundle of holding (both until 11 July), the Cthulhu Breakfast Club, in Nomine the city book, Nephilim, GURPS Horsesclans Microscope, RuneQuest, GURPS Goblins, Lee Gold, En Garde, Slobbovia, the Dungeon Master computer game, Traveller, Universe, GURPS Banestorm, Honest Achmed's Used Cars and Certificates, the Kardashev scale, Farflung, recent Schlock Mercenary, The Munchkin's Guide to Power Gaming, and Dr Pinero's machine.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at

(Roger would like to point out that since this session he's bought an anti-shock mount for the recorder – and a better dead cat. We did seem to get an awful lot of aircraft, though.)

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

  1. Posted by Tim Soholt at 06:51pm on 01 July 2017

    I think it's inaccurate to condemn Shadowrun's UK for being written by non-Brits. The first look at the UK for Shadowrun, at least, was written by Carl Sargent and Marc Gascoigne, both of whom were long-term UK residents if not natives. They both have writing credits at GW if Wikipedia is to be believed, and Sargent was at TSR UK, although I can't find anything he himself wrote.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 10:35pm on 01 July 2017

    Fair enough - maybe it was terrible editing, or maybe I remembered a different book. I certainly recall it having a terribly Americanised view of Britain, where the Cyberpunk Rough Guide to the UK did a rather better job.

  3. Posted by Jon Hancock at 10:01am on 03 July 2017

    The tech level discussion reminded me of something Greg Porter once wrote, the idea that the Romans had the technical capabilities to make bicycles and sub-machine guns but never did (much to the chagrin of historical wargamers, I imagine). Tech levels inevitably struggle to simplify a way of distinguishing between the possible and the actual.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 10:11am on 03 July 2017

    And the Great War-era laser (well, if you can make a neon tube…). I think there's at least a three-way split:

    • here's what we make for our own use
    • here's what we can work out how to make if given some information
    • here's what we can readily import but not make for ourselves

    and then replace "make" with "repair" for potentially three more distinct tech levels in a single culture.

  5. Posted by David cantrell at 09:20pm on 05 July 2017

    On the subject of twisting tech levels around I'm reminded of the story I once wrote about maxwells presentation of his paper announcing GR. it was easily possible. In it he speculated on whether Newton could have done it based on Tycho Brahe's observations of the orbit of mercury.

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