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 Can't Have Enough Thugs 01 January 2021

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This month, Mike and Roger look at Modern Age, The Expanse, and Blades in the Dark; and split the party.

We mentioned: Modern AGE/The Expanse at the Bundle of Holding (until 4 January), Genesys, Blue Rose, Dr Bob's review of The Expanse, Spend Spend Spend, Blades in the Dark at the Bundle of Holding (until 11 January), Leverage, Legacy: Life among the Ruins, Fellowship, In a Wicked Age, and Roger's review of the first Harry Stubbs book.

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Please use the new discussion forum at discussion.tekeli.li rather than commenting below.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com.


  1. Posted by Dave Morris at 08:02pm on 03 January 2021

    I don't know much about The Expanse, but it strikes me that belt miners will probably be people with multiple PhDs rather than hard-drinking roughnecks. Or, indeed, they might just be AIs.

    There is a point to this. We're subjected to many different futures in SF, and in games we'd expect a more rational (I'm going to say realistic) future than the sort that literature and movies get away with. So what about an episode in which you discuss what the realistic RPG solar system of 2350 might actually look like? More GURPS than PbtA, I'm guessing.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 09:46pm on 03 January 2021

    It largely depends on tech assumptions, but one can at least break those down into "plausible, might work or not" and "simply not plausible, so that if it's true we can't really predict anything" (the latter including FTL, telepathy, and high-thrust high-impulse drives).

    Usually when I'm building an SF setting I start with the sort of story I want to tell and bias the tech assumptions to make it possible.

    Transhuman Space tries to be plausible in many respects, but it has some big elisions (the speed of terraforming Mars is simply too fast by a few centuries) and some obvious choices to make its setting more fun to game in (with AIs as smart as biohumans but with much lower life support requirements, it's unreasonable to put biohumans in space at all).

    Hmm. There are possibilities here.

  3. Posted by Phil Masters at 02:47pm on 04 January 2021

    “We're subjected to many different futures in SF, and in games we'd expect a more rational (I'm going to say realistic) future than the sort that literature and movies get away with.”

    Who is this “we” of whom you speak?

    I mean, seriously. I’m quite in favour of quite hard SF games myself (and have worked on such), but I’m also aware that games like Rocket Age and GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol appear to have sold a few copies each, never mind the Star Trek and Star Wars licenses. So I hesitate to assume that all gamers are rigorous about things.

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