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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Investing in a Plausible Scotsman 01 October 2022


This month, Roger and Mike revisit British history: this time, the Napoleonic Wars and the Regency.

We mentioned

Troika Worlds (until 3 October) and Apocalypse Engine 5 (until 10 October) at the Bundle of Holding, Blades in the Dark, the Esoteric Order's actual-play recording of Monsterhearts, the TV show Mike was thinking of, The Americans, Spire,

"The Georges", George III, George IV, The Madness of George III, Hornblower, Sharpe, (Michael meant that Hegel expressed himself obscurely, not that he was someone you would never have heard of), Citizens, Good Society, Georgette Heyer, GURPS Age of Napoleon, GURPS Scarlet Pimpernel, Reign. Weimar: The Fight For Democracy, The Peterloo Massacre, The Bavarian Illuminati, The Age of Wonder, and Jenny Uglow's The Lunar Men.

Michael would also like to recommend The Time Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain.

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Music by Kevin MacLeod at, and Zadok the Priest by George Frideric Handel, performed by St Matthew's Concert Choir, Giromella, cc-by-unported.

  1. Posted by David Cantrell at 01:57pm on 05 October 2022

    One truly delightful piece of radicalism that hardly anyone knows about is The America Ground in Hastings. It was a small part of Hastings in Sussex which declared independence in the 1820s, raised the American flag, and even worse, refused to pay rent for several years. Shockingly, this was resolved peacefully and no-one was shot, hanged, or made Australian.

    I'm sure that there's a one-shot game in there somewhere, maybe playing the members of the town council who, while they don't approve, also don't really want the King's German Legion, who were in barracks a few miles down the coast, marching into town to put things right.

  2. Posted by Phil Masters at 11:29am on 06 October 2022

    Wikipedia has a list of works of fiction involving the Napoleonic Wars which is interesting to skim. A lot of literary fiction in there, and also Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's counterfactual historical novel about the retreat from Moscow. There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of French “war stories of an honourable junior officer” stuff, presumably because setting such on the losing side gets more depressing than swashbuckling.

  3. Posted by Dave Morris at 04:39pm on 06 October 2022

    If you're looking for ideas for a Georgian fantasy campaign, let me recommend John Whitbourn's novel Babylon-don, set against the backdrop of the Gordon Riots. Indeed, even if you don't use it for gaming ideas, this is a period of history underused in fantasy fiction, so Babylon-don is worth a look just for that.

    Regarding GURPS supplements set in this era, you perhaps deliberately missed out Goblins. It's tedious and even slightly offensive that SJG chose to represent late Georgian London as inhabited by goblins (if they'd described it straight I'd have used it to run a campaign) but that's the nearest they've got to a deep cultural view of the period.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 11:54am on 31 October 2022

    Sorry about the delay responding - ConVocation happened, then Essen happened, then I caught up with the things I wasn't doing while I was away.

    Phil, thanks for that list. I think of Sven Hassel as the canonical example of gritty stories from the losing side (it appears that he made it all up), and I'm a little surprised that he actually came up with something original.

    Dave, I think we both forgot about Goblins. For me it never quite reconciles the amusing parody with the serious points, and I've not felt comfortable enough with it to try running it. (Also, I think we were both thinking mostly about the higher ends of society, and it really focuses on the gutter.)

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