Audio Report: roleplaying-o-rama

What happens when I play a roleplaying game – like, a normal one – and two other Audio Reporters are there to see it? Hear all about it in this show with frequent guest Brian Isikoff. Fans of Fudge, True20 and those interested in roleplaying’s general place in the industry are encouraged to apply.


  1. So this show is kinda the whole reason we had been asking “what does role-playing mean to you”. Hope you enjoy.

  2. Whoa – I’ve ascended to the ranks of Frequent Guest. Sweet!

    I will say I’m sorry that I didn’t facilitate a better (more fun) time for Mike in my Fudge game. GM’s job is to faciliate the fun, so … my bad, Mike. I’ll do better next time! 🙂

  3. If anyone knows how to solve Skype on a Mac’s common issue with Echo, it would be most appreciated 🙁

  4. Hey guys, cool show. Of course the standered “how do ou fix a mac” answer is use a pc. That said, lemme get to the main point of this post. The G.M (D.M) is usualy the last person who has control of a game? Sure they may have a plot, but they shouldn’t have to rail road players into it (not to say they don’t try some times).
    Stepping out side of the character classes is a good example of how a player can bend a story. In a d and d game (firsat edition) I was in last year (see system doesn’t matter to much), I rolled up an amazine 1 hp fighter. Well, heavly armed homless guy who every one callled a hobo. Anyway, by time we stoped he game, I was one of the only original characters left, and I was also a major driving force. My hobo wanderings drove he group to follow me (as they didn’t trust me). My bad habit of breaking into locked buildings looking for goods also drove the game.
    There were alot of newer players who just followed and rlled dice because they didn’t understand that it’s really the players that steer the course annd tthe speed of the story. Oh yeha, and a 10 foot pole really helps, but thats a different story.
    Basicly old school players like myself know that the D.M issn’t there to tell me what to do, not that i’d listen really anywya.

    keep up the good worrk

  5. I’ve listened to the first part of the game and got to Chris’ comments about fighting against the d20 game system. It’s amazing how much I agree with those comments (which is why I regret answering his question a few days after you had already wrapped up this show). Over on Paul Tevis’ Have Games Will Travel board, I posted the following:

    For me, the biggest gripe I have is combat in d20. When trying to hit a target, d20 games want to include a lot of variables to make combat more realistic; when determining placement in a combat situation, d20 games want to remove a lot of variables to make combat more abstract. This leads to a strange bit of role-playing combat where it looks like you can do anything, but you’re constrained by a series of moves and actions and you’re forced to be at one of eight points around your opponent. As I’ve said before [], D&D 3.5 is more of a miniatures battles game than a role-playing game when combat occurs. With the hit point system at high levels, we get into situations where combat isn’t determined by the character’s actions, but by strategic placement of miniatures on a grid and waiting to see who can inflict more paper cuts on the other first.

    Additionally, the combat rules in the PHB slow down combat in every game I’ve played. Dungeons & Dragons touts itself as epic fantasy, but to me that means combat should be fast-paced and cinematic. When our role-playing sessions switched over to combat mode, the fun and speed just vanish as a simple thirty second fight takes thirty minutes to an hour to resolve.

    … and now to listen to the rest of the podcast.

  6. I don’t have statistics on game-store closings nationwide, but north Atlanta recently lost one of its two all-games-and-only-games stores. With Sword Of The Phoenix gone, only The Game Pit remains.

    (I leave out the Games Workshop store, which has moved so far into the exurbs that I haven’t been able to find it, or anyone who has ever seen it firsthand.)

    The ‘mixed-game’ stores (games & models, games & comics) seem to be faring better, though one of them has recently moved to a much smaller storefront. It may be that the ‘mixed stores’ are actually DEFLATING the game-store-closing figures, by keeping some square-footage of game product available while the store’s other merchandise covers the bills.

  7. Brian kept calling F10 the “10th edition”… it’s not. It’s the 10th ANNIVERSARY edition of the 1995 version of the rules. The core rules, Steffan’s writings, are completely unchanged from 10 years ago. The rest is stuff added on, mostly rules sets for specific applications.

    Not to say that’s a good thing. I think F10 was a lost opportunity and could have been a lot more than it was.

  8. More informal game store closing news.

    Of the game stores here in Tucson, only one closed its doors back in January of last year, Things For Thinkers (or was it Jan of ’04?). Popular thought was the owner was using revenue from the store to finance a sub shop. Once that shop was up and running, he decided to abruptly close Things — nobody knew the store was closing. Later that year a new store (Hat’s Games) opened. The owner of the store purchased the entire inventory from Things. We also have another new store that opened this year, but it mainly stocks Warmachine, CCGs, and has a very small section of RPGs (the Waldenbooks in the mall has a larger section).

  9. I was interested in the way that Chris described how the ordering process works (he has described it before). If the ordering process is so stuffed up, and even dealing with 7-9 vendors/distributors is hard why hasn’t someone solved this so retailers and vendors can go direct? Or do the vendors not have the stuff to fulfill orders? Given we solved these technology problems in the late 80s it surprises me that some b2b site doesn’t already cater for this.

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