* This is the last week for the GM profiles! Be sure to get yours in!
* Why is self-destruction a constant in all of John's characters?
* Fear the Con 2 is set to go! It's on for March 6th and 7th. Same location. Expect the sign-up site and other details in the near future. If you want to volunteer or just sound-off on the con planning, visit the forums here.
* Why we create characters the way we do.
* How the visual element of a movie can affect your experience of a book. I managed to track down the Harry Potter audio spoof John was talking about. WARNING!!! This is extremely not safe for work!!! Click here at your own risk. The Harry Potter 6 trailer, however, is perfectly safe.
* The episode 115 tutorials are NOT available on CD. We're having problems getting CafePress to process the sound files properly. However, if you want to create your own CD, we've compiled the MP3 files in a CD-ready format (intro music removed, etc) in a zip file that you can download here.
* World Wide Wing Night 5 on Saturday, November 8th is coming up soon. You can find details here.
* Our Warhammer Online guild is doing unexpectedly well! Join us on the Order side of the Thorgrim server. More information can be found here.
* What percentage of roleplaying books you own have you actually read?
* Should players be familiar with the games they're playing or expected to do any work outside of the game?
* Getting out of your character ruts and separating your own traits from those of your character.
* The episode 115 tutorials are NOT available on CD. We're having problems getting CafePress to process the sound files properly. However, if you want to create your own CD, we've compiled the MP3 files in a CD-ready format (intro music removed, etc) in a zip file that you can download here.
* World Wide Wing Night 5 on Saturday, November 8th (not 18th) is coming up soon. You can find details here.
* We've started a Warhammer Online guild, Order side, on the Thorgrim server. You can find details on our forums.
* Chris pulls out Pulp Dungeons from the gamer closet.
* A shout-out to Halbert for giving Dan a code for an item in Age of Conan!
* How our review show won't be a review show. If you want to start getting ready for that show, the first two topics we'll be discussing are Frank Miller's graphic novel, Dark Knight Returns, and the RPG, Justifiers. (Our forum user, JamsTheHobbit, provided us with a link to a Savage Worlds conversion you can find here.)
* Running a roleplaying game with young children present. The foam dice Dan describes are item #10966 in this catalog.
* Episode 100 is coming up next. If you have any questions for that show, please send them quickly to Dan or Luke. Also, there may be only a bonus episode since, since 100 will take two weeks to prepare.
* Don't forget Diecon, particularly if you're into Warmachine.
* The end of Living Greyhawk and start of Living Forgotten Realms.
* Playing a robot in a roleplaying game.
* Comparing point-buy and random rolling for RPG character creation.
* For episode 100, we'll be taking your questions about our views, hosts, or anything else you want to talk about. So please send your questions to Luke or Dan!
* If you're in the St. Louis area or interested in Warmachine, don't miss Diecon at the end of May!
* This past week, Dan was a guest host on two shows. The first is the Gamer Traveler episode in which Dan discusses his cruise. The second is Kore News with Walt Snider. If you'd like to discuss the topics on Walt's show, be sure to visit his forum!
* Karla talks about how many chairs have been destroyed in this house, and Luke recants.
* Drawing your players into the start of a roleplaying game campaign.
* Designing races for your RPG. And don't miss this segment's objection!
Hosts: Dan, John, Karla (briefly), Luke, Matt, Tex
* Yet another game derailed by a failure of the group template. We also offer some advice on meshing subplots with your main plot.
* Converting settings across or into rules systems. If you want to see the picture of Chad we mention, the original (potentially not safe for work) is here. The modified picture (safe for work) is here.
WARNING: The content of this episode is a little more coarse than usual.
* Contrary to what Luke thinks, Furreals are not sexual.
* Fear the Boot PSA #2. Here is the relevant link.
* Join us for Fear the Con on March 8th! Don't forget to donate to Tony Mast's Fear the Froot. And we hope you'll join us for World Wide Wing Night the Friday night before the con and the eye exams at Meyer Eye Care the Sunday after the con.
* The Warhammer 40,000 RPG.
* Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey" and its relevance to running a roleplaying game. Since Tex did so much research, we'll provide a short bibliography of his sources...
* If you want a Fear the Boot hoodie, you can find them here. Be sure to type "feartheboot" (without the quotes) in the coupon field. This offer may be for a limited time only, so if you want it, get it fast!
* Luke's Chromehounds group, Iron Tyrants. Friends lists for PS3, Xbox Live, and Wii.
* Dealing with "that one player" in your roleplaying game.
* Dan's bad gaming story...finally.
* Fear the Boot on Fanboy Smackdown doing an episode about Top Gun. FAIR WARNING! This episode was done at Gencon before we made our promise to lay off certain kinds of language and insulting certain people groups.
Like all Fear the Boot bonus episodes, this show is neither edited nor
on our usual subject. So if this is your first time here, we recommend
checking out a regular episode first. Also, excuse the jingling in the background. Two of my dogs were wrestling throughout the entire episode.
As for the episode, the title says it all! This show is about the pitfalls and success stories of internet dating!
* The Beatles version of Lord of the Rings?! Also, here's the song with Leonard Nimoy singing about Bilbo.
* Power 16 update. You can see the bracket here. And be sure to vote on the next round here.
* Fictional religions in a roleplaying game.
* Real religions in a roleplaying game.
* Religion versus RPG culture. Here is a link to the Chick tract we keep talking about. And here's a link to the profile of the guy that hosts the Gamers of Faith forum. Send him a PM if you want to get more info on joining it.
Though we've gotten out of the habit, we want to do something different every 10th episode. Since episode 50 falls pretty close to our one-year anniversary, we spend this show looking back on the first year of the show.
I assure you this is not a highlight reel of clips from previous shows, nor do we rehash old topics. Instead we talk about the things that have happened off mic, the phases the show has gone through, and how it's changed us as people.
If you're interested in the gaming talk, but not the show itself, this is probably not an episode for you. Skip over it and catch up with us again on episode 51. Otherwise, stick around for a look at what it's like to make Fear the Boot.
* Though it will have minimal impact on the show, we've changed our recording date from Saturday to Monday. Release will still be on Wednesdays.
* We're accepting donations to prepare gaming kits that will be sent down to Ziggurat Con, a gaming convention for soldiers in Iraq. You can donate using the "Make a Donation" button at the top of our site. If you prefer to send a check or other donation via postal mail, please send an email to Dan. All donations must be in by noon Central time on Saturday, May 12th. Our forum discussion on the effort can be found here. If you'd like to play a promo on your own show for the fund drive, you can find a 60-second MP3 here.
* Planning has begun for World Wide Wing Night 2. It will be on Friday, May 18th. Details can be found here.
* The single favorite RPG of each individual host and why we picked those games.
* A discussion on which actor made the best Batman.
* Tips for running a roleplaying game in the Western genre.
* Chris Engler is joining a charity bowling contest that will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. If RPG podcast listeners will pledge enough money, several companies (including Highmoon Media and Sword's Edge) have pledged to give away a ton of RPG-related prizes. You can find the details on his website or in our forums.
* A Bloodbowl League is forming, using a Java client so you can play online for free. You can find information in our forums and on the league's page.
* Congratulations to Zanian0 for winning our Chad: The Travesty contest. You can find his entry here.
* A discussion on Command & Conquer 3 leads into a longer discussion on strategy video games.
* Dealing with cliches when running a genre-based RPG. The Inspector Gadget joke John makes is in reference to this Robot Chicken clip.
In the second interview episode, we talk with Mike West from Lionhead Studios. Mike contributed to script development for Fable and is currently the lead script developer for Fable 2. Our conversation focuses on storytelling in video games, but also includes discussion of the relationship between video games and tabletop games, the future of the video game market, and the chances of small shops succeeding in the industry.
Since starting this podcast, Fear the Boot has made contact with quite a few professionals in the gaming market. Rather than let these opportunities go to waste, we decided to start a new interview series. For our kick-off show, we chat with Ryan Dancey about his experience working for Wizards of the Coast, the data he's seen on the gaming population, and the future of the hobby.
If you'd like to hear more from Ryan, be sure to check out his blog!
During the show, we make a few jokes about an "oooooh" noise. During the show I said I would link the video that comes from, so here it is. Please be aware it includes foul language.
* Katie, I can't understand the email address in your voicemail.
* A writer's critique group is running on our forum. To join, send a private message (on the forum) to Tony, who both heads up the critique group and is a host of the Fanboy Smackdown, movie review podcast.
* The new FTB banner page can be found here or under the "Banners" link at the top of the page.
* The FTB store can be found here or under the "Store" link at the top of the page. It features FTB 9000 Compliant, Baron von Badass, and show logo gear.
* Why do gamers all enter the hobby with the same preconceptions?
* Is it possible to bring what we enjoy from tabletop gaming into video games?
* Designing the economy and itemization for your new roleplaying game.
Like all Fear the Boot bonus episodes, this show is neither edited nor on our usual subject. So if this is your first time here, we recommend checking out a regular episode first.
This particular episode is primarily about "gamer shame", meaning the embarrassment most gamers feel about their chosen hobby. However, before we get into that, we spend a few minutes talking about turn-based strategy games and waning attention spans.
This episode was intended to be a warm-up for Mike, a new host we're bringing on at FTB to help out with several new efforts we're preparing to launch. However, true to form, we spend most of the show chasing tangents, the largest of which is a discussion on pipes and cigars.
Mike was a bit nervous behind the mic, but that's alright. Off the mic he's just as belligerent as the rest of us, so I know he'll be a great addition once he's more at ease.
Before I get to the show notes, a listener asked us to mention an upcoming gaming con. I didn't get the note in time for the recording, so I'll mention it here instead. The con is Chattacon in Chattanooga, Tennessee, January 26 - 28. You can find more information at Chattacon.org.
With that done, on to the show...
* The future of the gaming industry. The Ryan Dancey article we mention can be found here.
* Art for your new roleplaying game.
* Skies of Glass Q&A. The Gamer Traveler show we mention can be found here.
WARNING: This episode of Fear the Boot deals with handling sensitive subjects in your role-playing game. While it maintains the usual rating of a Fear the Boot episode, it includes candid discussions of social issues such as race, religion, politics, and violence. If you are bothered by such discussions or playing this show in the presence of anyone this content would be inappropriate for, please exercise proper discretion.
* World Wide Wing Night
* TV shows we miss.
* Too much versus too little micro-setting in a roleplaying game.
* Handling sensitive subjects when designing a new RPG.
To follow-up on our open letter in the previous episode, we're happy to announce the show is back on track and doing well! However, based on the suggestion of several listeners, FTB will now be released on Wednesdays instead of Mondays.
Continuing our game design series, we spend most of this episode talking about the role player-characters will assume in your game. We also talk about Christmas parties and our current contests, as well as giving a Skies of Glass Q&A.
One of our forum users, Crafterofcode, sent us a box of Australian candies. We spend this bonus episode sampling the candy and discussing international food.
We also bring Tex back via Skype, since he spent several years living in Europe. This was a great opportunity for us to test recording with Skype, which is something we may use for interviews in the future.
Before the bonus episode itself, I take a few minutes to address the listeners with an open letter we posted on our forums. It explains why the design series has been running behind and what we're doing to address the problem.
Our Xbox Live contest continues for another week. Don't forget to enter again, using the "Contest Entry
Form" link at the top of our site. Also, we forgot to mention it during the episode, but we've made a slight change to the rules. We realize Christmas time is drawing near, so if you don't have a Gamer Tag, but you intend to give this game as a gift to someone that will actually use it, you can still enter and win any of the prizes. We just want your word that this is going (for free) to someone that will play it.
During the episode, we mention a document share we're using on Google. If you want to set up one for your own project, you can find it here: docs.google.com.
Our first major topic of advice relates to forming a solid team to develop your roleplaying game. We then move on to talk about the importance of feel, which will guide your development of setting and rules.
We recorded this episode immediately after watching the two Dungeons & Dragons movies. We spend the first half of the episode reviewing those two films before we broaden the topic to talk about RPG movies in general. We toss out some games we'd like to see made into movies and theorize about why there haven't been more.
We were joined this episode by Tony from Fanboy Smackdown. If you're interested in hearing his all-movie podcast, you can find it at http://www.fanboysmackdown.com.
We start this episode with a bad player habit that we missed in our previous two shows. After that, we take on a series of topics related to character creation: unlisted perks and penalties, restricting races and classes, obscure supplements that can wreck games, and player illustrations.
This is normally a pretty light-hearted show, however, not everything in life is a joke.
Heart disease is the number one killer in the developed world, and we at FTB want to do our part to help. We would like to release the following PSA that has a simple -- yet important -- test you can use to determine your risk of heart disease.
This bonus episode is a round-up of unrelated stories from the hosts. As with all bonus episodes, this is both unedited and off topic. If this is your first time here, we suggest checking out a regular episode first!
Before digging into the episode, we mention two art-related things. First, there's an art contest for drawing Baron von Badass. If you want to enter, you can find the relevant information here: http://feartheboot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1004. Second, I mention that I'm looking for artists for character portrait commissions. It's something I'm doing over the longterm due to cost, but if you're interested in doing it, you can post something on the forums or just send me an email.
With that out of the way, we wrap up our list of bad player habits. Obviously this is part 2 of 2, with the list started in the previous episode.
We kick off the episode with a story about our trip to a hibachi restaurant. When it's time to discuss roleplaying games, we begin with a look at what sort of person wants to be a GM. We then work through a list of common GMing mistakes and how to avoid them.
We recorded this episode live in the gaming area of the Archon sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming convention. If this is your first time listening, this episode is not recorded or presented in the way we normally do a show. You may want to check out a normal recording (like episode 21) first.
We devoted this episode to talking about the con and offering some advice on how to run or play in a successful roleplaying game while at a convention.
If you want to hear more of the coverage we did at Archon or see any of the pictures we took, check out the feed at http://archonstl.libsyn.com. We're still working on that page, so many audio files and pictures are not yet present. Please keep checking back, as we intend to have the whole thing done by the end of the week.
We'd like to remind everyone FTB will be at Archon this Thursday - Sunday, so if you're going to be near the St. Louis area, please stop by and say, "hi!" In addition to our panels and guest interviews, our FTB ladies will be running a HAFU event to protest the Zombie Squad's treatment of the undead.
Episode 21 starts off with the winner of our "Regular Joe" character contest. We'd like to congratulate wmcduff for his entry, and we'll be contacting him with his GeekLabel prize code shortly.
The advice topics for this show are the use of foreshadowing and dreams in your roleplaying game, as well as how to handle party in-fighting.
You should quickly realize this episode isn't quite right. This is part of a promotion that's being done between a dozen gaming podcasts. One week in September, each show will be run by the hosts of a different show. The strangers you're hearing on Fear the Boot are Mick and Rae from Misfit Brew. In this show, Mick and Rae talk about RPGs, focusing on Rae's impressions of the hobby as a non-gamer.
If you want to hear your "home team" FTB hosts, you can find us over at the Roundtable. For a direct link to the show we did for them, click right here.
A big thanks to Mick for hosting this show and letting us host one of his! And let me wrap this up by giving you the relevant links for Mick and Rae...
Before every show, we go through a dysfunctional routine which we describe at the start of this episode. We also talk about the market penetration of podcasts in the gaming community and one of the few fixtures of gaming life we haven't yet discussed: junk food!
Our main topic is evil characters and evil parties, though we didn't realize just how big the subject was until we started talking about it. This is one we might revisit in more detail at some point in the future.
At the end of the show, we announce our next contest. This one is the exact opposite of our "freak show" contest. To enter, head to our forums and look for the "contests" topic area. In 500 words or less, give us a deep and interesting character whose race/class is as boring as possible. We want to demonstrate that interesting characters have nothing to do with concept, so blow us away with your secretaries, garbage collectors, farmers, and the like! The prize is a $30 gift code for GeekLabel.com.
About a week ago, I was invited to join the guys from Fist Full of Comics (http://www.fistfullofcomics.com) in an interview with the creators of the World of Warcraft TCG. If you'd like to hear that interview, you can find the MP3 here...
In episode 18, we declared a particular character as the winner of our "freak show" contest. However, the winner declined the prize and, due to some technicalities, may not be eligible anyway. The prize therefore goes to Mister Plug with his living marionette. If you haven't read his character, you can find it in the "Contests" area of our forum.
Congratulations, Mister Plug! We'll be emailing you a confirmation shortly!
Just as I promised on the forums, here's a bonus episode to go hand-in-hand with episode 18!
We intended to make this bonus episode about our take on where Battletech went wrong. However, we ended up on so many tangents that the show is really more about where creative endeavors in general go wrong.
As you probably know by now, these bonus episodes are neither edited nor quality controlled. So if this is your first time here, please check out a regular episode to find out what our show is really like.
In this show we cover some fond memories of FASA product catalogs, name the winner of our "freak show" character contest, offer our thoughts on card games, kick around some settings we wish had their own roleplaying games, and offer our thoughts on the use of electronic devices to aid your games.
Our next regular episode will be posted tonight (Wednesday night). I apologize for how late the show iwas this week. When we started FTB, our intention was to release the shows late Sunday night, with people picking them up Monday morning. Lately, we've consistently missed that target. Rest assured we're were on some changes in the way we produce the shows to correct this problem.
I want to remind everyone of the contest we're running right now. You can find details in this episode, the show notes for episode 16, or our forums.
Continuing a topic we started in bonus episode 7, we spend some time talking about spaceship combat in roleplaying games. Then we offer some insight and advice about running your game in an established setting with a single, pervasive storyline.
We're probably just as opinionated about video games as we
are roleplaying games, but the former just isn't what this podcast is
about. However, for this bonus episode, we decided to talk only about
You guys know the drill. These bonus episodes are not edited or formatted,
so the quality of our normal shows isn't really there. We just make these things for fun.
At the start of this episode, we mention a WoW guild Fear the Boot listeners and hosts have started. If you're interested in joining, you can find details at: http://www.feartheboot.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=18
After that, we give our follow-up on Gencon, some response to the discussions our "freak show" commentary in episode 13 started, and offer advice for dealing with absentee players in your roleplaying game.
The reason we went to Gencon this year was to participate in a big podcasting event called "Gencon Almost Live". Though we screwed up and didn't find our way into the mix, we still hope you guys will head over and check it out. You can find the stuff at...
If you want to hear our brief and tragic take on Gencon, scroll down right here to episode 14.
This episode was supposed to be our farewell to John, who's leaving for Rome soon. However, it quickly degrades into tangents about travel, foreign beer, and international family.
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! This show is far edgier than anything we have ever done before. We poke fun at some very serious issues, but please keep in mind we're just joking. If you're easily offended, this is probably not the episode for you.
As always, please keep in mind that these bonus episodes are not on the same topics or of the same quality as our normal work. We do not script, edit, or quality control these extra shows.
Episode 13 indeed!We
found ourselves down a host and had several other problems getting this show ready. But we made it through
nonetheless.In this episode, we talk about
how our roleplaying games have changed as we got older, RPG novels, and the art and science of
UPDATE: True to form, unlucky episode 13 got uploaded wrong. If you picked up this episode and it had a length right around one hour, please download again. The correct version should be 54 minutes. I apologize to anyone that picked up our unedited mess.
This episode is all about the roleplaying environment, both inside and outside of the game.We talk about the best sort of room to game in, eating while gaming, using mood music, and we offer advice to Game Masters on creating a good setting.
It's also worth mentioning that within the first minute or two, Chad derailed this show with the most memorable tangent I'm guessing we'll ever have.
This is quite possibly the most pointless and meandering show we have ever recorded. So why are we releasing it? Because these bonus episodes never come with a quality guarantee! This show is primarily our follow-up to the ladies podcast (episode 10), but we also talk about our ideas for future "special" episodes.
Since several people have asked about the cons we'll be attending,
we start episode 11 with our convention schedule.We then pause to talk about our first two
episodes which seem to have offended a few first-time listeners.While we won't take them down, we do suggest
you start listening at later episodes instead.
Chris sent us an email about judging morality by periods in
history, which we discuss.We also
respond to an email from Harping Mick who requested our detailed views on
LARPing.Finally, we offer some advice
on surviving a campaign's dreaded first game and then close out by listing a
few of our favorite "game killers".
The third bonus episode -- and the final one on this topic, at least for now -- is a discussion of the internet-related tasks that go into making a podcast. We talk about posting the show online, getting listed in podcast directories, and so on. This episode was recorded several weeks ago, but I was a bit slow getting it posted, so expect some "dated" comments.
After listening to all three bonus episodes in this series, I think I'd like to re-record these at some point, making them more complete and more serious. We've learned quite a bit even in the short time since these were recorded. We made these episodes because people asked us how we made our show, not because we considered ourselves particular experts on the subject.
Also, a reminder to everyone that we do not edit these episodes for quality, so expect a lot of background noise and other screw-ups that don't normally appear in our shows.
Episode 10 is an anomaly for our show.For this one episode, we turn over the mics
to our wives.They give us a woman's
perspective on gaming and what it's like to be a non-gamer married to a gaming
If this is your first time with Fear the Boot, please be
aware that this is not the normal format for our show.If you're looking to see what this show is typically like, we recommend you go back and listen to episode 9 first.
As you may have noticed, our forums seem to come and go from one moment to the next. My webhost has told me there's another database running on our server that has some runaway scripts. Supposedly, those scripts keep bringing the server down and they're working to fix the problem. Hopefully this will pass soon.
Though this is ultimately beyond my direct control, I still apologize for the inconvenience or annoyance this is causing our listeners.
After a really messy conversion, the forums are now up and running on the new hardware. Unfortunately, we had some database problems after the conversion, so we had to roll back to an older copy. A bunch of posts and users got lost because of that rollback. I apologize for that, and even if this new hardware is no better than the old stuff, this migration was such a cluster that I have no interest in moving again.
If you lost your user account due to this rollback, I hope you'll come back and join us a second time!
We're in the middle of our site migration right now (see previous post). The good news is that our web content was migrated flawlessly. The bad news is that our database migration has hit a hitch. I'm working with tech support to get this straightened out. In the meantime, the forums and resources section will be temporarily offline. We should have this worked out by tomorrow morning!
The content of our website is divided between two hosting companies. The blog and media files are on Liberated Syndication, but the forums, resource page, and the domain itself are located with a standard webhost.
We've been having some problems with that second host. We're on a shared server there, and it seems our current location is exceptionally lagged out. I'd wager we're sharing the box with someone that generates enormous amounts of traffic during the day. To remedy this, the host has agreed to move our site, but any content located there may disappear for a few hours.
If you attempt to use our site and get errors, please just check back in a little bit. To reach our media files during that downtime, you may want to go directly to our Liberated Syndication site since the primary domain will be busted.
I apologize for any inconvenience this causes. We'll have it resolved soon! And when we do, our forum users should (hopefully) be enjoying much faster page loads.
We were down a host for this episode, and a bit more serious
than normal, but we still covered a lot of good information.
The episode starts with a discussion of the overuse of
setting in some campaigns, followed by our musings about D&D alignment, character
behavior, and real-life violence around the gaming table.We struggle with the age-old question of
"tail or wings" and then finally (having promised this for many
episodes) bash out our opinion of the d20 system.
We conclude with an email from a listener and some advice
for unusually large or small roleplaying groups -- including the possible use
of multiple GMs to co-manage a game.
We start this show by discussing various character- and player-related problems that can occur during a roleplaying game. Topics include Adam's difficulty naming his characters, deciding between 1st and 3rd person RP, ridiculous inventories, and dealing with "setting lawyers". The last half of the show is spent discussing the design and exceution of combat encounters, as well as handling the positive and negative consequences that follow.
* FYI, the "two sets of keys" comment was just a figure of speech. None of the hosts actually does anything like that.
Episode 7 begins with us trying to figure out how to
name.He regales us with his single, tragic experience with D&D, the details of which get us thinking about how roleplayers tend to insert RPG
elements into other areas of their lives.
We take some time to thank the other podcasts that have been
uniquely supportive of Fear the Boot.This includes HarpingMick of HarpingMonkey.com, JJ from Fist Full of
Comics, and Chuck and Lonnie of Dragon's Landing Inn.
Since we had the entries in hand, we select a winner for the
"origin of Fear the Boot" contest and tell you the real story behind
our name.Adam had a Rifts book handy,
so we also pause to discuss the ups and downs of the Palladium games and
generic rules systems in general.
Our advice portion focuses on dealing with players that break
your plot, straying places you never expected them to go.We offer quite a few tips for getting them
back on track and keeping them there without resorting to heavy-handed tactics.
Our second bonus episode covers the hardware (mics, mixer, etc) we use to make the podcast. I want to remind everyone the bonus episodes -- unlike our regular shows -- are completely unedited. There's no intro music and our mistakes are all left in.
Episode 6 begins with a discussion on using the Monstrous Manual as a campaign setting and plotline! Please don't ever do that. We then pause to remind everyone about the ways you can get in touch with us, such as Odeo, email, and our new forums.
Since several people have been asking where the name "Fear the Boot" came from, we decided to turn it into a contest. All you have to do is come up with a good story about how you think "Fear the Boot" originated. Please keep it to about one paragraph in length, with no obscenity, and post your entry on our forum. The winner will have their entry read on the next podcast and get a custom forum-user title.
Next, we read an email from Scott, answering his question about how to find a replacement gamer for his group. That transitions into a conversation about playing characters that lend themselves to shallow stereotypes (a thought I don't think we sufficiently developed). Finally, after asking ourselves why we talk about Shadowrun so much, we roll into the advice portion with tips on creating a good plot. Since we can't resist tangents, we also give some tips on how to quickly name the NPCs your players come across in your game.
The link to our Odeo voicemail was broken. Whoops. It's fixed now, so if you head over to our "Links" section you can now properly send us your comments. A big thanks to Chuck from Dragon's Landing for pointing that out to me!
This is the first in a series of bonus episodes we want to release. These shows are 10 - 20 minutes long and cover topics that don't fit in the scope of our normal podcasts. They're completely unedited, so there's no intro music and our flubs have been left in. We won't have a bonus show every week, but when we do, we'll be releasing them on Wednesday night.
The first three bonus episodes talk about the creative, hardware, and marketing aspects of making this podcast. We made them in response to a listener that asked how we put the show together. If this topic doesn't particularly interest you, or you don't like the prospect of a rather raw recording, you won't miss too much by skipping over it.
If you've been following this podcast for any length of time,
you've heard me talk about the significance of episode 5. Just in case
you're new, I'll review: traditional wisdom says it takes about five episodes
to work out your creative voice and the show's rhythm. I don't know if
that estimate is correct for every show, but it was certainly true for
us. Episode 5 was very easy to record and edit. In fact, I only
noticed one production error: I forgot to introduce the hosts. A bit
embarrassing, but hardly a major problem.
Since recording episode 5 went so well, we had some time leftover at the end of
our session. We used that to record bonus episodes we'll be releasing on
Wednesday nights for the next couple of weeks. These bonus shows are only
about 10 - 15 minutes in length. They're very casual, meaning they are
not edited in any way. It's just us chatting for a few minutes about
topics that don't fit within our normal episodes.
The first three shows discuss the creative, hardware, and internet aspects of
making the podcast (in that order). They're primarily aimed at anyone
who's either looking to make their own show or just curious how we do it.After that, we've got several other items on
tap, all of them a bit off topic from our normal shows.
Before I get into the content of episode 5, I want to draw your attention to something. At the time we recorded this episode, we had not yet gotten in touch with the folks at GOBLIN. That has changed since the podcast was recorded, so we no longer need any help with that.
With that out of the way, let's get down to business.
We start the episode off with some updates on the networks we've been getting listed on. Among them is Odeo, which you can use to send us voicemail. You can find a link directly to our Odeo account in the "Links" section of our website.
Due to the amount of feedback it's generated, we clarify our views on Shadowrun and Champions. After that, we spend some time reminding everyone of the real gems of old and out-of-print games, and we think back to the "girlfriend games" that got our significant others into the hobby.
Our gaming advice portion of the show focuses on making good NPCs (non-player characters) for your roleplaying game. As of this post, I don't have our sample NPCs posted to the Resource section of our site, but that will be corrected by the end of Monday.
I have quite a few announcements I've been saving for episode 5.However, due to the amount of feedback we've gotten on one particular issue,
I feel I should comment on it before then.
In episode 2, Chad
and John made some negative comments about Shadowrun.I think those comments were not given
sufficient context in the show, and even worse, I didn't speak up to juxtapose
what was being said.I want to save the
meat of this topic for episode 5, but I'd like to deliver the punch-line now: I
like Shadowrun.I enjoy running and
playing the game, which is one of the reasons I chose it for our mock
campaign.Kevin and Tim were not present
for episode 2, but let me assure you they also enjoy Shadowrun.
Tune in to episode 5 if you want to hear us explain why we
love the game or hear Chad
explain why he doesn't.We'll also be
talking about how you can leave us voicemail, our experience with the Champions
system, a new 40k product, and some tips on designing NPCs for your campaign.
First and most importantly, I wanted to let you guys know we're having some problems with our domain email. It looks like they're getting blocked by some SPAM filters. So if you wrote us but haven't heard back, that's probably why. Until I can hammer out why that's happening, I've created a Gmail account to respond from.
If you've already listened to episode 4, I'd like to explain the "dead space" thing. When we make these episodes, we inevitably screw up. We get distracted, lose our train of thought, and so on. During editing, I typically delete these errors so you guys get clean audio. However, for whatever reason, the other four hosts absolutely insisted I leave one in this episode. So I hope you enjoy our mess-up, complete with a brief song of "Dead Space" to the tune of Ogden Edsl's "Dead Puppies".
That aside, I think the episode came out pretty good. If was more informative and less comedic than the previous episodes, but that wasn't anything we planned. I'm sure our episodes will waffle quite a bit between information and comedy, and this one just so happened to be on the information side of the aisle. I was also talking a bit fast, but that's something I can easily address in the future.
I hope you guys enjoy the episode! Write us back and let us know what you thought.
Why exactly do we play roleplaying games? Episode 4 starts with that question getting kicked around. As we try to answer it, we also think back to a GURPs "trip to the lake" game we saw being played at a gaming con.
Tim brings in some material on the new realm, Ptolus, which we review. Then we offer GMs some advice on designing the campaign that will tie your individual game sittings together.
Though we're still fairly new to podcasting, we did a lot of research before we kicked this show off. Even in the short time it's been running, we've had several people ask us for advice on putting together podcasts of their own, getting the right equipment, and all of that. We don't want to interrupt our normal schedule of talking about RPGs, but we're thinking about making a "bonus" episode in the near future that just talks about the technical and creative aspects of getting a podcast running. Would you guys be interested in that?
Sorry I didn't get this post up sooner. I wasn't sure how many people even read these things until I started getting emails asking why this one wasn't up. I guess that answered my question.
Before I talk about episode 3, I'd like to say I'm glad to have the new site colors up. If you're not seeing those, hit the old "Refresh" button on your browser. The original colors were based on a template provided by the host, and they were a bit...um...cheerful. Yeah, that's a safe word to describe it. Looking good now though. A big thanks to Tim for the logo drawing and revised colors! Also a big thanks to Karla for helping me get a clean, user-friendly layout together when we kicked this site off a few weeks ago.
I know we keep saying this, but I want to extend another big "thanks" to the folks that post or email us about the show. You guys rock, and you're one of the big reasons we're excited to hit the mics and do it again.
Now, on to the podcast review...
I felt episode 3 was a solid step up from episode 2, particularly in the advice portion of the show. It didn't have the sort of drastic improvement that episode 2 had from episode 1, but then again, I'm not sure we needed it. Did we need tweaking? Yes. But another overhaul? Probably not.
This episode was a bit longer than episode 2, but still within our goal. We want our shows to be between 30 and 45 minutes. This one was 44:34, so we're still in that realm. I'm not sure what length our audience prefers yet, so hopefully you guys don't object to the longer format!
Walking away from 3, only one thing really concerned me: I had mixed feelings about the presence of six hosts. When we started this show, we invited seven people to work on it. One declined, six accepted. As hectic as our schedules are, I just assumed this would be a rotating cast! I never thought everyone would show up at once.
As I listened to the show, I think the hosting still worked out ok. We had some moments of crosstalk, but I think that's something we can nail down as we build our chemistry and rhythm on the mics. I don't think we'll consistently have all of the hosts present for every show anyway, but if we do, that's just fine with me. Though some of them talk less than others, these are all good guys with great stuff to say. Everything else we can get down with experience.
We kick this show off with an explanation of how making a podcast is like running a roleplaying game. The hosts are introduced, and then John and Chad tell us their tongue-in-cheek (?) vision of a roleplaying game with just one character stat.
The product we review this show is very close to home: our own podcast. We go over the critiques our listeners have sent us and talk about the changes we've made over the past several episodes.
The advice portion covers the art and science of creating solid characters, with special emphasis on background and personality. We also explain the virtues of intentionally writing in weaknesses.
I wrote a review after episode 1, giving my take on what we did right and wrong.I'd like to do that again for episode 2.
I'm not sure if these posts will become a permanent tradition of mine, but I'd like to do them for at least the first five episodes.Why five?Almost every source I've read agrees it takes about five episodes to get the format and creative voice of a podcast straight.Sure, you need to improve all the time to stay on top of your game, but your first several episodes is when you have to work the hardest to get things right.You can research yourself silly, but some things just come best through trial and error.
Before I dive into my comments on episode 2, I'd like to thank everyone that's been giving us feedback.Some of the things you guys said just confirmed what we already knew, while some was completely new information to us.Regardless, all of it was important since it's hard to notice these things from our side of the mic.So please keep the compliments and concerns coming in!
On to the review...
I hoped episode 2 would be a big improvement over episode 1, and without a doubt I got that.We made a few improvements to the sound quality, implemented a new outline for the show, and covered some good material.There's also broad agreement in our feedback that we have a great mix of personalities, making the show fun to listen to.
Despite these leaps forward, we still have things to fix for episode 3.I think we need to be a little more informational, especially during the review and advice portion of the show.I'd also like for us to balance our perspectives with more positive affirmations.Sure, like most gamers we're pretty cynical, but let's talk more about what we like and what works, not just the things that annoy us.
We're going to kick off episode 3 with a discussion of the feedback we've been getting, followed by some tips on character creation.I have the show notes in front of me right now, and this is shaping up to be an awesome episode.I look forward to making it!
One last tidbit before I sign out. A few paragraphs up, I mentioned we have an outline for the show we started using in episode 2.It worked well, so we'll likely stick to that for many episodes to come.In case you're wondering, that outline is...
a. introduction of hosts and topics (1 - 2 minutes)
For the next several episodes, we'll be using a mock Shadowrun game to walk you through the do's and don'ts of roleplaying games. In this podcast, we talk about the first step a group should take when starting a game: creating a group template. We explain what group templates are, why to build one, and how to make them effective.
Before digging into that, we take a look back at our first gaming experiences, followed by a discussion about gaming in hobby shops and other public places. There's also a brief chat about the changing definition of what's "dorky" and a review of Shadowrun's previous editions.
With episode 1 now live, I've had some time to scrutinize our work and think about the things we've accomplished.
Before we started this show, we spent weeks reading books and browsing forums to learn everything we could about podcasting. We were excited about the effort, but knew very little about the hardware and software involved. We came a long way, and considering this was our first attempt at podcasting, I'm very pleased with the quality of our first show. I think we found a solid creative mix and discussion format, and the recording itself sounds good.
However, some things just come from experience. We learned a lot about the compressor and sound editing software as we made this recording. There are some rough edges in episode 1, particularly in regard to volume balance. I may go back
and fiddle with the recording at some point in the future, but for now I'll let it be. I don't want to risk over-editing, damaging the show as I attempt to straighten out relatively minor flaws.
I think we also spent that episode just getting comfortable behind the mic and testing our interpersonal dynamic. I want to shift the show to be a bit more informational in the future, though without losing our wit.
I'm very excited about recording episode 2 this weekend. Armed with everything we learned from making the prior episode, I'm confident the next one will be just as entertaining, while having an even higher polish.
After a conversation about why roleplaying game stories are so terrible to listen to, we move on to the types of gaming groups and a debate about resolving situations where players have a social wit their characters lack (and vice versa).