Fear the Boot

An irreverent look at tabletop roleplaying games and a little bit more.

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* (0:28) Please let us know if you're not receiving your Fear the Con 8 Kickstarter rewards. It appears they're getting blocked as spam.

* (2:23) Our experience at a D&D trivia night for Tim Meehan. You can still donate here. What it felt like being the middle child of the roleplaying hobby.

* (10:13) Getting started with D&D 5th edition.

* (14:52) Comparisons between Pathfinder and D&D 5th edition.

* (22:21) The table-side value of giving more XP to low level characters.

* (26:42) Differences between Adventure League and Pathfinder Society.

* (29:28) The position of Adventure League to leverage off of Pathfinder Society. The familiar versus the new.

* (33:28) The difference between min-maxing and an effective character. Stack Exchange for roleplaying games.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0377.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:37 AM

* (0:44) Being a fan for a second time.

* (2:24) What's missing in American politics.

* (4:26) The winners of the Battletech drawing. More giveaways are coming very soon, so keep up with Fear the Boot's Twitter feed. You can find Chris' Twitter feed here and Dan's here.

* (5:34) The Baby Shoes flash fiction anthology.

* (6:01) The Kickstarter for Loaded Up and Truckin'.

* (6:41) Head-canon. What it is and why we have it.

* (17:04) Handling contradictory head-canons within a gaming group.

Hosts: Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0376.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:05 AM

* (0:32) Medieval torture chairs.

* (1:20) Battletech box set giveaway. All you need to do is follow us on Twitter and tweet #GenCon2015 along with the name of a 'Mech you like. Don't know the 'Mechs? Just tell us that, or you can find some here.

* (1:50) Additional giveaways at the whim of Chris.

  • Dark Souls: Prepare to Die (PC)
  • Motocross Madness (XBOX)
  • BattleBlock Theater (XBOX)
  • Mark of the Ninja (XBOX)
  • Dungeon Fighter LIVE: Fall Of Hendon Myre (XBOX)
  • Orcs Must Die! (XBOX)

* (4:15) Designing a villain for an RPG. The importance of depth. How to make your players care about him/her/it.

* (9:34) The force of nature.

* (13:13) The unstoppable force.

* (17:14) The ends justify the means.

* (2037) The fallen hero.

* (21:45) The madman.

* (23:53) The selfish or greedy. Slick Rick's Children's Story.

* (26:46) Personal enemy.

* (28:41) Pure evil.

* (35:24) Differing moral priorities or perspectives.

* (37:19) Someone panicked.

* (38:56) The fanatic.

* (40:27) A relatable but selfish need.

* (42:20) The devotee.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0375.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:13 AM

* (1:00) Battletech box set giveaway. All you need to do is follow us on Twitter and tweet #GenCon2015 along with the name of a 'Mech you like. Don't know the 'Mechs? Just tell us that, or you can find some here.

* (1:28) The D&D trivia night for Tim Meehan at the Fantasy Shop. The flyer with all of the details can be found here. The event will be held at the Fantasy Shop's new location. You can also donate online.

* (2:52) Pick up a copy of the Baby Shoes flash fiction anthology!

* (4:03) Getting started with Battletech. Catalyst has a portal page for new players, but I'll link the five things I think you need most below.

* (20:04) My preferred editions of Battletech and Mechwarrior.

* (21:51) The "Klans".

* (22:28) How I would have handled Battletech's history in the latter days of FASA.

Hosts: Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0374.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:08 AM

* (1:02) Asheville Scarefest in Asheville, North Carolina on October 23 - 25. You can find them at their website or on Facebook.

* (1:44) Fear the Boot is now available on SoundCloud!

* (2:30) Battletech box set giveaway. All you need to do is follow us on Twitter and tweet #GenCon2015 along with the name of a 'Mech you like. Don't know the 'Mechs? Just tell us that, or you can find some here.

* (4:26) Some of the products I saw doing very well at Gen Con include...

* (7:23) A big thanks to Derek Knutsen from THE ESTABLiSHED FACTS and Tim Patrick from Critical Glitch for helping me get some con-exclusives.

* (9:14) My love-hate relationship with con-exclusives.

* (13:07) Identifying with a faction in a work of fiction.

* (21:51) An upcoming crossover with One Shot Podcast.

Hosts: Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0373.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:49 AM

* (1:09) Comics and roleplaying games. Early Garfield and Garfield Minus Garfield.

* (14:10) Our dearth of comic book and superhero games.

* (26:50) Superhero games we've played recently.

* (42:15) Guilty pleasures.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0372.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:18 AM

* (0:23) Why Brodeur is still on the show. The card game, Poop.

* (9:49) Dan versus his Dad.

* (13:43) Brodeur versus the city of Valley Park.

* (20:14) Chad versus the purse snatcher.

* (28:55) Dan versus his dogs.

* (32:13) Chad versus a car door.

* (35:29) Wayne’s Mom versus some off-brand non-SUV.

* (38:39) Drivers versus heart attacks.

* (40:34) Brodeur versus his parents.

* (52:38) Continuity in character backgrounds.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0061.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 2:31 AM

* (1:03) Sojourn Volume 3 is accepting submissions. You can find the details here.

* (2:03) Collaborative game building on our forums, run by Gyro LC.

* (7:46) Being the group dad (or mom) and organizing events when no one else will.

* (22:31) Wallflowers. People that want to be at a game but simply don’t participate very much.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0371.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:33 PM

* (0:35) A thank you note for our community’s donations to The Women’s Safe House.

* (3:05) Charity fundraiser for Tim Meehan. You can donate online, or join the D&D trivia night and silent auction at the St. Charles Fantasy Shop, on August 22nd at 6:00pm. Tables are up to 8 people, costing $20 per person.

* (5:56) The real Mee-how returns! Michal E. Cross does an excellent layout job on Silent Memories. You can get the PDF for free here or view the full Morning Skye Studio site here.

* (13:13) A new take on handling large groups of players, drawing from Chad’s experience at Fear the Con 8, running a game for 16 people. The recipe for Chad’s jambalaya.

* (20:14) Making sure that many people have someone’s attention and something to do.

* (25:17) The value of having connections to other player-characters.

* (30:48) Making every player important to the game.

* (34:33) Giving each PC a simple uniqueness.

* (41:38) Player inaction, whether because the player is a wallflower or it just takes a long time to reach their turn.

* (47:48) Structure and personality.

* (53:07) How to end the game.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0370.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (1:45) Setting up the topic and defining some terms. Project Rho.

* (8:06) Chapter 1: The nature of space combat. The X-Wing and acceleration.

* (23:40) Chapter 2: Weapons, distance, and targeting.

* (36:44) Chapter 3: Fighting on the broadside.

* (48:35) Chapter 4: Submarines and battleships. Finding an enemy ship in the vastness of space.

* (57:30) Chapter 5: Faster-than-light and long-distance travel. NASA’s advanced propulsion. The 2-dimensional race track. Alcubierre drives.

* (1:14:26) Chapter 6: Relativistic Kill Vehicles.

* (1:19:18) Chapter 7: Robots vs Humans.

* (1:23:35) Chapter 8: Ship damage and shields.

* (1:25:54) Chapter 9: The influence of the Air Force. Tabletop games.

Hosts: Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0060.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 3:15 AM

* (0:31) Introducing James and Kat from One Shot Podcast.

* (5:14) The history and structure of the show.

* (9:05) The value of an actual-play for introducing people to games.

* (15:03) Production and editing.

* (21:42) Distilling a game into an hour of recording.

* (31:23) One game on a desert island. Orson Welles and the green peaness.

* (40:48) The impact of having an improv troupe in a gaming group.

* (43:37) The effect of the podcast on their own gaming schedule.

* (45:46) The role of Vlad the Muppet.

* (47:58) Empathy, imagination, and roleplaying. The book, Zapp!

* (57:55) You can find both shows on their website and follow them on Twitter (James here, Kat here).

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan

Guests: James, Kat

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0035.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 5:47 AM

* (0:32) Welcoming Erik Carl from Metagamers Anonymous.

* (2:52) TsunamiCon in Wichita, Kansas, this October.  You can support its Kickstarter here!

* (8:02) Judge Dan.

* (16:20) The difficulty of mixing different fandoms within a single convention, particularly when people take the geek hierarchy a bit too seriously.

* (34:36) Things from our roleplaying careers we’d like to try again, including botched characters and incomplete campaigns.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Erik, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0369.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:11 AM

* (1:38) Introducing Derek Knutsen from THE ESTABLiSHED FACTS and Universal Storytelling System.

* (3:28) Fear the Fruit.  You can make donations here.  Please also consider donating toiletries and non-perishable food.

* (7:39) Fear the Con’s official charities this year: Little Red Door and the Ferguson Public Library.  You can find more information and make donations here.

* (15:38) The dungeon crawl, sellout, and other ways to get involved.  You can contact Derek through the above sites or on the forums.

* (21:06) When dice define the NPC, whether through stats or repeated success/failure.

* (29:29) If you need a particular result, then don’t roll.  The one-electron universe.

* (34:44) Adding depth by ferreting out what the die rolls could mean about a character.

* (42:40) Why we’re taking a year off from Fear the Con in 2016.  You can hear Dan on Metagamers Anonymous here.

* (45:48) Dan gets gnoll coins from Rare Elements Foundry.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Derek, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0368.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:32 AM

* (0:31) Brodeur learns about Chris’ age.

* (1:26) Fear the Con 8.

* (5:43) What Brodeur would have done in Chad’s failed trip to a game shop.  What he would want someone to do if that happened in his own shops.

* (17:16) What is the role of a game shop, anymore?  Brodeur takes Peter Adkison’s job.  The effect of tipping.

* (32:02) The value of modules.  The post by Cantor can be found here.

* (36:39) Modules as reference material, apart from their intended plot.

* (44:44) When the GM lacks the time to write a plot.

* (45:56) Helping with creative struggles. We steal some slang from Gamerstable.

* (51:35) Not everyone is a professional game designer.

* (53:39) Modules as brownie mix…? Knowing the material and marking what’s important.

* (58:34) The shared experience of having played the same plot as other gaming groups.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Chris, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0367.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:48) Sojourn Volume 2.

* (1:55) Gnarl on Twitter.

* (4:04) Pat vs Warmachine.

* (12:22) The consumer side of war games.

* (21:33) Mordheim and Necromunda.

* (26:34) New editions and serious fun.

* (39:14) Battletech and other games.

* (49:33) The importance of the right win/loss ration.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0059.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 12:37 AM

* (0:29) Fear the Con 8 has successfully funded!  You can create and sign up for games here.

* (1:45) Chris’ audio comedy, Gamers Behaving Badly, is attempting to fund a second season.  You can support that here.

* (2:51) Our expectations of what a game shop should be like.  How that differs from our expectations for any other kind of store.  What would Bob Arens do?

* (22:41) Our expectations from a game company.

* (23:28) Content accessibility.

* (24:08) Product cost.

* (26:58) Content portability.  The d20 SRD.

* (32:08) Modules and other forms of plot assistance.  More and More by Captain Hollywood Project.

* (40:09) Listening to the fans or leading by artistic vision.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0366.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:37) The surprising efficacy of ThunderShirts.

* (1:58) Fear the Con 8’s Kickstarter is still up and running.

* (4:01) A remote-play Battletech game using MapTool, TokenTool, Hexographer, HeavyMetal, and some assets from MegaMek.

* (12:24) The five werewolves.

* (16:54) Our first Gen Con. Then our second Gen Con, where we formed a werewolf tribe.

* (22:12) Why the favorite of the five might be the worst choice to play. Submitting to the GMs ideas.

* (43:54) Dan uses a sports metaphor to explain Werewolf.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Julia

Direct download: feartheboot_0365.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

Fear the Con 8’s Kickstarter

Direct download: feartheboot_PSA_0006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (1:29) Need to kill a bug or a baby?  Grab Sojourn 2!

* (5:35) Getting superheroes right.

* (8:36) The kinds of superheroes.

* (12:10) Not designing the character around the powers.

* (17:22) The importance of aesthetics.

* (18:49) Sidekicks.

* (23:44) Schedules suck.  Protecting your time.  Game creep.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0364.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:44 AM

DISCLAIMER: While profanities were censored from this episode, the subject matter is still a bit more crass than what Fear the Boot normally covers.  Personal discretion is advised.

* (0:52) Julia takes on belching and tampons.

* (5:04) Julia takes on Japanese tights.

* (10:45) Wayne and the Christmas thong.

* (16:47) Hentai, hourly bars, and themed restaurants.  The Lemp Mansion.

* (28:51) Gundam, Voltron, and the St. Louis Science Center.

* (35:07) The changing of generations.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0058.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 6:05 AM

* (0:29) The episode’s line-up.

* (2:10) Wayne runs Silent Memories for Chad, which leads to a discussion about Jenga, cats playing Jenga, Pandorum, and furry porn.

* (8:22) Games that are primarily driven by discovery versus those that are driven by collaboration.

* (12:19) The relationship between conflict and discovery.

* (13:54) The difference in priority between players and GMs, or story and mechanics.

* (18:36) Framework versus details.

* (22:27) When you pick “collaboration”, but a player doesn’t care to offer much.

* (30:55) Advice to “discovery” players in a collaborative game.

* (38:03) The distinction between collaboration and roleplay.

* (54:48) Fear the Con 8 Kickstarter rewards, which you can add to on the forum.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0363.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:39 AM

* (1:48) Chris’ comedy series, Gamers Behaving Badly.  (It can also be found on YouTube.)

* (6:19) Chris finds himself in unexpected conflict when another player pulls out a surprise.

* (23:44) Pat’s advice to the other person.

* (33:37) When sudden conflict occurs in a game’s finale.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0362.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:27 AM

* (0:29) Fear the Con 8, June 11th – 13th, 2015!

* (2:34) Pick up a copy of Sojourn Volume 2.

* (3:29) Chad versus Monsterhearts.  Large Marge from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.

* (11:48) The value in sticking with a game you don’t think you’ll enjoy.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0361.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:37 AM

* (0:53) Thanks to Ruben for the Christmas gifts!

* (2:25) Sojourn Volume 2 — a collection of short stories written by Fear the Boots hosts, fans, and friends in the RPG industry — is now on sale. You can get a copy from Amazon or other retailers.

* (3:12) Gnarl takes to Twitter.

* (7:51) Creating a holiday that exists as part of a game’s setting or plot.

* (9:44) Why the holiday exists and what it commemorates.

* (16:35) The symbolism in the trappings of the holiday.

* (18:44) How culture impacts the holiday.

* (32:38) Drawing characters into the event.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia

Direct download: feartheboot_0360.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:12 AM

* (0:29) Remembering Tobias Parks.

* (1:15) Shel Silverstein and our fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

* (2:54) Using Method One rolling as a way of challenging yourself in roleplaying.

* (15:32) Fixing a game after something has been declared that later is discovered to not have been correct.  Adapting the game to fit the new truth or rolling back to set things right.

* (37:29) Using the meta-game mechanics of certain systems to encourage the kind of experience you want to have. The recurring problem of expectations versus reality in an RPG.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0359.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:05 AM

* (1:12) John and MortarGate.  The old anime, Ulysses 31.

* (25:24) The bogeyman of TPKing GMs that may not be all that rule, and the more immediate concern about softball games.  Evaluating and conducting a game arc with a mind for future, unrelated arcs.

* (56:45) You can find the charity drive for the American Heart Association here.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0358.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:05 AM

* (0:30) Chris is sad it’s not Hotdish Hursday.

* (2:23) The weekly #RPGChat on Twitter, conducted everything Thursday at 2:00pm Central and 9:00pm Central.

* (8:21) Fear the Boot’s Bloodbowl League is starting up again.  You can find details on the forum.

* (10:19) Running games outside of continuity to bridge gaps in play or explore unlikely ideas.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0357.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:37 AM

* (0:29) Wayne causes metaphysical problems for the podcast.  Casey Kasem loses it over a death dedication (NSFW language).

* (2:24) This Christmas, Fear the Boot is supporting the American Heart Association in a competitive charity drive.  You can see the charity’s rating here and make your donations here.

* (4:40) A big thanks to Thunderbelly for the copy of Hunters Hunted!  A discussion on the boom-and-bust cycle of the RPG industry.

* (15:48) Scope-creep in a game, where the game only stays interesting because the power of the characters and spectacle of the events keep growing.

* (20:00) Why scope-creep is so pervasive in roleplaying games and subconsciously attractive to many GMs.

* (27:52) Meeting the needs that cause scope-creep without using scope-creep as the solution.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0356.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:06 PM

* (0:29) John and the definition of “stealing”.

* (1:41) How GMs can inadvertently train their players to view the game world in certain ways.  The importance of players separating the NPC from the GM.

* (23:27) The Three Clue Rule, pointed out to us by forum user, Concise Locket, for keeping PCs from missing vital points in the plot.

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0355.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:26 AM

* (0:24) Checking up on Brodeur’s homework.

* (1:24) I am Russian man!

* (4:37) Grey beard…?

* (11:45) If you could go back in time, what gaming advice would you give yourself?

* (20:37) Given the platform, what would you tell any person(s) in the RPG industry?

Hosts: Brodeur, Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0057.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 3:24 AM

* (0:26) Episode 354, take 2!

* (1:09) Chad and Dan will be on Twitch tomorrow, continuing their Rome 2 campaign.

* (1:30) What really separates America from England (HINT: it’s not the Atlantic).  John Oliver explains FIFA.

* (3:05) The Gameable Disney Podcast asks what Disney characters we’d play in an RPG.

* (5:58) The importance of backstory to a character.

* (7:33) Using those same principles to examine the viability of an established character as a jumping off point.

Hosts: Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0354.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:16 AM

* (0:29) Work clothes.  Being mistaken for employees of various places.

* (4:57) The 1950s milkshake machine.  The other Mixmaster.

* (11:30) Giving the players rolls they deserve without breaking immersion — or giving out meta-game information — by the very act of requesting the rolls.

* (15:35) Solution 1: Noting the relevant character skills and writing down some rolls in advance.

* (17:09) Solution 2: Giving clues and waiting for player requests.

* (23:24) Solution 3: Asking players for rolls but not telling them why.

* (25:51) The importance of GMs trusting their players to roleplay in the face of some meta-game knowledge.

* (28:49) Solution 4: Having another player make the roll and not telling them why.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0353.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:13 AM

* (0:29) Dan is totally like Slash.

* (1:45) An insult that only works with a British accent.

* (3:08) How Enterovirus got Dan thinking about roleplaying a character with a persistent infirmity or impairment.

* (7:27) Understanding the condition, whether through research, collaboration, or GM explanation.

* (10:47) Pacing the manifestations of the impairment’s effects.

* (12:57) Impairments manifesting in game mechanics.

* (14:22) Impairments manifesting in house rules.

* (15:10) Impairments manifesting in interval and severity dictated by a roll.

* (20:20) The value of tangible tokens to remind you of the condition.

Hosts: Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0352.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:42 AM

Fair warning: There are a lot of strange things going on in this episode.  It was recorded during a thunderstorm.  I was losing my voice (and completely lost it thereafter, so Karla had to do the intro).  And some of the jokes get rather off-color.

* (0:29) Dan’s Enterovirus, Brodeur’s Herpes, and…yeah…this doesn’t end up anywhere good.

* (10:02) The scalemail dice bag Dan got.  You can find a picture of it here and Silverscales Art Studio here.

* (12:25) The existence of so many descriptors, tests, and charts for types of players while so little effort has been spent trying to describe the types of GMs.

* (18:32) GM creation versus player input.

* (19:13) Rules versus story.

* (20:56) Adversarial versus enabling.

* (22:19) Obstructionist GMing.

* (23:45) The overly-clever GM.

* (24:51) We get Brodeur’s live reaction to seeing a picture of Shel Silverstein.

* (28:14) GMs that try to create emotional buy-in by just pushing people’s buttons.  The Joker on society’s tenuous morality.

* (38:04) Dan and Wayne try to classify their GMing styles.

* (42:00) Brodeur’s model for a matching service for players and GMs.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0351.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:02 AM

* (0:29) Dan gets hosts back, thanks the fans, and lets Chris now what episode this is.

* (2:08) The movie bracket voting on our forums.

* (3:48) GM self-perception.  The fear of creating a frustrating NPC or plot point.

* (10:04) Dan’s frustration with player trust.

* (15:38) Reading the table and getting player feedback on whether your self-image is accurate.

* (20:15) The problem of living in the moment, where perspective is limited to what’s happening right now and not a broader knowledge of the game or GM.

* (24:48) The value of self-examination and having a sounding board.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0350.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:45 AM

* (0:31) Why Dan is all alone.

* (2:04) Just a few words on Ferguson.  You can find local news at KSDK, KMOV, KMOX, KTVI, and STL Today.

* (5:48) The Third XCOM Saga is underway.  We’ve also made some changes to the site to make it easier for users to find the content they want.

* (7:58) At 5:00pm Central on September 6th, Fear the Boot will be doing a meet-and-greet with Golbinworks for Pathfinder Online.  The game feed and voice chat will be on their Twitch channel.  We should have the game codes to give away very soon!

* (10:10) The first annual RPG Podcast Awards.  Winning shows include Numenera: The Signal (Best New RPG Podcast), RPPR Actual Play (Best RPG Actual Play Podcast), All Games Considered (Best RPG Industry News Podcast), and Fear the Boot (Best RPG Advice Podcast).

* (12:08) Word wanking and the unique nuance of jargon within micro-cultures.

* (14:00) How games model characters mathematically.  The balance between abstraction and specificity.

* (20:17) The role of rules in describing a character’s uniqueness and relationship to the game world.

* (25:08) Three questions for determining the right level of specificity for stats.

Hosts: Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0349.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:22 AM

* (0:40) If you’re playing Pathfinder Online and looking for a guild, Fear the Boot has aligned itself with Kabal.  We also have an upcoming event with Goblinworks that will take place in-game.  Keep your eye on the show for details, including how you can grab an alpha code to join us.

* (1:56) Introducing Steve Butts, the editor-in-chief of IGN.  What YouTube and Flowers for Algernon have in common.

* (3:37) Steve’s resume as a gamer and industry professional.

* (5:43) Why tabletop gaming is important to the staff of a video-game-focused site.  The relationship between TTGs and video games.  (The game Dan referred to as The Legend of Quicksilver was actually The Legend of Blacksilver.)

* (12:51) Storytelling not keeping pace with other advances in video gaming.  The graphic Dan referred to demonstrating diminishing returns in polygon count,

* (23:45) Whether tabletop roleplaying games are shifting their focus as well.  The role of indie shops in both video games and roleplaying games.

* (33:18) How the video game and RPG industry still inform each other’s development.

* (48:55) Tips for people wanting to get into video game blogging and new media.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia, Pat

Guests: Steve Butts

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0034.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 2:27 AM

* (0:55) “Yes, but…” GMing.  The honest movie trailer for Frozen.  The adult version (NSFW language).  And the parody version.

* (10:53) When a character’s description falls well below the power level described on the sheet.  For example, a party of 1st level characters where one person insists they’re a seasoned veteran.  What happens when three master fencers take on 50 opponents at once.

* (21:55) Social or “soft” imbalances that aren’t necessarily reflected in a character’s stats.  Enforcing the consequences agreed upon for those perks.

* (27:52) Brodeur Break!

* (31:07) “Reset” characters that have been reduced in power by a major life event.

Hosts: Beth, Brodeur, Dan, John. Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0348.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40 AM

With a repaired internet connection, we try again at getting John on an episode!  After talking about the social difficulties of constraining group size (or removing problem players), we dig into making characters during the course of a game.  Since many people are either burnt out on character creation or just don’t understand their character until they’ve played him/her, there can be an advantage to starting out with very little and building both the personality and stats during play.

* (1:33) Keeping the group small and select.  The value of exclusivity.  The Geek Social Fallacies.

* (13:01) Why it’s so much harder to remove someone from an RPG group that most other social engagements.

* (22:52) Playing with the skeleton of a character and developing him/her during the course of the game.

* (29:25) How skeleton characters relate to the principles of the group template.

Hosts: Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0347.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:53 AM

When a Game Master repeatedly uses a character’s weaknesses to reduce them to uselessness.  We discuss whether it’s a fair tactic or just a quick way to wreck that player’s fun.

* (1:10) Congratulating Julia on getting married.

* (2:48) A reminder about Fear the Boot’s Twitch channel.

* (4:20) Save or suck: when failing a roll takes away your control of the character (e.g. sleep spells).  Other situations when a character can be reduced to irrelevance.

* (16:23) The critical differences between being ineffective and being incapacitated.

* (21:39) Ironically, John gets robbed of his contribution to the episode by a crashed internet connection.

* (22:32) The double-standard when players lock down the GM’s NPCs.

* (30:44) How much of this comes from being unable to read the players.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0346.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:10 AM

* (0:59) “Shnotes” and other words that annoy us.

* (3:42) Chad introduces us to Rory’s Story Cubes, and we try some RP experiments with them.  We discuss the value of random words and images in helping to break creative block or get out of ruts.

* (25:59) Alternate ways of creating the same (or similar) story aids for your game.

* (28:36) Using free association to create character-to-character links, NPCs, plot encounters, magic items, etc.

* (40:08) The potential drawbacks of the story cubes or other inspirational aids.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0345.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:51 AM

In this episode we discuss handling a game after realizing you were wrong about an important rule or bit of setting, and correcting that mistake will alter the course of the game.

* (0:29) TsunamiCon in Wichita, KS on November 7th – 9th.

* (2:04) Mic-dropping on games.  Walking away from a game, whether as a player or GM.

* (13:20) Realizing you’ve been wrong about a major rule or piece of setting.  Whether it’s worth fixing or not, and what fixing it can cause.

Hosts: Beth, Brodeur, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0344.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:54 AM

In this episode we talk about players that overstep their bounds, going beyond helping the GM to apparently trying to help run the game.  We talk about why this might happen and ways to address it.

* (0:29) Some thanks to the other podcasts at Fear the Con!

Action Nerds: GO!

Beer Powered Time Machine


The Hippest of Hops

Ideology of Madness

Kicked in the Dicebags

Postcards from the Dungeon

Pros and Cons

Role Playing Public Radio

Saving the Game

* (2:03) Brodeur buys a book.

* (4:44) Backseat GMing.  The reasons it might happen.  How it can manifest in rules, role, or setting.

* (17:17) Settings we would hesitate to play for fear of being Backseat GMs with the canon.

* (22:20) The four stages of GM reactions to problem players.

* (26:25) A deconstruction of Pokemon.

Hosts: Beth, Brodeur, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0343.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:51 AM

In this episode, we talk about Chris’ trip home from the con and the misadventures he has with a cop on a fishing expedition and a gas station attendant telling rather implausible war stories.

* (0:23) Please leave reviews for Sojourn on Barnes & Noble to help us get it stocked in stores!  If you’re still looking to buy the book, you can find a list of places it’s available for sale here.

* (1:21) Some thanks to some of the unsung folks that made Fear the Con 7 possible.

* (4:59) Post-con stories.

* (7:22) Chris has a run-in with a cop at 2:00am.

* (25:49) Chris meets the RPG guy.  How an RPG warhead works.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0056.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 2:43 AM

* (0:29) Reign of the Descended for the Mecha RPG (free quickstart, full version).

* (2:02) Fear the Con 7!  Information on the pre-con tourism.  Take care of the people that take care of you.

* (4:49) Chad’s family night turns into a family RPG.  We talk about the steps he went through (and avoided) to build the best experience for his son.

* (12:34) Setting clear objectives.  The prior episode that touched on this topic can be found here and the accompanying list of games can be found here.

* (30:01) The teaching power of, “No.”

* (33:40) The missing muffins.  Leading by breadcrumbs and example.

* (51:92) The difference between intellect and experience.

* (54:06) Some help Chad got from the forums.

* (55:53) Lessons learned from the whole effort.  Stuart Robertson’s pocketmod game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0342.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:52 AM

* (0:28) Dan and Julia’s Halloween costumes.  Cobra Crimson Guard.

* (4:40) The Star Wars expanded universe.  Yes, there really was a Star Wars movie with Wilford Brimley.

* (9:57) The 1812 Overture, Lichtenstein, and other stuff on music.

* (14:09) Deadzones in RPGs created by a lack of RP.  Why it happens and can be so easy to “fix” in all the wrong ways.

* (23:46) Some approaches for addressing the issue as a GM.

* (31:48) Helping out as a player.

* (43:24) Fear the Con, Sojourn, and FtB’s Twitch channel.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0341.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:10 AM

* (0:39) The buffalo sentence.

* (2:00) Chad and Dan are really, really famous.  Or at least random people seem to think so.

* (7:15) A forbidden episode has been released on the forums.  You can find it here.

* (9:34) People that look only to their character sheets for answers to everything in a game.

* (12:25) The finite nature of most games when compared to the near-infinite options of a roleplaying game.

* (17:58) Is this even a problem?

* (20:05) Advice for people in this situation.

* (24:53) When Game Masters have the same problem.

Hosts: Chad, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0340.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:22 AM

* (0:30) Granite and truth (though Dan got the phrase slightly wrong).

* (2:28) Handling characters of faith that don’t follow any particular god or goddess.  The role of game balance.  Why such characters have been fairly rare in our experience.

* (20:57) What goes into making a deep, plausible, and religious character?

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0339.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49 AM

* (0:22) Introducing Derek from the THE ESTABLiSHED FACTS.

* (2:20) Derek’s charity for Fear the Con 7.

* (9:36) Derek’s overnight dungeon marathon.

* (12:01) Pat’s Cinco de Mayo leads into a conversation about demystifying alcohol to children.

* (16:54) How the heck did we get on this topic?

* (21:35) Demystifying roleplaying both outside of and inside of the hobby.

* (25:16) Sacrificing goats and lambs.

* (28:11) Hearing about Baphomet versus hearing about someone’s character.  Homer shows us how to cope with a character story.

* (33:17) Explaining negative episodes (aka forbidden episodes).

* (35:57) Derek’s games at Fear the Con 7.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Derek, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0055.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 4:12 AM

* (0:43) Solo plots in the context of a group-centered roleplaying game.

* (6:51) Handling the plots without boring the rest of the group.

* (13:11) What characters can reap from these events.

* (15:29) What characters shouldn’t reap from these events.

* (27:45) Pat and a hockey stick.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0338.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:34 AM

* (1:09) The Sojourn series now has its own website.

* (2:07) Fear the Con on June 12th – 14th.

* (4:47) One of our Twitch games is now on a schedule.  You can join us from 7:00pm – 11:00pm Central time on Thursdays.  The Twitch channel is here, and you can find our local time here.

* (7:39) Stealing from yourself as a Game Master.  Bringing back your own ideas for plots, characters, and settings.

* (11:06) The reasons it can work and benefit a game.

* (19:17) A brief aside on the usefulness of dreams in certain kinds of stories.

* (21:39) Back to the value of stealing from yourself.

* (24:26) The Dark Dungeons trailer.

* (26:05) The ways in which recycled ideas can go wrong.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0337.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:50 AM

* (0:28) Welcoming back Stu from Happy Jacks.  His involvement with the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, CA.

* (2:16) Working through the second half of the responses to a GM survey posted by yourfriendlane on Reddit.  This time we talk about what GMs enjoy least about their role.

* (3:06) Player behavior.

* (7:10) Finding inspiration.

* (12:30) General prep and over-planning.

* (16:37) Improvisation.

* (24:14) Encounter building.

* (26:31) Finding a consistent group.

* (27:20) GM burnout.

* (27:28) Getting players to roleplay.

* (31:04) Sessions taking too long.

* (33:46) Keeping track of things.

Hosts: Dan, Pat, Stu

Direct download: feartheboot_0336.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:14 AM

* (0:28) Welcoming Stu and Kimi from Happy Jacks.  You can find the episode Wayne and Dan just did on their show right here.

* (2:00) Cape Rust wrote a very kind review of Sojourn which you can find on Pop Cults.

* (3:13) We hope you’ll consider supporting Jason Brick’s fundraiser for  HERO Housing.

* (4:31) Looking over the responses to a GM survey posted by yourfriendlane on Reddit.

* (6:12) Anyone willing to GM seems to GM most of the time.

* (11:15) The ubiquity of GM burnout.

* (22:29) The most common reasons people enjoy GMing.

* (28:09) The least favorite aspects of being a GM.

* (32:16) How GMs view and use pre-written modules.

* (36:25) The kinds of game aids GMs most want.  Dan’s preferred name generator.

Hosts: Dan, Kimi, Pat, Stu

Direct download: feartheboot_0335.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:27 AM

* (0:27) Johann isn’t dead.

* (0:57) Chad’s chosen way of collecting signatures on his copy of Sojourn.

* (2:33) The launch of Fear the Boot’s Twitch TV channel.  We’ll post the game schedule after Dan comes back from vacation.

* (10:23) Pacing at the very beginning of a campaign.  The two extreme solutions: starting in media res or starting in a lull between events.

* (14:54) The good and bad campaign openers we’ve seen.  You can see the picture of Gnarl’s first scene, as wonderfully drawn by Amanda Morgan, at this link.

* (19:44) Making the two extremes work.  The list of 100 first lines from novels can be found here.

* (30:31) Some middle ways of starting the campaign.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0334.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:29) Grab a copy of Fear the Boot’s anthology, Sojourn!

* (1:25) A patent troll takes on the sum of podcasting.  You can make a donation to the legal defense fund here.

* (4:23) Player secrets.  As we’re introducing the topic, Wayne throws out the idea of different angles — regarding the same secret — being divided among the players.

* (7:19) John’s Wasabi Theory of player secrets.  The problems that player-character secrets can cause within a group, if misused.

* (11:06) Using secrets to draw in other characters instead of excluding them.

* (12:42) Why Dan blames the GM.

* (18:27) Putting some pressure on the other players.

* (22:36) When character secrets work well, even as the core of a game.

* (31:44) Whether the players all knowing the secret helps when their respective characters don’t know.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0333.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:55 AM

* (0:29) Announcing Sojourn, an anthology of fiction by Fear the Boot hosts, community members, and industry professionals.  You can find all of the places it’s available right here.

* (3:22) Differentiating the two types of GMPCs.

* (8:59) The problems that can accompany playing the second kind of GMPC: a character that’s balanced but a permanent fixture of the party, much like a regular PC.

* (11:50) An example of a GMPC that made the risk worthwhile.

* (13:21) Determining if a GMPC is even necessary at all.

* (16:59) The role of players in keeping a GMPC in the right role and perspective.

* (19:32) The role of the GM in keeping a GMPC in the right role and perspective.

* (36:50) Fear the Con is still ready for you to join the awesome!

Hosts: Beth, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0332.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:27 AM

* (0:18) Foreman selection.

* (1:27) Jury deliberations.

* (14:59) Reading of the verdict.

* (17:34) Post-trial commentary.

* (20:49) A big thanks to Trampas for being such a good sport.  You can find his awesome Dragonlance resources on their legacy website, their new website, and their podcast.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John, Julia, Pat, Trampas, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0054.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 10:00 AM

* (0:55) Introducing the trial.

* (2:35) Presentation of the case.

* (4:54) Plaintiff opening argument.

* (6:32) Defense opening argument.

* (7:43) Plaintiff case in proper and defense cross-examination.  (In case you’re curious, Brandenberg v. Ohio was a real case.)

* (21:33) Defense case in proper and plaintiff cross-examination.

* (35:55) Closing arguments.

* (42:00) Jury instructions.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John, Julia, Pat, Trampas, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0053.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 3:27 AM

* (0:29) Welcoming back Trampas from the Dragonlance Canticle and Dragonlance Nexus.  The Nexus website is undergoing redevelopment, so you can find its current website here and the new one here.

* (2:28) Explaining the gist of the group template and how it’s meant to be used.

* (8:51) Creating an example group using the group template.

Hosts: Dan, Julia, Pat, Trampas, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0331.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:30 PM

* (0:29) Welcoming Stu and CADave from Happy Jacks RPG Podcast.  The show Julia and Dan recorded for their feed can be found here.

* (1:36) Fear the Con 7. The online convention, Jacker Con 2014 (forum discussion here, Google group here).

* (8:16) Switching your character in the middle of a game.

* (9:23) Reasons people switch characters.  Why ditched characters often make great villains.

* (19:41) Negative vs positive reasons people switch characters.

* (25:30) Switching characters because the player felt they were done with their goals.  How the GM can help by pacing those goals.

* (26:39) Handling the player character that’s being retired.

* (34:08) When the GM asks a player to retire his or her character.

Hosts, CADave, Chad, Dan, Stu

Direct download: feartheboot_0330.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:32) If you have any dealer requests for Fear the Con 7, you can post them here.

* (1:14) You can find the details on Fear the Fruit here.

* (1:48) Chad is running a knowledge-sharing and AMA area on the Fear the Boot forums.

* (9:54) A ring of wishes gets us thinking about the baggage players and Game Masters bring to the table.

* (14:02) Examples of how gaming baggage can be positive instead of problematic.  How being new to gaming can insulate you from developing baggage.

* (33:20) Moving past your baggage.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0329.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:02 AM

* (0:30) Fear the Con 7 sign-up is in full swing!

* (3:22) John explains “datedar”.

* (17:17) Knowing when it’s time to kill a game.  The story of the dwarf game that never was.

* (28:33) Killing games too quickly.  Keeping them from dying at all.

* (34:43) GM burnout.

* (37:53) Wanting to be the GM but not wanting to run the game.

* (40:42) Why Beth is nervous about GMing and how her players can help.

Hosts: Beth, Chad, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0328.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:13 AM

* (0:51) Chris’ showing of The Gamers: Hands of Fate on January 23rd.  Click here for more information.

* (1:47) Setting up the scenario: an actual play podcast we’re working on with Master Geek Theater.

* (2:52) How to handle a character — both from the perspective of a GM and a fellow player — that socially dominates the other characters.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0327.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:25 AM

* (0:51) Explaining what “local” means in the suburban sprawl of the St. Louis metro area, which has roughly 1/4th the population of the Los Angeles metro area, but covers almost twice as much land.

* (1:20) The Fear the Boot Blood Bowl leagues are forming!  You can find all of the information you need on both the beginner and advanced leagues on the forums.

* (3:34) The video game, Smite, gets us thinking about the culture surrounding various video games, board games, and roleplaying games.  How that culture flavors your entire experience with a game.  Two articles on the professionals brought in to clean up League of Legends’ community.

* (17:35) Ways for controlling the type of community you play with.

* (25:22) Creating community in games that require little or no social interaction.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0326.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:11 AM

* (0:23) Never do True Dungeon with a PUG.

* (2:22) John needs helping making and playing an effective rogue in Pathfinder.

* (11:29) A groundbreaking and productive topic: What is the most powerful class at first level?

* (15:15) The thread to help John min-max a Pathfinder rogue can be found here.

* (17:07) Why John hates Julia’s brother.

* (19:57) John gets told.

* (22:18) Bloodmoon Goblins becomes Whitemane Wemics which leads us to decide there will be a Lion King musical adventure at Fear the Con 7.

Hosts: Dan, John, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0052.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:50 PM

* (1:05) If you have any extra money this Christmas, please consider a contribution to Operation Underground Railroad, which is working to free children from sex trafficking.  (I realize O.U.R. has gotten verbal and financial support from Glenn Beck, but to the best of my understanding, this is not his charity.  It operates under the broader charity, Child Rescue Association of North America — whose reports can you can find here.  I hope this charity will be judged on its merits, not the opinion you may have of controversial individuals that have supported its work.)

* (2:28) Derek would like your input on how to handle the raffle prizes for Fear the Con 7‘s charity.  You can place your votes in the forum poll.

* (4:30) John makes a comparison between Dan’s apparent investment in and enjoyment of the XCOM Saga (which has crowd-sourced roleplaying elements) as compared to more traditional roleplaying games.

* (6:08) A brief history of how the XCOM Saga got started and how it’s conducted now.

* (10:35) Reversing the question from why Dan likes it more to why it’s getting so much traction among its players.  The investment created by playing something unabashedly personal.

* (14:33) A quick aside to define ARG and note we’re not quite using the term quite right.

* (15:36) When “close to home” gets too close to home.

* (16:08) The overlap between the XCOM Saga and a traditional tabletop RPG.  How much control Dan is or isn’t exerting over the direction of the RP.

* (30:09) Mining this experience for truths about tabletop roleplaying games.  What it means to trust a GM and how much trust a GM can fairly request.

* (35:53) The role of geography and group composition in this issue.

* (37:44) Rethinking the viability of playing yourself as a character.

Hosts: Beth, Dan, Johann, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0325.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30 AM

* (0:59) What players owe their Game Master.

* (21:10) What players owe their fellow players.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0324.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:01 AM

* (0:29) Fear the Con 7!

* (2:38) You can drop us a vote for the Stitcher Awards.

* (3:00) The explicit and implicit social contracts that exist within a gaming group.

* (4:04) What a Game Master owes his or her players.

* (27:40) What a Game Master does not owe his or her players.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0323.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:30 AM

* (1:16) Why Pat won’t GM.  The difficulty of GM self-evaluation.

* (3:54) The factors that motivate someone to GM.

* (11:52) Helping Pat get a start on his setting and campaign.

* (14:38) The comfort of crunch.

* (20:40) Puzzles, immersion, and managing people that play on their phones.

Hosts: Beth, Chad, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0322.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* (0:29) Welcoming guest hosts Brodeur from The Fantasy Shop and Mike from Action Nerds: GO! podcast.  This degrades into a raucous tangent on George R.R. Martin.

* (3:29) The article by Jason Brick posted on American Express OPEN Forum can be found here.

* (4:00) Be sure to get out and back the podcaster charity drive by clicking right here!

* (6:26) The idea of Game Mastering for money.  The fact that we pay for people to tell us stories all the time.  The value a Game Master brings to his or her group.

* (12:42) Countering with the value the players bring to the table, since RPGs aren’t passive entertainment.  Selecting the right players for this kind of game.

* (15:15) The charisma, endorsements, and production value needed to take it beyond the level of a normal gaming experience.

* (19:06) Building the right business model and ways of connecting players to GMs.

Hosts: Brodeur, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0321.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:55 AM

* (1:39) The Urwin Subversion.  Lowering a character’s BAUS level as a way of making him or her stand out even more.

* (8:42) Deconstructing the differences by comparing Dan’s Dresden character to Chad’s.

* (16:13) The baggage that can accompany a BAUS level.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0320.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:55 AM

* (0:38) Fear the Con 7 sign-ups are live!

* (0:45) Mikey Mason has dropped a new comedy album, Dangerous Gifts, which you can get digitally or on disc.

* (2:30) March 7th – 9th, 2014, Coast Con will be running in Biloxi, Mississippi.  You can find their website here.

* (2:59) The levels of BAUS.  How extreme the distinctions are between the characters, and the different kinds of distinction.

* (10:06) The lie of, “I swear, my BAUS-ness will never come up.”  Getting to the real reason someone wants to play a particular kind of character, which may not be about the power.

* (15:47) Remaining unique in a way that still gels with the rest of the group and the kind of game being run.

* (18:47) How BAUS-ness can help or hinder Game Master efforts to spread the game’s focus evenly.

* (20:23) Being a BAUS without being a freak show character.

* (23:20) Running a campaign where characters are at different BAUS levels and making it work.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0319.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:50 AM

* (0:28) Fear the Con 7 will be on June 12th – 14th, 2014.  The website will be live this Friday, November 8th.

* (4:04) Almost introducing the topic.

* (4:48) Everyone gets confused by the new mic guards.

* (6:20) Actually introducing the topic: playing a BAUS (beautiful and unique snowflake), meaning a character that stands apart from the rest of the party and feels special to the player running him or her.

* (9:12) Playing a BAUS by only tinkering with background and personality.

* (11:10) The importance of having a unique role to play.

* (22:37) Playing a BAUS without overshadowing someone else’s BAUS.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0318.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:35 AM

* (0:30) An update on the show length and Dan’s throat problem.

* (1:56) What to do when the players remain IC and active, but are taking the mood of a game in a direction you don’t want it to go.

* (5:01) Is this even a problem?  Reasons to let it go and ways to stop it when necessary.

* (19:41) Identifying the reason the game’s mood changed and shaping your response based on that.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0317.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:46 AM

* (0:30) Making it rain for a Diabetes charity.

* (3:46) When relationships outside of a game spill over into a game.  How games of Diplomacy and Succession Wars got us thinking about this.

* (10:58) Getting OOC/IC relationships back where they belong.

* (17:32) When the OOC/IC blurring is about values and not just relationships.

* (21:09) When an OOC friendship enables more animosity instead of just comradery.

* (23:29) When OOC animosity changes IC interactions.  Drive-by insults.  You can find Ghost Pirates here.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0316.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:00 AM

* (0:30) Welcoming back Stu and Stork from Happy Jacks RPG Podcast.

* (0:41) The dangers in lifting the veil.

* (3:24) Playing the good guys.  Many players think they’re being good, even though their actions may not reflect that.  The draw of shortcuts when getting to a goal.

* (6:57) The moral distance a game provides.  The role of genre in providing moral context.

* (22:58) The role of GMs in guiding player-character behavior.  The necessity of defining what it means to be good.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Stork, Stu, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0315.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:05 AM

* (0:30) Welcoming Stu and Stork from Happy Jacks RPG Podcast.

* (2:17) Giving GMs effective feedback.  Wayne gives Chad some feedback from their most recent game.  Dan helps Chad with active listening.

* (5:27) Dealing with negative feedback and the impulse to get defensive.

* (8:42) The value of actively soliciting input.

* (11:11) The value of knowing your GM.

* (19:26) The value of honest feedback.

* (22:11) How each of us would like to receive feedback.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Stork, Stu, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0314.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:51 AM

* (0:27) Welcoming Bill Cavalier, the Dungeon Bastard, here to help Fear the Boot with its gaming problems.

* (1:08) Dan’s problem: campaign pitches.

* (4:30) Wayne’s problem: bards.

* (8:29) Chad’s problem: too much story.

* (12:27) Pat’s problem: discovery.

* (15:02) Chris’ problem: detail.

* (17:20) Chad’s problem: people wanting to play dragons.  (I honestly have no idea where that one came from.)

* (20:19) Pat’s problem: Chad’s games.

* (22:07) Wayne’s problem: never killing players.

* (23:24) Chris asks Bill some rapid-fire questions.

Hosts: Bill, Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0051.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:33) Welcoming back Tom Lommel (aka Bill Cavalier, the Dungeon Bastard) as a guest host.

* (1:44) Gaming outside of genres or sub-genres you’re familiar with.  Dealing with problems both as a player and Game Master.  Taking it slow.  The importance of group support.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Tom, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0313.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:07 AM

* (0:30) A gamer meetup will be happening on November 16th at the Holiday Inn in Forth Washington, Pennsylvania.  You can find the details here.

* (0:49) A trip to the Japanese festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

* (4:29) Adding believable culture to the people and places of your game.  How to avoid overstating or understating cultural traits.

Hosts: Chad, Julia, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0312.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:43 AM

* (0:30) A booter meetup will be occurring at Guardian Games in Portland, Oregon at 12:00pm on Sunday, September 29th.  You can find the forum discussion here.

* (1:53) Designing pre-generated characters for a con game or a longer campaign.  The importance of keeping it simple and open to interpretation, while still giving enough to latch onto.  The value of leading questions.  The usefulness of pictures.

Hosts: Chad, Julia, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0311.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:14 AM

* (1:00) Illustrating the idea of a proactive player with an analogy from World of Warcraft.

* (6:02) Your fun versus my fun.

* (7:45) The blessing and curse proactive players present to the Game Master.

* (10:49) The effect the proactive player has on the other players.  How such players can draw people in instead of pushing them away.

* (16:56) How proactive players can help the GM up their game.

* (20:56) Dealing with random outbursts.  Dealing with a quiet player in-game, but boisterous players out-of-game.

* (25:04) God bless proactive players in con games.

* (27:59) The value in giving your character a hobby.

* (29:55) Handling your actions via notecard instead of stating them aloud.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Johann, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0310.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:06 AM

* (0:33) A medical condition will require temporarily changing up the show’s format.

* (2:51) Preparing to take a hiatus from a game.

* (5:25) Whether it’s easier to setup a hiatus earlier or later in a campaign.

* (10:29) How to prepare your group if you have a session or two before the hiatus will begin.

* (17:07) Keeping the action going even when the game is paused.

* (22:48) Using notes to hold your place.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Johann, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0309.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:12 AM

* (0:44) Congratulating Chad for bringing home an ENnie award for Silent Memories!  Weather dice, mood dice, and other such oddities.

* (5:27) Chris’ Kickstarter for Table Tales is still running, so stop by and show him some love.

* (5:50) Tabletop games we expected to hate but were surprised by how much we enjoyed.  Takenoko, Wasabi, Powerboats, Roll Through the Ages, and Tsuro.

* (12:26) Designing the right finale for your campaign.  Understanding what the campaign was about, which may or may not be the same as its plot.  Identifying what the players and Game Master each want from the conclusion.

* (39:39) Our favorite endings to campaigns we’ve played in.

* (43:06) Creating an epilogue to wrap-up any unfinished business after the finale is done.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:46 AM

* (1:49) Is an intellectual property only as good as its ending?  The four types of people in an argument.  Bunker from Sentinels of the Multiverse becomes today’s secret word.  Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome.  The Battlestar Galactica episode Dan references is The Hand of God.

* (25:46) The diversity of story endings available without resorting to a boss fight or something massive blowing up.  You can find Chad’s cheat thread here.

* (51:28) Using diversity and player involvement to pick the right finale for your campaign.  (This is a subject we’ll likely develop more in the next episode.)

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0307.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:47 AM

* (0:30) When combat works out a little too well.  A variety of suggestions for tweaking fights on the fly to get the results you want.

* (27:28) The advantages and disadvantages of varying campaign lengths.  One-shots, chapters, epics, and genuinely unending stories.  A defense of playing really long campaigns, even knowing they’re likely to fail.

* (52:54) Chris is working on a video series.  You can find the official site here, the forum area here, and the Kickstarter itself here.

Hosts: Beth, Chris, Dan, John, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:57 AM

* (0:27) Introducing KC Wayland, the writer and director of We’re Alive.

* (1:20) How the production got started and where KC found his inspiration.

* (4:23) Where the series got its initial funding.

* (5:25) Hitting the time mark for each episode.  The importance of a release schedule that balances consistency with breaks for the production crew to catch up.

* (11:10) Why KC has opted to avoid crowdfunding the show.

* (14:57) Standing apart in a market saturated with zombies.

* (19:34) Finding and managing enough people to form the full cast of voice actors.  KC’s experience with RPGs and the most brilliant DM on the face of the Earth.

* (25:15) The amount of the story that was planned from the very beginning.

* (26:25) Deconstructing the appeal of a zombie story and the impact those themes had on We’re Alive.

* (35:15) You can find KC’s audio drama at zombiepodcast.com.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Guests: KC Wayland

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0033.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 1:25 AM

* (0:24) Managing stretch goals that add to the primary product.

* (3:58) Setting the rewards at various backer levels.

* (7:29) Seeking outside ideas when shaping a reward scheme.  Setting realistic goals and keeping the focus on marketing.

* (14:52) Building a pitch video.

* (16:56) How much to say about how the money will be spent.

* (20:59) The costs associated with raising money.

* (28:27) The usefulness of tools such as Kicktraq.

* (32:36) Spotting a project you shouldn’t back.

* (38:05) The avenues available for resolving fraud or disputing a contribution.

* (41:27) The importance of maintaining communication after the project has successfully funded.

* (47:41) A big thanks to Joanna, Matt, Ryan, and Tom for making this episode possible!

Hosts: Dan, Joanna, Matt, Ryan, Tom, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0305.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:33 AM

I’d like to congratulate Chad for having his RPG, Silent Memories, nominated for “Best Free Game” in the 2013 ENnies!  I hope you’ll take a moment to stop by and show him your love with a vote.

Direct download: feartheboot_PSA_0005.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:14 AM

* (0:36) Introducing our four guest hosts and setting up the show’s premise.

* (2:59) Welcoming Joanna Gaskell of Standard Action and Starlit Citadel Reviews.

* (4:33) Welcoming Matt Forbeck.  You can find his personal website here.

* (6:05) Welcoming Ryan Dancey, currently with Goblinworks.

* (7:05) Welcoming Tom Lommel, aka Bill Cavalier the Dungeon Bastard.

* (10:29) How is crowdfunding impacting the roleplaying hobby?  The usefulness of sites like Kickstarter, not only as a funding tool, but also as a marketing tool.

* (15:03) The distinction between the major crowdfunding sites.

* (19:43) The value of crowdfunding in proving an idea has traction with consumers.  Continuing to sell rewards after the original drive has ended, and the value of keeping certain rewards exclusive.

* (27:36) The crappy fulfillment surveys offered by Kickstarter.

* (28:55) Some stats on Kickstarter and what they say about crowdfunding.  Why most projects will either fail early or make it all the way to success, while only a small number die in the middle.  The bimodality of funds coming in.  How successfully funding can cause cash to flow even faster.

* (37:02) How crowdfunding is bringing back a patronage model by allowing people to pay what a product is worth to them, as opposed to what it costs to make.  Mikey Mason’s Impotent Nerd Rage.

* (45:57) Whether Matt’s campaigns looked any different, since they were more than just one-time events.

* (51:53) Kickstarter fatigue.

* (56:12) Projects that deliver extremely late or don’t deliver at all.  You can find the CNN article here.  How success — and stretch goals in particular — can actually sabotage a project’s delivery.

Hosts: Dan, Joanna, Matt, Ryan, Tom, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0304.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:24 AM

* (0:20) The biggest myth Mike would like to dispel about his job.

* (5:07) The role and importance (or lack thereof) in available play space.

* (12:58) Whether it’s necessary to hire people that are already into the hobby.

* (25:36) Why do so many stores fail?  The Specialty Retailer’s Handbook by Dave Wallace.

* (32:50) In an age of increasing decentralization in the RPG industry, the rise of the small press, etc, how does a game store decide what to stock?

* (40:59) The biggest challenges in the near future for retail shops.  The important relationship between stores and game creators.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia

Guests: Mike Brodeur

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0032.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 2:13 AM

* (0:25) Mike unlocked the “Local Guest” achievement.

* (1:25) Derek Knutsen’s Kickstarter for the Universal Storytelling System.

* (3:19) Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management, written by Phil Vecchione and Walt Ciechanowski and based on advice from impeccable sources.

* (4:59) Introducing Mike Brodeur from The Fantasy Shop chain of game and comic stores.

* (11:29) Finding the “friendly” in “friendly local game store”.  Why it’s missing far too often and how The Fantasy Shop addressed the issue.  Chad and Mike have a bromance.  Dan drops history about the defeat of the Spartans, though he confuses the Thracians with the Thebans.

* (21:31) Winning over the person that would rather shop on Amazon…or not winning them over at all.

* (30:45) Selling a product you don’t know.

* (34:50) “This is not a library!”  Distinguishing between browsers and freeloaders.

* (39:44) The relationship between bricks-and-mortar stores and digital products, such as PDFs.  Bits and Mortar.

* (45:11) The finite resource of space.  How decisions are made about what to stock and where.  Why We Buy by Paco Underhill.  Carrying a diversity of products and selling them to a diverse audience.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia

Guests: Mike Brodeur

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0031.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 2:09 AM

* (0:29) How movies once made songs famous, but now seem to generally select songs that are already famous.  You’re The Best by Joe Esposito.

* (2:50) Thrift Shop, Pat, a stripper, and his son.

* (6:43) The gamification of an RPG.  What the term means in business or learning, and how it can be applied to the meta-game of an RPG.  The language site we mentioned was DuoLingo.

* (11:51) The potential pitfalls of gamification, including too much focus on the meta-game, overburdening players, or growing disparities in power.

* (14:09) A defense of the idea.  How it’s already a part of RPGs, even if not acknowledged or codified.

* (20:29) Additional examples of where these systems already exist in RPGs.  Whether the very act of naming and describing the system can make gamification problematic.  The psychological value of being able to choose the type of carrot and stick a Game Master wants to use.

Hosts: Dan, John, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0303.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:35 AM

* (0:28) Introducing Greg Stolze.

* (2:38) An introduction to Better Angels.  An explanation of its premise and the balance between pure and corrupted traits.  You can find the game in print or in an electronic version.

* (14:29) How Better Angels handles the exploration of evil.  The relationship between comedy and horror.  The Gambler’s Fallacy.

* (34:47) How the demons work on a mechanical level.  The level of influence players can and cannot exert over your character.

* (49:41) The upcoming novel, Sinner.

* (51:33) The horror anthology, The Sleep of Reason.

* (52:35) Rough sketches for eCollapse can be found here and here.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat

Guests: Greg Stolze

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0030.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 12:54 AM

* (0:28) How Chris perceives time.

* (3:42) Chris resurrects a dead campaign.  How meta-game techniques can give players a sense of freedom about how well (or poorly) they remember the game.  Helping everyone recall concepts and get back into the flow after being gone for so long.

* (24:35) Re-purposing old campaign ideas.  The portability of ideas between genre, system, and setting.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0302.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:05 AM

* (1:19) St. Louis food trucks.  The real name of Panera Bread.  An upcoming food truck rally at Laumeier Sculpture Park.

* (8:11) Chad’s coyote character radically alters the course of a game.  The courtesy of handling such shifts in light of plans made by the Game Master or other players.

* (21:34) Rolling with such sudden changes when you’re running the game.

* (35:53) The relationship between story arcs and character spotlight.

* (43:28) Game Master trust.

* (48:13) Romance, flirting, and Beth as a yenta.

Hosts: Chad, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0301.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:28 AM

* (0:40) The Nazi Occult by Ken Hite.

* (3:13) Fear the Minicon: East.  It will be hosted in Raleigh, NC on August 10th at Game Theory.  You can find the details and get signed up here.

* (4:20) Fear the Con 7 will most likely be June 12th – 14th of 2014.

* (8:17) Our biggest faults as Game Masters and how we overcame (or are working to overcome) them.

* (22:00) The nature of crunch within a roleplaying game.  How rules, setting, and even language can create additional processes you might need to understand to play a game.  The relationship between crunch and the length of a campaign.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Sgt. Dan, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0299.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:15 AM

* (0:50) A big thanks to Nick for the bonus episode intro music!

* (1:15) If you can’t get Happy Jacks, you probably need to update your feed.  You can find more info here.

* (1:55) A big congrats to Jake and Erick!

* (2:50) Postcard winners, you have not been forgotten.

* (4:46) Wayne and his soap babies at Fear the Con 6.

* (6:63) Pat and the nuclear football.

* (19:45) Chris’ poor choice of t-shirt.

* (27:41) Wayne as a Lamaze coach.

* (28:57) Julia and the lesbian surprise.

* (34:19) The reason Dan has never been told, “No.”

* (39:27) The lesbian, the witch, and the Wayne…drobe.  OK, that doesn’t really work.

* (41:16) The price of nice and the power of a last name.

* (44:20) Chris and the fire tower.

* (1:00:43) Lifeguard Mandy.

* (1:09:36) The reason Dan has never been told, “No.”  Part 2.

* (1:14:23) Chris and the finger.

* (1:18:59) Julia gets creeped out.

* (1:21:17) Wayne gets creepier.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Julia, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0050.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 4:50 AM

* (0:24) Chad forgets how to podcast.

* (2:28) Chris meets a person and is impressed by the event.

* (8:38) Telling a story at varying levels of epic-ness.  What it means for a story to be epic.  The importance of the small stories, even when told in the context of larger events.  Keeping the players connected to the characters and not just the plot arc.  You can find the Dark Dungeons tract here.  And, finally, the Crest Kids versus the Cavity Creeps.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0298.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:30) Fear the Con 6!  Sign up for the games you want to run or play.  Also, be sure to get your ticket ordered so we can give you a badge on Wing Night and skip the lines on Friday morning.

* (2:03) A discussion about why Tex and Dan used to hate Chris leads into some insight on the work Chris did for FASA and the rejection letter he got for a Shadowrun adventure about Mars.  Yes, you read that right.

* (13:11) The distinction between writing a module and writing an adventure.

* (24:22) Player-characters getting taken into captivity.  Giving it the right context.  The opportunities it presents.  The stories that occur while people are in captivity.  Planning a plausible escape.  Data rapping about his cat to Dr. Dre’s The Next Episode.  Dan in the bad-GM corner so the group can do a double-blind plan.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0297.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:27 AM

* (0:28) You can find Fear the Con 6 t-shirts and other items on our CafePress store.

* (0:57) Issues of responsibility.   Within a roleplaying group, who buys the books?  How do you fairly divide materials and labor?  Whether hosting the event or running the game should count toward those social obligations.

* (36:48) Handling mass combat in a game while still making the players feel like their characters are an important part of it.  Allowing them the most important tasks or a higher level of power.  Giving military context or emotional value to the smaller objectives of war.  Chad gave me two pictures from the D&D city battle we did.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0296.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:35 AM

* (0:20) How Shadowrun 5th edition is adapting to the shifting relevance of cyberpunk’s central themes.  The personal information site I mentioned is Radaris.

* (12:04) The matrix and its way of breaking up the party.  The steps Catalyst is taking to make deckers a bigger part of the primary story instead of an isolated side game.

* (25:09) The organization of the team creating 5th edition.

* (27:06) The things coming up for Shadowrun, starting with an introductory box set.

* (29:17) A unified portal for Shadowrun, which you can find here.  Also Shadowrun Returns and  Shadowrun Online.

* (39:39) Mark will be running a Shadowrun game at FRAG Con.

Hosts: Dan, John, Julia, Wayne

Guests: Mark Dynna

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0029.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 4:14 AM

* (0:40) A toast to Spc. David Tyler Proctor.

* (1:43) You can find information on Fear the Con 6’s official charities here.

* (4:18) Introducing our guest, Mark Dynna.

* (5:54) What Shadowrun’s PACs are and why we love them.

* (8:26) Shadowrun 5th edition as a case study on how large and mid-sized game companies develop their flagship products.

* (10:55) How Mark got started in game development.

* (169:44) The motivation behind a new edition.

* (28:32) How the artwork of a game can help reveal or misrepresent a game’s intentions.  You can find the new cover here.

* (31:44) Planning the feel for 5th edition.  Immediate and measurable consequence for choices made in character creation.  Looking back to prior editions for inspiration.

Hosts: Dan, John, Julia, Wayne

Guests: Mark Dynna

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0028.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 3:47 AM

* (0:43) Dan was a guest host over at The Established Facts.  You can find that episode here.

* (2:38) The Kickstarter for Hyperreality.

* (6:05) Dan versus Grey Goose.  Dan wins.

* (9:38) Chris versus audio.  Nobody wins.

* (11:51) Giving players really advanced notice of a game session.

* (15:27) Chris invites someone to a game in all the wrong ways.

* (24:40) The surprising number of non-nerds in IT.

* (27:35) Colossus: The Forbin Project, Deus Ex, and Watch Dogs.

* (35:26) A question about standing in line in a video game leads to a discussion of the positive and negative impacts of video game achievements.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Julia

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0049.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:51 AM

* (0:30) The Orson Welles recordings.  You can find the original here and the surprisingly similar parody here.

* (1:29) Thoughts and prayers for Jake and his brother, Erick.  You can send wishes to his forum account, Pinofski.  (You’ll need to be logged in to our forums for that link to work.)

* (2:26) Registration for Fear the Con is still up and running.  Also Iron Man 3 and the Sober Driver Brigade.

* (7:17) The two kinds of failure in a roleplaying game: mechanical failure and story failure.

* (10:01) Handling mechanical failure.  Identifying whether the problem is a poor understanding of the game or just crappy luck.

* (14:30) The importance of perception.  How buy-in can make failure in an RPG so much harder to accept than failure in books or movies.  The degree of IC/OOC separation.

* (31:39) The role of the GM in mitigating feelings of defeat.

* (40:51) Games with an intentionally unhappy ending or multiple endings.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Johann, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0295.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:31 AM

* (0:28) I don’t even know how to describe this.  Even Wayne was at a loss for words.

* (9:14) A shout-out to the guys who have put out a Matrix RPG.

* (10:40) Sign-up for our own convention, Fear the Con, is still running.

* (10:49) If you’re interested in a convention on the east coast, be sure to check out 1d4Con in Winchester, Virginia, Friday, April 26th to Sunday, April 28th.

* (11:51) And it goes back there again.  The Ryan versus Chad sock puppet pony conversation can be found here.

* (13:19) If you’re interested in writing, stop by Fear the Boot’s own writers’ guild.  Their next online meetup is on Saturday, March 16th.  Check the forum area or send a PM to Sion for more information.

* (15:37) Why Dan can’t do his own game session reviews.

* (17:13) An object lesson on “forced success”, drawing from our most recent game.

* (21:16) Giving success to your characters as a way of keeping the game intact and the plot moving forward.  Balancing the value of internal consistency versus player enjoyment.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0294.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:05 AM

* (0:17) Dan doesn’t know his own show.

* (1:44) Introducing the one question personality tests.

* (4:32) People that don’t own TVs.

* (6:10) Red, green, or blue?

* (8:52) Protoss, Terran, or Zerg?

* (10:05) Dwarf, human, or elf?

* (12:15) Zombie apocalypse or alien invasion?

* (13:22) Summer or winter?

* (16:47) Fighter, wizard, cleric, or thief?

* (18:20) Fantasy, steampunk, or sci-fi?  Our Monsters Are Different.

* (23:50) Star Trek or Star Wars?

* (28:53) Elvis or Beatles?

* (31:09) MMO or single player?

* (33:27) Zombie, vampire, or werewolf?

* (39:33) In video games, male or female characters?

* (43:53) Rich or famous?

* (46:44) PVP or PVE?

* (51:08) Basketball, baseball, or football?

* (55:54) Sleek or clunky robots?

Hosts: Dan, John, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0048.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:51 AM

* (0:29) Nut up and GM!

* (3:35) An update on the postcard contest.

* (4:17) Fear the Con is coming up.  If you’re arriving early for the tourism, please send an email to Dan with your contact information, arrival time, and method of travel, so we can keep you in the loop.  Failing that, we’ll also be updating our Twitter feed with event information as we migrate about the area.

* (7:57) Playing a character with a disability.  The motivations for playing such a character.  Handling it with dignity and sensitivity.  When it’s probably best to avoid the topic completely.

Hosts: Dan, John, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0293.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:49 AM

* (0:24) The traits to expect from a good editor.  Determining the kinds of edits you’re looking for.  Separating style and other subjective choices from genuine problems with the writing.

* (9:32) Choosing traditional publication versus self-publication.

* (18:08) Name placement on a list or bookstore shelf.

* (20:17) The importance of marketing your book and yourself as an author.  How name recognition led to the creation of Fear the Boot.

* (42:38) A few quick notes on Kickstarter and other methods of fundraising.  Monte Cooke’s book, Kicking It.  Joel and Tristan’s first interview with Postcards from the Dungeon.  (As of this release, the follow-up has not yet been posted, but be sure to keep watching their site!)

* (44:18) A wrap-up of what everyone is doing and where you can find their work.

Hosts: Chuck, Dan, Joel, John, Tristan

Chuck Wills’ Chronicles of Spire in ebook or print.

Joel Dalenberg and Tristan Zimmerman’s The GM’s Real World Reference on DriveThru.  You can also find Tristan over at Dragonlance Canticle.

John Grana’s Bloodmoon Goblins on DriveThru and Paizo.

Direct download: feartheboot_0292.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:14 AM

* (0:27) Introducing our guests and setting up the discussion.  You can find the relevant links at the bottom of this post.

* (11:18) What motivated each author to get started.

* (17:18) Tips for seeing a project through to completion.  Collaboration, accountability to an audience, and the danger of relying on a “future self”.  The importance of small, realistic milestones.

* (28:45) The closest they came to failure and what kept it from happening.

* (41:14) Setting a reasonable view of success.

* (49:08) Editing non-fiction.  The relationship between legends, history, and the cultural context of both.

Hosts: Chuck, Dan, Joel, John, Tristan

The discussion continues in part 2!  In the meantime, you can find the work of these fine folks at the following links.

Chuck Wills’ Chronicles of Spire in ebook or print.

Joel Dalenberg and Tristan Zimmerman’s The GM’s Real World Reference on DriveThru.  You can also find Tristan over at Dragonlance Canticle.

John Grana’s Bloodmoon Goblins on DriveThru and Paizo.

Direct download: feartheboot_0291.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:07 AM

* (1:05) Dan blames Chris for the burpee.  Jackie Joyner-Kersee and fartleks.

* (5:49) Fear the Fruit.

* (6:38) Boots the Pegasus t-shirt orders.

* (7:38) Signup for Fear the Con 6 rolls on, and tickets are now available for purchase!

* (9:45) The death of a bard.  Just how much a Game Master should warn a player about the risks they’re taking.

* (19:36) Why Pat should play Skyrim: naked mods.

* (21:09) Why cyberpunk isn’t as accessible as it used to be, and how Shadowrun bridges that by swapping out certain themes.

* (31:49) The persistence of roleplaying games when compared to other forms of entertainment.  Whether an RPG can feel too dated in its premise or setting to be playable.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0290.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:35 AM

* (0:28) Registration is running for Fear the Con 6.

* (0:57) John makes a Shadowrun character.

* (7:26) The various models roleplaying games use for representing damage to your character.  Shaken, stunned, and otherwise losing control of your character.

* (11:49) What damage actually represents: injuries versus the loss of will to fight.

* (13:53) The relationship between damage, the duration of combat, and the feel of the game.

* (18:13) Accumulating wounds instead of losing health.

* (20:42) How a setting can make less descriptive damage more helpful to the feeling and flow of a game.

* (26:25) The models we each prefer and the reasons why.

* (35:10) How healers affect the way we view injuries.

* (41:01) Swapping out the combat system of a particular game.

Hosts: Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0289.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:19 AM

* (0:51) Sign-up is open for Fear the Con 6!  There are some changes to the scheduling this year, which are detailed in the podcast.  Ticket sales will be available soon.

* (5:37) Chad takes umbrage with Wayne’s comments about spelling errors in his games.  If you want to check out his free one-shotters, you can grab them right here.

* (8:55) The movies of 2013.  Django.  Trying to see movies when you have young kids.  Pacific Rim.  Oblivion.  All Superheroes Must Die.  Man of Steel.

* (28:05) Getting too into a character.  The baggage brought to a table, and the blurry line between character and player.  Compartmentalizing who you associate with.

* (54:55) Soap baby, round three.  Fight.

Hosts: Chad, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0288.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:38 AM

* (1:15) Voting for the postcards contest rolls on!  Be sure to get your votes in here.

* (1:37) Gaming New Years resolutions for 2013.

* (22:01) The various approaches to personal wealth and the broader economy of a roleplaying game.

* (25:44) A quick update on the new things we’ve learned about soap baby.

* (27:14) Back to your regularly schedule episode…

* (29:17) The methods for determining a character’s starting cash and gear.

* (46:32) Wealth and economy during the course of play.

* (54:53) Character wealth from the standpoint of the GM.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0287.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:21 AM

* (0:05) This was originally going to be the next Bedtime Stories before Wayne happened.  Regardless, we start with Julia’s misunderstanding of what we mean by “bedtime stories”.

* (1:23) You can find Chad’s free games through Morning Skye Studio.

* (2:29) Dan guest hosted on two other shows: Dragonlance Canticle and MasterCast.

* (3:17) Julia gets pantsed.

* (5:26) Dan goes to first grade with Dawn.  The many nations of Missouri and the misspelled town of Rolla.

* (9:22) Dan almost gets pantsed.

* (12:34) John and Pat go bowling.

* (16:38) Wayne and the bingo wand.

* (20:32) Wayne and the soap baby.

* (27:08) What an actual non-crush looks like.

* (30:39) The Hamburglar ring and an actual robbery.

* (35:28) Wayne ups the ante.

* (38:19) Julia loves America.  Pat attributes it to…something else.

* (40:40) The playoffs + Action Nerds: Go! + Dan’s house = damage to Dan’s house?  Aggression, sports, and the intersection thereof.  You can find Dungeon Crawl Classics here.

Hosts: Dan, Julia, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0047.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 9:40 AM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

* (0:20) John’s Bloodmoon Goblins Pathfinder supplement is now available for sale as a PDF, with print soon to follow.

* (2:22) The  ecology and agenda of monsters in Pathfinder Online.

* (3:42) The nature of existing (and eventually expanded) “theme park” content as opposed to the “sandbox” content.

* (6:08) The reason we need to ask hard questions about this MMO.

* (8:06) Does the gaming world really need another fantasy MMO?  The historical context for Pathfinder Online’s creation.

* (16:29) The cash model for the game.  The points at which it will likely be subscription-based versus “freemium” or completely free-to-play.

* (18:02) Given the market climate — and Paizo’s obvious claim to fame — why not focus the resources into a high-end virtual tabletop instead of an MMO?

* (19:26) The graphical enhancements planned between the tech demo and actual game.

* (21:15) The purpose of the second Kickstarter, particularly in light of investor funding.

* (31:53) How is player feedback going to be gathered and used to alter the game world during the design process?  How is Paizo involved in the game’s development?

* (35:52) Balancing the influence of project backers when comparing the number of people on one side against the depth of pocketbooks on the other.

* (37:27) How Goblinworks is defining the game’s “beta” and why there’s a subscription attached to it.  Whether there’s intended to be any character-resource resets or similar setbacks during the beta.

* (45:58) Mark’s interest in seeing large-scale combat look more like authentic, Medieval warfare.

* (48:45) A round-up of the relevant links.  You can checkout the Pathfinder Online Kickstarter right here.  If you want to visit Mark’s blog, that would be here.  And finally, our postcards contest is up for voting over here.

Hosts: Dan, Johann, John, Pat

Guests: Mark Kalmes

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0027.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 1:04 PM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

If you’re interested in backing the Pathfinder Online Kickstarter, you can do so here.

* (0:43) The postcards contest is ready for your vote to pick the grand prize winner!  Get your votes in here!

* (1:08) Some breaking news on the Pathfinder MMO: Mark tells us about the upcoming “Guild Land Rush”.

* (5:26) Introducing Mark Kalmes.  City of Heroes (and Villains), the Mastermind, and the game’s shutdown.  Asheron’s Call and Meridian.

* (11:49) Mark’s work in robotics.

* (14:12) The relationship between Goblinworks and Paizo.

* (15:58) How close will the MMO stick to the Pathfinder tabletop rules?  The nature of a class-less, skill-based system.  How characters advance, how they’re capped, and how new players can enter a world alongside well-established ones.

* (32:51) Player-versus-player combat in Pathfinder Online.  The reasoning behind the lack of PVE (or purely consensual PVP) options.  The role of NPC hirelings.  A player-based economy and the importance of inter-player relationships.

* (46:37) Breaking into an established world.  Finding a role for your character and a piece of land for your house.

* (51:09) The consequences of character death.

* (53:36) The relationship between the in-game and real-world economies.  We also talk about active subscriptions versus playing on a lapsed subscription.  The story of Second Life and the IRS.

* (58:41) The number and structure of servers, and the number of accounts per server.  Hurdles put in place to keep one guild from dominating the game world.

* (1:02:17) How the casual and solo players fit into the order of things.

Hosts: Dan, Johann, John, Pat

Guests: Mark Kalmes

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0026.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 7:43 AM

* (0:28) If you want to ask Maniah about a Boots the Pegasus t-shirt, you can find that information on our forums.

* (1:50) You can find the details on Fear the Fruit here.

* (2:27) Voting on the postcard grand prize winner will begin soon!  I’m just waiting on one more show to get me their winning card.

* (3:28) Derpy Hooves, Bruticus, Orson Welles and the green peaness, the Pros and Cons podcast, the Dinosaurs boardgame, disgusting sodas, and a canoe.

* (22:12) Getting and maintaining a group’s focus in a game.  Allowing for reasonable outbursts of humor and socialization, without letting it disrupt play.  I couldn’t find a video for “the clown is down”, but I at least found the longer quote it’s from.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0286.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:13 AM

* (0:28) Announcing our pick for the Postcards from the Dungeon contest!  You’ll be able to see the postcard we picked when the poll goes live later this week.

* (2:32) The existence or absence of critical miss rules in various systems, and whether they’re needed to add parity to critical hits.

* (20:18) Why GMs should not make obfuscation and frustration their go-to method of building a plot.  Times we’ve encountered this in the past.  Whether improv GMs are more prone to this particular mistake and some suggestions on a better way to structure even a “single-objective” plot.

* (45:39) Apparently game companies think Christmas is in March this year.  You can find Karla’s wish list site here.

Hosts: Dan, John, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0285.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:11 AM

If you need an extra dose of Fear the Boot this week, Dan was a guest on two other podcasts.  First, he appeared on Saving the Game to talk about the moral dimension of folklore and re-imagining tabletop fantasy in a monotheistic paradigm.  Second, he appeared on Pros & Cons to talk about the nitty gritty of hosting a convention.

As a side note, while Pros & Cons has a similar “no politics, no religion” policy to our own, Saving the Game is a Christian podcast.  It’s not aggressive toward other worldviews, but consider this fair warning that it does carry an overtly religious perspective.

* (0:05) Chris demands the bonus episode disclaimer.  Johann delivers!

* (1:19) The premise (and ditched titled) for the episode.

* (1:33) The problem with Chris.

* (4:10) Back to the prior topic!  What Dan wants gone: the “traitor” mechanic.

* (7:33) What Johann wants gone: cursed items.

* (15:53) What Chris wants gone: a lack of time and rules lawyers.

* (26:29) What John wants gone: not being a kid, anymore.

* (29:03) Playing across the gender aisle.

* (32:58) Real-life versus your gaming life.

* (34:25) The one piece of equipment your characters always have.  Plus encumbrance, belladonna, and garlic.

* (42:29) Casting times, damage type versus armor type, and negative pressure.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0046.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 12:18 PM

* (2:12) The first pitch.

* (9:49) An update from Fear the Boot’s Election Center.

* (11:03) The second pitch.

* (19:58) Another update from the Election Center.

* (20:27) The third pitch.

* (23:56) Results just came from Iowa, and CNN is calling it for…

* (25:40) The fourth pitch.

* (29:06) Another few states reporting in!

* (31:45) The fifth pitch.

* (37:13) And back to the Election Center!

* (37:55) The sixth pitch.

* (43:35) A quick check of the ticker…

* (45:50) The seventh pitch.

* (51:01) A final check with our news desk.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0284.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:10 AM

* (0:24) Maintaining and expressing individuality while in a command structure.  The story of Roy Benavidez.

* (3:17) The details of military rank structure and the protocol for addressing other soldiers.   The importance of how you got your rank, and the subcultures that creates.  A survey of military ranks, histories, etymologies, etc, can be found here (there’s a show/hide link next to it — just click “show”).

* (21:36) The reasons people join the military.

* (35:21) The dehumanization of the enemy, and how it makes combat both easier and more difficult.  You can read up on the Christmas Truce here.

* (40:39) The conversations that occur between moments of action.  When and where people have their most honest moments, and the form they take.

* (47:51) The camaraderie shared by military veterans as a result of their shared experiences.  The similar (albeit less significant) camaraderie that forms among roleplayers for similar reasons.

Hosts: Cape, Dan, (Sgt.) Dan, Ryan, Wayne


Miscellaneous links…

The two blogs Cape contributes to are Geek Life and Roleplayers Chronicle.

In an email exchange, Ryan also suggest a book, entitled What It Is Like To Go To War.

Direct download: feartheboot_0283.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:45 AM

* (0:33) Introducing our guests: Cape, Dan, and Ryan.

* (8:13) Fear the Boot salutes everyone wearing the real boots.  Also, a special shout-out to Sgt. Rose and the 82nd Airborne.

* (10:20) A final reminder that you have until November 10th to get your postcards in for the contest.  The complete rules can be found here.

* (10:57) Playing tabletop games while in the military.

* (14:27) The complex relationship between escapism, realism, and PTSD.  For additional reading, you can look up articles on EMDR and Audie Murphy.

* (27:06) The logistics of carrying and playing games while deployed.  You can find Cape Rust’s articles here and here.  The documentary Cape mentions during the show is Restrepo.

* (32:26) Playing games that are set in the military.  Identifying the major RP hurdles and searching for some character commonalities to help address them.

* (38:31) The XCOM Saga as a bridge to military RPGs.

* (45:24) Finding the starting point for a military character.

* (51:24) How our panelists feel about people roleplaying military personnel.

* (56:12) Understanding the basics of military rank.

Hosts: Cape, Dan, (Sgt.) Dan, Ryan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0282.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01 AM

* (0:40) Two new prizes have been added to the postcard contest (a copy of Ultimate Toolbox and World’s Largest Dungeon).  The deadline has also been pushed back to November 10th.  You can find the complete rules on the forums.

* (3:26) The absolute horror of the Sesame Street aliens and singing statue.

* (7:54) Introducing Greg Christopher.  You can find his Google+ feed here.

* (10:57) The reason we brought Greg on the show: to shed some light on the virtues of online games and how to make them work better than we’ve traditionally done.

* (14:16) The advantages of remote play when compared to face-to-face play.

* (23:44) The growing number and sophistication of online play tools.  See the bottom of the post for a list of links.

* (29:14) The degree and frequency of meta-gaming in remote games.

* (35:46) Overcoming the common problems of online play, including poor player reliability, social pressure to skip games, and readily-available distractions.

* (53:28) Setting expectations for an online game.  You can find Stuart Robertson’s GM Merit Badges here.

* (57:41) Getting started in online play.

Hosts: Dan, Greg, John, Julia, Wayne


MapTool – http://www.rptools.net/index.php?page=maptool

Myth Weavers – http://www.myth-weavers.com

Obsidian Portal – http://www.obsidianportal.com

Roll20 – http://roll20.net

Tabletop Forge – http://tabletopforge.com

Wikia – http://www.wikia.com

Direct download: feartheboot_0281.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:05 AM

* (0:35) Whether women can accurately predict who men will find attractive.

* (8:13) Rearranging the hosts’ paychecks.  Also, hair dye and care tips.

* (14:59) When a group template can backfire, creating a fence that makes it harder to integrate new characters.  How the group can work together to integrate a new character and make sure they have a meaningful place in the setting and plot.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0280.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:52 AM

* (0:36)  Postcards!  Postcards!  Send in your postcards and win free stuff!

* (1:08) Shock websites and the other horrors of the internet Chad intentionally seeks out.

* (12:44) Real-life shame (or the lack thereof) and how that impacts the way we approach roleplaying games.  The “Cerebus rant” can be found here.  FAIR WARNING: The material contained within will likely be offensive to the vast majority of people.

* (32:21) What happened to the campaign pitches our listeners sent it.

* (33:25) A thread on My Little Pony gives birth to an artistic rendering of Boots and Unicrorn.

* (39:22) What to do when one or more people are unhappy with the current game.  How that displeasure can get confused with genuine, interpersonal issues.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Julia

Direct download: feartheboot_0279.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:46 AM

* (0:28) The video that explains the intro.

* (1:13) Pitching campaign ideas as a practice exercise, and then grading the pitches.

* (1:49) Chris’ pitch.

* (12:17) Pat’s non-pitch, which turns into further deconstruction of Chris’ approach.

* (19:54) Dan’s pitch.

* (31:49) Julia’s pitch.

* (40:25) Chad’s pitch.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0278.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:50 AM

* (0:37) Be sure to get your postcards in for our contest!

* (0:53) Chris gives a shout-out for a rather unusual gift.

* (4:45) What we each feel is missing in our current gaming groups or would like to see in a new player.

* (21:07) The art of selling a game idea to your players.  Reading into their questions.  Digging until you find the real objection.  Reshaping the game idea or “sales pitch” to fit your audience.  Making the pitch as immersive as the game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Johann, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0277.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50 AM

* (0:28) Introducing yet another Adam.

* (2:45) The postcards contest is still awaiting your entry!

* (4:57) Batman, Superman, Iron Man, a dinosaur, and Toy War 2.  You can see the fight that started it all here.

* (18:45) Getting a new Game Master started in the art of running RPGs.  The experiences of Adam, Beth, and Wayne as they each ran their first games.  The lessons they wish they’d known going into it.  What they have to say to anyone ready to take the plunge.

Hosts: Adam, Beth, Dan, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0276.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34 AM

* (0:24) Earth tones!

* (1:03) The origin and cogency of evil within real people, and why that makes it hard for some of us to play dark characters.  Why it’s easier to play a dark NPC than PC.  The Joker’s boner (link is SFW despite the name).

* (17:34) Picking “acceptable evils” to help you find a dark character you’d be willing to play.

* (30:37) Dark characters we’ve played in the past and how we made them work.

* (46:28) Our postcard contest is still just getting started!  You can find the complete rules here.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0275.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:08 AM

* (0:29) Welcoming Adam from Kicked in the Dicebags: Player’s Edition.

* (1:35) Announcing our first cross-show promotion with Kicked in the Dicebags, Postcards from the Dungeon, and THE ESTABLiSHED FACTS.  You can find the complete rules and mailing address right here.

* (6:39) Adam drags us down by his mere presence.

* (8:43) Defining a dark character and offering reasons you might want to play one.

* (16:16) Playing the dark character in a group that isn’t.  Handling the moral conflicts that can divide the party.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

NOTE: Because of the length of this recording, we cut it up.  The rest of the conversation will be released next week!

Direct download: feartheboot_0274.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:51 AM

* (1:19) An upcoming, cross-show contest.

* (2:37) The expiration date on spoilers.

* (16:28) As a Game Master, knowing what you truly want out of a game.  Trying to get what you want while still taking into account the players’ wants and needs.  (EDITOR’S NOTE: Around 34:50, Pat makes a comment about being able to do what you want, just like Spider-Man.  That’s an inside joke referring to this video.  FYI, it contains strong language.)

* (39:00) Identifying what you want as a player and getting that from a game without being uncompromising.

Hosts: Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0273.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:28 AM

* (0:47) Fear the Boot vs Fear the Boot.  The ENnies weren’t even in the room!

* (1:53) Wayne falls in love with the idea of games that have a story self-contained story arcs.

* (4:30) Music and other in-character distractions from the game.  Roleplaying in sidebars.

* (21:16) Blah, blah, blah, InSpectres.  You can see the three confessionals here, here, and here.

* (29:01) Using another game system — or even another instance of the same game — to further explore your plot and setting.  Taking a break or changing tone through related games.

* (43:57) Switching Game Masters when moving in and out of sub-games.

Hosts: Chad, John, Julia, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0272.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:45 AM

* (0:28) Introducing James.  How little we used to know about the names associated with the games we played.

* (2:50) Johann must ask the hard-hitting questions.

* (6:02) The degree of freedom RPG fiction writers have in shaping their own work.  The distinction between good prose and good game writing.

* (10:50) Writing shared world fiction.  The joy of working in collaboration with other people, while suffering a loss of ownership and control.

* (14:29) Zeb Cook’s robots.

* (16:04) Creator rights in roleplaying games.

* (27:03) Is gaming fiction typically worse than other forms of fiction?  And if so, why?

* (35:54) The book Jim just finished editing, Beyond the Wall, and how it illustrates his view of an editor’s role.

* (41:15) What Jim has coming up, including some script work on the Hack/Slash comic book.  You can also follow his work via his website.  While not mentioned during the episode, Jim was a puppeteer for the comedy musical, Misfit Heights.

* (42:48) Comparing San Diego Comic-Con to Gen Con, in terms of size, scope, purpose, and culture.

Hosts: Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Guests: James Lowder

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0025.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 7:14 AM

* (0:29) Introducing Keith Baker.

* (2:01) The origin of Eberron and how its publication impacted Keith’s career.

* (9:49) Traveling around the world, staying with other gamers, and running the same game 54 times.  What he would like to run and play within his own group.

* (19:54) Maintaining mystery in a game setting.  The relationship between the game and its supporting fiction, particularly when trying to show deference to the way Game Masters have developed the setting for their own group.

* (28:19) The surprisingly delightful card game, Gloom, in which you attempt to destroy your own family.  Why Dan wants to see an expansion for the Lemp family.  Finding an emergent story in otherwise story-less games.

* (40:12) Cthulhu Fluxx and how it both captures the feel of a Lovecraft story and stands apart from the other Fluxx games.

* (46:18) The projects Keith has coming up.  If you want to follow his work, you can do so on his website or on Twitter.

* (48:31) Keith’s contribution to Fear the Boot’s diversity initiative.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Julia, Pat

Guests: Keith Baker

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0024.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 5:29 AM

* (0:50) Tips and techniques for running a fully improvised game.  We start by setting the boundaries for the discussion.

* (5:16) Why improv at all?

* (6:50) Asking the right questions to get things started.  In the broadest sense, what sort of game experience do the players want to have?  Setting boundaries and building initial, internal consistency.

* (13:15) Using character-based questions to narrow everything down and draw out ideas for the game.

* (20:58) How far ahead of the players you need to be.  Sources of inspiration for setting the scene.  The power of, “Yes, but…”

* (31:03) Employing all of these ideas in a practice exercise.

* (39:54) John’s approach to running improv games.  How introducing a formalized rules system impacts the process.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Julia, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0271.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:18 AM

* (0:35) Handling interrogation in a roleplaying game.  Allowing the PCs (or NPCs) to get the information they want without degrading into senselessly graphic scenes.  Passing off misinformation or allowing the target of interrogation to manipulate the situation.

* (23:17) Characters that don’t quite fit in.  While this could come from clashes of personality or power level, we focus on those that don’t fit because of the accompanying mythos or setting presumptions needed for them to exist.

Hosts: Dan, John, Julia, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0270.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:46 PM

* (0:04) 4th of July comes early!

* (0:46) One of our Twitter users correctly observes what makes this show work.

* (2:56) Wayne does a brilliant transition that fails, losing out to Trendy Top, shorts with writing on them, and Chad’s hat.

* (8:28) Being dressed by your parents.

* (10:31) Dan’s praise for Duluth Trading Co.

* (12:57) The child abuse known as “hand-me-downs”, and the spousal abuse known as “shopping”.  Wayne carves out his own clothing phases.

* (23:49) The worst piece of clothing foisted upon us while growing up.

* (27:47) Toe shoes.

* (33:15) Pat in black, and Dan in combat boots.

* (43:25) Batman, Spider-Man, and Wayne in a poncho.

* (49:02) Our favorite pieces of clothing.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0045.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 2:15 AM

* (1:08) This year we’ll be attending San Diego Comic Con instead of Gen Con.  However, there may still be some FtB community-sponsored events at Gen Con.  Expect details on the activities at both conventions soon!

* (1:46) John is a bad, bad man.  Adding romance to a game while also dealing with its consequences.

* (16:18) Stepping back when you’re too busy to GM.  Our temporary switch from Battletech to Dresden.  Non-consensual changes to character — crossing the “golden box”.

* (30:40) Questions to contemplate prior to the game.  Making sure there’s a common understanding about certain elements such as lethality, plot direction, and the usefulness of various archetypes.

Hosts: Beth, Dan, John, Julia

Direct download: feartheboot_0269.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:31 AM

* (0:30) Fear the Boot sans Dan.  Pat makes me proud by his treatment of Chris.

* (5:17) Some love for the Darker Days podcast.

* (6:13) Free RPG Day coming up on this Saturday, June 16th.

* (8:53) The lessons learned from a nearly-dead online game.  Setup time, scheduling, and social awkwardness.

* (24:30) Some shout-outs from Fear the Con V.

* (27:55) Allowing your PCs — or the enemies — to quit the field during a roleplaying game, whether through retreat, surrender, capture, or truce.  Why it so rarely happens.  How to make it feel like an option, and the depth it can add to a game when handled properly.

Hosts: Chris, Johann, Karla, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0268.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:12 AM

FAIR WARNING: The first part of this episode is a bit crass.  If you’re offended by that sort of thing, just skip forward to the 18 minute mark and begin listening there.

* (0:30) Welcoming guest hosts, Chris Mais and Julia.  Julia’s struggles as a gaming girl.  Chris Mais proves he can out…whatever…Chris Hussey.  A discussion about cosplay, including the costumes Julia has done and the one Dan wants to do.

* (17:53) Gaming with a very large group of players.  The largest group we’ve each been in and how they were formed.

* (22:28) The problems large groups can create for the Game Master, including a large audience to entertain, numerous interactions to work out, and the amount of data to track.

* (28:01) The problems players have to contend with.  Too many leaders, cliques, character overlap, and simple boredom.  The diminishing role of NPCs.

* (43:40) Possible solutions to make an unwieldy gaming group work.

Hosts: Chris M., Dan, John, Julia, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0267.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:08 AM

Just to make up for how late we released episode 200!

Direct download: feartheboot_0300.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:07 AM

* (0:40) Welcoming Monte Cook.  His first RPG book and the story of how he broke into the industry 24 years ago.  How he made it to D&D and what happened to the Marvel stuff he wrote along the way.

* (8:36) The culture of TSR during its “bloat” and decline.  How the focus of management affected what was being written.

* (11:40) Dan suddenly understands where Ptolus came from.

* (13:27) Monte’s transition from TSR to Wizards of the Coast to Malhavoc Press.  Along the way he also published a non-fiction book, The Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracies.  The Bilderberg Group becomes the Harbor Group, and how to work conspiracies into your own game!

* (16:51) Monte’s take on the OGL and the sorts of books it’s produced.

* (20:26) His own gaming group and what they run.  House-ruling his own material.  Starting games inside the companies that made those very titles.

* (29:06) How to reference D&D without violating copyright or trademark law.

* (31:17) Monte’s thoughts on the development of Pathfinder and how its rules were shaped.

* (34:16) The projects he’s working on now, the future of Malhavoc, and the brand power of his own name.

* (39:09) DriveThruRPG, DRM, and Fear the Boot versus Wikipedia.  Oofty Goofty climbing the Dark Tower, and Monte Cook inventing the clementine orange.

* (44:50) What’s the best class in 3e?  (Editor’s Note: I can’t believe we went there, even tongue in cheek.)  The viability of bards.  The lost d12 and how it led to the barbarian.

* (51:32) Monte settles a bet for one of our Twitter followers.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Johann, John

Guests: Monte Cook

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0023.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 2:28 AM

* (0:00) Don’t worry.  We’ll stick with podcasting.

* (2:07) May 5th?  Wow, I’m behind on getting these episodes out.  But for those of you that didn’t make it, welcome to Fear the Con V!  We start by introducing the podcasts represented on this episode.

* (2:55) The winner of the Power 16 III!

* (4:39) The art of storytelling in an RPG, as inspired by an article about running games for a blind gamer (which can be found here).  Adding vivid appeal in a small number of words.  The importance of all five senses in the description of setting, dialog, and action.  Holding the other people at your table accountable for contributing to the scene.

* (41:33) Stopping just shy of entrapment, Chris Ings gives Johann something a Juggalo would surely love.  We also get a gift from Japan, which went entirely to Chad.

Hosts: Action Nerds: GO!, Dice + Food + Lodging, The Established FactsFear the Boot, Kicked in the DicebagsMonster Chest, Postcards from the Dungeon

Direct download: feartheboot_0266.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:16 AM

It is indeed the long awaited, much anticipated, frequently masturbated, and now antiquated Episode 200. Promised well over a year ago, this episode is doing everything it is able to do to not live up to the hype that has been created around its existence or non-existence. Enjoy.

Or not.

Either way, leave Chris alone about it. He’s suffered enough… okay, who am I kidding. He was made to suffer. It’s his lot in life.

Category:Blog Entries -- posted at: 2:00 PM

* (0:30) Who Stuart is and what he’s been up to lately.  His blog, Strange Magic, and his micro-RPG, Weird West.  His Deviant Art profile can be found here.

* (2:00) Stuart’s participation in the one-page dungeon design competition.  The mental exercise of paring content down to just what’s really needed.  The virtue of succinctness in the face of bloated games.

* (7:36) A case study on micro-RPGs, using Weird West as our example.  Knights of Cydonia.

* (10:18) Craft time on Fear the Boot!  You can follow along by looking at the online folding guide or viewing a video of Dan making one.

* (15:45) Capturing a character in just ten traits, taking up an area smaller than a standard playing card.

* (19:38) The choice to exclude a detailed setting and an explanation of what an RPG is.  The increasing exposure people have to the concepts of RPGs.  The use of implied setting to make the game bigger than the text itself.

* (29:33) The business aspects of selling a small book for a low price.  The advantages of being your own artist.  The IndieGoGo campaign for Stuart’s Weird West minis.

* (35:13) What Stuart’s playing apart from the games he’s written.

* (41:41) A micro-RPG in the hands of a brand new player or GM.

* (43:31) What the phrase “old school” means to Stuart and why he feels it applies to his game.  The G.I. Joe old school PSA parody (fair warning: there’s some strong language).  Discussion about the usefulness of vernacular labels.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Wayne

Guests: Stuart Robertson

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0022.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 2:30 AM

Fear the Boot is joining up with Kicked in the Dicebags to promote some great charities Derek is running at Fear the Con this year.  All the links you need are below!

Information on the forums: http://www.feartheboot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=15442

Gamers Outreach: http://gamersoutreach.org/

If people want to write their own letter, please address it to “Dear Soldier” and place it in an unsealed blank envelope. I have to request an address at the time of sending the letters, so I have no idea who it will go to right now. People can also use the website to send packages as well.

(From much hunt and peck) – simplified instructions:

1. Read the information here: http://anysoldier.com/HowToSend.cfm

2. Read the information here: http://anysoldier.com/faq.cfm

3. Go to this page and select someone from the left (The capital letters designate branch) and read their requests: http://anysoldier.com/WhereToSend/

4. Once you find someone who you wish to donate to, click the link on the main side of the page to request the address.

5. Use the info from steps 1 and 2 to put together a package of requested items or send a letter.

They have suggestions about where to find things the soldiers want on this page (http://anysoldier.com/WhatToSend.cfm), however the person putting together the package really needs to read the requests first. One request I read said basically – no more jerky please!

Direct download: feartheboot_PSA_0004.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:04 AM

* (0:40) If you’re coming to Fear the Con V, please note the wandering nature of the street the con center is on.

* (1:54) Much love for Anime Eggroll!  If you’re in the St. Louis area and looking for a good anime shop, we give them our highest recommendation.

* (2:29) An upcoming crossover show and what it doesn’t mean.

* (3:16) The frightening disease known as Chris’ Revenge.

* (5:51) The results of the Power 16 III semi-finals.  The last round has now commenced.  Results will be read during our Fear the Con recording, so get your votes in now!

* (11:42) Offering a new player the right amount of help to get them into a roleplaying game without overwhelming, intimidating, or annoying them.  Allowing changes along the way.  How long to hold back before you let them suffer the same consequences as an experienced character.

Hosts: Dan, Karla, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0265.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:38 AM

* (0:28) Fear the Con V‘s tourism events will begin the evening of Sunday, April 29th.  If you’d like to join the communication hub, please send your name, cell phone number, and arrival time (if applicable) to TOFtBCH@feartheboot.com.

* (2:49) An update from John on the status of Bloodmoon Goblins.

* (3:43) The more obscure movies we’re interested in seeing during 2012.  We mentioned several things during the episode which you can find here: Dark Shadows, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Snow White and the Huntsman, and finally Vanilla and Shovel Face.  The other movie Chad mentioned was Django Unchained, which only has fan-made trailers at this point.

* (18:48) Movie ratings.  Why so many movies end up PG-13 and our wish it wasn’t so.

* (27:33) A call to get your gas on at Chris’ expense!

* (34:05) Adapting an existing intellectual property (video game, TV show, movie, novel, etc) into a roleplaying game.  Discerning what the game would be about, without trying to act out the story the IP already told.  When the players don’t know the IP.  Building or adapting a rules system.  The episode of Dr. Who Dan refers to is Snakedance.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0264.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:16 AM

* (0:43)  Three charities at Fear the Con V for Gamers Outreach.  There will be a raffle for an iPad, letters to the troops, and a Pathfinder Society tournament.  You can find more details or ask questions in this thread.

* (4:30) Second round results from the Power 16 III.  You can vote on the third round here.  Third round voting ends at 6:00pm Central time on Tuesday, April 17th.

* (7:37) The People of Fear the Boot vs Johann.  Let the record show the defendant stands accused of the class A felony of being a Juggalo.  Defendant appeared in person to enter a plea of “not guilty”.  A pre-trial hearing was conducted by the court, after which the defendant was assigned legal counsel and held over for trial at a later date.

* (12:38) Impressions among the hosts from the character creation session for the Stone Keep campaign.  The differences between our approaches to starting a campaign and how we each make them work.

* (23:14) How dead-end games can jade players on character creation.  Whether character creation itself is an enjoyable task.

* (29:48) Why we no longer trust casinos that operate outside of state oversight.

* (31:46) Setting bloat.  Elements that are useless to building your own story.  When too much detail is provided, leaving no room for creativity.  Organizing setting material.  Facing down an intimidating stack of setting and history books that have piled up over the long life of an RPG.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0263.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01 AM

* (0:05) Caribbean or Caribbean?  Dan’s dream of killing a legally protected cryptid.

* (3:45) We try to start talking about video games that horribly disappointed us, but somehow end up talking about Juggalos.  How do they work?

* (12:25) Video games that went horribly off the ranch via plot, character development, or setting.  While it gets cut-off in this video, the “urine rocket” begins around 8:45.  The speed run of Morrowind can be seen here.

* (30:04) TV shows with crappy endings.  Our hatred of the “cycle of apocalypse and rebirth” theme, particularly in sci-fi.

* (33:13) Games we didn’t or couldn’t finish.

* (38:59) The ending that disappointed Wayne the most.  The beauty of emulators and save states.  As a slight correction, it was not the final fight against Sephiroth Dan couldn’t beat but rather one of Sephiroth’s previous end-game boss forms (“safer”, I believe).

* (44:52) What truly worries Dan about traveling.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0044.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:29) First round results from the Power 16 III.  You can vote on the second round here.  Second round voting ends at 6:00pm Central time on Tuesday, April 3rd.

* (6:32) A (hopefully unnecessary) disclaimer.

* (7:06) Dan’s impeccable moral clarity regarding urban fantasy.  I’ll let you guess who writes these show notes!

* (20:51) Faith in a roleplaying game.  The importance of creating expectations about what it can do, how it works, and how it will be measured.  The advantages of using mechanics or pure RP.  The role of the GM in interpreting a character’s faith.  Separating faith from sacrament.  Dealing with religious views that exclude competing truth-claims, particularly when held by a player at the table.

* (1:04:17) Faith in games that don’t overtly deal with the supernatural.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0262.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:24 AM

* (0:33) Fear the Con V!

* (1:25) The Power 16 III is still up and running!  You can vote here.  Round one will end at 6:00pm Central time on March 20th.

* (2:02) We’re delaying the discussion on faith until Wayne and Chris are both on the mics.  This obviously requires a test to make sure Wayne and Chris are not the same person.

* (3:01) Our Twitter feed and topic ideas.  Plus a tangent on voice acting.

* (6:03) NPCs the players are uniquely attached to.  Steps for creating or finding those characters.  Some ideas for leveraging such NPCs in the game.

* (28:49) Should RPG books include advice on handling problem players or other table-side issues that are likely to arise in the life of a gaming group?

* (36:55) Improving or speeding up character creation.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0261.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:46 PM

* (0:30) Dan got his copy of Impotent Nerd Rage by Mikey Mason.

* (1:40) The Power 16 III is now up and running!  You can vote here.  Round one will end at 6:00pm Central time on March 20th.

* (3:54) We’re proud to announce the release of the Narratavius app — written by Michael Ham and horribly mispronounced by Dan — featuring a Skies of Glass story by Chris.

* (7:02) Documentaries, comedies, and other entertainment that focuses on RPGs.  The distinction between those that look at the hobby versus using RPG intellectual properties.  What effect (if any) they have on non-gamers.  What we’d like to see from such efforts.

* (30:39) Recovering a game after a long hiatus.  The importance of desire, energy, and initiative.  Getting people back into the flow.  Why the players likely need to  contribute more than the GM.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0260.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:31 AM

* (1:04) The hosts versus social media.

* (7:51) Fear the Con V is still on its way and looking good!  If you’re a GM, we could use your help.  If you’re a player, then just be sure to grab the good games before they’re gone.

* (11:33) A discussion about fantasy fiction, mostly focusing on Tolkien and Leiber.  Somehow a tangent on Tom Clancy gets worked into the middle.

* (25:40) Realism and internal consistency in a roleplaying game.  When it’s important, when you should stick by your guns, and when to just let things go.

Hosts: Chad, Johann, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0259.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:54 AM

* (0:05) Dan falls victim to the flu.  If you need a visual of how bad it is in our area, check out this map from the CDC!

* (2:02) Fear the Con V could use some more Game Masters, if you’re willing to run a game.  A flyer is also available if you’re interested in posting one in your local game or book store.

* (4:31) If you’d like to make any donations toward Danger Brewery’s effort to bring more beer to the con, you can do so either via Facebook or straight through PayPal.

* (7:05) How each of the hosts got their start in roleplaying games, video games, and other form of geekery.  The systems and experiences that most shaped their views on the hobby.

Hosts: Chad, Johann, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0043.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 4:48 AM

* (0:24) Managing different player styles as a Game Master through such approaches as simultaneous solutions, varying your approach to the game, and setting forth expectations about how the game will go.  Check yo self before ya wreck yo self, by understanding your character’s likely impact on the group.

* (40:29) When the GM walks away.  The differences between managing rules disputes in RPGs and board games.  What to do if the Game Master quits the game over a point of contention.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

For those of you interested in following our “grand experiment” campaign, you can find the forum areas here.

Direct download: feartheboot_0258.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:18 AM

* (0:44) It feels good to be back, though Chris is sorry for calling Chad names.

* (3:25) A big thanks to Wizards of the Coast columnist, Tracy Hurley, for mentioning us in an article on Gamer Resolutions!

* (4:56) At Fear the Con V, Chris Ings will be running a Bloodname tournament for the surname, Badass.

* (8:22) Announcing the contestants for the Power 16 III!  Voting will start in a few weeks.

* (14:05) Introducing an online game the hosts will be playing using Pathfinder rules and the Forgotten Realms setting.  We’ll be using this to help us understand each other’s game styles and (more importantly) try to apply our own ideas to build and maintain a game.  Whether this succeeds or fails, we hope it will serve as a great object lesson.

* (18:26) To start things off, Johann asks some questions about the intended level curve of the game, which leads Dan to ask why that’s important to his character.

* (34:28) Bringing together the cultures of different gaming groups and merging them into a new, mutually enjoyable culture.

* (37:10) An invitation to the audience to not only observe but also participate in our little experiment.

* (38:46) Lacking the time to develop our next topic, we spin down the episode.  However, we kept recording, so Chad’s question gets a thorough exploration in the episode coming next week!

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0257.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:41 AM

* (0:48) Fear the Boot + Pat – (Dan + Dan’s job) = episode 256

* (1:36) Wayne will be posting his first game for Fear the Con V this Friday.  If you’re interested in passing out flyers or hanging them up in your local game store, you can download them here.

* (6:21) Our Old Republic guild, House Nachash, is still going strong.  You can find details on our forum.

* (7:33) Poop sock?

* (10:11) Pat and his peach cider.

* (12:28) Resuming an RPG campaign after a long break.  Using the break as an opportunity for taking stock of what’s working, revising where needed.  Easing back in.  Keeping the game alive through outside conversation, or at least keeping the group in contact through a filler game.  The pitfalls when coming back, including social distractions and forgetting what was going on.

* (36:09) How to get the most out of different GMing styles.  Appreciating the distinctions and adapting your play-style to get the most from your Game Master.  Evaluating your GM style.  How to get the most honest feedback from your players.

Hosts: Chris, John, Karla, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0256.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:46 PM

* (0:12) Johann is an audio freak of nature.

* (1:17) Introducing our new game, Naughty or Nice to Chris.  We setup the background topic, explain the rules, and have an tangent on “sentient” versus “sapient”.

* (7:42) Chris restarts the episode.  I’m not sure why, but he’s in control.

* (9:12) We discuss player contribution to the game.  To what extent should players be allowed to add things to the game — even if they seem out of place — for the sake of their own enjoyment?  We start by jumping back to the contributions that break immersion for each of us.  The show goes completely off the ranch from there, and I don’t think we ever answered the original question.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0042.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 4:20 AM

* (0:31) A big thanks to Luna for the Secret Santa gift!  You can see a scan of it here and her online gallery here.  We also talk about some original Battletech art we have.

* (4:44) Handling the logistics of a PC death.  We don’t debate whether characters ought to die but instead how to keep that person involved, manage the mood around the table, and minimize story disruption.

* (22:14) Taking advantage of the unexpected moments of great story and RP that happen during a game, without trying to squeeze them for too much.

* (28:45) Chad and modules.  Nature takes its course.

* (39:30) Managing player morale during the ebb and flow of a game.

* (45:34) The greatest game you’ve never played: Hot Lead!

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0255.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04 AM

I apologize in advance for this episode.  It was a bonus show recorded on New Years Eve, and nature pretty much just took its course.  I have another (regular) episode in the hopper, which I will release later this week to make up for missing last week completely and then off-loading this on you today.

Once we get coherent (16:33), the topic is things we’ve not been able to do yet in our gaming career but really want to someday.

Hosts: Beth, Chad, Dan, John, Pat

FAIR WARNING: This episodes is quite a bit more crass and directionless than our normal episodes.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0041.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 3:39 AM

* (1:52) Wayne tries to one-up John by rolling a method 0.25 character.

* (3:52) Dan offers Chris some unsolicited PR advice.

* (5:10) Following a suggestion from forum user, Concise Locket, we discuss going outside of the game-provided mechanics to resolve actions within a game.  How other metaphors can enhance or distract from the game, and some tips for making them blend.

* (21:57) Giving life and meaning to social events — such as parties or banquets — in an RPG.  Revealing scene, making memorable NPCs, and progressing plot through the event.  The difference between social events triggered by player action versus GM decree.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

(Wayne’s future sorcerer: STR 16, DEX 10, CON 13, INT 11, WIS 13, CHA 15)

Direct download: feartheboot_0254.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:54 AM

* (0:29) You, me, them, us, and other difficult pronouns.

* (1:10) Fear the Con 5 registration is still up and running quite nicely.

* (1:32) An invitation to our Old Republic guild.

* (2:18) Method 0.5 character creation meets John’s bard.

* (4:02) Pat goes for Husband of the Year with his (properly placed) priorities regarding Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Also featuring the car story and fish story!

* (15:37) Gaming with significant others.  How bringing that special someone into a game can greatly benefit or drag down the experience.  We also present some strategies for getting the most out of it while preparing for potential pitfalls.  This leads into the romance and drama of Battletech.

Hosts: Beth, Dan, John, Karla

(John’s future bard: STR 11, DEX 10, CON 15, INT 13, WIS 10, CHA 9)

Direct download: feartheboot_0253.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04 AM

* (0:29) What jim’s been up to since we last talked with him.  You can find his current blog at Post World Games.

* (3:34) jim must defend his name, Y, and W.

* (6:05) Pat goes for Father of the Year by taking a break from World of Warcraft to devastate his kid in a family game.

* (9:43) Giving games the right degree of substance and meaning, without making them overly poignant.

* (18:42) The role of the GM, specifically as it’s been taught (albeit unintentionally) by the legacy of D&D.  First-person versus third-person roleplayers.  On a side note, this episode was recorded when Penny Arcade’s series, The Conflux, was only a few strips in.

* (29:53) The “second Renaissance” of roleplaying games.  Also the relationship and perception driven model preferred by many newer games.

* (41:34) The seven types of gamers.

* (51:32) The important synergy between designers and marketers that’s often missing from game development.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Guests: jim pinto

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0021.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 4:58 AM

* (0:30) Dan’s first two games for Fear the Con V have been posted.  Be sure to create or sign up for anything that interests you!

* (1:39) Chad and Pat’s horrifying idea for episode 300.

* (7:04) Yet  again, a “minor” topic unexpectedly dominates the show!  Wayne’s opportunity to defend his bard against the insults made in last episode turns into…

* (13:57) …a discussion on knowledge skills that reveal hidden or plot-important information.  We kick around whether to include them at all, how to let them be useful without breaking the game, and the open communication the GM and player ought to have during character creation.

* (38:43) The happy accidents of gaming, when unexpected actions of the player or rolls of the dice make the game better than the GM planned.  How to create room for such events and capitalize on them when they occur.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0252.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:32 AM

* (0:31) If you’re interested in playing the Old Republic MMO, Fear the Boot has a guild forming on the official game site.  You can see details and sign up to run with us here!

* (3:12) Chris is writing Skies of Glass serial fiction.

* (4:37) We give Pat a chance to prep for Beth coming onto Fear the Boot.

* (6:23) John gives an update on Bloodmoon Goblins.  This leads to a discussion about collaborating with other people during system or setting design, and how that can apply even to Game Masters running a well-established game.

* (13:47) Handling shopping in an RPG.  Various approaches to handling it without interrupting the flow of the game.  How to handle shopkeeper inventory, character inventory, and item availability.  Information on the Booter calls Chad mentioned can be found here.

* (45:52) Why Chad feels his character won’t work in the absurd game we’re contemplating.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0251.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:06 AM

* (0:47) The website for Fear the Con 5 is up and ready for you to start creating and joining games!  If you’re looking to split a ride or room, be sure to check the thread on our forums where people are working out those arrangements.

* (1:27) Fear the Boot is co-sponsoring a cruise through Gamer Adventures on March 24 through April 1, 2012, and we hope you’ll join us.

* (2:51) How to approach bridge games, meaning the games that fall between major plot points or heavy action, in which character advancement, bookkeeping, or roleplaying dominate the session.  Some approaches for tuning them to your group’s taste and recognizing the opportunities they present.

* (18:43) Handling large scale games.  Determining what’s important to deal with in detail versus abstracting out, how to keep track of resources, divvy up paperwork, and make major NPCs memorable.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0250.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:18 AM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

* (0:59) An extremely deep, philosophical, scholarly debate over the hottest chick on Star Trek.

* (13:07) Using Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings as a jumping off point for a discussion on “upward” versus “downward” fantasy and which trope more accurately describes the average fantasy campaign.  Side topics include high and low fantasy, the role of equipment, and the absurdity of most settings’ economies.

* (26:12) A reflection on the ridiculousness of ‘Mechs as viable combat machines juxtaposed against how just plain awesome they are to use in a game.

* (30:32) Dealing with “caster supremacy”.  Specifically, the idea that certain types of casters are significantly more powerful than non-casting classes in D&D 3.0, D&D 3.5, and Pathfinder.  Suggestions for keeping them in balance through gentleman’s rules, power reductions to casters, or power increases to non-casters.

* (59:36) The website for Fear the Con 5 is up and ready for you to create and join games!  If you’re looking to split a ride or room, be sure to check the thread on our forums where people are working out those arrangements.

Hosts: Johann, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0249.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:02 AM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

* (2:09) The website for Fear the Con 5 is up and ready for you to start creating and joining games!  If you’re looking to split a ride or room, be sure to check the thread on our forums where people are working out those arrangements.

* (7:44) Zingers.  What more can be said?  They also talk about Halloween candy, costumes, and trick-or-treating.

* (23:04) Advice for GMs that need to run rude, hateful, or bigoted NPCs.  How to keep such characters believable without crossing any lines your group can’t stomach.

* (38:47) Adding detail to the smaller parts of the game which often get ignored as the group focuses on the big picture.  In case you’re not familiar with it, here’s an explanation of Chekhov’s Gun.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0248.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:41 AM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

* (0:24) Introducing guest host, Willie.

* (0:49) Introducing Erik Mona.

* (1:34) The size, state, and explosive growth of the Pathfinder game and Pathfinder Society.

* (3:23) Erik’s more thorough introduction, including his resume in the gaming industry.

* (6:35) We ask Erik to explain exactly what the job title of “publisher” means and what specific roles he fills at Paizo.

* (9:10) How past experience with the RPGA and Living campaigns affected the formulation of the Pathfinder Society.

* (22:14) An after-school D&D club in 1983, how Erik’s parents fought to get him in, and how it affected the trajectory of his life.

* (30:44) Erik’s take on Pathfinder being called “D&D 3.75″.  We also talk about the possibility of a sequel edition.

* (36:09) The upcoming Pathfinder Beginner Box.  You can find details and see the unboxing video on their site.  We also talk about the market viability of box set products in general.

* (50:13) The history, purpose, and future intentions for the Paizo online store.

* (56:58) Future projects coming up at Paizo, including the Pathfinder Battles miniatures.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Johann, Wayne, Willie

Guests: Erik Mona

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0020.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 3:02 AM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

* (0:30) Welcoming Adam from Kicked in the Dicebags.

* (1:40) The March of Dimes charity auction — with prizes sponsored by Gnome Stew — is still in progress.  Be sure to get in your bids!

* (2:03) Show transcripts are still being made for our episodes.  Links will be given a few days after each episode releases.

* (2:21) The site for Fear the Con 5 is live!  Get signed up and join us in St. Louis in May of 2012!

* (5:28) Custom fangs have become too cheap for Wayne’s taste.

* (7:09) The loss of a dropship in our Battletech game serves as the catalyst for a discussion on defeat in a roleplaying game.  We talk about its capacity for adding drama, realism, and emotion to the game, while conversely being able to discourage or drain the players.

* (20:00) Wayne commenting on some old gaming notes leads into Dan describing the collection of documents he typically uses when running a game.  With our usual disclaimer for potentially offensive content, here is a link to the pimp’s prayer.

* (26:20) Getting a brand new player up to speed on the hobby of roleplaying, their first setting, and a system — without overwhelming them in the process.

* (52:16) The video game giveaway will be ending on October 23rd with the winners drawn on October 24th, so this is your last chance to get entered.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0247.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00 AM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

* (0:35) Wayne tries to hijack the show to talk about Superman.  You know what that means: we talk about Batman instead!  The blog post on the hosting arrangement can be found here.

* (3:07) Alex (aka Lizard Farmer) is creating transcripts of the show.  Check the show notes a few days after each episode releases for a link to the transcript.  An explanation of his idea can be found on our forums.

* (5:39) Our next March of Dimes charity auction has kicked off!  Prizes for this auction are being provided by the Gnome Stew website.  As with the previous auctions, 100% of the funds raised will go to the March of Dimes.

* (8:06) Introducing Joe Wetzel and Keith Curtis!  Joe has been developing Hexographer, Dungeonographer, and DungeonMorph Dice.  Keith’s work can be found on his portfolio site or Bloodmoon Goblins.

* (12:02) The importance of maps for creating scale, consistency, fairness, and depth.

* (26:34) How to build and fill in a map when you’re starting with nothing.  The title Joe mentions is Dawn of Worlds.

* (35:10) Filling in the details when you have a map with major locations already set but nothing in mind to occupy the gaps between.

* (40:06) A quick survey of climatology and how different climate zones form on a planet.  The factors that figure into such estimations and just how important they ought to be when designing your game world.

* (52:48) Understanding scale when designing an area, particularly when you’re contemplating volume as opposed to surface area.

* (57:20) The projects Joe and Keith are working on right now.  Joe’s work — including things not already linked in the show notes — can generally be found on Inkwell Ideas.

* (1:03:27) The video game giveaway is still on, so be sure to get entered if you haven’t already!

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Karla, Wayne

Guests: Joe Wetzel, Keith Curtis

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0019.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 4:36 AM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

* (0:37) Introducing Ken Hite.

* (1:39) Contrary to what I said in the episode, This Just In…From Gen Con! is still editing the show I guested on.  I’ll post a link here as soon as it’s ready to go.

* (1:54) Our video game giveaway is still in progress.  Be sure to get entered!

* (2:21) Wayne presents Dan with a gift from Brian.  A big “Thank you!” from Dan for taking the time to send us the note and chainmail dicebag!

* (3:42) We kick off the interview by asking Ken about his rather unusual education and how it affects his work in the game industry.

* (6:51) Ken gives us his observations on the state of RPGs.  He also answers some questions about the rise of story-driven games.

* (15:19) A question about how Ken got started in GURPS leads to a discussion of professionalism (or more accurately, the lack thereof) in the RPG industry.

* (23:05) Ken begins settling long-running FtB marital disputes.  Chris kicks this one off with the GM screen, and then Dan asks about social mechanics.  Fortunately, Chris gives this some genuine purpose by questioning whether the way a person runs games affects how they write them.

* (30:54) Dan asks Ken for some tips on running horror games.

* (41:43) Following the suggestion of Ryan Dancey, we begin The Ken Hite Three Word Game!

* (48:49) Ken’s past, current, and upcoming work, including Night’s Black Agents and Star Trek.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Kenneth Hite

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0018.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 6:12 AM

You can find a transcript of this show here!

* (0:30) Happy birthday to Chris!

* (1:38) John announces the closing of Bloodmoon Goblins’ fundraiser and explains where things are headed next.

* (2:21) Quick updates on GAME convention and Fear the Con 5.

* (2:39) FlatCon is coming up on October 21-23, 2011 in Bloomington, IL.  All proceeds from the convention are donated to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

* (3:15) Fear the Boot is giving away some free games, thanks to Tex!  If you’d like to enter for any of the titles mentioned, you can do so here.

* (7:31) The process of picking a system and setting when your group is starting a new campaign.  How to balance everyone’s interests.  Whether the GM should be able to make a take-it-or-leave-it pitch.

* (31:14) Collaboration in an established setting.  How to get the players involved and help them feel like they own a part of the game world without contradicting what’s in the books.

* (38:08) Revisiting the group template with some new and changed perspectives.  Explaining what it is, why it’s important, and how to build one.

Hosts: Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0246.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:11 AM

DISCLAIMER: While profanities were censored from this episode, the subject matter is still a bit more crass than what Fear the Boot normally covers.  Personal discretion is advised.

* (0:00) A bonus episode disclaimer, followed by an explanation of why they don’t really work.

* (2:23) Explaining the so-called crimson (or scarlet) pumpkin.  You can find one here, in case you live near Chris.

* (4:47) Exhibit A: Chris’ first time out drinking.

* (12:09) Exhibit B: Chris and the character scars.

* (18:32) Exhibit C: Master Threeballs and the jocks’ junk.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0040.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 2:54 AM

* (0:30) John provides an update on the still-running Bloodmoon Goblins Kickstarter.

* (2:05) Fear the Boot still plans on attending the GAME Convention in Springfield, Missouri, October 7 – 9, 2011.

* (2:42) If you’re interested in playing the Old Republic MMO, Fear the Boot has a guild already forming on the official game site.  You can see details and sign up to run with us here!

* (5:00) Why every roleplaying game should come with a pronunciation guide for all of its proper nouns.

* (10:42) Getting people in your gaming group to step up and take leadership roles in the party, particularly when they’re not naturally dominating.  The distinction between explicit and implicit leaders and how to work with both.

* (24:49) Chris reflects on his rant from the last episode and goes on to tell us a story about his childhood.

* (26:47) Rewarding players for doing extra prep or post-game work.

* (37:06) Helping someone create a character for a setting they’ve never played in.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0245.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:24) Imagining an insufficient universe.

* (3:22) Pat has a gift for Wayne’s birthday.  This leads to a conversation about comic collections, older comic storylines, and related tangents.

* (7:41) John’s Bloodmoon Goblins Kickstarter is still going strong and accepting donations, pre-orders, and other reward purchases!

* (8:35) With Wayne’s story concluded, Chris has launched a new series of serial fiction on the Skies of Glass website.

* (10:28) Revisiting invasion stories to pick up some discussion threads we either missed or didn’t explore sufficiently in the prior show.  We start off with invaders that lack depth because they’re more like a force of nature than a hostile culture.

* (14:34) When the invasion is a backdrop as opposed to the central plot.  The relationship between setting and story, and the inevitable bleed between the two.

* (17:09) Playing as the invader instead of the invaded.  Determining whether the characters agree with the invasion or oppose it, and keeping the game going either way.

* (33:27) Narrating the invasion event.  Working out the pacing in a way that makes sense for your campaign.  Educating your players about the two sides, particularly when the game is not based on a well-known setting or historical event.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0244.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:10 AM

* (0:36) John’s Bloodmoon Goblins Kickstarter is still up and running.  John has also expressed his willingness to stay up and run games for people in timezones different than our own.

* (1:55) Introducing (or reintroducing) Ryan Dancey.

* (7:16) Ryan has been writing a series of columns for EN World.  The links are provided at the end of the show notes.

* (7:44) Some information on the MMO he’s currently helping develop, including an explanation of what he means by a “sandbox game”, when used in the context of online play.

* (14:57) Chris harkens back to a promo item he received at the D&D Third Edition release party.  This leads into some questions about the overwhelming success of the OGL, even in the face of newer editions of D&D.

* (24:50) Revisiting Ryan’s previous list of predictions.  We also get a list of new predictions.

* (31:14) Some theories about the shifting demographics of gamers and their interests, using Gen Con 2011 as an anecdotal jumping-off point.

* (49:21) The lack of a WotC announcement at Gen Con raises some questions and also serves as a reminder of just how small the industry is.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Guest: Ryan Dancey


Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0017.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 7:05 AM

* (0:52) On October 7 -9, 2011, Fear the Boot will be attending the GAME convention in Springfield, MO.  We hope some of you can join us!  This leads to reminiscing about Gorf and Logo.

* (7:28) If you’re playing Champions Online, consider joining the Fear the Boot guild, Awkward Confessors.  You can find out more on the forums.  My essay on MMOs can be found here.

* (11:17) Dan delivers a rant entitled, “Dammit, put that game down!”

* (16:57) Be sure to visit John’s Bloodmoon Goblins site, watch the promo video, and consider making a donation toward the effort.

* (17:51) Running a game where invasion is the primary plot line or setting feature.  Creating stories that are believable, yet still offer compelling opportunities for player success.  Starting the invasion, defining the invaders, and setting goals for the protagonists.  Drawing from real world history for inspiration.  Handling the pacing issues that can be caused by a resistance that builds momentum over a long period of time.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Karla, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0243.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

DISCLAIMER: While profanities were censored from this episode, the subject matter is still a bit more crass than what Fear the Boot normally covers.  Personal discretion is advised.

* (0:47) Why we’re doing a bonus episode, and Pat’s favorite (non-existent) Care Bears.

* (1:34) Introducing Bloodmoon Goblins, a Pathfinder supplement John is creating.  He needs our help funding it, so you can find the donation site, promo video, and reward options on his Kickstarter site!

* (7:58) Pat and Dan trade gifts (though Dan’s ends up with John).  This leads into a variety of stories that were probably best left untold.

* (19:10) Pat learns about the origin and history of the Bellamy salute.

* (22:08) The host division over the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie.  (“Upcoming” when this was recorded, now in theaters.)

* (33:16) Conjecture about our weekly D&D campaign, whether it’s about to die, and (if that happens) what opportunities that presents for the show.

* (35:57) Two upcoming charity auctions.

Hosts: Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0039.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:05 AM

* (0:44) Some details on the progress and release schedule for Mikey Mason’s new album, Impotent Nerd Rage.

* (4:48) Integrating a comedic character in a serious campaign, without that character disrupting the flow and feel of the game.  The actual play Wayne’s involved in is Knights of Reignsborough.

* (17:59) Kyle sends in a question related to the series we did on dungeon design (here’s part 1 and part 2, for those of you that missed them), asking how to take a dungeon you’ve already designed and bring it to life.  How do you make the place feel exciting and interesting as you describe the trek through countless rooms and corridors?

* (58:29) Be sure to keep up with This Just In…From Gen Con! for convention coverage and at least one episode that will feature Fear the Boot.

Hosts: Dan, Johann, Mikey, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0242.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:06 AM

* (1:13) Fear the Boot is co-sponsoring a cruise through Gamer Adventures on March 24 through April 1, 2012, and we hope you’ll join us.

* (3:03) Do geeks have an unusual habit of raging against the things they love the most, simply out of perfectionist zeal?

* (14:11) Being involved in multiple campaigns at once.  How to keep your characters and plots separate.  How similarities between the two campaigns can both help and hurt.

* (40:52) Some updates on Fear the Con 5.  It will occur in early May instead of March.  We’ll be moving to more conveniently located facilities.  And we’re also happy to welcome Danger Brewery as our new beer providers!

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0241.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (1:26) Congratulating Atomic Array and Kicked in the Dicebags on their ENnie nominations.  This leads into a question about the role awards play in consumer decision-making versus content producers simply enjoying the recognition.

* (11:43) The guests pay more attention to the outline than the regular hosts do.

* (12:53) Art, layout, and page design.  How they help sell your product.  Some legal considerations you need to work out with an artist so it’s clear who owns what.  The best ways to compensate your artists, particularly when you’re on a tight budget.

* (24:45) Funding the project.  Using your own money, the patronage model, or websites such as Kickstarter.  How to get other people involved in supporting your work and rewarding them for their investment.  Building a budget for your product.

* (35:22) Marketing your game.  How to build it into the product right from the get-go.  Building and utilizing a fan base to help evangelize.  Keeping people excited and rewarding them for their effort.

* (53:34) Options for getting published, whether electronically or in print.

* (57:36) A final thanks to Ed and Derek.  You can hear more of Ed on Atomic Array or War Pig Radio.  You can hear more of Derek on his podcast, The Established Facts (referred to as Casting Robot during the show).  And be sure to take a look at the Palegain setting and consider helping out his Kickstarter project!

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Derek, Ed, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0240.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:15 AM

* (0:29) Introducing our guest hosts, Derek and Ed.

* (2:52) Chris gives a shoutout to his nephew who’s landed the leading role in Highlander: The Musical.  If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out their website.  The reason Split Second needs a musical (some NSFW language).

* (9:26) With Gen Con coming up soon, don’t forget to subscribe to This Just In…From Gen Con! for some great media coverage.  And if you’ll be in attendance, be sure to get signed up for the TOFTBCH network and join us throughout the con for meals and pick-up games.

* (10:15) The writing process.  Translating your ideas and notes into a usable, well-organized document that’s fit for publication.  Finding good editors — including those that have experience in the RPG industry — and building a community of people that can help you.

* (28:00) The importance of playtesting to shake out the problems in your game.  Also, the importance of getting playtesters outside of your usual circle of friends, and ways to find strangers that will test the game.

* (34:11) Getting proper licensing to use established systems or settings.

* (38:33) Additional legal concerns, including forming a company, figuring out your taxes, and protecting your work by copyright.  The government website I recommended can be found here.

* (49:48) Some final words of warning and encouragement before we close out part 1 of this series.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Derek, Ed, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0239.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:20 AM

* (0:31) Welcoming our guest host, Michael, to Fear the Boot!

* (1:06) Fear the Boot will be sponsoring This Just In…From Gen Con! during the 2011 convention.  Be sure to catch that show for some excellent convention coverage.

* (1:30) The Con Planner site is now ready to go for our activities at Gen Con.  Be sure to sign up if you want to be kept in the loop on the games and social activities we’ll be doing during the con.  All you need to do is visit this link, go to the Ticketing area to create an attendee, and make sure your profile includes a cell phone number for texting purposes.  If you have any questions, write to the email address listed on the site.

* (2:00) Fear the Boot is now a proud member of the Stitcher audio network.  Be sure to stop by their site, see if their app is something that interests you, and give us a positive review so others can find us!

* (3:52) Some background on Michael and the tabletop gaming scene in Japan.

* (6:36) The double-edged sword of D&D as the most recognizable title in our hobby.  Many of us play it and enjoy it, but it can also conjure up negative stereotypes among non-gamers, leading us to distance ourselves from the game.

* (22:03) Collaborative design of a roleplaying game’s antagonists.  Letting the players work together to build the villains, trading off some level of control for added buy-in.  How to keep the plot exciting despite the meta-game, player knowledge of the group’s enemies.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Michael, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0238.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:17 AM

* (0:30) Pointless trivia about Wayne’s introduction on each episode and Chris’ struggles with Left for Dead 2.

* (5:27) Fear the Boot will be at Gen Con 2011 with more events organized through our illustrious TOFTBCH network.  Expect details to follow in the next episode!  We’re also sponsoring This Just In…From Gen Con! which will be providing onsite coverage throughout the con.

* (9:07) Dan versus restaurant birthday celebrations.

* (20:07) Taking over a roleplaying game when the original Game Master steps down or leaves the group.  Some techniques for making the transition work, and the adjusted expectations players need to have when someone else is running a pre-existing game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0237.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:41 AM

* (0:28) Straightening out our seating arrangement.

* (3:00) The upcoming reset and renumbering of DC comics.  Why we individually think it’s a good idea, bad idea, or mixed bag.

* (14:10) Rewarding the player characters in your RPG. We start by exploring the various ways of rewarding them such as roleplaying opportunities, personal goals, micro perks, gear, and stat advancement.

* (32:46) An intermission where we ponder why GMs don’t get rewards.

* (39:56) The best practices for handing out PC rewards, keeping them fair, and keeping them from later coming back to bite you in the butt.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0236.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:55) Fear the Boot and female hosts.

* (2:49) Dan’s first awkward confession, plus Unicron, Arcee, and a seven-inch Voltron.

* (6:51) Pat rages against 3D movies, and the rest of us pretty much agree.

* (12:51) After a brilliant segue, Pat gives his take on the movie incarnations of Mystique.

* (16:47) Gaming as your family expands.  Not gaming with children (as we discussed in episode 207), but rather gaming when children or spouses are around, require regular attention, and so forth.  We look at how we’ve managed to make gaming work as our lives mature by tweaking our expectations and game execution.

Hosts: Dan, Karla, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0235.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:30) Battletech, the map case, and why we’re hesitant to let certain people play characters of another gender.

* (5:24) The start of the next March of Dimes charity auction.  You have 10 days to bid on a complete Dresden Files set with a GM book, several player books, and plenty of Fudge dice.  The books will all be signed by Fred Hicks, Rob Donoghue, and the Fear the Boot hosts.  If you wish to make a donation apart from the auction, you can do so here.

* (8:08) Themes we’d like to see more often — or never again — in roleplaying games.  Topics discussed include romance, evil, mercenaries, redemption, addiction, friendship, moral complexity, tragic endings, ambiguous endings, discovery, world context, and the single-dimension quest.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0234.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:57 AM

* (0:30) The first auction is over!  The second auction will be for a collection of Dresden File books, signed by Fred Hicks, Rob Donoghue, and the FtB cast.  It will start when episode 234 drops next week.

* (5:10) Free RPG Day is coming up on June 18th.  Chris offers a bring-a-friend idea to help use this day to get new people into the hobby instead of just spreading products around people that already play RPGs.

* (11:26) A stage play within a game got us thinking a little more about narrative combat.

* (25:46) Willingly declaring failure during the course of narration, whether as the GM or a player.  The concern about negatively impacting the rest of the party.

* (33:37) A quick look at organized play.  What you can expect to get from it, and some tips on getting started.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0233.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:41) The first March of Dimes charity auction is still in progress.  You have a few days left to get your bid in!

* (1:35) Using narration instead of rules to resolve combat.  Being fair without dice to serve as an arbiter.  How to make it work without the players feeling cheated by the outcome.

* (39:01) Dealing with players that have the unusual, singular obsession of seeing their characters destroyed.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0232.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:16 AM

* (0:37) Bubba mows his lawn in the middle of the night.  We won’t call him, but we contemplate calling the D&D help hotline.  In case you’ve never heard of it, here are some highlights from the Butterball turkey hotline.

* (4:18) Kicking off the March of Dimes charity auction with a chance to set the topic, request an interview, and guest on an episode of Fear the Boot.  You can find the auction here!  If you’d like to make a direct donation instead of participating in the auction, you can do so here.

* (5:55) The next Gamer Adventure cruise is coming up on March 24, 2012.  We’d love to have some of you join us!  You can find more information here.  And if you think you can’t afford this trip, please contact Kim and see if she can use her travel agent prowess to help you out.

* (8:29) Chad takes us back to the D&D hotline.

* (10:04) Why won’t our campaign roll over and die like every other campaign we play?  Using our current game as a case study on why campaigns tend to fall apart and the various factors that can keep them together.

* (32:31) We pick up our conversation on lying again.  This time we focus on player-to-player lying, including whether social skills should be usable on fellow players.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0231.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

A mix of gaming stories, best characters, and worst characters, drawn from the collective history of the hosts in attendance.  FAIR WARNING: While all of the outright profanities are bleeped out, some of the content in this episode is a bit more coarse than our usual fare.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Mikey, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0038.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:16 AM

* (1:10) Chris asks what we each want from the grocery store, which turns into an illustration on roleplaying styles.

* (5:50) When a game, movie, novel, or TV show is taking a long time to get good, how long do you stick with it before giving up?

* (22:24) Deception at the gaming table.  We setup the topic, offer three categories of lying we’ll cover, and put a few boundaries on the discussion.

* (23:56) Game Masters lying to their players.  The complication caused by the many roles the Game Master fills.  The responsibility players have to not ask certain questions to avoid spoiling their own game experience.  The relationship between social deception done via roleplaying versus die mechanics.

* (45:50) The player lying to the Game Master as the Game Master, as opposed to a PC lying to an NPC simply played by the Game Master.

* (50:09) Last call for the charity auction!  Post your ideas on the blog or forum thread.

* (50:16) Also, a last call for Mikey Mason’s kickstarter project.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0230.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:02 AM

* (0:25) Less Dan and more Pat!

* (0:57) Welcoming Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings.  Discussion about his history with Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and MMOs.  You can find his own band, Tripping Icarus, on their Facebook page.

* (13:34) Chris’ experience with roleplaying games.  Power-gaming and over-planning characters.  How tabletop gaming is affected by his career in professional sports.

* (20:10) Gamer shame and bullying (or the lack thereof) while being a successful athlete through high school, college, and professional athletics.

* (29:07) Wayne asks whether Chris has leveraged his position to meet famous people.  The possibility of a future career in the tabletop or video gaming industries, and also discussion of a combination board and card game he’s working on.

* (32:23) How Chris got into wargaming.  His experiences with Warhammer and Warmachine, including how he did in his first tournament.  Discussion about what makes a game store successful and the sort of shop he’d like to help open someday.

* (42:44) How often a punter appears in front of the media.  Chris’ checkered history with Twitter.  And if you’re interested in seeing his Twitter account, you can find it here.

* (49:38) Chris’ current game picks.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Chris Kluwe

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0016.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 5:45 AM

* (0:30) The March of Dimes charity auction is still in the works.  Post your suggestions on the blog or the forums.

* (1:23) Mikey Mason needs your help to get his geek comedy album finished.  You can make a donation and collect a bounty of prizes from his Kickstarter site.  Just be sure to do so before May 5th!

* (4:13) Wayne’s impulse to create characters predictably transforms into him writing plots that may never even be run.

* (6:59) The Play Generated Map and Document Archive which allows Game Masters to share their maps, notes, and other game documents.  The mix of inspiration and reassurance the site provides.  And, of course, George the dolphin.

* (20:09) What Game Masters do with their old campaign notes.

* (31:05) Moving from a non-gamer to a gamer.  How to get a group to incorporate you into their game or consider your game ideas.  The forum thread by Kali can be found here.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0229.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:29 AM

* (0:30) Chad and Dan finish off a bottle of Pannepot donated by Danger Brewery.

* (1:19) A coupon code good for 15% off any Arc Dream product purchased through their online store.  This code is good until May 1st.  Simply enter “feartheboot” (without any quotes) to get your discount!

* (3:08) Wayne encounters the irresistible urge to create characters.

* (20:07) Chad admits he was wrong and Wayne makes a sensible confession.  May wonders never cease.

* (25:18) Homebrewing games.  Not how to design your own games, but what motivates people to do it in an age when so many games are readily available.  The various approaches to homebrewing and the strengths and weaknesses of each.  When to homebrew versus heavily modifying an existing game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0228.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05 AM

* (0:30) A big thanks to Chris Ings for the Fear the Boot themed ‘Mechs!

* (2:41) Some love for the many podcasts that came out to support Fear the Con through promotion, attendance, and on-site coverage!  Be sure to check their feeds for actual play recordings and other goodies.

Dice + Food + Lodging
Gaming Asylum
Ideology of Madness
Kicked in the Dicebags
Postcards from the Dungeon
Role Playing Public Radio
The Big Hairy Podcast
Thistledown Actual Play

* (4:33) The number of first time con-goers and first time gamers we met at Fear the Con 4.

* (6:32) The rediscovery of a long-lost fixture of the recording studio.  Pat promptly takes them from Chad to show him how it’s done.

* (7:28) Chad wrote and released rules for a game inspired by the movie, Inception, and the RPG, Dread.  You can find the rules on our blog. We talk about how the game plays and how it incorporates leading questionnaires in character creation.  Those same questionnaires are also used to build the game’s plot.

* (16:06) Using leading questionnaires in a role playing game.  How they can help build characters or steer the game in directions the GM would like it to go.  Why such exercises are easier for some players than others, simply based on whether they plan or “feel out” their characters.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0227.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:57 AM

UPDATE: Shane has provided our listeners with a discount code good for 15% off anything at the www.arcdream.com online store until May 1. The coupon code is “feartheboot” (without the quotes).  So if you’re interested in trying out any of their products, here’s your chance to get them a bit cheaper!

* (0:30) The St. Charles Fantasy Shop will be having a game day on April 9th from 12:00pm – 11:00pm.  You can find more details on the event calendar of their website.

* (1:41) Welcoming Shane Ivey of Arc Dream Publishing, the source of games such as Wild Talents, Delta Green, Godlike, and Monsters and Other Childish Things.

* (4:08) The difficulty of selling games where the play experience is difficult to describe in a cover blurb or elevator pitch.  Techniques for getting those titles out there, and the opportunities created by that struggle.

* (16:30) The relationship among independent publishers, specifically whether it’s more helpful or competitive.

* (19:09) The effectiveness of using samples, teasers, and other freebies to market a game.  The problems Free RPG Day present for a small publisher.

* (23:47) The innovative Bits and Mortar initiative which helps local gaming stores give you electronic copies of games along with the physical book, thus using digital publishing to help their sales instead of being competition.  The site also has a store locator to help you find participating shops.

* (31:41) Shane’s own tastes in gaming outside of Arc Dream titles.  We talk about historical gaming and some alternate methods of scene resolution.

* (44:14) How the games Shane plays impact the games he writes.

* (52:08) The new products Arc Dream currently has in development or has recently released.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Shane Ivey

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0015.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 5:43 AM

* (1:50) An important announcement regarding Fear the Con 5.

* (2:28) Welcoming the podcasts that joined us for the live recording: Kicked in the Dicebags, Role Playing Public Radio, Postcards from the Dungeon, Gaming Asylum, and Good Beer Show.

* (3:58) Introducing Bob Arens, our expert on artificial intelligence.  An AI he created was responsible for writing or helping write games for at least three people.  Bob explains the basics of how the AI works and how it helps in scene design.

* (11:23) Open discussion with the attendees about the morality and usefulness of artificial intelligence, where the technology is right now, where it’s headed in the future, and what it can (or can’t) contribute to the creative arts.  We also discuss how one defines true personhood.

* (41:27) Arlie and Tricia — with the help of many other attendees — present Dan with a map of Fear the Con 4.

* (47:41) We close out with a few more comments on artificial intelligence, focusing on their lack of a shared human experience.  A few remarks are made about Fear the Boot itself, and finally we find out what the AI itself has to say about becoming our overlord.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat, Wayne, and a whole lot of booters

NOTE: There were other podcasts on premises, some of which were recording episodes at the same time as ours.  Once I have all of that info in, I’ll be giving links to their FtC4 related coverage, actual play recordings, etc, for your entertainment.  Expect that with episode 227.

Direct download: feartheboot_0226.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:59 AM

Wayne recorded his thoughts on Fear the Con 4 while driving there.  After getting home, he got a few comments from his wife on the Wing Night.  This is only a few minutes long and a regular episode is still coming out tomorrow.  Also, if you took any pics or video at the con, please be sure to get them posted to Fear the Con’s Facebook group!

Direct download: feartheboot_enroute_0005.mp3
Category:Fear en Route -- posted at: 9:31 PM

* (0:33) Wayne thanks Lunar for his get-well gift.  We also think back to the monstrosity Chris got as a dice bag at Fear the Con 3.

* (3:28) Chad clarifies his views on character death.  This was recorded before the previous episode dropped, so this clarification is only in light of what he said on the show, not any discussion that occurred thereafter.

* (9:11) We discuss the pros and cons of non-linear games — specifically games that don’t follow a simple, chronological progression.  Instead such games might skip around in time, going backward and forward at varying speeds, or cover different epochs within the same continuity.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0225.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:28 AM

* (1:27) Fear the Con 4 shirts are now available for order.  A big thanks to Ruben for the design and many other people for getting the project moving again!  Trying to figure out who created an alternate store leads into a discussion about Wayne’s health and medical malpractice.

* (8:48) A listener email announces the birth of a daughter, conceived and born to our show, and we just go further off the ranch from there.

* (14:10) Character death.  We try to bring together our past views, current views, and comments made by forum users as we explore the subject.  We debate when it’s right, whether it’s needed at all, and what a game might suffer if it’s missing.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0224.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:32 AM

* (0:34) Pat comes up with a good idea for dinner.

* (3:06) A minor change to the forum rules.  Starting soon, any account that has never made a single post and also not logged in within the past 60 days will be pruned.  If you do at least one of those two things, your account won’t be touched.

* (4:10) Wayne expresses his displeasure regarding the absurdities surrounding the Fantastic Four death.  We also take a quick poll on which character we would have killed.

* (10:30) We ask Wayne why he thinks the comic book industry is in decline.  We also inquire about what’s good right now and what’s on his pull list.  The new Wonder Woman actress.  And finally, the move by some comic companies to make their catalog available electronically.

* (17:24) The pure genius of Time Cube.  And apparently it has an RPG or two to go with it now.

* (20:23) Mary Sue characters.  We start with an explanation of what the phrase means and where it comes from.  Johann questions whether they’re genuinely a problem or not, after which we offer some advice on how to identify them, prevent them from occurring, and deal with them once they’re there.

Hosts: Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0223.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:20 AM

* (0:33) We welcome back Jeff while Chad welcomes Cee Lo Green.  Be sure to check out Jeff’s podcast,  Gaming Asylum via their website or iTunes page.  This leads into anecdotes about picking domain names.

* (6:49) Raina’s Wings charity auction. Post your ideas here or on the forums.

* (11:01) We begin talking about board games, starting with the divergence of RPG and board game culture.

* (24:22) Some advice to people trying a board game for the first time, and also some advice to the experienced players introducing newbies to a game.

* (27:10) Picking the right product to buy.  Finding out what game titles are available, understanding the nomenclature used to describe them, and using a variety of resources to help in your decision-making process.

* (47:52) We suggest a few of our favorite games, and Jeff tries to match at least one title to each of our tastes.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Jeff, Pat, Wayne

NOTE: You can find the list of resources and game titles we mentioned in this blog post.

Direct download: feartheboot_0222.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:33 AM

* (0:31) Chad makes his first guest appearance on another podcast, sitting in with the rebooted (excuse the pun) Kicked in the Dicebags.

* (1:45) Chris wishes a happy birthday to…St. Louis…?  And Wayne celebrates with a surprise gift for Dan.

* (3:25) Dan gets shutdown by being recognized too quickly.

* (4:56) Realizing we do a show, we stop to introduce our guest host, Jeff.  He’ll be joining us for two episodes.  If you enjoy hearing him on Fear the Boot, he’s also a host of his own podcast, Gaming Asylum, which you can find on iTunes or at their site.

* (6:18) Fear the Con 4 attendance is going wonderfully, which means we could use more GMs!  Also, there are folks looking to split the cost of attendance by carpooling and room-sharing.

* (7:56) Following up on how advice provided by the community helped us resolve the “tainted character” situation brought up in episode 217.  A big thanks to everyone that gave us such great insight!

* (13:33) What starts as a quick recap on our attempts to bring players-as-NPCs into our weekly game grows into a larger debate with new thoughts.  Topics include why Chris wouldn’t generally want it done in his games, “making” versus “taking” NPCs, letting players control enemies, and the joys of character growth.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Jeff, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0221.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:55 AM

* (0:29) Fear the Boot raises a glass to Willie.

* (3:07) RPG tropes we individually find annoying or overused.  Plus counterpoints on why each one may not be so bad.

* (27:59) Jumping into an NPC as a way of staying involved and adding color to a scene.  We focus on the implicit player-GM contract, when it’s appropriate (or not), what it can add to the game, and how much plot leverage you should grant yourself while doing it.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

NOTE: If you hear some clicking during a couple minutes in the middle of the show, that was an issue with our audio setup.  Nothing is wrong with your download or MP3 player, and it ends a few minutes after it starts.

Direct download: feartheboot_0220.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:53 AM

* (0:37) Chad asks a mammoth question, and somehow that leads into a discussion on soundboards.

* (6:44) Fear the Froot is back for Fear the Con 4!  You can find details on where to send donations on our forums.

* (8:14) Pre-con tourism and social events will begin the afternoon of Sunday, March 13th, 2011.  You can keep up with our location by PMing your cell phone number to ZeikeCopperEyes on the forums or following our Twitter feed.

* (10:48) Video game nostalgia.  Do old games still hold up, or was it just a matter of the playground being bigger when you’re young?  Whether it’s even possible to compare new and old games.  Also, the changing social dynamic brought about by newer match-making systems.

* (40:09) Changing roles from Game Master to player.  Using your GM skills to be the best player you can be while resisting the urge to take control or nitpick someone else’s GMing technique.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0219.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:05 AM

* (0:27) Chad questions Dan’s dice hoodoo and is proven wrong.  Pat also brings even more ice to the table.

* (2:26) The early numbers for Fear the Con 4 are shaping up quite nicely.  Dan is still trying to decide what he’ll run for his fourth game.  We still look forward to seeing all of you there!  Our forums contain threads for room sharing and ride sharing.

* (6:17) The movies, video games, TV shows, comics, and other geek things we’re looking forward to in 2011.

* (30:46) One-shot games within your regular gaming group (i.e. not run as a convention game).  Examining the opportunities, pitfalls, and some advice on picking the system and setting.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0218.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:05 AM

* (0:30) Chris makes introductions hard for Pat.  Meanwhile, the podcast is doing better than our games!  We also learn that Chad and Johann are not mutually exclusive realities.

* (2:59) Introducing Boots, the Pegasus I got from my Secret Santa on our forums.

* (5:43) Several Fear the Boot hosts have been guests on the new, improved, and re-imagined Kicked in the Dicebags.  It’s too many episodes for me to link individually, but you can find them all on their show feed.

* (8:11) Dan still dreams of a Muscle March tournament at Fear the Con.

* (9:27) Resolving conflict in an RPG without resorting to combat.  Tricks for avoiding combat when it doesn’t fit your character or the outcome you want.  When GMs seem to force combat as the only solution to a problem.

* (37:29) Deciding what to do with a character that has been reshaped by situations beyond your control.  Whether to keep, modify, or ditch a character that no longer feels like the one you created and wanted to play.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Johann, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0217.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:05 AM

After years of poking fun at the subculture, we figured it was time to let a furry come on the show and have his say!  We talk about what it means to be a furry, how people pursue the hobby, and the sort of social derision they receive.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, John, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Jim

NOTE: This is the last of our holiday break bonus episodes.  If I have sufficient time to edit, I may release a regular episode later this week.  If not, expect things to be back to normal next week!

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0037.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:37 PM

* (0:27) Dan has a problem, but that doesn’t mean dice magic isn’t real.  Also a tangent on facial hair.

* (5:10) How we each got our start in roleplaying games.  What attracted us to the hobby and which titles we played first.  In case you’re curious, here are the rules to four-card golf.

* (36:27) Christmas traditions in each of our families and how we’re trying to keep them alive in a time of increasing commercial and social pressure.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0036.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:02 AM

* (0:29) Chad is making a science fiction game of some kind for Fear the Con 4.

* (2:07) If you’re interested in helping promote Fear the Con 4 around your town, we have two different fliers available here and here.

* (2:54) Fear the Con 4 will be the site for a regional tournament of the Ultimate Fighting System card game.  If you’re interested in joining, be sure to check the activity list for details!  You can also learn more about UFS or its rules on Jasco’s website.

* (5:16) Responding to Matt’s question about player interference.  How do you let players help each other when it’s appropriate without having them unfairly influence a situation or lock-up a new player with advice-overload?

* (17:04) When a player takes on the role of multiple characters.  Some thoughts on keeping the characters distinct, handling their interactions, and managing the paperwork.  The great opportunities it offers and the problems it can present.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0216.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:21 AM

* (0:38) Chad enjoys a 4th edition dungeon run!  Unfortunately, he did not get to play a level one thief named Boba Fett.  The great group he played with and restraining the urge to RP.

* (21:07) How to keep players caught up on a campaign when they have to miss some games.  Whether that’s best done by the other players or the GM.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0215.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:05 AM

* (0:45) The JCPenney’s catalog, red box D&D, old radio shows, and meeting famous people.

* (4:40) Be sure to get signed up for Fear the Con 4!  We look forward to seeing you all there.

* (5:09 If you’re looking to rejoin World of Warcraft as Cataclysm drops, you might want to check out the listener-sponsored guild.

* (5:51) Expounding on some useful ideas brought up by Hal in response to episode 211’s discussion on building dramatic tension.

* (18:51) Creating a real sense of temptation in a game.  Providing your players with choices that are difficult for purely personal reasons through moral quandaries, game mechanics, and occasionally breaking the fourth wall.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0214.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:35 AM

* (1:09) Chris puts out a request for short audio and video clips for use in episode 200.  Please send submissions to feartheboot@gmail.com by December 10th.

* (3:48) RPG Toolkit for the iPhone has just received a significant series of improvements and upgrades.  If you’re interested in checking that out, visit the app’s site for more information on the trial and paid versions.

* (6:05) Keeping movies, etc, accurate to their source material.  A discussion on when it’s appropriate and whether it’s necessary to telling the story right.

* (42:01) Rethinking our approach to interviewing new players.  Some new ideas on how to find out if someone is a good fit for your gaming group.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0213.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30 AM

* (0:34) Welcoming back Tracy Hickman.  Also, Dan asks about an urban legend that apparently only he has heard.

* (5:18) Tracy makes an announcement about an unexpected work-in-progress.  I won’t spoil it for you, but it has nothing to do with dragons.  If you’re interested in Pat’s tangential comment, you can find a relevant article here.

* (16:48) Following up with Tracy on his foray into new media.  Seeing what portents his situation may have for the broader prose and RPG publishing industries.  Getting noticed — even as a well established author — in a saturated marketplace.  If you’re interested in the Dragon’s Bard holiday special, apply the discount code (feartheelf) when ordering at the holiday URL.

* (31:00) Building vibrant, interesting towns for your RPG setting.  You can check out Medieval Demographics Made Easy for some inspiration.  In case you’re wondering, you can find an explanation online of the Checkov’s Gun trope.

* (1:11:06) Tracy’s holiday board game.  You can find the free download or purchase a printed copy at Reindeer Gamer.  There’s also a short video trailer you can watch.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Tracy, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0212.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01 AM

Looks like we do have something to release this week!  Chad and Wayne just sent me another Fear en Route, which is a sort of blog they do during the car ride to the weekly recordings.  This one they did with audio only, so I can release it on our normal podcast feed.  If you haven’t seen the previous episodes (which were video) you can find them here, here, and here.

Topics for this recording (which was unintentionally thick with irony) include:

* Blogging about late blogging.

* What we’ve been up to.

* Podfading and the right way to end an endeavor.

Direct download: feartheboot_enroute_0004.mp3
Category:Fear en Route -- posted at: 5:46 PM

* (0:49) Don’t forget to sign up for Fear the Con 4, on March 18th and 19th, 2011 (Wing Night will be on March 17th)!

* (2:11) A decent chance Chris will be returning to the show in the near future.

* (2:57) Chris Mais is looking for new hosts to help with a rebirthing of Kicked in the Dicebags.  If you’re interested in trying your hand at podcasting and shaping the future of that show, you can reach him at chris@kickedinthedicebags.com.  Also, thanks to Okeefe for the shirt!

* (5:27) Wayne wishes everyone doing NaNoWriMo well!  If you’re trying this out: stick with it and believe in what you’re doing.

* (6:55) Creating dramatic tension in a roleplaying game.  We present some ideas for building a visceral experience without overdoing it.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0211.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:28 AM

FAIR WARNING: This episode was recorded just prior to Halloween, so those sorts of subjects were on our mind.  However, even for a bonus episode, this show wanders into some strange places we don’t normally go.  I struggled for a few days on whether to even release it or not, but in the end I decided to do so.  I hope you’ll take the show for what it’s meant to be, in all of its nuance and whimsy.

* (0:55) The unpleasantness of audio editing.

* (3:40) If you could relocate yourself to a fictional setting, which one would it be?

* (15:34) A discussion regarding the believability of the Cursed With Awesome trope.

* (23:54) Vampires, otherkin, and otakukin.

Hosts: Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0035.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:15 AM

* (0:28) Fear the Con 4 sign-up is now running.  You can find the forum area for ride and room sharing here.  If there was a race, Runester’s already won.

* (2:22) Separating a character from the player.   Why it’s natural — and sometimes correct — to draw your impressions about a person from the characters they play.

* (21:57) Playing in an established setting.  The balance of enjoying what’s already there versus making it your own.  How to deal with existing canon, particularly when it comes into conflict with the story or characters you want to use.

Hosts: Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0210.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:37 AM

* (0:55) Journey Quest, a web series from Matt Vancil and the other creators of The Gamers.

* (1:45) Wayne has passed the 20,000 word mark on his serial fiction over on the Skies of Glass site.

* (3:05) Providing examples of Dan’s GMing notes.  Check the Resources page for samples of the What’s Really Going On document, NPC reference, and two session outlines.

* (10:56) The issue of pacing within a game, as inspired by our own foibles.  For the sake of discussion, we break pacing down into two types: the immediate engagement of the player as opposed to the overall arc of storytelling.  We start by describing the first kind and offering some ideas for players and GMs to keep everyone engaged and deal with the moments when people have to get drawn away from the table.

* (28:49) The pacing of storytelling within a game.  Deciding how long a specific plot within the campaign should last, and the importance of the breaks that occur between those plots.  We outline some options available to Game Masters and thoughts on picking the right one.

Hosts: Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:59 PM

* (0:33) We’d like to thank RPG Geek for nominating us for a Golden Geek award.  If you’re a member of that community, we hope you’ll go vote on all of the award categories!

* (2:12) If you want to test your GMing mettle, check out the Iron GM competition at Neon Con in Las Vegas.

* (4:04) Building legacy for a character.  Just as characters have background leading up to a story, we consider leaving the game with a sense that the character’s life goes on in the context of the world.

* (18:41) Building player misdirection into your plot.  Ways to keep them guessing about what’s really going on without utterly confusing them or taking cheap shots as a GM.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0208.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:21 AM

* (0:30) Why Chris is becoming our new monthly visitor.

* (2:39) Using game mechanics as the basis for a plot, encounter, or player character.  How rules can serve as a great inspiration for many aspects of your game.

* (19:51) Gaming with kids.  We start by setting some boundaries on the conversation regarding the type of game and age group we’re talking about.  We also discuss why this topic is important even to people that don’t have kids of their own.

* (26:22) The problems and opportunities presented by limited literacy and math skills.  Ways of simplifying the concepts and teaching kids new skills as you go.

* (38:29) How gender can affect the game.  Is it helpful to setup a plot for boys a little differently than girls?

* (48:40) Dealing with controversial subject matter in a game with kids.  Determining what’s appropriate, particularly when not all of the children present are your own.  Is it appropriate to use games to educate children on moral themes?

* (58:15) How a lack of life experience can make conveying setting or theme more difficult when dealing with younger players.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

NOTE: You can find the blog post with suggested titles for kids here.

Direct download: feartheboot_0207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:02 AM

* (0:28) Fear the Con 4 will be on March 18th and 19th of 2011.  Wing Night will be the night before on March 17th.  Tourism and social events will be held the Sunday through Wednesday beforehand.  The website and ticketing information will be released soon.

* (2:42) New roleplayers and their lack of baggage.  How they can offer wonderful surprises and GMing difficulty all at once.

* (16:10) Have we over-complicated gaming for ourselves?  Why it’s sometimes tempting to look back at simpler days, and whether it’s possible to actually go back.

* (25:20) The common reasons people leave the hobby.  Separating the good reasons from the bad ones, and offering some encouragement to people that want to keep roleplaying but are struggling to make it work in their life.  The Penny Arcade comic on adult gamers can be found here.  Anyone dealing with moral objections to RPGs may want to check out the Christian Gamers Guild’s FAQ.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:28 AM

* (0:24) Game titles that are popular in Ireland, Israel, and Sweden.  The consumption of local games versus those produced in America.

* (5:46) The ubiquity of English in entertainment and how that affects RPGs.  Whether language can serve as a barrier to getting into the hobby.  Titles published in other languages that English speakers may be missing out on.

* (14:02) How national culture impacts the types of games that people consume.  The ways various nations are represented in roleplaying games that provide a speculative world based on the real one.

* (22:39) The nature of social and religious prejudice regarding tabletop roleplaying games.  The presence or absence of gamer shame.

* (33:28) America as the default setting for roleplaying games.  How other countries are portrayed in games and whether portraying them in better detail would help them gain traction abroad.

* (47:15) Drawing together our similarities as gamers, regardless of where we live.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Itamar, Jenny, Shane

Itamar is a regular host of the Hamishakia podcast, which has a feed dedicated to their English language episodes.

Jenny is an artist with an online gallery of her work.

Shane is a host of The Adventuring Party podcast.

Direct download: feartheboot_0205.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:01 AM

* (0:59) Introducing the panel: Itamar from Israel, Jenny from Sweden, and Shane from Ireland.

* (4:24) A discussion about LARPing in Europe quickly shifts into a conversation about gaming organizations, governmental support for hobbies, and the diverse levels of trust regarding such things.  You can find pictures of the Russian Fallout LARP here.  You can find out more about Sverok here.

* (16:29) Differing cultural views on alcohol, conventions, cosplayers, and the party aspect of some segments of gaming.  Also how our views of authority and government affect our gaming culture.

* (19:38) Back to the original topic of LARPing!  Shane did some recordings on their airsoft LARP in Sweden which you can find on their show’s feed.  Social organization in game organizations proves itself inextricable once again.

* (27:27) The gaming scene in our respective countries.  How people learn about games, find community, and stay tapped into news or events.  What gamer shame looks like (or if it exists at all) across the pond.  Included is a brief discussion of the story from a few years ago about the Israeli army allegedly discriminating against roleplayers and the effect compulsory military service has on the gaming populace.

* (39:34) Is the gaming hobby in decline?  Or is it just the industry?  How new gamers are being brought into the hobby and old ones being retained.  You can find out more about Read an RPG Book in Public Week on The Escapist.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Itamar, Jenny, Shane

In part two, we talk about the impact of local religion on gaming, the titles that are popular in various countries, English as a barrier to gaming, and more!  We hope you’ll join us then.

In closing, I’d like to provide some additional information on our guests:

Itamar is a regular host of the Hamishakia podcast, which has a feed dedicated to their English language episodes.

Jenny is an artist with an online gallery of her work.

Shane is a host of The Adventuring Party podcast.

Direct download: feartheboot_0204.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:50 AM

* (0:29) September 15th is the deadline for Tracy Hickman’s Dragon’s Bard offer.  If you want to join in, be sure to get the discount code here and enter it here.  As mentioned in the show, alternate pricing options can be found here.  We also talk a bit about why the interview took us all a little by surprise.

* (4:37) Our community has started an Alliance guild on the Argent Dawn server of World of Warcraft.  Details can be found on the forum.

* (5:39) Pondering RP in an MMO.  Maybe it’s a bad idea, or maybe we just don’t know how to approach it.

* (11:25) Homebrews and house rules.  Why we love making homebrews, the role of house rules, and finding the line between the two.  A challenge to write your own homebrew if you never have before.  And yes, the Midna group is real.

* (30:05) Using group collaboration to design character, setting, and even a rules system.  We discuss the pros and cons, offer some approaches for trying this out, and debate whether this is a good idea for various styles of GMing.  Just how hard should someone be willing to work to improve a hobby?

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0203.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:50 AM

* (0:57) Fear the Con 4 dates have been set!  The convention will be on March 18th and 19th of 2011.  Wing Night will be the night before on March 17th.  Both will be held at the same location as last year: Memorial Hall for the con and Syberg’s for the Wing Night.

* (1:40) Be sure to check out the two Gen Con podcasts we participated in: Chris and Wayne on the Pulp Gamer Media Network live recording and Dan’s talk with the Amorphous Blobcast.

* (3:07) Cape Rust did a very kind review of our show in addition to great articles he’s written on gaming in the military (part 1 and part 2), LARPing (part 1 and part 2), and other subjects for Geek Life.

* (4:04) The Gamer Image Game.  Does your geek self-image line up with how you actually spend your time and money?  And if not, why not?

* (18:07) Why Pat and Dan have no sympathy for people with hard to pronounce names.

* (19:10) Puzzles and riddles in roleplaying games.  How to design, integrate, and present them to the players while avoiding the common sources of frustration.

Hosts: Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0202.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:01 AM

* (0:19) The role of online communities in finding, building, and sustaining an audience.  If you’re interested in Dragonlance, be sure to check out the Dragonlance Nexus.

* (3:44) The value of art, entertainment, and ideas on the internet.  Why free may not always be the best price.  Tracy’s plan for nurturing new authors in this environment.  As a side note, Wayne’s serial fiction is being released weekly on the Skies of Glass website.

* (14:34) Tracy’s experience of co-authoring with his wife.  The importance of a continual feedback loop in the creative process.  The struggles of writing and the joys of having written.

* (19:43) The Dragonlance movie.  Watching other people take over your creative properties, and the “original bad deal” that gets you published.

* (25:17) Whether Tracy ever plans to do anything more that’s directly in the RPG market.  His new book series, starting with Song of the Dragon.

* (29:20) What’s up with the dragons?  That question leads into a discussion on the monomyth, cognitive dissonance, and the human penchant for narrative.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Tracy Hickman

Don’t forget to get signed up for the special offer of Dragon’s Bard using the discount code found here!  This offer is only open through September 15th.

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0014.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 6:29 AM

* (0:32) Who Tracy Hickman is and where you probably know him from.

* (3:41) The story of how Tracy’s wife and a missed ride got him into gaming.

* (8:25) The current trend in complexity and execution of roleplaying games.  Be sure to check out both X-treme Dungeon Mastery and Killer Breakfast.

* (27:41) Raising his son in the hobby, and the experience of co-writing X-treme Dungeon Mastery with him.

* (30:56) The strangest places he’s seen his own material, and the unique relationship between an author and reader.

* (36:52) The impact of social networking and new media on the publishing industry.  Be sure to check out Dragon’s Bard, and if you want the discount he’s offering our listeners, you’ll need to take the coupon code from here and place your order right here.  The revised deadline for orders is September 15th, so be sure to get yours in soon!

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Tracy Hickman

We hope you’ll join us for the second half of the interview next week in which we talk more about new media, Dragonlance (including the movie), community building, Tracy’s upcoming projects, and more!

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0013.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 11:51 PM

* (0:30) Johann gets a new, rating-friendly nickname, and Chris learns about numbers.

* (1:48) Gen Con coverage is available on our blog.  Quite a few videos are already out, and more are still being prepped for release over the coming days.

* (2:29) Dealing with unexpected player actions that aren’t covered by the rules.  Designing a meaningful outcome that’s fair to the player without breaking the game.

* (18:00) Handling travel in a roleplaying game.  Taking advantage of time and distance to keep the game interesting without bogging down the pace.  Whether to use random encounter charts, and if so, how to get the most out of them.  We’d like to thank Josheva for sending this one in!

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0201.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:33 AM

* (0:44) The TOFTBCH network is still accepting sign-ups.  Be sure to join us for all the social and gaming events we’ll be setting up during Gen Con.  They’ve also gotten reservations for a pre-con wing night, 8:00pm on Wednesday at Scotty’s Brewhouse.

* (1:53) Canadian police cracking down on G20 protesters bust an Amtgard LARPer and give us a new idea for a weapon.  You can read the article on The Globe and Mail.

* (9:02) Chris has the opportunity to do a news story on gaming and finds out he just might be a LARPophobe. You can watch the bit he did for D&D’s 30th anniversary here.

* (18:56) Playing characters that are socially excluded from the game’s setting due to race, species, religion, legal status, etc.  How to use them to make a game feel more believable without letting them completely gum up the narrative.

* (51:22)  What we have in mind for episode 200 and why it may take a while to produce.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0199.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:42 AM

* (0:55) Our planned Gen Con coverage.

* (1:11) The TOFTBCH network is still open for sign-ups and available for anyone with some free time during the con.

* (2:49) Getting Pat to talk.

* (8:38) Pat on GM favoritism.

* (18:15) Adaptions into roleplaying games.

* (31:00) Getting cheated out of results.

* (41:34) No one takes Wayne’s characters seriously.

* (52:08) Mispronouncing words and other geek hypocrisy.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0034.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 6:13 AM

* (0:28) The TOFTBCH network continues to prep and grow.  Be sure to get signed up!

* (1:11) Wayne’s Skies of Glass fiction.

* (5:06) There’s no point without progress?

* (22:20) Revitalizing your old ideas.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0198.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:05 AM

* (1:28) We’re not proud Chris’ daughter is reading.

* (5:49) Where’s my support group?

* (11:21) Gen Con 2010 draws near.  Be sure to get signed up for the TOFTBCH network and join in on the fun!

* (14:00) Cigars and the Kellums that send them.

* (15:47) Class-based versus class-less RPG systems.

* (35:16) Familiars, pets, and other animal NPCs.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0197.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01 AM

* (0:29) The passing of a friend.

* (1:47) A big thanks to the companies that supported Raina’s Wings with prizes.  You can find the list of those folks here.

* (3:08) Hat day on Fear the Boot…?

* (5:05) Chris finds a gaming group using a flyer and a website.

* (20:33) Representing characters with epic backgrounds within a balanced party or rules system.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0196.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:44 PM

* (1:14) Raina’s Wings charity drive results.

* (1:42) Using models on the cheap.

* (4:55) RPGs make failure fun!

* (12:31) The difficulty of telling a good gaming story.

* (22:39) An exercise in applying our own advice by adapting characters to keep the party together.  Dave’s picture summary can be found here.

* (48:46) The joys of playing an evil group.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Dave, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0195.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:49 AM

* (0:38) John Grana, DA.

* (1:16) Wayne visits the Superman festival.

* (6:25) Adventure Week, as brought to you by Dice, Food, and Lodging.

* (12:12) This versus that.

* (13:53) The benefits and problems of remote gaming.  You can find the tools we mentioned here: MapTool, Skype, Ventrilo.  The play-by-post section of our forum can be found here.

* (49:01) Using remote play to supplement a face-to-face game.

* (57:33) The answer to life’s most pressing question.  If you’re interested in following our Twitter nonsense, you can do so here.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat, Wayne


Direct download: feartheboot_0194.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:39 PM

* (0:29) Pat causes confusion.

* (1:48) The FtB: Night of Carnage.

* (6:54) Planning for Gen Con 2010.  If you want to join the TOFTBCH network, be sure to sign up here.

* (9:30) Chad was using what…?

* (11:42) Setting your game up for success.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0193.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:42 AM

This episode was originally intended to be 193.  However, we never quite got to the RPG topic, so we’re releasing it as a bonus episode instead.

* (0:07) Chad’s dad and 24.

* (12:16) The TOFTBCH network is back for Gen Con 2010!  If you want to be involved (and believe me, you do) be sure to sign up here.

* (16:41) Con Planner is now open for use by other conventions!  You can see the list of features in development on the About page.

* (19:10) A bunch of stuff about Dr. Who.  For anyone that’s interested, here’s Haunted St. Louis and Haunted Missouri.

* (41:40) A near miss on an actual RPG topic leads to a discussion about pets and their rare involvement in RPG sessions.  The website I mentioned is Dog Breed Info.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0033.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:05 AM

* (0:28) We’re in the last few days of the contest with Raina’s Wings, with prize support provided by Arc Dream, DriveThru, and Polymancer.  Make your donations here, and be sure to either leave a comment with your donation or let Necronomitron know who you are.

* (1:18) Some minor changes to our website.

* (4:52) Board game meetups.

* (18:03) Why our RPG campaigns keep dying.

* (20:53) Chad’s bravery with D&D, the discrete tasks of GMing, and implied setting.  You can find the d20 SRD here.

* (30:22) The process of selecting the setting, system, and length for a new role playing campaign.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0192.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:56 AM

* (0:49) Raina’s Wings continues with prize support provided by Arc Dream, DriveThru, and Polymancer.  Make your donations here, and be sure to either leave a comment with your donation or let Necronomitron know who you are.

* (1:21) Innovation vs evolution, growing the hobby, and trying new things.  The article mentioned is located here.

* (31:51) Keeping the game alive between sittings, using the principles of an alternate reality game.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Ed, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0191.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:05 AM

Fear the Boot Bedtime Stories, part 4.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0032.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 6:08 AM

* (0:29) Johann, Descent, and Star Trek.

* (4:10) Raina’s Wings is still going on with prize support provided by Arc Dream, DriveThru, and Polymancer.  Make your donations here, and be sure to either leave a comment with your donation or let Necronomitron know who you are.

* (5:20) Last call on the Blood Bowl league!  You have about 24 hours to get signed up on our forums!

* (5:35) You can find details about FtB: Night of Carnage here.

* (6:40) The state of Fear the Boot’s creative projects.

* (8:36) When the playground is weirder than you remember.  You can find the plot synopsis for The Tin Woodman of Oz here.

* (25:03) Throwing down the gauntlet to Postcards from the Dungeon.

* (25:16) Applying subtlety, peculiarity, and horror to a roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0190.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:59 PM

* (0:29) Chad’s monthly board game meet-up and Chris’ memory.

* (9:00) We’re delaying the start of the Blood Bowl league by two weeks.  You can still get signed up here.

* (9:35) Fear the Boot is teaming up with Postcards from the Dungeon.

* (11:45) Chris vs the sprinkler.

* (17:35) TOFTBCHes will be back at Gen Con 2010!  More information coming soon.

* (18:18) A placeholder for future debate on indie games.

* (30:35) Keeping your Game Master energized.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0189.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:25 PM

In this interview we talk with Fred Hicks from Evil Hat Productions about being a transparent game company, keeping that “small company” feel, his background as a gamer, and of course the Dresden Files RPG.  You can follow Fred Hicks on his blog or his podcast, That’s How We Roll.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Fred Hicks

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0012.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 3:12 AM

* (0:35) Pat’s confession and the other nonsense on our Twitter feed.

* (3:15) Raina’s Wings is continuing as a contest with prize support provided by Arc Dream, DriveThru, and Polymancer.  Make your donations here, and be sure to either leave a comment with your donation or let Necronomitron know who you are.

* (4:24) The Blood Bowl league is still forming, and you can find details on our forums.

* (4:49) Mikey Mason coming soon to a YouTube near you…tube.

* (5:40) Thanking Derek.

* (7:33) Movie trailers, comic book adaptations, and The Prisoner remake.

* (11:26) Fear the Boot’s 2010 film picks.  If you’re interest in the trailers, here are the links: Iron Man 2, Kick-Ass, The Losers, The Expendables, Toy Story 3, The Last Airbender, Voyage of the Dawntreader (no trailer yet), Inception, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

* (31:07) Lying to your players.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0188.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:22 PM

In this interview we talk with Eddy Webb from White Wolf about new media in gaming, piracy, and living the dream.  The new media episode I mentioned was indeed 136.  Eddy’s website can be found here.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Eddy Webb

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0011.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 7:59 PM

* (0:45) Raina’s Wings is now a contest with prize support provided by Arc Dream, DriveThru, and Polymancer.  Make your donations here, and be sure to either leave a comment with your donation or let Necronomitron know who you are.

* (3:39) If you’re interested in joining our Blood Bowl leagues, you can find details on our forums.

* (6:31) Jonathan and the gamer cop.

* (12:53) RPG holidays.

* (25:27) Developing relationships between PCs and NPCs.

* (53:05) Developing relationships between NPCs and NPCs.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0187.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:01 AM

* (0:31) Future predictions about Fear the Con 3.  The joys of being ahead a few episodes, I suppose.

* (3:48) You can still donate to Raina’s Wings!

* (4:37) Decorating your ultimate geek house.  You can see the mentioned dungeon house here.

* (19:04) Building meaningful PC romance and other relationships in an RPG.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0186.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:01 AM

While the recording quality is better than the show from Fear the Con 2, it’s still not perfect.  Also, there was a hardware glitch that got fixed right around the 10 minute mark.  All of that aside, it was an incredible experience that we wanted to share with anyone that couldn’t make it to the con.  I hope you enjoy it, and we’ll be back Wednesday with one of our regular episodes!

Direct download: feartheboot_0185.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:08 AM

I want to thank Dave Dankel from Iron Agenda for taking my seat on the show this week and letting the guys record with his setup.  I desperately needed the time to work on Fear the Con stuff, and the free night helped out quite a bit.  If you’re at all interested in WarMachine, be sure to check out his show!

* (0:30) Introducing Dave.

* (2:26) A restaurant run by firefighters.

* (7:04) How Dave is the unnamed topic of so many Fear the Boot episodes.

* (14:14) Gaming with your boss.

* (18:06) The relationship between war-gaming and roleplaying.

* (21:44) Adding roleplaying to a war-game.

* (37:42) Using war-games to resolve elements of a roleplaying game.

* (44:22) Managing expectations when approaching a new game.

* (46:58) The subconscious creep of roleplaying into a war-game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dave, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0184.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:06 AM

* (0:29) Revisiting Raina’s Wings.  You can make your donation here.

* (4:18) If you’re coming in on the Wednesday before Fear the Con, we’ll be having an impromptu social gathering at Maryland Yards at 7:00pm, just down the street from the hotel.

* (6:30) Chris and the scooter store.

* (7:22) Keeping emotions in check during a game.

* (31:38) A brief review of Pat and Chris’ “storytelling”.

* (33:00) Preparing to attend and survive a convention.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0183.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:23 AM

* (0:29) Fear the Con 3 now has t-shirts you can order.

* (4:04) The new emotion: Muscle March.

* (7:14) Fear the Fruit is still going strong.

* (9:22) The sorts of dice you own and how you carry them.

* (30:13) Doom has been wrought upon our household.

* (31:13) Character creation tips from our newer hosts.

* (49:45) Techniques to help ensure you won’t hate your character later.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0182.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:24 AM

In this interview we talk with Matt Vancil from Dead Gentlemen, writer and director of The Gamers and The Gamers: Dorkness Rising.  We talk about the making of his previous films, the prospect of RPG properties getting turned into movies, gamer stereotypes, and what new stuff he has on the horizon.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Guest: Matt Vancil

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0010.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 6:28 AM

* (0:30) A screwed up intro and how editing affects the show.

* (2:13) When passing notes during the game goes too far.

* (12:44) Controlling the temptation to eat.

* (23:40) Fear the Fruit reminder!

* (23:57) Losing weight when you already exercise and can’t control what food is around.

* (36:31) Portion control and finding diet food with flavor.

* (49:24) Exercising with a minor physical disability.

* (51:23) The importance of a social support structure.

* (52:47) Reiterating our disclaimer.

* (53:31) How gaming itself can be good for your health.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0181.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01 AM

* (0:31) Fear the Con 3 just got a trivia game show.  Fear the Con 3 items are also now available for sale in our CafePress store.

* (2:17) Ira Glass on overcoming creative perfectionism.

* (5:06) Keeping dice in the roleplaying continuity.

* (9:21) Pat’s pickled pigs feet…?

* (10:44) Health advice disclaimer.  You can find the organization Chris is certified with here.

* (15:26) Improving what you eat at the gaming table, with tangents on peer support, calorie counting, and making sustainable changes.

* (39:10) Picking the right exercises for you and integrating them into your life.

* (48:49) Chad’s pep talk and a story about Tex.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0180.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:09 PM

* (0:45) The man that really keeps Pat down.

* (1:35) Get your health questions to Chris for episode 180!

* (2:09) A big thanks to Totten for the pizza.

* (3:10) DriveThruRPG is running a charity through Doctors Without Borders for medical relief in Haiti.  You can make the donation here and see what RPG products that donation will get you here.

* (6:59) D&D gets banned from prisons.

* (15:02) Fear the Boot fans in prison…?

* (17:17) You are wrong to enjoy certain things.

* (20:26) Overcoming perfectionism as a GM or player.

* (42:12) Fear the Con 3.

* (43:23) Why don’t players trust their GMs more?

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0179.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:23 AM

* (0:35) Dan makes a confession.

* (4:07) Fear the Con 3!

* (4:43) Soliciting questions for the upcoming episode on gamer health.

* (7:05) How Chad keeps his incidental GM decisions straight without notes.

* (17:08) Preparing the right amount of notes.

* (18:12) Notes and improv for a game’s opening scene.

* (24:02) Using the conclusion of one session to help kick off the next one.

* (26:18) How notes (or improv) affect the GM’s game style.

* (28:38) Crossing styles.

* (31:52) Getting back to the structure of game notes.

* (35:51) Notes don’t need to be a script.

* (42:10) The notes you take during the game.  You can create a free Wiki here.

* (48:52) The “what’s really going on” document.

* (50:55) An example from our current game.

* (54:45) Notes kept by the players.

* (57:59) Background notes on your own character.

* (1:00:03) Noticing your ruts.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0178.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16 PM

* (0:29) Pat gets a local port.

* (1:15) Dan’s rant on impassible terrain.

* (7:13) How Pat made Chad and Dan proud with his first MMO.

* (9:19) The GM and player toolbox.

* (11:29) The moment of zen.

* (15:56) Taking a week off.

* (17:47) Useful lists.

* (19:50) The double-edged sword of an internet-ready laptop.

* (22:06) The role of the toolbox in the game.

* (23:35) The players don’t know what you don’t know.

* (27:36) Taking on-going notes.

* (28:23) Preparation prior to the game.

* (30:25) Player character motivations, observations, and side projects.

* (31:47) Borrowing ideas from fiction and real life.

* (34:28) Internal roleplay and contingency plans.

* (38:13) Drawing from the larger community of roleplayers.

* (39:23) Putting yourself in the spotlight and carrying the right attitude.

* (41:22) The cheap and simple supplies.

* (44:05) Tracking the scene.

* (48:20) Tools for helping you get in character and stay in character.

* (53:36) Tracking initiative.

* (56:11) A cheat sheet of player character names.

* (57:13) Players taking notes.

* (1:01:17) Podcasts, blogs, and gaming magazines.

* (1:04:04) A rules cheat sheet.

* (1:07:41) Robertson Games’ dungeon room design contest.

* Dan’s surprise can be found here.  And just in case they changed it, I archived a screenshot of it here.  Journalist + Google image search = pure win.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0177.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:13 AM

* (0:00) Dan’s favorite part of Fear the Con.

* (1:56) Why you don’t want to miss the Wing Night beforehand.

* (2:40) Some highlights for people that aren’t going to the con.  If you want to help promote the con, you can find a Fear the Con 3 flyer here.

* (5:08) Sign-up and find information at http://www.fearthecon.com or http://www.conplanner.com.

* (8:05) Con Planner’s privacy policy.

* (9:15) We’re at a new hotel this year.

* (9:50) Ticketing details.

* (11:57) Fear the Fruit.

* (12:48) A call for Game Masters!

* (15:03) The roommate thread and carpooling thread.

* (16:01) Mikey Mason and the game lending library.

* (17:32) Our vendor will be back.  You can post requests for him here.  You can find Geeky Clean here.

* (19:05) A call to our fellow podcasters.

* (21:38) Come for the con, stay for the caves.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0031.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 9:01 AM

* (0:29) Fear the Con 3 sign-up has begun!

* (1:44) Thanking our secret Santas.  Legos, Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress, Master of the Game, and SPANC.

* (8:40) Swapping games to expose people to new material.

* (10:53) The original Fear the Boot logo.

* (11:36) Setting up this episode and the next one.

* (12:04) Leadership and structure in a roleplaying game party.

* (13:59) How leadership helps the Game Master.

* (14:59) Players that reject any form of authority.

* (19:30) Picking the right player to be in charge.

* (23:42) Keeping leadership from becoming a railroad.

* (27:32) Making an ever-present NPC leader work.

* (35:26) Dealing with the guy that will not tolerate any structure in the party.

* (38:41) When having a boss is too close to real life.

* (42:13) The role of a GM when players are doing sidebar RP.

* (44:34) The GM shouldn’t kill the moment.

* (47:17) How the GM can profit from what he overhears.

* (48:18) Dealing with bored players outside of the RP sidebar.

* (50:55) GMs not being overly helpful.

* (55:35) Intrusion by other player characters.

* (59:53) Player etiquette.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0176.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57 AM

* (0:38) Congratulating Chris.

* (2:22) Fear the Boot made it to 175.

* (3:19) Fear the Con 3 online ticketing and sign-up will be live on January 1st.

* (6:06) Chad has a sexy voice?

* (7:16) John’s current gaming situation.  You can find MapTools here.

* (9:48) Why John hates player characters.

* (11:25) A quick gaming story to explain an example.

* (13:32) Why GMs often make better players.

* (18:01) People that refuse to GM even once.

* (25:49) Players that lobby for power without conceding anything to the GM.

* (32:35) TPKs, challenge, and losing characters.

* (36:33) Why John loves PCs, starting with those that latch onto plot elements.

* (39:46) PCs who roleplaying in a meaningful manner.

* (45:53) PCs with connection to the setting help make the game more engaging.

* (48:54) Dan bitches about Chris.

* (57:05) When Dan loves his players most.

* (1:01:36) Upcoming topics for the next couple of shows.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0175.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44 PM

I was hoping to run a regular episode this week, but Christmas happened.  Since I couldn’t get enough hosts, I dug into the archive of unreleased stuff and pulled out a bonus episode we did with Mikey Mason.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0030.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 11:58 PM

* (0:32) How a person’s real skills can affect game play.

* (4:57) The additional costs associated with LARP.

* (8:27) Setting and time periods.

* (12:08) Where someone looking to join the hobby should start.

* (21:55) LARP as an educational tool.

* (22:40) Rule 7.

* (24:03) Trying new systems and more thoughts on finding a group.

* (25:01) Character death.

Hosts: Dan, James, Michael, Nathanael, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0174.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:48 AM

* (1:09) Fear the Boot, now with timestamps!

* (1:45) Fear the Con 3 sign-up is coming very soon.

* (2:20) Introducing our guests.

* (5:05) What separates LARP from tabletop RPGs?

* (10:32) The negative image of LARPers.  The infamous Lightningt Bolt video.

* (17:07) The seemingly insular nature of the LARP community.

* (28:03) Flirting, physical contact, and other boundaries.

* (31:38) The flow of LARP as compared to a tabletop RPG.  You can see the Oak Island Mystery videos here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.

* (36:08) The role of NPCs in LARP.

* (39:45) Character advancement and player attachment.

* (43:48) Representing magic.

* (45:11) Honor and honesty in sparring.

Our guests were also kind enough to provide links to the Amtgard and Insurrection LARP systems.

Hosts: Dan, James, Michael, Nathanael, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0173.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:50 AM

* (0:55) Wayne’s surprise gift for Dan.

* (2:13) A childhood full of toys.

* (11:51) The limited release of The Road.

* (14:36) Predictions on the future of  media distribution.

* (28:55) Picking the right resources for a brand new GM and gaming group.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0172.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:55 PM

We talk about board games with a tangent into cooperative vs competitive gaming.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0029.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:52 AM

* Welcoming comedian Mikey Mason.

* Dan is answering his Fear the Boot email account again. Let’s see how long that lasts.

* Fear the Fruit is back at Fear the Con 3. You can find information on how to make a donation here.

* Revisiting old campaigns.

* Mikey Mason’s beer sites are Good Beer Show and Beer Safari. The two non-bitter beers we took to are New Glarus Belgian Red and Schlafly #15.

* Where theater practices and roleplaying overlap (and don’t).

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Mikey, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0171.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:35 AM

* Some basic information on Fear the Con 3 is up.  More details — and ticketing — will follow soon!

* Checking in on how Wayne’s Mutants & Masterminds game went.

* Getting your players unstuck.

* Bickering about bards.  If you don’t have a 3.5 rulebook handy, you can follow along here.  If you’re interested in entering Critical Press Media’s bard contest, you can find details on their site.

* The reciprocal relationship between tabletop roleplaying games and video games.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0170.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:59 PM

* The top 10 reasons we miss having Chris on Fear the Boot.

* Chad makes a special presentation.  You can find the RPG swap thread on our forum.  Be sure to check out Atomic Robo!  The story of Steve Jackson getting in trouble with the government can be read here.

* Running a roleplaying game system or setting for the first time,

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0169.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:05 AM

* Bitter beer.  You can find the beer podcast Mikey Mason is on here.

* Keeping your players focused on the game and stopping the table talk.

* Getting your players to be more proactive about roleplaying.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0168.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:05 AM

You can see Pat’s jack-o’-latern here.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0028.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 10:39 PM

* Fear the Boot is looking for LARPers!  See the forums for details.

* Our struggles with miniature war games.

* Keeping roleplaying alive in combat.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0167.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:44 PM

* Reviewing reviews.  The website we mentioned is Spill.

* The odd obscurity of (or at least our ignorance regarding) LARPing rulebooks.  You can find the Fallout LARP pictures here.

* The effect of minis on tabletop roleplaying games.  In case you’re not familiar with the annoying Wilhelm Scream, here’s a compilation of them.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0166.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:04 PM

* Chris is off to take his PT exam.

* Fear the Con 3 has dates!  March 11, 2010 for Wing Night, March 12 – 13 for the con, March 14 – 17 for additional social events.

* The City of Villains supergroup on Pinnacle server is still going strong.  Free account reactivation and double XP this weekend.

* What makes a game system a LARP?

* Why we won’t try to define the terms RPG or LARP.

* Recovering momentum in a dying campaign.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0165.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:54 PM

* Fear the Boot just finished its first election…?

* Why the website has been coming and going.

* Fear the Con 3. After recording this episode, we got the location reserved and dates locked down.

* The history and meaning of names.

* Video game length.

* Superstition and mythology in fantasy roleplaying games.

* Psychoanalyzing Pat.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0164.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:57 PM

In this interview we talk with Jim Pinto from Alderac Entertainment Group.  You can find his gaming blog here and portfolio here.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Wayne

Guests: Jim Pinto

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0009.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 7:03 AM

* I hate Skype.

* Happy birthday to Chris!

* Pat finds Devil Cremes.

* Sherlock Holmes, the upcoming movie, and reimagining popular stories.

* Old games that we miss…!?

* The creep of roleplaying elements into non-roleplaying games.

* Failures of outreach in geekdom.

* Bringing roleplaying games into the mainstream.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0163.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:21 PM

* Sister-kisser redux.

* Nerd d**k waving.

* The soda map.

* Chad’s Fear the Con 3 blog.

* Bookstores and bookstoring.

* Character advancement and atrophy.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0162.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:35 AM

* Welcoming Wayne as a host.

* What is your favorite word?  Super Troopers meow clip.

* This is Chris’ 50th episode!

* Pocket gaming books.

* One-shot roleplaying games.

* Special thanks to Zircher for the Baron’s reply tagged at the end of the episode!

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0161.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:10 PM

* Chad is out sick.

* Comic books, trade paperbacks, and graphic novels. Wayne provided links to The Boys and an online “pull” service.

* An apology to Rhiannon.

* Acclimating a new player to the roleplaying hobby.

* Julie Hussey’s Power 16 II acceptance speech.

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Direct download: feartheboot_0160.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:15 AM

A final look back at Gen Con 2009, a few shout-outs, and some things we want to do differently next year.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0027.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:56 PM

Since I was stuck at home, Chris Hussey took my place on an episode of This Just In…From Gen Con.

Direct download: TJIGenCon09_Friday11a.mp3
Category:Event Coverage -- posted at: 11:23 PM

Interview regarding Pulp City.

Direct download: feartheboot_gencon2009_0003.mp3
Category:Event Coverage -- posted at: 3:03 AM

Direct download: feartheboot_gencon2009_0002.mp3
Category:Event Coverage -- posted at: 6:55 PM

Wednesday was the day Chad, John and I arrived in Indianapolis for Gen Con. They beat me there, and headed over to a different hotel for a hastily assembled “Pot Luck & Beer Tasting” event. By the time I showed, there were about a dozen Booters present.

We dined on chili concocted by Martian Bob himself, and tasted a variety of micro brews scrounged up (and some brewed by) Killercheesewedge. Plenty of gamer talk abounded, as ‘Return of the Jedi’ played on Spike TV in the background. Of course, we paused to listen to Admiral Ackbar shout, “It’s a trap!”

Photos below, as well as a brief audio commentary by Chad & John on their journey up (Dan will be uploading this).

Tomorrow the coverage begins in earnest, so keep checking back for more updates daily.

Some photos of the gathering here. Expect more tomorrow.

Direct download: feartheboot_gencon2009_0001.mp3
Category:Event Coverage -- posted at: 4:58 AM

Fear the Boot Bedtime Stories, part 3.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0026.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 8:09 AM

* Power 16 II has ended!  We’ll announce the bracket and contest winners in the first post-Gencon show.

* Gencon is upon us!  If you haven’t already, get signed up for the guerrilla events.

* Be sure to subscribe to the Fear the Boot and TOFtBCH Twitter feeds.

* Rolling dice versus roleplaying social skills.

* Could there be a future without mainstream gaming?

* City of Villains guild.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0159.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:03 PM

* Power 16 II final battle this week!

* Battletech’s 25th anniversary and the unseen ‘Mechs.

* Sign-up continues for our Gencon guerrilla event network!

* A big thanks to Kellum.

* Midnight RPG movie.

* The Ghostbusters video game and never-made movie sequel.

* Overall balance in a roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0158.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:26 PM

* Where’s Pat?

* Power 16 II final battle this week!

* Numbering churches and banks.  (Note from Dan: I checked the ending credits of Contra and realized I had games mixed up.  It was from the credits of Mega Man 3.  It’s around 2:20 on that clip.)

* Urban legends.

* City of Villains guild on the Pinnacle server.  It’s NOT a FtB sponsored guild, but a lot of us have joined it.  We have a dedicated forum area, and you can find the client download here.

* Players that refuse to learn the rules of an RPG.

* Game completionism.

* Questioning magic user balance in RPGs and video games.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0157.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:03 AM

* iTunes and WordPress are both against us!

* The new Mechwarrior game.  After watching the trailer, seeing the restored “unseen” ‘Mechs and flavor they’re going for, Dan retracts his initial disdain.

* Our hope for a new Crimson Skies video game.

* Deciding what’s worth tracking in a roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0156.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:50 PM

* Yes, both cities are real places.

* This week, the Power 16 II enters the finals for the Denny’s League.

* If you’ve enjoyed Skullossus’ bracketology art, check out his comic, The Princess Planet.

* Sign-up continues for our Gencon guerrilla event network!

* Chris wins an Edward R. Murrow award!  You can watch his entry here.

* A debate on the usefulness of utility spells.

* Pocket Tanks.

* Dealing with the first game in a campaign.

* Melodies of Life.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0155.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:12 PM

* Power 16 II continues!  This week is the final round of the Shadowrun League.

* Be sure to get signed up for our Gencon guerilla event list.

* Chad’s random aside on industrial music.

* Five upcoming movies we’re looking forward to: Surrogates, 9, District 9, Zombieland, Where the Wild Things Are.

* Epic player quests.

Hosts: Chris, Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0154.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:43 PM

* Learning a little more about Pat.

* Power 16 II rolls on!  This week is the second round of the Denny’s League.

* Can’t Stop the Serenity charity.

* Some mathematical facts about 153.

* Reverse picture-preview episode.  The 10 pictures forum users submitted to inspire this episode can be found here.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0153.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:11 PM

* You can find Chad’s Twitter feed here.

* Power 16 II, round 2 of the Shadowrun League. Get your votes in! You can find the on-going bracketology thread here.

* When is it too soon?

* Handling failure as a Game Master.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0152.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:02 AM

* Power 16 II continues!  It’s time to vote on the first round of the Denny’s League.  You can find the bracketology thread here.

* Wii Fit.

* Chad gets screwed by another video game.

* Breaking the fourth wall of electronic games.  You can see Project NATAL here and Milo here.

* Player Character failure in roleplaying games.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0151.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:01 AM

* Star Trek Bridge Commander and other Star Trek video games.

* The Power 16 2 begins today!  The first round of competition within the Shadowrun League will run for a week or two.  Get your votes in here! Remember that we’re giving away Catalyst gift cards, so if you want to enter for those, be sure to leave your name and email address at the end of the poll.

* Aliens in television and movies.

* Humans and colonization in science fiction.

* Changing character traits mid-game.

* Over-discussing your game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0150.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:04 PM

* Chad’s personalized mug.

* Fear the Boot TOFtBCHes at Gencon!  If you want to be a part of the action, get signed up!

* Power 16 II, starting next episode!

* Television ratings, cancellations, and DVRs.

* Adding depth to your player character.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0149.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01 AM

* Is it fair to prejudge a movie based on its trailers?

* Fear the Boot float trip and camping trip June 5th – 7th.  You can find the Facebook event page here and forum thread here.

* Fear the Boot TOFtBCHes at Gencon!  If you want to be a part of the action, get signed up!

* Mistrust at the gaming table.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0148.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:39 PM

* “Dan’s not quite long enough” has concluded.  However, this cause still goes on, so if you want to make a donation, please do so here.  You can now see Chad bald and Dan with short hair.

* If you register for the forums and don’t get your confirmation email, send a message to the General Mailbox with your forum user name.  Don’t expect a confirmation email from us, since that will probably be blocked as well!  Just keep checking back over the next day or two.

* Fear the Boot float trip and camping trip June 5th – 7th.  You can find the Facebook event page here and forum thread here.

* Fear the Boot TOFtBCHes at Gencon!  If you want to be a part of the action, get signed up!

* The things being a long-time gamer have taught us.

* Dungeon building part 2.  We mentioned a few resources I’ll provide links to…

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0147.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:10 AM

* If you register for the forums and don’t get your confirmation email, send a message to the General Mailbox with your forum user name.

* “Dan’s not quite long enough” is in its last week!  To make your donation to March of Dimes’ Raina’s Wings charity, do so here.  You can see Chad bald on our forums.

* Skies of Glass comic artist search!   The character document is here.  Send submissions or questions to skiesofglass@gmail.com.

* Discerning when it’s close-mindedness versus the right time to say, “No.”

* Dungeon building (first half of discussion).  Next week we’ll be back to talk about history, ecology, traps, tools, and tricks!

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0146.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:44 PM

* “Dan’s not quite long enough” continues!  To make your donation to March of Dimes’ Raina’s Wings charity, do so here.

* Skies of Glass comic artist search!   The character document is here.  Send submissions or questions to skiesofglass@gmail.com.

* Concepts we all understand but can’t quite define.

* Broadening Dan’s horizons.

* How to overcome the roadblocks to running a super hero game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0145.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:18 PM

* “Dan’s not quite long enough” has started!  To make your donation to March of Dimes’ Raina’s Wings charity, do so here.

* Fear the Boot community’s Neverwinter Nights mod.

* We discuss a commentary by Isaac Asimov on whether “true” science fiction can ever sell in a mass market.

* Why Dan struggles constructing super hero campaigns.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0144.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:31 PM

* A big thanks to the guys at The Core gaming shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

* Things that wouldn’t work as roleplaying games.  Apparently clips of The Letter People aren’t hard to find.

* Playing animals or anthropomorphic animals in a roleplaying game.  You can see a picture of the guy that inspired this show on our forums.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0143.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:08 PM

* Dan’s not quite long enough.

* Chris introduces his son’s friends to D&D.

* We ponder why video games aren’t held to the same product standards common to every other industry.

* Roleplaying with your kids.  The toy company Pat mentions is Schleich (WARNING: this site plays music when you open it).  The roleplaying game Chad keeps referring to is QAGS.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0142.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01 AM

* This show was recorded while on a Gamer Adventures trip.

* Fear the Boot will soon be joining the Pulp Gamer network.

* Introducing Darren Lacoste, winner of Mayfair’s Catan tournament.

* Gamers as an underserved demographic.

* Expanding the appeal of gaming.

* Areas we’d like to see focus on the gaming demographic, and what we can do to help make that happen.

* A look at what’s coming up at Mayfair Games.

Hosts: Dan, Derek, Don, Larry, Kim

NOTE: While I was on this trip, I also guest hosted episodes on some other shows you might want to check out:

Direct download: feartheboot_0141.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:02 PM

In this interview we talk with Trampas Whiteman from Dragonlance Nexus.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat

Guests: Trampas Whiteman

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0008.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 8:05 AM

* Jeffcon at Just For Fun in Peoria, IL.

* Playing villainous characters.

* Adding cults to your roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0140.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:05 AM

* You can see the trunk monkey videos here.

* Preparing a con game.  Really good advice, presented with really questionable sound quality.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat…and a whole lot of con attendees

Direct download: feartheboot_0139.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:21 AM

* You can still pre-register and pre-pay for a few more days on the convention website.

* You can find addresses and maps for the convention center, wing night location, hotel, and (I hope) Watchmen theater in this DOC or PDF.

* If you’re looking for rides, car pooling, or hotel roommates,  go here.

* You can find details on the con shirts in this thread.

* World Wide Wing Night will be at Syberg’s on Dorsett, 7:00pm – Midnight on Thursday, March 5th.

* We’ll keep you guys posted on the Watchmen viewing.

* You can find information on Chad’s cigar even on the forums.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0025.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 2:56 AM

* Raina’s Wings.  You can donate here and read the full story behind this charity on our forums.

* Remembering the importance of player contribution to an RPG’s unfolding story.

* Fear the Con!  You can see Dave’s account of the pirate ship building on his blog.

* Getting over the GM jitters.

* Handling a group where the players have mixed RPG experience levels.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0138.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:51 PM

* Pat hasn’t played Oregon Trail…?  If you want to play around with Logo, there are some modern adaptations in Flash.

* RPGs in a bad economy.

* Shepherding your off-topic players.

* Know when it’s time to end your campaign.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0137.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:03 AM

* Making Ed’s kids gamers.

* The real reason we play MMOs and the lack of innovation in the industry.

* Media companies don’t realize what year it is.

* Are RPG companies adapating to meet changing consumption patterns?

* War Pig Radio.  You can find the update on its status here.

* RPG Countdown.

Hosts: Dan, Ed, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0136.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:33 PM

* A viewing of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 leads to a broader discussion of anime.  The anime Chad recommends is Planetes and Last Exile.

* Heroes of Lesser Earth.

* Fear the Boot’s Twitter feed can be found here.

* Game Master handouts and other visual aids for players.

* Tangible goodies that sometimes ship with video games and roleplaying games.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0135.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:04 AM

* Funny names, Johnny Cash, and the Gamer Adventures cruise.

* Some events going on outside of Fear the Con: a wing night on Thursday, March 5th and a Watchmen viewing on Friday, March 6th.

* A possible Rifts movie?  If you want to join the letter campaign, you can find details here.  If you hadn’t heard about the Uwe Boll / Blizzard conversation, read on.

* Gryphcon in Ontario, Canada.

* From RPG magazines to the internet: how gamer interactions have changed.

* Running roleplaying games on holidays.

* Revealing information in your RPG without feeding your players the plot.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0134.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:17 AM

* Direct-to-video, low budget, art house, and “scam” movies.  And, yes, Snakes on a Train is a real movie.

* What the small RPG publishers have (and don’t have) in common with small movie studios.

* What art form are RPGs most like to you?

* Getting your players to roleplay.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0133.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:35 PM

* Pat turns 35, and how our perceptions of age change with age.

* Pirates of the Cursed Sea.  I found some pictures of a play area similar to the one I saw at Gencon.

* Fear the Con 2.  You can buy your ticket, see the games, and sign up to play on the website.  The comedian Chad mentioned is Mikey Mason.

* Pacing a game so it doesn’t drag on too long or conclude too quickly.

* A round-robin game idea.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0132.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:41 AM

* The things we do for this hobby.

* Fear the Con 2!  You can find more information on the forum or the con’s website.

* Getting more in-character and how it helps or hurts a game.  You can find the movie of James Earl Jones counting to 10 here.

* People you would love to LARP with.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0131.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:05 AM

In this episode, we have a very candid discussion about violent crime and morality in roleplaying games.  We felt it was important to cover this topic, but some of the content may be unsettling to some listeners.  If you are sensitive to such issues, or listen to the show around people that are, please use discretion.

We promise episode 131 will be full of ponies and rainbows.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0130.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:01 AM

* Welcoming back Ed Healy of Atomic Array.

* Fear the Con’s hotel block is now ready for reservations.  You can find details on the con’s website.  If you’re looking to share rooms or rides, you can find classifieds on our forum.  We’re also pleased to welcome comedian Mikey Mason as an addition to this year’s offerings.

* Julie (that’s Mrs. Hussey) comes on to talk about the Battletech love letters.

* The size and shape of roleplaying game books.

* PDFs as a revenue stream and publishing method.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, David, Ed, Julie

Direct download: feartheboot_0129.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:45 AM

* Sign up for Fear the Con!  And if you’re interested in running a game, be sure to contact Chad.

* If you’re interested in playing Warhammer Online, join us on the Order side, Monolith server.  You can find more information on the forums.

* Tuning your GameDAR to find your fellow nerds.  The song Chris referenced is Hail to the Geek by Deaf Pedestrians.

* The virtues and follies of the DM screen.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan

(FIXED!  The right episode is up now.)

Direct download: feartheboot_0128.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:01 PM

Listen along as Chris reads the Battletech love letters he wrote his wife back when they were dating!

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0024.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 6:02 AM

* The awesome result of our Cattletech charity drive.

* Voting on the GM profile entries has ended.  Congratulations to Keith for winning!

* Fear the Con 2 is ready for your sign-up!

* Some tips for cheating the game, which leads into a discussion about how we would each deal with such antics at our own gaming tables.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0127.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:47 AM

* Embarrass Chris and feed a village!  You  just can’t lose with this charity.  We’re collecting money to purchase livestock for struggling communities around the world.  Each animal purchased will not only provide much needed labor, wool, or sustenance to these people, but it will also ransom out one of Chris’ Battletech love letters for reading on the air.  If you’ve got a little extra cash this season, I hope you’ll consider giving to a worthy cause.

* Keep on emailing your game-breaking tips to Dan.  Next episode, we’ll read off the schemes everyone has for screwing with various systems.

* Fear the Con 2 registration is now up!  Be sure to get a ticket, and if you’re interested in running a game, send an email to Chad.  It’s two days of gaming you don’t want to miss.

* Allowing only the GM to possess and roll dice.

* Playing an RPG with only one or two players.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0126.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:01 AM

* The Fear the Con site is now up for registration.  If you want to run a game, sign up first and then contact Chad, telling him about the game you’re running (title, description, system, desired timeframe, and number of player slots).

* Introducicng our guest hosts, Andy and Arthur.  If you can’t remember their forum titles, here’s a little mnemonic: Andy sounds like “sandy,” and he’s SandPunk.  Arthur is the name of a king, and he’s Noble Bear.

* A preview of the forum card game, made entirely by listeners and forum users.  If you want to learn more or offer your own contributions, be sure to visit the forum thread!  If you can help these guys get this printed as a playing card game, please send a PM on the forum to SandPunk and NobleBear, or send an email to Dan.

* Last week of voting for the GM profiles!  Be sure to cast your vote.

* The start of our new endeavor: Help Your Fellow Players Screw the Game!  Keep the tips short, tell us the game it’s for, and tell me how to pronounce your name.  In case you’re curious, the monster we couldn’t remember is the Bodak.

* Keeping your players immersed in the game, even when they catch you off guard.  If you’ve never heard the gazebo story, you can find the anecdote of Eric & the Dread Gazebo reprinted online.

Hosts: Andy, Arthur, Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0125.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04 AM

* This episode was recorded in Seattle, so I was away from my normal equipment.  Tex and I were joined by Ed Healy from Atomic Array.

* Kobold Quarterly’s place among gaming magazines.

* Game days versus major cons.  You can find information on the Emerald City Game Fest here.

* A shout-out to Heath White and Shawn (or Sean or however you spell his name).

* Marketing and promoting a roleplaying game.  If you’ve never heard of the Pareto Principle, you can learn more here.  And you can find Marketing Over Coffee here.

Hosts: Dan, Ed, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0124.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:24 AM

* If you haven’t already, be sure to visit the blog!  You can find Dragonlance Canticle here.

* Chris and his photon torpedo.

* John’s confession.

* Tom Bombadil and other things regarding Lord of the Rings.

* Chris gets a gaming date.

* Playing music while you game.

* Player-characters as adversaries.  You can learn about the etymology of MacGuffin here and here.  Searching around more, I learned the original term for this sort of plot device: weenie.   I’m not sure I want an RPG plot about chasing the bad guy’s weenie.

* Strange things we’ve seen kill games.

* Coming soon to Fear the Boot: WIN CHRIS’ BATTLETECH ROMANCE LETTER!!!

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0123.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

We put out the call for listener-submitted GM profiles, and we got some excellent entries!  Check out the show and then head over to the forum to vote for the profiles you thought were the best.  A big thanks to Brian, Chris, Geoff, John, Keith, Nicholas, and Sam for their entries!

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0023.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:00 AM

* Last call on World Wide Wing Night 5!  The podcast we mention is Game On.

* You can find the thread on the forum card game here.

* If you send us email from a Yahoo address, be sure to watch your Bulk folder!

* Chris Engler’s show, Wapcaplets, can be found here.

* Pat’s Blow Pop as an object lesson for RPG mechanics.

* Having players use temporary characters in a roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0122.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:21 AM

* An online Diplomacy game is starting!  If you’d like to join, click here for more information.

* World Wide Wing Night 5!  You can find information about the St. Louis and other locations here!

* Fear the Con 2 information can be found at http://www.fearthecon.com or http://www.warhorn.net/fearthecon.  If you’re looking for a ride to Fear the Con 2, check out the carpool thread here.

* Be sure to check out our new blog here!

* Reasons for and against updating your gaming library.  We present both sides of the argument, so if you think we’re only for or against, be sure to listen through the end of the episode!

* Shout-out to the d21 Gaming site regarding World Wide Wing Night!

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0121.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* World Wide Wing Night 5 on November 8th!  You can find the details for the St. Louis location here.  If you’re not in St. Louis, you can find a list of gatherings in other cities here.

* Fear the Con 2 on March 6th and 7th!  What details we have can be found on the Warhorn site or our forums.

* Our new blog is up at http://www.feartheboot.com/ftb.  Or just click the “Fear the Boot” link on our homepage.

* Upcoming Skies of Glass web comic.

* Selecting and managing leaders in your roleplaying game party.

* Why John is so old and Pat is so quiet.

* How education affects your roleplaying.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0120.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Murphy’s Law strikes again!

* The Warhammer Online guild is going strong.  You can find the details here.

* World Wide Wing Night 5.  You can find details here.

* Email addresses for all hosts are back.

* 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.

* GM-assigned roles or character concepts

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0119.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* World Wide Wing Night 5 on Saturday, November 8th is coming up soon.  You can find details here.

* The Seinfeld/Microsoft commercials.

* Our Warhammer Online guild is doing unexpectedly well!  Join us on
the Order side of the Thorgrim server.  More information can be found here.

* Character, role, and personality archetypes.

* Implied archetypes we’ve only seen once.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0118.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:30 AM

* 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.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0117.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Chris is old!

* Will we outgrow roleplaying games?

* 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.

* GM profile for Dan.

* Don’t forget to send in your GM profiles!

* Easing new players into the hobby.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0116.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

An explanation of the diversity you’ll see in how people play or modify their RPGs.

Direct download: feartheboot_0115_7.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Like every hobby, roleplaying has its own jargon.  We’ll help you make sense of it.

Direct download: feartheboot_0115_6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

If you’re willing to give roleplaying games a try, where should you start?  We explain what you’ll need and where you can find it.

Direct download: feartheboot_0115_5.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

We tackle the four most common objections to the RPG hobby.

Direct download: feartheboot_0115_4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Reasons why roleplaying games are a beneficial and worthwhile hobby.

Direct download: feartheboot_0115_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

A general definition of “role playing game,” along with a quick example of play.

Direct download: feartheboot_0115_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

An introduction to the series.  We explain who we are and why we’re putting these shows together.

Direct download: feartheboot_0115_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

We’re doing something a little unusual with our “new gamer” and “non-gamer” episodes, so we wanted to explain what you can expect.

Direct download: feartheboot_PSA_0003.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:37 AM

* World Wide Wing Night 5!  You can find details here.

* GM profile for Chris.

* Introducing non-gamers to the RPG hobby.  The FAQ we mention for dealing with religious objections to roleplaying games can be found here.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0114.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:23 AM

* If you want to join the Fantasy Football game Dan built, you can find a participating location at http://www.fschallenge.com.

* A big thanks to our Gencon TOFTBCHes!

* GM profile for Pat.

* Send us your GM profile!  If you need to convert your recording format, you can do it here.

* Upcoming episodes for non-gamer outreach.

* Running world campaigns in your roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0113.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:30 AM

* Chris’ blog of Gencon can be found here.

* What we’ll do differently next year.  You can find information on True Dungeon here.

* We answer audience questions live.  Questions came from…

Itamar from Hamishakia
Andy from Amorphous Blob
Bill from Dragonlance Canticle
Dave from The 2 Half-Squads
Dick (?) (I couldn’t quite make out his name on the recording.)
Will (The “gaming group” picutre in Shadowrun 2nd Edition is on page 194.)
Mack from Dice Like Thunder
Kyle from Animalcast

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, and about 60 of our listeners.

Direct download: feartheboot_0112.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:21 AM

Don’t forget to keep checking our forum for changes and more details.

I’d also like to give a big thanks to ZeikeCopperEyes for all of his hard work in making this happen!

Direct download: feartheboot_PSA_0002.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:28 AM

* The death of Gleemax.

* Shout-outs to Cigar_smkr and Jlhburnett of Hex Games.

* Check out the new forums here.

* One last time: here’s our schedule for Gencon 2008!  And our social gathering details have been fixed here.

* The page Chris will be using to blog his Gencon experience is this one.

* GM profile for John.  If you’re interested in reading The Monkey’s Paw, you can find it here.

* A call for your GM profiles.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0111.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:55 AM

* Fear the Boot welcomes guest hosts, Rob and Matt, from the Bear Swarm podcast.

* Our events at Gencon.  You can still find the link for the FtB social gathering here and the general list of all podcasting events here.

* Why a horse swarm is far scarier than a bear swarm.

* GM profiles for Matt and Rob.

* Setting and knowing the goals of player characters in your roleplaying game.

* Conducting a revolt against a player in your RPG.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Matt, Rob

Direct download: feartheboot_0110.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* The Gamer Adventures site can be found here.

* Back Seat Producers can be found here.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0100.mp4
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:59 PM

* Fear the Boot’s Age of Conan guild has migrated to the PvE server, Set.

* We’ll be doing several panels and a live recording at Gencon.  Be sure to check out the schedule here.

* We’re still planning our social gathering for the Thursday of Gencon.  Details here.

* A brief introduction of Pat.

* A profile of Chad’s GMing techniques.

* Conducting a player revolt against the Game Master.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Pat

Direct download: feartheboot_0109.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* The new portal will be uploaded shortly.  If you actually have a recipe for gamer muffins, feel free to post it before the old forums get shut down!

* Don’t forget to let us know if you’ll be stopping by our gathering at Gencon!

* A copy of Earthshaker! gets us talking about anachronism and genre-mixing in RPGs.

* Identifying and remedying boring Game Masters.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Fear the Boot moves…upstairs.

* The new portal is still on its way and should be up soon.

* If you’re going to be at Gencon, there’s a get-together for FtB listeners being planned.  Be sure to stop by the forum thread and be counted so we can get a venue of the appropriate size.

* John’s acceptance speech from the Robin D. Laws award can be found here.

* Back into the gamer’s closet.  This time around we discuss Run out the Guns, the Battletech Centers, and Star Ace.

* How to draw out shy players and get them more involved in your roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0107.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Chris’ Battletech romance of his wife…?!

* The dark history of Dan, Tex, and Chris.

* Crappy Kahlua and high quality water.

* If you’re playing Age of Conan, stop by and check out our guild!  You can find details here.

* A big thanks to forum user, CigarSmoker, for the cigars he’s been sending us!

* How do you handle permanent character death in a roleplaying game that allows for so many ways to come back from the dead?


* How should the availability of resurrections affect an RPG setting and its population?

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:00 AM

* Chris tries to blame Dan for his flatulence.

* 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.

* Introducing older children to the RPG hobby.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0105.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01 AM

* Phil’s wisdom on packaging.

* Join Phil in developing his sci-fi setting, Red Earth Saga.

* An in-depth explanation of Fear the Boot’s future.


* Dan and the great Lord of the Rings movie marathon escape.

* Incorporating side games into a roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Phil

Direct download: feartheboot_0104.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Here’s your chance to support a gamer-driven charity for a women’s shelter!  Click here for more information.

* Some changes coming to Fear the Boot.

* John’s first brush with D&D 4th edition.  You can find the Reaper Mini site Dan mentioned here.

* Roleplaying games that are old, obscure, or simply never played.

* How to create conflict amongst your player-characters in an RPG.  Yes, you read that right!

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0103.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* How not to get the ladies to join your roleplaying game.

* “Choose your own adventure” books that play like RPGs.

* The rational place for gamer shame.  (For anyone that’s confused by Chad’s use of the word, “hoosier,” it’s local slang that has nothing to do with Indiana University athletics.)

* If you’re interested in joining our Age of Conan guild, you can find all of the information here.

* Deciding on — and handling — the amount of party in-fighting you want in your roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0102.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* An update on episode 100.

* Fear the Boot has started an Age of Conan guild, House Nachash, on the Stormrage server.  You can find more information here.

* This episode brought to you by Gorkamorka!  The forum user, that is, not the game.

* Can you change power-gamers into roleplayers?

* What we hate about higher education.

* Adding spice to the backstory of an RPG’s setting.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0101.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

In this interview we talk with Luke Crane from The Burning Wheel.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke, Matt

Guests: Luke Crane

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0007_CENSORED.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 7:17 AM

In this interview we talk with Luke Crane from The Burning Wheel.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke, Matt

Guests: Luke Crane

WARNING: This version of the interview contains uncensored language.  If you wish to get a “clean” version of the interview, it is available on the feed.

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0007_EXPLICIT.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 7:16 AM

* 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.

* What gets us to keep playing a video game.

* Balancing adversity and challenge in a game.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0099.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Chris is finally on the podcast, despite being a host for several months.

* A big thanks to James, Christopher, and all the folks at I-Con!  Also, congratulations to Christopher for his impending fatherhood.

* Converting Adam into the gaming fold, and what kept him from trying out gaming sooner.

* A shout-out from Matt to the folks of MidSouthCon.

* Players that are a destructive influence to your roleplaying game.

* Game Masters that control their players by simply blocking their progress in an RPG.

* Fear the Boot’s Age of Conan guild.

* Don’t forget to send your episode 100 questions to Dan or Luke!

Hosts: Chris, Dan, John, Luke, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0098.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* 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

Direct download: feartheboot_0097.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

In this interview we talk with Erik Mona from Paizo Publishing.

Hosts: Dan, Luke, Matt

Guests: Erik Mona

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0006.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Host absence and…murder…?

* Dan and John will be in New York this weekend for I-Con 27!  While there, Fear the Boot will be receiving the Robin D. Laws Award for Excellence in Gaming.

* If you’re in the St. Louis area or a big WarMachine fan, please stop by Diecon in late May.

* If you’re interested in helping start a con in or around Richmond, VA, please check out this site!

* Trampas reviewed Fear the Con in episode 13 of Dragonlance Canticle.

* Be sure to check out Chris Engler’s new podcast, Wapcaplets!

* How to handle uncomfortable social situations when hosting a game.

* Tips for running an epic-level roleplaying game.

Hosts: Dan, Luke, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0096.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* John and Dan will be I-CON 27 in New York, April 4 – 6.  We’ve also found out we’re to be awarded the Robin D. Laws Award for Excellence in Gaming while there!

* If you sent Dan any emails between March 17th and March 20th, please send them again.

* If you’d like to see our first Skies of Glass review, you can find it on RPG Realms in their entry for March 19, 2008.

* We’re working on a dedicated host to improve website performance.

* White Wolf’s Graduate Your Game initiative.

* Settings that have been designed to work with a variety of RPG systems.

* Using external inspiration to assist with character creation.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0095.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* John and Dan will be I-CON 27 in New York, April 4 – 6.

* Skies of Glass, Tier 1, is now available in the Resources section of our site.

* Kerrigan, Conan, and Luke’s crappy gaming PC.  You can find Tara Strong’s credits on IMDB.

* Do people take gaming too seriously?

* A more detailed look at board games.  You can find more info on Atomic Earth here.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0094.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* John and Dan will be I-CON 27 in New York, April 4 – 6.

* Skies of Glass, Tier 1, will be released as a PDF document when the next episode drops.

* Ah, the Dragonlance episode.  Be sure to check out Trampas’ podcast, Dragonlance Canticle.

* We would like to thank the following folks for supporting Fear the Con…

Stacey and Margie for their work on concessions
CJ, Karla, and Kim for taking care of admission and door prizes
Tony Mast for Fear the Froot
Chris Engler
Martian Bob
12 to Midnight
Atomic Earth
Catalyst Games
Gamer Ground
Polymancer magazine
White Wolf
the St. Louis warmachine community
…and most of all, the excellent gamers that showed up to make this con work!

* Our Flickr account can be found at http://www.flickr.com/groups/feartheboot/.

* What we learned from running this con.  We think this information could help out anyone that’s interested in running a con or just curious what goes on behind the scenes.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0093.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:35 PM

* Fear the Con on March 8th!  Don’t forget World Wide Wing Night at Side Pockets the Friday before, eye exams from Luke the Sunday after, and Fear the Froot during the event.

* An FtB commentary track you can play along with Dragonlance: Dragons of the Autumn Twilight.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0022.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 6:07 AM

* Dan’s taking a trip to Miami while failing to organize his trip to Gencon.

* Fear the Con on March 8th!  Don’t forget World Wide Wing Night at Side Pockets the Friday before, eye exams from Luke the Sunday after, and Fear the Froot during the event.

* D&D isn’t an RPG…?

* 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.

Hosts: Dan, Luke, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0092.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

WARNING: The content of this episode is a little more coarse than usual.

* BJ’s Liquo store…?

* How Valentine’s Day has destroyed this episode.

* Fear the Con on March 8th!  Don’t forget World Wide Wing Night at Side Pockets the Friday before, eye exams from Luke the Sunday after, and Fear the Froot during the event.

* The Hobbit and other classic books.

* The evolution of arcade games and how that got us thinking about the evolution of roleplaying games.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Matt

Direct download: feartheboot_0091.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

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…


Hosts: Dan, Luke, Matt, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0090.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Matt’s brief introduction.

* Skyrocket reminds us of a major perk of the FLGS: the dice bin.

* Is it possible to cheat in dice rolling with pure physics?

* Fear the Con is still coming up on March 8th, and don’t forget Tony Mast’s Fear the Froot effort!  Please send an email to Luke if you’re interested in volunteering to help out at the con.

* A shout-out to Lee.

* The Fear the Boot hoodies from Geeklabel.

* Is gaming without gaming still enjoyable?

* Roleplaying games where character creation is more interesting than the game itself.  The Hero Game 5th Edition ballistic test can be found here.

* RPGs that use GM fiat to make decisions instead of dice.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Luke, Matt, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0089.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Since we’re releasing a bonus episode in place of the regular episode this week, I’ll at least give the show notes in the usual format.  Also, we’ll be back to a regular episode next week!

* Skiing.
* Luke’s musical aspirations.
* Fear the Con.
* Fear the Froot, sponsored by Tony Mast.
* Cartoons.
* Comic books.
* A little bit on the future of Fear the Boot.

Hosts: Chad, Luke, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0021.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Fear the Con on March 8th!  Warmachine tournament and the Watchmen debate.

* D&D 4th edition modules.

* Historical accuracy in gaming.

* Dialog in your roleplaying game.  The accent CDs from Pulp Gamer can be found here and here.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John, Luke, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0088.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Fear the Con and World Wide Wing Night 4!

* 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.

* Friendly local gaming stores.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0087.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* An introduction of the hosts and their geek interests.

* Who the girls love in the sci-fi/fantasy world.

* Conventions, Renaissance Fairs, etc.

* Ice-O-Hedron gaming con in Toronto.

* Fear the Con‘s masquerade.

* Movies they’d love to see made.

Hosts: Becky, Katie, Karla, Melina…and Phil

Direct download: feartheboot_0086.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* The joy of Jelly Bellies.

* Dan’s New Years resolution.

* Christmas stories.

* Animals, familiars, and mounts in a roleplaying game.

* Designing and running factions in your RPG.

* Phil’s podcast at http://www.insert-coinlive.com.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0085.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Fear the Boot bedtime stories, part II.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0020.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:00 PM

* Oboe Cops’ generic holiday greetings.

* Adam loses his World of Warcraft account.

* A Fear the Con update.

* December is out to destroy your games.

* Running a holiday-themed game. And, sadly, I found the Christmas in the Stars song John alluded to.  After that, go listen to Chewbacca sing Silent Night.

* The list of top 10 aphrodisiacs.

* Adam tries to defend Sliders and Dragonball Z.

* Our experiences with Magic: The Gathering.

* Our favorite ladies from science fiction TV and movies, followed by our favorites from video games.

* My Enormous Penis by Da Vinci’s Notebook.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0084.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:25 AM

* A shout-out to Khan Durian and Craig Pierce.

* Fear the Con.

* When Game Masters try to cover subject areas they don’t know much about.

* Designing roleplaying game modules for use at a convention.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, Joe, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0083.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Information on the upcoming convention, Fear the Con.

Details and registration can be found at: http://www.warhorn.net/fearthecon

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0019.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:53 PM

* We welcome Keith Curtis as a guest host.  You can view his website at http://www.kacurtis.com.  The song website he mentioned can be found here.

* Fear the Con now has an official website at http://www.warhorn.net/fearthecon.

* Gaming in distracting environments.

* Designing maps for your roleplaying game.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Keith, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0082.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* There really is a game called The Hunters Hunted!

* The Summoning convention coming up for anyone in the Florida area.

* Reserve March 8th, 2008 for Fear the Con!  Details can be found here.

* What the heck is wrong with the Kessel Run?

* Karla’s newbie gaming experiences.

* Explaining the roleplaying game hobby to those that don’t play.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Karla, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0081.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* The TV shows getting passed around.

* A shout-out to Phil’s podcast, Insert Coin Live, and a look forward to our joint Conan MMO guild.

* Dan’s bad gaming experiences.

* Introducing new players to roleplaying games.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0080.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* W3N3 stories.  If you missed the pictures, you can find them here and here.

* A shout-out to Shawn Willet, the drunk wookie trucker!

* Luke’s reviews: Colonial Gothic and Eschalon: Book I.

* Weapons, axes, etc.  Flight of the Conchords Lord of the Rings video can be found here.

* Games gone horribly wrong.

Hosts: Adam, John, Karla, Luke, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0079.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

Fear the Boot hosts take each other on in our first trivia challenge!

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0018.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* World Wide Wing Night 3 pictures can be found in various threads.  The writers’ strike post by Shamus Young can be found here.

* Skies of Glass play-test results.  The “developers” thing John was talking about can be found here.

* Players finishing the campaign too quickly, with a tangent on computer adventure games.  And, yes, exfiltrate really is a word.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0078.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* World Wide Wing Night 3.  The St. Louis group will be meeting at the Syberg’s on Dorsett.

* Fear the Boot sponsored convention on March 8th, 2008.

* See Luke for your eye care needs!

* Luke asks Dan about why Battletech’s flavor doesn’t come out well in many of its sourcebooks.

* The newest weapon in Dan’s arsenal.

* Comparisons, advice, and and information regarding the old and new World of Darkness.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0077.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* The podcast spoof contest is over!  Stick around after the show to hear the winners.

* World Wide Wing Night 3.  The St. Louis group will be meeting at the Syberg’s on Dorsett.

* Donating your old game books to your local library.

* Luke gets outed.

* Dan’s view on capital ship combat!  Ok, just kidding.  We actually talk about house rules.  Here’s the command-prompt Portal game John was talking about.

* Since it’s Halloween, we get Luke’s insight on running a horror game.  We talked him up during episode 45, so now we get it straight from the source.

* Spoof winner #1: Meg, Josh, and Zeke from Brilliant Gameologists.  Meg doesn’t have any speaking parts since we don’t currently have a female on the cast.

* Spoof winner #2: Forum user, Tim White, who is also the composer of our current theme music.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0076.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

In this interview we talk with Shane Hensley from Pinnacle Entertainment Group.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke

Guests: Shane Hensley

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0005.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 6:24 PM

* Not Fear the Boot Con.

* Congratulations to Tony Mast on the birth of his daughter!

* Fear the Boot spoof contest.

* World Wide Wing Night 3!  St. Louis now has a reserved location at Sybergs.

* Bringing a campaign to a proper end.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0075.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* World Wide Wing Night 3!

* Fear the Boot EVE guild.

* Spoof Fear the Boot podcast contest.

* Tex’s dating update.

* A review of Catalyst Game’s new Battletech products.

* Festivuscon recap.

* Campaign rules.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, Luke, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0074.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* World Wide Wing Night 3 on November 10th.

* Our EVE guild is thriving.  We hope you’ll join us!

* Spoof Fear the Boot podcast contest.

* The relationship between the number of modules and the success of an RPG.

* Ryan and Tim offer a rebuttal to episode 67 in which they defend organized play events.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke, Tex
Guest Hosts: Ryan Dancey, Tim White

Direct download: feartheboot_0073.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* An announcement about announcements.

* Keeping track of your GM notes.

* Roleplaying game modules.

* Our favorite RPG game mechanics.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0072.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* How beer has affected this episode.

* Spoof contest reminder.

* World Wide Wing Night 3 on Saturday, November 10th.

* Gaming pet peeves.

* Dan’s Ennies speech on YouTube.

* Drinking and gaming.

* Dealing with the loss of a “hub” character.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0071.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* A Fear the Boot EVE guild?

* A possible St. Louis con early in 2008, sponsored by Fear the Boot.

* Spoof Fear the Boot podcast contest.

* The disappearance of FASA Studios.

* Making good villains for your roleplaying game.

* Designing urban settings for an RPG.

Hosts: Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0070.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Spoof FtB podcast contest.

* Shout-out to Carpe GM and Theory From the Closet podcasts.

* See Adam as a furry!

* How do you stop your players from over-planning how to handle a plot point?

* At what point should a PC become an NPC?

* Immediately drawing the players into a first game.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Karla, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0069.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

With DM of the Rings coming to a close, Fear the Boot is proud to announce Chainmail Bikini, a new RPG-oriented web comic coming to our site, developed by Shamus Young and Shawn Gaston!

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0017.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 8:34 PM

* A quick thanks to Zac at the Groovecast.

* Flatcon October 5th – 7th in Bloomington, IL.

* The revival of the Fear the Boot World of Warcraft guild.  Sort of.

* D&D 4th edition.

* CDs to help Americans learn accents, courtesy of Pulp Gamer.

* GNS theory.

* Introducing players to new, complex settings without boring them.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke, Tex, Shamus

Direct download: feartheboot_0068.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Atomic Squash game night on October 6th.

* Where did Tex get his nickname?

* What makes a roleplaying game “mature”?

* Organized/persistent/living/etc RPG events.

* Sleeping arrangements and other nonsense at Gencon.

Hosts: Dan, Dan, Daniel, Eric, John, Scott, Tex, Tony (no, that isn’t a typo)

Direct download: feartheboot_0067.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Why Dan isn’t on the show.

* Light liquor versus dark liquor.

* Our tour of the dealer room, including our hands-on with Conan.

* Returning to gaming after a long hiatus.  Or why people take long breaks in the first place.

* Etiquette for gaming at a con.

* Phil arrives to talk about Great War of Magellan.

* The conclusion of the Power 16.  You can see the final results here!

Hosts: Adam, Chris, John, Paul, Tony…and eventually Phil

Direct download: feartheboot_0066.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Recording with a broken air conditioner.

* A shout-out to Accidental Survivors and Gamer Traveler podcasts.

* Why we’re a bit slow in responding to email right now.

* Gencon podcasting meet and greet reminder.

* Festivus Con.

* Starcraft Night of Carnage.

* What’s up with Spirit of the Century?

* Running a military game.

* Adding RP to a wargame.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, Luke, Phil, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0065.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

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!

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0016.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* A brief request to treat the ENnie staff with courtesy, even if you disagree with them.

* We spent the weekend at Archon, so we record a round-up of the con.  Excuse the sound quality as we’re in a hotel meeting room, and Dan is losing his voice from speaking so much at panels.

* What we did at Archon.

* Phil’s annoyance with 10-year-olds in the gaming room and us feeling old.

* Our failed furry panel crashing.

* How cons change over time.

* A chance meeting with Richard Hatch.

* Cherry-picking what you care about at a con.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke, Phil

Direct download: feartheboot_0064.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Welcoming Tex and Luke as our new hosts!

* Clearing Tex’s name.

* Power 16 update.  Vote here and check the bracket here.

* A call for commission artists that will do custom art (for pay) in a realistic style.  Please send emails with samples, etc, to feartheboot(at)gmail.com.

* Favorite video game based on a tabletop RPG.

* Knowing when to update or not update your roleplaying game collection.

* Why is there no official Harry Potter RPG?

Hosts: Adam, Dan, Luke, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0063.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:40 AM

* A correction on who actually made the flying train picture.

* You can find Angstboy’s site at http://www.daddymonkeylives.com.

* Don’t forget to vote for us in the ENnie Awards if you haven’t already!  And if you already have, pass it on to your friends or family members.  Voting ends on July 29th.

* Determining rank in an RPG.

* Little things Game Masters can do to ruin a roleplaying game.

* Reminder of the Gencon reception on Saturday from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.  Dan will also be on two panels at 11:00am and 5:00pm on Saturday.

* Running a player-driven game.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Luke

Direct download: feartheboot_0062.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

In this interview we talk with Jess Hartley, an author working for White Wolf who’s had a big hand in shaping the new Changeling book.

Her website: http://www.jesshartley.com/

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Mike

Guests: Jess Hartley

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0004.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 5:01 AM

The Phil praise episode!  We try as hard as we can to be nice to Phil.

Also, don’t forget to vote in the ENnie Awards!  And if you voted early on Monday, they had to reset the votes, so be sure to vote again.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0015.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* John’s cougar.

* Fear the Boot has been nominated for an ENnie Award!  Don’t forget to vote here!

* Power 16 update.  You can see the current bracket here and vote for the next round here.

* Selecting the game your group is going to play.

* The psychological effects of playing a roleplaying game.

* Representing psychological problems in a roleplaying game.

* Mike’s PSA.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0061.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Fear the Boot nominated for an ENnie award!  Don’t forget to vote for us from July 16th to July 29th.  You can find the ENnie site here.

* Some changes at Fear the Boot.

* Using electronic aids to help with voluntary player isolation.

* Nazi Zombie Bugbear contest is over!  The song by GoOrange can be found here and also heard at the end of the show.  The winning picture by Angstboy can be found here.

* Handling ridiculous player actions.

* How to run a high-combat, low-RP game.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Phil

Direct download: feartheboot_0060.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:01 AM

* 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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0059.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* The Phil Challenge!

* Finding a new gaming group.

* Gamer desperation when you can’t find a group.  The online play community we mentioned can be found here.

* Knowing when it’s time to quit the RPG hobby.

* Voluntary player isolation.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0058.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Power 16 update.  You can find the current bracket here.  And don’t forget to vote here!

* Star Wars Saga Edition.

* Fog of war at the gaming table.

* The best RPG purchases we’ve made.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0057.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* What’s the difference between playing a hack n’ slash video game and a hack n’ slash tabletop RPG?

* How can you integrate roleplaying into combat?

* Gencon event reminders.

* Using random encounter charts.  For the Nazi Zombie Bugbear contest,  enter your theme songs here and your pictures here!

* Dealing with involuntary player character isolation.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0056.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* We’re still messing with the compressor, so hopefully the sound quality is getting a little better.

* Fear the Boot’s Power 16!  See the candidates, brackets, and voting both here.

* Embarrassing RPG purchases.

* Bringing your gaming group back after a long hiatus.

* Customizing the gaming experience to suit the players.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0055.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Changes to the way the show is recorded and produced.

* The results of World Wide Wing Night 2 and planning for World Wide Wing Night 3.

* Scourge of Worlds, redux.  The website we’re talking about at one point is Despair.com.

* Using the Power 19 to help you create your RPG.  The list can be found here.  Fist Full of Comics podcast can be found here.

* Civilization mod, Fall from Heaven II can be found here.  Its forums can be found here.

* Character recycling.

* Making plots for your roleplaying game that don’t center on “man versus man” conflicts.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0054.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* A report on the Ziggurat Con donation drive.  You can find more details on the forums here.

* Fear the Boot will be attending a general reception for the gaming podcasters and listeners at Gencon on Saturday, August 18th, from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

* An update on the World of Warcraft and Everquest II guilds.

* Gamers and sports.

* Balancing a game for setting accuracy versus fairness.

* How electronics can be used to enhance the roleplaying experience rather than damage it.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0053.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

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 episode is a review of Anime Central, which was attended by Adam and Melina.  Adam also put together a short film, which you can find here.

While there’s no profanity or explicit material in this episode, it does deal with some sexual themes, so please use discretion when playing it.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0014.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 2:09 AM

* The D&D play-by-DVD game, Scourge of Worlds.  Pictures of the woman that voice-acted Lidda can be found here.

* The Rifts challenge.

* World Wide Wing Night 2, final reminder.

* Supporting your local gaming shop.

* Should Game Masters cheat?

* Answering Andrew’s email on how to handle enemies in an RPG.

* Running a low-magic fantasy game.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan

(If you want to know what it sounds like when a phone call messes up our recording session, click here.)

Direct download: feartheboot_0052.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Why Dan hates Woodson Terrace, Missouri.  The “350” clip referred to can be found here.

* The final reminder for Ziggurat Con donations.  This Saturday is the cut-off for donations.

* World Wide Wing Night 2 is still coming up on Friday, May 18th.

* Dragon and Dungeon magazines shutting down, redux.  The voice mail we’re discussing can be found here, should you want to hear the whole thing.  You can check out Carl’s own podcast over here.

* Getting your group to try new games.

* Getting your group to try new gaming styles.

* Running a superhero game.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0051.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

In this interview we talk with Shamus Young, author of the web comic, DM of the Rings, a parody of Lord of the Rings, presented as if the movie was the plot of an RPG.

His website: http://www.shamusyoung.com
His comic: http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?cat=14

During the show, we mention an episode we recorded 30 minutes ago.  That show is episode 51, which will be released next week.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John
Guests: Shamus Young
Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0003.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 5:01 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0050.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Contacting Fear the Boot.

* A reminder on Ziggurat con.  The 60-second promo is located here.

* Chad and Dan, revisit their favorite RPGs, this time sticking to store-bought products.

* Dragon and Dungeon magazine shutting down.  The future of RPG media.

* Building affinity between your players and an NPC.

* Running a roleplaying game in the steampunk genre.

* A reminder on World Wide Wing Night 2.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0049.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:33 AM

* 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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0048.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* A discussion of 300.  We promise, there are no spoilers.

* Picking a Star Wars fighter.

* A conversation about costuming leads into an ode to the Brotherhood of Nod.

* DuckTales.  Yes, you read that right.

* Running a sci-fi roleplaying game.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0047.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* 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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0046.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:46 AM

* Chad: The Travesty contest reminder.

* Gaming groups through local libraries, redux.

* The editions of D&D.

* Using maps for combat in an RPG.

* Running a horror game.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0045.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:27 AM

* The Brownsburg Library D&D group and using your library to promote RPG play.

* A big “thank you” to the community for the donations for Skye.

* Gamer Traveler podcast.

* Chad: The Travesty contest reminder.

* SciFi Smackdown podcast.

* Fear the Boot’s EQ2 and WoW guilds.

* The fandom surrounding modern TV shows.

* Layout and organization of your new roleplaying game.

* Skies of Glass Q&A.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0044.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Chad and Dawn’s baby

* Chad: The Travesty contest.  Enter here!

* Whether rolling dice is unfair to unlucky players.

* The future of Fear the Boot.

* Designing expansions for your roleplaying game.

* Copyright protection.

* Skies of Glass Q&A

Hosts: Adam, Dan, Mike, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0043.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Who wants a body massage?

* Do Adam and John sound too much alike?

* Boardgaming.

* Chad calls 911.

* BBS games.  The instance of Legend of the Green Dragon I signed up with can be found here.

* John’s three criteria for a good movie.

* Handling wounds, healing, and death in your RPG design.

* Skies of Glass Q&A.

Direct download: feartheboot_0042.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Dan, Tex

Guests: Mike West

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0002.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 3:45 PM

* Hurting yourself while playing video games.

* Fear the Boot would like to thank…

* The timing and purpose of resource documents.

* Bringing FTB up to date on current games.

* The new World of Darkness.

* Why people more readily accept non-realism in fantasy versus sci-fi.

* Designing a combat system for a new roleplaying game.

* Skies of Glass Q&A.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0041.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01 AM

* Fear the Boot store update.

* A preview of the upcoming interviews.

* The backlog of resource documents.

* Gaming comics.

* Players and GMs make the game.

* Designing character advancement for your new roleplaying game.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0040.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:52 AM

The resource document for this episode will be rather extensive, so it won’t be up along with this episode, but it should be posted by the end of the week.

* John’s date report.

* Chad’s comments on gaming in the window of a shop in the mall.

* Why Mike hasn’t GM-ed in years, and whether GMs make the best players.

* Considerations when designing character creation for a new roleplaying game.

* Skied of Glass Q&A.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0039.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:13 PM

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!

Hosts: Adam, Dan, John, Mike

Guests: Ryan Dancey

Direct download: feartheboot_interview_0001.mp3
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 8:49 PM

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.

* Skies of Glass Q&A

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0038.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:06 AM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0013.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 1:15 PM

* A review of World Wide Wing Night.

* Our take on Wizards of the Coast’s D&D club sponsorship program.  You can find the article we’re discussing here.

* Based on some feedback we’ve gotten, we return to the subject of RPG art.  The RPG publishers we mention are Highmoon Media and Sword’s Edge Publishing.

* We continue the game design series with a discussion of social rules for your roleplaying game.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Mike

Direct download: feartheboot_0037.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:43 AM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0012.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 6:45 AM

For this episode, we welcome guest host, Chris Hussey, an author that used to work for FASA.

* Character advancement: why is it emotionally integral to the RPG experience?

* A reminder about World Wide Wing Night.  Details can be found here.

* Designing the basic model for characters in a new roleplaying game.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Chris, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0036.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:27 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0035.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:03 AM

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.

* Skies of Glass Q&A

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0034.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:22 AM

The resource document for this show will be posted either Wednesday or Thursday.  Until then, enjoy the recording!

* Stories from gaming stores, good and bad.

* Is it easier to be negative than positive?

* Designing micro setting for a role-playing game.

* Skies of Glass Q&A

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0033.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:05 AM

* A reminder that some domains stuff our emails into your spam folder.

* Giving back to the boot.

* Based on a voice mail from a listener, we ponder whether our game plots change to reflect our current position in life.

* Building martial accuracy in your RPG.

* Designing marco setting for a role-playing game.

* Skies of Glass Q&A

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0032.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:49 AM

To save myself the weekly struggle of presenting our show notes in prose form, I’m going to start using a more traditional, bulleted format.  This episode continues our series on RPG design.

* A big thanks to our listeners for their support during the episode 30 problems.

* Guilty gaming habits.

* The best character Chad has ever made.

* A misunderstanding about Skies of Glass, regarding its balance of combat and non-combat rules.

* Creating back story on the macro level for your new roleplaying game.

* Planning the future plot progression of your new roleplaying game.  While discussing this topic, we mention a previous show on campaign design.  You can find that show here: http://feartheboot.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=97832

* Skies of Glass Q&A

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0031.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:47 AM

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.

The voicemail we mention from Sam Chupp at Bear’s Grove can be found here: http://www.feartheboot.com/external/sam_feel.wav

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0030.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:36 AM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0011.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:00 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0029.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:21 PM

Since Tex was in town, we decided to do a bonus episode on video games.  In this show, we talk about storytelling and artificial intelligence.

If this is your first time here, we suggest checking out a regular episode first!  Bonus episodes are neither on the same subject as our regular shows nor edited the same way.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0010.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:32 AM

Congratulations to Keith Curtis, winner of our Baron von Bad Ass art contest!  Thanks again to all of you that entered.  We were really impressed by the quality of the entries.

During this show, we kick off our Xbox Live contest.  The prizes and rules are explained in the episode.  You can find the entry form here.

This podcast marks the beginning of our game design series.  We offer tips on concepting your game along with an introduction to game math.

We mention the Targum gaming magazine and the Roundtable podcast.  You can find those resources here:


Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Tex

Direct download: feartheboot_0028.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:56 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Tony

Direct download: feartheboot_0027.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:48 PM

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.

Also, don’t forget the Baron von Badass art contest that’s still running!  You can find details in our forums: http://www.feartheboot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1004

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Dawn

Direct download: feartheboot_0026.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:25 AM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_PSA_0001.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:34 AM

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!

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0009.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 7:49 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Dawn

Direct download: feartheboot_0025.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:01 PM

As a follow-up to our previous episode on GM mistakes, we spend this episode talking about bad player habits.  We had too many points to cover, so this is part 1 of 2.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Dawn

Direct download: feartheboot_0024.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:34 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Dawn

Direct download: feartheboot_0023.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:57 PM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Phil

Direct download: feartheboot_0022.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:33 PM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Dawn

Direct download: feartheboot_0021.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00 AM

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…

Contested Ground Studios (where Rae’s friend Iain publishes games)

Rae’s Blog: http://www.raesblog.blog.co.uk

Mick’s Blog: http://mick.harpingmonkey.com

Hosts: Mick, Rae

Direct download: feartheboot_0020.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:38 PM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Dawn

Direct download: feartheboot_0019.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:04 PM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0008.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:45 AM

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.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Dawn

Direct download: feartheboot_0018.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:14 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, Dawn

Direct download: feartheboot_0017.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:11 PM

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 video games.

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0007.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 10:06 PM

We start this episode with several announcements.  I’ll post those here along with relevant links.

First, we’ll be at Archon from October 5th – 8th.

* http://archonstl.org/30/index2.html

Second, our World of Warcraft guild is really taking off.  If you play WoW, we hope you’ll stop by and join us.

* http://www.feartheboot.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=18

Third, we’re starting a contest with prizes sponsored by GeekLabel.com.  Listen to the episode for details and post your entry in the forum area linked below.

* http://www.feartheboot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=518
* http://www.geeklabel.com

Our discussion topics for this episode are the use of time travel in your game and running roleplaying games when long distances separate your players.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0016.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:37 PM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0015.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:50 PM

Our Gencon experience was short and fruitless.  We start off the episode by explaining what happened and then offer some advice on allowing players to run multiple characters during the same game.

This episode was recorded in an unusual way, so the bells and whistles of our main episodes aren’t there.  In fact, it seems closer to a bonus episode.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0014.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:22 PM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0006.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 8:23 PM

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 playing non-humanoids.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Dawn

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_0013.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:39 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:07 AM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0005.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 6:04 PM

In this bonus episode, we talk about how and why we love Battletech.  As always, this bonus show is unscripted and unedited.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0004.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 6:00 PM

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”.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0011.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:23 AM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0003.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 4:29 AM

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 dork.

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.

Hosts: Dawn, Karla, Melina, Teresa

Direct download: feartheboot_0010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:47 AM

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.

Hosts: Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:38 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:37 PM

Episode 7 begins with us trying to figure out how to pronounce Aram’s 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.

Hosts: Adam, Aram, Chad, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:09 AM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0002.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 5:13 PM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:49 PM

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.

Direct download: feartheboot_bonus_0001.mp3
Category:Bonus Episodes -- posted at: 4:55 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0005.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:16 AM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Tim

Direct download: feartheboot_0004.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:44 PM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John, Kevin, Tim

Direct download: feartheboot_0003.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:06 PM

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.

Hosts: Adam, Chad, Dan, John

Direct download: feartheboot_0002.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:41 PM

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).

Hosts: Chad, Dan, Kevin

Direct download: feartheboot_0001.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00 PM

This podcast is an introduction to our show, explaining what we’ll talk about: tabletop roleplaying games (RPGs), product reviews, industry news, and related topics.

Hosts: Dan

Direct download: feartheboot_0000.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00 PM

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