We’re back and we’re ready to start at the beginning. No, this doesn’t mean that we’re recycling episode 1. Instead, we are trying something a bit new. This episode is the first of three linked discussions in which we talk about structuring roleplaying games. Like stories, RPG one-shots and campaigns have beginnings, middles and ends. Each part requires different tools and techniques to make them come alive.
Appropriately enough, we are starting with beginnings. The next two episodes will cover middles and ends, respectively. We thought about being all avant-garde and jumbling them up, but we figured we’re difficult enough to follow already. This episode delves into the techniques we use to prepare for a game, how we work with the players to set everything up and some different ways we actually start the game itself.
In the intro, we mention a couple of current Kickstarter campaigns. There is a new edition of Monsterhearts, the game of teenage monsters and their messy lives. We discussed it back in episode 32. The Kickstarter campaign has three weeks to go at the time of posting and is already funded.
Much closer to completion is the Kickstarter campaign for Operation Unfathomable. We mentioned on our recent episode about The Seven Geases how much fun it would be to play a game where we wander about having chats with all these ancient and inhuman gods. Well, apparently this game exists! Operation Unfathomable is a campaign setting for Swords & Wizardry (which means it will work with most OSR games) that mixes the weirdness of Clark Ashton Smith’s Hyperborea with old-school gonzo approach of Gygax. It looks like a hell of a lot of fun. You only have two days left to back it at the time of posting, so be quick!
As Paul also mentions in the intro, I was pounced upon at his recent Halloween party. Our friend Vicky, in particular, did things to my beard and hair. Paul promised evidence of this. He really is far, far too kind. Here is a photograph taken by our good friend Oli Palmer.
And, finally, we should warn you that there is singing in this episode. We have a new Patreon backer at the $5 level, which means we have sung his praises. This particular song is a strange one even for us. We used tubes to make it. They did nothing to mask the horror.
Edit: I mentioned Brian Lavelle’s superb ambient music in the episode but forgot to include any information about it in these show notes. You can listen to and buy Brian’s work via his Bandcamp site. I have posted a bit more in an addendum to these notes.