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Episode 42: Backstories (Part 2) - The Backening

In Episode 16 of of this podcast we talked about the process of creating a Character's Backstory. But once you have that backstory, what do you do with it? This episode we talk about how backstories are integrated into game play. We discuss the differences between writing an elaborate backstory or creating a simple character concept. Halfway though this episode we inadvertently develop a new backstory generation technique. We discuss that and more, this week on Dungeons & Tangents


Episode 41: Massive Tangents #4 - The Pokemon Universe is a DARK place

Sometimes, when the mics are on, we start talking about some odd things. And sometimes those odd things are worth sharing with our listeners. This episode started as a couple of off hand comments from Ben. What resulted was a very dark conversation about the horrors of Universe that Surrounds Pokemon. Follow us down a Massive Tangent, this week on Dungeons & Tangents


Episode 40: Religion & Role-playing

Role-playing games have had a difficult time getting along with religion, and specifically American Christians. From the start, there was a disconnect between them. Sadly, misunderstandings in the early 80's started a feud that continues to this day. It's a difficult and sensitive subject, but we will discuss that and more, this week on Dungeons & Tangents.


Episode 39: How Players Become Murder Hobos

The term "Murder Hobo" is a recently popularized term. It is, however, a surprisingly accurate description of the tendency for some D&D players to use killing as their primary problem solving tool. Is it a result of video game culture? Antagonistic DMs? Or maybe it's just the nature of playing D&D? We'll discuss how players become Murder Hobos, this week on Dungeons & Tangents.


Episode 38: Munchkin Mechanics

There have been loopholes in nearly every editions of D&D. Those loopholes are often the target of "Munchkins", or players who will exploit any and every advantage in a rule-set. Obviously, the DM has the ultimate authority to allow such exploitation, but these cracks in the rules can still cause headaches. We'll walk through a series of examples and discuss the implications of Munchkin Mechanics, this week on Dungeons & Tangents


Episode 37: Every Edition of D&D

Dungeons & Dragons was first published in 1974. But the game has changed a lot in the last 4 decades. There have been 8 official versions released in that time. Some with small, incremental changes. Some that fundamentally transformed the feel and mechanics of the game. We discuss what we know about each version, what makes them different, and how and why the game changed this week on Dungeons & Tangents.


Episode 36: Introducing new players to D&D

We all have friends, family and coworkers who've never played a role-playing game. Plenty of them just aren't interested. And that's okay. But when you have the opportunity to introduce new players, how do you do so in a way that has them coming back for more? We discuss this and more, this week on Dungeons & Tangents.


Episode 35: Players Contributing to the Gaming World

If a player wants to write the back-story for their character's home village. That's cool, right? If, during session 0, they suggest that the world you're about to play in should have no magic at all. Is that cool? What if they recommend that the villain of your campaign should be seeking revenge on another Player's Character? Players and DMs are always working together to tell a collaborative story, but it CAN be unclear where the line between DM agency and Player Agency should be drawn....


Episode khdd-5: Knowledge History D&D - Episode 5: The Start Up (1974-1975)

This episode is all about the first two years of the existence of TSR, the company that Gary and Don created to publish D&D.


Episode 34: GCPWest 2018 - An Interview with April Westervelt

This week we have our first official interview. Robert and I talk with April Westervelt; the organizer of the Portland based GCPWest TableTop gathering. What is GCPWest? How did it start and what makes it unique? We talk to April about these subjects and more, this week on Dungeons & Tangents


Episode 33: Session 0: the planning session

When you build a house, you need a blueprint. But When you play D&D, you may run a module that gives you a plot, but there's no blueprints for how your players interact with each other or the world around them. A planning session, sometimes called "session 0" can help make sure Player and DM expectations are in sync. We discuss makes a good session 0, this week on Dungeons & Tangents


Episode 32: Failing Forward & Awareness of Risks

A rogue tries to pick a lock. "Roll a sleight of hand Check" that DM says. The roll is low. So What happens next? Does the DM say "you failed to pick the lock"? Is this a dead end in the game? It doesn't have to be. If a player is rolling the dice, failure must always an option, but success or failure, the game must go on. We consider the relationship between risks, successes, and failures this week on Dungeons & Tangents.


Knowledge History D&D - Episode 4: The Making of Dungeons & Dragons (1972-1974)

This episode is all about the first edition of D&D. How it was written and the struggles of publishing a innovative game without any money. Resources for this episode included the following: * Chainmail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chainmail(game) http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/17010/Chainmail-Rules-for-Medieval-Miniatures-0e?it=1 * TRS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LakeGenevaTacticalStudies_Association * Gary Gygax:...


Episode 31: At The Movies (part 1)

A Cartoon in 1983, A live action Feature in 2000, An Animated Feature in 2008, There have been a lot of attempts to take D&D into the world movies and TV, but many have fallen far short of fan expectations. In late 2017, a new D&D movie was announced and is set for release in October of 2021. we'll discuss that and more, this week on Dungeons & Tangents


Episode 30: Party Dynamics

What would the A-Team be without Hannibal? The Fellowship of the Rings be without Gandalf? Buffy the Vampire Slayer without Giles? Are there character archetypes that are necessary for a party to gel? Are there character pairings that make parties fall apart? We'll ask these questions and discuss general party dynamics today on Dungeons & Tangents.


Episode 29: Alignment (the inevitable episode)

Most of you have seen your favorite fictional characters pigeon holed into a chart of the 9 Alignments. Obiwan is "Lawful Good", Treebeard is True Neutral, The Joker is "Chaotic Evil". Obviously that grid was popularized by D&D, but you may not know that it was not originally part of D&D. We'll discuss that as well as how it fits into game play today on "Dungeons & Tangents"


Episode 27: Running a "Theater of the Mind" Game

We're planning on running an Actually Play in the future, but that means changing the way we play D&D. The main change is the removal of all visual aids from the game. Making the game purely audible. This episode we discuss how to run a "Theater of the Mind" style game and how it's different than running a game with Maps, miniatures, and other physical props.


Episode 26: DM for Hire & the Untapped Potential of D&D

This episode we discuss a man named John Dempsey from Toronto Canada who has started making a living as a professional Dungeon Master. He charges clients for his time and efforts in prepping and running games of D&D. We also talk about the untapped potential of D&D as a form of entertainment and a viable platform for businesses like John Dempsey's


Knowledge History D&D - Episode 2: Setting up the Pieces (1953 - 1967)

This episode, we continue the new series "Knowledge - History - D&D". A chronological review of the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. We'll intro you to the people who created D&D and how they first got interested in table top gaming. We talk through the early days of Gary Gygax, Don Kaye, and Dave Arneson. Again, a lot of research went into this episode, so I'm sharing my bibliography. I also highly recommend the following books: Empire of Imagination by Michael Witwer Of Dice And Men by...


Knowledge History D&D - Episode 1: The Prehistory to D&D (500 - 1950)

This episode, Erik starts a new series called "Knowledge - History - D&D". A chronological review of how Dungeons & Dragons came into being. We'll start by releasing episodes every other week. This first episode starts with the prehistory of D&D from 500 AD to 1950. Since this episode involved a lot of research, I wanted to share all my sources and give credit where credit is due. So, here is my big thick bibliography. It wouldn't pass muster in a college level class, but you trust my...