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The 'reasonable and prudent deviations from topic' podcast. #SSSHPodcast

The 'reasonable and prudent deviations from topic' podcast. #SSSHPodcast
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The 'reasonable and prudent deviations from topic' podcast. #SSSHPodcast






Episode 114 - An Inertia of Legend

An interview that I did with Bill Randolph (who worked as the lead programmer on Ultima 9 at Origin Systems for much of its development), which covers just about every imaginable aspect of Ultima 9 and its development (especially the technology behind it!), as well as the internal goings-on at Origin during the late 1990s; Bill graciously gave an answer to just about every question, and you'll hopefully enjoy his blend of humorous good cheer and wistful recollection throughout the...


Episode 113 - Rant of the Avatar

In which Withstand the Fury vents some recent frustrations he's been wrestling with regarding the physical rewards for Shroud of the Avatar. Subscribe: Anchor | iTunes | Google Play | TuneIn | Stitcher | Join Us on Discord Full show notes at


Episode 112 - Ultima Forever Is Still Missed

We wax nostalgic about Mythic and EA's short-lived attempt to reboot the Ultima franchise on mobile, before moving on to other topics. Full show notes at


Episode 111 - Through the Moongate

In which a geek-out session about the Ultima games becomes a springboard for discussion about a new book on the history and people of Origin Systems. Full show notes at


Episode 110 - Shroud of the Disappearing Podcast

After another extended absence — what a summer it has been! — the podcast crew return to discuss recent happenings with Shroud of the Avatar. Full show notes at


Episode 109 - Wes Locher Braves Britannia

Comic book artist, video game writer, and author Wes Locher recently published a new book: Braving Britannia: Tales of Life, Love, and Adventure in Ultima Online. It's a collection of stories about (what else?) the experience of different Ultima Online players and developers throughout the various eras of the game, and was something of a passion project for Wes. We invited Wes onto the podcast to chat about Braving Britannia, its relatively short writing process, how he went about...


Episode 108 - The Ultima IX Redemption Autopsy

Ultima IX: Redemption was, during the years it was in development, one of the most ambitious Ultima fan projects going; news from its developers (who came to be known as the Titans of Ether) was always greeted with excitement, and every new glimpse we got of their progress in remaking Ultima 9 suggested that we were in for an epic experience....whenever the mod was released, that is. But ultimately, Redemption did fold; it was cancelled, and its team instead opted to put their talents to...


Episode 107 - Made-Up Languages in Video Games

Video games, especially those set in fantasy realms — and, occasionally, in a science fiction context, although this seems to be less of a thing in that genre — occasionally feature a made-up language which is spoken (or otherwise utilized) by the NPC populace thereof. In this episode, then, we take a look at some of the different languages that have been developed for use in video games, from simple substitution ciphers to actual languages that have their own glossary, syntax, and...


Spam Spam Spam Humbug 106 - Abstraction

Linguistic Dragon and WtF Dragon discuss abstraction, and its importance to game design and the RPG experience. Because there is quite a gulf of difference between the actual, raw, terrifying experience of being lost in a hostile wilderness and finding one's way through it, and the rather more pleasant and fun-filled experience of navigating one's way through a game's open world whilst having to occasionally deal with the intrusion of a hunger mechanic. Full show notes at...


Spam Spam Spam Humbug 105 - Virtue Doesn't Have a Finish Line

From a discussion of Jordan B. Peterson's musings on the importance of narrative and mythos as a foundational aspect of societies, to Hans Urs von Balthasar's musings on beauty, goodness, and truth, this is a wide-ranging discussion that attempts, ultimately, to examine one thing in particular: the perhaps unique staying power of the Ultima fandom, even though it has been just shy of two decades since the last single-player Ultima title was published. Full show notes at...


Spam Spam Spam Humbug 104 - Game Sales and Bad Guys

This discussion began with the observation that, having surpassed $6 billion in sales, Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto 5 has not only out-grossed Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film franchise, but is also (apparently) the single most successful entertainment title in history (across all media forms). That may or not be true once you factor in some inflation-adjusted revenues for older games, but even so: it's still both impressive, and also mind-boggling. Full show notes at...


Spam Spam Spam Humbug 103 - First Impressions: Shroud of the Avatar

With Shroud of the Avatar now in wide release, it seemed fitting to put together an episode in which a few of the podcast regulars — those who've been playing the game — give their thoughts on it. The episode is structured in something of an interview style, and the various participants discuss at some length where the game does well, and where it needs more work. Full show notes at


Spam Spam Spam Humbug 102 - She Chooses Compassion!

Because all attempts at recording other discussions fell through, WtF Dragon decided instead, and then at the last minute, to sit down with his eldest daughter, Ella, in order to introduce her to Ultima 6: The False Prophet. They walk through the character creation sequence, and then explore Lord British's Castle and the City of Britain, discussing the game as they go. Full show notes at


Byte-Sized Virtue S06E04 - Humble Like an NPC

Humility, as defined within Ultima lore, is "about perceiving one's place in the world, not according to one's own accomplishments, but according to the intrinsic value of all individuals. It is the recognition of the worthiness of all beings, and the perception of one's own place among them, regardless of one's own personal accomplishments or mistakes in the world." Which is a bit of a longer way of saying what St. Teresa of Ávila had to say about humility: that it is "living in the...


Spam Spam Spam Humbug 101 - Shroud of the Avatar Is About to Launch

If you can believe it, this episode was recorded in three — or possibly four! — different segments, but it all kind of flows together into one mostly harmonious conversation in which various co-hosts weigh in with their thoughts about Shroud of the Avatar, which — as Sir Klaus notes — may well be the last game series we will ever get from Richard Garriott. Full show notes at


Byte-Sized Virtue S06E03 - Humility for Fans

WtF Dragon, inspired by an episode of Catching Foxes (a Catholic podcast that he would recommend anyone over the age of about sixteen— Catholic or not — listen to), discusses the role humility must play in how a fan of a property approaches that property...whether it's Star Wars, or Ultima. Full show notes at


Spam Spam Spam Humbug 100 - The Tables Have Turned

To celebrate the 100th episode of Spam Spam Spam Humbug, the other hosts have turned the tables on WtF Dragon, and have put him in the interview hot seat. We are also proud to announce the launch of, and also the launch of Question and Answer portals (think: Stack Overflow) at both that site and the Ultima Codex. Full show notes at


Byte-Sized Virtue S06E02 - Not My Way, But Your Way

Inspired by an episode of a podcast called Catholic Bytes, WtF Dragon takes a look at the idea of giving things up for Lent — and at the plans and goals he has set up for himself in general — and reflects on the fact that it's very easy to let pride infect this aspect of our lives. Full show notes at


Spam Spam Spam Humbug 99 - Board Games & Other Things

WtF Dragon was entirely absent for the recording of this episode, and so its contents are a bit of a mystery. That said, Save vs. Dragon and Sir Klaus begin by talking about board games, attempts to adapt Ultima as board games, and the video game For The King (which grew out of an attempt to adapt Ultima 7: The Black Gate as a board game). Where it goes from something you will have to find out as you listen. Full show notes at


Byte-Sized Virtue S06E01 - Giving Up Goods

A key point of Lenten penances is to give up things that are good...and to welcome with joy the fruitfulness that resuts. Full show notes at