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Archive for the ‘Season 2’

Sode #29: Table Roles and Table Rules (System 06)

December 07, 2008 By: Meg Category: Casual, Season 2, Sodes 1 Comment →

News:

Nominations for 2008 Zeekies are now being accepted! Share your favorite holiday commercials.

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

Icebreaker:

Rules we have at the normal, day to day table.

  • Meg hates forks on teeth.
  • Josh gets uncomfortable seeing 2 girls kiss
  • Zeke won’t repeat himself

Douchebag of the Week:

The Bait n’ Switcher

Table Roles and Table Rules

Part of our Jargon Series. Part 2 of Sode #24: Rule 0/ House Rules

Player Roles at the Table

A Real World Need

  • Cupomancer
  • Caterer
  • Court Jester
  • The Handler

An in game need:

  • Initiative Tracker
  • Quartermaster
  • Scribe
  • Encyclopedia

Table Rules

  1. Dice Rolling
  2. Everything Else
  3. Take-Backs

Miscellaney

1) The answer to last episode’s trivia question is contained! Think you know the answer to this week’s? Post on the thread about this episode here.

Reminders-

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #28: Overdone Payouts (System 05)

November 30, 2008 By: Meg Category: Season 2, Sodes, Strategy Comments Off on Sode #28: Overdone Payouts (System 05)

News:

JiffyCon Lowell/ V3 is almost here! Sign up today! Or visit the event on its Facebook Page!

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

Icebreaker:

Things we used to like that we overdid

Douchebag of the Week:

The Deflater

Overdone Payouts:

Part of our Jargon Series. Part 2 of 2.

What happens when someone gets their payouts at the expense of others at the table?

GNS Theory: Gamist, Narrativist and Simulationist.

  1. Munchkins
  2. Powergamers
  3. Rigamarole Players
  4. Simulation Turds
  5. Stuck in a Fantasy World

Miscellaney

The upcoming Brilliant Gameologists’ game now includes:

  • Captain Kangaroo
  • The Moose
  • Lee Marvin
  • Fred Rogers
  • Daniel the Cat
  • Lady Elane Fairchild

Chicken wing on swords is a joke from You Look Nice Today‘s Aunt Nancy episode. Hilarious.

Some additional info:

1) The answer to last episode’s trivia question is contained! Think you know the answer to this week’s? Post on the thread about this episode here.

Reminders-

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #27: Payouts (System 04)

November 17, 2008 By: Meg Category: Season 2, Sodes, Strategy Comments Off on Sode #27: Payouts (System 04)

BGios

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

Our warm up was entirely un-electronic. Zeke yelled at Meg’s neighbors and we had a heated discussion about some posters on our Message Boards.

Icebreaker:

Non RPG’s that we enjoy and the payouts that make us happy.

Race for the Galaxy— great game. Support a great Friendly Local Gaming Store and buy your copy today! With the expansion!

Douchebag of the Week:

The Novelist

Payouts:

Part of our Jargon Series. Part 1 or 2.

What do you like about role playing? What makes you excited? The Payout Model explains why people are different elements to use to fire up your game and players.

  1. Character Payouts- Getting stuff for your character
  2. Player Payouts- What do you enjoy at the table?
  3. GM Payouts- GMs can have fun too!
  4. Visceral Reaction Payouts- Gaming feels good!
  5. Intellectual Payouts- Gamenugen
  6. Creative Payouts- Dra-ma!
  7. Scholarly Payouts- Meg loves her drumlins
  8. Kinesthetic Payouts- Cosplay= ok. Furries = BAD

Some additional info:

1) This is our first shot at a Trivia Question of the Week.  Submit your answer in the thread about this episode on our message boards!

2) We lowered the quality again on this episode to try and keep the file size manageable.  Let us know if it went too far.

Reminders-

We put show updates and random goodies on Meg’s Twitter. Don’t miss out!

Email us at GM@BrilliantGameologists.com

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #26: Gender Bending and Playing What You Ain’t (Player 04)

November 04, 2008 By: Meg Category: Diplomacy, Season 2, Sodes 1 Comment →

Happy Election Day!

Only a couple of days!

JiffyCon is this Saturday!! Enjoy new, indie games and play with the Gameologists! www.jiffycon.com

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

We’ve been watching a lot of Saturday Night Live clips…

Dudes playing chicks/ Playing something you ain’t:

  1. Don’t be a douche
  2. Be Sensitive
  3. Just be the character
  4. Don’t have it be the only interesting aspect of the character
  5. Don’t constantly talk about being a _____
  6. Sex is not the only decision a girl makes

Playing a girl- something different:

  • Mother
  • Old Lady
  • Maiden
  • Historical game stereotype
  • Intrepid Girl Reporter
  • Empty Nester

Other things you ain’t:

  • Gays/ Straights
  • Philosophically or ethically different
  • Kids
  • The “Other”
  • Crazy
  • Elderly
  • Disabled
  • Bromance

Getting Into Character:

  • Stanislavski’s System
    • What is your character’s goal?
    • Aspects of the character?
    • Use your memory “bag”
  • Change your voice:
    • Pitch
    • Tone
    • Volume
    • Speed/ Pacing
    • Sayings
    • Laugh

Shout-Outs:

Geek Girls Rule

  • After we recorded and called Mickey etc. out for not putting out a show, they went and did. So yes, there is a more recent episode now.

Reminders-

We put show updates and random goodies on Meg’s Twitter. Don’t miss out!

Email us at GM@BrilliantGameologists.com

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #25: Horror Tropes (Setting 05)

October 27, 2008 By: Meg Category: Season 2, Sodes, Thematic Comments Off on Sode #25: Horror Tropes (Setting 05)

Note:

In celebration of our second “quarter” we are changing the format very slightly of the shows. Can you spot the difference?

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

Our Fears

  • Whale captured on video –Meg admits to her paranoia of whales. This video she had to watch through her fingers.
  • Oarfish– They just shouldn’t be. Freaky.
  • Parasites- Josh. He’s infected.
  • Zombies- Zeke. He’s prepared, are you?

1. Cthulhonic

2. The Undead

3. The Siren

4. Sidhe

5. Nature

6. Technological

7. Madness

8. Odd

9. Primal Horror

Bonus!

  • We each list our scariest creatures that weren’t mentioned.

Reminders-

We put show updates and random goodies on Meg’s Twitter. Don’t miss out!

Email us at GM@BrilliantGameologists.com

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.


Sode #24: Rule 0 (System 03)

October 13, 2008 By: Meg Category: Season 2, Sodes, Strategy 3 Comments →

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

News:

  • Couple of days left for the Secret Code Contest! Get your entries in by October 17th!
  • We make an apology of sorts for one of the items listed in the “7 Things We Hate” episode.
  • JiffyCon! We meant to have a news item about this and … oops. But at least it’s written! JiffyCon is almost here- we’re still looking for another GM or two, specializing in little known or Indie Games, and of course would love to see anyone who can make it to come! We’ll help you… nay… guarantee you’ll have a good time!

Icebreaker:

  • Josh went to Providence Anime Conference and rubs it in our face. Won some cool (and sexy) prizes including one for being voted “Biggest Whore”

Douchebag of the Week:

  • The Sycophant

Main Topic:

Rule Zero

  • Rule 0 etymology and definition
  • Oberoni Fallacy
  • House Rules used to mean:
    • Game Design
    • Modding
    • World Building
    • House Rules
  • Corner Cases
  • Fudging Rolls
  • GM= God?
  • Cows… From… Space!

Commercial Break

The Brilliant Gameologists’ Message Boards are sure to cure whatever ails you!  Did you know we have areas for:

Almost better than Porn!

Random Plugs:

Oberoni Fallacy- as originally stated:

Originally posted by Oberoni on the D&D general board July 23, 2002:

This my my take on the issue

Let’s say Bob the board member makes the assertion:

“There is an inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue with Rule X.”

Several correct replies can be given:

  • “I agree, there is an inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue with Rule X.”
  • “I agree, and it is easily solvable by changing the following part of Rule X.”
  • “I disagree, you’ve merely misinterpreted part of Rule X. If you reread this part of Rule X, you will see there is no inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue.”

Okay, I hope you’re with me so far.
There is, however, an incorrect reply:

  • “There is no inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue with Rule X, because you can always Rule 0 the inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue.

Now, this incorrect reply does not in truth agree with or dispute the original statement in any way, shape, or form.

It actually contradicts itself–the first part of the statement says there is no problem, while the last part proposes a generic fix to the “non-problem.”

It doesn’t follow the rules of debate and discussion, and thus should never be used.

Simple enough.

Reminders-

We put show updates and random goodies on Meg’s Twitter. Don’t miss out!

Email us at GM@BrilliantGameologists.com

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #22: Drunk Cast- Part 1 (Bonus 03)

October 06, 2008 By: Meg Category: Party, Season 2, Sodes Comments Off on Sode #22: Drunk Cast- Part 1 (Bonus 03)

NEWS: Reminder that the Secret Code Contest entries are due by October 17th!

Warm-Up:

This episode is our response to Radio Free Hipster‘s “September is Drunken Podcasting Month”.  Therefore, our warm-up included:

  • 4 22-oz beers
  • Lots of Rumplemintz
  • Several Meghan-tini’s
  • Jagermeister
  • Eagle Reserve Whiskey

We attempted to have this be Drunken Podcasting, not wasted Podcasting, but one of us utterly failed.  (Hint- it was Meg)

As a result, before listening, read the following warning:

This episode is NOT a normal episode.  There is actually VERY LITTLE gaming discussion and an overabundance of hanky-panky talk.  The subtitle of this episode should be “Jesus Likes Anal”.  If that turns you off, you may not want to listen.  Fair warning.

Also, this show has little editing.  We left in some of the mistakes and re-records on purpose.  A LOT was cut though.  Mostly because it was just TOO off topic but also a lot more that was far too sexual and personal.  We may put those clips together or the full thing for some secret bonus prize at some point.  If you’d like to hear the entire thing, let us know!

Icebreaker:

Our favorite fake holidays:

Before recording we had planned to talk about Talk Like a Pirate Day as it too was in September but … well… drunk, remember?

Main Topic:

Drinking while Gaming.  This is the first 1/10th  of the conversation.  We started to talk about drinking at conventions but didn’t really get anywhere with it.

Random Plugs:

Reminder- we put show updates and random goodies on Meg’s Twitter. Don’t miss out!  She twittered while recording as well so go back and check them out!

Email us at GM@BrilliantGameologists.com

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is explicit! It is NOT work safe.

Sode #23: 7 Things We Hate About the Gameosphere (Meta 06)

September 28, 2008 By: Meg Category: Casual, Season 2, Sodes 5 Comments →

This episode is part of the Secret Code Contest! Get your entries in by October 17th!

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

Icebreaker:

  • Since we’re doing a contest with 4 other podcasts, we thought it only appropriate to introduce you to them! And what better way to meet them than by a gameshow. Introducing the first episode of “Who Wants to Date a Gaming Podcaster?” with your host, Chaz!

Douchebag of the Week:

  • The Boardtard

Main Topic:

The 7 Things We Hate About the Gameosphere

  1. Douchebaggery
  2. Ed Greenwood
  3. Video “Gamers”
  4. World of Darkness
  5. Gaming Reviews
  6. Fear the Boot
  7. … you’ll have to listen to find out!

Random Plugs:

Reminder- we put show updates and random goodies on Meg’s Twitter. Don’t miss out!

Email us at GM@BrilliantGameologists.com

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is roughly PG-13’ish rated. Our usual episodes are Explicit but we tried to stay “clean” with this one, though it still may not be work safe.

Sode #21: Don’t be the Dwarfs (Player 03)

September 22, 2008 By: Meg Category: Diplomacy, Season 2, Sodes 1 Comment →

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

  • Gaybar by Electric 6 for 2 reasons. 1) We love Electric 6 and are stocked about going to see them (again) on Fri 11/21in Cambridge MA at the Middle East. 2) Hotpants. It reminds us of one of the Brilliant Fanologists at Gencon who wore hotpants for Meg. Thanks Woodrow.

Icebreaker:

  • DragonCon recap. Meg represented the Brilliant Gameologists at DragonCon and the Parsec Awards. Big thanks to Adam from the Podgecast for offering up hotel space and to Cam Banks from Margaret Weis Productions for a great conversation and Jamie Chambers, also of MWP, for socializing even though we trashed your game.

Douchebag of the Week:

  • +1 Guy

Main Topic:

Don’t be the 7 Dwarfs

  1. Sleepy
  2. Sneezy
  3. Bashful
  4. Dopey
  5. Grumpy
  6. Happy
  7. Doc

Plugs

Reminder- we put show updates and random goodies on Meg’s Twitter. Don’t miss out!

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #20: GenCon Recap (Meta 05)

September 08, 2008 By: Meg Category: Con Report, Party, Season 2, Sodes 5 Comments →

We’re back from GenCon! It’s taken a while to recover. We fully admit to being the last podcast to put out their GenCon recap, but hopefully it was worth it.

We talked about quite a few products in this episode:

Favorite Publishers:

Cam Banks and Jamie Chambers from Margaret Weis Productions

Pelgrane Press with Robin Laws for the Gumshoe System

Fantasy Flight Games for Grimm

Paradigm Concepts for Witch Hunter: The Invisible World

McNeil Designs for Reader’s Digest vocab game

Dark Matter for Epic RPG

Interesting Buys:

Mispent Youth by Robert Bohl

Factions at War by Other Court Games

Cool People:

Luke Meyer from The Podgecast

Daniel Perez from The Gamer Traveler and The Digital Front

Rob and Fraser from The Accidental Survivors

NPH

The Brilliant Fanologists!

The ENies:

We gave the prepared statement:

“The ENnies need to make serious format changes if they’d like to be taken seriously as an award.”

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread and find out how you can get your very own boob-curve business cards!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.

ReviewSode #8: Ennies Lightning Round!

August 12, 2008 By: Meg Category: Review, Season 2, Sodes 3 Comments →

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

Icebreaker:

  • The Olympics!  We’re big fans and discuss our favorite events.  Meg reminds everyone she has a vag.

Review Guidelines:

Good, Bad, Wintry Mix

  • Good:
    • Elegant
    • Fuckin’ A
    • Fiddly Bits
  • Bad:
    • Idiot
    • Full of Crap
    • Asshole

Our rating scale is:

  • 1= If you are only going to buy 1 book, get this one.
  • 3= If you are going to buy 3 books so you have a “main game” plus a fun pickup, this is the book for you
  • 10= If you are going to get 10 books for a bit more variety, get this one
  • 0= Don’t buy it.

Best Writing:

Nominees:

The Good:

  • Trail of Cthulhu: Elegant, Fuckin’ A writing, and some really good Fiddly Bits.  Rating: 1
  • Grimm: Fuckin’ A.  Rating: 3

Wintry Mix:

  • Monsters and Other Childish Things: Some Fuckin’ A, but Full of Shit too.  Rating: 10

Bad:

  • Changeling: The Lost: Idiot, Full of Shit, and Asshole.  Rating: 0

Can’t even Review:

  • Two-Fisted Tales: This should not have been in this category.  Not good nor bad.  Just like the writing in every other book. Rating:10

Best Rules:

Nominees:

Good:

  • Aces and Eights: Fiddly Bits.  So so so many fiddly bits. Rating: 1
  • Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition: Fuckin’ A and Elegant. Rating:1

Wintry Mix:

  • Witchhunter:  The Invisible World: Fuckin’ A, Fiddly Bits, but also Asshole. Rating:3
  • Trail of Cthulhu: Wish the game had been “completed”.  Fuckin’ A, Fiddly Bits, but also Asshole. Rating:1

Bad:

  • Epic Roleplaying Game Manual: Needs refinement and an overhaul.  Not fair to review at this time. Rating:10

Best Game:

Good:

  • Aces and Eights: Fuckin’ A, Fiddly Bits, Elegant. Rating:1
  • Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition: Elegant, Fuckin’ A. Rating:1

Wintry Mix:

  • Witchhunter:  The Invisible World: Elegant, Full of Shit. Rating:3
  • Monsters and Other Childish Things: Fuckin’ A, Asshole. Rating:10

Bad:

  • Og, Full of Shit, Asshole. Rating:10

Product of the Year:

News:

1. Reminder: The Brilliant Gameologists are leading 3 seminars at GenCon! If you’re going, you won’t want to miss it.

Gamers in the Press: Blogs, Podcasts, and Print at GenCon

http://www.pulpgamer.com/gencon/

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #19: I Will Turn This Game Around! (GM 04)

July 27, 2008 By: Meg Category: Host, Season 2, Sodes Comments Off on Sode #19: I Will Turn This Game Around! (GM 04)

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

Icebreaker:

  • TV character that would suck to play with

Douchebag of the Week:

  • The Secret Keeper

Main Topic:

4 Steps in the 12 step Healing Process

Strategies for healing a diseased group, or to build cohesion in an already healthy group

1. Choosing the Right Game

  • D&D 4th Edition
  • Spirit of the Century
  • Dogs in the Vineyard
  • Bad Choice: Burning Wheel

Side conversation:

The 4 roles in D&D 4e compared with the 4 Ninja Turtles:

  • Leader: Leonardo
  • Controller: Donatello
  • Striker:Raphael
  • Defender: Michelangelo

2.  Making a Cohesive Character

3. Running the Game so everyone plays nicely

  • DM= Part Facilitator, part Antagonist
  • DMPC’s- usually bad, but if you’re gonna, do it right
  • Take time to practice the mechanics so everyone can fight together before it comes up for real

4. Playing the Game so everyone gets along

  • Buddy System
  • Appropriate Behavior
  • Why are we together?
  • Think Win-Win

News:

1. Reminder: The Brilliant Gameologists are leading 3 seminars at GenCon!  If you’re going, you won’t want to miss it.

Gamers in the Press: Blogs, Podcasts, and Print at GenCon

http://www.pulpgamer.com/gencon/

2. We are slowly but surely joining the full ranks of Web 2.0.  Check out Meg’s Twitter.

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #18: Scope and Boundaries (Setting 04)

July 14, 2008 By: Meg Category: Season 2, Sodes, Thematic 5 Comments →

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn’t always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we’re going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

Icebreaker:

  • Favorite TV show opening songs and scenes.

Douchebag of the Week:

  • The Braggart

Main Topic:

Scope and Boundaries

  • How wide or deep should you go?
  • Meg’s analogy: Establishing Shots from movies/ TV
  • Kinds of groups you can be in an RPG
  • Published Campaign worlds
  • Media Worlds (Star Wars and Superheroes)
  • Historical Settings
  • The problem with Forgotten Realms
  • What to do with this huge world setting

Promos:

Gamers in the Press: Blogs, Podcasts, and Print at GenCon

http://www.pulpgamer.com/gencon/

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Warning: This episode is tagged Explicit and is Not Work Safe. It is intended for adult audiences.

Sode #17: Gaming at Cons (Bonus 02)

June 30, 2008 By: Meg Category: Casual, Season 2, Sodes Comments Off on Sode #17: Gaming at Cons (Bonus 02)

This is a Bonus Episode which is fancy talk for “The dogs ate the shownotes so we can’t do our normal episode so we totally wung this”.

Is wung a word? Winged?

In this episode we discuss Gaming at Conventions. Well, that and a LOT of just banter. (This is what we’re like when we are just hanging out but this time happened to have a mic capturing it all. And only Josh had been drinking! Also, the dog did actually chew through Meg’s headphone cord so the whole experience was fairly surreal and much less organized.)

NEWS ITEM: Brilliant Gameologists chosen to lead GenCon seminars

PROMO: (A real one!) Gamers in the Press- Blogs, Podcasts, and Print Seminars (http://www.pulpgamer.com/gencon/)

Discussion Topics:

Games we played at JiffyCon:

  • It’s Complicated

    • Story/ Pass-the-stick game where everyone has an internal struggle and some visible manifestation.
  • Traveller
    • Old-school. Terrible system but Zeke had a ton of fun regardless.
  • Caper: A Game of Pros and Cons
    • Pull off a criminal caper. Josh’s group tried to steal Jerry Seinfield’s cars.
  • Misspent Youth
    • Meg’s dream game. Dystopian young-adult type scenarios. Game involves building the world. The Ashcan version will be available at GenCon at the Play Collective booth. The early non-official review gives this a 3 on our scale.
  • Red Sky A.M.

    • Play Space Marines and their loved-ones back home.

Just Announced!

The Gameologists will help organize JiffyCon Lowell– November 8, 2008 @ Middlesex Community College, Lowell, MA.

Other stuff from this Train-Wreck:

Wrong Hole Montage

Independent Insurgency Podcast from Rob Bohl

Discuss this episode on our message boards!

Sode #16: Peritextual Elements of RPGs (Meta04)

June 22, 2008 By: Meg Category: Season 2, Sodes, Strategy 1 Comment →

Nerd Up!

In this episode we look at the peritextual elements of quite a few books– all of the things that aren’t the content– and how they relate to the feel of the book and our impressions about it.

The links all show example pictures to help illustrate the point.  There are a few still to come, but this is a pretty comprehensive list as is!  Some of the pictures are from the publisher and some I took myself.

Size and Shape

D&D 4th Edition- The standard in gaming. Hardcover, 8.5×11 inches. 4th Edition’s difference is that the 3 books come in a handy-dandy sleeve.

Hero 5th Edition Revised– The same shape as D&D but text-book thick.

Burning Wheel– 5×7 and softcover. Still has same number of pages as D&D, but they are mini pages. Makes the book much more portable.

Savage Worlds: Explorer’s Edition– Also softcover, but a bit longer and wider than Burning Wheel (which means neat, orderly shelving will be screwy).

Star Wars Saga– A square. Made to fit on bookstore’s shelves.

Covers

Rifts- Pretty picture, shows action, clear title, publisher, and author, and of course, boobies.

Paranoia XP– comical, funny, bright colors and the back cover entirely in the style of Paranoia. Draws in new people but also provides a callback to previous players.

The Savage World of Solomon Kane– Only a few words, but great illustration and the glossy and matte finish make Meg happy.

Cover opened to see front and back together

Dread– Extremely simple but sets the stage beautifully. A bloody thumbprint? What’s not to love?

Burning Wheel– Red on Red. Hard to see, confusing, boring. Doesn’t say anything about the game.

The Trail of Cthulhu – Green on green, but spooky, mysterious

GURPS: Alpha Century– cover of book is cover of Sid Meier’s video game. Good marketing if you like the video game (which we did).

Front Matter

First few pages of a book before the content actually starts. Can include publication information, credits, acknowledgments, table of contents, and introduction

  • Pastedown- the page pasted to the inside of the cover (hardcover only)
  • Flyleaf- the page opposite the pastedown

Spirit of the Century– has fun with the credits

Grimm– Pastedown and Flyleaf are at least red. Introduction WAY too long (download full introduction).

Deadlands Reloaded– Personal acknowledgments, Font in table of contents very appropriate and there is “white space” so text doesn’t feel claustrophobic. Introduction is a old-timely newspaper format. Back Cover

Dark Heresy, Warhammer 40,000– Pastedown and Flyleaf show an illustration of a star map

Borders:

Are illustrations confined in a border to make it feel like you are looking as an voyeur, or do the touch the edge of the page to draw you in?

  • Bleed- when the illustration touches the edge of a page
  • Full Bleed- when all illustrations touch all edges

Deadlands Reloaded full bleed

d20 Future– Standard. Page number in border (on side)

GURPS- Transhuman Space- Dark border with white boxes with text. Dark borders give it a space theme.

Grimm (download of first chapter)– Very appropriate, very approprite. Page numbers in spider body and intricate

Expeditious Retreat: Magical Society of Ecology and Culture and Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition– Old timey paper feel to border.

Interesting Content

Cyberspace. Almost whole book in table or chart. Lower corner of each page gives extra material to book in terms of a year-by-year timeline.

Nightbane– Very first thing in book is a warning to prevent claims of Satanism.

Earthdawn– All peritextual elements completely vanilla (written in 1995) except two full pages of punch-out cardstock cards.

Illustrations

Pictures in books should show you things you may play, things you may fight or goals or ideas you may have as well as set the stage for the book. The feel also needs to be consistent throughout. The media used can change, but don’t mix styles!

D&D 4th Edition– Player’s Handbook has detailed pictures of the types of characters you are going to play (Person), the Dungeon Master’s Guide shows places you will go (Place), and the Monster Manual shows the things you are going to fight (Things).

Mutants and Masterminds– Very comic book feel to illustrations, some complete with speech bubbles. Very consistent throughout.

Dark Heresy, Warhammer 40,000– Extremely detailed, dark, gritty illustrations.

Riftsalmost entirely black and white inking. Art very evocative of the world, but not enough of it and the color plates in the middle of the book don’t match.

SerenityBeautiful cover, but almost all of “illustrations” are screen caps from the movie. Says not, “We’re trying to adapt the movie” but “We’re trying to make the movie.” Borders are good except top of every page says “Serenity the Role Playing Game”. Seems too self-congratulatory and constantly reminds us it is “official“.

Star Wars Saga– nice mix of screencaps and illustrations, but again, too much of a mix of styles.

ReviewSode #6: Battlestar Galactica

June 18, 2008 By: Meg Category: Review, Season 2, Sodes 4 Comments →

The BG’s review BSG in the last of our full Origin’s review series.

Battlestar Galactica is published by Margaret Weis Productions.

Our rating scale is:

  • 1= If you are only going to buy 1 book, get this one.
  • 3= If you are going to buy 3 books so you have a “main game” plus a fun pickup, this is the book for you
  • 10= If you are going to get 10 books for a bit more variety, get this one
  • 0= Don’t buy it.

Fair warning: we are not fans. At all. This episode is part review, part bullshit, and part GenCon stories. Listen at your own risk!

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

ReviewSode #5: Faery’s Tale Deluxe

June 17, 2008 By: Meg Category: Review, Season 2, Sodes Comments Off on ReviewSode #5: Faery’s Tale Deluxe

In our 3rd full Origin’s Review, we look at Firefly Games’ Faery’s Tale Deluxe.

We had a lot of issues with this book. I feel it works as a structured “let’s pretend” for kids, but the concept wasn’t clear. To say that this could be for adults misses the mark.

It has some use though, so we gave it a 10 on our rating scale:

  • 1= If you are only going to buy 1 book, get this one.
  • 3= If you are going to buy 3 books so you have a “main game” plus a fun pickup, this is the book for you
  • 10= If you are going to get 10 books for a bit more variety, get this one
  • 0= Don’t buy it.

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

ReviewSode #4: Savage World of Solomon Kane

June 16, 2008 By: Meg Category: Review, Season 2, Sodes Comments Off on ReviewSode #4: Savage World of Solomon Kane

In the second full Origin’s review episode, we take a look at the Savage World of Solomon Kane.

http://www.peginc.com/games.html

We love this one and hope it wins the Origin’s Award for best new RPG. It’s a 1 on the rating scale because this is a complete book of a game which could be a long-term campaign and it’s really interesting:

  • 1= If you are only going to buy 1 book, get this one.
  • 3= If you are going to buy 3 books so you have a “main game” plus a fun pickup, this is the book for you
  • 10= If you are going to get 10 books for a bit more variety, get this one
  • 0= Don’t buy it.

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

ReviewSode #3: Grimm

June 15, 2008 By: Meg Category: Review, Season 2, Sodes 2 Comments →

This is the first of our full Origins’ Awards Reviews– we’ll release 1 review per day to complete the series!

In this episode we review Grimm, published by Fantasy Flight Games.

Grimm Cover

We give this a “3” on our rating scale:

  • 1= If you are only going to buy 1 book, get this one.
  • 3= If you are going to buy 3 books so you have a “main game” plus a fun pickup, this is the book for you
  • 10= If you are going to get 10 books for a bit more variety, get this one 0= Don’t buy it.

This game would be a ton of fun for a few one shots or to pick up when you’re normal game is sidetracked for a couple of weeks. Very intesting concepts, great flavor, good production values– a good book overall. The lack of clarity and that everything is written in text blocks (I mean everything- there is not a single formula or chart in the book that says “Attack = Scrap vs Defense -> Inflict Wounds”) is insanely frustrating, but other than that, it’s a good book.

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

Sode #15: The Joys of Min/Maxing (MinMax02)

June 09, 2008 By: Meg Category: Season 2, Sodes, Strategy Comments Off on Sode #15: The Joys of Min/Maxing (MinMax02)

In this episode we cover the brighter side of life with min/maxing. We open with what gaming, day-to-day life, and god would be like if non min-maxed and then go into why it is advantageous to have a min/maxer as a fellow player, to have one as a player when you are GM’ing, and to be one yourself. We have an enlightening PSA from Josh and then finish with the 12 (or 4 or 20) different types of min/maxers.

Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!


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