Brilliant Gameologists

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Sode #32: 7 Gaming Resolutions (Meta 08)

January 05, 2009 By: Meg Category: Casual, Season 2, Sodes 1 Comment →


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.


It’s Meg’s birthday this coming Saturday, January 10th!  To celebrate, we are having our first special LIVE episode this Thursday, January 8th!  Come on in and chat with us in real time!  See this blog post for more information.


Podcast resolutions!

  • Meg wants more charts and graphs and wants to say “douche” and “fantastic” less
  • Josh wants to do more reviews
  • Zeke wants to party like it’s 1999.

7 Gaming Resolutions

Get your own bingo card and play along! Get Bingo (or “GAMER” as we eventually decided) and get your very own Official GAMER card! We’re playing too! Track our progress on our message boards.


  1. Play New Games- a new story game, new action-adventure game and a new tabletop game.
  2. Pay it forward- convince someone new to play a game.
  3. Put together a character you wouldn’t normally consider
  4. Learn how to play a game differently- use a mechanic you normally avoid, find a new way to solve an old problem or find new problems to solve.
  5. Play with strangers 3 different times (in order to get all 3 checks- playing once with 3 new people doesn’t count!)
  6. Go to a convention- a regional con (under 500 people), a state con (500 or more people), and a national con (2,000 or more).
  7. Why so serious??
    1. Play a crazy game
    2. Convince others to play a game crazy
    3. Put together a fun/silly character in a real game
    4. Do something fun and unexpected in a game
    5. Play with someone crazy or a stranger in a strange spot
    6. Let yourself out of the box- play a character in real life at a con


Discuss this episode on our Message Boards in THIS thread!

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

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.


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


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.


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 #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.

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!

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