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Review Orpheus


James, Lacey, Lee and Carrie talk about Orpheus from White Wolf. Orpheus is part of the Classic World of Darkness and was released in 2003. It is part of a self contained storyline with six books. It is a game we love and might be our favorite White Wolf product.


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Review 7th Sea Second Edition


James, Lacey, Lee and Carrie talk about 7th Sea second edition and some of the changes from first edition. 7th Sea is a swashbuckling high adventure game from John Wick Presents.

We should clarify how raises are made because it may not be clear in the review. The dice pool is made up of Trait + Skill and rolled. The dice are then grouped together to make totals of 10 or more. Each group of 10+ is one raise.

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James, Lee and Lacey review Spirit of 77. The powered by the apocalypse RPG of inspired by 70s movies and TV shows from Monkey Fun Studios. Spirit of 77 of also has playlists on spotify, there are both general playlists that fit any Spirit of 77 game and specific playlists themed toward their premade scenarios.

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Lacey, James and Kurt review one of the first RPG to set us on the path of indie RPGs. Fate Core is produced by Evil Hat Productions. Fate is a generic RPG system that is easily modified to fit any setting and uses fudge dice for conflict resolution.

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James, Kurt, Lee and Lacey look at using archetypes from the monomyth to build better NPCs.


We are starting to get towards the last half of the games that we commonly play, so if there is a game that you would like to see us review let us know and we will add it to the list. Send requests to


Our Fiasco giveaway has ended. Please help me congratulate our twitter winner @creepykirk and our facebook winner Daithi Trevaskis on winning a copy of the Fiasco RPG.

Thanks to everyone that entered and helped us grow our online presence. Please help us continue to grow our online community and share and recommend our podcast to other gamers that you know.

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James, Kurt and Lacey review the WW2 themed board game Black Orchestra. In Black Orchestra you play conspirators trying to assassinate Hitler, similar to the movie Project Valkyrie. Black Orchestra is produced by Game Salute.


We have talked about this game several times on other episodes, so I thought we would give it a quick review. Since recording this Lacey and I finally killed Hitler with poison gas. So check it out it’s a fun game we enjoy when people are late or missing and we aren’t going to play an RPG.


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Lacey and James recommend and geek out about holiday gifts and ideas.


Board Games

Black Orchestra

Game Wright– Sushi Go, Sushi Go Party

Cash & Guns



Room 25

Haba Games

Pretzel Games– Flick em up

Riff Raff

Ice Cool



Fate Core


7th Sea

Lamentations of the Flame Princess

D&D 5e



Terry Pratchett—Discworld, Good Omens

Tracy Hickman—Dragonships, Dragonlance, Wayne of Gotham



Faithless Main


City Maps


Oh Christmas Geek

Think Geek



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Lacey, Kurt and James review the world building game Microscope from Lame Mage Productions.

Sorry for the sound quality in this one. It’s not really up to our normal standards. Had a mic issue and didn’t realize it until editing but we still wanted to get a review out to you this week.

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James, Lacey and Kurt talk about killing characters in game and how to use character death to add drama and suspense. We also talk about players that are on the fence about character death and trying to get them on board.

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Lacey, James and Kurt review Bully Pulpit Games’ Fiasco. Fiasco is a RPG inspired by movies of small heists and cons gone horribly wrong (think Fargo or Burn After Reading).



Here we are again. As the holiday season pushes on and we wake from our turkey induced sleep, let’s talk about movies. Not the blockbusters that everyone knows about, but smaller produced movies and ones from eras that most of us haven’t seen. Some smaller or indie movies can be really artsy and awful to suffer through. That’s not what we are after. We are looking for thematic and inspirational movies that can’t get a major release.


Movies like one of my favorites, Ink. If you are looking for inspiration for a modern fairytale, urban fantasy, it seems like the quintessential Changling the Lost game. Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth was very popular, but there are two other films that go along with it: Devil’s Backbone and The Orphanage. These are very close to Changeling also, but with much stronger horror elements than Ink.


Most people know the Nosferatu movie, but few have ever watched it. It sets such a tone of dread and horror without saying a single word. There are not many movies that still hold up after nearly 100 years.


If you want to run neo noir, near future games look at Narcopolis. It has the classic hard-boiled detective of noir movies set in a near future world with corporate influences similar to shadow run.


Surreal movies like Pi and Dark City fit right into games like Don’t Rest Your Head. Dark, ominous, and unsure of what is real and what isn’t.


Shorts can have just as much to offer as full length movies. Project Arbiter inspired an entire Dust Adventures campaign. I played the short for the players, and the game took off with them going to recover the research deep in Axis territory.


This post could go on and on. So I think I will stop here after giving you so much to check out. My advice is to watch these movies and shorts for inspiration, but don’t share it with your players right away. Run the games and sessions with their inspiration, and then share them after.


Let us know what you think of these or any other awesome and inspiring movies below.


Inspiration Alley

With the passing of Thanksgiving, black Friday and cyber Monday, we are in the full swing of the holiday season. Which means several things for most of us, extra shifts and overtime for extra money for holiday gifts, visits from family, and ultimately, less time for the games we love.


But don’t despair just yet. Why not use this time to recharge creative batteries and find new sources for inspiration? Not the usual ones like Stranger Things, Walking Dead, and all the other things that 90% of us know about. What about the odd things that each of us sees and finds inspiration in? Lots of these don’t get passed on. So that’s what my next few blog entries will be. Art, film, graphic novels, and stories that, with a little luck and game prep, will kick start the year with fresh and newly inspired story lines.


Lacey and I met Vincent Marcone in the artist section at GenCon 2016. His artwork immediately caught our eye. It has a whimsical and dark style that demands a second look. Long story short we left GenCon with several pieces.

Hung by the chimney with care.



Art is one of those funny things where what one person loves another just sees junk. So find what you like and explore websites like beautiful bizarre for contemporary artists. If you prefer the impressionism of VanGogh, Google modern impressionism to see new artwork to draw ideas from. The same is true for Dali and surrealism.


I suppose the point of all of this is, if we continue to go to the same places for inspiration we are inevitably going to tell the same stories. So follow the white rabbit down the hole into the limitless land of Google and find something new. Something that sparks that exciting new story and if it’s truly amazing share it with the rest of us.

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James, Kurt and Lacey review Conspiracy X 2nd edition. Conspiracy X is a game about dark secrets and hidden agendas inspired by shows like X Files and Fringe. Conspiracy X is produced by Eden Studios.

I was unable to find a Con X character generator. My google fu may just be weak. If there is one out there please let me know and I will add it here.

For us in the US, the arrival of Thanksgiving signals the beginning of the holiday season. Which, for a lot of us, means seeing family, big meals and time spent traveling. The unfortunate consequence of all the holiday activities is that our gaming time gets sidelined until January. Campaigns fade away and excitement about the new game fades. Once January arrives, the first few sessions are spent recapping and trying to recapture the excitement of the games we left behind.


So this is the part where I am supposed to make suggestions about how to keep the excitement for the games we have alive. Send emails and texts, think of new adventures and what your characters can do during the downtime. The reality for most of us is that finding time to do this is difficult because of all the extra things that are taking away from our normal game time. Now I have to make time to do something else that just reminds me of what I am missing out on.


How about some real solutions that might actually work.


On Wednesday you’re going to hear us talk about ending games. So why not put this to practical use and play an ending chapter for the games that you are running now. It may give you and your players a chance to come back in January refreshed and excited for chapter 2. Short notice I know, but then again there’s no time like the present.


If you know that your gaming is going to wind down for a while, why not try and introduce some of your non-gaming family to the board game and RPG world.


<Gasp> You mean game with granny?


Well why not? There are lots of zero prep party style games out there that are lots of fun. Fiasco, Juggernaut or if you’re feeling brave maybe Apocalypse World or one of its derivatives.


Maybe you’re not ready to take the plunge with the fam. Then the answer could be some of the board games that are out there: Catan, Flick ’em Up, or Cash and Guns. Nothing beats getting held up and shot for 20k by old Auntie Muriel.


The point is almost everyone likes having fun and people will surprise you. Instead of sitting around and talking about how school or work is going or the myriad of other conversations that we have over and over, why not introduce your family to the hobby that we all love and spend so much time enjoying?


Watch some videos of grandparents playing Cards Against Humanity, and you will realize that everyone enjoys having a good laugh and playing games. You just have to get them to relax and give it a try.

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Lacey, Carrie and James sit down to talk about getting into 3D printing and tabletop gaming. How to get started and where to find amazing models to print.

These are the three sources talked about in this episode.

Fat Dragon Games
Printable Scenery

Here are the Dragonlock tiles that I have printed. The two tiles on the left have a layer of grey spray paint primer on them. The others have one off set brick color and a dry brush highlight. The minis in the picture are from Dust Tactics.

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Stern of frigate from Printable Scenery with a close up to show details. This is straight off the printer.



Dice Box from Thingiverse, closed and open.

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Dwarven Mini from Thingiverse. The larger one is 28mm the smaller is 15mm, with a 28mm Reaper mini for scale.


Dr Doom mask from Thingiverse. This was printed as two pieces, glued together, primed and painted.


And finally a Guy Fawkes mask from Thingiverse. Printed as one piece, primed and mostly finished paint.




Recently I had a discussion about the state of gaming. It wasn’t the worn out “is gaming in decline” discussion. It was much more positive than that. Is this the best time in gaming or has that already passed? My answer, yes this is the best time in gaming, by leaps and bounds.


Are you still there?


If you haven’t thrown your phone or laptop across the room in a grognard rage, hear me out. Whether you are an indie or story gamer, OSR gamer, D&D, Pathfinder/3e gamer, GURPS or something else or in between, there are more games out there for every niche and genre than ever before.


Mystery suspense spy thriller Night’s Black Agent

Surreal dream city Itras By

Updated high fantasy D&D 5e

Old School Gritty Fantasy Lamentations of the Flame Princess


The list goes on and on. If there’s a genre you want to play in, there’s probably a game for it. If there isn’t and you have the creativity and desire the barriers to design and publication have never been lower. With Drive thru RPG, kickstarter and independent publishing, a little technical skill learned on youtube and you’re on the way.


Or maybe you think the best games have already been made. Guess what… still the best time right now. Old rare modules are being reprinted and scanned as PDFs. New modules for old games are being made. You don’t have to search on auction sites or hope for the lucky find at yard sales. An internet connection and $10 and you’re ready to relive those deadly adventure or play new interpretations of them.


So here it is, my bold statement of truth. More games produced means more diversity and quality of games. Now this doesn’t mean that everything that comes out hits the mark or is even the target but they do all move game design and inspiration forward. This has caused some of the most interesting games that exist to be made and more are sure to come.


So go support the games you love, try new ones and maybe start to work on that game you’ve had in mind for years. I’m sure there are people out there who would love to see it.


Game Master Burn out.

I began my career gaming at the age of 13 My my early 40s I had been behind the GM screen for decades. I was now living in the golden age of table top. The Satanic Panic of the 80s was long over and now forgotten.
Dungeons and Dragons was now in its 5th edition. GenCon Indy had become so big it now occupied a convention center, several hotels and a sports stadium. New games were everywhere and old ones were undergoing a renaissance. My personal favorite, Traveller finally released its definitive 5th edition. Polyhedral dice were available by the pound on and RPG books are everywhere.


We had become a legitimate hobby.


I have even had a steady game group for the last seven years. A table of good people who share my interests and despite a gap in ages are in a similar stage of life. We went to GenCon together, stayed in a hotel room for days and we are all still friends.


I play in an excellent venue consisting of a well appointed and finished basement. Yes a basement. There we have a library of the best gaming books, fridge, sink and stove for making frozen pizzas. We roll dice on a table that is a credible copy of those fancy gaming tables you see at GenCon. It’s nearly perfect.


Then it happened.


At first it seemed that my pacing was off. Then I noticed my plots were getting bit thin. Then I stopped bringing plot every week to the game. Then it was every other week. At work I run a club where table top is one of our activities. It trailed off. Before long I had stopped seeing many of my regulars and when yearbook photo time came around in the spring not many kids showed up.


It felt for a time as if I was failing. I would sit down at the table with pages of notes, plans, a directory of NPCs, plot twists, and all the fixings. I felt that the experience I was providing was flat, uninspired. The spark was gone and I couldn’t get excited about my own plot. It was as if I had simply run out of ideas.


For over two decades I ran far more than I played. I was proud of that. I would have a game ready to go. I had the plot planned weeks in advance. I was ready to turn on a dime when they made decisions that broke the world. But now it was just a wasteland of tired tropes and stock NPCs. I felt I could not inspire others or myself. I spent months vaguely cranky as a hobby I have loved for decades now did nothing for me. I went to game night. Played and had a good time. But in my mind I knew that I had no ideas and no game to offer. I even skipped GenCon this year. It was distressing in the extreme. I’m not a master of the craft nor do I possess any special talent but I can run a game well enough to entertain myself and my friends. At least I had.


I was suffering from GM Burnout.


There is no easy cure for GM Burnout but it can be treated.
First tell your group. They are there for you. Don’t make excuses or say you are going to run and then wimp out.


Put the plot down. Step away. Don’t feel pressured to run anything. Just play. If you don’t want to do tabletop try something else for a time. Don’t get bitter.


You may also want to reassess you group? Have times changed? Do you still meet each other’s needs? Perhaps you started playing together in high school and now times have changed. Perhaps a new baby or spouse has changed the dynamic and thing just don’t click how they did at one time. Is it you? Have you experienced a life altering event that has left you changed? If you live in a major metropolitan area and you have the chance to try another group. Communicate your concerns with your group but be tactful. Remember this is a game, a hobby and it is about having a good time.
I think the Fear the Boot crew articulated well what we all already knew. “Don’t be a jerk.”


When the time is right you will know. Could be weeks, or months. You might even walk away from it for years.


On your road to recovery you may need some support.
Go to your local library. Get books you have never read before. Watch movies outside your comfort zone. When the time is right go to your FLGS or Amazon. Get just one book from Indy Press Revolution. Read something new.


Podcasts. If you are here give us a listen. Hit the major services and mine them for inspiration and steal ideas. Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff and Fear the Boot are excellent places to start. Since you are here give us a lister as the price is right.


Go to a gaming convention. If you can’t make it to GenCon Indy or don’t want the hassle of a big convention go to a smaller convention like Fear The Con in St. Louis. Meet new gamers and get some fresh ideas and inspiration. Most of all, take your time. Don’t force it. In time you can return to a normal life.

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Happy Halloween. Lets talk about Horror. Lacey, Lee and I discuss horror inspiration and horror RPGs. Pop Topic — We are going to talk about some of our favorite horror movies and using them to inspire gaming. We talk about a lot of different movies and the links are below. Most of them are older so there maybe a few spoilers if you haven’t seen them.
Tips for maintaining mood, different styles of horror and Horror RPGs.
Sorry for the coughing, I was able to edit most of it out but most of us are getting over it but we still wanted to get something out to you guys.

Hellraiser, Omen, Alien, Rosemary’s Baby, Haunting, Nosferatu, Babadook,
Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of 1000 Corpses,
Se7en, What Lies Beneath, Exocist, Shutter Island, Paranormal Activity,
Devil’s Rejects

Horror RPGs
Dread, Call of Cthulhu, Trail of Cthulhu, World of Darkness, Vampire the Masquerade,
Wraith the Oblivion, Orpheus, Dark Heresy, Lamentations of the Flame Princess,Changeling the Lost, Little Fears, Don’t Rest Your Head, Itras By, Penny for Your Thoughts

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Lacey, Carrie and James sit down and talk about female gamers and Tabletop RPGs. How games and game design has changed over time and with the changing demographics at the gaming table.

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Competitive gaming. Two games, two tables and one winner. Also Hillcon 2016, getting friends together for 3 day gaming weekends. Sorry for the delay, had a few technical issues with the upload, blah blah blah IT RSS error error. But fixed now.

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This is our second installment of Zero to Play. Taking you through our process from initial inspiration to the first game session. In this episode we talk about the process of distilling inspiration and turning it into the initial ideas that form an RPG. How a number of factors effect this budding stage, number of players, scope, system and setting to name a few.

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We are starting a series called zero to play. We are going to take you through our different processes of building games and scenarios. Each game starts with inspiration and that is our focus in this episode. Where do we find inspiration, what inspires us as gamers and what effect does genre have on our inspiration.

We also had a small technical issue with the sound in this episode but we have it fixed now. So I apologize for the audio quality.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Kerbal Space Program

Lady of Ashes

Fall of Marigolds

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Pride Prejudice and Zombies

True Detective

Epic of Gilgamesh


Project Gutenberg

Itras By


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Hosts James, Kurt and Lacey are introduced.

We wanted to give everyone a chance know a little bit about us, our gaming history and how we came to gaming and see the hobby. Sorry for the chaotic format, we jump around a little bit. As it turns out talking about yourself is a little odd. We also had a small technical issue causing a small sound quality issue but it has been cleared up for the next episode. Thanks and enjoy.

All the equipment has been ordered and should be here in the next few days. Looking forward to setting up and testing out the equipment this weekend and hopefully recording our first episode! More to come soon.