Another week, etc.
Vintage RPG Podcast 119: OSRIC
Short and punchy episode on the apparent origins of the OSR via OSRIC. OSR conversations can fall into very subjective discussions about definitions and play styles, and I liked how this was a bit more objective and factual, with nods to Castles and Crusades as well as OSRIC and the whole question about whether you can copyright mechanics. Not sure I agree with them about how big a misstep WotC made with the 3eSRD; maybe it seemed like that at the time, creating their biggest competitor in Pathfinder. Frankly 5e looks way more approachable to me that 3e, something that I would consider a marketing plus. Anyway I’d almost say this episode is essential listening purely for the way it puts the various initiatives in time and place. Recommended
Writing Excuses 16:23 (Rules and Mechanics)
This episode doesn’t really cover much in the way of rules and mechanics apart from the inference that CRPG developers will have a separate department for that… but it’s actually much more interesting, talking about the need for the established proper nouns to be repeated over and over in in-game dialogue, and some science behind that (apparently we’ve evolved to mistrust and therefore pay attention to patterns). I am a big fan of applying knowledge management and learning theory to writing and design (rules of 7 and 4 etc.). Anyway this is a really strong episode and the whole course is worth your time
GMS Podcast 179: RPG publishing 15, to POD or not
Good but brief discussion on whether you should offer POD or not.
My own feeling on modern RPG products as a consumer is:
- they should be digital native for 16:9 screens.
- POD is a poor economic choice but (surely) a sensible choice for convenience, reduced waste, etc.
- A lower quality print product that’s low cost is actually a good thing, it means we’re less precious about our books. They should be functional things that get annotated. (more margins please)
Common Descent Podcast 114: Polar Life
I think I got this recommendation from the Grognard Files Discord. Part of it is hardcore biological sciences which goes well beyond my comfort zone (being a chemist). Still thanks to watching Blue Planet over and over again I already know what a crinoid is. Plus our 5yo is going through a prehistoric marine life phase (see the Dunkleosteus in this post’s featured image).
The polar life episode is particularly on brand since I’ve just finished Moorcock’s The Ice Schooner (and others) for the latest episode (yeah, I know, it’s not set in a polar region, it’s an ice-age Brazil). I very much enjoyed the discussion about the nuances of where the poles start and the ways this is measured, as well as the diversity of life in the north vs south poles, the polar tilt, and so on. I’ve run a couple of campaigns in ice-age/polar settings and now I want to run another one.
(PS. the north pole is a lie)