Episode 38: Dungeon World Beta Playtest 1C

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8th, 2012 by Dan

A playtest of Dungeon World beta 1.1 by Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel with some tweaks to the monster rules. The rules are available to members of the Adventurer’s Guild. Michael is playing Regulus the Paladin, Simon is playing Marlow the Thief, and Dan is the GM.

0:00:00 Intro
0:00:24 The Pyramid
0:50:32 Darius the Sage
1:09:35 The Vault
1:55:53 Battlemoor
2:16:44 End of Session
2:21:46 Closing Thoughts

Designer vs. Reality was discussion on episode 23 of the RPG Crosstalk show. There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk. There’s a thread about these  episodes on the Dungeon World forum.

Episode 37: Dungeon World Beta Playtest 1B

Posted in podcast on March 6th, 2012 by Dan

A playtest of Dungeon World beta 1.1 by Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel with some tweaks to the monster rules. The rules are available to members of the Adventurer’s Guild. Michael is playing Regulus the Paladin, Simon is playing Marlow the Thief, and Dan is the GM.

0:00:00 Intro
0:00:49 Getting Back Into the Swing of Things
0:07:05 Fighting Cultists
1:07:51 Resupplying
1:34:00 Return to the Pyramid
2:21:11 Outro

There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk. There’s a thread about these  episodes on the Dungeon World forum.

 

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Episode 36: Dungeon World Beta Playtest 1A

Posted in podcast on February 5th, 2012 by Dan

A playtest of Dungeon World beta 1.1 by Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel. The rules are available to members of the Adventurer’s Guild. Michael and Simon are playing characters and Dan is the GM.

0:00:00 Intro
0:01:02 Choosing Playbooks and Creating Characters
0:17:54 Details of Regulus the Paladin
0:25:28 Details of Marlow the Thief
0:31:37 Bonds
0:34:05 Normal Play Begins
0:36:32 An Unscheduled Break for Technical Issues
0:36:44 An NPC In Need of Heroes
1:11:46 Entering the Pyramid
2:13:52 Wrapping Up
2:17:42 Outro

The notes I prepped for the game (SPOILERS!)

A Story-Games thread about problems I had prepping the game (SPOILERS!)

An Apocalypse World forum thread about the new monster rules (SPOILERS!)

There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk.

 

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Special Episode: State of the Podcast

Posted in podcast on December 29th, 2011 by Dan

I’ve been thinking about the future of my podcast Designer vs. Reality. Normally I present actual play recordings of roleplaying games that are still in development. We’re getting to the end of 2011 and I’ve been thinking about where I want to direct my energy in the new year. I haven’t put out a new episode of the podcast for a while, and I’m thinking about where I want to go with Designer vs. Reality in the future. Basically, I’ve boiled it down to four options.

Option 1: Kill the podcast. – When I first started the podcast I had a few specific goals in mind. One of my hopes was to inject a new kind of conversation into the game design community, one where we’d talk about game design based on observation rather than idle speculation or second-hand recollections. That hasn’t really materialized. That’s not terribly surprising, since the online design discussion community seems to have dried up pretty badly, and an actual play podcast of games in playtesting is a niche of a niche, but even though it’s not surprising it’s still disappointing that I didn’t achieve my original goal. If I’m going to be honest with myself then I probably need to admit that my original goals for the podcast may have been unattainable, and that means I ought to consider giving it the axe.

Option 2: Keep the podcast going as-is – this is also an option I need to consider. Although I didn’t meet many of my original goals, the podcast has done some good and some listeners have enjoyed the show, which is great. The big problem with this option is that it’s hard to stay motivated to keep searching out games I’m interested in playtesting, getting sessions organized, getting the audio edited, etc. I enjoy the actual playtesting, and the audio editing isn’t too bad, but all that other stuff really drains my reserves, which means I have less energy and motivation for other things I could be doing. That means that this option isn’t looking so great.

Option 3: Roll the podcast into some sort of new ambitious goal – I have a bit of a quixotic strain in my personality. There are things I think the game design community needs, so part of me wants to try to lead the charge, even if it’s unlikely that anyone would follow where I want to lead. Maybe I could figure out some way to make an actual play playtest podcast support something new, like playtest exchanges with other designers, or maybe a design contest, or I could try being an editor for an anthology of games. There’s value in being the change you want to see, but it’s awfully tiring if you’re the only one doing it, and I’m not sure whether it makes sense to try to invest emotionally in a new grand idea if it’s probably just going to crash and burn. There’s value in idealism, but there’s also value in being realistic.

Option 4: Radically change the direction of the podcast – As a podcast listener, I wish there was more design talk out there. This is another “be the change you want to see” kind of thing: maybe I should just change the format from a playtesting-focused AP podcast to something else. The big problem with this option is that I have no idea what other kind of show to produce. I don’t think I’m humble enough to do an interview show. I don’t think I’m comfortable enough on the mic to try a solo show, and finding cohosts for a podcast seems even more daunting than finding players to join a gaming group, so I wouldn’t look forward to that. But just because I haven’t found an idea I like yet doesn’t mean there isn’t a good one out there, so I feel obligated to think about it and consider suggestions.

So that’s where I am right now. I’m not sure which of these options appeals to me the most right now, since I can see pros and cons with each one. I thought I’d put my thoughts out there, to see if anyone had anything they wanted to add to the conversation. As always, you can reach me by e-mail at dan.maruschak@gmail.com, comment on the blog, post on the RPGCrosstalk discussion forum, find me on twitter @DanMaruschak or find me on Google+.

 

Episode 35: Shakespeare’s Daughters Playtest 1

Posted in podcast on November 1st, 2011 by Dan

A playtest of Nolan Callender’s game Shakespeare’s Daughters which was designed for Game Chef 2011. Nolan is the GM and Leo and Dan play the daughters.

0:00:00 Intro
0:00:20 Getting started and character creation
0:18:18 Coming home from church
0:35:58 A fateful carriage ride
1:18:49 William Shakespeare arrives
1:39:54 An unwelcome visitor in the young ladies’ bedroom
1:50:10  Discussion
2:03:50 Outro

There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk.

 

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Episode 34: Boarsdraft Playtest 1E

Posted in podcast on September 7th, 2011 by Dan

A playtest of JB Mannon’s wizard boarding school RPG Boarsdraft. Dan is the GM, Leo and Nolan are the players, and we’re continuing the story from episodes 303132, and 33.

0:00:00 Intro
0:00:37 Getting started
0:01:41 Christmas with Bran
0:23:43 Christmas with Gordon
0:35:57 Thrashing a bit about how to frame the next scene
0:45:00 Breakfast assembly
0:58:08 Theory of Magic
1:22:27 Hanging with the bad crowd
1:36:31 Madris’s Lost Laboratory
1:58:11 To the Potions classroom!
2:07:18 To the kitchen!
2:16:47 Showdown with Jacobus Quigg
2:30:19 Discussion
3:01:21 Outro

There’s a Story-Games thread discussing our playtesting.

There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk.

 

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Episode 33: Boarsdraft Playtest 1D

Posted in podcast on September 5th, 2011 by Dan

A playtest of JB Mannon’s wizard boarding school RPG Boarsdraft. Dan is the GM, Leo and Nolan are the players, and we’re continuing the story from episodes 3031, and 32.

0:00:00 Intro
0:00:39 Getting started
0:01:49 Exploring caves
0:23:43 Detention
0:29:03 Discussing discoveries
0:44:07 Rugby tryouts
0:56:26 Studying with Elsinora
1:02:31 Return to the caves
1:13:41 Studying a map
1:19:41 Duelling club
1:37:57 Discussion
1:54:21 Outro

There’s a Story-Games thread discussing our playtesting.

There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk.

 

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Episode 32: Boarsdraft Playtest 1C

Posted in podcast on August 12th, 2011 by Dan

A playtest of JB Mannon’s wizard boarding school RPG Boarsdraft. Dan is the GM, Leo and Nolan are the players, and we’re continuing the story from episodes 30 and 31.

0:00:00 Intro
0:01:42 Abjuration class
0:24:41 Library
0:53:56 Lunch
1:09:05 Discussing some issues
1:31:07 Magical History class
1:45:20 Talking in the hallway
1:52:06 Evocation class
2:00:59 Flying class
2:16:45 Halloween bonfire
2:28:07 Fleeing Ermo
2:39:17 Discussion
3:00:15 Outro

There’s a Story-Games thread discussing our playtesting.

There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk.

 

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Episode 31: Boarsdraft Playtest 1B

Posted in podcast on July 14th, 2011 by Dan

A playtest of JB Mannon’s wizard boarding school RPG Boarsdraft. Dan is the GM, Leo and Nolan are the players, and we’re continuing the story we started in episode 30. Unfortunately it’s a session that had a clunky, low-energy beginning and had to be cut short before we really got any momentum, but there’s some interesting discussion about things that are giving us trouble with the game.

0:00:00 Intro
0:00:56 Getting started
0:06:41 Actual play  resumes
0:23:29 Play sort of grinds to a halt
0:35:42 Discussion
0:54:41 Outro

There’s a Story-Games thread discussing our first session which will probably continue with discussion about this one.

There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk.

 

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Episode 30: Boarsdraft Playtest 1A

Posted in podcast on June 30th, 2011 by Dan

A playtest of JB Mannon’s wizard boarding school RPG Boarsdraft. Dan is the GM and Leo, Nolan, and Scott are the players.

0:00:00 Intro
0:00:56 Getting Started
0:02:56 Character Generation
0:23:04 Gordon’s Acceptance Letter
0:43:30 Bran’s Acceptance Letter
058:13 Rod’s Acceptance Letter
1:13:32 Boarsdraft Express
1:38:14 Sorting into Houses
1:52:16 Welcome Feast
2:08:40 Seeking Fortune
2:31:48 Discussion
2:51:40 Outro

Scott Dunphy is the host of the New Style podcast.

There’s a discussion forum for Designer vs. Reality on RPGCrosstalk.

 

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