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Critical hit vs. productivity
January 17, 2013 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Brian Posehn has started a new podcast where he plays Dungeons and Dragons with his friends: Nerd Poker.

Is your thirst for D&D podcasts still unslaked, aural warrior?
[Community creator] Dan Harmon's Harmontown podcast features weekly D&D goodness.
Beer and Battle and Drunks and Dragons lay bare the association between pretending to be a half-dragon dwarf-mage and copious amounts of alcohol.
The official Wizards of the Coast D&D podcast frequently features the creators of Penny Arcade, PvP, and less frequently Wiil Wheaton in podcasted games.
Critical Hit, Death d4 Dishonor, and many more await in within the DnD tag at RPGPodcasts.
posted by Shepherd (34 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh man, if Patton Oswalt stops by, I'm so there.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:56 AM on January 17, 2013


This is awesome, but I wish they were playing Burning Wheel. In fact, I wish everybody was playing Burning Wheel. It would make for some pretty awesome podcasts. I don't mean to derail, though: this is great, there's a lot to listen to and I'm looking forward to it.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:59 AM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been listening to this, it's fun! Dan Harmon's is much looser and sillier, and probably a little more enjoyable, but only takes up a quarter to a third of each Harmontown episode. And his dungeon master, currently on tour with him, is adorable. He shares his feelings with Harmon's amazing girlfriend Erin McGathy every day of the tour.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:01 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok, so...long after I ceased to have the kind of abundant spare time that would allow for participating in a regular gaming group, I continued to buy a bunch of D&D stuff. I have a huge amount of 3.5 stuff sitting on a shelf downstairs. Also, WFRP things, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, Hero, Shadowrun, Rolemaster, you name it.

Then there's the indy and free stuff that I've downloaded from the web and perused from time to time. All this reading material, and none of it actually getting any use at all.

I also spend a certain amount of time watching other people play games on the internet, board games or role playing games, doesn't matter. Of the links in this awesome FPP, I have already partaken of Dan Harmon's podcast and the WoC podcast, and also the board game thing that Wil Wheaton does. I couldn't be more excited to learn that Brian Posehn has started up a D&D themed podcast. I'm more excited to learn that than I am about any upcoming TV shows that I'm aware off.

I guess my point is: what the hell is the matter with me?
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:02 AM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess my point is: what the hell is the matter with me?

Sounds like you've got some shitty priorities, my friend. If you can't quit your job and neglect your family/pets/personal hygiene to get in 8-10 hours of RP time a day, I don't know if you should even be allowed to own those books.
posted by griphus at 8:06 AM on January 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


The intersection of The Hobbit and Nerd Poker caused my yearly fugue state where I buy RPG products (Pathfinder, this time) and sit around and mournfully read them and gen up characters I'll never get to play because of Adult Reasons. I roll some dice, crack a beer, and sob sob sob.

Nerd Poker starts off a bit rocky. It was recorded like a year before release. They seem to have their stride now as sound and pacing has improved while dick jokes have withered. For the first few episodes, I was really wondering how the hell Mildred's player (Sarah Guzzardo) could put up with all that crap. I wonder if some feedback helped change things up?

Anyways, it's much improved. The most recent Crazy Shit segment is a wonder of fate and destiny.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:14 AM on January 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


I couldn't be more excited to learn that Brian Posehn has started up a D&D themed podcast. I'm more excited to learn that than I am about any upcoming TV shows that I'm aware off.

I guess my point is: what the hell is the matter with me?


I'm more excited to learn that Brian Posehn is going to play D&D on the internet than any upcoming TV shows too, so I think the answer is "nothing, TV really really sucks".
posted by DU at 8:18 AM on January 17, 2013


How can people role play while drunk? It seems to me that it takes concentration and imagination and if you were drunk, the story might fall apart and it wouldn't be as fun.
posted by jb at 8:18 AM on January 17, 2013


I don't know, how can you fish/golf/bowl/play darts/pool/Mario Kart while drunk? A lot of the time, RPGs are a means to an end rather than an end themselves.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:22 AM on January 17, 2013


It depends on your group, I think. I recall some sessions from Back In The Day (V:tM or M:tA games, usually) where being tipsy would be a detriment. On the other hand, there would have been no damage done to other games (D&D, W:tA) that sleep deprivation and way too much sugar didn't already do.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:35 AM on January 17, 2013


Only way to play V:tM with a straight face is hell of quaaludes tho.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:56 AM on January 17, 2013


Except for one Silly Malkie on ecstasy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:57 AM on January 17, 2013


Barf at that whole concept. "Hey people love kinder how do we replicate that in a horror game."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:00 AM on January 17, 2013



I guess my point is: what the hell is the matter with me?

This is where I confess that I back when I played RPGs with frequency, I wasn't in that interested in the RP so much as the G. I loved the math and how many different ways there were to simulate realities.

Eventually, I got to the point that I was just buying the books to understand the system(s) and didn't actually play, ever, and then I eventually gave that up, too.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:04 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


How can people role play while drunk? It seems to me that it takes concentration and imagination and if you were drunk, the story might fall apart and it wouldn't be as fun.

... or it might be mind-crateringly awesome (previously).

A lot of the enjoyment in gaming depends on the temperament and priorities of those involved. Some of my most cherished gaming experiences involved never leaving the village tavern where our characters met. As the Whelk supposes, these sessions were akin to Paranoia in a fantasy milieu.
posted by echocollate at 9:07 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Has anyone used Google Hangouts for gaming? I'm sure someone has.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:38 AM on January 17, 2013


Yeah, I've anecdotal witnessed some people use G+, but never been part of one.

I've been using Fantasy Grounds II for five years now, ever since it was recommended back in this AskMe of mine. They've maintained and updated it ever since, and it's turned into a really amazing bit of VTT software. Before that thread, I was in the same boat as a lot of y'all - buying sourcebooks, following game news, and not much else.

After that thread, though, I rounded up some of my old play table and started a campaign. Turns out I missed playing *even more* than I thought, which is hard to even imagine! Not only is the campaign still going on, but it's spawned like half a dozen satellite games since then. Sure, adult scheduling is still a pain in the ass (one game a month, at best), but on the other hand adult temperaments tend to be a little less mercurial, and so the individual play experiences tend to be a lot better and more enjoyable and less combative than during my wasted youth.

I just wish I could play *more*!
posted by absalom at 9:48 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


@robocop - yep, that's what my crew does. We also use Maptool. It's more fun in person, of course, but this works pretty well for us. And I'm too lazy to print out big maps/deal with line of sight on a physical map, so let's face it even if we were all in the same room, we'd still all be on our laptops.
posted by aperturescientist at 10:01 AM on January 17, 2013


Yeah, I wish I could have lasted out in that game of yours, absalom, but scheduling became tricky and I couldn't get the hang of typing rather than talking.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:02 AM on January 17, 2013


Well, if it makes you feel any better, we've since gone and added mumble to our sessions for voice.
posted by absalom at 10:48 AM on January 17, 2013


. . .And it's even harder to schedule games now!
posted by absalom at 10:50 AM on January 17, 2013


Mad props for the thread title.

I'll bestow upon you a... +3 keyboard of... naming?
posted by Phreesh at 11:00 AM on January 17, 2013


RIP Ell Ryan, you magnificent bastard.

How can people role play while drunk?

Never been to a singles' joint, I take it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:02 AM on January 17, 2013


The Harmontown D&D segments are all the more impressive for having picked the DM out of the audience. Such a potential for disaster, but it ended up being really good. Now that they're on tour with him, and learning the actual game a bit more, it's getting even better.
posted by spanishbombs at 11:12 AM on January 17, 2013


Sometimes being drunk is the only way to get through a game. For instance, in one game group I was so tired of the GM's railroading ways and determination to copy video games (in this case Skies of Arcadia) that my girlfriend and I decided to play Jeeves and Wooster. She mixed and served me martinis through the game, while I did things like use the Artifact of Mcguffinhood as a golfball. It made the game much more fun.
posted by happyroach at 11:17 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just happened to DM my first game in well over a decade just as this podcast was released. It really made me calm down and stop freaking out about if my narrative was grand enough or if the setting packed in every god damned fantasy trope I wanted to play with. It is a nice reminder that it is just a bunch of geeks sitting around a table having fun.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:22 PM on January 17, 2013


I ceased to have the kind of abundant spare time that would allow for participating in a regular gaming group... I continued to buy a bunch of D&D stuff. I have a huge amount of 3.5 stuff sitting on a shelf downstairs. Also, WFRP things, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, Hero, Shadowrun, Rolemaster, you name it.

Then there's the indy and free stuff that I've downloaded from the web and perused from time to time. All this reading material, and none of it actually getting any use at all....

posted by Ipsifendus at 11:02 AM on January 17


May I suggest a solution?

My regular gaming group is the RPG Buffet. We are all adults of various ages--late twenties to early fifties--that have been playing together since 2004.

We started our group because we all had oodles and scads of RPGs that we'd purchased over the years, that we'd tried to get people to play with us, and it just didn't happen for various reasons. We wanted to try them at least once, so we decided to meet once a month and every month do a one-shot adventure of one of the RPGs.

We had people in the group who wanted to learn how to gamemaster, so we made the decision to rotate GMing duties. We set up a Yahoo! Group to organize everything. We made a list of the RPGs we wanted to play (the "master" list), people signed up for the games they wanted to run, and we put together a schedule--RPGs January through November, and then a Card/Board Game Night in December.

We also have a few of other rules:

* If you aren't interested in that month's game, just let us know. You're under no obligation to play a game you have no interest in.

* We play on a Friday night at John's house (he volunteered to be the permanent host). Doors open at 6pm, everyone thrown out at midnight.

* We schedule one month out. For example, I'm running in February, so I announced in January what Friday night in February I'm able to run. Players available then sign up for that Friday night. Eventually, the system mutated so that in the autumn we look at the next year's calendar and say, "Okay, I'm taking January. Who wants February? Okay, how 'bout March?..."

* One-shots are done "convention-style": the GM creates pre-generated player-characters, and paces the adventure to be run in four hours or less. The game is styled to give the players a taste of the various mechanics (magic systems, combat systems, skills systems).

* Us experienced GMs acted as GM Coaches to the inexperienced GMs. We'd answer rules questions, help them navigate the pitfalls of writing a one-shot adventure, and sit next to them at the table to help them with the rules and play NPCs (if needed).


We originally thought we might get a year or two out of the concept, but we've been going strong ever since 2004. We now post our playtest reviews at the part of the All Games Considered podcast (disclaimer: I'm a co-host), we recently spent a whole year trying different editions of D&D, and we've evolved into a combination RPG/supper club. Every month we plan a full supper (everyone donates a dish) themed as much as possible around the RPG being played. We put the recipes up on AGC's web site.

Our menus have included:

Cold City RPG (Contested Ground Studios) - German food
Ghostbusters RPG - New York-style cuisine ('cause the movie's set in NYC) and green slime punch
Hellas: Worlds of Sun & Stone - Greek food
Lord of the Rings (Decipher edition) - Hobbit food


There are seven of us, so we each take a month, and then the other eleven months are filled in with Special Guest Gamemasters (example). We have a satellite group called the RPG Buffet Ladies Auxilary, which is a short list of women gamers that we call when someone drops out at the last minute, and another called the RPG Buffet 2nd Helping, for when we get so excited about an RPG that we decide to try it outside of the regular schedule (example, the next one is doing Pathfinder). We even have our first franchise! One of the founder's of this effort wrote to AGC to let us know that he got the idea from us.

If you've got a bunch of RPGs, but don't have the time to devote to a full-blown campaign, consider a Buffet approach. There's no pressure to be there every the group meets (except when it's your turn to GM), and when you miss, you don't feel like you're missing out like you would in a campaign. There's a lot of adult RPG gamers who deal with similar time constraints, and would welcome the chance to try some of the different games out there, so give it a shot.
posted by magstheaxe at 12:50 PM on January 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


never get to play because of Adult Reasons

Surely you can find some time during the refractory period.

It can't all be cuddling.
posted by flaterik at 1:45 PM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


D&D (in whatever addition, though I hear that 4th is good) is too boring, too filled with math, and too wedded to a very traditional form of fantasy for me. Are there any podcasts with people playing more interesting games like Apocolypse World, Unknown Armies, Ars Magica or the games in this SA thread?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:52 PM on January 17, 2013


are there any podcasts like this where it's all mostly done in-character?
posted by Bwithh at 2:14 PM on January 17, 2013


Neat! I also really like Thursday Knights (for very competent, traditional D&D), the Gutter Skypes (for more jovial, easygoing and varied games), and RPPR which I guess has a more snarky/meta tone.

The RPPR show and Fear The Boot are great roleplay/tabletop discussion podcasts.

Oh, and I *love* this long-running Let's Play D&D by some Something Awful folks.

Nerd Poker is fun too. (Though sheesh, quite a lotta rape jokes, no?)
posted by Drexen at 3:08 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm more excited to learn that than I am about any upcoming TV shows that I'm aware off.

I guess my point is: what the hell is the matter with me?


I'm more excited to learn that Brian Posehn is going to play D&D on the internet than any upcoming TV shows too, so I think the answer is "nothing, TV really really sucks".
"

But Justified is back And, and Patton Oswalt was on last week's episode!

And! Did you know there's an earnest preacher guy on the show now, going up against Boyd (Walton Goggins, looking adorable with his vest and pocket watch combo going on)? The actor playing the preacher is--get this--the same guy who played Timmy in Jurassic Park! That's right, Little Timmy! Doesn't that just BLOW YOUR MIND?!

Timmy, man. Wow. Seems like yesterday he was lying under that car with the T-rex on top of him, getting electrified into human toast, eating ice cream with those raptors. But now, wow, how he's grown!

So, anyway, what I'm getting at here is that, at least on Tuesdays, TV does not suck. And you should be watching Justified.

Trust me on this.
posted by misha at 8:09 PM on January 17, 2013


This is a lot of fun. It makes me want to play (I never have).
posted by brundlefly at 11:16 PM on January 17, 2013


brundlefly: ”It makes me want to play (I never have).“

Go, play!
posted by jiawen at 7:42 AM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


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