Episode 06 — “Barrier Peeks”

Brian is too involved in a video game series he doesn’t even own yet. Scott wonders about barriers to entry. Plus your feedback and some surprising news about The Settlers of Catan.

Brian: https://twitter.com/Fiddleback
Scott: https://twitter.com/TheAngryGM

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The voice and producer of GM Word of the Week, he is also a Freelance Tabletop Game Editor and Writer as well as a long time podcaster. He has written and edited for Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars RPGs, Modiphius Entertainment's Mutant Chronicles and Infinity RPGs and several others. He is currently working on his own Transit RPG.

13 thoughts on “Episode 06 — “Barrier Peeks”

  1. The settlements in D&D 3.5 reminded me I made a spreadsheet (Oops) to do all the heavy lifting. It uses macros so it does need to be downloaded and you need to trust me. Go on, trust me.

    I never used it either.

    1. I WOULD trust you with the link, but the link itself seems not to go anywhere. OneDrive claims it doesn’t exist, or is expired, or doesn’t have the right permissions. Perhaps if people want access to it, they can ask you directly. 🙂

      1. The more you know …
        I can now even follow you there! (and you can block me) 😀

        I don’t care if you feel uncomfortable getting presents by random people. You don’t have to play or like the present. Presents are 100% passive.

        Your articles supported me through a tough depression and coming to terms with my sexuality through a hobby I enjoy and plan to follow as a “career”.

        So unless you mislead me to the wrong account, you have to suck the present up 😉

        1. Edit: I overestimated my power. Steam lets me only gift games to friends. So you’re safe if you don’t accept the request which – as far as I guess – you won’t.

  2. Arcana Unearthed is an interesting bit of d20 OGL accessory. Different races, different classes, different setting possibilities… it’s a lot to take in. 430+ pages, if you go for the 1.5 edition, Arcana Evolved. Wish I’d run into this when I was still playing 3e hot and heavy, there’s a ton of stuff in here. Since the original discussion was “what settings don’t include the now not-fantastical fantasy races”, it does make me wonder if you could run a setting with no humans in the setting at all, or do you always need to include them to make it recognizable enough and not utterly alien?

    I ran across a manga by the name of Delicious in Dungeon – standard bit of D&D fare, party delves the castle pulled deep into the ground, face the dragon, and lose a party member to said dragon escaping their defeat. The problem is the party arrived at the dragon undernourished and weak from lack of enough supplies, so they decide to solve the food supply problem by cooking and eating the monsters as they delve back to the dragon to save their lost party member. They cross paths with a dwarf who practically lives in this dungeon, and he mentors the group on the ways of dining upon their kills. They avoid eating humanoids (they do run into orcs, but don’t eat them), so they avoid that possible moral conundrum, but practically everything else is fair game. It’s an interesting idea, and one I’d been toying with since reading Matt Colville’s Ratcatcher books – those protagonists are known as “ratcatchers” because they solve the problems that surround a society on the frontier, though I mused it could also be because many such parties are known to catch rats while on underground expeditions to supplement those ever so tasty iron rations. Probably not worth anything more than occasional flavor text (griffons taste like chicken, who knew?), but might be worth a twist on a necromancer dungeon delve – all your food stores are corrupted, and all the monsters you’re fighting are undead, how will you survive?

  3. I found the discussion of barriers to creative entry to the RPG market and its effect on the health of the industry fascinating.

    I understand that the conversation revolved around the idea of attracting new people to RPGs, but I wonder if the conclusions would have been different if, instead of attracting new customers, the goal was retaining current customers. Do you think hobbyists might experience a similar fatigue if they only ever had average-to-above-average offerings and never got anything great?

  4. While you were discussing the tussle between finding the gold in a sea of dross or losing some of the gold in order to be able to find it, it occurred to me that that in the pre-internet age the people who provided this service were called “publishers”.

    It also occurred that you have identified a hole in the market: is anyone willing to pay for a group of professional reviewers?

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