Episode 11 — “TL;DR”

In what is the longest episode to date (and believe me, we didn’t mean it to be this long, but there you go) we discuss Xanathar and his guide. To everything. EVERYTHING. Being the expert that he is. Also, Scott saw a movie. And Brian likes some books.

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

Website: http://www.DigressionsAndDragons.com
Email: DigressionsandDragons@gmail.com

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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.

22 thoughts on “Episode 11 — “TL;DR”

  1. Why can I no longer download direct from from the website on my phone? My walk to work will be less intetesting as I do not have mobile internet to stream.
    Otherwise, thanks for posting your discussions to feed my TRPG and digression addiction. Q

    1. Ok by gum and by golly, here’s the deal:

      The plugin that handles the media player and so forth, including those lovely links to which you refer, pushed an update a day or so ago. But, in getting that update out, they turned off the download link, etc. I contacted them and have been assured they will be back in the next update in ‘just a few days.’

      Incredibly annoying and amazingly less convenient for a bit, I know, but fixed soon ™?

  2. Dragon Quest 7…yeah that’s a long one. Basically treat it like you’re watching a tv series. The game quite literally breaks the story up into episodes. Not sure why you felt like the story of 6 dropped off, then again you’re playing the DS version. You may try the Super Famicom fan-translated version, speed hack emulation saves a lot of time on grinding if you just want to get through the story.

    I used to be really interested in all these remasterings of Bioware/Black Isle D&D games until I realized it was also part of the whole 5e Nostalgia Trip era D&D is in now. Now my jadedness completely reasserted itself. Add in the discussion on XGE(and other 5e discussions) my description of 5e has been amended to an unfinished, nostalgic, streamlined clusterf&#k.

    As for Damodred, it was from when I was much younger and was reading Wheel of Time. I don’t even remember how to pronounce it. Edge was from Final Fantasy 4. I’ve just used the online handle for so long and decided to keep it for consistency sake at this point. I stopped reading Wheel of Time after the ninth book (almost stopped after the eighth which killed the series for me). FF4 I kinda go back and forth on whether its my favorite in the series.

  3. I usually get my RPG news from Reddit. r/RPG is not my favorite place in the world but I’ll check it when I’m at work and occasionally come across something interesting

  4. re: Scott on the difference between goal and motivation

    First example that came to mind was the character Leorio from Hunter x Hunter (minor character spoilers if you care)

    When he is first asked why he wants to become a Hunter, he says it’s because he wants to be rich. However, you eventually learn that he wants to become rich so that he can afford to become a doctor and serve the poor pro-bono. This motivation was driven by the death of his childhood friend from a very preventable illness, but the family couldn’t afford to pay for treatment.

  5. so.. been listening to this since AngryGM advertised it, in my car on my hipster ipod. This is my first time on the webpage and by golly you really werent underplaying the – shownotes – impressive ..erhm english/american isn’t my first language could i throw the word.. dilligence at the end here? as in due dilligence but just afterwards? Aaaaaaannyhow impressive if i ever find the time i will have to go through all those notes on all those episodes. 1 episode lasts me about 1½-2 drives as i got roughly 30mins to work.

    Interrestingly i dont remember if this was episode10, your talk on alignments and when you had to mention any games were you found it was useful i was also instantly thinking of the starwars old republic games.. heh.

    I find this podcast entertaining and have actually been missing something like it, we recently got a new radio station that i listen to in the car that proclaims itself to be a “talk radio” no music. And i found myself wishing that someone made an RPG radio show i could listen to … Tadaaaa! perfect timing guys. Keep up your great work.

  6. Re: _Trove of Treasure Maps_, the earliest example of the form I’m aware of was the Judges Guild product _The Book of Treasure Maps_ by Paul Jaquays, from 1979 (during the transitional period between D&D and AD&D). It has 5 treasure maps and accompanying adventures, ranging in size from a sort of well to a couple of large-ish dungeons and one large castle/manor complex full of characters. The maps themselves are pretty interesting, too — one is a magic shield that mirrors the phases of the moon, and at the full moon shows a map of the area, one is in the form of a letter from a (now-deceased) adventurer to his brother, one is a ripped page from a chronicle, and so on. I found it quite inspiring back in the day, and just a few years ago I injected a couple of the adventures into an ongoing campaign.

    Re: Philip K. Dick & Arthur C. Clarke, and concepts vs. their realization in movie form — Clarke, especially, is what I think of as a “Big Idea” author. He comes up with some idea (What if powerful benevolent aliens happened to look like devils? What if humans learned the sun was going to go nova?) and kind of explores that space for a while, but often there’s not a compelling through-line that screams, “make me into a movie!” A lot of the time, short stories are better fodder for adaptation into movies than are novels — when adapting a novel you have to cut so much out, but short stories tend to be much more lean. Speaking of which, I recently saw the movie “Predestination” which is an adaptation of the Heinlein short story “–All You Zombies–” and I thought it was really well done – I picked up the Blu-ray for like $3 and it was easily worth it.

  7. The Precogs in “Minority Report” – I too utterly missed that they are named after those 3 mystery authors. And the only Dashiell I’ve ever met was named for Dashiell Hammett, never stopped to think about that when I heard the name in the movie. *feh*

    I would have said that EN World would be the closest thing we’ve got to a tabletop RPG news site, but the market is just so expansive (and has been getting bigger, especially over the last decade, what with digital publication and Kickstarter/IndieGoGo to fund new products) that they can only give snapshots on the few news releases they get, and can’t really do much in the way of reporting. The best we could hope for is that this website covers this sector of the market, that magazine covers that other sector, and so on.

    The discussion of “Goods and Gear”, particularly the effects of large sums of coinage landing in small economies, made me remember Emily Dresner-Thornber’s “Dungeonomics” articles (http://critical-hits.com/blog/category/critical-hits/columns/dungeonomics/). I get that what we’re playing is fantasy games, but sometimes it’s fun to ponder how you can defeat the dungeon just by making the evil lich default on his construction loans, or why all high level wizards end up being sheep farmers after they retire (because vellum is expensive, and raising sheep to get it is a lot less dangerous than bending basic laws of physics while fighting giant, flying, fire-breathing pseudo-lizards). One of my faves is how to build an espionage team based on a bard (the first time I didn’t see someone talking about a bard and just sigh, roll my eyes, and click away) – http://critical-hits.com/blog/2014/10/04/tailor-tinker-soldier-spy-the-bard-as-a-spy-cryptography-and-the-fantasy-espionage-team/

    Ran across a low magic RPG by the name of Low Fantasy Gaming (https://lowfantasygaming.com/), not totally sold on it, but interesting to see what others think of as “low magic” fantasy gaming. Also looking at both the Savage Worlds and Chaosium BRP rule sets for my “Emberverse” ultra-low magic RPG.

  8. You two are just ruining 5e for me (sarcasm intended there, just so we’re clear). I wasn’t happy to hear that WotC was dropping support of 4E so early in its lifetime. I was very happy with what they had put out there. I felt it made some great leaps forward from 3.x (which I enjoyed a LOT), and I was curious to see where they’d go with it as they ironed through the bumps and lumps that 4E had.

    When the free PDF came out for 5e, I was very disappointed. It seemed to me to be a thrown-together set of rules that was trying to emulate 1e/2e without actually going all the way back to those rules. The tables looked like a retro 2e source book as well. But I waited, and listened to and read various reviews about the edition. And I just wasn’t impressed. It seemed that a lot of people LOVED IT, but with their rave reviews, it usually included verbiage to the effect of “this is the D&D that I remember!”. Which told me that 5e was mostly about bringing back the nostalgia feelings of early editions of D&D.

    But, not being a soldier of the edition wars, I figured that perhaps 5e just wasn’t my edition. It was made for someone else. And that’s perfectly fine. My point of all of this is that I appreciate your ongoing commentary about the 5e products and aesthetic. I realize that though I would probably take the opportunity to play in a 5e game if someone else were to run it, I don’t see myself running my games in this edition of D&D.

    Anyway, great show. Keep it up!

  9. Listening right now, and paused to write this, so this may be unfair, but…

    Complaint about XGTE: There’s too much essential stuff in this book (traps, tool proficiencies, etc).
    Complaint about XGTE: There’s too much nonessential stuff in this book (class options, spells, etc).

    I mean, I do agree that Xanathar being a silly git sucks, because I want players to fear beholders and dressing one up like Evil Jerry Seinfeld isn’t helpful.

    1. I _think_ the point we were trying to make is that the essential stuff actually belonged in the DM’s Guide when it first came out. As in “it is so essential that it should have been basic information in the core books.”

      But as I think about it, we might have forgotten to actually say that.

  10. I think that XGtE is suffering from the PHB + 1 book rule that they are pushing forward with for Adventurers’ Guild character creation, as a means of reducing the perceived cost of entry. (Looks at my tall stack of PHBs, powers and players’ option books for 4E – they may have a point). Overall, the lack of any cohesive theme makes it feel bitty, making something to dip, rather than read through.

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