The episode is coming out a bit early this week. There are two reasons for that. The minor one is logistical: I’m flying out to Baltimore in a several hours and didn’t want to deal with the hassle of scheduling the post. The second reason is because this is a serious and important topic, and after finishing the editing I wanted to get it out as soon as I could.
This past week, there was a blog post which made the rounds that highlighted one woman’s history of discrimination, harassment, and sexual abuse in and around the gaming industry. We consider ourselves allies to anyone that wishes to participate in this amazing hobby. We want people to find safety and acceptance here, regardless of gender identity, sexual preference, race, physical limitations, or age. Just as we have found safety and acceptance within this community for the past 20 years.
Because of this, we felt compelled to speak out regarding these issues. We felt that it would be cowardly for us to not use the modest platform that we have built with you for the past 3 years to let folks know that there are people who care, and there are people who want to work with them in order to make a community that we can all be a part of.
We know this is a departure from our regular episodes, and we hope that you’ll forgive the inconvenience and allow us the opportunity to share our thoughts and honest feelings with you.
We’re not charging patrons for this episode, not because we think any of you in particular would object, but because we don’t feel right doing so. If this episode resonates with you, or you think it may resonate with somebody you know please share it. Thank you for your continued support.❤
The best success I’ve ever had in describing RPGs to non-gamers isn’t saying its like fantasy or Star Wars or anything like that. This spiel has actually gotten the light to go on, where they get what it is to play a tabletop RPG. Usually something like this.
So in this game, let’s say you’re a character in a horror movie. You get to make him up, maybe you’re the Blue Collar Plumber who is trying to keep his kid safe. Or the cop that has seen too much. Or the college kid home for the summer to see his folks. But you’re out at the old farmhouse, and there’s a crazed killer with a big machete that’s been stalking you.
I’m running the game, which means I sort of set the scene. You’re at the top of the stairs, and the crazy guy is at the bottom, looking for you. What do you do? You could go and hide, maybe he won’t find you. Or you could make a run for it. Or you could grab a lamp and hit him over the head. Up to you, its your character.
So say you decide you want to make a run for it. You’ll have some scores on your sheet that say how good you are at running, and we roll some dice. If you roll well, you zip past him into the yard. If not, well he gets in your way and now he’s gonna try to cut you in half. If you try something else, we’ll figure out what to roll to see if it works, and then make up what happens next.
The first time I used this approach, the guy who had never played an RPG before had that light go on in his eyes and said “Oh, so the rules determine what happens next in the story! That sounds awesome!”
I find the horror movie approach much more accessible than a specific genre. If you can get them to get it from that approach, then explaining that there are other games that are like that but Lord of the Rings or Star Wars or whatever.
My Star Wars game, which I’ve written about many times, finally wrapped up, with my heroes having freed a dangerous Moff as the general they needed to lead the war effort against an unfrozen Sith-out-of-time who was conquering the galaxy and proclaiming himself “The Returned God”
Since my players are the best players, I created a little video for them to check out of their adventures afterwards. I asked each of them for narration; some got back to me, and I used their text, others I filled in the blanks based on their characters.
I hope you enjoy it and it gives you a few ideas for how to wrap-up your games at home.