Monthly Archives: August 2013

Episode 35: Playing Catch-Up

NPC Cast Episode 35: Playing Catch-Up.

In this episode the guys chat about good old catch-up mechanics in board games! (55min)

Some things we discuss on this episode:

Angry DM– Friend of the show, and Angry Dungeon Master.

Boom or Doom! – A documentary about kickstarting a board game!

Call of Catthulu – An RPG by Joel Sparks…play as cats!

Kindred of the East – An RPG by White Wolf.


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Episode 34: Game N Shake.

NPC Cast Episode 34: Game N Shake.

In this episode NPC Chris and NPC Aaron break down their Gencon trip, including how they got wrapped up in the judging for an awesome board game competition! (56min)

Some Tons of things we discuss on this episode:

Gencon– The largest games convention in North America!

Tabletop Deathmatch– A Tabletop Game design contest by the folks over at Cards Against Humanity.

MERCS– A skirmish miniatures game about corporations vying for power!

Krosmaster Arena– A tactics-style mines/board game!

Angry DM– Friend of the show, and Angry Dungeon Master.

Old School Hack – A Free RPG from Kirin Robinson

2 GMs 1 Mic– A roleplaying podcast we highly recommend!

The Writer Next Door– A blog by industry editor John Adamus

Watch It Played– A youtube channel that teaches you how to play awesome board games!

Secret Cabal– A bi-weekly podcast about tabetop games.

Spark RPG– An RPG set in the FATE system by Jason Pitre.

Our Last Best Hope – A great DM-less indy RPG by Mark Diaz Truman.

Legacy: Gears of Time– A time-travelling board game by Ben Harkins.

Dark Age– A d20 based skirmish minis game.

Dropzone Commander – A 10mm sci-fi minis game of mass combat.

Brushfire– A miniatures game featuring historical parody, where animals have surpassed humans.

Dwarven Miner– A fantasy set-collecting game by Mike Richie.

Loading Ready Run– A comedy troupe, and producers of videos for the internet.

Dammit Liz– Event planner, and producer to the (geek) stars.

Hillfolk– An RPG by esteemed designer Robin Laws.


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Campaign Diary: Ark, the Eternal Refuge – Conversion.

by NPC Aaron

Hello again and welcome to my campaign diary that I post every week here on  Last week we talked about making your campaigns epic from the ground up and this week I would have loved to talk about my campaign further but last week real life got in the way and we had to go a week without playing.  During that time though, something amazing happened: I got my copy of 13th Age.


Now I am not here to say that 13th Age is a better game than Pathfinder.  Some people like things about game systems that I think are flaws and vice versa, but I have been excited to get my physical copy of 13th Age for some time and I like the game system better.  Unfortunately I also REALLY like the plot of our Pathfinder game so far.  This left me with a dilemma, but I quickly realized that both were medieval Fantasy games and that I could just port over the characters and we could play the same campaign in a new system.

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Episode 32: Vidya Games.

NPC Cast Episode 32: Vidya Games.

In this Bullet Points episode the NPCs take on the challenge of designing board games based on old-school video games! (66min)

Some things we discuss on this episode:

Weird Wars Rome– A Kickstarter for an awesome new Savage Worlds setting!

The Secret History of Dominion– A design diary by Dominion creator, Donald X. Vaccarino.


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Campaign Diary: Ark, The Eternal Refuge – Epicness

by NPC Aaron

Last week we talked about building interesting encounters.  This week we’re going to increase the scope and talk about building a campaign that feels truly epic.  But first we need to talk about the general goal of that type of campaign.


What Makes A Campaign Epic?


When building a campaign about heroes we often want to capture a certain feel.  We look to movies and video games and we want the climax of our campaign to feel like they do.  We want all the characters to be truly invested in defeating the big villain and we want the encounter to have unprecedented gravitas.  There are some campaigns where this type of end is not appropriate, but a lot of heroic fantasy and sci-fi campaigns are going to strive for this.  We want the feeling of a summer blockbuster or a Final Fantasy style game at the end.


The key to this is that the scope of the game needs to be big.  The journey to the epic climax needs to be long and full of twists and smaller conflicts that cause the player characters to be invested in that final showdown.  Creating that through traditional storytelling is difficult, but doing it with a shared narrative like a roleplaying game is nearly impossible.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying though and I thought I should share the experience I’ve learned from my own efforts.

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Episode 31: Zone of Comfort.

NPC Cast Episode 31: Zone of Comfort.

In this episode the NPCs chat about when players should be coaxed out of their comfort zones! (61min)

Some things we discuss on this episode:

Mark Rosewater’s Twitter: The Twitter page for a former Roseanne writer. Also, the lead designer for some card game.

Artemis 2.0: A spaceship bridge simulator.

Warhammer Invasion: An LCG from Fantasy Flight Games!

Castle Dice: A dice-drafting game from Luke Peterschmidt.



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