Episode 153: Awkward and Uncomfortable

Hosts: Joe, Megan, Rob, Timo, Todd

What did we play? (3:33)
Bachannal: Joe, Rob, Todd, Megan
Descent 2: Todd
Borderlands 2: Megan, Todd, Timo
Uncharted 2, Seasons: Timo
Bioshock: Rob
Mass Effect 1: Joe
D&D Lair Assault: Megan

Main Topic: Awkward and Uncomfortable (14:02)
Of late we have been playing in some awkward and uncomfortable fictional space, and loving it. We spend the cast talking about how we do that and what we find rewarding about being in that space.

Rants (1:37:25)
Rob: Academia is just terrible.
Megan: I have turned in to a catty bitch, and it’s pretty good living.
Todd: Shoutout to Canon Puncture and RPGCrosstalk.
Timo: Glad my job is over, and man I love my company
Joe: Now that my husband is back, my mood is so much better.

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright under the creative commons license. You can find out more about

us at jankcast.com. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com We are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and encourage you to get in touch with us via our Facebook page, Spooky Outhouse Forum (it’s a little quiet, but we’d love to get it going again), Twitter or Google+. You can also listen to us

via Stitcher Radio. Now go out and roll some dice!

Episode 109: Playing for Exploration

Hosts: Todd, Timo, Rob, Megan

What did we play: (10:14)
Dogs in the Vineyard: Todd, Rob, Megan, Timo
Megan: D&D Encounters, 1st ed
Todd: Apocalypse World Shadowrun hack, Elder Sign

Jank on Demand:
We play a lot of random games, and we’d like to encourage you guys to do the same. As part of that we are going to start hosting a monthly meetup to play independent and small-print RPG’s modeled after Games on Demand called Jank on Demand. The first of these will be October 22nd, from 2 o’clock onwards. Click HERE for more details.

Main topic: Playing for Exploration (35:05)
One of the reasons that gaming is so fun is that it allows us to ask “what if” questions, and to see what they lead to. In this second episode in the “Why we game” series we’re doing, we talk about what we like to do in terms of exploration, what we look for, what it gives us and things we do that help or hinder our ability to really live out those thoughts.

Rants (1:11:20)
Timo: A prolonged squee of joy
Rob: Why does my professional life and my personal life always conflict?
Megan: I hate fake blood
Todd: I am mad at time

Other Links:
Arkham Horror
Fate
Dresden Files RPG
Don’t Rest Your Head
Shock: Social Science Fiction
Serenity RPG
Freemarket
Star Frontiers

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2011 under the creative commons

license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and encourage you to get in touch with us via our Facebook page, Spooky Outhouse Forum (it’s a little quiet, but we’d love to get it going again), or on Twitter or Google+. Now go out and roll some dice!

Ep 107: Long form and short form games

Hosts: Megan, Rob, Scott, Timo

What did we play: (7:02)
Fiasco: Megan, Scott, Rob
Elder Sign: Megan, Scott, Rob, Timo
Gloom, Innistrad: Megan

Main topic: Long vs short games (18:00)
Because of the way we’ve structured out gaming, we play a lot of short campaigns or single scenarios. This lends our gaming a certain feel and has some positives and negatives. How does that compare to playing long, ongoing games? What do you gain, what do you lose?

Rants (53:27)
Scott: Dice cialis cost canada superstition is dumb, dumb, dumb.
Rob: Hangovers: they seem unfair.
Megan: My store is turning in to a chuck-e-cheese.
Timo: I am distractible and ADD

Just putting it out there: We’re willing to do a Mythbusters style episode

testing out dice myths.

Other Links:
Apocalypse World
D&D
Don’t Rest Your Head
Get Bit!
Ascension: Return of the Fallen
Legend of the 5 Rings
Dust Devils
Mouseguard
Godlike
Sorcerer
The Exchange
Justifiers
Fantasia (also 2000)
Kagematsu
Cannibal: The Musical
Firefly: Objects in Space
Unhallowed Metropolis
Zombie Cinema

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2011 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and this is JOHNKELLY reminding you to support your local gaming store. Now go out and roll some dice.

Episode 105: The Relationship Between GMs and Players/Players and Players

Hosts: Megan, Rob, Scott, Todd

What is the relationship between player and player or player and GM? In this episode, we beat that horse to death with a bat and then kick it a few times. Take that, dead horse!

Banter, aka “Foreplay”: Let us stand next to your fire(s). How to know if you’re an alcoholic. Megan likes biker dudes with beards. Biker dudes with beards: please get in touch with Megan.

While I’m at it, get in touch with us on google+, Facebook, and our Spooky Outhouse Forums.

Games we mention:
Call of Cthulhu
Dread
D&D
Dungeon World
DO
Ratten!
Fiasco

Podcasts We Mention:
Podge Cast
Bear Swarm
Self Critical Hits
Brilliant Gameologists

What’d we play?
Scott: Battletech (shocker!), Puzzle Strike, Star Trek: Fleet Captains, Drinking Party: The Game.
Megan: Don’t Rest Your Head, D&D 1st Ed.
Rob: Don’t Rest Your Head
Todd: Don’t Rest Your Head, Apocalypse World

20:00- Todd likes it when the rules come together. We discuss design elements that push this, i.e. deciding what the game wants you to do well, then figuring out how to actualize that.

25:00- Don’t Rest Your Head has some cool mechanics that we heap some praise on.

28:40- Main Topic: The relationship between GMs and Players/Players and Players.

30:00- What defines different types of games?

34:00- Players and GMs are defined by their relationship.

36:00- Is there a kind of game that necessitates certain relationships between games and players?

46:00- Responsibility/Think of the coolest thing that could happen, or the “When are they going to get the fireworks factory” theory of gaming.

51:00- Find ways to let characters shine.

51:20- Player/GM responsibilities are getting closer together.

52:40: Love your characters and love the story you are telling with them.

55:10- Rob gets all literary and talks about “running the game” as a metaphor.

56:00- Is there such a thing as a “better or worse GM” or a “better or worse player?” Or, instead, is it

better or worse relationships between players and GMs?

1:00:00- Scott uses RPGA as a natural experiment to test the above.

1:02:20- A game is like setting up dominoes, and someone has to tip them over.

Rants- 1:04:30
We attempt four part harmony. It doesn’t work.
Todd: I’m busy. Boo hoo.
Scott: Way to get married, Rob.
Megan: Way to get married AND leave your cell phone on, Rob. Speaking of, cell phones!
Rob: I hate moving.

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2011 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and encourage you to get in touch with us via our Facebook page, Spooky Outhouse Forum (it’s a little quiet, but we’d love to get it going again), or on Twitter or Google+. Now go out and roll some dice!

Episode 104: We're So Excited and We Just Can't Hide It

Hosts: Dave, Rob, Scott, Todd

First off, if you are a gamer in Germany or know any gamers in Germany, let us know because Rob is moving to the Frankfurt area and wants to get his German game on!

Second, we’re trying to get some good crosstalk going on the episodes. We’d like to push the idea of getting conversation going. As such, we encourage you to do one or more of the following things if you’re not already:

1) Comment on the episodes here on the website (we do respond!).
2) Head over to our Facebook page and comment there.
3) Head over to the Spooky Outhouse Forum (it’s a little quiet, but we’d love to get it going again).
4) Or, if you are on there, find up on Google+ and get in the Jank Cast circle we’re doing, or just get in on the discussions we’re having on there.

Without further ado, Show Notes!

(Note: We have some technical difficulties at the very beginning of the episode, but

we fix them, so that static you hear doesn’t last long!)

Banter:
Rob’s Parents had a Shaggin’ Wagon.
Being the kid who’s family has the thing.
Todd doesn’t move for a day.
Rob maps sand on an island.
Boy Scouts = Child Labor.
Dave gets deep about tradition.

What did we Play?

Scott- Malifaux, Zombie Cinema
Rob- Zombie Cinema, Mouse Guard
Dave- Is in Ikea Town and his gaming isn’t what he wants it to be
Todd- Mouse Guard, Apocalypse World

34:00- Main Topic: What are we excited about in gaming right now?

34:15- Todd is excited about playing to find out what happens. Because he doesn’t know. This is one of the joys of being a GM, we agree. Does this require a change in the way man of us think of the GM in different ways?

40:00- Scott is excited about Space Marine because it looks so cool. We talk about game art and how it gets you psyched for playing the game.

45:30- Rob is excited about giving DeGenesis a try, maybe even in Germany?

50:00- We’re adults, we don’t have time to read 400 page games anymore.

52:00- Dave is excited about playing via Google hangouts on Google+. He played Dungeon World on one and it worked pretty well. We’re all kind of excited about technology being integrated with game.

57:00- This lets you game with people who you don’t live by, which is definitely exciting.

59:40- Listen to the podcast How Did This Get Made even though their skyping is terrible.

1:00:01- We are living in Remember Tomorrow!

1:00:03- Rob is excited about playing Don’t Rest Your Head, and making the most of what’s going on right now.

1:06:00- Scott is excited about the Warmachine steampunk roleplaying game coming out next year at Gencon.

1:08:20- Rants
Dave- Why do the consumer gods hate me? Exhibit A: trail mix.
Rob- My friend, the asshole (not Timo): a very un-Canadian rant.
Scott- If you’re running a demo, you need to know how to teach a game.
Todd- Rant of happy! Lots of gaming stuff to be interested in! For example: Jeepform! Yay!

Dave gives us a long but very interesting explanation to us about the jeep-esque game A Flower for Mara. Todd explains that not everything about jeepform appeals to him, but it’s at least some new stuff folks are doing.

Scott talks about minis more. Cause he’s a grognard.

Easter Egg: Celine Dion.

Other Links:

Gaming with Porn Stars

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2011 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and encourage you to get in touch with us via our Facebook page, Spooky Outhouse Forum (it’s a little quiet, but we’d love to get it going again), or on Twitter or Google+. Now go out and roll some dice!

Episode 101: Character Flaws

Hosts: Timo, Rob, Megan, Scott

What did we play: (3:17)
Scott: Blood Bowl Team Manager, Eminent Domain, Belfort, Ninja
Megan: Blood Bowl Team Manager, Belfort, Ninja, Ticket to Ride, Seven Wonders, Pandemic, Drunken Magic: Holier than Meow
Rob: No games this week, but spent some time reading The Mountain Witch.
Timo: Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space, Dominion Intrigue

Main topic: Character Flaws (11:10)
The cast sits down and talks about how character flaws are handled in-game. We discuss some of our favourite types of flaws, how we play to or against them, and how different games make use of them. At some point, wild accusations are made, and we have a guest appearance by a Ethan, a local who was in the store creating a character as we were recording.

Example: Finneas Hardigan III in Supernatural (49:50)

Rants (56:00)
Scott: Ghost Rider is not a good movie
Megan: Gamers! Make an effort to introduce people to games!
Rob: I’m jittery and maddened by lack of sleep.
Timo: It sucks when people move the way. I’m looking at you Rob.

Other Links:
White Wolf
Dungeons and Dragons
GURPS
Mouseguard
Legend of the Five Rings
The Help
Deadlands
Dogs in the Vineyard
Vampire the Masquerade
Ron Edwards
Sorceror
Poison’d
John Wick
7th Sea
Unhallowed Metropolis
Dark Sun
Fate System
Houses of the Blooded
Dawg
Fiasco
Umlaut
Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple
Zombie Cinema
Kagematsu
Badass!
Dread
Godlike
BASH
Ray Gunn
Origami Meeple
Carcassone
Kill Puppies for Satan
Polaris
Tanto Cuore

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright

2011 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and this is JOHNKELLY reminding you to support your local gaming store. Now go out and roll some dice.

Episode 84: Anthropomorphic Gaming (aka The Janksters Get Furry!)

We talk about anthropomorphic gaming, i.e. playing non-humans. Lexx and Scott say I’m going to link a bunch of stuff in the show notes, but there’s no way I’m doing a google search for “squid chair” to link it. My gmail adds would be CRAZY after that.

Hosts: Ben, Lexx, Megan, Rob, Scott

Show notes:

Bumper: Canadians.

Banter: Putting unpleasantness behind us. SuckerPunch is dumb, but pretty. Feed your head! I should sue SuckerPunch. Sounds good to me. Squids. Autotuning. Happy birthday Nathan Fillion.

Topic: Anthropomorphic gaming. Like, serious non-humans.

Question one: Sex. Obviously.
Sentient free willed beings that want GOOOOOOOOLD!!!!!
Archetypes or arbitrary types? Are non-human characters just a focus on one aspect of humanity?
We’re still dealing with things that are mostly human.
Human/animal hybrids.
Isn’t this just what roleplaying is?
What’s interesting about this: we can explore the dualism of humanity. Rational/animal.
Was Whitewolf was going for this conflict in Werewolf?
Rob likes to play characters that have an animalistic side because he likes to role-play something that isn’t him.
Dawg the RPG: Canine Compulsion rules.
Lexx is rigid. Ben is open to the secrets of the universe.
Watership Down, the cartoon.
“A strange desire for carrots and sex, not necessarily in that order.”
Rob puts his book learnin’ to good use: KAFKA!
JANK CAST: MAKIN’ IT UP!
Sorcerer = What Kafka could be.
The danger of playing an alienated character.
Act out because you have an interesting character, not because you want to be transgressive for the sake of transgression.
The sociology of animals.
Inevitably, dolphins come up.
Ratten!

Rants:
Ben: Manly commercials think men are stupid and women are harpies. This seems incorrect.
Scott: The circle of death.
Rob: Sykpe group video blew it.
Lexx: Furries.
Megan: Everyone at the fest got the flu.

Also: Megan will perform nerd themed burlesque at GenCon. Woot.

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2010 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com. Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and this is JOHNKELLY reminding you to support your local gaming store. Now go out and roll some dice.

Episode 83: Comics and Gaming, in honor of C2E2

Hosts: Charles, JOHNKELLY, Scott, Todd

Notes:

(I’m super busy getting ready for a conference, so I don’t have time to add links to all the fun stuff in the show notes. If something sounds cool, you’re going to have to google it!)

Bumper: Fuck Timo, and Fuck That Game Too.

Banter: Todd’s neighbors bring the funk. Scott’s back from China and he brought show and tell! IHOP has fried chicken and waffles. Sweet. Halal KFC leads to CHICKENGEDDON! Sweet Chinese mugs. We’re not sexist here on the Jank Cast. We get our Pocky on. TROLLJERGEN!!! The Windy City Burlesque Fest: Megan brings the boobs to Chicagoland. Coming attractions on the Jank: THE CAST OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BOOBS! Kids these days. Majdi is a celebrity and is, hence, too good for us now.

What did we play?
JK: D&D and Stratego
Scott: Wrath of Ashardalon
Todd: Lady Blackbird, Serenity, Zombie Cinema
Charles: Lady Blackbird, Zombie Cinema, Dresden Files

Main Topic: As part of our Media and Gaming series: COMIC BOOKS!
Scott talks about C2E2
Scott claims that Corey Glover from Living Colour is Danny Glover’s son. He isn’t. But it’s a sweet rumor, so just keep telling everyone he is. Either way, click here for awesomeness.
Scott’s definition of a perfect woman.
What can comic book storytelling teach us about

gaming?
It’s a discrete story.
We’re going to talk about Batman. A lot.
Comic books can give visuals but also text description.
What’s so Civil about War anyway?
They have a very complicated world with lots of characters.
Our Valued Customers
We can use them as inspiration for how to plot a game.
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud: Aspect to Aspect Storytelling.
The arrangement of panels on a page is a part of storytelling.
Locke and Key
Usagi Yojimbo: Telling a story just with visuals.
Blah Blah Blah: our new game.
Don’t attack Superman’s strengths, attack his weaknesses.
Who is the Villain?
Favorite superhero systems to play. Suggestions:
Godlike/Wild Talents
BASH
Mutants and Masterminds
Capes
Mutant City Blues
Marvel Superheroes
Aberrant
Heroes Unlimited
How do you balance a superhero system? Should you even bother? JohnKelly says maybe. Todd says no, just skip the realism and balance and go right to outcomes.
Todd says “Captain Marvel” but means “Wonderman.”
We complain about some of the superhero posters on the wall of Chicagoland Games.

Rants:
JohnKelly: Have you seen this Majdi?
Scott: Future trains!
Charles: Most positive rant ever.
Todd: Wonder Woman is having a rough time

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2010 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com. Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and this is JOHNKELLY reminding you to support your local gaming store. Now go out and roll some dice.

Episode 82: We're Not Here For the Party

Hosts: Reek, Rob, Timo, Todd

We start out talking about when you’re playing a game where the “party” isn’t a “party,” so to speak. This shifts to a discussion about how system fits into this along with how a balance of character goals vs. group goals shape this. Also: Canada.

Shhhhhhhhnotes:

Bumper: OH CANADA!

Banter: Todd resealed his Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. This makes sense because of, you know, filth. Toilet propaganda: know your system, know yourself. Somehow we get talking about something being broken and RPG karaoke. I have no idea what this is all about. The Jank Cast hasn’t jumped the shark, but we’re definitely Chasin’ Steve. Finnish people have issues with women. Black Metal. Scandinavians hate each other. The Z-axis of comedy.

What we played:
Ticket to Ride
Dixit
Jewish Apples to Apples
Dragon Age II
Serenity

Tangent: Peepsville.

Topic: Games where the characters aren’t a “party.”

Does a game’s mechanics drive your towards party play or non-party play? We say some games do. For example: Fiasco, Shock, and The Mist-Robed Gate drive you away from party play with their conflict/audience mechanics.

Story-telling vs. Task oriented gaming?

Social norms around the table: are you the audience if your not “in scene?”

Human Contact– Coming out soon!

Remember Tomorrow: a task oriented game where you’re probably not a party.

Timo has a threeway with Pluto and Pluto (the dog and the planet, respectively).

Timo doesn’t like Gwenyth Paltrow. Reek doesn’t either, apparently. Why are we mad about Gwenyth Paltrow? Who knows.

The Wire is character driven storygaming.

Does the game need you to have a “balanced party” and shared goals or not? D&D often does. Zombie Cinema? In a Wicked Age? Not so much.

Apocalypse World and creating PC-NPC-PC triangles. Dogs in the Vineyard, too. Vincent Baker is good at this. Reek loves Vincent Baker but doesn’t want to admit it, so he decides he has a new enemy. BAKER!

We discuss definitions of sexuality and Reek attempts to be a gentleman in front of a lady, for a change.

Todd says “rim planet” and all hell breaks loose. It takes Reek two minutes to contain himself.

What do people expect from the game? How do you give it to them?

Canada: The RPG. Rob, painted in blood, chasing people with a machete. NOW THE HUNT BEGINS!

Rules again: what do they let you do as far as attacking someone, talking to someone, etc.

Does a system give you the freedom to do exactly what you want with your character narratively, or are you shackled to realism? Fiasco lets you do whatever you want. Godlike didn’t.

How do you GM a character driven game? In the same way you play a character as a PC.

Lady Blackbird as a great example of a game that lets you decide the fate of your character.

Static relationships vs. dynamic relationships. Is this a result of having an external goal?

Sorcerer: goals that don’t intersect at all. This allows you to create dramatic irony at the table.

We become more convinced this is all about how much the group has a goal which unites them vs. how much the individual characters have conflicting goals.

Party games are fun, rewarding, and you can do awesome character stuff in them. That’s not the issue.

Rants:
Timo: Try a new game, people!
Rob: Interviews suck.
Reek: Carrie.
Todd: Fuck plate tectonics. Also: wait a few minutes before you start making the bad

jokes about tragedy. Assholes.

Donate to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2010 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com. Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and this is JOHNKELLY reminding you to support your local gaming store. Now go out and roll some dice.

Episode 80: Theme

Hosts: Megan, Todd, Reek, Rob, Charles, Timo

Gaming and theme are an interesting thing: It may or may not be a thing that is strongly expressed, desired or even present. But what role it takes in game play and how it affects the game and the players is an interesting topic, and one that we try to address with some breadth and depth. We may or may not succeed: We might just end up punning. It will be upon you to find out.

Word of warning, the quality is a little poorer with this one simply because we did not have our microphones and were using a laptop microphone. Also we eat some delicious delicious food as we cast. Behold, our majesty!

Banter: Themeless writing, we realise we’re bantering, We then turn what we played in to big discussion of creative agenda kind of stuff.

What we played this week (3:50)
Megan: Godlike, Magic:The Gathering, Mansions of Madness
Todd: Arkham Horror, Serenity

Main topic: Theme (21:59)
Vincent Baker’s post on Anyway (22:10)
Misspent Youth has theme, issues, situation (24:10)
Choice leads to theme: preconceived theme a la Darths and Droids (25:50)
Gaming to affirm a theme (28:50)
Character theme or leitmotifs (30:40)
interplay between personal and overarching theme (33:00)
Is it worthwhile to force a common theme? (35:45)
The Wire as an example of changing theme(37:00)
Different medias express theme differently (38:40)
Do players (not characters) have themes? (40:30)
Theme of our Apocalypse World game (43:30)
Looking for theme in gaming is rough (45:40)
So what’s the point of theme in gaming? (48:00)
System working with and against theme (49:30)
Gaming is not a genre (aka Todd throws down some big words) (52:15)
George Polti, gaming as communal storytelling (54:15)
Rob lays down the etymological knowledge (55:35)

Rants (57:00)
Reek: No homo? what the fuck?
Todd: Being asked for autographs is an aweful experience.
Megan: Come up with a signature (Behold the Ravening Maw!), Megan is coming down to Kansas
Rob: I don’t rant, I’m Canadian
Charles and Akure don’t like to rant, but they make awesome hosts
Timo: What’s wrong with my hair? interposed stories about the neighbours sexlife, why isn’t there more bird-of-prey sex?

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2010 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and this is JOHNKELLY reminding you to support your local gaming store. Now go out and roll some dice.