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Gaming and BS RPG Podcast

200 EpisodesProduced by Brett and SeanWebsite

Brett & Sean Talk Roleplaying Games

200 Episodes | 2016 - 2020


September 19th, 2020


We spend a lot of time talking about dealing with different issues, problems, players, and styles at the rpg table, but we don’t often talk …

Easy Wins in RPG’s

September 10th, 2020


Easy wins are not about killing the big bad. But we do spend a lot of time talking about “The Big Bad” in our games, helping to make those …

Descriptions on Demand in RPG’s

September 4th, 2020


Descriptions on Demand in tabletop rpg’s. We’re not always comfortable, especially in a new game, when the GM gives us the talking stick and …

Making Thieves Interesting

August 29th, 2020


Making thieves in tabletop rpg’s more interesting is going beyond just picking pockets and opening locks. Inspired from a post from Grotonomu. 

Brett Takes D&D Survey

August 22nd, 2020


Producers of Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast, put out a survey to better understand tabletop gamers and their preferences. Sean …

Why Do Player Characters Wander Off

August 14th, 2020


We talk about this all the time, the idea that player characters like to go off the map, make a choice that sends the GM scrambling for what to …

RPG Campaign Talk

August 7th, 2020


You want to run an rpg campaign. Your players roll up  characters and you …

Dungeon Crawls

July 31st, 2020


Dungeon crawls. Confined spaces for your rpg player characters to adventure through. The concept Brett comes up with doesn’t mean it has to be …

Monsters as Monsters

July 15th, 2020


Sometimes, it’s ok to have monsters simply be monsters that need to be fought. Not everything the PCs go up against needs to be fraught with …

Build Your Own RPG System

July 11th, 2020


The topic of GM Style has lead Brett down a potentially dangerous path – the poor bastard is thinking of building his own rpg system! *shudder* …

Relying on NPC’s

July 2nd, 2020


I’ve been thinking about PCs relying too much on NPCs. In a couple games I’ve been running/playing in, it seems like almost every time a question gets asked or a decision has to be made, the PCs say, “What does the NPC …

Game Master Style

June 26th, 2020


Game Master’s style, it’s not about whether a game master is good or bad. It’s about the things they do. One GM may be strict rules-as-written, …

All About Resources Part 2

June 20th, 2020


Episode 296 it was all about the resources in tabletop rpg’s. We talked about the idea of tracking gear and food and such as a possible way to help make certain adventures/stories fun.  Now let’s see if we can come up …

BS’ers Are Smarter Than BS

June 13th, 2020


This episode is full of good feedback on previous topics. It proves BS’ers are smarter than BS. Announcements Sean’s Youtube channel is coming! …

All About the Resources

June 6th, 2020


Ok, I have 3 torches; rations, iron, 2 weeks; 1 waterskin and 20 arrows. We know the ruins are a week’s journey, one way. Time passes. Now you are down to 5 arrows, no water, and the bear ate your food, what do you do? …

Applying Pressure on PC’s, Part 2

May 30th, 2020


In episode 294 we talked about applying pressure to the player characters in order to add a sense of tension. We never outlined how to apply pressure and tension. We make an attempt at doing that in this episode. Next …

Applying Pressure to PC’s

May 22nd, 2020


Walking through the woods and you come across a “insert creature here”. Fight it, win. But what about applying more pressure to pc’s? “You are in a spaceship, the engines are out, there’s a creature making its way down …

Skill Piling in Tabletop RPG’s

May 14th, 2020


Skill piling in tabletop rpg’s,  the fail and subsequent “I check” from another player, and another, and another. We list examples, determine if it’s …

Low Fantasy Gaming the RPG

May 9th, 2020


Low Fantasy Gaming is the title of an actual role-playing game by Pick Pocket Press. We have Jason Hobbs from Hobbs ‘n Friends podcast to provide us …

RPG Campaign Not The Same Across Groups

May 2nd, 2020


“This is something I’ve fallen prey to. If you decide to run a campaign for your group that you’ve previously run for another group…be very careful. …

Weapon Damage

April 25th, 2020


In D&D 5e, what does a shortbow, spear, javelin, trident and hand crossbow all have in common? That’s right, they do the same amount of damage. Why do we, in certain games,  have such “detail” of weapon types that …

Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG

April 18th, 2020


Sean has talked about Mothership before, and is/has run a game for some BS’ers so let’s dig into this game and see what we can learn from Sean. …

Changes for Playing Tabletop RPG’s Online

April 11th, 2020


We are going to be running some games for Patrons of the show, and lots of folks are running tabletop rpg’s online, so we wanted to talk about some …

GM’s Making Die Rolls for Players

April 4th, 2020


Sometimes it may be a better idea for the GM to roll some dice for the players – like those time when your ninja is trying to move silently, or your …

Non-combat Encounters in RPG’s

March 24th, 2020


Non-combat encounters in RPG’s… Don’t make encounters about “combat”. What are our thoughts on that? Asks Sky. Create an encounter, it’s up to the players if they make it combat-based…but not always. We also touch on …

Ideal Game Group

March 20th, 2020


The ideal game group for role-playing games is more than just the perfect amount of participants. It encompasses a wide array of things like types of …

Innovations in RPG Delivery and Presentation

March 14th, 2020


The year? 2020. The tabletop industry at its core is still books, pen, paper, and dice. PDF’s are just electronic versions of role-playing game …

Audio in RPG’s

March 8th, 2020


Brett and Sean had a couple people comment on our forums, here, and here, about the use of audio for your rpg. Whether it is a soundtrack that helps paint the scene or if it’s ambient sound that sets mood…we touch on …

Practice Playing RPG’s

March 1st, 2020


Sometimes, there’s no shortcut for experience. We talked with Tim D about this a bit when we had him on to talk AS&SH.  We need to try and do and keep trying and doing to get good at something. It’s been said you …

Player Character Health

February 23rd, 2020


We’ve chatted about player character health before, but Brett thought he’d bring it back up as part of the “things I learned” from his Delta Green game around lethality and tracking damage. When a game is lethal it …

Brett’s New Approach To His Upcoming Role-playing Game

February 16th, 2020


Brett is trying something new with his upcoming home game. We start with talking about campaign length but divert to the aforementioned change in …

Folklore Foes

February 8th, 2020


Folklore Foes – how can we use the aspects of folklore monsters/foes to make our encounters new and fresh? Take a creature and give it different …

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

February 2nd, 2020


We talk about Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea role-playing game, by Jeffrey Talanian. But we need some help so we enlist our …

Backing an RPG Kickstarter

January 25th, 2020


A lot of role-playing gamers have backed a gaming/rpg product on Kickstarter. What products are available? Why do you choose to back a specific rpg …

Sean Writes In

January 19th, 2020


Sean realizes just how complicated running an RPG encounter can be for anyone, but especially those new to the hobby. This and Random Encounters! Announcements Avalon Adventures on DTRPG #5 Tabletop RPG Talk Podcast of …

Books for Game Masters In Your Toolbox

January 12th, 2020


What system neutral GM aids you keep in your toolbox, to help you craft your games and worlds?  Do you have any that you find yourself coming back to …

The Next Game

January 1st, 2020


“The fallacy that ‘the next game’ is the one that will make you happy. It’s nearly identical to the consumer fallacy that the next thing you buy is the thing that will make you happy. Until you ‘fix’ the game you are in …

Consequences in Role-playing Games

December 26th, 2019


Consequences in role-playing games. We talk a lot about how “If the PC or Player does something ‘stupid’ they should pay the price for it’ – but is …

House Rules Part 2

December 22nd, 2019


Last episode (271) we spoke about house rules in rpg’s. We got some pretty good feedback on the topic. Announcements – some BSer’s are …

House Rules in Role-playing Games

December 14th, 2019


House or home rules. What games do you implement your house rules? Do they make the game system better. Are there times that a house rule works …

How Much Role-Playing Game Prep?

December 3rd, 2019


Has tabletop role-playing game prep changed for us over the years? If so, why? It depends on the game. Be it a one shot, a campaign or con event, …

Team Player or Lone Wolf

November 29th, 2019


PCs Operating as a Team v. as Individuals Some games seem to promote individual play as much as group play – some players seem to thrive/enjoy doing private adventures in and amongst other groups.  What are our …

What Do We Want To See Out of New RPGs

November 16th, 2019


We often talk about mechanics, settings, options, and features of an role-playing game system that we like or don’t like, but is there something that …

Learning from a Con and Book Formats

November 9th, 2019


Not a recap of Gamehole Con, but we learned some things. We also talk about book formats in the rpg hobby. This latter piece inspired by Ray Otus. …

Now Hold It Right There

October 31st, 2019


Running a role-playing game for young teenagers presents a certain set of challenges. DM Cojo has a voicemail where he shares his observations. “No, …

Tracking Player Character Wealth

October 24th, 2019


Tracking wealth, aka the treasure, of player characters, is it needed? How do you do it? “Tired of tracking coins and individual purchases for player …

Description Expectations in RPG’s

October 19th, 2019


Descriptions in rpg’s. How to align the way the game master and players exchange information. An example: “I’m looking for any irregularities in the …

Sub-Optimal Play in RPG’s

October 13th, 2019


Sub-optimal behavior is core to tabletop role-playing games. Matt Colville mentions this in his Running the Game #56 and I figured we should discuss …

Brett’s Delta Green

October 1st, 2019


“I started my Delta Green game”, says Brett. Oooh, that sounds fun. What do you have going on? Announcements – Events, T-shirts, and discounted badges Random Encounter Blake Ryan on RPG Character Sheets Jeff …

Why So Serious?

September 28th, 2019


RPGs can be taken very, very seriously.  Sometimes, we don’t even understand that someone at our table is taking it as seriously as they are. We share our personal perspectives and we touch on whether you can separate …

RPG Character Sheets

September 21st, 2019


The mighty role-playing game character sheet. It’s at the core of almost every rpg that has been published. There’s the presentation of the character …

Sean’s Cthulhu Game – 2

September 10th, 2019


Brett wanted to check in on Sean’s Call of Cthulhu role-playing game as he continues to get players through the greatest rpg campaign ever written, …

Genre Blending in Role-Playing Games

September 7th, 2019


Cojo asked us to talk about Genre Blending in role-playing games: “I wanted to get your opinion on blending genres in your gaming… Personally, I am a …

Cheating in Role-Playing Games

August 31st, 2019


Cheating in rpg’s, or as Brett puts it “what the f#$% is wrong with some people?” We talk about different ways people have tried to cheat and how you can approach people you know, not suspect, is cheating. Announcements …

Art in Role-Playing Games

August 24th, 2019


Art has has such an impact on the rpg hobby. It not only conveys what the game may be about, but it evokes a feeling. It can be space ships, adventurers, discovering treasure, combat, action, and much, much more. It …

BS’er Feedback aka Random Encounters

August 14th, 2019


We were set to talk about art in role-playing games, but had to call an audible. Sean got shot at, Brett played some games, and we field some great …

Temple of Elemental Evil

August 9th, 2019


Brett wants to talk about one of the few modules he actually runs. It’s the Temple of Elemental Evil. A 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons …

Terrain in Role-Playing Games

August 1st, 2019


From Peter – Tabletop terrain. I’m not sure if you gents have tackled this topic yet. Referring to maps, Dwarven Forge, 3D printing, Hirst Arts and …

Vehicles and Mounts in RPGs

July 27th, 2019


Care and feeding as well as combat – how do we use mounts and vehicles in our role-playing games? Announcements Random Encounter John …

Never Prepared

July 19th, 2019


How prepared are you for your games? Hopefully your better prepared than Brett is for this podcast… but let’s say you need to run an rpg, like right …


July 11th, 2019


Dragonlance, it was an idea by Tracy and Laura Hickman that became a D&D game at TSR. It ultimately went on to be adventure modules, books and …

Game Master Meta Terms

July 5th, 2019


Metagaming, we covered it. This is more meta terms the game master may use in a game. An example, “That’s a side quest, it’s not part of the main …

Suspending Belief in Role-Playing Games

June 29th, 2019


“Your PC falls 120′ and suffers 60 points of damage”. No problem, I still have 60 left. Sometimes it’s a small thing that throws us off, and sometimes it’s something bigger. What are the boundaries/levels of “Suspension …

Con Game Excitement, Bring It Home

June 19th, 2019


A while back Brett brought up the idea of running home games more like convention games – asking why we don’t do that. We’re going to revisit this …

Gaming in Small RPG Groups

June 13th, 2019


Ok, so what is a small role-playing game group? What games might be played and what do you have to keep in mind when you’re playing with a small …

PC Hindrances

June 4th, 2019


PC Hindrances, some systems you take them in order to gain extra points to be converted to boons, buffs and edges. But what if your players take them, but they don’t end up being a hindrance. Announcements Avalon KS If …

Dark Trails and the Weird West

May 28th, 2019


Dark Trails is a role-playing game inspired by HP Lovecraft and authored by David Baity. We have him on to talk about his new game and the weird …

Random Encounters

May 26th, 2019


All Random Encounters this week. Well to include Die Roll too! Announcements Join our email list – be entered to win a set of dice from …

Being Inclusive with Paige Leitman

May 18th, 2019


How can we be better about welcoming everyone that is not like Brett & Sean into the hobby? It can be difficult if you see things through the …

Meta Currencies

May 10th, 2019


Meta currencies like bennies in Savage Worlds, momentum in Star Trek Adventures, light and darks side points in FFG’s Start Wars, FATE points…we talk about them. Thanks to Peter Skanes for the topic! Announcements Sign …

Consuming RPG Setting Material

May 1st, 2019


Read it all. Skim it. Take notes. How do you consume RPG setting material? Thanks Jim Fitzpatrick for the point of inspiration! Announcements Sign up to our email list, be entered to win set of dice from …

Recovering From A Bad Game

April 27th, 2019


It can be a little bit intimidating and difficult to recover after you run a bad game. How do you engage the players again? Do you discuss issues …

Tekumel and Empire of the Petal Throne

April 21st, 2019


Victor Raymond joins Sean to talk about the OSR, MAR Barker – author of Empire of the Petal Throne, and Tekumel! Announcements Sign up to receive updates, insights, deals – be entered to win a set of dice …

Waterborne Adventures Part 2

April 13th, 2019


Waterborne adventures. Ships! Pirates! Storms! Dragon Turtles! We talked about this a bit back on episode 219, but now we’ve got an expert in such things on hand to help us out! Announcements Sign up to receive updates, …


April 5th, 2019


Puzzles in games.  How do we set them up? How do we use them? Announcements Sign up to receive updates, insights, deals – be entered to win a set of dice from Sean’s raising money for Leukemia & …


March 30th, 2019


TPK or total party kill. Is it ever a good time for a TPK? Announcements Join our email list. Be entered to win a set of dice from Random Encounter Comment from Matt of House V. Sky of House Slayton …

Sean’s Venture Into Call of Cthulhu

March 23rd, 2019


Brett wants to know more about Sean’s venture into Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game by Chaosium. Announcements Join our email list and be entered to …

Do Players Make Good Game Masters?

March 16th, 2019


We flip the tables this episode, as Brett says, and talk about players becoming rpg game masters. Announcements Sign up to receive updates, insights, deals – be entered to win a set of dice from  Post …

RPG Campaign Updates

March 8th, 2019


We talk about some recent happenings in our RPG campaigns. Announcements Sign up to receive updates, insights, deals – be entered to win a set of dice from  Gary Con Random Encounter Email from the …

Do GM’s Make Good Players?

March 1st, 2019


Do game masters make good players? Well, do they? Announcements Join our email list, get entered to win from Gary Con Avalon KS Update Random Encounter Email from Laramie Wall: bad endings and things you …

Playtesting RPG’s

February 20th, 2019


Inspired by Aaron C., we talk about playtesting. Announcements Sign up for our newsletter, be entered to win dice from or place an order using promo code in the show to get 15% off your order of $10 or …

Things You Cannot Know

February 15th, 2019


The unexplainable. The mysterious. Sometimes there are things your player character in your rpg will just not know. Announcements Sign up to our email list, you will be entered to win a set of dice from …

Tactical in RPG’s Redux

February 7th, 2019


We re-address the tactical part of rpg’s since Brett started a new Pathfinder game. Announcements Sign up to receive updates, insights, deals – be entered to win a set of dice from January’s winner …

Random Encounter Catch Up

February 1st, 2019


We had a topic, but we also had a LOT of feedback from role-playing gamers. It’s an extended Random Encounter episode! Announcements Gary Con Avalon …

Two New RPG Campaigns

January 23rd, 2019


Both Brett and Sean recently launched role-playing game campaigns. How did it go? Announcements Avalon KS has ended Sign up for our email newsletter …

Chases in RPG’s

January 19th, 2019


RPG chases. Not rules per se, but well, you know. Announcements Avalon KS has ended Join our email list! Receive updates, insights, deals – be …

Reload A Previous Save

January 14th, 2019


Going back – would you ever reboot one of your own rpg campaign-stories but revised with the lessons learned? Why/why not? Would you change …

Detect Evil

January 3rd, 2019


A stranger approaches you. I detect evil. GM sighs. Announcements Evercon – Last Call Join our mailing list, be entered to win set of dice from Mark-Antony Benedetti is the winner of the set of Dice for …

Getting Info from Players – Pre-session Zero

December 26th, 2018


Soliciting information from your players before session zero can give you some insight into their tabletop role-playing game preferences and play …

Kids on Bike vs Tales from the Loop

December 20th, 2018


Kids on Bikes and Tales from the Loop, two RPG’s that take you back to youth. RPG’s inspired by Stranger Things and The Goonies, we go over traits of each game to include character generation, overall mechanics and …

Organized Play

December 14th, 2018


Organized play, what is it and why would anyone want to explore participating in it. Announcements Avalon Kickstarter is live on December 18th! …

Seafaring Adventures in RPGs

December 7th, 2018


Ahoy my maties! We’re talking about getting your sea legs into your RPG play. It’s about seafaring adventures! Announcements Evercon! Avalon KS – on track for mid-Dec go live Gary Con in March, 2019 Patreon change …


November 28th, 2018


Old School Renaissance. Old School Role-playing. Old Students Rebelling. OSR. Announcements Evercon! Avalon KS – on track for mid-Dec go live Patreon …

Gaming with Childrens

November 21st, 2018


We believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them play rpg’s. We talk about gaming with children. Announcements Avalon Kickstarter coming in December 2018! Evercon This show brought to you by fans of …

Playing Role-playing Games Online

November 15th, 2018


We talk about playing role-playing games online via a virtual tabletop. Announcements Avalon Kickstarter coming in December 2018! Evercon Random …

Brett’s Avalon

November 7th, 2018


Brett talks about his Streets of Avalon rpg campaign setting which is targeted for a December 2018 Kickstarter. Announcements Avalon Kickstarter …

Fear Energy Drain

October 24th, 2018


We talk a bit about undead and how energy drain or similar super damage can really put the fear into players. Announcements Avalon Kickstarter coming …

Cursed Items in RPG’s

October 17th, 2018


Cursed items in your rpg, they can really throw your players for a loop. But it doesn’t always have to be the typical cursed sword. In memory of Greg …

Maps in RPG’s

October 10th, 2018


Maps, a staple in many tabletop RPG’s. Whether it’s to find treasure or to lay on the table so players can put their miniatures upon it, we talk …

Killer Adventures

October 3rd, 2018


Tomb of Horrors is one example of what we would call a ‘killer adventure’. These are adventures that are really gunning to kill rpg characters. …

We Greyhawk It

September 27th, 2018


How much does loot matter in the games we like to play? Do we like finding gear and goodies? Why or why not? You will want stick around until the end …

Smash Cut

September 19th, 2018


Smash cuts, spotlight moves, scene flips? Keeping the action moving cutting from one situation to the next in your role-playing games. Announcements …

Random Encounter Segment

September 12th, 2018


We discuss emails, feedback and comments from some of our listeners. Announcements Brett brags about QCC Matt Mercer is a special guest at Gamehole …

I Want My PC To Die This Way

September 5th, 2018


Your player character dies. What happens at the table? Thanks to George Sedgwick on this one. Announcements Gamhole con Evercon Random Encounter …

Magic and Eberron

August 29th, 2018


Manifest Zone co-hosts Wayne Chang and Kristian Serrano join us to clear up low magic, high magic and touch on Eberron and how it’s NOT high magic. …

What We Stopped Doing In Our RPG

August 22nd, 2018


Over time our rpg ame mastering style or the way we play has changed. We talk about some things we stopped doing. Announcements Queen City Conquest – …

PC’s Differ via Advancement

August 15th, 2018


Some games allow you choices through advancement, and many of us may confuse that those choices with character optimization. But what if it’s just a way to differentiate your fighter from another fighter? Announcements …

RPG Campaign Settings

August 8th, 2018


We have skimmed the surface of rpg campaign settings every once in a while. While we don’t go into detail on any one specific setting, like every …

Less Than Optimal, Stats

August 1st, 2018


Playing characters with low abilities, aka stats for rpg pc’s. Good? Bad? Hopeless? Announcements Gamehole Con submissions for events is open! …

Low Level Play in RPG’s

July 25th, 2018


Inspired by DM Cojo, we talk about low-level play. Only this time we have someone help us define it and stay on track. Chris Sniezak from Misdirected Mark/Encoded Designs provides some additional insight. Announcements …

Meta Gaming Again

July 18th, 2018


Meta gaming round 2 with Alex. Then it’s Random Encounter, Die Roll and a special thank you. Announcements Evercon submissions are open! Gamehole Con …

Dilly Dilly!

July 11th, 2018


Dilly! Dilly! BS’ers. We tackle a few Random Encounters, but the main topic is pretty thin to nonexistent. Announcements Gamehole Con submissions for …

Player Character Evolution

July 4th, 2018


Let’s talk about why it’s important to have a PC change as the campaign happens. The idea of “My character wouldn’t do that” is, IMO, often built on …

Game Like It’s A Convention Game

June 27th, 2018


Game events at gaming conventions often times exude a certain level of excitement. Some people may actually play differently when they’re at a convention. Maybe there’s a way to bring the positive components to our home …

Run Away or Surrender

June 20th, 2018


There’s a time and a place that’s good for your player character to either run away or surrender in your rpg. Or is there? dot dot dot Announcements …

Making Tweaks To Monsters

June 13th, 2018


We take a couple monsters each and tweak them just a bit. Announcements Gamehole Con submissions for events is open! Evercon submissions are open! …

Brett Feels

June 6th, 2018


Brett shares his not-so-good experience with his long-standing game group. Announcements Gamehole Con submissions for events is open! Evercon …

Cold Shadows Espionage RPG

May 30th, 2018


We go over the rules of Cold Shadows. An espionage role-playing game by Gallant Knight Games. Announcements Gamehole Con submissions for events is …

Playing Gods in Your RPG

May 23rd, 2018


Playing gods in your rpg. Who better to help us with such a topic than the person that created Part-Time Gods rpg, Eloy Lasanta! Checkout Eloy’s kickstarter for Part-Time Gods 2nd Edition happening up until June 10, …

True Dungeon

May 16th, 2018


True Dungeon, showing up at major cons in the U.S., and something more than escape room. We talk to the founder and creator of this immersive live-action, walk-through, Dungeons & Dragons adventure set, Jeff Martin! …

Dynamic Bad Guys in Your RPG

May 9th, 2018


Last minute change in topic leads us to talk about dynamic big bad evil guy (BBEG) in your rpg. To make a boss fight ‘interesting’, we talk about …

Brett’s Approach to Building an RPG Encounter

May 2nd, 2018


Brett is going to walk us through how he goes about building an rpg encounter while Sean questions and snipes from the sidelines. Announcements …

Sean’s RPG Encounter

April 25th, 2018


Sean is going to walk us through how he goes about building an rpg encounter while Brett questions and snipes from the sidelines (don’t worry, roles …

Using Creatures from Other Games

April 18th, 2018


Inspiration from Blake Ryan. Blake poses the question, “have you ever used something from one game setting or system to another. For example using Githyanki/Githzeri/Mind Flayers in Conan or Lankmar? Something not part …

186 Too Many Options in RPG’s

April 11th, 2018


We’ve talked about limits in our games before, but I wanted to focus on this a bit further. I mean, it’s fine to say something like “limiting options is good” but is that all the time? Only during PC generation? How …

185 Can I Make a Check Too?

April 4th, 2018


Skill roll limits in your rpg: Those times when everyone wants to make a Perception check to try and ensure that the group “wins” and gets the …

Hex Crawl

March 28th, 2018


Hex crawl! We enlist some help from Eric Hoffman and Jason Hobbs to talk about this type of adventuring in your rpg’s. Announcements 2018 Listener Survey – 77 responses so far compared to 29 the last time we ran it. …

Narrative Permission in RPG’s

March 21st, 2018


Inspired by a post by Jared Rascher, we take a look at rolling dice or just succeeding based on the actions of the player character in your rpg. In …

182 Conversion Dilema

March 14th, 2018


Let’s talk about those “old” settings, adventures, and so on – the ones that are for the previous edition of your favorite game, but you want to use …

181 Made for the Player Characters or Not

March 7th, 2018


When we setup a campaign how to we want to deal with the PCs’ actions – We all know the player character’s are the most important people in the game, but is this about the world working around the PCs and their …

180 Adversarial Players in RPG’s

February 28th, 2018


After we talked about Adversarial GMing Andy Hall asked us to chat about Adversarial Players. This may be just as hard to define as Adversarial GMing, but let’s see what we can do with this. Lets talk about adversarial …

179 Energy In Our RPG’s

February 21st, 2018


Inspired by Pure Mongrel’s inquire on creating energy in our rpg games, we talk a bit about it. Maybe point out some things that will make you enthusiastic to play. Random Encounter crimfan comments on ep 177 Feedback …

178 Immersion In Our Games

February 14th, 2018


We actually define immersion, thanks dictionary! Then we go into what it means for our role-playing game, and some things you can do to be immersed. …

177 Adversarial GM’ing

February 7th, 2018


Like many topics we try to define it, adversarial game-mastering in your rpg, but you know how that goes. Random Encounter Crimfan comments on the site re: Sanity Check BS’ers chime in on G+ Robert Nemeth’s Point …

176 Sanity Check

January 31st, 2018


Sanity. Some games have it, some games don’t. We certainly don’t. We even touch on having some fun as a Keeper, Game Master, DM when you want your …

175 Hidden Hit Points

January 24th, 2018


Brett references John Wick’s Play Dirty and a concept of not using numbers for hit points but rather describing the damage to reflect the condition …

174 What We Want In Our RPG

January 17th, 2018


Consider this a pre session zero where Brett wants to know what we want in our rpg. Announcements GaryCon Paladinhood Lawful Good Gaming (Facebook, …

173 Mooks and Minions in RPGs

January 10th, 2018


Mooks and minions in your tabletop RPG. They are fun to mow down, but can it be too much? We know Savage Worlds and Fantasy Flight Games Genesys-based system rpg’s have them, but what about using them in games that …

172 You Meet in a Tavern

January 3rd, 2018


You meet in a tavern and have no connection with other player characters in your role-playing game. But what is your motivation young thespian of …

171 Making Exploration Fun!

December 27th, 2017


Thanks go out to Andy Hall, we discuss exploration in rpg’s. We share our thoughts and ideas on how to make it more fun than ‘you travel, you travel, and travel some more’. Announcements Brett pimps Evercon Random …

170 Emergent Character Creation

December 20th, 2017


For character creation you start with your character name and minor details, but build it as you proceed in an adventure. Craziness. Announcements Evercon 2018 January 5th, 6th, and 7th. Discounted Pre-Reg and Event …

169 Inside RPG Industry – Rob Wieland

December 13th, 2017


This week we have Rob Wieland, author, blogger, writer and game designer. His credits include Shadowrun, Star Wars Saga Edition and Firefly RPG. Creator of Camelot Trigger, Mafia Century, Encore, Save Game and Girls’ …

168 Burning Hands…On Sean

December 6th, 2017


Sean has been dragging feet getting his West Marches-style rpg campaign up and running. Brett has decided to provide some ‘guidance’ and light a fire under Sean. Announcements Evercon 2018 January 5th, 6th, and 7th- …

167 All in the Family

November 29th, 2017


Brett’s group often keeps family out of character backgrounds. Why? Because he’ll kill them off, torture them, or use them as means to putting pc’s …

166 Combat Adding to Story

November 22nd, 2017


Brett and Sean have a Jason Hobbs from Hobbs and Friends of the OSR podcast to talk about how combat in rpg’s don’t have to be ‘I hit ’em with my sword. Fourteen, did I hit? Take 3 damage’ rinse, repeat. There may be …

165 Like Night and Day

November 15th, 2017


“After Gamehole con I realized something that I could do which should drastically change up and, I hope, improve my Iron Shoes adventure: Changing …

164 Post Gamehole – GBS Unplugged

November 7th, 2017


Yes, we recap Gamehole Con 2017, but the conversation isn’t simply a rehash of what we did. We talk about a GM’s experience at the con as well. …

163 Play By Post RPG

October 31st, 2017


Michael Parker asked us about Play by Post rpg’ing, so we figured we’d dig into this a bit and see what thoughts, ideas, and/or advice we have around it. Announcements Evercon – Submissions and Pre-Reg Open! Looks like …

162 West Marches RPG

October 24th, 2017


While some may have run games like this since they were children, Ben Robbins fleshed out the nuances of what he eventually called The West Marches. …

161 Brett’s Upcoming RPG

October 17th, 2017


Last week we talked about Sean getting a game up and running, this week we talk about Brett’s upcoming RPG. Announcements Evercon – Submissions and Pre-Reg Open! Looks like Alex Kamer is going to attend to run some …

160 Sean’s Next RPG

October 10th, 2017


In an exercise in futility, Brett decides to put the screws to Sean in order to help(?) him figure out what he’s going to run for his next rpg. Announcements Evercon – Submissions and Pre-Reg Open! #GamerVsHarvey  – GBS …

159 Re-Energizing Your RPG

October 3rd, 2017


The rpg you’re running is starting to get stale. Maybe it’s the same ole tropes, story and routine. Brought on by a conversation Brett had with Tom …

158 Writing versus Running an RPG Adventure

September 26th, 2017


Forrest Aguirre brought this topic to our attention via Twitter.  What are the differences between Writing and Running an RPG adventure? So, we brought Forrest onto the show to help Sean and I talk through this. …

157 Wear and Tear on Arms and Armor

September 19th, 2017


For some reason, arms and armor never seem to get “used up” or replaced, unless it’s to get better stuff that we found in a dragon’s horde, pulled …

156 Point Buy Tweaking

September 12th, 2017


‘Point buy’ may not be the right words. We talk about buffing a player’s character beyond what is a standard starting point. This works out better in a point-based character progression than a level based one. We’re …

155 Brett’s Recent RPG Mistakes

September 6th, 2017


We all make mistakes in our rpg’s and Brett is not immune. He comes to the table and confronts those mishaps in hopes of becoming a better game …

154 Player Series – Games With No Classes

August 29th, 2017


How to make a character in a game with no classes.  I think this merits a discussion as players new to this style of game often have difficulties …

153 Gaming with the Feels

August 22nd, 2017


Gaming with the feels, aka emotional bleed. There are times when the story is deep and rich, the interactions with NPC’s is turned up to eleven and we become immersed in play. Emotions will heighten and inevitably …

No New Show, Explanation and Thank You!

August 17th, 2017


No new episode this week?!! Gasp! Well, let me explain while also extend a thank you to all of you. After a brief explanation we’ll be rewinding it back to September 17th, 2014.

The post No New Show, Explanation and …

152 Getting Back Into The Hobby

August 8th, 2017


We’re glad you’re getting back to rpg’ing. It’s never too late. We try to settle your nerves with words of encouragement…and maybe some advice. …

151 Back to NPC’s

August 1st, 2017


We go back to NPC’s because we wanted to chat about why it’s important to have non-player characters with personality. Announcements Sponsor: …

150 Mega Dungeons

July 25th, 2017


Mega dungeons, you know, the big ones. There’s Undermountain, Castle Greyhawk, Barrowmaze and many more. We talk about ’em. Announcements 28 games …

149 Lapse Between Game Sessions

July 18th, 2017


More commentary on this one. Some of us have consistent weekly games and some of us play with a group every few months. We share our experiences with …

148 Unveiling the Mystery

July 11th, 2017


Mystery, or the unknown, is a good trope to incorporate into your RPG. But, how far do you go before the players hit a brick wall of frustration and don’t know what to do or what path to pursue? Inspired by an email to …

147 Mass Combat

July 4th, 2017


Mass combat, we’re not talking specific rules or mechanics. More high level than that. We explain our definition and the tie into miniature war …

146 Tips for Tactical Combat

June 27th, 2017


Are your players neutralizing your combat encounters in rpg’s quicker than you can say “save or die”? Well our friend Walt has just those players. But fear not, Walt! We’ll give you some tips on how to beef up a …

145 Pregen or Roll Your Own

June 20th, 2017


Pregens are good for one shots and con games. Roll your own pc is good for campaigns, but what if you flip it? Is there a time when pregens could be …

144 Character Development

June 13th, 2017


As part of a character concept, we pose different questions you can ask yourself when creating your player character. Inspired by feedback on our player series from Jim Fitzpatrick. Announcements Want to run games under …

143 Kids Track at Cons

June 6th, 2017


We have Alex Kammer, Director of Gamehole Con, come on so we can ask him about the kids track that they have in place for this year’s event. …

142 Supernatural Horror and Mystery

May 30th, 2017


Chris Lange wrote us: “…my question is, when your players know they are playing a supernatural horror game, what are some ways to rend their …

141 Super Villains

May 23rd, 2017


Super villains and ultimate baddies in role-playing games can be all full of cliches. Inspired by listener George S., we talk about those trope and …

140 Player Series – Thieves & Rogues

May 16th, 2017


We talk about playing thieves and rogues. Be it sneaky sneak thieves, trap detector and disabler, swashbuckler Robin Hood Musketeer type or even scoundrels, it’s all about the sinister class of the thief. Or shall we …

139 Building Stuff in RPG’s

May 9th, 2017


Building, or creating, things in role-playing games. It could be a keep, a kingdom or magic items. Announcements Want to run games under our Banner …

138 Skills Game

May 2nd, 2017


Some rpg systems have skills list for player characters. Examples of these are 3.x and 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons, GURPS, Champions, Basic …

137 Session Zero

April 25th, 2017


Session zero, we talk about how we handle it for our games. We don’t cover every detail, and you will find ways unique to your games and gaming …

136 Player Facing Die Rolls

April 18th, 2017


Player facing die rolls. Do they fix something that is missing from some tabletop rpg’s? Spurred by listener, Ace’s, email we talk about why we do or …

135 Learning A New Game

April 11th, 2017

Learning a new game, there’s a few ways to approach an rpg. The obvious way is to read the book. There can be other ways, certainly. 00:01:18 …

134 Speaking Cypher System

April 4th, 2017


We invite Darcy and Troy from the Cypher Speak podcast to come on and educate us on, what else, the Cypher System rpg by Monte Cook games! How does it all work? What are the upsides of the system? There’s player facing …

133 Dynamics of Game Cons

March 28th, 2017


Recorded at Gary Con 2017, we talk a bit about our experience at the con as well as the dynamics of game conventions. Sorry, not Random Encounter or …

132 Player Series – Clerics

March 21st, 2017


Another entry into our Player Series, this week we talk about clerics. Strengths, weaknesses, how to play them and how they are servants of a deity or ideal. Announcements Gary Con is upon us Sean is on future episode …

131 Who Runs The RPG?

March 14th, 2017


Spurred by listener Steve Orlik, his original email to us follows Hello BS-ers! I have a question/possible topic for you. I’m wondering what your …

BBS020 Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games

March 10th, 2017


Join us as we talk with rpg designer Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games about his latest kickstarter (launched March 7th, 2017) for Pip System Corebook. …

130 Adding Voice To Your RPG

March 7th, 2017


We’re not talking about voice as in perspective, but actually tweaking how you speak in first person as your player character or npc. It helps with …

129 Potions

February 28th, 2017


Potions, brew them, drink them, stick ’em in a bottle. Announcements We’ll be at GaryCon! Random Encounter James Carruthers emails us and calls BS on our Dragons episode. Jason comments on G+ re: Social Encounters …

128 Player Series – Fighters

February 21st, 2017


First installment of our Player Series, we’re talking about the Fighter. The fighter has a purpose, it’s to smash faces. We also provide some ideas …

127 Social Encounters Redux

February 14th, 2017


Someone called BS on us for our original episode that covered social encounters so we’re revisiting the topic. We even give some examples of how we’ve setup a social encounters. Announcements Azrael Arocha our …

126 Dragons!

February 7th, 2017


Dragons! They are ancient creatures of legend causing fear in player characters throughout the years. Claw, claw, tail, bite attacks. “Save versus breath weapon” and the feeling of impending doom sets in as you pick up …

125 Wilderness Encounters

January 31st, 2017


Brett goes full on Ranger as we go on to talk about wilderness encounters. You can come across interesting things while walking around in the woods, …

124 Politics in Role-playing Games

January 24th, 2017


The politics in gaming, the politics ooo feeling good. We touch on law, but tie it into politics and that doesn’t make any sense. Politics is full of …

123 Social Encounters in RPG’s

January 17th, 2017


Social encounters in role-playing games. There’s the ongoing debate on how to handle a not-so-social player playing a type-A rpg character and how …

BBS019 Ed Greenwood Interview

January 13th, 2017


Brett interviews Ed Greenwood of The Greenwood Group, and the person behind the origins of the popular rpg campaign setting The Forgotten …

122 Weather in Role-playing Games

January 10th, 2017


Talking about weather in role-playing games. After all, we live in Wisconsin and every bit of small talk is about the weather. “Oooh, it’s cold …

121 What’s in a Player Character’s Name?

January 3rd, 2017


Peeneel Testiclees! Yes, we’re talking about what’s in a player character’s name in this episode. How do you handle those players that insist on have …

120 Goals for 2017

December 27th, 2016


The new year, 2017, is upon us and this is the last show of the year. We talk about what we’d like to accomplish, as it pertains to role-playing …

119 Race as Class in RPG’s

December 20th, 2016


Race as class in role-playing games, it goes back to Basic, Expert, Companion, Master’s and Immortal’s (BECMI) sets of Dungeons and Dragons. It is …

118 Urban Adventuring Part 2

December 13th, 2016


We revisit urban adventuring.  We had some good feedback on the original episode 116 that we wanted to fill in some blanks. We mention how some city-based prepublished supplements offer tables and encounter charts that …

117 Creative Spell Casting

December 6th, 2016


Creative spell casting could be a synergy of spells. Casting grease down a hallway and then a flame-based spell to light it on fire. Brett mentions …

BBS018 Monte Cook Games at Gamehole Con 2016

December 5th, 2016


Recorded at Gamehole Con 2016, a tabletop gaming convention held in Madison, Wisconsin, this bonus episode features Monte Cook and Shanna …

116 Urban Fantasy Adventures

November 29th, 2016


What makes for a good urban adventures for our fantasy games? Well, it’s a city, but how does that change the adventure? The surroundings differ, and there are other obstacles to throw at the players. Announcements …

115 Gods in RPG’s

November 22nd, 2016


Gods in rpg’s, what role to they play in your game? Do they interact with the common player? We talk about whether we incorporate them and what …

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