Useless Drivel – Atomic Robo (and more!) with Mike Olson

Atomic-RoboWould you believe that Robert and Matt actually convinced someone to record a podcast with them?  Neither could they!  When it comes to over the top awesome, it’s hard to beat the Fate Core system, but you add a healthy dose of Atomic Robo to the mix, and you’ve got yourself some serious kickassery!  The guys are joined this week by Mike Olson, lead designer of the Atomic Robo RPG, and man, is this guy living the dream!  Tune the world out and flip on your geek-dar, because it’s about to get all sorts of awesome in your ears.  From Action Scientists and Dinosaurs to Brainstorms and Vampire Lucahdores, prepare to be amazed by a brand new episode of Useless Drivel – A Podcast Without a Point!

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DnD Next – Keep “Nexting” and Driving (Things Forward)

Articles abound these days about the buzz that is DnD Next.  From analysis of the core rules to speculations about the future, every play-tester has their opinion and each one is valid in its own right.  Yes, I truly believe that.  Wizards of the Coast’s modular approach to this iteration of the most popular roleplaying game in history shoots to please as many fans as possible.  Wow – that’s a hefty goal, especially in this incredibly heterogeneous hobby of ours.  What I don’t want to examine is the current rules or plans for DnD Next; how could I?  I don’t have 20+ years of experience in game design, so I won’t tweak or nitpick where my nose doesn’t belong.  Rather, I’d like to look into DnD Next only so far as it’s impact on me and then zoom out to provide some insight into how these circumstances might translate to play-test groups across the world.

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Episode 17 – Co-Op Experiences

In this day and age of online gaming and social media, we geeks have it sweet in the ability to jump on our PC’s or consoles with people from around the world and wreak havoc upon AI foes or one another in any number of settings no matter what time of day it is. Whether it’s banding together for a raid in World of Warcraft, or failing miserably to save the world in a game of Pandemic, one of the best gaming experiences a gamer can have is when teamwork with you closest friends brings sweet, sweet victory or amusingly humiliating defeat.

Join us this week as we shotgun blast your ears with our numerous (and we mean numerous!) experiences with Co-Op gameplay. From video games to board games to tabletop RPG’s, we hit it fast, hard, and chaotic, just like Leeroy Jenkins himself. Plug in and listen up, because the Co-Op memories just keep coming!

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Episode 16 – Inspiration

As gamers and geeks, we are also creators and innovators.  Whether it’s writing a campaign, rolling up a new character, or working on any sort of artistic and commercial endeavors, we all look inward and outward in order to fuel the creative process.  This week, we look at what drives each of us individually when it comes to finding the inspiration that turns our creative gaming sparks into (hopefully) artistic bonfires.  So, settle in, listen up and grab something to write with.  As you’re about the hear, if we’ve learned anything it’s if you don’t write it down, you might as well kiss it good-bye!

P.S.  Since you’re reading this, take a gander at our new logo, courtesy of Dennis Salvatier at Salvatier Studios and let both us and Dennis know what you think.  Enjoy!

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I think I broke my back: Ramblings of a mad man.

This is what happens when you tweak your back on post day and can’t move much without shooting pain.

 

 So to my surprise the long thought dead (By me at least) MMO Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) made an announcement they are going to release their first expansion this summer. This got me to thinking about what types of people are still playing that game. I tried it for the free month when it first came out in 2006, but it didn’t really grab my attention away from World of Warcraft and it lacked the more tight knit group aspect I was hoping for from a D&D game, so my ADD addled mind quickly moved on.

I originally purchased DDO in the hopes of scratching that table top itch that I had been missing since my group was slowly moving apart. I can only assume there were a number of other people who joined for the same reasons I did, but were they the ones who stayed? Are the current players old table top gamers that found a new home in an MMO or have they ever sat down and played a game of D&D before?

It is a bit funny how back in the days of D&D 3.5 Wizards of the Coast (WotC) would release video games with the updated ruleset in an effort to promote the table top game and yet with 4th edition they attempted to emulate video games with the new ruleset in attempt to bring in fresh blood. Of the two I’m not sure which is better. Up until a point I bought every D&D game they had, whether it be tabletop or video game, and I’m sure there were a number of fans like me that made money for WotC, but eventually attrition will get to you if your income is based solely on repeat business. With 4th edition it seems the fresh blood strategy worked to an extent. While a lot of new gamers who had never played any form of table top game before started to dip their toes in the water, old school gamers started to feel alienated and began jumping ship due to the “dumbing down” of their once favorite game.

Now four years after 4th edition was released WotC has announced they are working on a 5th edition and want input for new and old players alike. WotC is claiming this new edition will work with all flavors of the game, so if you prefer the older style THAC0 ruleset, it’s just as compatible as 4th edition powers, and whatever new mechanics they come up with for 5th edition. Will this new version fix the rift in the D&D community? It seems that is what WotC is banking on, they gained a number of new players 4th edition, now they just need to brink the old players back in to the fold.

 

“Can’t we all just get along?” -Mark Fuhrman

“What is wrong with this font? The 0 looks like an o” -Robert

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