Useless Drivel – What The Holy Hell???

Useless Drivel Nino LoboFirst off, our apologies.  No, really.  Not the regular “apologies” we give you every week for producing our amazingly good/bad podcast, but for real and for true, sorry.  Things were going great (depending which side of the fence you sit on) and then Matt had to go and bring it down.  What a dick!  Anyways, now that’s out of the way, it’s on with the show!  From low-brow theology and anointed body parts to Wondercon and continuity issues, this show has enough to rub everyone the right and wrong way, simultaneously!  Please note, we don’t fact check for shit, but that’s kind of the heart and soul of Useless Drivel – A Podcast Without a Point!

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Episode 84 – Bringing a Game to Life


Gamers want to feel immersed and invested in the games they play and run.  Now, while this responsibility can be shared by Players and GMs alike, it will almost certainly falls on the shoulders of the overburdened GM.  Bringing something unique and memorable to the gaming table – be it a prop, ambiance, or even food – will definitely stay in the forefront of the Players minds, unlike useless details such as “Where are we?” or “What are we supposed to be doing?” or “What was the name of the guy that hired us?”  Join us this week as we welcome our special guest, MITC listener and fellow podcaster JiB of the Happy Jacks RPG community to talk about techniques to help bring a game to life.  Strap on a HazMat suit, clean out your test tubes, and be sure to have a plan as you get ready for an all new episode of Monkey in the Cage!

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Episode 80 – What’s in Your Closet?


If you’re a gamer and a geek, then undoubtedly you’ve amassed a grand collection of wondrous treasures, from boxes and books to cartridges and discs.  While some of these items may be considered mundane or even relics of geek ages long past, we all know that it goes against our very nature to part with such great gifts of enjoyment, even if we’ve never taken the shrink wrap off yet!  Join us this week as we delve into our geek closets and discuss games of all types – purchased, played, and otherwise.  Clear off the table, charge up those controllers, and for God’s sake read some damn instructions as you prepare for a brand new episode of Monkey in the Cage!

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Too Many Characters, Too Little Imagination

A while back Matt posted about the various characters he created. I thought it might be interesting to put myself out there with a few of my PCs. It might make for an interesting comparison as Matt and I differ in the way we create the character; He creates an entire lineage before we play and I don’t know the first thing about my character’s personality until I sit down at the table.

In Reverse chronological order:

Feln the Halfling Ranger for Pathfinder:

Feln is unique for me due to actually coming up with the concept before I started to work on the stats, which might have led to a weaker PC than I am used to playing. I haven’t had much playtime with Feln yet, but I’ve already started to flesh out his story. Feln is a repo man, whenever someone doesn’t pay back their loan, it is Feln’s job to get the item back preferably in one piece. He’s not the strongest or toughest guy, but he’s charismatic and sneaky, so with his dog Bones and trusty urban ranger skills he can take back the items from your defaulted loan before you can say “Peck”.

Rennik the Glowborn Bounty Hunter for Savage Worlds: Sundered Skies:

Rennik started out as a Goblin that was turned into a 6 foot tall Glowborn. This left him a bit confused, which has become his default emotion. Rennik is a big dumb oaf. He not really good at anything other than punching people, so he decided to become a bounty hunter because “Those people need punching.” The biggest problem Rennik has is that he’s just too dumb to catch anyone. At this point he’s made back maybe 10 cogs out of the 200 it cost him to get his bounty hunters license.

Dolph Van Damme for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition:

I grew up playing D&D 2nd edition, so I have a deep undying dislike of bards and clerics, so when I was asked to join a 4E game and that I please make a leader character I threw up a little in my mouth. But due to this requirement I was able to create the greatest mandolinist? mandoliner? mandolinie? that ever lived! Dolph has that oh so wonderful trope of amnesia, so when the arty found him, he had no idea what he was doing and his only thought was that the bad guys were stealing his meat (true story). I have since decided that when Dolph gains levels he is actually remembering things from his past rather than learning new skills. Dolph is several hundred years old and has gone through this amnesia bit multiple times.

Alex White for World of Darkness:

Alex is one of those characters I’m disappointed in. He really is just me but better. In terms of an actual character he is lacking in both social and combat skills, but as of lately I think I am finally finding a good voice for him. I’ve started to let the crazy experiences affect him on more than just a surface level. Everything from girl problems to freaks to the inability to drive a car have started to make the character become more than just stats on a page. So while he was one of my weaker creations, I am exited to see where he ends up now.


What I wouldn’t give for a ding!: Leveling

You quietly follow the trail back to the camp. Peaking through the foliage you count ten, maybe twelve Goblins, and half are sleeping or otherwise indisposed. Whispering to the party you come up with a plan to surround the camp and quickly dispatch the menace before you finally “liberate” the Holy MacGuffin. At this point the warrior yells “Screw it!” and runs in swinging his sword at anything that moves. With a sigh the rest of the party joins the fray and slaughters the creatures to the last drunken Goblin. You hear the fanfare coming from all around you, and you know it was all worth it now that you gained another level. Continue reading


Coming Clean: I Was a Teenage Munchkin

The first time I ever played a pen and paper role playing game was at a Boy Scout camp. Our troop leader asked a few of the older boys if we would be interested in playing a Robotech game. My first thought was “We get to play as giant robots? I’m in!”, and thus started my long adventure into trying to be the most badass character in every game. Continue reading