If you’re a GM stuck at home during this time of social distancing, you’re almost certainly giving some thought to running your favorite RPG online. What should you know going in? Andy and Chris are wondering the same thing, so they’ve convened a special panel discussion with returning guests Kyle and Murph to talk through a wide assortment of issues related to running good games online.
We’ve all been there. It’s game night and over the course of the day everyone is cancelling until you only have 1 or 2 players. Do you cancel? Do you play a board game instead?! Or do you embrace the smallness and see what happens?
Shel Kahn joined us this week to roll on the table and talk about running games for small groups! This was a fun conversation and we hope it brings you some inspiration during these times of social distancing:
- The Yellow King – Shel did some AMAZING artwork for this book in the Paris book. Check this out and tell me you don’t want to visit spooky Paris
- Portable City – where you can see everything Shel is up to.
- The Sorcerer’s Catalogue – Shel’s shop.
- Ryuutama – and the kickstarter.
- Dames Making Games – An organization that Shel works with. It’s “a space for queer and gender-marginalized people to create games freely.”
Donn Stroud joins us to talk about two things that are a major part of life that sometimes get missed in tabletop games: romance and shopping! Unsurprisingly, we had more to say about one of these things than the other.
Joking around with your friends around the game table is great, but sometimes you want to steer away from that default “adventure slapstick” vibe. How do you establish the appropriate mood for the game you’re running? Andy and Chris discuss this, along other diverse topics including Games You Should Play in Art Museums and Chris’ dream of running a Final Fantasy tabletop game.
Chris and Andy chit-chat about some recent games they ran. Then we dive into our topic about the most fun part about games: referring to the rules!
Rules are arguably what makes a game a game; however, pausing the session to flip through a book can kill the narrative momentum at the table. So, dear listener, when do you look up rules at the table? What are rules even for? Why not just play make-believe instead?
Also, listen to the end to hear a confession. We just ask that you don’t think less of us.
Guest GM Jess Snyder joins Andy and Chris to address the timeless question: do you run published adventures or exclusively homemade ones? And how do you address the challenges that arise with each approach?
How do you go about bringing a new RPG to the table? Andy and Chris discuss—and do a little reflecting on the first year of Roll for Topic.
Happy holidays everyone! We’re back with an episode in which we play through the dungeon that we made during the last episode. Andy is your esteemed GM for this one and we were pleased to have Aaron, Matt, and Brandon join in as players!
If you liked this two-part experiment of building and playing a dungeon, please reach out to let us know! We’re thinking about doing more in the future!
This episode is going live a few days early just in case you have upcoming holiday travel and want something to listen to. We’ll be back in early January with a “normal” episode.
Also, for the parents out there: all Roll For Topic episodes strive to be PG. No swearing, but there are discussions of violence.
As a change of pace for the holidays, Andy and Chris team up with previous guest Kyle to design a dungeon one-shot on the fly! Will the end result be a masterpiece of adventure design or a hilarious trainwreck that features psychic whales, post-apocalyptic shopping malls, and something called a “hyperskeleton”? Tune in to find out.