Episode 21 – Night’s Black Agents RPG (with Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan)

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INTRO (00:00) The GROGNARD files finally sells out to one of those new fangled games. There’s a new iTunes review too, that compares us to Ridley Scott’s Hovis advert. 

OPEN BOX (with Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan) (0:07) We are joined by Gar who tells us about his formative years in RPGs, his role in relaunching some of the 80s classics for Mongoose and his role in developing adventures for Night’s Black Agents.

ACTUAL PLAY (41:31) The Virtual GROGMEET twittercrew take on Operation: GROUNDWORM.

JUDGE BLYTHY: (1:02:00) Judge Blythy sinks his teeth into the finer points of spending points.

OUTRO (1:40:02) Up date from the Patreon Projects.

Author: Dirk

Host of The GROGNARD RPG Files podcast. Talking bobbins about Runequest, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, T&T, AD&D and others from back in the day and today.

8 thoughts on “Episode 21 – Night’s Black Agents RPG (with Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan)”

  1. All right, Dirk what sort of kerfuffle have you got yourself into with the spy scenes project? Tell your Uncle Mike, GMing Consultant at Large and he will solve all your problems! Mostly by telling you how to cheat.

    (I am actually offering to help here. What’s your problem?)

    I found the Conspyramid… difficult. I was improvising my way through the DRACULA DOSSIER and though I had a clear idea what was going on and what was going to happen I couldn’t get my players engaged in the way Gareth R-H advises. They ALL wanted to sit down and analyse stuff. Well apart from the Hard Woman and she just wanted to shoot things from far away with her rifle.

    Note to self, try to ensure that there are at least some impatient PCs in the mix. Note to Pelgrane Press: try putting a mechanic in that ensures this… Yes, yes, I know about Drives. Didn’t work so well in my case.

    I also cut out all the stuff about earthquakes though not all the stuff about vampires being tied to their native earth.

  2. The excellent standard continues, Mr Ryder-Hanrahan is allowed to ramble and reminisce with an insightful measure, and a moment of parity as I too was introduced to RPGs with an unknown and as yet undiscovered rules system that will forever plague my memories. As a diehard Classic Traveller fan, I can only commend him on a good job with Mongoose, it did capture the essence without crippling the rules too much, a few sacred cows were killed – but only during character generation.
    But this episode was extra for me as imagine my surprise to hear my own dulcet tones as one of the hapless chaps in 1980s Britain battling vampires and the NCB. This was a hugely enjoyable game, my first virtual experience, somewhat hampered by the choice of “new Skype” as the communications tool that did not show your own face, so I was unnerved and distracted by concentrating on not picking my nose or drinking copeous amounts of beer Zuckerberg-style. I’m more “roll” than “role” player so Gumshoe would not be my first choice, but the banter and cameraderie more than made up for it, and admittedly it did get a bit hairy when my character decided to take a chase along the window ledge (no shoe shops in sight), it was a lot of fu…, er, agency. Would play again.
    And a big shout to one of my vampire-hunting comrades – Angus, whose military history podcasts I’ve been following for years.
    Blythy’s (annotated) analysis was spot-on as usual, the concept of less is more is prevelant in Gumshoe and I can see how it can stretch your mind beyond pure game mechanics, both for games masters and players.
    Regarding upcoming episodes, whilst I look forward to revisits (a thinly disguised excuse for “we’ve run out of ideas”), and I am sure they’ll be entertaining, perhaps consider The Fantasy Trip, which lost out to Paranoia in the listener’s poll last year, especially now SJ Games is kick-starting a new edition.

  3. I love the talk about convention games. I had been playing for two decades and really only started into the convention scene about 2002 – 2003. I went quickly from playing to running to writing and even running the cons. Nice to hear that others have similar experiences.

  4. I had always thought this podcast was about old games my Dad liked, until I saw it was also about games from TODAY!
    I was so excited I have told all my cool friends to listen and we can’t wait for the Starfinder episode!

  5. To me Gumshoe is the Lister Fried Egg Chili Chutney sandwich. It contains a lot of ingredients that I tend not to like – but it WORKS. Spending points generates tension and conflict in the players. Investigative point spends allows ways for players to find out information they may have missed elsewhere (Provided you can think on your feet as a GM).

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