Episode 3 (Part 2) Traveller RPG Micro-Grog Pod

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In this episode, we return to Traveller, and look at some of the supplements for the game. When it comes to politics, we are as woolly as John Stewart Mill riding a sheep and wearing cardigans, so we examine our attitudes towards the politics of the Imperium.

Games master’s Screen: Judge Blythy enjoys the benefit of High Passage, as his status demands, however he is less enamoured the concept of the D66.

The usual memories and discussion around the selected supplements take place.

Postbag: There’s been much interest in Traveller including a game description by Andrew Cousins. I also reflect upon the recent Runequest Classic kickstarter.

Episode 3 (Part 1) Traveller RPG

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Introduction – The origin of the game

Section One – Open Box – reliving the memories of playing the game for the first time with Blythy, who was our referee back in the day. We introduce ‘the prime directive’ and Blythy has a black mark on his wall.

Section Two – White Dwarf – @dailydwarf talks about his early experiences of playing Traveller and makes a selection of an article, scenario and ‘Starbase’ column from the pages of the UK’s best gaming magazine.

Section Three – Judge Blythy Rules – Listing three great mechanics and one that doesn’t quite work, the resident rules-lawyer goes ‘under the bonnet’.

Section Four – An invitation to listeners to contribute their stories of playing Traveller. What’s your favourite supplement?

Look out for a Micro Grog-Pod (Traveller – Part Two) coming soon featuring a list of our favourite Traveller supplements and a current online pricing guide.

Episode 2 (Part 2) Call of Cthulhu RPG Micro-Grog Pod

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This is a supplement to the Second Episode of The GROGNARD RPG Files – Call of Cthulhu.

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GAMESMASTER’S SCREEN

Behind the screen I have a table of Call of Cthulhu supplements. I’m joined by Judge Blythy who rolls the 1D100 to select 5 for detailed discussion.

ED’S BARGAIN SHED

Ed, The Armchair Adventurer’s Chief bargain-hunter provides an e-Bay price index for the supplements under discussion.

POSTBAG

A selection from listener comments, including a fascinating look at The Lovecraft Variant – an early Cthulhu adaptation for Tunnels and Trolls.

Follow me on Twitter @theGROGNARDfile

Episode 2 (Part 1) Call of Cthulhu RPG

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Introduction – The origin of the game

Section One – Open Box – reliving the memories of playing the game for the first time and the faltering start.

Section Two – Judge Blythy Rules! – The Armchair Adventurers’ Resident Rules Lawyer discusses the finer points of the rules and style of play. We also speculate on what horrors have faced British Prime Ministers.

Section Three – White Dwarf – @dailydwarf talks about his early experiences of playing Call of Cthulhu and selects his favourite item from the pages from the halcyon days of the UK’s best gaming magazine.

Section Four – An invitation to listeners to contribute their stories of playing Call of Cthulhu in the early days.

Look out for a Micro Grod Pod coming soon featuring a list of our favourite CoC supplements and a current online pricing guide.

Episode 3 will feature TRAVELLER RPG

Episode 1 (Part 2) Runequest RPG Micro-Grog Pod

This is a supplement to the First Episode of The GRODNARD Files – Runequest.

I give a potted history of the game, from it’s origins to the present day.

There’s also a selection from the post-bag, featuring the responses from the listeners of the first episode – and their opinion about ducks.

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Enjoy!

Current Vacancies: Crew Members Required

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I’ve been preparing for a future podcast about TRAVELLER RPG and have found myself falling into a vortex of reading and re-reading the material that I once knew so well. I rarely refereed the game back in the day, but I was an enthusiastic player. I loved the potential of world-hopping: encountering the weird and the wonderful and being stuck with them in Low Passage for a week.

THE TRAVELLER ADVENTURE

Even the die-hard, rose-tinted fan will admit that most of the published adventures produced by GDW, in the little black books, were a bit weak. They provided a sketchy plot, a little local colour and a couple of plans and expected the referee to busk the rest while on the fly. If you were being generous you could describe them as a ‘framework’ for your gaming group to build upon. If you were being honest, you’d have to admit that they were a bit of a swizz.

There was an exception that proved the rule in the form of THE TRAVELLER ADVENTURE, which was the first real attempt at creating a ‘role-playing’ campaign pack, all the others seemed like deck-plans for a table-top SF skirmish, war game.

I played the adventure twice, and both times it was completely different, because of the style of play by the referee. The first time was brisk and combat heavy. The second was bureaucratic and talky. Both versions were wrapped in an intriguing plot.

ARAMIS: THE REVIVAL

I’m going to play it again… this time as a referee in an online game, and you are invited.

I need a crew for THE MARCH HARRIER, a 400 Ton subsidised merchant that serves the worlds of the ARAMIS TRACE. The subsidy is owned by a blind trust based on Regina and the crew will have a broad discretion in selecting cargoes, destinations and charters, providing basic financial and contract obligations are met.

THE MARCH HARRIER has been running the assigned route for over five years. It’s built up a credit of 80 weeks can begin operations outside of the ARAMIS TRACE at any time.

Presently the ship is in dock at the space port in LEEDOR the capital of ARAMIS …

The game will take place fortnightly in short sessions (in the style of a space opera serial!) online.

‘Session Zero’ will commence on Wednesday 23/09/2015 – Google Hangouts, using the Roll 20 app. Commencing at 21.00 until about 23.00 – a chance to meet your fellow crew members and to walk through the decks of THE MARCH HARRIER.

If you are interested … then please let me know and I’ll get you on the roll call … join me – it’s going to be a blast!

Runequest RPG Ep. 1 (Part 1)

This is where the GROGPOD began. We started playing RPGs with RuneQuest, so we start with the podcast with a history of the game.

 

It was a steep learning curve, but this was where the GROGPOD first began. This is a remastered version of the original recording. Nothing has been re-recorded, but the levels have been balanced, some light editing of pauses, and chapters added.

In this first episode, I open up the Runequest GROGNARD file, as it’s the game that we first played all those years ago.

Open Box – revealing the content within the 2nd edition box set produced in the UK by Games Workshop

The White Dwarf – @dailydwarf selects the best Runequest feature from White Dwarf magazine.

Judge Blythy Rules! – @sjamb7 our resident rules lawyer talks through some of the finer points of Runequest and argues the toss over Ducks.

Games Master’s Screen – Five Runequest supplements randomly selected using my Grognard table with a buyers guide from @Edinthesand

Coming soon, a Micro Grog Pod containing the Origin Story  and complete history of Runequest. Until then – enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Vicari-Con 2015

Thirty years ago I went to Dragonmeet Convention in that there fancy London. I’d only just turned 17, so it was a big deal that I’d managed to organise the trip myself. My parents were surprised, given that I was struggling with the most rudimentary tasks, such as “picking up socks from the floor.” Planning the journey involved travelling to Manchester to buy the tickets from Games Workshop – there was no online agent – I handed over the cash to the guy at the counter with an air of sophisticated superiority, as if I was joining a private members club. He explained that there were no spaces on their specially chartered charabanc so I would have to arrange for my own transport. No one else from our group was able to come, for various reasons, so it meant I had to travel alone. In order to keep the costs down, I arranged to travel overnight on the National Express with the safe assumption that I would sleep in my seat, ready to wake refreshed and ready to explore the delights of the gaming delectation that would await me in the Royal Agricultural Hall.

It didn’t work like that. I spent the whole night sat next to an over-weight, old fella, who rubbed his inside legs constantly during the entire journey. The combination of the rasping friction noise and the fear that he would make a move on me while I slept, meant I stayed ‘on watch’ all night. When I arrived bleary-eyed in London at 5am, I wasn’t sure what to do, the convention didn’t open for 5 hours and there was nowhere to go.

I decided to head to Hyde Park and have a lie-down on a park bench. I hadn’t been settled down for long before a police patrol car, cruising through the Park’s pathways stopped. “Where have you come from pal?” asked the copper in a friendly manner, clearly believing that I was a runaway (my sandwiches wrapped in a spotted hanky on the end of stick were an obvious give away.) I did the sensible thing and explained that I’d come to the capital to “Role-Play”. They exchanged glances.

They left me alone, with a few warnings about talking to strangers, and not sleeping on park benches, in case I was taken advantage of in my sleep.tumblr_mz3lumyKsh1r1g40zo1_500

At the convention itself, I spent the entire time in a sleep deprived delirium, walking between tables and stalls in a confused haze. After all the effort of getting there, I wasn’t sure what I was meant to do. It wasn’t like Northern Games Day, that I’d gone to a couple of years before, it was ten times bigger. At Northern Games Day, I’d managed to get into a game of Runequest with an enthusiastic Games Master and 6 other players. I’d never played the game outside of our group (when I say a group, it was me and friend). Playing with other people, for the first time, I realised that we had interpreted some of the rules incorrectly.

There were no games available, so just wandered around, in slow circles with a fixed grin on my face.

In the afternoon, I’d arranged to meet up with a group of players of a PBM, The Gadiators’ Gazette, including the Games Master who had drawn a t-shirt using felt-tip pens, so he could be identifiable in the crowd. Once we’d exchanged stories, we talked excitingly about Call of Cthulhu which was beginning to gain popularity. None of us had managed to bag a game, so we decided to run an impromptu game of CoC off the hoof, with no characters, dice or story. I sat in a corner, drifting in an out of consciousness, while the voices around me merged into a Charlie Brown’s teacher’s drawl.

I’ve been thinking of these Dragonmeet memories over the past few days thanks to the social media coverage of GENCON. In the comfort of my own armchair, I’ve been watching twitter friends meeting up, like I did with my PBM friends. I’ve enjoyed the cos-play, the live play beamed by periscope, and the seminar feeds (particularly the exciting announcement about Moon Design’s take-over of Chaosium).

The Armchair Adventurer’s club are heading south again at the end of the year to Dragonmeet 2005. I’m looking forward to recreating the experiences that I’ve enjoyed vicariously this week.This time, I’m taking no chances and getting there the day before so I can have a good sleep.

If there’s an old fella rubbing his legs on the train, Eddy can sit next to him.