This is the 80th GROGPOD and there is a sense of celebration in the air. We are delighted to have Marcus L Rowland as our guest. He was a stalwart of Whit Dwarf during its hey day. Cthulhu Now! Green Horizon, To Live and Die in Mega City One and the Fear of Flying, his contribution to our gaming imagination back in the day is inestimable.
@DailyDwarf provides a retrospective of his work in White Dwarf.
The first ever Patreon of The GROGNARD Files was Sam Vail and he reveals the first game he played, the last game he played and the game that means everything to him in a lifetime of gaming.
Blythy joins me in the Room of Role Playing Rambling to answer listener questions in the Thunder Phase!
The GROGNARD files returns with the Return of Call of Cthulhu with the return of Lynne Hardy. This time she faces the Keeper’s Screen to reveal her Arcane secrets. She talks about her contribution to the Dying Earth Role-Playing Game, Cogs, Cakes and Swordsticks, the game she designed, and more news about upcoming Chaosium releases that we can look forward to in the coming months.
In the introduction, I refer to it as Episode 47, it’s not, but what are numbers. I have never understood our bizarre numbering system. This show note counts as Errata. We delve into Different Worlds Issue 19 which was a Call of Cthulhu special and features errata, essays by Sandy Petersen and Lyn Willis and more.
The Post Bag returns with comments from listeners. If you are interested in hearing more from The God Learners podcast, you’ll find it where you get your podcasts.
We share a hoary old story about a trip to Morecambe, where nothing really happened, but it was character forming.
According to Malcolm Gladwell, there are people who are natural ‘connectors’ in a community. They know large numbers of people and are in the habit of making introductions to others due to their “ability to span many different worlds (and) intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability and energy.”
This morning I heard the shocking news that our community has lost one of its great connectors. Mike “The Welsh Wizzard” Hobbs who was known in hobby circles for his miniature painting (displayed on twitter), his generosity of spirit, good humour combined with a sly wit (expressed in his blog) and for being the co-host of the long running podcast Meeples and Miniatures with his best mate Neil “The Brummie Dwarf” Shuck.
The GROGNARD files owes a great deal to Mike. He discovered the podcast at a period when it was running out of steam back in 2017. Thanks to his connections in the wargaming convention world, he was spreading the word about it: “I happened across this podcast on Twitter and thought I’d have a quick listen, as I used to play RPGs back in the 80’s, I was hooked from the start … over the past 2 weeks I’ve listened to the back catalogue.”
He mentioned the GROGPOD on Meeples and Miniatures 223 with an enthusiastic endorsement and as a result we had a huge influx of new listeners. He was such a respected figure that people could not resist his recommendation. Although he wasn’t pouting on instagram, he was a true influencer, drawing more and more war-gamers to the idea of rediscovering the lure of RPGs. The new listeners he brought boosted our energy to continue and it grew the GROGNARD files community massively.
At UK Games Expo 2018 he joined my game of RuneQuest, Broken Tower and he presented me with a fantastic painted figure of Judge Dredd. “Keep going mate, it’s fantastic,” he said in his gentle Welsh accent. He recounted the experience of playing on his blog ‘Musings of the Welsh Wizzard’ with real excitement to be playing, even noting my perplexed look as I tried to hurry on the discussion about the parking arrangements of the bison mounts.
Before long he was back into RPGs, bringing along armfuls of delicious welsh cakes for the attendees of GROGMEET, he played Jenner in our Blakes Seven game and this weekend he was playing Numenera at virtual GROGMEET.
He was a caring, humble and generous soul and I will miss him deeply. My thoughts are with his family, Neil and his many friends.
I was always ribbing him about how guilty he sounded about his ‘accidental’ purchases. Last year he revised his review of the GROGPOD, adding a warning, “beware as you might find yourself buying lots of new things that you never know you needed in your life, but hey that’s not a bad thing, is it?”
Gladwell said that connectors are vital to create a ‘tipping point’, so the next time something tips off the wobbly shelf into my hands at my local games store, I’ll be thinking of Mike.
The GROGNARD files opens on one of our favorites from back in the day. Blythy bought it from Northern Games Day while I was playing a great game of RuneQuest and he was feeling sorry for himself. We played a lot of this game as it was our swords and sorcery game of choice. In this episode we are reconnecting with the game.
Chris Klug is in the Open Box section talking about how he got into game design and the factors that influenced his design decisions for the 2nd edition of the game.
Rob Arcangeli is the GROGSQUAD member who provides an interesting First, Last and Everything. I never expected that The Age of Sigmar would feature in this section.
We watch The Sword and the Sorcerer together in the GROGGLEBOX.
Dave Morris joins us in the Room of Role-Playing Rambling and discusses White Dwarf and other projects he’s been involved with over his long career in gaming. You can join his Patreon to support JewelSpider and follow his blog.
There’s a new twitter account for you to follow @theRPGLibrarian follow it and direct mail me if you’d like to know more about the monthly Book Club, starting in Feb.
Follow all of the GROGNARD files projects on Patreon.