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.

Episode 18 (Part 1) Judge Dredd RPG (with Marc Gascoigne)


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INTRO: Warning, there’s an unnecessary David Bowie impression in this bit, as the Judge Dredd Board Game appeared in Labyrinth.

POTTED HISTORY: (00:05:00) A brief publication history of Judge in RPGs and news of the forthcoming game from EN Publishing.

OPEN BOX (with Marc Gascoigne): (10:44) We are joined by a giant in the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy publishing. He tells stories about his time editing DragonLords fanzine , working with Games Workshop and designing Judge Dredd.

DAILY DWARF: (00:48:24) @dailydwarf writes an introduction to some of the great material that appeared in White Dwarf, before the sun set on its coverage of RPGs.

ATTIC ATTACK: (01:07:00) Blythy joins Dirk in the loft to reflect on 2000ad and how it influenced our play.

OUTRO: (01:37:00) Dirk is running Judge Dredd at Spaghetti ConJunction in Birmingham on 10th Feb 2017. Also, there’s news about how to get PDFs of the GROGZINE and the forthcoming Virtual GROGMEET.

Down the back of the armchair: My PODBOX in 2017

These newsletters have not been as regular as promised. My original intention was to provide recommendations for the GROGSQUAD based on my ‘consumed media’, however since I began late last year, my intake of media has reduced dramatically thanks to the imposition of other demands on my time. It isn’t likely to get any better until I retire from work, so it is best to see them as occasional treats for the next 16 years.

The chaps at Dissecting Worlds have hung up their headsets. I appeared on there as a frothing at the mouth RuneQuest zealot late last year. Keehar wants to spend more time gaming and donning his pads and box to play more cricket. In their final episode, Matt and Kehaar select their Desert Island podcasts. Keehar kindly took the GROGNARD files on board his ill-fated cruise ship alongside the evergreen Hypnogoria from the phenomenal Mr Jim Moon.

I’m always looking for new podcast to take with me on my daily commute. I thought that I would add a handful of my own recommendations based on my listening habits over the past 12 months.


In my pod box there are the gaming staples:

The Good Friends of Jackson Elias: I think that this year, this podcast has matured into something very special. The quality of the content is second to none. I wholesomely recommend their recent episodes about Religion and Cthulhu: a challenging, thought-provoking and inspiring podcast encouraging CoC players to think more about the motivations of NPCs based on religious compulsion. This year they also had an episode dedicated to the World of Darkness universe which I found very informative. It was entertaining too as host Matt Sanderson tried to negotiate the minefield of the current licensing arrangements. Every episode plants the seed of an idea: highly recommended.

Cthulhu Breakfast Club: There’s something reassuringly English and jolly about this podcast produced by the fine folk of YSDC. Paul is an amiable host and there is joy to be found in his guests trying to avoid him descending into audio-quakery. The guests are plucked from the YSDC actual play stable, Finn and Val as well as TV’s Marty Jopson and HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast’s Chris Lackey. Sometimes the banter is lost on me and the “G and P numbers” debate (how many steps are you away from playing with Gygax or Peterson) out-stayed its welcome. However, most of the time it’s like being with friends exchanging views over tea and cakes. Subjects covered always have a Lovecraftian theme, the chat is light and knowledgable and it’s worth going beyond the paywall just to spend time in the company of Paul.

The Smart Party: I’ve always been a fan of this show since I saw them at DragonMeet alongside The Good Friends … There’s a definite sense that they’ve shifted up a gear since their 50th show released earlier this year, as their quality content has been coming out thick and fast. With the possible exception of Episode 61 when it stalled, the recent output has been very good: Ken Rolson, an actual play of Blades in The Dark and a call to players to up their game, have all been recent highlights.

Monster Man – a new podcast with a very appealing concept – host James Holloway going through The Monster Manual from beginning to end. Funny, full of suggestions and informative. They’re short, so subscribe!

Improvised Radio Theatre with Dice: I was pleased to finally convince Mike Cule to contribute an article to the latest GROGZINE. In this podcast, he and his co- host, Roger Bell West, have maxed out their wisdom score applying their experience in gaming to elucidate such subjects as tech levels, inspirational music and the RPG a Day. It appears like clockwork on the first day of the month, I measure the passing of my life by its appearance in my box.

Ken and Robin don’t need me to recommend them to you.

You know about all those though, don’t you? What about the others that I always listen to?


This was the year that stopped listening to Mark Kermode’s film review. I don’t know why, possibly because my viewing habits have been changing over the years. There was a point this year where they were amusing themselves by playing the podcast at a slower speed and I thought that they’d reached peak ‘self-indulgence’ (note-to-self).

Big Mouth During ‘the naughties’ my favourite podcast was The Word magazine, co-hosted by supreme music journos Mark Ellen and David Hepworth. When the magazine folded, they continued the podcast sporadically as recordings of live interviews at The Islington pub. The recent one featuring Danny Baker is filled with his usual joie d vie, however I miss the knowledgable vibe and general hoary old chat from the original format. Producer Matt Hall and erstwhile The Word editor Andrew Harrison have attempted to restore the newsy feel in Big Mouth, a podcast that reviews the week’s cultural highlights. The tone is uneven as it is very much guest dependent, but it’s worth tuning in for Andrew’s turns of phrase and Matt’s inspired recommendations. As a starting point, I’d go for the most recent, and work backwards. You’ll be listening to St Vincent and buying comics in no time.

Thinking Allowed I know that there are many people who love In Our Time, Melvyn Bragg’s weekly history-thinking programme on Radio 4. I tend to pick and choose topics, but I make a point of listening to Laurie Taylor’s consistently interesting Thinking Allowed. Start with Mafia – Organised Crime.

Adam Buxton Podcast This is a charming, funny series which has provided the best individual podcasts of the year: Adam Curtis and Johnny Marr.

SMERSH Pod One of my recent discoveries, following the James Bond RPG episode, is SMERSH Pod, presented by John Rain and a special guest each episode which goes scene by scene through Bond movies. I’ve been working through the back catalogue and it is, without doubt, my favourite podcast of the year. It’s hilarious. As a starting point, try Moonraker with special guest Al Murray. It’s not all Bond, there’s a few Side Specials too: try out The Wild Geese.

Hopefully there’s something in this list to pique your interest. Please let me know your recommendations in the comments.

Episode 16 (Part 2) More Call of Cthulhu (with Mike Mason)


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INTRO: A dedication to Carl T. Ford, the publisher/ editor of Dagon Fanzine.

GAMESMASTER’S SCREEN 00:02:20 (With Mike Mason) Mike faces the Keeper’s Screen to talk about Traveller, D&D and the all new Masks of Nyarlathotep (coming soon).

DAILY DWARF 00:40:00 @dailydwarf does an incisive assessment of the scenarios that appeared in White Dwarf. CURSE OF THE BONE was the winner of his 2015 Scenario Slam

JUDGE BLYTHY RULES! 01:00:00 We take a look at some of the changes in the 7th Edition rules.

OUTRO: 01:40:00 More news about the Patreon Campaign.

Episode 16 (Part 1) More Call of Cthulhu (with Mike Mason)

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INTRO 00.00.16

We are returning to one of our favourite games, Call of Cthulhu, to consider what has changed for the game over the past 2 years, since the last episode.

OPEN BOX (with Mike Mason) 06.00

At the time of recording, Mike had just returned from his trip to NECRONOMICON and was fresh with the news of the great success for Call of Cthulhu at GENCON.

Mike shares his experiences from his formative years of role-playing and how his fascination with horror, drew him towards Call of Cthulhu.


Ed is the first of us to hit 50 and his family have treated him to a brand-new metal shed. He talks us through his Fungi From Yuggoth scrapbook. You can get Mutable Deception from Drive Thru RPG.


We’re on a Jolly Boys outing – this is the player reflections on playing the Fungi … campaign.

OUTRO 01.33.00

We had many new Patreons joining us in September. Thanks to you all – sorry for mangling your names – we are very grateful for your contributions and look forward to making the ‘zine available in the next couple of months.

Episode 13 – Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes (with Jon Hancock)


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INTRO 00:05

By a strange quirk of fate, Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes has suddenly become available as a PDF from Drive Thru RPG.

We’ve had another five star review on iTunes, this time it’s from Baz, of The Smart Party podcast.

OPEN BOX 05:30

Dirk returns to Whartson Hall to visit Big Jack Brass, our Flying Buffalo correspondent. He talks about his twitter hash tag #overlookedrpgs and provides a potted history of MSPE.


Following the Top Secret episode, we’ve had some correspondence from DM Mike from the new old-school podcast Save for Half.

Dirk talks about Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Blythy introduces Spooks.


Wearing the wig this episode is the locum Judge Big Jack Brass, looking at the ins and outs of the MSPE rules.

OUTRO 01:23:00

Jon will be appearing on Desert Island Dungeons very soon

The GROGNARD Files 2017 annual fanzine and The Collected Daily Dwarf are now available on Drive Thru RPG.

Dirk gives news of the next ‘zine and thanks new Patreons. Why not join.

Episode 5 (Part 2) Stormbringer RPG Micro-Grog Pod


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This is the supplement to the first part … a companion which is all about STORMBRINGER supplements.

We have had some encouraging iTunes reviews … if you haven’t done one, then please do because it will tax all those Apple algorithms.


Blythy joins me in the Octagon Tower to look at some of the key supplements for the early editions of STORMBRINGER.

If you want an antidote to our gushing … then please listen to System Mastery for an alternative view.


Eddy shares his ‘Bargainometer’ to help listeners build up their collection of early STORMBRINGER material.


This is a new ‘occasional’ section where we look at our joint archives to help illustrate a subject. This time we are delving into the boxes labelled ‘Moorcockania’.

Here are a couple of useful links to help you begin your journey into the Multiverse and beyond …

If you want to read Moorcock’s tome that tackles the Inklings – then Wizardry and Wild Romance is still in print.

Colin Greenland’s extended interview in Death is no Obstacle is a bit harder to find.

I’ve created a Spotify playlist entitled Wondrous Stories so you can collaborate in a list of music that you played back in the day for #4rpgmusic

If you have never experienced the joy of Elric before and want to get a ‘flavour’ then the graphic novel The Ruby Throne is highly recommended.

If you want to learn more about The Final Programme, then head over to Hypnogoria where host Mr Jim Moon will guide you … “I have it on good authority that the world is going to end. I’m going home to watch it on television.”

POSTBAG (1:23)

Listener contributions and special thanks to our Patreon members.

If you want to listen to Rolistes Podcast with great Dragonmeet content … then tell Kalum I sent you …

Next time … get calculating your THACO because we are talking ADVANCED Dungeons and Dragons.