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Glowburn Podcast
A podcast about the Mutant Crawl Classics RPG and old school post-apocalyptic adventuring!
A podcast about the Mutant Crawl Classics RPG and old school post-apocalyptic adventuring!

Glowburn Podcast's posts

Greetings, Mutants! This next week, +James Walls and +Forrest Aguirre enter Glowburn HQ to discuss first impressions of the Mutant Crawl Classics core rulebook. And we need your help!

Please let us know about your first impressions and questions you have regarding MCC. We can't guarantee we will get to all of them, but we will do our best!

Send your impressions and questions to:

glowburnpodcast at gmail dot com
Twitter: @glowburn
G+: +Glowburn Podcast

Or conveniently comment right here in this thread!

The deadline for submitting your impressions and questions is end-of-day, Monday, July 24th! We really look forward to hearing from you!

In the meantime, +Hector Cruz, our stalwart Sound Engineer is working on Episode 009. We had a very special guest, a great time, a few Voices of the Ancient Ones, and, of course, mutant madness galore for your crawling . . . er, pleasure?

Burn 'em if you got 'em!

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Aaand show notes for Episode 8, including stats for +Bob Brinkman's horrific off the cuff Mutagenesis creation: The Roach Swarm and +James Walls also horrific: Living Latte!

Glowburn Show Notes

Episode-008 Investigating the Post-Apocalypse
Date Initiated: 5/9/2017
Date Recorded: May
Date Released: June 19
Length: 1 hr 36 minutes

Section: Voices of the Ancient Ones

While the E-mails are silent, we have had some interesting posts on the Google+ Glowburn community. We appreciate all of your posts and comments! One that drew my attention in particular was a post by Andy Action, who outlined the materials he is currently using to run MCC. He’s created a judges binder and a players binder with material from Crawling Under a Broken Moon, the kickstarter preview of The Umerican Survival Guide, Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad, Crawljammer, Hubris & Tales of the Fallen Empire.

We’d like to know what YOU are doing while waiting for the full rules-set to deliver? And what is it you most look forward to when the rules drop? Let it be known, too, that we will have a very special guest on the show just before Gencon. Betcha can’t guess who it is!

Judge James, what else has been happening in googl+ land?

Marc Plourde Asks:
Greetings Glowburners. We don't yet know much about archaic alignments but they seem to indicate loyalty to a group, be it your clan or a brotherhood, or the like. How do you think this will change not only the way characters interact, but how adventures and campaigns will take form? For example if all the characters are Seekers for the Clan of the Cog?

Jon Hammersley Asks:
Tools for online play, what works well and what doesn't.
Way back when I used Skype and Maptool
Now I just use G+ Hangouts, but have dabbled with Roll 20
Robinson Asks:
Is the apocalyptic event that precedes the MCC environment specified in the core book? If not, what advice does the Glowburn crew have on handling this aspect of the game world. For example - plague, nuclear holocaust, environmental disaster, rise of artificial intelligence, meteor strike, alien invasion etc. etc. could all lend a significant flavour to the resulting fiction. That said, should the reason for the previous civilisations collapse be left unknown, shrouded in myth and mystery... perhaps allowing the PCs to discover over the course of a campaign? Cheery comments about the end of civilisation as we know it, and it's potential as a narrative springboard please!
Obviously we don’t have it yet, so it’s all conjecture
I want to think that this may not be very specific, and hope that there is a lot of room for GM’s to create, as I’ve called it, their own “Perfect Post Apocalypse”
I think that MCC campaigns could work great either with a known or unknown apocalypse, but given the far future feel that I’m getting from the previews, I’m guessing that the exact details (setting as written) would be more myth.
Section: Great Disaster - Investigative Gaming in the Post-Apocalyptic Setting

Welcome Judge and Shaman of Intros, Outros, and Bumpers, Bob “The Voice” Brinkman!

Bob, please tell us a little bit about your history in gaming, DCCRPG, and your particular penchant for investigative games.

FA questions:
What is the difference between an investigative game (a’la Call of Cthulhu, Trail of Cthulhu, etc), and an exploratory game (a’la most dungeon crawls)?
Clues - necessary?
How do the roles of Non-player characters differ in investigative games versus exploratory games, or do the roles differ at all?
What is a clue? How should a game-master give clues? Is there such a thing as too many clues? Too few?
Most people’s conception of a post-apocalyptic setting is one in which there are simply not that many people. If this is the case, what difficulties does that present to a judge who wants to run investigative games in a post-apocalyptic setting? Or can that be turned into a benefit?
With Mutant Crawl Classics, in particular, what are some ways one can use Archaic Alignments (AKA Cryptic Alliances in Gamma World) to create investigative games? Is the “conspyramid” a good way of setting up situations/campaigns in this regard?
So you set up a conspyramid, you send the party out to investigate . . . and they completely miss the clues you set out for them. What do you do? Is failure okay, or even desireable in those circumstances? How can you leverage investigative failure?
Does the relative absence of strong law enforcement in the post-apocalyptic environment limit the judges ability to use an investigative story line?
How do you best avoid “railroading” in an investigative game? Especially when your campaign is more of a sandbox, as many post-apocalyptic campaigns seem to be (at least in my experience)?
[Forrest note: I’m really interested in using the idea of a civilization that is in the throes of rebuilding being subverted by some sinister background plot that requires investigation in order to resolve. The potential tension there could be palpable, if it was done just right.]
What are the potential pitfalls of running an investigative game as a beginning Judge? What can best be done to avoid those pitfalls or pick oneself up after the players have destroyed your carefully-laid-out plans (which they inevitably will)?
What about the question of scope? I’ve played in some investigative games that took place literally in one room, and the session went for four hours without once getting boring. But I wonder if an investigative game can get “swallowed up” in the sheer vastness of a post-apocalyptic setting, where characters feel compelled to explore the entire planet. How do you “right size” the investigation to keep players interested, while allowing them some agency of choice?
By the nature of their subject matter, the games Call of Cthulhu and Trail of Cthulhu intertwine horror with investigation. But you can have one without the other. The thrill I get from playing these games, though, has to do with the revelation at the end, the uncovering of something horrible. Does this have a place in post-apocalyptic gaming? Is horror necessary for an investigative game set in a post-apocalyptic environment to be successful? What about the “reveal”?

JW Questions
For someone who has no idea what an Investigative Game is, can you give us a description and some examples?
Do investigative games work best within the confines of investigative “systems?”
For a judge or GM looking to get into some investigative gaming, would you recommend they do so within the confines of the system they play most, or is it best to try a new, more investigative-centric system?
Personally my favorite part of a post apocalyptic setting is the exploration of a strange and alien world. How could a GM blend the exploration with the investigation? Could you come up with a scenario that would allow for both?
Section: Mutagenesis

Purpose: To take something from media or other game systems and take a stab at converting them for MCC RPG use.


Living Latte (Tallish/Grandiose/Venterific): Init: -2/+0/+2; Atk Splash* +1/+3/+5 ranged (1d4/1d6/1d8 damage, 30/60/90 range); AC 8 as a puddle, AC 16/18/20 in a reinforced titanium travel mug; HD 1d8/2d8/3d8; MV 20’ hover in reinforced titanium travel mug, 40’ slosh if in puddle form; Act 1d20; SP half damage from all physical attacks; SV Fort +4, Ref -2, Will +2; AL C.
*Living Lattes can “Make it Foamy”, and take 1d3 damage to increase their splash attack with some extra foam, increasing the damage by +2d. This is the Living Latte effectively discarding some more of itself to cause damage.

Living Lattes are the result of neutron bombs going off in close proximity to everyone’s favorite coffee shop. The intense radiation steams the milk to a froth level that allows nearly instant spawning of new life from the foam. Not only new life… but new intelligent life. Typically this does not bode well for pure strain humans in the vicinity of a Living Latte enclave. These cups o’ joe remember the subjugation of their kind over the years and are ready to throw down!

Although they can be found in more of a puddle form (six to eight gallons for a Tallish, twelve to twenty for a Grandiose, and twenty plus gallons for a Venterific), given enough time they will create great, reinforced titanium travel mugs that serve as armor. Most coffee shops in the world before the Great Disaster had automated servers, so these reinforced titanium travel mugs have hover treads that let the Living Latte’s move about, although at a rather slow speed.

Living Lattes can have a special flavor or syrup that they’ve incorporated into their DNA. If you want to incorporate this add-on to your creature, roll 1d5:

Extra Shot: A Living Latte with an Extra Shot gets a second attack per round (1d20+1d20 Action Dice)
Extra Hot: The Extra Hot Living Latte has an increased attack bonus of +2 because of the sheer hotness.
Mochachino: Full of rich chocolate, the Mochachino Living Latte is especially dangerous to Manimals, because they definitely shouldn’t be eating chocolate. All attacks against Manimals are made at an additional +1d.
Soy Milky: This Living Latte is easy on the digestive tract of it’s targets. It’s nowhere near as foamy and cannot “Make it Foamy” to increase damage. If you had to encounter a Living Latte, this is the one to encounter.
Macchia-Do: The Living Latte is a master of Macchia-Do, a coffee-shop based martial art. The Macchia-Do master can perform amazing throwing attacks against any targets that have moved into melee range. On the Macchia-Do master’s turn, all targets engaged in melee must make a DC 12/14/16 Reflex Save or they get thrown 10’ and knocked prone.


Contrary to science fantasy “canon,” radiation itself doesn’t actually glow. Nuclear radiation can cause certain substances to glow, but radiation is an invisible killer. So how do you ensure that the next artifact, rock, or body you pick up isn’t throbbing with gamma rays? You don’t. Unless you have RIDEK: Radiation Intensity Detecting Escherichia Coli - your friendly neighborhood E.Coli, which have been genetically manipulated by the ancient ones to glow in the presence of radiation. These handy microbial critters come in all manner of containers, some of which are specifically designed to spray RIDEK onto a suspect object, corpse, etc. It take 1d3 minutes for RIDEK to glow in the presence of radiation, and the glow will last for 1d12 minutes. Beings holding, carrying, or wearing items that radiate strongly are at a disadvantage in combat as they are more easily targeted. In daylight or similar conditions, those sprayed with RIDEK who possess such items suffer a -1 penalty to their armor class. At night, others suffer no disadvantage when trying to hit them. Of course, enough RIDEK must be used to cause radioactive items to reveal themselves. How much is left to the discretion of the Judge.


Among the most feared of the scavenging wasteland creatures, killer cockroach infestations can wipe out entire villages in a matter of hours if allowed to go unchecked. Woe be those who stumble into an area populated by these ravenous vermin, for all they leave behind are excarnated remains, mere glinting bones.

Roach swarm: Init +5; Atk swarming bite +1 melee (1); AC 11; HD 2d8; MV 50’ or climb 30’; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks, feeding swarm, fire vulnerability, picked clean, radiation immunity; SV Fort +5, Ref +5, Will -2; AL N.

Feeding swarm: For every 3hp of damage done by the swarm, more roaches join the swarm. The increased population adds 20'x20' to its size and 2HD to its total (to a maximum of 40'x40' and 8HD).

Fire vulnerability: All fire damage done to the swarm is rolled at +1 die.

Picked clean: The feeding frenzy of the killer cockroaches strips victims down to the bone. Because of their thoroughness, it is less likely for a victim to survive. If a recover the body attempt is made, the victim's luck roll is penalized by the number of HD the swarm achieved before having been destroyed or the body having been pulled clear.

Radiation immunity: Killer cockroaches are immune to radiation.

Section: Closing


GenCon 50: August 17-20 in Indianapolis. Mucho DCCo and MCCo.

Gameholecon event registration is open. There will be several sessions of Crawling Under a Broken Moon being run and we presume there will be several more of Mutant Crawl Classics sessions being run, as well. Forrest will be running 2 sessions of his “Killer of Giants” adventure. Go to for information.

Terra Frank shared with us a heads up for a new zine called No Place Like Home is an 8-page zine (2 folded sheets) adventure set in an abandoned post-apocalyptic kid's hideout overrun with sentient filth and trash.
This is the first new charity release that Death Machine Press is putting out in collaboration with another publisher. This time, +Shane Ward​​​​​ of 3 Toadstools Publishing granted permission to use this fun sideview map.
All proceeds will go to benefit Youth Without Shelter, a Toronto based organization that helps house and empower homeless youth
The zine is free with donation. Suggested donation is $5.00 US, but donations of any size are welcome. Please include a shipping address when donating. To get your hands on one of these, donate using the link below:

Contact: How to contact us…
Twitter: @glowburn
Google+: Glowburn Community

Special Thanks/Credits:
Shaman of Intros, Outros & Bumpers - Bob “The Voice” Brinkman
Patron A.I. of Audiovisual Engineering - Hector “The Missile” Cruz
“Creative Advisors” - Our Google+ Community (Currently 229 Strong)
Intro/Outro Song: Chronox (group) :Voyager (album):Juno (song)

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Here are the show notes for Episode 7. Take a trip back in time . . .

Glowburn Show Notes

Episode-007 Post Apocalyptic Fantasy
Date Initiated: 11/24/2016
Date Recorded: April
Date Released: May
Length: 1 hr 53 min

Section: Voices of the Ancient Ones

DM Cojo:

Greetings Glowburners!

I wanted to write in and report on my GaryCon experience.

Although I didn't run or play any MCC, I did run two DCC games and two Star Frontiers games. I was fortunate that Judge Forrest was able to join my Star Frontiers game, and that he was the sole survivor of a lost expedition! My only regret is that I forgot to include a robot named Twiki among the NPCs. Otherwise, it was a great session!

It was great to meet both Judge Forrest and Judge James in person!

Maybe next year, I will run some MCC!

Keep up the great work!

DM Cojo

Gord Sellar:

Hey guys,

Enjoying the podcast so far! I'm another old Gamma World fan looking forward to the chance to get a gander at MCC when it comes out.

After hearing Episode 5, I thought of another couple of fun robot-related sourcebook. I don't know if you guys know the Paranoia game system (though I'd wager Forrest does) but there were two that were bot-related. The better one in my opinion was THE BIG BOOK OF BOTS (for Paranoia XP) but for 2nd edition Paranoia there was also THE BOT ABUSER'S MANUAL. Both books offer a point-build system for building robot PCs (though the tables in the XP book also handily allow for random generation). Both books also include tips about roleplaying/GMing bots constrained by Asimov-type laws, a bunch of fun (i.e. catastrophic) glitches and flaws, and even some Secret Society stuff (the Paranoia analogue to Archaic Alignments), including bot-only secret societies.

The XP book is more up-to-date, so it does some fun stuff with malware and more recent tech and storage media, and offers a more detailed "Botstiary" as well, but the books still overlap a fair bit. That said, THE BOT ABUSER'S MANUAL is a lot cheaper and easier to get online. (Both lines are out of print, but XP is often crazy-priced and the PDFs aren't available for sale, though supposedly they will be after Mongoose's launch of the rebooted Paranoia game is complete.)

I also think the Paranoia game in general could be a goldmine for someone running a MCC or other postapocalyptic game. There's tons of fun stuff to be ported over: bizarre secret societies, crazy mutations, and hilariously terrible gizmos and weapons. But I also think Alpha Complex—either as presented in the books, or in some interesting, weird state of degeneration and collapse—would make an amazing adventuring locale for MCC characters. (I love the idea of the Computer limping on for centuries after the population of the complex has mutated so radically it's no longer human... and still hoping it can get things back on track somehow, maybe if it can recruit or sample DNA from those wastelanders who handily just stumbled in...) Aside from the film PANDORUM, anyone who's read Bruce Sterling's short story "Taklamakan" (from A GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUTURE) or played METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA would also have tons of fun, dark ideas about how Alpha Complex specifically could end up when things really, truly fall apart.

In any case, The Computer definitely deserves mention if you ever get around to discussing AIs at some point in the podcast!

Anyway, just some thoughts. I'm enjoying the podcast! Keep up the good work!

- I like the part where Gord says “though I’d wager Forrest does”!!!! He’s saying you’re old!
- Just my two cents, I actually played some Paranoia back in the early to mid 2000’s. I owned quite a bit of 1st Edition stuff that I got on Ebay, after having played it at a convention at Lehigh University (EPIC Con).
- One of my favorite dystopian/post apoc movies is Logan’s Run, and I got a real LR feel from the game.
- I remember one of our adventures, one of the ones I played in, was our team of troubleshooters just trying to deliver a tuna salad sandwich, and we got weapons and stuff and I was like “this is bizarre!”
- I ran a few adventures myself, but it didn’t really take off with the players I had so I ended up selling it all at a yard sale a few years later. Still kicking myself over that.

Section: Great Disaster - Post Apocalyptic Fantasy

● Judge James gets a Dark Sun episode… sort of!
● Dig into ways that you can run Dungeon Crawl Classics Post Apocalyptic games, either before MCC releases, or after, as a setting.
● What is a Fantasy Post Apocalypse?
○ An Apocalypse that occurs through fantastic means vs. a fantasy setting that occurs following a traditional apocalypse.
■ Is this a fair differentiator?
■ Is there an alternate version that we aren’t thinking of?
○ An Apocalypse that occurs through Fantastic means
○ Caused by magic or supernatural forces beyond science and reason
■ Dark Sun - TSR - Magical ecological disaster from spellcasting
■ Dragonlance - TSR - Cataclysm
■ Deadlands: Hell on Earth - Pinnacle Entertainment Group - 4 Horsemen/Reckoners win, Ghost Rock bombs
■ Day After Ragnarok - Ken Hite - Hitler summons the great norse earth serpent
■ Belly of the Beast - Sigil Stone Publishing - A giant monster eats everything, and you live inside
■ Gods of the Fall - Monte Cook Games - Heaven crashing and exploding and all gods dying
○ A Fantasy Setting that occurs following a more traditional apocalypse
○ Apocalypse caused by something plausible, such as a nuclear war or an aging world
■ Numenera - Aging world
■ Bioshock - Societal breakdown, albeit in one community
■ Wizards - Nuclear war
■ Sword of Shannara - Nuclear war
■ Dying Earth - Aging world
■ Book of the New Sun - Aging world
■ Tekumel - world slips into pocket dimension isolated from the rest of the universe
■ Skyrealms of Jorune - space colony cut off from it’s mother planet. Magic is isolated to the world of Jorune and the local inhabitants that can use it (a species called the Shantha) and those who are trained in the manipulation of magical energy or “isho”.
○ A Bit of Both
■ The Stand
● Questions to discuss in Post Apoc Fantasy
○ How does Magic Work?
○ Is technology still available, and does it work?
○ What is the line between technology and magic?
○ Are the gods real? Who are they?
○ Why are the adventurer’s questing?
○ Will dcc/MCC be the right system for this?
○ Is Crawling Under a Broken Moon the right system for this? (YES, obviously)
● Dark Sun - Just a quick highlight, to explain some of the questions above
○ I’d like to spend some time detailing my favorite Post Apocalyptic Fantasy setting, Dark Sun
○ Especially since it’s compatible, sort of, with d20 games
○ TSR Setting from the Early 1990’s
■ How does Magic Work: Drains life energy, so that is how the apocalypse happened, and why there is an ongoing environmental disaster. Oh, and there are tons of Psionics.
■ Is technology still available and does it work: We start with a fantasy setting, so it’s still fantasy tech, but materials are scarce, so weapons are hard to come by and often made of inferior materials
■ What is the line between technology and magic: One interesting aspect is how magic through life energy can be “grown” so there are potion fruit.
■ Are the gods real: No gods at all! PC’s worship elements
■ Why are the adventurer’s questing: Very much a sword and sandal game, so the party could be escaped gladiators searching for freedom, or adventurers out looking for forbidden magicks.
■ Will MCC be the right system for this, or Crawling Under a Broken Moon: I’d say that base DCC would be more fitting, but using the Mind Games psionics book (also by Shield of Faith Studios/Reid San Fillipo) for psionics.
■ I actually ran a Dark Sun funnel on the fly just using base DCC rules. Considering doing a bit more, including a 0-level occupation list. Most likely a blog post if I can pull it off. The whole DCC Spartacus thing did set off a spark between me and one of my good friends Marc Plourde, so we may have something Gladiatorial in the works…

What Adventures are Out There Right Now that Could Fit Post Apoc Fantasy (But you never thought to include in regular Post Apoc):
● JW) Mentioned The Stand, what about The Chained Coffin?
○ Not wanting to give away too many spoilers, (maybe note a SPOILER ALERT), but there is a bit of a sci fi background to who the Shudfolk are, and why they are there.
○ There’s a monotheistic religion, room for good vs. evil, superstition of prior world.
○ Personally, I’ve been listening to the Soundtrack to the Stand (miniseries) while prepping my adventures.
○ Maybe limit the “surviving world” to the area around The Chained Coffin

Section: Mutagenesis

Purpose: To take something from media or other game systems and take a stab at converting them for MCC RPG use.

● James
○ El’s Devourer
■ A tribute to “El’s Drinker” from the Shattered Lands PC game by SSI, the first (and best!) Dark Sun computer role-playing game.
■ El’s Drinker was originally a sword with the vampiric touch spell working through it.
■ My Elven Ranger/Mage wielded that blade viciously in combat!
■ El’s Devourer is the darker cousin to El’s Drinker
■ What appears to be a bone battle axe (could be 1d8 or 1d10 damage, however Battle Axes work in your games). Does not do traditional +1 or +2 to hit or damage… much more sinister.
■ After the killing blow is made, if the wielder leaves the weapon in the victim overnight, it absorbs the life force of the person killed, akin to “Defiling magic”
■ What is left the next morning is a pile of ash and El’s Devourer.
■ The wielder can choose to “expend” one soul worth of life energy in any attack. Doing so gives the wielder, no matter the class, an “additional” 1d5 Deed Die that can be used like a traditional Deed Die. If a Warrior, this total is added to their level’s deed die. If not a warrior, they use it like a regular deed die.
■ The life energy is expended whether or not the strike succeeds.
■ El’s Devourer can store the life energy of up to seven souls at any given time.
■ Unlike other weapons made with inferior materials such as bone, El’s Devourer cannot break when imbued with the life force of at least one victim.
● Forrest
○ Micro-climate generator (inspired by the picture below):
○ Micro-Climate Generators were used by the Ancient Ones for a variety of purposes: mental health therapy, entertainment, setting a mood, growing plants, training exercises for outdoorsmen and military personnel, and so forth.
○ The Micro-Climate Generator appears as a golf-ball sized crystal ball inside of which tiny clouds repeatedly condense and dissipate. As one manipulates the orb by turning it and rubbing it with one’s fingers, a 20’ diameter spherical zone is created in which the climate is altered. The appearance of the area may also be altered, to a limited extent. Though seemingly simple, this ancient device is incredibly complex, fragile, and sensitive with a tech level of 5 and complexity level of 16.
○ Power Cell: C-Cell (10 charges), F-Cell (20), U-Cell (Unlimited)
○ Spending 1 charge allows one to do any of the following. Any of these may be combined, so long as they are not mutually exclusive. Sudden shifts in temperature or weather might have undesired effects, which should be determined by the Judge. The effect lasts for 5 minutes and travels with the person holding the Generator. Note that this might leave a trail of water behind the holder, for example, if she has generated precipitation within the sphere:
○ Raise or lower temperature 10 degrees Farenheit; create small clouds (can be multiplied up to 5 charges, which fills the entire area with fog); create trace precipitation (can be multiplied up to 5 charges, which causes a torential downpour or a blizzard in the area of effect, depending on the chosen temperature); cause aridity (can be multiplied up to 5 charges which will leave all within severely dehydrated and needing medical attention); cause moon, stars, and comets to appear within the area of effect; cause sunshine to appear within the area of effect; cause a rainbow to appear in the area of effect.

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Episode 8 is alive!!! Bonus points if you can identify the "mystery noise" that pops up from time to time. :)

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_Every man has a place
In his heart there's a space
And the world can't erase
His fantasy.
Take a ride in the sky
On our ship, fantasize
All your dreams
Will come true
Right away_

Earth, Wind, and Fire, "Fantasy"

Welcome to Glowburn, Episode 7!

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Hmm. What's next on Glowburn? Find out soon! Here's a hint.

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We've entered the Ennies Award race. We may not even get to the starting block, who knows? But you'll never know unless you try!

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Let's try again: Here's the actual movie:

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votes visible to Public
Fuse Lit!

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Your co-hosts, +James Walls​ and +Forrest Aguirre​ (both of us on the left) goofing off with +Dan Domme​ at Garycon after hours. Photo credit goes to +Jason Hobbs​, who I found out is the rpg industry's one-man paparazzi. 
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