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The Sword's Edge Kickstarter is happening right now. Check it out and please help boost the signal.

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I have a very limited number of physical copies of Circles of Power ready for purchase now on my website. I only have 15 copies in total, and one of 'em has already been claimed. Get your copy now, with shipping worldwide. 

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Our second season comes to a close with a topic suggested by +Eric Paquette. How much research do you need to put into your games? Ironically, we just kinda dove into this without any research whatsoever... but we make up for it with experience having to do various degrees of research, from historical to mechanical to social. Even art production requires some degree of research.

Not to worry, there won't be much time to wait for Season 3 as we'll be recording in just a couple weeks. We encourage all (five) of our fans to give us topic suggestions, so let us know what you want us to talk about. Until then, enjoy, and thanks for listening. 

Hey! We just hit 50 members of this little community. Welcome aboard, Number 50, and thanks to everyone for joining.

As we get ready to record a new season of the show, any topics of interest you'd like to hear from us? 

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I’ve run across a surprising number of people who will design a tabletop RPG, then publishes it without doing any playtesting. I’ll admit it: I was one of them.

To be clear, I’m not talking about folks who throw together a simple RPG, then publish it on their blog as an early draft for feedback. And I’m not talking about people working against a contest deadline.

I’m talking about designers who never playtest. This post is for you.

Why should you playtest your games?

1) Your words aren’t clear to other people

It’s clear to you, and it looks like it will be clear to other people. But folks have all sorts of different experiences and exposures to games. You may use terminology they’ve never come across.

Even beyond that, writing clear rules is hard. It’s very easy for players to find loopholes, or interpretations that let them break the game.

2) Math gets out-of-whack quickly and in surprising ways

That dice mechanic that seems so elegant in your head will work great in the scenarios you’ve thought of, but what happens when someone pushes it? What happens with a group of jokesters, or serious RPers, or GMs who like to throw very hard challenges at the players?

How many bonuses can someone add to that die roll? Can a PC overwhelm the odds?

More at the link.

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A fascinating and open post on a very heavy topic for a select few RPGs. What fascinates me more is Kate's journey from 100% nope to "let's see where this goes" as (I hope) part of her "recovery." 
Content Warning: Rape, sexual abuse, abuse, rape culture.

I've been talking a lot about abuse in gaming, and using gaming to talk about important issues. This brought me to my journey with including rape culture and rape in gaming, and why I think it shouldn't be something immediately taken off the table with the right circumstances and players.

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This episode makes me so proud, especially for both +Mark Richardson and +Joshua Kitz for sharing their personal demons. For Episode 13: Stay Healthy, My Friends, we talk about addiction and mental health in our community and suggest ways to support each other. These are unfortunately common issues in our community and we hope this provides some inspiration for anyone out there dealing with #mentalhealth 

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We're straying off course a bit this week and giving 3/5ths of our team the week off. Since myself and +Jason Pitre have long gestating projects about to spring forth on Kickstarter, we decided to take an opportunity to introduce you to said projects and how the current state of the industry affects how we crowdfund, playtest, and more.

Jason is about ready to launch his Sig: The Manual of the Primes KS next week and I'm actually releasing a public playtest for my game, High Plains Samurai, by February (a change made after this recording). I personally want to thank Jason for suggesting a shared interview format so that you can't learn about one without the other. You are a kind, kind man. 

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We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the longest running tabletop cons in Ottawa continues it's marathon stretch this year from May 19-21. They're looking for GMs to set up games and I expect most of us will be running our contraptions this year. Will you? 

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Woof, it's been a while, hasn't it? Let's get you the OGP goodness you need to start off the new year. Our latest episode discusses the role of social contracts in RPG design and gameplay in general. 
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