D&D and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s – Ep 21

The “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s was a time in which many people across the US (and perhaps the world) were fearful of the effects playing Dungeons & Dragons might have on their children.

The “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s was a time in which many people across the US (and perhaps the world) were fearful of the effects playing Dungeons & Dragons might have on their children. Specifically, would playing D&D turn them into Satan-worshipping murder hobos…in the literal sense. The Couch Wizards unpack this entire ridiculous notion and lay it all out.

Social Distancing and Dragons – Ep 20

In this episode the Wizards of the Couch sit and discuss how virtual tabletop gaming is taking the lead role during the COVID-19 lockdown. How can you get involved in role-playing games online and what are some of the tools you need?

Alex Kammer – Best and Worst D&D Modules – Ep 19

In this episode, we meet with Alex Kammer, game designer, Gamehole Con owner, and lover of tacos.

In our last episode we discussed tips with Thomas Koch on how to stream your D&D game . In this episode, we meet with Alex Kammer, game designer, Gamehole Con owner, and lover of tacos. We wanted to talk about the best and worst D&D modules published in the last 4 decades – and who better to cover this topic than the man who has, well, all of them!

Tell us in the comments what your most favorite and most reviled D&D modules are – we’d love to hear from you!

Game designer, thousandaire, collector, taco eater – Alex Kammer is a fancy lad who does as little as possible, but it always seems like it is too much.

His most recent big 5e book is Sea King’s Malice from Frog God Games, but you should not read it because it is scary. You will never get in the tub nor be able to look a jellyfish in the eyes again. He is the Director/Owner of some show called Gamehole Con and is one of the owners of True Dungeon. Finally, Alex really really likes D&D, like a lot – really to the point of not being reasonable or healthy about it.

Thomas Koch – Quests & Chaos – A Glimpse Behind the Stream – Ep 18

Last show we took a step away from Dungeons & Dragons and explored another popular RPG called Savage Worlds with its creator, Shane Hensley. On this show, we delve into something a little more technical in our chat and get a glimpse behind the stream – the D&D stream, that is – with Dungeon Master Thomas Koch of the Quests & Chaos YouTube Channel.

On this episode, we get a glimpse behind the stream - the D&D stream, that is - with Dungeon Master Thomas Koch of the Quests & Chaos YouTube Channel.
Thomas Koch of the Quests & Chaos YouTube Channel

Last show we took a step away from Dungeons & Dragons and explored another popular RPG called Savage Worlds with its creator, Shane Hensley. On this show, we delve into something a little more technical in our chat and get a glimpse behind the stream – the D&D stream, that is – with Dungeon Master Thomas Koch of the Quests & Chaos YouTube Channel.

Thomas and the Wizards chat extensively about what exactly goes into making a successful stream, what their show is and isn’t, and why so many who are attempting to make a name for themselves are not successful (like, you know, us! lol)

Thomas Koch is one of the founders of Quests & Chaos, a Tabletop RPG and board game steaming channel. Koch DMs a D&D stream called Chaos Agents, as well as hosting board game play-throughs and reviews. 

Shane Hensley – Deadlands, Savage Worlds, and Beyond D&D – Ep 17

In this episode, we meet with Shane Hensley, the creator of Deadlands and Savage Worlds. The entire episode is intended to show Gamemasters and players alike there are other games out there besides Dungeons & Dragons.

In our last episode with Wolfgang Baur of Kobold Press, we discussed the ins and outs of creating monsters your players would not expect. In this episode, we meet with Shane Hensley, the creator of Deadlands and Savage Worlds. The entire episode is intended to show Gamemasters and players alike there are other games out there besides Dungeons & Dragons.

From Wikipedia

Shane Lacy Hensley was from Clintwood, Virginia, and began playing Dungeons & Dragons after he discovered the game through a series of comic-strip ads that were running in comic books in the 1980s. Hensley later sent West End Games an unsolicited Torg adventure he had written, which was soon published as The Temple of Rec Stalek (1992). Hensley did more work for FASA, TSR, and West End over the next few years.

Hensley created the game company Pinnacle Entertainment Group in 1994. Hensley wanted to create a 19th-century miniatures game and contacted local company Chameleon Eclectic about publishing it, which resulted in Fields of Honor (1994); ownership of the game remained with Pinnacle, but it was published in conjunction with Chameleon Eclectic. Hensley had the idea for a new game centering on cowboys and zombies as he was setting Pinnacle up, when he saw the Brom painting of a Confederate vampire on the cover of White Wolf’s then-unreleased Necropolis: Atlanta; he thus began writing what would eventually become Deadlands. After completing a first draft, Henlsey flew in two friends and game designers, Greg Gorden and Matt Forbeck; both liked what they saw and asked to buy into Pinnacle, although Gorden soon left for personal reasons. Hensley did some computer game design work for SSI. Forbeck left Pinnacle a few years later, leaving Hensley as the sole owner.

On September 13, 2000, it was announced that Pinnacle had been sold to a company called Cybergames.com. Cybergames used acquisitions’ income to buy other companies – harming the individual companies’ cashflow and ruining production schedules – and Hensley announced on January 12, 2001 that the acquisition had been “undone”, but not before considerable damage had been done to Pinnacle, leaving it with just a few employees. Hensley became part of the new d20 boom, kicking off a new d20-based weird war campaign with Blood on the Rhine (2001). In 2003, Hensley formed a new company, Great White Games and transferred all of Pinnacle’s IP to it, as well as publishing the new game Savage Worlds (2003). Hensley joined Cryptic Studios in 2004. With senior developer David “Zeb” Cook, Hensley was the senior writer on City of Villains (2005). Hensley designed the role-playing game Army of Darkness (2005) for Eden Studios.

Hensley also worked with Superstition Studios, which was working on a Deadlands MMORPG that never appeared. Hensley headed Dust Devil Studios where he brought Zombie Pirates (2010) to market. He later returned to Cryptic Studios and became Executive Producer.

Hensley has written several novels and designed a variety of games including miniatures wargames, tabletop wargames, and role-playing games, as well as substantial freelance work writing modules for game systems. He has also scripted at least one computer game. Hensley has been a Guest of Honor at a number of major conventions and has garnered several game industry honors and awards.

He left Cryptic to make a Deadlands MMO in 2007, but the parent company went bankrupt. Hensley briefly returned to Cryptic in 2010 as Executive Producer on Neverwinter, then on to Petroglyph Games to work on the End of Nations MMORTS (published by Trion Worlds).

Wolfgang Baur – RPG Monster Design – Ep 16

RPG Monster design is probably one of the most “artistic” parts of RPG design (not including the artwork itself). Creating something that is challenging, unique, fun, and fulfilling is challenging at best, infuriating at worst. While many may take for granted their homebrew monsters are perfectly balanced, there are many who struggle with how to get started.

RPG Monster design, however, is right in the wheelhouse of our guest in this week’s episode – Wolfgang Baur has spent years dreaming up, designing, and developing monsters of literally all types of creatures – picking heavily from world lore and mythology.

Wolfgang Baur was born in a suburb of Chicago, and later attended the University of Illinois and then Cornell University for graduate studies in biochemistry and molecular biology to pursue an academic career in research. When he ran out of funding in 1991, Baur took a temporary job as assistant editor to Barbara Young at Dungeon magazine: “By the time my scholarship was reinstated, I didn’t want to go back… I’d been writing for Dungeon Adventures and Iron Crown, but this was an opportunity to work in a field I loved.”

Baur was involved in many projects at TSR as either designer or editor, including Dungeon and Dragon magazines, the Planescape (Planes of Law, Planes of Chaos), Al-Qadim (Secrets of the Lamp, Assassin Mountain), and Birthright settings (Warlock of the Stonecrowns), editing the Star*Drive setting, Dataware’, and Doom of Daggerdale. Baur also worked for ICE on books such as Treasures of Middle-earth. Baur also worked on the Dark•Matter setting for the Alternity science fiction role-playing game.[1] His roleplaying game titles include Frostburn, Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, Book of Roguish Luck, Castle Shadowcrag, and Empire of the Ghouls.

Baur was the “Kobold-in-chief” for Open Design LLC (which changed its name to Kobold Press in 2012), and was editor-in-chief of its quarterly periodical Kobold Quarterly. Open Design published Kobold Quarterly #1 (Summer 2007) before the final print issue of Dragon.[5]:390 Baur stated on July 17, 2008, that the GSL was “absolutely terrible for Kobold Quarterly,” as the periodical would be unable to publish material for both D&D third edition and fourth edition. He won the eighth annual Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming in 2008. Kobold Quarterly and Open Design won five ENnie Awards in 2009.

Baur is a member of the Alliterates (a group of local and national authors), and serves as a judge for the RPG Superstar competitions, as part of a three-judge panel of respected figures from the field.

Skeeter Green – OSR Gaming – EP 15

Old School Renaissance (OSR) with Skeeter Green! In our last episode, we chatted with Two Kings Games about independent game publishers. This time around we’re going “old school” and sitting on the couch with Skeeter Green, formerly of Frog God Games and currently self-publishing as Skeeter Green Productions to talk Dungeons & Dragons and the OSR community!

What IS the OSR community and WHY do we even have “edition wars”. What is YOUR edition and why?

https://www.facebook.com/skeetyrbug

2 Kings Games Discusses Independent RPG Publishing – Ep 14

This session we discuss the ups and downs of “independent publishing”. What does it take to break into the industry? What are some of the things new creators should look for? What are the first steps?

2 Kings Games joins the Wizards of the Couch to discuss Independent Publishing

Join us as 2 Kings Games Discusses Independent RPG Publishing with the Wizards of the Couch!

The last episode of 2019 saw us chatting with the Gygax band about the influence heavy metal has had in the gaming industry over the years. In 2020, we’re starting things off, well, from the beginning.

This session we discuss the ups and downs of “independent publishing”. What does it take to break into the industry? What are some of the things new creators should look for? What are the first steps?

If you have any insights or questions, leave them in the comments below!

From their website:

We, 2 Kings Games, are a roleplaying-game publishing company looking to provide high-quality RPG materials at a good value to people who love to game as much as we do. We have a dedicated group of players… uhm, staff, who have decades of experience writing, illustrating, game-mastering, and playing… erm, researching, in the RPG industry.

We understand how it feels to have no spells left, be down to your last hit points, and roll a nat-20 followed by enough damage to kill the evil monster! We have all jumped to our feet and roared a battle cry of victory in that moment! And we want to do it again and again… just like you do.

We’ve also been around long enough to know that game mastering is hard work. Really, it is. Time to create is limited by the requirements of the real world, and support materials are expensive.

This is why 2KG exists: to make cool, affordable RPG resources so gamers can work less and play more!

The Gygax Band Discusses Heavy Metal in Gaming – Ep 13

We chatted during this session with the Gygax Band to chat about their new album,  how they got started in D&D metal, and about the history of heavy metal in D&D!
In this gaming session, the Gygax Band Discusses Heavy Metal in Gaming!

Last time we sat down on the sofa, we chatted with the son of the legendary co-creator of D&D and owner of @GaryCon, Luke Gygax! This session, we have a whole new Gygax to chat with…the Gygax Band!!

Let’s hear from the members of the Gygax Band to chat about their new album, how they got started in D&D metal, and about the history of heavy metal in D&D!

Gygax [the band] was born from the ashes of Gypsyhawk by vocalist/bassist Eric Harris and guitarist Bryant Throckmorton. The band’s original lineup also includes guitarist Armand John Lizzy and drummer Justin Dempsey.

Named after Gary Gygax, the co-creator of role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

Lyrics from “Lesser Magic”

How the mind of a man
can be swayed by the sleight of hand
Never once realized
witchery within the mind

Yeah!

Do not pay any heed to these blurring hands
There is nothing real in these shifting sands
Magick all abound of a lesser kind
Only as you seek will you surely find

Rituals to divine
Mesmerizing the passage of time
With sciamachy
Evoking the illusionary

Yeah!

Do not pay any heed to these blurring hands
There is nothing real in these shifting sands
Magick all abound of a lesser kind
Only as you seek will you surely find

Will you surely find
Hints of hidden signs
Power from inside

Do not pay any heed to these blurring hands
There is nothing real in these shifting sands
Magick all abound of a lesser kind
Only as you seek will you surely find

Do not pay any heed to these blurring hands
There is nothing real in these shifting sands
Magick all abound of a lesser kind
Only as you seek will you surely find

Luke Gygax talks EVERYTHING Dungeons & Dragons – Ep 12

In this episode, Luke Gygax talks about Dungeons & Dragons, the history of the game and where he thinks role-playing games are headed in the future.

Everything Dungeons & Dragons with Luke Gygax

Last show we talked about the next generation of role-playing gamers. In this episode, Luke Gygax talks about Dungeons & Dragons, the history of the game and where he thinks role-playing games are headed in the future.

We discuss everything from the origins of the idea of a role-playing game in the late 1960s to the evolution of what it has become today. That and so much more. It is one thing to know the basic history behind role-playing games. It is entirely something else to get the names, dates, and anecdotes straight from the source.

We crammed everything we could into this 90 minute interview, so enjoy!

Sit back and enjoy an awesome ride with Luke Gygax as we talk EVERYTHING Dungeons & Dragons!

Luke Gygax is the son of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax and literally grew up at the gaming table with the designers that founded the industry. He has authored several role-playing game accessories over his lifetime including Legion of Gold (TSR, Inc), The Blighted Lands series, and Plan B series (Good Omen Productions). He just finished a successful kickstarter for The Lost City of Gaxmoor 5e (Troll Lord Games) which will be delivered in the second quarter of 2020. 

Luke is best known for organizing Gary Con, a memorial game convention held in honor of his father. Located in Lake Geneva, WI where D&D was created, Gary Con attracts dozens of Guests and thousands of gamers. From the earliest days of role playing industry to the top designers developing the biggest games today.  Luke is active in the Los Angeles gaming community participating in streaming D&D games and interviews, and even hosting his own streaming event every July called Founders & Legends on Twitch.tv/GaryCon.  

Luke is a major with 30 years of service in the United States Army and he is currently serving as Deputy Commander for the 224th Sustainment Brigade whose motto is “The Dragonslayers”.