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.

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).

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

LAST CALL – The Rise of Boutique RPG Settings

Whether it’s Wendy’s or Old Spice, the the rise of boutique RPG settings has been an interesting thing to watch over the course of 2019.

Whether it's Wendy's  or Old Spice, the the rise of boutique RPG settings has been an interesting thing to watch over the course of 2019.
The rise of boutique RPG settings has been quite a phenomenon in 2019

Whether it’s Wendy’s or Old Spice, the the rise of boutique RPG settings has been an interesting thing to watch over the course of 2019. There have been several new settings, classes, and rules developed as marketing tools for various companies. They are clearly taking advantage of the recent rise in popularity of Dungeons & Dragons specifically, but role-playing games in general and the openness in which nerds of all varieties are finally able to talk about gaming without the huge stigma attached to it in the past.

In this Last Call, after chatting with Luke Gygax, we discuss how companies are using RPG as marketing material and how this could impact the industry. Is it really an effort to expand the hobby or is it just another marketing scheme?

Some of the companies that have been involved in marketing direct to role-playing gamers include:

What else have you seen that markets direct to gamers in a less-than-traditional way?

What are your thoughts on the whole thing?

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”.

Tips for getting Children started in Role-Playing Games w/ BJ Hensley – Ep 11

What are some good tips for getting children started in role-playing games? Whether you have kids of your own and you want to get them started in gaming, or you are running games for other children, BJ Hensley has a plethora of tips and tidbits for you as the Gamemaster!

BJ Hensley is the founder of Playground Adventures and the Vice President of Lone Wolf Development—the makers of Hero Lab. She is a fan of family togetherness and has dedicated herself to ensuring that both her family and others have creative outlets they can share. BJ wholeheartedly believes that RPGs are capable of being an interactive classroom for problem-solving, arithmetic, reading, writing, social skills lessons, and more.

When she isn’t hard at work, furthering the goals of PGA/LWD, she can be found working with multiple publishing companies in a variety of capacities. Her projects over the years have included work for Gallant Knight Games, PEG, Kobold Press, Metal Weave Games, Paizo, Rite Publishing, Rogue Genius, Room to Read, and Wizards of the Coast, to name a few. She’s also the proud co-leader (parent) of a six-person adventuring party and their two furry companions.

https://twitter.com/bjhensley2?lang=en

Ep 10 – How Art has influenced Role-Playing Games with Sara Frazetta

Sara Frazetta, the founder of FrazettaGirls.com and grand-daughter of legendary artist, Frank Frazzeta, joins the Wizards of the Couch to discuss how role-playing games have influenced role-playing games, and the fantasy and sci-fi communities in general.

Listen to how Frank found himself in the art world, and Sara’s take on why role-playing games have had such an amazing resurgence in the last 5 years.

From https://frazettagirls.com >> FRAZETTA GIRLS, LLC WAS FOUNDED IN 2013 BY FRANK FRAZETTA’S FAMILY WITH AN ULTIMATE GOAL; TO BRAND THE LEGACY OF FANTASY ARTIST, FRANK FRAZETTA! THROUGH ORIGINAL ART EXHIBITIONS, LICENSING WITH LIFESTYLE BRANDS AND IN-HOUSE MERCHANDISING, THE FRAZETTA GIRLS BRAND CONTINUES TO GROW WORLDWIDE.

Ep 09 – Adventure Design with Robert J Schwalb

Join the Wizards as they sit down with Robert J. Schwalb, most recently the creator of Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG. In this episode we discuss adventure creation and the wizards provide tips and tricks for making your adventure GREAT!

From Wikipedia

Robert J. Schwalb has worked for Wizards of the Coast. His works for Dungeons & Dragons include: Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (2006, with Robin Laws), Drow of the Underdark (2007, with Ari Marmell, Anthony Pryor, and Greg A. Vaughan), Elder Evils (2007), Exemplars of Evil (2007), Tome of Magic (2006, with Matthew Sernett, Dave Noonan, and Ari Marmell), Player’s Handbook II (2006).

He has also worked for Green Ronin Publishing on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and he has contributed to Witch Hunter: The Invisible World for Paradigm Concepts (2007).

Schwalb was a long-time developer and staff member for Green Ronin.[1]:376 With Patrick O’Duffy and Chris Pramas, Schwalb wrote The Pirate’s Guide to Freeport (2007), a 256-page sourcebook on Green Ronin’s best-known locale.[1]:375 Schwalb designed the A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying game, which previewed in 2008 and published in 2009; this was his last project for Green Ronin before he moved over to Wizards of the Coast.[1]:376 His additional role-playing work includes work for Black Industries, Fantasy Flight Games, and several other companies.[2]

Schwalb became the writer for the online version of the popular Dragon column “Demonomicon of Iggwilv” in 2008, having thus far contributed articles for Yeenoghu and Baphomet.

Schwalb also co-wrote Divine Power, a 4th Edition D&D supplement, which made the Wall Street Journal Best-Seller list for July 2009.[3]

In 2012, Schwalb became one of the lead designers for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons.[citation needed] He also wrote for Monte Cook Games’ Numenera line, including the Numenera Character Options book and the adventure Beyond All Worlds.[4]

In 2014, after completing his work on the fifth edition, Schwalb launched Schwalb Entertainment and began writing a new RPG entitled Shadow of the Demon Lord.[5]

In 2018, Schwalb contributed to the new Judge Dredd (role-playing game), Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD, by EN World’s EN Publishing.

Ep 08 – The Importance of Storytelling with Jim Pinto

Have Gamemaster’s lost control of their tables? Storyteller and prolific RPG creator, Jim Pinto, joins us on the wizard’s couch to have a raucous conversation around meeting player expectations, how gamemasters have lost control of their tables, what makes a good storyteller, and SO MUCH MORE. Join us for this awesome great time!

Jim’s current project – https://postworldgames.com/