Bonus Experience 13: War Stories, Vol II

Back by popular demand, we crack wise about games from our deep, dark past. Of note: why to avoid teenage dudes in trenchcoats, why not to run Exalted when completely sleep deprived, and how important is it REALLY to learn the actual rules to Changeling: the Dreaming?

Still hoping La Croix will give us that calorie-free flavor-kissed sponsorship we crave.

Bonus Experience 12: Listener Mail and GenCon18 Wrap-Up

Wait, you actually emailed us? Like, we asked you to do it, sure, but you… really and truly sent us email??

Today, Monica and Rai address questions and dispense advice as suggested by YOU, the listeners! Monica also gives a breakdown of her experience of GenCon. Please keep in mind: Rai is sick, and both podcasters had one hell of a ADD day, so, uh. We talk about punching dynamite.

Bonus Experience 11: We Need to Talk About Skill Lists

Skills are an inevitable part of any game experience, right? You should include a skill for every possible player-character action, right? The answer is “absolutely not, you reprobate.” With this spirit, let’s talk about how skill lists should represent the thesis of your game.

For your consideration: Animal Ken, Use Rope, Brawl and/or Martial Arts, and a hearty bread intermission.

Bonus Experience mini-episode! Our Best and Worst Snacks

Our dear Margaret had some unexpected family plagues, so today we are bringing you one of our mini-episodes: Monica extolls the virtues of popcorn, and Rai complains about grease and chocolate all over her character sheets. Also mentioned: protean La Croix ooze, how to help your neighbors git gud, and some very polarizing Swedish Fish opinions.

Please look forward to a full episode next Monday, August 16th!

Bonus Experience 10: Tips for Running One-Shots

How do you manage your time effectively? How do you keep players on-task? How much planning is TOO much planning? One-Shots: How Do? Lucky for us, Rai specializes in single-episode gaming, and has some suggestions for increasing the danger you pose over short distances. Questions also posed: Does Rai drink carbonated water because she hates us? Have you heard of Microscope? How does brain, when the words can’t and you have to, like, you know?

Bonus Experience 9: Tips for Running Long Campaigns

What do you plan for? How detailed should your notes be? How do you stay committed? Long Campaigns: How Do? Lucky for us, Monica has quite a lot of experience running the serial epics, and she has some tips and advice for GMs who want to up their campaign game. Also discussed: Pretenders to the Pepper throne, fart-based Evocations, and a dog that sorta sounds like Liam Neeson. Kind of.

Bonus Experience 8: Our Favorite Systems

Monica and Rai take a break from complaining to talk about things they like. Specifically, the systems they like, and why. It may surprise you to learn that they like Powered by the Apocalypse games. Also discussed: playing chicken as feminist praxis, Not Fortnite, getting eaten by eels, and Ranma-ing it up.

In this episode we talk about:

Bonus Experience 7: What’s Real When We Play Pretend

Some stuff in your game is more real than other stuff. What does that even mean? Why talk about it? If we don’t want to get mired in what exactly “sorcery points” are to our bombshell tiefling sorcerers, then we have to talk about diegesis.

Also, it being Pride Month in 20gayteen, we’re a little gayer than usual this week.

Bonus Experience 6: Dealing with Garbage Players at the Table

We’ve met them. Heard the legends. Sometimes, we’ve BECOME them. How do you identify disruptive players—garbage people, if you will—and how do you deal with them without losing your game to discomfort, bad vibes, or the dreaded Missing Stair? Monica and Rai have a few ideas.

Also, we struggle to remember all seven sins without the help of anime, take a bean break, and fan out over Blades in the Dark.

Bonus Experience 5: Games and the Art of Railroading

Who would’ve thought train tracks could conjure so much hate? Today we’re talking about railroading, and why it’s not such a big deal—why it is, in fact, necessary and useful for running games. We’re also making doe-eyes at Apocalypse World for what is probably the fifth week in a row.