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Author: Ray Otus

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Ray Otus is a tabletop role-playing gamer, artist, writer, and designer. Plundergrounds is about role playing games and related geekery. Show notes archive at
170 Episodes
Plundergrounds Test

Plundergrounds Test


This is a test of the Plundergrounds podcast system --- Send in a voice message:
I talk about over and under "grounding" fiction in role-playing. I also shill two amazing podcast episodes, Daydreaming About Dragons 69 and Spikepit 333.  --- Send in a voice message:
I'm back after a hiatus, partly thanks to a challenge thrown out there by Judd Karlman of Daydreaming About Dragons. I'm rolling a d20 for topics this season. Today is #12, one submitted by (I think) Logan Howard of Swordbreaker: If you were tasked with training players for greatness, what steps would you take? In response I talk about developing self-awareness through a player inventory. (Partly inspired by Rob C's confessional on Down in a Heap.) I then talk about developing a table awareness and finally putting in the hours at the table. --- Send in a voice message:
This episode features some great call ins from Judd of Daydreaming About Dragons and Joe of the Hindsightless podcasts. I spend a bit of time talking about engaging with fiction and projecting one's self into fictional worlds. Then Barney of Loco Ludus calls in to talk Kriegsspiel and cultural stereotypes. I mention Playing At the World, an amazing Kriegsspiel table, David Wesley, the Bruanstein game, Strategos. --- Send in a voice message:
Part 1: thoughts on adjudicating in-game effects literally or adjusting them to the fiction. Part 2: thoughts on the Free Kriegspiel Revolution. Stuff mentioned: Old School Essentials, The Glatisant.  --- Send in a voice message:
Readings from the foreword to The Best of Science Fiction, an anthology from 1946. Edited by Groff Conklin, published by Crown. --- Send in a voice message:
JJ and I talk about character arcs from generation to transformation. The context is a 12 session campaign of the Marvel Superhero Adventure Game with 1 GM and 4 players. We cover topics like card-based mechanics, "comic book frame narrative," switching gears from physical to digital play, fictional positioning, super hero style transformations, etc. --- Send in a voice message:
I give an overview of Jack Kirby's Eternals as an RPG setting. Kirby's Kids, The Eternals by Jack Kirby, The Eternals by Neil Gaiman, New Gods by Jack Kirby, Chariots of the Gods by Erich Von Daniken. --- Send in a voice message:
The last five words of #RPGaDay2020: Favour, Close, Ride, Portal, Experience. Things mentioned: Old School Essentials, D&D 5e, Marvel Superhero Adventure Game, Rakka's Raiders (in the Plundergrounds Zine bundle), Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Dungeon World.  --- Send in a voice message:
155 I Can't Drive 55

155 I Can't Drive 55


An interesting idea I had, and a kind of fun mini-game, for generating old school D&D stats. Also a bit of life advice about not feeding negativity. --- Send in a voice message:
Stream-of-consciousness riffing on the words Rare, Edge, Humor, Lever, and Strange. Things mentioned: Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Over the Edge, The Great Slow Kings by Roger Zelazny. --- Send in a voice message:
Call-ins from Evil Jeff of Minions and Musings and Jason of the Nerd's RPG Variety Podcast. Milestone XP in Old School Essentials (episode, spreadsheet). Cultural touchstones; Judd on "knife fights in space." Sorcerers & Sellswords. Tiger and Del. Spikepit, Puddleglum, Innsmouth Look, Mike Myers' Canada. Polaris by Ben Lehman.  --- Send in a voice message:
The who, what, when, where, and why of framing scenes. Giving dramatic moments space. Finding comfort in rpg prep. Getting past the "meet at the inn" moment. The mythical nature of towers. Clues for investigation shouldn't be subtle, and sometimes it's fun to investigate without purpose. Push was a cool movie and I wrote a game about it that worked on the "loner" character problem. Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came! Librivox - etext.  --- Send in a voice message:
#RPGaDay2020 continues. Sorry about the audio issues! Shade - don't throw it! Light - Safer Fantasy Crafting says 'rules light is both Kindergarten and Ph.D. role-playing.' Want - to not want! Old School Essentials Advanced and Dicey Times. Stack - people like to stack things, designs should give gamers things to stack. Messages - leave your characters meaningful in-world messages! Rest - is unsatisfying if it is simply a reset mechanic. Make them into scenes? Banner - people love to show their allegiances, so characters/NPCs in game worlds should have lots of banners, badges of office, patches, etc. Gygax 75 challenge podcasts and booklet.   --- Send in a voice message:
I'm a big fat cheater when it comes to the #RPGaDay2020 challenge. Though I'm supposed to talk about one word each day, I instead lump them all together for the week. So here are the first seven words. I talk about "Beginning" a lot, and then do quick hits on the other six: change, thread, vision, tribute, forest, couple. Opening clip is from the movie Dune. Games mentioned: Ogre, Melee, Wizard, Death Test, D&D Holmes Basic, Traveller, Oracle, Prime Time Adventures, Microscope. Other stuff: Star Wars: A New Hope, Lord of the Rings, the Science Fiction Book Club, A Wizard of Earthsea, The Dragonriders of Pern, Midnight's Lair (defunct podcast), Merlin, Aladdin's Castle, Alien (movie), TI-994a. My free games are found at  --- Send in a voice message:
In this episode I talk about using milestone XP in OSE D&D without losing the particular feel of the different speeds of class progression. The referenced spreadsheet is available in the notes for this show. Call-ins are from Jason of the Nerds RPG Variety Podcast, John Alan Large of RDDRPG, Paul Unslaked of the OtakuGeneration podcast, and Lieren from Updates from the Middle of Nowhere. Call-in topics are spell books, Collaborative NPCs, GM crash, The Score - a WIP PbtA game about anime sports. Games mentioned Old School Essentials, Holmes Basic D&D, My Life with Master, Misspent Youth, The Score (not yet available). --- Send in a voice message:
I talk with Colin Green of the Spikepit podcast about Sorcerers & Sellswords (a hack of John Harper's Lasers & Feelings). Show notes at  --- Send in a voice message:
Do you really know the rules, or do you just think you do? In this episode I talk about the value of revisiting rulebooks after actual play to focus one's understanding of the game you are playing. John Alan Large of the Red Dice Diaries podcast gets me started by calling in to talk Old School Essentials.  --- Send in a voice message:
I imagine the spell Fog Hammer and talk about The Ghost City, a setting-within-a-setting for my Old School Essentials game. I mention Ramanan's character generator for Ben Milton's Maze Rats, Jonathan Harper's Ghost/Echo, China Mieville's The City & The City, Fred Hicks' Don't Rest Your Head, Itras By, and H. G. Wells' The Door in the Wall. Encounter table at  --- Send in a voice message:
Show notes at --- Send in a voice message:
Comments (2)

Philosopher Stones Minerals and Jewelry

the audio version is amazing. watch the movie, dammit! lol very different, but absolutely stunning filmography

Dec 23rd
Reply (1)
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