July 16, 2019
Jim Zub, writer and creator, joins me this week on Ego Check with The Id DM to talk about the Young Adventurer's Guides for Dungeons & Dragons. The first two books in the series, Warriors & Weapons and Monsters & Creatures, release this month, and I was fortunate to get a preview copy from 10 Speed Press (the same company that published the amazing Art & Arcana: A Visual History).
Jim talks about his work in comics over the last 20 years that have landed him writing for characters such as Conan, The Avengers, Rick & Morty, and Black Panther. He talks about his long relationship with Dungeons & Dragons that was summarized in a recent Tedx Talk he gave, which I encourage everyone to watch. He discusses the genesis of the Young Adventurer's Guides and how the idea grew from a simple pitch to a multi-book series that may continue to grow.
He talks about why he felt the books needed to be created, and the philosophy behind how the books were designed including why it was important to have new art and a different structure from the typical Player's Handbook and Monster Manual. Jim also discusses his work on the upcoming Descent Into Avernus adventure for Dungeons & Dragons.
It was wonderful to speak with him and learn about the creative process behind the Young Adventurer's Guides. I truly believe they are a wonderful entry point for young readers into D&D AND a refreshing source of inspiration for long-time players.
June 28, 2019
Grant Ellis joins me to talk about his efforts to create unique livestream tabletop roleplaying game content with a diverse cast of performers. He talks about his game design efforts and how playing and streaming games like D&D are different processes. We spend the vast majority of the show talking about a shared passion, A Knight's Tale - a film that arrived in 2001 and continues to warm our hearts. We talk about why the film persists in our minds and devote attention to the wonderful cast, characters and themes in the film.
June 27, 2019
Allison Spence joins me to talk about her early career as a journalist that resulted in her diving into a variety of difficult subject matters. She shares her views on the importance of emotional intelligence, and details how her work in journalism led her to start working for Thompson Coburn LLP, where she is current the Senior Marketing Communications Manager. She discusses her work for nearly 400 lawyers at Thompson Coburn LLP, and the challenges of getting a message to "stick" in the crowded, chaotic digital landscape. She offers a variety of suggestions for individuals and organizations that are looking to market and promote themselves, and details how technology has advanced rapidly in recent years to enhance her ability to connect with an audience.
May 14, 2019
Jason Massey joins the pod to talk about his start with 4th Edition D&D and how that evolved into a full-time career in creating the actual play podcast, Dungeons & Randomness. He speaks about his enjoyment of 4th Edition, and elements of that system that complicated the creation of podcast content. He reviews how the shift to 5th Edition smoothed the podcasting enterprise, and details how his homebrew campaign setting, Theria, came to exist. He discusses the current Kickstarter campaign for The Adventurer's Guide to Theria, and explains how the book will be useful for those running D&D adventures.
May 7, 2019
Dr. Ryan Kelly joins me this week to talk about his work on how to be use geek passions to grow. He is a psychologist and speaks about his work with a variety of clients including those that use videogames in problematic ways. We discuss the potential benefits and consequences of gaming and other hobbies, and offer suggestions for how to find a healthy balance.
April 16, 2019
Greg Leatherman, founder of VRECast, joins me to talk about his life as a gay man and what it's been like for him playing tabletop RPGs since the 1980s. He details the origins of the Very Random Encounters podcast, which randomizes as much as possible for character creation and storylines. He explains the concept of safe spaces and how his life as a gay man forces him to consider changing his behavior to blend in and decrease the chance of violence. We talk about the lack of male affection in popular media, and he offers a suggestion to listeners to begin to change this culture. Many thanks to Greg for being willing to share his experience and life with us.
April 9, 2019
Adam Johns and Adam Davis from Game to Grow join the pod to talk about their years of experience running games for children on the autism spectrum and how their experience was funneled into the Critical Core tabletop roleplaying game. Critical Core is designed to teach children on the autism spectrum confidence and social skills, and it is now live on Kickstarter. Their Kickstarter runs for two more weeks and is knocking off Stretch Goals; the game is for any parent or educator that would like to use a RPG to teach skills to children. And stay tuned until the end of the episode for a bonus song by Dr. Ryan Kelly --- trust me!
April 5, 2019
Enrique "NewbieDM" Bertran joins Ego Check once again to talk about his new Patreon campaign. I wanted to talk with Enrique to discuss the success of Critical Role and how other intellectual properties might capitalize on that formula. We ponder how Star Wars and Fantasy Flight Games could produce a stellar stream of actual play to highlight their product. I prod Enrique to detail how he would run such a campaign, and his ideas are wonderful; I hope he lets me join as a player.
April 2, 2019
François Alliot, designer of the Reigns series of games, discusses his Tinder-inspired approach to probabilistic narrative game design. He talks about his quest to find a great "flow" for his games and how he wants to surprise players. We delve into the design of Reigns and ponder how adaptive game design might develop in the future. François shares his influences regarding the focus on emerging narrative games, and he also provides some news about what he is working on next - including a tabletop version of Reigns!
March 26, 2019
I'm joined by Jana Flesher, a professional nurse midwife who also happens to be both a player and DM in various RPG campaigns I've been involved with over the past three years. She talks about her 10+ years of experience running various RPG systems including Dungeons & Dragons and Dungeon World, and specifically offers tips for running tag-along NPCs and engaging the motivations of player characters. She explains why it's the "GM's job to remind players of their character's backstory" and examines why perceived invulnerability can negatively affect a campaign. She details her professional role as a midwife and speaks to how gaming has increased her ability to cope with any situation her professional work can deal to her. Throughout the episode, we both provide examples of games we share from both ends of the screen, which leads to some great conversation about principles of tabletop role-playing games. Enjoy!