HJRP1216 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 12 Episode 16 Live from Gateway 2014


This episode of Happy Jacks was recorded live at Gateway 2014. Our normal show schedule will resume on Friday, September 19th.

NOTE: At about 85 minutes, the audio recorder filled up, and Bill recorded the last 11 minutes or so on his iPhone.

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HJRP1215 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 12 Episode 15


happy_jacks_all_ages300x300-150x150Your hosts: Stu, Stork, JiB, Gina

Show Notes! We discuss preparing for the unprepared — for those moments when the preparation for the game you thought you were going to run suddenly becomes irrelevant.

Len from Miami makes the statement: players who intentionally throw wrenches in the GM’s plans are douchebags. We discuss. Michael writes us about his take on distracted players. Rob writes in about finding it difficult to get enthused about an ongoing Pathfinder game.

Charles writes in about GM Burnout. The Reverend Doctor Minnesota Gooch writes in with his mathematical analysis of the advantage/disadvantage dice mechanic in DnD 5E. His analysis can be found on a PDF linked on our forum.

George writes in about playing with a group that doesn’t really want to role-play and also asks for some advice about running a campy pulp SciFi Ocean’s 11 type game.

Aaron writes in with a gaming success story and Robbie writes in with a gaming nightmare.


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HJRP1214 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 12 Episode 14



Your Hosts: Stu, Twin, Mowi and Aya

Links Mentioned:

True Neutral Comic

Sportive Tricks (featured song at the end).

Order of the Stick


Show Notes! Dan asks about going from small idea to whole scenario, which we discuss at length. He also ask about running GURPS for the first time. Larsson writes in about Order of the Stick (link above). Ross is running a class called “How to be a Game Master” for his FLGS and wants some advice.

Jakub in Poland gives some suggestions to get players to use bennies (this is in response to an email from Seth a few weeks ago). Carl hits on a couple topics: how do I get back stories from my players; how to handle the min/maxer; and an offer for Rogue Trader.

Andrew asks about running a game for all women. Rob writes in about his RPG group and their run-in with the Law. N. Eric writes in about GM ennui.


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The 2014 RPG Podcasters Awards

Announcing the 2014 RPG Podcasters Peer Awards

The RPG Podcasters Community would like to recognize the following RPG podcasts for excellence in entertainment, content and production quality for the year 2014.

For Best New Podcast for 2014: Numenera: The Signal –  http://numenerathesignal.blogspot.com/

For Best Actual Play Podcast for 2014: RPPR Actual Play -http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/

For Best Industry News Podcast for 2014: All Games Considered -http://www.agcpodcast.info/

For Best Podcast of 2014: Fear the Boot – http://www.feartheboot.com/ftb/

The RPG Podcasters Community on Google+ is open to all producers and hosts of podcasts covering the tabletop RPG hobby. This community established the RPG Podcasters Peer Awards this year to recognize the best shows, whether members of the community or not, based on the opinions of people who are familiar with the production process of such podcasts.

All nominations and awards were determined by vote among the members of this community. If you produce or host a tabletop RPG podcast, you may join this community by going to tinyurl.com/rpgpodcasters.

We would like to congratulate all of the winners for a job well-done. All award winners will not be eligible for awards in the same categories for the 2015 awards.


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HJRP1213 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 12 Episode 13


happy_jacks_all_ages300x300-150x150Your hosts: Stu, Stork and JiB

Links mentioned:

Gateway 2014 August 29 – September 1.

Bristol Renaissance Faire – the Merry Wives of Windsor are playing there this weekend only (August 9th and 10th). If you’re in Wisconsin, go up and say ‘hi.’

Happy Jacks T-Shirts are no available at the Angryfolk.com webstore.

Mook has published a book for Steve Jackson Games – How to Be a GURPS GM.

Show Notes! We spend about 15 minutes discussing way to come up with meaningful NPCs on the fly — that is, what information we need to determine characterization and where to get it.

Mathew writes in about running his first SW adventure for some folks new to the system. Matthew (that’s with two Ts) ask about a situation that came up where one of his long-time players reacted very badly to the actions of a character in the game.

Dave from Michigan sends in a gaming horror story where the players had to roll up classes and races randomly to build characters for a game that resulted in a near TPK when the plot took a turn off the rails.

Robert in Texas writes in with some praise for the show (and thank you for the monitor controller, Robert!). Andreas asks about games that quantify characterizations elements of a PC and if they might be good “training” to make players betters “actors” at the table. He also suggests Alderac’s Toolbox and Ultimate Toolbox, which are books chock full o’ random tables, to develop ideas for game stories.

JimTo writes in about a not fun game of Toon at a convention. Bakomusha tells us about his Shadowrun 5E game, where he awarded XP to players who broke with their routine and did crazy stuff during combat.

Ben writes about a very large gaming group that shrank and then grew again, asking for advice on how to handle this situation. And Eric asks for some advice on a Star Wars/horror game and also shares how the show has helped him.

Finally, we discuss (at length!) the results thus far from the Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Listener Survey.



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HJRP1212 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 12 Episode 12


Your hosts: Stu, Stork, Bill

Listen to Stu and Stork on this week’s episode of the Misdirected Mark Podcast. Join us at Strategicon’s Gateway 2014 August 29th through Sept 1.

Link mentioned: a Quite Year by Buried Without Ceremony.

Show Notes! We discuss raising the stakes in combat and other ways to keep combat dramatic and interesting. Bill from Arizona ask us about how much a player should respect the GM’s prearranged story (ie rails) in a convention game.

Josh D Nobody asks about some pedantry. K shares an epic PC death story. Mycroft apologizes for the length of his email.

Simon ask for advice about an amazingly dysfunctional gaming group. And Stefan from Germany tells a story about a player bullying a GM, killing the game.


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CONSPIR03 Happy Jacks RPG Actual Play Game 06 Session 03 – Moment of Truth: Conspiratorium



GM: Stu Venable

System: Moment of Truth (pre-release playtest 1.9)

Players: Stork, CADave, JiB and Gina.

This is the third session of the Moment of Truth: Conspiratorium playtest.

Props presented to the players can be found at angryfolk.com/rpg/approps.

Notice: Our actual play session are UNEDITED. While we try to minimize them, sometimes these recordings will contain interruptions and tangental conversations. You have been duly warn’d.


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HJRP1211 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 12 Episode 11


Your hosts: Stu and Stork, and Phil and Chris from Misdirected Mark Podcast.

Links mentioned in the show:

Queen City Conquest – Dangerous Space Jail – Return of Dragons – Unframed – Minions of the Source – Mechanical Bard: Ninth World Tales – Encoded Designs

Show Notes! We first talk about convention game prep, the importance of good pregenerated player characters and what makes a great pregen PC.

Lucas writes in asking about Yes, And during the creative process of campaign design. Email from Michael writes in about triggers, lines, veils and the X card. Jacob asks us to chime in about his concept for a timeline jumping adventure.

Andrew from Yorkshire gives us his thoughts on the social mechanics vs player agency argument. Bill writes in about several options for running sentient items as PCs. And Hangman shares with us the awesomeness of the They Live inspired RPG, All Outta Gum.

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HJRP1210 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 12 Episode 10


Your hosts: Stu, Aya, Twin and Mowi.

Aya, Twin and Mowi’s Kickstarter- True Neutral Comic.

Show Notes! We start out the show with a Q&A about LARPinc, since our three cohosts organize a LARP.

Tarin emailed in about the whimsical game he’s planning for a friend. Vincent from Virginia chimes in on the Social Mechanics vs Player Agency kerfuffle. Brian writes in about narrating combat.

Jonas has a question about a recurring/resurrecting villain. James asks about how to break detect magic and sense alignment as a player crutch. And King Strongbeard writes in to ask if he’s being a douchebag.


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HJRP1209 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 12 Episode 09


happy_jacks_all_ages300x300-150x150Your hosts: Stu, Stork, JiB and Gina

Show Notes! The “Please Stop Talking to My Experience Points” t-shirts have been ordered.

Gateway2014 is at the LAX Hilton over Labor Day Weekend. Info at Strategicon.net.

Oliver from California writes to ask us about emulating learning in a magic school (a la Harry Potter) in an RPG). Stanley writes in about uberstats and breaking up stats into more accurate, limited-scope stats.

Zoomfarg writes in about the most important lesson when traveling south of the border — don’t drink the water. He also writes in about using psychology to encourage players to use more bennies.

Keith writes in about his dungeon raiding party deciding to turn a cleared dungeon into their home.

And Michael from Texas writes in with another pearl of wisdom about GMing: Don’t be afraid to be hated.

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