Jeff Goad, Ngo Vinh-Hoi, and a rotating roster of special guests discuss the classic adventure, fantasy, horror, science fiction, and weird fiction that inspired the creation of the world's first roleplaying game.
Episode 86 - Lin Carter's "The Immortal of World's End" with special guest Kira Magrann
Kira Magrann joins us to discuss Lin Carter's "The Immortal of World's End", LARPing as an awkward teenager, goth teenage years, blending sci-fi and fantasy, tonal shifts, strange metaphors, the cognitive dissonance of glorifying violence after seeing war firsthand, evolving cultural norms, positive inclusions of beasts and animals, sexualizing all or none of the characters instead of just the female-presenting characters, random charts, Trancore as a music genre, and much more!
Episode 85 - Fred Saberhagen's "The Black Mountains" with special guest Jason Vey
Jason Vey joins us to discuss Fred Saberhagen's "The Black Mountains", owlbears, waiting for the fun evil parts, the Swords trilogy, cold war themes in a post-apocalyptic world, wizards with swords, the root of the lich, making magic unique, designing for 5e vs DCC RPG, mutations tables, and much more!
Episode 84 - Gardner F. Fox's "Kothar and the Conjurer's Curse" with special guest Clio Yun-su Davis
Clio Yun-su Davis joins us to discuss Gardner F. Fox's "Kothar and the Conjurer's Curse", sexual violence, sword and sorcery LARP ideas, non-stop magical hijinx, video game boob physics, the journey in gaming, using the "rule of cool" with cultural sensitivity in mind, monsters that represent human populations, coincidences as plot devices, creative death curses, power levels for heoric gaming, and much more!
Episode 83 – Jack Williamson's "The Humanoids” with special guest Misha B
Misha B joins us to discuss Jack Williamson's "The Humanoids”, relatable yet opposing idealogies, babies kept in cribs too long, the value of degenerates, the character arch of authors within their careers, morally ambiguous antagonists, superpowered humans overtaking the galaxy, setting ground rules at the table, characters with godlike abilities, moving force down the chain of challenges, and much more!
Episode 82 – Manly Wade Wellman's "Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds" with our Patron Book Club
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Manly Wade Wellman's "Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds", classic Sherlock, the Professor Challenger stories, sycophantic women, the differing moral compasses of the characters, the lens of the Vietnam War, tearing down H.G. Wells, undefeatable villains, adding mechanical wings to random encounters, proto-Lovecrafian beasties, high versus low-level gaming, and much more!
Episode 81 – H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror and Others” with our Patron Book Club
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror and Others”, setting construction, Lovecraftian punchlines, Robert Bloch, character development, ancient castles, inescapable monsters, the Whateleys, sudden developments of secret knowledge, characters built on people we know, and much more!
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great show with an instantly compelling theme. It’s a pleasure to spend an hour or so with hosts who have charm, chemistry, and a love for the subject matter.
If you want to understand the origins of dungeons and dragons game from an analysis from two gents and guests from a PHD level but discussed in accessible terms - this is the best podcast and even better than any blog or video resource on this topic.
Descend into Gygax's fictional inspirations
This is a great podcast due to excellent guests, consistent interesting takes on pulp literature, a sincere love of the source material, and good chemistry between the hosts. I don't consistently read along, but I find hearing about these books and the ways they have 1)inspired gaming and 2)aged is really fascinating.