100 episodes

A deeper look at the play experience and the finer details of running and writing tabletop games.

Bonus Experience Rai Witter Cole, Monica Speca

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 25 Ratings

A deeper look at the play experience and the finer details of running and writing tabletop games.

    BXP 6x12 - Monica and Rai Talk

    BXP 6x12 - Monica and Rai Talk

    Hello Bonus Babies,

    Rai returns for a finale. We sort of talk about games, but mostly we just talk. 

    Here's some stuff we talk about: 

    Monica's computer

    Rai's life

    Music of the 90s

    Monica's book

    Onyx Path shop talk

    A better alternative to the "no fascists" rule

    Rai's son and the Progress Pride Flag

    Fabula Ultima

    Dungeon Meishi

    Gay Final Fantasy

    You can find even more nonsense in the extended cut.

    And here's some links for things referenced: 

    "Dragostea Din Tei" by O-Zone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnopHCL1Jk8

    2018 Progress Pride Flag (Danial Quasar): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag_(LGBT)#/media/File:LGBTQ+_rainbow_flag_Quasar_%22Progress%22_variant.svg

    Fabula Ultima: https://www.needgames.it/fabula-ultima-en/

    Delicious in Dungeon (Dungeon Meishi/Danjon Meishi): https://yenpress.com/series/delicious-in-dungeon

    Rai's social:

    Rai on Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/raiasintended

    Thank you everyone for sticking with us. We love you.

    • 59 min
    BXP 6x11 - Monica and Heather Consider Ways to Keep Players Playing

    BXP 6x11 - Monica and Heather Consider Ways to Keep Players Playing

    Hello Bonus Babies,

    I am so sorry for the huge delay - when it rains it pours. But here we are with the penultimate episode of Season Six! 

    Today Monica gets together with Heather (her wife) to discuss one of their mutually shared core principles of game design: participation makes the game. If you remove players from play, you are denying them the chance to experience your game. We break down what this means as well as provide good and bad examples of designing for character creation, incapacitation, elimination, and replacement. We also discuss constructive self-entertainment vs. disruptive behavior and techniques for different designs and different styles of play. 

    In your patron cut you'll also hear: 

    The mystery of the brown fluff

    Live Morgana Updates

    Live Julia Updates

    Important links from the show: 

    Fabula Ultima: https://www.needgames.it/fabula-ultima-en/

    "Bluebeard's Bride AP" on The Story Told RPG Podcast: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/bluebeards-bride-ap

    Heather's socials:

    @Snoutopus on Twitter and Bluesky

    @plague-of-frog on Tumblr https://www.tumblr.com/plague-of-frog

    • 41 min
    BXP 6x10 - Monica and Alex Break Down Setting Design Using Video Games

    BXP 6x10 - Monica and Alex Break Down Setting Design Using Video Games

    Hello Bonus Babies,

    Today I'm joined by friend and colleague Alex Guerrero to discuss how video games utilize narrative and setting design to create a sense of wonder and mystery - and how you can bring that to the table in your own tabletop RPGs!

    We discuss:

    Good writing and pacing of lore

    Creating and fostering mystery while running games

    Supporting an action-RPG feel at the table

    Using techniques from GMless gaming

    Integrating social influence into games

    Building lore for your game using other games

    Also discussed in the extended cut:

    Monica's favorite GM slight-of-hand and the judicious handling of "yes, but"

    Behind the scenes in trying to close the show

    WARNING: SPOILERS FOR HONKAI STAR RAIL FROM 15:32 to 19:05. They're called out with a musical bumper so if you don't want the plot spoiled PLEASE SKIP AHEAD.

    We mention a lot of things we said we would link, so here are quite literally all of them:

    "Are You Satisfied?" by Marina and the Diamonds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWywn51-B_I

    Ashikai https://www.youtube.com/@Ashikai

    (The lore analyst that Alex mentioned)

    Video games

    Genshin Impacthttps://genshin.hoyoverse.com/

    Honkai: Star Railhttps://hsr.hoyoverse.com/

    TTRPGs mentioned for Genshin-style play

    Exalted Essencehttps://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/427275/Exalted-Essence


    Free edition https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/185959/Godbound-A-Game-of-Divine-Heroes-Free-Edition

    Deluxe edition https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/185960/Godbound-A-Game-of-Divine-Heroes

    AGE System https://greenroninstore.com/collections/age-system

    Storypath System https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/431162/Storypath-Ultra-Preview-2023

    Anima Primehttps://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/90234/Anima-Prime-RPG

    Other TTRPGs mentioned

    Microscope https://www.lamemage.com/microscope/

    The Quiet Yearhttps://buriedwithoutceremony.com/the-quiet-year

    Spindlewheel https://www.teacabbage.com/spindlewheel

    Blades in the Darkhttps://evilhat.com/product/blades-in-the-dark/

    Alex's links

    Twitter https://twitter.com/AFractalDragon

    Itch https://fractaldragon.itch.io/

    Tumblr https://letourswordsdecide.tumblr.com/

    • 40 min
    BXP 6x09 - Monica and D Evaluate Rules Exceptions

    BXP 6x09 - Monica and D Evaluate Rules Exceptions

    Hello Bonus Babies!

    D is back in the studio with me today to deliver on our promise to discuss exceptions-based rules design. We talk about Exalted: Essence an awful lot, but also talk about Malifaux, Chronicles of Darkness, and some upcoming games. We talk about good examples of how to build strong exceptions and an equal number of bad ones, and point out games that don't do this at all.

    Also discussed in the extended cut:

    Live, custom made, spooky beeps

    Even more on ASMR

    The weirdness of TikTok

    Anticipating a LARP

    Expectations for advances

    The intricacies of royalties and "the Bigolas Dickolas Moment"

    Find D's Choice of Games novel here: https://www.choiceofgames.com/seventh-sea-a-pirates-pact/

    • 41 min
    BXP 6x08 Monica and Hiromi Demystify Accessibility

    BXP 6x08 Monica and Hiromi Demystify Accessibility

    Hello Bonus Babies,

    Today Monica sits down with friend and colleague Hiromi Cota to discuss how you can improve the accessibility of your tabletop RPG. We talk about making things accessible to folks with physical issues, but mental ones as well. We also talk about math a lot.

    In the patron cut:

    More coping strategies for ADHD

    Monica's style guide opinions

    Being ready to teach dice pools

    You can find Hiromi and their work here:



    • 40 min
    BXP 06x07 - Monica and the Scoundrels Discuss Content Creation

    BXP 06x07 - Monica and the Scoundrels Discuss Content Creation

    Hello Bonus Babies,

    Today Monica is joined by the hosts of the Malifaux podcast, Steampowered Scoundrels, to have a lively discussion about being small content creators in a niche field, being the microest of micro celebrities, having relationships with tabletop game designers, and a lot, and I really mean a lot, of talk about Malifaux.

    Don't worry I also bring up Exalted at least once.

    Also discussed: bad times at work and the Condescension Special; the authenticity of background noise and where to get the good misophonia; the story of Trixibelle's lemon; war criminals, annoying women, and problematic content in long-term properties.

    Content warning that we touch on, but do not deeply discuss, some pretty messed up shit that our favorite games have included.

    You can find the Scoundrels here: https://steampoweredscoundrels.podbean.com/

    The episode featuring yours truly here: https://steampoweredscoundrels.podbean.com/e/steam-powered-scoundrels-episode-22-ships-and-giggles/

    More information on Malifaux here: https://www.wyrd-games.net/malifaux

    Place to find the Scoundrels:

    Discord: https://discord.gg/KnFbYPdBn9%20

    TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@steampoweredscoundrels

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ArtefactorsUnion

    Good Things Happen Charity Event: https://fb.me/e/13rS4sbY1 and https://ko-fi.com/goodthingshappenmalifaux

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Jewlez Vern ,

Fun and smart

Smart and fun

Mothlands ,

Smart, fun, and more than a little salty!

Fathick ,

I podcast I never new I needed!!

Most of the way though this podcast library and I’m hooked! Real life down to earth queer women telling how it is in their world! There is some amazing insights, dissections and conversations on the systems, styles and skills of storytelling!
I laugh out load at least one episode and am about to get some podcast drop when I run out of past episodes in a day or two!
Thank you Monica and Rei!!!

Top Podcasts In Leisure

Critical Role
Critical Role
Duck Call Room
Si Robertson & Justin Martin
ClutterBug - Organize, Clean and Transform your Home
The Re-Slayer's Take
Critical Role
House Rules with Myquillyn Smith, The Nester
Myquillyn Smith
Simple Farmhouse Life
Lisa Bass