This is Audio EXP for the 14th of May 2022, and the title of this episode is “People Do Good”.
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #148]
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Sixel Publishing is in the spotlight this month, as voted for by Patreons.
Did I begin the last podcast by dating it on the 5th of May? I did and I was wrong; it was the 7th. Gee, that illustrates why I’ve been moaning about the time crunch. I’m recording this one at about 11pm at night, an hour before it’s late. But, hey, I’ve jaffa cake flavoured gin to keep me company, so no grumbles here.
Good news. The Sixel Publishing interview is up. We talk about how Mike pivoted his site from helping people who had lost their job to D&D. We tap into Mike’s augmented reality experience and wonder whether it’ll be D&D 5.5 or D&D 6.0 that goes AR first.
Also, good news. Since we last spoke the BBC has announced a new Doctor for Doctor Who and he used to live up the road. Ncuti Gatwa is Scottish, raised, for a while, in Edinburgh.
I look forward to seeing what he and RTD do with the series. They might as well roll the dice.
Another Scottish story this week comes from Microsoft. There’s now an Xbox tartan. It turns out all you really need to do is pay your monies, and you’ll be entered into the official records.
Thankfully, Microsoft took a traditional approach even though the tartan appears on Xbox controllers and got kilt-makers and designers involved.
There’s a connection between treating your Xbox well enough to give it a specially designed tartan and not treating bots so badly that they rise up and kill you.
Yes, season three of Love, Death + Robots is on the way. I hope it’s as good as the first two, which were impressive.
This could be the last series as it ends with the same director as it began with, a bookmark. However, there’s still a year on David Fincher’s contract, one of the directors, so if Netflix wants to squeeze something in, it could be Love, Death + Robots season 4.
In the spirit of squeezing in a whole season in just one year… or, the exact opposite, Avatar: The Way of the Water is coming.
My angle on this sci-fi is that D&D 4e was fresh and shiny when the first movie came out. 13 years later, we’re getting the sequel. The trailer looks good, but I’m not sure I’ve any connection to the characters anymore.
I suspect it’ll be a challenge to get back into, but it might be a delight. And what of all those people who’ve not seen the first one? The movie could be this weird surprise/not-surprise hit or surprise/not-surprise fail.
I remember something about an alien tree and humans changing their bodies through transport tech to be tall and blue.
Those are topics that bring the free to download demo and Gamefound crowdfunding efforts for To Change to mind.
The tabletop RPG uses tarot cards to take players through mind and body change. It could be Avatar change, but the authors and illustrators are all trans.
It’s a project worth shining a little light on because I suspect few else will, and I concede it’s not for everyone. I’m sticking with my no crowdfunding for now and didn’t back, and I don’t need a new RPG, but I agree this might speak volumes to some people.
As might Twilight Accord the new queer fantasy from Steven Kenson and Green Ronin. It’s a Patreon project, so you can back it now for perks and early access.
I admit I’m tempted.
Firstly, because Steve Kenson is a great designer.
Secondly, I’m curious to see what this definition of queer fantasy turns out to be. I’m a cis-white guy, so most things are made for me, but that doesn’t mean I read an RPG and think, “this was made for me”. I want to see how queer fantasy differs.
I think the Patreon model is perfect. With Patreon, you get to write a game for a paying audience with those monthly subscriptions. Twilight Accord legit gets to be written for people.
I might be a straight white guy but I’m not fully able. There have been agility based tabletop games that I’ve felt at a disadvantage. That’s okay, doesn’t bother me, I’m good at other ones.
However, it’s not the case that most board games are beyond my physical ability at all. Perhaps that’s the group that Asmodee’s new game studio Access+ is about.
With science and research behind it, Access+ is a new publisher that will convert Asmodee’s impressive slate of board games into accessible ones so people with disabilities and their carers can play.
I’d like to say all board games should be like this, but that underplays the significance of some disabilities.
Lots of games, not just board games, can be adapted. This week, on the blog, there’s a guest post from Alea Publishing and a preview of their Iconic Adventuring System. The preview will get you going with the card-based solution, and the guest post talks about adapting 5E.
If you’re keeping count, that’s the second tarot-card based RPG mention of the podcast, but it won’t be the last.
There is, for example, the free to download Deck of Fates from Black Forge. That’s two PDFs, one of the art for the cards and another for the 5E rules.
Another freebie to get some attention on the blog this week is Anyworld the setting agnostic system from Netherborn. It uses d6.
There are even alternative systems in the bundle outro of the podcast. At the Bundle of Holding, Jenna Moran’s dice-free Nobilis and Ghibli-vibe Chuubo’s Marvel Wish-Granting Engine is on offer.
There’s also Barrel Rider Games’ The Heroes’ Journey.
If this week’s podcast has had a vibe of people doing good then that continues right to the end with these last two offers.
First up, at Humble, there’s Let’s Say Game Over to Type 1 Diabetes. Computer games with a connection to raise money to research and treat Diabetes.
Lastly, and with savings of over $400 on tabletop games, there’s DriveThruRPG’s RPGs For Reproductive Justice. Upsettingly, the United States of America is having a freedom and science wobble, and money from this bundle will go to try and support people affected by that.
And on that note, let’s wrap up there, enjoy your next game and see you next week.
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