This is Audio EXP for the 29th of April, 2023, and the episode title is “Record-breaking Satan”.
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #194]
[Also on Stitcher | Spotify | Apple | Google]
High Level Games is in the Spotlight this month, as voted for by Patreons.
The interview with Josh Heath, the COO of High Level Games is live, and Josh is impressive. He has a Masters in Conflict Resolution and ran a heathen religious non-profit. You can read the whole piece on the blog now.
And, as it happens, there’s a bit of a religious theme in this week’s podcast and starting with, but not staying with, Dungeons & Dragons. That’s kinda a religion for some.
This month we have a new Guinness World Record, and it’s for the largest game of D&D played.
It happened in Provo. I had to hit up Bing to find out where that is, and so let me tell you, it’s the fourth-largest city in Utah in the United States of America. That means it probably dwarves Geek Native’s hometown HQ of Edinburgh, Scotland.
I asked Bing what Utah was famous for, and it told me beehives, skiing, Sunday, Salt Lake City and Mormons.
Yes, I do use Bing as my default desktop search engine. I’ve done so since Google retired Google Reader on the first of July 2013.
Perhaps we should add D&D to the list of Utah’s successes because team Provo smashed the old record. It would take 500 people playing D&D at once, and the game managed 1,227.
How do you run a game like that? Many DMs, each one looking after a table of no more than seven players. It was a single game, a battle and an adventure, all interlinked. The successes of each table made a difference.
The scenario was called The Dead Wars, and for $40, you can now buy it from DrivethruRPG.
It’s just out, no one’s reviewed it, and I’ve seen some typos, but perhaps it’s a bit of electronic history. I dunno. I suspect there was an enormous amount of logistics, but the modular approach in The Dead Wars might be something conventions look at.
Speaking of conventions, the tickets for Tabletop Scotland opened today, and I’ve bought mine.
There is, of course, already a city famous for D&D. That’s Lake Geneva, with fewer than 10,000 people living in that Wisconsin birthplace of the modern tabletop RPG.
Dave Arneson met Gary Gygax at Gen Con in the 60s there, and together they invented the game TSR, the company that first published D&D was based there, and Gygax died there in 2008.
This week the Chicago Tribune asked why is there no Gygax statue at Lake Geneva? I especially liked how they justified the story by describing it as a cultural legacy from someone who was not a soldier or politician.
The answers the Tribune get are, well, weird; the answers all seem to be Satan.
The ghost of the satanic panic that great cancel culture from the religious right that wanted to stop D&D abides.
Ben Riggs, of “Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons,” is quoted saying;
I think, for one, the Satanic panic still lingers, in a way. In general, ask people around Lake Geneva what they think of the game, and a lot of them act like you’re pointing to a bug under a rock. There’s a sense of shame about it.
That really is a shame.
As usual, while D&D is dominant in this week’s summary podcast, it’s not the only thing.
There’s a new edition of Pathfinder on the way, and that’ll be four books, some releasing during D&D’s 50th anniversary year.
Except it’s not really a new edition, it’s a revision. That said, it’s a revision that needs some backward compatibility, so it’s more than just a front cover change.
In particular, this revision of Pathfinder, one that I’m calling Pathfinder 2R, removes the RPG’s dependence on Wizards of the Coast’s OGL.
I bet Wizards of the Coast are less than thrilled to have a high-profile reminder of the OGL drama just as they’re trying to sell the new D&D edition that year, the one that used to be known as One D&D and is now just known as D&D.
Mind you; if Wizards of the Coast really wanted to avoid bad PR, then they probably shouldn’t be sending actual Pinkerton agents after Magic: The Gathering cards.
That’s what they did to retrieve some a Magic streamer had. Don’t worry; our streamer hadn’t stolen them. He had just been given the wrong box by mistake and, as a YouTuber, is undoubtedly pleased with all the PR he’s getting.
The Pinkertons will have been paid, and if you don’t know, this is an actual group of privately owned investigator agents based in the USA that people with enough money can hire.
Team Geek Native has had a busy week, we’ve not written that story up, but links to Kotaku, who did, are in the Friday wrap-up and in this podcast’s transcript, which you can find through the link in the show notes.
Moving further away from D&D takes us to Green Ronin’s Mutants & Mastermind’s superhero system.
Mutants & Masterminds will be the basis for the new and official Valiant RPG.
Green Ronin has signed a deal with DMG Entertainment and Valiant to launch the official Valiant Adventures Roleplaying Game. That’s due in 2024.
Alexander Thomas, who is developing the new RPG, told the press;
The Worlds of Valiant campaign setting features game stats for over 80 heroes and villains, and iconic locations like Britannia, The Deadside, Earth, The Faraway, New Japan, Space, The Stalinverse, and The Unknown.”
That’s about it this week, except for a reminder to vote for May’s RPG Publisher Spotlight while you can or prepare for the upcoming June poll.
The current candidates are;
There are also three bundles to call out. On the Bundle of Holding, until the 17th of May, there’s one from Liberi Gothica’s PvP Fellowship, another ending before that for Gallant Knight’s Tiny Dungeon Mega bundle and a day or so left on the Solidarity.
The Bundle of Holding says there are no Pinkertons involved in the Solidarity offer, and that one includes the anti-Nazi Sigmata, Beat the Boss and Cryptomancer. Some of the money raised in that particular bundle will be donated to the charity Corporate Accountability, which fights to stop international businesses from making the world worse.
And on that note, let’s wrap up there, and we’ll catch up next week. Until then, don’t let the system grind you down and fight on.
Teleport over to the chat portal to learn how to unlock comment badges.