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Roleplay - Working with the Game

We're trying something new! While video games are cool and all, we've been spending a lot of our design energy recently playing, running, and thinking about tabletop RPGs.

RPGs are some of the most fascinating and unique gaming experiences you can experience today. They're intricate machines that synthesize the efforts and desires of the players, the game master, and the game's original designer to create something that none of them ever expected. They simulate complex worlds that exist only in the minds of those sitting around the table. They're a constant conversation between the players and their game master, between the mechanics of the system and the needs of the story, between the desires of the players and the in-universe goals of their characters.

In short, RPGs are dope, and we want to understand them better.

To begin this journey to take apart RPGs and see what makes them tick, Jon sits down with new co-host Kyle Pulver to discuss how game masters can better work alongside their chosen game system, rather than struggling against it. We dig into how your GMing style should match the fidelity of your chosen game system, how you can tell the focus of a system based on where it expends most of its detail, and how embracing all the rules of a system can teach your more than attempting to work around or undermine the ones you don't understand.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions for RPG systems that work well for running unexpected campaign types? Contact us on Twitter or email And if you liked the show, please review us on Apple Podcasts or share this episode with a friend!

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Header image by Dave Trampier for TSR, Inc.

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