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Episode 15: A Mere Frustum

November 16th, 2012 | Robin

In The Business of Gaming, Robin shares the Kickstarter lessons he learned from the recent bumper crowdfund of his new roleplaying game, Hillfolk.

Ken brings the light of his presence to a devastated New Jersey in Travel Advisory, recounting his adventures at Metatopia.

Ask Ken and Robin envisions the Dominion of America, the alternate world political entity resulting from Britain’s sensible management of its North American colonies.

Then Ken in his guise as the Consulting Occultist finds the standards-loving organist behind media-seeking Satanist Anton LaVey.

7 Responses to “Episode 15: A Mere Frustum”

  1. Jon Homesley says:

    I’m a 25 year old who just began playing RPGs in the last 2 years. I have never DMd a game. If you could only have 1 DM guide book, what would it be?

  2. John McMullen says:

    Lovely podcast, which I have just listened to. A writing-related question directed at Ken: One of the things going around the wanna-be-fiction-writer-sphere is Dan Wells’ discussion of the 7-point plot structure.

    But he forthrightly says he stole this from the Star Trek RPG Narrator’s Guide, to which Ken’s name (with others) is attached. So I have two parts to the question (and, if applicable, would love a side helping of reaction to this belated fame as well).

    First, though RPG books are largely collaborative efforts, does he remember who came up with this particular idea or brought it from elsewhere? (It’s very similar to the stuff that Larry Brooks is talking about, and has some similarities to the stuff in the book Save The Cat, for instance or any number of screenwriting books, so I doubt it showed up de novo here.)

    Second, I haven’t the book or I would check myself. The structure as presented by Dan Wells is very organized, and players are not. In fact, knowing which way they’ll jump is something often comes only after playing together for a while and one can still be surprised. So how did it originally apply to gamers and gaming (and here Robin’s comments are also useful and desired)?

    Links to substantiate my claims:

    The original presentation is on YouTube (searching will work, but I’ll provide links unless the software thinks it’s s*p*a*m). Playlist for it: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=C430F6A783A88697
    The powerpoint he uses (note Ken’s name): http://www.monkeysloth.net/fearful/StoryStructure.ppt

    Largely random evidence that various people talk about it: http://www.dlthurston.com/blog/2012/01/10/give-me-structure/
    http://gsemones.livejournal.com/26725.html
    http://talesofthestray.blogspot.ca/2011/07/on-writing-dan-wells-seven-point-system.html
    http://thescribblerscove.blogspot.ca/2011/06/seven-point-story-structure.html

    Now, I ask this in November and a November answer might be appropriate given the NaNoWriMo connection, but do what you think is best.

  3. I have to say that I am very, very glad that I was stopped at a traffic light when Robin’s description of his sales voice as “a mixture of Stan Lee and Northrup Frye”. Hard to drive while laughing that hard.

  4. Lisa Padol says:

    Thanks for the idea of Kickstarter as Narrative. This explains why I kept reloading the page of a particular kickstarter many, many times while I was supposed to be focused on enjoying the convention I was attending and ignoring such things (as I wasn’t going to kick in more money at that point).

  5. Steven Roman says:

    Just wondering if the DramaSystem will be published as a generic stand-alone set of rules without the setting material.

  6. Brian Kelsay says:

    You definitely had one of the most entertaining Kickstarters I’ve taken part in and I’ve been quite a few. Robin, you are always personable, helpful and quite the model Canadian. :-) I don’t know if I will end up playing HillFolk, but it is a beautiful book, great idea and the best value of a KS that I’ve been in.

    Due to the rise of G+ and Hangout RPG play, I am far more likely to play Hillfolk than I would have been in years past. Luckily, a guy like me, in fact many guys like me, may go to G+ and find a Community of like-minded RPG players and schedule many sessions or a campaign of a game different from D&D.

    Thanks for all your hard work and for corralling so many wonderful writers for your project. I am slowly catching up on old episodes. :-)

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