[Gen Con 2012] Recordings

edited August 2012 in Story Games
As an experiment I recorded all my one hour talks at Gen Con. Here they are, unedited, for your enjoyment (?):

Introduction to GMless Play
This is me by myself rambling about GMless games for an hour.

The International RPG Scene
This is me and Dominic McDowall-Thomas . I spend a lot of time being excited about Japan.

Introduction to Nordic Larp
Me, Emily Care Boss , Lizzie Stark , Aleksi Airaksinen , Ville Takanen and Joonas IIvonen . As the least clued-in guy in the room I took the role of questioning moderator.

Volatility in Game Design
Me and James Ernest . Or, really, James Ernest's well thought out and useful lecture on volatility with an occasional unhelpful comment from me.

History, Panic and History Panic
Me and Kenneth Hite talking about how to love gaming in history and still not be a total dick.

From Indie Cradle to Indie Grave: Making Independent Games
Me and James Ernest, mostly talking about business-y stuff.

Again, these are unedited and full of me being a toolbox full of tools occasionally. But people asked! I am glad to share. If you have links to recordings you made of stuff at Gen Con 2012 add them to this thread!


  • Thank you very much for those. Will give it a watch.
  • Downloading now! Couldn't get to Gen Con this year so this is cool.
  • I hope they are useful and interesting to you.
  • Thank you very much! I will also put up edited versions of the "Playtesting RPG's" seminar, "Secrets of RPG Editing", and the "Intro to Indie RPG's" panel will be on the TJI GenCon feed.
  • Ohhh man, this is amazing. I can't wait to get home and give some of these a listen.
  • Thanks guys, this really takes some of the sting out of not being able to attend.
  • edited August 2012
    Rawr! Damn. The article on how gaming gets funding in Sweden, mentioned in the larp talk isn't up yet. It will be posted the 27th.
  • Emily jumped the gun! Not too long to wait, though - looking forward to reading it.
  • You couldn't be more awesome, The Jasons. Thanks!
  • Next year I plan to attend as many panels as I can and ask some boring question about insurance at all of them.
  • I am having a heck of a time with the audio editing, due to some poor quality recordings on my end. Sorry for my rather awkward presentation of the material.

    Still, here is Playtesting RPG's
  • I listened to the history panel and I liked it.

    Where are all the other GenCon recordings? If you are not the Jasons, you should post your links to GenCon recordings in this thread, too, so I don't have to hunt for them.
  • I am having a heck of a time with the audio editing, due to some poor quality recordings on my end. Sorry for my rather awkward presentation of the material.

    Still, here is Playtesting RPG's
    I'm in this!

  • I listened to the International RPG Scene panel and I liked it too.

    I could listen to podcasts of Andy et al talk about Japanese games all day long.

    I remember watching some people play an rpg in Greek, and going to the gaming club in Athens a little over 3 years ago. Gaming stuff us super, super expensive there.
  • edited August 2012
    We were joking about Greek gaming because John "I am super Greek" Stavropoulos was in the front row heckling us. I don't know if that came across or not! Also Mark Causey was there to drop some J-RPG science, for which I am grateful.
  • edited August 2012
    I'm a semi-professional heckler with a heart of good intentions wrapped inside a vegan souffle.

    RPGs in Athens are indeed crazy expensive! I've had minimal experience playing in Greece, mostly in Athens and Nafpaktos. Most people I knew were more into warhammer. I haven't see any indie games there but my experience is very small.
  • Yes! That did come across, I can recognize his voice by now. The friend I visited in Athens was/is a Kult fan, and he was playing a fairly trad homebrew system his GM made, so I didn't see any Warhammer or indie games.
  • One more poorly-recorded and minimally edited seminar here:

    The Secrets of RPG Editing by Paizo
  • edited August 2012
    In "The International RPG Scene" regarding the Israeli market: D&D hold majority share because it has several editions translated into Hebrew (ever since 1980 or so). Other games that got translated where Shadowrun & Earth Dawn in the 90' and Exalted several years ago along with D&D 4th edition.

    The Shadowrun & Earth Dawn products were just bad, so people didn't buy them. But in the 2000', both 3rd and 4th editions of D&D, as well as Exalted, were produced in the same quality as their native books. Exalted didn't really catch on, but D&D saw a major growth in popularity.
    The majority of Role-players in Israel are teens, 12-17, and while English is thought as a second language in school, it is a major threshold for most of those kids when RPGs are written in English.

    Only in the last 4-5 years we are starting to see the advent of original, local games (I'm even writing one).

    Also, the thing about not being able to serve in the IDF if you have a history of LARP/RPG is false - it was advertised several years ago but proven not to be true.

    Edit: I forgot about a translated version of Don't Rest You Head which is available from OBS sites, http://www.rpgnow.com/product/83056/Don't-Rest-Your-Head:-Hebrew-Edition?filters=600_0_10133_0_0 . AFAIK it is the only indie game translated to date.
  • Listened to a bunch of these while working on my roof porch. Not in order as posted apparently.

    Gmless play: I found your statement "this isn't for everyone" interesting and the way you describe why is informative. A lot of the questions I thought you had already answered in the talk.

    From Indie Cradle to Indie Grave: For me, I think this was already things I've experienced/read but the most important pieces of advice are build your network of talented friends and you don't need a lawyer for everything.

    History Panic: I guess I never had history panic but I think this was the funniest recording so far. I cracked up a bunch of times with your examples especially toward the end. I don't know if that was on purpose but I could see how it could help people with history panic think "Hey look, these guys are having fun with history and so can I".
  • Thanks Onix, I'm glad you are enjoying the talks and getting something useful out of them.
  • I am enjoying the talks and getting something useful out of them, too! Just listened to the "history panic" one. I'm running a Sorcerer campaign in Louis XIV France, so it's relevant.
  • The International RPG Scene - Too many juicy tidbits here. I want to make Replays now.

    Volatility in Game Design - This was interesting. I wonder what you thought about the "biased randomness" and "fair randomness" Jason?

    Playtesting RPGs - If you've never run playtests before, this is good information. I came to a similar process as discussed because I realized I was biasing my results by running the game myself. An important recomendation, record all playtests. If you have an iPhone, voice recorder is super easy. I even picked up a nicer microphone for just this purpose.

    RPG Editing - There are a few things mentioned to look out for. Rhyming sentences, repeating names, etc. Most of it was about how to be a good freelancer and make the editors like you. If that's what you want to do, this recording's for you.
  • @Onix I don't know how much fair randomness is relevant to roleplaying games, as I said during the talk. We're usually rolling to be surprised, so biased randomness is sufficient and perhaps even desirable.
  • I haven't used them but I seem to be hearing more about fair randomness being used. Unless I got it wrong, things like "yes, but" and "no, but" mechanics are in a similar vein, along with what you mention about roll or choose mechanics.
  • edited August 2012
    My understanding of the terms James introduced may be incomplete. I'll start a new thread, it is interesting.
  • Heads up: I plan on saving these recordings (with your permission Jason?) on my site so that we can find them later on.
  • I dropped a few helpful links as show note liners for the international gaming discussion (Japanese games):

  • With the help of "This Just In From GenCon", I bring you the Intro to Indie RPG's seminar. This could be more accurately described as intro to OSR, but we also recommended a number of story games for people to check out.

  • All of these recordings are now uploaded and easily available on my site.

    This means that if Jason has limited Dropbox space, he can free some of that up. My site has the capacity.
  • Thanks for recording these! As someone who can't usually make it to cons, I really appreciate it.
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