Podcast Notes: Let's Roll!

Category: Play
Last article published: 14 September 2021
This is the 78th post under this label

Show: Let's Roll! - Fire and Water’s Role-Playing Podcast
Premise: The role-playing podcast about the gamer experience!
Available: Fire and Water Network, Apple Podcasts, Spotify
Number of episodes to date: 7 (not counting Hero Points episodes)
The first was about... Savage Worlds - Evernight, released on September 9th, 2020.

How it all began
As I related last year when discussing the Hero Points Podcast, I was looking to talk about role-playing games other than the DC Comics-centric ones, so I created a cousin-show called Let's Roll!, which was Hero Point's sign-off. That linked the two shows for an eventual merge (which has since happened - now the feed contains all of Fire and Water's role-playing material, give or take). The basic idea: Team up with my old players and talk about games/campaigns we experienced together, discussing rules and settings, but filtering it mostly in the gamer experience, our stories, and so on. This was essentially the format organically developed in the DC Adventures episode of Hero Points, where my friend Furn and I couldn't help but relate everything to actual play experience. So that was the starting point, with the promise of covering games with fellow gamers I'd never played with down the line. Any Fire and Water Network host can, in fact, put episodes on this feed, in whatever format they wish.

The Process
With these kinds of shows, it's all about juggling guests, genres and games so that it might interest different people at different times. I started with a couple of the best role-playing experiences I ever had - Savage Worlds Evernight and GURPS Old West - and was happy to get a couple players from each game to participate, reigniting old friendships in the latter case (though getting the game back up and running has been tough). One of the "juggling problems" I had is that the aforementioned GURPS campaign went through natural permutations as part of something we called Shiftworld, so the same guest must return several times to tell the whole story and discuss different sourcebooks. I have to space these out with other material. We're now in the phase where I allow myself to cover games I've never played, but I'd rather they be games I at least OWN (that's not as limiting as you might think). In one case where I got a game's designer on the show, I even threw a quick game together before hand, so I'd have something to contribute.

I complete each episode with GameMaster Advice, essentially adapting articles more long-time readers of this blog might find familiar. Linking these with the game/topic covered is paramount, and it adds a little something that's all-purpose for listeners who don't know the game du jour.

And I'd say that's MOST listeners. The thing about my gaming trajectory is that I'm not that attracted to the more mainstream fare (Dungeons & Dragons, for example, has yet to make an appearance, but see The Future). GURPS is a solid, popular game that I return to often, at least, but Dream Park? Stupor Powers? These are little gems for which I'm happy to give a bit of exposure. So it's no real surprise that this show is probably one of the least listened to I produce, and verifiably the one that garners the fewest comments. Most of these are about the Advice column, and are often complimentary, thank you. Another element that's appreciated is the image gallery that shows, among other things, the players' actual character sheets (I throw away NOTHING!) which serve as a good visual aid in understanding each game.

I guess the strongest reception has been from guests, who suddenly find their gaming juices are flowing and they'd love to start or restart something as a result of the conversation. We've been trying to get that GURPS Shiftwold game going again, and thought we had the collaboration of the other two players from back in the day, but while I've put some notes down and know how to "end" the story (which is all that's required of me here), only my two guests seem to REALLY be into it enough to give it a go. Maybe I have to change my plans to only serve those two. You can stay tuned through the show, I guess.

The Future
As I said earlier, Let's Roll and Hero Points recently merged, on a feed that keeps the Let's Roll brand. There's more GURPS coming, obviously, but I also plan to do a show about D&D's Forgotten Realms (I think this game is better served by setting-specific episodes, avoiding the "which rule set?" issue), and would love to do something with games I've played a lot of, like Hong Kong Action Theater, Paranoia and Call of Cthulhu. What you WON'T see is any discussion of Star Trek RPGs (which were covered on an episode of Gimme That Star Trek) or Doctor Who RPGs (due to my frequent collaborations with Ryan Blake on the Timey-Wimey Dicey-Wicey Podcast). As for my FW brethren, maybe Shagg will one day pull the trigger on a Star Wars RPG episode - I know he played a lot of that - but I can't make promises for anyone but myself.

Point is, if you're an RPG fan and you're looking for a podcast that doesn't go too deep into the rules nitty-gritty, has a fun conversational style that uses anecdotes as examples, and often takes chances with topics, but also format, Let's Roll now has a dedicated feed which also includes Hero Points. Check it out.



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