Gamer's Haven Podcast
Summary: Our goal is to provide gamers of all kinds with a place, a "Haven" if you will, where you can feel welcome and feel comfortable sharing your views on gaming. Our hobby is a rich, dynamic interest, and there are a lot of things to talk about when it comes to gaming. In geek culture, you can have serious discussions about Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Lord of the Rings, and this is what we're trying to capture on The Gamer's Haven.
We’ve been silent for a while, and you can certainly expect some more noise from us very soon. We’re currently getting caught up on some editing and posting, and then, this very week, we will be recording a new episode, and getting back to a regular release schedule. In the meantime, enjoy this special episode – the KantCon Awards 2013. Unlike previous years, this one goes quick and dirty, and it won’t seem like you’re sitting through the Academy Awards ceremony from 2000. Stay tuned, and, rest assured, we are still here, and we will be getting more content up soon!
Welcome to the first episode in the triple digits, as well as the first episode under the Nerdvana Network banner! In this extra-special episode for our extra-special listeners, we gather our friends and some of our listeners together to tell you some of our favorite moments from the gaming table. It was over six years ago that we set out to start this show, and now that it’s many years later, and we have a loyal cadre of listeners, friends, and adventures, we want to share a bit of why we keep coming back to do this show, and why we’ve recorded over 72 days of actual play recordings. If it wasn’t for people like you who listen to the show and let us know about your adventures around your gaming table, whether it’s in Kansas, Hawaii, Canada, Estonia, South Africa, or the Moon. Special thanks to Erik, Andre, Jessica, Amanda, Ryan, Tracy, Jason, Gmoe, Aaron, Sara, and many others who contributed to this episode. A special thanks to Special Guest Randy Milholland, author and creator of the awesome webcomic Something Positive. He was kind enough to share some great stories from the gaming table for us. According to Randy, he is probably napping right now. Sometimes, at night, he dons little shoes with curled toes and a little hat and secretly aids overworked cobblers. Then he uses their stores to launder money. He also grew up in a little patch of suburban sprawl between Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas. Under a full moon he sometimes transforms into a meerkat. As did Aaron Walther, from New Haven Comics, writer and creator of Zero’s Heroes, another pretty awesome webcomic (and one that if you, say, like our Justice City and City of Angels Actual Play, you will likely enjoy). Aaron is the head writer and Editor of New Haven Comics. His credits include Zero’s Heroes and Science Hero. When not writing, he roams Midwest America looking for the secrets to perfect storytelling. Welcome to the continuing adventures of the Gamer’s Haven, and you’re all part of it. Thanks from all of us here at the Gamer’s Haven – you listeners and friends are all why we do this show. Oh, and support us by supporting the Nerdvana Network!
Some of you may know that the 100th episode of the Gamer’s Haven Podcast is coming up. We’re planning on doing something very special. Within the next few weeks, what I would love to get from all of you, if you are interested, is time. Please record audio of either your favorite gaming story, or your favorite moment from the Gamer’s Haven Podcast itself, or it’s actual play, and send it to us for inclusion in the 100th episode. Length doesn’t matter, and we want it within the next two weeks, no later than April 6th. If we can’t get together, then just find a few minutes with yourself, a computer, and a microphone (or a digital voice recorder if you have one), and record a story from the gaming table that makes you smile, and keeps you coming back to roll the dice over and over again. Oh, and don’t forget to wish us a happy 100th as well.
We walk into the last episode in the double digits with some gusto! Noah is absent this time around, as we get down to talking about escapism gaming versus realism gaming. In the Three Parter (that’s actually three parts this time around), Nathan talks about what he’s into with the Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter project, Jeremy rants a bit on the world (and North Korea), and Ethan raves about Kevin Smith’s Tough Sh*t! We wrap things up with some random encoutners, and a call for gaming stories for episode 100! Also be sure to check out the Achtung! Cthulhu Kickstarter from show supporter Chris Birch! Running time on this episode is 100 minutes. About Torment: Tides of Numenera Torment: Tides of Numenera is a game set in the world of Monte Cook’s new tabletop RPG setting, Numenera. Torment continues the thematic legacy of Planescape: Torment, a critically acclaimed role-playing game from 1999 that’s considered by many to be a hallmark for storytelling in computer RPGs. With Torment, we’re striving to create a rich role-playing experience that explores similar deep, personal themes. Here’s the scoop: Torment is a single-player, isometric role-playing game. You will play a single, specific character, though you will encounter optional NPC companions you may choose to include in your party. The story-driven game will have a rich dialogue system and approach similar to that of Planescape: Torment. The game will be developed in the Unity engine for PC (Windows), Mac, andLinux platforms. The game will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian,Spanish. The game will be distributed DRM-free. (You’ll be able to get it from Steam, and other DRM-free download options will be made available.) About Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith The New York Times bestseller that is profane, honest, and contains totally wise sh*t from one of America’s most original voices. That Kevin Smith? The guy who did Clerks a million years ago? Didn’t they bounce his fat ass off a plane once? What could you possibly learn from the director of Cop Out? How about this: He changed filmmaking forever when he was twenty-three, and since then, he’s done whatever the hell he wants. He makes movies, writes comics, owns a comic book store, and has built a podcasting empire. Tough Sh*t is the dirty business that Kevin has been digesting for forty-two years and now he’s ready to put it in your hands. Kevin provides you with a blueprint for success, taking you through some big moments in his life to help you live your days in as Gretzky a fashion as you can: going where the puck is gonna be. Read all about how a zero like Smith managed to make ten movies with no discernible talent and how when he had everything he thought he’d ever want, he decided to blow up his own career. [flgallery id=2 /]
As we inch ever so closer to triple-digits, we all talk about how playing stats in a game can be difficult. We make some headway, but this is certainly a topic we’ll want to talk about more later. We’re very interested in how you think roleplaying stats should be handled, however! In the three parter, Noah reivews the video game Ni No Kuni, Jeremy reviews the new Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG from Goodman Games, Ethan plugs the KantCon Kickstarter, and Nathan gives us a relaxed rant on the Computer Industry. We wrap up with some Random Encounters! Running time on this episode is 152 minutes. About Ni No Kuni (Level 5) Ni no Kuni (二ノ国?, literally Second Country, also called The Another World) is a role-playing video game, co-developed by Japanese developerLevel-5 and anime company Studio Ghibli, for the Nintendo DS and later PlayStation 3. The Nintendo DS version, titled Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madōshi, was released on December 9, 2010, while the PlayStation 3 version, titled Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, was released in Japan on November 17, 2011, with a Western release on January 22, 2013. The Western PlayStation 3 version is published by Namco Bandai Games and includes both English and Japanese voice tracks. Due to problems in translation of the magic book, there are currently no plans to localize the Nintendo DS version. Despite this, a collector’s edition of the PlayStation 3 version that contains the translated book is scheduled for release alongside the standard edition. About Dungeon Crawl Classics (Goodman Games) You’re no hero. You’re an adventurer: a reaver, a cutpurse, a heathen-slayer, a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets. You seek gold and glory, winning it with sword and spell, caked in the blood and filth of the weak, the dark, the demons, and the vanquished. There are treasures to be won deep underneath, and you shall have them. Return to the glory days of fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game. Adventure as 1974 intended you to, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery. Fast play, cryptic secrets, and a mysterious past await you: turn the page… Rules Set: DCC RPG, an OGL system that cross-breeds Appendix N with a streamlined version of 3E. Support: Goodman Games will support the DCC RPG with an extensive line of adventure modules and select other materials. Visit the DCC RPG launch page for more information! Kickstarters Mentioned Wildman” An “Evolutionary” Action RPG by Gas Powered Games The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? by Jon Schnepp Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen Links Matt Chat Matt Chat 182: Chris Taylor’s Confession [flgallery id=2 /]
For the next 60 days you will have the ability to “Pre-Pre-Register” for KantCon 2013! GO NOW! Tier Explanations In these first few tiers, you’re basically getting the bare bones badge to get in the door at KantCon 2013. In addition to the badges, you’re getting a few extras that you’re only getting through the Kickstarter – if you wait to Pre-Register or buy your badge at the door, you’re not going to get any extras, and you may end up paying more (at the door, the prices are higher). $10 Friday Attendee $15 Saturday Attendee $10 Sunday Attende $30 Three-Day Attendee The following tiers are for the more serious (well, Moderate, Serious, and Critical) supporters of KantCon. In these tiers, you’ll get access to things like the exclusive Pathfinder adventure module we’re having written for the convention this year (and it will be run at the convention, too!). The Munchies for Munchkins cookbook is something that a lot of people will look forward to – a cookbook, professionally done (we have a CIA trained chef after all), featuring all kinds of recipes for your game group to try. Since we no longer will be featuring the Concessions area at KantCon, those responsible for all those delicious treats are helping out by putting things in this super awesome cookbook. As with last year, we’re getting an exclusive miniature made for KantCon attendees. This year, we’re bringing Help! the Gnome to life with the help of Midwest Monster Labs. KantCon is the only place you’ll find this miniature! Who doesn’t love more dice? If you get a tier with a dice set in it, you’ll get a full set of polyhedrals – a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, and a “100′s” d10. These dice will be in the same style as the KantCon d6, which everyone gets in their SWAG bags every year. Also a running tradition, the KantCon glass drinking mug is the perfect size for a can of soda, these high-quality collectible glasses will look great in you cupboard, or loaded up with dice! $50 Moderate KantCon Attendee $75 Serious KantCon Attendee $100 Critical KantCon Attendee Buy-In-Games (BIGS) We’re trying something new this year! Instead of a bunch of stuff, we’re doing what we can to make your KantCon experience better. These games are loaded with some of the aforementioned goodies, but also get you in on some of the super special games we’ve cooked up for you at KantCon this year! Not all of the spots are on this Kickstarter for each of these games – we’ve saved a few for later, just in case some of you want to get in on more than one of these. We’ll offer those up after the Kickstarter is completed. These games have been designed with the intention of making a greatexperience for you at KantCon – something that you’ll keep with you forever. They’ve been painstakingly designed by some of the KantCon planners to make sure you have at least one game at KantCon that rocks your socks. We’re also spreading the love as much as we can. We’re offering RPGs, Card Games, Board Games, and Miniatures Games in these epic events – meaning we’re not focusing only on those roleplayers out there, but also those lovers of Board Games, Card Games, and Miniatures Games. These aren’t all that will be available, either! We’ll add more as the Kickstarter goes on, and even add more afterwards. At KantCon itself, there will be more games and even some charity events benefiting our chosen charity, the Michael Rohan Memorial Fund. $100 RPG BIG: Goodman Games presents Jon Hook’s Age of Cthulhu Timeless Sands of India India: exotic splendors, desolate sands, and the mysteries of the Subcontinent. The answers to unexplained nightmares rest in India’s timeless sands, where eons-old mysteries still dwell just below the veneer of polite society. Curious investigators are quickly dra[...]
While we’re waiting for Kickstarter to approve our Pre-Pre-Registration Kickstarter, we’ve decided to go ahead and launch one of our independent support methods for KantCon 2013. As you know, we’re doing all we can to raise funds for KantCon 2013, and to that end, the Gamer’s Haven and Sand & Steam Productions have joined forces with some exclusive KantCon materials to release the KantCon 2013 Support Bundle. Inside the bundle, you’ll not only get all the Gamer’s Haven Superpowered PDFs that are available, but you’ll also get the Sand & Steam premier game, School Daze, written and designed by our very own Event Coordinator, Tracy Barnett! Also included are some exclusive PDF goodies from KantCon 2013, including the Jabbergluck Coloring Book, the Jabbergluck Savage Worlds stat sheet, and the uber-exclusive KantCon 2012 Savage Worlds PDF Module: Prison Break, written by our very own Andre Faucher (GM of Gamer’s Haven Actual Play games Wizard’s College, Rippers, and Mutants & Masterminds City of Angels, to name a few). Illustration was provided by Amanda Puentes and Jay Carter III. This is the ONLY way to get the exclusive module and KantCon PDF material. The stat sheets and some other goodies were available at KantCon 2012, but the module was handed out to a very select few. For $10, you get almost $35 worth of PDF product! Help support KantCon 2013 by clicking HERE and pledging some support!
We talk a bit about the holidays, the year in general, and what we want to see in coming years. This is a general “Random Encoutners” episode with no Three Parter. Running Time on this Episode is 99 minutes. [flgallery id=2 /]
Jeremy takes a look at The Weird West Basic Rules from Robertson Games. About The Weird West Basic Rules The streamlined and fast playing adventure roleplaying game for weird western worlds of cowboys, kung-fu, magic and otherworldly malevolence. The Weird West Basic Rulebook has been designed to make reading, creating characters, and starting a game as fast as possible: the fastest RPG in the west! We’ve cut out the ‘what is an rpg’, game fiction, and other ‘fluff’ to keep the rulebook as lean as possible while still having enough detail to make it fun. [flgallery id=2 /]
Nathan has now had time to play around with Guild Wars 2 a bit longer, and he wants to talk about it some more … About Guild Wars 2 Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by ArenaNet and published by NCsoft. Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the game follows the re-emergence of Destiny’s Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, a Lovecraftian species that has seized control of Tyria in the time since the original Guild Wars. The game takes place in a persistent world with a story that progresses ininstanced environments. Guild Wars 2 claims to be unique in the genre by featuring a storyline that is responsive to player actions, something which is common in single player role-playing games but rarely seen in multiplayer ones. A dynamic event system replaces traditional questing, utilising the ripple effect to allow players to approach quests in different ways as part of a persistent world. Also of note is the combat system, which aims to be more dynamic than its predecessor by promoting synergy between professions and using the environment as a weapon, as well as reducing the complexity of the Magic-style skill system of the original game. As a sequel to Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 features the same lack of subscription fees that distinguished its predecessor from other commercially developed online games of the time, though a purchase is still required to install the game. As reported by NCsoft and ArenaNet, by September 13th (about 2 weeks after launch), despite temporarily halting first-party sales, the game has sold over 2 million copies. The game’s peak concurrency exceeds 400,000 players. [flgallery id=2 /]
The corridor seemed to be shrinking as the squad pushed forward, forcing the Blood Angels into a single file line. The shadows on the walls clawed at them, beckoning them into the darkness. As they moved away from the door, the sounds of scratching and shrieking faded to silence. “They are moving to the vents,” Brother Lorenzo warned. “Watch our flanks!” But it was too late. The Genestealers appeared all at once from every direction. The Space Hulk erupted into fire and death. Genestealers have infested a remote Space Hulk called Sin of Damnation and a small squad of Space Marines have been sent to purge this alien threat. The odds are overwhelming and survival is unlikely. It is a bleak undertaking. Enter the Blood Angels. Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game is a cooperative card game set in the grim darkness of Warhammer 40,000. Players must work together as an alien menace threatens to devour their hopes of survival. If all Space Marines perish, the players collectively lose. Likewise, if at least one of the surviving Space Marines completes the objective, the players all win! Playable in under an hour, Death Angel takes 1-6 players straight into the action. Each player takes control of a combat team (or two combat teams if playing with less than four players). If playing solo, the single player controls three combat teams. Combat teams are made up of two unique Space Marines, each with his own flavour and style. Learn More About Death Angel [flgallery id=2 /]
In this episode, Ethan, Noah, Jeremy, and Nathan talk about what you can do to reward your players, and how you can punish them, and how to translate that into your game. From the piles of loot to those chancy role-playing rewards. In the Three Parter, Noah raves about Pinnacle Entertainment’s Deadlands Noir, Jeremy talks about What We’re Into with Civilization V, Ethan finally gets around to reviewing Space Hulk: Death Angel from Fantasy Flight Games, and Nathan starts off cordial and ends up Ranting on a few random things when he talks about Guild Wars 2 and Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition. Things wrap up with some Random Encounters – wherein a goal is set for 50 pins on the Minion Map by the 100th episode! Kickstarters featured in this episode: Pathfinder Online Guide to Glorantha Blackwater Gulch: Rebels & Reinforcements Dizzy Returns Tiny Barbarian DX Running time on this episode is 126 minutes. About Deadlands Noir New Orleans, 1935. Whoever called this the Big Easy sure got that one wrong. Things are tough all over. Honest work is hard to find, and even dishonest jobs are getting scarce. The one thing that’s not in short supply is trouble. From shady thugs to crooked cops to Mafia soldiers, there’s plenty of characters out there looking to give an honest Joe a hard time. And that’s not the worst of it. There are stories going round about things that go bump in the night. Things you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley on a darker night. And those stories aren’t just coming from rummies or saps who read that Epitaph rag. Still, there are a few heroes left in the concrete jungle. Steely-eyed private dicks, fast-talking grifters, wild-eyed inventors, and shadowy houngans still struggle against the encroaching darkness. With enough moxie—and more than a little luck—they might just be enough to turn the tide. Deadlands Noir is a pen-and-paper roleplaying game set in the world of Pinnacle Entertainment’s award-winning Deadlands universe. It includes new Edges, Hindrances, and powers, as well as new rules for handling detective work, the state of the Union and the CSA in the Depression-era, a complete Plot Point campaign, and of course, more monsters and ghouls than you can shake a smoking .45 automatic at. Update! Since we started, we’ve added a number of additional products and rewards, including the Deadlands Noir Companion that adds four new cities with their own dark secrets: Chicago, Lost Angels. Shan Fan, and the City of Gloom! Deadlands Noir uses the best-selling Savage Worlds rules, and you will need a copy of those to play. Check out the Test Drive version of the rules for free at www.peginc.com! Our Explorer’s Edition of the rules is only $9.99, print OR PDF! Learn More About Deadlands Noir About Civilization V Sid Meier’s Civilization V (also known as Civilization 5 or Civ 5) is a turn-based strategy, 4X computer game developed by Firaxis, released onMicrosoft Windows in September 2010 and on Mac OS X on November 23, 2010. In Civilization V, the player leads a civilization from prehistoric times into the future on a procedurally-generated map, achieving one of a number of different victory conditions through research, diplomacy, expansion, economic development, government and military conquest. The game is based on an entirely new game engine with hexagonal tiles instead of the square tiles of earlier games in the series. Many elements from Civilization IVand its expansion packs have been removed or changed, such as religion and espionage (although these were reintroduced in its subsequent expansion). The combat system has been overhauled, removing stacking of military units and enabling cities to defend themselves by firing directly on nearby enemies. In addition, the maps contain computer-controlled city-states as non-player characters that are available for trade, diplomacy and conquest. A civilization’s borders also expand one tile at a time, favoring [...]
In this episode, we are joined by a fourth host – Noah from New Jersey has made the trek to Kansas, and has joined the cast of the Gamer’s Haven Podcast. We sit down and update you, our faithful listeners, about what we’ve been up to over the last few months, and then dive into a discussion about the whole GM vs. Player mentality that floats around at times – you know the mentality, the one where the GM says players ruin his/her adventures, and where the players say the GM is out to get them? Yeah, we tackle that one. In the Three Parter, we all take on some reviews. Nathan kicks things off with a review of the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars: X-Wing game. Ethan talks about the Z-Man Games cooperative board game, Pandemic. Jeremy talks a bit about the Sine Nomine Publishing setting, Stars Without Number. Finally, Noah chats a bit about the new Sentinels of the Multiverse Enhanced Edition, Rook City, and Infernal Relics expansions from Greater Than Games. We wrap things up with some Random Encounters (of which we need more!) and talk about some Kickstarters that you should be checking out. Dice Rings Kickstarter Salem Kickstarter M&M 10th Anniversary Kickstarter Sentinels of the Multivers: Shattered Timelines Kickstarter Hell on Earth miniatures Kickstarter Running Time on this Episode is 99 minutes. About X-Wing Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful Rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, the X-Wing Miniatures Game recreates exciting Star Wars space combat throughout its several included scenarios. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission! Whatever your chosen vessel, the rules of X-Wing facilitate fast and visceral gameplay that puts you in the middle of Star Wars fiercest firefights. Each ship type has its own unique piloting dial, which is used to secretly select a speed and maneuver each turn. After planning maneuvers, each ship’s dial is revealed and executed (starting with the lowest skilled pilot). So whether you rush headlong toward your enemy showering his forward deflectors in laser fire, or dance away from him as you attempt to acquire a targeting lock, you’ll be in total control throughout all the tense dog-fighting action. Star Wars: X-Wing features (three) unique missions, and each has its own set of victory conditions and special rules; with such a broad selection of missions, only clever and versatile pilots employing a range of tactics will emerge victorious. What’s more, no mission will ever play the same way twice, thanks to a range of customization options, varied maneuvers, and possible combat outcomes. Damage, for example, is determined through dice and applied in the form of a shuffled Damage Deck. For some hits your fighter sustains, you’ll draw a card that assigns a special handicap. Was your targeting computer damaged, affecting your ability to acquire a lock on the enemy? Perhaps an ill-timed weapon malfunction will limit your offensive capabilities. Or worse yet, your pilot could be injured, compromising his ability to focus on the life-and-death struggle in which he is engaged… The Star Wars: X-Wing starter set includes everything you need to begin your battles, such as scenarios, cards, and fully assembled and painted ships. What’s more, Star Wars: X-Wing’s quick-to-learn ruleset establishes the foundation for a system that can be expanded with your favorite ships and characters from the Star Wars universe. Buy X-Wing from the Noble Knight Games Buy X-Wing from the Gamer’s Haven Amazon Store About Pandemic Several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures f[...]
We finally stop talking about KantCon for a while after this episode, we promise. In this retrospective, we examine what worked, and what didn’t work about KantCon 2012 … [flgallery id=2]
It’s that time again! We wrap up KantCon with the fourth-annual KantCon Awards! This time, we are joined by … Nathan! It’s a landmark year! As a grand finale of KantCon, on Sunday, July 8 beginning at 8:00 p.m., the Gamer’s Haven Podcast will be on hand to present a number of awards to convention attendees. All throughout the convention, during scheduled roleplaying events, you will be voting for best players. Additionally, if you play in scheduled card game, board game, and miniatures game events, the winners’ names will be recorded for posterity during the KantCon Awards Ceremony. Also presented will be acknowledgements to various volunteers and staff of KantCon who contributed to KantCon this year as well as some thanks for Kickstarter participants. These super-fancy, custom awards trophies will undoubtedly be the best miniature, plastic trophies you will proudly display on your mantle! Plus, there may be some special SWAG that gets given away. Acceptance speeches are encouraged, and audience participation is virtually a requirement! Get to know some of the people you’ve been gaming with over the three days of KantCon, and sit back and relax while we close KantCon 2012 with a bang! [flgallery id=2]