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Undesign

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Undesign

Vincent Venturella & T.A. Lambert

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Join Vince & Travis for Undesign as they talk about the really important things in life, like Ability Scores, Random Tables, and Giant Robots . Take a deep dive in each episode as they cover often overlooked elements of designing, playing and running tabletop games.
 
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show series
 
Join Vince & Travis as they break down Starvation & Thirst in games. This old saw can be a central feature of some worlds and shoe-horned often in places it doesn’t below. How can you best use the environment as an enemy? What types of games are best for this sort of mechanic? How can you implement and play with these rules without it becoming tedi…
 
Vince and Travis get back to some crunchy, crunchy design. Today we are breaking down the nature of horizontal vs vertical power curves - or how fast the delta develops between your characters and the rest of the world as they advance. What is the benefit of each of these types of power curves? What types of games do these curves match best with? A…
 
Join Vince & Travis as they offer a couple of ideas for IPs that should be translated into RPGs. RPGs based on IPs have a long and storied history, from early Star Wars & Marvel RPGs to more recent Buffy and BSG RPGs. What RPGs would work well? What makes an IP good for an RPG? Why do these work or fail? All of this and less will be answered within…
 
Join Vince and Travis as they finally get to what this podcast is supposed to be about - game design. They break into the heart of the 3 elements that make up the fundamentals of good design. What are these three lessons? How can you put them to use in your own game design? What does all this have to do with gardening anyways? All of this and less …
 
Join Vince & Travis as they talk about progression, and more precisely, Progression speed in games. If you character can advance, how fast should they do so? Should you use the math in the books? Does math even matter at all? What about the story and the accomplishments of your character? All of this and less will be answered within.…
 
Join Vince & Travis as they break down the 3rd leg of character creation. The history of D&D is rife with many forms of further defining your character beyond simple race and class. Why do we need this 3rd leg of definition? What is the value it brings and what were the challenges in these systems throughout their history? All of this and less will…
 
Join Vince and Travis as they discuss the nature of Apocalypses in Games, both the threat of them in a story the PCs are trying to stop and the use of them in the narrative when building out the story of your world. What is the value to your story of the end of the world? Can this trope be overused? How can you best utilize the potential end of the…
 
Join Vince and Travis as they break down a crazy concept - GM’s generating characters. Whether it’s the classic Pre-Gens, GM’s making a whole character sheet or just generating some elements of the characters that take place in the game, there is lots to explore. Why would you want to do this? What value is there for GMs? For players? All of this a…
 
Join Vince & Travis as they discuss piddly monsters, the yard trash that have plagued video games, MMOs and table top games for years. What value do these rats, bats and non-threats have? How can you best use them in your game? How can you best use these fights in a positive way to add color to your game? All of this and less will be explained with…
 
Vince & Travis sit down and discuss their favorite 2nd Edition D&D books. It’s time to drip in the waters of nostalgia and discuss how 2nd edition D&D gave us so many books by printing themselves out of business. What were the books they loved? Why are there so many books? What can we use of them today? All of this and less will be answered within.…
 
This week Vince & Travis are breaking down one of their crunchiest subjects ever - sub-systems in design vs. unified mechanics. Some games rely on bespoke individual systems to resolve everything, different systems to build a thing, attack a thing, do a thing, other games use a singular unified system to do everything. Which is better? Is there a b…
 
Join Vince & Travis for another episode of Undesign. This week they are talking about what happens when a game company advances timelines and kills characters in their games. When the world moves on, does it leave gamers behind? Should timelines move and big changes happen? What makes a good change and what makes a bad change? Tune in and find out.…
 
Vince and Travis are back and discussing the differences between fantasy and sci-fi. This time, they are talking through the idea that fantasy is just more restricted sci-fi. Sci-Fi seems like it can be anything, but fantasy is often decried as “not fantasy” if it steps outside the line of medieval Europe. So is fantasy just boring played out sci-f…
 
Vince and Travis crack into the ability to create magic items. Magic item creation is a wonderful part of fantasy games, but it can go off the rail when it’s allowed to happen too easily. Should you allow magic items to be made? How hard should it be to make magic items? What happens when people make too many? These are the questions, we have the a…
 
Vince & Travis are back again and this time they are discussing how much dice should matter in an RPG. We all accept dice to some degree or another as the neutral arbiter of our fates, but how much should we be letting the dice decide? Do we need to roll for everything? How does a well crafted narrative work with such a powerful random element? All…
 
Vince and Travis are back and this time they are discussing DMs and doing character voices for NPCs. Whether funny, silly or stupid, they always have an impact because at least they make the character memorable. Should you try to do voices for your NPCs? What if the NPC is a different gender (or doesn’t have a gender at all)? Will it make you look …
 
Join Vince and Travis as they share some of their favorite RPG memories and what makes them unique and special. Over twenty years of gaming, they have had some memories that rise to the top of the heap. What makes a moment special? How can you create them in your own games? Why was Travis wrong in the in-character fight that ended one of their grea…
 
Join Vince and Travis as they discuss their favorite and best Campaign Worlds. What are their favorite published campaign worlds and why? What makes a campaign world good or bad? What elements need to be there to make it stand out? What are their favorite homebrew campaign worlds and why? What does "Forgotten Realms, but..." mean anyway? All of thi…
 
Join Vince and Travis as they discuss the VAST number of RPGs on the market today. There are so many, but are there too many? What has led to this recent RPG boom? Is there a bust coming? How easy is it make your own RPG? What does this mean for the consumer of RPGs? How about the creator? All of this and less will be answered within!…
 
Part 2 - Join Vince and Travis for the second part of their two part discussion on Kickstarting Your RPG. There is so much to cover here, we had to split it into two full episodes. How do you Kickstart your RPG? Pre-Work, Editing, Prep, Costs, Time, Add-ons, Stretch Goals, Communication, Updates, more time - there is so much! All of this and probab…
 
Join Vince and Travis for the first part of their two part discussion on Kickstarting Your RPG. There is so much to cover here, we had to split it into two full episodes. How do you Kickstart your RPG? Pre-Work, Editing, Prep, Costs, Time, Add-ons, Stretch Goals, Communication, Updates, more time - there is so much! All of this and probably more is…
 
Join Vince and Travis as they mull over the use of Pulp and Noir settings in modern RPGs. Is it possible to truly play a version of these genre's without submitting to the tropes? Do these genres have anything to offer the modern game landscape? What influence did they have on modern games? Who loves the Defenders of the Earth? All of this and less…
 
Join Vince and Travis as they discuss the most controversial of ability scores in D&D - Charisma. What does Charisma even mean in the game? Is it more or less valuable than other ability scores? How should it be used - talking, dice, both together? What are the benefits of these methods and how can you utilize them to get the most from your players…
 
Join Vince as Travis as they shamelessly abandon their normal premise and discuss Holidays in Games in honor of the holiday season. Do you care about holidays in your RPGs? How do you get the characters to connect to holidays in games? What do we think of holiday celebrations in MMOs? What does Charlie Brown have against all these holidays anyway? …
 
Join Vince and Travis as they discuss why losing is fun. Losing is so often maligned and much ignored, but it can be the most important aspect of a memorable play experience. Why does losing matter so much? How did we get to the point where we fear losing so much? Why does losing enable you to move onto more interesting challenges? Do I have a doll…
 
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