All posts filed under “Phoenix

Episode 167: What Do We Need Dice For?

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This week the nerds talk about the use of dice, or lack thereof, in role-playing games. Keith just got back from AmberCon with many tales of the games he played and ran there, and they discuss various RPG systems and how they use — or eschew — the roll of the dice. Media discussions include Homecoming, Babylon 5, and First Man.

Episode 165: Straight Up!

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This week the nerds take on the topic of monsters! What makes a monster, anyway? They break down the various categories and discuss their favorites, ranging from classic monster movie monsters, alien monsters, fantasy monsters, furry monsters, and others. Other topics include early McDonaldland commercials, the Island of Dr. Moreau, Salyut-7, monster cereals, laugh tracks, The Good Place, The Goldbergs, and Andy’s wall of video screens.

Episode 164: The Quicksilver Dilemma

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This week the nerds take on the topic of time, and stories about characters who can stop time, slow time down, or, of course, travel through time. Specific subjects include Doctor Who, Hiro from Heroes, the Flash, Quicksilver from the X-men, Voyagers, the First Men in the Moon, Manifest, Seven Days, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Man in the High Castle, Fringe, Sliders, and others. At the end they lower the spoiler curtain to discuss the most recent episodes of The Good Place and Manifest.

SPOILER WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS

Episode 163: The Hour of Scampering

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This week the nerds take on the topic of pizza. They have much to say on the subject. It starts with the debate about pineapple on a pizza, they discuss other toppings (and the endless negotiations a group must go through to ordering one), and how some toppings are more “pick-off-able” than others. Then they move on to their childhood favorite pizzas, their go-to choices for ordering a pizza now, garlic, types of bacon, pizzas of different cities, different ways of cooking pizza, how they each cook a pizza at home, and their favorite national pizza chain. Then they move onto popular media depictions of pizza, the adult adventures of pizza delivery guys, all the references to pizza that Andy has included in his games, and the joy of calzones. Finally moving on from pizza, Andy gives his impressions of the first 10 episodes of Babylon 5, which he’s has finally started watching after all these years. Lastly, after lowering the spoiler curtain, they discuss the first episodes of The Good Place and Manifest.

SPOILER WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS

Episode 162: Sequels, Part 2

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This week the nerds spend a lot of time talking about sequels, reboots, and continuing adventures. Keith talks about Oceans 8, which leads to a big discussion about Deux ex machine, crabgrass, red herrings, Chehov’s gun, Hitchcock’s bomb, plot twists, and subverting viewer expectations. Moving on to game design, they discuss how newer versions of rules for games are more like updated versions of software than sequels, and the challenge of adding new features while also wanting to simplify and optimize game mechanics. Regarding media, Andy talks a little about the first episode of Manifest, then they bring down the spoiler curtain to discuss the final season of The Americans at length.

SPOILER WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS

Episode 161: Some Doofus Took a Cup

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This week the nerds follow up on last week’s discussion of robots with a lengthy discussion about Dragons. Why do they sleep on hordes of gold, anyway? Why are some really smart, and others unable to even speak? And why isn’t there a dragon in Fairy Tale Fluxx? Moving on from dragons, Keith talks about taxes and Action Pups! and Andy talks about getting a root canal. Then Andy explains his plan to get rid of his van and go buy a used truck instead. They talk a little about upcoming media, then Andy talks about the concept album by Jonathan Coulton called Solid State.

Episode 159: Druid Law

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Andy just got back from Burning Man so he spends a lot of this episode talking about his experiences there this year. He ran a lot of games at his camp, which hosts a game convention called RaiderCon, and had a great breakthrough while playtesting his new game, Are You a Robot?. Meanwhile, Keith just returned from DragonCon and interjects with stories from his weekend, where he played a lot of great games of Illimat and learned about Druid Law from Ken Hite. Andy describes a couple of the most intense Burning Man art projects he experienced, including a crazy stack of seven junked cars and a recreation of the Great Train Wreck. Other topics they discuss along the way include the works of Doug Michels, the future of Star Trek, Ed Harris in westerns and some spoilery theories about the next Avengers movie.

SPOILER WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS

Episode 156: Game Designers Sitting Still Eating Pizza

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This episode was recorded during Gen Con at a Giordano’s pizza place. First Andy shows Keith his prototype-in-progress for a new version of Chrononauts based on the historical events of the Star Trek universe. Keith talks about playing backgammon at a family reunion, then they get into discussing what they’ve been doing at Gen Con. Keith talks about why he had two booths, and describes the four Writer’s Symposium panels he was on. This leads to a discussion of their favorite, and least favorite, alien races. Andy talks about running his newest Parsely game, Ducks on a Plane, then they play a couple of rounds of Andy’s newest social deduction game, Are You a Robot?. Lastly, the pizza arrives, and the guys have to stop talking so they can eat!

Episode 155: Cane, Walker, Wheelchair

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First the guys talk about Gen Con and other travel plans. Then Keith talks about The Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron, which he’s been working on for months and which was just released. Andy reports on his progress with the new game he’s developing called Are You A Robot, then tells of moving his aging father into the next level of care at his retirement home. Andy talks about installing a TV screen showing a looping video of a fireplace inside an old wood stove, and Keith talks about seeing a Rick & Morty episode he’d missed the first time around. Moving onto media, topics include Timeless, Travelers, Cloak & Dagger, and Ant Man. Things get spoilery when Andy starts talking at length about Future World, the 1976 sequel to Westworld and end with their views on the first season of The Crossing.

SPOILER WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS