And here we go with a pair of podcast reviews, now that I’ve set the scene.
Have Games, Will Travel: For a Few Games More is the current podcast series by independent rpg designer Paul Tevis. It’s one of my very, very favorites among the roleplaying podcasts I’ve tried so far, partly because Paul is a very organized presenter. He clearly has thoughts in mind—whether it’s actually scripted, I wouldn’t know—and he speaks well, quickly but not blurred, with good enunciation. He’s concise, with each episode running ten minutes or so. And, above all, he’s interesting, with good thoughts presented well.
You can get the current episode, #13, as a direct MP3 download. This is one I recommend to people who don’t care at all about roleplaying games, as well as rolegamers, because his topic this time is what you can get out of conventions and how to plan so as to get the most satisfaction out of different kinds of cons. He succinctly brought into focus with just a few sentences things that have been rattling around in my head for years, and I found it immensely worthwhile. Smart, good stuff.
by Scott Johnson & Randydeluxe, and sundry others
The Instance is a World of Warcraft podcast that runs anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half long. It’s one of those shows that’s very thoroughly structured so that the hosts have the freedom to sound as if they’re all just bumbling through and having a lark as they do it. Regular segments cover news and gossip from WoW-land, reviews of new addons, PVP tips, and so on. It’s also got room for listener calls and e-mails, ranging from the deeply serious (the problems facing female players in sexist groups) to the profoundly silly (what are those Barrens raptors doing with that stolen silver, anyway). It’s sometimes vulgar but never, at least in any of the episodes I’ve listened to, mean—it sounds like people happy to be talking together and happy to be playing WoW, with a variety of perspectives.
Episode #116, available here as a direct MP3 download, ranged from Blizzard’s new-subscriber promotion to tracking low-level quest givers to the possibilities for spirit mounts you could use when your character’s dead, and a bunch more. A lot of fun, and a lot of utility in the goofy stuff. Oh, yes: they also use sound effects as well as any podcast I’ve yet checked out. The bit where a RenFaire-style voice says “Hear ye, hear ye, it’s the Town Crier!” followed immediately by a child’s wail makes me laugh each time, and so many of their other audio cues.