Grant's out on vacation in lovely Myrtle Beach, SC this week, so Jenny and Peter tackle a special project—working together to create a unique setting centerpiece for a game Jenny will be running at her library! First, we answer a question from Patreon supporter Tom Stephens, who asks, "What is your favorite item that you've created for use in a game?"
With that handled and our Scripture read, we move on to creating a city from scratch. Jenny starts us off with a few basic ideas and restrictions, and everything builds from there—pun intended, of course. What's the economy based on? Why do people come to this city? What makes it unique, geographically and politically? Who lives there, and who is in power? How is it governed? What sort of crime flourishes within its walls? What opportunities are available to player characters who start their careers in this city? And what, exactly, is a forcefield goat?
Ideas Jenny had after recording:
It’s in a crater, but the crater isn’t even because the meteor came in at an angle. The Shepherding district is on a gentle slope up and out of the crater, and the Glassworking district is basically a straight wall.
Might switch Factotum and Shepherding districts so that the mining and stoneworking can be done on a wall, maybe even under an overhang.
At least one magic metal node per district is preserved. Always the biggest node.
Civic district is Full Of Lawyers to help out the people seeking sanctuary.
Scripture: Exodus 31:1-11, Joshua 21:41-45, Hebrews 10:24-25
Guest—and possible honorary host—Krissi Woodward joins us this episode to break down her first time running a tabletop roleplaying game! Krissi ran a very successful arc of World of Darkness: Innocents for our gaming group and was willing to discuss that experience with us. First, a little bit about shiny new library cards and dirty library patrons, as well as an interesting Patreon question from Douglas Underhill, who asks about under-served genres of tabletop roleplaying games.
After our Scripture reading, Krissi gives us a ton of excellent advice and analysis from her first GMing experience. She talks about the game she ran and why she chose this system and story; her pre-game concerns and prep (including overpreparing); how she tackled issues that arose during the game, especially issues with player triggers; and plenty of clever GMing decisions that made the game a smooth and exciting experience for players and GM alike. Enjoy!
Also mentioned in this episode: How We Came to Live Here.
Scripture: Proverbs 9:9, Matthew 23:11-12, Romans 12:3
We're nearing the end of our Ten Commandments series! This episode tackles lying—or as the Ten Commandments are commonly translated, "bearing false witness." First, though, Peter talks a bit about his entry in the World Anvil worldbuilding contest; we discuss Krissi's Innocents game and how it wrapped up, as well as Vampire and the various other games we have in the works; Grant's attempt to stream game design; and the extremely lovely GRIS.
Aaron Arnold asks an extremely difficult Patreon question this week: What was the hardest lesson to learn as a Christian? So you also get to hear us puzzle through that!
After our Scripture, we discuss the Ninth Commandment, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Unlike many of these other commandments episodes, in this one we had a very easy time talking about the theology of speaking truths rather than lies, but a much harder time getting into the detailed uses of lies in roleplaying games—simply because it's such a big topic. We touch on the differences between lies and creativity; lies of malice and cowardice (and we get to use a different C. S. Lewis quote in this one!); several forms false witness takes that are harder to recognize than outright lies; prooftexting; logical fallacies; and much more. Enjoy!
Mentioned in this episode: J. Ellsworth Kalas's The Ten Commandments from the Back Side; Wondermark #1062, "The Terrible Sea Lion"; YourLogicalFallacyIs.com
Scripture: Exodus 20:16, Genesis 3:1-5, Matthew 7:1-5, Colossians 3:8-10
This week's topic is a sort of follow-up to our latest episode in our Ten Commandments series, except it's also entirely City On A Hill Gaming's fault, we promise! We're talking about how to make treasure and wealth in your games exciting and unique without surrendering the player characters' moral high ground as they acquire it. We also talk briefly about Krissi's Innocents game (and the excellent job she's doing as she takes the GM seat for the first time.)
Our Patreon question this week comes from Paige Lowe, who asks: "What media has been your biggest gaming inspiration?" We actually struggled with this question a bit, so—good question!
After our Scripture reading, we dive headlong into this massive topic. After a couple quick rules, we talk about actually having people pay the player characters a good wage for their work (and how to make that work into good adventures); finders fees and Peter's moment of moral panic upon finding a treasure; natural or naturally-created sources of wealth; locations and lost items; "finders-keepers"; fines and the privileges of power (and some morally-grey issues that naturally arise); mythic gifts and artifacts; customizing your treasure and changing its appearance; favors; and collaborating with your players. Oh, and Jenny's secret elliptonic library that's a perfect example of everything we talk about in this episode.
Mentioned in this episode: Fungi that draw gold from their surroundings; Bad King John's lost treasure; a cache of wallets from the 1940s; and the very silly 5/5/2000: Ice - The Ultimate Disaster.
Scripture: 2 Kings 13:20-21, Proverbs 22:16, Matthew 6:19-21, Matthew 20:1-16
Bryan and Mike from the Geek at Arms podcast join us this week to talk about the unwritten rules at our gaming tables (and elsewhere in our lives!) Geek at Arms is an excellent, thoughtful podcast in the geeky faith space and we're delighted to have two of its three hosts on this episode. Both shows' members have also been appearing on other podcasts as well: Peter was on a delightfully fun bonus episode of City on a Hill, featuring Feng Shui 2 and drink tables TO THE FACE. Meanwhile, Bryan was on an episode of the Retro Rewind Podcast talking about Cowboy Bebop! Make sure to subscribe to their show (and follow them on Twitter.) And if you're looking for a good cause to donate to, check out Hope Fostered as well, per their request!
Our Patreon question this week comes to us from Shawn Stauffer, who asks a simple question: "What did you have for lunch?" This turns out to be a more delicious answer than anticipated.
After our Scripture readings we break down the unwritten rules everyone has at the table—assumptions, inherited rules, group mores, and all the rest. If you've always assumed rules like "no PvP," "don't split the party," or "put your tax money on Free Parking," then this is the episode for you! Plus, we get a good rundown of Bryan's and Mike's GMing rules, and a quick aside from Grant about bad rules at the table.
Mentioned in this episode: Peter's "Going on Tilt" blog post; Mike's "The Rules" blog post.
Scripture: Jeremiah 31:33, Psalm 119:15-16, Matthew 23:1-12