S1E8 Even More Middle Aged, Twilight 2000, Hiking, Fire Emblem, Sailing, Wood Turning, The City We Became, Progressive Lenses

A podcast by two fortysomething geek dads who are even more middle aged than they were during the last podcast. On this episode, we talk about the joys of progressive lenses (see, we told you we were middled aged), the Twilight 2000 Kickstarter, woodworking with lathes, The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin (and narrated by the most excellent Robin Miles), and even more geekery.

  • Role-playing in a World War III that never was
    • It is probably the first non-D&D RPG Ken ever played.
    • So much middle school nostalgia – the height of the 1980s, Red Dawn had just come out, and Ken was trekking across an imaginary Poland with his friends.
    • The new retro-apocalyptic edition of Twilight: 2000, published by Free League Publishing in partnership with Game Designers’ Workshop.
    • The core rules of the game build on the Year Zero Engine (used in award-winning RPGs such as ALIEN, Tales From the Loop, Forbidden Lands and Mutant: Year Zero), but heavily adapted to fit Twilight: 2000 and its focus on gear and gritty realism.
    • Big, beautiful boxed set with maps of Poland and Sweden
  • Ken’s Very Long Walk
    • Ken went on a 24-mile backpacking trip in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
    • Lessons learned?
      • NeutronLad (Ken’s son) needs to get the weight right in his pack.
      • NeutronLad needed new boots. Which Ken and NeutronLad didn’t realize until well into the hike.
      • Sock liners work! No blisters!
    • Gear secured!
      • Ordered a new sleeping bag; NEMO Forte 20 Sleeping Bag – Men’s
        • It’s a $200 bag. We’ll see how it works when I go backpacking again in two weeks.
      • Got a Whisperlite stove, which is fueled by white gas. Looks like a tiny inferno when you light it.
      • Also got a small hand-crank radio that’s solar chargeable and has AM/FM, and NOAA radio. Also, you can use it to recharge a phone!
  • Death, Love, and Kids in Video Games
    • Turn-based JRPG with a battlefield focus.
    • Deep-story built around combat and relationships.
    • As with previous versions, characters with close relationships can have children, who then join your army.
    • Foolishly playing it in traditional hardcore mode, which involves restarting the DS every time someone dies in combat.
  • The Chamber of Nostalgia
    • Nintendo 3D All-Stars
      • Features Mario 64, Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy
      • Ken’s kids are lost in nostalgia.
  • Sailing into the Future
    • David is diving deeper into sailing, maybe a trawler? Likely not?
    • He really loves the idea of being on the ocean without the smoke or noise of an engine.
    • But trawlers are like the RVs of the ocean. More room and more creature comforts
    • Starting to see the cautionary tales of sailing
    • We could invite Bob as a guest some time to talk about sailing
  • Into the Workshop
    • David worked in the workshop more, it’s much easier to work in with the new layout
    • Worked on some tool holders and things to practice on
    • Built a new floor lamp
    • David got a lathe for his birthday (thanks Erin!)
  • The City We Became
    • Audiobook
    • N.K. Jemisin – author
    • Robin Miles – narrator
  • Battle Ground
  • Daydreaming about Dragons
  • A Most Excellent Chair
  • Progressive Lenses
    • The New Frontier of Middle Age
    • Ken explains how pre-COVID gaming (specifically, looking at his notes and rulebooks during in-person games) drove him to get reading glasses … and then progressive lenses.
    • We meander through other progressive lense / weakening eyesight related topics including hefty indexes, miniature design, and the impact of how a poorly-considered background color/image for an RPG sourcebook can make it more difficult to read.


If you have feedback, we love feedback. You can send it to us at podcast@lairofsecrets.com or via Twitter @lairofsecrets. You can also visit lairofsecrets.com and leave us some feedback, topic ideas, or your own thoughts on what we’ve talked about.

Featured Image

Cover art for the new edition of Twilight 2000. Credit: Free League Publishing.

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