SE1E6 Virtual vs. Real World Gaming, Bullet Journaling, Jaws of the Lion, Brindlewood Bay

Three bullet journals - two blue, one yellow - and a collection of pens.

Welcome to the Lair of Secrets podcast! The podcast about gaming and being a geek by two forty something geek dads. Ken Newquist loves good books, long hikes, and strong coffee. Not necessarily in that order. David Moore is a geek dad, sometimes home renovator, and always gamer.

  • Coffee snobbery
    • Plunger-powered coffee press.
    • Quickly makes strong coffee.
    • Faster clean-up, fewer loose grounds than french press.
    • Super easy, light, and durable; might need to get one for camping and backpacking.
    • Also got an electric kettle. Which seems like cheating.
  • Day Pack of Holding
    • Ken’s Osprey Stratos 24 pack came. Took it on a 5-mile shakedown hike last weekend. Worked great! Might not be ideal for conventions … or I just need to carry less books.
  • Big Huge Board Game … now somewhat Less Huge … but still Big
    • Ken played Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion with his son. Very approachable game; comes with its own ziploc bags and instructions on how to sort components. First few adventures are tutorials (of which we did one) that spell out how combat, spells, and movement work.
  • Bullet (Journal) Time
    • David started Bullet Journaling – jumped on the bandwagon, several years late
    • Paperage A5 – for daily/regular bullet journal – enjoying it so far
      • Yellow
    • Leuchtturm1917 for a game bullet journal – inspired by Ken’s use
      • Wine
      • Bullet journaling and gaming
      • Dune Mentat-like statement on the paper band of the cover
  • Terraforming the Garage
    • David is working on garage upgrade to make it more habitable in the winter months.
  • Murder, She Gamed
    • David geeks out about Brindlewood Bay.
      • From the DriveThru RPG blurb: “A roleplaying game about a group of elderly women—members of the local Murder Mavens mystery book club—who frequently find themselves investigating (and solving!) real-life murder mysteries.”
  • Playing Role-Playing Games Virtually vs. the Real World
    • How is gaming remotely different than in person?
    • Opportunities to play shift.
      • Makes it easier for some people to join the game. Others (understandably) don’t want Yet Another Online meeting or lack gear/internet connection to make it work.
      • Overall, feels like there’s a small benefit, scheduling-wise
    • What extra considerations do you need when gaming remotely?
      • Battle Map Prep
      • Visuals
        • Even with theatre-of-the-mind style play, it’s helpful to pull together photos/videos/etc that show off campaign elements and then load them into the virtual tabletop. Pinterest is also good for this.
      • Mechanics
        • Mainstream games are easier to run because virtual table tops do a better job of supporting their mechanics. Theatre of the mind works well too.
        • Even simple mechanics, like Savage Worlds’ initiative card deck, can trip you up.
        • There’s a learning curve with whatever platform you use. Sometimes it feels like a learning ciff that you run smack into (or fall off of)
      • Technology
        • Finding a video conferencing platform everyone likes is hard. A little easier now though.
        • Uneven skill levels and technology among players (e.g. some people have headsets, some don’t).
        • Phones can be a great equalizer here, and avoid the software/driver upgrade cycle of heck.
      • How does virtual play affect personal interactions?
        • Difficult to “read the room” as a GM, especially if no one is using cameras.
        • No side conversations
      • Do you need more breaks?
        • Yes

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Featured Image

A few of Ken’s bullet journals. The light blue one is a general RPG bullet journal; the yellow one is for the Scales of Truth campaign, and the royal blue one is a daily bullet journal.

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