Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tao & Tao's Daughter

In the interest of giving the blog reader a little more bang for the buck (and inspiration), my daughter and I discussed the possibility of creating a podcast.  This we have now done - surprise!

First, I'd like to give my thanks to Cameron Cushing @Epicsphere for his help in editing and support in getting this project off the ground.  Cameron is an old hand at podcasting and his advice was most valuable.

Readers should be able to tell that this is indeed my daughter; we are much alike.  I know that concept will cause some to turn a deathly pale.

And so it begins.  Of course it may all crash and burn, but it's best not to think of the future. Warning:  some of this content is blue.





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8 comments:

Ozymandias said...

For my own interest, I'd like to hear about those times where you've been challenged by a group of players and had to find a way to manage the particular dynamics of the situation. It could be where the players were especially clever and just crushed all your plans for the game that session, or it could be a purely non-game situation where someone was being especially mean or obnoxious; or anything else that you think fits the topic. In other words, I'm interested in understanding how people identify and attempt to fix problems in the game.

Adam said...

I can't fit this in tonight, but I'll hear it in the next couple of days. Thanks for sharing it.

JB said...

Wow, great stuff here.

Your experience, and that of your daughter's is so very different from my own...how you were brought into the game, how you learned it, the conclusions you've reached. Fascinating.

I think anything on the subject of world building and adventure design would be a good listen. You, of course, talk a lot about your approach to both, it would be interesting to hear your daughter's contrasting approach (or similar, if it is), and her opinion of the differences in your generational style (and your response to her perspective). I also find the talk about "Canadian gaming" quite interesting. Also, I felt like you both had more to say about gaming in college (and your experience during that transition from childhood to adulthood).

Oh, and of course I'm interested in your daughter's transition from AD&D2 to 3.0 and later editions (describing the process and her opinions on the process, given the history that's already been presented...), as well as her subsequent decision to go back to older editions (why, how, etc.). Like you I skipped the 2nd edition for the most part (only experimenting with it briefly years later), and theme-wise, it's quite different from 1st edition. She says she was asked to run a 1E game at a convention, and that was no problem...however, given that your game (in which she plays) is a heavily modified version of 1E, I'm curious to know at what point (and why) she got around to learning an edition older than the one in which she started.

Thanks for sharing.

Jeremiah Scott said...

What a great podcast! Having read your blog for years and having spoken to you, there was nothing especially surprising about your remarks or the ease and fluency with which you spoke about the topics--just good solid commentary.

Your daughter was the real surprise. She was charming and extremely well-spoken and brought a perspective that was complementary yet wholly distinct from your own.

Bravo all around. I'll add it to my queue of regular listening.

The only two things I would suggest: 1. Better recording equipment and 2. Weekly, not monthly! PLEASE!

Alexis Smolensk said...

The recording equipment will be the recording equipment for a while, I'm afraid. The editor commented on it, said it wasn't bad for a typical podcast; we'll just have to wait to have something better.

Fuzzy Skinner said...

I have to say, the sound quality of this podcast is MUCH better than some "professional" podcasts I've listened to (i.e., the ones with advertising breaks). It's also refreshing to hear a D&D podcast with only two hosts; most of the ones I listen to, as accurately as they mirror the typical game-table numbers, tend to be kind of confusing for me because I have a hard time distinguishing four or five different voices.

Your daughter pointed out something excellent: the cost of rulebooks is a barrier to entry into the newest edition for young people. When I first got into the game at the tail end of high school, 4th Edition was the current product, but the cost of the books and the nasty things people were saying about 4e kept me from jumping into that version (which I may very well have done, since my introduction to D&D was through the "Dungeon Master 4th Edition for Dummies" book). And since this was at the point in time where WotC was doing their best to erase every prior edition from existence, I ended up going with Pathfinder because my local bookstore had it. I later picked up the core AD&D books for about $25 total.

Since virtually all of the old editions can now be purchased legally again, as either "premium" reprints or the PDFs, it'll definitely be interesting going forward to see which edition brand-new players (and, more importantly, new DMs) choose to begin with.

LTW said...

I listened to half the podcast this morning in my car. I liked it because it is a fresh medium with new content that I hadn't read in your books or on your blog. The medium had the added effect of delivering a different personality than I normally get from your written works. I will listen to the second half later today.

I think you and your daughter compliment each other over the airwaves. You are, as you stated, very much alike, but the podcast benefited from her differing experiences and perspectives. I'm not sure if your plan is to continue with your daughter as a mainstay on the podcast with you, but I think you should at least consider her as a frequent co-host. I was easily able to understand, very early on, that she is somewhat of an authority on gaming.

My requests for future podcasts:

More stories about your DMing experiences, from Alexis and your daughter, who has a name that I have forgotten. Her stories were as entertaining as Alexis', if not more so.

Community questions and podcast answers. I want to hear Alexis' viewpoint and your daughter's view point on the same issue, even better if it was submitted by a fan. I look forward to hearing her have a differing view point as Alexis on some of the issues, and the subsequent discussion.

Some sort of segment or bit that showcases one of your particular talents. You daughter mentioned she has been a gifted story teller since childhood, let her have the mic for a few minutes to share this gift. Maybe a monologue on a particular issue by Alexis, which the podcast is ripe for. It could be anything, just some segment or set of segments that I can look forward to from podcast to podcast.


connor mckay said...

Just got a round to listening to this while studying for finals and its a pretty great study break. Can't wait to get into the next two.