Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tao & Tao's Daughter Podcast S01 E04

Here is our fourth podcast, recorded March 18 at the Indigo Bookstore in West Calgary.  There are some issues.  We edited fairly hard in order to keep the subject more or less on track, there is plenty of ambient noise (audio improves after fifteen minutes for some reason), there are seven people talking and for some reason, at the 27:30 mark the audio repeats itself for about two minutes.  Oh well, we're learning.  It fits that we talk about getting past making mistakes in the first five minutes because this applies to podcasts also.

Please enjoy:


  1. Even if you can get a cheap ticket to Paraguay, I'd recommend against it unless you're planning on getting into the cattle business. And I say that as someone who is a great believer in travel being good for broadening the mind and deepening one's character. There's just nothing to see here, and so many better places to spend your money.

    [CheapOAir (Canada) can get you round-trip fare to Asuncion for about $1000. For the same money, they can get you a round-trip flight to Rome. That's not even a choice]

    This month's discussion was fascinating. So right about the weirdness of internet cultures and their (often) inability to translate to "reality." So right about the issues keeping D&D from becoming more mainstream/normalized despite the popularity of RPGs in general. And very interesting to hear from individuals about why they don't (or feel they can't) run a game.

    But even without these useful bits, I find it enjoyable to listen to Canadian gamers discuss D&D. Despite being so culturally (and geographically) close, there are definite idiosyncrasies, and not just the terms being used (it's strange to hear someone refer to WotC as "the W.O.T.C." the way one might refer to "the W.T.O." or "the N.R.A." Down in Seattle, we just call 'em "Watt-See" similar to how we pronounce the acronym FEMA).

    I'm curious: was there ever an RPG produced in Canada as a rival/knock-off of D&D? Or a particular Canadian RPG company that attempted to rival TSR or (later) WotC. Several countries (Poland, Germany, Spain, Japan, the UK, etc.) have produced their own "D&Ds" over the years, some of whom rival D&D for popularity in their home country. Great Britain, for example, still produced Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in the 80s, despite TSR having a UK presence (at the time) and books that didn't need translation. Just wondering if Canada had something equivalent, and what experience/knowledge (if any) that you might have of such a game.

  2. Honestly, JB, I can't recall anything like an independent company in Canada like you propose.

    I was never a fetishist about the game products or the company anyway. I loved the GAME - and those around me who got off on who produced what or what new games were coming from where always seemed like the sort who were missing the point. I suppose it comes from my being old school: I was interested in substance and not the brand - whereas of course all around me now I am looking at people who value brand and the excitement of Owning as more important than playing.

    There could have been a Canadian company - I wouldn't have cared in the least.

    "What-See," huh? Seems wishful thinking.

  3. So, to be clear about this, you're comparing D&D to Shakespeare?

    Not that I disagree with your point. I take your meaning to be, "We engage with morally questionable material in the form of theater, movies, video games, music, etc. and it's socially acceptable, but heaven forbid we should play pretend with the same material." Yes. Agreed. That is Hypocrisy 101.

    Abd yet... to play devil's advocate... I heard the comparison and immediately thought, "Well, my games have been good, but not Shakespeare-levels of good."

    Now, again, I agree with the idea that we shouldn't reject certain content in our D&D fames because we find it morally objectionable, especially when we have no qualms about consuming the same morally questionable content in other media. But... and here's my point... I'm pretty sure I've never run a game where, at the end of a serious session, I've sat back and considered the significance of what we created.

    Or am I missing the mark?

  4. I will assuredly confirm that I was speaking of Shakespeare only in terms of plot content - not quality of rendering.

    If you prefer (and I think you do), if we can wet ourselves over the content of Deadpool, it should be acceptable to include kink in role-playing games. I trust that takes the pressure off - quality wise.

  5. On a different note: you're assessment of WoTC and their treatment of the game is spot on. And what's even more depressing is that the people who participate in these events - which effectively degrade and humiliate the hobby - are some of the leading personalities. It's not like they're the enemy; they produce awesome content, they encourage people to play constantly and they're genuinely great people to be around; and yet the games they ply and record in public are shit. Just plain shit. It's just... so depressing...


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