Mea Culpa – Afterthought 50

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Today we invite a guest on to tell us all about how Nephilim is apparently a pretty good game, and it’s Kalum, the host of The Rolistes Podcast.  A native French speaker and ardent fan of the world of Nephilim, he takes his best shot at convincing us we were wrong.  Will it work?  We’re pretty darn intractable!  Also, he sticks around to answer our patented death-defying questions!

15 responses to “Mea Culpa – Afterthought 50

  1. Pingback: System Mastery – Mea Culpa – Afterthought 50 (Nephilim) | The Rolistes Podcast·

  2. I very much enjoyed this episode. It was very interesting to hear Kalum’s take on the game and how he actually ran it, and I’m going to check out his podcast.
    It really highlighted a problem in RPG design – a game can be amazingly fun when taught by someone who knows how the game is “suppose to be played”, and that is a point in its favor. But it also doesn’t like the designer off the hook, if their game is terrible to play without that special knowledge. It’s tough to write an entertaining, engaging instruction manual, and the English version of Nephilim seemed to have failed.

    • Glad you enjoyed my modest contribution. Please do let me know wht you think of my show.

      It is an interesting ‘problem’ indeed. However, I wonder more and more often if that ‘problem’ isn’t actually part of the beauty of rleplaying. Both with individual games/setting and the tabletop RPG hobby in general, you need someone to ‘teach’ you. Even today, despite meaningful efforts and progress in those fields.

      You need to engage a minimum with the community. You cannot start easily on your corner of the world with other ‘non initiated’ friends. You will have to push the door of a club, or meet individual roleplayers (much easier thanks to the internet now), or at least watch/listen shows online to get an idea and ask around for explanations.

      That ‘flaw’ of tabletop RPG forces you to engage with new people. It might be daring to do so (see the exchange with a young player called Mira in my Ep 18 Part 2) but it’s truly rewarding imo.

      :)

      • The issue is that you can’t just do an infinite descent with veterans teaching newbies; at some point, someone’s going to be learning directly from the book without other players or the designers walking them through the game’s assumptions. Similarly, if you have an established group that you play TRPGs with and someone presents This Cool New Thing They Found At Their FLGS, odds are that the whole group is a bunch of newbies and furthermore that you won’t have access to a veteran in the first place.
        Don’t get me wrong, socializing with the community generally doesn’t hurt. But “learning from your elders” shouldn’t be the only option for learning how you’re intended to play a game.

      • I don’t see what would interrupt that chain (descent is a bit grim) except an apocalyptic scenario ending with a young girl picking up a copy of Rift 3rd edition from the ashes of a city.

        :P

      • Heck, I’ve read like so many RPGs now, and lemme tell you, out of all of them, no matter how weird or arcane, only Human Occupied Landfill lacked a section of “What’s a roleplaying game” at the beginning. It instead said that if this is your first RPG, go put it back and get something else. So the designers of the games appear to be hoping that new unspoiled people will happen by a copy of Nobilis or Maid and think “Aw, yes, this role-play-ing. I have heard only the term! I shall buy this anon and learn of it through the time-honored practice of reading.”

        Incidentally, since we try to read these things through the lens provided by the book itself and not the history of editions or supplements or houserules, that weirdo rpg virgin is also our theoretical ideal audience member.

  3. Wow, this was like the most serious Afterthought yet. Not a bad thing at all btw, much as I love the silliness of the usual Afterthought.

    As a fan of the show, it feels good to have positive voices like yours out there when so much of the internet seems to have just accepted Nazism as an acceptable political pov. It’s actually empowering for the listener, knowing there are other voices of reason out there in this time of madness. You guys are awesome. Keep it up!

    Also, I’d like to see Lisa Frank do the artwork for pretty much any RPG game book.

  4. “Hieronymous” is the Dutch version of “Jerome”, so they’re the same artist.

    An edition of Promethean illustrated by Alex Grey would be cool.

    • I did now that but at the same time I assumed at the time there was also another artist just called ‘Hieronimus’ out there.

      :P

      Wouldn’t Bosch be great for Nephilim?

      I got to check Alex Grey.

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