Dec 01

Episode 124 – Sword Creep?


With your hosts, Mike and Liz! This week we read out some of the feedback you have given us, Mike talks to us about Spectacle creep, Liz muses on soft skills during roleplaying with new players and finally our group topic we briefly ponder a sword with a hidden agenda…


You guys give some suggestions of games we should be playing if sick of D&D!

Geeky Week!

  • Desktop dungeons!

  • Feng Shui!  We are more confused!


Mike’s Topic!

Spectacle Creep: Threat Or Menace?

Liz’s Topic!

This Week Liz is going to be talking about soft skills while gaming. Why it is important that when a new player comes to a group we remember what we are trying to do.

Group Topic!

Idea Brewing time! This week – an intelligent sword with an agenda.



  1. Jesse

    First off; Mike, you make me want to play Feng Shui even more than I did before! I’d listened to a podcast called One Shot a couple of months back and they ran a Feng Shui game, but it was very much in a different vein than yours. I like that the system has variability to it, so that you can run both serious and absurd games.

    In regards to your spectacle creep; I cannot agree more. How many games of D&D have there been where the party fights a small tribe of goblins, then hobgoblins, then ogres, then an army, then the army’s leader, then the god of the leader, then the leader of the god… It really tends to ramp up rather quickly by the end of things. I really liked your suggestion to, every once in a while, bring things back down to a personal level and have the characters (and players) become a little more grounded, instead of constantly having them have to reach up to the next rung.

    When it comes to “soft skills”, you guys could have basically been talking about our table. Because we are such long-time friends and don’t really have interpersonal skills outside of each other, we often tend to exclude people with our in-jokes and such if they are brought to the table (we’ve actually lost a few players because of it, unfortunately).

    You are absolutely right in regards to letting new players create the character that they want, instead of what the party needs. If you invite someone to play with you, but then tell them “Well, you have to play a half-elf wizard with this school and Knowledge (local) because that’s what we don’t have right now” then right off the bat you’re limiting the experience that they’re going to have in their first game. Sometimes, you have to think of what is best for around the table and not what is ON the table.

    Oh, and I love your sword with it’s own agenda idea. I have something similar brewing, but I definitely got a few more ideas from you guys after this. Can’t talk anymore about it though (as River would say, “Spoilers”.)

  2. John B.

    Mentioning Wolverine during the segment on spectacle creep brought to mind another way to slow the seemingly inevitable march toward godkilling level adventures, have your characters’ version of Magneto do the equivalent of extracting their precious adamantium. In other words, introduce a plot twist that takes away the source of your group’s power, fame, or mobility. Maybe they’ve been convicted in absentia of a terrible crime and are on the run from the powers that be. Maybe that thing that seemed like a boon last campaign turns out to be a horrible curse. Whatever the even, it knocks them down not just to square one, but to depths lower than ever. It might take a mature group to handle everything being taken away in that manner, but if you’ve built up a good trust relationship with your players, they might actually enjoy the pathos for a while, especially if they suspect that it’s just for one campaign and they have a real shot at getting their claws back in the end.

    1. Jesse

      That’s a really cool idea. I also like that you thought of ways besides “take away their powers” that are just as effective; if not more so.

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