Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PODcast Fever

I have recently been coverted to the power of podcasts and indeed spoken work radio. I have always been a music radio person, but Christine has been a Radio 4/6/7 listener for some time. Slowly by osmosis and the horrendous Scott Mills effect (that uncontrollable urge to smash any radio that Scott Mills is broadcasting from...) I have been listening more and more to R4. And what a load of reactionary rightwing trash it is too, but thats by-the-by.

However, this introduced me to the wonderous possibilities of Listen Again and thus to the presence of podcasting and finally, as with many things, to the concept of RPG podcasts. Initially I was aghast at the possibilities for these self published pieces of opinion. After all, I have read a number of fanfics that seem to have been written by pseudo-psychotic pre-pubescent loons who use them as a way to channel their burgeoning hormones towards the female characters in some way. The possibilities of one nerd, one mic and a whole of opinion makes Mr Mills looks pleasant.

However, I have been stunning proved wrong - especially as I have been following a very tight 'word of mouth' recommendation regime. So thats what I am going to do! Here are my four current podcasts of choice.

The Sons of Kryos (

Jeff and Judd (and a seemingly never ending cast of guest-stars) crank out a show of around 30-45 minutes every two weeks which is pure gaming gold. This is your hints and tips workshop to listen to and dip into and generally steal from. It's like a great independent RP magazine with three or four features like 'Good Sentences' (where they explore a sentence that might be said at the table) or GM Tools (where they talk about a material thing that can be used in a game). They have a fair smattering of 'industry' interviews as well, which are very interesting. It's just a very cool, laid back show and probably the most technically useful of the four.

Have Games Will Travel (

Paul Tevis' show started for me as a review show but thats moved on now to a more generic gaming show. I'm not sure the show has really found it's feet since that change, but there are still a load of actual play reports and comments on games and insights into gaming and the industry. Ploughing the archives for old reviews of games which might have only just made it into the UK (and only into Forbidden Planet if you badger like mad) is great stuff.

The Durham Three (

First off, these guys have the most American names EVER - 'Clint R Nixon','Remi Treuer' and 'Jason Morningstar' - Secondly, they also have a sidekick that seems to have jumped into the show for the long term, Andy Kitkowski, making it really the Durham Four. Aside from that, the shows are great because they are normal guys talking about normal gaming. The premise of their show is that they play three sessions of a game, talking about each session before and after it is played. Yes, the play session takes place in the interlude in the middle of the podcast. The shows are quite short but they are fun to listen to. Good stuff.

Fear The Boot (

The newest addition to my list, FTB is four guys in midwest America talking about gaming and developing their own game on air. The shows are split into sections like 'banter', 'advice' and 'Skies of Glass (their game) Q&A' but the divisions aren't particularly marked and there is a lot of banter! I particularly recommend #34 and the description of the 'Death of the Moth God's Over God' diversion as a 'laugh out loud' moment. What makes these podcasts great is that the banter and diversions make it have that slightly amateurish edge that reminds you these are real friends doing real gaming.

Apart from the remarkably high quality of the podcasts, there are two things that sets these people apart from the other stalwart of online broadcasting I once listened to - WoWRadio.

The first is that the broadcasters heads are not rammed firmly up their arses when it comes to the subject matter. These blokes don't go on twenty minute rants about how they have been screwed out of money and happiness. They don't think they are the be-all and end-all of opinion on a topic. They are open and honest and generally pleasant to listen to. Unlike many of the broadcasters on WoW Radio. Which leads nicely onto the second difference - they actually LIKE their hobby. They do. Really. They don't live in a denial-riddled scheme of self-loathing hatred.

And that makes them a good thing. So podcasts - yey!



Anonymous said...

Totally off topic but I have never really found Radio 4 to be reactionary right wing, if anything its the reverse.

Maybe thats because I mostly listen to the News Quiz and Just a Minute?


Vodkashok said...

I mostly have to listen to the news program in the morning, which hasn't got a single iota of 'analysis' within it's entire popularist agenda.

For example, they are currently bemoaning the state of the health service and the amount of money that has been spent on it. They have pointed out that around 30%ish of the cost is attributable to higher doctor and nurse salaries and the implementation of the European Working Time directive. Of course, years ago they would have been the ones screaming for the equalisation of staff wages and campaigning about the hours Junior Doctors had to work.

There is rarely a morning where I am not assaulted by someone claiming that the country is too fat, the education system isn't what it used to be, the world is burning for the lack of recycling etc etc. We get the idea! Now, how about finding some new news!

Undoubtedly, the comedy programming takes a more satirical view of the world, but the news commentary is like watching an intellectual version of Watchdog, and you know how much I love that!


Anonymous said...

You should try watching the ITN News. They have this women broadcaster now that literally makes me want to punch the television, solely because the alarmist way she presents every news article. I honest to god would think that ITN sold its Journalistic Integrity to Rupert-Bloody-Murdoch.

When the BBC is the most neutral news reporter on television its time to weep.

Where did all the integrity go?

Anonymous said...

In other news, I've never listening to WoWRadio,and now I never will, thanks.

This, and the one above, were presented by Bob, who is incapable of remembering to log in to blogger, and probably never will since he has a Livejournal.


Vodkashok said...

(a) that would involve me watching ITV. Sorry, I have more self respect than that. Anyway, she couldn't be any worse that feckin Fiona Bruce.

(b) Apparently, a friend of mine has syndicated this blog onto Livejournal. I don't know what that means but it sounds clever


Anonymous said...

I'll stick my neck out and actually say I like one particular show on "WoW Radio", and it certainly ISN'T anything with Totalbiscuit on.

"WoW Things Considered", apart from it's repetitive and constant in-joke with the word "indeed" makes for very good listening, is all about the game, is hardly ever negative, and overall is sometimes a bit insightful. I like listening to it while grinding (well, that, and the footy).

Highly recommend for insightful WoW related discussion without venom.

I might try listening to a few of these links while grinding my paladin up the levels, and tell you what I think, though, the idea of listen to other people RP and commenting about it makes me slightly duboius.

But hey, you don't know till you've tried (said the cyanide sniffer)


Vodkashok said...

No, they don't RP on air - they talk about RP. God, not even my obsessions could lead me to voyeuristically listen to people doing actual play. That would be too much!


Anonymous said...

Syndacating on LJ basically means that someone has set up a livejournal that copies the contents of this blog over there through the use of, usually, an RSS feed.

Basically means that those of us with an LJ can read your blog from there on our friends pages.

As for ITV. Well, I don't have control of the TV. Things to consider, my TV viewing consists of BSG, UFC and BBC News 24. However, when I don't have TV control, my new step dad takes over, and when I have dinner (around 6ish) he flicks from ITV to BBC for the world news. As for Fiona Bruce, to quote Tom and Jerry: -

"Don't you believe it."


Anonymous said...

Just a bit of an update of this. Tried the first link and it sounded OK. Certainly I liked many of the GM tips they sounded out and if you're really into your RP it'd probably go down very well.

I've had a bit of a search around for a WCRadio alternate so I cast my google net wide and found:


Downloaded a few episodes of both to my mp3 player and I'll tell you what I think.

Anonymous said...



are two possible alternatives to WoW Radio if you don't like it. I don't know how good they are though. Just downloaded a few shows of each to my mp3 player, and I'll tell you what I think.


Anonymous said...

Bollocks, wrote that first post, thought I'd lost it when the page reset, wrote another one, and now we have both!


Ah well.


Anonymous said...

I've listened to be 8 of them, and to be honest I find them aspirational. While the tools and techniques they raise aren't new to me, I find it very interesting that they discuss them so openly, and have such a open and forthright approach to 'bring it to the table'.

To be honest, it reminds me of my gaming group before our current one. While they didn't use the same terms, and lacked the maturity of vocabulary that now exists for discussing what happens at the gaming table quite accurately...this stuff was discussed endlessly: character arcs, how we can riff off each other, as well as where the game could go.

It maid me a bit nostalgic, and got me thinking to be honest.

Anonymous said...

The above comment was me...Ian (Damnit).