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Episode 80: RPG Rookies: First Step
by Thomas C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2014 18:59:15
This podcast is right on the money. It really goes to the heart of the matter. Listening to this podcast will definitely make sure you don't learn the hard way.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Episode 80: RPG Rookies: First Step
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Episode 80: RPG Rookies: First Step
by leo g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2012 11:26:10
If you want this product for 1st time DM advice, you've come to the right place: there is plenty of stuff relevant to a 1st time DM but it doesnt get 'round to it until 19 minutes 27 seconds, and prior to that it didn't make a lot of sense, so you might want to skip that: enjoy!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Episode 54: Campaign Confessions: Eclipse Phase
by Ryan T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2012 00:04:24
I was interested to hear about this as I had been invited to play in it. Sadly schedules and communication conspired against me... Anyway I was fascinated by your description of the skill system, I'm a big fan of RuneQuest/CoCthulhu which use a d% system. The idea of how close the roll is to the skill indicating the level of success provides a much more graduated scale than the system RQ uses.

As for the post-human/trans-human setting I'm keen to try it out after reading some Alistair Reynolds stories in particular Diamond Dogs (which I thoroughly recommend).

Anyway keep up the good work. I love listening to your discussions.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Episode 54: Campaign Confessions: Eclipse Phase
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Episode 53: D&D and THE SECRET FIRE
by Ryan T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2012 23:54:02
I've listened to all their podcasts and this really isn't indicative of their usual tone. This far and away the most negative episode I've heard from these guys. That being said the thing that I noted throughout was that they took umbrage not so much with the game itself but with the style in which it was written. If the author really is as self-aggrandizing as IRH claim and was claiming/implying credit for ideas seen elsewhere in the hobby, then he deserved every shot they fired.
I do agree with the other review that comparison with a rule set that they liked would have been a far better way to make this a more balanced broadcast. In the end it's at least a good guide as to what NOT to do when writing rules and also points to the value of a good editor.
Worth a listen but start with some their other offerings before listening to this one, UNLESS you're considering buying THE SECRET FIRE in which case this is a MUST!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Episode 53: D&D and THE SECRET FIRE
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Episode 53: D&D and THE SECRET FIRE
by Theodric t. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2012 14:03:48
Whoa! Harsh episode! Is this why these Idle Hands are Red, with the blood of those who disappoint them? I felt like this was less a critical review and more a take-down. I was also disappointed that they didn't move on from the retro-clone that they were so negative about, and treat another one that they felt offered a positive contrast to it. As a first-time listener, I'm not going to judge the podcast on this one episode, however. I will definitely give the show another chance, since these guys seem to have potential.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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Episode 55: Warriors: Hoplites
by Aaron A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2012 01:12:59
The banter, jokes and multi-leveled witty conversation that comes with such easy and fluidity is a real joy and the main reason I listen to this podcast. There are many RPG themed podcasts available to listen to and all too many have a thick tunic of timidity and social awkwardness in discussing topics beyond that which they are comfortable. This is not so with Idle Red Hands! The opinions are honest, founded and informative on more topics than just some tiny niche in the RPG universe. If you enjoy snarky sarcasm, and perhaps even a few ballet jokes, then this podcast is for you!

Role Playing Obamas Unite!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Episode 55: Warriors: Hoplites
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Episode 34: Pantheon Pandemonium: Norse Play
by Mats C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2012 00:56:28
Good work. As a Swede it is always interesting to here other takes on the Norse mythology. Especially since I have now watched Thor. Which is kind of silly, but fun none the less.

Maybe you also could do something about Vikings in your warrior segment?

BR,
/Mats Carlsson

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Episode 34: Pantheon Pandemonium: Norse Play
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Episode 54: Campaign Confessions: Eclipse Phase
by G.W. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2012 11:13:15
First off, this is the first of your episodes that I have listened to. It caught my attention because I am one of the contributing writer/editors for the semi-official and game developer encouraged "The Eye: Eclipse Phase Fanzine." I contributed writing to issues one, two, and, in a small way, four; and, was on the editing team for the first three. I intend to do more of both in the future. The fanzine can be found at the Darkcast Wiki. www.firewall-darkcast.com/

I'd like to address some of your concerns with the skill levels first. For one, if you read the character creation section you'll find that no skill can be raised beyond 80 at character creation unless you use the "Expert" trait, and if you're going for a "regular person" level of play you can limit the number of customization points available to the players at chargen. Yes, this can still be abused with the use of various pieces of gear and such, but allowing that, or not, is within the GM's purview. Secondly, if you are not playing a one-shot game, which you guys were, stacking one skill or skillset will gimp your character in the future. Leaving huge holes in your abilities can REALLY hurt you in the long run. The intention is to try to build a character that is very good at one thing, while still balancing them enough to survive long term. Dying gains you no advancement as the character must then be resleeved from a backup, losing all the Rez points you might have earned for advancement. A gimped character could easily become a dead end, never really advancing at all. Whether you consider this a flaw of the game system, or a "check and balance" on chargen abuse is up to you, I prefer the latter.

Next, as you noticed, Eclipse Phase gives you the default hook, for first time EP players, of having the PCs employed as Firewall Sentinels. While some might find this boring, (ahem) I consider it far superior to the "So, you're all at an inn/pub, when suddenly ..." intro so common to some unimaginative GMs. And, as noted by two of you, it is a good way to introduce the players to the main theme of the entire setting, namely, "Defending the last remnants of humanity from existential (i.e. extinction causing) threats, by any means necessary." It also explains why the PCs are NOT the "Average Joe Blow" on the street. They have been chosen for recruitment by Firewall because of their exceptional skills, resources, and/or station in life. This applies whether the PCs are already Sentinels or this first mission that they've been hired for is a test before induction into the secretive organization. Having one of the PCs being a Sentinel and the others in the dark is also a good ploy if you feel you need to inject a degree of paranoia, hint, hint. Though if you check you'll find paranoia aplenty just in the fluff on Firewall and the "Why was I resleeved? Did Firewall kill me? Accident? etc." aspect that is widely available in the game, starting with the opening fiction "Lack." Not to mention the many other possibilities (as a quick example: How many forks of me are there really? Are any of them plotting against me?) And yeah, with a game setting this detailed, starting off with "You all just happen to meet, then something happens, now jump in the sandbox and get busy," is not really the way to go until the characters are more familiar with their capabilities and the options open to them in the setting; which, I think you probably noticed.

Moving right along ... I can see your objection to the level of bookkeeping necessary. I don't have a problem with it, but I can see your point if you prefer systems with quicker chargen and simpler, less detailed mechanics. Such systems do have their benefits. Keep in mind, however, that many of the developers used to work on Shadowrun, which is number heavy. EP is intended to be a more streamlined, faster playing Sci-fi game, which I think it is; even if it is a bit number heavy on the front end. Many of EP's diehard fans, like myself, don't really notice the added bookkeeping because we migrated to it, from Shadowrun, along with the developers. Mostly because we like their work and chatted with them on Dumpshock before EP ever existed.

Also, keep in mind, there are a number of supplements available at EclipsePhase.com that can make the whole process easier; including a character sheet available just for the Ego, and a separate sheet for their stats when sleeved into different morphs. This can make keeping it all straight simpler, and I feel that the extra work is worth it if you're going to play more than just a one-shot. When I run an EP game I'll even go so far as to have the Players create multiple PCs each during the first session, giving them a "pool" to draw from and customize the team for different types of scenarios. But, as I mentioned, I don't mind the extra bookkeeping.

Now, you guys mentioned what you called a "disconnect" concerning the difference in fear factor and "otherness" between the player's perceptions and those of the PC. While you may have a point, I feel that there is a big difference between having a conversation with your neighbor, Bob the uplifted octopus, and the psychological trauma of trying to avoid being torn limb from limb and eaten by an Exsurgent virus infected monstrosity, or worse, becoming infected by it. Even we can become inured to things like extreme body modification, they've just had more practice. But life and death, is still life and death, even if you can be resleeved. Being resleeved from a cortical stack means that you still carry the trauma of experiencing death. And, the "lack" from being resleeved from a backup can have seriously alienating and dehumanizing effects on a person. I think the psychological Trauma and Hardening (becoming cold and disconnected, while also losing Moxie Points permanently) mechanics deals with this quite nicely. If you play more than a one shot I think you would get a better feel for it and that may ameliorate your concerns a bit. Keep in mind that just the "wrongness" in the appearance of the Remade morph (represented by the Uncanny Valley negative trait) can have a serious off-putting affect on many EP NPCs if properly handled by the GM. The people of the EP universe are still in the transition period before posthumanism, they're not entirely immune to the extremes of the "normal" world around them, especially bio-conservatives. Really, it comes down to your ability to subsume yourself in the roleplaying challenge.

But hey, these are just my opinions; and, nobody really listens to me.

Anyway, I like your show. I'm mostly a Sci-fi type, so I'll probably follow you all and give you a listen when you do shows in line with my interests as well as general RPG subjects. I registered for your forum, and I'm looking forward to possible future shows and forum free-for-alls. Good luck, happy gaming, and I wish you great success.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Episode 54: Campaign Confessions: Eclipse Phase
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Episode 49: Knights and Samurai
by Roy D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2012 13:29:48
unable to give an accurate review of this item failed to dkown load

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Episode 49: Knights and Samurai
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Episode 8: The Art of Seduction
by Tim R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2011 10:53:59
Solid episode from Idle Red Hands with interesting content presented more off-the-cuff than planned, but I think they have a good honest discussion of seduction and sex in RPGs without getting misogynist or terribly awkward. It would have been interesting to have a woman's perspective at the table, but instead they spun the discussion to specifically reflect an all-male cast/gaming table. Solid work, I'll check out other episodes.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Episode 8: The Art of Seduction
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