Sunday, November 16, 2008

Episode 13 - Interviews and Prep. (Luckiest. Episode. Ever.)

Dear Listeners,

Please find linked Episode 13 - Interviews and Prep (39MB, 42:24min) for your listening pleasure.

In this episode, I interrogate Liz about the workshop - "Improv for Gamers" - that she will be running at 9.30am and 1.30pm on Saturday 22 November as part of Blue Moon Con. Liz and I chat about what we (as gamers and GMs) do when we are preparing to get back into a game after an extended absence (or just in between monthly games). Finally, ArmyDan tells us everything we need to know to register and participate in Blue Moon Con.

I hope you enjoy this episode, which is, as you will see, the luckiest episode ever.

love and hugs,

Info/Registration for BlueMoonCon
About Improv
Book: Play Unsafe
Improv Olympic
Book: Truth in Comedy
Who grabbed Liz's butt?
Kiwi English Pronunciation = doubleplus schwa
The Copland Building
The Copland Building (googlemap)

Contact Dan!:
email ArmyDan
ArmyDan's RPG Meetup profile
The Con Website

Music credits:
Terence Janssen
Never Alone by Michael Mellender
Yellow Lasers by MC Frontalot

Friday, November 14, 2008

Episode 13 on its way...

For all you who thought we'd never return, we're back. Or at least we will be soon.
Episode 13 has been recorded, edited, and I have passed it on to Emma's capable hands.

It's a good 'un, I promise. Chock full of useful information (for those in the Canberra area) and new, exciting features like fresh, new music, TWO interviews (albeit, one is with myself) and slightly less rambling than usual!

Listen for the special super bonus commercial break in which we trick our friends into becoming corporate shills for...OURSELVES! Muahahahaha!!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Word Cloud

I made this wordcloud using wordle.
The size of the words indicates the frequency with which it appears on this blog page.
Click on the image to see clearly what we're about!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Episode 12 - Survey Results and Geek Gifts

Episode 12 - Survey Results and Geek Gifts (60 min 19 sec, 55.3MB)

(This episode is Take 2 of Ep12. We like you too much to ever let you hear Take 1.)

Liz and Emma (finally) return to the webs after an extended absence (in which they endured the joys of retail).

In this episode, the results of the Gamer Group Survey are discussed, and we find out what qualities geeks of both genders look for (and try to avoid) in their gaming group and their GMs.

Inspired by their workplaces taking on a distinctively Yuletide character, Liz and Emma chat about the different types of gifts they like to give and receive on different festive occasions.

Some Links
Unanalysed Survey Results - More people have taken the survey since we analysed the data, so we thought we'd let you check it out. If you would like access to the most current raw data for non-commercial reasons, please email us at
Klear Gear
Think Geek
Military Simulations
Pound o Dice
Blue Moon Con
RPG Meetup

Thanks to Terence for the music...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Episode 11 - Gender, Cons and Aromas

Episode 11 - Gender, Cons, and Aromas (36 mins)

Liz and Emma catch up on the games they have been playing, the armour favoured by female characters in the D&D 4th Ed books, marriage proposals - you're doing it wrong*, and geek convention aromas. (Not the good kind. Not the smell of freshly opened miniatures and brand new source books... no. The other kind. You know the one we mean.)

Liz started a forum discussion about gender and gaming which stems from this episode. If you want to weigh in with your opinion, please go to You will need to join the forums, if you're not already a member. If there are some relevant discussions elsewhere on the webs, please leave us a comment with the URL!

Fun Fact! This episode was recorded before Liz went to work and Emma went to a job interview.

Marriage proposal: Critical Fail
Survey: Gaming Group Preferences
Shmames Smurkshmop: the less fragrant alternative to RL shopping
Phase Two Comics - hooray for hosting!
RPGMeetup - Nerds in Canberra
Blue Moon Con Official Site

Thanks to Terence for the Music!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Episode 10 - Better Living through RolePlaying

Episode 10 - Better Living through Role Playing

There was recently an article on that compared Weight Watchers with RPGs. I think it is an entirely valid comparison, and is probably one type of role playing that appeals to more women than men. Liz and I chatted about other ways in which Role Playing can make other boring but necessary parts of life more appealing to other demographics.
Also, I managed to render Liz speechless with derision and disbelief at the revelation that some people sometimes cheat in RPGs...

After the show we had a bit of a chat about how it's great that people can use Role Playing to improve their lives... but we figure it's probably equally as important that we improve our Role Playing experience by actually *having* a life.
What do you think?

Hypertext D20 SRD
Chore Wars
Weight Watchers as RPG Article

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gamer Group Preference Survey

Dear Listeners and other Gamers who wandered onto our blog from the Wide World of Webs,

For an upcoming episode, Liz and I will be talking about what makes up an ideal gaming group. Because I prefer to have *some* information at my disposal (rather than making it up as I go along), I would like to invite you to take our survey about what qualities *you* like in your regular gaming group.

You will not be identifiable from the information you provide, so please tell us what you really think.

The survey also contains some questions about your roleplaying experience and preferences and your demographic background. This includes both age and gender. Here's why.

I was reluctant to include the question of gender, because I hate it when people judge or prejudge based on my chromosomes. However, there is a lot of information and opinion going around the webs about female gamers, and/or the difference between male and female gaming styles and preferences. Similarly, other distinctions have been made between older and younger players, and more and less experienced gamers. I can agree with of the statements people make, based on my own perspective or experience, but other statements seem to be culturally or regionally specific, or in some other way ungeneralisable.
So, the question of age and gender have both been included.

The guts of the survey is a simple list of qualities found in your gaming group. Tick all the qualities you like in your group. If you usually prefer the quality, tick it. If it is rarely or only occasionally something you like, leave the box unticked. If it's 50:50, go with your instinct.

We may decide to use the data as a preliminary survey only, but that depends on the results.
The more information we can gather from gamers all over the world, the more generalisable our data will be.
So please, take the <7 minutes to take the survey, and then email the link to your gamer friends and post it on your blog or lj or facebook.
It will be up until the end of September.

That link again:


Friday, August 15, 2008

Episode 9 - Crisis of Faith

Episode 9: Crisis of Faith (~41 min)

When the game is no longer shiny, when sessions are not always fun, and when other players start to annoy you, why do you keep gaming? Do you keep on gaming? Are there any other options?

Liz asks for help with her crisis of faith, and Emma interrogates her to get to the bottom of the problem.

NB: To my darling Karen. All characters portrayed in this podcast are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Friday, July 25, 2008

News - ArmyDan's callout for GMs

This message was posted on RPGMeetup on Saturday 20 July 2008 by ArmyDan.

If you are from Canberra or can be in Canberra on 22 November 08, and are thinking about GMing a convention game, contact ArmyDan through the RPGMeetup forums or by the forum's PM or email facility.

The call out for GMs

Okay, Blue Moon needs GMs who can provide a commitment to running a game on the 22nd of November.

We are looking for 2 sorts of commitment...

First tier GMs -
GMs willing and able to run their game on the first and second session of the day (from about 9am through to about 4pm - two sessions of the same game). Each game is to be around 3 hours long (we are forgiving if you go over or under).

Second tier GMs -
GMs willing and able to run a one off game at the last session of the day (from about 6pm-9pm).

In both cases, GMs are expected to provide pre-generated characters for their game. (Note - In the case of Living Greyhawke, being able to provide characters for those who havent got any). As well as any other materials necessary for the running of the game (Minatures, handouts etc etc)..

The brief for the Blue Moon is "Something New". This could be a new adventure, a new games system, new characters or a new idea or concept for the game. We would like to try something new..

Please reply here, PM me, or send me an email. We would like around 8 GMs (at least intially - 4 first tier, 4 second tier) at this stage, but would gladly accept more as the registrations or expressions of interest are recieved.

Please reply with - Name of the GM, Number of players, Name of system (if any), Short blurb on the game (preferrably with the words "Something New" in the blurb).
Also it would be preferrable if you provide an idea of if the players require system knowledge (and how much), the "mood" of the game (fun, serious, dramatic, high action etc).

I would like to fill the first 8 slots by the end of July, so please reply early.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Episode 8 - What I Did On My Holidays

Episode 8 -What I Did on My Holidays (~ 42 min)

Liz and Emma introduce a new segment. Whereas in previous episodes we have conducted episode-length interviews about our interviewee's gaming history (i.e. the First Time series of shows), in Episode 8 we have a short chat to Matt about his experiences at Phenomenon Con. This shorter interview segment will henceforth be known as "the Quickie"!
(Why start being highbrow about it now?)

We also discuss the gaming and geekery that both Liz and I immersed ourselves in since we last sat down to record together.

This episode is the first that has been entirely recorded on the new microphone, and at Liz's new house.
Please send us feedback by leaving a comment on this blog or emailing to; or, if you would like to tell the world how much you love us, leave us some feedback on iTunes!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Episode 8 Coming soon! No, really!

Hello listeners, sorry for the delay.

With new house, new job and new recording equipment, I'm a little slow in getting our latest episode edited.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Stay tuned!

Liz and I have been recording, and the next episode will hit the webs in a matter of days!

In the meantime, you could write a review for iTunes, and tell the world what it is you like about our podcast.
Or if you have any feedback, ideas, or suggestions, you could leave us a comment here, or email us at

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Episode 7 - John and Peta's First Time

Episode 7 - John and Peta's First Time (39:05, 44.8MB)

In this episode, we find out about John's and Peta's first times gaming.
We learn how John independently created roleplaying, and why the Swiss Army Knife approach to gaming is a bad thing.
We find out how Peta prepares for her first time GMing.
We also discuss the impact of John and Peta's relationship upon their gaming experience, and we talk about choosing gender in a game.

Dungeons and Dragons
World of Darkness
Storyteller System
Jack Vance
'Dying Earth'
Dying Earth RPG
Robin D Laws
D&D 3.5
Burning Empires
Burning Wheel
Trail of Cthulhu
Ars Magica
Fading Suns
Dirty Secrets
Vampire: the Masquirade
HoL - Human occupied Landfill
In A Wicked Age
Luke Crane
Mouse Guard
Feng Shui

Terence Janssen for the music
Phase Two Comics for the hosting
Peta and John for their hospitality

Friday, June 20, 2008


Well done, typewriter monkeys. Have a banana.

All the episodes are now up on iTunes for your listening pleasure.



Episode 7 is just about ready to go up. This is a good thing seeing as I'm going to Supanova this weekend, and will be too busy having nerdalicious fun to edit.

In other news, the xml is problematic. Teams of monkeys with typewriters have been set to work in the hope that one of them will produce a document that will solve all my xml problems. And maybe global warming.

So, episodes via iTunes are still some time away.
But you can still get them through this blog!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The new xml is going up now.
All 7 episodes (0-6) should be up on iTunes within the next 24 hours.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Episode 6 - Recommendations

Episode 6 - Recommendations (33:19 min - 38MB)

Elizabeth has described this show as a podcast about roleplaying and roleplaying culture. Today we take a break from talking specifically about gaming and chat about some of the culture: i.e., webcomics, movies, books, sites and music that we like to geek out to. We make recommendations (both for and against) authors, movies and comics; and, as always, get just that little bit off topic.

Here is a list of links to things we talk about in the 'cast. In no particular order.

TV and Movies
D&D cartoon
Dungeons & Dragons: The Movie
Dungeons & Dragons: The Elemental Might
Heart of the Warrior
Love Actually
Never-Ending Story
Sarah Silverman Program
Buffy Season 7 Ep 22 ‘Chosen’

Sons Of Kryos
Roll Initiative
Geeks On
I Read Comics
Order Of The Stick
Full Frontal Nerdity

Wil Wheaton Blog
Baby Names
Fantasy Namer Widget For Macs:
Burning Wheel Wiki
4th Edition D&D
Indie Forge
D20 System Reference Document
Homestar Runner

Books and Magazines
China Mieville
Neil Gaiman
Gregory Maguire
Anne Rice
Geek Magazine

Jonathan Coulton
MC Chris
MC Frontalot
MC Lars
Tripod - The Messenger
Flight of the Conchords

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Episode 5 - ArmyDan's First Time

Episode 5 - ArmyDan's First Time (32:49 min - ~38MB)

In this Episode, Dan tells Liz and Emma about his first time gaming, his positive and negative influences, and how he first used Fidonet to organise KapCon.

We chat about the Last Action Heroes game he would run at Phenomenon, and find out what the terms 'Mega Roleplaying' and 'bach' mean.

We also discuss the upcoming 'Con with No Name' which Dan is organising for November in Canberra.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


It's official! We are now on iTunes.

Just search for Natural 20 Podcast in the iTunes store.
(This morning, we were the second hit with that search criteria, the first being 'Jay Cunnings Weekly Minimix'. Obviously...)

There is one episode up (episode 0), with more to come soon.

Also, (insha'Allah) Episode 5 will be up within 24 hours.

Hooray for everything!

Monday, June 9, 2008


'Scuse my lateness.
There should have been another episode of the 'cast up here by now.

There will be... soon. Very soon.
I promise.

The next episode is a 'first time' chat with (Army)Dan: local GM and all-round nice guy.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

from Elizabeth

Dear Listeners,

I will be going away for a while. My homeland, California, calls to me from across the wide Pacific. I shall be visiting the land of my birth for three weeks, abandoning Emma and you, our listeners.
However, never fear! There will be shiny new podcast for your listening pleasure every week while I am away! We've pre-recorded two already and we will record one more before I leave.

Episode 5 will be another "First Time" interview with Dan.

Episode 6 will be a shorter episode

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Superstitions at the Gaming Table

Episode #4 - Superstition Roadtest

In Episode 4 Liz plays Scully to Emma's Mulder as we explore superstition, luck and rituals in roleplaying games.

Recorded in two parts (but as one episode thanks to the magic of editing), Emma describes several common ways roleplaying gamers try to control the fates, and sceptical Liz talks about the nature of superstition.

After a brief musical interlude (we couldn't get Stevie Wonder, so we had to settle for a cheap counterfeit), we return for part two where Liz and Emma discuss the results of their research and examine whether or not we should even try to influence those pesky dice.

And then there's the bit about the rooster and the monkey.

RPG Meetup - A forum for role players, based in Canberra.
Master Chris's satirical explanation of die statistics

Terence Jannsen for the music.
Phase Two Comics for the hosting.
Members of the RPG Meetup boards for feedback and ideas!

Research - List of References
Full Frontal Nerdity
When Dice Go Bad
Cursed Dice
Wil Wheaton blog

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Episode #3 - Food, Health and Gaming

Episode #3 - Food, Health and Gaming (33min 14.9MB)

This episode: a topic relevant to this time of year, with everyone starting to suffer from the sniffles and dying from the lurgy, but bravely gaming on!

Emma and Liz talk about their favourite types of gaming foods, and eating habits at the gaming table. (Some of these are even healthful.)

Liz demonstrates some polite ways to be unwell at the gaming table. You heard me: demonstrates.

"Warning": This episode briefly alludes to health and medication topics relating specifically to female gamers' biology.

Also this episode, for those of you playing along at home on iTunes or iPod: artwork!
(The sound levels also appear to be louder, this episode, too.)

Nutrition Data
RPG Meetup

Thank Terence Janssen for the music...
Phase Two Comics for hosting the 'cast

Assist us in our research!

(Copied from a post on

Cue Stevie Wonder:
"Very superstitious
Writings on the wall
Very superstitious
Ladders 'bout to fall
13 month old baby
Broke a looking glass
7 years of bad luck
Good things in your past..."
(Fade out)

It's the topic of our next podcast, and it's something many can relate to.
However, I don't personally have any particular habits or rituals I adhere to during gaming that are geared toward controlling the outcome of my dice or my success in the game.

Do you have any particular rituals or behaviours your rely on to influence your luck?
What about what you've observed in others?
Do you practice any behaviour that others might deem superstitious, but you believe is actually effective?
Do you practice, but don't actually believe?
Natural 20 Podcast wants to know!

Cue music:
(Fade in)
"When you believe in things
That you dont understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain't the way!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Upcoming Episodes

The podcast is about to go weekly!
Our goal is to have a new episode up every week by Thursday.

Coming soon!
Episode 3: Food and Health in Gaming
Emma and I talk about food! And health! Issues that may, at first, seem unrelated to gaming, but have you ever played a game where there wasn't food present? And how many of you attend a game when you're feeling miserable because you've got a cold that just won't go away?

Coming slightly less soon!
Episode 4: Gaming Superstitions
A possibly two part episode about the behaviours and habits roleplaying gamers use in the attempt to control the random outcomes of dice.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Episode 2 - Alex's First Time

Episode 2 - Alex's First Time (37 mins, 33.6M)

In this episode, Liz and Emma interview Alex about his first role-playing game.
The three talk about the relationship between money spent and geek-cred, and discussions about the pros and cons of metagaming, and character types we find hard to play follow.

RPG Meetup

Music by Terence Janssen
Hosting of .mp3s by Phase Two Comics

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Second First Time

After one false start during the school holidays, Liz and I today recorded our second show in the "First Time" series. (Two podcasts makes a series, right?)

We have interviewed Alex, and chatted about metagaming and power gaming, money and status, and characters we feel uncomfortable playing.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Episode 1 - Screentime and Spotlight

Episode 1 - Screentime and Spotlight

Dan interviews three Game Masters with different techniques for dealing with Screentime and Spotlight in their games.

Here are definitions for 'Screentime' and 'Spotlight', as discussed in the podcast itself:

Actual game time in which the players interact with the environment of the game. Essentially the game where the players are involved (ie, not the planning stages or the time that the GM is figuring out what to do next)

During the game time, spotlights inidicate the time in which one or more of the players have the centre stage, generally to the exclusion of the others or the game world. This is often identified by character development, background play (ie preludes), or a time where the character is in a differnt location (and often not in communication with) from the other characters. Spotlights can also indicate where a player has taken centre stage in the planning of the story development or where an individual player has taken the lead in a situation (weather or not their character is present).

Dan hosts this episode, while Liz and Emma play AV tech. Guest GMs are Narayan, Terence, and Jaymz. Music is by Terence.

Screentime and Spotlight discussions on the RPG Meetup forums.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Episode 0 - Our First Time

Liz and Emma talk about their first time (gaming).
Episode 0 (15.1 MB - 13min)

RPG Meetup