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A podcast about creating your own role-playing game and wargame rules hosted by Tom Barbalet.

65. Spencer on Solo [January 6, 2023]
  Tom chats with Spencer about solo game play. [ MP3 | link ]

64. Numbered Musing [November 25, 2022]
  Tom muses about whether having a physical rules is better. [ MP3 | link ]

63. No Nappies [July 1, 2022]
  Tom talks to messages from Barney Dicker and Spencer's question about what makes a good D and D game. [ MP3 | link ]

62. Brain Chemistry [June 3, 2022]
  Tom has some updates quick fast. [ MP3 | link ]

61. Origins of Chaos [May 13, 2022]
  Tom has started the formalized Just Plain Chaos rules. [ MP3 | link ]

60. No Pile? [April 23, 2022]
  The lead pile is a thing of the past. [ MP3 | link ]

59. Back to Basics [March 20, 2022]
  Slightly changed from the lockdowns, Tom offers what is coming up. [ MP3 | link ]

58. Nothing Works [February 13, 2022]
  Tom talks about re-altering his game development with the new normal of physical things. [ MP3 | link ]

57. The Good, the Bagged and the Ugly [January 22, 2022]
  Barney Dicker returns to explore what can be done with the new normal. [ MP3 | link ]

56. Clearly Someone Is Wrong! [September 3, 2021]
  Barney Dicker returns to explore his feedback from Adventures in Soothsaying. Tom discusses the holy grail of this game creation, providing rules people want to play.[ MP3 | link ]

55. Fascist Kitchenware [August 15, 2021]
  Two topics for this recording - what has happened to Sim Sea Lion and the myth of the friendly local games store. [ MP3 | link ]

54. Adventures in Soothsaying [August 8, 2021]
  Tom explores some periodic updates including the creation of an ork army, what violence means with daughters now and how to encourage creatives. [ MP3 | link ]

53. Sleep Deprived Updates [May 30, 2021]
  There are many different updates based on recent travels, thinking and general lack of sleep. Enjoy! [ MP3 | link ]

52. Sex Lines for All Time [April 2, 2021]
  Tom launches his new food related game in response to Barney's League of Eternal Guardians. Barney provides the definition to League of Eternal Guardians. Barney talks about adding familiar occult elements to games. Tom wants to explore what tone means for Barney. Tom tries to offer a definition of tone. How has working with artists impacted Tom and Barney? [ MP3 | link ]

51. Viva Erika [March 28, 2021]
  Tom has arrived but sadly he's still living behind boxes. What has happened with Sim Sea Lion in recent months? What's happening with the new venture and what will the first game be? Tom is looking forward to an upcoming chat with Barney Dicker to answer some questions. [ MP3 | link ]

50. Failed Escape [February 28, 2021]
  Tom has been doing some self assessment through the past six weeks. Although he's still in San Jose, there are a number of interesting updates. [ MP3 | link ]

49. Countdown [January 10, 2021]
  Tom has a few updates and insights that have come through his final house pack. [ MP3 | link ]

48. Catatonic [December 7, 2020]
  Tom starts talking about his Alluvial Plains game, the Hunt (somehow the Alluvial Plains game system was missed though the recording). Tom recommends a YouTube channel and talks about the lead pile, specifically the work of Rochie Rochfort. Simulation is not normalized as Tom does it. The Sea Lion updates are a plenty. [ MP3 | link ]

47. The Cat Came Back [November 21, 2020]
  A returning cat produces a new recording. Tom has some critical feedback from a game with Barney Dicker. Disillusion is the current emotion associated with the lead pile returns. Tom has an announcement associated with next year. Tom explains a little more about his time management which has been documented in industry. Tom waxes philosophically about how to encourage another generation. [ MP3 | link ]

46. Middle Earth Looks Like a Sand Castle [October 28, 2020]
  Tom welcomes back on Barney Dicker to talk about the Just Plain Chaos RPG played online. What is the gestalt of gaming? Operation Sea Lion is discussed and a few other random bits and pieces. [ MP3 | link ]

45. The Great Escape [September 26, 2020]
  Tom reflects on six months since the Pletinckx medals - what has been learnt? Would Tom become a medal collector? Probably not. He's in it for the documents. From a Monty's Reviews, Tom talks about wargaming a more realistic Operation Sea Lion. The lead pile is coming down to a medium distance sprint, perhaps. Through this is a discussion about an upcoming series of moves. What about those Just Plain Chaos games? [ MP3 | link ]

44. Fork in the Road [September 19, 2020]
  Tom has some freedom but freedom isn't free. The lead pile appears to have the fiction of manageability. The JPC game is about to split into multiple different groups but sadly without Barney Dicker going forwards. Tom still wants to find a magazine. Some people will never be happy. [ MP3 | link ]

43. Post Game Positivity and Wood Elves [July 11, 2020]
  Tom starts the recording following the first online session of Just Plain Chaos. He talks about some of the things learnt through the first game and that there was way more pluses than minuses. Through the week Tom also found a pen pal request letter in a long lost magazine and also how he has decided to conclude his miniature interests with some wood elves. [ MP3 | link ]

42. Neither the Means nor the Motives [July 5, 2020]
  Tom explores some correspondence from Barney Dicker on future rules purchases. He provides a brief lead-pile update and then he tackles the main topic of the recording, how he is preparing material and getting in the mood for the virtual Just Plain Chaos game, starting next week. [ MP3 | link ]

41. Two Topics, One That Might Surprise You [May 23, 2020]
  Tom provides a couple of long overdue updates and ponders what might come next. [ MP3 | link ]

40. The Damn Donkey [May 7, 2020]
  Tom talks with Derek Stutsman about the 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons game Tom ran in his office. They talk about various points in the game. Some of the scenarios that they explored through the game and some of Tom's motivations in presenting the game as he did. They depress slightly into Tom's metal addiction and conclude on the COVID-19 Pletinckx experience. [ MP3 | link ]

39. Lieutenant General Charles-Joseph Pierre Pletinckx (1797-1877) [April 12, 2020]
  With less that a day of research, Tom talks about an unusual historical figure whose autobiography (and a unique wedding anniversary gift) is triggering an interest in Napoleonics and the Franco-Prussian War. Two time periods that Tom had not considered seriously previously. A change of perspective can come about through a variety of different circumstances. [ MP3 | link ]

38. Bias in Solo Play [March 29, 2020]
  Tom introduces some of the ideas to keep in mind when solo playing rules. He notes that these techniques have not been shown in recent YouTube examples of solo play and he talks about a couple of films that are worth seeing for different reasons. [ MP3 | link ]

37. Commission Painting and Solo Play [March 25, 2020]
  Tom missed two topics from the last bonus recording. An email from a friend about painting commissions introduces what Tom feels is his responsibility through this period. Also the elephant in the room through lockdown is solo gaming and changing rules to allow for fun solo play. More coming on this topic shortly. [ MP3 | link ]

36. Forthright in Opinions [March 6, 2020]
  Barney Dicker is back and Tom wants some biographical information. It all started with Shreddies. Tom introduces Barney to the word nerdic. What does review mean when it comes to tabletop gaming? They compare and contrast their experiences with Kickstarter. What games are being played by Barney currently? Are they physical games or online games? How should people be able to play our games? Some discussion of online gaming and tabletop simulator ensues. Are people who play games more ideally suited to pandemics? [ MP3 | link ]

35. Some Good News and Easy d12s [January 19, 2020]
  Sometime the war on miniatures has occasional victories, now Tom is painting d12s and rules are a coming. [ MP3 | link ]

34. Jetlag and Reading [January 8, 2020]
  While Tom was travelling he continued to work on two rule systems, one soon ready for prime-time and one for longterm development. He also discusses his reflections on Kickstarter, the progress of the lead pile and some experiences in Australia. [ MP3 | link ]

33. Coming 2020 [December 14, 2019]
  Tom has few thoughts for the end of the year and outlines a pretty hectic production schedule while he is traveling to provide some items to discuss in the new year. [ MP3 | link ]

32. GMs, You Don't Have To Roll the Red Dice! [December 8, 2019]
  Mathew Gibson provides an update on the DnD game. Tom offers the idea of nostalgia as being an undiscussed component to DnD. Mathew wants to offer some house rules. Tom mentions formalized addendums for house rules. What is the purpose for rules where you only really need the Player's Handbook? Mathew raises the professional GM which digresses quickly. Tom asks Mathew what he wants in the new year.[ MP3 | link ]

31. A Poor Excuse for an End of Year Ramble [December 1, 2019]
  Tom reflects on a year and what is coming in the future. [ MP3 | link ]

Just Plain Chaos: Now With Easy Dice [November 27, 2019]
  Tom wants to explore the newly minted Easy Dice rules for Just Plain Chaos. [ M4V | link ]

Orx versus Hoomans: Orx versus Orx [November 23, 2019]
  Tom plays a simple game of orx versus orx to illustrate the basic move and shoot dynamics. [ M4V | link ]

Orx versus Hoomans: Movement Basics [November 21, 2019]
  Returning to the methods initially discussed in the podcast Tom explores the basics of movement. [ M4V | link ]

Orx versus Hoomans: Basics Reset [November 19, 2019]
  Tom wants to reset the Orx v. Hoomans discussion with a look at the individual figures and exploring what weapons and other items each has. This provides a starting point for the rules. [ M4V | link ]

30. Slight Change of Direction [November 17, 2019]
  Tom would like to change things a little in the new year and he outlines these ideas here. [ MP3 | link ]

29. Unearth The Odd [October 6, 2019]
  Tom welcomes back Barney Dicker to talk about his GMing experience with Into the Odd and Electronic Bastion Land. What does Old School Role-playing mean? Barney outlines his thrice played scenario. Tom has a few archetypal questions. Tom wants to know more about Barney's early GMing. They conclude with a secret about Fighting Fantasy Fest 3. [ MP3 | link ]

28. Making Do [September 29, 2019]
  Tom reflects on items owed for the podcast. Two ideas to explore this recording: dedicated space to play games and also reconstructing the DM rules from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons without having the prerequisite manual. [ MP3 | link ]

27. Curmudgeon of Middle-Earth [July 28, 2019]
  Barney Dicker returns to talk with Tom about a wide variety of topics concluding with post-narrativism. [ MP3 | link ]

26. Last Days Zombie Apocalypse, Warlords of Erehwon and Greenskins [July 21, 2019]
  Tom has a number of things to discuss. The Fellowship of the Rings film prompts Tom to talk more about green skins at some length. Tom spends thirty minutes with both the Last Days Zombie Apocalypse rule and Warlords of Erehwon. Even with thirty minutes of time with them, he has quite a bit to say. There is a footnote to how Games Workshop has found independent play testers for Warhammer 40k from the US. Interesting stuff. [ MP3 | link ]

25. That's No Good on a Star Map [June 27, 2019]
  Chris Abbott returns to talk about the lead pile. They explore the Chechen-ification of the Palladium rules focusing on Ninjas and Superspies. What about points and leveling up in games? Useful or generally problematic. Tom raises the importance of HeroForge in creating characters for modern games. Igor Karpov is responsible for the characterful Chechen miniatures from Tiny Terrain. The Oath: The Remarkable Story of a Surgeon's Life Under Fire in Chechnya by Khassan Baiev is the book Tom refers to in the discussion of a Chechen doctor. Chris wants to know more about Noble Warfare. Tom satirizes the current state of wargaming. Chris has been playing a dwarf fighter online. [ MP3 | link ]

24. Sourcing Shields [June 15, 2019]
  Tom welcomes back on Barney Dicker who produced a wonderful YouTube video with his son. Tom misspoke when describing the current Kev Adams offerings. The best place for new Kev Adams is Knightmare Miniatures with shields of interest from Black Tree Design (you have to ask for them especially). Knightmare also has a selection of green skin shields Tom offers some ideas on finding good sets of miniatures in the wild. Barney talks about the spectrum between war-games and roleplaying games meeting in skirmish games. This requires some discussion about Tom's experiences moving from 5th Edition to Just Plain Chaos in the work game. Barney also wants to know more about the Chechen rules in the work setting. [ MP3 | link ]

23. Tom the Ogre [June 2, 2019]
  Tom welcomes back Mathew Gibson who provides an update on his Dungeons and Dragons game including a named non-player miniature character. Mathew offers the topic of excess in gaming from which Tom frames a grim balance between commercial success and something important with a detour into psychedelia in gaming. Mathew raises a few more topics from prior podcasts concluding on home-brew rules: in a negative light? Never. [ MP3 | link ]

22. Card Game One [May 27, 2019]
  Tom talks about the lead pile, proposes a new card and dice game. He talks about considering playing Bolt Action (v2) and a little about the history of WW2 in film. [ MP3 | link ]

21. HeroQuest, Dracula and Songful German Birds [May 11, 2019]
  Tom is joined by listener Barney Dicker to talk about a wide variety of topics. They start talking about Inquisitor and Strontium Dog. The conversation takes a number of twists and turns but concludes with an affirmation that HeroQuest defined a good group of players. If you have questions or feedback please email barbalet at gmail dot com. Enjoy! [ MP3 | link ]

20. Criticism Has No Place in Wargaming [April 28, 2019]
  Tom discusses some history with a listener. What happened with the final Just Plain Chaos game? The Chechen rules will probably exist in the Palladium meta-verse. [ MP3 | link ]

19. Introduction to Noble Warfare [April 14, 2019]
  A lead pile update and Tom introduces his simulation, Noble Warfare. [ MP3 | link ]

18. Turn This Thing Around [March 31, 2019]
  A very nice chat with Chris Abbott prefaced on getting out more lead to listeners. [ MP3 | link ]

17. Drowning in Lead [March 29, 2019]
  Tom talks about unpainted lead and trying to tame this phenomenon. The listeners can take some of this lead off Tom's hands. Tom also talks about problems with the Just Plain Chaos rules update and painters. [ MP3 | link ]

16. Patriarchy, London, Questions and the American Civil War in Winter [March 5, 2019]
  Tom chats with Mathew Gibson about women in roleplaying. Going to be in London at the end of August? So is Tom. Questions from listener Mike King. Some future updates based on discovered miniatures. [ MP3 | link ]

15. The Very Best Of Experiences and Goblin Raiding Parties [January 27, 2019]
  Tom asks about the importance of GM Mathew's son's game. Mathew starts talking about his early experiences playing and why he doesn't want his son to have the same experiences. They discuss what the experiences are of the players and what the mentoring older GM role should be here. Mathew gives an elevator pitch on his card game. They discuss cooperative gaming and political based games although Mathew and Tom may have different ideas on diplomacy. [ MP3 | link ]

14. Rules Rippers [January 24, 2019]
  Chris asks why Tom needs his own rules. They explore the previously mentioned archetypes and how to counteract problems through games. How about the sheet grabber? There are some benefits in keeping a game in your head. Tom wants to talk about miniatures. Squares or hexs or neither. With stores it is either famine or feast. [ MP3 | link ]

13. No Rules Are Better [January 20, 2019]
  Tom welcomes on Mathew Gibson. They discuss Mathew's early experiences and Tom tries to talk about the religion of ADnD with the sadness that RuneQuest did not stay with Mathew long after his evangelism. Is there a contrast between richness of environments and complexity of rules. Tom asks about miniatures and provides some discussion of miniatures in Australia in the 1980s. They discuss narrative and whether it is possible to have a game with no rules. Tom outlines his plans with the First Chechen Wars rules and also a ruleset covering 600-1000 AD in England. The questions delve deep into the introduction of ideas through role playing. [ MP3 | link ]

12. House Rules Unearthed [January 17, 2019]
  Tom starts talking with Chris about Unearthed Arcana. They briefly touch on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle rules (circa 1985). Chris starts the discussion on house rules. This digresses quickly into a discussion of realism versus fun. Tom asks about Chris' house adventures. Magic seems to cause all kinds of problems. Tom raises the scarcity of weapons and the late-1980s idea of freeform role-playing where battles are few and far between. When you create games should you consider player archetypes? Mass battle concludes the recording with the promise of much more. [ MP3 | link ]

11. Waiting for Chechens [January 15, 2019]
  Tom covers a few topics solo with the promise of Chris' return. [ MP3 | link ]

10. Nurturing through Role Playing [January 10, 2019]
  Tom welcomes Chris Abbott onto the podcast and they discuss origins stories, ye olde games systems and favorite dynamics of Chris' in games. Tom asks about Chris' renaissance in role playing. Tom touches on the loss story and returns to the renaissance aspect. He then asks Chris to explore nurturing through role playing. [ MP3 | link ]

9. Topics of Whimsy [January 6, 2019]
  Tom revisits solo play testing for a listener, talks a little bit about attribution framed in Kev Adams addiction and welcomes the possibility of some dialog coming up. [ MP3 | link ]

8. Think Out of the Box [January 2, 2019]
  Tom starts the exploration of board game rules in contrast to roleplaying games and war-games. He explores strategy, resources and diplomacy. [ MP3 | link ]

7. Doing Damage [December 31, 2018]
  How do weapons impact gameplay? Are there interesting areas to explore when creating rules around weapons. [ MP3 | link ]

6. Wounds or Health [December 31, 2018]
  Tom explores the potential to create interesting rules around wounds or health in a game. What impact does the representation of these statistics have on gameplay. [ MP3 | link ]

5. Movement [December 31, 2018]
  One of the defining factors in any game is how movement is coordinated over turns. Tom looks at the many possibilities when creating rules of movement in games. [ MP3 | link ]

4. Solo Testing and Group Play Testing [December 26, 2018]
  Tom discusses how he tested the rules for Just Plain Chaos by himself before he took the rules to a group to play. He also talks about reaching out to square-base fantasy rules authors and Oldhammer players. [ MP3 | link ]

3. Three Dice Mechanics [December 25, 2018]
  Tom is recovering from a virus. It seems like the perfect time to tackle some dice mechanics. [ MP3 | link ]

2. Narrative, Setting and Skills [December 22, 2018]
  Tom introduces the Just Plain Chaos role-playing game rule set (PDF). He uses these rules to explore narrative, setting and providing interlinking skills as a means of stimulating game-play. [ MP3 | link ]

1. Introduction [December 20, 2018]
  Tom Barbalet introduces himself and the broad theme of the podcast. [ MP3 | link ]

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