Saturday, December 30, 2017

A long time ago, back in episode 49

Hello, everyone! I hope you're all out there having a wonderful winter season. The weather may be awful (here in the American Midwest) but before you know it it'll be summer again, and then before you know it again it'll be icy cold and before you know it we'll reach the inevitable heat death of the universe. In all honesty I doubt our podcast will still be going then but who knows.

Anyway, this week's episode is a topic we've been putting off for a very long time- Star Wars RPGs! Jeff and I just don't have much experience with them so we haven't had a satisfying response, but with the release of The Last Jedi in theaters we decided it was now or never. (And in case you're worried, don't be- there are absolutely zero Last Jedi spoilers in this episode! We briefly touch on some general things from The Force Awakens but we're not about to ruin anyone's cinematic experiences.)

So, since we don't know much about the various Star Wars RPGs, DJ Wright from the Dice for Brains Podcast was kind enough to write up this huge breakdown for us, which we'll be referring to extensively. So if you have a chance, check them out!

And as always, visit the other members of the Critnation Fellowship- Crit Academy and D&D Character Lab on the podcast front, and LoresmythGoblin Stone, and Aurican's Lair for new content releases. And check out to get yourself a free audiobook, and to get us some free money!

May the force be with you!

Episode 49: A Galaxy Far, Far Away

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Question answered this episode:

1. What are the pros and cons of the various Star Wars systems? (WEG, d20, FFG)


Noteworthy Links:

Dr. Who


Ghost of Christmas Past

Mark Hammill as the Joker

Nintendo Switch

HTC Vive, a VR system

Lightsaber Video mentioned during the episode

"It's a living!"

Star Wars Galaxies, a Star Wars RPG

Damn Yankees, a musical Gabe performed in on stage

Knights of the Old Republic, a Star Wars video game based on the d20 ruleset

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Episode 48: The One Where We Answer Questions

You guys know what day it is? It's Inter-Party Conflict day, of course! (That's what it says on my calendar, anyway.)

This week we bring you another couple questions from your favorite non-Crit Academy podcast hosts. We talk about getting stuck in quicksand, getting stuck on one side of a pit, getting stuck in a morbid hellscape where life cannot survive, and getting stuck in a giant creature's electrified mouth. Plus we talk about food, aches & pains, and a whole mess of other stuff too. What's this podcast about, again?

You know the drill: check out the other members of the Critnation Fellowship- Crit Academy and D&D Character Lab on the podcast front, and LoresmythGoblin Stone, and Aurican's Lair for new content releases. And be sure to go to to get yourself a free audiobook, and us some o' that sweet, sweet moolah!

Thanks, everyone! Have a wonderful holiday season!

Episode 48: Hyping Up the Battle

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Questions answered this episode:

1. My battle fields are either very boring or too big. Can you recommend ways to or rules of thumb on making my combat encounter maps better? How many squares, terrain, distance, hazards, etc. make for good encounters?

2. What are some tips for running/making the final boss for a campaign?


Noteworthy Links:

Supercut of the best scenes from The Room (warning: Spoilers for The Room)

The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., an early-90's scifi-Western TV show starring Bruce Campbell

Bastion of Broken Souls, the adventure Gabe talked about with a dragon that devours unborn souls

Star Fox Adventures, a really bad Gamecube game

A fan theory that explains Final Fantasy IX's completely random final boss

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Back again, with another special guest!

Hey, everyone! This week we've got yet another special guest- Damian, the DM from the actual play podcast Adventures in Erylia! In this episode we have a great time talking about house rules, making death more meaningful, and how to keep an NPC from becoming the ever-dreaded DMPC (plus a bunch of other stuff I had to cut for time- stay tuned in case we ever release an outtakes episode). So give us a listen, and check out Damian's podcast too! I've been listening to it since around their first few episodes and I think it's a lot of fun.

As usual, check out the other members of the Critnation Fellowship- Crit Academy and D&D Character Lab are our fellow podcasts, and LoresmythGoblin Stone, and Aurican's Lair are content creators that you should definitely check out. And be sure to go to to get yourself a free audiobook, and us some free money!

Thanks everyone, and I hope you all have a great week!

Episode 47: Remember, Kill Your NPCs

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Questions answered this episode:

1. When does an NPC become a DMPC? And how hard should you work to stop an NPC from being integrated into the party?

2. What is your favourite campaign or table specific house rule? It doesn't have to be one that you always bring to the table, but perhaps one that really worked thematically with a certain campaign. 


Noteworthy Links:

Adventures in Erylia, the Actual Play podcast run by Damian

Magic: the Gathering

WDHS Student Video, the video program at the high school Jeff and Gabe met at

World of Warcraft

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Twitch Plays Dark Souls

Adventures in Erylia's blog post about death in their campaign world

Erylia's Second Chance on D&D Beyond Homebrew

Healing Spirit, a seemingly-broken spell from Xanathar's Guide to Everything

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Back to our usual shenanigans- it's episode 46!

Hey, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed last week's bonus episodes in lieu of a standard one. This week, though, we're back to our usual format, and I hope this one is great too! We're coming up on out one-year anniversary, and I'm trying to come up with something special we can do for that episode. If any of you have any suggestions, or just questions for us to discuss, e-mail us at!

Not much else to say, so I'll just remind you to go to to get yourself a free audiobook, and us some free money! And of course check out the other podcasts on the Critnation Fellowship- Crit Academy and D&D Character Lab- as well as the content creators LoresmythGoblin Stone, and Aurican's Lair.

Episode 46: Everyone Starts Somewhere

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Questions answered this episode:

1. What is a good way to have your table set up play environment-wise? Whiteboards, gridded battlemats, dungeon tiles, constructed miniscapes- all seem to have their advantages and disadvantages. Which do you guys prefer?

2. What factors should be considered when thinking about becoming a DM?


Noteworthy Links:

Dungeons & Dragons Clue

Deck of Many Things (I found a physical version on Amazon, but apparently it's really rare and as such it's really expensive. Just use a regular Tarot deck.)

Constantine, a movie starring Keanu Reeves and (loosely) based on a graphic novel

Vinyl Battle Mats by Chessex

Whiteboard Material from Lowes (Seriously, you could get a 4ft x 8ft rectangle of whiteboard for a measly $13, and have them cut it to whatever size you want for free.)

Warhammer 40k, a very popular tabletop war game

Maptool, a free program you can use with a screen or digital projector to project battle maps for your game

Dungeon!, a board game my brother had when I was a kid (and I bought a copy of my own a few years ago). Apparently it's gotten fairly rare and is really expensive, but WotC has made a new version that's much more affordable and is probably closer to modern D&D.

That picture of Kyuss I was talking about

Those two swords I was talking about too

Two Bonus Episodes for the price of one!

Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

This week, Jeff and I decided to do things a little bit different- not because of any technical difficulties or scheduling issues, but just because we felt like changing things up a bit. So instead of a typical episode, we've got a more loosely-formatted episode where we just talk about whatever we feel like (though for this particular one, I felt like complaining about the 5e Tarrasque for like an hour). Don't worry, this won't be a common thing for us (unless enough people tell us they want it to be, I guess) but if you like it or dislike it, then please, let us know at!

In addition to our loose-form episode, I've recorded an extra bonus mini-episode where I talked to three friends visiting from out of town- Brandon, JT, and Haley, all fans of the show- about D&D and their experiences with it. It was a fun thing to record, so I hope you guys enjoy listening to it!

And as always, remember to check out the other members of the Critnation Fellowship-  Crit Academy and D&D Character Lab for your podcasting needs, and LoresmythGoblin Stone, and Aurican's Lair for quality content. And if you want to get yourself a free audiobook (and/or get us some free cash to make the podcast better) then go to!

Bonus Episode 2: Jabe and Geff's Rants & Rambles

Bonus Episode 3: Visiting Friends

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Noteworthy Links:

Iron Man

The only computers we had at my school for years

Hyper Man, one of the games Jeff mentioned (I tried to find the Doom spaceship game but didn't have enough information to go off of)

Dan Bell's Dead Mall Youtube Series

Magic Sword, the arcade game I got to play

Le Tarasque on Wikipedia

Rovagug, a deity in the Pathfinder campaign setting that spawned the Tarrasque (among other abominations)

The Tomb of Horrors

Defense of the Ancients (DotA)

Xanathar's Guide to Everything, a new book that is AWESOME

Monster Factory, a Youtube channel from Justin and Griffin McElroy

My attitude towards arguments