Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 38 – RPG Stories
This week’s topic is pretty much directly inspired by a recent episode of Axe of the Blood God, US Gamer’s RPG-focused podcast. That podcast is headed up by Kat Bailey, one of the writers at US Gamer, and she described her inspiration for the episode thusly:
I was inspired to explore RPG narrative by Undertale, which is an interesting deconstruction of the genre. I’ve expressed in the past that an RPG doesn’t need a good story to be successful, with Darkest Dungeon and Etrian Odyssey being key examples. However, in undertaking this exploration, I’ve realized that a high-quality narrative can mean more to an RPG than I realized.
Over the course of the episode, Steve and I explore the history of narrative in RPGs, talk about some of the different types of stories and the tools developers use to tell them, and share our favorite RPG stories. In the end, we ask the question, “Can an RPG succeed in spite of a bad story? And can a great story elevate otherwise middling mechanics?” I was honestly surprised by my answer.
It was a really good — if lengthy! — episode; Kat and her co-host Steve discussed a number of different RPGs and storytelling styles. If you have time (and it is a lengthy episode, so that’s not an idle opening statement), it’s well worth a listen.
But I thought it might be interesting to throw the same discussion topic out in front of the SSSH crew, and see what happens.
Always remember: If you like Spam Spam Spam Humbug, please leave us a review on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, or anywhere else you listen to us. More important than that, however, is to make sure you subscribe to the podcast. This is especially true for iTunes; the more subscriptions a podcast has, the more visible it will be in iTunes. So, even if you subscribe to us using some other, better technology (Pocket Casts, for example), consider subscribing in iTunes (or in the Podcasts app) as well.
There’s also the Ultima Codex Patreon. A $1 pledge will get you access to Spam Spam Spam Humbug episodes the day before they go live here on the Ultima Codex, and you’ll be helping me both maintain and — with sufficient funding — expand the server infrastructure of the Codex to better deliver all the things you come looking for thereat. You can also support the site by buying computer games through GOG; the Codex is a GOG affiliate. This one is really easy; all you have to do is visit the Codex and click on the GOG banner in the sidebar before you go and buy a game at GOG. You won’t pay any more for the game, but we’ll get a bit of a commission on the sale.
Also, if you haven’t already, you should totally sign on with the Ultima Dragons group on Facebook, or with the Ultima Dragons community on Google+ . The Facebook group is easily the larger and more lively, but that just means that the Google+ one needs a few more members posting content there on a more regular basis. Also, don’t forget to contribute to the #udic hashtag if you’re on Twitter.
As well, please consider Liking the Facebook page for The Ultima Series, following the Ultima Codex on Twitter, or encircling the Ultima Codex on Google+. And whatever social network you favour, please also consider sharing any content posted to those social media profiles with your own followers and friends; spread the word, spread the Ultima.
Finally, if you’d like to recommend anyone for a shout-out, send us an email…which you can also use to suggest podcast topics, offer commentary or criticism about podcast episodes, and/or to volunteer your time as either an occasional or regular contributor to podcast sessions.