Jan 17, 2016

Posted in Featured, Podcast | 5 Comments

Episode 42: Invoke Terry Olson


This week on Spellburn, the Judges J have cast a ritualized version of Invoke Patron to summon a very special guest, Terry Olson. Terry has written several Dungeon Crawl Classics adventures for Goodman Games and even contributed a letter to the Monster Alphabet.

Links mentioned in this episode:
The Rock Awakens: http://www.goodman-games.com/50841preview.html
Tomb of the Immortal Kahl: http://www.goodman-games.com/5085preview.html
Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box: http://www.goodman-games.com/FRPGD14preview.html
50 Fantastic Functions for the D50: http://www.goodman-games.com/4379preview.html
2015 Gen Con Program Guide, “Cranking Up the Funk in DCC Dice Rolling”: http://www.goodman-games.com/GC15preview.html

The Monster Alphabet, “S is for Sonic”: http://www.goodman-games.com/4386preview.html

Purple Planet Relics, Beasts, and Lore: http://www.goodman-games.com/5085preview.html

Dual-Wielding Probabilities from Spellburn Episode 26 (July 19, 2014): http://spellburn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Bittman-Inspired-Generalized-Two-handed-Weapon-Math-by-Olson.pdf
From Elzemon and the Blood-Drinking Box: Yarafad’s Box = Faraday Cage, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

From Monster Alphabet, S is for Sonic, The Elgad Lazif’rel Effect: Elgad Lazif’rel = Ella Fitzgerald, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG8K0yl4_hc

Steve Bean’s Rat King’s River of Death (Bonus with Curtis’ The Chained Coffin): http://www.goodman-games.com/5084preview.html

Edgar Johnson’s Blood for the Serpent King (Bonus with Stroh’s Bride of the Black Manse): http://www.goodman-games.com/5083preview.html

Jobe Bittman’s The Emerald Enchanter Strikes Back! (Goodman Games Gen Con 2014 Program Guide): http://www.goodman-games.com/gencon14programbook.html

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  1. Great episode! Now you will need to get Harley, Michael, and Terry on for a three-way spell duel…..

    +1d24 on Terry’s recommendation of The Vertical Halls, by the way. It is an excellent piece of work.

  2. Terry Olson says:

    Stephen Newton reminded me of one of my house rules that I should have mentioned on the episode. There is sometimes a conundrum that arises when a judge wants the player to roll the dice, but doesn’t want the player to know the outcome (yet). One example is searching for traps on a closed chest. I prefer the player to roll for the search, but I don’t want the player to know what the outcome means before he opens the chest (unless he successfully found a trap that is really there). If the player rolls a 2 and the judge says, “You don’t think it’s trapped,” then sometimes the game drags a bit with players worrying about a false negative, where it really is trapped but they missed it.

    There are a few ways around this. What I do is secretly roll a d6 (any even-sided die will do) and if the result is 4-6 (the larger half of the die) then I mentally shift the player’s d20 result down by 10 if it was greater than 10, and up by 10 if it was less than or equal to 10. If my d6 roll is a 1-3, then I keep the player’s roll as is. Again, my d6 roll is secret, so the player doesn’t know if his result is being shifted or not. If a player rolls a 19, and I roll a 5, then I count it as a 9; if I had rolled a 3 then I’d have counted his roll as 19. If he rolls a 4 and I roll a 4, then I count it as a 14. This way, when I say, “You don’t think it’s trapped,” the player has no idea if it really isn’t. This avoids players wanting to search for traps again, some other way, etc., if they (think they) rolled poorly on their find traps check.

    • I just let the player roll. Let’s say there’s a DC of 16 to find the trap…

      Player rolls a 2. I tell the player that they didn’t find a trap. Player knows they rolled woefully but a re-roll is not allowed for that character and that door until the character increases in level.

      Player now has to risk it, or perhaps burn some luck?

      Alternatively, the player rolls a 15. It’s a high roll but there is still uncertainty as the DC is not known. The player can be a little more confident that the door is not trapped but will not know for certain until the trapped is triggered.

      Remember, this is a game where death is sudden and lurks just beyond the corner.