The Vintage RPG Podcast

The Vintage RPG Podcast

Join Stu Horvath and John McGuire as they delve into their favorite tabletop roleplaying games from the past, present and future!

Episodes

June 10, 2024 40 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with Megan Dawson Jaffe about the new Nerdy City RPG Holomatixx: A New Wave Order. Spinning out of their other Omni System games like the kid adventure Rememorex and the game of transforming robots, Commandroids, Holomatixx takes on pop star superheroes in the vein of Jem and Holograms and Barbie and the Rockers. On Kickstarter now!

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Check out Nerdy ...

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Stu was tied up with lots of crap this week, so have a re-run!

Original show notes: Make ours Marvel! This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we take a look at TSR’s massive, 8-volume compendium of Marvel comics lore, The Gamer’s Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1988-1992). They’re like a monster manual of superheroes and villains, some awesome, some doofy, some downright perplexing. They also amount to being an interesting in-univer...

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May 27, 2024 32 mins

Stu’s ongoing West Marches-style Old-School Essentials campaign is a year old, so this week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we thought we’d see how things are going (and how many characters have died). And since you can’t really trust the Dungeon Master, we invited two of the players — Justin Wigard and Clay Fleischer — on to share their impressions of the 34-session “mystery crawl.”

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Wanna play? We'...

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May 20, 2024 22 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we look at Shadowgate (1987, 1989), the point-and-click fantasy adventure videogame. Explore a mysterious castle while trying to find a way to stop the Warlock Lord from destroying the world! Tremble in fear as your torch burns low! Get eaten by every monster! Have a soundtrack-induced panic attack! All this and more awaits you in Castle Shadowgate.

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Stu’s bo...

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May 13, 2024 26 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with Gavriel Quiroga about his new game, Black Rainbow Society. A sequel of sorts to Hell Night, this game doesn’t feature players in the roles of fiends from hell, but rather normal humans grappling with the knowledge that there is more to existence than the mundane world (a staple theme of ’90s RPGs, many of which are clear inspirations here). Gavriel brings his signature intensity to...

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May 6, 2024 44 mins

At the very end of last year, Bryan Ansell, a man who played a pivotal role in the world of tabletop games, passed away. To understand just how important Ansell was, this week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with Timothy Linward, Wargamer staff writer and author of the forthcoming Grimdark: A Very British Hell. Tim walks us through the early days of Citadel Miniatures, his rise to prominence at Games Workshop and his role in sh...

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April 29, 2024 21 mins

Where does the game end and real life begin? This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we look at Gameplayers, Stephen Bowkett’s 1986 novel. At first blush, it seems to belong in that silly microgenre of panicky novels dedicated to wondering about how kids can cope with fantasy as powerful as tabletop RPGs (see Mazes & Monsters and Hobgoblin, both 1981). What we get, though, is a coming of age story in which a D&D-like game plays a pro...

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April 22, 2024 25 mins

Set phasers to stun! This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we check out FASA’s 1982 Star Trek RPG. It’s an interesting game in it’s own right — a hack of Traveller, when it comes down to it — but is also super interesting in regards to fandom, IP canon and licensed RPGs. Climb on board as we explore these strange old worlds!

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Stu’s book, Monsters, Aliens, and Holes in the Ground is for sale now! ...

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April 15, 2024 26 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we talk to John Patrick Cooper about Get in the Van, his live music-themed Troika hack. Form a band (hardcore, hair or thrash) in the year 198X, hit the road, do battle with the audience, rock their faces off and get to the next gig. A tight, fun little ode to the road dog life. Also, surprise, Cooper designed Dead Mall, our favorite Tunnel Goons hack about exploring monster-filled abandoned ma...

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April 8, 2024 20 mins

There may be a million ways to die, but you’re probably only going to see the first two or three. This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re remembering the classic coin-eating arcade game, Dragon’s Lair (1983). That’s the one that features the cell-shaded, professionally animated (by Don frickin’ Bluth!) adventure of Dirk the Daring that was hidden behind an endless series of near-impossible reflex tests. An exercise in beautiful...

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April 1, 2024 30 mins

If the Colour is out of Space it should maybe consider weeding some of its shelves, amirite? This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re going back to witch-haunted Arkham, Massachusetts by way of Chaosium’s latest edition of the Arkham sourcebook (previously known as Arkham Unveiled, H.P. Lovecraft’s Arkham and The Compact Arkham Unveiled). This is a ground-up renovation of Keith Herber’s original text by Mike Mason and it is ever...

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March 25, 2024 26 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re checking out Caverns of Thracia (1979)! Considered by some to be the late Jennell Jaquays’ finest work, we talk about some of the ways it differs from her previous Judges Guild module, Dark Tower, the cool way it handles random encounters and its place in the high trinity of ’70s adventure design. Fun Fact: while folks, particularly in the OSR, think Caverns is top, Jennell considered nei...

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March 18, 2024 27 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re continuing our talk with Anthony Meloro about Mystic Punks! This is Part the Second, so be sure to check out last week’s jam to get the full experience. On tap: the imminent Kickstarter for the multiplayer Mystic Punks RPG, the majestic art of Benjamin Marra, trash culture, the healing power of reefer and so much more!

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Mystic Punks is Kickstarting soo...

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March 11, 2024 26 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re talking to Anthony Meloro about Mystic Punks! This is Part One, because we got to gabbing so long that we got two episodes worth of chat. Within, we talk about the original Mystic Punks solo game, the imminent Kickstarter for the multiplayer Mystic Punks RPG, the majestic art of Benjamin Marra, trash culture, the healing power of reefer and so much more!

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March 4, 2024 26 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re talking about Roger Zelazny’s 1971 novel Jack of Shadows. Gygax included the novel — a high-concept blend of fantasy and science fiction — in Appendix N, but it isn’t one that gets talked about all that often. Perhaps because it is such an unrelentingly ugly book, featuring a protagonist who embraces his dark side and never lets go, to the sorrow of everyone around him, and even unto the ...

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February 26, 2024 30 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we talk to Chuck Kranz and Adam Rose about their forthcoming RPG, Teenage Odyssey. Set in a small town in the early '90s, the game casts players as teens navigating humdrum lives that are periodically thrown into chaos by bizarre supernatural events. Featuring art by Marie Enger and a light and flexible system based on Chris McDowall's Into the Odd, the game is on Kickstarter RIGHT NOW!

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February 19, 2024 19 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we take a look at the Cold War curiosity The Price of Freedom (1986). Basically Red Dawn (or Red Scare) the RPG, it seems like a serious attempt at creating a game in the mode of similar military-focused, conservatively minded box sets that were coming out at the same time. On the other hand, it’s by Greg Costikyan (Star Wars, Paranoia, Violence, Toon) and because of his work on those games, I ...

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February 12, 2024 26 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we talk to Luke Gearing and David Hoskins, the creative team behind the new RPG Swyvers, from Melsonian Arts Council. In a fictionalized, horrible sort of fantasy London full of corruption and wild magic, the only way to get yours is to take it from somebody else. Rules light, with a focus on collaborative play fueled by novel mechanics and decorated in an amazing portfolio of art by Hoskins, S...

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February 5, 2024 22 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we chat with Joey Royale about the new adventure in Ninja City: Drug Demon Disco, for DCC. A new drug is hitting the streets and turning people into demons — can you and your ninja pals save the city? Can you do it while busting out the best breakdancing moves? Find out on Kickstarter, now! We also chat a little bit about all of Get Haunted Industries projects, including Weird Heroes of Public ...

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January 29, 2024 20 mins

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we’re looking back through videogame history at The Temple of Apshai Trilogy (1985), the classic remake of the original 1979 game and its two expansions. Apshai is maybe (depending on the criteria) the first dungeoncrawler videogame and one of the earliest videogame interpretations of Dungeons & Dragons. The Trilogy also has a rad instruction manual full of great art that, all these years later...

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