Episode Five: Pleading the Fifth

What’s up!? Here we go again, with aplomb. In this episode, we reveal the our screw-ups as GMs. We’ve all been there, right? Like any craft, GMing is perfected through making egregious errors. Want to share your screw ups with us? Tell us about it on Facebook, or email us! Anything we recieve in email might get mentioned on th eshow, so if we don’t reply immediately, it’s because we want to address the question in an episode.

Follow us on Twitter (@2gms1mic) too!

This week’s topic “Gaming Horror Stories: My game sucks”

Episode 5


We’re Bi-weekly now. Sorry folks. We’re still releasing on Tuesdays, but every other Tuesday now.

Send us your monsters, as well. The winner will get a $10 gift certificate to DrivethruRPG!


All Flesh Must be Eaten
Dresden Files RPG
Star Wars d20


Qin: The Warring States


Sam in Illinois!

Thanks to all of our great fans! You guys Rock! Also, Joe is sorry for saying “evocative” every ten minutes. Apparently it was his word of the day.

If you like radio-style shows, and love zombies, please listen to We’re Alive. You will not regret it…it’s Fucking Awesome.


“Roll the Dice, Make my Day” by the Mustard Men
“Happy Gabber” (madonkey)
“Uncle Scratch” by the Mustard Men, on their self-titled Album.
“D.R.E.A.M (Nilow Remix)” (Nilow)


Silver Age Sentinels
GURPS 3rd Edition Revised
GURPS 4th Edition
GURPS Banestorm
City of Heroes RPG
Promised Sands
7th Sea
Castles & Crusades
Vampire: the Requiem
Dogs in the Vineyard
Deadlands Classic
Outbreak: Undead
Dresden Files RPG Casefile: Neutral Grounds
Dresden Files RPG Casefile: Night Fears
Star Wars D6
Savage Worlds
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition


About joewolz

I am a co-host of 2 Gms, 1 Mic.
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15 Responses to Episode Five: Pleading the Fifth

  1. Wolf says:

    Okay, so I decided to research this before I posted it, and I’m glad. I was going to fuss about a qubble with biweekly, but according to this site (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/biweekly) biweekly means both twice a week, and once every other week… so I would have been right, but also very wrong… :D, but hey, I learned something.

    Haven’t yet listened to #4 or #5, and that’s because I was busy last week, doing some prep work for a game that tanked on Friday, and I’ll probably not be running that one actively anymore :(, but that’s the way it goes. And this week, I’ve got to listen to the radio (it’s a honey-do to win some tickets do Disneyland for the family to take a really awesome “free” vacation).

    Anyway, Sorry you had to move to a biweekly schedule, keep up the good stuff, and Game On! ;).

  2. Ian Warner says:


    Can I submit one of my published monsters?

    The Great Crested Toad Badger is not only awesome it’s capable of eating through dimensions so it can turn up in any setting!

  3. Ian Warner says:

    Oh and I’ve given the worst I’ve GMed before here is my Worst Played:

    nWoD Mortals run by the “legendary” Bayo Riley. Basic plot was we were a random assortment of criminals hired by this SAW like voice on a radio to kill some random attractive girls from our Uni.

    We all knew it was Bayo GMing so we created this group of characters that deliberately took the piss.

    We had a Hitman rip off, a predatory lesbian ex Royal Marine, a bouncy castle thief (girl the GM was desperately trying to chat up) and my character which was a vicious cannibal serial killer version of Chef from South Park.

    It was predictably awful but we already knew it would be by virtue of it being Bayo so we had a real blast.

    I actually got a 1 shot (or rather chop) kill in the nWoD system that game too.

  4. I think that system does matter, but not in the way that Ron Edwards does.

    One of the big lessons that I have learned from the past year of writing games (5 game submissions to Ennies this year, woot!) is that the system must really connect with the genre that is being played. Similar to how you guys talked about Deadlands making you feel like you are at a card game. That’s why I used casino chips as a unit in Oceans RPG. And had people roll two dice for everything, like at a craps table. In the game I am working on right now, I am trying to distill the post-apocalypse genre in a way similar that Vampire the Masquerade distilled the vampire genre so effectively.

    However, Ron Edwards is all about adding non-roleplaying elements to the game. In fact, that has been what most indie games have become about, I feel. They are not roleplaying anymore, they need their own game type; probably will end up with Story games just because that is the most popular label. Roleplaying is about making decisions as a character. When you start making decisions as a player, having your character fail intentionally or something like that, you are not roleplaying anymore. And Ron Edwards system matters discussion is all about altering the game to not be about roleplaying anymore.

    Regarding your question about Star Wars games, I have been lately trying to figure out a way to write a game that actually connects with the Star Wars genre, but I am still working out how to do it without running afoul of their IP. They keep licensing the property to someone who then uses it with a generic system like D20 any the real “flavor” of Star Wars is lost. So I guess my answer is; I have never been satisfied with any system that runs Star Wars but I am trying to think of a way to write a game that would actually do it.

  5. Forgot to add:

    Great episode!

  6. Brian says:

    system doesnt always matter. if you like a game but dont like the system just tweak it. in a star wars game i ran we added called shots and changed the rules for stun setting. Nickys using c&c rules @ econ was great.

  7. Jason says:

    Just wanted to let you know I am really enjoying your show. I like the trivia contests even though I haven’t been able to answer either one yet. Maybe you could do one trivia question per show- I want to be able to answer one of them eventually.

  8. Weston says:

    Hah! Man alive, but that’s one of my favorite bad game stories. The one where there was someone with a Bat’leth and a Star Trek outfit and the head demon was convinced to eat beef. Jesus.

  9. 3rik says:

    That AFMBE game sounds totally retarded hehe.

    I can only handle 5 players max. I think 2 or 3 players is my ideal. I once ran Vampire the Masquerade for 6 and it was horrible.

    For a StarWars game, have you considered using some pulp rules set? Might do the trick.

  10. 3rik says:

    playing jenga occasionally roleplaying = Dread

    For a game mechanic that emulates building tension I’d rather turn to Dead of Night 2nd than to a frigging jenga tower. What if you happen to be particularly clumsy? Your character keeps dying or experiencing other disastrous mishap?

  11. joewolz says:

    According to the rules, 3rik, if the tower falls, the character dies. Can you tell me more about Dead of Night 2nd? I remember when first came out and I was interested, but I hadn’t heard about a 2nd…

    • 3rik says:

      It uses simple, abstract rules and has a mechanic for emulating tension. Basically tension rises when PCs or antagonists lose life points. These represent whatever is appropriate for the particular horror genre you’re emulating, for example health, morality or sanity. The GM can use tension points for certain effects but that lowers the tension level. Certain key events get triggered at a certain tension level.
      The artwork is also particularly noteworthy: film posters of fictitious films of which there are also reviews and exerpts in the book as examples. It’s a fun read.


  12. Matthew Endicott says:

    Hey guys,
    The worst game I ran was a 18 person Star Wars Game and they all showed up. This except conveys the futility of it..
    A player responding to the group deciding on where and what to do “Well we can go to the alien sector or wait for another plot hook to come along.”

    Worst played in…..cannot really pick one out. Then again I take all gaming experiences as learning even if it is what not to do.

    System is only important in its ability to facilitate the story/world you are playing in. If it does this then the game should flow easily. If the story/world must bend to accommodate the system then it then the game will be jerking and out of sync. That is my opinion.

    Keep up the amazing work. Thank you for your effort.

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