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Does Nerd Poker change from early to later podcasts?

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Hi,

 

I've started listening recently, and done some catching up over a few weeks so that I'm currently up to about #27.

 

I started listening after reading overwhelmingly favourable reviews online. I have to say that after about 3 episodes - I was exceptionally disappointed. I'm carrying on as I'm convinced that there must be a change or improvement otherwise why would people rate Nerdpoker so highly? I want to know - frankly - if it gets better?

 

Apologies if this makes no sense as I'm way behind the curve - but I really like three of the players - Blaine, Gerry and Sarah seem to put a lot of effort in. Ken seems pretty anonymous and Brian is just your typical "I want to kill things" guy sitting there belching and sweating. The original DM, Sark seems to have some really great ideas, but the gameplay is just a mess to the extent that I can't understand that even in a super stylised homebrew game - how anyone is actually enjoying themselves. It just seems old school homebrew to the point of absurdity.

 

This may have changed since - but I can't understand why they are even playing 4e. They clearly have no clue how to do so or how the game works - and are playing it to its absolute weaknesses - why continue? Also seem to be doing this super old school thing of sending people out of the room for reasons which don't even help the story. Had a few save or dies, some crazy retconning and the thing I find the most strange is the rolling on player vs player interactions.

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Hi, question for Ms. Bellamy. In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy's skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes that same rib twice in succession yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we, to believe that this is some sort of a, a magic xylophone or something? Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

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Just wanted to jump in and agree before you get (I assume) piled on. I have tried several times make a serious stab at listening to this - I also loved what those three players were doing (especially Gerry, who has made a fan for life in me with his two characters and his role-playing), but every time I am completely turned off by the total lack of knowledge of 4E game rules. I like Brian Posehn as a person and think his approach to stand-up and comedy is great, but he is a terrible host and there is a complete lack of structure when there really should be. The podcast also does a poor job introducing what is happening rules-wise and what the rolls mean. I would have thought this podcast would work as an introduction to D&D for non-players, but unless you're familiar with AC and the other defenses and 4E's powers, you're going to be very lost very fast.

 

I also think it is dumb that they kill off characters so easily. I'm not saying that is a bad DM'ing philosophy (that's a bigger debate), but for a weekly show like this, it would have made a lot more sense to keep regular characters. You don't kill off a main TV show character in the first few episodes, and that's how they should have approached this - like an episodic.

 

Plus it really isn't hard to edit out all the "uhhhs" and it would make this about a million times more listenable.

 

Anyway, I'm pretty sure Blaine ends up taking over as DM at some point and they might change editions as well.

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They drop the 4th edition rules and go back to the 2nd, which they are more familiar with. I'm pretty sure it is not too far past where you are at, but I can't recall for sure. The storyline with Sark running the game wraps up on the 73rd episode, and Blaine takes over as DM on the 74th ep.

 

I'm really far behind now, so I can't say how the show is going with the guests yet.

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A key point you may be missing is that this is not a podcast about playing D&D, it is a comedy show about a group of friends playing a game of D&D. If the lack of roleplaying and playing loosely with whatever system is distracting you to the point where you don't like listening to the show, you'll probably be better off stopping.

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I just don't buy that what it's about though. It's a bunch of people sitting around being crude (not saying that's necessarily a bad thing). This is surely about the D&D game? Otherwise, they wouldn't have people sending them dice and advice on gameplay?

 

If the point of the podcast is that the group is inherently funny in the situation they're in (sitting around a table in a studio) then I have to say it fails even harder.

 

I'm up to #46, I think. My take on it is that I really like the campaign that has been created and is played. It's a bit weird - but it's interesting. What I find incomprehensible is how any of them are having any fun at all. Sark is running a game in the worst possible way - everything that RPGs have moved away from in the last 30 years are the things that he seems to concentrate on. Every possible dick DM move that anyone has ever suffered, he seems to pull out, yet has no real problem with having snipes at other people who have done similar things.

 

They bitch and whine about 4e continuously, yet no-one ever bothered to actually read any of the rules. So why the hell did they start doing it? They're proper dragonsfoot-type grognards - thinking the old ways are the best, and that their way rules....so why start a campaign using a ruleset that none of them have the slightest idea how to play, and then cry like babies about it? There's no challenge for the group - they almost never roll initiative - but just go through the motions of the party doing everything they want to, and then if the bad guys survive, they get an unmodified chance back to do a hit on the characters. On top of that, he's turned one character into Iron Man with powers out of all balance with the rest of the game, another into a fire-breathing dragon, and another into an astrophysicist with a wand of infinite lightning. Meanwhile, Sarah and Brian get...nothing except a ride in an interstellar Apache gunship.

 

Just listened to the episode where Brian's character (Amarth?) gets killed. It took them a whole episode to describe climbing from one ledge to another, and the DM just threw in some random rolls for no reason that advanced the game in the slightest. Brian fails, and then the DM spends the next 30 minutes laughing to himself and trying desperately to give the player roll after roll of save or die - all of which are fails. The character dies for no reason which advances the story or game. This, not long after the party had started a fight with 50 collectors, which the DM nerfs to death, and gives them a free "out" so that they get non-rolled cover in an elevator and avoid big damage. So - the DM protects them in actual story situations where they have control over play - and then kills them in non-story trivial situations like climbing a rope.

 

From a game point of view, he's sending people out of the room for big chunks of sessions - stupid stuff which most people gave up on in the 1980s. Out of the dozen times he's done it, only once (when Mildred was possessed) did it have any impact on the game. Not to mention all the BS like "I won't tell you what your items do - it's more fun for you to find out....never"

 

Apart from the fact that they are friends - I don't see where the enjoyment is for any of them. He KO's Sarah's character and basically has her turn up to a studio for two weeks to play an unconscious character.

 

They always ask for reviews - well here it is:

 

BP&F: I don't know where you are in the game atm, but the one you played for two years sucked. You want to know why Vin Diesel won't play your game? Because he probably doesn't want to listen to rape jokes for an hour during which you roll dice 30 times to walk down a corridor whilst Sark umms and ahhs and utterly fails to get his point across.

 

Other podcasts have thousands of listeners (and the associated funding and advertising and spin off benefits) because their games are enjoyable to listen to rather than a mess. Countless people play these games, and so many of them have moved away from all these dumb cliches and tropes which you guys are playing out week after week.

 

I'm assuming you have a new DM now. Play a game that's interesting and enjoyable and engages and challenges the players - the humour and funniness of your group will obviously play out in that much more strongly and listeners will be more engaged and care more. You make the effort to turn up and play every week - so why not make the negligible effort to learn how to play the current 5e D&D? That will engage people and have them contributing and keep things current. Playing these 30 year old grognard games, which are essentially dead systems doesn't do anything for anyone except a small audience of other greybeards.

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Just wanted to jump in and agree before you get (I assume) piled on. I have tried several times make a serious stab at listening to this - I also loved what those three players were doing (especially Gerry, who has made a fan for life in me with his two characters and his role-playing), but every time I am completely turned off by the total lack of knowledge of 4E game rules. I like Brian Posehn as a person and think his approach to stand-up and comedy is great, but he is a terrible host and there is a complete lack of structure when there really should be. The podcast also does a poor job introducing what is happening rules-wise and what the rolls mean. I would have thought this podcast would work as an introduction to D&D for non-players, but unless you're familiar with AC and the other defenses and 4E's powers, you're going to be very lost very fast.

 

I also think it is dumb that they kill off characters so easily. I'm not saying that is a bad DM'ing philosophy (that's a bigger debate), but for a weekly show like this, it would have made a lot more sense to keep regular characters. You don't kill off a main TV show character in the first few episodes, and that's how they should have approached this - like an episodic.

 

Plus it really isn't hard to edit out all the "uhhhs" and it would make this about a million times more listenable.

 

Anyway, I'm pretty sure Blaine ends up taking over as DM at some point and they might change editions as well.

 

IKR.

 

My bugbear in the early stages was how absurd it was to "kind of" play 4e. Roll up 4e stats and powers (but never use them) and have no challenge in combat whatsoever. Up until the underwater fight with the Duke, there was nothing resembling a combat - all that happened was Sark would say "well, it sounds like you guys get to go first - that's the way I do it, because I'm so cool - whoops, all the bad guys are dead." Before putting them in a fight with a 1000hp boss - but it's ok, I've given you all double damage and directly contradicted everything I said about the golem suits.

 

It's notable that the party doesn't have a cleric/leader. In 4e, that's usually a death sentence. Not in this game - because it's been mechanically nerfed to the extent that the characters are never in danger except from auto-kill situations imposed on them by the DM being a tool.

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I love seeing all the positive reactions to how the guys play their game! Keep listening for more fun D&D w/BP&F!

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Ok. You're right. The podcasts are perfect and eminently listenable.

 

They need nothing but fawning, back-slapping reviews and I see absolutely no reason why Vin Diesel wouldn't want to join this group.

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The podcasts are perfect and eminently listenable.

 

Well, you apparently listened to 19 episodes in 5 days, so...

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I miss being 19 and having nowhere else to put my hostile energy than anonymous message board trolling. I made some Dave Matthews fans REAL SLIGHTLY UNCOMFORTABLE AND TIRED in 1998, let me tell you.

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Ok. You're right. The podcasts are perfect and eminently listenable.

 

They need nothing but fawning, back-slapping reviews and I see absolutely no reason why Vin Diesel wouldn't want to join this group.

 

 

I try not to engage in these kinds of troll-ish shenanigans, but I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this is a totally free podcast that no one is forcing you to listen to. If the game play or humor is not your cup of tea, that's totally cool. Feel free to unsubscribe. I think everyone would be better served. Better yet, get a group of your friends, start a podcast about D&D, and make the premise that you all follow each and every 5e rule to the letter. (You should still unsubscribe to Nerd Poker though, that's key!) I am sure there are literally dozens of people dying to listen. I'm sure the NP forums can provide you with countless titles you could call it. I'm thinking: Shut Up and Listen to Our Awesome Game: the podcast!

 

And as a rebuttal to one of your earlier posts, yes, there have been occasions in the past where they have asked for game play advice, and I think they do take their listener's criticisms to heart, but maybe you would be better served framing your complaint in the form of constructive criticism rather then quibbling about episodes that were recorded over a year ago and attacking the DM-ing skills of a cast member who is no longer on the show. Just a thought.

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I miss being 19 and having nowhere else to put my hostile energy than anonymous message board trolling. I made some Dave Matthews fans REAL SLIGHTLY UNCOMFORTABLE AND TIRED in 1998, let me tell you.

 

That was you! You sir are now my enemy! Dave Matthews is the Messiah of Music!

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Yes, the show changes a bit. Sark created a huge universe of locations, characters and adventures, and Blaine created a "danger room" where he simply throws monsters at the group, and the characters never die. It's still a funny show, but it is very disappointing to me that these new characters never meet a person they can interact with, other than killing them and tracing their dick.

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Yes, the show changes a bit. Sark created a huge universe of locations, characters and adventures, and Blaine created a "danger room" where he simply throws monsters at the group, and the characters never die. It's still a funny show, but it is very disappointing to me that these new characters never meet a person they can interact with, other than killing them and tracing their dick.

 

 

While I agree that the combat seems a bit easy and Blaine is easier on the characters than Sark was I think that labeling it as a danger room is a bit harsh. There have been chances for interaction with NPCs but players also have to choose to interact in a way other than kill kill kill. Not saying that there couldn't be more chat-bait but if the players don't take it and want to fight then it doesn't matter if it is there or not.

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I'm going to go ahead and voice an opinion that no one (or hardly anyone) on this thread has acknowledged.

 

I have always loved this show but to be totally honest I am really hoping for a change of pace soon. I really appreciated the emphasis on story in Sark's campaign and have REALLY missed it in Blaine's. I also miss the jokes Blaine used to make when he played a character and wasn't focusing all of (?) his energy on DM'ing.

 

I really appreciate this podcast. It has gotten me through some very tough times. I want it to continue. Don't let it get stuck in a rut where you're not having as much fun (and some listeners aren't either, myself included).

 

I don't agree with the OP. It was great over the first "season." Lately, it has dropped in priority for me. The hosts are great but the dynamic isn't what it was. Story is important (to me). I hope the things I've said aren't hurtful but I wanted to give my feedback in a place where it might be heard and taken seriously.

 

Thanks guys.

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I'm going to go ahead and voice an opinion that no one (or hardly anyone) on this thread has acknowledged.

 

I have always loved this show but to be totally honest I am really hoping for a change of pace soon. I really appreciated the emphasis on story in Sark's campaign and have REALLY missed it in Blaine's. I also miss the jokes Blaine used to make when he played a character and wasn't focusing all of (?) his energy on DM'ing.

 

I really appreciate this podcast. It has gotten me through some very tough times. I want it to continue. Don't let it get stuck in a rut where you're not having as much fun (and some listeners aren't either, myself included).

 

I don't agree with the OP. It was great over the first "season." Lately, it has dropped in priority for me. The hosts are great but the dynamic isn't what it was. Story is important (to me). I hope the things I've said aren't hurtful but I wanted to give my feedback in a place where it might be heard and taken seriously.

 

Thanks guys.

 

I agree with you. I don't think what you said is hurtful and unlike the OP, it is genuinely constructive. I also likes Sark's storytelling, and while there are things I like about Blaine's cartoony approach to the game, I enjoyed him more as a player. I confess, this has also dropped down in priority. This podcast used to be appointment listening--I would download and listen almost immediately after it went online. These days, I still listen to every episode but maybe not until a day or two later.

 

That said, I also understand why it is that way. Sark, Sarah, and Gerry can't do the podcast anymore. That sucks. I still enjoy listening, though, and I am glad they are still doing it. Because even if it's not as good as it used to be, and I am hoping SO much that the old gang can get back together again, I still enjoy listening to it. A lot.

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Nerd Poker has changed, but it doesn't matter. All of these guys are great. The new episodes are funnier than ever, and shrimp curtains...........One of the funniest exchanges I've heard. I've listened to every episode, and I just started over from the beginning. It changes , but so what. Thanks to all the guys for making laugh so hard on Wednesdays.

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While I agree that the combat seems a bit easy and Blaine is easier on the characters than Sark was I think that labeling it as a danger room is a bit harsh. There have been chances for interaction with NPCs but players also have to choose to interact in a way other than kill kill kill. Not saying that there couldn't be more chat-bait but if the players don't take it and want to fight then it doesn't matter if it is there or not.
There's been a couple of times when the players have tried to talk things out, and the giants just attacked. There was that first time with the red giant - they got quite a bit of information there. And then there was the latest time with the blue giants on the bikes. Look how far it got them that time.

 

Far be it for me to tell Blaine how to run his game, but I think the players would be a much more engaged if they had a nemesis, and if they had some friendly NPCs to talk to.

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Great points, Arthwollipot. OK, I've been posting way too much in the last 24hrs, I need to take a break. Looking forward to next week's ep.

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Don't listen to it for the DnD. I have no clue how you can have played "for a decade now" and have absolutely no concept of how either dungeons or dragons work. Not 4th nor 2nd edition. It's all very hand-wave-y and full of home rules. I don't know how a 9th level wizard has only one copy per spell memorized, for example. I just stopped right when they went "what's the difference between an illusionist, a wizard and a sorcerer" and I'm positive that they won't figure that one out, because there is just no rules-savvy person in the group.

You listen for the humour, the bigger story and the people involved. I'm up to episode 70something, just when Blaine took over, so there will be a break right there. I was laughing at all the random stuff they were joking about until now and think that'll continue on.

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I have no clue how you can have played "for a decade now" and have absolutely no concept of how either dungeons or dragons work.

 

They understand rule 0, unlike some people on these forums.

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