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Ramsey2400

Lack of direction

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Hey all,

 

I've been listening since the first episode, donated nearly that long as well, and have loved the show forever. Since Sark left, the show has lost its momentum. I just can't listen anymore, the story has gotten lost in all the references and call backs. I'm not trying to troll anyone and if the new format works I hope that you become the number one podcast ever! All I'm trying to do is express an openion that others may agree with and which you may have been unaware of. I wish you all the best of luck and am a huge fan of many of your other endeavors.

 

Respectfully yours, Ramsey

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Ramsey,

 

I think it took a lot of courage for you to come forward and say that. And I will say that while I absolutely love this show and still look forward to it every week, I definitely miss the interplay between Sark and Gerry. Several episodes revolved almost completely around their dynamic.

 

On the other hand, I think Blaine is doing a great job considering he's only DM'ed a little outside of the show. The show is still fucking hilarious, and they're bringing in weekly guests to make up for Gerry's absence. I think it would be nice on the other hand if the story had more of an arc to it. All in all I think the NP crew are doing everything they can to deliver a hilarious awesome nerdy free podcast to the listeners and I will continue to listen until I am an old man, which is saying a lot since I'm 27. Peace and love.

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Part of the problem, I think, is that the characters keep walking away from everything the DM prepares for them. Props to Blaine for being able to deal with that, but it does mean that the game basically consists of the players wandering around aimlessly and waiting for things to happen to them. They don't care about anything. In the first season, they had something to care about - the Collectors, and the old guy stealing souls. There's nothing like that here.

 

I said early on this season that they need a hook to drag them into the adventure, but if you provide hooks and the characters consistently ignore them and walk in the other direction, there's not a lot you can do other than try and hook them with something else later.

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Part of the problem, I think, is that the characters keep walking away from everything the DM prepares for them. Props to Blaine for being able to deal with that, but it does mean that the game basically consists of the players wandering around aimlessly and waiting for things to happen to them. They don't care about anything. In the first season, they had something to care about - the Collectors, and the old guy stealing souls. There's nothing like that here.

 

I said early on this season that they need a hook to drag them into the adventure, but if you provide hooks and the characters consistently ignore them and walk in the other direction, there's not a lot you can do other than try and hook them with something else later.

 

It doesn't help to that they have a similar but reversed party imbalance like the last party was all fighters, this party is weak and more prone to avoiding encounters than dealing with them.

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I think Blaine is doing a good job and I was really skeptical at first. The problem was that Sark was the host and Gerry was the star and neither of them are here anymore. It's hard to compete with that. Plus, Sarah was a great way to get them off tangents and she hasn't really been here either.

 

However, I think that it's still very listenable, it's just not as good as it was at its peak. I would love it if one or all of Agee, Sark, Telfer, Dave Anthony or someone else rolled up static characters and joined for real. They might as well just get rid of Winter and let Gerry make a new guy if he ever comes back. I agree with Brian that part of the idea of the show was them going off on tangents like they would if they were playing for fun, but they're at their best when they're actually trying to play.

 

I don't know why they're so scared of everything, either. Blaine seems to make paper tiger after paper tiger for them to fight, they should just go toe to toe with someone. Gerry would have picked a fight with those first 3 giants no question.

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but they're at their best when they're actually trying to play.

 

 

Absolutely not. The show is 100% better when they go off on ridiculous tangents, the gameplay sucks, always has.

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...but they're at their best when they're actually trying to play.

Absolutely not. The show is 100% better when they go off on ridiculous tangents, the gameplay sucks, always has.

 

I think there's plenty of room for both points of view. For me, the strong point of the game was always the compelling story, but I'm afraid that Blaine hasn't quite stepped up to Sark's game here. Now I keep listening partly out of brand loyalty, but also because I've come to know the players through the game and I'm invested in how they do things.

 

I'd like to see some more emphasis on play at times, but I'm certainly not going to complain about the table talk.

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I think Gerry has a cult following because 99% of his hilarious output came from his stringent staying in his insane D&D characters, so I don't think a little more immersion from the rest of the cast would hurt. It's actually really hard to find a well done, weekly, funny D&D podcast (/nerdproblems). But it's really easy to find podcasts full of random tangents. Just sayin'.

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I don't know about you guys, but I've really enjoyed listening to Crit Juice since Sark and Gerry left, it's funny and fast-paced, even if the actors playing the game aren't well-known. They've had guest players including Jillian Bell (Workaholics, 22 Jump Street) and the group plays a tight and hilarious game of DnD. My only complaint is that they've stopped dead in their tracks since 5th Ed. came out, and even before that they only released one or two episodes a month. Still...

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The problem was that Sark was the host and Gerry was the star and neither of them are here anymore.

 

Not sure how you can say someone was a star who was gone as much as not from day one. I think it's easy to romanticize and forget that Gerry's long absences have been a part of the show all along; recall how short-lived El-Ryan was, and how long it was before Sir Richard came on the scene. "Don't forget Gerry" in the intro was a bit ironic from day one...

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Hey all,

 

I've been listening since the first episode, donated nearly that long as well, and have loved the show forever. Since Sark left, the show has lost its momentum. I just can't listen anymore, the story has gotten lost in all the references and call backs. I'm not trying to troll anyone and if the new format works I hope that you become the number one podcast ever! All I'm trying to do is express an openion that others may agree with and which you may have been unaware of. I wish you all the best of luck and am a huge fan of many of your other endeavors.

 

Respectfully yours, Ramsey

 

 

I am about to quit as well. Half this show is now bullshit and the other half is game. Everyone should pop a Ritalin prior to recording.

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They don't care about anything. In the first season, they had something to care about - the Collectors, and the old guy stealing souls. There's nothing like that here.

 

Saying that they "don't care about anything" might be putting it a bit too strongly, but I think you're basically right. Maybe what you mean is that there's no over-arcing story emerging at this point. You're right about the hooks too. There have been plenty so far, but none that have paid off.

 

The biggest difference in the show right now versus with Sark is that Sark's game began with them all thrust into a situation together, right in the middle of a specific location and plot. But the current game began more leisurely (remember the bar? and the fire? and Hug Dennings' spectacular performance?) and just hasn't found its way underneath a bigger story arc. And right now in particular they're in a completely foreign land -- they might be seeing fragments of a larger plot (like the fish in barrels, or the church on the mountain, or the colored giants) but with no local knowledge it's hard to make sense of the situation. This would be the point in the movie where they should stumble across a friendly NPC who can actually clue them in to some quests or at least some information about all the weird shit that goes on there.

 

But also, I don't mind the way the show has been going. I'm just as entertained by them fucking around. I really do love the playing part too, and I'm sure it will swing back around to more of that at some point, probably when more of the regular hosts are back, or the characters stumble across some useful info about a larger plot.

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Brian's fuck you it's free a while back I feel broke the ice for everyone playing and they're back to full awesome. (Instead of a large chunk of awesome). So good job Brian the ice crusher this ship will be safe through any arctic.

 

If you're having a hard time with progression, try waiting for a few episodes(I know it's hard) then listen. d&ds biggest bummer is usually the "to be continued" part.

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I am about to quit as well. Half this show is now bullshit and the other half is game. Everyone should pop a Ritalin prior to recording.

 

so you mean its half awesome, with another half of awesome added in? If you don't like it, don't listen… its that easy. Free show is free, quit complaining about a free show.

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I unfortunately have to agree. Blaine should go back to just being a character. If Sark isn't coming back (which has always seemed to be the case), then they should try to recruit Spencer Crittenden from Harmontown to DM for them. He's a really solid, funny DM, and lives in the same area (I think) - maybe he'd like another gig, and if he can keep the drunken Harmontown crew generally pointed in the right direction, he could certainly reign these guys in too.

 

As it stands now though, the show has become unlistenable for me. I hope they make some sort of change to pull me back in.

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I unfortunately have to agree. Blaine should go back to just being a character. If Sark isn't coming back (which has always seemed to be the case), then they should try to recruit Spencer Crittenden from Harmontown to DM for them. He's a really solid, funny DM, and lives in the same area (I think) - maybe he'd like another gig, and if he can keep the drunken Harmontown crew generally pointed in the right direction, he could certainly reign these guys in too.

 

As it stands now though, the show has become unlistenable for me. I hope they make some sort of change to pull me back in.

 

Spencer's great but judging from what he's said on Harmontown he's DMing like 3 different games already. I'm sure there's other competent DM's in the LA area I think they went with Blaine to sorta keep in in the NP family. but yeah the game is really off the rails, I hate that i feel this way but i just can't get excited about it anymore, it feel like a chore, and clearly a lot of people feel the same way (i guess even some of the ones trying to still be positive about it in this thread) just look at the fan art thread for proof, that thing used to be busting with new stuff week after week. no ones posted anything in weeks, and even then it's averaged maybe one or two new drawings a month since the new campaign started.

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I have to throw in my two cents. I've never played D&D so from the start I've listened to Nerd Poker for the story and the bullshitting. Nerd Poker is a podcast I throw on in the background when I play video games so the "lack of direction" doesn't affect me at all. Basically what I'm saying is I'm fine with either the story or the bullshitting. Nerd Poker just reminds me of a High School hang out sesh and that's what I enjoy about the show.

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Just a reminder that you're all free to stop listening at any time!

 

Seriously though, you talk about having some other DM come in as though this is just a role to be filled by anyone available. The concept from the start is that this is a group of people who have known one another and played together for quite some time before they started recording it. They've had guests come in to play but it's always people that the group knows and is familiar with. I don't listen to this show to hear a masterfully directed D&D campaign and I think a lot of people agree with me on that. I enjoy this show for the camaraderie, the bullshitting, the occasionally getting excited about doing something cool in D&D, and fart jokes. And I still get that every week.

 

I know two things -- one is that some people aren't the craziest about the show in the past couple of months, and two that the people who put the show together appreciate that you still listen to it anyway. The only benefit BP&F gain from this show is that they build a rapport with their fans and it brings a certain group of people together to enjoy the program and to discuss it in ways such as this. This is free entertainment that you get every week, connecting you to the people playing and the other people listening and discussing it. I can't change your opinion and I don't think it's right to ask you not to complain about something, but I do think it's appropriate for you to try to find more positive things about what you perceive as being wronged by the show.

 

Boom! You've just been OPINIONATED!

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Blaine is a good DM. The problem is just that Sark is a great DM, and we got used to him. I think Blaine is doing a very good job, and there are some things I even think he's better at. Blaine makes funnier and more interesting NPCs. I also like that he often takes a cartoony, Warner Brothers-ish approach to things. But it definitely doesn't come anywhere near the epic feel of Sark's game, where I was frequently on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. If nothing else, it was good because as a player he was able to do a lot more riffing and silliness than he does now that he's a DM. And of course I miss Gerry. Don't forget Gerry!

 

It was definitely better when we had the whole gang, with Sark as DM. Hopefully we will be able to go back to that soon. For the time being, though, I still find it entertaining. I may not be eagerly waiting to download and listen the moment it comes out like before, but I still enjoy it.

 

If you don't like the way things currently are, you can just stop listening and check in from time to time to see if Sark is back.

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...clearly a lot of people feel the same way (i guess even some of the ones trying to still be positive about it in this thread) just look at the fan art thread for proof, that thing used to be busting with new stuff week after week. no ones posted anything in weeks, and even then it's averaged maybe one or two new drawings a month since the new campaign started.

 

Or maybe others, like me, continue to enjoy the show a lot, but have gotten so sick of the unremitting "make it like it was before performers' real lives made this free podcast change slightly" negativity that has taken over the discussion that we've become more and more disengaged from the forums...

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Or maybe others, like me, continue to enjoy the show a lot, but have gotten so sick of the unremitting "make it like it was before performers' real lives made this free podcast change slightly" negativity that has taken over the discussion that we've become more and more disengaged from the forums...

 

yeah, fair point. mea culpa, I'm not trying to sow negativity, lord knows I hate when I'm on the other side of it, I was just saying some shit I was thinking about and wasn't really considering how it was just piling more onto a bunch of other negative shit. hopefully sometime soon I'll jump back in and be feeling it again, til then I'll keep it to myself.

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i do apologive for my part in the sowing of negativity. i understand that some of you still enjoy the show, and i guess i am just upset that i can't. it went from my favorite podcast to out of the running, and i just wish i could enjoy it again. i have indeed heeded the advice to stop listening, for five weeks now. i will keep checking in here for signs of life, but i will keep my negative opinions to myself from here on out.

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i will keep my negative opinions to myself from here on out.

 

Fuck that noise, bro. We're all entitled to our opinions, popular or not. Shit, 40% of Posehn's act is complaining about the direction Star Wars went in after the original trilogy. Personally I find the fanboiesque postings of "it's a free podcast just stop listening" more annoying than anyone's sincere thoughts on a show, especially when you can tell just by reading their opinions that their complaints, whatever they may be, stem from a genuine enjoyment the show has given them for long periods of time.

 

Right now I think Nerd Poker is drifting and could be better from a story perspective, but I still listen and I have faith it'll settle in once Blaine introduces a MacGuffin the party actually doesn't decide to ignore.

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If you go to the episode page, you can see a play counter on the bottom right corner of the real player app. I went randomly to an episode from when I imagined NP was at its height of popularity and I picked ep 59 - the Tunnel to Glinishmore from January of 2014. It had 44k plays.

 

The one released today only has about 10k right now, but I figure that will go up over the next couple of days. I then went to a few new episodes that everyone has had a chance to listen to now and picked eps 90 and 91, which each have 35k downloads. I imagine that after 10 months when they are the same age as ep 59 is now, they will have about 40k-45k easily. So at most, NP has lost about 23% of the listener ship since Jerry and Sark left with Sara only making half the episodes. There is also a chance it hasn't lost anything and will have 45k downloads on those eps a year from now. Granted, it probably hasn't grown at all this year, but it's a pretty niche podcast. This is not counting the fact that there are other ways to download this podcast that aren't counted on that player count.

 

So if people are dissatisfied to the point where they aren't listening anymore, I'm not seeing it. Those numbers above aren't very scientific, but it sure looks like people are still tuning in.

 

Now getting to this:

 

Fuck that noise, bro. We're all entitled to our opinions, popular or not. Shit, 40% of Posehn's act is complaining about the direction Star Wars went in after the original trilogy. Personally I find the fanboiesque postings of "it's a free podcast just stop listening" more annoying than anyone's sincere thoughts on a show, especially when you can tell just by reading their opinions that their complaints, whatever they may be, stem from a genuine enjoyment the show has given them for long periods of time.

 

Right now I think Nerd Poker is drifting and could be better from a story perspective, but I still listen and I have faith it'll settle in once Blaine introduces a MacGuffin the party actually doesn't decide to ignore.

 

My take is that Brian just attracts a bunch of dudes that like to complain about nerdy things and if you get them all together on an anonymous message board forum they will all complain eventually. It's just who the audience is. What other podcast will you get someone yelling "I'm going to trace your dick" as a battle cry? This show is fantastic.

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I don't know that the show has a lack of direction. To me it just sounds like Blaine hasn't really planned too much and is doing a lot of winging it and improvising, which I can recognize because I ran my games the same way back in the day.

 

But keep in mind that you got a group of very busy professionals, juggling stand-up, TV shows, promo gigs, new babies, family, etc and I would imagine that this (free) podcast is lower on the priority list than many other things, so planning a game might get pushed to the back burner. Which is totally understandable.

 

That said, I've always liked listening to the crew bullshit, joke among themselves, and talk about random stuff as much as I liked the story, even when Sark was running it. But that's just me.

 

I do miss Blaine's "brought-to-you-bys" though. He doesn't seem to do as many of them since taking over the DM role.

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