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Rank #97 in Games category

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Games
Hobbies

Plot Points

Updated 9 days ago

Rank #97 in Games category

Leisure
Games
Hobbies
Read more

Plot Points is a monthly podcast which discusses table-top role-playing games and their supplements as literature. Our quirky panel discusses games old and new, spotlights innovations in the hobby, and links to literature.

Read more

Plot Points is a monthly podcast which discusses table-top role-playing games and their supplements as literature. Our quirky panel discusses games old and new, spotlights innovations in the hobby, and links to literature.

iTunes Ratings

34 Ratings
Average Ratings
29
2
3
0
0

One of the Best

By KarloffAG - May 15 2015
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A cheerful, witty, fun bunch. Recommended to RPG fans of all genres!

Love it!

By dailytravelshow - May 15 2014
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If it weren't for this show I'd have no idea what's going on

iTunes Ratings

34 Ratings
Average Ratings
29
2
3
0
0

One of the Best

By KarloffAG - May 15 2015
Read more
A cheerful, witty, fun bunch. Recommended to RPG fans of all genres!

Love it!

By dailytravelshow - May 15 2014
Read more
If it weren't for this show I'd have no idea what's going on

Listen to:

Cover image of Plot Points

Plot Points

Updated 9 days ago

Read more

Plot Points is a monthly podcast which discusses table-top role-playing games and their supplements as literature. Our quirky panel discusses games old and new, spotlights innovations in the hobby, and links to literature.

98: Five Generations of D&D Design

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Ben recorded a seminar wherein six game designers who worked on Dungeons and Dragons (Skip Williams, Jon Pickens, Zeb Cook, Ed Stark, Steve Winter, and Mike Mearls) talk about game design. During the talk, current lead designer Mike Mearls may very well have let slip what the next classic D&D game world he will be reviving next! 

New to Plot Points? Check out our first episode which discussed the seminal AD&D module, Ravenloft. Listen to an interview with Tracy and Laura Hickman here, a discussion of Curse of Strahd here, and our look at Eberron here.

Thanks listeners for the success of our Patreon! We reached our goal of $75 per episode, and we'll put together an actual play episode of us playing Star Trek Adventures which we talked about in Ep. 96.

Find us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com or @PlotPointsPod on Twitter!

Thanks to 50 Breaks for the use of their music.

Feature image by Larry Elmore and courtesy Wizards of the Coast.

Mar 17 2018

2hr 1min

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How Not to Suck at Storytelling-Ep. 146

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Learn secrets to running better adventures from gaming professionals!

A galaxy of game greats pass on their collective wisdom to make your gaming sessions go gangbusters! Rick Heinz of Geek & Sundry, Jim Lowder of TSR and Chaosium, Pip System lead developer Crystal Mazur, game designer and writer Ray Jenkins, and Ben Riggs of Plot Points gathered before a soldout crowd at C2E2 to share their ideas about how to improve the experience of running a role-playing game. 

Ben’s book on RPG theory is finally available for purchase! Encounter Theory lays out Ben's theory of adventure design. It also has 14 playplans to help you design better adventures, and an entire 5E adventure applying his ideas, along with commentary about why he wrote adventure the way he did. Check it out here

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod!

Give us a review on iTunes to help the show grow!

Audio courtesy of 50 Breaks!

Image is courtesy Wizards of the Coast.

Jun 14 2019

55mins

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Evil PCs Play Basic D&D: Episode 127

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What happens when an assassin, a murderer, a dark cleric, and elf Hitler go into a dungeon? To find out, listen to this actual play podcast put out by Plot Points! The gang uses the rules as laid down in the Rules Cyclopedia, which compiled the D&D rules contained in the boxed sets everybody loved back in the 1980's!

Interested in Plot Points? Back us on Patreon! Support us at the $2 level, and you'll get Ben's book on gaming theory, Encounters!

Let others know about Plot Points to help the ‘pod grow! Review us on iTunes to help others find us.

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod! Find us on Facebook

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Image property Wizards of the Coast, by Jeff Easley.

Jan 20 2019

3hr 30mins

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A First Look at Descent into Avernus- Ep. 165

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The Plot Points gang does another chapter delve, reading chapter by chapter the latest D&D 5E release, Descent into Avernus. Ben also gives an update on the history of TSR. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Oct 25 2019

43mins

Play

The Galaxy Is Your Sandbox: Stars Without Number 138

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Low-prep, sandbox games make life easy on the GM. But how do you do that while providing the grand sweep of galactic science fiction? Kevin Crawford circles that square in Stars Without Number, a sandbox game with the awesome scope of Star Wars and Star Trek. The Plot Points gang takes on the game, dissecting its pros, cons, and gets a word or two from Crawford himself. 

Back Plot Points on Patreon now! Back at the $2 level or higher and you’ll get a copy of the current draft of Ben’s book on RPG theory, Encounters! THIS WILL BE TAKEN DOWN ON MAY 1st, and put on DriveThruRPG, so if you want a copy of Ben’s book cheap, back Plot Points now!

Be aware that we are going to make Plot Points into a weekly podcast, hopefully for the rest of the year, so if you’re a Patreon backer, you may want to alter your pledge based on the fact that we are going to be putting out more material.

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod!

Give us a review on iTunes to help the show grow!

Audio courtesy of 50 Breaks!

Image courtesy Sine Nomine Publishing.   

Apr 17 2019

1hr 20mins

Play

102: Behold an OSR Hexcrawl with Eye-Shattering Player Handout!

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The Plot Points gang discusses Hot Springs Island, a suite of two books that are an old-school hex-crawl for the 21st century. One of the books is a world-class player handout containing drawings, maps, and accounts from previous adventurers who have survived Hot Springs Island. The other book is The Dark of Hot Springs Island, a system neutral GM book explaining all the little secrets the authors have prepared for players to explore. 

Like what we do? Let us know by backing us on Patreon! If we reach $110 per episode by May 31st, we’ll do another actual play, patrons choice! Back the ‘pod here!

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Images courtesy Swordfish Islands.

Audio courtesy of 50 Breaks and Purple Planet Music.

Apr 28 2018

1hr 12mins

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The RPG Industry is Better Than Video Games and Other Controversies From Dennis Detwiller: Episode 137

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Is art harder than writing? Is the RPG industry superior to comic books and video games? These questions and more are asked and answered in Ben's interview with virtuoso writer and artist Dennis Detwiller, one of the fulgent minds behind Delta Green, the role-playing game of Cthulhu conspiracy which is ranked #1 & #2 on RPG.net's index of games. 

Back Plot Points on Patreon now! Back at the $2 level or higher and you'll get a copy of the current draft of Ben's book on RPG theory, Encounters! THIS WILL BE TAKEN DOWN ON MAY 1st, and put on DriveThruRPG, so if you want a copy of Ben's book cheap, back Plot Points now!

Back Dennis Detwiller's game of Cthulhu wrestling, WRESTLENOMINCON here!

Be aware that we are going to make Plot Points into a weekly podcast, hopefully for the rest of the year, so if you're a Patreon backer, you may want to alter your pledge based on the fact that we are going to be putting out more material.

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod!

Audio courtesy of 50 Breaks

All image courtesy of Arc Dream Publishing.

Apr 11 2019

1hr 13mins

Play

The Hope & Tragedy of TSR West Seminar Gen Con 2019- Ep. 155

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TSR West was an attempt by TSR to break into the comic book industry. How and why didn't it work out? A seminar from Gen Con 2019. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast. 

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Aug 16 2019

50mins

Play

3rd Edition D&D: Creation of a Masterpiece Seminar 2019

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3rd edition D&D is one of the most popular RPGs ever created. Decades after its release, and after dozens of interviews, the dramatic story of how 3rd edition came to be can at last be told!

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is 20% off on DriveThruRPG until Thursday! Click here for a coupon towards this essential volume. 

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast. 

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

"Samba Strings" courtesy Kevin Macleod and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Aug 08 2019

54mins

Play

Blades in the Dark Creator John Harper on Plot Points! Ep. 139

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"You’re in a haunted Victorian-era city trapped inside a wall of lightning powered by demon blood."

Blades in the Dark is a radical step forward in the art & science of role-playing games. 21st-century design is applied to one of the oldest tropes in gaming: the thief. Ben Riggs gets down to brass tacks with Blades creator John Harper to probe the secrets of the game. Find Blades in the Dark here!

Back Plot Points on Patreon now! Back at the $2 level or higher and you’ll get a copy of the current draft of Ben’s book on RPG theory, Encounters! THIS WILL BE TAKEN DOWN ON MAY 1st, and put on DriveThruRPG, so if you want a copy of Ben’s book cheap, back Plot Points now!

When we get to $150 per episode, we will release a three-episode actual play using Stars Without Number about psychics on the run in the stars starring Sarah, Brad, & Ben. 

Be aware that we are going to make Plot Points into a weekly podcast, hopefully for the rest of the year, so if you’re a Patreon backer, you may want to alter your pledge based on the fact that we are going to be putting out more material.

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod!

Give us a review on iTunes to help the show grow!

Audio courtesy of 50 Breaks!

Image courtesy Evil Hat Productions. 

Apr 26 2019

1hr 24mins

Play

Death by Debt at TSR: Ep 161

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A 1979 contract between Random House and TSR would take 18 years to kill the company that started the role-playing game hobby. Thanks to historian Micheal Calleia, Ben has a copy of that very contract, and discusses how it led TSR to near bankruptcy in 1997 with TSR alums James Lowder, Chaosium’s executive editor, and John Rateliff, an internationally renowned Tolkien scholar. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Sep 27 2019

52mins

Play

Demons & Devils & Dungeons & Dragons: A Brief History pt. 1

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Demons & devils are some of the fiercest foes in Dungeons & Dragons, but did you know there was a time when they were cut out of the game due to complaints? The Plot Points gang of Ben Riggs, Sarah Babe, and Brad Davies takes a deep delve into the history of demons and devils in the world's most popular role-playing game!

New to Plot Points? Check out a few similar narrative episodes. For example, this one on the Satanic panic, this one about how the open gaming license freed D&D, or this one about New York Times bestselling author, Patrick Rothfuss.

Let others know about Plot Points to help the 'pod grow! Review us on iTunes to help others find us. Not a Patreon supporter yet? See what goodness we have in store for you by backing the 'pod here!

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod!

Audio courtesy of Incompotech and Kevin Macleod, David Hillowitz, ThrillShowX, and 50 Breaks

All images courtesy Wizards of the Coast.

Jun 18 2018

36mins

Play

Why Did TSR Fail? Episode 112

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TSR was created to make Dungeons & Dragons, yet by 1996, the first RPG company was drowning in debt. How did TSR arrive in this place? Why did it happen? Ben Riggs gives a summary into his book research on these very questions at Gen Con 2018!

Interested in Ben’s book on RPG theory? Back us on Patreon at the $2 level to get the current draft, but act now! He’s sending the book out to publishers, and if he gets a hit, he’ll have to take it down!

Let others know about Plot Points to help the ‘pod grow! Review us on iTunes to help others find us. 

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod! Find us on Facebook!

All images courtesy Wizards of the Coast.

Aug 09 2018

58mins

Play

Is it time to remove the Drow? Episode 111

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Are the Drow too weighted down by racist associations to be a part of D&D in the 21st century? That's the question we settle in on as Plot Points takes a deep look at Chapter Two of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Interested in Ben’s book on RPG theory? Back us on Patreon at the $2 level to get the current draft, but act now! He’s sending the book out to publishers, and if he gets a hit, he’ll have to take it down!

Let others know about Plot Points to help the ‘pod grow! Review us on iTunes to help others find us. 

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod! Find us on Facebook!

All images courtesy Wizards of the Coast. 

Jul 30 2018

58mins

Play

96: Star Trek Adventures from Modiphius Entertainment

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Ben, Brad, & Sarah talk about Star Trek Adventures, the new game set in the final frontier from Modiphius Entertainment! The gang takes a deep dive on "Rescue at Xerxes IV," the adventure meant to introduce newbies of all stripes to the game. 

Did you know that Plot Points now has a Patreon page? If the podcast gets to $75 per episode by March 14th, the gang will make an actual play podcast of Star Trek Adventures. Back the 'cast to make sure you get more Plot Points!

Find us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com or @PlotPointsPod on Twitter!

Thanks to 50 Breaks for the use of their music.

Image courtesy Modiphius Entertainment.

Mar 03 2018

1hr 10mins

Play

How to Write Better Adventures Seminar Gen Con 2019

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How many great RPG sessions have you played in? How many have you run? Given how much we all want RPG sessions to be successful, how come they so often aren't? These questions and more led Plot Points' own Ben Riggs to create a theory of adventure design.

Like this episode? Ben wrote a whole book on the topic! Encounter Theory is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Interested in Magical Draught of Happenstance? Click here to back it!

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

As a note for Patrons, you will not be charged for this episode.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast.

Sep 05 2019

52mins

Play

Monte Cook's Parties Are So Hot They Start People on Fire: Episode 135

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Ben has a long talk with Monte Cook, RPG design genius behind NumeneraInvisible Sun, and 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons. Check out his current Kickstarter for Arcana of the Ancients here!

If you’re new to Plot Points, check out our episode on the history of demons and devils and Dungeons & Dragons! Here’s Ben’s sold out seminar on why TSR failed from Gen Con 2018!

Let others know about Plot Points to help the ‘pod grow! Review us on iTunes to help others find us. Not a Patreon supporter yet? See what goodness we have in store for you by backing the ‘pod here!

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod!

Audio courtesy of 50 Breaks

All images courtesy Monte Cook Games.

Mar 28 2019

59mins

Play

Is This Book the Best Edition of D&D? Episode 128

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Rules Cyclopedia was a 1991 compendium of Basic Dungeon & Dragon rules. The rules are fast, light, and fun as hell. Hear Ben Riggs talk about why that's so, and the history of the Basic D&D line. 

Also, Ben talks about his research for his book, and learning something about Gen Con owner Peter Adkison he didn't know.

Check out Designers & Dragons, Shannon Appelcline's history of the RPG industry. 

Interested in Plot Points? Back us on Patreon! Support us at the $2 level, and you'll get Ben's book on gaming theory, Encounters!

Let others know about Plot Points to help the ‘pod grow! Review us on iTunes to help others find us.

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod! Find us on Facebook

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Image property Wizards of the Coast, by Jeff Easley.

Jan 30 2019

23mins

Play

Appendix N University-"Return of the Sorcerer" by Clark Ashton Smith Ep. 144

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How did pulp fiction of the 1930s influence D&D? Plot Points takes a hard look at the question by reading "Return of the Sorcerer" by Clark Ashton Smith, and brings along a couple special guests for the journey. Prof. Jason Ray Carney is a fascinating professor of English at Christopher Newport University with an upcoming book, Weird Tales of Modernity. Clinton J. Boomer is a game designer, novelist, and raconteur. They get together with Ben to look at the influence pulp fiction, and one particular story, had on the development of D&D.  Read "Return of the Sorcerer" here.  

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod!

Give us a review on iTunes to help the show grow!

Audio courtesy of 50 Breaks!

Image is in the public domain. 

May 30 2019

1hr 7mins

Play

Appendix N University "Ill Met in Lankhmar" by Fritz Leiber- Ep. 150

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A professor, an RPG designer, and a podcast host come together over Ill Met in Lankhmar, a seminal Appendix N text by Fritz Leiber. Game design, history, prose, and yes, even art, come together in this golden hour of audio.

We need YOU to vote for Plot Points at the ENnies! Click here to support the show!  

Ben’s book on RPG theory is finally available for purchase! Encounter Theory lays out Ben’s theory of adventure design. It also has 14 playplans to help you design better adventures, and an entire 5E adventure applying his ideas, along with commentary about why he wrote adventure the way he did. Check it out here

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Buy Ill Met in Lankhmar for Kindle here!

To let us know what you think about this episode, email us at plotpointsemail@gmail.com!

Find us on Twitter @PlotPointsPod!

Give us a review on iTunes to help the show grow!

Audio courtesy of 50 Breaks!

Image courtesy Goodman Games.  

Jul 12 2019

1hr 17mins

Play

Zombie World! Ep. 171

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Zombie World takes the Powered by the Apocalypse engine and breaks it out into decks of cards. It promises, fast, fun, and bloody undead action. Brad, Sarah, and Ben try it out at their gaming table!

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Magpie Games. 

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Dec 06 2019

1hr 7mins

Play

Best of Plot Points: Ravenloft!

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Americans, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday with this deep cut from the Plot Points archives, our first-ever episode, Ravenloft!

The Delta Green Agent's Handbook is currently free on DriveThruRPG! Check it out!

Music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast.

Nov 29 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

Growing an Award-Winning Game Company- Ep. 170

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Once upon a time, Marissa Kelly and Mark Diaz Truman had the wild idea of starting a role-playing game company. Today, they recruit top talent, score six-figure Kickstarters, and create award-winning games. How did all this come to be? Ben Riggs explores that question in this free-wheeling conversation.

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Magpie Games. 

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Nov 22 2019

53mins

Play

D&D Outsold AD&D- Ep. 168

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Actual sales numbers for D&D have never been common or easy to find. But Ben had a source sent him four pages of D&D sales numbers for use in his book, and it revealed a fascinating fact: D&D outsold AD&D, AD&D 2nd edition, and AD&D 2nd revised combined!

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Nov 15 2019

21mins

Play

D&D 5E Seminar from Gamehole Con 2019- Ep. 167

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An hour of power with the towering triumvirate of tabletop, Mike Mearls, Chris Perkins, and Chris Lindsay! Hear about the origins of such products as Tyranny of Dragons and D&D Essentials in this freewheeling and wide-ranging Q&A panel.

[Edit: Episode volume increased 11/8/2019

Also, check out Bundle of Holding's unbelievable Trail of Cthulhu deals here!

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Nov 08 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

RPG Historian Shannon Appelcline Told to Cease & Desist by TSR- Ep.166

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Shannon Appelcline, author of Designers & Dragons, received legal notice from TSR to stop posting D&D material online in the 1990's. Thing was, he wasn't posting about D&D! Listen to hear the story, and how Shannon came to write his comprehensive look at RPG history. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Evil Hat Productions.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Nov 01 2019

55mins

Play

A First Look at Descent into Avernus- Ep. 165

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The Plot Points gang does another chapter delve, reading chapter by chapter the latest D&D 5E release, Descent into Avernus. Ben also gives an update on the history of TSR. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Oct 25 2019

43mins

Play

Dinosaur Princesses- Ep. 164

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You're a dinosaur! And a princess! Solve problems and cheer in this G-rated game for beginners.

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Ardens Ludere.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Oct 19 2019

1hr

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TSR's Christmas Layoffs- Ep. 163

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In 1996, Random House returned a huge amount of material to TSR. To move the company back into the black, layoffs were planned and carried out on December 20th, 1996. This is the story of that day.

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Oct 10 2019

20mins

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Making Cthulhu Fresh Again in New Bestiary- Ep. 162

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Hideous Creatures, a new horror bestiary from Pelgrane Press, makes Lovecraft's old, familiar, creatures fresh and scary again. Ben, Brad, & Sarah take a deep look at this hot book. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy of Pelgrane Press.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Oct 03 2019

43mins

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Death by Debt at TSR: Ep 161

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A 1979 contract between Random House and TSR would take 18 years to kill the company that started the role-playing game hobby. Thanks to historian Micheal Calleia, Ben has a copy of that very contract, and discusses how it led TSR to near bankruptcy in 1997 with TSR alums James Lowder, Chaosium’s executive editor, and John Rateliff, an internationally renowned Tolkien scholar. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Sep 27 2019

52mins

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Panic and Death on the Mothership- Ep. 160

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Mothership is an OSR-style RPG of sci-fi horror that will rip your head off, gut you, and dance in your entrails. Right now, the game is hotter than fried chicken thrown in a volcano. It took home two ENnies this August and had a successful Kickstarter for an adventure. Learn about the buzz in this episode of Plot Points!

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Tuesday Knight Games.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Sep 19 2019

1hr 7mins

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Magpie Games Seminar from Gen Con 2019- Ep. 159

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See what Magpie Games has coming up in 2020 and the future! Also, peek into the research I'm doing for my book on the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Magpie Games.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Sep 13 2019

51mins

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How to Write Better Adventures Seminar Gen Con 2019

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How many great RPG sessions have you played in? How many have you run? Given how much we all want RPG sessions to be successful, how come they so often aren't? These questions and more led Plot Points' own Ben Riggs to create a theory of adventure design.

Like this episode? Ben wrote a whole book on the topic! Encounter Theory is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Interested in Magical Draught of Happenstance? Click here to back it!

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

As a note for Patrons, you will not be charged for this episode.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast.

Sep 05 2019

52mins

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Who are Brad & Sarah? Ep. 157

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In a very special episode of Plot Points, we take a deep look at Brad & Sarah. Who are they? How did they meet? What makes them tick?

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Aug 29 2019

50mins

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Swords, Spies, & Shoggoths: The Pelgrane Press Panel from Gen Con 2019- Ep. 156

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Discover what secrets will be sprung upon the world by Pelgrane Press in the coming months! Can your heart stand the appalling shocks? Explore tabletop role-playing at its finest!  

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Pelgrane Press.  

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Aug 22 2019

56mins

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The Hope & Tragedy of TSR West Seminar Gen Con 2019- Ep. 155

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TSR West was an attempt by TSR to break into the comic book industry. How and why didn't it work out? A seminar from Gen Con 2019. 

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is on DriveThruRPG. Click here to pick up this essential volume!

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast. 

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

Aug 16 2019

50mins

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3rd Edition D&D: Creation of a Masterpiece Seminar 2019

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3rd edition D&D is one of the most popular RPGs ever created. Decades after its release, and after dozens of interviews, the dramatic story of how 3rd edition came to be can at last be told!

Ben’s book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is 20% off on DriveThruRPG until Thursday! Click here for a coupon towards this essential volume. 

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast. 

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

"Samba Strings" courtesy Kevin Macleod and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Aug 08 2019

54mins

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Why TSR Failed 2019- Ep. 153

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Why did TSR, the company founded to publish Dungeons & Dragons, flounder and fail in the 1990's? Ben Riggs goes deep with this updated seminar on the end of the company that birthed the role-playing game hobby.

Ben's book on RPG adventure design, Encounter Theory, is 20% off on DriveThruRPG until Thursday! Click here for a coupon towards this essential volume. 

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast. 

Theme music courtesy 50 Breaks.

"One Eyed Maestro" courtesy Kevin Macleod and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Aug 05 2019

55mins

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Over the Edge 3rd Ed Review- Ep. 152

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Over the Edge is the game of weird urban danger by Jonathan Tweet published by Atlas Games. The Plot Points crew oohs and ahs over this 3rd edition of a 90's gem.

Ben’s book on RPG theory is finally available for purchase! Encounter Theory lays out Ben’s theory of adventure design. It also has 14 playplans to help you design better adventures, and an entire 5E adventure applying his ideas, along with commentary about why he wrote adventure the way he did. Check it out here

Like Plot Points? Support it on Patreon at the $2 level, and you’ll get a sneak peek into Ben’s book about the sale of TSR to Wizards of the Coast! This chapter concerns TSR West, an effort by TSR to open an LA office devoted to producing comic books, an effort that failed rather impressively. It is the product of a dozen interviews with professionals from comics, gaming, and Hollywood, and as far as I can reckon, it is a tale entirely untold until now.  

Image courtesy Atlas Games.

Jul 26 2019

55mins

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