Rank #1: Episode 31 – Numenera RPG
The GROGNARD files is back with the latest episode which looks in-depth at Numenera RPG based on the Cypher System which was the first new-fangled game that we played when we returned to the hobby.
There’s a great First, Last and Everything from Kaye Elling (make sure you follow the progress of her Judge Death model on Twitter).
Also included is an update on the latest projects. You can support us via Patreon.
Sep 23 2019
Rank #2: Episode 6 (Part 1) AD&D RPG Dungeon Master’s Guide
Roll up! Roll up! Finally, the GROGNARD files turns it’s attention to the grand daddy of them all. Make some space in your pod box for a 2 hour spectacular.
Introduction. Dirk shows off his new turn table and invites you to add songs to his RPG playlist
1. Daily Dwarf Open Box. 7.04 – Find out how @dailydwarf was introduced to the hobby via Dungeons and Dragons.
2. Open Box. 11.08. The Armchair Adventurers talk about the early days of playing D&D with only one third of the rules and discovering the red box in ’83.
3. The White Dwarf. 32.39 @dailydwarf begins his personal selection of articles from the greatest RPG magazine of them all.
4. Open Box Again 41.00 The Armchair Adventurers rediscover AD&D in the early 21st Century.
5. The White Dwarf. 54.11 @dailydwarf continues his picks.
6. Judge Blythy Rules! 1.00 Judge Blythy pours over the finer details of The Dungeon Master’s Guide while Dirk rides in on a high horse.
7. The White Dwarf. @dailydwarf concludes his choices with praise for Lew Pulsipher’s contributions.
8. Thanks to new Patreons and a request for entries to our postbag. Next time we’ll be looking at The Player’s Handbook.
Apr 18 2016
Rank #3: Episode 3 (Part 1) Traveller RPG
Introduction – The origin of the game
Section One – Open Box – reliving the memories of playing the game for the first time with Blythy, who was our referee back in the day. We introduce ‘the prime directive’ and Blythy has a black mark on his wall.
Section Two – White Dwarf – @dailydwarf talks about his early experiences of playing Traveller and makes a selection of an article, scenario and ‘Starbase’ column from the pages of the UK’s best gaming magazine.
Section Three – Judge Blythy Rules – Listing three great mechanics and one that doesn’t quite work, the resident rules-lawyer goes ‘under the bonnet’.
Section Four – An invitation to listeners to contribute their stories of playing Traveller. What’s your favourite supplement?
Look out for a Micro Grog-Pod (Traveller – Part Two) coming soon featuring a list of our favourite Traveller supplements and a current online pricing guide.
Nov 19 2015
Rank #4: Episode 11 – Top Secret RPG
For your eyes only. Don’t accept this Podcast if the seal is broken.
INTRO: I love the world of espionage and this is the first in our ‘Spy Sequence’ that we’ll be peppering through the next year. We’ve had another iTunes review too – please give us one if you haven’t already.
OPEN BOX: Top Secret was one of those games that we only played a few times, but it made a lasting impression on us. In this section we remember those early games and I challenge Blythy about whether or not he really likes spy-based games.
POTTED HISTORY: The game emerged from a single vision, born from a college dorm, in this section I talk through the history of the game. If you want to hear the story from Merle Rasmussen’s mouth, then seek out The Dead Game’s society’s interview with him from 2014.
JUDGE BLYTHY RULES!: We roll a character and Judge Blythy complains that there are far too many tables. In a thrilling exchange, there is a transformation as Judge Nutmeg transforms into Mr Hand-Wavey Davey.
THE WHITE DWARF DRAGON: Top Secret didn’t appear in White Dwarf, so we turn to Dragon – a magazine that fully supported the development of Top Secret.
STARBURST MEMORIES: Blythy and I discuss our favourite spy moments from films and television in a brand new feature that includes an overly complicated audience participation feature.
OUTRO: There’s a chance to play Top Secret if you join our Patreon campaign. This is a thank you bit for all those who are already supporting us.
Mar 18 2017
Rank #5: Episode 2 (Part 1) Call of Cthulhu RPG
Introduction – The origin of the game
Section One – Open Box – reliving the memories of playing the game for the first time and the faltering start.
Section Two – Judge Blythy Rules! – The Armchair Adventurers’ Resident Rules Lawyer discusses the finer points of the rules and style of play. We also speculate on what horrors have faced British Prime Ministers.
Section Three – White Dwarf – @dailydwarf talks about his early experiences of playing Call of Cthulhu and selects his favourite item from the pages from the halcyon days of the UK’s best gaming magazine.
Section Four – An invitation to listeners to contribute their stories of playing Call of Cthulhu in the early days.
Look out for a Micro Grod Pod coming soon featuring a list of our favourite CoC supplements and a current online pricing guide.
Episode 3 will feature TRAVELLER RPG
Sep 26 2015
Rank #6: Episode 8 The Traveller Adventure
“Don’t mess with me, I’ve been corrupted by Space Monkeys”https://thegrognardfiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/episode-8-the-traveller-adventure.m4a
Wednesdays 21:00 – 23:00 Fortnightly, between Sept 15 and July 16 was Traveller Time. During this period we played Traveller online using Roll 20.
INTRO: I put out an advert for players on the site to play the classic 1983 adventure from GDW.
OPEN BOX: 4:27 We discuss some of the benefits and pitfalls of playing online
POTTED HISTORY: 31:57 A run down of the history of the supplement and the characters and players.
GAMESMASTERS SCREEN: 38:22 Blythy and Dirk discuss some of the highlights and lowlights of the adventure
ED’S SHED 01:26 Not bargain hunting this time, instead he offers his views on the adventure.
POST BAG 01:30 Other players offer their views and thanks to new Patreon backers.
Oct 12 2016
Rank #7: Episode 19 – Paranoia RPG (with Paul Baldowski)
INTRO: Thanks to a Poll of Patreons, we are examining a game that we never played back in the day … PARANOIA.
OPEN BOX: (with Paul Baldowski): Paul Baldowski was a writer for the Mongoose edition. He’s also runs Just Crunch which publishes The Cthulhu Hack. Also, make sure you check out the Fighting Fantasy accessories at All Rolled Up.
WHITE DWARF: @dailydwarf provides a survey of the surprising amount of PARANOIA material that appeared in White Dwarf after Games Workshop printed the second edition in the UK
ACTUAL PLAY: A sample from an online game of PARANOIA. You can’t beat a bit of bully.
GAMESMASTER’S SCREEN: One of Blythy’s clones talks about the game and why we never played it back in the day.
Mar 21 2018
Rank #8: Episode 20 (Part 1) Golden Heroes RPG (with Simon Burley)
INTRO: This is a game that embodies the spirit of the podcast. It belongs to a period when the players were informing the gaming industry. Games Workshop decided to do a big budget version of the game. You can see the short film I made here (it’s less than 5 minutes)
OPEN BOX (with Simon Burley): As the co-creator of the game, Simon shares the story of its ups and downs. You can find SQUADRON UK at Drive Thru by following the link.
JUDGE BLYTHY RULES: We examine the rules with our resident rules lawyer.
OUTRO: News of the latest Patreons. and the aims of the campaign.
Apr 18 2018
Rank #9: Episode 14 (Part 1) RPG Fanzines (with Ian Marsh)
INTRO Welcome to the world of fanzines.
OPEN BOX (with Ian Marsh) The first part of an interview with Ian Marsh, who was the editor of DragonLords fanzine and went on to become the editor of White Dwarf.
DAILY DWARF For one episode only @dailydwarf becomes the Daily Dagon as he looks at Dagon and why he thinks is was such a special zine.
OPEN BOX Another one? This time it’s with Blythy as we look at our experience in the world of PBMs.
OUTRO: Thanks to Shop on the Borderlands for providing a copy of DragonLords issue 7 for discussion.
Let us know your favourite ‘zine and send us pictures for discussion in the next episode.
Why not show your love for the podcast, and join the activities of the GROGSQUAD by becoming a Patreon?
Jul 15 2017
Rank #10: Episode 12 (Part 1) Games Workshop & Citadel (with Tim Olsen)
INTRO (15 secs)
This is an unusual episode as it is about a place more than a thing. This is about the remembered place that was Games Workshop, when we were kids, and the magical lead figures we found there.
POTTED HISTORY (6.32)
The story about how school friends came together to form Games Workshop and how it grew and grew …
OPEN BOX (WITH TIM OLSEN) (10:17)
I am joined by Tim Olsen who was instrumental in the early days of GW. He was the manager of Dalling Road branch, then Manchester, before taking the first stores to America. He is a fascinating and lovely guy. You’ll enjoy his contribution.
WHITE DWARF (31:35)
The first part of @dailydwarf ‘s contribution to the episode where he talks about his experience of using figures in his games.
OPEN BOX (46:08)
Blythy joins me to talk about minis, memories and how we consume games. There’s a riot going on in the background, sorry about that, it is the sound of Bolton I’m afraid.
THERE ISN’T A LAST BIT (1:20)
A call for the submission of your memories of Games Workshop and a thank you to Patreons.
Apr 18 2017
Rank #11: Episode 27 (Part 2) Fate (with Robin of Sherwood actual play)
We’re continuing our Robin of Sherwood theme. We discuss Fate and use it to provide a sample play in Sherwood Forest created by the TV series.
We hope that it will inspire you to invest in some FUDGE dice and have a go at creating your own worlds.
Mar 19 2019
Rank #12: Episode 21 – Night’s Black Agents RPG (with Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan)
INTRO (00:00) The GROGNARD files finally sells out to one of those new fangled games. There’s a new iTunes review too, that compares us to Ridley Scott’s Hovis advert.
OPEN BOX (with Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan) (0:07) We are joined by Gar who tells us about his formative years in RPGs, his role in relaunching some of the 80s classics for Mongoose and his role in developing adventures for Night’s Black Agents.
ACTUAL PLAY (41:31) The Virtual GROGMEET twittercrew take on Operation: GROUNDWORM.
JUDGE BLYTHY: (1:02:00) Judge Blythy sinks his teeth into the finer points of spending points.
OUTRO (1:40:02) Up date from the Patreon Projects.
Jun 20 2018
Rank #13: Episode 5 (Part 1) Stormbringer RPG
The cover on the copy we read in the library
“I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas.” – Michael Moorcock
The subject of this episode is STORMBRINGER – Fantasy Role Playing in the world of Elric.
We have also opened a Patreon campaign to support the development of the podcast, and to help towards the production of The GROGNARD files fanzine.
If you would like to tip a few coins in the beret, then please go to this site:
SECTION 1: POTTED HISTORY (6:03)
Some background to the Elric stories.
SECTION 2: OPEN BOX (16:59)
Blythy joins me in a faithful reconstruction of his teenage bedroom to discuss the early games we played of STORMBRINGER.
SECTION 3: THE WHITE DWARF (35:41)
A magnificent contribution by @dailydwarf about the dog-days of White Dwarf’s hey day and the brilliant The Madcap Laughs adventure for STORMBRINGER that appeared in the august journal.
SECTION 4: JUDGE BLYTHY RULES! (51:36)
The resident Agent of Law, Judge Blythy takes on the chaotic ‘Guantlet of Hand-Waving’ during an analysis of the rules
SECTION 5: THERE ISN’T ONE (01:23:00)
What to look forward to in Part 2 (supplements, a ‘show and tell’ of Moorcock miscellany’ and listener post bag).
Please write to us by commenting on the site or sticking a review on iTunes.
Feb 21 2016
Rank #14: Episode 24 (Part 1) WARHAMMER Fantasy Role Play (with Graeme Davis)
INTRO: The GROGNARD files is dedicated to Greg Stafford (1948-2018)
OPEN BOX: Graeme Davis talks to us about the genesis of the 1st edition of WARHAMMER and some of the plans for the new edition. You find out more about his long and distinguished career in gaming on his website.
JUDGE BAZ RULES!: Baz Stevens from The Smart Party podcast (The UK’s Premier RPG Podcast… mmm?) joins us in the room of role-playing rambling to get deep and dirty into the rules.
OUTRO: Join our Patreon before the end of November to get a hard copy of the zine.
Oct 21 2018
Rank #15: Episode 30 – Blake’s Seven RPG
INTRO: This time we are looking at Blake’s 7 and its influence on our gaming.
GROGGLEBOX: Eddy joins us in a noisy Port Street Beer House in Manchester to discuss ‘Project Avalon’
ACTUAL PLAY: Thanks to Andrew Cousins of lending me his copy of the rules to play. Blythy as Avon, Doc Con Cowie as Blake, Andrew Cousins as Vila, The Welsh Wizard Michael Hobbs as Jenner, and Mark Kitching as Cally.
FIRST, LAST and EVERYTHING: Guy Milner of Burn After Running blog.
THE GM SCREEN: Just how much of a fan is Blythy?
OUTRO: News about the GROGZINE 20
Aug 26 2019
Rank #16: Episode 10 (Part 1)More RuneQuest RPG (with Rick Meints)
INTRO We’re back for more podcasts in 2017! We’re returning to our origins and looking again at the game that we began with back in 1981.
OPEN BOX 4.31 – the only President from the USA who really matters is the President of Chaosium, Rick Meints, who joins us to open the box on his early years of play and to talk about how he transformed from a player and collector of Chaosium games, to running the company.
WHITE DWARF 36.50 – @dailydwarf examines my favourite department of White Dwarf – RuneRites with its new creatures, magic and rules for combat.
JUDGE BLYTHY RULES! 50.00 – RuneQuest 6 has been rebranded as MYTHRAS . Ahead of Dirk running his Luther Arkwright scenario at Convergence in March, Blythy casts his critical eye over the rules.
The Patreon campaign is being reviewed and renewed for 2017.
Jan 18 2017
Rank #17: Episode 26 – HeroQuest RPG (with Ian Cooper) from GROGMEET 18
INTRO: This is an unusual GROGPOD as it was recorded live at GROGMEET 18. Ian Cooper talks about HeroQuest and there’s a chance for you to win a copy of the game thanks to our friends at bonhomiegames.uk
Show us your favourite handout, character sheet, floor plan, prop, mini or any other physical item you’ve produced for your gaming before the end of Feb to be in with a chance of winning.
INTERVIEW: Ian Cooper talks about his formative years in gaming, oral story telling, Greg Stafford, HeroQuest and his Coming Storm campaign.
GAMESMASTER’S SCREEN: Blythy joins me in the Room of Role-Playing Rambling to talk about generic systems. Want to know more about Judge Dredd in the world of GUMSHOE? Then check out Steve Ray’s play reports.
OUTRO: Patreon thanks, the latest news about the GROGZINE and the plans for the next episode.
Jan 21 2019
Rank #18: Episode 17 – Review of 2017 in RPGs
Intro: For this GROGPOD, we take a break from the usual format, instead of concentrating on a single subject, we are looking back at some of the experiences that we have had over the year.
Thanks to Phil the Dice Mechanic for his review
Groggies Pt 1: Our annual awards are determined by the random subjects written on the spurious envelopes. In this section we look back on the year in games mastering – some of the highs and lows – we award the Messianic Megalomaniac award for the year.
The Trial of RuneQuest: Earlier in the year, Dirk took the RPG Academy to Apple Lane. This is an edited extract. You can find the full version here and the you tube video here (if you really need to).
Groggies Pt 2: This is the Olive Kinnisberg Memorial Award for players, playing and players and the games that we play. There’s a mention of UK Games Expo, The Heroes Journey and Star Trek Adventures.
Postbag Pt1: Mark Hides has written a memoir of his experiences of RPGs in Sheffield. You can get his book here.
Groggies Pt 3 There have been lows as well as highs
Postbag Pt2 Rog Coe and Wayne Peters are regular correspondents to this site.
Groggies Pt 4 The new game that we have been playing and some of the hopes for the new year.
Outro: Thanks to Patreons and you’ll find details about the Spaghetti Conjunction here
Dec 16 2017
Rank #19: Episode 16 (Part 1) More Call of Cthulhu (with Mike Mason)
We are returning to one of our favourite games, Call of Cthulhu, to consider what has changed for the game over the past 2 years, since the last episode.
OPEN BOX (with Mike Mason) 06.00
At the time of recording, Mike had just returned from his trip to NECRONOMICON and was fresh with the news of the great success for Call of Cthulhu at GENCON.
Mike shares his experiences from his formative years of role-playing and how his fascination with horror, drew him towards Call of Cthulhu.
ED’S BRAND NEW SHED 50.00
Ed is the first of us to hit 50 and his family have treated him to a brand-new metal shed. He talks us through his Fungi From Yuggoth scrapbook. You can get Mutable Deception from Drive Thru RPG.
GAMESMASTER’S SCREEN 01.08.00
We’re on a Jolly Boys outing – this is the player reflections on playing the Fungi … campaign.
We had many new Patreons joining us in September. Thanks to you all – sorry for mangling your names – we are very grateful for your contributions and look forward to making the ‘zine available in the next couple of months.
Oct 20 2017
Rank #20: Episode 3 (Part 2) Traveller RPG Micro-Grog Pod
In this episode, we return to Traveller, and look at some of the supplements for the game. When it comes to politics, we are as woolly as John Stewart Mill riding a sheep and wearing cardigans, so we examine our attitudes towards the politics of the Imperium.
Games master’s Screen: Judge Blythy enjoys the benefit of High Passage, as his status demands, however he is less enamoured the concept of the D66.
The usual memories and discussion around the selected supplements take place.
Postbag: There’s been much interest in Traveller including a game description by Andrew Cousins. I also reflect upon the recent Runequest Classic kickstarter.
Dec 18 2015