Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review - Roll For Initiative podcast #150

Review - Roll For Initiative #150

I offer my congratulations on their 150th podcast. Personally, I'm terrible at this kind of thing so I know it takes some balls to put yourself out there the way these guys do.

This is my first experience with the Roll for Initiative podcast so I really didn't know what to expect. I was a little concerned during the introduction with the inside jokes and extraneous commentary, but it was mercifully over fairly quickly. Then there was a short foray into fan-mail. I would have liked to have heard a line-up of what they had in-store for this podcast right at the beginning, but the website gives you an idea of what to expect, at least for the main topic of conversation.

Greyhawk is my favorite setting and the G series my favorite series of modules, so when I saw that this particular episode would cover G1 The Steading (pronounced, I believe like Steady rather than Steed) of the Hill Giant Chief, I decided that now was the time to jump into the world of Roll for Initiative.

Much to my surprise I found myself immediately enjoying the seemingly unscripted banter at the beginning of the podcast with its podcast oriented Ennie discussion and its pro-AD&D and nuts to you 5e slant (my apologies if I've mistaken the number of 5e comments as criticisms) as well as the  voice-mail/e-mail question which lead to some helpful recommendations for city building and stocking.

There is a certain amateur quality to the discussion if you are accustomed to listening to talk radio but they do an admirable and coherent job of discussing gaming at least at a somewhat higher level than most sports talk without the profanity and at a much higher level than morning drive shows.

I enjoyed their discussion of G1 as well as their spotlight on Thorkhammer's underappreciated expansion of the G series modules (G4 thru G9 which I believe they have made available through the Roll for Initiative website as a gift from Thorkhammer himself, but check their website for more information). No new ground for most Greyhawk aficionados but they touched on many of the main elements and ideas found in the 8 slim pages of the adventure.

They wrapped up their podcast with a discussion of the Ettin with a nice touch of gamer enthusiasm that brought back memories of talks over the game table from three-plus decades of my own gaming experience.

All in all a worthwhile and pleasant experience like rewatching an episode of a favorite TV show from the 60's (or 70's if you watched the BBC). 

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