+1 Forward - Don't Pay the Ferryman

The new episode of +1 Forward glides across the river and into your podcast player. This week @RichRogers talks with @BlakeRyan about his fantasy espionage rpg, Don’t Pay the Ferryman.

01:49 - Read a Sitch about Interpreting Games with more Creativity
07:41 - Open Your Brain to Don’t Pay the Ferryman
14:25 - Act Under Fire with Plussy the Ork Harlequin

The cool ork picture Rich mentioned in the episode can be seen here:

You can purchase Don’t Pay the Ferryman on DrivethruRPG here (aff):


Here’s the episode:


Wait wait. Rich Rogers is still making podcasts?!


You bet I am, Ry! How are you doing?

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Mostly out of the hobby but tinkering with using In A Wicked Age and Apocalypse World elements together. I have 2 kids and they’re juuuust old enough to be able to sit down and play, but hoping to get back into regular gaming soon.

So I’m like a Easter and Christmas churchgoer. I still look down on people who only do Christmas. What’s your favorite episode of +1 Forward (besides episode 1)?

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What are you keeping from A Wicked Age?
Young kid gaming? Sounds awesome and fun, good luck, @_ry ! My 13 year old son just started playing in his school’s D&D Club last week, it’s nice to hear his gaming stories.

My favorite? Oof, that’s hard, there are so many I’ve loved!

I’m very proud of the Movie Night episode I did with @Teddog:

And I’m cheating and picking a second fave, which is our Player’s Principles and Agenda episode:

They both require some PbtA game knowledge (Movie Night is about Masks, while the Player’s game discusses many different games), but I like them a bunch.


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The In A Wicked Age reply is running too long so here’s part 1, the footnote to that Canon puncture episode:

First of all, I’m not using the 4 oracles, I made my own. My oracles come in 6 columns (what’s up Valvorik RH):

  1. An object of desire
  2. A person in need
  3. Another person in need
  4. An event that adds pressure
  5. An event that adds pressure
  6. An event that adds pressure that is specifically an abuse of power

So I have rows like the above, thematically related. This is different from the first oracles I created a long time ago. Back when the game came out, I tried writing poetic sounding oracles. I didn’t understand that the elements need to be clear, concrete, and add tension. It needs to do that to help the players launch into play.

Second thing that’s absolutely crucial is the drawing of characters, and the setting of Best Interests. Those are part of drawing an oracle IAWA style. You have to identify the most interesting characters and point them at each other before the Oracle draw is done (/playable). Those best interests offer to the table things that could be at stake for the session.

Crucial to understand that those steps are needed, not just the randomizer.


Part 2: It’s not transcendent

Problem I ran into is that some nice people I want to play with don’t want to contribute to that process. They want to be their characters and take direction from the GM. Or the other players. But their creative input is to freeze up.

From a bleeding edge game perspective, this is not ideal! But I like these players and still want to do something with me.

So I turned the above Oracle process into something I do myself in the 30 minutes before play. But that still keeps me from having to prep.

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Oh and they get xp for finding the Oracle elements in play

Hey, I just found this thread. @_ry, we’ve played a fair deal of IaWA together!

I have my own draft of a PbtA-powered In a Wicked Age… lying around, but unfinished (due to lack of interest, mostly). If you’d like to compare notes or share feedback, send me a note! Cheers!