237 – Dungeons & Dragons & Untold! With Rory O’Connor – The Family Gamers Podcast

Rory O'Connor
Rory O'Connor

Welcome again to long-time friend of the show, Rory O’Connor!

237 fact: Room 217 was switched to be room 237 for The Shining at the request of Oregon’s Timberline Lodge (used as the exterior for some shots).

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What We’ve Been Playing

We find out that Rory streams game playing as a way to get to play games ;)

He’s testing out (with Michael Fox) new additions for Prisma Arena, but he also enjoys Marvel: Champions (solo) and Test of Honor.

Jurassic Parts (25th Century Games) – some really neat mechanics.

Periodic: A Game of Elements (Genius Games) – we finally got around to playing this after getting it in a trade at PAX Unplugged 2019. A great game to get more familiar with the periodic table. Rory likes the idea that energy is never created or destroyed, so the energy tokens just get moved around, never discarded.

Deckscape: The Mystery of Eldorado (dV Giochi) – more on this in the SNAP review. We didn’t like it as much as Decktective, but it does compare favorably with Unlock.

Kombo Klash (Hub Games) – coming in late April. We’ve been really enjoying it, and it works for all ages in our family.

Welcome to the Community

Welcome to the newest members of the Family Gamers Community!

SNAP Review – Deckscape: The Mystery of El Dorado

Watch the video or read the transcript of our review of this pocket escape room.

Storytelling with Rory

Rory likes to “escape grownup reality” through play. It’s awesome to create a story that didn’t exist before.

With Rory’s Story Cubes, he gives a starting point, “If you can lie, you can tell a story.” Look for the first thing that grabs your attention and keep going. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense. “It’s like exercise. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.”

Hub Games is all about storytelling – it’s a huge part of so many of their games.

Rory had been trying to figure out the backstory for the world of Prisma Arena for a while, but had to stop “inventing new stuff” so they could get the game done. He always intended it to be a living, breathing world, and mentioned to Michael Fox that he was thinking about exploring this world as part of NaNoWriMo… So Michael mentioned it on a livestream, giving Rory the push he needed to actually follow through.

That is the genesis of 30 days of Prisma Arena stories, told using the Untold framework! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmHuFA1oIg0jMojNPMR3n3JyiZ4aRI8fl

People who don’t see themselves as “creatives” can still learn to be creative and tell stories.

Why did Andrew mention D&D?

Because, with help from John Fiore. Rory is working on using Untold as a framework to help tell stories in Dungeons & Dragons. John tried combining Untold with the Fate system, and now Rory is working forward from that.

Create your setting and characters, then flip the first Untold tile and create the threat for the opening narrative. Ignore action tokens, because all of that is handled in the D&D system. Consider each “scene” tile as a “day” for D&D purposes.

It’s certainly not as fast-flowing as Untold, but it’s a great way to experience D&D without a formal DM (even solo!) and even learn how to be a better DM.

Credit also goes to Tom Scutt who wrote a book/zine called “DM Yourself”. (Find it on DriveThruRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/331912/DM-Yourself–solo-roleplay-for-5e-DD-and-OSR-adventures )

Let’s be more creative and stop shoehorning our kids into existing systems and then telling them they’re pretending wrong!

Find out more from Rory & Hub Games


Facebook: @WeAreHubGames

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And find Rory on Twitter, too: @RoryOConnor – or tag him in The Family Gamers community!

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