The New Nerd Fort

Ok, I’ve got a new idea.

Since the horror of the bedbugs is over and my new house is actually being properly put together, I can think about how the Nerd Fort can be done in a better way than before. And I realized something that we are, in fact, missing.

The basic idea is that I am doing the podcast so that other people will be 1) entertained by it, and 2) learn something from it (also I want experience, and I want to play, etc, etc.).

The first point is a little bit automatic – if you’ve downloaded it, then you probably know what you’re getting in to and will probably enjoy it. The second point is what I’m focusing on here. I think that is the primary way that give something of value to my listeners.

The controlling idea behind my podcast is that if you listen to the Nerd Fort podcast, you will be able to learn something that will help enlighten your game, or at least give you a perspective on things that you didn’t have before.

To that end, I want to change how we do our episodes: I want each episode to be played at a new character level. i.e.: Episode 1 will be with fresh new characters, right out of the tavern. As the episode comes to an end, we have some sort of cliffhanger that sets up the next episode. At the beginning of the next episode, we are starting at level 2. This series is limited to 21-23 episodes  – one for each level, one to account for the ‘episode zero’ and maybe some epic play or other considerations.

This will make it very fast-paced – which tends to make for more exciting play. Both listeners and players will have a greater sense of accomplishment and ‘doing something’ very easily. We will be able to display how the game acts differently at different levels. There are more advantages that I am having trouble articulating.

It is possible that Sterbz will want to have a cohesive adventure for this, and possibly just make a bunch of random or interesting encounters that don’t actually fit together whatsoever. It’s really up to him. Much more work = much better storyline, but that is a lot of work for a campaign designed to only last about 5-6 months.

It may have some negative consequences.

  • Maybe the listeners enjoy having us taking 3-4 episodes to level up.
  • There is the adventure writing aspect that may be frustrating – it’s hard to plan for exactly when the characters will be in the right place for a level up.
  • We often play for about 4 hours at a time. After trimming down some of the boring non-gaming stuff, personal life, and other not-for-the-podcast stuff, I usually get about 2 or 3 episodes out of a single session, so we will have to have our characters leveled up and ready to go long before we even start recording – more load on the players and GM alike.
  • Most adventures expect you to take multiple sessions at around the same level throughout the entire module – this means that published adventures are going to need to have some heavy modification, and homebrew ones will be even harder to write than before.

Nerd Fort Number One, Episode 1

So, My most recent previous post was almost six months ago.

I still want to follow up on that whole Podcaster’s Apprentice thing, but I’ve been working on something else since then. Specifically, a blanket fort (The end result of this blanket fort is in the player at the start of this post – like, it’s literally less than an inch above this text).

I built a wooden frame in my basement, covered it with blankets, and installed in it everything I need to record a podcast with other people. It has a computer, microphones, baffles (in the form of the blankets), a large coffee table, a few weird books, and a bunch of weird dice. I’ve been calling it “Nerd Fort #1,” both in anticipation of Nerd Forts to come, and in appreciation of it’s preliminary place in a great dynasty of forts.

So far, I’ve been recording myself and 3 others play 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. These D&D sessions last for about 4-5 hours, and a few of us have never played this edition of D&D. I thought that might be helpful for people who either haven’t played this version and want to know more, or haven’t played D&D at all, and want to know more. My wife (who has been listening to me edit audio) has told me that she really enjoys listening to everything, despite not ever having a ton of interest in the game.

I have cut up our first session in to chunks about 45 minutes to an hour, and put some intros and ending credits to them, and I’m going to be releasing them here. I have 4 episodes ready to go, and I think that will give me enough time to stay ahead of schedule to regularly release them. I’m planning on cutting the time down so that I can release more at a time, as well as include other things that I think people would like.

I also have a few hours of board games being recorded with many other friends (including the ever-esteemed Andy “noobtheloser” Stuart, First of his Name, Writer of Gif-Stories, Occasional Visitor to Columbus Ohio, and sworn to CollegeHumor.com) that I plan on turning in to bonus Nerd Fort #1 content.

So, yeah. I hope you listen to it. I also hope that, after listening to it, you like it. If you do, please get a friend to listen as well. I’m not going to be advertising this very much until I get it up on iTunes (I think it needs 7 episodes? Not sure). But my friends will know, and my friends all know some pretty cool people who listen to good things, so I hope that a lot of people can find my weird little web page and podcast.

Thanks.