Format Change Suggestion

That follows is my opinion and doesn’t represent any effort to describe the one-correct-way to podcast.

I’ve been thinking that there are more-and-more episodes where the community feedback on a topic was better than the original show. My evidence is the increasing number of shows where the main topic is either shorter-than, or replaces entirely, the planned main topic. A number of times, this has lead to even more comments two-shows-later.

IMNSHO, this feels very awkward an inefficient, and I have a specific suggestion:

Ask (was ‘Poll’) the community before recording - get the good (and even controversial) stuff from us BEFORE you record on the topic.

And start the discussion (was ‘poll’) for “next week” at the end of the current episode, reliably! No more “We’ll figure out what we want to talk about on the next show just before we record” - and then be woefully underprepared. If you want to talk about Boss Monster Fights? ASK US A WEEK OR MORE BEFORE. We can help you prepare and frame the discussion.

Bring in our contributions as part of the main topic, not only as after-a-week-and-you-had-to-listen-to-last-weeks-episode-for-context. The podcast, as it is now, is acting as a message board with a one-week-posting-delay.

The “Audio” episode, in particular, might have better leveraged this format change - given all the contributions already there.


Or, don’t change a thing. :slight_smile: It’s your show.


“IMNSHO, this feels very awkward an inefficient,”

I don’t agree. I think this is how conversation works. One party makes a statement, the other party may agree, disagree, expound upon, give contrary evidence/ opinion.

“Poll the community before recording - get the good (and even controversial) stuff from us BEFORE you record on the topic.”

I think it’s widely considered that little of a community responds to polls. I think that number would plummet further if this were done on a regular basis. Most listeners want to enjoy and occasionally weight in, not have it as a responsibility.

Then what about all the people that are X episodes behind? “well, I guess I didn’t give my opinion BEFORE the episode was recorded, no point now”.

I respect your opinion, but I don’t personally feel this change would work.


I should clarify: When I said poll, I didn’t mean “Take a Poll” in the formal sense (make a list of choices to vote on).

I meant ask the community about the topic before recording (which now happens after broadcasting.) I have edited the original post for clarity and to preserve context for your comment.

@LaramieWall - A discussion that has week-long turn-around time isn’t really a discussion, in my book. You, and I, right now can be said to be “having a discussion”. I couldn’t have known to clarify what I meant by “poll” unless we had much tighter turnaround.

Also, Patreon is a fly in the ointment here - as many of us are paying money to support the show, and have done a lot of it. :slight_smile: So it’s not unreasonable to ask the show runners what they think about any of our feedback.

Any change would have to be co-evolved with those implemented it. If I’ve started a discussion, awesome. The real question is How do @sean and @Fafhrd feel?

I did not say to eliminate feedback covered in episodes. People who first hear about the topic from the broadcast are free to respond as normal. But, I contend that including community thoughts as part of the topic will

  1. improve quality of the episode
  2. increase the desire of people to join the community
  3. and decrease the size of the feedback portion of the show
  • as the topic will be more thoroughly covered.

I’m suggesting folding many of the community-contributions (some of the current week-delayed feedback) into the same episode as the topic. There are podcasts that do this. This doesn’t have to be one of them, but I see no harm in talking about it.

I’ve prepared a “rejection” meme, so you don’t have to…


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I agree with Randy on this one. I think that’s a great idea.

Usually, the guys have a next week topic in mind. Not always, and if not, no harm no foul.

But if they do, I think it can only increase the value of the original main topic section. Especially if people are committing sacrilege and NOT going from episode 1 and going forward 1 at a time; but instead cherry picking episodes based on episode title !gasp!

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Or, and this was inspired by the OP so I don’t quite think it’s derailing, have more Random Encounter shows.

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Let me first say “thank you” to @OldSchoolDM for bringing this up.

I don’t think it’s a bad idea. As a matter of fact, we have had people chime in about a topic before we actually cover it! It just hasn’t been as formalized. Our show can be better at times because we have people position our topic better than we do.

@OldSchoolDM and I were chatting the other night and the feedback is good. We’d rather have feedback now than to find all our BS’ers bailed because we weren’t open to tightening things up, especially if things tend to drift too far in a direction that makes the show not as good. Hey, all long-running TV shows have that 1-2 bad seasons.

My reservations…

As it is now, we cover a topic - good or bad, and people respond. “Good job.” or “I gotta call BS.” This is good with me. I mean it is, quite literally, ‘feedback’.

With a formal “hey, we’re going to cover ‘x’ we want to know your thoughts.” or “we’re going to talk about [example] audio in rpg’s, we’d like to know; one, are you using audio; and two, how?” If we read the responses before we cover the topic and share our thoughts it could water down our discussion. “Well, shit. They explained it so well, I’m not sure what else to say.” It then becomes a “I agree with BS’er…” or “I don’t agree with BS’er”, because the BS’er has substantiated the topic before we’ve had a chance to spew forth our own special version of vitriol, which will warrant such response, aka feedback - see above.

I’m willing to explore it as it won’t change the format or the overall flow of the show. heh, ‘flow of the show’ heh. I’ll probably want to act like I’m running it by Brett. You know…give him the illusion that he’s not being railroaded. DID SOMEBODY SAY RAILROAD?!


I myself enjoy the show format. I also enjoy the forums. I agree that with @sean that response should come after the show.


I do think this is a great discussion to be had. And I’m just one voice, so be that as it may.

I guess we all have different expectations. Regarding Patreon, I guess I use Patreon to support ventures I want to see continue, not because I may then feel entitled to my opinion meaning anything more than any other member of that community. Again, just my opinion, and to each their own.


Again, I did not say entitled.

That said, Patreon creates a different relationship between creators and their patrons - and money is at the center of it. This changes things in significant ways.

For a great text on the subject of how money changes relationships, I can’t recommend Predictably Irrational highly enough.

I called the relationship via Patreon “a fly in the ointment”. And given that the show reads the name of every patron every episode, there is very much a social cue as to how well the show is doing patron-wise. For awhile, my name was not on the list. I know the guys know that too. It’s up to them how much it matters.

I didn’t tag you in that, because I wasn’t trying to single you out. I didn’t mean to imply YOU are entitled to that, but that if that’s an opinion people have, it’s merely not one I share. Sorry for the confusion.

I’ll look into that book. I do think that a common issue. Say a person offers to baby sit “just pay me whatever”. OK, then $1 an hour? I don’t have a baseline of what the proper wage is, that’s why I asked. Etc. Etc. Or my mechanic. Great guy. Sometimes doesn’t charge me for things, so then I buy the whole shop pizza. Etc.

Thanks for the recommendation.


Cool. Thanks for the clarification. No slight taken (and happy to have the comment to introduce more detail about why I think Patreon changes things…)

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I’m not sure that’s true. I would bet most people who listen to the show aren’t on this forum. So for those people the inclusion of it into the show could be new.

Although that said, maybe the people most likely to respond ARE on this forum.

Maybe try an experiment for an episode and see how it works? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

(well, I guess we could all get so pissed we come to Madison and come together in a huge riot where we are all yelling and thereby spreading airborne droplets of saliva on each other then we all get Covid 19 and we know how that could end. Or you just decide never to do it that way again.)


I’m scared that the more like work it is (prep-type stuff), the less the guys are going to want to do it. But IANABS.


:best Rod Roddy voice:
Will Sean ever truly understand Predictably Irrational?
How will Brett handle Sean’s request for a PbtA version of Streets of Avalon?
Does it really depend?

Find out next week on Soap Gaming and BS.


It may make for an interesting show once in a while. I like the feed back part of the show as much as I do the main topic. I find that Brett and Sean usually work a topic over like fresh pizza dough. Pounding it out, stretching it all around and throwing it in the air a few time to get it completely worked though. This allows us as the listener’s to potentially expand our thoughts and views on the topic. The times I respond in email or on these forums are when I feel a view point was missed or maybe not represented well enough. Otherwise I usually feel the topic was covered.
The back and forth discussion is exactly what I thought these forums were for.


I like the show format. Yes sometimes the mailbag is better than the main topic that doesnt necessitate a change in show format imo. I like how the topics people are passionate about drove an ongoing conversation about a particular topic and it bleeds over into the following weeks.

As far as patronage goes - you dont owe me a damn thing. At any time I can pull my support if feel like the product doesnt line up with what I want. I like supporting you guys because we get a weekly podcast that typically is very interesting. If the topic isnt something I am uber interested in I listen a bit get the gist and wait for next week.


Hopefully well, because I’d back that in a heartbeat… :slight_smile:


For the record, since it was lightly broached… we appreciate patronage - no question. It prevents a conversation with our wives on why we’re spending money on that gaming show thing we do.

Having said that, we appreciate everyone’s feedback, regardless if they contribute financially or not. We don’t weigh one heavier than the other. Otherwise, I’d just become a politician. HEY OH! Politics, I am self-banning myself.