Episode 132: A Mad Career Towards Some Dreadful Ending

This month, Roger and Mike consider railroading, its inevitability, and how to build characters who are a good fit for the campaign.

We mentioned:

Secrets of the Ancients, The Dracula Dossier, The Armitage Files, Walker in the Wastes, The Franklin expedition, Night’s Black Agents, Cubicle 7’s version of The Enemy Within, Burn Notice, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG, Pendragon, Paranoia, Survivors and the remake, and GUMSHOE.

We have a tip jar (please tell us how you’d like to be acknowledged on the show).

Music by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com.


I am crushed that you didn’t call this episode “But at the time my trousers were on fire” :slight_smile:

I have a similar experience to Roger - a game where we were told it would be for modern mercenaries so I had a character who could fly a helicopter and do fighty-shooty stuff and some first aid. I had nothing to do for the first couple of sessions which were all aimed at rifling thru filing cabinets and computer hacking. Then we finally did a bit of fighting, sneaked into a cave… and spotted a fekking Elder Sign. The GM was running Cthulhu and had not mentioned this at any point! (We weren’t using any Cthulhu system).
I walked.

Games which are mis-sold annoy me. But games where the bloody GM lets you roll up a character that they know will be absolutely no use in the campaign… WTF? And those who create pre-gens which are no use for the scenario they are running… double WTF with chocolate sprinkles on top! Do you WANT people to be frustrated and have a terrible time?

Exception: the GM’s rubbish characters are because the chargen system makes all characters unable to find their bum with both hands and a map.


We did consider that title. We often have really good multiple titles. I let Roger decide.


Hello there! I’m not sure when I started being enlightened and entertained by IRTWD, but I know I’ve listened my way through the entire back catalogue and only now on hearing that Roger is about to leap into The Enemy Within 4e do I feel compelled to write: please read the summary of the entire plot in Empire in Ruins before you begin!

A couple of years ago I did the coming out of my 25 year deep freeze thing and maybe foolishly chose to GM 4th Ed TEW as my first foray back into the hobby. We started playing Enemy in Shadows before the final 2 books were published and things worked out in ways that don’t make sense with Empire in Ruins. I’m not sure how different I’d have run it with the info in the last book but I would have liked to have that choice.

Anyways I love the show and look forwards to it dropping each month, and having finally said so I’ll follow this by actually dropping something in the tip jar. Have a wonderful festive season gents!


Thanks, Dave, and welcome! I’ll try to get a glance at EiR soon.

We have in fact started the game, and you can listen to it over here: The Enemy Within

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