Episode 100: Laying the Mechanics As We Play (Pilot) (Starring Em and the Packbats)

In this season premiere, Em and the Packbats set themselves a challenge: create a prologue to a YA creature horror story by first writing and then playing a new mini roleplaying game. Something is in this abandoned mine, and it has just been awoken.

Content warnings on the game part of the episode: body horror, allusion to retching, implied death by suffocation, and mention of bugs.

This podcast is hosted and produced by Em (if you know them, you can reach out!) and the Packbats ( https://www.patreon.com/packbat , https://packbat.itch.io/ ), who collaboratively designed the game below. The theme music for this episode was produced by the Packbats in LMMS and includes samples sourced from the Vintage Dreams Waves v2.0 soundfont by Ian Wilson https://musical-artifacts.com/artifacts/248 and the 2MGM soundfont by Yingchun Soul https://musical-artifacts.com/artifacts/1425 . The cover image was drawn by Em, who also edited this episode.

Also mentioned in the episode:

This pilot episode was originally produced for the One Mic Stand pod jam – https://itch.io/jam/one-mic-stand – organized by Riley Hopkins and Andrew Sherman of The Podcast Mines: https://the-podcast-mines.pinecast.co/

We dedicate this episode’s game to you, geocachers, but we hope you go on to have many more runs.

First, describe the situation, establishing the scene around the mine entrance and the route the geocacher travels trying to escape. Plan out the key points for each turn – jumping a fence, starting up a hill, catching a glimpse of their car, moments like that which can function as prompts for the descriptions that come later. There should be enough that, after adding in the ending, each player will get an equal number of card draws and the scene will last an appropriately dramatic length of time.

Also, shuffle your deck of cards.

The game starts with one player describing the geocacher fleeing out the entrance of the mine. From there, players take turns drawing cards and adding to the scene with:

  • a hint of the monster, based on the prompt associated with the card; and
  • the next piece of description of the geocacher fleeing.

Be careful of each others’ limits – this is a horror game, you don’t want to accidentally cross lines – but being mindful of that constraint, be vivid with your descriptions. Do not reveal or establish too much about the monster, however.

The game ends with the first player drawing their last card, from which they describe the geocacher being caught with one final hint of the monster.

prompt grid:

hearts = sight
diamonds = sound
clubs = touch
spades = smell

2 = pick your own
3 = wet
4 = angular
5 = scratchy
6 = fresh
7 = vivid
8 = crackly
9 = animalistic
10 = soapy
J = metamorphizing
Q = stretchy
K = dusty
A = deep

This episode was made as part of the One Mic Stand Podcast Jam! Thank you to everyone who submitted, and we hope you enjoy this 100th episode!

When they’re out of the Mines, Riley is a Tabletop Game Designer whose games can be found at Linksmith Games. They have a lot of other shows including Never Believe It, If Not Us Then Who, and Champs in the Making.

When Andrew’s helmet comes off he wastes too much time on Twitter and streams a variety games over on Twitch. He’s also the cohost of the ARGonauts Podcast, an Alternate Reality Game Deep Dive show.

Our incredible show art was created by Alyssa and our Home Depot Style Beat was made by Matt!!

Find out more at https://the-podcast-mines.pinecast.co

This podcast is powered by Pinecast.