The Esoteric Order of Roleplayers
[Unknown Armies] “Jailbreak”

[Unknown Armies] “Jailbreak”

May 27, 2020

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It's the Esoteric Order versus Just Barbarian Things!

A few weeks ago, some members of the EOR got together with Rainy and Santiago of the Just Barbarian Things podcast to play through a one-shot of Unknown Armies, the game of weird horror in the occult underground. We ran through the classic scenario "Jailbreak," updated to the current third edition rules.

Enjoy this fun crossover event, and check out JBT when you get a chance!

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Featuring:

Jen

Des

Rainy

Santiago

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Six)

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Six)

May 20, 2020

This session is equal parts system discussion and actual game play—I decided to leave in the former, as it forms a classic part of the old-school fantasy gaming experience!

This month, we will be donating a portion of our Patreon income towards the Pueblo Relief Fund to help Native communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you're able, please consider giving as well—any amount helps.

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Featuring:

Alex as Lazlo Klopek

Des as Man-eater

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Five)

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Five)

May 13, 2020

The heroes follow a jester down a dark alley, but instead of getting shanked in the dark they are instead rewarded with an interesting and rewarding twist in the ongoing story. Come along, join the circus, and meet the likes of Edrin, Inka, Annelis, and many more!

This month, we will be donating a portion of our Patreon income towards the Pueblo Relief Fund to help Native communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you're able, please consider giving as well—any amount helps.

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The new campaign's wiki may be found here.

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Featuring:

Alex as Lazlo Klopek

Des as Man-eater

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Four)

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Four)

May 6, 2020

Our heroes continue their explorations of the old Reynard place, finally descending into the basement, where they find the subject of Salek Reynard's most infamous sketch...

This month, we will be donating a portion of our Patreon income towards the Pueblo Relief Fund to help Native communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you're able, please consider giving as well—any amount helps.

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The new campaign's wiki may be found here.

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Featuring:

Alex as Lazlo Klopek

Des as Man-eater

Special Bulletin: Format Changes and Listener Poll

Special Bulletin: Format Changes and Listener Poll

May 3, 2020

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Hello folks,

David Larkins here. Usually I come to you as the voice of the collective whole of the Esoteric Order of Roleplayers, but today I’m speaking to you from a more personal space.

The EOR came together in late December 2012, a combination of new faces and old friends who I’d been gaming with in Santa Fe, New Mexico over the prior couple years. Jen and I both enjoyed listening to actual-play podcasts and thought it might be fun to start recording our own sessions and putting them out there for anyone who might be interested. On January 13th, we had our first recorded session. By the summer of 2013, the most stable lineup of the EOR was established with Des, Jen, Jade, Renae, Schimpff, and me.

I didn’t start the EOR with the intention of turning it into a Patreon-funded podcast with thousands of listeners around the world. I still remember the excitement I felt when I saw our first episode had been downloaded once! Back then, I was working a job with the Santa Fe Public Library and gaming was still just a hobby for me. A “lifestyle hobby,” to be sure, but something I did in my spare time and strictly for fun.

Nowadays, as some of you are aware, tabletop RPGs are also my profession. We have maintained the EOR as a weekly group for seven years. Over the years, everyone in the group has grown; circumstances have changed. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a lot of these changes into stark relief, particularly for me. All these changes did not necessarily spell the end of the EOR, but having to suddenly pause everything has given me time to re-evaluate how the group and the podcast have been serving my needs and goals.

The demands on my time and creative output, in particular, have changed radically over the past two years. My responsibilities alone as Pendragon line editor have me working on gaming-related material and running play-tests not intended for public consumption throughout the week, and looking back I see 2019 was a year of struggle for me as I sought a balance the public-facing gaming of the podcast and my career-related gaming tasks.

And then, of course, there’s the public health issue of physical distancing, all but guaranteeing a lack of face-to-face local gaming for some time to come, which has radically upended our established format.

All these factors have been much on my mind over the past few weeks. I’ve been in touch with the other regular members of the EOR and have come up with a plan for how the group and the podcast will move forward.

First and foremost, the podcast will remain as an online-format show for the time being. Des and I, when we get back to our duet games, will play in person, of course, but all other games will be run online.

This actually presents an exciting opportunity to grow the “Order” beyond the core group of locals as initially established, beyond the confines of my game room. We can feature some new voices along with the old, both as players and GMs. Once regular face-to-face gaming becomes practicable again, we may even see some new “groups” coalescing with our old members serving as GMs. We’ll see how that pans out; obviously, things are still very much in flux for our world right now.

In the meantime, I am planning a seasonal structure of shorter campaigns (say, 10-20 sessions each), much like our World of Darkness duets, each with a rotating cast of old and new voices. Consider our current Palladium Fantasy campaign as the pilot program for this new format.

To carry on from the pilot program, I am looking backwards to move forwards. I’ve come up with a scheme that puts some agency into the hands of the listeners to help me select some other favorites from days of yore.

Taking a cue from the Palladium campaign, I have assembled a list of 36 other “classic” games or settings I owned back during my personal RPG golden age of the 1990s and broke them down into four categories: Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Horror & Supernatural, and Historical & Miscellaneous.

Starting today, I will run polls on our Twitter account (@esoteric_rp) to determine the top game in each category, which will in turn form the basis of a seasonal campaign run over the coming year. Be sure to check back daily to cast your vote and follow us on Twitter if you aren’t already! Final results will be announced after 30 days of voting, on June 1st. And check out our Patreon page for more details on how I plan to go about turning those results into campaigns.

I'm quite excited about this new format, as it will allow me to continue running games I know and love and perhaps revisit some I never got a chance to play properly back in the day.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has participated in our games over the past seven years. The EOR would not be what it is today without each of your creative contributions.

And, of course, that single download back in 2013 has grown into an online community of fans and supporters, all of whom are directly responsible for keeping this silly little podcast going. Truly, without you, there would be no EOR at all.

As I mentioned above, voices you know and love from past games will turn up in games to come; others will serve as my secret play-tests minions as well. The EOR lives on, and many exciting new gaming horizons wait to be explored!

Take care of yourselves and stay safe! To quote Churchill, “this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

David Larkins

Santa Fe, 2020

Addendum: I am still in the process of assembling a pool of players to draw from for the games I plan to run. In addition to established EOR members, I am in touch with friends from other actual-play podcasts as well as old gamer friends (such as Alex in our Palladium game) and am looking at how I want to mix things up. I have not ruled out inviting in other folks as well and may have an announcement seeking new players on our Patreon page in the weeks to come.

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Three)

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Three)

April 26, 2020

As we continue to settle into online gaming (and overcome various technical hurdles), we find the heroes of our little tale venturing into a strange old mansion, even as our players explore the exciting virtual environment of Tabletop Simulator. Behold!

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This week's recording is much cleaner than last's, but unfortunately we did lose the last 10-15 minutes of the session due to a technical error on the part of OBS. Starting next week, we switch to Zoom, which has proven much less prone to technical screw-ups. Fingers crossed...

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Featuring:

Alex as Lazlo Klopek

Des as Man-eater

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Two)

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode Two)

April 19, 2020

A short episode this week as we get back into the campaign after a real-world gap of three weeks between the first session and this one. The PCs take stock of the pickle they're in and get to know their mysterious rescuers a bit better before seeking out a place to lie low.

Audio quality for these first couple episodes is going to be a little dodgy. Please bear with us as we work out the kinks of online gaming/recording.

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Featuring:

Alex

Des

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[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode One)

[Palladium RPG] “By the Sword” (Episode One)

April 12, 2020

We're back!

As discussed last episode, we're getting a little nostalgic and a little experimental here on the EOR Quarantine Edition; old stalwarts David L. and Des are joined by an old friend (and ACTION INTERNATIONAL! co-author) Alex as he and David return to an old system favorite from their high school days.

Audio quality for these first couple episodes is going to be a little dodgy. Please bear with us as we work out the kinks of online gaming/recording.

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Future Plans and Announcements: Pandemic Edition

Future Plans and Announcements: Pandemic Edition

April 5, 2020

Is this thing on...?

We're back with a short announcement of how the pandemic has affected our campaign plans, and announcements about the future of the podcast in the short term. And stick around as we unveil our "pandemic special" campaign, kicking off next week.

Take care, everyone!

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[Pendragon] A Matter of Cornwall: “Where My Rosemary Goes” (Year 483)

[Pendragon] A Matter of Cornwall: “Where My Rosemary Goes” (Year 483)

March 8, 2020

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Yuletide festivities see the Player-squires lords of the hall for a day—and, later, participating in a local tradition they will not soon forget...

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Duchess Ygraine's embroidery (actually done by Des's mom)

Intro music by Adrian von Ziegler

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Featuring:

Jen as Bartholomew

Des as Maurice

Renae as Cadoc

David S. as Belletor