8❦ Keep your pen to yourself

“Hello again, Sebbin? You work with the Thah sometimes, don’t you?

“You haven’t heard any… news, have you? Nothing pertinent to my business? I mean. Public houses, and, err, private ones, are an important part of the Satyrine economy, no? And they bring joy and warmth to the populace?

“Just — pass along a good word for me, will you?”


Tonight is a celebration of Invisible Sun. Monte Cook joins the show; we’ll hear a bit about how the Black Cube has been affecting those still trapped in Shadow — and also learn more about “Return to the Actuality,” the currently-active Kickstarter to reprint Invisible Sun.

You’ll also get to hear from several members of the community about the effect it’s had on their own lives.

HONORED GUESTS

Monte Cook

SHOW NOTES

Monte Cook and Shanna Germain are the co-owners of Monte Cook Games. (Also, delightful humans.)

Return to the Actuality”, MCG’s Kickstarter to reprint Invisible Sun, has already funded — but more backers means more stretch goals, which will improve the product. If you’ve been hedging about purchasing this incredible game, please take a look at InvisibleSunRPG.com or the original Kickstarter campaign, and give it a second look.

You may just be… astounded.

Monte also spoke about The Directed Campaign, a sort of… subscription service to receive incredible advice, props, and community support to make your Invisible Sun game as celebratory as possible. Listen to Episode 4 of this podcast for a spoiler-free “virtual unboxing” of the Directed Campaign as well as some of my own thoughts about the experience.


I am so grateful to the “Regulars” who called in to tell us about their experience with Invisible Sun:

Ross Kingston (@hawklord2112)
Rourke Bywater (@rourkebywater)
Eamon Mulholland (Voidlight)
Ken Davidson (@kdavidson925)
Dave Hanlon (@tex_red)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ian Smith (@IanGameSmith), my dear friend and Co-GM on our Invisible Sun Twitch show The Truth Bleeds at Twilight, will be running an introductory Invisible Sun one-shot for Extra Life, which this year benefits the Children’s Miracle Network.

Monte Cook Games will be matching donations for this and its other streams — find more details here — and your donations during and prior to the stream can also affect the outcome of the story!

The game will be this Saturday, November 3, from 2–6pm Pacific atheld on Ian’s Twitch channel. I’ll be playing as a PC, along with Rourke Bywater, Alexei Othenin-Girard, Richard Kreutz-Landry, and MCG’s own Darcy Ross! Hope to see you there.

I am honored to be co-GMing the Invisible Sun Actual Play “The Truth Bleeds at Twilight”, in cooperation with Ian Smith and Monte Cook Games. We’ll be streaming our final episode on Friday, November 16 at 7pm Pacific on the MonteCookGames Twitch channel — rumor has it there will be a very special guest in attendance! You can also follow The Crepuscule Notion on Twitter or read and contribute at the Notion website.

SPONSORS

Gamers Giving logo: heart, inscribed on a d20, with angelic wings

This episode was sponsored by Gamers Giving (@gamersgivingco), a Denver-based 501(c)3 charity by gamers, for gamers. Gamers Giving organizes events and fundraisers which benefit members of the gaming community who have experienced tragedy.

Episode 8 was also brought to you by Play to Find Out, a Dungeon World podcast hosted by Eamon Mulholland and Arthur Berman. The podcast is just one part of a larger Dungeon World community, featuring high community interactivity on their discord, fan contests, live-streamed episodes, “audio zine” content, design discussions, and awesome links to all over the PbtA + OSR community and beyond!

AUDIO DESIGN

Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)
https://www.rawzstudios.com

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC


Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)
http://MonteCookGames.com

Invisible Sun
http://InvisibleSunRPG.com

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.

7❦ More than Reality

“Yes, hello. This is the Proprietor of the Secret Cellar. I’m calling about the Dampening Circle you put in place?

“It is supposed to extend to our entire premises, is it not? I’ve received reports that there’s a painting in the coatroom, near the ceiling, that has been… malfunctioning of late. Would you please look into it at your earliest convenience?”


Tonight, I’ll be talking with painter Molly Holland, about one particular means by which magic can seep into the Grey. Her work is lovely, as are her words. Which, as you’ll discover, is another way of saying the same thing.

You’ll also get to meet Matthew Dimalanta, community member and board-member-at-large of our ongoing sponsor, Gamers Giving.

HONORED GUESTS

Molly Holland and Matthew Dimalanta

SHOW NOTES

Apple’s Podcasts app will display the new-fangled images, but Overcast (for iOS) and Pocket Casts (for iOS or Android) are great alternatives which also have image support.

You can see a single sample of Molly’s work at MollyHolland.com — but if you Google around a bit you can find a few other scattered pieces. Ben Cornelius has made a lovely video portrait also.

Giorgio de Chirico is the surreal artist I mentioned, capturer of frozen melancholy moments. Salvador Dalí also showed up in our chat.

My photographer-friend, Jeff Newton, captures light like a hunter. His professional work is stunning, but his personal work at Americano Mondays is even more my jam.

Numenera from Monte Cook Games is the RPG I’ve been GMing at our office for over two years. It’s weird, far-future sci-fi/fantasy crossover, optimized for quick storytelling and wild possibilities.

When you visit Flagstaff, grab a drink and peruse Molly’s work at Root Public House. Just, beware the heaters.


Matthew is a board member of Gamers Giving. Visit their Facebook page, and join the community!

The Strange and No Thank You, Evil! are the two other MCG products that Matthew brought up. I’m planning to give NTYE to Emma for her 3rd birthday. 🤫

I am utterly embarrassed that on air I could not remember the name of either Caleb Phillips or Vault, his Flagstaff-area gaming events and GM-for-hire service. He is single-handedly bringing great tabletop and RPG-ing to this town. Matthew rattled off just a few of the great stores in Denver: Wizard’s Chest, Enchanted Grounds, Crit Castle, and Total Escape Games.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Kickstarter campaign for a reprint of Invisible Sun is now underway, and literally just met its funding goal as I type this! That means more vislae will indeed be escaping from Shadow, but also means that the door has opened for possible new products! Spread the word. I’ll soon be releasing an interview with Monte Cook, talking about the campaign and some interesting info about the headspace of he and the team, now that the game itself is out in the world.

I am honored to be co-GMing the Invisible Sun Actual Play “The Truth Bleeds at Twilight”, in cooperation with Ian Smith and Monte Cook Games. We’ll be streaming our final episode on Friday, November 16 at 7pm Pacific on the MonteCookGames Twitch channel — rumor has it there will be a very special guest in attendance! You can also follow The Crepuscule Notion on Twitter or read and contribute at the Notion website.

Also, don’t miss Ian’s Invisible Sun one-shot, this Saturday, November 3 on their @IanGameSmith Twitch channel — I’ll be joining as a PC, along with a few other lovely folks from the community. Further details TBA.

SPONSORS

Gamers Giving logo: heart, inscribed on a d20, with angelic wings

This episode was sponsored by Gamers Giving (@gamersgivingco), a Denver-based 501(c)3 charity by gamers, for gamers. Gamers Giving organizes events and fundraisers which benefit members of the gaming community who have experienced tragedy.

Episode 7 was also brought to you by Tabletop Bellhop, your cardboard concierge. Tabletop Bellhop answers your game and game night questions, striving to make everyone’s gaming experience better. Read the blog, watch the live stream and listen to the podcast.

I am so grateful to my advertisers, who make The Secret Cellar… Actual.

AUDIO DESIGN

Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)
https://www.rawzstudios.com

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC


Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)
http://MonteCookGames.com

Invisible Sun
http://InvisibleSunRPG.com

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.

6❦ Changing Shape

“One final piece of advice: given the means of your arrival here, you obviously didn’t speak with Quiss when you arrived… if such a thing is even still possible. As such, it’s probably the Triumvirate who are keeping track of your time here. It’s not documented anywhere, but most folks agree 8 days seems a good upper limit.

“You do NOT want to overstay your welcome.”



When The Secret Cellar opened its doors, we quietly spread the word in the expected places: Markus, of course, and Grey Memories; the Castle of the Lie; various prosodies frequented by the Apostate crowd… Our regulars are mostly vislae who take solace in the proximity of this space to the Grey.

But, more rarely, there is another type of guest who finds their way here: the Traveler from Shadow, who has one way or the other taken advantage of the proximity of this space… to Indigo.

Our guest tonight is one such wanderer: Rich Howard (@umbralwalker), whom you may recognize as the concept lead for Descent Into Midnight, of Episode 5 fame.

Role-playing gamers allow us, for just a moment, to change our shape… which can be more impactful than you might realize. I learned a lot from Rich tonight.

ALSO! If you’re the nerdy Invisible Sun type, stick around for my analysis of the structure & signifance of the Sooth Deck. There are still many Secrets to be discovered, but I may just drop some Hidden Knowledge on you. 🤫

HONORED GUEST

Rich Howard (@umbralwalker)

SPONSOR

Gamers Giving logo: heart, inscribed on a d20, with angelic wings

This episode was sponsored by Gamers Giving (@gamersgivingco), a Denver-based 501(c)3 charity by gamers, for gamers. Gamers Giving organizes events and fundraisers which benefit members of the gaming community who have experienced tragedy.

AUDIO DESIGN

Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)
https://www.rawzstudios.com

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC

SHOW NOTES

These show notes can’t hope to capture all of things Rich is involved in, but you should at very least follow him on Twitter, start digging into the podcast archives of Whelmed: The Young Justice Files, Lear more about Descent Into Midnight, and read more about his other work. Also, maybe just ask him impossible questions, point blank and without warning. It worked for me.

Descent into Midnight is an amazing, and deeply human (which is ironic, considering) RPG. Follow @DiMRPG and its creators, Rich Howard (@umbralwalker), Richard Kreutz-Landry (@rkreutzlandry), Taylor LaBresh (@leviathanfiles), and Brandon Leon-Gambetta (@drcaptainkobold).

Rich drinks Jing Tea, and perhaps you should, too. 😉

If you want to learn more about the Sooth Deck, or really anything about Invisible Sun, you should absolutely be listening to Incantations Podcast, hosted by Dr. Scott Robinson (@agonseer; no relation) and Dave Hanlon (@tex_red).

I am honored to be co-GMing the Invisible Sun Actual Play “The Truth Bleeds at Twilight”, in cooperation with Monte Cook Games. We’ll be streaming episode 4 next Friday (September 14) at 7pm on the MonteCookGames Twitch channel, and biweekly thereafter until Thanksgiving. You can also follow The Crepuscule Notion on Twitter or read and contribute at the Notion website.


Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)
http://montecookgames.com

Invisible Sun
http://invisiblesunrpg.com

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.

5❦ Weep and Whale

 “This is not a co-working space, it’s a BAR, for Trium’s sake.”

I had not been familiar with the notion of ‘Con crash’ until both reading about and experiencing it this year, on the way back from Gen Con.

So, join me as I un-crash myself. You’ll be treated to  conversations about the mind & heart of the most incredible public RPG game I’ve ever played in, a Sunday morning romp in the (literally) wonder-full undersea world of Descent into Midnight. You’ll marvel, or weep, at one of the first live recordings with an actual Goetic to make it out into the Grey. You’ll also hear terrible puns and amateur foley cranked up to 11.

Oh, yeah — and this podcast includes A PLAYLIST (Apple Music or Spotify), courtesy of Stefanie Midlock!

CREDITS

Honored guests:

VJ Brown (@nwfairy)
VJ is the storyteller for the Actual Play podcast Hedged In, A Changeling Story, and runs a graphic design studio at VJ Brown Designs.

Drew Corkill (@drewcork)
Drew is a graphic and user-experience designer, who does freelance illustration and design work at Corkscrew Design Studio.

Stefanie  Midlock (@thenorthfour)
Stefanie is starting a new podcast, Athrabeth, about the lore surrounding the work of J.R.R. Tolkien — watch for it to arrive in September.

James Pierson (@jpierson)
James is an engineer who would like to have more time to do non-engineer nerdy things.

And, in the live segment from Gen Con with “Names” the Goetic researcher:

Evan Saft (@namesequipped) as “Names”
Ian Smith
(@iangamesmith) as “Meldrum”
Jason Robinson (@vafer) as “Drummel”

SPONSOR

Gamers Giving logo: heart, inscribed on a d20, with angelic wingsThis episode was sponsored by Gamers Giving (@gamersgivingco), a Denver-based 501(c)3 charity by gamers, for gamers. Gamers Giving organizes events and fundraisers which benefit members of the gaming community who have experienced tragedy.

 

AUDIO DESIGN

Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)
https://www.rawzstudios.com

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC

Audio design for the “Crepuscule Notion” intro is courtesy of Michael Parker (@the_closetgamer).

SHOW NOTES

Gen Con is an amazing experience. Start saving your pennies now, and plan to join us all next year.

I know that Troy Pichelman has a) traveled great distances with gifts of cheese and b) spoken about PbtA on Cypher Speak, but I can’t point to a specific episode. Maybe just go listen to them all?

Descent into Midnight was the true star of this show. Follow @DiMRPG and its creators, Rich Howard (@umbralwalker), Richard Kreutz-Landry (@rkreutzlandry), Taylor LaBresh (@leviathanfiles), and Brandon Leon-Gambetta (@drcaptainkobold).

I am honored to be co-GMing the Invisible Sun Actual Play “The Truth Bleeds at Twilight”, in cooperation with Monte Cook Games. We’ll be streaming episode 2 tonight (August 17) at 7pm on the MonteCookGames Twitch channel, and biweekly thereafter until Thanksgiving. You can also follow The Crepuscule Notion on Twitter or read and contribute at the Notion website.


Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)
http://montecookgames.com

Invisible Sun
http://invisiblesunrpg.com

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.

4❦ Grey Areas

What does its arrival mean for the Grey? What does it mean for Grey Havens, like this one? No divination in the Actuality can make that clear. Time, alone, will tell.”

Today I chat with Alexei Othenin-Girard about the historical Surrealism movement as a basis for understanding and telling stories within Invisible Sun — but more interesting, Alexei takes issue with some elements of the setting. What is really going on in the Grey?

I also perform a (spoiler-free!) virtual unboxing of the Directed Campaign for Invisible Sun.

CREDITS

Honored guests:
Alexei Othenin-Girard (@voxexmachina)

Audio Design:
Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)
https://www.rawzstudios.com

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC

SHOW NOTES

Alexei teaches game design at Balboa High School in San Francisco.

His podcast, Carpe DM, chronicles the adventures of Meredith, who is learning to GM by planning a D&D campaign.

You can read his tweetstorm/article on “Surrealism and Invisible Sun” on Medium.


Invisible Sun’s Directed Campaign is currently available for purchase.


Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)
http://montecookgames.com

Invisible Sun
http://invisiblesunrpg.com

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.

Chaser: NDA Depletion (ft. Incantations podcast)

The Black Cube’s arrival is imminent. All the rules are changing…

We’re trying something new this morning — the NDA about Invisible Sun was just lifted, so Scott and Dave from Incantations podcast have stopped by for an unscripted, unedited, quick-and-dirty conversation about our experiences GMing Invisible Sun during the beta.

If you aren’t interested in Invisible Sun, or if you have no tolerance for coffee-shop noise, come back for one of our regular episodes. If you join us, though, you may uncover a secret or two about the crunchy bits of Invisible Sun and the future of Incantations.

CREDITS

Honored guests, from the Incantations Podcast:

Dave Hanlon (@tex_red)
Dr. Scott Robinson (@agonseer)

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.

3❦ Deeply Personal Choices

Spying, Scrying, I don’t care what you call it. What happens in the Cellar stays in the Cellar.”

Tonight we talk with improv comedian Alan Linic, who recently played Wayne on OneShot RPG’s A Woman with Hollow Eyes, about the intersections of improv, tabletop, and tech — and why Invisible Sun as a system leads to deeply personal character choices. You’ll also meet Talbert Tso, who will be playing Zearonith in my upcoming home game.

We’ll also hear from Rourke Bywater, who created Suns & Circles, a 2-player game which utilzes the Invisible Sun Sooth Deck, and can be either either in- or out-of-world.

This podcast is enhanced with links and images; use a player such as Overcast (iOS) or Pocket Casts (Android) to view them.

CREDITS

Honored guests:
Alan Linic (@alanlinic)
Talbert Tso

The lovely independent press who sponsored this episode:
Razorgirl Press

Audio Design:
Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)
https://www.rawzstudios.com

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC

SHOW NOTES

Alan plays (and teaches) for Second City in Chicago.

His podcast, TL;DM, discusses D&D DMing, from both sides of the DM screen.

OneShotRPG recently wrapped season 1 of A Woman with Hollow Eyes, in which Alan played “angry, self-defeating hubris-man” Wayne.

OneShot also produced Dungeon Dome, the pro-wrestling D&D 5E mashup.


Talbert Tso played Weaver Xion Sumisu (Zianillion Luminariste Smith) in my Invisible Sun beta compaign, and will be playing his uncle, Zearonith Illuminix Smith, in our upcoming home game.


Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)
http://montecookgames.com

Invisible Sun
http://invisiblesunrpg.com

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.

2❦ Apostate

Yes. Yes, I understand. We’ll take steps to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. And here’s the… item I promised. Thank you for your subtlety in this matter.

Tonight we talk with author & real-life Apostate Erin Stalcup (erinstalcup.com) about how to smash with compassion, in both Grey & Indigo.

We’ll also hear from Rourke Bywater, who created Suns & Circles, a 2-player game which utilzes the Invisible Sun Sooth Deck, and can be either either in- or out-of-world.

This podcast is enhanced with links and images; use a player such as Overcast (iOS) or Pocket Casts (Android) to view them.

CREDITS

Honored guests:
Erin Stalcup (erin.stalcup@gmail.com)
Rourke Bywater (@rourkebywater)

The lovely independent press who sponsored this episode:
Razorgirl Press

Audio Design:
Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)
https://www.rawzstudios.com

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC

SHOW NOTES

The rad local spots on Erin’s water bottle (Next time you’re in Flag, let’s do this):
Diablo Burger
Wanderlust Brewing
Mother Road Brewing
Fratelli’s Pizza

And, the literary magazine she edits:
Waxwing
The Tunnels

You can read her work at:
ErinStalcup.com

Waxwing Magazine and Erin’s website were designed by Beautymark Design Studio.

You can purchase her books on Amazon (affiliate links, to support this show):
And Yet It Moves, a collection of short stories
Every Living Species, a novel

Read a bit about Paulo Freire (who is in fact from Brazil!)

Monte Cook writes a bit about Apostates in the actuality in this Kickstarter update.


Rourke Bywater is the creator of Suns & Circles, a game for two players that uses an Invisible Sun Sooth Deck.

You can find her on Twitter at @rourkebywater or say hi on Twitch as Rourke9.


Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)
http://montecookgames.com

Invisible Sun
http://invisiblesunrpg.com

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.

1❦ Elegant Madness: The UX of Invisible Sun

I’m happy you found us down here. I hope you’ll return. Next time, please do refrain from casting.

A look at Invisible Sun through the lens of UX and game design. Honored guest: Ian Smith.

This podcast is enhanced with links and images; use a player such as Overcast (iOS) or Pocket Casts (Android) to view them.

CREDITS

Honored guest:
Ian Smith (@iangamesmith)

An organization I’d like you to know about:
Lawful Good Gaming

Audio Design:
Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)
https://www.rawzstudios.com

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC

SHOW NOTES

The orange bitters I’m digging on:
King Floyd’s Orange Bitters

John Gruber (@gruber) writes as Daring Fireball and broadcasts on “The Talk Show with John Gruber”.

Dr. Scott Robinson (no relation; @AgonSeer) and Dave Hanlon (@tex_red) host the Incantations podcast, devoted to all things Invisible Sun. Incantations is hosted on the CypherCast Network.

Darcy Ross (@DarcyLRoss) and Troy Pichelman (@TroyP23) host the Cypher Speak podcast. Cypher Speak is part of the Misdirected Mark family of podcasts.

Benjamin Ellinger, Digipen Institute
Personal site: http://zenrhino.org
Engagement Theory: http://faculty.digipen.edu/~bellinge

Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)
http://montecookgames.com

Invisible Sun
http://invisiblesunrpg.com

Invisible Sun is the intellectual property of Monte Cook Games, with whom Zeros.Bar and the Secret Cellar have no affiliation.