12❦ Congratulations & Condolences

“Every once in awhile, the Grey gets it right. That whole thing about 13th floors just… not existing in Shadow hotels? Divine wisdom.”

The Secret Cellar has been absent, for months. Jason explains why, and what next. My deepest gratitude to my guests for bearing with me as I sort this thing out.

Kate Taylor (@tolkientrash) is a linguist who has constructed a language for use within Numenera — Seaspeak, spoken in the Rayskel Cays far to the West of the Steadfast.

Jim Ryan (@otherdoc) has recently been experimenting with Twitch as a medium for live podcasting of his show The CypherCast — you can follow it (and all of Jim’s other wonderful content) on Twitch or in podcast form.


Kate Taylor (@tolkientrash)
Jim Ryan (@otherdoc)


Numenera is a tabletop RPG published by Monte Cook Games, very dear to my heart — it was the game which reconnected me as an adult back to the roleplaying I had loved when I was younger. It recently won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Game of 2018.

If you want to buy Kate a coffee (or, likely, an Irish pint) visit her Ko-Fi and do the thing.

Go buy Jim’s novella, Titanic Jocularity! I truly enjoyed it — a ridiculous madcap romp through space that reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams’s work.

Jim mentioned Darcy Ross (@darcylross) and Grant Ellis (@WisePapaGrant) as inspirations to get involved with Twitch streaming, and you should absolutely be following them both. Their creative output is delightful, and they’re both anchors of our community. (Darcy was a key inspiration for this show.)

Life on Marr’d is the stream Jim mentioned in particular.


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.


Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC

Monte Cook Games (@montecookgames)

Invisible Sun

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.


Honored guests:
Alexei Othenin-Girard (@voxexmachina)

Audio Design:
Casey Ross (@caseyrawz)

Sound Effects ©2018 BBC


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)

Invisible Sun

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