Feb 22

The Campaigns: Made Men – Episode 9: “Well, this sucks.”

Hello all,

Well here isn’t Episode 9. This is just me explaining what you would be hearing in Episode 9 if I hadn’t somehow lost it.

After the session that we lost, we recorded a long Dungeon Talk which was posted as episode 9.0 and 9.1. If you go back and listen to those podcasts you might get a bit more out of what I posted here.


Very sorry!  Episode 10 should be up soon.



Michael – AKA Mumbles.





The reason I’ve been posting these spoiler sections are just to give some insight as to how I run my games and do the things I do.  My original idea for doing the Actual Play Podcasts was to start each episode with me and maybe Evan doing an intro about the game you would hear and then at the end, do a recap where I would explain the same things i’ve been tying here.  Despite my good intentions, it was readily apparent that wouldn’t happen.  So, my compromise is to post a few DM trade secrets in this section.


The Shit Demon encounter was designed to separate one PC and add some tension (it worked).

I’m still not sure who the GHOST is. I have a couple prime suspects but it could go either way. The PC’s don’t know that and that’s okay.

The whole point of the GHOST in this session was so the PC’s would find the bodies of the woman and hopefully piece together that whomever killed the princess has been practicing. The runes on the bodies are for a magical spell (remember that in this world Magic doesn’t really exist so no one can ready magical writing). The spell is designed to open a gateway allowing demon’s into this world.  This aspect of the game will come out dramatically in the next few sessions (the ones we haven’t played yet, not the ones I’ve yet to post).



if you have any questions about any of the things happening in the game or the spoiler section, let me know.





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  1. Keep up the good work! As someone who deals with audio on a regular basis I know it can be a pain in the ass. Still we are all stoked to hear a new live RP!


    • Jonathon on July 27, 2013 at 2:48 am
    • Reply

    Hello all-

    OH MAN!!! That does suck…

    The worst that I have done was saving over an adventure that I was almost finished with, with another file.

    Wow!!! Sounds like a lot of editing you have to do to get a podcast out; makes me think twice about doing a podcast, plus respect to the podcast producers. So with your editing, I went back to check out episode 7&8 and figured out that those clicking sounds that I heard was actually you editing the sound and not a problem with my player.

    Kind of glad that you did lose your file as this is exactly what I think I had posted awhile back saying that this is what you should do at the beginning of each podcast to recap the previous episode. But after reading your SPOILER section, it looks like this will not happen. 🙁

    Where is Yomi’s City Savy trait at? I looked in my files of D&D Next back to the 8-17-12 download and I could not find it in there.

    So how many listeners do you have at the moment?

    It is interesting from a previous post that you say that Grexil is actually not stupid and you can hear it in his talk (or more how Niko is talking) with the Sisters.

    Now off to Episode 10 to hear that loveable Grexil talk the way we love hearing him. 🙂



    1. Jonathon,
      It was tragic. I still think that would have been one of the best Episodes too. I was disappointed in not getting to hear it myself . . . oh, well!

      The editing has gotten easier. I used to have to cut out each little thing and try to modulate the sound levels. I can now do that with effects (I know how to do more in Audacity, but Studio One gives me better results with the limited effects I use). I’m very curious to see if you can tell a difference between the older episodes and the newer ones (though I AM STILL learning). Based on your comments I went back to listen to EP 8 and you’re right, it’s pretty bad. So i’m probably going to take a day soon and pull down all the old episodes and then “remaster” them using studio one. See if I can clean them up a bit

      ? for you – do you click on the links from the website or download through Itunes or RPG Podcast site or similar, just curious.

      The City Savy trait is something that disappeared between play test packets, but it was such a huge part of who Yomi was by that point that I just said he still had it. I’d been reading the 13th Age stuff by then and loved the concept of “one Unique Thing” and wanted to adopt that anyway so we just sorta said that was his. So

      Yomi = knew the city by heart
      Zaine = Had a light-saber (er, Ghiss blade, yeah that’s what I mean. A Ghiss Blade)
      Grexil = A super-smart Mutant (also a double agent)
      Quarian = an Elf that time travelled.

      We’re pretty small at the moment, but we are growing. We’re also bigger than I probably have any right to expect. I’ve been kinda shy about asking other podcasts how many listeners they have to compare (sort feels like asking someone else how big their 401k is for some reason). but just to compare what I can. I currently have 12 ratings/reviews on Itunes. Here’s how that compares to some of the ones I listen too:
      Critical Hits = 1,500
      Nerd Poker = 1,000
      Crit Juice = 15
      Exemplary DM = 15
      Bone Shark = 22

      So, we’re in good company but no where near the big guys yet.

      We are on the 2013 RPG listener survey and i’m really hoping we get enough love to show up on the list. that alone should help.

      Most of our current Made Men Episodes max out around 150 downloads in the first week.
      Our oldest Made Men episode is at almost 600 downloads (so a lot of people download the 1st one and then move on).
      June of this year we had a huge spike where bunch of new people found us (I have a spreadsheet where I track each episodes traffic by month)

      that’s probably more info that you really were looking for there, but it’s something I’m working on. We’re small, but overwhelmingly the feedback has been positive. Your critical comments have been mostly about the sound quality, not the content. We are working hard to bring that up (though shows like Nerd Poker record in an actual studio and have sound engineers, I’m probably never going to get to that point, at least and still be married and have a job).

      I really do appreciate you listening and taking time to comment. If you have time I’d really like for you to take the Survey and give us a rating or review on iTunes 🙂


    • Jonathon on July 30, 2013 at 4:21 am
    • Reply


    I had found your podcast through iTunes where I subscribed. I listen to all of your podcasts through iTunes and use your website page on the podcast as a reference.

    I had to make an account for myself, since we use my wife’s account and I just finished rating and reviewing your podcast on iTunes and iTunes is reviewing it to make sure that it is not inappropriate.

    I used the hyperlink on your website to take the RPG Podcast Listener Survey 2013.

    Were you wanting more content comments other than sound quality comments?

    Any other comments, questions, or concerns you have for me, just ask.



    Oh yeah… asl; ipo[ewu 🙂

    • Jonathon on July 30, 2013 at 4:37 am
    • Reply

    Ok… To the future… Episode 23…

    Since I am on episode 10 and it would take me around 14 hours to get to episode 23, I did a Time Warp (no not Rocky Horror Picture Show) and jumped through several sections of episode 23…

    Your beginning talk was excellent to recap and then the transition (fade out to the fade in of the intro) was EXCELLENT!!!

    But then…

    The podcast of your game sounded like the microphone was in the bottom of a coffee can or being in a tunnel. The record level was higher than your beginning talk and intro and I had to turn it down a bit, plus it had a slight echo.

    Keep tweaking and soon you will be up there with the big boys and their big toys at Nerd Poker.

    I do like the idea that you sound like a techno-info geek. (using a spreadsheet to track episodes)

    Keep Podin’



    1. So, I had a Charlie Brown like groan when I read this . . . that episode was way over produced and that’s why there is that ‘in a coffee can’ tin-y sound. Not sure if you listen to the Dungeon Talk podcasts too, but if you listen to the latest one (DT 20, I think) that’s us using the new set up. It should give you an idea of how the newer Actual Play’s will sound. Still not as high quality as someone in a studio with a sound engineer but I think it’s enough that we won’t lose people strictly for the sound quality. I know that’s a lot of episodes to get through so some folks might start with our new game A New World that we just started. We still have several episodes left in Made Men. Thanks for listening and a big thanks for the iTunes review.


    • Jonathon on July 31, 2013 at 7:44 am
    • Reply

    I am trying to jump back and forth by replying between the podcasts and just the blogs.

    So I see that I was the 10th iTunes reviewer… Do I win a prize? WOOHOO!!!

    The losing of people is a two-fold; lose them because of content or lose them because of sound.

    It is like video games. You can make a kick-ass 3D model; but if the texture sucks, then the model sucks; and vise versa. Sure the big sound studios have a sound engineer, but does he know which end of the microphone is up?

    People want to come to a podcast and sit and enjoy the show, not struggle to figure what was said because of players talking off-topic, players and DM mumbling or uming and uhing (which by the way you and your group do not do) or because the sound is soft here and loud there.

    Just remember when you are up on stage accepting the Golden Podcast Microphone Award to remember us little ear people. 🙂



    • Janett on December 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm
    • Reply

    I’ve been listening to your actual plays for a little bit more and wanted to say I’ve really enjoyed them. I started with your City of the Damned campaign and am now listening through Made Men. I’ve listened to write a few actual plays by others and have to say even with the sound quality I really enjoy your more than those. I think the main reason for this is that for the most part y’all are not vulgar and foul mouthed. You tell interesting stories without becoming overly dramatic. And you create your setting without singling out people groups to compare it to.(I listened to one long enough to hear them compare a slave city they had created to Alabama and then say that all southerners were bigots). So suffice it to say listening to you and your group is rather refreshing. Keep up the good work.


    1. Janett,
      Thanks for the listen! We do appreciate it. I hope you will enjoy Made Men. Its as our first ever actual play series and there are some audio bumps in the road but i’m still very happy with how turned out. As to the vulgarity, there are some moments where we use some salty language, but hopefully not enough to turn you away. I like to deal with adult themes in my games but nothing too graphic (at least I try not too!).
      We are getting ready to start a new Campaign series that we hope will actually run for quite a while. The co-host Caleb (if you are still on old episodes you may not have met him yet) is going to be DM’ing his one. I’m also getting ready to start a new campaign with my home game players that will be for Patrons only.

      Anyway, thanks again for listening, I hope we give you reason to continue.


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