The Bear's Grove

This is the blog for the podcast called "The Bear's Grove" by Sam Chupp. Sam holds forth on roleplaying game design, writing, running and playing with special focus on kids & RPG advocacy, romantic roleplaying, and other storytelling-focused aspects of RPGs.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Bear's Grove #7: Honor, Kid's LARPing, Game Design Toolkit

The Bear's Grove #7: Honor, Kids' LARP, GM's Toolkit, Authentic Religion, Romantic Sources

Kid's LARP links:

The Masquerade Mind's Eye Theatre rules. Yes, there is a new set of rules out - this is two generations ago, but I feel like for those of you who are adapting, you don't need to spend a lot of money to buy the book and adapt it for your own use. You can get a used copy of The Masquerade rules for $.98 + S&H on Amazon.

Remember, I'm not advocating that kids play Vampire. I think that's a PG-13 game at best. But if you take the rules as listed in The Masquerade, and use them for a kid's LARP you create from scratch, it works really well.

Game Design Toolkit links:

Chinese Portrait
Here are some examples for you:

Steve Zeck's Chinese Portrait

Tantaene animis caelestibus irae (Are there such angers in the celestial minds?), a wiki for a Nephilim game, each character listed has its own Chinese Portrait.


You can get a free office suite here

Bell Curve Wikipedia reference

Four Aspects of Religion we cover:

Dogma: What spiritual, ethical, and moral teachings the religion espouses
Priesthood: The structure and politics of the religious leadership
The Priestly Creed: The religion leaders' own beliefs and practices
The Faith & the Faithful: What the body of believers actually believe and practice

Big Questions:

Here is a (not exhaustive) list of Big Questions your fantasy religion should answer:

Where did the world we live in come from? Why was it put here? Who is in charge? Where did we come from?

What is right and good? What is wrong and evil? Or are there many shades of gray?

What famous holy people have been a part of our tradition? What did they teach, and what were they famous for?

How should we conduct our everyday affairs? What shall we do about money and charity?

Who is considered an adult? Who is eligible for marriage? What kind of marriages are there? Who is eligible for the priesthood? What rights and privileges does the priesthood have? Who is in charge of the church? Who decides what the church believes?

What are the spiritual teachings of the church? Are there spiritual beings who either help or hinder the church or its believers? Is there a supernatural opposition to the church?

Who are the enemies of the church? Who are the friends? What is the position of the church on other religions or deities?

What happens when people die? Is there a different afterlife for the faithful? What is the meaning of life?

Romance & Roleplaying segment:

The Kushiel Legacy Trilogy
Jacqueline Carey page on Amazon
Jacqueline Carey Homepage

The Keltiad
Patricia Kenealy-Morrison's Amazon page

Patricia's pretty touchy about providing information on the Internet about her, so you'll just have to read the books if you want to know more - her website,, has vanished.

Liaden Universe

Sharon Lee & Steve Miller's Home Page

Order Liaden books from Meisha Merlin

Pendragon RPG

Well, I said in the podcast that it was put out by Green Knight publishing, but apparently that website has gone down, too.

Here is a link for you to get some Pendragon resources.

Amazon link to buy it

Vampire the Masquerade
Second Edition This is my favorite edition.

Changeling: the Dreaming
Changeling: the Dreaming

Laurell K. Hamilton

Today's music has been:

In the intro segment, we have "Forest in the Morning" by Fumitaka Anzai

For the Kids' Corner, the song "Forest Birds Fantasy" by Trespass

For the Game Designer's Workbench this week, the song "Innovation" by Mark Heimonen

The music before the Religion segment is called "Goddess" by Melissa Cox.

Finally, the music for the bumper before the Romance segment is called "Aerstream" by G.Org.

Our outro music this week is a song called "Coffee Shop" by Smallfish. Because everybody needs a little Caffienasation!

Friday, October 28, 2005


We're late this week. I'm having trouble getting this podcast done due to family issues. Hope y'all can wait a little while. I'm thinking of making The Bear's Grove a bi-weekly podcast, but for now I'm trying to get #7 done.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Bear's Grove #6: Romance, Religion, LARPs

The Bear's Grove #6

This week's podcast

Sorry we're late! Life happened!

Bear's Growl: Tolerance
Kid's Corner: Kids in LARPs
Promo: The Seanachai
Storyteller's Circle: NPCs, Deus Ex Machina, GMPCs
Religion in Gaming: Divine Inspiration
Romantic Roleplaying: Starting your Romantic Relationship Roleplaying (R3) game

Today's music has been:

In the intro segment, we have
Forest in the Morning by Fumitaka Anzai

For the Kids' Corner, the song "Incomplete Dream" stood in for us by Gary from Chub Creek.

The music beneath the Religion segment is called Aerstream by G.Org

Finally, the music for the Romance segment is called "One Wish" by Atlanta native and Lilith Fair performer Jessica King. Rock on, Jessica!

The Bear's Grove is released under a Creative Commons 2.5 license: attribution, no derivatives, no commercial use.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Bear's Grove #5: Serenity Sci Fi Episode

The Bear's Grove #5 is out and ready for downloading!

Show Notes:

Special thanks to the Naked Accounting Department and the Two Warm Fuzzies for moral support (and excellent studio scenery).

The link for the Kids-RPG list is:


Our music today was the following:

For our intro, I used "Elements of the Paw" by Sub-level 03

For the Kid's Corner, I used "The Dudes in the Car" by Vincent Van Go Go.

For the Storyteller's Circle, I used "Triumph" by Mark Heimonen

For our Romance in Roleplaying segment, I used "Did you Think" by Adrina Thorpe

For our Science Fiction Special segment, I used the song "Where She Wept" by Octobris.

And finally, I'd like to leave you by playing a song that gives me a Firefly / Serenity geek gasm: Mal's Song by permission from the filk group "Escape Key."

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Bear's Grove #4

The Bear's Grove #4!

Brief non-spoiler Serenity movie review
Girls in Roleplaying
Outside the "PC Bubble"
How to foster romantic roleplaying in your group

A shout-out to "All Games Considered" for featuring my podcast on their show, along with my Ars Magica review.

Music in this episode:

"Forest in the Morning" by Fumitaki Anzai

"Lucky Girl" by the square root of eleven

"Awakening" by Anne Davis

"She Rests Her Head" by Jessica King

"Tiger Lilly" by Fake Tan

The Bear's Grove is released under a creative commons license:

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.