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.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Dragonkin Podcast No. 1

Dragonkin: the podcast for teens and children interested in roleplaying games (either tabletop or LARP), has been released.

It's at its feed, which is

If you would like to hear more, by all means subscribe via that feed as this podcast feed will not carry Dragonkin beyond this first episode.


Music is from Mark Heimonen, "Tranquility."

Special thanks to Libsyn for hosting me.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Bear's Grove #12: Swashbuckling, Femme Gamers, and Sex!

The Bear's Grove #12

In This Episode:

News and Notes

I'm going to Dragon Con, are you? Last year the podcasting panel was awesome.
Promo: The Vintage Gamer
The Vintage Gamer is a podcast by Jim Van Verth and is about really cool, older games you may have missed playing. Check it out!

Segment: Swashbuckling

Special thanks to the Word Detective for providing the definition of "Swashbuckler" for us:

Segment: Part 3 of the interview with Cynthia, my partner

Quotes from her segment:
  • "It was something that happened in a dreamspace. It was a vision quest - we ended a game session with my character in a coma, trying to reach out to her life partner who was dying."
  • "We have propiniquity - we are available to each other."
  • "It was an escape for both of us - something we could do together."
  • "I think it was a really good thing for us over time - it's something we can do to escape together."
  • "We've joked about Bed LARPing and some people think we're just making out in character and we're not JUST making out..."
  • "I wanted to stretch. I wanted to be different than the good, sweet light characters I've played before to see if I could."
  • "That game helped me a lot - I had worried that part of the reason I was comfortable was that I know your universe so well."
  • "I really really hate character creation. So the one-off thing is great for me because I don't have to do any character creation."
  • "My character had children in game and she was breastfeeding before she handed them off to a nurse to go off to adventure. It's just a natural part of life - he was also offended by my giving another woman a footrub in person."
  • "If someone has major value differences, if they get really offended that sex comes up, they should let you know."
  • "If we're going to play adult games, actually, why don't male characters get raped (as much as female characters)?"
  • "I don't want to know what color the viscera is."
  • "You make it the World of Mostly Dimness"

Segment: Sex in Gaming Part 1

Always remember: consent is #1!

Segment: Feedback

Thanks for the feedback!
Send an audio file or email us at!
Leave us a voice mail at 206-888-2327!
Leave us comments at the show blog at
Place yourself and send us a shout-out at our Frappr Map.
Participate in our online forum at!
Visit our Cafe Press store to purchase a Bear's Grove t-shirt!
As always, I thank you very much for listening to me today, and I want to remind all our listeners that the Bear's Grove is covered under a Creative Commons 2.5 license: attribution, no derivatives, no commercial use.

Music Show Notes

Our music today is from the Podsafe Music Network at, and included:
To Victory! by DJ Topshelf
which Opened up our Swashbuckling section and Isin Laulu from Mark Heimonen opened up our interview with Cynthia and
Romany Dance Gitano Flamenco by hellozero started off the segment on sex in gaming. Finally today we have the song Learning to Fly by Josh Woodward to close out the podcast. Until next time, keep your mind, heart, and spirit open and have sweet dreams when you get them.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Bear's Grove Short Promo

This is just a ten-second promo. Hope you like it!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Bear's Grove #11: Visual Game Design Tools, Gamer Girl Interview Part 2, "Nothing," and Delayed Sexual Gratification

Download the show here

Promo this week

Gamer the Podcasting

The Game Designers Toolkit

ArtRage, available for download free from here

The GIMP, available at
There are Windows installers specially available for the GIMP at

The Hero Machine, Free Edition:

The Hero Machine, paid edition:

Quotes from the Interview with Cynthia

"How important is it that you know all the rules?"

"Most rolls were a d20 anyway."

"There was something that could be screaming, or it could be laughter."

"He would come and sit in our laps and feed me popcorn."

"They respected our game because we respected theirs - they got sacred gaming time because we got sacred gaming time."

"I asked you first to do some one-on-one time outside the campaign."

"I wasn't looking for experience points, I was looking for the character to tell me who she was."


Quotes from Alan Braden's "Nothing" segment

"Turn your QVC Addiction into an asset for the team!"

"Town B was known only as a brief stopping point for caravans."

"Players don't want to stare at a dice screen."

"They squirm. That can be fun to watch for a little while."

"Sometimes we look for our players to perform definitive actions."

"...creating moments of warm fuzzy that will help tide their characters over later when we make their lives a living hell."

Music this Episode has been, on the Podsafe Music Network:

"Triumph" by Mark Heimonen

Geoff Smith's "Not on the Radio"

Lorena Mire's Everything

This podcast released under a Creative Commons 2.5 license, attrib, no-deriv, no-commercial-use.

No sex this week. Try back next week. Thanks, Phil and Dixie!

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Bear's Grove #10: The Super Hero Edition!

Download the podcast here.

As you can probably tell this week is our Super Hero themed episode. And we have a few features this week having to do with our theme.

We have a piece about the private lives of super heroes by our visiting columnist Alan Braden called "By Day..." and I have a piece about my experiences with super hero gaming.

Then we'll have the first half of a "female gamer" interview with my partner, Cynthia, and then I'll finish up the Religion in Gaming segment I started last week.

As always, the music from this podcast is from the Podsafe Music Network at music dot podshow dot com.

We are a proud member of the Goblin Broadcast Network at, where you'll find so many gaming podcasts that stick shaking won't enter into it in any way. We are also part of the Science Fiction Podcast network at tsfpn dot com, and the Gaming Podcast Network at gamingpodcastnetwork dot com.

And a new announcement! In the interests of welcoming diversity to the practice of storytelling and roleplaying, we've joined the Q-Podder network as a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-friendly podcast. Welcome to our new Q-Podder friends!

If you like The Bear's Grove and would like to contribute to its continuance, please do not hesitate to click the Donate button at our website at Alternatively you may wish to purchase our special edition Bear's Grove podcast t-shirt at the Cafe Press store in the Grove.

If you'd prefer not to contribute, that's fine, I just ask that you tell someone else about the podcast, and also go and vote for the podcast at Podcast Alley and add it to your favorites at Podcast Pickle.

Music in this podcast has been:

In the opening, The Dudes in the Car by Vincent Van Go Go and Forest in the Morning by Fumitaki Anzai

Luna by Fumitaki Anzai was the music that opened Alan's column. Opening the interview with Cynthia was a song called "Hell of a Boy" by the Lascivious Biddies. And finally the music "Celebration" by Mark Heimonen. We will finish out today's podcast with a song called "The Spirit World" by Josh Woodward.

All of this music is available for download by podcasters at the Podsafe Music Network, music dot podshow dot com, and very soon non-podcasters will be able to slip the artist some change and come away with a lovely song in exchange.

As always, this podcast comes to you under a Creative Commons License 2.0, Attribution, No Derivatives, No Commercial Use.

Please join us in 7 days when the Bear's Grove number eleven will have the second half of our interview with Cynthia, a column about Nothing from Alan Braden, the continuation of our Game Designer's Toolkit series, and our special feature, which will be about SEX in gaming. Look forward to seeing you then, and sweet dreams when you get them!