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.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

New URLs!

There are three new URLs podcast listeners might want to know about:

The Bear's Grove can now be found simply at

The Bear's Grove: Bardic Circle can be found at

And Dragonkin can be found at


Monday, April 24, 2006

The Bear's Grove #16: Listener Survey Results, GM Game Prep, Blacpool Behind the Scenes

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Show Notes:

I give a reporting of the initial results of the listener survey. There's still time, though, to cast your votes if you have a Live Journal.

Dragonkin is my kids and RPG podcast now, and all of the kids and RPG stuff that would normally have gone to The Bear's Grove is going there.

We are now text searchable by Podzinger.

Go to the Harping Monkey website for more information about Mythic MUSH, where you can take a virtual tour of the Bear's Grove.

Check out Podiobooks, a really cool audio book website. I'm currently listening to 7th Son by Hutch and Mur Lafferty's collection of podcast short stories, Voices.

Tonight's show:

Romantic Snapshots: some examples of romance playing a part in my past stories.

The Storyteller's Circle: how to prepare for a game by immersing yourself in beauty and wonder.

The Game Designer's Workbench: A behind-the-scenes tour of Blacpool


The feedback question for this week is: What is the most imagination inspiring music you've ever heard? It's best if you can give us artist and title, but I'll take anything.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Bear's Grove #15: The Generic Edition, NWoD Rant, Religious Holidays, Gaming Agreements, Game With Me, Feedback

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Show Notes:
Don't forget to take our listener survey here, (free Live Journal membership required)

Religion in Gaming
Interfaith Calendar (for ideas)

The Storyteller's Circle
Gaming Agreements
Some Etiquette Hints from the TechnoMom

Game With Me: A trip through the seamier parts of Blacpool
With your host, Tash Oakbin, a Sydalian scout. He's a scout, okay? not a thief. A scout. Not a rogue. OK? A scout. He scouts things.

Special thanks to Soulsong and Andrew for feedback!

The feedback question of this week is:

What do you do to prepare for your games?

No music this week - we're trying out Generic!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bear's Grove Listener Survey

I'd love it if my listeners would take time to answer a brief, non-commercially-related poll at this post in my Live Journal:


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Bear's Grove #14: Diceless RPGs, Blacpool Tour, Gender in RPGs

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Show Notes & Links

I tried to find something about UU Paganism that reflected my own personal beliefs but couldn't.

Basically, I am a Well-Grounded UU Pagan. I believe that all religions have elements of truth to them, and that rationalist / humanists also have a handle on truth. For myself, I connect best with a more animistic, numinous, immanent Divine rather than a transcendant one.

The Unitarian Universalist Association web page

Check out my blog for something about Well-Grounded Pagans

Pagan Podcasting Network


Electronic Freedom Foundation


Noddy's CroneCast

The Forge's Provisional Glossary

Erick Wujcik's Diceless RP article

A website about Gender as a Continuum

Jackie Cassada (White Wolf  page ) (Pen & Paper Database)

Teenagers from Outer Space (TFOS)

Torchomatic's The Glass Roof
Natives of the New Dawn's Good Day

So, for this week, I wanted to try and get some feedback for next week.

I'd like to ask you guys a question and hope to get some response.

The questions you can choose from are:

Have you ever played a diceless RPG?


Have you ever run into any challenges or difficulties with gender in your roleplaying games?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dragonkin Podcast try #2

My apologies!

The file you may have received for Dragonkin was truncated due to problems with the initial upload.

As a result, I am re-releasing the file on this feed as it was supposed to go out on the feed nice and complete.

The first bit you should hear is the music and my voice.

Thanks to a loyal listener for pointing this out!


Monday, April 03, 2006

The Bear's Grove #13: Game with Me, Character as Self, Sex Magick

Show Notes:

News & Notes:
Misfit Brew podcast, and the show Sam has an essay in is Episode 9.
Shadowdance podcast

Gaming With Me segment

  • Characters are heroes. They have enough power and enough ability to get things done. They didn't just fall off the turnip truck. They have stuff that helps them be heroes. What they do and what they say matters. I like for people to really like their characters.
  • The stories revolve around the characters. I create stories for your character to be a part of. I go into your character's background and find plot hooks that will help flesh out the stories that are taking place.
  • The bad guys think of themselves as the heroes of their own stories.
  • Things happen as a result of what heroes do and the world continues to change around them, outside of the story bubble.
  • I do story arcs. This means I set up a story in what might be thought of as a throw-away scene. There are several seemingly throw-away story scenes but things eventually come to light.
  • All hope is never lost, but sometimes heroes can stray from the path.
  • Did I mention I tend to do big, epic stories?
  • I like stories in which the characters actually change over the course of time.
  • We play a blended-diceless game, and it has a passing resemblance sometimes to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition, but that is just because I have been too busy or lazy to create the Cora Ni Roleplaying Game, which is what should really happen.

Please note: if you want to game with me and you live in the Atlanta area, there is a monthly D&D meet that I attend. Email me seperately for information.

The Character as Self Segment
Robin Laws talks about avoiding GM'ing "mannerisms," which is basically what I'm talkinga bout here.

Sex and Magick
Wikipedia links:
Aleister Crowley

Amazon Links:
The Mists of Avalonby Marion Zimmer Bradley
Laurell Hamilton's Merry Gentry Books
Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books
A History of Sex Toys - ADULTS ONLY

Special Thanks to JJ "Working Man" Lanza for your feedback and good luck with your podcast!

Our music has been, in the Goblin Broadcast Network bumper the song "Hellish Dreams" by the Leechmaster Project in the opening Fumitaki Anzai's Forest in the Morning
, Sascha Ludwig's Tribute to Mozart opened up the Game With Me section, Patrick Gorman's Bella opened up the Character as Self section, the song Lost Times by Tom Byrne opened the Sex and Magick section, and finally, the Brobdingnagian Bards will end our podcast with their music homage to The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.

If you enjoyed the music today, I encourage you to visit the musician's website, buy their CDs, and let them know that The Bear's Grove sent ya.

Click here to download the show!