System Mastery

By System Mastery Entertainment

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 May 29, 2020

Description

Jef and Jon review roleplaying games, Star Wars novels and anything else that crosses their paths.

Episode Date
The Land of Ogg – System Mastery 178
We needed a break to finish our second book, and when you live in a gig economy that just means doing a smaller job that week!  The Land of Ogg […]
Jul 14, 2020
System Mastery Special – Things We Hate About D&D – Part 3
No really, they’re the worst.  Play another game.  Also while we’ve got that picture of Radcliffe up there, our opinion is that JK Rowling is a TERF piece of shit, […]
Jul 04, 2020
SenZar – System Mastery 177
With 26 races, nearly 40 classes, giant complex martial arts systems and a battle world that has run amok for aeons aesthetic, where could SenZar possibly go wrong?  It’s an […]
Jun 30, 2020
High Strung – System Mastery 176
Grab your amps and start planning setlists, as we take a look at a game that eschews the classics of dungeon diving in favor of trying to make it big […]
Jun 17, 2020
Call of Cthulhu (5.6) – System Mastery 175
Yes, it’s not a D&D game. Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay. We still found a classic, the Chaosium flagship and the biggest name in leaning heavily on public […]
Jun 03, 2020
Alma Mater – System Mastery 174
We’ve posted so many episodes at this point that the only reason this one’s description isn’t just “Fuck this game” is that I’m not sure I didn’t do that for […]
May 20, 2020
System Mastery Special – Things We Hate About D&D – Part 1
So hey, remember when we wrote that book?  Jef apparently didn’t because this special content powered by pre-orders has been sitting unedited on an external HD for months.  The only […]
May 11, 2020
Smallville – System Mastery 173
It was about time we discussed the Cortex engine, and what better way to have a discussion than driving 45 minutes to a Kansas farm so I can say one […]
May 05, 2020
Darwin’s World – System Mastery 172
It’s post-apocalypse OGL gaming here so it may seem like something we’ve done before, but is it?  I hope not, but honestly 171 is a lot of episodes to go […]
Apr 21, 2020
Tunnels & Trolls – System Mastery 171
The year is 1975.  The hair is stupid.  The clothes are stupid.  The music?  Mostly stupid.  The movie scene was okay (Rocky Horror?  Jaws?  Come on now).  And the RPG […]
Apr 07, 2020
DragonRaid – System Mastery 170
Someone tweeted about this, someone else linked it to us, and now we’ve reviewed it.  The DragonRaid Adventure Learning System:  A Roleplaying Game for Courageous Christians.  It’s probably safest to […]
Mar 25, 2020
Rampant: Live Action Roleplaying – System Mastery 169
Lightning bolt!  Lightning bolt!  Lightning b… you get the idea.  It’s a LARP game!  And for us, a weird one, since we’ve never actually encountered one before that just looks […]
Mar 11, 2020
Timeship – System Mastery 168
Timelord!  Would you like to play an RPG as yourself and then, you know, get rewarded for showing up to the table with weapons and German soldier uniforms and stuff?  […]
Feb 26, 2020
Supplement Spectacular 2! – System Mastery 167
A fun side effect of doing what we do is that listeners send us stuff.  All the time.  We have just tons of books.  Jef’s room is basically two used […]
Feb 11, 2020
Dream Park – System Mastery 166
This has been on Jon’s to-get list for most of the time we’ve made the show, and who should suddenly show up with a copy of the thing but our […]
Jan 29, 2020
Toon – System Mastery 165
Time to tackle some more Steve Jackson stuff.  No GURPS still (somehow we still don’t have a copy) but I do have Toon so here we go!  Play as a […]
Jan 15, 2020
Glyphs: RPG Blueprint (Part 2) – System Mastery 164
This thing is huge and bizarre and we have come back to finish it because you are not prepared… for more Glyphs.
Jan 01, 2020
Glyphs: RPG Blueprint (Part 1) – System Mastery 163
Let’s finish off the year with something wild, what do you say?  How about a game that uses a flicked token carom style mechanic for all random resolution?  This thing […]
Dec 18, 2019
Star Thugs – System Mastery 162
Time for some sci-fi!  This game takes all the futuristic space convention you love and just DUMPS on it, haha yeah rad, fuck Star Trek!  Anyhow come along won’t you?  […]
Dec 04, 2019
Quest of the Ancients – System Mastery 161
Have you missed the good old fashioned heartbreaker game paradigm?  Well fret no longer friend, because this one has it all!  Elves! Dwarves!  Saracens for some reason!  This reprint of […]
Nov 20, 2019
Godlike – System Mastery 160
Superheroes!  World War 2!  Greg Stolze?  What’s not to like?  Well, there’s plenty to like, such as the fascinating superpower design system and the fairly fun dice mechanics.  But could […]
Nov 06, 2019
Dark Realms – System Mastery 159
We didn’t know it when we started, but there’s a theme to this year’s Ween episodes beyond just leftover horror games floating around the library.  And that theme is “Oops […]
Oct 23, 2019
Chill – System Mastery 158
It’s a nice day for something!  Welcome back to our October content.  This year the theme is a little looser since we’ve reviewed enough White Wolf games for two lifetimes […]
Oct 09, 2019
Space Master – System Mastery 157
Well, we had to take a look at a Role Master game eventually, and this one chose us.  This 1985 RPG is deeply, deeply mathy, and features a fantastic story […]
Sep 25, 2019
Eoris Essence (Part 2) – System Mastery 156
Well, after last week with Jef failing to figure out what the heck any of this is using just the rule book, can Jon save the day?  Will his comprehensive […]
Sep 10, 2019
Eoris Essence (Part 1) – System Mastery 155
A lavish box set full of tomes of full color wonder!  A comprehensive vision of an exciting and vast universe!  But System Mastery!  Could it be… completely impossible to read?  […]
Aug 27, 2019
WWE: Know Your Role – System Mastery 154 (live!)
Live from GenCon 2019, it’s System Mastery!  We’re covering the greatest entertainment to come out of the squared circle in 2005, actual wrestling!  Wait… no, probably some video game!  Or […]
Aug 14, 2019
Amethyst Foundations – System Mastery 153
Did you know there were licensed RPGs using the 4th edition D&D engine?  Well here’s one now!  It has lots of fancy elves, a bunch of tech-based classes, and so […]
Aug 02, 2019
Snarfquest D20 – System Mastery 152
Sometimes we get a book and we aren’t sure the exact percentage of RPG that’s going to be in there, so we end up reviewing like, a show synopsis or […]
Jul 17, 2019
D&Dizzle: Dragons in the Hood – System Mastery 151
In retrospect we probably should have saved this for episode 175.  Anyhow this is a short comedy game mixing Dungeons and Dragons with hip-hop flavor pulled from the 80s and […]
Jul 03, 2019
Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition – System Mastery 150
Happy episode 150!  Still can’t believe it’s gone on this long.  Here’s D&D 5e.  It’s a game.
Jun 19, 2019
Kobolds Ate My Baby – System Mastery 149
Every once in a while we’ve both got so much else going on that we have to rely on what we call “The Emergency Stack”, a collection of books short […]
Jun 04, 2019
Recon – System Mastery 148
Well, so we can probably do a whole hour of laughy laughs on the … wait, Vietnam War?  Is that right?  Okay then.  Recon is from 1982, and it is […]
May 21, 2019
Fading Suns – System Mastery 147
Sorta 40k, sorta Vampire, maybe a little Dune in there?  Anyway it’s a space RPG where there’s a church that’s basically Catholicism through a greasy mirror and a bunch of […]
May 08, 2019
Of Gods and Men – System Mastery 146
Hey who wants an old-fashioned case of the Heartbreakers?  Because that’s what we’ve got right here.  And it’s a doozy!  In that it’s one of those small-batch ones that you […]
Apr 24, 2019
Bliss Stage – System Mastery 145
Straight from one bleak future to the next, only this time it’s kids.  Why it’s almost as dystopic as the movie Kids!  Basically the future is dream robots that put […]
Apr 09, 2019
Cyborg Commando – System Mastery 144
So a decade or so after D&D, Gary Gygax had a brand new idea.  What if cyborgs with dustbuster crotches defended the world from giant bugs made of erectile tissue?  […]
Mar 26, 2019
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs – System Mastery 143
With Jef still recovering in the hospital, Jon turns to fan-favorite guest Claire to join in and help review this RPG based on a comic book. It promises two things […]
Mar 14, 2019
Unknown Armies (2nd edition) – System Mastery 142
You want true power and to really know the truth?  You have to really really want it in Greg Stolze’s Unknown Armies, a game of obsession, power, and the power […]
Feb 27, 2019
Tenchi Muyo! RPG and Resource Book – System Mastery 141
It’s a Tri-Stat game!  We’ve done a few of these already so you already know the basics. Weird combat system where the attacker and the defender have very little to […]
Feb 13, 2019
Leystorm: The Dominion – System Mastery 140
In a grim future where everyone is lopsided and has dreads, can a few awful chumps win a mighty rebellion against Darth Emperor of Mankind?  This mid-90s science fantasy game […]
Jan 29, 2019
Maelstrom Storytelling – System Mastery 139
1997, a dark year indeed.  Bad Batman movies and stuff.  Seriously, it was not a good scene, unless you were crazy for middling swing music.  But hey, this book came […]
Jan 16, 2019
Systems Failure – System Mastery 138
We’re back from our very needed rest and relaxation, and working harder than ever to fill your ears with reviews of roleplaying games.  This time we’re talking the Y2K bug […]
Jan 01, 2019
Expounded Universe 65 – So Many Poop Jokes
Hey the last thing we’re making this year, so we made sure to load it up with fresh buttered poop humor, just for your holidays.  Hestizo and Tulkh make discoveries […]
Dec 21, 2018
Kult – System Mastery 137
We’ve seen a lot of requests for this game, and now we understand why.  Come along, won’t you, on the game preachers in the 80s wished actually existed so they […]
Dec 19, 2018
Expounded Universe 64 – Forever 21 Eye Spiders
I have to be honest here, I’m sick and pretty well wiped out on Nyquil, so I only vaguely remember what we even talked about in this episode.  I remember […]
Dec 12, 2018
Expounded Universe 63 – Blackmail Airmail
Oh sweet, new characters!  And we’re starting to learn stuff about the official zombie rules in this universe.  Pretty good ones!  Can anyone survive?
Dec 07, 2018
The World of Species – System Mastery 136
The World of Species!  Finally an RPG with a glossy photo of a young Alfred Molina in it!  This Masterbook licensed setting is rife with information about the sex-sci-fi thriller […]
Dec 05, 2018
Expounded Universe 62 – 28 Parsecs Later
Whoa, zombies have entered the building!  They’re coming in!  Hold on, is that a quote from a horror movie or something?  I should ask Jon. In the meantime, here’s some […]
Nov 28, 2018
Age of Ruin – System Mastery 135
1990 seems to be a downer year for RPGs as far as we can tell, but just you wait, someone’s gonna pop in any second and say that’s the year […]
Nov 21, 2018
Expounded Universe 61 – It Means Red
Yet more characters!  Today we’re meeting the snooty Lieutenant Norch, the surprisingly forward Captain Ansgar, and the stoic badass of the olden years, Rojo Trace.  Will any of them meet […]
Nov 13, 2018
Expounded Universe 60 – Fried Pickles
It’s like reading a whole new book as none of these chapters seem to be about the same people as the last series!  Let’s meet such Star Wars luminaries as […]
Nov 09, 2018
Renegade Legion: Legionnaire – System Mastery 134
It’s Romans. In. Spaaaaaaace on today’s episode of System Mastery.  Thrill at the game designed to be compatible with a bunch of other games!  Marvel at page after page of […]
Nov 06, 2018
Expounded Universe 59 – Prelude to a Sith
Let’s do the time warp again!  In Red Harvest, the narrative takes place nearly 3,500 years before the Battle of Yavin IV.  Will we see beloved fan characters like Party […]
Oct 30, 2018
Expounded Universe 58 – How Ya Doin
We sit down to try and piece apart what happened in this book, and really come to an agreement as to thesis and tone and so on.  No, just kidding.  […]
Oct 26, 2018
Nightbane – System Mastery 133
OLD WEEN to you all!  We’re covering the very weird Palladium title Nightbane this ween’s eve, so ready yourself for one piece of beautiful Brom art and 200 pages of […]
Oct 23, 2018
Expounded Universe 57 – Kiss My Wookiee
And with hungry hearts, we close this chapter of Expounded Universe.  Seriously, we must have been starving, this episode is pretty food heavy.  The climax has come, and you know […]
Oct 11, 2018
Beyond the Supernatural – System Mastery 132
It’s Ween again, my friends!  Joyous Ween to you all!  But sadly this year White Ween was simply out of the question.  So we searched far and wide for a […]
Oct 09, 2018
Expounded Universe 56 – The Jedi Knightfall Saga
The demipenultimate episode!  Luke is missing!  Teneniel is just working that dark side/light side divide!  King Solo finally goes full Princess Bride!  And most exciting of all, with two chapters […]
Oct 03, 2018
Expounded Universe 55 – Gethzerion and On and On
The story really heats up!  There’s cool rancor fights and jedi battles and Gethzerion is super in play!  But of course we find ways to keep making fun of it.  […]
Sep 27, 2018
With Great Power – System Mastery 131
Join us and our new friends the Bay City Informanauts on a tour through With Great Power, a game of superheroic discussions, mostly.
Sep 25, 2018
Expounded Universe 54 – The Nightwitches of Jacksonville
The story heats up as the team raids the prison!  Will they find Gethzerion?  Will they find love?  Is Chewie gonna do anything this episode (spoiler: no).
Sep 18, 2018
Expounded Universe 53 – Star Eugenics Wars
The gang’s all together!  And now they’re fighting!  Like first graders!  Let’s check in on proud naked Tenenniel, Isolder and Han splashing each other, and Luke afraid of cooties in […]
Sep 13, 2018
Marauder 2107 – System Mastery 130
A game that dares to ask the question “What if Bubblegum Crisis?”  Seriously, that’s the question.  The answer, surprisingly, is “No one gets the mech suits, everyone is a dirty […]
Sep 11, 2018
Expounded Universe 52 – Groove is in the Boob
We get to step in the wild head and untamed boobs of everyone’s new favorite force witch Tenenniel Djo today!  There’s fights with Nightwitches, battles of wits (Han is terribly […]
Sep 04, 2018
Expounded Universe 51 – Divine Secrets of the Dark Side Sisterhood
Turns out this book can actually be pretty good when it’s not about the scintillating Han/Leia dynamic, so these two chapters, which don’t let the two of them anywhere near […]
Aug 30, 2018
Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne – System Mastery 129
We felt a little dirty doing a “new” book last episode, so here’s our course correction.  The 1975 version of Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne, with all acute accents […]
Aug 28, 2018
Expounded Universe 50 – The S is for Sucks
Han continues to be the absolutely worst, but at least he’s a handsome king now (thanks Threepio), and we finally encounter some hotnsexy rancors in today’s thrilling installment!  Plus, Luke […]
Aug 21, 2018
Expounded Universe 49 – Drakmar Noir
We took a week off for GenCon but we’re back and the story just keeps getting weirder!  We finally meet Ta’a Chume!  We finally set down on Dathomir?  And is […]
Aug 16, 2018
Shadowrun 5e (Live!) – System Mastery 128
We went to GenCon and we made this show and now we hope you enjoy this show we made at GenCon.  Next time we talk about Shadowrun we’ll try to […]
Aug 14, 2018
Expounded Universe 48 – Character Assassin’s Creed
Oh for the love of god Han, no.  Stop.  Everyone just stop.  Chewie, obviously you’re cool, but the rest of you just cut it out.  This is it, the moment […]
Aug 08, 2018
Justifiers – System Mastery 127
Have you ever wanted to explore space but it’s just ever so slightly too difficult for you?  Exactly the range of too difficult where it’d suddenly be possible if you […]
Jul 30, 2018
Expounded Universe 47 – Wookie Clicker
Finally things start to pick up steam as Han deploys his standard gambling skills, Leia ruffles his hair like an adorable dog, and Chewie just sorta checks out entirely.
Jul 25, 2018
Expounded Universe 46 – Isolder, Isoldhat
The novel begins to search for a groove as we settle in for some deeply bodice-ripping action-free times.  Isolder used to be a pirate!  Han and Leia have the worst […]
Jul 19, 2018
deadEarth – System Mastery 126
Often considered in the top ten worst RPGs ever made, there’s a lot of weird choices in here.  A lot of bad, weird choices.  Thrill at the majesty of a […]
Jul 16, 2018
Expounded Universe 45 – Hapes Simplex
Expounded Universe is going back to basics.  Let’s talk about Leia, Han, and their dumb stupid relationship for idiots.  Let’s talk about woot horns!  And what’s Luke up to?  Something […]
Jul 10, 2018
Expounded Universe 44 – Mos Eisley Roundup
It’s over!  We discuss the best and worst of the characters, chapters, and themes of the Mos Eisley Cantina anthology, answer some listener questions, and look to the future!
Jul 06, 2018
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition – System Mastery 125
It’s high time that someone on the internet had an opinion about this edition of this game, and you know what, it might as well be us.  Please enjoy this […]
Jul 03, 2018
Who Eats This Cheap Shit 1 – System Mastery Special
Ugh we ate Oreos so nasty that we had to tell someone about it, and guess what, you’re someone.  Enjoy.
Jul 01, 2018
Expounded Universe 43 – Eat Lamprey Love
Now this is the kind of weird shenanigans we WANT from our Expanded Universe.  Thrill to the love story of a wet sock puppet and a cheap werewolf costume!  Can […]
Jun 26, 2018
Expounded Universe 42 – Hot Wet Tatooine Summer
So this chapter is about maps.  It’s about maps and moisture farmers and Jawas and Tusken Raiders and a surprising amount of Norwegian Star Wars folks. Got Star Wars questions?   […]
Jun 22, 2018
Albedo: Platinum Catalyst – System Mastery 124
Behold a galaxy of unchecked exploration and progress, as made by very fussy little animals that don’t like to be touched.  It’s sort of like if the Wind in the […]
Jun 19, 2018
Expounded Universe 41 – The Make an Aqualish Foundation
A long long time after the cantina, on a planet far, far away from the cantina, a new story is unfolding.  It’s the Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba show, and […]
Jun 12, 2018
Expounded Universe 40 – BoShek Spaceman
Oh man, get ready for excitement folks, because today’s story is about a guy in the movie that kinda has a line, sort of!  It’s BoShek, and is he a […]
Jun 07, 2018
Mekton Zeta – System Mastery 123
Longtime friend of the show and fan-favorite guest Claire comes by to discuss Mekton Zeta with Jon, who knows nothing whatsoever about your precious animes.  This episode sadly concludes Jef’s […]
Jun 05, 2018
Expounded Universe 39 – With Unlimited Salad and Breadsticks
Finally, we get to meet the hookah-smoking man.  The mysterious figure that everyone knows to be scared of, the … dude who’s obsessed with soup.  It’s the tale of Dannik […]
May 29, 2018
Expounded Universe 38 – Davin Busters
Back at it again with the story of a the rise and fall of one of the Empire’s finest. Follow the story of Davin Felth as he goes through basic […]
May 25, 2018
System Mastery 122 – Seven13: Cycle of Existence
It’s another week of special guests with friend of the show, Quinn, stopping by to help discuss this inscrutable book with an unhealthy obsession with the numbers 7 and 13. […]
May 22, 2018
Expounded Universe 37 – Jawa Nman
It’s a super special episode as we finally reach the chapter by the man himself, Kevin J. Anderson. He asks the tough questions like “what do Jawa smell like” and […]
May 15, 2018
Expounded Universe 36 – Elephant Tales
This week at the cantina we are following around that guy in the dollar store devil costume to see what he is up to. Turns out, he is balls deep […]
May 11, 2018
System Mastery 121 – Dragon Lines
While Jef is too occupied with baby to do the time consuming prep on the show, we are kicking off the first of our guest appearance series. Joining me to […]
May 08, 2018
Expounded Universe 35 – He’s a Goat, Yall
While Mos Eisley has been described as a den of “scum and villainy”, so far the book hasn’t been too full of real scumbags. All of that is going to […]
May 01, 2018
Expounded Universe 34 – Wuher, I Got You All in Check
Though weary and facing insurmountable odds, our heroes manage to put together a podcast this week. Jef is baby-tired and Jon is slowly turning into pure mucous. However, we still […]
Apr 28, 2018
Book of Erotic Fantasy – System Mastery 120
It’s the Supplement Spectacular again!  Or, it was going to be before a child was born into this world who ate all of Jef’s time.  Luckily (for you, not for […]
Apr 25, 2018
Expounded Universe 33 – Momaw Nadon, Mo Problems Nadon
A wise, old Ithorian in exile as penance. An evil officer of the Empire that haunts his memory. See what happens when these two oddly competent characters have to square […]
Apr 19, 2018
Expounded Universe 32 – Batman and Robbing
The meta-plots really start to thicken as we examine the tale of Muftak and Kabe, otherwise known as the Hairy Four-Eye and his good friend, the adorable little bat thing.  […]
Apr 12, 2018
The Xro Dinn Chronicles – System Mastery 119
The Xro Dinn Chronicles is, for lack of a better description, the unholy combination of Ninjas & Superspies, Babylon 5, and the sort of mindset that led to the Winchester […]
Apr 10, 2018
Expounded Universe 31 – Built Tonnika Tough
Jon’s pretty grumpy from the word go in the tale of the “Tonnika Twins” that contains less than 2% of the following ingredients: Tonnika Twins.  Timothy Zahn weaves us one […]
Apr 03, 2018
Expounded Universe 30 – Greedo and Gallant
The sad tale of Greedo is such a comedy of terrible decisions and avoidable circumstance that the only thing it’s missing is a Ron Howard voiceover.  We follow the suck-fingered […]
Mar 29, 2018
Wild Skies: Europa Tempest – System Mastery 118
Sail the skies in heavily armored airships and nimble fighter planes as a variety of sexy little animals.  It’s the early 1930s and Europe is embroiled in really weird battles […]
Mar 27, 2018
A Flying Circus of Values – Afterthought Something or Other
Hey look we still make these from time to time.  Today we’re interviewing Erika Chappell, author of the currently Kickstarting RPG Flying Circus, which somehow includes Blimpleggers as a setting […]
Mar 21, 2018
Expounded Universe 29 – And it Turned into a Ballroom Bith
The wheel begins spinning anew with the tales behind every dime store werewolf and devil mask seeking a drink and some shade in the famed Mos Eisley Cantina.  Our anthology […]
Mar 19, 2018
Expounded Universe 28 – The Crystal Stop
The big wrap-up episode!  We answer your questions about The Crystal Star (Obviously, we are the world established experts on the topic now), discuss the themes of the book, and […]
Mar 15, 2018
Scared Stiff – System Mastery 117
Today, we’re reviewing an earnest attempt to capture the very specific magic of the B-Movie.  You know, so there’s gonna be like a ray gun that changes the frame so […]
Mar 12, 2018
Expounded Universe 27 – And Then It Blew Up
The yawning conclusion of Crystal Star finally arrives!  Thrill as dramatic tension moments rise unnoticed and are swept away within a paragraph to get to more hair compliments!Don’t forget, listeners! […]
Mar 05, 2018
Expounded Universe 26 – Mister Bumblesnuffle
In this chapter, something happens.  Hey, don’t forget to actually hit us with Star Wars questions, as our wrap-up episode is coming soon. Got Star Wars questions?   We’ve got answers.  […]
Mar 01, 2018
WEGS Old Skool – System Mastery 116
OSR, or Old Sam Raimi, is a concept in gaming that the most fun game stuff already happened and was mostly done by the early 80s, and that games resembling […]
Feb 27, 2018
Expounded Universe 25 – Unlimited Salad and Dogsticks
We’re building to a crescendo here, we just know it!  This whole book definitely can’t go by with the most exciting action scene being Leia escaping from a tow truck, […]
Feb 20, 2018
Expounded Universe 24 – This Sun is a Mass of Ineffable Ass
Great news, Universeketeers (Expoundettes?)!  This chapter contains the thrilling conclusion to both the kid-town frolics capers on Hethrir’s worldcraft AND the sudden and well-deserved removal of the Lelilah and Geyyahab […]
Feb 15, 2018
Brave New World – System Mastery 115
So this is Brave New World.  What’s in the core book?  Enough superhero stuff to sort of play, if you call this playing.  A wizard class with no spells, a […]
Feb 13, 2018
Expounded Universe 23 – Hey There Lelilah
The kids escape, Han fumes, and Lelilah descends into some sort of criminal underworld tantrum.  It’s all coming to a head and we’re here to talk about it! Got Star […]
Feb 06, 2018
Expounded Universe 22 – His Name was Hethrir, He was a Dancer
Lelila and Geyyahab learn some big secrets, Han recovers after seeing a murder, and Luke fails to save the drama for his long-dead mama on today’s exciting episode of Expounded […]
Feb 01, 2018
Promised Sands – System Mastery 114
It’s impossible to predict when we’ll hit a real speedbump on the show, a real Synnibarr or Haven… and here we are!  Promised Sands ascends the steps of the pantheon […]
Jan 30, 2018
Expounded Universe 21 – When Waru Still Crushin’ (Ithorians)
The Jedi children enjoy the literal fruits of their recent Proctor-bamboozling, Leia has a a wookie makeover party, and the Waru plot goopens, as the Bizarro Meatwad reveals his true […]
Jan 22, 2018
Expounded Universe 20 – Waru, Huh, Good God
We finally meet Waru, the big ball of oozing meat and gold that just loves to love!  Waru is hosting some sort of seminar on castile soaps and healing seaweed […]
Jan 18, 2018
Witch Hunter: The Invisible World – System Mastery 113
Put on your buckliest hat and prepare to engage in battle with monsters most biblical!  We examine a game that truly tests the boundaries of how much White Wolf you’re […]
Jan 15, 2018
Gamma Crawl X – The Final Chapter
Happy winter everyone!  The gang takes on the last battle in the truck truck arena!  Sorry this took so long.  More AP will come soon, and we’ll have such things […]
Jan 14, 2018
Expounded Universe 19 – Qaqquqqu G’Joob
Today, we are thrilled to finally introduce you to the richest and most dynamic  new cast of characters ever found in a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel.  It’s so good.  […]
Jan 09, 2018
Expounded Universe 18 – Xaverri Bad Things
Whoa, subchapters!  Almost forgot about these things!  On today’s thrilling (that’s Star Wars-ese for “boring”) adventure, Leia gets surprisingly dark, Luke gets surprisingly weird, and Jaina… well look, Jaina’s just […]
Jan 04, 2018
Tomorrow Knights – System Mastery 112
Interesting note that we missed because we didn’t do any research:  Tomorrow Knights here is a Marvel property.  Which makes this a Marvel RPG.  We had no idea.  Thrill to […]
Jan 02, 2018
Expounded Universe 17 – An Impossibly Beautiful Man Appears
Star Wars meets Dickens in the first chapter we’ve read that’s from the point of view of a five-year old.  We’re truly committing to the Legends brand today as we […]
Dec 20, 2017
Extreme Vengeance – System Mastery 111
On today’s episode we discuss Extreme Vengeance, an RPG dedicated almost entirely to recreating the feel of gung-ho action movies (there is a sliver reserved for unrelentingly dragging Hulk Hogan).  […]
Dec 20, 2017
Expounded Universe 16 – Her Ethereal Thiccness
Today we’ve got someone new to discuss, a character that has never been seen before in Expounded Universe history, and not only that, it’s a full chapter, just for him.  […]
Dec 12, 2017
Expounded Universe 15 – Horrible Dogs
Welcome to season 2!  No more Xizor.  No more Dash Rendar.  I know!  It’s sad!  But don’t worry, dear listeners, because some things never change.  Like Leia being grossed out […]
Dec 06, 2017
Paranoia XP – System Mastery 110
A madcap dystopia that has more accompanying memes per square centimeter than anything short of Dungeon and Dragons itself.  Is Paranoia worth braving the swamp of people at the store […]
Dec 05, 2017
Expounded Universe 14 – Xizor Consequences
The victory lap of Shadows of the Empire begins.  We bring a pile of stuff to the table, between the book’s exciting (note: not really) epilogue, a wonderful copy of […]
Nov 28, 2017
Expounded Universe 13 – But Why Start Doing the Smart Thing Now?
WE ARE DONE!  This is it, the end of the story of Shadows of The Empire!  Who lives?  Who dies?  What is it to harn?  You’ll find out here in […]
Nov 22, 2017
Mermaid Adventures – System Mastery 109
Let’s talk about RPGs for kids.  Or more accurately, one RPG that is basically for kids.  It might be a little heavy on Ariels and light on editing, but Mermaid […]
Nov 21, 2017
Expounded Universe 12 – Benny and the Jerks
Our signature sultry audio has returned!  On today’s episode, it’s the sewer level, Vader finally makes his move via a catty phone call, and Xizor is confused about his relationship […]
Nov 14, 2017
Dark Continent – System Mastery 108
Dark Continent is the RPG of … well venturing into Africa and killing a bunch of people.  I mean that’s vaguely frowned upon (unless you are playing a Belgian), but […]
Nov 09, 2017
Expounded Universe 11 – Moonglow Over My Hammy
Let’s put the cards on the table regarding this episode.  The sound sucks.  There was a catastrophic sound failure during our recording a weekend or two ago that ate a […]
Nov 07, 2017
White Weentacular – Afterthought Special
Told you Afterthought would never die!  We were so dejected when another project went off the rails, we decided to cool down with an Afterthought.  Happy white ween!  Please note […]
Oct 31, 2017
Werewolf the Apocalypse – System Mastery 107
Awoooooo White Ween continues!  Awoooooooo!  Today on System Mastery we introduce you to the colon-free world of Werewolf the Apocalypse.  I mean, there’s some colons. Werewolves probably have colons.  I […]
Oct 24, 2017
Expounded Universe 10 – Xizor Takes a Knee
We are joined in today’s episode by Kat and Pranks from a friendly Star Wars podcast of their very own, Never Tell Me The Pods! We’ll be exploring chapters 28-30, […]
Oct 18, 2017
Mind’s Eye Theatre: Requiem – System Mastery 105
Ah, truly the most joyous of holiday seasons is upon us!  Happy White Ween!  Today, we cover a game that turned out (well after we started reading it) to be […]
Oct 10, 2017
Expounded Universe 9 – Fully Armed and Operational Molestation
In today’s episode, Princess Leia is sexually assaulted by a big red lizard man.  Everyone else who shows up at all just spins their wheels.  Dash Rendar isn’t even here.  […]
Oct 04, 2017
Living Steel – System Mastery 104
Brought to you by rocket scientists hellbent on pure unadulterated realism, Living Steel is basically Heinlein by way of Games Workshop, with probably a few too many tables (which is […]
Sep 25, 2017
Expounded Universe 8 – Guri Interrupted
In this episode everyone but Luke spins their wheels and so does he, honestly. Got Star Wars questions?   We’ve got answers.  Send them to the usual place, systemmastery@gmail.com.
Sep 19, 2017
Gear Krieg- System Mastery 103
Are you looking for a game of two-fisted derring-do and rousing pulp adventure?  You’ll be sure to find it in some other book.  Gear Krieg is an RPG companion to […]
Sep 12, 2017
Expounded Universe 7 – The Rodian Less Twaveled
Chapters 19 – 21.  In which Dash Rendar gets a real wicked sad going, Leia finally meets Guri, and against all odds, Bothans just keep on dying! Got Star Wars […]
Sep 05, 2017
Gamma Crawl X – Episode 4
Oh my goodness after a long hiatus the adventure continues.  I mean, sort of.  We recorded this a long time ago. In a measurement system I call “Broken Computers,” we […]
Sep 02, 2017
King Arthur: Pendragon – System Mastery 102
Yay, a game we didn’t hate!  This is a very specific sort of RPG, in which you play as a knightly dynasty during the Morte D’Arthur romantic tales.  Will you […]
Aug 29, 2017
Expounded Universe 6 – The Life and Death of Manny Bothans
In which Dash Rendar slowly turns into that kid that gets birthday presents at your birthday party, Vader and the Emperor make the briefest possible appearances, and Leia ponders the […]
Aug 22, 2017
A State – System Mastery 101
This book is a grim, unrelenting slog.  Punctuated by the kind of art that would be impressive if this book was a collection of screenshots from the first Fallout game, […]
Aug 15, 2017
Expounded Universe 5 – Horkin’ Up Dangle Hams
Welcome to the majesty of chapters 13-15.  In which our hero Prince Xizor capers and cavorts about most evilly, Luke does some canyon racing, Threepio belabors the joke, and … […]
Aug 07, 2017
D&D 3rd Edition – System Mastery 100
Well, it’s been four years.  Honestly when we started the gimmick of doing D&D every 25 episodes we never thought we’d actually get as far as third edition.   Here we […]
Jul 31, 2017
Expounded Universe 4 – Stupid Sexy Xizor
These chapters are in a bit of a holding pattern, but not us, damn it!  We discuss the value of Xizor’s workout regimen, Dash Rendar’s continued value as an employee, […]
Jul 25, 2017
Gamma Crawl X – Episode 3
This time on the continuing adventures of Occulus Vive, Teddy Rustbin, and Yu-go the Nyarlathotank we find our heroes faced with a fiendish trap and pitted against the fiendish Bird […]
Jul 21, 2017
Sailor Moon RPG – System Mastery 99
Moon Prism Power!  Right?  Right?  That’s what she says sometimes?  Look this is weird for us.  Not our usual thing.  So we brought in a ringer!  A guy that’s watched […]
Jul 19, 2017
Expounded Universe 3 – Rendar Unto Xizor What Is Xizor’s
In this episode Vader doesn’t look back, Luke blows up TIE fighters, Lando and Leia fly around with Dash, Luke blows up TIE fighters, Xizor visits Space Tony Roma’s, a […]
Jul 11, 2017
Gamma Crawl X – Episode 2
On today’s episode of Gamma Crawl X, our heroes encounter a slimy surprise, followed shortly thereafter by Deadstone the Gatekeeper.  Enjoy!  
Jul 04, 2017
Legendary Lives – System Mastery 98
The countdown to episode 100 begins!  This week, Legendary Lives.  Just another heartbreaker you’ve never heard of?  Maybe.  Does it commit several of the weird sins of old game design?  […]
Jul 04, 2017
Expounded Universe 2 – Xizor Lovely
Serious question.  How is there so little Xizor/Vader fic on the internet?  Just seems like an obvious thing.  This episode was recorded with a test mic rig so be gentle […]
Jun 27, 2017
Exquisite Replicas – System Mastery 97
You know what we forgot to do in this one? Make fun of that Anonymous motto about how they’re legion or whatever.  I guess we just forgot.  Oh well.  This […]
Jun 20, 2017
Gamma Crawl X – Episode 1
As demanded by the public (and the Patreon) we have begun our first ever Actual Play series, Gamma Crawl X.  In this show, we are joined by our GM Quinn […]
Jun 19, 2017
Expounded Universe 1 – Dark Shadow(s of the Empire)
Okay, here we go.  A whole new show just to clear our minds and try out something new.  Don’t worry, if you were listening because you liked our signature “terrible […]
Jun 12, 2017
Nexus: The Infinite City – System Mastery 96
Man this city is so infinite, it’s like you don’t even know.  Crazy aliens rub shoulders with alternate humans in this early 90s kitchen sink style game with a great […]
Jun 06, 2017
The End is Near – Afterthought 56
Our trip report, a little more musing on the nature of the 200 Word RPG, and a big scary announcement.  Also listener questions and dumb jokes!
Jun 01, 2017
200 Word RPG Challenge – System Mastery 95
It was a blast to help judge this year’s 200 Word RPG Challenge to assist David Schirduan in his yearly scheme to elicit all kinds of creativity from the online […]
May 23, 2017
Full Circle – Afterthought 55
In this episode we’re going to discuss mature content in games, but probably more importantly we’re going to discuss our new membership in the One Shot Podcast Network.  I’ll break […]
May 16, 2017
Purgatory – System Mastery 94
Warning: This episode is for mature gamers only.  So if you think the word “Boogers” is still pretty funny, maybe you should wait til we review the RPG adaptation of […]
May 09, 2017
Talislanta – System Mastery 93
It’s not too late to go support the new Kickstarter for the next edition of this weird but fairly charming game if you want.  It will be very soon, which […]
Apr 26, 2017
Peas and Carrots – Afterthought 54
Vacation recaps!  Settling if we’re too mean about LARPing.  Questions from you!  It’s an action packed adventure through wonderment and buffoonery!
Apr 18, 2017
Cthulhu Live – System Mastery 92
It’s a game for only the dapperest of beardsmen on today’s System Mastery.  We’re talking Cthulhu Live, a game of rapidly going insane while extras cavort about in the background.
Apr 12, 2017
Episode 73 – Fenton Rising
Today’s episode:  Season 2 – Episode 7: SuperDuckTales – Frozen Assets The scourge that is Fenton Crackshell won’t belay his bashing on our beleaguered brains.  Blast it, he’s got me […]
Apr 01, 2017
The Whispering Vault – System Mastery 91
If you listen real close you can actually hear the vault whispering.  It’s not worth it though, he’s just reading the Humor in Uniform section out of old Reader’s Digests.  […]
Mar 29, 2017
The Secret is Inside – Afterthought 53
So here’s an interesting first.  The author of The Secret of Zir’an, Chris Hockabout, is a listener!  So when we covered his book, he reached out to us.  Thank goodness […]
Mar 21, 2017
The Secret of Zir’An – System Mastery 90
The Secret of Zir’an is probably that deep under the challenging layout and heaped on layers of confusing story, accessible only to people who are really willing to roll up […]
Mar 14, 2017
Continuation – Afterthought 52
We talk about things that aren’t FATAL so hard, it’s crazy!  Can you blame us?  We just don’t want to talk about it anymore.  Plus, your questions, answered at last.
Mar 07, 2017
FATAL – System Mastery 89
Well folks, you made it happen.  Grats to all!  There’s no way this is worth any more of our time or yours than the extra-long episode we’ve thrown on here […]
Feb 28, 2017
Rambling Men – Afterthought 51
This is legitimately not a great episode if you like people that can stay on topic.  Otherwise I think it’s one of our favorites.
Feb 21, 2017
Star Frontiers – System Mastery 88
It’s the space 80s!  Feather your hair and ready your giant wrap-around bubble glasses for some interstellar adventure where the computers are so advanced that Oregon Trail has four colors!  […]
Feb 14, 2017
Mea Culpa – Afterthought 50
Today we invite a guest on to tell us all about how Nephilim is apparently a pretty good game, and it’s Kalum, the host of The Rolistes Podcast.  A native […]
Feb 08, 2017
Nephilim – System Mastery 87
The early 90s seem positively ripe with games that are more character creation tool than game, and Nephilim is no exception.  Join the ranks of weird energy spirits that have […]
Jan 31, 2017
Mad MaXCrawl – Afterthought 49
People kept asking us what we thought the best way to adapt the XCrawl concept was.  I think our title this week makes our opinion readily apparent.
Jan 24, 2017
XCrawl (D20) – System Mastery 86
Man, I hadn’t even seen the regular cover of this til I was putting this together.  That’s uhh… well I guess Luke Cage found some chain mail made by Stussy […]
Jan 17, 2017
Sick Bros – Afterthought 48
] I’m gonna be honest here, I was not well while recording this and I literally do not remember what pretense we used for the discussion portion.  I think it […]
Jan 11, 2017
The Babylon Project – System Mastery 85
Get ready to recreate the dramatic adventures of Captain John Sheridan, psychic lady Ivanova, kindly space vampire Londo Mollari, and – did the doctor guy get a name?  I forget […]
Jan 03, 2017
Nightlife – System Mastery 84
Looking for a game where you can play a vampire, werewolf, ghost, frankenstein, demon, or …Native American nature spirit?  And you you say you want it to predate 90% of […]
Dec 20, 2016
Holidays – Afterthought 47
Happy Holidays from your friendly neighborhood System Masters.   All that means is that the intro is holiday themed though, don’t you worry.  It’s still us talking about Champions and listener […]
Dec 13, 2016
Champions – System Mastery 83
Time for the HERO system, one of the big dogs of generic systems, in what is arguably it’s most popular incarnation, the very, very modular Champions.  Build a hero absolutely […]
Dec 06, 2016
With Special Guest James D’Amato – Afterthought 46
We’ve had him join us for questions and interviews before, but as long as we were visiting to be on his show, we figured “Why not bring him along for […]
Nov 29, 2016
Cyberworld – System Mastery 82
] In today’s episode we gather to pass judgement down upon Cyberworld,  the story of a distant future where an emperor that bizarrely shares the first AND last name of […]
Nov 22, 2016
Plot Armor – Afterthought 45
In these insane times, why not hearken back with us to a simpler day, when things weren’t just stupid every second, and there were good things to talk about and […]
Nov 15, 2016