Wild Talents: The Heroes of New Arcadia Episode 24

Norm, we hardly knew you.The Heroes of New Arcadia campaign will be interrupted by a special one shot of Dread, the horror game that makes Jenga terrifying. Seriously. We’re playing Dread in this episode. The players are on a space station trying to protect all of humanity from a cosmic threat. They’re all humans. No man-bats or magicians or anything like that. Nope. Just a straight sci-fi horror story about people like Norm (the prisoner), Jamal (the leader) and Finn (the worker). They all know something is WRONG on the station. Can these normal humans solve the mystery and save the day or will they let the world be destroyed? Find out in this special game of Dread!

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  1. Am I the only person who wants to know why we can’t see Caleb’s face/is he a secret agent

    Also Dread again huzzah!

  2. …because Caleb Stokes… is… the Slenderman!

  3. Standard opsec for a teacher?

  4. what an experiment! i think you may have hit upon something, here, using Dread — more suspense with Dread than dice-rolling? more tactile, concrete and present?

    how did the players feel with Dread vs. the dice-rolling?


    — multiple towers representing different things: one a Health tower, one a Magic tower

    — each player has their own tower to represent health. when progressing in experience, can add blocks to the tower or even negate one ‘fall’

    — each game session, a player can opt to pull and then try to hit the GM with the brick — if they succeed, they get to be the GM for a limited time

  5. always good to see Dread played! btw Caleb there are a couple pictures of you on the Facebook group Ross posts APs to FB from that you might wanna have him take down, if you’re still trying to be anonymish? or maybe you just dun much care anymore?

  6. @QuickreleasePersonalitY Multiple towers sounds expensive and takes up too much space. I liked the Dread aspect for this game, but that’s because I am a Jenga god and the dice…they always be hating me.
    @crawlkill I didn’t realize we had pics up on there. And I thought I was the anonymous one.

  7. so where is this video with the pulls I keep hearing about?

  8. I want to listen to this so bad, but I’m only on episode 14 of New Arcadia right now. I guess it will be awhile unless I marathon them all tonight.

  9. No one’s going to call me on using “opsec?”

    While this was pretty awesome, it seemed like the “happy selves” had a good place but not quite the un-abandonable utopia I would have assumed.

  10. @ Journ It’s oddly appropriate considering the relative paranoia level and Caleb’s apparent fascination with all things secret and transhuman.

  11. I appreciate everyone’s interest with me, but it is standard “opsec” for a 21st century educator. While a teacher may have an internet presence–even one which uses their name–I’m of the opinion it should never be attached to a picture (there is a reason my KS trailer was animated). That maintains an element of plausible denial.

    Quite frankly, it is nobody’s business what I do in my free time. But sadly the world, and especially education, doesn’t work that way.

    Firstly, I would never want anything I do in my private life distracting from the work in the classroom. It is important that, as far as my students are concerned, I don’t exist outside of an educator capacity. That ensure I am dedicated entirely to education when I am with them, and that their focus is on the skills being practiced alone. It also allows me to assume whatever persona is useful for the lesson at have. Students are people; they have prejudices they’ve learned from their parents and their culture. The only way to counteract those prejudices is to confront them in a safe, academic setting that doesn’t directly assault their value systems. I would hate to “lose” a kid I could have otherwise reached because they shut me out after jumping to a conclusion based on something they googled.

    Secondly, kids don’t understand transference very well. If little Timmy never did anything in my class and flunked with a 2%, he likely won’t be able to handle the anger he has for his own sloth. So he will transfer that anger to me, the teacher that was “out to get him.” I don’t want those types of students given free reign with photoshop, the whole of the internet, and my face to play with.

    Lastly, while most adults are very nice people, a few of them can be hateful and insane. In the area I where I work, there are people I work with and parents I contact who still believe that Dungeons and Dragons is a form of devil worship. The fact that there is no evidence or logic behind this claim whatsoever is irrelevant; they will shout at people louder than me, and I will suffer because those people don’t want to be shouted at. The teacher is the only one they have control over, so the teacher will get hosed just so the crazies will shut up. In this post-rational “discourse,” having the debate at all means you’ve already lost, so again I limit my exposure online whenever possible.

    Heck, the first game I played with Ross when I found out he was recording…I almost walked out the door right then. And, without lamenting my personal troubles too much, I will say that the paranoia I’ve shown thus far has proven to be not enough.

    So, like I said, I love all the people associated with RPPR. You are an affirmation to me every day, and my activities with the group have been a tremendous positive force in my life. Your interest is appreciated. If we can both make it to GenCon, I’ll buy you a beer and chat your ear off.

    But with my current line of work, I’d appreciate if we cease this line of inquiry. It can only lead to IRL problems for me.

  12. P.S. I apologize for the typos. I’m working on my lunch break here (12 minutes). Forgive me.

  13. I think that’s a great attitude and intention for a teacher to have. Keep being awesome, and I hope no crazy parents target you, Caleb!

  14. I agree with Caleb, it may seem paranoid sometimes, but as an educator it just makes sense.

    As someone who works with young children on a daily basis, I work very hard to ensure my private and professional life stay separate. I have no facebook profile, I use twitter almost exclusively to follow other people, and I try to make sure that any photos of me are either taken down or completely detached from my internet persona.

    So people who want to see Caleb will just have to wait til the Know Evil kickstarter allows him to retire to a life of luxury.

  15. And you can’t forget the motion picture adaption of Fatsby: A Long Island Story. STOKED to find out who gets cast as Peter “Smiley” Flanagan.

  16. At on the recording @ 6:40, when (I believe) Caleb? sang the little line from “I would do anything for love (but I won’t do that)” it set the most scary tone of any game ever, lol. I have no idea why (as the singing wasn’t bad) it just worked, and was somehow awesome.

  17. Just though I would say that I wasn’t really trying to insult Caleb in any way. I totally get that there is an idea that teachers just sleep on their desks after school hours and don’t have lives.

    I remember an incident with a teacher back in high school who was photographed in a cape and wizard hat at a magic the gathering tournament. That started circulating among the student body. This of course lead to no end of mockery and trouble.( I just though he was awesome)

    I’m just sorry that you have to be so careful about something that is in no way shameful. It seems to point towards some deep level of insanity in our culture.
    P.S. Caleb, should we ever meet at GENCON I absolutely insist on buying YOU a beer.

  18. Cool story Caleb, but I know the REAL reason you don’t want to be seen online is you’re So Goddamn Beautiful and you don’t want people to think less of your intellectual works because of your handsome visage.

    On topic, really cool use of Dread / using another game system mid-campaign in this episode!

  19. there was that teacher who was fired a while ago for having been in porn in the past. because everyone knows…that…having been photographed while having sex makes you incapable of explaining things to people. yes. American public schools seem to brim with the kind of incoherent panic that informed the Satanist frenzy of the 80s. I guess it’s a sort of sacrificial tribal stress relief for batshit parents? nothing like picking on someone who can’t defend themselves. at any rate, I can totally understand wanting to avoid giving those people any ammunition, and wince every time someone uses a last name.

    anyway, Thad’s the hot one. we all know this. ~

  20. @Levi: Thanks

    @Discomonkey: I think at this point, I want to do Know Evil as a KS just so we can build a trailer with animated transhuman me.

    @Darthrex: I took no offense and there was nothing insulting in your post. I’ve been worrying about how me reticence to appear in some RPPR material would be received for some time and you merely provided me an opportunity to post my manifesto on the issue. I don’t want anyone to think I do it because I’m ashamed of the community or anything. If anything, I’m ashamed of some of my students’ parents.

    @Guycep: I think you’re thinking of Thad.

    @crawkill: See? Craw agrees…mmmm…sweet, sweet Thad.

    @Thad (when you read this): Sorry, but I love how you visibly turn pale when you read comments like this. It is hilarious, and you know we surely jest.

  21. As someone who has no desire to have my picture on the internet (an increasing impossible goal as we approach panopticon) I totally understand not wanting to be photographed or on video even if you did not have an actual good reason for it.

    My alternative explanation applies Ochams Razor to use the facts before us to determine the most robust explanation. Using this I can only conclude that Caleb is Meatloaf.

  22. @Caleb

    Other people finding me attractive is a san-loss condition for me.

    Nothing in the formative years of my life prepared me for a reality where there was such a thing as being nerd-hot. I blame the BBC.

  23. @Caleb, I can completely understand the paranoia aspect. I mean if I lived at 123 fake street in Moralton, Statesakota I would be scared too.
    Also, thank you for brining Thomas Ligotti into COC. I got the reference immediately and I keep having nightmars of you running an ultra-realistic version of “The Chymist.”

  24. utterly unrelateed: was this original art this week? is that how Norm’s claws were meant to look? because OH MY GOD so much more nightmarish than I’d visualized

  25. @thad Have you seen Sherlock because you bare a rough similarity to…

  26. Author

    @crawlkill yup that is classic norm kicking ass – which will be art in the Base Raiders RPG

  27. Cool fact about the Teachers.

    You guys have your work cut out for you with all those different plot lines.
    And Ross no Willpower loss for the Martyr not being a Martyr I am disappointed.
    Outside of that back to Hell!

    Torchbearer sucks… No seriously I hate him. He sucks he is just this bland kill machine. I have a incredibly large distaste towards him. So it was good to see Norm back.

  28. I suppose it makes sense that Caleb wouldn’t want to be seen on the internet because of that. It’s sometimes a little hard for me to remember that the rest of the country is not like my hometown (Portland, OR) Where my male teachers had long hair with ponytails and when we ran into eachother at a concert it was less “Student and teacher” and more “Two guys who like the same music” I honestly think it was beneficial for me to be able to interact with teachers on the human level as opposed to lifeless machines, but I can understand if it was in an exceedingly safe environment.

    I’m proud to live in a place where I can discuss Game of Thrones and play Magic the Gathering with my teachers without them having to worry about getting fired for it.

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