Itras By: Night Vale Traditional Games Club

In my headcanon, Night Vale Community Radio actually has more than 1 show  :OIn this special one shot, we try out a new indie RPG called Itras By, but instead of using its setting, we explore the wonderful little desert town of Night Vale! A group of students at the local Community College are members of the Traditional Games club and tonight happens to be board game night! Unfortunately, some of the game pieces from the club’s accursed copy of Chiromagica are missing, so the players must retrieve them from the abandoned Geology building. What possible horrors could confront them there? Plastic bags, perhaps? An unspeakable presence that lurks out of sight, eternally hungry? The Library of books discarded from other libraries? Difficult test questions? Obscure holy texts? There’s only one way to find out…

Download Beyond the Vale, starring Thad, featured in this episode.

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  1. God, you guys had me in tears from laughing so hard. This is is an instant favorite.

  2. “Slow Clap.”

    My God, that was… beautiful. I mean not as beautiful as Carlos but in a different way, and yet… the same way.

  3. I like that Thad’s become your go-to in character transmission guy. and were those topical news references? are the oneshots catching up to real time? will they soon start feeding…from the future?

  4. As a fan of both indie RPGs and Nightvale this was pretty great to listen to and a cool extra with the radio show you recorded.

  5. I’m glad this was a favorable social interaction. Would you care to fill out this form?

  6. Gladly!

    *signs name that appears as censored black bar*

  7. Well, that was… *Ah* I mean, *Ah*…

    Pretty funny, and definitely surreal.

  8. I don’t wanna be “that guy”, but as somebody who was home schooled (and now has a Master’s degree and currently works as an academic librarian), that crazy shit from PACE is not representative of all of us.

    It is incredibly hilarious, though.

  9. @Ethan C.

    Nobody was implying all homeschooled children deal with that curricullum. The PACE questions are just laughably terrible and, in my mind, sufficiently absurd to warrent use in the game. I work with a lot of homeschooled people transitioning into college or high school, and I find that they are often far more prepared for rigorous study than kids raised entirely in public schools. However, in our area I see just as many homeschoolers woefully unprepared for both college and real life, usually because their parent made the choice to homeschool based less on their child’s needs and more on their own crazy ideology (a mother literally once told me that she didn’t pay taxes to have Obama brainwash her kids into becoming Satanists–managing not to laugh in her face is one of my proudest professional achievements). I’m willing to bet those folks use PACE. In this area, my experience is all one or the other: Homeschooling either produces baby geniuses or borders on parental neglect.

    So in conclusion, I in no way meant to generalize all homeschoolers. I just thought that when one of your possible answers in a multiple choice question is “two dry ducks” that it was approaching some Sun Ra/ No Exit/ Dali levels of surrealism.

  10. Caleb, your stories about past employment are the best.

    And by “best” I mean “most horrifyingly sanity-wrecking.”

  11. Fabulous work, guys! I am apparently alone in not liking NIght Vale very much, so I was a bit concerned this would be an episode I would have to pass on, but between the forms, PACES (c’mon. Caleb, you know damn well some of our tests are just as bad), and the howling, rabid paper bags, this had me in stiches and brought me back to a happy mood even after sliding off the edge of my snowy New England road into a snowbank. so Kudos on yet another AP that was just as much fun to listen to as apparently it was to play.

  12. This is a good example of playing surreal enough that the game becomes strange but not weird. Ren and Stimpy gave me my definitions for that. Absurd concepts and events abound. I actually predicted a few of them, such as the fire alarm causing fire. Nice to see we were on the same page.

    David gets the big win here for the best character. Normally it ends up being Tom or Caleb who has the best quip or characterization, but I am quite pleased to see David take the spotlight.

    Kudos to him.

    PS: Nice to get a Chirop callback too.

  13. Caleb, those PACE questions were hilarious. Is there a good source for them online?

  14. Click the link “Difficult test questions” in the game description. That’s what I used for the game. Not a bad blog either.

  15. Thanks for the kind words, Caleb. That’s kinda my experience as well, though I’d say that I’ve generally seen more positive than negative outcomes (perhaps because I’ve never personally encountered that PACE-level of nuttiness). I didn’t think you were vilifying anybody; I just wanted to make sure nobody who might be unfamiliar with homeschooling got an incomplete impression based just on the crazy fringe-types.

    I would agree that as far as educational quality goes, homeschooling does tend to have a larger percentage of outliers in both directions than public schooling — which isn’t surprising, since it’s a self-selecting population being compared to the nearly-universal sample size of the public-schooled population.

    And yeah, the “two dry ducks” thing makes me wonder if the folks who write PACE might somehow intend it as some kind of joke.

  16. Apparently there’s a directly Night Vale inspired indie RPG called Community Radio that I’d be curious to hear played.

    Awesome AP.

  17. This.

    I would love to hear more Nightvale themed stuff cause you guys did great.

  18. The best part of this was when that card actually skipped the entire adventure’s climax and nobody knows how it ended. normally that sucks, but in this case it worked out just fine

  19. Speaking as a graduate of a mostly PACE based school curriculum, I can honestly say that PACE questions tended to be outright ridiculous, especially in early grade material.

    They also tended to be hilariously dedicated to pounding religion into your head.
    It tended to be a weird mix of idealistic glurge, ‘traditional’ values, and pop culture references. I can say, as a somewhat conservative Christian, that it was hilarious, awkward, and slightly disturbing.

    They DID get better once I hit high school, but a part of that may be because High School is when PACE work got intermixed with other, more educational material.
    I was not schooled entirely via PACE work, as I actually went through an extension program run by a local Christian school rather than a pure home school course.

    With my family, it was less about religious conviction (Most of us are religious, but we don’t exactly toe the line of the standards and values of ACE) and more a case of convenience and necessity; due to a variety of family issues (chronic illness, irregular address, and legal necessity to avoid truancy) We needed something to accommodate, and it was there.

    All I can really say about the years of my education with PACEs:
    Thank God for my parents and the internet. Otherwise, I may never have learned a thing.

  20. Damn that was absolutely hilarious, best one i’ve listened to yet. I’m a new viewer kind of watching in a random order. thanks for uploading this guys/everyone at rppr.

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