Episode 26: Milestones, Our One Year Retrospective and Building Better PCs Part 2

In episode 26, the founders give you an overview and review of the new Stronghold Games release, Milestones. Tony rounds up the interesting gaming news and the gang tells you what they think. The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast turns one and we talk about our first year and give you a behind the scenes look at what we do, where we came from and where we're going. And lastly the founders continue their discussion about building better Player Characters in role-playing games focusing on developing morality and a value system for your character.

Right-click to Download Episode Now!

Episode Timeline

  • Milestones Walkthrough: 00:33
  • Milestones Review: 00:44
  • Gaming News with Tony Topper: 01:09
  • A Year in Review: 01:26
  • Character Morality and Value Systems: 01:57 

Opening Banter Topics:

  • The Secret Cabal celebrates one year of podcasting!
  • Chris backed the Kickstarter project Heroes of Metro City. He was worried it wasn't going to fund but in the last 3 days it finished the $10,000 it needed and overfunded by almost $15,000.
  • Jamie backed the Kickstarter project The Great Heartland Hauling Company which tripled it's funding goal.
  • Jamie shares the woes of Glory to Rome, Black Box edition, in post Kickstarter distribution.
  • Jamie has a new project. His acquisition disorder for Dread Ball kicked in, so instead of buying in he's going to rework his Warhammer Fantasy army and make a Blood Bowl team.
  • Tony decided that instead of putting money in the bank, he was going to invest and buy 5 boxes of Return to Ravnica, which he plans to sell in ~5 years. We've decided we should contact the Treasury Department and have the national currency switched over to Magic The Gathering cards.
  • Brian's recent two weeks of gaming have been light. He got in the bi-weekly Pathfinder game, a few games of King of Tokyo, and a game of Carson City.
  • Tony finally got a play in of Alhambra! He questions whether one play counts towards the Topper Doctrine for a game with many included expansions.

Game Walkthrough And Review

The settlement of the country is the work of the players in their role as noble builders in Milestones! In this game, players work together to build roads, create marketplaces, and erect houses. With each milestone set along the way, they move further into the country. But while they build together, when it comes to procuring construction materials, money, and grain each player is on his own. Thus, you must carefully develop your own network of goods, trade and colonization materials and optimize its use cleverly. Whoever also develops a keen sense of timing can grab the most valuable building sites and in the end win out.

Gaming News with Tony Topper


Crowd-Funded Features Mars Needs Mechanics! From Nevermore Games, this project is at $26,104 out of $30,000 with an entry level of $40. 18 days to go yet so this will more than likely fund. The concept is it's a steampunk, alternate earth. The setting is London, 1873. A handful of elite steam engineers vie for a seat on mankind's first rocket to mars.

Product Announcements / Releases
Clash of Cultures rulebook by Z-Man games is up! This is a civilization development game with hex tiles for lands. The cities are little miniature blocks that build together so that a city actually grows in size.
Dominare rulebook is now up! This is a 3 game series by AEG with some very interesting mechanics. The other two games are Courtier and Mercante. While they're stand alone, events in one can impact the others if you have them. All 3 games are due out in October.
Game of Thrones HBO LCG has been announced. This is a simplified and streamlined version of the non-HBO variant for people who are fans of the television series, not necessarily for fans of the LCG.
Stronghold pre-orders: Crude and Article 27! Crude is an oil tycoon game. Article 27 is about passing UN resolutions. It seems to be a lighthearted game focused on the entertainment of political backstabbing as opposed to a serious, heavy thinking game.
Days of Wonder is coming out with a Shadows over Camelot Card Game. Jamie really likes the board game, but thinks it is tough to find the right group of people to play it so the idea of a card game appeals to him. $25 with an Essen/Spiel release.
Iron Kingdom RPG is now out, based in the Warmachine universe by Privateer Press. It has a colonial, magic, and steampunk theme mixed together for those not familiar.
Mystery of the Abbey by Days of Wonder is now back in print!
Net Runner by Fantasy Flight Games is now in stores after it sold out, twice, at Gen Con!

A Year in Review

The founders share what the experience of being hosts of a podcast has been like over the past year. We start with the origins of the show and The Secret Cabal before the podcast. Jamie got the bug after listening to The Dice Tower and The D6 Generation and ultimately spurred us into action. We share where the name of the show comes from and what our motto stands for. We talk about the format of the show, what's changed, what's stayed the same, and how listener feedback has prompted us to alter things. In particular we explain how terrible we were at the start, when Jamie had to edit for 6+ hours to filter all the poor speech out. Then we cover the good and bad of producing the podcast. In the end, the good far outweighs the bad with the highlight being all the other awesome people we've had the pleasure to meet and game with. From there we talk about where we'd like to go with the podcast in the future.

Character Morality and Value Systems

Continuing the discussion of enhancing roleplay in tabletop games, we delve into the importance of having characters with developed morality and value systems, and more importantly giving other people clues as to the moral, value based, and emotional state of your character in game. Brian and Jamie reference the games where players had visceral reactions to things, and Brian shares he developed that particular game based on a television series and wrote it like a television drama. Jamie again shares his philosophy of playing tabletop character emotionally hyperbolic and how that leads to cinematic stories. He continues on expressing his desire that each player has 4-5 reactions like that per game. Brian pushes the idea that if a tabletop session was converted to a television format, if the characters are automatons doing things devoid of emotion then the story is bland. From there, we each discuss our particular playstyles, both good and bad, and brainstorm ideas to improve play.

Support The Show!

If you're thinking of purchasing any of the games that we talked about today and you don't have a local game store with these products available, we encourage you to purchase the games via the links in our show notes. This is an easy way for you to contribute to our show and get some fantastic games for your collection!
Previous Article Episode 25: Descent 2e, The Acquisition Disorder and Designing Better PCs
Next Article Episode 27: Glory to Rome Black Box Edition, Story Games and Building Better NPCs