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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.

In-Depth Series

Tabletop Gaming

In this series, initiated by klaatu, analog games of various sorts are described and reviewed. See for details.

Dirt cheap Magic - klaatu | 2018-09-12

In this episode, Klaatu talks about playing Magic: The Gathering for cheap.

See by Eric Jome for a good deck building formula.

BattleTech - tuturto | 2018-08-01

Following links might help you to get more familiar with the game.

Intro to De Bellis Antiquitatis - tuturto | 2018-07-11

In this episode tuturto paints rambles about De Bellis Antiquitatis while painting more toy soldiers, so expect long pauses and missing thoughts as he tries to do two things at the same time.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (or DBA for short):

While the original site seems to be gone, WADBAG unofficial guide to DBA can be found at:

Kill Dr. Lucky - klaatu | 2018-06-11

Details about Kill Doctor Lucky on

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulu board game review - klaatu | 2018-06-07

Pandemic Reign of Cthulu

Pandemic original edition

Mods can be found online. For instance:

Howto get started playing RPGs - klaatu | 2018-05-11

Have you ever wanted to start playing a tabletop RPG, but weren't sure where to start? In this one-hour episode, Lostnbronx and Klaatu introduce you to role-playing games, including what you need to have in order to get started, how to build a character, what a game session is like, and how to find other people to play with.

Some resources mentioned in this episode:

  • The easy way in: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Player's Handbook

  • A collection of free RPG systems Brent P. Newhall's Musæum of Fantastic Wonders

  • The OpenD6 system is a free and open and very flexible game using only standard 6-sided die

  • is a good, albeit dated, introduction to RPG modules and gameplay in general. It won't exactly fit anything you play, but reading it through might clarify how a typical game works (and actually it's pretty easy to adapt into a modern game like Pathfinder or D&D, if you want.).

  • Klaatu has a weekly podcast called Chronicles & Commons, wherein he talks about fantasy [Creative Commons and public domain] folklore in the context of RPG gaming (which in turn is discussed in context of storytelling).

the_remora Builds a character in Edge of the Empire - the_remora | 2018-03-29

Thanks and sorry the Audio was so bad, I was forced to use Bluetooth headphones because Audacity would not take audio from my USB headset.

Interface Zero Play-through Part 3 - klaatu | 2017-12-05

Klaatu, Lobath, and Thaj continue their play-through of the Interface Zero RPG, using the Job InSecurity adventure.

Lyphrygerator composed by William Kenlon, used with permission.

All other music by Klaatu.

Some sounds from used for texture. Obligatory credits will appear in final episode.

Interface Zero RPG Play - klaatu | 2017-11-23

The second session of Interface Zero RPG live play with Klaatu, Lobath, and Thaj.

This week, Chiawei and Syd reach Peter's apartment and do some quick detective work, and a little bit of minor bone-breaking.

If you're really keen to play, send Klaatu an email (Klaatu at the domain of this podcast, or The recording schedule is inflexible, Klaatu has oddly high standards for audio that he is inevitably compresses down to 64kbps, and the game has already started, but a new character or guest character is not out of the question!

No give-away this week, but we'll be giving a (digital) Pathfinder starter kit out next week.

Interface Zero RPG Play - klaatu | 2017-11-16

Klaatu, Lobath, and Thaj play a session of Interface Zero, a role playing game using the Pathfinder rules.

If you're new to RPG and want to hear how it's done, or you're just bored and want to hear some nerds play through a cyberpunk adventure, this is for you! Also - for one lucky listener - we have an RPG starter kit. Listen for details.

Kickstarter Post Mortem - klaatu | 2017-11-14

Klaatu tried to fund art for a card game on Kickstarter. Missed the goal by 85%

This is a post mortem of how the Kickstarter went and where he may have gone wrong. Possibly you can learn from his mistakes. Possibly he has misdiagnosed his mistakes, and you are being misled. Choose wisely.

Petition: the card game for fanatics - klaatu | 2017-10-17

Klaatu talks about a card game that he designed and is currently Kickstarting. Hear all about the exciting game play in this episode!

It's a neato fantasy battle game, and is Creative Commons and open source. He hopes to finance, specifically, the artwork, which is being done by artist Nikolai Mamashev on Linux with Krita.

If you want to contribute, go to

Still in the game - klaatu | 2017-09-29

In a counterpoint to episode 2381, Klaatu talks about how PC gaming compares to tabletop gaming.

PCGen - klaatu | 2017-09-06

Building characters for your next exciting tabletop RPG session? Use PCGen, and here's how!

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game - klaatu | 2017-05-02

Klaatu introduces you to the Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

And since it's in the same neighborhood, Klaatu also mentions the Open Game License and mentions more than once Forgotten Realms.

Tunnels and Trolls and Dungeon Delvers - klaatu | 2017-04-24

Klaatu reviews the solo RPG experience provided by Tunnels & Trolls community.

Additionally, he mentions a nice Creative Commons rulebook (if you can call 2 pages a book) called Dungeon Delvers.

Gamebooks: Lone Wolf - klaatu | 2017-04-10

Klaatu talks about the Lone Wolf series of solo RPG gamebooks from the 1980s.

Dungeoneer Tabletop Game - klaatu | 2016-12-01

Klaatu reviews the RPG card game, Dungeoneer, especially concentrating upon solitaire play.

If you're keen to play, you'll want to use Klaatu's re-write of the official rules, or his re-write and touch-up of the unofficial solo rules. Neither of these are unique in themselves, but Klaatu humbly believes that they're a lot easier to comprehend than those online or in the box.

Dutch Blitz Table Top Game - Steve Saner | 2016-11-29

Dutch Blitz Tabletop Game


Dutch Blitz was created by Werner Ernst George Muller, from Pennsylvania, in the United States, in 1959. It is similar to the game Nertz, which is played with standard playing cards. Nertz had been around since the 1940s. It isn’t totally clear to what extent Mr Muller was influenced by the game of Nertz. He was an optometrist and it is said that he thought the game might help his children learn about colors and numbers.


The game has a theme that originates with the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, which was formed by early German immigrants to eastern Pennsylvania in the United States. The symbols used on the cards are representative of that culture, which tended to be agricultural and of a conservative protestant Christian faith.


Each player has their own deck of cards. The standard set has 4 decks, so it can accommodate 2-4 players. There is an extension pack that adds 4 more decks, supporting 4 more players. Each deck has 40 cards made up of number cards from 1 through 10 in four different colors (suits): red, blue, green, and yellow. Additionally, the red and blue cards have a picture of a boy and the green and yellow cards have a picture of a girl. The decks are differentiated from each other by a symbol on the back side of each card. The four standard decks have the following symbols: pump, buggy, plow, and bucket.


  • Blitz Pile - A pile of 10 cards that are dealt by each player before game play starts. One of the goals is for the player to get rid of their Blitz pile. When one player clears their Blitz pile, the round is over.

  • Post Piles - Three piles of cards to the left of the Blitz pile that are used by the player to help sort through cards during the game play. These piles begin as 3 cards dealt out by the player before game play. Cards can then be added to these piles in descending order and alternating “gender”. If one of the Post piles is cleared, the player may take a card off of their Blitz pile to start a new one.

  • Wood Pile - During game play, the player rotates through their deck by taking 3 cards, face down, and turning them face up and placing them on the Wood pile. The top most card is available to be played.

  • Dutch Piles - During game play, players can start a Dutch pile when they have a playable card with the number 1 on it. These piles are placed in the middle of the table. The piles can then be built up, in sequential order and of matching color. Any player can play a card on any Dutch pile.

Game Play

The game is played in rounds. The players do not take turns. When play starts, all players begin playing at the same time as fast as they can. When a player is able to clear their Blitz pile, they shout the word “Blitz” and all play must then stop. That is the end of the round.


When the round ends all of the cards that have been played on the Dutch piles are sorted into their representative decks. Each player counts the number of cards that they have played and then subtracts two times the number of cards left on their Blitz pile. That is their score for the round.

In order to maximize one’s points for a round, the objectives are two-fold. You want to play as many cards as possible on the Dutch piles, but you also want to get rid of as many cards on your Blitz pile as possible.


Skipbo Tabletop Game - klaatu | 2016-11-17

Game design by Hazel "Skip" Bowman.

Coup Tabletop Game - klaatu | 2016-11-10

Apples to Apples Tabletop Game - klaatu | 2016-11-01

Klaatu reviews and ponders the game mechanics of Apples to Apples, and how they do and do not compare to Cards Against Humanity.

Cards Against Humanity Tabletop Game - klaatu | 2016-10-24

Klaatu reviews the tabletop game, Cards Against Humanity. This is a non-offensive episode, so you can listen to it regardless of your feelings about the game.

Fluxx Tabletop Game - klaatu | 2016-10-10

Klaatu reviews the card game series, Fluxx.

Fluxx is a card game, played with a specially designed deck published by Looney Labs. It is different from most other card games, in that the rules and the conditions for winning are altered throughout the game, via cards played by the players.

Gloom Tabletop Game - klaatu | 2016-10-04

Klaatu reviews the card game “Gloom”, including its strengths, weaknesses, and potential for player mods.

Dark Cults Tabletop Game - klaatu | 2016-09-19

Klaatu talks about the long-gone (but not forgotten, clearly) DARK CULTS tabletop game. His print-and-play revival is available here: