East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

On the Air, the roleplaying game


radio-graphicIf you’ve been reading Karavansara before, you know that among my (too many) interests both old time radio and roleplaying games can be found.
One is strictly an hobby, the other is also a sometimes paying job.
And we’ve talked quite often, with my friend Clare, about throwing our fears to the wind and trying to do a radio drama. Because it would be fun.
Then, today, I discovered On the Air.

Described as A storytelling roleplaying game of Old Time Radio exploits, Cynthia Celeste Miller’s On the Air packs an awful lot of fun into a small book.


In 53 pages of PDf file that go for about 5 bucks we get

  • An introductionto roleplaying
  • An introduction to Old Time Radio
  • A gaming system that emulates radio shows
  • Everything players need to know
  • A good solid chapter for the Director
  • Character sheet, reference tables and a detailed index

Add to this the fact that this little book looks like a million, and you can see why I am sold.

Screenshot from 2018-04-04 14-00-28

The system looks solid, it is freeform but still crunchy enough for old grognards not to feel abandoned to themselves. The premise is great, the documentary material concise and to the point.
And if you are into Old Time Radio, it’s fun seeing the clichés, the tropes and the expectations of the medium so neatly and affectionately described.
The Sponsors table alone is a hoot.

All in all, five bucks well spent, a nice addiction to my collection of RPGs, and a highy suggested, little game.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

8 thoughts on “On the Air, the roleplaying game

  1. A general comment: I usually have not time to go through all this cataclysmic torrent of disruptive content! (how would this be possible? – I mean from the creator side, not the user)

    However, I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER erase (due to respect towards the intellectual? to extrasensory perception? to a third option?) any of dear Davide posts because every time I have time to come back I find something valuable – if not invaluable. I feel the same with Seth Godin, Nashim Taleb and Naomi Klein – but in a higher level like Umberto Eco’s one (what did I dare to utter?)

    This is not flattering, it’s an experience second to none


  2. Reblogged this on Barry Reese.


  3. Thanks for the kind words about On the Air, Davide. I’m glad you enjoy my game. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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