Grimoire
Cthulhu
Dracula
Abraham Lincoln
Ken
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Episode 373: Nutty Crab Soup [Corrected]

December 6th, 2019 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we figure out what people are really talking about when they take sides in the system matters debate.

The Tradecraft Hut peers into a classic tabloid spy scandal, 1961’s Profumo Affair, to see what one might make of it in The Fall of Delta Green.

Beloved Patreon backer Timothy Coram steps up to make a demand on behalf of all, that Robin enter the Food Hut to confront Ken with the contents of the Sno-Voyageur’s Cookbook, a time capsule of Ontario cooking from the 80s.

Finally the Consulting Occultist answers a request from beloved Patreon backers Tim Maness and Jean Bauer for the lowdown on the 1911 Ark of the Covenant expedition.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Atlas Games’ delightful game of mud, blood and regicide, Gloom of Thrones , charges  down the moat of your favorite game retailer on December 2nd. Take control of a noble family and exquisitely kill them off. May the most miserable player win!

By the Great Gold Wyrm, is that an escalation die I hear? Pelgrane Press’ love letter to fantasy roleplaying just got lovelier with an epic PDF deal in the Bundle of Holding. Grab the brand new 13th Age Adventures bundle, or dip your toes in the Diabolist’s waters with a revived deal on the original 13th Age Bundle, including the core book and the campaign to end all campaigns, Eyes of the Stone Thief.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Arc Dream Publishing presents a gorgeous new edition of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, a deluxe hardback in delightful faux snakeskin, with a foreword by John Scott Tynes, annotations by our own Kenneth Hite, and stunning full-pate color  illustrations by Samuel Araya. Grab it while it lasts in the Arc Dream store.

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Episode 372: We Welcome All People with Mithril

November 29th, 2019 | Robin

Join us not midway through but at the top of the podcast as the Gaming Hut finds ways to introduce a new player to a long-running series.

In the Television Hut beloved Patreon backer Jeromy French asks Robin to expound on the problems of the series finale.

Ken and/or Robin Talk to Someone Else features an interview Robin conducted at the Kraken, with Pedro Ziviani, whose new Chaosium story card game The Red Thread of Fate will begin its Kickstarter campaign on Jan 19th.

Then we get quiet, very very quiet, in an Eliptony Hut discussion of Raudive voices, also known as Electronic Voice Phenomena.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Atlas Games’ delightful game of mud, blood and regicide, Gloom of Thrones charges  down the moat of your favorite game retailer on December 2nd. Take control of a noble family and exquisitely kill them off. May the most miserable player win!

What’s worse—yet even more pulse-poundingly exciting—than being a burned spy on the run from an international vampire conspiracy? Going it alone, as you do in Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s brilliant adaptation of GUMSHOE One-2-One to the shadowy world of Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops, from Pelgrane Press.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Arc Dream Publishing presents a gorgeous new edition of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, a deluxe hardback in delightful faux snakeskin, with a foreword by John Scott Tynes, annotations by our own Kenneth Hite, and stunning full-pate color  illustrations by Samuel Araya. Grab it while it lasts in the Arc Dream store.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Trouble by the Sea

November 26th, 2019 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

I Hear She’s a Real Bitch (Nonfiction, Jen Agg, 2017) Founder of wildly influential, now-defunct, Toronto charcuterie destination The Black Hoof recounts the building of her bars and dining spots, sex life, and the challenges confronting women in the bro-centric food biz. A rare look at such insider details as service, interior design, lighting and staff relations from a restaurant creator who isn’t a chef.—RDL

The Lighthouse (Film, US, Robert Eggers, 2019) Two men (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) spiral into madness while tending a remote Maine lighthouse in the 1880s. Decades of Guy Maddin films prepared me somewhat for this ferociously earthy sea story, shot in 35mm black-and-white in a 1920s aspect ratio, that hits more as a series of fabulous grimy images and scenes than as a narrative per se. Add to that a ferocious, top-notch actor’s duel and a foghorn-fueled Mark Korven score and sound design, and you’ve got yourself a film. –KH

Okay

Tiger Shark (Film, US, Howard Hawks, 1932) Lovable brute Mike Mascarenhas (Edward G. Robinson) marries the straight-talking daughter (Zita Johann) of a casualty from his tuna boat, who catches feelings for his loyal first mate (Richard Arlen.) Early Hawks outing features his key theme of camaraderie between men who perform dangerous labor, but also the over-the-top melodrama and big acting he will quickly toss overboard. Documentary footage of 30s fishing techniques would prove invaluable to anyone writing a tuna-themed Trail of Cthulhu scenario.—RDL

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Episode 371: Werewolf Adjacent

November 22nd, 2019 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut beloved Patreon backer Elias Helfer asks us how to invent great magical artifacts.

The History Hut exits pursued by a bear, and also flying bricks, as we look at New York City’s 1849 Shakespeare riots.

Phil Masters leads a cane-toting pack of his fellow Patreon backers into the Horror Hut, demanding to know how Jekyll and Hyde fit into Robin’s theory about the inherent structural challenge of werewolf movies.

Then backer Andrea Colletta revs up Ken’s Time Machine to find out what history looks like when Richard Nixon’s application to join the FBI is accepted.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Fairytale Mash-ups, the new expansion for Atlas Games’ classic storytelling card game Once Upon a Time, is here to bring you classic characters, hilarious juxtapositions and hungry giant sheep.

 

What’s worse—yet even more pulse-poundingly exciting—than being a burned spy on the run from an international vampire conspiracy? Going it alone, as you do in Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s brilliant adaptation of GUMSHOE One-2-One to the shadowy world of Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops, from Pelgrane Press.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Arc Dream Publishing presents a gorgeous new edition of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, a deluxe hardback in delightful faux snakeskin, with a foreword by John Scott Tynes, annotations by our own Kenneth Hite, and stunning full-pate color  illustrations by Samuel Araya. Grab it while it lasts in the Arc Dream store.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Doctor Sleep, The Irishman, and a 60s Op Art Head Trip

November 19th, 2019 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

The Pinnacle

The Irishman (Film, US, Martin Scorsese, 2019) Sponsored by mob boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert de Niro) becomes the right-hand man of union boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). De Niro actually puts in the acting work in his portrayal of a “good soldier,” and Scorsese wisely reins in Pacino just enough for his showboat Hoffa to work perfectly, but the real star is unimaginably Joe Pesci (!!) as the voice of tired reason (!!!). Scorsese out-Scorseses himself (and in one scene out-Hitchcocks Hitchcock) then dares to show his moral wrecks and wreckers in a calm, deadly light. –KH

Recommended

The Deuce Season 3 (Television, US, HBO, David Simon, 2019) As the Martino brothers (James Franco) pay the inevitable toll for their mob ties, Eileen (Maggie Gyllenhaal) sees demand for her classy feminist erotica dwindle in the VHS market. The show’s touching, downbeat final season completes Simon’s thesis as grand-scale political and economic forces grind down its cast of shadow economy workers.—RDL

The Prisoner (Film, France, Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1968) Fascinated by the bondage photography of her thickheaded artist husband’s imperious gallerist (Laurent Terzieff), a TV news producer (Elizabeth Wiener) initiates a mutually self-destructive love triangle. Drama of eros, thanatos and neurosis features saturated colors, arresting op art visuals, and a hallucinatory freak-out that stands as the kink counterpart to 2001’s hyperspace sequence. AKA Woman in Chains.—RDL

Okay

Doctor Sleep (Film, US, Mike Flanagan, 2019) Left a barely functional alcoholic by the events of The Shining, Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) protects a young psychic girl (Kyliegh Curran) from a truly ridiculous team of shine-eaters led by, and I wish I were kidding, a vampire named Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson). With dread gone, we’re left with a movie that’s a decent secret-mutant-battle flick until it becomes a literal travesty of Kubrick. –KH

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Episode 370: Dire, Satanic Chili

November 15th, 2019 | Robin

,

We show up in the Gaming Hut with our usual punctuality to look at ways of handling player absences.

Crime Blotter looks at video games as a platform for money laundering.

Beloved Patreon backer Steve Dempsey invites us to the Food Hut for a bowl of chili, or at least some palaver and history concerning this iconic and weirdly controversial dish.

And finally, in Ask Ken and Robin, backer Michael Gemar invites us to riff on the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, a kickstarted temple to art and psychedelic mysticism, complete with bread and breakfast.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Fairytale Mash-ups, the new expansion for Atlas Games’ classic storytelling card game Once Upon a Time, is here to bring you classic characters, hilarious juxtapositions and hungry giant sheep.

 

Only a few days remain in the latest Bundle of Holding deal featuring Pelgrane Press’ Trail of Cthulhu. Feast on the brand new Cities of Cthulhu PDF bundle, featuring Dreamhounds of Paris and Cthulhu City, or tip your friends to the classic original bundle including the core book and so much more.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Arc Dream Publishing presents a gorgeous new edition of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, a deluxe hardback in delightful faux snakeskin, with a foreword by John Scott Tynes, annotations by our own Kenneth Hite, and stunning full-pate color  illustrations by Samuel Araya. Grab it while it lasts in the Arc Dream store.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: The Irishman and Other Criminals

November 12th, 2019 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Ken was unavailable to consume media this week, due to a mission in space.

The Pinnacle

The Irishman (Film, US, Martin Scorsese, 2019) Obliging hit man Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) becomes confidant and factotum to Pennsylvania mob boss Russ Buffalino (Joe Pesci) and then labor leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino.) Subdued formal control and absurdist humor predominate as Scorsese’s gangland cycle culminates and merges with his contemplative religious films. Absolutely worth seeing on a big screen if you can.—RDL

Recommended

The Florida Project (Film, US, Sean Baker, 2017) Under the eye of its beleaguered manager (Willem Dafoe) an adorable grade school hellion (Brooklynn Pierce) makes her Orlando motel complex a playground, as her authority-defying mother (Bria Vinaite) turns to increasingly desperate means of paying the rent. Irrepressible kid hijinks and a zowie color palette leaven the usual bleakness of the fly-on-the-wall social problem drama.—RDL

Widows (Film, US, Steve McQueen, 2018) Backed against the wall after their husbands die in a heist, a no-nonsense teacher’s union official (Viola Davis) recruits the grieving partners of his crew (Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki) to pull off his next planned job. Tough crime drama set in the world of corrupt Chicago politics offers a master class in executing a complicated set-up without a whiff of over-explanation.—RDL

Good

Woman in Witness Protection (Film, Japan, Juzo Itami, 1997) Mismatched cops protect a fading actress (Nobuko Miyamoto) after she witnesses a cult murder. The director’s final film follows his central formula, in which kooky comedy sweetens a confrontation with intimidating, lawless power.—RDL

Okay

Out of Print (Film, US, Julia Marchese, 2014) Documentary homage to L.A.’s New Beverly Cinema, directed by a member of its staff, celebrates its role in film culture before moving on to lament the demise of 35 mm film print distribution. My biggest surprise was to discover how modest a house it is compared to its Toronto equivalents.—RDL

Raw Deal (Film, US, Anthony Mann, 1948) Hardbitten gal (Claire Travor) helps her man (Dennis O’Keefe) bust out of prison only to see him fall for the idealistic paralegal (Marsha Hunt) they’ve taken hostage. Atmospheric, brutal noir hobbled by the casting of the patrician Trevor as a gun-toting product of the skids.—RDL

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Episode 369: Lotta Garlic There Though

November 8th, 2019 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut, Patreon backer Jacques de Villiers wonders how one might use The Armitage Files or Dracula Dossier in The Fall of Delta Green.

Then Ken convenes a Cinema Hut to talk about his discoveries from the Chicago International Film Festival.

He’s been a character in the Kartasverse for ages, but now he’s here in person. In Ken and/or Robin Talk To Someone Else, James Damato gives us the scoop on his Ultimate RPG Guides.

Then the Consulting Occultist acquaints us with a central figure in the field of magical speculation, Cornelius Agrippa.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Fairytale Mash-ups, the new expansion for Atlas Games’ classic storytelling card game Once Upon a Time, is here to bring you classic characters, hilarious juxtapositions and hungry giant sheep.

 

What’s worse—yet even more pulse-poundingly exciting—than being a burned spy on the run from an international vampire conspiracy? Going it alone, as you do in Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s brilliant adaptation of GUMSHOE One-2-One to the shadowy world of Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops, from Pelgrane Press.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Arc Dream Publishing presents a gorgeous new edition of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, a deluxe hardback in delightful faux snakeskin, with a foreword by John Scott Tynes, annotations by our own Kenneth Hite, and stunning full-pate color  illustrations by Samuel Araya. Grab it while it lasts in the Arc Dream store.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Dolemite, Parasite and Growing Up Haunted

November 5th, 2019 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

The Pinnacle

Parasite (Film, South Korea, Bong Joon-ho, 2019) In a series of scams, a poor family infiltrates a rich household’s staff. Superbly executed con artist film becomes something more unpredictable in this assured, controlled masterpiece blending architecture, class struggle, and shock. –KH

Recommended

Dolemite is My Name (Film, US, Craig Brewer, 2019) Comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) gains underground fame for X-rated party records and a scrappy indie movie featuring his boastful pimp character. Screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, specialists in cult cultural figure biopics, add another notch to their belts with this tale of lovable underdogs making it their own way.—RDL

Nameless (Comics, Grant Morrison & Chris Burnham, 2015) A nameless occult specialist gets drafted into a billionaire’s space mission to divert the asteroid Xibalba. Or gets trapped in PTSD after a seance gone horribly wrong. Or both. Or neither. Or something else. Morrison presents, and Burnham illuminates, a relativistic cosmic horror magic story with no privileged narrative that is extremely my jam. Much brilliance on display, and much blood. –KH

The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family (Nonfiction, Lindsay Wong, 2018) The author recounts her bruising upbringing in a pricey, grow-op ridden Vancouver suburb, as part of a family unswervingly wedded to understanding its endemic mental illness as ghost possession. Startling and often cruelly funny memoir of pain and growth in a familial mirror universe.—RDL

Good

The Four False Weapons (Fiction, John Dickson Carr, 1938) When an English playboy’s former mistress is found dead in his Paris hideaway chateau, Bencolin comes out of retirement. The plot is almost too thick and rich, pummeling the reader into acquiescence in the sea of clues and details, and Bencolin without the Gothic loses his iconic character without gaining very much humanity. But still, a solid read and a compelling ride. –KH

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (Film, US, Angela Robinson, 2017) The lives of a convention-flouting psychologist (Luke Evans), his smarter wife (Rebecca Hall) and their girlfriend (Bella Heathcote) filter into his comic book hero, an Amazon with a penchant for tying up her enemies. Engagingly written and acted biopic goes beyond confirmable fact to more clearly portray its protagonists as early heroes of the kink and polyamory movements.—RDL

Okay

Being Napoleon (Film, US, Jesse Handsher & Olivier Roland, 2018) Documentary about the two leading contenders to play Napoleon Bonaparte at the 200th anniversary re-enactment of Waterloo loses steam (and focus) when one contender wins about two-thirds of the way through and the film switches (without result) to the general subject of re-enactors and why they bother. –KH

In the Tall Grass (Film, US, Vincenzo Natali, 2019) Distressed cries lure a traveling brother and sister into an overgrown field concealing a deadly space-time anomaly. A Stephen King/ Joe Hill novella gives Natali a sinister green playground for his creepy visual imagination, but pays the price of its  desultory Kingian characterizations.—RDL

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Episode 368: Good Government and Dry Socks

November 1st, 2019 | Robin

The Gaming Hut chunks a double-double in the pentacle as Patreon backer Louis Sylvester asks us to riff on regional linguistic magic.

Backer Nikolaj Hansen runs into a Mythology Hut shaped like a phone booth, asking Ken why Umberto Eco was wrong about Superman.

Things get hairy in the Cinema Hut as we look at structural problems as the bane of werewolf movies.

Finally we brave the cold wilds of the Eliptony Hut to satisfy backer Mikey Hamm’s request for a segment on the Dyatlov Pass incident.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Welcome to the Island is the first adventure anthology for the third edition of the Over the Edge RPG from Atlas Games. It features five original storylines by award-winning authors, each with hooks for different characters. Launch brand new stories, add intriguing complications to your existing arcs, or create exciting one-shots to bend your players’ heads.

What’s worse—yet even more pulse-poundingly exciting—than being a burned spy on the run from an international vampire conspiracy? Going it alone, as you do in Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s brilliant adaptation of GUMSHOE One-2-One to the shadowy world of Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops, from Pelgrane Press.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Arc Dream Publishing presents a gorgeous new edition of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, a deluxe hardback in delightful faux snakeskin, with a foreword by John Scott Tynes, annotations by our own Kenneth Hite, and stunning full-pate color  illustrations by Samuel Araya. Grab it while it lasts in the Arc Dream store.

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Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
d8
Flying Clock
Robin
Film Cannister