Grimoire
Cthulhu
Dracula
Abraham Lincoln
Ken
Grimoire

Episode 397: Terrifying Gauziness

May 29th, 2020 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut beloved Patreon backer wants to know about arc-sized endgames for player characters. Your Call of Cthulhu characters may have wound up in a sanatorium, but did your D&D heroes ever become feudal lords?

The Cinema Hut is even more of a hut than usual as we conduct a folk horror 101.

The Culture Hut resumes our Yellow King themed biographical segments with a look at Symbolist artist Odilon Redon, a ley influence on weird illustration.

Finally our beloved chrononaut dodges hellhounds in Ken’s Time Machine as he saves Delta blues legend Robert Johnson from a fatal dose of poisoned whiskey.

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.


If you believe that games should have dwarves, that dwarves should roll dice, and that true camaraderie is hollering “Cheers!” and sharing a beer, then Dice Miner is for you. Avoid dragons and cave-ins as you roll custom dice down a 3D mountain. Kickstarting as of May 26, from Atlas Games.

You’ve heard him talk about it. Now you can get it at retail or in the Pelgrane Press store: The Yellow King Roleplaying Game. Shatter your world with this eerie, physically imposing GUMSHOE game of decadent art and multiple existences. For a limited time only, enter the voucher code YELLOW at the Pelgrane shop to get 15% off all Yellow King items when you combine the core set with Absinthe in Carcosa and/or The Missing and the Lost.

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’s Shane Ivey brings you Swords and Sorceries, fifth edition adventure in a sea-swept world inspired by ancient myth. Seek your fortunes, or find gruesome death in the tombs of forgotten gods and evils best left buried. Seize all three adventures, Sea Demon’s Gold, Song of the Sun Queens, and Tomb of Fire, today!

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Classic Scorsese and a Rita Hayworth Double Bill

May 26th, 2020 | 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

Angels Over Broadway (Film, US, Ben Hecht w Lee Garmes, 1940) Dissipated playwright (Thomas Mitchell) cajoles a cynical tout (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and soft-hearted gold-digger (Rita Hayworth) into helping a desperate clerk (John Qualen) out-swindle a gambling racketeer. Hecht’s jaundiced view of humanity, earned as a journalist who interviewed the sorts of people who get covered in newspapers, does epic battle with his sentimentality in this fairy tale of New York.—RDL

Casino (Film, US, Martin Scorsese, 1995) Bookie Ace Rothstein (Robert de Niro) and Outfit thug Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) leave Chicago for Vegas to run the Tangiers casino and amok, respectively. Based on Nicholas Pileggi’s book about Frank Rosenthal and Anthony Spilotro, Scorsese’s film relies (nearly overmuch) on continuous voice-over and on the ironic distance it provides. The latter is Ace’s ace in the hole until he falls for hustler Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone, in the film’s best performance). A sumptuous buffet of detail that ends up being both too much and not enough of a meal; well worth watching, though, despite the indigestion. –KH

Dillinger (Film, US, John Milius, 1973) Larger-than-life bank robber John Dillinger (Warren Oates) eludes G-Man Melvin Purvis (Ben Johnson) until their fateful meeting in Chicago. Milius’ first feature prints the legend with a vengeance, and with astonishing gunfight scenes on an AIP budget. Oates has seldom been better or more antiheroic; Michelle Phillips, Cloris Leachman, and Harry Dean Stanton are just the above-the-fold talent on display. –KH

Witkin & Witkin (Film, Mexico, Trisha Ziff, 2017) Joel-Peter Witkin, a photographer famed for staged works of that explore the outer boundaries of shock and beauty, and his identical twin Jerome, a fine artist who uses stunning draftsmanship to depict emotional and political trauma, attempt to explain the cordial but firm distance they maintain from one another. Arts documentary uses stillness and an unwavering gaze to examine the depths of its subjects’ contrasting personalities and experience of family history.—RDL

Good

Cover Girl (Film, Charles Vidor, 1944) Discovered by a magazine publisher who loved and lost her grandmother, a nightclub dancer (Rita Hayworth) rises to Broadway fame, threatening her Brooklyn-based choreographer boyfriend (Gene Kelly.) Bubbly musical features suggestive costumes in service of wartime morale, Eve Arden snark, Kelly dancing a duet with his own self-doubt, and Hayworth’s incandescent vulnerability. Phil Silvers sings a topical ditty on rationing including the immortal couplet “Because of Axis trickery / my coffee now is chicory.”—RDL

The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution (Film, Canada, Maya Gallus 2018) Women running kitchens at levels of the restaurant industry ranging from triple-Michelin to gray market dinner party events share their experiences. The subjects of this food doc agree on the abusive culture of pro cooking and the lack of access to capital, but split on the virtues of the brigade system.—RDL

Magnet of Doom (Film, France, Jean-Pierre Melville, 1963) After washing out as a boxer, an ambitious young man (Jean-Paul Belmondo) takes a job as a dogsbody to a fugitive financier (Charles Vanel), headed for the US. Languid road movie awash with the French New Wave’s infatuation with, and reinvention of, American cool. Based on a Simenon novel.—RDL

Okay

Shadow on the Wall (Film, US, Pat Jackson, 1950) The repressed memories of a young child hold the key to the real killer of her stepmother, a crime that has sent her father (Zachary Scott) to death row. Nancy Davis shows up late in the proceedings to take over as protagonist in this mild noir, as the crusading psychologist seeking the Eureka solution of Hollywood Freudianism.—RDL

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Episode 396: Submarine for Sea Ghouls

May 22nd, 2020 | Robin

If the hairs on the back of your neck are tingling, you must be in the Gaming Hut, and we may be providing tips on using Sense Trouble abilities.

In Fun With Science beloved Patreon backer Chris Sellers seeks the skinny on fatbergs.

He sends Robin’s players on missions in his current game, so it’s about time the Tradecraft Hut profiled iconic Canadian William Stephenson, aka Intrepid.

Finally the planets balefully align around the Eliptony Hut as estimable Patreon backer Dirk the Dice prompts us for the tale of doomsday predictor Albert Porta.

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.


If you believe that games should have dwarves, that dwarves should roll dice, and that true camaraderie is hollering “Cheers!” and sharing a beer, then Dice Miner is for you. Avoid dragons and cave-ins as you roll custom dice down a 3D mountain. Kickstarting as of May 26, from Atlas Games.

You’ve heard him talk about it. Now you can get it at retail or in the Pelgrane Press store: The Yellow King Roleplaying Game. Shatter your world with this eerie, physically imposing GUMSHOE game of decadent art and multiple existences. For a limited time only, enter the voucher code YELLOW at the Pelgrane shop to get 15% off all Yellow King items when you combine the core set with Absinthe in Carcosa and/or The Missing and the Lost.

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’s Shane Ivey brings you Swords and Sorceries, fifth edition adventure in a sea-swept world inspired by ancient myth. Seek your fortunes, or find gruesome death in the tombs of forgotten gods and evils best left buried. Seize all three adventures, Sea Demon’s Gold, Song of the Sun Queens, and Tomb of Fire, today!

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Hoops Greatness and Noir Under Franco

May 19th, 2020 | 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 Last Dance (Television, ESPN, Jason Hehir, 2020) Michael Jordan leads the Chicago Bulls to a historic sixth championship in 1998. Does a documentary about Mozart have an unfair advantage over a documentary about Salieri? The story of the greatest player in basketball history can’t help but be an epic; like everyone else who succeeds with Michael Jordan, Hehir gets credit for showing up ready to play and coming through in the clutch. Joyously savage, pure, thrilling, with an overwhelming momentum — this series lives up to its subject. –KH

Recommended

Laggies (Film, US, Lynn Shelton, 2014) In her late 20s, unable to settle on a career and facing a semi-wanted marriage proposal, a rudderless woman (Keira Knightley) strikes up an unlikely friendship with a high school student (Chloe Grace Moretz), to the puzzled consternation of her irascible lawyer dad (Sam Rockwell.) Indie drama with comic undertones finds the honesty in a premise that in lesser hands would lurch for the twee or contrived. Shelton’s sudden death this weekend comes as a shocking blow to the indie film scene. This one, based on another writer’s script,  is uncharacteristic of her quasi-improvised style. If you don’t know her work I’d recommend starting with Sword of Trust or Your Sister’s Sister.—RDL

Peppermint Frappé (Film, Spain, Carlos Saura, 1967) Tightly-wound middle-aged doctor (José Luis López Vazquez), obsessively infatuation with his brother’s effervescent younger wife (Geraldine Chaplin) remains undimmed when he initiates an affair with his withdrawn secretary (also Chaplin), who coincidentally resembles her. Twisted domestic allegory, aptly dedicated to Luis Buñuel.—RDL

Good

23 Hours to Kill (Stand-up, Netflix, Jerry Seinfeld, 2020) “I feel like a blacksmith up here,” Seinfeld brays, and there’s something to that sense of outmoded-ness. Taped just before the pandemic, killer material about the irritations of “going out” plays extra-ironically. Seinfeld’s writing remains precise, but the delivery (and seemingly the commitment) don’t quite catch up. –KH

Honey Boy (Film, US, Alma Har’el, 2019) Stuck in court-ordered rehab, an angry young film actor (Lucas Hedges) looks back on his mistreatment by his tormented, addict dad (Shia LaBeouf.) Centered around a searing performance from screenwriter LaBeouf, playing his own abusive father, this glowingly photographed recovery drama quite explicitly frames itself as an act of therapy. And like therapy, it doesn’t offer much of a resolution.—RDL

My Late Wives (Fiction, John Dickson Carr, 1946) Serial wife-murderer Roger Bewlay vanished after his fourth outrage — but when actor Bruce Ransom receives a play revealing details of the murders, he resolves to impersonate Bewlay himself. The immensely contrived setup (and more than usually annoying Sir Henry Merrivale) undercuts scenes full of masterful tension and dread and winds up stepping on the reveal, normally Carr’s bulletproof stronghold. –KH

What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (Film, US, Rob Garver, 2018) Arts profile documentary reviews the work and life of Pauline Kael, the sometimes rhapsodic, often brutal New Yorker writer who attacked auteurism in theory and upheld it in her reviews. Covers in solid detail the paradoxes that made her pieces both thrilling and exasperating.—RDL

Ugly Delicious Season 2 (Television, US, Netflix, 2020, Ben Cotner & Adam Del Deo) Restaurateur David Chang returns to celebrate unpretentious, culturally-connecting eating, this time covering parenthood, curry, steak, and the doner diaspora. An unfocused and truncated season that nonetheless allows one to vicariously hang out with the charming host and his celeb/foodie pals.—RDL

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Episode 395: Uninterested in Not Attacking

May 15th, 2020 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we fulfill a Tell Me More Request from beloved Patreon backer Bryan, who wants us to wring gaming ideas from the most recent version of The Invisible Man.

Ask Ken and Robin finds estimable Patreon backer Scot Ryder asking if Robin would decrease the number of abilities in Ashen Stars, given the direction found in The Yellow King Roleplaying Game.

Finally we bask in the last Ken’s Bookshelf for the foreseeable future, as Ken looks back with fond and dewy eyes at the volumes snapped up during his DundraCon trip earlier this year.

Due to a technical snafu you may notice a drop in Robin’s audio quality this time around. 

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.


The place you only think you remember explodes with weird danger in Welcome to the Island, the first adventure anthology for Over the Edge from Atlas Games. Launch brand new stories, add intriguing complications to your existing arcs, or create exciting one-shots that bring the weird to your gaming table.

Until May 18th you can grab the entire GUMSHOE One-2-One line in handy PDF form at the Bundle of Holding. That’s Cthulhu Confidential, Night’s Black Agents Solo Ops, and all of their associated scenarios.

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’s Shane Ivey brings you Swords and Sorceries, fifth edition adventure in a sea-swept world inspired by ancient myth. Seek your fortunes, or find gruesome death in the tombs of forgotten gods and evils best left buried. Seize all three adventures, Sea Demon’s Gold, Song of the Sun Queens, and Tomb of Fire, today!

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: A Bumper Crop of Noir and Crime

May 12th, 2020 | 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

99 River Street (Film, US, Phil Karlson, 1953) Ex-boxer turned taxi driver  (John Payne) races to clear himself after his disenchanted, cheating wife (Peggie Castle) takes part in a diamond heist and turns up dead in his cab. Gritty, expressionistic noir packed with supporting turns that economically add appealing distinguishing touches to such stock crime drama figures.—RDL

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Film, US, Paul Mazursky, 1969) After an intense experience at a self-actualization retreat, a documentarian and his wife (Robert Culp, Natalie Wood) fumble their way toward sexual openness, to the consternation of their best married friends (Dyan Cannon, Elliot Gould.) As pivotal to late 60s cultural upheaval as Easy Rider, this drama of changing mores is layered and complicated in a way its iconic poster image overshadowed.—RDL

Mauvais Sang (Film, France, Leo Carax, 1986) Seeking cash to start a new life, a young ex-con (Denis Lavant) agrees to help heist a cure for a pandemic virus, then falls for the luminous girlfriend (Juliette Binoche) of the job’s fearful mastermind (Michel Piccoli.) Ultra-stylized film noir riff blends surrealism, romanticism, and existentialism.—RDL

Rome and Rhetoric: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Nonfiction, Garry Wills, 2011) Explores Shakespeare’s most Roman tragedy through the rhetorical styles of its main characters, along with a few other insights gleaned in Wills’ research into the 16th-century theater. Short, digestible, clear, and interesting without necessarily being groundbreaking, Wills nevertheless lays down a marker for Julius Caesar as it should be understood. –KH

Searching (Film, US, Aneesh Chaganty, 2018) Grief-stricken single dad (John Cho) learns how little he knew his daughter when she disappears, leaving only her online footprint to provide clues to her fate. Its presentational conceit, showing all of the action on computer, mobile or other screens, goes beyond clever gimmickry to observe the action through the platforms that mediate contemporary experience.—RDL

Good

The Case of the Constant Suicides (Fiction, John Dickson Carr, 1941) After the apparent suicide of the Campbell family patriarch in the Scottish castle Shira, Dr. Fell untangles a nest of insurance fraud, thwarted legacies, whisky, and oh yes murder. Praised by many Carr devotees for its multiple impossible crimes and leavening of actual situational comedy, it breezes by too fast to properly build Carr’s Gothic atmosphere. –KH

Decoy (Film, US, Jack Bernhard, 1946) Alluring psychopath (Jean Gillie) seduces an earnest prison doctor into assisting with the escape of a death row inmate, so she can get her hands on his cache of stolen loot. The spirit of weirdness pervading this noir from Poverty Row studio Monogram, somehow enhanced by its mostly stilted and charmless acting, exerts the sort of hypnotic fascination later masters of irony like David Lynch and Guy Maddin strive to emulate.—RDL

Den of Thieves (Film, US, Christian Gudegast, 2018) “Gangster cop” Big Nick (Gerard Butler, playing Russell Crowe playing Gerard Butler) faces off against ex-MARSOC bank robber Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber) in Los Angeles. This somehow even more bro-y take on Heat succeeds in its shootouts and its heists but doesn’t work hard enough to reinforce its plot, or at all to advance its theme beyond Big Nick spelling out that the cops are (also) “the bad guys.” Terrific location work means I will bump it up when I see it again in fifty years.–KH

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (Film, US, Chad Stahelski, 2019) Declared excommunicado by an international assassins league that doesn’t care what words mean, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) goes on the run, over a series of spectacular fights involving library shelves, hero dogs, motorcycles, glass display cases, and special cameo attacks from alumni of The Raid series. Recommended for the stellar fight staging. The plot stringing them together is as dumb as the previous installment, though not as confusing.—RDL

Mississippi Grind (Film, US, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, 2015) Sad-sack compulsive gambler Gerry (Mendo) gets picked up in Dubuque by compulsive extrovert Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) and they join forces to gamble down the Mississippi to beat a private card game in New Orleans. More road movie than gambling movie, and more exploration of male friendship and chance than either, this low-simmering actors’ duel consummately apes 70s film structure while discarding plot. Sadly, its location work, soundtrack, and character work too often rely on cliche to get Recommended on their own. –KH

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Episode 394: Fruit Cutting Policies

May 8th, 2020 | Robin

The Cartography Hut gets smart as beloved Patreon backer Gerald Sears asks us to riff on intelligent maps.

Esteemed Patreon backer Sibel Permann urges the History Hut to find gaming gold in the Guelphs and Ghibellines.

The Horror Hut looks at a paper by Francis T. McAndrew on the social-evolutionary psychology of Bad Places.

Finally the Consulting Occultist elucidates the effort to market famously ill-reviewed 50s fantasy novel Kinsmen of the Dragon as an esoteric tome.

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.


The place you only think you remember explodes with weird danger in Welcome to the Island, the first adventure anthology for Over the Edge from Atlas Games. Launch brand new stories, add intriguing complications to your existing arcs, or create exciting one-shots that bring the weird to your gaming table.

Until May 18th you can grab the entire GUMSHOE One-2-One line in handy PDF form at the Bundle of Holding. That’s Cthulhu Confidential, Night’s Black Agents Solo Ops, and all of their associated scenarios.

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’s Shane Ivey brings you Swords and Sorceries, fifth edition adventure in a sea-swept world inspired by ancient myth. Seek your fortunes, or find gruesome death in the tombs of forgotten gods and evils best left buried. Seize all three adventures, Sea Demon’s Gold, Song of the Sun Queens, and Tomb of Fire, today!

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Locked Rooms and Perverse Incentives

May 5th, 2020 | 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

Bad Education (Film, US, Cory Finley, 2020) An acclaimed school superintendent (Hugh Jackman) sees his comfy secret life melt away when a student journalist’s investigation exposes the massive embezzlement scheme he has been running with other top administrators. True crime character study turns an unblinking lens on the perverse incentives of the US education system.—RDL

Killing Them Softly (Film, US, Andrew Dominik, 2012) After two lowlifes (Scoot McNairy and Mendo) hit a mob-protected card game, hit man Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) gets called in to resolve matters. Pitt channels lordly cool as the one competent man in the Boston underworld, and Dominik’s lively script crackles to a near-perfect summation. Spiky and unsatisfying in all the best ways, the film’s castigation of venality and immunity from consequences deserves renewed attention. –KH

The Mad Hatter Mystery (Fiction, John Dickson Carr, 1933) The second Dr. Fell novel pits the detective against a prankish hat thief, rival collectors of Poe manuscripts, and a murderer at the Tower of London. Without the impossible crime that Carr made his specialty, it nevertheless provides a fine clockwork plot well shrouded in atmospheric (and narrative) fog. –KH

Good

John Dickson Carr: A Critical Study (Nonfiction, S.T. Joshi, 1990) A useful overview and primer of Carr’s fiction, superseded in places by Carr scholar Douglas Greene’s biography. Joshi’s clear internal war between praising Carr’s mesmeric genius for narrative and despising Carr’s philosophy leaves the critical material somewhat hamstrung. –KH

Zombieland: Double Tap (Film, US, Ruben Fleischer, 2019) The attempt of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg)  and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) to create a surrogate family unit in their White House HQ hits a rough patch when Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) ditch them for the independence of the road. If you’re looking for a zombie flick that won’t resonate at all with the current crisis, this horror action comedy has nothing on its mind other than amiably tapping the camaraderie established in the original.—RDL

Okay

The White Storm 2: Drug Lords (Film, HK, Herman Yau, 2019) When the son he never knew dies in a drug bust, an ex-gangster turned tycoon (Andy Lau) funds a vigilante war against top-level dealers, most notably an embittered former pal (Louis Koo) whose fingers he was once obliged to chop off. Sequel in name only to the vastly superior heroic bloodshed flick The White Storm, this mostly leaden gangland melodrama escapes “Not Recommended” status by dint of its bonkers climactic vehicle duel.—RDL

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Episode 393: Sonia Plus Melted Cheese

May 1st, 2020 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we help beloved Patreon backer Jamie Twine as he seeks to adapt scenarios written for standard GUMSHOE to the QuickShock version of the system found in The Yellow King Roleplaying Game.

The Tradecraft Hut conducts an investigation into spying charges laid against a Major General of Ukraine’s security service.

In Ken and/or Robin Talk to Someone Else, we celebrate the release of an open gaming license for Robin’s game HeroQuest, now rechristened QuestWorlds, by dropping a previously recorded chat with Chaosium’s Ian Cooper.

Finally Ken’s Time Machine answers the call of eldritch Patreon backer Sam Harris to move H. P. Lovecraft to Chicago and the editorship of Weird Tales magazine.

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.


The place you only think you remember explodes with weird danger in Welcome to the Island, the first adventure anthology for Over the Edge from Atlas Games. Launch brand new stories, add intriguing complications to your existing arcs, or create exciting one-shots that bring the weird to your gaming table.

You’ve heard him talk about it. Now you can get it at retail or in the Pelgrane Press store: The Yellow King Roleplaying Game. Shatter your world with this eerie, physically imposing GUMSHOE game of decadent art and multiple existences. For a limited time only, enter the voucher code YELLOW at the Pelgrane shop to get 15% off all Yellow King items when you combine the core set with Absinthe in Carcosa and/or The Missing and the Lost.

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’s Shane Ivey brings you Swords and Sorceries, fifth edition adventure in a sea-swept world inspired by ancient myth. Seek your fortunes, or find gruesome death in the tombs of forgotten gods and evils best left buried. Seize all three adventures, Sea Demon’s Gold, Song of the Sun Queens, and Tomb of Fire, today!

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Spooky Archeaology and an Ass-Kicking Broderick Crawford

April 28th, 2020 | 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

Brooklyn Nine Nine Season 7 (Television, US, NBC, Dan Goor, 2020) Holt (Andre Braugher) tries to ramp down his commanding presence after being bumped down to uniform duty; Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) decide that it’s time to have a baby. The most consistently funny and well-crafted sitcom on TV doesn’t have to deliver tight payoffs and dovetailed plotting, but the writer’s room takes the extra effort nonetheless.—RDL

The Mob (Film, US, Robert Parrish, 1951) A fatal mistake forces a weary, wisecracking police detective (Broderick Crawford) undercover in search of the mob mastermind running the city’s waterfront. Hardboiled cop thriller offers the beefy Crawford the chance to appealingly play an unlikely action hero.—RDL

Spooky Archaeology (Nonfiction, Jeb J. Card, 2018) Oh boy oh boy: chapter subjects include relic-hunting, occultism, lost continents, spies, witches, and Cthulhu, all through the lens of archaeology and its warped cousins. Card provides that most useful of auctorial voices: the skeptical eliptonist, lovingly describing some Bad Archaeology and then debunking it. A thousand RPG hooks nestle within: dig ‘em up! –KH

Good

Big Planet (Fiction, Jack Vance, 1948) Earthmen on a mission to suppress a rising dictator on a metal-poor world colonized by outcasts centuries ago undertake an arduous trek to safety after their sabotaged ship crash-lands. Marshals many of Vance’s key motifs and themes, including picaresque journeying, cultural devolution, sudden brutality, despicable villains, and elaborate hats, with the deadpan verbal play hinted at but yet to blossom.—RDL

Extraction (Film, US, Sam Hargrave, 2020) Mercenary with a death wish Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) inserts into Dhaka to rescue the kidnapped son of a Mumbai drug lord. The film alternately squanders and trips over its plot, and Hemsworth barely changes demeanor for two hours, but the excellent action and gunfight choreography (which is most of the film, to be fair) justifies its Good rating. Golshifteh Farahani and Randeep Hooda are wasted as Rake’s handler and opposite number, respectively. –KH

Okay

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band (Film, Canada, Daniel Rohr, 2019) Arts profile doc in which Robertson looks back at the brief heyday of the band that defined Americana before anyone used the term. This adaptation of Robertson’s autobiography shows a music legend who has always taken great care over his self-presentation doing exactly that.—RDL

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Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
d8
Flying Clock
Robin
Film Cannister