Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category
May 24th, 2013 | Robin
Ken and Robin enter the Gaming Hut to catch you up on what they’re playing right now, from xenoarcheaological exploration to carnies caught between the devil and alien invaders.
In Ask Ken and Robin, Terry O’Connell asks, “What’s your take on the Beyonce as Illuminati meme?”
How to Write Good leads us into a general consideration of the mash-up age, before we provide advice on how to pastiche the prose styles of previous eras.
Finally we rev up Ken’s Time Machine to prevent Cannibalism at the Jamestown colony.
May 17th, 2013 | Robin
Two mysterious doors provide ingress into the Gaming Hut. Which one do we take, as we contemplate adventure structure and the choice points that comprise it?
Ask Ken and Robin takes an alternate history turn as Crane Brinton wonders: What does the alternate timeline where the Kaiser won WWI look like?
Then we hop into a mapping car and head to the Cartography Hut, where we riff on the storytelling inspiration of Google’s recent documentation of the Fukushima ghost zone.
We close with a visit to the Consulting Occultist, who recounts the Theosophy-meets-Evangelical-meets-New Age tale of Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
May 10th, 2013 | Robin
We start with a visit to the Gaming Hut to discuss the play utility of illustrations.
In the Food Hut we explore the legends and lore of packaged goods, including the secret origins of Cool Whip, the Twinkie, and Gatorade.
Conrad Kinch Asks Ken and Robin how one guides a playtester to greatness. Michael Cule adds a supplemental: have we ever regretted not implementing a piece of playtester advice?
Finally, Ken’s Time Machine takes us to the intractable yet little mythologized tragedy that was the Trail of Tears.
May 3rd, 2013 | Robin
The undertones of jet lag in Robin’s voice indicate the issuance of another Travel Advisory, in this case concerning his lovely trip to Germany’s Hannover Spielt. Beers mentioned include: Herrenhäuser Pilsener, Astra Arschkalt, Schneider Aventinus, and Robin and John’s fave, Höss Doppel-Hirsch (the name of which Robin completely mangles during the podcast.)
The trip also provides another opportunity for Ken and/or Robin To Talk To Someone Else—in this case, show sponsor John Kovalic, who discusses the design of his addictively fun party new party game, ROFL.
Ripped From the Headlines finds us grappling with the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent manhunt of the Brothers Tsarnaev. Though hardly a fun story, it touches on so many of our perennial topics that a weighing-in seems obligatory.
Then we move on to more entertaining and distant history, as, at the request of Ask Lovecraft, the Consulting Occultist tells us tales of Paschal Beverly Randolph, 19th century exponent of Mesmerism, pre-Adamism, and wholesome sex magic.
April 26th, 2013 | Robin
Ken and Robin hit a bare and blackened stage to bring the improv concept of “yes anding” to the Gaming Hut.
In Ask Ken and Robin, they answer Kevin J. Maroney’s question about picking a game for roleplaying newbies.
In its return appearance, How To Write Good tackles the basics of short story structure.
And finally, listener Falko Sieverding proposes a mission for Ken’s Time Machine. Is maintaining the Vice-Presidency of Henry Wallace past 1944 the way to stop the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
April 19th, 2013 | Robin
Still in a choleric mood, we nip over to the Gaming Hut to examine the presentation of epidemic disease in fantasy gaming worlds.
Among My Many Hats provides an inside look at Ken’s new subscription series from Pelgrane Press, the euphoniously titled Ken Writes About Stuff. Snag it from the newly spiffed-up Pelgrane shop.
A recent TED talk controversy provides a jumping-off point for the Eliptony Hut, in which we consider the works of cross-disciplinary eliptonist Graham Hancock.
April 12th, 2013 | Robin
Ken and Robin meet in the Gaming Hut to workshop a game mechanic—the interpersonal disadvantage.
The Tradecraft Hut uses further evidence that Blackwater served as a CIA front as an opportunity to riff on the differences between reality levels in espionage games and fiction.
Ask Ken and Robin sees our intrepid heroes venturing from behind the couch to answer HippyWizard’s query on overcoming the shyness factor at the game table.
And finally, Ken’s Time Machine prevents the arrest and death in custody of Pope Pius VI.
April 5th, 2013 | Robin
We kick off with another Travel Advisory, this one centered on Ken’s quest to Las Vegas and the Gama Trade Show, to prise from it premonitions of the new hotness.
Then History Hut takes a turn for the glandular as we examine the careers of quack testicular transplanter John R. Brinkley and perfectly respectable testicular transplanter Dr. G. Frank Lydston. Guess which one installed bits of dead prisoners between his skin and his ribcage. For more, see Pope Brock’s splendid Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam.
Ask Ken and Robin fields a query from listener DVanZandt. How do you avoid the minefields of player disbelief when running a game in the real world?
With a tip of the mitre to the newly elected Francis I, we enter the Conspiracy Corner to look at the role of the Jesuits in conspiracy lore.
March 29th, 2013 | Robin
Scoops of polyhedrals in hand, we enter the Gaming Hut to contemplate the power of experience points. Are they justified in a genre-emulative design?
In Ask Ken and Robin, Darren Watts asks Ken to explain how zombies can be one of the two great 20th century myths, since this means either Superman or Godzilla aren’t?
Science Hut puts American exceptionalism under the microscope, or at least sits it down in a room and offers it a sociological marshmallow. Have scientific theories of human nature met their WEIRD?
Finally we meet the Consulting Occultist in the non-standard confines of the Tradecraft Hut, where we open an Elizabethan dossier on spy and playwright Christopher Marlowe.
March 22nd, 2013 | Robin
In the Gaming Hut, we consider the soul of the orc. How do you present this classic fantasy trope without letting in the toxin of real world racism?
History Hut returns to crime in Chicago for a consideration of its gangland, then and now.
In Ask Ken and Robin, Robin is asked to further expound on a Thing He Always Says, the nature of the iconic character.
Finally we activate Ken’s Time Machine in a chrono-traveling effort to prevent the pardon of Richard M. Nixon.
Update: We’ve re-uploaded the file. Apologies to those inconvenienced by the earlier file error.