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Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

Episode 200: Lightning Round 2016

July 22nd, 2016 | Robin

Let the bells ring out and the banners fly! We can remember starting this occasionally humble podcast like it was yesterday, but here we are with our 200th episode. And you know what that means: lightning round questions. This time, served up primarily by our Patreon backers. Among the many topics: underused Lovecraft, why conversion rules will always break your heart, and where huts come from, dealing with rules lawyers, and limes versus lemons.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Get trapped in Lovecraft’s story “The Call of Cthulhu” in Atlas Games’ addictive new card game Lost in R’lyeh. Take a selfie with your purchased copy of the game at your brick and mortar game retailer and send it to Atlas to claim your special Ken and Robin promo card. Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfageln. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 199: Not That That’s What Time Travelers Say

July 15th, 2016 | Robin

In Ask Ken and Robin, Patreon backer Conrad Kinch asks what the cruel empire of Tsan-Chan might be up to in 5000 AD. The answer might surprise him!

Now that you’ve worked your way through the filmography we provided in our Westerns 101 segment, the Cinema Hut rides back to the corral to pick some deeper cuts. Yes, it’s Westerns 201.

Fun With Science tackles a question from supporter Antti Elomaa: “Aside from building Geiger-counters and scientific apparatii, what use could one have for pre-nuclear steel, main source of which is the German WWI fleet scuttled at Scapa Flow?”

Then we’re back in the parlor of the Consulting Occultist to hear the tale of reputed 16th century sorcerer Rinaldo des Trois-Echelles du Mayne.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Get trapped in Lovecraft’s story “The Call of Cthulhu” in Atlas Games’ addictive new card game Lost in R’lyeh. Take a selfie with your purchased copy of the game at your brick and mortar game retailer and send it to Atlas to claim your special Ken and Robin promo card.

Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted.

You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfageln. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 198: Stab Them in the Peninsula

July 8th, 2016 | Robin

Matters come to a head in the Gaming Hut, where we talk about writing scenario climaxes.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Patreon backer Eric Jeppesen asks Ken and Robin to help weave a campaign around 16th century English-Ottoman relations and the figure of Edward Barton.

Enterprising filmmakers tasked a deep learning neural net to write a short film screenplay for them, and this is the result. We step into the oh so analytical confines of the Narrative Hut to discuss its implications.

Finally supporter Paul S. Enns asks us to rev up Ken’s Time Machine for a look at the timeline where Richard Nixon went unpardoned for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Get trapped in Lovecraft’s story “The Call of Cthulhu” in Atlas Games’ addictive new card game Lost in R’lyeh. Take a selfie with your purchased copy of the game at your brick and mortar game retailer and send it to Atlas to claim your special Ken and Robin promo card.

Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted.

You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfageln. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 197: Obviously She Fought Radium Ghosts

July 1st, 2016 | Robin

Ever-prolific Ken dons a knit cap like all the youngsters wear to bring us the scoop on Bubblegumshoe in Among My Many Hats.

In the Gaming Hut, we satisfy Patreon backer Sean McAuliff’s request for advice on playing historical figures.

Finally the sound of bookseller cash registers ringing in New England tell us that it’s time for another erudite installment of Ken’s Bookshelf.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this… Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. This episode also brought to you by Joe Dever’s Freeway Warrior, Kickstarting from now until July 7th. Survive the apocalypse with the blazing return of Joe Dever’s classic game books, now from Askfageln. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 196: Conspicuously Non-Assassinated

June 24th, 2016 | Robin

In Ask Ken and Robin, Patreon backer Philip asks for ways to incorporate the beat cycle from Robin’s book Hamlet’s Hit Points into game systems that don’t already support it.

The Tradecraft Hut peers into the dossier of Yakov Blumkin, the so-called Soviet James Bond.

We gather in the Gaming Hut to wonder why breaking the fourth wall was ever considered poor form.

Then we lurk our way to the Conspiracy Corner, where Patreon backer Darren Hennessy wants to know what we know about the Business Plot.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this… Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted.

This episode also brought to you by Joe Dever’s Freeway Warrior, Kickstarting from now until July 7th. Survive the apocalypse with the blazing return of Joe Dever’s classic game books, now from Askfageln.

Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 195: All Its Guns in Norman Rockwell

June 17th, 2016 | Robin

Patreon backer Trung Bui asks us to assemble in the Gaming Hut to tell him who the murderer is, and also to discuss the challenges of investigative scenario construction.

The gore runs thick but the design sense runs high as the Cinema Hut answers a Marc Kevin Hall request for an introduction to Italian horror films.

In the Culture Hut backer and Parisian dreamhound Josh Rose wants to know what the Communist Party would have looked like if it had embraced surrealism.

And hey, it’s another all request episode, as backer James Griffin quizes the Consulting Occultist on past life regression. Why isn’t it a thing any more?

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this… Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfageln. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 194: Knocking Off Early For Gin and Lemonade

June 10th, 2016 | Robin

The Gaming Hut becomes a boat we might just die in as Patreon backer Luke Wassink asks us to make environmental obstacles suspenseful and compelling.

In Among My Many Hats, Ken tells us about his new Dark Osprey book, The Cthulhu Wars: the United States’ Battle Against the Mythos.

Hey, who covered the floor of the Eliptony Hut with Toynbee tiles?

And Ken’s Time Machine tackles its deepest mystery yet, as Phil Masters asks Ken why he claimed to be from Porlock.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Attention, class! Anchor sponsor Atlas Games wants to enrol you in Mad Scientist University, the card game of evil genius, insane assignments, and unstable elements. Act now, Ken and Robin listeners, and they’ll throw in the Spring Break expansion set for free. Shipping within the US is also free. Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfageln. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 193: Bonaparte Eyes

June 3rd, 2016 | Robin

In Ask Ken and Robin, Patreon backer Andrew Jones asks about working with Greg Stafford.

The History Hut looks at the post-WWI occupation of Istanbul, as requested by Alexander Perman.

How to Write Good rips the lid off of our least favorite fake stock moments in fiction.

Finally the Conspiracy Corner finds Timothy Coram asking us to make something of the Westfield Watcher.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Attention, class! Anchor sponsor Atlas Games wants to enroll you in Mad Scientist University, the card game of evil genius, insane assignments, and unstable elements. Act now, Ken and Robin listeners, and they’ll throw in the Spring Break expansion set for free. Shipping within the US is also free. Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfageln. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.

 

Episode 192: Emulating a Genre That Doesn’t Exist

May 27th, 2016 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we ponder a meta-terminology games designers might use to describe the purpose and function of the various sub-systems they build into roleplaying rules sets.

Now that Donald Trump has sewn up the Republican nomination, we head into  the Politics Hut to ask Ken what happened to his party, and whether he thinks he’ll get it back after the election.

Installment Two of Tell Me More highlights three Ken and Robin Consume Media items our Patreon backers wanted to hear more about: Batman v. Superman, Ambrose Bierce, and The Burglar’s Guide to the City.

Finally the Consulting Occultist satisfies Patreon backer Allen Wilkins’ desire to hear about writer Alan Moore’s occult thought.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


It’s yo ho ho and a pocketful of doubloons as Atlas Games surveys the seven seas from the crow’s nest that is our coveted anchor sponsor slot. Parrot on its shoulder, it orders up another special deal for Ken and Robin listeners, this time in the form of their innovative game of piratical nautical warfare, Pieces of Eight.

Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted.

You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfageln. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish.

Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Ghost Transit, Noir Identities and a Murderous Jigsaw Puzzle

May 24th, 2016 | 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 our new podcast segment, Tell Me More.

Recommended

Les Cousins (Film, France, Claude Chabrol, 1959) Earnest student arrives in Paris to stay with his cousin, the theatrically overbearing center of a whirlwind party set, only to see him shack up with the young woman he’s fallen for. Like La Dolce Vita or Dazed and Confused, acutely portrays the rites and rhythms of an exuberant but fragile social scene.—RDL

The Ghost Network (Fiction, Catie Disabato, 2014) A Situationist pop icon vanishes in Chicago; her obsessed fan vanishes searching for her; the key seems to lie in the “ghost network” of lost or never-built Chicago subway and L lines. Disabato writes as the “editor” of another (imaginary) author’s non-fiction true crime book — so it’s a Situationist In Cold Blood metafiction about secret Chicago mass transit, so yes it’s written entirely for me. It could stand some punching up of character motivations, and two or three historical facts get badly mangled, but it’s still a heck of a first novel.–KH

H.H. Holmes Murder Castle Jigsaw Puzzle (Puzzle, Holly Carden, 2016) This 513-piece jigsaw puzzle depicts a cutaway of the legendary H.H. Holmes “Murder Castle” hotel in 1893 Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. Only moderately challenging as a jigsaw but ultimately quite absorbing as an art experience, especially one in which you have to keep asking “now, which expiring victim goes here”? –KH

Zero Focus (Film, Japan, Yoshitaro Nomura, 1962) Woman’s husband disappears one week into their marriage, sending her on an investigative journey to the bleak, snow-swept town where he was supposedly wrapping up some business affairs. Moody, noirish mystery knitted together by flashbacks, some of the Rashomon variety.–RDL

Good

Crooked (Fiction, Austin Grossman, 2015) The true and secret magical history of the Cold War, as told by Richard Nixon, our last sorcerer-president. The notes of near-Mythos occultism are excellent, as is the secret history by and large, but the temptation to caricature overwhelms Grossman to the detriment of character. For those into this kind of thing, the absurdist Hunter-Thompson-meets-HPL novel The Damned Highway  by Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas did all of it better.—KH

The Crooked Way (Film, US, Robert Florey, 1949) Amnesiac war hero returning to L.A. in search of his identity discovers that he used to be a gangster and that his former accomplices are none too happy to have him back. Gives up on its existential themes in favor of standard procedural obstacles, but worth a look for great noir photography from John Alton and its use of Los Angeles locations.—RDL

The Doctor and the Devils (Film, US, Freddie Francis, 1985) Spurred by the needs of an arrogant pioneering anatomist (Timothy Dalton), a pair of vicious new entrants into the cadaver supply business (Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Rea) murder their way past the competition. Upscale fictionalization of the Burke and Hare from Hammer alum Francis revels in grotty Victoriansploitation, In the highly theatrical acting style that pervaded prestige dramas for in the late 70s and early 80s. Adapted by Ronald Harwood from a Dylan Thomas screenplay written in the 40s. —RDL

Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 (TV, CW, 2016) Renegade time agent recruits a ragtag band of superheroes and villains to stop an evil immortal from conquering history. Engaging characterizations and performances do much heavy lifting, compensating for wobbly structures, copious idiot plotting, and a miscast big bad who projects all the menace of a mumbling hamster.—RDL

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Robin
Film Cannister