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Episode 133: Wielding Fennel Without Proper Church Authority

March 27th, 2015 | Robin

Cough into your elbow as we duck into the Gaming Hut to think up explanations imaginary cultures might give for the origin of diseases.

The Cinema Hut unspools Robin’s top five recommended films for schooling your players in the Feng Shui spirit.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Collin T asks how to get players immersed in a detailed setting without burying them in exposition or homework.

Finally the Consulting Occultist introduces us to the Italian benandanti, who as late as the 16th century were entering dreams to battle witches and pirates.


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.

 

Mapheads, rejoice. CAD maestro Jeff James is Kickstarting Scale Realms. This project will fund full color, high quality maps with 3D structures and landscaping, with a hex or square option.

Are you in the near to moderate orbit of Madison WI? If so, reserve the dates April 10th to the 12th to attend Odyssey Con 15 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. From spray can art demonstrations to a zombie prom to a four-track seminar panel, this relaxing, well-run weekend con will meet your geekly needs.

12 Responses to “Episode 133: Wielding Fennel Without Proper Church Authority”

  1. Carrie says:

    The singular would be “benandanto”. (If you want to make it a woman, benandanta/benandante.) Ah, Italian.

    • Dan S says:

      Linguistic quibble: Benandante is the correct singular. The plural would be benandanti. (Feel free to skip the following if you don’t care why that is.)

      Italian nouns and adjectives derive from the Latin declension system; the 4th and 5th declensions were subsumed more or less neatly into the remaining three. The resulting systems of noun inflection are (sg/pl) a/e (fem.) o/i (masc.) e/i (m./f.) The neuter gender of Latin was subsumed into the masculine.

      The word iteslf would derive from a compound of bene+andare (to go well).

  2. Isaac Priestley says:

    Great episode! I’ve been meaning to see both Saviour of the Soul and Detective Dee for a while now.

    Wasn’t Peter Pau the cinematographer of Crouching Tiger? I discovered him from that movie and noticed lots of great work he’s done with Ronny Yu and others over the years. One of the greats.

  3. darren t. says:

    While there is a lot of films to pick from for Feng Shui as influence, I’d offer to the list started by Ken & Robin, Big Trouble in Little China & Encounters of the Spooky Kind as well. Both lighthearted magic & fun action.

    Just tearing at the proverbial walls for the new edition of Feng Shui to go out in print to use it as a gaming lighthouse to for running games & get people nearby to play it.

  4. Charles Picard says:

    Ask K&R…

    If you’re going to improvise a session you’re GMing should you tell your players? Is letting them know just asking to be second-guessed every step of the way… or will they appreciate your virtuoso high-wire act all the more?

    • Charles Picard says:

      BTW I think my son might have been listening to too much KARTAS with me. Last night when my wife was tucking him in he said wistfully, “Daddy talk about the Gumshoe?”

      (For a little context he just turned 2 last week.)

  5. Asking Ken and Robin:

    Related to the “how much of a setting prior to playing” question, I’d like to ask: How much “sense” does a world need. (Eg: Glorantha is a setting where myths == reality, yet there are inexplicably folks who lead lives very similar to our own world, and busily farm and lead rather normal agrarian lives in the setting.) Naturally they’re just window-dressing for the player characters but I’d love to know if there are settings where trying to “make sense” of the setting gets in the way of gaming?

  6. Erik Saltwell says:

    I have a question for you: How might you use mechanics, idea and tropes from the Kaiju genre to design (or in my case redesign) a fantasy campaign where the boss at the end is Tiamat (as a Kaiju)?

  7. Richard Fryer says:

    Question for Ken’s Time Machine – given the timings of the US claiming California, and the discovery of gold, what horrific alternative were you attempting to prevent, and why was it so difficult to stop?

  8. Conrad Kinch says:

    I would like to ask Robin – what fictional universe has yet to be explored in an rpg that would you would really like to see?

    Do you ever think there will be a Dune rpg?

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