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Episode 171: Live from Dragonmeet 2015

December 18th, 2015 | Robin

Once again we end a year of talking about stuff with a live episode from Dragonmeet in London. Join us as we discuss a time war involving Isaac Newton and the Crusades, GUMSHOE, Feng Shui, highly detailed games, hypothetical gaming-inspired cookbooks, what we’re afraid of now, and making gnomes interesting.

Enjoy your holidays, and join us when we return on January 8th with episode 172 and more details of our secret mission in London.


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. In a move that surely violates someone’s security clearance, this episode is also brought to you by our friends at Arc Dream Publishing. The Kickstarter for Delta Green: the Roleplaying Game has come to an end, but don’t let that stop you from indulging your fever for this classic game, or that pinnacle of the Cthulhu game zine world, The Unspeakable Oath.

9 Responses to “Episode 171: Live from Dragonmeet 2015”

  1. malkav11 says:

    There was one question I felt didn’t quite get fully addressed – i.e., the one about supplements -and- campaigns for Feng Shui 2. The reasons why supplements weren’t likely were explored in sufficient detail and I’d agree, Feng Shui 2 probably doesn’t need them and in general they’re a much less economically sensible proposition these days. That said, the “and campaigns” bit seemed to get entirely missed. For myself, I don’t need sourcebooks full of stats for enemies or whatnot, but I really value prewritten campaigns (not just one-off adventures, though I enjoy those too) because they both provide a possible option for a coherent narrative core to my otherwise fairly improvisational GMing style (I for one find the small details easier to come up with on the fly) and because they show what a campaign in that system and setting can look like. Feng Shui 2 doesn’t cry out for them to the same degree that other systems can, being relatively lightweight and with its influences clear and readily cribbed from, but I think it’d still be quite valuable to me and probably others as well.

  2. Terry O'Carroll says:

    NSA & GCHQ team up to steal mobile phone encryption keys: https://theintercept.com/2015/02/19/great-sim-heist/

    Note that an individual encryption key is referred to as a “Ki”, another way of spelling “Ch’i”, meaning life force. Edom connection with GCHQ?

    Also note that the proliferation of cell phones with cameras in them has led to a drop in the number of confirmed reports of supernatural happenings. Perhaps the Ascended are behind this proliferation (in order to suppress magic), but fear the democratizing effects of mass peer-to-peer communications?

  3. candle says:

    Long time listener: I haven’t yet listened to this one, but this seems like a good opportunity to say thanks for all the fascinating material so far.

    To add to a list of things you might talk about, how about building a scenario around a building that isn’t a haunted house. For example, the IG Farben building in Frankfurt, where I am currently working.

    Its history includes the Rothschilds, a psychiatric hospital (and Dr Alzheimer worked nearby), Nazi industry, the American postwar administration in Germany and the CIA, the Baader-Meinhof gang, rumours of secret tunnels and, best of all, paternoster lifts / elevators for those chase sequences.

    Also, a lightning-round question, probably for Ken: what should I read for a serious look at the legends of the wild west? Not necessarily something academic, but a good popular history of the real Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Wyatt Earp etc.

    Thanks again, and happy new year!

  4. Here’s a question for Ken’s Time Machine: what would the world look like if the Alaska Purchase hadn’t happened? Or, rather, could Ken describe what that world looked like and how he ensured the Purchase did happen despite the best efforts of Time Inc’s… competitor?

  5. Andrew Smith says:

    It was a good show. I especially liked the ideas for making gnomes interesting. Thanks for that one.

    I also have a question for Time Incorporated. What horrible alternative timeline did we avoid when you persuaded the Dutch not to colonise Australia, even though their explorers found it before the British?

    • Rob Mammone says:

      That’s easy – they would’ve pushed eastwards from the coast of what is now WA, and of course would’ve stumbled across the city of the Yithians – with untold catastrophic results for humanity!

  6. hyfigeex says:

    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. Where is this information?

  7. Tim Emrick says:

    As I’ve been working my way through the archive, I have been making the mistake of not listening to enough of the “live from” podcasts. As proven by (for example) Ken’s manic nerdtroping of Newton, and the ideas for making gnomes more interesting, these episodes contain some real gems!

    And thanks to Robin for the words about a game only being dead when people stop playing it. Some of my favorite RPGs (like BESM 3E) were mere flashes in the pan from a publishing perspective.

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