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Episode 252: A Different, Less Pear-Like Shape

July 28th, 2017 | Robin

Are your modern investigators getting cocky? Join us in the Gaming Hut as we riff a rival team to toss some sand in their gears.

The Cartography Hut looks at the process of mapping fictional cities, like those invented by H. P. Lovecraft.

In Ask Ken and Robin, John Scheib wants to know about habits of mind to transition from OSR to narrative style gaming.

Then we stand in proximity to Ken’s Time Machine as we learn why our hero had to borrow the white doe of Sertorius.

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.


In Unknown Armies, Atlas Games’ modern-day, occult roleplaying game, you play the heroically broken people who conspire to fix the world. That conspiracy just got easier, with the arrival of the game on store shelves near you!

The book has been written. The book has been read. Now it rewrites you. Across time it spreads, creating dread new realities. And you’re in all of them. Robin’s epic new GUMSHOE project, The Yellow King Roleplaying Game has concluded its Kickstarter run, but is now available for pre-order at the Pelgrane Store for those who missed it. (You think you hear us say Backerkit in the ad in this episode, but that’s just a reality shattering manifestation caused by your exposure to the Yellow Sign. Please bear with us as we clear that up.) Do intervals between episodes plunge you into Hite withdrawal? Never fear! 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. John Scott Tynes’ Puppetland is ready to knock the stuffing out of a game store near you in its gorgeous new full-color hardcover edition. Join the good folks at Arc Dream in battling the horrific forces of Punch the Maker-Killer!

4 Responses to “Episode 252: A Different, Less Pear-Like Shape”

  1. Tim Emrick says:

    I had a friend in college whose mother married into the name Mary Christmas. But that pales next to someone saddling their child with Kellie Kelly.

    I love the idea of a rival NPC party, but my players have a tendency to try to murder-hobo the other group before they get properly developed in-game. (Granted, my last attempt was in a Freeport campaign, where that probably IS the safest reaction.)

  2. Steve Dempsey says:

    Now I really want Ramsey Campbell to move from Brichester to Barchester (perhaps using these maps: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/trollope/moody3.html).

  3. Hank Harwell says:

    Some time ago, I attempted to map the environs around Forlorn Gap, the setting for Lon Williams’ Deputy Marshal Lee Winters stories from the 1950’s Western Pulps. The stories are early versions of what we now refer to as the Weird West genre. Williams described a great deal of the area around the town. I tried to get a rough sketch of the town itself, but that proved to be a little more difficult. I’m not sure that Williams had an actual map for himself that he was using to describe the locale. However, it was a lot of fun to recreate any map that might have existed.

  4. Phil Masters says:

    I’m no Trollope expert, but I suspect that Barchester may just be too much of a generic English cathedral city – mostly Winchester – for many fans to be inspired to map it. However, Trollope seems to have cared quite a lot about topography, and actually seems to have sketched maps of Barsetshire generally that have since been enhanced and embellished by other hands.

    I recall Terry Pratchett saying that he didn’t start out with maps of Ankh-Morpork or the Discworld in mind – he wasn’t that sort of thinker, or writing that sort of book – but when other people started drawing them, he was clearly too much of a geek not to insist that they be don right, and by the later Discworld novels, it looks to me like some of the plotting is being driven by the maps.

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