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Episode 91: The Envy Must Flow Through Me

May 30th, 2014 | Robin

The titular emotion exudes from a certain Chicagoan as we issue a Travel Advisory for Robin’s trip to the Chimeriades convention in sunny Provence.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Chris Shorb asks about making alternate histories plausible in roleplaying.

We take another request in the Eliptony Hut, because Alan Scott wants to know about the Lemurians of Mount Shasta.

Finally an overdue Politics Hut catches up on the latest turns in the Rob Ford saga, which landed him in rehab and temporarily out of Toronto’s mayoral race.

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.

This week’s show is also brought to you in part by the World of Aetaltis. The Temple of Modren, the first sourcebook introducing this exciting new Pathfinder Compatible world, is now Kickstarting.

10 Responses to “Episode 91: The Envy Must Flow Through Me”

  1. Andrew Miller says:

    Here’s a suggestion for Ken’s Time Machine: what would happen if Time Incorporated asked Ken to prevent the United States from implementing Prohibition? How would he do it, and what would the consequences be? (Aside from more drinking in the 1920s, I’m thinking there would be an impact on American organized crime.)

    • Brett Evill says:

      Andrew, I think you’ll find Episode 9 interesting, concerning Riesling and Dirigibles. Ken proposed to head off Prohibition by nobbling the political career of the hated Woodrow Wilson.

  2. GB Steve says:

    Have you now been to Tentacles, Continuum and Chimériades? How do Europeans cons compare (without counting the food, Continuum being particularly poor in this regard).

    • Hi Steve,

      I assume you are located in the US? While I can not really give you an reply to your questions I think it is fair to say that Tentacles was (it ended 2009) and Chimériades and THE KRAKEN are high concept events that do not really compare even to other European conventions. Said events are held at special places worth of only visiting and have more or less a profile, a culture or concept that attract a certain kind of gamers and gamemasters. People stay at the location overnight, there is a strong community spirit and beer and other alcoholic beverages are served. They are a lot of fun even when you are not gaming. When you check out the website and FB page of our show THE KRAKEN (after we did Tentacles for over a decade) I think you can easily form your own opinion what is different to shows or conventions that you frequent.

      • GB Steve says:

        Does not the GB component of my name give my location away?

        I don’t think there’s ever been a lack of beer at any convention I’ve attended, except for one in Cambridge where they drank the kegs dry. I’m not sure what being in a castle adds, compared to a 60s halls of residence or a mid-Western conference centre, as most of what occurs happens in some imaginary place far from the confines of the convention, but the food is undoubtedly worst in Leicester, and wurst at THE KRAKEN.

        • anybody says:

          Just for complete it: the successor of Tentacles is now (for 5 years) the Eternal Convention: same location, same time, same nerds and same games.

  3. Brett Evill says:

    Ken’s problems with preparing alternative-history settings for history majors and alternative-history fans at the Uni. of Chicago remind me of my own with preparing SF settings for science majors and SF fans at the Australian National Uni. When someone raises a question or objection to which I have a solid answer I find it very difficult to resist the temptation to show my working. This has on occasions side-tracked me into lengthy discussions about the future of human languages, the future of religion, the plausibility of interstellar colonisation when there is no possibility of a return trip, the economics of interstellar trade in FTL ships, the plausibility of dry nano-tech, the training and doctrine of space marines, and the labour economics of high-tech automatic manufacturing on wealthy planets. These arguments have in general not only been a waste of time and poor successes in the business of persuading players that the setting is plausible, I have also found most of them more frustrating than fun.

    Sometimes, even when you have an elaborate rationale or a better knowledge of the principles than your querulous players, it is best to say “Give me a break! Do you want to play Polish-Lithuanian hussars vs. Khazakhstan samurai or not?” After all, most of these folk are actually happy to play elves vs. vampires in a world mapped using soy sauce and a chopstick on a paper napkin.

    It irks me to play dumb and sloppy when I have been smart and diligent, but sometimes the alternative is to write a setting document so long and detailed that no-one reads it. A GM’s gotta do what a GM’s gotta do.

  4. KenR says:

    This might be better suited for a Lightning Round, but does Ken have any advice or opinions on Chicago’s occult bookstores?

  5. Karl says:

    I stand by my nuclear-powered zeppelins. They were a cool idea.

  6. […] Miskatonic University Podcast gang talked about map resources and moon-beasts, while Ken and Robin talked about Robin’s trip to the Chimeriades game convention in France, the Lemurian of Mount […]

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