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Episode 98: Why are We Conquering This?

July 18th, 2014 | Robin

Often in the Gaming Hut (and other huts arrayed around it) we riff a ton of quick ideas in Gatling gun fashion. This time out we take one of those riffed ideas, that of the city of underwater dead who sell longer lives to mortals, as we demonstrate the process of fleshing out a concept into a setting.

The Tradecraft Hut takes on the seminal story of 20th century espionage, Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Robin fields a Steve Hammond question on setting changes between the previous edition of Feng Shui and the one he is currently cooking up.

Finally Ken’s Time Machine takes a John Clayton request for a better Roman occupation of Britain, in the hopes that it might dampen later regional conflicts.

From the magical land of sponsors comes Atlas Games, who with a twinkle of fairy dust revive their 2nd Edition Once Upon a Time clearance sale.

7 Responses to “Episode 98: Why are We Conquering This?”

  1. winstionp says:

    Interesting episode, as usual.

    One thought about your Dunwich Returns setting: Perhaps you’re memory merchant PCs might frequent retirement homes, trying to buy the memories of the aged, a sort of occult Alzheimer’s or reverse mortgage for you mind.

  2. Steve Kellett says:

    The fact that the original Feng Shui present day scenario is stuck in 1996 Hong Kong resonates with me as that was the year I lived there (actually Jan ’96 to May ’97) and met my wife.

    You’re right about the not quite changes that have occurred there since ’97. In some respects Hong Kong has become more westernised since that time, mostly due to the returning astronaut syndrome. Astronaut was the term used for those who used the early 90’s to temporarily settle overseas and get themselves an exit option in the form of a US, Canadian or Australian passport as insurance against the “PLA tanks rolling through Wanchai” post handover scenario coming to pass. Well lots of those people had kids, and lots of those kids grew up in the USA, Canada or Australia and then started filtering back to Hong Kong in the early naughties as they inherited grannie’s apartment or whatever. They seem to have landed up in, for example, North Point (or whatever other far flung corner of the fragment harbour you care to pick), looked around and thought “This sucks. There’s no Starbucks and you can’t get decent cheese/wine/beer/sushi”. Then market forces have swung into action and suddenly there’s an excellent wine selection in the Mong Kok Park’n’Shop.

    The other effect that’s highly noticeable is the influx of the tourist hordes from across the frontier that has skewed the local retail sector and has led to the demise of just about anything that’s of any use to local inhabitants in many areas of the city. These have been mostly replaced by stores selling skin whitening creams, baby milk powder, designer handbags, and jewellery. You can’t find a decent dai pai dong within five miles of Central anymore.

    Yup, we return frequently to Hong Kong, and every time it’s a shock to find that it’s not 1996 any more. I suppose it’s a shock for Hong Kong too, as we both now have grey hair and a brood of kids in tow, so it all evens out!

  3. Scott Haring says:

    Ken and Robin — in podcast #98 you mentioned author Tim Powers, and I know he has been referenced in the past. I think it would make a grand “Ask Ken and Robin” if you were to give us an overview of Powers’ work and influence. Don’t you wholeheartedly agree?

    • Hawk Haines says:

      I wholeheartedly agree that it’d be a good listen if nothing else. As Ken has mentioned Powers’ work hits a lot of the same ideas that both he and Robin frequently trade in. However, I feel like the nature of powers works mostly means that the best advice is simply, if you want a well researched modern or near-modern occult or eliptonic novel read any of his various works.

  4. Derek Upham says:

    Ken, a San Francisco enclave of Tcho-Tcho has started selling food products nationwide in the United States. Why are they doing it, and what can we do to stop it?

  5. James Wallis says:

    A quick note: you wondered out loud about the closest city to Dunwich. That area of Suffolk is my manor, so I can tell you that Ipswich is slightly closer and a lot better connected (via the A12 road) in terms of major towns, but that bit of the coast is already set up with hotels, B&Bs and holiday homes for short-break holidays, so you’d probably see Leiston, Southwold and Aldeburgh share the immediate uptake, with overspill to Halesworth. It’s a lovely bit of the country. I should take you there next time you’re over, and then we can have tea with my mother in her house built in the ruins of a Norman abbey.

    ‘A towering genius of gaming’. Ha!

  6. Excellent article! We are linking to this great post on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

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