Posts Tagged ‘Ask Ken and Robin’
May 17th, 2013 | Robin
Two mysterious doors provide ingress into the Gaming Hut. Which one do we take, as we contemplate adventure structure and the choice points that comprise it?
Ask Ken and Robin takes an alternate history turn as Crane Brinton wonders: What does the alternate timeline where the Kaiser won WWI look like?
Then we hop into a mapping car and head to the Cartography Hut, where we riff on the storytelling inspiration of Google’s recent documentation of the Fukushima ghost zone.
We close with a visit to the Consulting Occultist, who recounts the Theosophy-meets-Evangelical-meets-New Age tale of Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
May 10th, 2013 | Robin
We start with a visit to the Gaming Hut to discuss the play utility of illustrations.
In the Food Hut we explore the legends and lore of packaged goods, including the secret origins of Cool Whip, the Twinkie, and Gatorade.
Conrad Kinch Asks Ken and Robin how one guides a playtester to greatness. Michael Cule adds a supplemental: have we ever regretted not implementing a piece of playtester advice?
Finally, Ken’s Time Machine takes us to the intractable yet little mythologized tragedy that was the Trail of Tears.
April 26th, 2013 | Robin
Ken and Robin hit a bare and blackened stage to bring the improv concept of “yes anding” to the Gaming Hut.
In Ask Ken and Robin, they answer Kevin J. Maroney’s question about picking a game for roleplaying newbies.
In its return appearance, How To Write Good tackles the basics of short story structure.
And finally, listener Falko Sieverding proposes a mission for Ken’s Time Machine. Is maintaining the Vice-Presidency of Henry Wallace past 1944 the way to stop the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
April 12th, 2013 | Robin
Ken and Robin meet in the Gaming Hut to workshop a game mechanic—the interpersonal disadvantage.
The Tradecraft Hut uses further evidence that Blackwater served as a CIA front as an opportunity to riff on the differences between reality levels in espionage games and fiction.
Ask Ken and Robin sees our intrepid heroes venturing from behind the couch to answer HippyWizard’s query on overcoming the shyness factor at the game table.
And finally, Ken’s Time Machine prevents the arrest and death in custody of Pope Pius VI.
April 5th, 2013 | Robin
We kick off with another Travel Advisory, this one centered on Ken’s quest to Las Vegas and the Gama Trade Show, to prise from it premonitions of the new hotness.
Then History Hut takes a turn for the glandular as we examine the careers of quack testicular transplanter John R. Brinkley and perfectly respectable testicular transplanter Dr. G. Frank Lydston. Guess which one installed bits of dead prisoners between his skin and his ribcage. For more, see Pope Brock’s splendid Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam.
Ask Ken and Robin fields a query from listener DVanZandt. How do you avoid the minefields of player disbelief when running a game in the real world?
With a tip of the mitre to the newly elected Francis I, we enter the Conspiracy Corner to look at the role of the Jesuits in conspiracy lore.
March 29th, 2013 | Robin
Scoops of polyhedrals in hand, we enter the Gaming Hut to contemplate the power of experience points. Are they justified in a genre-emulative design?
In Ask Ken and Robin, Darren Watts asks Ken to explain how zombies can be one of the two great 20th century myths, since this means either Superman or Godzilla aren’t?
Science Hut puts American exceptionalism under the microscope, or at least sits it down in a room and offers it a sociological marshmallow. Have scientific theories of human nature met their WEIRD?
Finally we meet the Consulting Occultist in the non-standard confines of the Tradecraft Hut, where we open an Elizabethan dossier on spy and playwright Christopher Marlowe.
March 22nd, 2013 | Robin
In the Gaming Hut, we consider the soul of the orc. How do you present this classic fantasy trope without letting in the toxin of real world racism?
History Hut returns to crime in Chicago for a consideration of its gangland, then and now.
In Ask Ken and Robin, Robin is asked to further expound on a Thing He Always Says, the nature of the iconic character.
Finally we activate Ken’s Time Machine in a chrono-traveling effort to prevent the pardon of Richard M. Nixon.
Update: We’ve re-uploaded the file. Apologies to those inconvenienced by the earlier file error.
March 15th, 2013 | Robin
In our latest venture into the Gaming Hut, we consider the classic sandbox versus railroad opposition. Useful dichotomy, or intellectual black hole that swallows all other argument?
From there we gain access to the Tradecraft Hut, to examine the wartime disinformation career of thriller novelist Dennis Wheatley.
In Ask Ken and Robin, Craig Maloney prompts us to mull the role of mini-games in roleplaying design.
And finally, with such matters back in the news, we tap the Consulting Occultist for a 101 class on lost continents, from Atlantis to Hyperborea and beyond.
March 8th, 2013 | Robin
We start by venturing into the Genre Hut to limn the fraught boundaries of the Fake Nerd crisis.
Our examination of the Chelyabinsk meteor takes us into the Eliptony Hut, where we trace its impact on, and incorporation into, a cluster of competing conspiracy theories.
In Ask Ken and Robin we tackle the role of laws and law-breaking in roleplaying games. Is it an American thing, or does it arise from an impulse that defies national boundaries?
Finally we rev up Ken’s Time Machine, where Ken reveals several four-color strategies for preventing the adoption of the Comics Code Authority.
March 1st, 2013 | Robin
That Vitamin D sheen you see on Ken’s glossy coat shows that he recently escaped Chicago’s frigid embrace for the sunshine of California’s Bay Area, necessitating another Travel Advisory as we review his trip to Dundracon.
An unusual clatter of gunfire punctuates activities at the Food Hut, as we parse press reports of connections between Europe’s horsemeat scandal and the shadow financial empire of Russia’s most notorious arms dealer.
Andrew Brehaut prompts this week’s Ask Ken and Robin with a question on structure in game and scenario design.
Then we flash back to San Francisco for an elegiac installment of Ken’s Bookshelf, in which our intrepid traveler hauls home the fruits of his last epic plundering of that legendary occult bookshop, which is soon to migrate to the etheric spheres in an online-only capacity. Follow along at home with his list of books mentioned.