Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Cartography Hut’

Episode 81: If I Were an Otter

March 21st, 2014 | Robin

In the Cartography Hut we set out techniques to add a dose of psychogeography to the map of your imaginary city.

The Gaming Hut looks at the elasticity of vampire mythology, as inspired by Ken’s golden steampunk vampires of El Dorado, as seen in Fenix magazine.

How to Write Good confronts the pesky threat of word clusters, and how to avoid using the same word twice in one…dammit!

Consulting Occultist meets Tradecraft Hut as, at the request of listener Johnstone Metzger, we examine the work and shocking demise of mythological studies scholar and Romanian dissident Ioan Culianu.

Once again Fenix Magazine occupies our coveted anchor sponsor slot. After ten years delighting the Swedish gaming scene, they’re now bringing the Best of Fenix to English-language GMs and players with their now-active Indiegogo campaign.  This project so resounds with Hitean goodness that you have surely chipped in already. But if you haven’t, that burning bird of prey is still passing the hat.



It’s yo ho ho and a pocketful of doubloons as Atlas Games serves up another special deal for Ken and Robin listeners, this time in the form of their innovative game of piratical sea battles, Pieces of Eight.



That rumble in your molars heralds the thundering approach of the Open Metalcast Podcast, joining us as sponsor in a crescendo of aural extremity!


Episode 74: They Failed to Organize Italy

January 31st, 2014 | Robin

Keep your silver dagger ready in the Gaming Hut as we look at campaign setting creation through the example of Ken’s Werewolves of Dacia, which will appear in the upcoming Best of Fenix anthology. Hat tip to Big Think for its Middle Earth-to-Earth conversion map.

Next, Derek Upham Asks Ken and Robin to solve the mystery of medieval knights in dire combat with snails.

Then, having found in the Cartography Hut a map showing where Soviet citizens were forbidden to go in 1955, we kick around the idea of restricted territories.

Finally, in the Eliptony Hut, we look back at various conceptions of the alien before the standardization imposed by the classic UFO era.

Additional hat tip: the no-index-cards-in-Italy story comes from Renato of Pinboard for the Mind.

Once again Fenix Magazine occupies our coveted anchor sponsor slot. After ten years delighting the Swedish gaming scene, they’re poised to bring the Best of Fenix to English-language GMs and players with a February Indiegogo campaign.

Our next sponsor, Sand and Steam Productions, is now well into its Kickstarter for their Fate-powered mythic Norse RPG, War of Metal and Bone.


Also aboard the sponsor train is Atlas Games, who in a dappled fairyland warehouse discovered the need to liquidate still perfectly fabulous copies of Once Upon Time 2nd Edition, as the 3rd Edition glimmers on the horizon. Take advantage of this special deal for Ken and Robin listeners!

Episode 61: Next To the Opposite Hex You’ll Be Like a Ferret in Heat

October 18th, 2013 | Robin

To what extent should an adventure tell a story to the GM who is about to read it? Journey with us into the Gaming Hut to find out.

Then fire up your laptops with their Cartography Hut screensavers and geographic information systems to look at the genre possibilities of digital cemetery mapping.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Tom Clare asks about using in-world narrative voices to write rules text and setting material.

We conclude by revving up Ken’s Time Machine and urging him to reverse the Gran Sasso raid, in which the Nazis rescued Mussolini from Allied custody.

Episode 53: My Feelings About Hatchets Have Completely Changed

August 23rd, 2013 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we power up our universal translators to contemplate the treatment of languages in roleplaying.

Then we review our way through the summer blockbuster season in the Cinema Hut.

In an Ask Ken and Robin lightning round, we dispatch questions right and left, entertaining queries from the diceless to the non-violent.

Then, under the watchful eyes of benevolent Google gods, our Cartography Hunt/Conspiracy Corner co-production takes the aerial view of the Kazakhstan pentagram.

Join us in a hearty welcome to our latest sponsor, Gorilla Games, now Kickstarting Monster  Derby, their full contact road rage road race board game!

Episode 49: No One Likes a Blood Frenzy

July 26th, 2013 | Robin

From the Cartography Hut we send our separate adventurers on intercut journeys of exploration, as we riff on the fantasy game potential of the Atlas of True Names series.

How to Write Good connects the dots of stakes, consequences, and reader engagement.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Geoffery Nelson asks how iconic characters can engage in meaningful conflict without stopping the story dead as both dig their heels in.

Finally we conclude Ken’s series on the Nazi occult by veering at an impossible angle into the Eliptony Hut for a look at Nazi UFOs and the Hollow Earth.

Episode 39: The Book of Not At All Sinister Church Names

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.

Episode 26: Passing the Legislation To See What’s In It

February 15th, 2013 | Robin

In an unprecedented merger of the Gaming Hut with the Politics Hut, we look to political scientist Steven Teles’ theory of government as kludgeocracy to demonstrate why government should hire game designers like Ken and Robin to playtest their legislation for them.

Then we take latitudes with the longitudes of the Cartography Hut to examine the history and fantasy of Stonehenge.

The map above is from Profantasy Software’s  Source Maps: Temples, Tombs and Catacombs, which you can grab at a mere $10, a quarter of the usual price, until Feb 22nd, by following this special link to the Profantasy store. This informative pack of historical maps stands alone, with a built in viewer and tons of images and background. But if you have Profantasy Software’s flagship mapping package, Campaign Cartographer 3, you can edit the maps and use symbols from them.

In Ask Ken and Robin, we entertain Lisa Padol’s question about the edition wars inspired by the differences between old and new World of Darkness.

Finally, Ken’s Time Machine averts the sacking of China’s Old Summer Palace—or, at least, the most notorious of its several sackings.

Episode 22: Her Agile, Ventriloquistic Foot

January 18th, 2013 | Robin

In a special Cartography Hut / Ask Ken and Robin crossover, Troy Holoday invites us to contemplate the vanished D&D roles of mapper and caller.

On a serious note we go to the History Hut for a sense of perspective, if not solace, on America’s relationship with the gun.

In the Cinema Hut Robin finally uncorks his long-simmering rant on the fundamentally unBondian nature of Skyfall. Ken gamely and briefly attempts a role as devil’s advocate before reverting to true and inevitable doctrine.

We wrap with an ironic tale for the Consulting Occultist—the sad story of Margaret Fox, who accidentally founded 19th century spiritualism through a teenage prank.

Episode 17: A Gorgeous Work of Rosicrucian Monomania

November 28th, 2012 | Robin

In Ask Ken and Robin, we examine the popularity, or lack thereof, of the western as a roleplaying genre, and point to models historical and cinematic for the adventuring party in spurs and Stetsons.

We venture into a particularly cramped and cluttered iteration of the Cartography Hut to spin a passel of story threads from the real-life tale of the Mount Washington map hoard.

With zombie-like tread we shamble down the aisles of the Cinema Hut to chew over the career of director George A. Romero.

Then Time Incorporated once more dispatches Ken’s Time Machine, this time to prevent the murder of Salvador Allende and the ensuing ascension to power of Augusto Pinochet.

Episode 14: Undetectable Notes of Irony

November 9th, 2012 | Robin

We kick off with another film festival wrap-up in the Cinema Hut, this time Ken’s visit to the Chicago International Film Festival.

Ask Ken and Robin asks us to contemplate the differences between two of Robin’s game engines, DramaSystem and Skulduggery, leading us to contemplate a broader old saw: does system matter?

In the Cartography Hut we examine a map of Chicago gangland in 1926, limning an urban geography of booze and bullets.

Then we rev up Ken’s Time Machine, sending him back to prevent the burning of the library at Alexandria. Or burnings, if you prefer.

Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
Flying Clock
Film Cannister