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Posts Tagged ‘Consulting Occultist’

Episode 199: Not That That’s What Time Travelers Say

July 15th, 2016 | Robin

In Ask Ken and Robin, Patreon backer Conrad Kinch asks what the cruel empire of Tsan-Chan might be up to in 5000 AD. The answer might surprise him!

Now that you’ve worked your way through the filmography we provided in our Westerns 101 segment, the Cinema Hut rides back to the corral to pick some deeper cuts. Yes, it’s Westerns 201.

Fun With Science tackles a question from supporter Antti Elomaa: “Aside from building Geiger-counters and scientific apparatii, what use could one have for pre-nuclear steel, main source of which is the German WWI fleet scuttled at Scapa Flow?”

Then we’re back in the parlor of the Consulting Occultist to hear the tale of reputed 16th century sorcerer Rinaldo des Trois-Echelles du Mayne.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Get trapped in Lovecraft’s story “The Call of Cthulhu” in Atlas Games’ addictive new card game Lost in R’lyeh. Take a selfie with your purchased copy of the game at your brick and mortar game retailer and send it to Atlas to claim your special Ken and Robin promo card.

Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted.

You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 195: All Its Guns in Norman Rockwell

June 17th, 2016 | Robin

Patreon backer Trung Bui asks us to assemble in the Gaming Hut to tell him who the murderer is, and also to discuss the challenges of investigative scenario construction.

The gore runs thick but the design sense runs high as the Cinema Hut answers a Marc Kevin Hall request for an introduction to Italian horror films.

In the Culture Hut backer and Parisian dreamhound Josh Rose wants to know what the Communist Party would have looked like if it had embraced surrealism.

And hey, it’s another all request episode, as backer James Griffin quizes the Consulting Occultist on past life regression. Why isn’t it a thing any more?

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this… Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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. Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.   

Episode 192: Emulating a Genre That Doesn’t Exist

May 27th, 2016 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we ponder a meta-terminology games designers might use to describe the purpose and function of the various sub-systems they build into roleplaying rules sets.

Now that Donald Trump has sewn up the Republican nomination, we head into  the Politics Hut to ask Ken what happened to his party, and whether he thinks he’ll get it back after the election.

Installment Two of Tell Me More highlights three Ken and Robin Consume Media items our Patreon backers wanted to hear more about: Batman v. Superman, Ambrose Bierce, and The Burglar’s Guide to the City.

Finally the Consulting Occultist satisfies Patreon backer Allen Wilkins’ desire to hear about writer Alan Moore’s occult thought.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


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.

Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted.

You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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.

Attention, operatives of Delta Green, the ultra-covert agency charged with battling the contemporary forces of the Cthulhu Mythos! Now everything you need to know to play Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game, perhaps extending your valiantly short field life, can be found in the Delta Green Agent’s Handbook.

Episode 189: It Won’t Fix Me But It Will Fix That

May 6th, 2016 | Robin

Patreon backer Kevin J. Maroney gets us started with an Ask Ken and Robin question about other designers’ mechanics we consider to be under-stolen.

The Tradecraft Hut takes on a recent story claiming that infamous Nazi military officer Otto Skorzeny ended his career as a Mossad assassin.

In the Food Hut we heroically accede to a request from Patreon backer Ethan Cordray to sip some liqueurs. No, wait, talk about liqueurs.

Finally backer Joshua Hillerup climbs the creaky stairs that lead to the Consulting Occultist to learn about the occult symbolism of flowers.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


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.

Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted.

You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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.

When you assemble your bug-out kit, make sure it includes a copy of Delta Green: Need to Know, the everything-you-need quickstart kick for the classic game of covert agents against the Cthulhu mythos, from our fine friends at Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 186: You Need Canapes To Have a Secret Society

April 15th, 2016 | Robin

Ask Ken and Robin gets especially educational as Patreon supporter Brent Brown asks us for tips for using RPGs to teach history, home school style.

Tradecraft Hut peers into the espionage scene in Brussels.

How To Write Good looks at influences and how to incorporate them well.

Finally the Consulting Occultist slakes the hankering of Patreon backer Stewart Robertson for info on the Black Dragon Society.

Support the KARTAS Patreon!


Bend reality to your will, but be ready to pay the price, as Atlas Games’ Unknown Armies bubbles up from the supernatural underground for a weird and majestic new Kickstarter campaign.
Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. If you’re like every roleplayer we know, you strive to outshine others in showing your love of dice. Well, now you can arouse the envy of friends and foes alike with Askfageln’s dazzling coffee table photo art book dedicated to all things pipped and many-sided, Dice: Rendezvous with Randomness. Luxuriate in the photo artistry of Mans Danneman. Grab the book or gorgeous prints through their Kickstarter!

When you assemble your bug-out kit, make sure it includes a copy of Delta Green: Need to Know, the everything-you-need quickstart kick for the classic game of covert agents against the Cthulhu mythos, from our fine friends at Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 181: Taking Latitudes with Longitude

March 11th, 2016 | Robin

In this special theme episode, we start in the uncharted waters of the Cartography Hut, to look at the struggle to accurately measure longitude at sea, and its underdog hero, clockmaker John Harrison.

We shift to the Gaming Hut to ask ourselves how to introduce navigational uncertainty into magic-rich F20 worlds.

Then the Consulting Occultist tours us through the colorful career of privateer, courtier, cookbook author and magic powder maker Kenelm Digby. The connection? The rejected magical dog injury method of longitude measurement.

When the astronomer Giovanni Cassini wanted to establish a reference point for longitude he went to the ruins of Uraniborg, the observatory erected by Tycho Brahe. Can Ken’s Time Machine prevent it from being destroyed in the first place?


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this… Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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. In a move that surely violates someone’s security clearance, this episode is also brought to you by our friends at Arc Dream Publishing. The Kickstarter for Delta Green: the Roleplaying Game has come to an end, but don’t let that stop you from indulging your fever for this classic game, or that pinnacle of the Cthulhu game zine world, The Unspeakable Oath.

Episode 177: You’ve Got Your Chainsaw Working

February 12th, 2016 | Robin

Can you make it through the terrors of Ask Ken and Robin, when Sean Maclean asks us how to run survival horror?

If so, the Tradecraft Hut awaits, where we deliver our promised full segment on legendary M15 counterintelligence honcho Maxwell Knight.

Go down to the basement and get made small as Horror Hut zooms in on scary dolls.

Finally, the Consulting Occultist fills us in on Paracelsus, a literal Renaissance man whose achievements in medicine, psychology and toxicology also included influential works of a Hermetic bent.


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this… Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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. In a move that surely violates someone’s security clearance, this episode is also brought to you by our friends at Arc Dream Publishing. The Kickstarter for Delta Green: the Roleplaying Game has come to an end, but don’t let that stop you from indulging your fever for this classic game, or that pinnacle of the Cthulhu game zine world, The Unspeakable Oath.

Episode 175: And Then Everyone Gets Indicted

January 29th, 2016 | Robin

Oh, the humanity! How do we characterize being a human in F20 games and settings? Answers lie inside the Gaming Hut.

You think the media is bad today. Back during Chicago’s circulation wars you could get shot for reading the wrong paper on the subway. Elucidation waits in a hard-to-target corner of the History Hut.

Wizards of the Coast is licensing its flagship setting, the Forgotten Realms, to third party creators prepared to join its Dungeon Masters’ Guild venture, a joint effort with DriveThru RPG. Ramifications and implications get a good mulling in The Business of Gaming.

Then in the most momentous crossover team up event since Superman faced off against Ali, the Consulting Occulist enters the Tradecraft Hut to recount the fascinating career of outsiders’ insider Tom Driberg. Only a certain percentage of the legends surrounding him turn out to be too good to check.


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this… Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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. In a move that surely violates someone’s security clearance, this episode is also brought to you by our friends at Arc Dream Publishing. The Kickstarter for Delta Green: the Roleplaying Game has come to an end, but don’t let that stop you from indulging your fever for this classic game, or that pinnacle of the Cthulhu game zine world, The Unspeakable Oath.

Episode 172: #notAllAstrologers

January 8th, 2016 | Robin

While in London in December, the Consulting Occultist got a sneak peek at key items of John Dee’s book collection. Join us in previewing the upcoming exhibit Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee, which runs Jan 18-July 29  at the Royal College of Physicians.

 

 

 

Then we turn to the Gaming Hut for a consideration of apparent versus actual complexity in roleplaying games, and how to present simple game systems so they look as easy to run as they actually are.

Finally, if we were recently in London, you know that the time has come for another epic installment of Ken’s Bookshelf.


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this…

Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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. In a move that surely violates someone’s security clearance, this episode is also brought to you by our friends at Arc Dream Publishing. The Kickstarter for Delta Green: the Roleplaying Game has come to an end, but don’t let that stop you from indulging your fever for this classic game, or that pinnacle of the Cthulhu game zine world, The Unspeakable Oath.

Episode 168: Real Made-Up History

November 27th, 2015 | Robin

The New York Public Library online map collection provides a feast of gameable treasures. We gather in the Cartography Hut to pick our favorites and riff on ways to put them to use.

Ken’s first map, of Brasov, appears here.

Robin’s map, to the residences of Ebenezer Ingalsbie and T. R. Wolcott, is here.

Ken’s second map, of 1840s Brooklyn, is here.

Among My Many Hats has Ken turning your players into an official bulwark against UFO incursion in his latest Ken Writes About Stuff installment, MAJESTIC OVERWATCH.

Ken and Robin Recycle Audio as the audience of Deep Ones at Toronto’s FanExpo pepper Robin with questions about exciting endings, compelling darkness, and NPCs your players care about.

Finally the Consulting Occultist gets architectural to discuss the occult tendencies of Le Corbusier.


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this…

Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. 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.

In a move that surely violates someone’s security clearance, this episode is also brought to you by our friends at Arc Dream Publishing. The Kickstarter for Delta Green: the Roleplaying Game has come to an end, but don’t let that stop you from indulging your fever for this classic game, or that pinnacle of the Cthulhu game zine world, The Unspeakable Oath.

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