Posts Tagged ‘Ken’s Time Machine’
November 22nd, 2013 | Robin
We place a horseshoe over the mantle of the Gaming Hut to consider luck’s role as a branch point in roleplaying.
Then, at the behest of lead sponsor Stephen Jankiewicz, we enter the cobwebbed confines of the Horror Hut to ask if terror and sense of wonder can coexist.
In Ask Ken and Robin, Leo Pall Hrafnsson inquires: “How do you run a game that feels like Heat or Catch Me If You Can, where the PCs directly oppose one another?”
Finally, a grumbling time traveler revs up Ken’s Time Machine to intervene in the invention of Thanksgiving to build a more sensible, dare we say Canadian, separation between it and Christmas.
Serving as anchor sponsor this week is author Stephen Jankiewicz. Among his many works, KARTAS listeners may be most drawn to his weird tales in the Lovecraft tradition, as found in his collections Medusa, the Drowned and Other Tales and The Muse of the Monstrous. Check out his stuff on Amazon.
Slabtown Games joins us to tout Storyscape, a tablet-based tabletop roleplaying game Robin is currently designing for them.
Kotadama Heavy Industries invites you to explore Ryuutama: The Natural Fantasy RPG, translated by Matt Sanchez & Andy Kitkowski. Satisfy your yearning for travel and exploration by jumping aboard their successful Kickstarter campaign.
November 8th, 2013 | Robin
Ken has returned from the Chicago Film Festival to regale the Cinema Hut with demonic pacts, ghost possession, a Kurdish western, and an unusually sympathetic take on the new Dario Argento flick.
As prompted by George Pletz, Ask Ken and Robin considers the picaresque and floats various techniques for strictly episodic RPGing.
In the Genre Hut we mull the highly problematic footprint Fu Manchu has planted in pop culture.
Finally, we rev up Ken’s Time Machine, sending our chrono-hero to whichever sack of Rome he chooses to prevent.
Our anchor sponsor this episode is Engine Publishing and their system-neutral GM resource, Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management. Get $5 off in the Engine Publishing store using code KARTAS20, good through November 2013!
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.
October 4th, 2013 | Robin
Gather your Hegelian war band around the speakers to listen to our opening Gaming Hut segment, in which we look at ways to transform groups of murder hoboes into ensemble procedural casts.
We open a historical case file in the Tradecraft Hut, looking at the role spy novelist William Le Queux, abetted by the Daily Mail, played in whipping up espionage fever in the nineteen-oughts.
Among My Many Hats prompts Robin to share his preparatory thinking on the new edition of Feng Shui he’ll be working on, in partnership with Atlas Games and Atomic Overmind.
Finally we dust off Ken’s Time Machine and send him off to extend by at least a generation the golden age that was Periclean Athens.
Take a moment to appreciate the support of episode sponsor and Eliptonic essayist Matthew Rossi. Check out his Kindle-ready books Things That Never Were, Bottled Demon, and At last, Atlantis at Amazon!
August 2nd, 2013 | Robin
We flip through some pages in the Gaming Hut as we discuss the evolution of roleplaying game graphic design, from aesthetics to utility.
Then we slip into the plush seats of the Cinema Hut to review the career of the great Hong Kong director Johnnie To. His latest masterpiece, Drug War, awaits a North American cinema release in August.
In Ask Ken and Robin, Chris Shorb asks if Robin’s Laws of Good Gamemastering is still relevant today.
Then the neglected dials of Ken’s Time Machine finally get twiddled as he heads back to the 15th century to save Joan of Arc.
June 7th, 2013 | Robin
First up, Ken and Robin enter the Gaming Hut to transcend their origins and discuss transhuman RPGs. How do we create inhuman characters human players can still portray?
In the Tradecraft Hut, we discuss the implications of the Obama administration’s war on leakers, and how to bring press revelations into your espionage gaming.
Robin then bows to popular demand with a Politics Hut Rob Ford update, this one covering the first thirteen days of the Toronto mayor’s crack video problems. (Warning: contents of scandal may have shifted our recording date.)
Finally Ken’s Time Machine revs up, with an account of how Ken altered our timeline to keep the 1928 Baltimore space program an amusing footnote, and not a historical catastrophe.
May 24th, 2013 | Robin
Ken and Robin enter the Gaming Hut to catch you up on what they’re playing right now, from xenoarcheaological exploration to carnies caught between the devil and alien invaders.
In Ask Ken and Robin, Terry O’Connell asks, “What’s your take on the Beyonce as Illuminati meme?”
How to Write Good leads us into a general consideration of the mash-up age, before we provide advice on how to pastiche the prose styles of previous eras.
Finally we rev up Ken’s Time Machine to prevent Cannibalism at the Jamestown colony.
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.