Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘The Business of Gaming’

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 109: Put a Pointy Wizard Hat On It

October 3rd, 2014 | Robin

Ask Ken and Robin starts us in a murderous frame of mind as Dreaming Johnny wonders about settings and play styles for games where you play assassins.

In The Business of Gaming we helpfully collate all of our advice on breaking into game design as a career in one handy segment.

How to Write Good finds us looking at contrivances and how to avoid them.

Finally the Consulting Occultist gives us the real lowdown on synarchy.

Atlas Games again devotes its coveted anchor sponsor slot with windmill-kicking promotion for Robin’s Hong Kong action movie roleplaying game, Feng Shui 2, which is Kickstarting even as we speak.

Heroic Journey Publishing joins us to tout their Kickstarter for the Mecha: Kaiju sourcebook for their anime-styled, speed-line riddled Mecha RPG.


Episode 93: A Damp 1968

June 13th, 2014 | Robin

We start in a submersible as the Cartography Hut takes you under the sea to riff on campaign and adventure possibilities arising from the mapping of sunken Dunwich.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Yohann Delalande asks us to find inspiration for Night’s Black Agents in the flamboyant and multi-pronged career of Uzbekistan’s Gulina Karimova. We oblige, throwing in some Hillfolk and The Esoterrorists for good measure.

The Business of Gaming lays down the wisdom on professionalism.

And Anne Boleyn’s life hangs in the balance as we take a trip to a dangerous Tudor moment in Ken’s Time Machine.

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.

Episode 80: Vulnerable to Attack By Panzer Leaders

March 14th, 2014 | Robin

Gaming Hut starts on a somber note as we remember the roleplaying innovations of Aaron Allston (1960-2014.) We go on to discuss one of the key themes of his work, genre emulation at the tabletop.

The Eliptony Hut takes on a distinctly octagonal shape as we look at the eight-sided architectural influence of phrenologist and social reformer Orson Squire Fowler.

In the Business of Gaming, we share social media tips and tricks.

Finally, Eoin Keith Boyle makes a St. Patrick’s Day request: can Ken’s Time Machine be put to use preventing the English conquest of Ireland?

Once again Fenix Magazine occupies the 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.


Don your chivalric armor to also thank sponsor Atlas Games, now unveiling Knightly Tales, the exciting new expansion for their classic Once Upon a Time card game.

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 54: Gen Con 2013, or Should I Have Shaved My Head?

August 30th, 2013 | Robin

Somewhat rested but still with a fog upon their vocal chords, Ken and Robin issue a joint Travel Advisory for Gen Con 2013. Come for the shameless bragging, stay for the awards analysis, industry temperature taking, panel highlights, and Indianapolis food tips.

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 51: A Tank Wearing a Truck Hat

August 9th, 2013 | Robin

In Ask Ken and Robin, Jacob Ansari asks about playing Night’s Black Agents in previous time periods.

The Tradecraft Hut hosts a look at Jasper Maskelyne, the so-called War Magician.

In The Business of Gaming we examine the unfortunate implosion of the Kickstarter-funded boardgame The Doom that Came to Atlantic City. This episode was recorded a day before Cryptozoic Entertainment announced plans to publish the game and fulfill orders to Kickstarter backers gratis, giving a happy ending quality to our link to designer Keith Baker’s site.

Finally we open the Eliptony Hut to the truth and legend of Nikolai Tesla, as we wonder what might be found under the grounds of his last laboratory, now slated as a museum in his honor.

Want those ad guidelines we mentioned in the show? Download our rate sheet, in handy PDF format.

Episode 15: A Mere Frustum

November 16th, 2012 | Robin

In The Business of Gaming, Robin shares the Kickstarter lessons he learned from the recent bumper crowdfund of his new roleplaying game, Hillfolk.

Ken brings the light of his presence to a devastated New Jersey in Travel Advisory, recounting his adventures at Metatopia.

Ask Ken and Robin envisions the Dominion of America, the alternate world political entity resulting from Britain’s sensible management of its North American colonies.

Then Ken in his guise as the Consulting Occultist finds the standards-loving organist behind media-seeking Satanist Anton LaVey.

Episode 11: When Angels Tell You To Wife-Swap

October 18th, 2012 | Robin

This week’s installment of Ask Ken and Robin prompts us to wax autobiographical and reveal our similar yet opposite secret origins.

Then we descend into the Paris catacombs, escaping from what we find there only through the maps snatched from the high cabinets of the Cartography Hut.

[From Temples, Tombs and Catacombs, part of Profantasy Software’s Source Maps series.]

The Business of Gaming prompts mulling of the history and choices of open game licensing, now that Robin has to figure out the best license for DramaSystem.

We close with the ever-popular Consulting Occult as Ken gives us the 101 on Elizabethan magician, mathematician and cartographer (sense a theme here?) John Dee.

Episode 7: Lindbergh’s Mummy

September 20th, 2012 | Robin

Travel Advisory whisks us on an aural journey to Worldcon, courtesy of Ken, who brings back knowledge of Chinese SF, steampunk semantics, the best vampire novel of the last 100 years, and the dreaded hallway seminar. Along the way we explore the sub-cultural differences between the literary side of geekery and its gaming cousin.

We venture into the Gaming Hut to peer over the shoulders of Mike Mason and Paul Fricker as they refit the classic roleplaying game Call of Cthulhu for its seventh edition.

On the occasion of a $69 mil settlement of price-fixing charges by HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster, The Business of Gaming contrasts mainstream publishing’s response to ebooks to that of the tabletop gaming world.

Finally, in History Bending, we squeeze gameworthy or fictionable material from the connection between aviator Charles Lindbergh and his associates, real-life weird scientist Dr. Alexis Carrel and pulp-writer/UFO investigator Donald Keyhoe. Referenced: The Immortalists, by David M. Friedman.

Episode 3: The Audacity of Cupcakes

August 24th, 2012 | Robin

Stuff talked about in the third episode of Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff include:

Among My Many Hats brings back the overt pluggery with a discussion of Robin’s new book of short stories, New Tales of the Yellow Sign, and its inspiration, the classic King in Yellow cycle of Robert W. Chambers. Since recording the episode, the ebook version has infected Kindle and Smashwords.

In The Business of Gaming, we tackle the topic du jour, Kickstarter, and its impact on the hobby. We look at the recent Stone Skin Press crowdfunding campaign and its blatant cupcakery. Also referenced: Margaret Atwood’s embrace of the new way for her arts-based social media platform, Fanado.

After an Ask Ken and Robin lightning round, we go in-depth on what we do when we first get an idea for a game or supplement.

Lastly but not leastly, Ken again dons the mantle of Consulting Occultist to examine the difference between a mystic and an occultist, as seen through the examples of Johnny Appleseed and Emannuel Swedenborg. Also referenced: Daniel Burnham, and Mitch Horowitz’s book Occult America.

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