Posts Tagged ‘Travel Advisory’
June 14th, 2013 | Robin
This week’s Travel Advisory takes us to unfamiliar territory—not just the capital of Robin’s beloved Canada, but the On Words Conference held by the Writers’ Union of Canada. Come for compare/contrast between traditional and gaming publishing, stay for the Ottawa facts.
We bid a wistful Book Hut farewell to Jack Vance, the titan of SF and fantasy literature who inspired certain key concepts of roleplaying, not to mention the output of our sponsor Pelgrane Press—so much so that it is named after a Vancian creature.
In the Gaming Hut we list techniques for running successful defensive scenarios. Protecting your base needn’t lead to turtling all the way down.
Finally, a very special Among My Many Hats takes you inside the process of The Nazi Occult, Ken’s new history-bending work for the Osprey Adventures line. This serves as the prelude for a multi-part series on that very subject, which we’ll kick off next week!
May 3rd, 2013 | Robin
The undertones of jet lag in Robin’s voice indicate the issuance of another Travel Advisory, in this case concerning his lovely trip to Germany’s Hannover Spielt. Beers mentioned include: Herrenhäuser Pilsener, Astra Arschkalt, Schneider Aventinus, and Robin and John’s fave, Höss Doppel-Hirsch (the name of which Robin completely mangles during the podcast.)
The trip also provides another opportunity for Ken and/or Robin To Talk To Someone Else—in this case, show sponsor John Kovalic, who discusses the design of his addictively fun party new party game, ROFL.
Ripped From the Headlines finds us grappling with the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent manhunt of the Brothers Tsarnaev. Though hardly a fun story, it touches on so many of our perennial topics that a weighing-in seems obligatory.
Then we move on to more entertaining and distant history, as, at the request of Ask Lovecraft, the Consulting Occultist tells us tales of Paschal Beverly Randolph, 19th century exponent of Mesmerism, pre-Adamism, and wholesome sex magic.
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 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.
February 1st, 2013 | Robin
After two bits of preamble business, one elegiac and the other bathetic , we issue a Travel Advisory to wring vicarious enjoyment from Ken’s journey to WarpCon in Cork, Ireland.
We then step into the Cinema Hut to regale one and all with our top ten picks from the sterling movie year that was 2012.
In Ask Ken and Robin, Lowell Francis asks Ken to expand on a past comment contrasting his sense of fun placement to that of our esteemed pal Dennis Detwiller, leading us to a consideration of the grind, character fragility, and when to bring the power fantasy.
Finally, we once more brave the shadowy depths of the Conspiracy Corner to explore the patterns and motivations behind the recent wave of truther movements.
December 21st, 2012 | Robin
In our final episode of 2012, we issue a Travel Advisory on our recent trip to Dragonmeet in London. A seamless segue then ushers us to the wonder of Ken’s Bookshelf, in which Robin vicariously enjoys the impressive pile of tomes Ken liberated from the British Isles during his journey.
With yet another end of the world imminent, we are then behooved to cut the ribbon on the Mythology Hut to consider the State of the Apocalypse, 2012 edition.
In Ask Ken and Robin, we ponder the ideal RPG rules set for the play-by-forum format.
We close with another visit to the Consulting Occultist, who this time around delves into the murky facts behind a reputed 17th century French Satanism outbreak, better known as the Affair of the Poisons.
We’ll be back on Jan 11, 2013 with our next new episode. Until then, please accept the seasonal greeting of your choice and have a safe and pleasant holiday!
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.
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.
September 7th, 2012 | Robin
It’s a bumper installment of Travel Advisory as Ken and Robin look back on the whirlwind that was Gen Con 2012. Amid the fast-flying references: Fantasy Flight’s Spartacus and Netrunner; GURPS Horror, Book of the Smoke, Bookhounds of London, the Coventry Street, Harmonsworth and Highgate Vampires; Charles Fort, Lorefinder, Ashen Stars, 13th Age, Delta Green, John Helfers, Matt Forbeck, Pathfinder Tales.
In Ken and Robin Recycle Audio choice snippets of the GUMSHOE Investigative roleplaying panel are presented for your delectation, with special guest silvered tones supplied by Pelgrane Press publisher Simon Rogers. They add Night’s Black Agents and The Esoterrorists to the reference tally.
August 3rd, 2012 | Robin
Welcome to the inaugural episode of Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, the new podcast from game designers and authors Kenneth Hite and Robin D. Laws. Join our thrilling audio adventure as we discuss games, movies, history, narrative and sundry concerns of the geekosphere.
Here’s what we talk about this week:
In our Among Our Many Hats segment, we talk about Ken’s new roleplaying game Night’s Black Agents, in which the spy thriller goes vampire, with logistics supplied by the GUMSHOE system.
In Travel Advisory, Robin recounts his recent trip to the Continuum convention in Leicester, England, where he performs a health-check on the hobby and marvels over future Glorantha mapping plans from Moon Design, publishers of HeroQuest and now RuneQuest. Along the way we detour to London’s John Soane Museum, an enduring monument to one man’s acquisitiveness.
Our Ask Ken and Robin segment tackles a question from Robert Scott Martin on the role of the GM in contemporary game design.
To round out the episode, Ken dons the mantle of Consulting Occultist to give us the 101 on The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, with a cast of characters including William Butler Yeats, Bram Stoker, and Aleister Crowley.