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Archive for August, 2012

Episode 4: Purely Medicinal

August 30th, 2012 | Robin

Stuff talked about on this week’s episode include:

The debut of our segment That Thing I Always Say, in which we catch you up on Ken and Robin fundaments. We start with Ken’s contention that no invented setting is as interesting as the real world.

Ask Ken and Robin invites us to contemplate the mental plutonium of a tag-team follow-up to Robin’s The Armitage Files. While we can’t quite whip that rabbit out of our hats, we do talk about an eerily similar project, the still-percolating Dracula Dossier for Night’s Black Agents.

Because Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Ken’s collaborator on that project,  just happened to be imprisoned in Ken’s library lair staying at Ken’s place as we recorded, we put him in the spotlight for our first segment of Ken or Robin Talk To Someone Else. We chat about his ENnie-nominated Ashen Stars scenario collection, Dead Rock Seven, and its Night’s Black Agents counterpart, The Zalozhniy Quartet. Find Armitage, Dead Rock, Night’s Black Agents, and Zalozhniy at the Pelgrane Press Store.

Then we withdraw to the Gaming Hut to talk about creating interesting, playable female characters for freeforms and convention tabletop sessions.

We wrap by taking another spin in Ken’s Time Machine, in which his efforts to retroactively fix the US health care system take him to a steamer on the Congo, to quaff a quinine-laden beverage with a bumptious ex-president.

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.

Our iTunes Feed Is Now Up

August 15th, 2012 | Robin

You demanded, we complied: Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff is now available on iTunes.

Episode 2: It’s a Wonderful Life, Batman

August 9th, 2012 | Robin

We did it once, and now we’re doing it again. It’s 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.

This week we revisit a perennial segment and roll out three more:

We enter the cozy confines of the Gaming Hut to ask: is Risk: Legacy a story game?

In Ask Ken and Robin, we lay guru wisdom on Nolan S., re: bringing story structure to roleplaying sessions in the face of player unpredictability.

We establish the rules of Ken’s Time Machine before sending him off into the chrono-vortex to stop WWI. You’ll never guess who he enlists in his covert war on Kaiser Bill.

Finally, we grab our buttered popcorn and shuffle to our seats in the Cinema Hut to examine The Dark Knight Rises and tip you to the floodplain fantasia Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Episode 1: Vampires are A-holes

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.


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