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Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

Episode 586: The Velveteen Rabbit of Signage

February 16th, 2024 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut beloved Patreon backer Hector Trelane takes inspiration from Robin’s EZ One Shot system to ask if designers are finding a root language of roleplaying that points toward a less cluttered style of play.

At the behest of estimable backer Kristian Groenseth the Cartography Hut investigates the fake stop sign epidemic that struck Cranston, Rhode Island.

And finally Ken’s Bookshelf paws the spoils of our resident bibliomane’s recent raid on New York City.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Experience the world of Gloom in a new, immersive way with Unhappy Birthday at Castle Slogar. With an integrated hint and solution website, drenched in the beloved Gloom aesthetic by artist J. Scott Reeves, this puzzling gamebook kicks off Atlas’ new Enigma line. Sign up for the Kickstarter announcement!

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Slow Horses, American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers

February 13th, 2024 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

Air (Film, US, Ben Affleck, 2023) Basketball guru Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) pursues Michael Jordan for third-ranked shoe company Nike. What could have been a leaden produpic soars thanks to Affleck’s willingness to invest in a multi-beat story (providing many of the comic beats by playing self-involved Nike CEO Phil Knight) and to wisely give Viola Davis her head in crafting the film’s moral center, Deloris Jordan. The result is more miracle play than produpic, with Vaccaro as John the Baptist and 80s needle drops as psalms.—KH

American Fiction (Film, US, Cord Jefferson, 2023) Literary novelist Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) creates a fake “street” identity to sell a pandering novel as his mother’s (Leslie Uggams) Alzheimer’s puts stress on his family. Repeatedly blunted satire nestles uneasily in a gently sad family drama, but Wright pulls the film through on the strength of a brilliant, low-simmering performance. Cristina Dunlap’s effective cinematography deserves a nod as well.—KH

Anatomy of a Fall (Film, France, Justine Triet, 2023) Tightly wound writer (Sandra Hüller) faces a murder trial that strains her relationship with her sensitive, vision-impaired young son (Milo Machado Graner) when her resentful husband takes a fatal plunge from the top floor of their chalet-style home. Realist courtroom drama takes full advantage of the freewheeling structure of French criminal proceedings to flesh out its study of a marriage on the brink.—RDL

Fair Play (Film, US, Chloe Domont, 2023) Hedge fund analysts and surreptitious lovers Emily and Luke (Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich) hit the emotional rocks when one of them is promoted. Crackling character beats show their dog-eat-dog financial careers stripping the humanity from both; great acting from the duo prevents the melodrama from overweighting the careful verisimilitude of Domont’s Wall Street mise en scene.—KH

The Holdovers (Film, US, Alexander Payne, 2023) Bilious prep school history teacher (Paul Giamatti) bonds with a grieving cafeteria supervisor (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) and a smart, rebellious student (Dominic Sessa) when ordered to supervise the few students staying over for Christmas break. Empathy rises from misanthropy in a dramedy revolving around a trio of winning performances and a love of the American New Wave.—RDL

Slow Horses Season 3 (Television, UK, Apple+, Will Smith, 2023) A former embassy guard’s quest for justice draws River Cartwright (Jack Lowden), Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldman) and the other Slough House exiles into a high body count MI5 internal struggle. This season pulls the lever on the thriller switch, bringing greased-rail pacing to the serialized TV format.—RDL

The Vietri Project (Fiction, Nicola DeRobertis-Theye, 2021) As she reaches the age when she might inherit her Italian mother’s schizophrenia, a Californian former bookseller’s travels take her to Rome and a search for a mysterious bibliophile. Echoes of Eco set the stage for a quest to reconcile the protagonist’s dual, dueling national identities.—RDL

Good

Everything Goes Wrong (Film, Japan, Seijun Suzuki, 1960) Young malcontent (Tamio Kawaji) melts down over his mother’s relationship with a thoughtful but married business executive. High-strung drama positions itself as a juvenile delinquent picture in order to question the genre’s anti-youth hysteria.—RDL

Fanfare of Love (Film, France, Richard Pottier, 1935) A pair of unemployed musicians pose as women to get hired by an all-female nightclub orchestra. A fun situation farce mostly notable as the ultimate source, by way of its 1951 German remake, for Some Like It Hot.—RDL

Episode 585: Advice and Holy Water

February 9th, 2024 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we look at the paradox of choice, in which players want many alternative paths yet also want to explore all of them.

The Archaeology Hut surveys the career of William Stukeley, the 18th century polymath whose studies of Stonehenge and Avebury made him one of the field’s foundational figures.

In the Horror Hut beloved sponsor John Kovalic wants us to retell the tale of the BBC’s lost terror series, Late Night Horror.

Finally the Eliptony Hut sets up close to Robin’s location for the weird one-off cryptid, the Cabbagetown Tunnel Monster.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Experience the world of Gloom in a new, immersive way with Unhappy Birthday at Castle Slogar. With an integrated hint and solution website, drenched in the beloved Gloom aesthetic by artist J. Scott Reeves, this puzzling gamebook kicks off Atlas’ new Enigma line. Sign up for the Kickstarter announcement!

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 584: Maybe a Murder is Good Sometimes

February 2nd, 2024 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut, beloved Patreon backer Joshua Randall asks for help dealing with players who like to shoot down everyone else’s plans.

Fans of irony will appreciate the story of Edo firebreaks, as told in the History Hut.

Ken and Robin Recycle Audio concludes our excerpts from the Dramatic Interaction panel at Gen Con 2023. Emily Cambias and John R. Harness join Robin in examining the integration of trad gaming and personal interaction.

Then at the behest of esteemed Patreon backer Michael Cule, our chrononaut reveals what Ken’s Time Machine might have had to do with the famed 18 1/2 minute gap in the Watergate tapes.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Experience the world of Gloom in a new, immersive way with Unhappy Birthday at Castle Slogar. With an integrated hint and solution website, drenched in the beloved Gloom aesthetic by artist J. Scott Reeves, this puzzling gamebook kicks off Atlas’ new Enigma line. Sign up for the Kickstarter announcement!

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 583: Marge the Druid is Feeling Rejected

January 26th, 2024 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut beloved backer Ludovic Chabant asks Robin to expand on his choice for favorite RPG adventure, as seen on the Scroll for Initiative blog. Naturally Ken also makes a choice or two himself.

Estimable backer Fred Kiesche beckons us to the Architecture Hut, which has a Culture Hut inside, and possibly a strong streak of occultism, to discuss the fourth-dimensional explorations of architect and stage designer Claude Bragdon.

Ken and Robin Recycle Audio with installment two of the Dramatic Interaction panel at Gen Con, featuring Robin with Emily Cambias and John R. Harness, answering questions on the basic structure of interpersonal scenes.

Finally the Consulting Occultist meets us in the Food Hut at the behest of distinguished patron Elias Helfer, seconded by Jamie Twine, who seek the esoteric secrets of the pavlova.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Experience the world of Gloom in a new, immersive way with Unhappy Birthday at Castle Slogar. With an integrated hint and solution website, drenched in the beloved Gloom aesthetic by artist J. Scott Reeves, this puzzling gamebook kicks off Atlas’ new Enigma line. Sign up for the Kickstarter announcement!

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 582: That’s a Bad Laser

January 19th, 2024 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut beloved backer Jamie Twine seeks tips on signaling weirdness and danger in horror games not set in our recognizable world.

Esteemed backer Ginger asks for the Tradecraft Hut take on the OSINT journalism entity Bellingcat.

Ken and Robin Recycle Audio with the first part of a Dramatic Interaction panel from Gen Con, in which Robin is joined by designers Emily Cambias and John R. Harness.

Finally the Eliptony Hut reviews the case of Jean Grenier, a young misfit from a 17th century French village who went on trial after identifying himself as a werewolf.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Experience the world of Gloom in a new, immersive way with Unhappy Birthday at Castle Slogar. With an integrated hint and solution website, drenched in the beloved Gloom aesthetic by artist J. Scott Reeves, this puzzling gamebook kicks off Atlas’ new Enigma line. Sign up for the Kickstarter announcement!

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 581: Bureaucratic Survival Horror

January 12th, 2024 | Robin

Everything unravels in the Gaming Hut when beloved Patreon backer Tennant Reed asks us to use the Watergate docudramedy Gaslit as inspiration for a heist gone wrong game.

Ken’s Bookshelf delivers a change of pace segment as Robin asks our resident bibliomane to describe the five most specialized books in his collection.

In Ripped from the Headlines estimable backer Paul Douglas asks for the real scoop on a hungry and disoriented Russian economist who got from Copenhagen to LAX without a ticket or passport.

Finally astute backer Phil Masters returns to Ken’s Time Machine with another of his brilliantly crafted queries. What role did our chrono-hero play in the 1120 White Ship sinking, which wiped out much of the English royal family?

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Experience the world of Gloom in a new, immersive way with Unhappy Birthday at Castle Slogar. With an integrated hint and solution website, drenched in the beloved Gloom aesthetic by artist J. Scott Reeves, this puzzling gamebook kicks off Atlas’ new Enigma line. Sign up for the Kickstarter announcement!

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 580: The Most Fun Word in the History of Metallurgy

January 5th, 2024 | Robin

The Gaming Hut contains a special rack for displaying fancy blades as beloved Patreon backer Stephen Dosman asks us to find the tabletop fun in Ulfberht swords.

In the Cinema Hut we look at the newest cycle of female-focused, character-driven horror films.

Estimable backer Manfred Gabriel uses his Ask Ken and Robin powers to seek advice on spending his Dracula points.

Finally the Consulting Occultist tells the wry tale of the early Georgian era astrologer Isaac Bickerstaff, who predicted the death of rival John Partridge and might not have been entirely who he seemed.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Experience the world of Gloom in a new, immersive way with Unhappy Birthday at Castle Slogar. With an integrated hint and solution website, drenched in the beloved Gloom aesthetic by artist J. Scott Reeves, this puzzling gamebook kicks off Atlas’ new Enigma line. Sign up for the Kickstarter announcement!

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 579: Live at Dragonmeet 2023

December 22nd, 2023 | Robin

Our annual live episode recorded at London’s Dragonmeet finds our audience of expert questioners in a substantive mood. Accordingly, after nerdtroping WWII and the Peloponnesian war and contemplating high end snacks, we look at the unsolved problems of gaming, solo game design, troupe play and so much more.

That puts 2023 in the rearview mirror for us. Enjoy the holiday you celebrate and rejoin us in the weird future of 2024.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Experience the world of Gloom in a new, immersive way with Unhappy Birthday at Castle Slogar. With an integrated hint and solution website, drenched in the beloved Gloom aesthetic by artist J. Scott Reeves, this puzzling gamebook kicks off Atlas’ new Enigma line. Sign up for the Kickstarter announcement!

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

Episode 578: Subtitle Quibbler

December 15th, 2023 | Robin

The Gaming Hut explodes in a molasses fireball full of staplers, but then does something entirely sensible, as we consider ways to reframe the fumble.

The Eliptony Hut studies a locally beloved cryptid, the Loveland Ohio frogman.

Finally Ken’s Bookshelf features an unusually sleek and selective London book haul, as our hero describes treasures liberated from Treadwell’s and Foyles.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Ho ho ho, festive friends, it’s once again time to celebrate the holidays and noncompliant behavior with Weird Little Elf, the fast and easy stocking stuffer game from our garland-festooned pals at Atlas Games.

Reality horror just got realer with three new support products for The Yellow King Roleplaying Game: Black Star Magic, Legions of Carcosa: The Yellow King Bestiary, and Robin’s latest novel, Fifth Imperative.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Put on your flannels, grab your duffel bag of hardware and assemble your fake passports. Alert your retailer to the contents of their favorite unmarked warehouse. Delta Green: The Conspiracy, the revised, updated and declassified edition of the iconic 1990s sourcebook has escaped from Arc Dream Publishing.

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