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Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

Episode 279: Logical Analogy Shock

February 9th, 2018 | Robin

 

Brace yourself for musical metaphors as we head into the Gaming Hut and find that Patreon backer Brian Thomas has left us the logical analogy Orchestra: jazz combo :: play’s ensemble cast : role playing gaming group.

In Ken and/or Robin Talk To Someone Else, Ken and Robin talk to Delta Green writer and illustrator Dennis Detwiller.

In the Narrative Hut backers Andrew Miller and Dan O’Hanlon team up to ask just what Robin means when he calls coming-of-age stories the Worst Genre.

Then the Consulting Occultist admits backer Hoyle Anderson to his Edwardian snuggery for a cuppa and discussion of zodiac cup tasseography.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

It wasn’t on the maps. No one talked about it. But now you live there. Cthulhu City. Where the mayor goes everywhere with twin sacred jaguars, and the chief of police blinks at your with fishy eyes. Where the cultists run city hall and the investigators are hunted criminals. Cthulhu City, the new Trail of Cthulhu sourcebook from Pelgrane Press, by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.

In Highway Holocaust you are Cal Phoenix, the Freeway Warrior, champion and protector of Dallas Colony One. Defend this fragile convoy from H.A.V.O.C. bikers with this exclusive hardcover (with dust jacket and book ribbons), the first choose-your-own-adventure-gamebook in Joe Dever’s post apocalyptic series. From the fine folks at FENIX, now available from Modiphius.

With your Handlers Guide already at your side, it’s time to assemble some operations to spiral your Delta Green operatives into paranoia and Mythos horror. Delta Green: A Night at the Opera features six terrifying adventures from the conspiratorial minds of Dennis Detwiller, Shane Ivey, and Greg Stolze. Preorder before it’s desperately too late!

Episode 278: Full of Panthers

February 2nd, 2018 | Robin

 

In Among My Many Hats Robin talks about Beating the Story, which gears the story beat system you may know from Hamlet’s Hit Points to fiction writing in all of its forms. Pre-order the print book now and get it in electronic form immediately!

As the world continues to turn into one big Conspiracy Corner, we look at the escalating weirdness that is Pizzagate.

We shift to fictional, and therefore more plausible, conspiracies as Patreon backer Marco Marini seizes control of Ask Ken and Robin to take Fall of Delta Green beyond the Anglosphere.

Finally backer Jason Thompson asks us to deploy Ken’s Time Machine on a literary mission, to displace J.R.R. Tolkien as the font of modern fantasy.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

It wasn’t on the maps. No one talked about it. But now you live there. Cthulhu City. Where the mayor goes everywhere with twin sacred jaguars, and the chief of police blinks at your with fishy eyes. Where the cultists run city hall and the investigators are hunted criminals. Cthulhu City, the new Trail of Cthulhu sourcebook from Pelgrane Press, by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.

In Highway Holocaust you are Cal Phoenix, the Freeway Warrior, champion and protector of Dallas Colony One. Defend this fragile convoy from H.A.V.O.C. bikers with this exclusive hardcover (with dust jacket and book ribbons), the first choose-your-own-adventure-gamebook in Joe Dever’s post apocalyptic series. From the fine folks at FENIX, now available from Modiphius.

With your Handlers Guide already at your side, it’s time to assemble some operations to spiral your Delta Green operatives into paranoia and Mythos horror. Delta Green: A Night at the Opera features six terrifying adventures from the conspiratorial minds of Dennis Detwiller, Shane Ivey, and Greg Stolze. Preorder before it’s desperately too late!

Episode 277: Knife Fight in the Afterlife

January 26th, 2018 | Robin

Ladies and tigers abound as the Gaming Hut looks at story choices and how players respond to them.

Then Patreon backer Scott Wachter dusts off the Archaeology Hut to ask why King Tut armed himself with a meteor dagger.

Move over, Project Blue Book. There’s a new defunct US government effort to investigate UFOs in town. We duck into the Eliptony Hut to discuss AATIP.

Finally we fill the Cinema Hut with spoilers as we power up our takes on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

It wasn’t on the maps. No one talked about it. But now you live there. Cthulhu City. Where the mayor goes everywhere with twin sacred jaguars, and the chief of police blinks at your with fishy eyes. Where the cultists run city hall and the investigators are hunted criminals. Cthulhu City, the new Trail of Cthulhu sourcebook from Pelgrane Press, by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.

In Highway Holocaust you are Cal Phoenix, the Freeway Warrior, champion and protector of Dallas Colony One. Defend this fragile convoy from H.A.V.O.C. bikers with this exclusive hardcover (with dust jacket and book ribbons), the first choose-your-own-adventure-gamebook in Joe Dever’s post apocalyptic series. From the fine folks at FENIX, now available from Modiphius.

With your Handlers Guide already at your side, it’s time to assemble some operations to spiral your Delta Green operatives into paranoia and Mythos horror. Delta Green: A Night at the Opera features six terrifying adventures from the conspiratorial minds of Dennis Detwiller, Shane Ivey, and Greg Stolze. Preorder before it’s desperately too late!

Episode 275: Convenient Anti-Harpy Shield

January 12th, 2018 | Robin

 

In the Gaming Hut we mull the process of scenario writing, specifically the differences between writing first, or playing first.

Backer Fred Kiesche takes advantage of his Patreon priveleges in Ask Ken and Robin, seeking deeper info on Ken’s current 13th Age campaign, Poikila Hellenistika.

We take our seats in the Cinema Hut to reel off a mere smattering of our favorite character actors of the classic Hollywood studio era.

Finally in Ken’s Time Machine Patreon backer Rich Ranallo demands details on our resident chrono-agent’s involvement in Grover Cleveland’s secret nautical surgery.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

It wasn’t on the maps. No one talked about it. But now you live there. Cthulhu City. Where the mayor goes everywhere with twin sacred jaguars, and the chief of police blinks at your with fishy eyes. Where the cultists run city hall and the investigators are hunted criminals. Cthulhu City, the new Trail of Cthulhu sourcebook from Pelgrane Press, by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.

In Highway Holocaust you are Cal Phoenix, the Freeway Warrior, champion and protector of Dallas Colony One. Defend this fragile convoy from H.A.V.O.C. bikers with this exclusive hardcover (with dust jacket and book ribbons), the first choose-your-own-adventure-gamebook in Joe Dever’s post apocalyptic series. From the fine folks at FENIX, now available from Modiphius.

With your Handlers Guide already at your side, it’s time to assemble some operations to spiral your Delta Green operatives into paranoia and Mythos horror. Delta Green: A Night at the Opera features six terrifying adventures from the conspiratorial minds of Dennis Detwiller, Shane Ivey, and Greg Stolze. Preorder before it’s desperately too late!

Episode 274: What Would Thagdar Do?

January 5th, 2018 | Robin

 

It’s 2018 and we’re back, starting as usual in the Gaming Hut. Within its cozy confines we answer a question from a mystery backer on achieving genuine emotional investment in roleplaying.

The History Hut unfolds its secret plans at the behest of Patreon backer Antti Elomaa, who wants to know why military operations have such evocative names.

The Narrative Hut looks at the evolution of the American anti-hero from the 30s to today.

Finally, backer Tim Vert checks in with the Consulting Occultist on the status of a possible eclipse child.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

It wasn’t on the maps. No one talked about it. But now you live there. Cthulhu City. Where the mayor goes everywhere with twin sacred jaguars, and the chief of police blinks at your with fishy eyes. Where the cultists run city hall and the investigators are hunted criminals. Cthulhu City, the new Trail of Cthulhu sourcebook from Pelgrane Press, by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.

For decades Tove Gillbring of Askfageln has been a beacon of Swedish gaming. Now her cancer has returned, and she’s determined to focus the rest of her life on an ultimate burst of creative fireworks. Help her husband Anders make that happen by supporting the LOVE TOVE crowdfunding campaign. Please note that the campaign moved to GoFundMe after this episode was recorded.

Delta Green Game Moderators, take heart! Reinforcements have arrived in the form of the Delta Green Handler’s Guide from Arc Dream Publishing, bursting with operational details, threats and eldritch history to keep your players locked, loaded, and terrified.

Episode 273: Live at Dragonmeet 2017

December 22nd, 2017 | Robin

 

Our final episode of 2017 arrives with bells a-jangling in the form of our traditional live show from Dragonmeet. Learn about Stalin and Atlantis, what elements of our work we think other designers have picked up on, which beverages go with which iterations of a beloved nerd franchise, why Nazis are stupid, and much much more.

We’ll be back on January 5th with our first episode of 2018.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

Sink your fangs into an amazing deal as the Dracula Dossier haunts the Bundle of Holding. This bargain is so unbelievable that it can’t see itself in the mirror, and ends on December 27th!

For decades Tove Gillbring of Askfageln has been a beacon of Swedish gaming. Now her cancer has returned, and she’s determined to focus the rest of her life on an ultimate burst of creative fireworks. Help her husband Anders make that happen by supporting the LOVE TOVE crowdfunding campaign. Please note that the campaign moved to GoFundMe after this episode was recorded.

Delta Green Game Moderators, take heart! Reinforcements have arrived in the form of the Delta Green Handler’s Guide from Arc Dream Publishing, bursting with operational details, threats and eldritch history to keep your players locked, loaded, and terrified.

Episode 272: We Laugh At Your Fireball

December 15th, 2017 | Robin

Our throats showing the wear of travel to that most lurghy-inducing of wonderlands, we issue a Travel Advisory on Dragonmeet and the Modigliani show at the Tate Modern in London.

In the Gaming Hut we compare and contrast two ways of structuring mystery scenarios: Robin’s Maze of Clues and Ken’s Ocean of Clues.

Longtime listeners are already bracing themselves for what comes next. The fall of the British pound places a heavy burden on the structural integrity of Ken’s Bookshelf, as he comes back laden with treasures from Treadwell’s, Foyle’s, and the Tate gift shop.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

Sink your fangs into an amazing deal as the Dracula Dossier haunts the Bundle of Holding. This bargain is so unbelievable that it can’t see itself in the mirror, and ends on December 27th!

For decades Tove Gillbring of Askfageln has been a beacon of Swedish gaming. Now her cancer has returned, and she’s determined to focus the rest of her life on an ultimate burst of creative fireworks. Help her husband Anders make that happen by supporting the LOVE TOVE crowdfunding campaign.

Delta Green Game Moderators, take heart! Reinforcements have arrived in the form of the Delta Green Handler’s Guide from Arc Dream Publishing, bursting with operational details, threats and eldritch history to keep your players locked, loaded, and terrified.

Episode 271: The Friends We Met Along the Way and Ate

December 8th, 2017 | Robin

 

Hey, it’s an all-request episode!

Patreon backer Joshua Trowbridge entreats us in the Gaming Hut to return to a perennial puzzler: how to convince change-averse players to try the awesome new thing you want to run for them.

Patreon backer Josh Mannon summons us to the Cartography Hut, to explain that hole where the Kong Mountains used to be.

In Ask Ken and Robin Patreon backer Adam Grotjohn asks Ken and Robin if roleplaying games could be used to teach criminological procedure.

And finally Patreon backer Rick Neal has been hanging out next to Ken’s Time Machine, wanting to know why Time Inc. needed Kaspar Hauser dead.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

The book has been written.The book has been read. Now it rewrites you. Across time it spreads, creating dread new realities. And you’re in all of them. Robin’s epic new GUMSHOE project, The Yellow King Roleplaying Game has concluded its Kickstarter run, but is now available for pre-order at the Pelgrane Store for those who missed it.

In Highway Holocaust you are Cal Phoenix, the Freeway Warrior, champion and protector of Dallas Colony One. Defend this fragile convoy from H.A.V.O.C. bikers with this exclusive hardcover (with dust jacket and book ribbons), the first choose-your-own-adventure-gamebook in Joe Dever’s post apocalyptic series. From the fine folks at FENIX, now available from Modiphius.

Delta Green Game Moderators, take heart! Reinforcements have arrived in the form of the Delta Green Handler’s Guide from Arc Dream Publishing, bursting with operational details, threats and eldritch history to keep your players locked, loaded, and terrified.

Episode 270: Nobody Wants to be a Waistcoat

December 1st, 2017 | Robin

 

Patreon backer Doc Cross pulls his satin bell-cord to summon us to the Gaming Hut to mull the droll possibilities of P. G. Wodehouse gaming.

In the Tradecraft Hut we journey to the shadowy isle of Malta.

The Food Hut documents Robin’s conversion to the cult of Instant Pot.

And finally the Consulting Occultist fulfills the request of Patreon backer Paul by filling us in on the witches of Chiloe.

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

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

The book has been written.The book has been read. Now it rewrites you. Across time it spreads, creating dread new realities. And you’re in all of them. Robin’s epic new GUMSHOE project, The Yellow King Roleplaying Game has concluded its Kickstarter run, but is now available for pre-order at the Pelgrane Store for those who missed it.

In Highway Holocaust you are Cal Phoenix, the Freeway Warrior, champion and protector of Dallas Colony One. Defend this fragile convoy from H.A.V.O.C. bikers with this exclusive hardcover (with dust jacket and book ribbons), the first choose-your-own-adventure-gamebook in Joe Dever’s post apocalyptic series. From the fine folks at FENIX, now available from Modiphius.

Delta Green Game Moderators, take heart! Reinforcements have arrived in the form of the Delta Green Handler’s Guide from Arc Dream Publishing, bursting with operational details, threats and eldritch history to keep your players locked, loaded, and terrified.

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Mystery Elephant Coins and a True Crime Masterpiece

November 28th, 2017 | 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 our new podcast segment, Tell Me More.

The Pinnacle

The Keepers Season 1 (Television, US, Netflix, Ryan White, 2017) Nearly half a century after their high school teacher, a nun named Cathy Cesnik, was murdered, her former students initiate a sprawling investigation into her death, and the abusive Catholic priest who may have been involved in it. Documentary true crime series becomes all the more compelling as its central mystery grows ever more complicated and contradictory.—RDL

Recommended

Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions (Nonfiction, Frank L. Holt, 2003) Elephant medallions discovered in 1887 and 1973 have politely roiled numismatic circles for decades; Holt lays out their provenance and controversy, and provides a theory to explain them that passes my Alexandrian sniff test — essentially, they were campaign coins for veterans of the Hydaspes battle. Excellent introduction to a recondite topic, ideal for refurbishing into an RPG seed. –KH

The Ghost Goes West (Film, UK, Rene Clair, 1935) Suave Scottish lord (Robert Donat) who must sell his castle tries to conceal the existence of its ancestral specter (also Donat), little suspecting that the American grocery tycoon with his eye on the place (Eugene Pallette) regards it as a selling point. Tellingly British take on the screwball comedy in which the joke is not that the nouveau riche Americans have gone silly and Europeanized, but that their affection for the old world vulgarizes tradition.—RDL

Invincible (Film, EU/US, Werner Herzog, 2001) In 1932, Jewish strongman Zishe Breitbart (Jouko Ahola) journeys to Berlin to make his fortune in the occult cabaret run by the mentalist Hanussen (Tim Roth). Herzog’s movie hearkens back to silent melodrama in its uncomplicated shots and Ahola’s guileless acting, which plays wonderfully off Roth’s oily Hanussen. Herzog mashes up history (the real Breitbart died in 1925) to create a not-quite-distant fable; buy a ticket and enjoy the show. –KH

Jim & Andy and The Great Beyond (Film, US, Chris Smith, 2017) Interviews with a now-philosophical Jim Carrey frame heretofore unseen backstage footage from the Man on the Moon shoot, where he remained obsessively in character as either Andy Kaufman or the awful Tony Clifton. Documentary only shows Carrey’s perspective, but to hear him tell it, he has finally recovered from the realization that he strove for and got everything he ever wanted—only to find it wasn’t enough.—RDL

The Man in the Iron Mask (Film, US, James Whale, 1939) Evil king Louis XIV (Louis Heyward) carries on hanging rebels and toying with the heart of the Spanish infanta (Joan Bennett), scarcely suspecting that his order to arrest a Gascon rebel raised by the four musketeers will confront him with his previously unknown twin brother. A piece set in the literal baroque period gives Whale full latitude for his baroque, frame-filling sensibility, plus a touch of the old Frankenstein days in the Bastille scenes. Screenwriters never use more than the barest whiff of the Dumas source material, in which the musketeers scheme against and betray one another, and it’s always interesting to see how any given adaptation rearranges the elements.—RDL

Good

Little Big Soldier (Film, Hong Kong, Ding Sheng; action director Jackie Chan, 2010) During the warring states period, a conscripted peasant (Jackie Chan) captures an enemy general (Leehom Wang) and tries to get him back home to collect a reward. Economical script provides a tonally consistent showcase for Jackie’s dramatic chops, but suffers from Ding’s arbitrary compositions and over-caffeinated editing.—RDL

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 11 (Television, US, Netflix, Joel Hodgson, 2017) The revival of the ur-nerd-riff show does everything it needs to do competently: a chunky, amiable comic (Jonah Ray) and two robots (Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn) make fun of bad movies. But it doesn’t capture either the anarchic glee of the early Joel years or the relentless comic pile-on cruelty of the middle Mike years, relying on a labored backstory featuring the two mad scientists (Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt). The core of MST3K has always been the riffs; let’s hope next season doubles down on that. –KH

Okay

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (Film, US, Zack Snyder, 2016) Thirty extra minutes and an R rating don’t repair the foundational flaws in this super-Ragnarok, but they do add coherence to the story, humanity to Clark Kent, and a name to poor Jimmy Olsen. At three hours, there’s still plenty to regret here, but Snyder’s visual sense at least has something more to play off of. –KH

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