Abraham Lincoln

Episode 137: Clown Moistening Skills

April 24th, 2015 | Robin

This article on the programmable variability of claw machines springboards us into the Gaming Hut for an examination of pass/fail cycles.

A corpse with the distinctive dagger of medieval Teutonic justice lies near the threshold of the History Hut, where we convene to discuss Vehmic courts.

How to Write Good has us spitballing classic characters reimagined as leading characters in TV police procedurals.

Finally the Consulting Occultist answers a request from Bryant Durrell for the 101 on spiritualist polymath Rudolf Steiner.

Attention, class! Anchor sponsor Atlas Games wants to enroll you in Mad Scientist University, the card game of evil genius, insane assignments, and unstable elements. Act now, Ken and Robin listeners, and they’ll throw in the Spring Break expansion set for free. Shipping within the US is also free.


This episode also brought to you by Double Exposure’s Envoy program, which is all about the bringing. Specifically, bringing together games, runners of games, and players of games. Become a herald today, or jump aboard their team for Origins and/or Gen Con.

12 Responses to “Episode 137: Clown Moistening Skills”

  1. GB Steve says:

    How about a consulting occultist/Dreamhounds crossover about William Seabrook?

  2. Cambias says:

    Has the Consulting Occultist ever looked at the case of James Tilly Matthews and the Air-Loom Gang?

  3. Ethan C. says:

    Cool to hear a discussion of Vehmic courts! I’ve been thinking about how I could use them in a game for some time.

    I think they could be a really good addition to an F20 setting which has an Evil Empire or kingdom of darkness-type place in it. If the government is run by devils or necromancers or something, it’s pretty risky for the common folk to ask them for help in everyday legal disputes. When all you really want is to get your neighbor to give you back some stolen chickens, you don’t want him to end up getting skinned alive and reanimated. So the commoners could turn to Vehmic courts for their everyday legal needs. And of course the evil rulers could make those courts themselves illegal. So then the adventurers could be Vehmic judges, dodging the authorities while dishing out justice as fairly as they can manage to average people.

  4. Richard says:

    Police Procedural has become a popular shorthand on the podcast recently. It might be good to define what you mean by that term, next time it comes up, to help new listeners understand.

  5. Isaac Priestley says:

    A police procedural is a show like Dragnet, Law & Order or CSI, where typically an investigator or team of investigators handles a new case each week. Typically the case is introduced and resolved in the same episode, with little or no serialized storyline.

    More modern versions add more serialized storyline but still handle a new case each week. “iZombie” is a new example of a recent show which is basically a detective show but which is also developing a longer serialized plot with supernatural elements.

  6. Matt Stuart says:

    The police procedural brainstorm was the best bit of work you two have done for a while. Very inspiring. Im off to play Prime Time Adventures. Thanks guys!

  7. Ethan C. says:

    I would watch the heck out of SWAT Achilles.

  8. Benj says:

    A Vehmic court equivalent is going straight into the Suspense part of the Romantic Suspense I’m running soon.

  9. LJS says:

    So when will we hear how Ken and his time machine fixed the giant clam menace?

    The history is, of course, told by Arlo Guthrie in the Ballad of Rueben Clamzo…

  10. It might help to remember that the HRE was essentially a weak federal system, with most of the power devolved down to lower levels and very little actual power inhering in the Emperor. Blaming the Empire for its lack of local control is equivalent to blaming the EU for its lack of control of local courts in Poland. Germany existed as a concept but not a legal entity until German unification in 1871, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War.

    Ken’s implied criticisms of the Vehmic courts are precisely as apt as directly analogous criticisms of contemporaneous English courts. The idea that anyone convicted (either in the presence of the court or in absentia) would be outlawed (placed outside the law and free prey for any man) was also standard practice in England. If anything, the rules of procedure sound more codified in the HRE than in contemporaneous England. (Note that outlawry in civil procedure only ended in England in 1879.

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