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Episode 145: I’ll Bet It’s a Bad Star

June 19th, 2015 | Robin

Alex Guerrero has played before but never GMed. He wants to introduce a trio of interested neophytes/family members to roleplaying through a session of Fear Itself. He’s here to Ask Ken and Robin “What tips do you have on pacing, and not overthinking?”

In History Hut we look at the craziest damn thing we’ve heard about in a long time, the wacky, electrified lost world of fraternal orders and side degrees. For more, see Fantagraphics’ Burlesque Paraphernalia.

Ken’s Bookshelf tells the exciting story of what happens when Oklahoma City’s few used book stores are shaken to their very core.


Attention, class! Anchor sponsor Atlas Games wants to enrol 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.

11 Responses to “Episode 145: I’ll Bet It’s a Bad Star”

  1. Eric Johnson says:

    Bravo Guys! This one was a real treasure! Cracked up several times this episode. How can you resist the electrified baby prank.

    Been listening for a while and am wondering if you’ll ever to a Consulting Occultist on the Hellfire Club. It was once teased but never delivered upon.

    Also, have you ever looked into theories regarding Neanderthals not going extinct til around 10,000 BC and becoming the story seed for Norther European tales of Goblins and Trolls? Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard corresponded about it and it’s eluded to in Michael Crichton’s “Eaters of the Dead.” I’m curious to know if there were some larger trend in 19th century thought or theory that those three were tapping into.

    Please keep it up. I haven’t played table top rpg’s in about 30 years, but your podcast reminds me how fertile and fun those mental playgrounds were. Your storytelling advice is pure gold.

    Thank You

  2. darren t. says:

    Sold immediately on Fantagraphics’ Burlesque Paraphernalia, it sounds like a gem to put into some horror games where these things go wrong or horribly right summoning things they shouldn’t have or just to add some local color to some fraternal orders or charlatans. Go have fun at that museum Ken & if possible post lots of pictures up online for us farther away to see what’s there to know where to visit when in Illinois.

  3. Aaron says:

    Ye-old line-crossing ceremony.

  4. Phil Masters says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the thing about Burlesque Paraphernalia, but Angela reminded me when I mentioned it that the tradition of traumatic “initiation rituals” for supposedly fraternal groups is hardly unknown today; it just seems to have moved down the age range to American colleges and the military.

    In fact, this catalogue could be reminder of a kinder, more innocent age, when people were prepared to spend quite a lot of money to make sure that their initiation rituals merely appeared to be life-threatening, rather than being flat-out brutish.

  5. Robin says:

    Bibliography for the Ken’s Bookshelf segment:

    Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany, by Frederick Taylor
    The Axmann Conspiracy: The Nazi Plan for a Fourth Reich and How the U.S. Army Defeated It, by Scott Andrew Selby
    Spies For Nippon, by Tony Matthews
    The Knife Man: Blood, Body-Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery, by Wendy Moore
    Southern Counterpart to Lewis & Clark: The Freeman & Custis Expedition of 1806, by Dan L. Flores
    Napoleon’s Proconsul in Egypt: The Life and Times of Bernardino Drovetti, by Ronald T. Ridley
    Kingdoms of the Savanna, by Jan Vansina
    Black Empire, by George S. Schuyler
    The Zurich Numbers, by Bill Granger
    Captain Cut-Throat, by John Dickson Carr
    The Secret Life of Uri Geller: CIA Masterspy? by Jonathan Margolis
    Alexandria: The Journal of the Western Cosmological Traditions, Nos. 1 and 2, ed. by David Fideler
    Exo-Vaticana: Petrus Romanus, Project L.U.C.I.F.E.R. And the Vatican’s Astonishing Plan for the Arrival of an Alien Savior, by Thomas Horn & Cris Putnam

  6. Tom says:

    Uri Geller a CIA asset? Laughable. Join the dots, people. Psychic powers, weirdly youthful, friend to eccentrically pale daylight-shunning latter-day Michael Jackson, extensive ties to Exeter City Football Club.

    Which outfit is involved with a pasty mesmerist and operates out of Exeter?

    That’s right. This has Operation EDOM written all over it, then redacted and published as fiction.

  7. Alex in Malabar says:

    I’m the Alex whose question you both answered wonderfully, thanks so much, well-done good sirs, well done !

  8. hüth says:

    Some Time Machine questions:

    • So did Heraclius ever actually read a letter from the Prophet or what?

    • How would the lack of an isthmus of Panama affect world history?

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