Abraham Lincoln

Episode 146: The Most Punished “Well Actually” Ever

June 26th, 2015 | Robin

Guns blaze and mystic swords clash as Among My Many Hats goes under the hood on Blowing Up the Movies, Robin’s new book of essays combing the action movie classics for gameable nuggets.

In Ask Ken and Robin, @clarkythecruel asks about incorporating sports into RPGs.

How to Write Good shows you how to build a dimensioned protagonist for an idea-based story.

Ken’s Time Machine reports back from the alternate dimension where Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his pal Robert Southey actually established that Susquehanna River utopia they were always talking about.

Look out, Lieutenants of evil! The sinister mastermind you work for has taken some time to shake the post-conquest blues. But he’ll be back soon, and your survival depends on impressing him. Thankfully, our lead sponsor Atlas Games has just what you need: their delightful new card game of competitive minion-stacking, Three Cheers for Master.


This podcast is also sponsored by another podcast, Game Master’s Journey. Join Lex Starwalker as he covers all things RPG from the secret side of the GM screen.

6 Responses to “Episode 146: The Most Punished “Well Actually” Ever”

  1. Really surprised you didn’t mention Clash Bowley’s excellent The Tools of Ignorance — the only game I know of that could be fully described as a “sports RPG”:

  2. Fridrik says:

    I would me most pleased if Mr Ken and Mr Robb could find the time to talk about the Cult of the Supreme Being and the Cult of Reason, from the Frence Revolution. Be it from the historical hut, the RPG hut or the eliptony hut.

  3. darren t. says:

    I for one would enjoy playing a pulpy Cthulhu game with the sacred beaver of Canada vs Ithaqua, or the undercover hockey shenanigans with the movie Strange Brew. Wondering if the chase mechanics from Nights Black Agents could be converted to doing some kind of sportsball session of figuring out winner/loser per multiple quarters/stages in the sportsball squadron game as you fight with some kind of sports to win the hand of the captive Martian princess or the maple branch of summoning the sacred beaver of Canada or whatever your pick is in the game.

  4. Andy M says:

    Back to four segments! Yeah!

  5. Phil Masters says:

    I suspect that one problem with sports is that they usually have a completely different narrative structure to the novels, movies, and such that RPGs emulate. I remember a football fan/critic pointing out that practically every soccer match seen in the movies comes down to some kind of thrilling last-minute deciding goal, so providing the sort of narrative climax that people expect. But this is extremely rare in real-life football. Long slogs, one-sided games, and even nil-nil draws are all part of the fun of the thing.

    Sports fans tend to be in things for the long haul, watching the stars’ careers and the teams’ seasonal campaigns build and develop (or crash and burn). Going for the soap opera option, using something like Drama System, may well be the best bet.

    Anyway, changing the subject – Ken, woud you care to explain how Time Incorporated used your skills to resolve the Fashoda Incident? Or is “Fixing French foreign policy paranoia” still on your to-do list?

  6. RogerBW says:

    Coleridge’s opium habit and general dilatoriness may have come largely from the state of dentistry in his era: he started taking the stuff in an attempt to get relief from chronic tooth pain. That might be a different Time Machine episode; Coleridge was after all one of the last people to have read everything that was available to read.

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