Abraham Lincoln

Episode 150: Anniversary Lightning Round Extravaganza III

July 24th, 2015 | Robin

Stuff we’re here to talk about in this milestone episode might include Ben Franklin, the Flash, Zeus, Tom Fury, Phar Lap, keraunomedicine, the Lockheed P-38,  Mjolnir, the blitzkrieg, Final Fantasy XIII, James Otis Jr., Garth Ranzz, al-Borak, Tampa Bay hockey, or the static discharge between clouds and the earth.

That is to say, we’ve hit episode 150, a milestone requiring us to pull out all the meteorological stops for our customary all Ask Ken and Robin lightning round edition.

Warning: actual episode does not discuss any of the above.

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.


16 Responses to “Episode 150: Anniversary Lightning Round Extravaganza III”

  1. Jeff R. says:

    It’s got to be Owlbear week.

    (Also, Beholders use base 11. Everyone forgets about the central eye.)

    • Richard says:

      Jeff, I’m sorry to have to be “that guy”, but everyone knows you can’t count with the central eye. K&R know what they are talking about and you shouldn’t doubt.

      • Jeff R. says:

        I. Can a Beholder count with any of its eyes at all? I mean, do they swivel that way so that one of them can see all the others?

        II. Even if they can, if they’re counting on their eyes that means that they use base 9, since none of they eyes can possibly see itself.

        (III. If they’re perceiving their eyes internally, say via the blink action, then we’re back to base 11.)

  2. Now Robin, you know that the only people that think Toronto is the best city in Canada are people who haven’t been to Vancouver. If you want proof, come by and I’ll show you around.

    Should I make this an “Ask Ken & Robin question”?

  3. KenR says:

    Thanks for answering my question on picking from between the wealth of options in terms of RPG systems currently available.

    In particular, I’d say that the comments about using the enthusiastic feedback from experts (while ignoring negativity) are useful whether you are starting your first campaign or twentieth.

  4. Shawn Wilson says:

    You guys recommend a lot of books and movies, could you (or someone) put a comprehensive list up on the website so I can refer back to it without having to listen to hours of podcast to find the details of that book/movie I vaguely remember from months ago that has recently occurred to me might be cool to check out. Especially since I listen while walking and don’t have materials to write things down at the time. and tend to forget about it by the time I’m done.

    • Robin says:

      We recognize the value of detailed show notes but lack the time to do them. Listener and patron Jeromy French used to do bibliographies for each episode a little after the fact but has since come to his senses.

  5. Lightning Round Question: You have a time machine. You can go back in time and resurrect one out-of-print game (not one of your own because of causality issues / fixed points in time / Timelords say no) and ensure that you can continue working on it. Which out of print game would you like to work on?

  6. Phil Masters says:

    Ken’s comments about the lack of romance RPGs are perfectly correct, of course, but do suggest an instant follow-up question: How could such a system be done?

    I’m not saying that it couldn’t be – I imagine that it could – but I’m not sure where one could start.

    Related to this, if you want a genre or mode of fiction that’s popular but never been done full justice in RPGs, try comedy (as opposed to farce, which has been done to death, sometimes well and occasionally even intentionally).

    • RogerBW says:

      Gameable romance has to be a form of conflict, I think, which suggests it might usually be PC-NPC. An NPC could have a “trust in the PC” measure which might go up or down on the basis of various external factors. Making the process symmetrical would be harder; what reason does the player have for making the PC back off or lose trust in the target of affections? Answer that and I think you might start to get somewhere.

    • Brian Rogers says:

      While i never got around to polishing it up enough to sell I had a lot of success with Mech & Matrimony – the game of Jane Austen romance and giant robot combat. The core activity of the PCs was finding a good husband among the various suitors, all of whom had secrets. This being a regency romance the PCs were highly constrained in their actions – choosing higher dice on an action meant the risk fo being too forward and accruing scandal – so the giant robot fights (of course women of quality pilot giant robots) were a stress relief valve.

  7. Cambias says:

    Having attempted (with the help of my-wife-the-biologist) to actually design an evolution game, I can tell anyone who is interested that the problem is that it’s like trying to drink from a fire hose. There are too many aspects of evolution — competition, co-evolution, environmental change, random mutation, genetic drift, and those are just a few I came up with off the top of my head. You might design a game that focuses on one of those aspects, but tackling the whole subject of evolution in one game probably means you’re taking on too much.

  8. Tom Miller says:

    Ask Ken and Robin…
    A) Movies are supposed to “show not tell.” Why does Double Indemnity work so well even though it is heavily narrated?
    B) How would you rationalize an early modern F20 campaign upon the fictitious island of Frisland (specifically Lamentations of the Flame Princess)?

    • Tom Miller says:

      This is a clarification for question “B.” By Frisland I mean the island that first appeared on the Zeno Map not Bruce Heard’s fantasy Frisland.

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