Abraham Lincoln

Episode 152: X-Acto Athame

August 7th, 2015 | Robin

Buckle up your extra special rapier for a jaunt into the Gaming Hut to consider the connection between gear and status.

Take extra reindeer with you, for your predecessor lost all of his when he entered the far confines of the Cartography Hut to talk Soviet map-making.

From hominids and their tapir pals to the contents of a teen’s bedroom, Ken and Robin delineate some great opening scenes in the Cinema Hut.

Then paranoia goes old-timey as the Conspiracy Corner recounts the story of America’s Anti-Masonic Party.

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.

What’s that hiding behind your baseboards? Could it be a PDF copy of Philip Masters’ The Small Folk, in which you play fairy folk descendants sneaking, scheming, and avoiding the attentions of wily housecats? Grab it at Warehouse23.

8 Responses to “Episode 152: X-Acto Athame”

  1. Aaron says:

    Aguirre is another great opening with tapirs.

  2. Doug says:

    Burning through your back catalog, just a great show. I listen to your podcast while I run, but have to download two or three at at a time because I need to keep the awesome rolling as I drive to work.

    I don’t know what hut this might fit into but I figured I’d try it out- you guys are so good at answering even the most obscure questions: “what might we expect to find in the works of Pyrrhus of Epirus on the art of war, several tombs lost to history.”

  3. Áron Péterfy says:

    Milano Calibro 9 has a great opening scene.

  4. On social class and equipment:

    It’s certainly true that the nouveau riches throughout history have attempted to purchase their way into the upper strata of society. It’s also the case that said upper strata have never been great fans of the dilution of their power and influence.

    Historically, the responses have included:

    Sumptuary laws — “No sir, I’m very sorry, but I can only sell +3 swords to the nobility … and you’re obviously no noble.” “Lay down your arms and surrender, sir! Your decision to wear puce velvet without at least a knighthood is a felony.”

    Dressing down — “You can always tell the real nobles because they wear muddy Wellingtons and drive 20-year-old Range Rovers.”

    Absurdly conspicuous consumption (arguably a variety of potlatch) — “Yes, I know that fabric is rationed; how do you like my Zoot Suit?” “I love the flavor of gold foil on ice cream!”

    And there’s nothing to say that the conventions of this country, or city, or clique will have any discernable relationship with those of the next one the players encounter. “Your choice of a pink tunic to go with that slashed lime green doublet was … hmmm … bold.”

    Social conventions can be endlessly complex and deeply intertwined with power structures.

  5. Galen says:

    I believe I saw a Tapir in “Papillon” as well, though it was really more of a cameo.

    At one point in the Gaming Hut Ken mentions, in an off-hand way, about how magic items and wizards would change a medieval society “in 10 minutes.”

    This has certainly been a bloggy debate for years, but I don”t think I’ve ever heard you two really discuss the ramifications of magic on the evolution of a bog-standard F20 society. It sounds interesting even to this mostly non F20 player. Could we get a segment? Would wizards and clerics be a stabilizing or destabilizing force for society? Could there be an Enlightenment in a world with murder-hobos?

  6. Skillen says:

    You’re assertion that nobles during the medieval didn’t use pollarms is inaccurate. It is true that peasants mostly used spears, or bills etc. (the specifics vary from region to region and billhooks were an English thing) the use of the pollaxe is perhaps the premier knightly weapon when fighting on foot.

    Of course they also had fancy swords and all that too, but those were mostly side arms on the battlefield. When on horse they would mostly use a lance which is also essentially a pollarm of sorts. You can see this in historical fight manuals (directed specifically at the noble class) in particular ‘le jeux de la hache’ or ‘plays of the axe’ in English which is an entire manual dedicated to the use of the pollaxe.

    So much like everything else, there are low status pollarms, and there are high status pollarms, just as there are low status swords and high status swords. Though the nobles also used the low status swords as well because they were super functional, they blinged them out with gold and engravings etc. so even then they had nicer things.

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