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Episode 179: Art Film with Explosions

February 26th, 2016 | Robin

Let’s schmooze a while in the Gaming Hut as we spitball a game based on social experience points.

Get in touch with your inner cave dweller as the Conspiracy Corner checks out Neanderthal conspiracy theories, most notably those of painter and sculptor Stanislav Szukalski.

Finally it’s that time of year again: in a bumper segment of the Cinema Hut, we list our top 10 films of 2015. Get your golf pencils ready; they’ll be needed to overcome a shocking clerical error that threatens to tear the world of Ken and Robin apart!


Ken and Robin have oft been accused of being cards. Well, we can deny it no longer. We have become super-limited promo cards for Murder of Crows, Atlas Games’ fast-paced card game of murder and the macabre, for two to five players in the mood for something a little morbid. It’s Edward Gorey meets Caligari, by way of Edgar Allan Poe. Wait a minute, what does that graphic say? I’m not so sure about this… Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter can now sink their fangs into the general release of the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted. You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfageln. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish. In a move that surely violates someone’s security clearance, this episode is also brought to you by our friends at Arc Dream Publishing. The Kickstarter for Delta Green: the Roleplaying Game has come to an end, but don’t let that stop you from indulging your fever for this classic game, or that pinnacle of the Cthulhu game zine world, The Unspeakable Oath.

7 Responses to “Episode 179: Art Film with Explosions”

  1. GB Steve says:

    I think I saw a different movie for Ken’s #1. I actually felt bored.

  2. Michael Cule says:

    In your first section didn’t you re-invent EN GARDE? (Which isn’t a bad idea in itself…)

    With regard to building up the background of social factions in such a game, it’s something I’ve been thinking about recently, particularly setting up factions in a primarily political game. (Subject of this month’s podcast as it happens.)

    Perhaps the set-up phase might borrow stuff from the relationship map we saw in SMALLVILLE and the build-a-saga ideas from MICROSCOPE. Hmm… more work needed…

    • Simon Hibbs says:

      Can here to say the same thing, but I’ll give them a pass. While En Garde is a great game, if you based a game off the podcast you wouldn’t really end up with En Garde. Now a re-invention of En Garde as a roleplaying game along the lines discussed? That I’d be interested in!

  3. Scott Haring says:

    Is this the place to “Ask Ken and Robin”? If so, I ask for info on Antonin Scalia’s West Texas hunting buddies, the International Order of St. Hubertus, an “Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s” according to the Washington Post. A Texas Monthly article called them “some sort of camo-clad Illuminati, or something.” What have you got on these guys?

  4. So, when you gain social capital, your patron gains some amount as well. And presumably his patron gains some, but less still. You’re suggesting that social influence is a sort of multi-level marketing scheme? Presumably, then, your ultimate goal would be to be awarded a coach from Gironde (built in Cadillac, of course) painted pink. 😎

    FWIW, I agree with Michael Cule, that this sounds like En Garde redux. It’s a setting that would work well, but it’s sort of the cliche of swashbuckling adventure. How about the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Justinian and Theodora, with assassination, the Nika riots, Belisarius and Narses, …? Or Russia in the court of Peter the Great (Great Northern War and draining a swamp to build St. Petersburg), Italy during the conflicts between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, Vienna in the court of Maria Theresa, or Avignon at the palace of the Pope?

    Lots of information for, and chances for adventure of whatever sort in, all of those and they’re not quite so … overexposed … as Musketeer Paris.

  5. Dylan Hoover says:

    Ken’s Time Machine mission:

    Ken has to save Hypatia from being murdered by a mob in 415 CE Alexandria. What methods would he employ, and what would change about the timeline?

  6. Rob Dean says:

    Later Byzantine would have it’s attractions as well…friends and I wrote a 60 player LARP on the 1071 succession struggle years ago, and I started diagramming a coup d’etat game based on Steven Runciman’s book about the Emperor Romanus (II?) once upon a time…

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