Abraham Lincoln

Episode 229: Your Perspective on Trees and Badgers

February 17th, 2017 | Robin

The Gaming Hut stands at the service of Patreon backer Vince Arebalo’s son Dax, who asks for tips on getting comfortable around unfamiliar fellow players.

The CIA has finally put its trove of declassified historical documents in a readily accessible online database. In the Tradecraft Hut we find out what Ken searched for first.

Backer Jeremiah Genest commands the opening of the Narrative Hut to talk about political horror, and what distinguishes itself from its better known cousin, the political thriller.

Finally at the behest of backer Doc Cross we take a trip in Ken’s Time Machine to meet the most august Emperor Norton I of San Francisco.

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Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.

Sleepers awake, and travel through the secret pathways of the occulted world to preorder the new edition of Unknown Armies from Atlas Games. From the deluxe printed edition to ebooks in a variety of formats, the weird wonders of UA beckon!

Want to plunge headlong into Lovecraftian mystery, but lack a gaming group? Want to introduce a friend or loved one to the roleplaying hobby? GUMSHOE One-2-One has come to your rescue! Find this new system by some guy named Robin D. Laws, in the line’s flagship title, Cthulhu Confidential. Now pre-ordering at the Pelgrane Press store. Do intervals between episodes plunge you into Hite withdrawal? Never fear! 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. John Scott Tynes’ Puppetland is ready to knock the stuffing out of a game store near you in its gorgeous new full-color hardcover edition. Join the good folks at Arc Dream in battling the horrific forces of Punch the Maker-Killer!

6 Responses to “Episode 229: Your Perspective on Trees and Badgers”

  1. Stephen J. Vandevander says:

    Last year’s BrainDead seems to do an “Invasion of the Bodystatchers” riff in a dark satire of political dysfunction.

  2. John Lumea says:

    I lead a San Francisco nonprofit, The Emperor’s Bridge Campaign, that works on a variety of fronts — research, education, advocacy — to advance the legacy of Emperor Norton. Cheers for the entertaining segment on the Emperor.

    One quibble: Emperor Norton was never “homeless,” as you say a couple of times.

    San Francisco directories of the period reveal that, in the wake of the ill-fated rice deal of December 1852, he stayed in a succession of cheap hotels and boarding houses.

    The last of these was the Eureka Lodgings, at 624 Commercial Street between Montgomery and Kearny. He moved to the Eureka — his “imperial palace” — in late 1862 or early 1863 and lived there for 17 years, until his death in January 1880.

    In addition to listings for Joshua Norton in the local directories, the U.S. census of 1870 registered him as living at 624 Commercial Street, with the occupation of “Emperor.”

    The Emperor’s rent of 50 cents per day at the Eureka seems to have been paid mostly by old friends — usually prominent businessmen and former Masonic brothers who took pity on him — but, as he was able, he paid the rent himself from the proceeds on imperial “taxes” that he would levy on former business associates (who paid it gladly, out of sentiment) and on the sale of his imperial promissory notes.

    In fact, the reason why the initial charge of vagrancy that was brought in 1867 by the overzealous police officer, Armand Barbier, failed — and why this charge was switched from vagrancy to lunacy — was that the Emperor was found to have in pocket both money and a key to his room at the Eureka.

    The Emperor’s Bridge Campaign

  3. Cambias says:

    Mike Pondsmith’s Castle Falkenstein RPG takes place in an alternate history where, among other changes, California is an independent Republic ruled by Joshua Norton. In his timeline a cabal of Californian tycoons led by (I think) Leland Stanford plotted to make California independent and used Norton as the front man, much in Ken’s scenario here. But in the Falkiverse Norton is aided by the heroic Sam Clemens and the King of the Fae in thwarting the cabal of tycoons in order to set up a benevolent Californian regime with 1990s attitudes about everything.

  4. Douglas Sundseth says:

    It’s perhaps a bit tricky to ship gold east on a railroad during the Civil War when the UP and CP didn’t actually connect until 1869. You might be able to ship gold to, say, Alta, California, but I’m going to say that wouldn’t be all that useful to the Union.

    Just sayin’.


  5. Phil Masters says:

    A query for the Consulting Occultist; what can he tell us about Francis Barrett, author of The Magus, with or without reference to his experiments in ballooning or his possible influence on Joseph Smith?

    (A librarian friend of mine recently recently ran across his work and has been asking around for further information.)

  6. Jeb says:

    I hope you have plans for discussing how to adapt The Santa Clarita Diet for Night’s Black Agents.

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