Abraham Lincoln

Episode 250: Lightning Round!!!

July 14th, 2017 | Robin

Who would have believed that when they started a podcast two scrappy writer/game designers could make it all the way to episode 250?

You know what that means: time once again for another Lightning Round, in which we fire through as many questions as we can, starting with those posed to us by our indispensible Patreon backers.

And yes, of course Cary Grant, not Jimmy Stewart, stars in North by Northwest. Ken is just testing you.

This anniversary gains a special frisson, as we must also thank ENnies judges for once again nominating us in the Best Podcast category

But that’s enough preamble. Lightning Time is here!

Get your priority question asking access with your Support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.

In Unknown Armies, Atlas Games’ modern-day, occult roleplaying game, you play the heroically broken people who conspire to fix the world. That conspiracy just got easier, with the arrival of the game on store shelves near you! The book has been written. The book has been read. Now it rewrites you. Across time it spreads, creating dread new realities. And you’re in all of them. Pelgrane Press is terrified to announce that Robin’s epic new GUMSHOE project, The Yellow King Roleplaying Game, is now live on Kickstarter. 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!

10 Responses to “Episode 250: Lightning Round!!!”

  1. Ross Ireland says:

    Hi guys

    Thanks again for the answer. Thinking of the Mokele-Mbembe gave me a smile that was greatly needed.

  2. Newimpartial says:

    On the question about public domain RPG content, surely there is something in the oeuvre of H. G. Wells, out of copyright in the Death+70 countries this year, that has not yet been adapted but should be. Shape of Things to Come RPG?

  3. hüth says:

    “No one’s done an M.R. James roleplaying game”

    Anyone interested in this should watch for some related developments on this front.

  4. Jeff R. says:

    I feel like enough vocal gamers place far too high a value on rules transparency for core mechanics like resolution to be hidden away inside a phone app without an unmanageable backlash.

    It may be a pathological tendency in the player-base, but it’s too prevalent to ignore.

  5. Phil Masters says:

    1. It’s Marcus Rowland. Forgotten Futures being the correct first port of call prior to or during discussion of roleplaying treatments of just-out-of-copyright material.

    (As I recall, Marcus didn’t try doing anything with H.G.Wells because, well, “out of copyright” is a more complex concept than most of us would like to think.)

    2. Cordwainer Smith reference noted and approved.

  6. Newimpartial says:

    Well, outside of the United States, the copyright status of H.G. Wells’ oeuvre is pretty straightforward now I think – all public domain. But I guess the Disney lobbyists still haven’t allowed the last 20-odd years of his career out of copyright, so the Short History of the World RPG is about as far as you can go. On the other hand, thinking about this question has given me some ideas for an alternative 1920s game …

  7. Tom Clare says:

    My teenage-self tried to make an M. R. James in the late 80s – early 90s in the style of the time: overly complicated with lots of ‘just in case’ rules for situations that never appeared in a Jameson story.

    Now I would use Cthulhu Dark, replacing Insanity with Fear. Easy.

    As for a game based on an out-of-copyright property, I’ve been waiting for the Doctor Syn RPG for many years (also it’s Georgian!). But are the 1930s out of copyright yet?

    • Newimpartial says:

      The Doctor Syn copyright situation appears to be complicated. 🙂 The film is still copyright in the US, and will be until at least 2029. The author of the novels, Russell Thorndyke, lived until 1972 and so his work will be copyright even in Canada and China until 2023, and for another 20 years in the UK and Europe. However, the very first Doctor Syn novel (describing his decline and death) was published in 1915, so an RPG could be published in the US as long as 1) it isn’t sold elsewhere and 2) it only uses information in the US public domain, i.e. from Doctor Syn: A Tale of the Romney Marsh.

  8. I assume the “Napoleonic miniatures as a card game” is the EAGLES system by Tom Dagliesh and Columbia Games. He did a Civil War system as well, DIXIE. Given that Dagliesh/Columbia had moderate success with their WIZARD
    KINGS wargame, adapting many of the ideas from their block-based historical wargames into a fantasy milieu, I’m surprised they didn’t try a
    fantasy-based version of the card game as well.

    The grandpappy of “Napoleonic miniatures with less expensive and more portable components” was SYSTEM 7 by Rich Banner and GDW, which I remember primarily because it was on the cover of one of the first issues of DRAGON
    MAGAZINE I ever bought in 1978. I could make neither head nor tail out of the article, probably because at that tender age I had never seen a real
    miniatures game.

    Tom Jolly (of WIZWAR fame) was the main designer behind the DISKWARS series, which was a different and modestly successful attempt at
    minis-on-the-cheap; that ran for several years and had two spin-offs (spins-off?), a DEADLAND version and a FIVE RINGS version.

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