Abraham Lincoln

Episode 27: League of Extraordinary Skeletons

February 22nd, 2013 | Robin

In Ask Ken and Robin, we field Conrad Kinch’s query about the politics of game design. Do a designer’s political beliefs show up in his work?

Then, as you knew we would, we engage in some History Bending in honor of Richard III’s recently-confirmed excavation from a Leicester car park.

Our new segment How To Write Good inaugurates with a barrage of style tips of both general and RPG-specific application.

Finally, in Consulting Occultist, we review the stream-crossing career of African-American magician, escape artist and hoodoo worker Black Herman.

16 Responses to “Episode 27: League of Extraordinary Skeletons”

  1. Scott Carter says:

    Can Ken and Robin explain the connections between the occult and NASA (beyond having a US Space Program named after the Hebrew verb “go up”)? Do other space programs have similar occult ties, or at least the sort of ties that conspiracy theorists like to find?

    PS In case it has not come up on your radar, you might both be interested in by brother David Ray Carter’s book Conspiracy Cinema: Propoganda, Poltics, and Paranoia.

  2. Terry says:

    The passive voice is to be avoided.

  3. I imagine it will please you to know that your ever-eliptonic buddy, Russian legislator Vladimir Zhirinovsky, is keeping right up with the times. He explains that the bang that devastated Chelyabinsk’s windows last Friday was not a meteor, but rather an American weapons test.

  4. Conrad Kinch says:

    Fame at last! Thank you for your enlightening chat. I found it very interesting. I hadn’t considered the Mormonism as secret America thing.

    As to Ken’s Republicanism, it is an island of reason in a world gone mad, his apparent distaste for constitutional monarchy notwithstanding.

  5. Cambias says:

    The writing tips made me wince because they’re all things I constantly battle against in my own work. I think I’ve licked passive voice and “to be” but I’m a sucker for parentheses and dashes.

  6. Simon Rogers says:

    One Republican customer complained about using “Bush’s War” in Ken’s copy, and assumed Ken was a Democrat, though I didn’t see how that followed. I find Ken’s writing to be very balanced.

  7. Dennis says:

    Paul Cornell’s criminally under-read Knight and Squire comic had an issue which focused on a Ricardian Boys From Brazil scenario.

  8. LJS says:

    What about the gender and racial assumptions imbedded in game design? Look, for example, at early DnD which had explicit Stat and Level limits based on gender. Or the near complete absence of non-Caucasian characters in many games, even those set in the near modern or actual modern world. In a related question, what about gender inclusive writing — the universal “he”, “he/she”, alternating pronouns in examples, providing interesting example PCs and NPCs of both genders, and providing example PCs and NPCs beyond the default Caucasian characters.

    I love Ken’s idea for an African-American pulp characters supplement. Please tell us more!

    • Robin says:

      Great point. I tried to work it into an upcoming discussion of the so-called Fake Nerd syndrome, but as it so often does, the conversation went elsewhere.

  9. Chris Angelucci says:

    I’m not sure if this is the proper area to pose topic suggestions for future episodes, but would you discuss how to introduce your children to roleplaying? How young would/can you start? When can imaginative play segue into more structured gaming?

    I’ve been playing RPGs for many years, and cannot wait to get my toddler into the hobby using an age appropriate RPG that we can both enjoy together.

    Thanks for your always informative and interesting discussions.

  10. cat yronwode helped run Eclipse Comics with her then-husband Dean Mullaney. Dean is still involved in comics; he’s a consultant of some sort on IDW’s line of classic comic strip reprints.

    The How to Write Good Hut was very good indeed, and a welcome addition to the forest of huts.

  11. John Fiala says:

    Hey, I really liked the How to Rite Gud segment!

  12. John Fiala says:

    Ooooh. Black Herman and the call out to the HooDoo RPG also much appreciated!

  13. Lisa Padol says:

    Black Herman appears as a character in “The Fishers of Men”, a Call of Cthulhu scenario in Miskatonic River Press’s excellent Tales of the Sleepless City.

    • John Fiala says:

      I’ll have to keep an eye out for that book. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be up on rpgnow, and is apparently only available in hardcopy. Might be time for me to drop by Black and Read and see if they have it.

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