Abraham Lincoln

Episode 292: Double Skeleton Town

May 11th, 2018 | Robin


The Gaming Hut takes place inside the Tradecraft Hut, or is it the other way around, as we, with the assistance of a FOIA request, investigate CIA-designed board games.

How to Write Good looks at the particular challenges of creating game fiction.

In the Food Hut we open a few bottles alongside Patreon backer Tim Vert, who wants to know about wines in fantasy worlds.

Finally the Eliptony Hut tackles the mystery of the Roanoke Colony disappearance.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


In Atlas Games’ wickedly different cooperative deck-building game Witches of the Revolution, you and your doughty coven fight the American Revolution the way it was really fought: with spells aplenty! Resurrect Ben Franklin, cure Paul Revere of lycanthropy and keep those red-coated witch hunters at bay.

Ken’s latest roleplaying game, The Fall of Delta Green, is now available for preorder from Pelgrane Press. Journey to the head-spinning chaos of the late 1960s, back when everyone’s favorite anti-Cthulhu special ops agent hadn’t gone rogue yet, for this pulse-pounding GUMSHOE game of war, covert action, and Mythos horror.

Grab the translated riches of FENIX magazine in a special bundle deal from our friends at Askfageln, over at Indie Press Revolution. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, a cornucopia of articles, complete games, plus the cartoon antics of Bernard the Barbarian. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish.

With your Handlers Guide already at your side, it’s time to assemble some operations to spiral your Delta Green operatives into paranoia and Mythos horror. Delta Green: A Night at the Opera features six terrifying adventures from the conspiratorial minds of Dennis Detwiller, Shane Ivey, and Greg Stolze. Preorder before it’s desperately too late! 

3 Responses to “Episode 292: Double Skeleton Town”

  1. Douglas Sundseth says:

    In a fantasy-game-based novel, I would expect the world to work as described in the game. This is no different than expecting guns in a suspense novel to work like guns in the real world.

    Is it possible to violate this for the sake of story? Of course, just as it’s possible to have a movie where people are blown backward when hit by bullets. But in both cases, success in the writing is in spite of the violations of “physics” and a flaw that needs to be covered, not an advantage. Ignoring the way that the in-game universe works because it makes the writing easier is just playing craps with Big Jule’s dice.

    That said, there’s no need to talk about the mechanics of spell casting if the story doesn’t require it just as there’s no need to talk about the ballistics of a .30-06 unless the story requires it (not that I’ve _ever_ seen that in a movie. 😎 ). Generally, you can just let the creatures and items and spells work right and let the people who care figure out what’s going on.

    Restrictions usually make art (in which I include writing) stronger. And the existence of the deep background of the game world can help create verisimilitude even if (or especially if) it’s never explicitly explained.

  2. Tim Emrick says:

    “Sashay like the sprites of Yar” may be my new favorite Robin phrase.

  3. Magnus says:

    I just need to chip in with a somewhat nice endorsement connected to the topic of books in a game world…

    The most revered tabletop RPG campaign in Sweden is called “Konfluxsviten”. It was written in the late 80s for the fantasy RPG “Drakar och Demoner”. The writer, Erik Granström, managed to keep the rights to his work, including the island world setting, “Trakorien”, where the adventure takes place. He has since then written four books based upon the campaign and setting. The books have been held in high regard among Swedish readers (both genre-eaters, but they also reviewed favorably in non-genre newspapers).

    Notable for the books is the profound philosophical underlying themes, as well as uncountable references in the books to anything from Shakespeare and Imre Kertesz to popular culture and politics. Oh, and fittingly for this podcast: the main plot in the first book revolves around the control of the arctic island Marjura, known for it’s rich sulfur deposits. Sulfur is of curse used as an antidote for plague and – wine making!

    Erik Granström is currently the main campaign setting writer for the upcoming RPG “Forbidden Lands” from Fria Ligan.

    Sadly, his books are only available in Swedish currently, but an sample in English can be found on the authors blog, here:

    I really hope that the books get an English translation, since I do hold them among the best fantasy books I have ever read.

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