Abraham Lincoln

Episode 293: Kill America’s Famous Pigs

May 18th, 2018 | Robin


Stop plinking those kobolds and pop into the Gaming Hut as we ask if today’s median gamer is less motivated than before by the prospect of in-game reward.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Patreon backer Neal Dalton asks Ken how he chooses game systems and pitches them to his players.

We enter the Cartography Hut to look at the persuasive qualities of maps. Check out Cornell’s online archive of polemical maps. Maps referenced include The Awakening, The Russian Octopus, and Pig Nicknames of the US States.

And finally, at the request of backers Rich Ranallo, Jurie Horneman, and also everyone, the Archeaology Hut asks why the Hobby Lobby retail chain was importing looted Sumerian incantations.

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 Atlas Games. 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!

6 Responses to “Episode 293: Kill America’s Famous Pigs”

  1. Steve Dempsey says:

    I’m just listening to a great BBC radio programme about Soviet military maps and how they produced them. You can see, and buy, the maps here:

  2. Douglas Sundseth says:

    Gaining new powers in the course of “play” is very much a part of the source literature for pretty well anything that can be characterized as a bildungsroman. And given the percentage of the literature that is exactly that, I don’t think you can dismiss it out of hand. Which is not to say that it’s a part of all of the source literature, of course.

    It’s perhaps also worth noting that original Traveller did not include the usual sort of character advancement at all. Once you left the char gen flowcharts, that was what you were playing until the character died (other than acquiring stuff, of course).

  3. Tim Emrick says:

    The quickstart rules for “Kill America’s Famous Pigs” should naturally be titled “Porc and Pie.”

  4. Ken R says:

    I think Robin is correct about the shift in attitudes with regard to experience points. I started playing as a teenager with D&D 3e. Our GM at the time would occasionally reference “bonus experience” for this or that, but we pretty much just leveled up when it seemed fitting.

    I played in a long running F20 game with some more traditional D&Ders – supposedly the experience was tracked by the GM, but it sure still felt like we leveled up based on fiat. It was just half of us leveling up one session and the other half the next one..

    In theory, there was bonus experience for doing things associated with your class or background, but we never saw those numbers so it didn’t matter.

    The only games where I’ve seen people get invested in experience were One Roll Engine ones, where the numbers are lower and it was easy to see how each point would improve your character. Even then, people got more excited about improving their organization (with the Reign rules) than anything else.

  5. For complicated reasons I just listened to this today. Great episode and I’ll definitely sign up for the deluxe edition of the KAFP Kickstarter.

    On the question of XPs in D&D: There was a long discussion in the 1991 D&D RULES CYCLOPEIA on things that generate XP awards other than just killing monsters that definitely pushed the system toward “give the players as many XP as you think they deserve for doing good and clever things”. (I encountered it in this blog post: . The commenters there point out that it’s unclear whether that section existed in the earlier standalone volumes of (non-Advanced) D&D or if was original to that volume, which was written by Aaron Allston.

    On the modern use of propaganda maps in email forwards: The most common one I can think of is US electoral maps painted red and blue to show which states (or, worse, counties) were won in a Presidential election. These are all based on the idea that elections are won by acreage rather than population.

    And finally: The strongest argument against allowing an American archeologist to document the Hobby Lobby stash before repatriating it to Iraq is that it’s basically allowing them to eat the fruit of a poisoned tree. I’m sure there’ no credible argument that a real archeologist *would* plunder sites so wantonly–for all the reasons you mentioned about destroying the context in which the pieces were found–but I could picture a despot or mad billionaire (like Mr. Hobbylobby) ordering such a plunder in pursuit of a nationalist or fanatic enterprise who would then view the dissemination of the plundered artifacts as a good in itself. We don’t allow people to buy and sell the body parts of murder victims even if they didn’t do the murders themselves.

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