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Episode 331: Tomb of the Kardashians

February 15th, 2019 | Robin


In the Gaming Hut we imagine what will happen when LARPs meet e-sports. Call our people, TV industry.

Patreon backer Jason Thompson summons us to the Cartography Hut to express disbelief in the non-existence of maps in the Hellenistic era.

In How to Write Good we dig deep into word clusters and ways to eliminate them.

Then we slip into the Eliptony Hut as backer Stephen Brandon demands rampant speculation on the case of the disappearing airman.

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.


A precious few Deluxe copies of  Cogs and Commissars, clever card game of are available directly from Atlas Games.  The “Most-Equal ‘Apparatchik’ Edition” features wooden screen-printed Citizen tokens, neoprene mats for each faction leader, and a foil-stamped, spot-gloss, magnetic-closure box. Seize the means of collectibility!

Ken’s latest roleplaying game, The Fall of Delta Green, is now available in print or PDF or both from Pelgrane Press. Journey to the head-spinning chaos of the late 1960s, back when everyone’s favorite anti-Cthulhu special ops agency 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.

Just in time to save the world, though perhaps not your team of hardened covert agents, from the Mythos, the Delta Green Handlers Guide from Arc Dream Publishing is now in print and either at or headed to a game store near you. The slipcase print edition includes both the Handlers’ Guide and Agents’ Handbook, fitting snugly into your go bag along with your extra passports and list of weapons caches.

13 Responses to “Episode 331: Tomb of the Kardashians”

  1. Jay says:

    The moment LRP as a sport was mentioned all I could think of was my first exposure to role-playing as a kid, Deathtrap Dungeon with it’s plot of dungeon-crawling for prizes.

  2. Jay says:

    Actually now I think about it British TV in the 70s and 80s had The Adventure Game (celebs sent to an alien planet where puzzle-solving and interacting with the natives is all that can let them escape) and Knightmare (teams of kids go into a green-screen dungeon and interact with medieval fantasy characters to try and be one of the few teams who makes it all the way through, they did not go easy on the kids).

  3. Jay says:

    And then there was the much more physical ‘Now Get Out Of That’ which was, if I remember correctly, celebs and academics/experts from the UK and US solving escape room-style problems while also camping and indulging in some light outdoor survival.

    Oh and also The Crystal Maze, and Fort Boyard which are very light escape roomish in style.

  4. Hank Harwell says:

    I’ll just add a couple of shows: One was a reality game show called The Mole (two different versions, neither were very successful) where contestants had to determine which of them was the Mole before eliminated by the Mole. Sort of like Werewolf.

    The other, with decidedly less competition, was the series from Ireland Lords and Ladles, where three famous Irish chefs were given the task of staging an authentic (based on original menus) feast from the late 18th-19th centuries in a historic estate. The challenge was recreating period recipes with nothing more than menu descriptions and their skill. Each episode one chef would be the head cook, another would be the Gatherer (one who sourced the ingredients), one would be one of the guests, who would interview the host of the party (the owner of the estate) about the history of the locale, help stage the dining room, and taste the final product. Afterwards, there would be a sort of “after-action” gathering where the three would discuss their impressions of the evening. Very well done, sad there was only two seasons, but I could see how this could have become a kind of competition, if the network had wanted.

    • Niclas Matikainen says:

      Oh yeah! The Mole!
      The Swedish version went on for three seasons. The first two wasn’t anything to write home about, but the last one was really good with some awesome challanges for the participants. One episode had them break into a museum, with one team sneaking into a surveilance room to keep track of the guards, while the other team used smoke to manouver through a laser maze. Another episode had them storm a building commando style, using paint ball rifles to “take down” the guards.

    • Jay says:

      Well done, I forgot about The Mole !

  5. Nick Eden says:

    The main Escape Room TV show is surely The Crystal Maze, which pretty much invented the Escape Room concept in the late 80s/early 90s, then went off air for twenty years and came back because fans running comedical Escape Rooms built a mock up of the set and have the channel a pilot showing that it was easy cheap fun to bring it back

  6. Niclas Matikainen says:

    *Puts on glasses* “Achtually…”

    …Lovecraft used the word cyclopean a staggering 11 times in “At the Mountains of Madness” alone. At one point, the word pops up twice on the same page. So, yeah… cluster… 😉

    And now for something completely different:

    When I ran Robins excellent “Ocean In The Forest” adventure for Fear Itself, I amped up the LARP-For-Money hook to make it about a pilot episode for a LARP TV-Show. Let’s hope a actual LARP TV-Show does not end in the same way 😀

  7. Jay says:

    My son has pointed out no less that 3 shows like this on kids TV from the last year (and another from a couple of year’s back). Raven (BBC, physical challenges very lightly themed on fantasy) Spy School (ITV, the same but with spies) The Last Commanders (BBC, the same bust dystopian sci-fi) and a new one that’s about to air which I now can’t remember the title of but which has a zombie survival theme.

    I’m now not wondering why has this not been done but where are all the US/Canada versions as this seems to be a pretty popular format in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

  8. […] Hite and Robin D. Laws riff on the future of LARPing and eSports. It’s all idle speculation and sounds about as bizarre […]

  9. Nick Eden says:

    Another British example was the series Time Commanders, which ran for three series from 2003-5 and a brief revival in 2016.
    This saw small teams fighting reach other via a computer simulated wargame. Each to their own…

  10. malkav11 says:

    I was at a burrito joint last week and was startled to see a Geek and Sundry roleplaying stream on the TV there, like how many eateries would have some sort of sports channel playing in the background. I’m not sure what the point was since they didn’t have the sound up loud enough to actually know what the players were doing (unless you could lipread, I guess), but it was striking.

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