Abraham Lincoln

Episode 34: Easily Approached By My Techniques

April 12th, 2013 | Robin

Ken and Robin meet in the Gaming Hut to workshop a game mechanic—the interpersonal disadvantage.

The Tradecraft Hut uses further evidence that Blackwater served as a CIA front as an opportunity to riff on the differences between reality levels in espionage games and fiction.

Ask Ken and Robin sees our intrepid heroes venturing from behind the couch to answer HippyWizard’s query on overcoming the shyness factor at the game table.

And finally, Ken’s Time Machine prevents the arrest and death in custody of Pope Pius VI.

10 Responses to “Episode 34: Easily Approached By My Techniques”

  1. RogerBW says:

    No download link?

  2. Jason Blalock says:

    I think they’re teasing us.

  3. legume says:

    It would be an interesting rumination on civilian oversight to contrast the PC’s benevolent but incompetent bureaucracy vs. the terrorists or cult or space empire who through complete disregard of safeguards on unchecked personal power naturally have the most competent operators rise to the top and amass the most resources to direct under no supervision but their own individual whim.

    But it would be just as easy to reverse it and have the well-functioning but boring Confucian meritocracy vs. the exciting but incompetent spoils system/aristocracy.

    You were discussing espionage, but a game where, for instance, the PC’s are military and intelligence assets of the Punic League (or the Punic League in space) conflicting with (Space) Rome, you could attempt the impossible and try to portray bureaucratic oversight as not only infuriating and complicating but also as a necessary good rather than an evil.

    Some sort of multiverse game where the Infinite Bureaucracy goes from worldline to worldline spreading red-tape, because the only thing that stops Great Men from smashing history into pieces is Greater Bureaucracy, might also be interesting.

  4. Daniel Fidelman says:

    If I may, a question for the Ask Ken and Robin segment, regarding Mirror mode NBA, as well as other spy games in the same vibe:

    How to keep the suspense about possible betrayals in the party without annihilating the said party too early, or too utterly?

  5. Eric says:

    I have a topic for Consulting Occultist.
    I’m currently reading Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear which is about Scientology but there is a fascinating section about the time that L. Ron spent in the house of a Jack Parsons who was described as “the James Dean of the Occult.” The book mentions that post war Southern California was the center of occult thinking / living in what i assume is much like upstate New York was (as discussed in previous episodes). Parsons sounds fascinating and I’m curious if you would be willing to shed any additional insight into either the man, the times or area.

    thank you!

    • RogerBW says:

      Heh! Only black magician with a lunar crater named after him, and so on…

      I’ll add my voice to the call for the times and area – I know a bit about the man, but not as much about the community in which he was operating. During the war was also an interesting time.

    • Tom says:

      Of course, in those days L Ron was going by “Frater H”. Kenneth Grant wasn’t too impressed by him, describing him as “a confidence trickster who had wormed his way into the O.T.O. on the pretence of being interested in Magick.”

      The Scientologists maintain Hubbard was on a secret mission for the US Navy to break up a ‘black magic circle’, because obviously that’s the kind of thing that falls under the Navy’s purview.
      So maybe the reason the ritual to incarnate the Scarlet Woman failed was that Hubbard was a saboteur? Deliberately mispronouncing the incantations, perhaps, or switching the silver dagger for a chrome-plated one.

    • Alan Scott says:

      If you play Trail of Cthulhu, check out “The Big Hoodoo” which centers around Jack Parsons and his occult set.

  6. Lisa Padol says:

    I’m not sure about the idea that being good at Reassurance makes one worse at Intimidation. After all, someone might well reassure a person by saying, “Don’t worry about your enemies. They’ll have to deal with _me_!” And, I suspect many parents are good at being both reassuring and intimidating.

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