Abraham Lincoln

Episode 466: Foolish Enough to Get Near Us

October 8th, 2021 | Robin

Our Gaming Hut series on the axes of RPG design takes a turn as Robin looks at the trade-offs he thinks about while working on games, starting with Simulation vs Emulation.

Fun With Science goes deep to contemplate the abundance of mesopelagic fish.

The Horror Hut gets connubial at the behest of beloved Patreon backer Toonspew, who wants to know if there’s a Queen in Yellow.

Finally we cover up our luminous watches and enter the Eliptony Hut to confront the dread mystery of the Brazilian vampire UFOs known as the chupas.

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Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.

Dig out your plastic T-Rexes and get them ready to stomp and chomp on your players’ character miniatures as our pals at Atlas Games announce the upcoming Kickstarter for Planegea, their dino-filled 5E setting of prehistoric fantasy adventure.

Score a blood-drenched special bonus from Pelgrane Press when you order the print edition Night’s Black Agents Dracula Dossier Director’s Handbook or any of its associated bundles. A new 50-page Cuttings PDF of deleted scenes and horrors that didn’t fit is now available for a limited time with the voucher code VAMP2021.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Fear Is a Fractal …and your world is a lie. A horror freed from an antique book reverberates through reality. But don’t despair. There is hope. A King waits for us. And Impossible Landscapes, the  first campaign for Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game waits for you. In PDF now, hardback in May. Hailed as “one of the best RPG campaigns ever made” and “a masterpiece of surreal horror!”

3 Responses to “Episode 466: Foolish Enough to Get Near Us”

  1. Douglas Sundseth says:

    I would submit that Champions (the original version from 1981) was pretty explicitly emulationist. It was all about providing a gaming system that would give mechanical support to players doing all the silly things in comic books.

    The entire disadvantage system had nothing to do with replicating anything in the world; you don’t get stronger by being afraid of the dark after all. Skills were also very much about designing for effect: it’s no more difficult to get a skill in quantum mechanics than it is to get a skill in flower arranging. But learning martial arts was quite difficult (read expensive in points).

    The game was quite mechanically complex, as you noted, but I assert that was orthogonal to the simulation/emulation axis. (In some ways, Fate lives in that same emulationist area, but without the mechanical complexity.)

    OTOH, GURPS is much more simulationist. People often die when they get hit by even one bullet in real life, so that’s what the game does. Some skills are explicitly much harder to learn than others, not because they are more effective the average game but because they’re difficult in real life.

    I can’t, offhand, come up with a low-complexity, simulationist RPG, but I’m pretty sure they exist. Maybe GDW’s old “En Garde” would work, since most of the complexity is in the fencing system, which isn’t really all that difficult to manage, and which is definitely intended to replicate aspects of actual fencing.

  2. Tim Ellis says:

    For some reason this episode isn’t showing up on the “episodes” page

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