Abraham Lincoln

Episode 516: Co-Frankensteining

September 30th, 2022 | Robin

We enter the Gaming Hut to ponder the constituency of gamers who prefer lots of crunch, but don’t actually use it when they play.

In the History Hut beloved Patreon backer Gene Ha asks if electricity-loving Benjamin Franklin was the real modern Prometheus.

The Culture Hut situates itself near a vast outdoor art work as estimable backer Tom Abella seeks as many gaming ideas as we can wring out of Michael Heiser’s “City.”

From Nevada it is a mere hop and a skip to Utah, and the Eliptony Hut, for a gander at the alleged weirdness magnet that is Skinwalker Ranch.

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The PDF of Atlas Games’ prehistoric, dinosaur-approved 5E setting, Planegea, is ready to hurtle to your download folder like a theropod toward an sauropod.  Order it now for immediate download!


Track down foul sorcerers in a corrupt city, clamber through underground ruins and investigate the intrigues of your decadent rivals in Swords of the Serpentine, the GUMSHOE game of swords, sorcery and mystery, now available from Pelgrane Press.

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Delta Green Iconoclasts, a campaign of horrors modern and ancient, brings a team of Agents to a scene of horrors all too real: Mosul in 2016, held by the self-styled Islamic State in a reign of depraved brutality. From a small base at the Kirkuk airfield, the Agents must research the horrors to come and prepare for a harrowing infiltration. Terrors and new supplementary material await, now in PDF, hardback now in preorder.

4 Responses to “Episode 516: Co-Frankensteining”

  1. I think the varying level of detail, crunch and simulation at the table is a subset of the phenomenon of focus.

    Some games will tell you not to worry about the travel between nodes of the adventure. “Yeah, you travel for three days through the wilderness and you arrive at the ruined temple.” But THE ONE RING makes the travel through the wilderness a core part of the game. Presumably, the players (including the GM) like it that way.

    Now, I’m pretty sure that sometimes I want the journey to be a huge part of the story. But sometimes I want to just say, “Yeah, you travel for three days, use up half of your rations and water and arrive at the ruined temple.” So, as Ken said, I want the rules to be there.

    What I get annoyed about with some systems is that they assume that there are places the story should not know and not only don’t provide rules (if only the skeleton of general rules I can adapt) for the things they are not interested in but put barriers against going in that direction.

    None of which explains exactly why hand to hand unarmed combat rules are always so bloody hard to get into my head. I can visualise how bows and arrows work, ditto guns, ditto people hacking at each other with sword and shield and all that stuff. But punching, kicking and grappling rules seem to be written by and for people who don’t think about action the way I do. Dunno, why. Do you Ken and Robin?

  2. Douglas Sundseth says:

    Note that Uintah (pr. You-In-Tah) County includes Dinosaur National Monument, and specifically the Dinosaur Vault. Clearly, this will become the epicenter of the Dinosaur Resurrection (and of course Insurrection … “Insurresurrection”?).

    By itself, a mass raising of dinosaurs in northeastern Utah would probably not be a problem. But since a huge number of those bones were taken away by paleontologists and scattered around the world, when the dinosaurs from which those bones were taken arise, there will be risen saurians in many of the larger cities everywhere. Note that New York and Chicago will probably be worst affected.

  3. JCambias says:

    One could probably combine all this episode’s Huts into a single gloriously gonzo scenario in which Ben Franklin is the secret mastermind behind the City project, built as a sorcerous checkmate to the weird irruptors of Skinwalker Ranch.

  4. […] last episode of Ken & Robin Talk About Stuff had a great little segment on crunch, and what it means especially when it is, in practice, vastly […]

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