Abraham Lincoln

Episode 56: Oh, My Pancreas

September 13th, 2013 | Robin

Having survived his epic three weekends, three conventions journey into the heart of geekdom, Ken returns to issue a Travel Advisory on his final leg, which took him to the newly de-asterisked DragonCon.

In How to Write Good we consider discipline, routine, and various techniques to keep the productivity flowing at the keyboard.

Then Ken and Robin Recycle Audio, with the first of two excerpts from the Gen Con GUMSHOE and investigative roleplaying panel.

Finally we give the weary Consulting Occultist a topic he should be able to do while standing on his head—those diffusely mystical purveyors of alchemical imagery, the Rosicrucians.


Special thanks to this episode’s lead sponsor, Genesis of Legend Publishing, and its Spark RPG.

Also joining us as sponsor this week, writer and musician David Maurice Garrett. Check out his book Tome of Horror and his album Al Azif.

12 Responses to “Episode 56: Oh, My Pancreas”

  1. The GoO book was titled “Cute and Fuzzy Cockfighting Seizure Monsters”, but they also released it as just “Cute and Fuzzy Seizure Monsters”.

    I am ashamed to know this and not, you know, science or something.

  2. John McMullen says:

    I suspect it’s a glitch at my end, but my podcast cut of at 1:11:07, where Robin was mentioning the Charles Portus novel. You might want to check to make sure that the problem is not at your end but is indeed at mine. (I was listening in the popup player.)

  3. Chris Shorb says:

    Apropos of nothing, I noticed in my most recent Story Games Weekly E-zine that Pelgrane was looking for playtesters for TimeWatch, a Pelgrane joint that sounds like the Ken’s Time Machine expansion for Gumshoe.
    Having not yet listened to Episode #56, perhaps you have already mentioned it.

  4. walkerp says:

    Another great episode. I particularly enjoyed the discussion on your writing techniques.

    Follow-up question about the Rosicrucians: is there some connection between them and the Caribbean? I used to live a few blocks away from one of their mysterious offices (cheap vertical blinds always closed in the windows with a few framed flyers along the bottom and a picture of Nefertiti) and whenever there was some kind of gathering, it was always West Indian people. They were older and dressed somewhat formally. I always wondered what went on in there. This was in Manhattan, near Union Square.

  5. Scott says:

    If I may suggest a possible topic for consulting occultist, I just learned more about Victoria Woodhull, spiritualist suffragette, first female presidential candidate and spooky eugenics enthusiast. Tell us more!

  6. Cambias says:

    I’ve got one for the Consulting Occultist: the Sonora Aero Club. Was it a secret cabal of pioneering airship inventors? Or the delusional construct of a deranged artist?

  7. […] also have been listening to Ken and Robin Talk about Stuff and found episode #56 (“Oh, My Pancreas”) and its discussion of keeping up a regular writing schedule to be of particular […]

  8. Greg says:

    I might be on an island, but in “Ken and Robin recycle audio” you mention your assumption that your listeners don’t want to hear a booth pitch on GUMSHOE, but strangely enough, that’s just what I’m looking for.

    I found the podcast due to being a longtime Feng Shui fan. I’m loving the podcast, but still haven’t quite figured out what GUMSHOE is. Perhaps the booth pitch equivalent is back in the archives further back than iTunes displays?

    So, what is GUMSHOE?


    • John McMullen says:

      I am not as practiced as Ken and Robin, but I’ll essay this:

      GUMSHOE is a roleplaying system meant primarily for investigative genres, where even if you fail rolls you have enough basic clues to solve the mystery. It’s meant to address the issues like, “Oh, the guy with +10 in Nature rolled a critical failure and now you’ll never know that the sudden appearance of whippoorwills means there is a Dark God’s avatar nearby.” Versions exist that handle superheroes (Mutant City Blues), space opera (Ashen Stars), spy thrillers with vampires (Night’s Black Agents) and horror in several flavours. (I’m probably missing some.)

      It is not primarily for combat. And the fact that the players have enough information does not mean that they will put it together correctly; they just have it.

  9. Jeromy French says:


    Johannes Valentinus Andreae – Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkruetz
    Edward Bulwer-Lytton – Zanoni
    David Maurice Garrett – Tome of Horror
    Herman Hess – Journey to the East (referred to)
    E.L. James – Fifty Shades of Grey
    H.P. Lovecraft – Haunter in the Dark
    H.P. Lovecraft – Supernatural Horror in Literature
    H.P. Lovecraft – Thing at the Doorstep
    Charles Portis – Masters of Atlantis
    Charles Portis – True Grit
    Robert Anton Wilson – The Illuminatus! Trilogy
    Unknown – Fama Fraternitatis
    Unknown – Confessio Fraternitatis

    Author’s Mentioned</i)
    Francis Bacon
    John D
    David Francis Yates
    H. Spencer Lewis

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