Abraham Lincoln

Episode 59: Thwarted by Trees

October 4th, 2013 | Robin

Gather your Hegelian war band around the speakers to listen to our opening Gaming Hut segment, in which we look at ways to transform groups of murder hoboes into ensemble procedural casts.

We open a historical case file in the Tradecraft Hut, looking at the role spy novelist William Le Queux, abetted by the Daily Mail, played in whipping up espionage fever in the nineteen-oughts.

Among My Many Hats prompts Robin to share his preparatory thinking on the new edition of Feng Shui he’ll be working on, in partnership with Atlas Games and Atomic Overmind.

Finally we dust off Ken’s Time Machine and send him off to extend by at least a generation the golden age that was Periclean Athens.

Take a moment to appreciate the support of episode sponsor and Eliptonic essayist Matthew Rossi. Check out his Kindle-ready books Things That Never Were, Bottled Demon, and At last, Atlantis at Amazon!

18 Responses to “Episode 59: Thwarted by Trees”

  1. Jess Nevins says:

    Oh, LeQueux….

  2. Scott says:

    A question/assignment for a future ken’s time machine:

    should Ken and Robin’s cross-border rivalry turn dark how would a rogue Ken use his time machine to see that war of 1812 ends in a definitive victory for the United States?

  3. Tony says:

    Just a small note – Brett Evill’s surname is pronounced ‘ev-ill’ with a short ‘e’, not ‘evil’ with a long ‘e’.

    • Brett Evill says:

      It is! “Spelled like ‘evil’ with an extra ‘l’, but pronounced like ‘devil’ without the ‘d’.” I sometimes think of changing the spelling to “Evvul”, or better yet, “Williams”.

      But I’m so pleased with Ken’s hatchet job on those unlettered louts of Spartans that it would be churlish to complain.

      — Brett

  4. John W says:

    I was hoing to post a list of my favourite KARTAS huts, but it included basically all of them except Travel advisory, Cinema Hut and arguments about restaurants.

    Far be it for me to complain about a free podcast, and certainly you worthies are entertaining on any subject; I just wanted to provide a data point on your listeners’ preferences. All of the other segments are more useful, fascinating or inspiring to gamers (or at least, to gamers like me).

    Thanks for a great podcast.

  5. John W says:

    Asking Ken and Robin:

    You have explored the limits of GUMSHOE with several game releases. Does GUMSHOE always suit your intended style of play, or do you sometimes cone up with game ideas that would be served by a different system? Exhibit A: DramaSystem/Hillfolk. Are there other, yet unpublished instances? Is either of you working on a new game system right now?

  6. John W says:

    Asking Ken and Robin some more:

    There are many game systems which are spoken of with reverence by experienced gamers and game designers: breakthrough works that changed the way we played, and affected the evolution of other games. But do these icons still hold up? Or have they been surpassed in playability and fun by their spiritual descendants? Are they still great, or just historically important? My real question is this: are these games worth hunting down and playing, or can one stick to the greats of the present golden age of role-playing without missing anything?
    Games of yore that I often hear cited but have never played include Traveller, Champions, Ars Magica, the World Of Darkness games, Unknown Armies, Shadowrun, GURPS and, dare I say it, Call of Cthulhu.

  7. Simon says:

    Perhaps relevant to Ken’s interests….

    What lovcraftian entity would have it in for Carlisle?

  8. Christoph says:

    For Feng Shui, perhaps you could have a kickstarter reward to make up a in world hero.

  9. Randall Porter says:

    I have always thought of the Spartans as hillbillys with swords but my family is from Lecher County KY and even we aren’t that backward.

    Looking forward to Feng Shui, I am sorry I didn’t didn’t know about it or Robin when if came out, but I will make up for it now.

  10. Joe Tyne says:

    As an agent of Time Inc, does Ken have a nemesis? Possibly an opposite number in a temporal cold-war? Communist Chronomancers? Nazi Rune Wizards? Time Shifting extra terrestrial physicians?
    If so, what great chrono-conflict are we not yet privy to?

  11. Jeromy French says:


    Aeschylus – The Persians among others.
    Tom Clancy – the Jack Ryan books.
    Ian Fleming – the Bond books.
    Robert E. Howard – The Conan books
    John Keegan – Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda.
    William Le Queux – The Intriguers
    William Le Queux – The Invasion of 1910
    William Le Queux – Landru: His Secret Love Affairs
    William Le Queux – The Minister of Evil : The Secret History of Rasputin’s Betrayal of Russia
    William Le Queux – Rasputinism in London. Revelations of the secret Cult of Beauty and Happiness established by the Monk Grichtaka
    William Le Queux – Spies of the Kaiser
    William Le Queux – Strange Tales of a Nihilist
    William Le Queux – Things I Know About Kings, Celebrities, and Crooks
    Fritz Leiber – Swords and Deviltry starts the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series chronologically.
    H.P. Lovecraft – The Color Out of Space
    E. Phillips Oppenheim – though nothing mentioned, The Great Impersonation is one of his more note worthy novels.
    Matthew Rossi – At Last, Atlantis
    Matthew Rossi – Bottled Demon
    Matthew Rossi – Things That Never Were
    Dennis Wheatley – The Gregory Sallust books.
    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – Hegel: The Essential Writings.
    Robin Wood – Howard Hawks

    Bringing Up Baby by Howard Hawks
    Moonraker by Lewis Gilbert (feat. Richard Kiel)
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Robert Wise which I’m assuming falls under Robin’s description of “good ones.” Assuming it covers at least the first 4 and hopefully skips the 5th.

    TV Shows
    Dr. Who
    Star Trek

    • Brett Evill says:

      We used to say that the even-numbered Star Trek movies and odd-numbered Beethoven symphonies were the good ones. But that’s a bit harsh on the “Pastoral“.

      — Brett Evvul

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