Abraham Lincoln

Episode 83: Chekov’s Squid Throwing

April 4th, 2014 | Robin

Is that a displacer beast in your pocket, or are you just glad to listen to us? Convene in the Gaming Hut as we discuss monster abilities and to what extent they enter into player awareness.

The Tradecraft Hut furtively considers stolen passports. Don’t let your characters leave theirs as collateral for motorcycles in Phuket, Thailand!

In Ask Ken and Robin, Jim Crocker prompts us to evaluate the works of William S. Burroughs as a source of gaming horror and weirdness.

The Eliptony Hut goes nautical to explore the fate of the Mary Celeste, whose mystery might have been a tad embellished by one Arthur Conan Doyle.

It’s yo ho ho and a pocketful of doubloons as Atlas Games surveys the seven seas from the crow’s nest that is our coveted anchor sponsor slot. Parrot on its shoulder, it orders up another special deal for Ken and Robin listeners, this time in the form of their innovative game of piratical nautical warfare, Pieces of Eight.

After ten years delighting the Swedish gaming scene, our pals at Fenix Magazine now bring the Best of Fenix to English-language GMs and players with their now-active Indiegogo campaign. This project so resounds with Hitean goodness that you have surely chipped in already. But if you haven’t, that burning bird of prey is still passing the hat.

16 Responses to “Episode 83: Chekov’s Squid Throwing”

  1. Till says:

    Entering the UK actually changed in the past couple years. It used to be nice and easy even for non-EU citizens, but now they make you fill out a card just like the US does. They won’t let you in if you can’t give the address where you’re staying.

    • Robin says:

      I’m used to landing cards; Canada has also had them since forever. The EU immigration officer who quizzes you will always be way mellower than his US counterpart.

  2. John W says:

    Your mention of Michael Moorcock puts me in mind of a question to Ask Ken and Robin:

    Which of Moorcock’s stories/worlds would you most like to play through, and how would you run them as role-playing games?

    Moorcock’s writings are quite boundary-pushing, and don’t always fit easily into RPG structures. In recent years, I put together and ran a campaign based on his Elric series. I took Elric out of the picture and started the PCs in Melneboné, some as Melniboneans and one as a human trader. It was a terrific game full of demon-summoning and strange lands, but the culture of the Dragon Isle presented an unexpected challenge. The players really took the Melnibonéans’ amorality to heart. PCs without a moral compass stride through social quandaries with bloody blades and demonic henchmen and say “what next?”

    The Hawkwind and Oswald Bastable trilogies would make great games. Jherry Cornelius would be a more challenging translation I think. I wonder if the “Eternal Champion” concept itself could form a basis for an interesting game.


    • Jeromy French says:

      Moorcock wrote a couple of Blue Oyster Cult songs. I keep meaning to use them for adventure ideas, maybe you reminding me of this, will actually cause me to do so.

  3. GB Steve says:

    I applaud the anglicisms that are bollocksing up this dodgy podcast.

  4. Michael Cule says:

    William Burroughs looks like perfect casting for Angleton in THE LAUNDRY FILES.

  5. Perra Dox Esq says:

    I applaud the raw alcohol.

  6. hüth says:

    While we’re talking about Burroughs…

  7. Hello Ken & Robin.

    I may be a fervent and loyal listener, but this is my very first question, and I’d like to address it to the Consulting Occultist.

    I’m currently writing a Night’s Black Agent’s scenario for a convention using Uzbekistan’s “presidential family” as a focus (why did I subconsciously wrote “royal family” instead?…).

    So, out of curiosity, I’m kind of wondering what your take would be on Gulnara Karimova’s claims that her mother and her sister used black magic to ruin her career(s) as a singer, fashion model, entrepreneur and politician, and how would you implement all this Eastern European presidential family business in a conspiracy theory that could be usable in any GUMSHOE RPGs?

    Thanks ahead of time for reading this question.


  8. John Stewart says:

    In the lead up to and after watching Captain America: Winter Soldier, I’ve been unreasonably excited about Marvel Cinematic Universe stuff, so I want to Ask Ken and Robin: What do you think of the MCU stuff these days? While you were spot on about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. starting out pretty bad, the show has been steadily improving, and now it’s actually pretty good. They fixed much of what was wrong with the show, and now it kind of acts as a bridge for the movies.

  9. LJS says:

    One solution to the monster with mysterious powers is the traditional Star Trek redshirt, who’s job is to die, showing the PCs (and audience) how the monster works.

  10. Jeromy French says:

    I missed a couple of William S. Burroughs titles, but I’ll blame the fact that I was actually at work when I listened to this podcast.


    Burroughs, William S. (1961-1967) – The Nova Trilogy
    Burroughs, William S (1981-1987) – The Red Night Trilogy
    Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan (1884) – J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement
    Farmer, Phillip Jose (1972) – Time’s Last Gift
    Farmer, Phillip Jose (1973) – The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
    Morgan, Ted (1988/2012) – Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs
    Verne, Jules (1873) – Around the World in Eighty Days

  11. Tim Emrick says:

    My wife has played in a LARP titled (IIRC) “The Final Voyage of the Mary Celeste,” which has become part of the “bank” of games that get rerun for new players in the New England LARP community (and elsewhere).

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