Abraham Lincoln

Episode 94: The Simpering Bridegroom

June 20th, 2014 | Robin

A fog-shrouded Travel Advisory sees Robin reporting on his trip to historic (and Fortean) St. John’s, Newfoundland.

In Ask Ken and Robin, donor Brendan Power asks about handling spotty game night attendance.

The Horror Hut mulls over that very odd foundation of the Gothic tradition, The Castle of Otranto.

Finally the Consulting Occultist looks at husband and wife demon-busters Ed and Lorraine Warren.

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.

Among the two new sponsors we welcome to the show this week is the Play Generated Map and Document Archive, a scholarly game studies resource searching for game notes, character sheets and maps from gamers like you, and from your ex-gamer friends. Help them secure the history of roleplaying for future generations.


Also joining us is the One SHOT podcast, curing your gaming withdrawal with one-and-done actual play episodes featuring such games as Pathfinder, Feng Shui and, of special interest to devoted Kartasians, Time Watch, the GUMSHOE game of panchronological investigation.


11 Responses to “Episode 94: The Simpering Bridegroom”

  1. Craig says:

    Doesn’t happen often, but if it’s the right sort of game, it is possible to build “on a mission in space” into the character.

    I had one player who was frequently absent for work reasons during a 2+ year superhero game: since he was playing a millennia-old Atlantean sorcerer, we made sure he had Extra-Dimensional Travel and declared that he had a lot of old oaths and obligations which pulled him into other worlds on no warning.

  2. GB Steve says:

    Monstertalk did a good episode about the Warrens.

    • Mike Nolan says:

      Having listened previously to the Monstertalk episode on the Warrens I would be far less able to dismiss them as well-meaning believers the way Ken does. The way the Warrens twisted or concocted accounts of their experiences is borderline hucksterism. Plus listening to the audio clips of Ed Warren himself in the podcast episode he comes across as an unpleasant individual.

  3. Cambias says:

    One of the greatest tragedies of our time is that Edward Gorey never illustrated an edition of Castle of Otranto. His take on the bemused courtiers looking on at the feet of the simpering bridegroom sticking out from under a giant helmet would have been utterly awesome.

    A question for future podcasts, if it please Your Honors: about campaign pacing. How soon do you bring the ultimate Big Bad Guy on-stage? How to integrate change-of-pace adventures with the ongoing metaplot? And how to keep the players from feeling complacent that no matter how much they screw around, the big finale will arrive on schedule?

  4. Andrew M says:

    square k for square k, i would put “town” up with anywhere on earth for eliptonic potential

    also, ken the fact that you dont have alcock and brown’s jump off at your fingertips

    also transatlantic cables and shit

  5. darren t. says:

    Slightly touched on but also good for dealing with missing players works if you have an organization for your players to work for & pull new/backup characters from (i.e. Delta Green, Justice League, Starfleet, the FBI, etc.). So if you have some people out, you can cut away from the main group & give either pregenerated characters or alternate characters to, then follow the backup group as they are going off doing some other side mission which may or may not be related to the main story mission with the primary group.

    Great idea too as when you accidentally lose a player character due to some boss monster, foolishness under fire, insanity, or a floating Zardoz stone head, you can just pull a character from team B to join the primary group & they will be up to speed and already created to quickly get them in the game without having to take a ton of time out to generate a new character.

  6. darren t. says:

    Also cheers on the Friday the 13th tv series (believe it is just someone who knew the title was a catchy one so they slapped it on this series), later it was a bit so-so with the writing but the first season is quite fun for a horror tv series & a great plot for gaming along with the Warehouse13 series as you can just throw in whatever crazy artifact/antique item into the game for the people to travel around the city or around the world looking for them for either a prime storyline or a nice side mission break & a nice way to just have some items escalate things to a new prime storyline when the last one is solved.

  7. Sean Phelan says:

    Spotty player attendance is always a useful topic. As the GM of a long-running campaign, Robin’s thinking resonates that it’s just going to tend to happen too often to get fancy with explanations every time.

    My current thinking is that you either go one of two directions. You can do it Robin’s way – the missing player’s PC mysteriously disappears for a session or three. Conversely, you ignore the Player’s absence – all PCs are present and at risk at all times, whether their player is there or not.

    I prefer the latter because it puts the onus more on the missing player rather than the group. If the PC disappears, the group pays the price with a suddenly weaker-to-much-weaker party (possibly right in the middle of something), depending on which skills/powers are needed that session. But if the PC remains without his player, then at least the party remains constant and the missing player simply takes their chances that something unfortunate won’t befall their PC.

    As Robin alluded to, the biggest negative of it is the disruption it causes players to have to run an extra PC that is not their own. I find they either completely forget about the extra PC or they stop roleplaying their own PC because of juggling them. To fix that, I (GM) run any PCs with missing players, but using the other players’ input of what that PC would do at key junctures.

    There’s obviously no perfect solution, but I think you do have to choose who bears the brunt of a missing player – the missing player or the group.

  8. Drew Clowery says:

    Question for Time Incorporated/Ken’s Time Machine: Assuming for a minute that China must become a communist state in the middle of the 20th century to preserve the stability of the timeline, what can be done to mitigate the terrible loss of life from things like of The Great Leap Forward?

  9. Cambias says:

    My standing explanation for character absence is dysentery. Adds a note of realism.

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