August 11, 2017

August 10, 2017

Finding Me at Gen Con 2017

Every year it’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again already and that goes double for the 50th anniversary edition of Gen Con. Why, it feels like I was working on the 40th anniversary Gen Con history only yesterday…

If you’re at the show, please swing by and say hi. During exhibit hall hours, when I’m not at a panel or in a meeting, I’ll be signing and chatting at the Pelgrane Press booth, #1317.

I will be pontificating at the following panels:

Thursday 4 pm: One GM, One Player Masterclass (Crowne Plaza Pennsylvania Station B)

Friday 1 pm: Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Live (Crowne Plaza Pennsylvania Station B)

Friday 4 pm: Dramatic Interaction Masterclass (Crowne Plaza Pennsylvania Station B)

Saturday 2 pm: Swords, Spies and Shoggoths: The Pelgrane Press Panel (Crowne Plaza Pennsylvania Station B)

Saturday 4 pm: Investigative Roleplaying Masterclass (Crowne Plaza Pennsylvania Station B)

If you prefer to hear me encouraging other people to talk, I will be moderating but not pontificating at these panels:

Thursday 1 pm: Gaming Saves the World (Crowne Plaza Pennsylvania Station B)

Saturday noon: In the Shadow of the Castle (part of the 50th Anniversary Gen Con Retrospective) In the 80's D&D ruled Gen Con from its big castle in the exhibit hall. Hear stories from the other side of the moat, from Steve Jackson, Mike Pondsmith, Greg Stafford, John Nephew, and Jordan Weisman. (Convention Center Room 105)

August 04, 2017

July 28, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: A Different, Less Pear-Like Shape

In the latest episode of their prophetic, fluffy-tailed podcast, Ken and Robin talk rival investigators, mapping Lovecraft's cities, tricks to move your GMing from trad to story, and the white doe of Sertorius.

July 21, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Where, As Opposed to What and AAAHH!

In the latest episode of their peripatetic podcast, Ken and Robin talk Tour de Lovecraft: the Destinations, laconic GMing, narrative sharing and the Chicago Phantom.

July 07, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: You Take What Toes You Can Get

In the latest episode of our well-cured podcast, Ken and I talk horror chases, the Evangelist murders, daunting drinks and Lady Liberty's lost sister.

June 30, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Bill Somewhat American Johnston

In the latest episode of their patriotic weekend celebrating podcast, Ken and Robin talk consequence design, leaker opsec, CanCon gaming and haunted Ebay.

June 16, 2017

June 09, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Floaty McBeercan

In the latest episode of their humped, long-necked podcast, Ken and Robin talk slain clue sources, reference books, memory training, and lake monsters.

June 02, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: You Have to Sit in the Jar

In the latest episode of our intoxicating podcast, Ken and I Talk omniscient GMCs, cocktail quest, French intelligence, and Harry Chandler’s LA ley lines.

May 30, 2017

Ken and Robin Have New Shirts For You

Just in time* for displaying enigmatic erudition on boardwalks and beaches, the first of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff themed T-shirt designs have now arrived at our TeePublic merchandise storefront.

Wear them in a variety of styles, or emblazon these words to live by on mugs, phone covers, laptop covers or stickers.

Go straight to your design of choice:

Metaphor Drift! Metaphor Drift!

You Need Canapes to Have a Secret Society

We’ll be rolling out more wearable in-jokes in the weeks and months ahead…


*Weather observation void in southern hemisphere.

May 26, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: I Do Not Wish to Be a Moth Hat

In the latest episode of their pure gold podcast, Ken and Robin talk Ken's Vampire gig, the Story Beats app, loose lips at the White House, and alchemy at the Kulturforum.

May 19, 2017

May 12, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: New Hampshire’s Second Most Famous Notch

In the latest episode of our high-profile podcast, Ken and I talk premise rejection, war movie evolution, Keisha Howard and the Old Man of the Mountain.

May 05, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Bush Bachelor

In the latest episode of our vibrant, street-level podcast, Ken and I talk Night's Black Agents convention GMing, Tom Thomson, the geek spots of Chicago and Toronto, and Jane Jacobs versus Robert Moses.

April 28, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Mom. He's Touching My Answer

In the latest episode of our yurt-dotted podcast, Ken and I talk tech McGuffins, Baron von Ungern-Sternberg, transformational to icon, and Roger Babson.

April 21, 2017

April 14, 2017

April 07, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Not on the Front Page of the Literature

In the latest episode of their serpentine podcast, Ken and Robin talk player plans, the Black Dahlia, CCTV vs weirdness, and Moorish sovereign citizens vs Yig.

March 31, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: He-Man's Woman Hating Civilization

In a flu-ravaged episode of our 100% malediction-free podcast, Ken and I talk dude PCs in Amazon land, Bulgarian occult, cursed places and 30s LA cults.

March 24, 2017

March 10, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Cat Hamlet Half-Elf Robot

In the latest episode of our melodic yet searching podcast, Ken and I talk riffed townie conspirators, theosophical composers, NPC party members and Wilhelm Reich.

March 03, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Please Compensate For Our Brutal Incompetence

In the latest episode of our swirly, psychedelic podcast, Ken and I talk Ditko landscapes, Nikolai Vavilov, climactic scenes and the occult secrets of the Denver airport.

February 24, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Not the Helsinki Mojitos

In the latest episode of our surprised, humbled, agent-thanking podcast, Ken and I talk easy-to-play NPCs, Ken in Cuba and our top ten movies of 2016.

February 17, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Your Perspective on Trees and Badgers

In the latest episode of their legitmately imperious podcast, Ken and Robin talk connecting with other players, CIA files, political thrillers and Emperor Norton.

February 10, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: I Assume Someone Has Blood-Typed All the Monkeys

In the latest episode of our always sagacious podcast, Ken and I talk player idiot plotting, Trumped Republicans, 30s L.A. gangland and the blood of Atlantis.

February 03, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Other Buopoths Do

In the latest episode of their supercalifragilisticexpialidocious podcast, Ken and Robin talk Mythos Disney, Robert Fortune, spy movies 101 and the Ripley Scrolls.

January 27, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Yig is More of a Moundsville Ohio Guy

In the latest episode of our chert-monopolizing podcast, Ken and I talk Dreamhounds One-2-One, tradecraft in the news, how Robin runs games and Cahokia.

January 25, 2017

The Archer and the Beaver: A 15th Century Mugging

As you can tell just from looking at it, the above image from an early 15th century bestiary shows a beaver being held up by a hunter.

As the beaver well knows, the hunter wants only one part of him—his testicles. They contain castoreum, a precious oil.

Seeking to spare his life, the understandably miffed beaver has bitten off his testicles and flung them toward the hunter. These can be seen in the illustration, flying through the air between hunter and beaver, just below the former’s threatening arrowhead.

We can’t tell from the hunter’s grim expression whether he intends to keep his part of the bargain, or is concerned about his victim’s +9 (2d6+6) bite attack. If his veins pulse with the credo of the murder hobo, he may still fire that arrow, giving new meaning to the term “killing them and taking their stuff.”

Which is to say that in an F20 world, where dragons fly the skies and intelligent mushrooms may jump you when you go spelunking, it is important to depict the natural world in accord with all the latest natural history.

Latest as of, say, 1400.

This serious article is in no way to blame for the above.

January 20, 2017

January 06, 2017

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: There's No Blood in a JPEG

Ken and I emerge from our time machine into the pre-apocalyptic wasteland of 2017 to talk Cthulhu mythos secrets in the information age, opting out of uncomfortable gaming content, Luke Crane, and Eliphas Levi.