Carnage Hosts Open Play at the Champlain Games Festival 2018

Saturday, April 14th, Carnage will be at the very first Champlain Games Festival, held at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction, Vermont. The festival is a one day event featuring locally made digital and analog games, as well as other game-related groups. You can meet local designers and studios exhibiting their independent game projects and try their games.

Carnage is pleased to serve as a community partner to the festival, hosting the open play area. The Carnage game library will be on offer for attendees to enjoy during the event and Carnage staff members will be on hand to help get games going. Not only can you meet local designers and try their games, you can sit down and meet other local players over a game of something!

We hope you’ll join us in supporting games designed locally and played locally. The Champlain Games Festival is Saturday, April 14th, 2018, in Essex Junction, Vermont. Get your ticket now at the early bird rate through the festival website.

Carnage 21 Readies for Launch

With 2018 underway, the Carnage committee has begun the preliminary work for this year’s convention. This November 2nd through 4th, join us at the Killington Grand Resort for Carnage 21. This year’s theme is space exploration and science fiction, so pack your blaster, check your EVA suit’s seals and prepare for blast-off.

Preflight Checklist

November will be here sooner than you think. Here’s a quick rundown of some milestones on the way:

  • April/May: the GM submission process opens. Field marshals will contact past GMs, and new GMs are welcome to propose games as well.
  • July 31st: GM submission period ends.
  • Early September: the convention schedule posts and preregistration opens
  • October 25th: preregistration closes
  • November 2nd: Carnage begins. Fun is had.

Keep Up with Carnage News

In addition to following Carnage on Facebook and Twitter, you can now get convention news delivered straight to your email inbox, including where you can meet up with Carnage folks at other events around New England. Sign up for our very occasional mailing list and never miss a trick again.

Carnage XX Blog Roundup

If you couldn’t make it to Carnage this year, or there was just too much going on for you to see everything, some of our friends who came kindly wrote about their experiences at the convention this year. Check it out:

Thank You for 20 Years of Carnage

Even Steam Park can be timey-wimey, with the right player at the table.
The certified comedians of Improvised Weapons make Dungeons & Dragons even funnier.
Mike and Doug snuck into the cheap seats at Fenway Park.
Robin Lea gets into her role running “Timelash Redux.”

This year at Carnage XX, we:

  • raised over $2300 for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals with Team NEG and Extra Life
  • raised over $1100 to find a cure for cancer with Gamers for a Cure
  • proposed — and accepted! — marriage during Cards Against Humanity
  • told ghost stories by the fireside with Oscar Rios and Golden Goblin Press
  • caught a ball game at Fenway Park with Green Monster Invades the Green Mountains
  • streamed Dungeons & Dragons games for laughs and good causes with Improvised Weapons, Gemhammer and Sons and Victory Condition Gaming
  • passed Sneaky Carnage cards around all weekend
  • played a ton more games

Thank you, everyone, who helped make Carnage possible this year, last year and every year prior since Carnage at the Crossroads kicked the whole thing off in 1998. A convention like Carnage exists entirely because of you, the gamer, the one who wants to spend a whole weekend meeting new friends, trying new games and enjoying the daylights out of the tabletop hobby.

From the very beginning, Carnage has been a labor of love. The committee members love playing games, learning new games, teaching the games they love to other people. But you can’t make a whole convention out of that without so many more people also believing in that same vision of sharing their love for the hobby. Without GMs to teach the games and players to play them, there would be no Carnage.

Moreover, without the friendships that spring up among conventioneers — there’s nothing quite like standing in line to pick up your badge and catching up with friends you haven’t seen since last year, or the annual Saturday night dinner out before rushing back — there’s no way Carnage could have lasted 20 years. Carnage is here because you are here. Carnage is fun because you make it fun. You make the friendships and the memories that keep you and all your friends coming back. Every year, we are humbled that you all choose Carnage to be the place to renew those friendships, make new ones and celebrate our hobby.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for helping make Carnage the best little game convention in New England for the last 20 years. We could not have done it without you.

Carnage 21 is November 2-4, 2018 in Killington, Vermont. We’ll see you on the mountain!

Gamers for a Cure at Carnage

Gamers for a Cure will be at Carnage again this year.  Robert Holden and his wife Jamie will have a table in the vendors room, Northstar, to raise money for the American Cancer Society. They will be selling tickets for a games raffle. The full list of games will be available at their table and at the main registration desk at the convention.  There is also a full list at their Facebook Page. If people would like to donate directly to their Making Strides team page, they can do so here. So be sure to stop by the table and check out the prizes and help Gamers find a Cure!

You can read more about the Holdens’ story of fighting cancer in this article in the Burlington Free Press.

Saturday Morning Kids Game Event at Carnage XX

People have asked, “Is the Kids Games Event being run this year? I do not see it on the registration site.”

Have no fear, Carnage is once again offering a kids-only event Saturday morning (8am-12pm) in the Oscar Wilde Ballroom. The event will be run by Justin Berman, Kevin Day and Kris Lubinsky for the fifth year. This year they will also be getting help from Oliver Dienz. There is no need to sign up for the kids games. It is a free drop-in event for younger kids. They do not have to have a badge to participate in the event, but if kids with youth badges want to play they are welcome to join.

The only thing we ask is that a parent or responsible adult be present with the younger kids without badges. The guys will have plenty of great kid-friendly games ready to go. So bring the kids down to the Oscar Wilde Ballroom Saturday morning for some great games and fun. It is as good as Saturday morning cartoons, only without the Captain Crunch!

 

What to Do When You Arrive at Carnage XX

If you’re not quite sure how to check in for Carnage at Killington this coming Friday, this is the post for you. We break the process down into a couple easy steps: get your badge, find your game, have fun!

Get Your Badge

As you arrive at Killington for Carnage, your first stop after parking is the Killington Grand Hotel, noted in the lower right corner of the adjacent satellite image — link to Google maps. All Carnage-goers need to visit the convention registration desk in the hotel lobby to pick up their badges. Your badge is your proof of admission to the convention and all scheduled events.

Note: the convention information desk will open at 12pm on Friday. Prior to that, convention staff will be working to set up the desk and organize packets for attendees. Please do not crowd the desk before staff are ready to help attendees.

Preregistered Attendees and GMs

If you preregistered for Carnage, or are running games on the schedule, your badge and ticket packet will be waiting for you at the convention registration desk. Once the registration desk opens at 12pm, convention staff will help you find your badge, packet of games you’ve signed up for and any convention merch you may have purchased in advance. If you like, you can buy your merch right and there as well. Once you have your packet in hand, head on over to the Snowshed, where all of Friday afternoon’s games are scheduled to begin at 1pm.

Walk-Up Attendees

If you haven’t purchased a badge yet, your first stop is also the convention registration desk in the hotel lobby. If you have an internet-enabled device and a credit card, we recommend making use of it to purchase your badge and sign up for games on Tabletop.Events while waiting in line. If you prefer to pay with cash or check, you’ll need to wait in line until convention staff can create your badge, and then you can sign up for games. Again, having a device with internet access will help speed this process along.

Go Find Your Game

Once you have your badge and game sign-ups in hand, it’s time to find your first game of the weekend!

Friday afternoon of the convention, all the games are located in the Snowshed, the white building to the Killington Grand. See the above image for an overview of the resort’s layout. From the Grand, you can cross the bridge to get to the Snowshed in the lower left corner of the image, or walk around the edge of the pond and pass through the Snowshed’s parking lot.

Pro-tip: some people prefer to drive over to the Snowshed for Friday, since it is typically much easier to find a space there while the other conference that uses spaces in the Grand winds down.

At the Snowshed, almost all the games are on the main level, in either the Snowshed Ballroom, Snowshed Cafeteria and Snowshed Bakery, with some located in Group Sales on the lowest level of the building. The Venue page on Tabletop.Events includes diagrams of each room used in the convention schedule.

If you need help finding a game, there is a convention information desk located on the bridge between the two halves of the Snowshed, which connects the Ballroom and Cafeteria. Convention staff and volunteers there can help you find the room or table you’re looking for.

Play!

This is usually the easy part.

The Rest of the Weekend

After 5pm on Friday, the Snowshed becomes the domain of the role-playing contingent of Carnage. Board games, miniatures, card games make their way back across the pond to filter through the ground floor of the Grand to their various designated rooms. The convention desks in the lobby of the Grand and the Snowshed are open from about 7:30am to 9pm-ish to check in attendees, answer questions, provide directions, etc. Once it opens on Friday at noon, the registration system on Tabletop.Events is available 24/7 for attendees to adjust their schedules, watch for new additions and so on.

Special Offerings at Carnage XX

As the countdown to Carnage XX marches on, we wanted to highlight some special offerings at the convention this year. Falling outside the usual categories like board games or miniatures, these are the special kinds of events you often find only at conventions.

Extra Life Fundraising

Team NEG returns to Carnage to lead the charge in raising donations for Extra Life, the charity that benefits Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Highlights include the Dungeon Crawl Classics meatgrinder adventure “Prince Charming, Reanimator,” the Star Wars cantina LARP “Episode 3.25: Incident at Kaba,” and a raffle of many, many donated prizes. You can hear it all straight from the folks behind Team NEG through their Q&A on Victory Condition Gaming.

Improvised Weapons Comedy Dungeons & Dragons Shows

The Burlington-based actual play podcast Improvised Weapons, featuring improv comedians playing Dungeons & Dragons, makes their Carnage, convention and live performance debut with two shows on Friday evening of the convention, November 3rd at 7 and 9pm. Horses may be punched. Sample some episodes of the podcast itself, then check out the cast’s recent appearance on Victory Condition Gaming, where they talked about role-playing, comedy and who would win a mayonnaise-drinking contest.

Ghost Stories with Golden Goblin Press

Oscar Rios, owner of Golden Goblin Press and Call of Cthulhu writer extraordinaire, hosts late night ghost stories by the fireside at 11:30pm on Friday. Tell your own story for a chance to win one of Golden Goblin Press’ horror fiction collections, or just come to listen if you dare.

Sip and Felt

Saturday evening, Scratch Makerspace teaches you a new craft while you make some fun and geeky needle felted creatures. Learn to make needle felted models of your favorite characters, or an adorable critter. Materials fee applies. See the event listing for details.

Gemhammer & Sons Dungeons & Dragons Live Game

Gemhammer & Sons‘ on-going live game, traveling from convention to convention, arrives at Carnage on Saturday night. Catch up on previous episodes and then settle in for the show as the party tries to get something, anything, accomplished.

Gamers for a Cure

Gamers for a Cure will be raising money for cancer research with a raffle in the Northstar vendors’ room, and the Dungeons & Dragons tournament “The Gauntlet!”

Cube of Death Pub Trivia

Now in its 7th year at Carnage as a late Saturday night tradition, Cube of Death is pub trivia with a role-playing twist. Assemble your elite squad of minutiae-masters, discover whether your team will play as the sneaky thief, the doughty warrior or other character class, then answer questions plumbing the depths of nerd trivia to do damage to your competitors and knock them out of the game!

Check out the special events category on Carnage’s Tabletop.Events page for all these and more!

Local Designers Offer Demos and Playtests at Carnage XX

This year at Carnage XX, the convention is pleased to present a selection of regional game designers showing off games both in design and ready for prime time. Some will be available for perusal in the vendor room — Northstar Room, on the ground floor of the Killington Grand — and others are on the formal schedule in the Oscar Wilde Ballroom, just down the hall from the Northstar Room.

Epic Endeavor Games (Northstar Room)

Pocket Kung Fu (Demo / For Sale)
The Original Kung Fu Fighting Microgame, 2-6 player
Turn your table top into an arena full of Kung Fu masters with Pocket Kung Fu! (Everyday) objects like books, glasses, or cellphones transform into active game elements as fighters leap, flip, and battle their way to victory. This portable game can be played anywhere, in between other games, while ordering food, or even while waiting in line.

Vigilante (Demo)
1-4 player, semi-cooperative, campaign
In Vigilante, you create a character of your own design by building a deck of abilities, weapons, allies and locations. You and your fellow players work together to defeat the Criminal’s forces and schemes before the “Grand Scheme” timer runs out. Be sure to manage the Public’s opinion so as not to fall out of favor with those you seek to protect — or game over!

The Excavators (Demo)
1-4 player
Dig into the adventure as you and your team uncover lost treasures in search of the ultimate prize. Compete with up to 3 other players as you attempt to match artifact pieces, scoring points and ultimately grab the ancient artifact of lore. This unique spin on Rummy combined with pulp adventure will get your heart racing!

2 Ton Porcupines (Northstar Room)

Kapow! (Demo)
Our first project is Kapow!, a comic hero vs. villain dice-battle showdown. Use a mix of static power dice and customizable “Action Dice” (with removable faces) to perform superhero moves and unique special powers. The Kickstarter launches in late October 2017!

 

First Stall Productions (Oscar Wilde Ballroom)

History 101: The POTUS Punch-Out (Demo)
What if all the former U.S. Presidents walked into a bar? In this unique new board flipping game you will be leading a team of former presidents and competing to see what former President will still be standing when the dust settles.

See the convention schedule for scheduled demo times and sign up for one.

Society of Ultimate Evil and Terror the Card Game – S.U.E.T (Demo)
Play an Evil Genius competing to gain entry into the Society of Ultimate Evil and Terror. To do so you must be the first to complete a doomsday device and blackmail the world.

See the convention schedule for schedule demo times and sign up for one.

Endeavfour Studios (Oscar Wilde Ballroom)

Apoc.EXE (Playtest)
You and up to 3 of your closest thrill seeking friends could try to survive the end of the world. Whether you survive or not, please remember one thing: don’t touch the zombie T-Rex –or was it don’t let it touch you?!

See the convention schedule for scheduled demo times and sign up for one.

 

 

Resonym (Oscar Wilde Ballroom)

Visitor in Blackwood Grove (Demo)
Fresh from its successful Kickstarter campaign, a mysterious Visitor has crash-landed in Blackwood Grove. Race to figure out the secret rule and save the alien in this induction game by local designers! This is a quick game, demos will continue thru out the slot.

See the convention schedule for scheduled demo times and sign up for one.

Limited Edition Carnage XX Playmat Available for Preorder

Carnage is pleased to announce that as part of the 20th anniversary celebration, a limited edition playmat is now available for preorder. Measuring 24″ x 14″, this mat features the many incarnations of the Grim Reaper and the horsemen of the apocalypse that have graced Carnage memorabilia over the years. Never before have all the faces of the Reaper been seen together in one place, and once this mat has sold out, you may never see them all together again! A playmat like this helps you flop cardboard with a speed and efficiency unlike anything seen on a regular hard table surface. (Note that the above image is a close-to-final draft, and the final version will likely vary slightly.)

This playmat is a limited edition item. Preorders will be accepted through Tabletop.Events’ merch page until the end of October 24th, due to lead time for production and shipping. After that, your only hope to score one of these commemorative mats by placing first in one of the events below:

Six of these commemorative playmats will be won by players this year at Carnage XX. You can trust to your skills to see you through one of these tournaments, or you can ensure you’ll own a piece of Carnage history by ordering one before the end of October 24th. Either way, after Carnage XX, this limited edition playmat will never be available again!

All Carnage art was created by Richard Emery. This playmat was designed by Hannah McMillen, and produced by Inked Gaming.