Carnagecast 59: One-Shots and Campaigns Colon Showdown of Destiny

Carnagecast logo. The grim reaper leaps in the air, strumming a power chord on his scythe-guitar.In episode 59 of Carnagecast, it’s that slow time between Christmas and New Year’s when we are all sluggish with egg nog. Ray and Tyler discuss two of the most common modes of role-playing games: the long form campaign and the short form one-shot. Each mode has its relative strengths and weaknesses, so we discuss them for anyone who’s yet to try one or the other. Turns out that the two complement each other pretty well, and it’s not so surprising they’re possibly the two most common and well-known of role-playing modes.

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Subscribe to Carnagecast on iTunes! Like Carnage on Facebook. Follow Carnage on Twitter: @Carnagecon. Go behind the jump for the show links. Continue reading

Carnagecast 44: Running Role-Playing Games at Conventions

Carnagecast logo.In episode 44 of Carnagecast, Joe makes his return appearance to the show to talk about the finer points of running role-playing games within the parameters of a tabletop gaming convention. The constraints and advantages of fitting a role-playing adventure within the schedule of a gaming convention create a unique landscape for a GM and players to play out an adventure.

After 13 years, Joe’s clearly enjoying his time as a convention GM. We wrap up talking about what’s rewarding about the convention game format. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll one day earn enough money to buy a bucket of chicken. What aspirations do you hold as a GM? Leave your comments behind the jump, and peruse the show notes while you’re there. Continue reading

Carnagecast 43: Role-Playing with Gaylord

Carnagecast logo.In episode 43 of Carnagecast, Gaylord joins us to talk role-playing games. His personal history with the form goes back to watching his stepson play with college friends in the dining room, including a notable encounter with the lich Adolf Hitler. From there, he went on to Vampire: The Masquerade, Call of Cthulhu and more.

Gaylord specializes in convention games, so we talk about the different needs of the four hour format versus home games. How does one handle the various kinds of players one gets at the table, particularly those who play their characters “sensibly” and those who are there for the glory of adventures followed to their gory conclusions? This leads to discussing the different levels of abilities and needs that a GM may encounter in a convention setting. Gaylord has related stories ranging from Call of Poohthulhu to Terra Incognita.

And, perhaps most importantly, we ponder whether spending a Willpower point in a Storyteller game is cheating. What do you think? Leave a comment behind the jump and check out the show notes for Tom’s Firefly pole dance. Continue reading

Carnagecast 38: Unity Games XIX

In episode thirty-eight of Carnagecast, Sarah brings tidings from Unity Games, a one day board game extravaganza held annually in Massachusetts. Highlights of the day include teaching Power Grid: The First Sparks, learning Hansa Teutonica and Stone Age, plus the chance to meet up with Carnage friends outside the Carnage convention itself.

We also talk a bit about teaching games, Sarah’s particular techniques for doing so, and finding the balance between achieving fluency in games one already likes versus trying every new title that comes out of Essen. Continue reading

Carnagecast 32: Nik Palmer and Iron GM 2012

In episode 32 of Carnagecast, Dr. Nik joins us, fresh from his travels to GenCon 2012. Nik tells us about Iron GM, an event which turns gamemastering into a competitive sport, and his experiences competing on the regional level — having become an Iron Contender at TotalCon — and the national at GenCon. Iron GM pushes Nik to stretch outside his usual GM style to develop his skills at “play[ing] without plan,” following the will of the players and facilitating epic action, as the competition demands that one “go big or go home.”

Find out what GMing muscles Iron GM stretches, what Nik stocks in his GMing toolbox and his most consulted tables in the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide. Continue reading