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

Carnagecast 28: Ben T. Matchstick and Library Gaming

In episode 28 of Carnagecast, Ben T. Matchstick, Dungeon Master at large, comes on the show to tell us about founding a tradition of gaming in the local public library, and bringing the tabletop hobby to the next generation. At Montpelier, Vermont’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Ben brought comic books and tabletop games into the mix. In addition to running Dungeons & Dragons for children, he taught them to run it for their peers.

The motivations range from passing on a beloved hobby, to providing social encounters for a generation predisposed to video games, to bringing youth in general and boys in particular back into the library, to encouraging reading. As Ben points out, everything that happens at the table is life lessons: courtesy, cooperation, patience and more. With the advent of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, young gamers have a great opportunity to learn that ultimately any game they run is belongs to them. If they’re having fun, they’re playing right.

Ben closes with a challenge to game masters to bring their gaming hobby to the public library, getting more people, children and their whole families, involved in the hobby. “It’s important that kids can be heroes again and create a game of their own.” Continue reading

Carnage Noir Now Accepting Game Submissions

Listen up, youse mugs. There’s a new racket in town: Carnage Noir. This thing of theirs is a good, old-fashioned game convention. And they want a taste of your GMing action. Board games, miniatures, whatever your specialty is, there’s a place for you at the table.

Head over the GM Sign Up page to get your game’s details in. The deadline for getting entries in the convention book mailer is July 27th — and that’s a lead pipe cinch.

Carnagecast 16: Nik Palmer and Dominant Species

In episode 16 of Carnagecast, Interview with a Gamer features Nik Palmer, longtime GM and former Carnage board member — and since recording, winner of Iron GM 2012 at TotalCon — talking about the multi-table Call of Cthulhu event which he co-ran at Carnage in Wonderland, using props and aids to fire player imagination, awesomeness versus accessibility, self-publishing and more.

Chuck, Robert and Rod cut into Dominant Species for Autopsy of a Game. Rod likens it to a worker placement game that ebbs and flows as species dominance rises and falls. While enjoying the mechanics, Chuck points out that it’s over-long for such a game, often taking three or more hours. Robert dislikes the whole business, given how a random card can undo all one’s thought and effort. Continue reading

Just One of the Horseman: Not Too Late!

Illustration by John Tenniel.

It is not too late for an important date! We are closing in on the deadline for games submission at Carnage in Wonderland. We already have many great games, but we still need some dedicated GMs to make the weekend complete. Behind the jump are some of the great games we still would  love to have run at Carnage in Wonderland. Continue reading

We’re All Mad Here: The Genius Schemers of Carnage

There’s a special gleam in the eye that comes from one of only two sources: a surfeit of mercury vapor in the hat-making process and the feverish dreams of a Carnage role-playing GM. Such visions cannot be contained within a single skull for long, of course. They must be freed to propagate through all the psyches of the gentle, unsuspecting populace.

Get a sneak preview on what’s in the 2011 program book by seeing what the GMs themselves have to say about the games they’re running at Carnage in Wonderland:

Do you have information to share about what you’re running at Carnage? Let us know in the comments section below.

Not Sure What Role-Playing Game to Run at Carnage in Wonderland?

June is that magic time when a Carnage GM’s fancy lightly turns to “What the heck am I going to run this year?”

As always, a GM should runs the thing that inspires them the most. We’ve all been at the table when the GM’s heart just wasn’t into the game of the moment. And that’s no fun at all. So first ask yourself what games have your attention — and probably still will in November.

For those of you looking for more firm inspiration, check out this wish list we’ve put together of games, old and new, we’d like to see at this year’s convention, behind the jump. To be clear, the games our stalwart GMs run year in and year out — your specialties, which are far too numerous to mention even in passing — are always wanted. Those games are your signature events, the ones for which you’re known, and we’re always happy to have them.

That said, if you’re a GM waffling over system or setting, knowing just that you want to run “something,” you might find a nudge in one direction or the other here. If there’s a game you’re hoping to play, mention it in the comments. Maybe someone will be inspired, knowing there’s a kindred soul out there.

Once you know what you want to run, hop on over to the GM sign-up page and put it to good use. Continue reading

GM Submissions Open for Carnage in Wonderland

As we kick things into gear behind the scenes for Carnage 14, we’d like to invite all our hard-working GMs to let loose the ideas that simmered away all winter, just waiting for the right moment.

The right moment, of course, is that the GM sign-up form is back and ready for action. Pour all your glorious, incandescent thoughts and strokes of genius into its samite fields, from where they progress to take form in the crucible of our mighty event database.

If you’re new to the sign-up form, take a look behind the jump for more information about filling it out the maximum happiness of all parties involved. Continue reading

Happy GM’s Day

GM’s Day has become an impromptu holiday in the tabletop gaming hobby. Coming from the command “march forth!”, March 4th is a day to say thanks to the GMs in your life. Whether they manage a sprawling role-playing campaign, craft scenarios for the local miniatures league or take the time to learn the rules to the latest board game so you don’t have to, there’s someone who takes on the role of a GM in your gaming life.

Carnage wouldn’t be Carnage without the GMs who take the time to provide the games conventioneers play. From everyone on the Carnage staff, you have our profound thanks and gratitude.

If you want to show some tangible appreciation to your GM, DriveThruRPG has taken the opportunity to hold a GM’s Day sale.