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 31: Carrion Crown: The Haunting of Harrowstone

In episode 31 of Carnagecast, Dan, Hunter, Toby and Tyler talk about their experiences playing the Pathfinder role-playing module The Haunting of Harrowstone, first part of the overarching Carrion Crown adventure path. Filled with horror tropes, from the Gothic to the Hammeresque, Carrion Crown kicks off a tour of the Pathfinder campaign world’s Transylvania analogue, Ustalav, with the charred remains of a prison teeming with ghosts and supernatural phenomena.

Prospective players beware, this is spoil-all episode as Hunter pulls back the GM curtain to give a peek at how he chose to use and modify the written adventure. Dan, Toby and Tyler share their perspectives as players in the campaign, as well as some insight into their characters. Continue reading

Carnagecast 23: Betrayal at House on the Hill Actual Play, Part 2

In episode 23 of Carnagecast, the Dan, a Dan, Hunter, Jake, Toby and Tyler wrap up their game of Betrayal at House on the Hill. Missy realizes deep in her gut that Madame Zostra has betrayed them all — and then stumbles upon a revolver and dynamite with which to resolve the problem. As the heroes race to exorcise the house of malign powers, Professor Longfellow finds himself scrambling for his life as basement rooms fall away into the inferno one by one. Continue reading

Carnagecast 21: Betrayal at House on the Hill Actual Play, Part 1

In episode 21 of Carnagecast, the players assemble to take on the new edition of Betrayal at House on the Hill, published by Wizards of the Coast’s Avalon Hill imprint, as discussed in episode 14‘s Autopsy of a Game. Toby recommends not blinking in the statuary corridor. The Dan realizes he’s really playing Short Round. Then he does something pretty spectacular.

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

Carnagecast 14: Robin Lea of Peryton Publishing and Betrayal at House on the Hill

In episode 14 of Carnagecast, we go back to Peryton Publishing, this time to speak with the dark empress Robin Lea. She talks a bit about the games she ran at Carnage in Wonderland and her upcoming projects, both role-playing and fiction. Autopsy of a Game turns the incisive minds of Dan and Tyler upon Betrayal at House on the Hill, a horror game with a cult following. Continue reading

Carnagecast 11: Arkham Horror Actual Play, Part 5

In episode 11 of Carnagecast, we reach the conclusion of the Arkham Horror actual play series. It’s been a long, hard road for our investigators, struggling against alien horrors, the schemes of elder gods and pure chance itself. Who wins and who dies? Find out!

Ursula uses the word “caper.” Kate Winthrop finds herself in a strange high house in the mist. Patrice Hathaway busts out a little “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” to boost Agent Banks’ morale.


Carnagecast 9: Arkham Horror Actual Play, Part 4

In episode 9 of Carnagecast, the travails of Dan, Hunter, Jessica and Tyler against the machinations of Nyarlathotep continue in the fourth part of the Arkham Horror actual play series. Mark Harrigan, like Chuck Norris, kills everything given sufficient clue tokens. Mayoral candidate Kane throws his weight around at the Arkham Advertiser‘s janitor.

Watch the Carnagecast feed for the final installment in this actual play series in two weeks’ time.


Carnagecast 8: Triple Play and Arkham Horror

In episode 8 of Carnagecast, Interview with the Gamer hits the road, visiting Triple Play in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. Co-owner Sean Wolfe gives a little bit of history on the business and reveals why he got into running a game and comic shop. Then Tony Vandenberg talks about running tournaments and organizing store events for the local gaming community.

During Autopsy of a Game, Dan discusses why he likes about Arkham Horror, the board game based on the horror and weird tales of H. P. Lovecraft, its many expansions and the game’s faithfulness or lack thereof to Lovecraft’s original stories. Then we talk a bit about the blending of tabletop gaming tropes with the Lovecraft mythos. Continue reading

Carnagecast 7: Arkham Horror Actual Play, Part 3

In episode 7 of Carnagecast, return to the monster-choked streets of Arkham with Dan, Hunter, Jessica and Tyler for part 3 in the on-going actual play recording of Arkham Horror. Ms. Winthrop is savaged by a cthonian. Charlie Kane admits to a painkiller addiction enabled by Herbert West. Violinist Patrice Hathaway distracts the terrified townsfolk from the eldritch horrors besieging them. Librarian Daisy is the top 1% of clue holders.

Watch the Carnagecast feed for further installments in this actual play series.