Carnagecast 40: Gygax Magazine and Gary Con

Carnagecast logo.In episode 40 of Carnagecast, James Carpio, games editor of Gygax magazine, joins us to talk about the launch of the periodical, the process of assembling a magazine’s worth of content and finding the balance in the old and new schools of role-playing. He also shares some of his trip this past March to Gary Con, an annual gaming convention held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in memory of Gary Gygax, one of the progenitors of role-playing games.

Through all of James’ endeavors — designing games, publishing content, running games at conventions, putting on conventions and more — there runs the common thread of the positive influence games can have on people’s lives as a social outlet. Continue reading

Carnagecast 26: Tales from the Fallen Empire

In episode 26 of Carnagecast, James Carpio of Chapter 13 Press returns to tell us about his latest endeavor, Tales from the Fallen Empire, a sword and sorcery campaign setting for Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics role-playing game.

James tells about the world of Leviathan, formed from the carcass of a primordial dragon, and the people who scratch out a living after the fall of the Sorcerer Kings of old. It’s a world that samples from the buffet of history and fiction, where the elephant golem of Shesh carries a market on its back around the land of Kesh and the Draki people seek a way back to their home dimension. As a sandbox setting, James wanted Tales from the Fallen Empire to recapture the freeform nature of old school gaming, where the players’ choices kept the GM on his toes.

The conversation turns to the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG as well, and how it differs from its root sources, such as the character funnel leading up to a first level character, the hazardous, unpredictable nature of magic and the other alterations made to the core classes. Additionally, Tales from the Fallen Empire introduces its own variants, such as the sorcerer, drawing inspiration from the original pulp fantasy tales of Howard and Lieber, the pirate and the witch.

Since recording this interview, Tales from the Fallen Empire is now on Kickstarter! From now until the drive ends on July 18, 2012, backers can pledge money to fund the project and receive special rewards, which include the book itself, but extend to elements within the world of Leviathan. Continue reading

Carnagecast 10: TotalCon and The Resistance

In episode 10 of Carnagecast, Interview with a Gamer talks TotalCon with Angelia Heroux, the event’s media director. The Massachusetts convention includes movies, discussion panels and tournaments in addition to the traditional role-playing and board game fare.

Then, in Autopsy of a Game, Rod, Chuck and Sarah talk about The Resistance, a social game in which players are either resistance members trying to succeed at missions or undercover spies working to thwart the resistance’s efforts. Rod thinks The Resistance is good for non- and casual gamers with its high strong social interactions, but still meaty enough for hardcore, strategy-oriented gamers to get into.

But then, Rod is always a Cylon. Continue reading

Carnagecast 6: James Carpio of Chapter 13 Press and Sekigahara

In episode 6 of Carnagecast, Interview with the Gamer catches up with James Carpio. When not running role-playing games, James also designs and publishes them, with such diverse titles as Death Race Z and Spookybeans.

Sekigahara comes under the knife in Autopsy of a Game. This episode’s subject is a war game covering the campaign that gave rise to the Tokugawa shogunate in 16th century Japan. Chuck rates it “delightful” while Sarah would agree to play it. Continue reading