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!

New Starfinder Scenario and Friday Afternoon Seats

With the convention less than a month out, the schedule is pretty well set, but there are some additions we wanted you to know about.

Astral Source: Infiltrating the Liminal Zone

Per Eisenman has taken Paizo’s new Starfinder rule set and used it to power his own creation, Astral Source. In 2121, Earth’s solar system is a very different place: “The Corporatocracy provides a benevolent oligarchy in the inner system, while the outer system is a frontier where the Resistance takes root.”

Check out the full write-up and get your ticket on Tabletop.Events.


More Friday Afternoon Seats

The Friday afternoon slot at Carnage keeps growing in popularity every year, to the point that soon after registration, there were only a handful of seats available in role-playing games outside the organized play categories. Thanks to the graciousness of our GMs, these role-playing scenarios have seats available for the Friday afternoon crowd:

  • Summer Break and Killer Birds — Robots, magnitrine drives, gauss freighters — this is the 80’s as it should have been.
  • The Big City Caper! — Mix one mad scientist, two criminal masterminds, three sports championships, four powerful and mysterious artifacts, five families, and the 1924 Democrat National Convention, and you’ve got a recipe for adventure!
  • Village in the Mists — The designer himself of the old school-inspired Thunder Classic Roleplaying dares you to solve the mystery of the abandoned village Kembi!

If you’re not already, be sure to follow Carnage on Facebook and Twitter.

Carnage No-Ship Math Trade: The 20th Anniversary Edition

Carnage’s traditional no-ship math trade is now live on BoardGameGeek, guest-helmed by Carnage’s own board game field marshal, Rod Sheldon, while Matt Golec takes the year off to be a gadabout.

A math trade is a way of swapping games you no longer want, aided by a computer program which constructs a web of trades based on what individuals are offering and willing to accept in return. Once the offer period ends, you can compose your want list, things you’d like to get and what you’d exchange for them. The computer crunches possibilities and works out an optimal series of trades. The “no-ship” part means the trades are done in person, specifically during the afternoon of November 5th at Carnage XX. Drop off any games you are swapping away and pick up what you’re receiving in return. It’s that easy!

The offer period closes October 23rd at 9:00pm, so you have until then to decide whether to participate. Head on over to the BoardGameGeek list check out what folks are offering. You can also read the instructions on how to participate. They’re meant to lead you through step by step, and you can also ask questions in the comments section if something’s unclear.

Adventurers League Registration Update for Carnage XX

When registration opened last Monday, attendees may have noticed that none of the Dungeons & Dragons games listed within the Adventurers League Organized Play category were available for sign-up. Adventurers League offerings at Carnage have been coordinated by Mark Merida with the Role Initiative, as in the last few years. To help explain the delay in the opening of registration for Adventurers League games and the plan going forward, Mark prepared the following (you can download the original PDF here):

Dear Carnage Community,

You may have noticed that registration for Adventurers League has been delayed past the start of Carnage’s pre-registration. This was caused by a miscommunication on our end, and we regret the impact that this has had on Carnage registrants, Adventurers League players, and our Kickstarter patrons. We understand that this has, despite our best intentions, caused an inconvenience to the Carnage community, and for that we apologize.

In an effort to open communication, we would like to announce that sign-ups for Adventurers League will open on October 2nd. All attendees will be able to access our registration section in Tabletop Events, and select the games of their choice. While we understand that this later date is an inconvenience, we hope that this clarification demonstrates our earnest desire to do right by the community of gamers who make this all possible.

We’re also excited to announce that as a good faith gesture to the community, we have collaborated with convention staff to offer a seat at each of our Tier 2 Author Only tables, available as prizes through a Carnage-orchestrated raffle that will take place after October 2nd. These are special events that provide limited access to exclusive modules that can only be run by their authors, the Adventurers League Admins.

We look forward to seeing you at Carnage!

Mark Merida, Convention Organizer
The Role Initiative

Carnage’s first concern is ensuring as smooth and pleasant a convention experience as possible for all attendees, from registration to the convention weekend itself. We truly regret any inconvenience or confusion this has caused attendees planning to participate in the Adventurers League games at the convention this year.

Looking forward, general registration will open on October 2nd as planned, with tickets made available through the Tabletop.Events registration system. For those interested in the “Author Only” tickets to be raffled off, you can stay up to date on how to participate here on the Carnage website, or on the convention’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. We will share how the raffle will operate in the coming days.

Thank you to everyone for your patience and good grace in working through this. We look forward to seeing you all at Killington for the convention!

Carnage XX Opens for Registration!

Text: "Register Now for Carnage. Registration closes 10.24.17."
Click to visit the online registration system and get your Carnage XX badge today.

Registration for Carnage XX has officially opened! This year, we are using a third party website, Tabletop.Events, to facilitate attendee registration before and during the convention this year. Visit our site there, Carnage XX 2017, to browse the schedule of games for the weekend. This system has the ability to filter the schedule by game type, rules used, time of day and search for keywords, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for fast.

How It Works

We have a short walkthrough written up if you’d like more detail about how to use the new online registration system.

Once you create an account with Tabletop.Events, you can purchase badges for yourself, friends and family members with a credit card and sign up for seats in games for all the badges you’ve purchased, plus preorder Carnage souvenir shirts. When you arrive at the convention, you can pick up your packet with your badge and tickets from the convention registration desk at noon on Friday and go enjoy the weekend!

This registration system works in real time, meaning the seats you see listed as open are available at that moment. If a game is full, you can get on the game’s wait list, which means you will be notified when a seat becomes available. Carnage staff will be keeping an eye on which games fill up to see where we might be able to add games to the schedule, so don’t be shy about using the wait list button.

After you’ve completed buying your badge, you can continue to manage your registration, adding and removing games from your schedule, until the end October 24th. At that point, registration will close until the convention begins so we can process badges and packets. After that, all financial transactions are final and game reservations can’t be adjusted until the convention begins.

Important Dates to Remember

Registration reopens noon on Friday, November 3rd, at which point preregistered attendees can pick up their packets. The online registration system then reopen so people can purchase walk-up badges and make their ticket reservations on their personal devices. If you need help or don’t have a web-ready device, the convention registration desk staff can give assistance.

If you’re looking for the traditional convention book and paper registration form, we still have it for you in electronic format as soon as we are able. Below you can download the paper registration form, and will be able to download the convention book when we are able to post it. Please note that if you choose to register by mail, your game choices will be entered as and when able by convention staff, and seats may no longer be available in your chosen games.

Carnage XX Wants You to Run Games

This November, Carnage celebrates twenty years of playing tabletop games in Vermont with a bang, but we can’t do it without your help! A tabletop game convention is only as good as the variety and quality of games that are on offer. At Carnage, all the games are run by volunteer GMs, people who step up to teach or moderate a game as a service to those who want to play. We can’t do it without all our GMs, and we’re grateful for each and every one of you!

To submit a game proposal, visit our GM Sign Up form and fill in the details of the game you’d like to run. After Carnage reviews your proposal, the appropriate field marshal will be in touch to discuss it further. Submissions must be received by July 31st, 2017 in order to be included in the Carnage convention book, which is the primary catalog of what’s scheduled to play at the convention. Once the convention book is assembled and the online registration system populated, sometime around late September, we’ll announce that pre-registration is open and invite conventioneers to sign up.

Traditionally, there is a theme set for Carnage each year. For those who want it, the theme gives some guidance to the role-playing or miniatures scenarios they write or the board games they select. In celebration of twenty years of Carnage, the theme for 2017 is officially “whatever.” Choose whatever theme you like for your games this year from Carnages past, from the Z-grade alien invaders of Carnage 9 from Outer Space to the simpler halcyon days of lounging by the lake at Camp Carnage. “Whatever” is entirely what you choose to make it, so get creative, and get those proposals in by July 31st!

The Name is Trade — Math Trade: a Carnage Royale No-ship Math Trade

The annual Carnage annual no-ship math trade, in which game swaps are arranged in advance and made at the convention in Killington, is now open on BoardGameGeek, thanks to host Matt Golec. Putting games on offer runs until October 23rd. Traders have until October 30th to compose their want lists, with results posted shortly thereafter.

If you’ve never participated in a math trade before, the premise is that participants list the games they want to trade away on the geeklist Matt has created, linked above. Then everyone who’s listed games to trade makes a want list of what games they would accept in return for those they’re offering up. Once the want list period closes, Matt uses the On-Line Want List Generator to automatically calculate a maximal number of trades based on who’s willing to take what for what. During the convention weekend in Killington, trade participants find each other and make the hand-offs, which is what makes it a “no-ship” math trade.

Sound interesting? Matt’s got some great notes in his geeklist to help newcomers get into the mix. Go check it out!

Carnage Royale Opens for Registration

Note: This post links to the 2016 convention book and is made available for informational purposes only. If you’re looking for the current year’s convention book, check the sidebar, or the top of the News page, to see if it has been released yet.

Cover of the Carnage Royale convention book. The grim reaper is sighted down the barrel of a gun, holding a pistol in its hand.Carnage is very pleased to announce the opening of registration for Carnage Royale!

As in past years, you can download the convention book as a PDF — linked below, with the schedule grid — peruse the games listed and mail in the form on the last page to preregister for the convention. However, now you can also use our new online registration system to preregister for the convention paperlessly, and use Paypal for payment. Note that clicking the link above will redirect you to a second website, www.carnageconregistration.com, which is a Carnage-owned and operated web site, hosted separately for quality of service purposes. As with a paper registration form, online registration lets attendees indicate their first, second and third choices for games to play in a schedule slot. Those preferences are fulfilled on an as-available basis.

Carnage Royale, Vermont’s own tabletop game convention, runs from November 4-6, 2016, at the Killington Grand Resort in Killington, Vermont. For more information about booking a room for the weekend, visit our Lodging page. Walk-in registrants are always welcome, but we encourage attendees to preregister for the weekend to reserve seats in scheduled games on a first-come, first-served basis. And do check the web addendum for late arriving games that didn’t make it into the convention book.

  • Carnage Royale Convention Book — 2016 [PDF, 1.7MB]
  • Carnage Royale Schedule Grid [PDF, 77kB]

Carnage Royale Fall Update

Corner of a file folder, stamped "Top Secret." Photo by Acid the meme machine. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Topsecretsidebar.jpgCarnage Royale is a little over a month away, and the Carnage staff has been focused on getting all the games in from our trusty GMs and the convention book put together. We’ve also been working on developing some new options in the preregistration process to make it easier for our attendees. Once the process of implementing those new options is complete, we plan to open preregistration for the convention, and will announce it here and in the usual social media channels. That should happen Real Soon Now, but we are very aware the ways projects can encounter unexpected hurdles along the way, and are being conscientious in setting expectations.

In the meantime, we thank you all for your patience as Carnage works to make this as smooth and seamless a preregistration process as possible. Keep an eye on our website here, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the news as it’s relayed in those places and remember: like winter, Carnage is coming.

Your Role-Playing Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

Mid-combat on a battle grid with figures and dice.
Photo by Moroboshi. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dungeons_and_Dragons_game.jpg

No other type of tabletop game hosted at Carnage takes advantage of the year’s theme like role-playing games do. As a genre of game that draws heavily on tropes and genre conventions from books, film, television — from Dungeons & DragonsAppendix N up to the contemporary capsule pitch of “It’s like Pokémon meets Veronica Mars!”

We’ll always have our stalwarts like Dungeons & DragonsCall of Cthulhu and Pathfinder in their traditional modes and we love hosting them, but we also love it when you, our endlessly inventive GMs, come up with just the right spin to bring the year’s theme into their adventures.  Below are just some examples of spy-themed role-playing games from over the years, sometimes bringing a secret agent bent to an established world, sometimes adapting a property or creating a brand new one.

If you’re not yet sure of what you want to run this year at Carnage Royale, this list may help inspire you, or provide some direction. They are, of course, merely suggestions and fond wishes of what we’d like to see on the schedule. Ultimately, run the games you’re passionate about, because that passion helps make a good time for everyone at the table.

And a bonus inspiration source: the International Spy Museum!