Carnagecast 55: The Legend of Curly’s Errata

carnagecast-rss-image-300Our run-up to A Fistful of Carnage, Vermont’s tabletop game convention the first weekend in November on the slopes of Killington Peak, continues with a new episode of Carnagecast. We talk about the newly unveiled schedule of games, our first trips to Carnage and agree that, on reflection, taurine is not a meal.

The preparation for Carnage and professional commitments keeps me busy these days. After the convention, my plan is for the podcast will return to an every other Monday schedule. We’re on the final leg of 2014, but like winter, Carnage is always coming. It’s important to pace oneself through the winter and spring months in keeping the Carnage flame alive.

Carnagecast 54: Shuffle Up and Deal

carnagecast-rss-image-300Amid all the hubbub of the Carnage book posting on Monday, I didn’t get the chance to relay some other doings. Carnagecast posted a new episode as well: Shuffle Up and Deal. Ray and I talk about card games, mostly.

Ray’s a Magic man for a long time running. I got out at Homelands, because it was just that terrible, by all accounts. He informs me on the Elder Dragon / Commander format, and I carefully pick the moments where I ask him to expand on something.

I get to talk about as openly about Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game as I’ve ever gotten to without feeling the burning pity of someone who likes something else better.

And you know, after we recorded this episode, I did teach Ray Call of Cthulhu, and sent him on his way with Romance of the Nine Empires. I got to see the truly glory of the explorer Roald Ellsworth, bouncing in and out of play with Ultima Thule. Ray found that one. It was pretty cool to see in action.

Carnagecast 53: A Fistful of Carnage

carnagecast-rss-image-300A new episode of Carnagecast posted last night. Carnage staffer Ray joined me to talk about the upcoming A Fistful of Carnage game convention in Killington, Vermont next month, November 7th through the 9th.

We talked a bit about what’s on the schedule — keeping it spoiler-free, of course — and some things to keep in mind when planning a trip to Killington. It gets cool up there on the mountain in November!

The convention book should be mailing out and appearing online imminently, so I took this episode as an opportunity to get back into the swing of recording, as well as recognize the culmination of a great deal of background work is about to pay off for all the attendees who have been looking forward to another great weekend of playing games at Carnage.

And seriously, I will be hanging out at the Snowshed information desk most of the weekend. Come say hi!

GenCon Panels on Role Playing Public Radio

Role Playing Public Radio boasts an embarrassment of riches from GenCon this year. In addition to their own wrap-up episode, where you can see the very impressive banner that called listeners to the meetup, they captured Diversity in Gaming from the staff of Paizo and the Campaign Doctors. I’m looking forward to hearing Luke Crane vehemently disagree with almost everything Caleb says.

And because that’s not enough, host of RPPR Ross Payton produces Unspeakable!, where you will find two GenCon panels on Delta Green. I particularly dug “Lovecraft Meets Tradecraft,” which was half Q&A and half reminiscing among the Delta Green luminaries Glancy, Stolze, Detwiller, Ivey and Hite.

Board Games on The Dork Forest

Dozens of "dorky" characters in green tones crowd together in The Dork Forest logo.Jackie Kashian‘s podcast The Dork Forest is one of my absolute favorite shows. In addition to being a great comedian, Jackie bridges the worlds of entertainment and nerdery. I love hearing comedians and other entertainers take a step away from being “on” and talk about what interests them. It’s almost kind of spooky when the topic turns to tabletop games. “Famous people like to play games, too?!” my incredulous brain exclaims.

Recently, The Dork Forest had a short run of board game topics. Ed Baraf was on to talk about game design and his now-funded Kickstarter for Lift Off. And the week after, Peter Adkison and Jake Theis were on to talk about GenCon, tabletop games and more.

Jackie’s a great host, and always an energetic guide into new, unexplored passions. Check out The Dork Forest!

Held Action Theatre 2: World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl Part 2

In episode 2 of Held Action Theatre, we present the second and altogether stranger half of the World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl. The most fateful, enraging words ever uttered in the history of fictional narratives intended to entertain pop up right where you expect them, so keep an ear out.

Also, Toby started tweeting @dungeonbastard during the game, and naturally, he had some pointers for the rest of the group:

Subscribe to Held Action Theatre in your favorite podcatcher with the podcast feed: Look for the show in iTunes. Listen directly on the web at

“O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, performed by the MIT Concert Choir and made available by under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States:

Held Action Theatre Launches

Held Action Theatre graphic.Today, Held Action becomes a true media complex with the launch of Held Action Theatre, a podcast about role-playing games produced by yours truly. Because not everything game-related that I might want to record really fits Carnagecast‘s raison d’etre, this seemed like a good avenue for actual play recordings, and whatever else I might want to cover outside Carnagecast. Subscribe in your favorite podcatcher to as we kick off with the Dungeon Bastard’s World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl!

Launching a new podcast is also an opportunity for me to experiment in a couple ways that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing with someone else’s property, as Carnagecast is. I wanted to try an alternate method of publishing a podcast. Since Held Action is hosted on, much of what could be accomplished a free plugin installed on an independent WordPress instance is a premium service here, like uploading audio and video. Third parties like LibSyn offer the same service. An alternative to that is hosting the audio files on, a repository of — mostly? — open media.

FeedBurner provides podcast enclosure data that iTunes wants to see. My next task, now the first episode of Held Action Theatre has published and there’s something in the feed for iTunes to see, is to submit the FeedBurner URL to iTunes and see what happens. I’m a little concerned, as there’s a lot of speculation about FeedBurner going away, as it’s a Google service without ongoing support, but that speculation dates back years and FeedBurner appears to continue to function properly. In that respect, Held Action Theatre is a real-time experiment: will FeedBurner keep working? Can I get it listed in iTunes properly? What will a podcast episode look like in the main blog feed?

The second way this is an experiment is I am again taking up the “Fuck it, let’s do it” philosophy, as in An Invocation to Beginnings. I want to do more and create more. I can make whatever pathways I need to do that. So why not start with this? I’m also taking a page from Role Playing Public Radio‘s voluminous actual play library as well: roll the recorder, give a brief intro and otherwise let the players and GM shine — although that guideline didn’t stop me from doing intros and outros; it just kept me from over-producing them.

For the technically-minded, most of the play sessions will be recorded on a Zoom H4n, as 16 bit, 48 kHz WAV files. Currently, they will be edited in good old Audacity, though I am considering exploring Adobe Audition, because the number of times Audacity crashed while processing the audio for World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl was excessive by even my low, Final Cut Pro-loving standards. I’ve stuck with Audacity to date because I want my project files accessible regardless of what OS I’m working in, or whether it’s got pro software installed. I ought to look into whether XML exports are an option here, as in video editing suites.

Held Action Theatre 1: World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl Part 1

In episode 1 of Held Action Theatre, we kick off the show with the first part of the Dungeon Bastard’s World’s Worst Dungeon Crawl. It’s everything the title promises and more, as doughty Dungeon Master Dan leads the six of us into the depths of the death pits of the minotaur mage.

Hunter, Joey and Toby from Carrion Crown — two of whom you may have heard on Carnagecast — join forces with Jake, Clayton and yours truly to plumb the depths of railroad plotlines and undefeatable foes. Listen below!

Subscribe to Held Action Theatre in your favorite podcatcher with the podcast feed: Look for the show in iTunes. Listen directly on the web at

“O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, performed by the MIT Concert Choir and made available by under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States:

Carnagecast 52: Penny Press

carnagecast-rss-image-300At last week’s Game ‘n Grill game day, I got to interview[1] Robert Dijkman Dulkes and Matt Golec, two local gamers who not only designed a game of their own, Penny Press, but entered it in a design competition and emerged as co-victors. Now they’re raising funds to make the game even better than what their prize money enables.

We talk about how the game plays, their design process, the experience of participating Tabletop Deathmatch, which is part concept pitch, part reality series, and more.

Go listen to it!

[1] Fun fact: we recorded this episode in a Sunday school art room.

Carnagecast 40: Gygax Magazine and Gary Con

carnagecast-rss-image-300There’s a new episode of Carnagecast up over on the Carnage site.

This week, James Carpio of Chapter 13 Press and more recently games editor of Gygax magazine joins us to talk about putting together a role-playing periodical in the modern age. Plus he’s just back from Gary Con and rather jazzed by all that he got to see and do there.