Farewell, Lake Morey; Hello, Killington!

My favorite game convention[1], Carnage, announced it’s moving to the Killington Grand in 2013. I’m excited by the venue change in 2013 because Killington’s a nice joint and there’s plenty of space for the convention to grow.

Leaving Lake Morey is a little bittersweet, though. Being right on such a picturesque lake has been lovely. I’m always comforted slowly rolling through the sleepy town of Fairlee, wondering what restaurant might possibly be open on a Saturday evening.

The Lake Morey resort itself has character that can’t be beat: wing after addition after extension ramble along the lake shore in directions that only start to make sense after a weekend or two of trial and error, trying to figure out how to get down to the ballroom, or where on Earth the third floor went. There’s nothing quite like bursting out of a little stairwell to find yourself suddenly in the role-playing area when you thought you were well on your way to the bar.

So farewell, Lake Morey! I’ll miss watching the mist rise up off your waters in the early morning. I’ll miss the thunderous roar of LARPers passing through the hallway overhead. I’ll miss the camaraderie of the Steamboat Lounge on Thursday night as Tom urgently scribbles out tomorrow morning’s characters and the first of many, many pick-up games hit the tables.

It’s time to move on to Killington. There are traditions to carry over, new rites to shape and lapsed customs to resume. And here’s to the many, many anecdotes that will begin, “One time when Carnage was at Lake Morey . . . “[2]


[1] I liked it so much, I joined the staff.

[2] In fact, I’ve got a great one that is generally fit only for verbal recounting. Ask me at Carnage sometime!

Spring Meltdown is This Saturday

Spring Meltdown 2012 game day banner Spring Meltdown is mere days away. It feels like it’s been forever since our last tabletop game-stravaganza in Barre, but really it’s only been four and a bit months.

What can you expect at a Spring Meltdown? Let’s go down the list:

  1. Friendly people. We game-playing Vermonters are quite lucky to have such a great community of fellow hobbyists. We’re friendly and we’ve all got a great pastime in common to share and talk about.
  2. A heap of games. I guarantee you that right now as you read this post, someone is thinking to themselves, “Which games should I bring to the next Green Mountain Gamers day?” There’s always an embarrassing richness of choice when it comes to games at these things. If you pick something up from the table, someone’s going to be able to tell you about it, and maybe even play it with you.
  3. Twelve hours of gaming. Yes, Spring Meltdown goes from 10:00am to 10:00pm. Some people are there for the whole day for maximum fun. Others come for the part of the day that works for them.

Spring Meltdown 2012 happens April 21st at the grange hall on York Street in Lyndonville, Vermont. From 10:00am to 10:00pm, it’s open tabletop gaming. Dark Tower Gaming will run a pair of Magic: the Gathering tournaments. They and Triple Play will be vending, should someone have a gaming-related shopping need.

Carnage Noir Accepting Game Submissions

I would be remiss in passing on the word that the game convention near and dear to my heart, Carnage, has opened up their event submissions to GMs eager to run games. The game submission form is right there on the Carnage website.

As for my own endeavors, I haven’t quite decided what to run this year. I know I’ll do a Ghostbusters game. And after the test run of my GURPS Cabal mini-setting of Martense College, I’d like to go back there, but with a better idea of what to do and how — less “step and fetch it,” more dizzying possibilities and lunatic history.

We’ll see. Five months is an admittedly long time to think and plan. And I have until the end of July before they get serious about cutting off material to fit in the convention book.

Spring Meltdown 2012

Spring Meltdown, a tabletop game day, comes to Lyndonville, Vermont on April 21st. From 10:00am to 10:00pm at the grange, game enthusiasts gather for some tabletop action. It’s a free-for-all of open gaming, so bring something to share or come eager to try something new among the myriad games other participants make available.

Hosted by Green Mountain Gamers, a group of which I’m a part, Spring Meltdown is one in a series of quarterly game days traveling around the state of Vermont. We’ve had a lot of success with the traveling model, meeting gamers from all over the state who we might not have otherwise met. And now we’re headed back to the Northeast Kingdom!

New England Role Players Association Digs for a Dead God

The New England Role Players Association (NERPA) just posted an actual play recording of Digging for a Dead God, the first act of John Wick’s Curse of the Yellow Sign, using Cthulhu Dark. Future acts are to come. I’ve got the first one playing right now.

I got to talk to James of NERPA very briefly at Carnage this year. I may have heard more of his voice in his recording of Brad Younie’s On the Brink of Invasion for The Unexplained than in actual conversation. We’ll have to rectify that.

Vermont Flood Relief Game Auction

Despite the downgrade to tropical storm, Irene hit Vermont hard. Whole roads and bridges disappeared in the flooding. Three days later, there are still towns not only without power, but even reliable access to the outside world — reportedly supplies are being flown in via helicopter, so I don’t think anyone’s starving. Check out this report from Rochester, Vermont on the situation there; it’s typical of the conditions with which flood victims deal all over the southern end of the state.

Matt Golec of the Upper Valley hit on the idea of holding a game auction to supplement the usual fundraising efforts. This way we can engage people who want to support the recovery effort in Vermont from outside the surrounding area.

Matt has a geeklist set up on Boardgamegeek. He’s asking only people invited to list items do so. Bidders can be from anywhere in the world. Members listing items will collect the fees and donate them to the Vermont/New Hampshire Valley Red Cross agency to aid immediate short term relief efforts. I plan to go through my game library for auction candidates when I get home tonight.

If you’d like to read more about flood recovery efforts in Vermont, I recommend the following sources:

Further, if you have a moment, please help spread the word about initiatives to aid flood recovery like Matt Golec’s. Every little bit helps and that it’s a locally-born endeavor makes it even more powerful.

[Green Mountain Game Days] Fall-loha 2011


After kicking up a flurry of bytes by making the rounds to get the word out about Fall-loha, I find I completely forgot to post about it here.

Fall-loha 2011 marks the return of the Green Mountain Game Days to the Burlington area since we launched into this endeavor of hosting quarterly game days all around the state of Vermont. It promises to be as much fun as all the others. Saturday, August 27th — we’re getting a jump on fall, so it won’t see us coming — the fun is at the United Church of Underhill, right in Underhill itself.

Over the last year, we’ve learned a few things about how to do these game days: people don’t seem to care what kind of soda is on hand, as long as it’s there; board game tournaments aren’t very popular; some folks like to take advantage of the block of time to play out the long games: Battlestar Galactica and so on.

Personally, I shall be attempting a playtest of my GURPS Cabal adventure for Carnage. That gives me a set amount of time in which to do my prep work, including character creation.

Should be a good time, no matter what. I hope to see some Burlington folks there who don’t normally get out to these game days.

Hailing from the Fashionable Upper Cambrian

Just in case you needed a strata of rock of a particular antediluvian vintage from which a hibernating monstrosity may spring or creature may be reconstituted, here’s a list of known fossil sites around Vermont and the geological eras in the history of Earth to which they belong.

[via Geek Mountain State]

Carnage in Wonderland Wrapping Up Submissions

Carnage in Wonderland‘s staff draw close to wrapping up game submissions in preparation for mailing the convention book all across New England.

Everywhere, GMs feverishly bring together scattered ideas for adventures to compose that pitch-perfect description, launching the plot hook right into the brain of the potential player, firing their imagination with promises of derring-do or dark dealings such that they have no recourse but to list it as their number one choice on their registration form.

I find myself in a similar boat. I have a general outline for my two role-playing adventures, but I don’t yet have the fine detail in place. I’ll bash out some snappy ad copy to catch the reading public’s attention, then work from there to make the reality meet the promise as much as possible.

Right now, all I want to say is that one will continue the saga of Ghostbusters International’s Boston much put-upon staff, who again find themselves sent forth to the Green Mountain State, and my second ever foray into the world of the Cabal — this time with a complete refit of the magic system, no less! I will probably toss in a board game for good measure, likely Frag as I do enjoy it and find it easy to teach.

Waterbury Board Games

For those of you in the Waterbury area looking for some European board game action, look no further than the aptly named Waterbury Board Games meetup group. They convene Wednesday evenings, so you can think of it as a pleasant mid-week destressor.