May 132017
 

Our friends at MAGE Company are, once again, entering the Kickstarter arena with the next chapter of the 12 Realms saga;

12 Realms: Dungeonland!

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A big box, miniature laden, dungeon crawler with several modes of play, this is sure to be a favorite on game night.  As with previous titles in the 12 Realms line, familiar faces from fairy tales and lore are in the cast of playable characters (as well as some of the baddies).  I’ll have a more in-depth breakdown of mechanics and gameplay in the coming days, as there is a Print and Play trial version of the game available here.  (Spoilers! it’s a lot of fun!)

Also, once it’s live, you can find the kickstarter here.

That said, I asked the fine folks at Mage Company if they’d like to write an article about the game and how it’s different from previous iterations in the 12 Realms line.

So strap on your little riding hood and grab your axe because over the hills and through the wood, to Dungeonland, we go!

Exploring Dungeonland

Exploring 12 Realms: Dungeonland

12 Realms: Dungeonland is a standalone game set in the 12 Realms Universe. It is a cooperative dungeoncrawler, where each player takes the role of a Hero from fairytales and explores dungeons and magical locations. They battle against evil monsters and epic bosses controlled by AI, and evlolve through the way. So no need for anyone to be the bad guy. In Dungeonland everybody is a Hero. But what makes 12 Realms: Dungeonland different from the other 12 Realms games and what are its key features?

1) Not an expansion. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is a standalone game. This means you do not need to have any of the other 12 Realms games. This is not an expansion. You can just grab a box, gather with friends and start your epic battles!

2) Cooperative, but not as 12 Realms base game. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is a cooperative game too, but it offers a completely different experience from 12 Realms base game. The only thing these two games have in common is the theme. They are both set up in a fantasy fairy tale world, so Heroes, items and monsters will be inspired from this theme. However the gameplay is totally different and the two cannot be compared.

3) The Campaign Mode. The main way to play 12 Realms: Dungeonland is through the campaign mode. The Heroes explore their way through multiple scenarios. All of the scenarios all linked to each other and the decisions you make will affect the plot of the scenario. This means that your decisions affect the story, so be careful what you choose and what you do!

Exploring Dungeonland Ambush

4) The Arena. The game also includes an Arena board, where up to 8 players can involve in battle. The Arena offers 2 different game modes: The Duel: Players create 2 teams of 2, 3 or 4, depending on their number and battle each other. Which will be the team to be the last one standing? Waves of Enemies: This is a tower defense type mode, which will be used as a bonus stage between the different scenarios. In this mode, the Heroes battle against waves of enemies. The more waves they manage to defeat, the more rewards the get to continue their campaign.

5) The Master Quest. This is one of the unique features of 12 Realms: Dungeonland. You want to get the feeling of a complete campaign, but you do not have the time to play all the scenarios? 12 Realms: Dungeonland will feature the Master Quest, a single scenario that will give you the feeling of a complete campaign. This means that you will get the chance to experience the Hero development, the different choices that lead to different story endings and the Boss battle, all in a single session. No need to arrange several meetings with friends, experience everything in a single go.

6) Character Development. Each Hero has their unique starting gear and ability. During the campaign you can evolve your Hero by finding new items, weapons, spells, potions etc. At the same time, you can unlock new skills from the various skill categories that are offered through the game, to suit your playstyle. This means that even if you play the same Hero twice, they can be a totally new character and offer a different experience.

7) Exploration. The exploration mechanism is one of the key features of the game and offers great replayability. Through this clever mechanism, the dungeons and monsters are randomly generated each time, which means that two playthroughs will never be exactly the same. Furthermore, this mechanism is designed in a way to make you further immerse in the exploration of the magical dungeons, thus enhancing the game experience.

Exploring Dungeonland Wind

8) Gameplay. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is designed in such a way that it is streamlined and easy to learn and play making it suitable for families, without taking away the depth and strategic options that gamers would like to experience in a dungeoncrawler.

9) The perk of having the previous 12 Realms. As we said, you do not need to have the other 12 Realms games to play Dungeonland. However if you own any of the previous games, a conversion kit will be offered through the Kickstarter campaign, that converts all Heroes and their starting gear and abilities from the existing 12 Realms titles, making them suitable for Dungeonland. This means that you can take your favorite Hero and their miniature and use it in the game.

Mar 092017
 

RPG Review – 7th Sea Second Edition

7th Sea Second Edition cover

 

At A Glance -

For those of you who don’t know, 7th Sea 2nd Edition is a tabletop RPG set in “Theah”, a world very similar to 17th century Europe.

Pirates, heroes, political intrigue and secret societies in a world peppered with legends and lore, a pinch of sorcery, and a punch of corruption set the backdrop for the fantastic tales of your swashbuckling, savoy heroes.  All told with cinematic flare in this beautiful little 300 page gem by John Wick.

As most of you know, I don’t usually like to compare games that I’m reviewing with other games. That said, this is the 2nd edition of a game that I enjoyed very much so I think the review needs a little comparison to be complete. I really liked the original edition of 7th Sea.  It was a fun and refreshing look at the genre presented in a way that hadn’t really been done before.

The second edition is trimmed down a bit.  Sleeker mechanics and speedier action make for slightly fewer choices for the players but add so much more to the collaborative storytelling aspect of the game.

In short, I LOVE this edition!

Now that we have that out of the way,

On with the review!

The Book -

The book itself is absolutely beautiful.  The pages are filled with gorgeous and immersive landscapes, believable character portraits, and inspiring scene captures by a team of fantastic artists.  The rules are concise, with examples of execution, well laid out, and easy to find.

The Setting -

As mentioned before, the setting is roughly 17th century Europe with the names changed to protect the innocent.  This allows the players and GM to draw on the shorthand knowledge that they have about the real world country and/or culture upon which it is based.  The first 130 pages or so are dedicated to fleshing out Theah.  This section breaks down the individual countries, some of their collective views and values, a brief overview of the customs, important people, social strata, military, religion, etiquette, etc.  I wanted to just breeze over this section but wound up reading every word.  The attention to detail exercised here really comes through in the final product.  There is even a beautifully rendered coat of arms displayed for each one.  An important detail for a pirate campaign, methinks.

Be sure to click the link below to see a map of Theah!

7thSea_Map_1

The System -

The conflict resolution system for this game really sings.  It utilizes a d10 dice pool.  The size of your pool is determined not only by your stats, but also the type of action that you choose to take, as well as how you plan to portray that action in game.  In short, the more cinematic the action and immersed in the character you are, the more opportunities for success you have.  You are rewarded for using different types of actions in a scene, promoting the use of any and all skills that your character possesses.  This helps to eliminate the hack and slash feel that you get with a lot of games.  Sometimes it may make more sense from a productivity standpoint to just slash with your sword again instead of punching the bad guy in the jaw, even though in a lot of cases the right hook would just feel better.  This game rewards that sentiment.

This game approaches scene setting in a manner very similar to the medium that inspired it…

You guessed it, swashbuckling movies!

The scenes are framed by the GM.  The individual players announce how their character would like to approach the problem.  Whether they decide to be talky, sneaky, fighty, flighty, sexy, etc., the GM decides what stats and skills apply. Then he tells the players what the consequences of their actions will be as well as any opportunities that will arise from them. The players roll their dice pool, collecting “raises” (sets of dice that add up to 10) and choose how to spend their raises in regards to completing their goal, overcoming consequences, taking advantage of opportunities, helping out their fellow heroes, etc.  They can also choose to simply fail.

I love this mechanic!

Sometimes the hero gets captured, drops the McGuffin, or slips over the edge.  This game rewards that decision to heighten the tension with something called Hero Points.  Hero Points can be spent later to accomplish truly awesome things when they most matter. (Just like the movies! Huh…imagine that.)

The heroes don’t have “hit points”, they take wounds as a result of bad rolls or choices they made while spending their raises. These wounds are tracked by a portion of the character sheet ominously called “the death spiral.” This is a spiral of circles and stars that get colored in as heroes get injured.  Every fifth wound taken by a hero is a “dramatic wound”. Wounds themselves are no big deal but dramatic wounds serve to heighten the tension of the scene.  And once again, the further down the death spiral the hero falls, the more awesome stuff he can do…

Just like…well, you get it.

The game handles conflict resolution in social situations, action scenes, and large scale battles in pretty much the same manner, what changes is the time that elapses in game and the scale of the conflict.  This, as well, is beautifully executed as it breeds familiarity with the system allowing it to take a back seat to the story sooner regardless of what size or type of pickle the heroes have found themselves in.  Also, because of both the intuitive nature of the system and the speed with which the players and GM achieve familiarity with it, most conflicts are resolved very quickly regardless of size.  There are so many more subtleties to this system that I can’t touch on them all here without just rewriting the rules for you.

As a special note, the naval rules in this game are some of the best that I’ve ever seen.  They come complete with descriptions of the types of ships available, as well as list of the positions and personnel needed to man them. As with a lot of naval legends and lore, ships in this game are characters unto themselves. In this chapter you’ll find superstitions, adventure seeds designed for the advancement of ships, and even rules for bringing them back from the dead.  I’m understating this on purpose.  The naval rules alone are worth the price of the book.

I want to steal them…

…incorporate them into every game I play…

…lie to my players and tell them that they’re mine…

…be revered as the greatest GM of all time…

*rubbing hands together “MUHAHAHAHA!”

Character Creation - 

The character creation process is, for lack of a better word, deep.  In a lot of RPGs you create a framework of a character and hang personality on it like a mannequin.  In 7th Sea Second Edition, this process is front loaded so that when you sit down at the table for your first session you have a fully realized hero complete with an identity, a personality, an outlook, a past, and their own story to tell.  The character creation process begins with a concept and then you are asked to consider 20 questions about your hero.  Most, but not all of these will be answered from your hero’s perspective.

Rest assured this isn’t a hippy-dippy-story-sticky type of game, however.  There are more than 20 pages with lists of traits, backgrounds, advantages, skills, and other things to keep the min-maxers and number jugglers in your group happy.  This doesn’t even count the sorcery section of the book which we’ll get to shortly.

I suggest having a character creation session with your group.  Watching all of the heroes take shape together will both help you as the GM become familiar with the character concepts and you’ll see that the players begin feeding off of the creative energy in the room.

Magic - 

Magic in this game is as varied as the cultures of Theah. Meaning that there is no specific system that governs the use of all magics.

It’s more of a sorcery flavor selection, like a fountain at a large gas station that dispenses magic instead of soda.

Each of the cultures has their own brand of the supernatural and they are all represented very well in the book, beautifully capturing the essence of their superstitions and mysticism.  The chapter on sorcery is worth reading just for the flavor and immersive way that it’s presented.

The GM - 

A lot of the work for a campaign is, like character creation, front loaded because as the GM is building the framework of the story that will be told by the group he must also consider the stories of the individual characters in the group.  At first glance, this game looks like it brings back the “Workhorse GM” concept of running a game but, trust me you get very adept very quickly at leading players through the story once you actually begin playing.  Improvisational GMing is definitely possible with 7th Sea 2nd Edition but that’s no excuse for poor preparation.  The last chapter in the book is extremely informative for both new GMs and those that are just new to the game.  Even old guys like me will probably learn a thing or two.

Read it.

Price Point - $24.99 (PDF) – $59.99 (Hardcover)

For this price, you get the entire game.  No other books are needed to play.  Considering the quality of the book, art, and mechanics, this is a fine price.

Versatility - 

Tabletop RPG experiences are as varied as conversations among friends.  Because of this, the game itself must be versatile in order to stand up to years of playing.  The framework has to be flexible in order to tell a myriad of stories.  While I haven’t had it for years, you can tell when a game is a one trick pony and this one is not.  As well as the swashbuckling stories that were the inspiration for the game, John Wick and company have put together a beautiful toolbox with which to tell tales of dark fantasy, political intrigue, or “lone wolf’ stories ranging from grim-dark street level campaigns to high profile kingdom-shakers.

The choice is yours, it will not disappoint.

Rating - 10 out of 10

I rarely hand out a 10 in regards to an RPG.  My reasoning for this is that any given session of a tabletop RPG exists in a vacuum and the experience is subject to the moods and whims of those around the table. This can make it very difficult to give a game a fair shake upon reviewing if somebody in your game group had a rough day at work.  The way I rate an RPG is by assessing how well it does the job that it sets out to do.

This one performs beautifully.

If you want to tell stories like “The Three Musketeers”, “The Man in the Iron Mask”, “The Mask of Zorro”, “Robin Hood”, etc., this is the game you want.

Final Thoughts - 

 By changing the way that wealth and equipment work to a more abstract system, as well as lossening some of the restrictions on skills and such, the second edition of 7th Sea does trim out some of the bulk of the original edition, this is sure to ruffle some feathers.  That said, I beleive that it was done in good spirit with the motivation being to streamline scene setting and resolution with a focus on getting the players into the action.

To me, this game is a truly romantic exploration of the of swashbuckling genre through the lens of a contemporary tabletop role playing game.

But then again, this is just my humble opinion.

-Dan Whorl

(CarpeGM.net Game Reviews)


 

Full Disclosure - 

A review copy of 7th Sea Second Edition was given to me by the game developer for an honest review of their product.  No money or further compensation changed hands or has been promised for a good review.  They earned it!

Sep 282016
 

GenCon 2016 Game review – Ice Cool

IceCool

At a glance –

School is almost out in Antarctica but a few of the penguins are too hungry to wait!  They skip out on class and, racing through the hallways, make their way to the cafeteria to grab an afternoon snack.  Will they make it before being caught by the dreaded hall monitor?  Welcome to “Ice Cool”.

“Ice Cool” is a surprisingly fun and innovative “flicking” game for 2-4 players published by Brain Games.  The gameplay is fast and intuitive.  Although it’s geared to younger players, I’ve played the game with several different age groups, including a mixed session, and the result is always the same, LOTS OF FUN!

8fbe28_b86fe61c8ebf4bd28d0871faa4ef4a3d

The Object -

 The players choose a color and collect the corresponding penguin and ID card.  One of the players is chosen to be the Hall Monitor (called the Catcher). The other players (called Runners) take turns flicking their penguins, trying to get them through the doorways that have their fish clipped to the top.  If they make it through, they collect their fish and score a fish card.  On their next turn, they begin making their way toward their next fish.

The Catcher has a different goal.  He or she is trying to collect the IDs of the Runners by flicking their penguin so that it touches the penguins of the Runners, thus, collecting their ID cards.  A round ends when either, one of the Runners collects all of their fish, or the Catcher has all of the IDs.  There are as many rounds as there are players so that everyone gets a turn to be the Catcher.  Also, there is a bit of a “rubber band” mechanic built in.  You look at the ‘fish cards” as you collect them.  If, at any point in the game you have collected two cards that only have a “1” on them, you can “ice skate”.  You turn over your two “1” cards and get to take an extra turn.  After all of the rounds have been completed, the players total up the numbers on their “fish cards” and the highest total wins.

The Board – pic3188780_md

The board for this game is a VERY innovative design called “Box in a Box”.  Inside the box are 5 smaller boxes with holes in the sides and art depicting the different rooms of the school.  These all clip together with the holes matching up to create the doorways and a kind of obstacle course for the players to navigate by flicking their penguins from room to room, collecting fish and (hopefully) avoiding the Hall Monitor.  The art on the board/boxes themselves is a convincing depiction of what a penguin school would look like, complete with overhead views of desks, chairs, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, all of which are complete with nice little touches like posters, drinking fountains, and basketball rims.  (Even though I’m sure that penguins are terrible at basketball)


8fbe28_407f327266a44ba2a39921d72625f763

 

What’s in the Box? -

(4) Plastic penguins;

(5) Cardboard boxes – rooms;

(16) Wooden fish tokens (12 fish in 4 player colors and 4 fish in white color);

(45) Fish cards (each showing 1, 2 or 3 victory points);

(4) Color reminder cards;

(4) Penguin ID cards;

(1) Rules booklet

Several re-sealable bags for component storage

Components –

The components for this game are quite nice. The cards are of good quality, and the “fish” are solid wood and seem to be very durable.  The real features of this game are, as described above, the board itself, and the adorable little penguins.  The penguins are rounded at the bottom, and weighted so that they can’t lie on their side.

For those of you who know what they are, think Weebles.

il_fullxfull-260793308

When flicked, they flop and flounder, spin and turn, but what they don’t do, is lay still.  With a little practice, you can begin to steer them around corners, make them jump over walls and, if you’re really good, you may even be able to get them to travel in a straight line!

Check out the “Ice Cool” promo video on YouTube to see an AMAZING shot near the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhzIZUQvLng

If you’d like to listen to our interview with the man who, both, made that trick shot, and helped design this game, it can be found here:

 http://carpegm.net/interviews-ep-17-ice-cool/ ‎

Learning Curve –

This is an easy one to grasp for kids and adults alike.  If you’ve ever flicked things on a table you already have the basics down.  Spend a few minutes reading the rules and a couple of minutes setting up the board and you’re ready to go. There is a bit of a learning curve as you figure out how to make those pesky penguins do what you want, but not so much as to make the concept unattainable.  In any case, in a game like this failure can be just as entertaining as success!

pic3188778_md

 

Packaging –

As I said before, I’m absolutely enamored with this box.  Not only does it hold all of the smaller boxes, but, because there is no insert for the smaller pieces, the designers included small, re-sealable bags for storing the other components.  This allows “Ice Cool” to pass the “shake test” with flying colors.  Store it however you’d like!

Rules –

The rules document for this game is clear and concise, has little comic-style penguins all over it making it fun for kids to read, and even covers some of the unpredictable things that can happen when you get a few people around a table flicking plastic things through cardboard things.

Play time – 30 minutes

 

The “Sweet Spot” –

The game is rated for 2-4 players.  The sweet spot for this game, in my opinion, is 4 players.  The more pieces that you have flying around the board, the better!

Replay Value –

Due to the shape of its components and the nature of dexterity games in general, the replay value of this game is quite high.

Price Point - $39.99

 

Notes - 

Even though most of the components are cast or printed in bold primary colors, color blindness may be a concern.  That said, because of the gameplay and the mechanics involved, this could be overcome with just a little assistance by other players. The cards are easily read, but the penguins and wooden fish are all the same, only differing in color.  However, adding multiple casts to a game is extremely expensive, sometimes adding tens of thousands of dollars to a game’s initial bottom line.  This would have probably priced it out of its market and, all things considered, is probably not necessary for our chromodysoptic friends to enjoy it.

Rating –  9 out of 10

 

Final Thoughts -

Even though “Ice Cool” is targeted toward younger players, I think gamers of all ages will have a lot of fun with it.  I’ve seen older gamers pull the chairs away from the table so that they can line up their perfect shot as if they’re playing a tiny game of billiards, while a game with younger players looks and sounds exactly like what you may think;

 Raucous excitement sometimes mixed with the spell cast by a basketball circling the hoop in an Antarctic gymnasium.

I highly recommend this one, particularly if you have children.  However, I think this game would be a welcome addition to any collection, whether it’s found in a kid’s closet or the college campus.

In a word, “Ice Cool” is white-hot!

But then again, this is just my humble opinion.

 -Dan Whorl

(CarpeGM.net Game Reviews)

 

 

A review copy of Ice Cool was given to me at GenCon 2016 by the game designer.  No money or further compensation changed hands or has been promised for a good review.  They earned it!

 

Sep 102016
 

GenCon 2016 Game review – Mr. Game!

logo-mr-game_large

At a glance –

Part board game, part social experiment, all chaos…

Mr. Game! challenges nearly every convention of the classic roll and move board game.  This modern spin on retro style gaming has become a family favorite for game night at my house. It checks boxes that I didn’t know existed and jumps through hoops that I had no idea I was holding…Refreshing!

The object is simple.  Everyone starts on one space and races to land on the “goal” space to win.  That’s pretty conventional stuff, right?  Wrong.   Mr. Game! creates an atmosphere where even the concept of “what is a space?” can be challenged.  The road to victory is complicated by an ever-changing board, as well as an array of cards with different types of wacky functions, a goal that just won’t sit still, and of course, Mr. Game!.

Mr game board

The board – 

The board is a pretty straight forward design with the numbers 1-4 in the four corners and some wandering paths of spaces in between.  You start on “1” at the beginning of the game and you’re trying to land on “4”. This is subject to change.

The cards –

There are 3 types of cards in the game, “Actions”, “Badges”, and “Powerups”.

display-action-goalswitchdisplay-action-singularitydisplay-action-banish

Actions” are the most common cards in the deck and are played immediately when drawn.  The effects of these cards vary wildly including (but not limited to) moving other people’s pawns, adding or moving spaces on the board, changing the goal, etc.

display-badge-mrwhistledisplay-badge-mrcaffeine

 

Badges” are cards that are kept secretly in your hand to be played at just the right moment. Some of the effects may be similar to “Action” cards but the ability to weaponize them makes them valuable.  The results of a well-timed “Badge” can range from devastating to hilarious…

…or both…

…or neither…

…or…

Never mind. Moving on.

display-powerup-jetpackdisplay-powerup-sleightofhanddisplay-powerup-ballandchain

A “Powerup” is a card that is played immediately when drawn and changes the way your pawn behaves, giving you some sort of ability or taking one away.  For better or worse, you’re stuck with these until someone takes them or you roll doubles.

There are also four blank cards found in the deck that prompt you to use your imagination…or not.  It’s up to you.

Spaces –

Given the ubiquity and familiarity of spaces in tabletop games, I hadn’t really considered the idea of describing them until I got to this point in the review.  On one hand, because of the nature of this game, they need to be discussed.  But on the other hand, it feels a little like describing to someone how it feels to blink.

download

 The spaces on the board, at a glance, are rudimentary.  You have normal spaces that prompt no action. As mentioned before, there are four spaces in the corners of the board that are numbered 1-4 and serve as the “goal” spaces.  There are spaces marked with an exclamation point that prompt the player to draw a card.  There are also spaces found sporadically about the board that prompt you to “roll again”.   If that’s not enough, all of these spaces can be different colors depending on where they are found on the board.  The colors of the spaces have no bearing on their function when playing with the rules as written.  That said, the colors, location, and even the null area between spaces can (and probably will) routinely come into play because of this game’s chaotic nature.

Tiles –

Tiles are essentially spaces that can be added or moved on the board once prompted by a card, changing the effect of a space or adding a new one altogether!  There are several types of tiles.  Nearly all of the spaces described above can be found in the stack of tiles, as well as webs in which your pawn can get “stuck”, portals that allow you to quickly traverse the board, and null spaces to cut off possible avenues for your opponents.

Mr. Game! – 

Last but certainly not least, there’s Mr. Game!.  Before you begin playing, you decide who will act as Mr. Game!.  While all players are expected to interpret the rules, this player will have the final word on any decisions to be made concerning them.

From this mechanic, chaos is born.

While the other players are constantly trying to take advantage of any given situation that may get them closer to winning, they invariably will be challenging the very conventions of a roll and move game.  This, coupled with a purposefully minimalistic set of written rules, creates an environment where house rules are necessary.  This is where Mr. Game! comes in.  During play, Mr. Game! will have to make any number of probably ridiculous and unforeseen rules decisions.  As these situations are arbitrated, they become rules for the remainder of the game.  Keep in mind that whoever is playing as Mr. Game is also playing the game with everyone else and, as such, must uphold and is subject to his or her own rulings throughout the game.

What’s in the box? – 

( 1 ) Game BoardMr game board

( 1 ) How To Play Booklet

( 1 ) Alternate Game Types Booklet

( 104 ) Cards

( 18 ) Tiles

( 8 ) Player Pieces

( 8 ) Player Cards

( 2 ) Four Sided Dice

( 2 ) Goal Markers

( 4 ) Blank Cards

Components –

The components of the game are all of very good quality and have weathered several plays with little to no wear and tear.

Learning Curve –

If you read every word of the rules pamphlet it’ll take you about 10 minutes to learn to play. The set-up is minimal and the core mechanics of the game are extremely intuitive.

Packaging –

The storage space in the box holds all of the components well and passes the “shake test” with minimal movement.

Rules –

Ordinarily, a rules document that leaves so many unanswered questions would receive bad marks in this category. However, this one, because of the nature of the game, is perfect.

Play time –

The play time varies from game to game.  Most of them last 20 to 60 minutes with 4-6 players,

The “Sweet Spot” –

Rated for 2 – 8 players, the more the merrier! We’ve played with as many as 7 players with no negative experience regarding gameplay.  That said, after having experienced the game several times with varying group sizes, I’m going to put the sweet spot somewhere between 4 – 6 players.

Replay ability –

Having many variants and additional rules included in the “Alternate Gametypes” book that comes with the game, several more variants published at http://whoismrgame.com/your-house-rules/, along with the fact that you can play a completely different game just by changing the people playing or who presides as Mr. Game!, the replay ability of this one is off the charts!

Price – $35

You can purchase your copy here.

Final Thoughts –

The charm of Mr. Game! is rooted in the unpredictability that spawns from just playing the game. This provides the players with an experience that is unique not only to their gaming group, but to the individual session, which prompts the telling of stories and anecdotes about those sessions.  This is a trait usually found in meatier board games and tabletop RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons rather than a simple roll and move game.  But then again…

Just a simple roll and move board game, Mr. Game! is not…

I believe that Mr. Game! is, in and of itself, an experience.

Rating – 10 out of 10

But then again, this is just my humble opinion.

-Dan Whorl

Check out our interview with the creator of Mr. Game!, Frank DiCola, here.

A review copy of Mr. Game! was given to me at GenCon 2016 by the game designer.  No money or further compensation changed hands or has been promised for a good review.  They earned it!

 

Aug 152016
 

GenCon2016-small

Indianapolis – The numbers are in…

Yet another record shredding year for GenCon 2016!

The “Best Four Days in Gaming” in the past few years. This year’s show featured more than 500 exhibitors, along with continued growth of turnstile attendance with more than 201,000 attendees, a sold out pre-show Trade Day program with more than 550 attendees, over 16,500 ticketed events, and more than $35,000 raised via on-site programming for their official charity partner:

The Pour House

The convention this year also just seemed to feel better.  There was a palpable excitement in the air that I didn’t even notice was missing from the past couple of years until I arrived. It was positively electric. Perhaps this was due to a few changes that the owners and organizers made in the hopes of enhancing the experience for the attendees.  Namely, the expansion into Lucas Oil Stadium and the conference spacing found therein, as well as, among other things, a rerouting of the Annual Cosplay Parade, and a new pricing structure allowing for better planning of events.  This added consideration created a much more inviting and less cloistered feel to the entire show.  Unique attendance was nearly the same as last year.  While that may not be another record shattered, it did serve to create a very clear dichotomy of the convention with and without the added space and considerations.

The owners and staff of GenCon were not the only ones on top of their game.  The vendors, exhibitors, and contributors hit it out of the park as well.  The convention is always a hotbed of gaming and geek pop culture with many events and releases that can only be found during the best four days in gaming.

Along with a few of the show’s staples like True Dungeon (a live action dungeon crawl), the charity auction, a very nice costume contest, 24 hour gaming, and countless other reasons people come out to Indy in the middle of summer every year, there were some new goings on that caught my attention.  There was not one, but two, live action escape rooms.  One of which was right in the dealer hall!

(Interviews with representatives of both, Think Fun and Spin Master Games, as well as reviews of their room escape board games are forthcoming)

IceCool

Also to be found in the dealer hall, was the white-hot, penguin flicking, dexterity game, Ice Cool by Brain Games, as well as  the potato-weighing mayhem of UK game designers, Big Potato Games debuting their library of games in the USA.

bigpotatologo

(Interviews with both companies and reviews of their respective games, are also forthcoming)

In addition to games, some attendees may have wandered into the exhibitor section of the hall where you could find scores of authors, craftsmen, and art like the critters created by Creature Curator, Brian Colin.

Brian Colin

These are his aptly named Pocket Monsters!!

 

By all accounts, GenCon 2016 was a complete success. The convention will be returning to Indianapolis August 17-20, 2017 for the 50th anniversary of the show.  This is sure to be a fantastic spectacle. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

As the title states, this is just an overview of this year’s show.  Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll be seeing loads of GenCon content here including several interviews with some very innovative game designers, and LOTS of reviews of new titles and GenCon exclusives.  We’ll also be posting audio from some of the panels that we attended given by some very important individuals in the gaming community as well as written articles about some of the highlights of the show and our Convention Tradition where we scour the con for something old, something new, something redone, and something cool.

Lastly, The CarpeGM Gamecast will soon have a new show on the feed…

With a trial by fire, no safety net, live with random strangers, we’ve recorded the first episodes of a little show that we’re calling Geek 16.

 

Cheers!

-Dan

 

GenCon2016-logo big

-About Gen Con

 

Gen Con, LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction and adventure game convention in North America. Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Acquired in 2002 by former CEO and founder of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Gen Con 2016 was sponsored by Mayfair Games, Paizo, Inc., and Rio Grande Games.

Oct 042013
 

Archon logo

Hello all! If you’re in the St. Louis area, the place to be this weekend is : Archon – a sci fi and fantasy convention held every year in Collinsville, Illinois, about 25 minutes from downtown St Louis.

This is the 37th annual Archon. It’s sure to be a good time. I’ll be trying to score a few interviews while I’m here. Stay tunes to the feed for more info!
Check out Archon’s homepage for more info

Edu-Larp

 Announcements, Dan Whorl  Comments Off
Aug 052013
 
SU Kickstarter

As you all know, I’m a HUGE advocate for gaming in education.  My  experiences with my children opened my eyes to the reality of RPGs as a curriculum tool.

Currently, Seekers Unlimited has a very interesting Kickstarter campaign going that is taking this idea to the next level.  I have attached the press release.

Please give this a look!

Thanks!

-Dan

Edu-LARP Comes to Kickstarter!!!

Contact: Rosalind Helfand

Phone: 310-869-5749
Email: rozhelfand@gmail.com
Web: http://seekersunlimited.com

Revolutionary New Learning Tool “Edu-LARP” Goes to Kickstarter

Teachers and Students in Los Angeles and Nationwide Will Benefit from This Game Changing Campaign
LOS ANGELES, CA—July 26, 2013—While communities across the United States mourn the state of education, the non-profit Seekers Unlimited is changing the very nature of education for the better with Live Action Role Playing games or LARPs. Seekers Unlimited has been testing its educational LARPs in classrooms in Los Angeles for over a year. Now Seekers wants to bring six of its “edu-LARPs” to the nation through a game changing Kickstarter campaign. People who believe that kids should love learning and succeed in school are helping Seekers to reach its goal of raising $8,000 by August 30, 2013.

Live action role-playing, or play pretend, has been around since the dawn of humanity, but only recently are people realizing that it’s a powerful learning tool. Edu-LARPs invoke the power of play pretend to teach subjects like math, history, and science. What’s more fun: reading about Benjamin Franklin or being Benjamin Franklin for a day? Kids get out of their chairs and interact with one another as they become characters in stories with goals that require them to solve problems, collaborate, and retain information.

Seekers Executive Director Aaron Vanek believes that edu-LARP will reinvigorate the traditional classroom, stating, “Seekers Unlimited plays to excite education like punk rock motivated music.

Past Seekers edu-LARPs include “Hit Seekers” where students used math to make it in the music industry, and “Mesopotamia” where students became ancient Mesopotamian characters like governors, merchants, and priests to gain a deeper understanding of the “Cradle of Civilization.”

Now Seekers has developed six classroom tested science themed edu-LARPs. Seekers donates most of its services since schools have little or no funds for innovative learning activities. By supporting the Kickstarter campaign, donors will make it possible for Seekers to share these new edu-LARPs with the nation and continue its work.

Improving education is not easy nor simple, but it is imperative that we press on. With people’s help, we can lift mountains,” Aaron continues.

The science edu-LARPs to be funded for distribution by Kickstarter include:

* The Great Phlogiston Debate: Students role-play scientists active at the end of the Age of Enlightenment.
* Noir: Students role-play detectives, forensic scientists, and suspects in a series of possible crimes.
* Element Heroes: Students stop villains with super powers based on the elements.
* Monster Maker: Students learn chemistry in a Dr. Frankenstein scenario.
* Be Your Own Planet!: Students create their own star systems and protect them from interstellar dangers.
* Balloon Race: Students learn about forces and gravity through racing balloons.

Educators, game designers and community members are speaking out about the difference that edu-LARP can make to education if people pitch in.

Sarah Lynne Bowman, Ph.D., is the author of  The Functions of Role-playing Games: How Participants Create Community, Solve Problems, and Explore Identity .  Bowman, who also serves on the Seekers Board of Directors, strongly believes in edu-LARP, stating, “LARPing has changed my life in all facets: professionally, personally, socially, academically. Role-playing allows us to explore unfamiliar concepts and portray new roles that transcend our normal reality. I want to share the transformative power of LARP with the next generation.

Graydon Schlichter, co-designer of numerous LARPs and Director or Publicity for Evertide Games says, “Teachers are pressured to prepare students for tests rather than educate them, or even better, open their minds and invite them to educate themselves. Seekers Unlimited, through the edu-LARPs it creates, gives educators additional tools to reach students, further exposing them to the reality that there is more to learning than bubble-tests and vocabulary sheets.

Besides the great feeling contributors will get for helping to bring edu-LARPs to the nation, Seekers Unlimited is offering a number of perks to its Kickstarter donors.

The perks include experiences like:

* LARP Design 101: A four-hour seminar with our LARP designers to help you design your own LARP.
* Name Branding: Name a character, thing, or place in one of Seekers’ edu-LARPS.
* Basic Larper: Copies of original LARPs “Secret Ante” by Aaron Vanek and “Exodus 22:18” by Michael Tice.
* Edu-LARPs: Receive one or more of the new science edu-LARPs.
* Your Own Custom Designed and Produced LARP
To donate to Seekers Unlimited’s Kickstarter campaign, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/160286787/creating-educational-live-action-role-playing-game. Seekers is also available on Facebook and Twitter @SeekersUnLtd. More information about Seekers Unlimited and how you can get involved is also available at http://seekersunlimited.com/

Jan 302013
 
TQR

Hey all!

Our good friends at Prismatic Tsunami Publishing have released the first Tsunami Quarterly Review.

I managed to write an article, as well as some of my favorite hosts from other podcasts.  Please help support the community!

For only $1:

 
In the first issue of Tsunami Quarterly Review, you will find the following great features:

RPG Crucible: Told by the Victor: Advice on building backstory that leaves room for suprises!

Are Game Masters Playing Too?: A philosophical look at the GM’s role in the game.

Tsunami City Project: Fourteen fantastic city locations discussed on Metagamers Anonymous and the Tsunami forums, plus an additional location found only in this publication!

In the Commander’s Chair: One man’s journey into the world of his latest video game excursion.

A Few Words on Insanity: A retrospective look at the application of insanity in your RPG experience.

 

Help support the Prismatic Tsunami community and the popular Metagamers Anonymous RPG podcast!

 

 

 

Nov 262012
 
coin block

A few weeks ago, I was generating the show notes for an episode of the Gamecast. I had just reached the point where I was adding the little button that asks our listeners to “rate and review us on iTunes”, when I realized that I don’t rate and review the shows that I listen to!

In the spirit of “support, support, support”, I decided to do just that.

I asked my co-hosts to do the same.  The following list of podcasts is not necessarily all of the shows that we listen to, but they are the shows to which we gave a 5 star rating.  We posted the ratings and reviews on iTunes to help support the shows individually.

I have compiled the following list, hoping to spread the word about some of these great shows.  I hope you find something you like.

If there are other shows that you guys think we should listen to, feel free to let us know in the “comments” section below.

 

2 GMs 1 Mic

– Great chemistry and engaging subject matter with an interesting format…and a dragon.  ‘Nuff Said!          -Dan

 

 

 

Action Nerds Go!

– This podcast’s knowledgeable and engaging hosts have free form discussions about a wide array of topics.  I didn’t realize it before I listened to this show, but, apparently, I too am an “Action Nerd”.  So with that being said, heed the call to arms…..

Action Nerds!  GO!                               -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

 

All Games Considered

– I looooove this show!  The hosts are well spoken and interesting.  They cover everything from tabletop war games to indie RPGs.  Also, unlike some other news casts…they actually play the games……RPG Buffet for the win!       -Dan

CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

 

Fat Man on Batman

– Kevin Smith is back again with a new podcast, and just like all of the other ones, it’s about something he loves….The Caped Crusader himself!  The Dark Knight returns in podcast form.  Every week, Kevin brings on a new guest to talk about The Bat, Mark Hamill, Paul Dini, and Adam West to name a few.   His love for the character may only be matched by the respect that he holds for those that are involved with the work.  I hope to see Christian Bale, or some of the other people involved with Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

Another great work presented by the Smodcast network!

Light the Bat Signal and keep on talkin’..                                -Bryan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Fear the Boot

– What else is left to say about these guys?  They’ve been around for a long time and have inspired countless game ideas.  With the evolution of the roster of hosts throughout the years,  they could literally start over from episode 1, re-discuss the topics, and have entirely different conversations.  All of which, I’m sure, would be stimulating, informative, and enlightening.  A must listen for RP gamers!

-Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Film Sack

– Scott Johnson and crew discuss movies.  While exploring the seedy underbelly of cinematic entertainment, they pin back the flaps, reach in, and pull out the good stuff.   Brilliant!!!  Film Sack has well spoken, knowledgeable hosts, and excellent production quality.  Hopefully, as long as Hollywood keeps turning out stinkers, tongue-in-cheekers, and box office sinkers, Scott, Randy, Brian, and Brian will be there to dissect them.           -Dan

- 4 guys gather to joke about the best and worst of Netflix Streaming. They’ll get you watching movies you hadn’t thought of since reading the back of the VHS in the local rental store, laughing your tuchus off, and yelling the trivia they can’t remember at your computer screen. I highly encourage a tour through their back catalog for your favorites. Heck, listen to all of ‘em, it’ll help with the rare inside joke.        -Mack
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

 

Gamerstable

– So much information and great banter packed into 30 minute episodes.  This is a great show with intelligent and informed hosts who care about the subject matter.  These guys do a fantastic job with production and really do their part to give back to the community.  Check them out!!

Openly Gamer Theatre – A fresh look at actual play podcasts complete with a vocal and ambient sound effects presented with rock solid GMing and a great group of role players!                -Dan

-This is my favorite RPG podcast!  This show has a large cast, full of knowledgeable and unique hosts, and as a result, you get quite a few differing opinions on the subject matter.  These opinions are thrown out rapidly, yet, somehow, they manage to stay cohesive!  Great show!                 -Tyler
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Happy Jack’s RPG Podcast

– A diverse collection of talented and funny hosts explore the table top RPG hobby in a round table discussion whose topics range from GM advice to beer snobbery.  All of this is presented with AMAZING sound quality and supported by an active and equally talented community.  College humor, amplified belching, and taint jokes….keep ‘em coming!                            -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Hollywood Babble-on

- Kev Smith and Ralph Garman’s show on pop culture, humor, lots of satire, movies, comics, and no shortage of obscurities.  The show is recorded live, and while recording, they post links to the media that is being discussed so that the audience can play along at home in real time.  A great show for those who like pop culture humor!   -Steve

-Once a week, Kevin Smith brings his friend, Ralph Garman, a man of 10,000 voices, to talk about the ins and outs of Hollywood business, including movies, celebrities, music, with a sprinkle of nerd news and pop culture.   The conversation usually takes an adult and funny twist, with Ralph portraying some of my favorite characters, including, “McDonald’s Fry Girl”, “The Cosby Clown”, and “The Gay Ghost”. I recommend this podcast to anyone who enjoys Kevin Smith’s brand of dark, twisted humor.

Garmy Strong!!!               -Bryan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Indie Talks

– Ben Gerber is a man of many talents and many projects.  This show explores indie gaming from the perspective of an indie game designer.  The host is a font of knowledge on the topic, a good speaker, a skilled interviewer, and has a knack for understanding game mechanics that makes for some fantastic game reviews.  It’s all packaged in a show with very good audio quality that functions beautifully as a platform for getting the word out on new games and game systems.

Great Job!           -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

The Instance

- The best World of Warcraft news and commentary this side of the bleeding edge. Scott, Dills and Turpster guide you through the cake of this week’s WoW, without making you read every blue post or data-miner’s forum, and do so with the flavor of their own perspectives, the filling of their experiences, and a nice frosting of funny. Is it a cupcake? Is it a doughnut?

No: it’s the Instance.                      -Mack
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

The Jennisodes

– An awesome show with a catalogue of episode containing interviews the who’s who about the what’s what of the gaming community and geek culture…

…and pandas.  Great show!         -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

– Kenneth Hite and Robin D. Laws get together and talk about a countless topics, including but not limited to, gaming, game theory, politics, history, current events, even the correction of real world problems through time travel.  A very cerebral podcast, but what else would you expect from intellectual heavy hitters such as Hite and Laws?  Great Show!  One of my favorites!   -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Metagamers Anonymous

– A brilliant show with well-spoken, and informed hosts.  Centering around immersive play, Met-Anon explores the RPG hobby with an eye toward the experience rather than the mechanics.  With fantastic production value, and the added bonus of an interview series that includes some of the biggest names in the gaming community, this show NEEDS to be in your playlist.            -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Monkey in the Cage

– The hosts of this show are funny and a little weird, and the chemistry is perfect!  Every episode is like sitting down with a group of friends.  Their informed commentary on gaming and geek culture shows a deep love for the subject matter.  This is definitely one of my favorite podcasts and I hope that as long as there are geeks…..there is a Monkey in the Cage!                      -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Monsters of the Shattered World

– A throwback to the radio dramas of the 1930s, the show follows an explorer/scribe writing home to his patron about his exploits and encounters while away.  Great production value!  Solid story lines!  Very fun!       -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

 

The Morning Stream

A nerdy conversation to replace bad talk radio and commercials during your morning commute. Whether talking about current events, doing a regular interview, or taking a listener call, Scott and Ibbott leave no joke in the barrel. A special treat: you’ve never really felt the Stream hot and fresh until you’ve watched it live and dived into the tadpool. I highly recommend it if you have the morning off.                        -Mack
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

The Moth

-Short stories told live without notes. You know the best stories you ever told your friends around a bar table or campfire, or maybe the stuff you only ever told somebody alone, close, late at night? Well, these are the best of those, stories that make you laugh, cry, or get mad, but all of which make you grow. Careful: you never know which story is gonna touch you deeply, but eventually one will.                                         -Mack
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Penn’s Sunday school

– Penn Jillette and Michael Goudeau discuss show business (old and new) and the human condition from the skeptic’s perspective.  Throw in a roster of fantastic guests, such as, Gilbert Gottfried, Billy West, George Takei, and Monkey Tuesday, and you have a show that SHOULD NOT BE MISSED!          -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Planet Arbitrary

- Several podcasts are distributed through this feed, all of which are great!  Topics include, video game news, game reviews, comedy, current events, game nostalgia, you name it!  Planet Arbitrary is a great effort by the cast, presented in various formats by a group of knowledgeable and well-spoken hosts.  GOOD SHOWS!        -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Postcards From the Dungeon

– An absolutely amazing show!  PFTD is a creative look at the hobby that we all know and love.  The hosts have found the perfect mix of news, tips, gaming stories, and banter, giving the listener more RPG inspiration than any one show should be able to give.  They’ve stoked the fires of my own gaming creativity numerous times since I discovered the show!

Thanks Guys!!!                 -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Radiolab

- Everything you never knew you needed to know, but do, presented in a way to make the complex accessible to the lay. Start with an idea, then. ask smart people about it. Use the right questions, and you just might have some remarkable revelations. Edit for sound, and you’ve got Radiolab. Enjoy.                 -Mack
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Role Playing Public Radio

– Ross Payton and Tom Church deliver a great show with a nice mix of content and banter.  This show is one of my favorites, and they earned every carat of the Gold Innie awards for best podcast.  Congrats guys!  Keep ‘em coming!       -Dan

-I cannot say enough good things about this show and it’s hosts.  Ross Payton has an approach that allows him to get things done, not just in podcasting, but in his other ventures as well.  I love the topics.  I love the banter.  Ross and Tom just really seem to “get it”.

This show is a powerhouse!        -Tyler
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

RPPR Actual Play

– This is a fantastic actual play podcast with diversity in both games and GMs, a great group of role players, and good sound quality.  This is easily one of the best on the web!                          -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

 

RPG Circus

– Content, content, content!  This show is non-stop material from bumper to bumper, and the hosts bring great topics to the mics show after show.  It’s a fantastic effort with solid production quality delivered by well-spoken hosts.  I’m extremely happy that I found this one! -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

 

Shark Bone

– Funny, extremely informative, and inspirational!  The concept for this show is based on extracting game ideas from movies.  Take notes because these guys bring SO many RPG ideas to the mics SO fast, that you won’t have time to ponder them.  Love the format! Love the show! A must listen for GMs with hungry brains!          -Dan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Smodcast

-You want a podcast?  You got a Smodcast.  This was Kevin Smith’s inaugural podcasting effort with his producer, and friend for life, Scott Mosier.  I’ve been listening since the beginning, and this is the funniest thing I have ever heard in my life….hands down.  It’s absolute perfection.  It’ll make you laugh, cry, think, and feel like you not only know these guys, but that they’re your two best friends.  The show is beautifully put together, and with Kevin’s weed smoking antics and Scott’s deadpan delivery the chemistry is amazing.  If you’re not listening, do yourself a favor and start ….NOW!               -Bryan
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Tell ‘em Steve Dave

-The Jersey boys are back again!  Walt Flanagan, Bryan Johnson, and Brian Quinn are Tell ‘em Steve Dave.  Having been friends with Kevin Smith for years, they have many stories to tell.  The laughs ensue with many yuks and some hot button topics.  Walt’s outlook and attitude has inspired me!

I love this podcast!

I hope everything works out after hurricane Sandy.

Congrats on Comic Book Men, and thanks for the free funny!    -Bryan

- When a dude like me wants to listen to a good podcast, I listen to Tell ‘em Steve Dave on the Smodco Network.  This is one of the only podcasts that I listen to that I will give 5 stars.  It’s got a little something for everyone.  Great show!         -Steve
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

This American Life

-Host, Ira Glass, and a wonderful team of producers tell you the stories you need to hear with a little dramatic style and keen editorial insight.  Important perspectives abound, and though each episode is itself pretty focused and stays on target, each episode tends to be on a different topic. The Thanksgiving episodes have long been background listening in my house, and I actually consider their episodes on Banking and governmental Monetary Policy to be a service to the US.                            -Mack
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

Wait Wait, Don’t Tell me

-The weekly news quiz show. Join a revolving panel of comedians for an irreverent look at the week’s events. A good brush up on current events both trivial and topical, I always fill the weekend news doldrums with this fresh perspective.   -Mack
CLICK HERE to read more reviews of this podcast, or write one of your own.

 

 

A special thank you to all of these shows for filling the hours with entertainment and our hearts with inspiration.

 

 

Aug 142012
 
coin block

 

 

For both those of you who missed  us, I apologize for the recent inactivity.

The last couple of weeks have been a perfect storm of setbacks and obstacles.   Not including changing schedules at both jobs, it began with a software malfunction in which an entire episode of the Gamecast sounded like it was being played on an old cassette player that had fallen in a toilet.

There was no saving it, the recycle bin thought it was delicious.

At this time, I was also making a lot of changes to the website.  Due to my own technological ineptitude, this process was quite a daunting task.  My family had planned a vacation, and I had hoped to complete the change-over before we left…no such luck.  After a couple of days of rather involved preparation for our sabbatical,  we finally made our exit.

We drove to Indianapolis and spent the rest of a beautiful day just wandering around downtown with big plans for the following day.  Those plans were cut short by a phone call shortly after we checked into our hotel telling us that one of our dogs was extremely ill.  By unanimous decision, we repacked the van and made the mad dash home through dark of night, lightning, thunder, a torrential downpour, all the while, beating back sleep by playing road games and having some very silly conversations.

 

Penny is doing fine now.

I have since changed our recording software ( I just need to learn to use it), and we have a new episode ready for editing, and, as you can see, I’ve finished the website.  The next episode should be up Monday, August 20th.

With the ashes of the last two weeks still smoldering, we should be able to settle into a rhythm once again.

It is said that from the ashes, rises the phoenix.  While I don’t know if CarpeGM.net will be able to rival the majesty or magic of that mythical bird, I think we’ve at least attained the stature of a cool looking chicken.

-Dan

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