Carnage on the Mountain

The next CarnageCon is coming up in November! This year’s called Carnage on the Mountain, and will kick off on November 7th and run through the 9th at Killington.

Every year in November, Carnage hosts a weekend of tabletop gaming. In 2014, the seventeenth such occasion, from the afternoon of Friday, November 7th, to the afternoon of Sunday the 9th, convention-goers gather at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel in Killington, Vermont, to play the best and newest in tabletop games, including board games, card games, miniatures, and role-playing games.

Here’s the Facebook event, and GMs can start signing up to run games.

You can start reserving your rooms now:

Rooms are currently available at the Killington Grand, both on-site and in adjacent condominium properties. To get the convention rate, you must contact Killington directly. Call 1-800-282-9955 and be sure to say you’re with Carnage to book a room at the convention rate. Not specifying you’re with Carnage or using their online reservation system will result in booking at a greater cost.

The Vermont Convention Scene

Gen Con 2003. Photo by  Alan De Smet. CC-BY-2.5; CC-BY-3.0.

Gen Con 2003. Photo by Alan De Smet. CC-BY-2.5; CC-BY-3.0.

Word’s getting around that Vermont’s getting its own comic convention in the fall: Vermont Comiccon. Information is sketchy at the moment, beyond the date and place: October 25th and 26th at the Sheraton hotel in South Burlington. The convention’s Facebook page is doling out guest announcements as they come. The prospect of a new convention in Vermont is pretty exciting, so we’re all keeping our eyes peeled for more information as it appears.

Addition: Throughout the 1980s, Greg Giordano ran four instances of Greeen Mountain Comicon, which included guests such as Vermont’s own Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch, Eastman & Laird and several other Mirage Studios guys, Mark Shainblum(Northstar) and Bernie Meirault(The Jam) and others.

Geek conventions in Vermont go back to at least the 90s, from my own personal experience. They’ve never approached the scale of mega-conventions like San Diego Comic Con or Gen Con, owing to Vermont’s population density and the facilities available to host such gatherings. Instead, Vermont conventions tend to be more about catching up with friends you don’t normally get to see, and discovering you share an interest with near-by neighbors.

Crisis Comics hosted comic shows in the Burlington area, which for me, in an age before the ubiquity of online sales, was a bonanza of picking up back issues that local dealers didn’t have. Quarterstaff Games hosted seven occasions of Northeast Wars, all about tabletop gaming. After Northeast Wars became dormant, Carnage picked up the tabletop convention torch and carries to this day in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. The Society for Creative Anachronism’s shire of Panther Vale — comprising the northeast quadrant of Vermont — began hosting Pantheria, a weekend-long outdoor gathering, in 1996.

In 2002, Bakuretsucon kicked off as a combination anime and gaming convention in the Burlington area. After a couple years, gaming spun off as Lore Con, while Bakuretsu focused on anime and moved to the fall, steadily growing in vibrancy every year as they descend upon Colchester. Northeast Wars briefly revived for a couple years, before returning to dormancy. The oft-missed Langdon Street Cafe in Montpelier hosted Geek Week annually until its final closing, dedicating each night of a whole week to a different area of geekiness. Green Mountain Gamers formed in 2010 to host mini-convention style game days throughout the state all year round.

Of course, those are only the conventions and convention-like events of which I’m aware. There are few works on the subject, none of which focus on Vermont in particular. If you have memories of conventions past, or information of conventions to come, share in the comments below.

Vermont Tabletop Gaming Round-up

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

There must be something in the weather, because new opportunities to get out, meet new people and play tabletop games are springing up all over the state. Let’s take a look at the state of play in open gaming events as it currently stands, divided up by regions of the state.

Central Vermont

Northeast Kingdom

  • Border Board Games meets monthly at the Derby Line village hall for an evening of friendly gaming, usually on the third Saturday.
  • Parker Pie in West Glover hosts a Tuesday night game gathering, according to a recent Facebook update from Green Mountain Gamers.

Northwestern Vermont

  • Bakuretsucon, Vermont’s anime convention, includes an open gaming space as part of the festivities.
  • Fall-loha is a Burlington area game day hosted by Green Mountain Gamers at some point in the fall.
  • Quarterstaff Games hosts themed game nights all week long in downtown Burlington. Area of focus include board games, Magic: The Gathering, Legend of the 5 Rings, other card games, Warhammer, Warmachine, Dungeons & Dragons and the Pathfinder Society living role-playing campaign.
  • Vermont Gaming Community is a new Facebook community based out of Winooski. They regularly host Magic and board game nights at the moment, with occasional LAN parties.
  • Westford Strategy Board Gaming meets periodically in the Westford area.

Southwestern Vermont

  • Gamers Grotto in Bennington has a full calendar of daily gaming activities. They cover tabletop and video games, with the analog focusing on MagicNaruto and Warhammer.


  • 802 MTG is a Facebook group serving as an access point for Magic players all around Vermont.
  • Green Mountain Gamers is an independent social network for Vermont gamers to meet each other and share news of what’s going on. They also host a series of game days around the state.
  • Tru Gaming VT connects players via events and Facebook.

Upper Valley

  • Carnage is an annual weekend convention of gaming, convening in Killington, Vermont in early November.
  • The Colatina Exit in Bradford sees the playing of board games every third Monday. The organizer advertises them via Facebook.
  • Fairlee Public Library‘s after school programming includes gaming on Thursdays. Tonight, May 24th, they’re experimenting with a evening board game night, too.
  • MEGA Spring Meltdown recently became the Green Mountain Gamers’ longest event, held at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee.[1]
  • Triple Play, a hop over the Connecticut River in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, offers in-store gaming most nights of the week, offering board games, miniatures, card games and more.

Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments.

[1] Green Mountain Gamers also host two game days that float around Vermont. Visit their website for details.

Companions of the Firmament’s Final Stretch Goals

Companions of the Firmament art. Used with permission.

Companions of the Firmament art. Used with permission.

With Geek Industrial Complex’s Companions of the Firmament in its final hours of fundraising, designer Neil Carr has created some interesting new stretch goals to round out the month-long campaign.

In particular, if the Kickstarter reaches 110 backers — it’s currently up to 96 at the time of writing — Geek Industrial Complex will make “an adventure that would use many different elements of CotF to help illustrate their use in play and inject players into a decidedly aerial environment” available to backers of the Wingmate level and higher, essentially everyone who receives a PDF or more as a reward. This goal comes from Neil’s analysis of previous kickstarted RPGs, where the median number of backers on a successful campaign is 110.

Companions of the Firmament is also very close to unlocking still more sheets for flying monsters, allowing GMs to more easily incorporate existing Pathfinder creatures into the supplement’s ruleset expansion.

Finally, Neil promises, “I’ll put out one last update at that final hour of the campaign (10:30 EDT) so keep a lookout for it. I want to add some drama to the last few moments of the campaign :)” Can’t wait to see what he’s got cooked up!

Carnage Noir Update from Carnagecast

This week on Carnagecast, the crew has the latest word on what’s in the works for Carnage, the annual gaming convention held in the Vermont side of the Upper Valley at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee.

Topics of note include the looming deadline for people wishing to get their scheduled games listed in the convention book, what’s already on deck for board games, collectible card games, miniatures and role-playing games, and some discussion of this year’s noir theme and how GMs might take advantage of it.

Carnage Noir happens November 2nd through the 4th in Fairlee, Vermont. Carnagecast releases new episodes alternating Mondays.

Geek Industrial Complex on Carnagecast

Companions of the Firmament art. Used with permission.

Companions of the Firmament art. Used with permission.

Neil Carr of Geek Industrial Complex appears on Carnagecast this week to talk about his current project on Kickstarter, Companions of the Firmament, as well as his experiences so far with crowdfunding.

Geek Industrial Complex is a new role-playing game publisher based in Barre. Companions of the Firmament is their first product. Carnagecast is a podcast produced by the Carnage gaming convention, based in the Upper Valley of Vermont.

Give the episode a listen!


Your humble gaming correspondent has a hand or other extremity in a number of different game-flavored pies. Most recently, helping out with the Carnage game convention led to the opportunity to produce a podcast, namely Carnagecast.

I’ve been listening to podcasts since 2006 or so — the show still hanging in there since day one in my podcatcher is All Games Considered, incidentally. The idea of producing one on my own has always appealed, having a strong media production background, but I’d more or less put to the side as something that would be nice, but there was no compelling topic to talk about. Carnage is a compelling topic for me these days and I’m happy to bring two pleasures like gaming and my own sort of creative work together like this.

It’s early days yet with one episode on DipCon up at the moment, but I’m excited about all the other content we gathered during Carnage this November, as well as ideas for future material. Amazing creative people pour their hearts into gaming projects. I’m proud to have the chance to talk to them and, hopefully, introduce new people to their endeavors.

Reminder: Carnage in Wonderland

Carnage comes to Vermont once more — Carnage the tabletop game convention that is. This Friday through Saturday, tabletop hobbyists from all over gather in Fairlee, Vermont for as much camaraderie and game-playing as they can pack into 72 hours. Your humble gaming correspondent will be there, of course, running games, helping around the registration desk and getting some new media action going.

In addition to the myriad board, role-playing, card and miniature games, Carnage hosts Dipcon 2011, the North American Diplomacy tournament. Every year, the convention hosts a Diplomacy tournament called the Carnage Accords, but this year the byzantine schemes step up a notch as some of the premier Diplomacy players on the continent vie for renown and control of western Europe.

Geek Things for November 5

  • ‘Carnage the 13th’ 1–5PM, Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee. $25 per day; $50 for three days. (Convention)
  • Harry Potter Fan Club, 3PM, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston, VT. Free, Preregistration required.
  • Science & Stories, 11AM, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT. Regular admission, $8.50-10.50; free for kids 2 and under. (Kids)
  • ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, 7PM, Edmunds Middle School, Burlington, VT. (Theater)
  • Plant & Soil Science Seminar Series: “From Acer to Zizia: How Humans Are Impacting Our Green Mountain Forests.” 2:30–4:30PM Room 112, James M. Jeffords Hall, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT. Free. (Science)
  • ‘The Shape of Things’ 8PM, FlynnSpace, Burlington. $10-20; free for Champlain College students with ID. (Theater)
  • ‘Life x 3’, 7:30PM at Hartman Theatre, Myers Fine Arts Building, SUNY Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, NY. $2-10. (Theater)
  • Joseph Citro, The author of The Vermont Monster Guide dives into tales of supernatural creatures, 2PM, Faith United Methodist Church, South Burlington. $5 donation. (Author Talk)
  • Almost Utopia: In Search of the Good Life in Mid-Century America, Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier, VT Card Room, Second Floor or 388-4964.