Carie Varner is an artist, a mother, a drinker of much Pepsi and on occasion, funny.
She graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (who needs to eat?). Her artwork is available to view and purchase on her Facebook page.
Carie was known as AMC Mike when she helped co-host the film-centered radio show and podcast Lights Camera Cleveland.
Her first gaming book was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness, and she's played everything from World of Darkness to Earthdawn, and even some game with THACO. She's LARPed in three different networked organizations, holding organizational positions in two. She's also helped playtest LARPs, including Shadow Run (the costumes were so cool!). Carie is currently the head storyteller for River Valley Rage, a Vampire LARP in Tennessee.
MUD/MUCK/MUSHes have been a big part of her life, too. She's played in many, and the constant typing has improved her grammar, her typing speed and to a lesser degree, her speling. She's role-played in Hogsmeade, on a 5th World in a different universe, in classic books and in completely newly-crafted universes. She's ran several as well, including a high school for super heroes and a small Appalachian town during World War II set in the Supernatural universe.
Episode | November 8th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 2 mins
cthulu, culture, development, diversity, game design, geeks, harlem unbound, lovecraft, roleplaying games, rpg, tabletop games
While at HLG Con, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite had the opportunity to hang out with Chris Spivey, the multiple Gold Ennie-winning designer of Harlem Unbound. Ryan, Carie and Jason talk with Chris about diversity in gaming and designing a role-playing game that tackles difficult and important topics.
Episode | October 30th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 3 mins
craig campbell, development, die laughing, geeks, independent games, indie games, kickstarter, nerdburger games, podcast, roleplaying games, rpg, tabletop
Having played Die Laughing at HLG Con, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite invite indie game designer Craig Campbell back to the show to talk about the game. Ryan, Carie and Jason then spend time with Craig diving into the world of indie game development and the Kickstarter process.
Episode | October 18th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 43 mins
actual play, die laughing, geeks, hlg con, nerdburger games, roleplaying games, rpg, tabletop
Driving across the United States to Atlantic City for HLG Con was tiring, so the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite made it their mission to have as much fun there as they could. Ryan, Carie and Jason wrangled Craig Campbell of Nerdburger Games and convinced him to run a session of his latest game, Die Laughing. Here's an actual play recording of the game.
Episode | October 3rd, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 8 mins
geeks, larp, profit, roleplaying games
After reading a heated online discussion, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite dive into the ethics and acceptability of running role-playing games, particularly LARPs, for profit. Ryan, Carie and Jason discuss behaviors, expectations and general opinions about this surprisingly controversial topic.
Episode | September 27th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 12 mins
geeks, larp, matthew webb, nerdball, roleplaying games
The Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite have a sit down with Matthew Webb about his recent article about the concept of LARP as Nerdball. Ryan, Carie and Jason talk about how competitive play can be abusive and systemic. They also exploring ways we can all work to prevent those problems and build healthy gaming communities.
Episode | September 19th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 11 mins
dungeons and dragons, geeks, roleplaying games
Armed with courage and technology, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite take on Facebook Live and hold an "Ask Me Anything"-style show. Ryan, Carie and Jason talk about all of the games in Ryan's gaming room and everything else they get asked by our listeners.
Episode | September 11th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 3 mins
drawings, geeks, larp, mush, props, roleplaying games, snacks
What sort of things that are NOT the game helps make your game better? This week, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite discuss snacks, locations, music, props and everything else you can add to your game night to make things great. Ryan, Carie and Jason even explore the differences in these kinds of additions for tabletop games, LARPs and MUSHs.
Episode | September 4th, 2018 | Season 1 | 59 mins 13 secs
characters, geeks, players, roleplaying games
Ever wonder what makes a good character great? This week, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite try to figure out what players can do to develop their good characters into characters that are great. Ryan, Carie and Jason formulate a four piece theory based on Depth, Substance, Usefulness and Awesome. How do your characters rate?
Episode | August 29th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 3 mins
attention whore, bad players, cheaters, competitor, creeper, geeks, players, roleplaying games, storytelling
This week, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite continue their discussion about problem players. In the second of two parts, Ryan, Carie and Jason break down more types of problem players, what causes them and how to deal with them. They also talk about how to vet players as a means to prevent allowing problem players in to your gaming community in the first place.
Episode | August 21st, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 2 mins
bad players, geeks, metagaming, players, powergaming, roleplaying games, storytelling, xp
What do you do when one of your players is ruining the game for everyone? This week, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite discuss how to address problem players. In the first of two parts, Ryan, Carie and Jason break down different kinds of problem players, what causes them and how to deal with them.
Episode | August 14th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 13 mins
geeks, player agency, players, roleplaying games, star trek, star wars
Just what is player agency and how does it work... or not work? This week, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite tackle defining Player Agency and then exploring the things that make up this mysterious idea. Ryan, Carie and Jason also talk about whether or not it's even real...
Episode | August 7th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 2 mins
characters, fandom, geeks, players, plot, roleplaying games, sherlock holmes, star wars, toxicity, vampire, white wolf
Fandoms have become increasingly toxic and broken lately. This week, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite examine the story of Sherlock Holmes and how even 150 years ago, people were dealing with harassment from fans. Ryan, Carie and Jason also talk about the current problems in fandom, particularly the Star Wars, Critical Role and White Wolf Publishing fandom problems in recent weeks!
Episode | July 31st, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 5 mins
characters, geeks, players, plot, roleplaying games
We all want our character to be in the spotlight from time to time. This week, the Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite investigate what players can do to help make sure they can get in the plot and story limelight while also helping other players have their moments, too. Ryan, Carie and Jason also examine how storytellers can manage their gaming group to give everyone the time they want and desire in the spotlight!
Episode | July 17th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 7 mins
downtimes, feedback, geeks, idaho, larp, mush, requests, roleplaying games
What happens to characters in between games? The Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite take a look at the between games antics of characters, players and storytellers as they examine downtime actions, online or email scenes and player requests. Ryan, Carie and Jason work through the challenges and expectations of what happens between games.
Episode | July 10th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 13 mins
community, dungeon master, geeks, hints, roleplaying games, running a game, scenes, storytelling, vampire, white wolf
The very first time anyone runs a game can be nerve-wracking. The Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite navigate through advice and suggestions to help make running your first game less stressful and more successful. Breaking it down into what a new DM/Storyteller should do before, during and after their first game, Ryan, Carie and Jason do their best to help any novice game runner have a successful experience. They also take a few minutes to address the current controversy surrounding White Wolf's release of Vampire 5th Edition.
Episode | July 4th, 2018 | Season 1 | 59 mins 54 secs
beginning, end, geeks, middle, roleplaying games, scenes, storytelling
A great story in a roleplaying game is made up of many different scenes The Curmudgeon, the Legend and the Favorite get into the nuts and bolts of what makes a scene work. Examining all of the pieces, Ryan, Carie and Jason do a deep dive into the art of constructing a scene that is compelling, exciting, clear and most of all, in service to the overall story.