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 | January 23rd, 2019 | Season 2 | 1 hr 36 secs
characters, dungeons and dragons, geeks, larp, mush, pathfinder, players, plot, roleplaying games, tabletop, vampire, white wolf
It's the first episode of season two! Since it's the beginning of our new season, the Favorite, the Curmudgeon and the Legend talk about endings. Carie, Jason and Ryan explore the reasons and requirements for ending a story and the benefits and drawbacks of doing so!
Episode | December 5th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 4 mins
characters, culture, diversity, experience points, game design, geeks, roleplaying games, rpg, tabletop games, xp
There's a lot of talk about experience points lately, so the Favorite asks the Curmudgeon and the Legend what the point of XP is. Carie, Jason and Ryan discuss the problems and benefits of XP, why we have it and why it's such a contentious topic on our final episode of season one!
Episode | November 29th, 2018 | Season 1 | 35 mins 47 secs
comics, donny cates, geeks, god country, guardians of the galaxy, marvel comics, podcast, roleplaying games, rpg, storytelling, tabletop, venom
Epik Comic Show happened recently, and the Curmudgeon and the Legend sat down with Marvel comic's writer Donny Cates. Carie and Ryan find out Donny's story and how he became a comic book author, and then get his take on how to tell a great story!
Episode | November 18th, 2018 | Season 1 | 1 hr 2 mins
battlestar galactica, conventions, dungeons and dragons, games, geeks, jamie chambers, mush, pathfinder, podcast, postapocalypticon, roleplaying, roleplaying games, rpg, serenity, supernatural, tabletop
Hanging out at PostApocalypticon at Dicehead Games and Comics, the Curmudgeon and the Legend sat down with game designer Jamie Chambers to talk about his new 5th Ed adventure, A Delve in the Cave. Ryan and Carie also talk with Jamie about his early online role with TSR and his experience writing licensed gaming products.
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!