Monday, April 09, 2012

Issue 2 of Thee Rapture

I'm afraid it's not really Carnel news (although I haven't stopped working on the zine) but I have put together Issue 2 of my webzine Thee Rapture. You might like it and if not it is at least free.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Website back up and Paypal buttons now available

So the website is available and the server seems to have been restored more or less fully. I was working on an alternative if there continues to be issues but for now it seems like everything is good.

I have updated the buying page with some PayPal buttons if you want to buy the latest issue. For the moment I am only interested in taking payments via PayPal for my own convenience.

Look at the website!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Carnel Website down/Issue 39

So I finally get time to update the front page and find I can't login to server hosting the site, and in fact the site itself is down... Apparently the server is being shipped to the US for repair so I don't know when it will be back up.

In the meantime, Issue 39 is out, hurrah! You can check out the details at

This outage might be an incentive to transfer some more of the old site to the new wiki.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Carnel Email

Right now the Carnel email box has more spam than valid mail and I am not checking it that regularly. I am wondering what the best replacement service is going to be. I fancy something that mixes a forum with Twitter.


Cleaning up the website

I have been cleaning up some of the neglect over at the Carnel Website. The site had been in a bit of a bad way recently, becoming more and more out of date as I struggled to find time to update it and have been splitting my time between many different interests.

At the moment what I really wanted to do was get the news out that there is a new bundle of issues representing everything I did in 2008. You can now buy it via PayPal (the addresses for cheques and money etc. are out of date).

I have been in the zine writers classic dilemma recently. Given less time to dedicate to the zine I have been preferring to spend time working on new articles and pieces when I do have time available. Also the infrastructure of the zine has been boring me more and more. The exciting thing for me is writing the articles and preparing them. Selling, publicising and getting them "out there" has been less and less interesting.

Recently I have taken to handing out the issues for free whenever I go to a convention or a gathering of gamers. They are starting to be more like letters to friends about what I am interested in at the moment.

As such I am wondering about simply putting the content onto the website a year after they come out. I was opposed to doing this for a long time as I do not get any feedback or conversation from the online stuff. However right now the simplicity of distributing via the web seems attractive. I might even start producing paper copies from the online pieces.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Republish those goddamn back issues!

A politely forceful letter from the Deposit Office points out that I have failed in my legal duty to provide copies of some of the old Carnel issues.

Most of them are fine but issues 23, 24, 28, 29, 31 are all out of print and I didn't really envisage reprinting them in the same form. 28 and 31 are interesting because they are the two Lustria specials. I am thinking of seeing if anyone on Strike to Stun wants them if I print more than the legally required copy.

It's quite interesting going back to these issues and having a look at what stands up. 23 and 29 pretty much deserve a second outing in original form. Issue 24 is good visually (although I would probably do different fonts now) but is one of the issues where I was pissed off with the rpg containment of the zine and therefore is really diverse.

I am much more sanguine about the single subject zine ghetto now and tend to use the internet to try and match articles with audience.

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Carnel 37 will be along presently

I have finished Issue 37 and I gave it to subscribers who were at TimCon on the weekend. Issue 36 has a page and half to go but will be done soon. Both issues will be sent out to subs as soon as I get the chance.

These are smaller size issues (12 and 16 pages) and the content will be going on the website soon.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Pet Peeves: Burning Oil

During the D&D game at the Launch Night last night I was struck by one of my personal bugbears, particularly with people who then talk about any kind of "realism" in D&D.

Medieval lamp oil is not kerosene. Please think about this. When was oil discovered and refined? Are there oil derricks in your world? If not please don't have people going up in flames just because someone threw something that is nominally flammable at them. You can use olive oil in a lamp, if you douse me in olive oil and then try to torch me I am going to be angry but I'm unlikely to be wreathed in fire. The best oil you can hope for is whale oil if you want to be a realist.

So if you have burning oil traps in your game, please allow me to vault over obstructions, kick people over castle crenelations and generally have a high old time because it is no more unrealistic than your inability to grasp what was invented when.

And before anyone mention's Greek Fire, did the Byzantines put that rare, battlefield weapon in lamps and wander round their cellars with it?

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UK Dungeons and Dragons 4e Launch Night

A less than stellar effort by Leisure Games and WotC that required standing outside the London Dungeon on a rainy London Evening for 45 minutes after the posted kick off time, just to get some poor food and a demo of the new game by someone who hated it, had control issues and read the box out text in the halting manner of a nine year old.

Despite this the new game is excitingly different but the design team have created a monster. Rob Heinsoo declared that the team's goal had been to "create the game that we thought D&D was as kids before we played it". He may well have succeeded but for the people who have come to love the game as it was written the new version is anathema as it throws away a lot of the conventions that emerged from the rules rather than being part of the setting. At the same time it isn't an action game that is as fast and free-flowing as Exalted, d6 or the "fu" games.

The biggest example of the problems is that grinding tactical combat against monsters really doesn't fit with the new game. The streamlined D&D minis rules allow that but the RPG has more complexity that isn't justified without greater acceptance of genre conventions. If as a GM you can't say "that's cool, it should work" you shouldn't be playing edition.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Carnel Google Apps

I have bought the domain for use with Google Apps. As my life has been much more hectic recently I have had less time to maintain the website in the old long-hand style.

I will be shifting some of the existing material on the site to the Google Sites wiki.

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