The RPG Blog Carnival Archive

The Unofficial Official RPG Blog Carnival Logo.

The Carnival List Archive

Below are all the RPG Blog Carnivals to date. Future Carnivals are listed first, followed by the current carnival announcement, and then links to all the previous carnival round ups in reverse chronological order. The links point to the blogs that hosted the carnival and, wherever possible, the specific post where the carnival was wrapped up. You should find that, after the jump, you land on a page with a huge number of links pointing to articles about that month’s topic.

Enjoy!

Details on how to participate as a contributor or to host the RPG Blog Carnival are below the Archive.

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

Welcome to the RPG Blog Carnival Archive. Below you will find an archived list all the past carnivals ever run by the RPG blogging community at large! Scroll down and check out the archive! The carnival has been going strong in 2008, traveling from blog to blog and making hundreds of thousands of gamers happy in the process.

Have a blog of your own? Interested in contributing to the magic of the carnival? Read on!

Why Participate

Blogger carnivals are a way for a group of bloggers to all simultaneously write about the same topic. They are a great way to build community and dialogue across many different blogs at once. This benefits fans/readers of those blogs because they have the opportunity to explore lots of different viewpoints in a short period of time. It also benefits the bloggers because they get new readers to stop by and (from a technical point of view) it helps with SEO. Everyone wins.

How to Participate

Have a blog? Want to write for the RPG Bloggers Carnival? Easy – just write a post on the current month’s topic and in your post link to the Host’s blog post that announced the topic (see below). You can also drop by their blog and leave a comment on the announcement post to be sure – pingbacks don’t always work. That’s it. At the end of the month, the Host will write a round-up and include a link back to your article.

How to Sign Up To Host

If you want to sign up to be a host of the carnival, either post something on the RPG Bloggers Network Google Group, or leave a comment here. Let us know what the topic is, what month you want to host, and the URL for your blog and we’ll add it to the schedule. Snap! Easy.

How To Host A Carnival

If you are the host of the carnival, then plan on writing two posts at a minimum.

  1. The first post announces the topic of the carnival – which is up to you! After all, you’re the host! Sometime people also optionally blog about the topic in the same post they made the announcement. Personally, I prefer to break it up so that the announcements come on the first of the month, leaving you time to develop your post later in the month. Your mileage may vary. Take a look at some of the previous carnivals to get some ideas. In general, it may also be a good idea to include a link to this Archive page for your readers to check out – this should trigger a pingback notifying me that you’ve made a post for the carnival. You can leave a comment here to be sure if the pingback doesn’t (for some reason) work.
  2. Your second post should be a “round-up” of the Carnival. This usually comes during the following month. You can at a minimum simply have a barebones post that links back to all the articles written by other blogs on the topic; or you can write a meaty discussion piece that links out to all the posts AND discusses the topics from your point of view. It’s pretty open / flexible – whatever works for you is OK, but the key thing is the “round up” should include links to all the blogs who participated in the Carnival you hosted.

Participating blogs (hosts and contributors) for each RPG Blog Carnival are encouraged to use the ‘official’ logo (shown above) when posting content related to the carnival. The logo was decided by popular vote and was designed by Reis O’Brien of the blog, Geek Orthodox.

143 thoughts on “The RPG Blog Carnival Archive

  1. This is a great idea. Thank you.

    I notice though that some of the links are posted as http://url on some of the start and close links above.

    The other thing that I think might help would be a set of instructions posted here that tell new RPG Bloggers how to get involved in the Carnival. That would be great! Thank you!

  2. Good suggestions! Thank you.

    I’ll tackle this asap, or perhaps have one of the NMP content developers help out. The page above is basically copy/pasted from the original google group site – I wanted to grab it before I forgot and google deleted it.

  3. Dungeon’s Master would be happy to host the blog carnival in May or later in 2011. Who should we contact to set something up? Or is this comment sufficient?

  4. @Ameron — this is enough. I’ll put you down for May/2011. DId you have a topic in mind yet? I think you have my email address; feel free to email me with your topic. In the meantime, I’ll set it up as TBD. Thanks!

  5. Hate to push Mr Shinobicow around (sorry man!), but I did put dibs on the April 2011 slot last month when this was still running through the Google Group (which was exactly why I started the push to get the Carnival running again).

    A Character For Every Game
    Game Cartography

  6. No worries. I’ll move everyone down 1 month and drop you into April. Sound good?No worries. I’ll move everyone down 1 month and drop you into April. Sound good?

    Of course – there’s nothing stopping people from running two carnivals in a month — but perhaps for community unity, we won’t open that box?

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  9. Hi, Thanks again for the carnival. I love the idea. However, I’m still (sorry!) confused as to what the instructions are to get started with it. Is there an instructions page that outlines how the Carnival works? If so a link to it from this page would be great. If not, I’m hoping someone can drum something up for the clueless. :) Something like “RPG Carnival – How it works and How to Participate” would be great. Thanks again!

  10. I’ll throw something together – but here’s the gist of it:

    The RPG BLOGGERS CARNIVAL

    Why Participate
    Blogger carnivals are a way for a group of bloggers to all simultaneously write about the same topic. They are a great way to build community and dialogue across many different blogs at once. This benefits fans/readers of those blogs because they have the opportunity to explore lots of different viewpoints in a short period of time. It also benefits the bloggers because they get new readers to stop by and (from a technical point of view) it helps with SEO. Everyone wins.

    How to Participate
    Have a blog? Want to write for the RPG Bloggers Carnival? Easy – just write a post on the current month’s topic and in your post link to the Host’s blog post that announced the topic (see below). You can also drop by their blog and leave a comment on the announcement post to be sure – pingbacks don’t always work. That’s it. At the end of the month, the Host will write a round-up and include a link back to your article.

    How to Sign Up To Host
    If you want to sign up to be a host of the carnival, either post something on the RPG Bloggers Network Google Group, or leave a comment here. Let us know what the topic is, what month you want to host, and the URL for your blog and we’ll add it to the schedule. Snap! Easy.

    How To Host A Carnival
    If you are the host of the carnival, then plan on writing two posts at a minimum.

    The first post announces the topic of the carnival – which is up to you! After all, you’re the host! Sometime people also optionally blog about the topic in the same post they made the announcement. Personally, I prefer to break it up so that the announcements come on the first of the month, leaving you time to develop your post later in the month. Your mileage may vary. Take a look at some of the previous carnivals to get some ideas. In general, it may also be a good idea to include a link to this Archive page for your readers to check out – this should trigger a pingback notifying me that you’ve made a post for the carnival. You can leave a comment here to be sure if the pingback doesn’t (for some reason) work.

    Your second post should be a “round-up” of the Carnival. This usually comes during the following month. You can at a minimum simply have a barebones post that links back to all the articles written by other blogs on the topic; or you can write a meaty discussion piece that links out to all the posts AND discusses the topics from your point of view. It’s pretty open / flexible – whatever works for you is OK, but the key thing is the “round up” should include links to all the blogs who participated in the Carnival you hosted.

    does that help?

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  14. @Jonathan – Added a link your announcement
    @David – signed you up for August (GENCON!)
    @Everyone – Totally revamped the list and updated it to be reverse chronological. I also added the How To / Why / When information alluded to in a previous comment. Let me know if anything should be fixed/tweaked. Cheers — Jonathan.

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  21. I’d like to make a suggestion for September 2011 RPG Carnival. I think it would be interesting to see how fellow RPGers set up encounters; Combat, Role-playing, and exploration. I’ve seen comments on my blog and others asking questions on how they set up a particular encounter or what the inspiration was etc. I think there could be quite a bit of information gained from something like this.

    This could be handled as 1-3 posts :) Whatever the author feels like doing.

  22. @wrathofzombie – the next spot is November. – but Mike Evans has already signed up (waiting on confirmation). If you would like December of this year – that would be excellent. The topic is as you mentioned – and I’m assuming you would host the carnival from your blog @ wrathofzombie.wordpress.com ?

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  36. I’d be happy to host either November or December. My topic would be:

    ——————
    Tricks & Traps, or How to think like a Villain.

    Setting up challenges for PCs that make sense in terms of the story is a matter of thinking “What would the villain *really* do?” Learning to think like your villain is a bit tricky because if you think too well then your players may not survive very long, but if you don’t think enough …well, it is just too damn easy. What Tricks-n-Traps have your villains set for those who dare impinge on their turf, or interfer with their nepharious plots? Did the PCs live or die, …or something far far worse?! :)
    ——————
    S’ok?

      • Ok sounds great. I will plan to post the invitation on Nov. 1st. That will give me enough time to tidy up my blog and make sure the dishes are done and the carpet is vacuumed. I look forward to it. Thanks! :)

      • If December is still open, I would not mind hosting the Blog Carnival at the Casting Shadows blog on the theme of Heroes – Living and Dead.

  37. Excellent. I’ll sign you up Runeslinger!

    Thanks!

    So – that leaves the schedule filled till January, 2012 ! I’ll open the schedule up for those months now too – anyone who wants to grab a month early next year, feel free to speak up!

    Cheers all — Jonathan.

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  42. Just a followup… I notice that the current blog listed above is still for October. I did post November on the 1st… now I’m wondering if I missed a step? Anyway, it is there, and I’m hoping that I did the post correctly and people have noticed it.

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  46. I wonder how people would feel about having the carnival posts bundled somehow into a collection and made available somewhere. I imagine a consistently-formatted series of monthly volumes with the carnival posts would look rather nice on the shelf, as it were.

    “I need a book on mapping. Ah yes, April 2011, and there may be something in February 2011, and I dare say January 2012 will have some maps as well.”

    I’m somewhat tempted to do something up for myself, so I’ve got some reading material for my daily commute. I’m concerned that posting it might be problematic because it could draw attention away from the sites who take part in it.

    OTOH, it might draw traffic to those sites because it may help advertise the Carnival as a whole. ‘Productizing’ (if not ‘monetizing’ — please shoot me now for using these words) the Carnival might actually do good things.

    Any thoughts on the matter?

    • TL;DR: bundling each month’s carnival into a document could be a lot of work, but may be worth it because it may let us archive carnival material ‘forever’.

      I just took a first cut at one carnival and discovered two things:

      1. April 2011 (Game Cartography), while a great interest of mine and what I was going to do, is monstrously big and not something I could knock off on my lunch hour. I did February 2011 (Worldbuilding) instead and managed to get it all into a single Word file in about an hour.

      2. Formatting is inconsistent between blogs. I went as simple as possible (I want to make an EPUB for my Sony Reader) and it looks passable, but calibre didn’t like the layout I did for the document. Need to review what styles I use, I guess.

      3. Even less than a year old, and one of the blog posts is no long available at the link from the carnival. One of the other benefits to bundling them is they may be readable after the source blog goes away.

      This is for personal use only at this point, of course, but I thought others might be interested.

      • One of the things I like about the carnival is going to sites I have not discovered yet and seeing what their links are, and what their takes on “the classics” are.

        For those who tend not to read blogs, though – or who do not have the time to read them when they have reasonable online access, such a project could be quite useful, both for transmission of information, and expanding the readership of the blogs that participate.

      • Hi Runeslinger,

        The ‘new sites’ thing is indeed one of the benefits of the Carnival.

        The way I picture this working is that the Carnival would continue much as it has, happening ‘real time’ on the various blogs, with a centralized location each time, that moves around from month to month. I dare say that is one of the main draws for the blogs — not just “we’re all talking about this topic this month”, but “the primary location each month moves”.

        The change might be, however, that rather than just packing up our tents and moving to the next site, a journal is created of the posts to make a record of it. As you say, useful for those without the time to read all the blogs, but also serving to raise awareness of the participating blogs for those who are not following at the time.

        I suspect such a journal would probably lag the actual event by at least a month — even simply collecting the relevant posts, doing some basic formatting for consistency, and some basic editing (fixing tyops if nothing else) could take a couple of weeks. If you can arrange the legal elements ahead of time (sign off on granting copyright to allow inclusion, or declining same) that’ll save some time (and a lot of headache) in the long run. I frankly expect the publication of the journal would lag the actual event by two or three months (you don’t want there to be a month of work involved or you won’t keep up, but multiple issues can be in the chute at once).

        I won’t pretend this wouldn’t be a fair bit of work to do right. I think it would be a good thing, but as I said in my note to jonathan below, there are questions that would need to be sorted out first.

  47. A bit late to this discussion here – but here are the issues I see:

    a) GREAT idea. Very much like what Open Game Table tried to do, only without all the committees and reviews and judging of entries.

    b) Copyright. Even publishing something for “personal use” is a copyright violation if you distribute it on your site. You can’t simply grab blogger’s content, throw it into a Word Doc and post it to the web, even if its for free. That would really be a problem for sites that don’t operate under Creative Commons (unlike Nevermet Press). You would have to go get the written approval of each author to do so without risking a copyright problem. Personally, I wouldn’t want to tackle a project like that unless everyone involved signed on to participating (again, much like Open Game)

    c) Static vs. Dynamic Content. Published content (even ePUB/PDF/WORD documents) often loose the -context- of the material. One of things that makes blogs rock is the ability for people to comment on and share their own POVs on the topic. A print WORD document would not be a living document. In anycase, there _is_ obviously value to doing something like this – but I think it would require a lot of effort that a very small number of people would appreciate even if done well.

    my 2 cents.

    Now.. that being said… another approach would be to have the RPG Blog Carnival operate like the Public Library of Science Journal PloS One – basically, anything/everything is published so long as the articles meet the basic criteria set out by the community who is managing it (in the context of PLoS ONE, it’s usually a technical requirement that the research was done “right” regardless of the impact/value of the work). In our case, we could set up a style guide for posts – some very basic requirements – mainly to help facilitate creating the journal. Also, all the blogs that participated would have to publish those articles for the carnival under a Creative Commons license. This would make it a bit “easier” to tackle.

    my 2 more cents

    Cheers — Jonathan

    • Hi Jonathan,

      Agreed about the copyright issue, and it’s a sticky bit for me. If (and it’s a big if, or a small once since it seems unlikely I’d have the time right now) I were to do it for the carnival I’m hosting next month, I’d want to get sign off before even thinking about it. When I said ‘personal use’, I meant it — this Word file is going nowhere but on my Sony. So, yeah. Right now if I do it, I do it for myself. If in future it came up I’d want to see some kind of oversight and actual legal management of it.

      I considered, in doing up that first one for my e-book reader, whether or not comments should be included. And what I should do with linked content from the same or other sites. And so on.

      Clearly, this idea would require more thought before actual execution.

      But I agree, I still think it’s a good idea, just one with some sticky points that would need to be addressed before actually doing it.

      Your last (major) paragraph there, I think might be a good idea. No ‘judging’ or the like, just some writers guidelines that hopefully wouldn’t be too hard to adhere to.

      I did consider the possibility of a site dedicated to this, which might help with making it a little more structured like this, but I didn’t want to suggest it at the time — I imagine the Carnival brings a fair bit of traffic here, and some people get touchy about that… :)

      Keith

      • ah, I think I see what you were referring to with regard to ‘personal use only’.

        I meant “I made a document for my own use”, not “I made a document for other people to use for personal use only” as with the character sheets in RPG books, which players are typically granted permission to copy ‘for personal use only’.

      • The amount of traffic the blog gets from this archive is actually only about 50 – 100 visitors per week (at least according to what Google Analytics tells me) – my blog overall only gets about 1000 visitors per week and about twice that number of page views (on average).

        Content is King – and since the number/rate of posts on Nevermet Press has dropped significantly since 2010 – our traffic has come down as well (although Stories in the Ether is going strong and supporting much of the new growth I’ve seen since the summer). FWIW – I’m always looking for guest bloggers for gaming, but everyone (understandably) prefers to write for their own blog than here.

      • I’d be open to being a guest poster, especially if it gets an opportunity to get my own blog better known. I’ve been kind of pressed lately to get my own writing done (I’ve spent two nights now working on a post that should by rights take only one night), and I expect to get more busy next month with the Carnival, but maybe in February.

    • You have good ‘cents’~

      No great idea is ever really a simple matter, is it?

      Personally, if such a thing were to be undertaken and the basic hurdles dealt with, I think it would be nice to have it trail the carnival by more than just a month to give readers ample time to stalk the articles in their native environment.

      • I agree. I figured one month would be a minimum based just on the work involved. I remember reading Dragon editors talking about how they usually had two or three months lead time from “let’s start the July issue” and it actually going to print, and they had rather more control over the situation (and more money to put behind it).

        I like three months. Three months feels about right to me. It gives time to polish the issue (I have learned that ‘idle time’ is useful for polishing, sometimes more than continuing to work on a document) and — just as important to me — a period of ‘exclusive access’ on the web sites, while also acting to bring it back to peoples’ attention when the issue is actually released.

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  49. The idea of a permanent archive for _all_ RPG Blog Carnival participants is ambitious – and I would be happy to support that effort however I could. My experience with Open Game Table though may be helpful: the main take away is that it’s far far more work to get all the contractual / legal / publishing frameworks in place that you may initially expect (if you don’t have experience with that sort of thing). You’re talking about dozens of authors and tens of thousands of words of content. That’s a ton of editing and word wrangling. Not a small task.

    I do think, however, that having a permanent source for these writings is (from sort of a archivist, even historical point of view) an interesting idea. The main thing though is how much use will it be once it’s done? It will be important to use some smart SEO strategies and search capabilities so that prospective gamers – 1, 2 5, 10 years down the road can still find these posts. Again, not a small task.

    I hate to sound pessimistic – maybe the scientist in me is coming out – but I just want to make sure you know what you would be getting into.
    I do think, however, that having a permanent source for these writings is (from sort of a archivist, even historical point of view) an interesting idea. The main thing though is how much use will it be once it’s done? It will be important to use some smart SEO strategies and search capabilities so that prospective gamers – 1, 2 5, 10 years down the road can still find these posts. Again, not a small task.

    I hate to sound pessimistic – maybe the scientist in me is coming out – but I just want to make sure you know what you would be getting into.

    • Oh yeah, I realize it’d be hard to set up if permanent archival is one of major goals. How hard exactly? Not sure; I’d like to think it would be as simple as “sign this if you want to be included in the journal after”, especially if it’s all free.

      On that point, while it crosses my mind that it would be nice if it this were self-supporting (say by sales of the journal, to cover hosting charges and possibly art and layout costs if that were to be shopped out) I think that would get really, really hard fast.

  50. While we’re at it – I’m going to claim February for Nevermet Press. The topic? Well – it’s February, so Valentines day should be the theme – right?

    How about “Things to Love, Things to Hate: A Month of RPG Hyperbole!” ?

    A month of the things we love and hate about RPGs both in and out of the game. Everything from favorite monsters to most hated player habits (and to fix them), from most loved games to the single thing you hate most about [insert game here]. It’s a broad topic – but I think people could really have fun with it. Hyperbole and Blogging are great friends. =D

    • I haven’t even done mine yet, but I just had the thought that “March: Off to War!” would be a good topic.

      Then I saw that this topic was done by The Dice Bag, also in March, three years ago.

      Then I saw that that blog is so defunct that the domain seems to be gone.

      *headdesk*

      This is exactly the sort of situation the archive and journal would be handy. Maybe ‘just’ archiving the roundup for use in situations like this would be a simple start?

      • I am down for January, which hasn’t happened yet. It just occurred to me that War would be a good topic for March. I didn’t want to lay claim to it — while I do see some sites have hosted more than once, but twice in three months seems a little aggressive, especially since I haven’t hosted one yet.

    • I’d suggest that unless this sort of thing happens a lot, keeping it in comments is probably sufficient. Opening forums is, IMO, good if it looks like you have a community developing, rather than an occasional busy topic.

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      • I’m on the RPGBA and signed up (but not yet approved) for RPGBN. I wasn’t aware they had google groups, I’ll look them up in the morning… but I’m getting some good response now.

        I’ve also got ideas for a couple more carnivals I’d like to run. May might be a good time for (title pending) Celebrations, Festivals, and Holy Days, and October might be good for Character Exits (which might mean character death stories, because those are always fun, but could include ascension, other modes of retirement, how to handle such situations, and so on — my former boss suggested it as a war stories thing based around TPKs, but I think this has more possibility).

      • I’ve also made the unconscious decision to marathon this — post a day for the month, on-topic. I just scheduled tomorrow morning’s (which is to say this morning’s after the dark time) post.

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  59. Grand total (assuming I didn’t miss any *more* posts) for Fantastic Locations, and not counting meta-posts like the roundups (including three tries at the final one): 44 pages, 21 blogs.

    I now have a 155-page Word file with the entire thing (or 134 if I were to strip the blog-specific introductory pages that are basically blank) to be loaded into my ebook reader.

    It’d kind of badass, but I haven’t requested permission to share (republish other peoples’ posts)….

    Keith

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  62. I just had an idea for another carnival I’d like to host:

    Memorable Monsters

    Bring a stat block, tell us of an epic encounter, go meta (like a lot of people did last month, and I loved it) and explain what makes a monster memorable. Whatever, it’s all good.

    (Other ideas I’d like to explore: Celebrations and Holidays, and Character Exits… but I’d like to do Memorable Monsters first)

      • I’m thinking about changing topics for May (save ‘Memorable Monsters’ for another time, or I’d be happy for someone else to take that one).

        I’m leaning more toward ‘Enchanting Items’. Magical or supertech, or just fantastic uses of mundane items. Rules for creating such items in-game, or techniques for developing them out of game. Stories about how such items have been significant in play. Examples of such items, for use in others’ games (I see a number of blogs with ‘item of the week’ or ‘magic item monday’ features).

      • Fantastic Creations works, gets a bit of a theme going (Fantastic Locations, Fantastic Locations… instead of Memorable Monsters make it Fantastic Creatures, and so on). I can work with that, sure.

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  67. Sorry I’ve been so out of it the last couple week everyone – work has been steamrollering my gaming / blogging / writing life. I’ll update the calendar with everyone’s posts and such now.

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  70. Hey, where is everyone? We’ve got less than a week to go in April, and I’ve only had three people throw a post in. (Apologies for the earlier linkspam; I think I must not have seen my first link go through.)

  71. Fantastic Creations is now wrapped up.

    The turnout was rather less this time than last time. The roundup includes some thoughts on why this might be, in part. I’d overlooked that January likely has more people indoors doing stuff online than May does, but I suspect it may be in part that I was pushing more related material out this time and keeping it more in front of people.

    • It has been so busy at the moment with real life getting in the way of blogging life, but we just came over to find out what the new topic was and how to join in?

      Will go away and do a quick think on a topic for July if you would like and we will host it?

      • I’ll see if we can raise Jonathan, haven’t heard anything from him in a while.

        Think of a topic. If nothing else I’ll try to step up to curate.

  72. hey there. This hasn’t been posted on for a while, and a quick Google search brings up people who talk about this rather than a G+ group page. I was just wondering if it’s still best to post here if you fancy throwing your hat into the ring to host an RPG blog carnival for a month. Blog address will be linked below, and the idea I have is for discussing what would be in your ideal game, either for system or setting, and whether or not something like it exists.

    I have no particular time to host it in mind, and will happily fill a slot if you have a quiet month, or just to be kept as a back-up if you have a month with no other options. Cheers.

    http://shortymonster.co.uk/

  73. Pingback: Ankieta na najlepsze teksty Karnawału Blogowego RPG | Gry-Fabularne.pl

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