Monday, November 30, 2015

Gail Gygax Responds to the Community's Questions Regarding the Gygax Memorial Fund

Gail Gygax has responded to the questions posed by the gaming community and previously posted here at The Tavern.

I am posting her responses as screenshots below. You can read the questions asked at this previous Tavern post.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tavern Update - Christmas Time and All That Jazz

You can tell it's the holiday season. The days have gotten shorter, the air is crisp and folks at work are piling up on annual vacation - yep, it means overtime for me ;)

I'm hoping to get out the master list for OSR Christmas 2016 tomorrow. I was going to attempt it today, but stayed late this morning, head in early tonight and stay late at the end (tomorrow morning.) The list is huge and full of awesomeness and generosity. It's going to be lots of fun to watch this take off.

Yes, I'm still playing catch up as certain issues and events took priority at The Tavern and the community at large. Hopefully we'll have some answers about the state of the Gygax Memorial Fund by the end of the week. The questions posed by the community were well thought out and many are probably questions that need more that a sentence or two to answer.

Alright, time to get my shit together for tonight's shit...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Kickstarter - RuneQuest: Classic Edition - RQ2 is BACK!

Sometimes what is old is new again. Sometimes old is simply better than new.

Much like with Dungeons & Dragons, there is a certain charm and simplicity to RuneQuest's earlier editions. RQ2 (Chaosium)is what I cut my RuneQuest teeth on back in the day even if technically RQ3 (Avalon Hill Edition) was my first encounter with RuneQuest.

Ducks! You have to have ducks!

In just over a day the Kickstarter to bring RuneQuest 2 back into print has raised over $65k. In just over a day. Holy shit. It's knocking over stretch goals like they're bowling pins (unless I'm the one bowling - I have a knack for gutter balls)

Pavis and Big Rubble might just see their first use by me in nearly 30 years this spring...

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Closer Look at the Gygax Memorial Fund - Some Questions for Gail Gygax

+Gail Gygax has kindly agreed to answer questions posed by the gaming community regarding the Gygax Memorial Fund. I've done my best to present those questions in a coherent manner. The questions are being presented to the gaming community via this blog post as I concurrently pass them on to Gail. I appreciate the time that Gail will need to set aside to answer these questions and look forward to the responses and the opportunity to present the community with an updated post with said answers.

-As of the end of 2013 there was $222k in the Gygax Memorial Trust Fund according to the Tax Filing. What is the current asset total of the Memorial Fund? How much more is needed before work on the memorial can commence?

-When will the 2013 and 2014 tax returns for the fund be linked on the Memorial Fund's website?

-How much was donated by WotC / Hasbro from their sales of the AD&D 1e reprints? What year(s) did the fund receive those monies?

-What, if any, legal expenses have been incurred by the fund?

-How much money has the Memorial Fund spent on things not directly related to the creation of the memorial (salaries, litigation, auto expenses, etc)?

-While 5 hours a week, as reported on the tax returns, may not seem like much, time, that is still 260 hours a year or 6.5 full work weeks. In that time per year, what HAS been accomplished versus what has not?

-How many bricks will be sold and at what cost to the buyer? What is the expected margin on the bricks that will go to the Memorial Fund?

-What is the hard-line number needed to make the memorial a reality and how far is the fund from achieving that number?

-The Gygax Memorial Fund is a 501 (c) (3) organization under Wisconsin Law. When was the last time the Board met? (it must meet at least once per year) Where can we view copies of the minutes of previous board meetings? (this is a public record) Yearly audits of the fund's expenses and income must be made. Again, these are public records. How can one obtain copies of these audits?

-Is this the actual listing of the current board members. I've been told by multiple sources that Jim Ward has never been informed that he is no longer on the board. Board members must be elected on a yearly basis. Who votes for the board members?

-Apparently Tim Hutchings had no idea he was the Memorial Fund's "Audio Visual Engineer" and hasn't been contacted by the fund in years. Ryan Browning says he didn't design the logo, just took the old shield and turned it into vector drawings. Is the page currently displaying those listed as affiliated with the fund accurate to the best of your knowledge? When was the last time this web page was updated?

-What is the current state of the project?

-Have you considered a more modest monument?

-Is there more planned than just the monument?

Again, I would like to thank Gail Gygax for agreeing to take the time to answer the community's questions regarding the Gygax Memorial Fund. If I may make an observation of my own, I think some of these questions would have been answered on the fund's website if it was updated more often (monthly perhaps?) Hopefully the fund's website will see more regular updates in the future.

Thanks again to all who submitted questions.

-Erik Tenkar

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Castle of the Mad Archmage

Today's RPGNow Deal of the Day is Castle of the Mad Archmage by +Joseph Bloch .The Adventure Book is on sale in PDF for a mere $4.97.

I ran this once a month for about a year before work threw it's ugly head into the gears of my gaming time. It was loads of fun. Watch out for the sloping halls ;)

The legendary megadungeon is here at last! 

More than thirteen levels and over 1,500 keyed encounters of perils, monsters, traps, and treasure to bedevil your players. Find levels of warring humanoids, the deadly Arena, ancient artifacts, lost temples, portals to other worlds, and the ultimate secret of the dungeons... the Mad Archmage himself.

Originally released as a free electronic book in serial format, the Castle of the Mad Archmage has been completely revised, expanded, and updated. It is a complete adventuring environment, from the surface ruins to the deepest caves and caverns. 

You and your players could literally spend years exploring the dungeons beneath the Castle and still not discover everything. It can accomodate characters from first to fifteenth experience level and beyond.

Castle of the Mad Archmage is written using the Adventures Dark and Deep™ rules, and is compatible with most Old School type rules with little or no conversion needed.

Note: You must also purchase the Map Book and the Illustration Book in order to run this adventure (due to a technical limitation of the site, you need to add each to your cart separately).

Frog God 40% Off Black Friday Sale (Print & PDF) and 50% off Lesser Gnome in PDF

I expect there will be a lot of posts going up among the gaming community of various Black Friday Sales.

This one is huge, as 40% off Frog God products may even make purchases affordable-ish for those on the other side of the pond (damn that shipping.) This is a one day sale

Lesser Gnome has put it's PDF releases at 50% or more off. Whisper & Venom for $5 in PDF isn't a bargain - it's a steal! These prices are in effect until Christmas, which is good as RPGNow is suffering from high traffic at the time I type this.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

OSR Release - The Golden Scroll of Justice (Chinese Themed OSR Supplement)

I am WAY behind on announcing recent OSR releases. I thought this week of vacation would lead to some catch up time, but "uncle duties" ran from 10 AM Sunday through 7 PM Tuesday. "Pinky" was awesome but this uncle is exhausted. It is now Thanksgiving, catch up commences NOW.

The Golden Scroll of Justice is an interesting release. Most Asian themed RPG supplements I've read or seen in the past seem to make a hodgepodge of various Asian cultures, histories and mythology and churn out something that is less than the sum of it's parts. +Joseph Bloch went the other way, bringing "your old-school RPG into a whole new world of wuxia/kung fu action based on Chinese mythology, history, and folklore."

Sticking to a single culture and making it true is probably the best thing your can do to make it come to life. The Pundit ( +Kasimir Urbanski ) did such with Arrows of Indra and his recent Dark Albion: The Rose War

Two things that never clicked with me as far as RPGs go have been superhero games and Asian settings. The Golden Scroll of Justice is temping enough to make me want to invest the time in it to see if it clicks.

From the blurb:

The Golden Scroll of Justice lets you bring your old-school RPG into a whole new world of wuxia/kung fu action based on Chinese mythology, history, and folklore. The book contains:

Two new PC races: the shanxiao (monkey-man) and gouren (dog-man)
Two new character classes: the wu and the fangshi, along with guidelines on how to use your existing classes in a mythic China setting
Hundreds of new spells
Rules for kung fu that fit seemlessly into the existing combat and skill system, but still allows for cool "cinematic" moves
New weapons and armor
New magic items
New monsters
And much more!
The rules are designed to be completely modular; take what you like, leave what you don't. Want fangshi and gouren but not the kung fu system? No problem. Everything will still work fine.

Note that this is not a complete game! This is a supplement intended for use with your existing old-school role-playing game