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Saturday, September 23, 2017

"Kindle" For 5e Coming Soon - But Pricing will Mirror Print

We all knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Project Morningstar - the failed project to digitally offer the D&D 5e rules - was a hint at how far WotC was looking to go to lock down the current rules in digital. Sure, the overlords gave WotC permission to sell earlier editions of the rules in PDF - heck, those files were already in the land of pirates - but 5e was print only - unless you counted the free Basic Rules.

So, what's the solution? A "Kindle" like app that's just for D&D's latest edition. You can nickel and dime parts of the rules or buy whole rulebooks for pretty much print pricing although it looks like "the basic rules" may be free.

From Mashable (full article)
It's worth noting that some of this stuff is completely free. Even if you don't own the Player's Handbook, you can still look at the sections that teach you about character creation, basic classes, gear, ability scores, combat, spellcasting, and all the other sort of ground-level features that everyone needs to understand in order to play. 
Similarly, the app lets you purchase any paywalled parts of each book piecemeal. If, for example, you'll only ever care about rolling a bard, you can just buy that. Prices for individual sections are $3 or $5 (depending on what you buy) and the three full rulebooks — Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide — are $30 apiece for everything.
Of course they have to use the oft maligned bard as an example. I mean, I like bards and all, but 3 bucks to play the bard class seems kinds steep...

Friday, September 22, 2017

OSR Picks for the RPGNow September Setting Sale - 33% off select PDFs - Part IV (Stoneheart Liberation of Perilous Pantries)

RPGNow is running a September Setting Sale with thousands of titles in the mix. That's a lot to sort through. I'm going to try to pick out some of my personal favorites that are OSR or system neutral over a small series of posts (although one or two may creep in from outside those parameters) Part 1 is here.  Part II is herePart III is here. Part IV is here.

The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley Swords and Wizardry Edition - Very tempted to bring this into play in my FLGS SWL campaign - hard to beat as a starting series of adventures - "Finally, welcome to the World of Necromancer Games! From Bill Webb and Clark Peterson's home campaign comes the old-school setting of The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley. For over a decade, fans of Necromancer Games and Frog God Games have been asking to see the world behind the adventures. And at long last, here is where it all began, in the Stoneheart Valley near the town of Fairhill. This mini-campaign was originally presented to the fans of Necromancer Games in three separate modules: "The Wizard's Amulet", "The Crucible of Freya", and "The Tomb of Abysthor". Weighing in at 144 pages for the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules this product is the first offering in The Lost Lands setting, coming from Frog God Games. Expanded, enhanced, and providing hours and hours of adventure, this book is intended for characters of levels 1-8 (and beyond), including dungeon, wilderness and city encounters."  12.99  8.70

Starter Adventures - perfect adventures to start out new players with, made for one player and one GM - "Starter Adventures is where you learn to fight, steal, cast spells and heal.  You'll have to use your wits to figure out puzzles.  Use a sword to murderize goblins.  And crumble the undead beneath the power of your god. It's time to grab a weapon, memorize a spell and strap on some armor.  This is going to be fun. Starter Adventures is targeted toward introducing a new player into RPGs.  Inside are four short adventures for each of the four main classes, a tavern to hangout in, and a full-fledged adventure when they've got enough blood encrusted on their blades."  7.99  5.35

Nebin Pendlebrook's Perilous Pantry (DCC) - "The tiny village of Bitterweed Barrow is unaccustomed to mysterious tunnels, missing halflings, or the need for brave adventurers, but now it has all three! Can a band of gong-farmers and shoe-cobblers muster the courage to descend into the darkness and confront the terror that waits beyond Nebin Pendlebrook’s unexpectedly perilous pantry? Designed to be completed in a single furious session, this Instant Action 0-Level Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure drops your players into peril straight away. Dangerous foes, wicked traps, and ancient secrets await! Features: 42 pages of classic 6'x9' digest-format old-school b/w dungeon fun! Designed to be completed in a single 4 hour session, perfect for convention or demo play, but with enough hooks to become a centerpiece for your beginning campaign. 37 page appendix contains paper miniatures of every combatant, initiative cards, battlemaps of the entire dungeon, and printable pics of every image in the adventure. "  4.49  3.01

Crawling Under A Broken Moon fanzine issue #1 (DCC) - The whole series is on sale - "Welcome to the first issue of Crawling Under A Broken Moon, a fanzine dedicated to bringing gonzo post apocalyptic content for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG from Goodman Games. In this issue you will discover the following articles: Welcome to Umerica, Crawling in a Gonzo Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy World, The Technologist, A class dedicated to the accumulation of scientific knowledge and power, Weapons of the Wastelands, Guns, Guns, and more Guns, Twisted Menagerie, The Sharkhana, Debris Elemental, and Sentrybot, An Interesting Place to Die and Blooms Fashions: a store with clothes to die for.  1.99  1.33

Liberation of the Demon Slayer - an extremely solid adventure and a bargain at the price - The stars are falling - which can only mean one thing. Your town is about to be invaded by demons! Unfortunately, the famed demon-slaying sword Kalthalax lies in the caves below, and all manner of dark and deadly fiends reside in those eldritch-haunted Nether Realms. Liberation of the Demon Slayer is an old school, multi-level dungeon complimented by optional rules and campaign guide, usable with practically every paper and pencil, tabletop fantasy roleplaying game!
5.00  3.35

Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help to support The Tavern. Additionally, if we generate $300 or more via OBS affiliate referral monies, I've promised to release a short adventure in the month of October for free on The Tavern. Well, we just did! Woot! If we surpass $300, I'll look to invest at least half of the extra monies into art or cartography for the adventure. I'd love to pony up for original pieces of art, but that will require significant monies in the pot ;)

Looking for Stock Art Suggestions

We are about a buck from The Tavern's September funding goal via its RPGNow Affiliate links with 8 days left in the month and I'd like to invest at least half of whatever earnings come in after this point to the end of the month on some quality stock art.

Yes, I have purchased a fairly large collection prior to this point, but the more I have access to the more inspiration waiting for me. I am looking at 4 to 5 magic items, 4 to 5 creatures, one dungeon / adventure and possibly one fleshed out NPC with adventure hooks and the like for October alone.

So, if you have favorite artists or art packs, please drop links in the comments below. You won't just be helping me - you'll be helping other self publishers and the artists themselves.

I lean to preferring B&W over color but don't let that stop you from recommending artists or art that primarily work in color.

Which Dyson Map Do I Use for the October Adventure Funded by the Tavern's Readers?

I offered to write a Swords & Wizardry Light adventure and post it for free here at The Tavern (and possibly laid out and PWYW on RPGNow)if the monies raised during September via The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links exceeded $300. Thanks to the community we are currently less than 9 bucks from that goal with 8 days left in the month. So, I'd like to get a head start ;)

I'll be posting four +Dyson Logos maps below. I'd like you, the reader, to pick a map and tell me why you'd like that one written up for October's adventure. Your input will help decide the direction of the adventure.

Comment below!

Pirate's Cave

Serzen's Seven Stairs

Crypt of the Scarlet Wolf 

Hall of the Ancient Ones

Why I Say "Yes" Far More Often Than "No" as a DM at the Gaming Table

Last night at our FLGS (where I recently started running a Swords & Wizardry Light Campaign) we had an interested spectator who wanted to be a player.

"Can I convert my 5e Halfling Cleric to Swords & Wizardry?"


It was then pointed out to me that BtB, there are no Halfling Cleric PCs in SWL. I know, I wrote the rules. There also aren't Dwarven Clerics and the party already had one of those.

Give me a backstory that explains how and why you want to "break the rules as written" and its quite likely I'll go along with it. At the very least, I'll explain my rational for saying no if that's the case.

Gaming is as much about empowering the players as it about the actually game rules. Actually, empowering the players is probably the key to everyone having fun. I don't mean empowering by making their PCs more powerful but by allowing them to invest themselves into the campaign, because without player buy in you really don't have much of a campaign. So, most likely Yes to that class / race combo that isn't allowed by the book, but you better make an effort to sell me on it.

You want to try what? A running power leap into the door with strange metal swirly things and you're a halfling with 8 strength? Sure, roll a d20 and roll under strength. You have a penalty of 4 due to your size. 20? Great - you do that Wylie Coyote deal - you hit the door with a thump and hang there for a second before sliding to the floor.

Yes can lead to fun situations. No just leads to disappointment.

Zweihander Grim & Perilous RPG POD On Sale for $44.99 (Normally $59.99) - WFRP 1e Clone

Yep, for a limited time you can get the Zweihander POD for $44.99 using this link. NOTE! CLICKING THIS LINK WILL PUT THE DISCOUNTED BOOK IN YOU DIGITAL CART. USE THIS LINK IF YOU JUST WANT TO EXAMINE THE PAGE. Without the discount link it is currently on sale for $49.99, normally $59.99. PDF is priced for $13 if that is more your thing.

Now, I have the Kickstarter version of Zweihander in print and it is HUGE and pretty. If you enjoyed WFRP and would like to have an in print version this is certainly an affordable way to go for a high quality book. There are some places the rules take a different direction but that is true with most clones.
The book comes with a full color cover, with black & white interior. We used the Hardcover Color Book (Standard Heavyweight) option to make the B&W images richer. In addition, the heavier paper weight makes this book retail quality! 
ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG is an OSR Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay loveletter/retroclone/heartbreaker released under Creative Commons License Share-Alike. It is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game, one where adventurers will: 
  • Live in a gritty, ‘realistic’ fantasy world
  • Make morally grey decisions & enact vicious reprisals
  • Uncover insidious plots & political intrigue
  • Desperately fight in clandestine & open field combat
  • Defend themselves from injuries, madness & mutations
  • Take part in heart-pumping chase scenes
  • Venture into the wilderness & survive its perils
  • Encounter sanity-blasting creatures & their minions
Using the classical D100 system, you will create grim characters, write perilous adventures and build low fantasy & dark fantasy campaigns. These rules are perfectly suitable to run Renaissance and medieval-styled adventures, too. You can also use this book to craft homebrew stories set in the works of Andrzej Sapkowski, George R.R. Martin, Glen Cook, Scott Lynch and other ‘grimdark’-inspired worlds. 
This 692 page, all-in-one game includes most of what you need to play: a character creation guide, game mastery rules and a bestiary brimming with creatures both fair & foul. All that’s left to gather are a few friends, pencils and a handful of dice.
Remember, all purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links return 5% to the Tavern's coffers. You humble bartender thanks you in advance ;)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

State of The Tavern - Milestones Met and a Special Guest

Its been a pretty big week here at The Tavern.

First, we hit 200+ members of the Tavern's Discord server last night Simply an amazing amount of interaction in so little time.

Today we surpassed 1800 members in The Tavern's Facebook Community, putting us within throwing distance of 2000 members by the end of November, its two year anniversary.

Going back to last night, its official - Bill Webb stated there will be a room for Rach and I at Gamehole, so we are going! You be able to find me (and Rach) most often at the Frog God booth I suspect.

Talking about Bill Webb, he dropped into last night's Tavern Chat - specifically the voice chat at 9 PM Pacific - which means midnight eastern, and stuck around for an hour doing what Bill does best - being Bill. If you've ever met Bill at a convention, last night felt like that. If you haven't, you need to drop into Tavern Chat one Wednesday night. Bill will be coming back but there is no set schedule. A wonderful time was has by all.

This morning I did the numbers and for the month of September I'll be able to pay myself minimum wage for two hours a day for the 30 days. And we are only at the 21st of the month. We are within easy striking distance of $300 in affiliate monies earned at RPGNow for me to commit to posting asmall adventure for free at The Tavern in the month October. If all funding hits $500 or better for the month of September (RPGNow, Patreon, Paypal subscriptions and Adsense) I promised to present a well detailed NPC for SWL / SWC, including adventure hooks. That is also within spitting distance. Thank you all for the support. You have no idea how much it means to me.

In the meantime - Game On!