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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Kickstarter - Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad Zine Returns! (DCC RPG)



"Four years in the making, the original Metal Gods team returns for three more issues of metal-fueled mayhem for the DCC RPG."

I had no idea it had been four years since the last issue of the Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad Zine. I'm going to need to dig through my gaming shelves and pull them out.

Metal Gods read like some sort of vaguely acid-induced trip through some alternate DCC  RPG setting. It was, and is, awesome. Sigh, more money leaving my wallet.
Issue #4: Time of Crisis!
Like any other multiversal hyper-megalopolis, Ur-Hadad is no stranger to calamity. In fact, crisis is one of the First City's defining features! This issue provides a whole slew of tools for Judges to use to spin up their campaigns from small adventures into city-wide, culture-shaking phenomena! Including profiles of Ur-Hadad's most notorious crises and their causes (along with special rules introduced by each) and a Crisis Generator, this issue is all about turning your game up to 11!
This issue is almost completely written and will be ready for art & layout soon. 
Issue #5: Murder Gangs of Ur-Hadad
First, we gave you Street Kids of Ur-Hadad. Then we gave you The Heist! Metal Gods has always focused on urban adventures and now we're taking them one step beyond! In Murder Gangs of Ur-Hadad, we'll present a system for running a thieves guild, assassins coven, coterie of smugglers or however your criminal taste run. This unique system builds on some trends already out there in the greater DCC-o-sphere, bringing them together in a tight, cohesive package. You'll also get to know the seedy underbelly of the First City, including profiles on some of her most notorious gangs.
This issue is currently in playtesting and is expected to be finished by mid-Summer and Doug Kovacs has signed on to do the cover!  
Issue #6: Mysterious Gods of Ur-Hadad
From the Avenue of One Thousand Gods to the Gloaming Deeps beneath the city's docks, cults and mystery faiths permeate Hadadi society. In this issue, we'll explore some of the First City's stranger religions and sects, from the austere followers of the God of Blackened Skies to the debaucherous Last Adherents of the Sensate, we'll profile these bizarre faiths and how to use them in your game. We'll also include rules to integrate cults into your Murder Gangs of Ur-Hadad game, whether as foes or as your PCs' crew! 
I think the sweet spot is 15 bucks - issues 4, 5 and 6 in print and all 6 issues in PDF.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

When an RPG Kickstarter Gets Suspended for IP Violation by WotC, Has the Sleeping Bear Been Awakened?



I've been very happy with the various projects Fail Squad Games has produced via Kickstarter. Lloyd is an amazing artist and a strong adventure writer. I was surprised to find his latest project, The Ruins of Mistmere - a 5e adventure, was canceled for IP violation. At least, I was surprised until I followed the conversation on Facebook.

Before we get to that, here's the notice on Kickstarter:


Obviously, the paralegal got the source of the IP partially wrong, especially considering the Ruins of Mistmere isn't even an adventure in the 1983 Red Box but rather more of a hypothetical adventure referred to in the text. Still, it was, and still is, WotC IP.

If you read the admittedly rather long conversation that resulted from Lloyd's Facebook posting, you see the project was created and submitted with the "potential of poking the bear."

Some highlights: 

https://www.facebook.com/Sprattoo March 19, 2019
Lloyd Metcalf I think I did in saying that it was inspired by the "Your first adventure" in the video and ads. I also accidentally had the phrase Dungeons & Dragons in the text of one of my ads... or something. (how one does this "accidentally" is beyond plausibility)I was in a rush to pack for Gary Con and already tired at launch. lol.
Lloyd Metcalf To be fair - WOTC and TSR never released any product called "Ruins of Mistamere" - it was a paragraph title in the red box DMG titled - "Your First Group Adventure"
James Lowder This Kickstarter is very clearly using that as the springboard. It's not the rules that got you in trouble, but using their copyrighted content--characters, plot, etc. "This adventure is inspired by, and is a revisit of, the first 'Group Adventure' in a certain Red Box set of the world’s favorite basic roleplaying game." and "Borgle is well known in many original adventures and legends; many report that his name was spelled with an “a” in place of the “o”." The last is screaming "we just changed an A to an O but it is the copyrighted content."

Lloyd Metcalf Yeah - i know.... Again, I knew I was stepping up to the line in trying to bring the flavor of this adventure to 5E. I COMPLETELY knew I was rolling some dice on the idea.
James Lowder ... the mention of D&D probably got the project onto an automatic notification list. "Other people got away with similar" as a defense will just mean WotC (rightly) expands its notifications list, so that, say, RPG + "red box" are alerts. This project is clearly intended as a copyright violation. It announces itself as such. It is not a shock it got stopped. That's a much bigger issue than mentioning D&D.
James Lowder voices my fear. Now that the bear has been awakened, it may decide to defend its territory. WotC has mostly played nice with the OSR and publishers of material for the current edition of D&D, even those projects and publications that may have entered and perhaps gone beyond any kind of grey area in the use of WotC IP and trademarks. This may have more of a longterm effect than Lloyd or anyone else may have initially expected.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Kickstarter - Mercenaries Spies & Private Eyes RPG by Michael Stackpole



Mercenaries Spies & Private Eyes is an RPG I've owned for years and I've always wanted to find a group to play it but being out of print finding others that owned it has been damn near impossible. Now that Flying Buffalo is putting it back in print I may be able to find that elusive MSPE gaming group ;)
Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes RPG was first published in 1983 by Flying Buffalo Inc. MSPE (as it came to be known) allowed players to run rpg adventures from the 1800's all the way to the modern era, ranging from Victorian steampunk, and crime noir, to super spy thrilllers in the cold war. Michael Stackpole wrote the MSPE role playing game, using the Tunnels & Trolls framework as a jumping off point.  
In 1986, Flying Buffalo took a hit from an unrelated disaster, and sold the rights of MSPE to Sleuth Publications. They came out with an edition that had a black & white cover, and they left out a few things that Buffalo had included, and inserted a few new things that weren't in the Buffalo edition. The last existing copies of the Sleuth edition have sold out, so now Flying Buffalo is printing a third (Combined Edition of MSPE) which includes all the material that was in both editions!  
The Combined Edition: What's in it? The new edition will contain all the original text and art from the Flying Buffalo and Sleuth editions.  From the Buffalo edition, we will use the amazing painted cover and will include the Tunnels & Thompsons section (which was not in the Sleuth edition) along with some missing art. We have also made various corrections to the rules text that have been found by players and fans over the years.
Shit, looks like even I need the new edition.

18 bucks for the print plus PDF (free shipping in the US), 25 if you want a signed edition. Decisions decisions...

But it damn it! I want to play some MSPE!

edit - in for the Hardcover at 55

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern


Today is a Wednesday, so tonight is Tavern Chat.

9 PM Eastern

Hang out in voice chat with other RPG gamers from the OSR and beyond.

Here's your handy link:

https://discord.gg/fReGmuD

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Kickstarter - Xboat: a Traveller RPG 'zine



I played a lot of Traveller back in high school and college. Character generation was a game unto itself. Although my desire to play Traveller these days has waned I truly enjoy reading the various support material.

I find Xboat: a Traveller RPG 'zine to be a tempting pick up, but I may wait for it to release on DriveThru - my wallet is rapidly emptying with the various Kickstarters I've been looking at.
This is a true FanZine, with most of the material produced by Fans who are participating in the Traveller5 initiative. It's about discussion, example, and bold ideas rather than finished product. So, these issues are "non-canon", although content *could* be re-used in later publications.  
Each issue is at least 16 printed half-pages (5.5 x 8.5) in a saddle-stitched booklet format. I'll mail the issues out in flat envelopes.
While the Fifth Edition is directly supported, these resources typically work with any version of Traveller, or science fiction role-playing games in general.  
Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Kickstarter - The Isle of The Amazons - RPG Zine for #ZineQuest

I'm falling behind on the cool Kickstarter I want to highlight, and with 14 still in the hopper and with folks sending me links to cool shit I missed, this may never end ;)


So, what is The Isle of The Amazons?
(It's a) 2 issue Setting for Untold Adventure and other White Box based OSR RPGs.
Ok. Let's dig a bit deeper.
The Isle of The Amazons (TIOTA) is an optional setting designed specifically for Untold Adventures by Ennie Award winning author and designer, James M. Spahn.  However, as such TIOTA, is compatible with Swords & Wizardry and really any White Box based game as well as easily convertible to be used with all OSR RPG games. 
TIOTA showcases the island paradise of Elencia, the home of the Amazons.  It also features Amazon City, the Amazons ways, their history, other inhabitants of Elencia, dangerous locations and monsters and much more.   
TIOTA details the 7 new playable classes:  The Aristocrat, Disciple of the High Priestess, Guard, Muse, Psion, Sorceress & Sungia.
 
Not a secret but it needs to be mentioned. James is a good friend of mine. Almost like a brother but without the family baggage ;) That being said, he does amazing work and I'm backing this in a heartbeat!

10 for the PDF, 15 for the POD plus PDF and 25 for "both issues of The Isle of The Amazons Setting Guide. These zines will be printed A5 with B&W Interior and High Quality Color Covers." shipping included.

I'm in a 25.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar
 
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