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Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Am No Outlaw, But They Can Be Pretty Cool

So, I've spent some more time with my recent package of Tunnels & Trolls from Outlaw Press (Boo!  Hiss! Woot!  Cheers!).  Taken as a step above fanzine, it's pretty good.  Even for someone who was predisposed to dislike the products based on the recent notoriety of the publisher.

First things first - be very careful with what you order, as Outlaw Press likes to reuse work in multiple places.  In some situations this is no big deal, but you may wind up with the same stuff in different products.

The first example that comes to mind is the T&T 6e (official, unofficial, quasi-official) rulebook and the T&T Campaign Book by Mike Hill - both contain the Town of Millet's Crossing and the Dungeon of the Rat.  The other part of the Campaign Book - The Skolari Vaults Levels 1 + 2 I'm fairly sure appear elsewhere also.  I'll need to check into that.

The Hobbit Hole Magazine is published in regular gamebook sized format.  The Dungeonier Digest is, surprisingly enough, digest sized.  I find it pretty amazing that Tunnels & Trolls can support two print magazines from the same company.  I'll give them a proper review when I can read thru them better.  I will say that both have a number of pieces penned by Ken St. Andre, although I suspect they were mostly written a while back, judging from some of the game terminology used.

Alright, time to spend time with the family.

Stepping Into the New Year - Right Into the Poop

First things first... today is the last day to enter the contest you see on the top of this page.  I think I'm adding a few more copies of Bean! the RPG to the pot, so more winners, and of course, all who post to the comment thread with a pick or two get added to the big prize of over $125 in RPG PDFs courtesy of RPGNow.

Here's the poop.  I ordered stuff frfom Outlaw Press and received the package yesterday.  The latest Hobbit Hole mag, the last 2 Dungeonier mags, T&T 6th Edition and another piece or two I cant recall.  Why am I stepping into the minefield of poop surrounding Outlaw Press?  Because a good 75% of the stuff being released for T&T recently is from their hands.  I need to see for myself.

So far, from what I've seen, it pretty decent quality stuff.  I need to dig deeper, but i'm impressed so far.  More once I've read thru it a bit.  Cleaning my shoes now.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Trick on the Tain for Castles & Crusades

I wish I had time to make more then a mention, but it's a bit busy here at the tavern. Brave Halfling has released A Trick on the Tain for C&C on RPGNow.

From the blurb:

Adventure module for 4-6 characters of Levels 1-3

Enter a harsh and unforgiving tundra known as the Tain where traveling these lands means certain death for most. The party of adventurers become caught up in the the plight of the native inhabitants and the cruel designs of an evil hag. The actions of these heroes could bring about the end of a people or save them depending on the choice they make.

This 20-page full-sized module is intended for a group of low-level characters (about 6-8 total levels) with a Challenge Level of 1-5. In this module, you will also find:

12 New Illustrations
3 Different Maps
4 New Creatures for Castles & Crusades
1 New Magical Item
1 Quick Reference for the adventure's encounters

Mini Review - Pyramid of the Dragon

Pyramid of the Dragon is an Old School adventure from Small Niche Games for Labyrinth Lord (although easily converted to any of the Old School rulesets roaming the wilds).  It's level range is 5-7, so it hits the mid levels.

I did happen to enjoy the fact that the tavernkeeper's son spells his name just like I do, but I digress.  It's an adventure with dragons, wilderness travel and a decent dungeon set up.  The maps are drawn by hand, which is either "Old School" charming or borderline amateur, depending on your point of view.  I stand on the side of charming.

We get a few new magic items, and some new monsters (many of which originally appeared in LL AEC and at least one in OSRIC - so your milage may vary as to value.

This is the same publisher that brought us Blood Moon Rising and Inn of the Lost Heroes, so if you enjoyed those, this is probably a good pick for you.

From the blurb:

Pyramid of the Dragon is a Labyrinth LordTM adventure for 4-6 characters of 5th-7th level. This adventure is a quick romp in and around a swamp known as the Blood Marsh that involves both wilderness and dungeon exploration. Challenges include a mixture of problem solving, combat, and roleplaying, including several potentially lethal encounters with a red dragon and various other denizens of the Blood Marsh, so characters who rely solely on the might of their sword arms may be in for a rude surprise.
Beginning the Adventure
The adventure begins with the characters traveling through the forested Border Hills along a well-beaten path or road. Why the characters are in the area is left for the Labyrinth Lord to decide. They may be on their way to or returning from an adventure, or they may be traveling to the frontier village of Holden that is located nearby.
Pyramid of the Dragon begins "in media res" with the characters witnessing an aerial battle between two dragons. When one of the dragons is mortally wounded and falls from the sky, the characters have the option to investigate the dragon's carcass or continue on their journey. Several chance encounters scattered throughout the adventure should eventually lead the characters to the fallen dragon's lair in the Blood Marsh where they can discover the ruins of an ancient city, save an unfortunate young man from a terrible curse, and thwart the plans of an evil red dragon.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Readying the Wrap-Up

It's hard to believe another year is about to be marked off.  I've done a lot, yet accomplished little this year, or so it seems.

In any case, tomorrow is the last day to enter the contest you see linked at the top of this page.  It's free and easy to enter, the prizes are decent, so what are you waiting for? ;)

Tomorrow I hope to get an Old School related review or two posted.  Time will tell.

BTW, watched The Color of Magic this morning on Netflix on Demand - awesome suggestion.  Much fun was had in the viewing ;)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Steps Forward and Leaping the Snow Piles!

Holy White Christmas Batman!  They are actually clearing the snow from the neighborhood!

Thankfully I am off till monday.  I think I will watch the snow wizards remove snow until my eyes get tired and sleep calls.

Well, that or until I decided to watch some of the choice you f ine lads and ladies have been suggesting for viewing.  Keep 'em coming ;)

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The meaning of the title of this blogpost is two-fold.

I find myself deeper and deeper under a pile of gaming goodness that I want to review, and at the same time I still have to do the solo play throughs that this site's one and only survey indicated people wanted to see (and I know I'd have a blast doing). It just seems that even when I take time off from work, other responsibilities crop up to steal the available time. I really need a good flu to keep me home for 2 weeks or so without any responsibilities ;)

The second meaning relates to this fine City's response to the Blizzard of Dec 2010 as far as snow removal. In my neighborhood, they have plowed the streets, but not the cross avenues, which effectively means you now have 4 foot tall piles of snow at some of the crosswalks. It just gets better and better.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Subversive (Tunnels &) Troll(s)

Sometimes you have to spread the word.  Sometimes you have to spread the love.  And sometimes, you just have to give the shit away!

Such is the reasoning between my recent contests centered around Tunnels & Trolls.  This often overlooked RPG has a pedigree that goes back nearly as far as the grandaddy Original Dungeons & Dragons.

I'm very happy Christian finally got his package of T&T (and some Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes) goodness.  It should be a nice change of pace from what he is used to.  In many ways, less is more, and it should be interesting to see his take on it.

Besides, it was about time I finally sent something his way.  He's been sending stuff my way for years.

One a Wintery Weather Note, my street is (barely) plowed, but the cross streets aren't.  NYC Sanitation - Major Fail!  Another day on the Iron Horse for me tomorrow...

A Snowy Update

I want to thank everyone for some excellent responses on the Contest thread. I've got a lot of stuff to investigate. Keep it coming!

At about 1130 my son called to state then 2 NYC Sanitation Plows were attempting to plow the street in front of our home, but some idiot dug his car out and tried to drive thru a 2 1/2' snow drift, stopping the plows' progress. My son and some neighbors dug the car in question out and pushed it down the street. That's my boy ;)

Last nite on the train ride home (did i ever mention i hate the NYC Subway System?) I started reading Goblins in the Mists, which is a write up of a Tunnels & Trolls play by post game. It took a while to get into the reading, but after the first dozen or so pages I got drawn in. Should be fun to see where it goes.

Now, the book is published by Outlaw Press, and James Shipman has co-author credit on the cover, which may or may not turn off prospective readers. It makes mention that Shipman used the name Khara Khang as his pseudonym when he took over as GM. Interestingly enough, there is a solo for T&T on RPGNow written by... Khara Khang.

Go figure, what were the chances? ;)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Tavern Contest of 2010 - Name Me a Show

Allright, my lady gave me a Roku Box for Christmas.  So now I can watch Netflix, Hulu and a bunch of other goodies on my HD TV.

You job (collectively) is to give me a list of Shows / Movies to watch, and they must in some sense be game related or game inspirational.  That is a very lose definition as far as I am concerned.  All Sci-Fi and Fantasy is somewhat game related or inspirational, but I'm looking for stuff I probably wouldn't find on my own.

My personal favorite pick will get a PDF copy of the Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook and the next 2 favorite picks will get PDF Copies of Bean! The D2 RPG.

Everyone who enters and is a Google Connect Follower of the site will be entered to win a prize package courtesy of RPGNow worth over $125.

Contest ends 1/1/11.

Greg from The Errant RPG Blog is working with me on the first contest for 2011.  That might actually require some work from you lads and lasses ;)

After The Storm

Anyone have an Ice to Water spell handy?





I had to walk thru this crap. No attempts were made to plow.





I know I'm not the one shoveling this car out!



- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fighting Mother Nature

As only my son can do.



- Posted from my iPhone

Weather Update From the Tavern

Lets see:

Its cold, windy and snowing way too much.

I went out to shovel 45 minutes ago and I can't even see what me and the kid accomplished.

For once the forecasters got it right ;)

All that and work in the morning.  Sigh.

Hopefully work is slow and I get to read and blog.

Christmas Loot Report

Unlike many of my fellow bloggers in the OSR corner, I didn't get any gaming goodness under the Christmas Tree.

I'm not complaining, as my geekness was still fully satisfied.

My girl got me both an Alienware Gaming Netbook (an 11" gaming monster) and a Roku HD Player, so now I can Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and many others from my TV... thank you hun :)

Lots of Jet's shirts, hats, glasses... I'd never buy for myself, so great stuff to get as gifts.

Oh, and Amazon and Outback gift certificates.

I done did good ;)

And the Winner of a PDF Copy of Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e is...

We had three really good entries, so in a sense they are all winners.  To make sure they are all winners, the two that don't get T&T 7.5e will both get copies of Bean! The D2 RPG.

Hmm, no D3, so the D6 will do.

Roll of 5 awards the Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e PDF to troth (otherwise known as Gaptooth).

JDJarvis and Evan both get copies of Bean!

Lads, email me with your RPGNow / DriveThruRPG / OneBookshelf account email address, and I'll gift your prize to your account.

All 3 are entered to win over $125 in PDF goodness from RPGNow.

email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom

Happy Holidays to all, and if you are on the East Coast like I am, enjoy the blizzard ;)

Last contest of the year will be up later today or tomorrow.  Should be interesting ;)