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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wayward Kickstarter - Robotech® RPG Tactics™ - Shall we Sell at Gen Con?



There was a whole lotta shit flying around when this project went live last year. I never backed it myself - I just wasn't a big enough Robotech fan to justify it.

So now, it's late. Sure, it took in over $1.4 million - but I'm sure that just fucked up delivery time due to the sheer scale of the project.

Today's update is about how shipping will soon begin. And how Kevin plans to bring copies of the game to Gen Con to sell before backers get their copies. BUT WAIT! You can vote NO in the comments section, and if the majority of the backers vote no, they won't sell copies at Gen Con (note - failure to vote by the 21st will count as a YES vote).

It's a huge update - really. Here's just two pieces:(link for full update text)

Gen Con Indy is on the horizon. It is the largest gaming convention for this hobby in the country. I announced we are planning to bring some Robotech® RPG Tactics™ product to sell. A few hundred of six items: the main box game, four of the expansion packs (Tomahawk/Defender Destroids, Regult Battlepods, Artillery Battlepods, and Glaug Command) and the rule book. That would mean a few hundred people will get these items before most of the 5,200+ Kickstarter backers, and around the same time as the first backers are receiving theirs in the mail.

That was a tough decision for me to make. Here is how and why I made it:

● We will begin shipping Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to Kickstarter backers before we leave for Gen Con Indy.

● We will have people continuing to prep, package and ship Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to Kickstarter backers while the rest of us are at Gen Con.

● Bringing or not bringing Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to sell at Gen Con will NOT make any difference to shipping to Kickstarter backers. If we were to leave that product at our warehouse instead of taking it to Gen Con, not one single Kickstarter backer would get his or her rewards any sooner.

● Shipping to our Kickstarter backers will take what we estimate to be 3-4 weeks, maybe longer. We are NOT Amazon.com. We can’t ship what we estimate will be 7,000-9,000 packages (those add-ons and exclusives add up) in a few days, even with the upgrades we are making to our shipping system.

● Palladium is NOT shipping to distributors or to retail stores until after all the Wave One Kickstarter backer rewards have left our warehouse.

● We are not selling any Kickstarter exclusives, just the basic items listed above. Only a few hundred people will be able to buy them, as quantities will be limited.

● We have been promising for months that we would have Robotech® RPG Tactics™ product to sell at Gen Con. People have made travel plans, hotel reservations, bought tickets to Gen Con, etc., counting on it being available at Gen Con. We thought we’d have plenty of time to ship to backers before Gen Con, but the product is coming months later than we thought it would. If we could push back Gen Con, we would, but obviously we can’t.

● Gen Con Indy is critical to a successful product launch in the Fall. Having a major game like Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to show, demo and sell is HUGE. It creates buzz, attracts media attention, and is vital to the upcoming big, full scale retail push this Fall. We NEED to do this for the good of the product line. And there is so much more we want to release: more mecha, aircraft and combat vehicles, additional eras of Robotech® and their mecha, and so much more. Isn't this what we all want?

Though I feared making product available to even just a few hundred gamers at Gen Con, I believe the vast majority of you, our backers, will understand why this is a necessity and be okay with it.

and then there is "The Vote":

You are important to us.

We do respect and appreciate you.

So we are asking for YOUR permission.

We humbly ask, may we please sell some Robotech® RPG Tactics™ at Gen Con Indy? It’s only a few hundred of six items: the main box game, four of the expansion packs (Tomahawk/Defender Destroids, Regult Battlepods, Artillery Battlepods, and Glaug Command) and the rule book.

Post your “Yes” or “No” in the comments on this Update by Monday, July 21st. Please try to restrict your comments on this Update to “yes” or “no” votes, so that we can count them more accurately. There are plenty of other places to discuss your opinions about this voting process, the lateness of the rewards, or anything else.

If the majority of you say “no,” we will NOT bring Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to Gen Con Indy, except for the purpose of display and demos.

I implore you to say “yes.” Please give us your permission. We believe it would be disastrous not to have the small selection of items I've listed available for sale. Not having them will hurt the launch of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ and Palladium Books.

Please make your voices heard. If you are totally opposed to us selling Robotech® RPG Tactics™ at Gen Con, tell us. Do NOT sit back and be silent. Spread the word that we want every backer to make their voices heard.

Anyone who does NOT respond by July 21st, we will consider to be a “yes.”

Some may say that it is not fair to count non-responses as “yes” votes. After all, it may well be that more than half of the 5,000+ Kickstarter backers won’t respond at all. But that would say something, too: That the majority of backers aren't that worried or upset about this. If you are, please let us know. We need to know. All the more reason you need to spread the word and make sure every backer reads this Update and makes their opinion known.

But we sincerely want your clear permission, so if it is okay with you, please vote “yes.”

More Palladium drama.

But, 854 comments on today's post already.

Some of the "No Vote" are quite - vocal.

Yes will will, but No is more entertaining by far...

I'm GURPing Again - It must be gas ;)

I'm trying to reacquaint myself with GURPs to enable myself to properly review a product for said system.

Back in the olden days, when we played just about everything, GURPs was the universal system we always tried to shoehorn right back to a fantasy setting - which to my eyes 20 years later makes it seem like we were doing the system a disservice. GURPS can do fantasy, but I think it does other genres better, especially without the baggage of D&D making for comparisons and expectations that are neither needed nor helpful, but I digress.

I never realized how many editions of GURPs the game has evolved through until now. I came into GURPs with Man to Man and then an early boxed set. Over the years I have accumulated various editions and supplements - next to D&D and it's various clones GURPS and Tunnels & Trolls are neck and neck for 2nd place in the amount of closet and storage space they take up.

The thing is, there are 4 editions of GURPs, and I couldn't tell you the difference between any of them. I suspect it involves point cost changes, but it could be something bigger. No idea.

Shit, I want to play GURPs Discworld now...

Tomb of the Sea Kings - In Print and PDF From Lulu



For those that were asking (after my mini review) "where can I get a copy of Tomb of the Sea Kings?" OSRToday found the answer. It is apparently available on Lulu. I don't believe that was an option when I wrote the review last week, but it certainly is now.

So, why wait to next year's NTRPG Con? Grab your copy of Tomb of the Sea Kings today... or tomorrow.

Just for looking, here's the current Lulu.com coupon code, good for 15% off - FWD15

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Kickstarter That Makes me go "Urh?" RPG LED Dice Keychain


Listen, the RPG LED Dice Keychain Kickstarter has funded and still has over a day left. Sure, it was a low goal of $500, but look at the above pic. Does something seem "not right?"

It looks like the LED light is inserted into the die on an angle. Not much in the way of quality control if you ask me, but at least the "patent pending" is there, so don't steal the idea - but if you do, at least do it right.

He does of 8 prior Kickstarters (one of which funded) and they are mostly reboots of the same thing.

I'm not sure what else to say but "why?" Oh wait, here's why, right from the Kickstarter page:

12 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD PLEDGE?

1. You can say you were the first to contribute to the First ever made and mass produced RPG LED Dice Keychains in the history of the world.

2. RPG LED Dice Keychains is the next coolest thing after RPG Dice Knobs.

 3. It will help me on my next projects. I got 2 board games in the making.

 4. RPG LED Dice Keychains make a great surprising gift idea.

 5. Can be used for keychains, backpack zippers, as flashlights, and who knows.

 6. Quality durable material.

 7. Inexpensive.

8. Goes to show that even the smallest things can go a very long way.

9. You'll be the coolest person at a rave, or hardstyle event.

10. Use them for display if you have a hobby store and you sell dice.

11. You can remove the batteries and store something in it, so when its off, it's full. And when it's empty its on.

12. Have you ever dropped your keys in the dark? This will help you find them.

I'd sooner drop my money on a LED keychain flashlight without the sloppy die attached to it...

WOSR Pocast to record "Episode Zero" Next Week

Yep, +Jason Paul McCartan and I are recording our "Episode Zero" of the WOSR "Tenkar & The Badger Show" next Tuesday to work out the kinks and to get comfortable with the format before technically going live.

Now, that being said, I'm hoping we'll be able to release some of the best (and possibly worst) clips here at The Tavern and OSRToday. Then on to Episode 1 for release the first week of August.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

OpenQuest 2 Basic available for Free in PDF



I've been a fan of OpenQuest for a while. It's built off of the open MRQ / Legend rules, and it really is a nice version of what is at it's core the Chaosium d100 rules.

OpenQuest 2 Basic is a slightly stripped down version of OpenQuest 2. OQ2 Basic is free in PDF and $10 POD.

If I run a D100 game, it would be OQ2 Basic. Actually, the next system I'd like to run would be OpenQuest 2. God himself only know if and when I'll find the time ;)

PWYW - The Obsidian Sands of Syncrates (Adventure for Levels 7-10)



As OSRToday mentioned, Expeditious Retreat Press has put the Advanced Adventure The Obsidian Sands of Syncrates at Pay What You Want pricing, which means you can effectively download it for free and if you like what you see, you can put a tip in the tip jar.

It's also a good way to peek at a company's line of releases and decide if you want more. Personally, I have the three printed volumes of adventures for Expeditious Retreat Press, covering adventures 1-30 and it's a great "go to" collection for when have limited time to prep. The adventures are universally well done.

Latest Roll For Initiative Podcast with Special Guest Zach Glazer (Whisper & Venom)



+Zach Glazar makes an appearance on the latest Roll for Initiative podcast and talks about his Whisper & Venom setting and his upcoming Kickstarter.

Zach is a gentleman and an excellent podcast guest (I know, as +Jason Paul McCartan and I have already lined him up for our upcoming podcast ;)

Give the latest RFI a listen. Hell, give them all a listen. It's a damn good podcast.

(Get 10% off Whisper & Venom by going to www.lessergnome.com and using the coupon code RFI10. Coupon code good through Friday July 11th, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Kickstarter that makes me go "WTF!?!" - Soul Sword RPG (Christian Themed Zelda Rip)


Where should I start with Soul Swords RPG, the Christian themed computer RPG?

Maybe from the beginning...
Soul Sword RPG is a Christian based rpg game the games theme is focused around the "Whole body armor of God" Ephesians 6 
18 year old Jack Rionhart a babe in Christ is called by Jehova to be the Spirit Leader unsure and fearful of the task before him he soon learns he must gain all of the lost pieces of the Body Armor of God and restore the fruits of a spiritually dead people of Larule. A growing evil from the land to the East threatens Jacks progress. Lord Cain Wants to destroy king Abel and take over Larule promising a life of pleasures and lust. The life blood of the kingdom a large natural crystal called the SEOUL purifies the fresh water for the people of larule. In Lord Cains lust for power he must kidnap the remaining descendants of the Founders to find out where the SEOUL is hidden so he can rule the entire land. Can Jack and his team of four restore the faith of Larule, find the Whole Body Armor of God and with the Sword of the Spirit destroy the Evil One who posses Lord Cain in time?
Listen, I don't expect this to be a steaming pile of poo because it's a Christian themed computer RPG. Well, that may be part of it, but it isn't the only reason.

First things first - if you can't write coherently when you are trying to sell something, how are you going to write coherently when you actually design something? Run on sentences are The Devil in disguise to all writers. The man needs an editor (or an exorcist).

Then we go on to this part:
The games artwork, Villains, map layout and story will be done mostly by me and some of my friends through the RPG maker program on windows and will only be available for play on windows. Our company I call 4-8 Games, 4-8 from Philippians 4:8. I plan a release date with the help of funds in the Summer of 2016 at the latest, or possibly earlier. My main goal is getting the word out through advertising.
Interestingly enough, the rewards are supposed to ship by October of 2014. Small bit of disconnect going on. At least the RPG Maker program allows one to sell the games created using it.

Now, some folks say "you shouldn't judge a kickstarter project based on the creator not having supported any projects themselves" and maybe that is a valid point. However, sometimes you can quickly tell when someone has no understanding how Kickstarter works:
If the fund raising goal is not met all contributions will be used for advertising, resources for the game and the games website. 
Sorry dude, you are thinking of Indiegogo and it's "Flexible Funding that separates fools from their money" fundraising.

Oh, and a 22 minute video is not cool. Especially when the first 8 minutes or so is you rocking ever so slightly in your recliner - nearly got motion sickness.

Consider this a "how not to do a Kickstarter project" project, Christian themed or otherwise.

New PWYW - The Revised and Expanded Taglar's Tomb - (S&W Adventure)



Shared from the Hereticwerks Blog:
The Revised and Expanded Taglar's Tomb is now available at RPGnow & DriveThruRPG as a Pay What You Want pdf. Taglar's Tomb was originally posted as a free mini-dungeon in support of Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day 2013. We took the bare-bones of the original scenario and pumped it up so that it now has everything we could pack into 18 pages to help you imagine the hell out of it. 
Look at that. The Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day from last year keeps on giving ;)

Oh, and you can get an extra page for the adventure here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wherein "The Army Ant" Provides Me with Maps to Stat

Some of you may remember that I agreed to work on a section of +Michael Desing 's Saga of the Splintered Realm megadungeon.

Now, I know the theme in general that I want to use, but now that I have Mike's maps in hand, my thoughts are taking me in a different direction than I had initially expected. I like the new direction that I'm looking in, but I'm going to give it a few days to percolate ;)

Here's the maps Mike posted on his blog, The Splintered Realm, earlier:




Defending the Offensive, One Bleeding Cool Article at a Time



I give some major props to +Christopher Helton for his latest article over at Bleeding Cool. It isn't easy defending people who are, by their online personalities at least, pretty much assholes. That doesn't make it right to spread lies about them, especially viscous allegations that they are homophobic and transphobic. Although neither Zak or The Pundit are my favorite people, offensive slander such as this for no other reason than to push an agenda is bullshit and should be called out. Because if we don't call the bullshit when we see it, the next accused could be you...

As Chris says in his article:
It is hard to defend people who have done wrong. But, despite saying or doing these things, that doesn’t mean that they deserved to have lies made up about them either. Gaming needs new blood, it needs to be more inclusive. However, it doesn’t need gatekeepers. It doesn’t need to be told who are the “right” people to be involved in the hobby and who are the wrong ones. And it certainly doesn’t need liars and bullies.
Well said and well done.

Monday, July 7, 2014

It Was Bound to Happen - Someone Has "Published" their own 5e SRD under the Guise of the OGL - Say Hello (and Goodbye?) to SRD5

There is an excellent thread on this over at ENWorld, including the following post by the poster / publisher / whatever of SRD5 (which is pretty much a cut n paste of the recently released D&D Basic Rules).


So, according to Artificer, he has declared all of Basic 5e to be open and is offering a SRD5 Compatibility License.

Fun times.

I'm going to bookmark the thread, as I expect the roller coaster ride to be entertaining if nothing else ;)

Low Level Monsters for use with 5e Basic from Legacy of the Crystal Shard



Via a Mike Mearls retweet of a Morrus (ENWorld) tweet - we have a document that gives us a selection of low level monsters for use with the 5e Basic Rules.

Very cool.

Legacy of the Crystal Shard - Encounters and Monster Statistics: D&D Next

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Necromancer Games 5e Kickstarter Books (except Monster Book) to be Converted to S&W and Pathfinder

There's more info on the Necromancer Games 5e Kickstarter, from none other than +Matt Finch himself over at ENWorld. It's a good an informative thread, but the post that stuck out the most to me was this from Matt:


So the 5e Necro Kickstarter will eventually lead to conversions for Swords & Wizardry and Pathfinder.

Very cool.


Wherein I Play in My First DCC RPG Funnel

I've run DCC RPG funnels. I've even run DCC funnels using the Swords & Wizardry rules. Heck, I ran a short lived DCC RPG campaign and some side arcs.

Graygor, the Slightly Mad
Saturday night was my first chance to play the DCC RPG, funnel or otherwise, from the player's side of the table, and it was good. Damn good

+Craig Brasco served up a home brewed funnel and my gaggle of newbs were accompanied by the gaggles of +David Przybyla and +Keith J Davies . Thank God for Purple Sorcerer's character generation page too, as it certainly expedited the process. 

I still have all 4 of my gaggle left. Come to think of it, we've only lost one so far among us, impaled by some 3 horned pack beast as the pack descended upon us. Still looking for the mayor's missing daughter. Just buried the farmer's dead daughter. Too many daughters, damn it!

Now, there is always (or almost always) a character you want to survive the funnel. For me, that is Graygor (talks with really bad Russian accent and says stupid stuff like "in Russia, our dead buried themselves" and "perhaps if i cut off this dead man's jaw, and replace with dead demon's jaw, something may happen." Actually, something did happen, but to Graygor. I think he has a patron now. I know he can cast Spider Climb and something spoke to him in his head when he grabbed the demon jaw. I'm not sure if Craig plans to publish this adventure, but if the second part is as strong as the first part, I will do my best to strong arm him to do so ;)

Eh, he'll probably die in the thrilling conclusion next Saturday night. Still, 7 hp and zero level. He may just actually make it. 

Necromancer Games Returns with a 5e Kickstarter of mostly New Material



Necromancer Games, which I believe is fully owned by Frog God Games (but I could be wrong, and perhaps I am) just launched a Kickstarter in the early morning hours for new 5e material.

Yeah, there is currently no licensing agreement / OGL specifically for D&D 5e at the moment, but much like The Wizard's Amulet update and release for 5e, I suspect this Kickstarter will be working under / behind the OGL. Time will tell, won't it?

Three books are in the mix (below is from the Kickstarter page)
5th Edition Foes. It’s going to start with 200 monsters in it. 
Quests of Doom, an adventure book we estimate at 180-260 pages, depending on stretch goals achieved. It will contain two updates from third edition books (Demons and Devils, Vampires and Liches) that contained a total of six adventures. PLUS, it will contain 6-12 new adventures under the section titles "Bugs and Blobs", “Giants and Dragons,” “Men and Monstrosities,” and “Elementals and Lycanthropes.” 
Book of Lost Spells. This sourcebook will contain hundreds of spells, and we estimate that it will run 250 pages
So, any possible issues highlighted?

In this Kickstarter, you’re almost certain to get something that’s slightly different from the way we are planning it right at this moment, because we’re raising money and starting work before the whole game is even out on the shelves. Page counts will vary depending on the length and format of the material, licensing requirements might alter the content of updated material, and so on. (emphasis mine)

Oh yeah, it's going to be an interesting ride...