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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wayward Kickstarter - Nystul's Infinite Dungeon - Mike's Shirked Responsibility is Returned to Him



Woe unto you, self proclaimed Wandering Wizard, he that tried and failed to secure land for a Castle, lost his claim to Dwarven kinship, misplaced his Cairn and now has had title and responsibilities for his Infinite Dungeon (yet to be completed) returned unto him. The Infinite Headache is yours and yours alone.

Yes, tho hast failed in your attempt at "passing the buck" whilst failing to provide said bucks for services rendered.

Let it be entered into the Tome of Kickstarters: Failures and Fuck Ups, that Nystul's Infinite Dungeon has landed back in your lap. While we appreciate your work on the key to said dungeon, perhaps it wouldst be wisest to pay your workers for their services.

So it is written!

From an update in the comments section of Nystul's Infinite Dungeon - Kickstarter:
The Last Infinite Dungeon Update 
Posted on August 1, 2014 by Administrator  
It is with a sad heart that I, Jason Yarnell, president of D3 Adventures, must inform all of you that as of this moment, D3 Adventures has returned the IP for Nystul’s Infinite Dungeon to Mike Nystul. 
The property has, from the beginning, incurred one unexpected roadblock after another. The most recent of these concerned a lack of payment for a completed chapter. I was not made aware of this issue when D3 Adventures picked up the IP, and as of this date, the writer has not received the promised payment. 
This is an unfortunate set of circumstances, and this decision was not made lightly. D3 Adventures promised that we would release the Nystul’s Infinite Dungeon in a timely manner, and was able to produce an ashcan copy for the backers. However, in the end, the various unresolved issues proved to be too much, and holding on to Nystul’s Infinite Dungeon was simply holding back on D3 Adventures’ transition into a more productive company. 
From this point forward please address all questions and concerns for Nystul’s Infinite Dungeon to Mike Nystul.

Friday, August 1, 2014

And the Winner of Crawl! #10 is...


Damn, but I don't have a D60.

Time to log into Roll20.

And the winner is #31 - one of the last of the comments on the blog side - Bark

Bark, send me an email over at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom with your mailing address and I'll forward your info on to Dak so you can receive Crawl! # 10

Thanks to everyone that participated. I'll try to do this again fairly soon.

Remember, if you haven'y yet joined the G+ Community for Tenkar & The Badger, there is still time to do so before I award one member a $10 RPGNow Gift Certificate to celebrate the release of episode one (which currently looks to be tomorrow).

Flash Giveaway - Crawl! #10 in Print Anywhere in the World - Four Hours Only!

In my excitement upon learning of the release of issue #10 of Crawl!, I forgot that I already had an active subscription with +Dak Ultimak .

What to do?

Simple.

Dak and I have decided to give it away - and Dak will ship it anywhere in the world.

I'm going to open this up for 4 hours only (I'm rounding up - cut off will be 915 PM NYC Time 8/1/14) - comment here, on G+ or the DCC RPG Community over at G+ - and yes, you can enter all 3 ways.

When the 4 hours are up, I'll randomly pull a winner from all that that comment.

If you've been wondering if Crawl! is right for you this may just put a free copy in your hands.

Shit, I love doing this stuff ;)

Rules - Then and Now - A Personal Perspective

+Vincent Florio was kind enough to plant this seed in my head earlier this morning and I find it beginning to take root.'


I was brought into the world or RPGs with AD&D 1e, so I was brought in with a fairly structured and rules heavy set of rules. We were high on the words of Gygax, so little meddling was done (although we ignored that which we did not fully understand - weapon speed was the first to go - we just used to it resolve ties with initiative). The only class we used that was "unofficial" was the Bard from Dragon #56. Unearthed Arcana was an offering to us from the Gygax himself - more official rules which meant more complications and contradictions, but we didn't care. More rules was more better.

Heck, we absorbed new rules like a sponge. Runequest 3, with it's three different types of magic? Throw it at us. Rolemaster with charts and modifiers like no one else? Easy peasy. Getting killed during character generation in Traveller? Par for the course.

Somewhere, somehow, as I got older I found myself desiring less complications. Easier rules.

I've compared this in the past to how a younger person generally has an easier time learning new languages, but I think there is more to it that that.

I just want to have fun playing, not learning. Learning new rules is no longer fun for me. Shit, it's damn near annoying.

When I was younger, we had no problem taking 20 minutes right in the middle of combat to figure out the exact modifiers for a laster carbine fired downhill at a target 55 meters away on full auto at a small creature lying prone behind concealment (no cover) that is attempting to put down suppression fire himself. Oh, and it's twilight.

Today? I'd just wing it.

The game is more important than the rules for me these days, which is why I find myself wrapped in the comforting arms of the OSR for any genre I want to play. I can make fair rulings without referring to the rules.

Which isn't to say there are no rules or there should be no rules. It just means I find that there is a point of severely diminishing returns, where more rules slow things down and detract from the gameplay.

Alright, need to love on the Ashley Cat before returning to puppy duties.

More thoughts on this later.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Big Dragon puts D30 Sandbox Companion and D30 DM Companion on Sale - Limited Time



I'm on a bit of a posting tear today. No, it's not because I suddenly have hunkered down and I'm working on my projects. Instead, I've had puppy duty much of today / tonight, which means (mostly) supervised play time in an area she won't get into too much trouble. Yes, I've been posting in those moments she passes out from exhaustion. I've also been listening to way to much classical music in the hopes of keeping her relaxed when she's in her crate.

In any case, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that +Richard LeBlanc has put the D30 Sandbox Companion on sale for $3.95 and the D30 DM Companion on sale for a mere 2 bucks. Both are in PDF and available over at RPGNow. Sale prices are only through August 3rd.

The D30 Sandbox Companion has probably gotten more use from me since it's release than anything else I own in the OSR sphere, with the exception of the Swords & Wizardry Complete Rules. It really is that good.


Bundle of Holding Brings Back Stars Without Number Bundle


Bundle of Holding has brought back the Stars Without Number bundle from last October.

If you are looking for an OSR based scifi RPG, THIS is the way to go. It is an excellent system.

If you pay beyond the average, you also get get Other Dust - a post apoc RPG using the same core system. Think Gamma World for modern sensibilities.

The expanded bundle includes Engines of Babylon, which isn't available anywhere else (and should be linked to your account if you got this bundle back in October.)




Does "Save or Die" Have it's Roots in Tournament Play?

Is that G1-3 in your hands?
The latest Roll For Initiative (which I posted about yesterday) looks at G1 and remarks that it has it's roots as a tournament module. To the best of my recollection, all of the early AD&D module releases had their start as tournament modules for various conventions.

In my early days of running and playing in home brewed adventures and dungeons, the only "save or die" anyone encountered was Giant Centipedes (and even then the save was at + 4 if I recall correctly). Our traps caused damage, sleep, paralyzation, teleporting and the like. It could kill, especially if you failed your save and the damage rolled was high enough, but outright "save or die" was few and far between - at least until we found official AD&D modules from TSR.

Those converted tournament modules seemed to have death lurking behind every lock, door, chest and intersection. Which makes sense for what it was written to do - whittle down a party of pregenerated characters to wind up with a winner. The thing is, most campaigns don't play out well like that.

So, while "save or die" was certainly part of old school play, i think it remembered more because of the official TSR modules from the early 1e days than actual play in most groups, or at least the groups I played in in two states, two schools, college and beyond. You learned to fear when an earl¥ 1e adventure was brought to the table, as death literally was around the corner..

Kickstarter - Lost City of Barakus - In Hand


I received my hard cover copy of The Lost City of Barakus yesterday
- and it was estimated to arrive in August, so it is early and one heck of a birthday present. My Barakus. My... precious.

How's that for another Kickstarter miracle?

I liked the old 3x version that I picked up in my "reading but not playing days" and the S&W version has that beat hands down. The Lost City of Barakus is more than just a mega dungeon - there is enough of a setting presented to play this as a sandbox with multiple points of interest.

I am sorely tempted to run this after my summer hiatus away from DMing for the regular group.

It's 40 bucks over at the Frog God web store, and that really is a bargain - especially as the HC includes the PDF for instant gratification ;)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Latest Roll for Initiative Podcast Looks at G1 - Steading of the Hill Giant Chief



The latest episode of the Roll for Initiative podcast went up today, and the main topic of discussion was G1 - Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. It really does hit some old memories for me.

I'm not sure what my first module purchase was. Either G1-3 or A1 of the Slavers series (actually, A1 was the only part I had of that series for the longest time). I do remember that all of my initial AD&D module purchases were originally tournament modules.

Tournament modules require a whole different thought process on the player side than a regular campaign adventure, and I believe this is where the whole old school "save or die" or don't even try, comes from. I had traps in my home brewed dungeons in my early days of gaming, but hadn't encounters save or die before I started reading the TSR modules of old.

I also forgot how far 8 pages of adventure could go back in the early days. G1 crammed a lot of game play into minimal pages.

Big thanks to +Vincent Florio for plugging the Tenkar & The Badger podcast on RFI. Hopefully we'll meet (or gods forbid exceed) the expectations of most folks that bother to listen ;)

North Texas RPG Con 2015 Early Registration Ends Tomorrow - July 31st



Early registration for NTRPG Con 2015 ends tomorrow, so your chance to save 10 bucks on the four days of the convention is running out after tomorrow. For me it's a savings of 20 bucks, as it's me and my wife.

I'm going to be there next June and so should you.

I will be organizing a Tenkar's Tavern / Tavern Radio gathering at the hotel bar at the next NTRPG Con, probably on Thursday Night. I'll buy the first round for up to 2 dozen blog readers / podcast listeners. It's the least I can do - and I'll make sure and shave this time too ;)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tavern Radio is Live

Yep, the Tavern Radio website is live. I'd have more to say, but four pints and three shots for my 47 birthday (which is tomorrow but who is really paying attention?)

Thank God I was sober last night when we recored episode one...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Episode 1 of Tenkar & The Badger is Recorded - Matt Finch was an Excellent 3rd Chair


Earlier tonight +Jason Paul McCartan . +Matt Finch and myself recorded the first episode of the Tenkar & The Badger Podcast. Matt was an excellent guest and a pleasure to have with us for the inaugural episode.

If all goes well, the edited and final version should be up on Friday. If not... well, hopefully we'll have some pieces from Episode Zero to torture you with fairly soon.

I'm just thankful my internet didn't start dropping until after the podcast was recording. I did miss out on some after the podcast chatter but that's fine.

I do expect the episode to spark some conversation when it releases, as The Quick Primer for Old School Gaming was a large part of the conversation, and it probably didn't go as you expect (nor did it take the path I expected, and that's damn cool.)

Oh, the TavernRadio website should be live in a day or so.

Wandering Monsters, Random Encounters or Unplanned Events?

I've been watching the puppy interact with the cats over the last few days, and it's gotten me thinking about Wandering Monsters and Random Encounters in OSR gaming and the like. Why has it gotten me thinking this way? No idea, except for all of the high energy interactions I guess.

From my perspective, wandering monsters and even random encounters are generally missing out on events - something that occurs that the players may or may not immediately interact with. Personally, I'd like to see some foreshadowing events on those random tables.

I see wandering monsters as the simplest of the tables - all monsters, damn near all combat situations.

Random encounters take the wandering monster table and add situations where the PCs can interact without combat.

Unplanned events goes one step further and adds in events the PCs see but can't interact with and events that transpire without the PCs need to interact with, but can. This could include foreshadowing, visions and natural events such as weather and the like.

Of course, the further you go from "Wandering Monsters" the more complicated and detailed the potential tables get.

Random puppy induced thoughts...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tavern Radio has over 100 Members - Episode 1 of the Tenkar & The Badger Podcast Records Tomorrow


We hit over 100 members over the WOSR Tavern Radio G+ Community, which means everyone that's a member over there before episode 1 of Tenkar & The Badger goes out on Friday has a chance to win a $10 RPGNow GC, as we are giving away one GC on Friday.

Recording happens tomorrow night.

I figure I can't get more nervous than I already am, so it can only get better ;)

Remember, we don't supply translators, so you are on your own...

Puppy Pickup Was Successful ;)


Danke, our miniature long haired dachshund, was brought home yesterday afternoon, and is already being chased and chasing my parents' cats.

She's only loud when she's put in here crate.

I suspect I have a second model for the gaming book pictures ;)