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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day 10 of OSR Christmas - The Blood of the Skeleton King was in the Bottled City's Treasury (Print - International)

Yes, we are back with more never ending OSR Christmas goodies, and what a good day it is. 

Today is four different Rob Kuntz adventures and supplements graciously donated by +Jon Hershberger and Black Blade Publishing. They will ship word wide, so this is open to all.

Next Christmas is going to be 12 WEEKS of OSR Christmas just so I can be on time ;)


- Rob Kuntz's The Original Bottle City adventure, reprinted by Black Blade this past summer;


- Rob Kuntz's Cairn of the Skeleton King adventure, originally published by Rob's Pied Piper Publishing imprint, now out of print;


- Rob Kuntz's Tower of Blood adventure, originally published by Rob's Pied Piper Publishing imprint, now out of print;

- Rob Kuntz's and Eric Shook's Campaign Treasuries supplement, originally published by Rob's Pied Piper Publishing imprint, now out of print.

Damn good Christmas, ain't it?

You know the deal. Add a comment to this posts by the early morning hours of January 20th, 2015 - this coming Tuesday. We'll pick the 4 lucky gift receivers shortly thereafter.



Friday, January 16, 2015

A WTF? Kickstarter - Shadows of the Darkest night



Sometimes a Kickstarter really talks more about it's creator rather than the project itself. At other times, while talking about the project, the creator reveals more about himself than he ever expected to.

The later is the case with Shadows of the Darkest night.

This creator has three previous projects that failed to fund. By failure, I mean no where close. Nearly unfunded.

I suspect Jessee is off his meds again.





The Receivers of Day 9 of OSR Christmas Gifting Are... (12 Bundles of Mishler Madness!)



12 Bundles of +James Mishler Gaming Madness! Or, if not madness, goodness, but it doesn't have the same OOMPH!

Each bundle contains the following:

Barbarian Class (Labyrinth Lord) 
Castle Adlerstein and Environs Map Pack 
Chronicles of Mhoriedh Map Pack 
Chaos Queen of Ants 
Hercynian Grimoire #1 
Ogres of the Olden Lands 
Realms of Murikah Midzee Map Pack
Vampires of the Olden Lands 

You can look at them all at James Mishler Games over at RPGNow.

And now for our 12 Gift Receivers:

1 - +Brett Slocum 

2 - +Matt Maranda 

3 - bogeymantone

4 - +Joel Priddy 

5 - +Kevin Searle 

6 - mike monaco

7 - 賈尼 - don't ask me to pronounce it ;)

8 - +Peter V. Dell'Orto 

9 - +Adam Muszkiewicz 

10 - +Mighty Eroc 

11 - +Steve Balog 

12 - jacob decourcey

Folks, try to email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing my monday, as I'd like to get as many of u sent on to +James Mishler in one shot that I can.

edit: please put "OSR Christmas Day 9" in the email subject

Day 10 will be up tomorrow...

If You Wish Upon a Star - You Better Word the Wish Right

Wishes in Dungeons & Dragons are one of the most special yet feared parts of the game. They can save the party from certain death, or bring certain death to the greedy with a mis-worded casting of the wish spell.

From my perspective as a DM, the less greedy the player is with their wish the less likely it will screw them on some level.

It's like the commercial where the guy wishes for "a million bucks" only to be surrounded by a numberless amount of deer - if he weren't being so greedy, he wouldn't have gotten the worse interpretation of his wish.

We talk about wishes (and Sal brings up an amazing legalize "wish contract") in the latest episode of the Brainstorm Podcast. If it isn't one of our best episodes it certainly is one of the most entertaining to listen to.

How do you handle wishes in your campaigns? How far do you go in following the literal interpretation of the wish? How often do wishes show up in your campaigns?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

And the Winners of Day 9 of OSR Christmas... Will be Determined Tomorrow...

Did I mention this has been a shit week at work? Heck, the first of the two episodes of The Brainstorm Podcast that we recorded Tuesday night was recorded on my commute home. I knew last Friday this was going to be a shit week, but knowing and Knowing are two different things.

Rach has also had a shit week at work. She's dealt with more convicted murderers in the last 2 days than I knowingly did in my first 2 years in the South Bronx. You couldn't pay me enough to be a social worker.

So, after an early evening doc appt for Rach it was dinner at our local pub. Our bartender knows us. He read our faces the moment we sat down. I'm ready to lay down and read the pillow now.

Tomorrow night I'll pick the 12 gift receivers of Day 9 and we'll post up Day 10 of OSR Christmas. Then I'm off for 4 days.

Holy shit. 4 fucking days away from work.

Maybe I'll accomplish something ;)


Can Spell Casters in Your Campaigns Be Interrupted While Casting?

Back in my early days of gaming, when AD&D 1e was all of the rage, we tried to stick as by the book as we could (although we never did understand weapon speed.)

Failed a save against a fireball? Time for everything you own to save too.

Casting a spell? What's the casting time? Bamn! You were hit! Lose your spell. Try again later.

Gradually we found ourselves dropping certain rules in favor of expediting game play.

One of the first rules we dropped was counting segments for spells and interrupting casters. It changed the dynamics but certainly made enemy casters more dangerous, as they always seems to have their full complement of memorized spells when the PCs encountered them. Go figure.

So, do you allow spell casters to be interrupted while casting? Do spells take a certain number of segments to cast in your campaigns?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

First Tavern Talk was a Success! (Next Week - Same BatTime, Same BatChannel)

Earlier tonight from 830 to 10 pm (NYC time) we held the first weekly Tavern Talk here at The Tavern using the chat widget your see to the upper right of this page.

It exceeded my expectations by far.

At one point we had over 25 people logged into chat, and due to folks dropping in and out, I'm going to guess over 40 folks peeked in at some point (totally pulling that last number outa my ass ;)

Tonight was pretty much a "meet and greet" for members of the OSR community and I was impressed not just those that participated but by the number of conversations going on at once. It was an amazing chaos.

One of the thoughts that came up was a Beer & Pretzels Con - an informal, online con run using Roll20 - probably organized at The Tavern and on G+ (maybe a Beer & Pretzels Con community.) Pick a weekend, post game information, run and play games. I'm really liking this, can you tell?

Anyhow, it was a damn good time. Already looking forward to next Wednesday night :)

The Indiegogo That Got Up and Went - Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between: A Patron Sourcebook for DCC RPG - 2 Years and Waiting


I'm beginning to wonder if Sean posed for this

Hookers and blow?

I don't know.

I have the PDF and it is good. Heck, the PDF is still being sold at RPGNow.

As for the print copies of Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between: A Patron Sourcebook for DCC RPG? Never got mine.

Looks like few if any got theirs.

and the last update from the end of 2013 -

Wayward Kickstarter - Girls, Guys, and Games (or is it 2 Girls, a Few Dudes and Lots of Games?)


Alright, I've got to let this Kickstarter speak for itself:

We only need $500, but really, give us $7,500.

And we are going to do videos, but he have a static picture for the Kickstarter. Oh, don't mind that the lettering in said pic doesn't fit - its what we call in the business "an effect."

But hey, we can try and shake down some small publishers:

Well, they can't edit text, that's for sure...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Predictions From the Privy Pool - 2015 as Seen from The Tavern's Outhouse

+Charles Akins , the man behind the excellent Dyvers blog and occasional columnist for ENWorld, recently posted his 15 Roleplaying Game Predictions for 2015. Not to be out done, Grumpy has decided he wants to make his own too.

So, without further delay, here's GRUMPY!

1 - LotFP's new motto for 2015 will be "All Reprints, All the Time!"

2 - Goodman Games will publish deluxe Tunnels & Trolls as a deluxe reprint BEFORE the deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Kickstarter actually ships.

3 - Someone will Kickstart cardboard dice to go along will the cardboard tables and cardboard stools. Leave it to the Italians.

4 - Troll Lord Games will hire an editor that can read. When told he needs to edit all of the current and previous releases, he will quit before collecting his first pay check.

5 - The OGL, when finally released for D&D 5e, will stand for "Ogre Gaming License." The logo will be an Ogre menacingly holding a large stick.

6 - Goodman Games will have a kickstarter for a boxed set of +Doug Kovacs art prints. Hey, a dwarf can dream, cant he?!?

7 - Every dungeon will have a 5% slope.

8 - That Kickstarter you are still waiting on? Far West, dT&T, Powerchords, Myth & Magic, "your late Kickstarter here" - you'll still be waiting

9 - Drama, drama, drama. Followed by uncircling, unfriending and more drama

That's it. Grumpy ran out of fingers to count with...

Live Chat Here at The Tavern - Tomorrow Night 830PM EST - Tavern Talk

Just a quick reminder that +Vincent Florio and myself are hosting a live chat session tomorrow night (January 14th) at 830 PM Eastern - I may try and pop in earlier. We'll be using the chat box in the upper right of this page - no need to sign up for an account, just sign in with one of your social media accounts.

What are we going to talk about? That's up to y'all :)

We'll be doing this weekly, with the hopes of bringing the community together. well, that and bullshitting with all the amazing people in the community. Can't beat that!


Do You Allow Humanoids as PCs in Your Campaigns?

In the latest episode of The Brainstorm Podcast we discussed using humanoids / monsters as PCs in your campaign.

From my perspective, it can work if the campaign is built upon the concept of humanoids (orcs, goblins and the like) in positions of power, influence and integrated into society. It may be a society in which humanoids are dominant or one in which they are subservient (slaves and / or servants).

Much of this is due to default alignments - demihuman societies are presumed to be neutral to good whereas humanoid alignment is assumed to be evil. Actually, there is a whole 'nother post hidden in the previous sentence.

So, do you allow humanoid PCs in your campaigns? Have you run an all humanoid campaign? Let us know.

Monday, January 12, 2015

OSR Christmas 2014 Returns in 2015 - Day 9 - 12 PDF Bundles of Mishler Madness! (International)

Work and life keeps throwing curve balls. It seems like I keep rolling Natty Ones at work too ;)

Here's the deal. Day 9 of OSR Christmas. 12 Bundles of +James Mishler Gaming Madness! Or, if not madness, goodness, but it doesn't have the same OOMPH!

Each bundle contains the following:

Barbarian Class (Labyrinth Lord) 
Castle Adlerstein and Environs Map Pack 
Chronicles of Mhoriedh Map Pack 
Chaos Queen of Ants 
Hercynian Grimoire #1 
Ogres of the Olden Lands 
Realms of Murikah Midzee Map Pack
Vampires of the Olden Lands 

You can look at them all at James Mishler Games over at RPGNow.

How do you possibly get a bundle? Add a comment to this post before 8PM Eastern on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. We'll pick the gift receivers and post the names on a follow up post.


First Time Playing a Magic-User in Years (Blood Island)


It's been a while since I've played a magic-user in a D&D / OSR ruleset, or any ruleset for that matter. I tend to regard them as one trick ponies at early levels (sleep anyone?) who then need to cower in the back of the party and soak up expo, sleep, rinse and repeat. Not my usual idea of fun - YMMV.

Now, in +Joe D 's Blood Island setting / OSR houserules magic-users use both the M-U and Illusionist spell lists, including those in Unearthed Arcana. He also allows you to prepare more spells than you can cast, so at first level I can have 4 ready but only 1 spell to cast per day - one of those four. Yes, you get some versatility without gaining more firepower. It's a nice compromise.

Did I mention one of my spells is Phantom Armor, the illusionary AC 3 plate mail? Armor you can sleep in and still wake up rested and ready to prepare for a new day of spells.  At least until I get hit and it disappears ;)

Cover Your Damn Head Before You Catch Death! Further Thoughts on Helmets.

Below is one of those rules from the AD&D 1e DMG that wasn't found until we had been playing for nearly a year, and quickly decided not to follow after finding it.
It is assumed that an appropriate type of head armoring will be added to the suit of armor in order to allow uniform protection of the wearer. Wearing of a "great helm" odds the appropriate weight and restricts vision to the front 60" only, but it gives the head AC 1. If a helmet is not worn, 1 blow in 6 will strike at the AC 10 head, unless the opponent is intelligent, in which case 1 blow in 2 will be aimed at the AC 10 head (d6, 1-3 = head blow) (AD&D 1e DMG)
What are the odds of striking the head if a helmet IS worn? 1 in 6? Seems like it. I mean, the AC is given for a great helm in the example.

That would mean that every attack by the PCs required an extra d6 roll to determine if the head was a target or not. Not bloody likely to happen.

Was there a similar rule in previous editions (OD&D, B/X) or later editions (BECMI / 2e)?

I still prefer +Joe D 's house rules from Blood Island.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

WTF Didn't I Think of This - Thank God I Had a F@cking Helmet On!

In the category of WTF Didn't I Think of This, we have +Joe D 's most awesome houserule for his Blood Island OSR rules hack / setting -
Thank God I Had a F@cking Helmet On:  If you are wearing a helmet and take a melee hit in combat (not including missiles/arrows unless large, like a boulder, nor does it apply to critical damage, backstab damage, magical damage, or damage from small weapons like daggers) that would reduce you to zero hp or less, hence dead, you can instead declare that the helmet took the brunt of the damage and you are at 1 hp, with the helmet irrevocably destroyed, whether it was magical or not. In addition you are unconscious for 10 minutes plus 1-100 minutes, and cannot be awakened before that time unless healed magically in some way.
That is a reason to wear a damn helmut.

Well done Joe. Well done.

Not 1! Not 2! But 3 Write Ups of the Latest Session of the "B" Group's Delve into the Castle of the Mad Archmage

The "B" Group, as I call them, is a mostly monthly, mostly regular group that gathers to delve the depths of the Castle of the Mad Archmage. For us, fun trumps all :)

I'm generous with expo, and I also award a 10% expo bonus to those that do write ups of the session on the blog. This week we have three write ups.

+Tim Shorts of the Gothridge Manor blog posted his. Here's a sample:


+Douglas Cole of the Gaming Ballistic Blog had his up before the last light went out on the session:


Mot to be left out, our very own +Peter V. Dell'Orto of the Dungeon Fantastic blog had this to say:


Same scene, three distinct POVs. I love it :)

Kickstarter - Grimtooth's Ultimate Traps Collection


I just love the above image. It reminds me of just how lethal the Grimtooth Traps are.

I have 2 or 3 of the original Grimtooth Trap volumes, buried away in our storage room. Much easier for me to complete my collection by backing Grimtooth's Ultimate Traps Collection Kickstarter than trying to dig them out ;)

In all seriousness, Goodman Games does an amazing job with it's Kickstarters. Metamorphosis Alpha is a beauty to behold and an awesome reprint too. The Chained Coffin adventure / boxed set is crammed full of gaming goodness.

So yeah, it didn't take me long to back this.

Kickstarter - TableGolf - Rain or Shine, It's TableGolf Time



Featured on Fox and Friends.

It has it's own infomercial.

It's TableGolf.

Apparently this is an existing product. Popular enough to have the tag "As Seen on TV" if desired. The Kickstarter is for an "upgrade" of sorts, so you can also play billiards and table tennis on it.

Only 2 backer levels - 2 t-shirts for 20 bucks and a custom mini table for $75. He's looking to raise $200k.

No, he's not actually offering a pledge level to support any of the tables you see in the video.

Want a description of the TableGolf project?

About this project

Executive Summary

Tablegolf, inc. (hereinafter referred to as “TGI”) located los angeles, CA will be in the

business of selling an exciting and newly invented product: THE ORIGINAL GOLF

TABLE. This unique product stands alone in the game table industry. This versatile

invention combines the newly invented game of Table Golf with traditional billiards and

table tennis by utilizing a table that can be flipped over in order to play each respective

game both sides. (“TGI”) also launch The Mini and Junior Combo Tables, which are

smaller versions of the Original Golf Table manufactured for a youth consumer base.

named: TABLEGOLF will be the debut product entity from (“TGI”).

(“TGI”)’s will be manufacturerd in the united states and sold through various retail

mediums, however the majority of the resale effort will be done by Internet. Franchise

retailers will be able to purchase TABLEGOLF tables from (“TGI”) wholesale. (“TGI”)

will also sell TABLEGOLF tables directly from a game table affiliate showroom

floors, product catalogue, and cable television (“TGI”) anticipates the establishment

of a measurable profit margin in the early stages of operation. Conservative sales are

forecasted within the first three (3) months of product availability to the consumer market

based on the game table industry but are expected to increase rapidly. The game table

industry is growing approximately at an eleven and a half percent (11.5%) annual rate,

however because (“TGI”) offers a unique, new exciting Table Top Golf Game, we expect

sales to be remarkably

business of selling an exciting and newly invented product: THE ORIGINAL GOLF

TABLE. This unique product stands alone in the game table industry. This versatile

invention combines the newly invented game of Table Golf with traditional billiards and

table tennis by utilizing a table that can be flipped over in order to play each respective

game both sides. (“TGI”) also launch The Mini and Junior Combo Tables, which are

smaller versions of the Original Golf Table manufactured for a youth consumer base.

named: TABLEGOLF will be the debut product entity from (“TGI”).

(“TGI”)’s will be manufacturerd in the united states and sold through various retail

mediums, however the majority of the resale effort will be done by Internet. Franchise

retailers will be able to purchase TABLEGOLF tables from (“TGI”) wholesale. (“TGI”)

will also sell TABLEGOLF tables directly from a game table affiliate showroom

floors, product catalogue, and cable television (“TGI”) anticipates the establishment

of a measurable profit margin in the early stages of operation. Conservative sales are

forecasted within the first three (3) months of product availability to the consumer market

based on the game table industry but are expected to increase rapidly. The game table

industry is growing approximately at an eleven and a half percent (11.5%) annual rate,

however because (“TGI”) offers a unique, new exciting Table Top Golf Game, we expect

sales to be remarkably.the  table golf league will be the bread winner for tablegolf

Risks and challenges

TABLEGOLF HAS MANY DIVERSE OPPORTUNITIES TO
MARKET VARIOUS PRODUCTS SUCH AS:
(1) BOARD GOLF GAME.
(2) TABLEGOLF LEAUGE.
(3) VIDEO GAMES.
(4) TABLE GOLF TORNAMENTS....IT STANDS ALONE.

Actually, you're better off watching the video. It's not a great quality, but at least it's interesting. The boilerplate above certainly is not.

Time to catch up on emails and messages...


There's Blood in the Water - Blood Island that Is!

Tonight (or is it now last night?) the regular Saturday Night group got to play test the latest incarnation of +Joe D 's Blood Island, which is both a setting and a set of OSR house rules (and may evolve into it's own full set of rules.)

In the previous incarnation of Blood Island, I played Gru, a Viking Berserker with a fondness for cheese dip. Not that there was any cheese dip to be found, alas.

Today I played G'Ru, a human magic-user with some flexibility in both spells prepared (not spell slots one can actually cast, which hues close to AD&D as far as I can tell) and spell lists. I have access to both magic-user and illusionist spell lists, including spells from UA - Phantom Armor kept my squish ass alive ;)

Great time, and I like Joe's variation on my variation of the Luck rules that I borrowed and hacked from the DCC RPG. I may need to use Joe's version instead, as it seems to be the proper evolution for the concept.

In any case, great game session, nice mongrelization of various OSR / Classic AD&D rules. I especially enjoyed the added granularity of using a D12 for skill checks, something that is losely based on LotFP Weird Fantasy's D6 skill check for specialists.

We're looking for more Joe. Consider this some motivation :)