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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Free OSR - The Sandbox #1 - (Sine Nomine)



Do you enjoy the various Sine Nomine+Kevin Crawford games, such as Stars Without Number, Scarlet Heroes and all the rest?

Do you like sandboxes?

Do you like free RPG supplements?

The Sandbox #1 is for you.

From the blurb:
Welcome to The Sandbox, a free irregular journal from Kevin Crawford and Sine Nomine Publishing. Sine Nomine fans have noticed the regular flow of freebie material I've produced, such as the Mandate Archive series for Stars Without Number, Black Streams for the Red Tide setting, and other free releases for other systems and particulars. The Sandbox is meant to be an umbrella for these free resources, packed with the short articles, quick-roll tables, and GM helps that others have found so useful. 
In this thirteen-page issue of The Sandbox, you'll find... 
The Last Prince, a new class for Scarlet Heroes. The final scion of a doomed people? Use this class to bear the grim scars of your past and avenge the memory of your vanished kind. 
Kickstarter Production Guidelines, where I lay out the exact production sequence I use for Sine Nomine Kickstarters, providing step-by-step instructions on how to manage the workflow and execution of a successful RPG Kickstarter. Learn how to manage project scope, plan layout, handle art completion with art control sheets, and sidestep Fulfillment Hell with at-cost codes and shipping specifics. Find the gritty details of execution here that are all too often neglected by creators. 
A Quick Backwater Starport is a one-roll generator for swiftly brewing up a backwater world's main starport. Roll one of each die and find out just what the problems are to be found in this scraggly outpost of starfaring civilization. 
What's That Abandoned Structure? will help a GM quickly determine the details of an abandoned building. Whether a long-lost relic consumed by an unfriendly wilderness or a gutted husk in a forgotten alien city, this quick-rol 
l table gives the GM the answers they need to provide playable content at the table.
So go ahead and grab this inaugural issue of The Sandbox. Keep an eye peeled for additional issues as the year progresses, each one packed with short material to help other indie publishers, support other Sine Nomine games, or just help you make good sandbox fun for your own favorite system.
The price is so right :)

Heck, worth the read for the Kickstarter info alone.

Mini Review - Brave the Labyrinth - Issue #5 (OSR / PWYW)



The latest Brave the Labyrinth released this weekend and as always it's filled to the brim with OSR goodness (Labyrinth Lord is the particular flavor.)

I'm a big fan of +Pete Spahn and if somehow you haven't grabbed a copy of the Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay, click the preceding link and do so. It is "Pay What You Want" and it's a great example of a crowdfunded project giving back to the community. Heck, the Tavern even makes an appearance.

Back on target. Brave the Labyrinth Issue #5. See the cover art above? That's part of a multilevel castle for you to use and drop into your campaign, including a dungeon level. Nothing is state out. All the rooms are yours to fill as you see fit. Fun :)

This issue also has an article about a demon lord, which is like serendipity, as we just talked about demons on The Brainstorm podcast. Seriously, the episode dropped yesterday.

We are introduced to two new elf subraces - the Phase Elf and the Void Elf. The first has it's roots in inter-dimensional space while the second subrace was formerly star-faring. Both make elves something "not of this world" and make for interesting twists and assumptions.

+James Spahn (no relation to Pete, James is known for Barrel Rider Games) has an article on the patron saints for the church of law and order.. If you are using Small Niche Games Amerth setting they would drop right in.

Next up is an article for mundane and magical items to assist those with dishonest (or thieving) tendencies. I like it. I'm going to steal much of this for my Swords & Wizardry campaign.

Werewulfs and Familiars is more of a niche article - well written but only applicable to certain campaigns, but definitely mineable for ideas.

Ampulex the Emerald Jeweler is full of ideas and plot hooks.

Beetlemirth (cartoons), a review of The Caves of Ortok and an excerpt from Time of the Dying Stars rounds out the issue.

At 39 pages, Pete is not fooling around. Well done and packed to the gills.

Wayward Kickstarter - Pencil Dice (So long as all you need is a D6)



What can I say about Pencil Dice?

- Need weighted dice? Shave one side down just a wee bit more.

- Need dice AND a stabbing instrument? We've got you covered!

- Like to constantly sharpen your pencil? This is the pencil for you. Broken points guaranteed!

- Grab 3 dozen Pencil Dice and you too can play Tunnels & Trolls, Hero, Open D6 or GURPS. Please make sure your eyesight is up for the chore (note - other systems not supported - D20 Entertainment is hard at work designing a D20 Eraser.)

- You can threaten to break your Pencil Dice if they under perform. Can you make the same claim with regular dice?

- These Pencils come with an ERASER! My God man, what will they think of next?

- 10 bucks get's you 12 pencils. Why pay bulk prices for pencils when you can overpay for pencils whose points will constantly break when you throw them on the table.

- The next Movie / TV Series / Web Series produced by D20 Entertainment will star Pencil Dice. For the right pledge, your pencil die can have a starring role.

- Watch where you roll that. You'll poke an eye out!

- Pencil. Dice. It's like a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup from some Chthonian alternate universe. Just wait until it gets stuck in the back of your throat.

- There a sucker born every minute. You can quote me and write it down with your pencil dice.

- At the $16k mark we get RAINBOW PENCILS! Yeah, somehow I find it less than exciting and what a PITA to try and read the pips.

Kickstarter - TROPES: Zombie Edition (Small Niche Games)



I am not "All OSR, All the Time" even if I am heavily weighted towards the OSR. Then again, even some of the more prolific small press OSR publishers aren't "All OSR, All the Time." Variety is good.

edit - it would help if i refreshed the page over the last day or so - it is now funded and closed ;)

TROPES: Zombie Edition is a light RPG about the Zombie Apocalypse by +Pete Spahn under his Small Niche Games label (which is fairly well know for publisher OSR / LL compatible adventures and setting material.) So yeah, it's an OSR guy doing a non-OSR game that is made to play quickly and pull out for a change of pace or when some members of the group can't show but y'all still wish to play.

It's funding goal is low ($500 and it's already met) and there are about 3 days left in it's funding period. Pete is know for putting out his Kickstarters on time and I expect nothing different this time around.

Here's some more info from the Kickstarter page:
Ever wanted to play a game that explores the deep personal horror of the zombie apocalypse? Where the choices you make in times of crisis define who you are? Where zombies are only a backdrop and humans are responsible for the true evils in the world? 
Well, go find another game! This game is about killing zombies, so you can forget all that touchy feely crap! 
TROPES: Zombie Edition (TZE) is a game of post-apocalyptic zombie survival horror. TZE is about surviving the zombie apocalypse for one more night. It is designed for one-shot play and should be cinematic and action packed! 
Picture this: You're minding your own business on your way to work or school. You've had your nose buried in Facebook all morning, so you don't really know what's going on in the real world outside of who woke up on the wrong side of the bed, what type of coffee your friends are drinking, and who got the highest score on Candy Crush last night. The light turns green, but traffic is gridlocked and no one is moving. Suddenly, there's a commotion up ahead and a bunch of people start screaming and running towards you. Close behind them, you see a mob of freshly risen zombies shambling in your direction. What do you do? 
That's the start of a typical zombie Outbreak in TROPES: Zombie Edition (TZE). TZE is the culmination of many years of gameplay and "rules light" game design. The system is easy to learn and fast in play. Task Resolution uses a d6 dice pool which counts successes, making it a breeze to teach newcomers. Veteran gamers will appreciate not having to learn a whole new set of complex rules just for a one-off game. TZE is especially great for when players cancel at the last minute, you've been too busy with "real world" stuff to prepare for your next adventure, or you just need a change of pace from your weekly campaign. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

And Then There Were Eight - The D&D 5e Team Loses Two Editors

The Dragon giveth, The Dragon taketh away

I saw the news yesterday via Twitter and ENWorld, but now even ICv2 has an article about WotC letting go two editors for the Dungeons & Dragon line - Chris Sims and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes.

WotC used to do a Christmas purge on a yearly basis, although I think they mostly skipped 2013 and it looked like 2014 was another pass. Guess they were just a month late this time.

The ICv2 article goes on to mention there are just 8 members left of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop team. How large a staff does Paizo have working on Pathfinder?

I guess WotC could always freelance their future releases, but I'm beginning to suspect those releases will be few and far between

Free OSR - Enhanced Petty Gods Preview: Tsathoggua


I'm really looking forward to the full Enhanced Petty Gods release.

In the meaning, New Big Dragon Games presents Tsathoggua as a free preview. Grab it and grab it now. The only disappointment is that there isn't more available yet :(

Thanks to +James Mishler for reminding me this was out.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Frog God puts forth a January Rune Quests (solve the riddle for large discount)

I love treasure hunts and riddles. I suck at them (just ask my family) but I do love them. Frog God has put together one that has to be solved by January 31st, 2015. There isn't much time so go hoping ;)

Here's the link to the home page.


Am I Just Collecting 5e at This Point?

I have the 3 D&D 5e Core Books.

I have the Starter Set.

I have the Basic Rules in an early printed format.

I have the Dragonspear Castle and Hoard of the Dragon Queen.

I have the new DM Shield, still in shrink wrap, it went immediately on the shelf with the rest.

Sadly, I hear mostly good stuff about 5e but have had little time to do more than browse the pages of the books I have. Little free time to spend learning a system that isnt going to be played by my regular group anytime soon.

I literally feel I'm just a collector at this point.

Is it just me? Are others doing the same?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Troll Lord Games Entire Catalogue 60% Off at RPGNow Thru Sunday

Every once in a while Troll Lord Games runs a sale over at OBS (DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.) This is one of their better sales. 60% off is no joke.

Castles & Crusades is what brought me back to gaming and reminds me of AD&D 1e / 2e in many ways. A houseruled AD&D but still D&D to me.

The adventures are easily portable to other OSR games and the price is certainly right. I think I'll be shopping while running tonight's Tavern Chat session ;)

Alright, the links above won't work for you, so click here ;)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Free Baba Yaga's Hut (Fat Dragon Games)


I've always wanted to put together some of the Fat Dragon Games print and fold models and terrain.

Baba Yaga's Hut looks amazing and is free as I post this (it won't be free forever)

I can just imagine plopping this down at the gaming table as a DM ;)


Kickstarter - Conan (Board Game) - Minis and More oh My!


Have I mentioned that I'm counting down the days until I can retire, because only then will I find the time to play all the amazing board games I've found via Kickstarter AND paint all of the miniatures I've accumulated. Sigh.

Conan is a gorgeous looking game, and I don't say that lightly. It's a GM vs player(s) game, and I expect some light roleplay will sneak in with the right groups.

If my count is right, the basic box comes with 74 figures without counting the ones added by the stretch goals met thus far. Stretch goals add another 62 figures, plus furniture, skull piles, a poster map, a dice bag, extra dice and an extra double sided game board. Thus far.

14 days to go.

Over 8,000 backers.

A goal of $80k is now at over $1,275,000 in pledges.

Am I in?

Yes I am.

Look! I counted right!




Monday, January 26, 2015

I Found a Snowman to Match My Winter Mood


I'm in such a foul winter mood with this "blizzard of the century" that is taking it's damn sweet time to be a blizzard here in NYC.

So what do I do?

I search the net for evil snowmen.

I found the above by Zeeksie over over at DeviantArt. This is my kind of evil snowman. He must have some magical ability to turn folks into mini-mees, which he then toys with before destroying.

I could easily stat this out as a Tunnels & Trolls monster. OSR tho? Hmmmm.

Maybe an exercise for tomorrow...

(holy crap but Zeeksie has some good pieces)

Winter is Coming - NYC Style


Found this at syracuse.com.

NYC is closing down the subway system at 11 PM. It has never completely shut down the system for snow before (the subways did close for the last 2 hurricanes.)

Getting to work tomorrow should be... interesting.

Events like this always make me think of weather events in RPGs.

I've TPK'ed a party with a random winter storm from hell in my early days (thanks Dragon Magazine) of gaming. It's got me thinking about some divine weather events that could involve the party, but it shouldn't be directly. Town folks would be in need of protection or some such.

Let's see what happens tomorrow and if I get snowed in...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Blizzard Reading Collection - Breachworld, Sword of Air and Stoneheart Valley

If I somehow am not held over at work tomorrow, I will either be stuck at work in all likelihood Tuesday thru Wednesday (assuming I can get to work with the blizzard currently being predicted for NYC) or stuck at home. In either case, I'm preparing reading material.

Breachworld - the "not Rifts RPG." Seriously, it's not, even if it does borrow some of the basic tropes. It's built off of the Mini Six system (which in turn is a variation of the Open D6 System which has it's roots in the old WEG's Star Wars D6) we have a chance to see something Rifts-like with a system that work. Heck, I suspect with minimal work one could run a Rifts campaign using these rules and Rifts Sourcebooks - because we know we didn't use the game system as written anyway.) Yes, I've had a love / hate relationship with Rifts for over 20 years.

Stoneheart Valley - I'll start by saying I am not impressed by The Wizard's Amulet. It's a railroad with an (DM)NPC as the driving force behind a newly formed party and scenes that tell you the PCs actions. Admittedly, the railroad is a short one and easily fixed, but a railroad none the less. The Crucible of Freya is much less railroady and next on my list to finish reading. The trilogy ends with large - dare I say "Mega?" - Dungeon. Lets see how far I get.

Sword of Air - currently only in PDF, so I'm bringing my tablet. I'll bounce back and forth between this and Stoneheart and see how well it all weaves together on it's own. I'm really enjoying what I've read of this sandbox setting / adventure thus far.

Hopefully I can get far enough along to get a review or three out of my forthcoming reading marathon ;)


Looking To Change Up The Tavern's Blog Header - With a Semi-Regular Rotation of Artists

I've been using +Scott Ackerman 's amazing blog header over 2 years and it still entertains me to no end. I do, however, feel there should be more.


And not more in the way of the old blog headers, which served their purpose but lacked that certain magic that Scott brought to The Tavern.




I'd like to have a stable of blog headers, rotating weekly or so and showcasing new and emerging artists in our hobby (or even established ones, if they are so interested ;) I'm really excited to see different takes on The Tavern's header.

Here's what I'm thinking.

Open call for Headers for Tenkar's Tavern Blog.

I'll pay $20 for each header that I use (Paypal or RPGNow Credit - artist's choice.)

Artist keeps the copyright to the work, I get the right to use it on the blog until I no longer blog ;)

I get the right to put the art on beer steins and other stupid stuff, because I like a collection of coolness. Anything sold for profit, profit gets split between the artist and myself. The artist can use said art however they wish without sharing profit with me (they own the work.)

First time a header is used, a post will announce the new header, showcase the artist's other art and point readers in a direction to find more of their work.

There will be a "banner collection" on the right hand side of the blog, showcasing the headers in rotation and linking to the artists' sites.

If this sounds good to you, email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom. Put "Tavern Banner" in the subject. I do get a shit ton of mail ;)

edit: "Tenkar's Tavern" has to be on the header / banner itself as part of the art :)




Holding Off on Day 11 of OSR Christmas Until AFTER Snowmegeddon 2015 ;)

The latest update for Blizzard Juno is 20-30" in NYC with wind gusts of up to 65 MPH at the height of it.

The odds of me being stuck at work for an extended period of time time (24-48+ hrs straight) is significant.

I'm sure I'll squeeze in time to post, but I'd rather not post something I need to keep tabs on until after this "major snow event."

I DO have something I'd like to post, perhaps later today, not a contest but something that certainly would desire entries. It would also be open for a while.


Found a Use for My OGRE Oversized Tote Bag - Winter Storm Juno "Go Bag"


If tomorrow's blizzard predictions hold true, I may be stuck at work tomorrow night (or held over preemptively to stand in for those that can't make it in.) If I do go home tomorrow night, assuming trains are running Tuesday morning I may get held over until Wednesday.

Yeah, I expect lots of not much fun over the next few days.

So, in the bag I have:

- a light sleeping bag

- a cheesy pillow

- a towel

- a change of underwear

- a pair of clean dry socks

- 6 single serve mac and cheese bowls

- 6 single serve instant oatmeal bowls

- 4 single serve trail mix

- books for reading

And here I was wondering if I'd ever get any use out of the bag.

For Gold & Glory - Free PDF (2e Clone)



I was surprised to see that For Gold & Glory was no longer hosted on it's old site. The reason for that apparently is that it is no longer a work in progress but a full release (or at least a true beta).

It's now hosted on Lulu, where it can be grabbed for free in PDF.

No print option as far as I can tell.

I've read thru the rules, but has anyone actually taken them for a spin? I'd love to hear about it if you have.