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Saturday, June 6, 2015

NTRPG Con - Day Three - Free Signed Goodies Giveaway (US Only)

Now, I say US Only, but if you are willing to pay shipping up front via Paypal, we'll make it work to most places this side of the pond and across.

+Zach Glazar and +Lloyd Metcalf were immensely generous tonight, as they both offered signed books for the kind readers of The Tavern. These books are being given away as a bundle. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.



Bird of a Feather

Roadside Respite

Yep, two signed books, to be given away to one of you fine folks.

Just comment on this post before midnite, Tuesday June 9th, 2016.

Actually all the 5k / NTRPG Con giveaways are extended to Tuesday, as I don't expect to get to awarding prizes until Wednesday ;)

Oh, and more to come...

NTRPG Con - Day Three - The Three Castles Award for 2015 Goes To...

Sure, it's a horrible shot, but it's there.
Doug, as always, looks great in purple :)
The Three Castles Award for 2015 goes to +Kevin Crawford for Scarlet Heroes. Well done Kevin. We really need to get you out to NTRPG Con in 2016 ;)


NTRPG Con - Day Two - We Were Victorious!


Rach and I played in Mike Stewart's Victorious game session (Steampunked C&C) this afternoon. God bless any man who can ham it up in costume AND run an amazing game session at the same time.

And look, my PC even arrived in costume ;)


We followed that up with +James Aulds excellent Stars Without Number session (no photos cause I forgot) which Rach and I were a few minutes late to due to the restaurant being over run my famished gamers. Which was okay, as we got to spend some quality time with +Vincent Florio and his wife Randy over dinner. I really think we need to plan for an OSR couples dinner at NTRPG Con 2016.

Everyone I've spoken too can't speak highly enough about Bad Mike and Doug for the running of the con and even the hotel staff. Such an awesome time, we don't want it to end.

Friday, June 5, 2015

NTRPG Con - Day Two - Post 5k - Starter Adventures - Print Ships Anywhere Giveaway


+Tim Shorts is donating to the Post 5k celebration and gifting 2 copies of his excellent Starter Adventures to the cause of celebration.

Tim will be shipping these himself - God bless the man and Gothridge Manor - and Ivy too :)

So, you should know the deal by now - add a comment to this post by Monday Night, June 8th, 2016 and you'll have a chance to have your very own copy of Starter Adventures shipped to your very home, even if that home is not anywhere near mine ;)

No, back to gaming at NTRPG Con.


NTRPG Con - Day Two - Post 5k - The Ogress of Anubis - US Only Giveaway


+Richard LeBlanc of New Big Dragon Games donated three copies of The Ogress of Anubis to the 5k Post celebrations. One copy is going into the NTRPG Con goodies bag. You can also get The Ogress of Anubis for free in PDF at RPGNow.

So, how do you get a chance to be gifted one of the two remaining copies?

Comment on this post before midnite, Sunday June 7th, 2015.

Hopefully sometime next weekend I'll get all of these prizes in the mail ;)

US only for the print version, but all can grab the PDF for free.

NTRPG Con - Day Two - Kovacian Art Purchases

If you ask me what most of my purchases were at NTRPG Con in 2014, the quick answer would be "art." The more detailed answer would be +Doug Kovacs art - both originals and print. My only regret is that we sill need to finish renovating the living room before we can properly display some of the amazing pieces.

Now, if you ask me what most of my purchases are thus far at NTRPG Con in 2015, I'm going going to go straight to +Doug Kovacs art again. With few exceptions, much of the gaming product available at NTRPG Con is available for purchase online. You can't talk to Doug and peruse his wares from the computer like you can in person. I knew coming out I'd be heading immediately to Doug's table, and that's what Rach and I did yesterday.

Doug hat put this print aside for me
He knows my taste almost too well ;)
The wizard is flat out cool and the hanged man has so much going on in the details
There is something peaceful about both of these

NTRPG Con - Day One - And There was Much Killing and Embarassed Stammeriing

More amazing art from none other than +Doug Kovacs 

Tonight Rach and I played in +James Aulds Labyrinth Lord / ASE session. We had a blast.

I never expected Rach to be the one to say:

"Hey, I've got flasks! I want some of that frogshit creature poison!"

"Maybe we can cut the poison and sell it for good cash!" I had to ask her if she thought she was cutting heroin. Couldn't help myself.

"I want to throw the poison in their eyes!" Yes, I married a bloodthirsty woman. Thankfully it only seems to play out that way at cons ;)

Prior to the game he had dinner and beers with +Doug Kovacs . The best part of conventions like NTRPG Con is the friends you get to spend time with. Gaming is secondary to socialization.

After the game, Rach and I headed to the hotel bar, where I finally got to meet +Mark Hassman face to face for the first time. Of course, the bar itself was filled with a literal who's who of gaming, from OD&D to 5e.

Then, in the elevator coming up to our room, none other than +Jeff Grubb read my name tag and said "Tenkar's Tavern. I read it all the time." Yep, a police sergeant with 19 years on the job can still get flustered when his gaming heroes of old recognize him for something as small as this blog. I think I was introduced to Zeb Cook, but I was too busy being embarrassed to be sure ;)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

NTRPG Con Day One - And Much Shopping Was Done, and Gifting Too


Rach and I don't have a game to play in until 6 PM tonight - +James Aulds Labyrinth Lord session. So we did what any rational adult with way too much money in their pocket would do - went shopping ;)

Rach bought another plaster jewelry box from Diesel (I'm already looking forward to Rach getting stopped by the TSA like last year when she made a similar purchase from Diesel.) I bought more prints and an original piece of art from +Doug Kovacs (if you are at NTRPG Con and haven't checked out Doug's table and at the very least, picked up some prints you are a bloody fool.) Then I raided +Michael Badolato 's tables for some Judges Guild stuff.

+Michael Badolato gifted Rach with a Mythus Tower shirt. Yes, I am jealous. Rach also got a gnomish mug from +Zach Glazar last night. Zach gave me a spongey die. Damn lady has all the luck.

Actually, I did get gifted a mini and a Lesser Gnome button by Edwin Nagy. He was the gnome whose name escaped me last night ;)

Oh, and +Richard LeBlanc of New Big Dragon Games gave me some stuff to give away. One piece will go in the NTRGP Con Swag Bag Giveaway and the other two will find a post either later today or tomorrow where you folks can try and get lucky :)

I've got lots of pics to take of the art and such for a later post.

Almost dinner time :)

Post 5k - Castle of the Mad Archmage - PDF Bundle Giveaway - (Open to All)



So, +Joseph Bloch asked me "Would you like something to give away with your 5,000th post?" Not being a fool, I said yes :)

Joe is giving away a complete PDF bundle of Castle of the Mad Archmage. Yes, that includes Castle of the Mad Archmage Expansion - Level Three East that just went #1 on RPGNow's Hottest Selling list, bumping White Star from a position it held for a month. Nicely played Joseph, nicely played.

How do you enter to win this bundle of awesomeness? Post a comment below before midnite Texas time, Saturday June 6th. Good luck to all. We'll pick a random lucky winner Sunday ;)

More about Level Three East:

Confound your players with a whole new level to add to your Castle of the Mad Archmage™ adventure. Level Three East describes the wonders of the Mad Archmage’s own museum, which contains curiosities and treasures from all over the multiverse, and the challenges of the Watery Caves, which are a series of living caves connected by an underground river.

This module features 74 new encounter areas and 6 new monsters, a full two-page map, plus new magic items, new rumors, an explanation of how this module fits into the whole Castle structure, and the impact it will have on the inhabitants of the central third level of the dungeon. There are also tips for game masters who would like to run this level as a stand-alone adventure.

Levels in the dungeon roughly comport to suitable character levels, to this module is best suited for PCs of approximately 3rd level. However, there are (intentionally) some encounters that only more powerful characters can expect to handle.

Note: This is an expansion of the original Castle of the Mad Archmage™ megadungeon adventure. Although it can be run on its own, you will greatly add to your enjoyment of the module if you also have the original Castle.

Castle of the Mad Archmage is written using the Adventures Dark and Deep™ rules, and is compatible with most Old School type rules with little or no conversion needed.

Post 5k - NTRPG Con Swag Giveaway - US Only (NTRPG Con Day 1)


So, your mom wouldn't let you attend NTRPG Con because of all the "undesirables" in attendance. Or your job wouldn't give you the time off to game and drink. Finances were short this year and the economy is still in the crapped despite what the government says.

Well, you too can have a set of NTRPG Con swag (sans Attendee Badge, as I need that to do Con Things.)

How can you get this awesome set of swag?

First, you MUST have a US shipping address. I'd go broke shipping outside the states.

Second, comment on this very post before 1159 Friday Night, June 5th, 2015 (tomorrow.)

Third - be lucky. I'm only picking one person for the swag.

edit - Fouth - you can't be a NTRPG Con attendee - let others play ;)

I MAY add a thing or two from the con inside this package. I will throw in a Far Away Land Quickstart Rule booklet and a beer mat with grid, because that's the kinda guy I am.

Oh, did I mention? Happy 5,000th post to The Tavern? Woot!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

It Didn't Look Like That Much on the Menu (NTRPG Con Day Zero)


In the midst of the Tavern Chat, this is what the Mrs and I were chowing down on during the Tavern Chat. My God! Good food. Good beer. We couldn't finish.
ea
I was thrilled they had Shiner Bock on tap. Mmmmmmm.

And now, NTRPG Con banners from the last 2 years:



Where is 2015?

What for the next post - post 5k, for a cool giveaway :)


I Just Flew Into Dallas, and Boy Are My Arms Tired (NTRPG Con - Day Zero)

Yes, I do believe there is some flooding in the Dallas area
Rach and I arrived at the beautiful Marriott Airport South a little more than 2 hrs ago, which means we were about 3 hrs before check in time. The customer service rep at the reception desk remembered us from last June and found us a room in 2 minutes, if that. Heck, we are away from the Ice Machine and elevator this year too! ;)

After settling into our room we went down to the hotel restaurant for lunch. Guess what? The waiter remembered us (as we also remembered him.) I told Rach we must tip too well and may need to cut back - heh.

Then we caught the attention of +Zach Glazar and +Matt Finch (and another whose name escapes me at the moment.) A minute later, our waiter has the two tables next to each other and NTRPG Con kicked of for Rach and myself.

It's going to be an awesome con. I can feel it in my bones.

Remember, Tavern Chat tonight hosted from the hotel bar. I'll try and put up a post or two livish during the event.



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chaosium Reboots back to It's Roots - The Return of Stafford and Petersen

From the latest update: Project Update #129: Horror on the Orient Express: Call of Cthulhu by Chaosium by Chaosium Inc.

Greetings to all our Patient Backers,

We have pressed the reset button...

In 1975 Chaosium started out as a quirky boutique game company. We were all about creativity, artistry and craftsmanship. With every game we provided you with new realms of imagination and entertainment. Over the last few years we forgot that, and lost our way.

The Great Old Ones have Returned…

Greg Stafford, founder of Chaosium and creative force during its heyday, is now President. Sandy Petersen, world renowned game designer who brought Cthulhu into the light three decades ago, has rejoined the team as well.

Greg says: "Chaosium is part of my legacy. My intent is to restore it to its rightful place in the world of gaming. Something we can all take pride in, and something that fans will look forward to.Where 'what’s next?' is answered with 'I can’t wait'."

The Stars are Right…

Sandy says: "I am excited to return to active participation in the Call of Cthulhu line, and I’m eagerly looking forward to working directly with Greg again. We are Chaosium's original team from the 1980s. My first focus is going to be the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter campaign."

Our main plan is simple (but will be a lot of work):

Quickly sift and sort through the current company problems

Immediately ship the remaining Horror on the Orient Express backer rewards

Focus on the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter backer rewards

Return to regularly making awesome new games.

We offer new hope, and ask only for your patience."

Please visit Chaosium.com for regular news and updates. Contact us with questions, kudos, curses, or kindness. We are listening, and we will respond.

Greg Stafford, President and CEO of Chaosium Inc.
I’m puttin' the band back together.

Sixteen Far Away Land Quickstarts and One Tome of Awesome Head to NTRPG Con to Find New Homes


This pile you see is not returning with me from NTRPG Con. All will find new homes with attendees. Fun times :)

Remember, Tavern Chat Tomorrow Night at 830 PM Eastern, 730 PM Central. I'll be hosting from the hotel bar at NTRPG Con.

Packin' the Beer Mats for the Com


I'll be bringing 20 or so of +Peter Regan 's Beer Mats to the NTRPG Con. Hit me up and I'll give you one while supplies last. You need to be at the con to hit me up ;)

Con Alert! Full Prep Mode Engaged!

Today will consist of packing, printing, prepping, organizing, clothes washing and other assorted sundries that need to be accomplished before tomorrow morning's flight to Dallas and the NTRPG Con.

Remember, there WILL be a Tavern Chat tomorrow night - 830 PM Eastern, 730 PM Central. It will be hosted from the hotel's bar. If you are at the con tomorrow night, want to join the chat and don't have hotel internet nor a hotspot, I'll turn by phone into a hotspot for the duration of the chat.

Not sure what other posts will get up today. I do have a review or two to put up, I just need to write them. If I don't do it today, they probably won't get done until next week.

Expect lots of NTRPG Con pics on the blog this week :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Printing Out the Free Far Away Land Quickstarts for NTRPG Con


I have 16 covers printed (using heavier paper than the insides) and 3 copies completely stapled up of the Far Away Land Quickstart. Gonna bring at least 12 copies with me. These copies do not include the Isle of the Rat Wizard as they are play copies for the players, not the GM.

I know conventional wisdom says you should provide your players with pregens, but as it took my highly distracted group about 20 minutes for 4 players to create characters via Roll20, I strongly suspect we'll have similar if not better results at NTRPG Con.


Guest Poster - The Frugal GM - As The d20 (Entertainment) Spins - Wayward Kickstarter

As most of you folks know, The Tavern is open to to guest posters. Send me an email using the contact form to the right of this post with your elevator pitch. Today's guest post is from Christopher Stogdill, the Frugal GM. It's topic - d20 Entertainment / Ken Whitman. There is much more to this story. Hopefully in the coming weeks, Chris or I will be able to expand on what it here.

Greetings Tavern,

My name is  +Christopher Stogdill and like Erik, I try to give back some to the RPG community at-large through my blog and some other writing/design efforts under the “Frugal GM” banner. I try to get in on the Tavern Chats and have been fortunate enough to be able to contribute here or there elsewhere. For a couple of months I’ve been doing my best keeping Erik apprised of the general fuckery that has become the Knights of the Dinner Table: Live Action Series (KoDT: LAS) Kickstarter. I’d hoped he would use his site as an additional forum to highlight this “issue”. Although he’s aware of what is going on in general, and I’m sure on some of the specifics, he’s been reluctant to do so for some very good reasons, primarily because his information is second-hand. I don’t have that problem….not the willingness to use second-hand info, but because I have 1st hand info. I get his point loud and clear and the more I think about it, I cannot come right out with everything I know because I’m certain some of it was told to me in confidence.

A quick background: I was quite active with the HackMaster Association and while I was just a rabid fanboy I’ve generally come to consider the D-Team (Kenzer & Company Development Team) friends. Through volunteering and just straight-up social visits I’ve gotten opportunities to develop actual relationships with these people that at one time were stronger than those with my immediate family. I could try to “prove” this connection somehow, but it is one of the things you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Another thing you’ll have to take my word on, and I think it is a fair bet to say this is a general assumption, is that the publicly-viewable problems are the tip of the shitberg, er…I mean iceberg. As much as I’d like to type out, “..and this happened to Barb, or some such” I’ll point out only what has happened to me & the Mrs. and what you can easily read for yourself online. I’m sure I’ll miss stuff, which just adds credence to the sh…iceberg analogy.

The basic facts are that Ken Whitman of d20 Entertainment started what ended up being a series of Kickstarters with the KoDT: LAS Kickstarter than ended on February 5th, 2014 with 795 backers coughing up $69,525. My wife backed the “GEN CON 2015 THEATRICAL PREMERE & AFTER PARTY PACKAGE” at $450 which was promised this:
1.            Blu-ray DVD of the KODT:LAS with bloopers and extras
2.            Ability to download a 480p .mp4 of the KODT:LAS series after the “theatrical debut”
3.            Thank You in the movie credits
4.            24” x 36” print of the movie poster painted by Larry Elmore
5.            Hardback Limited Edition Book (KoDT: 20 Years of Covers)
6.            2 Tickets to the “world premier” of the KoDT Live Action Series at GenCon2015
7.            Question & Answer session with the D-Team and KODT: LAS Actors
8.            Hang out at the After Party with the D-Team and KODT:LAS Actors

Now obviously I cannot really get into items #1-3 because the “movie” isn’t out yet, I can speak a bit to items #4-8. Remember, all of this is pretty much publicly available knowledge except for any “this happened to us” input.

Item #4.               24” x 36” print of the movie poster painted by Larry Elmore
One of the lower tiers of pledges states the KODT: LAS DVD will “feature” cover art by Larry Elmore, but pledges at level $100 or higher, like mine, are to receive a “print of the KoDT 24” x 36” movie poster”. According to d20 Entertainment’s comment dated May 21, 2015 “The Elmore Movie Poster will come out ON the DVD itself in Mid August!” If I buy a “print”, I’m expecting an appropriately-sized piece of paper with art on it, not a digital file.

Item #5.               Hardback Limited Edition Book (KoDT: 20 Years of Covers) (review of the Limited Edition is here)
Backers pledging above the $200 were to “receive a FREE copy of the Hardback Limited Edition Book!!!” The content of this book wasn’t quite what it was described to be, but like the basic format of the KODT:LAS, I understand that some allowances have to made for a product that is in the process of creation. What is not acceptable is the “misleading, or inaccurate” content regarding this book. I ascertain that d20 Entertainment was deceptive and dishonest about the fundamental nature of this “limited edition” book. 1st the KODT:LAS kickstarter page clearly states, “IT IS ONLY AVAILABLE ON KICKSTARTER. AFTER FEBRUARY 5th, YOU WONT BE ABLE TO GET THIS BOOK.”, which is patently false since you have been able to buy a copy of this book directly from d20 Entertainment even as late as this morning, more than two years after the Kickstarter completion. d20 Entertainment also claims that “Just 250 copies of this beautiful book will be available in Hardcover”, which is also false since they printed and extra 25 copies as part of the author’s payment and they created another hardcover version of 50 copies (at $250 each) not listed on the Kickstarter, but available on their website.

Item #6.               2 Tickets to the “world premier” of the KoDT Live Action Series at GenCon2015
As of today I have not received any tickets for this event from d20 Entertainment. Since the end of the Kickstarter d20 Entertainment has been selling “premium” seating for the 1st two rows of the “premier” showing. My wife has inquired about this on several occasions and has yet to get a direct response from d20 Entertainment. Today there was some mention that they’ve updated their website to accommodate this, but frankly, for the huge premium, we should be jumping through hoops 60 days out form the event.

In addition to the issue with tickets, it has come to my attention, via d20 Entertainment’s posts on the subject, that this initial GenCon showing will in fact not be the premier for at least one of the episodes, which significantly dilutes the pledge package I bought into, “Episode Two will premiere on line in June 25th Where? Two locations! On line, and ready to download for backers AND the the nexus game fair in Milwaukee. Jolly and the D-Team will be on hand to talk to you about the episode and all HACKMASTER PRODUCT. If you are interested in attending log on to http://www.nexusgamefair.com.”

Item #7.               Question & Answer session with the D-Team and KODT: LAS Actors
It has also come to my attention, via a post from one of the KODT:LAS producers that the actors have largely not been contacted (as of May 24, 2015) about attending either the “world premier” and the Q&A, or the after-party.

Item #8.               Hang out at the After Party with the D-Team and KODT:LAS Actors
As far as the KODT: LAS Kickstarter pledge levels go, this is the one item that distinguishes my original $450 pledge level from the original $150 pledge level. There are several issues with this after-party that rise to the level of “taking action you know is false or misleading”. First we have the aforementioned unknown status of the actors, much less the complete cast, being able to attend GenCon. Second is the simple fact that for $40 I could essentially purchase attendance to this party which I already paid an additional $300 for! In one of the comments to another backer d20 Entertainment stated, “Throwing a party at gen con is an added expense. Not promised in our Kickstarter.” This in and off itself is a falsehood because that is the differentiation between my $450 pledge level and the $150 pledge level. Either d20 blatantly lied about their intent to throw an after-party when creating the Kickstarter, or are lying now during their attempt to elicit and additional funds to throw one of three parties at GenCon.

So basically we’ve spent an extra $300 (that’s $150 for each of us) on what? That’s an injury if I’ve ever seen one…and Ken’s incessant spamming is just adding insult to injury. Now to be fair, Ken’s email and social media “marketing” may have slowed down or stopped, but I wouldn’t know because the only relief I could get was to block, de-friend, unsubscribe to everything I could.

There are already too-numerous-to-list complaints regarding unwanted solicitations regarding other d20 Entertainment KS projects using the KODT: LAS pledge list (just read the comments in the KoDT: LAS Kickstarter), d20 Entertainment used the KODT:LAS project to promote the Traveller Kickstarter on May 9, 2014 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/838878); May 15 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/844526); May 23 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/851667); Jun 1 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/862367); August 13 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/952173); January 5, 2015 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/1099566). The KODT:LAS update feed and email list was also used for promotion of the Dice O’Matic Kickstarter on July 4, 2014 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/900252) and even the Castle & Crusades Kickstarter on October 3, 2014 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/1006805) & November 2, 2014 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/posts/1021668). At one point d20 Entertainment’s own Ken Whitman comments, “For those of you receiving KODT: LAS shirts, Hackerjack boxes, etc. Please e-mail me with photos so I can spam the other members with your happy faces! :-) -Ken Whitman” Later he even goes to defend the use of SPAM as an appropriate business activity, even though it clearly violates the TOS, “@ RevChewie I am sorry thats our business model does not work for you. If there is anything I can do for you, please send me a personal e-mail at sales@d20entertainment.com. -Ken Whitman

The over-arching theme of this KODT:LAS Kickstarter has been manipulating fans of the Knights of the Dinner Table into giving d20 Entertainment as much money as possible with no clear intention to fulfill all of the promises made to backers. The recent attempts by d20 Entertainment to solicit more funds from current backers and GenCon attendees at best is diluting my pledge package by $300 and at worst is outright fraud since d20 Entertainment has demonstrated their inability or unwillingness to full pledge packages as outlined in the Kickstarter.

Ken Whitman/d20 Entertainment agreed to a specific set of rules when they started their Kickstarter binge, outlined in the applicable Terms of Service TOS, dated October 2012. The specific rule(s) that have not been complied with are (emphasis mine):

“You shall not, and shall not permit any third party using your account to, take any action, or Submit Content, that: infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of publicity, or other right of any other person or entity, or violates any law or contract; you know is false, misleading, or inaccurate; is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive, fraudulent, tortious, obscene, offensive, profane, or invasive of another's privacy; constitutes unsolicited or unauthorized advertising or promotional material or any junk mail, spam, or chain letters;”

The majority of these rewards are not scheduled to arrive until August 2015, but it has become evident from the publicly-viewable comments for KODT: LAS that a) d20 Entertainment has knowingly and willfully taken action widely considered to be “unsolicited or unauthorized advertising or promotional material or junk mail” and b) has “taken any action, or submit(ted) content….you know is false, misleading, or inaccurate”.

But hey, don’t take MY word for it……

How Protected Are Your PCs? The Safe and Secure Illusion

Ash thinks she's safe and secure, but evil can lurk from above.
Such evil goes by the common name "Tobby".

I'll admit that I rarely think about my PC dying. Not because I want to avoid the thought, but because the idea of my PC failing to survive is rarely part of the equation.

It's much like being a teenager or young adult. "That shit will never happen to me!"

Actually, it's much like law enforcement. You put aside fears (and smart thoughts like "self preservation") and get the job done. You deal with the fears afterwards.

Of course, that's all an illusion, even if it's one created by you for your own benefit. It's useful though.

In game, I think it's important to remind PCs (and their players) of their relative vulnerability. If the players discuss running instead of engaging (even if they do engage 90% of the time after having said discussion) when things look horribly tough, you as the DM are doing something right. If your players always run head long into each fight, never thinking twice, never considering escape, you need to remind them of their vulnerability. Sometimes all it takes is a single PC to die to make it real (in the context of the game, of course.)

A little fear goes a long way...


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Far West isn't Late (Well, Yes it is but...) There's Still May 2016

To be honest, I don't think ANYONE expected a May 2015 release date for Far West. May 2016? Perhaps. Considering Far West is already 3 1/2 years late, what does one more day, week, month, year mean at this point anyway?

Far West has stood up more gaming nerds when it comes to dates than the 1980s ever did.

If I had a girlfriend who missed this many "release dates" it would be too late to consider an abortion.

Far West is approaching TWICE the gestation period of an African Elephant, and that's only counting the days it's late.

I fly into Dallas on Wednesday and boy, will my arms be tired.

Try the fish!


Second Session of Far Away Land in the Bag - Scything & Dicing



Last night was the second session of the Temple of Zoko, my Saturday Night group's introduction to Far Away Land and a testing of the system / gameplay prior to me running a session or two at NTRPG Con later this week.

My four player group survived without a casualty. That was due to smart play on the part of my players.

As far as I know (as I didn't see them in the FAL Quickstart and I didn't have time to refer back to The Tome of Awesome) there are no disarm / weapon grabbing rules for FAL. Well, one of my players, whose character was skilled in unarmed combat, decided he want to take away the BBEG's apparently magic scythe. The two wrestled over the scythe for two rounds, and the player's character gained control on the second round, which changed the dynamics of that final encounter. I'll post my house rule later.

Far Away Land is a big hit in my group, a grumpy set of grognards one and all. It's nothing like D&D and yet plays out very much like D&D. It also seems to encourage me to "ham it up" just a bit, which has gotten my wife laughing from the next room and entertained my players to no end.

We've pretty much agreed FAL is going to be the game we play to take breaks from ongoing campaigns, as the change of pace should keep everything fresh.

All I need to do is print up a dozen or so Far Away Land Quickstarts for NTRPG Con.

Now I'm going to sneak in yet another giveaway, also open until June 8th. On June 9th I'll pick a winner and mail them the self printed copy of the Far Away Land Quickstart that I used for the last 2 sessions (the very one pictured above). And yes, I'll mail it anywhere in the world on the following weekend.

All you need to do to enter is comment on this post :)

6 Years / 5k Posts Giveaway - City of Dolmvay - Print Copy (US Only)


A while back +Pete Spahn sent me an print extra copy of the Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay, an excellent OSR City supported and backed by members of the OSR on Kickstarter. I vowed to give away the 2nd copy, but an opportunity never availed itself. This is that opportunity.

How do you get a chance to win that copy of the Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay?

Make a comment below before I return from NTRPG Con. We fly back on the Monday after the con, June 8th. On June 9th I'll pick a winner and mail their copy out the following weekend.

In the meantime, grab a copy of the Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay PDF for yourself. It's priced at PWYW pricing, so there is no reason not to pick up a copy.

(Today marks 6 years of posting and we are 13 posts away from 5k)

Today Makes Six Years of Posting at The Tavern - It's Been one Hell of a Ride!


As I sit here at type this, I find it amazing that I've been doing this "blog thing" for six years. Six years of writing, reviewing, learning and more learning. Blogging is equal parts craft and art. It's finding one's writing voice and falling flat on one's face more often than not, at least in the beginning.

In the early days of Tenkar's Tavern, I think at least half of my page views was me opening up the blog and reading what I wrote for the umpteenth time. The first truly notable traffic spike was my review of +James Raggi 's The Grinding Gear . I think that got somewhere around 60 views in those first 24 hours, nearly tripling my average traffic. Two years later, the Pathfinder Beginner Box unboxing went viral on Facebook and I had over 1000 views in 24 hours.

I wouldn't still be doing this - posting 2, 3 or 4 or more times in a day if it wasn't for the community that has formed around The Tavern. This is as much your blog as it is mine. Without you - the readers, the commenters, guest posters, Patreon backers, fellow bloggers, publishers and more - there would be no need for The Tavern. As I've stated before, I am forever in your debt.

What does the future hold for The Tavern? I can't say for certain (even as we come up on the 5,000 post later on this week) because this blog seems to take on a life of it's own. I can say this - the immediate future should hold more new gaming content in addition to the usual assortment of blog posts. I expect next year around this time there will be some major changes - both with The Tavern and some other side projects. More free time means more stuff to fill that time.

Later on today I plan to do a small giveaway. US only - as it is print, but as the week goes on I hope to be able to get some smaller print and / or PDF items to giveaway.

For those that have been along for the ride since the beginning ( +Joe D I know has been a regular at The Tavern since before the taps were installed ;) I hope you've enjoyed the growth and changes (which were, for the most part, for the better I think.) Those that are recent arrivals, I hope that you'll stay for the next six years and then some.