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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mini Review - GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing (System Neutral Edition)

Tables. It seems like everyone is publishing tables these days. 101 Names for the Tavern Keeper's Wife is probably on sale somewhere. I like tables but they need to be useful. GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing (System Neutral Edition) is extremely useful, especially if you like to run sandboxes as a DM.

See the sample above? The full table is 100 entries. How many tables are there? Here's the Table of Contents:


That's a sandboxing DMs treasure trove of content. Hell, the Folks section alone is giving me about a half dozen hooks I'd like to use and that's from just a quick read.

There's lots of stuff to love here if you are on the improvising side of the gaming table.

Much of this has appeared previously in individual releases. GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing (System Neutral Edition) is a compilation of those releases and some new content, but if you have the prior releases the added value might not be enough to justify the complied purchase.

GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing (System Neutral Edition) is currently $8.39 in PDF.

Kickstarter - Small Dungeon Maps (Map Tiles for Your FtF Game)


I must say, even though I have absolutely no use for the product of the Small Dungeon Maps Kickstarter (I game via Roll20 these days, and moving virtual map pieces together is not my thing) the quality appears to be high and best of all - it's all print at home and play.

No shipping costs or delay.

Unlimited number of copies for the home user.

Extremely low buy in (first set is a mere 3 bucks)

If you use minis at home in your games this might just be for you.

It's already funded (it's goal was $90 Canadian) and is a low risk / high potential Kickstarter.

Heck, for 3 bucks (Canadian) I may just add to the tip jar myself.




Friday, September 25, 2015

Kickstarter - Mermaids VS Zombies (a visual novel rpg hybrid - err?)

13 year old me would be all over this. The mermaid pictured above, not the game itself. Or is it a novel. Mermaid's VS Zombies is something, but I'm not even sure the creator knows what it is.

Why do I say that? Because their goal, which has been reached, is only $250.

So, what is the game about:
Mermaids vs. Zombies is about the underwater apocalypse. In short it's essentially about you and your cousin princess Bubbles, trying to find a way to end the zombie apocalypse, that's infecting Mertopia. It's an rpg visual novel hybrid.  The visual novel portions are almost all completed, however the rpg elements have yet to be implemented due to a lack of budget. (this is a huge flag, because wouldn't the RPG elements be the story itself?) 
Right now the most of the budget raised here will go into three categories. (finding a way to spilt that $250 goal equitably should be interesting) Advertisement. Programming and the main one, the Art resources (wait, I thought the visual novel parts were almost completed).  Right now I'm hesitant to show any game footage due to the game not being fully polished (not confidence instilling) . Shall I get requests from backers I'd be more then happy to show off what we have so far, but the reason I have yet to do so independently is because it's not fully polished.
But wait, there's more:
The programming aspect I have mostly covered. However I would like to recruit at least two more programmers so I'm not as swamped with work as I have been. (and pay them with what? there is no budget to speak of even with this being funded) 
Lastly Advertisement: shall we make it over three hundred I will do my best to not only get this game on consoles, but also on platforms such as Steam. Steam alone cost's around 100$ for you to even be considered. (well, there goes the ability to even buy those two programers lunch) 
Budget aside I plan to have this game, be very diverse. With characters across the board in marginalized groups. Right now the game has a racially diverse cast, with one or two disabled characters, and lgbtqia+ characters as well. Princess Bubbles, and the player are both Black, Zib and Pilo are asian, Zib is agender and visualy impaired, and Billino is bisexual. The only one not in some sort of marginalized group is Jerins, and he's...kind of a joke as a character.  (The creator self identifies as transgender, so I understand where it is coming from, but the only "non marginalized" character is the comic relief?)

Then we have the Risks and Challenges section. I'm just going to opt for the screen shot and avoid commenting. It really speaks for itself.



Red Tide on Sale for $4.79 in PDF This Weekend Only


You know about +Kevin Crawford 's Red Tide I hope. It does for fantasy OSR sandbox play what Stars Without Number did for sci-fi OSR sandbox play. It's one of the resources that sits on my desk, waiting to be used at a moment's notice. 

It's on sale for this weekend at $4.79 in PDF.
In this book a Labyrinth Lord will find all that is required to run a sandbox game of adventure in the Sunset Isles. In addition to the races, classes, and sorcery of this savage land, a referee will find special tools and resources for creating shadowed courts of quarreling nobility, cities rife with struggle, wild border settlements that cry out for the help of heroes, and dark places in the earth known only to the dead and the damned. These tools will aid not only campaigns in the Sunset Isles, but also those games set in other lands of savage mystery and bloodstained blades. 
Expanding on the tag system found in the free Stars Without Number sci-fi role-playing game, Red Tide includes more than fifty new tags for fantasy cities and borderland settlements, along with more than 25 pages of GM resources including culture-specific name and place lists, unkeyed blank maps for quick sandbox use, four pages of room dressing and treasure possibilities, and a new "diagram dungeon" method of quick dungeon generation with a worked example.
And if you are looking for something that would work directly with Stars Without Number - Suns of Gold is a merchant sourcebook for Stars Without Number. Suns of Gold is also 40% off for the weekend, coming in at $5.99 in PDF.

Did I mention Stars Without Number is free?

Pocket Creatures - Simareans - Ghost Walkers (Swords & Wizardry / White Star)

Art by Sidney Sime - Public Domain
"They swarmed like locusts yet seemed t' have a "hive mind" like ants. With barely a sound they descended upon Kraven's Hamlet, devouring the living, leaving just gnawed upon bones.  We seen them only when the sun went down. Don't know where these "Ghost Walkers" came from. Some called them the undead, but they lacked the weaknesses of those foul creatures. No, these are the Un-Living, as our priest soon learned. He was the first of us to fall. I am not proud that I abandoned my companions, but I am alive. They, sadly, are not."   Rathman Breckt, Manipulator of the Magical and Mechanical Arts, sole survivor of The Gathering of Fools adventuring party.

Simerians, often referred to as Ghost Walkers, are a dangerous site to see. Much like locusts, they come from seemingly nowhere, descend upon a location, devour all they can and leave. They aren't a conquering force, nor one of destruction, as buildings and such are left more or less intact in their wake. If it weren't for the bones left behind, no one would be able to guess the fate of the prior inhabitants.

It appears that the Ghost Walkers have a 7 year cycle of inactivity, followed by a month or so of feeding, following by 7 more years of no signs, no nothing. Where they are between feeding cycles, no one know but it is assumed that they are either in some form of stasis or another dimension all together. No Ghost Walker has been found alone, in stasis or captured alive so it is all conjecture.

Ghost Walker swarms number from 50 to 500, with the usual number in the 100 to 150 range. Ghost Walker bodies rot quickly in sunlight and few dead specimens have been recovered to study. Apparently needing neither water nor air and immune to extreme temperatures, small swarms have been known to attach themselves to starships for interstellar travel.

Simareans / Ghost Walkers

ARMOR CLASS   4 [14]
HIT DICE   2
TOTAL HIT BONUS   + 2
ATTACKS   2 x 1d6 (Claws)
SAVING THROW 17 (immune to fire / cold attacks)
SPECIAL - Hypnotic eyes. Instead of attacking, may use eyes to stun opponent. Save or no actions for 1 round. Save every round after first round until successful to negate effect.
MOVEMENT - 15 Ground

OGL

(I'm hoping to get the first Pocket Creature Collection in PDF to Patreon Backers this weekend, with another following in 2 weeks or so. Print copies to the high end backers next weekend if all goes well. Slowly adjusting to my overnight tours ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Is That DCC on My Beer? Perhaps...


Tip of the hat to +Harley Stroh and props to +Jeff Sipko for the find and the pic.

Beer & The OSR. Those are my passions. It's rare that they intersect so perfectly, but Dragon Lady Doppelbock Beer from Rinkuskiai Brewery at first glance is that intersection. DCC RPG art on an imported doppelbock beer? I'm in heaven. Or I would be if it were a legal use of the art.

Yep, it appears Caldwell's art is being used without the artist's permission. This isn't some home brewer slapping labels on beer he's handing out to his friends. Nor is it some fan writer using a commercial RPG setting for her own stories.

Rinkuskiai is one of the top 5 breweries in Lithuania. Sure, that's like being one of the top five breweries in the NYC borough of Queens, but they are a legitimate company that's been brewing beer since the 1990s.

Using art without a license? That's something I wouldn't expect from a company located in the EU.

Aiko is the US Importer. I wonder if they would be responsible in the US for the unlicensed use of Caldwell's art. From what I can gather, the beer released two years ago. It looks like they've already gotten decent mileage from the art. Maybe they could just cut Caldwell a check and make it all legal.

Shame that this beer / OSR intersection isn't all it seemed at first glance.

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM to 11PM Eastern

Yes, I finally fixed the heading for the Tavern Chat app with the new day and times.

Will I be distracted by the Giants game in the background? If they play like the last two Sunday's I'll probably be all in the chat ;)

Come by and say hello.

Looking forward to seeing y'all there. Er, here. Whatever...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Going Down the Sidney Sime Rabbit Hole (Public Domain Art)

Strange how something can just grab you from behind and choke the shit out of you. Such it is with Sidney Sime's art.

I'm going to blame +Eric Diaz and his post over at the Methods & Madness blog which in turn links to the Monster Brains blog which led me to +Aeron Alfrey 's Flickr collection of Sidney Sime art.

Holy shit.

I've been in a creative "black hole" of sorts recently. My work hours have literally changed around the clock (overnight shift is the latest and I hope it sticks until retirement in March.) I owe pieces of creative work not just to readers of this blog but to others but the well has been dry this summer. I suspect the well is no longer going to be as dry as it was.


I'm not quite sure what is going on above, but I suspect the d30 Sandbox Companion will tell me - this just screams for use of the Cult Generation table.


There is so much going on in this piece the adventure nearly can write itself. Color me inspired. I may print a piece or three out to throw in my work bag and reference during downtime for creative productivity :)

RPGNow Deal of the Day - The Graveyard at Lus (White Star)


Looking for a high end hex crawl for your White Star campaign at bargain basement pricing? Act fast, because The Graveyard at Lus is the RPGNow Deal of the Day for the next 20 hours or so (I would have posted this earlier, but I was still sleeping.)

Normally $4.99 on PDF, The Graveyard at Lus is currently on sale for $2.99. Heck, the softcover is $9.99 with the PDF. That pricing is hard to beat.
Space Graveyards - what's left behind when battles are fought among the points of light that map out the universe. Sometimes there's good salvage to be had there. There's always danger, though. Not everything is dead in a Graveyard, and you're not the only one that's come looking for the good stuff. And that's not even mentioning the radiation and debris left behind, or the dangerous creatures that end up finding their way there like graveworms and ... the undead. 
-A comprehensive toolkit for creating space Graveyards - the result of battles between forces at war in the stars
-Multiple tables for the creation of starship damage, system damage, and crew survivorship
-An event table to ensure that exploration is dynamic during sandbox play
-New rules for Cinematic and Realitic space combat
-New starship technology including sensors and rules for targeting/repairing specific systems
-Additional rules for space-based phenomena, space-based explosions, and boarding other starships
-Four new alien races for your White Star RPG campaigns
-Updated starship usage for four of the core alien races in the main game
-Five new creatures, including The Unquiet, a horriffic form of undead
-Use the pregenerated Graveyard At Lus for your own games, or as a guide to create your own Graveyards.
-Worksheets and sample hexmaps at the rear of the book to help with generation of Graveyards
-Designed for use with the White Star RPG, but easy to convert for other OSR sci-fi systems. 
The Graveyard at Lus will be continually supported by the release of FREE expansion material that includes additional rules and other content, including new races, creatures, and tables to help support additional sandbox usage of the product beyond the core book here. This material will not be included in the core book, but as separate products. The first of these will be the release of all of the silhouettes of the starships in the book (and many more) for use in creation of your own counters for table-based play or use with a VTT. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Crawl Fanzine #11 is Here - Nautical Madness (DCC RPG)


Well, alright. Maybe not "Nautical Madness." Crawl #11 is certainly nautically themed. Alright, technically it's "The Seafaring Issue."

It's Crawl!, so you know it's gonna be quality. It's also fairly easy to port most of this issue over to other OSR rulesets, either directly or as inspiration. Very cool.

What's inside?
Features:
-Naval Warfare for Ocean Crawlers
-Nautical Mighty Deeds
-Fantastic Forms of Sea Ship Propulsion
-The Deep Elders - Deep sea servants of Dagon
-Life Aboard - Ship morale and on-board events
All that for $2.99


Kickstarter - Far West - Where Progress is Moving Backwards

Last December (in the year of delayed Kickstarters 2014 - we need to count years with Far West) Gareth started laying out Chapter XII. Yes, layout. As in, it was written and it was done.


He has still laying out Chapter XII in February of this year.


Today we were told he is now working on laying out Chapter IX



Just how long does it take to layout a book?

Just how many chapters are laid out? He's not going in order so it's impossible to tell. Is Chapter XII truly done?

This was from the August 25th update, The 4th Year of Far West, Year 2015 Common era


So, Chapter XII is NOT done...

Kickstarter - Hawk the Hunter (Hawk the Slayer sequel)


Hawk the Slayer sequel? Check!

Original actor that shot the bow like a machine gun has a role in the sequel? Check!

Original director is back? Checkity check check!

$4.5 million of $5 million needed already raised from sources other than Kickstarter? Oh my yes check!

Less than $25k of the $500k still needed raised on Kickstarter with 8 days to go? Errr... Uhmmm... Ah shit...

Hawk the Hunter. Hawk the I'll Still be Looking for that Final $500k.

I have fond memories of the original which surprisingly don't match my rematching of the original...

Monday, September 21, 2015

White Star Release - Star Gods Help Us (New Class / Race Combos)


The "Other Spahn" ( +Pete Spahn ) has officially stepped into the White Star universe with Small Niche Games release of Star Gods Help Us.

Now, while Pete describes Star Gods Help Us as "a lighthearted collection of new White Star classes for that one player who just has to be different. It contains twelve (12) quirky race/class combinations including giant cockroach junkers, spiritual mammoths, living oozes, malfunctioning lawbots, zombie crewmen, and other bizarre creatures that will leave you shaking your head." I see it in a slightly different light.

Quite simply it's 12 unique NPCs that a DM can pull out of his ass at a moments notice. These race / class combos have enough depth and individuality right out of the box that they simply ooze "sandbox" play.

Imagine throwing in a Gloop when the party needs some repairs to their ship:
Gloops are a race of intelligent purple oozes with a "face" that consists of white "googly eyes" and a wide mouth. A Gloop typically appears as a shifting blob that stands 4' tall, but can flatten itself out to a height of 6". A Gloop's overall mass weighs approximately 160- 300 pounds. A Gloop is capable of forming up to six pseudopods in order to wield weapons or manipulate small objects. A Gloop can move its "face" to any of these pseudopods in just one round. 
Gloops are asexual, but some adopt male or female traits and preferences in order to fit in with other races. Gloops are vegetarians that feed through osmosis. They love spicy plants, but these plants often give them gas. 
MECHANICAL UNDERSTANDING: Gloops have a natural understanding of all things technical and mechanical, and their ability to creep into narrow places makes them excellent mechanics. At the Referee's discretion, they may receive bonuses or increased chances of success when dealing with vehicles, starships, and other large machinery.  
Thats just a small piece of the Gloop's write up. Just think, there are eleven other race / class write ups included.

All that for $2.99. Simply a bargain for those looking to add some surprises to their White Star campaigns.

Only thing that annoys me is that I won't have the time to kick off my own White Star campaign for about six months. Ah well, six more months of source material releases to pick through before then ;)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Open Call for More Tavern Header Art - This is a Paid Gig

Now that The Tavern's blog header is rotating, what I'd like to do is ad more blog headers / banners to the rotation.

Why?

Quite simple actually - I want to be able to highlight and display art from the various artists in the OSR community, both professional and amateur. I REALLY like art, probably because I have no talent in that direction ;)

If you are looking to gan some visibility in the OSR as an artist there are few places more visible than Tenkar's Tavern. I'll be working on a page of links at The Tavern to showcase the various artists works.

What's the requirement? It needs to showcase a tavern of sorts. Fantasy, sci-fi, horror - you name it, but it needs the tavern theme. Thanks to the programing wizardry of+Tony Bravo the banner's width will resize. So long as the banner is wider that it s high, we should be okay.

Free submissions are welcome but if you are looking to get paid we'll negotiate. Artists are vastly underpaid in the realm of RPGs in my opinion and I'm happy to pay a fair price.

Send you inquiries and / or submissions to tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing.

Thanks in advance, your proprietor, Mr. Tenkar :)






Free DCC RPG Tournament Adventure from Goodman Games - Dungeon Crawl Classics RC2: Death by Nexus


I saw Dungeon Crawl Classics RC2: Death by Nexus highlighted at the Frugal GM blog last week and wanted to add to the bandwidth. It's a free tournament adventure from Goodman Games but I'm fairly sure it could be tweaked into a nice, lethal funnel with a little work. Just looking a the writers involved is a Who's Who in the DCC universe of creators.

Even if you don't use it as is the magic items at the end are simply inspirational for any OSR game.