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Saturday, August 20, 2016

For Those That Are Interested in the Financials of The Tavern (We're Making the Big Bucks!)

One of the comments yesterday stated the following:


So, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm offering a snapshot of June and July's earnings made by The Tavern.

First up - Adsense:


As you can see, it averages about a buck a day. People don't really click on ads much and I don't blame then. Over the course of 12 months it should take in about $350, which is the average price for a new piece of art for The Tavern's Banner Rotation.

Second Up, RPGNow Referral Sales:

If I go with screenshots the page will never end. June and July combined for $75.68 ($43.36 and $32.32 respectively), which is really low. August so far is $80.05, which is high. The year is at $550.01, so about $70 a month or just over 2 bucks a day. (as an aside, the Gygax Memorial Fund raised $566 in all of 2015)

Last Up, Patreon:

I like the Patreon method and support many on it with the monies donated to The Tavern. June had $166.01 in pledges, which after fees and spreading the love to other Patreons came out at $124.14. July was $164.51 which came out to $102.32 after fees and spreading the Patreon love.

June Total: $202.44  $6.75 a day

July Total:  $158.42  $5.11 a day

For that you get 1 to 3 posts a day, Tavern Cards (which are really fucking slow to mail out), occasional giveaways, art purchases for use at The Tavern (monies going to artists in the community), work on Swords & Wizardry: Light, the annual insane fiasco known as OSR Christmas and assorted other sundries. Average time spent daily on Tavern related activities - just over 2 hours.

The Tavern's modest income does NOT support the Kickstarters I back nor the games I buy. I wish it would pay for a lunch or two a week at the pub. Maybe we'll get there over time ;)




Swords & Wizardry Products 33% Off at Frog God This Weekend


You really like the Otis cover but don't have the cash to grab a copy of the hardcover?

Then this weekend is for you. (sale ends 8/21)

Not only is the Swords & Wizardry Complete Hardcover on sale for 33% off this weekend but so too is most every other Frog God release for the Swords & Wizardry rules (Offer excludes new titles including Quests of Doom 3, Borderland Provinces, and The Northlands Saga Complete)

So, how do you get such an exclusive discount on some Old School goodness?

Step 1 - Go to the Frog God Games Online Store

Step 2 - Put some Swords & Wizardry in your basket

Step 3 - Use the following coupon code: S&W-33-9394

After purchase you get the instant gratification of the PDF of your purchase there for you to download as you await for your books to arrive.

I'd use the code myself but I think I have everything...

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Open Letter to Kickstarter Creators - I am Not Here to Blow Smoke Up the Arse of The Tavern's Readers (Rant)

Let me set the record straight.

I get 3 to 4 requests per week from Kickstarter creators asking me to look at their projects. Some ask me to peek at the Not Yet Published page, seeking critique and feedback. These are the wise folks. Others simply want me to pimp their latest crowdsourced offering, whether it be the latest, greatest fantasy heartbreaker or a new litter pan for my cat.

I get them all.

I ignore most requests.

Why?

The Tavern is not here to pimp your shit.

Let me repeat that a little clearer for those that might not understand the directness of that statement. The Tavern's coverage of Kickstarters, the good, the bad and the down right bizarre, is not a vehicle to pimp your project. The purpose is to highlight projects that I believe are worth the time of my readers to check out. That DOES NOT mean that I'm highlighting it for your benefit.

I point out flaws in Kickstarters and their presentation. It's what I do. It's part of the vetting process. You are basically begging for money from the gaming public and your project needs to be vetted. I also point out well presented Kickstarters and creators with good track records... and bad.

What I do not do and what I will never do is blow smoke up the arse of my readers. I will not speak highly of a Kickstarter project that I am not willing to back myself.

Some may ask: "If you don't like a project, why post about it at all?"

The answer is simple.

It's what I do. It's a service that I do for the readers of The Tavern. Again, I do not highlight Kickstarters for the benefit of the project creators, I highlight them for the benefit of my readers. They need to know what to avoid. They need to know the warnings that a project might not be as solid as it seems.

What can you do to avoid "unwanted attention?"

Short answer: Have your Kickstarter page read by multiple eyes before you take it live. First impressions are 90% of your battle and you only get one shot at it.

Long answer: Read through the Kickstarter posts here at The Tavern. You'll see examples of what to do and what not to do. Research. Edit. Edit again. Avoid mugs. Print stretch goals can ruin your budget. Shipping costs can ruin you.

Remember, you are asking the gaming public to part with their money with the promise that you will provide them with a finished product down the line. If you are unable to put your best foot forward out of the box, what can one expect with the finished product?

Kickstarter - The Ice Kingdoms (A Lesson for Others - Edit Your Pitch)


I really wanted to write a positive post about The Ice Kingdoms Kickstarter. I like the concept. I like the cultures it plans to draw upon. I like the art I see.

Then I read the opening sentence:


If you can't discern the proper usage of "a" and "an" in the opening sentence of your pitch I have real issues with the ability to properly edit a product. What's with the "Role Playing Game. Fantasy." anyhow? Keyword search?

Proper names should be capitalized:


Throwing in names of artists that apparently haven't been approached yet is simply wrong:


Then there is this paragraph:


Okay. This makes my head itch. Those first two sentences above make no sense together. Are they recreating rules? Recreating a "feel" that never left? No "comma" before "and." It's "Swords & Wizardry" and "Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game." Also, be consistent. Is it "The Ice Kingdoms", "the Ice Kingdoms" or "Ice Kingdoms?"

It's small things, but awkward use of the English language in the pitch does not leave me with confidence in the project itself. When putting your hand out for money, proper presentation beats all.

12 days left to fund. $3,381 of $5,500 to go. It MAY fund. It's not going to hit stretch goals. It SHOULD find someone to edit it's Kickstarter page in the next few days if it wants to find success and it will NEED an editor on their project itself or this will be, at best, one and done.

Announcement - Brave the Labyrinth is Back! (Labyrinth Lord fanzine - Spahn & Spahn ;)



BRAVE THE LABYRINTH IS BACK!

Small Niche Games and Barrel Rider Games have joined forces to announce the return of Brave the Labyrinth, the Labyrinth Lord™ OSR magazine! We're looking for submissions!

Brave the Labyrinth is a magazine published by Small Niche Games for the Labyrinth Lord™ roleplaying game community. It consists of fan-created material designed to cover all types of Labyrinth Lord™ and Advanced Edition Companion™ gaming.

*Submission Deadline*

Brave the Labyrinth is now accepting submissions for its fourth issue. The submission period for Issue #6 ends on October 1st. Any material submitted after this date will be considered for Issue #7.
*Submission Guidelines*

The following are the submission guidelines for the Brave the Labyrinth fanzine. Please read these guidelines carefully. If you have any questions, email smallnichegames -AT- gmail -DOT- com.

*What We Want*

New Classes: At least one new class or race/class complete with special abilities (if any), saving throw table, weapon/armor restriction, and detailed description of how and where they fit into the typical fantasy campaign world.

New Races: At least one new playable character race, complete with special abilities (if any), saving throw table, weapon/armor restriction, and detailed description of how and where they fit into the typical fantasy campaign world. This submission should be compatible with the Advanced Edition Companion™.

New Weapons and Equipment: At least five new weapons or pieces of equipment not found in any of the Labyrinth Lord™ core rulebooks. If exotic weapons (katanas, falchions, boomerangs) are submitted, we ask the author to stick a specific theme (Far Eastern, Middle Eastern, etc.).

New Magic Items: At least five new magic items not found in any of the Labyrinth Lord™ core rulebooks. Added background information on who and why the items were created is always a plus.
New Spells: At least five new spells not found in any of the Labyrinth Lord™ core rulebooks. Added background information on who and why the spells were created is always a plus.

New Monsters: At least three new monsters not found in any of the Labyrinth Lord™ core rulebooks. The monsters should be fully statted out and described using the same format found in the core rulebooks.

Optional Rules: Submit a house rule or two used in your game or a game that you've played. Tell us what the rule is, what rule it replaces, and the issues you had with the original rule that forced you to make the change.

Short Fiction: Brave the Labyrinth will occasionally publish fan-created short stories. These stories should be compatible with the medieval fantasy nature of Labyrinth Lord™ and comply with all Brave the Labyrinth submission guidelines.

Artwork and Maps: Any fantasy medieval artwork and any medieval-style maps (castles, dungeons, taverns, cave systems, etc.). Whether you're a professional artist or just like to doodle, show us what you can do.

Cartoons: 1-3 panel cartoons showcasing something amusing about the game we love. No serials at this time.

Locales: A shop, home, cave, ruin, or any other location that can be easily dropped into any settings. Submissions should contain a simple map, statted NPCs/monsters, and at least three adventure hooks.
Adventures: An adventure can be a dungeon, series or wilderness encounters, a trek through a city, or anything else the author desires. we're looking for 5 - 10 page adventures that can be easily dropped into any setting.

Anything Else: Did we miss something? If so, send us an email with your idea and if it's Labyrinth Lord™ related, we'll consider it!

*What We Don’t Want*

Brave the Labyrinth is a PG-13 publication so graphic depictions of sex and/or violence will not be accepted. Content that is felt to glorify or promote hatred against a specific (real world) gender, (real world) race, or (real world) culture will not be accepted. Pretty much anything else is open for submission, though.

*Rights*

Any content submitted to Brave the Labyrinth is assumed to be an original creation submitted by the sole author. Brave the Labyrinth accepts reprints for consideration, but prefers previously unpublished content. _Small Niche Games_ retains the right to publish accepted content for any future issue of Brave the Labyrinth, including Best Of's and Anthologies. The author retains all copyright to his or her own work, but is asked not to publish submitted content (if applicable) until one month after that issue of Brave the Labyrinth is released.

*Stat Blocks*

The following stat blocks should be used for all monster and NPC entries. The first stat is a template; the second stat is an example of it in use.

*Monster*
Monster Name: AL ; MV (); AC ; HD ; hp ; ‪#‎AT‬ ; Dmg ; SA ; SV ; ML ; XP .
Giant Spider: AL N; MV 60' (20')/web 120' (40'); AC 6; HD 3; hp 16; #AT 1; Dmg 2d6 (mandible) + special; SA poison; SV F2; ML 8; XP 80.

*NPC*
NPC: AL ; MV (); AC ; Class/Level ; hp ; #AT ; Dmg ; S , D , C , I , W , Ch ; SV ; SA ; ML ; XP ; magic items (if any), equipment (if any), wealth (if any).

Drumas Long: AL N; MV 120' (40'); AC 7 or 6 (unarmored or leather armor); T5; hp 16; #AT 1; Dmg 1d6+1 (short sword + Str), 1d4+1 (dagger + Str); S 13, D 17, C 13, I 15, W 13, Ch 12; SV T5; SA backstab, thief skills; ML 8; XP 800; pick locks 35%, find/remove traps 33%, pick pockets 40%, move silently 40%, climb walls 91%, hide in shadows 30%, hear noise 1-3; potion of poison, potion of healing, thieves' tools, 27 gp, 34 sp, 13 cp.

*Open Game Content (OGC)*
Brave the Labyrinth will comply with the terms of the Open Game License. All stat blocks for any submission will be considered OGC. The individual author of each submission may designate which other items are OGC (if any) and which are Product Identity.

*Compensation*
Brave the Labyrinth depends heavily on fan contributions. The PDF of Issue #6 will be offered as a free download. The author of accepted content receives a free print copy of the issue, to be delivered within one month of the issue's publication.

*Amateurs*
If you've never been published before, chances are you've been gaming for years, and you can't roleplay for that long without coming up with some cool ideas. So take some time, jot some of those ideas down, and send them in. Who knows? You might get a call from a big-time publisher. You gotta start somewhere! :-)

*Publishers*
RPG publishers are encouraged to submit. Publishers whose content is accepted to Brave the Labyrinth may send one 1/2 page ad per issue to be placed in the back of the magazine. As the free fanzine will most likely be downloaded by hundreds, if not thousands of gamers, this is a great way to get some free publicity for your campaign setting, new products, and/or your company.

*How to Submit*
Submit content to smallnichegames -AT- gmail -DOT- com in the body of the email (preferred) or as a rich text document. Place [BtL Submission] followed by the title of your submission in the subject line of the email.

*Issue #6*
Issue #6 is currently scheduled for publication in the fourth quarter of 2016. We look forward to seeing your submissions!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ernie Gygax's "Roll Off Treasure Contest" for Medical Expenses

Ernie Gygax has a Roll Off Treasure Contest to pay of the last of his medical bills.

 
As per Ernie: "The dice and winners will be determined on September 22nd the 150th day of my continued sobriety and protection from future Doctor encounters."

Damn good cause and good prizes too.

Continued good health my friend.

Here's the post for those that don't do the Facebook thing:
I wish to announce the beginning of my Roll Off Treasure Contest to finally put to bed my old health and life expenses, while celebrating a new life style filled with gaming and longevity. Everyone who donates money (in $10 amounts) will generate a roll from my percentile dice the same as we use(d) to disperse magic items in the original Greyhawk campaign. In case of a tie a single roll of between the winners will occur. Anyone may send donations directly to me (contact me directly for my address), or a personal visit hopefully over a game is encouraged. Otherwise most people will be comfortable using Pay Pal (please include a detailed message giving me either or both a phone number and email address). Send this to the Trust: 
ernestgarygygaxjrATgmailDOTcom 
Obviously the blade Shadow Bane will be most players choice for first pick. Forged from 5160 steel, it’s overall length is 21.75”, it has a 16.5” blade, and a 14.5” cutting edge. The arcane pattern was created by painting on a resist and etching in ferric chloride. The pattern is 3D, with the bright areas standing about .003” proud of the dark, etched surface. it’s classic cutlass blade has a full double flat grind, is fully functional and ready for heavy cutting, and is hair popping sharp.It has a cold blued mild steel guard with a leather overlay. The handle is black walnut that was torch blackened and stabilized under a vacuum in wood hardener. The general style of the handle and guard is Indonesian. The hidden integral tang is hardened, and tapers from ½”x ¼” to ¼”x 1/8”. It is notched, has hidden pins, and it is set in shock resistant epoxy. The notches and pins ensure a secure fit. It extends to within about ¼” of the butt. 
The poplar sheath is of three-piece construction, and the throat is lined with leather to ensure a tight fit. The copper fitting depicting an eye and eyeglasses is also a ferric chloride etching created with original art by David Gdula, and may be recognizable to members of the gaming community (wink, nudge ;) ). The steel fitting is also etched, depicting something that may also be recognizable to gamers, especially of the old school variety (nudge, wink :P )

Todd Gdula will sell a similar sister blade for $900. 
If there are any questions about the sword, Todd can be reached at  toddATtoddbladesDOTcom, or through a contact form on his site at www.toddblades.com.
Another choice will be three Dragons, an Ogre Mage and an Angel all but the Angel still in original packaging (WOTC D&D Attack Wing) Silver, Bronze and Gold. Another pick will be a complete set of GYGAX magazines (signed by yours truly) as well as a an autographed by both Simon Todd and I copy of Sammi-Zowa versus the Dueling Dragons. Still another choice is a fine piece of art showing Jon Snow and his Wolf as well as a Sammi-Zowas book (signed again by both Simon and I) as well as an autographed copy of Gygax #6. The final pick will be a Dragon Dice Elf army as well as both my book and issue #6 of Gygax both autographed. Someday in the future we may hope to get Benoist Poire and Nerissa Montie down to a Gary Con for additional signatures of these fine works.

Deal of the Day - The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (5th Edition Fantasy- OSR)



Today's Deal of the Day is The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil for D&D 5e and OSR rulesets. Normally 10 bucks in PDF, it's on sale for $4.

Print plus PDF is $15.

From the blurb:
The small town of Boldon, and its surrounding villages are afraid. Dozens of people are missing, some speculate lost to some nefarious purpose. A broken drunkard tells fantastic tales of an evil temple and the horrible things within. The rare few who know the legends and history of the region are beginning to think the dark times have returned; not seen since the fall of the first age of man. People are beginning to feel the icy fingers of fear closing in. The party becomes aware of these events and is inspired to investigate. This leads them to a broken man who tells them a story of a lost temple. Has it been rediscovered by men seduced by its forgotten evil? The drunkard’s tale leads to others who might help the party discover more before they face The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil.
There is also a free, 7 page side quest.

Kickstarter - Invisible Sun (Full Monte is $539 - Anyone Jump a Shark?)



I've heard lots of talk recently about Monte Cooks new Kickstarter - Invisible Sun. What I've heard ranges from "It's Monte, it's got to be good!" to "What the fuck is he smoking?"

I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Monte is a skilled game creator, of that there is little doubt (and no argument from me). Sometimes his presentation is spot on (Not Thank You Evil comes to mind) and at other times it is nigh unreadable (Numenera with it's God horrible watermarking)

Therein lies part of my issue with Monte's latest project - will I be able to read it easily, or will the watermarking be such a distraction that I'll put it down in the first 3 pages, never to pick it up again? Because at a minimum buy in of $197 (where you get the game but not the campaign and the campaign is the thing) there's a lot riding that "what if"?

That's the other huge issue - price. Folks bitch and moan about the cost of Frog God Games KSs, but they come in at half the price (less if you go for the PDF option - which there is none for this box of tricks).

I suspect, like many RPG purchases, this is aimed more to be placed on the shelf with a "look at me, ain't I cool?" attitude and to riffle through the cool pieces more so than actual play, at least for the $197 version. Why is that? Because you don't get the campaign with the initial buy in and without the campaign you're pretty much holding a choksi.

How much is the version with the campaign? $539

Mic drop.

Yeah. If you want the "Full Monte", and really, if you plan on playing Invisible Sun I assume you want the Full Monte, it's $539. Not including shipping costs if you are outside the US.


Anyhow, did I mention stretch goals are NOT included at the basic $197 buy in?

They are at $539



Basically, if you are a fan of Monte without a significant amount of disposable cash to throw at this project, convince your gaming group to chip in. Oh, and Master the Black Cube is $1,475.

Obviously Monte has found a cash cow (as I write this, the project is just short of a quarter of a million dollars in funding). The question will be a long term one - will this project alienate the fans that can't come up with nearly 200 for the crippleware version (or $539 for the Full Monte)? Will it hurt the bottom line more than help? Numenera had over 4,600 backers. Invisible Sun is sitting at just under 900 at the moment. I'm going to guess when all is said and done, Invisible Sun will come in between 1800 and 2000 backers, less than half that of Numenera.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Reminder - Tavern Chat - Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Learn Who The Tavern Will be Interviewing

Yep, it's another Wednesday which means it's another Tavern Chat.

I should know before the chat which two publishers I'll be interviewing for AetherCon. Well, I know the first now and I'm waiting on the second.

We're 9 members away from 700 members in The Tavern's Facebook Community. Holy crap :)

As an aside, I'm thinking of adding a once a month 2nd Tavern Chat, possibly NOT in the evening so we can get people with other schedules involved.

Let me know what you think here or in tonight's chat...

In Case of Emergency, Break Glass - Wield the Ban Hammer (Rant)

I really pride myself, that, with the exception of a few self identified YDIS trolls, I've yet to ban anyone from The Tavern.

I expect the occasional thread to get heated, and so long as at the end of the day no one is making death threats to others, I'm generally satisfied. I don't take disagreements personally and I expect the community here at The Tavern to call me on my shit on occasion.

Yeah, that sets the bar fairly high to get banned.

However, I've gotten to the point where the negative and generally trollish behavior of a single commenter has gotten me to the point where, if this were a true tavern, I'd have thrown him out on his ass months, if not years ago. Thrown out never to return.

Consider this fair warning. There will not be another. There will be no appeal. You'll need to find some other place to be an endless source of negativity and general miserableness.

This isn't because someone disagrees with me or the community at large. It's because they are being disruptive for the sake of being disruptive and they enjoy the attention that it gets them. I'm done with it. Regular commenter or not, my patience is done.

For the rest of you - carry on. Nothing to see here ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Thunder Rift comes to RPGNow (Basic D&D)


I just read +James Spahn 's post over at his blog Halfling's Luck that Thunder Rift was now available in PDF for $4.99 at RPGNow. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed this little sandbox as a DM and made use of it right up until my hiatus from the hobby we love (damn you Police Academy Graduation and Wed / Thursday as my "weekends")

They fit a lot of gaming potential into those 32 pages. I'm not sure if my copy is in storage or buried in a box in the closet. I may need to pick up the PDF of Thunder Rift simply for nostalgia's sake.

I also read Appelcline's comments that there were some screw ups. I never caught them back in the day, but yeah, they are fairly large:
Whoops! (I): A River Runs Through It. The rivers of "Thunder Rift" rather infamously disobey the laws of gravity, going in all kinds of wacky directions. Fans have suggested underground outflows and magical interference as explanations for some of the Rift's water problems. 
Whoops! (II): AD&Disms. The NPCs of "Thunder Rift" are written using AD&D classes, not D&D — meaning that they have both races and classes, rather than racial classes like "halfling" and "dwarf". McComb says that he thinks the editor incorrectly changed his Basic D&D classes to AD&D 2e classes. Whoever did it, this reflects a general problem at TSR in the early '90s, where most of the in-house designers, developers, and editors weren't that familiar with the Basic D&D game.
 

Bundle of Holding - Fat Dragon Terrain Sets (Print and Play Model Terrain)


There are times I really wish I had a face to face gaming group. I could break out my Dwarven Forge dungeon walls, some Fat Dragon paper terrain and my multitude of unpainted Reaper Bones and just have at it.

Alas, until the lad moves out I won't have the room to even start displaying some of this stuff let alone use it in game, but a man can dream, can't he?

Looking for something less expensive (and less heavy) than Dwarvenite? Fat Dragon has you covered with the Fat Dragon Terrain Sets at Bundle of Holding.


Damn, Ravenfell: Sewers includes rats. I wonder if there is a pile of 2,000 CPs there too?

Roll20 2016 Quarter 2 Report is Out - Lets Compare it to the Market

The Roll20 Orr Report for the 2nd Quarter of 2016 was released on August 15th. Lets look at it shall we:






Things to note:
We pull our data from two locations within Roll20 member profiles. Player numbers are drawn from the “Enjoys Playing” and “Seeks Group For” sections, while Game numbers come from the “My Campaigns” section. Our percentages can total more than 100%, particularly Player numbers, since each player will list their interest in multiple games. The report is meant to be a representative sample, and the game listings are curated by Roll20 staff.
Which means you can take this all with a grain of salt. It may show trends, but the science isn't exact. I have nearly a dozen campaigns listed under "My Campaigns" section but I haven't run campaign in nearly a year. I guess I'm skewing the numbers ;)

The numbers for 5e means that over half the users of Roll20 have an interest in 5e. It doesn't mean over half are playing 5e.

Top 2 in the Market Report are the same, and 4 of the top 5 in the Market Report make the top 9 here. AGE didn't make the top 10.

WTF is Maid RPG? I'm picture bad sexual fantasy shit...

AD&D made the top 10 but the drop off is huge after the top 3.

Basic Fantasy RPG (BFRPG) has a huge showing for an OSR game. Even if you assume the numbers are inflated, it still blows every other clone out of the water. Maybe its active online community has something to do with it.





Monday, August 15, 2016

RPGs Are a 35 Million Dollar Market (out of a 1.19 Billion Dollar Hobby Game Market)


There's an interesting article over at ICv2 about the size of the Hobby Games Market and it's components.

Roleplaying Games make up 35 Million of the 1.19 Billion Hobby Games Market. Which is small, but grew 40% from 2014 to 2015 (from 25 Million). Hobby Games as a whole grew 29% over the same period.

As for the top 5 RPG game lines for the 2nd Quarter of 2016, D&D 5e tops the list. I'm surprised to see Shadowrun in the top 5 myself.

I suspect the drop off after the first 3 is huge.


All this is before Dungeons & Dragons finding it's way back into the public's eye this summer.

Still, the OSR is a niche of a niche.

I'll need to dig out the latest Roll20 report for some further analysis.


When Kickstarter gets Violated by MLM - Smash Fund

When I saw the link to Smash Fund in the Kicksnarker Community on G+, I didn't think much of it.

Watch the video. It's short. Apparently, coffee is 5 bucks a cup...


Look, it wants to be a social media platform, a crowdfunding platform and a multi level marketing platform. How sweet!

Then I dug in a bit more and I realized it was insanely awful. Of the level on can only assume is meant to be a joke but probably isn't.


So, what is your cost and what do your backers get?


Yep, you can lose money on crowdfunding and cut out the middle man.

Holy shit.



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Kickstarter - The Buried Zikurat (5e Adventure)



I can never have enough quality adventures for the campaigns I run as I simply lack the time (or is it focus) to write them from scratch on demand. That being said, the rules set the adventure is written in is secondary to me, as I tend to mix and match elements from different adventures and sources (and rule systems) Some of the best sessions I ran were for Swords & Wizardry, using DCC adventures written for 3x, 4e and the DCC RPG

Story over crunch in any adventure for me.
The Premise:    
The clay mining operation at Caford has discovered a large step pyramid, or zikurat. This imposing structure was buried completely in the clay sheet they have been mining for decades to make brick and other ceramic products. The local miners see what they think is an obvious entrance, but cannot get past the slab of stone. A call for aid is sent to the capital city of Meawold, and the party is sent to investigate. 
Could this be one of the Nexuses that traded goods from the subterranean Land of Night to the surface world?  
Places where treasures of the subterranean kingdoms, like mithril weapons, were traded for surface goods. Bastions of trade that were lost during the fall of the First Age of Man. Why has it been dormant for almost two millennia? What lies within? Is it a threat to Caford, or the Kingdom of Meawold as a whole?
The Buried Zikurat is written for 5e, but it will probably be run for Swords & Wizardry: Light (I'm working on that this summer) when I get it. And it probably won't survive the transition whole cloth, but that's okay. I'll certainly get my money's worth.

Did I mention I'm a sucker for maps and detachable covers for adventures?

From the KS page:
Saddle-Stitched 32+ page adventure   
        Detached color cover with color maps on the interior (These maps are far too elaborate and gorgeous to produce in monochrome.)   
        8 full color maps  
       4 pages of black and white art (maybe more if we unlock the stretch goals)  
Digital Book of Lore - Contains player handouts of the notes, letters and journal entries found in the zikurat 
Digital Book of Puzzles - Contains 48 puzzles at four levels of difficulty
Now that I'm retired I need to work on a secondary income to pay for all these Kickstarters I find ;)

Deal of the Day - GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing (System Neutral Edition - Print & PDF Versions)


I really do enjoy the GM's Miscellany series of releases from Raging Swan Press. They are simply an excellent tool for the GM that likes to sandbox, as you always have something ready for your players when they "zig" instead of "zag".

GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing (System Neutral Edition) is today's Deal of the Day over at RPGNow. I own it and it is good. Normally $13.99 in PDF you can grab it for the next 23 hours or so for $6.99. Even better, the Print plus PDF is on sale for $10.98. So, for 4 bucks more plus shipping you can get the Print in the mail and the PDF for instant gratification.

From the blurb:
Tired of glossing over the details of your PCs’ overland journey (except for the inevitable, violent random encounters)? Want to add in minor features of interest to their journeys? Want to make their journeys seem more “real”? Then GM’s Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing is for you! A compilation of the Wilderness Dressing line, each installment focuses on a different type of wilderness or a feature therein and gives the harried GM the tools to bring such features to life with interesting and cool noteworthy features. 
GM’s Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing presents loads of great features and details to enliven your PCs’ travel both overland and by sea. Designed to be used both during preparation or actual play, GM’s Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing is an invaluable addition to any GM's armory!  
GM’s Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing presents the material originally appearing in:
  • Wilderness Dressing: Bandits
  • Wilderness Dressing: Castles
  • Wilderness Dressing: Deserts
  • Wilderness Dressing: Extreme Weather
  • Wilderness Dressing: Hills
  • Wilderness Dressing: Mountains
  • Wilderness Dressing: Plains
  • Wilderness Dressing: Primal Forests
  • Wilderness Dressing: Ruins
  • Wilderness Dressing: Sea Voyages
  • Wilderness Dressing: Snow and Ice
  • Wilderness Dressing: Swamps
  • Wilderness Dressing: Travellers
  • Wilderness Dressing: Woodlands 
New Material: Farmlands, Small Caves, Borderlands, Shipwrecks, Coast and Campsites.
For free samples head over to Raging Swan's website. This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable ZIP file contains two versions, one optimized for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimized for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.