Humble Bundle

Saturday, September 24, 2016

OBS' Offensive Content Policy - 1 Year Later (Third in a Series)

In the first and second parts of our series dealing with the OBS offensive content policy, we have examined the OBS-side results of the policy and we have heard from the publisher of the product that launched the policy into being. We continue our series here, discussing the policy with the author whose creation was ground zero.

It was the release and subsequent outrage over the now famous/infamous Tournament of Rapists that sparked a controversy that was near inescapable in the RPG community. While it was released via Skortched Urf’ Studios, it was written by Chris Field of Otherverse Games. When released it was announced as a “new monster sourcebook for Black Tokyo Unlimited. This adults only sourcebook is actually really grim- a bunch of new sexual predators for the BTU campaign world.”

So, despite how it may have been described when it went up for sale, this product is not stated to be about the glorification of rape, it was meant to reflect horror at an adult level. Whether such a thing is distasteful or not is in the eye of the individual consumer but American entertainment is filled with pretty horrific things done in the name of fantasy escapism (for example Saw, Hostel, and other so-called “torture porn” films). Among the things that the product did not do was to cast the players in the role of rapists, or to encourage actual acts of violence.

Tournament of Rapists was voluntarily withdrawn however Chris Fields did mention that the materials within would be included in an upcoming publication Black Bestiary II (now on sale at OBS). Chris Fields work with the Black Tokyo Unlimited line certainly push the lines of accepted “good taste” and it should come as no surprise that there are those who will be offended by it. That said, Mr. Fields continues to produce products for the line and releases them via OBS.

We at The Tavern caught up with Mr. Fields to see what his thoughts were on the OBS policy that his work had inspired.

TT: Since that controversy exploded on the internet, are you aware of any other of your products having been flagged for review at OBS?

CF: I’m not aware of any of my other products being flagged, which is somewhat odd. The Rape Pure Tournament, the rapist martial artist bad guys who are the rapists in the book’s title has existed in some form or another for several years, since they were first mentioned in Black Tokyo Unlimited.  All but one of the monster stat-blocks from ToR were imported with no major changes into Black Bestiary II, the second major bestiary for the campaign setting.  I think the fact the title had the word Rapists in it offended people more than having sourcebook full of superpowered rapists for use as adversaries. The internet exploded over the title of the book, without feeling the need to read the actual content.

TT: How do you feel about the current review process?

CF:  I really think the review process is too open to abuse, and it feels like the onus is on the publisher to prove that a specific product isn’t obscene and has some kind of cultural and literary merit. The onus isn’t on whatever thin-skinned dipshit pushed the report button to prove a specific work IS offensive. Personally, I don’t see the necessity of a reporting function at all. Books will sell on their own merits, or not, and public opinion has a role to play in deciding what sells. Especially since I and other artists who publish mature readers content have an “adults only” flag we can easily slap on any product not for younger readers.

TT: Do you feel that "Tournament of Rapists" has made your products a target for abuse of the content review policy?

CF: I feel my products have been a target for offense, controversy and abuse since I began publishing. My first major RPG release, Choice & Blood, published by LPJ Designs back in 2007 or 2008 attracted enormous hate-threads because it portrayed abortion providers in a heroic light. I saved 90+ page threads on my hard drive criticizing the book, my intentions in writing it, and (most hilariously) the fact I used the D20 OGL to write the book rather than making it an indy game or using a WOD-like system. The sourcebook itself, if I remember correctly, was something like 25 pages, BTW.

Then I published Otherverse America, which was more of the same with a military sci-fi spin, and Black Tokyo and some other books and everything about them was criticized. Some of the criticism was legit- I’m no longer doing my own art for my books because I’m not all that great an artist, and I made several rookie game designer mistakes. Most of it however, was the same kind of internet nerd-rage and gamer conservatism: how dare I publish a book with pro-choice themes? How dare I make Christians the bad guys in my writing? How dare I publish something sexually oriented? How dare I come up with perverted and squicky spells and monsters for a setting that’s explicitly about perversity and sexual violence?

The dog-pile after ToR was not exactly unexpected, given that there’s a good portion of the gaming internet where I’m the most hated man in the industry. (I’m speaking of RPG.net and the Something Awful gaming forums most of all, though I caught criticism from all quarters.) The same people who have hated me since 2008, and have been trying to drive me out of the industry have the reporting tool as a new weapon in their arsenal. However, I’m not going anywhere, and I’m still, circa 2016 working on plenty of Black Tokyo and Otherverse America content. Let them whine, let ‘em bitch, I’m still here and I’m coming up on ten years of small press publication!

TT: Has the implementation of the content review system led to changes in which products you make available via OBS, or to the content contained therein?

CF: I’ve not made one change to the way I write since the controversy. I’m still writing the games I want to. I have published a fewer works this year than 2015 but that’s more a combination of a new job occupying more of my time, and my desire to produce bigger, prettier and better illustrated full-length sourcebook in the 200+ page range, rather than shorter 5-10 page splatbooks. I actually feel that the raised profile that the ToR controversy got me has helped me rise a few notches in whatever intangible hierarchy exists for indy RPG publishers.

TT: Looking back on the controversy and the conversations that it led to about censorship, freedom of expression, and the rights of a business to carry which products it chooses, do you feel that the overall outcome for the industry has been a positive or negative one?

CF: That’s a hard one to answer. A lot of publishers, including RPGPundit have been very vocal about the ‘irreparable harm’ the ToR controversy have done to the industry and game publishing in general. Most of the arguments that are Pro-Chris A. Field and Pro-ToR are also anti-SJW, which is an odd place for me to be in. I’m a fucking pro-choice liberal pagan, and being used as some kind of spearhead against left-leaning SJWs is an odd and somewhat unpleasant place for me to be in. A lot of the arguments make me out to be some kind of victim of misguided radical feminism or something.

I wish the arguments weren’t all phrased in such bombastic terms. It’s not Chris A. Field vs the liberal left and it never was. Instead, it’s Chris A. Field versus a bunch of sexless, reactively conservative voices mostly clustered on two gaming sites. The entire ToR controversy was very much the definition of tempest in a teapot.

However, I think the desktop publishing industry will survive. I do think RPGnow hurt itself a little by imposing the reporting function, and sooner or later some new storefront will show up to challenge its dominance, but nobody’s there yet. I’ve seen a few storefronts pop up after the debacle, but none of them are widely trafficked, and compared to RPGnow’s interface, they’re primitive and more than a bit glitchy.

I’m hopeful that some of the voices raised in support of me start publishing themselves. I initially started Black Tokyo on a whim. I was re-watching Wicked City one weekend, and realized it would make a kickass RPG setting, and under the D20 OGL I could publish it myself and make a little profit. I’d never seen a hentai campaign setting before and I wanted to see what one would look like- so I started writing, and a few months later, Black Tokyo was published. I want to see more adult-oriented settings, I want to see more unique visions, I want to see campaigns that incorporate sexuality or real-world politics, and frankly non-Christian theology & philosophy. I want all those things, and I think a lot of the people who wrote in support of ToR want them too. Hopefully, some of my supporters follow my example and start marketing their visions.

TT: Thanks for speaking with us.

CF: Thanks for the chance to talk to you and your readers, Mr. Brinkman

Chris Fields offers no pretense that his materials are for everyone or that some might find them offensive. Mr. Fields products tackle a number of issues that some may find abhorrent to their personal tastes or values. It is important to note that the majority of his products are behind the adult filter, meaning to even see them an OBS user must be logged in and have their account set to be able to view adult content. OBS defaults to adult content being hidden.

We have seen two very different viewpoints from the two men at the heart of the controversy. In our next installment we will discuss this matter with RPG author Venger Satanis, to get his feelings on the policy after one of his products became one of the first RPGs ever pulled for review under the new policy.

Bob Brinkman has been playing RPGs since the days of OD&D. Recently he has written for both the Goodman Games Fifth Edition Fantasy and DCC RPG lines and has completed a project for the Crossroads to Adventure books for GP Adventures. He co-hosts the monthly Sanctum Secorum podcast focusing on Appendix N in relation to DCC RPG.

Deal of the Day - Exiled in Eris (Swords & Planet)



When it comes to most Deals of the Day that I highlight, I already have the product in question. Others I don't but I control myself. The number of unread coming products I own, both print and PDF is scary.

Exiled in Eris I don't own. I want to own it. Sight unseen, I want to convert it to Swords & Wizardry. Is that bad?

Normally $6.95 in PDF, on sale for $3.47

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

From the blurb:

Hunt for lost treasures among the ruins of a bygone age in this roleplaying game inspired by classic pulp tales of Planetary RomanceSword and Sorcery, and the Wild West. Swords, blasters, and sorcery mix with monsters, robots, and aliens while searching for fortune and adventure amidst danger and intrigue. All this awaits in the desert no-man's land of the distant future.

Imagine the wild west with swords and Seventies-style blaster pistols. Imagine a female espionage agent in a futuristic skin-tight bodysuit and a Clint Eastwood-style poncho karate kicking an orc in the face. Imagine a grizzled veteran and his buddy, a robot from a proud lineage of noble warriors, cracking open the tomb of a long-dead king only to wake the immortal, six-legged, genetically-engineered guardian beast from its thousands of years of suspended animation. That is Exiled in Eris.

  • Easy-to-learn rules system, using a 20-sided die for most rolls, but also the standard range of dice (d4, d6, d8, d12, d10, d20).
  • Choose from 8 different species, including Humans, Cyberdroids, the reptilian Dakazi, mole-like Deru, and various types of homunculi (genetically-engineered beings).
  • Harness supernatural powers like Sorcery (psychic powers) and Ta'Oudh (manipulating an invisible force).
  • An extensive list of allies and rivals, as well as beasts and monstrosities.
  • Artifacts that can be issued as rewards for discovering ancient caches.
  • Includes a starter adventure: The Tomb of the Architect.


ENworld - Back With 4 1/2 Month Data Loss - Dej Vu All Over Again

Yep, ENWorld is back with a 4 1/2 month data loss. Talien seems to have done a good job of backing up his own articles, as they've made a reappearance (and are generally a decent read, glad to see they weren't lost) Others? Not so lucky.

Last week I was praising Sean Fannon for stepping up and doing the right thing by disclosing his affiliate links. This after he said some less than stellar things a few weeks ago about news and advertising. Well, last week's Fannon post is gone, as are the others.

As for yesterday's post? It seems all has been forgotten. No disclosure. I wish I could say I was surprised, but I'm not. It's simple human nature.

I have affiliate disclosures on the top of this very page and try to remember to also include a further disclosure with every post that has affiliate links. I don't always succeed, but I do try.

Now, to answer some very important questions that were posed recently:

Q - Why do you hate ENWorld so much?

A - I don't hate ENWorld. It is the most visible part of our hobby's community, and I'd like to think it should be setting examples, not be used as an example.

Q - You're doing this shit because you hate <insert name>

A - Not really a question, but I don't hate anyone at ENWorld. I may dislike one or two personalities over there, but they haven't come up in any recent ENworld related postings over here

Q - Why don't you pick on someone your own size?

A - ENWorld does roughly 8 times the web traffic that The Tavern does. David, meet Goliath.

Q - You're a fucking asshole, you know that?

A - So I've been told. I've been called worse over 20 years as a cop. By much more intimidating individuals as well as little old ladies.

Q - Why do you even care?

A - I spent the last part of my career supervising detectives in Internal Affairs. I care about honesty and integrity within our community.

Q - Who the fuck made you a "journalist?"

A - No one. Everyone. It's not a label I have attached to myself but its a role I occasionally play due to my investigative background.

Q - You're just causing controversy to increase your own readership to make more advertising dollars. I've seen your type on YouTube. My mother warned me about you.

A - Again, not really a question, but AdSense drives about a dollar a day in ad revenue, and that's on a good day. If I doubled The Tavern's web traffic, maybe that would hit 2 dollars a day? But it ain't going to happen. The Tavern's readership is strongly based in the OSR and the market is what it is

Q - Who made you RPG cop?

A - No one. I do what I do because it is what I do. Before you ask, I'll answer you next question. Who polices The Tavern? The community does. They call me on my shit.

I'm more than willing to disclose The Tavern's financials on a regular basis. They are much less impressive than one would expect.




Friday, September 23, 2016

Call Me Gadfly


Someone referred to me as a Gadfly yesterday and I find it hard to disagree with their assessment. I annoy certain people with my criticisms and observations. I get that. Some may disagree with me. Strongly. I get that too.

Truth is, one of my biggest Piss & Vinegar contests was with +Vincent Florio , someone who I now consider not just a partner in crime (and podcasts) but a true friend. I called him on some stuff years ago (I probably would have been a bit gentler now ;), we publicly exchanged "piss & vinegar" and when the dust cleared, Vince had a well earned Gold Ennie and I found myself with a true friend. I'm sure there would have been an easier way to accomplish that with Vince (maybe it was the 2 native New Yorkers thing), but there you go. Where's the history of this? Right here at The Tavern. Nothing edited. Nothing deleted. No revisionist history. You'll need to search for it though, we can't make it too easy for you ;)

I've also fucked up. And apologized. In public. Because if you fuck up in public, apologize in public.

Now, you'll notice when I do my Gadfly posts (I really think this needs to be a "label" going forward) that I always include screenshots and links. Screenshots because sometimes source material "changes". Besides that, you, my readers, deserve to actually be able to see and read what I'm referring to. Maybe you'll agree. Maybe you'll disagree. Whichever it is, it will be based upon the exact thing I'm referring to.

I expect feedback and most certainly expect those that disagree with me to express their thoughts. If you haven't noticed, blocking and deleting comments is NOT something that occurs at The Tavern with any regularity (some comments get inadvertently caught by the spam filter and abusive and purely trolling comments will get nuked, but disagree with my all you like, but please support your view)

The Tavern is also, for all intents and purposes, a "political free zone." This has gone unsaid before, but I think in today's climate it needs to be stated. Leave your politics at The Tavern's door. You can pick it back up when you step out ;)

I think I have an armless wresting post cued next...





Kickstarter - Barrowmaze Complete for 5e (what it says on the tin)

+Stan Shinn and +Greg Gillespie are corroborating on Barrowmaze Complete for 5e. Originally an OSR release (you can look here) it is being converted to 5e play.

Pretty interesting, especially for those playing 5e. It's a great adventure, which can play out in pieces or one huge arc.

The success of this KS could lead towards conversions of other third party classic adventures (Troll Lord Games is currently converting some of their C&C adventures to 5e)
Secret Doors? Check, Deadly Traps? Check, Hidden Treasures? Check, Terrifying Monsters? Check, Slim Chance of Survival? Check. 
Originally written for Labyrinth Lord rules, Barrowmaze author Greg Gillespie and Rogue Comet have partnered to produce a 5th edition version of this classic megadungeon adventure. Over 250 pages of adventure with more than 600 dungeon rooms, a fully fleshed out local village and setting, new monsters, new magic items, maps, and a custom character sheet. It is great for a short adventure but with enough content for years of gaming! 
The 250+ page book contains:
A fully-fleshed out gazetteer
A megadungeon
Player handouts
Pregenerated characters
A custom Barrowmaze-themed 5e character sheet
Maps

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Gamer in Need (GoFundMe)

Everyone hits a low point at some point in their life. Everyone needs a helping hand.

Pat needs a helping hand. (a friend and fellow gamer brought this to my attention)

If you can't give (and I can't until the first of October) share this out.
Sometimes life places road blocks in Our way. We can choose to go around them or climb them but no one knows whats on the other side. I have watched Dana and Pat navigate these challenges time and time again. For every rise to the top there comes a soft fall. But this time they have reached a hard spot. Dana is a stay at home mom who has struggled with lupus for many years and even when she is sick and tired she makes you feel like she would do anything for you. Pat recently lost his job and they have not given him an extension on his unemployment . He also is suffering from myasthenia gravis flare up. If I could give them every dime I have I would because they would do the same. Not just because we are friends but because they lead a life of kindness and compassion that you rarely see today.

Ken Whitman Will (Not) be Appearing in Tomorrow's MacGyver


Whit Whitman, aka Ken Whitman, was previously listed as "Vault Guard" in episode one of the reboot of McGyver. From what little I've seen in the way of teases, it is not a TV show I have any desire to see, but for Ken I was willing to make an exception.


Alas, Kenny is no longer listed on the IMDB page for MacGyver.

So, either his speaking part - line - whatever - got left on the cutting room floor or Kenny got cut all together. Alas, I'll be recording a podcast tomorrow night and won't be able to catch a glimpse in either case.

If Kenny did get cut, who wants to guess that the community at large will take the blame?

Don't worry Ken, I'm sure you could find your own ways to get left on the cutting room floor.

Give Me an F'n Break! Monte Cook Games Posts it's Own Press Release and the Author Quotes Himself


I get it. Monte Cook Games is "The Shit". Really. Just ask them. They'll tell you that themselves.

So, what does a company that lives on press releases do when ENWorld, the site that lives to post press releases (really, they hire staff to find press releases), is offline for a few days do?

They post their own press release.

Really. And you know what is even better? Charles Ryan even quotes himself:


Yes, please toot your own horn even louder while you are at it.

Being that MCG apparently can't publish a game these days without "artistic watermarking" obscuring the majority of the relevant text, I'm surprised they can publish self pandering press releases that are legible.

Hey, look at that. A Kickstarter I'm not backing. Imagine.




Deal of the Day - Ultramodern5 (D&D 5e Modern / Future Sourcebook)



Technically not an OSR offering, Ultramodern5 is a D&D 5e offering (and many of my readers at least dabble in 5e).

The idea of a modern / future sourcebook for D&D 5e intrigues me more than a little. I figure I could always steal ideas for White Star.

On sale for the next 25 hours for $5.20 in PDF.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

From the blurb:

Ultramodern5 is the follow-up of the popular Ultramodern4

The mission of U5 is to present 5th EDITION rules for use in non-fantasy settings. These include pre-modern settings, contemporary settings, and those that are far flung fantastic and futuristic.  U5 presents modern and science fiction rules in a game usually reserved for fantasy. There is no established setting in U5.

It presents classes, gear, and scenarios that can be inserted into any campaign, including the following:

Cyberpunk

Espionage

Modern Warfare

Space Opera

Techno Fantasy

Urban Fantasy

Steampunk

Wild West (with or without aliens)

You may explore the rules in whatever context you wish. Rules are generalized, encouraging homebrew settings and the rebranding of elements.

Create a pure science fiction setting, or insert these rules into your own fantasy world to offer a unique spin.

THIS SOURCEBOOK INCLUDES:

--A revised “ladder” system, offering more adjustability with character creation. Modify your class with one of seven ladders.

--Revamped rules around being human.

--A new lifepath system incorporating backgrounds (with eleven new ones) into an adjustable life history where characters can select every aspect of their character’s history, from family and friends to past love affairs.

--Ten new classes including the infiltrator, medic, sniper, and techie.

--Twenty-four archetypes

--All new weapons including traditional firearms, rocket launchers, and laser rifles

--New armor including powered combat suits.

--Purchase and modify vehicles

--Over forty new monsters including giant robots.

--Two included adventures—a zombie apocalypse and an alien invasion.

Looking at White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game (S&W WB House Rules)


I've had more than a few people ask me "why haven't you posted about Charlie Mason's excellent houserules / rewrite of Swords & Wizardry White Box?" My answers were always the same. While working on Swords & Wizardry Light, effectively a strip down of S&W White Box, I did not want to find myself being influenced by another's work. Sure, Charlie was expanding upon White Box and I was distilling it but I didn't want to find myself with some sort of "criss contamination." That's probably too strong a phrase, but I suspect you know what I mean.

Recently, White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game showed up on my radar again, as its now available in Print on Demand in both softcover ($5.99) and hardcover ($14.99) at OBS (as well as a free download in PDF, so really, you should stop reading my drivel and start reading White Box : Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game.)

We took fairly similar approaches to the thief class (which isn't even in Matt Finch's original WB), which was to do away with the percentage chart and go with a d6 for thief skill resolution. Surprisingly, the Light version of the rules broke out a few of the skills whereas FMAG ties them all up in a single bundle. Funny how that all works out.

There is nothing horribly new in FMAG, but at the same time there is nothing that will turn off your average S&W / OSR gamer. It's a fresh coat of paint to a familiar set of rules and it adds some new life to a well worn ruleset.

Here's a list of changes I lifted from Charlie's blog:
Additions:
Thief class
Magic-User establishing a tower at 10th level
14 monsters
Better attack damage for some big monsters like golems and dragons, etc
Adventuring Rules; like torches, finding secret doors, etc.
Underworld monster stocking tables
Wilderness Transportation Movement Rates
Jousting rules
Reaction roll table 
Changes:
Modified the Sleep spell, like victims HD
Other small changes here and there, for example; with Clerics Charlie changed the reason for only being allowed blunt weapons to secret religious practices rather than being forbidden to shed blood.
Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Update - Tavern Chat Reminder - 9 PM - We Will be Discussing a Forthcoming Weekly Chat Feature



Alright, I was just talking with +John Reyst over at the Open Gaming Store. John's been providing me with weekly OSR material to review and is a Patreon backer of The Tavern. John had an excellent seed of an idea and we're looking to see if we can make it grow.

The idea is using part of the weekly chat (probably the first hour or so) to discuss an OSR product. John would put review copies in the hands of myself and some regular Tavern Chatters and then a week later we would discuss it live in Tavern Chat.

Yes.

Live.

A lively and honest discussion. The next morning I'd grab highlights and quotes and put it together as a post at The Tavern making sure to cover all the differing views.

There are lots of pros to this experiment (and believe me, it's an experiment that I'm excited to try). First, you can't get more honesty than live reviews. Second, folks will get many different perspectives of the product all at one location. Third, folks in the chat can ask further questions, driving the discussion. And of course, the usual secondary and tertiary conversations will continue.

The con is we may never shut up. Gamers are an opinionated group ;)

If you want the opportunity to be part of this experiment (and hopefully regular chat feature) drop into tonight's chat. We'll sort things out tonight. Very much a work in progress, but such is life at The Tavern...


Tavern Chat - Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Where the Cool Kids Hang Out

It's Wednesday, so tonight is time for yet another Tavern Chat.

Who will be here? What will we talk about? Your guess is as good as mine.

I will be here.

What is Tavern Chat?

See that chat box on the right side of The Tavern? That's where Tavern Chat takes place. You can log in with the social media service of your choice.


9 PM Eastern is the time.

Deal of the Day - Cthulhu by Gaslight (CoC 1890s Sourcebook)



Halloween is right around the corner and what better way to prepare yourself with some Call of Cthulhu :)

I have the Cthulhu by Gaslight sourcebook in print and it's an enjoyable read. Now to find the time to run some CoC.

$9.55 in PDF for the next 23 hours.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)
IN THE 1890s, Cthulhu and his minions share the globe with the mighty British Empire. But they owe allegiance to an empire of their own — a dark and cruel design on ownership of the world and on the dreams of humanity. Even among the green fields of rural England, only thoughtful and energetic intervention keeps the shadows at bay.
CTHULHU BY GASLIGHT offers a thoroughly developed Victorian England setting for use with Call of Cthulhu. Character creation has been enhanced with new wrinkles. 
There are articles on the Victorian world, crime, politics, personalities, and so forth. There are extensive sections on the Cthulhu Mythos in Britain — creatures, cults, and books — and a prĂ©cis of Ramsey Campbell’s Severn River Valley. Also included are tips on running various types of Gaslight-era campaigns, a gazetteer of intriguing British myths and legends, a selection of friends and foes from Victorian fiction, and a lengthy bibliography/filmography of suggested reading and viewing. Rounding out this edition are a pair of Victorian-era scenarios — one an urban adventure set in London, the other set in rural Dartmoor. Includes a two-color map of the City of London. 

Deal of the Day - Stay Alive!: Apocalypse In Your Hometown (Tunnels & Trolls Variant - 2 hrs Left - Oops!)



Yes, I damn near missed this.

Stay Alive!: Apocalypse In Your Hometown is a collection of GM adventures (not solos) for the Stay Alive! modern rules variant for Tunnels & Trolls.

I had no idea this even existed.

156 pages, which includes a Stay Alive! RPG Lite rules edition - so, for $2 you get a bunch of scenarios and the rules to play it with.

Just over 2 hours to go. Where was I yesterday?
The end is nigh in Cleveland, Ohio. Molly Hatchet still hasn't made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. England has been thrust into a new dark age as survivors in Leeds confront terrors that were previously thought to be only legends. Hippie, hipster and horror: who dwells on the Venice Beach Boardwalk after the twin tidal waves of gentrification and elder sorcery? A new pandemic races across the globe and a vaccine has been rushed to market to ease public concern, but can survivors in Toledo, Ohio deal with a new problem that has developed? And on the other side of the world in Auckland, New Zealand, global problems and catastrophes are inflicting massive changes to the world that we know. 
Apocalypse In Your Hometown is a collection of GM scenarios designed for use with the Stay Alive! modern rules variant for Tunnels & Trolls™, a trademark of Flying Buffalo Inc., created by Ken St. Andre, and used with kind permission. 
"The Sickening Green Day" by Tom K. Loney
"Catacombs of the Black Coven" by Scott Malthouse
"Venice Boardwalk" by David Moskowitz
"Apocalypse Kinda Now" by Jerry Teleha
"Utu" by Mark Thornton 
A copy of the Stay Alive! Lite Edition rules is included in the text of this edition.
Special Note: Some proceeds earned from each PDF sale of 'Apocalypse In Your Hometown' will be donated to the Jeff and Raquel Freels Transplant Fund.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Wizard's Spellbook - $1.99 PDF / $4.99 Print & PDF (Labyrinth Lord)


Released earlier this month at Lulu+James Spahn / Barrel Rider Games has now released The Wizard's Spellbook for Labyrinth Lord at RPGNow.

$1.99 in PDF / $4.99 Print & PDF

(Labyrinth Lord can be found for free here)

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

Disclaimer: James is a good friend of mine. He's part of my "inner circle". I believe he does some amazing work in the field of RPGs.
The Wizard's Spellbook compiles all the magic-user spells from Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion into a single digest-sized tome so you won't have to waste valuable game time searching for just the right incantation. Compact, complete, and with a minimalist design, The Wizard's Spellbook is a practical products that will help take the hassle out of playing a magic-user in Labyrinth Lord - or any other B/X fantasy game! 
Inside you'll find: 
A complete spell list organized by level, with each level of spells broken down alphabetically for easy reference. Included in the spell list are notes on whether a spell is reversible and check boxes so you can mark whether your character knows a given spell or has it memorized that day. In addition, the spell list notes whether the spell is Basic, making it equally useful for players who are not using the Advanced Edition Companion
The complete spell description of every single spell found in the Labyrinth Lord Revised core rulebook and the Advanced Edition Companion
Optional rules for introducing Cantrips into your Labyrinth Lord or B/X fantasy campaign! 
Print on Demand product is in an easy to transport, easy to reference 6x9 softcover digest.

Kickstarter - Beneath: The Inverted Church (Seduce the Doors and Enter - WTF?)

When I read the Kickstarter page for Beneath: The Inverted Church I couldn't stop cringing. Strangely, not so much for the "adult content" (it certainly isn't "mature") but from the sheer absurdity of it.


Look at the above quote. First, it's not an RPG, it's an adventure for use with RPGs. Second, as for almost any existing RPG system, that much is true, so long as that system is D20 based.

Savage Worlds? GURPS? Traveller? FATE? Nope, the stats are D20 based.

Oh, and notice the shitty map?

Well, there's worse.


Now I know what you are saying: "Really, it can only get better, right?"


Yes, you "seduce" doors open. I definitely don't want my players explaining to me how they are going to caress, stroke or otherwise "seduce" a door. Besides, who the fuck would want to seduce a door anyway? I've heard of folks having a shoe fetish but I don't recall anyone whacking off to a door. Ewww. The thought alone makes me cringe.

BTW, do you think that "one scene" mentioned above is a rape scene? I'll bet you two well endowed doors it is. "Randomized sexual atrocities and treats?" There is a way to treat adult subject matter and I'm fairly sure this isn't it.

The last thing I want to hear is the sexual fantasies of my fellow gamers. Sure, we could use our digression, but I think discretion would be a far better choice.

Would this scenario work for certain groups? Sure. If everyone has a door fetish I'm sure it would play well. Maybe a group that digs sexual atrocities? Well, not so sure, but whatever.

Just make sure the existing RPG system you use is D&D derived, or you wont be able to use any of the crunch. As for the fluff...

But hey, the art isn't bad at all.