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Saturday, November 12, 2016

New Release - Monster Stand-Ins Virtual Table Top Tokens v1 (what it says on the tin)


I've been using Roll20 pretty much from release. Although I use Fog of War to reveal the map for the players, I really haven't used tokens. I'm tempted to change that in the future.

Monster Stand-Ins Virtual Table Top Tokens v1 is from Inkwell Ideas. If you don't know Inkwell Ideas, you probably know Hexographer, one of the easiest to use mapping programs in the hobby. Well, Inkwell has also published stock art and related projects, so VTT Tokens should be a perfect next step for them.

With Monster Stand-Ins VTT Tokens v1, you get over 80 monsters with over 130 different images for $2.95. That's a huge amount of bang for your buck.

So yeah, very tempted to spend a few bucks and start using minis, er... I mean TOKENS in my upcoming Swords & Wizardry Light sessions.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's OBS 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!  ;)

Back in the Saddle - Prepping to Return to the GM's Chair for some Swords & Wizardry Light


My regular gaming group, which in one form or another has been gaming most Saturday's since the Friends & Family D&D Next Beta, has had one gaming session since the summer began - and we are halfway through the fall.

So, +James Spahn and I have decided to share the GM hat, but not at the same time. James will run an arc of White Star (and maybe playtest some upcoming stuff) and I'll follow that with an arc of Swords & Wizardry Light (with some playtest material for upcoming stuff). I'll make sure that session reports pop up here at The Tavern, as there may be some Easter Eggs ;)


I'll also be resurrecting the Friday Night "B" Team, where my 2nd group gets together for some S&W Light madness (we used Swords & Wizardry Complete before, but having two groups playtesting new material for Light will be wonderful). That won't re-kick until next month at best. The "B" Team is usually once a month and its a small core of players, so we may be open to drop ins. As this is their first notice of the impending resurrection, we'll discuss that more at a later time.

The Saturday night group will be more sandboxie in nature. As the Friday group will only be playing once a month, more or less, and will be a bit more structured.

Then in the late spring I plan on running some Swords & Wizardry Light at Legendary Realms out on Long Island.

Aint retirement grand?





Friday, November 11, 2016

Kickstarter - THIS DEFIANT EARTH: 1950s Sci-Fi Movie Roleplaying! (what it says on the tin)


To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm going to back This Defiant Earth, but it certainly deserves a close look.

I grew up a child of the 70s, and my after school babysitter was the 430 Movie. A staple of the 430 Movies was bad scifi from the 50s, and when I say bad scifi from the 50s, I mean that in the best way possible. The Blob still gives me nightmares.

So, an RPG that is specifically made for that crazy style of 50s scifi certainly grabs my attention, as does the art. The author used to draw comics for a living and it shows. His art is perfect for the genre.
THIS DEFIANT EARTH is a roleplaying game set in a universe inspired by the popular imagination of the 1950s: an Atomic Age dreamscape as envisioned by television, cheap paperback novels, comic books, and above all, movies. In this world, the American Dream is alive and well, but threatened by monsters from the deep recesses of the Earth, alien flying saucers, and sinister foreign agents pledged to destabilize the American way of life with super-advanced technology. Players take on the roles of America's noble defenders in these thrilling but dangerous times! It's up to you, dear reader, to stop the horde of gargantuan ants before they establish a colony in the heart of New York City. It's up to you to thwart the sinister plans of Kro-Gar, the conqueror from space. You will test-pilot rockets, fight monsters, challenge unknown landscapes, and make the world safe for freedom and democracy. You will stand a champion of…THIS DEFIANT EARTH!
THIS DEFIANT EARTH is rules-lite, so it's easy to learn and play. At the heart of the game's mechanics is a simple task resolution system based on rolling a pool of six-sided dice and counting the number of fives and sixes rolled. Each five or six is a success; match or exceed the required number of successes, and your action succeeds. Roll too few successes, and your action fails. It's as simple as that! There are some other variables to consider, of course--mostly situational modifiers--but those are the basics.
This Defiant Earth has met its minimum funding goal with 18 days left to go, so it should hit some stretch goals. I really like the concept, I just don't think my group would actually play it.


Podcast - Old School Blues - Episode 5 - Star Trek RPGs


To tell you how under the weather I've been for the last two weeks or so, the latest episode of the Old School Blues Podcast released over a week ago and I've only thought of sharing it out now. Yeah, it's been that kind of a month so far.

Episode Five of OSB we talk about Star Trek RPGs. There have been so many different versions of Star Trek RPGs from different publishers, I really should do a post about it.

Anyhow, listen to +Vincent Florio , Colin (from Dead Games Society) and myself talk about Star Trek :)


Some thoughts on StarSlinger - Light

Its been a while since I've touched upon StarSlinger, the western SciFi setting I was working on for White Star. Swords & Wizardry Light sort of took precedence and then some.

Now, I'm not sure if I've discussed this, but my original thought for what became StarSlinger didn't involve SciFi as much as lighter than air ships and a solar system with three inhabitable planets. Inspired by Spelljammer and Calidar as much as from spaghetti westerns and Firefly, all wrapped up in more or less traditional fantasy.

I think I'm going to revisit that idea in a series of one sheets.

Just thinking out loud at the moment, but open to feedback. And I'm not saying that StarSlinger won't make an eventual appearance using the White Star ruleset, just that Swords & Wizardry Light is my focus at the moment...

Hmmm... maybe a four page OSR sci-fi ruleset titled StarLight...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Dungeons & Dragons enters the Toy Hall of Fame

Yes, its the wrong box. Do you know how much wood grained goes for these days on eBay?


It happened.

Dungeons & Dragons has entered the Toys Hall of Fame. Heck, Time Magazine has an article on it. D&D wasn't alone, either. The Swing and Fisher Price Little People also made the cut.
"The tabletop role-playing game that gave rise to World of Warcraft was created in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson during a time when TIME credited the game for creating “a new genre of entertainment” that “encouraged teamwork to succeed” and inspired TV shows, films, online imitators and even an audiobook narrated by Ice-T."
There's more to read about Dungeons & Dragons and what Time Magazine wrote about it a few years after it came out. Go and read it. Its short but informative.

Link to the Toy Hall of Fame.

Deal of the Day - Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms Classics Vol. 1 (Comic)



Today's Deal of the Day is a comic book. More accurately, its the first eight issues of Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms Classics Vol. 1.

Coming in at 210 page, this graphic novel is $2.99 (normally $4.99) for the next 17 hours or so.

Comes in both PDF and EPUB versions.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's OBS 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!  ;)

Swords & Wizardry Light Going Ons at The Other Side Blog


I must say, I find it truly exciting to see others in the OSR embracing Swords & Wizardry Light+Timothy Brannan of The Other Side blog has taken the SWL PDF and broken it down into a folder (which is exactly how the print version plays out - if you a U-Con this weekend, +Bill Webb has a few dozen copies - track him down ;)

Tim also shows a peek at a Swords & Wizardry Light compatible release thats in the works - very exciting!

A more printer friendly version of SWL should be coming down the pipe soon.

Did I mention there is some retooling of StarSlinger material going on to fit the Swords & Wizardry Light ruleset?

Fun times...

There is some White Star in the Air...


+James Spahn has releases this teaser piece of art for a new White Star release. While I MIGHT have some idea of what is in the works, I PROBABLY have been sworn to secrecy.

Because if I weren't, I'd be gushing.

That's all I'm saying. If...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Deal of the Day - Polyhedral Dungeon - (Old School Style RPG)



I was out most of the day and when I came home passed out into a deep nap (I was up late last night, go figure) It took until now for me to notice todays "Deal of the Day" at RPGNow:

Polyhedral Dungeon - normally $4.99 in PDF, for the next 16 hours is just $1.99. SC plus PDF is $5.99 and HC plus PDF is $7.99. Those are excellent prices for a 50 page release.

What can I say about Polyhedral Dungeon? Its the rare non-OSR RPG that I grokked right off the back, but that's probably because of its old school sensibilities.

Its a damn good game and plays well (I know, I've played it) $1.99 is a steal.

Disclaimer: The Badger / +Jason Paul McCartan is a good friend of mine. He writes games and adventures. He's pretty good at it and Polyhedral Dungeon is possibly his best work yet.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's OBS 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!  ;)


Tavern Chat - Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Politics free Gaming Talk :)

Yep, tonight is a Wednesday night, and that means another Tavern Chat.

We all know the US Presidential was yesterday and I'm sure the results will be on everyone's lips. No political talk tonight folks. Sorry. It always turns into a sordid mess.

We may talk a bit about Mazes & Perils Deluxe along with the usual scattershot of topics. I'll also filed any questions one might have about Swords & Wizardry Light's recent release and current plans for its future.

So, join us in that little chat box on the right side of the page. You can use just about any social media platform to log in.

Sorry I missed last week's chat. I'm feeling mostly better now...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Deal of the Day - Black Books: Tomes of the Outer Dark (OSR Cthulhu Mythos)


Somehow this escaped my notice earlier. Black Books: Tomes of the Outer Dark is an OSR Mythos themed game. It looks like its pretty much CoC, but with OSR sensibilities. Haven't read it yet, but for a $1.50 I don't see how one could go wrong picking it up.

From the blurb:
Black Books: Tomes of the Outer Dark is an OSR investigative horror role-playing game where the player characters are ordinary people (historians, detectives, scholars, artists etc.) drawn into a dark and horrific version of our world - the world of the Cthulhu Mythos. As the investigators learn more of the true horrors of the world and the irrelevance of humanity, their sanity inevitably withers away. The rules are biased towards playing in the 1920’s although there is no reason these rules can’t be adapted to other time periods. The rules are familiar - they use a D20 for most actions - and the games is class based, with 5 investigator classes - Charmer, Enforcer, Sneak, Scholar and Spiritualist. If you like old school gaming and you like horror, this might well be the game you're looking for!
Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's OBS 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!  ;)

The Tavern gets a Mention in Knights of the Dinner Table 235



Huge thanks to +Tim Shorts (and +Rob Conley ) for pointing out that Tenkar's Tavern got mentioned in a recent Knights of the Dinner Table - issue 235 to be exact. (Gothridge Manor and Bat in the Attic also get a paragraph each as do some others)

Its nice to get recognized outside of the OSR circle and even nicer when that recognition is in print.

Of course, this reminded me that I let my KotDT sub lapse a while ago, but with the KotDT Back Issue Madness option, I was able to get the last 36 issues (more or less, #210 is sold out) for $60 bucks plus shipping. Less than 2 bucks an issue. That isn't madness, its insanity ;)

I make no money if you purchase from the above link, i just think the deal is insanely good :)

As for StarSlinger, I'm working on an idea to make it a Swords & Wizardry Light setting. More on that later...

Monday, November 7, 2016

20 for $20 - Legendary Games - 5e Bundle


A tip of the hat to the Taverner that pointed this out to me.

Legendary Games has a bundle of 5e releases aptly named 20 for 20 - 20 PDF products for 5e with a total value of over $100 for 20 bucks.

A pretty sweet deal for the 5e players out there (and for those willing to take the short amount of time to convert some of these to OSR use in their home campaigns.)

It includes adventures, bestiaries and more.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's OBS 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!  ;)



Free - GM's Monthly Miscellany: November 2016



I just downloaded and read the latest GM's Monthly Miscellany: November 2016 and I'm impressed at what you get for the price of free. Sure, it's labeled Pathfinder, but GMs of any edition of D&D or its retroclones should find 10 pages or truly useful content.

I should grab all of the previous releases, as this is a sandbox GM's friend and then some. Print the pages out and just organize everything as needed: random tables, plot hooks and urban areas. Really, what more do you need to keep your players engaged when they step out of the dungeon?

Did I mention the price was free?
This month’s issue features: 
-10 Cultists with Personality
-Suurin at a Glance (from Village Backdrop: Suurin)
-Tumblestone at a Glance (from Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn)
-Gloamhold Updates
-20 Vile Things to Find in a Cultist’s Lair

Frog God Games - Lost Lands Campaign Setting Boxed Set - Kickstarting in June, 2017 (tentatively)


I just got the latest update on The Lost Lands: The Blight - Richard Pett's Crooked City Kickstarter by Frog God Games. If all goes well, it should be shipping to backers 1st quarter of 2017, which is exciting. More exciting to me was this little bit in the update:
"Incidentally that is also the time frame when design assignments are supposed to go out for the Lost Lands Campaign Setting boxed set that we're Kickstarting next June"
The upcoming Lost Lands Campaign Setting Boxed Set hasn't been so much a secret - I've heard rumors and rumblings of it for nearly a year, but this IS the first time I've seen a date associated with the launch of its Kickstarter.

I really enjoy reading all the material that's been set in the Lost Lands thus far and a boxed set for the setting just makes me feel all warm inside.

I'll be on top of this upcoming project and I'll update when I know more.

edit: here's the update - June 2017 is "tentative"


Kickstarter - Dungeon Grappling RPG Supplement (OSR thru 5e)


Before I talk about the Dungeon Grappling RPG Supplement Kickstarter, let me talk about the man behind the project, +Douglas Cole . I've known Doug for a couple of years. I was one of his earlier Youtube interviews (my God, I actually spoke favorably about Ken Whitman in that piece). Additionally, Doug was one of the key members of my "B-Team" adventuring party, a once a month, more or less, delving of Castle of the Mad Archmage. He is also well known as a bit of a GURPS fanatic (and I can say that as a solid Swords & Wizardry fanatic myself.) Doug is one of the more meticulous gamers I know, and I mean that is a good way. I fully expect any project he is involved in to hit the goal post and the some.

I came into gaming with the AD&D 1e rules. If you care to think back on that edition of Dungeons & Dragons, you will remember that the unarmed combat / grappling rules were an unintelligible mess. We never used them. We couldn't make heads or tails from them. If my players wanted to go weaponless, I used to tell them they should have made a Monk instead.

Doug was kind enough to forward me the current rough of Dungeon Grappling. I haven't had time to give it more than a quick glance, but what I have looked at looks good. He even addresses rulesets with descending AC. I'll give this a closer look over the coming week.

Did I mention the buy in is just 5 bucks? Seriously. Currently PDF only, 5 bucks to solve my RPG grappling issues that have dogged me for the last 33 years or so? Priceless...

Kickstarter - The Folio #11 Adventures from the Emerald Serpent (1e/5e City Setting and Adventure)



I happen to like the Folio series of adventures, not because I plan to run any of the story arcs as is (they are nice, but story arcs generally aren't my cup of tea) but because the products themselves are very modular. I can strip encounters, locations, personalities and maps and drop them where I need them. That, and I'm a sucker for adventures with covers that are more like folders, like the TSR adventures of old. They read well too.

The Folio #11 Adventures from the Emerald Serpent is an urban adventure and setting, and that makes it especially ripe for me to use the city as a drop in in my own campaign. I love city adventures, I just hate having to do the groundwork myself ;)
This first volume of the Taux Trilogy will take place in and around the events Tales of the Emerald Serpent, your characters interacting with the various personalities of the infamous Black Gate District. Included as always will be out bevy of maps, both 3D & 2D, a setting gazetteer, adventure booklet, and of course removable cover for use as a DM screen.
I have a nice collection of Folio releases on my gaming shelves. The covers deserve some frameable prints :)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Swords & Wizardry Light - Designer Notes - Swords & Wizardry Light Emulates Swords & Wizardry, Not OD&D



When I started working on Swords & Wizardry Light, the idea was to tear down Swords & Wizardry White Box to its bare bones and rebuild it minimally, with one of the the ideas being that it would be a stepping stone to Swords & Wizardry Complete. The other idea was for it to be a lighter yet viable alternative to the current Swords & Wizardry options, both for campaign play and convention play.

SWL does NOT emulate OD&D, with or without its supplements. It emulates Swords & Wizardry. That is its purpose. As such, it doesn't hew exactly to White Box, Core or Complete but works with all of them. You should be able to use spells, magic items and creatures from any of these flavors of Swords & Wizardry with little if any adjustments. Character classes have been greatly simplified with Light, so if there is a hiccup in compatibility, its on the preparation side and not so much in the game session itself.

In the next week or so we'll be putting up a conversion guide for those that want to start with SWL and move on to Swords & Wizardry Complete. While the rules are compatible, characters created using the Light rules are less powerful than those made directly with the Complete rules. We are also putting together some support material to make running current Swords & Wizardry Complete adventures using Light a seamless process.

In addition, +James Spahn and I are working on a player's one-sheet and a GM's one-sheet to add a few classes from Complete (and beyond), leveling to level 5, new spells and for the DM more creatures, magic item guidelines and a bit more. Our goal is for a gaming group to have a complete campaign in the Lost City of Barakus setting using the Light rules. I think we can hit that mark ;)

We treat classes beyond the core four as variants of the core. I'll offer the Bard as an example:
Bards function exactly as thieves, except they may cast Charm Person and Detect Magic once per day. Once per combat they may sing an inspiring song, granting all allies +1 to all attack rolls for 5 rounds. Bards need one additional adventure for each level attained.
As I've said before, Swords & Wizardry Light has legs. Surprising legs.

Oh, and just over 540 downloads for SWL as I type this...