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Saturday, May 20, 2017

ConManKen Has Inspired an App - Frauds, Cons & Angry Moms is in The Works

Not the real banner but a barely suitable placeholder ;)

Earlier today I was contacted by an app development company to ask if I would be interested in licensing my throw away concept of a #ConManKen game titled Frauds, Cons & Angry Moms. I know the company - they are a small studio that does excellent work and fun games so I quickly said yes and gave my virtual handshake on the deal. There is no money involved in this on my end - just the warm feeling that #ConManKen has inspired a game that will actually come to pass, unlike his various Kickstarter promises.

What is needed is some volunteers that can donate some suitable art for the project. Contact me at tenkars.tavern at the gmail thing with FC&AM in the title and I'll match available artists with the studio in question.

I think its a safe bet that Frauds, Cons & Angry Moms releases before any of Ken's projects.




Friday, May 19, 2017

ConManKen Collects ANOTHER Un-Diagnosed Mental Disability - Did I Hear BINGO!?!




Ah, #ConManKen. Really, if you take Ken's whole spiel as an act or some kind of performance art, he's almost entertaining. Almost...

When Ken made his return to the gaming industry in order to fleece, bilk and scam, he blamed his prior indiscretions on un-diagnosed ADD. Meds and counseling were going to make him a new man. Well, new man, same scam.

Time for a reminder. Last year Ken promised to make good on ALL of his outstanding Kickstarters by August of 2018 2017. Holy shit! August is nearly here!

So, what does Ken suddenly announce? Well, apparently he has a NEW undiagnosed illness:
Hey I have a little bit of bad news about me. 
I am going in on May 31 to find out if I have CTE. I may be in stage 2, I am starting to forget things. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwVY8ShWP8k 
Well, They are finding out - just recently- that Lithium is really helping and even reversing some of it. So, even if it is, if the Lithium can reverse some of the damage that would be great! : -) 
I know I act distant sometimes, But that's because I remember things. (only typo is the missing word "don't")  
I cover up my memory loss with arrogance and meanness.  And im tired of hiding it. So... 
I have probably had stage one since my college days, But I can tell its getting worst. (doh - second typo - there goes my idea of Ken using a Ghost Writer)
Anyway, only telling a few people. I will keep you informed because you guys are my KODT family. 
I have reached out to a few people to help me get organized and get this project done. Still gonna happen soon! 
PS - if you need things from me, please text often and remind me. I am not ignoring you, I need to write it down on my list. Hopefully I will have someone managing me soon.
So, new excuse to punt the already punted Kickstarter completion date? Done!

Illness that is hard to diagnose without an autopsy? Yep!

Would Bipolar be a safer bet? I asked a professional, who told me "I fucking called Biplar two years ago!" Thanks Rach ;)

Really should turn Ken into his own card game and Kickstart it. Frauds, Cons & Angry Moms. Called it first. Need to trademark that shit before #ConManKen tries to steal it :)

Another Fine Article on ENWorld - Ernie Gygax Shares A Little of Tenser's History



Alright, stop the presses! I have found yet ANOTHER OSR related article on ENWorld that should interest the readers of The Tavern. Ernie Gygax shares shares some of Tenser's history.

The article is a short one and I'm only repeating a single paragraph here - grab the rest over on ENWorld.
"Tenser was the first magic user ever in Greyhawk. No books or previous experience existed. The first spell I took was a Read Magic and I used it to read the glyphs above a stairway leading down (level 1 to 2). It told us (Rob, Terry and I) that as you descend into the depths of the Dungeon the encounters will be more difficult but the rewards far grander. At 3rd level when facing off with an Evil 5th level mage I asked to join him and turn to Evil with him. He laughed stripped me naked and released me on the 3rd level to die. I made it to the surface. Took a rock in hand and set an ambush on another low level wandering mage. This stocked me with a new outfit, but I truly missed my now missing paralyzation wand. "

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review - Treat N Ink Issue #7 - Kreature Kompendium


A couple of weeks ago, Jethro Wall, the main man behind the Threat N Ink zine reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in reading a copy of the most recent issue. Figuring I'd be getting a PDF, I readily said "Yes!" and forwarded my email address. I was corrected and my snail mail address was requested. Never having heard of Threat N Ink prior, I was intrigued and Jethro mailed me a copy.

100 of 100. Damn!

Then it arrived. Holy crap, its digest zine sized in diameters but not in page count. 84 pages. Its a hefty tome.

My first impression was that the Kreature Kompendium was reminiscent of the original Fiend Folio. Having read it, cover to cover, it replaces the Fiend Folio in my mind. Monsters across the board, strange, bizarre and some from delightfully damaged minds.

Its Old School without a set format for stats. It varies from author to author and while for some that may be distracting, I find it to be part of the charm.

Even more enjoyable is the art. I love it with all the styles across the board. Nearly 30 artists with email addresses. So if you are a publisher, big or small, this is an excellent sampling of artists and their contact info.

The Kreature Kompendium sits on my desk these days. Don't tell my players, but the KK has sat on my desk the past few Saturday Nights, waiting for an opportunity to drop something into The Lost City of Baracus. Because surprises are the spice of successful gaming ;)

Want a copy? Reach out to Jethro. Each issue has its own theme. They are NOT all gaming / rpgs / OSR. That being said, if the quality falls in line with issue #7 (note, issue #7 is a double sized issue) I may need to pick up the previous six - because no matter the theme, art is the key, and Threat N Ink is strongly about the art.

jethrobot.com  wemakezines.ning.com/profile/jethro +jethro wall +threat nink

or snailmail at Threat N Ink PO Box 12556 Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Remember, this is a print zine and well worth the 10 bucks in my opinion.

Spring Reminder - The Tavern Pimps What it Will - I'm Not Ignoring You, Just Your Requests

Its mid spring and it seems that not only is it time for spring planting but also a ripe time for the launch of new Kickstarters. As such, I'm getting hit with requests to highlight new Kickstarters daily, often multiple requests per day, via FaceBook IM, Google Hangouts, G+, email - you name it.

So, if this is you - meaning, the one requesting, asking, begging and very rarely demanding that The Tavern cover you latest and greatest Kickstarter, please keep the following in mind:

1 - First and foremost, The Tavern is a gaming community focused on the OSR. Kickstarter coverage is secondary - tertiary if it isn't an OSR related

2 - If your Kickstarter is Pathfinder focused, you probably aren't going to get covered. Same if it is something I generally won't play myself. You see, I back 90% + of the Kickstarters I highlight.

3 - If I don't respond to you, don't take it personally. I also get unsolicited Facebook IMs, Google Hangout and Plus direct messages, emails and the like from people that want to talk gaming. These people are my community. I do my best to respond to them. As for your KS request, wait and see if it makes the page.

4 - There are folks that have cultivated friendships with me months or even years in advance of any Kickstarters or other projects. I don't catch all of their messages either, but I do try.

5 - In the end, I am performing a service for the OSR and the gaming community at large (and The Tavern's Community in particular) It is them that I owe fealty to. I highlight KSs I feel they would be interested in, either to support or show how not to run a Kickstarter. If my fealty were to the Kickstarter creators, I'd be a shill. I am no shill.

There you have it. Alright, time to head out and pick up my son. 23 and is having a tooth pulled. Fucker broke in half. Yes, I'm getting text updates ;)

The Hero's Journey Gets Reviewed on ENWorld



Well well. The Hero's Journey got a nice, if short review over on ENWorld.
The Hero’s Journey is a neat rulebook with a clear layout, offering multiple optional rules for basically everything. What’s missing? Random encounter tables, adventure creation guidelines, and substantial GM advice. You could use the player-facing rules and the bestiary as is in conjunction with your favourite GM-facing procedures, or just steal your favourite bits and merge them with your own old-school frankengame.
It actually says nice things about THJ, but I think looking for adventure guidelines and substantial GM advice from a ruleset that will probably not be anyone's first foot in the OSR is repetitive. Now, of course I love me some random tables so...

There's more to the above review which s linked here.

Did I mention that some of the commenters do not know what a homage is? Sigh.

Using The Tavern's affiliate links keeps the coffers from emptying. 5% of sales via RPGNow's affiliate links go to fill those coffers.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern - Time to Party Like its Third Age 2019 ;)

Yeah, I threw a little Tolkien reference in the title of the post. Tolkien and his works came up in last night's recording of Save or Die and its still on my mind. Of course, I don't have near the scholarly background that James or Glen have on the topic ;)

Anyhow, tonight is a Wednesday Night, and that means Tavern Chat. Just like that old AOL chatrooms except that its full of Old School Gamers and Grognards and without the random trolling and disruptions.

Oh, and we talk about gaming and geeky stuff.

Join us!

Log into the Chatwing widget on the right side of this page using the social media / email / whatever of your choice. Seriously, you probably already have a log in.

We'll see you at 9 PM :)


Deal of the Day - The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG


The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG is today's Deal of the Day at RPGNow. Written by +Timothy Brannan (well known for his love of Witches in RPGs as well as a good friend of The Tavern) it is 68 pages of OSR goodness. Written for the Hero's Journey by +James Spahn it should be an easy fit for all of the clones but especially Swords & Wizardry.

The PDF is normally $5, on sale for $1.50. Print plus PDF is normally $15, on sale for $6.99.
New material for your Hero's Journey RPG. This book includes:
New Race: The Gnome
New Professions
The Witch class and Hedge Witch tradition
80 spells new to The Hero's Journey
15 new monsters
Is your witch ready for her own heroic journey?
Now she can be! 
For use with The Hero's Journey Fantasy Roleplaying or Swords & Wizardry.
Remember, 5% of all purchases made via The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links go to support The Tavern. It is one of the easiest ways to support The Tavern.

The Tavern Goes Live in June - Facebook Live That Is



After yesterday's comment about how a certain Kickstarter was charging 500 bucks to converse with the project's creator, I quipped that folks could talk with me for free.

Which got me thinking. Now that Facebook has finally added it's "Live" feature to my account, why couldn't I go live and talk with people?

Now, besides the chat box, I was wondering if a Google Number (Google Voice) would allow for live call ins. I really need to test this before North Texas but this could be an awesome thing.

I figure one day a week at different times to accommodate the Taverners around the world. I'd post the schedule for the current and coming month in The Tavern's FB community. I'll probably kick this off in about a month.

Why not Hangouts? Because Google is doing a fine job killing it and from what I've seen, Facebook Live runs with few issues.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pacesetter Games Releases Four Adventures for Swords & Wizardry Light (Print & PDF)


Pacesetter Games has just released four adventures for Swords & Wizardry Light (and fully compatible with Swords & Wizardry Complete from my perusal of the adventures)

PDFs are $3 a pop, Print plus PDF is $5 each.

I'll review them once I get a chance to start reading them straight through (I've just scanned through them at this point) Pacesetter Games has had some really nice releases and I expect these will be no different.


Shining some Continual Light on the status of the Torchlight Mag



I've been asked what the status of the Torchlight Magazine is and the simplest answer is "Delayed for a good reason".

Actually, there are multiple reasons. All good.

First is that I'm currently focused on a project that will be announced in two weeks. To the day. I'm very excited and also fairly distracted.

Second. Swords & Wizardry Continual Light is getting the full Frog God Treatment. So, instead of 20 some odd pages printed on my laser printer with some basic layout, it is currently in the hands of the Frogs for a nice layout and second editing run. SWCL will be available free in PDF and free in Print, just like the four page folder of SWL is.

Third. The Frogs are doing a full court press on The Blight readying it for release. Continual Light is waiting in the wings.

Fourth. Torchlight is a magazine for all flavors of Swords & Wizardry, but much of its initial focus is on Continual Light / Complete articles, adventures, optional rules. With the delay in the release of Continual Light it simply makes sense to delay the release of Torchlight. I'm going to guess that Torchlight will follow the PDF release of Continual Light by four to six weeks, allowing a few weeks for the rules to circulate.

So, there you have it. If it is any consolation, at least I'm getting to practice my layout skills ;)

A WTF Kickstarter - Solstice (D20 Hack)


Look at that inspiring logo. Grey always helps, right?

So, what is Solstice and why am I even looking at it?

Well, Solstice is apparently a D20 Hack and I'm looking at it because one of the Taverners brought it to my attention ;)

I'm going to go with a simple screenshot of the project, because its one of the shorter (description-wise)projects that I've come across:

K - he needs to pay artists, multiple editors and multiple lawyers to get Solstice published. But wait, he also apparently needs to find a publishing company. And he plans to deliver in July. 2017. These are the "holidays" he speaks of.

But wait! There's more! You haven't seen the reward levels yet.


Now, nowhere is it discussed what exactly is in the basic rules, but that's okay - we don't know what is in the rules, either. But hey, 25 bucks gets you the intro chapter.


$125 for the entire Beta. An extra $500 gets you a conversation with the creator.

Who the hell is worth 500 for a "conversation"?

You wanna talk to me? Reach out and we'll find the time. My charge is that you are stuck listening to me yap away. I'll talk your ears off with the topic "Swords & Wizardry Light" and it won't cost you a dime, just your time.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes now available in PDF (Tunnels & Trolls meets James Bond)


If ever there was a game that I regret never having played, its Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes. I own the boxed set and I've been psyched for YEARS to play it, but alas. it simply hasn't happened. I can say the same about Tunnels & Trolls itself, but at least there are a ton of solo adventures your can use with T&T. Heck, there are a ton of solos I've soloed ;)

Still, any game written by Michael Stackpole is probably going to be good. This is no exception. Now to dig my boxed set out of storage.

The PDF of Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes is $6.95 at OBS. Print copies are available at the Flying Buffalo site for 10 bucks.

Remember kids, buying via The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links helps keep the virtual taps flowing.

edit - there IS a MS&PE solo adventure! Need to snag it.

edit2 - MS&PE is currently the #2 best seller at RPGNow

Frog God Games is Offering Signature Gaming Bundles - Limited Time Only


Frog God Games is offering two Signature Gaming Bundles for a limited time only.

Matt's Swords & Wizardry Creator's GM Bundle includes the following in Print AND PDF:
Bill Webbs Book of Dirty Tricks- Regularly $10.99 (PDF $4.99)
The Tome of Adventure Design- Regularly $42.00 (PDF $21.00)
$42 for the Print plus PDF Bundle / $17 for the PDF only bundle (Normally $53 in Print)

Note, although it says its for Swords & Wizardry, its really system neutral, so its  good for all.

Bill Webb's Ultimate GM's Bundle includes the two books in the Matt's Swords & Wizardry Creator's Bundle shown above and also includes the following:
All 6 Swords & Wizardry Card Decks- Regularly $12.00 Each ($72.00 total (PDF $30)
​Encounter Decks I & II
Treasure Deck
Hireling Deck
Spell Deck
Equipment Deck 
and his most notorious release... 
Bill Webb's Deck of Dirty Tricks* - Regularly Previously only sold at conventions or as a Kickstarter add-on this deck includes 52 surprises that encourage player engagement and fast-play. 
*The Deck of Dirty Tricks is only included with the physical book bundle.
Bill Webb's Ultimate GM Bundle is available separately for $136.99 (PDF $55.99) but for this 10 day special offer it is $99.99 in print and $24.99 in PDF.

Note, there is a miscoding of the PDF Bundle on the Frog's Website. Bill Webb's Ultimate GM Bundle is currently pricing at $17, the same price as the Matt Bundle above, and it includes the two books from Matt's Bundle and more. I'm sure the pricing error will be corrected shortly.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Announcing Camp Con 2017 - North East PA - 6/30 through 7/1

June 30th kicks of the second annual CampCon in northeast Pennsylvania. I didn't make last year's but it looks like Rach and I should be able to make it for July 1st of this year. June 30th is a Friday and Rach has to work but the weekend belongs to us!

For those staying overnight, it is literally camping on Keegan's acre of land. Bring a tent, sleeping bags and plenty of cold ones. I do believe there is access to a nearby stream, so nature's cooler is there to help you :)

You can find out more at facebook.com/KCCORPGEXCHANGE

Tunnels & Trolls 5e now available in PDF



When it comes to Tunnels & Trolls, 5e is probably THE edition (much in the way AD&D 1e is pretty much THE D&D edition for many) It hasn't ben officially available in PDF format until now. Why is that important?

I'm a bit of a T&T collector. The only edition I am missing is 3rd (1e is a reprint in my collection, 2e is +Ken St. Andre 's personal play copy, multiple copies of 4e, 7e, 7.5e, Deluxe (there is no 6e officially). As for 5e and 5.5e (.5 adding some optional rules) I probably have a dozen copies - American, UK, Corgi trade releases - like I said, I'm a collector.

When I play T&T, either in a group or solo, its always 5x. Its the sweet spot, where the T&T system came into its own and the generation of the popular T&T solos.

You can snag the Tunnels & Trolls 5e rules in PDF for $6.95
Tunnels &Trolls is the 2nd oldest role-playing game and has been in print since 1976.  This 100 page PDF contains the classic and widely popular 5th edition of T&T. This is the version that most people remember and used from 1979 to 2006. Like most rpgs you play this with a GM and a group of players.  Play is quick and streamlined and T&T has more emphasis on role-playing and less on charts and reference books. All the rules you need are in this book and there is even a small GM adventure in this book you can use. The other unique aspect of T&T is that it’s one of the few rpgs you can play solitaire. There are well over 50 solo adventures available, including 26 published by Flying Buffalo. (Many of them are on Drive-thru.) Download a copy of the classic version of T&T and find out why it has endured for so long.
Remember, 5% of all sales via The Tavern's OBS Affiliate links go to support The Tavern 

Three Out of Four Ain't Bad - Missed a TPK by > < "That Much"


So, my players launched a frontal assault on a dragon tonight in the caves above The Lost City of Baracus. I expected either a successful attack by the players with minimal casualties (not likely in the least) or a TPK. We nearly had the TPK but not quite.

What happened?

After last week's dark elf slaughter the characters knew there was a dragon nearby. While discussing plans amongst themselves, they heard the squeaking of rats and then a whoosh and a splash and no more squeaking, leading them to believe the dragon breathed acid - they were right.

Figuring now was the time to attack, the party's cleric took the lead and charged with the magical (continual light) torch. He surprised a goblin that was gathering the dead giant rats and skewering them on a stick. Then there was the matter of the black dragon head sticking out of the corridor to the north.

The party has initiative. The thief and the bard fire their dark elf hand crossbows (with sleep poison bolts) - a hit and a miss and a successful save. Cleric and fighter swing. More hits, both from the part and the dragon. Dragon's bite for a lot of damage as the cleric found out.

Next round and the dragon has initiative. Acid breath takes out the cleric and damages the other three. It would have been worse but I applied the damage inflicted to the dragon against his acid breath - he only inflicted current HP in damage, not his full HP amount. I am a kind and benevolent DM ;)

Another hit is scored on the dragon, this time from a poisoned bolt that did not hit the fighter in the way. The save is failed and we applied a -4 to the dragon's attacks, with a second failed save indicating sleep.

A new round and the Fighter falls to a claw and a bite. The bard charges in with his sword that is + 2 vs reptiles. He misses, as does the thief's bolt that goes far and wide.

Two down and two to go.

The remaining party members and the dragon tie their initiative roll. The sword strikes true as does the dragon's bite. The thief's bolt is far and wide again. The bard is chomped in two and the dragon retreats into the cave behind, licking his wounds, having lost approximately 85% of its HP. As the thief fires bolts blindly into the darkness the dragon flees the caves completely.

Paging the Lone Survivor. Paging the Lone Survivor. ;)

Not either of the possibilities I had expected but still awesome. Even omitting the successful charge through the gore, entrails and acid to retrieve the reptile slaying sword.

New PCs are ready to go for next session :)