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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Basic Demographics - The Tavern, ENWorld and RPG.net

I was looking at The Tavern's demographics and started to wonder how similar (or different) they were to the "Big Two" RPG sites.

Not a huge surprise that The Tavern is an older, mostly male crowd. The initial D&D / RPG community was nearly all male and nostalgia for Old School Gaming is still strong.


How about The Tavern's Facebook Community?


Lets look at ENWorld:



ENWorld is a much younger community. The percentage of women is twice that of The Tavern yet still doesn't hit 8%.

How about RPG.net?


RPG.net hits 9% for its female audience. Much like ENWorld, it skews younger.

I couldn't find basic demographics for Roll20, which I think would have been the most insightful.

In any case, those are the numbers.

edit - this is the best I could find for Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds:




Also, this for Roll20:


and this for FG2


Friday, November 17, 2017

Gygax Memorial Fund - Nearly 2 Years After The Tavern Started Digging - Still Little to Show


I really started picking over the carcass of the Gygax Memorial Fund nearly two years ago - November 25th, 2015 to be exact. What, too damning a description? Perhaps. But if it ain't dead yet, its certainly dying.

Halfway through November of 2017 and we STILL don't have the 2016 tax returns posted. Nor do we have the promised audit (the promise has since been deleted but I've shared the screenshot on previous posts)

Now, why would that be? If I were a betting man, I'd surmise that the promised audit revealed some issues that had to be corrected and / or brought up other interesting questions that have been posed at The Tavern already - such as why the funds - over $200k last we checked, haven't earned a penny of interest in the last seven years of tax returns. That much money sitting in ANY account would earn some sort of minimal return - monies that could offset office costs or fund that scholarship mentioned on the Fund's site. Not earning any sort of interest seems fiscally irresponsible when every penny counts.

Did I mention that the Fund's assets are heading in a negative direction?

2013  $222,165

2014  $220,449

2015  $217,042

2016  ? Note - 2016 is expected to have some significant expenses. or was that 2017?

What about the cash cow of selling "bricks?" What ever happened to that?

Now, Alex Gygax was added to the GMF Board in August of this year:
Or maybe he wasn't. Four months later and the listing of the board members hasn't changed.



As for Coordinator of Educational Programs and Special Projects - Dianne Curtis - what has she done in this regard? Wonderful title but I can't find ANYTHING educational done by the Fund.

I guess Busness Manager (gotta love the typo that I never caught until now) is in charge of shipping shirts and pencils. Anyone buy them? Can you speak on the quality?


And what ever happened with this?


Sadly, the Fund and other related projects don't ever seem to move forward. Its almost like an extremely late unfulfilled Kickstarter - actual completion makes everything come due so best to just punt the ball time and time again and never actually get to the end.

Wow. Yeah, being sick is making me one heck of an ass ;)

Announcement - Frog God Games sponsored Extra-Life Team broadcast is Live - For the Children

My apologies, as I lost track of when this when happening only to realize it started an hour ago. Still 23 hours left ;)

Here's the Frog God Games Press Release / Reminder. I'll be popping in later tonight to enjoy the festivities:
Hate Children? Think their hospitals for them a waste of space? 
Then you are a bad person, like this fellow...



If you, on the other hand, support Children's Hospitals, please tune-in for the Frog God Games sponsored Extra-Life Team broadcast beginning at 6 PM EST.

https://www.twitch.tv/froggodgames

It is guided by Edwin Nagy, conversion specialist and all around good guy.

Please donate and spread the word. For Children! If you cannot watch you can still donate by going here...

https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=33395

Seriously, its a good cause and a fun time. I'll see you all after yoga. No, not my yoga - I pisk up Rach from HER yoga. Damn these sinus headaches!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wayward Kickstarter - City State of the Invincible Overlord - Full of Excuses and Not So Invincible


Hard to believe its been nearly a year since I last shed light on the fiasco known as the City State of the Invincible Overlord Kickstarter. No, really. Here's my last post on this train wreck.

Now, let me forewarn you. I'm high on decongestants and fighting a sinus headache. I'm in no mood to be nice.

CSIO is nearly 3 years late. While not quite at the level of Far West in that category, the excuses are an embarrassment. We know all of the maps are done and have been done for ages. All we need now is to finish layout. Well, and money to print and ship.

Say what?

Just like Far West is financially bankrupt (and likely refuses to complete the PDF as there will be a demand for physical product that there is no money to either print or ship) I suspect most if not all of the $85k raised by CSIO has been long lost. Again, finishing the PDF will put demands on physical product and associated shipping costs - shipping costs that have had three years to increase. Yeah, the picture isnt pretty.

So, how about some of the excuses:



Yep, weekly updates six weeks apart. Weekly updates since the end of March have been monthly at best.

Oh, and nearly two months since the last update. I guess monthly isn't working out either.

Progress? Please! Layout isn't going at a page a day or a page a week. Maybe 2 to 3 pages a month?

But wait! Look at that! A hint of a better future!

Its an illusion though. If there were a better future we wouldn't be without an update nearly two months later. What is this in reference to? There've been rumors that Kickstarter fulfillment had been shopped to two or three of the more sizable old school publishers in the hobby. Aside from the goodwill of the backers there is little upside to such a deal for any publisher - the cost to fulfill would be on them and profits (as well as costs associated will making the Kickstarter backers whole) would rely on a retail market that is geared to 5e these days and not so much Pathfinder.

Where does that leave us? I do mean "us", as I'm in for $145 myself. I fear we are left with little hope without a "white knight" publisher coming to the rescue and I fear that the costs associated with such a rescue are cost prohibitive for most.

Not the legacy Judges Guild wished to leave us with but a legacy none the less.

Yep, I'm a fuck when I'm sick.

Far West - Soon to be SIX YEARS Late - You Won't Hear from Gareth Again until Delivery Time - Unless You Read his Daily Twitter Feed



Ah, Far West. Still no closer to completion. How do we know that? Because Gareth isn't updating the Kickstarter page until there is "something concrete to deliver."

Next month will put the project in the SIX FUCKING YEARS LATE category. I don't think ANY Kickstarter creator has outright lied to their backers about the state of their project as much as Gareth has. Six years is a lot of time to lie.

Which actually makes sense as to why Gareth is maintaining radio silence. Pretty much every update he's made over the past six years has been full of misstatements, falsehoods and outright lies. In order not to make new lies he needs to keep his virtual lips from moving.

I still think if Gareth could have figured out a way to write Far West at 140 characters a clip we'd have a completed project already. Oh course, it would have to be scraped off Twitter, which is where our friend seems to spend all of his waking hours these days.


Just think, all I have to show for my $150 is:


It was days away in May... of 2016

See, he never said what "year" this "June" was in.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kickstarter - Critical Hit & Fumble Dice


I like dice. I like them - a lot.

The Critical Hit & Fumble Dice Kickstarter by New Comet Games is all about putting critical and fumble dice into your hands.

I waffle back and fourth on using criticals and fumbles in the RPG campaigns I run. And when I do use them, it can be anything as simple as double damage or full on tables. These dice certainly simplify the use while still giving a nice variation of results.

Buy in on the Critical Hit & Fumble Dice Kickstarter is as little as 10 bucks a set plus shipping. Hell, that's nearly an impulse buy ;)


Reminder - Tavern Chat - Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - I'll be the Snotty One


Tonight is a Wednesday Night and that means Tavern Chat.

Your Tavern Master is under the weather, so if I sound like shit tonight, so be it.

When: 9 PM Eastern

Where: The Tavern's Discord Channel

https://discord.gg/fReGmuD

See you at 9 PM...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

GURPS PDFs for Sale at RPGNow



In recent years, much of the GURPS support catalogue has only been available in PDF and only via Steve Jackson Games' e23 online storefront. The times, they are a changing.

GURPS PDFs are now available via RPGNow (and DTRPG). It appears they are watermark free.

Now I'm wondering if POD is far off...

In any case, always good to see GURPS reach more potential customers. Its a heavier rules system than I generally like these days but I did run it in high school and college. I've been following the system since the Man to Man rules first came out with its companion Orcslayer ;)

That's an affiliate link above. Affiliate links keep the taps flowing here at The Tavern ;)


Deal of the Day - Crypts & Things Remastered


Crypts & Things Remastered is today's RPGNow Deal of the Day. Built off of the Swords & Wizardry ruleset, C&T is an excellent Swords & Sorcery ruleset as well as an excellent resource for your Swords & Wizardry campaign. Normally $14 in PDF, for 24 hours Crypts & Things Remastered is on sale for $8.40
Be a wild Barbarian, a deadly Fighter, a soul-torn Sorcerer or a sword sharp canny Thief, fighting evil tyrants and foul demons in a world rapidly dying and heading towards its final nemesis. 
Crypts and Things (C&T) is a Swords and Sorcery Roleplaying game based upon the Old School Rules of the 70s/80s. It also draws upon the British fantasy games and game-books of that period to bring a distinctly dark and dangerous feel to the game. 
It was originally released back in early 2012 and after a highly successful Kickstarter in 2015 it returns in a Remastered edition, with revised and expanded content and entirely new art by David M. Wright. 
Contents 
  • Introduction: An overview of the book.
The Scrolls of Wonder 
  • The Player's section of the game, which explains how to create and play the character who will be the player's alter ego in the game.
  • Creating a Character: Guidelines for creating the player's fictional alter-ego in the game.
  • Character Classes: Nine character archetypes for players to choose from: Four Core (Barbarian, Fighter, Sorcerer, Thief) and five exotic (Beast Hybrid, Disciple, Elementalist, Lizard People and Serpent Man).
  • Life Events: Quick background events tables which briefly detail the character's origin and what they did before adventuring.
  • Spell Lists: Black, Grey and White Magic, plus Elemental Magic.
  • How to Play: The game's simple and straightforward rules.
  • The Continent of Terror: A brief overview of the game's included setting.
  • What the Elder Told Me: Each of the eight human cultures of the setting detailed in ten questions and answers from a young adult to a respected elder about their worldview.
The Book of Doom
  • This is the referee's section of the book.
  • Secrets of the Continent of Terror: A deeper view of the setting for referee's, with adventure seeds and encounter tables.
  • The Greater Others and their Works: Three of the terrifying Greater Others and their followers detailed for use in play.
  • Snake Dance: A closer look at the society of the insidious Serpent Men.
  • Scourges of the Dying World: Five evil nemesis to thwart and oppose the player characters.
  • Ill-Gotten Gains of Dark Desire: Treasure and perilous magic items.
  • A Compendium of Fiends: Dark and deadly monsters to populate your adventures with.
  • The Halls of Nizar-Thun: An introductory underground adventure.
  • The Haunted Lands: An introductory wilderness adventure.
  • Port Black Mire: A fearsome city detailed for urban adventures.
  • Notes from the Abyss: A compilation of articles and resources to aid the referee.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Swords & Wizardry Continual Light released 4 weeks ago Today



Can you believe it? Swords & Wizardry Continual Light released 4 weeks ago - almost to the minute.

It held the #1 Hottest Small Press at RPGNow for a good long stretch and even 4 weeks later, its stubbornly clinging at #6. Oh, and it made "Copper" at RPGNow.

Yesterday, the price for SWCL changed from PWYW to the suggested price of $2.50. This will allow it to gain further exposure during site wide sales and possibly even Deal of the Day promotions. Or at least, that is my hope ;)

In these past four weeks, over 800 copies of SWCL were grabbed on RPGNow / OBS in PDF and 115 print copies on Amazon (and a couple of dozen more physical copies found new owners at GameHole Con)

Yes, I'm happy with the reception it has received :)

Thanks to everyone who has supported Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. Let's keep shining ;)






Sunday, November 12, 2017

State of the Tavern Master - Post Con Con Crud - Stage 2 - Get Outa My Head!

Earlier this week, starting Monday morning, my stomach wasn't quite right. That passed by Friday. Yesterday my sinuses started acting up. Today, runny nose, sniffles and sinus headache.

That's it! All of my projects are getting pushed back 6 days, weeks, months, years! Damn you Sharka! Damn you!

Seriously, the headaches are the real distraction. I may be slowing down for a few days. Or not.

I mean, Gareth is due for a nudge and the GMF seems to have given up. Can't believe its almost 2 years since I started poking that hornets' nest...

Bundle of Holding - Old School Revival +5


Yeah, I'm a bit late on sharing this but I'm still in catch up mode. Maybe I need to bring my laptop to the booth next con so I can get some extra blogging in ;)

Anyhow, we now have the Old School Revival + 5 Bundle of Holding. The starter collection is $12.95 and what do you get?

  • The Nightmares Underneath (Red Box Vancouver, retail price $15): Johnstone Metzger (Adventures on Dungeon Planet) presents a complete game of Dream Kingdom incursions in the waking world -- invasions that manifest as dungeons to be crawled and destroyed. (never heard of prior)
  • Mortzengersturm, The Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak (Hydra Cooperative, retail $8): Trey Causey's deceptively whimsical foray into a wild wizard's mad magic mansion. (well done adventure)
  • Gathox Vertical Slum (DIY RPG Productions, retail $10): A gonzo transdimensional campaign by David Lewis Johnson, set in a city growing on the back of a world-hopping godling. (never heard of this either)
  • Red Tide (Sine Nomine Publishing, retail $8): Kevin Crawford's sandbox campaign in the savage jungles of the Sunset Isles. [Originally presented in our November 2013 Worldbuilder's Toolkit.] (another awesome piece of work by Kevin)
So, the Starter Collection has two solid pieces and two I can't really comment on as I never came across them prior. Which means I don't have two parts of the Start Collection.

What about the Bonus Collection (currently at $25.55)?

    • Index Card RPG (Runehammer Games, retail $16.50): The bestselling fast-play light-rules system from the creators of Drunkens & Dragons on YouTube. (yeah, never heard of it - Copper on RPGNow and no rank on DTRPG. Claims it went Gold - not sure where - apparently it went Platinum on DTRPG - I stand corrected) not sure how this is old school either)
  • Dragon Kings (Soldier-Spy, retail $20): Dark Sun co-designer Timothy Brown created its spiritual successor, a sand-blasted desert of desperate city-states, monstrous rulers, and dark sorcery. (I remember the Kickstarter and I'm interested in seeing how this turned out)
  • An Echo, Resounding (Sine Nomine, retail $10): Kevin Crawford brings Game of Thrones-style domain-level struggles to the untamed wilderlands of Red Tide or any campaign (Yes, more Kevin. Another solid release)
  • 2016 Dodecahedron Cartographic Review (ZERObarrier, retail $8.50): Dyson Logos, king-hell master of dungeon cartography, gathers new works from his Dyson's Dodecahedron blog. Includes Dyson's Business Cardography, ten business card-sized geomorphic dungeon maps available only in this offer and nowhere else. (Dyson IS maps. 'Nuff said)
  • NEW! The Crimson Pandect (Sine Nomine, retail $10): Kevin Crawford's expansive sorcery system for Red Tide or any Old School game. With this addition, this OSR collection now has all three Red Tide books. (my God - I somehow missed this!)
  • NEWER! City of Poison (Red Box Vancouver, retail $5): A sample Dream Kingdom incursion by Johnstone Metzger for The Nightmares Underneath. (I missed this one. Looks interesting)
Very much a mixed bag. I you have none of the above, the value is good even with some potential misses. If you have more than two or three listed above, you might be digging a bit deep to find value. That being said, Dragon-Kings and The Crimson Pandect alone might make this worth my purchase.