Monday, March 18, 2019

The Origins of Swords & Wizardry Light or Ain't Retirement Grand?

I know I've posted about the origins of Swords & Wizardry Light in the past but there comes a time when you need to address certain falsehoods in the narrative making the rounds. So, here we are, back to the beginning. Strangely enough, the origins go back nearly three years to the day. Hold my beer, I need two hands to type ;)

Three years ago on St Patrick's Day, 2016, I signed out from work for the final time at 605 AM. I would run accumulated time and terminal leave for nearly four months, but for all effects and purposes, I was retired.

Retirement hits different people in different ways. A common theme is a need for a replacement time sink to work. You wouldn't think this would be needed. Not having to work is awesome! Work does, however, give one a purpose and I found myself in search of such purpose and lots of free time on my hands. Pub lunches and naps can only take one so far ;)

I started toying with the idea of a guerilla marketing ruleset for OSR gaming. Something that could be printed on a single sheet - both sides - and left in libraries, community centers, game stores and the like. I brainstormed that idea for a while. Bought legal sized paper for my printer, as I thought I might need the extra space of a larger sheet of paper. I had lots of ideas, and that was good. I found something to do in retirement.

Sometime in the late spring, I shared my idea with Zach Glazar (Frog God Games). We are friends and often use the other as a sounding board. Ideas that may sound good to oneself may not survive the intense gaze of another's more critical - and less biased - thinking.

I expected some ideas for layout, general feedback on rules to include or exclude. I hadn't even settled on a ruleset to strip down. I half expected to build one from the ground up of my own, using the various existing rulesets for inspiration. Instead, Zach told me my vision was lacking. I had a great idea - an awesome idea - but I was thinking too small. He then told me to hold that thought and he would get back to me.

Before I knew it, instead of some throwaway sheet of paper that would probably never fit enough rules to be playable (or if it did, the font would be too small to be readable), what if I had four pages, professionally laid out with high-quality art, using the Swords & Wizardry rules and stripping them down to the bare bones (and even whittled away at some of those bones) and Frog God Games would publish - both in print (to give away for free) and in PDF. Oh, and it would be called Swords & Wizardry Light.

Without Zach, without Frog God Games, there would be no Swords & Wizardry Light. There might be some hacked out ruleset, barely playable but certainly loved by its creator, hoping to be found in some random libraries, but its impact would have been minimal.

Swords & Wizardry Light was never the work of one person. It was a team effort from the moment we named it. Zach doing layout and feedback, Scott Swift on editing, James Spahn on smoothing out the rules and all of us trying to save space, one character (note: not "player character") at a time. All while thanking Matt Finch and Bill Webb for even allowing us to do what we did to the house ruleset of Frog God Games.

As a ruleset, Swords & Wizardry Light was intended to lower the entry bar to old school style roleplaying and RPGs in general. To feel comfortable and familiar to lapsed gamers and non-intimidating to new players, young and old. Oh, and since it is built on the bones of Swords & Wizardry, its a perfect marketing tool for Swords & Wizardry Complete. It is meant to complement the larger ruleset, not compete with it. It only covers three levels, and that is by design (and space consideration)

The rest pretty much is history. It debuted at GameHole Con in 2016 and has been given away at cons, via snail mail, with Frog God orders, PDF and more - thousands upon thousands of times. It's a perfect ruleset to run at conventions and works well for pick up games. It gives just enough of the fuller rules to bring folks back to the Frog God booth at conventions asking for more Swords & Wizardry. More OSR.

I do believe it accomplishes the goals we set out for it and more.

So, there you have it. The true story of the origins of Swords & Wizardry Light. Less exciting then some narratives and dramaless, unless you include the period where I was trying to emulate a d20 with 3d6...

Kickstarter - Powered by GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 & Game Reprint

I like GURPS. Well, I love the sourcebooks and used to run some GURPS back in my college days. It just seemed a bit heavy for my gaming tastes.

Now, I really like the GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy boxed set. The rules focus on what I focus on - fantasy gaming - and without the need to cover every genre the rules seem more approachable. I could see myself running this. I certainly could see myself playing it.

The Powered by GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 & Game Reprint Kickstarter puts the relatively small print run associated with the original Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter back in print. More copies - more circulation - more players - more support material. Isn't that how it works?
With your support, we're going to bring back the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game with a second printing and, more importantly, expand the line with a new book: Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2! This companion to Dungeon Fantasy Monsters introduces even more foes to the dungeon, giving the GM new tools to use when designing adventures and the players more beasties to slay and loot.   
If you already have the Dungeon Fantasy boxed set, the Monsters 2 book is 20 bucks in print plus PDF.

If you need the Dungeon Fantasy boxed set (along with Monsters 2), print plus PDF is 95 bucks.

Dungeon Fantasy is a really sweet ruleset :)

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Kickstarter - Strange New World Gazetteer: Weird Colonial Roleplaying Zine (OSR)

I'm a sucker for settings. I really like the Colonial Gothic setting even if I don't much like the attached rule system. So color me excited when I stumbled across a zine that is both OSR AND about a New World Colonial Era setting. Strange New World Gazetteer: Weird Colonial Roleplaying Zine Kickstarter looks to be my cup of tea.
An RPG and OSR setting zine for adventuring in a strange fantasy version of colonial America. Fearsome creatures, witchcraft and weird.
The above is the elevator pitch and it calls to me. I'm sorry, but I was a history major, and American history, up to the Civil War, is one of the areas I concentrated in. Of course, that was 30 years ago, so don't expect much fact checking from me ;)
Strange New World is an OSR-compatible campaign setting set during the colonization era of North America (1600/1700's era) but set in a world where magic, monsters and, more importantly, strangeness have returned to the new world. Soldiers and monster hunters fight side by side trailblazers and mountaineers. Witches weave terrible magics while preachers vanquish chaos and shepherd the people.  
(Strange New World content is compatible with any WhiteBox / B/X / BECMI or AD&D system, we use a hacked version of Lamentations of the Flame Princess as our OSR base. SNW content could even be used with OSR-adjacent games such as Dungeon World.) 
Compared to a traditional fantasy world, the Strange New World is a points-of-light setting. Colonization of the new world has slowed and exploration in many regions has ceased after proving too risky. There are fewer settlements than there were in actual history and they are spread very thinly through the perilous frontier. The land rages against colonization, it cracks and leaks hellfire pockets of poison gas, it births powerful megafauna guardians, and summons woeful bogeys from the fey realms in efforts to protect itself. Society has instead packed itself into well-protected cities, increasing urban population above historical levels, while spending more resources on military outposts and organizations opposed to the chaos of the new world. 
This is also a world where gonzo weirdness has found a home in history. Ancient alien visitation shaped the beliefs of the native people, once-mighty and now-lost civilizations that existed thousands of years ago in the new world are there to be discovered or pillaged. This is a world where fables and folk lore are not merely cautionary tales but historical accounts. A world where the mythical Underworld is a real land of the dead that can be visited. Strange New World also exists in the meta-setting of 400 Billion Suns, where "billions and billions" of possible worlds could have interacted with each other through the magical eons. 
Monsters, magic and bedlam must be dealt with before man may progress in this Strange New World.
Even if I never use the setting, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it :)
The Strange New World setting will be supported through a dedicated website that will function as an information hub and lore encyclopedia. 
A living, updating, OSR compatible setting guidebook will be offered online, containing core setting information and rules hacks. Each Gazetteer volume will be available in print and feature expanded setting information, lore and rules (all OSR compatible!) such as classes, magic, monsters and adventure hex-ploration sites. 
The Gazetteer will be presented as an in-universe gazette written and presented by characters from within the Strange New World itself. Such characters include Willam van Dook, renowned world explorer; Jeremiah Shagbark, famous bogey hunter with the Fang and Fur Company; Wolf-that-Sings, a Hopi warden with ties to the western world; and more!
I'm in for the signed, alternated cover plus PDF for 12 bucks shipped within the US. Huzzah!

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

You've Been Banned! - Pexx's Experience with the OSR Discord Server

Hello, my name is Pexx as I wear many hats, but I mainly hang my hats in Tenkar's Tavern Discord and run a lot of the behind the scenes activities that go on there. My tag on the server is the Tavern Custodian because I fix things that break and take care of the little things that need working on.

So I recently I got banned from the OSR Discord server, that some of you are a part of. Let me give you some history before I got banned with direct interaction with one of their moderator James Young.
Once upon a time I tried to get Tenkar’s Tavern Blog submitted to their pinned blog roll list that we also have pinned here in Tenkar’s Tavern back when the Google+ Shut down was announced and people were flooding into Tenkar’s Tavern Discord and the OSR Discord. I followed the instructions, but it kept getting removed. I messaged the server owner Chris McDowall to clear up the confusion.

Here’s what he had to say…
Next up is my first interaction with James Young:

So not only did he lie to me my very first time talking to him, but he let his biased opinion dribble onto me to me from the get go. I honestly didn’t care, sure you can dislike someone, but why lie about it?

So that was back in October 2018. Jumping forward I didn’t really have any more interaction with him until recently when I noticed one of my servers was missing. For those of you that don’t, know when you kick or ban someone you can provide a message to the individual when you perform the action. Parting words if you will or a reason as to why you got banned or kick. There was none of that. Didn’t think much of it, I simply rejoined the OSR server.

Happened again the next day. Ok someone is screwing with me so like a good little soldier I re-joined yet again, but I wanted some answers so I messaged 2 moderators ( Xsi & Cavegirl) followed by the server owner Chris McDowall.

Xsi had this to say….
I did not receive an answer back from Xsi before James Young messaged me that he was banning me.

Cavegirl had this to say....

Another lie, there is an audit log! I’ll give Cavegirl the benefit of the doubt here, Chris may have restricted that part of the server to his mod team for whatever reason. The audit log does exist on every single Discord server, and you can view any changes (including bans and kicks) and it tells you who has done the action.

Next up Chris McDowall the server owner was messaged.

Several hrs later I get a message from Mr. James Young stating the following…

So because it was funny and he thinks I am worthless not only his community, but all others.
Thanks James! You sir, are a class act.

I forwarded James message onto Chris McDowall our server owner just before James Young got the ban off severing my contact with anyone on the OSR server unless they were on my friends list (I sent friend request to Xsi, Cavegirl, and Chris in hopes of resolving this). Mr. McDowall has been informed about James Young actions. I dunno if he will unban me and let me back into his Discord or not. It’s his server, and he can do with it what he wants to.
So what did I post over there you may be wondering? Pretty much in the link section when people from our Tenkar’s Tavern server had a kickstarter, product launch, podcast come out (including my own) I would drop a link in their OSR link section. That was pretty much it. Just sad I won’t be able to do so any longer. It’s hard enough to try and advertise on your own all I was doing was attempting to spread the word about good content for the OSR.

I have no regrets standing beside Tenkar, and I do so proudly. If that comes with me not being able to associate with certain circles within our small niche of the gaming the industry so be it. We are doing great things in The Tavern and we have even more great things in the works for everyone.

**How do I get to The Tavern Discord? Follow these Steps:**
**Step 1.)** Go here https://discordapp.com/download
**Step 2.)** Click which is best for you Windows, Mac, Android, IOS, or Linux and download it.
**Step 3.)** Once it has finished downloading click the + button surrounded by a dotted circle on the left hand side
**Step 4.)** Click the Join a Server button and copy and paste this into it https://discord.gg/GaXW2TX

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Kickstarter - Terror of the Stratosfiend : A DCC RPG Zine

I'm trying to get to the "short date" Kickstarters first. In this case, we are down to 16 hours as I type this for Terror of the Stratosfiend : A DCC RPG Zine Kickstarter. Short story? I'm a backer :)

What is Terror of the Stratosfiend?
Portals and warp gates have been opening all over the earth and giant aliens have been pouring out. Players will quickly find out that some of their own have been aliens the whole time, and that humans from distant stars have also shown up to help quell the madness. The setting is meant to be both an add-on to any DCC (Dungeon Crawl Classics) session the Judge and players would be running; adding a splash of tentacles. It's also being built to be a standalone setting where tentacles and sorcery would be the focus. 
As a player you'll be wielding future weaponry like laser chainsaws, and living breathing shotguns that incubate sleeping horrors. You would also find out what it's like to be 20 foot tall living battering ram... (scroll up to be reminded of what that means) 
As a Judge you'll be introducing players to maniacal Orbital Intelligences that seek to guide, destroy, and illuminate the lives of their charges. You will be throwing strange alien beasts at them, and guiding through portals leading to the stars beyond our stars.
What path will you take? Will you abandon your fellow humans and take to the stars? Or will you embrace the chaos and obliterate all that stand in your path with your tentacled fury?
I'm gonna steal the shit out of this Zine for a Swords & Wizardry campaign. Oh, maybe with the forthcoming Far Away Land hack. Oh my ;)

Actually, this would also be a good fit for Mutant Crawl Classics or Mutant Future...

5 bucks for the PDF. 12 bucks for the Print plus PDF (shipped free to the US.

Time is ticking...

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

RPG Kickstarters Highlights in the Hopper

I rebuilt my list of pending Kickstarters to highlight and the list is now longer than the one I had tabbed prior. Somehow this list is twice as long as it was before. Expect a series of Kickstarter postings in the near future and I expect my wallet will be getting significantly lighter.

For those that want a to peek ahead:

Strange New World Gazetteer: Weird Colonial Roleplaying Zine
An RPG and OSR setting zine for adventuring in a strange fantasy version of colonial America. Fearsome creatures, witchcraft and weird.

Xboat: a Traveller RPG 'zine
A fanzine supporting the Traveller role-playing game. #ZineQuest

Fantasy World Creator + APP: Modular tiles for TABLETOP RPG
Write your adventure with the included APP, create maps and make them live with creatures token. REPRINTED and UPDATED VERSION

DCC RPG Module: Reckoning of the Gods-Into the Shadow Realm
Trespass into a parallel realm to heist the hoard of an ancient evil. A booklet of two level 3 DCC RPG adventures (adapts to any RPG).

The City of Great Lunden
A City Setting for Old School RPGs - The Midderlands setting compatible.

Spiral Isles
A pointcrawl adventure module for 5th Edition and Swords and Wizardry rulesets.

Lost Classes and Cannibal Corpses - Two Original RPG Zines
One Zine featuring re-imaginings of two character classes from proto RPG days. One adventure module.

Terror of the Stratosfiend : A DCC RPG Zine
A new tentacle and sorcery zine for the DCC RPG. (ZineQuest)

Traveller RPG: The Journal of the Travellers Aid Society
The Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society returns, in a brand new full colour, slipcase format.

Wizard Burial Ground: A Dungeon-Punk RPG Book (Zine Quest)
Prog Rock inspired Dungeon-Punk resource book full of plot hooks, monsters, NPCs, and magic items (Zine Quest)

Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad Zine Returns!
Four years in the making, the original Metal Gods team returns for three more issues of metal-fueled mayhem for the DCC RPG

Draugr & Draculas
An old-school RPG zine about undead vikings and vampires

Mercenaries Spies & Private Eyes RPG by Michael Stackpole
A New Edition of the rulebook for Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes (MSPE) a modern role playing game by Michael Stackpole.

Secrets of the World Harvesters
An RPG adventure for DCC (Dungeon Crawl Classics)

The Folio: Black Label #1
A fantasy adventure for a more refined RPG gamer in both classic AD&D and 5th Edition D&D formats.

Phew! I got my work cut out for me ;)

Goodman Games Announcement - OAR #3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks

You know you are having a busy con time when you are at the con and miss announcements like this - http://goodman-games.com/blog/2019/03/11/announcing-oar-3-expedition-to-the-barrier-peaks/

We’re very excited to announce the next release in our Original Adventures Reincarnated line: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks! As with previous releases in the OAR series, this one will include scans of the original 1E editions, a conversion to 5E, and new 5E material filling in some gaps from the original 1E module. 
OAR3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is slated for a September release. It will be solicited to distributors soon and will be available for pre-order once the book is at the printer. 
Originally run was a tournament adventure at Origins II, the adventure was published by TSR in 1980. Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is a famous adventure module, because it mixes “science fiction” and “fantasy.” For this reason it is both well known, and an enduring favorite for those who played it during its heyday. The 5E conversion is consistent with the original design principles, and also offers new avenues for exploration. 
In the adventure, characters come across a spaceship that has crash landed into your fantasy world, and have to deal with the consequences. Which include robots, plant people, and a zoo of alien creatures. And ray guns. It has ray guns.  
The OAR volume will also include complete scans of the original 1E publication. This includes both the adventure booklet as well as the extensive book of handouts that was part of the original publication. Dedicated fans may already know that the handout art changed between printings. Three handout illustrations were changed between the first (1980) and second (1981) printings of Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, and most of the remaining handouts were renumbered. The OAR volume will include scans of both versions of the handout booklets. For those of you who have an old ragged copy of Expedition to the Barrier Peaks in your personal collection, you will be able to discover which set of handouts you never had the chance to see before!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Kickstarter - Shotglass Adventures - 10 adventures for D&D 5e and OSR RPGs

True confession. I had a nice handful of crowdfunding projects all tabbed up and ready to be shared and I decided to update my OSX this morning. Eight hours later with a fresh install, I finally had a working computer again. Of course, those open tabs are gone. I may miss something that I was intending to share as well as back. I'm working on re-finding those tabs :(

Which brings us to Shotglass Adventures - 10 adventures for D&D 5e and OSR RPGs. This wasn't even on my initial list - somehow I missed it. I'm very glad I found it!
A book of 10 fantasy adventures with DM and players' maps, new monsters and magic items, city and region settings and random tables.
That's the elevator pitch, and what a pitch it is.
SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES is published under the OGL and compatible with 5e and other OSR fantasy role playing games. It’s 52 pages long (with unlocked stretch goals included). Inside you’ll find: 
· 10 'adventure-on-a-page' one-shot adventures of all varieties - murder, dungeon crawls, heists, breakouts, sieges, love stories - complete with additional DM and player maps! These adventures are fully playtested, for PCs of 1st - 5th level and are designed for minimal preparation and flexible delivery. Each adventure can be run as a ‘fill-in’ for 1-2 gaming sessions (3-4 hours per session) or played as a mini-campaign. Over 50 hours of gaming content!    
· 12 New monsters! 4 new magic items! Plus some monsters from Kobold's Tome of Beasts! 
· Hints on the art of improvisation to bring your NPCs and adventures alive 
· Random tables - for names, motivations, room dressing and special items to add additional nuance to your adventures  
· Verona City - a city for adventurers to use as a base  
· Verona Province - a region for players to explore, complete with every location used in SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES
But wait, there's more!

That a lot of value for 11 bucks US - PDF plus at cost POD.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Kickstarter - For Glory #1, The Hexanomicon

It's rare that you find something truly new and different for use with RPGs. Let me revise that - it's rare to find something truly new and different and holy shit extremely cool and useful. For Glory #1, The Hexanomicon is simply all this and more.

Seriously, I never would have thought to have a hex ap created by stickers, but now that I know such exists, I need it. Note: not saying I want it, I NEED it.

Sure, it says DCC RPG on the tin, Hexanomicon this is going to work fine with Swords & Wizardry and I'm chomping at the bit.
The Hexanomicon is a setting generator using stickers of hexmap landscape elements, sheets on which to place them and tables to determine the contents of hexes. Specific destinations are left to the judge. I dot my map with published adventure modules and a few NPC homes. This issue includes a template to create and print your own stickers from graphics you create or find.  
In the game I currently run, the party may learn that there is a Wizard's tower a few days journey away. I decide that their journey should not be trivial so I use the hex name generator to create The Glittering Bogs of Ada'akka. The bogs will contain beasts so Jumping Gore Beetles are created from a table that combines stats for jumping, gore, and beetles. Later, the evil wizard is defeated easily by burning down  the party's luck and stats. With their decreased luck, on the way home they roll a terrible encounter in the Glittering Bogs. Perhaps they should not have burned down their stats so far. 
These tools are created for Dungeon Crawl Classics but can be easily adapted to other systems. 
It's an improv hexcrawl and I so fucking dig that.

I think the sweet spot is 18 bucks (plus shipping) - PDF, Print, map stickers & map sheets and fleeting luck tokens. I do like the idea of using such tokens with rulesets beyond the DCC RPG.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Kickstarter - Era: The Consortium 5th Anniversary Rulebook and Miniatures

There are times I like a Kickstarter less for its core product and more for some of the additional offerings. Such it is with Era: The Consortium 5th Anniversary Rulebook and Miniatures Kickstarter. It's not that I don't like the core rules being offered in the Kickstarter, it's just that I don't play enough sci-fi RPGs to justify investing in a new sci-fi ruleset.

Then I look at the miniatures connected to this Kickstart and I realize I want them. I certainly don't need them, but I do want them.

So, what is Era: The Consortium?
Era: The Consortium is an epic Sci-Fi Tabletop RPG with 500 years of playable history.  
Within this history, every sub-genre of Sci-Fi is available, meaning that you can play as colonists taming a new world, explorers encountering alien races, soldiers in a war against a hostile alien race, resistance members fighting against an oppressive government, and anything else you can think of! 
The endless possibilities have opened up the Consortium to some amazing roleplaying experiences, from being a member of the Resistance, trying to restore it after the Orion Incident to time travel to change the history of the Consortium! 
It's been five years since we first launched on Kickstarter. Since then, the universe has grown more than we ever imagined! With 13 expansions - each of which offers a new dimension for gameplay - three versions of the Rulebook, plus multiple sessions and campaigns released over that time, we have created a lot.
For those heavily digging sci-fi RPGs there appears to be lots of setting potential within the pages of Era. Fuck me though if I don't get continually drawn in bt the minis themselves.

I can see these working well in Rifts, Star Wars, Traveller and the like. Tempt me not Satan, for I haven't painted a mini in over 20 years! But I might...

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Frank Mentzer Posts on Facebook re: Gary Con

Frank put up two posts on Facebook today. I'm sharing without comment:



A YUUGE show is selling tickets for 2020! A colossal extravaganza!
Play the latest new games, Buy the cool Stuff… and New School rocks!

The Company is also warning you about a Clear & Present Danger:
(Another source: https://boundingintocomics.com/…/garycon-removes-frank-men…/ )

I haven’t been the company’s Guest since 2017. I don’t know why I’m being harassed.
You’ve waited patiently for details of the accusations in that February post. You’ll have to wait longer.

I know as little as you. I’ve been in the waiting room for 3 weeks.
The Company wrote to me and said “Don't contact me again by any form of communication”. (I will not reveal details about actual People.)
Catch-22; I cannot fix this.

This Company speaks of “toxic aggression” while it does the same.
It warns of terrible danger while asking for money.

I’m a retired wizard, not a young fighter.
A creepy corporate monster ate my friends. Someone should free them.
I shall be wary of this danger. You can decide whether to flee or obey.
Is there a monster-slayer among you?

-- mustengo
(the dead horse still being beaten)


The Assassination Game

"we must ensure that everyone feels welcome, safe, and believes that they are a valued member of our community regardless of..." (etc etc) -- a Gary Con business executive

Except me, of course -- for reasons Gary Con has yet to explain.
I'm just an ailing retiree, not valued at all.
Ask them why.

My public execution was a month ago. We're all waiting for the mock trial that should follow.
Ask the con for details. They haven't told me yet.
Gary Con has accused me of the following. No due process, just internet smears.

past misconduct
harassing behavior
threatening behavior
threatening communications
tone-deaf unapologetic responses
violation of the ethics policy
violation of the harassment policy
toxic aggression detrimental to the safe space

And of course Gary Con is breaking all their own rules -- a month of one-sided internet attacks -- but don't bring that up. (Oops! Do as we say, not as we do...)

"left the door open for him to attend Gary Con" -- a business executive

Yes indeed. I could again be treated like an Unperson and an outcast -- "That Guest" of 10 years and a family friend for 35, who had been Cast Out and conspicuously erased from the ranks of the Privileged.

No Thank You.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Post Gary Con Wrap Up - "Attack of the Con Crud" with Special Feature "Losing Voice"

Chris Clark

At Gamehole I got hit with some con crud that Saturday night. Or maybe I failed my save against beer and booze, who knows.

At Gary Con this past weekend I started getting the runny nose sniffles along with some hoarseness of voice. Now its Tuesday night and my sniffles are mostly gone, my voice is nearly gone and my bowels have been having issues most of the night. If things don't improve I may need to reschedule the two Fireside Chats I have for tomorrow, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Worst case of Con Crud I can recall getting. If I was running a Kickstarter it would be worth AT LEAST a year or two of delays.

Had a great time at Gary Con. Was concerned Rach and I wouldn't make it back next year, but with a 5-week spread between TotalCon and Gary Con in 2020, we're looking good :)

I did take this one :)

Didn't take nearly the number of photos I would have liked, but there were a few photos taken by others that really rock!

Edit - and Google / Blogger is having issues with uploading photos - le sigh

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Kickstarter - Dark Streets & Darker Secrets

I've really enjoyed Diogo Nogueira's prior releases: Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. Rules light is right up my alley and Diogo knows his light rules well ;)

This time Diogo gives us Dark Streets & Darker Secrets.

Let's take a peek, shall we?
Dark Streets & Darker Secrets a game about modern adventures in the world we live today, only with a layer of supernatural weirdness and horror. Characters are people who have found out about the mysteries and horrors that exist in the world and have decided to do something about it, be it battle it, join it, or simply explore its possibilities in any way they see fit. They will battle evil cultists, corrupted ghosts, bloodsucking vampires, and frenzied werewolves, or maybe they will be the horrors of others. The game was inspired by TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Grimm, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, X-Files and others. 
This edition of the game assumes the reader knows the principles of what role-playing games are and how they are played. This is a complete game, containing everything you need to play sword and sorcery adventures in the streets of a corrupted city of a fantastical and horrific version of our own world.
Consider me very intrigued. Most modern-day horror games have the "reality weakness" in my opinion, as we hold them up against the real world, or at least I do. Holding the game world up against TV fiction will make that an easier transition.

As for the mechanics:
Powered by the same simple and flexible system as Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, Dark Streets & Darker Secrets core rules revolve around rolling a d20 die and getting a result equal or below the character stat, but above the Difficulty set by the Referee. There are other nuances that may apply depending on the situation, but that's the main type of die roll that is made in the game. 
Characters in the game have a defined character Archetype like The Tough, The Nimble, The Smart or The Gifted, which determine the main role of said characters and their most special abilities. However, the game also allows players to define a character Concept, which is completely free form and allow each character to be customized anyone players want. The Tough could be a "Honest Ex-Cop", "Vindictive Biker" or "Zealous Vigilante" for example. The character Concept affects rolls, giving characters better chances at accomplishing deeds related to them, but hindering them when some activity would be harder for them to execute because of it. 
Game play is very fast and focused on freedom and flexibility. Referees will find dozens of tools to help them create scenarios, locations, NPCs, monsters and complete adventures. 
If you are curious and would like to take a deeper look into the game, you can find the complete text of the game right here: https://oldskulling.blogspot.com/2018/12/dark-streets-darker-secrets-complete.html
Woah - that includes a link to read the complete text of the game for free. Wy kind of gaming Kickstarter - already written and available for a free peek.

10 bucks for the PDF  15 bucks for the PDF plus at cost POD coupon.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Monday, March 11, 2019

Frank-Con in July?

What do you get the man who no longer has cons to got to?

Thursday thru Monday. Five days. New unnamed con.

I have lots of questions. What about you?

Edit - I received this screenshot from multiple trusted sources. Looks like the joke is on me apparently. DNC weekend I’ve been told. Ah well.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Gary Con Wrap Up - 2019

When I was packing for Gary Con I realized I never brought anything with me to have members of the gaming community sign. It didn't take long to realize that my AD&D Player's Handbook from 1980 (one of my first two RPG books - the DMG being the other) was the perfect book to bring. Thanks to all that signed it. I'll track down more folk at NTRPG Con. (Beware Tom Tullis)

I ran the last (convention) session of Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom today. I must say, not having to assemble the dungeon at every con going forward is a blessing, but not running it again is a shame. There will be another level of Rappan Athuk in 3d terrain up and running by Gamehole, or so I've been told. Leaner, more deadly and possibly cavelike ;)

It was great meeting folks from the gaming community. I'd name you all but I'm sure I'd forget to mention more than would get shout outs. I appreciate every kind word said.

Gary Con was a blast. Hopefully, Rach and I will get the opportunity again next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. And...

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Ken Whitman - Keep Hope on Life Support and the Threatened Lawsuits at Bay- Spinward Traveller Gets First Update in 30 Months

If there is one thing we've learned about Ken Whitman, its that lawsuits CAN prod the man to either truth or deception, but at least he takes action.

Apparently, Ken has been facing the threat of lawsuits from angry backers of the Spinward Traveller TV Pilot Kickstarter. How does Ken respond? First update on the Kickstarter in 2 1/2 years.

I kinda assumed the raw video for this and the Castles & Crusades video was destroyed when his friend's barn went up in flames with the raw footage for the Knights of the Dinner Table: Live Action Series Kickstarter.

And wasn't it six months ago or longer since Ken and Marcus posted about a foiling machine being purchased to makes some of Ken's infamous pencil dice? I mean, they use dice as pencils in our prison system. Ken might want to give that a first hand checking out...

Friday, March 8, 2019

Gary Con XI - Day 2 - Demonic Unionized Workers Take Over Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom

There was a little stress in getting the Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom dungeon set up last night. The tables didn't get set up until Rach and I were out getting dinner. The rest of the Frogs started the setup and Rach & I finished it. Admittedly, the rooms were kinda mixed up.

Stealing a schtick from Joe Bloch, the Demon Union is involved in renovations of the Mouth of Doom, which was a nice twist for those that have played thru or read the printed version.

Demons Working signs, Helmets Required and florescent CAUTION tape were in high use ;)

Today's session was a blast to run. Two more sessions - Saturday and Sunday morning.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Kotaku Article Dropped - Gail Fluff Piece with No Fact Checking

A quote from our Intrepid Reporter

When an article’s subject, Gail Gygax, reaches out to a website to get a fluff piece written about her and instead I suspect most readers feel sympathy for Gail. Not because she is a victim, but because she appears to have mental health issues. I've suspected such but this article provides much of the evidence.

Of course, Our intrepid reporter doesn't no shit from fact-checking. Here's my small piece from the article: Fantasy's Widow: The Fight Over The Legacy Of Dungeons & Dragons
Gail used to attend the show (Gary Con), but stopped in 2016 (I saw Gail in attendance at my first Gary Con in 2017.) She said that a man named Erik Tenkar, who runs a blog about old-school role-playing games, had in private conversations joked that Gail would try to trademark the word “cunt,” and that he would burn the rubber bricks she’d use for her memorial. (Let me understand this - Gail is the one supplying the quotes. From some unknown private conversation with who exactly? No wonder there are no screenshots. No wonder I don't recall saying any of this. Great reporting. Someone got paid to write this shit?) In his public blogs, he had meticulously documented, and often criticized, Gail’s every public move on behalf of Gary’s legacy. (Negative. I reported on the Gygax Memorial Fund. I documented evidence to support my postings. Any of that in this story? Mind you, story is the keyword here) Gail said she planned on attending the VIP dinner at Gary Con until Luke told her that she would not be comfortable there since Tenkar would be in attendance. (I have never been a VIP at Gary Con, nor have I attended a VIP dinner nor been invited to such 
Later, on his blog, Tenkar wrote in an open letter to Gail that “the attendies [sic] of Gary Con are pretty negative about your presence.” I reached out to Tenkar to ask about his views. He declined to be interviewed for this story, then posted our entire email exchange on his blog. (yes, I did. Got your knickers in a bind, diidnt it?) When Kotaku sent another email to Tenkar for fact-checking, he did not respond, but posted that email on his blog, too. (Yes, I did. And your implied threat) Tenkar continues to attend Gary Con, and Gail said she is still afraid to be around him. (with the apparent state of mind the article shows Gail to be in, she seems to have many fears)

Let's be clear, none of the Gygax children, not even Alex, agreed to be interviewed for this article. As of yesterday evening, our intrepid reporter was still seeking to interview members of the OSR community to flesh out this article.

I feel bad for Gail. She needs help and I hope this article results in her getting the help she needs. Let the memorial fade away. The community doesn't need it - we have Gary Con, a living memorial.

edit - it appears both jokes were said by me - I answered in the comments, but I'll repeat it here for clarity:

JRT - Welcome back. Its been a while.

Chatwing - technically, not said in private, as the entire conversation could be read from the blog’s home page at the time, live - no log in to the app required. So yes, I used the word publicly.

As I said prior, I certainly do use THE word. As this reference was clearly a joke and the context was obviously at the time made in reference to the fiasco surrounding GYGAX magazine, it was certainly made in jest. Perhaps not in good taste, but I own to making the joke and using THE word.

As for the burning of rubber bricks - that one I both own and do apologize for. It has context - the brick sale that still hasn’t happened for the memorial - but it is neither funny nor does in make sense.

In any case, If I knew then what I know now about Gail’s mental state, I would have advocated for her to get the help she needed and worried less about the GMF.

Hindsight is 20/20.

Good Morning Gary Con!

This morning’s sunrise bodes much better than last Night’s sunset - we didn’t have tables for the Frog God booth until we returned from dinner. Setting the booth up was all hands on deck and the Silver Bullette guys were awesome. Went back to our room around 1030 last night, exhausted.

True friendship is being told you are running 3 sessions of Mouth of Doom for 5e at 8 am each morning then finding out its 3 sessions for S&W at 10 am.  Heh. Thank you Zack for the busting :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Kickstarter - Basic and Expert RPG Sets Remastered!

I'm at Gary Con. This is kinda like Day Zero. As in "Zero Tables for the Booth" and probably a late night of setting things up. So, I better get a post in now - and what's better than a Kickstarter post? ;)

Today I'm looking at the Basic and Expert RPG Sets Remastered! Kickstarter. First, I love art. It's a homage to the originals and looks great!

Here's some info:
In 1981 the Basic and Expert game for the world's greatest fantasy RPG was released. Written by Tom Moldvay, David "Zeb" Cook, and Steve Marsh, these two comprehensive books created a complete fantasy game system that exploded on the gaming scene and made it into mainstream game markets. This game system is alive and well some 38 years later! This pioneering game was later revised into what is commonly called BECMI and later into the Rules Cyclopedia. But even as those systems further expanded the game, Basic and Expert (B/X) retained a huge following - one that still thrives today. It is with this history in mind that we have decided to create two new books, the B/X Player's Handbook and Dungeon Guide. Instead of merely retro-cloning this system, we have separated the player rules and game master rules into separate books. We have also expanded the character classes, added spells, weapons, monsters, magic items, and much more. All the while, we have steadfastly maintained the simplicity and elegance of the original game. We have done all of this with one thing in mind; we are not replacing the Basic and Expert books, we attempting open the game up for more opportunity to new and old players alike. You no longer have to search for those beat up copies of the rule books - it's all here and more!
My thoughts - I was introduced to RPGs with AD&D 1e. I feel very comfortable with having the Players' and GMs' material in separate books. Additionally, in my old age, I find B/X and its various clones to be more my current style of play. Tastes great, less filling ;)

As for more classes? Awesome :)

35 bucks for the 2 books in Print plus PDF plus shipping. 60 for the boxed set (with dice). 100 gets you 5 players copies and a DM book to outfit your group. I'm going in for the boxed set I think.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

More Reporter - More Fun - Can You Actually Trademark the Word "C@nt"?

If you missed the beginning of this saga, I'll send you to the initial post where I shared the original email chain. Today, I received another email. Vaguely threatening and now with new spice. Shall we look and see what today brings? Tenkar

edit - I've been informed that Stacy D now works at the same website as does this "reporter" - it's all coming into focus - Tenkar

edit edit: looking for proof of the above - Tenkar

Hi Erik,

I'm circling back because we are publishing our article on Thursday morning at 10 am ET. (ah, the start of Gary Con. And yet, in the initial email she referred to Gen Con. Wonder why?) Like I said in another e-mail, I want to share every instance pertaining to you that we're referencing in the article so nothing surprises you (and I wish to share all of your communications with me. again, so there are no surprises). I also wanted to give you a final chance to offer on-the-record comments on anything mentioned below or off-the-record fact-checking responses.

Queries and statements below:

- We mention that you run a blog pertaining to old-school gaming and the community around it.
- We mention that your blog documents in detail and often criticizes Gail's treatment of Gary's legacy, including her approach to instituting a memorial statue and publicly releasing Gary's creations. Do you have any comment on this? (my posts speak for themselves, although if you want posts about me speaking about the IP it will be a light load to tote)
- We mention that Gail says she is not comfortable being around you, which has influenced her desire to attend Gary Con. (that's strange, but I guess if you were an individual looking to avoid criticism, you would avoid your vocal critics)
- We quote screenshotted private chats in which you joke that Gail would try to trademark the word "Cunt" (that's a funny joke actually. Wish I could remember saying it. That being said, I have referred to individuals that have threatened me with groundless legal action in attempts to intimate me as "cunts" in the past, in private and public, regardless of gender or age. I make no apologies) (Rachel -   The true Irish style way to use the word "cunt" and especially when it is applied to both genders) and in which you reference burning rubber bricks (If I said this I am embarrassed by the lack of funny and I would be forced to apologize), perhaps an allusion to her memorial (exactly whose memorial are we talking about? I thought it was a memorial for Gary Gygax, not for Gail). Do you have any comment on this?
- We mention you saying that Gary Con's attendees are negative about her presence. (Its quite likely I said so as have many others.) 
- We also mention you posted our e-mail exchange on your blog. (yep, and posted this one too)

Like I said before, we'll be publishing at 10 am ET on Thursday. Look forward to hearing back. (Impeccable timing. So, any luck with actually showing these screenshots you are alluding to?)

Very best,
Cecilia D'Anastasio

Kickstarter - City of the Hobgoblin King: 3D Printable Fantasy RPG Terrain (Matt Finch)

I'm in a bit of a Kickstarter coverage backlog due to last week's TotalCon and this week's upcoming Gary Con. I'm trying to get in what I can before I fall into "Con Posting Limitations." I'm happy to get a post a day in while at a convention.

As usual, I blame Tom Tullis. Tom of Fat Dragon Games knows 3d printing and has released some amazing 3d printing files via Kickstarter. If I told you how close I am to buy a 3d printer because of Tom, you might not believe me. Well, Matt Finch and his City of the Hobgoblin King: 3D Printable Fantasy RPG Terrain Kickstarter may just put me over the edge. I think when I get back from Gary Con we're moving my son's boxes (of shit he left being when moving to Salt Lake City) to storage. I need room for a 3d printer.

Seriously, look at the samples pictured (yep, pictures speak volumes with this Kickstarter)

5 bucks

49 bucks
Damn you all! I do not need but I sure do want...

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar
Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow, and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the lights on and the taps flowing - Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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