Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Christmas in July Sale - Tavern Picks - Part III - The OSR & Beyond

Today I continue with further Christmas in July Sale Picks. As stated previously, everything that is on my pick list for the current Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG is something I own, either in print, PDF, or both.

My Christmas in July Picks Part I and Christmas in July Picks Part II posts can be found at these links.

Without further ado, lets dive in :)

Tome of Adventure Design
- written and designed myMatt Finch, and likely nearly as influential as Swords & Wizardry and OSRIC to the OSR in general, I'm currently using ToAD to design the adventure I'll be running at ShireCon.

The Tome of Adventure Design is organized as a series of "books," each one providing resources at every step of the way. The vast majority of the content of each book is made up of random generation tables that we created over a quarter of a century (sigh) for our own use. It should be said up front that these are tables for deep design - in other words, most of them are too long, and contain too many unusual or contradictory entries, for use on the spot at the gaming table. There are already many excellent books of tables for use on the fly; the tables in these books are different. They work best as a tool for preparation beforehand, providing relatively vast creative resources for browsing and gathering, rather than quick-use tables designed to provide broad, fast brushstrokes. Our shorter tables tend to deliver cryptic results designed to shock the reader's creativity into filling in the gaps, whereas the longer tables are unusably vast for easy random generation, being designed to shock the reader's creativity into operation by presenting a sea of possibilities. 21.99  16.49

Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome
- Can you make B/X D&D better than the Labyrinth Lord interpretation? Apparently, the answer is yes.

A Complete Game All in One Book
This book contains everything a referee needs:  the complete game rules, full guidelines for creating and running adventures, 7 fantastic character classes, full equipment lists, over 100 classic spells, over 200 fearsome monsters, and over 150 wondrous magic items. Simple rules let imagination and fast-paced action take the spotlight. Clear, modern presentation makes the game easy to learn and quick to reference. Compatible with decades of classic adventures and supplements.
20.00  15.00

Low Fantasy Gaming Deluxe Edition
 - Can you take an OSR chassis, throw in some modern rules, and still keep and OSR feel? Yep.

Low Fantasy Gaming is a tabletop RPG built for gritty adventures in low or moderate magic settings. It has simple rules, dangerous combat, flexible PC customisation, and mysterious, unpredictable magic. Designed for short, episodic adventures in sandbox worlds, LFG provides the mechanics and tables needed for easy GM improvisation. It’s a heady mix of the best old school, modern, and new game design, wrapped around a familiar d20 core.
20.00  15.00

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG -
I haven't run it in years, reading the DCC rues for the first time was similar to reading the AD&D DMG for the first time - magical.

You’re no hero.

You’re an adventurer: a reaver, a cutpurse, a heathen-slayer, a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets. You seek gold and glory, winning it with sword and spell, caked in the blood and filth of the weak, the dark, the demons, and the vanquished. There are treasures to be won deep underneath, and you shall have them. 

Return to the glory days of fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role-Playing Game. Adventure as 1974 intended, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery. Fast play, cryptic secrets, and a mysterious past await you: turn the page…

DCC RPG is a fast-paced, open-feeling rules set allowing for epic game experiences without unnecessary tethers. It uses modern game-play while paying homage to the origins of role-playing and the fun that it inspired.  24.99  18.74

Torchlight Issue #1 -
Not only am I very proud of this release, as I type this it is sitting at #88 on the Christmas in July Sales Ranking. Woot!

This is the First, full-sized issue of the Torchlight Zine for Swords & Wizardry Complete, Swords & Wizardry Light, and Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. Inside the virtual covers you will find: Magical Potions for SWL, Social Combat Rules, Torchbearers for Swords & Wizardry, Keep on the Wildlands (a first-level adventure by James Spahn), More Monsters for SWL, Alternate Thief Abilities, and Summon Familiar Spell & Critters for SWL/SWCL.  3.00  2.55


The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar 

Monday, July 26, 2021

We Have Lost a Stalwart of the Community - Brian Fitzpatrick (Moebius Adventures) Has Passed at 51 Years of Age

I was notified earlier this afternoon that Brian Fitzpatrick had passed away Saturday afternoon, July 24th, after a rafting accident. Brian was 51.

One dead after raft flips on Arkansas River in Chaffee County

One man was found dead Saturday after his commercial raft flipped on a 'rocky and steep' section of the Arkansas River, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

It is believed that 51-year-old Brian Fitzpatrick was attempting to raft through the Numbers Recreation Site, north of Buena Vista, which is known for technical and challenging rafting when his raft flipped, officials said in a news release. 

Employees for a commercial rafting company downstream of the accident reportedly pulled Fitzpatrick from the water and began CPR, according to parks and wildlife. 

Chaffee County EMS officials along with parks and wildlife staff responded to a 911 call regarding the incident. After arrival, further lifesaving efforts were made, but they were unable to revive him. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy to establish an official cause of death is scheduled Monday, according to the Chaffee County Coroner's office. 

Gallant Knight Games has made an announcement:

Brian Fitzpatrick & Moebius Adventures

On Saturday July 24th, Gallant Knight Games was notified that Brian Fitzpatrick of Moebius Adventures passed away unexpectedly in an accident.

The loss of our friend, colleague and publishing partner is heart wrenching, and we can only imagine the pain his family is going through. Brian was a vital part of our day to day lives, both in the industry and outside of it, and his loss is deeply felt.

While the family takes the time they need, we again extend our heartfelt sorrow at this unexpected loss and everyone to respect the family’s privacy.

Alan & Erin Bahr, Gallant Knight Games.

Short Bio of Brian Fitzpatrick and Moebius Games (PRLOG)

RPG Geeks Page for Brian Fitzpatrick

From Brian's Wife, posted to Brian's Facebook account:

My husband was the one who wrote eloquently, so for me, this is extremely difficult.

For those of you that do not know, the world became a lesser place 48 hours ago. Our girls and I are heartbroken, confused and upset with the universe.  Our family went on a rafting trip on Saturday, our raft flipped, we were all thrown into the water, and Brian did not survive the accident.

Brian was the center of our world.  He was the one who kept us grounded.  He was the one who made sense of everything.  And this makes no sense.  

At this time, our family wanted to inform those close to Brian of his funeral services:  

Services will be held at:

THE SPRINGS FUNERAL -North

6575 Oakwood Blvd Colorado Springs, CO 80923

Saturday July 31st, from 5-8pm --Viewing.  For family and friends that need the closure to see Brian one last time.  

Sunday August 1st starting at 2:30pm-   Celebration of Life.  Anyone that would like to speak, it will be open for everyone to speak about him, what he meant to you, tell a story, whatever you like. IF you are not comfortable with speaking but want to write something and have it shared with family or those there, please bring it to be shared.

Brian HATED formal events, so we ask that for all services please dress casual.  Brian loved quirky t-shirts, we ask if you have a t-shirt that reminds you of him, wear that shirt. But please know t-shirts, shorts and tennis shoes are requested.  IF you show up in all black formal dress or attire, you will be judged 😀.

In lieu of flowers or any more food, our family has requested if you would like to honor Brian, any contributions go to the following:

IF you are a gamer, Brian's passion and proudest achievement was his published game books, buy one of his books, read his work that he loved so dearly : moebiusadventures.com/shop

IF not a gamer, Brian was an amazing supporter of my non-profit Street Petz, he loved that we helped pets and the homeless community in the Colorado Springs.  Donations can be made at Streetpetz.org

IF you would like to make a contribution to support my girls, please send me a FB message and I can get a Venmo address to you.  

Many of you know that Brian was an introvert, and with many social events, he reached a point of "critical mass" and excused himself.  With that in mind, and respect for our family, we will not be having a gathering after the Celebration of Life. 

We will be looking at a later date, possibly organizing a memorial Gaming Day in honor of Brian at one or several of his favorite local gaming locations for all of his gaming family.

We will be reaching out to our Crossfit family to do a family WOD in his honor as well

I offer prayers and condolences to Brian's family, friends, and business partners. When and if there is further information to share regarding services and such, I will update this page. Tenkar

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Dissing the Call of Cthulu Quick Start Rules.....for a Purpose

 

Dissing the Call of Cthulu Quick Start Rules.....for a Purpose
Today the podcast I helped with dropped, and while I'm not above self-promotion, the reason for mentioning it is the fact that I was clearly NOT a fan of the Call of Cthulu Quick-Start rules....

.....like holy fuck I would NOT want to play the game after reading these rules.

"Gee Chris, what's your beef with the game*?"

*(Asshole) is clearly inferred.....


Now I did take copious notes while I was reading, and re-reading the Quick-Start rules. While I have the notes, I'm not even going to glance at them. Since it's been a week now I'd like to *just* go off of my memory because some, well maybe some, of the small nit-picky stuff would be forgotten and the problems that remained with me a week later might be something that could be addressed....

......not that I expect Chaosium to read the Tavern, much less take my advice (but if they do my standard consulting fee is $50/hr with a 2 hour minimum), BUT.....I know sometimes uber fans try (and in my opinion fail) to put together their own "Quick-Start" rules. If anyone can learn from my observations/pain, than great....this post will be worthwhile.

First off, I really think ANYONE trying to put together any sort of RPG guide needs to sit-down and literally (as in write it out) determine what their focus/audience is. Making a guide for experienced RPG players vs. completely new players is fricken huge! This Call of Cthulu Quick-Start (CoCQS) said it was for total RPG newbs, but it clearly was not. There were references to advanced rules not even mentioned in the guide....and by not mentioned I don't even mean in passing. If I wasn't already a gamer I might not even have noticed that the references were to "advanced" rules.

On the flip side though, to advanced rules, is to realize what rules you're going to include and actually use them! After reading the CoCQS and then the included adventure it seemed apparent there was some sort of base-line for essentially untrained skills....but there wasn't a single mention that skills had a base level, just if you "got" the skills then you used  certain numbers as a base you added a percentage to. For what seemed like a skills-heavy game, not actually expressing how your skills work is a cardinal sin.

So we had rules included/referenced that shouldn't be, and basic skills missing......we also had basic aspects of the game that technically were represented in the adventure, but easily skipped. I think it would have been difficult to go through the adventure and not use the Sanity mechanic, but Luck.....Luck could easily have been missed when playing through the included adventure.

When you started out the adventure the players are given an either/or direction for where to proceed, when it is really obvious to an experienced player that there were more than the two options.....not terrible in and of itself, but since the CoCQS was aimed at not only inexperienced players, but a brand new Keeper (GM).......not cool.

...also not cool were including things that had no value to the game. There was a spell mentioned and even a handout that were straight-up throw-aways as they were never shown or mentioned again. Now after talking to the other guest hosts evidently there are some follow-on adventures that can utilize these elements. Nothing wrong with that per se, BUT even a simple included statement letting this new Keeper know that these elements tie into a larger thing would be useful.

Speaking of useful, or really not useful in this case, were the included handouts for the adventure. Ugh, talk about a missed opportunity. These handouts were basically just a typed up summation of "boxed text" the Keeper would have read out. No added value......which leads me into a larger point.

The whole idea of the CoCQS is to give a taste of the game rules with a short adventure. Hopefully this would entice people to I don't know.....actually want to play the game! It was clear that the product I downloaded from the Chaosium website was an actually printed product....and printed product costs money, BUT download product....not so much. Simply dumping what was a full-color (even if the color was black & white) press product into a PDF and calling it good was a missed opportunity. They could've easily reformatted the contents to look nicer for at-home B&W or even color printing and those handouts.....they could have made "real" handouts. If a handout was a newspaper clipping, then make a freakin handout that looks like a newspaper clipping! Chaosium could have, relatively cheaply, made a full CoCQS "packet" that would have had a ton of impact and really drew in some new players.

As it stands the CoCQS was a confusing mess of rules and an adventure that did not accurately reflect the rules trying to be taught.

Thing is, and this might seem painfully obvious, a metric shit-ton of potential difficulty could be involved by simply involving people that are your desired audience. If you wish to market your Quick-Start to complete RPG newbs, get some RPG newbs involved in at least the editing and playtesting elements. Some of the problems I noted were most likely created because the writer was overly familiar with the rules to begin with. 

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