Saturday, March 23, 2019

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

Sometimes you just have to look at something that might seem crazy and realize it's so crazy it might just work. Draugr & Draculas is that for me. This is so crazy it might just work ;)

So, what is Draugr & Draculas?
Draugr & Draculas is a one-off zine for old-stye/OSR roleplaying adventure games. Dr&Dr focuses on vampires, undead, and spooky horror magic for use in your own fantasy RPG campaigns. The zine will be entirely written and illustrated by me, Josh Burnett. In accordance with the Zine Quest guidelines, Draugr & Draculas will be a 5.5” x 8.5” zine, staple-bound and printed in black-and-white. I estimate it should clock in at around 24-32 pages.  
What's in the zine? 
  • Count Dracula himself, as well as his origins and current motivations
  • Details on Dracula's lesser servants
  • Dracula's deadly rival, Elizabeth Bathory
  • Draugr—northern undead of varying degrees of power
  • The Draugr class
  • Rules for magic users striking a deal with the Devil
  • New magical items of perilous power
  • Pagan's Well, a small dungeon full of traps and treasure
  • And whatever else I can fit in this thing.   
5 bucks for the PDF, 10 bucks (plus a buck shipping in the US) for the print plus PDF. I'm in at 11 ;)

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

Friday, March 22, 2019

Kickstarter - The Folio: Black Label #1 - (AD&D & 5e)

The Folio goes adult. maybe that isn't quite right. Instead, maybe I should say, it now aims for a more "mature" audience ;)

The quality on the various Folio releases has always been top notch with excellent art at presentation. So, why "Black Label?"
A fantasy adventure for a more refined RPG gamer in both classic AD&D and 5th Edition D&D formats.
The Folio: Black Label #1 is a digital-only release at 10 bucks, so let's get some details:
The Folio: Black Label is going to have a more adult edge than is found in the standard Folio, and yes, there might be some nudity, and maybe some horror, and maybe a twisted quality here or there, but at the base its really just about the unfettered fun of hacking and slashing your way through a pulp style adventure with blatant evil doers, magical treasures, and exposed flesh.   
What does the adventure for The Sins of the Three Sisters revolve around? Well, this will be a standard swords & sorcery based adventure that is based around a corrupted swamp with three old temples that are plaguing the lands with undead, monsters, and dark magic.  The initial adventure will include 1 temple for exploration, but additional stretch goals (which have been reached!) can also provide temple #2 and temple #3, thus make the 'three sisters'.  

Kickstarter Update - Ernest Gary Gygax Jr.'s Marmoreal Tomb Campaign Starter

The latest update for Ernest Gary Gygax Jr.'s Marmoreal Tomb Campaign Starter. Offered without comment.

No Amount of Outside Energy Will Speed This Up

Ernest Gary Gygax Jr

Mar 21, 2019

As of this time the whole project status is waiting for Benoist to complete the writing of the creations we generated together. Then he will pass them on to me and days later we will on video chat finish cleaning the material up. He has no desire to hear or see any comments on the KS page since it fires him up to defend the LATE status instead of working on it at all. He is a finicky artist and will not release parts of anything until it is completed.

He does not have access to the funds and they sit at about 78K now (lots of art and other original business expenses, as well as an expensive worthless accountant to start with). As soon as the project fulfills I will be closing down the LLC and Ben somehow wishes to keep a company somehow, I do not.

I playtested the Marmoreal Tomb on three of the four games I ran at Gary Con XI and I will be running some more games at NTRPG con in June. I don't have the finished level 2 or the level 3 Caves of Chaos although some of the monsters and ideas I generated for them are lots of fun and Mark Allen has a fantastic bit of art on my favorite creature of Chaos.

I don't respond to these statements for the same reason I don't get into blogs and all that. If you want to talk to me about something send me a facebook message: Ernest Gary Gygax Jr

  ffered without comment:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Patreon - Alyssa Faden is creating Hand-Drawn City & Town Fantasy Maps

I back a large number of creators on Patreon. I back people that create content for our gaming community and beyond (I also support some musicians) I believe it is important to support those whose work you enjoy and creators that you respect.

I'm proud to call Alyssa Faden a friend, and not just because of her amazing cartography, but fuck me if her maps aren't some of the best available in our hobby, or is "hobby" the wrong word to use with her talent. Probably the wrong word. Heh

For as little as a buck a month you can support Alyssa via her Patreon and you could get access to the following (and the perks only get better with the higher support levels):
Follow my (Alyssa's) work and become part of the conversation and creation process.  At this level you won't receive the final hires digital maps I create, but you will be part of their creation, get to see how I do it,  and will have access to my hints, tips, and training guides. 
- Access to the mapping discussions: see the drawing in progress, get hints and tips, and influence the design through Patreon-only discussion and polls! 
- Access to the patreon-only video streams; watch me work, talk to me as I do it.
At the highest support level, you even get commercial access to certain maps. 

Current map project:

Kickstarter - Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad Zine Returns! (DCC RPG)

"Four years in the making, the original Metal Gods team returns for three more issues of metal-fueled mayhem for the DCC RPG."

I had no idea it had been four years since the last issue of the Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad Zine. I'm going to need to dig through my gaming shelves and pull them out.

Metal Gods read like some sort of vaguely acid-induced trip through some alternate DCC  RPG setting. It was, and is, awesome. Sigh, more money leaving my wallet.
Issue #4: Time of Crisis!
Like any other multiversal hyper-megalopolis, Ur-Hadad is no stranger to calamity. In fact, crisis is one of the First City's defining features! This issue provides a whole slew of tools for Judges to use to spin up their campaigns from small adventures into city-wide, culture-shaking phenomena! Including profiles of Ur-Hadad's most notorious crises and their causes (along with special rules introduced by each) and a Crisis Generator, this issue is all about turning your game up to 11!
This issue is almost completely written and will be ready for art & layout soon. 
Issue #5: Murder Gangs of Ur-Hadad
First, we gave you Street Kids of Ur-Hadad. Then we gave you The Heist! Metal Gods has always focused on urban adventures and now we're taking them one step beyond! In Murder Gangs of Ur-Hadad, we'll present a system for running a thieves guild, assassins coven, coterie of smugglers or however your criminal taste run. This unique system builds on some trends already out there in the greater DCC-o-sphere, bringing them together in a tight, cohesive package. You'll also get to know the seedy underbelly of the First City, including profiles on some of her most notorious gangs.
This issue is currently in playtesting and is expected to be finished by mid-Summer and Doug Kovacs has signed on to do the cover!  
Issue #6: Mysterious Gods of Ur-Hadad
From the Avenue of One Thousand Gods to the Gloaming Deeps beneath the city's docks, cults and mystery faiths permeate Hadadi society. In this issue, we'll explore some of the First City's stranger religions and sects, from the austere followers of the God of Blackened Skies to the debaucherous Last Adherents of the Sensate, we'll profile these bizarre faiths and how to use them in your game. We'll also include rules to integrate cults into your Murder Gangs of Ur-Hadad game, whether as foes or as your PCs' crew! 
I think the sweet spot is 15 bucks - issues 4, 5 and 6 in print and all 6 issues in PDF.

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

When an RPG Kickstarter Gets Suspended for IP Violation by WotC, Has the Sleeping Bear Been Awakened?

I've been very happy with the various projects Fail Squad Games has produced via Kickstarter. Lloyd is an amazing artist and a strong adventure writer. I was surprised to find his latest project, The Ruins of Mistmere - a 5e adventure, was canceled for IP violation. At least, I was surprised until I followed the conversation on Facebook.

Before we get to that, here's the notice on Kickstarter:

Obviously, the paralegal got the source of the IP partially wrong, especially considering the Ruins of Mistmere isn't even an adventure in the 1983 Red Box but rather more of a hypothetical adventure referred to in the text. Still, it was, and still is, WotC IP.

If you read the admittedly rather long conversation that resulted from Lloyd's Facebook posting, you see the project was created and submitted with the "potential of poking the bear."

Some highlights: 

https://www.facebook.com/Sprattoo March 19, 2019
Lloyd Metcalf I think I did in saying that it was inspired by the "Your first adventure" in the video and ads. I also accidentally had the phrase Dungeons & Dragons in the text of one of my ads... or something. (how one does this "accidentally" is beyond plausibility)I was in a rush to pack for Gary Con and already tired at launch. lol.
Lloyd Metcalf To be fair - WOTC and TSR never released any product called "Ruins of Mistamere" - it was a paragraph title in the red box DMG titled - "Your First Group Adventure"
James Lowder This Kickstarter is very clearly using that as the springboard. It's not the rules that got you in trouble, but using their copyrighted content--characters, plot, etc. "This adventure is inspired by, and is a revisit of, the first 'Group Adventure' in a certain Red Box set of the world’s favorite basic roleplaying game." and "Borgle is well known in many original adventures and legends; many report that his name was spelled with an “a” in place of the “o”." The last is screaming "we just changed an A to an O but it is the copyrighted content."

Lloyd Metcalf Yeah - i know.... Again, I knew I was stepping up to the line in trying to bring the flavor of this adventure to 5E. I COMPLETELY knew I was rolling some dice on the idea.
James Lowder ... the mention of D&D probably got the project onto an automatic notification list. "Other people got away with similar" as a defense will just mean WotC (rightly) expands its notifications list, so that, say, RPG + "red box" are alerts. This project is clearly intended as a copyright violation. It announces itself as such. It is not a shock it got stopped. That's a much bigger issue than mentioning D&D.
James Lowder voices my fear. Now that the bear has been awakened, it may decide to defend its territory. WotC has mostly played nice with the OSR and publishers of material for the current edition of D&D, even those projects and publications that may have entered and perhaps gone beyond any kind of grey area in the use of WotC IP and trademarks. This may have more of a longterm effect than Lloyd or anyone else may have initially expected.

Time will tell.
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