Friday, December 31, 2010

A Trick on the Tain for Castles & Crusades

I wish I had time to make more then a mention, but it's a bit busy here at the tavern. Brave Halfling has released A Trick on the Tain for C&C on RPGNow.

From the blurb:

Adventure module for 4-6 characters of Levels 1-3

Enter a harsh and unforgiving tundra known as the Tain where traveling these lands means certain death for most. The party of adventurers become caught up in the the plight of the native inhabitants and the cruel designs of an evil hag. The actions of these heroes could bring about the end of a people or save them depending on the choice they make.

This 20-page full-sized module is intended for a group of low-level characters (about 6-8 total levels) with a Challenge Level of 1-5. In this module, you will also find:

12 New Illustrations
3 Different Maps
4 New Creatures for Castles & Crusades
1 New Magical Item
1 Quick Reference for the adventure's encounters

Mini Review - Pyramid of the Dragon

Pyramid of the Dragon is an Old School adventure from Small Niche Games for Labyrinth Lord (although easily converted to any of the Old School rulesets roaming the wilds).  It's level range is 5-7, so it hits the mid levels.

I did happen to enjoy the fact that the tavernkeeper's son spells his name just like I do, but I digress.  It's an adventure with dragons, wilderness travel and a decent dungeon set up.  The maps are drawn by hand, which is either "Old School" charming or borderline amateur, depending on your point of view.  I stand on the side of charming.

We get a few new magic items, and some new monsters (many of which originally appeared in LL AEC and at least one in OSRIC - so your milage may vary as to value.

This is the same publisher that brought us Blood Moon Rising and Inn of the Lost Heroes, so if you enjoyed those, this is probably a good pick for you.

From the blurb:

Pyramid of the Dragon is a Labyrinth LordTM adventure for 4-6 characters of 5th-7th level. This adventure is a quick romp in and around a swamp known as the Blood Marsh that involves both wilderness and dungeon exploration. Challenges include a mixture of problem solving, combat, and roleplaying, including several potentially lethal encounters with a red dragon and various other denizens of the Blood Marsh, so characters who rely solely on the might of their sword arms may be in for a rude surprise.
Beginning the Adventure
The adventure begins with the characters traveling through the forested Border Hills along a well-beaten path or road. Why the characters are in the area is left for the Labyrinth Lord to decide. They may be on their way to or returning from an adventure, or they may be traveling to the frontier village of Holden that is located nearby.
Pyramid of the Dragon begins "in media res" with the characters witnessing an aerial battle between two dragons. When one of the dragons is mortally wounded and falls from the sky, the characters have the option to investigate the dragon's carcass or continue on their journey. Several chance encounters scattered throughout the adventure should eventually lead the characters to the fallen dragon's lair in the Blood Marsh where they can discover the ruins of an ancient city, save an unfortunate young man from a terrible curse, and thwart the plans of an evil red dragon.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Readying the Wrap-Up

It's hard to believe another year is about to be marked off.  I've done a lot, yet accomplished little this year, or so it seems.

In any case, tomorrow is the last day to enter the contest you see linked at the top of this page.  It's free and easy to enter, the prizes are decent, so what are you waiting for? ;)

Tomorrow I hope to get an Old School related review or two posted.  Time will tell.

BTW, watched The Color of Magic this morning on Netflix on Demand - awesome suggestion.  Much fun was had in the viewing ;)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Steps Forward and Leaping the Snow Piles!

Holy White Christmas Batman!  They are actually clearing the snow from the neighborhood!

Thankfully I am off till monday.  I think I will watch the snow wizards remove snow until my eyes get tired and sleep calls.

Well, that or until I decided to watch some of the choice you f ine lads and ladies have been suggesting for viewing.  Keep 'em coming ;)

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The meaning of the title of this blogpost is two-fold.

I find myself deeper and deeper under a pile of gaming goodness that I want to review, and at the same time I still have to do the solo play throughs that this site's one and only survey indicated people wanted to see (and I know I'd have a blast doing). It just seems that even when I take time off from work, other responsibilities crop up to steal the available time. I really need a good flu to keep me home for 2 weeks or so without any responsibilities ;)

The second meaning relates to this fine City's response to the Blizzard of Dec 2010 as far as snow removal. In my neighborhood, they have plowed the streets, but not the cross avenues, which effectively means you now have 4 foot tall piles of snow at some of the crosswalks. It just gets better and better.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Subversive (Tunnels &) Troll(s)

Sometimes you have to spread the word.  Sometimes you have to spread the love.  And sometimes, you just have to give the shit away!

Such is the reasoning between my recent contests centered around Tunnels & Trolls.  This often overlooked RPG has a pedigree that goes back nearly as far as the grandaddy Original Dungeons & Dragons.

I'm very happy Christian finally got his package of T&T (and some Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes) goodness.  It should be a nice change of pace from what he is used to.  In many ways, less is more, and it should be interesting to see his take on it.

Besides, it was about time I finally sent something his way.  He's been sending stuff my way for years.

One a Wintery Weather Note, my street is (barely) plowed, but the cross streets aren't.  NYC Sanitation - Major Fail!  Another day on the Iron Horse for me tomorrow...

A Snowy Update

I want to thank everyone for some excellent responses on the Contest thread. I've got a lot of stuff to investigate. Keep it coming!

At about 1130 my son called to state then 2 NYC Sanitation Plows were attempting to plow the street in front of our home, but some idiot dug his car out and tried to drive thru a 2 1/2' snow drift, stopping the plows' progress. My son and some neighbors dug the car in question out and pushed it down the street. That's my boy ;)

Last nite on the train ride home (did i ever mention i hate the NYC Subway System?) I started reading Goblins in the Mists, which is a write up of a Tunnels & Trolls play by post game. It took a while to get into the reading, but after the first dozen or so pages I got drawn in. Should be fun to see where it goes.

Now, the book is published by Outlaw Press, and James Shipman has co-author credit on the cover, which may or may not turn off prospective readers. It makes mention that Shipman used the name Khara Khang as his pseudonym when he took over as GM. Interestingly enough, there is a solo for T&T on RPGNow written by... Khara Khang.

Go figure, what were the chances? ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Tavern Contest of 2010 - Name Me a Show

Allright, my lady gave me a Roku Box for Christmas.  So now I can watch Netflix, Hulu and a bunch of other goodies on my HD TV.

You job (collectively) is to give me a list of Shows / Movies to watch, and they must in some sense be game related or game inspirational.  That is a very lose definition as far as I am concerned.  All Sci-Fi and Fantasy is somewhat game related or inspirational, but I'm looking for stuff I probably wouldn't find on my own.

My personal favorite pick will get a PDF copy of the Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook and the next 2 favorite picks will get PDF Copies of Bean! The D2 RPG.

Everyone who enters and is a Google Connect Follower of the site will be entered to win a prize package courtesy of RPGNow worth over $125.

Contest ends 1/1/11.

Greg from The Errant RPG Blog is working with me on the first contest for 2011.  That might actually require some work from you lads and lasses ;)

After The Storm

Anyone have an Ice to Water spell handy?

I had to walk thru this crap. No attempts were made to plow.

I know I'm not the one shoveling this car out!

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fighting Mother Nature

As only my son can do.

- Posted from my iPhone

Weather Update From the Tavern

Lets see:

Its cold, windy and snowing way too much.

I went out to shovel 45 minutes ago and I can't even see what me and the kid accomplished.

For once the forecasters got it right ;)

All that and work in the morning.  Sigh.

Hopefully work is slow and I get to read and blog.

Christmas Loot Report

Unlike many of my fellow bloggers in the OSR corner, I didn't get any gaming goodness under the Christmas Tree.

I'm not complaining, as my geekness was still fully satisfied.

My girl got me both an Alienware Gaming Netbook (an 11" gaming monster) and a Roku HD Player, so now I can Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and many others from my TV... thank you hun :)

Lots of Jet's shirts, hats, glasses... I'd never buy for myself, so great stuff to get as gifts.

Oh, and Amazon and Outback gift certificates.

I done did good ;)

And the Winner of a PDF Copy of Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e is...

We had three really good entries, so in a sense they are all winners.  To make sure they are all winners, the two that don't get T&T 7.5e will both get copies of Bean! The D2 RPG.

Hmm, no D3, so the D6 will do.

Roll of 5 awards the Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e PDF to troth (otherwise known as Gaptooth).

JDJarvis and Evan both get copies of Bean!

Lads, email me with your RPGNow / DriveThruRPG / OneBookshelf account email address, and I'll gift your prize to your account.

All 3 are entered to win over $125 in PDF goodness from RPGNow.

email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom

Happy Holidays to all, and if you are on the East Coast like I am, enjoy the blizzard ;)

Last contest of the year will be up later today or tomorrow.  Should be interesting ;)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To All

From everyone at the Tavern, and Borasca, a long time family friend.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus...

I know there is, and he works at RPGNow ;)

I have reviewer copies of the following sitting in my mailbox:

Pavis Rises - Glorantian goodness for Mongooses RQ2, I'm sure it would fit with OpenQuest just fine.

Strange Bedfellows and Ursined, Sealed and Delivered - will be released in the next 2 weeks or so, for both Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry (from Necro).  Alright, this was more of a notification, but way cool.

Unspeakable Oath 18 - The ultimate in Call of Cthulhu goodness.  I didn't even know it was available on RPGNow

The Ruins of Tenkuhran - an AD&D adventure for levels 6-10 (for all you folks complaining about a dearth of mid to high adventures)

A very good day to be a reviewer.  Of course, now I have more to read, but that's cool ;)

Remember, tomorrow (dec 24th) is the last day to enter to win a PDF copy of Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e

Just End the Crusade(r) Already!

I really wish Troll Lord Games would put the Crusader Magazine / House Organ to bed already.  Issue #22, which came out last December, even caused me to rant about it.  I'll try to avoid the ranting this time.

Where shall I start?  Perhaps the misguided attempt to take the magazine monthly?  As the current issue is #24, that obviously was an impossible target.  The funny thing is, the current issue feels as much filler as the last dozen have.

One improvement with the current issue is moving away from stapled binding to a glued binding.  The cover is by Peter Bradley, and I generally like his work.  It's nice and subdued this issue.  It's also less cluttered with the table on contents inside, where it belongs.  I'd link it, but I cant seem to find it on the Troll Lord's site (edit:  found it, obviously).

Physically, the magazine is much improved.  It's the filler I can't stand.  What I want from Crusader, and what I haven't seen since it's earliest issues, is alternate rules for use with Castles & Crusades, a small adventure, creatures or magic items that ARE NOT ANOTHER SAMPLE from a soon to be released item.  The last item is the worst of all fillers.  I'm paying for something I'm expected to pay for again?  Besides, it was already written, so it's just being thrown in as filler.

I guess this is an anti-filler rant without trying.

I look at an average issue of Signs & Portents from Mongoose, which is 100% house organ, and I find more that I could use in a C&C game at my table then I do in Crusader.

Issue 24 was a bit of a surprise when it arrived, as I thought my sub had run out.  I suspect with this issue, it has.

At least there wasn't the usual guilt trip to try to raise subscriber numbers that Ward had been giving to his readers.  That crap still has a bad taste in my mouth.

I really want to like the Crusader, but I can't.  Even at $3.99 an issue it's a constant disappointment.  None of this stops me from getting other stuff from the Trolls, but as far as the Crusader, this is my last one.  Sadly, it wont be missed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Tunnels & Trolls Solo - The Temple of Issoth

The Temple of Issoth is the latest Tunnels & Trolls solo to be released by Lone Delver Games.  It is literally hot off the virtual presses, as it just hit RPGNow on December 21st.

I know times are tough and we're all pinching pennies theses days, but this is priced to walk out the door on it's own:  it's free!

Now, I haven't run through it yet.  Heck, I just downloaded it myself.  I can say the previous releases from Lone Delver Games have been fun to run thru, and as about 75% or more of my gaming time seems to be running solo these days, I look forward eagerly to new releases.  You can't beat the price of free ;)

From the Blurb:

"You must help me. The priests of Issoth have carried my son away. He is to be sacrificed to their dark god this very night. I will pay you 100 gold talents if you go to the Temple of Issoth and rescue him."
Your blood chills at the mention of Issoth's temple. You have heard only rumors of that dark and forbidding place. Horrible stories of demons and the undead. The priests of Issoth are said to be fanatics that sate the great beast Issoth's every fiendish appetite. This man asks you to risk a great deal and offers very little in return. Do you dare enter THE TEMPLE OF ISSOTH?
This solitaire adventure is suitable for a single humanoid warrior with 20-30 combat adds. You may bring whatever weapons, armor, or equipment you wish. Three pregenerated characters are provided if you do not have one that fits the requirements.
The Temple of Issoth is designed to be played using the Tunnels and Trolls™ game system. You will need the T&T™ rules to play this game. A free PDF starter set of the rules is available from Flying Buffalo here at RPGNow.

RPGNow Print on Demand - Beta Tester Update

I've neglected to update my Pendragon - Print on Demand order which I talked about here when I placed it.  The book actually arrived last Friday, but with the hectic holiday season, and all the damn packages arriving at the door on a nearly daily basis, I didn't even get to open it up and take my peek until late this past Monday.

Here's my thoughts on it:

The paper used on the pages seems to be a higher quality then Lulu.  I know Lulu offers different quality paper for the pages (as I've ordered books that had that option) and I assume that many sellers opt for the crappier paper to keep the cost down.  That was not the case here.  Nice white pages, no bleed thru, it was a pleasure to flip thru.

The cover and binding were fine.  I had one Lulu book (one of a batch of 5 OSRIC softcovers I ordered a while back) come with a barely perceptible off kilter cover.  I'm not expecting perfection - but close to it at the prices we have to pay sometimes.  Dead Tree is not cheap.

Side-note: Under the fluorescent light of the bathroom (where all true reading takes place), the part of the pages on the inside near the binding had an almost violet glow.  It was kinda cool.  Probably has something to do with the glue used.

So, would I order Print on Demand from RPGNow / DriveThruRPG again?  If I had a choice between this and Lulu, I would choose this every time.  I tend to steer more towards PDFs, but sometimes you want a physical book.  This worked out great.  Besides, the shipping was much faster the Lulu.

Bump dee bump bump BUMP!

This is just a reminder that the contest to win a free PDF copy of Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e (a $15 value - woot!) end at midnite on Dec 24th - which is 2 days away.

It's easy to enter, and all entries that are also Google Friend Connect Followers will also be entered into a drawing for over $125 worth of RPG goodness from RPGNow at the end of the month.  Click HERE for more details.

So, what are ya waiting for?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Where Is THE OSR Forum?

I know about Dragon's Foot, but they aren't very fond of the clones for the most part over there.

ENWorld is more 3.5 / Pathfinder / 4e.

Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry and Castles & Crusades have their own. I don't know of one for OSRIC.

Is there a central forum for OSR games that I don't know of? Should there be one?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tunnels & Trolling

I've had a whole day to sit around and do absolutely nothing but think, and during this time my thoughts went to the James Shipman / Outlaw Press bruha.  We had over a year of chest thumping, accusations of intellectual theft, heck, a near schism in the little corner of the OSR that has a clustering of Tunnels & Trolls fans.

Why was this such an important event?  Because the vast majority of Tunnels & Trolls material was coming from James and his company Outlaw Press.  Truthfully, with the exception of Fiery Dragon putting out T&T 7e and 7.5e, there has been little added to the Tunnels & Trolls library that didn't come from Outlaw Press since the release of T&T 5.5e.  Shipman found a profitable publishing niche and found he was good at it.  At some point he got greedy.

From what I gather, Shipman and Ken St Andre had a gentleman's agreement allowing Outlaw Press to publish T&T compatible books and magazines, some of which Ken St Andre had a hand in writing. Then (and this is just me trying to find a timeline on these events via an educated guess) Outlaw Press started repackaging adventures and articles from it's magazines (Hobbit Hole and Dungeonier Digest) as stand alone products.  I don't know if Outlaw Press had full publishing rights or first publishing rights for these initially, but I think that is where the problem started.

Outlaw Press was becoming a publishing company and grew too fast to follow the money.  Someone forgot to make sure they had rights to all the artwork they were using, or just plum didn't care.  The T&T market can has a voracious appetite, and everything the Outlaw Press was probably selling like proverbial hotcakes, until everything fell apart like a house of cards.  Outlaw Press was now an outlaw.

The outlaw status continued until Ken St Andre buried the hatchet.  Which doesn't clear up a lot of the other problems, but it does give some closure between Shipman and the man who created T&T.

Outlaw Press is still out there, still selling it's enormous library of Tunnels & Trolls material.  I'm on the fence out the whole scenario now that the Trollgod has announced an end to hostilities.  I've looked at Outlaw Press's current website, and there is a crapload of good stuff there.  I'd assume the newer stuff is not an issue, but some of the older stuff (New Khazan for example is offered by Outlaw Press in 2 products, and by Peryton Publishing via RPGNow and Lulu) seems to be a problem waiting to happen.

I'm not gonna publish a link to Outlaw Press, although a little google-fu will track it down for you.  It's your own decision to make, it's just a shame that so much of the Tunnels & Trolls library is currently in a strange no-man's land.

Thoughts and Observations

So, my sinuses are still all the rage today.  If I wasn't on vacation, I'd probably have gone sick.  Tomorrow is the only day I'm working this week, and as my staff is throwing their Christmas Party tomorrow specifically because its the one day I'm in, I better show up ;)

I spent some time while watching the Giants fall apart and the Jets salvage some self respect, reading more of the Swords and Wizardry Complete Rulebook.  There's a few things I might tweak if I used them (Str Bonuses, Paladin Spells and such), but it really does seem to come closer to AD&D as the groups I was in in High School played it then Labyrinth Lords with the AEC. It all comes down to a matter of personal taste I guess.

After I motivate myself to clean (throw out accumulated junk) for a bit, I'm going to move on to a Solo Adventure or two.  I think I'll start the gaming with Bean! and then move on to Tunnels & Trolls.

I'd be remiss if I failed to remind folks of the ongoing contest.  Even if you don't have a Tunnels & Trolls spell crawling around your skull waiting for you to write it down and enter the contest, the two entries so far are top notch, and you may even find them inspiring.  Give it a peek.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gaming History - Pics of Tunnels & Trolls 2nd Edition

Today's new contest reminded me that I never got around to posting pics of Tunnels & Trolls 2e, which I was lucky enough to pick up in the Troll God's (Ken St Andre) auction earlier this month.

Tunnels & Trolls 2e Cover
Tunnels & Trolls 2e Contents

Pretty damn cool if you ask me ;)

Ken also sent me a signed copy of The Infinite Adventure and a copy of Yar Skelos (a thin book of T&T related artwork)

The Infinite Adventure
Reproduces T&T 1e Cover Art
The cover of Yar Skelos states that Tunnels & Trolls 1e had a very limited run of 100 copies.  I think I'll need to be happy with a reprint of T&T 1e and an original 2e and 4e.

Hmm, I now have a copy of all but 3e... need to research that.

Contest: Write a Spell For Tunnels and Trolls, Win a PDF Copy of T&T 7.5e

I plan to close out the year with 2 contests - this is the first.

This is all you need to do:

     1 - Refer to any edition of the T&T rules.  If you don't have a copy of the rules, you can find an abridged version here for free.

     2 - Write a spell for T&T using the following 1st Level T&T spell examples for format (taken from the abridged rules) - Silly names always work in T&T

           Oh There It Is (4) Usually detects concealed or invisible things or doors by surrounding them with a purple glow that slowly fades.

           Take That, You Fiend (6) Uses IQ as weapon, inflicting hits equal to caster's IQ. Must be directed at an indi- vidual foe. No effect on inanimate objects.

     3 - Submit your entries as a comment to this blog post.  Contest ends midnite on the Dec 24th.  Prizes will be awarded the weekend of the 25th/26th.

That's about it.  One random entry will get a PDF copy of the Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e Rules.  My personal favorite entry will get a PDF copy of Bean!  The D2 RPG.

This is my way of thanking my readers.  Above prizes are from my account credit at RPGNow, thanks to all of you.

Next contest should be live in a few days to go along with this one.

Oh, almost forgot.  All entries from folks on my Google Friends Connect (otherwise known at the Tavern as Regular Tavern Patrons) will be entered into a drawing for $125 worth of PDF gaming goodness curtesy of RPGNow (it's the same list I awarded at the beginning of the month).  If you missed out the first time around, here's a second change to win it.  All entries from folks on my Google Friends list in this contest and the next will be entered into a pool for the big prize.  So, if you follow the site, but don't follow via Google Friends, here's a good reason to do so.

Big prize package with be awarded on January 1st, 2011.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Value of a Good Cure Disease

It's been my experience in my gaming background, that Cure Disease only came into use in a Meta-gaming sort of way - it cured magical diseases and got the PCs back on their feet.

Anyhow, as I sit here doped up on a decongestant, it got me thinking about the medieval timeframe that most fantasy settings are based upon.  Without immunizations, medication, antibiotics, etc - the common illnesses we don't think much of could be killers back then.

When you add in the fantastic to the medieval (your normal fantasy classes, spells, etc) you realize that the Cure Disease spell is probably more useful in society then any of the Cure Wounds line.  How do you stop an epidemic?  Set up a Cure Disease Triage with the local churches.  Which spell would probably have the common man seeking its services then all others?  Cure Disease.  That could be a real money maker, in volume alone, for fantasy churches and temples.

Or, this could just be some weird tangent my decongestant has put me on.

Time for bed i think...

Errant RPG - Public Beta Release

Greg Christopher has released the Errant RPG in Public Beta Format... which basically means it can now be read by more then the handful of people (like myself) that have been following its growth from the start.

This should be a must read by all small press / indie publishers, if for now other reason then to learn from the amazing layout.  It really is top notch - major publisher level on a shoe string budget, Greg really outdid himself with his latest project.

This is without me even mentioning the art, all of which was donated.  There are some awesome pieces there.

I haven't even touched on the game system, which finds it's roots in D20, but grows far and wide.

It's free, so you really don't need me spouting off about it, you can download a copy for yourself and make your own informed decision.

I might have more on this later today, but my list of things I need to get done today, both blogwise and otherwise, is ever growing.

Laters ;)

Typical First Day of Vacation

I'm sick.

It seems I can't take time off from work without coming down with a cold, flu, virus, back pain, etc. Must have something to do with not taking a sick day in over 3 years. Maybe this is linked to yesterday's flu shot, but my nose has it's faucet turned all the way up. Sigh

Tonight should be a new contest announcement, assuming I'm awake ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, December 17, 2010

Grading the Players

In the Castles & Crusades game I play in via Fantasy Grounds 2, Rob, our DM, has us award bonus expo to the other players in the group. Usually you get like 100 expo to divide between 3 or 4 other players as you see fit (via "Whispers" in the FG2 VTT - it's all anonymous yo!)

I know, it doesn't sound like much, but in a 5 player group, that's an extra 500 XP in the pot. As the game is high on role-play and lower on combat, those points can add up. Well, at once a month gaming, it doesn't add up fast, but still ;)

Now, the only time I had experienced anything vaguely similar was at Gen Con back in the early 90's. It was a multi-tiered tourney series, and all the players had to vote for the top 3 in their 6 person group at the end of each round.

I never gave it much thought after that single experience, but I did award some bonus expo for good roleplaying during some of the games I ran, which admittedly, is very subjective, and is probably better served by Rob's method.

Do you award your player's any sort of bonus for good roleplaying? Do you let the player's award each other a small bonus (like Rob does)? Pros? Cons?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Perfectly Placing the Proper Pieces in Place

This has been a great week so far, and next week should be even better (with my being on vacation, with the exception of Tuesday).

To recap:

I became an uncle on Tuesday

My son received his Auxiliary Police shield and ID Card on Wednesday

My pub had an amazing Christmas Party Wednesday Nite

My union had an awesome Christmas Party yesterday afternoon

Found unlimited 4g service via mobile hotspot for home and work for $25 a month - I'll see how great this is when i can actually give it a try.

Tomorrow should have me posting the next contest here at the Tavern. And yet another contest the end of next week. I love the Holiday Season.

Oh, and Christian, my girl should have gotten your package into the mail yesterday. With any luck, it will arrive in time for Christmas ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Re: The +1 Obsidian Portal Giveathon of Wonders

Obsidian Portal and Penny Arcade are teaming up to help kids this holiday season.  That widget in the upper left corner is a way for you to help too.  You can read more at the Obsidian Portal Blog,  or just read from the email they sent out:

It's been an amazing year for all of us here at Obsidian Portal. If you recall last month's newsletter, then you know we have a lot to be thankful for. But there's one more thing we're thankful for that most of us take for granted every day. Our health. Right now there are millions of sick children across this little blue dust mote of a planet, and right now we can do something to help.

The +1 Obsidian Portal Giveathon of Wonders
Every year, the guys from Penny Arcade run a big fundraiser to help provide games and toys for kids stuck in hospitals. Last year, we donated the +1 Obsidian Portal Chest of Wonders. This year, we're leaning on all of you to help us out. Until December 31st, we are replacing all our advertisements with the Child's Play donation widget. We kicked it off with a $100 donation, and many of you have chipped in as well. We're looking to raise $2000 by the end of December. That's a high bar to reach, but we think we can make it. If you help us get there, we'll kick in an additional $500.

Mini Review - Bean! The D2 RPG

Bean! is a recent sprout in the gaming world, having just been released November 12th on RPGNow, but it has become something larger then the sum of its parts.  As the game itself takes less then 20 pages for it's full write up (the other 11 pages are composed of a solo adventure and a GM adventure), that's a decent feat.

Basically, the mechanic is roll a plus or minus, even or odd, high or low, etc - but no matter how you define it, each plus is a degree of success (or brings you closer to success).  The number of beans, dice, coins, mattresses, etc you toss depend on your score in that attribute.  It really is that simple.

Still, this rulebook includes not just 3 character classes, not just 3 stats (yes, they are linked in a sort of way to the 3 classes), not just a fairly comprehensive spell list, equipment list and bestiary... it includes a solo adventure and a GM / group adventure.  All in 30 pages.  All for 2 bucks.

Heck, you don't even have to roleplay animated beans... you could go strictly old school with the races if you want.  I think you could flex this system into a pretzel and it wouldn't break ;)

From the publisher's blurb:

BEAN! is an easy-to-master, rules-lite, d2 RPG system, and the latest stand-alone title from the Fabled Worlds RPG game system! Perfect for introducing new players or children to the hobby, BEAN! is also great for veteran gamers who enjoy flexibility in their rules. Complete in one simple volume, spend less time reading and more time playing! The highly versatile and customizable d2 game system is unique and quickly memorized, so simple, yet able to handle any situation on the spot, without having to thumb through volumes of obscure rules. The best part? You get to toss your beans! With a d2 dice system, you could use standard dice for "high or low" "odd or even" rolls, you could toss coins or any other objects that have two distinct sides, but we recommend plain ol' beans! They're cheap and plentiful, some people really enjoy customizing their own beans, and a handful of beans keeps the game moving along quick and easy!

Simple, versatile, and sometimes silly, welcome to BEAN!

Cold as Ice

It's been damn cold in NYC these past few days (although much of the country has been having cold AND ice AND snow) and it gotten me thinking. I know I'm constantly underdressed, being that I wear short sleeve shirts though out the year, and I'm still wearing a fall jacket on top of that.

My thoughts have been straying to those that would wear heavy metal armor in these temperatures or worse. The metal wouldn't keep one warm, if anything it would leech the heat right out of you. If it got cold enough, your skin could freeze to your breastplate.

Leather armor would probably be a better choice, as it would be more likely to insulate one's own body warmth.

How many adventures or settings actually make reference to extreme weather and it's effects on the PCs, and civilization in general? Or is it just easier to gloss it over, and assume most adventuring takes place when the weather is more suitable for the PCs?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bits N Pieces

I have an idea or two for some contests to close out the year. They may even involve the Bean RPG. Hey, if the Troll God endorses it, it has to be good ;)

Got to see my newborn niece today for the first time (she graced us with her presence yesterday). She's a cutie.

edit: for James ;)
I'll try to get around to reviewing it by the weekend.

- Posted from my iPhone

Mini Review - Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook

The funny thing is, this had completely slipped off my radar of things to watch for.  I knew it was coming, just totally lost track of the time frame.  Then I saw last weekend's blog posts about the release of the Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook, about the ordering site glitch and I realized I was about to miss out on a cool piece of gaming... or at least be heavily delayed ;)

So, I ordered the softcover with the free PDF.  Yeah, I know my shelves are already full, and PDFs look awesome on the iPad, but this was a deal I couldn't pass up... instant gratification and the joy of receiving a package in the mail.  It was a two-fer!

Now, I can't talk about the physical product yet, as I haven't received it, but the PDF is a beauty to lay eyes upon.  I think the cover was the deciding factor in getting the softcover as opposed to just the PDF - its just that cool.  You can see it in all of it's glory right now at RPGNow.  Truly, all of its glory, as the image won't fit on my 28" LCD.  I think there is a bit of a problem there ;)

The PDF is well put together.  The artwork is evocative and generally high quality (which is to be expected with the participation of Frog God / Necromancer).  At first glance, it reminds me a lot of AD&D 1e's Player's Handbook, which isn't a bad thing.  Actually, for emulating AD&D 1e as it actually was played, it may come closer then Labyrinth Lord with the AEC.  At the very least, it approaches it from a different angle.  I'm sure someone could write and excellent article comparing S&W CR, LL w/ AEC,  the Original Edition D&D with the Supplements and AD&D 1e.  I'd certainly read it.

It is very complete for a 128 page book, just like it's title says,  including both player and referee material, monsters and treasure.  My single complaint with the PDF?  It isn't bookmarked or hyperlinked, which is a shame.  There is no excuse to fail to bookmark an RPG PDF these days, especially one that is high quality in other regards.

Is this a must by?  No, not when you can get the S&W Core Rules for free.  Should you want to buy it? Yes.  Is it worth the 10 bucks?  I think so, but I really wish they had bookmarked the sucker.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Sky is Falling and Other Tales of WotC's Virtual Table Top

I've read elsewhere that WotC's Virtual Table Top is going to destroy roleplaying as we know it.  Folks are going to have to pay microtransactions to play certain classes and races, Hasbro is going to make folks sign off promissory notes on their first born children and no one will be allowed to roleplay at the dining room table anymore.

I call a proper BS on this.

Working from last to first, few folks that currently have a local gaming group are going to move that group to a VTT.  In person is almost always preferable to the computer screen.

Hasbro no longer has a policy asking for first born children as payment.  They do ask for souls to work at WotC, but I think those are refundable upon the annual Holiday Season Termination Session.

As for microtransactions to play, from what I can tell of the Beta, GM's play for free and Players will pay a fee per session.  Which is a nice switch as usually the DM incurs most of the gaming costs and the players ride for free.

Seriously, the Virtual Table Top can only add players to the gaming mix.  It won't be leeching players from your local game, unless they didn't want to be there in the first case.  If that was the situation, they probably wouldn't have joined your group in the first place.

The sky is most certainly not falling.  At least, not just yet.

PDF Pricing Observations - Corrected

I goobbered ;)

821 for the week is correct, equaling approximately $1100 is sales

821 is volume-wise (not cash) equal to 4 months of sales, or 17 weeks.

Putting the average week at about 48 products sold at a rough average of $6 a pop. (why Jim thought lowering prices on everything to $1.34 would only double his sales is beyond me... he really low balled expectations).

Average weekly sale of around $290 for that 4 months period, so the sales nearly quadrupled his cash, and increased the number of sales 17 fold.

See what happens when you type before double checking your facts? ;)

Still, an amazing feat, and a great showcase for the idea of lowering prices to increase profit.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

PDF Pricing Observations

Jim over at LotFP states that he sold 821 PDFs at the $1.34 price point in the week that he had them on sale. He had hoped to sell 100.

Cash value of the week's sales was equal to the total of the previous 2 months.

At $1.34 in sales, he made about $1100 before RPGNow's cut of the monies.

At an average of $6 a product, Jim sold around 183 PDFs in the previous 2 months, or approximately 23 a week.

23 a week at $6

821 in a week at $1.34

Now, to be sure, the limited time of the low pricing accelerated the sales. Still, there is a lesson to be learned here. You can make more profit by selling for less under the right conditions. It's up to Jim and others to discover those conditions, because in the end, we'll all profit from lower prices and more volume.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saturday Nite's Gaming Recap

This past Saturday was my first chance to play with the updated Castles & Crusades ruleset for Fantasy Grounds 2.  My lord but they did an amazing job with the update.  Automation of combat bonuses right from the character sheet, a combat tracker for the PCs to look at, whispers between PCs, updated rulebooks... its a really neat piece of work.  Cost for the update?  Nada, so long as you had purchased the previous version.

As for the session itself:  if I had been on time it might have been even better, but I had my best time in forever (and I usually have a blast).  Maybe it was all the tea I was drinking instead of beer to keep me aware and awake, but I avoided the "junkie nod" that usually hits me after 11pm.

I'll avoid the play by play, as I'm sure my writing would not do it justice.  Suffice to say, lots of role playing and dice rolling, I spent much of my nite on the edge of my seat.

It's hard to believe this campaign has been going on for over 2 years via Fantasy Grounds 2.  I think I'm the last of the original party, and yes, there was a hiatus and later a change from weekly to monthly gaming.  Still, the campaign is going strong - even if the highest level characters in the party are 3rd level (Tenkar is a 3rd level Dwarven Cleric - who is more warrior priest in mindset).

Hmmm... I guess gaining levels isn't the be all and end all '_

Properly Fitting the DM's Mouthpiece

My first post on the DM's Mouthpiece is here

Harold's excellent follow-up and response is here

When i posted the first post, I was typing on my iPad, which generally means it is a thought that popped into my head and if I didn't put it down immediately, it would fly away on its cute little wings - bye bye!

Here's more of the same, hopefully more fleshed out ;)

Anyhow, the rest of my definition of the DM's Mouthpiece:

1 - Unmeasurable Power - Gandalf, Elminster, Fizban (Dragonlance) fit the definition
2 - Have no problem telling characters / pcs what to do, but when asked for clarification, speak in riddles
3 - Could easily do whatever mission they have asked / assigned to the pcs with both hands tied behind their backs, gagged and castrated - but still require the PCs to do it.
4 - When PCs are totally off the rails, can always find the PCs and return them to the rails, point in the right direction, and clarify the riddles still befuddling the PCs

These are not mere NPCs. These are not DM PCs (a true horror). These are Demi-Gods masquerading as mere mortals, ensuring that the PCs stay within the bounds of the DM's ongoing story.

Any NPC can speak for the DM. DM Mouthpieces speak as the DM.

Thanks for the great discussion folks!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Piece of Gaming History

The Troll God (aka Ken St. Andre) run auctions of different items that he has in his possession for the members of Trollhalla (link is above).  Recently one of the items auctioned was Ken's personal copy of Tunnels & Trolls Second Edition.  Being that the 1st edition only had 100 copies printed, the 2nd edition is also extremely rare.

I won this particular auction ;)

Later this week I'll post some pics of this treasure, but suffice to say this is friggin' awesome!  Yes, its a bit used and worn, but it is graced by Ken's signature.

So, I now have a reprint of the 1st edition of Tunnels & Trolls, an original of the 2nd edition, and original of the 4th edition, and of course 5.0, 5.5, 7.0 and 7.5 editions.  Woot!

The comparison of solo experiences using the different rules (flashing back to the poll I ran earlier) will probably produce fruit in a week or so... a week off from work should allow for some productivity ;)

The Winner of Over $125 Worth of RPG PDFs is...

The contest is over.  I asked to reach 75 Google Friend Connect Followers, and you wonderful lads and ladies hit 80.  I can't thank you enough.

Of course, that means there are 80 entries ;)

The list of prizes, to be awarded to ONE lucky person:

Weird War II Player's Guide [Pinnacle Entertainment]
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade [Third Eye Games]
Martial Cultures: the Daikort Pack [Chaotic Shiney Productions]
Legend of the Five Rings (4th Edition) [AEG]
Dungeon Dwellers (Rev. 2nd Edition) [Empty Room Studios]
Fuzzy Heroes (2nd Edition) [Inner City Games]
Book of Alignment (OGL/Pathfinder) [Emerald Press]

The dice were rolled and the winner is (drumroll):

ze bulette


Hit me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom so I can tell you how to collect.

Thanks again to the publishers and RPGNow / OneBookShelf for their generosity.

I'll announce another contest in the next few days that will run thru the end of the year.  Same prize list for the winner, but if there is enough interest I may add a prize or two so we can have additional winners.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Saturday Nite and I Got My Game On!

Despite delays on my end, I'm gaming as I type this.  Still, the party is short a player (hopefully all is well).

I'm enjoying the updated ruleset for Castles& Crusades on FG2 - lots of rolls that weren't automated are now.  Saweet!

Reminder for the last 3 winners of the LotFP Giveaway... contact me quickly, before the sale ends...

Tonight's recipient is: Christian

Massey from Wednesday night and Theodric from last nite

Day 5 of the LotFP Giveaway

Day 4 of the LotFP Buck and Thirty Four Cents Giveaway is here.

Tonight's recipient is: Christian

Massey from Wednesday night and Theodric from last nite still have to get in touch and let me know what they want, and which account to send it to. ... tick tock, tick tock

Email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom

And thus the contest ends ;)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 4 of the LotFP Giveaway

Day 4 of the LotFP Buck and Thirty Four Cents Giveaway is here.

Tonight's recipient is: heruca

Heruca passed on it, so the reroll is: Theodric

You know the deal Teo... email me at the addy below

Massey from Wednesday night still has to get in touch and let me know what he wants, and which account to send it to.  Dude... tick tock, tick tock

Email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom


The DM's Mouthpiece

Gandalf was it for Tolkein... assuming LotR was written as an RPG campaign.

Elminster has that role in the Forgotten Realms.

Greyhawk it is had to tell, as the main NPCs in the setting were the PCs from the original days. Maybe the Circle of Eight, but they were standoff-ish.

I don't know Eberron well enough to identify a DM's Mouthpiece.

I know I used such back in my High School days... the NPC that could impart the necessary knowledge to get the PCs on track.

Now I'm trying to identify such an individual in my work location. ;)

In any case, is such an individual needed, or even necessary, in an RPG campaign?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 3 of the LotFP Giveaway

Day 3 of the LotFP Buck and Thirty Four Cents Giveaway is here.

Tonight's recipient is: Trey

Massey from last night still has to get in touch and let me know what he wants, and chich account to send it to.

Email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom


Holy Carp! I'm in the WotC Dungeons & Dragons Virtual Table Top Beta

Yep!  I applied and figured there is now way I'd get in.  Seriously.  I let my D&D Insider membership lapse way back when, as I don't play 4e (tho I have the books and I'd probably give it a shot with the right group).

Anyhow, I checked my email this afternoon, and there's the invite.  Nice!  Oh, and no non-disclosure BS either, so I'm free to post away.

My early thoughts:

- When you set up your campaign as a DM, you can indicate which D&D ruleset you plan on using, all the way back to AD&D 1e.  In doesn't change the set up of the character sheet, which is 4e... but it does hold promise for the future, and an acknowledgement that earlier versions of D&D are still viable (and Wizards can still grab a piece of that pie)

- Mapping out a dungeon is a breeze with the tile system.  Fog of War seems simple enough to implement as a DM (I wish some other other VTTs would catch up to that.)

- Voice is implemented, I'll have to try that out at some point

- Quick glance at the Beta Forums showed at least 2 posters looking for groups to play in a pre-3e session.  One of those was looking to run Swords & Wizardry

- Players get one use pass codes to play in a session - New beta users start with 5.  DMs dont need a pass

- Java based, so it's cross platform, which is a HUGE plus.  I don't boot up the PC these days unless it's to do some PC gaming.

I need to do some heavy forum reading over the next few days.

If anyone reading this is in the beta, give me a shout out.  Maybe we can hook up in game, even if just to push the tokens around ;)

Random Thoughts Randomly Placed

As handy as i find the chicklet style keyboard for the iPad it seems to be a crumb magnet. No idea why. Annoying tho.

This Saturday Nite is C&C nite. Time to get my monthly gaming in. Which means all shopping has to wrap up by 7pm, holidays be damned ;)

Did i mention I enjoy giving stuff away? The act of giving away something someone else will enjoy is very rewarding unto itself.

Ever notice that stupid people stay stupid over the long run? And when I say stupid, I mean in the common sense sort of way.

Just over 2 weeks to Christmas, just over a week until I get a nice week off from work and 7 days until my sister's due date. Uncle-time, here I come :) Finally, a chance to spoil a child that is not my own... heh

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 2 of the LotFP Giveaway

Yep, time for Day 2 of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess PDF Giveaway.  If you are a Google Friends Connect Follower of Tenkar's Tavern (affectionately referred to as a Regular Tavern Patrons on this blog) you are in the mix for tonight's gift.

Massey - you are tonight's gift receiver - email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom and let me know which $1.34 PDF you would like.

Yesterday's lucky friend chose The Hammer of the Gods... good choice :)

Apparently I'm Not a Total Ass ;)

Sean over at OneBookShelf was able to rectify my mistake... so I placed an order for...

King Arthur Pendragon 5.1 in softcover.

I already have the PDF, but this is something that will look really nice on a bookshelf.  Even if I never play it directly, its a book I can mine for ideas for a really long time.

Things to like about the process is the bundle discount for dead tree / PDFs... Indie Press Revolution has been offering that for a while.

Ordering was as simple ordering a PDF, just with more options to choose from.  Shipping was 5 bucks and change for USPS, which isnt bad at all.

The site says it takes 2 to 5 days to print and ship, which is fine by me.  I'm looking forward to checking out the print quality.

If My Head Weren't Attached to My Shoulders...

I'd probably leave it at the pub or something. I'm sure it would have a blast, but I'd be annoyed as all hell.

Apparently I forgot to let the folks at OneBookShelf know that the email I use for their Blog Support Program is not the same one I use for my OneBookShelf / RPGNow account. There is a simple reason for that. Once I got into the program I started receiving up to a dozen emails a day notifying me of new releases / review copies available. That was too much for the email address I had been using, so I created a new one for the sole purpose of getting those notifications.

Since there isn't a match, as they were looking for me on my old email address (still the current one for the Blog Support Program) I may have missed the first beta wave of the "Print Test". Ah well, I'll get to try it soon enough. 'Tis but a small delay, or so I pray ;)

Anyhow, picking another Google Connect Follower for some LotFP goodness tonight. Yesterday's winner should be seeing his gift in his account tonight.

This weekend is the big giveaway. Still time to sign up via Google Friends Connect.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mini Review -Stars Without Numbers

When I think of a D&D based SciFi Game these days, I think of Star Siege.  Problem with that game is that the engine strays so far from from it's gaming roots it's almost hard to see them.

That does not appear to be the problem with Stars Without Number from Sine Nomine Publishing.  Available for the exorbitant  price of FREE, this 210 page PDF is D&D in Space - that's in the meaning of D&D mechanics.  Three core classes (Expert, Psi and a Warrior Class), skill packages, D20 for combat, 2d6 for skill resolution (I like bell curves) - did I mention its free?

I've barely scratched the surface of this fine PDF (which is an awesome resource to steal tech stuff for you Old School RPGs if you are so inclined).  I'll be reading this over the next few days.

From the publisher's blurb:

The year is 3200 and mankind's empire lies in ashes.
The Jump Gates fell six hundred years ago, severing the links between the myriad worlds of the human diaspora.
Now, the long isolation of the Silence falls away as men and women return to the skies above their scattered worlds.
Will you be among them?
Stars Without Number is a retro-inspired science fiction role playing game influenced by the Old School Renaissance. The contents are compatible with most old school clones and are designed to be easily imported to your own favorite gaming system. In addition to a complete pre-made stellar sector, Stars Without Number offers GMs and players the tools to create their own sandbox-style adventures in the far future.
  • Classic mechanics adapted for science-fiction adventure in the far future
  • Extensive GM support for building adventure-crammed sandbox settings more quickly and easily
  • World building resources for creating system-neutral planets and star sectors
  • 100 adventure seeds and guidelines for integrating them with the worlds you've made
  • Old-school compatible rules for guns, cyberware, starships, and psionics
  • Domain rules for experienced characters who want to set up their own colony, psychic academy, mercenary band, or other institution 

I Had This Really Great Idea For a Post...

and then I played with the cat for a few minutes and I derailed my train of thought.

I could rant about my Fed-Ex Delivery Guy, who apparently enjoyed playing "Ring-n-Run" in his youth, but why bother?

Good news is we have today's winner of a buck and thirty-four cents worth of LotFP from RPGNow... its Evan.  Dude, sent you an email to your Google Friends Connect email - let me know your choice.

Maybe it will come back to me after dinner and a few brews at the pub ;)

The Dead Stop Walking - Until Next Season

Last night's season finale of The Walking Dead was a bit of a nail biter. Damn good series and I can't wait for next season. No, really. I can't wait. I'm going to have to track down the comics / graphic novels and spoil everything ;)

Actually, I'll need to check out and find if they are available in digital format. Reading comics on the iPad is a sweet experience.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 6, 2010

Time For Some OpenQuest

James over at the Underdark Gazette did a great job of reminding me about OpenQuest, which is basically Runequest OGL'ed.  I got the previous version of OpenQuest when it was available for free.  The latest version isnt free, and the free version is no longer available.  So, what's a man to do?

Well, as James pointed out, you could check out Age of Shadows, a free RPG based on OpenQuest.  Not a bad choice, to tell the truth, but what if you want a copy of OpenQuest in PDF?  Its 10 bucks on RPGNow.  Or, you could try Lulu, where it is $9.06 (how's that for an odd price?).  Bring that even lower with the code REMARKABLEYEAR305 for 20% OFF your next Lulu purchase through the end of the year.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess (Weird Fantasy+) on Sale for $1.34

All of Jim Raggi's LotFP catalogue is on sale from now thru Sunday at RPGNow for a buck and thirty-four cents a piece..  That's a penny less then my large tea costs at the corner bodega by my job.

Weird Fantasy RPG?  $1.34

Death, Frost, Doom?  $1.34

The Grinding Gear?  $1.34

The rest of Jim's stuff?  $1.34 a piece.

Now, here's the fun part.  Tomorrow (Tuesday) thru Saturday I'll be giving away a LotFP PDF each day to one of my Google Friends Connect followers.  I throw a random name up each day, tell me what you want, and I'll forward it to your RPGNow account.

If you don't contact me to after the sale is done... I'll find a way to credit you $1.34 ;)

Contest Update

We hit our 75th member overnite. Woot!

Which means the prize package will be awarded this coming weekend to one lucky person who is following this site via Google Friends Connect. You can still enter until the stroke of noon on Sunday the 12th of December.

I may be adding something else to the prize pot as we hit out goal so fast. My mind is working on it. Give me a bit ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Latest Contest at the Tavern - Follow via Google Connect to Enter

I love giving away freebies.  Sometimes the list to choose from is small, sometimes its large.  This time it is a large list, and the whole list will go to a single winner.

Here's the contest - lets get to 75 followers or more of Tenkar's Tavern by Noon (NYC Time) on Sunday, December 12th, 2011.  Shouldn't be too hard, we have 72 already.  So, if we have 75 or more followers via Google Connect, one of those 75+ will win a PDF copy of each of the following, thanks to RPGNow.com and the various publishers:

Weird War II Player's Guide [Pinnacle Entertainment]
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade [Third Eye Games]
Martial Cultures: the Daikort Pack [Chaotic Shiney Productions]
Legend of the Five Rings (4th Edition) [AEG]
Dungeon Dwellers (Rev. 2nd Edition) [Empty Room Studios]
Fuzzy Heroes (2nd Edition) [Inner City Games]
Book of Alignment (OGL/Pathfinder) [Emerald Press]

Yep, that's a list of 10 prizes to one lucky follower of this site.  If you are already a follower, you are already entered :)

Now, if there is something you want and can't wait to try and win it (or you aren't the winner) the following code will give you 20% off any of the above: Holiday2010BPCX

Last Call -Adamant Entertainment PDFs for a Buck Each at RPGNow

As I type this there are less then 12 hrs left in Adamant Entertainments a Buck a Book Sale at RPGNow.  I first mentioned this on Wednesday, so peek and see if there is anything you want.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guns - Easing Relations Since 1250ish

So, I was out shopping earlier today (surprise), and the parking lot that had been packed when we got there was emptying out by the time we were finished.  As we approached our car, which was parked in a now very vacant and dark area of the parking lot, we were approached by a stranger.

I never like being approached by strangers.  Especially young male strangers.  At nite.  In a fairy vacant parking lot, away from others.  Maybe I watch too much TV, or maybe I've seen too much on my job, but these situations put my warning light on.

"Excuse me, hello?  Can you tell me the location of the nearest Sprint store?"  This was probably the most left field question he could have asked... how the hell would any of us know that?  We're just in the area shopping.

My girlfriend basically told him as much, and he explained that he was searching for a Sprint store that took repairs, and he was sent to a store location that had closed, and had done all this on foot, etc.

Me, my mom and my girl were apologetic that we couldn't help.

His final words as he continued his quest?  "You folks are the nicest I've spoken to all nite looking for this store.  Thank you."

My girl's first words as we got into the car?  "We spoke with him and tried to help him because we knew you were armed.  If you weren't, I would have ignored him and just locked the car.  If everyone was armed we could all be friendly to strangers."  Damn insightful.  Damn scary too.

Of course, it's the opposite in most RPGs.  The PCs are all armed and are suspicious of everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest crone and all in between.

I don't think arming the entire population of Greyhawk of the Forgotten Realms would make interactions any easier.  ;)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Black Adder, Dark Humor

Just as some had predicted, Black Adder renewed my faith in classic British Comedy. It was a polar opposite of the cringinly not funny 1st episode of The Young Ones.

Maybe it's my B.A.in History, with a concentration in Medieval History (what a surprise, right?). Maybe it's my gaming background, and my appreciation all thing Medieval from that end. Or maybe it's just because it's some funny shit.

My kid actually came out of his room to see why I was laughing... (this was during the dinner scene with the king's ghost being totally ignored). Good stuff.

I'd love to see a Black Adder GURPS Sourcebook, much like the Discworld ones they released. Not that I would ever truly expect it to happen, but it would be damn sweet. It would need to cover all the time periods tho. All the PCs would need skill levels in scheming and sniveling ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Musical Mustard Interlude

If you want music mixed in with your RPG Blog, you'll generally be looking at Christian's Destination Unknown.  Some of his pieces are offbeat, but I've made more then one iTunes purchase off of the videos he's linked.

I've linked to this performer before.  He's got more soul then 99% of the performers out there in my honest opinion.  Daniel Mustard, formerly known as Homeless Mustard from the Opie & Anthony Show on Sirius/XM, has just released a 5 song EP via iTunes.  You can check more out at his website.

It's nice to see someone turn their life around.  In my profession, you don't see much of that.  It's a feel good story for the holidays, and it's good music besides all that.

Nope, this has nothing to do with RPGs.  I'll get back to that stuff tomorrow ;)

Digital to Dead Tree

In less then a week I get to be a Guinea Pig for OneBookShelf / RPGNow. They will be selling Print versions of some of PDFs they carry. I get to be one of the first users / buyers / testers of the new program.

Hopefully there is an OSR product in the initial test release ;)

More when I know more.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Adamant Entertainment PDFs for a Buck Each at RPGNow

Somehow this escaped my attention earlier, but for the next 4 days Adamant Entertainment has their entire PDF product line on sale for a buck each at RPGnow (they are also giving an Amazon Kindle away to a random customer, but that's not the point.)
Here's the point:

Icons for a buck. (here's the rest of the Icons goodies)

The Imperial Age: True20 Edition - a buck

Mars: Savage Worlds Edition - yet another buck

I better not forget Thrilling Tales, which I picked up with their last Dollar Sale
I've got a few bucks to spend, I'm sure I'll find a few others that's I'll enjoy and can steal ideas from.

Reflecting on The Walking Dead

I've been thinking a lot about The Walking Dead recently, and not just because it a damn good TV series. I'm really enjoying the sub-story of the two former law enforcement partners. In many ways, it reminds me of an adventuring party after the party goes their separate ways.

Here's the deal: partners in law enforcement, are for the most part, a forced marriage of sorts. If you are lucky you may choose your partner, but many times it's the luck of the draw as to who you will be working with, day in day out, for months or years. This is the person that you have to rely on to risk their life for you without hesitation, and you for them.

It can be a very intense relationship, coming before family and friends in many cases. You will learn how they think, how they will react. Yet, for the most part, the only common interest shared, the only bond, is The Job.

It's pretty much the same for adventuring parties. Throw a bunch of strangers together into constant danger, where the only way to survive is to trust your fellows to risk their lives for yours... it just more like an arranged family then marriage. The bond is The Party.

I've made three honest to god, true friends in my numerous years in law enforcement... and not one of them was a partner of mine. Heck, the only times I see my old partners these days seems to be at funerals.

All of which is why I am truly enjoying the interaction between the two former partners in The Walking Dead, as it's as real a portrayal of any I've seen in movies and TV shows over the years.

(The Job, a very short lived TV series starring comedian Dennis Leary, is the closest I've seen to an authentic police oriented show. Brooklyn South also came very close - close enough that when I watched it on DVD recently I found myself feeling very sympathetic for the Desk Sgt ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Latest Brew

When I used to DM in college I had a pretty strict "No Booze" rule at the table.  It's not that I didn't drink, I just found it to be distracting at the gaming table - roleplaying was serious business!

Skip ahead 20 years and I find myself home brewing (beer, not adventures), using Sodastream for my sodas and now I am a proud owner of a Tassimo Coffee / Tea brewer.  Yeah, my gadget geekiness has extended to my beverages in my middle age.  The thing is, I don't drink coffee - it's tea for me.  My teenage son drinks his milk with coffee and my lady likes lattes.  I could have 3 machines or 1, and at least this way I can offer guests a selection of hot beverages.  So, I'm counting this as my Christmas gift to myself.  My first brew was an Earl Grey (just like Piccard) and now I'm sipping an herbal.

The kid's already in bed, so unless I find a pair of headphones I won't be watching any Black Adder tonight... I'll have to watch TWO episodes tomorrow ;)

You Know You've Made It...

When you get hit with UBER blog spam. Talk about a fishing expedition!

I'm sorry, but if you want to guest post on my blog, have some vague idea of the topics I post on, because apparently Elizabeth is fairly clueless.

Still, maybe they'll get a few curious hits from this... I checked out the dog last nite... it wasn't my cup of tea. Besides, the only beer drinker in the bunch drinks Stella... ewwww ;)

Dear Tenkar,

My name is Elizabeth, the assistant editor at My Dog Ate My Blog, http://www.mydogatemyblog.com. We have been blogging about politics, education, and technology for a few months now and we think it is about time to start reaching out to other passionate people.

I would love to have one of our bloggers write a guest post for tenkarstavern.com. If you have any topic or style guidelines for guest posts, please send them my way.

I am looking forward to talking with you more.


Elizabeth Greene
Assistant to the Editor - My Dog Ate My Blog
Follow us @DogAteBlog

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Dead Keep Walking

Maybe its just me, but The Walking Dead TV Series is playing out like a damn good post holocaust style RPG.  You can identify the PCs and the NPCs, the importance of weapons, a GM giving some great setting details and atmosphere - well, maybe comparing to a RPG is an oversimplification.

Still, there are some things that roleplayers can relate to - such as: "do we kill the guy that's infected and going to go bad now... or wait until he actually goes bad?"  I  can see my old group having that discussion, and having the infected player basically sacrifice himself?  Priceless.  Heck, the final scene of this episode could be seen as writing that player's new PC into the game.

It takes a lot to get me invested into a TV series these days.  The Walking Dead has done it for me.  Of course, I can never seem to stay awake to 11 on a work nite, but thanks to iTunes I can grab the episode in HD the very next day.

Lulu - 25% Off - Today Only

Lulu.com is offering a 25% discount on your entire order for 11/29 only. Use coupon code CYBER305.

It's a good time to grab Oubliette, Fight On!, Knockspell or any of the other print on demand / PDF RPG goodness you've been waiting on.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

We May Not Be the Young Ones Anymore

The Young Ones, a BBC comedy that I used to watch on PBS back in my college days, hasn't held up to the test of time, at least for me. I bought the series a few weeks back on Amazon, and finally put the first DVD in to watch last night. I was disappointed. The show seemed flat and forced at the same time. There were moments that were just painful to watch, and that was just the first episode.

I guess my taste in comedy has changed over the years, just like my taste in RPGs has changed. I used to really enjoy AD&D 2e, Complete Handbooks and all, but I'd never consider running it these days. My tastes have changed. I want something a bit more streamlined in my current day RPG choices.

I hope Black Adder holds up better. I'm going to pop that into the DVD player tonight and see if I have any taste left for classic British Comedy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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