Tuesday, August 31, 2010

3d6 or not 3d6, That is the Question

Grognardia has a post up about generating ability scores in D&D and it's various offspring. It's pretty much about the virtues of the 3d6 in order method, although a roll 18d6 and assign as you want is also mentioned and is interesting (tho I suspect Dump Stat would be in full effect)

My issue is that the method is fine in OD&D and Swords & Wizardry (the current clone) as your abilities don't have much of an effect on gameplay. The largest stat bonus is +1 and the largest stat penalty is -1. It just doesn't have a significant influence on gameplay.

Once stat bonuses and penalties start hitting the +/- 3 or 4 range, as they do with the other D&d variations, they start having a huge impact on play. Who really wants to play the someone that is less then average in a game that is supposed to be fun? Some might like the challenge, but if the player isn't going to have fun because his character is crippled from level 1, why is he going to keep coming back to reach level 2.

I'm not advocating the Unearthed Arcana method of stat rolling, but there is nothing wrong with a best 3 out of 4d6 method (or even 3 out of 5d6 depending on the type of campaign the players and the DM want) in my opinion.

As for point buy, I've always had an aversion to it, but I do see how it can keep a player from rolling something that is totally borked.

Isn't the whole point of our hobby to have fun? Maybe not for some of the old timers (that there is a joke, son) but that's the reason I like to play. It's simply fun. I don't want a character that is the best, but I certainly don't want to play one that is so crippled that it just isn't much fun. Besides, if he was really that much of a loser, who would pick him for an adventuring party anyway?

It is called "Fantasy" Roleplaying for a reason ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Another Month Down

As August draws to a close and summer races to wrap up, I'm amazed at what I never accomplished over the summer.

I never got my Fantasy Grounds Castles & Crusades game of the ground... It's close, but I feel like I'm trying to herd cats getting everyone to agree on a day.

Haven't done a tenth of the reading I had hoped to get around to.

God knows spring cleaning never got done in the spring or summer. Fall maybe?

I need to finish up some more Tales of the Blue Knight entries. Haven't touched it since June if memory serves me well.

I need another month or two of summer, but without the excessive heat. Can it be arranged?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dragged Into the Dark Depths

I've done the MMORPG thing and had fun doing it.  Ultima Online was frustrating, Everquest was awesome, Anarchy Online was fun, EQ2 was okay, WoW didn't wow me, Conan left me a victim of PvP, Star Wars Galaxies made me some decent friends tho the game sucked, LotRO left me with a lifetime of NOT playing, DDO I check into on and off, Warhammer was fun until I leveled to the point that PvP was all that was left, The Realm from Sierra Online was a goof, Aion was ehh, Vanguard was a bloated piece of beta software that should never have been released, Star Trek is okay... at least it's a bit different then the rest.  I'm sure I've missed one or two ;)

I hardly check them out these days... I'm still waiting on the RIGHT one... in many ways, The first Everquest captured that the best for me, just like the OSR captures most of what I like in Pen n Paper RPGs.

Of course, all this means is that I'm being dragged to one of the "free" MMORPGs - Runes of Magic - nothing out of pocket and I get to see if it's a worthwhile time waster.  My gaming group seems to like it, but we shall see what we shall see.  At least it's zero cost up front :)

When is Too Much Too Much?

Just a thought after reading and posting about d-infinity.

When is too much too much? I don't mean too much in the way of page count, but too much in the way of diversifying content.

It seems to me that the successful Gaming Magazines these days are pretty focused in content. Dragon, Dungeon and Fight On are 4e focused. Kobold is on 3.5e, Pathfinder and some 4e. The OSR has a strong assortment of publications.

The thing in common? Focus.

D-infinity will be an interesting experiment. Time will tell.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mini Review - "d-Infinity" Volume #1

d-Infinity (as I can’t do a silly little infinity sign on my keyboard) Volume #1 is the first full issue of the magazine.  They had an issue 0 sampler out for Gen Con.



Lets see, how do i explain this magazine... it’s a little bit of everything, which is both its strength, and it’s weakness.  It’s it well put together, very professional looking... lets just go to the publishers’ blurb.

d∞ ("d-Infinity") is a new multi-platform gaming supplement that covers a wide variety of rules systems and includes content that can be universally applied to many different sorts of table-top, live-action, and role-playing games. It is jointly published by Armorcast, Dark Threads, 5th Epoch, Flying Buffalo Inc., Mindgame Productions, OffWorld Designs Inc., Skirmisher Publishing LLC, Sonic Legends, and the United States Marine Space Corps.


Features of each volume include a self-standing game; new rules, stats, and bonus content tying in with several different game systems new rules; free paper miniatures; interviews with the luminaries of the gaming industry; and more! Rules systems supported include but are not limited to 4th Edition D&D, Pathfinder, OGL v.3.5, "Basic" system, Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, and Cthulhu Live.



Got all that?  It covers a lot of ground, but is that enough to justify the purchase if only one or two article directly address the game(s) you play?  BTW, “Basic” system appears to refer to any D&D clone.  It does not refer to Basic Roleplaying from Chaosium.  Shame, I would have liked a magazine with some articles for BRP.

My personal highlights - Basic System: Spontaneous Generation Monsters (I think this article would work well with Weird Fantasy from LotFP) and the Cardstock Character sheets (begging for me to use TokenTool an drop them in my Fantasy Grounds token folder).  The magazine is also nicely bookmarked.

My personal low points?  Many of the articles are previews of upcoming products.  Sure, they work alone, but you are trying to sell me a future buy on a product I just bought.  If you are going to use the magazine as an advertising vehicle, the price should be lower in my humble opinion.  Signs & Portents from Mongoose is a free, unabashedly House Organ.  d-infinity seems like it isn't sure if it wants to be a house organ or an actual magazine with articles that aren’t mostly samples.

All that being said, the Spontaneous Monsters and the Cardstock Characters are worth about $2.50 on their own.  I’m just not sure a bunch of previews are worth the other $2.50 (there is other stuff besides previews, but LARPing aint my bag, man!).  I’ll check back with issue 2 and see where this winds up going.

edit:  I forgot the 4 1/2 minute or so Forest Skirmish mp3 that was included in the ZIP file.  Not bad, no idea what I would use it for as i game using a VTT, which is why I probably forgot it for the review.  Bad Cop!  No Donut!

Blog Spotlight - Destination Unknown

If you care about Role Playing Games, if you want free resources lovingly prepared, if you want to read a blog from a gamer that writes from the heart, destination unknown by Christian is the destination for you.



Christian has been floating around the RPG fanzine sphere for years.  I stumbled across Scrollworks back around 2001 i do believe.  The damn digest sized magazines were addictive reading, and were a bathroom staple for years after Christian stopped publishing them.  I really wish I had kept them all, but most appear to have found their way to the land of stray socks.  The good news is, Christain has posted  these on his blog for easy downloading along with Iron Rations and Iridia.  The man is EXTREMELY productive.  If you have never read his works you are doing yourself and your gaming group a huge disservice.  Do it now.  Read a piece or two.  I can wait...

Back?  Excellent.  These days destination unknown is not just his blog but also his latest zine.  So yes, more reading for you.  See, the man hooks you up.

Did I mention the mini-supplememnts he produced and has available for free download (just like everything else on his site)?  The Free City of Haldane is for use in your Labyrinth Lord Campaign (but usable with any classic OSR ruleset - you know the drill).  I personally love this piece and it will definitely get used in my next campaign.  Faces in the Crowd Vol. 1 is for use in a World of Darkness campaign, but I still found things I could steal for my upcoming C&C game.

Oh, and cats.  The man likes cats.  I can always trust cat people ;)

Christian also has a cooking blog.  One day I will try one of his recipes.  Probably the hot and sour soup one will be the first.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Fool and His Money...

...are soon parted.  Amazing the ways airlines can squeeze the extra buck or hundred out of you.

Case in point:  My son is currently vacationing with relatives.  All good so far.  Trip down by plane... no problem.  Coming back,  he found out a cousin (or cousin’s cousin) was also coming back to New York, same flight a day earlier.  The kid is younger, and my son decided he’s move up his return trip by a day.  So far, so good.  A hundred bucks to change the flight, all done online.

Of course, the cousin’s cousin’s grandmother gave him the wrong flight number and departure time.  We found this out literally 10 minutes after changing the flight.  Now we can’t change online again.  Have to call Customer Service (I’m sure there is a stat block for that  hideous creature online somewhere).  New flight is more expensive then new old flight (or is that old new flight?) by 80 bucks.  Oh, and another hundred buck flight change fee.  Sigh.

I’m sure I can find a way to use a similar method to screw my party out of funds in the next campaign I run.  Not sure how yet, but anything this simple and evil has to have a game application somewhere...

Mini Review - Old School Magic

A day late and a dollar short it seems.  This was released on RPGNow a week ago.



Old-School Magic (for OSRIC, although with most of the Old School stuff, a little tweaking should help it work with LL, S&W and the like) offers alternative magic using classes, new spells, changes in the way magic works - the tools you can use to make your campaign unique.

Even if you don’t allow your players to access there rules, the new classes, specialists and spells for use by the DM are worth the price of admission - the changes can keep your players are their toes and can keep from just assuming they know the capabilities of the spell casters they encounter.

I may yoke some of this for a few NPC encounters in my upcoming C&C campaign.

The blurb itself:


     Old School Magic is the definitive resource for adding a personal touch to the magic of your old-school fantasy games!

Old School Magic features alternate rules of magic and advice for adapting your game into a low, medium or high magic setting.


It also includes 9 new classes, many of which are specifically tailored for low-magic settings, including the Alchemist, Artificer, Holy Man and Naturalist.


Other new classes include new specialist magic-users suitable for traditional old-school games, each with their own spell list, including the Conjurer, Elementalist and Seer.


Finally Old School Magic contains over 30 new spells, created for its specialist classes but available to traditional Clerics, Druids and Magic-Users as well.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Distracted by a Harp

Yes, 4 pints of Harp and a much too generous serving of Fish and Chips has taken away my Tunnels & Trolling ability.. and certainly impaired my typing ability.

Will kill thing and take their stuff is Troll Land sometime tomorrow.  Sleepy time now.  ZZZZZZZZzzzzzz

Another Week Comes to an End

Damn Blogger software is a bit flakey after the update. Let's try again, shall we?

It looks like we have survived yet another week of OSR drama. Thank god. I'm beginning to feel like I'm in High School again.

Thankfully the work week has come to an end. I shall be playing a Tunnels and Trolls solo adventure until I can reach the end alive. I might be up all nite tonight attempting that. Seems like good stress relief to me? Wish me luck ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Swords & Wizardry - The Frog God Explains

Froggie - AKA The Frog God - AKA Bill Webb (formerly of Necromancer Games) explains why the words that got a vocal part of the OSR’s underwear tied up in a knot WEREN”T aimed at the OSR, Old School Publishers or even (oh my) Hobbyists that publish OSR materials right here (you may need to scroll down a bit).

Or, for the lazy, I’ll grab some of the quotes in question:

Create more--more product is more good is more OSR gamers is more likely to keep the game alive after we die off over the next 25 years...The indie publishers made it possible to raise the dead on OSR. People have returned. Make more books and let me know when you do and I'll tell people about them. This merger was designed to bring people back to the table, not to stop folks from making products.

I want to encourage folks to produce books. My comments sounded bad--but were not aimed at amatuers producing books--they were aimed at professionals producing amatuer work. Oh, and its not a OSR publisher. (shuts up now before I insult anyone specifically--almost certain they don't frequent the boards, but you never know)
Interesting that the original quote got all the attention, but the actual words explaining the context - not much from what I see.  We might as well be in a political election.

I understand why people got upset with the knock on amateur work that got the pissing match started, but I really think there are some folks that WANT a controversy just so they can show how witty they are.  And then they’ll huff and puff and take their ball home so other’s can’t play with it.  Because they were insulted by something that was never aimed at them.  Paranoia can be fun, but generally speaking only with troubleshooters and the Computer’s permission.

It’s like pissing in the wind.  In the end, all that pissing in the wind does is get your shoes wet with piss.  (never claimed to be witty myself, I just like the imagery of certain bloggers pissing on themselves)

snippet of the original offensive piece:

We are not the guys who are going to offer bargain basement junk for a quick buck. We won't sell you hand drawn maps and clip art laid out by amateurs and posted up on Lulu.com as a cheap book that you look at and discard.

Gloranthan Classics Volumes I - IV Available at RPGNow

As I stated earlier, some of the best RPG products I EVER bought for ANY game were Pavis and Big Rubble.  I ran them using both the Runequest 2e rules from Chaosium and the Runequest 3e rules from Avalon Hill (converting on the fly).  Best sandbox settings I ever ran (not that we called them sandboxes back in the day).

I’ve gotten a chance to look at Gloranthean Classics Volume I - Pavis and Big Rubble, and I have to say the quality of the PDF is excellent.  This isnt an OCR of a copy someone had hanging around from 30 years a ago, but a lovingly produced PDF.  At 20 bucks, it better be.

Issaries has all four volumes  of the series in PDF on RPGNow.  I'm going to have to steal time from my Tunnels & Trolls obsession, because I never was able to get my hands of Griffin Mountain, and all the great things I've heard about it over the years means I NEED this now;)

Anyhow, the releases are as follows (20 bucks each, or all four for 60):

I'll post more as I spend time with these lovelies :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Swords & Wizardry - Its All the Talk These Days

All publicity is good publicity.  While Matt Finch is getting some angry feedback from Frog God’s “anti-DIY” marketing statement, it’s certainly getting everyone’s attention today.

Lets see who’s talking:

RetroRoleplaying: The Blog

RPG Blog 2

Bite The Bulette


Frog God - The place that started the bruha

Swords & Wizardry Forum - This thread HERE and Mythmere’s thread HERE are where to find the most accurate current info on the dustup - or at least they should be - time will tell

(i’m sure I missed some places - I’ll add when I find them, or folks can add to the comments)

My opinion on the whole thing?  Just like when we had the earlier OSR “Implossion” with ruffled feathers and folks taking their toys and going home, this too will blow over.

There is really no downside to this merger of Mythmere Games and Frog God, unless one fears the commercialization of the OSR.  Then again, for the OSR to be successful and thrive, doesn’t it have to make a profit and act - professional?  At least on some levels?

I’d love to walk into B & N, or Borders Books, and see Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord and LotFP Weird Fantasy on the shelves.  The only way to grow ANY hobby is to let people know about it, get  it seen, get it talked about.

Ah well, enough about The Sky is Falling! and Look! Wolf!

I’m going to read some Tunnels & Trolls, maybe play a solo adventure, then curl up in bed tonight reading some classic Runequest Gloranthean stuff on my iPad.

Well, that and post my opinion on forums and blog comments, cause it’s not even 6 pm and and its too damn early to think about bed ;)

Classic Glorantha in PDF

I was notified last night that some of the classic Runequest Glorantha products were hitting the virtual shelves at RPGNow. Pavis and Big Rubble are one set and I grabbed this right away. I have the old Chaosium boxed sets for these packed away, and they are a big reason that Runequest was my other fantasy RPG when I was in college (AD&D was number 1). These were some of the best sandbox styled products of all time. And now I have them in PDF... From quick look these are either amazing scans or re typeset from the originals.

I never had Griffin Mountain, just Avalon Hill's Griffin Island for RQ3. They have GM and a few others in PDF now too. Sorry, it's like gaming gold to me. I'm very excited. More when I get a closer look.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mini Review - Resolute: Knights of the Falling Stars

Resolute:  Knights of the Falling Stars is a short supplement for the Resolute 2e Superheroes game.

Really, what can you say about a gaming supplement that is 9 pages long and cost a buck?



Knights of the Falling Stars is an update for Resolute: the Superhero RPG 2E, expanding the rules into the realms of interstellar adventure and space opera. Within, you will find rules for starship design and combat, new abilities called the Source and the Void, a campaign backdrop set in the Five Systems, and a roster of heroes and villains of the Five Systems. You also get an introductory scenario to get you started right away.

Swords & Wizardry Gets a New Publisher

James over at Grognardia caught the scoop early, but to sum it up - Frog God Games (Necromancer Games successor) and Mythmere Publishing (Swords & Wizardry) are joining forces to get S&W into more mainstream markets, and have a crapload of books (including a Complete Edition - see below) and other stuff in the hopper for 2010 & 2011.
Cool beans!  The Old School is hopping this summer!
You can read more from the original thread here, but my personal favorite highlight is:

by Mythmere » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:44 pm
The Red Priest wrote:Cool beans.

What *exactly* is the "Complete" edition though? Is it a lot of extra material? A marketing differentiation? A really, really cool boxed set of WB & Core rules, dice, pencils, character sheets and promotional flyers? Oh, don't forget the DM Assistant CD!! :)

It includes the ranger from SR, the paladin, thief, druid, assassin - character classes from the supplements. Still no illusionist, though, which was disappointing, but the SR illusionist just couldn't legally be duplicated. The game still runs on the 0e rules, not 1e. It includes two optional alternative order of combat systems in addition to the standard one from the WhiteBox era: the one from the Holmes Blue Book and one that's based on the EW system. Those are the main differences, although there are little things like adding strength modifiers to the amount of weight that can be carried, ala Supplement 1, etc. Virtually all of the additions are in the player section, not the referee section. It's compatible with the Core Rules, and the Core Rules will stay in place as the archetypal "three class" system.

There is a huge number of modules being written for this. Huge. :shock:

Tuesday Tavern Tidbits

RetCon was a success, despite my Saturday ranting, which is a good thing, as the NYC area needs gaming cons badly. I see that a lot of Long Islanders read my saturday's rant last nite... I wish you had found a more rewarding reason to visit the Tavern, but I do hope some of you decide to come back and visit.

I have at least 2 adventures for use with Fantasy Grounds 2 that I need to review. One is for Basic Roleplaying and I'm excited to see how it came out -I think it is called Trollslayer, but of course until OS4 hits the iPad switching between apps is nigh impossible, so I can't confirm that.

There are 53 regular patrons of the Tavern (google friends connect on the left side of the page). At 60 I give out a prize or two to a randomly chosen regular patron curtesy of RPGNow. Can't make giving away free stuff easier then that ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fantasy Grounds 2 Now Has a IRC Channel

Thanks to drahkar over on the Fantasy Grounds Community Forums, Fantasy Grounds now has a IRC Channel.  It just went live today.

Might be a good way to organize pick-up games and possibly reach out for advice and help on using the Fantasy Grounds software.  Or just shoot the shit with other Fantasy Grounds users.

You can check it out here: http://fg2.rpg-vault.net/

Monday Morning Musings

My new found obsession with Tunnels and Trolls is damn fun. I need to dig my old copy of the rulebook out of storage just to see how much the game has changed over 35 years. I suspect it isn't by much. At quick glance it appears the old solo adventures should work fine with the 7.5 edition of the rules.

How far has Mongoose Runequest gone from the old Chaosium RQ? (i'm disregarding the Avalon Hill edition, even tho it was my intro) Curious, as except for one or two PDFs I haven't taken a close look at Mongoose Runequest, and I did enjoy it back in the day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tunnels and Trolls - I Think it Bit Me

Alright, so i highlighted Trollzine 3 a few days back.  Started reading it.  Looked over the solo adventures in the magazine, thought fondly of the days of my Coleco Adam POS... alright, not so fondly of the Coleco Adam.  But back in those days, if I wanted to do some killing of beasties and taking their stuff, and I didn’t have my gaming group with me, I always had Tunnels and Trolls.


Dave (winner via last man standing of the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Collector’s Edition a few weeks back) had a huge collection on Tunnels & Trolls solo adventures when I was in High School, and was always nice enough to loan them out to me.  God, those books were killers.  Literally, they killed far more of my characters then actually survived.  Some days it was like having a save point in a computer game, i’d pick up from a major junction prior to my characters death, just so I wouldn’t have to start again from the beginning.

I even kept with them in my early Commodore 64 days, but eventually, computers tore me away from solo gaming via T&T.  Until this weekend.  I downloaded the free, shortened rules for T&T, but couldn’t find the 7.5 edition in PDF.  I’ve gotten hooked on instant gratification with my gaming desires with the purchase of my iPad, and this was frustrating the crap outa me.  Until I noticed Fiery Dragon published the Tunnels & Trolls 7.5 edition rules. Snatched that sucker right up, uploaded to my Dropbox account and moved from there to my iPad.   I’m gonna be on a Tunnels & Trolls kick for the next few days I think.

Tunnels & Trolls solos are about as dangerous as anything James Raggi publishes.  I expect a high body count before I’m done ;)


Mini Review - Resolute: Towers of Arvandoria RPG

This is, surprisingly enough, a mini review of a mini RPG.  Literally.  Maybe not as small as Microlite 74 or such, but the Resolute Superhero RPG from Teddy Bear Press that this draws its mechanics from clocks in at a minuscule 17 pages - including the obligatory introductory adventure.  Me, I'm not hugely into superhero RPGs, and trying to get my group to play one is like the Hatfields and the Macoys - opposite sides of a fence that will never agree with each other.  17 pages is probably all I can invest in a supers game these days.
Fantasy RPGs are something they are much more flexible with.  Which is great, because sometimes you want to step away from the D&D legacy, without stepping away from the fantasy it is grounded in.  At the same time, I don't generally cherish learning a whole new game system - there is a comfort of familiarity with the OSR and the assorted clones.   So I want simple, but complete.  Oh, and chea- inexpensive.  I'm not looking to spend much on a game that is there for a change of pace.

In steps Resolute: Towers of Arvandoia - A whopping 16 pages of fantasy RPG goodness.
For players, RToA offers flexible character creation, with a point-based system that allows for total customization. You have 7 races and nearly 50 different abilities or spells to choose from, many of which you can tailor specifically to your character concept.
For the game master, RToA offers:
- A textured and balanced combat system that makes resolution simple to run but that provides a wide range of options to players.
- Clear, quick and easy-to-adjudicate rules that cover nearly any situation.
- A single mechanic that applies everywhere; creating foes takes only minutes, and you can build entire adventures quickly, with virtually no prep work.
- 12 sample monsters that give you models to work from.
- A dynamic and textured game setting that inspires further adventure.
- Rules to quickly generate hundreds of magical treasures.
- An introductory adventure to get you started right away.
As I said, pretty loaded for your 2 bucks.  For 95 cents more you can add the Hero’s Handbook (more spells, classes, races) and the Book of Monsters 1.

Could you run this as your main campaign and system? Sure.  But for me it’s going to be the change of pace for when we need a break.  At 2 buck for a buy in my players can’t complain too much ;)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mini Review - Blood in Ferelden - Three Adventures for Green Ronin's Dragon Age

Green Ronin's Dragon Age RPG is based upon the computer / video game RPG of the same name.  The computer version is outstanding, and well worth the price of admission.

Dragon Age, the Table Top RPG, uses the same setting and gives the players a chance to play in the setting that is so well detailed for the computer.  The initial game set covers levels 1-5, and is well done and nicely put together.  Without support material in felt incomplete tho.  Blood in Ferelden does a fine job at removing that incomplete feeling, and gives you three complete adventures and three adventure seeds.

In reality, Blood in Ferelden is more like a mini-campaign, or an Adventure Path (that's what the kids are calling it these days - its all the rage).

A quick synopsis from Blood in Ferelden for the three adventures follows:
     In Amber Rage the heroes survive a surprise attack on a village fair and must journey, in the aftermath of the attack, into the Korcari Wilds to find a key ingredi- ent to the cure for the horrible disease that the attackers brought with them.      
In Where Eagles Lair the PCs are pressed into ser- vice tracking down the kidnapped daughter of one of Ferelden’s arls in the Frostback Mountains, where the strange and savage Avvarian hillmen dwell.          
Finally, in A Fragile Web the heroes must negotiate an entirely different manner of challenge, where almost nothing is as it seems, in dealing with a series of deadly political intrigues in Fereldan’s capital city.
The adventures average about 40 pages a piece and should probably take 2 to 3 sessions each to complete, so you are getting a nice bang to your buck ratio.

Did I mention that Green Ronin did a fine job bookmarking this?  They did.  It's a pleasure to read.

RantCon - The Odyssey

Let me begin by saying this is all me.  I'm sure RetCon is a fine convention and there are hundreds of people having a ball - I just don't know.

Last night I got eaten alive until about 4 am -  the joys of summer sleeping.  Needless to say, I had a heads up that today was not going to be my day.

The trip to RetCon from Queens, NY is about 40 minutes with traffic, according to google.  Apparently I found something worse then traffic, it took closer to an hour for a 26 miles drive.

Then it hit me as I arrived at the Four Season - the parking lot was half empty, and this was an operational Hilton Hotel.  For a con expecting 250-300 gamers, I began to doubt there were even 1/5 the numbers.  I did see a 20ish, unkept  young man with with a canvass army styled backpack with horrid posture roaming the parking lot - its a shame we still have the same, fairly accurate sterotypes nearly 30 years after I entered the hobby.

No signs for the event at all at the hotel, in the parking lot or anywhere.  I know the Long Island Meet-up club was running it, so maybe there was a secret door to find or handshake you had to share, but in the mood I was in I just got back in my car and drove home - sans traffic about 25 minutes.  The return trip was the highlight of my day.

I shouldn't have even made the trip in the mood I was in, but the idea of spending 20 bucks to view a few vendors tables - as the idea of gaming was slipping from my mind as I tried to find any sign of a convention sign - made me cancel the trip on the doorstep of the con.

Ah well, hope it went well for those that found it - I think the bearded man in the trenchcoat might have marked the entrance, but I'm not sure ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Overlooked Blogs Collection - White Haired Man

White Haired Man is not new to the RPG Community, especially if one games via Virtual Table Tops such as Fantasy Grounds.  Their Blog is fairly new tho.



First things first:  White Haired Man has it's generic, system free campaign setting called Kith'takharos available for free online.  Nope, not as a PDF, but as an honest to god webpage, with links and maps that one can blow up and print out as they desire.  It is a fully detailed, ready to run, campaign setting.

They also produce and sell modules that can be used with the Fantasy Grounds 2 software, both for the 3.5 OGL rules and Savage Worlds.

If you play online via FG2, you really can't go wrong by checking out White Haired Man's modules, as they are created for use with FG2, not conversions of previous products (that being said, each module includes a full PDF, suitable for reference during online game by the GM or for running a face to face game).

The blog contains observations, gaming material for a Kith'takharos, behind the scenes game session info, and all the stuff you expect from a gaming blog - except that there is an emphasis on Virtual Gaming.  Since a good Virtual Game session can compete with a good face to face gaming session, I think that's a nice change of perception.  Well, that and I tend to do most of my gaming with VTTs myself these days ;)

How to Embarrass Your 17 Y/O Son

As a father, call out "I love you!" as you drop him off at the airport for his 2 week vacation to Florida. What can I say, I'm gonna miss him. ;)

Of course, it does mean I'll have much more time to read and catch up on some things I want to watch on Netflix on Demand (Dresden Files comes to mind).

Tomorrow is Day 1 of RetCon out in Long Island NY. I'll probably stop by for a few hours tomorrow afternoon, take a few pictures with my cell phone, check the dealers tables, and jump in a game if I find one I like with an open seat.

Which reminds me, if JoeTheLawyer is reading this, any idea when and where you want to run that Weird Fantasy session that was mentioned last month?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mini Review - Kaiser's Gate - A True20 Setting

True20 is Green Ronin's OGL derived generic ruleset and it is based and the Mutant and Masterminds ruleset (okay, that sounds awkward even to me).  It seems to me it has a bit more popular a few years ago, and that Savage Worlds appears to have settled in as the major "generic" rpg ruleset these days.



Kaiser's Gate is a mash up of standard fantasy fare and the events leading up to, including, and directly after World War 1.  It's a sandboxie setting for the most part, highlighting the major events,countries, npcs and the like.  Adventure seeds abound within it's pages, and the setting pretty much comes to life as you read it.  Then again, I was a history major in college, so mixing WW1 history and D&D fantasy into one setting is weirdly appealing to me.

I'm 3 or 4 years removed from playing in a message board True20 game, which should have put me at a disadvantage, but the first half of the book is more setting and fluff then anything.  Heck, even the crunch of the later half, creatures and npcs, items and vehicles, etc, could probably be shoehorned into one's favorite generic ruleset without too much trouble.

It also includes a random mission generator, random encounter generator, and a short intro adventure.  It's pretty complete.

My main complaint?  Lack of PDF bookmarking.  I've gotten spoiled by it, I know, but I don't see why it couldn't have been included.

Here's the blurb for Kaiser's Gate:



This alternate history, genre-blending setting for the True20 game system presents a fantastic take on World War One - combining the gritty battlefields of the Great War with elements of magical fantasy and horror.

* Sorcerers of the German Imperial Army - fueled by the magic of red dragons - bulldoze Allied defenses and push deep into France.

* Heroic griffin riders of the French Air Service fight to free their nation from the daily terror of zeppelin bombing raids

* British golem squads fight alongside tanks to turn the tide of battle against the Central Powers

* In the darkest days of the war, in desperation, the Kaiser makes a Faustian bargain that unleashes an invasion of legions of creatures from Faerie onto the European continent.

Kaiser's gate also includes a new map-less vehicle combat system for True20 and a sample adventure to get the action started immediately.



LotFP's Weird Fantasy Featured in This Week's RPGNow Newsletter

Nice.  Today's DriveThruRPG/RPGNow Newsletter has LotFP's Weird Fantasy as one of its Featured Products.  It's time for Weird Fantasy to crack the RPGNow Top 5 list I think ;)

All that and tomorrow is H.P. Lovecraft's B-day!  Cool beans.

iPad Dreams, Wants and Desires

I'm still in search of the perfect blogging software for the iPad. I have a feeling it is going to be a long wait. BlogPress isn't bad, but it is extremely basic. Hopefully someone, somewhere has better software in the works.

As for the multitude of PDF readers for the iPad, I still think that GoodReader is the best of the bunch by far. Supposedly the next update for the app will allow annotations and notes on the PDF (a feature available in some other PDF apps for the iPad). Being able to scratch up a copy of a module on my iPad, or write some house rules in the margins of Weird Fantasy will bring this damn close to having my beat up 1st edition modules in hand.

I need to spend some more time with the iPad mapping program I download last week - the name, of course, escapes me at the moment. I'd really love to have an iPad VTT, but it would probably need to be cross platform, and that ain't happening anytime soon.

I have high hopes, don't I?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trollzine #3 - For the Other OSR Game

Tunnels & Trolls is the other Old School game.  Actually T&T, Runequest, Traveller and D&D mark the four corners of classic role playing in my opinion. That could probably rate a post unto itself, but I digress.

Trollzine, for those who miss the obvious, is a magazine for Tunnels & Trolls.



TrollsZine 3 is the adventure issue. It contains two ready to run adventures for the busy games master, as well as two new solo adventures. Four Jars of Mead is a previously unpublished solo by Ken St. Andre, beautifully illustrated by Jeff Freels. The Temple of Issoth is a new solo adventure by the prolific Dan Hembree. Also included are adventure locations, magic items, new spells, several new monsters, the continued adventures of Aeulung and rules for character inheritance. Contributors include Ken St. Andre, Justin T. Williams, Randy Whitley, Tori Bergquist, W. Scott Grant, Dan Hembree and Mike Tremaine. It is packed with great drawings by Jeff Freels, David Ullery, Kevin Bracey and Grantt Ennis, amongst others. Edited by Dan Prentice and Kevin Bracey, TrollsZine 3 continues in the grand tradition of writing by gamers, for gamers and is still available for the bargain price of $0.00.

Not bad for free, huh?  Tunnels & Trolls was my system of choice for solo play.  I never quite liked it for group play, but admittedly only played in about 2 or 3 sessions, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Trollzine 3 is 80 plus pages of Old School gaming.  It may not be the Old School you know, but it can definitely stand on its own.

If you don't have a copy of the Tunnels & Trolls rules to make use of the enclosed adventures, especially the solo ones, a shortened version of the Tunnels & Trolls rules is available here.  Go play by yourself!


Rant and Roll

I do not enjoy getting work phone calls at home after a day of work. Days that I take off I almost expect them, as it usually entails something that falls under my responsibilities and I need to walk somebody through something. Comes with the job. Calls at home after I've left work? Somebody dropped the ball and is trying to make their problem my problem. Don't like it at all. Can you tell I had a phone call or two last night? End of Rant.

I should have about 2 weeks of significant reading time coming up. No, I'm not going out sick. The kid is visiting relatives for 2 weeks, and I highly suspect my ability to find time to read will grow exponentially. It will be short lived, and that's okay. I'll be missing the kid from moment I put him on the plane.

This weekend is the RetCon out on Long Island, NY. I might drop by for a few hours on Saturday, more for the atmosphere then anything else. It's been about 13 years since I've done any face to face roleplaying, and even longer since my last con.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mini Review - Stonesky Delve from Expeditious Retreat

Why do I call most of my reviews Mini Reviews?  Because I don't break the product down to its components and pieces like some others.  I'd rather give you my impressions and feelings then inadvertently drop spoilers.  Besides, I don't don't have the time or energy to write a magazine length review.  Wish I did 'tho, and god bless those that can and do.

Anyhow, on to the Mini Review of Stonesky Delve, an Advanced Adventure for 6-10 characters of levels 4-7.  The module assumes the group will have access to the AD&D core rulebooks and / or OSRIC, but I see little reason why it couldn't work with Labyrinth Lord, especially with the Advanced Edition Companion. with what little conversion is needed done on the fly.



The module itself was run as a 2 part tournament module at the 2010 GenCon Convention and as such it comes with pregen characters, or, as I like to call them - new NPCs for my collection.

This is one of those adventures that the DM should know very well before running.  The caves in the module are more then the standard D&D 2 dimensional fare (yes, it is advised to let the players know to prepare for spelunking).

If run for the standard gaming group as part of a campaign, it would probably last one long session or two shorter sessions in my estimation.  If run for a gameday or convention, it should take two 3 1/2 to 4 hr slots to finish.  Included is a tournament  scoring system.

Its a nice change from the standard dungeon crawl as it forces the players to think in three dimensions.  It should be fun to run and play in, but the DM must have a good handle on the adventure before running it.  Yes, I am repeating this piece of advice.  It bears repeating ;)

Update to the Minor Renovations at the Tavern

The list of websites is now above. I like it there. It is nice. I like cats... okay, in any case, I'll probably be changing the sites fairly frequently, especially the more major ones.

I will be adding a listing of free games with links on the left. Again, I'll be rotating games in and out as time goes on. I'm always open to suggestions, both on sites to highlight as well as free games to link up.

Alright, more after dinner. Time for a review. And I don't think it will from the bottom of the pile either.

Minor Renovations at the Tavern

I've added a small list of websites and forums to the left. Some are very popular, some are overlooked, all are worth visiting in my humble opinion.

I enjoyed putting up the Overlooked Blog Collection so much It will be a regular feature. Which is good, as I am running out of Quickstarts to post. Still, there should be an installment or two left in the free Quickstart collection.

I believe that both of our winners received their prizes. Marcello promised me pics of the assembled results of his prize. With his permission I'll post them here when I get them. Get building lad! Heh

We are at 52 Google Connect Friends - at 60 the Tavern will award another prize to a randomly chosen member. Now ain't that a simple contest?

I've got a review pile that is way too deep. I might try a poll to see which I should attack next. Or I'll just start from the bottom. Not sure yet.

Ah well. Back to the paying job ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mini Review: GOLD - The Web Series That Does Double Damage - Complete Season 1 Special Edition DVD

GOLD - The Web Series That Does Double Damage - Complete Season 1 Special Edition DVD - - Now THAT's a Title.  Heck, I almost sprained a finger typing all of that out.  Damn, I'd no longer be a contender.

I'm sure most of us have seen The Gamers, a low budget spoof about, what else, gamers and gaming.  GOLD- TWSTDDD is a more serious approach of the topic.  Or if not more serious, then certainly less campy and with higher production values.

The premise is that gaming is a spectator sport, with teams, training, fans, sponsors - even televised championships.  Its every geek gamer's dream, and even the not so geeky.

There are other story lines going on, and in many ways the gaming story line is the background - characters, as in the player's themselves, come before the gaming.

To be honest, I had trouble caring for most of the characters until the second episode, so stick with it.  When I finished I was left wanting more, which is always good for a series, and I think this one can do well. 

The British accents are poorly done, or greatly done if one is looking for over the top.  Still, the series gets it's legs with the arrival of the Brits.

The DVD is well done, but I'm unsure how many will pay for something that is freely available on the web.  Still, you can't go wrong by giving the series a peek.

Random Thoughts

Al still hasn't stepped up for his prize from last week. If I don't hear from him by 6pm NYC time, Wednesday August 18, i'll reroll and award it to someone else. Can't let this stuff go to waste.

I've noticed a couple of companies are going the "free PDF with dead tree purchase" and I think it's great. It increases the odds of me making the dead tree purchase, as I make most of my gaming buys in PDF these days.

LofFP Weird Fantasy - thinking of the Ranger Class conversion, how do you have a damage or combat bonus against certain creatures when such creatures aren't included in the rules... Aargh!

Weekend get aways are fun, but I really need a nice week or two out sick, so I can be forced to stay home and read. I really need to catch up on my reading time.

I enjoyed doing yesterday's Overlooked Blog. It may become a semi-regular feature.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Overlooked Blogs Collection - August 15, 2010

Today I had one of those "Holy Crap!  I've overlooked this for how long?"  Sometimes it just takes a few minutes to see where some of your blog's traffic is coming from to find other blogs that you yourself have overlooked.


Such is Joseph Browning's Blog for Expeditious Retreat Press.  I've bought his products in the past, I've enjoyed reading the House of Blue men, and I'm seriously considering picking up Sorcery and Super Science! even though I have no idea when, let along if, I'd ever get a chance to run it.

Lo and behold, I'm checking where Tenkar's Tavern gets some of its traffic from, and I see http://josephbrowning.blogspot.com/.  That was the Holy Crap moment, I never even realized he had a blog.  Should have clicked yesterday when we had the OneBookShelf sales number discussion, but I can be a bit slow at times.

Do yourself a favor and give it a peek.  It's full of good stuff you can steal for just about any OSR RPG, and you can read up on the development of Sorcery and Super Science!. Pretty interesting stuff.


LotFP - Weird Fantasy - My Stab at a Paladin Class

Ever since I read James' take on the Thief (Specialist) I started thinking about how the 6 pip system (for lack of a better name) could be used to emulate other classic character classes in Weird Fantasy.  The Paladin is my first stab at it, and this is my first stab at the Paladin.  I'm sure it will be revised after feedback and y own further thoughts.

Paladins in Weird Fantasy aren't as powerful as Paladins in the classic rules.  Their over the top holiness has to be toned down for the default setting, which is grittier then most.

Here's the basics:

Paladins fight and save as fighters of the same level.  They advance using the experience chart for Wizards.

They have a permanent Protection From Evil - Self Only, in effect at all times.

The following Paladin abilities can be improved as the Paladin levels, via the "Pip System" used by Specialist in the main Weird Fantasy Rulebook, with changes as indicated as follows: all 3 abilities start with 1 pip.  1 pip is awarded with each level gained, to be used as the player sees fit, except that no ability can be 3 pips or more then any other.

Smite Undead - Undead attack bonus

Pip 1 - +2 hit, +2 damage, 1 use per day

Pip 2 - +2 hit, +2 damage, 2 uses per day

Pip 3 - +2 hit, +3 damage, 2 uses per day

Pip 4 - +2 hit, +3 damage, 3 uses per day

Pip 5 - +2 hit, +4 damage, 3 uses per day

Pip 5 - +2 hit, +4 damage, 4 uses per day

Lay Hands

Pip 1 - Heals 2 points on 1 individual once per day

Pip 2 - Heals 5 points on 1 individual once per day

Pip 3 - Heals 8 points on 1 individual once per day

Pip 4 - Heals 11 points on 1 individual once per day

Pip 5 - Heals 14 points on 1 individual once per day

Pip 6 - Heals 17 points on 1 individual once per day

Cure Disease

Pip 1 - Self Immunity to non-magic disease - +2 save to magical diseases

Pip 2 - 1 Casting of Cure Disease once per week

Pips 3-6 - 1 Additional Casting per Pip per week

The restriction in pip levels keeps one from overspecializing, while allowing individualization of each Paladin.

Consider this still a work in progress.  Comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

All the Treasures of the World: Gems - Free Sample

Grognardia has a nice review of All the Treasures of the World: Gems here.  Depending on the campaign you run, it might be a handy reference piece, but that is often hard to know without taking a peek for oneself.  It is not the usual RPG supplement.



Faster Monkey Games has a free sample from the product available here.  Check it out and see if it works for you.

(back to the Paladin grindstone)

Sales Rankings on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG

I always assumed that the sales rankings on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG would be one and the same.  They are storefronts for OneBookshelf.  You use the same login, purchases made on one site are recorded on the other, etc.

But they apparently record sales separately, and this shows in the Hottest items rankings.  It seems that each site has a different demographic, and I find that very interesting.

LotFP's Weird Fantasy seems to do much better on RPGNow.  I'll be bolding James' latest releases below.

Hottest Items (Overall)
01.ION GUARD - ICONS Edition
02.WINTERHAWK: The Watchtower
03.Villains and Vigilantes
04.ICONS: Sins of the Past
06.Smallville Roleplaying Game
07.LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing
08.DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
09.ICONS: The Skeletron Key
10.Sord Pf
11.ICONS Character Folio
12.E-Z DUNGEONS: Expansion Set 3
13.Sorcery & Super Science!
14.Tzak-Nal: The City
15.Eclipse Phase: NPC File 1: Prime

Hottest Items
01.Return of the Scarlet Empress
02.Eclipse Phase: NPC File 1: Prime
03.Invite Only
04.Dudes of Legend (Full Version)
05.World of Darkness: Mirrors
06.Eclipse Phase: Sunward Hack Pack
07.DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
08.Glories of the Most High: The Unconquered Sun
09.Glories of the Most High: Luna
10.Glories of the Most High: The Maidens of Destiny
11.Thousand Correct Actions
12.Mage Chronicler's Guide
13.Smallville Roleplaying Game
14.BattleTech: Technical Readout 3085
15.Yazata: The Persian Gods

RPGNow - Fantasy - Hottest Items
01.LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing
02.Sorcery & Super Science!
03.Tzak-Nal: The City
04.Open Game Table: The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs, Vol. 2
05.Hero's Handbook for Resolute: Towers of Arvandoria
06.[PFRPG] The Genius Guide to the Time Thief
07.Tower of the Stargazer
08.[PFRPG] Krazy Kragnar's Alchemical Surplus Shop
09.Core Spell Card Sets - the Master Compendium (PFRPG)
10.World vs. Hero
11.Hammers of the God
12.Weird New World
13.Book of Beasts I for Resolute the RPG
15.All the Treasures of the World: GEMS

DriveThruRPG- Fantasy - Hottest Items

01.Return of the Scarlet Empress
02.Glories of the Most High: The Unconquered Sun
03.Glories of the Most High: Luna
04.Glories of the Most High: The Maidens of Destiny
05.Thousand Correct Actions
06.Contagion of Law
07.Debris from the Fallen Races
08.Manual of Exalted Power: The Alchemicals
09.Splinters of the Wyld
10.Scroll of Exalts
11.ExXxalted: Scroll of Swallowed Darkness
12.Hellfrost Region Guide #18: The Freelands
13.LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing
14.Tannhauser: Revised Rules
15.Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters

RPGNow - Dark Fantasy - Hottest Items

01.LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing
02.Tower of the Stargazer
03.Hammers of the God
04.Crypt 30mm Paper Model
05.Hermit's Hutch 30mm Paper Model
06.World War Ruins #1
07.Winds Of Magic: Advanced Magic and Wizardry
08.High Valor
09.Hyperborean Mice
10.Critter Cache 6: Lovecraftian Bestiary
11.Liber Mutatis: The Book of Change
12.Cropland Ground Tiles
13.High Ground Tiles 30mm Paper Models
14.Crosspiece Ruins Set 30mm Paper Models
15.Medieval Ground Tiles

DriveThruRPG - Dark Fantasy - Hottest Items

01.LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing
02.Call to Arms: Mist Dancer
03.Call to Arms: Force of Nature
04.Call to Arms: Bloodsworn
05.Winds Of Magic: Advanced Magic and Wizardry
06.Liber Mutatis: The Book of Change
07.Call to Arms: Infernalist
08.Dark Heresy: Dead Stars: Haarlock Legacy III
09.Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
10.Ordo Draconis 2
11.Houses of the Blooded
12.The Gathering Storm
13.Earthdawn Third Edition Player's Guide
14.Tower of the Stargazer
15.The Darkest Hour

I wonder if RPGNow is regarded as more "Old School" in the traffic it receives.
As I said earlier, I find this interesting, although I really don't know what to make of it.  Food for thought I guess.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekend Getaway - Lets See if I Can Get Things Done

So, the moment I found out I was not going to be stuck working this weekend the decision was made to run away from the city and head to the Pocono Mountains.  It serves the dual purpose of getting the kid a lot of driving time in, and it removes me from all the distractions of the city... okay, almost all, as I do pay for the piss poor DSL at my parent's place.  A man (and his son) need the internet!  heh

Thankfully my son can entertain himself.  Now if my mother can do the same, I'll have time to accomplish stuff that's been rattling around between my ears for the past week or so.

Come to think of it, I need to give Weird Fantasy's Magic book a closer read. I skimmed my first time thru, but I've heard that James did some tweaking on the otherwise mundane spell entries.  

Oh.. and sleep.  Lots of sleep ;)

LotFP -Weird Fantasy - Unsorted Thoughts on a Paladin Class

Looking at the Paladin class, the conversion to Weird Fantasy shouldn't be too hard. Drop saving throw bonuses, detect evil, protection from evil 10' radius becomes self only, no undead turning and no spell gain at higher levels.

Lay Hands, Cure Disease and an Undead Power Attack (poor choice of attack name - consider it in progress) get increases based upon the "Die Pip" system used by the Specialist Class. I have an idea for this, probably won't get written up until tomorrow.

Only one pip awarded per level gain, and no power can have 3 pips or more then any other, which should keep them fairly balanced while allowing specialization.

Expo chart needs to be worked out.

Anyhow, that's a snapshot of my notes.

Hopefully this gets fleshed out better over the weekend. Then I'll attempt the Ranger ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blood Moon Rising - A New Labyrinth Lord Adventure

I'm sure all of you have been following the noise about Insidious, the adventure released using the AD&D trademark, under the OGL, and basically making a mess of thing but garnering lots of publicity.  If not, check out The Greyhawk Grognard's posting on it - its the best I've seen so far.  My main problem with this product?  It appears to be a crippled PDF, with a watermark on every page (apparently across the page).  I like my watermarks not to interrupt my reading, thank you very much.  I'll pass.

Blood Moon Rising is not the adventure you've been reading about all day.  Nope, this one is for Labyrinth Lord.  It appears to make proper use of the OGL.  Figure that one out.
Here's the blurb:
Garanton is a village like any other, except for five days out of the year when it hosts the Feast of St. Garan. During this time, fighters from abroad come to join in the revelry, mingle with other adventurers, and win fame and fortune fighting in the daily games. But all is not well in Garanton this year. Cruel orcs prowl the forest, dark wizards cast webs of treachery and deceit, and bat-winged demons fill the moonlit sky. Does your party have what it takes to ward off this evil before it consumes the entire town?

Blood Moon Rising is a Labyrinth LordTM adventure that is easily converted to other editions of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game. Designed for 3-6 characters of 1st through 3rd level, the adventure is set in and around the village of Garanton and involves a mixture of wilderness, dungeon, and urban encounters. Use your archetypical frontier village for more than just a rest stop between forays into the wild. Come enjoy the Feast of St. Garan today!
Hopefully Small Niche Games isn't penalized for actually following the rules as spelled out in the legal document they are apparently abiding by.
Still, I wish it was bookmarked.  I never used to care much, but LotFP has spoiled me for life i seems ;)

Working on the Weird (Fantasy)

Work has been relatively insane since I came back from vacation on Monday. I'm still working on the Paladin and Ranger for Weird Fantasy, but might not have much time free until the weekend (assuming I don't get ordered in for the weekend, which at this point in time is a possibility).

I'm also toying with a few more (minor) house rules for Weird Fantasy. Time is the adversary at the moment.

I've reread LotFP Weird Fantasy Referee book on my iPad. First, kudos to James for making an excellent PDF conversion. It looks awesome on the iPad. Secondly, the advice James gives is priceless, even the parts that I don't agree with in total. Magic is a rare, wonderful and scary thing in the default setting of Weird Fantasy. I still think this book is worth the price of admission on it's own, and it would be nice to see it for sale separately.

Okay, more when I have my next few minutes of lucidity in this insanity ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The House of Blue Men - A Sorcery and Super Science! QuickStart

Sorcery and Super Science! is Expeditious Retreat's new RPG.  I don't think I can explain the game setting better then they do, so here it is:

After the cracking of the moon and before the rise of Atlantis the world was a place strange to the thoughts of honest men. The death throes of science amid the birth of magic sculpted new generations of conquerors who strode the lands forging civilizations of steel, sinew, and sorcery from the decrepit hulks of the ones that fell before.

Tyrannical wizards, amoral super-scientists, charismatic catalysts, and multifarious mutants battled for wealth, power, and honor. It was ten thousand years of barbarity; ten thousand years spent in the shadowy shells of past glories, hiding from horrible creatures that scratched and skittered for blood; ten thousand years of tyranny and injustice, ten thousand years of Sorcery & Super Science!

The House of Blue Men - A Sorcery and Super Science! QuickStart is a free peek at the setting and the rules.  At 48 pages, its a fairly large free peek.

It's written to be Old School at heart, or so they say.  I'll have to give this Quickstart a full read and get back to you on that.  First glance does show a professional prepared product.  Nice bookmarking in the Quickstart too.

And the Winner is...

We hit 50 Google Connect Friends / Followers today.

So I get to give away a prize... fun.

Rolling my wonderful crystal red (I've been told they look pink, but whatever) I've rolled:

a 14

"Al" is the winner of his choice of the following in PDF, courtesy of RPGNow / OneBookShelf:

     Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion
     Paths of Power (Pathfinder)
     Dark Heresy:  Inquisitor's Handbook

I'll be sending an email to Al's google email shortly.  Once he picks I'll send him his code.


Next prize at 60 members ;)

Let's Get to 50!

The Tavern currently has 48 Google Connect Friends / Followers. Let's hit 50 so I can randomly reward one of the 50 with a free PDF product from RPGNow.com.

I enjoy giving stuff away, so if you regularly pull up a seat at the Tavern, why don't you sign the book and possibly get some free swag.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August Sales at RPGNow - 20% of Coupon for Selected Publishers

The following publishers are offering 20% off with the following coupon code for the month of August:

Code: DTRPGAugust2010BlogPCast

Enjoy ;)

OSR Rulesets - Art Free for Free

I think Goblinoid Games the first with the art free version of the Labyrinth Lord PDF given away for free and a version with art sold an a nominal price.

LotFP Weird Fantasy is the second OSR publisher that I know of that went art free for free, pay for version with art. (although Weird Fantasy's art enhanced set includes 2 books not in the free version).

Has anyone else gone this route? Did I miss a game or two?

Is this effective marketing? I suspect it is, but I have no way to know for sure.

Some people put little value on free. Does the fact that there is a pay for version that is essentially the same make the free version more valuable?

Please leave your thoughts after the beep. BEEEEP!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Cartographer - RPG Mapping for the iPad

Cartographer is a mapping program for the iPad that allows for downloading of maps to your computer for printing or Virtual Table Top use.

At 12 bucks it's 18 dollars cheaper then it's only competitor I know of (whose name escapes me at the moment).

The mapping is fairly intuitive... It took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to do a small 4 room dungeon complete with doors, stairs, pools and assorted trappings.

You can also use the map as a battle map directly on the iPad, and can move counters around on the virtual screen. A bit small for my use, but with a video out to a HD TV or computer monitor it might make a decent option

I only stumbled across this little gem late last night, so I haven't put it thru all of it's paces. My one peeve is that the zoom is not set to work with the ipad's pinching feature... Instead it uses preset zoom out /in settings.

Interesting so far, this might become a mapping program I can actually use ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 9, 2010

LotFP - Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Rules - On Sale at RPGNow

James put the Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Deluxe Edition - Rules Book, The Magic Book, The Referee Book and the Tutorial Book up on RPGNow - $12.50 for the lot of it.  The Referee Book might be worth that on its own, its just that good.

485 pages  of gaming fun, including character sheet, an info sheet and Raggi's Recommended Readings

(short review of the Referee Book here.)



Some might prefer a free peek, and James is doing you one better... he's offering the Rules Book and Magic Book as a free download on his website.  They are art free but the real deal.

I think it's awesome that you can get everything that was offered in the collectors box for less then $23 total in PDF (if you add in Tower of the Stargazer and Weird New World, reviews here and here).

Give Weird Fantasy a free grab if nothing else.  It's good, well written, and making me think of house rules and adding classes - that's amazing unto itself ;)

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lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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