Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Gnomish Kickstarter - Gnomish Adventurers Box Set

Current $39 reward

From the same folks that brought you (and me) The Dwarven Adventurers Miniatures Boxed Set we now have Gnomish Adventurers.

Let me just say that when I get my Reaper Miniatures and paints from that Kickstarter I'll also be painting some Dwarves AND Gnomes. Dwarven Brewmaster will be one of the first ;)

The quality the first time around was good, as was the variety and bang for your buck. I'm in at $39 for the Gnomes, as it looks to have the best bang for the buck potential.

It's nice to see Gnomes finally getting some respect :)

From the Kickstarter:

Known for their ingenuity and guile, gnomes rely heavily on their wits and underhanded tactics to lay low much larger foes. The gnome's insatiable thirst for knowledge turns them to paths that vary from arcane mastery to the physical sciences. While humans and other larger races often find the gnomes' reasoning baffling, gnomes are capable of supreme acts of heroism and valor. Gnomes can be one the most interesting races to play in any RPG and add flavor as NPCs and opponents. Don't let the chance to play a member of this distinctive and charming race pass you by. We guarantee that you will find more uses for them than lawn decor!

The Gnomish Adventurers Box Set Project is about creating miniatures to represent a set of 5 Gnome heroes. The Group will include a wizard, a warrior, a thief, an archer, and an artificer. The goal here is simple: get the 5 miniatures sculpted, cast, and distributed to all of you! We have a variety of stretch goals planned that will enhance and diversify your Gnome Adventurers. The Gnomes will represent a relatively balanced adventuring party and/or a selection of Gnome heroes to lead any fantasy army.

The Devourer - Bringing "Baby" to the Fight in Tunnels & Trolls

by Eric Quigley


Monster Rating: 200 (plus special)

Combat Dice: 21 + 100

Special Damage:  8 / Here Comes Baby! (baby hops out of the Devourer's chest and fights alongside the Devourer as a MR 80 monster for the rest of the fight.

Sometimes I think I'd like to not kill. Sometime I think I'd like to walk away. Sometimes I like to think of flowers. When I have these thoughts, Baby wakes up and thinks for me. Baby thinks of death, kill, blood. If this is what Baby thinks, what does Baby dream?

Does Size Matter? How Large a Party Can You Handle?

I know I've written a bit about this in the past, but I'm thinking there's a point where larger party =/ more competent party. I'm including NPCs in this to.

I know back in the Golden Days of gaming, parties with 10+ players plus henchmen and hirelings were not unheard of. My personal first experience with that was being invited to a game that had about 18 players and 2 DMs. The regulars in the group each brought 2 or 3 henchmen with them which put the party numbers well north of 50 trudging through some dungeon. It was also my first experience with a party caller (and 2 DMs at once). I couldn't tell you what the session was about as I was totally confused and lost. I don't even recall if I ever rolled dice that night.

Now, in my current AD&D / OSRIC game we have six steady players, which means six PCs at most. Well, except that I have some open invites out there and have had guest players when we were below our regular numbers. I fully expect to run a session with 7 or 8 players at some point ver G+ Hangouts.

If we added NPCs to the mix, even just one per PC, we'd have a dozen or so characters to worry about during the session. I work without combat maps, but if we go much beyond 6+, I'd probably have to whip them out, just to have an idea about character placement. As you can guess, I'm loath to do this.

I suspect that the largest total party size I could run is 8 before play would suffer. Maybe more if it's less players and more henchmen, but it's still a shitload of moving parts to keep track of. All that and the added downtime for the players that are not engaged in the action at that very moment - the more moving parts, the longer the gap between each character's actions.

Besides, how can a large party effective traverse a dungeon? The sheer numbers get in the way at some point. Wilderness travel I can see how large numbers would be effective in keeping away the troublesome riff raff, but that doesn't translate well to a dungeon environment.

How large a party are you willing to handle as a GM? AS a player, at what group size does the enjoyment of the game start to decrease for you?

Spears of the Dawn Kickstarter Releases PDF 2 1/2 Months Ahead A Schedule - Temperatures Dip Below Freezing in Hell

We all have learned that the estimated ship date of a Kickstarter project, especially an RPG project, is about as likely to hit as a balanced budget by the government of your choice. Sure, the intention (might) be there, but the reality is usually greatly different than the stated intent.

Which brings us to Kevin Crawford's Spears of the Dawn Kickstarter, in which Kevin decided to do things a bit differently. A playable "Alpha" version was released to backers "while the Kickstarter was still going on", virtually unheard of at the time. Alpha in this case meant "without art", as the game was pretty much already written. Kevin even stated from the start that he hoped to beat his estimated ship date of March 2013.

He's well on the way to doing that. Final PDFs were released last night to backers. Printer's Proofs should be confirmed the first week of February with fulfillment in February - a month or more early.

And thus Hell begines the process of freezing over ;)

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Golden Dragonman - Taking Flight in Tunnels & Trolls

Art by Malcolm McClinton
Golden Dragonman

Monster Rating: 60

Combat Dice: 7 + 30 

Special Damage:  2 / Breaths Fire for 2d6

Yesss. We are desssended from the Dragonsss. Their Blood isss our Blood. Their fire isss our fire. Do you posssesss gold? If ssso, you may pay usss and leave. If not...

A Kickstarter Where I Just Upped My Pledge - Creature & Encounter RPG Card Decks

Inkwell Ideas does good stuff. +Joe Wetzel and the gang are probably best known for their mapping programs, but I know them mostly for one of their early Kickstarters - The Stock Art (and something - stand ups? ;) It was a very nice, original selection of stock art.

Now, I know what some of you are saying - what does a blogger need with "stock art"? Well, besides the fact that I may one day graduate from blogger to "creator"? I enjoy using stock art at on my blog as it lesson my need and desire to "borrow" from other sources.

In any case, the stock art in the Creature & Encounter RPG Card Decks is awesome!

Now, you don't need to go in for the stock art. I was in for a couple decks of the Monster and Encounter's cards, using this same art. The thing is, at $180 for 70 pieces of stock art, each in three different versions (w/ background, w/o background and black and white) you really can'y go wrong. Hey, it's what I'll tell my wife!

Oh, and I suspect this will ship on time or close to it, as most of the art is already in hand.

Now, lets look at some art samples (and sample cards too)

The Tenkar's Tavern Overdue Kickstarter List - Updated 1/18/13

The below is a list of RPG Related Kickstarters that were estimated to ship (I am using the ship date for the physical item, not the PDF if there is one) January 2013 or earlier.  I was going to add Indiegogo projects to the list, but they are so few (and this list got so long) I'll summarize as follows: LotFP stuff that I supported over the summer has not shipped, but Indiegogo doesn't force an estimated shipping date . Barrowmaze II shipped on time!

Updated 1/18/13
Small side note - I find that the longer a Kickstarter goes past it's due date, the less I care about the product. Running long leads to apathy and kills good will.

I'll be moving the shipped items to the bottom, and the long overdues to the top. Yes, it's spring cleaning in January ;)

Colors for Actual Ship Date are as follows:

Red: Hasn't shipped and is (or will be based on new estimates) significantly overdue. This includes projects that have been shipping in dribs and drabs for months. If all backers dont have what they pledged for, it's in red.

Orange: Late but shipped, or recently missed a shipping date and hasn't shipped

Green: Shipped on time. Holy Shit!

Far West
Goal: $5,000     Total: $49,324     Funded: August 25, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: December, 2011     Actual Ship Date: Not Shipped (and has missed interim ship dates)

Far West - last update 1/18 - Today -  updates are becoming weekly  -  First the main / lead artist flaked out in the middle of the job (and claimed to have finished work he hadn't completed), then Gareth got sick, "Far West" as a title will now be cropping up in unrelated media, making marketing a pain I suspect , then Gareth and everyone got sick again for flue season - Either they are breeding new strains of the plague at Adamant or the company is cursed -  Cubiclde 7 has gotten involved in the process, so the new guarantee of Dec 2012 for the PDF is hopeful, I've lost fucking hope - NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED -  6 out of 12 Chapters are not complete yet - Note - this project will be AT LEAST one year late.

Know what the sad thing is? I've gotten to the point I no longer care. This will be going directly to a shelf. Nice concept but unable to produce a finished product  

Quantum Roleplaying Game
Goal: $13,000     Total: $47,747     Funded: December 30, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped

Quantum RPG - last update 1/14  beta is now over - a month between updates, but now promises to do them weekly - To be honest, this is another project I'm no longer excited about.   I suspect when it ships it's going straight to the bookshelf if not traded away. I'm beginning to see a trend here. I seem to no longer care about shit I already paid for, because publishers can't get their shit together.  Still no new estimated completion date.

Adventurer Conqueror King System Player's Companion
Goal:: $4,000     Total: $20,622     Funded: March 16, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped  

ACKS Player's Companion - last Update 1/13 - Updates weekly. Should ship before the end of the month. Guess what? I no longer run an ACKS Campaign. That shelf is going to be creaking under the weight. At least this should be off the list soon.

Appendix N
Goal: $1,000     Total: $18,893     Funded: July2, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (New Estimate Late September November December ? 2012  Pick a card, any card...)

Appendix N - Last Update 1/17 - A month between updates - Brave Halfling is like your cousin who is always late to appointments - whether it's a Kickstarter or a pre-order, the quality has so far been excellent, the timeliness has been poor. PDF versions of the releases look to be on time or close to it going forward - physical products are going to be a wait n see in my opinion.

Goal: $10,000     Total: $48,756     Funded: April 14, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (No longer giving an estimate)

Dwimmermount - Last Update 1/16- Updates Weekly. You know what? Read the latest Dwimmermount Kickstarter at this link.   Strangely enough, this seems more late that Far West even though it isnt - I suspect that is due to all of the initial hype. And recent drama.

Myth & Magic Player's Guide
Goal: $5,000     Total: $24,076     Funded: May 7, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped

Myth & Magic Player's Guide - 1/14 first update since 9/29 (probably due to this post at 2000 Coppers) , and that was in relation to it's sister project. PDF released to the wild, no hard copies yet. Last update related to this project was 9/21, about 3 months ago. Not the way to remain in contact with your customers. NO SHIP DATE  The forum folks are getting angry, especially at the lack of communication. - I'm gonna break that shelf if any of this shit actually ships ;)

CHAMPIONS OF ZED: Zero Edition Dungeoneering
Goal: $4,600     Total: $8,077     Funded: June 16, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Shipped
Layout MAY be completed by the end of the month as per the latest update 1/2 (2 months after the previous update) - so sad I no longer care, but might get good value in trade for this.

Tabletop Forge
Goal: $5,000     Total: $44,413     Funded: July 9, 2012
Estimated Release Date: August, 2012      Actual Release Date: Not Yet Released (Beta Released)

Tabletop Forge - Updates approximately every 2 weeks - last update 12/16 - backer rewards links sent. Its software. Software doesn't play nice. Updated software looks to be a huge improvement. Process is slow with some members of the original team flaking out. I may need to actually spend an hour toying with Roll20 at some point, as it seems to be much further along.

Nystul's Infinite Dungeon
Goal: $2,000     Total: $16,017     Funded: June 3, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012 (New Estimate October November  2012? No estimate)

Nystul's Infinite Dungeon - infrequent updates - Last update 1 / 5 Estimate for physical delivery is November 2012.  pre-layout version in PDF for backers - no idea when it will release - just realized, theres been no talk i can remember about the resin reward levels

King For a Day
Goal: $800     Total: $4,844     Funded: May 1, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (new estimate -December 2012)  No F'n idea, but Jim now says January 15th for completion. I don't believe it.

King For a Day - Last update 1/16 Updates frequently now. Jim has learned that being joking about your project's lateness while announcing your new Kickstarter isn't the way to keep your supporters happy. Late is late. But now since he's so late, he's offering a free gift if you support his other project.

Axes & Anvils
Goal: $1,000     Total: $35,000     Funded: August 11, 2012
Estimated Release Date: November, 2012     Actual Release Date: ?

Axes & Anvils - 1/6.  That's almost a month ago. It just went past due date. Playtest document available to backers. My guess? Jan / Feb  March? 2013 for release.

Swords & Wizardry
Goal: $10,000     Total: $78,000     Funded: September 4, 2012
Estimated Release Date: November, 2012     Actual Release Date: ?

Swords & Wizardry - Last update 1/11. Updates 3 times a months or so. It recently went past due date. There was a screw up with the module printings and I think we are still waiting on the Monster Book - so if your order is anything but just the rulebook, you'll be waiting.

Race To Adventure
Goal: $40,000     Total: $52,117     Funded: July 24, 2012
Estimated Release Date: Dec, 2012     Actual Release Date: Early 2013 (New Estimate)

Race To Adventure - Last update 12/31-Updates about once a month - Board Game - "What's this mean for us, though? Well, even with the games assembled in the next couple weeks, there's plenty more that needs to happen before we can get them hurrying along to you. 

We need to get the games through safety testing, figuring that'll take at least a few weeks. Once the testing is passed (we hope), then we can begin the process of getting the games and expansions shipped to the places they'll be shipped from. That could take, honestly, a month or more by itself, because international shipping and subsequent customs clearance is a time consuming matter, and a very, ah, rubbery variable. For our international customers, we hope to do our shipping directly from Europe where feasible, to manage costs and reduce timeframes there. For our domestic customers, the ship-out can only begin once the main shipment arrives at the Alliance warehouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana. All in all that's probably a couple months out when the variables get added up."

--------------------- DUE THIS MONTH ---------------------------

Maelorum, an epic Gamebook

tremulus: a storytelling game of lovecraftian horror

Tales From the Fallen Empire: Sword and Sorcery Setting

-------------------------- SHIPPED ----------------------------------

DungeonMorph Dice
Goal: $5,000     Total: $20,620     Funded: May 22, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2011     Actual Ship Date: December, 2011

Adventurer Conqueror King System
Goal: $4,000     Total: $11,648     Funded: August 6, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: November, 2011     Actual Ship Date: April, 2012

C&C Classic Monsters
Goal: $4,000     Total: $9,108     Funded: December 2, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: January, 2012     Actual Ship Date: May, 2012

Artisan Dice
Goal: $300     Total: $91,542     Funded: April 7, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship date: May, 2012 and still ongoing completed now I do believe - this suffered from overwhelming response. If you are going to be late, let it be because you have too many customers ;)

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea
Goal: $6,000     Total: $13,216     Funded: January 15, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship date: July, 2012 and still ongoing completed I believe

Adventures Dark & Deep
Goal: $2,500     Total: $7,459     Funded: April 15, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Shipped September, 2012 - I was only in at the PDF level, but congrats for hitting the ship date ;)

Story Forge
Goal: $12,000    Total: $21,736     Funded: March 20, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: July, 2012

Goal: $10,000     Total: $23,580     Funded: August 9, 2012
Estimated Release Date: Oct, 2012      Actual Ship Date: November 2012

I need to find time to play this with my family. Box weighs a ton and a half ;)

Dwarven Adventurers Boxed Set
Goal: $1,250     Total: $136,487     Funded: July 25, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012 Arrived 12/3

Dwarven Adventurers - Shipped

There's a crapload of RED now.

If I missed any I'll post them, then add here for the next update.

Just as a quick note, Spears of the Dawn is on track to possibly ship MONTHS early.
If this happens, Kevin should get a special award ;)

Not due yet, but funding is complete:

Horror on the Orient Express: Call of Cthulhu by Chaosium


Maelorum, an epic Gamebook

Magicians: A Language Learning RPG

Boss Monster: the Dungeon-Building Card Game

Dungeon Heroes - Your Lunch Break Dungeon Crawl

Agents of Change: The Time Travel RPG

Spears of the Dawn


To Be or Not To Be

Adventures Dark & Deep Player's Manual

The Skies Over Danbury

The Latest Kickstarter I'm Supporting - Tavern Cards - Playing Cards That Create a Tavern

Big shouts out to +James Aulds and +Tim Shorts  for bringing the Tavern Cards - Playing Cards That Create a Tavern Kickstarter to my attention.

It's not just that they are cool playing cards, which they are.

It's not just the "tavern" theme and the ability to generate a tavern by the pull of the draw, which is damn cool, because as you know, this blog is "tavern themed" ;)

It's the most transparent breakdown of Kickstarter costs and product pricing that I can recall seeing. It's f'n fantastic!

I'm currently in for 2 decks. I may up that for more.

What are you waiting for? You're reading this at Tenkar's Tavern. You KNOW you need a deck or two yourself ;)

Now For Something Less Serious - How Do You Like Your Dice?

As much as gamers like to talk abou the different RPG Systems they own, dice are usually the one thing everyone wants to show off.

Maybe they bring their 5 pound bag of dice to show off just how many they own.

Or perhaps they break out their original Gamma World 1e set, which never rolled true when they were new and now even the d4 is virtually round.

Some may want to show everyone the elven styled number that no one can read without picking the die up and studying it intently.

Others my swear by (or at) Lou Zocchi and his damn near perfect dice, while others want the smooth Koplow dice.

Me, I have buckets of dice, but I don't bring buckets to the gaming table. I still have those Gamma World dice, the first dice set my parents bought for me that I got with my AD&D 1e books, I have gems and stone and metal, odder sizes than the standard odd sizes, Zocchi dice and have bought my dice by the pound.

Yes, I like dice.

What about you? Dice addict? Recovered addict? Would rather use numbered chits? Use a Dragon Bone?

Tell us about your dice.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Minotaur Gladiator - Exchanging Gladiatorial Pits For the Tunnels of T&T

Minotaur Gladiator 

Monster Rating: 80

Combat Dice: *13D6 + 80 (see Special)

Special Damage - Minotaur Gladiators fight with a 4d6 Gladiator Sword which is included in it's Combat Dice

Har! A good fight is a great thing, but even a bad fight is a good thing. See these muscles? Years of training in the Gladiator Pits. See my scars? Years of Fighting in the Gladiator Games. See that puddle of piss? Your 's right before I remove your head from your shoulders...

(Thanks to Craig Brasco for giving me permission to use the above art)

Mini Review - Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between

If you've read this blog over the last six months or so, I'm sure you've noticed that I'm a big fan of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. There's certainly not enough time left over after work and other responsibilities to play all the RPGs I want to, but I will get back to occasion DCC GM'ing again. It's simply a fun system.

Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between is a Patrons Supplement for the DCC RPG. So what, exactly, are patrons?
"Patrons are supernatural beings that are willing to bargain with mortals, trading magical power for service." "Patrons are supernatural beings meddling in the affairs of the world."
Simply put, patrons give the PCs a little extra "oomph!" for the cost of a price to be paid later. That could be in 5 minutes or 5 years. I like to think of them as the Lords of Law and Chaos from the Eternal Champions Series of books by Moorcock.

Now, on to the show :)

AD&BW gives you 13 unique patrons (one of which is actually "4 Maidens" but it works). They follow the same formats as the DCC RPG Corebook samples - description, Invoke Patron check results, Patron Taint (always makes me want to giggle like a dumb junior high student at a dirty word ;)  Patron Spells, and Spellburn.

Each patron is well written. Scratch that, enjoyably written, to the point that I'd like the opportunity to use each one. I'll never find the time to use all of them, but the thought is there ;)

Daniel Bishop and Paul Wolfe are the writers. I've followed Daniel's work on other DCC RPG products as well as his excellent blog. Paul Wolfe's work is new to me, but if this is the type of work he does, I look forward to more.

The artists are David Fisher, Scott Ackerman and Daniel Bishop.

David's work first graced this blog with the Santa Claws Patron that he drew specifically for the Christmas DCC Contest. Well done!

Scott's work graces every page of this blog, as Scott generous donated the blog header you see. Simply an amazing artist.

I had no idea Daniel was also an artist. I'll have to shake him down for something on the blog. No idea what though ;)

Sean Connors as the lead brought an excellent team together and it shows throughout the book. About the best compliment I can give is that the book feels as if there was just one man behind the words and the art - it's a team that hit all of it's points.

I'm only halfway though it so far - six out of thirteen patrons down. Thankfully  it's on my iPad so I can read it in bed before sleep. Actually, with these patrons, exposing them to my dreams may not be the best idea ;)

From the blurb:

Patrons, more than just mere supernatural benefactors, are schemers whose plots set the world in motion. They are beings who amuse, enthrall, and terrify the mortals who dare to bargain with them.

You, dear reader, will find thirteen fully developed patrons to use for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG.

This product includes 40 new spells, monstrous minions, and new spell burn and Patron taint tables to use in your DCC games.

Encumbrance - Hand Wave or Full Backpack?

The thought came to me on the drive home today. I have so much random shit in my trunk, I have yo clean it out before going away for a weekend trip. Which somehow led me to think about encumbrance in RPGs. My mind works like that sometimes - don't ask.

Anyhow, as a DM, I'm kind of the "hand wavy" type. As long as it isn't something rare and unusual, you probably have it in your backpack. Spending time buying flint and steel, chalk and the like just doesn't excite me much. Never liked it much as a player and it bores me to shit wasting group game time with it at the beginning of a campaign. It's not like anyone ever re-buys the used up stuff anyway. It's always assumed to be taken care off "off stage".

Some people like working all that shit out. God bless them. Next game I'm in as a player they can do it for me ;)

So, where do you stand? Hand wave or full backpack?

Is XotX Preparing to Release the PDF Hoards at XXXXxx?

I just got a crapload of notifications from XXXXxx for XotX legacy products. The links don't work, but if  / when they did / do, it could be fun:

2e - xxxxx xxxxx Sourcebook xxxx

2e - xxxxx of the xxxxx: xxxxx

2e - xxxxx of the xxxxx: xxxxxx

1e - xxxx and xxxx

and a bunch of 4e stuff that I really couldn't care much about, but if folks really want to know, its stuff like xxxxx, xxxxxx, the xxxx and xxxx Vol 1 Annuals, xxxx on the xxxxxx and the like.

The 4e stuff is post XotX PDF purge (at least I think it is) so this may be some very good news of things to come.

(Shout out to +James Raggi for suggesting I check my mail ;)

(edited to remove specifics, because apparently someone buggered on their end ;)

Latest Update - Project Update #42: Where Dwimmermount Is At

Here's the latest Dwimmermount Update from the Kickstarter page:
(it looks awful, but I wanted to keep the relevant links - no one reads The Tavern for it's formatting anyway ;)

In the last project update, I said that I'd be giving way to James as the main point of contact going forward but promised to post another update as soon as I heard from him. That hasn't happened, but this morning on his blog The Sandbox of Doom Victor Raymond has shared some information about James' situation that I wanted to be sure everyone knew about. Quoting Victor's post in full:

I talked with James Maliszewski yesterday. As some of you may be aware, James' father is in very poor health and not expected to live much longer. Last year, I went through a similar series of events around the death of my friend Phil, so I have some perspective on what he is going through. It's difficult to explain just how much of an impact this kind of thing has on a person. For James, besides anything else, this has become a terrible distraction. Trying to think or write creatively is just difficult, if not impossible. I asked James if he minded if I shared this with people I know, and he said it was perfectly fine. I know many people are waiting for Dwimmermount. I don't think you have to worry about that, but this sort of life event is something nobody can plan for. If you feel like you want to comment on this post, I would suggest instead that you contact your parents and tell them how much you love them.
Speaking for myself and for Autarch, our sympathies are with James. We understand his needing to take some time to deal with this difficult situation, and we trust in his honor and integrity to fulfill his responsibility to the Dwimmermount backers as soon as he's able. 
For more information about the state of the project, you might: 
Thanks for your interest in - and, if you're a backer, your support of - this project; it means a lot to us.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mini Review - HackMaster Basic "Plus"

Do you remember when the new HackMaster Basic came out? They stripped out the over the top funny from the old HackMaster and were working on a new game. The original HackMaster Basic  (I bought a bunch of copies of the paperback at $5 a pop) covered levels 1-5. The New HackMaster Basic Plus covers from levels 1-10. Thinking back on the vast majority of D&D campaigns of run over the years, this would have covered all but two of them.

I would gladly play in a HackMaster campaign, but there is now way I could ever run one. It feels to rules heavy for me to be comfortable running with minimal referring to the rules, and that for me is a deal breaker. Maybe if I had 6 months of steady gaming of the system weekly as a player - but the odds of that happening for me are minuscule to nil. I just don't have the time.

For those willing to put the time into the system, the customization of the PCs is damn near amazing. I'd probably need a spread sheet to follow along, but that's why we have computers. The crunch I'm willing to deal with in a system is much greater when I'm not running the system ;)

Interesting - Giant Rats don't get the HP kicker that most monsters do in HMBP. They get abuse in every system.

I may just have to steal borrow the disease section for my own AD&D campaign. You know there have to be some kicking diseases in Rappan Athuk ;)

The HackMaster Basic Plus PDF is $9.99. The HackMaster Player's Handbook is $39.99 for the PDF. I suspect you can get a lot of mileage out of that $9.99 PDF, as it includes both the Player's and GM sections for levels 1-10.

From the blurb:

HackMaster Basic was released with the presumption that players wanted to learn the game – not the character generation system. As such, this version includes a selection of ready-to-play characters to facilitate rapid play.

Let’s face it. Learning how to build a character in any system takes some trial and error. You really have to play the game to know how to build a Player Character.

If you’ve played HackMaster and enjoy the game, HackMaster Basic Plus is the perfect step up. Here’s some of the added features:

• Character Generation
• Full details for advancing up to 10th level
• Extra Equipment choices
• More Spells
• More Skills
• Expanded Combat Options
• 12 Special Combat Moves
• Crunchier Initiative System
• PCs can survive past zero hit points
• Rules for Shooting into Melee

For the GameMaster
• Expanded Treasure Tables
• Disease Rules

227 page PDF

Characters in HackMaster Basic and HackMaster Basic Plus are fully interchageable and can be readily integrated into the grestly expanded rules system featured in the HackMaster Players Handbook.

A Card Based D20 RPG on Kickstarter / Worra Realms - Fantasy RPG

Worra Realms - Fantasy RPG is a D20 based RPG that uses cards instead of books and maps. I'm going to guess it uses the OGL, as it claims it is compatible with other D20 types games out there.

I actually watched the video straight through, and it's pretty interesting. The decks of cards basically substitute for you rulebooks, character generation, adventure mapping, monsters, treasure - it's actually pretty neat.

The base game is $45 - but that doesn't include the character decks. Which means you'd have to grab a ser of D20 rules. I'm not sure how compatible it would be with the OSR rules I gravitate towards, but it can't too far off.

The base game with the character decks is $75, which isn't all that bad when you consider a Player's Handbook and a DMG will set you back more that that.

The dungeon is determined but pulling cards, which makes this game more random than most. That being said, it may be an awesome way to introduce family and friends to the concepts of RPGs in a semi-stealth manner ;)

I do nearly all my gaming on G+ these days, and the deck play wouldn't convert well to a video hangout. Otherwise  I think it might make for a nice diversion from a weekly campaign, as I suspect it results in a more "beer and pretzels" styled game experience.

From the Kickstarter Blurb:

Worra Realms is a revolutionary 2-6 player tabletop RPG that does away with character sheets and huge guide books. Players set off on exciting quests, delving into forests, caves and dungeons in search of danger, treasure and glory. 

Game sessions can be setup in only a few minutes and last from 1-3 hours on average. Worra can be played with or without minis and is as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. It's a perfect game for new players and seasoned GM's alike.

The Standard Set contains 200 cards designed to aid a creative game master in creating and running a fun and exciting campaign. The Elite Set adds to the fun with 300 additional cards for creating characters.

The Grand Original Map Contest

The Grand Original Map Contest

Up for grabs are 4 original Dyson Logos maps.  Creativity is all that is required to win.  Winners will get the original hand-drawn maps.    

You can enter multiple times and there are four different categories to choose from.   To enter, you must agree that your entry can be published (non-commercially) for the benefit of the gaming community.   All entries will be released in a public nature under a non-commercial Creative Commons license.    The digital imagery of the maps will be released under the same license.   Entries must be submitted before midnight, EST on February 16, 2013.

Prize Pool

  • Grand Prize: Fully Stocked Dungeon - Full Page Hand Drawn Map
  • Best Creature - 1/4 Page Hand Drawn Map
  • Best Trap, Treasure or Puzzle - 1/4 Page Hand Drawn Map
  • Best Environmental Setting - 1/4 Page Hand Drawn Map

Grand Prize

Grab a copy of the full page map and create a glorious dungeon delve.   You must use the large map (AKA "Dwarven Fortress") as the basis for your adventure but can add additional imagery, maps, details, etc.   If you create a great creature, trap or environment, you can enter those into the other prize pools in addition to your stocked dungeon.  Separate entries please.   

Best Creature

Create a new creature, race or species that dwells within one of the maps.

Best Trap, Treasure or Puzzle

Dungeons are complex places.    Create an interesting trap, treasure, or puzzle using one of the maps.   Entries can be a singular location be intertwined throughout several locations.    

Environmental Settings

Pick a map.   Generate a novel interesting environment for one or more locales.   How does it affect the characters in the dungeon.   We’re talking slippery, slimy, vision clouding, dragon nose smoke spouting stuff.   

(for Best Creature, for Best Trap, Treasure or Puzzle and for Environmental Settings, you may draw upon any of the maps show for inspiration, or not at all)


Not everyone can win so we’ve employed a series of critical judges.   While Grumpy Dwarf wanted to be a judge, we gave him some beer thus dissolving his interest.   The three judges are Dyson of Dyson’s Dodecahedron, Erik of Tenkar’s Tavern, and Mark of Mithril & Mages.  Each judge will assign a score of 1-5 (5 is best) for each particular entry.  The results will be tabulated and the entry with the highest score shall be awarded the prize.  

Where to Enter

Tap your entry into a comment on THIS VERY POST post over here at Tenkar’s Tavern.   It can be the full entry or just a link to your cool entry.   The judges will collate all the entries and then begin once the contest closes.   


What System Should I use?

Whichever one you want too!.  Sure, we all have a particular system we love at the moment.  For the contest, just use whatever you love.   The idea is that the overall flavor of the entries can easily be shifted to a different system.    Call it system neutral but with a peculiar bent on also being prep for whatever you happen to be running.    

Oh, and of course, here are the maps in question:

Big Map - AKA "Dwarven Fortress" - It doesn't actually need be a Dwarven Fortess, but who am I to question Dyson's Map Labels ;)

Small Map A - Torvek's Tower

Small Map B - Rose River

Small Map C - Troll Chasm

Why the hell are you STILL looking at the page? Download your maps and get writing!
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