Saturday, March 30, 2013

Time to "Open" a DwimmerTavern?

With the news that Dwimmermount is going to be released under the OGL as a whole has gotten me thinking. For those that don't know, thinking is a dangerous thing in my hands at times.

Folks will soon be able to pick and choose their "flavor" of Dwimmermount - most probably with and without 9 rats and 2,000 coppers. The tweaks will be small and large. Free and for profit. It leads to an interesting thought.

We're used to rules being OGL in the OSR but not settings and supplements, at least not beyond their "rule like pieces". Blackmarsh is about the only other such product that comes to mind - make it your own and even sell it if you want to. Amazing stuff.

Which turns into "if my current project progresses as a Swords & Sorcery setting, do I publish it, and if I do, do I go to the deep end of the OGL pool with it?"

I think the answer is to release it fully into the OGL when it's complete, but with the way I progress with projects, James will probably have his "Director's Cut" of Dwimmermount done by then.

I'd probably have to serialize it if I go that route.

Eh, just thinking aloud. Dwimmermount being released fully under the OGL opens up a crap-ton of potential and makes for an amazing precedent. I'm truly interested to see how this plays out.

Maybe I could replace the 9 Rats and 2,000 Coppers room with a surly dwarven bartender. That's an idea. A single Dwimmermount room release for plug and play into the megadungeon itself.

Or maybe I just need some sleep ;)

Meandering Through "Monstrosities" - Bringing Life to Tenkar's Landing

This is a "non-gaming" weekend at the Tenkar household - I figured folks in my gaming group would either be guests for the weekend or receiving guest for the weekend, and I was right. So, in addition to getting ready for the guests we are receiving tomorrow for the Easter Holy Day I'm also working on some gaming thoughts.

Like - "What's going to inhabit the world that Tenkar's Landing exists in? What kind of monsters, natural and unnatural creatures, humans and nearly humans are my players going to find?"

For a Swords & Sorcery flavored Swords & Wizardry / Crypts & Things campaign, I think the idea comes down to one that is found in the DCC RPG as well LotFP's Weird Fantasy - the best monster is a unique one.

Not that ALL the monsters need to be unique, but enough of them need to to actually make all monsters special. So, there might be a whole tribe of cannibal veggipygmies, but only one Queen Rosatunda, Immortal Progenitor of the Veggipymies of the Ruins of Azagath. Kill her and the tribe will die out. Let her live and at some point in time, the Veggipygmies may over run whole island.

So, i want to go through both Monstrosities and Tome of Horrors Complete, find monsters that will fill the range from common (skeletons, giant rats w/ 2k coppers, wolves) through unique (as above) and the world in between.

There are no demihumans or humanoids by default, although most humanoids could be brought in reskinned as primitive humans or magically warped ones - but they would be localized - none of this "a goblin behind every tress and an orc in every cave" bullshit ;)

As a side note, the OGL'ing of Dwimmermount leaves room for a Swords & Sorcery style conversion of the megadungeon...

The S & W Appreciation Day Line Up Hits 50 Blogs - and It's First "Stretch Goal" ;)

We've hit 50 53 blogs that have signed up to participate in the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day Blogfest set for April 17, 2013. First stretch goal achieved! Damn, this shit is addictive. Now I understand what it's like to run a Kickstarter and watching stretch goals get hit! Well, not really, but damn if this shit isn't exciting! :)

One random participating blog will get a $10 credit to RPGNow curtesy of me :)

I just put another $5 credit into the gift pool at 50 blogs signed up. There will be another $5 credit at 60 blogs and yet another at 75 blogs participating. If we go beyond 75 I'll find something to pull out from my nether region...

So, if we hit 75 blogs there will be the Frog God Games PDF, a $10 RPGNow credit and 3 $5 RPGNow credits up for grabs.

If you want to sign up your blog and participate, add yourself as a comment to this post. If there are any mistakes below, they are mine - point them out and I'll correct them.

+Matt Finch is pondering collecting the material posted on the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day's participating blogs as a free PDF or even make it part of a future Knockspell. Go to Mythmere's Blog and let Matt know what you think. Me, I think both ideas are awesome.

7 - Lapsus Calumni

8 - 19th Level

9 - Sycarion Diversions

10 - Dorkland!

11 - Worlds Galore

12 - Dreams of My Mystic Fantasy

13 - Daily OSR fix

14 - BrewLab Gaming Concepts

15 - Realms of Chirak

16 - Quickly, Quietly, Carefully

17 - Dreams in the Lich House

18 - Hereticwerks

19 - RPG Delisi

20 - The Retired Adventurer

21 - Semper Initiativus Unum

22 - Red Box Denver

23 - Bat in the Attic

24 - Reverend Dak dot Blogspot

25 - The Ongoing Campaign

26 - The Other Side

27 - d20 Dialectic

28 - Unto the Breach

29 - Venger's old school gaming blog

30 - Fear No Darkness

31 - Mythmere's Blog (Mr S&W Himself ;)

32 - Gamers & Grodnards

33 - Dispatches From Kickassistan

34 - Six Sarcophagi

35 - Edgar's Game Blog

36 - Spes Magna Games

37 - The Space Cockroach's Hideout

38 - inthecitiesdotcom

39 - Sorcerer Under Mountain

40 - Tenkar's Tavern (this very blog)

41 - No School Like the Old School

42 - Blessings of the Dice Gods

43 - Porky's Expanse

44 - The Clash of Spear on Sword

45 - Roll to Carouse!

46 - Ilea jacta Est -- A 20-Sided Look at Life

47 - Blood & Battle 

48 - Starting Over With the OSR

49 - Sandbox of Doom

50 - Lord Archaon's Grimoire

51 - Battle Axes and Beasties

52 - Apathy Blogs

53 - Applied Phantasticality

54 - Strange Stones

55 - Mystic Bull Games

56 - Le Verre Violet

57 - The Sorcerer Speaks!

58 - The Crazy GM

59 - O Druida Heirophante

48 Blogs Are Signed Up for the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day Blogfest - First "Stretch Goal" is at 50 Blogs ;)

We are currently at 48 blogs signed up to participate in the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day Blogfest set for April 17, 2013. If we can hit 50, we'll be at our first "Stretch Goal" ;)

Frog God Games is offering the "winning" blogger the Swords & Wizardry PDF of their choice from Tome of Horrors, Rappan Athuk or the upcoming Razor Coast. How will the "winner" be decided? Chris, Matt and myself will work that out.

One random participating blog will get a $10 credit to RPGNow curtesy of me :)

I'll put another $5 credit into the gift pool at 50 blogs signed up, another $5 at 60 blogs and yet another at 75 blogs participating. If we go beyond 75 I'll find something to pull out from my nether region...

So, if we hit 75 blogs there will be the Frog God Games PDF, a $10 RPGNow credit and 3 $5 RPGNow credits up for grabs.

If you want to sign up your blog and participate, add yourself as a comment to this post. If there are any mistakes below, they are mine - point them out and I'll correct them.

7 - Lapsus Calumni

8 - 19th Level

9 - Sycarion Diversions

10 - Dorkland!

11 - Worlds Galore

12 - Dreams of My Mystic Fantasy

13 - Daily OSR fix

14 - BrewLab Gaming Concepts

15 - Realms of Chirak

16 - Quickly, Quietly, Carefully

17 - Dreams in the Lich House

18 - Hereticwerks

19 - RPG Delisi

20 - The Retired Adventurer

21 - Semper Initiativus Unum

22 - Red Box Denver

23 - Bat in the Attic

24 - Reverend Dak dot Blogspot

25 - The Ongoing Campaign

26 - The Other Side

27 - d20 Dialectic

28 - Unto the Breach

29 - Venger's old school gaming blog

30 - Fear No Darkness

31 - Mythmere's Blog (Mr S&W Himself ;)

32 - Gamers & Grodnards

33 - Dispatches From Kickassistan

34 - Six Sarcophagi

35 - Edgar's Game Blog

36 - Spes Magna Games

37 - The Space Cockroach's Hideout

38 - inthecitiesdotcom

39 - Sorcerer Under Mountain

40 - Tenkar's Tavern (this very blog)

41 - No School Like the Old School

42 - Blessings of the Dice Gods

43 - Porky's Expanse

44 - The Clash of Spear on Sword

45 - Roll to Carouse!

46 - Ilea jacta Est -- A 20-Sided Look at Life

47 - Blood & Battle 

48 - Starting Over With the OSR

The Road to Dwimmerhell is Paved With Best Intentions

Yep, when Dwimmermount was first Kickstarted, Autarch gave James Mal both the rights and the monies to the project, but were themselves saddled with the responsibility of completing the project. Nice thoughts, very bad business practice.

After James Mal resurfaced, he signed a contract giving the monies and the Dwimmer-rights to Autarch, keeping the right to exclusively publish for Labyrinth Lord to himself.

Except he now says he didn't exclusive rights, he wants Autarch to publish the LL version based on his notes. Which makes sense, as why wouldJames want the pressure of having to put out an expected project when he currently can't handle the pressure.

This is a nightmare that never ends.

Latest From Tavis:

"I am just about certain we'll find a way to fulfill the LL version of Dwimmermount. Once I have the details nailed down I will reply to refund requests. I don't think it is realistic to expect that James will return to work on the project in a substantial way during our time frame for completion, so I'll be looking to be sure that we're refunding backers who would not be happy with a version of the dungeon that hasn't been overseen by James from start to finish, but not those who will be satisfied with a LL version once I can be sure how we'll be able to do that. 
I uploaded our amended contract with James to the Dwimmermount download area. The relevant clause is "8) Labyrinth Lord. The Company agrees not to publish a version of the Product using the Labyrinth Lord rules, leaving this option open to the Creator as a vehicle for publication of his final creative vision, and will cooperate in good faith to promote any such efforts in future." Because Dwimmermount will become 100% open game content upon its publication by Autarch, despite this clause we could partner with another company who isn't bound by this agreement and can publish the LL version for us to distribute along with the other rewards. I wouldn't normally try to make an end run around James' intent as I understood it on the phone and tried to reflect it in the contract I drafted, just as I normally wouldn't assume that someone would tell me they were going to review this draft with their lawyer and still wind up signing a document that doesn't reflect their intent. However I trust Dan Proctor (Goblinoid Games) and if he says that James meant for Autarch to fulfill our LL version now as well as promote his LL "director's cut" later, that lines up with my responsibility to the backers and I'm eager to find a way to make it happen. (reposted from KS comments)"

Friday, March 29, 2013

List of 40 Blogs Participating in the S&W Appreciation Day Thus Far (oh, and some Phat Loot!)

Can you believe we have 40 blogs signed up for the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day which will run on April 17th, 2013 (although some blogs are making it a week long event ;)

Now, how's this for a "pot sweetener"? Frog God Games is offering the "winning" blogger the Swords & Wizardry PDF of their choice from Tome of Horrors, Rappan Athuk or the upcoming Razor Coast. How will the "winner" be decided? Chris, Matt and myself will work that out.

One random participating blog will get a $10 credit to RPGNow curtesy of me :)

I'll put another $5 credit into the gift pool at 50 blogs signed up, another $5 at 60 blogs and yet another at 75 blogs participating. 

So, if we hit 75 blogs there will be the Frog God Games PDF, a $10 RPGNow credit and 3 $5 RPGNow credits up for grabs.

If you want to sign up your blog and participate, add yourself as a comment to this post. If there are any mistakes below, they are mine - point them out and I'll correct them.

7 - Lapsus Calumni

8 - 19th Level

9 - Sycarion Diversions

10 - Dorkland!

11 - Worlds Galore

12 - Dreams of My Mystic Fantasy

13 - Daily OSR fix

14 - BrewLab Gaming Concepts

15 - Realms of Chirak

16 - Quickly, Quietly, Carefully

17 - Dreams in the Lich House

18 - Hereticwerks

19 - RPG Delisi

20 - The Retired Adventurer

21 - Semper Initiativus Unum

22 - Red Box Denver

23 - Bat in the Attic

24 - Reverend Dak dot Blogspot

25 - The Ongoing Campaign

26 - The Other Side

27 - d20 Dialectic

28 - Unto the Breach

29 - Venger's old school gaming blog

30 - Fear No Darkness

31 - Mythmere's Blog (Mr S&W Himself ;)

32 - Gamers & Grodnards

33 - Dispatches From Kickassistan

34 - Six Sarcophagi

35 - Edgar's Game Blog

36 - Spes Magna Games

37 - The Space Cockroach's Hideout

38 - inthecitiesdotcom

39 - Sorcerer Under Mountain

40 - Tenkar's Tavern (this very blog)

41 - No School Like the Old School

42 - Blessings of the Dice Gods

43 - Porky's Expanse

44 - The Clash of Spear on Sword

45 - Roll to Carouse!

46 - Ilea jacta Est -- A 20-Sided Look at Life

47 - Blood & Battle 

48 - Starting Over With the OSR

Wear Your Barrowmaze With Pride! (Indiegogo)

Let's face it. Most "Gaming" shirts suck. It's got some bad, cheesy pun written on it or just plain looks like shit. I can't think of any I'd be rushing out to wear, let alone buy.

Leave it to +Greg Gillespie to change all that.

This shirt I'll wear with pride, because it fuckin' rocks. Sure, it's a "gaming" shirt, but there's no cheese here.

Greg has other designs he's also offering, but none come close to this in my opinion. This is THE shirt.

He's also running this as a "fixed funding" campaign, so if it doesn't fund your payment gets refunded. 

I think I'll be buying two ;)

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day is Set For April 17 - There Are 18 Blogs Signed Up So Far - Where's Yours?

We have 18  19  25? blogs signed up to participate on the First Annual Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day set for April 17, 2013.

We need more. How many more? Lots more! ;)

You can read more about it and see the current list in the comments section here.

I was going to wait until next Wednesday to put out a list of participating with all their links, but I think that will happen tonight and it will get updated as needed. You have plenty of time to get a post ready.

I'm really excited. Cool logo. Amazing response from other bloggers. Great game system. What more do we need? We need YOU! ;)

Dwimmermount Project Update #49: Last Hurdle Cleared, Looking Toward the Finish Line

(original update here - copied below for your convenience)

What's the current status of the Dwimmermount project?
Autarch now has all the rights necessary to fulfill the backers' rewards and bonus goals as well as make them available for sale to people who missed out on the Kickstarter, thanks to an amendment of Autarch's contract with Dwimmermount creator James Malizewski. The terms of our agreement will create some changes in the way we move forward, but this is great news and I'm very excited to be back on the rails.

When will rewards be delivered?
A new schedule of estimated dates will be posted in the next update; our general priorities and strategy are discussed below.

What's new this week?
An overview of what the transfer of rights makes possible, examples of our goals for developing James' drafts, and thanks for some of the people who got us here.

What Rights Autarch Has And Why

When I re-established contact with James last week, his preferred solution to the impasse was a full refund to backers. He felt that the Dwimmermount draft fell short of his vision for the mega-dungeon, and one of the stresses he'd been suffering from was the conflict between wanting to do it justice and the mounting deadlines for completing the project. What he suggested was to give everyone their money back so that he could take as much time as he needed to achieve his creative goals for Dwimmermount without pressure.

I agreed with James that it would be better to do a mandatory refund than to continue without setting deadlines. However, I felt that the vast majority of backers would rather have what they pledged for, even if it's not perfect, instead of getting their money back.  Autarch can't release the dungeon exactly as James envisioned it, but I argued that as fans, we could use the publication rights to make a version fans will be happy with - or at least allow people the individual choice of a refund.

The compromise reflected in yesterday's contract is based on the two versions of Dwimmermount that were already established. Since Labyrinth Lord was the system James used in his original campaign, we agreed to reserve the LL version of the mega-dungeon as the vehicle for James to potentially release a "director's cut" at some point in the future. Our contract gives Autarch the right to develop and publish a version of the dungeon using the Adventurer Conqueror King System. This will be derived from the ACKS conversion of James' draft we've already been working on, but we'll take it in our own direction and strike a reasonable balance between avoiding further delays and investing the time necessary to develop a product we can be proud of.

What this means is that we'll be using the Kickstarter funds to create just one version of the Dwimmermount hardcover and PDF. This will be written with statistics for ACKS, although we'll include a conversion guide to make it easy to run the dungeon using Labyrinth Lord. If you were a backer who requested the LL version of the dungeon, we hope you'll accept the version we are able to provide instead. However, we'll also gladly provide you with a refund, which you may later be able to use to purchase a version with LL stats. You may also want a refund if you want to wait for James' own version - or if you just don't want to wait any further at all. If so, just send us a message through Kickstarter letting us know whether you prefer check or PayPal and the address we should use in either case.

The O in OSR is for Open Game License 

Another implication of Autarch's contract with James is worth mentioning. Our agreement gives Autarch the perpetual, exclusive right to publish Dwimmermount. The way we left open the possibility of James later publishing his own "director's cut" was to stipulate that everything related to Dwimmermount will be designated as open game content, available for him or anyone else to use through the Open Game License. Since the Old School Renaissance is just one example of the communal creativity made possible by the OGL, I'm eager to see what gamers will do with this fantastic public resource. Commercial publication of remixes like Devilmount is one obvious possibility, as is conversion to other rulesets.

More good news is that James also agreed to designate his Grognardia posts about Dwimmermount as open game content. This was the writing that inspired Autarch's enthusiasm for Dwimmermount, and I think that being able to incorporate parts of it into our version will help us stay true to that inspiration. I'm also very excited by the possibility of combining the session reports from James' original campaign with his original notes to do some really cool stuff with the first bonus goal.

Strategy for Schedule and Development

In my next update, I'll provide a new schedule for when we expect to deliver the backer rewards. Our general approach will be to focus first on getting you the things you need to start playing. The wilderness mat, the mega-dungeon tracker, the separate map booklet, and the illustration booklet are all things we can complete quickly. It'll be a great feeling for me to get these into the hands of people who pledged for them (and to make them available for sale to people who didn't). More importantly, having these play aids out there will facilitate the playtesting that'll help make the later release of the hardback as good as we can collectively make it.

Hardcover printing and shipping is the single most expensive line item in the budget. It's the reward that the greatest number of backers will be receiving, and the publication on which Dwimmermount's reputation will ultimately rest. Although it is the most anticipated item for these reasons, I feel it's also the one that we need to take the most time to get right.

For people who are eager to start playing, one of the things I'll be looking at is the feasibility of doing an earlier PDF playtest edition - including illustration, maps, and functionality like bookmarks, but without waiting for all the planned development of James' draft - with a print-on-demand option for those who want an inexpensive perfectbound softcover copy at the gaming table.

In future updates I'll also talk more about the plans for development of the draft. Me and Alex at Autarch will be taking the lead, since we are the people we can best trust to do it right. Opening things up to community input and providing opportunities for feedback by players and GMs will be a key part of our method. I'll also be looking to get other designers involved - I have some ideas in this regard, but I welcome suggestions for people who you think would bring something special to the project.

I don't expect Autarch's development will be a radical re-envisioning of the draft. I see the first half of our job as identifying the essentials that made Dwimmermount speak to all of us in the first place. The second half will be to fill in the gaps that gamers will need to bring this vision to life in their own campaigns.

As an example of the first, the inserts for the mega-dungeon tracker will include each level of Dwimmermount rendered in one-page dungeon format. Creating this hybrid between the sparseness of James' original notes and the detail of his draft will be a key  step in laying the foundation for Autarch's final text.

As an example of the second, when I run Dwimmermount I like to roll for the possibility of wilderness encounters whenever the party travels between Muntburg and the dungeon. In the Brooklyn Strategist game, this generated a group of bandits who were charging a toll on adventurers seeking to enter or leave; at the ACA/PCA conference, the largest source of XP for the night was an unlucky encounter with a skittering maw on the road home, defeated by first-level PCs thanks to archery, frantic retreat, and lucky encounter distance roll. In order to play out these situations, allow them to be recurring features of a campaign, and also make connections within and without the dungeon like "what tribe do the Path of Mavors kobolds belong to?", Autarch will develop a local map of the region between the town and dungeon. This will be similar in scale to the one in B2: Keep on the Borderlands, where an entry might mark the hut of a single mad hermit, and will zoom in on a few of the six-mile hexes of Rob Conley's existing wilderness map. Adding this local scale will allow for the development of an "Upper Works" to the megadungeon that I think is rich in possibility.

Thank You and Good Night

I owe a debt of gratitude to all the backers who have made it possible for us to be where we are now, but there are a few people I'd specifically like to acknowledge.

First and foremost, of course, is James Maliszewski. His vision of Dwimmermount and his dedication in sharing that vision through his writing and blogging is what brought us together in the first place. My role in resolving the crisis on this project has been little more than trusting in James' honor and integrity to use the funds entrusted to him responsibly, and I'm glad he's trusted Autarch in return to carry on the torch.

I'd also like to thank Wesley Marshall and the other backers who joined him in exploring legal options. I'm grateful to y'all for being proactive, and willing to publicly stand up for your positions and discuss controversial issues reasonably and without hostility. I'm also glad that none of the potential scenarios you researched wound up coming into play!

Finally, my hat is off to backer and RPG.net moderator The Wyzard, whose reaching out with friendly advice and expertise in contracts could not have come at a better time.

I'll look forward to posting here again next Friday, and in the meantime I'll be glad to answer questions at support@autarch.co, at the Mages of the Mountain community on G+, by cell phone at (917) 749-6938, in person in Reno, NV until Monday and New York, NY after that, or in the comments here.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day is in the Works

+Christopher Helton and I bounced the idea off of +Matt Finch . We'd like to run a Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day in April (still working on the day - stay tuned!) much like the Basic Fantasy RPG Appreciation Day that we ran back at the end of January. Matt's on board with the idea, so now it's time to reach out to my fellow bloggers and find out who else is on board as well.

All that we ask is that you post something related to Swords & Wizardry on the day in question (I'm leaning towards April 17th, which should be a Wednesday if my mental calendar is working properly). Play report, thoughts about the system, random table, new monster, spells, magic items, an encounter, reviews - whatever you want to write.

This time, I'll even sweeten the pot - one blog that joins us and posts will get a $10 credit to RPGNow, enough to land a PDF copy of Swords & Wizardry Complete, one of Frog God's Swords & Wizardry adventures or anything else. It will be a random blog that receives the $10 credit, but I reserve the right to add additional gifts to the pool ;)

You have nearly three weeks to prep your post - ample time to ready something. In the meantime, if you are interested in participating, add a comment to this blogpost with a link to your blog. I'll put out a post next Wednesday (April 3rd) with the blogs that have signed up, I'll update it on April 10th and then of course post on the Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day the links to the various blog posts as they go live. Well, as fast as I can update. Whatever day we actually run this I may need to take off from work ;)

I Have One of Thirteen "Cursed" Copies of Neoclassical Geek Revival!

Thanks to +Zzarchov Kowolski I am now the proud owner of one of thirteen limited hard cover copies of Neoclassical Geek Revival.

It is obviously a labor of love. I need to devote some time to read it. You should know that my cat loves the bookmark tassel - it was an effort just to get the photos taken ;)

This is definitely going on my "Shelf of Gaming Goodness"!

There is no way this is a "blighted cursed object" ;)

"Z", when I actually have something released in print, I'll make sure a copy makes it's way up to you.

Much thanks again!

Are You a "Patron" of RPG Kickstarters? Why or Why Not...

It's been one hell of a week. The 3 Kickstarters from Mike Nystul have basically gone belly up and are waiting on their mercy killing. Dwimmermount, all but given up for dead, was miraculously saved. Heck, Reaper just announced that their Bones Kickstarter is starting to ship today.

Yep, Kickstarter can be a rocky road for those that put their money behind a project, especially as the vast majority of RPG Kickstarters are run as "pre-orders with swag". You are less a patron and more of a customer, until the Kickstarter runs a year late or worse happens, and then the "you are a patron of the arts, not a customer" voices come out of the shadows.

So, anyhow, do you support Kickstarters? Do you view it as a gamble or a pre-order? Take risks on the small guy or just stick with the big players? If someone fucks up with their initial Kickstarter, would you trust them with you money on a second one?

Sound off and let us know how you feel.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Resurrection of Dwimmermount is Complete - Autarch Has The Rights Necessary to Fulfill the Kickstarter Obligations!

+Tavis Allison posted this on the Dwimmermount Community over on G+ (current draft and monies to pay artists, rewards were transferred last week):
"We signed a contract with James earlier today giving Autarch the rights we'll need to fulfill all the Kickstarter rewards and bonus goals as well as making them available for sale to folks who missed out on the KS (or have since decided they want to add things). I'll hope to do a full update soon but wanted to share the good news!"
I'm glad to see that the Kickstarter gods have blessed Autarch with the powers of resurrection during this holy week. Shame they can't pull that off with the Axes and Anvils (and associated Kickstarters) mess, but it isn't theirs to fix.

The King of Wayward Kickstarters - Axes & Anvils (He say's he's not dead! - Yes he is!)

more from Axes and Anvils...

Project Update #40: The Plan so Far

Posted by Mike Nystul

Thank you all for your feedback to my earlier post. I spent most of today reading what you had to say and responding to many of you. I appreciate everyone taking the time to speak their mind. Some was supportive, some harsh but all welcome and appreciated.

Taken as a whole the reaction seems to be "that sucks" and "we want to see what we paid for as soon as we can". (I think the reaction has been stronger than that... but whatever)

My priority is getting a playable version into your hands. (which should have been completed months ago) Some of you have mentioned making a download of current work files available - this is close to that. I know you want to know when but I can't and won't say more than as soon as possible, especially considering where we stand on delivery dates (there are none). All that matters is delivering. I just hope that when you get the document you will enjoy it.

Once you have this Preview edition we get t he full blown game book into your hands (you've blown thru $75 k on 3 projects without even PDFs to show for it - how are you going to ship hard copies, let alone the additional "loot" folks pledged for?) . I have some possibilities in the works for solving my financial issues but can't say anything yet. (It better not be crowdfunding, because your rep there is shot - Dwimmermount looks like a small bump in the road compared to this mess)

Thanks again. In the end I hope this will be a journey that we are all glad we took together despite the rough spots.

and now for something completely different:

 MORTICIAN:  Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
      Bring out your dead!
  CUSTOMER:  Here's one -- nine pence.
  DEAD PERSON:  I'm not dead!
  CUSTOMER:  Nothing -- here's your nine pence.
  DEAD PERSON:  I'm not dead!
  MORTICIAN:  Here -- he says he's not dead!
  CUSTOMER:  Yes, he is.
  DEAD PERSON:  I'm not!
  MORTICIAN:  He isn't.
  CUSTOMER:  Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
  DEAD PERSON:  I'm getting better!
  CUSTOMER:  No, you're not -- you'll be stone dead in a moment.
  MORTICIAN:  Oh, I can't take him like that -- it's against regulations.
  DEAD PERSON:  I don't want to go in the cart!
  CUSTOMER:  Oh, don't be such a baby.
  MORTICIAN:  I can't take him...
  DEAD PERSON:  I feel fine!
  CUSTOMER:  Oh, do us a favor...
  MORTICIAN:  I can't.
  CUSTOMER:  Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes?  He won't
      be long.
  MORTICIAN:  Naaah, I got to go on to Robinson's -- they've lost nine
  CUSTOMER:  Well, when is your next round?
  MORTICIAN:  Thursday.
  DEAD PERSON:  I think I'll go for a walk.
  CUSTOMER:  You're not fooling anyone y'know.  Look, isn't there
      something you can do?
  DEAD PERSON:  I feel happy... I feel happy.
  CUSTOMER:  Ah, thanks very much.
  MORTICIAN:  Not at all.  See you on Thursday.
  CUSTOMER:  Right.
      [clop clop]
  MORTICIAN:  Who's that then?
  CUSTOMER:  I don't know.
  MORTICIAN:  Must be a king.
  MORTICIAN:  He hasn't got shit all over him.

In This Corner, Weighing in at Six Hexes - Tenkar's Landing and the Surrounding Landsi

Tenkar's Landing is where the new campaign will kick off. A den if villainy and thieves - it is run by merchants after all ;)

I'll map out the town later.

To kick the campaign off, I want them to get their blades wet so to speak. I'm thinking of setting Sailors of the Starless Sea on the north edge of the mountains in hex 1313 and dropping some adventure leads in their laps at the beginning of the session. The DCC Adventures have a nice Swords & Sorcery feel in general.

Maybe leave them some hints of the activity going on in the ruins to the south west of the mountains and the tomb to the south east. Oh and something on the other side of the river - maybe hex 1512.

I need to tweak up some S&S flavored encounter tables ;)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Tenkar's Tavern Overdue Kickstarter List - Updated 3/26/13 - Featuring Death & Resurrection

A story of newly dead projects and the newly reborn - and lots of chaff in between...

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) April 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 3/26/13
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.

Colors for Actual Ship Date are as follows (note - coding has changed since last update):

Red: Hasn't shipped and is a year or more overdue. This includes projects that the creator has stated are for all intents and purposes dead. This is the zone where you can expect to lose your  money. No updates for 3 or more months will also land you here

Orange: Late by more than 3 months but not quite a year

Yellow: Late by 3 months or less, or shipped but late

Green: Shipped on time. Holy Shit!

Nystul's Infinite Dungeon
Goal: $2,000     Total: $16,017     Funded: June 3, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012  DEAD

Read here for the horror story

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

Read here for the horror story

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)

 after 4 weeks of updates we've knocked off:

10% of Chapter 6's editing
5% of Chapter 7's editing
5% of Chapter 8's editing
5% of Chapter 9's editing
5% of Chapter 10's editing
10% of incidental art
1 portrait (1% progress)
2 colds
1 flu
1 con
20" of snow

Just think, at this rate it has an outside chance of releasing nearly 2 years late:

The Limited Edition hardcover of the Adventure Game, as well as the Ebook, Kindle and PDF, will be available in December 2011. Electronic versions will be sent to donors at the same time the book is sent to the printer. (I'd be impressed with a Summer 2013 release)

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 3/25     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. But hey, we're already being told the list of products to follow, if the core book ever gets published.

My favorite quote is from February: "If you truly do not want your rewards when the game is finished and being shipped out to backers, I will refund your money then. I'm not a monster."

Josh, just so you know, the reason why the city book never got funded on Kickstarter has nothing to do with it being a city book, and everything to do with trying to fund another product for a line that was funded with Kickstarter and STILL has yet to release.

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 3/22- - 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.

The first batch of adventures should be shipping in early March late March early April? I've no idea anymore.

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)

Raise Dead Project was successfully cast by Tavis. James failed his save and relinquished funds and the IP (well, the IP soonish we hope)

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 - Last Update 3/4. 

Hardcovers arrived in Boston a month ago (supposedly). No word on shipping. Pics of a single HC were shown. This might be moving to the dead pile soon, as I strongly suspect there is no money to ship the goods. This project has gone "dark" for extended periods of time in the past.

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 middle of February as per the latest update 1/31 (1 month after the previous update) - so sad I no longer care, but might get good value in trade for this.
No updates in nearly 2 months - may make no updates in 3 months a "Dead Project" criteria

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

Who knows. As of 3/20 maybe soonish

Maelorum, an epic Gamebook

Goal: $5,000     Total: $8,444     Funded: November 19, 2012
Estimated Release Date: January, 2012     Actual Release Date: Soonish?

Latest Update March 25th - PDFs are released, books are slowly being shipped

tremulus: a storytelling game of lovecraftian horror

Goal: $5,000     Total: $62,723     Funded: October 2, 2012
Estimated Release Date: January, 2012     Actual Release Date: ?

Latest Update March 25th - no firm date yet - still plugging away

Tales From the Fallen Empire: Sword and Sorcery Setting
Goal: $4,500     Total: $12,435     Funded: July 18, 2012
Estimated Release Date: January, 2013    Actual Release Date: ?

Last updated 3/26- Book is still in edit. Judges screens are in and look great.

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

-------------------------- 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

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: January, 2013

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

King For a Day
Goal: $800     Total: $4,844     Funded: May 1, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012     Actual Ship Date: Shipped March 2013

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

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)  Merged into Roll20

TTF recently announced it is merging into Roll20. Goodbye TTY, we hardly new ya.

Spears of the Dawn - shipped early

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

Not due yet, but funding is complete:

Horror on the Orient Express: Call of Cthulhu by Chaosium


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

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