Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Eldar Futhark Runes Fall Upon...

The dice have spoken.

The recipient of the Eldar Futhark Runes is

+James Stanton 


Use the comment thingamajig on the right side and tell me where +matt jackson should be sending your gift :)

Some Thoughts on Magic Users Learning New Spells in Swords & Wizardry Complete (and other Old School Games)

I was listening to THAC0's Hammer (an excellent 2e podcast) in the shower and one of the topics that came up was "chance for magic-users to learn a new spell". In truth, I never liked these numbers, even back in my early days of gaming. Even with a high Intelligence score (say 16), a magic-user would still fail on his chance to learn a new spell 1 time in 4.

Fail that roll to learn "fireball" and you'll never learn it. It's pretty much why I don't use it in my current S&W campaign - it's a huge downside with little upside as far as I'm concerned.

I seem to remember the stated reason for the limitation was that each individual magic-user interprets every single spell differently. Get a dozen magic-users together, and not one will have the exact same "recipe" for "magic missile". Which got me thinking - what if the chance to learn was actually the chance to understand that particular interpretation of the spell?

You failed to learn "fireball" from the scroll you found? Sucks, but at least you can try again when you find the next "fireball" scroll.

I'd also rule the chance to learn does not apply to spells learned directly due to level advancement, so if you REALLY want to learn fireball, make it the free spell you learn at 5th or 6th level.

Hey, look at that - a really gaming post squeezed in between OSR Christmas Gifting ;)

On the 10th Day of OSR Christmas, Santa Bundled James Mishler 10 Times...

Alright, maybe Santa isn't bundling +James Mishler himself up 10 times, but he is bundling 10 sets of James Mishler Games releases in PDF.

The list includes:

Gods, Demi-Gods, and Cults #1: Chaos Queen of Ants

Hercynian Grimoire #1

Ogres of the Olden Lands

Vampires of the Olden Lands

Chronicles of Mhoriedh Map 00 Olden Lands Continent

Open to all. 10 winners. Comments close around 3 pm tomorrow. Get commenting!

Santa Will Ship Day 8's Ogre and Fires to...

Sorry about the delay is getting this out (as well as the Day 9 Runic post). Long work day, long wife day (heh) and game immediately upon getting home late last night left me with little time to be had. But... I'm on vacation for a week, so lets see how it all goes now ;)

Now, I know you want to know who is getting what under their OSR Christmas Tree, so here they are:

TM1: The Ogress of Anubis will be going to Moe Tousignant

VA1 Valley of the Five Fires will be going to Robert Morris

Lads know what to do - hit me up using the contact form and I'll pass your info onto New Big Dragon himself.

On the 9th Day of OSR Christmas, Elder Futhark Runes Fell From the Sky

Note: Due to the expense of mailing packages outside the US, some days of the OSR Christmas Giveaway will be limited to US mailing addresses only. This is one of those days. I apologize to the international tavern patrons and will make it up to you in the coming days. PDF gifts will be international and will require an OBS (occasionally LULU) account to claim in most cases. We do have print gifts that will be shipping internationally in later days.

I'm a few minutes late for Friday in NYC, but if I was in LA, I'd be early ;)

+matt jackson is offering a handmade set of Elder Futhark Runes. This is probably the most unique gift in the 12 Days of OSR Christmas Giveaway.

Damn cool stuff :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

The 12 Days of OSR Christmas Will Last Longer than 12 Days, as We have a Plethora of Gifts to Give Away

I just took a glance at the spreadsheet I have for the 12 Days of OSR Christmas Giveaway and I have confirmed there is no way in heaven or on earth that this will wrap up on December 23rd.


At a quick glance, we have Lords of Olympus, Treasure Awaits, Lords of Gossamer & Shadow x2, AL 4 and 5 for DCC RPG, DCC RPG Core Book, The Manor Bundle of 1-5, a signed copy of Metamorphosis Alpha, Boot Hill, Maps, Art Prints, Minis and More from the Whisper & Venom Kickstarter, A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore, Three Days Until Retirement, In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer x2, The Outpost on the Edge of the Far Reaches and Tales of High Adventure #2 to give away - and that's just the PRINT stuff. Oh, there might be more too.

Wait, also a signed Pool of Radiance Gold Box computer game- signed by James Ward, Steve Winter and Zeb Cook.

In PDF we still have 10 complete sets of James Mishler's current releases, the Manor 1-5 Bundle, 3 copies of The Tomb of the Squonk and the Silent Army, Eldritch Witchery, The Witch, a complete set of Adventures Dark & Deep, The Gnomes of Levnec, a Thousand Dead Babies.

We also have a handmade set of Elder Futhark Runes and a $15 RPGNow Gift Certificate.

In many ways, much of the blog's normal postings are on hold for now - reviews, game recaps, gaming thoughts and the rest play second fiddle to getting these awesome gifts into the hands of our readers.

I believe this is all worth the effort. Trust me when I say, 2014 will be even more exciting here at The Tavern :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On the 8th Day of OSR Christmas, Santa Offered to Ship Internationally...

Thanks to New Big Dragon, we have some gifts in print that all can try for, even The Tavern's international patrons.

We have two adventures up for grabs:

TM1: The Ogress of Anubis and VA1 Valley of the Five Fires

Again, these are in print and everyone may participate, so get those comments rolling

Open for comments until about 8 pm nyc time tomorrow...

Awarding Day 7 of the OSR Christmas Giveaway to....

Joe Moore - you got yourself a copy of the Teratic Tome

Digital Orc - you got yourself a copy of SlaughterGrid

use the contact form on the right to get me your snail mail info, so I can pass it on to +Rafael Chandler


It's Official! D&D Next to Release in Summer of 2014

Wizards of the Coast Announces Thrilling Dungeons & Dragons Launch for Summer 2014

Players fight the most fearsome monster of all time in an exciting multi-platform gaming experience.

December 19, 2013 – Renton, WA – Wizards of the Coast today announced that the highly-anticipated new rules system for Dungeons & Dragons will release in summer 2014.  After nearly two years of an open public playtest and more than 175,000 playtest participants, the rules are complete. Players will be immersed in rich storytelling experiences across multiple gaming platforms (WTF does this mean?) as they face off against the most fearsome monster of all time.

“Just like a perfectly balanced party, Wizards has worked cohesively with fans, designers and partners to create the next generation of D&D,” said Nathan Stewart, Brand Director for Dungeons & Dragons. “We whole-heartedly thank all of the play test participants, whose feedback has proven instrumental in shaping the future of Dungeons & Dragons.”

More information about the exciting Dungeons & Dragons entertainment offerings will be available in early 2014. To learn more about D&D, visit dungeonsanddragons.com.

linky here - hat tip to czak for the heads up ;)

here's the horrid looking screenshot:

Razzle Zazzle - Pimping The Tavern with Steins and More

Last night in our Hangout session, +Rafael Chandler noticed my Tenkar's Tavern Beer Stein. This reminded me that others have asked about it in the past.

Before I knew it, I had the beginnings of a Tenkar's Tavern Zazzle store. Not sure about the stein in blue - I need to order a piece for myself, but there is a watch on the page that I think I shall gift myself - well, that and the larger key chain.

+Scott Ackerman I think I owe you a beer stein and then some for the awesome banner work :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

On the 7th Day of OSR Christmas Santa Slaughtered the Teratic Tome

Note: Due to the expense of mailing packages outside the US, some days of the OSR Christmas Giveaway will be limited to US mailing addresses only. This is one of those days. I apologize to the international tavern patrons and will make it up to you in the coming days. PDF gifts will be international and will require an OBS (occasionally LULU) account to claim in most cases. We do have print gifts that will be shipping internationally in later days.

+Rafael Chandler is offering up a copy of the Teratic Tome and a copy of Slaughter Grid in PRINT to 2 lucky gift recipients. This is a US only gift day.

Teratic Tome is $22.62 on Lulu and a bargain at that price. There is a 40% off coupon floating around for Lulu right now, so even if you don't get lucky you can still treat yourself ;)

Not sure how long the code is good for:  LULUEMP2013

This will close to comments around 7 pm tomorrow, NYC time. Best of luck to all.

Time to Award Crawl! from Day 6 of the OSR Christmas Giveway

Yes, it's time to Crawl! Much thanks to not so secret Santa +Dak Ultimak for the generous gifts! Our recipients are:

Rodney Hankemeier - Crawl! Bundle in Print and PDF

Boric G - Crawl! Bundle in PDF

OSRbaron - Crawl! Bundle in PDF

+Dyson Logos - Crawl! #1 in Print and PDF

Erik Talova - Crawl! #1 in Print and PDF

Teh Bagder - Crawl! #1 in Print and PDF

Congrats to the gift recipients!

Use the form on the right side of the page to contact me so we can get these gifts out to you!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

LotFP PDF Sale - $2.50 PDFs

+James Raggi has put his collection of PDFs on sale at $2.50 each. Most of James' releases are pretty good, and even the ones I'm not personally crazy about have a strong following.

Carcosa is something I'd never run, but would liberally steal ideas from, and at $2.50, it's a bargain.

Vornhiem is something I swear at, but others swear by it. Again, a bargain for $2.50

LotFP Rules and Magic Full Version - sure, you can get the no frills no art version for free, but the art is what makes this, for good or ill.

The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions - Vincent Baker's take on wizards in LotFP Weird Fantasy.

Isle of the Unknown - a sandbox ripe for picking - probably the bargain of the bunch.

There's a lot more, but this should get you started.

Prices are good until December 30th.

The Recipient of the Day 5 Small Niche Games Bundle of Goodness is...


DSB, use the contact form on the right side of the page and let me know the email this stuff is going to.


On the 6th Day of OSR Christmas, Santa Made Us Crawl!

Yes, it is time to Crawl!

+Dak Ultimak has donated some Crawl! bundles (1-8) to the OSR Christmas festivities.

These bundles are open to all, no matter their mailing address.

1 Bundle of Crawl! in Print + PDF

2 Bundles of Crawl! in PDF

EDIT Adding 3 Crawl! Issue 1 in Print and PDF!

One of the best gaming fanzines ever, and if you are lucky you may find this DCC RPG fanzine under the OSR Christmas tree.

You know what to do - add a comment and you may be one of the lucky three six:)

Monday, December 16, 2013

On the 5th Day of OSR Christmas, We Found More of the 2nd Day Goodness...

Small Niche Games has been kind enough to give away another set of PDF goodness open to all :)

If you missed this over the weekend, you've got a second chance...

The Chronicles of Amherth

Blood Moon Rising

The Inn of Lost Heroes

Pyramid of the Dragon

The Stealer of Children

The Shrine of St. Aleena

Ghoul Keep and the Ghoul Lands

A very nice collection of Small Niche Games products in a tidy package to one fine commenter on this post. Again, open to all.

Post will be open for comments until 8pm or so tomorrow night.

(Day 4 gift recipients can be found here)

The Recipients of the 4th Day of OSR Christmas Gifts Are...

OSR Santa has rolled the magic dice and decided on the recipients of the OSR Christmas Day 4 PDF give away. They are:

Christopher Wood - Blood & Treasure

Shawn Kilburn - Tales of the Space Princess

mbeacom - Par Fortuna

use the email box thingie on the far right to contact me, so I can pass your info on to +John Stater and get these gifts out to you.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Some Observations on the 12 Days of OSR Christmas and Ideas for the New Year

The response to the 12 Days of OSR Christmas is simple more than I expected by many magnitudes, both with the gifts to be given away and the folks that are hoping to be gifted.

Like always, it seems that these events take on a life of their own and I'm just along for the ride. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get everything out in the 12 days I'm running this, but if there are gifts that don't make the 12 days, I'll kick the rest of them off with the New Year - kinda like a Three Kings Day extension to the whole thing.

There will be a major "event" hosted here at The Tavern, probably before the month of January wraps up - or at least should kick off sometime in January and run a bit beyond. It will require a bit more effort than "just a comment", but the rewards will be equal to the effort required.

Yep, something else that will probably resemble me trying to ride a dragon by holding on to it's tale. It's worked okay for me thus far ;)

On the 4th Day of OSR Christmas I Found Blood & Treasure and...

Open to all. We have 3 gifts in PDF - one gift each for three recipients.

Major props to +John Stater for donating the following for the OSR Christmas cause ;)

Blood & Treasure

Tales of the Space Princess

Pars Fortuna

Three gifts - three recipients - this post will be open to comments until at least 530 tomorrow night.

You need to comment to be in the running for a gift :)

New OSR PWYW - Execution Corner (GM Games)

Plug in and play. That is what Execution Corner is. It's a small yet detailed local whose name is also it's definition.

It's also stat free, so really, it could fit into any fantasy setting. I have an idea where this may fit into my current campaign.

Favorite line? 
Around the back of tavern is the pissing wall. Names of the
criminals that were hung here are carved into the wood. The
patrons are encouraged to piss on the names as tribute.
No, we don't have a pissing wall at Tenkar's Tavern, but after reading this we may need to instal one ;)

From the blurb:

Execution Corner is a location you can drop into your campaign.  A crossroads area where 96 criminals have met their end.  You'll find the No Tomorrow Tavern serving the thirsty crowd on hanging day.  A pair of peddlers selling until the rope goes taut.  And an executioner who is very particular about what rope he uses.

What you'll find inside:

A hand drawn, colored map of the area.
Descriptions of the people and area.
Extras that include superstitions and a few game mechanic additions.

The Recipient of the NOD Bundle is...

Time to award the bundle of NOD to:


email me or use the contact form on the right so I can get +John Stater your needed info.

previous gift recipients can be found here. sill waiting on a few.

Recipients of the 2nd Day and 3rd Day Flash OSR Christmas Giveaways Are...

Time to give away some gifts :)

The 2nd Day of OSR Christmas gift recipient (a bundle of Small Niche Games products in PDF) is:


The 3rd Day of OSR Christmas - Flash Bonus - gift recipients of That's a Goblin!? in PDF are:


Steve Moss

Mike Gibb


Steve Balog

The Day 1 recipient was:


The lucky folks need to reach out to me so we can get them their goodies - email tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom so we can put things in motion for ya ;)
Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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