Sunday, August 31, 2014

Leaving Off the "R" in OSR

Sometimes I think we as a hobby are too big on labels, especially the labels we put on ourselves and the corner of the hobby we love.

I thought we were going to have a Donnybrook yesterday on a G+ thread related to the first episode of the Tenkar & The Badger podcast, simply because a listener went off on a tirade that none of the definitions of the OSR put forward in the episode was right - we were all wrong and only he had the proper definition of the High Orthodox Church of the OSR. Which just went and proved a point - it is a fucking nebulous thing to define as we all bring our own gaming baggage into the pew with us.


Old School... Revolution... Revival... Resurrection... Regurgitation... Retread...

Maybe the "R" should be for Resolution. The resolution to keep Old School gaming alive, whether it be D&D, T&T, RQ, RM, MERPS, WFRP, Traveller, Bunnies & Burrows, Empire of the Petal Throne, Champions, GURPS, FASRIP or whatever your old school game of choice is.

In the grand scheme of things, our hobby is a small one. We should be embracing our commonalities, not excluding those that may have cut their gaming teeth on a system that came out a year or two after a white box (or more accurately, wood grained box) that very few of us actually had a chance to play with back in the day.

That my resolution.

Well, that and keeping the extra crotchety grognards off my lawn ;)

Audio From the Hangout with David Wilson Brown / eXtra-Dimensional Publishing is Live on iTunes

While episode 2 should be posted by the end of the week, +Jason Paul McCartan has uploaded the audio from the interview with +David Wilson Brown that we conducted earlier this month via an On Live Hangout on G+.

Now you can listen without the need to look at my goofy headphones ;)

We present to you Tenkar & The Badger, Special Episode #1

Roll For Initiative Podcast - What To Expect When Playing RPGs in Different Settings - Your Bartender is a Guest Host ;)

Earlier today I sat down at the virtual gaming table to discuss the differences in play and expectations between conventions, organized play, home gaming and G+ gaming with +Vincent Florio and +Glen Hallstrom.

May we present for your listening pleasure Roll For Initiative Podcast Vol 3 Mini Issue 1.

I had a great time. Hopefully the three of us can get together and do this again sometime in the future ;)

Looking at Some of the Differences Between Convention, Organized and Home Play of RPGs

+Vincent Florio and I have had some recent discussions about the differences between Convention, Organized and Home play of RPGs and we will probably be discussing it more today.

As I see it, some of the basic differences are as follows (this is by far not a complete list):

Convention Play - in convention gaming, the adventure itself is what the players are invested in, not so much their characters (which are general pregens - there are exceptions to this, such as the Mythus Tower sessions run by +Matt Finch and +Bill Webb at NTRPG Con). In a convention set up, the classic Tomb of Horrors or +James Raggi 's fairly recent The Monolith Beyond Space and Time work much better than in a home environment (and would never be part of organized play). If a convention adventure results in a total party kill, it doesn't kill a campaign. Houserules are rare and always announced prior to the session.

Organized Play - in organized gaming, groups across the world are playing through the same series of adventures. There will be no house rules, because it is designed so that players could theoretically move from one group to another with ease. Adventures generally have a rigid structure to ensure similar play across different groups. Adventures begin and end in a self contained manner, and the links between adventures are pretty much on rails - there is little if any opportunity to "sandbox" in organized play, and sandboxing would make similar play between groups running the same series of adventures near impossible.

Home Play - home play is probably the most traditional sort of play for most player. It is also the hardest of the three to apply a general definition to, as some groups run sandboxes, some run linked adventures (muck like organized play), some run episodic campaigns (where adventures or adventure arcs have little connection to each other.) Character development plays a large part of home play (and to a lesser extent organized play.)

The above is certainly not complete. There can be some bleed over between the three basic types of play and I'm sure I left of a crap ton of wiggly bits that would make the above definition less well defined.

I'd love some thoughts and input on the above.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Draconic "Magazine" Comes Online

If there is one thing I can say for sure about +Venger Satanis ' Draconic "Magazine" is that it isn't a magazine. It's a hub, a blog, a website but it's not a magazine.

At first glance, it reminds me of Gnome Stew, which itself is more than a blog but less than a magazine. Well, that's if Gnome Stew had black and red demonic goat's heads (or are they demonic goat-dragon mongrelations?) on the front page trying to play off the OSR by branding each head with "O" "5" "R" respectively while using the classic Dragon Magazine font for it's title (much like Gygax magazine does, it an attempt to be what it is not).

Therein lies my first issue with the first "issue" of "Draconic Magazine" - what identity is it trying to portray? Is it an OSR blog? A 5e blog? A "D&D is satanism blog? Is it the reincarnation of the Old Dragon Magazine, assuming it went the way of the dracolich?

+Venger Satanis is a Satanist (or Cthulhuian now) priest. I get where the "demonic" trappings come from. To each their own, but for me, such overt trappings are a turn off. It's not prudishness. I'd have similar feelings if the trappings were crosses or stars of David. My preference is to keep "real" world (as in not created by modern fiction) out of my gaming.

As for the actual content? No better and no worse than the average gaming blog. Which in the end is what Draconic Magazine is - a blog with mostly posts by Venger with a few others in the mix. Again, similar to Gnome Stew but with a satanic tilt to the trappings and an attempt to cover a wide base of D&D editions.

Is it worth the read? It's a gaming blog. There should be something worth stealing.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Looks Like There Will NOT be PDF Versions of the Core D&D 5e Books - But There's an App for That ;)

It doesn't look like there will be PDF (or epub or mobi) versions of the 5e core books. Part of the argument is that we've already been given the 5e Basic Rules for free in PDF, so why butcher sales of physical books even more. The other argument against it is piracy. Last argument? They've given digital rights to the 5e rules to the company behind the DungeonScape application from Trapdoor Technologies.

Alright, first a little background. ENWorld has an interview posted on their site with Mike Mearls that addresses just this topic (conducted by Mike Evans).
Mike... because we know that gamers love books… and we’re gamers too, we love books! And then it’s not just a game manual, it’s an artifact Because if you like D&D enough that you want to spend money, we’re are going to give you reasons to spend your money. But if you weren’t going to spend money and just pirate it, that’s easy, there’s already a free PDF out there. 
I suppose I’m kind of editorialize this… there are plenty of people out there who can justify the economical necessity of piracy, and just as many who say here’s the solution to piracy and I’m going to sell it to you. I mean I look at it that when I was a kid and I pirated software, it’s because I only had 50 dollars a month I could spend on games, so all that would mean is I’d skip stuff, I’d never play Ultima V because I could never buy Ultima III. But instead, I played a pirated version of Ultima III, and then when Ultima V was announced my 50 bucks went right to Lord British. But really, if there was no piracy to play the earlier game, I wouldn’t have spent money on the later game when I had it. And I think it’s easy as a creator to say, oh this piracy it’s killing me! Instead, I see it, and I think you have to approach it because it’s a challenge, how can I make you say, you know what I want this [book]. I gotta have it. But there is still a market for the PDFs… 
Yea I was going to ask about that [PDF sales]…
Mike: You know we haven’t announced anything official yet, but I’d be surprised if we released the PDF to be exactly as the book. Because I think that we’ll sit down and look at a PDF format of the book and say well what’s the best format that could take? It really does make good sense to have it sort of stripped down and in a utilitarian layout.  
Because you know what? I’m actually just using this because I just want to get some rules at the table. Maybe I just want to be on a plane or just sitting around and want a quick reference that’s a quick read and just the information I want. So what does that do to the [PDF] design? We strip out a lot of the art and make it utilitarian. Or we break it up and actually the ebook version is actually three books, we’ve broken it up into three parts, and each topic is now a separate book. So maybe I’m playing a Wizard, and I’m just using the Basic D&D, but I want more spells… so I’m just wanting the spell chapters, so maybe I spend 5 bucks or 2 bucks just so I have that indexed or bookmarked and can quickly reference my spells. You know, what is the usefulness of that? Just as a bibliophile wants the whole book as a physical artifact, the digital only user, well, what is the best way for them to get access to the game. 
So there is nothing concrete yet, but those are just some of the possibilities being discussed? 
Mike: Yea exactly. Especially with the Dungeonscape Tool that Trapdoor [Technologies] is working on, and how they are going to approach things and what features they are going to have, could that kinda feed that need? Because we asked that it be iOS, Android, PC, so maybe you can just download the app and then buy the say Fighter packet and however we’re breaking it down, so are we really going to need to sell a separate PDF because actually the best way is to buy the tool, and the tool is also populating my database and I can make characters, then maybe I just don’t necessarily need the PDF. So a lot of it is just trying to figure out where things are with what they’re [Trapdoor Technologies] is doing, and we just don’t want to rush into something and then you’re like but I just bought the PDF and then the tools came out, and now I’m paying twice for the same content, that would make you upset. So it’s really just figuring out what is the best thing for the gaming audience at this point.
and here is part of today's blog update at the Trapdoor Technologies site:
Being the digital distribution licensed partner for Wizards of the Coast and the D&D TRPG, we had to consider a whole different set of challenges around who could access content, how they could get it, and what they were allowed to do with it.  Physical books simply don’t have the same problems as digital books (i.e. you can’t attach a physical book to an email and send it to a hundred people with a click of a button.)  However, we also had to recognize the foundation of tabletop roleplaying games: friends, sharing information, imagining epic drama, and of course, rolling a natural 20 (amirite?)... 
Right now, the answer is that we simply can’t give people the ability to share full books with one another, because it would open DungeonScape up to a level of potential exploitation that we aren’t prepared to handle.  In digitally distributed content, given the capability, there’s no limit to who people can share with, or how the system could be abused. The limitations of paper just aren’t there.  In DungeonScape, taking advantage of the full suite of player-based tools (i.e. character creation and character sheet) requires the digital version of the PHB (Player’s Handbook) to be unlocked for each account/player.  To help soften the cost impact, as we’ve mentioned in other places, content will be broken out to support smaller incremental purchases. 
However, once the PHB is unlocked, it is permanently yours under that DungeonScape account.  The supported tools will improve as we update them, and errata will be automatically included into the book when released.  Players will have access to all of that at no extra charge.  The PHB in DungeonScape is *the* core rulebook to the player experience, and will be for the next several years (until 6e), and it’s available for a one-time purchase (or set of purchases). Once it’s downloaded, it and the tools are yours forever. 
When it comes to DM’s materials (i.e. DMG, MM, campaigns, adventures, supplements, etc.), this is where the sharing function will shine.  Great DM’s often use supplemental materials to support the story they are weaving.  This includes things like maps, descriptive text, illustrations, quotes, and personal notes.  These will all be able to be shared within the app, and players won’t need to buy these things to get the benefits of them.  In addition, the app will allow for sharing information that paper can’t easily provide; things like secretly giving that thief character a magic ring they pickpocketed, or sending messages in complete secret.
To be honest, if it were to work at they are discussing it, I'd prefer this over PDFs. Heck, I'd want to see something similar that was cross platform and open sourced, so I could one day run S&W or the DCC RPG with an app like this.

The Wilderlands Land in my Mailbox!

I snagged some Wilderlands goodness on eBay earlier this week: High Fantasy, Fantastic Reaches and Fantastic Wilderlands of Beyonde along with many (but far from all) of the relevant maps. All the above for less than $60, which is damn good for Judges Guild era Wilderlands product.

Fun times!

Of course now I need to fill in the missing maps and Wilderlands of the Magic Realms.

Kickstarter Reminder - Designers & Dragons Has 11 Days Left - $1 Gets You the 70's in Electronic Format

Designers & Dragons has been my go to book for both bathroom and bedroom reading recently. I've been using the Kindle app on my Samsung phone to enjoy the history of our hobby whenever possible. It is fascinating and an amazingly pleasurable read.

If you consider yourself a part of the OSR, you really should spend a buck on the kickstarter to get instant access to the 70s, not just in PDF but .mobi (Kindle) and .epub format. For as little as $15 you can get all four books in electronic format. A better bargain on the history of our hobby would be hard to find.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Amazing Original Doug Kovacs Art Arrives in New York!

My wife +Rachel Griffin fell in love with the above piece when it wasn't even finished at NTRPG Con+Doug Kovacs was kind enough to allow me to put some money down to reserve it for after Gen Con deliver. Guess what was waiting when I arrived home today?

It's Rachel's Anniversary Gift, but I don't think she's complaining about getting it 2 months early ;)

Doug does some really amazing work with his art. You can find a small sample of what he has for sale at DougKovacs.com. If you enjoy truly good art from the fantasy field, Doug is the way to go and his prices are more than fair.

Doug, Rach and I can't thank you enough :)

How Detailed do You Like You Campaign Setting?

On the one side, you have settings like The Forgotten Realms, Harn and the like. On the other side, you have Blackmarsh and similar sandbox style settings.

Detailed to the level of knowing the privy cleaner in the tavern or a light touch, where it's up to the DM to determine whether or not there is a tavern in the village or not.

I'm on the Blackmarsh side of the discussion, with maybe a desire for just a wee bit more detail. I don't need more detail, but I'd probably like it.

Where do you stand?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Latest eBay Pick-ups - The Strategic Review #6 and The Dragon #22

I grabbed The Strategic Review # 6 and The Dragon #22 for about $26 shipped.

While SR #6 has a coffee stain on the back cover, Dragon #22 has very white and crisp pages. This is the issue with the DMG preview, and I suspect you could have survived without the DMG for a good long time with the preview alone.

Very cool pieces of history.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Time Limited PWYW 5e Adventure - The Mines of Valdhum

Yes, if you need to add the above disclaimer at the end of the OGL page of your 5e compatible product release, maybe you shouldn't release it.

In any case, you can get more details of the time limited PWYW pricing of the 5e version of the Mines of Valdhum over at OSRToday.

A "WTF Were They Thinking?" Kickstarter - The Secret Machines of the Star Spawn

Timing is everything. The Secret Machines of the Star Spawn has already funded and will probably hit it's share of stretch goals, but in the wake of the protests in Ferguson, do we really need a bikini wearing, afro headed babe named Chocolate Thunder in an OSR adventure?

I'm not one to be hung up on being politically correct, and I understand that the adventure is meant to be over the top, but this makes even me a bit uncomfortable.

As a side note, I am amazed that the creator, Mark Taormino, has backed over 737 Kickstarters. That is literally an insane number.

Strangely enough, this has raised over $750 in less than a day. The Gor RPG Indiegogo hasn't quite hit $500 in 4 days. I guess it's easier to accept racial jokes and stereotypes in an adventure from a relatively unknown creator than it is rape fantasy from one that is fairly well known.

What Comes First: The Game or The Group?

What Comes First: The Game or The Group?

This isn't a chicken or the egg question, just so you know ;)

I suspect the answer literally depends on the group. As has been stated before, our group is nearing 3 years in the making. Bonds of friendship have been made and game sessions often devolve / evolve into "chat sessions". We often talk as much about what is going on in the world of gaming as we do actually playing the game.

I suspect with groups that aren't as bonded between the players, such distractions would be considered a time waster or worse. For us, it just reinforces the fact that we are friends that play games together, and the friendships involved often push game play aside, and we are okay with that.

This is via G+ Hangouts / Roll20, but for us it may as well be face to face.

So, where do your sessions fall on the grand scheme of things?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quick Impressions - Hoard of the Dragon Queen (D&D 5e)

When I first unboxed this last week, my mind quickly read it as Whore of the Dragon Queen, which might be a more evoking title, but isn't accurate, at least so far as a quick look shows. No, in reality it is Hoard of the Dragon Queen.

First things first - it seems extremely readable. None of this Numenera bullshit of excessive art behind the text (yes, I know others think the presentation of Numenrea is the best thing since sliced bread. I and my aging eyes strongly disagree. And get off my fucking lawn while you are at it!)

The art is nice and appropriate and the boxed text is highlighted without being annoying so. Really well done. Some maps are washed out and hard to read, which is a damn shame.

My only serious complaint initially? You can't run it with just the 5e Player's Handbook. You NEED the Tyranny of Dragons online appendix to play through this and it's successor. I'm guessing you won't need the appendix if you have the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide, which aren't released yet.

Am I glad you don't even need the Player's Guide, just the free Basic 5e rules and the online appendix? Sure, it's a nice touch. But in truth, you shouldn't have to download anything if you have what is being billed as The Core Book of the core 5e books - the Player's Handbook. It doesn't say there is a needed download or online access needed to play through the adventure on the back cover, and that's simply wrong.

Sure, we are in a very integrated internet world, but there are folks that will not realize this restriction until after the purchase and they will be left holding an incomplete product.

I have high hopes for this with the team behind it. I'll try to find time to read this through in the near future.

Guest Poster - Tales from the Tavern's Cellar: The Ambush at Sheridan Springs (Crusty Grog)

Since people had bitched that all I was doing was being a sour puss about things, I decided to share one of the rare gems I heard while listening through the floor boards. Speaking of the floorboards, be careful not to leave your bag on the ground at your feet, it’s easy pickings for this little Halfling I see creeping around.

Today kiddies, gather around and take a look at this article written by Jon Peterson called, “The Ambush at Sheridan Springs” – How Gary Gygax Lost Control of Dungeons & Dragons.

It’s a very interesting article of how Gary had the company pulled out from under him, with supporting documentation and various memos. I thought it might be a boring read from Jon Peterson, the author, but it was very enthralling.

At one point they quoted gross sales around $300,000 in 1976, doubled the next year due to Holmes edition of D&D. In today’s terms, that would be around $1,256,641.41 to the penny according to the CPI Inflation calculator or a 7 Million dollar loss in D&D 4E terms. (What did you think I wouldn't take the time to bash something?!)

The overall history of this and that is kind of interesting, but it gets really good towards the end when you find out how exactly Williams scored a “20” on her backstabbing ability to pull the wool over Gary’s poor eyes, take over the company. What a bitch.

Take a read, you will enjoy.

Want to leave feedback or have The Crusty Grog talk about something? Go ahead, email him. I dare you. thecrustygrog@gmail.com

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What is Your Favorite Judges Guild Release?

Snagged for $25 on eBay tonight

I always wanted a copy of the original Wilderlands of High Fantasy. I'll need to grab some maps to fill this out, but I'm okay with that.

I also grabbed Wilderlands of the Fantastic Reaches and Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde.

So, for now I'm going to say the Wilderlands are my favorite Judges Guild releases (i do have some of this in PDF, but print beats all when it comes to the earlier stuff.)

So, what's your favorite Judges Guild release(s)?

(don't forget, Goodman Games will be rereleasing some of the Judges Guild product line)

Kickstarter - Sabratact (the martial art sport / game depicted in Dragon 100)

"Sabratact is a martial team contact sport with targets mounted on body armor, flexible delrin weapons + fencing mask or better helmets."

You know what, I have no recollection of this being written about in an article in any issue of Dragon, let alone issue 100.

But hey, Forrest aims high. The project has the low goal of $750,000. So fair it's raised $111.

'Cause ya know, it isn't easy to put together a "television pilot will include 64 five-athlete squads competing to form 16 twenty-fighter platoons under the leadership of the winning teams through single elimination contests with the losing fighters coming aboard, leading to 4 companies of eighty players each. I think I can do this in a two or three hour format. We will then go to a 1-hour weekly show and try to get picked up for 13 weeks at a time.

I need at least 320 martial artists and other such athletes (including guest fighters from among our Backers) to shoot this pilot. Working in the Philippines gives us access to a martial arts culture of stick-fighting (Escrima) that is actually a good fit for Sabratact. We can cast and shoot perfectly well with local talent cast right on location. It also turns out that the television and film industry in the Philippines is concentrated in Cavite (our Province) and we've worked previously with those people. This can definitely be done with high production values, suitable for US broadcasters and within a finite budget. ESPN? Maybe."

And than again, maybe not.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Goodman Games to Reprint Classic Judges Guild Products at Archival Quality

Goodman Games plans to start a series of hardcover reprints of classic Judges Guild releases at archival quality. I assume the series will be released via Kickstarter.

This is damn exciting (and I'm sure will be damn expensive, but not as expensive as tracking down the originals on eBay.)

You can find out more about this and other Goodman Games upcoming products at the Spellburn Podcast Gen Con Special Report

OSRGAMING.ORG Domain Actively Being Shopped

+Vincent Florio has told me that OSRGAMING.ORG, a domain that he holds and which hosts the forums of many RPG podcasts, is actively taking offers. Vince refused to state why the domain is being shopped, but he did say he had received at least one credible offer thus far.

Not a bad domain to own if you desired to be a hub in the community.

Shit - maybe we could crowdsource the funds to make a viable offer.

Friday, August 22, 2014

End of the Week Catch Up - D30s and Guest Posters, Oh My!

If you haven't noticed yet, it's been a busy summer, not just here at The Tavern but at my regular job as well. There have been times I've been lucky to get my daily post in.

So, first things first. Lets give away the D30 prizes that were offered up by +Richard LeBlanc of New Big Dragon Publishing.

The D30 Sandbox Companion goes out to: +John Stephens 

The D30 DM Companion goes out to: +Stu Rat 

The following 5 will each get a sheet of Order of the D30 Stickers:

G-woulf, +Sophia Brandt , Christian Kolbe, +Dennis Higgins and +Austin Schaefer 

Congrats to the winners!

Email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom and I'll make sure your info moves on to Rich.


Now, on to other stuff.

I've opened the doors of The Tavern to guest posters, which has caused some confusion. Totally my fault. It's a new process and I haven't done a good job of labeling the posts as "posts from folks other than your Tavern Keeper."

Moving forward, I'll probably move to a format of "Guest Post: Insert Title Here (Palatial Privy Cleaner)". So - warning - title - name of guest poster.

Now, some of these posts will be from other bloggers in the OSR - I think it's a great way to get some folks with great thoughts and ideas some extra visibility. We are a community that shares but sometimes we miss some of the best stuff out there.

Other posts will be from "anonymous posters". I know their identities, you do not. Some may take a few posts to get their sea legs and others may come right out of the box and make us look at our own sins and crimes. I'm excited, because I rarely know the post details until it's submitted for posting and even I'm impressed by the names behind the names ;)

In the end, i am responsible for all that is posted here at The Tavern, but just because I allow it to be posted does not mean I necessarily agree with it. Just as I am light handed with the moderating of the comments here, I'm fairly light handed with the guest posters. Still, if you think something is out of hand, feel free to contact me. Also, if you have a guest post or series of posts you are interested in sharing, drop me a line.

Tales from the Tavern Cellar: A DnD BX Basic Reboot

Since you all bitched the other day that my last gem was so old, I put my ear to the cracks of the tavern floors and while Erik was dazzling the tavern folk with tales of his podcast, this little gem spilled into my lap. The title alone screamed at me, clawing at my eyes, and drawing me in for a closer look. Its title was, a “DnD BX Basic Reboot”.

As I followed the link like a man who had to push the button with the sign “don’t push this button”, it brought me to a PDF which seemed to be neatly written. The Layout was nice on the eyes, so I decided to give it a closer look.

When I did that, I heard something snap in my mind. Was it that pin that holds my sanity in place? I was sure it was. As this had nothing to do with BX or Basic D&D, all it was a plus/minus system with a ton of anime art. The furthest thing from BX or Basic D&D. The only thing it had in common with D&D was the Fantasy element and the classes from D&D.

The more I read the more I realized this was just someone’s attempt to re-invent an already working wheel, because they feel *their* ideas are better then what was already written as the best selling RPG of its time. Seems like the thing to do, right?

Want to leave feedback or have The Crusty Grog talk about something? Go ahead, email him. I dare you. thecrustygrog@gmail.com

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Indecent Indiegogo - Chronicles of Gor

I remember the Gor series well. I picked the first 12 books or so up from a garage sale in the late 80s at a quarter a book. Made it through the first five or six books before giving up on the series. The sex / rape / slavery depicted was not what I was looking for in my escapism. Well, that and the writing was fairly poor. Yes, i devoured almost all scifi and fantasy I could get my hands on those days, good or bad, but even I had my limits.

So, 25 years after I was introduced to, and decided to pass on Gor, we now have an Indiegogo project to make Gor into an actual RPG. Luckily(?) for us, James Desborough is keeping it to it's roots:

Yeah, as I recall it wasn't so much sex / gender issues as it was slavery and rape. Not things I want to fantasize about in my roleplaying.

No mention or hint at the actual game system isn't helping sell it to me either. I mean, James says the work is basically complete, so how about some ideas on the system that may be worth strippin away from it's setting.

Oh, and it's "Flexible Funding", the "Fuck You" of crowdsourced funding - even if it doesn't fund, your pledge is still taken. So in reality, there is no goal post to hit.

I am sure all publicity is good publicity - but I'm not including links. If folks are really that interested, they can find it on their own.

Sometimes as a hobby, we are our own worst enemy. I'm sure James is betting his own history of internet battles will be as much a selling point as the setting itself. It will be a shame when I find myself on the side of his detractors for what seems like the first time.

Tales from the Tavern's Cellar... Feats in AD&D 1E?

Well. Well. Looks like it’s time to focus on things that only a cellar dweller hears, things that the inn keeper himself seems to ignore.

Ya see, living under the tavern, you hear all kinds of things, some good and some bad.

Honestly you hear and see more bad than good. Boy I tell ya, there is a list of BAD a mile long down here going back many years.

Today’s little gem that floated its way down into the cellar in 2006, its a product called “First Edition Feats”.

It can be found on RPGNOW.com, by Mob United Media… MUM? Hey Mum, can you give me a load of crap to shovel into my game.

First edition is by no means a PERFECT game, but it’s set in its ways, and plays well. There is no need to add giant horse turd into the game, such as FEATS, for $2.99!

Not only does this guy think anyone in the community would want to have feats, he thinks he can make a quick buck off of this shit.

Well, let me crawl back down the stairs to find another gem to share with you from my list of crap.

Want to leave feedback or have The Crusty Grog talk about something, feel free to email him thecrustygrog@gmail.com

DCC RPG Reference Booklet - POD Via Lulu / Free in PDF

+Jeremy Deram has been kind enough to put together a DCC RPG Reference booklet for use my the DCC masses as the game table. These are the charts you've been looking for.

If you are a non-spell caster in DCC you could probably get away with leaving your rule book behind. Regretfully, I can't say the same for the spell casters, but then again, you folks knew what you were in for when you chose a caster ;)

Links to the PDF and POD versions are at the People Them with Monsters blog.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Improvised NPCs - Do You Keep Track of Them?

I know I don't. I should, but I don't. It's almost easier to kill them or remove them between sessions than to remember the mannerisms that brought them to life. Yeah, I'm that disorganized.

So, how do you handle improvised NPCs as a DM?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Roll For Initiative Podcast Reviews "Basic" 5e D&D

+Vincent Florio and DM Nick do a decent job of reviewing the "Basic" 5e D&D rules from an OSR perspective in the latest Roll for Initiative Podcast. It's funny. My 5e Player's Handbook arrived today and I have even less desire to read it (and absolutely no free time or energy to do so these days.)

It appears to be much of what I expected, where the damage and hit points "go to eleven" and there are way to many safety features to prevent / avoid character death and true risk. Sure, a good DM could easily overcome that, but than why run the 5e rules?

When work calms down I'll give my Player's Handbook a decent read through, but for now my bathroom reading will be reserved for Designers & Dragons.

One Dead Ogre and Four Battered Egos (Guest Poster Charlie Akins - Dyvers Blog)

(+Charles Akins  is the proprietor of the Dyvers Blog, the go to location for capsule reviews of the blogs in the OSR corner of the universe.)

One Dead Ogre and Four Battered Egos

"The ogre is dead," I said as I threw a coke can into the steel trash drum for effect.

Dee looked up from where he had buried his head and said, "Grand. Does anyone feel like dancing?"

"Love to," Alice said with a smile, but I'm fairly certain that the effort would drop me."

"We should be better than this," Jeff grumbled, "There were four of us - a balanced party mind you - against a single ogre that talked like a three-year-old and had all the battle finesse of a brick to the back of the head!"

"There he goes bring up our sex life in public again," Alice groaned.

"I'm serious."

"So is she!" I exlaimed.

"Very funny, Charlie," Jeff said, "but you know damned well and good that there isn't a single reason in this world for us to have been overrun and damned near destroyed by that brain damaged -"

"You're taking this a bit personally, don't you think," Alice interrupted him. "It's just another tough fight in a campaign filled with them. I don't see any of us should be bent out of shape over a victory."

"We almost lost Joe in the second round!"

"I was fine," Joe said as he waved him off. "All he did was rip my arm off and beat me unconscious with it."

"That right there is exactly what I'm talking about! You were so busy making jokes about blowing guys in college that you didn't even think to ask for a spot check. Hell, you just walked right in and let him slap you about."

"By the way," Joe said to me, "thanks for not making the 'why are you hitting yourself jokes.'"

"Thought they would be a bit too obvious on my part."

"And look at the two of you acting like you're friends," Jeff practically shouted.

"We are friends," Joe said, "were all friends here."

"No we aren't," Jeff said as he crossed his arms. "He's the Dungeon Master - the enemy. You're a player and you need to remember that his only goal is to tell his story and kill us if we get out of line."

"What are you talking about," Alice asked, "he asked me to roll for a random encounter and I rolled a one. Did you honestly think that meant that you weren't going to fight anything?"

"Oh, I'm fine with fighting but that ogre battle was just him punishing me for stealing that gem back in town from the blind prophet."

"You've lost your damned mind," Joe said, "That's not how he runs."

"Of course you'd say that," Jeff mocked as he jabbed a finger in my direction, "you're friends. Well your friend here just threw an ogre at us that didn't follow the damage matrix from the monster manual."

"You've memorized the damage output for an ogre," I asked a bit incredulously.


"Dude, you need to fix your life," I said.

He stared at us, focusing on each of us in turn before he said, "You're going to let him talk to me like that? I'm the only one standing up for us after the bullshit he just pulled."

"I don't think I want to play Dungeons and Dragons with Jeff anymore," Joe said.

"Seconded," I called.

"Fine," Jeff said as he stood and started cramming his things in his backpack. "Then Alice and I won't play with you jerks anymore."

"Speak for yourself, Jeff," Alice said.

"Alice," he said with anger, pride, and hurt playing in his voice. "You can't stay with them. You're my girlfriend."

"Were," she said as she refilled my wine glass, "the word you are missing from that sentence was were. As in you were my girlfriend."

"You can't mean that," he said.

"Oh but I can," she said without a trace of kindness in her voice, "I won't fool with any man so selfish and unkind." Jeff stood staring at her for a few seconds before he turned and slammed the door behind him.

The room was still filled with the electrical static that always follows these sort of things. Then Joe moved next to Alice and said, "So now that you're single," she stared at him with a face flush with anger, "would you mind if I told people that we were having an affair and you were pregnant with my child."

"But you're gay," she said with disbelief.

"Shush," he said with an evil twinkle in his eye, "don't go telling the truth now and spoil my fun."

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Big Dragon Gen Con Jet Lag Giveaway - Print Copies of D30 Sandbox and D30 DM Companion to Be Given Away (and Stickers too)

New Big Dragon Games+Richard LeBlanc ) in conjunction with Tenkar's Tavern Blog+Erik Tenkar ) have conspired cooperated to give away some gaming goodness in the wee hours post Gen Con.

If you haven't read me waxing poetically about the awesomeness of the D30 Sandbox Companion and it's mate, then you must not be a regular reader of this blog.

That's okay. Not only will we forgive you, we'll give you an opportunity to own a copy of the D30 Sandbox Companion or a Copy of the D30 DM Companion of your very own. We are talking dead tree. Paper and ink. Print.

Yes, one random commenter will win a copy of the D30 DM Companion and another will win a copy of the D30 Sandbox Companion. Both will also get Order of the D30 sticker sheets. Five runner ups will receive Order of the D30 sticker sheets mailed to their homes. Tag your books, your kids, your pets ;)

Just add a comment below. Tell us of your love of random charts. Do it before 9pm, Eastern Time August 19th, 2014 (Tuesday to the rest of us.)

Well, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

OSR Gamers and Story Gamers - So Close, Yet So Far

Danke the Dachshund meet Toby the Siberian
I think we WANT to understand each other. We want to makes sense of what makes the other side tick.

We just don't get it. Probably genetics or something.

Still, we always seem to come back seeking to understand.

It must be FATE or something. Yeah, I still can't grasp that shit, and I went as far as buying dice for it...

Get the Freebooter's Guide to the Razor Coast in PDF For Free

Frog God Games is giving away free copies of The Freebooter's Guide to the Razor Coast for free to celebrate Razor Coast - Heart of the Razor winning the Silver ENnie for Best Adventure.

All you need to do is go to the Frog God Games website and download a copy. But do it soon - this giveaway wont last forever.

Available in Swords & Wizardry and Pathfinder flavors.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tenkar's Tavern - Offending Sensibilities Since 2009

Bryan (I can call you "Bryan", right?). You know what "offends my personal sensibilities?"

When the same thing is listed as both a "Pro" and a "Con." The OSR Focus thing? Strangely enough, that is the whole point of the Tenkar & The Badger podcast. Did you even notice the WOSR 74.0 channel listing on the header?

Lets see. OSR blogger is interested in participating in a podcast with a crazy Scotsman that is also a fan of the OSR. I know! Let's do a podcast about Pathfinder!

One episode in (with an unreleased Episode Zero and an Episode 1.5 that was a live hangout and is available on Youtube). It's hard to get in earlier on a podcast.

Fuck nuts! I suspect I'm about to lose my charming label...

The ENnies are Announced - FATE and Numenera Run Off and Have Babies

Yep, the 2014 ENnies have been announced. The Razor Coast from Frog God Games won a Silver for Best Adventure.

For nearly every other category, your winner is either FATE, Numenera or the occasional Pathfinder release. Well, a few others did slip through, and Gnomestew did win for best blog (huge congrats to +Martin Ralya and the rest of the gnomes) and Roll20 for Best Software.

I do find it interesting that the judge list for 2015 will be nearly identical to the 2014 list:

 So, with the exception of Annah, expect more of the same next year.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Damn You Vince! Looks Like I'll be Going to MEPACon in November

I'd like to give a big FU to +Vincent Florio . He mentioned MEPA to me, and I mentioned it to my wife, and it looks like we are going in November.

MEPACon is the Mid Eastern Pennsylvania Con, held in the Scranton area. Apparently the hotel has a pool AND is pet friendly. Sigh. I never had a chance.

Any of my blog readers plan on attending? Maybe we can do a Tavern Gathering :)

Mark November 14-16 on your calendar. I may need to run something.

Reminder - The Tavern's Doors are Open to Guest Posters

It's been a few months since the last one, so I wanted to remind folks that The Tavern is available for those that would be interested in making a guest post or two. All you need to do is contact me (using the blogger contact form in the far right column of this page) with the general idea of what you want to post and we will work out the details.

I do reserve the right to refuse submitted posts based on my own nebulous criteria - which is basically "no character attacks, no straight up pimping of your own stuff, etc" but I also reserve the right to break my own rules.

I am currently, and at least for the immediate future, being slammed hard at work (the damn day job that pays the bills). The Tavern hasn't missed a day of posting in years and I don't plan to miss one now, but I do expect less posts being posted overall (still more than many others, but a serious slowdown for me).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kickstarter - The Tavern Inadvertently Helped Knock Down The Great Kingdom

Thanks to JRT for pointing this out - I think.

First time The Tavern has appeared in a court document that I know of.

Tenkar's Tavern, now also known as Exhibit B...

Dungeon Master's Basic D&D 5e Rules Released for Free in PDF

It looks like WotC is making separate PDF downloads for the Player and DM parts of the Basic D&D 5e rules.

Whether or not you plan on buying, playing or running 5e, you do owe it to yourself to look at the newest edition of the D&D rules. At the very least, you might find something to houserule into one of the older rule sets you happen to prefer.

As an aside, the Player's rules have been updated to v2.

DM's rules are v1, and include general DM guidelines, monsters and magic items. The core here is the monsters.

You can grab both the newer Player rules and the new DM rules at the WotC site linked here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kickstarter - The Great Kingdom Documentary ordered offline by Courts

It wasn't long ago that the folks behind The Great Kingdom (a D&D documentary) ran a Kickstarter to raise funds for the endeavor. Which was interesting, as two of the folks behind this documentary were formerly behind the OTHER D&D documentary: Dungeons & Dragons, a Documentary.

Shortly after the new project was announced, the folks behind the first project sued. All this was going on while money was being raised for the new project, which successfully funded.

As of now, The Great Kingdom is literally offline, with a take down order issued by the NYS Supreme Court.

I didn't support either Kickstarter, but the lawsuit made me extra nervous about the second one. Seems I was right to be nervous.

No idea what this means for those that supported the project that is currently suspended.

How Important is Character Class Balance?

How important is character class balance between the various classes? Sure, were talking OSR gaming with this question, and for many the answer will be "who cares about balance?", but for the rest of you, how important is it?

In AD&D the classes are roughly balanced by the various experience point tables (and demi-humans are balanced against humans by using level limits.)

In LotFP, classes are balance by giving each class it's own niche, with little to no overlapping.

In Adventures in the East Mark, warriors get a d10 for HD while their two sub-classes get d8s - balancing extra abilities with HP potential.

I'm sure there are other examples, but I'm barely awake ;)

So, how important are balanced character classes to you in the games that you play?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Initial Impressions of No Salvation for Witches by Rafael Chandler (Indiegogo)

This is most certainly NOT a review. I haven't read far enough along to get to the review part of this. Instead, this is my initial impressions of No Salvation for Witches, of which I was graciously given a PDF copy of (thanks to +Rafael Chandler and +James Raggi ).

First, a little background. I enjoy +Rafael Chandler 's writing and generally appreciate the look and feel of the LotFP releases, if not the actual game-ability (yeah, I have some usability issues with some most of James's recent releases - party fucks are not my style.) So, if nothing else, you know my final assessment will be a fair one, even if I am predisposed to have high expectations of Raf's work.

The release of No Salvation for Witches is via an Indiegogo project which is offering the 64 page hardcover for the risky pricing of Pay What You Want (minimum one Euro plus shipping). Leave it to James to find a way to go off the rails ;)

NSFW (which could be applied to nearly all recent LotFP releases) is set in England in 1620. It seems historical locations and times are high on the LotFP list, which is fine. It's easy enough to change the setting to something more fanciful, but the real world touches do add a certain sense of historical realism.

Now, on to the initial impressions:

Art - James never skimps on art. Ever. Much of it is disturbing. Doesn't make it less good.

Layout - not the final version, but pleasing to my middle ages eyes.

Backstory - classic Rafael. If the rest of the adventure is as good as the set up, I really don't care if I get to run it, as I'll be enjoying the story on it's own merits.

Characters - the movers and the shakers of NSFW. Real, legit motivations and characterizations. Again, I expected nothing less from Raf.

First encounter - even if I don't use the adventure as written, I'm using this. Definitely using this.

Color me impressed thus far. Give me a few days to digest this and I'll offer up my review.

iTunes and RSS Feeds for the Tenkar & The Badger Podcast are Live

Yep. You can now subscribe to the Tenkar & The Badger podcast over at our Tavern Radio site. You should do it to. All the cool kids are.

While you are at it, catch some of the cool cop shows from the 70s over at YouTube to get yourself in the right mood ;)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ideal Number of Hosts on a Podcast - Thoughts and Observations

Although +Jason Paul McCartan and I just recently kicked off our Tenkar & The Badger Podcast, I've been a podcast consumer for the last three years or so, and I have some thoughts on the number of hosts that are idea for a podcast.

First, there is no hard number. Two works well for the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff. I feel that Happy Jacks often suffers under the weight of "too many voices, too little substance" curse that follows when listeners can't figure out who is talking (or no longer care). Well that and just far too much belching.

When Jason and I finalized plans for the podcast, we decided we wanted a rotating third chair. While we feel we have the chops to have an entertaining show with just the two of us, the third voice adds a dimension we would be lacking otherwise. At the same time, we also like the idea of frequent guests, and our fear was that a regular three plus a guest per episode would leave someone with limited airtime.

Recently, the Save or Die Podcast went from four hosts to three. While I'm not sure if that's a temporary change or a permanent adjustment, the show does seem to flow better. I suspect that it's because the three remaining hosts have more time to make their own points and observations and not because of any particular change in the line up.

Spellburn recently went from three to four hosts, and while it works, it tends to suffer a bit when they add a guest. Not because the guests they have aren't awesome, but now you have a conversation with five folks, and that can get unnecessarily busy and again, runs the risk of leaving someone on the sidelines.

If I do have one complaint, it's the excessive reading of letters on the air. This goes for just about every podcast out there. I find letter reading to be a common crutch on podcasts in the RPG Community. There is no need to read every one, let alone every sentence of each of them. Edit them to the kernel that will drive the discussion - the rest is just annoying filler usually.

The Chair Squeaks as the Wife Coughs and the Puppy Makes an Appearance

I've heard it said that puppies are like newborn babies. It's not quite true, so far as I can tell. There is no diaper changing and less puking. Sleeping is, however, an issue.

Danke (I didn't pick the name - husbands rarely have such authority) is a damn good puppy that is only happy at night sleeping between mommy and daddy. Which usually means a head tucked into my armpit as I try not to roll over on said puppy throughout the night. As a generally light sleeper, this means I am acutely aware of all of said puppies movements and adjustments (as well as my own) throughout the night. I sleep, but not deeply. The other option is not to sleep at all, as the pup will whine and bark half the night if placed in her crate.

Rach was diagnosed with bronchitis yesterday at the doc in a box yesterday, which explains the cough she couldn't get rid of. Did I mention that wakes me at night too?

Oh, and the chair still squeaks, though not as bad as before.

Why bring this up? All this and more make an appearance in yesterday's recorded live G+ Hangout - as well as Ashley's tail.

There is a sense of intimacy with these live recorded hangouts. Also a sense of rawness, with trains making their presence known, coughs that leak in from the next room and a roaming puppy that needs comforting.

+Jason Paul McCartan and I will need to do more ".5" episodes - even if it's more spur of the moment to address something that just popped off in the hobby or to address a spark of our own brilliance, or more likely, stupidity.

Still doesn't address my like of sleep though. Heh.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tenkar & The Badger - Live Recorded On Air Hangout - Adventures in the East Mark - Episode 1.5 :)

Watch the video or wait for the audio only to go live - but the video will show your some of the actual awesomeness that is Adventures in the East Mark

If you were there when we recorded, you could have won some prizes. Next time we do this ya better find the time to join us ;)

Whereupon I Decide Greygor Will be a Warrior With 18 HP at 1st Level (DCC RPG)

After Greygor, the woodcutter with the amazing stats survived the initial funnel, the hard decision was which class to go with. I was leaning heavily on either a paladin or a bard from Crawl!, but in the end went with the simple warrior. There is something about +4 to HP every level with a d12 for hit dice that is hard to beat.

At 0-level, Greygor had 7 HP. Rolling a 7+4 for 1st level, he now has 18. I really can't complain.

He'll mostly be wielding a well crafted but non magical two handed sword he was rewarded with at the end of the funnel, so he will strike slow but hard. Oh, and take one hell of a beating.

The two other PCs are a cleric and a thief. All the halflings died in the funnel :(

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Free Hoard of the Dragon Queen Supplement for 5e at WotC (who thought hot pink was a good choice?)

Not friendly to ANY sensibilities
Looking for some magic items, monsters and even new spells for use with the free 5e Basic Set? Look no further.

WotC has a downloadable document for use with Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Good, usable stuff even on it's own.

Grab the printer friendly copy or your eyes will bleed ;)

Much more friendly version, printer or otherwise

Goodman Games to Release 5e Adventures at Gen Con

5e OGL? 5e OGL! We don't need no steenkin' 5e OGL!

Goodman Games (much like Frog God / Necromancer) has apparently decided there is no need to wait on a specific 5e OGL / GSL / whatever may be down the road. Instead, Goodman Games is releasing two 5e adventures at next week's Gen Con.

Fifth Edition Fantasy #1: Glitterdoom

A Level 3 Adventure for 5E

Fifth Edition Fantasy is here! This level 3 adventure module is fully compatible with the fifth edition of the world’s first fantasy RPG, and ready to play in your home campaign!

Centuries ago, the glitterdoom came to the dwarves of Steelhand Clan! This divine curse transformed the dwarves into hellish forms with an insatiable greed for gold. Now, a chance encounter breaks open long-sealed gates to unleash the glitterdoom again. Can your adventurers delve into the forgotten halls to confront the subterranean menace?

This all-new 5E adventure module includes a new dwarf sub-race and a new PC background!

Digital Edition: All print purchases of this module include a code to download a free digital edition. This digital edition will be updated regularly as needed to remain current with 5E rules and learnings. As a print purchaser you will always have access to the latest edition of this module! (The author is Michael Curtis, so it should be good regardless of system)

Fifth Edition Fantasy #2: The Fey Sisters’ Fate

A Level 1 Adventure for 5E

Fifth Edition Fantasy is here! This level 1 adventure module is fully compatible with the fifth edition of the world’s first fantasy RPG, and ready to play in your home campaign!

The cries of battle echo in the rustic wilderness, as a pair of fey sisters defend the ancient Briarwood against invaders. When the town of Bur Hollow sends militia men to support their fey allies, they disappear without a trace. The adventurers must enter the Briarwood and save them!

This all-new 5E adventure module includes two new spells and a new PC background!

Digital Edition: All print purchases of this module include a code to download a free digital edition. This digital edition will be updated regularly as needed to remain current with 5E rules and learnings. As a print purchaser you will always have access to the latest edition of this module! (The writer of this one is Chris Doyle)

Friday, August 8, 2014

On Air Hangout with the Man Behind "Adventures in the East Mark" - and we have Prizes!

The Tenkar & The Badger Podcast, in conjunction with eXtra-Dimensional Publishing's David Wilson Brown, is going to do an On Air Hangout (G+) on Sunday, August 10th at 3pm Eastern.

David will be fielding questions in regards to Adventures in the East Mark, an OSR retroclone that has come to us via Spain.

Consider this episode 1.5 of the podcast.

There will be prizes randomly awarded to those that participate in the Hangout, both in PDF and print (the cost to mail the print copy of Adventures in the East Mark will be covered by the podcast, but the prizes are being provided by eXtra-Dimensional Publishing).

Further details will be provided at the Tavern Radio G+ Community page.

Holy Sh!t! The First Episode of Tenkar & The Badger is Available for Download (iTunes Forthcoming)

From the TavernRadio website:
Behold! For you listening pleasure (or pain), you can now download the inaugural episode of Tenkar & The Badger with our very special guest Matt Finch. In this introductory episode, we talk to Matt about his Quick Primer to Old School Gaming, as well as cover a lot of ground as to what we all think the OSR is and isn’t. Your mileage may vary. 
Also in the podcast, we give special mention to a special Hangout On Air that we’re doing at 3pm EDT on Sunday August 10th with David Wilson Brown of Extra Dimensional Publishing, where we’ll be talking to him about the new Adventures in the East Mark game. We’ll be looking for lots of questions to be able to present to David about the game, but you’ll want to hangout with us and ask questions live on air as there’s going to be some special rewards for doing so.
There may be some adult (juvenile) language involved. I haven't had a chance to listen yet, but knowing my potty mouth, consider yourself warned.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

When Did Gaming Become a Hotbed for Social Issues? (Rant Warning)

When did gaming, RPGs in particular, become a hotbed for social issues?

Everyone with an agenda is trying to use the RPG hobby to spread theirs. No, not the writers or the publishers. I'm talking about the talking heads, the social media big shots (or so they see themselves) and the big mouths.

Do I need a set of gaming rules to let me play a transexual vampire, bisexual hobbit or lesbian dwarf?

Do I need to be told I need to add more women, more trans-genders, more Venusians to my gaming table?

These are all things that are covered by a "code of conduct". Play what you want, they way you want with who you want and all this takes care of itself.

I don't need this spelled out in a rulebook. RPGs are by their very nature social. If you have issues socializing with different types of folks that don't reflect your norms, find a group that does reflect such.

Gaming is not a right. It is not an agenda. It is a hobby and a pastime.

When the noise from agendas drown out the rolls of the dice, it's time to reassess.

Or perhaps I just need to trim my G+ feed a bit more...

Future Podcast Fodder - What Do You See as the Definitive OSR Product?

Just like it says on the tin - what do you see as the definitive OSR product? You'll need to go beyond your comfort zone on this, as we discuss +Matt Finch 's Quick Primer to Old School Gaming in episode 1 (and even this is an entry that people either agree with closely or disagree with strongly - I've noticed little middle ground.)

Is there a certain set of rules, adventure, setting, resource, etc that you can point to on your bookshelf (virtual is fine) that oozes OSR in your mind?

There are no wrong answers (except those that aren't posted ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I Have Listened to the First 11 Minutes of the Tenkar & The Badger Podcast, and it is Good

+Jason Paul McCartan did a great job getting rid of the background hiss that infected my side of the recording.

Do I sound a bit awkward? Sure, at points. First podcast episode and I expect much blood to be drawn. That which does not kill me just makes me stronger - or at least makes me a glutton for punishment.

If all goes well, we should be releasing the episode into the wilds later today. If not today, tomorrow.

You can't rush (im)perfection ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kickstarter - Designers & Dragons - A History of RPGs (All initial stretch goals are funded)

I really enjoyed the PDF I have of the original, single volume Designers & Dragons. When I heard there was a 4 volume (possibly 1600 pages total) being worked on, I was thrilled.

It's here.

I'm thrilled :)

For a measly buck you can grab volume 1 in PDF, mobi or epub right now.

For $15, you'll get all 4 volumes in electronic format. Volume 2 should be ready for download by Friday.

For $85 your get all 4 volumes in softcover and electronic format.

Need I say more?

If nothing else, spend a buck and grab Volume 1, the 70's and read about the birth of our hobby.

Who Funds Their Convention Circuit by Begging for Other People's Dimes? (Rant Warning)

Earlier today +Vincent Florio and I had a conversation about folks basically asking for handouts so they can go to Gen Con or whatever con. We both agreed that this shit pisses us off.

I can afford one con a year that includes travel and hotel stay. One.

If I couldn't afford to go to NTRPG Con I simply wouldn't go.

Imagine that. Can't afford something that isn't a necessity in your life, you just don't get to do it.

Instead, there are folks that want others to pay for their frills. This isn't living expenses. It's not Nystul who can barely keep a roof above his head and is probably Ramen Noodles biggest non-college student customer. This isn't someone down on his luck, with medical bills or the like kicking their ass. It's not the vet bill from hell to keep a beloved pet alive.

No, it's folks like you and me - but they want you and me to pay for them to go on a vacation that we aren't going to because it doesn't fit our budget. We can't afford it either, so why should I give money so some other ass can go?

It takes fucking balls. And a certain lack of self respect.

If you want to go that badly, save your pennies or work a second job. Because my job is not going to pay for your fucking vacation.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Remember Those Classic TSR Module Cartoon Map Walkthroughs? You Can Now Buy Prints!

+Mock Man Press is offering preorders (they'll ship in September) of the series of Classic TSR Era Map Walkthroughs as a series of prints. They are as follows:

Expedition to the Barrier Peaks 11" x 22" ($20)

Tomb of Horrors 13" x 18" ($20)

White Plume Mountain 16" X 18" ($20)

Isle of Dread 18" x 24" ($30)

Slave Pits of the Undercity ($30)

Ravenloft 18" x 36" ($30)

Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth Walkthrough Map 18" x 27" ($30)

or all the above bundles for $150

Above prices include a $5 discount on the individual pieces which will be in effect for the next 2 weeks, then they go up.

Did I mention some of the original art is also for sale?

I may just have to risk drawing wife agro on this...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Not My Kinda Kickstarter but it May Scratch Your Itch - RPG Tees

So as to not have my only two posts for the weekend be Nystulian of nature, I present to you - RPG Tees.

I'm not a huge fan of T-shirts with graphics (although I did make a major exception for the awesome Barrowmaze T-shirts) but many people do like them. I can see the fine Knights of the Dinner table wearing such shirts.

Now, you can get these T's from Cafepress from the creators' own store front for as low as $18 plus shipping. Here your looking at $25 including shipping. Pretty much a toss up - except that you obviously have to wait a few months for the shirt from Kickstarter.

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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