Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chris Perkins at GameHole Con - The OGL Will Return - Someday - Maybe

ENWorld highlighted some of the tweets coming out from GameHole Con, more specifically some of the statements coming from Chris Perkins at a 5e panel.

Actually, "intention" is not a guarantee, but there you have it. Hmmm, I wonder who will write the first OSR ruleset based off of the 5e OGL to clone 0e? ;)

And this tidbit on electronics versions of the rules

So, we have intentions but no dates.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the bean counters are the ones holding back on approval...

Swords & Wizardry Complete has Been Free in PDF for Just Over a Year

Swords & Wizardry Complete has been free in PDF since November 5th of last year. I should know as the blessed event happened on my 2nd wedding anniversary. It was probably the best gift  +Matt Finch and +Bill Webb could have given me, as we've played the shit out of S&W Complete.

Oven the last year I've either emailed a copy or folks have downloaded over 3,500 copies of S&W Complete in PDF.

3,500 copies.

The vast majority of those using the link on the right side of this page.

I don't think a day has gone by that a copy or three (or more) hasn't been downloaded.

I'm far from the only source one can grab a copy from, but I am thrilled to have been able to share an excellent rule system with so many gamers over the last year.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Kickstarter - Morgalad Fantasy RPG (Redux)

Yes, the Morgalad Fantasy RPG Kickstarter is back.

Big changes? Goal moves from $20,000 to $1,500.

Expenses are now given as percentages, and they still don't work.

Amazon and Kickstarter fees aren't accounted for. Neither is shipping.

55% to warehousing and taxes? After the above there will be nothing left to print anything.

How much does it cost to store a few boxes in your living room? Tom from the Myth & Magic Kickstarter has been doing so for about a year...

(the original Tavern posts is here)

If You Go Through Life Trying to Never Offend, You'll Never Please Them Anyway

As gamers I'd like to think we don't look to offend others, especially our fellow gamers. At the same time, if you make your focus to never offend anyone at the gaming table, you are going to have a miserable time. You'll probably also fail miserably.

We all do it. Something said in jest that someone else feels offended by.

The secret as I see it, is not repeating the offense once it's brought to your attention. Which requires a gaming group that is open enough to discuss these issues briefly when they come up, and not let them fester.

I personally guarantee that I will offend folks, now and in the future. It's human nature. Just don't make it personal ;)

Mike Nystul Had a Stroke - So Let's Send Him to an Ultima Con

Sadly, Mike "Wandering Wizard" Nystul, has had a stroke. His second, apparently. He made an appeal for funds that ended last month. He raised $1,000 of a $1,500 goal.

Here's Mike's pitch:
Life is a struggle for everyone. It certainly has been for me. For years now a variety of bad turns resulted in me being penniless and briefly homeless. I hit bottom - hard (complete with a nigh spent sleeping omn a concrete bench).  
Recently I started turning things around. I got a job, a place to live and started working on moving forward.  
Two weeks ago I went to the ER because I was concerned about my high blood pressure. I have had a stroke before and was worried especially in the Austin heat. They admitted me. I spent two weeks learning I had another stroke without realizing it and that it had affected my vision.  
At some point during my hospital stay my vision got really blurry from about a foot to about three feet away. Exactly where I need to see to do my job (I work for a tech support cal center).  
I am in a bad spot. I had not been employed long enough to get far enough ahead of my bills to build a buffer so I was living hand to mouth. I wasn't working for the two weeks I was dealing with hospitals and clinics and I will be off for at least 2 to 4 more weeks hoping my vison clears. I can't cover that and I'm in danger of losing my momentum.  
Because I am a contract worker I don't really qualify for anything like leave so it's just me. I want to stay the course and turn things around. I want my life back. To do that I need a little help. My medical bills from these visits and the ones years ago when I had my first stroke are well into the tens of thousands but all I need now is to have enough to keep going - to keep pushing so that I can come back strong. 
So, he's not asking for money for his medical bills. Rent perhaps? Ah, "momentum."

Now, the Ultima Codex picked up on this appeal:
I had meant to report on his YouCaring fundraiser sooner, and as it is there are just a few days left in it. He has raised just shy of $900, with a goal of $1,500. I’m not sure of how the YouCaring works with respect to completing a fundraising goal; I don’t know if Nystul will receive what has been pledged regardless of whether he reaches his goal. But still…his situation seems pretty dire, so if at all you’re able, you might want to consider chipping in to help him bounce back some. 
Because if he’s able to pull through his present circumstances, I’ve heard tell that he might turn in an appearance at the upcoming Hearth of Britannia Legends of the Hearth event.
Okay. "Let's get him in better financial straights so he can make an appearance at our con."

That became my "WTF Moment."

Now, I've already given to the money pit known as "The Travelling Wizard." I backed two of his Kickstarters that will never be fulfilled.

I would even have been half tempted to throw a few gold his way to help with his hospitalization expenses, but to send him to a con?

Fuck that noise.

I feel for Mike. I wish him happiness and health. That does not include paying his bills so he can go to a convention.

Now, it wasn't Mike asking to go to the con in his appeal, but the folks at the Ultima Codex did a fine time slipping that in.

Hat tip to +Marc Gillham

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Another WTF are They Thinking Kickstarter - Drastic Measures

How many points are the Gang-Bangers on Skateboards?
Alright, I need to quote before I can comment:
Drastic Measures is designed to be the middle ground between "hardcore" games like D&D or Warhammer, and board games like Risk.  Each player picks a race (rules exist for mixtures) and assembles an army of units that vary in strength and utility.  Each unit has a specific name that coordinates its abilities, weaknesses, and expense.  A basic unit, having less effect on other pieces, will cost less to add to your army.  A cowboy with a single pistol and 20HP will cost 15 points to add, whereas a bazooka wielding soldier, even with the same 20HP, will cost 75 points.
Uhm... D&D is not a wargame. Is it even "hardcore?"

Alright, I just don't get this whole Drastic Measure point at all?

Is it a skirmish wargame using freely available toy soldiers and the like?

Just think - all they want to raise is $3,000.

Short turn around too.

So not getting my money...

Class Compendium for Labyrinth Lord - Indiegogo Project - Barrel Rider Games

+James Spahn has put together an Indiegogo Project to publish a Class Compendium for Labyrinth Lord. Apparently (or amazingly) James has written 50 classes for LL over the years and this will put them all in one neat - and Print on Demand - package.
This campaign is being launched to raise money to purchase the necessary equipment to publish the first major print product from Barrel Rider Games - the Class Compendium. The Class Compendium will be a compilation of fifty classes for use with Labyrinth Lord and other OSR games that were previously only available as PDFs. It will have a full color hardcover and feature black and white art through out its interior. 
The Class Compendium was already well into production when the computer used to develop products for Barrel Rider Games began a rapid decline. It's only a matter of time before the poor, over-worked machine finally gives up the ghost and brings the future of Barrel Rider Games to a halt. To that end, I'm turning to the OSR community and internet at large to not only help me bring the Class Compendium  to life, but also ensure the future of BRG for years to come through this Indiegogo campaign.
James does good work in a timely fashion. If you play Labyrinth Lord (or other OSR games) this really should be a no brainer.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wayward Kickstarters - Myth & Magic Player's Guide - Available on Lulu - $9.99

Truth to tell, the whole Myth & Magic Player's Guide Kickstarter experience has soured me on what is otherwise a damn good presentation of 2e. I really expected anthrax or urine to accompany my copy of the Player's Guide, and I know I only got my copy because Tom hoped it would shut me up.

I'll admit I stopped reading the comments at the Kickstarter page with any regularity after July or so, as it was obvious that Tom had withdrawn himself to avoid dealing with his irate supporters.

One of those supporters went so far as to upload the Myth & Magic Player's Guide to Lulu. The Paperback version is  going for $9.95 and not a cent is going to Tom as far as I can tell. Which is music to my ears. I wouldn't piss on him if his apartment full of Myth & Magic Player's Guides spontaneously combusted.

As for the legality of the availability on Lulu, I have no opinion. I do happen to enjoy the finger being waved in Tom's direction 'tho...

Buccaneers and Bilge Rats (Swords & Wizardry)

It's not that I totally forgot that Buccaneers and Bilge Rats released last week. It's just that I was juggling too many cats to properly get the word out.

Barrel Rider Games, aka +James Spahn , has hit the ground running when it comes to his Swords & Wizardry compatible releases. First was the Player's Companion. Now we have the pirate themed Buccaneers and Bilge Rats. Who doesn't like pirates? Besides, Barrel Rider Games has had consistently quality releases for - well, pretty much all of it's LL and S&W releases.

This would actually work well with the Razor Coast setting / adventure.

From the blurb
With Buccaneers & Bilge Rats for Swords & Wizardry (and other old-school fantasy role-playing games), you'll be ready for adventure on the high sea! This 34 page supplement brings piracy and swashbuckling your Swords & Wizardry campaign! 
Two new character classes: The dashing Pirate and mysterious Witch Doctor
The Cleric-Variant Class Priest of the Sea
Two new player character races: The graceful Sea Elf and cursed Dagonite
Complete rules for Firearms, Artillery, and Fencing Styles (note - Firearms are VERY lethal)
New Melee Weapons
New Nautical Spells
New Magic Items
Dead Man's Cove - a complete adventure ready to use in your campaign!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How Many "Free RPG Day 2014" Releases Released for Free in PDF?

I've been trying to put together a list of the 2014 Free RPG Day releases in PDF and it's really short. I think I must have subconsciously already known this, as it's taken me over 4 months to even look.

The Doom Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children is available in PDF as PWYW

A Druid's Lament for C&C is $4.99 in PDF - go figure

Make Your Own Luck for 13th Age apparently doesn't have a PDF version

Same for the Shadowrun / Battletech Quickstart

As for the DCC RPG/Xcrawl Free RPG Day 2014 release? $4.99 (same as every year)

I didn't see this year's Cosmic Patrol Quickstart on RPGNow

There are a crapload of Valiant Universe Quickstarts over at RPGNow - no idea if any are the Free RPG Day release, but they are all free.

Previous years seem to have had more PDF releases if I recall correctly.

Mike Mearls did that "Reddit Ask Me Anything" Thing About 5e - It's the "Non Answers" That Interest me the Most

ENWorld has an excellent summary and highlights from the Mike Mearls AMA on Reddit.

Go to ENWorld and read it. We'll wait for you.

Now, here's the pieces I find most interesting:
On PDFs -- "We're definitely looking at PDFs, ebooks, and other digital platforms, but no news yet. The goal with anything along those lines will be grow D&D, not just sell ebooks to people who already play the game, so we're putting a lot of work into figuring out that side of the equation."
Reading between the lines, don't hold your breath. WotC / Hasbro still sees PDFs / Ebooks as cannibalizing dead tree sales. We have DnDClassics because all of those products are out of print. Are they selling anything in PDF that they recently reprinted?
On the OGL -- "No news yet, but we do plan to announce something within the next couple of months or so." 
To another OGL question [Mike never says "OGL" though] -- "Yes - we're working on plans right now to allow people to use the D&D system to create their own stuff."
I suspect here going to see a licensing scheme for publishers (No OGL) and a fan license, as the second answer refers to people, not publishers.

We can already create our own stuff our own stuff for ANY edition - it's the legal and organized sharing of such works that something like the OGL gives safe harbor to. I strongly suspect that the "fan license" will not allow work to be sold for profit, or, if it can be, WotC owns the final product and gets a cut of the sales.

Without a subscription type service resulting in recurring income, 5e is not going to make the money the suits at Hasbro expect from a Dungeons & Dragons RPG.

I'm surprised no one asked about the Annual WotC Xmas Purge ;)

Bundle of Holding - Worldbuilder's Toolkit +2

Bundle of Holding is currently offering the Worldbuilder's Toolkit + 2. It's a nice little bundle for those that like to create their campaigns from the ground up.

I have The Dungeon Dozen in print, and it's an awesome book book of random tables. In the "beat the threshold" level, Odyssey is excellent (especially for a disorganized ass like me) and I've heard good things abut Hamlet's Hit Points.

Superstitions, What a Show! (Brainstorm Podcast)

The superstition themed episode of The Brainstorm Podcast released last night, and it is a fun one and - dare I say it - contains some useful ideas that are easy to drop into your campaign.

Oh, and there was some audience participation, as described in this post from last month.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kickstarter - Maelorum, Volume Two

Almost two years to the day - November 4th, 2012 to be exact, is when I wrote about the first volume of The Maelorum Kickstarter.

Here we are, two years later, and Maelorum, Volume Two is about to fund via Kickstarter.

This time +Will Fincher , author, artist and publisher of the project is offering a free excerpt for prospective backers at this link.

Now, I can only talk about volume one, which was a blast to read / play. I'm a big lover of Tunnels & Trolls and it's accompanying solos adventures (which you generally have little chance to succeed with). Maelorum is like an RPG and a solo game book rolled into one.

It really is well done.

That, and Will does a great job keeping his backers in the loop, which is a big thing, at least for me.

Damn, now I feel the itch to break out Volume One again...

Player's Companion for Swords & Wizardry $4.99 in Print

I like +James Spahn but he must be off his medication - $4.99 for the Player's Companion for Swords & Wizardry for a mere $4.99 is insane. 'nuff said!

From the blurb:
With the Player's Companion for Swords & Wizardry (and other old-school fantasy role-playing games), you're never out of options. This 35 page supplement offers new optional rules to expand your Swords & Wizardry campaign! 
Expanded attribute limits which allow for player characters to go beyond the limits of mere mortals
Two new optional Attributes: Appearance & Luck
New class abilities for every class featured in the Swords & Wizardry Complete rulebook
Two new classes: The dark Anti-Paladin and the learned Bard
Three new non-human player character races: the deadly dark elf, whimsical gnome and brutal half-orc
Optional attribute modifiers for non-human characters
Eleven new weapons
Five new types of armor
Two new shields
Thrity-five new magic items 

Some Idle Curiosity About My G+ Following

Sometime in the last week or so, I surpassed 9,000 people who have me in their circles. The number is mind blowing.

Now, I know a certain percentage of that number see to follow do so for non gaming reasons. I can't explain why they would want to read my posts and I doubt they do read them.

I am curious as to why those that follow me, especially in the last year or so, decided to join "The Lemmings." (for those not in on the joke, I've been told by certain individuals that I need to be more careful in my postings, as I have - potentially at least - too much influence on our little corner of the hobby, but I digress)

So, how did you find myself and by extension, The Tavern?

Thoughts, ideas, observations?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Thoughts on Kickstarter - In Pictures

I think I'm going to get some mileage out of BitStrips.

As most of the Kickstarters I support consist of reading material, the above is more accurate than expected.

A WTF Kickstarter - RPG Dice Knobs BF Special (Special Grumpy Dwarf Guest Appearance)

They say a picture speaks a thousands words. In that case, the above pictures are more verbose than most.

I'm a gamer and I wouldn't mind swapping out the drawer pull on my desk for the proper "dice knob", but sure as "The Minister" rolls natural 1's in the once a month Friday Night Castle of the Mad Archmage session like it's his purpose in life, the above are butt ugly and they dont all look centered properly.

Oh, and they're cheap looking.

Look, they give you reasons to pledge on the RPG Dice Knobs BF Special Kickstarter site itself! (I'll let Grumpy the Dwarf
RPG Dice Knobs is the next coolest thing after RPG Dice Magnets.  (which isn't all that cool if you ask me)
 It will help me on my next projects. I got 3 great ideas, 2 are board games and one has to do with more dice.  (what the fuck does piss ass ugly dice knobs have to do with future projects? we should encourage more of this?)
 RPG Dice Knobs make a great surprising gift idea.  (surprising? yes. useful? no)
 Can be used for decoration and on drawers, boxes, and doors. (oh my!)
 Quality durable material.  (I can't speak for their durability, but the quality does not appear to be all that high - as said above, they look cheap)
 One of a Kind. (and we thank the gods for that)
If you screw it on a table, I bet people will not resist the urge to pick it up.  (yes, put a hole in your dining room table top to screw one of these in. I'll wait for your spouse's reaction. It should be killer)
Use them for display if you have a hobby store and you sell dice. (but first find out where you can get the same supply of "quality durable" dice)

New PWYW Release - The Lair of Largash the Lurid (1st -2nd Level OSR Adventure)

I do like Pay What You Want releases. It's like getting a free product with a handy tip jar if you like the product. Pretty much risk free shopping if you ask me.

The Lair of Largash the Lurid is a PWYW release from Canister & Grape Wargames. Yeah, I don't get the company name either, but whatever ;)

This is a potentially lethal adventure for a smaller party of 1st level characters. I'm thinking you might be better off using this when the majority of player characters in your campaign are 2nd level.

Even if you don't use the adventure as is, you can always repurpose the 2 dungeon level maps.
Largash the Lurid, scourge of the common folk and self-appointed king beneath the rocky hills, lurks deep within his lair. Who dares enter his realm to unthrone this most evil of monarchs? Can your brave party of adventurers defeat Largash the Lurid and his evil minions once and for all?
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