Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sneak Peek - White Lies (S&W White Box Powered RPG of Espionage and Paramilitary Operations)

+Bill Logan was kind enough to give me an early reviewer's copy of White Lies, his Swords & Wizardry White Box compatible RPG of espionage and paramilitary operations. Holy expletive, but there is so much here that could be dropped whole cloth into a White Star campaign. The two together would be like peanut butter and chocolate - great on their own but something totally different and awesome together.

I haven't read enough for a proper review, but I love what I've read thus far. The class options are top notch and cover many of the roles one thinks of in modern day spy thrillers.

Bill calls White Lies a toolbox. I'd say he's right about that. Much like White Star is a toolbox. If you didn't like White Star, I expect you'll find similar complaints about White Lies. If you liked White Star, I strongly suspect your find much to like (and steal) from White Lies.

White Lies releases on RPGNow on November 5th  6th. I'll try to get a proper review done in time for release. In the meantime, I really like what I see here.

I just realized, the X-Files return in January. White Lies + White Star could make for a nice X-Files campaign...

Frog God Games has a 40% Off Sale on ALMOST Everything on their Site (Ends at the stroke of Midnite 11/1/15)

Frog God has been bringing some early holiday cheer recently with big price drops on a single item each day. This weekend they are offering 40% off of EVERYTHING* (with the exception of The Northlands Saga Complete and Borderland Provinces.)

Somehow I'm tempted to do my own twist on the Dusk to Dawn spiel at the Titty Twister:
"Frog God has all kinds of D&D! 
Old D&D, New D&D, not so old but not new D&D. D&D sandboxes, D&D adventure paths, D&D mega dungeons. If you can find better D&D elsewhere - play it!"
Alright, that was pretty bad.

The sale IS good though.

Frog God link

Here's the code: HALLOWEEN-40%

Yes, I know shipping outside the states is expensive as hell. At 40% off, you might actually cover those shipping costs ;)

What's Your Horror? Games to Run on Halloween

Back in my High School and College days, I made a point of running a proper (more or less) horror session for my players on the weekend closest to Halloween.

Call of Cthulhu, Chill (old Pacesetter boxed set) and even a Ravenloft setting one-shot where the PCs get dragged temporarily into the mists of Ravenloft - the one that was a Pinocchio rip was probably the most disturbing for my players.

I don't do it these days, though I should. Good, or bad horror roleplaying is just perfect for the Halloween season.

So, do you run horror for the Horror-days? What's your go to system, setting, adventure?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Frog God Spooky Sale - Book of Lost Spells (5e) - 50% Off Until Midnight Tonight

Frog God Games has been running Spooky Sales pretty much every night this week. Of course, I get the emails around 6PM - just as I've been heading out the door for work (yay overtime!)

I happen to be off tonight, so I actually get a chance to include the rest of you in the Frog God Goodness.

First, the pitch:

Here's the link: https://www.froggodgames.com/book-lost-spells?utm_source=Book+of+Lost+Spells+Sale+10-30-15&utm_campaign=Book+of+Lost+Spells+Sale+10-30-15&utm_medium=email

and here's the code:

OSRGaming.org Forums have a New Owner (NOT an April Fool's Joke)

+Vincent Florio , the main man behind Wild Games Productions and the OSRGaming.org Forums informed me earlier this afternoon that OSRGaming.org was sold to a regular at the OSRGaming.org forums earlier this afternoon(Vince was not forthcoming with the name of the buyer at this time.)

Not a joke.

The sub-forums for the various WPG Podcasts will remain as is and Vince will be very much involved with the various forums.

When I asked Vince why he was selling the forums, he basically said "now was the right time."

It will be interesting to see what new blood brings to the table.

Next on the Agenda - Tavern Chat Podcast (Real Short / Multiple Per Week Episodes)

Tavern Readers: "Er, don't you have enough shit on your plate right now? Your Beer Blog is on hiatus since you went to overnights at work."

Tavern Barkeep: "Right. But drinking at 7 AM is just not socially normal. I do have an occasional glass of wine when I get home from work though. Seems more... classy"

TR: "Whatever. How on God's green earth are you going to find the time to record a podcast multiple times each week? When you drive home from work?"

TB: "The thought did occur to me, just not sure how feasible it would be. I'm thinking 10-15 minute long podcast episodes up to three times a week."

TR: "Talking about what? Isn't that why you have the blog? To yap away at your readers?"

TB: "True, but podcasts can be listened to while driving, shopping, ignoring your teacher. Don't drive while reading The Tavern or any other blog. Don't operate heavy machinery or garden tools while blog reading. Listening to a podcast? You have our blessings ;)"

I've been toying with the idea of recording my own podcast for a while now. Once you get bit by the podcasting bug, it's hard to let go.

Here's what I'm thinking:

- Tavern Chat Podcast. Just because. Open to suggestions for another title.

- 10-15 minute long episodes. Short and sweet.

- talking about timely events in the OSR hobby - interesting / active blogposts from around the blogosphere of the OSR, active Kickstarters, new releases, Gareth & Whitless updates as applicable and the like

- corresponding post at The Tavern, linking to everything mentioned and pointing to the podcast

- ideally three times a week, but I suspect that won't be hit until March of next year. We'll start at once a week and go from there.

- occasional guests hosts - those would potentially be double length episodes and would be noted as such. no more than once a week on those, probably closer to once or twice a month.

- clear, quick and dirty - goal is to be clean (as in clear audio - I do NOT guarantee clear language), quick (record monday, release tuesday) and dirty (few bells and whistles - just the basics here)

- aiming to kick off Thanksgiving week. No idea if it will happen at that time. Life likes to throw curveballs.

So there you have it. if nothing else it should be an interesting time sink on my end ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Just in Time for Halloween - Paradox Buys White Wolf – Vampire The Masquerade finds a New Haunted Home

What happens when an RPG IP goes from one computer game company to another? In this case, it's World of Darkness / White Wolf, and it's going from CPP (best known for Eve Online) to Paradox (best known for Crusader Kings.)

I'm not sure how much this will effect the RPGs themselves (which are currently being published under license by Onyx Path.) It's more immediate effect will be on the computer gaming side of things, at least that's my guess.

Interesting piece from Rock / Paper / Shotgun:
Wester said that Paradox paid cash for the acquisition, and notes that Vampire is particularly exciting as it is “the world’s second best-selling role-playing and is special because half of all players are women.”
I'll give them "half of all players are women" but "the world's second best-selling" RPG? Someone is caught in the 90s.

Anyhow, interesting times in the RPG hobby.

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM

I can't believe we are at the end of October. Halloween is right around the corner. Normally I'd be thinking of running something spooky around the horror-day, but I'm working the night of the 31st.

In any case, tonight is Tavern Chat. I'm sure horror and spookiness will be on the list of topics ;)

See you at 9 Eastern.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Far West Announces November Release Date - Fails to Mention "Year"

Ah, you gotta love the fall. The leaves change colors, the air gets crisp and we are given yet ANOTHER Far West "release date." Trying to predict a Far West release date is like predicting snow fall amounts - no one really know but God, and he ain't talking.

Strangely enough, it wasn't mentioned on the Far West Kickstarter site. Instead, the question was asked by a "pre-order" customer on the Far West forum page. Somehow I never realized Gareth took money for this pink elephant and then took more money for this pink elephant.

I'm guessing November 2017. Gareth still has like 4 chapters to go on the book and his rate seems to average one chapter per season. Yeah, we need a Farmer's Almanac to predict this shit. Would probably be more accurate too.

Tip of the hat to +Eric Franklin

Barrel Rider Games Puts White Star / White Box Releases on Sale for 30% Off in PDF

+James Spahn is celebrating his birthday or some such nonsense.

Who cares!

What we care about is that he's put his best selling White Star RPG on sale for 30% off in PDF (along with his excellent collection of White Box releases for Swords & Wizardry.)

What are you waiting for?

Now is the time to buy! Well, at least before the sale ends on November 8th.

Of course, I own the whole collection already...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A WTF Kickstarter - The Dangerzone RPG (I THINK it's a Computer RPG)

Let me just say this:

Watch the video.

Then look at The Dangerzone RPG Kickstarter page, which purports to be about funding a computer game RPG.

Remember what you saw in the video.

Search the Kickstarter page for any hint of art or graphics from the supposed game.

Pour yourself a shot of Fireball Whiskey. You earned it.

I think the game IS a boob...

Patreon Highlight - Genius Loci Games (Johua De Santo)

I've been remiss in highlighting some of the Patreon Projects I support. (Actually, I'm behind in almost everything these days) +Johua De Santo is one of those that get's my backing.


Because he's consistently putting out small adventures / encounters that are easy to prep and run with short notice. When you have as little free time as I have these days (I'm in the midst of 7 days of overtime in an 8 working day stretch) it's nice to have short pieces, even if it's just to read in the moments between.

These days he's giving away a one-sheet to show the type of adventures his Patreon backers have access to. Just go to Johua's Patreon, download the free adventure and treat yourself. You won't be sorry.

Nap time for the old man before heading to work this evening ;)

Monday, October 26, 2015

New Big Dragon Games releases Basic Psionics Handbook (Mind Powers that Don't Cloud the Mind)

If there was one part of the AD&D 1e ruleset that never made much sense to me (there was more than one actually, but this was probably the worst) was the Psionics Rules section. It didn't follow the rest of the AD&D rules in flavor or mechanics. They felt shoved in, not even tacked on. We tried to use them and never could really figure out how to make them mesh with the core rules.

+Richard LeBlanc has found a way to bring psionics to the common gamer with the Basic Psionics Handbook. It looks very usable with a quick glance through (and if Rich's previous works are any indication, it should be immensely useful.) This is going to the top of my long neglected review pile and has already been uploaded to my tablet ;)

The normal price is going to be $7.95 but it's currently at $5.95. I'm not sure how long the lower price is in effect, so I wouldn't wait to long to bite at this one.

Here's the blurb:
Unleash the powers of the mind into your BX/LL campaign! 
Finally, after 40 years of waiting, there’s a psionics system for the classic editions of the world’s original fantasy role-playing game. It’s simple, intuitive, andprovides a gameplay experience that feels at home alongside the original rules of the game. Within this jam-packed 56-page book, you’ll find: 
a simple, easy-to-play psionics system, tailor-made for classic versions of the world’s first role-playing game 
2 complete BX/LL character classes—the mystic and the monk—specifically designed to support the system 
support for basic and expert player levels 
an easy-to-use psionic combat system based on the classic attack and defense modes
complete descriptions for 114 psionic abilities... broken into 6 different chakra/discipline groups... adapated from the best existing resources 
tables for generating wild psionic abilities in non-psionic player classes 
full stats and descriptions for 38 psionic monsters 
tables for generating phrenic creatures 
instructions on converting psionic monsters from other classic editions 
conversions and additions for 8 monsters from Old School Adventures™ Accessory CC1: Creature Compendium
background information on psionic items, and descriptions for 13 specific items
support for mixing spellcasting and psionics 
And much more!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Look at The Tavern's Demographics (According to Google Analytics)

I saw +Russ just did this over at ENWorld, and I was curious as to how The Tavern shook out.

Nothing all that surprising. We are a bunch of middle aged, male gamers ;)

(I rounded off the numbers)

1) 35-44   39%

2) 45-54   33%

3) 25-34   19%

4) 18-24     6%

5) 55-64     2%

6) 65+        1%

Male       95%

Female     5%

Then we have some self identifying categories:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

RPGNow Deal of the Day - A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore (OSR Rules Supplement)

If I missed telling y'all about A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore being today's Deal of the Day at RPGNow, I'd have no one to blame but +Joseph Bloch himself. Good thing I get email notifications. Now I just need to read the emails ;)

At $4.23, A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore is a steal. I've had my print copy for a while now, and have used bits and pieces in my Swords & Wizardry campaigns without my players' knowledge. Needless to say, it's been fun ;)

So, what is A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore? Here's the blurb:
A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore is a rules supplement that will enhance most old-school role-playing games. The rules are based on Gary Gygax's plans for a 2nd edition of the world's most popular role-playing game (that unfortunately never happened), and are the product of years of meticulous research. The book contains: 
Five new character classes: the bard, jester, mystic, savant, and mountebank 
Hundreds of new spells 
A new alternative combat system that is at once streamlined and more realistic 
Rules for shipborne adventures and combat 
Quick and easy rules for common hazards and weather 
New magic items 
New monsters 
And much more! 
The rules are designed to be completely modular; take what you like, leave what you don't. Want mountebanks and savants but not the new combat system? No problem. Everything will still work fine.
At $4.23 its a bargain and then some.

Kickstarter - DCC RPG 4th Printing (Already Funded and Knocking Down Stretch Goals)

There is just something about the DCC RPG. It's massive yet approachable. If you buy into the fairly random magic system, it's an amazingly solid game. The art is some of the most evocative in the OSR and the adventures work well with other OSR systems (so long as you are comfortable converting on the fly.) It's the first and only game that brought back that magical feel of my first few sessions of D&D as a teenager. It's familiar and yet comfortably different.

If you haven't checked out the DCC RPG system you really should, and Goodman games is giving old fans and new players an excellent opportunity to get the new DCC RPG 4th Printing. $40 for the new edition of the rulebook PLUS an adventure module PLUS free swag? If you want in, know is the time to do so. Backer spots are limited for the extras .

Me, I like the new Mullen cover. Damn it looks sweet.

Sure, it's an extra 20 bucks, but it includes an art folio and for the DCC completist, this is awesome.

Did I mention the stretch goals?

I just put the project over $30k, so you can thank me for the judge's reference panels ;)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ken Whitless, Come on Down! You are the Next Contestant on "Which State Attorney General is Going to Sue My Ass?"

I apologize, as I've been remiss in following up on the Ken Whitman's various scams and sagas. Normally I'd be checking up on his Kickstarters for his "Whit-icisms" but the new work hours have run roughshod over my free time.

Lo and behold, I awoke from a nap this afternoon (it happens when you work overnites and then try and adjust on your days off) to an interesting piece over at the Kicksnacker Community at G+. This bit was originally posted over in the Pencil Dice Kickstarter comments section, and it is Whitman Gold:

Now, I've read that D20 Entertainment doesn't actually exist as a legal entity, which would leave Ken holding the bag without corporate cover. I wonder if that's why he's bee so quiet on his Kickstarters these days...

As an aside, I see Brave Halfling is in the State AG mix. Not a surprise, as John has handled Appendix N in about as poor a manner as is possible. Of course, John is more "business incompetent" whereas Ken is "scam artistry taken to new highs and lows."

Bundle of Holding with Halloween in Mind - Bundle of Nerves +3 (Savage Worlds Horror, Silent Legions and More)

Silent Legions is +Kevin Crawford 's entry into the horror genre using an OSR styled ruleset. Savage Worlds is, well, Savage Worlds. This offering includes the Horror Companion for Savage Worlds.

Two games, three books, 40 bucks worth of gaming for $10. A pretty good deal.

At approximately double the price you add in the Rippers storyline for Savage Worlds, Shadows of Esteren Book 0 - Prologue and Book 1 - Universe and Accursed. A $60 value for about 20 bucks more.

My only disappointment is that it lacks any Call of Cthulhu in the bundle. That being said, Bundle of Nerves + 3 is a very good bundle for the price.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Best Ruleset to Introduce Noobs to RPGs?

So, last night it happened. Well, actually, it started on Saturday night, but I was off so it really happened last night.

What am I talking about?

One of my Lts. and another Sgt. spent Saturday night tracking down my blog and attempting to track down my podcasts.

I was greeted by my blog shown on phones, +Douglas Cole 's interview of me playing on YouTube and questions about RPGs in general AND a desire to have me run a session. For cops that have never played before. Damn tall order, I know.

I'm so damn deep into RPGs I'm not even sure what would be the best choice to introduce them to the hobby. Free in PDF is obviously good, but I work with folks that want to READ the rules and come away with some knowledge of how it plays out.

So, I'm looking for suggestions from the fine readers of The Tavern.

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern - I'll Have Questions

Tonight is Tavern Chat Night. It's something I look forward to these days after a long week at work (my work week ends at 6AM Thursday morning and kicks off again at 930PM Saturday Night.)

I'll have some questions for those that drop by, mostly related to my cover being blown at work. Yes, the blog and some podcasts have been found and aside from the usual ribbing, it's generated lots of curiosity in my hobby.

I may run a bit late tonight as I'll be taking my wife out to a well deserved dinner after some stressful weeks at her new job.

See y'all tonight :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

D&D 5e Most Played Game on Roll20 for the Last Quarter

I like that Roll20 makes it's stats public on a quarterly basis. There really is a small mountain of date for those that want to drill through such.

I get quarterly updates on those stats from the Orr Group, the parent company of Roll20 (the big daddy of virtual table tops, or VTTs.)

The most interesting thing to note from the latest update, from my perspective at least (and I guess the folks behind Roll20, as they made a specific mention of it in the email) is that Dungeons & Dragons 5e is the most played RPG on Roll20. Doesn't matter whether you use the yardstick of games played or players self identifying- 5e is number 1 in each case.

The percentage of players identifying with a certain system is actually greater than 100%, as they may identify with more than one system in the time the data was captured.

Less shiny snapshot with more detail:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What's Your Standard? Gold, Silver, Gems, Shells?

I know D&D is based on a gold standard, but it's never felt right to me. Somehow bringing hundreds of pounds of gold out of a dungeon just never seemed right to me. It just seemed to devalue gold.

Switching to the silver standard helps, so long as you treat silver in all ways like gold,except that it's silver. Or something like that.

Gems. Gems always felt better, travelled easier but were much harder to actually spend. The average barkeep is not going to cash out gems.

Letters of credit aren't too loot-able.

So, what's the standard in your campaign? Why?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Kickstarter - The Folio #5 & #6, in 1E & 5E Format

I've posted about previous releases in The Folio before. Here's the quick summary:

- On time or early

- Detachable covers

- Quality adventures

If you like Old School feel with modern production values, The Folio is the way to go. You can get The Folio 5 & 6 for a mere 10 bucks in PDF.

I'll be running this series of adventures come March / April when I enjoy some downtime ;)

P.S/ Did I mention I love the cover art to #5?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Frog God Games Free Adventure - Rogues in Remballo (S&W, PF and 5e flavors)

Quick and dirty post as I'm in the middle of an 18 hour work day.

Frog God Games has generously released Rogues in Remballo in PDF format to the gaming public.

How do you get your copy? Just go to the Borderland Provinces Kickstarter page and follow the link for the free adventure.


posted from Bloggeroid

Had a Small Surprise Waiting for Me at Work Today

I got to work a little early this afternoon for the first of my two back to back tours and noticed a small change to my mailbox:

Kingggg! I will have my revenge!

Good investigative work though...

The Tenkar's Tavern - NTRPG Con Mini-Con G+ Community is Live

Yep, I did it. I sponsored a room for NTRPG Con 2016 for use by OSR Bloggers, Podcasters and Small Publishers (and the rest of the community that is involved in all things OSR.) Bad Mike bills room sponsorship as a sort of mini-con, and he's right. There's a lot we can do to make this ours.

I'll be looking for suggestions for games to be run at our sponsored table, requested GMs to run games at the table run by NTRPG Con in the room (we have 2 gaming tables in the room - one for us and one for the con, but we can request GMs for the NT table), podcasts that are interested in reserving time at one of our 2 vendor tables, blogs that want to be represented (either with banners, flyers, small giveaways, in person or other), small publishers that might want a piece of the 2nd vending table and much more.

The more being simple members of the community that want a voice in a little corner of the OSR universe for 4 days in June of 2016. Hopefully we can also use the room as a meet-up for OSR bloggers, podcasters, small publishers, readers, listeners, consumers and the like.

If you are going to be at NTRPG Con in 2016, I'm hoping you'll participate in the Tenkar's Tavern - NTRPG Con Mini-Con Community on G+. More importantly, I hope to see you there. If you aren't going, you can still participate. There's been talk of arranging some live (or nearly so) podcasting or video-casting from NTRPG Con, and if the logistics work out, the Tenkar's Tavern Mini-Con will be in the thick of it.

You can join the Tenkar's Tavern - NTRPG Con Mini-Con G+ Community by following the link. I'll see you there ;)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Kickstarter - Hyperborea Adventure Three-Pack in Hand

There is something about in print gaming products. I love PDFs for the portability and the "read on my phone while in some random bathroom" readability but the collector in me adores print. Well, maybe "adore" is the wrong word, especially when dealing with the manliness of the Hyperborea adventures three pack, but screw it, it fits.

The adventures range from 48 to 56 pages in length and the inside covers are used for maps. Hard to get much more old school than that.

As you can see, even Ashley was excited by the latest additions to the gaming collection. She knows how to roll dice, if only she knew how to read them. Ah well.

Oh, and there are three bookmarks that aren't pictured. I guess I'll need to read more books ;)

I haven't had the chance to digest any of these properly, but they are well laid out and the art is damn good. I'm disappointed in myself for not opting to support the Kickstarter at a level that included a piece of original art. I think my first week of retirement next year will be 12 hours a day of reading gaming material. These three will be on the top of that list if I don't get to them sooner.

Estimated delivery was September and they arrived mid October. That's on time in my book :)

RPGNow Deal of the Day - The First Sentinel (Lesser Gnome)

You probably know Lesser Gnome+Zach Glazar from the Whisper & Venom Kickstarter. If you don't know Lesser Gnome, you've been missing out on some damn good gaming material.

Today's RPGNow Deal of the Day is Lesser Gnome's stand alone adventure, The First Sentinel. Clocking in at 28 pages, it can be had for a mere $2.80 until 1059 AM tomorrow morning.

So, what do you get for your money?
Lesser Gnome is pleased to announce the digital release The First Sentinel by Edwin Nagy. 
Within its pages Game Masters have a complete adventure for three to six players using character levels between three and five. Characters are confronted with a small mystery involving a missing resident. Clues could offer muted warnings or, if followed closely, will bring them face to face with a vanguard of the demonic Nexid.

This digital release has piece of written content from the 2014 printed edition with a few extras PDF extras. With a completely new layout that designed to make the PDF more than just a printout on your screen it is meant for table-top use on a tablet or other devices.

The First Sentinel Interactive Features…

No watermarking
Separate text, art and vector layers.
Bookmarks to important tables and maps accessible via the PDF Reader
Hyperlinks to appendix entries and tables.
Interactive buttons for quick access to relevant pages
Image buttons that link to illustrations for players.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bundle of Holding - The Strange and The One Ring

I've been remiss in checking out the recent Bundle of Holding offerings. I'm trying to rectify that now ;)

The One Ring has just over 3 days left to go. For 15 bucks you get The One Ring Roleplaying Game and the Loremaster's Screen and Lake-Town Guide. For 32 bucks you get to add in The Darkening of Mirkwood, The Heart of the Wild, Rivendell and Tales From Wilderland. Rivendell even has our very own +James Spahn as a contributor.

The Strange just hit the Bundle of Holding (It's got 10 days left to go.) For 10 bucks you get The Strange, The Strange Player's Guide, In Translation: The Strange Character Options and Swordbreakers. For under 21 bucks you get to add in Worlds Numberless and Strange, The Strange Bestiary, The Strange GM Screen, The Dark Spiral, Eschatology Code, The Estate Dossiers and When Worlds Collide.

I literally have nothing of either game, but I've heard good stuff about each. Actually, I've heard more about The Strange than it's older sibling, Numenera. Hopefully I don't have to get someone to clean up The Strange PDFs like I did Numenera (it was pretty much unreadable for me.)

Kickstarter - The Lost Lands: Borderland Provinces (S&W, Pathfinder and 5e)

I've never had a bad thing to say about a Frog God Games Kickstarter. You always get value for your money (even if the buy in is typically higher than many gaming products) and they are generally on time or damn close to it. Traditionally, Frog God has offered it's Kickstarter releases in Swords & Wizardry and Pathfinder flavors, but recently they've added 5e to the mix.

The Lost Lands: Borderland Provinces is Frog God's latest Kickstarter, and it's the setting for which it's other releases take place in. Better yet, you can get the setting in typical Frog God high quality hard cover print for $35 plus shipping (that includes the PDF.)

How can they do it at $35? The setting book is separate from the adventures book, which is another $35 if you want it. Keeping them as separate products allows one to only pay for what they need.

There are other add ons for the completists among us, but $35 for the Borderland Providences setting book in hard cover and PDF is damn exciting.
The central part of the Kickstarter is the Core Campaign Book for the Borderland Provinces, a complete guide for running campaigns here. There are also several additional resources that can be added to the campaign book to assemble an extended kit for sandbox adventuring and traveling through the wild and tumultuous realm of the Borderland Provinces. The main campaign book contains rich descriptions of countries, cities (some with individual maps), encounter tables for road and airborne travel, several individual lairs, historical background of the area, and much more. The Adventure Book provides a set of stand-alone adventures much larger than the lairs in the campaign book, and the Journey Generator is a resource for GMing free-form traveling adventures on the stone high-roads left behind by the ancient Hyperboreans. You can pick and choose what kinds of resources you want, and put together the kit you need for your particular kind of game. 
And that's not all! There are two player books to introduce the campaign to players in different ways, including a copy of the poster map (don't worry -- the secret locations aren't shown on it). Plus, there's a free first-level adventure module, Rogues in Remballo, to let you get started right away!
I'm in at $95 for the Complete GM book set, but then again, I am a completist ;)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Neoplatic Press Halloween Sale - Lusus Naturae, Teratic Tome, more - PWYW

+Rafael Chandler shared this out on G+ and I'm just strengthening the signal:

From now until October 31st, all of my PDFs are pay-what-you-want. This includes Lusus Naturae, Teratic Tome, and the rest of it! No particular reason -- I just thought a Halloween sale sounded like fun! You want a PDF for free? Go for it, no problem! You want to get it for free, then maybe come back later and toss some coins into the open guitar case? I'll be here, strumming along.

Neoplastic Press Halloween Sale

Tavernt Chat Tonight - 9PM to 11PM Eastern

Yep, another Tavern Chat tonight.

Topics may include:

- Frog God's latest Kickstarter

- NTRPG Con 2016 and the room The Tavern is sponsoring (last I checked, only Frog God was sponsoring a room)

- my Random Overnight series of post

- other sordid topics as they come up

Random Gaming Thoughts at 2 AM

I've got NTRPG Con on my mind. Very excited to be sponsoring a room.

Remember, this room is (hopefully) going to be a central hub for bloggers, podcasters and everyone else.

Oh, and beer. Hopefully...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tenkar's Tavern is Sponsoring Trinity I at NTRPG Con 2016 for OSR Bloggers and Podcasters

See the Trinity Ballroom? Lower left corner is Trinity I.

That will be Ground Zero for the OSR Blogging and Podcasting Communities at NTRPG Con. I'm happy to give back to Doug and Mike as best I can while giving bloggers and podcasters a place to call their own. Besides, the beer is sold just outside the door to Trinity 1 ;)

We will have 2 vendor tables (which I expect will have business cards, flyers, bumper stickers - whatever) and 1 gaming table to schedule gaming around. I'm expecting some planned slots, some open slots.

Need a corner that's away from the crowds? One of the vendor tables can be set up for podcasting.

Still need to work out the details, but we do have a room...

(edit - if +Richard LeBlanc has the same table as last year in the main ballroom, i can knock on the wall between us in morse code and send messages ;)

Random Gaming Thoughts at 1 am

Sometimes the mind kicks in early.

Any suggestions / wish list for OSR Christmas? I'm hoping to get other blogs involved in hosting giveaways.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Kickstarter - Frog God Games' Borderland Provinces Kickstarter kicks off on October 15th - Pricing May Surprise Some Folks

I just awoke from a 4 hour nap (as apposed to my 4 hours of sleep this morning) to an email from +Matt Finch explaining some of the details and pricing for the forthcoming Borderland Provinces Kickstarter from Frog God Games.

The basic buy in price point is 12 bucks in PDF. Let that sink in for a bit.

Hardcover with GM extras is $35 with poster map (and PDFs)

Heh ;)

Here's what Matt sent me:
We're planning on launching the Borderland Provinces Kickstarter for the core region of the Lost Lands campaign on October 15, 2 days from now. Many people have asked about pricing: the answer may be a very nice surprise: 
(1) The Basic Campaign Price is $12  
Yes, you did read that right. You can start a Borderland Provinces campaign on a $12 budget if your goal is just to have basic information about what's around Rappan Athuk and the other major locations. By getting the pdf Player Guide and Gazeteer, which comes with a pdf of the poster map, you're all set for that type of bare-bones campaign if you're a DIY game master who doesn't plan on using encounter tables, secret GM information, lairs, etc. The Player Gazeteer gives basic descriptions of the map locations, enough to work with if you're a build-it-yourself Game Master. And since the campaign also comes with a free adventure, Rogues in Remballo, you have a pretty complete set of resources to work with. 
(2) The "Core" Campaign Hardcover + Map + PDF is $35  
A library-quality hardcover of the GM campaign book is only $35 plus shipping, and it comes with the poster map of the region (and free PDFs). This contains all the information we mentioned that's not in the Player Gazeteer. Also available just in pdf, of course. 
(3) Additional Resources (make-your-own "resource kit")  
An extensive pick-and-choose set of additional resources is where the Kickstarter gets fun, and where you can assemble whatever additional elements you want to supplement your core book, creating an extended "kit" tailored to the way you run your games. The main one is a hardcover book of seven brand-new, full-length adventures, called "Adventures in the Borderland Provinces," which gives you an instant starting point for general campaigning. Plus, there's the above-mentioned Player Gazeteer, a Player Guide, a book we call the "Journey Generator," and lots more. None of these are necessary for play, but all are excellent supplemental resources to add.
I'm very interested in seeing how this all works out

Random Gaming Thoughts at 4 AM

I guess I better not sleep the day away. I've got things to do when I get home from work...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Troll Lord Games Goes 5e - A0 The Rising Knight -- Adventures for 5th Edition Rules

It looks like WotC has made a D&D 5e publishing license irrelevant at this time. Publishers are either using the 3x OGL or trademark fair use and publishing 5e compatible works. Instead of having some influence over what get's published, they no have none.

Troll Lord Games, publishers of the Castles & Crusades RPG, are now the latest to jump on the 5e bandwagon, converting one of their C&C adventures, The Rising Knight, to 5e.

D&D is dead! Long live D&D!

From the blurb:
Complete with customized anchored hyperlinks! Click on the map for locations in the Rising Knight! 
This is an introductory adventure for those playing the 5th Edition of the world's best known and oldest RPG. The module has been designed to allow for the players and Game Master alike to begin play immediately.  
The Drunderry River runs narrow and fast through much of its course, before tumbling into the lowlands beneath the Fallow Hills, in the shadows of the Blacktooth Ridge. 
From there, the river spreads out across fertile plains, laboring slowly to the south before emptying into the Elmarsh Lake. Until recently this area was unsettled, but a writ of the King's has brought many people to the area. The village of Malforten, nesteld along the banks fo the Drunderry River, near the Fallow Hills, is just such a place.  
A quiet village with simple people, they learned the hard way the Blacktooth Ridge casts a deep and dark shadow. Seeing rich prizes in cattle and grain, people and other movables, Gritznak the Gnoll has come down from the Blacktooth with loot on his mind.
All they've done to drive him off have failed, at their wits end the villagers turn to others, more experienced in combatting evil. They look to a rising knight to save them . . . .

Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Big Dragon Games Unlimited to Publish Steve Marsh's Shattered Norns #1: Into the Shadows

Yeah, I'm nearly a week behind in sharing this announcement. As much as I'm adjusting to working overnights, I'm not adjusting to working overnights ;)

New Big Dragon Games Unlimited is going to publish Steve Marsh's Shattered Norns #1: Into the Shadows. It's being published for 5e (and who says you need a license to publish for the latest edition anyway?) although it was developed with earlier editions. Not surprising for the man who was the lead editor of the D&D Expert set and the main man behind the aquatic creatures in the AD&D Monster Manual.

What does that mean for us, the consumers? 5e is pretty easy to convert to earlier editions and with New Big Dragon Games behind the project, it should be a good one.

Something tells me this deal was worked out during NTRPG Con 2015...

Here's the full press release.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Kickstarter - The Encounter Brick Construction System for Tabletop Games (More Gaming "Lego")

You know what I hate? When a Kickstarter omits any pictures at all. See the above? That's a screenshot of the initial video.

I like when Kickstarters have a video included. I do not enjoy it when I'm forced to watch the video to even have a clue.

And yes, The Encounter Brick Construction System for Tabletop Games is more "Gaming Lego." More affordable and slightly more attractive than the last bit we saw. Still pricey.

Surprisingly, this isn't being done by (or used to fund) a 3D printer.
We would do this by milling a set of cold steel dies to be used in a state-of-the-art, hot-runner, injection molding process at Epsilon Industries in Dallas, Texas.
I guess that's why they look better.

I'd still opt for Lego, or even better yet, a cheap Lego knock off. I may not be the Frugal GM, but even I need to pinch corners at some points.

Kickstarter - Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure (DCC RPG Setting)

Yet another reason to give up drinking. She looked fine at the bar...
Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure is a DCC RPG setting (but should be fairly easy to convert to other OSR flavors) that being Kickstarter by +Mike Evans . If you are an OSR styled gamer and are active on G+, you've probably stumbled across Mike or his blog. Actually, his blog has some of the more raw entries and thoughts that led to this project.

So, what is Hubris? According to Mike, it is:
Hubris is a weird fantasy setting inspired by various things, such as: Alice in Wonderland, Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard, HP Lovecraft stories, Vornheim by Zak Smith, Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG by James Raggi, Labyrinth, The Thing, Hellboy comics by Mike Mignola, Hellraiser, Evil Dead and Army of Darkness, and not to mention the awesomness that is Dungeon Crawl Classics and the whole DIY RPG community!  
My favorite description by a supporter of Hubris is "Hubris is like a high octane meat-grinder!"  That captures Hubris amazingly.  Hubris is brutal, epic, and weird.  Players will not know what to expect at any given moment and it keeps them on their toes. 
During the playtests, my players were brutalized in the wilds and sought shelter in the safety of civilization of Fairweather, thinking they were "safe"...  However, they quickly realized that the city was just as weird, brutal, and horrific as the wilderness (if not worse in some ways). 
The buy in for the PDF is 10 bucks. That appears to be a bargain and a half. The print version is POD.

I must say, Mike has assembled an "A Team" to work on this.
Hubris is 100% written by me (Mike), but I have bribed, blackmailed, begged, or paid off some serious kickass talent for this project!  I have the amazing Alex Mayo as the layout man, David Lewis Johnson, Jez Gordon, Doug Kovacs, Jeremy Duncan, and Jason Sholtis have done (or will do) some kick ass illustrations, and the incredible Dak Ultimak will be doing the final Hubris edits.  Oh and Doug Kovacs will do one of his amazing dungeon pieces for Hubris as well!
I'm in for the PDF myself. I may opt for the POD version later.

So, I'm Working on an Article About Crowdfunding...

I've been working on a crowdfunding article (not blog post) off and on since the beginning of September. It's died on the vine more times than Far West has had release dates.

That's a joke, son ;)

Anyhow, my main issue is that I find it often goes off on tangents of Kickstarter failures. Which is fine for later articles, but I seriously find that Kickstarter is more boon than bane, and I want to reflect that.

I want to showcase the +Kevin Crawford s, the +Joseph Bloch s, the Frog God Games' and the like that know how to run a Kickstarter and deliver on what they promise.

I also want to give some examples of Kickstarter "Do's" (and some "don'ts, especially when paired with the "do's")

Give me some positive vibes and thoughts please. I'll take the negative ones, but they may be held back for a later article.

Yes, I'm crowdsourcing an article on crowdfunding ;)

Friday, October 9, 2015

A WTF Kickstarter - Project Laghima (a perpetual motion space engine)

What can I say about Project Laghima?

It has attempted funding twice before. Failed miserably both times. So, what do you do when you can't raise $6,000? Ask for $20,000 the next time.

Yes, they need $20k to build a mockup of something that is bound to fail.

No, trust me. It will fail. Science says so.

But at least their Kickstarter page has lots of animated gifs. (and watch the damn video, I beg you)

So, what kind of education does Masud Harouny have that qualifies him to ignore the laws of science? None that he mentions. This is from his website.
For the past few years, I’ve been reading about the physics of propulsion and promising new technology that strives to break free from old conventions such as the rocket or airplane models that are clunky, and require massive amounts of fuel to be hauled. In doing so, I have understandably come up with some of my own ideas.
Sadly, he's using the wrong platform to raise his funding. Indiegogo would have been more than happy to allow hi to use flexible funding to bilk the few fools he could find.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Who Was Asking for SciFi Themed Header art at The Tavern?

I'll be adding this to the rotation soon.

See, The Tavern spans genres ;)

Huge thanks to Eren Arik.

I'll be putting together artist links in the next week or so.

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM to 11 PM Eastern - Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed

Thursdays are sleeping day for me now that I'm working the midnight tour at work. Slept from 9 am to 1 pm and from 330 pm to 7 pm.

Hopefully I'll be cleared of any cobwebs before tonight's chat ;)

9 to 11 PM, right here at The Tavern. All you need to do is follow the chat box on the right side of the page.

What are we going to chat about?

Damned if I know :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Coming Soon From Frog God Games - Rogues in Remballo (Free - Urban Setting / 1st Level Adventure)

Looking for an urban setting to kick off your next Swords & Wizardry campaign? Look no further. Rogues in Remballo will have you covered. Sure, it hasn't released yet, but it exists and it is good. How do I know? Because I have my copy and I'm reading it already.

Did I mention that Frog God will be offering this for free? Think of it as an enticement to check out the forthcoming The Lost Lands: Borderland Provinces "sandbox campaign resource" (quoting +Matt Finch directly there.) Rogues of Remballo is over 20 pages of sandboxie urban adventuring, and it will be coming your way in about a week or so. No worries, I'll remind you when it does release ;)

For those wondering where the Borderland Provinces lie, it's the area that contains Rappan Athuk and the Lost City of Barakus, and Cyclopean Deeps. Yep, it's adventure central.

Now, just to be clear, Rogues in Remballo might be a 1st level adventure but it is written for experienced players, or at least an experienced DM. Herding cats is hard enough in a sandbox. When you make that sandbox an urban environment with lots of interesting locations it may be hard to keep the party's attention on the adventure at hand. Me personally? I wouldn't worry too much. My groups tend to have a knack at finding their own trouble, er... adventures.

I do love the way this adventure can be resolved (or not resolved) with many different outcomes for the future of the campaign. One little adventure. Many ripples.

I'm not supposed to give too much away before it actually releases in a week plus time, so I've been more vague than I'd like to be but Rogues in Remballo really is a nice product. As an urban setting it it very likely it will be used in your campaign multiple times and at the awesome price of "FREE" it would be foolish to not grab a copy and at the very least strip it piece by piece for your own ideas.

Oh, as an aside, it will also be available in Pathfinder and 5e flavors. I guess WotC doesn't need to worry about a 5e OGL anymore as no one else seems to be worried...

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