Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Gaming Resolutions for 2016

I don't normally make New Year's resolutions, let alone ones that relate to gaming, but with the way the last half of 2015 kicked my gaming (and creative juices) in the privates, I figure I need some for 2016.

So, here it goes:

1 - Get back into active gaming - My gaming slowed down greatly from the beginning of July and shut down totally from the beginning of December. New work hours were to blame. Starting in January I've reserved four day weekends for every other week (my normal weekends ends ay 930 PM Saturday night these days.) Aim is to game every other Saturday Night and one Friday a month starting in January.

2 - Get creative again - My juices were flowing fairly well until the work schedule changed. I'll be putting aside Fridays for creative time, at least until the end of March. Starting April every day should be a creative day :)

3 - Podcasting - I enjoy it and miss it. It certainly doesn't mesh well with my current work hours. That being said, the four day weekends should help. I'm involved as a host in two forthcoming podcasts (both deeply gaming related) and an experimental gaming news podcast I'd like to kick off as a solo endeavor. The solo podcast may need to wait until the end of March.

4 - More Cons - I'm going to attempt to hit cons within about 250 miles or so from NYC when I can starting in April. We'll see how well this works out. I'll be retired. Rach will be working. I'll need to roll a high saving throw ;)

5 - An Online OSR Con - I've had this discussion with others in our corner of the gaming universe. Many would like it to happen. I'd like to see it happen. I won't even have the time to look at how to make it happen before spring of 2016.

That's enough for now I think.

To infinity and beyond!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What Does One Do When They Can Not Game? They...

buy more games ;)

That's what I've been doing recently. I've been stalking eBay for the old collectibles. Snagging an OCE White Box for $75 has just whetted the appetite ;)

My Tunnels & Trolls collection doesn't have too many holes. T&T 1e is impossible to find (so I'll settle for the reprint). I have Ken St. Andre's personal copy of 2e. I'm still looking for a 3e copy and from 4e on I have multiples and various variants.

So I think Judge's Guild will be my next target :)

Actually, I could target early RuneQuest releases, but I expect the time to do so is when the 2e reprints start hitting the market with the recently successful RQ2 Kickstarter.

I guess I could actually read the stuff I already own, but if I had the time for that I'd be gaming ;)

So, what do you do when you can't game for an extended period of time?

Last Tavern Chat of 2015 - 9PM to 11PM Eastern - Tonight

Yep, it's the last Tavern Chat of 2015. Time to escort the old year out the door and welcome in the New Year.


2015 is certainly not ending like I had expected. This past week - especially the last 4 or 5 days or so, have been hectic. Yes, even today. My son has a new symptom of post concussion syndrome and is back in the ER getting checked out. So, I may pop out of the chat to pick him up when he's done. Thankfully, this too shall pass.

But on the gaming side the new year will mean new campaigns, new games and new podcasts - did I say "podcasts?" Yep, two different podcasts with two different sets of hosts AND work continues on getting the solo gaming news related podcast off the ground.

So, check into Tavern Chat tonight and help shuffle out the old and bring in the new. It's that chat box on the right side of this very page...

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Troll Lord Games is Having a Scratch & Ding Sale - C&C Rulebooks for $10

Looking to play some Castles & Crusades on the cheap?

Well, The Trolls are having a sale on their slightly dinged and damaged books:

My picks?

Classic Monsters for 10 bucks is a steal. After Winter's Dark Campaign Setting for 5 bucks? That a gift. The C&C Flip Book (Player's Handbook and Monsters & Treasure in one package) for $10? How do you beat that?

My books get dinged after the first game session. Might as well save some time and a huge amount of cash ;)

Here's the link for the C&C Sale

Monday, December 28, 2015

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men and all that shi... Two ER Trips in Three Days can be Damn Disruptive

I had things that were supposed to get done today on The Tavern side. Obviously, that didn't happen.

I awoke from a Nyquil enhanced slumber at 10 am (less then 3 hrs into my sleep) to my 22 y/o son complaining of a severe headache and light headedness. About 2 weeks ago he nearly got knocked out when luggage rolled off a higher rack, struck him in the head and on his ass (He's a Ramp Agent at one of the NTC area airports). No concussion diagnosed by the on duty PA at the time, but an ER visit the day after Christmas indicated he MIGHT have "post concussion syndrome." Today's ER visit has turned that into an actual diagnosis of "post concussion syndrome." Can last for weeks. Can last for a year. No cure but time.

Needless to say, it was a long day and my nap upon returning home was deep and short. I hear sleet hitting the window, so I may need to head in early for work.

If you are an OSR Christmas Gifter and we haven't set a day yet, feel free to post up and inform me of your post and I will link it here. If you put a post up overnight I will post the link here when I get home at 630 or so in the morning. You can see how my weekend (and today) got away from me.

Yes, I still owe five folks their GC for subscribing to Mythoard. Yes, I still need to give out my small gifts from the other day. I will attempt to be productive from my tablet during downtime at work tonight, but there are no guarantees.

Certainly closing out 2015 with drama ;)

PS - Tavern Chat will be WEDNESDAY NIGHT, DECEMBER 30TH, 2015 AT PM EASTERN. Last Tavern Chat of 2015. Be there and learn of a new podcast... or is it two?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

OSR Christmas - Day Ten - Post Two - Inspire and be Inspired

+Chris Stieha is running an OSR Christmas Giveaway today for RND, a resource for those that are looking to make their own adventures:
Win one of three copies (print+pdf) of RND issue 1, the make-your-own-adventure zine!  I will ship them anywhere in the world.  If you already own issue 1, I will send you issue 2 in February.
How do you enter? You need to go to THIS LINK ON G+ and describe your favorite inspiration for adventure. So, not only do you get a chance for some fine Christmas Loot, you also get a treasure trove of potential gaming inspiration. 

As for my nap? Didn't last long with my niece around but she's too damn cute to be annoyed at. Tonight will be a long night...

OSR Christmas Day Ten - Mind Your F'n Manors!

I saw +Tim Shorts had announced the third part of his OSR Christmas Giveaways last night right before I left for work. I didn't have the time to share it last night (then slept to 1 pm and watched the Jets beat the Pats this afternoon) so I'm sharing it now.

If you haven't had the opportunity to read the various issues of The Manor, you've been missing out. Fixing it now ;)

Go to the Gothridge Manor blog, follow the instructions and get a change to own a piece of OSR goodness.

I'm going back to sleep. Work hours and a cold make one a miserable fuck...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Fat Goblin Games is Running a $1 Sale on Nearly Everything - Stock Art Heaven

This Fat Goblin Games sale is only running until sometime tonight.

I'm more than happy to take suggestions for non-pathfinder supplements, but right now I am raiding the stock art.

At a buck a piece for everything but the stock art subscriptions it's hard to ho wrong.

OSR Christmas Should Continue on Monday (and other post Christmas Updates)

Cold from hell. Right foot is cramping. Go back to work tonight after being off for the last week and a half. Merry Day After Christmas ;)


I have to send out the $5 RPGNow GCs to the first 5 who purchased the one month discounted Mythoard subscriptions. I know who you are. It should get done today or tomorrow. And yes, Peter, the "B Team" should be picking back up in January - February the latest. I'll try and solidify it after the New Year.

OSR Christmas still has a few days (and many gifts) left. It should resume on Monday, the 28th.

It's cooled off today in NYC. 52 degrees or so. No more shorts and Tevas for now ;)

Alright, back to draining the sinuses...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Looking at the Preview of Frog God's upcoming Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery (Swords & Wizardry Version)

It figures. I'm off from work for a week and a half and the first time I get a chance to read my PDF preview of Nord Games' forthcoming Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery was late on Christmas Eve. I guess it's only fitting that I mention it on late on Christmas Day.

I've made no secret that my current work hours have beat the crap out of my ability to game, let alone DM. Starting your work week at 930 PM Saturday night can do that to you. I'm itching to get back to getting back at the (virtual) gaming table and I think I've worked out a schedule to make it happen every other week starting the new year.

My prep time is pretty much non existent these days, so I'm looking to run something very sandboxie in style. I'll be putting together my list of resources for such and will talk about them on a later post, but part of that sandbox toolbox that I'll be putting together is going to include Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery.

My Swords & Wizardry version of the preview may be only 22 pages long but I like what I see. NPCs presented at various levels in their careers with their history, personality traits, ideals, bonds, flaws and some basic roleplaying hints I have enough to bring an NPCs to life for my players with minimal effort on my end.

Oh, and a sample quote for the various characters. My favorite sample thus far?
“ That sword you carry. Fascinating inlay on the hilt. Were you looking to sell, perchance?”
I know EXACTLY how to roleplay this character from this quote alone.

I'm hoping to see more of a preview before this project goes live. Mostly because I don't want to wait too long before adding this to my toolbox ;)

As I said, it's just a preview, and although I'm not under any sort of NDA, what I'm looking at may change before it get's finalized. Still, I like what I've seen so far. I like it a lot.

If there is interest in it, I'll peek at the Pathfinder and 5e versions. Let me know.

The Gamers - The Series - Season 0 - Episode 1 - For Your Christmas Enjoyment

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Look What Was Waiting for me Tonight When I Got Home

Every once in a blue moon I check Ebay for some of the older TSR era releases. Occasionally I bid on something. Earlier this week I spotted an OCE White Box Dungeons & Dragons set - minimum bid $75.

This was the description:
Box shows some wear.  All books and reference sheets show some staining on the outside. Monsters and Treasure book has some staining inside as well.  See pics.  Names are written on the inside cover of each book. Rest of the interiors are in good shape.
I figured $75 for an OCE in okay condition? I'll bid on that. Well, no one else did. It's in better condition than the description would leave one to believe. Hell, the box itself is in better condition than the OCE I bought on Noble Knight for $175 five years ago.

A very decent Christmas Gift for myself ;)

Day Nine of OSR Christmas - Post 3 - Crawl! If Ye Want to be Gifted! (Worldwide)

I told you it would be hot & heavy today!

+Dak Ultimak really needs no introduction. He is the publisher of Crawl!, the first DCC RPG zine and an awesome editor of DCC products on top of that. Gee, I guess I introduced him ;)

Dak is the ultimate Santa too. Don't believe me? Here's what Dak's giving away for OSR Christmas:
To be given away (Anywhere in the world!): 
1 complete set of Crawl!, printed+PDF.  
2 complete sets of Crawl!, PDF editions. 
3 single copies of anything I publish, in print +PDF, winner's choice (including Hack: Firearms print ed.) 
4 copies of no.11 (Print + PDF). 
5+ copies of Dungeon Crawl Basics (proof of concept/beta/not final print copies, and free copies of the final edition when finished.)  
That's a LOT of stuff, 15 prizes! And yes, physical copies go anywhere a postman will go.
How do you get to be on Santa Dak's "Good List?"

Simply go to the Crawlzine! Blog and follow the simple instructions.

Don't forget, there are two other giveaways that kicked off today :)

OSR Christmas - Day Nine - Post 2 - Can You Break This Cypher? (Hardcover)

OSR Christmas - Morning of Day 9 - Cold is in full swing - All I want to do is sleep, but I have a full day planned - That full day includes - beer.

Ah, so what do we have in store for you this wonderful morning? (currently 67 degrees here in NYC)

+Mark Craddock , he of the Crossplanes blog, is putting a hardcover copy of Monte Cook's Cypher System into Santa's gift bag. How do you give yourself a chance to be gifted?

Simply head over to the Crossplanes blog and leave a comment. Damn, that's simple, ain't it?

Remember, it's not even 9am here in NYC and we already have our second OSR Christmas giveaway of the day. I'm giving something small to 5 random commenters on this post at The Tavern.

OSR Christmas - Day Nine - Post 1 - A Different Type of Shield Get's Attacked (Ships Worldwide)

So, 'tis the night before the night before Christmas and all through the house mad wrapping is occurring and gift finding (as gifts bought way too early get squirreled away in locations one can certainly use the mad skills of an "expert treasure hunter") is in full swing.

Digging through random drawers revealed to me that I have some extra NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association "Courtesy Cards" from prior years taking up space. While they have no value in and of themselves, they are collectible by some folks and are certainly rare, especially outside the NYC area.

I also have, thanks to SquareHex ( +Peter Regan ) some combat reference cards (both sides of the card are pictured above) and some business card sized character sheets.

So, this is what I'm going to do.

Five random commenters below who can tell me about their first PC in three or fewer sentences will be in the running to receive one randomly chosen SBA card from one of the years pictures above, one combat reference card and one business card sized character sheet.

Yes, this will be open to anywhere in the world.

Comments will close sometime Saturday morning, December 26th.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Frogs are Having a Sale - Stoneheart Valley for 20 Bucks in Hardcover and Much More

I really like Stoneheart Valley. It's a nice collection of adventures and enough hooks to keep your group adventuring for months. This might be the next set of adventures I run.

At 20 bucks, it's a steal.

But wait, there's more :)

Rappan Athuk Expansions Vol 1 (Regularly $34.99)

Cyclopean Deeps Vol 1 (Regularly $34.99)

Cyclopean Deeps Vol 2 (Regularly $34.99)

All for just 20 bucks in hardcover (which should include the PDF for those looking for instant gratification)

Use this coupon code at checkout:  CHRISTMAS-20 

So, that must be all, right? Nope

Get the following 4 Softcovers for $2 each!

Rappan Athuk Battle Maps (Regularly $9.99)

Rappan Athuk Bestiary (Regularly $9.99)

Rappan Athuk Players Guide (Regularly $9.99)

Rappan Athuk Pregenerated Characters (Regularly $9.99)

Use this coupon at checkout:  RA-SALE-2015

And if that's not enough,

Buy Rappan Athuk, get Rappan Athuk Expansions Vol 1 for free!
(Hardcover or PDF)
Use this coupon at checkout:  RA-BOGO-FREE

Sale ends midnite Dec 25th. Go to the Frog's site here.

I ran RA for the better part of a year. It's a great mega dungeon so long as your party knows when to run. I ran it with S&W. I can't say how it plays in Pathfinder but we had a blast with the S&W rules. Apparently the party's wizard was a closet gambling addict ;)

Thoughts From Your Local Bartender This Holiday Season

First off, let me say this right out of the chute - this community, and by this community, I'm referring to YOU, is one of the most generous communities anywhere of any background that I'm been blessed to be a part of. I thank you for letting me be a part of it.

There is still a lot of gifting to be done this OSR Christmas season. Lots. More generous folks stepped up as things took off and I'm literally playing catch up. Which isn't a bad thing. It just shows what an awesome community we have.

The Tavern has morphed into an online version of a Holiday Music Radio Station - The past few days have been nearly all OSR Christmas posts. I've already had more posts this week than we've had in months - and it's only Wednesday ;)

No Tavern Chat this week. I thought we might squeeze an earlier night of the week in but I'm still ass deep in presents to wrap.

Next week I'll share some thoughts and ideas as to where I'd like The Tavern to go in 2016. Come spring of 2016 I should have the spare time to accomplish the things that I'd currently like to do but have nowhere near the free amount of time to do so.

I will say an online OSR Con is certainly on the list of things I'd like to accomplish in 2016, no matter how small the initial offering is. It's been brought up when I've been talking with others and the potential is certainly there. If we could do it in conjuncture with some name rec - wait, I shall say no more. Besides, it was just tossing ideas back and forth ;-P

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual - $5.97

The other night I had a dream with EGG himself in it. We were having lunch at some restaurant, drinking wine and eating grilled cheese of all things.

Gary turns to me and says: "I'm making you the Director of the AD&D line."

I was stunned. Thrilled. Finally, I was confused.

"Gary" I said. "Isn't the AD&D line dead?"

His response was priceless: "Exactly."

At which point I woke up and wrote this shit down. I don't often get visited by the dead in my dreams, even if its my own subconscious playing games with me.

Which brings us to the Adventures Dark and Deep Player's Manual +Joseph Bloch wrote it with the idea of "what would AD&D 2e have been if EGG had been allowed to write it?" It's a what if. It's also an excellent game unto itself with classes that can easily be placed in the OSR rule set of your choice.

All that for $5.97

Grab a copy for yourself if you haven't already (I have the hard copy on my gaming shelf)

OSR Christmas - Announcing the Winners of the Lesser Gnome Gift Giveaway

Lesser Gnome, aka +Zach Glazar . These is very little "lesser" about the publisher or the main man behind it. If less is more, that lesser is much morer... or something like that ;)

The generous scoundrel, er businessman offered up some amazing loot for those participating in the holiday known as OSR Christmas. Below are the winners (and even the losers have won something if they choose to use it.) Now, without further ado, Zach in his own words: 

There were 57 entries out of 72 comments. The remaining were replies by me and others previously entered. Two were from scoundrels (Erik Tenkar and Edwin Nagy- both knowing they were ineligible but wanted to mess with my counting :) ). I used an online dice roller to make a custom dice for winner and removed that winner for from the pool (the second winner was selected with d57, 3rd, d56 etc.).

For those who did not win I am going to offer the consolation offer of an additional $10 off the box until January 1st. The winners (and those who want to get the extra discount) should contact me via email (zach@lessergnome.com) so we can arrange for shipping.

There were enough entries for 4 Bronze (or 3rd Edition) level prizes. The winners can chose between either of our shorter modules or a multipack of figurines. They are…

1.       22 - Peter Schweighofer
2.       27 - Doug
3.       28 - Benjamin Wade Hruby

The silver (or second edition) prize, the Whisper & Venom bundle goes to

1.       6 - Chris Dawson

The Gold (or 1st Edition) Prize, the Death & Taxes Collector's Set goes to

1.       11 - Ryan Hixson

The last minute prizes of a free dice bag and set of “evil encounter cards”  (They) was not taken out of the prize pool though, they just lost on that) go to -

Dice bag-

Shot of Entropy

He won because of this…

I hate to see a nerd without a dice bag, especially during the holidays.

Evil encounter cards-

Robert Lambert

A winner thanks to this…

As a “businessman” I can appreciate evil and greedy.


Thanks to all who entered!

Happy Holidays,

Zach Glazar
Head Gnome

OSR Christmas Day Eight - Post 1 - Bearing Swords & Slinging Six-Siders (Print - International)

It's the morning of Day Eight of OSR Christmas. Your bartender work up with a cold. To be more precise, your bartender woke up overnight with a cold. Colds suck. OSR Christmas is awesome.

What on the gift giving plate this morning? Two copies of Swords & Six-Siders courtesy of +Sophia Brandt  and her blog Die Heart.

So, what is Swords & Six-Siders?
Swords & Six-Siders (S&SS) is the ultra rules-lite, 1d6 only, OGL fantasy RPG inspired by 0E, BX, and T&T. S&SS is great for both new RPGers and old schoolers alike who are looking to get more gaming done in less time. 
Two copies of the game shipping anywhere in the world.

How do you get a chance to score a copy? Head over to the Die Heart blog and leave a comment where indicated. Easy-peasy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day Seven of OSR Christmas - Post 3 - It's All Manor of Assorted Gothridge

Day Seven - Post 3. So it was that I was in the midst of learning about moonshining when all manner of shenanigans started at The Manor. Or rather, all manner of assorted laminated half sheets and 4" x 6" cards and card stock zine style adventures were put up for grabs by +Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor fame.

How can you grab yourself a grab bag of adventures and encounters to keep your campaign going for a long, long time?

Head over to Gothridge Manor and follow Tim's simple instructions.

Announcement - Artist Steve Zieser Passed Today

I just read the post by Dan Proctor over at the Goblinoid Games blog that Steve Zieser has died. I never knew the man but I knew of his work. Recently, I had heard that he was ill, but never knew that it was from cancer.

It always hits me hard when I hear of someone being taken by cancer. I get that survivor's guilt, having been diagnosed nearly ten years ago and given the all clear a little more than four years ago.

Here's someone whose work I admired (even before I knew who Steve was) and what he has shared will us thus far is all we will have. His family and friends are left holding memories.

I wish I had the words to lessen the pain for Steve's survivors, those he left behind. I don't. I just have thoughts and prayers for for those that are feeling the pain of their loss. We have the legacy Steve has left us. That is priceless as well as a constant reminder of the man we lost earlier today.

Day Seven of OSR Christmas - Post 2 - Empires Fall and Gygaxes Rise (DCC and Gygax Magazine)

Day Seven, Post 2. I'm in the trenches here in OSR Christmas. Gifts to the left of me. Gifts to the right of me. Into the red depths of Santa Hell rode they who will not be named.

Er, fuck it, I'll name him. +James Carpio . There It's out there for all to see.

James is gifting some awesome goodies:

James is giving away one copy of Tales From the Fallen Empire hardcover, one copy of Tales From the Fallen Empire softcover (both with a referee’s screen), and two copies of Gygax Magazine issue # 6

Yep, four gifts up for grabs. So, whataya gotta do to get your hands on such loot?
So in order to try and win some of my Christmas swag, I need you to entertain me with a holiday gaming story. Tell me about how Sir Thurstan saved the town from Kobolds stealing presents, or about how a cyborg Santa came to town looking to kill off Gandalf. It can be a short story, a limerick, or a poem.  Those that I find amusing, I will randomly choose to win a holiday OSR gift. I may even have a few other goodies up my sleeve, so others might receive something cool as well. So please, give me a great gaming story. I will announce the winners by New Years eve and get mailing information from them at that time.
You need to got to James's blog, Hexgeneration and follow the directions above. FYI, I backed the Kickstarter for Tales From the Fallen Empire and it's worth the price of admission.

Day Seven of OSR Christmas - Post 1 - Heraclix and Pomp: A Novel of the Fabricated and the Fey (Signed Hardcover x 3 - US & Canada)

OSR Christmas is picking up speed so you better hang on tight. You wouldn't want to miss Santa and his mutated red nosed reindeer as they make another pass with the gifting :)

The first offering of the day is a chance to acquire one of three signed print copies of the novel Heraclix and Pomp: A Novel of the Fabricated and the Fey by +Forrest Aguirre . Forrest is a longtime gamer and as he states over at this blog Forrest for the Trees, his first novel has its roots in gaming:
The impetus for the novel came out of a conversation I had in a hallway with members of my gaming group as we were talking about "next steps". I mentioned my desire to write an adventure for two characters and we discussed various options for a pair of heroes that could viably make it through a dungeon crawl on their own. This conversation stuck in my mind, and I finally settled on the idea of a flesh golem and a pixie as an adventuring party. They'd have all the muscle, magic, and sneaking skills any low-level party would need. So I set about writing a short story, which eventually morphed into the novel, Heraclix and Pomp.
How do you give yourself a chance to be gifted a signed copy of this excellent novel? Head over to Forrest for the Trees and tell Forrest about your favorite heroic duo. Don't tell me as it won't put you in the running to be gifted. Besides, I'll be peeking over there throughout the next two days to read your answers.

Remember, Christmas Week means OSR Christmas is hot and heavy. Expect another gift coming later today :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Day Six of OSR Christmas - Post 3 - Time to Tell Some Tales in the Game Tavern

It's been a busy day in the world of OSR Christmas. Guess what? Tomorrow should be busy too :)

Tonight we have an OSR zine for some lucky gift recipients thanks to +Grand DM. He's giving away 3 copies (print and PDF) of the latest issue (#2) of Tales from the Game Tavern.

How do you give yourself a chance to score a copy?

Head over to the Ultanya blog and follow the instructions there.

Yep, it's that simple.

Remember to check the OSR Christmas link often to see if you've missed any chances for OSR gift receiving ;)

Kickstarter - Spy-a game of action and espionage Tabletop Roleplaying game (what it says on the tin)

First impressions are, if not everything, a huge part of the Kickstarter puzzle solving / funding experiment. Your project can do a large amount right and come out of the gate wrong and it's all for naught. FYI - I always copy-n-paste the project's title as is, because that's where first impressions start.

Does the above look right to you? At the very least "Tabletop Roleplaying game" should have each word capitalized. Even then it still looks awkward as part of that opening statement / project title.

I'm surprised there isn't a "Spy" named RPG put there, but checking Wikipedia there doesn't seem to be.

What does "Spy" do right? Lots.

Cover art and sample art presented to backers.

Game system basics explained.

Game mostly written and art acquired.

Sample character sheet.

Low / maybe too low funding goal.

IMHO, you should never charge a Print backer for the PDF copy. Here, it's an extra 7 bucks to go from Print to Print + PDF. Bad call.

As for how everything is presented on the Kickstarter page, I find it lacking. There's no excitement, nothing bringing me in. There are a number of instanced where it could have used editing (this is where you need perfection, because if your pitch isn't perfect we expect more of the same in the final project.) Nothing to show how this spy game is going to succeed where others haven't. In addition, I'm all for realistic funding goals, but $2,500 isn't much of a goal - especially when the funding as it's trending now shows the goal won't be met. This should have been a print on demand offering at RPGNow.

So, admirable try but I'm not backing. Not that my backing would make a difference as it's not going to fund anyhow.

Day Six of OSR Christmas - Post 2 - A Treasure Hoard of Maps - (Hand Drawn - Ships Worldwide)

A representative sample of Matt's fine work
Did you notice that little bit of extra in the post title? Yep, this is actually Christmas Week, so expect the gift giving to be hot-n-heavy (I also expect OSR Christmas to spill over into next week but that is nothing new - lots of gifts to give out.)

This time, none other than +matt jackson , map maker extraordinaire, if donating the gifts, and my what gifts they are!

Here's what Matt's offering:
I have tons of original maps scattered around the house. How about I fill two large manila envelopes with the original, hand drawn maps. Mailed anywhere on the planet.
So, two folks will receive gifts from Matt. How frikkin' cool is that?

How do you get one of these two packages of map nirvana?

Tell us how you would use the map pictured above. It can be as short as a sentence or as long as a paragraph or two. One package will go to a random entry and one will go to the entry I consider the most creative. Leave your comment on this very post before noon, Wednesday Dec 23, 2015.

Remember, there are other OSR Christmas offerings that are still welcoming potential gift receivers :)

Day Six of OSR Christmas - Post 1 - Start Your Engines and Adventure in The Manor

Did you notice that little bit of extra in the post title? Yep, this is actually Christmas Week, so expect the gift giving to be hot-n-heavy (I also expect OSR Christmas to spill over into next week but that is nothing new - lots of gifts to give out.)

This morning's post is linked to +Tim Shorts / Gothridge Manor giveaway of Starter Adventures. It's an awesome collection of exactly what it says on the tin - adventures to kick off a campaign.

In Tim's own words:
A good place to start new players and even GMs.  Lots of small adventures and situations to help teach the game.  In addition there is a fully developed tavern and when your new players can tell a d8 from a d12 you can graduate them to the full adventure in the back.
How do you get yourself gifted such a piece of awesomeness? 

You need to go to Gothridge Manor and follow the instructions Tim has left. That's all. Good luck!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

OSR Christmas - The 3 Month Subscription of Mythoard Goes to...

I've been on "Uncle Duty" all weekend, so the spare time I thought I had has not been there. Which is OK, in truth, because I love being super Uncle for a just turned five year old girl. Future gamer too ;)

This is my way of apologizing for not getting an OSR Christmas post up today. We'll make up for it over the next few days.

That being said, we have an awesome gift to give to somebody - a 3 month subscription to Mythoard!

Just who is our lucky person?

+Bob Brinkman !

Bob, email me at tenkarsDOTtavernAT that gmail thing and I'll get that gift out to you.

Everyone else, you can get 30% off a one month trial of Mythoard using the following code (you'll thank me when you get your package):

TAVERNTRYOUT at sign up at Mythoard.com

Kickstarter - Brave New World (Pay to Play an NPC on Someone's VTT)

Yes, you read the blog post title correctly. You can pay to play an NPC in someone else's campaign world... virtually.

Here's the elevator pitch of Brave New World:

Then here's the reality:

So no, you aren't going to be "an adventurer." Instead, you're the blacksmith or the town guard. You get your 5 minutes before they move on - and you get to pay for the privilege.

Eh, here's the rest in a copy and paste, because fuck me if this doesn't deserve some snark-like commenting.
Have you ever read a book and wanted to be part of that world? (sure!) Maybe watched a movie that made you want to join the adventure? (hell yeah!) Do you enjoy tabletop gaming but can't find the time or a group to play with? (I've had that problem) Then I have a great suggestion for you! (you do? awesome!) We are building a game world from the ground up and you can be there for the first adventures. (er, huh? I'm not going to be one of the adventurers?) This will be your chance to shape a city. Exploration, politics, managing resources. It's all there. There are several slots for almost every conceivable position. Want to shape the government? You can! Want to protect the citizens? Be a city guard. Want to shape the agricultural aspects of an entire country? Be a land owning farmer. (WTF? I'm a fuckin' extra in the movie? I'm the faceless guard that get's killed and never named?) The majority of available spots are for npc type players but you will help to give the city a real life with personality. (but I want to be a Player Character, not the background noise. I want to be part of it, not a piece of shit. Wait? And I'm expected to pay for the privilege?) Once we are up and running there will be games run for actual player characters with which the real life human run npc's can interact. (so I get to pay so that the PCs can play for free and have more fun...)
This is a player and npc driven style campaign. We as game masters will be ensuring rules are obeyed and refereeing the interactions of all the characters. We are the gods and goddesses (this says it all right here - someone hasn't broken from their teenage fantasies), the environment the monsters, and in the beginning the king. Want to go exploring? Tell us where and why. What to start a business? Tell us what and we will tell you what needs to be accomplished. Want to create an organization? Tell us what kind and why and we will incorporate it into the game. 
The campaign starts with Bolkas Icebolt (that is so not an exciting name) finding 100 people plus a small band of adventurers to go start a colony on a habitable world with no current civilization that he discovered. The planet, Falgyth, is earth sized with a slightly cooler atmosphere. Each pledge award above $10 secures a backer a slot in the settlement where they can help create this new rpg world. The higher the pledge the more influence the NPC has in the creation of this new settlement (pay to play, but only as a secondary character). Everyone has a chance at interacting with the adventurers (well ain't that just exciting). The main story being streamed on Twitch is about the adventurers. We hope the campaign will grow beyond the initial 100 inhabitants. These additional settlers will have to subscribe to participate in the world we are creating (wait? folks after the KS will have to pay a monthly fee to play an NPC? my God, WoW and the rest missed out on a huge money making opportunity). All the backers of the initial 100 settlers get to participate subscription free for the life of the character. 
We are raising money for equipment and software to aid in producing the stream and managing the scale of the campaign (mind telling us the equipment and software you'll be buying with the money your backers are theoretically kicking in?). The software we are investing in will allow us to manage a large scale of people and share information and maps with ease. We hope we find plenty of backers with a pioneer spirit. If there is enough interest we may open up future settler slots for additional backers as stretch goals. (yeah - er, no)
Risks and challenges 
The greatest risk is not getting all the programs we intend to use (name them already!). They are going to make managing so many players and npc's all together much easier. Having managed campaigns with 13 to 20 people at a time, we understand many of the complications a project like this could have. We have spent a great amount of time developing rules and planned structures to make the experience better than past experiences (wait, you've done this before?). The software we are looking at purchasing will make this experience fuller and richer than most get to experience at home with friends. (I was so going to make a sexual joke - but I'm sure there will be better ones left in the comments :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Mythoard is Offering 30% Off to Tavern Readers for a One Month Trial

You heard it right. Due to the huge response to the Fifth Day of OSR Christmas (where there is a gift of a 3 Month Mythoard subscription up for grabs until sometime tomorrow), +Jarrod Shaw (he of Mythoard fame) is offering The Tavern's readers a 30% discount code just for you! This is an awesome deal for Mythoard and truly an amazing amount of gaming product.

Use the code TAVERNTRYOUT at sign up at Mythoard.com and get 30% off your first box. Its good until the 10th of January 2016, and applies to US month to month subscriptions only.

I'm serious - If you haven't checked out Mythoard yet, now is the time to do so. What are you waiting for?

What a second. I'll do this one better. I'm sure +Jarrod Shaw can tell when folks sign up with this code. I'll send the first five sign-ups at Mythoard using the code TAVERNTRYOUT a $5 RPGNow GC. I'll figure out the logistics with Jarrod later. This is a surprise even for him ;)

You're still here? Go get your Mythoard!

Kickstarter - Bōken: A Tale of Ninjas (It's About Ninjas - Need We Say More? Apparently Not)

Sometimes certain Kickstarter projects leave me scratching my head. Bōken: A Tale of Ninjas almost made me pull out my hair.

The video starts with some animated ninja shit before moving on to some boring ass talking heads. The the thing is, if you don't listen to the talking heads, you wouldn't even know what broad type of RPG system it is (dice pools apparently.) Color me not impressed.

How much are they asking for? $32,000

Any sample art on the Kickstarter page?


How about the approximate length of the book (which they are claiming a March 2016 delivery date)?

Why would they.

You don't even need to go to the Bōken: A Tale of Ninjas Kickstarter page to read the whole pitch as it fit into a single screenshot:

Too much coffee? How about not enough of anything else to justify even a buck to get backer only updates. Hell, they've all been public thus far so why bother.

For all of the good projects out there it's the quick attempts at a cash grab that really annoy the shit out of me.

Friday, December 18, 2015

If You Had Stuck Around to the End of Last Night's Tavern Chat...

You might have caught the conversation talking about a possible podcast in last night's Tavern Chat. It was out there for all to see.

+Michael Badolato (Bad Mike)

+Zach Glazar (the Lesser Gnome)

+Erik Tenkar (myself)

Off the cuff, no scripts, no mailbags, immature (adult language) and sure to offend most people. Old school gaming as raw as it can be.

Is it a done deal? Of course not. Are we excited? Hell yeah.

Enter to win a Death & Taxes Boxed Set and tell +Zach Glazar you want to hear him on a podcast. Cause you know you do :)

Day Five of OSR Christmas - Look! Over Yonder! A Mythical Hoard!

Before we get to today's main event, there is a prize I must award here at The Tavern:

Joel Priddy - email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing and I'll get that $10 RPGNow GC to you.

So, what's in Santa's Bag today?

Something totally unexpected, as it wasn't on the initial gift list, but when offered, there was no way OSR Santa could say no:

a Three Month Subscription to Mythoard

What is Mythoard? You don't know? It's like Loot Crate on OSR steroids! Not that it's all OSR, but the OSR is a damn strong presence in every monthly release, which means it's easy enough to convert to the edition (or ruleset) of your choice.

I've been a subscriber since the beginning. It's like a gamer's Christmas once a month! (or Hanukkah or the religious gift giving holiday of your choice / your diety's choice / the choice of "He That Shall Not Be Named" / the day your dog chose to chew on your shoe and you just needed to be cheered up / etc)

Three months of Mythoard for free. How cool is that?

Just a heads up - this gift is for US Only. It is for three monthly shipments. Imagine the joy the US Post Office would have had charging international postal rates to +Jarrod Shaw for three months in a row. You want a real Scrooge? The US Postal Service...

So, how do you get yourself this most awesome of gaming gifts? Simply make a comment here, on this very post, about why you deserve such an epic gift. The gift receiver of the Mythoard subscription will be chosen randomly, but the answer that stands out to me, your bartender, will earn themselves a $10 RPGNow Giift Certificate. Gift receivers will be chosen sometime on Sunday, December 21st, 2015.

Remember, there are other events still going on for OSR Christmas. You can't be gifted if you aren't in the mix.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Kickstarter - Lairs & Encounters (Autarch - OSR Sandbox Supplement)

I like Autarch. I like the company a lot. They managed to salvage Dwimmermount and the Adventurer Conquerer King System (ACKS) is a solid system that my group will be returning to in the new year. It annoys me to no end that their Lairs & Encounters Kickstarter has escaped my notice until now. It's funded with 11 10 days to go.

Needless to say I backed this the moment I saw it, but for the curious, this looks to be an amazing sandbox tool. Here's the skinny right from the kickstarter:
Lairs & Encounters is the ultimate supplement for fantasy RPG sandbox campaigns. Designed for use with the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ (ACKS™), it is readily compatible with other fantasy role-playing games built on the same core rules. In Lairs & Encounters you will find: 
- More than 135 ready-to-play monstrous lairs - that's at least one lair listing for every possible monster lair mentioned in the Adventurer Conqueror King System. The lair listings are designed to be used both as dynamic points of interest that can be discovered while wandering through the wilderness and as obstacles to a would-be ruler’s attempt to secure land for a domain. 
-New subsystems for sandbox play, including rules for populating 6-mile hexes with lairs based on the terrain and extent of settlements in the region, and rules for searching for lairs in the wilderness factoring in terrain density, aerial reconnaissance, splitting up to cover more ground (never split the party!), and more. 
-Additional mechanics for monsters, including ability scores for monsters, proficiencies for monsters, and young monsters. 
-A complete system for taming and training monsters, with details on the lifespan, roles, tricks, trained and untrained value, supply cost, training period, and the trainability modifier of every monster in the game.   
-A complete system for creating your own unique monsters. In the ACKS Player's Companion we gave you mechanics to create balanced new character classes and new spells; now we bring our same rigorous attention to balance and customization to monsters.
Even better is that you get a draft copy in PDF when the Kickstarter funding completes. Damn skippy! I won't have to wait to start putting it to it's paces ;)

Tavern Chat Tonight - 930 Eastern - Wherein We Talk About OSR Christmas and Stuff

Tavern Chat is Tonight at 930 PM. Right here on this very page. It's that chat box on the right. All are welcome to chat, lurk or do a bit of both.

OSR Christmas should be picking up some speed now that I am off through the night of the 26th. Going to ATTEMPT a Gift post once a day (sometime two) with one or two gift providers per post. Might not hit the stride I'm aiming for but it should be quicker than it had been. We also have some gifters that have snuck in after the wire. Some amazing stuff coming up, some of which I'll preview in the chat tonight.

As for other stuff, I'm making Fridays "days of productivity." Which means The Tavern should be back to posting gaming content. Monsters, locations, NPCs, encounters, White Box, White Star, White Lies and mish-mashes of the above. Tonight is where you can make your requests if you have any.

Note: There will be no Tavern Chat next Thursday, it being Christmas Eve and such. We MIGHT do one Tuesday or Wednesday instead, it all depends on "stuff" ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Day Four of OSR Christmas - Jolly Tenk and the Lesser Gnome Want Your Death... and Taxes

Day Four - Holy Christmas!

Before we get to today's main event, there is a prize I must award here at The Tavern:

Steven Wells - email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing and I'll get that $10 RPGNow GC to you.

So, what does Jolly Tenkar and the Lesser Gnome have for you today?

Death & Taxes

Not just any Death & Taxes mind you, but THEE Collector's Version of Death & Taxes

Just like the one pictured below:

Let me attest to a simple fact. Once you open the box you'll never get all the shit back in. It's packed tighter then... something. It's like a Box of Holding or a Portable Hole, but the charge wears off after you open it ;)

Edit - the Lesser Gnome will ship to Canada and Europe

You need to follow the link to the Lesser Gnome webpage and follow the instructions. Already have a copy? The Lesser Gnome has you covered. Want to buy a copy? The Lesser Gnome has some bonuses in store for you.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Oh, and if comment on this very post here at The Tavern and answer the following question - What... does Gygaxian mean to you? (the answer matters less than your creativity, but the gift receiver will still be chosen randomly ;) you'll have a chance to snag another $10 RPGNow GC. Entries close for the GC when the next OSR Christmas Post goes live - probably on Wednesday, as I'm working a double Monday into Tuesday.

Don't forget to click on the OSR Christmas pic in the upper right corner to bring you to all of the OSR Christmas posts. There are other offerings from earlier that are still collecting entries, so you may have a Very Merry OSR Christmas!

Troll Lord Games Does Good - Ken Whitman's Ass is being Salvaged for the Good of the Kickstarter Supporters

I received the following from one of The Tavern's frequent readers. It's a message from Troll Lord Games to the backers of Ken Whitman's / Whit Whitman's / Ken Whitless's / He Who Scams People Out of Money and Then Leaves State's Castles & Crusades: Beyond the River (T.V. Pilot) Kickstarter.
Greetings from Troll Lord Games! 
We are not certain of the status of this Kickstarter, but we’d like to give you a very brief idea of what is going on as we know it. 
Steve Chenault wrote the script for the pilot and submitted it to Ken Whitman last year. 
Initially the script was approved by d20 Entertainment, but for a variety of reasons they could not go with that script and a second, abbreviated script was submitted. This script was also approved. However, soon thereafter this script was set aside for one written by Ken Whitman. A short pilot was shot and sent to Steve. He did not approve the pilot in its form and requested the abbreviated script be shot. 
The unapproved pilot was released, but without the C&C banner attached. 
That’s where things stand. 
We do not know what d20 Entertainment’s intentions are but we do know that you guys have backed a project that involves the flagship IP for Troll Lord Games and you did so in good faith that d20 Entertainment would deliver on said promises. You also did so, because Troll Lord Games authorized the project. 
For that we apologize. And we want to make it as right as we can under the circumstances. 
Here is what we have already done: 
1) All backers should have received the script as promised by the Kickstarter 
2) All those who were promised a Leather Copy of the Players Handbook have been contacted and a personalized leather book has been sent from TLG’s own stock. Those shipped yesterday, so please keep a look out. We know it wasn’t what d20 Entertainment promised, but we hope it will serve. 
Here is what we are going to do: 
1) Everyone is receiving a coupon for $10.00 toward any purchase at TLG’s online store. This does not serve to refund your hard earned money, it is simply a gesture from us to you. Use this code at checkout for the discount: xxxxx It does stack with the ongoing Christmas Sale. 
2) This spring we intend to shoot the second part to our short movie piece To The End. We will list the names of all backers of this Kickstarter in the credits section of Part 2, with a kindly Thank You. Also, Steve will write up a script diary for the shoot and we’ll send you all a copy of his adventures on set, observations and general ramblings. 
3) Anyone who backed at 60.00 or more was supposed to receive a free movie poster. Clearly we don’t have that, but we would like to send you a free poster from our existing stock. You can see them on our store under Merchandise. 
We want to apologize to all of you. We allowed the game we all play and you so generously support, Castles & Crusades, to become enmeshed in someone else’s problems. This should not have happened. We hope that it doesn’t sour you on future possibilities. For those who have seen To The End, you can clearly see what we had hoped would occur with this project and what could very well happen in the future. However, if such a future presents itself we promise an even tighter reign. 
We are not sure how long we will have access to this, so please send any inquiries to xxxx@trolllord.com. 
Thank you.
The Troll Lords

Wherein I Retract a Statement That I Never Made and Rabbit Holes

Yes, Retraction Number 2

This one is different.

I never said what I'm being asked to retract. It may have been said in the comments by a commenter on one of the posts, but to the best of my knowledge it wasn't made by me.

Make of that what you will.
I never meant to say (and by never meant to say, I also mean "as far as I can tell I never actually said it") that Gail Gygax, also known as Mrs E. Gary Gygax, is now or has in prior days, improperly removed monies from the entity known as the Gygax Memorial FUND (edit - I had "Trust" before). I have no knowledge of such activities, either directly or indirectly - Erik Tenkar
Onward to "Rabbit Holes"

I recently came into possession of a HUGE info dump of potential leads and information relevant to topics of conversation that have been taking place in the gaming community, particularly the Old School gaming community. I'd be remiss if I didn't follow the leads, although I suspect it will be time consuming and results will be far from immediate. Even relatively easy investigations at my day, rather NIGHT job these days, can take weeks or months. I'm not at liberty to discuss the contents, but I am quite tempted to put together a paper case folder like in the old days (my job is slow to take on technology - paper case folders only ended in 2012 ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wherein I Retract Something...

So, there was a HUGE amount of material waiting to be read after I did my 17 hour shift over the last evening / night.

Some of that reading has lead to the following statement. I'm still reading ;)
I never meant to say or imply that Gail Gygax, the Gygax Memorial Fund or the Gygax Revocable Trust has now, or has prior, actively sued anyone or filed suit against anyone to the best of my knowledge, and any statements to the contrary made by me are due to the unintentional misuse of legal terms by a layman. It would have been more proper to use the words "action" or "actions" regarding any trademark issues that any of the above mentioned parties may have been a part of - Erik Tenkar

Monday, December 14, 2015

A "Holy Sh!t WTF!" Kickstarter - Nazi history monopoly (I Sh!t You Not)

Uhm, right.

Nazi history monopoly. But according to update #1, the game has nothing to do with Hasbro, Monopoly, cute and disturbing as hell Hitler heads nor history as we know it. Alright, I'm assuming the last part. Maybe it will be a riff of Man in the High Castle. Or not.

But what is this game actually about then?

Yep, because the Hitler Channel has cut back on Hitler History and replaced it with Pawn Stars. Neo-Nazi board game anyone? I can only imagine what replaces utilities.

How much for the game? 55 bucks. How much does she want to raise? $50,000.

Yes Kickstarter, there does need to be a vetting process...

Tip of the hat to Marci Deleon over in the Kicksnarker G+ Community.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Gygax Memorial Fund Lost Over $1,000 in 2014

So, I've basically been told that only positive interviews are going to happen with Gail. She will participate "only in interviews focusing on the positive aspects of gaming and positive news of Garys legacy."

This post is about a negative aspect of the Gygax Memorial Fund which I guess makes in a negative aspect of Gary's legacy. More accurately, a negative cash flow issue for the Fund in 2014. Yes, the Fund lost money in 2014 and compared to 2015 the website was a font of activity. Just imagine how 2015 will shake out.

Look down below. The fund took in a mere $421 in 2014. It's obvious that 2012 and 2013 numbers were from the sales of the AD&D 1e reprints (Thanks WotC) and 2010 and 2011 were probably mostly corporate sponsors.

Again. $421 in 2014. Someone has dropped the ball on their fund raising efforts it seems.

Actually, it's worse than that. See the page below. That a "Schedule O". It's missing from the first few years of tax returns posted, but it's important, as it gives a breakdown of expenses.

Office Expenses:             $1,129

Filing Fees:                     $     10

Conferences / Meetings: $   653

Total: $1,792

Less   $   421

The Gygax Memorial Fund LOST $1,371 in 2014. How do you spend more in a year than your raise?

Now I know why the Fund is a sensitive topic. It's actually moving backwards now. There is apparently little support from the gaming community as a whole, and that's a damn shame.
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