Saturday, January 24, 2015

Swords & Wizardry and Slumber Tsar Coloring Books - Download Free in PDF

Bouncing around the Frog God web store I noticed that the Swords & Wizardry and Slumbering Tsar Coloring Books were available for free download in PDF.

Pretty freaking cool! Just print out the pages you want to use.

The art isn't half bad either.

Thoughts on a Sword of Air Sandbox Campaign (Swords & Wizardry)

I think I've mentioned before that I've been way behind on basic things like "reading email" and "reading Google + messages." I just realized today that earlier this month Frog God released the PDF to the backers of the Sword of Air Kickstarter. Yeah, I'm not even catching up with the emails that are giving me stuff.

So, earlier today I grabbed the Sword of Air PDF an accompanying map (small snippet above - 50 mile hexes) and quickly found the Stoneheart Valley. The Stoneheart Valley is a nice trilogy of low level adventures (one of which, The Tomb of Abysthor, is a manageable sized mega-dungeon.) This gives me a nice place to kick off a Sword of Air Campaign before the party starts exploring in full sandbox mode.

I was surprised that The Lost City of Barakus wasn't to be found on the map, but I figure Freegate can stand in for Endhome and the Lost City finds a new home.

Yep, apparently there isn't enough adventure in the 428 pages of the Sword of Air Campaign Book that I need to add nearly another 300 pages ;)

Actually, what I'd like to do is run two groups in the campaign setting, both working towards the same ultimate goal but from different areas initially. Logistically it's impossible for me to pull off right now, but perhaps in 2016. If I can steal enough time to prep this, maybe come the spring of this year, when I get back behind the virtual DM screen, I can kick off the initial group.

Come to think of it, with the amount of stuff going on in the setting, I may need those months just to get all of the rumor tables prepped.

Did I mention what I've read so far of The Sword of Air looks damn fine? I need to take notes tho...

Amazing Archery - Using a Simple Bow (Video Nirvana)

Jeff Carpenter of the Peril and Plunder blog sent me a link to the above video. It's less than six minutes long and it is an eye opener. The feats of skill done with a simple bow are nothing less than amazing and simply reinforces anecdotal information I had read in the past - ancient bowmen were deadly, even against armor. They also fired much faster than the D&D default.

Does it make me rethink the speed of bows in the typical OSR game? Not at all. But if one were to design a game where the bowman took center stage, there are some great ideas to be found above.

Trust me when I tell you the video will be done before you are ready for it to end...

Tome of Horrors 4 - Free with Purchase of TOH Complete or 1/2 Off on It's Own - Print

I should have passed this on earlier, but I'm behind in reading my emails:

Very good deal, whether you play Swords & Wizardry (or other old school RPGs) or gods forbid - Pathfinder.

I love my Tome of Horrors Complete for S&W - almost worth it for the adventure seeds alone.

The Frog God website can be found at this link.

Sale ends tomorrow.

Another WTF Kickstarter - Batman Legacy (because with $3k I can convince DC to give me a license)

Another tip of the hat to the Kicksnarker Community over at G+.

How screwed up is "Batman Legacy?" Let us count the ways:

1 - "picture is not my design" - so, the art used to pitch the project? it's copyright DC.

2 - Another person that does not believe in using "."

3 - It's going to be a graphic novel or series of comics, but we don't get a sample of the artist's work. Hmmm, above would have been a good place to show that sample.

4 - After reading the above synopsis - no, I won't donate.

5 - "burbank?" Why is he going to fly to burbank (he has trouble with capitalization too it seems) when DC is headquarter in NYC?

6 - Why is he flying anywhere? DC can turn him down remotely for free.

7 - Getting DC's permission is not a "real challenge" as it would never happen, even if he were a "legit" artist.

8 - I suspect he just wants to vacation in Burbank.

Friday, January 23, 2015

On Multi-Classing in AD&D 1e (Learning Something New)

The latest episode of Roll For Initiative podcast covers Labyrinth Lord's Advanced Edition Characters and compares the LL AEC to AD&D 1e, which is a natural comparison. Now, they mention that weapon restrictions for multiclass characters weren't included in 1e, but they were. The restrictions are buried in the race definitions and actually vary per race:
Half-elven characters who choose the cleric as one of their multi-classes aren't limited by that class' proscriptions upon weapons usable, but they are quite restricted in level. Half-elven characters who choose the thief class as one of their multi-roles are limited to the weaponry and armor of that class when operating as a thief. All earned experience is always divided evenly between the classes of the multi-classed character, even though the character is no longer able to gain levels in one or more of the classes. (See CHARACTER CLASSES, and consult the various classes for more detailed information pertaining to half-elven characters operating within the stated classes.)
When playing a multi-classed character, the half-orc must abide by the restrictions of the least favorable class with regard only to armor.
In the latter case the character (halfling) is limited to the armor and weaponry of a thief whenever any such functions are to be performed during the course of an adventure.
If the character (elf) is multi-clossed, the following restrictions and strictures apply: Although able to operate freely with the benefits of armor, weapons, and magical items available to the classes the character is operating in, any thieving is restricted to the armor and weaponry usable by the thief class.
(maximum of 9th level), a thief, or an assassin (maximum of 9th level). It is also possible for a dwarven character to opt to work simultaneously in the fighter and thief classes; in the latter event the dwarf will be limited to the armor permitted a thief when performing any functions of that class.
It is also possible for a gnome character to be two classes at the some time (a fighter/illusionist, fighter/thief, or an illusionist/thief, for example). In the latter case, the character is restricted to the wearing of leather armor, regardless of which class combination he or she has chosen, unless only fighting is performed by the character.
The rules were there, plain as day in the Player's Handbook, but I never realized the small variations the races had in their restrictions. I always thought any weapon could be used at all times by a character if they were multiclassed with a fighter, but it appears I was wrong. (they all have the same armor restrictions if they have a thief class as part of their multiclass)

Half-elves, halflings and elves were restricted to thieving weapons only when operating as thieves - so no backstabs with that battle axe or two handed sword. Or moving silently, hiding in shadows or the like.

Dwarves, gnomes and half-orcs can apparently use any weapon to backstab.

It appears I'm still learning my 1e rules ;)

Rant - Podcast Pet Peeves or How to Get You Podcast Off of my Regular Listening List

We don't care.


No matter how fucking cool and exciting your last gaming session was, if you can't turn that 7 and 1/2 minute meandering and boring tale into a 30 second highlight reel, we don't want to hear it. Yes, tell us about how you smuggled your gold plated blaster past security by secreting it in your anus. Don't tell us how how you landed your ship, got a deal on the fuel on planet, talked the dock master down in his fee had and all the other bullshit that puts us to sleep.

You might think all of the minutiae is interesting and exciting. Trust me when I tell you, we don't care. Get to the point or we may just stop listening all together.

Inside jokes.

Another thing that is interesting to you, the podcast host and your fellow hosts, but for the rest of us, we don't get the joke. It's worse than being boring, it's frustrating. Cut the shit out. Leave the inside jokes to the time you spend bullshitting with your other hosts before and after recording. This doesn't mean avoid telling jokes or funny stories, just avoid shit that needs insider knowledge. You want your podcast to be accessible, not exclusive.

Stop with the fucking belching.

You! Yes You! You know who you are. If you wouldn't do it in front of "the normals" and wouldn't do it at a gaming table at a con, don't do it on a podcast. You are no longer 16. You are probably 46. Fake the maturity if you somehow lack it.

Have some knowledge of the game systems you are talking about. 

If you don't know something, you are better off admitting it than making up an answer, because your listeners probably DO know the right answers. I really hate yelling at my car speakers when someone calls LotFP Weird Fantasy a AD&D 2e clone or has no idea how multiclassing works in AD&D.

Avoid scripts.

This shit get's painful. I'm not saying don't have a topic or even an outline, but when I hear folks reading from a script I want to mentally insert belches... and I hate belches.

Stop reading letters verbatim.

Nothing is more boring than listening to a letter being read on air that was poorly written in the first place. If you are going to read letters, edit them before hand to get to the meat of the discussion, otherwise you are just filling time that could be used for something else - like listening to a more interesting podcast.

All my ranting for now ;)

Missed a Day of Posting for the First Time in Over Two Years - Starting New Count ;)

Just got home a few minutes after midnite.

The delay was not work related. Or maybe it was. Rach and I met a recently retire Detective at our local pub and hit it off like long lost friends.

Folks in common. Lost brothers in arms in common. Even the same escape from city life in common.

Reinforced the idea that I'm leaving when I hit 20 years and not a day longer.

Heck, even delayed a rant I've had brewing all day - My Podcast Pet Peeves.

I guess it will have to wait till tomorrow.

1208 AM - so close ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

If I Were to Wear One RPG Related Shirt...

it would be the one above.

This and other fine examples of +David Fisher 's work are on sale for $14 for another 2 days or so.

I might need one for NTRPGCon, if only to step away from the NYPD "Buff" Shirts.

Damn, this could work too...

Tonight - 830 PM EST - Tavern Talk Chat Room - Moderated by Vince Florio & Myself

Last week's inaugural Tavern Talk using The Tavern's Chat Box was an overwhelming success. We had many conversations going and many drop ins from across the spectrum of OSR creators and personalities.

Tonight we are doing it all again, and +Vincent Florio and I expect an even larger turn out.

Here's some ways to make tonight's experience less hectic and more pleasurable:

- in the built in chat box, there is the below icon in the right hand corner. Clicking this allows you to pop the char box out as it's own window.
- after popping out the chat box, drag the corner of the chat box page and make the page larger. Now, click the below icon in the now popped out and enlarged chat box - this will allow you to resize the chat box - larger and wider chat box should result in easier to follow conversations.
- if you don't want to have the chat box automatically scroll to the last message (which at the height of last week's conversations was fast and furious) click on the below icon and then un-click "scroll to latest message"

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wayward Kickstarter - johnnyy's game store (wall of text warning)

This would certainly fall under the "Dont's" category.

Just think, all johnnyy wants to raise is $250k...

Two paragraphs. Three periods. Wow.

There is medication that can help I think I shot may need now Fireball whiskey.

Hat tip goes to +Matthew Koelling of the Kicksnarker community on G+.

Christmas is Still the Season - B/X Hardcover Arrived!

Sometimes I don't ask Santa how he does things. I just accept it on faith alone. The fact that Santa has a Scottish burr is a quirk that I'll gladly accept.

Thank you Scottish Santa!

The Gift Receivers of OSR Christmas 2014 Day 10 Are...

Today we are giving away four different Rob Kuntz adventures and supplements graciously donated by +Jon Hershberger and Black Blade Publishing. They will ship word wide.

Time to award the presents :)

- Rob Kuntz's The Original Bottle City adventure, reprinted by Black Blade this past summer goes to: Travelling Spellbook

- Rob Kuntz's Cairn of the Skeleton King adventure, originally published by Rob's Pied Piper Publishing imprint, now out of print goes to: Erik Talvola

- Rob Kuntz's Tower of Blood adventure, originally published by Rob's Pied Piper Publishing imprint, now out of print goes to:  +Matthew Skail 

- Rob Kuntz's and Eric Shook's Campaign Treasuries supplement, originally published by Rob's Pied Piper Publishing imprint, now out of print goes to +Dak Ultimak 

Congrats to all!

Here's the deal - the above 4 need to email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing with "OSR Day 10" in the email subject. We need your mailing address.


Therefore, if you know one of the 4 above, maybe you want to point out they have a gift waiting for them. Especially the first 2, as they aren't going to get a notification from G+.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kickstarter Do's and Dont's - Part 2 - Cardboard Boobies and Endless Stretch Goals do Not Build Castles

Everyone has their favorite train wreck. 4thWar Equipment - Wargaming Table is mine. Where to start with the dont's?

Bad English - not just spoken but in the subtitles. At the very least get the subtitles right. Although the hot chick is adorable when she messes up the English words, which is just about every one.

While it's great to know that even your "chubbiest friends" won't break the cardboard tables or stools, it really doesn't sound like a selling point when put that way.

Also, unrealistic funding goals. They wanted $99,000 and hit $57,000. Wisely, when they rebooted, they asked for $13,000 and hit $35,000.

What about endless stretch goals? Appendix N Adventure Toolkits  fell victim to that. With a goal of just $1,000 for spanking new DCC RPG adventures, it hit nearly $19,000 on the back of numerous stretch goals. In the end, 5 extra adventures, a GM Screen and a gaming box were promised, with the projected completion date of July 2012. Now, 2 1/2 years later, most backers, even those that kicked in extra to help with shipping costs, have nothing but PDFs to show for it. Sure, it raised over $17k of extra funds, but the number of backers waiting on stuff and adventures promised, let along a box to put the goodies in, did not keep pace.

The other problem? Shipping costs. The longer a project takes to fulfill, the greater the shipping costs incurred. BTW, this is shipping in waves apparently, so multiple shipments to each backer. More money wasted.

Oh, and then there's the "retail avenues when backers still haven't gotten theirs." Always something that gets pushback.

Nystul. So much to say. So much has been said already.

Don't use a Kickstarter's funds to fulfill a previous Kickstarter's obligations.

Don't try and fund an Indiegogo Project (Nystul's Castle) to fund Kickstarter obligations.

Don't use your Kickstarters' funds to form a company and hire staff for projects that you haven't even started yet.

Don't blow your Kickstarter funds on an unrelated "Dwarf Con."

Don't promise add ons that you never intend to / or are incapable of delivering.

Don't piss on folks that are doing your work for free.

Shit, just do the very opposite of Mike and maybe you'll be OK.

You can read up on the Nystul Madness here at The Tavern and at Boardgame Geeks.

Kickstarter Do's and Dont's - Part 1 - Wear Shoes (I beg of you)

Kickstarter. It's potential for abuse was huge before they stopped policing themselves. Now it's left to consumers to sift out the scams and the like. This isn't about scams.

Today we are about presentation. You might have the best idea in the world, the greatest game, the most awesome heated sock and personal coffee brewer ever imagined, but if you can't bother to present it well, you might as well not present it as all.

Where should we start?

How about from the bottom and some Dont's.

Wear some fucking shoes.

Raised $5 of $12,500 goal

There is a mindset that you need a video for your Kickstarter to be successful. There is some truth to that, as the voice on listens to can make the project more personal and real. Imagining the smell of one's dirty socks does not make a project more appealing to me. Sometimes none is more than poor.

You also need to put your best foot forward right from the start. Every Kickstarter comes down to, at it's root, someone holding their hand out for your money with the promise to give something in return at a later date. Some ask for $100, others ask for $100,000. All want your

If this is a sample of what you are promising, you apparently don't really need the cash.

Raised $172 of $100 goal
Sometimes it's the simple things that are lacking - like coherence.

Soul Sword RPG is a Christian based rpg game the games theme is focused around the "Whole body armor of God" Ephesians 6 
18 year old Jack Rionhart a babe in Christ is called by Jehova to be the Spirit Leader unsure and fearful of the task before him he soon learns he must gain all of the lost pieces of the Body Armor of God and restore the fruits of a spiritually dead people of Larule. A growing evil from the land to the East threatens Jacks progress. Lord Cain Wants to destroy king Abel and take over Larule promising a life of pleasures and lust. The life blood of the kingdom a large natural crystal called the SEOUL purifies the fresh water for the people of larule. In Lord Cains lust for power he must kidnap the remaining descendants of the Founders to find out where the SEOUL is hidden so he can rule the entire land. Can Jack and his team of four restore the faith of Larule, find the Whole Body Armor of God and with the Sword of the Spirit destroy the Evil One who posses Lord Cain in time?
Add in the ceaseless rocking back and forth in the chair in the attached video - remember how I said above that sometimes no video is better than poor video - and you have a prefect example of what not to do when presenting your Kickstarter.

$42 raised of $1,000 goal

We've got more coming. Castles, cardboard, countless promises unfilled and lots of failures (even successes can be failures.)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A "What the F@ck?" Kickstarter - How to Game Master like a F@cking Boss

Yeah, I know that the real title of this Kickstarter doesn't use a @ in place of the letter "u" in the most versatile word in the English language. I do try to keep curse words out of the blog post titles as best I can, so @ it is.

In any case, Venger is back with a new Kickstarter - How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss.

Now, first rule of a successful Kickstarter is - have it written before putting your hand out. By his own words, Venger has only about a third of this done as he kicks off his request for funding.

I'm not impressed by the percentages mentioned above. Oh, and no cover art yet. Heck, no sample art at all.

edit: Cover art and artist name added to the Kickstarter page. Venger does listen to advice. Now if only the boiler plate could sound less like "get laid with Secrets of the Masters."

But there is this excellent example of wooden dice trays that Venger puts together by hand. Pledge $111 for one of these.

I know Venger has a high opinion of himself. More power to him. I would like to have the following explained (I know its hyperbole) - which "Game Mastering practices of yore" are "weighing our hobby down."
The time has come to set down what I've learned so that you, too, can wrestle the untamed crimson dragon that lurks in the shadows beyond the lowly Game Mastering practices of yore, weighing our hobby down.  To wrestle with the dragon and win... that is what I shall teach you!
Hey, we get the secrets of the "Hidden Masters!"
I'll be going over the entire Game Mastering process:  tips, tricks, techniques, outside the box practices of the Hidden Masters, state of mind, confidence, insecurities, combat to non-combat encounter ratio, improvisation, room for improvement, dos and don'ts, random tables, as well as, a number of other topics.  Everything you need in order to Game Master like a fucking boss!
Why the fuck do I feel like I've stumbled across some damn website trying to sell me "secrets" that will make me "a Fucking Boss", grow my penis, improve my memory, bring me untold wealth and help me lose 50 pounds in just 5 weeks?

Because it reads like the very same shit.

Want to improve your Game Mastering skills quickly and effectively and for free? Be a player in games run by different GMs. Take the bits and pieces that work for you and improve your skills. Most importantly? Have fun.

We Played Smart, Right Up Until We Didn't

Last night was another session of +Joe D 's Blood Island setting / house rules. It went well, right up until the end of the session.

On the outdoor trek to an "abandoned" tower, we either avoided or out thunk our wandering adversaries, including the well played use of a sleep spell and entanglement. I must say, entanglement is a damn powerful spell outdoors.

It was the door knocker at the tower that took the first and last casualty of the night.

"I raise the door knocker" are famous last words now. Not mine or my character's, but our one and only fighter's.

"It turns into a snake and bites you. Save vs poison or die."

One dead fighter.

There is a reason my magic-user doesn't like to touch too much. Unknown items lead to known death quite often ;)

Save or die is refreshing. All characters are immensely mortal.

Lets see who bites it next week :)

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