Saturday, March 7, 2015

PWYW - The Outpost of the Outer Ones (Adventure Levels 6-10)

Right off the start, The Outpost of the Outer Ones give you something not often seen in OSR adventure - Mi-Go. Yep, Jeremy Reaban has put some Cthulhu in my OSR. It works pretty well too.

Sure, it's more dungeon crawl than CoC, but I like the nod. Did I mention it includes stats for Bigfoot? Fun stuff ;)

I also like the unlabeled players map for use with the VTT of your choice - well done.

The price is right at PWYW, so you can read The Outpost of the Outer Ones first and tip Jeremy after.

Have a Coot, Don't Pollute! (The Coot for Swords & Wizardry)

+Jim Magnusson supplied this awesome drawing of a Coot after I suggested he refer to classic RuneQuest Ducks for inspiration. I love what Jim came up with, and I have lots of plans for The Coot, but firsts things first. Jim wants some OSR stats for The Coot as an OSR creature (I'll add T&T, Far Away Land and a PC race write up in the coming week or so.)

So, what's a Coot anyway?

Coots have their roots in a the magical experiments of a long since lost cabal of magic users. As such, they have little history of their own and no great civilizations to speak of.

Most Coots live in small, nomadic tribes. They are hunters and gatherers, and rarely stay at one location for longer than a few weeks. They make enclosed nests of branches and leaves, which are often found abandoned and are occasionally used by other travellers for shelter and night or as protection from storms.

Some Coots do live a more civilized life and settle down in an urban environment. The are regarded as outcasts and quite possibly insane by their more traditional brethren. Perhaps this is why those Coots that are drawn to adventuring invariably come from towns and cities. Adventuring Coots can be fighters, clerics and thieves. Rangers and druids have been identified among the nomadic tribes and often fill leadership roles.

Hit Dice: 2
AC: 8(13) or by armor worn
Attacks: By weapon plus beak (1d4)
Move: 12" / Can fly (jump) 15' forward or 10' up if lightly encumbered
Alignment: Neutral
Challenge: 2

Friday, March 6, 2015

Kickstarter - The City of Brass (web based tabletop RPG app)

When I see Campaign Managers and the like, they are either system specific or OS specific. As an "Old School" gamer with a Mac as my desktop, I'm usually shit outa luck from one side, the other, or both.

The City of Brass seems to be the exception.

It's web based, so it's not locked to a specific OS.

It is system free, but has stretch goals to include certain open game license rulesets as stretch goals get hit.

Color me very interested, even with a monthly sub. I'm in for $39 - Beta access plus a year sub. Maybe I'll be able to work on some gaming stuff from my phone...

From the Kickstarter page:

The City of Brass is a fully-featured web app designed to manage the mechanics of pen-and-paper roleplaying games, allowing you to focus on what matters: playing that game. 

We bring together your characters, monsters, NPCs, setting, adventure, and campaign, allowing you to easily manage all these elements in a single location, from any device, anytime, and for any game system!

Create characters, creatures, and NPCs with Entity Builder.
Build your setting quickly and easily with World Builder. 
Write your adventures using Story Builder.  
Run your game and talk to your players with Campaign Manager. 
But that's not all you'll find in The City of Brass. We also have: 

A stock art library with over 100 images right now from characters, to locations, to scenes! 
Dozens of stock maps for you to use in adventures and encounters.

NTRPG Con to Supply The Dungeoneers Journal #25 for the March Mythoard

From the NTRPG Con Facebook page (and shared with Bad Mike's permission):
The March Mythoard will have a hello from NTRPGcon inside...in the form of a genuine classic Judges Guild magazine! An unused copy of The Dungeoneer's Journal #25 from spring 1981 will be in every box, courtesy of NTRPG con and Badmike's Books and Games! We hope to be a part of Mythoard for a long time...Doug and I are extremely excited and impressed at what Jerrod is doing and what is coming our way every month in the Hoard (this month includes selections from Throwi Games, Gygax Magazine, and Game Mash as well as others). Reserve your copy today, note that there is a signup cutoff every month, you don't want to be left out! http://www.mythoard.com/

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Random Red Shirt Thoughts Disrupted by "Emergency" Meeting

So, I was reading more Hawk & Moor today (bathroom Kindle reading if I must confess) and I was reading about the use of men at arms - "red shirts" in Star Trek parlance - and it was noted that the use of men at arms had lapsed in later play of D&D.

This lead to some random thoughts about abstracting the use of men at arms as some sort of ablative armor.

I was still technically on lunch, about to type out this amazing post (I suspect it was amazing although I have no proof of such) when I received a call from my boss about an emergency meeting to address complaints that my unit had received from the outside agency we are the liaison for.

Needless to say, my thoughts fled faster than peasants before an ancient red dragon.

One hour and fifty five minutes later of emergency meeting time and we supplied effective and accurate answers to every complaint, but my creative juices were spent.

Dinner and pints at the pub didn't do much to renew them. I just wish I knew the details that I've lost, as it seemed like a really cool idea to abstract men at arms and the like.

Eh, maybe if I sleep on it...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

And the Winners of the Far Away Land Core Rules in PDF Are...

Holy something or other!

Over 120 entries in 8 hours. That has to be a record or something. Not one of those +James Spahn records, but still impressive.

Alright, let's get right down to it. Lets give away those copies of Far Away Land Core Rules in PDF.

The first winner is: Jason Buchanan - this is the copy I'm providing ;)

The second winner is: Justin Isaac - this is the copy generously donated by +matt jackson

The third and final winner is+Johua De Santo - this is the copy generously donated by +Tim Huntley

The winners need to email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom with their RPGNow info and I'll make sure it gets into the right hands.

Everyone else needs to get their own copy of Far Away Land - the PDFs are 30% off this week ;)

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight at 830 Eastern

Like just about every Wednesday Night, tonight is another Tavern Chat session here at The Tavern.

I'n sure there will be questions about the new podcast ans such. As for answers...

See you tonight ;)

Giving Away Three Copies of the Far Away Land Core Rules in PDF - Flash Giveaway

To celebrate both GM's Day and the forthcoming Far 'n Away Podcast, I'm giving away a PDF copy of the Far Away Land core rules in PDF. (edit: +matt jackson is adding a 2nd PDF copy of the core rules into the mix in honor of EGG and +Tim Huntley is adding a 3rd PDF copy)

Comment on this post before 8PM tonight (NYC time) and I will randomly award 3 PDF copies FAL Core.

Well, what are you waiting for? You have less than 12 hrs ;)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Nominations for the Three Castles Award (NTRPG Con) Have Been Announced

The Steering Committee has come back with their choices, and the four nominees for 2015 follow: 
Castle of the Mad Archmage+Joseph Bloch  
Scarlet Heroes +Kevin Crawford  
Inferno: Journey Through Malebolge - Paul Elkman 
AX2: d30 Sandbox Companion+Richard LeBlanc  
and the judges for this year's award are: 
Christopher Clark, Allen Hammack, Erol Otus, Merle Rasmussen, Steve Winter

The only entry I am not familiar with is Inferno. I guess I need to do some research. It should be a very interesting NTRPG Con in June.

(original post by +Michael Badolato over on the NTRPG Con forums)

James Spahn Captures Top Four Spots in the RPGNow GM's Day Sale Rankings

Notice how +James Spahn (Mr GM's Sale apparently) has found a way to capture the Top Four spots on RPGNow yet again (at least for the sale)? Now we need to bring up the Swords & Wizardry Companion in the rankings.

So, some quick links:

Swords & Wizardry related specials

OSRIC related specials

Far Away Land related specials

DCC RPG related specials

The One Ring related specials

Adventurers! related specials (I may run this at NTRPG Con)

GM's Day Sale is Here! 30% Off on Much of RPGNow

The GM's Day Sale is here. There are some great bargains. I'll highlight some later as I go through the offerings.

Remember, purchases made at RPGNow through links at The Tavern help support prizes and Gift Certificate Giveaways.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bundle of Holding - Torg +2

I used to have all of the West End Games D6 boxed sets. Torg was one of them. As GM I really liked the setting, as it could never bore me. My players, however, weren't much on the D6 system, so we never really got to play it.

Torg + 2 is the second Bundle of Holding offering for Torg. I never realized how much there was available for the system.

I'll never get a change to read this in full in the near future, but I'll read it at some point. When I do, I'll be glad I grabbed it when I did.

Yeah, I'm in for more Torg.

Announcing "Far 'n Away" - The Far Away Land RPG Podcast

Yes, you seen me get all fan boy about the Far Away Land RPG here at The Tavern and the FAL bug has bit a few others in the OSR community and beyond.

One of those bit was +Vincent Florio , one of my co-hosts on The Brainstorm Podcast. He got bit so bad he started thinking about producing a Far Away Land podcast. Vince asked me if I'd be interested in co-hosting. I said "YES!" without the need to think ;)

So, then we realized we needed a third host, because all good things come in threes.

We thought maybe we'd be able to get the game creator, Dirk Stanley, Mr. +Far Away Land RPG himself to guest on the first episode, but that wasn't to be.

Instead, we have Dirk as our third host. Yes, Far Away Land's creator will be one of the three hosts of the Far 'n Away Podcast.

We are aiming to record the first episode in three weeks time (Sunday, March 22 at 1 PM Eastern). We'll be using G+ Hangouts and recording Live, so you can even watch and ask questions via chat in real time.

How's that for a surprise announcement?

We have an email address you can send questions and topic suggestions to at Podcast@FNACast.com. If you'd rather call and leave us a voicemail it's 570-865-4210.

More as we get closer to launch. The podcast will have it's own website, and we may need a volunteer or two.

edit: for now we basically need some article & show note writers for the website.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

PWYW - Pawns and Knights (Far Away Land Adventure)

In case you've somehow missed it, I really enjoy the Far Away Land RPG. It's the perfect mixture of old school sensibilities, humor, atmospheric art and surprising depth. Pawns and Knights is a Pay What You Want priced adventure for Far Away Land. The sixth in the series, it may very well be the best of the lot.

It's an urban adventure / mini campaign. Like all of the FAL releases, it is open ended and sandboxie in nature. What's not to like?

Scrub the stats and it's easy enough to convert (or at least steal ideas for) OSR games of your choice.

From the blurb:
Dirty balbergulbs. Pawn shops. Gangs. Cow steed races and gambling. The grimy city of Londol. Rival crime bosses. Noknil. One-eyed giants who want revenge. Get ready for Pawns and Knights, a mini-campaign setting where your PCs work in a pawn shop for a greedy balbergulb boss who has no regard for the law. This adventure has a plethora of mini-adventure scenarios and ideas centered around the Pawns and Knights pawn shop in the city of Londol.

Bringing the OSR Superstar Competition to an Incomplete Completion

I've thought long and hard on how to bring the OSR Superstar Competition to a successful conclusion at this point, and I don't see a simple solution.

So, I'll have to be satisfied with a simple ending, and call it with the four top finalists in place. No final round, no grand winner.

Yeah, anti-climatic as all shit, but at this point, any conclusion to this would be anti-climatic.

The four top finalists will split the final cash prize, the 2 boxed sets will be randomly awarded to 2 of the final 15, and 4 the final 15 will have some mapping goodness coming from http://squarehex.myshopify.com/.

Is it the finish I had planned on? Nope. Neither was 2014 the year I had expected.

I'll be reaching out during the upcoming week to get the necessary info to award the prizes.

I appreciate the work everyone put into their entries. There was some amazing creativity that the judges and I read.

The next time someone makes a suggestion like this to me in the future I'll make sure to have my head examined before answering ;)

Kickstarter - Crypts and Things Remastered - (OSR Swords & Sorcery)

If you're like me, you remember supporting Crypts & Things on Indiegogo a few years back. It was a nice Swords & Sorcery reworking of Swords & Wizardry that really seems to excel with smaller groups. I ran a number of sessions for a pair of friends before real life intervened. They still dropped by NTRPGCon last June and are still itching to play again.

I love Crypts & Things but felt something was missing. Never quite could put my finger on it, but Newt seems to have his vision of what the revised Crypts & Things should be, and I like the direction he's going in:
Art. The art in C&T was done by various British Artists. While I stand by everything I put in the book, the overall tone was eclectic and a bit disconnected.  So David M. Wright, whose style exactly matches the tone of the game, is going to do the entire book. Therefore it will have a deliciously dark consistency and tone throughout.
Judging from the sample pieces of art, this is going to rock hard. Excellent choice.
Content. C&T Remastered will see a a full edit of the book and streamlining of the rules. There’s a few rules in C&T that I never use in my home game, because they involve a bit too much bean counting rather than simple Roll and Effect which I prefer. These rules have been recast into something more straightforward. 
Mega Gaming Fun. This is the overall effect of the above changes. Over the years there have been some kind words said about Crypts & Things which have made me painfully aware of some of its shortcomings. With the basic goal I’m seeking to address these issues and make it a much more fun game to play and the art even more evocative. 
Smoother gameplay? Less bean counting? I'm in :)

If you backed the earlier Indiegogo project, Newt has a gift for you if you back the current Kickstarter.

True confession - I was the first backer of this project on Kickstarter ;)

New (and Free) Fantasy OSR Game from Sine Nomine Publishing - Exemplars & Eidolons

+Kevin Crawford likes to sneak his new releases into the world with little fanfare at times. He's done it again, as this released on Friday and I only just found it this morning at RPGNow.

Exemplars & Eidolons looks to be a very solid OSR release, but in this case the rules themselves are secondary to the presentation, as Kevin is offering this as an example of how to present a game in a format reminiscent of the old White Box releases of yore.

As usual, Kevin does some excellent work.

The PDF is free and print copies are $9.99.

At free this is yet another gift from Kevin to the OSR. I tip my hat to you good sir.

From the blurb:
Tales of Thundering Heroism 
Welcome to Exemplars & Eidolons. Within these few pages you’ll find a game of titanic heroes and glorious paragons, living legends of every stripe banding together to accomplish deeds of deathless fame. Using the basic framework of classic old-school gaming you’ll fashion fresh exemplars of daring to battle foes far beyond the compass of ordinary adventurers! 
Though actually... 
Exemplars & Eidolons is a fully-playable OSR mini-game of high-powered legendary adventurers. But what I really wrote it to be is a simple layout template for other people who'd like to echo the old "Little Brown Books" style of old-school game pamphlets. As the principles of page design are a lot easier to explain with actual game text, I wrote the game so I could have something to lay out for you. 
In this download, you'll get the game itself in two versions- one with no Commentary layer for the convenience of people using certain tablet readers, and one with a layer you can turn on via Adobe Reader to see the page design tricks and principles I used to put the pamphlet together. I've also included InDesign source files for the game, and an .IDML InDesign markup language file that should be readable by Scribus. You are encouraged to loot the styles and page objects for your own creations, whether free or commercial. 
The art used in the game is also included, and was drawn from the Spears of the Dawn Art Pack and the Scarlet Heroes Art Pack, both of which are free for commercial use and available here on DTRPG. 
Those who'd like to see how their own final product might look can order the print version of the pamphlet as well. While it's listed as being a premium color product, it's largely black and white- I prepared it that way so you could see what the paper and color quality was like for your own project before you got too far into the design. 
So go forth and make awesome things to share with other people. 
(If you like this, go ahead and grab The Smoking Pillar of Lan Yu while you're at it- it's a free module template for building 1980-style adventure modules.)
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