Saturday, April 25, 2015

When Kickstarter Goes Bad - Time to Draw Boobs: Vol. II (Suspended)

Yes, that's right. Time to Draw Boobs: Vol. II is SUSPENDED. Much like the boobs being drawn.

Yeah, I'll let that hang for a moment.

Don't tell me. I'm such a boob. I know.

I'm not sure I'd want stretch goals associated with a Boobie themed Kickstarter.

Yes, shit like this is just asking for poor puns. I can't help myself.

Hey, this looks nothing like the nuns in Far Away Land!

I'm not sure I's want this up on Kickstarter, but I've seen more offensive projects. Not offensive sexually, just to my senses. I really wish Kickstarter did more upfront screening.

BTW, much of the Kickstarter page would be considered NSFW by many employers. Maybe that's the line crossed here.

Kickstarter - Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall (OSR Sandbox Sourcebook)

Small Niche Games (and +Pete Spahn ) are putting together an OSR Sandbox Sourcebook - Guidebook to the Duchy of of Vainwall. If you don't know +Pete Spahn 's previous work, download the free PDF of his last OSR Kickstarter, Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay.

Here's what is currently in store for the new guidebook:

The Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall is packed full of usable content. All descriptions are painted in broad strokes and are designed to be easily adapted to your campaign. All NPC entries are fully statted for the Labyrinth Lord™ system. I'm estimating approximately 100-120 pages total, but that may increase significantly if the Stretch Goals are met. 

The current book includes: 

1. History of the Duchy of Valnwall 

2. Overview of the Government (Banner, Power Structure, Military, etc.)

3. Overview of the People (Social Classes, Religion, Customs and Attitudes, etc.) 

4. Overview of the Geography including Descriptions of:

-Earldoms and Baronies 
-Cities and other Major Settlements 
-Details on the nearby Elven, Dwarven, and Halfling realms 
-Details on the local Nonhuman Tribes and their Goals 
-Interesting Locales (Ruins, Castles, Temples, etc.) 
-Major Factions and NPCs of Note 
-New Monsters 
-Random Encounters (fully statted) 
-Numerous Plot Hooks, Conflicts, and Adventure Ideas

And then there are the folks Pete's corralled for the stretch goals:

Stretch Goals and the Special Edition Hardcover 
Small Niche Games has assembled an excellent group of OSR authors to help out with the Stretch Goals. Each author is set to contribute an original mini-adventure that consists of a small dungeon, a few linked encounters, or an interesting locale filled with plot hooks, NPCs, threats, and challenges. These mini-adventures will be included in the Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall Special Edition hardcover edition which is available to backers who pledge $25 or more.

Stretch Goal #1: ($1250) 
A mini-adventure by James M. Spahn of Barrel Rider Games. 

Stretch Goal #2: ($1,500) 
A mini-adventure by Jason Paul McCartan of Infinibadger Press and OSRToday. 

Stretch Goal #3: ($1,750) 
A mini-adventure by Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor.

Stretch Goal #4: ($2,000) 
A mini-adventure by Joe Johnston of Taskboy Games.

Stretch Goal #5: ($2,250)
A mini-adventure by Tim Brannan of The Other Side Blog.

Stretch Goal #6: ($2,500)
A mini-adventure by author Paul "greyarea" Go.

Stretch Goal #7: ($2,750)
A mini-adventure by cartographer Matt Jackson.

Stretch Goal #8: ($3,000)
A mini-adventure by Jeff Sparks of Faster Monkey Games.

Stretch Goal #9: ($3,250)
A mini-adventure by Erik Tenkar of Tenkar's Tavern.

Stretch Goal #10: ($3,500)
A mini-adventure by Pete Spahn of Small Niche Games.

Fun times :)

PWYW - Charity Module for St Jude Children's Research Hospital

I can't think of a better cause than St Jude Children's Hospital.

PWYW, but please, pay something for the Charity Module. The list of those involved is pretty much a who's who of the OSR :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

No MEPA Con for Me and Other Weekend Updates

So, the plan all along was to go MEPA Con this weekend. It's held in Scranton PA, and the idea was Rach and I would head to my folks' place in the Poconos on Thursday night and hit the con on Saturday (maybe even Friday night too) and avoid a hotel stay.

Great plan until Rach couldn't get off Friday. No biggie, I'd pick her up from work and head up Friday evening - still plenty of time to get gaming in on Saturday. Then I was notified I had the late coverage for Friday night - I'll be at work until 930 or so tonight. Yeah, ain't happening.

So, instead I'll be writing up the rewrite of my piece of a project I owe someone. Undead dwarves and goblins, a magic gem and the possibility for the players to upset a delicate balance. Rach will be packing the 2 $50 Patreon boxes for the month of April.

I guess not going to the con has some benefits.

We will, however, be at NTRPG Con in June. Hotel room is reserved (and we got the discount this year - woot!), games are registered for and airline tickets will be researched this weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Dyson's Delves II - 4 Bucks in PDF

As an OSR gamer, the RPGNow Deals of the Day are kinda hit or miss, but when they hit the OSR sweet spot, they hit it well.

Dyson's Delves II gives you a campaign worth of dungeon maps and inspiration for a mere 4 bucks - at least until the price goes back up tomorrow.

This is what you get:

More adventures and maps set under the earth for old-school fantasy roleplaying games (OSR games).

Dyson's Delves II contains over 140 pages of maps and adventures featuring the unique mapping style of Dyson Logos.

Seven full adventures fill out the beginning of the book, followed by 44 additional dungeon maps each with a page for the GM to key and make notes about each dungeon.

The adventures in this volume are:

Trouble at Imp Brucke - strange goblins and stranger things challenge characters of levels 6-7
The Screams From Jedder's Hole - something has started screaming from under the main temple in town in this adventure for levels 4-5
Cavanaugh's Hall - a small site-based encounter around old ruins for levels 7-8
The Ruins of Corvel on the Mount - a science-fantasy delve for levels 6-7
Goblin Gully - a true classic adventure with one hell of a final bite for levels 1-2
Atarin's Delve - a dungeon turned into the headquarters of a team of unusual bandits for level 4
Valley of the Red Apes - a collection of 5 smaller site-based encounter / adventures set in a valley overrun with carnivorous red apes including:
Ziggurat of Rhissel the Morning Lord (level 6-8)
The Secret of Jen's Hall (level 5-6)
The Cliffside Stronghold (level 5-7)
A Devourer Most Foul (level 5-7)
The Silver Obelisk

Free Pick of the Week - The Flayed King - (Swords & Wizardry Adventure)

It's been a busy week. Between work and some gaming related obligations, I've fallen behind on some things blog related.

I totally missed +Tim Shorts releasing The Flayed King for free this weekend. Sorry Tim. +Jim Magnusson art too! Woot!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How Not to Spam a Blog - Specifically, How Not to Spam The Tavern (Rant Warning)

I got this message on Facebook earlier today:

Random Facebook Dude:
Greets Eric, how goes it? 
Was wondering if you wanted to cross promote your blog with our event by being a part of our supporters program. Please let me know if this sounds like something that might interest you OK? 
Thanks man.  :)
So, a few questions and observations:

Point The First - What event?

Point The Second - What supporters program?

Point The Third - It is most likely The Tavern's reach is a bit greater than Random Facebook Dude and his "our" event. So, what does this supporters program do? What benefit does it offer those that join it? I suspect the benefit is to that of Random Facebook Dude

Point the Fourth - Random Facebook Dude wants me to put The Tavern's reputation behind his mystery event. Why the fuck would I do that without knowing ANYTHING about it?

Point the Fifth - That middle paragraph? Doesn't even mention the blog by name. I suspect it was a cut and paste that was sent to others. Damn it! I might not be special :(

Point the Sixth - On closer look, he appears to be a Kickstarter promoter of sorts. I guess he doesn't read The Tavern.

I have no problem helping creators and publishers in the OSR and beyond. This shit just pisses me off.

Tavern Chat Tonight - 830 PM Eastern

Yep, tonight is another Tavern Chat. Sorry for the late reminder, the lad broke out with a fever and had to take him to one of those urgent care places. He's now on antibiotics.

So, 830 tonight, NYC time.

I'll be there. Will you?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Center Stage Miniatures Files for Bankruptcy - No Surprise - The Shoe Falls Upon Deaf Ears

As I've posted in the past, Center Stage Miniatures was having some major cash flow issues. As in no cash and no flow.

Previous posts are HERE and HERE and HERE.

I was informed by someone with knowledge of the whole fiasco that Center Stage recently filed for bankruptcy. I thought they had filed back in November, but apparently the official petition was filed last week.

706 creditors. Ouch.

Kickstarter. Success can be a killer.

It's Official - Pinnacle will be pubishing Rifts for Savage Worlds - "Savage Rifts" in Time for Christmas

+Sean Patrick Fannon hinted at this overnight, but Pinnacle made the official announcement today:

Rifts is Coming for Savage Worlds! 
News from Pinnacle Entertainment Group 
For Immediate Release--April 21, 2015 
Pinnacle Entertainment Group announced today the development of Rifts for Savage Worlds, their award-winning tabletop roleplaying game system. 
Pinnacle released a mock cover, using art from Palladium’s 2005 Rifts Ultimate Edition with permission. The cover artist for the book was Scott Johnson. 
“We are thrilled to follow up Kevin’s post with this announcement that we do, indeed, have the license to develop Rifts for Savage Worlds,” said Savage Worlds creator Shane Hensley. “We are early in the process, but anticipate having a core rulebook for the setting released in time for Christmas.” 
The Palladium Books Weekly Update--April 19, 2015, written by Kevin Siembieda, recently made mention of a new roleplaying game system for the beloved setting:
“In an effort to truly expand Rifts® across the Megaverse®, in cooperation with Palladium Books, another role-playing game company is currently adapting the Rifts® Earth setting to that company’s RPG system of rules, as well as producing adventure sourcebooks.” 
Rifts is an exciting multi-genre post-apocalypse game that began publishing in 1990. Featuring elements of everything from cyberpunk and fantasy to mecha and mythology, Rifts has always been Siembieda's vision of a game with everything for everyone, tied together with a strong narrative. 
"I'm really excited to see what Rifts will look like in the Savage Worlds system," said Siembieda. "The Savage fans are great folks, and I think Rifts is going to be an amazing amount of fun for them, letting them explore all the possibilities of both the system and the setting." 
Savage Worlds was created by Shane Lacy Hensley. Savage Worlds and the Pinnacle logo are all trademarks of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. For more information, visit www.peginc.com or contact Jodi Black, Marketing Manager for Pinnacle, at PEGJodi@gmail.com. More about Palladium and the Rifts setting can be found on their website here: http://www.palladiumbooks.com/. 

Static Encounter Locations or Variable? Thoughts from the Edge of Sleep

Sometimes when you lay in bed, just as you reach that cusp of sleep, something happens that jars you awake. This time it wasnt a sense of falling - instead, it took a small dungeon area I'm working on and tossed it on its side.

I've got two undead races, each mostly on it's own level. They are cursed with a sort of Raganarok effect - perpetual war where each side's fallen arise again at the start of the new day. When not at war, they are desperately mining for a magical gem that can release them form this curse - but each morning, their mining efforts are also reset.

So, the idea is now, to determine what state the "dungeon" is in when the PCs arrive. Is one undead race or the other waging war, thereby leaving one level mostly underpopulated and the other in a chaotic state of battle? Are they peacefully mining and apt to ignore PCs that are leaving them alone? Can the status change in the middle of the PCs exploration? Can the PCs actions tip the tide of battle and allow the winning side the time to finally recover the gem they are looking for?

Probably won't play out the same for any two groups. Is that good or bad? Damned if I know...

I need to write this out in a coherent fashion ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

LotFP Weird Fantasy Referee Book Goes Free in PDF (Grindhouse Edition)

There's a lot that can be said about LotFP Weird Fantasy. Some like the niches carved out for each class, some lament the lack of combat advancement for any class but fighters. In my eyes, the D6 skill system for Specialists is one of the best things it brought to the OSR, eclipsed only by the Referee Book.

I've spoken highly about the Ref Book in the past and was disappointed when it was not released as a free PDF when the core rules for WF Grindhouse were released to the masses. Disappointment no more.
The new printing of the LotFP Referee book is taking way longer than expected (surprise), so with no in-print Referee book the geniuses over at LotFP thought that maybe some sort of Ref information should be available. So here, free of charge, is the Referee book that was included in the Grindhouse set. 
Keep in mind that LotFP is a living game and this PDF here is four years old. The next printing of the Ref book will be a complete rewrite and expansion (will be at least three times this size), new layout and graphic design, all new artwork, etc.
The advice contained within the pages of the LotFP Weird Fantasy Referee Book is applicable to any OSR game. Heck, much of it fits well no matter what system you are running, OSR or not. Pick and choose what works for you.

The price is free. The reward itself is priceless.

Rifts Setting to be Published Under License by a (as of now) Unannounced Third Party and a Different Game Engine

On thing I've wanted for a long time is to see the Rifts setting detached from it's Palladium RPG Engine. The system is a mess (IMHO) but the setting itself has a lot going for it. Now, Kevin is letting someone else play with his baby. Huzzah!
Rifts® is heating up 
There has been a flurry of interest in Rifts® by third parties these past few months. Nothing big like a Walt Disney movie yet (waaahh, are they ever going to make a Rifts® movie?!), but a few things we think you’ll find fun and exciting. 
Something new and exciting. In an effort to truly expand Rifts® across the Megaverse®, in cooperation with Palladium Books, another role-playing game company is currently adapting the Rifts® Earth setting to that company’s RPG system of rules, as well as producing adventure sourcebooks. This is only the second time in Palladium’s history that an outside company will create new game material under a different set of rules. 
Rumor Squashing: No, Palladium is NOT going to stop publishing Rifts®, nor change to a completely different set of rules. Far from it. In fact, Palladium expects to release six new Rifts® titles in 2015 and 98% of all Rifts® titles are in stock and available for purchase right now! The idea is that by offering Rifts® via another game company’s set of popular rules it creates a parallel dimension of gaming enjoyment. An expanding Megaverse®, if you will. This is a bit of an experiment, but we are excited to see how it all unfolds. 
A few steps toward Rifts® comic books? First, there is Imaginos Plus #1 created by Palladium artist and pal, Mark Dudley. It is a full color, 32 page, anthology comic book that features four 8 page “teasers” for different comic book titles created by Dudley and the Imaginos crew — including Rifts®: The Adventures of Young Erin Tarn™. I was impressed by the work in Imaginos Plus #1 and the Erin Tarn story is just a glimpse at a potential 12 issue comic book series. All 12 issues are completely plotted out and the first six issues are completely scripted. By the way, Imaginos Plus #1 is available from Palladium Books for $3.99 plus shipping. 
Second, Palladium Books has recently agreed to a one-shot deal with a notable independent comic book company to publish Ramon K. Perez’s Rifts® Machinations of Doom as a full color graphic novel. If the graphic novel does well . . . who knows what might follow? 
I apologize that I cannot reveal who these partners are or when you can expect their products, at least not yet. These other companies will make the big, full announcements when they are ready; probably sometime over the next 4-10 months. When they do, I’ll be sure to let you know and provide more details.
So, who is the mysterious company? What is the system that's going to be used?

Here's my guesses and non-guesses:

- It's not D20 OGL, D6 OGL, FATE, Traveller, Legend or any other "open license" system. See all those "®" above? Kevin does not like open. Kevin is serious about his trademarks.

- I doubt it is MWP and any flavor of Cortex. They license media properties, not other RPGs.

- HERO? I don't see it and it's not known for licensing properties (even if it did license back Champions.)

- GURPS? Probably the most likely of the bunch. SJG has licensed everything from Conan, The Horseclans, Discworld, Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf, Traveler, Prime Directive and others I'm sure I've missed. Yep, SJG does conversions. The thing they haven't done much of recently is GURPS in print. I'm surprised they haven't found a POD provider to fill that gap for them and keep all of their products in print.

Savage Worlds? It's a possibility. Pinnacle has done licensed products (Solomon Kane comes directly to mind.)

It will be interesting to find out who got the license.

Big Purple has a discussion thread here.

You can read the announcement on the Palladium site here.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kickstarter - Labyrinth Lord - The Computer Game (RPG)

Hat tip to +James Aulds ;)

Labyrinth Lord - The Computer Game - kinda has a ring to it.

Sadly, there's little more.

Lets be honest, the old computer RPGs many of us cut our teeth on in the mid and late 80s had their charm, but even if one were to recreate it today, your audience would expect more. Just like the retroclones allow us to play the older systems but with rewritten wording and cleaner presentation, I'd expect similar for a game looking to recreate SSI Gold Box games, or the Bard's Tale, or whatever.

Actually, I've played similar clones on my iPad and Android tables, and quickly put them to the side. It's not like folks have stopped producing such clones. I just find that the ones produced these days do not come anywhere near the depth of the stories that were present in the games of old.

I'd gladly play the game pictured here if it were well written as many of the titles of old. Regretfully, there is no mention of the underlying story or hooks in Labyrinth Lord - The Computer Game. The graphics themselves are 30 years old. The tactics are 30 years old. If Pete can present something as engaging as The Bard's Tale, the SSI Gold Box Series, Ultima and the like I'd gladly back this.

The above games were always more then their graphics, mechanics and combat options. I'm not sure Pete understands this. If he does, he doesn't indicate it in his pitch.

Lankmar: City of Thieves - For Savage Worlds?

Color me surprised when I noticed Lankmar: City of Thieves released for Savage Worlds. The only Lankmar releases I knew were forthcoming were for the DCC RPG.

Needless to say I plunked down my $9.99 for the Lankmar Savage Worlds sourcebook in PDF and eagerly await to devour it in the week to come. Today I record a podcast for Far Away Land and after celebrate my 8 year old nephew's birthday, so I doubt I'll get much time to look at it today.

Exciting times for Lankmar fans like myself.

The Tenkar's Tavern Tankard Goes to...

We gave away a Tenkar's Tavern Tankard in honor of Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day this year and now it's time to award the fine drinking vessel.

May the gods of random generation shine upon thee!

The winner is:

+Wayne Humfleet

Wayne, email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing and we'll place your order :)

Thanks to all that commentred.
Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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