Saturday, May 2, 2015

Space Busters vs Amazons - Future Inspiration for a White Star Adventure?

I'm thinking of mining some public domain comics for inspiration as I think of writing some short White Star adventures.

Hey, at least I'll have free cover art ;)

The First 56 - Peeking Into the White Star RPG - You'll Burn Your Eyes Out! (Part I of II)

As I mentioned in last night's post, +James Spahn (writer) and +Jason Paul McCartan (layout / editing) gave me a sneak peek at the first 56 pages of the soon to be released White Star RPG. It's pretty much the first six chapters.

Chapter One is the introduction and the basic attributes. The six ability scores you've known and loved since 1974. Bonuses for high abilities go up to + 2. I like that James bakes an assortment of "House Rule" options right in. The assumption is that GMs are going to tweak the shit out of White Star to make a system that fits the campaign they envision - James just gives some examples.

Chapter Two is all about character classes and races. The four default classes are Aristocrat, Mercenary, Pilot and Star Knight.

     Aristocrats are leaders. You want a class that gets a bodyguard and hanger-ons at a later level? This is the one.

     Mercenaries are your brute force. Heavy armor. Heavy weaponry

     Pilots are... pilots. I love the Jury-Rig skill. It's like temporary HP for a starship. If you don't get things fixed before them temp HP are gone, you could real'y be screwed.

     Star Knights are the lightly armored Paladins of White Star. Their way is simply The Way. They get some mystic power, but those aren't detailed until Chapter 7 :(

     Alien Brutes are your Chewbacca's and Igoo's (Herculoids Cartoon.) A Mercenary in fur ;)

     Alien Mystic - Be not. Act not. Do not. Roll Nat 20 You Do.

     Robots - We all know what robots are. Danger Erik Tenkar! Danger!

Chapter 6 is where the starships reside. Yes, we are talking starship combat (we'll come back to chapters 3, 4 and 5 tonight or  tomorrow morning.)

Starship combat is much like ranged combat between characters. To hit rolls, AC, max range and even hit points. It will feel very familiar even if there are some significant tweaks (Shield Strength comes to mind.) There are 9 ships included in the core rules. My God, what a ripe niche to expand upon.

You can modify your starship with tractor beams, proton missiles, Faster-Than-Light drives and a whole lot more.

White Star is very much a toolbox. Perfectly fine to run as is but so easy to modify and tweak for your own vision.

Chapter Three covers equipment, Four covers playing the game and Five covers personal combat.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Tavern Closed for the Night - Reading the First 59 Pages of White Star (S&W WhiteBox SciFi RPG)

Just got sent the first 59 pages of +James Spahn 's White Star RPG. STOP

Installing to tablet. STOP

Falling in love for the first time all over again. STOP

Will update in morning after torrid sex reading in bed. DON'T STOP ;)

(I'll yammer in the morning)

edit: even the preview I have is bookmarked! woozah!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

White Star - White Box SciFi Roleplaying - Coming Soon to a Game Table Near You

+James Spahn 's White Star RPG is coming soon. Can you tell I'm excited?

James has been nice enough to share some peeks on his G+ feed and I'm sharing them here.

I'm hoping to shake James down for a copy to give away to The Tavern's readers ;)

James has a very thorough post at his blog Halfling's Luck

White Star is based off of Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox:

How does White Star relate to Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox?

White Star is based on the Open Gaming License material found in Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox and uses the same mechanics in play. All classes have d6 hit dice, gain levels, earn experience points, can use descending or ascending armor class and have a single saving throw. In short, White Star is 100% compatible with Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox, with no conversion necessary. A fighter from WhiteBox could blast off in a star cruiser, taking your campaign from the dungeon to the stars in an instant.

Charity Bundle - Game for Nepal - (OSR Oriental Adventures Compilation)

Game for Nepal is an OSR Bundle where the proceeds go to CareNepal.

Here's the skinny:


The most comprehensive OSR Oriental Adventures compilation ever with about everything the OSR has created for Asian-themed games so far.


All the profits of this charity bundle, save a 5% maintenance fee that will go to the distributor, will go to CARE Nepal, which is raising funds to help alleviate the sufferings of the Nepalese.


Arrows of Indra

Crypts, Tombs & Catacombs Cut-Up Sections

Mad Monks of Kwantoom


Red Tide: Campaign Sourcebook and Sandbox Toolkit

Ruins & Ronin

VA1 Valley of the Five Fires

All for just 15 bucks. I have all but one of these or else I've be over it like a fly to honey...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Follow Up to Last Night's Congested Conjecturing - Should Adventures Have a "Power Slider?"

So, last night I pondered Commercial Adventures - Should They Be Level-less? Tonight, based on some excellent and insightful comments, I'm going to refine the question.

Should adventures have a "power slider?"

What I mean by "power slider" is should the adventure should be written with a certain level spread primarily in mind but include suggestions and options to decrease or increase the challenges presented within?

Basically, ways to beef up or tone down the traps, adversaries and even rewards depending on the DM's actual campaign and the party of PCs it will be used with. If nothing else, these would be examples for the end user to refer to as they make their own tweaks.

And yes, still have congestion from hell...

Tavern Chat TONIGHT - 830 Eastern

Yep, another week has passed and it's time for the Wednesday Night Tavern Chat held right here using the char box to the right side of this page. It's always a fun time and you never know who may drop in.

On a side note, my seasonal allergies from hell are quickly transitioning into a cold from the Ninth Level of Hell. I'm glad I did the writing I needed to get done over the weekend - if I waited till now, I'd have been screwed.

Consider yourself warned ;)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Commercial Adventures - Should They Be Level-less?

This thought occurred to me as I was finishing up my piece for +Michael Desing 's Saga of the Splinter Realm megadungeon Vault of the Goblin - do adventures need creatures with levels? Should they even have creatures with levels? Should it all be dependent upon what the DM needs for his campaign?

When I sent Mike my completed piece, I told him to stat out the creatures at the level needed to suit where he was plugging it in to the larger adventure. I told him how to balance "A" in regards to "B", but little more.

Which got me thinking? Would adventures be more useful if they indicated relative power level to the PCs instead of being written for a specific range of levels?

Of course, this could be the decongestants speaking...

Kickstarter - Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall - Third Stretch Goal Hit and it is Short (Tim Shorts ;)

Look at the above list.

+James Spahn ? Check

+Jason Paul McCartan ? Check

+Tim Shorts ? Check

Now, admittedly, I am six stretch goals deep at his point, but +Taskboy Games and +Timothy Brannan are within immediate reach.

I have to say, the list of creators that +Pete Spahn put together is damn impressive.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wayward Kickstarters - Far West - To Release in May 201?

Gareth just made a May prediction for Far West's much delayed release. Wisely, he failed to mention which year ;)

I know it says "backers only", but I figure the $150 I plunked down on this nearly 3 1/2 year late Kickstarter gives me some room to play.

Kickstarter - Geomorphic Beermats (mmmm... beer!)

On this side of the pond we would call these "beer coasters". Mats, coasters - whatever. Geomorphic Beermats is damn cool.

I can see myself doodling on these at the local pub. I'm sure I'd get some interesting comments.

15 Pounds for 125 is probably the sweet spot. If you are in the UK it's a no brainer, as it includes free shipping.

In the US, I'm not sure the shipping, but I'm in. Shit, this place is called Tenkar's Tavern after all!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I Have Newfound Respect for James Spahn - 2500 Words in a Day Was a Bear

+James Spahn is a workhorse. I look at, read and review his amazing output with awe. High quality and high volume.

Between blog posts and some work I owed +Michael Desing I wrote over 2500 words today (this post will inch it higher.)

I was lucky today. There were minimal distractions once I sat down to work (Rach has been catching up with her work documentation and my son was out of the house.) Heck, if it wasn't for the dog deciding she needed attention and a minimal amount of yard work, I would have been emulating my hero, +James Spahn ;)

Seriously, I have no idea how James does what he does. For everyone that thinks my blog posting is impressive, what James accomplishes blows me away. James called me a "sprinter", but he is a championship marathon runner.

Now, I did twist James' arm just a wee bit tonight to get him to agree to allowing me to preview something from his upcoming White Star release. Well, he needs to send me the preview, and it will be shortly before release, but I'm chomping at the bit for this one. I've seen peeks, and it is all I might want and more.

So, next up is a piece for +Johua De Santo . Then if folks help +Pete Spahn 's Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall hit a few more stretch goals, yet another.

Fuck, I might actually have to become a "creator" in addition to "content sharer" :)

Undead Dwarven Barkeep - for S&W, T&T and FAL

+Jim Magnusson is THE man! I really love this piece.

I've spent a good part of the weekend rewriting a piece I owe +Michael Desing for his megadungeon Kickstarter.

Things changed for me when this damn image kept coming to me when I was stuck on where I wanted to take everything. So, of course it is all being rewritten. The undead dwarves were inspired by the above Undead Dwarven Barkeep. (sure, Jim called him something else, but I see him as a barkeep)

In the meantime, let me stat our friend up for S&W, FAL and T&T ;)

The Undead Dwarven Barkeep (BUD)

The Undead Dwarven Barkeep, otherwise known as Barkeep, Undead Dwarven or BUD, is the result of a wizardly curse. The geas obliges the dwarven barkeep to continue serving stouts, ales, bitters and port until the caster dies a natural death. Sadly, in this case, the caster died prematurely from an unnatural death due to insufficient breathable air (poison gas.) Thus BUD is cursed to search for patrons to serve his ware to, whether they desire it or not.

BUD will attempt to ply his potential patrons with sour, stale and potential poisonous libations (any that drink his offerings must save vs. poison or suffer 3d6 damage as well as vomiting for a like number of rounds.)

In combat, BUD fights with a tankard and serving tray.

If slain, BUD will rise at the following dawn, cursed to wonder the world, serving libations to whomever he comes across.

Swords & Wizardry

AC: 3[16]
Attacks: Tankard 1(2d6)
Saving Throw: 13
Special: Will offer poisonous libations to PCs before engaging them in combat. Two consecutive successful attacks on the same target means BUD forces someone to drink from the tankard. Save vs Poison or suffer as detailed above)
Move: 12
Challenge Level: 9 / 1,100 xp

Tunnels & Trolls

Monster Rating: 60

Combat Dice: 7D6 +30

Special Damage: 3/ - Tankard contents spill in ones mouth. Extra 2d6 poison damage

Far Away Land

HP: 17, AC: 1, ACT: 6
BRT: 4, DEX: 2, WIT: 1

Tankard does 2d6 damage

I Played D&D 5e and I Think I Liked It...

Last night's weekly Blood Island session ( +Joe D 's heavily modified LotFP WF) was a no go, as we didn't have enough players to have a decent change of surviving what was in store. The closest thing we had to a tank / fighter was my magic user. He has access to the Illusionist spell of Phantom Plate Armor from UA - it gives him the best AC in the party, and with the 4 HP bump from the armor, I also had the best HP in last night's potential party. Oh, and we had no healer. Oopsie!

Instead, +David B offered to run a short session of D&D 5e for the group.

About 20 minutes later, we had a human bard, a thiefling magic-user and a dwarven cleric ready to go (anyone want to guess on the dwarven cleric's player?) Those 20 minutes included rolling abilities, as none of us are big on using standard arrays and the like.

Gameplay itself was short, probably less than 2 hours.

It played closer to the classic editions of D&D than 3e or 4e did.

Now, we didn't play a long session and it's only the single session thus far, but I think I like it. It isn't love, like S&W Complete is for me, but I'd certainly play it again as a player.

I'll know more once I get a chance to play it more.
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