Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kickstarter - PEDION Modular Prepainted Terrain System for RPGs & Wargames - If I Only had a Use for It

PEDION looks amazing. I am so tempted to pick this up. I only have two problems:

1 - I don't play wargames. This shit would rock Warhammer and the like.

2 - With the exception of conventions, I do all of my RPGing via Roll20 / G+ Hangouts.


Watch the video. Try to resist. If I had a face to face group I'd probably be all in.

It all looks really good and it's funded and hitting stretch goals.

Note - this is the creator's first project, but he's backed 163 projects. He should have an idea about the Kickstarter process. Stretch goals do not appear to be money or time sinks.

Where Job and Hobby Intertwine - Saturday Knight Special - Is It Time to Return to It?

A few years ago, I experimented with another blog. While not gaming related directly, an observant member of the gaming hobby can identify instances where the skills I learned as a gamer and roleplayer enabled me to do my job better. With less hassle. With some people skills.

I haven't posted to Saturday Knight Special in over three years. It's pieces of stories of my early years as a cop in the South Bronx in the late 90s. The winding down of the "crack years."

It took work to keep it updated, as the vast majority of the posts were written, rewritten and then written again, all trying to find the right voice. It was fun but work. Then work became lots of work, and I stopped the writing and focused on The Tavern.

I was surprised my the number of inquiries I had at NTRPG Con as to when there would be more Saturday Knight Special. Not a lot of inquiries, just a half dozen, but for a blog I haven't updated in over three years, significant on it's own.

I'll have lots of free time in about eight months, but does this deserve some attention now?

Damn, that reminds me I owe someone an historical police themed piece for their zine...

How Much of an Overlap is There Between OSR Blogs, OSR G+ Communities and OSR Forums?

A funny thing happened at the hotel of the NTRPG Con the afternoon before the Con officially kicked off. My wife Rachel and I met another con goer at the hotel pool. I introduced myself, he returned a black stare, and Rach proceeded with: "Erik Tenkar. You know, Tenkar's Tavern blog?"

He never heard of it nor me. I realized immediately what was going on and asked him: "Which forum do you post on?" and his response was Dragon's Foot.

Now, for the most part, I don't post on forums these days although I am registered at a few - ENWorld and Dragon's Foot are the main ones. Screen name? Tenkar. Not a surprise I hope.

I'm not sure how far a divide we have between blogs and forums in the OSR, and I strongly believe G+ falls along the side of blogs. I'd post a poll, but if you just do forums, we'll never get your input. Hmm, although the lack of input would certainly show a divide exists.

Just a curious observation on my end.

What do you think? Do most gamers in the OSR, assuming they get their info from the internet, favor blogs or forums over one or the other? Is there some mutual exclusivity going on?

Last Night the "B" Team Was Exposed to Far Away Land - No One Died - Damn Shame ;)

I'm disappointed I never got to run Far Away Land at NTRPG Con, but even though I didn't pack my schedule to the brim like last year, I still found my time filled. Damn but there were good folks to socialize with. I did give away Quickstarts to semi random folks. Hopefully over the coming months I'll get some feedback.

I did get to run Far Away Land last night with the "B" Team: +Douglas Cole , +Peter V. Dell'Orto , +Tim Shorts and +Joe D . Joe had played the first half of the adventure the Saturday before the con. He's also the one with the quote "This is a great game to play drunk and still understand the rules." Yes, Joe's character made a great guide for the others: "We gotta do something here - or specifically NOT do something here - I don't remember which." It worked so well ;)

Tim has a recap of sorts up at his blog Gothridge Manor of the party's mission to the Temple of Zoko. It's written better than I ever could do for y'all, so go there, read the recap and come back. Make Tim earn those extra 2 XP :)

Edit: Doug has an update at his blog Gaming Ballistic and Pete has his at Dungeon Fantastic

I changed things up from the original module to account for the previous group's actions and I think it worked well. Far Away Land does well as a sandbox because the resolution system is dead simple, but deeper than it initially looks. I was able to run things without referring to the Tome of Awesome more than once or twice, which is on par with me running Swords & Wizardry. As I've been playing S&W for years and running FAL for a few weeks, that speaks volumes.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tomorrow is Always a Day Away - Weekend Catch Up Time

Rach has plans for my free time this weekend. Little does she know how little of it I actually have ;)

Tonight we finally get the "B" Team back together for a romp thru Far Away Land. Should be a blast. I'm sorry I never got a session going at NTRPG Con, but I can't sat it's because I had nothing to do.

This weekend I will FINALLY award the giveaways. If I'm lucky, I may even mail some out. Actually, the smaller items will get mailed quickly as I now have a postal scale and about 50 bucks in stamps handy.

I'm also going to mail out stuff for the higher backers at Patreon and get the PDF in order for most of the other backers. Oh, and get back to creating some more White Box and White Star content.

Busy times. Good times. Huzzah!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

It's Been That Kind of Week - Gifts to be Awarded Friday / Saturday

Got back to work early Tuesday morning (after the fiasco now known as Escape From Dallas) with one of those projects that is a smoking pile of poop. Got to work at 730 am Tuesday. Project landed last Friday. My staff told me at 930 am Tuesday. God bless them.

They heard all my stories of NTRPG Con (and saw the devil the pics of +Michael Badolato ) before dropping the shoe. It wasn't a pleasant show.

Overtime on Tuesday. Overtime on Wednesday. Overtime today, but I put the project to bed around 545 this afternoon.

Then Rach and I said goodbyes to our regular bartender for a month as he heads of to Ireland. Con, overtime, drinking with an Irishman - it all leads to this - barely coherent posting.

Tomorrow night the "B-Team" will explore the Far Away Lands. Saturday Night The Badger takes the reigns. The weekend is for catch up. Presents to give away. Content to create. Sleep/ Magical fucking sleep.

It will be a good weekend.

Feds Rule Against Doom That Came to Atlantic City Failed Kickstarter - Monetary Award, but no Money to Pay It

The Doom That Came to Atlantic City. Probably the best looking Kickstarter that I didn't back. Great art. Pewter minis. Enthusiastic project creator. A stroke job over a year long. Yes, this has it all.
On July 23, 2013, Chevalier canceled the project.  “After paying to form the company, for the miniature statues, moving back to Portland, getting software licenses and hiring artists to do things like rule book design and art conforming[,] the money was approaching a point of no return," he explained. The post continued: 
Suffice to say that I never gave up and always intended to get this project printed. My intentions have always been good and I've struggled with this greatly. I've spent a large amount of time pitching investors, begging banks for loans and seeking other sources of funding to fix this. Sadly I found no takers." 
FTC lawyers claim that in reality, Chevalier never hired artists and "instead used the consumers’ funds for miscellaneous personal equipment, rent for a personal residence, and licenses for a separate project." 
The settlement order imposes a $111,793.71 judgment, but it's suspended due to Chevalier's inability to pay. "The full amount will become due immediately if he is found to have misrepresented his financial condition," the FTC writes in today's statement on the case.
Full article here

Can you get blood from a stone? Money from one that can't manage his own money, let alone that of others?

There are well deserving Kickstarters, but one needs to do their due diligence before backing the next shiney. That  shine may just be obscuring a pile of shit and empty promises.

Hat tip to +Vincent Florio

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

50 - 75% off Select Chaosium Print Products - Rach is Gonna Kill Me!

Holy green poop! From the email I got a few minutes ago:

(they left out the link, so use this - Chaosium)

The Stars Are Right...
For a blow-out sale!

We’re here to sell games, and chew bubblegum. And we’re all out of bubblegum.

Over the years, our warehouse has become stuffed full of more Cthulhuy goodness than the Martense Mansion. We’re bursting at the seams and need to make room for the new things coming in!

We’ve decided to blow the doors off Cthulhu’s tomb, and close out all the “Non-Standard” items in our warehouse.

So now’s your chance to get deep discounts on Monographs, Fantasy Flight Games’ Cthulhu games, non-English language editions of our games, CDs, Magazines, The Laundry RPG, miniatures and much more!

Thus, we have 50% off the Following: All BRP and Call of Cthulhu Monographs! Novelties & Accessories! All licensed Call of Cthulhu products, including Fantasy Flight Games boardgames and miniatures, Cubicle 7 books, Golden Goblin, Arc Dreams, and more! All non-English language books! Nephilim!  (These books will not be reprinted or reordered once they’re gone!)

Also, we have 75% off all the remaining stock of Eternal Champion games and D20 Call of Cthulhu Gamemaster’s Packs! (Last chance!)

Plus, look for special bundle packs of Eternal Champion and Nephilim books!

Lastly, as an added incentive, take 10% off everything else we sell. Just because we love you so much.

Ia! Ia! Discounts Fhtagn!

(PLEASE NOTE: Discounts are not shown on the webstore catalog pages! You must add items to your shopping cart, and then the discount will be reflected in the cart.)

Post 5K / NTRPG Con Gifts Will Be Awarded Tomorrow (although one or two may sneak into tonight's Tavern Chat)

Now that I'm home I'm still playing catch up. Walked into overtime at work - I'm kinda glad my staff didn't give me a heads up, as it may have added needless stress for something I'd have no control over.

Still, things are good. I think I'm going to wear my Judges Guild golf shirt to work tomorrow. Then again, it is cotton and tomorrow is going to hit 90 or more degrees. May need to stick to a wicking fabric.

I'll be awarding the Post 5k / NTRPG Con gifts tomorrow, although if I can swing it I may get to award one or two tonight during the weekly Tavern Chat. It all depends on how well i can literally clear other stuff off my desk.

Finally got a chance to open up May's Mythoard. Nicely done! Rach already snagged the red Chessex dice. +James Spahn 's White Box Omnibous in softcover, the Dungeoneer #18 (thanks +Michael Badolato , The Blessed Hare Alehouse (perfect layout for a tavern), another monster token (my niece stole the last one), a Tombstone mini pad and a Quest Essentials deck. The deck needs a much closer look.

Mythoard is quite possibly the best value in OSR gaming.

Very full box with lots of goodness :)

Tavern Chat Tonight - 830 Eastern - NTRPG Con Recap and Other Assorted Conversations

Last week I attempted to moderate the weekly Tavern Chat from the NTRPG Con hotel bar. My results were less than stellar. Food, beer and friends sitting down next to Rach and I ere suitable distractions. Tonight, the only distraction should be Ashley's tail as she walks in front of my screen.

Looking forward to tonight. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Really Wish I Had Taken Off the Extra Day

Rach and I flew back yesterday. We were supposed to arrive in NYC from Dallas around 730 last night - instead we didn't get to the house until nearly midnight after the flight was delayed, cancelled, rebooked, delayed and finally rerouted around last night's storms.

You know that post where I considered using weather as an adversary? Fuck that noise. It's miserable, no matter how you slice it. There is no heroism in sitting at your gate for over 4 hours...

We will be going back to NTRPG Con next year. That is a guarantee. The plan is to rent one of the peripheral Trinity rooms next year. Yes, myself and a few others have plans. +Michael Badolato I also have some low to no cost ideas as to how to make them more visible / more trafficked. Yes, +Zach Glazar told me I needed to get a table for next year, but I'll be a New Yorker in Texas, and you know that everything in Texas just has to be big.

I've read nearly a dozen G+, Facebook and blog posts where folks give shout outs to all those they met or spoke to at the con - I'm not going to do that, for the simple reason that I will forgot folks that should have been mentioned but weren't.

Still, there are a few mentions that need to be made:

To the Dragon's Foot Forum poster in the hotel pool on Wednesday who didn't know who Erik Tenkar was nor of the blog Tenkar's Tavern - I've asked Rach to be less in the face of those that don't know who I am at the con (who, to be totally honest, is the vast majority.) Damn, but I married a pit bull ;)

To all those that asked about Feltothraxis, including last year's benefactor of the wooden dowel, I expect he will make an appearance next year. Maybe a podcast appearance or two before that.

To +Bill Webb 's son, who coolly beat me over the auction of cocobolo polyhedral dice, may they roll well for you. I'll remember to bring deeper pockets next year.

To Doug and Bad Mike, thanks for treating Rach and I and the rest of the NTRPG Con attendees as family. It makes the con just that much more special. I'm not sure the stories Bad Mike told Rach and I he tells to all - we probably all get our own stories to cherish about Doug and Zach and the rest :)

To those that recognized me from the podcasts I can be heard on, you do realize that 3 of the 4 hosts of the Brainstorm have New York roots - my New York accent can't stand out that much.

To everyone I gamed with, talked with, shook hands, hugged, shared a beer or a simple hello, I thank you. NTRPG Con would not have been the same without you.

So, when does early registration start?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dallas Won't Let Us Go

As we waited in the hotel's courtesy van for our ride to the airport,  I received a text message from Delta - flight delayed three hrs and moved to a different terminal. Get to the terminal I get another update - canceled.

Two phone calls later, we are booked on a flight 15 minutes after the previous rescheduled time and with reserved seats (we paid extra for leg room and free beer, wine and soda for those seats.)

At Fridays awaiting my Long Island Iced Tea ;)

White Star returns to #1 Hottest Title on RPGNow - there Can be Only One!

+Joseph Bloch 's Castle of the Mad Archamge Expansion - Level Three East - dethroned White Star for a few days, but White Star has returned to it's prominent perch ( +Richard LeBlanc you were correct at Saturday's morning panel.) This happening prior to the print release of White Star.

It shows both the strength of CotMA (as the only product to bump White Star in the 5 weeks or so of its release) as well as the staying power of White Star. Both are excellent products.

Consistently in the top five for the past weeks has been the Creature Compendium (at $2 for the PDF this is a steal.) I had it in PDF and thought it was great, then grabbed a copy at NTRPG Con and I've upped that rating to amazing. Rich really does an excellent job with the CC and having spoken extensively with Rich about upcoming projects (both near and far) New Big Dragon may be sitting in that #1 spot before long. NBD has held stat spot prior with the D30 Sandbox Companion and others.

NTRPG Con - Day 4 Plus 1 - Packing, Packing, Packing and More Packing

Due to the generosity of many others, Rach and I are returning with 5 more shirts than we came with - actually, 6 more with the Judges Guild golf shirt Rach bought for me. Plus art (prints and an original), plaster jewelry boxes, a mug, a hat, minis, coloring books, dice bags (sorry +Michael Badolato but the unboxed Pools of Darkness for IBM is being left as part of Housekeeping's tip), con goodie bags and RPG products both for myself and to give away on the blog.

I THINK it all fits - at least I'm not coming home with 2 boxes sets like last year ;)

I'd take a pic of all the extras we are bringing back, but that would require UNPACKING at this point.

I'm not unpacking until tomorrow night...

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Village of Hommlet Walk Through Map Posted by WotC

I love the series of AD&D walk through maps that WotC has been posting, although from what I can tell it's been a bit of a break before we got The Village of Hommlet map.

The original WotC post includes the original maps for comparison, which is really sweet.

What I'd really like is T1-4 ;)

NTRPG Con - Day 4 - What I Learned at NTRPG Con 2015 - A series of observations

From +Doug Kovacs DCC Lankmar session Saturday afternoon.
There are still more NTRPG Con posts to come, as I need to share some of pics of my newly acquired loot as well as some some donated for future giveaways. Still, I learned some interesting and occasionally amazing things - some of which I'm going to actually share ;)

1 - NTRPG Con is THE PLACE to be if you want a chance to meet, great and occasionally eat with members of the old guard (and even some more recent members of the OSR guard.) Other cons may have special guests that you can wait in line to talk with for a few seconds - at NTRPG Con the old guard is running in and playing in games with you. Special guests to attendees ratio is about 10 attendees to one special guest. I'm not going to name them all, as I'm sure I'd miss a few, but they include those that I met and spoke with, like Frank Mentzer, Diesel, Janelle Jaquays, Jeff Grubb, Zeb Cook, Tim Kask and others. So many others.

2 - Doug Rhea and Bad Mike lose money on this con every year, but that isn't the point of the con. They want to present a gaming con that THEY would want to be at, and this is the one. I can't think of a better place to be the first week of June, even if it is in Dallas ;)

3 - The publishers, both big and small, are also extremely approachable. Ask them questions about their products or advice about publishing and you will get honest answers and useful advice.

4 - I didn't realize how closely some of those same publishers follow what so far is a dip of a toe by me into the world of self / small press publishing. The advice given by those such as +Matt Finch , +Richard LeBlanc , +Zach Glazar and others will be invaluable as I slowly enter the "kiddie pool" of self publishing.

5 - Friends, both old and new. I could probably spend all four days of the con without playing in a single game and still be completely happy and satisfied. That kind of an atmosphere is hard to find anywhere. That is NTRPG Con.

6. NTRPG Con is where "deals" get made. If you are a content creator for the old school - artist, writer, layout - whatever - this is where you need to be. It is such a relaxed atmosphere, you may hear verbal contracts and see handshakes at a table next to you in the hotel restaurant - just don't talk business with Frank Mentzer over breakfast - breakfast is for breakfast (not me - just a witness ;)

NTRPG Con - Day Four - And We Still Haven't Left the Hotel

Rach and I have some friends that are fairly local to NTRPG Con, but regretfully none of us were able to sync schedules. Still, not as bad as it sounds, as we've kept ourselves busy at the con.

I finally got to send some time talking with +Jeff Talanian . He currently has a Kickstarter running for three new AS&SH adventures. It's funded with 8 days to go. If you know Jeff's work, you know these are going to be "astonishing." I know, but I couldn't help myself.

Probably most of my non-art purchases were made at the Black Blade / OSR Booth. So much good stuff, and Rach even got me a Judges Guild golf shirt. Time to mess with my bosses when I get back to work on Tuesday.

I took multiple shots of the Lesser Gnome booth but I think Thopas has cursed my phone. Each shot was killed by motion. I'll try again before tear down later this afternoon.

Yesterday kicked off with a small press / indie publishers panel. Extremely well done. Extra points of you can name the entire panel.

NTRPG Con - Day Three - The Devil Went Down to Dallas Looking to Make a Deal

There was a midnight madness auction a minute after midnight. It was awesome ;)

+Michael Badolato you look marvelous!
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