Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ash vs Evil Dead TV Series Coming to Starz

You either love the Evil Dead series of movies or you don't.

If you do, there's a new Evil Dead series coming to Starz.

Personally, I'm looking forward to it even if my expectations are middling...

Crimson Dragon RPG 50% Off Today in PDF

In case you don't know, Crimson Dragon is +Venger Satanis 's entry into the realm of OSR clones, neo-clones and the like.

Don't know who +Venger Satanis is?  The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence and Liberation of the Demon Slayer are two of his best known (and highly rated) releases. Well, that and How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss, the title alone on that one...

In any case, Crimson Dragon is a mere $3.50 today, so if you are curious as to the type of ruleset Venger would produce, this is your chance to see. If you are a fan of his earlier releases and you haven't yet picked up Crimson Dragon, why are you waiting?

It's a one day sale for Crimson Dragon Day.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Wayward Kickstarter - ROLL FOR INITIATIVE (weighted d20 die)

Let me put it this way - using "cheat dice" at ANY gaming table I'm at as a player or a DM is going to get you removed from the table - your choice to be compliant or not.

I'd like to think the Roll For Initiative Kickstarter is a joke, but reading the spiel I'm pretty sure it's legit:
Are you wanting to put the roll of the dice in your favor during your next role-playing session? I’ve come up with the idea to create a custom 20 sided cheater dice. This dice will have the numbers of 20, 19 and 18 appear twice on each dice. These double numbers will replace the numbers of 1, 2 and 3. Each double number will be on the opposite side of its matching number. They will be made of polymer and will be in the standard size of 20mm. It’s going to be nearly impossible to discover the deception without very careful examination of the dice. 
I’ve contacted a dice manufacture with a great reputation to inquire about making the dice. They understood my concept and noted that they have never seen a dice produced like my idea. In my own search I have found only one other d20 cheater dice in which the number 1 is replaced with a second number 20 (mine has a much higher chance of obtaining an 18 or above). The fewest amount that the manufacture is willing to make is 1000 dice. To be honest, I don’t know if there are 1000 people out there wanting one of these dice and that is why I created this Kick Starter project.
If you feel the need to cheat to enjoy gaming, you really shouldn't be gaming.

Sure, it could be a joke. Doubt it.

Tip of the hat to Tony T for the heads ups.

Kickstarter - Shaedeam's Song - a RPG Core Rulebook

First things first. Although they say that most Kickstarters should have a video Shaedeam's Song would probably have been better without. Why? The audio. Horribly muddied. If you want $15k from the mass of RPG gamers, put your best foot forward. This is not the way to do it.

Why design your own RPG system when you already have the setting converted to 3x OGL and Savage Worlds. Believe it or not, folks aren't hankering for new gaming systems, they want new and exciting supplements to use with the systems they already know.

Why $15k as a funding goal? Hell, why Kickstarter at all. If this is / was as far along both as it's own independent system as well as for more traditional systems, publish it in PDF and on demand at RPGNow.

As I type this, the Kickstarter for Shaedeam's Song ends in about 7 hours and over $14k short of goal.

edit - Alyssa Faden is the mapper and high quality, but I think the effort was misplaced in aiming so high. Ah well.

::BLINK:: deluxe Tunnels & Trolls PDF Releases to Kickstarter Backers

Color me surprised. I really didn't expect to see deluxe Tunnels & Trolls rules before Gen Con. Actually, the way things were going, I had fears this might become another Far West. I'm glad to be proven wrong.

Quick observation - the PDF has bookmarks, but only for the later part of the book. I assume there will be an update to correct that.

It's a 385 page PDF, which is huge, especially if compared to earlier editions.

They've done away with the exploding dice at character generation and negative modifiers are no longer calculated into Combat Adds.

There are some typos which I hope the PDF release will allow the community to correct the majority of before it goes to print. Still, at first glance it does not approach Troll Lord Games levels, which is good.

"dpreviously escribed"
I look forward to delving into this over the next few days.

Crossing fingers that is does away with the unbalanced power surge of 7x.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

White Star Goes Gold at RPGNow - Woot!

White Star is the 101st release at RPGNow to go Gold.

I didn't think this would happen until the print copy was ready (I've been told "very soon".)

Congrats to +James Spahn for the excellent work and +Jason Paul McCartan for the wonderful layout.

Well done lads, well done!

Time for me to get creative again ;)

Player Mapping in OSR Games (Guest Poster)

Tonight we have a guest post from +Eric Hoffman , one of the guys behind Stormlord Publishing and the Zine Vault Kickstarter. Remember, The Tavern is as much yours as it is mine and the doors are always open to members of the community that have thoughts they wish to share.

I don't think I am very unique amongst OSR gamers in my map fetish.  Maps were one of the first things that drew me to Dungeons and Dragons.  I had an immediate visceral reaction when I first gazed upon the map of the Haunted Keep in the Moldvay Basic Rulebook and the Caves of Chaos in The Keep on the Borderlands that accompanied it.  Before I ever played an actual game of D&D I created my own floor plan on the graph paper provided in the back of B2.

Players mapping their adventures was a big part of early editions of Dungeons and Dragons.  Graph paper ("6 lines per inch is best") is listed as an essential part of the game in Book I of Dungeons and Dragons (OD&D).  "One player should map the dungeon..." in Holmes' edition. formalizes the position with "This player is called the mapper" in my beloved Moldvay revision.

It has also been mentioned that player mapping of a dungeon can facilitate emergent gameplay.  By drawing out their explorations they may discover dimensional magics at work, divine the possible location of secret chambers, or solve puzzles based on the very construction of the dungeon rooms and corridors.

As I grow older I waffle between the nostalgia of player mapping and the expediency of just giving the players a map of where they have been.  Technology certainly makes that easier today.  Most of my games are online; and programs like Roll20 make it ever-so-easy to just 'reveal' to the players what they see.

Right now I am contemplating how to handle this for an in-person game for some old friends who are coming for a visit.  Do I eat up the limited time we have to game by laboriously describing the dungeon and letting them fumble through the mapping process?  Or do I use the technology readily available and just throw the map up on the big screen TV as they explore the area?
What method do you prefer, and why?

Does Anybody Do "True20" These Days?

Yeah, I heard something about Blue Rose being rebooted but that never grabbed me.

True20 seemed to have nice, inspirational yet small package settings. During the Dark Ages of my gaming hobby, where I had no group nor game to pay for 12 years or so, the settings for True20 were inspirational.

Of course, never having played the system, I have no idea how well it would have all worked in practice.

Anyone have any direct experience with True20 and the settings that it spawned? Worth the investment of time and effort to track down some of the books and learn the system? Some of the way it was presented reminded me of Savage Worlds BTW, though more from a marketing / packaging aspect than anything else.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

If All Editions are Just Shadows of the "True" Edition, Which is the "True" Edition and What Makes it the "True" Edition?

This is a hypothetical, but an interesting one (at least in my state of moderate intoxication.) It riffs off what little I can remember of the Amber series which I read about 25 years ago.

For all intents and purposes, all editions of D&D and it's clones are more or less compatible (not counting 4e in this discussion.) While the Original Boxed Set is what everything else builds upon, it's the SRD and the OGL from 3x that allowed for the clones and the surge of the OSR and added interest in the older editions. Castles & Crusades, heavily built upon the 3x core with old school sensibilities can be argued to be the Rosetta Stone of the editions.

So, is the "true" edition the one that started it all, the one that enabled the clones, the one that is a central translator or something else all together?

Yes, this is the product of many beers. There is no right answer. There is no wrong answer. There is just... beer ;)

Tavern Chat at 730 PM Eastern (in an hour)

It will soon be time for the weekly Tavern Chat.

I may not be around for the next two (Boo!) but I will be in tonight :)

Come by and say hello. You never know who else will be there...

"Advanced" Vs. "Basic" was Such a "Thing" in my Youthful Gaming Circles

I cut my roleplaying teeth on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. I didn't even know there was a Basic Dungeons & Dragons until months after I found the hobby and everyone I knew looked down on "Basic."

Obviously, "Basic" was for lesser minds. We were "Advanced."

Yes, we were D&D snobs.

I actually didn't even own a Basic Set until years later, when I found it in a remainder pile at a discount store. I believe it was 3 bucks. I appreciated it for the set of crappy dice that came with it. Because, as you know, it was "Basic."

These days I wish I had cut my teeth on B/X instead of AD&D, as I find myself drawn to simpler games that are more open to houseruling.

So, what version of D&D was your gateway drug? Did you play the various flavors or just one?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

AD&D 1E Player's Handbook Goes PDF - Holy Sh!t - About Time

I noticed this over at +Rob Conley 's Bat in the Attic Blog earlier today - the AD&D 1e Player's Handbook is now available in PDF from RPGNow.

I will be the first to admit that I have a truly bad scanned copy of the 1e PH buried away on a hard drive somewhere, but the following info from Rob makes the $9.99 pricetag worth it:
While Wizards doesn't allow page extraction it does allow you to copy text and graphics out of the book
I'm sold. I'll give my feedback over the weekend after I get a chance to look at it closer. Maybe I can make Paladin in Hell a proper desktop image ;)

Oh, and I wish it was the original cover art myself...

Variable Weapon Damage by Class - Have You Used It?

I remember an article in Dragon Magazine back in the mid 80s. It was about weapon damage by class. All classes could use all weapons, but not all classes could  use them effectively.

If the magic-user picks up a long sword, he'd still be limited to d4 damage. Actually, he was limited to d4 damage in all but staff (d6.)

Clerics and thieves were limited to d6 damage and fighters could hit d8 or d10 depending on the weapon.

It solved the problem of the character that wants to wield a long sword like Gandalf without putting long sword damage potential in the wizard's hands.

I never used the variant rule, but it appeals to me these days and I may just introduce it in a future campaign.

Have you ever used class based weapon damage or something similar in your campaigns?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Kickstarter - Bones III - The Viagra of Miniatures

Do you wish you had more miniatures in your collection?

If so, Bones III is the Kickstarter for you!

Launching tomorrow, July 7th, Bones III brings you more of that mostly hard white stuff that you can paint and turn into mostly professionally painted stuff! (Results not typical. Reaper is not responsible for ugly, poorly painted Bones miniatures.)

Still have hundreds of unpainted minis from Bones I and II? With Bones III, you can add hundreds more to that number!

Make no "bones" about it, Reaper brings affordable miniatures to the unwashed masses of amateur miniature painting!

Get your Bones III today! Er, we mean tomorrow.

(Painting Bones Miniatures can lead to eye strain. Purchasing all three Bones Miniatures Kickstarters can lead to endless years of miniature painting and failed relationships. Consult your DM before bringing Bones Miniatures to the gaming table, as they may not use miniatures in their campaign. Be advised that some campaigns do not allow unpainted miniatures to be used at the gaming table. Bones Miniatures are made of plastic and may pose a choking hazard for immature players. Reaper not responsible for ingested paint nor proper display or storage of miniatures, painted or otherwise.)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Time to "Overwhelm" The OSR ENnies Voting Box! Let's Roll the Vote!

The ENnies is all about stuffing the voting box (alright, maybe not. it IS about getting out the vote for certain products to ensure they get enough votes to win. All the finalists do it.)

No, Really. That's how you get some surprising winners.

Let's be the ones causing the surprises this year.

I'm calling for an all out effort to "overwhelm" the ENnies Voting Box with votes for OSR Finalists.

In the year that 5e is going to walk away with a ton of prizes simply because it's the latest flavor of Hasbro approved D&D Branding I think it's a great time to get the OSR organized and voting for classic gaming.

So, what votes do YOU need to make? Simply follow the Tenkar's Tavern List of OSR Endorsed Finalists for the 2015 ENnies:

(BTW, in the following categories, only vote for the OSR entries unless you are familiar with and value other entries in that category. You DO NOT need to pick all 5 and give them a value.)

Best Adventure:

  1 - A Red & Pleasant Land - I might find Zak S annoying and his non-gaming tangents distracting (to put it kindly) but Zak hit the bullseye with A Red & Pleasant Land. This should win based on quality alone. Let's make sure it does.

  2 - Horror on the Orient Express - Have you seen the box? I have it. I need to devote a solid week of vacation time to this to do it justice.

Best Aid / Accessory

  1 - Dungeonmorph Dice: Explorer Set - Inkwell Ideas is a huge supporter of the OSR. Back them with some support.

  2 - Black-green Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition RPG Dice Set - it's CoC

Best Cartography

  1 - The Guide to Glorantha - Glorantha. "nuff said.

Best Production Values

  1 - Horror on the Orient Express - simply amazing. it needs a bigger box ;)

  2 - The Guide to Glorantha - because it is Glorantha

Best Setting

  1 - A Red & Pleasant Land - read what I said above.

  2 - The Guide to Glorantha - read what I said above.

Best Writing

  1 -  A Red & Pleasant Land - ditto

Fans' Choice for Best Publisher - this one gets awkward, as everyone has their favorites. I'm not going to endorse any in particular, but I will give a list alphabetically of some OSR publishers. You can vote for up to 10.

Black Blade Publishing, Chaosium, D101 Games, Frog God Games, Goblinoid Games, Goodman Games, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Lesser Gnome Games, Mythmere Games, Purple Duck Games, Sine Nomine Publishing

If you haven't noticed, I listed 11 choices above. I will just identify my #1, which is Lesser Gnome Games ;)

Product of the Year

1 - A Red & Pleasant Land

2 - Horror on the Orient Express

3 - The Guide to Glorantha

There you have it. The Tenkar's Tavern List of OSR Endorsed Finalists for the 2015 ENnies.

Pass this on. Share this. Social media it. Argue about it. Just DO it.

This is an attempt to get more eyes on the OSR and the amazing releases that come from it than it is any particular product. 

Dysfunctional Chainmail Bikini - Sidetracking the Weekly Game Night

Tonight's derail was classic D&D art. Sharing pics from google search from Tramp, Otis, Elmore, Dee, Caldwell and others. Then we hit this piece from Wilmingham and the derail dreailed.

I'll forgive the cloak that is acting like a cloaker.

I'll ignore the fact that the fighter's hands are so muscular, it is no wonder he couldn't hold on to his sword.

I'll turn a blind eye to the idea that the elf's shield looks like it wants to bite the female fighter's back.

That chainmail bikini top? Please.

But then I looked at the bikini bottom. The back piece of chainmail is held in place by the belt pressing it against her ass.


How did I not see this as a 14 year old who already had a succubus page in the Monster Manual that was facing wear?

How the hell did this pass muster, even back in the day?

Well, that and it's a pretty shitty piece of art.

K, time for sleep. Maybe I'll make this piece the wallpaper on my laptop ;)
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