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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kickstarter - The Folio #7 Deadlands Edition (Hell on Earth)


Savage Worlds is the game I'd love to love and I almost can grok the system at this point. My OSR wired head still gets confused with the spells and powers aspect of Savage Worlds. When I retire I'll need to get someone to give me a crash course in the system ;)

That all being said, I have some major love for the settings that have been released for it and Deadlands in no exception. I still have my copy of the the pre Savage Worlds Deadlands that was a stand along game. I also have the Savage Worlds setting for Deadlands and Deadlands: Hell on Earth and some of the other supplements. While I can't say I'm an expert on the Hell on Earth setting (or Deadlands Noir) I can say I can easily get lost for hours just reading the setting material. If any of it sneaks into my StarSlinger setting, I'm hoping it's inspiration only ;)

Imagine my surprise to find out that the same folks behind the Folio Series of OSR / 5E adventures have secured the license to release an official Savage Worlds Deadlands: Hell on Earth (Folio #7) adventure via Kickstarter.

I really enjoyed the first six releases in the Folio series, as they weren't only well written, but the art was top notch and the layout was professional. Looks like I'll be adding Folio #7 (Deadlands) to my collection.

Damn, I really need to bring that retirement date up so I can have all the time to read the things I want to and already own, let alone the stuff I'll be getting in the coming months.

Sadly I just have the original Folios in PDF, but there is a support level to get all 7 in print and PDF. Delivery estimate is March 2016. I retire at the end of March. The gods have spoken and I must obey...

From the Kickstarter page:
Art of the Genre is proud to partner with Pinnacle Entertainment Group in bringing our fans Folio #7!  After completing the Roslof Keep Campaign it seemed a perfect point to sidestep to Savage Worlds for an adventure in the Deadlands: Hell on Earth setting.  It is an absolutely fantastic setting with an award-winning mechanic that I hope all our fans will give a shot.  
With Folio #7, we will be blending the same OSR specs that our fans have grown accustomed to with the previous issues while also blending in some aspects of the Deadlands: Hell on Earth design.  I truly hope you'll have a much fun playing this adventure as my players did, and as always thanks for taking the time to check out our latest projects here on Kickstarter
And as always, Instead of making gaming anvils, I’ve drilled the artistry of the game down, found the gems of a fast-paced adventure, and delivered it in such a way that both new and old gamers alike can enjoy and play without taxing their life schedules. In the end, isn’t gaming about being fun for everyone, not just the players? The Folio’s goal is to ensure that, and always give folks the very best quality ‘lean and mean’ adventures we can.

Some of the House Rules I've Added for the StarSlinger Setting (White Star)

Part of running an OSR styled game is house ruling. Well, at least that's how it is for me. I've been adding house rules to my games since we ignored weapon speed in AD&D 1e (I think most people ignore that)

I've got a few house rules that stray from the White Star as written, but that's not surprising, as I've added a half dozen or so classes to the StarSlinger setting thus far.

  • First, I've expanded the bonuses for high stats slightly. A score of 13-16 gives a + 1 and a score of 17 or 18 gives a + 2. Nothing huge, but it can me a life saver.


  • Death is at zero HP, with the ability to save vs death  to hold on until help arrives. The roll to save is adjusted by the negative amount of HP the PC is at, so going down to - 5 means a minus 5 on the save to no die. Natural 20s always save.


  • If you want to attempt something not covered by the rules (and as this is an OSR game, it's quite likely to occur multiple times per session) such as picking a lock, hacking a computer and the like, it's a save adjusted by any relevant stat bonus and a modifier chosen by the GM (me) based on difficulty. Covers a whole lot of ground this way and does not slow down play.
Those are the main ones thus far. There are others that aren't fleshed out yet and I'm not even sure they'll come into play (or are even needed)



Initial Impressions - Depths of Felk Mor (5e Megadungeon)


+Roderic Waibel was kind enough to send me a print copy of Depths of Felk Mor, a megadungeon for D&D 5e but written with old school gaming in mind.

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I tend to look at RPG material from a Swords & Wizardry (or sometimes even an AD&D 1e) view and do this weird mental translation to make things that aren't Swords & Wizardry read like Swords & Wizardry. If that makes any sense. I think I just confused myself a bit there ;)

In any case, I'm finding that the Depths of Felk Mor is presented easy enough to do that mental translation without even thinking about it. The stat blocks are clean and it's easy to strip away the 5e-isms. Which means when it's time to review this (and that means squirreling away some free time), although it's written for 5e I'll be able to do the review justice from an OSR point of view.

Layout is easy on the eyes with sufficient white space and the art is certainly old school in feel. Yep, definitely need to put some time aside to read this thoroughly.

BTW, I do very much like the cover. I'd love to see my group run from the beast shown ;)

Tim Shorts / Chicago Jones Shot First (White Star / StarSlinger)



Thanks to +Tim Shorts we now have our third of three recaps of Friday Night's "B Team" session of White Star / Star Slinger. A virtual trifecta.

It was strange to watch Tim rolling well for a whole session of play ;)

Here's a piece of Tim's write up:
When we left the ship there were three men waiting for us.  A little guy who did the talking and two meatheads.  I used my Scoundrel skill of attacking before anyone else.  Chicago allowed the little talking man to finish his ultimatum before shooting him in the heart.  While the little gurgling man lay on the ground, the two meatheads raised their hands and walked off.
With a set up like that you know it was good ;)

Here's the rest of it at Gotheridge Manor.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Session Recaps - The "B Team" Matches Wits with Vitmann (StarSlinger / White Star)

Last night was the first playtest session of the StarSlinger setting for White Star, and it was a hoot!

The group, consisting of +Tim Shorts , +Douglas Cole and +Peter V. Dell'Orto accomplished a lot in the little time we had.

Douglas has his session recap over at the Gaming Ballistic Blog.

Peter has his session recap over at the Dungeon Fantastic Blog.

Tim doesn't have a session recap up yet at Gotheridge Manor. I guess the 10% bonus expo I award for posting session recaps isn't enough of a deal for a Scoundrel like Tim ;)

We all had a good time last night and it was fun watching the players turn the tables on Vitmann :)

(note, StarSlinger includes certain house rules, so it wasn't BTB White Star... but what is? heh

Tweaking the Tavern a Bit - Added a Line of Tabs - Blog Highlights and Friends of The Tavern

Alright, I've tweaked The Tavern just a wee bit. I've added a "tab bar" just under the header. I had one there years ago, but when the blog was offline and had to be rebuilt, the tabs were lost. Now they are back.

Links to my Kickstarter, White Star, StarSlinger and Review posts are there as well as to some of the best friends of The Tavern. I'm thinking of adding a second row of tabs for other blogs and such, but I need to make sure it doesn't clutter up things.

Let me know if there are any problems with the links and feel free to suggest anything you feel is missing, on the tab bar or at The Tavern in general. Even if I don't follow every suggestion, I do listen.

Announcing Hero's Journey from Barrel Rider Games (coming 3rd quarter)


I've gotten on +James Spahn 's ass for not letting me know about his new releases, often finding out from The Tavern's readers or from my daily peek at RPGNow's releases. This time, James is giving me more than ample lead time ;)

I've seen some of the text to Hero's Journey and I'm excited to give this a run for it's money with my regular gaming groups. James has also promised me I'll have access to a copy of the rules prior to NTRPG Con, so add Hero's Journey to the list of games I'll be running (StarSlinger was pretty much a list of one prior).

Here's the official release info:
Hero's Journey is a fantasy roleplaying game written by James M. Spahn and published by Barrel Rider Games. Inspired by Swords & Wizardry White Box, this complete game features six races, fourteen classes and is the result of years of game design. Combining and updating material found in Swords & Wizardry White Box, the White Box Omnibus, and introducing new rules for character races, character classes, character professions, new magic spells, new magic items, new rules for magic item creation, new combat mechanics and new rules for character progression, Hero's Journey is a refinement of Swords & Wizardry White Box that includes influences from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, AD&D 2nd Edition, and other classic fantasy roleplaying games. 
At over 200 pages, this single-volume book will include everything players and referees need to play. Hero's Journey will be available in PDF and 6" x 9" digest format through One Bookshelf. Print on Demand copies will be available in both black and white interior and full color premium interiors. 
Scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2016.
I'll try and squeeze James for some game-able advance pieces as Hero's Journey gets closer to release. James did tell me it's "more lethal than White Box" ;)

Kickstarter - Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery for 5e, Pathfinder and S&W - Funding Wraps Up Tomorrow


Yep, the funding for the Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery for 5e, Pathfinder and S&W Kickstarter wraps up tomorrow. What does that mean?

It's blown away it's $10k funding goal and actually just passed $46k - it is funded and then some with stretch goals adding even more content.

I like sandbox tools for my RPG campaigns. I prefer when my players can surprise me nearly as much (if not more) than I surprise them. Books like Ultimate NPCs: Skullduggery are perfect for keeping me one step ahead of the herd of cats I game with ;)

38 hours left in the Kickstarter as I type this...


Friday, January 29, 2016

OSR Gaming Forums Go Down - Upon Return, Database is Lost, All Posts Are gone


What can I say?


Not looking so good at the moment.

If you want to restart some threads, here's the website: OSRGaming Forums

StarSlinger - Tonight The "B Team" Investigates The Case of the Missing Avionic Bovine DNA (White Star)


Tonight will begin an organic playtest of the StarSlinger setting and rules addendum to White Star with the famous "B Team". Play with the classes, the slightly more powerful stats (bonuses start at 13 and a 17 or 18 are + 2) and of course allow the setting to grow with the player's actions.

Their mission, which will be given to them by the ever luvable lug Kyn Vitmann at The Bloody Leech. They'll need to recover some Avionic Bovine DNA that went missing when it's transport mysteriously crashed without it's transponder reporting in. Now the transponder is working and it's a race to recover the package from the downed transport. All, however, is not as it seems.

I can't map for shit so I'll sketch the map by hand in Roll20 as the sessions progresses.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern - Possible Topic - Tomb of Horrors as a White Box Funnel

+Mark Hassman was nice enough to put this bug in my ear - running a Tomb of Horrors, White Box / White Star "funnel" at NTRPG Con in the room The Tavern is sponsoring.

Damn, that is a fine idea. Start each player with 2 to 3 characters and send them to their death explore. White Box with lots of red ;)

Anyhow, tonight is the weekly Tavern Chat at 9PM.

See that chat box on the right side of the page? That's where the chat occurs. Yep, just like AOL chat rooms from back in the day. You can log in using G+, Facebook, Twitter and other social media methods that I've omitted.

So, join us (and in saying us, I mean various folks from the OSR and beyond) as we go off on tangents both wild and mundane ;)


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

OD&D OCE "Boxed Set" Returns to RPGNow in PDF for 10 Bucks

Before the great purge, when WotC removed their PDFs from the OneBookShelf / RPGNow sales platform, one of my purchases was the Original Dungeons & Dragons OCE Boxed Set in PDF. It was handy, even if it wasn't the cleanest copy. After the purge I wan't even able to redownload a copy if I wanted to.

OD&D is back at RPGNow. I have access to the files again and it's very clean, but that makes senses, as they are using the reprint files for their source materials.

$9.99 get's you the contents of the Original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set, as presented in the reprint WotC did 2 years ago. The booklets have the new covers, not the originals (sadly) but the contents are there.

If you are looking for an inexpensive copy of the Original D&D rules, this is an excellent way to get your hands on them.




Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Piece of Art That Oozes StarSlinger Inspiration


I found the above piece of art on Deviant Art. Western and alien at the same time. Evocative. Damn but its a good piece. It oozes StarSlinger.

I may just need to reach out to the author and see how much he wants for the rights to use it.

In any case, I do need to stat out this riding beast ;)


Monday, January 25, 2016

From 18 to 48 - Still Looking to Create

I remember when I was 18, trying to design a game. It had tiles, dungeons, level advancement. I was so psyched I even told my parents about my dreams of being a "game designer". Obviously that didn't play out as planned.

Here i am, 30 years later, BA in History, nearly 9 year of retail and over 19 years of law enforcement behind me, and again I'm looking at being a "game designer". The thing is, with places like RPGNow and Print on Demand, it's achievable. You're not going to become rich and famous, but you can make some money and personal satisfaction from it.

Strangely enough, I spoke to my mother about my plans for StarSlinger and her response was "You're going to take a dozen or so copies to North Texas in the spring to give away I hope". Yes, she gets it. As does Rach, my wife. Of course, Rach would sooner quit her job than miss NTRPG Con. Yeah, she really does get it.

I'm sincerely blessed.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kickstarter - 5e Creature Decks (Inkwell Ideas)



If you are playing D&D 5e, the 5e Creature Cards really should be a no brainer. Inkwell Ideas has run Kickstarters for stock art and creature decks before. I've backed them all. I doubt I'll be running a 5e game soon, but if I were I'd be all over this.

Why?

First off, most of the art is already done from the previous projects and the art is good.

Second, Inkwell Ideas has a proven record of delivering. They also offer some amazing mapping programs.

Third, I have the prior decks. They are POD via RPGNow and are high quality and should stand up to repeated use at the gaming table.

Ah, who am I kidding? I'm going to get the 5e decks for the new art and the off chance I run some 5e in the future.


Here's the creatures and the decks they'll be found in:


The Constructs, Giants, Humanoids & Undead deck will have:

Constructs (9): Anim Obj - Armor; Anim Obj - Flying Sword; Anim Obj - Rug of Smothering; Golem, Clay; Golem, Flesh; Golem, Iron; Golem, Stone; Homunculus; Shield Guardian
Giants (10): Ettin; Giant, Cloud; Giant, Fire; Giant, Frost; Giant, Hill; Giant, Stone; Giant, Storm; Ogre; Oni; Troll
Humanoids (18): Bugbear; Duergar; Elf, Drow; Gnoll; Gnome, Deep (Svirfneblin); Goblin; Grimlock; Hobgoblin; Kobold; Lizardfolk; Lycanthrope, Werebear; Lycanthrope, Wereboar; Lycanthrope, Wererat; Lycanthrope, Weretiger; Lycanthrope, Werewolf; Merfolk; Orc; Sahuagin
Undead (18): Ghost; Ghoul; Ghoul, Ghast; Lich; Mummy; Mummy Lord; Shadow; Skeleton; Skeleton, Minotaur; Skeleton, Warhorse; Specter; Vampire; Vampire Spawn; Wight; Will-o'-Wisp; Wraith; Zombie; Zombie, Ogre

The Dragons & Monstrosities deck will have:

Dragons (13): Dragon, Black Adult; Dragon, Blue Adult; Dragon, Brass Adult; Dragon, Bronze Adult; Dragon, Copper Adult; Dragon, Gold Adult; Dragon, Green Adult; Dragon, Red Adult; Dragon, Silver Adult; Dragon, White Adult; Dragon Turtle; Pseudodragon; Wyvern
Monstrosities (39): Ankheg; Basilisk; Behir; Bulette; Centaur; Chimera; Cockatrice; Darkmantle; Death Dog; Doppelganger; Drider; Ettercap; Gorgon; Grick; Griffon; Harpy; Hippogriff; Hydra; Kraken; Lamia; Manticore; Medusa; Merrow; Mimic; Minotaur; Naga, Guardian; Naga, Spirit; Owlbear; Phase Spider; Purple Worm; Remorhaz; Roc; Roper; Rust Monster; Sphinx, Androsphinx; Sphinx, Gynosphinx; Tarrasque; Wolf, Winter; Worg

The Aberrations, Celestials, Elementals, Fey & Fiends deck will have:

Aberrations (5): Aboleth; Chuul; Cloaker; Gibbering Mouther; Otyugh
Celestials (6): Angel, Deva; Angel, Planetar; Angel, Solar; Couatl; Pegasus; Unicorn
Elementals (16): Azer; Elemental, Air; Elemental, Earth; Elemental, Fire; Elemental, Water; Gargoyle; Genie, Djinni; Genie, Efreeti; Invisible Stalker; Magmin; Mephit, Dust; Mephit, Ice; Mephit, Magma; Mephit, Steam; Salamander; Xorn
Fey (6): Blink Dog; Dryad; Hag, Green; Hag, Sea; Satyr; Sprite
Fiends (23): Demon, Balor; Demon, Dretch; Demon, Glabrezu; Demon, Hezrou; Demon, Marilith; Demon, Nalfeshnee; Demon, Quasit; Demon, Vrock; Devil, Barbed; Devil, Bearded; Devil, Bone; Devil, Chain; Devil, Erinyes; Devil, Horned; Devil, Ice; Devil, Imp; Devil, Lemure; Devil, Pit Fiend; Hag, Night; Hell Hound; Nightmare; Rakshasa; Succubus/Incubus

The deck of Beasts, Dinosaurs, Plants, and Oozes will have:

Beasts (90): Ape; Ape, Giant; Axe Beak; Baboon; Badger; Badger, Giant; Bat; Bat, Giant; Bear, Black; Bear, Brown; Bear, Polar; Beetle, Fire, Giant; Blood Hawk; Boar; Boar, Giant; Camel; Cat; Centipede, Giant; Crab; Crab, Giant; Crocodile; Crocodile, Giant; Deer; Eagle; Giant Eagle; Elephant; Elk; Giant Elk; Frog; Giant Frog; Giant Goat; Goat; Hawk; Horse, Draft; Horse, Riding; Hyena; Hyena, Giant; Jackal; Killer Whale; Lion; Lizard; Lizard, Giant; Mammoth; Mastiff; Mule; Octopus; Octopus, Giant; Owl, Giant; Owl; Panther; Pony; Quipper; Rat; Rat, Giant; Rat, Giant (Diseased); Raven; Rhinoceros; Scorpion; Scorpion, Giant; Sea Horse; Sea Horse, Giant; Shark, Giant; Shark, Hunter; Shark, Reef; Snake, Constrictor; Snake, Constrictor, Giant; Snake, Poisonous; Snake, Poisonous, Giant; Spider; Spider, Giant; Stirge; Swarm of Bats; Swarm of Insects; Swarm of Poisonous Snakes; Swarm of Quippers; Swarm of Rats; Swarm of Ravens; Tiger; Tiger, Saber-Toothed; Thunderbird; Toad, Giant; Vulture; Vulture, Giant; Warhorse; Wasp, Giant; Weasel; Weasel, Giant; Wolf, Dire; Wolf; Wolf Spider, Giant
Dinosaurs (3): Dinosaur, Plesiosaurus; Dinosaur, Triceratops; Dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex
Oozes (4): Ooze, Black Pudding; Ooze, Gelatinous Cube; Ooze, Gray Ooze; OOze, Ochre Jelly
Plants (6): Awakened Shrub; Awakened Tree; Fungi, Shrieker; Fungi, Violet Fungus; Shambling Mound; Treant

The 5th & 6th deck's exact contents are TBD because it will depend on stretch goals.  We have agathions, additional elementals, imperial dragons, more fey, new beasts, and many others ready to go!  It will have at least 50 creatures, in full color.

Note that the art for the basic animals and insects is mostly B&W and some creatures may be doubled up on one card. (The giant version may be added to the main card for that animal/insect.)

There will also be several extra "lair" cards for some creatures which have lair actions.  This especially applies to the deck that includes the dragons, but several other creatures also have lair actions such as the Aboleth, Kraken, Lich, both Sphinxes and the Vampire.

What is With the Bad Wrong Fun Recently?

I've been lucky enough to miss the majority of the most recent drama in the OSR Community. Maybe it's how I've pruned my online social circles, though I suspect it has more to do with how others have trimmed theirs. I appreciate being left out of the latest useless drama.

Why is is that folks would prefer to tell other folks "how they're doing it wrong"instead of shutting their mouths and trying to lead by example? What is right for you might not work for others. If others are truly wrong in their actions, those actions will take care of themselves. Can we leave the Bad Wrong Fun to other gaming communities?

Ah well, I've got more important things to think about, like how the Panthers are crushing the Cardinals, the 2' of snow I have to dig my car out of tomorrow, writing more StarSlinger material and beer. I need to start posting to the Beer Blog again :)






White Star - Snake Oil Salesman (Character Class - StarSlinger Setting)

Let me tell ya what we've got! This here little bottle can cure what ails you! Got cuts, it'll close them. Burns? Heals right before your eyes. Stomach pains? It's like a silk sheet for your belly. Got something that don't feel right in your privates? It'll flush them right out. Need an ointment? We got it. Restorative? You're talking to the right man. Libation? None better than what you see in front of you. How much? Well now, how much ya got to spend? Whatcha mean "Snake Oil Salesman?" I'm an honest Nostrum Agent. Says so right here on my license.

No matter how they refer to themselves, the common title of Snake Oil Salesman has stuck to them like mud on a pig. Still, the concoctions that they make have been known to have true effects, although not necessarily of the type told to the purchaser. Of course, when partaking of his own product, the Snake Oils Salesman always knows what to expect, more or less.

Nostrum Agent

LEVEL      XP      HD      BHB      ST
1                  0        1           +0        14
2              2,500     1+1       +1        13
3              5,000     2           +1        12
4            10,000     2+1       +2        11
5            20,000     3           +2        10
6            40,000     4           +3          9
7            80,000     4+1       +3          8
8          160000      5           +4          7
9          320,000     5+1       +4          6
10        640,000     6           +5          5

Libation Level - Known
     1   2   3  4  
1   1
2   2
3   3
4   3   1
5   3   2  
6   3   3
7   3   3   1
8   3   3   2
9   3   3   3
10 3   3   3  1

Libation Level - Actively Prepared
     1   2   3  4  
1   2
2   3
3   4
4   5   2
5   5   3  
6   5   4
7   6   5   2
8   6   5   3
9   6   5   4
10 6   6   4  1

Weapons / Armor Restrictions - One Handed Weapons, Light Armor

My Momma Made Worse Than That - Due to their constant experimentation with concoctions either contacting their skin or ingested, Nostrum Agents have a + 4 adjustment to their saving throws vs. Poison.

XP Bonus for Intelligence - A Nostrum Agent with a Intelligence of 13 or 14 receives a 5% Experience Bonus. Those with a 15 or higher get a 10% bonus.

Libations - Libations allow the Nostrum Agent to prepare concoctions for their benefit and the benefit of others. Libations, ointments, medicines - they are all things prepared by the Nostrum Agent. The NA knows a certain number of recipes and has a maximum number of Libations that can be prepared at one time as indicated by level.

Libations cost "Libation Level x Libation Level x 100 credits" to prepare and take 1 hour x Libation Level to prepare.

Level 1 Libations

Wound Cleaning Ointment - Applied within 10 minutes of receiving the wound, heals 1d6 HP (+1 HP if the Nostrum Agent uses it on himself)

Water Purification Dose - Added to a water source, will purify up to 10 gallons of water

Visual Clarity Ointment - Doubles the distance of missile weapon attack ranges for 1 hour

Water Proofing Ointment - Lasts for 2 hours. Makes 1 human sized subject and their basic equipment (including 1 handed weapons) shed water like a duck

Level 2 Libations

Fire Resistance Ointment - Lasts for 2 hours. Gives a + 4 save vs. heat / fire effects / attacks

Cold Resistance Ointment - Lasts for 2 hours. Gives a + 4 save vs. cold / frost effects / attacks

Bot Juice - Applied within 10 minutes of the bot receiving damage, heals 1d6 HP

Good for a Day - Provides nourishment and liquid requirements for 24 hours

Level 3 Libations

Joltola - Lasts 1d4 Rounds. Adds 2 points to the imbibers initiative score, enabling him to attack before the rest of his party and hopefully before the enemy. Adjusted initiative scores of 7+ result in an extra attack. When the effect wears off, the character suffers a minus 2 penalty to the initiative roll for 1d6 rounds. Adjusted initiative scores of 0 or less result in the loss of the character's attacks for that round.

Reflective Ointment - Last 2 hours. Laser / Energy weapons do 2 points less damage per successful attack (minimum damage 0 points)

Patzy's Putrid Poison Purger - Imbibed within 2 rounds of a failed Poison Save, this allows a second save at + 2 to the roll to avoid the effects (including death)

Level 4 Libations

Two Minds are More Fun - Lasts 10-60 minutes. Allows the imbiber to do two completely different tasks at the same time, such as fire at a target and drive a vehicle evasively without penalty, hold two independent conversations, use an innate power and attack, other as GM sees fit to allow.

Breath of Fire - Can breath a Cone of Fire 5' wide at base, 20' long and 20' wide. Targets inside the AOE take 3d6 fire damage  (save for half)

(Fits White Box without any real changes)

OGL

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Traveller Core Rulebook in PDF - $29.99 - At What Point are PDFs Too Expensive for You?


As I sit at my desk, justifying not shoveling snow by the mere fact that there are over 16" already on the ground and up to a foot more to come (thereby, why bother?) I found a reviewer's coupon for the latest edition of Traveller from Mongoose. Not to be confused with the 97 other editions and flavors, both old and new. Then I saw the price of the PDF.

$29.99

For less than 250 pages of rules.

With no mention if you get that credited in whole or in part when the POD releases in April.

Of course, Classic Traveller was offered recently on Bundle of Holding for what? $8.95?

Now, Traveller5 is $34.95 in PDF. It also clocks in at over 750 pages. It's a mess from what I recall after perusing the rules, but often the only yardstick for PDFs is page count.

Then there is the free Traveller SRD.

Oh wait, did I mention that those that paid for the Beta of the new Traveller and were promised discount codes apparently didn't get them? Oh, and it wasn't that folks turned of OBS notifications. It was a screw up.

You know what? You can get a damn complete PDF collection of the Classic Traveller RPG, rules, supplements and adventures for $35 from FFE on CD.

So, 30 bucks for a set of rules or 35 bucks for a lifetime worth of gaming, all in PDF. Damn, tough question.

At what point is a PDF too expensive?

For me, under 5 bucks is often an impulse buy, 10 and under needs some serious thought but if there's good word of mouth I'm in. 15 get's shaky. 30 bucks is on par with ridiculous, especially if the PDF isn't included for free with a print bundle.

Maybe it's me. Maybe 30 bucks for a rulebook in PDF for what should be what the print copy will sell for discounted on Amazon (if it ever steps away from POD) is the new normal. Hell, I feel dirty even considering grabbing the free reviewer's copy at that price.

What do you think? What's the point where your PDF impulse buying turns off? What's the PDF price point where you refuse to cross?




Kickstarter - First Edition Adventure Module A1 A Forgotten Evil (AD&D 1e Adventure)


Yes, you read that right. A Forgotten Evil is an AD&D 1e adventure (not endorsed or approved by WotC) which is kinda cool. Sure, they could have gone the OSRIC route but I'm guessing there was a preference to avoid the OGL.

So, what do you get for your pledge for a printed adventure?
The products are 8.5 x 11 saddle stitched booklets in black and white. The cover (unattached) is full color and wrapped around the booklet. Both come in a sealed polybag. For those who pledge at a level that includes illustration booklets, those will also be in the polybag.
Unattached cover. This is AD&D to me. The covers to most adventures double as a DM's shield for me back in the day.

Did I mention classic blue maps? Yep, got that too.

The prices are EXTREMELY reasonable. $5 for PDF, $10 for Print plus PDF. $20 id you want to add an encounter illustration booklet.  At $30 you add a print copy of F1, The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying (I've always love the cover and having it in print would be awesome - no mention if this level includes a copy of F1 in PDF - I always like PDFs with my printed adventures as it makes the maps easier to use with a VTT). $40 gets you an illustration booklet for F1. I'm not sure if the illustration booklets come in PDF, but I hope they do. Much easier than scanning the pieces to show to my online gaming groups.



As for the Risk and Challenges, this is what I like to see:
Both A Forgotten Evil and The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying are written, laid out and nearly ready to send to the printer with all illustrations and maps. Only the additional illustration booklets need to have the illustrations created and the booklets laid out. As such the risks are extremely low. We expect to be able to fulfill orders very soon (contingent on the printer's schedule) after successful funding of the project. 
Challenges include making sure the illustrators meet their deadlines for the illustration booklets and providing a quick turnaround of the proofs back to the printer.
Written and laid out, just waiting on art for illustration books. Nice.

I'm in.

Friday, January 22, 2016

It's Gonna be Snowmageddon in NYC This Weekend - Time to Write (White Star / White Box)

Yep, we've got a Snowmageddon hitting tonight and lasting through tomorrow here in NYC and much of the Northeast.

Just... because

How much snow?

The National Weather Service is calling for 12-18"

The Weather Channel is calling for 15-20"

Weather Underground is calling 11-17"

Accuweather is calling for 6-12"

So, safe bet is about a foot, maybe more. And wind. Lots of wind.

Instead of running around doing errands all day Saturday, I'll be in the snow shoveling rotation and some inside house chores. Well, that and lot's of writing.

I have an idea for a short White Box adventure that I owe +Pete Spahn (well, I don't owe it in White Box format, but I write in White Box / White Star format these days, so we'll translate it later) A crashed starship, mostly buried but still containing some livestock and other, more nasty critters. Well, the livestock is no longer alive, but that shouldn't be an issue. Should be convertible to White Star for those that want to go that route.

As for White Star / StarSlinger, I'm aiming to get two more classes out this weekend, an outline of the town of Eastwood, some plot hooks and a short intro adventure. Why so much in a single weekend? I want to kick of some playtesting in a week with the "B-Team". Because for the setting to be complete, it will need to have growth from interacting with players. That, and the "B-Team" will break that which can be broken. I need that.

Alright, time for some hot cocoa :)


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gygax Magazine is Dead - Long Live TSR!

By now the subscribers to Gygax Magazine should have the notice in their email - Gygax Magazine has ceased publishing but TSR is staying strong with other releases. This probably isn't a total shock to those those that saw the Gygax brothers leave TSR / Gygax Magazine after the resolution of the Gygax Trademark "legal action" (I hope that is the correct phrase - I am not a lawyer and I do not play one on TV) As Jayson told me in a phone call earlier today, it was difficult to continue Gygax Magazine without any Gygax's associated with it. So, that's the bad news. The good news is that TSR is going to be releasing a selection of top end adventures and a new espionage game with some major names attached to it.

Here's the email the subscribers to Gygax received:

Hi, it's Jayson from TSR Games. I'm writing to you because you're a subscriber to Gygax Magazine.

As you may have heard, Gygax Magazine has been in a trademark dispute, which we're glad to have settled. However, Luke & Ernie Gygax have decided to withdraw for business reasons. We're all still good friends and support each other, but as a result, we've decided that we will no longer publish Gygax Magazine.  Without any Gygaxes involved, it wouldn't be right to continue it. This was a very difficult decision, and we're so sorry to have to see it end. But there's good news, too. We've got great new products coming out in 2016, and I'm very excited about what the coming year looks like.

As a subscriber, you will get credit in the store for any TSR products, including any back issues of Gygax Magazine you might have missed out on. Your credit will be based on the number of issues remaining in your subscription, you'll get an email next week with your credit balance and how to spend it.

So let's talk about the fun stuff! We've got a new series of adventures called The Pantheon Series, a module from Frank Mentzer, a new RPG from Merle Rasmussen, and a brand new podcast network.

Here's what's we're up to:

The Pantheon Series

First, the Pantheon Series. We’re releasing a series of digest-sized adventure modules for multiple RPG systems. We’re calling it the Pantheon Series, because together they represent a pantheon of great game systems. They’re digest sized, in a nod to the original formats from the 1970s, and for great portability. Each adventure includes a large fold-out map, so GMs don’t have to keep flipping back and forth during the game. We’ll be bringing out a new adventure in the Patheon Series every month, starting in February. We're starting with adventures from Gygax Magazine, and there are several brand new adventures coming soon after. The first four are shown below — and they’re only $5 each. 



Trouble at IronGarde Watch
Next, we'll be releasing the first of our full-length adventure modules for 5E Dungeons & Dragons. It's kicking off with a brand new adventure from Frank Mentzer, Trouble at IronGarde Watch.
Written with James Carpio, it contains three scenarios, taking the players on a thrilling journey to uncover a cultist conspiracy through dwarven outposts, lost temples, and a terrible monster's lair.






Code Name: ACRID HERALD

Finally, our biggest product on the way is a brand new RPG!

Merle Rasmussen, creator of Top Secret, has teamed up with his original conspirator Allen Hammack, as well as James Carpio and Chad Parish, to create an all-new espionage game for the new millennium. 

It's still unnamed, so for now we're using its internal code name: Acrid Herald. 
Currently in playtesting, it will be played in public for the first time at GaryCon this March. The final version will be unveiled soon afterward, in a boxed set with introductory missions for players.

This isn't the real box yet, but here's a sneak peek:

TSR Podcast Network
And finally, how about something for free? 

We recently launched the TSR Podcast Network, and we've got two great shows you can get for free through your favorite podcast app. 

Cube of Death is a quiz show, and a dungeon crawl in one. Every episode features contestants trying to survive dark and perilous encounters, defeating monsters & traps (and sometimes each other) by answering questions about sci-fi, fantasy, and nerdy pop culture trivia.

Game School features hosts Satine Phoenix (I Hit it With My Axe) and Chad Parish (Dead Games Society), as they learn a new RPG for every show, with the help of the game's creators. It's fast-paced, fun, and features actual-play encounters every time.

There are already over 20 episodes released between both shows, so head over to TSRPN.com and listen now!

Thank you for being a TSR customer, and sticking with us as we grow. I'm looking forward to a great year in 2016!

So, what does this mean?

Subscribers get credit with TSR to purchase the new releases. A series of $5 digest sized adventure releases, a full sized 5e adventure from Frank Mentzer (with James Carpio), some new podcasts for me to check out and the cherry on top for me (and my wife Rachel) - a new espionage RPG from Merle Rasmussen. Have I mentioned that I got in trouble in High School Science Lab for running a Top Secret session instead of playing with chemicals?

While it's sad to see the demise of Gygax Magazine, what will arise from the ashes is very promising.

If you have questions for Jayson you can reach out to him directly or add a comment to this post and we'll make sure he sees it. 2016 is going to be a very interesting year in the OSR and the RPG hobby at large.


Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern - Simple Reminder for Those Interested

Tonight is another weekly Tavern Chat. +Michael Badolato , this is your reminder. There are many like it, but this one is yours ;)

So yes, tonight at 9PM Eastern. Get to hear me whine about qualifying at the Outdoor Range this morning in 27 degree weather, with wind whippin' in from the Long Island Sound. Maybe get some early tidbits of further ideas for StarSlinger.

And, of course, so much more...

See ya then :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Open Letter to Ken Whitman from Jolly Blackburn

Jolly asked me to share this here at The Tavern as we KNOW Ken visits, reads and comments on this side.

Ken, just so you know, Jolly has shown me some of the chat logs between you and Jolly and you and Barb. I know what's in them. I've seen your words which contradict much of what you've been saying recently. Just do the right thing and put this drama to an end. Stop holding the various projects hostage in the hopes of milking them for yet more money.


White Star / StarSlinger - Kyn Vitmann (NPC - Scoundral Class) - The Bloody Leech (Gambling Hall)

Kyn Vitmann, alternately know as "The Vit" came to Eastwood shortly after the town was founded nearly 20 years ago. A con man by nature and a Scoundrel by trade, he worked the angles for 10 years, both on planet and the orbital stations above. It was at that point he hit it big.

It wasn't a low stakes poker game, nor even a high stakes game. It was a game Kyn had literally staked not only his own life, but that of his kin (assuming he had any, but Kyn swore he did and had signed statements from said kin agreeing to put their lives up in the betting pool). Death would not have been quick, as the Atotyl (alien race to be worked on later) his poker hand was up against fed on blood, and those they fed on most often lasted for weeks. Kyn was a large man - he may have wasted away for months.

Kyn was feeling lucky, and as luck would have it (and the literal Ace up his sleeve that none saw him  palm) his hand was the winning hand. Thus he won The Bloody Leech. Gambling hall, bar and occasional bordello, it was a profit making machine without Kyn's usual manipulations. With his manipulations, it is both a money machine and a money pit. Still, he's practically an honest business man these days with a side business in that which is less than honest.

The Bloody Leech is never without excitement and an inquisitive person with the right reputation may find employment offered, jobs big and small. On the books and off to the side. On planet or elsewhere in the vast. Just make sure you get a retainer up front or you might get stuck with empty pockets in the end.

Kyn Vitmann

Strength        11
Intelligence  14
Wisdom        11
Dexterity      14
Constitution 12
Charisma     15

Armor - Usually None
Weapon - Pocket Laser Pistol (2 shot)



OGL

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

StarSlinger - Thoughts on Setting (White Star)

Part of the StarSlinger experiment is posting the progress "real time". Classes, creatures, NPCs, setting aspects - al available for the community to respond to and critique as they are brought to the front.

Today, I'm thinking of the actual setting.

Not sure thus far of the name of the world but I do have the name of two of the towns:

Eastwood is the town built upon the business of surrounding ranches. Buildings are built using local materials, using both wood and peat. Relatively low key as towns on the frontier go, it is the home to two bars, a gambling hall as well as vendors of the usual type one would expect in a sci-fi rpg setting ;)

Wildemann is a mining town, grown from a simple general store to a town that caters to the vices of Eastwood is considered, if not classy at the very least subdued, Wildemann is life on the edge, where deals are made and fortunes are lost and won at the poker table or the roulette wheel. It also is the home the only starport on the world as well as refineries of Dasrand.
miners and those with money to spend. Bars, gambling halls and possible even a high end brothel or two. Whereas

Wilder Mine or The Wild Mine is where most of the miners make their money mining Dasurand, used in fueling intersteller aircraft. The mine's close proximity to the town of Wildemann results in low transportation costs and maximum profits.

The Church of the Old Ones has it's main headquarters in Wildemann. Averse to vices of the flesh, Crusaders have been know to search the bars and gambling halls for soldiers of the church in order to extract penance from believers on the spot. The occasional deceased believer (or non-believer) is generally dealt with in an unofficial manner with the local authorities.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ravenloft Returns with The Curse of Strahd for D&D 5e


Ravenloft always held a strange place in my D&D gaming. It was never treated as a setting unto itself and the few times my party did wander into the mists it was universally unsatisfying. Pinocchio rip offs and the like run close to Halloween, the dread was mostly in the setting itself. Of course, we are talking the AD&D 2e days, where you couldn't throw a die without hitting a setting released by TSR.

Today WotC announced the first Ravenloft release for D&D 5e. I'll be interested in seeing the feedback in March when it does release. Not sure if I'd drop my cash on it without seeing the response from the gaming public first.
Today, Wizards of the Coast announced Curse of Strahd, a new Dungeons & Dragons adventure set in Castle Ravenloft and the surrounding land of Barovia. Written in collaboration with Tracy and Laura Hickman, the authors of the original Ravenloft adventure published in 1983, Curse of Strahd pits players against the vampire Strahd von Zarovich. Curse of Strahd will be available to everyone on March 15, 2016.
So, not written by Tracy and Laura Hickman then I'm guessing, just some input? Ah well, here's the link to the rest of the press release.

White Star - Dragon Cow (Creature - StarSlinger Setting)

David Revoy - CC BY 4.0
Ah, the Dragon Cow. A single beast can keep a dozen families in milk and cheese for a year. A small herd can do the same for a town. Amazing creatures, subject to neither heat nor cold nor the deprivations of space, it has been found that the best milking of such is in a low gravity environment. Thus the cattle drive to low orbit satellite milking stations. Best to keep a close eye on the cattle drive, as strays are often snagged by rustlers and quickly sold for the meat they can provide.

The female of the species is generally docile. The adult male is as aggressive as a space savage on steroids. They've been known to knock small ships out of orbit and have destroyed many a town that couldn't keep them in check.

Dragon Cow
Armor Class: 5 [14] Male 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 5 / Male 7
Attacks: Bite 1d6 / Male Bite 2d6
Special: Flatulence - Once per day may pass a gaseous cloud on a 30' diameter. All within the cloud must Save or suffer -2 on attacks. Could lasts 10 + 1d6 rounds.
Move: 18 / Fly 24
HDE/XP: 6/300 Male 7/400

(for White Box, leave out the low gravity space station stuff ;)

OGL

PS - Check out David's Patreon here

Pepper & Carrot - Free Webcomic / Patreon Funded / CC Licensed - and It is Awesome!


Pepper & Carrot was brought to my attention due to a Kickstarter project that is unaffiliated with the author / artist but is using the CC 3.0 (should be using 4.0 according to the Pepper & Carrot website) license to product a collected volume in print and PDF. I'd say the Pepper & Carrot Kickstarter isn't on firm grounds charging for a PDF of material that is already free digitally, but that isn't my battle.

Instead, I'm here to mention the author's (David Revoy's) Patreon for Pepper & Carrot. Why, you may ask? Look at the artwork above. If that doesn't just scream Old School Dungeons & Dragons I don't know what does.

Is the web comic "cute"? Sure. and not in an overly sweet way. What I've read of the storylines is fun but it's the art that makes me sing it's praises.

See these pieces? Anyone of them could inspire an adventure.

The make me happy. Especially the DragonCow. THAT will be making an appearance in StarSlinger for sure :)

You can support the Patreon for a little as a buck. Under the CC BY 4.0 license, you could use this artwork on your own gaming products. If you plan to, just back the man's Patreon. If you like the art, back his Patron. Screw it, just back it. It's good :)





Sunday, January 17, 2016

White Star - Star Crusader (Character Class - StarSlinger Setting)

Some men put their faith in strength of arms. Others in the speed of their ship. I put my faith in The Old Ones. I know what they want. I know what they need. Sacrifice in combat. Blood on steel. The smell of burned flesh. I serve Them well and in turn I keep my compatriots alive. For they serve The Old Ones too, even if they know it not. There is an object I seek, from before this world was colonized. Come, we shall find it together and be well rewarded.

Star Crusaders are hard to miss. Often well armored (and armed) hulking brutes, they have a presence that says "Don't fuck with me." They rarely travel alone, preferring the company of others. Strength in numbers and all that. Rumors often trail behind them, blaming the recently missing on the Star Crusader and incomplete knowledge of the sacrifices they make to The Old Ones. Few mention such rumors in their presence. None mention it a second time. It is said they have powers unknown to mortal man, but few have lived to see such and fewer yet will talk about what they have seen.

Star Crusader

LEVEL      XP      HD      BHB      ST
1                  0        1           +0        14
2              3,000     2           +1        13
3              6,000     3           +2        12
4            12,000     3+1       +3        11
5            24,000     4           +3        10
6            48,000     5           +4          9
7            96,000     6           +5          8
8          192,000     6+1       +5          7
9          384,000     7           +6          6
10        768,000     8           +7          5

      Miracle Level
     1   2   3  4  5  
1   0  
2   1
3   2   0
4   2   1
5   2   2   1
6   3   2   1
7   3   2   2  1
8   3   3   3  1
9   4   3   3  2  1
10 4   4   3  2  2

Note - High Wisdom can grant Miracles where the number available is "0"

Weapons / Armor Restrictions - Any / Any - The larger and more impressive, the better

Miracles - Starting at 2nd level, the Star Crusader has access to Miracles. He regains 1 Miracle of his choice after a night of sleep and prayer, plus 1 Miracle per killing blow in the previous 24 hours. He can't have more Miracles prepared at any time than exceeds the chart (plus possible Wisdom Bonus) no matter how many killing blows he's made.

Miracle Bonus For High Wisdom - Star Crusaders with a Wisdom of 13 or Higher get 1 extra Level 1 Miracle than is indicated by the chart. Star Crusaders with a Wisdom of 16 or Higher also get 1 extra Level 2 Miracle than is indicated by the chart.

XP Bonus For High Wisdom - A Star Crusader with a Wisdom of 13 or 14 receives a 5% Experience Bonus. Those with a 15 or higher get a 10% bonus.

Miracles:

Level 1

Cure Wounds - Range: Touch - Effect: Cures 1d6 HP
Cause Wounds - Range: Touch (unwilling targets are treated as unarmored for purposes of chance to hit) - Effect: Causes 1d6+1 Damage to target
Detect Intelligent Life - Range: 60' - Duration: 20 minutes - Effect: The Star Crusader can detect the presence of Intelligent life. Note, it does not reveal the type of intelligent life
Darkness - Range: 60' - Duration: 1d6 rounds - Effect: Causes unnatural darkness in a 60' radius. Darkness can be penetrated by technological lighting for 20' directly in front of the light source. Natural lighting can not penetrate the darkness. Note, the Star Crusader can see in this darkness
Hold Portal - Range: Touch - Duration: 2d6 rounds - Effect: Keeps a door or gate closed (or open) for the duration. The object can still be destroyed by conventional means

Level 2

Curse - Range: 1 NPC not in combat - Effect: -1 to attacks for 1 hour (Save)
Cause Disease - Range:10' Effect - Infect one creature with a random disease (Save)
Light - Range: 60' - Duration: 2d6 Turns - Effect: The target person or object (at a range of up to 120 ft) produces light about as bright as a torch, to a radius of 20 ft.

Level 3

Cure Disease - Range: Touch - Duration: Immediate - Effect: This spell cures a creature of any diseases
Locate Object - Range: 90' - Duration: 1 Round per level - Effect: This Miracle gives the Star Crusader the correct direction (as the crow flies) toward an object the casters specifies with a description. The object can be something the Star Crusader has never seen if it is an object his order is searching for.
Protection From Projectiles - Range: Self - Duration: 1 hour - Effect: The Star Crusader becomes immune to small weapon fire

Level 4

Poison - Range: Touch (unwilling targets are treated as unarmored for purposes of chance to hit) - Effect: Target must save or die (Save)
Lightning Bolt - Range: 240' - Effect: A bolt of lightning extends 60 ft from the targeted point, almost ten feet wide. Anyone in its path suffers 6d6 points of damage (half with a successful saving throw). The bolt always extends 60 ft, even if this means that it ricochets backward from something that blocks its path.

Level 5

Insect Plague - Range:240' - Duration: 1 Day - Effect: This spell only works outdoors. A storm of insects gathers, and goes wherever the caster directs. The cloud is approximately 400 sq ft (20 ft by 20 ft, with roughly corresponding height). Any creature of 2 HD or fewer that is exposed to the cloud of insects flees in terror (no saving throw).
Neutralize Poison - Range: Touch - Effect: Counteracts poison

OGL


White Star - StarSlinger (Cinematic Pulp Western Sci-Fi Setting)

So, after last night's White Star session wrapped up, +James Spahn and I continued the G+ Hangout for another 2 hours or so. We talked about White Box, White Star, the hobby, current events - the usual crap when you are playing catch up with a good friend.

At one point, James finally said:

"I know what your doing."

"What am I doing, James?"

"All these classes you've been writing for White Star. You're working on a Cinematic Pulp Western Sci-fi setting."

I sat in silence, not knowing what to say, because James was right, of course. It's exactly what I was doing without even realizing it.

Thus was born StarSlinger.

Bootlegging, smuggling, cattle rustling, prospecting and all the other boons and ills of a frontier world.

Figure 6 classes, overall world write up, a regional write up with a town or two detailed, a mine mapped out, an adventure, a page or two of plot hooks and rumors that the DM decides if they are true or not, equipment list, lists of miracles for the 2 priestly classes and more as it comes to me.

I'll work it out real time on the blog (so you get to see revisions, brainstorming and the like), send 4 page 1 sheets in PDF as they get completed to my Patreon backers ( aiming for 2 a month, but might only be 1 a month through March) and and printed 4 page 1 sheets to the higher backers in batches of 2 to 4 sheets (hopefully once a month more or less) Completed project would go up on RPGNow in Print / POD with art. I'm guessing 28-40 pages before it's over.

I scratched out random thoughts after I logged off from James and now I need to plot some stuff out. Oh, and need to work on the Star Crusader (warrior-like priestly class) If I'm lucky it may get done tonight.

White Star Session Recap - Kyn Vittman, Scoundrel and Sole Survivor

I was really excited when +James Spahn offered to run a White Star session with +Joe D and +David B and myself last night. I nearly pissed my pants when James allowed my request to play the Scoundrel class I wrote up last week. This was gonna be mega fun :)

Needless to say my character's name was Kyn Vittman and our ship was called The Kickstarter.

So, we had to recover some data from a mining camp. When we landed the doors leading from the landing pad wouldn't open and the electronic lock mechanism had been ripped from the wall. David, our Star Knight tried to rewire it. He failed and took a small shock, at which point he decided to carve a hole in the doors with his Star Sword. I like this lock bypassing system.

We enter the room adjacent to the hanger and get attacked by reprogramed cleaning bots. David and I took down the bots with a single blow each - he with his Star Sword and me with my mono axe. Kyn let out a blood curdling roar in celebration and then inquired as to the possibility of repurposing the bot he destroyed to look serviceable. Alas, it was damaged beyond his ability to cover up the damage. at best, it would sell for scrap.

Next room was occupied by Space Savages. Kyn tried to get the drop on them (First Strike) but he failed. Still, we managed to take them out with minimal damage to the others and we finally got to see Joe's laser rifle in action. We were also finding loot, including a laser pistol which went to the Star Knight. That was fine, because I intended to avoid combat where possible.

In the kitchen we found some dead miners and a living coward. The savages had missed the survivor who had played dead. After throwing water on him and getting little info of value, we tied him up like a hog for slaughter and left him to gather up for later. We couldn't risk him taking our ship.

So, now we headed to the south side of the initial room. There was a door just beckoning us, so I let the others open it. Hey, I spent my money on fine clothes and a cool axe. No need for me to get dirty when others can do so instead.

The open the door and I hear a "whirl" sound. I dive to the side of the doorway as I have no ranged weaponry (see? always thinking) The others confront to ceiling based laser turrets. Zap! Zap! I drag the bodies away from the doorway and remove their weapons and armor. Star Sword, laser rifles, 2 laser pistols, 2 med kits, a couple of hundred credits and some odds and ends. Oh, and a ship to cal my own, at least until I can find some suckers, er, I mean "loyal companions"  to join me on the next job. I figure I should be able to get at least 80% retail for the extra weapons if I sell to my future companions instead of the 50% or less I could expect at a pawn shop. We're all winners :)

I forgot to ask James if I leveled...


Saturday, January 16, 2016

More "Whit" Whitman Witticisms - Traveller Pilot MAY Be a Go - or No


God bless the fine folks that belly up to The Tavern's bar. No less than 3 people sent me Ken / Whit / The Deceiver's latest update from the Spinward Traveller (T.V. Pilot) by d20 Entertainment (remember, D20 Entertainment does no exist - you gotta love the mind of Whitman)

Here we go. Hold on to your hats, it will be a bumpy ride:
The Traveller Pitch to the networksPosted by d20 Entertainment
                                                    For backers only 
Hey everyone, we are very close to having our Traveller TV Show picked up.  Or not. But we are in the final weeks of negotiations.  I can't promise that it will get picked up, but I can promise that we have a predominate executive producer pitching it to showtime, hobo, amazon, netflix AND we have a predominate director who is currently up for an academy award interested in the property. 
Once again, the entertainment business is a HARD industry to crack (especially when you are a dishonest fuck - oops, sorry).  But we are doing our best thanks to you!!! Within the next few weeks we will be announcing a show, which means only the backers will ever see the pilot.   OR we will be releasing the pilot and turning over the DVDS to FarFuture for distribution.  (this would require Ken actually producing the DVDs) Once again, thank you for all your help. 
Below is a 1 minute promo that the EP marketing team came up with to get the companies interested in picking up the show.  Yes, they used a lot of graphics from other shows, but this was never meant to be seen by anyone but high end executives who have to be spoon fead simple concepts. (what a fucking tool - I wonder if those high end executives actually read this shit flowing from Ken's mouth?)
But wait! What actually was in that 1 minute promo?
The video linked at the end is full of footage from the movie "Serenity", and while I love Firefly and Serenity, you aren't going to sell a TV show by using footage from a movie produced by a different studio.
Bingo! Ken, you are a tool. Go get your shine box 'cause you ain't foolin' anyone anymore!

White Star - Further Thoughts on the Star Preacher & Star Priest - or - Who Put Miracles in my Sci-Fi?

As I find myself going deeper down the rabbit hole of miraculous powers in White Star, it becomes even clearer to me that the Star Preacher and the Star Priest will need to be two totally separate classes with two nearly unique sets of miraculous powers.

The Star Preacher would get powers similar to sanctuary, CLW (at a roll of + 1 to the die), protection from evil / enemies, purify food and drink, light, shield (as the magic-user spell - admittedly not in white box), detect evil thoughts, bless, find traps, neutralize poison and the like. Most powers would take a full round to activate, where he goes through a whole bunch of rituals. Non-believers would suspect it's all smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that science is being used. Light to no armor with a limited weapon selection. He's the medic and support for a well rounded party, able to defend his friends while still trying to find an inner peace. God needs him in the universe and wherever he lands there will be broken beings that need to be fixed, physically if not spiritually.

The Star Priest is the clergy that wades into battle. He inspires his troops as much as he puts fear into his enemy. While the appearance of the Star Preacher would generally be subdued, the Star Priest goes over the top. He wants to be seen by both friends and foe. CLW and well as Cause (with a + 1 to the roll when used to cause wounds), darkness, fear, bless / curse, cause poison, locate object, hold person / monster and the like. All weapons and all armor. He's on a mission for the church and the rest of the party is just along for the ride, and if necessary, the sacrifice. The mission can be a long one to complete and even the priest knows not to question the circumstances his god has placed him in.


White Star - The Man With No Name (Character Class)

You've seen them even if you didn't remark about it at the time. Drifters, yet something more. They have a purpose, something that drives them. Maybe it's revenge, but they don't seem to take things all that personal. You should know their name, but it really isn't all that important, is it? Joe? Blondie? You know, "that guy". The Man With No Name. Damn if he ain't a good shot with that gun though. When did he land on planet anyway?

The Man With No Name blends easily into a crowd, but that's the point, isn't it? Loose, nondescript clothing is the only thing in style. If you do have to take a life in the city, it's best no one remembers much about you. Of course, if you do need to take a life, it's simply justice. The law doesn't always put a value on that, and being spaced or hung is not the way for an honest man to die. Keep your head down and keep walking. Much obliged.

LEVEL      XP      HD      BHB      ST
1                  0        1           +0        15  
2              2,250     2           +1        14
3              4,500     3           +2        13
4              9,000     4           +3        12
5            18,000     4+1       +3        11
6            36,000     5           +4        10
7            72,000     6           +5          9
8          144,000     6+1       +5          8
9          288,000     7           +6          7
10        576,000     7+1       +6          6

Weapons / Armor Restrictions - Any weapon in wilderness. Any weapon concealable under his poncho or clothing in an urban environment. Any armor in wilderness. Light Armor in urban environments (unless the default armor is higher in that local) The point, as always, is to blend.

Always Has A Credit - Although The Man With No Name is limited in his belongings to what he can carry, he always has enough credit to pay for a cheap meal and a dump of a lodging. Even if he has more credit than he knows what to do with, he always goes for the cheap meal and the dump of a lodging.

Take 'Em Down Hard - Once per combat, The Man With No Name can take a -2 penalty to hit in return for rolling twice the number of damage dice if he does hit.

Saving Throw - + 2 to any saving throw that is a dodge or reflex type more

XP Bonus for High Constitution - The Man With No Name with a Constitution of 13 or 14 receives a 5% Experience Bonus. Those with a 15 or higher get a 10% bonus.

May Never Have Assistants - He's (un)lucky enough to have adventuring companions. Assistants would bring undo attention.

Fast Healer - The Man With No Name heals faster than normal folk. He heals at a rate of 1 HP of damage per day WITHOUT rest, 2 HP per day with rest.

(easy enough to use in a more standard White Box campaign pretty much as is)

OGL






Friday, January 15, 2016

Yes, You Can Pay Ken Whitman for the Privilege of Being in His Demo Reels (with equipment he previously claimed was sold)



Ah, Ken Whitman. He's a liar. No, he's a thief. Wait, he's a lying thief. How about scammer? Are we forgetting scammer? Shit. Okay, he's a lyingtheifscammer. Fuck, lets just call him a Scoundrel and be done with it.

What is Ken / Whit / Whitless latest scam?

Speed Reels

You to can participate at $100 an actor. No, that's not how much he is paying. It's what you pay him.

Oh, and the equipment pictured?


This was all purchased with the backer money from the KotDT: LAS Kickstarter. Yep, the same project he abandoned. The same equipment he claimed to have sold to pay off debts.

You can call him Whit or call him Ken, but in the end it doesn't matter. He's the Scoundrel your mother warned of. Sadly, so many ignore the warning.

Thanks to Jolly for bringing this to my attention.

As an aside, do any readers have connection in the Atlanta Film Community? They may want to warn those that may listen...




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