Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What Wonders a Three Day Weekend Getaway Can Do for Your Mental Health

For those of you following at home, May was not a good month for your tavern keeper. Issues with my mother's cousin (and my "retirement burden" as had been mapped out prior) went south early in the month, which resulted in her being placed by the state in a nursing home and the state declaring her incompetent. We've had tons of trickle down stress, cleaning of the house, searching for documents and financial info, other assorted bs and associated family guilt for those first few weeks. Just prior to that I turned in my shield as I finish my last steps to full retirement. It was emotional and occupied it's share of my thoughts. Then we had the small health issue that left me bed ridden for nearly a week and for which I finally finished the antibiotics this past weekend.

Posting for May was down by about 35 percent compared to April. Shit, I may as well have still been working midnights ;)

I literally needed a reboot, and that is what this past weekend was. I feel refreshed. I no longer feel like my mind is going in multiple directions. Oh, and the ability to painlessly sit is seriously under-appreciated by the world at large.

I got to very few of the Chuck Fundraiser gift emails during May (passing info on to those offering gifts for those donating) It finally got rebooted today and will continue throughout the rest of the week. Yes, I'll be at NTRPG Con, but that's never stopped me from posting and it wont stop me from emailing. I'll just bring my printed lists with me.

StarSlinger material will be returning to The Tavern. I've also found it a home (or rather, a home found it) for when it comes time to publish it. I'm very comfortable with the situation. It couldn't have worked out better.

Alright, time to pack for the morning flight to Dallas.

Kickstarter - The Driftwood Verses - (OSR / LotFP)

This is going to be a first. I'm going to suggest you watch a Kickstarter video because it's damn good. How much does it have to do with The Driftwood Verses itself? Damned if I know. Looks great and it's nice and short. Go and watch it. I'll wait.


It was good, right?

If The Driftwood Verses setting comes close to half the atmosphere in that short video it will be amazing.

So, what are / is The Driftwood Verses?
The Driftwood Verses is a gloomy, nautical fantasy campaign setting for old-school tabletop role-playing games. It's directly compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess and more broadly compatible with a large selection of traditional systems. The contents can be used as a stand alone setting or slotted into your existing kitchen sink fantasy campaign as a distinct region in a larger world. 
The setting was conceived as a Dark Sun-esque re-skinning of standard D&D tropes, starting with the conceit that "whales are dragons." It has since developed into something well beyond that original idea. The major inspirations include stuff like Moby Dick, Dishonored, Sunless Sea, Dune, The Scar, and the Monster Blood Tattoo series. 
The book focuses on a blighted maritime region called Walfismeer. It's an impressionistic fantasy setting, a collection of symbols and metaphors come to life. Anachronisms abound. Grizzled mariners pilot haunted, tentacle-powered iron ships across a sludge-poisoned sea. Sinister roachmen quad-wield black powder pistols in hungry cities ruled by vice and bloodsport. Secretly trained navigators employ esoteric disciplines to guide vessels across a mysterious psychic barrier called The Reef. Desperate meerfolk raise sonorous hymns to Leviathan in deep-sea, whale-corpse cathedrals. 
This is NOT another rehash of the typical age of sail/talk-like-a-pirate setting. It's something slightly weirder. It's like Melville's Nantucket meets Leiber's Lankhmar with an oil-spill-chic soundtrack by Tom Waits and Bathory rattling in the background.
12 bucks for the PDF. 25 bucks (+5 for shipping) for the Print plus PDF.

I'm in for the Print plus...

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Birthday to Tenkar's Tavern - 7 Years Old Today

Yep. 7 years old today.

I wish I could explain the longevity and success of The Tavern, but it's beyond my ability.

I do know that it wouldn't have happened without you, the readers, the regulars at The Tavern. Quite simply, without the community, there would be no Tavern.

Okay, time for bed. Lots of emails to catch up on before NTRPG Con. Tomorrow will be busy.

Thank you all. Here's to seven more :)

No One Expects... The Building Inspectors (a Session Write Up & Play Review of Polyhedral Dungeon

Last night, while enjoying the calming sounds of rain falling on a tin roof, I hopped into a Roll 20 session of Polyhedral Dungeon run by none other than my good friend and writer of said game, +Jason Paul McCartan . Joining me in acts of virtual depravity were +James Spahn , +Keith J Davies and +David B .

Not so long set up shortened, we were recruited to recover three identical statues from a bunch of evil cultists. Of course, evil cultists means carte blanc for acts that aren't normally approved by the average adventurer's guild.

I'm going to borrow the following from a comment Keith posted on G+ earlier today with additional info provided by me:
We walked up to the big oak doors of this place, they weren't locked. So we pulled them open and, since they were on pin hinges, popped the pins and the door fell down.
Explanation: The halfling (James) wanted to remove a door so we couldn't get locked in. He wanted to borrow the dwarf's hammer (me) to do so. Instead, I took down the door
Cultist/priest came running out.
"Building inspector. You know what the penalty is for having doors that can fall on and injure someone?"
Yep, my line. Because of 20 years of civil service, I know the hoops you can make people jum through.
"They didn't do that until you go here!"
"Yeah, clearly they weren't to code. Have you got a signed inspection report?"
"GAH!" walks off
*twang* (crossbow)
That was all James. Halflings are violent, yo!
"What, he was coming right at us." removes crossbow bolt, rolls body over, jams it into the front
after following cultists who fled down some stairs 
"Inadequately lit stairway, no hand rail. Total health and safety hazard here. See? We've got a couple people injured at the bottom of the stairs right now." thoroughly apply hammer to the one still twitching "Head injuries are a serious problem in unsafe conditions like this. I want to see a handrail and proper lighting when I come back."
This was a bit of everyone throwing out lines ate this point. Polyhedral Dungeon expects you to come up with a Schtick or gimmick for your character to make them moire memorable, as well as a quote. For me, these came up in play during the first session.  "No one expects... the Building Inspectors!"

Beyond some excellent roleplay we got to give the PD rules a shake too. Keith remarked that they reminded him a bit of Far Away Land, and he's right, they did in a way. Just like in FAL, once your grok the rules they kinda fade to the back of your mind. Advantage, attacks (and defense), damage (and armor) and the painful disadvantage that taking damage does to both PCs and the adversaries.

Unlike D&D type games, a damaged opponent is less of a threat than an undamaged opponent. Whittling down multiple adversaries instead of concentrating on taking out a single one appears to be more effective.

I used brownie points to negate the small amounts damage I was taking in combat with a half dozen skeletons, because I immediately saw how a little damage can easily be a rolling stone towards death.

One thing that needs to be spelled out a bit more, at least for those of use coming from the OSR end of the spectrum, is how to effectively put oneself in position to gain advantage. Sometimes we just need some examples spelled out for us.

In the end, it felt like D&D without being D&D. I'm still partly amazed at how easily the rules faded into the background, just like they do for me when I play most OSR games that are built on the rules I've played since I was a teenager. That says a lot.

I'm looking forward to the next game session of "Calishun BrightAxe, Independent Building Inspector."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Polyhedral Dungeon Hits Silver on DriveThruRPG - I Get to Play it Tonight!

Polyhedral Dungeon hit Silver over at DriveThruRPG last night (still Copper over at RPGNow) Pretty exciting for a game that I was getting sneak peeks during the creation.

Even better, +Jason Paul McCartan is running a session of PD tonight so I'll be able to post a "play review", hopefully before I head to NTRPG Con.

Gonna be another hot one in the Poconos today. Time to head out for a heart attack breakfast ;)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

On Monday, The Tavern Will Have Served Beer and Sausages for 7 Years

Yep, on Memorial day, May 31st, Tenkar's Tavern will turn 7 years old. Seven years already. Holy shit.

While heavily focused on the OSR, we've also ventured into Kickstarters - the good, the bad and the downright evil. Some indie games, some random thoughts.

So, it occurred to me earlier today. With all this talk about women in gaming, just how many read The Tavern? Damn if I know. It occurred to be that The Tavern's Facebook Community page could give an idea. Lets see. 476 members. How many can I identify as women? Six, although one is the daughter of Gary himself.

Still, six women (maybe more where names are initials and the graphic gives no hint). We're looking at less than 2%. Let's assume the numbers are screwy and double them. Less than 4% (closer to 3%)

Is it me? I don't think so.

Is it the OSR? More likely. I'd say NTRPG Con comes in between 10-15% women attendees, many of them with their spouses.

Why is that? Is it that old "men are from Mars and women are from Venus" shtick? We're wired differently and enjoy different games and genres?

Apparently so. Its simply the nature of Nature.

Some women do enjoy "kicking ass" as my wife so gleefully just reminded me. Next thing I know she'll take kickboxing up again.

Women, ladies, girls, butt kicking goddesses of goodness - whatever they want to call themselves, are always welcome at The Tavern. I, and The Tavern itself, are true to our very own nature and have been for seven years.

So please, come into The Tavern for the beer and sausages, but stay for the conversation and the community.

Finally Away for an Overnight for the First Time Since Last Summer - Laptop, Tablet and DT&T Came with Me

Rach and I hadn't gotten away from the city since last summer. My change of days off and work hours, first to evenings and later to midnights, made getting away for even a weekend nigh impossible. With me retired, we no longer have the same restrictions.

We're in the Poconos thru Monday morning, then off to NTRPG Con on d Wednesday. I struggle with the gaming material I wanted to bring with me tom read, then settled on Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls along with a table full of PDFs. dT&T is a spare copy, so it will stay at my parents' house You never know when a game of T&T may suddenly break out.

Tomorrow night I'll be plying in a Polyhedral Dungeon session run by none other than The Badger ( +Jason Paul McCartan himself). Expect a review / play report with be posted prior to our heading out to Dallas.

92 degrees in the Pocono Mountains in May. I wonder if Dallas in June will be cooler?

Kickstarter - Bard's Gate - With Stretch Goals for Non-Backers Too!

Bard' s Gate is the latest Frog God Kickstarter and it comes in the usual three flavors these days - 5e, Swords & Wizardry and Pathfinder. In less than a day it's hit a third of it 75K goal, but that's not the big news. The big news is that Frog God Games is working with TableTopLibrary, the new online RPG distributor of PDF and Print gaming goodies and hopeful competitor to OBS. They have set stretch goals that will be given to ALL registered TableTopLibrary customers if the numbers are reached, whether or not the TTL customers are backers of the Bard's Gate Kickstarter or not.

That makes for a pretty good reason to check out the TableTopLibrary site if you ask me.

+Matt Finch mentioned the details on his blog and I'm going to add to the bandwidth below:
We’re excited to announce our cooperation with Frog God Games on the Bard’s Gate Kickstarter. This project funds an epic, full-color book describing the iconic fantasy city of Bard’s Gate, and the Kickstarter is already on track to a massive success. 
And we thought to ourselves -- because we do that sometimes -- “Why limit stretch goals just to people who pledge for a Kickstarter? If it does well, let’s give everybody some stuff!” 
So here’s the plan – it’s a type of cooperation that hasn’t been done before between an online retailer like us, working with a publisher like Frog God Games. If it works well, we’ll do this with other Kickstarters in the future to help boost their signals. 
For ALL registered customer here at Tabletop Library, if the Bard’s Gate Kickstarter does well, we’ve arranged with Frog God Games to put up some of their Bard’s Gate related products for free until (just after) the end of the Kickstarter. So don’t forget – if you’re not already registered as a customer at the www.tabletoplibrary.com, you should register now to be included in these goals! 
Here is our schedule of the Tabletop Library Double-Rewards for the Bard’s Gate Kickstarter: 
$25,000: Gulf of Akados Region Map. If the Bard’s Gate Kickstarter reaches $25,000 in pledges, we will put the Gulf of Akados poster map (pdf) up as a free product until just after the end of the Kickstarter. The Gulf of Akados is the region where Bard’s Gate is located. 
$45,000 Sinnar Coast Region Map. If the Kickstarter reaches $45,000 in pledges, we will put the Sinnar Coast Region poster map (pdf) up as a free product until just after the end of the Kickstarter. The Sinnar Coast Region contains the Bard’s Gate colony-cities of Eastgate and Telar Brindel. 
$75,000 Rogues in Remballo Adventure Module. If the Kickstarter reaches $75,000 in pledges, we will put all three versions of the module Rogues in Remballo (5e, PF, and S&W) up as free products until just after the end of the Kickstarter. Rogues in Remballo concerns matters involving the House of Borgandy, a banking family in Suilley that has extensive financial dealings with Bard’s Gate.

Did I mention the Bard's Gate Kickstarter is going to have some Easter Eggs of interest to members of the OSR community and gaming in general? I didn't mention it? OK... I said nothing, I know nothing...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Far West - The "Utter Bullshit" Admission - Since it's Time to Rebuild Trust, Maybe it WILL Actually Release?

Sure, I sometimes feel like I'm kicking a dead horse with Far West. It's the same ol' same ol', new release date, missed release date, new release date, missed release date.

With Gareth's latest comments on the Far West Kickstarter page, I'd ALMOST be willing to credit him for owning up to his bullshit... but I can't. Because in truth, he isn't owning up to anything.
some of the things that happened mean that things I said a while back now look like utter bullshit.
In truth, many of the things that happened (or never happened) were utter bullshit when they were announced, looks have nothing to do with it.

Since Gareth is rebooting Adamant as a publisher of gaming material, he needs to rebuild a sense of trust. Would you trust this man to pay you on time? Would you be able to give him what you promised him you would produce 4 1/2 years after the due date? Of all the places would be game writers could freelance for, would this really be a first choice?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Tenkar's Tavern Facebook Community has Hit the 453 Members Mark

It was just over 2 weeks ago that we had hit 400 members for The Tavern's Facebook Community - I just approved the 453rd member of the community a few minutes ago.

It's beyond humbling.

The transition from sworn public servant and part time tavern keeper to retired and devoting more time to what had been, up until recently, simply a hobby, hasn't been the easiest, if only because life likes to keep one on their toes. I suspect things will calm down once I get back from NTRPG Con.

Check that. Things will probably get busier, but less of that will involve the old job and more of that will involve the thing that I truly enjoy - old school gaming. Oh, and beer.

Thanks to everyone that has pulled up a stool or chair in this virtual tavern we all share.

I've mentioned this before but it's about time I remind folks - The Tavern may bear my name and I may be the barkeep, but it's your community. I welcome guest posts and guest posters. One of the many ways to contact me is on the right side of this page, but you can use Hangout Chat, Facebook IM, email - whatever you need. Email might be the slowest to get a response as it doesn't get read on a daily basis, but it does get read.

Alright, need to pack. Tomorrow I head to the Poconos for the first time since late July of last year. When we return, Rach and I will need to pack for NTRPG Con. Fun times :)

For those interested, the link to The Tavern's Facebook Community is here. If you are an old school blogger, feel free to link your posts in the community. It belongs to all of us after all.

RPGNow is Running a 25% of Selected Supers Titles

To be honest, I'm not a huge supers gamer. While I loved the comics when I was younger and I'm really enjoying what DC and Marvel are doing on TV and in the movies, supers as a gaming genre has never really bitten me.

That being said, I know superhero gaming has a sizable following.

RPGNow has a 25% sale going on for select superhero titles thru the end of May. Thankfully, no one has the license for Marvel at the moment, so the revelation that Captain America is a Hydra agent can be ignored...

Downsizing Your Game Collection? DM Cojo is Looking for Donations for a Middle School RPG Club

DM Cojo (Cory Gahsman) of THAC0s Hammer podcasting fame is a middle school teacher in Michigan. Corey recently started up a gaming club at the middle school he works in and has a GoFundMe seeking donations of cash or gaming material for the club.

I figured with the response to yesterday's post about downsizing my gaming collection, there might be a few others interested in helping the next generation of gamers transition solidly into the OSR ;)
I am a middle school teacher in Michigan.  This year, I started a club to play tabletop role playing games (RPGs) with some of my students.  What started out with two small groups at lunch has now expanded to five groups playing each week.   
I have three groups playing Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and two groups playing D6 Star Wars, right now.  The kids in the club are having a great time, and have shown great interest in other types of RPGs.   
The club has been a fantastic experience, and many of the kids in the group are interested in continuing the experience next year.  The club has been a great social outlet for many kids who don't fit into the traditional social groups at the school, and new friendships are forming because of the game. 
Role playing games help build social interaction, collaboration, problem solving, and math skills, as well as imagination. 
Unfortunately, the school does not have resources to fund the club.  I am happy to donate my lunch time and planning period to run the games, but I would love to see the club continue to grow and expand into other games. 
My vision is to build a RPG library for the school, of both old and new types of games (and of course, dice!).  Students could then check games out and play them on their own.  
I would look to add copies of currently available games (5th edition Dungeons and Dragons, Fantasy Flight Star Wars, Rifts, Swords and Wizardry, and Labyrinth Lord to name a few) as well as classic, out of print games that can be added for a reasonable price (Marvel Super Heroes, Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Car Wars, and older versions of D&D, for example).  
The plan is for the club to continue meeting once a week during summer break, at the local library!   Every donation will help and is much appreciated!  You will be helping kids grow their imagination, make connections with other middle schoolers, and creating a library for kids to play with for years to come!
Corey gives his shipping address on the GoFundMe page, which I am not repeating here for privacy sake. Simply go to the GoFundMe page and drop a few bucks in the kitty or send a few books and bring OSR joy to a new generation of gamers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern - I Will be at The Pub

Tonight is a very special episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. One of the scenes was filmed at my local pub - The Grandstand. Both my usual bartender and the pub's owner, both named John, have roles are bartenders in tonight's season finale. 9PM tonight on NBC.

I'll have my phone with me, but the first hour or so I'll be at The Grandstand to celebrate our local celebrities.

Expect my participation for the first hour or so to be piss poor to say the least ;)

Time to Downsize the Game Collection - So it Has Been Said, So it Shall be Done

So Rach, hereafter to be referred to as "The Wife", as she has used her wifely prerogative on me in regards to "clutter" has told me in no uncertain terms that I need to downsize my physical gaming collection. I thought I did pretty well last Saturday when I handed out 15 gaming books to my old gaming group, but it's just a start.

In truth, The Wife has a valid point. I am a "collector", not just of old but of new and everything in between. I have more stuff than shelf space, and although it has been suggested I get another small bookshelf to place on my desk, that is merely a stop gap measure.

First thing to go will be duplicates. Do I need every printing of the Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook? I have them, sadly. Maybe first printing and most recent. I've got a bunch of doubles from the various grab bags I've picked up over the past few Christmas season and of course D20 / Pathfinder versions of stuff I also own in Swords & Wizardry versions. Print copies of games or supplements I know I'll never get around to using that I also own in PDF (does not include any Frog God Games releases, as that stuff is collectible in my humble judgement.)

I figure I'll start the downsizing mid June, giving my old gaming group first pick. After that, who knows.

I guess I didn't help my cause when I offered to clear out space a week ago Sunday in the computer room / man cave for The Wife to do her yoga. Still, it's hard to argue with truth, and The Wife is right.

I simply have "too much shit". Besides, a happy wife is a happy life. I truly do love Rach, so if this makes her happy (and there is always the far reaches of the attic ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

NTRPG Con 2016 - Beware The Tavern Keeper and the Selfie Stick

I've had a blast the last two NTRPG Cons. Rach and I have met with, ate with, drank with and gamed with more friends than I can ever count. So I was surprised when a fairly prominent blogger and social media butterfly accused me of having as much fun as a rock and speaking with no one but my wife. Sure, I happened to not cross paths with the person in question (although she was stalking me it seems) but I'm sure that has nothing to do with the sour grapes thrown in my direction.

To make a certain point that can only be made with pictures and to ensure I have pictographic memories for years to come, your Tavern Keeper will be armed with a selfie stick for his smart phone.

Yes, you too can be immortalized at Tenkar's Tavern for a lifetime to come.

Of course, if I happen to not actually see you, we probably won't actually converse and therefore a selfie would not happen.

So, forewarned is forearmed. I will be taking pics with friends and colleagues. These pictures will be posted at The Tavern. Because this rock needs to be immortalized in pictures ;)

Monday, May 23, 2016

State of The Tavern (Keeper) - May 23, 2016 - Moving Slowly but Moving

Thanks to all for the kind wishes. Yes, I can sit again. Sadly, I am sleeping somewhere near to 12 hours a day, thanks in large part to the antibiotics I'm on for the next week or so. I'm not complaining, as it's much better than not sleeping, sitting, shi... well, you get the idea.

I got a handful of emails out today to give gift givers the info for their gift receivers re: Chuck's GoFundMe. I had hoped to get to the rest tomorrow, but I have niece-sitting afternoon and evening and then a trip to work late at night to clear out the rest of my locker. I may need to settle on just getting a post out and doing the rest of the emails on Wednesday.

I did, however, get to read the Polyhedral Dungeon from virtual cover to virtual cover while lying in bed with the dog between naps. It's damn inspiring. While I still need to finish up StarSlinger for the White Star RPG I'm thinking of a small sandbox setting for Polyhedral Dungeon drawing upon Cthulhu influences while still being firmly grounded in fantasy. So, horror but very much not like Ravenloft and it's ilk. I'll let that run around my head until I get home from NTRPG Con in two weeks and see what comes of it.

So yes, there will be an actual review of Polyhedral Dungeon coming later this week.

Alright, time for sleep. Yes, more sleep.

First Look - Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition (Wild Games Productions) - Part the First, I Have Class

I've had in my grubby little virtual hands the PDF of the soon to be released Deluxe Edition of Mazes & Perils for a few weeks now and I've finally gotten around to giving it a proper perusal. Don't know about Mazes & Perils? The Gold ENnie winning RPG is available for free download at RPGNow. I'm looking at the soon to be released Deluxe Edition with this post :)

First and foremost, the annoying watermarking that many publishers feel they need to make their product look special but usually winds up making the product unreadable? It's so subtle here that it actually adds to me reading experience. Not a whole lot, but it is pleasant. Well, that and it's a dungeon map or maze, so very appropriate.

Something that jumps out at me right away is that Dexterity does not adjust one's armor class, for good or ill. Interesting, as it makes armor all that much more valuable and makes the armor-less casters just that much more squishy.

The rest of the ability scores and modifiers are much as your already know, tho' the actually modifiers are a bit different from other OSR games, they are different across pretty much ALL of the OSR games. Close enough to be compatible with others, although fighting men do get the % Strength Roll if their Strength is 18.

Your classes are: Fighting Man, Magic-User, Cleric, Thief, Enchanter and Shaman

Enchanter and Shaman are new. Both have their own spell list and are easily added to the OSR game of your choice with minimal adjustments.

You have the usual four races and the maximum level any class can reach is 12 (with some classes restricted by race and most classes restricted by level by race)

I need to note that this is a five point alignment system, or is it four points plus a middle? Lawful Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Evil, Chaotic Evil and Neutral.

Alright, that's the character stuff. Onwards to Part the Second, where we'll discuss "stuff" ;)

The Gygax Memorial Fund has 5 Stated Objectives - 3 Are Not Related to the Memorial - Why Have NONE Been Implemented?

Over three weeks ago a third party who supposedly had Gail Gygax's ear told me that the audit of the Fund would be posted in the "next week or so". It's been over 3 weeks. I don't expect it anytime soon, but that's not the point of this post. It did, however, get me thinking about the stated objectives of the Gygax Memorial Fund, as they are related to it's tax exempt status.

Edit: Maybe I should have used "accomplished" instead of "implemented" - but whatever, the haven't been done

The first two objectives are related to the memorial itself. Many, if not most people following the GMF forget that there are three other objectives for the Fund to fulfill it's tax exempt purpose:

- To sponsor informational events open to the public which focus on his work - In the years of the Fund's existance, can someone point me to any of the above informational events sponsored by the Fund? Isn't this something that could be accomplished while the Memorial Itself is being finalized?

- To engage in other activities related to educating the public about his achievement - First, what does this actually mean? Second, can anyone identify actual examples?

- To establish a scholarship program in his name for students with a demonstrated need for assistance to study at an accredited college or university - Now, I know there is no scholarship program established by the Fund in Gary's name. It's been discussed prior that investing the Fund's monies at a return as little as 1% would have allowed for the establishment of a scholarship of $2,000 a year without effecting the Funds monies. It would also have shown the Fund accomplishing one of it's five stated objectives.

All of the Fund news is either about the Memorial process, donations coming in or requests for donations. I fail to see a listing of any accomplishments by the Fund. It would seem to me that objectives 3 thru 5 would be easy enough (and cheap enough) to implement throughout the years and show accomplishments by the Fund in place of the stagnation that has been the lingering impression.

Maybe the GMF has accomplished goals 3 and 4. If so, that is truly newsworthy and should be highlighted.

Again, if you can point me in the direction of ANY of these missing bits of potential news, I'll be in you debt.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Kickstarter - Solid Copper RPG Gaming Dice - Hand Stamped, Old World Style

Solid Copper RPG Gaming Dice.

I'm not so sure how well this will work out in actual gaming. Wait, I actually DO know, as I own a set of copper polyhedrals. If I don't put a towel or cloth down before rolling these fucking dice, I literally dent my desk. Found out the hard way.

Now, these are hand stamped, which is kinda cool. They are also only available as a D6 (with possible D4 and D12 variations down the line) which is, to be honest, a bit lame for the average OSR gamer.

And yes, while the picture above looks like everything is finely balanced and centered, it will not always be the case.

Two dice for $20. Five dice for $40 (with a free leather dice bag)

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not feeling it...

Adventurer Conquerer King System (ACKS) System Resource Document

During today's recording of the latest episode of the Path of Legends Podcast, the Adventurer Conquerer Kings System was brought up in regards to how it handles characters dipping down to and below zero hit points. My cohost, +Vincent Florio mentioned that ACKS had a System Resource Document (SRD). I didn't believe him at first but he found the link. Vince was right. ACKS has an SRD.

Here's the ACKS SRD link. The chapters are in plain text, it's no frills but it's definitely useful and even better, it's free ;)

Strangely enough, I was supposed to play in the first session of ACKS for my gaming group in a couple of years last night, but I was exhausted from a week of illness and an afternoon and evening of socializing with my old gaming buddies. I'll have to wait till next week.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Gathering of Fools 2016 - Young at Heart 30 Years Later

The sixth member of our group, who was a peripheral member of the group in our high school days and returned to the fold over the past few years, took the above shot at dinner earlier today.

I've known the other four members of the group pictured above for over 30 years. I was the only one in the above picture that (A) never learned to play an instrument useful in a heavy metal band or otherwise and (B) never had long, heavy metal hair when I gamed back in high school and college.

We've helped each other move (some multiple times), been at each other's weddings, supported each other in bad times and helped celebrate the good times. Three of the four were also working at the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks, and the fact that we only lost one friend (whose picture can be found on the table shown in tonight's prior post) is probably a small miracle, but we would have preferred a larger one.

I just need to convince them that playing once a month via Roll20 is not only viable but damn close to what we had going back in our younger days of gaming. Well, without the practice jokes (hard to replicate the classic Easy Cheese Randomly Squeezed Into the Group's Ring Ding Supply at a virtual table ;)

Gaming, it does a soul good :)

Gathering of Fools - 2016 - Annual College Era Gaming Group Get Together

Each spring, sometime around May 21st, my old college era gaming group (which has it's roots in my high school era gaming group) does a get together in the memory of the friend and gamer that we lost on 9-11. Paul, we miss you every year, you live in our hearts and our gamer war stories forever.

Sadly, it took the loss of Paul to remind us of the need to renew out bonds every year, but every year we do have a blast. This year, copies of deluxe Tunnels & Trolls were given out as well as some duplicates from my gaming collection that were diced for. Fun times.

Name the movie pictured for a fabulous Marvel "No Prize". Thankfully, I successfully convinced the others to watch Deadpool instead.

I wore Thor socks then found our host, Brian had a Thor glass. Needless to say that was my glass for the day.

I feel tired but recharged emotionally after 2 long weeks, emotionally, mentally and physically. Tomorrow we record a podcast and I finish matching up prize receivers with those that are receiving prizes. Monday I get back to where I had planned to be this past Monday, which is somewhat caught up and on track.

Thanks for your patience, kind words and good thoughts. It's certainly helped with my stress levels these past 2 weeks.

Friday, May 20, 2016

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Trolls of Mistwood - DCC RPG Adventure

Real quick post, as my time seated is still limited (but better than it had been)

Today's RPGNow Deal of the Day is Trolls of Mistwood for the DCC RPG. It's by +David Fisher , who also did most of the art. It's a fine piece of work and a steal at $2.99.

There's about 12 hours left in the sale, so you know what to do...

Buckaroo Banzai Series Coming to TV - So Gareth, What About Those Preorders for the RPG from 2011?

Yep, Buckaroo Banzai is going to be a TV series. Strange, aint that? A pretty shitty movie generating a TV series. Wouldn't it be even stranger is it spawned an RPG? Wait, it did - kinda.

Buckaroo Banzai the RPG took preorders back in July of 2011. It was announced by Adamant Entertainment. Who's that, you may ask? None other than Gareth - the man who is 4 1/2 years late on the Far West RPG Kickstarter - but hey, you're paying for the process, not the product with a Kickstarter - at least, that's what certain folks like to say.

It was due out in Spring of 2012, but that never happened. But we do have a kickass cover. Gareth is really good at doing covers. Delivering products paid for in advance by his customers? Not so good.

Now, with increased attention on the Buckaroo Banzai Franchise, I expect many of those preorders are going to be saying to themselves:

"Shit - I preordered the Buckaroo Banzai RPG like a fucking half decade ago. Where is it? Is there at least a PDF?"

Alas, no PDF, but don't worry, I'm sure Gareth will get right on it when he finishes Far West at the end of the month. Which month? Why ask?

How about refunds?

Gareth is now happily unemployed. He is no longer fulfilling Kickstarter refunds, as that money is long gone. And while backers MAY see a PDF at some point, I don't expect any white knights to pony up cash to let him print the books the backers are owed. So, if he has no money for Far West refunds, he has no money for Buckaroo Banzai refunds.

The thing is, Kickstarter is not a preorder system, as we are told by the fuck ups so many times. Conversely, preorders are not crowdfunding, they have certain protections under the law. You can demand your money back for a preorder. Federal law requires that you be refunded and refunded promptly.

So, if you're waiting on your Buckaroo Banzai preorder to arrive, know full well it's at LEAST 4 years out, as that seems to be the minimal amount of time it takes Gareth to produce an RPG these days. That's after he's already sat on your money, interest free, for 5 years.

Think it's time to ask for a refund?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Far West Promises Yet ANOTHER End of the Month Delivery Date - Which Month? Keep Guessing...

Gareth is simply amazing. I really mean that. Only one so full of themselves and blind to their own failings would promise YET ANOTHER end of the month delivery date for the phantom known as Far West.

BTW, when you make an update on your Kickstarter project, don't fault people for not getting updates via social media or the comments section of the Kickstarter. It's your responsibility to get the word out as to the progress (or lack there of) of your project. It IS NOT the backers responsibility to follow your fucking tweets about politics and your other shit, although this one is pretty accurate:

Yep, Gareth Skarka, making up Far West release dates since 2011...

So, without further comment (who the fuck am I kidding, there WILL be Grumpy Dwarf commenting) here's the latest Far West update.

Update #225 (imagine 225 updates and so many lies buried within)

May 18 2016 (I'm late with this post - I know)

Hey folks --

A lot of this information is repeated from stuff I've posted in the Comments section at Kickstarter, and on Twitter -- but I know that a lot of you don't keep up with that stuff, so I'm doing sort of a summary here. (really, why would anyone keep up with such stuff - it's your responsibility to update those of us that gave you money for a product that's gone down Kickstarter hell, it is not our responsibility to read your political posts in an effort to find the next Far West lies)

My teaching gig is over -- the institute is folding it's Game Design program, with the graduation of the current seniors.  I enjoyed my time there (and the ability it afforded me to take care of my lingering medical bills from my 2014 crisis), but if I'm being honest, the most recent semester, where I switched over to a full course load, was a mistake. (not for nothing, but if the program is being folded, I suspect there were a lot of mistakes) My work outside of class (including FAR WEST) was severely impacted (no it wasn't, it wasn't happening in any case - there's always been a reason or person to blame for the failure to produce, and taking responsibility instead of passing blame would be a first) and trying to keep up resulted in me working seven-day weeks, which isn't sustainable at all.  Bluntly, it kicked my ass, and I still didn't get things done.   So, in the end, I'm glad that I'm done with teaching, as I know can give all of my concentration to my work. (we've heard this story for the last 4 1/2 years. Nothings changed except the blame)

I was invited as a guest to ChupacabraCon last weekend (in Round Rock, Texas -- just outside of Austin), and getting to spend the weekend with a bunch of my game-industry colleagues and a bunch of enthusiastic gamers really recharged my batteries, and served as a nice transition back to "Game Designer" from "Teacher."   I'm back at work as of this morning (after a loooooong drive on I-35, and some much-needed sleep). (so, just how fast can you write a game that is past due and "almost done" for the last 4 1.2 years?)

With the ability to concentrate solely on what remains for FAR WEST, I'm expecting digital delivery somewhere around the end of the month. (Holy fucking shit! Really? Like "an angel got his wings" for real?)  Somewhere near the same time, you can also expect regular content updates to resume on the FAR WEST website. (you can't resume what never was)

A last, quick note on refunds:  Over the past few months, I've taken care of the folks to whom that was a priority.  Now that my teaching job has ended, I am no longer going to have the discretionary income to do so, without risking the ability to get everything done for everyone else.  So I'm putting a hold on any further refunds until after this is done -- and if anybody still feels strongly about it, we can talk further before physical shipment occurs.  (Which means the Kickstarter monies are all long spent, so don't expect physical copies anytime soon - or late)

As always, I'm available via comments, email, twitter, carrier pigeon and smoke signal.  I'm looking forward to finally being able to geek-out with you about the completed core book!

Thank you, as always, for your support and your patience.


Polyhedral Dungeon Released and is Sitting at #1 on the RPGNow Sales Charts - See What Happens When Your Bartender is Bedridden?

You know what sucks about being bedridden for 2 1/2 days (besides the obvious "bedridden" part)? Not being able to keep up with the pulse of the OSR, Kickstarter and beyond. I was getting updates about game releases and even Far West non-sightings and there was nothing I could do. Posting from your tablet, in bed while lying on your side? It ain't easy, let me tell you.

So, what do I find in my reviewer inbox? A comp copy of Polyhedral Dungeon. Of course, I don't know my RPGNow password, which is saved on my desktop but not my tablet. What a painful pain in the ass it was to download on my desktop, drop into Dropbox and pull it up on my tablet.

Oh what a joy it was to start reading it. Then the codeine kicked in and I dreamt polyhedral dreams.

Seriously, D4's wearing swords and a D20 warmachine running people down like the Arneson D&D module cover. What does any of this have to do with Polyhedral Dungeon by The Badger / Infinibadger Press / +Jason Paul McCartan ? No idea. It was my trip, not his.

What follows is Jason's trip...

POLYHEDRAL DUNGEON is an ultralight modern take on old school roleplaying. Using the new and simple to use and extend POLYHEDRAL SYSTEM, you can have countless hours of fun delving into dungeons and stealing dragon's hoards.

Features of the game include:

-Create new characters for play in about 5-10 minutes.
-Choose from the classic old school character tropes, but with slight twists. Play classic dungeon crawls with a flexible unified system that’s easy to learn and extend - make up your own content, or use any of the official Expansions, including The Advanced Rules which provides many new options for play, The Book of Monsters which expands and explores the Monsters in the game, The Book of -Loot for more complete treasure and loot options, including many unique items, and The Book of Magic, which expands Talents and rules for magical and divine characters.
-Designed for quick pick-up play as well as to handle large groups of players who have little experience in tabletop roleplaying - a perfect beginner’s game and still fun for experts.
-Pocket-sized, so that you can take it wherever you’re going.
-Includes dice printed in the page margins in case you forget your own, or if you need to make a secret roll as the Judge!
-Includes a Giant Badger!
-The book comes in a fully layered and bookmarked digital version, in both color and grayscale formats. Full sized character sheets are available in both formats too.

A sample adventure, The Crypts of Bes-Amat will be made available for free shortly, showcasing how simple it is to create and run adventures for the game and system.

Both Polyhedral Dungeon and the Polyhedral System are also going to be released under an open license soon, allowing third parties to create and release content for it. Details on that are still being finalized, but as soon as they are, the product will be updated to reflect it and details will be listed on our website.

Back to your bartender - I'm always looking for simplified yet deep old school feel rules, as my wife Rach pretty much stops reading gamebooks after about 5 pages and just wants to know "what do I need to roll, when do I need to roll and lets kill shit!" Before I dozed of and started tripping, I showed Rach that the ability score were actually dice and it was all about rolling high. She liked that. She liked it a lot.

State of the Tavern Keeper, Thursday May 19th, 2016 - Game On!

And so it was, that upon awaking in the morning, that the Tavern Keeper felt significantly less discomfort. He then noticed what appeared to be a crime scene on his side of the bed, one to rival this one from 19 years ago.

Off to Urgent Care to make sure the wound is clean and then... posting!

Holy shit I have catching up to do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

State of the Tavern Keeper, Wednesday May 18th, 2016 - And so it Was That Codine was Added to the Mix

Woke up today in more pain and with swelling around the abscess area. It appears the infection was penicillin resistant and caused cellulitis in the surrounding tissue. Still not ready to draim and oh so fucking painful.

New antibiotics with accompanying probiotics, as these new meds are strong. Also, Tylenol with codine, which takes the edge off for a bit. Beginning to regret turning down the percoset.

Typing this on my tablet. Sitting is NOT an option.

I'll try and pop into Tavern Chat via the tablet at 9pm eastern tonight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

State of the Tavern Keeper - Tuesday May 17th, 2016 - Lots of Reading in the Immediate Future

So, I mentioned yesterday that your Tavern Keeper was feeling under the weather. Well, I went to "urgent care" this morning and yes, I'm fighting off an infection. Cephalexin 500mg 4 times a day for 7 days. Lots of bed rest for the next few days. Joy.

More details after the page break for those that want. Squeamish may wish to just stop here ;)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Blogging Advice From the Tavern Keeper - A Good Blog Builds a Community, a Great Blog Keeps It

Yesterday, I offered some small amount of blogging advice to a blogger that was seeking commentary on his new gaming blog. Since then, I've also received an inquiry on the idea of doing an irregular series of posts with blogging advice. Now, I often say that I don't know how The Tavern has gotten as successful as it has, but that isn't exactly true. For The Tavern, it's all about "building a community", because that makes your blog more than just another website, it brings a sense of life to it. It can make a virtual location on the web seem nearly real to both your readers and you, the blogger.

Now of course, the question becomes: "How do you build that community?" That's not an easy question to answer. It's an answer with many parts, and not all answers will apply to all blogs and bloggers and not all answers are equal in importance. Here are some of the answers (I suspect there will be more, either added by me later as I think on the topic more or by members of this very community who may have different insight into the process):

1 - Focus on your passion, especially in the beginning. When I first started The Tavern, my posts were all over the place. RPGs, OSR, electronic reading devices, gaming programs and various assorted crap - I was everywhere and no where and it showed. Once I focused on RPGs (the OSR in particular and certainly not only) I started to get my voice. Once you have your voice, you can expand your focus a bit.

2 - Finding your blogging voice. For some this is a persona unique to the online environment. For others, it is the same persona as they have in real life. For me, what you see at The Tavern, warts and all, that's me. Insights into my life, my (now retired from) occupation and other assorted crap - it's all legit. Now, look at the RPG Pundit and his online persona. I can guarantee it's an over the top caricature of the real person behind it, but it's consistent and recognizable. For your readers to connect to you, there has to be a "you" to connect to.

3 - Consistency in posting. Once a week, twice a week, daily, multiple times a day, whatever it is, find a schedule that not only works for you but that your readers will be able to recognize. I generally post multiple times a day and at least once a day (i think I missed one day of posting in the last 4 years or so). I am the exception to the rule. Very few bloggers can maintain my pace, and I have no idea how I did while working a full time job plus overtime I suggest posting at least once a week, as anything less it's hard to build a sense of community around.

4 - Engage the gaming community. Comment on blog posts, G+ posts, Facebook posts, forum posts and the like. Not simply a throw away comment, but add to the conversation. To build a community you need to be a part of a larger community. If posting at a forum, include a link to your blog in your signature.

5 - Remember, it's the long tail. You don't build a community overnight. I didn't, but then again, I didn't even realize I was building a community until I had one, and I am forever grateful to those that have joined me. Like many things, it's those that wait that reap the rewards. Be patient. My first true Tavern post was May 31st, 2009. We're coming up on 7 years.

6 - Do it. You will only get better at writing by writing. You will only get better at blogging by blogging. Don't do it for the wads of cash - there are none. Don't do it for the fame - any you may find is narrow, focused and fleeting. Do it because you enjoy it. In the end, that enjoyment will carry over to your readers.

K, all for now. I'll be in bed mostly today, as my stomach and bowels are an issue along with the joy that all entails...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Black Hack and Black Hack Derived Titles Have 6 of the Top 9 Sales Spots at RPGNow

What the RPG flavor of choice for Spring of 2016?

Why, The Black Hack of course.

Six of the top nine sales spots at RPGNow are The Black Hack related. That is simply amazing. It looks like +David Black really gave us something special.

I also see that many of the titles have already opted to use The Black Hack RPG Free License that was posted about yesterday.

Nicely done, one and all.

Free - Harn Region Map - PDF (Columbia Games)

Harn products are not cheap, even in PDF.

That being said, the Harn Region Map went free in PDF earlier this year for "a limited time only." How long is that limited time? Your guess is as good as mine.

I was a fan of Harn back when it first released in my early days of gaming, and probably bought the Harn setting back in 84 or 85. You could literally spend a fortune getting everything that is released for it, but the free map shows you the attention to detail that is part and parcel of the setting.

Any Wandering Wizard / Mike Nystul Sightings? Last Axes & Anvils Update was May 17, 2015 - Last Infinite Dungeon was August 17, 2015

Yep, the Wandering Wizard appears to have wandered off.

Best as I can tell, he's gone from Facebook.

Last update on the Axes & Anvils Kickstarter was May 17, 2015, and that was from +Andrew Shields (who is still working on the Axes & Anvils rules over at the Axes & Anvils blog)

Last update on Nystul's Infinite Dungeon was August 17, 2015, where he gives us this sample of the dungeon he was working on (not a backer only update, all can find this file link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxgyrXrUYkx-YjVZY1JHMGRYTEk/view?usp=sharing

There are some interesting quotes attributed to Mike on the Infinite Dungeon KS comments section. I'm sharing here for the sake of completeness, such as it is.:
on March 16, 2016 
Here's a post from Mike, he essentially just proved my point. Based off of all he has said, what he recently posted has no merit. In essence he is just looking for more money.
"Off of Mike's page an hour ago:  
"Gamer friends - I am organizing a big book of interesting dungeon rooms that I will be offering KS backers. Many of you have offered to help. This is the time and this is the way. If you are interested in becoming part of "Mike Aid" send me a message describing what you can contribute. I would welcome art, design, editing and people who can check mechanics. I would like to offer rules for Pathfinder, D&D 5th and Old School D&D. 
Any contribution will help. I would like to do this quickly. It would make a great birthday present for me. I can't offer payment but will give you credit and will send everyone a copy of the PDF. If this PDF is ever sold all proceeds will go to KS refunds. Thanks for your time and support!"
July 1, 2015
Now he's attempting to collect more money from people:
Here's his take on his obligations to us (which, from his own words, shows that he has no intention on making good on his debt to us):  
So Chris, here is the thing. The Kickstarter thing was a disaster on many levels. One of the problems is once it failed and my personal as well as professional finances were trashed I had no resources to do much of anything to move forward. I lost everything. Not asking for sympathy here because it was the result of my bad decisions and miscalculations but i had nothing left and at one point was literally homeless. I pulled down that Indiegogo campaign you mentioned not long after it went up (I collected nothing). It would have been going down that same road, a profoundly bad idea (and in some ways in bad taste). Patreon is a different beast entirely. First, it is meant to be used to support a creator not a specific project. If you like what I'm doing - awesome! Become a Patron and we are both happy! If you don't - don't. The other thing is I went with the "only collect anything when I post" model rather than straight monthly. That way, if i produce nothing - nothing gets collected. There is no way for me to "fleece" anyone. The Patrons have complete control over things like monthly limits and I encourage them to use them. Going back to your original issue, yes, the Kickstarter issues were huge and horrible and I am very very sorry about them. They do not represent my entire career though and my choices were never do this kind of work again or find a way to do it as above boards as i can. People will forgive me for the failed projects and accept the arrangements I was able to make to try to make good or they will not. At this point all I ca do is do better, yes?
I don't think Mike's Patreon is doing much for him these days.

So, any Wandering Wizard sightings? Is he still doing improv in Houston? Driving around in the Wandering Wizard Van exploring the South West? Standing on the side of the road with a sign "Will write games for food and a hot shower"?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Black Hack RPG Licensing Guidelines Have Been Offered to the Community by David Black

+David Black reached out to me earlier today to let me know that he has posted guidelines for the community to follow if they wish to indicate that a supplement or rules set uses The Black Hack as it's basis. 

I'm going to repeat David's post here with his permission as well as link to today's post on his blog.
3RD Party TBH 
There's been a tonne of really creative and inventive uses of TBH as an 'engine' which i'm really digging and totally happy about. People have been kindly emailing me their drafts, and enquiring about what they want to do - but some haven't (which isn't an issue, mind you). But it prompts me to think now is a good time to publicly make everyone aware of how I want to approach 3rd party content that wants to reference TBH
The TBH rules are OGL, so you can totally use them for whatever purpose you want. The name 'The Black Hack' and the Hand logo aren't, however. But having said that, in the spirit of DIY gaming I want you to modify, create supplements and spawn spinoffs. Its what its all about. So if you want to create a supplement/module/hack, and if you want to use the name 'The Black Hack' - here's how you should go about it: 
Email me at david@8bitfactory.co.uk for a set of high resolution hand logos. Freebies?!? Kinda. 
If it's a supplement (ie you need TBH to use it), somewhere on the cover you need the hand logo and the text 'For use with The Black Hack
If it's a standalone product (The opposite of above), somewhere on the cover you need the hand logo and the text 'Made using The Black Hack
 Any questions just get in touch! 

Contessa Needs a Technically Skilled Volunteer - Males MAY Apply

It's long been known that men in perceived positions of authority or influence are unwelcome at Contessa. Well, that's apparently changed and I'm glad to see it.

Stacey is looking for some technical help with the Contessa website and I'm happy to add to the bandwidth. No, I was not asked directly, but I figure with something as positive as this is, I can put aside personal issues momentarily. I know many of my readers are technically inclined, and The Tavern is very much male appendage heavy, so it's doubtful many of you have seen the Facebook announcement previously (I was asked by a reader to share and share I will):

Almost all the volunteer help I've gotten for ConTessa is in the administrative/event growing/marketing/promotional help category, which is great and needed, but for them to do that stuff, I have to be able to provide them with stuff to work with.  
I've been spending so much time doing the nitty gritty, I'm failing on the higher level organizational tasks. I'm overwhelmed and juggling too much. I need help, and I'm ready to admit I can't be picky about gender. All the women with tech experience I know have so much going on they can't help out, and none of the women who have graciously volunteered to help have the skillset necessary.  
What I need help with:  
- Updating pages on the website. (Squarespace)  
- Adding new pages to the website for new events, promotions, and most especially for fundraising help. (Squarespace as well, this requires some design knowledge to take text and make it into a designed web experience.) 
- Prepping text and images for social media. (We use both raster and vector graphics, and have an inventory of purchased stock art).  
- Graphic design. (I enjoy doing this a LOT, but maybe do it too much) 
- Social media. (G+, Facebook, Twitter) 
So, this is to everyone - guys and girls - who's told me before they want to help. If you can fill some of these holes, it'd keep me from drowning. You should have technical knowledge in doing these things, and the time to donate I'd say no more than 5-10 hours a week.  
I can not stress enough that I need someone who is technical. We may well get into the nitty gritty of building our our own events app, and just from a day-to-day standpoint, I need someone who understands how to use CSS at the very least. It's also best if you have experience with Squarespace (or are confident enough you can learn it on your own), as I don't have time to train anyone.  
I need someone who can take direction, but who's also willing to offer their own creative insights. I'm very picky about how ConTessa is portrayed, and will often ask for several revisions on projects until I find what I like.  
Inquire within, or shoot me an email at stacy@contessa.rocks.

Before you know it, Contessa may actually allow male GMs...

State of The Tavern - Sometimes the Simple Life Ain't so Simple - Update

So, the extended family stuff I alluded to earlier in the week? Mostly resolved, at least for now.

Short story - one of my mother's cousins, suffering from many of the potential mental effects of aging and refusing family help in dealing with those, walked to her local police station Monday evening and told the police her house had been "ransacked". When they drove her back home to investigate, she admitted she threw a hissy fit because her parents (in reality long since passed) were arguing and she was upset. Key the ambulance, hospital and medical determination that she was mentally incompetent.

Now no longer able to care for herself (or her cats) and with the family being informed she will never be returning to her home, we searched her house far and wide to find all the financial documentation the nursing home (where she was admitted yesterday) would need. And found a home for the two cats. And clothes for her. And personal items to make her room seem more like home. And dealt with the hospital, nursing home, social worker and the like. All while my mother, my sister and myself were accused by her of putting her there.

If she had only taken the help offered prior, she would have been in assisted living. Now, the nursing home will be her guardian.

Fun stuff.

Emails will go out to those gifting with the info of those being gifted this weekend. I seriously lacked the opportunity to do so this week.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kickstarter - The Folio #9 The Lost Apprentice (1e / 5e Adventure / Setting)

You know what I need to do once this "retirement thing" settles out and time becomes mine to do with as I will? Actually sit down and read my seven print issues of The Folio. The removable cover, the high quality interiors - the PDF's that I thumbed through on my tablet while on breaks at work don't do the print copies justice.

Add in the fact that these are made with 1e and 5e in mind (issue 7 was Deadlands and it's made me think of actually learning the Savage Worlds rules) and you have a line of products that cover most bases.

$15 for the print plus PDF (plus $5 shipping) really should make this an easy decision. Heck, the PDF only is just 5 bucks.

So much to read, so little time...

Here's the blurb for The Folio #9
It isn’t every day you get the opportunity to work with someone like Stefan Pokorny of Dwarven Forge on a project, especially one that combines his incredible talent for sculpting and my penchant for spinning an epic adventure. The past few months just happen to be filled with those kinds of days as Art of the Genre gets to dive into the Dwarven Forge world of Mythras and flesh out a part of Valoria, the world’s greatest city. 
This campaign blends Stefan’s already established mastery of his city with my own desire to find a particularly cool part and make it my own. The Folio #9 is the second installment in a trilogy of adventures that feature The Patina Court, a neighborhood inside Valoria. Alongside Stefan, I’ve crafted the story while also physically building encounter points using his incredible terrain. Included below are various videos of me ‘learning the ropes’, so to speak, of what a Dwarven Forge build looks like, as well as detailing exactly what I’ve used to get there. 
Now any of you that have gotten our Folios before, not to worry, we are still giving you all the goodies that have made us what we are. Adventures feature removable covers (to act as DM screens and give good views of maps), 3D maps detailed with an artist’s flair, standard OSR ‘blue’ maps so you can see exactly how big things are, a standalone Gazetteer booklet that provides features to the setting, and a standalone Adventure that will open the door to Valoria itself.

What Ever Happened to the "All Woman Team" Edition of Swords & Wizardry Announced for the Summer of 2015?

I was recently asked a question via email about the new edition of Swords & Wizardry. Now, I had totally forgotten there actually WAS a new edition of Swords & Wizardry in the works. Most likely because the person leading the project is not one I personally like much (because "issues"). Still, it is Swords & Wizardry, and it would be interesting to see an "all woman" take on the game.

The only mention I can find online of the project is at +Christopher Helton 's Dorkland Blog from April 17, 2015:
So, this summer there will be a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money for a new printing/edition of Swords & Wizardry. What makes this newsworthy is that the fact that the graphic design, layout and art direction for this new edition will be an all-woman team of artists and designers lead by Stacy Dellorfano, the founder of the online gaming convention ConTessa. The art for the new edition will also feature new iconic characters that are female and people of color. In a way, the old school is stepping into the "new" school and with this edition of Swords & Wizardry we see Frog God Games bucking the perception that OSR/old school gamers are all conservative and reactionary individuals, interested only in continuing the status quo. Good on them for that.
So, here we are over a year later and I've heard nothing since. Anyone know who's on the team of artists and designers that Stacey assembled, because I don't recall Stacey writing an RPG (or rewritting an RPG) prior to this announcement. Last April the Kickstarter was only months away - it still hasn't been announced. Is this project still in the works?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Gygax Memorial Fund announced an Interactive Museum Project 2 1/2 Years Ago - Anyone Have Any News?

So, I was poking around Facebook for updates on the Gygax Memorial Fund and stumbled across this announcement from November of 2013 - GYGAX MEMORIAL FUND ANNOUNCES INTERACTIVE MUSEUM PROJECT WITH GAMES LEARNING SOCIETY'S MIKE BEALL AND TEAM. Interesting that there is no mention of this on the Fund's actual website, but with the way it's been updated, maybe that isn't a surprise.

Except for some reshares, I can find nothing else on this "project". For those asking "who is Dianne Carpenter Curtis?" - she is one of the three board members on the GMF and the Fund's "Coordinator of Educational Programs and Special Projects".

The Games Learning Society doesn't make mention of the project either.

So, anyone know something about this? I don't see any monies leaving the fund on relation to this project on the 2013 and 2014 tax returns and it doesn't seem to have been mentioned with any of the Fund's or Gail Gygax's most recent updates. It could be funded by Gygax Games, but I don't see Gygax Games or the Gygax Memorial Fund listed as partners at the Games Learning Society.

It is 2 1/2 years later. There has to have been some progress, right? Er...

Troll Lord Games is Having a Scratch & Dent Sale - Up to 75% Off

Sure the email from the Troll says up to 60% off in the title (and more than 60% off in the body of the email - it is the Trolls after all) but the truth is some titles are up to 75% off. Obviously all of these are dead tree editions.

Below is just a sample of what's on sale at the Troll's Scratch & Dent Sale

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