Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kickstarter - The Bogey of Brindle - 5E adventure

Just a quick note. +Lloyd Metcalf has a new Kickstarter out there, and not only did it fund in just a few hours, it's nearly doubled it's $1,200 goal in the first 24 hours.

Lloyd does what he does very well.

Does The Bogey of Brindle sound familiar?
This is NOT a simple re-do. The original Bogey of Swindle was a short digest one-sitting adventure. As a first attempt at adventure writing, and a first attempt at condensed adventures you can imagine that it likely had some short-comings. The original was also written for 1E/OSRIC and never contained very many details about the Goblin town of Swindle (Now Brindle) as everything was focused on a Lesser Gnome setting. 
"They say the first time ain't the greatest, but if I had a chance to do all again"... well we DO have a chance to do it all again, and this time there have been many lessons learned since that first effort! 
The ENTIRE town of Brindle has been added with HAND DRAWN over-land, dungeon and town maps and illustrations, with NPCs who have story hooks that could lead to many sessions of gaming within Brindle. 
Personally, I'm in at $50 for the original pen and ink drawing.

Can't have enough original art.

BTW, no stretch goes. Go figure. It can be done successfully...

Thief Class WILL be in Swords & Wizardry: Light - Skill Preview Follows

So, the feedback was overwhelming that a Thief class is needed for the initial 4 pages of Swords & Wizardry: Light. Of course, part of the issue is simplification and part of it is space concerns. That damn skill chart takes up some major page space.

With the input of some of the regulars during last night's Tavern Chat, I think we have a playable and elegant solution.

Climb Walls will convert to a 5 in 6 chance. All other skills will roll into on singular "Thieve's Skills Package". Chance of success is 1 in 6 at 1st level, 2 in 6 at 3rd level, 3 in 6 at 5th level, 4 in 6 at 7th level at 5 in 6 at 9th level. At 12th level, the chance for all thief abilities would be 6 in 6 - if you roll a 6, roll again and if another 6 comes up, you failed.

You could house rule the following:

All thieve's skills take 1 minute to perform. If you devote 10 minutes to the activity, you increase your chance of success by 1 in 6. If you rush and devote only 10 seconds to the task, your chance of success is lowered by 1 in 6.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tell Me Why You Want a Thief Class in Swords & Wizardry: Light

There's been one oft requested addition to the Swords & Wizardry: Light Rules (which are themselves a distillation of the Swords & Wizardry: White Box Rules - folks simply want a thief class, and not the one presented in Swords & Wizardry: Core.

Now, as I've mentioned before, in an effort to keep things simple and to make the natural progression of the experience to be going from the Light rules to the White Box rules and due to the constraints of only having 4 pages to work with, a thief class will not be in the 4 page S&W: Light rules. However, I plan on releasing a 4 page Deadly Machinations (GM's options and advice) to go right along with it and a thief class could certainly appear there. Obviously, it would only cover the first three levels, but I could expand the class fully here at The Tavern.

All that being said - tell me why you'd like a thief class for Swords & Wizardry: Light. I've got some ideas on how to make it different then the Core version but I'm open to other ideas.

Reminder - Tavern Chat - Tonight - 9PM Eastern

It's Wednesday and that means another Tavern Chat.


The topics are always random and always interesting.

It kicks off officially at 9PM Eastern, but some folks do arrive early.

Now if I could only move the cat from in front of my keyboard I could get some more Tavern Cards on their way...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ladies Night at The Tavern - Opening The Tavern to Female Posters as a Regular Feature

Last night I mentioned to Rach: "You know, you really should make a post or two at The Tavern. Not only can you write from the perspective of a female in gaming, but with your career in social work, you'd bring a different perspective to gaming than many would expect."

Rach thought about it and remarked:"Like when Merle's wife laughed out loud when I inquired if the terrorist was armed, and when he said he was, I said 'I blow him away!' I don't think she expected me to be so blood thirsty ;)"

Of course, neither did I. And this is my wife we are talking about. The director of a substance abuse treatment clinic.

And that's the key. Rach see's gaming from a different perspective than I do, and I've said it before and I'll repeat it forever: The Tavern belongs to the community and it needs more than just my voice.

Earlier this afternoon, I mentioned the plan to have Rach post once a week or so come the end of the summer to a mutual friend of ours, and he said: "Why not have a Ladies Night or some such once a week. Open The Tavern up for women in the Old School Gaming Community as a platform for them to post their thoughts, ideas, observations."

And so here we are.

There are no requirements. No "do's & don'ts" aside from "please avoid personal attacks". Write reviews, observations, house rules - whatever. Rach is brainstorming something on substance abuse as an underlining theme in an adventure, so it's really an open platform.

Ladies, if you have thoughts for a post or a series of posts, email me at trublunite AT that gmail thing with your ideas. The goal is to get this up and running by the end of the summer. It won't happen without you.

The New D&D Movie has it's Title - Hands of Chaos

I know you are all looking forward to the future blockbuster titled Dungeons & Dragons: Hands of Chaos, right?

Ain't it Cool has what details there are. It will star Ansel Elgort (who?) as Raven Hightower.

Sigh. Maybe it will be as entertaining as the first Police Academy movie was.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tavern Cards Have Started Their Journeys - May the USPS Be a Kind Benefactor

I have a bad habit of adding projects in the midst of projects. Swords & Wizardry: Light drew me away from adding everything to the spreadsheet and getting the cards out, and the surprise overwhelming reaction to the Tavern Cards interrupted me in the midst of matching up the last half of gifters and gift receivers for Chucks fundraising.

Anyhow, today a batch of cards went out. It is a bit time consuming, as I'm adding to the spreadsheet and addressing the envelopes by hand. Ah well, keeps me outa trouble, right? I'm going to try and set a minimum of 20 cards a day, hopefully more, in addition to the rest of the stuff on the plate (the upcoming 3 day weekend is NOT included in those numbers). I decided NOT to put names or nicknames on the card - you will need to do that on your end. Signing the cards, dating them and numbering them I can do without making a mistake, but the names are not mine and while practicing on scratch paper, that is where I saw mistakes (and potentially wasted cards).

I'm in NYC, so I'm hopeful the international cards will ship faster than they might otherwise have done so. We literally have worldwide requests, from every continent aside from Antartica. When the database is complete, I'll do a breakdown by general location and post it up.

I'm hoping to start playtesting the Swords & Wizardry: Light rules in about 2 weeks time, but that is not set in stone. Playtesters will be initially drawn from my current gaming group, but will expand as the summer grows and the project gets closer to completion. I suspect the initial call will go out over the Tavern's Google Group Community before opening up as a post here at The Tavern.

Dragonwars of Trayth, Now With 3d Gaming Boards

Dragonwars of Trayth. Remember it? The classic meltdown that was witnessed here at The Tavern. It seems like it was yesterday.

Well, I gotta give credit where credit is due. They are still working on their epic 25 episode adventure path.

Heck, they even have 3d gaming boards that they'll lug to stores or even cons (more on the cons later)

From their website it looks like the first 6 adventures are written. So, 19 to go?

Screenshot of a sample page of the first adventure in the Adventure Path
I fully expect a threat if I don't take this down immediately
Anyhow, they really love their YouTube videos.

This is the one from May where they show off their handmade gaming boards:

And then here is the one from today, which tells you they will be at GaryCon next year and you can reserve a gaming board for your game:

BTW, it's the exact same video, same music, different subtitles.

I also failed to find the link mentioned to download the digital maps. Of course, that could be my fault.

I find it strange that a 25 part adventure path for Pathfinder (oh, and OSRIC, but they don't seem to be available in OSRIC stats yet) is aiming it's marketing at Gary Con. Adventure paths are generally not what one thinks of when one thinks of old school gaming these days (nor is Pathfinder for that matter) And yes, I do remember Dragonlance. I suspect the folks behind Dragonwars of Trayth remember it too.

After reviewing the Kickstarter in question, they offered the same 6 adventures in the Kickstarter. I guess they were building 3d game boards over the last 20 months.

Anyhow, here's the pitch (note, nothing in this post should be construed as a threat to Epic Quest Publishing's IP, Trademarks, Copyright or any such nonsense. Really. It's a gaming related newsworthy post. So let's just skip the legal threats all together this time around)

I thought Dragonlance... never mind.

Props to the Taverner that brought this to my attention.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Swords & Wizardry: Light - Choosing Some Dyson Maps for the First Four Page Adventure

Every ruleset needs a kick ass adventure to go with it right from the beginning, and there is no better selection of adventure maps than those offered up by +Dyson Logos . I've been backing Dyson's Patreon since forever and it is because of that Patreon that the following maps are offered with a free commercial license.

We need to start with a Tavern, right? Hell, it might even be run by a surly dwarf. Cenkar Talishun or some such nonsense. And we know there are going to be rats in the basement. Maybe even coppers ;)

Then, after the party gets their feet wet in the basement of the tavern, they can move on to bigger and more rewarding dangers:

At the moment I'm hoping to have the S&W: Light rules, the GM's pamphlet (Deadly Machinations) and the first 4 page adventure all ready around the same time. All free to DL with permission to print and distribute.

Far West - Late May to Late June is Yet ANOTHER Missed Release Date

Far West. It's getting to the point that I no longer care about seeing the project reach completion. Now, it's all about "how many more excuses and missed delivery dates does Gareth have left in him before he finally admits he has nothing?"

He's about to "wiggle" himself out of the month of June.

This is what I'm supposed to get for my $150:

Now, I MAY at some point see a PDF out of this. Maybe.

Limited Edition hardcover? Please! With what money? Same goes for T-shirt and Art Prints. The money has been spent long ago on none Kickstarter related expenses.

My suspicion? Gareth does not want to release the PDF because then more than 420 folks will be looking for their hardcovers not to mention the more than 460 that will be demanding their t-shirts. Oh, and the art prints.

After nearly 5 years of this shit, I'm beginning to consider my $150 investment a lifetime investment in the drama machine known as Far West, The Gareth Sharka Kickstarter Lifetime Movie Event of the Half Decade.

edit: maybe I could get a Producer credit...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Free Mutant Crawl Classics Preview and 0-Level Adventure Available for Download

As highlighted at the Mutant Crawl Classics Kickstarter, there are some free downloads you can use to get an early look at MCC.

There's a 29 page preview from last year's Gen Con Program Guide and this year's Free RPG Day release has the 13 page adventure Museum at the End of Time (yes, if you missed it in print, it's here in PDF)

Come to think of it, there ares some more Free DCC RPG releases. I'll link them in a follow up post.

In the meantime, enjoy :)

Always a Kerfuffle at The Tavern - Some More Thoughts on Free RPG Day.

So, Gamerati interviewed Aldo Ghiozzi about Free RPG Day and The Tavern got a mention. Now, Aldo may be trying to play down his comment at The Tavern:

but the reality is, he's right - Free RPG Day does nothing to bring anyone into the hobby. Not new gamers, not lapsed gamers, not even gaming spouses (unless they are tagging along to grab more free loot).

Now, here's my question: What value does Free RPG Day have for most publishers? Aldo mentions the free Call of Cthulhu adventure later in the interview. How many brick and mortar stores that had the free adventure actually carry the game? How many carry the DCC RPG? 13th Age? LotFP products? Castles & Crusades? How are you rewarding your customers by giving them free stuff for games you don't even carry?

As a retailer, you know what's coming in the box. Why aren't you at least carrying a product or two that links to the items you are giving away? Because you probably figure they won't sell anyway. If so, what good are the free items? At best, your customers will pick it up as a novelty. At worst, they'll find what they need at an online retailer. Is that really what you want?

I really fail to understand why most publishers kick into this program aside from Paizo. I do understand why Frog God Games didn't release anything this year. It's not even a "loss leader" for most publishers, it's just a loss, especially when the stores in question don't even carry your line of releases.

I'm not knocking "free", I just don't see this as a very effective use of the concept. Not for publishers, not for retailers and not for the customers.

Oh, and I never mentioned "OSRIC". The post title in question was: An Underwhelming Free RPG Day 2016 From an Old School Perspective

I did love the question about "Pencil Dice" ;)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Trimmed Swords & Wizardry: Light to Four Pages - Now to Rewrite & Rebuild

I do believe that is 18 monsters, all on one sheet. You should note that four pages is without an item list (weapons and armor are chosen by class and an adventurer's pack will cover the other items). Magic items are also not included, as they are meant to be special and unique and to be explained in the 4 page adventures meant to accompany the Light rules (and possible elsewhere, see below)

Spell lists are whittled down, but again, new spells from the various Swords & Wizardry rules can be introduced via adventures.

I am considering an optional Deadly Machinations four page pamphlet, which would offer GMing advice, sample magic items, random encounter charts, adding in alignment and languages and other ways to get your PCs in trouble. For the folks looking for a Thief class, this would be where they'd make an appearance, assuming they did.

The whole key to this is keeping the releases at four pages, so you can print it on one sheet at booklet settings.

Simple, short, cheap to print and viral in distribution ;)

Kickstarter - Mutant Crawl Classics - (New DCC Engined RPG)

Awesome +Doug Kovacs art

Yep, the long awaited Mutant Crawl Classics Kickstarter is live!

In less than 12 hrs it's nearly met it's $20k funding goal (it's at $19k) as I write this.

So, what is Mutant Crawl Classics?
Mutant Crawl Classics (MCC RPG) is a stand-alone setting that applies the DCC RPG rules to a post-apocalyptic setting. You'll love MCC if you like Gamma World, Metamorphosis Alpha, or DCC RPG. You don't need to own DCC to play MCC
I'm excited. I enjoy the DCC RPG and my 2nd RPG (and the first paid for with my own money( was 1st Edition Gamma World. That, and +Jim Wampler writes some damn good DCC RPG material.

Wisely, the stretch goals are in PDF and list 4 potential adventures. Goodman Games has been spot on with it's Kickstarter projects and I have no hesitation backing their latest.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

First Pass Done - S&W Light Distilled Down to Six Pages - Second Pass This Weekend

At the moment, I've distilled S&W Basic down to six pages for S&W Light. This is the first pass, there are still some tables that need editing and there is a bunch of stuff that needs rewriting for space and explanation purposes.

BTW, that's 6 pages using the Word document. Laid out properly it's probably around 4ish.

All 18 included monsters fit on one sheet. Most monsters took 2 lines but a few took 3, such as the Giant Fire Beetle.

There is no XP entry as we are leaving out the concept of XP. Two adventures to reach level 2, five more adventures to reach level 3, at which point the player is expected to move on to one of the three Swords & Wizardry rulesets with 5,000 XP

As I Was RedLining White Box, I Noticed a Problem With the Sleep Spell

I've been "red lining" a spare copy of Swords & Wizardry White Box for the S&W: Light project I'm working on. I stumbled across the Sleep Spell table, and noticed something wrong with it. Two somethings actually.

"1+" is on both the first and second line of the chart and "2+" isn't even taken into account. Now, for the purpose of White Box, I'd probably change the first line to "Less than 1 to 1" and the second line to "1+ to 2+". For S&W Light, I want to save space and do away with the chart all together.

So, I'm going with 2d6+3 HD of creatures, with less than 1HD counted as 1HD and ignoring "+'s". Any HD that can't be fully allocated are lost. Takes into account mixed groups fairly well and does away with the chart.

Snip snip...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Reminded - Tavern Chat Tonight = 9 PM Eastern - Yap it Up

It's Wednesday, so tonight is another Tavern Chat.

Tonight's topics?

Swords & Wizardry: Light and whatever else your little heart desires.

Really, we go without a script most every week. We also run with scissors, so you've been warned ;)

Girl Downtown has up and Gone! Quick Ken! Start Up Another!

Yep, it appears the fundraising for Girl Downtown has up and gone. Ken, what's the next scam?

Seriously, don't leave us in hanging. We're your fans. You are our entrainment - D20 Entertainment actually. Wait, that never existed actually...

At least we have the IMDB posting to look at:

Fuck, that's gone to.

Ah well, I'm sure it can be rebuilt...

Contest - OSRToday Turns Two, Win Two Classic Books

+Jason Paul McCartan , AKA The Badger and well known as my partner in crime, is celebrating the 2nd anniversary of his RPG News website, OSRToday.

Pssst! And he's has a contest to give away free loot.

What kind of loot?

Tunnels & Trolls loot, signed and personalized by +Ken St. Andre himself.

How might you come into possession of such sweet loot?

Here's the details from OSRToday:
On June 18th, 2016, OSRToday turned two years old, and to celebrate it we’re going to run a contest to celebrate. The prizes for the contest are listed below:

1st Edition Tunnels & Trolls & Saving Fang From The Pits of Morgul 
In the picture above, you can see reproductions of the 1st Edition of Tunnels & Trolls [AL] and Saving Fang From the Pits of Morgul [AL], the first full solo adventure for the 1st Edition of T&T . Both of these have been signed by Ken St. Andre, who very kindly personalized each of the inside covers of each of these books at Origins 2016. What did Ken write inside them? That’s a secret that will only be revealed once the competition is over and one lucky winner has received these books. 
So, how do you, our diligent OSRToday readers, get a chance to win both these books?
Simply post in the comments here on this post (at OSRToday mind you) either your first experience with Tunnels & Trolls or your first roleplaying game experience either as a player a GM, even if it’s not with Tunnels & Trolls! 
Everyone that posts at least one story by the deadline for the competition will be entered into the Hat of Potential Winners, and one lucky winner will receive both copies of the books shipped to them no matter where they are in the world, courtesy of OSRToday. The deadline to comment on this post will be midnight on July 6th, 2016, which is two weeks from when this post has gone up.
What are you waiting for? Go to OSRToday, drop a comment and get put in the running.

Sometimes Ken Makes Me Wonder if This is Actually What Happened

Thanks to +Lloyd Metcalf for the share.

It's a perfect Ken pic, with that smug smile we know so well.

Ah well. It will hold me over until the next Ken debacle...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Time to "Red Ink" White Box - Trimming the Fat to Get to S&W: Light

A while back I stumbled across a really good deal on Swords & Wizardry White Box softcovers. I ordered a half dozen with the intention of giving out copies to my old face to face gaming group at our next annual gathering. Once I got them, it was kinda obvious they weren't being sold by Matt or Mythmere Games. I wish I had paid closer attention. I wasn't going to hand out bootlegs, but throwing away gaming material felt like just compounding a bad situation. So, I put them on a shelf and there they sat. Until now.

Now that I'm working on what is tentatively titled Swords & Wizardry: Light, these books are a boon. I get to "red ink" - in metallic no less - a hard copy of White Box. It's actually a thrill to go through and trim what isn't needed.

The idea is that some of the material trimmed could be added back in a series of adventures. The same adventures that will be written to help a lapsed gamer regain his game mastering footing.

Now to rewrite the Sleep spell...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Time to Start Processing Tavern Card Requests - Ashley Demands it Be So!

500 extra heavy Tenkar's Tavern Membership cards - check!

400 peel and seal envelopes - check!

300 US Postage Forever Stamps - check!

30 US Postage Global Forever Stamps - check!

A bunch of mini post it's for personal notes - check!

not pictured - metallic ink pens

Postage alone was $175.50 and with the requests over the weekend that I need to add to the Google Community, we'll need more postage ;)

Here's the Current Intro Hook for Swords & Wizardry: Light

Back home to my desk, refreshed and rejuvenated. I've got 20 requests to catch up with for The Tavern Membership Cards from the weekend, so there's some work to do.

I also plan to start posting the rule modifications and the like to The Tavern's Google Community either later tonight or tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've got the intro hook for S&W: Light (working title for now). The intro will certainly go through revisions, but does a decent job (INHO) of potentially evoking memories in lapsed gamers (which I think is a more viable target audience than totally new gamers).
Remember the days of yesteryear? When battles were won with sharp swords and well timed spells. When wit and daring could overcome most odds, and when they couldn’t, fast feet were worth more than any gold coin. These four pages of Swords & Wizardry: Light will awaken the long forgotten gamer in you with a call to arms! What are you waiting for? It’s time to roll them bones!
Alright, time to get to work crossing out text in my copy of Swords & Wizardry White Box...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What I Need to Clear My Mind for Writing - Nature

I'm in the Poconos for an extended weekend with Rach and my parents. I"m still amazed I spent nearly 10 months without spending a night out of the city.

For me to create and create effectively, I need to be in the right mindset. Nature not only recharges my batteries, but it invigorates my mind. I did a lot of brainstorming last night for the Swords & Wizardry 4 page / 1 sheet project. I need to update the Google Community with some of the changes / solutions that are likely to be used.

Now, a question that can come now or later, but must be addressed at some point is what do you call rules that are lighter than S&W White Box?

eXtra Light? Vanilla Unboxed? Pale Whiter? White Lite Rules? Simple & Succinct? God only knows...

Working on Distilling Swords & Wizardry White Box down to Four Pages / One Sheet

If you are part of The Tavern's Google Group Community, then you already know. If not, I'm now announcing it at The Tavern. I've been brainstorming with a writer / publisher to distill Swords & White Box down to four pages, printable on one sheet of paper in digest form.

This all came about with the conversation on Friday that A) OSR games are under represented on Free RPG Day; B) Free RPG Day isn't about growing the hobby but rewarding the current customer C) it's damn expensive for any publisher to participate in Free RPG Day.

What if you had a self contained OSR ruleset in 4 pages, that covered the core 3 classes, the first three levels of advancement, was able to be played WITHOUT a D20 if needed and was aimed not so much as the new player but the lapsed gamer? You now, what I was from 1997 to 2006 or so.

Free in PDF, printable at home, made to be evangelized. Leave a dozen copies at the game store or library, printed on colorful paper to grab the eyes. Maybe leave a stack at a comic con. Wherever you think a lapsed gamer may find it. Maybe left with different community written 4 page / 1 sheet adventures.

Compatible with Swords & Wizardry White Box and written that any of the Swords & Wizardry Rules are a natural progression, it's aim is to be the re-entry engine for the lapsed gamer.

Brainstorming has gone well and there is a lot to trim to bring this down to size but I think it can be done, and done effectively and still approachable and readable. Something that Rach, who it loathe to read any RPG rule book will look at and not feel intimidated by.

Progress reports and rules in progress will be posted on The Tavern's Google Community Group. There will be updates posted to the blog, but the bulk will be in the Community Group.

Ask for a free card and be part of the fun. Use the link in the upper right corner. I've been away for the weekend, so it might take 2 or 3 days before I answer your email (and a few weeks before you get your card - just bought 400 self sealing envelopes today)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Mutant Crawl Classics is Part of Free RPG Day - Kickstarter Around the Corner

Five Different Covers ?!?
This year's Goodman Games Free RPG Day release has a DCC RPG Lankhmar Adventure and the very first Mutant Crawl Classics Adventure with quickstart.

Oh, and it comes in five different covers.

Whle the Lankhmar stuff is really cool, it's the Mutant Crawl Classics that has me excited. I've listened to +Jim Wampler talk about it on various podcasts an it's something I'm really looking forward to snagging a copy of the free releases and the impending Kickstarter.

How impending is the Mutant Crawl Classics Kickstarter? I don't know and Jim isn't telling, but I'm damn close to giving him my cell phone number to speed dial when it goes live, both so I can back it early and let my readers know ASAP.

In any case, time for a one hour trip to see if I can snag a copy of today's release...

Free RPG Day Online Sales and Specials - Frog God Games and More!

It's a good day to be a gamer even if you can't get to a FLGS that's participating in Free RPG Day.

Let us count the ways:

Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition is a measly buck for a day only. This best seller on OBS won't stay on sale at this price beyond today, so don't delay.

Frog God Games is running a huge sale at their online store. How huge?

Buy More Save More 20% Off!
Receive 20% Off when you purchase $50 or more!
Offer Expires 06/20/2016. Coupon Code: DAD20

Buy More Save More 30% Off!
Receive 30% Off when you purchase $75 or more! Offer Expires 06/20/2016. Coupon Code: DAD30

Buy More Save More 40% Off!
Receive 40% Off when you purchase $100 or more! Offer Expires 06/20/2016. Coupon Code: DAD40

$5 Off All Hardcover Books!
Take $5 Off any Hardcover Book for Father's Day!
This offer can be combined with any "buy more save more" coupon for even more savings! Offer Expires 06/20/2016. Coupon Code: DAD5

Dont forget the Open Gaming Store. Go to the link for a list of free stuff, but you must use code FreeRPGDay2016 when checking out.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Kickstarter - Massive Darkness (Fantasy RPG Inspired Dungeon Crawl Board Game)

With yesterday's discussion of "how to bring more people into the hobby" I think a board game such as Massive Darkness would be key. Playing a game like this, (hopefully) rules light, observable by customers in a gaming store, maybe even allowing players to drop in and out and experience the game - this might be something that could work. Or maybe not in a game store, but in a public place like a library and sponsored by a local game store.

In any case, Massive Darkness looks to be "massively cool", and as it's by CoolMiniOrNot, I guess that's to be expected.
Massive Darkness is a dungeon crawling board game for 1 to 6 players. With no game master and streamlined rules, players take their heroes on a series of quests to defeat the forces of Darkness. On their way they'll face many challenges, including a large variety of enemies that range from mobs of evil dwarves to gargantuan demons and spiders. To be victorious, heroes will need to acquire new skills throughout the campaign, find the the best loot to equip themselves, and learn how to use the cover of darkness to their advantage!
Buy in is $120. These are no other pledge levels.

It reminds me of Dungeon! taken to 11.

Did I mention your characters can level? Yep.

I think I'm in.

Ah, who am I kidding, I'm in.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

How Can We Make Free RPG Day About Growing the Hobby, Because it Isn't

Aldo Ghiozzi made an eye opening comment on today's earlier post about Free RPG Day, as I always assumed it was about growing the hobby. I was wrong, and certainly not the first time.

The issue isn't just growing the hobby, but getting feet into the FLGS. I'm as guilty as many, as most of my purchases are made from either OneBookShelf or Amazon when it comes to my gaming needs.

So, how does one get low cost or free marketing that will be seen outside the hobby for Free RPG Day? Maybe a poster or 2 per box for advertising the next year's Free RPG Day? Retailers now have their advertising material a year in advance (and it's probably much more effective than flyers at the door that no one reads or are placed in bags that are quickly thrown out)

Aint It Cool and the Escapist would probably run articles for free. Their audience is far larger than just the geeks that habitually play RPGs and are more likely to spark the interest of lapsed gamers.

I'm sure there are blogs and sites like ENWorld that would post about it in the weeks or months prior if they were given details about the releases to be included in the Free RPG Day release. To be honest, I only knew it was this weekend because I realized June was halfway over and it's usually in June, so I did a Google search.

Is there a Facebook group where gamers can talk about Free RPG Day releases, invite their online friends to check it out and basically pimp the potential awesome of Free RPG Day?

Any thoughts from the ranks of the Taverners?

30% Off of Troll Lord Games PDF Releases at OneBookShelf for Free RPG Day

Troll Lord Games has a 30% off sale for their PDF releases in celebration of Free RPG Day. It appears to be across all of their lines, rules and adventures.

If you missed their previous sales, now might be a good time to grab titles you've been thinking about.

Of course, if you miss this sale, I'm sure they'll be others.

An Underwhelming Free RPG Day 2016 From an Old School Perspective

Let's see, what do I actually have an interest in from the above picture Free RPG Day 2016 releases?

Goodman Games Quickstart, the CoC Adventure and maybe the LotFP release. The C&C release doesn't really catch my attention.

Pencils? Do they at least serve as Pencil Dice?

Ah well. I'll be in the Poconos this weekend, so even the ones I'm interested in will be out of reach...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gareth Releases Prior to Mid Month! Thrilling Tales 2e: Thrilling Tales of the Seven Seas (Nope, It Ain't Far West)

You know what? It's June 15th. It's not the beginning of the month. It's not the end of last month. Tomorrow starts the last half of the month.

Guess what missed it's vague-ish release date yet again?

Ding ding ding!!!

You guessed it. Far Waste, er, West.

But in case you have money burning a hole in your pocket, Gareth did release SOMETHING before the middle of the month passed: Gareth gives you Thrilling Tales 2e: Thrilling Tales of the Seven Seas.

Anything to do with the oft promised Far West? Nope.

Do you care? Probably not. But hey, Gareth cares enough about you to preview THE ENTIRE book. Seriously.

Now, go peek for yourself. If you feel the same lack of enthusiasm for the product that I do, we read the same shit.

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM to 11PM Eastern - Be There or Be Not

Yep, Tavern Chat tonight.

What shall we discuss?

How about over 300 requests for Tenkar's Tavern Membership Cards.

Or the rumblings of an online Tenkar's Con (I didn't start the rumblings)

Maybe some of the bennies lines up.

Or the usual chatter :)

Gygax Medalion in... Paw?

I received my Gygax medallion in the mail earlier this week. In truth, I am underwhelmed by it in person, but Ashley can't keep her paws off of it.

The chain feels like it's Aluminum and the medallion itself has a cheap plastic look. Ah well, if I display it hanging from the wall, no one will get close enough to tell ;)

Ash doesn't wear a collar (house cat and all that) and the few times I've tried to put one on her, she had them off in minutes.

If she did wear one, she'd be identified as one of Gary's familiars by the medallion that would hang from her neck. Alas, it's not to be.

Stephen Marsh Adds His NTRPG Con 2016 Scenario to The Tenkar's Tavern Community Card Benefits

The response to the Tenkar's Tavern Free Membership Card and Google Community has been overwhelming, not just from gamers that want their slick card but from publishers, conventions and even game writers.

Last night Stephen Marsh forwarded me his 2016 NTRPG Con Scenario, Volume 2 of City of the Revenant, for the use by members of the Tenkar's Tavern Community:
This is a pdf release of the OSR scenario I ran at the 2016 NTPRG Con. It is provided for free for members of Tenkar’s Tavern as of June 2016. You may make up to ten copies for personal use and may run the scenario. This is not a general release or a release for purposes of making derivative works. I eventually hope to find a publisher for the complete work.
How do you get access to such an exclusive adventure?

First, you need to request your very own FREE Tenkar's Tavern Card which will ship anywhere in the world. Email your request to tenkarstavernDOTcommunity AT that Gmail thing. Give it at least 3 weeks to get your card at this point, as we are closing in on 300 requests and I only received the cards yesterday.

Second, you'll need to join the Tenkar's Tavern Community Group on Google. I'll send you an invite when you request your card. The group seems to work best with Gmail email addresses.

Much thanks to Stephen Marsh for his generosity. Expect more benefits over the next days and weeks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tenkar's Tavern Cards Have Arrived - They Look Sharp

I'm very impressed with the sharpness of the front of the card. The colors "snap" (the above shot does not do it justice)

Now, the above back is for Rach and filled out as a sample of sorts. The numbering uses metallic blue ink, the date and my signature (such as it is) are in green metallic ink. I wanted to do the same with the names but some names are too long and will be lucky to fit on 2 lines with a fine tip black ink pen.

I also have metallic pink, but that almost looks like a blood and puss mixture ;)

So, comments on the back? Go with the colors? Go all black? Go all metallic and find a way to make the really long names fit ;)

I'm hoping to have the first 50 cards or so in the mail sometime Friday. Then I am gone for a 3 day weekend. Then I'm back to mailing cards. Want a card? Email me at tenkarstavernDOTcommunity at that Gmail DOT com thing. I'll need a snail mail address.

Holy Sh!t! The 2015 Gygax Memorial Fund Tax Returns Have Been Posted! (It Raised $566 in 2015)

Every couple of days I check out the Gygax Memorial Fund website in the hope of finding an update. I never actually expect and update, but I look anyway.

Today I see that the 2015 GMF ax Return has been posted. Does this mean an audit will soon be posted too?

Now, we were told that all of these expenses (architects bill sculptor's contract) and would be reflected in the 2015 return:

Lets look, shall we?

The Fund took in $566 last year. It took in $421 in 2014 when Gail was "ill". Apparently, good health is worth less that $150. BTW, that also means the Fund took in less than $1,000 over the last 2 years combined. That lack of support is not a good thing. It's obvious that there is little interest in actually reaching out to the gaming community to raise funds. The money is nearly all corporate donations. If you don't have the support of the gaming community who is actually going to visit the site?

$2,890 paid professional contractors. Seems small for what's she mentioned, but then I'm probably thinking NYC pricing.

Here's the Schedule "O":

Real quick - light on meetings, heavy on office expenses. Hell, they spent twice as much on meetings and office expenses as the Fund took in for the year.

Oh, and "C", "D" and "E" still aren't happening.

Between the three of them, 364 hours devoted to the Fund for the year and the couldn't choose something from "C", "D" or "E" to be able to say the Fund accomplished ONE of it's goals over the last SIX years?

And So It Began - Looking Back at My First Game Session

Over at the Tenkar's Tavern Google Community we have an "Introduce Yourself" thread. 74 members (including myself) have introduced themselves in the thread (and another 8 scattered in their own threads) It makes for interesting reading, especially if you want to get some insights into old school gamers. There are many paths, but all have led them to one general destination - an enjoyment of RPG and a fondness of old school gaming.

I've mentioned my entrance into RPGs before, but I omitted it in the thread and thought I would share it here for all. It's a bit more detailed then I've done before.

It was the late in the spring of 1979. I was at my friend Kenny's house. (background - For grades 1 thru 4 we went to the same public school, but in 5th grade he transferred to the local Catholic School out of fear I suspect. While our elementary school was damn good, there were some not so good stories of what 7th grade and Junior High School would bring, and not all of them were false). We were nearing the end of sixth grade.

Anyhow, the advantage to this is it expanded our circle of friends. The day in question we were goofing around with the Game of Life when Kenny said something to the effect of: "I have this new game. You wanna play it? You get to kill stuff!" Sounded like playing with our GI Joes when we were younger, but sure, I was up for just about anything. There is only so much fun to be had in a two player Game of Life.

He broke out these amazing dice. I mean, he said they were dice, so they must have been dice, but I only recognized the six sided ones. "You use these six sided dice to roll out your character. Your going to play a fighter." Sounded good to me, as a fighter musta been someone who fought. "He needs a name." Sure. Cyrus. Don't ask me why. I do not know. Cyrus Vance maybe?

I fought skeletons. I found a chest with a magic sword. I fought more skeletons. I found a magic shield. A phone call was made to one of Kenny's classmates to see if I leveled up, as he only had the DMG and his friend on the other side of the line had the Player's Handbook. Somehow, I made level 2. Cyrus was now a Warrior and I was hooked. My birthday was in July and I received the Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide AND an awesome set of poly dice.

Here I am. 37 years later. Still gaming. Still loving the hobby and the friendships I've made over the years and continue to make, hopefully for years to come.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tenkar's Tavern Community Cards - 270+ Requested - Still Available for Free - Expecting to Mail First 50 By Friday

You know how I said I'd never do a Kickstarter? I suddenly feel like I'm doing one ;)

We are at about 275 requests for Tenkar's Tavern Community Membership Cards. Yes, I'm shipping them worldwide for free. Yes, we are accepting more requests. Yes, membership has it's privileges.

The latest shipping update indicates I should have the cards tomorrow. I'm hoping to have the first 50 cards or so in the mail sometime Friday. Then I am gone for a 3 day weekend. Then I'm back to mailing cards. Want a card? Email me at tenkarstavernDOTcommunity at that Gmail DOT com thing. I'll need a snail mail address.

I have NEVER done anything on this scale before. The notoriously uncoordinated and disorganized Tenkar is actually using a spreadsheet for this. I'm hoping to have all of the current requests in the mail within 3 weeks, but I really have no idea how time consuming this will be. I have most of the first 50 entries on the spreadsheet, but still waiting on some Patreons to finalize it all.

You do get the majority of the benefits upon request, as I'm sending the requests for the Tenkar's Tavern Google Community within hours if not minutes. It is important that you join the online community, as that is where we are sharing the discounts and freebies. It is invite only. You get your invite upon requesting your free card.

It is important to use the discount codes and links available to you from the community if they interest you. You are not doing yourself, or the publisher / venue / retailer any good by paying full price. By using the links / codes, you are showing the influence of the Tenkar's Tavern Community as a whole. There are many discounts / freebies in the works and if they interest you, use them. I myself are very close to using the Gamehole discount for Rach and I. There are other discounts / promotions I hope to secure for this focused, Old School Gaming Community (yes, that's how I plan to "sell this" to other publishers)

When you ask "where does The Tavern's Patreon funds go to?" or "what do the OBS affiliate funds go to?" this is one of your answers. It goes back to the OSR, Old School Gaming and to the loyal readers of The Tavern.

Thank you for putting your faith in me. Thank you for sharing this expanded community (the blog, the G+ Community, the Facebook Community and the new Google Group Invite Only Community) with me. If you have offers of discounts or free material you want to give to Tenkar's Tavern Card Holding Members, you know where to find me ;)

Far West - Done by Late May, Early June, When Cows Fly Over the Moon...

Remember this?

Well, it's June 13, so neither late May nor early June.

Assuming it ever ships I am very tempted to raffle off my hard copy to a Card Holding Tavern member. Seriously, the bad taste left in my mouth is matched only by the following:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

NTRPG Con Pic Post - Look Ma, I Actually Met People for Real This Time!

I promised more NTRPG Con pics and I have them. Not a huge amount of selfies, but I was apparently too busy talking to people. I need to talk less and take more pics ;)

There are more pics.

Next pic post - Ghostbusters :)

left in the The Tavern's Room for me upon arrival
left in hotel room due to lack of space in luggage
must be a cop - he turned his badge around when he saw the camera ;)

that's not the man you think it is, or is it?

damn, i must have screwed up - my badge can be read

damn it!

the shirt i'm wearing I got in 98
I'm amazed it still fits
Chris is amazed too
he forgot to turn his badge around
look ma, i'm a sponsor!

Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition