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Tenkar's Tavern Community Updates

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Preorder - Adventures in Middle-Earth Player's Guide (PDF / RPGNow / 5e)


Just a quick heads up. The Adventures in Middle-Earth Player's Guide for D&D 5e is taking preorders at RPGNow.

The PDF is $20 It is LotR after all. Heck, I already preordered the physical books...

Tavern Chat - 9 PM Eastern - Tastes Great, Less Filling

I expect tonight's Tavern Chat will have questions about Swords & Wizardry: Light, the S&W "Sage" Program and lots of other ongoing events in gaming. If you want answers, even evasive ones, you'll need to log into Tavern Chat tonight at 9 PM Eastern.

Remember, you can log into Tavern Chat using just about any social media or major email server on the planet.

9 PM to 11 PM.

Be there or not...

Deal of the Day - White Star Companion - (Swords & Wizardry SciFi)


We've had some strong OSR Deals of the Day the past few days and today is no different. The White Star Companion adds new classes, new weapons, new star ships - heck, it simply adds a whole lot to your White Star campaign. For the next 24 hours it's 40% off in PDF and on sale for $4.19.

+James Spahn did an excellent job with White Star and the White Star Companion notches that up to 11.
Daring Men of Tomorrow and intrepid Deep Space Explorers face off against a horde of savage White Simians in the floating jungle of a lost world. Plucky Sidekicks escape relentless Bounty Hunters aboard their modified skyboards. Somewhere on the edge of the galaxy, an Orbital Battle Station is about to obliterate an entire planet with the push of a button. 
The White Star Companion brings nearly one hundred pages of new options to your White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying experience. New classes, new aliens, new creatures, new weapons, and new starships are all revealed. Complete rules for planetary vehicle combat are provided along with ways to generate complete star systems simply by rolling a few dice. The brand new skill and Serial systems can instantly flesh out a character's history and talents.
With the White Star Companion, you'll expand your game to the edge of the galaxy and beyond! White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying is completely compatible with Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox and many other old-school roleplaying products.

GameHole Con Registration opens Saturday, September 3rd


If you plan to attend Gamehole Con in November, registration time is soon approaching.

I can't fit Gamehole into the budget this year, but next year looks promising (all the stories I've heard about Gamehole tell me it's a Con NOT to be missed). If you attend this year, roll some dice for me :)




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Old School Blues Podcast has it Banner!


Awesome job by +Denis McCarthy !

Have you listened to episode Zero of the Old School Blues podcast yet?

Why the fuck not? Go, listen, enjoy...

If you like Denis' work, I'll be tapping him for a banner here at The Tavern this fall. Yep, that's where your support of The Tavern comes into play :)

(Psssst! If you use iTunes, leave us a review :)

Deal of the Day - Grit & Vigor (OSR Pulp)


This almost escaped my eagle eyes ;)

+John Stater is a machine when it comes to taking OSR styled rulesets in to different genres and Grit & Vigor is no different. Or rather, it IS different.
Your pulse pounds 
Beads of sweat run down your brow 
You grip your pistol tighter 
It can all be yours 
It just takes GRIT & VIGOR 
GRIT & VIGOR is the game of bold ventures for rugged fellows. Roll up a character, buy some gear, and get down to business. G&V is rules lite and options heavy. In its 200 pages, you'll find everything from monsters to machine guns, with advice on running all sorts of modern campaigns, from gentlemanly mysteries to espionage to explorations into the unknown. It also includes a timeline of adventure, covering the years 1880 to 1939, with important events of those years as well a selection of the firearms, cars, planes and military vehicles of those years. Future supplements will expand that coverage back to the Golden Age of Piracy and forward into the far future. 
GRIT & VIGOR is compatible with most old school games, including BLOOD & TREASURE.
Grit & Vigor is on sale for $6.59 until tomorrow morning.

Do You Use Religious Rituals in Your Campaigns?


This past Sunday, Rach and I went to Jamaica Bay to see the sunrise. The last thing I expected to stumble into was a Hindu religious ceremony as the sun came up.

It was foreign to me, almost mystical. I was in awe. I didn't want to intrude but I couldn't look away.

Afterwards, I started thinking about how something like this, not this ritual, but something else, another ritual, could set a scene in a fantasy campaign. Religion in fantasy RPGs is often hand waved, judged by how it benefits the characters. A cleric is often just an armored spell caster without flavor and any two clerics of any two random religions are pretty much the same.

Could a peek behind the curtain, a small snapshot of the rituals that differentiate such religions add depth? Would it make the cleric more than just a sum of the spells he can cast and the undead he can turn?

Perhaps.

I guess I'll find out with my next campaign, as this certainly has me thinking...

State of The Tavern - Long Nights and a Full Plate


I've been burning the midnight oil the past few weeks, between projects in the hopper and the fact that my body seems to respond better to afternoon naps then normal nightly sleepy-time. Yep, those 6 months of working midnights seems to have screwed up my sleep cycle.

I learned some useful things this weekend, such as the importance of using various header settings in Word to facilitate your layout person's actually "layout." Now I want to play with InDesign.

For those waiting on your Tavern Cards, which is the vast majority of you that requested them, current projects have pushed their way to the forefront. Second draft of Swords & Wizardry: Light was forwarded to Zach last night. We also discussed some ideas for layout and art. Being up late at night helps when you are on the east coast and your partner in crime is in Arizona ;)

The next few weeks will be busy as we try and hit completion before a certain date as we aim to get things released in time for a certain event. I'm also trying to work on the first "official" adventure in the line, which will include advice for the "lapsed GM" or transitioning gamemaster.

I really need to thank everyone for your words of encouragement. Your support is the most valuable currency there is and it makes everything worth the investment of time and effort. I'm also extremely appreciative of the financial support that's been given to The Tavern as well as to your humble bartender. Something as simple as viewing the occasional ad goes much further than you might think.

Alright, nose to the grindstone. Well, after a breakfast of Bacon Jerky. Holy Shit! This is what rations in S&W should be...

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Tavern has Served Over 5,000 Copies of Swords & Wizardry Complete


On November 5th, 2013 Frog God Games released the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules for free in PDF to the gaming world and told us all to share it, which I did.

It was my 2nd wedding anniversary and one hell of a present, and I told +Matt Finch  so at the time.

Well, here we are, August 29th, 2016, less than 3 years later and The Tavern has distributed over 5,000 copies of the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules. It's one hell of a milestone.

I raise my mug, to Matt, the Frogs, to the Swords & Wizardry Gaming Community - well done! Let's get to 10k even quicker ;)

There is always a link to the S&W Complete Rules here at The Tavern, but if you are looking for it, here it is - http://bit.ly/SWComplete

What Did You Do in the Last 5 Years? Because Completing Far West was NOT an Accomplishment for Gareth

Five years is a hell of a long time. My 5th wedding anniversary sneaks up on November 5th. I went from 5 years away from retirement TO retirement. I missed 1 day of posting here at The Tavern in those 5 years.

Far West funded 5 years and 4 days ago. We still don't have it.

Strangely, Gareth seem to not get notifications from Kickstarter when he gets messages, so requests for refunds get ignored:

So, not years more. A year? Possibly. Months? That's a given.

Far West. A study in how NOT to successfully complete a funded Kickstarter and keeping idiots in suspense for 5 years. Yes, I'm one of those idiots...

At least Mike Nystul stopped the illusion that he was working on anything.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Announcing the Swords & Wizardry "Sage" - Official Answers for Your Swords & Wizardry Rules Questions



It's time to announce the Swords & Wizardry "Sage", it's my new hat. Yep, I'm the one that gets to answer your questions regarding the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules (and S&W: Light rules when they release). Now, we all know that Swords & Wizardry is more about rulings than rules and that is pretty much what we'll be doing - making rulings. They aren't going to be binding rulings, as it is your game and your table after all, but we hope that by offering to answer questions we'll make for a smoother gaming experience for all.

Notice I said "we". My plan is to find answers with precedent when possible in earlier editions of "the game. When that isn't possible, and the answer is elusive, +Matt Finch has agreed to be our sounding board and final arbitrator when needed.

Now, "Sage" is just the working title. Just as we are finalizing the details of where I'll be hanging my hat (probably multiple locations - here at The Tavern, over at the Frog God Games website, Facebook, more locations coming to a city near you) we need a proper title FOR such hat.

So, instead of "Sage", what shall be call the position? Comment away and we'll pick the one that strikes our fancy the most. The chosen one will get a marvelous No-Prize and a signed copy of Swords & Wizardry: Light sent anywhere in the world. You know, once it's done, edited, laid out, printed and I get my copies. Patience ;)

See, lots of Swords & Wizardry announcements in the past few days. It's a good time to be an Old School Gamer :)

RPGNow Deal of the Day - The S'rulyan Vault (OSR Dungeon)



Like him or hate him, +Venger Satanis does has released some extremely competent OSR releases. The S'rulyan Vault is definitely on the top of the Venger release list.

Until 11 AM Eastern, tomorrow August 29th, 2016 The S'rulyan Vault is discounted 40% in PDF, from $7 to $4.2o.

From the blurb:
This product is both a PDF and very large, high resolution map files. 
The PDF contains a short history of the region and dungeon, original artwork by Bojan Sucevic, and several random tables for making this dungeoncrawl easier to run and more interesting.  For instance, there's a d100 table describing things found when searching a room.  There's also a multi-table system for generating fortunes.   
Lastly, there's a custom, old school fantasy character sheet created by James V West.
As for the maps, there's an old school blue and white layout of the dungeon... just like we remember from the modules in the late 70's and early 80's.  Alternatively, there's a parchment colored map.  Each one can be taken to a printer and blown up to 34" x 44".

There's a NEW Podcast in Town - Dead Games Society - Texas Chapter - Old School Blues Podcast - Episode "Zero" is LIVE!


Something "Old" - an Old School Gaming Podcast

Something "New" - it's a "new" podcast

Something "Borrowed" - thank you to the Dead Games Society podcast for letting us share their name - you folks rock!

Something "Blue" - It's the Old School Blues Podcast!

Join +Vincent Florio , +James Spahn and me as we talk about time travel in gaming and just about every tangent we can think of. Actually, grab a beer, snag some chips and sit down for some Old School goodness.

There's an Easter Egg in the podcast BTW. I announce something that hasn't been announced yet regarding Swords & Wizardry and yours truly.

So, what are you waiting for? Go listen!
In this episode you will meet the three hosts of this show as they chat back and forth about the topic of Time Traveling in your fantasy games. The purpose of our shows is to provide that relaxed “around the table” listening feel of a podcast. We want to focus on D&D from the ’80s and OSR related products, but that doesn’t mean from time to time we will not dip our toes into other games from the era of TSR D&D. 
So still back and listen to Vince, Erik and James as they bring you the “Old School Blues” Podcast!

The Swords & Wizardry: Lite "Thief" Class - Written Up



+Zach Glazar and I are going to go through the over 100 suggestions for alternate titles for the Swords & Wizardry: Light "Thief" class. We'll then pick out our 10 favorites, put up a poll and let the readers of The Tavern cast their votes. The top 3 vote getters will then go through a vetting process and one of those three are what we will go with. What's the vetting process? For me it will be "beer and burgers" and bouncing the finalists off my bartender who is a retired detective. I can't speak for Zach's vetting process. It probably involves virtual reality and a distant planet ;)

Now, for those that are wondering, here's the write up for the Swords & Wizardry: Light "Thief". Remember, Swords & Wizardry: Light only covers levels 1 through 3. After that it's expected you will want to move on to Swords & Wizardry: Complete. As such, there will be a full write up of the Light "Thief" for the Complete rules (and I am leaning towards optional rules for S&W: Light that would cover progression through level 7, but that is down the line and would probably not be "official")

The Thief is a figure in the shadows, an expert in stealth and delicate tasks.
Hit Dice: 1HD at 1st Level, 2HD at 2nd level and 2HD+1 at 3rd level
Saving Throw: 15 at 1st, 14 and 2nd and 13 at 3rd
Thieves may wear only Leather Armor. They may use any weapon.
-Thieves start with either Long Sword (1d6) and Dagger (1d6-1) or Club (1d6) and Short Sword (1d6-1) and a suit of Leather Armor AC 12 [7]

Thieves have class abilities as follows:
Backstab: When attacking with surprise and from behind the thief attacks at +4 hit and x2 damage
Hear Sounds: Thieves have a 3 in 6 to hear and identify noise through closed doors
Read Normal Languages: Thieves have a 4 in 6 chance to reads normal languages
Climb Walls: Thieves have a 5 in 6 chance to climb walls and cliffs

Thief Skills: Thieves have a 1 in 6 chance to succeed at Finding / Removing traps, Opening Locks, Picking Pockets, Hiding in Shadows and Moving Silently. Dwarves have a 2 in 6 change to Find / Remove traps, Elves have a 2 in 6 chance to Hide in Shadows / Move Silently and Halflings have a 2 in 6 Chance to Open Locks

*The next bump to the thiefly skills would take place at 4th level and every third level after that when presented for the S&W: Complete rules
** The above write up is subject to revision ;)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Just Submitted the First Version of Swords & Wizardry: Light



I just submitted the first version of Swords & Wizardry: Light to +Zach Glazar so we could get a look at how it fills the pages in InDesign. Just under three pages at 8.5 x 11" (I believe the plan is to print copies at 17 x 11" to make the booklet - print at home may needs 2 sheets to be readable - time will tell). Graphics, art and OGL to be added, I think we're looking good.

I must say, my 45 minute "This is InDesign" course with Zach was an eye opener and a half. Now I know the tweaks I need to do in Word to make Zach's job so much easier, and as it's his job to make my work look good, I'm all for that.

FYI, I added in weapon and armor tables which I didn't think we were going to have room for. I added them to see if they would fit, and they do, so "Woot!". For space considerations, we went with two adventurer packs for the PCs to choose from instead of a shopping list. Hopefully tomorrow I'll launch the poll to help pick the name of the thiefly class in S&W: Light.

I'm damn excited!

Next step is making adjustments to the format of the word document, then I dig into completing the first adventure in the line, which will include some basic GMing advice. It will NOT be the first adventure written with Swords & Wizardry: Light in mind. The first third party adventure honor will be going to +Thom Wilson / Throwi Games. I've read it and it is awesome! It's got some rats. Love me some rats ;)

Kickstarter - The Dark Hold Goblin Adventures RPG for Savage Worlds


Savage Worlds is a bit of a paradox for me. I don't fully grok the system (powers / magic make me scratch my head) but I love the releases FOR the system. There is just so much good stuff for the Savage Worlds system out there.

The Dark Hold Goblin Adventures RPG for Savage Worlds is another excellent release for Savage Worlds. How can I say that when the Kickstarter still has 22 Days left it its funding period? Because Rebel Minis put the beta of The Dark Hold Goblin Adventures in my hands so I could see for myself.

First, that means you know the product is ACTUALLY written and laid out. None of this "4 1/2 years later" shit. It exists.

Second, it reads well. Part setting, part campaign, it all comes together nicely. In truth, it would be easy enough to convert to an OSR system of choice and would play well with old school tropes. Just need to remember you are playing goblins ;)

Third, I love the cover. Yet another reason to suggest (hint hint) an OSR treatment sometime in the future.

Stretch goals add short (1 to 2 page adventures) to the project. Three such have already been added. There are even minis you can get at higher support levels.

If you are a Savage Worlds fan, at $10 for the PDF or $15 for Print plus PDF, I think this is an excellent project to back. If you are an OSR fan with some Savage Worlds background, you could probable convert this fairly easily, as the crunch is much less important than the setting elements. That being said, if there were an OSR version, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

From the description:
Dark Hold Goblin Adventures is dedicated to the small groveling races which scratch out an existence in the dark catacombs through which other heroes stride like unto gods. Can you survive as one of a lost culture of Goblins living in the abandoned tombs of a long forgotten empire? 
Dark Hold Goblin Adventures is a Savage Worlds compatible sourcebook (You will need a copy of the Savage Worlds core Rulebook) allowing players and game masters to run a campaign revolving around low level goblin characters.

Inside you will find a detailed history of the Dark Hold campaign setting as well as new character classes and templates to use Goblins as player characters. There is also a short adventure to whet your whistle for the challenge of playing low level goblins in a world of high level dangers. 
Are you up for it? 
What’s Inside
- A detailed history of the Dark Hold Campaign setting
-       New character classes and templates to use Goblins as player characters
- New Edges
- New Creatures
- An exciting starting adventure... Goblin Faire!
- Crystal Smything
- 5 Short adventures and much more! 

Sale - Stoneheart Valley - HC - Only 20 Bucks (Frog God Games - S&W / PF)


Frog God Games is running a weekend sale. They are offering Stoneheart Valley for $20 if you use the coupon code below.
Finally, welcome to the World of Necromancer Games! From Bill Webb and Clark Peterson's home campaign comes the old-school setting of The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley. For over a decade, fans of Necromancer Games and Frog God Games have been asking to see the world behind the adventures. And at long last, here is where it all began, in the Stoneheart Valley near the town of Fairhill. This mini-campaign was originally presented to the fans of Necromancer Games in three separate modules: "The Wizard's Amulet", "The Crucible of Freya", and "The Tomb of Abysthor". Frog God Games has taken the full series from the 3E version plus supplemental material previously available only online, and converted it all to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system and the Swords & Wizardry Complete ruleset. 
Weighing in at 192 pages for Pathfinder (retail $32.99), and 144 pages for the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules (retail $29.99), this new product is the first offering in The Lost Lands setting, coming from Frog God Games. Expanded, enhanced, and providing hours and hours of adventure, this hardbound book is intended for characters of levels 1-8 (and beyond), including dungeon, wilderness and city encounters.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Episode "Zero" is in The Bag - CoHosts Vince Florio & James Spahn

We recorded the first episode of the yet to be officially announced Old School Gaming Podcast (that is not the name of the podcast - that will be announced soon.) My CoHosts were +Vincent Florio and +James Spahn .

Needless to say, it was many levels of awesome. Now, I may be biased but I had a blast recording and I expect that will show. I even broke out into song...

We touched on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Mazes & Perils, Swords & Wizardry, White Star, Labyrinth Lord, Top Secret, Star Wars D6, 4e, 5e, DCC, Time Master, CoC and others while talking about kenders, Dragonlance and a whole bunch of other stuff.

The main topic was Time Travel and travel we did.

It should go up some time next week. I'll let you know when it's available for download.

There's a New Old School Gaming Podcast in Town and it Records Tonight

Did you hear that? It's the sound of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

No, I'm not getting married. I did that nearly 5 years ago :)

Instead we're recording the first episode of a new Old School Gaming podcast tonight.

Who's the "we"? Can't say yet, but in my estimation I have the least amount of "Old School Gaming Cred" out of the three of us. Yes, there are three hosts and I'm probably the least qualified to be on the show. Hey, at least I'm honest. Another way to look at it is if I set the low end of the bar then you know we will be bringing an amazing podcast to the table.

What's it about about? Old School Gaming silly!

What's it called? The answer is out there. It's here actually, but you don't know it. Maybe I'll be able to name it after we finish recording. Did I mention I commissioned a banner for the site?

God, it's been a busy week. I should have yet another announcement come Monday. Retired, you say? Bullshit! I eat retirement for lunch! Actually, I had a grilled chicken wrap with a salad. Anyhow, onward!


Amazing Tavern Art by Craig Brasco


+Craig Brasco did the scene you see above as an inside snapshot of The Tavern. I think he caught The Tavern Community's personality perfectly (including the annoyed person looking in from behind - sorry if we can't please all the people all the time ;)

Current plan is to use this excellent piece of work in regards to an announcement coming up this weekend. What announcement? Patience...

I'm so glad to consider Craig a good friend and a longtime member of my gaming group. I am blessed being surrounded by creatives much more talented than myself.

As an aside, I've identified each of the characters sitting at the table with my close circle of friends and it fits perfectly. Needless to say, I'm the dwarf :)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

In Three Hours we Have a Plethora of Thiefly Synonyms to Choose From

Talk about "overwhelming response." At least 60 comments on the blog and a huge amount of comments on G + and Facebook in just over 3 hours time offering alternative suggestions for the word "thief."

I literally didn't know how popular "Thieves" actually were ;)

Later on tonight we're going to sort through all of the suggestions and come up with a list of finalists.

Tomorrow we'll probably get a poll up, and you'll have a week or so to vote on your favorite which will be the name we use in Swords & Wizardry: Light for the thiefly class.

I Need Another Name for "Thief"



The Swords & Wizardry: Light Thief class does not line up exactly with the Swords & Wizardry Thief. Therefore, we need a new name and anyone that suggests "Rogue" will get beat with a wet noodle.

Progression for thief like skills is plotted through 12th level, so a S&W: Light "Thief" could work side by side with a standard S&W Thief.

Just need a name...

If we pick your suggestion I'll send a couple of copies of S&W: Light your way when it goes to print ;)

Follow Up to the Swords & Wizardry: Light Official Announcement - Some Background, Some Further Info and Some Thank Yous



The response to the announcement that Frog God Games will be publishing Swords & Wizardry: Light has been Amazing, Gratifying, Rewarding. Encouraging and so much more.

If it weren't for the community that has formed here at The Tavern, none of this would ever have happened. Creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum. It is fed by good thoughts, quenched by well wishes and encouraged by an audience that desires the end result. In this case, that is all of you. I am, as always, in your debt.

I am also in this community's debt because it was your voice that got this project noticed on a larger scale. The influence that this Community wields is quite powerful. Never doubt yourselves on that account.

I want to thank everyone at Frog God Games, but in particular +Zach Glazar . He's been my co-conspirator in this. His words of encouragement are second to none and he is a sounding board like few others. I'll probably need a few more words in the coming weeks ;)

When I got word that Frog God was interested in S&W: Light I stepped away from working on the rules and moved more to brainstorming the adventure and setting side of things. Why? Because a stand alone ruleset built of of S&W and aimed at bringing in lapsed gamers is different than an authorized ruleset aimed at lapsed gamers and as a bridge to the fuller S&W rulesets. The basic goals are the same but with the second, compatibility to the source material becomes key. In some ways it's more restricting but it's also more rewarding.

Then it was simply time to let things line up and fall into place. Fall into place they did :)

As I see it now, Swords & Wizardry: Light will cover levels 1 through 3, the core 4 classes (thief will be included, but may be renamed as it doesn't follow the mechanics of the current S&W thief class), magic items (except for + 1 weapons and armor) will be introduced in adventures, level gain will be from completing adventures / not experience points and some other stuff minor adjustments. When space is at a premium, and 4 pages is a premium, sometimes you need to improvise.

I've been asked about compatibility licenses, proper format and all that wonderful stuff concerning adventures. Much of that is down the line and not in my wheelhouse. That being said, as the rules are meant to be compatible with the larger Swords & Wizardry rules, if you stick to those and the core 4 classes you will be, by default, compatible. Remember, magic items are not included in the initial 4 page Swords & Wizardry: Light ruleset, so if you include some magical loot (and who doesn't) you'll need to explain what it does. Also, I strongly suggest that you maintain the 4 page format for adventures made specifically for Swords & Wizardry: Light. It just fits the format better.

There will be online support for S&W: Light, both here at The Tavern and via Frog God Games. There will probably be some optional 4 page supplements released, written by me and published by... don't know yet. We need to get the initial release out first ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It's Official - Frog God Games to Publish Swords & Wizardry: Light - Dances Me a Happy Dance!

See that graphic? Yep, it's official. Swords & Wizardry: Light is a thing. Not just anything, either. It will be published and distributed by Frog God Games. Signed off by +Bill Webb . Approved by +Matt Finch . Layout to be done by +Zach Glazar . Editing by +Edwin Nagy  Full color. Free. Print and PDF.

I am so f'n stoked!

When this is all ready and printed, a copy will be included with all Frog God Games orders from their online store. It will be in convention swag bags (this will be huge.) It will be given away at The Tavern. I'm hoping to see copies find their way into game and comic book stores. Maybe even libraries.

Did I mention there is a Swords & Wizardry Affiliate Program in the works? Copies will be going out there too. More details soon.

There are plans for 4-page adventures to compliment the line, both in house and third party. Actually, I've already had the first third party adventure sent to me to look over and it is damn fine. It should be, it includes rats. Love me some rats ;)

So, this means a busy schedule in the coming weeks, as I tweak everything on my end (and editing and layout will need time to make my words look nice.) I'm also hoping to get the first adventure ready it can be released with the rules.

It will be my first published work as Erik "Tenkar" Stiene. Damn. Retirement is good.

Oh, another related announcement is coming soon to a Tavern near you ;)

Frog God Games Goes EU and Australia - Local Shipping is Coming Your Way


I've heard whispers and rumors prior to today's announcement, but it's true. Frog God Games is experimenting with printing locally for the European Union and Australia. What does that mean for you? If you were getting pillaged by the US Postal Service and it's dual wielding attack on shipping outside of the states, you can now fight a foe more your size. Yep, much more reasonable shipping costs.

Rappan Athuk, Pathfinder Edition is first on the "local printing" list. Consider it a flare to judge interest. Yes, I'm already pushing for Swords & Wizardry flavored releases.

Anyhow, if you are interested in being a test subject (the Frogs are looking for one volunteer from each market) for one of these locally printed (and currently reside in the EU or Aussiland) Rappan Athuks, email +Zach Glazar at ZachATfroggodgamesDOTcom. Tell him the dwarf sent you :)

Volunteers have been volunteered;)

P.S. This is NOT the Frog God related post I've talked about. Soon...

Tavern Chat - 9 PM Eastern - I'm Hoping for an Announcement But I Doubt It...

It's Wednesday, so tonight is another weekly Tavern Chat. Be there or be not.

I was hoping for an announcement to share, but it's doubtful. More likely for the morning.

Still, I will be in Tavern Chat and so should you!
How do you participate in Tavern Chat? Look at the right side of this page (you may need to scroll down just a bit) - There is a chat box by Chatwing. That is our Tavern Chat. You can log in using just about any social media platform. See you tonight!

Kickstarter - 13 & 15 sided dice ( D13 & D15 ) w/ DCC & other sets



If I have a Kryptonite, it's dice. Well, good art is certainly a weakness, but I can'y get enough nice. My 5 y/o niece can't get enough either, as she constantly raids my dice jar ;)

The D13 & D15 Kickstarter looks to be more Kryptonite.

There is just something about "weird" dice. Not "weird" as in "that's not a die!" but weird as in "how many sides?"

Look at the above. From 4-sided to 16-sided without skipping a die size.

I'm not sure if I want Blue or Green. Rach probably wants Purple.

Crap. I'm going to need a larger dice jar.

26 projects under the best of Impact Miniatures. That's a pretty safe track record.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I'm Leaking... I Have an Upcoming Project with...

Damn it!

I'm not allowed to give details just yet, but I am allowed to say that I'm working on an "official project with Frog God Games."

We just need to nail down the legalese.

I'm so stoked!

Soon I'll be able to explain more. Oh, and probably ask for input and feedback from The Tavern's Community.

Does this make me an Auxiliary Frog?

Right. Back to work. Fuck. Glowing...


Mini Review - The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal



When Fat Goblin Games offered me an opportunity to peruse The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal I figured "why not?" It interested me when I saw it's release pop up in my email and having a chance to browse though it could only be a good thing.

It IS a good thing.

I was forwarded The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal in form fillable PDF format. Which means I can make entries, print them out and not have to attempt to read my horrible chicken scratch.

Here's me playing with the Random Encounter page:


This page in and of itself may be worth the price of admission.

There are pages for:

-World Construction
-World Regions
-Deity and Religion
-Legendary Items
-Regional Hex Map
-Regional Breakdown
-Major City Breakdown
-Small Town - Village Breakdown
-Trade and Trade Routes
-Major NPCs
-Guilds & Organizations
-Minor NPCs
-Adventures and Plots
-Design References
-Campaign Outline
-Site Based Encounters
-Random Encounter Tables
-Taverns & Inns (woot!)
-Shops & Markets
-Cave or Dungeon Encounter
-Geographic Feature
-Strongholds & Castles
-Tribes & Clans
-Random Notes
and of course grid and hex map pages.

Its inspiring me to flesh out some of my worldly creations.

The PDF is only $4.95. Even if you only use a few of these pages it's well worth your money. Print them out, put them in a binder and you'll be organized. Sadly, I rarely am organized. Sure, some folks can use their laptop for tracking things such as this, but I like paper for such.

Did I mention that it is system neutral or is that obvious?

From the blurb:
The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal is perfect for game designers, novelists, and especially gamemasters. Build nations, design kingdoms, explore the geography of your realms with this collection of forms, documents, and sheets created to cover all aspects of world design. 
Use this tome to nicely print your notes and ideas in a clean compilation, or treat the journal as a scrapbook and write in the margins, glue in pictures, etc. It's perfect for any type of world building. 
PDF Version: This version is 57 pages long  and includes a single copy of each form with no background and minimalistic design. Perfect for printing out as many copies as you want and including them in your own compilation. 
PDF Version 2: This version includes the 840 page version of the print book.
PDF (form-fillable) Version: A single pdf with one of each sheet, form-fillable. Also provided is a zip folder containing each sheet as a single pdf that is form-fillable for ease of use and printing. 
Print Version (standard): This massive tome is 1050 pages with decorative backgrounds and design. Divided into 12 chapters with extensive copies of the various forms, this is perfect for those wanting a high-quality print journal to transfer notes into or use to collect ideas as the form. 
Print Version (premium): This massive tome is 840 pages with decorative backgrounds and design. Divided into 10 chapters with extensive copies of the various forms, this is perfect for those wanting a high-quality print journal to transfer notes into or use to collect ideas as the form. 
Premium vs. Standard: The Premium Hardback is 840 pages vs. the Standard Hardback at 1050 pages. Both these books are the same size in print, although the premium is shorter by two chapters. The reason for this is that the premium uses a better quality paper that tends to be thicker. Both paper qualities are great, the standard edition just has two more chapters covering the regions (so 8 regional chapters instead of 10).

Kickstarter - Dice Coins (these are NOT Pencil Dice nor Dice Pencils)


Dice Coins. I'm really not sure what to make of this Kickstarter.



I mean, I have to admit it, the coins look nice. The art is evocative. Everyone likes dice. Lot's of folks like coins. Dice Coins? What's not to like?

I'd say they are cool as a conversation piece and a novelty. As a substitute for dice? Not so sure about that.


How can a spinning coin (that's how it works, it spins on the table like a top) be as random as gaming dice?


Right...

So, no statistical testing to prove this statement. Just an assumption. Yeah, not going to be used at my gaming table.

That being said, I like Challenge Coins and these are basically RPG Geekdom Challenge Coins. If you consider Dice Coins to be Challenge Coins, $35 for a set of 6 isn't a bad price at all.

Monday, August 22, 2016

State of The Tavern - Your Humble Barkeep is in Your Debt

I never imagined the response I would get from opening The Tavern's financials to public disclosure. As I've said before, I'm open and honest with both myself and The Tavern. Meet me at a con or at a pub, it's the same person. Opening the books was a natural evolution.

Yesterday was busy and today was stressful. Another health scare that was hanging over our heads, this time for Rach, was cleared today. Her cardiologist cleared her heart (her internist saw something she didnt like on a sonogram). He scheduled her for a stress test next month and told her to expect a follow up in 15 years. My kinda doc ;)

Anyway, I really hadn't checked emails with the friday / saturday drama distraction and the above distraction until this evening. A weekend without emails is nearly an eternity.

So I opened up my email and...

I nearly fell out of my seat.

I had to call Rach over to my desk to confirm what I saw on my screen:
$3 pledge from Steve 
Philip  just edited their pledge from $1 to $1.50 
William just edited their pledge from $1.50 to $50 
James just edited their pledge from $1.50 to $10 
$1.50 pledge from Philipp 
$3 pledge from Rocket Pig Games
I am so overwhelmed with emotion it ain't even funny. There is simply no other community like the one here at The Tavern and I am gratified that you allow me to share it with you.

Did I mention that adsense is surging 47% for the rolling week compared to the prior 7 days?

God, how I wish I could tell you what will be announced later this week. I'm very excited and I wouldn't have the opportunities that are presenting themselves if it wasn't for each and every one of you. You are the reason The Tavern exists. You are The Community.

I am but your humble servant. I may add a title or two later, but for now, that works ;)

Kickstarter - Villains and Vigilantes™ 3.0: The Mighty Protectors™ RPG





I had an opportunity to talk with +Jeff Dee at NTRPG Con this past June. His excitement for the latest version of Villains and Vigilantes just oozed from him.

I never played V&V's earlier editions, although I do remember creating characters for it back in my High School days. I do remember it was referred to among my friends as "the playable" superhero game (as apposed to Champions, which was simply too crunchy for us)

I'll be backing Villains and Vigilantes™ 3.0: The Mighty Protectors™ RPG the moment my first pension check comes at the end of this month. I think that's going to be the hardest part of retirement - adjusting to once a month checks ;)

From the blurb:
The new 'third edition' has a name, and not just a number: it’s called MIGHTY PROTECTORS™ after the player group from the very first V&V campaign in our official setting – the Mighty Protectors Multiverse
Mighty Protectors features a new streamlined and expanded revision of the V&V rules, an intro to the Mighty Protectors Multiverse (about which we've only provided scattered details before), and all-new artwork.
Yep, I'm in.

I'm Considering Monthly Tavern Financial Updates

As The Tavern's regular readers know, your humble bartender is pretty open about his personal life and the behind the scenes happenings at The Tavern. It's just too much work to be someone other than myself ;)

This past Saturday I posted The Tavern's financials for June and July. It was just the monies coming in, not the expenses going out, because I really don't track the monies spent beyond "paid for more art" or whatever else. Besides, if I counted the monies going out, the balance sheet would probably have been negative.

Still, it was interesting to see what The Tavern makes on a daily or monthly basis.

So, I'm throwing this out to the readers - Is there an interest in a monthly recap of the monies raised by The Tavern? I've hounded the Gygax Memorial Fund to open their books. The least I can do it lead by example.



Sunday, August 21, 2016

RPGNow is Running a Cthulhu Mythos Sale - The Tavern Highlights Some OSR Picks

Yep, in celebration of H.P. Lovecraft's birthday (August 20th, 1890) RPGNow is running a Cthulhu Mythos Sale. Prices are 20% off of the regular price. I figured I'd share some picks that might appeal to The Tavern's readers.

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea+Jeff Talanian 's awesome OSR release. 488 pages of self contained gaming goodness drawing upon sources such as Conan, Mythos and other pulp favorites. But wait, there's more! Jeff has some adventures for sale too!

Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess, Beneath the Comet, The Mystery at Port GreelyGhost Ship of the Desert Dunes and Taken from Dunwich are adventures for AS&SH and all on sale.

Silent Legions+Kevin Crawford 's OSR game of "modern-day Lovecraftian horror." If you know Kevin and the games he writes, then you know there is a lot of tools that you can easily convert to the OSR game of your choice.

Realms of Crawling Chaos - From Goblinoid Games, this Labyrinth Lord classic "is a Lovecraftian Dark Fantasy campaign supplement." New classes, new monsters, new spells, new races. It's a great tool to add a little darkness to your OSR campaign.

Prices are good through the end of August.




The Non-Announcement Announcement

Today got derailed when Rach and I finally settled in to watch some Stranger Things on Netflix. Rach wasn't too sure going into the first episode. A full season later we finally were done.

In the middle of that I was informed of some exciting news... that I can't announce until later this week. I'm bursting at the seems! Trust me. It will be worth the wait. I'm psyched :)

Later on tonight I'll be putting together an OSR highlight page of Mythos related products on sale at RPGNow. There's some damn good stuff there, but putting together that post is a bit time consuming, and as Stranger Things consumed the whole afternoon I'm only getting to it now.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

For Those That Are Interested in the Financials of The Tavern (We're Making the Big Bucks!)

One of the comments yesterday stated the following:


So, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm offering a snapshot of June and July's earnings made by The Tavern.

First up - Adsense:


As you can see, it averages about a buck a day. People don't really click on ads much and I don't blame then. Over the course of 12 months it should take in about $350, which is the average price for a new piece of art for The Tavern's Banner Rotation.

Second Up, RPGNow Referral Sales:

If I go with screenshots the page will never end. June and July combined for $75.68 ($43.36 and $32.32 respectively), which is really low. August so far is $80.05, which is high. The year is at $550.01, so about $70 a month or just over 2 bucks a day. (as an aside, the Gygax Memorial Fund raised $566 in all of 2015)

Last Up, Patreon:

I like the Patreon method and support many on it with the monies donated to The Tavern. June had $166.01 in pledges, which after fees and spreading the love to other Patreons came out at $124.14. July was $164.51 which came out to $102.32 after fees and spreading the Patreon love.

June Total: $202.44  $6.75 a day

July Total:  $158.42  $5.11 a day

For that you get 1 to 3 posts a day, Tavern Cards (which are really fucking slow to mail out), occasional giveaways, art purchases for use at The Tavern (monies going to artists in the community), work on Swords & Wizardry: Light, the annual insane fiasco known as OSR Christmas and assorted other sundries. Average time spent daily on Tavern related activities - just over 2 hours.

The Tavern's modest income does NOT support the Kickstarters I back nor the games I buy. I wish it would pay for a lunch or two a week at the pub. Maybe we'll get there over time ;)




Swords & Wizardry Products 33% Off at Frog God This Weekend


You really like the Otis cover but don't have the cash to grab a copy of the hardcover?

Then this weekend is for you. (sale ends 8/21)

Not only is the Swords & Wizardry Complete Hardcover on sale for 33% off this weekend but so too is most every other Frog God release for the Swords & Wizardry rules (Offer excludes new titles including Quests of Doom 3, Borderland Provinces, and The Northlands Saga Complete)

So, how do you get such an exclusive discount on some Old School goodness?

Step 1 - Go to the Frog God Games Online Store

Step 2 - Put some Swords & Wizardry in your basket

Step 3 - Use the following coupon code: S&W-33-9394

After purchase you get the instant gratification of the PDF of your purchase there for you to download as you await for your books to arrive.

I'd use the code myself but I think I have everything...

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Open Letter to Kickstarter Creators - I am Not Here to Blow Smoke Up the Arse of The Tavern's Readers (Rant)

Let me set the record straight.

I get 3 to 4 requests per week from Kickstarter creators asking me to look at their projects. Some ask me to peek at the Not Yet Published page, seeking critique and feedback. These are the wise folks. Others simply want me to pimp their latest crowdsourced offering, whether it be the latest, greatest fantasy heartbreaker or a new litter pan for my cat.

I get them all.

I ignore most requests.

Why?

The Tavern is not here to pimp your shit.

Let me repeat that a little clearer for those that might not understand the directness of that statement. The Tavern's coverage of Kickstarters, the good, the bad and the down right bizarre, is not a vehicle to pimp your project. The purpose is to highlight projects that I believe are worth the time of my readers to check out. That DOES NOT mean that I'm highlighting it for your benefit.

I point out flaws in Kickstarters and their presentation. It's what I do. It's part of the vetting process. You are basically begging for money from the gaming public and your project needs to be vetted. I also point out well presented Kickstarters and creators with good track records... and bad.

What I do not do and what I will never do is blow smoke up the arse of my readers. I will not speak highly of a Kickstarter project that I am not willing to back myself.

Some may ask: "If you don't like a project, why post about it at all?"

The answer is simple.

It's what I do. It's a service that I do for the readers of The Tavern. Again, I do not highlight Kickstarters for the benefit of the project creators, I highlight them for the benefit of my readers. They need to know what to avoid. They need to know the warnings that a project might not be as solid as it seems.

What can you do to avoid "unwanted attention?"

Short answer: Have your Kickstarter page read by multiple eyes before you take it live. First impressions are 90% of your battle and you only get one shot at it.

Long answer: Read through the Kickstarter posts here at The Tavern. You'll see examples of what to do and what not to do. Research. Edit. Edit again. Avoid mugs. Print stretch goals can ruin your budget. Shipping costs can ruin you.

Remember, you are asking the gaming public to part with their money with the promise that you will provide them with a finished product down the line. If you are unable to put your best foot forward out of the box, what can one expect with the finished product?

Kickstarter - The Ice Kingdoms (A Lesson for Others - Edit Your Pitch)


I really wanted to write a positive post about The Ice Kingdoms Kickstarter. I like the concept. I like the cultures it plans to draw upon. I like the art I see.

Then I read the opening sentence:


If you can't discern the proper usage of "a" and "an" in the opening sentence of your pitch I have real issues with the ability to properly edit a product. What's with the "Role Playing Game. Fantasy." anyhow? Keyword search?

Proper names should be capitalized:


Throwing in names of artists that apparently haven't been approached yet is simply wrong:


Then there is this paragraph:


Okay. This makes my head itch. Those first two sentences above make no sense together. Are they recreating rules? Recreating a "feel" that never left? No "comma" before "and." It's "Swords & Wizardry" and "Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game." Also, be consistent. Is it "The Ice Kingdoms", "the Ice Kingdoms" or "Ice Kingdoms?"

It's small things, but awkward use of the English language in the pitch does not leave me with confidence in the project itself. When putting your hand out for money, proper presentation beats all.

12 days left to fund. $3,381 of $5,500 to go. It MAY fund. It's not going to hit stretch goals. It SHOULD find someone to edit it's Kickstarter page in the next few days if it wants to find success and it will NEED an editor on their project itself or this will be, at best, one and done.

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