Saturday, January 9, 2016

White Star / White Box - Informal Content Request Survey

Sometimes all you need is to get "Your Irish Up" to find some motivation. In this case, it re-awoke my gaming content muse. When I wrote yesterday's Star Marshal class for White Star, it took less than 30 minutes, and that includes the OGL update. Apparently, when the muse is full awake, it works fairly fast.

So, what I want to know is what you want gaming content wise from The Tavern. And when I say "you" I actually mean YOU. The content I plan to create will be for White Star and / or White Box (S&W), but the actual type of content is what I'm asking you about.

Are you looking for character classes, new races, new monsters, NPCs, equipment, spells and / or powers, micros settings, encounters - what is it that will give you the most benefit in the games you are running or playing in?

As an aside, the Dragon White setting is still in the works and parts of it may leak out in upcoming posts.

I'm going to spend the next week or two putting my current White Star / White Box content into 1-sheet / 4 page PDFs for the The Tavern's Patrons on Patreon (long overdue, but I'm blocking out creative time these days, so hopefully shit falls into place ;)

So, tell me what you want in the comments below. I make no guarantees that all will get their wish but everything will be taken into consideration.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Tavern Predictions for 2016 - or - Please Don't Pee in the Scrying Pool

I've been doing Tavern Predictions for the past few years. No idea how accurate I've been, but that's not the point, is it? The point is the predictions themselves.

Of course, we need to bring Grumpy the Dwarf out of his long, alcohol induced nap to make the proper predictions. He'll be using the scrying pool in The Tavern's basement. Just ignore the runoff from the privy. Some of our patrons have poor aim (and even worse bowels, but I digress.)

Here's Grumpy!

Yeah, yeah. Can't let a poor bastid dwarf sleep for a few more months, can ya? Hey, who da' fuk threw a perfectly good cigar in the scrying pool?

1 - No longer known as Ken Whitman, Whit Whitman will change his name to Mike Nystul in an effort to confuse the authorities.

2 - Mike Nystul will take the name of Earl Grey and be forever known as the man who introduced tea to Captain Picard.

3 - Palladium Games will change it's name to Uranium Games in the hopes that the nuclear half-life will be a hedge against any future bankruptcies.

4 - D&D 5e will see the beginnings of a new "5.5" editions, to be known as D&D Forever - or at least until the suits at Hasbro need to milk the cow a bit more.

5 - Frog God Games will seek a princess to kiss the frog in an advertising promotion. Social Justice Warriors worldwide will be so offended, they will go on a frog killing spree. A half dozen SJWs and two frogs will meet their untimely demise.

6 - Monte Cook Games will release yet another game whose text can't be read because of the layers of watermarking beneath it and yet it will raise over $500k on Kickstarter.

7 - White Star will go supernova and destroy not only other sci-fi RPGs, but the very gaming universe itself. Strangely enough, the only game to survive will be Numenera.

8 - Lesser Gnome will produce a 3rd Kickstarter. It will not be named Pimps & Hoes. Or will it...

9 - The Gygax Memorial will itself receive a memorial - The Memorial to the Memorial of Gygax. It will list neither a start nor end date, just an infinity sign.

10- The Tavern will replace the green lights in front with red lights and the barkeep will turn in his navy blues for a pink suit and a white fedora.

White Star - Star Marshal (Character Class)

Whereas the police usually have limited jurisdiction, the Star Marshal has jurisdiction over multiple worlds. Expected to enforce the law and take in wanted criminals on their own, he is given great latitude in how and when to accomplish these goals.

Star Marshals are often mistaken for bounty hunters as many marshals would rather not identify themselves as such and would rather work under the cover of open arrest warrants. It has been said by those arrested that the reason Star Marshals work from arrest warrants is to collect the bounty but few ever make such an accusation to a marshal's face.

Known for self reliance, Star Marshals often know a little bit about many things.

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

Weapons / Armor Restrictions - None / None. Marshals do prefer to capture wanted felons alive, so they will often arm themselves in a manner to make that a possibility.

Area Knowledge and Customs - Marshals often know some of the terrain, locals and customs of the locations they are to travel to. They are assumed to know the basic details of all but the most exotic locations and will know one or two more specific piece of knowledge when arriving on a new world (location of a bar their target might frequent, contact to buy restricted items, etc). Star Marshals with an Intelligence Score of 13 or better receive 1 extra piece of specific knowledge.

XP Bonus for Constitution: Star Marshals with a Constitution of 13 or 14 receive a 5% Experience Bonus, and those with 15 or higher get 10%.

Assistance from Local Police: Star Marshals may request the assistance of the local police force. Assistance granted may be large or small depending on the department and the Star Marshal's reputation.


The Tavern is Not a Whore and Other Recent Thoughts (Rant Time)

Earlier today I got a G+ notification that I was mentioned in a comment. I went to peek and it was in a closed community, one I was not a member of. Which meant I could read it but not comment.

"Great stuff man! Maybe your XXXXX XXXX tables will inspire +Erik Tenkar

It gets better. Now apparently I owe this individual free publicity because I like White Star and have posted about it therefore he deserves his own share of free Tavern publicity.

"If Erik put in a third of the effort into XXXXX XXXX that he's already put in for White Star, I wouldn't need any more promotion and advertising."

I pimp what I like. I don't pimp what I have no interest in.

I should be flattered that the perception is that I can make or break a product but that simply isn't true. Quality products speak for themselves. All I do is increase the volume for those that I like.

I owe the readers of The Tavern my truthful opinions on gaming releases, Kickstarters, whatever. I owe creators the same thing if I write about their products - truthful opinions. What I don't owe to anyone is that I WILL write about their latest product. Wow. What a surprise. I can write what I WANT to write about. Shit, that's nearly unheard of!

Am I pissed? More so because this bullshit came up in a community that I can't respond to from an individual that has been relentless in their effort to get me to cover their recent releases. Well, this is as close as we're going to get with "promotion and advertising."

It has, however, inspired me to work on some more White Star this weekend. Maybe not the inspiration they were hoping for, but I'm going to get some creativity done, so all in all, it's working out ok on my end ;)

OSR Christmas 2015 The Winner of the Remix Mini - Android PC is...

Slowly but surely OSR Christmas 2015 is wrapping up. Today it's time to award the Remix Mini, a pretty neat Android PC. And it happened to be a Kickstarter that shipped pretty much on time ;)

Who is the gift receiver?

+Dak Ultimak !

Dak, I have your address already I think. Might not ship for a week though. Congrats!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

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

Tavern Chat is a weekly chat session where folks can hang with random personalities from the OSR and just random OSR fans. It's always fun and often it's an unexpected source of inside info.

Tonight is the first Tavern Chat of 2016.

Pretty cool if you ask me :)

How do you participate? Just log into the chat box on the left side of this page.

Tonight should run from 9 PM to 11 PM Eastern, more or less...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Kickstarter - Open World RPG "like" Star Wars Game (What Could Go Wrong?)

Anyone want to make bets on how the Open World RPG "like" Star Wars Game Kickstarter is going to be up before the C&D?

Now, this is always a basic thing to me - if you are going to ask folks for money, (in this case looking to raise $200k) how about capitalizing proper names like "obi jim Kemobi." (who the fuck is obi jim anyhow?) Maybe be consistent with "Star Wars" and "star wars."

Best part?  The guy who wants your money has written "a story in the star wars universe that will fit inside an RPG video game that I have not created." Yep, no game, no art, just a story and we don't even know the plot.

Still, it's only $200k, right? Because $200k can give you a video game with the art level of Witcher 3. Right?

Gotta love the Risks and Challenges

Basically the whole project? It's a challenge...

(P.S. star wars should be Star Wars you nitwit!)

(P.P.S. Read the comments!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

OSR Christmas - Extended Edition - Lots of in Print Goodies for the Good Boys and Girls (US Only)

And here you thought OSR Christmas was over ;)

As a Happy New Year & overall thanks to the OSR community, I have a series of doubles, older editions, and less utilized material that I'd like to pass on, to 1) share the goodness; 2) expand people's knowledge and playing of some of systems and resources; and 3) clear off valuable shelf space...

Without further ado, I have the following items up for the OSR Christmas giveaway drawings. Unfortunately, these are only available to US recipients, as the postage costs get too high for sending them overseas. These will be given away in the following sets of items:

Dungeon Crawl Classics system

1) Transylvania Adventures - softcover + 3rd party DCC adventures - In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer, Cast Tower of the Blood Moon Rises!

Castles and Crusades 

2) 5th printing set of 3 core books (Players Handbook, Castle Keepers Handbook, and Monsters), new.

Swords and Wizardry 

3)  Razor Coast hardcover
4)  Razor Coast hardcover + GM's shield & modules (Grimmsgate, MCMLXXV, + others)

d20 Necromancer/Frog God Games

5)  Modules - Six Spheres of Zahheiss, Coils of Set, Vindication, Dread Saccaroth, Hex Crawl Chronicles-the Golden Meadow, etc.

OSR Resources

6)  Dyson's Delves I and II - softcover
7)  Selection of early role playing magazines (mostly 1980's) - Alarums & Excursions; White Dwarf; Dragon; Expeditioners Journal

RPG Related

8) Snarfquest Compilation (softcover) + The Fantasy Roleplaying Gamers Bible

These will be randomly given away to commenters listing their favorite OSR or just plain old-school system, sourcebook, or resource (blog, document, whatever).  Everyone is welcome to put in multiple entries of favorites, but each individual commenter will get only one chance for each giveaway.  The gifting will be done in 2 waves, with 4 randomly determined sets being given away January the 9th and the other 4 on the 10th, in honor of my personal tardiness for all things, even contests...  Winners will be announced in the comments section here and contacted for addresses if at all possible, but please check back here after the 10th to see if your name was pulled. Eligibility will end sometime in the early AM EST on both those days.

Thanks to all of you for rekindling my interest in roleplaying over the past few years and, more to the point, helping me give my children the interest in it (how many 9 year olds list DCC as their favorite game of the year?).  

-Keith (edit - The Tavern is just hosting - Keith is the one gifting)

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years Day - 2016 - So, How are Gareth, Mike, John and Ken doing with their Kickstarters?

New Year, same old drama. Time for some brief updates on some of the bigger Kickstarter dramas in the RPG hobby.

Where do we start? Let's go with Far West, otherwise known as "Gareth Sharka's Albatross". The latest update (December 15th) said we should have the next chapter by Christmas and the complete book (I'm assuming PDF) by the end of January (six weeks from December 15th). Today is January 4th and the December Chapter never arrived. Not a surprise. Ah well, at least Gareth's consistent in failing to meet even self imposed deadlines over the past four years. As an aside, I wish Gareth best of luck with his dog's illness. Our girl had seizures and canine dementia nearly two years ago. The decision wasn't easy.

Onward to Mike Nystul, the man who parlayed a unique last name into taking credit for the inspiration of a spell he had absolutely nothing to do with (but he's certainly made sure to live up to it's definition). In July, Mike promised weekly updates to Nystul's Infinite Dungeon. That lasted three weeks. No updates since then. Last update on Axes & Anvils? Back in May. Do I expect to even see finished PDFs from either of Mike's projects that I backed? I have more faith in Gareth.

What about John Adams and his Appendix N Adventures for the DCC RPG? Word is he's still sending out the first round of adventures. If memory serves me right, I got my first 2 adventures nearly 3 years ago. Lets not even think about the stretch goals.

As for Ken Whitman? Holy shit, the man is simply amazing and not it a good way. Supposedly there will be an update to the Spinward Traveller Pilot on the 15th of this month. What can the man say that won't be a lie? This shit is already a year late. Add in the rest of Ken's bullshit with Pencil Dice, KotDT Webseries and the Castles & Crusades TV Pilot and I'm moderately surprised no one has sucker punched him at the local bar.

As a side note apparently the Jamie Chambers' Metamorphosis Alpha Kickstarter isn't fully dead yet. He does make a very interesting statement in today's update: "Delays are one thing, but delays and silence are not the way I want to conduct myself, run my business, or represent the people I work with on this and other projects." Yep, when you take money from folks and then put your head in the sand, you set yourself up for future failures. Unless you are Ken Whitman and use his Jedi Mind Powers. It's so obvious he's a Sith...

I've Got Something to Read During the Downtime Tonight at Work - And I'm NOT Batman!

Look what arrived in the mail today! Batman, The Role-Playing Game, which is basically a condensed version of Mayfair's DC Heroes game.

Now, why would I purchase an out of print game that I probably could never get my group to play? Or if they agreed to, I'd probably owe them all beers.

You'll have a chance to hear all about it in a few weeks. Yes, I chose those words carefully ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Tenkar Household Medical Drama Continues - Gonna Need to Start a Triage Soon ;)

First it was colds and sinus infections for everyone around Christmas.

Then my son got diagnosed with "post concussion syndrome".

Last night, my wife broke out with a rash on her stomach.

Today, she was diagnosed with shingles.

And the guy with unlimited sick time?

Health as an ox.

For now ;)
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