Saturday, January 16, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, January 15, 2016

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

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

What is Ken / Whit / Whitless latest scam?

Speed Reels

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

Oh, and the equipment pictured?

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

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

Thanks to Jolly for bringing this to my attention.

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

White Star - Thoughts on the Star Preacher / Star Priest

As I twiddle away at the Star Preacher class for White Star, it occurs to me it might be better suited as two classes.

One class, the Star Preacher, for the independent wandering preacher who really isn't tied down to an organized religion per se and aStar Priest - part of an organized religion with a hierarchy, possible military links and what not.

One who find his strength based on faith, one finds it rooted in the organization itself.

The Star Priest would resonate in a Warhammer 40k type campaign or The Dark Side in Star Wars whereas the Star Preacher would have his inspiration in Pale Rider and the like. Yeah, I'm certainly in an Eastwood frame of mind...

Do You Publish For White Star? Trying to Compile a Full and Accurate List of White Star Compatible Releases

It was mentioned elsewhere that White Star compatible releases had slowed down to the point that they were negligible. That very well be the case, but it's damn hard to tell with RPGNow's horrible search function.

I found 48 White Star compatible releases (which is FAR from negligible for a game that released last May) beyond the core book in the first three pages of results searching for White Star on RPGNow. Sadly, it also returns results for "White" and / or "Star" in the product's title or description. Following the "Also Bought With" leads on some sample hits lead me to believe there are more White Star releases buried further down in the search function results.

All of which means we don't have a central list of what is out there for White Star, so I thought I'd build one. I'll need your help.

Please add your company name and or White Star compatible products in the comments below. Beyond putting together a list of publishers and products, I'd like to do short reviews where I can and as time allows.

Share this post with other publishers, content creators if you can. I want the results to be as complete as possible.

Alright - have at it :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

White Star Thoughts From the Overnight Shift

I did some White Star thinking last night at work. The next classes on my White Star / White Box list to be written up are:

Man With No Name - think Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Star Preacher - religious man, maybe with secrets, certainly with faith

Nostrum Agent - think snake oil salesman whose concoctions might actually work

Bounty Hunter - as it says on the tin

Obviously there are other things on my White Star bucket list as shown above. Trying to adjust the work schedule as best I can prior to retirement to keep the creativity flowwing.

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

Thank you all for sharing your favorite OSR resources and systems.
The book sets have been randomly assigned and the winners are listed below! Congratulations to all of you!

Set #2: Castles and Crusades core books - Stu Ordana
Set #3: Swords and Wizardry Razor Coast book - Rick Stump
Set #7: Magazines - Peter Schweighofer
Set #8: Snarfquest compilation + FRPG Bible - Paul

Set #1: DCC modules and Transylvania Adventures - goeticgeek
Set #4: Swords and Wizardry Razor Coast book and modules - Christian Kolbe
Set #5: Necromancer/Frog God Games d20 modules - Jacob Kipfer
Set #6: Dyson's Delves books - JasperAK

Winners who haven't heard from Keith directly are encouraged to contact him via PM at +Keith G Nelson   Anyone who, for some reason, doesn't want the set they've won, please let Keith know either here in the comments or via PM and he'll pick another winner for that set.

Happy New Year to you all!

+Keith G Nelson

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - White Box / White Star - First Star I See Tonight

Alright. I'm going to hazard a guess that White Star / White Box will be one of the topics of discussion at tonight's Tavern Chat.

I've got some things in the works that I'm trying to find time to kick off before the spring.

All that and my son got engaged. God, I feel old now.

See y'all tonight :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WotC Releases A0-A4: Against the Slave Lords (1e) in PDF

Remember when WotC was reprinting the AD&D 1e core books to generate some income between the the downfall of 4e and the rise of 5e? A0-A4: Against the Slave Lords (1e) was released around the same time.

The addition of A0: Danger at Darkshelf Quarry allows one to treat the A series as a mini campaign and was a nice addition. A1 was the first module I ever owned and it holds a special part in my gamer's heart.

I'm happy to finally have a PDF version of this, as now I can use the maps in Roll20 or another VTT, and that makes my DMing job pretty damn easy ;)

It's 10 bucks for 4 classic modules and a bonus module, which is a pretty good deal. Now, why they couldn't have found an unwrapped copy for the pic used at RPGNow - no idea ;)

5e "Red Box" Crowdfunding on Indiegogo - Dungeonesque (That Didn't Take Long)

Remember my post about the 5e OGL / SRD from yesterday? When I wrote it I was thinking about how long it would take for someone to use the new SRD to create an OSR styled ruleset. Well, it already being crowdfunded on Indiegogo by +Stan Shinn .

Dungeonesque Red Box RPG has apparently been in the works for a bit even without a 5e SRD. Now that there is a 5e SRD it's been announced to the world. Indiegogo is far from my favorite crowdfunding platform and I truly detest "flexible funding", but with a low goal of $1,500 it probably isn't even an issue.

$5 gets you the PDFs (Player's and GM books ranging from 32-48 pages each) $10 adds POD at cost from DrivethruRPG.

It's mostly written and the funding is looking to pay for art.

Myself, I'm in for 10 bucks. This really could wind up being a viable OSR fork in the D&D 5e tree.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kickstarter - Curse of the White Mine (5e adventure)

If I didn't know better, I would think +Lloyd Metcalf had some inside knowledge that WotC was going to release and SRD and OGL for D&D 5e today. I do know better, so coincidence is strong but that's all there is.

Curse of the White Mine is a non-linear single session full color quest for D&D 5e. If you know Lloyd, you know his adventures are well written and his art is simply amazing. Full color art from Lloyd? Color me excited ;)

Me, personally? I'm in for the 3 copies and the doodle, simply because original Lloyd Metcalf art is amazing to behold. I've been told I need to get Lloyd to do a banner for The Tavern and I may just have to back him in a corner when he has some free time to get him to do so ;)

So, what is Curse of the White Mine?
Curse of the White Mine is designed as a 5E, non-linear, single session adventure. Major campaign disruptions are kept to a minimum so as not to intrude on your master plan or current quests in progress. This adventure is not arranged in a ‘railroad’ fashion. Players are not required to push through encounters in any particular order. 
This one-off adventure will finalize in the 20-24 page range. It will be printed in Full premium color all the way through from cover to cover. 
Writing & editing is completely finalized. 75% of illustration and layout is currently finished and should be complete before January is over.
It funded in about 12 hours.

If that doesn't speak volumes about the quality of work Lloyd does, I don't know what does/

D&D 5e Goes OGL with it's New SRD (Yes, Hell Has Just Frozen Over)

Imagine my surprise waking up to a message from +Jason Paul McCartan linking to Dungeons & Dragons 5e's new SRD (which is under the OGL) My jaw just about hit the floor.

Of course, so many publishers were releasing 5e material under the OGL without a 5e SRD or simply using copyright law that the genie really was out of the bottle.

Wizards did find a way to get some monetization from the new SRD - The Dungeon Masters Guild (powered by DTRPG) is their online 5e store which includes 3rd party publishers. It's 5e's D20 license and allows the use of Forgotten Realms material (so long as you let WotC do all the selling)

I expect we'll see a real surge in 5e releases now.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ken Whitman - Scoundrel

Kristin is Ken's on again, off again, on and I guess now off girlfriend. Remember the infamous photo of Ken in front of a cruise ship when all of his various Kickstarters went unfulfilled? Kristin was the woman at his side. She was one of Ken's staunchest defenders.

Now, read the line about the Amazon Card - "I find the minimum payment on the Amazon card he started for me while I was out of town has tripled and the amount owed has gone up 1,000$" - That's basic identity theft and felony Grand Larceny, Mr. Whitman. If Kristin doesn't press charges Amazon might be entitled to depending on the state. If Ken and Kristin now live in different states it may fall under federal jurisdiction.

Just think - some folks are up in arms about Ken scamming them for 30 bucks, or 300. This woman is out $30k.

Anyone, ANYONE who trusts this scoundrel in the future with anything of value, including one's own reputation, is putting it at risk.

As an aside, Ken was my inspiration for the Scoundrel class yesterday...

Vault of the Drow - D3 - Cartoon Walk Through

I love the cartoon adventure walk troughs written / drawn by Jason Thompson and released on the web by WotC. They are charming, deadly, funny and often accurate as all hell. I'd love to frame them all.

The latest is the classic Vault of the Drow from the old AD&D 1e days. Above is the lo-res version. Go to the WotC link that follow to find the link for the hi-res version. WotC Link

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New "White Box" RPG - Skyscrapers & Sorcery

Swords & Wizardry White Box is all the rage these days. It's simply an excellent set of OSR rules one can easily (well, maybe "easily" is a matter of perspective) twist, turn, grind up and mash into something totally different and yet strangely comfortable and familiar.

What do I mean? White Box begat White Star and White Lies and now - Skyscrapers & Sorcery. Alright, they left out the "White" part in the title, but I'll forgive them that.

So, what is Skyscrapers & Sorcery?
What if the world ended and no one really noticed? 
What if almost everyone just picked themselves up the next day, dusted themselves off and went back to their routines as if nothing major had happened? 
That is what happened here. Sometime in the late part of the 19th century, something exploded in several places around the world at the same time. 
Scientists say they think it was a number of comets or some other sort of space body hitting the planet. Some people claim that we were being attacked by Martians. Some folks just didn’t really notice. The explosions caused lots of death and destruction and affected every continent in the world. 
Strange things live in the shadows of the world. Other worlds seem to have intruded upon ours and you are one of the few who decided to take notice and take action. Folks have names for people like you, the most polite of which is Adventurer. There is something that makes you want to notice the world and what goes on outside the daily humdrum lives of everyone else, and you have an itch to explore the dark corners and possibly even right some wrongs. 
It’s been several decades since the Event and you have decided that it is time to scratch the itch of Adventure. Welcome to Skyscrapers & Sorcery, may your adventures be many and fruitful and may your lives be valiant and your death be bravely faced.
An Old School, White Box compatible game system.
The character classes are familiar yet different from the White Box you know and love (but casters are still there.) I suspect from my quick skim, this might work work well as a heroic Cthulhu campaign ruleset. I'll know more when I finish reading. My problem with the various White Boxed derived rulesets is that I tend to assume I know all of the basic rules, and I'm occasionally tossed a curve. Something else to load onto my table for downtime reading at work.

BTW, I know of yet another White Box derived ruleset in the works. I have an early version on my tablet. It's a good year to be a White Box fan ;)

White Star - Scoundrel (Character Class)

Everyone has a bit of a scoundrel in them, or so it is said, but Scoundrels have found a way to make a living off of being one. A little bit charmer, a dash of thief and a large amount of luck keeps a Scoundrels pockets flush with credit and coin (because you never know what kind of currency the next world will accept.)

Scoundrels rarely name themselves as such. Pilots, traders and other innocent trades are often the mask they ply their trade under. As such, they often supplement their illicit income with more legitimate means.

LEVEL      XP      HD      BHB      ST
1                  0        1           +0        13    
2              1,750     2           +1        12
3              3,500     2+1       +1        11
4              7000      3           +2        10
5            14,000     3+1       +2          9
6            28,000     4           +3          8
7            56,000     4+1       +3          7
8          112,000     5           +4          6
9          224,000     5+1       +4          5
10        448,000     6           +5          4

Weapons / Armor Restrictions - Scoundrels may use clubs, daggers, firearms, laser pistols, mono-daggers, mono-swords, staffs, and swords. They can wear Light Armor and may use shields.

First Time Charmer - The first time in a particular bar, store, lodging, starport, etc the Scoundrel is treated like a long lost friend. Later visits the Scoundrel is treated like a long lost friend that skipped out on their bar tab (which the Scoundrel probably did)

First Strike - Once per day the Scoundrel can make a saving throw (adjusted by Charisma bonus if any) before entering combat. If successful, the Scoundrel has the drop on his / her opponents and has a free attack (also adjusted by and Charisma bonus) before initiative is rolled. If the roll is failed, initiative and combat proceeds as normal.

XP Bonus for Charisma - Scoundrels with a Charisma of 13 or 14 receive a 5% Experience Bonus, and those with 15 or higher get 10%.

Underworld Contacts - Scoundrels have a contact in the underworld of every world they visit. Contacts are not friends. Business is business.

(to use with White Box: Weapons - All one handed weapons and crossbows. Armor - leather and shield)


Let's Pick Some Dyson Maps for White Star / White Box Adventuring

Cartography by Dyson Logos

Yesterday I posted an informal poll asking my readers what they would like to see in terms of White Star / White Box content. Right out of the gate, adventures appear to be a strong contender. So, adventures will certainly be a major part of the mix of content.

The problem is, my mapping skills suck. So, I need a quick fix and I think we have one.

+Dyson Logos releases some amazing maps for free commercial use thanks to his Patreon Supporters (of whom I am proudly one of)

What I would like my readers to do is follow THIS LINK to Dyson's free Patreon Supported commercial maps. Pick the ones you would like to see written out as an adventure for White Star, White Box or both, provide the link in a comment below and tell us why you chose the map you did. If you have chosen multiple maps, please make multiple comments. It will make it easier for all to follow.

The goal is to write some up as 1-sheet, 4-page adventures, posted as they progress here at The Tavern with the completed adventures shared initial with The Tavern's Patreons.

So, have at it. Comment below. Do eet! Do eet now!
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